I walked into the Engineering Shop to start my shift, only to discover Jonny Zedd was holding forth to Kent Good on the care and feeding of our few remaining multitrack data recorders, using the one Kent had opened up on a service cart as a podium. He went on and on, about how there are no moving parts in the head assembly (wrong), how none of the device-specific mechanical or electronic parts can be had (way wrong; [a major Japanese manufacturer] did grab up the product line long ago but they've continued to support it — and long-time USSF supplier Universal Actives second-sources everything but the front panel.
I listened agog at the depth of misinformation as Johnny wound down and departed on the hour, his shift being over. Kent shook his head, sighed and smiled.
"You're a patient man," I told him; Kent came to us after a couple of decades in Engineering on a smaller ship of the same vintage as the Lupine, which means it would have had the exact same recorders. "Gave you the skinny, did he? Jonny's killed at least a half dozen of those things since I signed aboard."
Kent smiled even more broadly. "I know. I'm into this one after he 'fixed' it. But you stop — Christmas is just next week."
He's right. Merry Christmas to Kent, Handsome Dave, C, Jay, The Chief and especially, Jonny Zed — and f'pity's sake, Jon, don't get too ambitious! Merry Christmas to us all.
Merry Christmas to my readers, too.