Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rock Down to Electric Avenue

Another fine music video from the front

Selling my Earthly Possessions (Garage Sale)

I’m trying to get rid of the bulk of my capitalist consumer driven existence this morning and know what? Hardly anyone has came by. I’ve only made a hundred bucks and it’s almost noon. At least I can say everybody who’s stopped has bought something.

Over the last few year (decades probably), I’ve gathered all sorts of uninteresting clutter in my life. My family has a history of hording on both sides and I’ve inherited the gene, it’s a sickness I know. At least I don’t get too emotionally attached to this stuff and an sell it without shedding tears. Now if I can only get some people to come by and take it off my hands.

What do I have for out here for sale? A quarter of my books are on shelves, kitchen table, a bunch of old electronic stuff, an entertainment center, golf clubs, 3 TV’s, my studio lighting set, china cabinet, clothes, Christmas stuff , kitchen doodads, pots, pans, China and cages for various creatures. Thing that I’m planning on selling on Craigslist are an uber nice black china cabinet/dining room set (I have to clean off the table of the junk I took off the book shelves so I can get good pictures first) and a black Italian leather couch set, probably a mirrored coffee table too. Its just too much to carry around moving, it’s hard to be high speed low drag when your gear takes 3 people to move.

I’m not going to advertise the garage sale here, don’t want any hostile critics taking out their angst on my person. It’s just strange, this morning has been a ghost town around here, every other garage sale I’ve had has usually had a line of people waiting for it to open. Today? A scattering. Look, I’m even blogging waiting for people to come by, what kind of craziness is that?

Well look at the bright side, if I want to have another one, everything is set up and ready for action without having to do the loads of work that I put into this one.

(no just because I'm getting rid of my stuff doesn't make me suicidal, those people give everything away, I'm trying to make some cashola)

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Sometimes the world is the limit...

JCB Music Video

I normally don't do Cute but being a father, this video hit the spot. It's unlike anything I've ever seen and it cheered me up. Great job man!

Watch it, believe me, you won't regret it, here's the youtube version, not as cool as the full sized one on the link above.

Don't click if you're using dial up though.

(H/T Swan)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Have a set of Balls

Of which, I'm going stag, is still going to cost me 110 dollars for just the tickets to both of them plus whatever it’s going to cost to get the uniform ready. A very nice group of ladies offered to have a blog drive “Dream date with Sean” to get me a date. At any other point in my life, I would have jumped at the chance but right now? It wouldn’t be fair deal to my date. Not that I’m a bad date or anything, I’m just not ready to toss myself into the wild winds of dating. I’m still hung up over someone else and what would happen if I ended up going with some amazing girl who ended up being crazy about me? I would fumble the ball.

I’m sure that I will have fun on both nights but don’t imagine that I’ll even think about hooking up with anyone, it’s too soon and the wounds are still a bit leaky. Next year though, well that could be another story, depends on where I’m at.

Thank you for the great comments, they made my day. It’s nice to know there are still people out there that think about me that way.


Monday, September 24, 2007

What am I doing tonight?

Watching Heroes of course, after a TV drought of almost 2 months, I have turned it on. Too bad I won’t be around to finish the season, if you haven’t heard, it sounds like I’ll be making my 4th trip back in the Sandbox.

October is going to be a busy month, one of the bad things about making First Class is that I can’t hide out from the big events. Fall is Ball season and it looks like I’m going stag to both the Marine Corps Ball (early November) and the Navy Ball (late October). I’ve been peer pressured into going to both.

I wasn’t planning on going this year but the higher ups on both my Marine and Navy chains of command didn’t take the argument that I didn’t have a date. So I’m probably going to volunteer to be the designated driver to the drunk folk who can’t afford to pay for hotel rooms ($140 or so bucks). Might as well give the junior folks rides back to the barracks or where ever they need to go since paying for a room for myself would be a waste.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Robert Jordan, Rest in Peace

Readers who have been here for a while might have known my love for books, but my favorite series was by a guy named Robert Jordan (aka James Oliver Rigney, Jr), he wrote a massive series (7000 plus pages) called the Wheel of Time that entranced millions over the years. A couple of years ago he was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a disease that causes the walls of the heart to thicken. In the bio located in the back of his books, he wrote that he “intends to continue (writing) until they nail shut his coffin.

It looks like that time has come, he was working on the 12th and final novel of the series when he died Sunday at the medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Myself and I’m sure millions of fans around the world were hoping he would survive to finish it. I’ve spent literally months living in the wonderful and complex world that he created and now? It feels like other aspects of my life, something cast off and left undone.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

I’ll miss you and hope that someone out there can make something of the words you have left behind.

James Oliver Rigney, Jr. October 17, 1948 - September 16, 2007

He was a graduate of the Citadel with a degree in physics, did two tours in Vietnam and is survived by his wife Harriett, his son William and brother Reynolds and my prayers go out to all of you and I mourn your loss.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another homecoming

The planning for the trip started out with discovering a nail in the sidewall of one of my rear tires, no problem, plug it enough to get me to Costco and grab a set of new rear tires, out of there in an hour and load up the fridge. Arrive only to find that they were out of my size of tires so I hit up Big-O and 2 hours later I was back home ready to man handle the fridge.

One of the good things about being the guy that everyone goes to for help when you move is that eventually you get smart and start collecting tools to make moving those big objects not such back breaking chore, of those, my favorite is my wheeled furniture mover and with it’s help, I was able to make short work of the fridge.

Once loaded, I packed odds and ends around it and beat feet out of San Diego, the clock said it was 7 when I left and 2 when I pulled up into my mom’s place. I’ve made this trip more then anybody in his right mind should, I crawled onto the couch and the next morning the roosters crowed me awake at 8. Damn country life.

Took a shower and called my buddy Justin, who had kindly offered to store my fridge a couple of weeks ago in his garage along with some beer that he had sitting around. Well it saves me paying for storage and in reality, my mom really didn’t need another fridge, she has 3. We all came out ahead, well actually, he did, I just broke out even. No stickers man!

After lending a very brief hand with some water leaks on his travel trailer, I went to another appointment with a friend whom I haven’t seen since 1993, Minnie. She was the best friend of Heather number one (I haven’t wrote about here yet but I seem to have bad luck with all of the gorgeous Heathers in my life, #1 was the girl I went to Prom with and thoughts of her took up a sizable portion of my conscious mind for a couple of years, she’s now happily married to a guy named Frank and just had her first child)

Minnie asked me to help make her myspace shine so we met at Hotel St. Michael’s, there’s a coffee place downstairs that has free WiFi for paying customers. I’m mildly worried about my new first impression to her. I was wiped out from driving most of the night before and my inner voice sounded like one of those adult voices in a Charlie Brown cartoon. Yet she force fed me coffee and I hacked out something to make her myspace look bit better, far from my best work but my brain wasn’t firing with all of it’s cylinders. Don’t worry hun, I hate it when I do shoddy work, I’ll reach into my bag and work on your place when I get home and am more awake and people will make “aahhhhs” and “oohhhss” when they visit.

We parted at 6 vowing to meet in an hour or so at Prescott Brewing Company with her husband and another couple that I see way too little off, Nathan and Aimee (it ended up being a little over an hour and a half). It was supposed to be more people then just the 5 of us but one had hurt his back at work, another was out of state and the other one had just finished putting tires on his trailer and wasn’t up for anything (slackers and pudwackers). Instead of a large loud dinner, it ended up being a small intimate thing, beer was flowing and me being the story keeper, I gathered up the loose ends of the other side of the mysteries that have plagued me in the dark hours of the night.

You might have noticed, one of my daily food groups is information, I’m a junkie, I eat it and the digestive process of my mind labels it and sticks it into a corner of my large head to regurgitate at a later date either in writing or over a beverage with some buddies. I know curiosity killed the cat but I can’t help myself, I was the kid that always asked “Why?” not just about the physical world but the social chemistry that make people make certain decisions in their life.

If you’re lucky in your life, you have a person in your group of friends that carries your story in their head. Someone who will never forget you no matter what happens and will be interested in your life. I’m the one that talks to everyone, not just here on the blog but in person. I couldn’t imagine being different then the way I am and after watching people, I know I’m far from normal. I tend to reach down or up into someone’s life, put a hand on their shoulder and shake the be-Jesus out of them and dredge up the things they haven’t thought about in years. It shocks some into seeing beyond the new lives they’ve built up and reminds them of the history that has faded into grainy pictures into the background. This past week was Minnie’s turn to be pulled back in my fold.

Seeing Minnie tonight cleaned up an entire corner of that project I have growing in my head. She’s grown in to an amazingly beautiful adult and hasn’t lost any of her natural cheeriness. Her enthusiasm is contagious and my tiredness left me. We were perched at the corner of the table and the stories were flying back and forth, the world rotated off the movements of our lips and for a little while, everything else went away. After timeless period of time, we took a breath and played musical chairs and I was talking to her husband Ryan.

Minnie, I have to hand it to you, you did well, you picked mate who complements the person that you are and totally adores you, great choice. Within a couple of minutes of meeting, Ryan and I were talking like old buddies, he slid right into the conversation without any hesitation and I added a few new pieces to the monument. He’s definitely a cool cat.

Not to forget Aimee and Nathan, we have a unique relationship, we used to double date. I was going out Aimee’s best friend back in high school and Nathan was my buddy. Since I had the only car at the time the four of use went on some interesting adventures together, they have see a side of me….well lets just say it’s a side that’s been rarely seen. Lot of good memories were rehashed.

Much beer was drunk that night and Minnie even talked me on the dance floor to two-step at Matt’s Saloon. Good times and I’m eagerly awaiting the next meet up.

Oh and pictures from that night can be found here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Kuwait Take One

This is the first video I made in 2004 while attached to HMM-764, it covers most of the first month of deployment. My first and longest time Kuwaiting, we were the first reserve CH-46 squadron to go into Iraq and had to unpack our helicopters and make sure they were fully ready to fly which took a good part of a month. Be careful, it might cause a teary eye or two.

Arizona no longer taxes the Military

It's the best news I've heard all day, this is a quote from MyPay

The state of Arizona no longer taxes military pay for military members (Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard). myPay no longer allows Arizona state tax changes.
This is the other good deal for Arizona Residents that serve the military, you can get two vehicles exempted from paying for registration, fill it out this form for each vehicle and have your commanding officer or Staff Judge Advocate to sign it and bring it to the DMV the next time you stop into Arizona for a visit or have someone with your power of attorney. And if you're Arizona National Guard, you need to fill out this form.

I’m sure other states have such deals for the military but you need to research them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Taking the kids around Watson Lake

I went home to Prescott Arizona over Labor day the original plan was to go hiking around Thumb Butte, well that didn't work because the parking lot was closed so I decided to take my friend Jason, 3 of his kids and Keven the foreign exchange student from Thailand out to Watson Lake. Below is the video

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My personal connection to 9/11

I’ve done enough posts about 9/11 that had to do with me so I might as well tell you guys about someone I know. Back in the early 90, right out of Field Medical Service School (the place where Navy Corpsman learn to play with the Marines and about combat medicine), I was assigned to VMFA (AW)-242 at MCAS El Toro and also assigned to the unit right before we left was a wet behind the ears doctor, Lt David Tarantino.

So we went on our wild far east tour and came back and he transferred to a hospital for his residency.

9/11 happens and I drop everything and go back into the military and a couple of months into 2002, I’m in the barracks room of one of my Marines glancing through a Playboy that was sitting there and suddenly there’s picture of Doc standing at a party at the mansion in his dress whites, he had picked up LtCdr since the last time I had see him. Hugh threw a party for the Firefighters and heroes involved in saving lives that day.

Doc was at the Pentagon when the plane hit and rushed into a burning room to save a guy. You can find that story here and here and pictures here (they do a great time of telling what happened and I would do a disservice to the tale telling it again). Definitely the stuff heroes are made out of but then again, part of our job is being a hero when the time comes. He was able to answer the call. I’m glad he made it out alright and I'm glad to call him friend. It’s a small world.


It’s funny how memory works.

One of the guys I work with, I won’t mention names, was telling me a story about living out in the country. I guess where he lived, there where cats everywhere and these feral beasts got into everything. I didn’t realize that that city folk, when they got tired of their pets, would take them out to country and let them go and some how a fair number of the cat family took up resident around his house.

Back when he was 4, he was out playing in a small children’s pool, you know one of those blue round ones you see at Walmart? And in his young mind, an idea popped up. He started running around in circles in the pool, making a whorl pool in the center and tossed 4 of these cats in. He knew his dogs could swim but wanted to see how well the cats did. Using his hand as a paddle, he kept the water moving like a merry-go-round. He thought the cats were alright because they kept moving with the water going around in circles. He was still making them go around when his uncle found him and he realized that 4 cats were dead.

Go forward in time more then 2 decades, he’s grown up into a well adjusted, responsible adult that most people could never imagine hurting a fly. There’s a big reunion where he takes his wife and kids to meet the rest of the family. And making the rounds with his wife, what’s the statement that kept popping up without fail? How is Iraq? Navy? How is your family doing?


“I remember when you were a kid and killed all of those cats”.

Once you earn the name cat killer, you’ll can never live that down.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Sandbox, Dispatches from the Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

A long time ago in a land far far away, I got an email from a guy named David, he’s the web manager of Doonesbury’s Town Hall and asked me if they could use a post of mine titled “Cranky Old People” in their new multi-milblogger website called the Sandbox. And you know me, my given answer to such requests is “Sure”. I put the words out and if someone wants to use them go ahead, just stick my name somewhere in there and if you feel the need to pay me for my writing, I won’t turn down money offered.

Well a couple of days ago (time flies), my few pages (pages 18-20) were included in a book published under the title “The Sandbox, Dispatches from the Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan” and any day now, I’m supposed to be getting 3 copies to do with as I please. Thanks for including me guys and next time I’m forward (this springtime maybe), I’ll make sure to do some more posts for you.

Check it out, there's some great writing in there.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Roadtripping with the Tool Box

I got the tool box loaded up only to realize I had no idea where most of my straps were so I went out and bought another 7. Just to be safe. Had to take the tailgate of the truck off because the ramp wouldn’t fit, I could have put the ramp on top but that would have acted like sail and I would have needed even more tie downs

(I had more tie downs then this when I actually left!!)

I left around noon and traffic was actually smooth leaving San Diego and going through Riverside the in Banning, the heavens opened up. I haven’t seen rain in almost a year and ran smack into some kind of microburst, I hit the water and went from doing 70 to an immediate 35 miles per hour, like doing a belly flop into a pool.

My tool box!

Fifteen minutes later, the rain was gone but I could see thunder clouds covering the horizon. I pulled over and opened the box up and no water had got in. Guess the blanket separating the ramp from the drawers was also keeping the water out. I went though 2 more thunderstorms on the way home and a twisty ride up a very curvy road.
(pictures of thunder clouds)

Spooky, but the tool box and I arrived safe and sound and unloaded the tool box with a minimum amount of effort (thanks to the handy-dandy ramp).

Had a great time in Arizona, saw more friends then I can shake a stick at. Thanks for being there; (in order of appearance) Larry, Jennifer, Alec, Kevin, Some Soldiers Mom, Noah, Ronnie, Tammie, Molly, Jason, Debbie, Shannon, Narissa, Nathan, Aimee and Darlene, also my mom, Albert, Sarah, Dad, Diane and Aunt Lynda. You guys give me a great place to ground myself out when I need it. Thanks, I really did need it this time around.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pictures of hiking around with Jason and his kids

by Watson Lake in Prescott AZ. My mom has a foreign exchange student named Keven staying with her, I took him along too. Pictures can be found here. More posts on the trip as soon as I get home.