Monday, November 28, 2005

Just going to post this once, then I'll get on with trying to be topical. But I'm just so hacked off that I have to vent.

I mentioned a while ago that I was very put off by a conversation at a Girl Scout meeting. To whit, the girls were all entering fourth grade, at which point they can begin learning a musical instrument, and I was put out of joint by a woman who spoke of renting a condominium at the ocean most of the summer, but refused to pay $60/month for music lessons.

I'll put in here that I'm no professional musician by any means, but playing instruments has enriched my life immeasurably. I still play—with my kids at home and with a drum and bugle corps.

Our kids go to parochial school. It's at my wife's insistence, but I go along because I have to. Instrumental music is not covered by tuition—it's provided by a contractor. It's apparently an across the board thing as the contractor holds a band competition each year and while most of the participants are parochial schools, secular private schools participate as well.

Last week we were watching the sister-in-law's spoiled brat daughter so that the sister-in-law could work her upwardly mobile job as a liquor store clerk while her husband worked a 12-8 shift as a Sheriff's Deputy. Sap that I am, I actually suggested that since the sister-in-law would pick her brat daughter up around 5:30 and her husband wouldn't get off work until after 8:00, maybe my wife could invite her sister and even her mother for dinner. Wasn't something I wanted by any means, but I thought it was a nice gesture.

Well, they accepted.

I should mention at this point that the sister-in-law goes on a Disney cruise every year, and other than her school uniforms, Princess wears only clothing purchased at the Disney Store.

Fed them well—pork chops, etc., and then the Bear decided to entertain everyone with her new-found skills on the clarinet. The Bear has been playing the clarinet for maybe four weeks now, but she can make it wail. (Yes, I know I'm biased, but she's good. Very good.)

In the ensuing conversation I began to mention how vexed I was with the couple who spend thousands of dollars on a condo in Ocean City each summer (a trashy resort if there ever was one) yet won't spring for a few bucks each month on their daughter's education.

At that point the sister-in-law blew a gasket and said I was describing her. I told her it was no such thing, I was simply relating my annoyance at a conversation I'd had back in September. She insisted I was talking about her. She said “You know we like big vacations”. She went on to say that she'd be d*mned if she'd pay for instrumental education simply because public school students don't have to. I passed on the opportunity to remind her that her kid isn't in public school.

Well, I should have struck back and said “Yeah, I know you value Disney more than your own daughter's education”, but I knew that would only set the wife off.

As it was, I sat there and took it because the wife ALWAYS sides with her idiots relatives, and to carry it any further would have ignited a bomb.

Well, minutes later Princess was laying out some toys and sister-in-law, who at age 44 has topped out as a cashier at a liquor store, told Princess she was stupid. At that point I simply got up and went downstairs.

They began to leave and I actually went up and bade all a fond (and hopefully permanent) goodbye. Then I turned to the wife and informed her that her sister was way out of line and owed me an apology. Her response?-----I should have seen it coming. I'm the bad guy.

I'm saddled with a moronic sister-in-law who would rather go on Disney cruises with her prissy husband than spend a few extra bucks to enhance her daughter's education, and I'm the bad guy?

We have given up a lot over the years, from my sister-in-law's perspective: Four grand to fund our son's trip to New Zealand and Australia as a Student Ambassador, two and a half grand so far invested in instrumental music and another grand + in musical instruments, countless dollars in sports fees and sports equipment...Hell, I can't count it all, because I don't. It's part and parcel of being a parent. I suppose I've given things up—I drive a 15-year old truck and the wife just informed me (in a less-than-understanding-fashion) that her vehicle just passed 280,000 miles. Funny thing is the wife is the one who insists on Parochial school (at over $1000/month), yet she's the one who complains about driving an older vehicle. At any rate, while I can cost out some things, such as Student Ambassador and music lessons, I don't make it a practice. I'm a dad and I want the best for my kids. From sister-in-law's point of view, I've given a lot up. From my point of view, I feel good that I've tried to provide the best for my kids. And I honestly don't mind driving an old truck. In a way it reminds me of where I've placed my priorities.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The three days preceding Thanksgiving are bear season up at the cabin. I went up, but didn't hunt bear. Some of the guys do, and one pair of brothers gets bears every year. I've just never bothered for several reasons: I don't feel like dragging a 300-lb carcass out of terrain that rough, bear meat is nasty and greasy and bears are related to pigs, so you get the same trichinosis issues. (some of the guys are so into bear that they once hauled a dead horse up to the cabin)

After reading this article (scroll down to “Hunter Injured”), I've discovered another reason not to hunt bear—it's nice sticking to situations in which you're the apex predator.

Had to do a bit of research after reading the article. The guy shot the bear four times and it still lived long enough to maul him, yet my recollection was that the .444 Marlin is a seriously potent round. I dragged out one of my reloading manuals and indeed, the .444 makes a hole nearly a half inch in diameter and delivers 2000+ foot pounds of energy at less than 150 yards. The guy was a seriously bad shot.

Another possibility is that he used the wrong bullet. Turns out there is a frangible bullet for the .444 which would pretty near turn a deer inside out, but would not penetrate a bear nearly enough. Really bad choice.

The third possibility (and it happens more than I'd like to see) is that he made stupid shots, either on a running target, a mostly concealed target, etc. Even with a round like the .444 you're only going to annoy the bear if you don't make good, clean shots.

I've blown many an opportunity because I'm fastidious about making a single, clean shot.

So I feel badly for the guy, but he screwed up.

A good read.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I've been away for a bit. Thanksgiving and all that, but I also went up to the cabin for a couple of days. The wife and the Bear rarely go up with me, but Snake Eater, Jr., enjoys it there as much as I do and always goes.

The cabin was built in 1924 by the hunting and fishing club of which I'm a fifth-generation member (the familial connection may go back further, but the documentation I have covers four generations prior to me). They built the cabin after years of hauling tents onto the mountain by horse team. It's all a bit quaint--the club is limited to 25 members because that's the maximum party the state will allow in a deer drive. It's also said that the cabin sleeps 25, but I've never counted beds. The second floor is just an open bay with beds, but in truth, a lot of guys sleep draped over couches on the first floor as well, so just how many can sleep there would be open to considerable debate.

Last weekend was our annual fall cleanup. The ground the cabin occupies is on a 99-year lease from the state, but the lease is subject to annual review. In the course of the review we can be gigged for poor maintenance of the cabin and the surrounding 100 feet as well as whether the outhouse meets aesthetic standards. A few years ago the state required that all of the cabins replace their old outhouses, which had cinderblock cisterns which leached into the soil (hey, bears do it, too) with impermeable fiberglass holding tanks. Fortunately we have several contractors and their employees in the club--no problem. Well, they replaced the old outhouse with a commercial-type fiberglass "Port-a-Pot". Turns out the Port-a-Pot wasn't aesthetically pleasing, so we had to build a new outhouse as well as take down a tree the ranger had marked for us.

Most of the guys in the club live 20-30 minutes away, so they rarely spend the night there. I live about 3 1/2 hours away (more if I head up on a Friday evening), but what's remarkable is that they feel the same level of stewardship that I do. I'm fifth-generation, few of them can approach that, and I come from far away and it's in their back yards. Yet they feel as strongly about it as I do. I'm very confident in the future for the club.

Given all of that, not many guys sleep in the cabin these days, yet the few who do offer endless entertainment. If I haven't been slamming adult beverages I tend to be an extremely light sleeper. Well, I slept little at the cabin. At least two of the guys are going to die of sleep apnea. Another guy has an occasional wheeze that sounds exactly like my daughter crying. Brought me to a sitting position three times in one night. The remainder just saw wood like Paul Bunyan. Brought me to the point of drinking in self-defense.

Cabin Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Congressman John Murtha is a moron. Sorry.

Murtha wants the US out of Iraq yesterday, and like John McCain, he thinks the fact that he's a military vet lends him credence. Sorry, guys. I admire your service like only a fellow vet can, but the fact that you served only goes so far. McCain played fast and loose with his wives, then went on to a less-than-exlempary senate career. McCain says some seriously stupid things, and I don't give a damn whether he was shot down (he also nearly sank the USS Forrestal), he spouts stupidity. Being a former fighter pilotgives him weight with me, but only so much.(actually he flew an A-4, technically an attack aircraft--I have more respect for attack guys, actually, but I grow weary of hearing him called a "fighter" pilot, as though there's more cachet to being a fighter jockey. I was a ground pounder. I'll take an attack pilot over a fighter pilot any day of the week) I've called fellow SF guys a$$holes, and I'll call McCain the same right here.

As far as Murtha--I don't know. McCain's an a$$hole. Maybe even a moron. Murtha is a step below. What's lower than a moron? A cretin? How about this: An utterly clueless piece of public sh*t. I think that might cover it.

Let's take Murtha's thesis: We need to withdraw from Iraq yesterday.

Ok, no problem. Couple of dozen C-140 flights and we're out of there. Then what?

Yes, we've made major strides (and by "we", I mean the US working arm in arm with Iraqi leaders). There is a constitution in place, there is an Iraqi police force and an Iraqi Army. But the infrastructure is fragile at best. Fragile because anti-Western terrorists lurk around every possible corner.

As I've pointed out in the past, we can certainly pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan (morons like Murtha forget that we're still engaged in Afghanistan). But then what? Both countries will collapse into lawless vacuums that incourage anti-western zealots to head there, train and launch missions. Afghanistan was already such a country. Should we forget everything we did there, everyone who died there and just say f*ck it?

As long as we, the west, retain our resolve, we can keep the anti-western zealots at bay. Unfortunately a lot of western nations have lost their resolve. We're not standing alone by any means, but weekly we lose stand-up allies. The rest will be there when the chips come down, but it would be nice to have them here with us, showing a huge, united front against a terrorism-based way of dealing with issues. Spain, Italy, et al--Don't lose backbone now. Get it back up and let's show a unified HUGE OVERWHELMING western reaction to terror.

I know that there are other flavors of terror than Islamist. There's Irish, Basque and others. But Islamists have taken it to levels nobody else even considered. We have got to crush them. If they have a message, I'll listen to it. But I won't see any more old men pushed off of cruise ships (your mighty warriors must be SO proud of that one) or stewardesses gutted with boxcutters (another proud moment in Islamic history) and aircraft flown into buildings. I've had it, and so has most of America. Stand up with us, ignore cretins like Murtha, and let's crush terrorism once and for all.

The price of pulling back is very simple to quantify: One day your wife/husband/CHILD might become a victim of terrorism.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Caught a bit of a TV show tonight in which they were logging stores that will or won't say "Merry Christmas".

Sheesh. Why do people have to pretend to be offended by other peoples' expressions of faith? (other than the fact that they can make money by filing bull$hit lawsuits claiming that they were somehow "injured" by hearing those expressions of faith).

Hell, "Merry Christmas" isn't even an expression of a particular faith. It's simply a greeting. A well wishing, if you will. It's an expression of positive thoughts. If you're so pathetically sensitive (and law suit money-grubbing) that someone saying "Merry Christmas" offends you, I'd suggest that you simply stay inside until you die. If need be, contact me. I'll help.
The kids have been after me for a very long time to take them to a high school football game. Things came together this evening and so off we went.

I think I've mentioned it here before, but to reiterate, one of the few ways in which I think I'm pretty well adjusted is that I like women my age. No if, ands or buts. Other than my wife, I think the most beautiful woman on the planet is a 46-year old writer who lives in upstate New York. I'd have to follow that with Angie Everhart, who must be nearing 40 and Laura Prepon, who is at least in her late twenties. Point is, I'm not into young girls at all.

But, going to my first high school football game in 27 years was eye-opening to say the least. My friend, Dave, is a vice-principal at the school. I caught him and mentioned the eye-catching sights. "Jim," he said "Now you know what I've been dealing with for 30 years". Then he went on to say that they found a 38D bra in a pile of clothing after the homecoming dance.

I'm speechless.
Toni, who has two of the finest legs in all of bloggerdom and, more importantly, one of the sharpest minds, has changed the address of her blog. She's now at

Highly recommended reading.
My wife often likes to make the point that there is still a war on in Afghanistan. Iraq tends to take center stage, but we shouldn't forget that we're still engaged with murderous zealots in Afghanistan as well.

Jennifer Martinez reports on another SF death in Afghanistan.

Give serious thought to donating to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Those guys are "the pointy end of the spear". Eric Arthur Blair (who wrote under the pseudonym George Orwell) is attributed as saying "We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us". The quote is probably apocryphal, but it stands. We sleep at night because those guys are out there, doing the hard work, the bleeding and the dying for us.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ok, here's a post completely out of left field. Non-political, non-topical, just purely personal.

I've played woodwinds--principally clarinet--pretty much all of my life. I don't even know why I picked clarinet. My father often had "ideas" and he pushed me into picking a musical intrument when I was in second grade. To this day I can remember telling him I wanted to play the long black thing. Didn't even know what it was. Just picked it because he decided I should play an instrument. Incredibly the whole thing led to a continuing relationship with music and performance. I've played all through high school and college as well as with community bands and the Baltimore Colts band (if that doesn't date me I don't know what will). The relationship between woodwinds is pretty fluid: I can also play saxophone and flute although I've never really been able to master the embouchure to truly play the flute well. I played woodwind for musical plays in high school and college that required that I switch off between clarinet and tenor sax and loved every minute of it. In high school I discovered another love, still musical--drum and bugle corps. I ended up playing the bass baritone bugle and I play with a drum and bugle corps to this day--we're talking some 30 years now.

I guess it was a given that the kids would take up instrumental music in school, though I never pushed it. Snake Eater Junior opted for the saxophone. I was a bit disappointed at the time, but merely because I had to buy a sax as opposed to simply giving him the clarinet I had at home. I bought an alto sax, and by the end of the first year he decided he wanted to play tenor sax. I certainly had no problems with that--I always played tenor and I think it sounds so, so much better than an alto. So I bought a tenor sax.

I didn't mind buying the second (tenor) saxophone one bit because as it turns out, he's one talented musician. According to his band teacher, he's also a leader in band, something that is echoed by his other teachers.

The Bear was talking flute for the longest time, then suddenly decided on clarinet. Fortunately I had a clarinet for her. Well, she's taken to clarinet like a duck takes to water. She's phenomenal--And I have the basis to know. Been there, done that, all that stuff. She's good.

Which leads us to family jam sessions. I never imagined that. But we have two saxes, two clarinets (and two bugles, but we're no quite there yet). I'm almost overwhelmed, but what an absolute blast. It's been great, and I can only anticipate more of the same.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Drove past the high school this morning and I noticed a police car lurking in the parking lot. Got me to thinking about the state of society and the need for police to be patrolling school parking lots.

I'm not a television watcher, but I'm not unaware. There are at least two TV programs that basically glorify absolutely incredible levels of misbehavior. Not just being a dumbass, but criminally antisocial behavior. I've seen a bit of some show called "Viva la Bam" (or something like that). I immediately shut it down. It's most certainly "play acted" as opposed to being real, but nonetheless its message is quite simple: Mayhem, disobedience, destruction of others' property, flaunting authority, causing harm to people...that's all fun. Wow. And there's some show called "Jackass", which I've never seen, but from what I've heard it's offensiveness only begins with its name.

There are dozens of web sites that host video clips. It takes little to no time to realize just how many of these clips are of punks in action. Things like some kid buying an ice cream and then shoving it in the vendor's face. Or ordering things at a drive-through and throwing the milkshake back through the window. Or just haranguing people on the street for no reason other than videotaping themselves and recording it as some sort of "accomplishment".

Unfortunately, should any of these stunts be pulled on me, I'll be the one who goes to jail. Not the punk who defies society's rules, but the old man who breaks his jaw and renders him incapable of procreation.

The "hip" TV channels need to be held to account for this. They're most certainly not the only or even most prolific transmitters or justifyers of this sort of behavior, but they're most certainly in the forefront. Some channel (MTV) is actually profiting by broadcasting what amounts to incredibly antisocial behavior and glorifying it.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm tired to death of the rudeness and the punks, and I'm beyond patience with the fact that I'LL be the one to go to jail when I finally shatter some punk's jaw and kick his testiclees deep into his abdominal cavity.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'm working on it, guys. This layout is horrible. I don't know Jack about HTML and Blogger templates. Everything I accomplish on here I accomplish by hammering at it until I find the right answer. I'm still hammering.
Now here's a post out of the blue, but I was spurred on by something I read at another blog. I'm going to get a little bit preachy, but it's a point that I think a lot of people who haven't been there might miss. Part of the point is that military life is far more difficult than most people realize--it's not just blood and sweat, it's big on tears. And ennui.

Murf wrote of her disappointment in MilBloggers--that they suck her in with their tales of adventure in Afghanistan and Iraq, then disappoint her by tapering off when they return home and posting on the mundane, if they continue to post at all.

The dynamics of the return home are more complicated than most people realize, particularly for the married people. I'll address this from the male perspective since that covers the vast majority, but feel free to switch the roles--it works both ways.

When you deploy, your family life enters a sort of stasis. You go on to experience life-changing events, yes, but you expect to return home to the family you left 12 months ago. Meanwhile, your wife has 100% of the home responsibilities--paying bills, doing laundry, changing light bulbs, homework, diapers, mowing, changing oil, you name it. Not to mention the children are a year older, a significant period of time for a child. They grow in your absence. They change. You come home expecting to return to the family that you left, but in so many ways you don't. You and your family have both changed significantly.

This is what the guys are working with when they return home. The single guys may not have the wife/children issues, but they also struggle--with family, friends and society at large. The transition is intensely difficult.

Garrison life is rote and boring. You rotate through various "cycles". There's training cycle, during which you do soldierly things, school cycle during which you sit in classrooms trying not to fall asleep, and the much-loved post support cycle, during which you mow grass, whack weeds and rake straight lines into sand. Other than jumping out of airplanes (for the chosen few), there's not much excitement.

Civil War soldiers referred to going into combat as "seeing the elephant". Given that garrison life isn't particularly exciting at the best of times, imagine trying to find something interesting to convey to your readers once you've seen the elephant.

So sorry to those who've been disappointed by returning MilBloggers, but they have bigger issues than pleasing your vicarious interests.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Just a quick post--Balding, grey-haired guys with ponytails are just plain sad. Sorry.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A day early for Veterans' Day, but my wife is off tomorrow and I'll get no peace.

Just wanted to post two things for the day. A poem by Kipling (The Soldier's Poet) and an essay by a Marine Chaplain.

I'm mostly preaching to the choir here--fellow current and former military--but maybe just one person somewhere will read this and think for a moment. By the way, Thomas Atkins was a hero in the British Army and his name has become a symbolic name for British troops, often referred to as "Tommys".


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

Rudyard Kipling

This essay will be posted 10,000 times tomorrow, and it's a bit corny, but like Kipling's poem it's solid food for thought.

What is a Veteran?

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag."

Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC

To everyone who has served: Thanks.
Another link.

I was reading Barbette and she has posted a number of links to Marine bloggers in honor of the 230th birthday of the Marine Corps. I picked one at random and liked it a great deal. So I add Daisy Cutter to my list of links.

I particularly like Daisy Cutter's post on what it's like to be a part of something bigger than yourself. I also like the fact that he also doesn't think John McCain's military service automatically means us veterans have to like him.

Daisy cutters, by the way, are bombs fused to explode above ground level. Very nice weapons to be on the delivering end of. The BLU-82 and the MOAB are two examples.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to the Corps.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I've been reading JB's Sanctuary for some time now, but just now managed to see his link to a history of the 10th Special Forces Group.

It was a walk down memory lane. I actually saw some names I knew and I definitely remember the Nigerian MTT. I was later assigned to that company, though I was languishing in Signal Company at the time of the MTT.

Recommended reading.
Blackfive has some comments on how the Left Coast--San Francisco in particular--exposed the utter lack of critical thought that seems to be endemic to that area.

The denizens of San Fran have voted to ban firearms and an even more dangerous weapon--military recruiters--from Frisco.

You know, if we dealt properly with the human factor, firearms wouldn't be a problem. But in places like Frisco humans aren't a factor. It's the guns, dammit...

And military recruiters certainly pose a hazard--can't have them offering career potential to the locals...
Didn't check email yesterday as I had a lot of other things going on, so I'm a bit late posting this, but it's worth a shot.

From Barb:

Chuck Ziegenfuss, our inspiration for Project Valour-IT (Soldiers' Angels / has announced that his lovely wife Carren will be interviewed on MSNBC's "Connected - Coast to Coast" tomorrow at noon Eastern time. His post is here :
Please share this news far and wide, if you are a blogger - post it and cross-post it! Watch the show, record it, blog about it. This is excellent coverage for this wonderful project!

Congratulations to Barb, the Ziegenfusses and all of the others who have worked so hard on this project.

TOO LATE UPDATE: "Tommorow" is today.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The "blogosphere" is quite a place. It contains giants, both good and bad, as well as gems. The giants are out there for everyone to see. On the "good" side we have such blogs as Powerline and Michelle Malkin (one of the smartest people to ever live, I think). On the "bad" side we have things like Daily Kos and Democratic Underground (not technically a 'blog'), which both serve to prove that there are statistically significant numbers of people who are so consumed with hate that they will literally crawl through sewers to express their hate.

Then there are the gems. I'm trying to link to as many of them as I can. I'm waaay behind on the task, and I realize that it's an impossible quest. Nonetheless, I'm adding new links when I get the chance. If I haven't linked to your site, don't be offended. I just haven't "gotten to it". And really, a link from this blog won't suddenly put you in the top ten, so don't stand on your head waiting.

Anyway, I've added a few new links. When you get a chance check out Mauser Girl (I have a Mauser, too, by the way), Gunn Nutt, The Gun Line, Texas Music, Grouchy Old Cripple and Chin Music.

And yes, I give preference to military people. It's an incredibly powerful bond.

On the down side, FinnCanuck at Sotamies has stopped posting--hopefully it's temporary as he's become busy working, and SFAlphageek has disappeared--most likely a military deployment. I emailed SFAlphageek questioning his disappearence, but my questions bordered on OPSEC violation so I don't know if he didn't get the email or chose to ignore it.

More links and more of my own insanity to come.
I see someone from Australia was able to hold his or her breath long enough to suffer this blog. In honor of the event, here's a photo of Snake Eater, jr. from his trip to Australia and New Zealand two summers ago as a Student Ambassador. I think the Koala was named Jack.

Koala Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The ACLU is made up of vampires.


As Michelle Malkin reports, they can't tolerate the sight of a cross. A symptom of vampirehood, as I recall. I'd just love to break into their headquarters and spray them with holy water--I can only imagine the mayhem that would cause.

I'm not the most religious person in the world, but I've never been "offended" by a religious symbol--not even a crescent.

Some people just have axes to grind and don't mind being a$$holes as they grind them.