Coming out of retirement to work on Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Friday morning I'm hitting the road for the DC Metro area. I've been lured out of my self imposed IT retirement to work on a Gov Y2K contract as a subcontractor. I've really got mixed emotions. A little excitement mixed in with fear, uncertainty, anxiety. Its been 30 years since since I've been in that area (I was a 20 year old Army officer candidate at Fort Belvoir).

My family is Y2K prepped (wife and adult son) and I'm traveling light just in case I need to bugout. The pickup has dual tanks and with a little more juice in 5 gallon cans, I can make it home without refueling. My contract runs through 12/31/1999 at my request. I plan on bugging out about 1 week before the contract expires if the shit doesn't hit the fan sooner. If things work out OK, I will return and work through most of 2000. (hehe, does that tell you anything about status?)

One moment I'm telling myself it'll be OK and the next I'm questioning my sanity. My mindset is I'm going to war. Am I nuts?

I will try to keep you guys informed but I may need to change my handle. Wish me luck.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, February 17, 1999


MVI, have enjoyed your posts. Thanks for going to work on the code, O GOVT IT WARRIOR. Hope you update us and give us the inside info. Get paid well, save us, and attend those @DC meetings we hear about every now & then. Happy geed trek, soon to be MoVed Recently ;^)

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx

-- Leska (, February 17, 1999.

MVI: Good Luck. What kind of rates are we talking?

-- a (a@a.a), February 17, 1999.

Leska, thanks for encouragement. I will do my best to keep you informed. I got a new laptop raring to go.

a@a LOL, enough to put me at peril. Although the money isn't everything. They say that curiousty killed the cat. Sorry Runway, I'm a cat lover too. Blert!

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, February 17, 1999.

Well dude, welcome back to the trenches! An OS/390 project I take it? <:)=

-- Sysman (, February 17, 1999.

Sysman, right on. Is there anything else? Hehe, most of the stuff in the want ads, wasn't around the last time I was in the biz. Hmm lets see...which was the update panel in TSO/ISPF? LOL, just like riding a bike.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, February 17, 1999.

Well MVI, actually there is something else, sorta. I'm a VSE guy! <:)=

-- Sysman (, February 17, 1999.

Welcome back MVI! - Don't worry, it really is like riding a bike, you'll seen be hitting all the right PF keys!

Make sure you're handle doesn't become EOF literally, if TSHTF it will be veryn quick, a fait accompli, the beltway will be locked down good with no in 'n out priviledges - pay attention, stay alive.


-- Andy (, February 17, 1999.


Sorry to be the lone "no go" voice but I think you're nuts!

The pickup has dual tanks and with a little more juice in 5 gallon cans, I can make it home without refueling.

That means you are something like 700-900 miles from home. Gas isn't the only issue. You could find yo'sef in Indian country without a horse. I wouldn't count on things staying calm all the way to Rollover. Things could get real interesting in July/Aug with Fiscal/GPS rollover. And once you set foot in a Government building on contract they own you if they declare a national emergency. Call it what you like but "in the interests of National Security" can chain your ass to a terminal! The facts on the ground seem to be these. Several government functions are going to fail regardless of the effort made from here on out. They simply started tooooo late. You are NOT going to save the day. It would take several thousand competent geeks and say 3 years. Second, DC is dangerous ground even if you are familiar with it. (Been there, done that) My advice is to stay home, take care of the family and telecommute to whatever local project you might make a difference on (how is your power company doing?). HCFA, the IRS, the FAA and the DoD are like mastodons caught in a tar pit. They are going to sink even if you throw a lasso around their neck. Question is- are they going to pull you in?

-- RD. ->H (, February 17, 1999.

Thanks Andy. I've been plotting my escape route since signing the contract. You know, this is really weird. The last time I was in the metro area (1968-69), Bobby Kennedy had just been assasinated, Viet Nam was raging (Tet offensive), the Jets and Willie Joe Namath won the Super Bowl, I was a relative newlywed, my first son was born, The Chicago Convention and Abby Hoffman were doing the dance, the fires were still hot from the DC riots, and I got spit on in Georgetown while wearing my uniform. Aaah. Sweet memories!

One of the hit songs of the time was American Woman by The Guess Who (Canadian group). Sorry folks, the Windmills Of My Mind were waxing nostalgic.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, February 17, 1999.

Yep RD, can't disagree with you. I'm unable to explain my actions myself. Maybe its just a 'Blaze of Glory' thing, but the job found me and I feeled compeled for some perverted reason.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, February 17, 1999.

Ya know MVI, RD does have a good point. The net today is great for the tele'mute. Maybe you could head to DC for a while, and talk the powers that be into letting you work from home late this year. It would be nice to be with family on 1/1. Just a thought. <:)=

-- Sysman (, February 17, 1999.


No problem. Understand the urge completely. Well, go prepared. Consider putting a cap on the pickup truck (could be an emergency shelter). Get outta Dodge at the first hint of trouble because, if it happens, it'll happen real quick. I don't remember if your ex-military but you might want to think about a concealable 9mm (Kel Tec P11). Best security is to stay on the Virginia side (near Milne!!). Maybe Cory H could help you with specific locations.

-- RD. ->H (, February 17, 1999.

Sysman, telecomuting not an option. Got to press the flesh.

RD, I'll be on the Va side, got a tonneau, lockable storage, and a Sigma 9 with plenty of rocks. Taking a complete bugout bag including MRE's, trioxane, first aid, cold weather gear, etc.

On the bright side, I made hotel reservations online tonight. I got senior rates. LOL

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, February 17, 1999.

Welcome back to the taskforce, MVI..

My two cents worth.....take Sysman's advice and telecommute. I lived in a large metro area working for a F100 company, GI, freaked, bugged out to a rural area, and my company offered me telecommuting as an alternative to my quitting. Shocked me big time when they offered since they're usually so darned conservative about "flexible working arrangements". But, guess what....when you're working on a big y2k project that's running 6 months behind, you've got room to manuever! Bet you'll be in that same position in a few months and they'll be glad to let you telecomute. Dangerous to stay until 12/99. Things might happen too quick....

-- (, February 17, 1999.

Good Luck MVI, you heavy metal system flirt you!

Let the baking troops know if you need batches of homemade cookies sent your way -- no embedded chips -- just the chocolate kind.

Do take care and stick some good, very warm, camping gear in that car. Perhaps a back-up mountain bike too. (Back-up your bug out strategies).

Best of luck!


-- Diane J. Squire (, February 17, 1999.


I'm on the Virginia side and I'm here to tell you I think it's a lousy idea. Most of the liberals in the area (read all of DC proper and most of the MD burbs, as well as parts of Fairfax & Alexandria) are ecstatic about recent events vis a vis impeachment, and think that y2k is just some conservative conspiracy. When thing start to dicey you're gonna see civil unrest followed by martial law so fast it'll make your head spin!

you will need something significantly upgraded from that Sigma, plus full bugout gear, just to be on the safe side.

shaking my head, Arlin

-- Arlin H. Adams (, February 18, 1999.

MVI :: :: (At any time you may mutter "EGGS!!" and skip to next respponse <"EGGS!! " as in "Teach your granny to suck.....!">)

1) Can you say GLOCK?!?

2) Bug OUt Kit(S) (AT least) ONE stashed somewhere else with IRON and gear, and your primary should look like a laptop bag.

3) BOXTOPS You will NOT get out without them. You know, 4" X 5" kind, folding leatherette wallet, great seal, etc.

4) Send home what you want but have boxtopp, gold (.1, .25, .5, 1.0 oz coins), and silver (1.0 oz rounds, pre 64 cartwheels, halves and quarters) in top of bug out bag. You want your buybacks on top.

5) GLOCK (no that's not an echo!!)

6) Review all of your notes on E & E. I suspect that you have them stored under the third grey matter lump just to the left of the midline. (seriously, everyone I have talked to who has been through the E&E course sez you don't forget, you just file deeply. UNEARTH THEM and review!!)

7) Everything north of Dam Neck/Great Bridge/The Beach; East of Charlottesville; and south of Hagerstown is Indian Country

8) Link up with Cory and share Intel

9) Set up your own intel in the building. Your co-workers are likely to hear before anybody else, and I don't care what building you are in. first breath of problem, "Gotta go out for a smoke" and GIT!@!! (Why did you think your primary BOB was a Dell Computer case??)

10) DON't stop to post a heads up until you are out of Indian Country (see #7)

11) DO post a heads up when you can.

We can go into this in depth if you want to off forum. You have my number. If you want, I'll cook up a nice PGP key just for the discussion.


-- You have my number (Chuck@we.neverdid.publish), February 18, 1999.

Uh, EOF (sorry, MVI ;) ), a word to the wise, something you should know about afor ye go...... maybe try and telemute, I only ever worked in McClean VA so can't really comment on DC.......

From Cory Hamasaki today

"This Y2K report is covered by IRDA Oct 1998.

On Thu, 18 Feb 1999 04:03:53, wrote:

> I have not seen anything published concerning the state of y2k readiness of > our nation's capital.Would any of you that work or live there comment on how > they are doing?Does their infrastructure impact the federal government > significantly?

You're kidding, right? Check out and follow the links to the DC Y2K Weather Reports and the mirror sites.

WRP 108 comments on the state of Maryland. I don't think I've done a write up on the January WDC Y2K meeting which was about the local area. Here's the deal, they're slinging the bull. I can't report accurately without using naughty words about people who can drive over and punch me in the nose.

Here are the true facts. Dee Cee is a third world country holding the U.S. Federal Government hostage. The previous mayor was crack- loving, pants dropping, ex-con, and that's just what they showed on TV; the Washington Post has hinted at drug and group sex parties after the mayor came out of rehab.

I have some pals who crank code at the Pentagon (it's in Virginia, across the river from Dee Cee.) They say that there is a plan to use military assets to defend the Dee Cee-Virginia bridges. Maybe there is, maybe not. Maybe it's just some guys talking trash, shuckin' and jivin' like programmers like to do.

Dee Cee is the place where armed FBI agents have been murdered by revenge seeking goons while working at their desks.

Dee Cee is where the first Car-Jacking occurred. Sure it's happened before but the Dee Cee case was the one where a woman pediatrician's car was stolen with her infant child in it. She held on to the outside of the car, screaming for her baby, the goons slammed the car from side to side; she was tangled in the three point harness; they knocked her off, battering her body and killing her. They threw her baby from the moving car in front of shocked witnesses.

Dee Cee is where Timberwolf worked security for an agency of the U.S. Government which he declines to identify. He was stationed in a place called "Buzzards Point" which is as picturesque as the name implies.

Timberwolf tells stories of rescuing employees from muggers and goons. He may be exagerating; more signifyin' like boys like to do, maybe, maybe not. He says that he was never afraid for himself but then his team carried 10 MM pistols and had riot guns, M16's, and something called an MP3, which I have never seen but believe it is like a high-tech UZI.

Dee Cee is the place where the former mayor looted the city to the point that they didn't have money to fix the schools' roofs and furnaces. The refrigeration didn't work in the city morgue, if you thought you were going to die in Dee Cee, you begged bystanders to drag your body to Maryland or Virginia so your loved ones wouldn't have to ID your decayed, green glowing corpse.

Power? Pepco? Potomac Electric Power Company? What a joke. About 10 years ago, some kind of storm came through, I was 10 miles away in Virginia and didn't notice a thing. Some trees and branches fell down. Next thing we know, the power is out in Bethesda and Chevy Chase for over a week. There are rumors from the DOE are that Pepco is clueless about Y2K; maybe, maybe not.

The weather was nice. No five feet of snow, no ice, no urban riot. Just a localized windstorm and -bang- no power to one of the wealthiest parts of the U.S for over a week.

This last winter. A misting of ice. It was below freezing for only a few hours. -bang-. The power is off in Montgomery County for days. Then just as it starts to come back. -bang- again. This time a transformer catches fire and blows up, or vice versa. They showed flames shooting up to the sky on TeeVee.

The power is off for another couple days. The people in Monkey County sit around in the dark without heat but fortunately, during the outage, the weather is clear and unusually warm, mostly in the 50s.

This place is incredible. I can't tell you how bizarre it is compared to other parts of the world.

A couple places I've worked have been shot up; the old IBM building in Bethesda, an employee went postal, drove his car up the steps, rammed the building, and shot some people. Our office building in Vienna was shot up over a weekend. The bullet holes pointed toward our accountant's office. We put clips on the end of sticks to hand him papers, we're afraid to go into your office.

I've had to detour around other shootings, tell people, sorry, I can't meet with you today, there's some kind of police thing going on outside your office, looks like they're investigating another multiple murder.

I knew people who were watching from an office across the street when Ronald Reagan was shot with those "Devastator" hollow points. The surgeon who saved Ron had been associated with MIEMSS previously.

So is Y2K going to make this place worse? I donno but outfits like the Pentagon, have their own powerplants. The government has its own security force. The streets are barricaded in normal times.

I know three people who have been trapped in overnight traffic snarls. These are three different incidents; an accident on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, a truck crash on I270, and at I95 and the beltway during a snowstorm.

One of the local legends is that there is a young lady named "Shirley". Her parents were driving on the Shirley Highway, it was one of those DeeCee area "sea of red lights", people were getting out of their cars. He looked at her, she looked at him, without saying a word, they got in the back of their van on I395; the van starts a rockin'. By the time the traffic is moving again, they're smoking Camels, exhaling french- style, was it good for you? I don't know if this is true but I saw the letter in the Post from "Shirley's" dad.

Will an infrastructure failure affect the federal government? I'd guess not because the infrastructure is unstable and the fed-boyz and fed-grrrls know it. I know and work with some of them, they are not as inept as their leadership would cause you to believe. It is a Dilbert world.

cory hamasaki 316 Days, 7,599 Hours, 39 days until all mission critical U.S. Government systems will be Y2K compliant.

Enter the Y2K contest at: and win a prize for your bug-out bag. "


-- Andy (, February 18, 1999.

Cory's view of DC as a third world country backs up my own. One day a few years ago I was attending a medical conference in the city. After the conference ended I was trying to get on 95S and I followed some signs pointing to 95. Bad mistake. Someone had switched the signs around and I ended up in a very nasty side street thats blocked by a car. Next thing I see is 4 or 5 minority gentleman coming my way on either side of the car and one has a nice shiny pistol (probably a .32) in his hand. Fortunately my 1911A was instantly available. Slam car in reverse, Mr Colt visible to all, quick exit. Something like this only has to happen to you once to make one very paranoid about DC. Called the police and gave them the location and scam of the bad guys. MVI - keep your situational awareness high. I would think about commuting in and out on a motorcycle (no, not a H-D....something a lot more versatile and able to handle an off road situation).

-- RD. ->H (, February 18, 1999.

This is my last session before I leave.

Chuck, thanks for the info. I was hesitant to take my 18 1/2 " scattergun but the posts have convince me otherwise.

Andy, great post from Cory. LOL, I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or piss my pants.

Arlin, maybe we can meet after I'm settled in. I really enjoy your post.

Sysman and seagreen. I will feel out the telecommute thing. Thanks for the advice.

Diane, I actually like fruitcakes. Even the dense 2 pounds per square inch Claxton brand. The hold up well in the snail mail. :)

Related travel stories from strange lands:

Act 1

When I was in the Army in Germany, I hopped a courier flight to Athens. Great perk. Three days away from the cold dreary Black Forest to the sunny Med. Right?.....Wrong. My first night there, some faction bombed the commisary at the naval base. Full alert status, keep that american face off the streets. . The remaining 2 days were spent in the hotel room with nothing but a copy of Fanny Hill and the room radio playing the local top 40. Sounded like the sound track to Hope and Crosby's On The Road to Zanzibar.

Act 2

New York City. I was an independant working in a large company in midtown. There was a serial killer in the news. His MO was butchering prostitues. They catch the guy and it turns out the guy was a computer operator at the company I was working for. He worked nights and would do his dirty deeds on his lunch break.

One night in the aftermath, I was at working late doing some hands on testing in the computer room and the operators were talking about the guy. One remarked, "Jesus, you remember that time that he brought back that lasagna for us"

Act 3

I was at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri attending class. One morning I was jerked from a deep sleep with a scream. A bull horn was barking undesciferable (-1sp) commands. I peered out by 1st story window and about 10 feet away an MP was crouched, with an locked and loaded M16 pointed at my face. Pure instinct slammed my body to the floor. More noises from the building, hollering and screaming, bodies slamming the walls and floor. After what seemed like an eternity, a friendly voice from the outside asked if there was anyone still in the building. I responded and he said it was safe to come out.

A prisoner had escaped from the stockade, and decided to stop off in my building to hide. He was captured. I couldn't go back to sleep.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, February 18, 1999.

Question for RD and Arlin. What are the packing laws in VA. I looked at the NRA site. But they were kinda vague, because of differences from county to county.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, February 18, 1999.

USED TO BE :: openly in holster was OK but DO NOT COVER IT WITH ANYTHING, and I MEAN ANYTHING!! (Even a transparent rain coat!!!!) But this was 20+ years ago.


-- Chuck, night driver (, February 18, 1999.

"New York City. I was an independant working in a large company in midtown. There was a serial killer in the news. His MO was butchering prostitues. They catch the guy and it turns out the guy was a computer operator at the company I was working for. He worked nights and would do his dirty deeds on his lunch break.

One night in the aftermath, I was at working late doing some hands on testing in the computer room and the operators were talking about the guy. One remarked, "Jesus, you remember that time that he brought back that lasagna for us""


As an ex-Operator I can relate to this - it does, um, tend to attract some "characters" :)))

Good luck MVI,

Got Glock?


-- Andy (, February 19, 1999.


FYI, Virginia is a concealed carry state; you need a certificate from a firearms safety class such as the NRA teaches. Probably need to be a local resident which means an address and driver's license. They'll also run some kind of background check but then you'll be good to go.

Do not get caught carrying in DC. Different rules there.

-- cory hamasaki (cory@you.know.where), February 19, 1999.

MVI - sorry, more bad news about DC from a regular csy2k contributor...

Look after yourself!!!!!!!

In article , (Wade Ramey) wrote:

> In article <7ak0j2$oca$>, oneisone@my- wrote: > > > Mary Ellen Hanley, the District's Y2K program manager, said yesterday > > that the federal assessment of the city's potential computer problems is > > accurate. She said the city's primary emphasis is on developing plans to > > prevent a breakdown in the delivery of services to residents. > > Pretty serious evidence that somethin ain't okay. The GAO's job is to > squawk loudly; GAO loses only if it is perceived to have undersquawked. > But here is the Y2K program manager, usually to be found in rutting > posture, agreeing.

Yep. D.C. looks like toast. Between the million welfare/crack addicts waiting each month for their welfare and "disability" checks and the heavy military and police presence, I expect any sort of breakdown to lead to riots and such. A power failure would be bad, a welfare check failure would be TEOTWAWBKI (*).

(* TEOTWAWBKI -- The End Of The Welfare As We Be Knowin' It)

I haven't lived near D.C. since 1970, and it was a basket case even then. Those who can, live in the suburbs. Or in trendy enclaves like Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Kalorama, L'Enfant Plaza, etc. (At least L'Enfant Plaza was trendy in the 60s...I don't know if it still is, or has been converted to a crack house and is now part of the "Projects.")

And I saw riots in 1968 in D.C. The residents were on the rampage and were only stopped with National Guard troops.

We're even now hearing multiple credible reports that contingency plans are being drawn up to "seal off" the city. The half a dozen bridges will be easy to seal off, especially if military supplies in D.C. (at the NG armories and the handful of military bases, a la Fort McNair) are moved to the Virginia side so that looters can't get access to serious firepower. Sealing off the Maryland side is much more difficult, as the rioting mobs may spread north into Bethesda/CC, east and southeast into Prince George's County, and south into the more sparsely populated areas. A few folks I know in the Delmarva (Delaware-Maryland-Virginia) area out beyond the bridges over parts of the Chesapeake to the peninsula (Cambridge, Oxford, Ocean City, etc.) say that they think contingency plans to secure Delmarva are already in place.

(The region is isolated by the few bridges, which can be defended against mobs. Large hotels and resorts in the Ocean City area can accommodate tens of thousands of relocatees, esp. as the hotels are virtually unoccupied in the winter. Farming is common, and local residents report silos being filled, egg ranches reopening, and fuel stockpiles being topped off. Could this be where many top-level government thugs and their families are relocated to? Just speculation, but it fits some observed patterns.)

Combine rolling power failures, a disruption of welfare checks, millennial partying a la "Devil's Night," and the business of the National Guard on multiple fronts and we may see the residents do what the British were unable to complete in the War of 1812...the burning of the city. Only the cold temperaturs and soggy weather will help stem this.

On the other hand, there are ample indications that various freedom fighters see December 31st, 1999 as just about the perfect time to strike at the Great Satan.

I'm glad I'm 3000 miles away. Being 100 miles south of Gomorrah is bad enough. At least the only thing upwind of me is the Pacific Ocean.

--Tim May

-- Andy (, February 20, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ