So, landed around 1515 yesterday in Seattle to low clouds and soft rain. Stepped off the curb at the rental car lot to cold wind and puddles. Which the latter are apparently a phenomenon that exhibits itself after a prolonged period of precipitation. After a bit of head-scratching, I had to admit a previous acquaintance with this anomaly.
In my pre-Sandy Eggo days, of course.
There are two ways to get from Seattle to Oak Harbor; the scenic route takes you across the ferry, and I – pressed for time – took the 5, a far more gritty route that could almost have been depressing, what with all the gray falling down on the windscreen. Turns out they have these devices called “windshield wipers” that largely, if not entirely, mitigate this effect. I’m going back the other way.
One of the advantages of blogging – this thing of ours – apart from getting to choose the topic of conversation, engaging in scintillating conversation, banning the occasional troll and meeting people who already know far more about you than you do about them, is getting the occasional recommendation. So thanks, Oyster: The pound of mussels at Toby’s Tavern, in Coupeville, WA, which is a delightful place, if rather sleepy at 7PM on a Monday night. Any sleepier and I’d have called EMS on the entire town. The bivalves went down swimmingly with the Parrot red ale, a buttery mixture well suited to the outside rigors. I will not, for now, mention the garlic bread, served in three unctuous pieces and totally out of the Zone. For then there were none.
A little time afterward spent preparing for my meetings today, which I believe went quite well, thanga. I even got the chance to spend 30 minutes in the EA-18G “Growler” tactical flight simulator. Which was pretty darned slick, I have to tell you – a great platform, and a wonderful opportunity for a new generation of naval aviators to grow and learn. And, oh, how I miss my air-to-air radar, HUD and yes, I admit it: Nosewheel steering.
It’s the little things.
Had lunch with a pleasant young officer who was something of my escort while on base. I told him how great it was to be working with naval aviation again, how it had long ago stolen my heart. I told him to treasure these moments, for they do run out. We got to chatting about his career, which had been up to this point a little non-traditional. He admitted that he would almost be concerned about his ultimate eligibility for command, the pinnacle of achievement for any line officer. Except, he admitted, for “all these firings.” Which had taken some of the bloom off the rose.
I don’t think that’s the message Navy is sending, although it may be the message some folks are receiving.
The sky was still weeping as I went outside, the rains falling ceaselessly from low, depressing clouds. At least, I think it was the clouds that were depressing.