Ed and Claudia (Door into Summer) returned late last evening. We adjourned to the bar at the New Bern Hilton. George, the food and beverage manager has done a great job of cutting the prices from "Hilton Hotel" to "very competitive with the local market - in fact a great deal! - GO GEORGE!" so we hung out waiting for midnight when Ed would officially be retired from FedEx (aka Federal Express.) Since Ed is a pilot official retirement is at age 60. This also is when retired reserve military personnel become eligible for retirement pay (but not the semi-decent health care. They only get the pretty awful health care until age 65, then the semi-decent care.) So we applaud the fact that Ed is now on the half dole - military retirement and awful health care from the government! At least until the idiots in Washington try to take away military retirement because "it costs too much." Thanks John McCain - but then you have managed to be a millionaire so you really don't care, do you.
The down side is that Ed never got to take his "final flight." Usually when a pilot retires they have a ceremony at the gate when he rolls in the last time. The airport fire trucks spray water in an arch over the plane and so forth. Of course Ed wanted to make sure that he was healthy before losing his semi-excellent FedEx medical insurance and going the the more-than-semi-shitty military health care. You guessed it - Ed had been complaining about pain in his knee - snap - microsurgery. For some reason FedEx thinks that pilots need both legs working to fly so he was put on medical leave for the last couple of days of his career.
The plan is for Door into Summer and Reboot to head out at the next weather window for Florida. The weather here is quite cold - 30's at night and 50's in the day - so we would like to get things wrapped up and head for slightly warmer climes. Also we are looking forward to seeing Bill (KI4MMZ) in Flagler Beach. You may remember that Bill is our voice on shore radio link when we travel offshore. We have a couple of days of projects and then we will be looking for a weather window.
Fair winds and following seas.
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