2016 was a big year, with the biggest news being that I retired from working for the state of Texas after 33 years of service (I started working for UT when I was 18) at the end of August. I worked for the Applied Research Laboratories at UT-Austin from 1983-2006, and for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service for 2007-2016. The instructors I managed (and others I worked with) at TEEX made this fun, short video for my retirement party:
That cut my workload from 3 jobs to two: KR Training, and playing music. I have long “to-do” lists for both of those careers that are keeping me as busy as I’ve ever been.
The other major item of 2016 was that I got serious about dieting back in July, losing 35 pounds from August to December, and started working with the Atomic Athlete gym in Austin and their online fitness coaching program. What finally motivated me? A bulged disc in my lower back that finally improved after injections, physical therapy and most importantly weight loss. My top 2017 goal is to lose another 10-15 pounds and improve my overall fitness level.
I taught 56 half-day classes to more than 600 students, developed a new course (Open Carry Concepts, w/ Leslie Buck), resumed teaching the Texas License To Carry courses again, and hosted all of these guest instructors:
- Aaron Marco
- Caleb Causey / Darryl Bolke
- Kathy Jackson
- Tom & Lynn Givens (4 classes over 2 weeks)
- Greg Hamilton
- Craig Douglas
- Ben Stoeger
- Charles Rives
- John Johnston / Melody Lauer
I presented at three conferences: the Paul Martin Preparedness Conference, the Rangemaster Tactical Conference, and the A Girl and a Gun annual conference. I was invited to return to speak at each of those conferences again in 2017.
From June-August, I ran bi-weekly USPSA matches at the A-Zone, serving as the primary match director and stage designer.
In addition to teaching for KR Training, I taught DHS courses for TEEX and was a developer on the revision of the MGT-414 Advanced Critical Infrastructure Protection course, a class that I and my TEEX instructor team originally developed for DHS in 2012.
In addition to teaching, I took courses from other trainers, more than 150 hours of formal training, not counting the opportunities I had to sit in on all or part of other courses I hosted.
- Paul Martin Preparedness Conference (6 hours)
- NRA’s Blended Learning Basic Pistol Course (8 hours)
- Rangemaster Tactical Conference, (24 hours)
- Charles Rives knife & stick training (8 hours)
- Kathy Jackson instructor development course (32 hours)
- Close Quarters Pistol / Tactical Medicine w/ Bolke & Causey (16 hours)
- Texas Bar Association continuing ed course on Firearms Law (8 hours)
- Rangemaster Advanced Instructor Course (16 hours) – I was top shooter in this course
- InSights Street and Vehicle Tactics (24 hours)
- Armed Parent (16 hours)
During the late spring and summer, I shot USPSA matches in the new Carry Optics division, getting classified as a Grand Master in that division.
I played 106 shows as a musician in 2016, mainly as a solo act at Luigi’s and Paolo’s, but also with the Brazos Valley All Star Band, Midnight Express, the Luigi’s house band, Java Jazz, Johnny D and the Genotones, and with Mike Reed and the Revelators.
I did some studio work for Donald Ray Johnson, and added some keyboard tracks to the new Joey McGee CD “Terlingua Taproot” (released January 2017).
In addition to the usual lose weight and get stronger goals, my goals for KR Training are to update our online content (new website, more videos, more blogging), revise some courses, and take action on the things I learned from our 2016 alumni survey.
For professional development I’m looking at taking some courses on the road, taking some armorer’s courses, an Appleseed rifle course, and bringing in a few new faces to offer classes this fall at KR Training. Late spring & summer will see me working on raising my classification in the USPSA Limited division from Master to Grand Master, part of my multi-year plan to get GM rated in all the USPSA divisions.
My musical goals for 2017 are to play at least 100 shows, play more of my original music in my live shows, and release some studio recordings of new original tracks.
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