Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - That was the year that was

Have you ever heard the advice “Never Volunteer?” I know there are plenty of good reasons not to. I have run into trouble consistently by volunteering and then getting my ego bruised after doing too much. I am going to start out 2009 by not volunteering.

This year has been tumultuous with the end of the Bush Administration and one of the biggest economic problems in a century. Global climate change and a society that needs gratification instantly will bring lots of new opportunities to figure out how to do things differently. It may be painful getting there, however. It seems to me the first step will be how to get along - with less. As unfortunate as it may be, lots of people are going to find themselves unemployed and looking for work.

I have been laid off from work more than 8 times in my work career and I must say it is never a good experience. It’s tragic and one of the most painful experiences of your life. I began my work life an optimist thinking if I did a good job I would succeed and be rewarded. Well, life doesn’t work that way. Common sense like poetic justice, are ideals that don’t come that close in the real world. Fifty years later, I confess I have become a pessimist when it comes to work and my fellow man in getting fair treatment. So yes, I started out an idealist like most youngsters. I tried my hand at several jobs; got my education, paid my dues and at the end of the road felt empty and resentful.

Not being a quitter, I continued to go at the work world from different perspectives. I started over in lower jobs and tried to work my way back up the ladder. Finally, I just volunteered, basically gave it away (my work product that is) until I finally realized it doesn’t matter and I won’t get the rewards I sought.

It has been disgusting so I will end this piece here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

8-1 Cav Spur Ride 2008

Kevin completed his spur ride and earned his spurs the last week of November 2008. He also got a promotion to 1st Lieutenant. The order of the spur is a long standing tradition in the Cavalry of the United States Army. It actually dates back to the middle ages when knights would earn their spurs. The Army carries on this tradition and Cavalry units wear black Stetson hats and either silver or gold spurs with their uniforms. The spur ride consists of a two-day process of long road marches and obstacle courses sandwiched between qualification with weapons and exercises simulating battle skirmishes and first aid. Kevin was photographed enduring this tradition in the Northwest Guardian.
To really appreciate what soldiers go through during a spur ride, however, it may be beneficial to see one in action. Here is a link to a YouTube video of one that took place in Korea a couple of years ago.

Needless to say, we are very proud of Kevin and his accomplishments and hope he continues to spread his good cheer to everyone he meets.