Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My lovely sister

I'm a lazy blogger, this I know

Because my blog friends

Tell me so

I was online last night and my sister showed up on my AIM buddy list for the first time ever! Till last night I thought my sister had collected all the brains and the beauty of the family and I was left with all of the junk genes. I was proven wrong.

The conversation went something like this:

Me "Hey Sarah, how are you doing?"

Her "How in the hell did you get in my computer?!?!"

She had never IMed someone before and didn't even realize she had it running in the background. Heh heh heh, I'm still laughing about it, sorry Sarah for exposing you but it was really really funny!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving in Arizona

I guess my mom wasn't kidding when she said they had been having some rough weather. I drove through the mountains after Kingman and there was snow covering the hillsides, as I reached the other side, moon light was reflecting off the pools of standing water. At least the skies were clear.

Made it safe and sound without any major problems. I'm not going to write about the ones I had because they're embarrassing because they were problems I knew about. Lets just say I made it and went directly to sleep.

Spent Thanksgiving day serving customers my mom's Thanksgiving special but the load was less then half of the usual. You have to understand, most of the people that come for the dinner live out in the back country on 40 acre lots, very undeveloped areas with no paved roads for 20 to 50 miles in any direction. With all of this rain, it's likely that there were other things on their minds. So this made for a seriously mild day of much eating of the staff and I'm sure I'm going to be going home with a cooler full of food on Sunday.

I didn't spend all day lazing about, my mom had some correspondence that she needed typed up, letters to real estate brokers, a letter to the editorial department of the local paper complaining about all the bridges being washed (4 of them) in Paulden where she has another house (the only reason she's complaining is because she had to walk 3 miles though mud and railroad track to get to the highway and hitch a ride) that lead to her other house, confirmation info for hotels, flights and rental cars for our vacation to Thailand and labels printed up home baked products. Sounds like a lot, took maybe an hour and a half with her lurking over my shoulder with a wooden spoon (calm down Won), just kidding about the wooden spoon but not the time.

We closed earlier then usual and I went down to Won's to log on to the wireless internet that they have down there (and eat some more). Plus give her birthday present, some how she keeps getting older then me about this time of year. Sent the emails off to the car, hotel and airline people talked to her family for a while (except for her mom, who had locked her self in the bedroom with the flu, just yelled though the door to her). And went home, well tried to, I pulled out into her drive way and right into one of those lakes I saw the night before and sunk half a tire deep into mud, great.

I did the rocking thing, go forwards then back and nothing happened, damn it. Oh yeah, I have a four wheel drive, popped it into 4 wheel drive and was just about to step out and remembered that I have automatic locking hubs (I have hardly used the 4 wheel drive in the suburban, but in my prior truck it was a weekly basis and it had manual locking hubs). Stepped on the gas and pulled right out, was stuck for maybe 30 seconds. I will never talk bad about automatic locking hubs again, glad I didn't have to step in that crap.

I was pooped after all of that eating, so I crawled into bed and couldn't fall asleep. Ate too much. After seeming hours of tossing and turning everything finally fade...

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving out there, take care!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Friday, November 19, 2004

Okay here's my big news...

Work has been fairly busy this week, getting things ready for my transfer to Mira Mar over the next two months along with my trip to Thailand. Big news on the horizon is that it looks like I'll be heading back over sooner then expected but for a much shorter amount of time. My new skipper down south made the proposition of either going right after I checked in for that shorter duration or wait a couple of months and do the full 6 month tour. Hmm. Didn't have to think about that one much, I'm at ease with being sent off again. The original plan was to room mate with my sister for a couple of months before picking a place to live. Since I have no real connections (or life) down there, I'm probably the best choice for the job. At least this will take me before I have to time to get established and I've been through it once and am comfortable with the drill. As to where I'm going? Can't tell you that but it is the same place I was at before, I'm going to put a sign up, "Home Sweet Home".

I'm not sure how a new command is going to look at my blogging, will have to cross that bridge when the time comes. So far, I haven't had any negative reactions but then again you would have to search pretty hard to find something that violates OPSEC here other then the world knowing my real name. I don't always agree on the command decisions but I haven't spoken one word bad against how the Marines are handling it, I'm in the Navy but have to say Marines kick butt (but don't let me get into the Naval Reserves or National Guard, that's a totally different story).

The next two weekends are going to be hopping, my cousin Jenny is getting Married on Saturday in Chandler and I'm going out to take pictures . Thanksgiving my mom's restaurant is serving her annual Thanksgiving feast to the town and since I owe her some major favors (what's new?) I'm heading out to do some quality slave labor. So if you're in Northern Arizona for Thanksgiving and have no where else to go, come check it out and I'll probably end up serving you. Address is under the "Buy My Mom's Restaurant" link on the sidebar. Take care everyone and hope you have a wondrous weekend if I don't get a chance to blog while I'm touring Arizona.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A Soldier and His Dog

This is the 'best support our troops' human interest story that I've heard in a long long while. Many people on the right side of the political spectrum place NPR in the category of liberal trash media. Ask them when was the last time they actually listened to NPR? Quite often the answer is never. They're using words someone else put in their mouth. I'm not saying that there aren't very liberal stories played on NPR but there are news stories that are entirely conservative too. NPR tries to take all sides of the story. As far as media outlets, they usually look at the world in a broader scale then you can find anywhere else on the radio dial. Listen to this story and tell me what's liberal about it? There isn't better quality talk radio out there then this. Stories like this make me proud to say that I'm a fan of NPR.

What the hell?

Someone just got to my site by typing in "running away from people who care" on yahoo search, I'm number 19 in the world. Sheesh!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Just the two of us

No drama, no politics, a great weekend spent with my son Collin, the two of us out in search of adventure. Didn't find it but spent some good quality time together. I have him every other weekend, half of the summer and half of Christmas break. My relationship with his mom has been improving and has finally smoothed out and we're back to treating each other like friends. Five years ago, I would have wondered if it was possible, now it's just a taken. Not to say we have our rough days but I like getting along much more then the fighting.

If they (her, her new husband or Collin) ever need something, I'm there.

My mom has been asking me to go to Thailand with her for years and this year I finally gave in and said "Okay buy me a ticket!" Lot's of arm twisting involved with me taking her up on it. This year for once it sounded like a swell plan, hang out at the beach and relax for a few weeks. Get my mind off the stress that has been flowing like a river around here and be mentally prepared for starting a new life down in San Diego. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Need to contact the Marines?

Got this link from Smash.

How true.

hah hah!

Happy Veterans Day everyone

Thanks for all the support that you showed when I was deployed to Iraq, we couldn't do it without you, take care.

Breaking up

I'm in the middle of a relationship issue that has been going on for the last 9 months or so. I know I am in the wrong but at the same time I'm not.

I'm breaking up with the girlfriend I had when I went to Iraq, to those who read her blog you know what I'm talking about. (I'm not going to link it again) I could get into the reasons for why I'm leaving her (which has nothing to do with secret girlfriends) but I'm not going to. With the bad she's done a lot of good in my life too, moved my books when she got me kicked out of the apartment I was renting and letting her stay for free, she let me use her laptop which made this blog and fotopage possible (it died from over heating which should equal about a third of the cost of rent for the apartment and me supporting her, I came back from Iraq with nothing saved up). It would be disrespectful of me say anything more on a forum that everybody can read. There's more but I'll leave this at that.

People thrive
off the pain of others
I'm not up to feeding

I'm sorry if I'm disappointing people with this break up but it is my choice, my life and you might think it's a bad idea but you are not living in my shoes. When I go to San Diego in a month and a half, she will not be going with me; we will go our separate directions. It's killing me to do this it will waste my life staying with her. I'm the selfish one here, the breaking up is all on my shoulders but I can't carry on with the way we're living.

I would like to say I'm sorry to her but I'm really not, this was a long time happening. I've been avoiding the issue on my blog and I think it's time to come clean. She knows about all of this already, since this is my blog and my readers are important to me, I'm going to share it.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Had a ball at the Marine Corps Ball

My first semi pro photography shoot, pictures posted here. It was a great learning experience and a bit more work then I thought. I hope everyone was happy with the pictures taken, I'm still working out the kinks but all in all I think it went very well. My Marines certainly got a good deal for a night full of pictures, once I get my technique down pat, look out world! Sean the world famous fotopager coming your way.

Have to fix my brakes tomorrow after work, driving though downtown LA, I started hearing a metal on metal screech. Damn, I put new shoes in there last year! The brake shoes were totally gone on one side and the drive back to Rosamond did the rotor in. Maybe there's a reason why I'm not a mechanic anymore, should have fixed it today but...

I'm a slacker.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

After a long night...

Oh god 3:15 in the morning, took pictures till 1 in the morning and since then have had people pour alcohol down my throat, so guess you could say I'm drunken blogging tonight. Was a good birthday, not too many presents but did do my first semi pro photographic shoot and people liked my work, no complaints at all. Well I'm going to pass out, somehow I've been hooked up with the executive suite which is way cool, not as cool as the presidential suite but not too shabby at all. Take care all.

Friday, November 05, 2004

It's my birthday! It's my birthday!

Sorry that's all I'm going to post, Marine Corps Ball tonight and lot's of stuff going on, must go, take care and thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Things that worry me about being in the military

This is an issue that show it's ugly head after every war, people returning back who are suffering from some sort of mental disorder. A report released in July from The New England Journal of Medicine of Iraq combat veterans showed that at least one in eight - between 15 and 17 percent - seemed to suffer from major depression, generalized anxiety or PTSD. My unit wasn't at the forefront and we didn't see heavy combat for which I'm glad but there are small signs in us too. Being at Edwards AFB, there are usually a dozen or so sonic booms a day, for the first couple of weeks after we got back, every time one went off, everybody in the room would duck. Whether we admit it or not most of us suffer from some form of anxiety, mostly mild. It faded fairly quickly for most of us and we went on with life. Not too many people talk about it because of stigma attached to mental illness. Face it being called crazy once most people think you're crazy for the rest of your life.

This story was pointed out to me by a new addition to my Milblogs list, Eddie from To New Frontiers. 1st Lt Goodrum came back from Iraq suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and was turned away from his local medical care facility when he was having a nervous breakdown so he did the next best thing and checked himself into a civilian psychiatric hospital. The problem with mental disorders is that they are internal and mostly a judgment call by the medical staff. We can't go into the head of the patient, to us they might appear normal and calm but internally they're one straw from going stark bonkers.

The problem with the situation above is that he didn't put leave papers in, so he's being charged with being AWOL. I don't know the facts behind the story other then what is in the Washington Post article printed but it is bothersome that someone who is clearly sick is also being charged with a crime that was clearly caused by his illness. If the charges go through, he could be imprisoned and kicked out and the underlining reason for this all left untreated.

Obviously I'm a big supporter of the military but I do think there is a clear need for better psychological counseling available for the returning troops that is easier to get to then the current system. An open door policy that is always available with a minimum of flak or paperwork. These are the people that need the real help when they get back, now while it's still fresh so they can recover and get on with their lives. I for one don't want to see them on some street corner in twenty years with a sign that says "Help a Disabled Iraqi Vet-Hungry-need food".

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Thoughts on Taiwan

At least once a year you see fights break out in their National Assembly, usually making it to some form of Real TV out here, not the real news. I'm wondering what those folk are thinking sometimes. Found this link, it takes the cake of the craziness that I've seen come out of that country.

PS If you have a high speed internet connection, make sure to watch the video too, what a dumb ass.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

the best use of bunnies I've ever seen

full reviews of movies in 30 seconds I kid you not

Democracy at a local level

Once again my weekly post from the laundry mat, so we get here on election day, listening to the Poll results on NPR and somebody has left their laundry filling every single one of the washers! There were some other folk waiting here for a half an hour before us. They asked us if it was out laundry, nope. So all present took a vote and decided to take all of the laundry out and put it on the counter, quite a bit of laundry it was too.

The power of democracy working in every day life. That was 45 minutes ago and the owners still haven't shown up. Sheesh, some peoples kids.

The Marine Corps Ball is coming up this weekend and became known to most of the civilized world that I'm a photographer of sorts and own tons picture taking geek gear. So while everybody is enjoying the festive night, I will be taking pictures.

Maybe this could be what I want to do when I grow up.

This is a list I stole from the Dastard, interesting to think a majority of the politicians that served in the military are Democrats, not that it will make any difference at this time.

Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with CombatV. Purple Hearts
John Edwards: did not serve.
Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star &Bronze Star,Vietnam.
Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-1953.
Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII, receiving the Bronze Star &7campaign ribbons.
Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76: Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars,&Soldier's Medal.
Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star &Legion of Merit.
Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Gov. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
Chuck Robb: Vietnam
Howell Heflin: Silver StarGeorge McGovern: Silver Star &DFC during WWII.
Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received 311.
Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCS and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.
Wesley Clark: U.S. Army, 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purpleeart,Silver Star. Retired 4-star general.
John Dingell: WWII vet
John Conyers: Army 1950-57, Korea

Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
Tom Delay: did not serve.
Roy Blunt: did not serve.
Bill Frist: did not serve.
Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
George Pataki: did not serve.
Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
Rick Santorum: did not serve.
Trent Lott: did not serve.
Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several (5) deferments, the last by marriage.
John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
Jeb Bush: did not serve.
Karl Rove: did not serve.
Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked MaxCleland's patriotism.
Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
Vin Weber: did not serve.
Richard Perle: did not serve.
Douglas Feith: did not serve.
Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
Richard Shelby: did not serve.
Jon Kyl: did not serve.
Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
Christopher Cox: did not serve.
Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as aviator and flight instructor.
George W. Bush: six-year National Guard commitment.
Ronald Reagan: did not serve.
Gerald Ford: Navy, WWII
Phil Gramm: did not serve.
John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross, Retired Admiral
Bob Dole: an honorable veteran, wounded, Purple Heart WW11
Chuck Hagel: two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Jeff Sessions: Army Reserves, 1973-1986
JC Watts: did not serve.
Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
G.H.W. Bush: Pilot in WWII. Shot down by the Japanese.
Tom Ridge: Bronze Star for Valor in Vietnam.
Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
Clarence Thomas: did not serve

Sean Hannity: did not serve.
Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
Michael Savage: did not serve.
George Will: did not serve.
Chris Matthews: did not serve.
Paul Gigot: did not serve.
Bill Bennett: did not serve.
Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
Bill Kristol: did not serve.
Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
Michael Medved: did not serve.
Michael Moore: did not serve.
Lt Smash and Blackfive whom I have greatest respect for; of course served.

Make of it what you will.