For some reason, events impacting (mostly) me have been broadcasting in stereo lately.  And yes, both Pam and I are safe and sound back home now.  The double-event deal probably had its foundings a while back ago, but I’ll try to get it in chronological order starting near-present.

I guess it kinda starts with my 2-weeks vacation I just got back from.  Pam and I essentially tried to cram 2 vacations where there probably should have been one.  The good: we had double the excitement and fun (gosh… starting to sound like a gum commercial now…), but it was a bit taxing.  The first week we visited our German friends Limey and Tonica.  It was an absolute blast… almost felt like we were back in Clovis again (friend-wise…).  The second week was occupied with family, both Pam’s (for the big Grammapalooza) and mine (to visit one last time in Ohio before they move to Texas).  It was nice to just relax and shoot the breeze with my family down in Dayton after the hectic week-and-a-half.  Like I said, double the vacation and effort reaped double the fun; but at an expense: in 2 weeks I drove about 3500 miles total!  It’s a good thing the majority of those miles were here in America where gas is ~$3 per gallon… but in Germany, it was “double the price” for gas!  An aside: if you want to continue to see a trend of doubling in Germany, here’s Limey’s double-car dilemma.  Pam’s covered most of the Grammapalooza stuff in her post and we left the camera in the car at my parents’ house, but I’ll just throw a picture or two of why the double-vacation was worth it:

To Germany and beyond...

My time since being home has been about 1 day (in fact, just long enough to fire off this post).  I leave first thing tomorrow to go through Jump School, starting from day 1, a second time.  It sucks, but I gotta get this done.  Luckily now, I’m in even better shape than my first attempt, so hopefully that will discourage any stress fractures from rearing their ugly heads.  Just to be sure (because my 2-week vacation was booze-filled and fitness-barren), I gave myself a test today: I easily surpassed the required push-ups and sit-ups.  For the run?  I’m now down to the high-6-minute mile time, so 2 miles under 16 minutes should be rather easy.  Anyway, the Army managed to condense the week-long required Jump training into 3 weeks, so is my time in Jump School now doubled or are we talking exponential here?  I’ll leave that one to Astro, who just aced his college calculus class.

Lastly, a topic most young Air Force officers dread: SOS.  I’ve been seeing a lot of my buddies go through SOS lately and, knowing that I have to go through at some point, started looking into it.  The pilot community seems to watch out for their own, as almost everyone just gets sent to SOS at some point or other before their drop-dead time.  The rest of the Air Force (from what I’m seeing) has to actually compete for a slot… the competition: whoever’s completed the SOS course online, being super-motivated, usually earns the privilege to go through it all again, this time in person.  Yuck, but I guess it looks good on the resume.  I had talked to my Commander about this, and how I’d rather not do SOS online only to do it in-person again, because I intend on starting a Masters degree online (and I’d rather not do SOS online and a Masters degree online).  He agreed and was going to bat for me… until his bosses came down and pretty much said “no consideration will be made to send an officer to SOS unless he has completed (not started) the SOS course online.”  Suck… I guess it’s about time to “join” the rest of the non-pilot Air Force and just do it online, so I can get the prestige of going in person.  I so want to make that last statement sarcastic but can’t because it actually has a great bit of truth in it… it’s just what needs to be done at this point.  So I’ll be starting SOS-online during my down time of going through Jump School; hopefully I can finish this up quickly, because I am quickly approaching my “drop-dead” window for getting SOS done in-person.

So yes, I’ll be doubling my efforts from here on out.  But hopefully that will yield double the rewards and opportunities I give myself for the future.

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