The Excitement Is Building - Again

Today I found out that my interim Secret clearance has been granted. A preliminary check is done that allows me to get started on the job while the full background investigation is conducted. I'll have access to most things but not all until it's completed.

I keep wondering if I'll be able to post anything about my job or if I'll have to keep this more about island life when I get there? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

It sounds so exotic to me. Secret clearance! Not just anybody gets that do they?

According to About.com:
A security clearance investigation is an inquiry into an individual’s loyalty, character, trustworthiness and reliability to ensure that he or she is eligible for access to national security information. The investigation focuses on an individual’s character and conduct, emphasizing such factors as honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, financial responsibility, criminal activity, emotional stability, and other similar and pertinent areas. All investigations consist of checks of national records and credit checks; some investigations also include interviews with individuals who know the candidate for the clearance as well as the candidate himself/herself.

Again, JF thinks I'm silly. Just because I have the clearance doesn't mean I'll actually see or do anything secret. That's fine, it still sounds cool.


Adventures in Selling The Car


The car is sold and I have a check in my hand.

This was a crazy deal....

Last night when we went to pick up the truck that my friend is letting us borrow until I leave, we had to jump start it...we knew that was going to be the case but while it was charging and warming up, JF accidentally locked the one and only key inside of it! We had to pay $65 to get it unlocked. Sheesh.

This morning, he had to jump it again to take it to work. He got the battery tested and it's toast, we have to get a new battery. When he went to get a new battery though they told him it would be Tuesday before they would have any in stock. As a reminder it's been about 10 below zero here for close to two weeks so there has been a run on batteries lately. So were walking or jump starting until Tuesday. Fun.

That's not the funny part though, well, funny isn't exactly the right term....weird....strange....unfortunate....

The guy that bought the car lives about 100 miles from here. He got a ride with one of his friends to pick up the car today; right about the time I was expecting them to show up, I got a call. One of the wheels on the truck they were driving fell off about 4 blocks from my house! He called and asked for a ride to come get the car while his friend was waiting for the tow truck to come get her truck out of the middle of the road.

Good grief!

The holidays have delayed any further progress with the HR end of things. The physical still has not been scheduled. I anticipate if everything else goes perfectly (HA!) that I would be heading out about the first week of February. So, if I add a little realism to that I might actually hit the island by the end of February.

Once I have some sort of finalized date we're going to throw an Aloha going away party. February would be a great time for that around here. That's typically when everyone is really getting sick of winter and we could use an excuse for a party.

So there you have it.


The Fate of My Bike

Bike riding is the main form of travel on Kwajalein, next to using your feet.

I have a bike that I rarely ride. I think I've had it for almost 10 years and it still looks brand new. Here's what it currently looks like:
Montana bike covered in snow
I found a really great document that outlines the life-cycle of a bike on Kwaj as well as different riding styles and the many different styles and functions of Kwaj bikes.
It's written like a scientific study but it's funny because, well...its about bikes.
Check it out here.

Here's a little taste:
B. Kwajaleinus, the Kwajalein bike, is the barn yard cat of bicycles. Unlike its sleek cousin who lives indoors in the lap of luxury, the typical Kwajalein bike is an alley cat; it survives. It survives brutal tropical conditions and the easy going habits of its owners. It survives because it has evolved over many generations and many mutations. Great distances from other Bicyclus populations have led to its emergence as a distinct species, unlike any other.

Basically, my bike is doomed.
Bike Heaven
But; it wasn't doing much anyway.


I Got Fingerprinted Today

JF thinks I'm silly for being excited about it but I can't help it.

For one, it's progress and for two, I've never had it done before.
I learned that there are three main types of prints and that one person can have all three on one hand. The fingerprint lady told me that if you were cloned, the clone would have similar prints but not identical because some of what influences how your fingerprints look is environmental, specifically the environment in the womb. Identical twins even have different prints because of positioning in the womb. It was interesting.

So my part of the security check is done. All the paperwork and signatures are sent and now the fingerprints are on their way.

The next step is a physical exam. I'm not worried. I was checked out by my insurance company when I purchased life insurance a few months ago and I got the premium rate so I think I'm good. They would know!

I've been slowly throwing stuff out and taking more items to Goodwill, there won't be much left when it's time to go. My mind is still boggled over the cat paperwork. I need to re-read it again, for like the 10th time. I'm going to try to call the island vet on Monday and ask some questions. It's more than a bit confusing.
After more than a week of sub-zero temperatures, I think I'm ready to give tropical weather a try for awhile.


In Other News.....

I played in the Hold'em qualifying round in the World Blogger Championship of Online Poker today and I won a WBCOOP Final seat + Step 2 Ticket for Sunday's game!

I'm not 100% sure what the Step 2 ticket is; I think it means you don't have to go through the first round of eliminations but I haven't been able to verify that. I'm excited either way.

I'm playing in the Omaha Hi/Lo qualifier tomorrow night. I have the chance to get higher than Step 2 if I can win there.

Wish me luck!

Click here for more info on the WBCOOP series.


Really Weird Dynamics

There has been a delay in every single step of this process.

Most recently? The car.

One month ago, I posted that the car had been sold. The kid really wanted it and drove 100 miles to come test drive it. He had totaled his last car and was waiting for the reimbursement check from the insurance company. We went on vacation the week of Thanksgiving and we lost contact for awhile. He let me know Sunday that he wanted to pick it up next weekend. Now, he's leaving town again and won't be picking it up until the 27th of December.

Now, this has worked out great as far as I'm concerned. I was glad to get to take it on our Thanksgiving trip and the weather has been really crappy here (-10 degrees for the last 3 days) and I love my car; I'm going to miss it. But it is a bit strange. As long as he actually buys it, it's great. If he flakes out for some reason, I'm going to be in a bit of a bind.

I just have to keep going with the flow. I can't seem to push anything related to this job along any faster than it wants to go. As you know from reading this blog...I've tried! To no avail.


Rolling, Rolling, Rolling.....

Yesterday I received the security questionnaire and JF applied for another Kwaj job.

We're making progress!



Oh what a relief. The car is still sold.

The guy that wanted to buy it finally called back. I guess he broke his phone, got a new one, had some problems went out of town and now he's on his way back.

Good grief.

He's calling again Friday to arrange a day when he can pick it up. He lives about 100 miles from here so I'm sure it will take some arranging.

Yay! One less thing to worry about.

Oh yea, except the part where my co workers want to know why I'm driving a different vehicle.


Trying Not To Panic

It's about midnight and I can't sleep because I'm thinking of all of the things I need to get arranged and coordinated before I go and all of the things that are getting left in the air after I leave.

JF has applied for a couple of jobs on the island but hasn't heard anything yet. We figured there was no way we would go at the same time but at this point, we don't know if he's going at all. That's not THAT big of a problem but way back in July when I started all of this, he got excited and started talking about it at his work. Well his boss figured he was leaving so he hired someone to replace him already! Now he's getting pressure for a date when he will be leaving and he doesn't even have a job lined up. If it goes anything like my job, it could be another 6 months or more.

There is a ton of stuff he needs to do before he goes but without even knowing if he's going it makes it kind of hard. Unlike me, he's not as open to selling all his stuff and getting rid of his dogs if he doesn't have to. I had the advantage of non-attachment going for me there.

I have to re-sell the car. I have a motorcycle that JF is still riding that is in my name and I don't know how to deal with that without leaving a signed title here in Montana. That makes me uncomfortable.

I need to see about getting a power of attorney set up so someone can deal with stuff for me while I'm gone. My problem there is I have no family nearby and my closest friend is 100 miles from here. And how close are we when she still doesn't even know about this whole thing? I'm going to have to ask another friend but I feel like it's a lot to ask of her. I've always been self sufficient but there is no way I'm going to be able to pull all of this off on my own. I also have no idea how much power a power of attorney really has. Can they sign a car title for me?

All of this stuff is driving me crazy. It's mainly fueled by my not knowing a time line or how much control I am going to have over my departure date. I really hope they call tomorrow and ease my pain.

HR should have received my paperwork on Friday but when I called to see if it had arrived, I was told to call back Monday as there was no one in the office to verify.

Getting this out has helped me to relax a bit......I know I just need to not worry about it and it will all work out but there is a lot I don't have control over. Like what JF is and isn't going to do after I'm gone. That's tough for me. I could clean up stuff he left behind if I were here, but I can't when I'm thousands of miles away. Not that I clean up after him typically, it's just that this is my house and my responsibility and I have to trust that it will be taken care of like I would want it taken care of.

Oh well, we'll see what happens I guess. *Fingers crossed*


The Paperwork Arrived Today

What do you think? Should I take it?

Just kidding it's signed already and will be on it's way tomorrow. Holy crap.
It's really happening.

In related news....the guy who was going to buy my car has gone AWOL. He was waiting for reimbursement from his insurance company for his last car and I haven't heard from him since Sunday. I'm giving him until Friday and I'm re-listing it. Could just be that the insurance company is being slow....

Also, I've got to get moving on setting up my house as a rental....and actually packing.

Hold on. The ball made it over the hill and it's going to start barreling down the other side!

It's Snowing!!

We got over 6 inches of snow yesterday!

It's a mess out there. I don't think it stopped for 5 minutes all day. I shoveled the walk before work, at lunch and JF shoveled it after work too. There were sirens everywhere, cars in ditches all over the place, pretty much total chaos.

It's our first significant snowfall so far this year.

While I really like the snow and don't really mind the cold at all (negative temperatures aren't much fun) I can't help but have this image in my head:
I'm dreaming of warm weather


Happy Thanksgiving!

We are currently traveling to be with family for Thanksgiving.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Turkey Day!

I'm still checking my phone to see if Huntsville calls. In case anyone forgot, I'm on terminal hold waiting for the next step in the acceptance process.

  • I am thankful that I was qualified for the position
  • I am thankful I didn't quit my current job when I was hired for this one two months ago!
  • I am thankful I get to take my cat to Kwajalein with me
  • I am thankful for all the time and effort my friend has put in helping me get this job and get it finalized...I truly don't think it would have happened without his help. (Well, it still hasn't happened but it's still moving forward - thanks to him!)
  • I am thankful to all the people that bought all the stuff I was selling (especially the car!)
  • I am thankful to the wonderful lady that gave my dog Blue a loving home
  • I am thankful for my adventurous spirit that allows me to do stuff like this
Happy Thanksgiving!


The Things I'll Do For My Cat

I don't know if my cat is going to enjoy Kwajalein...but he's going.

I can live without just about anything else, but not the cat.

I'll tell you what though, there is a LOT of paperwork and it's going to take a LOT of time and a LOT of money to get that cat to the island with me.

I already call him my $2000 cat. He's had several surgeries due to injury running around in the various neighborhoods I've lived in. Some places are better for cats than others. Kind of like kids I guess...if you can help it you wouldn't move them into a gang and drug infested neighborhood. It's just a little less obvious where the cat gangs roam.

We call the cat Rick James as in "I'm Rick James bitch!" There is a big long article about him on Wikipedia; really everything I know about him is from Chappelle's Show. Hilarious!

Cats are famous for their attitude. This one is no exception:
I'm Rick James Beyotch!
So anyway, I received about 20 pages of paperwork to fill out, many phone numbers to call, a HUGE list of shots and exams and pills and treatments the cat has to undergo. Now I'm worried the lame-o airlines here in Montana may not have a way to transport the cat. That's my next task.

What a process. I have really had it easy for the last 36 years. This is such a learning experience already and I haven't even gotten there yet!


The Car Has Been Sold!

Well, that was the last of it. I have nothing left to sell.

Fortunately I will be renting the house and the furniture and dishes will stay for the renters to use.

We are going to sell the motorcycle that JF uses and keep our dirt bikes. Since we have no idea if and when he'll make it to Kwajalein, he'll be dealing with that himself.

Our friend is going to let us borrow her truck until we leave. I'm not sure how I'll explain why I'm driving a different vehicle to the folks at work; they still don't know. I can't turn in my notice until the next stage of the process which, as far as I know is still happening, I just don't know when.

So, other than packing boxes, I'm ready.


Reviewing My Content

So, today I was reviewing my blog and I was a little bit surprised to see just how long this process has really taken.

The date of my first (and what ended up being the only) interview was July 23rd! Almost 4 months ago!


Re-reading everything was pretty fun. Here are some of the best (IMHO):
I'm really looking forward to being able to post something more exciting than delays.

I did get the shed cleaned out yesterday and I've got one whole box packed now! I'm going to pack up all of the clothes I plan to take. That's one thing about all of this taking so long....I'm not wearing any of those clothes now, it's way too cold here for them!


Spoke Too Soon!

Well, here's the scoop....

The position I was filling was to replace someone that had turned in their notice. Apparently that person decided to stay.

Once that position was no longer available, they had to switch gears with my paperwork and apply it toward a different position within the company. Which, like everything else so far, takes time; lots and lots of time!

So, once again, I am still hired, the position is slightly different than originally planned and this time, no one wants to even guess how long it will take to get to the next stage.

Woo Hoo! Progress! **Rolling my eyes**

Well, I'm glad to hear it since I sold everything I own pretty much....my boat, my exercise equipment, my power tools, half of my furniture, my car is listed but no hits yet....good thing!
I gave up my dog for crying out loud!

I told you I was going to get famous for being that idiot on the Internet that got ready for the trip that never happened!

OK, Where are the Cameras?

I'm starting to feel like the butt of an elaborate joke.



I found this image over at lazyartistslounge. Since I borrowed this from them, please show the love by giving them a click! Thanks


Appropriate Emoticon

I learned a new emoticon today:

:| It means waiting, indifferent; how appropriate :)


For Crying Out Loud!!!!

One step forward, two steps back.

The subject line on today's email: "Slight Delay".

OK, I'm almost at the point where I don't care anymore. It's going to happen, I just don't know when....it's like waiting for a Jack-in-the-box to pop!

Here are a few choice quotes from today's message:
  • as always the wheels grind slowly
  • I do apologize for misleading you
  • please be patient (this is funny to me, I haven't said anything to them about this silly process.....so they know it's bad!)

Oh well, I'm over the excitement now. I'm just waiting. Dum dee dum....


Phone Call From Kwajalein

I got a call today.

The call was to boost my morale. It worked!

It was like getting another shot of hope. Apparently all of the (current; I'm not going to get too optimistic) paperwork issues have been handled and I can rest assured that by the end of this week I will be getting contacted for the next phase of the process.


I thought I was a patient person.....no wait, when it comes to getting something done, I'm not patient. By the end of my two year stint I may be! Or a crazed blithering idiot if I don't learn it.

More soon I hope!


The Waiting Continues

Well, I didn't hear back from anyone in HR last week, it was a short week though so I guess I'm not too surprised. I've got my fingers crossed for next week though; I'm just about to burst I want to turn in my notice with the new company so bad!

The purging and packing continues:
I'm making progress - No, really!
Today I sold the last of the household items I intended to sell. The car is the only thing left on the things to sell list. I do have it advertised, I have not had a bite on it yet. As soon as I give my notice, I can put a for sale sign in it which should help.

In other news, the team I will be working with on Kwajalein sent me a link to the NASA website so I could read about the IBEX program they have been working on. It's just way too cool. I am so excited about what I will be part of.

I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas!


Nothing Like an Efficient System

You gotta love it....

I spent an hour or so filling out the "official" KRS application on Sunday night so that my future boss could put it with all of my other paperwork and send it to human resources to get this ball rolling. I completed it and emailed it back to him, signed and everything.

Today, I got an email from HR with the same application attached that said:
"We do need a fully completed and signed document from you via FAX. This is a very important part of our recruitment process."

Fortunately I was able to access the one I emailed, print it and FAX it in.

Too funny.


Last of the Application Paperwork Sent

I sent the last of the official application paperwork to my new boss last night.
He will be turning it over to the human resources department in Huntsville today. Supposedly I will be hearing from someone there within a week. (So I can do more paperwork.)

This has been an interesting process. I'll have to get used to all the red tape that seems to be part of life on Kwajalein.

We visited a bit more about the job, what life is like there, the things I need to get out of my system before I go. I don't cook much so we eat out a lot and we eat good, apparently this is something I will be giving up; good food. Bummer. In the bachelors quarters, I won't even have a kitchen so cooking for myself will not even be an option. Oh well, that's what vacations are for I guess.

They still seem to think that I will be on my way out there by the end of November. That will be great timing. We've already gotten snow so I'll be leaving right about the time winter really sets in.

Now I have to get serious about the packing. The stuff that gets shipped can take about 30-45 days to arrive so I need to make sure I don't pack anything I can't live without for that long. My plan is to make three piles....taking, not sure, and storing. I'm hoping to keep the storing pile to a minimum. I have no concept yet about how much 750 pounds translates to. There may be some shuffling once I start adding it up. We'll see how it goes.


Reluctantly Re-applying For My Job

Well, I can't really get around it; I need to re-apply for my current position with the new owners today. My pride is taking a hit. I have my fingers crossed that they will reject it or let me go shortly after bringing me on.

I've weighed out all the alternatives I could think of and this really is the easiest, least disruptive way to go. Financially and logically anyway, emotionally it would be much more satisfying to go get a temporary job anywhere else while I'm waiting for the paperwork to finalize on the Kwajalein position. Oh well. It truly could be worse.

I got a call from Kwajalein last night letting me know not to worry, everything is still on track there is just some issue with coordinating the Kwajalein paperwork with the Huntsville paperwork. I am currently a requisition number and I'm being processed. Like I've said before, things seem to move a little slower in Kwajalein.

I've sold pretty much everything I need to sell except the car and I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to sell the motorcycle or not. It's my first one and I want to keep it! It would cost a lot less to store than the car and I wouldn't have to keep it insured but I don't know...

I have a friend that's coming next week to take all of my houseplants. It's going to feel really bare in the house once the plants are gone. I'm enjoying the process though. It feels kind of weird but exciting too.

I really think this experience is worth all of the sacrifice. Other than the dogs, all I'm sacrificing is "stuff" anyway. I've been wanting to simplify, this just makes it necessary instead of voluntary. I work well in those conditions.


Nice Lady With 20 Acres

Tonight we sent Blue off to try out a new home.

He was a little trepidatious when he first met the lady but within minutes she had his eyes rolling back in his head and he was leaning on her and seeking her out and before long, he got in her car and drove away.


She was very loving with him and seemed like she needed a friend and he seemed to be enjoying the undivided attention. In a house with three dogs, he doesn't get that much. I have high hopes that everything will be fine.

She'll be calling to give us a status report tomorrow. I'm looking forward to hearing how it went.

One down, two to go.


Last Family Portrait

This is kind of sad.....
I've been wanting to take this picture for awhile now and circumstances finally pushed us into getting it done.

Here it is and I love it:
Family Portrait

The adventure to Kwajalein does not come without sacrifices. The only pet we will be able to take to the island is the cat. We are currently looking for new homes for the dogs.

I actually listed the Blue Dog on craigslist.
Surprisingly, I got a response already. A nice lady with 20 acres is coming to meet him on Tuesday.

I hope it goes well.


This is Serious

One of the things I need to do before I move to a small island in the Pacific Ocean is sell my car.
I don't think it makes sense to make payments and pay insurance on it for two years while it's in storage.

Who knows what I may decide to do after Kwajalein, maybe it will be longer than two years, I don't really know.

I can always get another car. (I do love this one though)


2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i
For Sale
14,100 miles (I purchased it in April 2007)
Exterior: Newport Blue Interior: Black
See the brochure here.
Also includes towing package.
Asking: $17,500
Located in Helena, MT - Buyer pays for any shipping involved.

If you interested please leave a comment including your contact info. (Comments are not automatically posted.)


The Takeover

Yesterday was my first day back at work after the Peruvian adventure.

We were handed our new employment packets from the new owners, complete with job application as we all have to reapply for our current positions. In the meeting held to allay every one's fears, we were told that nothing was going to change but we are all on 180 day probation which means that any of us could get dropped at any moment.

I wish I didn't have to go with the new company at all but I can't really make it two months with no income, especially after my trip. Plus, I have no idea if the December 1st deadline is even doable; that seems pretty fast considering how long everything else has taken.

I'll be discussing my options with a friend who works as an employment law attorney, just to see....


Following Orders

I just had to post this......

One of the things I was told I would need to take with me to the island was a green shirt to wear on launch days.

I don't have one so I was browsing around online when I found this little number:
Engineers do it in Stages
LOL! Do you think I'll make any friends with this?
(My title will be Engineer 1)

Another Success!

I'm catching up on things from my extended vacation and I was excited to learn that Flight 4 of the Falcon 1 successfully launched and achieved Earth orbit!

According to the SpaceX website, this success makes the Falcon 1 the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth. Impressive.

Check out the video:



I got the job!

Quoted from the email I received while traveling on vacation:

"No second interview necessary.... We are proceeding with the process to hire you! Welcome aboard! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!!!"

Apparently the other qualified applicants decided not to pursue the position so I don't have to go through a second interview. That cuts down on the processing time.

After discussing the next steps with them today, I will be receiving some paperwork, go through a security check and a physical; the goal is to have me on island by December 1st.

What a relief! It makes a huge difference to have a timeline to work with. Also, there is a takeover going on at my current company that I was hoping to avoid; now I know I can. That's an even bigger relief.

So the purging will continue! And the packing and the planning. I've got a lot of work to do to be ready in two months.

The biggest goal now is getting the boyfriend a job so he can go too. We're doubtful he'll be able to go as soon as I do but fingers crossed we can find something for him soon.

So the waiting is over!

Stay tuned, I'll be continuing to post about the process and once I'm (we're?) there, I'll share about life on the island and what details I'm allowed to share about the job.


We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

I will not have access to the internet for an entire 18 days! (I hope I survive)

Tomorrow morning (September 12th), I will be on a plane bound for South America. Peru to be exact. In a matter of days I will be here:
Machu Picchu
Map of Peru

I am terribly excited, and very nervous. I’ve never been out of the country before and I am going alone. The trip is actually an outdoor adventure tour put on by Active South America. I will meet up with them in Cuzco on Sunday, but up to that point I’m on my own.

The trip I signed up for is the Jaguar and this is our basic itinerary:
Jaguar Itinerary

I am expecting this to be a life altering experience, I would imagine I will have lots to blog about on my return.

Thanks for reading and if you want to know how it turns out, check back on the 30th. I’ll make sure I’ve got something posted by then. If you don’t see anything, I may not have survived!


Great Timing?

You know how they say everything happens for a reason?
I think I'm experiencing some of that. Either that or things are about to go horribly wrong for me soon!

There has been some turmoil and rumors at my current workplace about upcoming changes to our infrastructure. It appears we are getting bought out by another company and I really don't want to work for them. This whole Kwajalein thing could fall into place at just the right time, IF it falls into place.

I am trying not to get too anxious about the whole thing, I'm leaving for an extended vacation on Friday and the last thing I want to be thinking about is whether I have a job when I come back or not.

It's looking like the changes are going to go into effect very shortly after my return so I really hope I find out whether Kwajalein Range Services is going to be an option for me or if I need to start looking elsewhere right away.

I figured I better take the vacation now in case I never get such an opportunity again. I may have to have a little more than a yard sale when I return if I don't hire on with the new company.

We'll see what happens, this could get interesting.....


Where there is a sea there are pirates

I am doubtful that if and when the ball gets rolling on this whole thing that it will roll fast enough for me (us hopefully) to attend this event but I am hopeful:

Swashbucklers Ball 2008
What fun!

It's hosted by the Kwajalein Yacht Club and you can see pictures from last years party here.

How can you go wrong with a place that has a pirate party?


Slow and Steady (Wins the Race?)

I really hope that if I get to live in Kwajalein that every day is as slow and monotonous as this interview process.

In what really is a good turn of events but still sort of drives me crazy; I found out that the next set of interviews will not be until early October!

The reason it works out is because I am traveling out of the country for a few weeks beginning September 12th so I'm not going to be available unless they were planning on getting going on it this week or early next week.

Coincidentally the team leader is taking vacation right about the same time. (That's the second coincidence I've had with him; the first one was we grew up in the same town).

So, in order to keep everyone entertained in the meantime I'll be posting random jokes and whatever silly photos I can find on the Internet. Just kidding, if you want that kind of stuff, check out Cake Wrecks and LOL Cats. These are two of my favorite sites that can pretty much guarantee a chuckle.

Again, I'm going to continue with the assumption that I am going and make what preparations I can without taking it too far.

It would be pretty funny if I got everything packed and sold and it all fell through huh? I would think so. I could get famous for being that idiot on the Internet that got ready for the trip that never happened!

Seriously though, if anyone needs a dog; we have three for you to choose from. We like them all, we didn't plan on having three and it's totally overwhelming. If someone would be willing to give one of them a good home, we'd be willing to let them. Just let me know in the comments.
Spencer, Lady Brett and the Blue Dog


Update From Kwajalein

I received another update on the job this morning.

I guess in the midst of all of their busy-ness over there, they are rearranging some of the job duties and that requires going through the ranks for approval.
I've been informed that there are still multiple positions available but they are not ready for the second set of interviews still and that I will hear something soon.

If this were a date I was waiting for, I would feel blown off, even with the updates but as I've said before, if they are as busy (or busier) than I am at my current job, I fully understand.

I'm headed in early today to help get caught up. (HA!)

So, as far as I can tell this is still moving forward.

Heck, it takes a couple of weeks to get mail there, a month to ship your belongings when you move there; I guess things just take a little longer in Kwajalein.


Mental Preparation

While I'm waiting, I've had time to roll everything over in my mind and imagine what it's going to be like...(yes, I'm still of the mindset that I am going!)

One of the things that I think is going to be the strangest to get used to will be the weather. Having the weather be consistently 80+ all the time seems like what I would imagine what the world would be like if all of the people were the same. Kind of boring.

I imagine it will be enjoyable but I picture myself always sort of waiting in the back of my mind for it to change. About 6 months of that and I'll quit waiting I'm sure. It will definitely be something different to get used to.

I like cold weather. My favorite clothes are fall and winter clothes. This is what sparked this thought process in the first place; I was looking through a catalog and found myself eyeing the vests and sweaters and had to remember I may not need those soon.

My friend said the air conditioning is pretty darn cold in some of the offices, maybe I can throw on a couple of layers and pretend it's December in Montana!


Yard Sale!

This weekend I had the first yard sale of my life. I still don't know for sure if were going to Kwajalein but I had a few things I could live without either way. It was an experience, that's for sure.
I almost want to do another one right away because now I have some experience and would do a couple of things differently. But....I don't think so!
As soon as it was over, I loaded everything that was left in the car and took it to Goodwill. It never went back in the house. The point was to get rid of stuff so that's what I did. I wish I knew for sure about whether we were going because it probably would have influenced me to let go of even more items.
I'm on the road traveling for work this week, with my fingers crossed and my hopes high that I will hear back about the next interview soon.


Contact From Kwajalein

I've gotten a couple of emails from my friend on Kwajalein.
He really is enjoying himself.
After only two weeks there, he is already VERY busy and has his fingers in at least 3 different projects already. One event even had him in a helicopter on his way to another island to do some work. Too cool!
Sometimes working in Montana, with hundreds of miles between customers; I wish we had a helicopter or company plane.



I finally got an update from KRS!
I am definitely on the list to get a second interview, they apologize for the delay but they are in the middle of their next project and are unsure exactly when they will get a breather to conduct the next round of interviews.
Hey, I'm happy with that. I'm on the short list! And they let me know so I'm not out here wondering what's really going on.


Worth Bragging About

Well, I guess my friend really had something when he was bragging about the view from his quarters.....he sent me this picture today.
View From Bachelors Quarters on Kwajalein


I can dream can't I?

OK, so while we wait, we've been talking about what it will be like and what we're going to do (besides work) etc. etc.
We already know we're going to try scuba diving and snorkeling and I can't wait to wake board in the lagoon!
But for a long term goal, we want to learn to sail.
We have a little 16' motor boat that we run on the local river; it's fun but its only going to be the size of a dingy for the type of boat we'd like to learn to sail.
JF has been looking at boats for sale online and found one that is sitting in Kwajalein right now. (Only $85,000!!!!)
It's called The Cherokee and it's got a pretty interesting story. Three guys traveled around on her for 10 years and have now decided to sell it. We're nowhere near ready for something like this but these are the kind of adventures we're hoping for.
Cross your fingers for us, we need some good juju!


Waiting For Second Interview

I'm still waiting to hear back.
He said it could take awhile because they are so busy; I'm trying not to be impatient.
I don't really feel like I can do any more research at this point and I've collected all of the information I think I will need for the security check.
It's nice to have an insider that can give details and updated information. My friend has provided a few tidbits that I have not been able to glean from the web.
I just wanted to give an update, it's not over yet!


Call From Kwajalein

Today while we were out tooling around the lake in the boat, I got a call from Kwajalein!
First of all I'm very happy that I had good enough cell coverage to get the call and not lose it.
It was my friend / former boss that just arrived for duty in Kwajalein two days ago and wanted to give me an update on what it's like.
So cool!
He said the quarters were very nice and that if the job is offered to me to definitely take it because it is exciting and would be a super fantastic opportunity. (My words not his, I'm pretty sure he would never say super fantastic.)
He bragged about his ocean view room and told me that this was the highlight of his career so far. That's a heck of a statement because I don't know any exact numbers but I'm pretty sure his career is spanning close to 40 years now. That and he's only been there one full day!
Justin and I have discussed it, even if he doesn't go if/when I do; I'm going and he will try to join me later. This would work out ok but I would miss him terribly. (Still, I would go.)
My excitement has kicked up a notch and I can't wait to hear back about the job. Now that the launch is over, I'm hoping it won't be too much longer before I know something.

Next! SpaceX Falcon 1 Launch # 4

I'm not going to go into detail because the Kwajalein Atoll and Rockets site does that very well but it appears the rocket blew up when it failed to separate.
I've learned that "anomaly" is the polite way to say "blew up" in rocket speak. If that's the case they must just flat out overlook "glitches".
On to round 4!


SpaceX Falcon 1 Launch #3

We just watched the live launch of the SpaceX Falcon 1.
There is a really great Blogspot blog called Kwajalein Atoll and Rockets that has practically up the second information. It's apparently written by someone on the SpaceX team and is the best resource I've found so far on this subject.
The SpaceX website isn't updated nearly as fast.
This is something I might just get the chance to see up close in the near future.
There is at least one more launch scheduled from Kwajalein this quarter, the Kwajrockets Blog said there are two more. I think I'll take his word for it since he's directly involved and offering up to the minute information.
As of right now, the status is "Anomaly in Launch". I'm just waiting like everyone else to find out what happened.
The video that is available up til the "anomaly" is very interesting to watch:


Even More Research

This is an incredible opportunity and I'm really hoping that it will pan out.
I found a few articles on some of the improvements that are being done to the communications on the island.
This article, U.S. Signs Fiber Optic Cable Deal For Kwajalein Test Range talks about a project I may very well get to be part of.
I should probably clarify; my career field is networking and I'm applying for a position with Kwajalein Range Services as a Network Technician.
While this is a contract position with a two year commitment, I'm hoping for a few more years but that will remain to be seen. I have to get the job first!
How cool would it be to work for a company that does this:

Kwajalein Range Services

Kwajalein Range Services - Rocket Launch


Filling the Time

While I'm waiting for my second interview, (fingers crossed), I've been advised to start gathering detailed information about the last 7 years for a (possible) security check. That way if we proceed to the next level, I'll already be one step ahead.
This is a much easier task at this point in my life. I've been in Montana for the last 11 years and I've only had 3 jobs, two of them with the same employer.
I applied for a job with FedEx when I was younger, they required a ten year history. I didn't even know where to begin filling out the application. I had had so many jobs and lived in so many places; I gave up before I started. Much easier now.


The Research Continues

At this point I think I have read so many personal blogs, random articles and bits of internet information on Kwajalein, I'm convinced its's not going to be a big deal.
One of the requirements to get on the island is that you have to have a job lined up. Unless of course you are there to visit family or friends.
I'm working on that now and my boyfriend is also trying to find work on the island so that we can both experience Kwajalein together. I'm not sure if he's motivated enough and I'm beginning to wonder if I will be going by myself; or if I would.
We'll see. Tomorrow he is supposed to be providing some more information to a potential employer, we'll see what happens.
I've been posting stuff to sell on Craigs List and gathering my yard sale items....I'm pretty sure I'm going one way or the other.
I hope he comes with me!


Preparing For Relocation

We're going with the assumption that this is going to happen.
Mainly because if we do go, we've got a TON of stuff to deal with before then and if we don't get started we may run out of time.
So for the next couple of weeks, until we know for sure, we are purging our stuff. (Whether we go or not this is a good thing!)
In about two weeks, I'm going to hold the first yard sale I've ever had! Anything that doesn't sell is getting donated to one of the local charities, or several of them...(depending on how much is left.) Our friends and family are going to inherit some stuff too!
We've found out that if we do go, we only get to take 1500 lbs. of stuff with us. That's 750 lbs each. Yikes!
Apparently the living quarters we will be assigned to will be furnished already so the poundage will be stuff like, coffee pot, microwave, clothes (all of the sweaters, jackets, snow pants and ski equipment is now up for grabs!) books, music, computers, stuff like that.
We've decided that we will keep the house and hire a rental agency to rent it out for us. It's just not worth our while to sell it in such a soft market. I'm assuming this slump will end in a few years and prices will improve and we can sell it for a decent amount of money. Right now we would only get about $10-15,000 over what we paid and that just doesn't seem worth it. If we wait a few years, we can use it as a catalyst for future endeavors.
We have no idea what our next adventure will be after Kwajalein, although neither of us can quite see ourselves just coming back here to our same old lives.


Interview With Potential Employer

I am happy to report that I am making forward progress!
I just finished interviewing with my potential employer and it is sounding very promising.
I won't know for sure for a few more weeks; there are several other people to interview and of course regular business to address but it's looking very positive.
Now all I have to do is keep from exploding until I hear back on this!


Family Support

I'm a little bit surprised; we told some of our family about our plans today and we were encouraged and supported all the way around.
I keep expecting people to think we're crazy and tell us we shouldn't do it. I guess they are already aware of our craziness and figure they might as well support our crazy endeavors. Either that or I'm subconsciously hoping someone will try to talk me out of it, but no luck! (I don't really, I'm pretty excited about it).
We got some more input on what to do with the house so that was helpful...
Now all I need to do is find out more details and get this thing finalized. Then we can start taking real action.

Deciding to Rent or Sell

Our current quandary is the house.
House For Sale? - Helena, MT
We just purchased it two years ago and right now the market is soft due to all of the sub-prime mortgage hoopla. Even though our area is not directly affected, lenders have tightened their standards and housing prices are not increasing the way they were.
We don't HAVE to sell, we will be able to make the payment while we are in Kwajalein but the hassles of trying to rent or leave it empty are what are weighing on us right now.
If we could hang onto it for a few years and sell it when the market stabilizes or recovers, it would make more sense financially. Again, it's kind of hard to maintain from thousands of miles away.
So, we're tossing around ideas.


Island Living Not For Everyone

Although finding information about Kwajaleinhas been tricky, most of it is outdated or politically slanted, we have been able to determine that it certainly isn't for everyone.
Being confined in basically a small town without an easy way to just hop in the car and drive somewhere for the weekend would really put a few people over the edge. (The mere fact that there aren't any cars would put a few people over)
That's after you've given up (or stored) all of your posses ions and possibly (we haven't decided yet) sold your home as well.
Our lifestyle is such that this isn't that hard of a decision. We don't have any kids, we're open minded, adventurous, and we really don't have anything to lose, other than missing out on the opportunity if we don't go.
We already watch very little television so the lack of channels and delayed schedules wont matter to us much. (I'm sure Justin will have a few withdrawals come football season!)
I'm probably going to miss having a variety of restaurants at my disposal. I guess it will force me to cook more. Not such a bad thing I suppose.
Neither of us are shoppers, in fact we both pretty much despise it and do 90% of our shopping online as it is. So the only thing this will change is we'll be paying more for shipping and it will take longer to get stuff.
Oh well, I'm sure there are worse things in life and besides, it's not forever.

Ready For Adventure

If you had the opportunity to live and work on a tropical islandisland, would you take it? It sounds like fun doesn't it?
You could snorkelsnorkeland swim in the ocean, go boating, it would be warm all the time....palm trees, blue water, what could be better?

palm tree
What if I told you the island was only three-fourths mile wide and three and a half miles long? Would you still want to go? How about the fact that there are only about 2600 residents on the island?

Well, these are just a few of the things to consider and we've been going over them all.
A job opportunity has come up for me in just such a location and we're going to take it! (If I get accepted that is)
This blog will be a record of the entire adventure, from the decisions and sacrifices that will have to be made, traveling to the island to the actual experience of living on the island.
In essence, our lives are about to completely change and this blog will record the whole thing!
Hold on, we're going on an adventure!