The Travels Of The Little Blue Guy Continue…

I have been out to the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland more times than I can remember.  Each and every time I have visited that facility it has been fulfilling.  I am truly a lucky duck to be able to do what I love and to be able to share some time while I am at the facility with folks I admire and enjoy.  I am completely aware that I live a charmed life.

Tis’ true that I was a tad crabby when I came home and Delta had misplaced my luggage, but I am happy to report that during my late night trip to the airport on Thursday my big blue bag was located.  That went a long way toward improving my disposition.  With my makeup and camera secured I am now ready to share a few photos with you of my mini-trip to NETC (roughly two days at the facility).

You will notice the smurf in many of these photos.  You may recall that my friend Mary mandated that I take with me when I travel to help address my gnome phobia (lest a thousand gnomes descend upon my office).  All my pals out in Emmitsburg were gracious in posing with the little blue guy even though it borders on the completely ridiculous.  This is how I know my friends love me…they do such silly things for me.

First I have to share a photo of the rental car they gave me.  To be honest I don’t think this photo fully captures the brightness or the boxiness of this car.  I was not kidding when I said it reminded me of one of the little Schriner cars  that holds a half dozen clowns.  Do you think the rental folks were trying to tell me something?

Luckily I drove the yellow clown car in the dark to the facility and I left in the dark.  My new friend Cindi took my photo next to it so that me and the clown car could be memorialized for historical purposes. As if that car will ever be wiped from my memory – even when I am too old to remember my name I will still remember that car.

For those of you who have read about my dear friend Barbara Johnson in past blogs – here she is with both the smurf and me – I leave it to you to determine which is which.

How adorable is that Barbara Johnson? I just love her so.  As is typical when we are together we just laugh and laugh – she is so darn delightful.  But don’t let that sweet, happy exterior fool you – she can be as tough as nails when she has to be.  She is one fierce chick.  I love, love, love you Barbara!

The next poor unsuspecting victim to get saddled with the creepy little blue guy was my esteemed colleague and pal Dave McEntire from the University of North Texas.  Dave is such a gracious man.  I do so appreciate him posing for this photo even after I told him candidly that he might indeed end up as February in next year’s gnome calendar.  My guess would be that even though Dave is a well-published leader in emergency management higher education and has accomplished many things – he has likely never been Mr. February on a gnome calendar.

We were all in a great mood in this group as it was a great group and we did some really good work as a collective.  There was one participant that was a bit of a troublemaker though – Mark Landahl, an officer from Frederick County, Maryland.  He is fairly quick with the quip and after he teased Dave about auditioning for enrollment at UNT with an interpretive dance routine we received this photo via email. told the group members we could put it in our glove boxes and take it out should we ever be caught speeding in Frederick County (which is where NETC is located) as a “get out of jail free” card.  I thought, hmmm…allow one law enforcement officer to laugh his fanny off at a printed copy or share it on my blog and allow it to live on in perpetuity on the worldwide web…well, I am a smart girl and I know how to maximize the effect. 😉

The next series of photos are of my friend Cortez who is the former superintendent of the Emergency Management Institute playing with the little blue guy and posing with Vicki from the dining center on the NETC campus.

Cortez spent more time than most with the little blue guy…I thought that perhaps he might keep him (a girl can dream – right?).  We had a good laugh about his little behind (the little blue guy’s behind not Cortez’s behind).

Finally it was my friend John’s turn to visit with the little blue guy.  Here he is with my new friend Cindi.  What you don’t see in this photo is all the abuse he subjected Cindi to in the moments before this photo by repeatedly cozying up the little buy guy to her hair and face while she was talking (yes we are grown-up professionals…FUN grown-up professionals).  John is one of my original gnomies – one of the folks that has gleefully participated in the whole land of gnome return trouble-making.

So there you have it folks a few shots of my most recent adventure and some of my fabulous friends.  My life may be many things, but dull – never. 😉

Day five hundred and ninety-three of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C