Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chillin’ in Fallon

I drove out here last Friday and the skies were clear and blue, I arrived stopping by the commissary picking up my normal Det fare of sandwich makings and top ramen. My squadron trains F/A-18 pilots on how to fly and Fallon is one of the check-off blocks in the student pilot syllabus, my job was to provide medical support to the people we have deployed out here and side job, work on what readiness issues I could.

When I got to my room, the first thing I did was call the bride to let her know I had made it alright then turned on the weather channel. I had heard that there was a cold front moving in and sometimes Fallon got an inch or two of snow, if you look at the pictures on Google Maps Street View, they took the pictures of the local area with an inch or 2 of snow on the ground. I wanted to be prepared, clothing wise, I was fine but had forgotten my gloves, can’t get everything right. The weather channel was saying a chance of snow, lows in the single digits and accumulation of 3-4 inches. Sunday rolled around and between noon and when I went to bed there was already 4 inches on the ground and the snow wasn’t letting up.

The next morning there was 6 inches on the ground and the roads were covered with packed snow. My car was also covered with a full thickness. The night before, the Weather Channel said the low was supposed to be 7 but the current reading said -5 and the snow was falling, hard. I needed to go to the clinic to meet up with one of my guys, and my car was buried in 6 inches of snow, cleaning it all off without gloves was not great fun at all and was probably one of the closer times I’ve ever come to frostbite. No kidding, it was cold, in my civilian gear, I would have been jolly warm but in my navy utilities, long johns and jacket, just wasn’t cutting it for any sort of outdoor fun. I made it to the clinic, frozen clothes stuck to my skin to meet up with a patient. Thawing out, I never thought heat felt so good, sorry about puddles I left everywhere.

The snow kept up throughout the day, we still had some folk stuck in Reno, by nightfall, the snow was 8 inches deep but was slowing down. The next morning, the car was covered with a new 3 inches of snow and ice due to driving my car around and heating it up. I praise the folk the invented deicing fluid. This time I went out in my civilian gear cleaned the car off then went back to my room to change over and off to work.

It’s Thursday now, over the past few days, temperatures have ranged from -15 to 11, that 11 degrees was almost a warm moment. According to the weather channel, every day the low was forecasted to be 7 or 8 but each morning, so far, all we’ve seen is the negative teens. The base fix it guys have had their hands full with broken pipes across the base and probably the people out in town too. Even though it hasn’t snowed in 2 days, the snow hasn’t melted a bit and most of the roads are still covered with packed snow.

I don’t have room to complain though, most of my work is done inside of an office. The guys that work on the flight line have been moving piles of snow from one place to another and making sure the jets are ready to go just in case the airfield opens. All of this great flight time we’re supposed to have is on hold for now with another storm coming in tomorrow with more snow in the forecast. It’s supposed to warm up a little bit because the system is coming from the south but after the last couple of days, I’m not sure I trust the forecasting guys over at the Weather Channel. At least I’ll be home for Christmas, well that is if I don’t get snowed in here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I might be in love

With something other than my bride, the new Canon EOS-1D Mark IV just came out. Over the past year or so, DSLR cameras have included the ability to shot video and I saw this video shot by the Mark IV back story can be found here. Wow, for someone who's taken some low light videos, color me impressed, the video was taken just using street lights, it sees better in the dark then the human eye. The entire video was taken at 6400 ISO.

Unfortunately I can’t afford to drop 5 G’s on a camera, no matter how cool and sleek it is but with this camera, oh man. ISO settings up to 102,400? I can’t even get a grip around that number. One of these days, I’m going to take up my photography reins again but for right now, I guess I’ll just have to make due with my old S3. But if Bill Gates is a fan of the blog, it’s in my wish list!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sear's Heroes at Home

This is a pretty good deal for active duty military, I did it last year and got a Sear's gift card in the mail.

Sears invites all active military members to register for the Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry program. The Heroes at Home Wish Registry allows America to thank our military heroes and their families by donating to the program. All donations will be evenly distributed in the form of Sears gift cards amongst all military families and members accepted into the program. Registration will be closing soon so register and review program details at today.

El Centro

One thing about medical, when business is slow, it means everyone is doing alright. I’m currently in El Centro this week and having a hard time finding gainful employment which is good but hate feeling like a slacker. El Centro is much like the base I was in Iraq would feel like if it had potable water and cable TV or how it would look like in a decade from now. Otherwise the countryside looks the same, there’s the same feeling of dryness in the air and deserts that stretch out into the horizon. My new unit, VFA-125, trains Marine and Navy pilots on how to fly the F/A-18 C’s and D’s, there’s also another squadron on my base that trains pilots to fly the E’s and F’s. El Centro is one of the check marks in the students syllabus and medical tags along these little detachment to make sure everyone is doing alright, taking care of sick call, first aid or part of the human factors investigation team if there is any sort of mishap.

This is actually my first time out here El Centro, I‘ve seen the sign numerous times driving Yuma, a place I‘m familiar with being with the Marines. I would have to say the housing here is worlds better then Yuma. WiFi in the rooms, cable TV, DVD player, all of the comforts of home. My ride out here wasn’t so nice though, I put in NAS El Centro into my GPS and ended out in a place in called Campesinos Unidos Region Ix Carmen Pe Nas in Brawley, 20 miles out of my way, lost in the middle of the desert on the far side of midnight. So I went to a connivance store and asked how to get to the Navy base and drove for another half hour and pulled into Naval Air Field, not Naval Air Station El Centro. At least I didn’t end up in Mexico.

I’m heading out to a Bar-b-q this afternoon and tomorrow, back to Lemoore.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Navy Ball Lemoore Style 2009

Just sharing some pictures from the latest ball that the bride and I went to last week. The last few weeks have been a blur of flu shots and filing forms, not much of interest happening on this side of the world. Busy mostly with living life instead of writing about it and life hasn't been too bad. I need to find my writing bug again and I'm sure it will come again, it's just not hitting me right now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

R.I.P. Josh Wright

If anyone is wondering why I've been in a mad frenzy of picture posting, well anyone who knows me on Facebook. Part of it is because of my friend Josh Wright, who passed a couple of days ago at the age of 31 due to complications of his condition. If you didn't know Josh, he had a blog called Devil Dogs War and was a great supporter of Marines. He wasn't a Marine but it was his greatest dream to be one, he lived for the Marines but it wasn't meant to be, he had contracted Hepatitis C when he was a child and his health was always a bit shaky but he lived for supporting us and thousands of Marines out there received his care packages. I had promised to share my pictures with him months and months ago and hadn't got around to it yet and.... now it's just a bit too late, so I'm putting many of those pictures I was going to give him over there. Rest in Peace Josh, you will be missed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

8 Years

I’ve written about this before and don’t think I can improve on what I wrote here and here, the details were fresher on my mind. 8 years later and 9/11 was one of those events in my life that totally shaped how my entire future would turn out. Two buildings tumbling down in a city 3000 miles awake shook everything, the repercussions rang the world like a bell and I think that ringing will echo for a long long time. In a sense, my life split in two that day. There was the person I was before which included my early Naval Service then getting out and going to school and taking up work as a mechanic, I was carefree and living for the moment. Then 9/11 where the shock of the events pushed me outside of my life and I looked down at doing and knew, it wasn’t where I was supposed to be at. The next day, I signed back up with the Navy and a couple weeks later, I was back in, minus a rank.

Two years and five months later, I was making my first trip into Iraq and eventually I would spend over 2 years of my life in that desert. This dry and inhospitable place soon became my home away from home, humans can get used to anything. In many ways, in my journeys into the war zone, I was lucky. No one I cared about died nor was I hurt but I could see the toil that repeated trips was were having. To me, to my fellow military members, war changes you and the person who went in isn’t the same person who comes out the other side.

It’s strange to say but for the troops on the ground, this might be the safest war ever conducted. We had the best gear protective gear ever issued to a military force, yes there are deaths but compare the numbers to any other war or any major battle and it’s a drop in the bucket. We were surviving, running through 120 degree heat carrying around 80 pounds of battle gear and more often than not, making it home whole. In body at least. ORM, Operational Risk Management was the key phrase, we get more safety briefs then most people in the civilian world could imagine and as boring as they are, they seem to be working.

So many changes have happened since I came back in, medically, we’re now tracking all of our immunizations online, our notes are now written on a networked system. There are still bugs being worked out but I wonder what the result will be in 10 years? Military medicine in the 90’s was basically unchanging and now, the changes are so fluid and fast moving that if you turn your back, you won't recognise what's waiting for you at your desk.

This month, I’m re-enlisting for probably the last time, I’m 4 and a half years out from my 20 and I’m going to have to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Hopefully it involves hanging out with the wife and dog alot. I’m proud to have taken part in these great events, when I’m talking to my grand kids, I can say, "I was there", and if they are so inclined, they can come back here and catch a snapshot of what I went though. They’ll see the gaps and wonder, what happened there and I’ll still have a few tales left to tell.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?

Alright, I have a weakness for Joss Whedon but this video is actually by his brother Jed and stars the lovely Felicia Day. What does this have to do with Milblogging, why, nothing at all. From the people who brought you Dr. Horrible, enjoy.

Friday, August 07, 2009

4 year Anniversary in San Francisco

We decided to make a trip to the city for our anniversary this year and stay at the Marine Memorial Lodge, if you are in the military membership is free, you have to either go there and show them your ID card or call and they can give you the information you need to fax them. With the membership, it's 69 dollars a night for weeknights and 89 dollars a night for weekends, don't miss the free breakfast on the 12th floor, parking is an additional 22 dollars per day which is added on to your bill. The first night in town, we walked down to Sutter Square and explored the area till after dark then had sushi at a literal hole in the wall diner with 4 tables and our single beer for the trip (yes, it is possible to have fun without getting drunk).

Our window was on the 7th floor
8 pillows!!

These hearts were all over the place

This was one strange looking dude

The next day we hiked to the top of Nob hill and purchased all day Muni-passes for 11 bucks which let you ride the cable cars and the city buses but not the BART. Well have to save exploring where that BART thing goes for another trip. The cable cars basically go in a big X well more of a t across downtown going up and down these steep hills and we went to all of the ends. Exploring China Town in the morning and dropping a wad of cash on some swanky clothes for the wife, Sutter St that afternoon and finished off the day at Fisherman’s Wharf that night with clam chowder, took advantage of the Ripley's Believe it or Not military discount 6 dollars and change) and crawled back to our hotel.
cable cars
On the cable car
China Town with someone driving a Ford Fusion like mine
The following morning, we had a huge free breakfast (we missed the day before to our loss) and checked out and drove over to the Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, looking at the gun encampments and getting a few more pictures then across the bridge. I haven't been across the Golden Gate since I was a baby, that afternoon we lazed around Muir Beach. A great time.

On other things, I’ve been concentrating on work so much that I haven’t had much time to do much else and by our readiness numbers, it’s showing. I don’t mean to slack of on the blog but I want to get my real life in order before I put too much attention to my cyber life. If you’re interested in some Navy Blogs of people who actually have a life, check out Deploying in a “Sea” of Sand. He has some great links to other Sailors who are IA “Individual Augmentation” to somewhere else, currently, I’m in the middle of his snag which he posts about so I feel free to mention, hopefully it all works out soon.

Well I got to get back to cleaning up a bit before the bride gets home, have a good weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dropping like Flies, Jeff Goldblum too?

Farrah Fawcett was expected any day, Michael was a quite a shock but Jeff Goldblum? Unconfirmed reports are saying the he died falling from a cliff in New Zealand shooting a movie. Rumor? Yes it was a hoax (or so I hope, there are pictures of him in New York a couple of days ago with Rachel McAdams). Maybe but it is sobering hearing of the other two, June 25th is turning out to be a strange day. I was behind someone at McDonalds in the drive through and heard them tell the girl in the window that Michael Jackson was dead and the girl said “no way!” and a couple of minutes ago someone in the barracks screamed “Michael Jackson is dead!!!” at the top of his lungs. My grandmother in law was in tears over Farrah and when I told my wife that Michael Jackson was dead, she didn‘t believe me and looked it up on the internet. I’m sure there is an entire movement of fans who are planning candle lit vigils all across the world.

Both were younger then my father and the in-laws, Farrah has my mom by a couple of years but it's close enough not to count. I’m glad that Jeff’s was a hoax because it would have probably bothered me more then the other two, Jeff was a cool cat at the top of his game and the world will be a sadder place without him, Michael and Farrah have had their days in the sun, while it's sad when people go but Farrah wasn’t in a good way which she shared with the entire world and Michael was living like a billionaire off a millionaires salary and face it, was nuttier then a fruit cake dropped in a bucket of peanuts and that was bound to catch up with him.

These stories have dropped NK out of the front page at and that is the country threatening us with a “nuclear fire shower” right now if anything happens to them, it doesn’t seem to matter what or who causes it. It will be our fault and we would pay. These jokers keep crying wolf and eventually we got tired of hearing it but we really shouldn’t. The world is a tinder ground, Iran is in chaos, bombs going off in Iraq, it’s difficult to keep your mind on the ball when you don’t know what the ball is. I just know, we could live a lot easier if we didn't have a wack job who yells out craziness off his porch with his old dying fingers on the big red button (that doesn’t say “Easy”)

Alas, what are we to do?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We’re moving into housing this weekend, after being without a home for 2 months, I’m missing my own bed. Growing up, I never imagined that I would have lived so many places nor move around as much as I have since joining the Navy. Three years here and four years there, it’s definitely kept me on my toes but at the end of the day, I’m wondering where I’m going to end up at. Five more years and I have to find something else to do with my life.

Lemoore is doing me good, it’s much nicer seeing the bride every weekend and being closer to the son and not worrying about being sent away to the other side of the world for a while. I feel at peace, well except for Saturday night coming out and seeing all of those broken windows. Then, I felt like Batman probably does. I don’t think I’ll be settling there, like New Orleans, it’s a nice place to visit but I don’t think I want to stay. Some interesting places to see in Northern California and my wife wants to share them all with me. I’m game, just a bit safety conscious.

Hope everyone is doing well out there in cyberville, I’m off to bed and on to another day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Last Saturday night my wife took me into San Francisco to go to a clubbing, she was the designated driver. We had a great time but when we got to our cars parked on 10th Street between Harrison and Bryant, there was a pile of glass in the sidewalk outside of the back door of our friends car. My wife immediately went to her Beetle and checked all of the windows but everything was intact.

We turned around to look up and down the street and at every parking spot except for ours, there were piles of glass or a car with a window busted out.. We went back over to our friends car, she had lost her GPS and her cell phone and the thieves had even took a hand full of mini muffins out of a container we had brought to munch on. The people down the street who just got to their car weren’t missing anything because someone had broken into their car a week before and stolen their stereo but still had their window busted out.

We theorize that the reason they didn’t break into my wife’s car was that she still had a tape deck, the only thing they could see through the windows were her tapes. Who in their right mind would want tapes? We were thankful but angry that someone would do this.

I’ve left the war zone but even here in the States, I can’t let my guard down. This event broken my compliancy, my warm self assurance in being back home. There are still beasts in the world, whether in a war zone or not.

One good thing that happened, I found a purse lying in the road, in the middle of a pile of glass and there was a check book inside. I called the number and the owner was still up the street, the bride and I walked it back to her.

It‘s funny how this didn‘t even make a blip on the news, the girl who owned the purse was parked on another street over, on my side of the street alone, there were probably ten cars broken into, I wonder if it was the same on the her street?

Google News searches have turned up nothing. On our street alone, 10 people had a possible life changing event. Yet I can’t find a single story about a rash of break ins. So I’m putting my high Google ranking up with the story so it doesn't get forgotten. From the people who I talked to Saturday night/Sunday morning, this is a regular occurence. There’s a new Police Chief in town, I’m hoping if enough people talk about this, maybe he’ll take notice and I won't be afraid for my car when I come into town.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Talk about a Bad Day 12/21/12

I just saw the Trailer for 2012 here, if you don't know the back story about 2012. Back in the day a couple thousand or so years ago, the greatest civilization in the New World, the Mayans developed an amazingly accurate calendar which we call the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar and on December 21, 2012 or the last day of the of a 13th b'ak'tun, the fourth world ends and the fifth begins. Well some people think it's going to be a day of great celebration and others.. Well they think it's going to be the end of the world. Hopefully not like the movie because from what the preview shows, the body count is rather high. And as a guy who's always shown an interest in this, I can't wait to see it.

Where every body knows your name

I was at Naval Hospital Lemoore today, doing a meet and greet to talk over some of the policies of the OpSide clinic that I’m working out of and was walking down a hall way and was recognized as the corpsman with a blog by one of the chiefs. I then gave the Master Chief a heads up that I‘m “that“ guy, which really isn‘t that bad of a thing. Guess I haven’t fallen too far off of the radar.

Most of the past couple of weeks have been spent checking in and observing as much as I can, as a first class, I’m expected to play a leadership role. And this is where I’m taking my cues off the great leaders of my past. The leaders that worked the best were the ones that took in their surroundings before making changes. The leaders that ran into problems were the ones who came in like a bull in a China shop and laid down the law without paying attention to the situation on the ground.

My job is to take what’s working and fix what’s not. Right now, we’re having a problem with organization and accountability. Two things that I have been both horrible and excellent at. We’re working out of temporary trailers while our main clinic gets remodeled, not the best situation. It’s tight and there is a certain looseness in the knowledge of where all of my people are at given a specific time because there isn‘t even enough seating space for all of us in the same room.

I’m watching the patient care, it is getting done and the paperwork is turning out right but it sort of seems like magic. No one has sat down and told me step by step on how they’re doing it. Believe me, I know how to fill out the paperwork but there doesn’t seem to be a standardized way we do it here or at least not one that someone has set me down and told me. Another tack in my book.

Talking with the leadership, as usual, there’s a power struggle between who owns the squadron corpsman. There are good and bad with working for the squadron and the clinic. I think the only way for us as squadron corpsman to prosper is to tighten up our acts and put forth a more professional front. Every place I’ve been stationed at, we have had to walk a tight rope and it makes it a harder job if we’re not running a tight ship.

Problem with being a blogger, I’m going to publish this and everyone I work with can take a look at my thoughts, both junior guys and the leadership. Oh well, at least they’re know where I’m coming from. Aren’t we trying to be transparent?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Woman who missed Air France flight killed in car accident

I was trolling net between courses and saw this. Her and her husband has missed the flight and caught another flight the next day, less then 2 weeks later, her and her husband's car veered into an oncoming truck, she's dead and her husband is in serious condition. Now if this isn't reminiscent of the movie Final Destination then I don't know what is, spooky!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rat in his Wheel

A piece of interactive art I took part in last weekend at a NIMBY event that we went to, the bride did an excelling job at the filming. NIMBY is a place to create anything that your mind can come up with and they rent out space to artists with a wild hair. They have shows every month that are like mini Burning Man festivals, only these people are doing it all year long. Even though I haven't been online as much, it doesn't mean life has stopped. Check out the web site above, if you're ever in the Bay area during one of their events, I promise you a show that you will not soon forget plus it's a really cheap good time, good music, robots shooting fire and things that you could not imagine.

But work is nothing like being in a cage, I'm in the process of checking in still. Corpsman out there, listen up, keep up with your NKO courses or your next command won't give you your keys! Half of my time since checking in has been doing online courses. So far, friendly people and a job that is in need of my skills, I can do this.

Tomorrow I'll be attending the local Corpsman Ball with the bride where we get to make a first impression with the local medical community.

Impressions? I enjoy being so close to the bride, after spending time at Edwards AFB and China Lake, this place is nice. Besides, it's not where you're stationed at, it's who your stationed with. I think I have some good material here. Fresh faces and fresh impressions, wish me luck.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dinner with one of my oldest friends

Last night I was invited out to dinner with one of my oldest friends Leslie and her husband Scott at Buffalo Wild Wings (the Mango Habanero sauce rocks). Back story on Leslie, we met the summer before my 6th grade, she lived a stones throw away from me and had a big empty lot next to her house with ATV’s that we used to carve up trails around the place with (I also ran over her big sister which scarred me for life, sorry Shelia!). Sixth grade, she was probably one of my best friends and was in fact my first girl friend before we both knew the full meaning of the word. Meaning we held hands a few times and kissed once… in her shed next to the quads. I think her dad telling me that he was watching me might have stopped that back then.

Talk about some old memories, talking with her reminded me just how much I forgot over the years. Items that were important to her back then aren’t even blips that I have thought about since they happened back then. A few items that I had totally forgotten about, I went to Thailand in 7th grade and brought her and her sister back souvenirs, I remember buying souvenirs but I don’t remember who I gave them to, she still has hers. I have a talent for drawing mazes, something I think I could do before I could actually write and I drew her name in bubble letters and made a maze out of it and I guess I drew her a some other drawings, I have no idea what they were but she still has them. In 7th grade, we had wood shop together and she told me that she was going to fail if she didn’t get a box she was making routed and I routed it for her. It was a big deal to her but all I remember was her asking me for a favor, I didn’t even remember what that favor was. The funny thing is, her parents are still using that box (and think that she routed it, heh). I don’t even have any of the my wood shop projects from back in the day. I think my mom sold them at garage sales or gave them away (like she did my comic books). 

Those are definitely some items out of my prehistory that were important to her and she was able to hold on to the memory because she had kept those mementos. They had fallen out of my memory because I had lost so many items from my past like most of us do. I had thought that I had a great memory compared to most of my friends about those days but seeing Leslie showed much of my past I had forgotten, I didn’t have a diary or a camera and most of those items had been added to the rubbish bin over the years meaning that they also fell out of my consciousness because I didn’t have those bookmarks in my memory to keep them fresh.

Forward to today, we both have kids who are in high school, we’re both happily married, in fact, she’s been married to the same guy for 16 years a cool dude. Anyone who stays married for 16 years and be as happy and as comfortable as they looked made the right choice. We both have tattoos, hah, never thought I would see that day. It’s strange experience seeing us both as adults because the last time we were close to each other, we were still children. We were friends after we moved away from that little neighborhood but after 7th grade we didn’t really hang out and grew two different ways but for that year and a couple of months, we were two peas in a pod and our memories of that time are still locked in place and unsullied by the process of puberty and growing up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In Scottsdale, a mild stress attack and some karma rebuilding

I flew into San Diego the day before yesterday and did something so ignorant that I felt like banging my head into the nearest wall. I had flown down without the key to the car that I had left in San Diego, they were on the keychain to my truck. After a few minutes of pure panic, yes, it was very pure, I calmed down and called my wife, she said she would overnight them too me and that I should spend my last night in San Diego hanging out with buddies and we ended up having a great time, thanks Dang!  With a few words, my bride had calmed me down, it was more of a problem in my head then anything else, just had to remember that this was my town and I did have a lot of friends about to call on in times of need.

So yesterday, my keys arrived at my old landlords office at 10:30 and she told me it was fate that I would stop by and see her again, I caught another ride to base and I was off to Arizona and pulled into my dad’s around 7 PM.  I think I was asleep by 9:30, that stress attack had worn me down.

Today, I looked around my pops place and thought, my dad needs someone one to take care of some of these projects he has sitting around. Not my step mom, she’s busy enough as it is. You see, my father is a hoarder, he has worked with electronics as long as I can remember and his place is loaded down with obsolete junk and he seems to pick more up every time I see him. Being a minor hoarder myself, I know what he’s going through, it overwhelms you. There’s too many projects to do and it’s hard when you have piles of craziness lying around that need to be sorted.

So together we looked about to discover some projects that my talents could be put to use, the back glass door had hung up since he moved in, I said I would fix that, there was a pile of cleaning supplies sitting out on the back porch, he explained that he said that he wanted to put a sliding shelves under the sink, yup, I could do that and his grass was all splotchy, green and tan and yucky all over.  Mostly due to the 6 broken sprinkler heads, can do. So I went to Lowe’s and purchased the sprinkler heads and some rollers for the door, for the shelf, we used some sliders he had sitting about and some laminated particle board that just happened to be on his back porch.

I told him to go back to programming (that what he does) and sent started off with the back door so we could turn the A/C back on, it actually took 3 tries with his help to get it properly set, the spacing where the rollers were wrong and we had to drill an extra hole and put a spacer in but at the end of the day, it worked fine. The sprinklers, while dirty and muddy only took an hour in the hundred degree sun of digging. We argued around the idea of the shelf for a while and I think my idea of the sliders underneath prevailed. Picture below.

Tonight we went to the DAV for a spaghetti dinner on his tab and a couple of beers. Tomorrow, I plan on just hanging out with friends, yes, you Sherri and Leslie and see my uncle Larry. With all of the cursing I did in my head on Monday, I needed to balance out the karmic scales with some good deeds which have been taken care of. Have a great night everyone.

Monday, May 11, 2009

NorCal Trip

I’m taking a hop down to San Diego to pick up the car from work and then driving over to Phoenix to see my friends and family in that area of the world. The last ten days in Northern California has been wondrous. The first night in the city, I went to a Steam Punk party with the wife and some of her friends, every see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow or the game Bioshock? Well we dressed sort of like that, goggles, brass gadgets, old style clothes, live music, belly dancing, a guy playing a shovel, yeah, it was interesting. A bunch of geeky sort of people hanging out having a good time. Here's some pictures.

My wife wasn't the only person with blue hair.

We made a trip to the San Francisco Zoo and in comparison to the San Diego or Phoenix zoo, it’s much smaller and homier. Of course we had to see the pen where the tiger got out of, there were signs saying to respect the animals but no word of warning that the animal could jump the fence and eat you like a snack. I liked it, it was a chilly misty day, we were bundled warmly and I was in great company. It was the first public place I’ve been where, along with the trash can and recycling, they had a bin for compost. While the zoo was smaller, the animals seemed happier and well cared for.

I used to have a goat that looked just like this one

Someone else with matching hair

I'm sure this one wanted to eat me

During the week we also slipped in a trip to see the new Star Trek movie which being the geeks that we are, enjoyed tremendously. Lots of walks down new paths with the Gatsby, installing a lift in the mother-in-laws garage that could lift a 4X8 HO train track to the ceiling, hanging out with her dad, having a Mother’s Day lunch with the brides mom, grandmother the rest of her family. An altogether great time.

The plan when I land is to stop by the cleaners and pick up a uniform that I forgot there pick up the car and run by my old work to pick up a plaque, then hit the road and probably stay at my dads tonight in Scottsdale. From there, I‘ll probably drive up to Prescott later in the week and other then that, I’ll play it by ear. Hope everyone remembered to call their mom on Mother’s Day and be careful of catching the Swine!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Goodbye San Diego

I checked out of Third Marine Air Wing last Friday and will be checking into VFA-125 out of Lemoore (orders change, from a sea duty squadron to a training squadron). 4 years and a couple of months at Miramar including many adventures documented on this blog but its time to move on. The last time I was with that Navy unit was in 1999, the move is going to be a pretty big shift in my way of thinking. I’ve already dropped 600 dollars on new uniforms. I’m going to miss being on the green side, specially the friends I’ve made. Here is the latest snapshot of the crew I worked with out of Miramar.

And the second picture is of my local blogging support group, this might be the last time we’re all together in one place. Since I’m on leave hanging and my wife’s the one going to school this week, it will give me a chance to fix the links on the right and update my blog a bit. I was going through a period of backing away from my internet life and shrinking my presence in the cyber sphere into smaller bite sized portions. I was all over the internet and it was getting a bit out of control, turning. Just keeping up with all of my accounts was turning into a full time job and there were a lot of things I still wanted to do with my time. I think the forced separation worked, I’m not feeling the with drawls anymore but needed to step out of the shadows before not blogging became another habit.

Currently I’m on leave for most of the month of May, I’m staying in NorCal till the 11th then heading to Arizona to spend time with my family.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I'm having some problems with my writing of late, maybe I need to check out this remake of the masterpiece. (thanks Miriam!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Last Spring Break in San Diego

I got my orders on Tuesday to report to VFA-113 in Lemoore at the end of May so the bride and I spent this week checking out the sights of San Diego while she took her Spring Break. The upcoming week will be spent looking into the move and where I’m going to live after I transfer while we used the prior week saying our goodbye’s to San Diego.

If you’re in the military down here, whale watching only costs 8 bucks at ITT which is much cheaper than the 25-30 dollars that you pay at the pier. Our trip, we went 13 miles out and saw 11 whales, fin whales and humpbacks, the captain said it was a good day. The season is ending soon so you might want to hurry, the 2 hour harbor cruises are also 8 bucks and are not a bad deal either.

Gatsby and I are going to miss all of the dog beaches in the area, hours spent tossing a ball in the water and racing up and down the sand. Taking him out on all of the hiking trails and forcing me to explore my neighborhood foot by foot has given me some great insight on the area. New neighborhoods for us to explore I guess.

On trade off, the drive to see the bride much shorter, my son Collin is a 33 dollar Amtrak trip away, there are all sorts of interesting community festivals that go on in the central valley. I have half a decade till I hit my 20 year mark and have to start thinking about what to do when this path reaches its end.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Without Orders

I'm in a sort of a limbo, a while ago, I said that I was going to Fallon. And those future orders are what my near future plans were orbiting around. Then I got a phone call asking if I would like to go to Lemoore instead (where I originally wanted to go) and quickly said yes and was told that I would get my orders shortly. That was a month ago.

So now I'm just waiting for orders to tell me where and when to go. Co-workers keep telling me I should be upset but I just feel resigned, this sort of stuff is par for my course.

I don't think there is bad intent involved or else I could have an excuse to be angry. I just feel into a perfect storm of what's available, the budget and the needs of the Navy. This is sort of my excuse for not writing lately because all I've just felt is "blah".

Maybe my writing needs more blank time like I have right now. I'm currently waiting for a monthly counselling and only have my Blackberry to entertain myself with and this blog is in need of some serious attention. Maybe I'll get back to my writing soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Post from my Blackberry Curve

I'm still digging down to the bottom of this piece of tech goodness, my last phone was an LG Rumor and I wore out the cable in the slide which caused the screen to turn green. I'm with Sprint right now and to upgrade my phone, it would have cost close to 500 dollars. So I looked on Amazon and found an unlocked Blackberry Curve for 350 by one of their sellers Lux Case.

There was a small problem with my order, they were out of the Red so I opted for another color which did delay my order a bit. I finally got it turned it on and it was in spanish. With the help of an online translating tool, I soon had it spouting out english text.
For some reason I wasn't able to register the phone online so I went to a Sprint store and had it turned on and my contact information transferred.

My take after the first 48 hours? I really like the free google aps, maps work great, I have both the Myspace and Facebook aps but actually like them better going through the phones web browser but both come in handy for uploading photos and status. Sprint has a TV app that I tried out but it slowed down the entire system so I pulled it. For some reason the app doesn't run smoothly, clunky in the playing of books and slower in downloading so I deleted that too and plan on continuing to use my regular MP3 player.

I'm still working on making this second nature but as with anything, it will take a little time. My Rumor was idiot proof but slow, while this is a complicated toy that James Bond's Q would have traded his left something to own. (It also has spellcheck' bonus!)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Random things About Me

I did this over at Facebook, funny thing is, the two girls from question 4 are both friends over there and so are both of on question 7. Quite a few of my graduating class are members of FB, it's been a renaissance of hooking up with old buddies over there. Some interesting comments on the other side of the mirror. Anyway, this was my post.

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1.I once saved a dog from the bottom of a mine shaft.
2.Another time in a mine, I set my hand on fire using a polyester sweatshirt as a torch and got third degree burns.
3.I used to wear big nerdy glasses.
4.In sixth grade I was beat up by two girls for throwing rhino beetles on them (they might just be my friends here on facebook).
5.I never ever bought porn from Dino.
6.But I do know someone who did.
7.In 6th grade, I ran over my first girlfriends big sister in a ATV.
8.The first time I went to TJ, I got drunk, blacked out and had a stranger give me embarrassing pictures the next day.
9.I never drank that much in another country.
10.Every 6 months after #2, something combustible blew up on me, the bad luck streak last for 3 years.
11.When I was young and free climbing, I use to almost die, a lot.
12.I have an addiction to technology.
13.I own over 2000 books and don't look forward to moving them.
14.I don't know what I'm going to do when I grow up.
15.I was suspended for fighting outside of school.
16.I fell for my wife the first time I laid eyes on here and knew we were going to be married before we said one word.
17.I miss taking as many pictures as I used too and have lustful thoughts about a new camera.
18.My sister and I didn't get along till we were adults, now we talk a couple times a week.
19.I'm afraid of heights but love jumping off of cliffs.
20.Social networking is as natural as breathing for me and I'm glad technology is catching up.
21.If it's mechanical, I can probably fix it.
22.I can't roll my tongue.
23.When I was 3 I ate an entire box of Ex-Lax thinking it was chocolate and have never quite trusted chocolate since then but do like it.
24.I've had people call me from out of state to make curry for them when they visit.
25.My wife knows that makes me tick and it is sometimes very spooky.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Naval Air Station Fallon Nevada

I should be getting orders sometime this upcoming week to that area of the world. Over the last few days, I’ve been mildly distracted by research in the area and over the last day have taken to reading the local paper, the Lahontan Valley News, it has an online site with a comments section on the stories. It‘s interesting reading the local stories and seeing the comments of people who were actually involved in them. 

A little about the area. Fallon is located 60 miles east of Reno NV, has a population of 7500 in the city proper and one of the major employers of the area is NAS Fallon, home of TOPGUN since the Marines took over Miramar.

I’m going to miss the ocean, beach and beauty of southern California. I really do love the area but my wife is going to grad school in northern California and my son lives in Sacramento. I’m about to hit the 15 year mark in my career and I think it’s time to make some sacrifices for the family. It’s closer to both of them, not quite as close as the NAS Lemoore I wanted but 200 miles closer then where I’m at. Inside, there are parts of me that do miss the qualities of living in a small town and if anything, it’s not where you’re at, it’s who your with. I’m looking forward to working with a new crew.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Surgery on my Acer Aspire One

When I picked up the new computer, I noticed reading online that it said you could replace the installed 512 ram chip with a 1 gig module and since that gig module was only 12 bucks on Amazon, how could I go wrong and pressed the one click button. Then I started looking around for directions and ran into this YouTube video and cringed. And started going though the message boards. It was split 50/50 between the people who did it and the ones that were too scared to open up their machines. I was torn till the card showed up in the mail and I couldn't help myself, I'm no mouse when it comes to fixing gadgets (and my percentages for fixing them grow higher each year).

You see, you need to take off 8 screws on the bottom including 2 under the rubber feet, unclip the key board, unplug that, unplug the touch pad, then take out 7 tiny screws and pull off the top faceplate. The mother board is jammed and only held in by the shape of the body and two screws and 2 cables and the wireless card plug. When I got to this part, I discovered that my model was different, I had a regular hard drive that was actually attached to the motherboard and the edge shoved under another metal panel, so had to unplug everything and pry up a corner and pull everything sideways then up leaving the hard drive attached to the motherboard then turned the motherboard over to get to the RAM located on the bottom. RAM is RAM, I popped out the old one and slipped the new one in. Being an ex mechanic, I‘m well versed at taking things apart and putting them back together again, everything went back together smoothly and it turned right on. It took about half an hour, I don’t recommend doing it unless you‘re good with your hands and people call you geek behind your back. After putting it all back together, I’m thinking that I should have videotaped the entire process, oh well, next time.

As far as use of the Aspire goes, this thing is better then sliced bread. I’ve got used to the touchpad and between XP and Vista, XP has it for speed hands down. This boots up in under a minute, with my card, it takes around 2 minutes to get my wireless modem to configure on Vista, this, it’s about 10 seconds and XP hasn't jammed up with Facebook yet. I think Microsoft needs to come out with a patch that strips Vista the crap out of Vista. The netbook runs cool on the lap, I have a 3 cell model it lasted for 2 hours and 10 minutes playing movies, probably more if I had turned off the WiFi. It’s amazing that you can get this much tech for 350 bucks.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Google maps is a peeping Tom

I was at a friends house and google maps caught me in her front yard unloading my wifes car! I've only been there 2 or 3 times, I just wanted to show her how street view worked. Sheesh! What are the chances of that? Maybe big brother is following me around.

View Larger Map

Being a fan of throwing myself off of high places

I thought this video was totally cool, thanks Pop.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My first Tattoo

The night my wife flew into town, after pizza and before we went over to my uncles, we went out exploring the local area and stopped into a tattoo parlor to see some of their work. One of the designs caught my eye and after talking to the artist, Alex Ramirez of EZ-Tattoo about ideas, I put down a deposit and made an appointment for Wednesday night, 3 days hence. I might be the last person at my workplace to get a tattoo and I definitely am out of my group of peers out of high school plus married to a girl with quite a few of her own, it wasn’t a rash decision.

We came back, Alex got gear ready and suddenly with a little bit of pain, I was marked for life with the end of the dragon tail. Three hours and some change later, I had a green beast of myth on my arm that I’m very happy with. I think some in my family is a bit disappointed in me, I might be the first “Dustman” of my line to get a tattoo but at 36, I think I can make my own decisions on such matters.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More geeky tech gear

I'm sitting at home typing on a new Acer Aspire One netbook on Google Doc's, my shoulder was complaining about carrying around my behemoth of a laptop, multiple hard drives and assorted computer gear so I broke down and purchased a super small and light model. So far, the only thing that I've had trouble getting used to is the little touch pad, a setting on in it keeps on changing the zoom level of the screen as I'm surfing around, I'll have to figure out how to turn it off. I've tried Skype out with video using my Sprint wireless USB drive and it works great. I haven't had any issues with getting used to the small keys and typing unlike some of the reviewers. For a system with only a gig of RAM, it's perky and quick. I'm looking forward to being able to slip it into the small pocket of my backpack and watch entire movies without having to recharge. Enough about that, post coming up about the rest of the trip, maybe written on this computer.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

All around Arizona

Collin and I drove out to Arizona on New Years Eve and welcomed the New Year in with my sisters and nephews and nieces. It was sedate and quiet, had a beer and minutes after the clocked struck, we drove over to my mom’s and crashed out. 3 days before that we had drove from Sacramento to San Diego then San Diego to Prescott. I’ve had the Fusion since August and yesterday, it turned over 11 thousand miles.

(a stop over at Glamis with Collin)
Over the next few days, we visited friends in the area, Collin finally proved that he was able to kick my butt at Halo and he did, 25 to 2, ouch, I’m totally out of practice.

We went down to Phoenix Saturday night and stayed at a Motel 6 on Scottsdale road, good things about that place, they were cheap and allowed pets. Bad things were the beds squeaked and the blankets had an odd musty smell and unless you counted my son, I had no brought along a pet.

The next morning, we went out to breakfast with my dad and Collin caught a 9:25 Southwest flight to Sacramento and a little after noon, my wife flew in. We went out to pizza with my friend Swan at Patsy Grimaldi's Pizzeria‎, thanks for lunch, the pizza was great.

Afterwards we went stopped by my dad’s house then went by the hotel and dropped off Heathers bags. That night we went to a partial family reunion at my uncle Larry’s with 15 or so of my relatives, this was the first time for some of them had met my wife. I think it went over well.

(at my Uncle Larry's house)
Afterwards we stayed the night back at the M6 and the next morning, drove up to Prescott with a brief stop at the factory stores. I had reserved a room at the Prescott Resort or Bucky’s, it’s a hotel that was built by the Sheraton in 1989 on top of a hill overlooking Prescott and taken over by the Yavapai Indians a couple years later and turned into a partial casino. I’ve wanted to get a room up there since the place was built and it seemed like a prime time. It was one of the nicest rooms Heather and I have stayed in, I wouldn’t have minded having that bed in my apartment. Beers down in the casino were a dollar and we met up with my high school buddy Larry and his wife Jennifer and turned up a few and watched the snow fall down and not stick.

(my wife never caught snow before)

(my buddies Jennifer and Larry)
On the dresser in our room, there was a letter that said we could stay another day for 50 bucks (great deal), so we brought it down and they were booked up for the rest of the week due to a religious conference and it sounded like they were taking up most of the empty rooms in the town. So I called a place where this group was unlikely to have rented a room for the next night, the Hotel St. Michael. A historic hotel located on the corner of Whisky Row, built in 1901, we got a second floor room overlooking the town square, great atmosphere and the breakfast that came with the room was excellent.

(view out our window)

(and of our window)

But before we went to the Hotel St. Michael that night, we went out for another family met up hosted again by my uncle Larry (thanks again Larry!) at the Prescott Airport, he flew in from Chandler with his wife Michele and my cousin Amy, my Aunt Lynda and Uncle Phil and daughter Diana drove up from Tucson and my cousin Jenny, her husband Elijah and daughters Emily and Jessica drove up from Phoenix to see my Grandmother Heatherbelle who is staying with my half sister Crystal. Oh and my sister Sarah and her two kids were also there. A good time was had by all, grandma has happy to see everyone and remembered the names of her kids.

(cousin Diana, uncle Larry and my sister Sarah)
(Mason is the one with he crazy face, Corbin and Emily are the ones with the cheeses on)