Friday, July 24, 2009

Farewell to Seoul

Finishing up my week in Seoul, Korea, just now. I'm at the airport, where I found free Internet (incredibly). My visit here this week brought back many fond memories of 1987 and 1988, when I was stationed here for a year. The digs were a little nicer this time, the Seoul Millennium Hilton - a first class hotel in my book - and much has changed, but it still was very nice to get back here for a visit.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rain, rain, go away

Or so say the good folk up here in New York State. I'm all for the rain, but I can understand the sentiment. It's so beautiful up here and so cool. I'm lovin' it!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stimulated, at last

The big fat ($250) VA stimulus check came through today. I was thinking it might be an urban legend, but I'm here to tell ya that it was indeed part of the stimulus package and my small piece of the pie. Thank you, Mr. President.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

34 and counting

Yes, sir. I entered active duty in the U.S. Army 34 years ago today: June 27, 1975. I’ll never forget that day. I had graduated high school the Saturday before (6/21), and the following Friday (6/27) I was on my way.

The recruiter came to our house quite early to pick me up. There were some tears saying goodbye to Mom, and then a slow ride down Ryder Road, past the farm, where Aunt Ann was sitting in the picture window waving to me. (I have noted many times that it was very unusual for Aunt Ann to be up that early in the morning, but she knew what an important day it was in my life, and she was “there” for me.) In my mind’s eye I can see Aunt Ann in that window to this day. Thinking about it makes me miss Aunt Ann ferociously and makes me a tad homesick, even this far removed.

And today marks 34 years of continuous service to our great nation, because I became a dedicated civil servant one week before I officially retired from active duty. That means next year at this time I’ll be talking about my 35-year anniversary, and there’s a lapel pin for that milestone!

But I guess it’s not about lapel pins or recognition … it’s about more basic things: reminiscing; remembering - the beginning (certainly a rite of passage), the anniversary, and oh-so-much in between - and looking forward to continuing the tradition for a while longer. The story is still being written and, Lord willing, I’ll continue to soldier on for at least a few more years.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Opa's Traits

My adorable, smart, and very perceptive (!) granddaughter (Rio) sent me this e-mail yesterday, telling about her Opa's traits.

  1. Your smart - like your Rio.
  2. You work hard.
  3. You are a great Grandpa/opa and will be forever.
  4. You are wonderful, awesome, SMART so SMART.
  5. You spoil me crazy even though i don't need it.
  6. You will forever be the greatest man on earth to me cause I love you.
  7. You are a dad, a grandpa, and some day you will be a great grandpa in about 9 years you will, then a great great grandpa in about 29 years.
  8. You will allways be a second father to me in my heart.
  9. You are a wonderful hard working man that i will always love.
  10. And last you are the most loving, carring, sweet, enjoyable man that i know will always be there for me whenever i need him. I love you and hope this has showen you how much you are to me and how important you are in my life with out you i would not be Smart, Cute, Smart, and The way I am.

Again, what insight and great perceptiveness ... for a ten-year-old!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A jogging we will go

I got out on the PT trail this evening - instead of watching Seinfeld! - and it felt good. I jogged for only about 20 minutes, but that was enough to build up a sweat and breathe heavy for a bit. Now, I just gotta keep it going.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Wonders of Facebook

I'll tell ya, I'm very excited to be part of the Facebook revolution. I joined up the other day and in just a few days I've connected with family, friends from high school, old Army buddies, former co-workers, you name it. What a great idea this is. If you haven't signed up yet, get right on over to and get on board. You can see my profile here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Sunday is the Army's 234th birthday. Today at the Pentagon there were "lots of doins" in the center courtyard to commemorate the event. They had a huge cake, guest speakers, all the big wigs were there (Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff of the Army, Sergeant Major of the Army, Deputy Secretary of Defense). I watched for a while. Pretty neat. I joined up 34 years ago this month, so we were celebrating the Army's 200th birthday when I entered active duty. Here's the program for today's Pentagon event:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Everybody in the pool!

This, from my favorite weekly news magazine, The Week, about what you'll swim with in the pool this summer:

Is the pool a cesspool?
Chances are you'll find yourself in a swimming pool this summer. A new study has some bad news: You might be doing the backstroke in a toilet. When asked about their behavior in swimming pools, 20 percent of people admit to peeing whenever nature calls. And researchers say urine is just one of many contaminants found in pools used by lots of people. Babies swim in diapers filled with urine and feces. Some people work out and, covered with sweat, dive in without showering first. Sick children paddle about, shedding viruses and bacteria with every stroke. Filthy pool habits, scientists say, add up to numerous outbreaks of summertime "recreational water illnesses" such as diarrhea, ear and skin infections, and respiratory illness. When swimmers fill pool water with their effluvia, epidemiologist Michele Hlavsa tells LiveScience, chlorination cannot guarantee that you won't get sick. "Unhygienic behavior brings germs into the pool and makes it harder for chlorine to do its job," she says.

Effluvia, what a great word!  Kinda gives a new meaning to the thought of a floater, doesn't it.