While flying back from Germany this summer, this picture was in the Lufthansa magazine:
The July 18th "Daily Stoic" reading was based on Marcus Arelious Meditations, 8.56.
It is pretty challenging --
"The foundation of a free country is that your freedom to swing your fist ends where someone else's nose begins. That is, someone else is free to do what they like until it interferes with your physical body and space. This saying can work as a great personal philosophy as well.
"But living that way will require two important assumptions. First, you ought to live your own life in such a way that it doesn't negatively impose on others. Second, you have to be open-minded and accepting enough to let others do the same.
"Can you do that? Even when you really, really disagree with the choices they're making? Can you understand that their life is their business and your is your own? And that you've got plenty to wrestle with yourself without bothering anyone else?"
And the area around our Airbnb -- known as Les Bateaux -- was very amazing. It was a short walk down to the beach. There was a WWII Jeep parked at the bottom.
Our first thing to do in Normandy was to visit to the Overload Museum. This is a great museum. Easy to access, tons of good info, and a large amount of physical hardware from both the Allies perspective and from the Germans.
Then we went to the Omaha Museum. I liked this museum a lot as it had a lot of personal items like all the types of firearms, uniforms, etc. There was also a good video documentary that they shared in their theater.
After that we spent some time on Omaha Beach. It was very low tide at the time we were there and the waves were very small. It is surprisingly long but only a few ways up from the beach to the high ground.
Once we finished at Omaha we drove to Pointe du Hoc. Being up on the high ground and looking down to see what the soldiers had to accomplish to take over this area was humbling. The bomb holes are still there and they are massive. The German guns at this site could have dropped rounds on both Omaha and Utah beach but they had been moved inland because of all the aerial bombing leading up to D-Day.
Then we went to Utah Beach. The drive reminded us that that there was almost 10K between each of the D-Day Beaches, and each beach covered a 10K operating area. I learned that Utah Beach went easier because of the tides and currents. The main body of troops landed in a place less fortnified than their planned location and the units here captured more ground in the first 24 hours than expected. The drive from Omaha to Utah had references to several locations were paratroopers and gliders landed.
After Utah Beach we went to the Normandy American Cemetery just before it closed. This was a very somber place and well done. It is much smaller than I expected given how big it has looked in the past when on TV but that was probably all angles and framing.
For dinner we went to Port en Bessin. The food was very good. The beach was area was interesting because it was full of shells. And we learned some more about what happened in this area during D-Day. The city and port were liberated by Canadian Special Forces.
We made the most of June 13, 2019!
Marlies was wonderful mother, loving wife, devoted Omi (grandmother), and a friend to many. She met Marion “Ray” Holden (USAF Retired) in Germany and they were married on January 4, 1963 in her hometown of Bad Pyrmont, Germany. She immigrated to the United States and became a naturalized citizen in May 31, 1966. Once in the United States, they lived in Nebraska, Wisconsin, and then settled in the Sacramento, CA before moving to Roseville, CA in 1973. She graduated from American River College with a degree in Nursing in 1978, and became a Registered Nurse (RN) working at Roseville Hospital until 1992 when she retired on disability.
Marion (her husband) preceded her in death in 1993, and her mother, Helene, passed in 1973 and her father, Ludwig, died in 1942 (Battle of Stalingrad). She leaves behind her daughter Michelle (Citrus Heights,CA) and her three kids: Taylor, Riley, and Joshua; and her son Steven (San Diego, CA) and his wife Christy, and their three kids: Conrad, Spencer, and Carson. In addition, there is a deep loss by her brother Ludwig and his wife Crystal, and their daughter Gabi (and their extended family in Germany).
Marlies had a very active in retirement. She traveled with friends and family, and hosted many friends from Germany at her house for extended vacations. She loved to play the game Mahjong both on the computer, and also with physical tiles with a weekly game day. She was a member of the Red Hat Society, Widowed Singles, and several other organizations. She often served in many leadership positions including creating monthly newsletters and calendars. Her house was always open for her grandchildren, and she took care of them with great love.
Marlies was a huge dog lover. From Rusty to Pepper to Chew-Lin to Ling-Ling to Emma, dogs played an important part of her life. She loved them all and she was an amazingly patient dog owner.
She will be eternally loved, and deeply missed by all who knew her.
Currently there are plans for a Memorial Service on April 27, 2019 in the Sacramento/Roseville area. You can get more details by contacting Steve (email@example.com). In lieu of flowers, the family requests making a donation in Marlies Holden’s name with Special Olympics.
I took one of my Wyze cameras on travel in May to Washington, DC with me to watch over all my gear in my hotel room while I was at out of the room. It worked out well. No issues.
I am moving from a Windows 7 HP tablet/laptop to a Windows 10 Dell tablet at work by the end of June. A lot of stuff to do to make that transition happen.
Mother's Day was great and Memorial day weekend was a lot of fun around our house. We also had a good time seeing the Star War's Solo movie for Spencer's birthday. The previous week Spencer and I saw the very funny Deadpool 2 movie.
June is going to be busy: my 50th Birthday Party, a lot of high school graduation parties with friends' kids graduating, and a possible trip to DC at the end of the month. Plus I am taking two big courses in June - one on Systems Engineering (late in June) and another on Model Based Systems Engineering (early in June).
I really like these instant coffee packets from South Korea -- Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix. They are great for travel, camping, and mixing it up from standard coffee. And these sugar free sweeteners are great with sparkling water plus your favorite adult alcohol like vodka -- Jelly Belly Liquid Drink Mix.
Quote I'm Thinking About
"Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking." - Ludwig von Mises
This past week Mark had a reference to a fellow Manager Tools listener -- Robert Greiner -- who posted a blog post about a great quote about management that Mark has been sharing for years from Stephen Benét's Pulitzer-Prize winning book "John Brown’s Body."
I've loved this excerpt so much that one time, I think in early 2013, that Mark actually read it outloud in a podcast. So on Feb. 18, 2013, I took that podcast and abstracted the audio of Mark reading the poem.
It's been sitting in my library for only me to enjoy. So, that ends today.
I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me.
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I found this while recovering my old iBook backup drive using SpinRite. I was actually trying to find some older TechNewsRadio podcasts that were posted on a server that no long exists. I seem to have a gap of ~200 with bad links.
If you take a flat map
And move wooden blocks upon it strategically,
The thing looks well, the blocks behave as they should.
The science of war is moving live men like blocks.
And getting the blocks into place at a fixed moment.
But it takes time to mold your men into blocks
And flat maps turn into country where creeks and gullies
Hamper your wooden squares. They stick in the brush,
They are tired and rest, they straggle after ripe blackberries,
And you cannot lift them up in your hand and move them.
It is all so clear in the maps, so clear in the mind,
But the orders are slow, the men in the blocks are slow
To move, when they start they take too long on the way -
The General loses his stars, and the block-men die
In unstrategic defiance of martial law
Because still used to just being men, not block parts.
Very powerful, thoughtful, and meaningful words that have now become one of my favorites also.
I took the liberty to edit a version of just the poem from the podcast. It is going in my Monday motivational playlists and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
It is a great intro and overview to the history of the Berlin Blockage, and the remarkable airlift that changed history.
While listening to the podcast it made me think a lot about what Dan Carlin over at the Hardcore History podcast likes to say about examining/studying/imagining one of those major "what if" time period scenarios in history. By many accounts, if the airlift didn't work the "Cold War" could have been over (with the Russians controlling all of Europe) or radically different by the end of 1948.
If you are interested in 1960's CIA vs. KGB stories and insight then you should enjoy the podcast. The book sounds very interesting and is going on my someday maybe list.