Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Ever notice how sometimes "improved" doesn't necessarily better? And then there are the times that "improved" DEFINITELY doesn't mean better!

Right now I have a modified version of Billy Joel song in my head.... "Don't go changing, to try and "fix" things... I like my shoes they way they were..."

I've been running in Mizunos for several years now. (Don't ask me exactly how many because I can't remember - call it getting older or just the fact that I'm blonde... either will work.) I've been incredibly happy with my Mizunos. In fact when I had an issue with them I wrote to them and they happily exchanged my shoes for me! Gotta love great customer service. (Especially since it seems to be a forgotten art for many businesses!)

Well about 2 weeks ago I realized that my shoes were definitely on their way out. No imminently mind you but it was time to start breaking in a new pair of running shoes. So I pulled out the "new" pair of Mizunos I bought for just this purpose. New is in quotes because I bought them about a year ago because I wanted the same shoes I was running in already and I found these on a really good deal. The catch is they are 1 rev newer than the ones I was running in. One would think this would be no big deal right? WRONG!

So they were bothering me a bit as I would run a few miles here and there but I was really hoping it was just a break-in period. Well last week I went for a whopping 4 mile run and had to stop because my arches of my feet were absolutely killing me. Clearly these "newer" shoes were not going to cut it. It was so bad in fact that my feet woke me up in the middle of the night that night with pain :( Definitely not good.

I understand companies wanting to actually improve things but change just for the sake of change when it causes things to be NOT better drives me crazy. Maybe I am the only one who has issues with the newer version of the shoe... but somehow I doubt that. Not that there is anything wrong with Mizunos... just this version does not at all work for me :(

So here I am a handful of days later and my feet are still a bit achy and I have a half marathon to run on Saturday (which obviously I will be doing in my "old" shoes.) After that I guess I will be on the hunt for some new shoes which is a process almost as painful as shopping for jeans or a swimsuit!!!

"Don't go changing.... to try to "fix" things... I like my shoes they way there were...."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The 237th USMC Birthday Ball... was EPIC!

Yes.... yes my friends.. the USMC Birthday Ball was indeed epic. Did you really have any doubts that it would be? I certainly didn't! For starters anytime you are fortunate enough to be able to attend something that is so meaningful - it's bound to be epic. Add to that the cast of characters that we had joining us at the ball and I knew it would be beyond epic!

I was delighted to get to share this experience with some incredibly dear friends (both Marines and non-Marine, some of the non-Marines Military and some non-military) who had been to the ball before. We'd had great times in the times we'd been in the past and knew we would have a great time together again! 

We were also delighted to get to bring some friends to the ball who were either new to this particular ball (which let's face it is the Granddaddy of them all!) or new to a Marine Corps Ball in general. Again some of these folks were Marines, some were other Military and some were just great supporters of the military. While I was excited for the ball in general I was even more excited to see how these folks reacted to this amazing event. 

For those of you who know me know I am in general a jeans and gym shoes girl but there is just something fun about getting all dressed up for such a fabulous event! 

The Marine Corps Birthday Ball is an amazing and emotional event that is very hard to describe - it's one that must be experienced. Being in the midst of so many great individuals who have so valiantly and selflessly served our country is bound to make you at least a bit emotional. (To be honest if it doesn't I might have to wonder about you!) Every year the Commandant creates a video for the event (it happens to be the same video shown at all events) and so far every year it has made us (yep Ken too) at a minimum tear up and last year flat out have tears rolling down our cheeks. Here is this year's video

All of it is amazing but one of the particularly special things is the cake cutting. The Commandant and the Guest of Honor (this year it was an very inspirational young man from the Wounded Warriors) get the first 2 pieces (cut by a mamaluke by the Commandant). Then the next piece goes to the oldest Marine in attendance and it is then passed to the youngest Marine in attendance to represent the passing of knowledge. VERY cool! In fact at the USNA Marine Corps Ball it was even more special because the oldest Marine in attendance was a woman who was 99!!! Wow!

If you get a chance check out the Wounded Warriors page

If you ever get the chance to attend any Marine Corps Birthday Ball I HIGHLY recommend you go! It's an experience that I wish every American could partake in because I think many Americans would have a much more patriotic view if they did....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thoughts on Grief

Hey folks -

This is a sensitive topic but I think it's one worth "talking" about....

I was thinking about this as the memorial service for a dear friend of ours is approaching...

I know we all feel at a loss when someone dies and we don't know what to say to those who are close to the deceased. The standard thing to say is generally "I'm so sorry for your loss." I can't tell you how many times I heard this at my Dad's funeral. That's a perfectly acceptable thing to say.

I have taken a slightly different tact with my closest friends (and only my closest friends because they understand what I mean - I obviously wouldn't say this to everyone) and my words were along the lines of "I'm sorry - this just sucks." Shocked? Well for my closest friends I knew it would be helpful in she ways because I know that's how I felt.... that it just sucked. When I first said that to my best friend she looked at me in surprise and then said something along the lines of "yeah... yeah it does and that's the perfect way to sum it up." Now I am not advocating that you use that tact because frankly it doesn't necessarily work for everyone.

One tact that I recommend you be very careful in using is any tact that is faith driven if you don't know what the person you are talking to believes. Saying "It's Gods Will" or "He/She is in a better place" is not only not helpful to someone who doesn't share your belief system it's quite frankly rude. I can say this because I've not only experienced it myself but I have watched friends of mine experience this and I can see how angry statements like this have made some of them. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and feelings and perhaps thoughts like that help YOU cope with what has happened during a time of grief however do not assume that is true for others. Sometimes statements like this just make the person who is grieving even more upset because they are now upset by you as well... Just remember when you are trying to console someone it's supposed to be about them not you....

Just some food for thought....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Guinness Pictures of the Week - 11 November 2012

I know I've posted "laundry" pictures of Guinness before but he's just so funny when I do laundry that I always take more pictures of it :) If I've posted some of these before I apologize... He's so silly!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Marines!

Well I am a day early but since I don't expect to have a lot of time to type up a blog tomorrow I figured I'd type a quick one today!

I am excited that we are headed to the Commandant's USMC Birthday Ball tomorrow night. It just so happens that it is on the actual birthday November 10th.

I am proud to be a Navy wife however I must tell you that the Marines do celebrations right! I am proud to be able to go celebrate the 237th birthday of the Marine Corps alongside many of my dear friends, some of them Marines, and celebrate together this wonderful tradition in our country. It is so hard to describe the emotions of a Marine Corps Ball but I promise I will try and do the best I can to do so next week after the ball.

Here's the Wikipedia article on the Birthday Ball and it's beginnings etc. for you to read in the meantime (if you're interested)

Be sure and wish a Marine Happy Birthday when you see them in the next handful of days and be sure and thank those who serve our country for their service because without them we would not enjoy the freedoms that we do as Americans. Freedom truly isn't free.

I leave you with the lyrics for a fantastic song....

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job --
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

Monday, November 5, 2012

When I run for President...

**** Updates will be noted with the 4 *s and highlighting 

##### 2nd updates are annotated like this

My beliefs that would be my platform if I ran for President....

All people should have access to affordable health care (if you think that is true now you are beyond wrong)

Equal means equal - not special
Things like Title 9 were needed once but now they need to go. Same for affirmative action. I believe in equal pay for equal work, equal right to a job irrespective of race or sex but not special treatment where you get a job because someone has set some BS quota that there has to be "X" number of women etc.

I believe in equality for all.
Gays should be able to marry and have the exact same rights as straight couples. Just like women should be able to vote and people of all races should be able to vote - equality.
**** Gay couples also will have the right to adopt because quite frankly - why not?! Last time I checked there are plenty of heterosexual couples who are absolutely lousy parents so there is absolutely nothing that shows that having a man and a woman in the house is necessarily the best thing all the time. Additionally I see nothing wrong with an individual choosing to adopt provided that they have the means to support the child. There is no such thing as a "standard" family anymore and that's not a bad thing in my opinion. Children are entitled to love and that can come from a home with a mom & a dad, 2 moms, 2 dads, 1 mom or 1 dad...

I believe in Darwin. Stupid people should be left to their own devices and if they hurt themselves and take themselves out of the gene pool the world is a better place for it. We need to quit making laws and regulations to protect people from their own stupidity.

Tort reform - if you are stupid enough to put hot coffee between your legs and it spills there is no one to blame but yourself. You can not sue the person who sold & served it to you. Need another example? If you're too stupid to understand that McDonald's is NOT healthy you can not sue McDonald's for making you and your kids fat. DUH!

Campaign Finance reform - the fact that we could have launched more than 13 shuttle missions and had some money leftover for the cost of the presidential campaign is not just absurd it's disgusting. We need to start capping how much can be spent. This will also help people with less money potentially run for office.

I believe people make mistakes and sometimes fall on hard times.  I believe we should help you once... you then need to get your shit together and take care of your business. You will NOT collect welfare checks for numerous kids. ONE! that is all...

I believe women should be in control of their own bodies. You don't get to tell me (or any other woman) that I have to have a child I don't want to. (That said I believe that there is an element of reason. Based on science I believe this should only be allowed as an option in the first 2 trimesters.) You also don't get to tell me that I have to have something shoved inside me for an ultrasound because you think it will change my mind about an abortion. Not to mention that you won't even be allowed to ask a single question more that is in a "questioning" once it's known it's a case of rape or incest.

I believe it is cheaper to provide birth control for people than health care for the children that they will have. It's simple logic people - it's not rocket science. As such I do believe everyone should be allowed access to FREE birth control.
**** If you are a parent who does not provide for your child I will throw you in jail. Period. You chose to have the child that child is now your responsibility. If you can't be responsible for the kids you create then I support a vasectomy or having your tubes tied compliments of your health care. I don't want these kids to not have the attention they deserve and have to live off the system 

I believe in keeping our military strong. I don't believe in sticking our noses where they don't necessarily belong but I don't want to worry about another country deciding we are weak and coming after us this we need to keep our military strong. I believe in taking care of those who are willing to serve and sacrifice for our country. They absolutely should have good benefits. However I will take all of our troops out of Afghanistan. Frankly most of the military guys I know don't even understand what the heck we are doing there anymore.

I believe in a balanced budget. If we can't afford it - we don't do it! It's really quite simple. It doesn't take a complex accounting degree to understand this concept.

Along the lines of spending money - we have a heck of a lot that needs to be fixed within our country - we are going to stop sending so much money elsewhere and take care of more of the issues in our own "backyard."

I would institute a flat tax or consumption tax. This way no one pays federal taxes at the end of the year instead you pay it as you purchase items (yes we can exempt necessities such as milk, food staples etc.) - with this plan EVERYONE pays taxes whether you are a regular person who would anyway or you're here illegally or you're getting paid under the table (so as under the current tax system to skirt the tax laws) or you hide your money in the Cayman Islands or or you're a drug dealer making money off selling drugs....

I believe (based on scientific facts) that we are destroying our planet. We need to quit relying on fossil fuels and come up with renewable energy resources. We will NOT be drilling in the Arctic or in National Parks to make gas cheap for Americans. Our gas is already ridiculously cheap here and the only way we will wean ourselves of this dependence is for it to cost enough money that it hurts our pocket books.

I STRONGLY believe in Separation of Church & State. Putting the word God into political matters should never be allowed. For that matter we are going back to before the McCarthy days when the word God did not exist in our Pledge of allegiance or on our money or in many other places. Do you realize that it was added out of fear and hatred for others in the 1950s? Also - if you are a massive church where the person in charge makes loads of money (think Joel Osteen) you no longer get to claim nonprofit status because who are you kidding? You are definitely for profit.

I FULLY endorse that everyone should be allowed to buy beer on any day and time that they want to. No longer will there be dry counties or a lack of ability to buy beer on Sundays in any way because that is based on a religious belief that alcohol shouldn't be allowed to be purchased during those times. Like I said - separation of church and state.

Again along those lines - when it come to going through security or getting a photo for a government issues ID etc. you can not wear any sort of thing on your head or face irrespective of your religion. This goes back to equality and separation of church and state.

I am pro Capital Punishment...
**** In fact I think I would like to consider the possibility of bringing back public executions. Perhaps this will help people reconsider their stupid ideas of committing heinous crimes. 

I think the concept of "No Child Left Behind" is complete bullshit and generally means "No child moves forward..." Standardized tests are causing our students to only learn what is on a test because teachers teach to a test instead of teaching what is really globally important. Standardized tests must be minimized. I would encourage the teaching of critical thinking skills to all students. (What the hell was Texas thinking when they said the opposite?!?!)

Space program - obviously I am pro-space but I suspect my commentary here will surprise many. I would do a massive RIF at NASA and slim down to the best of the best not down to just the civil servants. NASA has become a white collar welfare program where even if you are absolutely atrocious (I can give you so many examples it's disgusting) you will keep your job if you are a civil servant. I have watched amazing people be let go however. It's time to revamp and get lean. Then NASA should be refunded in a big way to inspire the youth of the nation. I would also bring in companies like SpaceX who are truly innovative and willing to push the boundaries and think outside the box.

I think you have the right to own a gun however I do not necessarily think you have the right to own an arsenal of AK-47s... I think there need to be stricter controls over crazy people getting guns (do I really need to remind anyone of what happened in Arizona just a short time ago?) However, I also believe that if you threaten someone within their home irrespective of what state of the Union you are in you should have every expectation that they will shoot you and I will endorse the judicial system ruling it as justifiable.
**** I know many outside of the US don't entirely understand this especially given the issues that they see with gun crimes in America; however I stand by the fact that this is a right that our country was founded on. And it doesn't change the fact that even if we had tighter gun control the hoodlums would still get their hands on guns and the innocent citizens would be left with the proverbial "bringing a knife to a gun fight" if their safety is threatened within their home

I would challenge Texas to either put up or shut up in regards to the fact that they have the right to secede at any time. Either secede now or I am removing that clause permanently and I don't ever want to hear it again. Be an American or get out.

Immigration... not entirely sure what to do about this one... I find it absolutely disgusting that people trying to get into this country legally have a major difficulty in doing so. (For example - I've seen a upstanding businessman who married an American have it take years to get his green card yet we let people stream over the border.) I don't have a good answer for this one and am open to suggestions but I agree something needs to change.

Term limits - I believe that there should be term limits for all Congressmen and Senators. Also I would propose that instead of a 4 year term for President we elect a President for 6 years and they only get 1 term. Let's face it under the current system it takes a year for someone to really hit their stride and then if it's their first term irrespective of what party they are part of they spend the last year campaigning and the whole first term they are beholden to people with money so they can try and get re-elected again. One 6 year term would solve quite a few problems.

The Electoral College absolutely needs to be revamped. It is absurd that our elections are decided by a few states. When you live in a state that is decisively one way or the other and the winner gets all the state's electoral votes it doesn't encourage people to vote and become informed.
#### Right now to have the argument about the popular vote is pointless because in many states people that are clearly in the minority of the state as far as political affiliation frequently don't vote. So it's irrelevant as long as the electoral college is in place to even discuss what the current popular vote means overall.

#### This is a big one but I think it's way past time that we have more than a 2 party system. I will devote MUCH effort to facilitating the creation of at least 1 more party and would prefer there be at least 2 more. It's too easy to draw a line in the sand when it can only go 1 way and no compromise happens that way.

**** I admire other cultures. In fact I love to travel and experience other cultures. (And when I do I adhere to the culture of the country I am in. America is a melting pot in many ways but at the end of the day it is America. The language here is English and we treat our women with respect and as equals (well at least most of the country does). Learn to speak the language or get out. Treat your women as equals not as your slaves who have to have their faces hidden and are expected to be subservient to men - or get out. I am happy for you to celebrate many of your customs because I think in many ways our differences in the world are what makes the world an amazing place; however don't expect America to change to bend to YOUR customs from whatever country you came from. If you like your previous country's customs so much that you want to force them onto unwilling Americans then go back and celebrate your customs back in your original country. 

#### Lastly as I expect other people to respect our culture I also expect that we respect theirs when visiting their nations. When I travel to other countries I will bow, if it's appropriate, to their leader. This is not a showing that America is week or deferent - it is a show of respect... the same respect I expect them to show me/us. We are but 1 country on this planet. It would do all of us a lot of good to remember there are other countries out there that are just as "worthy" as ours. Frankly I would like to see people travel to places that are outside their comfort zone (wether that's out of the country or North of The Mason Dixon line or South of The Mason Dixon Line) so they can better appreciate the thoughts, cultures and feelings of others. The lessons you learn from this are priceless. 

I'm sure there's more to my platform but I think I'll leave it at that for now... I'm sure I've irritated the daylights out of many already ;)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Guinness Pictures of the Week - 4 November 2012

Well I have been a slacker and have done no blog posting at all since last week's Guinness pictures.... so I will try to make up for that with posting quite a few pictures of  the crazy adorable Guinness in this blog.

This house on the Naval Academy that we are living in was built for Guinness I think. There are so many windows and he loves to look out of ALL of them!!! Of course he's generally looking for squirrels and he really likes that some of the windows are looking out into trees so he's a squirrel level. I do think sometimes he does just enjoy sitting and watching the world go by too...

He's not really allowed to do this but it was so funny when he did I had to take a picture!!

I was in the process of changing the sheets and had set them on the ledge - Guinness took it as an invitation to crawl in them to look out the window!

We call this his meerkat pose