Category Archives: Yarns and Tales
It was probably our second rehearsal. We’d stumbled badly on a run-through, and Warland was isolating the technical problems. We worked on the rhythms for a time, added the words when he was confident we’d mastered the counts, and finally fit the music to the section. I’d forgotten I’d sung this at Mac. But I’d not forgotten Dale’s teaching methods.
My memories of the cycle were that it wasn’t so much difficult as relentless; the pressure never let up, though the emphasis changed from week to week. It helped a lot that I was reasonably fit, and accustomed to long hikes. It didn’t help that I was only barely competent with a rifle. It was clear to us that, at least from SFC Charley Tucker, the pettiness and meanness were part of the course work, not part of the personality.
Steven K. Roberts is a person I might have been. We even look kind of alike. He grew up a nomad; I grew up a bureaucrat….
Tom called home. “Suzanne, I’m running late; stopped to have dinner with Becky and we’re waiting for the bill.” Suzanne apparently didn’t take this well. Becky borrowed the phone, and started to explain: “Hi, Suzanne….” Suzanne hung up on her.
Turns out I don’t think the laptop makes a satisfactory PDA, despite its obvious advantages and excellent form factor, so I bought a Palm Tungsten E the other day and have been whipping it into shape. It’s a pretty slick device.
Occasionally something remarkable would happen. I once saw Notre Dame freshman Bill Hurd win a fifty yard dash final, against excellent college competition, by several yards. Think about that. Absolutely amazing.
There were some changes. Robbyn was quite emphatic that the niche specialties had to go, and that teams would be assigned to work most projects. Management, meantime, had cut back our authority: We were downgraded from division to section, we were explicitly enjoined to work through management on all projects, and we were required to secure approvals for tasks we’d formerly done on our own authority. While these changes partly reflected the reality of an inexperienced analyst staff, it was also clear that the new managers wanted more control of the decision-making process.