sbeaulieu

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Posts posted by sbeaulieu

  1. Being in, I see the impact on the families when soldiers deploy firsthand. There's that gnawing feeling of doubt if they're coming back. It doesn't show on their faces, but inside, you know it's doing the work. And some of my wife's family have gone over there several times. Now we take the families of the 4500 that didn't come back to walk down the plane's steps. Rather, their caskets were lowered off the cargo ramps, draped in the US flag. To think that all of that loss was for nothing sears a vague hatred for those that don't appreciate what we've done for them. I say vague, because those within Iraq have probably lost a lot more. But that loss was due, in part, to their inaction to make change occur. Their loss is real, however. I don't hold that against them.

    As for the Syrians, my comment was more directed at the establishments that are trying to bring them in line. Talk is just that... talk. If nothing solid is done, what will bring about change? If a body of countries, Arab League or UN, to which Syria belongs, will do nothing, then they should say nothing. In Constitutional form, these entities should be protecting civilians from their own government when they do not have the power to do so. Talk is useless so long as the violence continues.

    ~ Shane

  2. If they resort to sticking to their old ways, then we should wipe our hands clean of the mess. Talk about frustration beyond words.

    And then there's Syria. They slaughtered an entire village, and yet the international community and the Arab League throw harsh language. As if that will shield those within the borders. When life is at stake, you don't coo a dictator and his cronies. You go in, and shut them down. If they are chartered with the UN, then the UN should be doing something substantial. But, then it's the UN.

    ~ Shane

  3. Having never served in the military, Kim Jong Un was promoted to the rank of General. This kid's gonna sew his oats with that arsenal. That's my gut feeling. Show of force displays, most likely. It'll be interesting what the history books say about him down the road a piece. Having served 2 years in South Korea, it's certainly a sobering feeling knowing that the peninsula's state of sanity is at the beck and call of one man. I only hope Un is a bit more "modern" than his father, and his father before him...

    ~ Shane

  4. All LTs I've met were very cool, very personable. Of course, as a SNCO, the respect afforded to you by the brass is considerably better than as an Airman or Jr NCO. Comes with time. However, I've had dicey dealings with Captains in my day. 50/50. The good ones were great. The other ones were good, but were quick to say yes to their highers before consulting the NCOs (the experts) on particulars. This became an asspain the pull off tech miracles prior to testing something out. I'll explain.

    Two occasions. First was this Captain. Great guy, looked out for you, but was a compulsive "yes" man. Someone would ask if there was something we could do. He'd say yes, come back, and we'd have to make it happen. I knew he had great confidence in us, and was trying to showcase it. He knew we could get the job done. I didn't dislike him for his methodology, just he never came to ask us first (at least not that I ever knew). But that kind of decision-making without all the facts could be costly in a war-time situation. Far end of the spectrum, but still on the spectrum.

    After he left, we got another Captain, who I later learned taught at the same squadron I would be assigned to about a year later. During his tenure, I thought him charismatic, hard-working, and generally a cool guy. Well, that changed during my last TDY to the PI. During our one day off, he was trying to get a microwave link set up between our base and where we were housed. Now, with this particular microwave unit, the distance limitation was pretty short (1.5 km). From my recollection, the drive to either place was a bit longer than that. However, not knowing the straight-line distance, I had some hopes of pulling this off. So we set up the equipment at both ends, and we finish off at the housing location by putting the dish on a rickety 40-ft tower. Me and a buddy are waiting for the good Capt to go back to base and see if this thing works. An hour passes and we get a phone call. The Capt asks me to turn the dish to the right a little. At this point, a BS meter starts wailing in the distance. I climb this tower (I hadn't installed the dish) and decide to get a dish-eye view. Low and behold... mountains and trees! I told the good Capt this isn't going to work, as you're blazing the signal straight into Mother Earth's creations. Our one day off wasted. He kept on about if there's a 1% chance of something working, he'll make it work. I told him, not this. Not a 100% chance in 1%. Moral of the story, check your premises. And trust your people.

    As a side note, all Generals I've met were cool as shit. A man's man.

    ~ Shane

  5. Looks like he posted bail. His wife cut a $50K check, too. I wonder when all the dust settles if she's gonna face the fire, too, since this happened at their abode. I haven't really heard anything on that side of the fence. Time will tell.

    ~ Shane

  6. Mike,

    I appreciate the kind words :) Korean winters are brutal. I managed two of those. My conditions obviously weren't as menacing as they were for your father, but I came close my first tour to getting frostbite due to deuce-and-a-half with no heater on a five-hour convoy! The Air Force has been very good to me. My father served 20 years also, retiring at my current rank. His last 8 years were for SAC.

    On a good note, I got my wife to read the first chapter of Dave Ramsey's book, Total Money Makeover...progress!

    ~ Shane

  7. I hear ya! I'm not quite ready to make the push for the big D. We share some similarities, but I control the money at this point. I do have a tendancy to be too lenient when she goes astray. But I'm hoping she'll buy into it once she sees the positive outcome. If not, then it's just another good attempt on my part to fix our money situation that turns out to be one-sided. I've already given her a nice ultimatum that when my 20 years of service are up, her 20 starts...haha! She is going to school and she does contribute. Just got to get a handle on the spending. Our bills/expenses for the most part only eat up half of my income, so it's very manageable. It's the changing how we spend. But more importantly, again, is getting her to see down the road for when it's just her and I in the house after the kids are grown up.

    ~ Shane

  8. Mikee,

    I agree to a point on your assertion that rules for spending should be the overall objective. However, I stated that my wife and I don't see eye to eye on spending, which causes a little bit of strife at times. It's a team effort in a marriage to manage money well, and for us, a budgeting system is needed. I'm just trying to get her to see down the road a bit vs. paycheck to paycheck.

    Michael,

    Thank you. I did notice, very much so, that Dave Ramsey had a religious tone to his work. Grit my teeth, I will. But if a system works, it works. That's what I'm looking for. But, that religious tone might be the buy-in for my significant other :) I'll check out some of his videos.

    ~ Shane

  9. A touchy subject with me around the house is money. I used to love spending it, but now I hate spending it because it's mostly on bills and it all seems to evaporate very quickly. Being married, my ideas on money along with my lovely wife's don't tend to line up. Long story short, I've been talking to a co-worker of mine who used to be in the same boat but farther down the money rabbit hole than I was. Now, she's out of debt, owns her house, etc. She used the Dave Ramsey budgeting system of no nonsense approaches to get where she is.

    Anyone use anything like this?

    ~ Shane

  10. Adam,

    I read something about Professor Roughsedge resigning. He brings up some very good points about association among other things. That's a gutsy move on his part. I wonder if Suffolk will do anything with regard to Professor Avery with the fallout. I'm curious to see what will transpire in the coming days as a result. Will students bail? Will other faculty members? I'll be keeping a watchful eye out.

    Thanks for posting the letter to the dean.

    ~ Shane

  11. Adam,

    Don't get me wrong, I think the positive aspects of getting everything right and the success would be exhilirating. But the dark side of politics is what I don't care for. I can't see myself doing the mud-slinging, unless the other team was pushing out lies. But I've seen some campaign ads that made me cringe because they were attacks when they could have used that money to push those positive aspects of their campaign vs throwing the competition under the bus just for the sake of throwing them under the bus. Of course, I'm sure it's not always like that. In your experience, what would you say the percentage of focus is towards your team's agenda as opposed to other guys in campaigning/ads?

    ~ Shane

  12. ONTGH is definitely a tour de force. I had read it a few years back, and had intended to try a little essaying on each of the chapters. Unfortunately, my intent has not materialized. But I really loved his approach at the book, and the contemporary setting. However, I've seen quite a few books, now that you mention thrillers, where characters are well off (Dean Koontz). This puts them on a platform to call forth reserves to get things done, whether by design or circumstance. In contrast, I liked Fountainhead for the opposite, since Roark was not well off and still got things done regardless of adversity. To me, this showcased Roark's will to persevere and stick to his principles. This doesn't take away from ONTGH, as Nicholas was using lots of historical examples to inform, and using plot points in the book as demonstrative applications of his philosophy.

    Your effective opening paragraph does hit on that Rand hero type. I don't buy into the aloof, supremacy, unconquerable character types myself (I only see Roark as being the unconquerable, not the other two I mentioned). But I can see where that could be surmised in some writings. And it's that type of first impression that can turn people off.

    ~ Shane

    You will have noted that ND does not depict his heroes like that. They are warm and sociable.

    Correct. I don't think my previous entry alluded to that. If it did, that was unintentional. I remember making a comment to the effect of having a feeling that I was in the room during Jacque and Nikolai's conversations. For me, books don't do that unless I draw a parallel with the characters... in a sense, feel comfortable in their company. The warm and social aspects are very evident in all the main characters.

    ~ Shane

  13. I compared it to Pork Chop Hill, Korean War, in a conversation last night.

    What do you see the taking of as no value with regard to the Occupy movement? From the leadership or followership angle?

    ~ Shane

    Shane:

    The leadership gains by increa sing frustration in it's followers and by weakening the system by draining it's resources, [Piven model]. Any insurgency operates on this premise, e.g., Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc.

    The followership gets subconscious reinrorcement of the futility of the actions to date and the recommitment to the cause!

    Not sure I got what you asked correctly understood by me though.

    Adam

    I think I follow. Your definition speaks to the leaders getting the followers on board by impressing upon them the impasse of today's govt' (i.e., no progress), gets them all gathered en masse, thereby dwindling the oppositions resources as they try to reign them in. And the confrontations serve to reinforce that mindset?

    ~ Shane