Saturday, March 18, 2006

Hiatus, new hobbies, and up-chits

I have spent most of the last two months studiously forgetting I even had this blog. Not that I have really been too busy to pop in and post anything. Sure, work has been a ball-breaker but much of that is behind me. In five months' time I will be on terminal leave on my way out of the Marines; a great deal of that time will be taken up by the lent litany of details I must see to in order to get out as smoothly as possible. Outprocessing. House-hunting. Job-hunting. All this on top of my duties at work ,now expanded to include flying once more since medical has (finally) decided there is nothing wrong with me and given me the clearance to take to the skies once more.

By way of keeping myself occupied without drinking heavily, I ordered a sextant from Starpath School of Navigation, if for nothing else for the hell of it. I spend the more pleasant weekend days hanging out on beaches and seawalls, so that instead of sitting on my arse in the sun getting drunk, I can do something practical, i.e. take and plot sun observations for positioning. I was trained in celestial navigation way back when I was a wee little 18-year-old E-3 Navigator Student. Certainly, in the era of GPS and Inertial Navigation Systems, using techniques pioneered in the days of Wooden Ships and Iron Men seems somewhat pointless.

I believe, however, that actually computing and plotting your own observations takes the mechanical process of plotting a position from a little electronic box and elevates it into an art form. Besides, I don't have to worry about batteries or any of that crap. All I need is an accurate watch.

Bite me, gadget-weenies.

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