Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's that time again. Time to return just a tiny token for the life changing sacrifice made by my brothers and sisters in uniform who have been injured while preserving the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that so many take for granted.

Project Valor-IT is in full swing again and the wounded warriors need all the support you can muster; even your couch change can help.

Hit the link and hit it again next payday. It's quick, it's easy, and it's tax deductible.


Monday, October 29, 2007

A Day Out of the Ordinary

So, I woke up this morning and spent about an hour chatting online with my wife then grabbed a bowl of Froot Loops before hopping into the shower…

Now, they managed to squeeze a shower and toilet in between two 9' x 10' rooms to make a trailer park duplex and I only have to share the facilities with one other guy and don't have to walk 100 yards like other locations I have been and how many others live here. I am feeling lucky since I also have hot water; OK warm water, the Army doesn't trust us not to burn ourselves. But, the shower is still very small even for a little guy like me.

… The first thing I notice is the water pressure wasn't quite what it has been lately. A couple weeks ago they turned the water off for a day to fix something and when they turned it back on we had some terrific water pressure. Something to work the warm water deep into my scalp; it felt good. Today I thought, "Whatever they fixed must have broken or been undone." Oh well, I spent most of 3 months here like that and only have a few weeks left so I figured I could live with it. So, I'm enjoying my pleasantly warm shower and get the shampoo into a good lather when the low pressure turned into no pressure. I'm standing there with shampoo running all [sorry we'll try to keep this at least PG] and I'm thinking, "how can I possibly overcome this obstacle." I could towel off and smell like shampoo all day or dip water from the reservoir behind the toilet; neither option sounded pleasant but at least the reservoir is pre-filth and probably my best option.

After contemplating my options for a few minutes, I tried the sink to see if any pressure was retuning and found a slow trickle coming out. I quickly grabbed a cleaning bucket to capture all I could. It then occurred to me that if the sink worked the shower might too. Apparently the water pressure was too low to reach the shower head but if you dropped the hand held/detachable shower head on a tube down to below waist level it would trickle out. So I squat down in the shower and managed to entice enough water to flow out to rinse of the shampoo.

It may not have been a real spectacular event but, come on, any event that makes one day stand out from all the others here in the land of Groundhog Day is one worth remembering.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

RC Update!

Just because you asked...

I finally painted my car and handed the controller to someone else so I could take some good action pics of it. I have been racing it frequently as you can tell by the wear on the car. It is fast and I consistently make it into the finals and always seem to choke in the finals. Oh well, there's always next week.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Agape, Philos, Eros

The first time I ever looked into his eyes I saw a reflection into my soul. There was no doubt that he was life that I helped create. One week later, through him, I learned patience. These thoughts and many more, flooded through my mind when I read this article by SemperFi Wife over at Spousebuzz.

They broke the plumbing when he was born so we never had the choice to have more. But as Honeybear's aunt said, "It's better to have one worth five than five worth one." He really is worth five. OK, some of that is my obvious bias but, it is a belief reinforced by most who know him. He has always had a cheerfulness that draws people to him. He was a really cute child, so much that complete strangers often approached us and asked if they could take his picture.

He is obviously my son. You could compare both of our child photos and not identify half a dozen differences and with the same hair like bright copper. I know exactly what he is up to as well because we both think alike. We both are very quick learners, good problem solvers, and are bored quickly with redundancy.

Before I left on my current assignment, just before his 13th birthday, the thought hit me like a freight train, "At his age plus 4 short years, I was talking to my recruiter." He will likely join one of the services when he is old enough and I can think of fewer better learning experiences for him. At his age, I wanted to be the next Eisenhower or a fighter pilot. He frequently talks about being a pilot and I have been keeping an ear out for which service can best support his desire. My goals changed once I learned that the legendary Green Berets still existed and again when I learned that most officers were self-serving, power hungry, &%$#*... I suspect his goals may also change over the next few years as well and I plan to support him because that is what you do for someone you love so much.

But for now, I am still his hero, and he is one I love more than I can describe in mere words.


Friday, October 19, 2007


In my video linking debut, here are a couple that contrast the concerns of children in the West versus the Mid-East.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Waxman Wax-job

Congressional Dimwit Henry Waxman has found a new personal vendetta against BlackwaterUSA and is using his position as Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to slander them in an ongoing effort to lose the war in Iraq.

"Blackwater's contract to provide protective services to the State Department provides that Blackwater can engage in only defensive use of force. In over 80% of the shooting incidents, however, Blackwater reports that its forces fired the first shots."

I'll give Waxman a bye on this one and assume that he is just ignorant of the realities of shooting first in a defensive situation. Perhaps he has just never contemplated the consequences of waiting until someone else shoots you before you consider returning fire.

"In addition to Blackwater, two other private military contractors, DynCorp International and Triple Canopy, provide protective services to the State Department. Blackwater reports more shooting incidents than the other two contractors combined."

No bye here! Waxman is either too stupid to comprehend basic math or he's stupid enough to think the American public can't. Quite simply, Blackwater has more people in country than the others combined and conducts greater risk missions. The math is simple.

"The State Department took a similar approach upon receiving reports that Blackwater shooters killed an innocent Iraqi, except that in this case, the State Department requested only a $5,000 payment to 'put this unfortunate matter behind us quickly.'"

OK, I can understand that $5k cannot buy much more than a democrat haircut in the U.S. but it can go a long way to a family that only makes $700 a year. As for the comment, "the Department's Diplomatic Security Service said [$250,000] was too much and could cause Iraqis to "try to get killed," how many American's would step up if their death meant their family would receive more money than they could ever expect to earn in their life time? Then, Saddam helped illustrate this point by offering rewards to the families of suicide bombers. This section also shows a complete lack of understanding of the culture in this part of the world where it is considered a family members duty to kill the original killer unless compensation is paid; this includes accidental deaths and is the origin of the term "blood money."

"There is no evidence in the documents that the Committee has reviewed that the State Department sought to restrain Blackwater's actions, raised concems about the number of shooting incidents involving Blackwater or the company's high rate of shooting first, or detained Blackwater contractors for investigation"

Maybe that was because the State Department officials were present at the scene as the principle being protected and agree that they were being threatened. As for detaining, DoS does not have arrest authority especially in foreign countries. With such a gross lack of understanding of government responsibilities and limitation, Waxman is a pretty poor choice for Government Oversight

"Using Blackwater instead of U.S. troops to protect embassy officials is expensive. Blackwater charges the government$.I,222 per day for the services of a private military contractor. This is equivalent to $445,000 per year, over six times more than the cost of an equivalent U.S. soldier"

This is the absolute dumbest statement in the entire document. I cannot believe a Congressman can be so stupid! If it isn't a gross act of stupidity then it is a blatant act of deception. Can you say, Lies, Perjury, Libel, and Defamation of Character?

Just in case someone here has never hired an employee or worked in business management or administration, let me explain just how false this is. One sixth of $445k is $6180 a month which is approximately my net income while I am deployed in a combat zone. BUT! This cost does not reflect recruiting costs, training costs, management costs, administrative costs, housing expenses, food, travel expenses, medical benefits, dental coverage, insurance, weapons, ammunition, body armor, armored vehicles, etc. The list goes on and on. A business, especially one in a combat zone, pays for a lot more than just an employee's paycheck. Blackwater also doesn't get paid for workers when they are out of the country unlike the Army that has to pay their soldiers when home or between conflicts. Comparing Blackwater's full in country expenses to a soldier's net wages is dishonest.

In typical Democrat fashion, Waxman cannot produce a paper without the obligatory Bush Bash. For some reason defying the flow of his report and for no apparent reason, Blackwater's earnings scale is measured during the "Bush Administration" instead of the more logical, "since the war began," or "since 9/11."

I am extremely disgusted by this wax-job. It serves no purpose beyond attacking a legitimate company that provides a service to our government.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Back online.

Guess who has unrestricted internet access again?

Now I can check my comments and watch Jimbo's smackdowns...

You'll probably hear more from me too.

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