Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rounds Complete on 2!

All course work for my 42A10 reclass training has been completed. Grand Prairie, TX has some close friends of mine nearby, but that's the only recommendation I can find for her.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Johnny and Holly

I finally have a night during which I don't have to RTB (return to base). Johnny and Holly kindly have picked me up, and are sharing their hospitality with me.

Truly good friends are rare. And immensely valuable.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Harry, Harry Potter

I finally got to hit the local YMCA two evenings ago. I'd forgotten how much I love lifting, and actually still felt the endorphin buzz for several hours afterward.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the latest installment in the movie series. I could talk about the use of light and shadow, the colors, and the acting...but I won't. My roommate had complained that this movie was more about growing up than magic, but surprise! The books really are about the ability to escape a sordid and often taxing existence into magic, so I felt the movie was true enough to the books' intent. My only real complaint is about the end of the movie, which like The Matrix Reloaded, doesn't actually end: it just stops. If you like Harry Potter movies, you'll probably like this one. If you haven't seen any, this probably isn't the one to start with. 3/5 stars.

Set, Match

Pistol match review is up on Seek Cover here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Texas (Re?)union

Yesterday started early, with a silly, Army-issue DOL at 0600. Less than half an hour later, I found myself headed towards Denton. After a shooting match (I'll discuss on Seek Cover), I was able to meet with Lawdog, Phlegm Fatale, Johnny, Matt, and Holly for lunch. It was the first chance I've had to meet the 'dog and Phlegm in the flesh, and I can say they are at least as impressive- and even more lovable- in person. We had lunch at The Smokehouse, and it was excellent and reasonably priced. I discovered "bottle caps", which are battered and fried jalapeno slices, served with a buttermilk dressing. While they might not be the absolute most healthy food around, OMIGOD are they good. We had to order more.

Johnny rushed me back to base so I could make my pointless 1800 orientation formation (pointless because I've already been here for two weeks). After I was sitting in the auditorium with other soldiers, I noticed there were none of the people from Phase I there. Yup. Our sergeants had finally decided that we didn't actually need to attend...and no-one told me. Insert profanities of choice here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Texas Times

A welcome cool front blew in yesterday, so the temperature probably didn't go much over 90 today. I was privileged to spend much of the day with good friends.

And I got to meet and hang out with some dogs. I like dogs. These seemed to like me, too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tick, tick, tick

State sovereignty movements are exploding across the U.S. While I understand the fear of a runaway Federal government that drives these, the movement should be examined in detail, so expect a much larger post here later. Hell, I might as well go the distance. Expect a general post here, a military-oriented post on Seek Cover, and a purely historical post on The History of US.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Transformers II

The previews made this movie look cool. I guess that would be the point of previews, instead of telling you the plot of the movie in two minutes (don't you hate that?). Transformers II: Revenge of the Fallen, has explosions, giant fighting robots, and Megan Fox. It also has a bloated, meandering storyline, gratuitous, over-the-top attempts at humor-including idiotic racial dialog, and the inability to hold focus for more than a second during any given action sequence. I like beautiful things as much or more than the next guy, but it's annoying when a director is willing to substitute pure eye-candy for a more developed (and therefore, potentially exponentially more attractive) character. It's clear that Megan Fox's main mission in this movie is to look HAWT while running from evil bad robots. Yawn. 2/5 stars for flashy lights and pretty colors.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Forwarded to me by Snigs. Level 5 tissue alert.

RIP SSG John C. Beale.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Some of us Want

Deep in the Heart

They threatened us with 15-hour work days. The training schedule we were given at the 42A10 class I'm currently taking in Texas was grueling (at least, as grueling as classroom instruction can be- somehow still never as bad as shoveling in the summer). I have been often frustrated with the slow pace of instruction, and my feeling that the instructors aren't teaching very efficiently. Despite that, we were told that our class was ahead of schedule, and so, we were released at lunch Friday. Matt was kind enough to pick me up. I got to meet the family, and I think a good time was had by all.

A proud grandmother

A proud father

Matt and moi.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

TX Times

Despite being given a horrendous schedule, my classes have yet to extend past dinner. Today's class managed to waste vast amounts of time, yet we still were out before 1600. This let me get together with my dear friends Johnny and Holly, who I hadn't seen in well over a year. Unfortunately, I didn't manage any good pics of Holly, but here's one of Johnny and me, a while after we ate Indian food.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Worst Thing

It never fails. Every time, I tell myself I'll do better next time. I'll give myself more time; I won't wait until the last minute this time. And then I do it again, coming down to the wire. I'll carefully move and arrange a good deal of stuff, and then end up shoveling some stuff into bags.

Moving is good, in some ways. It helps to clarify how important things really are to you. Batteries or shirts? Movies or random electrical power sources? Moving must be a reminder to not get stagnant, to not let the daily detritus build up and overflow. I'm challenged with that.

So, in this, too...sigh...I suppose I'm thankful. Once more, I have stuff I'll have to dig out of bags and arrange into more orderly fashion at some point. Again I have gear stored at a friend's. But I'm decreasing the number of friends and family holding my stuff. I suppose that's a start.

I'm on my way to TX now. The brief flight from Augusta to Atlanta went almost unnoticed as I put in my ear plugs, donned sunglasses, and went out like a light.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What cost?

Yes, I know it's the 4th of July. I love the USA...but people make up any nation. Children are almost like people, just smaller.

A few days ago, I was talking to a beautiful little boy of six months of age or so. He was healthily plump, sturdily built, had vivid blue eyes, and smiled at me almost the entire time. I'm a wee bit of a germophobe, but when the little guy put his fist into his mouth, and then used a finger to smear saliva around my face (while laughing his little block-shaped head off), I didn't flinch. It was totally worth it.

Yesterday, I went with a friend to the park, escorting a two-year old girl. The closest park has about five different fountains in one small area, two of them designed just to enable children to swivel and shoot each other with streams of spray. Kay was shy to run into the water with the other, larger children, so I finally sighed, and put a hand down so she could grab my thumb, and I was ready to catch her if she slipped on the wet concrete. Then we ran through the spray together. I hadn't planned on getting wet at all, not generally being a fan of most water-based recreation. When I saw the enormous grin on that little face, though, getting soaked was totally worth it.

You know, we don't really work to protect our freedoms for ourselves as much as we do it for the next generation. We as a nation are not as free as we once were, but we're still much freer than most of the rest of the world. We have to continue to protect our freedoms, and even regain some lost ground- for our children's sake.

I head out to TX tomorrow for training. With any luck, I'll get to see the TX contingent (Phlegm, LawDog, Matt G, et al.) while I'm there. Not sure how much online time I'll have, but don't worry.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ode to Comcast

What good is a "service" that doesn't actually work most of the time? I thought I'd suggest some more appropriate advertising slogans. Feel free to make your own as you have the inclination.

"Comcast High-speed Internet Access: We Suck Faster".

"Comcast High-speed Internet Access: Don't Get Up, We're Not."

"Comcast High-speed Internet Access: Not Ready When You Are."

"Comcast High-speed Internet Access: Nice Employees, Bad Service."

"Comcast High-speed Internet Access...Sucker!"

"Comcast High-speed Internet Access: All Your Fail Are Belong to Us."

"Comcast High-speed Internet Access: Just Go With Knology."

"Comcast High-speed Internet Access: @#$% You."