Friday, January 06, 2006

First Round of Book Purchases for 2006

One of my new year resolutions was to read more, and different things from what I normally read, such as blogs, online news stories, and periodicals. So after speaking to friends & family, I developed a list of roughly 60 books that I'm going to start working over the next year to year and a half.

The first wave of books came in from this week:

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs - Chuck Klosterman;
Why New Orleans Matters - Tom Piazza;
Armed Forces Guide To Personal Financial Planning - Maj Trybula & Lt Col Hewitt;
A History of the American People - Paul Johnson;
Fantastic Voyage - Ray Kurzweil;
The Singularity is Near - Ray Kurzweil;

They represent a nice smattering of interests, from pop culture, to computers, to New Orleans, to history. I figured I should at least vary things up so I don't get bored with the subject matter. At any rate, I'm going to do a little more reading now...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

And Into 2006 We Go...

Since I got the week off from work this week, I thought it might be a good time to revive the old blog. After Katrina hit back in August, I felt like the last 4 months of 2005 were a blur. Between gearing up for two big inspections at work and getting sent to Maxwell AFB in Alabama for 7 weeks for ASBC, it seemed like "free time" was at a minimum. On the bright side, I did get to do a lot of traveling around the southeast while at ASBC. In retrospect, 2005 was probably the most eventful year in my life thus far. Just to recap some highlights, (kind of chronologically):

- Got to see my favorite football team, Auburn, finish an undefeated season in what I would consider my hometown, New Orleans, at the 2005 Nokia Sugar Bowl. It took on even greater significance to me knowing it was the last football game played in the Superdome.

- Had my bachelor party in New Orleans. My groomsmen, Freddie & Brian, really put together a memorable experience for me, complete with a set of commemorative pint glasses adorned with my open-mouthed visage.

- Got married to Ashley in a magical wedding in New Orleans. From the rehearsal dinner at The Columns Hotel, to the ceremony at St. Rita, and the reception at the House of Broel, I don't think it could have been scripted any better.

- Went on a honeymoon cruise in the Caribbean, visiting Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, & Mexico. It was my first time out of the US in over 15 years, and one of the best weeks of my life.

- Moved to Dover, DE to start my first real job: Communications Officer in the United States Air Force. With almost a year under my belt now, I can honestly say I'm having a lot of fun being a 2d Lt.

- Started a new life with Ashley, finally living together after 4 years of doing the long distance relationship. While merging households can be challenging, we seemed to pull it off pretty well, and ended up with a fun first apartment.

- Went to two Air Force training schools: Expeditionary Communication Officer Training (ECOT) at Keesler AFB, MS from March - April, and then Air & Space Basic Course (ASBC) at Maxwell AFB, AL from October - December.

- Traveled to New York City six times, Washington DC twice, and Philadelphia twice. Since getting close to the big east coast cities was my reason for choosing Dover AFB, I certainly have gotten entertainment value out of this assignment.

- Got to take a ride in C-5 Galaxy with Ashley for a refueling flight off the coast of Long Island. For me, it really solidified the importance of what we do at Dover, and it was just too cool being in the cockpit when the C-5 linked up with the KC-10 refueler.

- Planned a bachelor party in Atlantic City for a fellow Comm Lt here at Dover. Between renting a NASCAR-themed Silverado stretch limo, and watching this guy get the lap dance of a lifetime from Superwoman, it was generally agreed that said party was a smashing success.

- Bought two new cars: an Aquarius Blue 2005 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible in July and a Sparkling Graphite 2006 BMW 325i in September. Needless to say, both Ashley & I enjoy taking the long way to work now.

- Watched my favorite city brought to its knees by Hurricane Katrina, live on cable TV. Being 20 hours away left me feeling helpless, so all I knew how to do was watch everything I could on TV and find everything I could online.

As 2006 begins, I'm looking forward to the new events and challenges coming up. Our big base-wide inspection starts next week, so work will be very intense for about 2 weeks. We're moving into a townhouse next month, which means we're going to have to prep for transition again. And we've got another trip to NYC planned for March with Freddie & his fiancee, Kadee. So the first quarter of 2006 seems to already be planned out.

I aim to keep the Western World blog updated regularly this year (I guess you could say it's kind of a New Years resolution), so check back periodically. You can always chastise me if I don't stick to my word. ;-)