SOLID. — Here is a photo of me last week. I am preflighting inert BDU-50s. They are concrete-filled bombs without explosive matter. So you drop them for training and kill a few lizards and rattlesnakes on the range in Kansas. There are twenty-seven in the bomb bay. You ensure each bomb is mounted correctly (otherwise it’ll fall on your head, right?) and each weapon pin is pulled and counted. Because there aren’t any fuzes because they are concrete shapes, it only takes a couple minutes to do.

PARTY TIME, EXCELLENT. — A couple weekends ago, the Commander’s Farewell dinner I headed up went off without a hitch. It was a Hawaiian-themed luau extravaganza, complete with tropical bar drinks and loads of tacky decorations. But, in the midst of the plastic seagulls and seashells with castanets, I printed out cute Hawaiian pinup ladies for table numbers. About a hundred people showed up; quite a large turnout for a squadron commander’s farewell party.

The following Monday, the Change of Command ceremony took place (yes, I planned that, too). Protocol, a big office of do-nothing widget people, sends you a giant checklist to plan one of these things, telling you to make “project officers” to split up the planning duties. Whatever. It’s more work to assign people a million tasks, then try to follow up to see they get completed. So I had a co-worker be the narrator, and figured out the rest by myself. It’s a pretty high visibility event; the wing commander attends. So as I was calling around for a stage to conduct the ceremony, I am informed it’s broken. So… I call in the fleet – a 40-foot flatbed trailer! Good enough stage as any, right?

So during the ceremony, I had to take a physical training test instead of attend. As the guys are busting their asses setting up the 40-foot stage, chairs, and bleachers, the do-nothing female lieutenant in charge of “protocol” (whatever that means) gets sight of our white trash stage, rolls her eyes, sighs, and says “Does she not know how to do this? She’s not even here.” Well, excuse me; my job is to fly on airplanes, drop huge bombs, and kill bad guys.. not sit around the office, make fancy Air Force doilies, and setting out parking placards for Colonels. I planned this thing fast and loose, and it went perfectly fine. Project officers and shoe clerks be damned (shoe clerks are people in the military who don’t have an operations job like flying airplanes, security forces, or driving tanks; they offer support/services for us). The other day I saw a shoe clerk at an Air Force Ball meeting (yes, I am on that committee to keep the tacky at bay) with a beautiful French manicure. Who in the Air Force has time to get manicures, let alone not chip them to hell? The keyboards on the B-52 are so disgusting and filled with 50-year old gunk that it’s impossible to have long nails. It’s like those ladies who have 3″ fake fingernails; How do they use the bathroom?

SPORTS DAY! — Last Friday was Sports Day at work. For some reason, leadership wanted us to take a day from training to participate in multiple events in teams. Here’s the kicker: each team had to have at least one female member. Being that the teams were divided by squadrons, and our operations squadron had THREE ladies, total, able to participate… Amie, Erin and myself were farmed out to every event possible. We ran 5k’s. We played basketball. We ran 400 meter relays. Sports Day doesn’t seem very sporting when you get the short end of the stick to have to participate in everything. I’ve been hobbling around all weekend because of that 400 meter relay. Buh.

BON VOYAGE. — So today I am leaving on my trip to Europe. I’ll be back in a couple weeks with glamourous pictures and adventures. First adventure for today, though: find one more formal gown… in Minot. I miscalculated the amount of formal events on the cruise and wound up short one dress. Here’s hoping…

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