Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Milblogger Bar-B-Q

Started off the day making sure the house was in order and prepping the vegetables and meat for the curry, first person to arrive was Ted from Game the World with a package of very good cigars. I’ve been a blogging friend with Ted around a year now, he’s from Palmdale, I discovered his blog while I was stationed at Edwards AFB looking for local bloggers. This was a first time actually meeting him in person, writes some intelligent well thought out stuff without falling into left or right side of the political spectrum. Sorry about the hasty welcome Ted, was in the point of cooking where a lot of stuff was happening at once.

Orlando (my wedding photographer) and his wife Shannon showed up, who are total non bloggers, just passed invitation to him at work on a whim. They were a little bit out of their element, sorry guys, I’m sure it was instructive though.

Next to arrive were John and Beth, who are both fairly heavy hitters in the milblog community, a launch from them usually equals a couple hundred hits. Very affable couple and it was an honor having them both in my house. They also brought some excellent Bar-B-Q sauce from Kansas which I didn’t notice till I had almost finished Bar-B-Qing, I have a one track mind while cooking.

Mr. and Mrs. Smash showed up with potato salad and I think beer, but not sure.

Next was Kevin from The Primary Main Objective with his very beautiful Italian girlfriend and more beer.

Lex brought an 8 pack of Guinness, which ended up being the first beer to be finished and told some crazy sea stories that the rest of us were in awe of.

After a call to Joanie (Da Goddess), I started cooking the rice; she had Gracie (our favorite reader) in tow. She had a vegetable tray. Beth, Joan and I also played around with each others cameras too. Nice hanging around other photo bugs, I'll have to go on one of Joans photo trips in the near future.

With everyone settled and the food not about to catch on fire, I excused myself to man the grill and let everyone mingle. Remind me next time to get the gas grill running, works much better for chicken. After a half hour of sweating in front of the grill, dinner was ready. No one had dug into the food yet and since I was the cook, might as well break the ice and dig in, most of the boys moved outside and the ladies talked inside. I can’t comment on their conversation because I didn’t really overhear much over it, you’ll have to read Joan’s or Beth’s blog (when they blog about it).

This is was probably the highest concentration of milbloggers to ever meet in San Diego and certainly the most Navy milbloggers in the same building, I’ve noticed maybe 20 naval milbloggers on the map, the real number is probably closer to 40 or 50. Between the bunch of us, we probably pull have 10 thousand readers per day. Not to shabby.

Ted and I were hanging to the sidelines because we were the babies of the group (also we were smoking Ted’s excellent cigars, of which he left some in my expert care, sorry Scott about smelling the place up). The conversation flowed smoothly. Few things I noticed about each of us milbloggers, we all had great stories that we could never blog about. Flying into mountains, almost shooting a coworker by accident, chopping down trees, many close calls that can be told as sea stories but never set down in ink. Some of these stories told either have people who read our blog or our bosses involved, cross into OPSEC issues or are just embarrassing to ourselves or the people we work in a very real life sense of the word.

Much of the talk was over my head, not meaning that I couldn’t understand it but out of my realm being an enlisted medical guy. Battle field tactics, river warfare, weapons, ship to shore battles and such. Not that I didn’t enjoy the hearing it, definite good learning experience, but I mostly set back and listened. As John says, you learn more when you shut up and listen. Lex, what the heck does shooting your wristwatch mean?

We also talked about various soldier support charities we’ve supported at one time or another. The one that we’ve been throwing our weight behind currently is Project Valour-IT, they buy voice activated laptops for wounded troops who have lost use of their hands enabling them to keep in touch with their families (or blog) while in the hospital. Eventually the sun was shining fully on the porch blinding us men so we moved indoors to join the lovely ladies.

My wife was suffering has a cold (no don’t worry she didn’t touch the food!) after a long day and cold meds she was pooped and needed to lie down for a bit. Kevin noticed that I had a copy of Team America (unrated) sitting on the floor and said that his girlfriend had never seen it. Enough said.

While everyone was singing along (Mrs. Smash doing the hand signs), I slipped away to post some pictures and steal Joan’s blog title. Which in fact is a misnomer, while it did stop all intelligent conversation, conversation was far from over. Not unlike what you would have heard if I had shown the same movie to a room full of Marines.

Good times had by everyone I think, the list of things that I am not good out stretches long but I can organize a good party with the best of them. Can’t wait for the next one!

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