Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back to Camp Blanding Florida

Last summer I spent 5 fun-filled weeks at Camp Blanding Florida doing some predeployment training. Tomorrow morning, I'm going back again ... but this time just for 10 days; and as a facilitator instead of as a trainee. I'm thinking I'll enjoy this next week a bit better than last time.

Anyhow, I also remembered that I never posted any of the pictures that I took last time here on the blog. So, here's a few shots of some of the things that Air Force weather guys, getting trained by Army Infantry soldiers get to experience:

As you can probably guess, we shot a lot of weapons.
M-240

machine gun training

50 caliber

poser with a gun

We also had the chance to throw some hand grenades:
grenade throwing practice

grenade pit

exploding grenade

I probably should have posted this first, but we did also get a whole week or Combat Life Saver training. We were actually the last class that got to do IVs (they don't teach it any more):
bleeding IV needle


When we weren't shooting, or blowing things up or sticking each other with needles, we did a lot of hiking through the woods. Which means we got up close an personal with a few of these guys:
banana spider

I was in training last time, so I didn't really take many pictures. I'm considering taking my camera with my again tomorrow, so I may have a few more to share when I get home.

That said, the Internet and phone situation was pretty bad last time I was there ... and not sure how much it's improved since ... so, I may or may not be posting here and on facebook for the next 10 days or so. lol, as if you'll miss me :-)

[todd-sig]
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Feet Quack Me Up



Ok, that's probably not exactly what baby Joey was thinking as we went for a family walk around the neighborhood tonight ... but you gotta admit, it makes for a better headline than "We Went for a Walk" ;-)

It was just an idea to get me up off the computer, and Ana a little bit of exercise. So after dinner, we grabbed a stroller, Jas and Jaiden put on some shoes, and off we went to enjoy the nice cool fall evening. Along the way, we picked up our neighbor and his dog ... who's lease Jaiden got to hold.



A fun time was had by all. Including daddy, who got to take a few pictures :-)



We might just have to make this more of a regular event!

[todd-sig]
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Texas Spiny Lizard

My wife Ana was over at our neighbor's house this morning, when they called me to come "rescue" them from this little Texas spiny lizard.



It turns out that it was the lizard that needed rescuing.

Apparently Mary Kay's cats had captured the lizard, and brought it into the house. It was obviously injured, but still alive. So I picked up and brought it over to my front yard.

... where of course, I had to take a few pictures. ;-)

I left the lizard out in the yard afterwards, figuring that he'd figure out on his own where he wanted to go.

A little while later, I was going to show Jaiden the lizards, so we went outside, but he was already gone. I thought the story would have a happy ending ... if the lizard was well enough to go hide, that seemed like a good sign.

Until a couple minutes later when Mary Kay knocked on the door.

Apparently the cats had come across the street to my yard, retrieved "their lizard", and were now playing with it in her back yard. So I went and rescued him again.

He's now out in my back yard, in the kids play house ... hopefully he can avoid cats until he has a chance to recover.

He was well still well enough to defend himself, when the cats got him this last time though. When I picked him up this time, he had cat hair in his mouth!

If you look real close at the left side of his mouth in the picture below, you can see the hair. You can also see on his back, where he was injured.



I'll check again later this afternoon. I expect the lizard will be gone again ... hopefully of it's own choice this time. ;-)

[todd-sig]
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hawaii Beach Sunset



I think might start a series on this blog called "pictures that are on my wall"

This sunset shot; taken in early 2009 at Paradise Cove, along the south shore of Oahu, was among the last "scenic" pictures I took before we left Hawaii.

... and yes, it is hanging right on our living room wall.

I've honestly never considered selling any of my pictures. But if I ever did, some of the scenery from Hawaii would probably be were I'd start. Not really stressed about it one way or another though ... I take pictures for fun ... and enjoyment.

Speaking of which ... I hope you enjoyed this nice tropical view wherever you happen to be on this fine fall Sunday afternoon.

[todd-sig]
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Do You Believe in the Butterfly Effect?

monarch_butterfly_s

Ok, I'll admit the main reason for this post is so that I could share the picture of the Monarch butterfly that landed in our front yard the other day. ;-)

But, it also gives me a chance to talk a bit about the idea that even little tiny changes in our thoughts and attitudes can potentially produce significant differences in the kind of results we get out of life.

Kind of my "positive mindset spin" on the butterfly effect

Napoleon Hill said: "Thoughts are Things"

Every physical thing you see in this world, started as an idea/thought in somebody's mind.

Some people say that our thoughts actually attract things into our lives. And even deeper, the type of thoughts that we have attract like situations and thoughts.

Here's an example you can run on yourself to see what I mean ...

Ever been having a really bad day .. to the point where you can't concentrate on anything else .. and things just seem to be getting worse and worse? And when you ask yourself, what else could possibly go wrong? ... something else inevitably does.

On the flip side, ever notice how most of our best "happy coincidences" usually happen when we've already been having a "good day".

What if our thoughts have something to do with this?

What if thinking good and happy thoughts, actually attracts good and happy things into our lives?

And here's where the butterfly effect comes in ...

What if the thoughts we have right now; which drive the decisions we make today; have impacts that propagate far into our future?

What if even something so seemingly small as the difference between whether we're walking around with a scowl on our face, angry at someone or something, for whatever injustice has been hoisted upon us Today; or whether we've decided to smile and laugh and focus on what's going right for us just Now; could be in some way responsible for where we'll living, or what we'll be doing 5 or 10 years from now?

Now, it's possible that all of this may strike you as just a bunch of hooey pooey.

But why risk it? What if I'm right?

So next time you've got the choice (and btw you always have a choice) to be angry, stressed out, pissed off, etc,. .... Or .... positive, happy, friendly and uplifting, you get the idea ...

Why in the world would you not put a smile on your face?

... just in case. ;-)

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]
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Monday, October 4, 2010

I Love Spaghetti Night



Do have a dinner meal in your family that is kind of the "fall back"? You know, the one that you eat at least once a week ... and the one that invariably provides the answer to the question "hmmm, I wonder what I should make tonight?"

In our family that meal is spaghetti.

As far as I'm concerned, it's pretty darn near the "perfect" meal.

It's easy to make, doesn't cost very much, and everybody likes it.

Plus, the leftovers often taste even better than the night it's first served.

No real purpose to this post.

Just covering my bases in case any of you ever invite me to dinner some day.

If you make spaghetti you can't go wrong. ;-)

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Retiring and Moving to Florida



Nothing is official yet, but we're pretty much decided that somewhere between this time, and Christmas next year, I'm going to go ahead and retire from the Air Force, and move back to Florida.

We had a great time visiting with family and friends when we were just there for my brother Craig's wedding. And after a bit of contemplation, it just kind of makes sense that it would be much easier to have these sort of visits if we actually live there ... as opposed to having to travel 1200 odd miles.

It also means that instead instead of freezing my butt of in Afghanistan next winter, I'll be able to head over to the beach and see scenes like the one in the picture above ;-)

I don't really mind deploying ... but with young kids, and the fact that this would be the first one that's totally "voluntary" (as in I no longer "have to" be in the Air Force to earn my retirement pay ... I'll have 22 years if I get out next December) ... I just can't really justify going anywhere where other people will be intentionally trying to do me harm. (I am going to stick around Fort Hood long enough, to help make sure my guys/girls who we are sending over there, are well prepared and trained before they leave though).

I'm sure exactly where we're going to live in Florida ... or even what I'm going to be doing for a living by that point. But, we've got a whole year to figure it out ... I trust the universe to plop something good in my path between now an then. :-)

Not really sure what this has to do with anything I normally write about on this blog. But, it does seem like one of the easiest ways to share the news ... and it was a good excuse to post that pretty sunset picture from the beautiful west coast of Florida, that I took about 6 or 7 year ago.

Hope you all have a FuN rest of the weekend!
[todd-sig]
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Friday, October 1, 2010

How To Be As Happy As A Baby

Joey_counter_s

Living with small children in the house, I'm reminded on a daily basis how simple life really is when you're a baby.

Joey is just over 5 months old, and she has to be one of the happiest little girls I've ever met. She spends a significant portion of her waking hours laughing and smiling at whoever happens to be in front of, or holding her.

It got me thinking. Wouldn't it be great if we could all be that happy, that often?

I wonder what the "secret" is?

Here's a start ...

Babies are Interested in Everything! They're constantly taking in their surroundings; and learning from what they see, hear, smell and taste. They don't prejudge anything. Every minute is an amazing new adventure.

Babies are Not Shy about Showing Appreciation for those they Love! Have you ever seen a baby's eyes light up, and the big smile they get on their face when they look at mommy or daddy? There is never any doubt at all about whether or not your baby is happy to see you. A smiling baby is a happy baby.

Babies love to play with Both their new toys, And their old ones! ... and even better, they have no idea that the toys they don't have yet, even exist. In other words, what they already have, is what makes them most happy.

If a baby is Crying, there's almost always a reason! I don't want you to get the wrong idea, and think that I have some abnormal baby who never cries ... believe me, she knows how to cry. But, 98% of the time, if she's crying, it's because she's hungry, she's tired, she's got gas, or she has a dirty diaper. To the best of my knowledge, she's Never cried because she thinks's she'll be hungry two hours from now; or will poop in her diaper later on tonight.

Ok, now obviously none (or at least very few) of us actually wishes we were a baby. However, I think it's definitely possible to try to apply some of the observations above into our much more complicated adult lives.

Here we go ...


  1. Pay Attention to what's around you! Make an effort to try to notice new things, and/or to look at "old" things in new and different ways.


  2. Tell someone you Love them! Put a big smile on your face while you're saying it. Do it Today! Not only will you be making someone else feel good, but you'll also be benefiting yourself more than you know.


  3. Learn to Appreciate what you Already Have! This one relates directly to one of my all time favorite quotes ... "True Happiness is not Having What You Want .. It's Wanting What You Have"


  4. If you must whine, cry about the Present! As we get older, and we learn more though experience, the world becomes an understandably more scary place. That said, it always strikes me as terribly unfortunate that so many people, spend so much time and energy, worrying and getting upset, about stuff that hasn't even happened yet. As long as you're making it all up anyway, why not simply Smile and Imagine some of the Good things that Might happen in the future?




So what do you think?

Are you ready to be Happy Like a Baby?

[todd-sig]

p.s. BTW, here's what Joey was up to while I was writing this post:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ6BPWWSMw0
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