Tuesday, April 21, 2009

EARTH DAY 2009...39 yrs since its founding, What are you going to do different?

April 22, 2009

EARTH DAY -- Earth Day Network

Earth Facts

-Earth will travel 1.6 million miles in its annual journey around the Sun, the 4.6-billionth such round-trip. It will rotate about its axis exactly once.
-The Sun will travel 13.5 million miles around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
-The Sun will fuse 51.8 billion tons of hydrogen into 51.5 billion tons of helium. The other 0.3 billion tons will be released as energy. The energy poured forth in all directions each day is 10 trillion trillion kilowatt-hours. The fraction of this energy that bathes the Earth powers nearly everything that lives there.
-The fraction of the sun's energy intercepted by the Earth at the top of its atmosphere is 6000 trillion kilowatt-hours, about 600,000 times the quantity Americans consume in a day.
-The population of the world will grow by 211,000 people. A new Akron, Ohio will be added every day.
-40,000 acres of land, an area about the size of Boise, Idaho will be converted to desert.
-200 million tons of topsoil will be lost through erosion from croplands.
-50,000 acres of forest will be eliminated.
-Between 20 and 500 species will disappear from the planet forever. We know so little about the family of life to which we belong that we cannot quantify the damage we are inflicting upon it. -We do know that extinctions are occurring 100 to 1,000 times faster than the normal background rate.
-People will consume more than 3 billion gallons of oil.
-Burning the oil and other fossil fuels will release 70 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, slowly but surely nudging the planet's temperature upward.
-3 million tons of iron ore, 575 thousand tons of tin, 330 thousand tons of bauxite (for aluminum), and 34 thousand tons of copper will be ripped from the Earth.
-800 million people will go to bed hungry and awake too weak to lead productive lives.
-18,000 children will die from chronic hunger, malnutrition, and related diseases.
-The world will spend $3 billion on military expenditures, half by one country.
$2 billion will be invested in research and development. This will result in the publication of 1,900 science and engineering articles and granting of 150 patents.
4000 books will be published.
-1.3 billion children will be educated in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools.
-97 billion e-mail messages will be sent, more than 40 billion of which will be spam.

Things I am planning on doing tomorrow:

  1. Plant garden vegetables in my front yard with the help of two little girls.
  2. Teach my kids about Earth Day.
  3. Take a hike to enjoy my earth.
  4. Read the recycling regulations for my city and post them by our trash can.
  5. Fix my sink that drips when my kids dont close the valve enough.
  6. Commit to bike my drive. (currently this is only for times that do not involve the family, but we are looking for a trailer to bike more often.)
  7. Join CSA farm for this season's vegetables.
  8. No computer or TV for the day.

So, I have put some thought towards my Earth Day celebration. If everyone will make small changes the outcome will be great. For those of you that have not put much thought to what you can do I have included a few links of great websites full of information and ideas. I prefer to surf web sites for information and follow links to explore.

Here are few that I have found.

the daily green: the consumer's guide to the green revolution

Sierra Club: Green Home- news and tips to improve the health and efficiency

the Alternative Consumer: eco-friendly shopping. geared toward the lifestyle

Local Harvest: helping community folks meet the farmers (great links to CSAs & markets)

Olive Green Dog: Eco friendly dog products; even Fido can do his part.

Well, hopefully this gets you started for now. Soon you will be thinking more green and Earth Day can be every day for you. Every little bit helps so even if you cant come up with any good ideas then just hold your breath. (For a few seconds you can reduce CO2 emissions.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Few Pictures of the girls on recent adventures

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back in the Blogosphere.

I am back online and blogging again. There have been many changes recently in my life and the dust has settled.
I left the Army and moved my family to Asheville NC.
I am planning on going to graduate school for a Master's Accountacy.
After school I plan to work as a CPA and eventually open my own consulting business providing accounting services, management and marketing ideas to small business owners in Western North Carolina.
Leaving the Army presented a unique opportunity to start over and decide where to live and what to do. A fair amount of day-dreaming, soul searching and late night discussions with my wife led to a decision to settle in an area that fits our hobbies, our ideals and beliefs.
Its great to be surrounded by such a beautiful area, so many community and environmentally minded people, and a stones throw from an outdoor hobby imagined.

So far, we love the area, our little house, our neighbors and our friends.

Come back for posts of things we are doing, things I am reading about and new gems of places we are exploring.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gaining Culture While Deployed: The story of Orpheus and Eurydice

I was talking with Shalene the other day and random conversation led to the story of Orpheus. The internet is a powerful tool. 10 seconds later, one google inquiry and I am learning about a tragic love story.

Orpheus passionately loved a nymph named Eurydice. After their marriage, Eurydice was mortally bitten by a snake concealed in the grass. Orpheus was inconsolable and resolved to descend into the Underworld to reclaim his deceased wife. With his musical charms he convinced Hades and Persephone to take back his wife to the world of the living. Their sole proviso was that upon taking Eurydice back to Earth Orpheus should not look back upon her. Tragically, upon reaching the uppermost gates, Orpheus turned back. At once she was whisked back to the infernal regions, this time forever.
Orpheus did not live long after this tragedy. Some accounts say that he took his life by suicide while others claim that he was murdered by Thracian women who were infuriated at his never ending love for a single woman.
  • PS. Someone help me realize this post leaves too much to the imagination. My intent was to share a story that often makes its way into modern culture without the details. I wanted to share a little culture. Shalene actually reminded me that she sang an aria of Orpheus' lament in Senior recital. Enjoy.
  • Also, Dont worry. Shalene has not been bitten by a snake and taken to hell. Although, I would travel to hell and back for her, this is not a tragedy we have to deal with.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Flashback to Hawijah before 1-87 IN

Hawijah: A small city with big problems- Oct 06

War Stories: Staring down a truckload of death- OCT 06

U.S. night patrols in Iraq require balancing act- MARCH 07

This is what we inherited in September 07. Now 11 months later this region is dramatically different.

1-87 IN Battalion showcased in the news.

As many of you know, we have acheived great success on our deployment. The result is attention from the US Army commanders, Iraqi government officials and national media.

I have not done a great job sharing what is happening here, so in an attempt to unveil the work I do, I will link several articles that have been written recently as a reporter traveled through our area.

  1. "A tweaked approach, a little money and a reconciliation program have helped one unit tame the violent Hawijah area"
  2. "Hawijah progress continues after walls come down"
  3. "Pilot program helps 'Sons of Iraq' learn literary skills to land jobs"
  4. "Soccer game showcases unity, progress in Iraq"
  5. "Hawijah drivers will no longer have to move aside for U.S. convoys"

There are usually complaints that the national media only focuses on the negative and likes to sensationalize the current events. I suppose we have proven that if you give them a positive picture, they have no choice but to write positive articles.

Our success continues to be considered ground-breaking across Iraq. I hope that the sacrifices we have made brings the Iraqi people closer to a safe and democratically free country. Eventually bringing a group of Americans that work hard for others benefits back to safe place they call home.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Our Battalion changing the way things are done.

Due to many successes and hardwork, the Summitt Battalion has delved into a new realm of relations in the Iraqi community.
We are participating in a regional soccer tournament against Iraqi District League teams.
The story gained recognition and is told by ABC news. The following link is to the article and the second is to the video clip.

Enjoy the read. Its really ground breaking. The security improvements allowed us to move towards a more humanitarian mission focus. We have taken along with that challenge a mission to normalize life for the Iraqis (the best we can for current times) and humanize or soften the soldierly image we portray. We often remind key leaders in the area to not confuse our new image with weakness. We continue to ruthlessly capture anyone committing criminal, terrorist acts or aiding those who do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ancient Warfare influencing Modern Times.

The use of horses in battle can be traced back to as early as 800 BC. The increased speed, maneuverability and ability to overpower your enemy led to the development of the cavalry. Later, a new class of cavalry developed called Dragoons. They moved to battle on horses but dismounted to fight.

Eventually, the horse was replaced by horse power. The bow by the rifle. Many more significant improvements and we arrive at the modern Infantry.

The basic necessity for speed and power remain. We use vehicles to give us the advantage of speed, maneuverability through difficult terrain and improved armor for protection.

Meet the horse that delivers me to battle.


My modern chariot weighs 19 tons and is powered by a very large deisel engine. It carries 9 warriors to battle protected by state of the art armor.
Okay, so when you ride in it feels closer to a Winnebago in size. Although its not nearly as comfortable. Well maybe that has something to do with the 60 lbs of equipment and body armor I wear.
Oh well, that is the plight of the modern warrior.