Saturday, September 29, 2012

When Social Media goes Wrong

This is the story I've seen wondering around friends walls this morning, my sleep addled mind read it and thought, this sort of sucks and I went back to bed.... 

Yesterday, my 17 year old niece, who attends Lancaster High School, was beaten by a football player, named Kyle, on school grounds, for being gay. After receiving over a dozen blows to her jaw, eye and head, all he received was a 5 day suspension by the Lancaster School District. She suffered from a fractured jaw and multiple concussions to the head and the Deputy Sheriff advised her mother to re-think her wanting to file charges against the football player because her daughter pushed him back. The school ended up documenting "assault" charges on my nieces file, NOT the football players! To make things worse, the Deputy Sheriff on site warned my niece, by saying,"Just so you know, if you file charges against him, I'm taking his side." Oh, and the icing on the cake was when the football player came up to my niece after school and said, "Sorry, but you had it coming!" We're attempting to raise awareness and bring this story to light because Lancaster High School is trying to sweep this "Hate Crime" under the rug! Like if you care and please forward to everyone you know

Then I woke up a bit more and thought, hey, this has all of the hooks of a net myth, must research this more and here’s the link to what Snopes has to say.  

The reason that I’m even posting about this is because it’s happening now, not some recycled story.  Here’s the facts, a 14 year old boy was pushed by a 17 year old girl because he complained about another 17 year old girl cutting in line in front of him at lunch, he fought back against the girl who pushed him who he thought was a guy (Justin Bieber haircut?).  The girl got a cut on her lip, they both got suspended should be end of story.  40 witnesses agree with that story.  But someone embellished that story and the story had such a grab that it's passing around the world, causing people to gasp, "that's so wrong!".  No what's wrong is that you believe that story before looking.  In some ways, this is the same as Muslim video that's causing all of the protests in the middle east, do a moment of research before you repost stuff on your wall. This boy’s parents have pulled him out of school, he’s received death threats along with the principle of the school, he didn't belong to the football team but the football team did have someone who's name sounded like his, he's received death threats too.  Dumb asses are protesting outside of the school.  

Here are the stories from the AV News, my old stomping grounds when I was stationed at Edwards AFB.  Search around Antelope Valley News, they'll probably keep updating it.  Hope no one gets hurt. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years have passed..

The wife and I are glued to the History Channel as the events of that day are played through from hundreds of different angles and viewpoints and even now, more than a decade later how unreal it seems, we are watching that unfurl on TV.  I’m not going to rehash what I was doing back then, those memories have already seen the light of day and are living in my archives.  I’m going to look at what has happened since then.  At that time I was a mechanic at the low end of the pay scale, single, struggling and then, in the space of a smoky morning, I had direction and goals.  On a terrible day, my life took a turn for the better, I found my calling back in skills that I had shelved and in pursuing that new life, I found that I liked taking pictures, writing and eventually, the strange girl of my dream.  Now, 11 years down the road, I’m 2 years out from a retirement, I have friends all over the world. 

So instead of mourning this year, which is hard watching what we are watching, I’m going to celebrate and be thankful for what I have now.   My wife, my friends and my family and the fact that we all made it to the other side.   I haven’t forgotten but do believe we’ve punished those who were responsible, chasing them all over the globe and when they poked their head out from under a rock, squashed them like a bug and now the biggest bug is dead.  Now it’s time to heal and close some of those wounds and go back to being the land of the free.  Get back to being healthy and happy, I don’t know about you, I’m a bit weary about being a nation suffering from PTSD and I’m sure winning hearts and minds only lasts for so long. 

Crap, this blog post is hard to write while I’m watching people jump out of buildings and people screaming.  Anyway, I’m glad we got the main asshat responsible for this.  I’ll never forget but I was raised by a bunch of forgivers, I have no problem forgiving the dead.

Monday, September 03, 2012

My two cents on the book “No Easy Day”

First, you cannot compare it to Wikileaks, that was done by a disgruntled asshat who grabbed as much secret stuff he could and sent gave it to someone to share with the world which probably caused a lot of people to die and he somehow expected not to get into trouble.  If anything, that guy deserves the Darwin Award just for being a dumbass, he purposely wanted to do as much damage as he could.
No Easy Day on the other hand is a story that I bet a fair percentage of the population dreamed about for the last 11 years.  The boogieman was finally caught, I rejoined the military to see this guy taken out and I, for one wouldn’t mind hearing the story.  This is the tallest of tall tales, what we have spent trillions of dollars to accomplish and as me being Joe Public, would like to hear about the end result, unedited and uncut.  Hopefully the truth as told by a highly motivated decorated warrior. 
Some secrets are too big to keep and I’m glad this one is getting aired to the world and I’m looking forward to drinking a cold beer while reading about it.  I’m just wondering about who got the reward and if someone did, did we set him up nice.  That story and Roswell, then I’ll be a happy camper.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Naval Hospital Oak Harbor

I've settled in here over the last few months and now heading the local physical exam's department and I like it.  They have a good system here where there are lots of checks and balances in doing paperwork which in my line of work is a good thing.  While sometimes a pain because it takes a little longer, I don't mind in the slightest coming from places where the system isn't working and trying to get a system in place.

Outside of work, I'm enjoying fishing,  crabbing and clamming and making interesting comic book furniture.  Now you ask, what's comic book furniture?  This...

and this

Life is good, love the new house and I'm working with a good bunch of people who don't rub me the wrong way.  Hopefully one of these days, I'll find my muse here but until then you can catch me in smaller blurbs over on Facebook.  Peace.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Social Networking

The reality of Facebook/Blogging/Social Networking is that you only get a snapshot of someones life, a few seconds of someones day out of thousands. No matter how much I post here, there are thousands of other things going on in my life that the interwebs has no clue about. There is a full world going on in my point of view and a moment here and there might be dropped onto this medium. We invented the real world of 1984 because it became part of the easiest path to take, the only big difference is that we don't follow the orders that come out of a faceless machine. While the book was sort of a horror story about the future, it's amazing that we can pull much of the same tech out and come up with a vision that is so different and brighter. I put my thoughts here and they can be seen around the world instantly, will they be remembered? Now that is the question.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Independence Day

One of my favorite Independence Day memories was being stationed at MCAS El Toro back in the 90's and being at the local movie theater which was half filled with Marines watching Independence Day on opening night when the General tell's Wil Smith, "El Toro has been completely destroyed." and the entire theater breaks out in cheers.  He flew with VMFA-314.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Our trip up Highway One and 101 from California to Whidbey Island Part 1, day one and two

First note about this trip, the bride planned everything out weeks in advance and put it all in a binder which I’m looking at for the first time.  She spent a week looking up directions, taking notes on what’s interesting everyplace along the drive and making reservations on the best spots to camp.  We planned on staying in a motel 2 nights but that ended up being 4 nights after a largish rainstorm and we were muddy and needed a bit off warmth.  Say what you want about Motel 6, but they gave us a military rate of 45 bucks a night and no arguments about two 50 pound dogs.  All of the campgrounds mentioned take dogs just make sure to clean up after them and keep them around you like a second skin.  So on with the journey.

We left out of San Jose on the morning of June 10th, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and drove up the 101 till it connected to the 128, which is also called the Tunnel of Tree’s when you get closer to the coast and we got to see our first redwoods of our journey north because like the name says, it was a tunnel of trees.  Very pretty and scenic, too bad I was driving or I would have taken more pictures. 
Our first night was at Mackerricher State Park which is located 5 or so miles north of Fort Bragg CA.  Basic campsite, running water and flush toilets but no showers.  A hundred yard walk to the beach and seals on the beach.  My first run in with wild life was here too, I was sitting roasting a marshmallow and a spotted skunk bumped into my leg as it stumbled by.  Glad the dogs were in the tent or it would could have been ugly, or is that smelly? 

this is a whale skeleton at the entrance to Mackerricher

To reserve a campsite online is 8 dollars and the fee for Mackerricher was 35 bucks which seems in line for most of the California campgrounds.  One thing I noticed was that Oregon campgrounds were cheaper and they all had showers which were free.  Camping in the Sierra Nevada’s last summer, none of those campgrounds had showers either.

Note 2: We’re driving in my 97 Toyota Tacoma with 270 thousand miles on him with a camper shell, his name is Neil, like the astronaut because he’s driven to the moon.  Our biggest problem is that we over packed and unloading and loading took up an hour or so each side of the day and my old knees feel it and there wasn’t much spare space, specially when you are married to a souvenirholic.  Our tent was a Colman Montana 8 which is easier putting up with 2 people but we could do it in 10 minutes by the end of the trip, we had a queen sized blow up mattress which we put a blanket on top of to keep sharp doggie feet from poking holes in it and 2 dog beds.  Note, always bring a patch kit with you when you have a blow up bed.

The next morning, I made breakfast of eggs, home fries and toast, we were off towards the Albee Creek Campground at Humboldt Redwoods State Park.   We drove north on Highway 1 till it connected again with the 101, but before we got on the 101 we went to see the Chandler Tree, a big redwood that someone had carved a hole that you could drive through and here’s Neil driving through it.

We then followed the 101 till the first exit of Avenue of the Giants and we followed that 20.8 miles, here is where the directions got tricky, you can’t really see the sign to turn so it’s important to turn left at exactly 20.8 miles, sure it would be quicker to take the 101 but you would miss one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever been on.  Drive past the turn to Weott on Avenue of the Giants, drive over a bridge over a river which goes under the 101 and take a sharp left, the campground is 5 miles down that road. 

Albee Campground has coin operated showers, you can’t take dogs on the trails so we stayed in the area. I made dinner, we took showers and crashed. The next morning on the way out, we checked out the Rockefeller Grove and Bull Creek, some of the biggest trees you'll probably ever run into. It's late and I'm done with typing for tonight, expect more posts on this over the next few weeks.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Transferring from NAS Lemoore to NAS Whidbey Island

I finished up our housing inspection on Friday and over the last two days, have just worked on catching my breath.  Every time we move, we seem to have a more gear then the last time we moved.  The bride just graduated out of San Jose State with her Masters in History and most people can not imagine how many books that is, well I can, it's about equal to the amount of books I had sitting around the house before  her stack was added.  Over the last month, we've felt like we're filming an episode of hoarders, not much fun.  

Things that have happened over the last month, I finished my tattoo

The quote I attached to this when I posted it on Facebook, "This is my lighthearted look at TEOTWAWKI, in flame or flood. The Phoenix because at heart, I'm a comic book geek, I'm from Arizona and I've always had dreams of bursting into flame. The water because my earliest memory was being pulled out of a pool by my hair, I've always loved the mystery of underwater cities, the bridge is memories of Key West, the fire like a sunrise that sets the sky alight and the ocean ruled by robot fish because I could. Thanks Meghan Ortiz, the both of us are going to miss how you could turn our visions into art."

We planned out our trip to Washington taking the long slow route up the 1 driving 50 to 200 miles a day in Neil (my battered Toyota Tacoma with 270 thousand miles on it, named Neil because he's been to the moon (220,000 miles away) and working on the trip back).  The wife has every place we're staying reserved and I plan on taking a lot of pictures.  

Remember what this weekend is about, its for remembering those people who gave it all for a cause they believed in and that sacrifice should not be taken lightly.  This weekend, I'm remembering my friend Mark Lawrence, who died on January 10th and was an Army SSG stationed out of Fort Bragg.  The reason I'm remembering him is because I have not seen a single story out about his death in the news and as far as the world goes, he's been forgotten.  But not by me nor by his family.  He worked in the Wounded Warrior Battalion and his death was ruled a suicide, he was also worked with Army SSG Joshua Eisehouer, who was involved in a police shootout on January 14th, I'm not sure if these are connected but I haven't found anything online about it.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making the Most of Your Memorial Day Weekend

guest post from Kevin Pearia
Memorial Day is one of our country's most solemn holidays, a day set aside for Americans to take time to think about the men and women who have given their lives for the preservation of law and liberty.  While for many Memorial Day does evoke memories of those who have given their lives for our country, it is important that Americans use their time off to truly appreciate the sacrifices of those who have served and continue to fight for freedom.  It may seem like a difficult task when money is tight, but fun and respectful Memorial Day weekend activities that don't break the bank are plentiful:

Host a Potluck
The ability for friends, family, and even strangers to come together and contribute to a shared cornucopia has been an American tradition for centuries and is a product of both our appreciation for personal freedom and our economic success.  Both of these would never be possible without sacrifice.

Make That Big Home Improvement Purchase
If you've been saving up for some appliance updates or other big home improvement purchases, Memorial Day Weekend may be the perfect opportunity to spend the money.  Sales are abundant, as anyone without DVR is well aware.  All the while you're taking advantage of the economic freedoms others fought and died for, and better yet, doing so for the sake of responsible and necessary updates.

Hit Up the Nearby Museums and Zoos
If you live near a heavily populated part of the country then pay a visit to the closest art museums, history exhibits and science centers.  The cultural freedoms these institutions represent are some of the most important aspects of American society protected and preserved by those who have died serving her.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors
The United States is home to countless acres of virtually untouched beauty and wonder.  Plan a weekend camping trip or bike the trail if you seek an inexpensive way to appreciate the natural gifts of this great country.

Attend a Parade
The classic Memorial Day parade remains a great way to honor the memory of fallen soldiers without withholding fun and excitement.  In addition a parade is an economical event so long as you find a free place to park your car.

In addition, don't forget to perform a simple web search for free and inexpensive events happening Memorial Day Weekend in your area.  When it comes to choosing what to do this Memorial Day, simply taking the time to remember those who paid the ultimate price is enough to know you're doing the right thing.

Kevin Pearia is a writer for Veterans United Network (VUN), a source for veterans’ benefits and information.  VUN is proudly sponsored by the nation’s leading VA Home Loan provider, Veterans United Home Loans.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My two cents on the discharge of Sgt Stein

Here's how it goes, every time an enlisted man takes the oath of enlistment, part of it says, "and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me". It's pretty black and white, something that goes before everything else you do in the military, before they shave you bald and everything else is built around it. If you don't like it, get out after your enlistment is up or get kicked out.  The only way you can change oath is to pass a law to change that which you can not do while serving.  Being the center of a political movement while serving on active duty is just foolish, no matter which side of the political divide you are on and this gentleman had been warned multiple times.  We are all just gears in a machine who can be replaced and the slightest change in the wind and that's how the system was designed.

Being in the military, we have the illusion of freedom of speech and there men in hats who troll the nets looking for people who work for the government who step beyond outside the bounds of that invisible fence, probably the same people who track terrorists, cyber criminals, haters and that lot, nice people you get grouped with.  Stein crossed the that line, probably didn't think much about it at the time but it's the line drawn at the core of our oath of the military of a country that elects a civilian leader to call the shots instead of a military government.  Most of the people who complain his discharge over this issue are people who haven't served or military people who have only taken that oath once, for the people who have taken it more then a few times and can still hear it ring in their heads, we look at it a bit differently.

Good luck with your life Sgt Stein, I appreciate you standing by you guns and I'm sorry I didn't pull you aside and tell you, "dude, if you post that, the brass is going to hammer you".  Which I have been known to do to my blogger buddies when I see someone stepping over that line.  But I can't follow everything that goes on with the military in cyber space, I do have a life.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My wife calls me a "Disaster Whore"

Anytime something bad happens in the world, I'm all over it.  I'm like the kid from the movie Final Destination, I start throwing out numbers.  Tonight is twister night on the news and I have friend in Kansas and I'm hoping they are all alright.  I think something is wrong with my inner workings, I get excited by "Acts of God".  A couple of days ago, it was earthquakes, I have an earthquake app on my Samsung Epic and when the 8.6 earthquake hit in Indonesia, my phone vibrates, there's a Google map of the world with a circle showing how far away it was felt and the circle went halfway across Australia and Afghanistan.  That's huge.  Then the earthquakes in Mexico the next day.  I can't peel my eyes away.

Anyhow, if you're in the path of the tornado's in the plains, take cover and I'm looking forward to your stories on the other side.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How to do a mass text list or mailing list on an Android Phone

I just came back from a trip to Key West and I set up a mass text list for the 68 enlisted people that were out there with me.  I haven’t heard of anyone else doing it and it worked pretty good so I'm going to share it here.  I used this method to send out the phone numbers of our daily duty drivers, pass info on and since I was the Det LPO, I needed everyone's phone number in case there was a problem or someone wasn't where they were supposed to be.  This saved hours of time and we were able to change plans on a moments notice, almost like we had modern communication equipment! 

This works if you have an Android Phone (maybe Blackberry too, not sure about iPhones since I don't own one).  If you have an Android phone, you also have a Gmail account, I’ll put it together is steps.

This method is if you plan on putting the phone numbers in by hand (which I did)
11,         Go to Gmail.
22.       Click on the Gmail button on the top left hand of the screen.
33.       It will bring down a pull down menu, click “Contacts”
44.       If the contact isn’t a contact yet, you need to add them as a contact by clicking “New Contact”.
55.       After they are added, open up their contact card, click on the little crowd of people under the search bar that says “groups” when you put the curser over it and click “Create new” and call it what you will.
66.       Add names like that by opening up the contact you want on that list, clicking on the group icon, and clicking on the group.
77.       To send out mass txt’s by that method, open Messaging on your phone
88.       Click New Message, then Group and scroll down to the group you want
99.       Click on the names of the people you want to send messages to after you’re done, click Add.
110.   Type a message and send it
112.   If you need to send something to all of the same people, just type anther message to them on the same string, you don’t have to click on the individual names again.

There is another method which theoretically should work that I’m going to try next time if I have all of the numbers on an excel file, I’ll export a group into an Outlook CSV, open that file and change all of the information to the numbers on the excel and Import it back into Gmail.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Remembering Captain Carroll “Neptunus Lex” LeFon USN (Ret.) 1960-2012

Back in 2004, when I started this thing called Doc in the Box, there were only a few Navy bloggers, Scott of Lt. Smash, Cdr Salamander, Chapomatic and Kevin of Primary Main Objective.  Lex was the guy who had lived all of the Top Gun stories, he was the aviator’s aviator and even better, told those stories on his blog Neptunus Lex.  Later, when I finally met him in person and found out that he was a Navy Captain and probably the most senior military blogger (side not to civilians, a Navy Captain is an O-6, squadrons are commanded by O-5’s mostly and on any given large base, there might be 3 to 6 Captains.  One in charge of the base, one for each carrier air group, maybe one at a hospital.  I’m currently attached to the largest squadron in the Navy and my CO is a Commander or an O-5, pretty big deal) and he was at my house for a blogger get together and I was definitely the kid at the adult table.  Unlike most of us cyber nerds, he was bigger than that large online persona that he assumed.  Over the years, I had met up with him at milblog conferences, dinners and once at a change of command which I didn’t recognize him at first in a suit.  Without fail, he always had a crowd of people around him and he was telling a story.  That guy burned with inner charisma and people hushed to hear what he had to say.  I admit, I had a bit of hero worship. 

But one on one, he was just a good guy with whom I’ve broke bread, he’s eaten my curry and bar-b-q chicken and we’ve turned up a cold one or three.  He was that way to everyone and if you search his name across the blogosphere, there are hundreds of people who are saying the same thing.  Lex was a giant among us and a true warrior poet.

I found out last night that he was involved in crash at NAS Fallon working as a contractor flying an Israeli F-21 Kfir by way of an underground Facebook message string of everybody who has ever been involved in military blogging, it blew up my phone.  I’ve never seen anything or imagined anything like it, seeing how many people this guy touched in his 51 years.  I say it with a heavy heart, you are missed, fair winds and following seas brother.  Through us, your friends and readers, you will not be forgotten and your memory will live on.

Story on the Navy Times

Monday, February 20, 2012

The best write up about Iraq I've seen lately

I Miss Iraq, I Miss My Gun, I Miss My War this guy knows what he's talking about.

I've had days and weeks where I miss the weight of the armor on my shoulders, a weapon on my hip and sweet sound of a round being chambered. Unlike this guy, I can be blithe in reality about most of my trips except for those moments that still are burned behind my eyelids that I have trouble putting into words. Life in war wasn't the stasis of base life, it was a state of being beyond the wire, being shot at by someone who wanted to kill you and you doing the same thing back.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Taking care of the bride

The lovely bride is under the weather with a head cold which I've been treating with sudafed, tylenol, cold compresses, warm liquids and TLC.  Tonight she was lying about complaining about sinus pain and head ache so... I introduced her to the move I losely call the Afrin head bang.  I had her lay on her back with her head hanging upside down and spray it in her nose.  She yelled and I held her down for a second while her feet kicked and she said, "You're trying to kill me!"  Five minutes later, my head feels better!  Disclaimer on Afrin, don't use it more then 3 days.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Climbing Corona Del Mar's Green Burrito 1993

I used to climb back in the day when I was skinny, this one day, I wasn't really planning on going to the beach but somehow ended up there without the right shoes and saw some folk trying one of my favorite routes. It's not about how strong you are nor the gear that you have, it's about the skill or talent that you have inside.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Marvel Phoenix Time Lapse Tattoo Finish

I've been a fan of Marvel's Jean Grey as Phoenix since I was a little kid and used to have dreams of bursting into flame and flying away.  Those went away after catching myself on fire for real a couple of times but the thoughts still linger.  My wife surprised me last year with an appointment with Meghan Ortez of 92 Proof Tattoo in Lemoore to check out my idea for a Phoenix and we decided on a plan of attack.  After finishing up my first 7 and a half hour session I thought, that would look pretty cool on time lapse and below is the finished product of what I came up with.  20 hours total, 12 of those hours condensed in the video below to Aerosmith's "Livin' on the Edge" which I think fits. Thanks Meghan for the great work and the bride for starting it off and running the camera.

And this is how it turned out

Sunday, January 15, 2012

California Marines We're Unforgettable

This was my old squadron HMM-764, I'm glad someone took over the picture and video taking after I left, good job guys!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Phoenix Tattoo

My third tattoo in time lapse, this was my second sitting and I made a video of it.  The artist is Meghan Ortez, shop 92 Proof Tattoo in Lemoore CA and the amazing camera girl is my bride.