Thursday, August 2, 2007

Future Plans

Well, the English summer is over. It was yesterday. We all revelled in it and sunburned our white pasty bodies. Good times. I will be missing most of the winter thankfully. Around the 20th of August i will be heading out to Arkansas for Aircraft Commander upgrade at Little Rock AFB. I'm looking forward to going back. Amy and I really enjoyed the time we spent there. I've already contacted some old friends from the ultimate frisbee team we played on there. They've already reserved a spot on the team for me. After Little Rock I should be heading out to Kirtland for the rest of my training. I'm not sure how long all of these schools will take, but it wouldn't surprise me with Christmas being in there if it took 6 months or more. We're making plans for Amy to come out and stay for part of it, but the dates are always in flux which makes it hard to plan anything definite.
After I get back we are planning to travel as much as we can before we leave to return to the states. I talked with the boss and it looks like i have a pretty good chance of going back to Eglin AFB after this assignment. It will be nice to be back in some warm weather and sunshine.
All is well here, and Amy and I are doing great. Best wishes.
--Chris and Amy

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer, grad school's rough start, promotion, and running again.

Hello all! Despite being as far north as Alaska, England is finally showing some signs of summer. Mild signs, but at least it's something. It gets dark around 10pm and the light comes busting through the windows at about 4am. I think it's keeping me from falling asleep, and as a consequence I'm having a bit of trouble getting out of bed. It sure beats the alternative of it being dark all day long.
So grad school wasn't quite what I expected. Actually it was, but that doesn't make it any less annoying. I ended up dropping my first class and changing my degree. I found history to be, well not really my subject. So for at least the next 9 credit hours, I will be taking classes towards a transportation and logistics management degree. Now that's a mouthful. I'll start my next class in early July. It's on my to-do list to register. Good times. I'll be back at it soon enough.
For those that care, I beat out everyone with a DUI and I still have a pulse, and so I've been promoted to Captain. And there was much rejoicing! Not a big change. I was hoping that the red carpet would be rolled out where ever I went, and that the earth would quake beneath my feet, but no such luck. Oh well, I'll take the bigger paycheck.
After just a month and a half of pure laziness, I think I'm back up on the running horse again. I ran 7.5 at a 7:08 pace yesterday, and felt pretty good. I'm going to register for a 10k in early July. All the locals will probably smoke me, but it will be good fun. It's just me and the clock anyway. Hope all is well with you.

Monday, April 23, 2007

London Marathon, Amy's Parents, and Grad School

Yesterday I completed the 27th annual (Flora) London Marathon. I hold steady to my assessment, that a marathon is about 6.22 miles too long. For those of you that don't know. A marathon is 26.22 miles long. In both of the marathons I have completed I had pretty much work all of the fun out of the race by mile 20. Everything after that becomes a gutsy groaning shuffle that no one should have to witness. I guess I'm just not built for the marathon. The jury is still out as to weather or not I will be completing another one. I see a bright future in half marathons. I finished in a (not so) blazing 3:53:55. Not exactly light speed, but i was happy to have finished it. As of right now I can hardly walk mainly due to my left foot. I guess it wasn't used to running on the pavement for that long. I did most of my long runs on trails. Anyway, the crowd was great. The people of London were all about cheering for everyone. Good times.
Amy's parents dropped in recently for a taste of Europe. Somehow they managed to cram 2 weeks worth of fantastic weather into their suitcases and bring it with them. I can't remember the last time we went so long without a cloudy, rainy day. They got to go over to Germany and stay with the Kabateks and then took a road trip from there through Luxembourg to northern France. Pretty busy trip. They leave tomorrow and i think they have gotten to see and do everything that they wanted. Amy as usual is an excellent host. If you want to come visit, drop us a line. We have two guest rooms (one double bed and one single) so bring a friend.
I am officially a grad student now for all of you who haven't heard. I decided to quit beating around the bush and go ahead and register for classes at American Military University (AMU). It's a totally online school whose professors are mostly retired military and they are supposed to be very flexible and understanding when it comes to deployments and things of that nature. you can check it out here. Classes start the 7th of May so I'll let you all know how they are. It should take about 3 years to become a "Master" of Military History with a focus on WWII. More later as things happen.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Chris and Amy do Italy

In a whirlwind week Amy and I saw about as much as Italy as we could. The trip all came together no sooner than the day before we left, and it all seemed to work out well. Destinations included Rome (Roma), Florence (Firenze), and Cinque Terre (Five Towns). It was a pretty sweet trip. All told we took 465 pictures. As soon as I sort through them all, I'll put them up on picasaweb for your viewing pleasure.

Rome was awesome.
More history than you can shake a stick at, quite literally. The city makes you contemplate what a historical building is. In the US we just classify things as historical if they are over say 100 years old. So when you are standing inside the Colosseum which is around 1900 years old you kind of wonder why we all ooh and aah at the old houses in the US which date back an astounding 100 years. Crazy. Anyway, seeing all of the historical sights is nearly impossible so we stuck to the highlights and saw the Colosseum, the Vatican Museum (including the Sistine Chapel), the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Trivi Fountain, and a million other cool old buildings in the process. Oh, and of course at least one Gelato shop per day. We did that for the entire trip.

Florence was pretty neat. There was more museums to see, including the Uffizi (has an endless amount of paintings by old important people inculding Rafael. Who knew the Ninja Turtles could paint?) and Academia (has the statue of David). We also were able to go up into the top of the Duomo (Dome) of the huge cathedral there. You can tell I'm a cultured one can't you...

After Florence it was time to head off the the highlight of the trip in the Cique Terre. So named because of the five towns on the coast which are all connected by one of the busiest nature trails in the world. The water is an awesome blue and the shores rocky. I even got brave (or stupid) enough to take a swim. Now that I'm home, I did the research and the water was just over 57 degrees. Needless to say it was a short swim. The scenery there was breathtaking. It reminded me of Croatia. Many of the shops were closed since it was the off season, but the last day we were there was opening day for them. There was still plenty to see and do. It was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the citys of Florence and Rome.

After we left there, we drove back to Pisa where are flight was. We decided we would be satisfied with a drive by of the leaning tower as we heard it was a pretty quick stop. As fate would have it our flight was cancelled due to a freak fog that rolled in out of a clear blue day. So after some shinannigans with Ryanair (the airline) we opted for a hotel over the airport floor (I know, I know... I'm getting soft.). We found the cleanest most friendly 2 star hotel ever out of sheer luck, and before you could say "Motel 6" we were both making Z's. The next day we walked to the tower and apologized to it for not stopping by the day prior. We took the obligatory "holding up the tower" picture and it seemed to appease the leaning giant, and our flight departed close to on time that night.
All in all a fantastic trip, wecome break from the daily rat race, and what else would I do with all that money? Turning it into memories is worth every penny to me.
The final verdict: See Rome, it's worth it; Cinque Terre, a definite for nature lovers; Florence, for the more "Art minded". Italy is a must go in any case.
-- Chris and Amy

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A big trip, and the First Annual Robe Run

What a great time. I just got back from a great trip with work. Morrocco was awesome. I recommend it as a place to visit. The capital of Marrakesh offers some pretty interesting sites. It's a fairly western muslim country and the people were quite friendly. Mostly because they want your money. Morrocco is pretty popular with the French during this time of year because of the crappy weather in Europe and the beautiful sunshine in Africa. We all came back with a lot more sun, and in better moods. It's amazing how much you miss sunshine when you live somewhere like England where it's so dark and cold for so long. I don't know how the Scandinavians do it. I took some pretty good pictures I will have to post on Picasaweb for you all. While we were there, a good friend of mine Danny and I went downtown to haggle with the locals over the same third world junk. After a while of this we decided to buy some local clothing in the form of the a Berber robe. Think Jedi style. We wore them everywhere, and the locals ate them up. Most just made fun, but we made people smile, and that's what is important. Most of the locals assumed we were from England. I guess it's hard for them to hear the accent when they speak Arabic, French, Spanish and a little English. Oh well, we didn't rain on thier parade. We just let them think we were brits. Very shortly after we thought of buying the robes we decided that they were most definitley "running robes". We even asked the salesman that we were haggling with if we could run in them. He assured us they were made for just that purpose and even gave us a quick demonstration. How could we say no? The next day Danny and I dressed to impress with robes, running shoes and sunglasses. Out the elevator we came, and with straight faces ran through the lobby of the hotel, around the pool and right through the other lobby (big hotel) and into the town of Marrakesh. We ran about a mile and a half. Some parts with the hoods up, and the 1st annual Robe Run was born. The French folks didn't know what to think, and the pool man who handed out towels smiled at us everytime he saw us there after. I'd say we left an impression on the place. Good times.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Movies, the SuperBowl, and another TDY

Just saw a fantastic movie at the "cinema" here in Bury. "Notes of a Scandal" The movie gets props first off because it isn't a sequel or a prequel, something most movies coming out can't claim, and Dane Judy is fabulous. An amazing performance! Second only to Forrest Wittaker in "The Last King of Scotland". Another must see if you ask me.
Looking forward to the Superbowl. I guess I have to pull for the Colts. I think Peyton is a little whiny sometimes, but I do like Tony Dungy and I think he deserves a seat at the grown up table. We're going to have a few people over. My buddy Tim who is at AC school is still stuck in the US, so his wife Jessica and his aunt and uncle are coming over for some board games prior to the football. I just hope I can stay up that late. We're allowed to show up to work late on Monday.
I'll be leaving next week for another TDY. Should be a couple of weeks. I can't really post it up here, but it should be a good time. I'm looking forward to the sunshine and warm weather. This is the hardest part of the year to be living in England. Good times!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Morning

You have to love Sunday mornings. Just a little peace and quiet. shhhh... quiet time. I'm still gimping around waiting for my left knee to heal up from the disney marathon. Every since i finished, it's been a little sore. I'm pretty sure it's tendonitis, which means the only thing i can do to make it heal is nothing. Just wait. I think I'm almost there. Now I just have to get into shape to run a 3:30:00 marathon before 22 April. Piece of cake.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Debt Free!

Today I am officially without debt of any kind. It's been a while since I havn't had any debt at all. I know once we move back to the states we'll have a mortgage, but that doesn't really count. Now all of the money that i've been throwing away into student loans can go straight into my savings account. Bling Bling!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Opening Blog

Boy Google has really come a long way. i wish i had bought some stock a while back. They say it might crash soon, who knows. Anyway, I thought i might create this to publish my exciting life on the web for all to see. I'm using Blogger as well as picasa to publish pictures of all my travels. So read along, and enjoy!
Click here for pictures.