Quick update before I get back to blogging again…
The Halloween Storm did a number on things here at the ranch. A few trees down, a week without power, and a general setback for musical, photographic, and otherwise enjoyable productivity. If productivity involved a rake or a chainsaw, then yes, it has been a productive period.
Got a gig coming up with two NHIC groups at Firehouse12 on December 3rd. 8:30pm and 10:00pm. The first is nhic:atlas, a six-piece mostly acoustic affair. I am playing my Tacoma CB10F fretlsss ABG and it sounds really nice with this group. The second is NHIC Electric, a noisy electric affair. That is a job for the Zon Sonus. I am in hog-heaven as a bass player because Atlas will have Mike Paolucci on drums, and he played in my short-lived jazzy Soul Cryptographers band. I really enjoy playing with Mike and it is good to be working with him again. NHIC Electric will have Peter Riccio on drums, and that is VERY badass. I had been hoping that we would have this opportunity, and it is sounding very nice in rehearsal.
If there is any bright side to this “winter” it is that we are still getting warm temps. Last weekend I put on about 20 miles on the bike, in short sleeves! getting that opportunity after Thanksgiving in New England is rare. I am definitely not complaining. My friend Chris James calls it Global Weirding… Well, let’s keep it weird! Oh… rising sea level and food chain disruption? P’shaw!
The big news on the work-front has been that the Gina McCarthy, commissioner of the Connecticut DEP (my employer), has been appointed to an administrator post at the US EPA. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with her on a few projects and as much as it is a huge loss for the staff of the DEP, it is a kind of confirmation that someone else agrees that she is as great as some of us think she is. If it sounds like fawning, it isn’t. What it is: The CT DEP has had some truly awful commissioners in the 16 years that I have been there, ranging from ineffective to demonstrably corrupt. With Gina we have had a true professional. She set a very high bar for performance, ethics, and public service, treated staff and management in a professional manner, and expected the same in return. Being treated as a professional is rare in the public sector, and it was nowhere to be found in the years before her appointment to our agency. Gina brought that approach to an agency that had been at a morale nadir when she arrived. There is no such thing as turning a bureaucracy on a dime, but she did alter the nature of the agency, in a huge way, for the better. When you have a focused and consistent commissioner you get a focused and consistent agency. I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes. The bar has been set for whoever fills that job next. The pressure will be on that person to not backslide. The Fed will be picking up a strong leader and a dynamic personality. I’m gripping the rails hoping that we get someone even half as qualified in her place.