Tag Archives: air force

Suck, Suckity, Suck Suck Suck (T-190)

I had one of those afternoons that kept on giving.

Yeah, definitely not one of those afternoons you wake up in the morning hoping to have. I had been at meetings all morning at Peterson AFB and came up to Cheyenne Mountain afterwards to work on a decoration package – something that wouldn’t take all that much time to get done and I’d be happy to have actually accomplished something today. Well, that plan went out the window. No sooner had I arrived back at work did I get sucked into a meeting with the deputy group cc for an hour (which was an impromptu follow-up to a meeting that lasted an hour just yesterday afternoon). Well, that meeting went fine (long, but fine) and I sit back down at my desk to work on the decoration. Then I get word that some of the info we were investigating didn’t get collected as needed. I made a call to find out what had happened – tell the person that we’ll redo the info gathering because it obviously wasn’t done right this morning – but about 10 minutes later, I get the deputy group cc in front of me wanting to speak to me immediately. We go behind closed doors and I get the first dressing-down I’ve had in a long time. So that was a barrel of laughs. Then it was just time to vent to those who were there as well about the ridiculous situation we all find ourselves in. To interrupt that pity party though, we get a call from another squadron saying that they are going to do the exact opposite of what we had asked them to do (in response to what our group wanted) – meaning that basically tomorrow, the ass pain will continue. You can’t have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat.

Seriously, what the fuck?

I think I’m going to dispense with my backwards storytelling endeavor from my previous entry. Basically, the first half of this past weekend was also fun. Drove up to Keystone with Kyle and Melissa and ran into some CRAZY white-out weather right at the Hoosier Pass and all throughout the rest of the drive to Keystone. Eek. But the ferocious wind and falling snow meant for some AWESOME snow conditions on the slopes…for the first half of the day. After lunch, we went back on the slopes and discovered that the wind had increased to ridiculous levels. At the top of the mountain, the wind was blowing so hard you were getting pelted with grains of snow – and it wasn’t letting up. So you just had to persevere and snow down the mountain, stopping every now and then when you literally couldn’t see the slope anymore. By the time I reached the bottom of the trail, Keystone had closed all but one of the skilifts up because the wind was so bad. And of course that one skilift that remained open was crazy packed. So we left a little earlier because there was no point in waiting in the ridiculous line to go back up the mountain and also because news was getting back to us that all the mountain passes were getting shut down – I-70 too. Fortunately Hoosier Pass, the way we came in to town, remained open, and we got home that night! Yay. Waiting for me at home were Jeff, Susan, KD, and Eric, who had decided to come over and cook dinner at my house and watch movies. Definitely sounded like a plan to me! So I got a home-cooked meal plus we all watched Moulin Rouge, which I definitely can watch again and again.

Saturday was a slow day – played video games and hung around the house doing nothing. That night I went over to Jeff’s and watched movies and TV – saw School For Scoundrels, which was pretty funny and entertaining. Also then watched the Sarah Silverman Show, which I think both Jeremy and I are now fans of. FREAKING HILARIOUS.

And that’s that for this past weekend. This week has been interesting transitioning into the role of deputy squadron cc. And when I say interesting, I mean ‘fuck-me’. And not in the good way. Lots of ridiculousness and I ended up cancelling my Transition Assistance seminar from March and moving it back to April, because I realized I just couldn’t leave in good conscience for half of March. I’m still leaving the last week of March though and the first week of April to Europe, because dammit, I care about myself above all others and I feel I deserve this trip. I can’t argue with this logic.

So here are some pictures from this weekend – the first set from when I got back from Keystone and the second set from the Denver-Dave&Buster’s-PartyatJeff’sHouse day. Enjoy. And hope that I maintain my sanity tomorrow(Friday). There’s the promise of a Brew Festival on Friday evening, which I plan on attending and whether there or at home, I plan on getting absolutely shitfaced, Saturday-hangover be damned.

After Keystone @ My House: Friday, 16 Feb 07

Eric the Guitar HeroEric the Guitar Hero
Eric the Guitar Hero16-Feb-2007 19:40, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 71
Jeff and SusanJeff and Susan
Jeff and Susan16-Feb-2007 19:41, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
KD cooking up a stormKD cooking up a storm
KD cooking up a storm16-Feb-2007 19:41, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
Eric, Jeff and SusanEric, Jeff and Susan
Eric, Jeff and Susan16-Feb-2007 19:42, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 104
Me and KD, keeping it realMe and KD, keeping it real
Me and KD, keeping it real16-Feb-2007 19:42, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.0, 15.4375mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 71
Eric, Me, KD and JeffEric, Me, KD and Jeff
Eric, Me, KD and Jeff16-Feb-2007 20:07, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 72
 
Getting the hand from SusanGetting the hand from Susan
Getting the hand from Susan16-Feb-2007 20:30, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Lovely shot of me and KDLovely shot of me and KD
Lovely shot of me and KD16-Feb-2007 20:30, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Eric's skepticalEric's skeptical
Eric's skeptical16-Feb-2007 20:31, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
Inappropriate fondling picture timeInappropriate fondling picture time
Inappropriate fondling picture time16-Feb-2007 20:31, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 

Denver Fun Day: Sunday, 18 Feb 07

Trying to take a cool reflection picTrying to take a cool reflection pic
Trying to take a cool reflection pic18-Feb-2007 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 100
18-Feb-2007 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 50
Didn't really work outDidn't really work out
Didn't really work out18-Feb-2007 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 50
 
A sweet Lotus in the Dave & Buster's parking lotA sweet Lotus in the Dave & Buster's parking lot
A sweet Lotus in the Dave & Buster's parking lot18-Feb-2007 16:27, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 3.5, 10.8125mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 50
Racing, yo!Racing, yo!
Racing, yo!18-Feb-2007 16:44, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 109
18-Feb-2007 16:44, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 98
 
4th place at the time - ended up 2nd place by like .2 seconds!4th place at the time - ended up 2nd place by like .2 seconds!
4th place at the time - ended up 2nd place by like .2 seconds!18-Feb-2007 16:44, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Dancing on a DDR-imposter!!!Dancing on a DDR-imposter!!!
Dancing on a DDR-imposter!!!18-Feb-2007 16:57, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
JeremyJeremy
Jeremy18-Feb-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
SusanSusan
Susan18-Feb-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Jeff and his monkeyJeff and his monkey
Jeff and his monkey18-Feb-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
ME!ME!
ME!18-Feb-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 71
 
My favorite game at D&B's - the skeeball horse raceMy favorite game at D&B's - the skeeball horse race
My favorite game at D&B's - the skeeball horse race18-Feb-2007 18:05, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 127
Putting smiles on people's face, no matter what it takesPutting smiles on people's face, no matter what it takes
Putting smiles on people's face, no matter what it takes18-Feb-2007 18:10, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Jeff, Melissa and JeremyJeff, Melissa and Jeremy
Jeff, Melissa and Jeremy18-Feb-2007 18:11, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 71
 

Chuckling at Circumstances (T-200)

Reading one’s own thoughts/rants from a few years ago can be awfully entertaining.

I was looking at my uber-Rant from Nellis AFB in 2004. If any of you remember, it was the one I actually went to the trouble of password-protecting because I just went OFF. And when I first started to read it, I tried to remember what the issue was – and I couldn’t. But then I started reading it and not surprisingly, I got PISSED OFF again. At those people. At myself. At the things I should have said and could have said. Why did I get mad again? Literally, that’s been almost 2 and a half years ago when all that shit went down. But it’s just the fact that there are so many things that I guess I wish I had done differently. That’s potentially the curse of having kept this website going for so long – if I choose to, I can go back and see, in gory detail, some of those things that took me to really low places. And then re-examine them. For better or for worse. What pisses me off also is that I make the same mistakes it seems. I’m a relatively smart man – you’d think I’d have learned a few lessons or so. It just seems that some of the important lessons I continue to forget.

Example: From growing up, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. Even when I want to say lots and lots, I had one incident I’ll never forget that to this day reminds me that my true opinions of things are better left unsaid. And while I’m certainly not one to not say anything, to say that my true words have come out ‘unfiltered’ at any time since that incident would be a straight-up lie. I honestly don’t know the last time I’ve ever not censored my thoughts. I’ve learned in the interim how to craft my sentences and words in such a way so I don’t come across as the raging asshole I really am. Instead, I make you sound like a raging asshole. And it makes me happy. But the counter-lesson to this is that I think I’ve had enough of not saying the utter truth of what needs to be said. There are so many people’s feelings out there in the world that have been spared because of what I chose not to say. Perhaps I’ve kept a lot more of my friends and family because of it – but I think there’s also times, especially now, when what I want to really say would probably help things in the long run. Oh geez, I’m rambling now. I certainly didn’t say I have learned to ‘edit’ myself, did I?

Today was my first day of not being the straight-up Flight CC. I didn’t like it. Sure, I was able to play the affable Hobie Barnes, but frankly, I am fucking done with the Air Force. 200 more days? Fucking stab a pencil in my eye. Going back to what I said above, there’s SOOOOO much I just want to say…. and can’t.

Alright, I need to tighten the filter some more. I think I got set off by the events of the day and night, going back and reading that rant of mine, and just overall realizing I want to just be me. I’m tired of the censored me. He’s boring. And he talks about himself in the third-person, and that is just obnoxious.

Well, it’s 200 days left. Whooptie-freaking-doo! 🙂 I am stoked there’s a 4-day weekend coming up – tentatively, there’s plans to go back to Keystone for a day of skiing on Friday, and then also going to the Coors Brewery on Sunday. The rest of the time? Who knows, who cares?

Who’s Going to London? (T-201)

That would be ME! Indeed, I’ll be returning to my favorite European city at the end of March. And I couldn’t be happier about it, let me tell you!

You know, I’ve been meaning to get back to the website for a while (sounds familiar, I know…) but frankly the past few weeks haven’t been too exciting except me being mostly depressed about crap. But I think I snapped myself out of that nonsense by the end of last week. Namely because I decided to go ahead and just go on the damn trip with Jeff, even if I’m supposed to be deputy during that time. I had been planning on going on this trip for so long – I’m not going to let some misplaced guilt keep me from going. Part of my depression was caused by thinking I wasn’t going to go on this trip anymore because it started in March – but after talking to Jeff about it, well, as you can see, I’ve booked my flight and in less than two months, I’ll be headed back to London (SWEET!!!!!) and even going to Normandy for a re-enlistment ceremony that Jeff is officiating. The ceremony will literally be on the beaches of Normandy – how freakin’ cool is that? That was one of the main reasons I was so excited about going on this trip. Also going to see London AND Paris again is something I just can’t pass up. Doing this though means my Vegas plans are definitely not until September – going to have to save money for that trip. And oh what a party that shall be too!

Okay, what else? Good news for Kyle and Adam, two of the Lts that work for me. They had applied to cross-train to become a pilot and an ABM, and the results were coming out at the beginning of the month – and fortunately, they both Made It! We found out that Adam is leaving in March (so fast!) and that Kyle is sticking around until November (his UPT doesn’t start till then). I’m really happy for both of them and wish them the best of success in their future operational career with the Air Force.

Speaking of Air Force careers (or the lack of), I have to get crackin’ on writing my own damn resume. I’ve been thinking about what Bradley-Morris has been working for me, and I think I’m going to cancel out of the Chicago hiring conference. I really don’t want to live out there. I’m still going to go to San Diego, and I think I’ll be trading Chicago’s conference for one in Austin. But even more importantly, I’ve decided I can try to see what jobs are out here in Colorado Springs. I thought I would be willing to give it up easily, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I LOVE it here. I really really love my house, I love my friends here, and I think that I could totally stay here for a while. Not forever, but a few more years at least. Build up the value of the house, wait till my friends PCS, and then think about going elsewhere. So I’ve got a lot of work to do to figure out all this. I’m getting scared! If you noticed the green countdown numbers above, I’m a day over 200 left to go till I’m done. WOAH!!!!!!

I had a lot to write about – or so I thought. Every time I thought about sitting down to type up an update, I realized I wasn’t all that motivated to do it. I’ve bought a lot of clothes and furniture stuff for my house – plus today I finally put up most of my pictures in my bedroom and I actually used my drill to put up shelves in the bedroom too. Can you believe it? I haven’t made any progress on the bathroom – I think I scared myself out of doing it. I still really want to, but I am so afraid of fucking it up. I just need to rip out the vanity cabinet and then I’ll be FORCED to do it.

Here’s some recaps on my TV viewing habits:

24: I’m enjoying this season, but it’s a far cry from the glorious Season 5. The plotlines seemed very forced and I really don’t care about any of the characters all that much. Maybe this is going to be like the Ontario Airport section of Season 5 – they just needed to get the ball rolling and then the season will knock into fifth gear… Besides the death of Curtis and the reveal (and subsequent death) of Jack’s brother, there hasn’t been too much excitement that really gets you going. Even Chloe hasn’t been as awesome as usual. When is the other shoe going to drop?

Ugly Betty: Good God, I couldn’t love this show anymore if I tried. Rebecca Romijn as Daniel’s brother-turned-sister is inspired. Judith Light as Daniel’s mother is awesome (so hard to see her as Angela from Who’s the Boss anymore). I loved the show at Fashion Week with Hilda and Betty at odds with each other. Henry and Betty’s doomed romance is so involving. And good riddance to Walter, although he actually was somewhat likable once he dumped Betty. And of course, the cattiness of Wilhelmina, Amanda and Marc continue to make this show must-watch material. I can never get enough of this show. Favortie scene from last week: Alexis (Rebecca Romijn) making Daniel slap himself and yelling at him: “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?” And the dramatic plot reveal at the end of last week’s episode (the true killer of Faye Sommers was revealed) was much more gripping than anything 24 has done this season so far. If you haven’t started watching this show, do yourself a favor and watch it!

Survivor: Fiji: Okay, I haven’t done a page for this season and I have no intention of doing so. But let me just say that this season has started off with so much promise already. The entire cast is engaging so far, there was drama, and the game twists thus far have been pretty interesting. 19 castaways – not an even number this time. The ‘leader’ (Sylvia) picking the two tribes, and THEN getting sent to Exile Island right afterwards by Jeff Probst. Having all 19 people on one beach for the first two days building up a SWEET shelter and camp – only to then be split, with the winners of immunity returning to Camp Luxury and the losing tribe going to a new beach with just a machete. And these wildly divergent camps do not seem to be poised to be awarded to winners and losers. I think the one tribe is stuck at the pathetic camp from here on out – unless next week’s episode tells us otherwise. Should make for an interesting (although potentially pathetic) dynamic at challenges.

Amazing Race: All Stars: This hasn’t started yet, but I did panic while typing this up. Suddenly I thought I had forgotten about the premiere tonight – but that isn’t till NEXT Sunday. Whew….

Okay, enough is enough. This upcoming week is a short week, and I think I’ll be 50/50 at my flight and at the squadron front office gleaning info from the deputy while he’s here. We get a 4-day weekend (Woo Hoo! I love February) – not sure if I’m doing anything exciting, but whatever. 4 days off? I’m there.

And here are some random pics from the past few weeks:

Random Feb Pics

Me in my mess dress before the Annual Awards Banquet
Me in my mess dress before the Annual Awards Banquet01-Feb-2007 18:10, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
01-Feb-2007 18:11, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
01-Feb-2007 18:11, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
Magnum, Jeff's schnauzer
Magnum, Jeff's schnauzer04-Feb-2007 14:15, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 10.0, 15.4375mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 50
Kahlua, Jeremy's mix
Kahlua, Jeremy's mix04-Feb-2007 14:15, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.0, 15.4375mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
Another of Kahlua
Another of Kahlua04-Feb-2007 14:15, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50
 
There's Magnum again
There's Magnum again04-Feb-2007 14:16, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
Pic of my new mirror in the upstairs hallway
Pic of my new mirror in the upstairs hallway11-Feb-2007 19:39, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 200
Once more, with feeling
Once more, with feeling11-Feb-2007 19:39, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 200
 

And I just finished rewatching Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal back-to-back. Those were really good, SCARY movies. I had forgotten how damn graphic Hannibal was. blech. I have absolutely no interest in seeing Hannibal Rising though. That looks just like a damned horror movie. No gracias.

Headed to SnoFest (T-219)

6 weekends -> 6 snowstorms. That’s gotta be a record.

Literally, every weekend we get snow – it’s nowhere near as heavy as it was the first two weekends, but without fail, we’ll get a few inches of snow each weekend. Meanwhile, the entire rest of the week is usually sunny and clear, although frickin’ cold. I must say though that it’s nice to see the rest of the midwest and Texas getting all sorts of snow and cold weather too. I’m glad Colorado was able to spread on the wealth to the rest of you guys.

Anyways, yes, it’s been a few weeks or so since I’ve updated and I just wanted to chime in with what has been going on before heading to SnoFest this weekend up at Keystone. SnoFest is this huge weekend party at Keystone resort wherein all the Colorado Springs’ military base personnel get together and take over the mountain (basically). It’s an excuse to give us another day off (yep, we get this Friday off meaning I haven’t worked an actual ‘full’ work week in literally two months) and to go skiing for an entire weekend. It should be good times, and about 9 of us have rented a very nice condo to live and party in – so that should be fun, and here’s hoping for no drama. I’ll post pics (of course) when I return.

So like I said, it’s been pretty much blah at work – so not much to talk about there. Oh wait, I guess there is some interesting news that developed last week that both thrilled and bummed me out. Part I of the information is that in March, the deputy squadron commander is going to be taking sick leave in order to have surgery. In the meantime, I will be stepping in as deputy Squadron CC!! For an entire month. Whoa! Finding out this information was pretty cool news – because it gives me a chance to help get the squadron back on track as the current commander is seriously in need of help. I obviously can’t go into as much as I’d like on this website, as that damn UCMJ is always there with the key to Leavenworth, but let’s just say she’s not doing that great of a job here. So I was stoked about that news. I’ll get my shot at being almost a squadron commander before getting out – sweet. But then the other shoe dropped the next day, as I heard that initial news through unofficial channels. When I was told it officially, I also was told that I would NOT be coming back as flight commander in April when the deputy commander returns. At all. Instead, my current deputy, Melissa, who puts Captain rank on in May, will take over for good once I leave in late February. I’m not thrilled about this news for two main reasons: first, I really like being flight CC – that’s been the only thing that has made this assignment worth having. So not returning to this is kinda shocking, as I wasn’t mentally prepared to have to say goodbye to that post this early. I had figured I’d be flight cc until the summer or so…WRONG! Second, that means I pretty much have no real job from April to the end of August. Allegedly I become ‘Special Project’ officer, basically meaning that whatever the commanders don’t want to deal with, I get to. In my mind, this new job means I come in at 0900 and leave at 1500 (3pm). I’m just sayin’.

So that’s the work fun. I hope the month of March doesn’t suck too much.

In other news, I’ve been spending money like it’s going out of style. Last week I went to Men’s Wearhouse and bought my first-ever suit. I knew I’d need one to interview with and potentially work in depending on the next job I’d get, and I have never owned a true suit before. It’s a pretty sharp suit, and one day when I actually put the whole thing on, I’ll take some pics to show off the new threads. I also bought some sweet shirts and ties as well as a new pair of loafers, and all in all dropped a load of cash on it, but it’s definitely an investment. I then bought an iPod finally after having resisted for soooooo long. I just got tired of how iPod-centric all the electronics are nowadays – everything’s a stereo plus an iPod-dock – but you can never plug in directly any other type of MP3 player. Plus, you really can’t beat how the iPod interface is – it’s such a clean and efficient way to navigate through your music. My Rio Carbon was such a bitch to use because it took forever to get to your music, especially if you had a lot of it. But my new 80GB black iPod is so awesome and I don’t regret finally upgrading. Now I can get all those cool iPod toys too. I also went and bought some new winter clothes up in Denver and down here in the Springs, including a very sweet long black overcoat. Men’s Wearhouse wanted to sell me a cashmere one for $500 (on sale from $800), and while I’d love to have bought it, that was just a bit much for me at the time. So I went to Burlington Coat Factory and bought a wool/cashmere blend for $180 that is still quite comfortable and looks pretty damn good on me. It’s great for being a bit more dressy and especially while wearing a suit. In fact, I ended up wearing it when going with my friends to see Mamma Mia this past Sunday at the Pikes Peak Performing Arts Center. I never get tired of that musical apparently. It really is good, and I was impressed at how good the cast was in this touring company version of it. Everybody else I went with liked it too, which is not a surprise. Afterwards, some folks went home, but Jeremy and Melissa and I stayed out and went drinking at Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub just a few steps away. It was a ‘school night’, but I just didn’t care and realized I’d pay the price the next day – so 5 beers later, I was feeling pretty damn good. And amazingly, this Monday I didn’t feel as horrendous as expected. Tired, yes, but not nearly as hungover as I should have been. Yay!

And in one last bit of reporting, I have been working with Bradley-Morris, Inc. What’s Bradley-Morris, Inc. you ask? Well, it’s a company that specializes in placing separating or retiring military officers into corporate America. That’s me! They had a 2-hour seminar last week about just how they work, what you can expect, and to answer any questions people had concerning them. My ‘agent’, Justin, and I have talked a few times since then, and basically I’m stoked about how things are progressing. In June and July, I’ll be headed to some hiring conferences, one in Chicago and one in San Diego. At these conferences, the interviews are already scheduled and planned out, so it’s not as you might be thinking, like a giant convention or something. They have hiring conferences all around the country, but with what I’m interested in doing, Justin seemed to think Chicago and San Diego will be the best bets for successful matches at that time. These are regional conferences, so basically going to Chicago and San Diego means I’m hoping for jobs in those general regions. San Diego would of course be awesome, as it covers all of California and the southwest. Chicago is definitely a region I wasn’t certain about, but thinking about it, I would definitely be up for giving Chicago a try. The unfortunate news I learned though is that Colorado Springs/Denver and San Antonio/Austin are both primarily military/defense-driven economies, and frankly, I don’t want to work in those industries anymore. I’m not shutting myself out of those completely just yet, as if the right opportunity comes up, I will consider it, especially if I can stay here. But that will remain to be seen. So who knows, I may find myself either back in California or perhaps learning a new lifestyle, Chicago-style. That’s a whole lotta speculation in this paragraph, admittedly. In the meantime, I am confronted with the foundation-level tasks of creating a resume, compiling references, creating a ‘Hobie Barnes is wonderful’ book with all my OPRs, decorations, etc in it, and just getting myself competitive to be hired. Which leads to a question to all you out there: if you have some jobs opening up where you work, no matter the industry, hook a Hobie up and let me know!

Oh yeah, on a 24 Note – how freaking good has this season been so far? Jack kills Curtis! A suitcase nuke takes out Valencia (what happened to Six Flags Magic Mountain?)! The ultimate bad-guy overseer from last season was Jack’s Brother! Jack is REALLY pissed at his brother! Wayne Palmer sucks as a president!

Reflections on my 2006 (T-243)

I guess I can call this Hobie’s “Best-of and Worst-of 2006 List”.

That would definitely imply I remember a whole lot of what happened in 2006. I do remember a lot of stuff, especially recent things, but I will try my best to get a good representative sampling of what happened throughout the year – that’s why I have this damn journal in the first place. But before I get into it, I want to wish everyone out there in the world a great Happy New Year and all the best for a stellar 2007. Like I said, I’ve already my New Year’s Resolution: No Regrets, No Fear. I am basically upheaving my life in the latter-half of 2007, and if I’m not ready for lots of changes and lots of stress, I’m going to be fighting a losing battle. But I am totally ready for it, and I hope you all are too. Because you all will have a part to play too, but that will be for later. It’s not even 2007 and I’m planning out your year for you. What a jerk!

So you may be asking yourself, why exactly is he typing this crap up? Why isn’t he out having a life? Well, my inquisitive (nosy) friends, it’s because all my friends who I would hang out with are out of the state or out of the city, and can’t get back in because the roads are pretty much ridiculous inter-state still. So I sit here at home, drinking beer and updating my website. I did cook…wait a second, you guys don’t even know about my new habit of trying to actually cook for myself, do you? Well, I’m pretty much as anti-cooking as you can get, but I’ve realized I’m tired of having to go get food everytime I want it. It’s expensive and sometimes I really don’t want to leave the house. So I got my act together and got some cookbooks at Barnes & Noble. I got some books from Sandra Lee, who has the ‘Semi-Homemade’ style and who is on the Food Network. Her show and books are pretty cool because she uses 70% store-bought products and 30% from-scratch ingredients, and when all is said and done, in 20 minutes, you’ve got some pretty damn good food. And I like to not reinvent the wheel, so if I can just combine some premade stuff already, fine by me. I tried my first recipe this past week, called Kahlua Jerk Chicken. It was awesome. I officially feel domestic. And then I made my Italian Dressing chicken with Roasted Chicken rice and Caesar salad tonight. Yum. I love chicken, by the way. It tastes so damn good and depending on what sauce or marinade you put on it, it can take on a whole new taste. Yum.

So, enough of that tangent. 2007 is tomorrow! And I’ve got a list to get to… So with no further ado:

  • Starting off 2006 with Byron, Robbie and Co. in San Antonio. Being with great friends is always a great way to start a year. I figure that somehow jinxed 2006, so maybe starting out 2007 alone means it’ll be a stellar year???
  • Loving my new home. Redesigning and painting it to my completely awesome style and taste… well, I like it, so that’s all that matters. Entertaining family and friends in it. Barbequing for the first time on my own grill. Having a fire pit. Designing a pretty kickass home theater room. Having ideas for a lot more changes to the house in 2007. Just having my own house rocks.
  • Being a Flight Commander at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. For better and for worse, it’s been one hell of a learning experience. I’ve really learned a lot from having to deal with a crazy mixture of civilians, military, and contractors. I’ve not always made the right decision or move, and when I made the wrong one, I learned my lesson and typically learned to not make the same mistake again. I know I have sometimes made the mistake again, but that’s just being human. To counter the bad stuff though are the few glimmers of success and happiness that I think I’ve been the cause of. My flight constantly has most of the award winners in it, we have pretty damn good morale in the flight considering all the crap we deal with, and all-in-all, we get the job done well. I think I’ve earned a good reputation in the squadron and the group, certain people notwithstanding. This job has also helped me to realize that the military is no longer for me. I know I can do a good job here, but I frankly am tired of the idiosyncracies and retardations found within it. Everybody tells me the civilian world is the same – I recognize that. But I’m fine with it. I just can’t imagine being at that job for another 3 years. I’d lose all my hair by then. And I don’t have all that much left to lose. 🙂 That moment when I dropped my separation paperwork was a strangely surreal one. I’d thought about separating from the Air Force for nearly 3 years by that point, but actually doing it, getting accepted, and getting PAID to separate is pretty damn awesome. I’ve got to get myself ready for it though at the start of 2007. I plan on taking off the uniform, putting on a super sharp suit, and heading to my next job in a week or two after the Air Force. Cross your fingers.
  • My car. Catherine has proved to be quite a Colorado champ, even if she had some adjustment pains when we first got here (no antifreeze, breaking down for a week or so). But she loves the snow, and even when she got stuck in snow last week, she’s fully ready to be pulled out of it. Go VW!
  • Falling in love with Skiing. I knew that I had enjoyed it when I had gone those sporadic times in the past, but actually going to Breckenridge and Keystone and Copper Mtn (in 2006) sealed the case shut. I was hooked. So I went and bought my own set of skis and accessories, including a ski rack for Catherine. I got the Colorado Pass so I’m totally ready for a full 2007 season.
  • VEGAS!!!! I’ve realized that I have inherited my mother’s addiction to gambling. But I embrace it. I went quite a few times this year, and while I never walked away with more money than I came with, I could give a rats ass. It was always fun, and that was really the important thing. My birthday party there and July 4th were two especially fun trips out there, as I got to party with friends and I got to ride in a freakin’ HELICOPTER!
  • Dealing Craps. Dave Fox and I had always talked about how fun it would be to deal craps, and he even said he’d be willing to go to the casino schools so he could actually get a job there in Vegas doing it. I knew I was leaving, so that was never an option for me. But when I rented a craps table in June to prepare my friends for playing craps (although I think I was the main enjoyer of the table – they did learn how to play though!!!) and ended up chatting up the owner of the company, Deuces Wild, and I got offered a job to deal craps, I couldn’t say no. I think I was hired under false pretenses (she mistakenly thought from our conversation that I had been a professional dealer in Vegas…), but I proved more than capable of doing the job. I even made a few hundred bucks doing it. Sweet. I don’t know how much I’ll get to deal in the beginning of 2007, as there really aren’t that many events and she has tons of dealers now. But next holiday season, I hope to get called back!
  • A Frequently Changing Website. At least the look of the front page. I know I don’t update nearly as much as I should sometimes, but I get in those moods. You know. But I was getting tired of my over 3-year-old look that I had developed while in the Azores. So first I shut the page down completely in a fit of ennui, but sitting there stewing in it, I decided I just needed a change. So I went to my trusty blank piece of white paper and sketched out what I thought would work. I transferred it to Dreamweaver, and many hours later, we had the first change with a closeup of my demonic mug staring at you in 4 colors, but 4 colors that changed and such with creative mouseovers. Yes, I am that cool. Many pictures and controversial collages ensued (I STILL get grief for not including some peoples’ pictures on that damn collage, hence why I totally changed that again) and we’re at the current static pic look very reminiscent of the old blue Azores design. Again, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • New Social Scene in the Springs. As my February journal entry can attest to, I took a while to find some friends out here. And it got to me pretty damn quick. This job is stressful, and not having an outlet is definitely not healthy. I started hanging out with folks by the end of February, and in March I solidified the core group I would still be hanging out with to this day, that being Susan, Jeff and KD (along with various others, of course). We had some hellaciously good times, starting from that first hang-out at the Olive Garden, continuing to a raucous good time at RumBay on St Patrick’s Day, and then of course the many parties at each others’ homes, out at the clubs, Las Vegas, movies, skit trips, Denver, etc. So while it may have started out a bit slow for me, my friend circle definitely improved. And while I’m bitching about the holidays right now, I did that to myself, sortof. Anyways, I’m happy to have found this great group of friends. There’s been plenty of drama (PLENTY) to go along with the good times, but the good times far outweigh the bad.
  • Good TV!!! 24 ruled, Survivor was fun, and a whole slew of new shows came out and I fell in love with Ugly Betty.
  • Static Electricity – the Fight still goes on. Yes, a key helps to diffuse the pain, but dammit, why must I use it at all? I do hate it though when I’m changing my bedsheets – there is a freakin’ insane amount of static electricity generated when you do that. I shudder to even use the key. I’ve forgotten to use the key and I literally feel like I’ve been attacked with a taser.
  • Reunions with Friends. I love when I get the chance to see out-of-state friends again. Boris’ wedding in Denver, New Year’s in San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles. Good times, and reminds me why I liked them in the first place! 😉
  • Reunions with Family. What is even better though is when family comes to see you! And now that I actually have room to put up guests, the visits actually occurred! Starting with Mom, Harv, and Helen in May, then Dad and Pat twice in the summer, it was awesome to see them all again. But why is no one coming to visit during the winter? It’s just a little cold…
  • Turning 30!!!!!! Egads. I still think I have trouble dealing with this whole new age thing, but honestly, I’ve been able to lie to myself enough now where I actually believe it is all about how you feel rather than what your number tells you you should feel. And I feel damn good. I ushered in this ’30’ nonsense pretty good though – the Colorado Springs-based events were awesome and Vegas followed it up with plenty of stellar goodness. I turned 30 exactly the way I wanted to.

Okay, I think I’m done with the reminiscing. It was definitely an interesting and LONG year, no matter how many people say it flew by. I am under the distinct impression it was one of the longest years I’ve ever had. Not that I’m wanting life to fly by, but damn. I guess I’m happy that it seemed to go on a long time. I think there was a lot of fun, a lot of drama, a lot of crap, but all in all, it was a year not to forget. Like I said, 2007 promises to be even more intriguing.

Happy New Year’s!!!!!! See you in 2007. Stay safe, and remember, No Fear, No Regrets!