Well. How about one more October picture?
Self-referential humor is never as funny to other people as it is to you, but this is my blog darn it and I'm going to poke a little fun.
October is still my favorite month, although this has been an... unusual month. I was praying for a great October. What I got was... well, let's just hope I got what I was praying for.
I changed jobs. The new job is a vast improvement over the old one, but the manner in which the change occurred... left a bit to be desired. No discussion has ever arisen related to that and it seems as though all those involved in the entire affair would just as leave never mention it again. Fine by me. As I said, I'm enjoying what I do now, and though it means less idle time I'm thrilled that I now have a job where I can see the purpose of my work. That's of inestimable value.
So that was good.
Then, of course, my cat was diagnosed with cancer and I learned and had to make peace with the fact that one of my best friends for the past sixteen years wasn't going to be there when I got home. This wasn't easy, but what must be done must be done. I passed one very hard night, and the next morning I woke up and knew that I'd said goodbye. I'll miss the old boy. Incidentally, here's a little picture of him and my folks' cat, Hobo, taken in the last couple days. He's certainly gotten skinny, but he looks just fine.
And then there was the incident of the other night. I won't go into any detail but you may have noticed a number of changes here on the blog. Let's just say that in my lack of concern about my career (which I'm expecting to end shortly) I let myself get carried away with thinking I could say just about anything I wanted. This is not the case for people in the military. It has never been the case, but two years of doing it was certainly enough to help me forget the fact. Turns out a few people found the blog and decided there were some things there that were A) inappropriate for a military officer to be saying, even if not in an official capacity, and B) too close to an operational security violation for comfort, even if nothing crossed the line.
So I turned out to be damn close to some lines that, if crossed, could result in let's just say some really unpleasant consequences. I'm not into that. For the remainder of my time in the service we'll just keep this to largely non-political observations.
Now, I'll point out that for example the recent series on issues in the Horn of Africa that I had started did not contain any facts that you couldn't find on the BBC or Wikipedia (I use both resources to check my facts, actually), along with my own interpretations and some gut feelings based on a decade of paying close attention to what people act like when they're up to no good. But again, this was a bit close to the line, and as I said I've no reason to go putting my neck at risk. So I won't.
It turns out that apparently there are more readers of this blog than I had suspected, including quite a few of my colleagues and several people I don't even know out here. The topic came up just a couple days ago in a conversation with someone I've seen a handful of times and who I wasn't even sure what service he was in. It felt... odd. But good. But I had to wonder: why the hell don't you people comment? Come on. Show some love.
This afternoon after lunch I was talking about the episode with a couple of people, one of whom I knew and one of whom I've never seen before but who apparently was not only aware of the blog but was a reader. I'll let you stay nameless. This person said to me, "All great writers are persecuted for their writing."
I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything at the time, as it would have come out my nose (ever done that with milk? You can't get the smell of sour milk out of your nose for days). I'm not sure either "great" or "persecuted" apply to my situation, but the notion certainly put a smile on my face.
So maybe it was a great October, and maybe it wasn't. But following an August and a September of drab, unbroken sameness (and hot weather), it's certainly been a memorable month.