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Old 07-14-2012, 08:35 PM   #101
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Whenever I play golf, I recall the basic psychology class I took in college. In particular, I'm reminded of the Skinner box with the pigeon.

As I recall the experiment, if food comes out every time the pigeon pecks the lever, the pigeon leaves the lever alone until it gets hungry, then pecks only enough to get the food it wants. If the food never comes out, the pigeon stops pecking the lever entirely. But, importantly, if the food comes out randomly, the pigeon will peck the lever incessantly until it dies.

Similarly, if you hit a great shot every time, you'll play golf when only necessary to fill your larder. And if every shot is a duff, you'll give up golf entirely. But the sad fact is that you can shank the ball five times in a row, and then, out of nowhere, suddenly hit that long straight drive that looks like it could be on TV. And that is what keeps us coming back to the links time after time after time.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:24 AM   #102
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Similarly, if you hit a great shot every time, you'll play golf when only necessary to fill your larder. And if every shot is a duff, you'll give up golf entirely. But the sad fact is that you can shank the ball five times in a row, and then, out of nowhere, suddenly hit that long straight drive that looks like it could be on TV. And that is what keeps us coming back to the links time after time after time.
That pretty much describes surfing, too, only without the greens fees...
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:46 AM   #103
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Ha! With the wife & kids still at Grannie's for a few more weeks, I've been getting out after 6pm most evening. That's when greens fees & carts are 1/2 price...working on that LBYM mindset! My "food pellets" have been coming more frequently now. Last night, I worked on some changes in my right hand grip and arm rotation to get rid of my slice...only hit 2 slices off the tee!! Downside, could not sink a putt even after doing a "Happy Gilmore" and yelling at the ball to "just go home!!"

On a work-related note, had a phone call with a staffer at our Major Command HQ on some efforts we've been working to change things in training for the better. He said I had ruffled some feathers with some other folks because I just went ahead and did some things without asking/coordinating (I've done that my whole career...easier to ask forgiveness). He retorted, "look, he's not like other O-6s who would just put their feet up and sit back until they retire next year. Appreciate the fact that he's wanting to still get things done and make these changes work!" I thanked him for his great support...and, yes, we're still pressing ahead with our efforts. I can accomplish a lot in 10 more months!!

Beginning to research shadow boxes now. Have seen some neat ideas out there. Finding the TAPs seminar schedule to get that locked in when the wife is able to attend with me. Getting in to see the docs for all my "delayed discrepancies" that I've put off. Turns out my lower back really is messed up! Doc tried to put me on a profile for no running, but I told her I'd refuse until after my PT test in Oct...my pride won't let me go out of the AF with less than a 90 as a Commander of troops. I know, not logical, but....
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:51 AM   #104
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He said I had ruffled some feathers with some other folks because I just went ahead and did some things without asking/coordinating (I've done that my whole career...easier to ask forgiveness). He retorted, "look, he's not like other O-6s who would just put their feet up and sit back until they retire next year. Appreciate the fact that he's wanting to still get things done and make these changes work!" I thanked him for his great support...and, yes, we're still pressing ahead with our efforts. I can accomplish a lot in 10 more months!!
One of the best things about being short (and unpromoteable) is that the FIGMO effect means you can apply your "loose cannon" fire for maximum impact.

During my final couple years my boss had to step in several times during VIP tours and meetings with "Sir, what Nords meant to say was..."
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:40 AM   #105
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Had another "I know it's time to retire when..." moment at work last week. Briefing some GOs on Monday on several initiatives we working in my organization. Had to run the briefing through the #2 guy on base who's the same rank as me, but he's still in the "I hope to make general 1 day" category and a control fanatic. I really like the guy 1-v-1, but do not like working for him (he's not technically in my chain of command, but he's my Boss' right hand/#2).

As we were going thru the brief and he was covering the happy-to-glad changes he wanted, I finally got frustrated of trying to argue with him, knowing he was going to get his way come hell or high water and I just finally blurted, "OK, Bob (not real name), just tell me exactly what you want in here."

"No, I'm not trying to be difficult, I just think..."

Me, "hey, I'm easy, you just tell me how you want this to look. You want X data in here, no problem, I'll make it up, got it. It doesn't have a correlation to the main point, but that's OK. What else would you like?" So went the rest of the meeting...

Time for me to retire as this is what my future jobs in the AF would be like every day if I stayed in a few more years.

On a much happier note, I'm still getting out on the golf course during 1/2 price hours even though it's over 100 degrees. I am splurging for a cart (at 1/2 price) due to the heat levels and find I'm playing 18 holes in under 2 hrs when I get to go out by myself. Note: not many people lining up to play when it's 105 degrees, even at 1/2 price. Does that make me the village idiot??

On Friday, was chatting w/ some of my enlisted troops about going out to the course when it's 1/2 price. One troop commented, "you're an O-6 and you wait until it's 1/2 price? Come on, sir."

Me, "Yes, and I drive an 11-yr old paid-for car and I shop for my clothes at the Goodwil store right off base. Just bought 2 shirts for $4 because it was buy 1 get 1 for 99 cents."

Him, "I didn't know there was a Goodwill store nearby, maybe I should look there. Thx sir!"

Winning hearts and minds 1 Airman at a time. :-)
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:34 PM   #106
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On Friday, was chatting w/ some of my enlisted troops about going out to the course when it's 1/2 price. One troop commented, "you're an O-6 and you wait until it's 1/2 price? Come on, sir."
Me, "Yes, and I drive an 11-yr old paid-for car and I shop for my clothes at the Goodwil store right off base. Just bought 2 shirts for $4 because it was buy 1 get 1 for 99 cents."
Him, "I didn't know there was a Goodwill store nearby, maybe I should look there. Thx sir!"
Winning hearts and minds 1 Airman at a time. :-)
"My possessions reflect my values, not my net worth"...
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:35 AM   #107
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Me, "Yes, and I drive an 11-yr old paid-for car I shop for my clothes at the Goodwil store right off base. Just bought 2 shirts for $4 because it was buy 1 get 1 for 99 cents."
I always thought it was a kick to to look at the cars the mid-senior grade (O-4 - O-6) officers drove vs. those the junior-mid grade enlisted folks did. Mid-senior grade officers: older, more practical sedans and wagons. (Lots of Volvo 240's years ago. Second car would be a Civic, Corolla or similar.) Junior enlisted: "hot" cars, generally pretty new. Maybe a motorcycle as a second vehicle.

Much of this was attributable to:
- larger families for the mid-senior officers. Probably kids in college or approaching that time.
- Younger, fewer family responsibilities. Reenlistment bonuses burning holes in the pockets of E-4's/E-5's.

Single junior officers were more like the enlisted folks in their car choices. When I first went on active duty in 1967 it was unthinkable that any Naval aviator (or flight school student) would have other than a sports car or a GTO.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:42 AM   #108
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When I first went on active duty in 1967 it was unthinkable that any Naval aviator (or flight school student) would have other than a sports car or a GTO.
+1

This is what I drove while in flight school in 1970:

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #109
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I decided to go to flight school after driving through Fort Rucker AL in 1972 and seeing a whole bunch of Corvettes. When I got back there in flight school in 1973 I was still too poor to buy a Corvette and had to settle for an SS Camaro.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:17 PM   #110
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As a newly minted Ensign in 1981, it was a Triumph TR6. Thirty-one years later, it's a BMW Z3. Some of us clearly never got the memo about ditching the hot roadster when we grew up.
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File Type: jpg Z3.jpg (7.8 KB, 108 views)
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:37 PM   #111
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As a newly minted Ensign in 1981, it was a Triumph TR6. Thirty-one years later, it's a BMW Z3. Some of us clearly never got the memo about ditching the hot roadster when we grew up.
Good for you!
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:37 PM   #112
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My last tour was at a Navy training command which was typically filled with lieutenants serving out the last few months of their obligation before resigning their commission. I think the retention rate of these guys was below 10%. Most of them were whooping it up on shore duty with the car (and women) of their dreams during the Internet economy, so the money was flowing like water.

One of them lived in base housing a few miles away from the command, and he was a diehard triathlete (Ironman caliber). He used to ride a high-end Cannon bicycle to work, and it looked like a Ferrari alongside a bunch of Volkswagon Beetles. Eventually one of the other LTs decided to razz him about it in front of the peer group:
"Hey, how much did you spend on your training wheels there?"
"About $1500."
"Holy crap, $1500?!? It's just a bicycle!"
"Yeah, but I don't own a car and I ride this about 200 miles a week. How much did you spend on your car, and how much do you spend on gas & insurance?"

The razzing ended there.

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This is what I drove while in flight school in 1970:
So... what altitude did it reach?
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:40 PM   #113
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So... what altitude did it reach?
Never high enough for me to suffer from hypoxia...
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:43 PM   #114
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I decided to go to flight school after driving through Fort Rucker AL in 1972 and seeing a whole bunch of Corvettes. When I got back there in flight school in 1973 I was still too poor to buy a Corvette and had to settle for an SS Camaro.

Personally, I'd rather have the Camaro.... And I did have one...
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:45 PM   #115
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OK, been a loooong time since I've posted. Been flying my butt off visiting my folks around the globe...I have approx 100 located at the same base I'm at and about 1,200 folks stationed around the world. I'm a firm believer you can only lead from the front, so I usu spend 1 week at home a 1-2 weeks on the road. At the arpt right now, in fact.

Funny thing happened on the way to work after going home for lunch 2 weeks ago...General's secretary sent me an e-mail saying the Gen wanted to meet w/ me for 30 min at 1530 that day, no subject given.

Odd, he usu just calls me on my Blackberry or shoots me a quick e-mail...things that make you go, hhmmm. So, I call in my sr staff to brief me up on any possible recent issues...we;re grasping at straws here when a cold chill goes down my back........

No, couldn't be.........

Not me.........

I'm retiring next summer.........

I've let everyone know that........

No, couldn't be...let me go check the web...f***! The Command Candidate List is due out this week, but I dropped it off my radar because I'm retiring and I requested my General submit a "DO NOT RECOMMEND" for command on me, which he did.

I think you can guess where this is going.

1530, walk into the General's office, he's goes to close the door (he usu leaves it open), I see a piece of paper upside down on his conference table, I turn and look at him, "General, this can't be good. You're closing the door and there's an upside down piece of paper on your table. I've done nothing illegal and I don't think you're firing me...what gives?"

Gen says, "I don't know how to tell you this, but normally I'd say congratulations...you've been selected as a candidate for a wing command (next higer level of command)"...I'm sorry."

Silence................

"Uummmm, sir, did you forget to put "NOT" in the DO NOT RECOMMEND statement? I'm not supposed to be on this list, I'm not promotable and I'm retiring next June, you know that."

Short ending...the AF selects more candidates than actual openings, so hopefully I won't actually get selected. If I do, I fully intend to decline the assignment which means I will have to get out...check this out...no later than New Year's Day, as in 1 Jan 13, folks. Congrats, Col, now get the h*** out if you don't want to do what we say!!

Ever heard the song "I'll be home for Christmas?" I'm kinda growing fond of it, personally :-) We'll see what happens. Some folks around the base understand, others are shocked I would be willing to turn down a chance to be THE boss of my own base...how could you??!

Family...that's how. And I'm debt free except for the house I'm building, so my retirement check already covers everything...if I'm not promotable, why would I want a job w/ middle of the night phone calls Riddle me that, Batman!

So, other than that, how was the play Mrs Lincoln?
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:40 PM   #116
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If I do, I fully intend to decline the assignment which means I will have to get out...check this out...no later than New Year's Day, as in 1 Jan 13, folks. Congrats, Col, now get the h*** out if you don't want to do what we say!!
So, other than that, how was the play Mrs Lincoln?
I've lost track-- you have O-6 time in grade already, right? Or is the Air Force's 1 Jan 13 deadline going to mean that you're looking at an O-5 retirement?
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:31 AM   #117
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sounds like a grats on being good at your job and enjoy your early retirement.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:21 AM   #118
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So that would just be about six months earlier than you planned, right?
Shouldn't be a big deal.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #119
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Wow up until the end the AF is still doing what it does. You will be much happier on the other side. I was thinking about wing commanders the other day. From what I see it is usually their swan song and it is totally a power ego thing making BS rules that has so many unnecessary ripple effects. Then they try to come out and make a career change. I can tell you that as I interview people Wing Kings are really not as competitive as their previous counterparts who did not take command but rather actually did some grunt work.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #120
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Gen says, "I don't know how to tell you this, but normally I'd say congratulations...you've been selected as a candidate a wing command (next higer level of command)"...I'm sorry."
Can't you just send a formal letter to whomever (a board, I assume) that makes the decision on the final cut requesting that you not be considered and saying that you would decline the command if selected? Clearly you would not be selected. Since that should be privileged correspondence nobody would know about it except you and the board. It seems that would get you off the hook. Everyone would think you hadn't been selected for the wing command so you wouldn't have a lot of explaining to do to your peers and friends. (I'm assuming it wouldn't be an ego problem for you to be perceived as a non-selectee.)

As an aside, I recall a lot of those informal "rules" from my days in the Navy.

"Nobody ever declines command."

"You don't retire directly from a command tour; you have to take one more tour after that."

Those informal rules were mostly BS.
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