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  • The long road to Ranger School…

    …has begun.

    I’ve been sporadically working out for the past several months, going two or three weeks at a stretch usually, toying with things like P90X and long grueling ruck marches in the middle of the night, for lack of time elsewhen.

    All that has changed now. My ATL is a fitness and nutrition guru with a vested interest in getting me into good shape. I might have to drag him out of the line of fire after all.  He’s also a genuinely nice guy willing to put some effort into helping me out. You rock dude.

    Today was the first day of the program he’s designed/designing for me. Nothing too complicated but I definitely did some work today.

    Oh, and I got fired today too. My company could no longer afford to employ me. They are outsourcing whatever the hell it was I did for them. I suspect it also has something to do with the fact that they know I’m due to deploy pretty soon. They’ve bent over so far backward to accomodate my military requirements to date that I can hardly blame them, though their timing stinks. For me. For them, it’s pretty good.

    Nice severance package at least. Gives me 2.5 months to grind out the end of my novel and get a massive start on the collaboration I’m doing with Brandon.Terrified

    Bloody terrifying, choosing to finish writing projects instead of searching frantically for another 9-5er. I have faith that it will all work out in the end though. I’ve been handed some pretty incredible opportunities on the fiction front, I’d be a fool not to take them.

  • Kyrgyzstan Warm Babies

    As I write this my wife and mother-in-law are bouncing up and down on garbage bags into which they have stuck the sucking end of a vacuum cleaner.

    About a week and a half ago Kristina, my wife, received an email from a friend of ours, Cameo.  Cameo has a friend who is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force at an air base in Kyrgyzstan.  This friend has the opportunity to get outside the wire at least occasionally and he discovered that children in a nearby orphanage, as well as in the surrounding countryside, were actually succumbing to the cold, dying, for want of blankets and warm clothing. He put the word out through Cameo and others.

    I remembered very well, from my own time in Afghanistan, watching in disbelief as the locals walked around the country-side in freezing weather, often through the snow, in nothing but a long shirt and flip-flops, if not barefoot. Kyrgyzstan is north of Afghanistan.

    Kris put the word out through her contacts at our children’s elementary and middle schools.  Thus was born Operation Warm Babies Kyrgyzstan. She’s spent the last three mornings collecting a mountain of warm clothing donated by families dropping off and picking up their kids from school. At the same time she’s selling cookies donated and baked by volunteers for cash.  This money will ship the donated clothing and blankets to the air base.


    FYI: The vacuum cleaner reduces the size of the trash bag filled with snivel gear to about a third the original size. At a later date I’ll post exactly how many pounds of snivel gear was collected and shipped.

  • The Hurt Locker

    The thrust of The Hurt Locker story is the character.  The team sergeant who is reckless and who goes back to the war again and again when he doesn’t have to. That’s compelling, it’s a true character trait. I could relate. It let me examine things about myself and about soldiers in general that do need examining.

    But while pursuing this central story, the writer tossed in either lie after lie, or mistake after mistake, that betrays a basic perception on his part that soldiers generally are casual murderers and liars. (Also that AK47s can hit accurately at more than 300 yards, EOD guys are all sniper qualified, EOD guys regularly run around the countryside completely alone and so forth.) He’s in good company. Hollywood has been promulgating this line of propaganda since at least VietNam.

    On the whole, I liked The Hurt Locker.  The good part of the story, the character arc, could easily have been told without the lies and/or mistakes though.

  • A tragedy

    Drunk woman waving a sword
    Drunk woman waving a sword

    Seriously, we have advocated the use of swords in conflict resolution and personal defense for many years. We were finally making some progress. At long last the whole debate was making its way into the mainstream and getting the serious consideration it deserved.

    Now, in one fell swoop, it’s been reduced, again, to the status of a crazy drunk woman waving her sword in public and threatening to “cut” people.

    I weep for what we have lost.


  • Reagan on Compulsory Government Healthcare

    Reagan on Compulsory Government Healthcare
    Very impressive.
    I’ve heard it argued that Reagan was talking about an early form of Medicare, which program has been implemented without all the terrible consequences he predicted coming to pass, you moron redneck conservative.
    Well, no, actually. Reagan was talking about ‘compulsory’ or ‘government mandated’ health insurance. Medicare ain’t that. The version he was talking about may have been, but that version did not get passed and we don’t have it today. So stop throwing up straw men you whiny suet-filled pseudo-intellectual.
    Of course, if ObamaCare passes, we will have it. The end of the world will soon follow.