Random Life Tidbits


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Monday, April 11, 2016

Hello!  This blog is just a few random pieces and parts about my life.  Much of my writing leads to spin-offs, kind of like what happens with a popular TV series... only much less famous.  This writing contains the “extras” from the About the Founder post and is hopefully more interesting than the bio or the LinkedIn profile.

Some might say I’ve had a crazy life.  It has certainly been a-typical, but then, what is normal?  We are each so unique, even if we may not think so.  Here are some random bits from my own story:

  • I have moved 33 times since leaving high school.
  • I’ve lived in nine states and the District:  IA, VA, MA, CA, CO, AZ, NC, SC, TN, and DC.
  • In more detail, that’s the following, in moves-to-or-within-a-state order:  many moves in IA (college, etc.), then VA, IA, IA, MA, CA, IA, CO, IA, IA, AZ, IA, NC, SC, VA, TN, IA, CA, CA, CA, VA, DC, VA, and now finally back to IA.  Advanced deeply scientific analysis:  Iowa wins in number of moves, tied by Virginia and California.  Outside of Iowa, Virginia wins the overall title in sheer number of years (10.7) vs. California (4.1).  I have no idea what winning means, but I thought this site needed some statistics.  Now that’s done.
  • After I “settled down” by leaving wildfire and buying a condo and a carpet shampooer, I got two black cats:  aka The Destructors.  It’s a good thing they’re cute.  I say that every day.  The real question is:  would they have been pukers if I had not gotten the carpet shampooer first?
  • I left the federal government in 2014 with 18 official years of federal service, even though I actually technically worked a bit less than that.  Ironic fact:  seasonal employment time counts for more “official” time, since you don’t get benefits as a temp.
  • My last job was also my best one yet, except for entrepreneur-ing.  That’s tricky to say, because I also loved the world of wildland fire.  My last job was helping the local governments in the nation’s capital connect to their 5.5 million citizens for emergencies and for other non-emergency use.  We also supported first responders and various operations.  I worked with amazing, dedicated, and super-sharp people who worked either in the company I worked for, or who were part of the 18-jurisdiction-administration of the National Capital Region emergency notification system (ENS).
  • I spent my last 9+ years of federal service at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ranked by the Partnership for Public Service project “Best Places to Work” as #19 of 19 large federal agencies in 2015.  Yep, DHS is the least popular federal department to work in.  Probably that's not a surprise, but considering how promising and necessary it looked after 9/11, it's frustrating.
  • The last federal sub-component agency I worked for was rated #316 out of 320 sub-component agencies in the same "Best Places to Work" report for 2015, which was an improvement of four places… up from dead-last in 2014.  That’s one reason why it’s an ex-job. 
  • I was obsessed about wildland fire and incident management for a long time, until 9/11, after which I made a commitment to see incident management evolve.  Some major kinks in the evolution of incident management eventually made way in my career for emergency management work in general.  With family stuff happening, love of that family and what-have-you pulled me home.  Now I’m back near the starting gate in Iowa.  I do get to smell fires pretty often.  Heehee.  Plus, people can have fires in their backyards here without the fire department showing up, and/or without starting a major urban-interface conflagration.  It’s good.
  • Now that I’m in Iowa, I have big plans for summer camping, lots of swimming, going to the Iowa State Fair, hiking (ha! this can involve surprise encounters with cows), quality family time, good friends, very long walks on very flat land, catching sunsets from the flat land, and seeing a gigantic pile of relatives more than once a decade. 
  • I’m a little bit obsessed by The Walking Dead, which you may have picked up from my Live Twitter Feed, @CounterfearZone.  This is because the show has got some of my favourite Counterfear anchorsconnection, community, vision, and resilience.  In spades.  It is literally about being in a tough situation, being resilient, and making change.  It’s also got a more realistic post-apocalypse feel than other stuff along the same vein; in that the people actually look the part, and some of the logistical complications of a world without infrastructure are accounted for.  Not all, but hey; it is Hollywood.  Now, I am NOT a fan of the spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead.  But that’s a longer story.
  • I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would become an entrepreneur.  The paperwork and “business stuff” always intimidated the bejeesus out of me.  Now that I write that sentence, I realize the absurdity:  I navigated the federal government's bureaucracy for 14.5 straight years after getting permanent employee status.  Regardless, once I came across a business idea that resonated, most of the “business stuff” actually sounded fun.  Milestones (can you tell I was federal?):  I’ve managed to secure a nationally registered trademark (with no legal help, and pending a Statement of Use), to build a business infrastructure, and to file business taxes for three years (with accounting help, for heaven’s sake:  I know my strengths).  In every other job I have ever had, there has been something I dreaded.  Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t even mind doing the increasingly-complicated bookkeeping that comes with owning a business.  Well, I mind it a little, because I did procrastinate 2015.  In the words of George H.W. Bush: “Not gonna do it” in 2016:  now I’ve got a system.

While this is a random bunch of stuff, there is one thing that is not random about it.  It's that every single thing on here was part of my work toward a vision.  Even watching The Walking Dead.  Now to be fair, that addiction was a side-effect of work on one of the larger visions:  moving "home" (there was a Walking Dead marathon on AMC while I was packing to move).  But:  move accomplished!  Plus, the show has turned out to be super relevant.  The fact that watching a marathon TV show about a zombie apocolypse was a highlight of the moving process should give a sense for how the rest of the move went.

It's a journey.  It hasn't all been sunshine and flowers, but it's been a heck of a ride.  Living the dream.

I'm just happy to be here.

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2016 posts find a way forward live in resonance security / homeland security / national security

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