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Archive for February, 2009

Feb 24 2009

Class Pet

Posted by Mugs @ 11:44 am in Family,Pets

Gabe’s 3rd grade teacher had told her students at the beginning of the year that they could work together as a class through good behavior, responsibility, and kindness to earn a class pet.  They achieved that reward this month.  Before voting on which type of pet to get, the teacher asked the parents if any children had allergies.  In my response, I wrote…”Much to Gabe’s disappointment, his Mother requests that it not be a snake or a spider.”  His teacher, not being fond of snakes and spiders agreed to this.  The class voted to  get a gerbil.  The teacher then told the children to ask their parents if their student would be allowed to bring home the pet on weekends.  Gabe, knowing his mother was not much fonder of small rodents than she is of snakes and spiders, came home in a glum mood.  “I know you are not going to let me, but the teacher said we had to ask.”  I wrote the teacher another note, “The class pet may come home overnight or for a weekend, but not for the summer and certainly not forever.”  Figuring that since there are 20 children in the class and we are almost to March, I hoped we might escape the year without a turn.  I had no such luck.  The next day, Gabe came running to the car at school pickup time…”My name got picked first!  My name got picked first!”  I rolled down the window and told his teacher, “We got it first?  That’s just spiteful!”  To which she replied, “It’s not a snake!”

So, the next day, Scamper was placed into the van for his weekend at the Manrys.  Carrying a glass box with a small rodent running back and forth inside was not a pleasant experience.  I cleared a spot in the middle of Gabe’s mess of a floor and set Scamper’s box down.  I reminded Gabe that he needed to make sure his door was closed all the time to protect Scamper from Patches, our cat.  The gerbil’s survival throughout the three day weekend was a bit perilous.  Worried that Scamper might be able to force his way out of the top of the box, Gabe decided to weight it down.  Not being able to find the dictionary, he set Riverside Shakespeare on top.

Patches guarding Gabe's door

Patches guarding Gabe's door

The first night, Patches’ ears and nose revealed to her that there was finally something to hunt in the house.  She slept the entire night next to the inside of Abby’s closed door and would periodically reach a paw underneath in the hopes of snagging any rodents that passed by.  Of course, several times throughout the weekend, Gabe left his door open without verifying Patches’ location.  Upon being informed of or realizing his mistake, he would dash up to find Patches pawing the glass in the hopes of a live toy and tasty meal.  One time, Gabe found her sitting on top of the box.  Scamper would freeze in horror, attempt to hide somewhere, and finally resorted to turning his back on her.  I think he was trying the old “if I don’t see you, you are not there” trick.  On the occasions that Gabe would remember to close his door, Patches could be found waiting faithfully outside of it, watching underneath it for her next chance.  Amazingly, Scamper was returned safely to his class this morning.  Being a school gerbil, I find it fitting that he was saved by Riverside Shakespeare.

Patches sitting on Riverside Shakespeare

Patches sitting on Riverside Shakespeare

Feb 04 2009

How the Army Runs

Posted by Dale @ 8:40 am in Work

This week, I’m in a course officially titled “Action Office Force Integration”, unofficially it’s called “How the Army Runs”.  This picture shows the Army Force Management Model, basically an overview of everything we’re discussing this week.

How the Army Runs

How the Army Runs

I had been previously told by several sources that this is a great course with too much information for a 1-week course. I’m not sure why, but I got my expectations up. As with many things in life (and the Army), my hopes have been dashed.

I agree that much of the information presented here is very pertinent to my current job. However, eight hours of Powerpoint presentations in a day may not be the best way to present this information! The Major sitting next to me rested his eyes on several occasions the first three days. This makes my job at the Pentagon seem much more exciting! It’s all about perspective.