Another Year Gone (2009 in Review)

NOTE - I started writing this, and then put it away. Well, I'm posting it after the fact. Oh well, better late then never, it has been past dated from 1/14/2009

Holidays are here, and you know what that means?

If I'm not posting about anything else (which, well, let's face it, right now I'm not posting about anything else) I post all about my year. I have never NOT posted my quisessential new year's post, so this year it really is no different. And so, here are a bunch of questions where I answer them.

01. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Saw a Broadway Play. Actually, saw Two. Wicked was most awesome! Also went to a Renn Faire, that was cool too.

02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Of course, what would I do with my new year if I didn't make resolutions? As for keeping last years? Um, we'll see with the next post, which will go up January 1st.

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Sister gave birth. Also a good friend.

04. Did anyone close to you die?
I will feel like an idiot if I miss one but no.

05. What countries did you visit?
Canada. I hopped the border into Niagara Falls, which by the way, is the name of the city, NOT the water falls contrary to popular belief. I also saw a buttload of new states including all of New England. I am only missing nine states from my to visit list now.

06. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Um, a full cycle? Ok, I actually have to be on the trail for that to happen, and that may or may not happen in 2010 so I can't count on it. Let me see. . . you know, how about MORE of a Social Life? But I really can't complain, I enjoyed this year for all it's quirks and downfalls, and lack of a social life is my own doing. It really hasn't been a bad year.

07. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Doh, can't think of any. . . I guess no particular date is etched in my memory. October 31st was cool, I've never been to a water park on Halloween. It's usually quite cold on halloween. I was in Florida.

08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Going on a thirty day road trip and putting 5000 miles on my truck seeing the country. And actually given the chance to do my job, wow, imagine that? I did alright, but I'm still a rookie.

09. What was your biggest failure?
An incident came up in Ft Lewis this summer. Let's say i don't see the point in talking about it. It wasn't to great, but it involved a Cadet. And no, before you ask, Sex was not involved. I learned from the mistake and moved on.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I stayed relatively healthy and sane this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Truck. I Heart My Truck

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I stare at this question and try to contemplate what it could possibly mean. I just realized that either a Canadian or a Brit wrote this survey initially.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The plethera of privates I have to work with that just don't seem to *get* it. And Barack Obama. This guy is getting less and less hopey changey by the minute.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Where does money always go? I'm not really sure. I'll say my trip across country, my truck, and Bills. Or an invisible hole that I can't see.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Cross country Road Trip!

16. What songs will always remind you of 2008?
Anything by Lady Gaga

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
I'm doing pretty dang good right now.

ii. Thinner or fatter?
About the same. That's a good thing. Actually, I think I gained weight during the holidays. DOh!

iii. Richer or poorer?
I'm doing alright right now. Can somebody remind me there is a recession going on so when I come off mob without a job I don't spend all my money?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Worked out more, and got out of the house.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Write. This is such an addictive time waster that is both creative and useless in that I don't let anybody read what I write.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I opened presents at the parents, went to a friend's house and had christmas there, and then came back and had christmas dinner. The next day, we celebrated christmas with the whole Fam Damily. And we played Rockband

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?

23. How many one night stands?

24. What were your favourite TV programs?
Didn't watch any TV shows this year. Didn't have time too. But I did discover Arrested Development, which is an awesome show, but has a few plot holes. I've got Veronica Mars on my 'to watch list'.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I can't think of anybody that I can honestly hate right now. Some privates that annoyed me. But I didn't know them last year, and even people in the past that I got quite peterbed at I don't really feel I hate.

26. What was the best book you read?
I really liked 1984. Actually, I found Sarah Palin's book a pretty interesting read too, and Glenn Beck. I don't really read fiction that much anymore, I'm more interested in writing then reading.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
There was a few. Being on the road, I got quite experimental with music. For some reason, I'll admit to liking Lady Gaga. This chick is both bizarre and utterly fascinating. Am I weird for liking her? Usually i don't like this kind of gimmicky crap but I really like her. I don't get myself sometime

28. What did you want and get?
Trail Time. And Disney World Tickets.

29. What did you want and not get?
A Full Cycle. Day one to graduation. At this rate, it is never going to happen.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
You know, I really liked Avatar (though predictable). I also really liked District 9. I didn't really watch many and right now can't think of too many. I always do a movie post so I'll get to that in a bit.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I sat in my house and 'chilled'. I had the day off, I believe it was a Saturday or a Sunday. That tells you how well it stuck with me because I don't really recall what I did. Hmm. I turned 29. That's just crazy.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Hmm, a full cycle? Seeing a trend? there's always a trend with me.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
The same basic fashion concept I've had for the last 28 years. Dress for comfort, tshirt and jeans. When working, Army Uniform, which has been my fashion concept for several years now. Next year, I think I might be adding extensions to the mix.

34. What kept you sane?
Chilling in the house. Writing. Though that might be making me insane.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm not really into the whole fancying of Celebrities / Public Figures thing. My nieces are all going "Ooh, Justin Beiber!" I think his hair looks retarded.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Tea Party Protests. I went to two, one in cincinatti (great time) and one in Louisville (er, kinda cheesy). Mostly for the fiscal conservative issues which were really frustrating me. I hope it maintains its momentum without losing its original purpose and getting hijacked by people not true to its cause.

37. Who did you miss?
Me Familia, it's been nice being home these last couple of weeks. Be home for good in about a month.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I'll have to say Malichi was a pretty cool guy I met. Met a ton of new people through my unit. I tend to lose track of them though.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Life's a journey. Enjoy the ride.
ALT - It's not the destination, it's the journey.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
You know, I'll come up with one later and think, 'dude, I should have posted THAT!' But alas, I'm horrible at these kinds of things on the spur of the moment.


Lighten the Mood

Email making the rounds right now, potential to go viral if it hasn't already, I don't forward emails but thought I would blog it if you haven't seen it yet. This is brilliant, unfortunately the outcome is to be expected.

"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

Scott Smith

Classic. . .


On Afghanistan

I'm not an expert on Afghanistan, I have never been there and I don't know what it's like from a personal point of view (though I nearly deployed there in 2001, a week later my orders were revoked, figures). I know things aren't going to well, Afghanistan has been notorious for being a nearly impossible theater to fight in ever since the Soviets waged war during the 80's.

Being in the military, I want to fight to win. If we engage in military actions, we don't go to war until the war becomes unpopular and then bail, we go in with every intention of winning.

However, with the issues going on in Afghanistan as of recently, things getting heated there, and with a Commander in Chief that seems to be steered by the anti-war wing of his base, my thoughts were this. Obama needs to make up his mind and do one of two things. Give GEN McChrystal the troops he requests with full backing that we are going to commit to this war until it is over, or get our people out of there. It was frustrating to me that President Obama seemed to take his time mulling over this decision for so long, and seemed to have his priorities elsewhere, like passing a health care plan that should probably wait for a better economy.

I feel right now the President should be focused on two things. Fixing our economy and making a decision on what to do with our troops overseas. Those should be the most paramount things in his administration, not Cap and Trade (which will kill our economy), not Health Care Reform (people are resisting, and it's more of Health Insurance Reform anyway, plus, it will kill the economy). The Economy (and by extention, that 'three letter word' JOBS) and the war on terror (ie - overseas contigency operation)

By 'dithering', in what he explained to troops was he wanted to make sure he was seeking out the best possible option to make sure he wasn't putting troops in harms way, meanwhile a delay in a decision was putting our troops in harms way, he wasted precious time focusing on other issues and apparently seeking the Olympics for Chicago and bowing to world leaders on a taxpayer funded world tour.

And so, Obama has made his decision and is sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Good for him, it's about time. And as long as he commits us to win this war, and not playing 'well, we'll send the troops there and see how it goes' and maybe we'll get them out of there if it doesn't look to good, I will support President Obama's decision.

Mr President, the troops will be with you on this as long as you are behind us in providing full support. Now the next thing that needs to be looked at is reevaluating the Rules of Engagement currently in theater. If you are not willing to give us everything we got so we can win this thing, there is no point in sending more troops into Afghanistan. So please show us that you are actually committed and not playing politics with soldier's lives. War is never a PC event. It involves death, casualties and sometimes innocent people will suffer for it, but collateral damage is a part of war and always has been. War is a messy, dirty, ugly thing. Soldiers are willing to die for a cause they can believe in. Freedom and the destruction of the Taliban and Al queda are worthy goals in my mind. If it makes the world a little safe, sign me up.

So only time will tell with how committed our President is to Afghanistan. As of this moment, he has my full support on this issue. I just wish he had made it a little sooner then now.

NOTE - Check here for another great article at RWN about the right putting aside political differences and supporting the President on this matter.

EDIT - He set a timeline. *sighs*

Mr President, if you're going to set a timeline for withdrawal in Afghanistan as 18 months, 'taking into account conditions on the ground', why not get us out now? I hope that doesn't mean 'if things aren't going to well, we're getting out of there.' You never set a timeline in cases of war. Because whenever you make a plan, the first rule of war is the plan never goes as expected. that's why we have to either commit fully or withdraw now. The Cadets sensed your reluctance to commit. You can't have it both ways.

But that's just one staff sergeant's take on the whole issue, and who am I?

Coke vs Pepsi?

How about neither, I'm not a cola fan, never have, never will be.

Meanwhile, most of my family tend to be pepsi drinkers, unless they drink Diet. Then it's Diet Coke.

I go for root beer myself, Henry weinharts is the good stuff, A&W is also recommended. But lately, carbonated beverages and I don't mix. At least, not without food.