Thursday, March 26, 2009

Best day ever!

Today was fantastic! It started with huevos rancheros, heavy on los frijoles. At work I had a teleconference, which typically signals a low point, but this one was to announce a 2/3 reduction in our squadron's budget. I mean, this is huge. It changes everything. We're going to have to mothball some of the helicopters and a lot of the equipment. It's great news, though, and it really only took a couple hours for folks to see it. We typically spend our way out of problems. Having enough money to fly as much as we possibly can makes us lazy and stupid. The adage that necessity is the mother of invention holds true for just about everything and we're no exception. It's going to make our maintenance department so much keener. I know when my administrative funds were curtailed earlier this year, we sharpened up quickly and have been running smoother since. It's going to bring all our operations back into a manageable scale. And nothing could be more appropriate. The idea that every Navy command should be prepared to respond to any military or political whim anywhere in the world at a moment's notice may sound grand, but it's ludicrous and even were it possible, it's not actually desirable. It's limitations that generate value. Having to make a choice or earn something engenders ownership of that decision. The Senior Chief in the maintenance department immediately reasoned that it would make his mechanics better, that they'd need to learn their craft more intimately because they couldn't afford mistakes like they could prior to today. And I'm finally doing my job--a firm budget sets a standard and now I matter. It's not that I want to boss anyone around, I just want to have a line...anywhere that I can stick to.

So, first huevos rancheros, second budget cuts, third was Andy Hollinger at The Racing Post asking me to write a review for his book Changing Gears for his magazine. I was so flattered. I enjoy the book because it's like a new friend that's way too comfortable sharing way too much about their crazy life with you, if that friend's crazy life included Texas road racing. Anyway, I got to put together the essay for the article he's doing on our team, which was fun and this is another opportunity to write for The Post.

Fourth, we had the New Racers Ride tonight, which was a blast because only Matt's little brother showed up to ride with us, but six teammates were there to give advice. We ended up riding over to the mega-church and spinning laps in their Kansas cornfield parking lot. We did tons of drills that I haven't done in months and generally cracked up. I got in nearly three hours with no knee pain. I'm so stoked about that.

Fifth, we all went out to eat Vietnamese noodle bowls after and then to the coffee shop for about four hours of conversation that included commitments to travel to Sedona and the South of France with people I still can't believe allow me to be their friend.

Seriously best day ever!