Friday, April 17, 2015

Grumpy Sometimes

Gun Turret of the Ironclad Monitor in a desalination tank in Newport News Virginia

So an email came across my desk one day starting out with accusing county government officials in a northeast state of being corrupt.  This immediately sets off my "Nut Case" alarm, man the battle stations against incoming lies.  Now I know there are crooked people in public offices, but few of them.  Most government employees are dedicated, hard working and frequently underpaid.  Yes I know many of them have generous pensions, part of the reason they accept less pay then they would earn on the outside is that the benefits of government employment can be nice, But a message that starts out accusing government employees or staff of being corrupt is suspect for me.  I then looked for facts to support the accusation, and there was not a single one.  Someone didn't get what they wanted, so the people in charge must all be crooks.  I got grumpy, sent a response, that offered a referral to an expert on the issue, but also pointed out that odds are the complainer is a nut case.  The person sending in the complaint, was not the person allegedly "done wrong." Another hallmark of a nutter attack.  Maybe I need a vacation, but my defenses are on high alert.  

Speaking of defenses, a few years ago they found the wreck of the first iron clad battle ship, and raised parts of it, including the gun turret.  It had been in salt water since the civil war, so it is soaking in a tank having the salt slowly removed in Newport News Virginia.  This was part of a museum tour.  I understand that part has been closed to the public as part of a cut in state and federal funding.  The funding is there to continue the preservation work, but not to make it available to the public.  


  1. David,
    Those government pensions are generous. A large part of the gay retired population here in the Rehoboth Beach area are government pensioners, who have very generous indexed pensions. I could have had a government pension if I kept my NSA job that I had while I was stationed at Ft. Meade. But alas I was gay which was verboten in the Ignorant Sixties so I left and got a banking job. Those pensions aren't indexed and very modest compared to government pensions. But those retired government pensioners keep the Rehoboth economy going.

    1. Ron: One of the toughest decisions for me when I moved to DC was retirement plans. In KY I was covered under the County Employees Pension System, I was laying plans to retire at 65 with a guaranteed monthly income for life. Moving here I went into a 401K plan, and have no guarantee of what will be there when I retire, not even a good choice of investment options. But, I doubled my income leaving the government sector and moving into the private sector - I also doubled my cost of living. But I love the work I am doing and I was ready for a change when this opportunity came up.

  2. I wish I had fallen under the old Civil Service Retirement System when I spent 15 years with the Army. I would probably never have left. But real money wooed me away, and my IRA is now a mere pittance of what I would have had. Thank goodness for the Virginia Retirement System. I'll be here until I retire (or die).

    I watched the Hunley get pulled out of the ocean (from a nearby boat carrying us press people). I think it's in the same boat as the Monitor. Preserved, but not visitable.

    Peace <3

    Peace <3