Monday, July 26, 2010

Where are our heroes?

Now is my time to openly reflect upon something that has been on my mind all weekend.
I have some friends here in Hawaii from Mongolia and I've learned some interesting things from them. Hanging in their apartment is a tapestry of Genghis Khan. My friend informed me that every family in Mongolia has an image of Genghis Khan in their home and I was shown pictures of the Mongolian capitol and the countryside that are dotted with statues and monuments dedicated to this national hero. Yes Genghis Khan is a hero in Mongolia. But wait, wasn't he known for his brutality and ferocity? How can the Mongolian people today revere such a violent leader? I'll tell you why, according to a 5-second search on Wikipedia, he stretched the Mongol empire to an impressive 13,000,000 sq. miles extending to present-day Poland, Korea, Vietnam, and Siberia making it the largest contiguous land empire in the history of the world. He is also described as a genius in his battle tactics and military campaigns.
I thought about this a lot. Where are our national heroes? All of the people I was taught to respect and honor at home were criticized and degraded in the classroom at school. The people I admired - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, etc. - were put under a microscope and every part of their private lives were aired and analyzed (whether documented history or theoretical musing). George Washington was no longer presented as a man of virtue or a great general, but rather a cad due to "rumors" of "promiscuity" and he was a coward, this I was told because he attacked the Hessian army in the dead of night. Let's forget that it was a brief battle and most Hessian soldiers were taken prisoner not killed. In high school we didn't discuss Thomas Jefferson's presidency or his writings (which are among the best compositions in the world) or his career as a politician, diplomat, lawyer, or ambassador. No, instead we dedicated two days to discussing his alleged affair with a slave named Sally Hemmings (a theory that has yet to even be proven).
Remember that old Disney film Melody Time? Remember Johnny Appleseed singing the Swedenborgian hymn "Oh the Lord is good to me..." while he planted his apple trees? Didn't that just make you swell with pride? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but I heard it from what had to have been a product of the unionized public education system that grips America today that Johnny Appleseed was a drunk and a child molester. Hmmm..... Oh and don't forget Christopher Columbus! The man who made one of the greatest impacts on world history is also immortalized in Disney's So Dear To My Heart with the song "Stick-to-it-ivity". But Columbus can't be our national hero since I was taught in college that Christopher Columbus committed "the largest genocide in the history of the world". Let's see, Webster defines genocide as "the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group", so according to my biology teacher Columbus "systematically" and "deliberately" planned the diseases he and his man carried. That makes sense because so many people had been to America and told him what the result would be. Not that my professor was alone in that thought, more teachers join the protest of Columbus Day every year.
Y'all know me, I'm not one to be easily goaded into anger, but I have to ask the question now: What The Hell Is Wrong With America Today?
How long will we keep on this perverse quest to downplay and make insignificant the efforts of every individual who has helped make this country great? How long will we play the part of the masochist and tear apart and destroy our own history and heritage? Are there any other countries that insist on making villains of their victors, demons of their founders, and in general sinners of their saints? How long will we insist on pointing out every human flaw, real or speculated, that may or may not have existed in the beings of great men and women who put their fortunes, reputations, and lives on the line to form this country?
My grandfather was a great man who served his country valiantly in three wars. He was too tall to fit in the cockpit of his WWII airplane with a parachute so he went without. He was shot down twice, received the Purple Heart on more than one occasion, and when he died at age 83 he still had shrapnel in his legs from being shot. Those are the people kids should be learning about in school. And I suppose they are being taught about the right people, but what life highlights are they learning? With that in mind let me rephrase: My grandpa was a mechanic that worked at a gas station (I'll leave out that he built it with his own two hands), a religious radical (since all devoted Christians are these days), and his father was a bootlegger and a crook. There now, we have a description worthy of the current education system and textbooks.
Every Mongolian child is taught that Genghis Khan is a hero. Every home displays his image. Why can't we do that for George Washington?

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Dream Boards

So these are my dream boards. A dream board is a physical reminder of something that lives deep inside, a yearning or desire in my heart that I want to see realized in my life. So this is my first dream board I made. Around the outside is a list of places I would like to go. The board has pictures that symbolize my dreams as well as quotes that I pulled from the notes I had taken at major conventions and seminars. Next to the quotes are pictures of the Team leaders I took the quotes from. And then I filled in spaces with little Teamisms like '300 Club' and 'Ruby Fly-In'.
One of my biggest dreams is to retire Ryan. I borrowed a saying from Cynthia Dionne that says, "Ain't it great, Free at twenty-eight!"
I also listed some of the charities I would like to work with and donate time and money to. Those pictured here are The Smile Train and The Elephant Nature Foundation.
I love this quote from Chris Brady.
And the best seminar ever was when Bill Newton introduced "Striped Whistlers".
This is my dive dream board. I made it about a week after I made my original dream board. The gear I want, the dives I'd like to do, all that good stuff.
And lastly, this is my reward board. As I reach new levels I reward myself with the things listed on the board. Sure I could go to the Hukilau Cafe any day for lunch, but I want to earn it and work for it. It starts small with lunches, goes up to stuff like swimwear, and ends with awesome trips and my black Mercedes!

Love you all!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And as luck would have it...

Yeah so yesterday at work one of the horses broke my nose. Luckily it is only fractured and not displaced so no re-setting required. It's really turning out not to be my week. Should I even get out of bed tomorrow?

Friday, July 9, 2010


I'm no stranger to pulling objects out of my feet: nails, tacks, a golf tee (I have photos to back that one up). But this one was by far the most painful. Remember that quote from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves by Alan Rickman when he says "Because it's dull you twit, it'll hurt more!" I can attest to that. so what did I pull out of my foot?
How did the electronic charger lodge itself in the arch of my foot? I don't know. I just stepped out of bed and wham! It's tipped with plastic for crying out loud! Ryan also pulled pieces of flesh out of the hollow center of the charger.

Always one to try to lighten the mood of any situation Ryan said, "Skye, if you wanted more energy there are easier ways to 'charge' yourself."

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Well I didn't die!

I thought I'd utilize the training blog so check it out for pics of my first 10K!