Archive for January 26th, 2008

O.B.E. — a definition

If you do a search for a definition of the acronym “O.B.E.”, you get lots of definitions:   Order of the British Empire, Office of Business Economics, On-board Equipment, Out of Body Experience, Overcome (or Overtaken) By Events,  Open Book Estimate, Online Booking Engine, Over Bloody Eighty (I sort of like that one) and several others.   

We hear that acronym around here on a regular basis, used in the sense of “Overcome By Events.”  The Free Dictionary defines this term as follows:  “‘Overcome By Events’ is a term of military origin used when the initial solution to a problem is rendered useless by unexpected events, raising a need for a different solution.”

I’m not sure that the definition really covers the complete ramifications and emphasis of this term and its usage.   The proper way of defining it came up in conversation this afternoon as we were sitting around the living room talking to Jesse.   

I used the example of needing to do some paint work on board ship.    You planned to paint the superstructure tomorrow, but the ship happens to be running through a hurricane.    The painting project is O.B.E.

Jim chimed in at that point.   “Well, you could refine the term a little better.   There is no point in painting the superstructure if the ship is sinking.”

To which I added, “Yeah, at that point you might want to be fixing that leak.”

We had a good laugh.   Sort of covers why I haven’t been posting lately, it has pretty much been OBE.  

First of all, Jesse was here on leave and it was necessary to spend time with him.    We have truly had a very wonderful visit.   He is due to head back to Iraq starting Monday.   You understand that going back to the war doesn’t just happen in a couple of hours.    Anyway, we are in the throes of doing last minute laundry.    The little fiancee is coming over to see us this evening.

Oh, did you notice how I slipped that in?   Yes, things have progressed.    There is a year of separation to get through, however.     Lots of money needs to be saved in order to effect the necessary move to bring the new family together following the postulated future event.   So we shall see.   We are wishing them well, however.

It has been very cold around here, and this corner where the computer is is frigid.  I have not really wanted to sit here and freeze my buns off so I can post.

Then there is the upcoming long vacation Jim and I are taking.   It became evident that I did not have a sufficient wardrobe for this event, so I have been remedying that situation

Well, we have a guest visiting now, so this blog entry is OBE.  Maybe I’ll finish it tomorrow.

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