Monday, August 29, 2005

Playing at the Beach

My first try at coloring my wifes hair.

pictures by Sean


Katrina was very bad but not as bad as some of the forecasts predicted. There’s still a lot of healing to be done on the Gulf Coast and I’m hoping the nation can come together in helping those folk out.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Big one for the Big Easy

I’m watching the Weather Channel’s coverage on Hurricane Katrina. I’m a huge follower of natural disasters lore, dark humor is part of being a medical guy. I’m looking at that bottom little number where it says pressure, 902 mb and dropping. Camille at it’s worst was only 909 mb and is the name everyone in the hurricane community uses as the Boogyman killer hurricane. Andrew’s worse was 922 and it's con. Already this is the second most intense hurricane to hit the United States, the most intense was an unnamed storm in 1935 that hit the Florida Keys. This also make Katrina the fourth most powerful storm in history. 175 mile per hour winds with gusts with gusts to 215? That's craziness! Get out of there! In 2002, an American Red Cross estimate found 25,000 to 100,000 people would be killed if a major hurricane hit the New Orleans area, they were talking about a category three hurricane.

Jack Army is packing bags (thanks Tammi), here are some New Orleans bloggers takes on what is going on and a few that haven't left.

This is what National Hurricane center says about Category Five Hurricanes:

Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge generally greater
than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial
buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown
over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of
mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape
routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the
hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15
ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of
residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may
be required. Only 3 Category Five Hurricanes have made landfall in the United
States since records began: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Hurricane Camille
(1969), and Hurricane
in August, 1992. The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane struck the Florida Keys
with a minimum pressure of 892 mb--the lowest pressure ever observed in the
United States. Hurricane Camille struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast causing a
25-foot storm surge, which inundated Pass Christian. Hurricane Andrew of 1992 made
landfall over southern Miami-Dade County, Florida causing 26.5 billion dollars
in losses--the costliest hurricane on record. In addition, Hurricane Gilbert of 1988
was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity and is the strongest Atlantic
tropical cyclone on record with a minimum pressure of 888 mb.

This storm is 20 miles per hour higher then the minimum for making a category five storm, the differences between the other categories? One to two? 21 mph, two to three? 14 mph, three to four? 19 mph, four to five? 24. Anything greater then 155, there is no category 6. The guys who made the scale considered anything higher then that to be absurd.

I’ve turned up a few in New Orleans and love the city. But knowing how some people down there think, there’s probably thousands holed up for hurricane parties and they're having problems finding designated drivers. Not the smartest move but with the gridlock getting out of the New Orleans, maybe turning up a beer would be a good idea.

My prayers to everyone affected.

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!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

How do you get a group of milbloggers to shut up?

Put in Team America!

Now who wants to watch Team America?

America F.... Yeah!!!

"Your Curry and Bar-b-q kick butt Sean!"

Us Sandy Eggans put together a milblog/blogger Bar-B-Q today with me hosting the get together. Guests included the Smash's, Neptunus Lex, the Donovans, John and Beth, Da Goddess, Kevin from The Primary Main Objective and Ted from Game the World plus Gracie (our favorite blog groupie) and some folk that I work with plus my beautiful wife. Will write more about it later once I sober up.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Range and weekend plans

Coving the range for the latter part of this week, which is a welcome break from verifying health records. Some of my fellow corpsman look at this as a horrible duty. Not I, half of the reason they look at it that way is probably because they can’t keep themselves entertained, I do not have that problem. My job out here is pretty much hang out incase something does happen, figuring these guys are firing live ammo. Our range here at Miramar is nice compared what I was used to. When I was with the reserve side of the house, we were using the one out in Barstow. Which is fairly close to being in Iraq, really hot or cold, windy, being exposed to the elements and no shade. Here, nice air conditioned soundproofed office, friendly range staff and electronic scoring. No more hanging out in the butts while people are shooting over your head. Showtime is at 0615 and get out of here around 2, hopefully.

Sorry about the lack of blogging, I’m suffering a mild case of writers block. Probably due to all the paperwork flowing through my hands right now at work, too much stuff on my mind and it has drained out all of my independent thought. Busy weekend ahead which I will write about after it happens due to milblogging OPSEC (psssttt, we're throwing a Milblogger Bar-b-q!!!). Will write about it afterwards. Any Sandy Eggan bloggers want to come, drop me a line.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Have you thanked your Soldier's Angel lately?

Sorry about the lack of posts this week, my cohort and I are getting the squadron ready for a medical inspection sometime in the near future. Lots of record reviews and data entry. After this, it will be easy sailing till our next middle east trip in the spring.

If you haven’t checked out Soldier’s Angels recently, now’s the time to do so. They have some amazing projects going on, Project Valour (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops(I could use one to blog while driving but am unwilling to lose my arms)), Armor (buys Kevlar blankets to line the floor boards of vehicles), Blankets of Hope (Sewing circles provide handmade blankets to the wounded), Operation Top Knot (baby showers for families of deployed service members) and uncountable others. If there's a way to make a forward deployed soldier's life better, they're probably doing it. I know me and my guys got lots of care packages and letters from them. There were some unhappy campers out there who where cheered up by the support that they received from Angel's. I’m sure there’s endless stories of how they’ve improved someone’s life, my personal story other then the piles of care packages and support letters? I ended up marrying one of their members and couldn’t be happier. These are good people.

If you are in the Military or know someone over there, you can sign yourself in to this world of free goodness here, if you want to help these fine folks by Adapting a Soldier, making a blanket, sending care packages, donating a computer, A/C or just throwing some cash their way, sign up here. Everything helps.

A very heartfelt thank you Patti

John of that Argghh!!!!! place has a huge list of people that are supporting VALOUR-IT, Soldiers Angel's just bought their first 3 laptops for our injured troops, if you have been surfing the blogsphere this week on the right, left or center, you can see, it's been getting quite a bit of attention, thanks John. This project was inspired by CPT Ziegenfuzz, fellow milblogger and author of TC Override, he suffered injures in Iraq to both of his hands and is unable to type (for now, we miss his writing so much we're making him blog from his hospital bed!). It's a good cause, put your money where your mouth is and support your troops. This isn't about politics.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Milblogs made the daily show!

Relaxing tonight and was catching up on my blog reading when my cousin Greene from Australia calls and says turn on the daily show. To late to catch it on TV now but John Hockenberry talked with Jon Steward about his Wired Article about Milblogs, Blackfive did a post about it last week which I totally missed till tonight. You can probably find the video on Comedy Central's Daily Show Videos section tomorrow, check it out if it shows up. 2 Slick, Blackfive, 365 and a Wake up and a couple of others were mentioned. Good stuff!

I've been out of the loop for the last couple of weeks enjoying my newly married life which is totally great. Still posting pictures over at my fotopage, tonight just checking out what's happening in the world, any campers out there? Watch out for coyotes, ran across this crazy video of a coyote attack. Not for faint of heart...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Back and ready for full duty

More wedding pictures are here.

I can't begin to thank all of the people that made our wedding perfect, Orlando, thank you for manning the camera! Mom, your food was awesome and will be the talk of the town for a while to come. Lee, thank you for everything that you have given us. Debbie and the rest of Heather’s family, thank you for the support that you’ve shown and for making me feel welcomed and loved, I already feel like part of your family. Friends, family and guests, readers of my little blog, thank you for the gifts, support, comments and for joining us for the most important day of the rest of our lives.