Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sgt Devore could use some prayers

Sgt Devore, who I think is the best milblogger in Iraq, lost someone on his team. Sounds like he's taking it pretty hard, I know I would. If you want to hear what it's really like out there, take a look at his world.

(hat tip AlwaysQuestion)

Update: Looks like Sgt Devore's blog has been pulled, sigh.

Mrs Grayhawk is more then an awesome blogging military wife

She found a fix for my blog! Thank you, thank you, thank you! She pointed me out to the Iraqi blogger Omar from Iraq the Model (a blog everyone should read), who pointed me out to Jared from Exultate Justi who read the fix on the Blogger forum that Kousik posted. Thanks again Mrs G!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Must fix my template!!

This is going to drive me to drinking having to look at my blog, how in the hell did my template get to be the mess that it is? I'm thinking about scrapping it all and starting from scratch, well except for the links of course. I've been digging though it letter by letter looking for primary suspects, changing code here and there and nothing is showing up, I’ve even tried to copy other peoples codes, nothing seems to be doing the trick, sigh! I’ve been talking about redoing everything for a while now anyway. So expect some changes, someday..

Saturday, June 25, 2005

My weekend

My cousin Greene from Australia and I are on a road trip to Arizona. My grandfather passed away a couple of years ago and there’s still a few loose ends to tie up concerning, his and my grandmother’s house. So we’re having a family gathering to clean up the place up and get it ready for what ever the next step the elders of the family plan on doing with the place. Another late night of driving cross country and then a stormy night at my uncles place, being in a thunderstorm with my cousin is a bad thing which I know from prior experience (vehicle we were driving in the mid 90’s in Australia was struck by lightning with my arm hanging out the window, the arm went numb for a week). After staying up too long taking pictures, went to sleep only to be woken at 7:30 the next morning by my uncle spraying me with ice cold water. I’ll get him back, don’t worry!

Greene was actually up before me! He actually slept in another room and was hit first (he said I snored too much, poor Tragic) We got up, hooked up the trailer to the Dodge, filled up the backseat with blankets and hit the road. My cousin Kim with her kids Kalib (16) and Kelsey (10) in tow met us on the way out of Phoenix and we caravanned up to Cottenwood AZ and dug in. Most of the place had been packed prior by my cousin’s Jenny and Pam, bunch of nice neat boxes taped up really well, nothing in the rooms except for furniture. Our main job was to package up a rather old Chip and Dale dinning room set (china hutch, table, another hutch and 6 chairs) and pick up a hospital bed. Anything else would be considered a bonus. After milling about and looking at everything (this was the first time we’ve been up there since my grandfathers funeral) we started a plan of attack. We would go through the boxes and separate everything from the keeping stuff to the stuff to give to Goodwill before dinner, so that’s what we did. Most of the valuable items had already been put into storage and the rest of the stuff was fairly dated (blow dryers from the 50’s while cool, didn’t hold any value to Kim and I and being a family of junk collectors most of us have 2 of everything) Between wrapping the Chip and Dale set up and sorting, we ended up being done around 6, we took a walk by the river and the kids started complaining about starvation and making them do slave labor, so we put up the whip and went out for Mexican.

It was the far side of 9 PM by the time we got back to the house and I hadn’t even scratched the garage (my grandfather built Seventh Day Adventist church’s for a living and there were tools that I had been slobbering over since I was 5). I stepped in with Kim we and we cased the joint, her being a girly girl, picked out the electric chain saw right off the bat. I packed up a majority the tools to store at my place until someone else in the family stepped up (so they didn’t get given to good will by accident) I’ll use them but there are quite a bit there. Enough to build a fair sized church I’d guess. Kim and the kids went to sleep around one and Greene and I stayed up till 3 or so wrapping up the furniture. We didn’t want to get blamed if anything went wrong!

Next morning was another early start, Kim had a baby shower to go to (I think, maybe she just wanted to get out of the smelly heavy lifting :P I know you’re reading this Kim) After all the sweating over the kitchen set, the hardest thing to move was the Damn bed. We could have used the help of Superman and a few of his strong friends. But being the work smarter not harder slacker that I am, opted to use a furniture mover to do most of the work, was still back breaking hard, going to feel it tomorrow. Soon after we were done and on our way down south. Whew, done, now it’s time to go out and have a good time.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Milblogger down

Fellow milblogger Chuck who’s Blog “From My Position… On the Way” was hit by shrapnel from an IED a couple of days ago, he’s injured, missing his left pinky and has nerve damage to his right hand plus it sounds like a liberal peppering of the rest of his body. His sense of humor is still intact though, the first thing he asked was "Be honest with me, guys. Do I still have my face and my 'package'?" He’s the second milblogger that I know of that’s been injured by an IED, Sgt Lizzie was hit back in December and is now mostly recovered but she had to get a new set of front teeth. Every once and a while she’ll write about how some old injury is affecting her today.

For me, this is the real reason to have a blog in the Military. If something were to happen, instead of fading away, we have left a mark for the rest of the world to see that will carry on long after we’re gone. Go over and wish him well and include him in your prayers tonight.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Hospital Corpsman Birthday Ball

Yesterday was the 107th Birthday of the United States Navy Hospital Corpsman and the guys from MAG 16 Medical took part in the annual Hospital Corps and cake cutting. Pictures are over here. My roommate James (who is a new blogger) can tell you the rest of the story and he’s done the background research, I’m too hung over (and I can’t even blame it on Greene this time). Free wine isn’t free the next morning, but there was a good time had by all.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A blog to watch

If you haven't been over to Paint it Black you're missing the best of military blogging coming out of Iraq. Check him out, you won't regret it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Unscheduled Milblog meet up

I’ve been corresponding with Da Goddess off and on for a couple of months and we’ve constantly been saying to each other, “we need to meet up and have a beer.” Yesterday she says “How's Tuesday sound for dinner?”

“Sounds pretty good, my fiancée is pulling into town this afternoon”

She adds that the world famous Smash’s will be joining us and I dropped an invite to Kevin from Primary Main Objective. Suddenly we have a mini blog meet.

Dinner went good, we talked over how much milblogging had changed since OIF I and they were the cutting edge of military blogging (not that they still aren’t). They’ve all met before and I’m a new comer down here and you can see some of their conservations carrying on from prior conservations, we talked about cameras, politics, books, Australia (my cousin Greene is visiting from Darwin) and our military deployments. Good dinner nice company, my take?

Scott was just like I imagined him being, after reading someone for a couple of years, you pick up a bit on who they are, very nice guy. Mrs. Smash was supremely charming and quite the knock out, Smash did very well. Some of our reading tastes overlap and her back brace looks like something Xenia should wear. A Celtic paint job would have done it justice;-) Kevin drives a sports car that looks to be a total babe magnate and has the same camera as me. Da Goddess was really nice and her son was well behaved. She’s also a reader of some note, we’ll have to continue our book conservation on a later date. I have a feeling that there will be another blog meet up in the future.

Thanks for coming!

San Diego Bloggers

pictures by Sean
milblog meet up

pictures by Sean

Sunday, June 12, 2005

EARTHQUAKE!! Run for the hills!

8:41 this morning there was a 5.6 earthquake 20 miles south of Palm Springs, I was in the second story recovering from a get together for my cousin Greene's birthday (a.k.a. sleeping), when my books started shaking and I thought oh no, figures this would happen when I'm hung over and showing a remarkable lack of survival skills (such as rolling over and getting out of bed). Whew, only lasted for 10 seconds or so, my roommate downstairs thought it was his cell phone going of. Greene didn't wake up. This is making me rethink the amount of bookshelves in my room.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Eye off the ball

Smash made me think today…

While a majority of the public is watching with anticipation the results of the Michael Jackson trial or worried about the fate of a lone teen missing while on vacation in Aruba. A little story has appeared in the press of a couple of California men arrested on charges of lying to federal agents

Hamid Hayat told federal agents he attended a jihadist training camp run by
al-Qaida in Pakistan for six months ending in 2004, where he went through
weapons and explosives training and was schooled in ideological anti-American
rhetoric, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court
in Sacramento.

2004? It’s funny how fast attention slides and what matters more to the average guy on the street. I wonder what we’re going to do about these al-Qaida camps? I didn’t join back up to chase down Saddam, I want Bin Laden, not news of his death but a body to put on display. Even with us at war, this one person is responsible for more deaths then all the troops lost after 2 years in Iraq. Don’t forget that for a second.

Thanks Smash for the reminder.

Better take on my life

If you haven't seen my fiancées blog, she tells a great story, you can almost taste the food she's eating and feel the sun shining down on her back. I don't argue with her about facts because she has a freakishly good memory (I got this term from her friends and I agree) and as a history major I can ask her about anything and she comes out with an answer (usually a lecture like she had a paper prepared to teach a class), occasionally I do come up with something that she doesn’t know about and I have a moment of perverse pleasure, she's always looking to learn something new. I know when I'm beat, she's smarter and better looking then me, I'm just lucky to have her. Hey hun! I love you!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The war is on..

Between Beef Jerky For Dummies and Bloggers For Beef Jerky, the milblogsphere has fractured over the debate over those who like Beef Jerky care packages and those who don’t. Clearly the haters of beef jerky are from India or vegan and can not be real American milbloggers. Not like Beef Jerky? Clearly I am biased and throw the weight of my blog behind the jerky boys.


Last night my cousin Greene flew into LAX from Australia, on my drive up there to pick him up, I got a voicemail (must have been in a dead spot) from Tragic “Hey sweetie it’s me, I’m going to call you back later. Okay, there’s a huge fire on the highway and I don’t exactly know what to do, I’m going to call you back later, okay? Bye, I love you”, she sounds more panicked and tearful then I’ve ever heard her. My stomach dropped and I immediately call her back and her voice mail picks up… and picks up again and again, finally I get through. She’s driving home on the 5 freeway between Bakersfield and San Jose and there’s smoke and flames in both directions, she can only see 3 cars ahead and has already driven through places where the flames have jumped into the median. It’s hot, stuck in a traffic jam and she’s talking to me and coughing. I’ve never felt this powerless. It’s one thing to be in a war zone to expect people to be shooting at you, but to have the most important person in your life in danger? Everything is heating up, a couple of off ramps back, she had just filled up the tank. People are driving like mad down the side of the freeway, cars are coming in the wrong direction and the only advice the 911 operator offered was “there is a big fire out there” before hanging up. What kind of craziness is that? She tells me of a fire truck behind her but when she turns around to look it's gone. Everything is like a scene out of the Twilight Zone. I tell her to wet a teeshirt and breath through it. I keep talking to her, turn off the van to keep it from overheating, take some pictures to go with the tale later (my thoughtless evil black medical/photographer humor rising up) Then, she tells me traffic is moving again, though I loath to do so, I let her off the phone so she can concentrate on driving through the smoke.

Half an hour later, I’ve picked up my cousin and she’s clear of the fire and a little way from home. Smelling like smoke but physically none the worse for wear. Today, the fire hasn't even made the news. Now I know what the family of the people that were on cell phones felt like on 9/11. I never want to be that scared again.