Monday Morning Musings for December Thirteenth, Twenty Ten. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.
- Winter storm warning in my neck of the woods through Wednesday! Wouldn't it be amazing if I had to call off work tomorrow for "family friendly leave" because my girls' school is canceled? I was last at work on December 3, 2010. :-)
- Great conclusion on Friday to 7 days on active duty. I had the privilege of attending a 5 day course called "Navy Reserve Unit Management" at Joint Expeditionary Base in Virginia Beach. "JEB" used to be called Little Creek Amphibious Base for those of you familiar with the area. Many things have changed over the years and JEB much better describes its mission. Home to the Riverine squadrons and our fierce (but deadly quiet) Navy SEALS, the base is amazing today. Ironically, this is where I took my undergrad night classes back in the mid-90s. The base isn't even recognizable today from then. Honestly, I think it's just the Starbucks on base. It was about 100 yards from where I was staying on base. Now THAT'S convenience and quality of life!
- The course, "NRUM," focused on all aspects of leading a command in the Navy Reserve. Out of about 55 attendees from all corners of our country, I was nearly the most junior in the room. Most in command or second-in-command are 2-3 ranks higher than me. In fact, the slot I currently fill is intended for the rank of O-4, and I'm an O-2. To serve second-in-command as the "XO"...Executive Officer...is a great honor so early in my career as an officer. I absolutely love it! Anyway, this position was my ticket into the course, a course that many in leadership haven't even been to. We had several chiefs of staff come in from the Navy Reserve headquarters all week talking about things from finance to force travel to the mobilization process. Extremely good high level view of the whole "machine" we call the Navy Reserve. Monday was especially good as it was more about the personal side of leadership and included another in depth personality test. Big shocker there...I'm still a strong Type A leader style. One thing is for sure: if you're in leadership in the Navy Reserve, it is a far cry from peoples' perception of the "weekend warrior" commitment. It's a daily commitment and a lot more than even a part time job. Multi-tasking to the extreme.
- I heard this yesterday and have to paraphrase it...thanks, Bill! Wouldn't it be ludicrous to celebrate Presidents Day if President Lincoln or Washington never lived? How about celebrating Pearl Harbor Day on December 7th if the attack on Pearl Harbor never happened? What about celebrating Independence Day if we had never declared our Independence? Insane, right? Who would do something like this? Even more insane, ludicrous, and stunning would be people who would celebrate Christmas, the celebration of Christ's birth but not even acknowledge Him! Look how much goes into Christmas: retailers count on it for the majority of their annual revenue, countless "holiday" parties, decorating, stringing up the lights, lavish meals, and materialism at its "finest"...and how much of that is done outside of the singular reason for the day? We as a nation are operating all around the actual reason for the day but still celebrate it and make it mean what "we" want it to...ignoring the actual reason for it. The Japanese really did attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, right? Thought so. (ok, stepping off of soapbox)
- So who just unsubscribed from my blog? Come on now. Stick around for a little bit longer. I promise it won't hurt.
- Long time reader and wondering where all the posts are about running? Don't worry...I still run...it's just not the focus in my life right now. Plus, my 4th Annual WaterFalls Run is just around the corner. It'll basically operate itself with or without me. Over 70 are already RSVP'd for it. This year, it'll be on Sunday, December 26th. I will most likely opt for the abbreviated version of it but still get in all 3 waterfalls. Before that, though, is URINEO...pronounced "ureeeno"...this Saturday at Mill Creek Park. One or many loops around the lake followed by a social at the Old Log Cabin at 1pm. Looking forward to seeing some of my closest peeps...Gombu, Slim, Kimba, Pebble, Baby Harris, Moose, and who knows who else. ALWAYS a good time with these guys. After WaterFalls, the Run for Regis is in January...sold out for months now.
- Marjie and I are excited to be celebrating one year here in a few weeks of kicking off our debt snowball. Unbelievably, around 40% of our income in 2010 has gone towards debt. 40%!!! If we had not written our first budget at Christmas 2009, that 40% would be spent...somewhere...and we'd still have the debt. We have re-Pinky-swore to each other another year of gazelle intensity and will not stop or slow this fast moving train! I spent about 2 hours yesterday building our budget for 2011. That may be a bit premature but seeing the goals written down like that provides drive, motivation, and the "umph" to get us moving. You know what they say..."Fail to plan and you are planning to fail." Written goals are key to success!
- In closing today: my thoughts and prayers are going out to the families of six U.S. soldiers who gave their lives yesterday in the farming village of Nawa. Nawa is located in central Afghanistan. They had taken over an old house and were making it into a new outpost when a Taliban man drove a minivan, loaded with 2000kg of explosives into it, sacrificing himself for his "cause" and killing our soldiers. This enemy is like none other we have faced before and they will stop at nothing (including killing themselves and supposedly giving themselves the "Fast Track" to heaven) to spill American blood. Please do not forget our servicemen and women while you enjoy the holiday season under the blanket of freedom that they provide.
Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!