New Year, New Personal Goals – Welcome 2018!

January 4, 2018

This year, I am keeping one goal that I started last spring –to eat healthier food, mainly fruits and vegetables.    So, out came the cookbooks and dietary guidelines for guidance as I push myself in this direction …. Here are a few titles from the US Federal Government that I referred to, and that may interest you also:

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020. The Dietary Guidelines is designed for professionals to help all individuals ages 2 years and older and their families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet. The information in the Dietary Guidelines is used in developing Federal food, nutrition, and health policies and programs. It is also the basis for Federal nutrition education materials designed for the public and for the nutrition education components of  HHS and USDA food programs. It is developed for use by policymakers and nutrition and health professionals.

This publication is available in paperback and free eBook formats here – scroll to the right of your screen and click the format drop down to find the other formats.   Free ePub format also available from Apple iBookstore, BarnesandNoble (Nook eBookstore), Google Play eBookstore, and Overdrive.  Please use ePub ISBN: 9780160934650 to search these platforms.  Also available in PDF format through EBSCOhost, Academic Pub, Rittenhouse R2, and ProQuest databases.  Please use PDF ISBN: 9780160934674 to search these academic platforms.

Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook for Schools. While the premise for this book was based on a healthy eating competition in schools across America, the contents will apply to children, adults, and school cafeterias to meet nutritional planning objectives.  For me, personally, there are a number of recipes that I can incorporate healthy fruits and vegetables to meet my 2018 personal goal for healthy eating.

Staying Active

Another personal goal for me in year 2018 is to get back to exercising a few times a week.  Living in the Washington, DC area, I often observe military personnel taking part in exercise programs during my early morning commutes and know this must be how many of them stay fit.  Therefore, I am excited about the recently published work by the US Army:

Performance Triad, The Total Army Family Guide: A Guide To Help With Enhancing Your Health With Sleep, Activity, and Nutrition. This resource from the US Army is presented in different modules, so a person can choose the modules best for them.  There many fitness modules to choose from. As an individual increases the number of repetitions at his or her own pace, it can improve strength and overall fitness.

Exercising My Brain

My other personal goal for this year is to reduce my hours of watching television and increase my self-education through online webinars and reading.  In this New Year, I plan to renew my library card — an affordable way to achieve this goal!

Some US Federal Government self-education books that I would like to recommend to others include:

Economic Security: Neglected Dimension of National Security – Paperback format with reduced list price (while supplies last) can be found here. I found this book to be engaging because it directly relates to today’s defense planning matters that impact America’s national security budgets.  Also available in ePub format for $7.99 list price from Apple iBookstore using ePub ISBN: 9780160915727.

North Korea and nuclear missile defense seems to be on many of my friends minds these days and this subject found its way into many holiday discussions with family and friends.  These are some books that I have read that provided some insights into our military future:

The Asia Pacific Century: Challenges and Opportunities. In 2002 Pres. George W. Bush proclaimed that the twenty-first century would be the “Asia-Pacific Century.” While I am not sure he was the first person to use that phrase—and it has been often used by others over the past 10 years—for those who study the region and/or have more than a casual familiarity with the region, the proclamation rings true. In a November 2011 article in Foreign Policy magazine, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went so far as to say, “The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action.” These are powerful words, underscoring the fact that Asia matters, and it matters a great deal.

Chinese Strategic Perspectives-Chinese Military Diplomacy: 2003- 2016, Trends and Implications This publication provides a history of Chinese military diplomacy from 2003 to 2016, and discusses future implications of this diplomacy for the United States and the international community.

Thank you for reading and I would love to hear your comments about this post.  Best wishes for health and success in 2018!

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications


Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and ProQuest.

Beauty and the Best- Two calendars inspire New Year’s resolutions

January 18, 2012

In January of every year, people around the world find themselves making their New Year’s resolution. However, resolutions that come from the Government tend to be about serious topics like laws or declaring war. Case in point: George Washington himself famously said in a letter in 1775 justifying the American colony’s inevitable steps toward declaring independence: “We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.”

Thus, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that the Federal Government can also help us with some of our personal resolutions as well. The most popular personal resolutions tend to be about getting fit, or finding more time to “stop and smell the roses” by relaxing and enjoying the beauty around us.

With their decorative and inspiring calendars for 2012, the National Park Service and the Marine Corps are ensuring that we can meet both these New Year’s resolutions with showing us both “Beauty” and “The Best”.

The National Historic Landmark 2012 Event Planner Calendar

This 12-month wall calendar / event planner from The National Park Service features the winning photographs from their Twelfth Annual National Historic Landmarks (NHL) Photo Contest.

According to the contest rules, these original photos have to be “fantastic photographs that illustrate the significance of any of the over 2,500 National Historic Landmarks, our nation’s most significant treasures”.  One beautiful image from each National Park Service region and a stunning national winner were all chosen last fall from thousands of submissions for inclusion in this 2012 calendar, with the winning photograph gracing the cover.

The winning cover photo (shown above) by photographer Eric Vondy was of National Historic Landmark Pecos Pueblo, in South of Pecos, New Mexico. Park Service judges described it:

This evocative photograph inspires the imagination, yet this site’s real history is legendary. Led by an Indian guide called “The Turk,” famous Spanish explorer Coronado and his men set out from this pueblo to search for Quivira, one of the legendary “Seven Cities of Gold.” Abandoned in 1838, today the site, east of Santa Fe, is managed by Pecos National Historical Park.


Calendar Images: (Left) 1895 lumber schooner C.A. Thayer, San Francisco, California. Photographer: John Conway.  (Right) Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis, Missouri. Photographer: Judy Hitzeman.

Want to see your photo win next year? If you’re a photographer, amateur or professional, you can participate in their next annual National Park Service photo contest. Read the details on their  Annual National Historic Landmarks (NHL) Photo Contest web site.

How do I get this 2012 National Historic Landmarks Photo Contest event planner calendar?

  • UPDATE AS OF 1/19/2012:  Due to the overwhelming customer response to this blog post, unfortunately GPO has sold out of its remaining stock of this calendar! If more should become available, we will update this post.

However, feel free to enjoy the beautiful images from the calendar on the National Park Service’s FlickR page for the National Historic Landmarks 2011 Photo Contest Winners.

Marine Corps Special Issue Semper Fit Sports Calendar 2011-2012

The second wall calendar is even more surprising and very inspiring as well to those who are resolved to living a healthier lifestyle through fitness.

Issued by Marines Magazine, the Marine Corps’ Official Magazine, this colorful 17-month Sports Calendar (August 2011 – December 2012) recognizes some of the outstanding athlete “leathernecks” who participate in the Marine Corps’ “Semper Fit” sports, recreation and fitness program worldwide.  (“Semper Fit” is a nod to the Marine Corps motto of “Semper Fi” short for “Semper Fidelis” which is Latin for “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal”).

One Marine base describes the Semper Fit program:

The mission at Semper Fit is to conduct, encourage and inspire the quality of life programs for that promote Healthy Lifestyles through recreation, athletics, physical fitness, the Single Marine Program and other health and wellness activities for Marine Corps active and retired members, their families and civilian workers.

The photographs on this calendar depict everything from individual sports such as the famous Marine Corps Marathon held annually in Washington, DC, and aerial motorcycle tricks…


Calendar Images: (Left) Start of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. (Right) Motorbike aerialist and member of the “Metal Mulisha Troops” Marine stunt team.

…to intramural and varsity sports like baseball, basketball, wrestling, tug-of-war, the Dragon Boat Race, and the Warrior Games.


Calendar Images: (Left) Tug-of-war competition at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. (Right) All-Marine team of active duty and veteran “wounded warriors” at opening ceremony of the all Armed Forces Warrior Games.

Many of the athletes included are recognized globally for their athletic ability, and others are Marines who stay at the top of their game no matter their age or disability, maintaining the extremely high physical fitness standards of the Corps.

The calendar also includes Federal holidays and key dates of significance to the Corps.

The Father of Semper Fit retires

Ironically, last month after nearly 36 years of service as a Marine officer and a civilian whose final role was as Quantico’s head of recreation, Chris D’Orazio, the founder of the Semper Fit program retired.

Image: Col. Dan Choike, base commander, presents Chris D’Orazio, head of recreation, a challenge coin during D’Orazio’s retirement ceremony in the Main Ballroom at the Clubs of Quantico on Dec. 5, 2011. Source: Quantico Sentry newspaper

In an interview for the Quantico Sentry, D’Orazio explained how the Semper Fit program concept came to him back in 1985, D’Orazio when he read an article about the low life expectancy of retired Marines, whether officer or enlisted:

 “Marines, especially back then, played hard, worked hard, drank hard and smoked hard,” said D’Orazio. “I looked out the window and saw a young Marine put out a cigarette, finish a can of beer, then walk back inside the building.”

“I look down and thought to myself, based on this article, this guy’s going to live less than five years after he retires,” D’Orazio said. “After a career and everything they’ve worked for, they are probably going to die that soon; that’s terrible. That was pretty much the genesis of the word ‘Semper Fit.’”

In addition to the “Semper Fit” program for USMC, D’Orazio started the “Getting Stronger, Now” fitness program for the state of Maryland, both of which were pilot fitness programs under the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

This 2012 Semper Fit calendar is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to, well, fitness!

And the photos are pretty inspiring to hang on anyone’s wall, too!

Calendar Image: Marines compete in the 37th annual Naha Dragon Boat Race in Naha, Japan.

How do I get this Marine Corps 2012 Semper Fit Sports calendar?

  • Buy it online 24/7 at GPO’s Online Bookstore.
  • Buy it at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm, except Federal holidays, (202) 512-0132.

So whether you aspire to find more beauty in the world around you or to be the best you can be, the Government is here to help you out!

Resolve to have a safe and happy 2012, America!

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