{ Sports } – Nate, Oh Nate.

For the life of me I cannot think of any good reason why the Bulls would not do everything in their will power to keep Nate Robinson who averaged 16.3 points and 4.4 assists a game as Chicago reached the second round before losing in five games to the Miami Heat last season in the playoffs.  He, to me embraced what Chi-Ball is all about – Heart.  For him to step up as big as he did in the absence of the Heat-slayer known as Rose – was/is a pretty big deal.  I …..admittedly not paying attention to any sports ticker lately didn’t even know that his had taken place.  I was bragging to a friend about how dope it would be for Rose & Robinson to kill most backcourts next season….in which he looked at me like I was an idiot and exclaimed “You know Nate with the Nuggets now?” …..I paused, frowned and wanted to mush whoever made that decision.  It seems like the only good decisions the Bulls make in the off season is choosing some nice LuvaBulls to look at during halftime.  I am one of those Bulls fans that go into every season thinking that this is the year we’re going to take it all…like any reasonable fan would – but moves like this don’t give me warm fuzzies – they don’t even give me cold fuzzies…they make me wonder if management possesses the mental faculty to make sound personnel decisions – Derrick Rose needs help (and that was not a stab at his inability to ‘talk good’ ) but he needs another stick of dynamite out there that’s going to come through in the clutch, score buckets and help take the Bulls to the next level.

AND LUOL DENG IS NOT THE PERSON TO DO IT – AND BOOZER SUCKS PUDDING CUPS.

– Ken

23.July – 14 years of Naval Service

July 22nd – I’m walking around all day – trying to figure out the significance of the day…I knew that something was special about the day, but I couldn’t remember why.

July 23rd – Whilst (yes whilst) driving to work I remembered that the 22nd of July marked my 14th year in the U.S. Navy….I was saddened when I realized that I was now that old Chief that couldn’t even remember his Navy B-day.  With all of that being said – I would like to recap my last 14 years – normally this recap is done during retirements but I want to share with family and friends my experiences and stuff…..yeah…..and stuff.

Here goes nothing…

July 22, 1999: Ken Bradley shows up to Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, IL – at bootcamp i was the RPOC and i suffered many push-ups because of it.  I got meritoriously advanced due to my leadership position.

September 1999: RMSN (Radioman Seaman) Bradley shows up to Naval Training Center, Great Lakes to learn communications – I learned a lot but knew that that was not a field i wanted to continue in.  Our RM “A” school class was the last one ever…and we started the IT (Information Systems Technician) curriculum – bored to death with all of this tech-talk – I requested to cross-rate to be a Yeoman (YN) or basically a paper-pusher (but with much more swag)

November 1999 – Ken goes to Meridian, MS and learns to be a YN – not much to say here…well I could speak on the ridiculously huge mosquitos but I’ll digress.

January 2000-2003: YNSN Bradley reports to Yokosuka, Japan on the USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19) onboard the RIDGE I visited Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur; Pattaya Beach, Thailand; Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Cairns, Sydney, Australia; Vladivostok, Russia (which was my fave port of all time); Chinhae, Korea and various parts of Japan. I picked up YN3(SW) while i was there and I wanted to stay overseas….so next..

2003-2006:  AFSOUTH (Allied Forces South) Naples, Italy was the next stop – completely changing theatres – and I tell you the culture shock was a major one – becoming used to Japan and then transitioning to Italian culture – hard deal even as an American…but I fell in love with the food, the clothes and Naples became and still is one my most favorite parts of the world. We traveled to Switzerland often to invade the swiss alps in January and also visited Germany and Greece as well – Rome was a frequent stop to just get ice cream (i know…be very jealous) I worked for 3 different 4-star Admirals and met some people there that had great impact on me. I picked up YN2 while I was there and wanted to stay challenged…so next…

2006-2011 – YN2(SW) Bradley showed up to the quarterdeck of the Navy and that’s back to Recruit Training Command in Illinois – I went as an RDC – worked out of Ship 6 and due to injuries didn’t remain one long at all…I got my Small Arms Marksmanship Cert and became a certified Marksmanship instructor with the 9mm. There were many accomplishments at RTC that I won’t go into because that stuff is not important…lets just say that place (the range) had one of thee best Chief’s Mess that has operated in the Navy – they made me want to be a Chief! I found my mentor here Master Chief Barry Tunstall- in 2011 I FINALLY picked up YN1..with 2 years left before I hit high-year tenure….now it was time to go back to sea and lead as a YN1.

2011-2013 – At sea SHIPSEC/LPO tour onboard the USS NEW ORLEANS (LPD 18) AKA “The Mighty NOL” or the “BIG EASY” – the great AMPHIB Navy – out of sunny San Diego, California – some of my hardest times in the Navy was spent on her. I picked up my 2nd mentor (my sea momma) Senior Chief Rikki Brown – he led in a stern yet caring manner – an amazing person. I picked up Chief onboard the Big Easy…love my brothers I got inducted with and I’ll never forget the times on there.

2013 – Present: I left the NEW ORLEANS due to a foot injury and had surgery – in the interim I found out i got picked up to be commissioned as a Naval Officer as an Limited Duty Officer (LDO) – a mighty-mighty MUSTANG! – i get commissioned in 2014 and then the story will continue.  I now work at the Fleet Weather Center with a bunch of really smart people – and a great Chief’s Mess that is really showing me how to be a Chief – and for them I am grateful –

the story will continue – Lord willing…and I love serving and they’re going to have to kick me out – hopefully one day I can be a Commanding Officer…a place where statistically speaking a little kid from the housing projects is not supposed to be.

Hooyah Navy!

YNC(SW) Bradley

 

21.July – let’s be real for a second

I’m pretty sure God doesn’t care about you rocking those clean suits and dresses to church – as a matter of fact reference how Christ spoke of the sects in his day that prided themselves in their apparel – the day i went to the cleaners and picked almost 200 dollars worth of clothes…i was slapped in the face with a real life-point – that 200 dollars could’ve went to something more worthwhile than making sure my italian cut suits were crisp…somewhere like feeding someone…..

change your aim people – i remember one day whilst teaching Sunday school someone told me that they couldn’t pay attention to the teaching because i had on jeans and a t-shirt. I wanted to throw communion crackers at them….

.for those of you that don’t know…the extravagant styles in which you galavant to church in subconsciously attempting to look the best stems from slave owners have contests to see who could dress their slaves up the best – hence the term “sunday’s best” – check your tradition, make sure its not traditionalism and then proceed to maintain the true principles of faith. –

thanks, Ken

19.July – Najee: “The Smooth Side of Soul”

I walk in the dimly lit room, looking around to make sure I don’t bump into anyone – the room opens up into a very well laid and modern restaurant with a stage all the way in the rear. This place; Anthology, San Diego’s premiere jazz spot with great dining was truly a place of exquisite environment.

We took our seats and the wait-staff came to see what we were having – the vibe and tone was that of a ’20s jazz spot but with a sexy hipster motif…..and who was gracing the stage? None other than the smooth brother Najee.  This amazing saxophonist and flautist really laid smooth jazz right at our feet, so much so that our feet had no other option than to move to the beats of songs from his latest album “The Smooth Side of Soul” – I fancied songs such as “You Tube” and “Mari” as i slowly snacked on my fried calamari.

At the end of the night, Mr. Rasheed (Najee) was very personable and thanked us….for coming to see him…a platinum selling artist – very humble and quiet in nature but very charismatic….His band was really cool and down to earth, his bass player Rashan even exchanged numbers with me after the show so we could go play basketball the next day (i never called because i over slept) but bumped into him in Hillcrest while going to eat at Hash House a GoGo….when i left Anthology I immediately downloaded his album – and I was not disappointed.

I thought to post this after riding home this evening listening to his album – and allowing it to   help me decompress after a long hard days work – and I encourage you to support good music and do the same.

– Ken