Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category
Navimie of The Daily Frostwolf – Druid Edition poked me yesterday, reminding me that it had been 3 weeks since my last update!
While I do write for you, I also write for myself. I have a great personal perceived need to put this on (digital) paper.
Fair Warning – This post exceeds 1200 words.
A few people know what position I’m going for in the USAF. Most don’t, however. There is a reason for that. I’ve stayed relatively anonymous on my blog since it’s inception. I especially don’t go into my RL job very often.
As far as I can remember, I’ve never actually mentioned what I do.
Again, there is a reason.
You see, I’ve worked in the area of Religion/Church for around 15 years.
That should be enough to scare most people away.
As you can imagine, I’m trying to enter the USAF as a Chaplain.
If everything goes as planned, I will start out as a (most likely) a Captain (O3). I’ve got great military references on my application, great work experience, and a great education. Thus far, I’ve excelled in everything they’ve asked of me.
At least, until I got to MEPS.
TLD;R – Z needs a Dental Waiver. MEPS was quite an experience!
The Chief Medical Officer seemed pretty positive that I would get one; but that still makes me currently “unfit for service.” It will be 3-4 weeks before I find out whether or not I get one.
If I don’t get one, then I believe I will still be given the opportunity to get things fixed on my own. That means we’ll be spending a healthy amount of $$$ to get everything fixed.
I’m extremely embarrassed about the whole thing.
That being said, the process was quite an experience!
It wasn’t fun. It was high stress. Not every MEPS employee was the perfect example of professional courtesy. But, I’m not going to belabor that point.
Instead, I just want to give a description of what I went through (with a slightly positive bent).
First, not everything was in working order. You see, I was my Officer Ascensions recruiter’s first Officer to ever put through. He basically told me to do everything he tells the enlisted folks to do. The problem is that Officers are (usually) different. I was told that I would only need my ID and SS card. However, I knew that I would also need my eyeglasses prescription as well.
Note – if you wear glasses/contacts, not only do you need your prescription (a complete,detailed account of your examination) from your doctor; BUT there is a special form for it to be written on. I had never heard of this form until I got to MEPS! At the same time, they never actually showed me the form. In the end, the Chief Medical Officer accepted the prescription.
I was told to show up to the hotel the night before check-in at 7:00pm. Then I would need to be sure to show up at MEPS by 5:00am the next morning.
I got to the hotel and I was the only Officer candidate there. The liaison saw me, and asked me to remind my OA recruiter to remember to list me as an Officer candidate. Yeah, I wasn’t expected.
Hey, at least I got my own room!
Went and had dinner with the other (enlisted) recruits, did a cardio work out in the hotel gym, then went to the 8:30pm briefing.
Basically, the briefing was an overview on how they expected everyone to act while at the hotel.
There were about 30-50 of us there. I could count on one hand the number of people over the age of 20 (I’m 39).
Got up around 3:00am. Had breakfast at 4:00am. Got to MEPS (via my own car) at 5:00am.
The Army Major that met us was pleasant enough. He wasn’t rude. He did use a loud voice, but I wouldn’t say that he “yelled” at us. He did speak rather quickly, while reminding us repeatedly to not waste his time.
We lined up, went through security to get in, and made our way to our Service Liaison office.
Where, you stand in line again. This was often repeated through out the day. You learn new meaning to the phrase, “Hurry up and wait!”
When I finally got to the desk, the USAF personnel, saw my name-tag; and promptly asked, “Why are you hear so early!?”
That’s right. It turns out they prefer Officer types to show up around 9-10am. I knew this was going to be the start of an interesting day.
I signed in, went and put my stuff in a locker (you did bring .25 cents, right?!), and then went to wait in a cafeteria where they gave us our paperwork/file.
From there, we went to the Control Desk to sign in officially with MEPS. There was a little problem with my finger prints. For some reason my thumb wouldn’t take. But, they fixed that later.
Ok, I’m going to shorten this a little bit. There were a couple of problems early on. First, the finger print not taking. There were also a couple of digits mixed up in my Social Security #.
Once that was squared away, I could get on with it.
There was another briefing, where they got us to fill out paper work…again.
Near the end of the briefing, we were individually asked what branch we were going into, and which position we were trying out for.
Yes, MEPS is basically a job interview. We were reminded of this multiple times.
This is where everyone there learned that I was going for the Chaplaincy. I assumed that everyone from there on out would avoid me like the plague.
Guess what…I was wrong.
This was the interesting thing which my mind keeps coming back to. Even in the midst of this high stress situation. In this experience where everything changed every 5 minutes. In this experience where there was always someone telling you want to do in a rapid fire fashion; I was still sought out.
The average age of the recruits was 18. I saw a large number of 17, 18 and 19 year olds.
It was hard to believe how the young men and women (17-18yr olds) actually sought me out and opened up to me. It always started the same way:
Enlisted Recruit, “You wanna be a Chaplain?”
Me, “Yes. I’m really hoping for it.”
Recruit, “What does a Chaplain do?”
Me, “Well, I would basically act like a Pastor or Priest in the military. I would be able to do services, but I would also do quite a bit of counseling.”
Recruit…following a brief pause…, “I’m going through X. What do you think about X?”
It ran the gambit from Vocational Counseling, Parental Counseling, Marital Counseling, and etc.
While I found quite a bit that was frustrating concerning the overall MEPS experience; I was utterly humbled to be of service to the young men and women there.
However, on the plus side: I made my weight, aced almost everything. I also had an opportunity to minister (which totally surprised me). One friend even pointed out how this could be interpreted as a verification of my call to go into the USAF as a Chaplain. He noted, “You’re not even in, and you’re already acting like one!”
I just received a call from the recruiter. My application has made it past the review board, and now I’m officially into Phase 3 of the process!
From what he told me, it means this:
- More paper work.
- A local recruiter is going to contact me to help facilitate a few things… like…
- MEPS! Which may happen in April.
You wouldn’t believe how my hands are shaking as I type this!
So, these are my goals:
- Get into as great of shape as I can between now and MEPS.
- Get any, and all, paper work done (asap).
- Make sure my files (electronic and paper) are up to date.
- Don’t slack in my current position (job), just because I may be gone in 3-4 months.
I’m sure that I’m missing something, but that will work for now.
I’ve been seriously considering this idea of leveling up my life.
To be honest, my main faults tend to revolve around procrastination and lack of motivation. I’ll use any little Jedi mind-trick I can get my hands on to make things work.
I’ve been thinking about what it would be like if ran my life like a game? How would I view things? How would I gain experience levels?
While I’ve played many computer games (not so many console games); my current game of choice is World of Warcraft. Naturally, I’m going to think of things in terms of WoW.
The categories I’m going to use are:
Dailies, Class Quests/Goals, Hobby Quests, and Reputations. These will probably be interrelated.
I think Daily Quests are things that I do, for particular reasons, on a daily basis.
I know, it’s rocket science!
I can have Daily Quests associated with my Class (think Vocation) Quests/Goals, Hobby Quests and definitely Reputation grinds.
So, for instance: One of my Daily Quests is to go Work Out.
I think this falls into a few categories. This comes under my Class Quest, for sure. You see, I need to be at a particular level of fitness to gain admittance into the Air Force. This Daily Quest (Working Out) directly relates to my overall Class Quest (Vocational Goal).
Part of my current position is regular Public Speaking/Relations. Simply put, I need to constantly be working on the next speech. This is updating research, finding proper illustrations, etc. This is literal, “Study Time,” that has to be done almost every day.
Part of Public Relations is that you are in constant PR mode in everyone you meet. Think of it this way, it is a Rep grind for the company! Not only do I gain rep when I meet with a potential client/donor; but the company gains (or loses) rep as well. So, not only do I need to schedule regular appointments with different people (Celestial Dailies?) through the week, but my interpersonal skill gets better with every meeting I engage in. So, this would be related to Rep Grind and partially the overall Class Quest. But, this is something I try to engage in every couple of days, if not on a daily basis.
The Class Quest would be my overall Vocational Goal.
Granted, when I started playing WoW these tended to be mount quests for Warlocks and Paladins. As a Hunter, I was horribly saddened that we didn’t get a cool mount quest. But, we did get the Taming Quests, which I enjoyed immensely.
Using the USAF as an example; the first major hurdle is getting in. After that, each major quest may be related to Promotions within the Ranks. If I’m ever sent away on a remote duty tour; that would be a side quest; or maybe a bonus quest – leading towards that future promotion. Since the average retirement rank for the position I’m seeking is a Colonel (06), I think it is ok to think of each promotion as either being worth 1/2 a level, or even a full level.
Lets face it, assuming I get in; each promotion might be 3-4 years coming. Of course, I’m pulling that out of the air. I could be wrong about the timeline.
Other things that would fall under this category would be advanced training, certifications and education. Depending upon what I’m doing, I can break these down into dailies, intermittent, or even larger quests/goals.
When I think of Hobby Quests, I think of things that I find useful (and maybe even fun). These could benefit me in multiple ways. They can be Class related, or not. They could be Rep related, or not. They could be about expanding my…whatever! In WoW, these are considered ”Professions,” and can include things like Leather Working, Black Smithing, First Aid, Cooking, Fishing etc. While some things like Leather Working might have a direct benefit to the player; you don’t really have to have Fishing as a “needed” skill.
I still do it, because I enjoy it! But, I’m weird that way.
A real life Hobby would be something like taking up guitar, karate, cooking classes, working out, etc. These are all thing I may enjoy and gain some benefit from.
Notice, I put “working out” in this category as well. Truth be told, I actually enjoy it. While the USAF requires me to be physically fit, my current job does not. I would still work out, but it would be considered more a hobby; and less of a “need” if not for my USAF aspirations.
Reputation Quests – 10-50% xp Gain
Now, why in the world would I have Rep quests equal to 10-50% of experience?
We all know that some req quests in WoW don’t give out squat!
I’m looking at you Golden Lotus Dailies!
But, I’m thinking of real life stuff right now. There are some Reputations that I greatly value.
For instance, I greatly value my “Rep” with my family. If anything, I could use the word Social Interaction, Relationship, or any number of identifiers in place of “Reputation” here. But, I’m sticking with what I know.
I have a “Rep” with everyone in my family. Things I do either help me gain rep, or might actually detract from what I have.
For instance, when I help my wife with family related chores; she is happier with me! (+100 w/ the Wife Faction!)
What if I was stupid enough to commit adultery? (-100,000,000 w/ Wife Faction)
What if I show up to my kids events, teach them how to play ball, heck – just play with them at night! (+100 w/ Child Faction)
What if I’m stupid enough to demean and abuse my children? (-100,000,000 w/ Child Faction, -1000,000,000 w/ Wife Faction, ”Lock Up Immediately” w/ Law Enforcement Faction)
I’ve often said, “If I fail at being a Husband and a Father; then I fail at life.”
I truly mean that. That highlights the importance of my Reputation Quests. I need to do regular things (lets call them Relationship Maintenance) to keep my Reputation with my family maxed out. These can take the forms of Dailies, or even larger intermittent Quests (Think Birthdays, Anniversaries, Milestones, etc.).
I already mentioned the idea of Reputation with (and on behalf of) my job. I would probably put those around the “10% xp gain.”
There you have it. My rough idea concerning Leveling Up my Life.
My next thing “to do,” is to make a list of my dailies. That list should contain what the daily is, and which category it most impacts. Then, I can determine if there needs to be a realignment of my dailies to accurately portray my priorities and values.
What about you? If you were to level up your life; what would it look like?
What if my life was a game, and I was able to level up?
I’m just wondering.
More is to come.
I can’t begin to tell you how blessed I am.
I know that it may sound arrogant. I can sound like I’m bragging. Perhaps I am.
I’m blessed by the people I know. The groups that allow me to wear the guild tags.
Thank you for being there.
Friends that Give from their Creativity
I’ve already mentioned this once, but it bears mentioning again. You see, friends are what make this game great. Friends that write you poems of appreciation.
Gifts that cost something
Friends that give you Battle Pets, to show their care and appreciation.
These were gifts from a wonderful friend in game. Thank you so very much!
Finally, there has been some RNG love as well. I can’t explain it. I know that people have been suffering. They’ve been camping these sort of pets for weeks, if not months. I’m not sure exactly how I wound up with 3 within 7 days.
In the end, this is my thought.
Be thankful for the people that welcome you when you log in. Be thankful for those you raid with, talk on vent with, pursue those in-game goals with.
So tell me, who do you appreciate?
Go ahead, read her post.
Actually, go ahead and Google “Darkmoon Rabbit” and see what you get. If you read enough of it, you’ll come away with an idea on how hard it is to get one, and the level of admiration/affection her friend has for her.
“Z, what’s with all the Navi-love?”
My response was:
“I’m not really sure. I guess she is the common thread between me and Matty.”
In her blog post, someone makes a statement on how “nice” a “friend” she has.
In which she responds, “I only HAVE nice friends “
While I don’t doubt the veracity of that statement, I think there may be more of a reason.
Why does Navimie “seem” to get so many meaningful gifts?
Here is my answer:
Navi makes you feel like a Rock Star.
My first piece of evidence is the Navispams.
There is only one reason that all of these people have been Navispammed. Namely, that they are “worth” it. Navimie has decided that these folks are worth getting to know. Worth researching, tracking down,
stalking, blogged about, and shown for all the world to see at their very best.
Navimie gets nice things because she has gone out of her way, made it a mission, to show others as “being” special, worthy and wanted.
My second piece of evidence is her constant encouragement.
Not only does she read every boring USAF Update I write, but she constantly pours encouragement into it.
I’m not the only one she does this to.
My third piece of evidence is how she shows appreciation.
You see, thankfulness is systemic with her. It is part and parcel with who she is as a WoW Player/Community Blogger.
And then, she even goes the extra mile with something like this:
You can also read where she did something similar for Erinys of Harpy’s Nest Blog.
This is why Navimie gets nice things:
It is an outpouring of appreciation for the gift(s) she’s already given us.
Now, who should we lavish some love upon next? I’m taking nominations!
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you breathlessly following my journey into the USAF…
Here’s another update.
I’m afraid you may be underwhelmed!
I’ve not done very well on my overall workout regimen. I start out the week strong, but usually derping it through by the end of the week. The scale hasn’t moved very much, but it has moved a little. Thankfully in the right direction (Down!). I’ve gained a little bit of muscle mass, which I’m grateful for.
I am worried about something though. My regimen is good for loosing weight and body transformation. But, I’m not sure that it is good for gaining the strength I need to do my required sit-ups and push-ups. One reason I love it is because it has a 20 minute, high intensity cardio workout. This is also great for burning calories; but I really need endurance. Specifically, I need running endurance. Sure, I’ve been using the elliptical, but that isn’t exactly the same thing. So, I’m considering modifying my workout to compensate for these perceived shortcomings.
I believe that my main problem has been self-motivation. So, I’m doing a few things to help in that direction.
First of all, I made an appointment to be “officially” weighed by a trainer this coming Friday. Not only will he weigh me, but will check my body fat% and my waist inches. Remember, I need to be 195 lbs or less, and a 37 inch (or less) waist to get in. There is nothing like a “Due Date” to kick things into gear. I’ve noticed that this was the first time in the process when I didn’t have a “hard date” by which to get things done. It was more along the lines of, “The Board meets sometime in Feb or March. You’ll have to be in shape by then.”
Again, no hard date to be done by. So, I’m adding my own artificial dead lines.
Secondly, I’m putting up physical reminders of “why” I’m going through this process. That mostly looks like Notes written to myself in places I’m sure to see them. They articulate the individual, motivational reasons that I’m on this journey. I also take time to reflect upon “why” I’m doing it. Setting some time aside to intentionally remember, not just be intermittently reminded, as to the “why.”
- A sense of doing what I am created to do.
- Expanded life opportunities for my family.
- Better monetary compensation.
- Well defined Promotion/Advancement structure.
- Structure that my personality works well under.
- “The Want” – I have a deep seated desire to do it.
Ok, that’s about it. Time to go work out.
Posted in General, Nelflings, Random Fun, Real Life, tagged food stuff, health, healthy-living, Nutrition, Safari Hat, Stuff, sugar chocolate, Update, weakling, work out regimen, Working Out on January 10, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Hello you beautiful people!
Here is an update on the happenings of “The Stuff.”
Phase one of “Current Project” is almost complete. I’m giving one more day of extended time for the “Stuff” that needs to happen, to happen. Then, I’m taking care of my part of the “Stuff” that needs to happen for the final /SQUEEEEEEE to commence.
For those that have ears, let them hear.
The Eldest Nelfling is getting over the flu. We are praying that it doesn’t spread to the Youngest Nelfling (nor myself or Mrs. Z).
The Work Out regimen has been going well. I need to be at 195 lbs by February 1. I should make that with in plenty of time left to spare.
However, Nutrition is another issue.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what I’m doing. “Knowing” is not the problem. The problem is that: “Knowing” doesn’t always result in the action required. In my case, I’m a weakling for sugar (chocolate!) and carbohydrates of any kind. I’m overdoing it on the carbs, particularly. I need to plan out my meals better, AND get off my duff and purchase the needed Food Stuff. If I don’t have the needed Food Stuff, I eat accidentally…meaning: I eat whatever is staring at me from the fridge.
No, Z gets to take some initiative now.
I’M ROCKING THE SAFARI HAT!!!
Did my cardio and abs work out this morning.
You know, I’ve never been a fan of cardio. It really isn’t any fun. I like the BFL work out because it is only 20 minutes long.
I can do that!
Now, if I can only figure out how to hook up a wifi connection at the gym so I can play WoW at the same time!