Friday, October 19, 2007

I Ran Today...or...What I Missed

Today I ran out to the marina and back. 3 miles if you're keeping track. This is the distance I normally run, however while in Iraq I found it very difficult. The obvious reasons of course: mortars, rockets, intense heat, and more rockets and mortars. The real tough part was the dust. I'm allergic to dust. I think I might also be allergic to dying too. (LOL) Anyway, it didn't take me long to realize I might be killing myself by trying to stay healthy in Iraq. I had to run on the treadmill which only hurt my knees. So fast forward to today. I ran out to the marina and back. I forgot how beautiful it is. The marsh and Chesapeake as my backdrop. My iPod blasting into TWO ear buds as there were no worries of "TAKE COVER" happening over the next three miles. All of the houses have been updated since I left for Iraq too. Other than the intense humidity, it was a great day to run.

With all that said...I think my next running grounds will provide an even better backdrop for me. One where I can lose myself in my surroundings and forget about how far or how long I've been running. Plus, I don't think Italy floods or have mosquitos that have their own Union.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Reality TV

Has Reality TV gone too far, or is the best yet to come?

I was surfing the inter-web (thanks AK) for the latests on what is sure to be this year's second biggest hit-reality show...The Next Great American Band...and the first thing I notice is how it is being advertised. YEP! Fox, who owns MySpace, is using MySpace for its advertisement. This soon-to-be bona fide hit show already has 23,096 friends, with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Scissor Sisters, and The Killers as their 1-3 friends. AHH Yeah...hold on America. Are you ready for this? Additionally, there are 1710 comments, and 545 topics.

But this is what I really think is a bit much. While surfing the web, I came across this site: Fox Reality Shows Prepare yourself to spend a ton of time scratching your head. Really? People are intersted in finding the Next Elvira? How big an audience share did The Littlist Groom pull?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm Home

Well after what seemed like an eternity, I finally made it home. The kids are all grown up. Shelly looked fantastic. Several of my co-workers met me at the airport. That was very special. THANKS!

I once again had a hard time sleeping last night. I was up at 4AM. Is it because I haven't yet adjusted to the new timezone, or is it because in just two and a half months the world as we know it is going to CHANGE???

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Season 7 is right around the corner...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Good Bye Yoga Friends

Over the past three and half months I've had the honor and privilege to guide a great group of yogis along a fantastic journey. Four days a week we all met up in a non-descript room inside Saddam's Palace at, for most, a god-awful time of day. 0600...or 6AM...or WAY TOO EARLY FOR MOST!

It started out as a half joke. When I moved from Freedom Radio to Freedom Journal Iraq, my hours seriously changed. I went from going to work at 4:30AM and getting home around 3:00PM to going to work at 7:30AM and not returning until sometimes 10:00PM. I was missing all of the evening Yoga classes and with the extra stress that comes with running a news section...I NEEDED TO RELAX and get back into YOGA! So I told my friend Elisa who works for Morale Welfare and Readiness...MWR for the folks who serve, they should get someone to teach a morning yoga class. Jokingly I said if needed I could teach. She said, "REALLY?" I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Sure!" Two weeks later, I was teaching a yoga class. Well, I think the first two or three weeks, my good friend, and Air Force Mom, Melinda Morgan was teaching the class. You see Melinda is a Yogi. She has been teaching for years and is well on her way in your yoga journey. I asked if she could help and within a few days, she sent me a one hour class...complete with movement and breathe cues. It wasn't long before I had enough people in the class that we made the Saturday class a more advance class. More and more people who had never worked out before, let alone practice yoga kept coming out. Not pictured is a man who should be an inspiration for all. Bill, my Silver Fox, is in his late-60's. The oldest of three brothers. Never was into working out. All of his brothers lettered in at least two sports. Now, late in life, giving all that's left to help out the people in Iraq, he decided he'd finally try this yoga thing everyone is talking about. With no alarm clock to wake him, Bill routinely came to the class, asked great questions, and with some modifications, learned a basic routine which undoubtedly will change his life.

On average 8 folks would come out to the class. However, there was a strong core of friends who came out routinely. Dave, Kristen, Jeff, Kathryn, and Bill (Silver Fox) My Chief would come out every Friday! He swears he's and inch taller now. Toward the end of my tour Diane, Jenna, Pallas, and the Sgt Major came out. The last two were a hoot, they're from Boston. As many of you know I'm a sucker for an accent. I could listen to them talk for hours!

Here is a picture of my core four performing a headstand. From left to right: Dave (DoD Civilian), Jeff (Army Colonel) Me, (Totally low man) Kristen (Air Force LtCol), and Kathryn (DoD Civilian and retired Air Force). This was like the fifth or sixth picture...We just couldn't sync!

Turns out, leading a yoga class is very tough! In yoga you breath in and out of your nose...try doing that and talk at the same time...It took me a bit to learn how to master that skill. Balanced Airplane...also not that easy. We tried to take it up a few notches on the Saturday class. Some Saturdays turned into more of a laugh fest than actual yoga as we'd spend more time falling all over the place in an attempt to perform more advanced yoga poses.
To the left is one of my favorite poses and vinyasas: Triangle Pose, which I linked with Warrior 1, 2, Reverse Warrior, Pyramid, and Side Straddle Fold. When you link several poses together in a logical flow its called a vinyasa. This is a very powerful vinyasa! Today I introduced the class to several other poses including Revolved Triangle. Most poses you can "revolve: which basically means: keep feet in place and switch hands and direction you're twisting. The best thing about yoga is it's not a competition. You don't have to do what the instructor or others are doing. You do what your body allows.

I had only these three resolutions this year. Yoga is fantastic! It helps with my ADD, it adds balance, it does wonders for your core strength, and generally changes your over-all quality of life. No matter what sport you're and help your game. Besides...what I really like about yoga...I get to sleep the last 10-15 minutes of the class...NOW THAT IS SOMETHING EVERYONE LIKES TO DO!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Good Bye Yellowbrick Stache?

(Friend, Adolph, Me, Stu)

Today was my last day of work at AFN Iraq. I will miss this place, but not the mustache. Over the past six months I've made some good friends, worked some long hours and have grown as a person. Over the past month I've also grown something on my top lip. Here are some pictures I took with others who have also let their war whiskers roam.
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(Ron, Me, Chief)

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(Erich and Me)

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(Joe and Me)

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(Dirty R and Me)

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(Bob and Me)

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(Chad and Me)

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(Tony and Me)

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(RDML Fox-Former MNF-I Spokesman and Me)

We're not the only one's growing our mustaches out for a good cause. I stumbled upon these teachers in Valencia who are growing their staches to raise money and awareness for writing and literature for school aged kids.

I will shave my mustache as soon as I land in Qatar. Do you remember what I looked like before I grew a mustache????? I was so young looking:

I'll be home soon!