Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Today it finally hit home why so many Marines are coming home from war and pouring a sizable portion of the money they made into ink. A couple of months ago a rumor was going around that there was going to be a change in Marines Corps Tattoo policy stating any tattoo that is visible when wearing PT gear is forbidden and that the rule was going to kick in on April 1st. In reality? When I heard the rumor, I didn't think anything of it at the time.
Then last week, MARADMIN 198/07 came out announcing the uniform change was going to kick in 1 April and that Marines who had tattoos prior to April 1st will be grandfathered, to get a tattoo grandfathered, they needed to get a picture of the tattoo, date of the tattoo and have it documented in the page 11 of their service record and sign the page to make sure the information is correct. One the same day the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway released ALMAR 014/07 announcing his reasoning behind the changes.
I think part of the plan might have backfired, I’m sure the people who thought up these rules didn’t expect the wholesale rush towards the tattoo parlors prior to the ban date taking affect. Some of these guys probably weren’t planning on getting sleeves till someone told them that after this date they wouldn’t be able to. Strange seeing this story on the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune this morning.
I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of it.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Sorry about the total lack of milblogging goodness, most of the serious issues in my military life right now aren’t things I would post about on the blog. Patient privacy, issues with people I work with or things they work on (not issues I have with anybody or things that I’ve done but things going where I’m at and dealing with other peoples lives, a nice way to have a blog shut down is post such things on the internet) and the regular boring drudge work.
I have purchased my plane tickets to the Milblog Conference in May and have reserved my hotel room, now just have to gather up the money for paying for that room, its slow going when you’re as far down the food chain as I am. Thanks to all of the people who hit the donation button on the right hand side, it’s made the drain on my wallet much more manageable!
Every once in a while I do a post searches people use on Google to get here and my latest count?
I’m number 6 for I hate my ex wife (I really don’t!), I get hit with that 5 or 6 times a day lately, the last guy viewed my page 5 times and spent 9 minutes and 53 seconds looking around. Hopefully he found some good advice to follow about not hating his ex.
Number 17 for Rosemarie Siggins, I blogged about her appearance in a TLC show that kept me up late one night. Sorry Rosemarie, no disrespect was intended by the post. Every time that episode airs I get 20 or so hits in a day. The people on TLC who keep me up lately are the primordial dwarfs, they sort of remind me of the Gelflings off of the Dark Crystal, if they make a live action remake of the movie. It would be great to give these guys the parts. (don’t get mad at me little people, I just think it will be cool)
I’m glad I’m not in the top twenty for Gigantiform cementoma or face eating tumor anymore, a lot of info has been put on the internet since then, spooky stuff, I feel for you people that are affected by this.
Still the number one for navy corpsman Iraq, yay, even though I’m just another body in the crowd of thousands of other corpsman. I have a decidedly non-heroic roll most of the time (swinging with the wing) but have had my share of saving lives and likely to have more in the future. There just aren’t many corpsman bloggers out there who are writing regularly nor have had a blog as long as I have.
11 for tall dogs tales and 17 for Del Mar dog beaches, reasonable, it is one of my favorite places.
I don’t know what I think about being number 9 for used packrat tool boxes or 41 for Costco tool boxes, I don’t even own a Costco box (but I do have a Snap On one from a prior life).
PTSD questions, number 3, sorry guys, I can’t give you all of the answers but I can point you down the right path.
Heh, number 12 for Irish Job, look under my Saint Patrick’s day entry for this year.
I like this one, number 41 for the drudgery of filing.
For some reason, I’m number 2 for navy blog, why aren’t Lex, Smash or Salamander in that list? They have more readers then my little blog does.
I have been watching the news and I do have thoughts on what's going on, I'm worried about the British Sailors and think that might explode into something bigger. What's going on in congress is something I'm interested in but I'm not making judgment, I just go where I'm told and do the best job that I'm able to. There are enough voices out there yelling for or against, I have readers from both sides who support me so I'll stick with my flipfloppish nature and read about both sides.
Hopefully soon, I'll have something of interest to post about other then house cleaning, dog beaches and cooking adventures, until then:)
Monday, March 26, 2007
Well all of that not rushing added up so in the back corners of the house, all of these piles of books, letters, clothes were packing up. So a week ago, we decided to take the place apart and start discovering all of the mysteries that we had hidden from ourselves. Tonight, the task was done, carpets have been vacuumed and shampooed. Every single book in the house is in the proper place and not a single crumb or doggie toy out of place (the toys are on his bed). To give you an idea about how many books I really do have, I’ve included some pictures, it’s not all of them, I still have a book shelf full of cook books, another of trade paperbacks and another full of coffee table type books but you get the idea. Yes, it’s a sickness.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
My recipe goes like this, I get two 9 inch cake pans, in each I put a quarter cup of butter and put it in the stove at 425. While the butter was melting, I got out the blender and placed one and a half cups of milk, 4 eggs, one and a third cups flour, teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon and blended it till it was frothy. Opened up the stove and the butter was turning a golden brown (you want it hot but quite not burning)
The next part is a little tricky, you need to divide the mix into equal parts, on of these days, I should measure it so I can get it right. You pull out the cake pans (or pie pans if you prefer) and poor half of the mix into each and put them back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes and Waalaa, pure Dutch baby goodness.
My son is coming out next weekend and my mother-in-law the weekend after and we need to get the guest bedroom ready for occupancy because there were books on every flat surface and still boxes everywhere so we spent the rest of the day cleaning and getting stuff in order. If you know me, you know how many books I have but I think we'll pass muster now.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Here’s the write up on them all.
A few words on my top 8, the number one is of course my lovely bride and her having the top spot in my wife is a given, since she is the world to me. Number 2 though 7 are the people who shaped my life, they made me the goofball that you know and love, this is probably the only place you'll see them in one place but who could or would put them all together but me? I'm the glue that the world is made of. One of them helped spark this idea and as we did giggled for most of a day, you know who your are, thanks!
The Number 2 (not in the bathroom sense) is Larry, lifelong partner in crime, ex-roommate and wife to Jen, ex husband of my number 6 and co-father of number 17 (who is my other son). Contrary to popular belief, we have never dated any of the same girls (and it's likely we never slept with any of the same ones either). Over the last decade, other then my wife, I’ve spent more time hanging out with him, he's saved my life more then any dozen Marines and he deserves the number two spot for being with me through everything, no matter how high, low or sideways. We’re there brother.
My Number 3 is Jason, who gets the spot for being my oldest friend in life. He's the first person I met when I moved to Prescott Valley in 6th grade, our first words on the bus were, "can I sit here?", "Sure", "this is my first day", "me too!". And from then till the end of high school we were like a pair of dice in a gamblers hand, always hanging out and shaking things up. He just appeared out of the blue (and on the internet) after a long absence, he’s also the number one ex-husband of number 4. Jason was my best friend years before I know anyone else except for Justin. He holds in his head more embarrassing stories then anyone on this list (I was a geek and as a good wine, I improved with age). Glad you’re there man.
Number 4 who has almost always had the same song as me playing in her head. I’ve been friends longer with Justin but Justin isn’t a myspace person and doesn’t leave cool comments so he has been moved down to number 5, plus in my twisted sense of humor which is known for its dark patterns, I've placed her between her two ex-husbands which is seriously tasteless but tremendously funny. When we talk, the patterns in our head synchronize and we can visualize what the other is thinking. It can be spooky, in another life we probably were raging lovers but in this one, I’m glad we’re just good buddies. Oh the diabolical ideas!
Number 5 is Justin with whom I went into the Navy with in 1991 on the buddy system. We went in to get back at two separate girls named Shannon (not the smartest thing we've ever done but it didn't turn out too bad). We followed the same set of girls for a while and I’m glad we’re over that. Out of all of my friends, he and I went though the most together in the early 90’s and he’s my brother from another mother. He’s also the ex husband to number 4, glad we’re talking again buddy and we need to have some lobsters and beer when you come down.
Number 6 is Dana, for whom out of all of my friends, I have fought with the most. I have also written her the most and if you like my writing, thank her, she was my first pen pals and thinking about the thought process of writing letters to her has affected the writing of the rest of my life. Recently, I we’ve moved out of the arguing stage for which I am eternally thankful for, sorry about the rough times and thanks for being my non-romantic muse of poetic writing.
My number 7 is Paul with whom I hold to blame for every off colored remark or twisted joke I have ever made. In his black soul rests a multitude of pranks. When he was a regular in my life, if I had a wickedly crazy idea, he had the same one first and that’s saying a lot, well except for the throwing of camel spiders, that was all Jason’s fault. We’ve had our ups and downs, shared a worship of a girl named Heather (not my wife) but neither of us got the prize in the end. I’m glad I didn’t because after marrying my wife, I realized that while that Heather was way hot and cool but she wasn’t the right Heather for me and I couldn't have made her happy. Whatever, it’s great having you back.
Number 8 is Dan (and Kathy), I remember hanging out with Dan in prehistory, I turn around and there is Dan with Kathy on his arm or him on her arm. I’ve had deep conservations with both of them and I look forward to our future ones. They’re there because they’re good people and have been friends to all of us and I could imagine any of us hanging out with them.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Back when we were both still in high school, I had kissed her one night in the street outside of her house and jokingly told her we would make cute kids because she had a long straight nose and mine was all squished in (our son did turn out very cute). Then a couple days later, I broke it off and I went off to prom with another girl named Heather (no not my new wife and sorry Lisa, that was very assholish of me) and we didn’t see each other for years then we would hit off meeting in some parking lot or at the store or camp. She was like a bolt from the blue, just showing up where I was at.
Someone wanted us to hook up or else we wouldn’t have kept running into each other like that, I knew she wasn’t stalking me and believe me, I wasn’t stalking her either. Then that Saint Patrick’s weekend came about and a couple weeks later I get a phone call where she tells me, I think I’m pregnant and my prophesy came true, we had a cute kid.
She was pregnant and we were young and decided get married without even really knowing each other. The first four years at El Toro were great, we had cool friends and it was like a honeymoon then I picked out orders to China Lake without asking her (dumb) and that was the turning point where all of the loose ties that bound our marriage together unraveled.
We both did a bunch of dumb things, said hateful words and our divorce was so rough that I got out of the navy and ran away to Phoenix to do something totally different with my life. Advice for all of you people getting divorces out there? Think before you spew out the hate that’s inside of you, venting out all of that garbage might make you feel better for a minute but when you want to hang out with your child on some special day and your ex says no way, you’ll regret ever saying it. All it does is escalate the tension, the only thing that really worked on our bitterness is moving on and time. I’m glad it’s over, having the taste of anger and hate in my mouth made me crazy.
These days, I couldn’t be happier with my ex, she’s a great mom, she’s remarried since to someone who suits her better and has another child. Collin gets along great with his step dad and thinking back now, it’s been years since we’ve had an argument.
I wonder where our lives would be at now Lisa, if we had never met that one weekend?
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
He started reading blogs in early 2003 with Salam Pax, Lt Smash, turningtables, Sgt Hook, Chief Wiggles and started a photo blog following in these large footsteps. Eventually peer pressure sank in to open up a “respectable” blog which he dubbed “Doc in the Box”. Over the years since, his multitasking with the two sites increased over into myspaceland, youtube, castpost and nameless others until he now has a vast online networking portfolio can sometimes be a huge hassle if he thinks too much on the subject. He takes great pride in the amount of information he has been able to put out without having to pay a cent. He considers his blogs politically neutral and pro-military.
His vital stats, married to a lovely girl who happens to have pink hair, father of a 13 year old son and a shelter dog named Gatsby. He has worked successfully as a mechanic, landscaper, corpsman, photographer, cook and framer and would eventually like to find a job that uses his various talents. Military achievements include The 2002 Chief Hospital Corpsman George William “Doc” Piercy Award presented personally by Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Jones at the Marine Expo in Quantico VA, 2 Navy Achievement Medals and 3 Good conduct awards
Monday, March 12, 2007
Back when we were 16 or 17, I used to do a bunch of odd and somewhat crazy things, one of my hobbies was exploring old mines all around northern Arizona and in Prescott, there was this mine call Black Jack mine (I really don’t know the name of it, that’s just what people told me it was called, but I think it was really called the Barbara Mine because the entrance looked like this picture taken 1930’s)
The mine was a literal maze that went though this mountain next to Granite Lake, a ladder that went up a couple hundred feet with side branches and an exit at the top of the mountain, tunnels that scattered off into the distance and pitfalls everywhere. It was one of my favorite places to hang out and was a sure bet to awe anyone who hadn’t seen it.
This one weekend, I gathered, Jason, another buddy Brian Mercer (I don’t know where he’s at but he can now find me by using google) and the last guys name slips my mind and dragged them out there with me. I had this 70 foot length of fire hose which I found at the dump a couple of weeks earlier and had it strung over my shoulder with a plan to use it to swing across the main shaft to some of the side passages (I still haven’t done that) I had been explore because there was a 12 or so feet gulf with lots of air underneath it.
I was such a regular at going to this mine that in reality, I hardly needed the light. I knew were all of the shafts and turns were liked the silence of the darkness which was unlike anything you could find on the surface. On this day, I had my light in my hand but wasn’t really using it, just going by feeling and the sound of my feet.
Walking along like this in the darkness, I heard this “yip” off in the distance, I almost thought I imagined it, I stopped and held up my hand for the others to stop (even before joining the military, I was using battle gestures) and there it was again. One second I was standing there and the next I was running off down the tunnel, my friends probably thought I was going crazy, I skidded to a stop in front of one of the bigger holes in the ground and shining my flashlight down, the tunnel curved so I couldn’t see the bottom from the side so I slithered down onto these railroad ties that were wedged a couple feet below the lip and at the very edge of the beam of light, almost swallowed up by the curve I could see a black shape and a smaller brown shape moving around, I leaned down almost upside down (no I’m not the brightest camper) and saw what looked to be a bear!
My friends had just caught up to me and I said, “There’s a bear down there!”
On top of that black mass (which I hoped was dead) looked to be a puppy and it was making the whining sound I had heard a couple hundred feet away. The next events seemed to happen in seconds, I tied off the fire hose and lowered myself down to the bottom and the thing I thought was a bear ended up being a large very flat dead dog. It looked like it had been there for a while and sure enough there was a puppy, I think it was a German Sheppard mix of some sort. I gave it some water from a bottle of water I had in my bag. That dog was sure happy to see me.
About this time my buddies on top started calling down and asking if I was alright and I told them I had found a live puppy at the bottom of the mine shaft and was bringing him up. My emotions were still going strong and it was strange, clamoring down a mine shaft 50 feet deep without any idea what was really down there, I didn’t feel any fear. Just a drive that I needed to save the dog (save the cheerleader, save the world type thing). I put him in my pack and worked my way out of there and we named him Lucky. My mom wouldn’t let me keep him so Charlie took him home. I’ve told the story once or twice since then but it’s mostly lived in my head.
Thinking back on that story, it’s no surprise that when I joined the Navy, I decided on being a corpsman.
Jason’s memory of the event was a little different then mine, he said the shaft was a hundred feet deep and that they lowered me, in reality, it was maybe 50. I went up and down hand over hand and came up the same way, his memories of the event were a little more twisted then mine because it was the first time he ever went there and to the uninitiated, it can be pretty spooky without the thoughts of dead bears and crazy rescues going on. The walls were crumbly granite and the wood that was holding me up was probably a century old. Crazy? Maybe. But the memory it left was worth it.
Thanks for reminding me Jason.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Back on the subject, in the other corner look what’s happening in North Korea. We’ve actually been involved in peace talks with them along with other nations and there’s an agreement in the works. The US accusing them of counterfeiting a while back (which is probably true) and locked down one of their bank accounts with the money in it so foreign banks were afraid to invest and since then, North Korea has been pissed. Do you know how much money it took to ratchet up the entire region to the brink of war? Fraking 24 million dollars! That’s a drop in the bucket of any defense budget, that’s not even the price of an F-16.
While the military is fighting on the ground, in the stratospheres of government, the powers that be seem to be using diplomacy to wage peace all over the place. I haven’t really seen anyone out there really putting a connecting to the two cases but is something going on? I’m totally pro-military but wouldn’t have a single problem with peace braking out and we all get to spend Christmas at home with our families. Even so, I don’t agree with the idea that we should totally pull out of Iraq. Most of the Marines I’ve talked to think Iraq is the next Okinawa, the place you go to do your 6 month deployment. Keep the bases, most of them are in the middle of no-where, we’ve already stamped them, built them up and they are fairly safe. Why throw away that money, I hate wasting money but the idea that we should pull totally out is just that, wasting money. Most of the service members who die, die going around the countryside either by helicopter, foot or truck. Taunt the bad guys and let them go after these bases so when we wax them, there won’t be any talk about us hurting civilians.
Whatever happens with these two peace processes going on, I don’t want to go back to a peace time military footing without Osama’s head sitting on a platter somewhere.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Until I met my lovely wife, most of my life was spent in a SciFi vacuum, a person here or there who I could talk and trade books with but never in groups. Then my wife showed up and introduced me to such things as Firefly and Dead like Me. Her dads also a SciFi geek too, I joke with her that she married her dad, her family’s great, we’re planning on a group outing to the Comic Con this summer. I wish she could have made it tonight, she would have fit right in with the room full of kindred spirits but she was down for the count with the flu that seems to be going around, poor girl.
The only hitch of the night was when I went to pick up my glass of ice tea and the bottom of the glass fell out onto my dinner and lap so I spent the rest of the night looking like I peed my pants, for those of you that thought I peed my pants, no it was just tea. If a glasses bottom is ready to fall out, without fail, I’ll be holding it in the middle of a conversation. This is the second time a glass has self destructed just by my holding it in a public place. I’m just lucky that way I guess.
I look forward to the next meet up, I’ll bring more then one box too, thanks for the good time!
Monday, March 05, 2007
Not much else going on, the lovely bride comes home tomorrow from her week long trip, the house is fairly clean and the hamsters are still hamstering. Even though, last night I was in the kitchen and looked down and there was Snickers looking up at me all wide eyed. Eep! I had forgot to close her cage when I fed her. She hopped in my hand and I put her away. That could have been really bad! (pictures of the two of them can be found here)
Most of the weekendI spent the weekend touching base with old friends from back home, responding to emails and leaving crazy comments on Myspace. I miss my wife but when she’s here, I’m focused on her and I do let my blogging and my other internet duties go to the sidelines.
By the way, tonight’s episode of Heroes is excellent, if you’re not watching the show, you’re missing out. Have a great week!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
I’ve spent the last couple of days since in a vegetative fugue, blog surfing and cleaning house. Last week, I got two separate invites to Together We Served websites, one for the Navy and another for the Marine Corps (where you have to be a Marine or Corpsman to join). The Navy TWS website opened up in October and according to this graph which I believe, is growing quite fast, they are already up to 44 thousand members.
The Marine TWS has been around since the Marines birthday in 2003 and has a well established 75 thousand members.
Both websites have a terrific scams going on (just because I call it a scam isn’t a bad thing, it just means they have an excellent business model), it doesn’t cost anything to join and you get the first 6 months free with the Navy site and 15 days with the Marine one with a full membership. For every 5 members you get to join they tack on another 6 months of full membership free. After that they ask if you want to pay to keep the full membership and or it switches to the free membership which you don’t get to use all of the cool search functions or post on the forums. On your profile, you put the units you served in, battles and schools you went to and you can find people who were stationed with you at the same time. You can search for people by location, medals, when they joined, MOS/NEC, partial names, call signs, college’s attended, very cool stuff.
In a couple of days, I’ve got in contact with 15 or so people I haven’t seen in a decade or more, people who fell off the face of the earth and now they’re back. It’s another sign of the times of how much the internet has shrunk the world.
This week seems to be one of those spurts where people I haven’t seen in ages fly out of the woodwork. I love the interconnectedness of the internet and how it is bringing many far away places right back into my living room. While there’s a great divide going on in politics, flowing underneath it all there are people from around the world quietly making friends with others who even a decade ago would have been unlikely to meet.