"May no fears affect you.
May no illnesses afflict you.
May no dangers come your way.
May you enjoy good health and long life."
Why do I have a web page? The original impetus for this site was the ever-changing environment offered by ISPs... most recently MSN, and AOL before that. Now it's just something I kind of enjoy having; plus, it links to my blogs and my genealogy sites. Anyway, here it is, and here you are reading it.
As for me, I'm just a guy. I'm a grandfather now from my daughter. She and her brother live in Texas with their mother, bless her heart. My grandson is nine years old now, and I'm here to tell you that being his grandfather is absolutely and totally cool.
I spent 20 years and a month or two in the Navy, retiring as a Chief Hospital Corpsman. In one way, that was just one period of my life; but it was easily the most rewarding work I have ever done, and it does seem to define me. I worked as an OR Tech in Yokosuka, Japan, during the late 60's, was with Air Wing Two in USS Ranger at the end of the war, spent three years on independent duty in USS Roark (Best Job Ever), and retired off USS Cleveland in 1985. There were a few other deployments, a couple of other ships, and some shore duty in there, too. I can tell all of that happened quite awhile ago because all of the ships I served in have been decommissioned. CVW-2 deploys in the Ronald Reagan now.
Historically I have skipped over the years between my leaving the Navy and starting with the Red Cross. This is probably because the work didn't matter to me. There are people who mattered to me - who still matter to me - but choosing health care administration over a good physician assistant program was a horrible career choice; although, if it hadn't been for the work, I wouldn't have met the people. One mustn't wish away the good stuff.
By the spring of 2004, I had started thinking seriously about why I was still shuffling papers in a cubicle for a medical management company in California, and it occurred to me that it was primarily so I could afford to live in California... and, of course, I'm not from California. At that point I committed to simplifying my life and looking for a place I could call home.
In the autumn of 2007, I began working as a volunteer with the American Red Cross. In June, 2008, I went out to Columbus, Indiana, on my first Red Cross Disaster Relief Operation (DRO) - a flood - doing client casework, and to my second in November, 2008, in Southern California (Sayre Fire) as an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) driver.
I left the paid workforce at the end of November, 2009, and relocated to Western North Carolina in January, 2010. In October, 2010, I went on my fourth DRO working as a Disaster Assessment Supervisor; and, to the extent that one can ethically have a really good time working on a DRO, I had a really good time.
I also did some driving for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue (BWAR) in Asheville (mostly just taking dogs and cats to and from their vet appointments with a few recoveries from kill-shelters in the area), and I got to go on their Outward Hounds hikes once in awhile. Dogs are always genuine, and I respect that about them.
In 2011, I worked in my first tornado disaster response and my first hurricane response. In April-May, 2011, I again drove an ERV in support of an Emergency Aid Station east of Tuscaloosa, and in August-September I again worked as a Disaster Assessment Supervisor for Hurricane Irene. There were two more Level 2 tornado responses, Tropical Storm Debby, and, of course, Sandy in 2012. I really like DA, but it was time to move back to California. I can't give a rational explanation for that.
By the end of May, 2013, I was back in the San Gabriel Valley. Life is different here, but I still feel like I'm doing good work during this fourth quarter of my life. Maybe my 67th year was supposed to be a give-back year and my 68th year will turn out be more fun; there are still five months. Maybe it's enough that I'm doing good work.
Among my heroes I include Admiral James B. Stockdale whom I had the privilege of meeting, Senator Lloyd Bentsen, UN Secretary General (1953-1961) Dag Hammarskjöld, and my foster parents: Jack and Mary Lee (Douglas) Gresham.
I'd like to meet President Jimmy Carter, and His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, if I could do it without a fuss. I have questions.
Your e-mail comments to Harold at hmbabb.net are invited and encouraged.
|You Are 40% Left Brained, 60% Right Brained|
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.
The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.