Posts Tagged ‘Travel’
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
I spend so much time on the road lately that sometimes its hard to smell roses. It doesn’t always work but I do my best to manage it.
Lately I’m marveling more at my daughter. For over a decade I have blogged about her, from the time she was born to current. Off and on, tidbits, made up stories. Its weird looking back.
She’s becoming a teenager, but so far I have seen none of the stereotype Mom-and-Dad-are-idiots-hate-the-world mentality Hollywood and society perpetuates. I hope it stays that way but I know it can change. Pragmatism thou art my curse.
So Washington D.C., if you listen to any of the current media over the last 48 hours is in flames.
While I’m sure its no picnic I doubt its as bad as the media makes it out. Or at least I had better hope so as I will be there in the middle of it, almost literally in 48 hours.
It was a madhouse right after the election back in November. This time doesn’t look to fare better. I had to create and send a safety plan to my project team describing actions to take for their personal safety as well as our corporate assets and vendors. Not the way I wanted to spend my weekend. But a necessary action just the same. never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups as the saying goes.
For myself, its all moot. No matter what ones position is political Trump was elected by the laws of our country.
In the Army we salute the rank, not the man. The Presidency is no different in my opinion.
If one can’t respect the person, then respect the office.
That’s the position I have taken for over 20 years. So for me anyway, not much has changed. Suck it up buttercup, and move out smartly.
As far as I am concerned once you lose your professional bearing in attempting to communicate a message, you have lost the debate.
Lately been struggling. Super fatigued. Long hours trying to keep all the balls in the air.
For Thanksgiving I got to sit in the local VA ER while they tried to figure out why I have been having consistent chest pains.
I say consistent because I want to make it clear I am not having heart attacks. Not unless you know of one that can last 6 weeks.
Anyway, I have been working 16 to 17 hour days for almost 4 months…toss in my school work on top of that…and I’m …tired. Last week is a good example. Washington DC on Monday, Cincinnati, OH by Wednesday, Charlotte NC by Thursday, Atlanta by Friday before getting home. The trip was originally supposed to be just DC and home by Wednesday. Turned in to a whirlwind of long hours and jet lag.
I have taken almost all of the end of the year off in vacation time. So I am trying to spend it away from work….and failing miserably.
I have managed to get it down to just one project that I am still working on, located over seas, so that helps. But woke up this morning looking for my work phone an feeling like someone was trying to crush my chest with a battering ram. Yeah not good.
Therefore this morning is homemade buttermilk waffles as kiddo and I embark upon our #12DaysofWaffles …though this year due to my travel schedule it’s been barely 7.
Trying to check out mentally for a few. Wish me luck.
What I hope is my last trip of the year comes up shortly. Is supposed to be a short and sweet one, but it has the possibility of becoming a multi destination all week journey.
It’s back to Washington D.C. again, however I have to be honest I am not looking forward to the trip. As I get older I find I dislike large cities more and more. Where once I could tolerate them, and enjoy passing in to the lives of other for a brief wistful moment, find colour and joy in little things like leaves of trees on a city street or sidewalk cafe conversation…now it all just annoys me.
I’d rather be home, in the quiet, without the hustle, without the crowds and people. Man may be a social creature but i wasn’t part of the survey. My idea of social is a very small amount of freinds over a nice adult beverage talking about what have you. Not a cacophony of sirens, people, arguments, begging, lack of personal space, and degeneration of human civility.
I have lived in several large cities in my time, and travels. Seattle, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas to name a few. Now I find myself wondering how the hell I ever did it.
I always take the last 2 to 3 weeks of the year off as vacation, and I am doing so again. Let the movers and shakers earn their keep, prove their worth, and value. I’ve spent over 110 days on the road this year, alone.
Me, I’d rather spend time with my family, and my dogs over a special holiday season.
Think I’m growing feathers.
Was in Washington DC at the beginning of this week. I fly international Sunday. The following week I am back in Atlanta. Then I will either be back in DC or back International. It’s anyone’s guess. Either way keep an eye peeled on the Twitter and Tumblr accounts linked here on the main page as you may get a chance to see some cool places, cocktails and things in the coming days.
I’m trying to find time to wrap up my prospectus but it seems like everytime I sit down to work on it I either fall asleep or the phone rings. My intent right now is to spend some time finishing it on the plane this Sunday since I will be in the air about 13 hours.
Surely I can can get it and my references in to APA in that amount of time.
Otherwise the grind has been in full affect. I had my knee surgery last week, and of course in typical me form had to set off for DC at the start of this week. So I am limping along without any grace whatsoever, completeing the look of an overweight, broken American brought down by his size (although I actually injured the knee on the job). Oh, well.
Got to sit down and shoot the bull with my chair again this week which was good. Is also why I intend to spend Sunday running this thing down.
I start the first of my last 9000 series classes on Monday. I only have 5 of them in theory, but in practice I will be taking the 9000 series until my dissertation is done no matter if its 5 or 25. Granted I want it done in 5, the school wants it done in 5, so that means my already very busy year is about to get a whole lot busier.
Feast or famine around these parts.
Cant believe its been almost a month since my last post. It seems like yesterday.
If you have been watching the Tumblr account embdeded in the main page you know I have been busy (and thirsty!). Went to Atlanta, followed by a trip to Washington DC. I will be making several more trips to both before the year is out currently by the way the land lays.
Had a change at work, and now I finally have some help. Won’t do me much good in the short term but in about 13 or 14 months I may not have to travel the way I have been. Thats very good news.
Meantime I have to try to train the new guys and teach thm what I know. That could prove interesting.
It’s been a while since we had one, but Delta is officially our Weasel for 2016.
So we just got back from our vacation. Barely.
I’ve recently been on a screed about Delta. As a long term, medallion member, I used to have a lot of loyalty towards the company. That loyalty has greatly waned, to a point of near despisal. If I did not already have several trips bought and paid for through them I would not be using the company anymore. But for at least two more months I am stuck with them. We booked this one via Delta Vacations, way back in March.
Nice long trip coming up. So should be updating Tumblr and here with some good pictures and adventures I hope.
Looking forward to the R&R as well as the grind has been brutal lately. Trying to get ahead on my school work has been punishing as well, but worth it in the end to have some breathing room for a few days.
Will update either while on the road, or when back. In either event should have some more blogging coming
Meanwhile I have updated the doctoral area with more resources for those who find it useful
This post was updated 4/15/2016 at 0826CST with Email communications from both the author and Delta Airlines Customer Service
I have been a Delta customer for over twenty years. I have been a loyal one at that. I know that everyone’s perspectives may vary, and some have had bad experiences, I on the other hand, never have. In full disclosure I’m not a super Elite member of their SkyMiles program, I’m a Silver Medallion, the lowest of their platform aside from a plain Member. According to TripIt however I have logged over 17,000 miles this year and spent almost 45 days traveling since January.
Two years ago Delta totally revamped their SkyMiles program, making it almost twice as hard to achieve Medallion status. They also added a section called Comfort. I did not like the SkyMiles revamp. However, the Comfort program, and the ability to upgrade my own seats after my company purchased a ticket made it something I could continue to deal with.
Its called a number of things. The Hemingway Daiquri. The Hemingway Cocktail.
Story goes that Hemingway drank so many of his favorite cocktails at El Floridita, the Cuban bar where the author spent many days and nights drinking in the 1930s and ’40s, that the drink was eventually named the Hemingway Daiquiri.
Thanks to my friend Devon, the Bartendar at the hotel I stay at in CLT frequently, I have become quite a fan myself.
The difference seems to be dependant upon which clear alcohol you want to add. If you want the Daiquri you use the traditiona white rum. If you want the cocktail, you use gin. In either case the affect is very much the same: tart, a touch sour a touch sweet with a nice refreshing tang afterward.
Supposedly he could sit and drank 12 or more of these a night. Hemingway said these drinks “had no taste of alcohol and felt, as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow.”
The recipe is rather pretty straight forward
- 2 oz white rum or gin (The traditional rum was Havana Club I believe)
- 3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- 1/4 oz simple syrup 1:1
- Garnish with a grapefruit twist
Shake all ingredients except the garnish and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Kick back with a copy of The Old Man and the Sea and enjoy.
So I’m traveling again this week. Will be the first time I try out 100% blogging via my mobile devices. I don’t blog via my work laptop for security reasons to both me and my employer and carrying two laptops frankly is just too much crap to be humping around an airport, with a lot of liability if something happens to either of them to work and school.
Given the outcome of the SuperBowl yesterday I’m debated declining to wear anything Volunteers related. I’m sure that some folks will consider me a traitorous bastard for that, but these trips are for business not pleasure and I need the folks in Charlotte a lot more than they need me.
Sherlock of the BSI knows when I am leaving, and when he seems my luggage almost immediately begins whining. A 100% daddies boy, I reckon. I haven’t blogged about them much since puppy hood but I’m thinking I will be more so in the near future.
Meanwhile given the amount of travel, and responsibility that has been placed on me in the last 6 months, combined with the amount of hours I’m working I have made the decision that its likely time I explore another employer.
To be clear, I like my job, I love my boss, I like my peers and I am fully cognizant that I may be trading the witch for the devil. However the fact is I need to be able to move up salary wise in my career and the raises they provide versus cost of living actually have me losing ground. Further the bonus program has not been what it used to be in years. My employers has good points and bad points like anyone else, again to be fair I have stayed with them longer than I have any civilian employer, and that was for a reason. But between my qualifications, my experience and frankly the work I have been doing I hate to sound greedy but I need more.
We’ll see what happens. Its not like I have a lot of time to go searching these days anyway.
I’ve been packing and working on some work relatted paper work since last night. I took a brief respite and turned on the news while putting the finishing touches on my check in luggage. The programming put me to thinking.
I’ve been flying so much the last two months that it feels like I live in an airport.
Thats not usually a big deal for me but it has made keeping up with Graduate school, to put it very mildly, a challenge.
When I get home my daughter craves, no, demands my undivided attention. Work is a huge demand on my time right now and school is just as bad, if not worse. It’s further complicated by the fact I sometimes jump three to four time zones in a single day.
But its good work, and I am doing my best too do a good job, even if the political enviornment is one I am not fond of. Anyone who knows me knows that I am about as politically correct as a an Irish bordello. So I usually just keep my mouth shut, keep my head down, to my job and move out smartly.
Truth be told in this area the travel is a relief. I grow weary of the huddeled whispers in corners sometimes, and it makes my head hurt when folks talk about the latest TV programming. While the latter is entirely me, and I admit that the former is just eye ball rolling and navel gazing. But I digress.
It has been nice seeing old Ft Carson again, sadly no one that I know is stationed here any longer. That much is somewhat telling, as well as vaguely disturbing. In our minds we often picture a place as frozen in time, in a single pane the way it was we last saw it. So it is often shocking when we return to a location and see the changes that have been wrought in our absence.
Cartersville and Ellijay, GA are both this way for me. Often I hear folks say “Oh its only grown a little.” While I stare at them flabberghasted. However my Ft Carson experience is more unsetteling than normal, whereas Cartersville and Ellijay have people I know who can help me identify changes or find places I used to haunt, with Ft Carson I have none of that. Too many years have passed, to many duty stations have changed and too many personell have left for Fiddlers Green from the wars and “peace actions” since my time here.
In High School, one of our yearbook themes was “We are only just passing through”. My good friend, lets call him Gas-man due his MOS and to protect the guilty, and I noted how many folks just passed through our active duty units. Compared to a dinner we had recently with a group of National Guard veterans who I think may have a more solid bonding experience as their personell usually stay until retirement, with minimal change due to personell rotation, or MOS branch orders like in Active Duty.
I think I envy them that. A steady parade of faces over the years, folks I knew only breifly or not at all move past my minds eye as I board another plane and then another. Watching folks in uniform shuffle from one Gate to another to catch flights from here to yon. The last time I flew on Active Duty we were told we could not wear our uniforms for security concerns. We wore civillian clothes. I consider the fact that those instructions were pre 9/11 and now after the fact we openly have folks wearing. Its a juxtaposition to be sure for me, but one that I can not take a position on as I see points in both aspects. But the faces move on and fade out.
In the end we all do, we make only a few marks in the worls, on the people we meet. There are no more Alexanders, no more Hannibals. There will be no more grand parade of soliders from Antietam, The grand movements are done, the band has ceased. It is not what we mark anymore it is who.
Do I sound tired? I am. Very tired.
I turn off the TV and finish packing my bag. If our network programming is of any indicator, I think I’d rather read the works of Tacitus and remember than see what we have become.
I started back to school in 2008.
Most of my high school classmates got their degree’s long ago. I took the Army route instead, and set out to see the world. When that ran out I went cross country climbing cell towers, eventually working my way up to doing work inside the shelters and finally management.
It was a rough, rocky and long road.