18 December 2012

Motivation

I was looking for another paper that I wrote for a class, and found this entry I wrote for another class's forum.  It was a mandatory and prerequisite class, that I hated.  I didn't want to complete assignments for this class but had to indeed find the motivation to keep doing it anyway!  I feel the same way about the class I'm in now at times:
  
Motivation is ultimately a personal driving force.  Yes, someone could pressure you to do something.  However, it means nothing until you actually start doing something.  If you really don't want to do something, you can drag your feet even though you have all this pressure.  That's why I say motivation is really more of a personal force.  
A thief can motivate someone by pointing a gun to get a wallet.  However the victim could still refuse at the possible expense of his life.  A boss can motivate by giving incentives to do well on a project- extra money, vacation time, or whatever.  But it is up to you to say, "Yes I want to do that."  That very same boss could tell you that you have to do something or you will lose your job.  If you feel like you aren't appreciated and don't like the lack of respect, you may not feel motivated to do better.   
When it is 6 am and I am in a PT formation, I don't feel motivated all the time.  However going through the motions, acting like we are enthused and want to be there, helps us to really get motivated.  False motivation can become real motivation.   
Planning goals that mean something to us and knowing that in order to accomplish those goals, one must do something, is a way to get motivated.  When we fervently want to get somewhere, we will try to accomplish those things that matter in the pursuit of those goals.

The class was easy but very boring and ridiculous.  Now I am in the middle of a final paper for a much more demanding class, and find myself still struggling with motivation.  There are always other things that interest me more.  I like to learn, but sometimes can't focus on what is needed right now.  I guess this will be my new years resolution, finding and using motivation, as well as focusing on stuff that is required before all the other things.  What are things that matter most to you?

16 December 2012

Flatpickin'

I was finger picking on the guitar making some music with open strings and mostly 2 note chords this morning.  I've had an affinity with the guitar for a long time.  I took my first lessons when I was 16 and wanted to learn some Country style playing.  My instructor picked up a Mel Bays guitar book on flatpicking Bluegrass style music.  I became good at cross picking fast and have incorporated that into other styles.  And then I started learning some Joe Satriani style legato and incorporated that.  I really became a fan of guitar Rock music and Funk.  Then I started learning some Jazz, Bossa Nova, and other styles.  I was fascinated with trying to come up with strange chords and moveable forms.  Only the past couple years have I really started playing without a pick and using my fingers.  There is so much that can be done and then I realize that I haven't concentrated enough on learning actual songs!  I was all about learning the music theory behind how things work together and making my own music and sound.  I realize I need to learn some songs with the wife who also plays guitar.  I could spend time on learning how to read notation quickly too, but most songs have chords above them anyway.  When I was fresh out of high school, I took singing/vocal lessons off and on for a year, because I wanted to be a vocalist.  I picked up playing the guitar because I thought all singers played guitar as well!  I ended up getting good at playing guitar and forsaking developing my vocals more.  But, I had my own business of teaching others how to play guitar, which was a lot of fun.  Now I want to play and sing with the wife; it's just a matter of finding the time to practice together.  Producing and marketing a song or even an entire album would be amazing! 

12 December 2012

Thankfulness

It has been a very long time since I done any blogging.  I married my beautiful wife this year and after being overseas for a while, I am in our apartment.   She is preparing a delicious meal downstairs.  And I am using the desk I acquired for $15 dollars a couple months ago.  I need to get caught up on some school work.  I am currently taking a class on international organizations.  How this will help me, if at all in the future, I don't know.  I know that I am missing a whole week of assignments, because I chose to focus on studying hardcore that week for the promotion board.  I performed really well in front of the Sergeant Major and First Sergeants, and got the promotable status.  Now I'm just waiting on the points I need to get published.  I was ahead for this month, but the requirement could go up.  I'm not in too much of a rush though.  I'm glad my work paid off.  My wife was a big help.  She quizzed me and listened to recordings I made over and over!  She and I both were glad that was all over!
So I have a lot to be thankful for.   Obviously being married to a lovely woman who truly makes me happy tops the list.  Getting myself in better physical shape is great too.  The army had a lot to do with it at first, but this year starting when I was in Korea, I started running and lifting to get in even better shape.  For being over 30 now compared to some of the young guys, a couple years removed from high school, I hold my own.   I have a couple running routes, but I haven't looked for bike trails yet.  I should get my wife a bike too.
I have a lot of goals, but I am not the best at using my time.  After work sometimes I just want to take a nap or watch a movie with the wife; I don't want to study or workout!  But this is an area I will continue to work on.  Back to being thankful- I'm glad I can spend time with my wife in person and not need to Skype date real late or early.  We have no debt, outside of some student loans that I am paying off.  We both have cars that are 5 years old and running well.  We found a great place to live near where I work and in a nice area.  We have been attending a non-denominational church that we both really like.  We are getting spiritually fed.  We have a nice little Christmas tree and lights up.  We decided to celebrate Christmas in a better way than the general American public.  We will give 1 or 2 meaningful gifts to each other and that's it.  We realize that Christmas roots are not in Christ but in the Festival of Lights and other mostly European traditions celebrating the Winter equinox.  I think it is fun though :-) I've always celebrated it to some extent, but my wife's family did not for the reasons I mentioned.  I refuse to tell my future children that Santa brings them gifts, but I will tell them about the Santa message of giving.  But more importantly, I will tell them about Christ's compassion and love.  We participated in filling a few shoe boxes full of good stuff to send to less fortunate kids this year.  I hope it brings someone joy.
I'd like to concentrate on learning more Argentine-style EspaƱol, because they use vos instead of tu, which sounds cool to me.  I thought about learning Brazilian Portuguese but it is so much more difficult.  Anyway, languages fascinate me but so do cultures and people.  This all loosely ties into the degree I'm working on- International Relations; I like the subject, but I also have an AA degree in Drafting and Design and have always liked engineering, science, and math.  So maybe I should find a school to concentrate on that, because there are no online schools that I know of that offers engineering, except Computer Engineering, maybe.  All I know is I got excited while I reading an article in Foreign Affairs magazine about 3-D printing and fabricating.  I don't know.  Just wanna make sure I am focusing on something that will be useful and make me happy.  I was asked if I plan on re-enlisting today and I don't know until I see and do more.  I know that I want to make a positive difference and be creative.  I wanna see some of my ideas transpire into something tangible.  D'ya feel me? 

06 March 2012

The dentist

After formation, I had to go to sick call to get my teeth looked at.  Yesterday I got an email saying I had to go ASAP.  After waiting 20 minutes for the bus and then riding for 40 minutes, I made it there and signed in.  I then waited another hour and a half before laying back in that dentist's chair.  The CPT that looked at my teeth saw that, on my old X-ray, I had a couple cavities.  One of them was under an old filling that had cracked (leakage).  He had me get another X-ray of that one, and the decay had spread dangerously close to my nerve.  I was worried and felt dumb for not coming in sooner.  He said I will probably need a root canal and I need to make an appointment.  Luckily someone cancelled their appointment during lunch.  So I took that spot and came back.  The dentist was glad I could take off work to get it done.  I was too.  I was lucky I got that email and that careful dentist, because he took his time and used the right tools to take out the old filling and remove the decay underneath.  I have a new composite filling now.  It hurts but I know it could've been much worse!  Thank God

I just got back after a long day at work going through files and doing admin work.  But I feel blessed and I know I won't have to come in over the weekend again.  I also hope my efforts pay off.  I'd like to put myself in a good position for promotion.  I am tired now and need to go to bed for another day.

01 February 2012

Korean Catfish?

Thursday is the special day at the DFac(dining facility).  They have more variety and supposedly better food, which also means it's crowded.  After waiting in line I was happy to see Southern Fried Catfish.  I got some of that with some greens and potatoes.  I ate a few soggy bites and it was ok at best.  It just made me miss home that much more.  I miss the legit catfish restaurants in places like southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.  A couple bites of this korean catfish tasted horrible and I spit it out into a napkin!
I also realized amongst the large crowd that I had few friends.  There were people in my company there, but no one I would consider a friend, just barely acquaintances.  Plus it doesn't help that I am still a lower enlisted, so I was taught not to associate too much with the NCOs and officers.  But most of the ones that are my rank or less are much younger and less mature.  I miss some of my real friends.
So I am going to the bowling alley in an hour for a company get-together.  I haven't been to any that they've had in the past because I was always too busy at work and/or I wasn't invited.  I want to go but I'm worried that I won't have anyone to converse with.  I dont feel like bowling either.  Well, I asked if I could have the time off to go so I am going regardless.  This atmosphere makes me a lil depressed.  I can't help it.     

Exercise

So I've been running a lot on the treadmill, except for the past few days.  I been doing about 5 miles each day.  I would run a straight 2 miles and time myself.  Then I would run 60-120's, which is sprinting 60 seconds, and then walking 120 seconds.  I would do this over and over and each time I would up my speed and/or the incline!  I love the feeling after the workout is complete!  While my muscles may be sore and I'm tired, I feel energized and full of life!
I also looked at the P90X routine and haven't started it yet, but I want to.  In 3 months I should be in really good shape- more defined abs, stronger, and even better at cardio.  

A bit of Nostalgia

It's amazing how much time one could waste in the few free hours available in a day.  Instead of doing some homework, I watched 2 hour long shows and took a nap.  So I can't say that recreation in itself is a waste.  I think it is good for the soul and body, but while procrastinating doing other work...Yeah, well it wasn't a waste I dont think.  Most of the shows I like to watch are educational.  The last show was one of 8 episodes, of Modern Marvels in a set, talking about Walt Disney- Technology.  Wow, this man was a cartoonist, screenwriter, engineer, and a business-man with vision.  Back when I was in the 4th grade I believe, the teacher of our class asked us who was the most influential person you looked up to.  I chose Disney even though he was no longer living.  I remember classmates chuckling.  LOL  I thought what he created was amazing from his theme parks to his cinematic cartoons.  He was able to get others excited about his vision and put teams together in order to help him construct Disney Land and then Disney World.  Prior to that,  at the 1964 World's Fair in NY, he introduced animatronics with Abraham Lincoln!  That's almost as cool as seeing electric lights for the first time (thanks to Tesla and Edison).  I still am a kid inside and want to make this world a better place.  I have a bit of an engineer streak as well.  I used to dream and build with paper and pencil or with legos or with strategy games involving planning a metropolis, planet, roller coaster, or theme park among other things.  I wish I had pictures of some of my lego creations from when I was younger.  I built a really elaborate spaceship which was enormous with 3 or 4 decks and moving parts.  I still have all my legos stored at my parent's house in a big tote along with the original lego monorail train where I built bases!
When I lived in Florida as a kid, we visited Kennedy Space Center.  Seeing all of the models of rockets and vehicles on display, then climbing into an actual space shuttle and other craft, had me dreaming of being an astronaut seeing the curvature of the Earth and feeling weightless.
Perhaps I will make a difference and accomplish great things, but that requires me to focus on one thing at a time- my job during the day, working out and studying at night.  So now I will commence my homework toward my degree in international relations.  I'm taking 2 classes online and one is very boring for me because they are teaching things that I already know.  Aww well I have to do it.  But sometimes I can't help to wonder what's next- in my personal life and professional.  I am getting married in less than 3 months and I hope we make a great life together!  It's still hard to believe that I have an amazing woman rooting for me that really loves me and will support me.  The Army is making it a bit difficult though with the planning of the wedding, and we are still unsure of the living arrangements after the wedding- if she will come here and I stay longer or if she won't be allowed to live here.  So many things are up in the air...

07 January 2012

Changes

There is nothing like seeing your heart rate go from 190 to 135!  I'm rather proud of myself for running over 3 miles on the treadmill at a constant speed of 7.6-7.8, which is under a 16 minute- 2 mile.  I wanna be ready for the next PT test and rock it!  Now I need to keep up my upper body and core as well....I remember before I joined the army I couldn't run 2 blocks, but I conditioned my body before I went to boot camp.  Then those drill sergeants really got me in shape!
It was september 2009 when I went on that journey to basic combat training!  Wow a lot has happened since that year.  I previously had a house and furniture and had to sell it or give it all away, which seems unfortunate, but I knew I had to in order to bring about the changes necessary and go on a new journey.  I had a crappy job with poor management and got fired that year.  I was living on unemployment insurance for several months and I was blessed to receive it.  I did look for work every week, but there really was no jobs!   I went to career fairs and at one a Navy Petty Officer convinced me to come in take the pre-ASVAB  to see how much I know and what jobs I could get.  So I did and scored high enough where he was pushing me to join to learn nuclear engineering!  I thought about it, but I didn't want to be stuck on a aircraft carrier or sub.  I was at the unemployment office where I had to sign in.  After getting up from the computer I noticed a guy in his 30's dressed in ACU's (Army Combat Uniform) putting up Army brochures.  I stopped and talked to him and the rest is history.  I was his first recruit and there was a lot of paperwork.  One of the things they do is check to see if their is anything on your criminal record.  The Sergeant that was looking into it said I had something on my record from Jefferson County and needed to go there.  I knew what it was I thought.  I had a traffic accident where I ended up wrecking the front of my truck because the guy in front decided to stop on a dime.  I got a ticket and I didn't pay it in time.  My recruiter took me there and the lady at the front looked at my ID and said "wait here."  A female cop came out with handcuffs and I was confused.  I just wanted to pay whatever I owed.  But they didn't take ATM or credit cards as payment- only cash.  They said I had to stay in the facility!  Wow, then the handcuffs were fastened to my hands and I was escorted to the jail.  They took everything in my pockets and my belt.  I was alone in jail.  I asked the lady to ask the recruiter if he could take my wallet with my pin number for my ATM card and withdraw cash for me.  She agreed and thank God I got out!  Then I had to go to court and was not allowed to drive until after it was cleared.  I had to call my friend Mims to drive me home that night and then came back went to court and got it cleared up.  That was rediculous!  That was the only time I've ever been in jail.  haha  So glad to not be living in that county now.  So yes, changes are necessary sometimes.  I had nothing going for me there and was depressed about it until I decided to move on with a new life in the military

05 January 2012

Cleaning my M16

I just got back from cleaning my weapon for bout 2 hours and chatting with my former XO and a SSG who had some Afghanistan deployment stories.  I don't have a lot of face-time with my company because of where I work, so I enjoyed the couple conversations.....Today after work was over and I was in my room, I sat down at my desk, looked at facebook a minute, while taking off my boots and green socks.  Then I remembered my phone is probably dead, so I put it on the charger. Then I laid on my bed and fell asleep for half an hour.  Then I was called to be at the motor pool in the morning.  Then, I was called in to clean my weapon right away.  (Evidently our commander had sprayed all the weapons with CLP which makes them dirty)  Well, I couldn't find my weapon card and looked through everything and still needed to make it the DFAC in time to eat.  Then a friend calls me saying to stay in my room a minute so he could stop by.  He came by to give me my power adapter back he borrowed for his guitar pedal, and his mom had sent a bunch of little gifts for him to hand out to his friends, so I got one with glitter-ful wrapping paper around it. Nice thought!  So I went down the 6th floors to the dining facility, ate and came back up the elevator to my room, continued to look for my card, found it, and then went back down the elevator outside in the 20 degree- ice covered everything, past the gym, across the parking lot and up the hill to the arms room.  And then saw my new squad leader who informed me of my counseling statement for the month.  He told me the sergeants I work with told him what to write about me.  One of the things they said was I need to show more respect and cut my hair.  I very rarely don't show respect.  In fact, I've been told many a time that I am very respectful.  However when people joke with me, I sometimes joke back.  Plus when I am told by one sergeant to do one thing, and then another to do something else I listen to the last order...Yeah.  Plus my hair is within regs.  It is not on the ears or on the collar.  It is left a little longer on top but very very short on the sides...I think someone is just being nit picky.  I suppose I could show up every day and just do my job and whenever an NCO talks to me, regardless I will snap to parade rest and always be serious.  And just mind my own business.  I am just a little irked.  I had a long day today, and I still need to do PT.  It is 2108 now.  I am tired.  I have homework from these online classes I need to finish along with pre- req courses I must finish soon for this Army course I will be taking at the end of the month.  What am I supposed to do right now?  I can't do it all.  Sometimes I really hate the Army.  It is hard to plan ahead.  Tomorrow is Friday and I have the weekend to get caught up on everything in my life.