We got our initial round of uniform shopping done out at Cannon Airplane Patch's Military Clothing Sales Store yesterday and the good folks working those fertile fields were most helpful, indeed. I was greeted with "Can I help you find something?" as I entered the door... to which I replied "You can help me find a LOT. I need a complete Service Dress uniform, please." And we were off. Here's some of the paraphernalia we acquired:
That would be my stripes, collar brass, and those damned ribbons that I have to assemble into a cohesive whole sometime in the near future. But we digress. The overall shopping experience was pleasant, and the sales people were both knowledgeable and friendly as I noted above. The former came in pretty handy even though I'd taken the time to read up on AFI 36-2903 (the current uniform reg) before venturing out to Clothing Sales. For instance: I couldn't find shoulder boards for my dress shirt and was politely informed that "we don't do that anymore... we wear the smaller stripes on the shirt sleeves." Well, OK then...
We only had one minor glitch in that there was no blouse (service coat, for the uninitiated) in stock that fit my skinny-assed frame. But special order was just a few keyboard taps away and I was assured the blouse would arrive no later than tomorrow. AAFES is speedier than they used to be, and that's A Good Thing. For there is the sewing on of stripes and hemming and altering to be done, Gentle Reader. That takes time.
Just one other thing... I bought a complete Class A uniform and no one asked to see my ID, not once. I find that strange.
There's lotsa other stuff happening tomorrow... including this, supposedly:
That would be the arrival of my laptop, all the way from Shanghai. I was under no illusions that a Hewlett-Packard laptop... being an American brand... would actually be manufactured in these United States. But I still find it jarring, to say the VERY least, to see the box is being shipped directly from Shanghai. I suppose that makes sense - there's no reason to incur additional overhead by maintaining stock in a US warehouse. But it still feels wrong.
And I have my doubts that the box will actually make it to P-ville by 1630 hrs tomorrow if it's sitting in Anchorage as I type. But mebbe FedEx hasn't updated their database lately. They happen to be VERY good at what they do... and they rarely miss delivery dates. So here's hoping.