June 2009 Archives

When It Rains, It Pours

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First, when I returned from Virginia I got in the car at the airport and found the air conditioner was not working. It worked fine two weeks prior when I went to the airport but Saturday morning it was not working. I thought perhaps it was a simple matter of low Freon so I ran by an oil change place to get some added. They found the problem was a restriction somewhere, not low Freon and said I needed a new expansion valve and evaporator for about $800. Well, I wasn't going to get it fixed then and I knew that the chance of needing both of those items at the same time was incredibly low. So, I took it to the dealer yesterday. The problem was the orifice so they had to replace the line for about $350.

This morning the air conditioning in the house was not working and I fund the circuit breaker outside to the compressor unit was tripped. I reset it like have several times before and came back inside. The A/C went out again so I went to check to the breaker only find it smoking. It was burned up in a major way. So, I had to call an electrician t come and replace it.

As of now we are cool in the house and cool in the car.

The Unforgiving Minute

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The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education by Craig M. Mullaney. Penguin Press, 2009.

I just finished this outstanding book and can't recommend it highly enough. It is a very moving story of a soldier who completes West Point, goes to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and then to Afghanistan as a platoon leader. He explores challenges in his professional and personal life and reminds us all that the two are connected.

This book also gives insight into the war in Afghanistan, a place that has, until recently, been ignored by the news reporters. Some of my favorite lines from the book:

  • "Afghans say Americans have all the watches but they have all the time."
  • "At West Point we'd learned that responsibility preceded privilege. I had forgotten how odd that sentiment appeared outside the military."
  • "Every time units played musical chairs in Afghanistan, we became vulnerable again. Every time the music stopped, another unit would start over learning the physical and cultural terrain. The lack of continuity certainly frustrated relationships with local khans. Trust was hard-won in this part of the world, and we were treating Afghan leaders like contestants in a round of speed dating."
  • "The challenge of education is not to prepare a person for success, but to prepare him for failure. ADMIRAL JAMES STOCKDALE"

I encourage anyone interested in learning more about leadership, the military, or Afghanistan to read this book.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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