The new year, for me, lasts through the month of January and it is a serious time of introspection. New year's resolutions, the clean up from the party, plans for the future - they are all part of the American pathos and I drink deep from the pitcher of contemplation this time of year.
Looking at some of my friends' photo albums on social networking sites as they post the places they've been and the things they've seen, it got me to thinking about some of the things I've seen, the people I've met and thought I'd share a few of them with you.
Oklahoma Rifle Association Media Award. I won the Mike McCarville Oklahoma Rifle Association Media Award back in 2007, and though it feels like a lifetime ago, I remember it quite fondly. It was a total surprise to win it, having no clue that I was even in the running. It sits proudly on the mantle over the fireplace, and every now and again I glance at it and grin...remembering the hard work on 2nd Amendment issues so many people back then put into legislation. It truly was an honor.
Australia. While serving in the United States Navy, I was blessed to travel to Singapore, Africa, the Philippines and yes, the big island of Australia. It was everything everyone said it would be and while I don't know that I'd ever go back if given the opportunity, I do know that it was an amazing place - though the Outback has plenty of snakes and I'm not big on snakes.
Blackened Blues Band. The first band I put together here in Oklahoma, included the late Bill Frank who is greatly missed. He wasn't the greatest musician, but damn, that boy put everything he had into every song. Our first gig was a Blues Jam and Wail that just seemed to work. The turnout was good, the people were fun and it was an opportunity to play with a bunch of different musicians and different styles. Today, I play in my band (Organized Chaos) and with Wild Heart - a classic rock, progressive country band.
Campaigns. I've worked on a number of different campaigns - some in the forefront, others in a behind-the-scenes capacity and I have won most of the campaigns I worked on. Campaigns are tough and without thick skin, can tear away at your very soul. Sometimes the good guys (and gals) win, sometimes the bad guys win. The process itself is taxing, difficult and requires the ability to babysit candidates and deal with some purposefully negative garbage. It isn't for he faint of heart and while I have worked with the Trinity Foundation who investigates fraudulent televangelists, I must say that many within the campaign world make televangelists look like Saint John. All of that being said, I admit that the few straggler friends I have kept as a result make it all worth while.
Oklahoma Legislative Committees. I have had the honor to make presentations to two Oklahoma House of Representatives Committees in the last few years, the first being the Wildlife Committee in pitching the Constitutional protection of hunting and fishing in Oklahoma which was a huge success. The second was at the invitation of Representative Joe Dorman wherein I had it out with two criminal defense attorneys over the issue of DUI legislation. We did, however, make some progress in legislation and Dorman is to be commended for his work. It was intense, to be sure, but wouldn't have traded the opportunity for anything.
Creed. Creed is a band whom you either love or abhor. I happen to love them and for my birthday a couple years ago, my wife surprised me with tickets for their show in Dallas and it was incredible. They are wickedly talented musicians who really know how to put on one hell of a show.
There are just a few that have come to mind and I am sure my mind will wander and stumble on to more repressed memories of things I've done, people I've seen and I'll share them with you. In the interim, have fun and be safe.