Monday, November 15, 2010

M-Cubed for 11/15/2010

Monday Morning Musings for November Fifteenth, Twenty Ten. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.

- Cult following? Pop culture? High School Pep Rally?  All 3?  I showed up at Summit Mall at 9:30am on Saturday morning for the new Apple Store Grand Opening at 10am.  I walked in to the food court, a few minute walk to the store, and I heard what sounded like was a rock concert, from the crowd perspective.  As my girls and I got closer, the roar increased and as I came around the corner, a very long line, controlled by barricades and mall police filled the entire atrium of the mall and Apple employees scurried about.  Next thing I knew, they (in their matching blue Apple shirts) were running through the crowd high-fiving everyone in the crowd and chants from crowd like "Apple!  Apple!  Apple!" started and stopped multiple times.  I looked down at my iPhone and happily noticed a full Wi-Fi signal so like a good iPhone owner, I called Marjie via "FaceTime" and there she was on my from home where she, Amy, and Bekah were "cooking for a month."  I thrust my arm high into the sky so she could witness the Apple crowd live and guess what, I wasn't the only one.  There were a sea of iPhones in the air...on FaceTime...doing the exact same thing as I was.  "What have I shown up to?" I thought.  I couldn't stop smiling, I'll admit.  This WAS pretty darn cool.  So as the chants continued and the employees kept running through the crowd, my girls were looking at me like "What is going on?  Can we leave now?"  To the best of my ability, I couldn't get them to give a high-5 or even a fist bump.  Nada.  As 9:45am arrived, the first wave was let into the very white, Apple-logo-laden store early and the roar started yet again as they went in and everyone got their very own "Designed in California by Apple" black Apple Summit Mall t-shirts.  We waited our turn and got the same treatment later.  We made our way to the iMac, 21.5" model.  Previous to the visit, Marjie and I decided...together...that we would get it.  I had done the research, would get a nice military discount, and we'd pay cash.  Two of the "Apple Store Apps" employees, helped me and a half hour later, I began my march to the front door.  I was amazed how I paid via a little device that snapped onto the iPhone of the employee...a device that let her swipe my check card which then let me "sign" my name with my finger on her screen.  Seconds later, my receipt was in my InBox.  I even scored a HP wireless after the rebate, which by the way, was processed before I even left the store.  Dang, I love efficiency and superb customer service.  As I began "the walk" towards the front store, it happened again.  The store employees burst into cheering and clapping...roaring is a better word, actually.  Their way of saying "Welcome to the Family!" I supposed.  Wow.

- Many, if not most, people don't follow the news out of Afghanistan very closely.  Over the past few days, a lot of news regarding recent comments by President Hamid Karzai have been published worldwide regarding our presence in the region and his requests for less coalition forces in the country.  He even was quoted to say what a mistake it was for us to establish a deadline for withdrawal which he says only emboldened the enemy.  As October being the deadliest month for coalition forces in a very, very long time, this lack of support by Afghanistan's leader is not good.  In particular, he wants night ops cut back which is critical in our success against the enemy.  They do not have the ability to fight and see like we can at night so a majority of our operations happen then.  Friends: the enemy is fighting daily..bombs, roadside bombs, suicide missions, etc.  You may not see this on MSNBC, CNN, or Fox News, but rest is happening...daily.  Here's just one story of the countless out there.

- A President Obama Chia Pet?  I wouldn't have believed it unless I saw it myself.  Check it out along with video of how to grow him.  Speechless.

- Christmas 'season' seems to start a little bit earlier each year, doesn't it?  The music, the ads, store decorations, pre-pre-pre-pre Black Friday sales, and my own home.  Marjie's plan is to decorate for Christmas THIS weekend...skipping right over Thanksgiving decor.  yikes

- 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller: next on my to-read list.  Highly recommended by 'Uncle Dave' and others and I think it's about time at the age of 37 to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

- Off to the least in March, that is.  Owning a timeshare outright out in Vail, Colorado certainly has its benefits.  We bought it nearly a decade ago outright so it only costs us some maintenance fees each year.  Deeded to us and something we'll pass on down to our kids, we use it or trade it each year to go wherever and whenever we want.  Since we miss the Virginia Beach area so much (we lived there for many years when I was on active duty in the Navy), we will be staying in one of their oceanfront resorts during Spring Break.  We're looking forward to not only the ocean out our window but seeing so many of our good friends, some oceanfront running, visiting my alma mater at Regent University, and some trips to our favorite spots in the Hampton Roads area, including at least a day in Williamsburg.

- Kudos to the "Bills" this past weekend for putting on a great FA run on Perkins Loop down in the CVNP.  I heard nothing but great things about it and superb weather, to boot.  Great job, guys, and keep up the great work!

Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!

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