Sunday, December 31, 2006

Limited release?

There has been this movie I’ve been waiting to come out for 5 months or so called Pan’s Labyrinth. It has a 99 percent with the critics and 97 with the users at (which is unheard of high), I saw the previews right after I returned from my past Iraqi adventure and my wife and I both said, yup, we have to see that movie.

So the movie comes out yesterday and living in a fairly large city, just about everything shows here… that is except for Pan’s Labyrinth. Guess there’s a limited release on the 29th of December and another one on January 12th. With 68 out of 69 positive reviews, would have thought they could have done better then the very limited release that they have had so far.

Anyhow, check out the clip, interesting stuff.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dog Beach!

What a cool idea, a beach where you can take your dog and let him or her run free. San Diego has it’s own Dog Beach at the end of Ocean Beach. We did a trip down there today and let Gatsby run free.

Of course you know how I am with new mediums, here’s the video and here are the pictures.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I’m a Big Dork

For the first time in years, I’ve decided to spend this Christmas at my home and not drive to the ends of the universe to visit family (I must be getting old) so I gathered some of my local buddies and invited them over for some free grub on Christmas day. Last week I went out and bought a ham and some fixings and Josh got a turkey he was going to fry (yes, we’re going to have leftovers for weeks, trick is to pack them in to serving sized ziplocks and toss them in the freezer)

Anyway Ultrastar Theaters offered to the military and their dependents a free movie on Christmas Eve and….. us and another couple picked Charlotte’s Web of all things to see. I loved the movie and book when I was a kid (my wife had never seen it) and I blame it sometimes for the total lack of fear I have of spiders. The movie was just as I thought it would be, I had to wipe tears out of my eye and left with a smile on my face.

Then the ham jokes started, “Are we eating Some Pig?” or was it “Humble?” Sigh.
Even with the jokes, dinner was great, “Humble” was tasty and the fried turkey was done just right. Merry Christmas everyone and here is my first real Vlog entry (excuse the mess, just got done with dinner)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Okay one more post before Christmas

My wife is coming home tonight from a trip to north California and I've been posting videos on YouTube all day (and unpacking). I made this video when I our helicopter broke down in 2004 and we were forced to sleep in the aircraft, just letting everyone back home have a taste of what life was like in Iraq (plus it will give you, my readers a face and a voice to go with the blog).

I've also uploaded more videos on my YouTube account Merry Christmas everyone, I got to get crack-a-lackaling on cleaning!

Dodger Dog

My wife’s best friend passed away this past fall and this is a video clip I took of him last Christmas when we had Christmas dinner with her family, great dog even though he didn’t get along with trains or me kissing his girl.

Still unpacking boxes into our new place, Christmas tree was the first thing to go up and internet put in. There are many many books that are looking for homes, eventually they will be up in order along with most everything else.

From my family to yours I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

us and Gatsby

and Dodger

Monday, December 18, 2006

Took the dog to the beach

for the first time, I love this picture of my wife, she calls it her viking picture.

Moving into our new place and still unloading boxes, I didn’t realize that I had 10 thousand pounds of stuff. Books, tool box, fridge and washer and dryer do add up, sheesh, I need to trade some books in.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I know where I'll be this night

Moving (physically!)

My wife, Gatsby and myself are about to move into off-base military housing, not because we don’t like our current house or our roommate but because we would like a place where we can have a dog. We’ve actually been planning it for a while and our number has finally arrived.

The best thing about moving into the new civilian managed housing in San Diego from a rental? They move you! Yes, they will pay you to move yourself but I’ve got to the stage in life where I’ve gathered too much crap and am getting to old to be lifting all that I own under my own muscle power.

I still am helping my roommate move but he doesn’t own a couple thousand books, a huge tool box nor some of the other heavy furniture that I’ve picked up over the years. We have and we do have group of Marines lending a hand too.

No great travel plans for this Christmas holiday, after 3000 miles in November, this month our only plans are setting up the new house and having family come and visit us instead of us visiting them.

Merry Christmas everybody and from my family to yours, we wish you all a joyful holiday.

UFC at Miramar Today

And I can’t go because I’m covering the rifle range. This is the first-ever live UFC event to take place on a military installation. Wandering around base over the last few weeks, you would run these fighters at the gyms, clubs and individual units. It’s a great show of the support these athletes are putting up for us and we do appreciate it much.

Watch it on Spike TV right now.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Long ago in a galaxy far far away

I was about to depart MCAS El Toro and head up to NWS China Lake and the guys I worked with wanted one final chance to get back at the jokes I’ve pulled on all of them over the years. Back in the day, we were a bunch of party animals (I’m too old to hang these days) and on this final night of me being in Irvine we started playing a bunch of drinking games. Someone came up with this idea of doing crazy deeds and everyone else would do a round of drinks. Little did I know, every time I would leave the room, everyone would fill up their glasses with water and fill mine with alcohol.

The next morning I woke up with a checkerboard shaved on one side of my head and video tape of the entire night. It’s always good for the self esteem to check into a new command with a freshly shaved head.

Great night other then the loss of my hair, another good thing that came out of that night was this video. It’s likely something that you’ve never (belay that, some other people have posted something like it on You Tube) have rarely seen. At least my buddy kept down his lunch.

What can you do with a drunken Sailor?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Corpsman at the bottom of the barral

This info came from, thanks Chief Crone

Did you know that HM advancement rates were in the bottom 6 of all rates this last cycle?

Here is the gouge on why:The issue is the POM 08 EPA (Enlisted Program Authorization). Each new EPA has 5 Fys in it. That EPA was approved just before we did the advancement numbers. In the new EPA was a reduction of 840 HM billets.

(stay with me, this can get confusing). N-12 RDML LaFevre makes recommendations to ADM Harvey(CNP) on what EPA to Advance to. That determination is made based on the checkbook, Advancement opportunity and the health of the force. They try to find a way to advance as many as possible without breaking the rate and the bank. We provided input on impact, numbers etc to him via his staff. This cycle HM1s were advanced to the 09 EPA, incidentally, that was the year HM1s took the biggest cut (173).HM2s were advanced to 08 EPA and HM3s to the 07 EPA.

Now, we advanced 50 to HM1, that's a 2% rate. The real need was 24 but we were able to get 2%, what we call a mercy quota. I am not a big fan of that because eventually that bill will come due.

Here's the bad news, we still have MRR and top 6 roll down coming.

The numbers may not be any better this spring. We will have to wait and see, it is much to early to tell at this point.

Clear as mud?

Thanks HMCS Collier

What does that mean for me? No matter how hard I studied, it was very unlikely that I would have been advanced.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Doc and a group of Marines sneak out to see a girl in Iraq

This story has it all, a young sailor who breaks laundry list of rules, he talks his Marine buddies into providing cover for the endeavor. Each week, wearing night-vision goggles, him and a dozen other Marines would drive over to this young girls neighborhood, park a mile away and take a different route to her house. The Marines would provide cover while this young Corpsman, an HM2 Chris Walsh, did his loving deed in the dead of night.

End the end, there are broken bodies, strangers from around the world who are brought together and finally a young woman’s chance at happiness.

Just go and read. This is the story that should be on more front pages.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

New family member

My wife and I woke this morning and drove up to the PetSmart store up in Lake Elsinore to take a look at a wire hair fox terrier mix mutt who we saw online and once we met him the rest was history. We’ve spent most of the day inviting Gatsby into our family and seeing how he would handle life in general.

Stats, he’s a ear and a half old, right at 25 pounds, looks like the dragon from the movie the never ending story, likes to kiss and hug and the only sounds I’ve heard so far is a light snoring and panting, not a bark.

Took him for a walk tonight around the block to look at the Christmas decorations with one of those 30 foot wind up leashes. Now I know what they mean by keeping a dog in a short leash, some guy down the street is going to be pissed when he comes outside in the morning. Gatsby’s leash caused a swath of destruction across a nicely set up yard full of Christmas stuff (this is where I found out that he’s also a good smooth running partner), this is a dog after my own heart, welcome to the family Gatsby!

Pictures of our day can be found here (no, none of that yard).

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Red2Alpha is back

I don’t know why you are even here reading my blog, Red2Alpha is back. He stopped blogging a while back due to OPSEC concerns. I admit that I’m just a hack, most of my blog is made up words I just throw up, every once in while I do a post that might touch someone but most days my words are just place settings letting everyone know that I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.

On the other hand, Red2Alpha is the real deal, his writing is magic and produces images in your brain that don’t fall out. With the guys I’ve deployed with, their biggest fear wasn’t of being blown up or shot but of returning to their lives in ruin. Here is R2A’s post on that. Thanksgiving home with his grand parents where he is now part the group of family vets and he finds that there was a price to being in that group and his grandfather finally tells about the bad parts about returning. Here is a post that shows that there are regular people out there who support us.

Six posts since he's been back and not a single wasted word, GO! NOW!