Sunday, April 14, 2013

Catching Up

Here's what's been going on since early March:
-- Sequestration went into effect. There were lots of external Qs (questions) to answer.
-- I finally caved and got my Maryland motorcycle learner's permit on the way to getting a real, legit license. It hurt to give up my Hawaii license, but it was due entirely to my lack of looking at the identification requirements before going to Oahu. `
-- A major workforce management decision memo was signed. Pretty sure that I'll be working on responding to questions about that here within the next few weeks. 
-- Congress passed an FY 2013 appropriation for DHS...not just a CR (Continuing Resolution). There are mechanical differences for how accounts are managed between the two.
-- My cousin, her boyfriend and my *sister* came to visit! Yay!! They had planned separate visits, but ended up here on the same weekend which was awesomely cool to get to hang out with all of them. My sister and I walked miles and miles on the Mall. In a stunning oversight of awareness, we ended up on the Mall the day of the International Kite Festival that was part of the Cherry Blossom Festival. It was crowded, but so cool to see all the kites free and easy in the breeze. We were still too early for the cherry blossoms though.
-- The FY 2014 President's Budget was released. The Qs have been coming fast and furious for the last few days, and will likely continue to do so for the near future.
-- I dropped my lawnmower and weed eater off at the appliance repair place for a pre-summer tune up nearly a month ago. I've stopped by a couple of times now to pick it up. The first time it wasn't ready (they were waiting on carburetor kits); the second time they were closed for a medical emergency. I really hope I can get the tools back soon...the weeds are starting to get outta control.
-- We're working on a  fast-approaching deadline for submission to DHS for FY 2015. I've got a couple of items for which I am responsible. No pressure...we're just talking $50 million to $70 million. No biggie.
-- One of my immediate family members is going through some health issues. It's scary and there's nothing I can do right now to help. There might not be anything I'm ever able to do to help.
-- The first round of departures have started from our office. JZ headed out late last month. He is missed. New folks won't start showing up until mid-June. We have some gaps in the office. We're managing.
-- I got a bunch new gear for The Old Man, getting ready for a road trip to Florida in May. The Old Man has a new windshield, new saddle bags, a new *seat pad!*, and I got a new helmet. And my friend/neighbor, Molly, got me my Hawaii license plates!! Yay...and thank you, thank you, thank you, Mols!!!
-- The personnel ladder chart was finalized for FY 2014 roll-out. It includes a technical footnote required by some assumptions we made about FY 2013 that were proven wrong by the FY 2013 Enacted Appropriation. Apparently, the footnote made things very confusing. Guess what -- the dang thing is confusing to begin with!! The footnote at least points readers in the right direction to be able to figure out what happened. Harumph.
-- I'm trying to kick processed foods and refined sugars. The refined sugars are kicking my ass. Donuts, Easter candy, *jelly beans* (I love jelly beans), Cadbury creme eggs, cookies, brownies, ice hard to resist. I had one day last week where I didn't eat any refined sugar. Just one day. I'll keep trying.
-- Spring has sprung...finally! I was getting really tired of riding my bicycle in to work with so many layers on I could barely move, and still feel like my lungs were burning from the cold. So very very nice to ride with shorts and a t-shirt on!

Here's what I haven't done: write. Not one word outside of work. I mean, at work, I write every day...long, obnoxiously explanatory emails, talking points, OERs, awards, edits...all kinds of stuff. But that's not for me. Obviously, it's shown in the fact that I haven't posted for six weeks. But it's Very Difficult to write in this forum about what I'm doing now. The pre-decisional side is only one small piece. 

The larger, harder piece is that I don't necessarily always agree with leadership decisions. While I don't have much refined sensitivities about Coast Guard, internal Headquarters politics, I am just barely savvy enough to understand that whining about decisions made by senior leadership will not enhance my career, and depending upon how egregious the whining is, could be detrimental. I like my career. I don't want to end it prematurely in that particular fashion.

Now, on the other hand, there have been a few decisions recently that I think are stupendously inspiring and support whole-heartedly. They are decisions that show vision, and understanding of organizational needs in a changing world. Just the stuff that I think we need much much more of right now. 

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