Friday, September 18, 2009

"Keurig, meet Boat. Boat, meet Keurig."

Coffee has a special place in our lives. Probably just because we're American workers who are/were in the Navy, but also because we are on our second tour through the PacNorWest, home to wonderful coffee businesses. Ever since we moved aboard I've been struggling with making our own.

French press was ok, but even with the coarsest grind from the grocery store it was a mess and I wasn't a big fan of boiling water in one container, then having to dirty another to actually make the coffee.

Percolator was nice and reminded us a bit of camping, but it, too, was full of grounds with even the coarsest grind. And as the galley slave I am not a fan of cleaning it, either.

Instant was, well, instant. Great for "anytime" and reminded me of our trip to Patagonia, but let's be honest--it sucks. Even blending it with some International Coffee foo-foo stuff couldn't really rescue it.

Enter Keurig! I've had the joy of using this handy contraption at Navy Lodges for the past few years and like it a lot. And as our coffee at work has been about 50% grounds lately I folded! I ran to Target today and picked one up. Figured we could try it out on the boat and maybe solve our greatest problem yet! Now, to get Frank onboard...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Will there be a doctor in the family???

This post is a little bit of catch-up...last week, pretty much exactly one week ago, I made a last-minute decision to put my hat in for a Navy PhD program. Translation? One week to take a GRE, get some letters of recommendation, track down my transcripts, get the whole thing endorsed by the Admiral, and get it in the mail. Yep, I was busy.

Why the procrastination? I don't know, really. Part of me doesn't want to go through all the work of a doctorate if I'm not really going to use it. I know plenty of great METOC officers that don't have PhDs--they are great leaders, an attribute that does not come from years in academia. Part of me thinks "Dr. Powers" sounds silly! Frank's work prospects in Monterey aren't that great and I don't want to hurt him. And I wonder if it will be rough on the kids at all. And even the bit of me that was thinking it might be fun to get back into research and an insane amount of academic toiling wasn't sure the timing would be good for my career and my current billet since I'd have to leave right as deployment is kicking off. In the end, I realized if I don't go for it I'll just never know if I could do it. I talked to my mentor and we decided the timing wasn't horrible and that since my desired field of study isn't offered every year (but is this year!), I needed to jump.

So the "boat" experience this weekend was a Saturday of salmon fishing (and catching!) while I attempted to study for the GRE. That didn't go well for me so Frank gave me a few hours alone Sunday to cram--much better!

Today I took the GRE and am happy to report that it seems I've gotten a smidge smarter than when I took it a decade ago! The whole thing miraculously came together this afternoon and I can finally relax. I'm sure that I'm up against some great competition so if I don't get it, at least I can say that I tried. I think this calls for a movie night!