Friday, November 27, 2009
1. Hormones and special genetically enhanced feeds that make today's turkeys so plump and juicy. I do remember the days (thankfully long past) of dry turkey. I say, "Juice 'em up!" This year I had the "Alex Rodriguez" turkey of all turkeys.
2. Sugar, especially after it's consumed by a bevy of small children. The energy produced by these toddlers as they bounce of the walls of the house could power a small city.
3. Pumkin pie. This is second only to Cheezits as the world's most perfect food.
4. Sweet tea from the South. Put as much sugar in Northern tea as you want, it still doesn't compare for some reason. Maybe Southern tea is made more with love. That's what I think.
5. Whoever came up with the idea of putting ham and pineapple together. Probably a Hawaiian. Those folks have it good, don't they? Perfect weather. A tropical paradise. Ham and pineapple.
6. Sitting at the big table. I remember having to sit and the little table when I was a kid. Thank God those days are over. Spilt milk. Peas rolling around. Crying. Wait, that happens at the big table, too. Never mind.
7. The Atlantic Ocean. That way all those Portuguese can't just walk over here. (I admit, I borrowed this one from Steve Martin's classic SNL skit, "Things I'm Thankful for").
8. Family. You know, you can pick your friends, not your family. But God has seen fit to bless me with a wonderful family.
9. Great friends. I've truly enjoyed re-connecting with everyone over the past few years. I look forward to staying in touch.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Arlene's sister with her two twin daughters and mother (with niece) are in town visiting. That makes 11 in the house. Not quite the 18 we had back in June, but it's a respectable showing.
Big Readiness Inspection begins this weekend. We get to deploy to be evaluated on how we go to war. The fact we are actually at war right now doesn't count.
Work is going well. Things have settled down a bit from the hectic days of August. I think folks are still feeling things out with the new boss and the entirely new squadron leadership team.
Kids are doing well. Nathan is playing water polo. My favorite sports t-shirt quote: "Water polo...if it was easy they'd call it football." He's played football and wrestling and says this sport is the toughest and most physically demanding by far. I'll take his word for it. Just watching him play it makes me tired.
Benjamin and William are playing soccer. Isabella is back to doing ballet. All are doing piano. Goodness, kids make things busy.
Sports. Hmmm. Like the Phillies/Yankees in the World Series. Probably the most evenly matched teams who'll provide the best game. Like Florida to go all the way in the BCS championship game. Continue to root against the Patriots and for the Steelers. Hockey...nope.
That's about it for this month.
Friday, September 25, 2009
August was a trying month for me and my new command. What makes commanding a squadron so great is also what makes it such a challenge--the people. People do great things and accomplish wonderful feats. People also make very poor decisions that impact all those around them. Unfortunately, those are the folks who take up 80% of my time.
Long hours and heaps more stress. I've asked myself a few times what I've gotten myself in to. But then I'm reminded this is a Calling for me--God has set me on this path and I continue to faithfully follow. I certainly couldn't continue without His strength and wisdom He daily imparts.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
I couldn't help but laugh. To the crew that pulled this off, a salute to you! Very impressive.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Had a great evening with my good friend Jay on Thursday night. Met up at the Kirk casa, said "Hi" to Caryn and Harper, and hit the road for dinner and the Joshua Redman trio Jazz show. I've never attended a Jazz concert, though I've heard it plenty on the radio (I also find myself drawn more and more to public radio/classical music stations the older I get).
The concert was quite the experience and I had a great time. I had the lamb curry over rice. A plate of warm Hummus and pita bread started things off. All very classy and, mixed with the great company I had, proved a winning combination for a great evening.
As we were walking out that night, I remarked to Jay that "Between this concert and the Brittany Spears concert ongoing at the Tacoma Dome, I think we made the right choice."
Friday, March 20, 2009
This season has been a bit slow, though. Granted, the storyline creates a challenge (timetravel is tough to do right), and it's tough to live up to last season. I'm having a hard time getting in the groove. Last Wednesday's episode linked most of the group together again. Hopefully they'll settle into their rhythm and get things going again. Otherwise, I'll have to tune into "CSI: Fresno" or something.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
When you're deployed for 4 months and you begin to settle into a rhythm, the human brain (at least the guy brain) begins to look for new things to occupy it. This is where some people get in trouble. Some folks channel this desire for stimulation in creative ways. This fella and his friends were at the chow hall one day and got to discussing crazy diets and nutrition. Someone was eating jell-o and took a look at the nutrition content. Now, this was the sugar free jell-o, the snackpacks of 10 calories each.
"Hey, I wonder if you could survive on these for a day?"
This innocent question spawned more creative debate. "How many of them would one need to eat for 2000 calories (average required for your standard man)?" "Would you need to mix it up with multiple flavors?" "What would a diet like that do to you?"
Unfortunately, the last question there was not asked, or at least not thought all the way through. This gentlemen, sufficiently challenged by his peers, set out on the "Jell-O Challenge" the next day. Each snackpack of Jell-O contains 10 calories--200 for a 2000 calorie diet. He only did it for one day and passed along some thoughts on this diet you should consider if my description of it has interested you in the slightest:
- 200 snackpacks in a day weighs in at just over 40 pounds of Jell-O. He was able to eat about 70 snackpacks. That's over 14 pounds. Respectable.
- At some point, the body says, "Oh great, more Jell-O. I'm still working on the last batch, so let's just let this batch right on through." Zero digestion. I believe he said you could almost put it in a bowl and right back in the refrigerator, though I don't know why you would want to.
- You'll want to stay away from the green Jell-O. See above observation for why.
- It's a strange feeling to be full yet not mentally satisfied with what you've eaten. It's like eating Chinese food and then being hungry again in an hour, but taken to a whole new level.
Ironically, after eating 14 pounds of Jell-O in one day, he still lost 3 pounds. "That gives you an idea about how my day went."
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I've found myself pondering retirement from the Air Force as, sadly, the majority of my career now is behind me rather than in front of me. I've been blessed to have seen a large portion of this great land and have a new project to think about--where to retire? South Carolina tugs at the heartstrings...I guess a piece of me will always call it home. Probably won't be Columbia, though. Coach Yawn used to call Columbia "the armpit of South Carolina--no ocean like Charleston and no cool weather like Spartanburg." That was when he wasn't paddling folks with his boat oar. Texas is really nice, especially around San Antonio. Hot is the word there, though. Good Mexican food, George Strait, cowboy hats as accepted fashion accents, and pickups. Florida is warm but a bit crowded. Virginia? North Carolina? What about the deep South? Alabama?
Anyone else thinking that far ahead? Am I showing my age?
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Been crazy-busy at work getting ready for a big mobility exercise next week. Had to come in at 0345 this morning (on a Saturday!) to process through the mobility line. This consists of various checks of your equipment and gear...lots to "hurry up and wait." Chuck, you probably remember those days, right? Being 40 now, I needed a 2 hour nap this afternoon to get me back in fightin' trim. I get to sleep in tomorrow morning. It's the small things one looks forward to.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
- Best Song to Sing at the Top of Your Lungs With All Your Buddies: Boston's "More Than a Feeling"
- Best Cruising Country Song: Dwight Yoakam's "Thousand Miles From Nowhere"
- My All-Time Favorite Song: Police's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
- Best Album To Go Along With a Little Wine and My Lady: Soundtrack to "Sleepless in Seattle"
- Best Cruising Song at the Beach: Jimmy Buffet's "Grape Fruit Juicy Fruit"
- Best Song Guaranteed to Make Steve Cry: "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw
- Must-Have Songs to Listen to When Jogging: "Panama" by Van Halen, "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash, and "Synchronicity II" by The Police
- Best Song to Transport Me To the Great Outdoors: "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver
- Best Album to Listen to By the Pool: Jimmy Buffet's Greatest Hits
- Best Christmas Album That Always Puts Me in the Holiday Mood: "When My Heart Finds Christmas" by Harry Connick Jr.
Do you have any songs that bring back a memory or that seem perfect for a particular situation?
Friday, January 16, 2009
Now, what that really means is that my wife has five days of chores for me. Yesterday she floated the "Soooo, what are you planning to do today?" question at me. This is a trick question to which there is no acceptable answer. It's like the, "Honey, do I look fat in this?" question. I blinked several times, my mind wildly racing for something, some chore that would give the semblance of activity yet allow me to lounge carefree on the couch for the rest of the day.
"Uhhh, the dishes?" Arrggghh! That sounded too much like I was reaching. Have to do better than that, Steve.
"What does 'Hmmm' mean," I ask. [Hats off to Caryn--one of the funniest comeback questions on a post I've seen. ] There is often a whole conversation wrapped up in one "Hmmmm."
"That means you really need to put together these chairs I bought the other day," as she walks out chuckling.
I toss out a feeble, "Now, don't feel like you have to fill up my day with activities." I hear her laughter in the next room. Foiled again. PS3 will have to wait.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Two things I'm sorry I'll miss here on this trip are the pistachios and a haircut. The base commissary is closed on Mondays and I'm not sure I trust the pistachio vendors off base. I'm a big fan of pistachios and have got to say that the ones here are delicious. I already got a haircut in Germany, though the thought crossed my mind about paying for another one here. Like most things the Germans do, it was very thorough and basically flawless, though it lacked a certain...je ne sais quoi. I posted about these haircuts about a year ago. The alcohol rub and massage on the back of the neck is great. I think American barbers could take a few pointers from the Turkish ones.
We're on the road again in a few hours. Just enough time to swing by the chowhall for some cheesey grits and hash browns soaked in grease. My fav!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I've got to type fast. I'm at the base library and they've got a time limit on the computer. The internet Nazis will come in and haul me away if I stay on it too long. Funny, but adding the extra descriptive term "Nazi" takes on a new meaning here in Germany. They really don't like it...believe me. I made the mistake of renting "Schindler's List" once over here. They don't care for that movie either. Let bygones be bygones, or so they say.
One of my goals for this year is to buy an older pickup truck for my sons and I to work on and fix it up. I leaning towards a late '60s Ford F150. It has to be driveable as, I'm afraid, the limit of my car fixing skills ends with changing the oil and rotating tires. It's something for us to learn to work on together. My oldest's vote was for a Dodge Charger. I think he has delusions of fixing it up and then actually getting to drive it to school himself.
"That would be pretty cool," he says.
"Yeah, that's a pretty fast car," says I.
"Yeah," he says.
"That's why you're not getting it."
Pickup it is.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Alright, I'm willing to get past the whole Republican/Democrat, hope/change, raise taxes/cut taxes, debate. Obama won fair and square. He's going to be our President in a few short weeks...I get it. Free elections are what make our country so great. I have to say, though:
WHAT IS MINNESOTA THINKING???!!!! I mean, come on, Al Franken for Senator? I know he's at least 30 and is an American citizen--he meets the criteria. But really, Al Franken? He's about as far left as they come. Can anyone tell me this isn't a vote for a democrat as much as it's a vote AGAINST Bush? Very short sighted, Minnesota.
Maybe all those daily affirmations made the difference.