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May. 17th, 2007 @ 09:54 pm Home Again
Current Location: Colorado Springs
Current Mood: Confuzzled
Current Music: Death Cab For Cutie-I Will Follow You Into The Dark
Well, I am excited to be home, but it comes with a jumble of feelings. There is of course the stress of finding as job and making sure I've got the resources for next semester. So far I've applied to several companies, though I think I'm the furthest along with Target. And Chipotle. Exciting times.

There is also the getting used to of living with siblings again. I most certainly forgot how much patience it requires to not be a total jerk while living at home after having been away. I'm getting a little better, but I'm not doing so hot in that department.

I am also trying to use my free time a little more wisely over the summer than I have in the past. Less t.v., more reading of good books, more exercise, being helpful around the house, etc. It is not easy to throw off the "Summer break" mindset in favor of a more productive attitude. But strides are being made! I'm putting together plans for my first 14er summit attempt. I'm waiting until summer actually rolls around, but I'll be making the climb up Pikes Peak by way of the Barr trail this summer. I'm excited! I also plan on submitting a paper to an essay contest this month. 500-1000 words, short but sweet. Should be fun.

The last thing on the post, but frequently the first on my mind, is those dang girls. Today is not the first time I've wished I could completely disinterest myself. The combination of fascination, meager interpersonal skills, and a good helping of awkwardness have managed to find their perfect host. Me. ^_^ One day I'll figure it all out. Until then, the confusion and random bouts of poignant loneliness will continue.
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May. 10th, 2007 @ 06:07 pm Me
Current Location: Mines Park
Current Mood: ironic
I'm such an idiot.
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May. 3rd, 2007 @ 10:59 pm Finishing
Current Location: Mines Park
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Title And Registration-Death Cab For Cutie-Transatlanticism
Today was a day of introspection and reflection. Mostly spurred by the retirement ceremony of two ROTC cadre, Captain Hermes and MSgt. Demers. It's odd, because I really had had very little interaction with them before now, but the ceremony in itself brought a lot to my mind.

The first was how much i want to push through ROTC and become an officer. It seems like most of the opportunities to achieve, excel, or do something amazing that I've ever had I've let it slip by unfinished. I begin the path, but fail to follow through.

That bothers me.

Truth be told, I think I would be happy doing any manner of thing, Air Force or otherwise. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that a lot of my desire to become an officer comes from my desire to prove that I can finish what I start, even if it is hard or demanding. Not all of my desire, because a huge part of it is the knowledge that AF officers are wholly amazing folks who are uniformly a pleasure to work with, as least based on my experience in the corps. But certainly a part is due to the desire to prove myself.

The other thought that came to me was the qualities of extraordinary leaders/officers. During the retirement ceremony, I saw two traits that struck me as characteristic of superior leaders. the first was a genuine concern for others, whether peer or subordinate. Even though the retirement event was focused on the retirees, they made it seem like it was for everyone else. With a plethora of thank-yous, surprise gifts, and expressions of gratitude, the retirees were obviously more concerned with others than themselves, and demonstrated "service before self" very naturally.

The second trait was that of humor. It seems to me that the most successful leaders have the capacity to appreciate good, clean fun. They're not goofballs, but they're not stiff either. There was much humor in the ceremony, but it was always uplifting, not derogatory, and it did not overwhelm the ceremony. It complemented it. I was very impressed by the fact, and hope I can learn the same balance in my life and responsibilities.
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Apr. 28th, 2007 @ 09:20 pm Debrief
Current Location: Mines Park
Current Mood: excitedexcited
After Action Assessment: April 28, 2007

What: Paintball and AFROTC Dining In

Where: Blitz Paintball in Dacono and Chatfield State Park

Why: To celebrate an awesome semester.

Paintball Summary: My first engagement in a game of paintball was certainly an exciting one! Approximately 90 cadets converged on Blitz Paintball, a sweet setup near the town of Dacono, to cause each other pain and shame. We split into four teams, with myself a member of team four, and immediately proceeded to hurl literally hundreds of paintballs across the field. Blitz had three fields, a speedball field, which was small and filled with a variety of inflatable targets, a field full of PVC tubes as big as a man, and a third full of concrete obstacles, a short bus, and a downed helicopter. I am proud to say that team four emerged victorious, due to superior skill, tactics, and communication, and just plain amazingness. It was not without price: many emerged with a fantastic collection of bruises and welts.

Personal Casualty Report: Seven welts, one bruise, and a sunburn. And very dirty clothes.

Dining In Summary: After wrapping up paintball and completing the hour long pilgrimage from Dacono to Chatfield, we got shot with Supersoakers, ate some well grilled burgers and dogs, and proceeded to mock each other under the guise of flight and squadron skits. Awards for outstanding individuals was handed out, and then everyone proceeded home as fast as possible.

Conclusion: Today rocked. Paintball was sweet, and I certainly hope to play again before too long. Free food is always a plus, and having the opportunity to poke at your comrades is always cherished. I hope everyone enjoyed the activities as much as I did, and I hope to engage in such times again soon!
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Apr. 1st, 2007 @ 01:33 pm Reflections on Engineering Days
Current Location: Mines Park
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Two Weeks In Hawaii-Hellogoodbye-Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
I have to admit, I've been looking forward to E-days since I went to my first in 2003. And I'm pleased to say I had just as much fun as I hoped! I was more involved, I got more swag, and mad sure to enjoy myself to the fullest. I am still quite sad that the fireworks were cancelled, but there is hope in a future make-up presentation.

All things considered, I think the events went very well. The weather could have been better, but there is not much that anyone can do to control that. For the first time I participated in the Orecart pull, which was great. Getting several hundred students to march/ run 7.279 miles (according to www.gmap-pedometer.com) to the state capitol, cheering the car horns of both fans and irate commuters, is quite a bit of fun. I managed to stay in the front of the pack for most of the march, arriving at the front of the final dash to the Capitol steps. I also got to help lift the orecart up the steps of the Capitol. Then came the whole reason we came... no, you fool, not the address by the Lt. Governor, but the free Chipotle! Yes, two free burritos and a new shirt made the entire trip worthwhile ^_^

Later that day, after a brief nap, my family came up and we went and embarrassed ourselves at the field events. Good times. I also got my bike back from the shop. Also good times.

Next was the concert. I'd purchased tickets for my sister and two of her little girlfriends, and we all headed to the event as soon as they arrived. The opening band was a local group called Single File, which was followed by the main event, Flogging Molly. I admit, I'd never heard much from wither group, and didn't know what to expect. I'm also pretty new to this whole concert thing. I'm not a frequent attendee at any sort of concert or show. I must say, it was a new experience. I think next time I would enjoy the show more if I wasn't right up next to the stage... I like the energy and all, but the heat, the crush of the people around me, and being covered more in other people's sweat than mine turned me off. Once I moved back a ways and got away from most of those factors, I was able to enjoy myself and the show much more. It's not like I wouldn't be able to hear the music from anywhere on campus! ^_^ I did have a good time! But I think I'll be a little further back next time.

Intermission: 11 hour nap.

Saturday was fun, also. I volunteered to work the field games, and in reward got a great vantage on the trebuchet competition and another free t-shirt ^_^ In the evening my sister came back up with two other cronies to see the Mythbusters show, which was awesome! Tory Belleci, a member of the MB build team, came with some DVD's and much humor. We got to see some bloopers from the show, watch an episode the will, for good cause, never be aired, and hear how he ended up on the show. It was very engaging, and he was totally cool with all of us nerds trying to ask questions and take photos with him. Afterwards was a comedian show, featuring Owen Smith and Pete Correale. I'll have to save that rant for another day. I managed to have a *mostly* good time there as well.

In sum, it was a fun weekend filled with free swag, new experiences, and I'm already looking forward to the next fantastic E-days!
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Shepard Book
Feb. 15th, 2007 @ 11:29 pm Mission Accomplished
Current Location: Mines Park
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Over My Head (Cable Car)-The Fray-How To Save A Life
After several weeks of pondering, and one hectic day of execution, my Valentine's Day plans finally came to fruition! It was pretty exciting. And to prevent any errant thoughts, my activities were nothing too crazy. Though it is certainly a first ^_^

In any case, it was certainly an adventure making everything come together. My target lives a ways away, so I had planned on taking the bus there. Unfortunately, after picking up the package, I found out the store I was at only sold one type of bus pass, and it was one I didn't need and couldn't afford. So, after returning to my apartment, I pondered how I could get there with time enough to deliver the package and have time to attend Leadership Laboratory (which, thankfully, were right close to each other ^_^). I then remembered that a few of the other cadets were headed up to Lab early, because they had to leave early for a test and wanted to knock some stuff out beforehand. So, I managed to hitch a ride with them. I then proceeded to carefully place the package on the target's front door, making sure not to be seen. A swift departure followed. Up until about 20 minutes ago, I had no new information on Operation Valentine Surprise, when I examined the target's Facebook profile. Upon the page I discovered confirmation of delivery and evidence of a positive result. The report was as follows:

(Name removed to protect the innocent) is trying to figure out who her mystery day-after-Valentine's-day Valentine is from. Whoever you are, it brightened her day!!!

Which has kept a smile on my face since ^_^

So, that concludes the report on Operation Valentine Surprise. I hope it was sufficiently in-depth for all curious observers. And to a certain roommate of mine, may this stand forever as evidence of my daring deed and condemnation of your doubt! ^_^ Just kidding. I'd never get anything done if he didn't prod me ^_^
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Jan. 28th, 2007 @ 10:31 pm Choosing targets...
Current Location: Mines Park
Current Mood: eager, perhaps?
Current Music: What About Now-Daughtry-Daughtry (Bonus Track)
So, every year, Valentines Day rolls around, and nothing happens. In truth, the moniker of Singles Awareness Day is applied far more frequently to February 14 by me than any other designation I might choose. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want someone to share it with, but I’m alright on my own as well. This year doesn’t look to be any different, and I take issue with that fact.

So, what is the solution? I have decided that if I am not going to have anyone to share that day with, I can at least go out of my way to make it interesting for someone else.

*devious grin*

So, I’ve got this fun idea, but I’m not sure I know who I want the target to be… And then there is the small issue of me being a coward when it comes to anything that could be construed as an advance or indicative of greater than average interest. Which isn’t really the point of this exercise. I just want to have an exciting memory, and for someone else to have an unusually interesting experience come this celebration of St. Valentine.

A conundrum indeed…
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Here's jack!
Jan. 25th, 2007 @ 10:52 pm I finally did it!
Current Location: Mines Park
Current Mood: elated
Current Music: Boulevard of Broken Dreams-Green Day-American Idiot
It only took me a little over three semesters to accomplish it, and I did it at the very last opportunity that was available to me, but I finally passed the PFT! Thankfully, because it has been the source of significant amounts of stress for the last week or so. Now I get to deal with the normal stress of being and FTP cadet at
Mines with 17.5 credit hours and a job or two. Should be fun ^_^

Saturday, I get to have fun in an IMAX for the first time in a long time. Everest is the movie of choice.

And afterwards, perhaps an opportunity to meet some GIRLS.

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Shepard Book
Jan. 1st, 2007 @ 06:36 pm (no subject)
Current Location: Home in the Springs
Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: All-American Rejects - Move Along
Welcome to 2007! My journey into this new year has been an interesting one, but good. A few days after Christmas, on the 28th, my family and I traveled to Albuquerque. We lived there for about four years, and we've got several friends down in yonder place, a plenty of memories to boot. However, right from the start, things got interesting, as the same snowstorm that hit Denver covered all the way down to New Mexico, and they had record breaking snowfall. Translated, we couldn't get out and do much, most everything was closed anyway. We did get to hit up museum row, which was fun. I'd worked as a docent there for a few years, and it was a fun job. They've changed bunches, but much fun and learning was still had. We met up with two old friends, much less than we had planned for, but that's how it went down.

The most exciting part of the trip, most certainly, was the traveling. It has been a long time since my entire family has traveled together for an extended period. I'd forgotten what 7 hours in a car with the fam was like. It turned out rather well, I think. The ride down was pretty contentious, but the ride back up was great, riddled with laughter and bad singing. I'm impressed my parents didn't holler at us more. ^_^

And a revelation: although my phone can receive text messages, I can't send them. Which is a bummer, I would have liked about two or three of them to ave gotten through. But, it is nevertheless a good thing to know.

And now, the real fun starts, as I go in to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow!
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Dec. 23rd, 2006 @ 10:09 pm Christmas Break
Current Location: Home in the Springs
Current Music: Better Together- Jack Johnson
I would have to say this has been the most boring break I can recall. I tend to believe that a major contributor to that assessment is the fact that I've not had this much time off in a really long time. Now I'm stuck at home with no one close, no transportation, ans three (soon four) siblings to get along with. I love my family, but it is vastly different living with a household of seven than a single roommate. Takes some getting used to. ^_^

The snow did much to entertain me, however. And cleaning it up. Shoveling the driveway was fun, then we dug out a path for the nice mailman. He'd better bring me something for that.

And, just now, I went ot see Casino Royale. I'm pretty sure it's my new favorite Bond movie. Daniel Craig is a very good fit, and there is *gasp* character development! I enjoyed just about every minute.

Next: Christmas!

Later: Albuquerque!
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