Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A legacy...

Lots of thought has been given the last couple of weeks as to 'What is a man's legacy?'. Because things like news and current events get my gears going, I have thought a lot about this myself, and the revelation I have come to is startling in my own life. However, I have been thinking about the people in the news lately...
Michael Jackson. His legacy, above all the controversy, will be the revolutionary things he did in the music industry. I am a big fan of his music, and am one of the ones that believes he was actually innocent of the charges of misconduct against him. I can remember watching the premier of Thriller and just being in total awe of what the man could do.
Ed McMahon. The best sidekick and steadfast partner anyone could ask for.
President George W. Bush. A value-driven leader who did not buckle to popular opinion.
Jay Leno. Carried the torch of the most popular late-night host in a century as the #1 host for most of his years at the helm of The Tonight Show.
Ted Haggard. Once one of the most prolific preachers of his day, unfortunately marred by the controversy of self-discovery.

Ben Kapp. Someone who worked tirelessly to ensure his children and grandchildren understood the value of honesty, hard work and commitment. A man who served honorably in the U.S. Navy. A man who was continually 'sold-out' to his friends. A man of God.

I am a work in progress, but will hopefully live up to my legacy I hope to be.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When you think you got it all figured out...

I would love to be a teacher... I have always had a fascination with US Government and US History. I think it comes from being a junkie for current events, but possibly because of the influence a teacher had on me growing up. Some thought I would go into music, but I don't really have the desire for it as a career.

Now, what is my problem with being a teacher? I think it is 2 things. First, I can't afford the pay cut I would take to change careers. People freak out when they hear that I drive 2 hours each way to work daily, and that I love it. What they don't realize is that I make more than most people in the education field could ever dream of. And lets face it, I have become somewhat vain. I like my toys. I like my stuff. Second is the fact that the education system in this great country has some very known problems. We retain poor educators based on union bias, but passionate and motivational teachers get passed up because they don't have tenure? I apologize, but I am better not being in that environment with my mouth.

I know several people who are unemployed right now because of market down-turn or their own wishes to hold out for something better. I can relate to their problems as I was unemployed just 3 years ago and looking for a good job. Luckily, I was able to find a job that has subsequently taken me from zero to superstar in only a couple of years. My level of influence and power has far exceeded my imagination, and I have benefited from countless promotions. I don't say it to brag, but I say it because those who doubt that you can succeed need to know that I was (and am) very pessimistic (or a realist by my own belief) and have had great success regardless of myself.

What is my secret? I trust that who I am, and what I am, is actually good enough for someone, even if I don't believe it myself. Countless times in the last 6 years I have felt like ending it all, but I know that deep within me is the capacity to be great, and I live that out every day.

A very wise and wonderful woman (and yes, ex girlfriend) once told me that it didn't matter what everyone else thought of me, only what I thought of me. She surrounded me with love and support at the most trying time of my early military career and of course, I pushed her away because I was so full of myself I couldn't trust her to help me (she was in Wisconsin, me in Texas, and distance scares me). Greatly, she has moved on to what I imagine is the most wonderful of things and is happy. All the while, I am not so much.

Did she have it figured out? Who knows, but I imagine what she told me all those years ago would still work today...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Attacking back

The last few days in the news have given me a chance to reflect on my years in the U.S. Navy. I can say that it was the best years of my life, both personally and professionally, and I would be remiss if I didn't explain that it was the people that made it that way. Here are a few that influenced me:

My father served from '59 to '63. He was a Torpedoman aboard the USS Mullinix, and always spoke with great admiration of his days in the service.

My best friend (and probably only friend) from high school joined and still serves. I don't get to talk to him but every once in a great while, but I think he knows that I love and respect him dearly for not only helping me make the decision to join, but for serving himself.

Admiral Gallagher, who was my first Captain. He flew fighter jets and commanded Top-Gun, but you could still have a conversation with him like he was an old friend you played basketball with.

Chief Joe D, who was more than passionate about his beloved Cubs and Red Sox, but also was the calm in the storm of my 20 months in New Jersey

Chief Mark, who walked my wife down the aisle, and to this day reminds me that even old guys are cool guys

The EOD and SEAL teams I worked with in Kosovo. Nobody knows what I did, or what you did, but we know it, and it was career-changing

LTC Leyes, who kept me from going nuts when they brushed me under the rug and basically booted me out.

I titled this 'Attacking back' because I watched what happened this last week in the news, and I know that all of those listed above would have answered the 'what should we do' question with attack back. That is what makes them all great at their life-career of service. They have never sat back and let it just pass by, they have attacked. We cannot live in a society that just ignores the kind of hate and disregard for life as those attackers do. We wave the flag and hang the ribbons and sing the song, but we don't attack back. We are spineless. We are politically correct (which baffles me because politics don't come into play with a weapon aimed in your face). We don't hold the constitution and the founding documents sacred.

-Thanks to all of those who serve.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Making way for myself

Another confession today, in that i don't get out of my own way. I'll explain:

We recently took a trip back to the St Louis area to visit with friends. I love St Louis, in so much that I would move tomorrow if I could and take up residence there again. As we were preparing for the trip I was asked 'what do you want to do?'. I simply said the same thing I always do, which is 'I don't care, whatever you want to do'. In fact, I wanted to do several things and I didn't want to seem like a bother or inconvenience asking so I simply did not get to enjoy those things.
I thought a lot over the weekend about my attitude and realized the problem is with me. I am not a 'pleaser' by nature, but that seems to be the thing I am doing the most lately. What I should have said was 'I want to do x, y and z', but instead I just kept my mouth shut and went with the flow. DON'T GET ME WRONG, I had a great time. I just think I would have enjoyed doing something on my wish list.
So now we are going back the end of the month. I get to go for a motorcycle ride with my Pastor, hang out with some friends, see the zoo, and hopefully take in the Cardinals game. I would not have gotten this chance to go back if I had been so pushy in the first place, but God blessed me with more time off to enjoy with my friends back home in St Louis.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Carving away at New Years Resolutions

I have started to carve away at the New Years resolutions. First one complete, FIND A BETTER JOB...

I have accepted and moved into a new position at our company. I am no longer managing a checkbook and doing the billing and HR for one of the divisions. I am now the Director of Information Systems and Technology for the entire company, along with supporting a company we are buying and assisting the owner with other properties he owns, etc. I am really happy to have the new job because of the change in the amount of time that I will be at work, and it allows me to really get back to the technology that I know will sustain me for years to come.

Now to get to the other things...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Contemplating a career 'rebirth'

If you know me, you know I have one passion in the world... audio and lighting. It has been a true source of joy and escape in both my personal and professional life.

Right out of high school I worked at a resort that did 11 live shows a week in the 800-seat theatre, along with several other shows in different venues. We had a world-class recording facility, massive music library and thousands of costumes. It was probably one of the most exhilarating jobs I ever had. Granted, I was very young (20) and opened my mouth one day and ended up losing my contract. But it was a great job. Middle of the cornfield, no cable TV, just a great place with great people.

Well, 12 years later I am trying to go back to that job, but in a different capacity. Things have changed considerably, as now they book major acts in (Mark Lowry, Gold City, The Lettermen, etc) and I would be more of an Entertainment Director than a tech. I would still have the same joy of tinkering with some really cool tools, but I would be more of a manager than just a tech. And after the Navy years and management years I know I could do the job.

Pray that God shows his favor in the path I should take.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My New Years Resolution

I have several things to accomplish this year, so I guess I will get started:

1. Lose 50 pounds. Since I started working in the office full time a year ago, I have lost all physical discipline and have really balooned up. That needs to change, so I am going to lose 50 pounds by July 4th, so this year I can run away from the exploding tubes during the fireworks show that I couldn't get away from last year.

2. Get a more rewarding job. I like my job, but the 50 hours a week and the 20 hours extra driving are really starting to get to me. So I am working on getting back to the tech side, either audio or video somewhere.

3. Prioritize my family. I live to work, not work to live. That will change.

4. Enjoy my hobbies more. Saxophone, bass guitar, sound, car racing... these are passions that have been ignored in 2008.

5. Keep in touch with friends. I have 4 very good friends, Krista, Erin, Gene and Chris. I have not talked to them hardly at all this year.

6. Apologize to some other people that I didn't mention above.

So there it is... I will keep you posted.