Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bumblebees vs Leprechauns

Today was the final day of the Zionsville Youth Soccer Association Spring season. The ZYSA puts on quite a season with teams ranging from Under 5 (which Mason is on - based on his birthdate; think school enrollment) to 8th and 9th graders. To give you a scale of this operation, there were 31 U5 soccer teams that participated this Spring. Lots if T-shirts, medals and photos to coordinate. All of this is done with a volunteer staff. Well done, ZYSA.

Donning our yellow jerseys for the last time today, the Bumblebees squared off against the Lucky Leprechauns. Just watching the children play today, I was amazed again (as I am every season) at how much they improve from the first practice to the last game; especially the younger children. And by 'younger', I mean the 4-year-olds on the team. They gain the confidence to kick the ball while on the run and trust that it will go forward. At the beginning of the season, it goes like this.

Step 1: Run up to the ball
Step 2: Stop
Step 3: Kick the ball
Step 4: Watch the ball
Step 5: Run after it
Step 6: Repeat

There is no score keeping, no goalies and a loose time clock. Passing the ball is an alien concept. "I'm supposed the kick the ball in the goal!" But, at this age, none of that matters. They are out there having fun, learning to enjoy the outdoors, the game of soccer and what it means to be a kid.

The Bumblebees

From Left to Right: Mary, Emily, Mason, Jack, Warren, Sabian, Coach Huber

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Frat House's Crown Jewel

I am happy to say that the guys in the Frat House, like many other soldiers, enjoyed the warm support of family, loved ones and friends who were all too happy to box up sun screen, girl scout cookies, Pringles, and you name it in the support of our American Fighting Men and Women.

Tim Love, who is pictured in the post below, was corresponding with a family member via email when the uncle(?) posed the question, what would you like? Tim jokingly replied that we would really enjoy a slushie machine as the daytime temperatures were routinely 125 degrees or higher. A nice Cherry Slurpee sure would hit the spot, wouldn't it?

Two days later, Tim received a request that none of us ever got from a family member. "Tim," he wrote, "I need a phone number at which I can reach you. I have a contact in Israel who has purchased a machine for me. He is hiring a guy from Syria to drive it to Baghdad. He needs to call and talk to someone as he doesn't know where you are."

Could this be true?

The battalion just happened to have a 1/2 dozen or so Iraqna (the AT&T equivalent) cell phones that we would use to stay in touch with the interpreters. Tim had a number and passed it along.

One early evening, not too long after, the phone rang. Tim answered to a man speaking Arabic. He leapt up shouting "Hold on!" as he ran out of the room and through the courtyard to where the interpreters stayed when on the camp. Apparently, the driver, the slushie machine and an undetermined number of syrup jugs were on the far western edge of Baghdad. Camp Cuervo, where we were, was on the far eastern edge. The interpreter did his best to figure out where the driver was and then give him directions toward our location; telling him to call us back when he was crossing the Tigris River.

Thirty minutes later, the phone rang again. Tim and I donned our body armor, kevlar helmets and commandeered the executive officer's Humvee and driver and headed toward the front gate.

As arrived at the gate it was getting dark. The floodlights from the gate were reflecting off of the passing traffic that came within feet of our parked Humvee. Locked and loaded, in full combat gear, we stood there. Sweating our butts off, we stood there, not knowing what to expect. I don't remember how long we stood out there, but it seemed like a long time.

And then he pulled in; with a box, probably 3 feet by 3 feet, strapped to the roof with twine. The driver hopped out, sweating profusely. Nerves? Heat? Both? He left the engine running. He had no intention of being there long. He took out a small knife and cut the box loose and slid it onto the ground. Next, he opened the hatch back and removed two large plastic tubs. He set them next to the box. I turned around to open the back of the Humvee. When I turned back, he was gone.

Tim and I scooped up the boxes as the XO's driver looked at us curiously. We hadn't told him why we were there.

Heading back in the base camp, we were giddy like it was Christmas morning. The rest of the frat brothers were waiting for us. We brought in the box and the tubs (holding the jugs of syrup) and related the story of the driver, the sweating and the disappearing.

It took us a couple of tries to figure out the ratio of syrup to water but we eventually got it. Ahhh, heavenly slushie machine. Part cold drink dispenser, part night light, part white noise machine, you were (and always will be) the crown jewel of the Frat House.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Frat House

While I was deployed to Iraq, I had the honor and priviledge to be crammed into a room with 13 other guys. You see, the commander wanted his staff close. So, as the battalion/task force occupied an old building that was used to instruct senior Iraqi army officers, we got one of the rooms. Quickly, it was dubbed the Frat House.

We started with humble beginnings. Each of us had a cot and a wall locker to store our gear. We scrounged an additional bunk to put all our additional duffle bags. As the unit we were replacing began to leave, the ran out of room in their shipping containers and there was (big) sale on TVs. We all pitched in 5 bucks and bought a TV. Tim, our civil affairs guy had packed a DVD player and yours truly had brought a Playstation 2, so we were now getting somewhere. That wasn't good enough. We needed a place to sit.

We set out to find something to sit on. Having many abandoned buildings on our base camp, there was plenty to explore. We found two leather(?) couches that we carried back to our room. Over time, we had burned through all of the DVDs we had brought. What to do? CJ Kirkpatrick, our trusty logistics officer, had set up some contracts with local nationals and set out to get a sattelite dish. Just what we needed ...

There is nothing more fun than trying to install a dish when the instructions are written in seven languages; none of which were English. So, we did it the old fashioned way. We had one guy on the roof and a guy watching the satellite signals on the TV. The two would talk via walkie-talkie to get the dish pointed in the right direction. To complicate things, the screws were stripped that held the dish in place. I think we logged close to eight hours getting it done. Oh, but it was worth it. ESPN in combat? Are you serious? And don't even get me started on the Fashion Channel.

What more did we need, you ask? Artwork, of course! One day, while we were in zone in Sadr City, we snagged a picture of Muqtada Al-Sadr (Sadr City was named after his father who was assasinated by Saddam Hussein). To compliment this piece of art, Dave Burnstein (arguably the most literate and creative of the group) began to issue a daily fatwa. He did this in the form of a haiku. Most of these poems were a commentary of the local basecamp hot issue of the day.

Meanwhile, the commander had tasked CJ to open a place for the soldiers to relax. It was going to be a juice bar (run by Iraqis) where soldiers could relax, watch TV, play cards, and generally forget that they were probably going to drive over a bomb tomorrow. The commander was adamant about the TV. Like everything LTC Carter did, it was to be BIG. CJ acquired a 52" TV and was going to place it in the juice bar when he 'discovered' that US Army regulations prevent the storage of US Equipment in a facility that is under foreign national control. Where, you ask, did that TV end up? You guessed it; in the Frat House.

We were now able to play Playstation (James Bond 007 and Hot Shots Golf were the favorites) and watch TV at the same time.

War is hell.

Oh wait, it gets better. More tomorrow ...

Standing/Leaning (left to right): 1st Lt. David Irwin, 1st Lt. Brandan DaWalt; 1st Lt. Dan Lucitt, Capt. Clint Alexander, Capt. Dave Morehan, Capt. Doug Huber

On Couch (left to right): Capt. Tim Love, 1st Lt. James Mijares, Capt. CJ Kirkpatrick, Capt. David Burnstein

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Culminating a Journey to Abacus

Mason officially 'graduated' today. As usual, Abacus put on a first class event for the students and parents. We are blessed to have found this place but it wasn't without some stops in between ...

Two and a half years ago, Mason wasn't clicking with his teachers or the daycare we picked shortly after moving to Indianapolis. We couldn't place our finger on it but it just wasn't right. The daycare in Texas was wonderful and we had high expectations. One night, Noel and I came to the conclusion that it was time to look for a new provider. Noel began to scour the internet for daycare providers making a list for me to check out.

When I walked into Abacus Preschool I met with Linda, asking to get a tour of the facility. Coming out from behind the counter, we shook hands and she first took me to the gym.

And that was it.

This big, open, beautiful gymnasium. There they were. Children doing laps, cart wheels, tumbling, spinning and generally letting off steam. And it hit me. This was the place. Mason's former day care didn't have this (or much of else). They ate in their rooms; they played in their rooms. They never left their rooms! I didn't need to hear anything else (although I listened attentively to the rest of Linda's pitch, I promise).

I called Noel excitedly and told her she had to check it out. I then prepared my 'It's not you, it's us' speech for the old daycare and Mason started anew.

Now, we waited for Mason and his classmates to enter the gym where it had all started. I was so glad we found Abacus. The gym was decorated with stars, as that was the theme. Stars made of construction paper hung on the wall annoucing the children's favorite activity (Mason's was outside time). There was a construction paper star walkway displaying what the children wished to be when they grew up; and there were a variety of answers including (but not limited to) construction worker, football player, doctor, McDonalds worker, millionaire, Firegirl(?), Tinkerbell, a Guitar Man, and a Crocodile Hunter (as that position has been vacant for some time now).

We were treated to two songs; Graduation Day (sung to the tune of I've Been Workin' on the Railroad)
I've been goin' to my preschool
all the whole year long ...

and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. We then listened to a reading from the Book of Clifford (well, Clifford's First Day of School to be exact). Then the children received their 'diplomas'. The funniest part of the evening was the kids figuring out there was cake; and it was to be here SOON. As you can see in the video clip below, they were more interested in sugar than singing their final number ...

We really appreciate all that Abacus has done for us and will continue to do for Mallory.

Thank you, Valari, Val, Miss Marcie, Mrs. Lori, Miss Tori and the Abacus team!

Here is a picture of Mason with his teacher, Miss Marcie.

This is Mason with the Assistant Director, Mrs. Val.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let's Hope They All Go This Well

Tomorrow is Mason's graduation from pre-school, but today was our first official parent teacher conference.

Uh oh. I hope they don't go like the parent-teacher conferences between my folks and my teachers.

We met Miss Marcie after school to discuss Mason's evaluation that she had filled out and sent home late last week. It evaluated things like 'sharing', 'ability to count to 10', 'can recognize numbers written out', etc.

Like all the children of Lake Wobegon, Mason is above average. He scored well in the items we thought he would score well in (letters, numbers, etc) and he needs to improve on the things we thought he would need to improve in (sharing, listening, etc). He is, after all, his father's son.

The real positive was that Miss Marcie was very fond of Mason and she said that he was one of her favorites to have in class (although she may say that to all parents). She assured us that he is ready for kindergarten and that he is very bright. Her biggest challenge, she admitted, was keeping him busy. Being bright with a short attention span can be a curse.

After 'graduation', Mason will stay at the Abacus preschool through the summer where he will take a bunch of field trips (zoo, Imax Theater, the Indianapolis Children's Museum, etc) before matriculating at Stonegate Elementary School here in Zionsville.

I hope the parent teacher conferences at Stonegate go this well.

Wish us luck. The next graduation is just 13 short years away.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DIY - For the Adventure of It All Part 2

We last left the action with the tile drying and a tired (and now sore) Doug ready to hit the sack. Monday morning arrived too soon and I awoke to dry adhesive and another full day's worth of work.

So, off I went. More YouTube, more do-it-yourself website and I was ready to go. It didn't take me long to figure out that grouting is the most labor intensive part of the job; especially when you are grouting 2" square tiles. While Noel was downstairs sanding and painting the trim, I was careful to maintain a 45 degree angle with my grout float, careful to let it dry before wiping and careful to let feeling return to my lower legs after for kneeling for so long (I know, I know ... Boo Hoo Doug ...). I think I managed to put equal parts grout between the tiles to grout on the tiles which made for a challenging clean up. But, I perservered and Noel did a lot (okay, most) of the grout cleaning. We took a break at let the grout dry.

After we put the kids down for bed, I was back at it. I re-installed the base molding and dropped the toilet back on the flange. Whew. Complete. Well, not quite. We will have a list of touch up to do including, but not limited to:

  • cutting the toilet bolts flush and installing the caps
  • cleaning the bathtub
  • caulking the trim
  • wiping off the grout (one more time)
  • and then sealing the grout
  • trying out the bullet point feature on Google Blogger (complete!)

Thanks to Roger and Susan for the helpful tips!

Ohhh. Ahhh.

Tiling the entry may have to wait.

Monday, May 25, 2009


In late January 2005, I touched down in Phoenix, Arizona. Flying in from Fort Hood, Texas, the weather wasn't all that different. It was late. I found my hotel and crashed. I knew that tomorrow was going to be an emotional day.

I woke up early; probably around four. I knew I had to be on the road by 4:45. My destination was a town called Winkelman. I left Phoenix, passed through Tempe and made my way southeast through the desert. The sun was coming up over the horizon which sillouetted the mountains to the east. I made my way through the first pass in the mountains and I could see the giant saguaro cacti reaching towards the heavens. The mountains were a dark red color with a light green covering. This, due to the copper, whose mining industry dominated the region.

Winkelman, AZ was no different. With less than 5oo residents, most, if not all, made their living at the local copper mine. And, it was those folks that gathered this day. They knew that of the few folks that lived in Winkelman, today there was one less.

I arrived at the church at around 8:30. Specialist Carson Ramsey's funeral was set for 10 am. I was early so I sought out the pastor to let him know I was there. Dressed in my Class A (dress green) uniform, I found a pew in the back of the chapel to review my notes.

I felt a tap on my shoulder.

"Did you know Carson," asked the young woman behind me. I stood.

"Not well, no." I said. "He was in my battalion and I had met him a couple of times. I'm Captain Huber, I am the rear detachment commander for our unit." The girl, who was no more than 20, introduced herself as one of Carson' classmates from high school.

I made my way outside where people were beginning to arrive. The pastor found me and introduced me to his parents. It was awkward for me as I didn't have the right words and I had not really thought about what I was going to say. They thanked me for coming and turned to greet others who had come to pay their respects. In the distance I heard a low rumbling that got louder and louder. Then I saw them. In single file, the men dressed from head to toe in leather, riding their motorcycles toward the church. The first motorcycle had an American flag mounted on the rear, is colors snapping vividly in the wind.

They all parked and got in line. Each one paid their respects to their friend and co-worker and his wife. They cried openly with the Ramseys; each, it seemed, relating a quick story about Carson and offering a brief condolence. An Arizona state representative showed up to offer her sympathy and a few kind words to the Ramsey family

Inside, the chapel was full. It was standing room only. I am sure the fire marshall must have been there but he didn't say a word. Carson laid at the front of the chapel, a flag draped over his coffin. A picture of young Carson was on a stand above a beautiful wreath of flowers. The pastor opened with a prayer and a some kinds words about our fallen hero. Carson's mother sat in the front pew crying; her husband holding her tightly. I spoke briefly, noting that I did not know Carson well but I had spoken to his company commander and relayed how much Carson had grown and matured since he was in Iraq. The pastor then asked anyone who wanted to speak to come to the pulpit and say a few words. Many graced the congregation with their stories about Carson; the girl who sat next to him on the bus; his high school teacher, a family friend. The stories were all touching, powerful and theraputic for a town dealing with their loss.

Outside, everyone began the journey to Phoenix where Carson was to be buried. The motorcycle crew took off first and acted as a traffic control unit. They held traffic at red lights (I don't remember stopping at one) and guided the attendees to the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. After a short service, the honor guard from Fort Huachuca, AZ fired off the 21-gun salute before Carson was finally laid to rest. Carson's dad caught up with me after the service and thanked me for coming. It was I who should of thanked him; for he gave his most precious gift so that others could be free.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

DIY - For the Adventure of It All

Yesterday was Kings Island. Today was a chore we have been putting off for months. Many moons ago, Noel and I thought it would be a good idea to tile the downstairs entry way and the kids' bathroom. What prompted this good idea, you ask? A tile clearance sale at Home Depot.

Today was the day ... at least for one of the two. So, I began on the kids' bathroom.

Since we decided to take on this endeavor, I have watched a few YouTube videos and read some "how-tos" online so I thought I was fairly prepared. I made a list (checked it twice) and headed out to Lowe's (the new one they built next to our house ... wow, it has been a long time since we bought that tile). Once there, I picked up some items and grilled a couple of the folks that worked there about everything from the transitions between the carpet and the tile, the bolts that secure the toilet to the rough plumbing to the best type of grout applicator.

Armed with this new found knowledge, I checked out with Debbie, the cashier, wishing me luck. Returning home, I immediately set to work, taking out the toilet and then pulling off the base molding. Mason and Mallory looked on with amazment as I began my Extreme Makeover: Kids' Bathroom Edition.

Mason and Mallory came it to check my work. Mason: "Daddy, why is the toilet in the bathtub?" Mallory: "Where did the floor go?" Once everything was out, it was glaringly obvious that the walls were dirty. So, we painted about six feet up the walls from the floor.

It's like taking an engine apart and putting it back together. This was the easy part. Now came the moment of truth. Applying adhesive and setting tile seem so permanent. What if it looks terrible. I guess we would just put the big throw rug back down over it. Off I went, troweling and setting tile. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Thank goodness my 2 inch tiles were connected in 12" squares.

The first phase took me longer than it should have but Noel was there supporting me all the way. She was happy with the tile. Now lets see how i do with grout ...

Wish me luck ...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Trip to Kings Island

Ahhh, Kings Island. How I have missed you.

Growing up in Cincy, I took Kings Island for granted; with its large and econoically diverse visitor base* and it cornucopia of fried, deep-fried and deep-fat fried treats.

We packed up early and were on the road by 6:45. Not a moment to spare! We were to meet Noel's brother, wife and two young ones (Henry, 5 and Baxter, 3) at 9:30 sharp.

So, off we went. Arriving right at 9:40 (you faithful readers with >= 1 child know that 9:40 is pretty good when you target is half past), we parked at the very end of the row, planning a quick escape once it was time to leave. We ran toward the gate, harkening images of Clark and Rusty pursuing the mythical Marty Moose.

We met up with the Boerger family and headed toward what used to be called Hanna-Barbera Land. I found that much has changed since my last visit but the one thing that hadn't is that a five-year-old can have loads of fun, dragging along his sister.

Mason's favorite ride was Fairly Odd Coaster which was The Beastie when I rode it last. It is still a great ride and very age appropriate. We splashed through the water play area, rode the Blue's Clues ride, Blue's Skidoo (the only one Mallory cried on ... and, boy, did she cry ... It is super scary. Check out a picture here) and rode the Giggle Coaster.

Noel was nice enough to allow Allen and I to wander off to DiamondBack, the new, ridiculously tall coaster the kind folks at KI installed for 2009.

We dined on delicious LaRosa's pizza and watched a motorbike stunt show they had set up at the entrance for the Memorial Day Weekend.

Thanks Kings Island for your hospitality. The Huber family had fun.

*Just like the Michelob Invitational

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Army and its Bureaucracies

The government is known for its bureaucracy and the Army is no different. Folks like to feel important and to satisfy that need, they create little fiefdom’s that they can command. They build castles out of policy letters and wield memos like swords.

One of my favorite examples of Army bureaucracy run amok was from my days in Kosovo in late 2000 and early 2001. I still have the email I sent to folks at home describing the events so please don’t think I have an incredible recall.

I served as the battalion civil affairs officer working very closely with the UN and the local governments. Every other Sunday I was to arrange a meeting at Camp Montieth (where we were stationed) with all of the local Serbian mayors. Being the distinct minority (now that Slobodan Milosevic and his band of merry Serbian war criminals had been driven from Kosovo), they had plenty of gripes. Both they, and the Albanians, learned that turnabout is, indeed, fair play.

I digress …

I had a rule during my deployments in the Army. I would sleep in on Sunday. Just a couple of hours; no big deal. The Sunday in question started out like most others. This morning, like others, I went to the Dining Facility to pick up the "lickies and chewies" (cookies, doughnuts, coffee, orange drink, etc) that I had requested on Wednesday. The Wednesday request was well outside the 72 hour request window.

I was greeted by SFC Elecwachi and I told him that I was here to pickup the chow for our meeting. Unfortunately, he said, the rules had changed concerning food requests. Then he produced two very interesting (and educational) documents. First, the Task Force Falcon Chief of Staff's Dining Facility (DFAC) Operations Policy Letter dated 26 Dec 00 and Task Force Falcon Command Policy Letter 17, Dining Facility Operations. These documents spelled out, in painful detail, the procedures required to obtain food, which included snacks for meetings.
First, I was to submit a memorandum requesting the "Class I" (that's army talk for food). This memo must be routed through the battalion S4 (supply officer) to the Task Force Falcon G4 (again, more supply guys). With this memo, I had to include assumption of command orders for my battalion commander.

(Really, I am not making this up)

I was also to have a DA form 1687 "signature card" signed by someone with more authority than me to allow me to pick up food (this specific guidance was found under Paragraph 4.f. entitled 'soda requests'). Also, I must have a DA form 3294-R, which is a "Ration Request/Issue/Turn-In" Slip. Once this paperwork has been approved, I am afforded the luxury of driving to Camp Bondsteel.
Once at Bondsteel, I was to my attention toward the SSA or Supply Support Activity (which, incidentally is a misnomer because all three words in that title would imply that first, it has supplies; second, it supports; and third; there is activity within the confines of the SSA). So, once I return from Camp Bondsteel with my warm soda and my cold coffee, we will be able to have our mayor's meeting. It was interesting to note that meetings that senior level officials go to have a much easier time of receiving food for the function. Hmmmmm…

Regardless, after digesting these rules, I crafted an email to my battalion commander explaining that I needed to form a convoy and leave at 0400 on Sunday morning in order to get coffee from Camp Bondsteel. Apparently, he forwarded it along to the Task Force Falcon Chief of Staff.

Needless to say, I never made the trip. Sunlight is always the best disinfectant for BS policies. And, no longer did they mess with my Sleep In Sunday Policy.

We all have our own bureaucracies.

Why I Hate Logistics

My grandfather is quoted as saying:
The best laid plans are put to rest when an angel pees in your gun powder.

Our stencil arrived this morning ... damaged in transit. Thanks again to Fine Line Stencil. FedEx ... not so much.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why I Love Logistics

At 8:30 this evening, the CAM design manager called me with an urgent request for a stencil that our company uses in its manufacturing process to apply the solder paste that holds electronic components to the printed ciruit board.

Really? Okay, when do you need it.

Tomorrow? Before 8am? No worries. Standby, I will have an email address for you so you can mail the files.

I called our up and coming stencil supplier and Ally, our regional sales rep, said she needed some time to get ahold of a CAM operator on her end. She called back 2o minutes later. Good news and bad news.

Bad news: No CAM operator available.

Good news: She called their VP of Technology who lives in Oregon. He was on his way home and volunteered to do the work when he arrived at home.


Ally sent me a text message with the VP's email address and we were in business.

Meanwhile, Eric, our fearless CAM manager was putting the finishing touches on the CAM design from our end. Ally called the stencil production facility in Memphis, TN and told them that they would be receiving some files later in the evening.

An early, and BIG, thanks to the folks at Fine Line Stencils for their work. Or course, this will be rescinded if no stencils arrive tomorrow.

This little exercise rekindled the passion I had for logistics while the logistics officer for my tank battalion. There is a famous quote that says "fighters talk tactics, warriors talk logistics". I look fondly back on coordinating the movement of 150 combat vehicles, 500 soldiers and tons of equipment by rail, air and land from Texas to California.

It is amazing what we can do when all parties involved are pointed in the right direction to get something done.

My personal favorite was during our training rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA. It was the day before Thanksgiving and the Assistant Division Commander for Suppport, the ADC(S), arrived at the brigade logistics rehearsal. He only had one thing for us.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," he said. "Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Tomorrow, the Division Commander wants all of the soldiers in the Ironhorse Brigade to eat their Thanksgiving meal with ice cream and pumpkin pie. We are 80 kilometers from the cantonment area, and I don't have any of it on hand yet."

The next afternoon, my driver and I (pictured below) set up a landing zone and UH-60 landed, dumped off two coolers full of ice cream cups and four dozen pies and took off for the next LZ.

I love logistics.

Captain Doug Huber and PFC Ernest Neuman - Nov. 2002

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Conversations with a 5-year-old and Presidential History

A good friend of mine and I were discussing our children. As the father of a 9-month-old, he asked me about different ages and if there was a 'good' age vs a 'bad' one. I answered that they were all good for some reasons and bad for others (like all ages as I am sure I will discover). I am currently loving the 5s with my son, Mason. We now talk about about real issues and I see him engaging to learn, confirm and grow.

Mason: Daddy, who is Rock Obama?
Daddy: He is our President.
Mason: Not John M-Cain?
Daddy: No, son. The people of America chose Barak Obama to be our President.
Mason: Did he get shot?
Daddy: No, why? (!)
Mason: President Lincoln got shot. Wilkes Booth killed him.
Daddy: That's right. Where did you learn that?(!)
Mason: At school. He is our 16th president. George Washington is our first president. He didn't get shot.
Daddy: What about President Grover Cleveland?
Mason: That's not a real president, Daddy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Princess

My daughter, Mallory, is my little princess. There aren't many princesses born into the Huber Family (plenty of them by marriage, of course!). In the last four generations there have been exactly two girls. As my mom points out, she is the second in 35 years. I consider myself blessed to raise a beautiful little girl. All of the things that make her adorable now, I fear will make her very, very scary to me in 12 or 13 short years. I mentioned to my wife that I wish I could just press pause and enjoy her at this age for the next couple of years. Have fun watching her dance, Cetaphil-covered head and all.

I love you, sweetheart. I hope you only get sweeter; although I am not sure that it is possible.

Monday, May 18, 2009

More Government at the worst time ... is reporting today that President Obama is going to announce stricter standards for fuel efficiency for American automobiles. This is, of course, not what we need as the automotive industry struggles to maintain relevance in a global economy. These higher fuel standards will make the Big (little?) Three even less competitive against the likes of Honda and Toyota. Of course, all of this is lost on the those who's mission is to protect the environment (no matter the cost).

According to the article, Fritz Henderson, the new CEO of GM, is scheduled to appear with Obama to make the announcement. Do we really feel like Henderson backs this decision? The other question is that do we really think Henderson is going to question his new boss? GM has said it will stick with the Chevy Volt, even if it loses money. That kinda sounds like what got us here in the first place. But, with bankruptcy imminent, what is a couple (hundred) billion of tax payer money to subsidize an electric car?

Fritz, don't forget to smile tomorrow.

Paying Tribute

A couple of weeks ago, I got the idea to email my former comrades I served with in Iraq. It all started when my wife's boss (a fellow cavalryman) asked her a piece of army trivia of which took me three days to think of the answer. I got to thinking that I should really start to log some of my experiences (so maybe you will read of some of my exploits at a later date). I sent out an email blast looking for a CD full of pictures. There was no minimum requirement, just photos that they took while deployed. I got eight or nine responses and garnered over 3,500 pictures! Thanks to all who contibuted.

Looking through the pictures, it reminded me of how young the Army truly is. Made up of 18-20 year olds (many of whom are married) that raise their hands, pledge allegience and then sacrifice so much at such an early age. These troopers, almost all who will serve namelessly, are American heroes. For them, I have created a tribute to these warriors who served so honorably in Iraq.

2nd Battalion, 8th (U.S.) Cavalry - A Year in Baghdad from Doug Huber on Vimeo.

God Speed those that are still in harm's way.

1st Post

To anyone interested, I plan on writing about whatever stikes me ... my wife and children, college football ... you know, the really important things in life. I will try my best not to assail the political class, although they prompt me to write more than any other (congrats to the pols!).