FET 230 Hours Furlough Report

Now to grow my hair out so I look like the guy from Sleepy Hollow.

Now to grow my hair out so I look like the guy from Sleepy Hollow.


Duration of Furlough: 9 days and counting

Work not done: I forgot to mention that yesterday I would have had my branch staff meeting.  What’s so important about that?  Well, once a month I get everyone in my branch together and I give out Tastykakes!  I try to recognize any notable accomplishments from the previous month.  Thus I have been deprived of the most fun thing I get to do every month – throwing food at people.

The other big thing that we’re falling behind on is training people to be flight controllers.  Five people in our branch are currently working toward certification – two in our ISE flight control group, two in our PLUTO flight control group, and 1 Daily Ops Instructor.  These five people are needed to either fill spots for people who have left or to help offload other team members.  All five will be assigned to missions as soon as they achieve certification.  The sooner this training is completed, the better off we are as an org.

Outlook for Continuing Resolution passage by Congress: Hints at a possible temporary solution are emerging; though if we’re back in the same position in a month, it’s going to royally suck.

By the way, if this kid doesn’t burst into my house when the shutdown is over, then I’m going to be incredibly disappointed. Good thing I’m used to that feeling by now.

Have I showered today? Yes. Painting makes me sweat.

Chores done: Dishes

Wife-Requested Tasks: Painted the master bathroom.  My wife considers new paint on the walls ‘exciting.’  We have different definitions for the word ‘exciting.’

Video games played: I ain’t got time for that.

Mood: Skeptical.

Republicans seem to be pushing a debt ceiling extension without re-opening the government.  Obama wants both.  I’m not convinced we’ll get there.

Furlough Fun Fact: Furloughed federal workers may seek another job, but they still fall under the ethical restrictions that normally are in place for seeking a second job while employed by the Government.

Movie of the day: Matrix

This whole situation would be a lot better theater with some special effects and bullet-time camera shoots.  For some reason the Matrix movies are on my mind today, so with that I give you the characters from the Matrix movies recast with the major players from both side of the shutdown.  In an attempt at bipartisanship, I will include a Republican and Democrat for all/most characters.

Let’s start with the bad guys:

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First, the Architect, the father of the Matrix, the one who keeps the system going and alleviates the systemic weakness due to the illusion of choice by inserting the relief valve that is Neo.  For the right, John Boehner is clearly the Architect, the one who has catered to the monsters of the far right and created the untenable situation we are now in.   For the left, Harry Reid refuses to negotiate, Boehner can either pick 17 people and restart Zion or he can destroy everything.  There is no in between.

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Now, the Merivingian, the unnecessary mouthpiece of the system who serves no real purpose other than to initiate one of the coolest car chases in film history.  For the right, only Michele Bachmann (of Republicans currently holding office) combines totally, completely crazy with complete and utter pointlessness.  Meanwhile, Sheila Jackson Lee is usually the one spewing crazy for the left, but she’s been remarkably quiet during this climactic standoff.

And finally…

matrix comparison 1

Agent Smith infects the system with himself overwriting every other person and program, infecting the Matrix with his consciousness so he can bring it all crashing down and escape this putrid system. Ted Cruz has roused his followers across the country, taking his brave stand against providing healthcare to the working poor, and he will bring the system to its knees in his bid to overcome the atrocity that is Obamacare.  Meanwhile, President Obama infects the common rabble with his giveaways of Obamaphones, food stamps, and welfare checks and turns the populace into a walking army  of Obamaphiles, unaware that they have been infected by the scourge of evil.

Now for the good guys…

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This crotchety guy, who was more lucky than good, who believed he decided what to do with his ‘boat,’ but who was really not much more than an extra with a speaking part.  Does anyone really believe that Boehner is the one in charge on the right?  Is he really in charge of this careening ship or does that distinction really belong to the person who’s at the steering wheel?  Similarly, Nancy Pelosi has no real power here. The left can fantasize all it wants about moderate conservatives falling in line behind her, but will she actually lead us there?

matrix comparison 4


The smooth-talking Morpheus was a believer and could rally others to the cause with his inspiring rhetoric, but in the end he played second fiddle to a false hope that was really just another construct of the system.  Eric Cantor says the right things to the right, but in the end, he’s just a proxy for his current leader. President Obama inspires with his words like no one else, but the hope and change that he pitched have been constrained by a system that he either doesn’t want to change or more likely can’t change.

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Trinity kicks ass and takes names and she will escort our hero until the bitter end, where she will die pointlessly not in a showdown with evil-doers but rather due to some rebar stuck through multiple points on her body.  Paul Ryan is dreamy and his budget proposals will cure the ills of this country, but the underlying tenants of his proposals – reductions in social security and medicare – leave him dead on the doorstep.  Harry Reid throws himself at his tormentors, he takes the abuse of the right, so that the good fight can be fought.  In the end, they will all suffer the same fate.

Which brings us to Neo…

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The One.  The only one who can stop the war against the machines  and restore humanity to its rightful place as rulers of this world- or achieve a temporary standdown in hostilities that will likely re-ignite as soon as the movie is over. Ted Cruz can fit fifty gallons in his Texas-sized ten gallon hat and he squashes liberals under the heels of his cowboy boots.  He is the one who will save us from our reckless demise.  For the left, the savior has not yet appeared, but she is out there, lurking.  She alone can stand up to the evils of corporate America and help Washington serve Main street instead of Wall Street; she will be the one.


Of course, all this is brought to you by…

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The Wachowskis, Koch brothers, and George Soros.

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