Posts Tagged ‘Life’
Like everyone else in the world, I am always looking to improve myself. One thing I do, is I have been a semi practicing stoic for a while. No I’m not trying to resist pain, rather I try to wrest some kind of happiness from anything I can.
It’s hard for me because by nature (or by experience) I’m a cynic. While the two philosophical foundations have some base origins, the two have very different outlooks in the large scheme of things.
Anyway, I try to look back on the week and find solace where I can. When I do it’s sometimes….melancholy, something else I’m prone to upon occasion.
One way I have found that makes it easier is with music. Music has been a big focal for me for many years, so using it as a way to channel thoughts isn’t a stretch.
This one seemed applicable this morning. In many ways I think we are all praying for some form of rain, even if we aren’t necessarily practicing religions. Some want a better life, more money, peace, food, its a sobering reality that we often fail to look past our own doors at what goes on in the rest of the world.
So its finally March. Usually my favorite time of the year.
As you can see I managed to ensure that the website changed to its typical green hue for the occasion, forests of Ireland a backdrop for something I have done on this website for several years: that of sharing some Irish history, Mythology, lore and my own families history with you.
This year has been crazy, and the last several weeks hectic. Last year our March celebration was marred by the loss of longtime friend and fellow MilBlogger Lex.
I can’t promise you this month will be better. There are things moving in m own life that have me as worried as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but I digress.
It’s March. There is still snow on the ground. Spring is coming soon as the last vestiges of winter make their way from our lives for this year.
Most folks know I like Cold War stories here on the blog.
I’ve written quite a few and they are frankly probably the most popular pieces on the site.
I’ve written a couple about the SR-71. Actually, written is rather a strong word. I have republished stories, that have been written or told by the actual men who flew these ridiculously powerful machines. Mostly because I see them floating in cyberspace but never find a good single collection of them. So I enjoy doing it.
I enjoy them, as I have a child like affection for the black metal monster that borders on obsession. My first model was a Blackbird for instance.
So when I came across this story about the SR-71, I couldn’t help but add it to the slowly growing collection here.
It’s a hard thing to admit failure.
It’s not something one enjoys, or that one likes to revel in it. It’s a lot different than Great Victory which is what we all strive for in the end, yes?
But occasionally, despite our abilities, skills, confidence, and sheer luck the Fates come around and stick a steel toe number 9 in your kiester to remind you that you aren’t infallible.
Me? I managed to get my project online, on time and under budget. I have some clean up work that will require some more travel soon but the larger goal I got completed.
I’ve also managed to hang on by the skin of my teeth to my Law Class. I’m passing, but only just. The multitude of work hours has made it damn near impossible for me to dedicate the time that I needed to dedicate to it.
I even managed to come off my Leave of Absence to help track and coordinate on Hurricane Sandy. An epic storm, and I got to work right through it going almost days without sleep between it, my job and my school.
In all of this I got a couple things done around the house and in my yard that needed doing.
No, where I failed was two fold. Firstly was here. I need to write here….I want to write here. The need to write is something I constantly have however when I sit down my mind goes blank, and the world comes crushing in and frankly the only thing I want to do is lie down somewhere with a glass of Irish whiskey and pass out. Like the whole world is leaning in and suffocating me.
The second, was my Engineering Economics class. Those who know me well know math has always been my Achilles heel, my kryptonite. I have managed on numerous occasions to study my way past the brick wall that my head freeze locks on when it comes to numbers. I’ve become pretty good with balance books and can iterate cash flows. But despite hours of study, practice exams, reading, even sleeping with my stupid book under my pillow, I crashed and burned hard on my midterm.
So hard that looking at the points I just don’t see that I can dig my way out of the hole and still pass. I have to score a 3.25 in my class or higher in order for it to count towards my graduate program. My score is light years from that currently.
Looking back I realize I literally have too much going. Some of it is unavoidable like my work projects. Other parts are my choice: I could resign from the storm center. I could have put off the yard work but the of the matter is it has to be done. I’m not a 23 year old college kid who lives in the dorm. I’m a pushing 40 year old male with a wife, kid, career and acres of home that have to be supported and taken care of.
In short school is killing me.
I’m not quitting, not yet. But the knowledge that I will have to retake this class is…in a word….deflating…..demoralizing and thats eye opening. I’ve had the Midas touch now for almost 5 years juggling career and education I saw this coming…but then I didn’t. I went in cocky and over confident.
And paid the price. My own fault.
I’d get really drunk, but I have to study for my mid term for my law class.
Pretty are they not?
A spectacular show those whom have not experienced the horrors of war. A simulation of the explosions, the roar, and the crackle of fire in the night. But Stinger missiles do not blast in shades of red white and blue, and phosphorus is a white that is blindingly bright that almost burns the eyes while it lights the night sky.
What have we become?
What have we done?
“The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.”
― Albert Einstein
My daughter loves all things great and small.
Countless zoo’s, walks in the woods, instead of kiddie movies she gets Imax video’s on nature, underwater exploration, and endangered species.
We’ve tried to make learning something fun, basically.
As such she loves nature, and has a deep fondness for animals especially.
Unfortunately there are some lessons she is learning that are hard for her to understand.
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During the course of my career I received the minor reputation as a bit of a madman.
Long hours were my hallmark. The ability to sleep under ones desk and work at a computer station for over 48 hours can not be under rated when talking about project support. The ability to subside purely on coffee, nicotine, and finger nails is a survival ability needed in very few occupations, but practically second nature when on a IT Roll out spanning the entire country.
I have worked almost every position that can be had on a roll out. Field Tech, Help Desk, Help Desk manager, Project coordinator, Project Manager, Logistics, SME, QA Inspector even Safety and Field trainer. I have worked in 38 states. 4 countries. Thats not even including the places I went in the service. Over 1,000 projects, and who knows what the monetary value of all the projects I have worked on would be if I even tried to add them up. I wouldn’t mind having 1% of that, heh.
Now I have been given one step below my dream job: Roll out Specialist. However it’s not just the job, but with who. The number one company on the Fortune 500 list. No other company has more roll outs, and does it on less money than they do. No one. period. You can’t find a bigger, or better, challenge than that.
It’s a corner stone for me, a turning point, and as pilots refer to it: Bingo.
Hello, this is the long lost soul. I have been a stranger here, but I finally have a chance to breathe.
A lot has happened in my absence, and here is a brief update.
First and foremost, my son started walking, and forced me to lock all the cabinets in the house, as he appears to be a little terror already. Another thing he has started doing is shaking his head no…I wonder where he got that one from.
Another new event is the introduction of yard work to my weekends. For the first year of our marriage, we lived in an apartment, and there was no outdoor maintenance there. Now that we are in a house, and the landlord said to me “Do whatever you want to with it, make it your own, paint walls, take down doors, and rip up shrubs if you want, we dont care…” Yea, I have done all of that, even remodeled the kitchen a bit
With that said, I have taken out all of the shrubs, and tiny trees that were making the front yard look like a bit of a jungle, and constructed 14′ flower beds on both sides of the porch, and the wife and I have planted about 40 flowers in there.
One of the most noteworthy ventures of late, is that I have quit smoking cigarettes yet again, and have repleced them with fine cigars. The little one is starting to mimic everything I do, and I dont want that to be one of the things that he starts because he saw me doing it.
Aside from all that, I have been extremely busy at work, as I have made the move to an IT position in my growing company, it keeps me very busy.
Well, thats all the updates for now, stay tuned…
I know most folks like to sit back and smoke their cigars.
I like to walk.
Was a nice brisk cool morning yesterday, great weather for my traveling companions: a Gurkha Cuban Legacy and Yukon Blend coffee with a shot of Jameson.
Here’s a little photo-essay attempt with some random thoughts.
Feel free to click any of the images for a bigger version. Enjoy the walk, sorry if my mind tends to venture in to strange places. its just the way I am.
In the military, sometimes the line between you and the life you have is a thread. That thread can mean the difference in life and death. The difference between success and failure. Outright jubilation and utter tragedy.
Threads are funny things. We can hang by them, or be hung by them. Caught up and tangled in them or have them cut us loose in a instant.
There’s often no rhyme or reason to those threads or their actions. I do not think I have ever met a military veteran who does not believe in luck to some degree or another.
No matter how religious one may or may not be, sometimes there is just no other explanation. Guardian angels, luck, it’s all the same ball of wax.
Occasionally though, the stories are all to surreal, to amazing to not be given a lot of thought on later in life.
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