Thursday, November 10, 2011

Return Home

Well, obviously I'm not too concerned about keeping up with blogging since I haven't written in months! But, I've finally come home from being deployed. Now I'm back home getting settled in to being back home. Our three-year-old, Wesley, is taking gymnastics class. He's hilarious! One of the best in his class he makes me so proud!

It's funny, seeing my son play and have fun at gymnastics makes me want to go back to CrossFit. Might seem odd, the correlation there, but anyone who knows CrossFit knows there's lots of cool gymnastics workouts included in CrossFit. Anyways, I need to find a gym!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Language Learning

I once read the book "How to Learn Any Language; Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and On Your Own" by Barry Farber. Then last night I watched the movie "Limitless," and it got me thinking about learning languages again. I have always loved learning foreign languages! But for some reason I've never really gotten around to putting Mr. Farber's advice on language learning into practice. Now, I think since I'm deployed and I can use my free time however I want, maybe I should start back up learning another language.

Modern technology is amazing! I have at my fingertips, all kinds of great language learning tools. Now, the question is how to use them and what language to start studying.

Pros: I'm going to be living there next year so it'll be useful, it's closely related to Korean (grammatically) so it shouldn't be too difficult.

Cons: it really is actually difficult; multiple alphabets, no direct teacher to help me sort through the complexities.

Pros: beautiful language, useful throughout Europe, friend here that speaks it natively and can help, I've studied it once before so I have a head start.

Cons: no direct usefulness, no definite need/future usefulness (i.e. I doubt I'll be visiting a French speaking country any time soon).

Any other language
Pros: joy of learning a language

Cons: no plans and probably no teachers, unknown future usefulness.

Still haven't made a decision I'll post more when I decide.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Apple products

I have a couple computer savvy friends that made fun of me for getting this iPad. Even so, this is nothing short of a shameless plug for all Apple products. I am nothing less than very impressed with the iPad, iPod Touch, and classic iPod I have.

I know they're not for everyone, but I think I may never go back to IBM compatible products again! They have been quite user-friendly and the battery life on all the products I have is simply amazing. While I'm deployed battery life and convenience are the most important features in any electronics. I don't have high speed Internet and, more importantly I don't have time to mess with something to make it work.

None of my Apple products crash, and if they do, it's quite easy and quick to recover from and doesn't take any time to restart. They have an amazing array of apps that can do even more than my standard laptop. I regularly call and text my family back home via the Internet for free! If all Apple products are this user-friendly I might just have to stick with them from now on. Sure they're more expensive, but I'm willing to pay for the convenience.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Video Games

I like playing video games, they're fun. I'm not good at any video games and I don't want to be better, I play to have fun. Also, our unit here deployed has a morale room devoted to watching TV/movies and playing video games. Generally it's lots of fun to hang out there, however, today I went in for a few minutes since it's my day off to check the schedule and hang out for a little while playing video games. Well, it started out fun as I was playing with another person in the squadron who's really good at the game and he was destroying me. *I don't care about being bad at the game. Well, a couple more people joined in and it was even more fun. Then, a couple other people from the squadron came in the room... it suddenly stopped being fun! Because this new group of people started continuously heckling the couple of us that don't play the game very well. I have generally pretty thick skin when it comes to being picked on so it wouldn't really bother me, but today for some reason it bothered me quite a bit. Maybe it's because I really don't care about being good at video games and I know that being good at video games gets you absolutely no where in life. Hell, if anything being good at video games is actually detrimental to having a real life. Technically it's the taking the time and effort to be good at video games that is detrimental to having a real life but the ideas are linked.

Anyways, all this to say, if you enjoy video games and you're good at them BIG DEAL, only other video game players care. Also, don't heckle people that aren't good at whatever video game you're good at because they probably have a real life that is much better than yours.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

You know what makes me mad!?!

First off, let me start off with a little background:

I ride a bike, both here deployed and when home.
I know the rules of the road concerning biking on the road.
I signal appropriately if there is another vehicle at an intersection.

Well, apparently many people don't understand that it's better and safer to treat bicyclists just like you would a slow moving car. For example, I was riding along coming up to a simple four-way stop. There was a truck already about to stop at the four-way coming the opposite direction. That truck, stopped well before I got to the intersection, and instead of proceeding as normal, the truck waited and flashed his lights at me. Now obviously the person was trying to be nice and let me go first but really, it's much safer and easier on bikers if you just behave as an ordinary vehicle. I only mention this because it's happened at least twice in the past two days.

So please, if you drive, which I assume that anyone reading this blog does, don't go out of your way and drive differently around bicyclists it only impedes their riding and the rest of traffic.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Deployment Life

First off let me say this deployment hasn't been too bad. I'm actually not having tons of fun and I miss my family but it's not been nearly as bad as last year.

So I'll give you a run down of my typical day (at least as it's been the last two weeks)

0600: Wake up go for a run, then shower and get dressed (usually in PT gear)
0730: Ride bike to breakfast
0830: Ride bike to work
0915: Change clothes into flight uniform and start work
1730-1830: Depending on the work day ride bike to dinner about this time
1800/1900 or so: ride back to room
2000: Go to crossfit workout (absolutely insanely difficult workouts) then shower
2100-0000 Free time, usually go to the internet cafe and text/call wife and kids, check email, etc.

So there you have it, if I'm not sleeping working or eating I'm probably working out. Though I've been at this for over a week and a half now (I did take a couple days off working out) I've only lost 1 pound. I've been cutting back on how much I eat too, I'm assuming that I've been building muscle (which weighs more than fat) so I'm in better shape just not any lighter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Third Thing...

Well, to be totally honest I totally forgot what I was going to talk about last time I blogged and said I had three things to talk about. Oh well, the main thing now is my current deployment.

I just deployed overseas again, same as last year only to a different location. Well, fortunately for me EVERYTHING (almost) is way better! Really, the only thing that isn't as nice as last year is the housing situation. And, even that isn't really that bad I have great roommates that aren't noisy and don't turn on lights needlessly. The only thing remotely bad about this location is the bathrooms are separate from the bed room buildings. So if you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night you have to get fully dressed with sandals, and reflective belt, and walk (about 100yds) to the bathroom. I guess if I had to find something else wrong it's the large number of people here that are nit picky about rules like the reflective belt along with other uniform rules. Oh and one of those other things... the Vibram toe shoes are completely prohibited here. It'd be nice if I could get that changed but I doubt it. Oh, I guess technically I'd like to be able to get internet in my room (I might I haven't really tried). Other than those slight negative things, pretty much everything else here is so much better. I like the unit here much better. The squadron is full of people that like to hang out together. There's a nice morale-room in the squadron with different game systems and thousands of movies and other videos, and people like to hang out in there. It makes for a MUCH better environment around the squadron which basically means this deployment by and large will be much better than last year's.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Two Thoughts... Well really three but I'll save the third for later

I know I generally dislike discussing politics but I read an interesting article and watched an interesting argument on Fox News that I want to mention it here...

There's a huge debate brewing in congress about raising the debt ceiling on the US government spending. Now, in general I am a Republican in the idea that I believe the government should be smaller. Ideally the government should only be in charge of regulation of taxes and inter-state commerce and international trade, and of course national defense. So, that being said the raising the debt ceiling will only serve to increase the amount the government borrows each year and will continue to balloon the national debt. Don't get me wrong I'm not all doom and gloom about the national debt, however, it doesn't make any sense to increase the spending limit on an already insanely huge debt. Just think about this monetarily; if you have a credit card with a bank and you constantly have the card limit maxed out and are only able to make minimum payments and never actually pay the debt off does it make sense to RAISE that credit limit? Now, technically in one sense it DOES make sense to raise the limit... because that means you can spend more and therefore owe the bank MORE money and they can charge more interest. However, there's a danger in that, because the bank is constantly in danger of the indebted person claiming bankruptcy then the bank gets little to nothing back from the debt. In the case of the government (I can't imagine what declaring bankruptcy would entail) to whom do they owe this money? I've been watching some youtube videos about this by Learn Liberty. It's difficult to imagine these amounts of money, and to whom, or where did it all go?

Second thought for my blog centers around a disturbing article I read in USA Today about girls hitting puberty sooner than ever. The article doesn't directly impact my life, I don't have any daughters (yet). However, it does bring up an over-arching point that I've struggled with as a father for a long time. Namely, the idea of kids being able to be kids! I hope that Michelle and I can provide the kind of safe family environment that our kids can be kids. I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn't had the opportunities I had as a child to run and play. I was at an advantage since I grew up on a farm in the country side, but that doesn't give me any excuses on how I raise my kids. It just makes it a little harder to get them outdoors. On top of not living on a farm or in the country, I struggle with helping my kids be kids because I've been deployed (now two summers in a row). I know it's my duty as a military member, but I can't wait until I'm done with my commitment to go wherever they tell me whenever they tell me. Unfortunately, since I'm planning on making a career of this, I'll be working in the Air Force until long after my boys are all grown up. This just means that I'll have to make good use of the time I have with them and use that time the best I can. On that note I can't wait to move to Japan, because I get to take my family, and while I'm there it's highly unlikely I'll deploy any for any length of time. So I should have three years with my family in "the Hawaii of Japan."

Friday, April 8, 2011


If anyone actually reads this blog... sorry I've been so negative lately. Life hasn't really been what I want lately and it's been coming out in my attitude and in my blogging.

I'm still stuck in Meridian Mississippi working on the last parts of my training. Hopefully be done here soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pop Culture

I think I've decided... I hate pop culture. Among other things but I really detest American pop culture. I have been blessed with being able to sit around and do things I really enjoy the last few days and this morning I sat and read the paper over lunch. Well, a couple things really hit me: first, I hate politics. I love the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and I've often wondered if one could do something like that these days. It drives me crazy, also because so many people are so passionate about their political views. I really don't care about politics in general and it bothers me how much politicians can change the nation when in reality they're just people, and we all know that all people are flawed.

Secondly, I hate pop culture. There was a mini-article about Maria Carey posing nude while 9 months pregnant with twins. WHAT!? Are you serious!? Who would do this? She's quoted in the article saying something about being nervous about doing this but wanted to share this important time in her life with her "true fans." First off, it's sad that nudity and sexual perversion has become so commonplace that the fact that she's naked doesn't seem to bother people. Then, it's scary how fans get so enamored with these "stars" that they start to think they have some real connection with these uber-rich-often-aloof-self-centered entertainers. It's particularly scary that some of these stars seem to drink up that attention and revel in it so much that they seem to fall victim to the same problem, thinking they have some real connection to these fan(atics).

I know this isn't really feasible and it's not what I should do (either as a Christian or responsible member of society), but I really want to become a hermit or at least live a hermit-like life. I know I shouldn't bury my head in the sand and ignore the changes in the world but I definitely don't want to welcome these things with open arms. So, I have this delicate balancing act to try to walk where I can be among this messed up society but not be tainted by it. Though the scary thing about that is in the old analogy my dad used to say all the time... "The gloves get muddy, the mud doesn't get 'glovey.'"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On a roll

Well, for the first time ever, I'm on a roll when it comes to blogging. I think the trick is to have Blogger set as one of my homepage tabs so every time I open up the internet Blogger is there and I have the opportunity to write something.

Well, I don't really have a whole lot to talk about other than the storm last night. It was crazy windy and rainy, and apparently caused some damage in Alabama and Georgia.

I predict that today is a boring day... I need to go sit and read to fill up my time! Unfortunately because all my friends are actually working I'll most likely be alone all day.

I know I complained a lot in my last post and made it sound like my life sucks, well that's not entirely the case. My family is doing well, they went through the last deployment without any serious problems and we were as strong as ever as a family when I got back. This time seems to be much the same, my family seems to adapt well to deployment. I've been reading a lot (keeping up with reading through the Bible in a year, and many other good books) and I've been doing fine keeping up with my college courses.

And, to be honest, as much as I don't like eating out for virtually every meal, it's nice having someone else clean my room every other day or so.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wow almost a year between posts!

Apparently I'm not very good at this blogging thing...

It's humorous to me that I suck so bad at blogging because I read so many people's blogs regularly.

I keep up with Ross Training Blog, MovNat,, Will Haas Blog, Trail Hacker, In Search of Solid Ground, THOR, Jason Robillard's Teaching: Let's Roll Up Our Sleeves, Shoeless Shel Bell, and last and possibly least The Science of Sport. On top of all those I regularly read Fox News headlines, I'm taking online classes at Bellevue University, and I keep up with friends and family on Facebook. But, for no apparent reason, I cannot make time to sit and type or write up (I just opened my written journal the other day and it was just as outdated as this blog) what I think or feel at any one time.

Just an update on life...

I last wrote while I was overseas deployed, well that time passed more or less uneventfully. I had a terrible time, but the problems were centered around the fact that I wasn't doing what I've been trained to do. And when I tried to change things for the better I only encountered resistance. Well, that time came and went, then I went home (right now I'm writing while back in Mississippi for re-training) and had a great 5 months, or so, among family and friends. The only downside to my time back home was my attempt at applying for the Airmen Education and Commissioning Program (Air Force program to go to school full time and graduate/get a commission) failed; partly because of bureaucratic red tape and partly because Ohio State University wasn't able to process my application fast enough.

After that failed I volunteered to deploy early (I was told I had to deploy again with this program) in order to get back home before the end of summer. Last year I didn't get home until mid-October and I missed all of the fun summer months, so I wanted to go earlier so that I'd get home sooner. Well, while I was going around doing paperwork for leaving I talked with out unit's language program manager and he said there was an advanced language class this fall out at the language institute in Monterey, CA. Well, since that's what I want to do any ways and the class didn't start until Nov and I thought I'd be back in late September, I signed up for it. Well, long story short I found out later that my deployment this time is LONGER than last time and I won't be back till late October. Regardless, I put in the application knowing that if I was accepted into the class they would cut my deployment short so I could get back in time for the class.

So here I am in Mississippi, my application for that language course was denied, but I am supposed to move to Japan as soon as this deployment and more training is done. There are so many things not working out the way I want them and it makes life kind of... suck, for lack of a more all-encompassing word. I am excited about the prospect of moving to Japan. So much so that I'm trying learn Japanese, studying the area and doing everything I can to be well prepared to move there. Unfortunately, this deployment is still looming over my head and I have to complete this stage of life before I can move on.

Of course it's not that simple... I can't move on to the deployment without completing this retraining. Which, by the way, I am not doing very well. I didn't like this program while I was deployed last year and many of the people who were hard to deal with last year are now training the new people and people like me going back out. So, there are personality conflicts as well as people trying to "climb the corporate ladder" (it's slightly different in the military but it still exists) and those people aren't afraid to kick those below them off. So it seems like I'm getting blackballed a little (perhaps not on purpose). On top of getting treated differently (at least it feels like I'm treated differently), I'm inexperienced in much of how we're supposed to do this job. Like I said before my problem with my previous deployment was that we didn't do the job we were trained for... Well, if I didn't do the job while I was out there (deployed), and last year when I went through this training it was totally new training, and the program wasn't very well established and the training wasn't very good; obviously I'm NOT as experienced as I should be.

So here I am failing at life *again, and every day I'm delayed here tacks another day on to the end of my deployment. So, even though I volunteered to go early to get back early it's going to end up that I left only a week earlier and I'm going to get back two weeks later than last year. The ONLY thing (other than God) that's going to get me through this deployment is the looking forward to moving to Japan!