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Anyone here?

Bueller. Bueller.

Anyone. {crickets chirp loudly}

SG RAYEGUN: Airman, didn’t you pass my order for the ALL CLEAR back on the first of the month? {turns to Airman Wazowski standing at the console nearby, and promptly has to look down due to the airman’s diminutive stature}

AIRMAN WAZOWSKI:{cringing and in a sheepish voice, adjusting his glasses} Yes General Rayegun. We actually issued it twice an hour until 0900. We are still looking into possible reasons for the lack of chatter.

SG RAYEGUN: Hmmm, keep me informed with the routine updates. {turns to open the door and starts to walk out}

SG RAYEGUN:{in the doorframe, turns back around} And get someone in here from Environmental Control ASAP, sounds like Jiminy and the whole clan are having a concert again!

AIRMAN WAZOWSKI: Yessir! {salutes semi-crisply and immediately grabs the phone}

SG RAYEGUN:{mumbling to himself} I swear the new recruits coming out of Basic Training are getting more and more one-eyed myoptic. And why can’t they salute properly anymore????

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Yes, that time of year once again rolls around.

MEH.

No big plans or anything, just going to quietly hang out with the Generalette today. Oh yeah, and “GUNS UP”. Tech wrecked ‘em in the Holiday Bowl!!

Darth, Vicar, if you need me please leave word at the front gate and the Security Forces personnel will relay your message.

ThatIsAll™

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From all of us here at the Southern Command, to all of you — may you have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to take a few moments to say a prayer for all the men and women serving in our military stationed overseas this Holiday season. Also be sure to give thanks at your meal for those veterans past and present who have made the choice to serve our country’s military that ensured our freedom to enjoy that meal today.

On to the update.

If you’ve been following the recent announcements from the Command Public Affairs office, you’ll already know that the Generalette and I are in the process of getting licensed as a foster/adopt home. Well this week, the final piece of the pre-licensure puzzle was completed. The home study. The agency we are going through did approve our home, which is what we were hoping for. Now our license package gets typed up and submitted to CPS (aka Child Protective Services) for the final licensing steps. Should take about two weeks to complete and the license to get sent out. Once we get the rubber-stamp approval from CPS, that’s when the fun begins. It’s at that point that we could get the call that there is a child for us to take in. As you can imagine, the Generalette is almost beside herself with anticipation. On top of it all, the Christmas season is a huge deal for her and her family.

More details as they become available.

ThatIsAll™

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This guy agrees too!!

On to more important things….

Seems that the computer storage core maintenance went rather smoothly, and the boys allowed the base to return to normal ops tempo earlier than expected.

We’ll see how long it lasts though….

Dismissed™

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Attention all denizens. Professor Keenebeane here.

The Department of All Things Informational is pleased to inform you that today, November 2nd is Practice Being Psychic Day. Please promptly do so by determining what Supreme General Rayegun is thinking at this time and then psychically contact our representatives that are willingly standing by.

SG RAYEGUN: Umm Professor, a word please.

PROFESSOR KB: (barely able to speak due to some sort of “force” squeezing his throat) Y…ye (cough)…..yes…sir…(hack, cough, sputter). I’m on my way! (the Professor gulps quite audibly and slowly his face returns to a more normal pallor)

SG RAYEGUN: (to the audience) And you thought Venomous was the only one that could do that!!!

Okay, well on to something less trivial. Vicar, unless we hear from Venomous otherwise that his relocation efforts are completed you’ll get the conn solo as I will also being unavoidably detained later this week as my R&D boys have planned a computer core storage upgrade of the base network so I’ll be offline. Presently they have it planned for Wednesday through Friday, but it could extend into the weekend for obvious and not-so-obvious reasons. Until then though, I’ll be on the bridge hovering like I always do.

ThatIsAll™

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Yes, I’m still kicking….just been extremely busy with things at HQ (the electronic intelligence department has had to expand so much recently it required a relocation to a new secret undisclosed location in which required my security clearance to complete), as well as the Generalette and myself completing the requisite training courses for getting our foster home licensure in preparation to welcoming the junior Generalette. Oh, and there was a week in there somewhere that we escaped to visit our Florida cousins Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, Woody, Buzz, Belle, Beast, Gaston, Cinderella, Ariel, Sebastian, well you get the idea.

But in case you missed it, go check out this and this. Word of warning though, get your JUMBO sized roll of duct tape beforehand because I promise you, your head WILL explode by the time you’re done reading the first sentence….maybe even just the headline!!

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Little bit of trivia for a Thursday folks.

Exactly one thousand four hundred and sixty days ago, the Generalette and I exchanged our vows to each other in front of friends, family, and most importantly, God. It has been a blessed four years and we certainly are thankful for each and every day since then. We humbly accept each blessing as they come, knowing that our dependence is on Him.

And while we have had our share of exciting events recently, with the culmination being the new residence, stick around because there just might be some more news to report sooner than later. Can’t expound on it any further than this. For now.

ThatIsAll™

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Sorry about the delay, but the Generalette and I have been just a WEE bit busy the last few weeks. Between the annual weeklong leave checking in with our cousins Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, et al and the relocation of the General’s residence this past weekend you can see why I’ve been absent.

But some semblance of normality has started to reappear down here at the Southern Command, so I’m back in the War Room finally. Reviewing the radar data and daily status reports from my squadron commanders is occupying most of my time during the day. But if and when something moves into my purview that needs reporting on, I’ll get it shot down….the black helicopters need the target practice!

ThatIsAll™

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As previously mentioned here, the Generalette and myself will commence our annual summer leave/respite/sabbatical/vacation starting at exactly 1700 hours. I leave the Southern Command HQ in the capable hands of Number One.

NUMBER ONE: Thank you sir!

SG RAYEGUN: You know the procedure Number One, just follow it to the letter and I’m confident I will have an office to come back to that will be in one piece. Keep SCG-1 on alert status and I want HALO ONE fueled and fully armed at all times. Understood?

NUMBER ONE: Yessir!!

SG RAYEGUN: Also, make sure the surveillance team watches out for the Excelsior II Vengeance. That damn ship seems to drop out of hyperspace at all the inconvenient times, especially when the Klingon is driving!

NUMBER ONE: Understood sir.

SG RAYEGUN: Dismissed™

And with that I shall do this:

{LURK MODE ENGAGED}

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As you may have seen in the recent post, things down here have been a wee bit up tempo lately.

Hence I feel the overwhelming urge to say this:

37 days until my summer leave/liberty/sabbatical/respite/vacation commences!

Now I feel MUCH better.

ThatIsAll™

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{Cross-posted from the Southern Command HQ notification system}

Okay all you Southern Command constituents, it’s that time of year to make preparations for the annual New Year’s Day tradition of black-eyed peas.

Here’s a good recipe for the peas.

Now remember, the tradition is

The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.

Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including:

•Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens.

•Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.

And finally, some things to remember whilst you go about your celebrating:

•For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.

•Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health.

•In some areas, actual values are assigned with the black-eyed peas representing pennies or up to a dollar each and the greens representing anywhere from one to a thousand dollars.

•Adding a shiny penny or dime to the pot just before serving is another tradition practiced by some. When served, the person whose bowl contains the penny or dime receives the best luck for the New Year, unless of course, the recipient swallows the coin, which would be a rather unlucky way to start off the year.

The catch to all of these superstitious traditions is that the black-eyed peas are the essential element and eating only the greens without the peas, for example, will not do the trick.

ThatIsAll™

And enjoy your celebration responsibly. You are hereby ordered to return to duty promptly on January 2nd. Do I make myself clear, soldier?

Yes? Then DISMISSED!™

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As we fade out from black, we see our intrepid command team huddled around the General’s Command Console intently looking at the screen. Faces are cringed, brows are furled, and a more than a few of the staff gathered are chewing on already nubby fingernails. Obviously it’s been a longgggggggg night.

{whispered conversations can be heard in the periphery}

SG RAYEGUN: I hope to hell that your job isn’t on the line AGAIN, techboy! I hate when I have to find someone with a clue. There are so few of them left these days!!

SSGT BANNER: Sir, would I be wearing this green bodysuit and be doped up on steroids….oh wait, wrong room. Seeya!

ALL: WTH??

LT KIM: General, I assure you there will not be a need for such measures. We have complete confidence in our work and this new system. Mr. Gates and Mr. Ballmer have assured us, repeatedly I might add, that there will not be a repeat performance.

SG RAYEGUN: For your sake, I hope so. Very well lieutenant, flip the switch.

LT KIM: Yessir.

CAPT ROGERS: Defense teams, take your positions, lock and load, safety off, set to maximum power. This is not a drill, I repeat THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

SG RAYEGUN: {looks untoward at the officer} Just a wee bit of overkill there captain???

CAPT ROGERS: Sir, you do remember the last time?

{the assembled mass mumbles and tries to support the captain while backing up as the general gets up from his chair}

SG RAYEGUN: One more snarky comment like that CAPTAIN and you’ll be a no stripe AIRMAN in less than 3 seconds. Do I make myself clear?

CAPT ROGERS:{visibly cringing} Umm yes sir…..

SG RAYEGUN: Get on with it already lieutenant. I’ve got work to do.

{camera pans left to see LT KIM flipping a big yellow switch while his other hand hovers precariously close to the emergency shutdown button}

LT KIM: {visibly relieved as he slowly pulls his hand back from the emergency shutdown} All systems normal, efficiency at 105%. Command ability at your discretion sir.

SG RAYEGUN: {the general punches in his access code and proceeds to get back to work} Thank you lieutenant. Nice job folks. You all get to keep your positions and rank. For now. Dismissed™

ALL: YESSIR!

{as the camera returns to center stage, flies in over the generals head, and zooms in to the Command Console screen}

Yes folks, the Southern Command has officially commenced its conversion to Windows 8 Pro. My big box is fully functional, minus a few minor utility apps. Things are running better than the clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate but getting used to the new UI will be fun. Luckily I’ve had Win8 running in a virtual session and have had time to play around with the UI in the sandbox. One bonus I did discover, and Darth you’ll find this most interesting. It seems that Microsoft finally got the clue. In IE10 a long-standing oversight has been corrected. As Darth has previously been wantonly rambling on about how this fine blog had its appearance “quirks” under IE (namely it was left-shifted on the page, not centered like with Firefox, Chrome, etc), well I can tell you now that it has been fixed. See below for the proof:

Darth, you’re welcome.

If you can, go check out Win8. If you don’t like the Win8 UI, you can always switch to the desktop view and just run things from there. If you go that route, you’ll notice that there is not a START button anymore. If that just freaks you out to no end, I already have a remedy for that illness. Check out Stardock Software‘s Start8 as it will fix the problem.

ThatIsAll™

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Well, the new western gate command bunker has been officially put into commission. For the most part….

The tech team still has a few things to finalize, and the mess hall reports that they still have a few boxes to unload but they are open for BAU (“Business As Usual” for those uninitiated). Unfortunately, the conference room will not support the full media package I had requested. At this time. But I have been assured by the Civil Engineering squadron commander that this will be rectified.

Even have completed commencing agreements with the local requisite support agencies, so overall things are moving along nicely. Supply vendors are standing at the ready as well. Now if I can get the weather squadron to quit with the sogginess things would be much better. Then at least the regular patrol sequence could restart and of course, training flights could resume as some of the helo boys need some stick time before they get too lax.

Yes, we were able to monitor the recent meteor activity via the in-house news feeds. But long-range sensors were not connected to the Command uplink at the time, so real-time monitoring was not available.

Finally, the Command mascots (all FOUR of them) seem to approve of the new locale. So far.

Dismissed™

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In case anyone was watching, yes the local area offbase did suffer damage from two reported tornadoes this afternoon. Freak thunderstorm rolled through heading northeast out of the local area and apparently was looking for the red ruby slippers again. No reports of major destruction, but a tornado is rare down here (even more so when it’s so far out of tornado season in general)….unless there’s a hurricane out taking a walk in the park.

No damage onbase. Heck we got all of about 5 drops of rain. One reported household “accident” did occur. The Generalette insists we invest in a pair of “Thundershirts” for each of the base mascots. I’m tending to agree with her because the cleanup detail has gone past annoying.

On another note, Darth you will want to get that rust bucket of a ship swept, mopped, and hopefully deodorized before the 25th. The Generalette and I will be venturing your direction and of course this requires the requisite inspection tour. Our main purpose is to actually visit the spectacle known as “Jonesmahall”, but we will make sure you’ve marginally kept that wizard and the Klingon in line for another year.

Dismissed™

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Hey denizens, it’s the General checking in.

Sorry I’ve been absent of late but there’s been more pressing items that have needed my attention. One being some threatening wildfires that breached the 25-mile perimeter markers on the northeast side of the base and then last week another one that breached the 20-mile perimeter markers on the southwest side.

All is well now due to what appears to be some sort of “extreme condensation particulate” falling from the sky. The R&D folks have been testing this “condensation” but as of yet they have not reported their findings. Most of the general populace are befuddled as my R&D staff appears to be, but luckily no major incidents have been reported.

Please continue to pray, and if possible, support, those affected by the major wildfire in Bastrop, TX. The last count showed well over 1,000 homes were lost. With another 400 or so in the wildfires here closer to home. These families are in need of something we as Americans always know what to do, and do it best…..a helping hand. Texans are a strong lot, we will recover. We will bounce back. It may take some time, but it will happen.

Flags here on base are ay half-mast today as this marks the one-year anniversary of the Generalette’s father’s passing. Her sadness is tempered by the fact that the long-awaited remodeling of the master bathroom at the General’s residence has now commenced. The Generalette and myself spent several glorious hours last weekend demolishing various aspects of said bathroom and our chosen contractor has begun the process of putting things back together per our design requirements just today. Completion should only take 2-3 more days.

Other minor issues continue, but there are the stuff of daily life here at the Southern Command. Now if I can just nail down that Darth character long enough to inform him to quite taking artistic liberties with what my Public Affairs staff discloses things will be much calmer…

I’ve just been handed a report hot off the laser printer over in the R&D office. They can now confirm that the “extreme condensation particulate” falling from the sky is (or was) common rain. Their report states that due to the lack of recent empirical evidence to refer back to, the testing of the material had to shift to a spectographical nature under extremely controlled conditions. They did mention in the report also that the testing was aided by the seemingly abundant amount of test material and the broad geographic locations from where test samples could be gathered from. This report has eased the nerves of the entire base population, and the kids seemed to enjoy it as well.

ThatIsAll™

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