The military requires anyone who rides a motorcycle to attend a rider safety course. I have been riding off and on for about 20 years, progressing from moped to crotch rocket. The military has had a problem with soldiers and sailors coming back from deployments to Iraq and Afganistan with extra cash, buying “high adrenalin” toys, and getting hurt. A link to the required courses can be found here. Needless to say, I had to attend and did not expect to get much out of it. It was actually very good. The instructor was a guy who lived and breathed motorcycles. He owned nine bikes and could speak intelligently about off-road, street and sport bike riding. While doing tight figure eights in a parking lot may not be the best indicator of how well one will do on the road, I don’t think a person could pass this course if they could not ride. It was fairly aggressive.
Another more pleasant part of the week was the arrival of my in-laws. I have had a great relationship with my in-laws from day one, with the exception of the day I asked Char’s dad for his permission to marry Char… He actually initially said NO! That is a funny story for another time. We celebrated Jan’s birthday and had a good time hanging out. Charles and I played wii baseball for a couple of hours. Charlie learned how to throw the fancy pitches and got his timing down. What a slugger. It was sad to see them go but we will be back down their way in a couple of months.
The last big thing was that one of the ships at the yard passed a major milestone, the ability for the new crew to operate main engines and generators. Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and TRUXTUN’s crew had equal parts in the achievement. The company crafted the material condition of the engineering spaces to meet the needs of the crew and the crew operated the ship systems safely and in accordance with Navy procedure. Not an easy task when one considers that both teams essentially started from scratch.