At work, fixing devices in another department's area while a chat show about "spoiled children" played on the monitors: the segment showed a ten-year-old's new, $350.00 designer purse and I muttered, "A paper bag and string would be just fine."
As it happened, the folks in that area were clustered around the bulletin board, figuring out who had to work what to cover for a vacationing peer; one of them looked up at me in wild surmise and said, "As a replacement for Tom? Heyyyy...that just might work!"
General hilarity ensued. Ouch.
Back in techie-land, one of the operators was telling fascinating stores of his time in SAC, flyin' around in planes doing comms in a setup not all that different from what he does now -- but with a few differences: "Y'know," he said, "the best thing about that was, I had a job that made a difference."
Not an Earth-shattering realization but perhaps the universal constant differentiating military service from any other work: even if your lot is only peelin' spuds, what you do matters far outside the small place and group in which you do it.
Even deeper in techie-land, I've decided the gang that wired the place up originally must have done so under zombie attack. I don't remember any in 1981 but the evidence is irrefutable once you've dug past the layers of somewhat-less-bad laid atop it since.
1 week ago