Friday, September 19, 2008

Checking In

Wow. The past few days were great, seriously... great!

First, I want to thank the this blog community. I had an experience this week that is enabled solely because you click a link or bookmark to this place, set up shop, and have turned this little hobby of mine into a work in progress for ideas and debate at the strategic level of this nation. I am way behind on reading comments, but have been informed that everyone kept the level of discussion where we want it to be.

Second, I want to thank the Navy, in particular Rear Admiral Frank Thorp and CDR Cappy Surette. After I learned I wasn't going to be able to make the blogger roundtable Kearsarge trip earlier this year, my wife and I agreed that the first person from the Navy to contact me directly and invite me to go anywhere, regardless of what it was, I would go. CDR Surette is/was one of the men behind the scenes for the Conversations with the Country, and he was the first officer in the Navy to contact me directly in an official capacity. Other officers asked him why he would talk to me, he told them because like all bloggers, I was a green martian (that's what he told me anyway).

I can work with an officer who will talk to the inhabitants of Mars (or the blogosphere) on behalf of the Navy.

I spent the money to go, he made it worth every second and every penny, which in my world is often the same thing. I really did get special treatment during the event, unique in a lifetime treatment for an average American dude like me, which I'll share in detail as I collect my thoughts.

Third, I had the opportunity to meet and greet over some brew with EagleOne, which was one of my personal top highlights of the week. Very well hidden among the middle aged white audience, Eagleone slipped in and out incognito and has already posted his observations here. I am way behind in posting, and he is covering several of the topics I should be talking about.

Fourth, I know, things really slowed down and nothing got posted lately. I'm going the pathetic route and making excuses. For example, my wife pointed out to me this is the first trip not work related I have had since June of last year, and I was under strict orders to spend an obscene amount of sweaty cash she had secretly stashed in my bag. My wife is an attorney, so not only do I follow the rule to never argue with a woman on the phone, but it applies twice as much when the woman is paid professionally to argue for a living. Say yes ma'am, and carry on.

Do I have good stuff? I was spoiled like a kid at Christmas with exposure and access to the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and MSC, both intentionally and accidentally, and I have a lot to say. Give me a bit to collect my thoughts, I want to get all of this out while the ideas are fresh, structure it right, then come back to all the news we haven't discussed over the last few days.

Finally, thank you again. This community has given me blessings and opportunities normal dudes like me usually don't get. I truly appreciate it. You'll know what I mean very soon...

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