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