Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Seriously, what are you gonna do to me?

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland, at nearly 700 miles above the Arctic Circle, is the type of assignment known in the Air Force as "remote." One afternoon the crew of a C-141 Starlifter impatiently awaited the arrival of a sewage-servicing truck, which had already delayed their takeoff by 20 minutes. At last the truck appeared, driven by a nonchalant airman who set about removing the plane's sewage in an unhurried fashion. The aircraft's commander, a full colonel, began furiously berating him for his lackadaisical attitude. Interrupting the commander in midspeech, the airman heaved a sigh and said, "So what are you going to do to me, Colonel? I've got no stripes, I'm stuck in Greenland and I'm pumping sewage from your plane. How could you possibly make it worse?" The colonel shrugged his shoulders, said, "I dunno," and got back on the plane.

--Contributed to "Humor In Uniform" by SSgt. John D. Liliedahl

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ran a treadmill 5K today...

So my first timed 5K. I ran it mostly at 6mph, with a total run time of 31:15. A lot of room for improvement, but since I've only started working out again (weight work, mostly) in early September, and only recently added in some longer cardio a couple of weeks ago, I'm happy enough with it as a starting point.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Does anyone use...

I 'discovered' Microsoft's OneNote today. I've had it on my computer since I upgraded to Office 2007, but never bothered to look at it.

Wow. I definitely want to use this thing! It seems overwhelming right now, since it appears to be so incredibly useful and versatile.

So does anyone use it? How did you get started?

Friday, November 16, 2007

My birthday present to myself

My 34th birthday was in August. I bought myself 18 personal training sessions at the gym on campus. I know myself - I hate to go to the gym. I need someone to be accountable to.

Fast forward to last Monday - my last session. She'd taken my body fat measurements (among other pre-training stuff) at the start, and again at the last session. I'd lost three percent body fat in two months. I'll take it! And since I didn't lose any weight, I took my measurements to see what was going on. An inch and a half in both my waist and hips. I'll definitely take that.

I'll be honest with you, I was ready to quit going. I didn't want to pay for more sessions. And I wanted my time back. But Amanda told me that she was recommending me for the gym's "spotlight of the month" because of my successes, and I just couldn't throw in the towel.

So, I changed my plan; I started working out in the mornings. Less awake time to talk myself out of it, and I rarely got a lot accomplished in my office before my first class anyway. It's a win-win. The first week, I went three days out of four (had other stuff to do on Friday, mainly get stuff ready for ERiC's wedding). This week, I slacked a little bit - two days out of five. Not terrible, but not the five out of five that I'm aiming for.

Of course next week is Thanksgiving, and my stepkids are flying in. Plus, the gym is closed Thursday and Friday and the little kids will be home on Wednesday, so I guess it's two out of five for next week as well.

My plan is to find some 10K or half-marathon races in the nearby area to train for. I know I could run a 10K now, as I ran just short of six miles this morning. The half-marathon, I'm not quite ready for yet. There are actually a few running clubs in town that I'd love to hook up with; just need to figure out the child care issue. I hate running outside in the cold, though. Not much I can do about that.

It's been the best birthday present ever. Making time in my day for ME.

slowly gettin' there...

I'm so proud of myself! I ran (ok, jogged) for an HOUR on the treadmill today!!

I'm not sure how long it was, since the POWER WENT OUT about halfway through and I hadn't been paying attention to the stats. In fact, I try NOT to pay attention because then it seems like time is dragging. I think I was at about 25 minutes when the power went out, so when it came back on a couple minutes later, I ran for another 40 or so in case it was closer to 20.

I went up and down from 5.2 mph to 7.2 mph depending on how I was feeling, the song playing on my iPod, and my breathing. Mostly around 5.6-5.8 though. Woo hoo!!

Honestly, I can't remember the last time I ran for an hour. Probably before I was pregnant with Justin...? Maybe even as far back as when I was at the language school in the army...? I graduated from there in 1997.

Now, I wasn't going fast. In fact, I wouldn't have passed my army PT test 2 mile run at the pace I was going. But for now, I want to go for time rather than distance and/or speed. Really, I just wanted to see if I COULD. And I can! And I did!!

When the power went out, all of us on treadmills almost slammed our faces into the control panel. Not cool. Didn't bother to find out why it went out. Don't care, just as long as it doesn't happen often.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Here's a fun story...

Twin born second is the older of the two

A North Carolina woman gave birth to twins: Peter emerged first, then came Allison. But it's Allison who is the older of the two.

Last update: November 08, 2007 – 12:46 PM

A North Carolina woman gave birth to twins: Peter emerged first, then came Allison. But it's Allison who is the older of the two.

How can that be?

"Yes, Peter was born first, it was at 1:32 a.m. [Sunday]," mother Laura Cirioli told WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C. And Allison was born 34 minutes later.

In between, however, came the end of Daylight Saving Time, sending the clocks back one hour.

Thus, Peter's 1:32 a.m. birth time lags behind Allison's 1:06 a.m.

"We just never even thought about it until after he was born, and then we realized it was going to happen. It was really kind of amazing," Cirioli told the TV station.

Congrats ERiC!

One of my great college (read: RPI) friends got married last night. Congrats to Eric for a beautiful ceremony, a fun party, and a lifetime with your gorgeous bride.

A few pep banders were there, John C., John S. and his wife Jeannette, and Dave N. It was a blast talking about fun times, although it really made me feel old realizing how long ago those fun times were! There was one picture of Eric from his band days up on the photo collage displayed - it was yellowing with age!! Yikes!

Very glad I went, wish there'd been some more APB folk there. It made me realize how little time I was able to spend with my RPI friends at my own wedding. I'd like to go back and do that part over again... So, those who are reading this who were there, sorry! I'm glad y'all had a great time hanging out together, though.

Anyway, congratulations to Eric and Sherri. I wish you a long, happy marriage together, just like both of your parents! (Eric's have been married for 45 years, Sherri's for 40. Awesome.)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wow, no change fees!

Darrell's older kids are coming for Thanksgiving!!

We sent their mom the itinerary - and ran into a problem. They had plans on the return day that the flight interfered with. Off to Southwest's website I went. We were able to change the flight for FREE. I didn't realize that was possible any more.

Love it. Thanks, Southwest Airlines.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007

Just so you know...

FO Blogs - The Worst Things You Can Say to a Woman Whose Husband is Deployed

I have a lot of friends with husbands who are deployed right now. For most of them this is at least their second or third deployment to go through as a couple. So the other day I was talking with a friend whose husband is currently deployed and we started talking about the most annoying things that usually well-meaning people say to us regarding deployments. We agreed that we are always polite in our responses and that we realize that the offending person usually had only the best of intentions. But here's what we came up with as the things we get asked or told that really make our skin crawl. They're not in any particular order. Feel free to add some of your own in the comments.

1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
(This one ranks in at number one on my "duh" list. Of course we're afraid. We're terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds ---but thanks, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they're scared of dying.)

2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
(Though this is really annoying, I feel bad about mentioning it because I know that it is intended to be a compliment. Still, it's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we'd get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked/told to take on a challenging job and we rose to the challenge.)

3. "At least he's not in Iraq."
(This is the number one most annoying comment for my friends whose husbands are in Afghanistan. As one friend put it, "What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? A huge game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there, too.")

4. "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?"
(Don't you watch the news? No. They don't get to come home for any of these things. Please don't ask again.)

5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
(Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there's a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don't get bored.)

6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
(This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because (gasp!) they love what they do.)

7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
(Sure, we do learn coping skills. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets easy and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.)

8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
(This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband's three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a one-year deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious trip length difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for comparing a combat deployment to a business trip.)

9. "Don't you miss him?"
(Like number one, this one gets a big "duh" from me. Of course we miss our husbands. If we didn't, we'd get divorced.)

10. "Where is that?"
(I don't expect non-military folks to be able to find Anbar Province on a map, but they should know by now that it's in Iraq. Likewise, know that Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Know that Muqtada al Sadr is the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City is his home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and that it is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country has been at war in Afghanistan for six and a half years and at war in Iraq for four years. These basic facts are not secrets, they're on the news every night and in the papers every day ---and on maps everywhere. You've had time to learn it. Do your part by at least knowing what is going on.)