I visited 23 states plus DC in total so I'm almost half way there. Here's my
end of year Christmas letter to one and all:
Better late than never! Christmas seemed to creep up on me this year but as
they say it's the thought that counts and at least this letter proves I was
thinking about ya! I have added some links to relevant parts of my web page as
I've gone along so that you can check out more information if you are really
Well what a year it's been for me! I really can't think where it went but
here we are with Christmas just round the corner and I realise that I've
been here nearly a year! So far I have managed to resist becoming too
Americanised. I still spell "ise" words with an 's' and not a 'z' and
still call the latter a 'zed' and not a 'zee'. I have also managed to keep
my Aussie slang and even educate some of my co-workers in the nuances of Strine.
My latest phrase to go on our list "crackin' a fruity". (Check out
my website for my Aussie-Yank dictionary).
However I have learned to say my name as Traaay-see Smarrrrrrtt) so that I am
understood and not addressed as Dr. Smut!
Where I Live
In case you don't know I moved to Hampton, Virginia in early Jan 2000 and
found a 3-bedroom apartment overlooking the lower end of Chesapeake Bay. Its
about 15 minutes drive from Langley AFB where I work and only 20 minutes or so
from downtown Norfolk. It's a great area with an incredible amount of history
but I must say I do miss living in North Adelaide and being able to walk to
fabulous restaurants (and of course the Adelaide Oval!).
This year I have been fairly busy at work and seem to be fitting in well
with staff here at the Command Surgeon's Office at Air Combat Command
Headquarters. My job is in Flight Medicine so it's not a huge departure from
what I have been doing in the past. Basically we make decisions on whether
aircrew are fit to fly, review policy, manage the deployments of the flight
surgeons throughout ACC, review aircraft mishaps and also look at new
developments which may aid aircrew during flight. This year the latter category
has included looking at the use of "Go Pills" (aka uppers, speed) for
long duration flight, and also reviewing options for female fighter pilots to
pee in the cockpit!
I've got to travel a little in my work as well which has been great. My
trips have included:
* Visiting the Johnson and Kennedy Space Centers
* Houston for the AsMA conference
* Scott AFB in Illinois for a meeting
* Several trips to San Antonio, Texas for courses etc
* Washington DC for the RAAF conference and ball
Fun Trips and Visitors
I've also got to travel a fair bit in my own time and in all have visited 21
states which aint half bad for the first year. Some of the trips were:
* Pasadena and San Diego, California for a Xena convention
* A long road trip to Houston and back visiting Virginia, North Carolina,
Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and
* A couple of trips to New York City and one to Long Island
* A weekend in Phoenix, Arizona for the Xena Season Opener
* Several trips to Detroit, Michigan
* Another couple of long road trips with Mum and Dad, visiting Michigan,
Ontario, Pennsylvania, Virigina, DC, Maryland (including the Eastern Shore) and
the Outer Banks, NC. (check out Mum's website of her trip at
There have been lots of highlights but I guess my favourite places so far
are the Southern States and New York City.
Apart from Mum and Dad I haven't had many visitors from home so far. I did
get a visit from my friend Dave for a few days and also managed to meet up with
my cousin Vanessa for a mad whirlwind tour of DC one sunny Sunday. You are most
DEFINITELY welcome to come visit anytime.
Other things which have occupied my time this year are my ever growing
webpages (yes I DO have too much time on my hands!) and my new pastime of
sailing. I started my year on the Bay by sailing from Hampton to Annapolis with
Al Gore's cousin who worked in the office with us. (
) Shame I won't get an invite to the Inaugural Ball now though! I also took a
couple of dinghy
sailing courses at the base and have been out racing several times with a friend
who is a member of the Hampton Yacht Club on his 34-footer. I'm
becoming quite the old salt! (My online album:
My other pastime this year has been, believe or not netball. While surfing
for webpages to links to mine I discovered a brand new club right here in
Norfolk, the Tidewater Stars. The team is mostly made up of ladies from the
Caribbean, two from Africa, and lil ol' me. I'm the captain of the team
mainly because I am the only one who has played much in the last few years. It's
been a bit of a struggle this year on the court but a lot of fun! (More
information at: http://warriordoc.com/netball.htm#The_Tidewater_Stars)
Well that's about all I can think of for now. I have had a great year and am
enjoying living in the States although the folks here are a little strange
at times. Culturally there is a bigger divide than you might think so that
while many things are familiar, many more are not - such as their voting
system for instance ;-) All this can be a little frustrating at times of
course but it does make life interesting.
I will be having a White Christmas this year as I am currently visiting a
friend in Detroit. It was 10F when I got off the plane this morning and they
have had a least 15 inches of snow in the past couple of weeks so everything
looks fantastic - a veritable Winter Wonderland.
I hope your year was great too and that next year will be even better. Merry
Christmas and see you in the next Millennium!
All in all, quite a year! Happy New Year one and all.
For more information start at my Jan -
Mar 2000 page.
Or check out my adventures in 2001.
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