So… I’m checking in, finally

Been a while, hasn’t it? Well, I’ve got a good reason why… sorta.

I’m home on leave! I didn’t want anyone to know until I was actually home, so I didn’t tell anyone, and I very well couldn’t blog about stuff in Korea if I wasn’t there, now could I? No, I didn’t think so. Plus, my internet connections have been few and far between, and unlike Korea, here I don’t just sit around on my computer.

So what’s been new since I’ve been home? Let’s see…

The first weekend I was home, I took the WV Motorcycle Safety Course with my bruver-in-law, Bryon. He was one of a few people who knew I was coming home so we could coordinate stuff. We had a blast at the course. I whole-heartedly recommend that ANYONE who is considering getting a motorcycle license to take this course. It is a lot of fun and VERY educational. It did a great job at preparing me for getting on the road with…

MY NEW MOTORCYCLE! πŸ˜€ Yep, you heard right. Ryan’s got a new ride! It’s an ’82 Yamaha Maxim with an 1100cc engine. This sweet little bike will MOVE, let me tell you! It’s awesome! Even with the large engine, it still gets better gas mileage than most cars and trucks (which is very nice right now). It’s deep red in color. Very sharp looking (so I’ve been told repeatedly). I’ll post pics eventually.

The second weekend I was home I went to Fairmont to spend some time with my friends. There, Mark was the only person who knew I was coming (again, for coordination). I had a lot of fun with the members of the Party that were present on Saturday and Sunday nights. Mark was even cool enough to take off Friday and Monday so we could hang out. Talk about a good friend! He didn’t even complain about the gas we used riding around while I was there! πŸ™‚ I’ve got pics from this weekend that I’ll post on my Facebook (eventually) for those of you on there. I even got to see my kitty Ninja (after much drama with her keeper) while I was there. I could tell she missed me! Ninja, that is, not her keeper.

In between these weeks I got a new MRI (after much battling with my insurance, Tricare) for my knee and went to an actual Doctor of Orthopedics that my grandfather has been using for YEARS. Turns out, he says he can’t see anything wrong with my knee that would be causing me pain. The bony uptake is gone (presumably dissolved and reabsorbed). I do have some scarring on my MCL where I tore it, but nothing other than that. His medical opinion?… I have a neurological problem. Possibly nerve damage or something else wrong, perhaps in my brain. This just keeps getting better. I’m gonna talk to CPT Cushing when I get back to Korea about it. We’ll see what happens.

This past weekend I went to visit Keith in Silver Spring, MD. It was another really fun weekend thanks to his super cool roommates, Eric and Annie (whom are engaged), and Rebecca.

Side quest: I brought along an antique pocket watch that I picked up at a consignment shop in Martinsburg. The seller told me she bought it from an estate sale at one of the old houses there in the Burg. It needed fixed, and I figured if anyone knew where it could be done, it’d be Keith or one of his friends. Sure enough, his friends came through and I left my 60+ year old Bulova there to be fixed up good as new. Estimated value: a little over a grand. Not bad for something I only paid about $70 for (not including the repairs which are considerably more). πŸ˜€

We went out to a cigar bar the first night for a goodbye party for one of Keith’s coworkers. His other coworkers were all trying to get me to apply there when they found out what my MOS was and that I was getting out. After that we drove around the Mall in DC and saw a couple of the monuments. I got to go to the HUGE gym where Keith and his roommates work out on Saturday. Keith and I hung out in the spa as we waited for Eric and Annie to finish their workout with their trainer. When they were done, Eric introduced me to a friend of theirs, Joanne. Boy is she cute, too… and smart… and she can sing (we found out later). She’s got a loser for a boyfriend, though. Everyone agrees. We think even she does (agree). Keith is a much better match for her, and there appears to be some interest from both parties, but you didn’t hear that from me.

Anyways, we went out one night to this cafe’/bar place for some drinks and dinner. Well, a few alcoholic beverages later, the table decided they wanted to see my MOS training in action and told me there was $20 in it for me if I would go up to a female and tell her that I’d like to buy her a fish sandwich. I only got the money, though, if I ended up finding out what high school she went to. No telling her it was a bet, and no bribing. Sound tough? Nah. Piece if cake. Hanna and Ann are from Thailand and didn’t go to high school, they went to a secondary school for English. Hanna lives in Silver Spring while Ann lives in DC. They are both here going to Laurel English College. They are also both very nice girls, so if you see them out and about, tell them that Ryan (the guy with the cane) said “Hi”. That bet paid for my dinner and drinks, so I was pretty happy. πŸ˜€ One of the guys we were with, Josh (whom knew nothing of me before that night), also made the observation (not to my face) that I am a lot like House. Everyone at the table laughed and told him that they had thought that for a while. I found it interesting. Pretty perceptive fellow. He asked me for some tips in talking to girls. Laugh all you want, but this training does have it’s merits. πŸ™‚

I stayed up late on Sunday night and watched The Karate Kid with Rebecca. She had never seen it growing up (she’s 22… still no excuse), so I made her watch it. She never knew that’s where “wax on, wax off” came from. How sad is that? Rebecca, if you’re reading this, it’s ok. Now go watch The Karate Kid II. You’ll like it just as much, I promise.

I had planned on going home this past Monday morning, but a call from Joanne to Eric on Sunday night convinced me to stay. She is in an acapella choir at their law school and invited us to go to their free concert (yes, “us” included me), so I stayed till Monday night. I’m glad I did, too. The choir was very good (I did have to ask the director to up the microphone volume, though) and there was free food/snacks/wine/soda. Best free thing I’ve been to in a long time.

Today was a blast! I put a good many miles on my bike (for a beginner) and got to go to the range and hang out with my buddy Mark Ewing (the owner/operator). I didn’t get to fire my PS-90 because I didn’t know the rifle range was open (Mark had it closed because of geese on his pond… but they’re not there any longer). I did get to shoot Marks custom-built-from-the-ground-up .45 Colt, though. That was fun. Guess I’ve gotta buy me a .45 now. Shucks. On the way home (on my bike, mind you) to my sisser’s in Ranson, I maxed out my bike’s speedometer at 85mph (it doesn’t go any higher… at least not until I swap out the old speedo for a different one) on the new Route 9. That was FUN!!!

Sooo… I think that about covers most everything. If I’ve forgotten something, I’ll be sure to post about it as soon as I can. I won’t be around from Thursday evening till Monday afternoon, though, because my family and I are going to our hunting cabin for a little retreat. I leave for the airport next Thursday.

Catch you on the flip side.


2 Responses

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

  2. I coulda told ya you’re crazy, but anyway, it’s good that you are having a good time. I gotta be out of country NLT Aug 22. I actually kinda miss you too, so I shall tell details in person. ❀

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