Cool Pictures That I’m In or That I Took

I stumble across all sorts of stuff in my archives, some of which has never seen the light of day.  Here’s #1 in a series of posts I’m going to make when I find some of these treasures.  Some will be captioned, others will not. The only criteria for posting in this series is that:

a.)  I’m in the photo or…

b.)  … I took the photo.

Youngest son Andy, Me, oldest son Jonathon and the ever-so-talented actor and great friend, Frank Simons many moons ago in California. Frank was one of the very first people I met when I moved to California in 1990. He and I have shared many discussions about politics, Star Trek, television and pretty much everything. He’s one of my most dear friends and miss our debates. There’s no one else I’d rather have an argument with!



Ben Vereen visited the Pentagon some months after 9/11 when I was working on the Army’s Crisis Action team. Great guy! So is Ben.


Look closely -- you'll see a laptop computer in-flight immediately prior to its demise.  We called this "Computer Assisted Suicide" and had a party to celebrate the passing of my laptop.  Acting as the Range Safety Officer is the late Lt. Col. Bob Hagen, who assured that we didn't drop the laptop on an unsuspecting vehicle.

Look closely — you’ll see a laptop computer in-flight immediately prior to its demise. We called this “Computer Assisted Suicide” and had a party to celebrate the passing of my laptop. (Needless to say, alcohol was served.) Acting as the Range Safety Officer is the late Lt. Col. Bob Hagen, who assured that we didn’t drop the laptop on an unsuspecting vehicle. He’s giving us the thumbs up at the top of the photo.



This was taken on the flight line at Nellis AFB near Las Vegas, NV in 2005. With me is Retired Lt. Gen. Ed Soyster who was at the time the director of the World War II 60th Anniversary Commemoration Committee. I was the Chief of Staff for awhile as well as the PAO for the Committee. This job and working with this fine gentleman was one of the highlights of my nearly 29 year Army career.

I’ve Done Things I’m Not Proud Of

Six-year-old Nate cued up “The Simpsons Movie” in the DVR the other day before departing on spring break for Ohio and it got me to thinking about all things Simpson. I remembered the earliest shorts on “The Tracey Ullman Show” on through the later episodes. Some were genuinely hilarious and at the beginning, it was cutting-edge, subervise television. The writing never ceased to be clever, intelligent and tight.

HomerOne episode I remembered that really got my attention and made me laugh was “Poppa’s Got a Brand New Badge.”  Right before he goes to bed, Homer tells Marge, “I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life: boxer, mascot, astronaut, baby proofer, imitation Krusty, duck driver, hippie, plow driver, food critic, conceptual artist, grease salesman, carny, mayor, grifter, body guard for the mayor, country western manager, garbage commissioner, mountain climber, farmer, inventor, Smithers, Poochie, celebrity assistant, power plant worker, fortune cookie writer, beer baron, Kwik-E-Mart jerk, homophobe, and missionary, but protecting people, that gives me the best feeling of all.”  It’s a very funny little bit and stops you dead in your tracks if you’re watching the episode.  For me, it’s always been one of the more memorable scenes from a really great show.

This was the final episode of season 13 and they’re up to season 25 or some such thing. Imagine how many other jobs he’s had by now!

Anyway, I was wondering what my list would sound like.  So here’s my list.  I’m including the stuff I did for free, but that were still significant enough to say “It was my job.” There are some repeats because I did some jobs a few times.

Read it with Homer’s voice in your head. It’ll be a lot more interesting that way.

Stock boy
Sales clerk
Summer camp counselor
High school and college teacher
Fast-food cook
Fast-food sales clerk
Consumer electronic salesman
College deejay
ROTC cadet
Assistant News Director
Radio TV Officer
TV news anchor
Community theater actor
Platoon Leader
Radio and TV Station Manager
High school instrumental music teacher and conductor
Assistant Conductor of a military band
Commercial deejay again
Telecommunications officer
Company commander
Professional Actor
Community theater actor
Voiceover artist
Commercial deejay again
Electronic Media Officer
Public Affairs Officer
Security guard
TV master control operator
Instructor in computer subjects
Unit commander
TV network master control operator
Computer subjects instructor
Radio and TV Station Manager
Video tape operator
Public Affairs Officer
TV network master control operator
Computer subjects instructor
Supervisor, TV Network operations E!
Plans Officer, Army Public Affairs
Chief, Army senior leader support team
Chief of Staff
Staff Officer
Chief of Staff again
Deputy Commander
Program Manager
Marketing Communications Specialist

I Really Don’t Know What To Say

IIICorpsFirstly, my thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured in yesterday’s shooting at Fort Hood. I cannot imagine the boundless burden of grief they carry. But as Soldiers and their families most often do, I know they will do so with grace and dignity.

Watching the coverage unfold last night, I typed two words on my Facebook page: “Heavy heart.” I wasn’t able to watch that much of the coverage because of family commitments; story time for Nate and Garrett, the evening’s kitchen maintenance and the like. So I caught it in bits and pieces as I was able to tune in to TV news reports and check the print outlets online.

When Mr. Nidal Hasan shot up Fort Hood in 2009, I and pretty much every other reasonable person got angry.  Betrayal hurts and his was a huge betrayal.  Here was an enemy from within our own ranks. It was easy to feel angry and betrayed by that lunatic.  (And I’m being extraordinarily kind when I use the word “lunatic.”  You should have seen what I wrote in there the first draft.)  Once his appeals are exhausted, I sincerely want the military to execute him, though no one has been executed by the military since 1961. If anyone deserves it, it is Hasan.

This time, there’s no enemy.  I am filled with sorrow.  No anger, just sorrow.