Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 2, 2008 - Hurricane Gustav ... eat my shorts!

Hey there, hi there and hello there to you all ... sorry for the delayed blogging action, you can blame that one on Jenny:) Happy birthday to Poc and a belated wonderful Labor Day to you all!

Aflac over the last month has been a phenomenal whirlwind of activity and last week was a wonderful success story for the big Online Services project. Not very often have I been caught in a situation where I cannot communicate with folks, but people from IT are a whole new bird. I learned that telling them stories of what we're looking to accomplish really holds no bearing ... they just want to know what the heck is going on and what we're looking for. So, needless to say it's been a great learning experience facilitating all of these meetings for this initiative. Our efforts are continuing to pay off as we roll-out new enhancements and I'm sure it will just continue at this pace for the rest of the year. We had a great team learning event this week where the whole PI&C team got together to enhance some of our technical/analytical skills and the team was studly over the last few weeks. We're dominating some projects, providing some great insight/leadership and documenting some wondermous processes (ok, so that's not very exciting but some one's got to do it:)!

Had a pretty decent week and a half of volunteer action starting with Hands on the Valley Advisory council. We put together our plan for Hands on Georgia volunteer week and just learned that Aflac again will be a generous sponsor ... what a nice duck! Today we made some great progress with our Young Professionals FUNdraising committee which I chair. We've laid the groundwork for a capstone annual YP Gala for next year that will hopefully be coordinated with the opening of the new Infantry Museum, it'll be amazing. Soccer practice for the kids continued to go well and I really think we'll have a great team this season.

I also received my first few gigs as a Making it Count contract speaker ... who would've thunk a kid from Shueyville, Iowa would go and speak in a town called Hueytown, Abalama (yeah, I spelled it right:) coincidence, I think not! I also started up a little volleyball action this week which I am thoroughly looking forward to!

The best part of the week though was having Jenny come down for an extended weekend of fun in the sun. She bopped on down Thursday evening as the Bradley family joined us for some Mellow Mushroom action and then she came with to the PI&C team luncheon on Friday to meet my co-workers. All the folks on the team had a heart to heart with Tank to make sure he was civil, but I tell you what ... we've got a great team and they made Jenny feel very welcome as she chowed down the steak, what a champ. Then it was off to Seagrove, Florida for a little weekend getaway by Panama City/Destin. We arrived at our condo (which was free, thanks Billy;) Friday eve and just went out to walk on the beach for a couple of miles and the Gulf's beaches I must say are some of the most beautiful I've seen. We ventured to the local market for some delicious fish and hush puppies before hanging out for the eve. Saturday we slept in (that was a first for us) and went down to Panama City to hang out on the beach, get a tan and check out the local hot spots. Of course we had to eat at Margaritaville and walked around at Pier Park before some more beach time. Jenny had her heart set on a boat tour to see some gators, but as soon as we arrived Saturday night, Gustav peeked his little head out to say hello and dropped some rain on our parade ... o well, next time. Sunday we headed up to Destin for some more beach action and this time some fun crashing against the waves and building a sandcastle. We hit up a little outlet mall and somehow Jenny conned me into buying myself clothes, which I usually don't do but she had an uncanny way to make me enjoy it ... I think it's a gift, or maybe a girl thing:) We went to Elmo's grill that night for a wonderful shrimp and seafood meal with some live music that was scrumtrulescent. We had some great experiences with the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants on the trip and then we had some of the most wonderful shortcake in Seaside where the Truman Show was filmed. It was pristine and picturesque throughout all of Seaside and Seagrove where we stayed ... immaculate. Monday brought the most wonderful beignets and biscuits & gravy ... mmm ... before we cleaned up the place to say farewell. The double red caution flags were out on Monday, so we decided to get some pictures of the ginormous waves before we headed out of dodge. We didn't hit any weather on the way home, and of course we had to do the ol' Fuji hibachi grill before we came back home. Unfortunately, it all had to come to an end today when Jenny flew back home, but I will say it was the best time we've had together. Just being able to relax, eat some good food and hang out ... much needed and wonderful, thank you much bib!

That's about all I have for now, but until next time please keep all the folks affected by the hurricane in your thoughts and prayers as they recover. As Ben Lee says, "We're all in this together."

Stay classy



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