Quiet Confidence and the USMC

Of all of the urban myths that float about on the Internet, this one seemed worthy of re-posting. There’s no way to verify it’s authenticity.

In addition to communicating with the local Air Traffic Control facility, all aircraft in the Persian Gulf AOR are required to give the Iranian Air Defense Radar (military) a ten minute ‘heads up’ if they will be transiting Iranian airspace.

This is a common procedure for commercial aircraft and involves giving them your call sign, transponder code, type of aircraft, and points of origin and destination.

I just flew with a guy who overheard this conversation on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai.

The conversation went like this…

Iranian Air Defense Radar: ‘Unknown aircraft you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.’

Aircraft: ‘This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.’
Air Defense Radar: ‘You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!’

Aircraft: ‘This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send ’em up, I’ll wait!’

Air Defense Radar: (no response … total silence)

Making assumptions about who is really calling the shots, even in the midst of a highly regulated environment, can be dangerous. The real lesson, though, is the confident response of the USMC pilot. He was compliant of the rules. He was respectful. He only told the truth. In the end, it was the confidence of his own abilities and strengths which were left to speak for themselves.

Even when you know you are right, sometimes the best response is one of quiet confidence.

Be confident. Be bold. Define YOUR success!

Popular Music and Senior Citizens…Yep, They ROCK!

This blog features a number of outstanding individuals who have dared to defined their own success. As I’ve been saying a lot lately, these are people who have chosen to “Own it!” in their own lives.

My brother found an amazing bit of footage from a group suspiciously like the one featured in the 2007 documentary Young at Heart. I hope you’ll enjoy. OH, the last song they cover is worth the watch. Old people rock!

Ice Storms and Windshields – True Story!

Over the years, I’ve shared a few of my travel stories…this one is, perhaps, the scariest to date. In short, here’s a copy of the post I made to Twitter shortly after it happened: 70 mph + falling ice = shattered windshield. That was scary!

On my way back to Tulsa following a speech this morning in Van Buren, Arkansas, I was chatting with a friend (on my bluetooth headset) about a current project, when I heard a sudden POP and looked over to see the first image. After a startled shout, somehow I managed to maintain enough composure to end the call, pull over to the side of the road and figure out what had just happened.

As I looked back down the road toward where this had occurred, I noticed there was a huge power line stretched over the turnpike. The line, like the trees all around, were covered in a tremendous amount of ice left from the storm system that’s been working it’s way east over the past few days. Ice that was beginning to fall from a height of about 100′ to the ground. I never saw it coming.

When you look at the second picture, you can see the tremendous dent left in the support post on the passenger side of my SUV from the impact of the falling ice that actually hit the vehicle…Did I mention I was truly traveling at 70 mph when this occurred?

Fortunately, the impact was on the passenger side of the windshield and only blew glass into the seat NEXT to me, rather than in my face. And, despite not being able to use the wipers for fear of knocking an open hole in the glass that might rapidly cause the window to completely disintegrate, I made it back to Tulsa in about an hour.

Some things I learned today:

  1. Yes. Freak things CAN happen to ANYONE when driving. Stay alert, and be calm if disaster strikes.
  2. It is CRITICALLY important to keep your mechanic’s phone number in your cell phone. I called mine right after my insurance agent (who couldn’t help) and he referred me to a glass local, family-owned auto glass shop. I scheduled an appointment within 15 minutes after impact and about 3 hours after arriving back in town, the windshield had been replaced…at a VERY reasonable rate!
  3. Wiper fluid that includes Rain-X creates a helpful water shedding effect when driving on a wet highway if you are unable to use your wipers.
  4. Windshields are surprisingly cheap.
  5. Act quick when you need to get something done. By the time I arrived at the shop (about an hour after the incident) they were already pushing off work until next Monday (4 calendar days later). If I hadn’t called, I wouldn’t already have the glass replaced. [Hmmm. Anyone know a good body shop?]

God has a plan for me, and I must still have something important to do here on this great earth, so I’m going to continue making every day count! I’d encourage you to do the same.

Re-wiring the Communication Gap

I don’t know anything about the company whose logo appears on this video, so this is NOT an endorsement. As a speaking professional (and a man), however, this presentation is pretty well delivered. OH, and I think you’ll get a kick out of his message.

Question you can answer in the comment section:

Please share a story about a time when a simple communication issue kept you from achieving a desired result.

Free Dr Pepper? Thanks, Axl!

Well, nobody thought that the penultimate, uber-diva of rock, Axl Rose and his bunch (a/k/a Guns-n-Roses) would EVER get this album released, but keeping true to their word, the folks at Dr. Pepper are honoring their promise to give a FREE DR PEPPER to everyone, if this album released by the end of 2008.

AS REPORTED BY THE Associated Press. (You’re welcome, MSNBC, for the traffic I’m pointing your way!)

The coupon is only available for 24 hours, beginning Sunday at midnight only at DrPepper.com

The album is streaming on MySpace—enjoy! [UPDATE: Wow!…GnR’s sound has truly matured. I must say it was unexpected.]

THE REAL QUESTION: Will the album be released at 10, 2, or 4?

Shine On You Crazy Diamond!

From the Pink Floyd Website:

The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness, that Richard died today after a short struggle with cancer.

The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.

Richard Wright
Born 28 July 1943 (65)

I had the pleasure of seeing Pink Floyd live at Texas Stadium in Arlington, TX back in college. Man, what an incredible show! Just today, a good part of my 4-mile treadmill run was to the accompaniment of Pink Floyd’s live album “P.U.L.S.E.” from that same tour. Richard Wright, you stand among the many great musicians who have left an incredible legacy for the world to enjoy. Shine on!

The Ultimate Video Resume

If you haven’t heard, Journey is back with a brand new lead singer. Sure, you die hard fans (Hi, Terry and Shanna!) find this news to be “old”….but for people thinking they could be at the bottom, here’s a great story of what happened to a kid living on the streets in the Philippines was able to achieve.

Congratulations, Arnel, on living your dream!