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21 November 2008

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21 November …

This morning at quarters I am proud to say that our NCO ranks were strengthened as Corporal Cromwell and Lance Corporal Jones were promoted, to sergeant and corporal respectively, and Private O’Rourke was promoted to Lance Corporal. There was a need, with the arrival of eight green sappers, and the men had the required time in grade for their promotions. The letters of promotion will be sent back to headquarters with the RTS Santa Fe so their pay increases will reach their families. The squads had to be rearranged, as I do not want a corporal in charge of a squad without help, so Lance Corporal O’Rourke is now in Corporal Jones' squad. I am not sure if Corporal Jones was more excited by his promotion, the steam sawmill, or the fact that his ale has properly seasoned enough to drink.

Production more than doubled today with the aid of the new equipment, as the power of steam has transformed the means by which we do our business. It truly gives you an appreciation of how we used to build without the aid of steam power. Corporal Mendoza’s water well crew started drilling today and hit water at 80 feet; however, we will drill deeper to ensure the water is fresh and a deeper aquifer is less likely to dry up. The camp is starting to look proper as we now have ten buildings completed with walls and tarred roofs. The Allen Tar Pit is definitely nice to have nearby, as the tar applied to the roof helps the waterproofing. With the aid of Spot, we can even pull the heavy tar wagon at a good pace.

Drs. Caruthers and Palmer, along with the officers and a small security contingent, spent all day at the temple and arrived back at camp just as the sun was setting on the horizon. Mr. Griggs has said nothing to me about today’s events, but he was busy with Sergeant Thibodeaux this evening, as the planning of the meal is the responsibility of the junior officer. Now that Mr. Landowski has been promoted, he'll be on his own. Luckily for Mr. Griggs, there is an ensign now on board the Santa Fe to help with tonight’s festivities. Presently we have five Army, three Navy and one Marine officer in camp, plus the scientists are messing with the officers. This means the NCOs will have a night to ourselves and Corporal Jones will have to follow in the traditions of the service this evening with tonight’s events.

Lady Venus followed me around as best as she could today and I ended up carrying her when she tired out. Sergeant Garcia’s crew built her a dog house and it sits just inside my door. Well, I am off to dinner and look forward to tonight’s festivities.

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