Marriage Minute: Response Ability

We’ve all been defensive. Defensiveness is self-protection in an attempt to ward off a perceived attack, and it’s one of the Four Horsemen that predicts divorce.

The antidote to defensiveness is to accept responsibility for your role in the issue.

Think about the word responsibility.

Response. Ability.

You have the ability to respond with patience and kindness. The key is to be aware of your triggers. And to understand the difference between a perceived attack and an actual one.

Let that awareness inform your response ability.

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 20 July 2017. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

The 77th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is Here!

The 77th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally officially starts today, Friday, August 4th, and runs through Sunday, August 13th. If you haven’t already noticed increased traffic on I-90 yet, you will as Rally goers begin pouring into the Black Hills region.

Last year the rally had an estimated attendance of 463,412. Even if you aren’t going up to Sturgis you will be affected by the Rally. Tourist sites from the Badlands to Devil’s Tower and throughout the Black Hills, as well as restaurants, bars, or anything you think of as entertainment will be packed. HAVE PATIENCE!

The Rally is the experience of a lifetime. Visiting exhibitors can show you anything and everything you’d want or need to dress you up or dress up your bike. Or demo virtually every kind of bike on the market – custom, V-Twin or metric. In addition to the bikes there are concerts, races and bike shows, five blocks of Sturgis’s Main Street (bikes-only), organized rides, and custom legends.

If you are new to the area or have never gone to the Rally, check it out, but be prepared for traffic and a lot of people.

Here are a few tips to survive the Rally:

  • If you are going, have a plan. (Have a designated driver!)
  • There are no open containers allowed in Sturgis
  • Pay attention to the signs that say NO PARKING and the curbs that are painted yellow. If you park by these you will be towed and walking to the impound yard to pay to get your ride back.
  • Look out for motorcycles, not all of them are looking out for you
  • Pay attention to speed limits and additional stop signs in all areas

South Dakota Motorcycle Driving Laws (Source: South Dakota Rides)

  • No person may operate a motorcycle more than two abreast in a single lane. The operator of a motorcycle may not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
  • Every motorcycle must be equipped with at least one but no more than two headlamps..
  • All persons under the age of 18 must wear motorcycle safety helmets that are approved by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.
  • A person riding in an enclosed cab attached to a motorcycle does not have to wear a safety helmet.
  • A motorcycle operator must wear an eye protective device unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design that protects the motorcycle operator. When headlights are required to be on, a motorcycle operator cannot wear protective eye devices that are tinted or shaded to reduce the light transmission of the device below 35 percent.
  • Motorcycles must have at least one tail lamp, which when lighted emits a red light visible for a distance of 500 feet.
  • Noise Limits: Every motorcycle must at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise.

What will bad behavior cost you? (also factor in costs to your career)

Common City Violations

  • Careless Driving – $110
  • City Parking Violations – $10
  • City Trespassing/Camping in the Street – $130
  • Deposit of Filth in Public Place – $105
  • Disorderly Conduct – $130
  • Dog Running at Large (1st off.) – $75
  • Driving on Bike Path/Sidewalk – $130
  • Exhibition Driving – $85
  • Indecent Exposure – $130
  • Open Container In Public -$80
  • Parking in Handicapped Zone – $100
  • Stop Light/Stop Sign Violation – $110
  • Truck Routes & Use of Streets by Trucks – $110
  • U-turn Prohibited – $85
  • Wrong Way on One Way Street -$110
  • Unlawful to Obstruct Streets/Selling on the Street – $105

Common State Motorcycle Violations

  • Cyclist Overtaking and Passing M/V in same lane – $120
  • Eye Protection Required – $ 25
  • Helmet Required under Age 18 – $120
  • Illegal Handlebar Height – $25
  • Illegal Motor Cycle Exhaust – $25
  • Operation Without Motorcycle Endorsement – $120

Common State Law Violations

  • Furnishing  Alcohol to Minor 18-21 – Court Appearance Req.
  • Open Container in Motor Vehicle – $120
  • Possess of Controlled Substance – Custody Arrest
  • Possess of Drug Paraphernalia – $270
  • Possess of Marijuana – Custody Arrest
  • Possess of Substances for High Abuse (Distribution) – Custody Arrest
  • Underage Alcohol Purchase/Possession/Consumption – Court Appearance Req.
  • Underage Purchase/Possession/Consumption of Cigarettes – $95
  • Cancelled License – $140
  • No Driver License – $120
  • Revoked License – Custody Arrest
  • Suspended License – $270
  • Violation of License Restrictions – $120

Marriage Minute: The Weekly Meeting

Research has shown that spending just one hour per week discussing areas of concern in your relationship can transform the way you and your partner manage conflict. We call this the weekly “State of the Union” meeting.

Here’s how to do it. Begin by talking about what went right since your last meeting. Then give each other five appreciations you haven’t yet expressed. Try to be specific.

Next, discuss any issues that may have arisen. Use gentle start-up and listen non-defensively. Take turns being the speaker and the listener. Only after each other feels heard and understood do you move on to problem solving.

End by asking each other, “What can I do to make you feel loved this week?”

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 3 August 2017. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Marriage Minute: Explore Roles Together

It is suggested that couples create shared meaning by exploring roles together.

Our sense of place in the world is based to a great extent on the various roles we play — we are spouses, perhaps children and/or parents, and workers of one kind or another.

Start by having a conversation about the meanings of the words “husband” and “wife.”

What do these roles mean?
What did they mean in your house growing up?
What assumptions do you have about each of those roles?
What is similar?
What is different?

You won’t see eye to eye on every philosophical or spiritual aspect of life, but the more you understand each other, the more connected you’ll feel.

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 27 July 2017. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Blended Retirement System (BRS) News – 8 June 2017

1. BRS Facebook Live Q&A TODAY –

Join Military OneSource for a live Facebook Q&A where experts from the Department of Defense and Manpower and Reserve Affairs will be on hand to answer your questions about the new Blended Retirement System that goes into effect January 1, 2018. The new Blended Retirement System blends the traditional legacy retirement pension with a defined contribution to service members’ Thrift Savings Plan. Post your questions ahead of time using the Discussion feature below, or ask your questions live TODAY, June 8 at 11:00 a.m. MST. It can be accessed by going to

2. DoD Launches Retirement System Comparison Calculator –

The Department of Defense officially launched the Blended Retirement System [ ](BRS) comparison calculator, providing BRS opt-in eligible service members their first opportunity for an individualized comparison of retirement systems. The comprehensive tool, in combination with the mandatory BRS Opt-In Course [ ], will assist the nearly 1.7 million opt-in eligible service members and their families make an informed decision on whether or not to elect the new retirement system.The BRS goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

We have designed an all-in-one calculator that is intuitive to use and takes into account the unique financial situations of our active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, said Tony Kurta, performing the duties of undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The calculator presents to service members the information needed to make an effective comparison. The calculator will provide service members the ability to compare estimated benefits between their current retirement plan and BRS prior to making this important decision.

Service members can adjust 12 inputs to reflect their personal situation and planning assumptions to see how changes to their career and savings will impact retirement benefits over the long-term. With a simple click, service members can change any of the inputs and re-run the calculations as many times as needed. The comparison calculator provides personalized estimates based on a service members individual information, career progression, pay and bonuses and retirement options. The all-in-one calculator was designed for the Total Force and can be used by active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members.

The official DoD comparison calculator is the only calculator endorsed by the DoD for supporting a service members Blended Retirement System opt-in decision.

Service members may use any calculator they feel can aid them in the decision making process, said Kurta. However, only the DoD BRS comparison calculator has been validated by the department as complying with all DoD and BRS policy and tested for accuracy.

The comparison calculator is intended to be used in conjunction with the mandatory BRS Opt-In Course, which launched Jan. 31. The opt-in course is focused on comparing the current legacy military retirement system (often referred to as the high-3 system) and the new Blended Retirement System, along with elements on financial management and retirement planning for service members. Service members are encouraged to take the Opt-In Course prior to utilizing the BRS comparison calculator. The decision whether to opt into the BRS is a completely personal one and the DoD takes no position on which system a service member should elect.

While the calculator is a valuable resource, said Kurta, it should not be the only resource used in making an opt-in decision.

Service members are encouraged to use all resources available to them in the decision making process, to include completion of the BRS Opt-In Course [ ], utilizing the BRS Comparison Calculator [ ], accessing the online BRS resource materials [ ]and scheduling time with a personal financial counselor or manager. Service members can get free, personal support from an accredited personal financial counselor or manager through their installations Military and Family Support Center. Search online at [ ] or [ ].

Give and Get Back – Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign

Army & Air Force Exchange Service is partnering with the Air Force Assistance Fund for an exciting promotion. Between June 14 and June 18, make a $5 donation to AFAF at the register of the Base Exchange and receive a coupon for $5 off a future purchase. Give back to your fellow Airmen while also getting a great deal.

The Society is one of four affiliate charities benefiting from the AFAF campaign, so we hope you’ll plan to get out and shop at your Exchange starting on June 14!