Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend Recap
...and a tangent on Self Portraits

This post started out as a short weekend recap, but evolved into a much longer rambling.

Didn't do as much as I would have liked this weekend, but then since I was out at sea last weekend it was nice to have some time to just veg and relax.

Friday night we did the fall festival at ES's school that I already wrote about.

Saturday we did some shopping and went to the farewell party at the Eng's house.

Sunday morning we ended up skipping church because YS slept in until 9:30. LW and I were starting to worry something happened to him in his sleep. Both boys are normally up and clicking away on the computers by 7 a.m. at the latest. When LW and I get up in the morning, we have to forcibly remove the boys from our computers in order to check our email. Yesterday, YS was super tired and cranky and did NOT want to go to bed even though it was way late after the farewell party. Normally, putting our boys to bed late is just a recipe for disaster, because they'll STILL get up at their usual time the next morning, and then they'll just be tired, cranky, pains in the arse all day long. Luckily for us, YS slept in way late this morning, and because we were out late we didn't want to wake a sleeping dragon. As a result, I'm happy to report that he was very pleasant to be around all day today. ...I wish I could say the same for ES (went to bed late, got up usual time, was cranky off and on throughout the day).

Once everyone was up and about, we loaded up our Camelbaks and went for a hike over on the windward side of the island in Kaneohe. We went looking for a geocache along a nice trail in the Friendship Gardens. Although we didn't find the geocache, we still enjoyed the short hike and the view from the top.

Entrance to the Friendship Gardens

The boys on the trail.

How on Earth did they get this thing all the way up here?

I always take a self-portrait on the trail.

Why do I take all those self-portraits anyway? That brought to mind a story actually. I wish I could go back and thank some random commander I met in Coronado in the summer of '92. It was SWO week during CORTRAMID. CORTRAMID is Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen. You spend one week with the sub force, one week with the surface warfare guys, one week with the aviators, and one week with the marine corps to help you make an educated decision on what you want to be when you grow up (or graduate from college and get commissioned).

Back when I was a midshipman, everyone was still high on Top Gun and feeling the "need for speed." As a result, the aviators didn't have to do much in the way of recruiting - they had more applicants than they had slots to fill. Aviation week for me was spent in Whidbey Island doing a lot of sitting around waiting, going to the gym, goofing off, hiking, going on ONE ride in an A-6 Intruder (which was awesome), sitting around waiting, going to the gym, and more goofing off.
The other three weeks though, the sub guys, the SWOs, and the Marines actually tried to let us see and do as much cool stuff as possible so we might consider signing up for something else besides being a Tom Cruise wanna-be.

So, getting back to the point, there I was... It was SWO week and we were spending our day with the "gator freighters" (amphibious assault ships) riding in amphibious landing craft on the beach at Coronado. I was going around taking pictures of all sorts of cool stuff. Some commander saw me and said something to the effect of, hey, let me take your picture with that in the background. Not that I asked for his advice, but he just offered up that later on in life, the pictures I took would be more interesting to me if they had either me or someone else I knew in the picture instead of just random scenery.

I've followed his advice ever since then, and he was absolutely right. I could look up a picture of the White House or the Eiffel Tower on the internet anytime, but a picture with me in it and the White House or the Eiffel Tower in the background shows that I was there. It dates the picture. It also shows what I looked like way back then, who I was there with, and at what phase in my life I visited there (before or after getting married, before or after having kids, etc).

Of course, when you're in public places like that, you can always ask some other tourist nearby to take your picture. When I got into geocaching and going on long hikes in the woods, I worked on my skills at taking my own picture with my palm pilot camera - as proof that I found the geocache and to document my adventures.

This was perhaps the first blunoz self-portrait,
just after I discovered geocaching and just
before the Army-Navy football game.

This is one of my favorite blunoz self-portraits
hiking in Northern VA with my ES (that's
the Potomac River in the background).

...So how's that for a random ramling??? I totally didn't know where this post was going to go when I started.

1 comment:

Sam said...

OK...first off, I love that you just took a pic of an empty plate! ha ha! True testament to your wife's abilities in the kitchen. That recipe sounds delish!

Secondly, you remind me of my friend Dawn, a sub wife, who we say has freakishly long arms and thats why she's so adept at taking self portraits. Love the kids hiking. Great place to do it! Nice to see your family taking advantage of all there is over there!