We've been a bit remiss in updates, and much has changed, both for good and ill, but mostly for good.
Let me start with my working situation. A few days before Christmas I found out that my contract position was to be terminated. I had been tele-working from our apartment, working on the same weather service contract for which I had worked in DC. It was a good arrangement -- I was working only half time, but that was enough to pay the bills, my task (code refactoring) was very interesting, and it was something the branch needed to have done. All persons involved (me, my management, and the government folks) felt it was a good arrangement.
That was then. A higher up on the government side got wind of the the situation and determined that I must be sacked (for reasons that are still closely held). So my role on the contract came to an end the first week of January. It was difficult -- I'd worked with those folks for the past 12 years.
Fortunately the SAIC project manager on our contract with the Environmental Modeling Center (or EMC, which is located in the same building as my old contract) saw an opportunity. Executive summary: I'm now working on a contract for the EMC under very similar terms as before (remote work from Vermont, part time). I've just started learning what the job entails, but it's got some pretty cool elements, starting with parallel programming on super computers. They have a unique set of problems with which I think I can help (beyond the theoretical meteorology that is).