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  • British Billy welcomes the Winter Solstice

    I know it feels as if winter has been with us for a few weeks already, but in the northern hemisphere, the first day of the season of winter falls on or near Dec. 21, otherwise known as the winter solstice. Of course, for our antipodean chums in the southern hemisphere, the same date will mark their summer solstice.The December solstice occurs when
  • A landlord asks: Are you going away this winter?

    As some of you may not know, our British winters can be unpredictable to say the least. As temperatures plummet overnight and during the day at times, our homes suffer the stresses, especially the hidden water pipework, normally located in the attic.No matter how many times the home is checked throughout the days or weeks of your holiday the
  • Action Line: Enforcing left-hand-drive vehicle headlamp conversions

    COMPLAINT:I suggest 48 FW, 100 ARW, and 501 CSW develop plans to enforce headlight conversions on left-hand-drive vehicles for USAFE forces serving in the UK.Drivers with un-converted left-hand-drive-vehicle headlights create a significant driving hazard, especially during winter months. On-coming drivers are blinded by un-converted vehicles,
  • British Billy and the Great British Panto

    However you plan to celebrate the Christmas season this year, let me recommend you book yourself a seat at one of the many pantomimes, or pantos as we like to call them here in the UK, which will be taking place at theatres and town and village halls up and down this land from now until January. It's hard to really encapsulate the panto experience
  • Are you getting paid enough?

    Are you getting paid enough? Some people think you are getting paid too much. Some of you may recall the uproar among our troops created by a Cindy Williams article in the Washington Post in January 2000 when she argued against a hefty pay raise for the military. Luckily for us, Ms. Williams was in the minority. Back then, the conventional wisdom
  • Is your home still your castle?

    For many years real estate has been promoted as the road to riches and everybody assumes that their home will be more than just a place to live, but also a wonderful investment. For most of us, our homes are the most expensive thing we own. And of course, in our society, the type of home we occupy says something about us to others. Buying a house
  • When the Stork comes to call

    Watching old cartoons as a child I learned a lot of things. One of the most important things I learned is where babies come from.For years, it was a reality to me that my sisters entered my life in the loving grasp of a stork wearing a little messenger's cap (the stork also seemed to be perpetually drunk in the old cartoons, but that's another
  • Action Line: Gas station pumps

    COMPLAINTWhile getting gas at the base gas station, the pump did not automatically cut off in time and my wife was splattered in gasoline. When the situation was mentioned to the attendant, the attendant replied that several people have had similar issues. Can the problem be looked at or the pumps possibly replaced? Getting gasoline on clothing is
  • Action Line: Thefts on base

    COMPLAINT:I feel that this is an issue that needs some attention. In recent months, there has been an increase of thefts on and near base. We have a friend living in the dorms that recently had her $300 bike stolen on base. We've also talked to others that have had things go missing while on base. One place that seems particularly bad is the flight
  • British Billy's Great Britons: Charles Dickens: 1812 - 1870

    It's turned a bit chilly, hasn't it? Snow always stirs the festive feline within me. Apparently this is largely due to Mr. Charles Dickens, the quintessential Victorian author whose epic stories and vivid characters are tightly entwined with all our imaginings of British life in his time. Christmas cards traditionally depict snowy scenes. However,
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