Dragon Gas Chili (2015)


Dragon Gas Chili
Serves: 15

1 8 oz. can Light Red Beans
1 8 oz. can Chili Beans
1 8 oz. can Dark Red Beans
2 8 oz. can Black Beans
1 6 oz. can  Sliced Jalapeno peppers
1 4 oz. can Red Chipotle paste
6 Hot Italian Sausage
1 8 oz. can Red Enchilada Sauce
1 Squeezed Lime
2 Small Haberno Peppers
1 Packet Old El Paso Chili Seasoning
1 tsp cumin

Directions: Remove casings from sausage, brown sausage pieces. Stem in enchilada sauce. Squeeze a lime, dice the habernos (leave seeds for kick). Pour all the contents into crock pot for 6 hours on low.



We Improve What We Measure

During the summer of 2010 I decided I wanted to run. It started in June 2010 when before going to a physical I wanted to tell the doctor, “Sure Doc, I exercise”. For two weeks I started walking around my neighborhood with my wife. Walking was boring, company was great, the speed was absolutely … b-o-r-i-n-g. So I picked up the pace and ran.

At first my running was very poor. I made steps (pun intended) to start small with goals to run without stopping to ever- increasing distances. Next, I ran against the clock. Finally, I ran for total miles in a week.

Along the way I found a measuring tool called Daily Mile (website). Daily mile is a web based log tracking tool to record your workouts and connect and compete with friends and others in your area. After creating an account it is very easy to create workouts or routes and record them showing progress and keep a basic exercise journal.

Over the summer I found my performance improved. My ability and desire to run longer distances faster also improved. Each day when I would run and record my results I could note improvements.

The principle here is when we measure performance our performance improves. When we indicate the metrics by which we measure improvement we focus to improve that metric. In life if you will define your goals, measure them and make goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based you too can enjoy improvement. If you use a tool like Daily Mile you can improve your physical fitness and compare your activity with friends while you do it.

Leaving GMU

I will leave my regular service as the Director of Technology Infrastructure & Security in the Mason School of Management on 10 September 2010.

It is with mixed emotions I leave as I take a position with a contracting firm serving the United States federal government in the General Services Administration(GSA).

There have been a number of projects, successes and advances that I leave behind at GMU. I shall recall with fondness many people who have shaped who I have become. In some small way I hope that I too may leave remembered in a positive light.

Should any wish to remain professionally connected I recommend linking our professional networks. You may find my professional network at LinkedIn found here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pauldone

My 911 Call

After church Sunday 20 June 2010 about 4:10PM I was informed by my children there was someone in our car in the parking lot who will not get out.

I walked outside and found my wife in the driver’s seat of her car and an unknown non-responsive woman in the passenger’s seat of the car. I asked the lady if she was ok and observed her sitting in the seat with her head slumped over. She was breathing but clearly had problems.

I called 911 to explain the situation. They dispatched a fire rescue truck and two ambulances within minutes. While waiting for the paramedics to arrive I observed the lady who was dressed in a heavy denim jacket and denim pants with thick cotton socks. Her right hand appeared very red (sunburned?) on this hot day. I surmised that she had likely been in the heat of the sun for a while.

When the paramedics arrived they did the same thing of trying to get the lady to respond, she did not. They removed her jacket and one paramedic lifted the lady with his arms above him to gently lay her on the gurney brought by another paramedic.

The police arrived to get a report. We guessed this lady from an assisted living complex right next door to the church. The lady must have left the complex and came to the first unlocked car in the parking lot to sit down.

After thirty minutes the lady appeared to have a core body temperature of 105F (40.5C). She was transported to a local hospital. The police took digital pictures to take to the local assisted living homes for identification.

BSA 100th Anniversary Commemoration

Troop 1366 spent Friday night and Saturday at Camp Snyder in Haymarket, Virginia celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Boy Scouts. Joining other troops in the Bull Run District we had an excellent program Friday where Lord Baden Powell himself (portrayal) described the reasons he created Boy Scouts.

Saturday morning our troop helped the camp build the tents and cots that will be used this year for summer camp.

I Am Proud of Her

After today’s events I made to get approval to write this so as not to receive the same fate described below. This chronicle is from a non-participant’s perspective as far as I was able to gather the facts.
Our youngest daughter was sick today causing her to stay home from school with my wife and home-schooled son. As is typical, even sickness would not keep these two kids from fighting. The arguments started early and escalated throughout the morning. This raised my wife’s stress level early.
Later in the day Imelda had to take the kids to the library to take care of some errand. While they were walking out our son dropped from his mouth on the street or sidewalk a new piece of gum. If it fell or he spit it is not the point it was that a woman walking near them snapped at our son telling him he better take care of that gum as she “doesn’t want to step in that…
One thing you have to understand is that as stern as Imelda is with the kids no one, not even the kids father (poor little me) better get in the way of this mother’s young. What this lady did not know was that she stepped into something worse than gum rudely scolding one of Imelda’s children.
The kids looked at their mother in shock and a switch turned on in Imelda’s mind. She followed the lady toward the library and asked her who she thinks she was and what kind of “momma” she is to tell people to pick things up. Imelda wasn’t dealing with a lightweight scrapper either. This “momma” and Imelda yelled back and forth at each other outside the library while Imelda explained to this “momma” who should tell her son to pick up the gum. I am proud of my sweetheart.
For those who know Imelda, she is mostly sweet and gentle. Even in private (mostly) she will be kind. Hell hath no fury as Imelda scorned. I feel bad for my wife that someone flipped her switch. Note to the world if you get in the way of Imelda and her kids, you will eventually leave the incident with a chewed tail. Her memory is long and her wrath hath no end – you will burn. I know from experience.
Not one to let an opportunity go by I knew while coming home from work today she was upset from the day’s events. She would be emotionally wiped and regretting some of her choices. Before coming home I stopped by the store and picked up a dozen cut tulips and snacks to pacify the beast within. In fourteen years of marriage (this week) I have never had the opportunity to buy flowers as a peace offering for something I did/didn’t do. Now as I look at the vase of flowers that sit in our dining room they are a reminder that Imelda will protect her kids to the end and her endurance level is high.
Another account: Imelda’s words
Police Blotter (coming soon)

‘What Would you Give Your Life For…?’

A morbid question, but ‘What would you give your life for’ was how we began the tour of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.  I spent Friday night and Saturday (26/27 March 2010) with Scout Troop 1366 as an adult leader. Our tour guide also the Scout Master asked the boys this question as we began the day.

The FBI Academy is located on 385 acres shared with Quantico Marine Corp Base. It is a secure facility and therefore not generally open for public tours. Before our tour each person was required to provide their social security number and acknowledge waivers with regards to live ammunition on the premises. Aside from being a complex of classrooms, dormitory and training facility the academy is a memorial to courage and valor. The halls are filled with reminders of those brave men and women who excel as well as those who have given their life. There are walls covered with agents who have died in the line of duty as well as members of the “1/4” Club”* and other memorials for bravery and valor.

In one portion of the complex there is a foyer with a small fountain. The walls of this foyer are covered with memorials to those who die and have served. In directions around this hall are paths to classrooms, an auditorium, library and other locations. It is an interesting design philosophy to make such a morbid reminder about the commitment to the job these men and women make in the place where they undergo extensive training for 22 weeks.

Following our tour of the FBI Academy we visited the Marine Corp Museum just down the road from the Academy. The day was filled with a 1-2 punch and reminder of those who give their life that we may live. The Marine Corp Museum is a relatively new addition to the Washington DC area. Inside the museum rivals those maintained by the Smithsonian. Inside the main plaza is filled with aircraft and dioramas of aircraft and scenes of Marine Corp operations. Down the hallways the displays, photos showcase the history of the Marine Corp and their involvement of recent struggles for freedom and pushing back the threat of tyranny.

Several thoughts occurred to me while visiting these locations. I am personally grateful for those who apply, enlist to these organizations. If they give the ultimate sacrifice or not their commitment to uphold truth and exhibit brave acts enable me to enjoy freedom and exercise my agency in relative freedom. It also occurs to me that such a mentality is not natural. It is not natural for a person to walk into danger with death so eminent and act so bravely in the name of duty. This is a learned habit. The training undergone must remove the natural self-preservation inherent in our minds and replace it with concern for the person next to us or the unknown person who will benefit from our actions.

I am grateful for many things. I walk and act each day in freedom because of someone else’s sacrifice. I can make choices because someone else created this world allowing me to choose.  I am free because someone else decided I was worth dying for.

* The 1/4″ Club is a group of FBI Special Agents who have been successful in shooting a firearm hitting a target three times with a 1/4″ of each other from 200 yards away. A remarkable feat.