self with corona Travels and Images

WEEK 5 2004

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week

Picture of the Week

Lancaster Weather NOAA
Lancaster WeatherUnderground

A Year Ago, This Week Weekly Picture Archive

Saturday 31 January 2004

Saturday - on the road. Tomorrow is the big game so it's off to watch the superbowl with my Dad.

After unloading the SUV of all the office stuff...

Friday30 January 2004

Friday - the big day. Paperwork to sign, goodbye's to say. I sent an email to friends and colleagues, as did my friend Tim. Lot's of kind, sad and surprised replies. It's heartwarming.

I used a commercial program on a floppy to zap the hard drives on the PC's. I would had just deleted, but there has been a lot of press lately about how easy it is to recover files off surplused hard drives. And since each PC has two operating systems the amount of work was just too much. So: zap the whole drive and leave a copy of the OS in a box by the hardware. The machines are old enough that they won't be re-used at Dryden, and the OS was Windows 2000 and Redhat 8.1, both of which are on their way out here.

The Unix workstations were more difficult. I did a password change on all accounts, and followed that up with a "rm -r" from root on all user accounts. Not much else I can do. It was mentally hard to do. I've spent years training myself not to delete data, to always backup, and so on. Zapping was very very hard. But I started with old moribund accounts, guest accounts and so on; and finally worked up the the current stuff.

But, as I said, I'd backed up things, and that was a help.

We went out to Domingo's for lunch. About five people from the Engineering Technical Support contract are leaving on this this round of layoffs. About ten in October/November of last year. Afterwards there was also cake and punch, with several people coming up to mention possible future opportunities.

We took the hardware apart, transferring some to people that wanted it, and piling the rest, with property tags, in an empty cubicle. Loading up the cars with stuff that we would take home: personal files, calculators, calendars, books, and so on.

By six or seven in the evening we were ready to go. Hadn't been paid since four o'clock after all. Turned in our badges and passes. Shook hands with my friend Tim (sixteen years together), got in the car and headed home.

Thursday 29 January 2004

Thursday -still tossing reports. It's hard to do at first, but after a while you get in the rhythm: back and to the left as my friend Tim put it.

I guess I should say: no hard feelings. I've been here longer as a contractor than anyone I know. Multiple contracting companies but the same job (well, not really - it's changed a lot, which was cool.) Times change however, and NASA has a new direction and 'aeronautics' is not really part of the charge back to the Moon and Mars. Money has been getting tight and all indications are that it will get a lot tighter before things are through.

There are even rumors that NASA will be getting rid of the aeronautics stuff altogether - turn over that mission to the USAF or the FAA. Unlikely, but it's got even the civil servant personnel talking...

And the backups. There are current projects on the PC's and the workstations that need to be backed up onto CD, DVD, and 8mm tape. A lot of stuff is archival, and really doesn't need backing up, a lot is current code, binaries and documentation.

For lunch a friend took us over to the Officer's Club here at Edwards. He's areally nice guy and there are rumors that he'll be hired on as regular civil service...

Wednesday 28 January 2004

Wednesday - starting the big cleanup. There are books to find and return to the library (one of the Dryden librarians liked to refer to my office as the library annex)! I went to the library and picked up a list: 38 books. Hmmm. I know that there are a lot more than that. Seems that a lot of stuff has dropped off the radar. Which would be cool if I wasn't so dammed honest.

Then there are the files, paper and electonic to dispose of. After nearly twenty years the team is down to just a couple of people, but it has been as large as eight or ten. So, despite repeated purgings over the years there are a lot of old projects, papers, reports, printouts to look at, and sadly, toss. There were stuff that I had completely forgotten about (CV-990,Oblique-wing): out. Stuff that wasn't likely to every fly again ((X-29,SR-71): out. Current projects (F18-AAW, HyperX): saved for others.

Tuesday 27 January 2004

Tuesday - well, the big news: I'm out of a job on the 31st of January: this Friday. The task has no money. I've had a letter for a couple of weeks and known that it might be coming for a while - I was actually surprised to see December 1st last year. So it isn't a big surprise but it'll certainly be a big change, after all this time.

Monday 26 January 2004

Monday - not a lot to say. Went to work, came home.

Sunday 25 January 2004

Sunday - cleaned house a bit, trimmed that tree in the side yard. I'm still thinking about taking it out altogether, but for now just a radical hacking with the reciprocating saw. Tough on the back, that.

Later I went roller skating with some friends. I hadn't been in a few years, and I was trying roller blades for the first time, but did OK. Not that I ever looked like anything but the tin man on skates, but hey, it's good exercise and fun!

Picture of the Week
clouds over the hills
Photo Notes: While up at my Dad's place I took this shot of clouds illuminated by the already set sun..

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week