I Own a Firearm, and I’m More Conflicted About Guns in America Than Ever Before

I own a Glock 19 semi-automatic 9mm pistol, which I bought when I was 24 years old. I haven’t fired it in at least nine years; it stays in a safe, is broken down in multiple pieces, and has a separate lock through the slide and the grip. The ammunition, which consists of standard andContinue reading “I Own a Firearm, and I’m More Conflicted About Guns in America Than Ever Before”

My Experience and Takeaways from Interviewing with Amazon Web Services

Spoiler Alert: My new position, post-CIA employment, is not with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Nevertheless, I had an interesting experience applying and interviewing with AWS, and here is my story and reflection on it. On Friday, January 17th, I was at home doing some work for my side project, E38 Academy, when I received anContinue reading “My Experience and Takeaways from Interviewing with Amazon Web Services”

The Top Six Reasons I Left CIA for a New Career

As I wrote previously, I resigned from the CIA on February 28th, 2020, about 12 and a half years after the first time I walked into the building as an employee. CIA’s human resources staff calls it “resigning” and not “quitting” for some reason, and I’m not sure why, other than the former sounds lessContinue reading “The Top Six Reasons I Left CIA for a New Career”

Today, I Resigned from the CIA – Here is How I Experienced My Last Day

Today, Friday, February 28th, 2020 I walked out of CIA Headquarters for the last time as an employee, almost almost 13 years since the first time I did it on July 23rd, 2007. The decision to leave has been a long time coming, and I’ve been looking for other opportunities for some time. I haveContinue reading “Today, I Resigned from the CIA – Here is How I Experienced My Last Day”

Here’s Why I Would Be a One-Term Congressman

During the past year, I have gained experience working with Congress through my organization’s Office of Congressional Affairs. While my main role has been to run our communications and training programs, I’ve had my fair share of interaction with Congressional members and staffers, as well as daily interaction with our liaison officers, the people whoseContinue reading “Here’s Why I Would Be a One-Term Congressman”

4 Reasons to Help You Realize When You’re Done with Something and It’s Time to Move On

Six years ago, after I returned from a deployment to the Middle East with the Navy, my family took a cruise to the Caribbean. During one day at sea, I was playing a Texas Hold’em-style game in the ship’s casino. Sitting next to me was a guy named Howard, and as we began to talk,Continue reading “4 Reasons to Help You Realize When You’re Done with Something and It’s Time to Move On”

Why Would You Stop Doing Something You Love?

As I wrote about in chapter five of my book, I have been a musician since I was 13 years old when my mom bought me my first guitar. I’ll never forget it. It was an Ibanez RG270 and it was fantastic. Since then, I learned how to play the bass guitar and drums, andContinue reading “Why Would You Stop Doing Something You Love?”

The 2019 Ohio State-Michigan Game: Is There a Mercy Rule?

On November 30th, I continued my annual tradition of attending the Ohio State-Michigan football game, my 16th in a row and 17th overall. This year, as it is in every odd-numbered year, the game was in Ann Arbor, which meant our annual retreat to the Red Roof Inn next to the interstate. I used myContinue reading “The 2019 Ohio State-Michigan Game: Is There a Mercy Rule?”

What Do You Do When You Receive “Twilight Zone Feedback” – Work-Related Advice and Guidance That Makes No Sense

In August, I submitted a petition for promotion at work. It’s basically my organization’s way of allowing employees who think that they are operating at the next level to receive a promotion. It’s an involved process, one that consists of answering multiple questions with long answers, meetings with people that represent you at the promotionContinue reading “What Do You Do When You Receive “Twilight Zone Feedback” – Work-Related Advice and Guidance That Makes No Sense”

20 Years Ago, A Good Friend Saved Me from Myself; Last Week, We Remade the Night

I was 15 years old, and at that age, I was indestructible. I knew everything. I could do everything. And I certainly didn’t need any authority figure to tell me otherwise. One random Saturday, I was sitting at my desk in my room, typing away at my large keyboard while looking at my large, tube-styleContinue reading “20 Years Ago, A Good Friend Saved Me from Myself; Last Week, We Remade the Night”