Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Government Shutdown: Furlough day 4 (amazing plane ride)

Wow.  I posted in my lyme blog from Seattle, hoping to catch a flight To Portland, en route to San Francisco for the Lyme rally protesting IDSA's protocols.

I made that flight.  On the flight, Across the aisle from me was an amazing woman with flowers on her hat.  She reminded me of a heroine from a novel. 

Mid way through the flight, i returned From the bathroom, and as i took my seat, she said she had two things to show me.

I think first she pointed out a mountain fairly near us, against a pinkening sky.  Then she said to look down.

We were directly over Mt. St. Helen's.  It took a minute to sink in that it was UNDER us, and how close it looked.  We were totality swept away from there.  The angle changed and we could see more detail. I remember a red rock on a cliff side that was shiny in the setting sun.  Closer to us, I started to see crevasses in the snow. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown: Furlough Day 1

For Montanans near me, the closure of Glacier National Park is a really big deal.  Even their Facebook page is on hold until the end of the furlough.  Montanans and tourists in national parks had up to 48 hours to vacate, but only if they were lodging inside the park, according to one social media account from a photographer on their way out of Yellowstone.

Federal agency employees drove up Badrock Canyon this morning, required to report to work to be given furlough instruction, as for other federal employees across the nation.

It was obviously not a complete suprise, but we were recently told we'd be working through the end of the week, so it was still suprising.  All the versions of furlough I imagined included, at the very least, the field trip with 3rd and 4th graders that was slated to happen this week.  This was the first piece that was disproportionately difficult to get my head around.

The second piece was that we were given four hours to follow the instructions given in packets of documents we had to sort through.  There weren't really too many items of importance, but the number of pages and documents involved was overwhelming.  Submitting time took more than the allotted four hours, because 800,000 people were trying to submit their time at the same time.