Saturday, October 31, 2009

Take that, Gdynia!

From America, with love.

Three rounds were fired from an M240 machine gun into the town but no injuries or damage were reported.  Navy officials said a crew member was cleaning the weapon when it accidentally discharged.

A sailor cleaning a weapon is unaware the bolt was back and a belt in the feed tray.  You look at a machine gun and that sorta thing is obvious.

M240 - ready to rock and/or roll.
Yup - this puppy is ready to be taken apart and cleaned.

What are they teaching kids these days?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I used to like the firefighting part of systems administration.

Critical systems are broken! Break out the terminal servers and laptops! Ride to the rescue! It's glamorous. People need us! Huzzah!

Now I see firefighting for the tedious bullshit that it is. It means that someone, somewhere, has failed to do their job correctly. [1]

To be blunt, someone [2] has fucked up and I can't rest until the situation has been un-fucked.

[1] Guess what I've been doing since long before dawn.
[2] Probably me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When it seems simple it probably is not

Everyone has heard this
ZABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan — More than six years after sending the first Stryker armored vehicles into desert combat, the Army has decided that it’s probably a good idea to start painting them tan so they will blend in with the environments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Well geez - how lame is that?  Of course, it's not that simple.

  • The Strykers were only sent to Afghanistan a few months ago.
  • Not everything in Afghanistan is desert. A lot of the fighting happens in 'green' areas.
  • A lot of fighting in Iraq is in urban terrain.  Brown or green, it's a 17-ton vehicle driving down the street. It's going to be noticed.

Michael Yon has the details here.

Knee Pads of ... Doom

Rocco Landesman, head of the NEA
If you accept the premise, and I do, that the United States is the most powerful country in the world, then Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar. That has to be good for American artists.

If he keeps that up Landesman is going to need himself a good set of knee pads.

Title gleefully lifted from the fantastic RPG Munchkin.  Where it is indeed possible to wield Kneepads of .. Doom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do these few things the right way every day, and the rest becomes inevitable.

Mike Singletary

It's simple math. I don't want to be a nag. Even in my parenting, I wish I could learn to let things go. But if I say this is the way we're going to do it, then we need to make sure we're doing it every day. If we do this and this, then we'll get that. That's how I see life, the game everything else. Do these few things the right way every day, and the rest becomes inevitable.

From 'This nutcracker isn't a ballet.' by Chris Jones

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ingrid Michaelson at the Barrymore 10/24/2009

Ingrid Michaelson at the Barrymore 10/24/2009

That's where I was Saturday.

The first act was Matthew Perryman Jones who looked hot in his blue jeans, beard, and long hair. My husband, Brian, was not impressed with his good looks and he spouted off, "All his songs sound the same and the boy needs a shave."

I did not 'spout off'. I grumped.  Possibly I bitched.  There is a difference.

See this YouTube video for what his performance was like.

Ingrid Michaelson was very, very, good.  You know those guys who sound great in a studio but blow chunks on a stage?  She's not like that at all.

Joe Bob says 'check her out'.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Because of the metric system


Callen Road - Wisconsin 10/25/09


Callen Road - Wisconsin 10/25/09

It's a metaphor.

Jules: Check out the big brain at Space4Commerce!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ask a nine year old

Ask a nine-year old where clean socks, or underwear, or pants that fit are.  "I can't find any!"

Ask a nine-year old where his swimsuit is and he'll have it so fast he'll break the speed of sound.

Life's mysteries.

Time to leaf


Wall to wall leaves in my driveway.

Standards, even if they are breached, are crucial

Comment of the Day

Wretchard made an outstanding point (again) by saying that standards, even if they are breached, are crucial. It is one thing to have standards we sometimes don’t live up to and another thing altogether to say there are or should be no standards. The former exposes human imperfection, the latter ultimately leads to chaos.

And those who pointed out the importance of the Declaration’s reliance on the Creator, on Nature and Nature’s God, have pin pointed the key restraint on governments and on individuals. Rights come from the Creator or from Natural Law, not from the state or from another person. Therefore there are limits on what man can rightly do to man.

Do we need religion? As a society the answer is “yes.” Select individuals can live excellent lives of goodness without religion, but society cannot sustain three generations in a row of such ethical goodness without a transcendental source of guidance and restraint. This is somewhat like vaccinations — 20% of the population can get away without vaccinations if the other 80% has them, but when a certain threshold of of non-immunized population is reached, the whole society is threatened with epidemic.

Do we need “One God?” Yes. The concept of one God means that all of humanity is subject to the same ethical restraints. And this is precisely what multiculturalism and relativism has been eroding. The torture of children is wrong for ALL. The burning of widows is wrong for ALL. Female clitorectomy is wrong for ALL. Ceremonies and rituals can be multicultural. Cuisine can be multicultural. Calendar and holidays can be multicultural. Theological creed can be multicultural up to a point. But there must be one law for the faithful and for the stranger alike. Those are the ethical laws.

A Creator God such as the Deists hold is insufficient. The God of the Universe must also be an ethical God. That was part of the point of Benedict XVI’s Regensburg speech. God can’t be capricious and ethical at the same time. And humans were given a soul and a brain to study and question and use their reason to apprehend God’s ethical nature.

Is ceremony, calendar, creed, and calendar necessary? Yes. Without it the ability to hold to the humility and ethical imperatives will inevitably be diluted and disappear. Isn’t it easier to remember the lyrics when we remember the melody of a song? Religion is the melody of the ethical song.

And what do we get when we give up standards, reduce the transcendental, think of ourselves as the masters of our universe? Precisely what Wretchard wrote this post to address. Deconstructed meaning and multicultural ethics produce empty relativism. Into the void comes either fanatic religiosity (Islamic fundamentalism) or fanatic secularism.

Will the center hold? Will religious traditions that remain steadfast to standards (yes, some must be revised in part, but there must still be standards) and remain humble in recognizing that there are authorities higher than man and government, continue to occupy enough space in the hearts and minds to preserve what is best about our civilization?

Sadly, I think we are entering a new Dark Ages in which superstition will replace real science, totalitarianism (secular or religious) will replace freedom, conformity will replace individuality, and the middle will shrink while the bottom expands and the top luxuriates.

But that will not be the end of the story. The Israelites had to spend 400 years in slavery before they were led to the promised land. And once there they went to the brink of destruction many times, yet still remain. After Rome fell there were still remnants who kept the flame alive, mostly in monasteries of the Catholic Church and small academies of Jews.

The Judeo-Christian faiths will survive even if they are flickering lights for a long time. They are like life giving enzymes without which the world cannot continue.

And for all of you who line up at different places on the Judeo-Christian spectrum, and for those “agnostics” who believe they have not found their spot in that spectrum but who still appreciate its value, and for those of Eastern faith traditions whose ethical values and appreciation of human life and freedom overlap with that spectrum, I say we are all allies in this time of danger. We can’t afford to let our different creeds, calendars, ceremonies, and cuisine (the four main C’s that distinguish religions from each other) make for groundless arguments. If there is a center that has a chance to hold, we must all hold it together.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Little 'Uns

Momma Car and her young'un

They are so cute when they're pups.

Smack Down

One of the bitterest critics of the attack was Sumner's fellow New Englander, Congressman Anson Burlingame. When Burlingame denounced Brooks as a coward on the floor of the House, Brooks challenged him to a duel, and Burlingame accepted the challenge. Burlingame, as the challenged party, specified rifles as the weapons, and to get around American anti-dueling laws he named the Navy Yard on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls as the site. Brooks backed out of the challenge, claiming that he would be murdered on his way north. Burlingame's reputation as a deer hunter and a deadly shot with a rifle could also have been a factor.

You think?

It's the end of the world

And Armageddon sick of it.

Do you want to defuse some of the hysteria surrounding this particular strain of Type A Influenza? Let’s make fun of it with pig-related names. Here are a few I’ve collected, and a few I’ve contributed …

  • Hamthrax
  • Hogthrax
  • Spamthrax
  • Tuporkulosis
  • Porklio
  • Cowpox oh wait that’s real
  • Hogmumps
  • The Other Yellow Fever
  • Pigfluenza
  • Mad Sow Disease
  • Sowbola
  • Sowmonella
  • Spammonella
  • Bacon AIDS
  • Bacon Fever
  • Baconator oh wait that’s at Wendy’s
  • Whooping Oink
  • Oinking Pneumonia
  • Buboinking Pork

For you Star Wars fans:

And the end-of-the-world scenarios for the epidemic?

  • The Aporkalypse
  • Hognarok

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bringing in the sheaves - wholesale

The Roman Catholic Church has announced they're welcoming members of the Anglican Communion wholesale.

Richard Fernandez - The Lighting of the Beacons

Most of those who were expected to take up the Catholic Church’s offer to convert are described as social conservatives who think their community has gone too far toward embracing openly gay bishops and women priests.

If Episcopal social conservatives who flee across the street to St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church and Fish Fry think they won't find progressive thought behind the pulpit and in the pews, they've got another think coming.

I don't think they are so dumb or naive.

It isn't about gay or women priests.

It is about Clown Eucharist and changing the Stations of the Cross for Stations of Millennium Development goals. It is about taking down crosses that adorn the outside of the church so as not to offend the sensibility of passers by. It's not about women priests but women priests who dress in hot pants and biker boots. Priests who profess that they do not believe in the divinity of Jesus but have no doubts about that Mohammad fellow.  And whose Bishop does not see a problem with this, but see the whole thing as exciting in it's interfaith possibilities.

What it is about is the frustration of belonging to a church that does not take the religious thing seriously.

I don't especially care what gender or sexual preference my clergy has.   I would prefer they not wear hot-pants in the vestry hall.

I can not attend a church that will not take seriously their own history, tradition, rites, or Deity.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It's raining - you should take an umbrella.

Marines don't carry umbrellas, I replied.

And just like that the conversation ground to a halt in a cloud of frowny faces and incomprehension.

I've been brainwashed.

It is true that Marines don't carry umbrellas. I have been told, and have no reason to doubt, that there is a Marine Corps Order forbidding this.

Naval officers may carry umbrellas, of course. And probably everyone in the Air Force [1] not only may carry an umbrella but are issued their own umbrella in boot camp and lug one around like Marines carry their rifles.

But Marines must be ready to, on a moment's notice repel intruders and do battle with the forces of darkness and E-vil. To draw a bayonet with one hand, an M1911 [2] with the other and with the third hand [4] fire an M16 with cold-eyed precision.

Carrying an umbrella would get in the way of all that.

Now, the forces of darkness are highly unlikely to ambush me on the way to the data center [5] so there is no earthly reason why I should not carry an umbrella. Except I don't. Because it would feel wrong.

Because I have been brainwashed by the Marines to believe it is Just Not Done.

There are a lot of things I now firmly believe with every fiber of my being. How much is a result of spending a few years in the Marines and how much I just picked up on my own is a good question.

All I know is, men don't carry umbrellas

[1] Any Marine will tell you at the drop of a hat that the Air Force houses their men and women not in barracks but dormitories. And they hire maids to clean up after them in the dormitories.

[2] Nothing against that fine, fine ladies gun [3] of an M9 of course.

[3] I don't like the M9 because it's stacked magazine swells out the grip and makes it uncomfortable to hold in my womanly-sized hands.

[4] Marines in a combat situation are incredibly busy acting like the living avatar of Death and are far, far, too engaged for stuff like math. Unless you need to call on the radio for artillery.

[5] I live in Wisconsin - you'd think they'd dig a heated tunnel for us to get from one building to another.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Eff You Too

I've never been to Bradford, PA and I probably never will go to Bradford, PA.

But if I do I'll be sure to avoid any establishment having anything to do with the classy couple who left this on their web page as a parting gift to the world when their business plowed into the ground.

Classy take on 'So long and thanks for all the fish' from a coffee house in Bradford, PA

Emery Espresso - About Us!
Tell Us What You Think.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It is a wonderful life

Both 'American Rifleman' and 'Wired' showed up in the mail today.

It's a good day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

System Administrator's Law of Systems Maintenance

Given maintenance that is tedious, invasive, time consuming and difficult to schedule:

If you are told a system will be out of service next week and you defer critical maintenance, it will never go out of service.

If you are told a system will be out of service next week and you perform critical maintenance it will go out of service the day after your maintenance is complete.

Cell Phone Tool

Got some email with disturbing pictures, an explanation and a screed against using cell phones.

Do you see the motorcycle?

Now do you see it?


[long ranty text excised]

Wake up people , Stop talking on Cell phones and Texting while trying to drive. Put your Cell phone in the back seat !!!

If my wife or sister had been killed in this car, this email would piss me off. But they were not so I am only mildly irked.

1. The anonymous author uses it to score points about cell phones.

2. Which, God knows, I am not advocating that you use while driving.

3. They made a deliberate assumption [1] about the cause of the accident while ignoring the real cause which is

4. Regardless of how much attention the person at the wheel was paying to conditions the cause of the accident was the tool who was whacking along at 85 MPH on a street where cross traffic was allowed. At 124 fps you might have about three seconds to react, and that's only if you're paying attention 100 yards in front of you and not looking at your speedometer or thinking about getting laid.

5. And anyway the whole thing was borrowed from a Swedish crash where

5a. The biker was rocketing along at 155 MPH.

5b. Nobody wrote anything about cell phones. At all. Because the fault was clearly with the operator of the bike.

Someone made shit up to prove a point. Which undermines their entire argument. Well done.

[1] Lied.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My boys are cool

Older Monkey: Hey, be careful with her around company - not everyone likes snakes.

Younger Monkey: How could anyone not like snakes?

I love my boys.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Monastic quiet

For reasons we need not go into here [1] Pasty and the Little Monkey are in Chicago.

I am abed with many, many, things to do today.  The character of the house has changed by the seemingly simple act of removing a spouse and a loud, energetic child.

It is monastically quiet.

I am reluctant to break the quiet.  It will be throwing a rock into a still koi pond.

I am hungry and a zesty bowl of oatmeal and a variety of tasks, chores, and pleasures await.

But not just yet.

[1] A seminar on effective sales strategies: she is really deep-diving into this Avon stuff.  Speaking of which you should really check out her Avon site.

Also she's going to hook up with her Chicago-based cousin later today and the Great Googly Moogly only knows what shenanigans they'll be up to.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Yes it is another test

My result for What's Your Leisure Suit? Test...

The Workaholic

30% Business Suit

Free time? Right. You enjoy the hustle and bustle of your type A personality. Everything in has it's place and should be in it's place. You like financial security and work hard so that you can enjoy retirement. Not that you'll ever really retire. You thrive on the thrill of success.

You are the type that knows they can have it all and works to get it. You aren't afraid of getting your hands a little dirty either. Whatever it takes to get it done you'll do it. But your free time is usually spent working. You probably even take your laptop on vacation with you just in case.

Take What's Your Leisure Suit? Test at HelloQuizzy

And please, rate the test when you're done, with my thanks.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Semper Fidelis

I am learning how to dance.  Salsa.  With Marissa Garcia and Mike Bassette from Latin Stylz in Oshkosh.

Joe Bob says 'Check 'em out'.

And it is not so bad. I have found out that dance has a lot in common with close order drill.

Well shucks: anyone can learn close order drill.

There are stylized movements.  You can execute, say, Move A but only from Position B.  Everything happens on a beat.  There is a designated leader, and a designated follower.

There are differences:  Things move a bit faster.  The company is more congenial.  And the music sure ain't no 'Semper Fidelis'.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

xkcd - Static

I literally laughed out loud.

My wife did not get it.  I explained.  She gave me a sort of pitying look: clearly my sense of humor is far, far, too refined for her to appreciate.

Shut up and shovel

TJIC's got some mad editing skills - he's distilled a somewhat lengthy post into a very readable essence.…

The entire secret of life, of power, of everything, was taught to me when I was a teenager, by a … farmer…

The farmer’s name was “Griff” … I was a “townie” (population 300) and made good money for a teenager as a “hired hand”. One day when I showed up for work he said “We’re going to pick up a new truck.” We got in his car and the entire 40 minute ride to the dealer passed without either of us saying a word: one of those easy comfortable silences that men often use to communicate more than words ever can. We picked up a new 4-wheel drive 3/4 ton pickup and headed back to the farm. When we got back, he pointed to a large gravel pile by the barn and told me to fill the truck bed with gravel and go fill in a hole in the entrance to one of his fields.

I said “But that gravel will ruin the paint on the bed of this brand new truck.” He looked at me silently for about a minute, his expression eloquently saying that I was the worst idiot he’d ever been burdened with having to tolerate in his life. Without saying another word he picked up the shovel and, with a swing that would be the envy of any major league baseball hitter, he swung it around and smacked the side of the truck sending paint chips flying in every direction and leaving a huge dent. He looked at me again with that same “I can’t believe you are such an idiot” look and said: “City boy this is a FARM truck. I didn’t buy it to look pretty, I bought it to DO WORK, same reason I’m payin’ you. Now it ain’t new no more, so shut up and shovel the !@#$-in’ gravel.” Then he turned around and walked off, leaving me to feel foolish and gain wisdom.

No one eats unless someone shuts up and shovels the !@#$-in’ gravel.

Truth, brother.

You can't say that in politics

From Richard Fernandez - a laundry list of politically unspeakable truths by Robert Reich.
  •  A solution in Iraq is going to be tough.
  •  Treating more sick people will mean younger people will pay more.
  •  It’s too expensive to treat older people at the end of their life “so we’re going to let you die”.
  •  If we use government to control costs there will be “less innovation” in medical technology and you should not expect to live much longer than your parents.
  •  Global warming can only be tackled by a carbon tax which is going to cost you a lot of money.
  •  We’re going to have to pay teachers more for quality education — costing you more — but we have to be willing to fire the turkeys despite the unions.
  •  Anyone who does an unskilled, repetitive job will lose it in the near future to outsourcing or automation. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
  •  A minimum wage doesn’t help as much as an earned income tax credit.
  •  Helping people at the bottom earn more is going to cost higher income people more money.
  •  Medicare will bankrupt the nation unless something is done and will impoverish the youth.
  •  The best way to ameliorate global poverty is to do away with farm subsidies.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dear IRA

You people are embarrassing yourselves.


You think you look hard corps with the firearms and the cammie blouses and the gunfire salute for your dead buddy.  You're fooling yourselves.

He didn't get knocked off fighting the Cause - he hung himself in jail after biffing on his wife. And what with the mismatched pistols and ski-masks you look like what you are - thugs.

The Lesson of State Health-Care Reforms

The major provisions of ObamaCare already have been tried. They've led to increased costs and reduced access to care.
Like participants in a national science fair, state governments have tested variants on most of the major components of the health-care reform plans currently being considered in Congress. The results have been dramatically increased premiums in the individual market, spiraling public health-care costs, and reduced access to care. In other words: The reforms have failed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Clearing Tabs

A bi-lingual 'danger biting monkeys' sign.  I  .. need .. this.

Going semi-John Galt: Coyote is not investing in growing his business.
To the extent we find opportunities to grow with limited investment, we are pursuing those. But I just cannot put up any more capital in this environment. If I make an investment, how much will the government let me keep? How much are taxes going up (because they certainly are going up)? Inflation simply must be around the corner given the monetary policy this country is pursuing — so will my business be able to raise prices fast enough to keep up with inflation in my inputs?

It's full of stars. And musical!

A Thinking Ape’s Critique of Trans-Simianism (repost)
The following was taken from a cave wall painting in southern Tunisia more than 300,000 years ago. Fossil evidence suggests that the author was of the species Homo erectus.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tales from the Street Trades

You probably don’t like cops. Nobody does. Ride with them. See what they see. You’ll get a little perspective. You won’t ike it, but you’ll get it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Middle Daughter, [1] talking about me: He is so judgmental.


MD: Like ... he said that a twenty-five year old should have a better job [2] than working at Wendy's. And that if a guy goes to jail that's bad.

Monkeys, in Greek Chorus Mode: He's right!

Ah yes: I am raising them well.

She is right about the judgmental thing. It's a flaw, and I know it.

But she is focused on judgment to the exclusion of mercy and forgiveness.

Which reminded me of the great Lou Reed's "Beginning of a Great Adventure"

It might be fun to have a kid that I could kick around
Create in my own image like a god
I'd raise my own pallbearers to carry me to my grave
And keep me company when I'm a wizened toothless clod

Some gibbering old fool sitting all alone drooling on his shirt
Some senile old fart playing in the dirt
It might be fun to have a kid I could pass something on to
Something better than rage, pain, anger, and hurt

[1] She is 16.
[2] The fellow in question is not a manager, he's working the counter.


This is beautiful.

This morning I was thinking about my Imo Moon Ja. When I was a young girl I thought she was one of the most beautiful people I had ever met. She had the kindest soul and the most upbeat spirit. Yet often times she was sad.

Click to read the rest.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Burning issue of the day

President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. He was nominated - at the latest - mere weeks after the Inauguration.

LOL  From

But don't criticize!
"The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO.

Bear Facepalm

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Clearing Tabs

"I think it's clear," Randy said, "that if you are ignorant of a particular subject, that your opinion is completely worthless. If I'm sick, I don't ask a plumber for advice. I go to a doctor. Likewise, if I have questions about the Internet, I will seek opinions from people who know about it."
This was funny.  Al Geddicks (Professor of Sociology at UW - La Crosse) and Michael Corradini (an actual Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics at UW Madison) were on Joy Cardin's program this morning.  I only caught a few minutes of the back and forth, but every time Geddicks came up with facts supporting his anti-nuclear views Corradini quietly knocked him on his ass with actual subject-matter knowledge that sent his facts crawling back into the gutter of pseudo-scientific sludge where they came from.

Very entertaining: my hat is off to whomever invited the light-weight to an adult discussion.

Velociman: Right now Ron Jeremy is reading that and muttering "Bullshit."

I am not sure how a small monument to war dead, in a far off place, that happens to be on public land, runs afoul of this phrase: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

But if it does, then so do crosses in veteran's cemeteries: public land, nu?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Avon Calling

Need Avon products?

See Donna's current ad on Craig's List.

Or her website.

You can even chat - now how cool is that?

Per FTC guidelines I declare that I have received no monetary compensation for this post.  However I have and will receive smoldering looks and passionate smooches.

They're just enlisted men

Dear Everyone,

Thanks to your generosity the ARRA has provided funding for the following in my fair city

Thanks everybody!  We sure do appreciate your tax dollars. 

Except ... that money has not yet been spent.  The bridge remains in it's per-ARRA condition, the detention pond is a wet dream, the two employees are un-hired.

So what's going on here? [1]

Obama's Economy

I suggest that part of the reason for the red-line - reality - to be screaming skyward like an F-15 on afterburner [2] is that the bulk of the ARRA funds are unspent.

Contrary to what 'everyone' was saying, that there were not a whole lot of 'shovel-ready' projects.  The funds are hanging around in limbo not doing anyone a bit of good.[3]

Something jerks mightily on his back: the static line, still attached to the airplane God forbid that American fighting men should be entrusted to pull their own ripcords. He can just imagine the staff meeting where they dreamed up the concept of the static line: "For God's sake, General, they're just enlisted men! As soon as they jump out of the airplane they'll probably start daydreaming about their girlfriends, take a few hits from their pocket flasks, catch forty winks, and before you know it they'll all pile into the ground at a couple of hundred miles an hour!"

I am so, so, glad we have actual professionals handing this stuff so we don't mess it up.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

[1] Altered image gleefully nicked from TJIC.
[2] Warning!  Cheesy 1970s action and adventure music.

[3] They probably are in an account earning interest at some minuscule rate, but one imagine bales of cash stacked up on loading docks and warehoused in around metro D.C. while some serious bureaucratic wrangling goes on.  Good thing money doesn't loose value just sitting around!