Friday, January 18, 2013

To be an Officer or not to be

This past week I have been thinking about making the transitions from enlisted soldier to a commissioned officer.  There are lots of perks for being an officer as opposed to staying as an enlisted soldier. Some of these perks include: respect, involvement in decision-making, more administrative work as opposed to "dirty" work, leadership responsibilities, better pay and greater chance of securing an attractive civilian job due to the leadership nature of the job.
I talked to my wife about the decision and she was supportive.
Officer career track was the route that I would have followed if citizenship status was not a hindrance when I was enlisting.
Unfortunately the latest regulations on becoming an officer have lowered the maximum age to enroll to Officer Candidate School to 28.  This was very disappointing to me, but I will continue to progress in the enlisted levels as far as I can for the duration of my contract.

"G. IN SERVICE SOLDIERS IN THE ACTIVE COMPONENT (AC) MUST NOT HAVE REACHED THEIR 28TH BIRTHDAY ON THE DATE OF SUBMISSION OF THEIR OCS PACKET. AC SOLDIERS SHOULD BE AWARE THE TIME GAP FROM SELECTION TO ATTENDANCE IS 6-15 MONTHS."

Some good news that happened this week: I finalized my application for graduate school; I took the DLPT (Defense Language Proficiency Test) and scored the highest point on the pay scale, so I will be getting a little boost to my monthly salary.

I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Monday.  It was not as bad of an experience as I thought it would be. I was given two days off from work to recover. I still have two more teeth to remove, but that wont take place till March.
I am enjoying a four day weekend thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Doing Things That Am Passionate About

Wow! Its almost a year since I posted anything on this blog.
I do not feel bad though, cause I would rather not post than post useless material that are not important in my life.
So what I have been up to since my last post?  Well, a whole lot and I will share those events as I post regularly.
I remember watching the last lecture by Randy Pausch...a former Carnegie Mellon professor.  The lecture was titled: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo. Professor Pausch was on the verge of saying goodbye to this world due to an illness.  In the lecture he shared the things he dreamt of doing/becoming when he grew up..and then he told the audience how he managed to achieve those dreams.
As I watched the lecture, it inspired me to look within: what were my childhood dreams?  Have I achieved any of them?
I sat down and wrote the few childhood dreams that I could remember and promised myself that I would work to achieve them.

The dreams were:
To be a soldier
To be a martial artist

Other ambitions that came along as I was growing up were:
To attain a high level education
To travel and see the world
To own my own business
To have the most fantastic wife/marriage ever.

I managed to achieve quite a few of these dreams in 2012.
I met a lovely lady whose charm, kindness, warmth, love and care won me over in a very short period.  I got engaged and married in the same year and its been the greatest decision and the best addition to my life.  I wake up everyday with a smile when I think of my wife.

I joined the US Army in May 2012....Its a great feeling to become something you have always fantasized about.  Being a soldier has exposed me a different lifestyle of following orders, following a strict schedule, being sent wherever and whenever deemed necessary.  Its an honor to be part of the the greatest military force in the world.

In Jan of this year I was asked to participate in Taekwando training by my unit. I was more than happy to participate in the training.  This was my opportunity to achieve another childhood dream.  In 40hrs of intense training, I became quite proficient in basic martial arts. I love the training so much that I have signed up for more classes.  I plan to use the training to become a self defense trainer to supplement my income once I am out of the Army.

I enrolled back to school; I am currently taking two refresher courses before starting my MBA in entrepreneurship.  This degree and the business plan that I will be working on while pursuing the degree will empower me to start my own business once I am done with the Army.

I have managed to travel to Rwanda, Uganda, Japan, S. Korea and I have entered UK and Netherlands so far. I plan to travel more when my schedule is not overly controlled.

2012 was a year of great achievements.
Getting married, joining the army, getting out of debt, getting closer to my family, overcoming some fears, getting in better shape and much much more.
I have great plans for 2013 and I hope to share my journey with you through this blog.

How was 2012 for you? Did you have any newsworthy events?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Google's magic and flops

Google is constantly coming up with new services to offer it customers.
some have been excellent, others have flopped badly.

Email: this is one service google has mastered; I can not recall the last time I used yahoo or hotmail.

Picasa: another excellent service...I store most of my photos on picasa--so that I can access whenever, wherever I am.

youtube: though this was an acquisition, its still an excellent service (it has given lots of people publicity and allowed millions to access videos and information that they would not have been able to access without youtube)

Google Search engine: this is clearly the heart of google, no other search engine comes closer...its comprehensive, though I have heard some complaints about how the engine uses your previous searches to prioritize new searches (this can be a good thing or a bad thing)

Google docs: allows you to save your documents online so you can access them wherever you are. I have used this service a couple of times and its quite useful.

Google Buzz: this is a failed service, it was supposed to be a social media tool sort of like twitter ( a micro blogging/messaging tool. It never became popular and eventually google killed the project.

Google+: this is another social networking tool that was supposed to imitate facebook. It has received lukewarm reception since its launch. I presume google will kill this project within a year.

Google Play: its the latest of google's launch. Its an online shop for music, books, apps, and movies. The service is presentable though I could help but compare prices of their services with other service providers. Most of their movies are renting for 3.99. Very costly in comparison with redbox, netflix etc. They have a large category of free books and this is what caught my eye...lots of classics that I have been saying I will read and now they are readily available for free on my comp. I hope this service becomes popular and the prices are marked down.

There are other services that google offers which are not as popular but very helpful. I definitely love google's boldness to try new things all the time.
Is there a google tool that I didnt mention that you use?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

back for a short while

First post this year...wow!!!
I have definitely neglected this blog.
Lots has been happening in my life and I guess writing has not been a priority.
Working two jobs, reading, making an honest attempt to be more social and getting in shape are some of the things that have kept me away from blogging.
I have now quit one job and soon to leave the other in preparation for bigger things.

Lots has been happening that I could write about but am sure there are bloggers that have covered most of these issues.
One issue that has been on mind lately is "emotional roller-coaster" How people can quickly fall for someone and with the same speed fall out of love. I would like to understand the mental process.
Is falling in love a mental process or an emotional process? What criteria does one use to decide to pursue someone in a "love" sort of engagement? are those criteria decided by the heart or the mind?
Am sure we have all fallen for someone....using hide-sight what made you fall for that person---was the attraction driven by your thoughts about that person or your feelings about that person? Can you differentiate between your feelings and your thoughts?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Invisible Hand and Government Intervention



Can we depend wholly on Adam Smith’s invisible hand? In his famous book: The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith states: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow citizens.” Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

What will self-love lead to?

Will it lead sellers to deceive their customers or will it lead sellers to do the right thing that benefits both the seller and the buyer?

Many economists have argued that if we leave it to the invisible hand, sellers will deceive their customers to deceive buyers. They will take advantage of their customers’ innocence and ignorance to overcharge then and pass off on them shoddy products. They will cajole customers to buy goods they do not want.

Clearly we have seen this happening here in Kenya. If you go to Luthuli, Kirinyaga rd in search of building material of vehicle parts; you will most likely find retailers who will take advantage of your innocence by overcharging you or sell you inferior products.

So the question is: should be leave it to the invisible hand to control the conduct of both the consumer and the producer?

If left alone, the market activities may affect people other than those directly involved. It may affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the safety of the food we eat.

Some economist have insisted that: the market must be supplemented by other arrangements in order to protect the consumer from himself and from avaricious sellers, and to protect all of us from the spillover neighbourhood effects of market transactions.

The only problem with outside interference is: it tends to overreach its mandate and sometimes becomes worse than the disease itself.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kenya

Plagued by corruption

Dog eat dog in caption

Country of building and tearing down

Men and women in alcohol they drown

Political leaders switching parties like business suits

Less concerned of constituents’ interest than personal pursuits

More political parties than provinces in the country

Yet they hear not of the public outcry

Starvation, mistreatment and depravation

Lots of talk but no transformation

Economy on the rise and well

The pockets of the rich swell

And the have-nots on the same trend they dwell

What happened to the middle class?

What is this opaque glass?

That obstructs the mass

To greater reach we can all enjoy

If politics, greed and jealousy does not destroy

And hard-work, community, and vision we employ

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mi Amor


Impeccable and wonderfully made

Irresistible beauty without fa├žade

Unbridled charm so luring

Tender soft touch so curing

Such great emotions you whisk

Giving my all I can only risk