Tuesday, July 27, 2010

“You have reached your destination.” <<Now What?>>

It’s been a harrowing few weeks lately. In the last two months I’ve made more life-altering decisions than ever before during my 33 years on this earth. To recapitulate for those of you who missed the end of Tommy’s Life, Season 32:

  • My personal life got wonderfully better. I got married.
  • My company is suffering the effects of Obama-Care and a crappy economy.
  • I’ve decided to rejoin the US Military (Army- Airborne Infantry, maybe Rangers too?)
  • I’m trying to stay afloat…

That’s been my last two months in a nutshell. When I first incorporated my company I thought it was going to be a huge step forward for us. Truth be told, it was a great step for the first 12 months, but like so many hundreds and thousands of other companies I have the misfortune of being in the right place during the wrong economy. I’m not blaming anyone, or crying in my beer. Well, mainly because I don’t drink bear and the tears make my coffee taste like crap, so no tears here. I’m just hitting  a point in my life where it’s not as important for me to own my own business, be my own boss, have a nice condo, etc. It’s more important for me to have the satisfaction of spending quality time with my family and providing for them.

So, Tim and I are going to make a few changes to Twisted; mainly I’m going to restructure the company and unincorporate. We’re keeping our clients and going to offer most of the same services, though we do plan to cut out a few of the unprofitable projects that have yet to bear fruit in our orchard of eternal optimism.  I still plan, against the better judgment of some of my friends, to enlist in Uncle Sam’s Army if they’ll have me, so I need to make things at the company more simple. I need it to be such that Tim can do the work while I’m gone and Amy and my accountant can handle the finances without it being back-breaking labor each month. What will change? Well, checks will be sent to Albemarle instead of Greenville. I won’t have to file monthly sales tax payments (yeah!). And I won’t rack up anymore federal 941 debt. Other than that, most things will remain the same.

In the meantime I’ve been trying since June to get into the Army and still can’t get my paperwork sent through properly. I’m probably the most squared-away military recruit my recruiter has ever seen and it’s done me no good. I have every piece of paper, every transcript, medical record, ASVAB scores off the charts, and yet I continue to get caught up because of a few check boxes on my Medical paperwork, though they aren’t supposed to be issues that cause problems. So, for now I continue to work towards getting enlisted and continue to search for alternative methods to generate income for my family in the meantime.

I ran across a high-school classmate today who has some experience with a company overseas so I’ve put in a few applications for work in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Plan B in case I end up finding out that the Army enlistment is a no-go. I guess the pay is a lot better as a civilian contractor, but I’d rather be in the military to be honest. We’ll see how it goes.

In other news I’ve had my daughter for the whole summer so far and it’s been great. This is the most I’ve ever had her and I already can’t wait for next summer (if I’m here). It’s so nice to be able to spend time with her and see her grow up daily before my eyes, rather than in bursts every couple months like usual. She probably doesn’t have any fantastic memories of Dad’s house this summer, but she did learn to ride a horse while she was here and she learned a lot about taking care of pets of all types. lol. If we’ve succeeded at nothing else this summer we have at least assuredly denied NC State the application of yet another veterinary student. Working with Amy full time burns out interns like bad light bulbs. They see what she does for a living and all that it entails and quickly decide to focus instead on a career of waitressing!

While I’m talking I might as well tell you about the plans for the next couple of months. Pending things go well with the Army (crossing fingers yet again) I should be able to depart for BCT sometime around October or November. In the meantime I’ve approached this like I approach everything else  do; lots of research and then more research. I call it the Stovall-Approach to life. Measure 21 times, cut once. My research has taught me that I’m not ready, physically, to excel in today’s Army. Can I pass the requirements? Sure. But I can’t ACE the requirements yet.My research led me to a book by a guy names Sgt Volkin who wrote a very good series called the “Ultimate Guide to Basic Training.” No, it’s definitely not a cheat-sheet for the Army, but it is a good guide to the physical requirements you need to train your body for.  I really like his approach. It’s a lot like what I was expecting; not designed to make you the absolute most athletic guy in the world, but instead to make you the most military-fit guy in the world.

In short, to best prepare this old beat-up body for active duty I’m going to have to make some changes. As soon as I hear a positive commitment from Uncle Sam I’m going to adopt my new fitness regime, (you the reader are assuming that I have one now, right? ha!) which includes at it’s core; going to bed at 9 PM and getting up at 4 AM every day, 2 miles runs before breakfast, and 1 hour of stretching and PT 7 days a week for 2 months.

Those who know me would be proud. I’ve already decreased my caffeine intake substantially. I’m drinking decaf coffee. I’m down from 2 pots per day to less than 1. I haven’t had a coke in over a week. I’ve cut my smoking to 1 pack per day. (No that’s not a major accomplishment, but unless you’re a smoker you have no idea how dependent the body is on nicotine). Once I get the green-light I’ll have to quit coffee altogether and find someway to quit smoking completely. I dread that day, but I know its coming.

Other than that, there’s not much going on. I wake up every day and try to get on top of our current projects, which are very slow right now. Then I spend a couple hours trying to find other income whether it be a part time job, producing materials in the woodshop to sell, or looking for overseas contracts.

Well, that’s life for me right now. I’m gonna post this and leave it at that. Stay in touch all.  A few comments on the blog wouldn’t kill ya!

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