Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Media meaningful to me

I have been tempted in the 8 months I've now been home to have a bit of a pity party about the failure to have any substantial kind of homecoming festivities or recognition- but recognized it was just great to be home and reunite with my family and friends. I also enjoyed getting treated to lunch in reuniting with friends both new and old in a few small, quiet one on ones. I even made a little video so if someone was really interested, I could just show the video, with some narrative, then close the book on it and move on to discussion the present and future.

Still, every once in a while I wonder just when I might get my "Welcome Home Warrior Citizen Award", a nice little welcome home gift that was established by military leadership as a program to show appreciation to Reservists coming home from deployments. The award program is a great idea, but if one goes over 8 months without receiving the award, well, it won't quite have the same impact, having built an expectation and then not delivering on it until it is closer to "Congratulations on Successfully Negotiating Your First year Back in the States Award."

But then I remember again, I didn't go for those reasons, and I'm just glad to have my "normal life" back, to be looking at a bright future, reestablish family relationships, and build the next step in my wandering career.

I like watching the news, especially when it goes counter to the "if it bleeds it leads" motto- so I wanted to share the past 3 DVR'd good news stories that meant something to me:

First, a newspiece on a program called the Snowball Express, shown on an NBC nightly news feature late last week. During the Christmas season, I'm so pleased to see these efforts to take care of families dealing with the loss of loved ones who have given their lives in service to their country.

Second, another feature presenting an outpouring of assistance for an older veteran in financial difficulty. Another great story. As with the other, the silver lining of seeing the best in people as they work with others in challenging circumstances.

Lastly, another NBC newspiece, "Afghan girls defy Taliban". Tragic events, a great resilient spirit, and exposes the perpetrators for the cowardly and despicable criminals they are. The U.S. military knows these enemies, and it is understandably hard to bite one's tongue when the military is presented as the oppressor or the bad guy. Yes, military people perpetrate crimes, but in my experience, those are the exceptions. With people like the Taliban respresentatives in this story, it is the rule, not the exception.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

BYU Football post Utah game

Had a friend send me a link to a funny, yet kinda creepy, fan response to the BYU loss to Utah- I was wondering if it was perhaps a Utah fan reveling in the suffering of BYU fans. Just up front, I don't think Hitler is funny, nor do I wish to minimize the atrocities committed under his direction. The clip does highlight the intensity of feeling that some BYU and UofU fans experience in the rivalry, however. I'm not quite at that level- even have some ambivalence to the whole glorification of sport.

In reaction to some of the complaints about BYU football in the vidoe, my personal opinion is that BYU football has had a great year, despite the 2 in-conference losses, and regardless of the outcome of the bowl game. It is a high standard they are now held to, which speaks to the success Bronco Mendenhall has driven. They've had some great finishes to close games, and even with the recent loss to U of U, if I'm not mistaken, BYU had won the last two games between these in-state rivals.

For those who bothered to check the clip, hope you got a laugh out of it, no offense intended to anyone.

First Christmas post

Got a nice link sent to me from one of my old schools, BYU, which I really enjoyed hearing over headphones- made the music stand out much better than the regular computer speakers-

Some music and photos with a positive Christmas vibe.


A friend sent out a broadcast e-mail with the news- I appreciated it, because I would have otherwise missed news that was more relevant to me in my previous life as a psychology professor....

From the NY Times,
H. M., an Unforgettable Amnesiac, Dies at 82

Oh, I forgot- I'm still a psychology professor- adjunct, anyway. Go, UMUC!