Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
TEN LIFE LESSONS THE ARMY HAS TAUGHT ME
TEN LIFE LESSONS THE ARMY HAS TAUGHT ME
1. Always have a notepad, pen, watch, knife, and flashlight on hand.
In life, as in the Army, there are always unforeseen events. An important note needs [to be] taken, you need the precise time, something needs fixed, or you just can't find your way. All these items are small, cheap, and lifesavers when you have them and deal breakers when you don't.
2. Have a copy of everything. If its important have two copies.
If it has your name on it, then you need a copy. If it affects your health, paycheck, or other element of well-being, then you need two copies. Records get lost, computers crash, and sometimes people just need to see a piece of 80 bond under their noses to get anything done.
3. Make friends wherever you go.
It doesn't matter if you are there for 20 minutes or 20 months, make friends. Inevitably, you will see them again. You will go to where they are. They will go to where you will be. And at the end of the day friends are the only ones covering the front of your position.
4. Make an SOP. Know the SOP. Work the SOP.
Civilian. Military. It doesn't matter. There should be a Standard Operating Procedure for daily life. Often we don't have fulfilling days or lives because "we just don't have time" and that is because we often don't have good processes. On the battlefield there is a place for everything and everything in its place. There is a rote routine (often personal) for everything from showering in the morning to they way we check our gear. We do this because often there are times when there is no time, but the task still needs done. Routine accomplishes this, and we accomplish more when we have a routine.
Sleep is one of the things in life we don't appreciate until we aren't getting it. Sleep recharges us, heals us, and lets us put a new perspective on the world. If it was bad when you went to sleep and its still bad when you wake up, well then I guess you weren't missing anything. If by chance its better when you wake up, then apparently the world doesn't rest upon your shoulders. So take a nap Atlas.
6. Don't go cheap.
On a personal note, I didn't grow up with money. I have learned to make due with what is available. There are times, however, that you can't afford to go cheap. Whether it be getting the brakes fixed on your HUMVEE or your Ford, get it done, get it done by a professional, and get the warranty. If you are buying shoes (yet again personal) don't get them because they are cheaper. Get them because they are comfortable and durable. If not it'll be more than your wallet that will hurt.
7. Find humor everywhere.
I have been in some pretty crappy places, some pretty crappy situations, and forced myself to find some humor, somewhere. It helps you cope. It takes that sting out of the painful, awkward, or otherwise difficult moments in life. And humor is one of those conversations you can have with yourself because you always get your own jokes. As a side note, as much as it may pain you, never ridicule someone for a dark sense of humor. We aren't them and they aren't us, but we are just trying to get by. I think Plato best puts this in perspective by saying, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."
8. Don't tolerate oppression.
I am again reminded of someone that is more intelligent than myself.
"First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."
Stand up for what you think is right. In the end if you were wrong, so be it.
9. Tell your Story.
Battles are not merely lost by the Soldiers on the field, the armament, or the weather. They are one and lost by the lessons learned of prior battles. We learn these lessons because someone told their story. As a young Soldier I was a sponge for knowledge; it was before the current age of mass communication. Older Soldiers told their stories in hopes that a single silver strand of wisdom would be gleamed and be passed on. It is part of what we contribute to society. When one can gleam wisdom from the lessons others have learned we have possible prevented the hardship by which the another person gained that knowledge. And by sharing our lessons we are helping someone else. That is one of our greatest contributions to humanity.
10. Never forget.
Never forget who you are. Never forget what you have done. Never forget where you are. Never forget what it is you want from this one life we have. Never forget the people that stood behind you in support, beside you in camaraderie, or in front of you in adversity. Never forget to write home. Never forget that someone is missing you. Never forget what you have learned. Never forget to share what you have learned. Never forget anything; lest you forget everything.
Tom Ricks's Inbox
Washington Post, Sunday, August 12, 2007; B03
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
‘Just advertising departments with legs and high heels.’ — Richard Avedon
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Women: know your limits
Hilarious clip from Harry Enfield and Chums:
Monday, August 27, 2007
"We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much."
— Ronald Reagan
"If the income tax is the price we have to pay to keep the government on its feet, alimony is the price we have to pay for sweeping a woman off hers."
— Groucho Marx
"That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise."
— Abraham Lincoln
"A corporation's primary goal is to make money. Government's primary role is to take a big chunk of that money and give it to others."
— Larry Ellison
"The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax."
— Albert Einstein
"The trick is to stop thinking of it as "your" money."
— IRS auditor
"We have rights, as individuals, to give as much of our own money as we please to charity, but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of public money."
— David Crockett, Member of Congress, 1827-31, 1832-1835
"The best things in life are free, but sooner or later the government will find a way to tax them."
"Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies."
— Woody Allen
Sunday, August 26, 2007
The Beatles - I Am The Walrus
Music video by The Beatles for "I Am The Walrus."
Saturday, August 25, 2007
W: "We could have won in Viet Nam"
Ben Sargent via Yahoo!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Golf Story with A Moral
Story with a Moral.... In 1923, Who Was:
1. President of the largest steel company?
2. President of the largest gas company?
3. President of the New York Stock Exchange?
4. Greatest wheat speculator?
5. President of the Bank of International Settlement?
6. Great Bear of Wall Street?
7. The PGA Champion and winner of The US Open?
These men were considered some of the worlds most successful of their days. Now, 80 years later, the history book asks us if we know what ultimately became of them.
1. The president of the largest steel company. Charles Schwab, died a
2. The president of the largest gas company, Edward Hopson, became insane.
3. The president of the NYSE, Richard Whitney, was released from prison to
die at home.
4. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cooger, died abroad, penniless.
5. The president of The Bank of International Settlement, shot himself.
6. The Great Bear of Wall Street, Cosabee Livermore, also committed suicide.
However: in that same year, 1923, The PGA Champion and the winner of the most important golf tournament, The US Open, was Gene Sarazen.
What became of him?
He played golf until he was 92, died in
1999 at the age of 95.
He was financially secure at the time of his death.
Screw work........ Play golf.