Thursday, August 31, 2006
Oh here's a picture of my team trying to take out Superman.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Twice a year, the powers that be in the Navy come out with a Bibliography of the material you need to study for the bi annual advancement test to get promoted to the next rank up the ladder. Each bib is specific towards the rate rank of test you are taking and tells you exactly what information you need to study, chapters, instructions, workbooks, manuals, etc.
The exam I'm currently studying for is the HM1, E-6 exam. After finishing up my FMF warfare device and my brain was still in the study mode so I picked a manual out at random and started reading. Over the past couple of weeks I've literally read 1500 or so pages and my brain was starting to ache and my eyes get blurry trying to memorize this supremely dry material.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
1. No more bottles liquor or perfume from the duty free shops. I wonder how many billions the people who run the duty free shops are going to loose? Not that I've been a big buyer of either but I'm sure there are people out there that are. That whole line of business is going to go bankrupt, thanks for nothing Osama!
2. Not being able to brush my teeth after a twenty four hour flight. Yuck! This one hits close to home, not only are we going to be smelly from the hours we spent waiting on the plane in 100 temperature and not taking a shower in some cases 2 to 3 days, we also can't brush out teeth for the entire flight. So much for a first impression when we get off the plane and kiss the love of our life.
3. Guess all of those dreams of future in-flight internet services are out too since we're not allowed to bring laptops into the plane. Oh no, have you seen how military people load up sea bags? If it can't survive an 8 foot drop to the deck, you shouldn't put it in your stowed luggage. It's not so bad on the when I fly civilian airliners, I have a hard suitcase that a 200 pound man could do a dance on top of without it harming the laptop we don't get that option in the military.
4. I've had all of my luggage misplaced a couple of times, how many of you guys have your entire contact list programmed into your cell phone? Guess we're going back to using payphones and little black books. If my luggage gets misplaced in another state, there goes all of my conveniences of modern technology, my cell phone, my car alarm which is waiting for me in the parking lot for 8 bucks a day and several thousand dollars worth of computer garbage which I've seemed to have collected.
There should be limits on what we are willing to give up in our chase towards safety. We're letting a very small group of bad guys dictate how we live our lives and putting more power into the hands of the people who enforce these rules. We're being forced to turn back the clock 25 years to a time when our lives weren't controlled by electronic gadgets. Not that I have anything to hide and I know it's important to keep us safe from the bad guys but how far are we willing to go? I don't want our lives to end up like a scene from the movie V for Vendetta. I might be fighting a battle for freedom out here, but there are other battlefields in this war being fought tooth and nail not by rifle or sword but by pen and votes, on television and on the web by other warriors, you don't need a gun or to take someones life to get involved, tomorrow it's everyones future we're talking about today.
Friday, August 11, 2006
It's a term I picked up out of a Roger MacBride Allen book that was written in 1990 before half of the globe was plugged into the internet. It's a term for people who had become overwhelmed by information, I'm sure I'm not the only person out there suffering from this? As bloggers we get online and spend hours just gathering information that we don't even use. We each have a list of websites that we click through like clockwork, some of us spend more time taking in information then doing anything else. I don't even want to think about the cases Glenn Reynold's or Matt Drudge are hiding in their closet, take them away from news and they're probably basket cases.
Which brings me to the point of why I'm talking about this. Our base was cut off from the outside world for the few days because of an incident which didn't even make CNN or FOX because of the British Terror Plot. While very important, that wasn't the only thing happening in the world yet according to their tickler and reporters that's all that was happening. They spent three days rehashing the same words with hardly any new information, today they're covering other stories again but don't they realize that this drives more people away from them to the internet? If they were the only source of news you might imagine that was the only news out there.
After being cut off for a few days from the internet, we missed stories like the biggest Typhoon to hit China in 50 years? Do we not care? What's happening in Israel or Iraq? Nope not interested. What about that big pipeline in Alaska which supplies a good percentage of the domestic oil to the US that is going to be shut down? Hey there was tickler spot for that! Who decides what's important for us to see? How many people were tired of seeing the same images of an airport, the ratty house in Britain with the guys in the bright coats, the camera zooming away from those fellows in the white robes and reporters treading off a list of things you couldn't bring on a plane. For a news junky like me, that was just a load of crap.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I just learned that one of my favorite authors David Gemmell has passed away, he wrote Legend and Waylander and speaking as a guy who reads quite a bit, every word he wrote was quality stuff. Much of his work took place in different series, colorful detailed worlds that blossomed under his pen. Everything that Dave has written is on my shelves and he'll definitely be missed. While he does write epic fantasy, every book also stands alone, you can pick up any of his novels and start from there, so no strings left untied. His characters made you want to be more like them. If you want an insight into warrior creed, this guy had the inside scoop.
At least he didn't leave us on a cliff hanger like what could possibly happen if Robert Jordan kicks the bucket (sorry RJ). Robert brought us into his imagination and his worlds were so close to reality that I would wonder which world I woke up in when I hit the snooze button. The Wheel of Time is probably one of the biggest achievements in epic fantasy, millions of people are hanging on to each of his words waiting for the final battle and what happens? Right before he gets is last book written, he falls ill with some evil disease called Amyloidosis and is admitted into the Mayo Clinic. I'm praying for his recovery but investing months of my time on his alternate reality and having it collapse around me without the answers would be somewhat disheartening.
Other Authors who have died on me? Of course there is Douglas Adams who had actually stopped writing and was making movies and video games when he keeled over at age 49 in 2001. Two hard science fiction authors that I liked and close friends Robert L Forward and Charles Sheffield were taken out 42 days apart by two separate brain tumors, (anybody else think that's strange?) they were both working on space elevators, space tethers and different types of star drives, alas, they didn't get to see any of their work be put into production because they died in 2002.
But out of all of the writers in existence, no one has strung along as many fans for as long as Robert has, 16 years since Eye of the World came out and the next one (if it ever sees the light of day) is called A Memory of Light and rumored to be 1500 pages long (I might have to take leave to read that if and when it comes out). After spending so much of my life reading this guys work, stepping into a Wheel of Time novel is like returning to my home town and I pray he doesn't die before he finishes it.
I finished Terry Goodkind's Phantom which I thought was a vast improvement over the last two Sword of Truth novels, if a bit gory for the average reader, like the Wheel of Time series, only one more book left.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I'm taking a time out from everything to dive into Terry Goodkind's Phantom which just arrived fresh from Amazon directly into my grubby little hands along with a copy of Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. Which was on sale in hard back which brought my grand total to 25.96 which makes it eligible for free shipping and handling! Yay! Took 9 days to from the time I ordered it till it arrived. Not to bad Amazon!
Yes, I'm a reader of epic fantasy novels which tells you my level of geekdom. My calendar is marked off by release dates of authors that I follow, the next book on my list is Dzur by Steven Brust which comes out on the 8 th of this month. Wow, that's in a couple of days. The other epic fantasy readers in the squadron have been coming by just to touch Phantom which is sort of funny now that I think about it.
I finally have time for some reading, I've been studying for the last few months for my FMF (Fleet Marine Force) Warfare Pin, it's a written test and an oral board covering all of the aspects of the Fleet Marine Force, history, weapons, tactics, important people, ORM (operational risk management), NBC and countless others. It wasn't easy at all and for any of my corpsman readers, yes I'm a slacker. I should have had this done a long time ago but I'm pretty happy with my timing, it's not affecting the time I spend with my family and there was a huge pause between books this summer from the authors that I follow.
Other epic series that I'm following include George R.R Martin's, yes Harry Potter and Robert Jordan who I hope is recovering somewhat from his illness so he can finish the last book of the Wheel of Time Series (12 th book and final book). It's a series which I've been following my entire adult life and if he dies, me along with a million other fans are going to be left hanging like what almost happened when Stephen King was ran over by that van.
Well I'm hitting the book so take care!