The old man and the submarine…

I was a young man once long ago,
And I look in the mirror and feel I have not aged.
But I look a people all around me,
And I know that everything must change.

I am not old, as I shake my fist into the air,
I am me, the same young guy.
But I see my friends, and they are old,
And they are tired, and gray.

Like the Beatle’s Yellow Submarine,
I am that man from your town, who sailed to sea,
Beneath the waves,
On a yellow submarine.

I do not like to think I’m old.
And yet it is not a bad place to be.
I am for once not too old,
And not too young.

But every day, I become more and more that old man from the submarine.

#Love is…

  • Not a fleeting thought.
  • Not something you ever fall out of. 
  • Not to be taken lightly. 
  • Not a physical thing. 
  • Not the same for everyone.
  • Given freely without reciprocation. 
  • Something that may transform through time. 
  • The foundation of our being and the reason for our existence. 
  • What gives us strength and courage. 
  • What gives us empathy. 
  • Sunshine and hugs, and protection. 
  • Tears. 
  • Everlasting and timeless. 
  • Energy.
  • Selflessness.
  • Spiritual. 
  • Family. 
  • Friends. 
  • You and me. 

WonderWoman and the CIS Male

I recently read and article that said WonderWoman is a role model for Women and Gay Men. And like the scratch of a needle from a record, I was like, WTF! I love WW, and she is a role model for me, a CIS male too. 

There is a universality that great heros bring to a story. Bravery, integrity, strong moral code. Sorry, just because WW is female, doesn’t mean I can’t identify with that. 

But WW takes guys like me to another place that maybe many women have been sitting thinking for so long as they watch other superhero films, where do I fit in as supporting cast? Women are given, Lois Lane, Catwoman, and myriad other love interests. 

D.C. has done well is creating a type of tension between Batman and WonderWoman that can almost be described as a moonlighting type romance (see Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepard). But for WonderWoman love is the most powerful force in the universe. It drives all the rest of the reasons for her to uplift and defend the weak.  

We know that all of the Greek gods have mortal emotions, and we watch the transformation of Diana into someone who understands her role as a mighty superhero, and that is partially because of the affect of Steve Trevor. 

I am just fine with being Steve Trevor, an imperfect male who want to see this incredible woman succeed in every way. My flaw is trying to help, for good or bad, because WonderWoman can do it herself, and in fact, it is me who benefits from her help.  

If CIS men would look at women a bit more like Wonder women, than princesses, they might see women reaching some of the highest potential rather than being pushed aside. I have an amazing mom, a total WonderWoman in her own right. I think as a guy, when you see women, strong and powerful, it only adds to who you are.

For me, I see myself as Batman, who stands in awe and in love with WonderWoman. 

Moments that make you want to return to your hobbit hole. 

I’m at an awards banquet tonight, and it’s probably the last place I want to be on a Sunday night. I’m supporting cast, and I’m presenting some lame award as part of the evening events. And trust me, it’s like crazy person of the year award. 

So what happens when you lose your motivation for something you are passionate about? Sometimes you have to realize that it is just time to go. Service is an important part of what makes us have purpose. We do things that we hope will enrich the lives of others. We hope that the impact we make on organizations will be positive. And yet the forces that push back on you can push back hard. People can feel like they are battling a group of people who don’t share the same goals and dreams. And this leads to the feeling of flight. You can only fight so much before you are done beating your head up against the wall. You watch the money clubs and disappointments from moment to moment. And you know, it’s time to go. 

I believe in honor, courage and commitment. And they may be the Navy core of values. But they are what leads one to total devotion to duty and keeping with the highest tradition of being an American. When the reason for things is any but these goals, then I know, it’s time to go. 

I will retreat to my hobbit hole and have my second breakfasts and look at the things in my mantle and remember the positive times. 

WonderWoman: A Love Story

So I saw WonderWoman today in IMAX 3D. I’m just going to start by saying, go see this movie. It’s outstanding!

This movie gets so much right about creating this superhero. They bring her back to her roots as a powerful being. But in this movie we learn that there is so much more to Diana Prince than a prettt smile and a bunch of toys from the gods. 

Some people were wondering about that accent. After the first 10 minutes of the movie it all makes sense. She didn’t grow up in America, she grew up on paradise island. Enough said there. 

I can’t say I have read all the comic books, but from what I can tell is that they have taken a bit from many different D.C. Incarnations and what they created is spectacular. 

The interesting thing is your level of suspension of disbelief never has to happen very much until she gets active as a superhero. But the movie isn’t about using her powers or I should say supernatural powers. It’s about who she is a human being and as a woman in society. What is she fighting for? And what? Those are the moral delimnas that we watch her face head on and overcome. 

She is everyone’s sister, or mother, or wife, or daughter, or female friend, at least the one that I would want. From my male perspective this strong woman doesn’t scare me, because I know we need equals in this world to be our mates. WonderWoman stand tall, more than equal, she is a goddess, and yet with many of the emotions of a human being. 

Empathy and love go hand in hand. This story will take you on a journey. The lessons of why we do things come up over and over again. We do them for the right reasons, and no surprise we see WonderWoman fighting for justice, and the most transformative moment in this movie will probably bring you to tears. 

Go see this movie, its an intense ride of your life that will make you fall in love with WonderWoman all over again. 

Chain of Command

Hey you rogue agent? You know who I’m talking about? You think you know better than everyone else… you want to do it your own way because you believe you have the right answers. Well stop it!!! 

I am watching organizational breakdown occcur because people do not understand their roles within the organization. If you do not like the answer your boss gives you, that doesn’t mean you go around them to force your opinion onto your boss. That is a sure fired way to create bad blood in your workplace, even if you are right. 

So how can you win? Three steps to success. 

  1. Determine your chain of command. 
  2. Let them hang. 
  3. Pick your battles

1.  Have your boss or organization make the communication chain clear. You shouldn’t feel that people are too busy or they won’t give you an answer.

2.  When you have an issue bring it up vehemently with your leader. If they tell you they have got it, trust them. Let them lead. You are the subordinate, and while you are appreciated in what you do, most things do not have a sense of urgency that require you to throw your boss under the bus. When you do have a different opinion, be ready to support it with facts and figures and urgency if it needs immediate attention.  But do cross the line, after you have done your part, they need to do theirs, and if it means they hang, no one will come back on you. 

3. Pick your battles. If you create an adversarial relationship with your boss, you will be doomed in your work place. You have to figure out what is worth fighting for? Like your credibility, or doing the right thing, ethically. But sometimes being right for the sake of being right doesn’t always rue the day. Many times there are different ways to approach a problem, and your idea is just one of a few solutions. 

Ask yourself:

  • Will I lose sleep over this issue?
  • Will I lose my job over this?
  • Will the company lose business over this?
  • Do I understand all the pros and cons?

Once you do all of that, figure out if is worth it. If it is, the. Go for it. Otherwise, let them hang. 

Once a lead/boss hangs a few times, they will see your value, and you will be a person they go to for your opinion and you will have a good working relationship as a go to person. 

If everything is a fight or done around the bosses back, you will create an environment of failure. 

Build bridges at work. It’s the only way to succeed. 

Journalism needs more than journalists #fakenews #realnews #TLDR #factsmatter

Recently there was a story in the news that Trump gave out information about US Submarines operating near the Korean Peninsula.  The report or headlines read that Trump divulged classified information about submarines to the Filipino president.  There were transcripts of the conversation that many people probably did not even read.  But we are so quick to read a headline and believe it, rather than actually taking the time to research the facts.

Submariners that I know were initially up in arms, including myself.  You read the headline and wonder, what the fuck!!!  But then we started to dig into it, and what was said.  There seems to be a consensus among the community that the media spun this story wrong. (I’m being nice here).

The facts is the Philippine government classified the transcript of the conversation.

The media did not cite a source that stated that the information about submarines relayed by Trump was classified.  The question exists, did he put people in harms way?  Read the transcript and see for yourself.

I bring this up, because now more than ever, we are going to need to rely on the media to get the story right.  This can not be about left and right, republicans or democrats. The media needs to be about facts.

Why? Because it takes one spun story sensationalized to have people stop trusting you.  Our society, at least in America is all about the rule of law.  The media currently waging a battle against this administration because important issues are on the line.  The bill of rights are on the line.

What I’m saying is that if you are a big media outlet, and you cover the military, you need to have military experts read your stories.  Fact check them, and validate that they will meet the reasonable persons standard of truth.  If you have ever been on the other side of a news story, you start to wonder sometimes if the reporter had actually been there, or was playing the old telephone game, and heard the story 3rd or 4th or 5th hand sometimes.

We need our media to be the best at what they do.  Photos, audio/video are great for telling a story, experts are important too.  

Reuters, who initially published the story that was picked up by other media outlets never said that US officials, or anyone made the claim that the information was classified, they made the claim themselves.  If you want to stop people from using the term fake news, you have to stop spinning things.  I can’t defend the media, when they do things like this.  I know in the fast paced world of news, things happen, but hopefully as more information comes out about Russia, hacking and everything else, we will find out facts, because facts matter.

Friendships 

Every journey you take starts with a thought placed in motion. You move forward, in your mind, in your footsteps. Sometimes you decide to go it alone, by choice or happenstance. 
And if you are lucky, you find good friends along your way.

Like Dorothy found the scarecrow, the Tinman and lion. 

And sometimes, like Alice (in Wonderland) you meet people who are just experiences, like the Cheshire Cat, Absolem (the caterpillar) or Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. 

Then sometimes you meet people who are dark and scary along your way. They always seem to be in pursuit of your light. And if you are lucky, your friends stick by you during your most troubled times. 

Friendship is a special kind of love. You don’t always know why people do things for you when there is no quid pro quo, and yet, like magic, they are there… because that’s what friends do. 

Life is a journey, and for the most part we walk alone. I have found that the good friends we find along the way is what makes the trip worth taking. Don’t forsake them. 
I do not know where the road will go, and I’m not sure I want to know, but I hope that my friends will be there along the way.