Friday, September 4, 2009

Airman Leadership School...

It's been a little bit of an awakening. Not life changing or anything like that. ALS is a school they send you to in the Air Force to prepare you to be a supervisor. You usually don't get tasked with it until you are in line to get promoted to Staff Sergeant, but lucky me, that's not the case. I get to be a supervisor without getting a raise! This is completely outside of my usual blogging spectrum, but it's the reason I haven't gotten a chance to put up any good posts lately, so I thought I would let the world (or the one or two persons that read my blog) about some of the things that are going on.

I'm going to talk politics briefly, simply because it has come up so much at ALS. While having an intelligent political discussion with a fellow Airman, he mentioned that one of the things he didn't like about the Obama administration is all these new "czar" positions. The same guy, not 15 minutes later said that the main reason he wasn't happy with the big stimulus bill was because there wasn't enough oversight. For a guy as smart as he is, I found it petty and laughable that I actually had to say out loud that the new czars are put in place to oversee some of the companies, sectors, etc., that are receiving money from the stimulus. Then he told me the Fed had nothing to do with the government. I was done with the conversation at that point.

The first weekend at the school I got a chance to get a closer look at Congaree National Park. (I had driven through there before, but didn't spend any time there. I also didn't think it was an actual National Park, but all the signs said so, so I'm going with it). I hate to say that anything in the great out-of-doors is a disappointment, but this was pretty weak. The four hour hike only had two highlights, really, one of which had nothing to do with nature. The first highlight brought me up close and personal with a feral hog. I was just walking down the trail. He didn't see me, I didn't see him. Before I knew it I was right on top of him. Luckily he wasn't in the mood for a confrontation, so he snorted and rumbled off into the woods. Later, I ran into a guy with an obvious European accent. He asked me if it was always this hot. It was low 90s and very humid. I told him normally it was a few degrees warmer. He had just arrived in the country from Holland and was staying in Columbia to take some classes at South Carolina University. We ran into each other again later down the trail (a pretty flat and uneventful trail at that), and ended up sitting and talking for a while. He came back to Shaw AFB with me to watch the UFC Pay Per View fight with me and some of the other guys.

The fight, and pretty much everything else over the period of the next month was a little disappointing. Luckily this 5 week class is coming to an end. There have been a few good things to come out of this. I realized that I need to get the lead out when it comes to getting my degree done. And I need to do whatever it is I gotta do to get that fourth stripe.

When I do come back from this class, things are going to be a lot different. Laura and I are in the process of closing on a house right now. I also found out that the shop that I have worked in for the last three years got completely dismantled, so I will be going back to a different job. That little rascal of ours is growing like a weed, so life at home is going to be different as well! Not to mention that the day after I graduate from this course I will be having my fourth knee surgery... FOURTH!!!

Hopefully recovery will be short and we can get back on the trails. By that time the little guy should be big enough to fit into his seat in the backpack. We'll keep you posted.