Friday, January 30, 2009


The waves, they wash o'er me
as I trudge upon the sand.
They seek to overwhelm me,
but I fend them with my hands.

They shall not overcome me;
I will not let that be.
For a gentle lark, she guides me.
She seeks to set me free.

Yes, she has always been there
to guide me every day.
She taught me how to soar
and how to make my way.

She wants me to fly high now--
to give her no remorse.
But she knows that I grieve so,
as that was too her course.

And so I will fly on now
and soar above the waves.
But I shall miss the gentle lark
until my dying day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


     The recent winter storm has afforded me an opportunity to stay inside to finish a book that I've been enjoying for a while now.  It's Your Ship, by Captain Michael D. Abrashoff, promises to teach the reader "management techniques from the best damn ship in the Navy."  As a guide to leadership style, the book doesn't disappoint.  

     Captain Abrashoff is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.  After serving as an officer on several ships, he was selected to be the military assistant to U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry.  He ultimately was chosen to be the commander of USS Benfold, which he transformed from an average ship into an award-winning model of efficiency.  He did so by earning the trust and respect of his crew, and by managing them in a way that inspired each crew member and junior officer to give his or her very best for the good of the whole team.  

     It's Your Ship (copyright 2002), is an entertaining read, and it provides great insight for those who are charged with the responsibility of managing and motivating other people.  Its lessons transcend the Navy experience, and would be useful to any manager in the business world.  This highly acclaimed book was on the BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller lists.   

     For me, the book was especially important because it was given to me as a Father's Day gift by my son Brendan (now in his second year at the U.S. Naval Academy) and his siblings:  Tristan, Caitlin and Collin.  I thank them all again for a great and thoughtful gift, and I recommend it to you if you are at all interested in management and leadership techniques.  

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Sunday, January 25, 2009


For forty-seven years, I have been blessed with the most wonderful, caring and loving mother imaginable. My mother--LeEtta B. Perdue--has always been my anchor in life, and she has been there for me whenever I've needed her. Over the years, I have tried to tell her often how much she has meant to me.

Mom passed away two weeks ago, on January 11th. My grief has been more overwhelming than I could have imagined. I know that I will miss her every day for the rest of my life. I am determined to carry on and be strong, though, because that's how she raised me and it's what she would want.

In the end, I am thankful beyond words to have been blessed with such a wonderful mother, and to have had her in my life all these years. To anyone reading this who has a loving mother still living in this world, I would urge you to tell her how much you love her at every possible opportunity. Some day, you will be glad that you did.