Friday, June 30, 2006

One Whole Year

This blog is one whole year old now. Hoorah! Come heap praise upon me and discuss posts that have meant the most to you. I'll make a cake.

Also, my interview is up at Basil's. Check it out.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bugs and Explosions

I met with a guy from International Fire Protection (IFP) today, and he relayed an amazing story to me that I have to share.

He told me about a time when he had to go out to an armament plant in Tennessee. He stopped at the guard station to get signed in, and the guard asked him if he had taken the safety course. The IFP guy said that he hadn’t, but needed to take ‘cause he had to get working on their fire suppression system and wanted to get finished with it quickly. The guard then said, “Let me tell you about mud daubers.” Of course, the IFP guy looked at the guard like he was nuts and replied, “Look, I’m from the south and know all about mud daubers.” , I just need the safety course so I can get some work done.” The guard didn’t want to here that and insisted on trying to get the IFP guy to listen to his mud dauber story. The IFP guy cut him short and told the guard that he didn’t have time to listen to him about bugs. He was getting mad and then the guard started yelling at him about the mud daubers.” . The IFP guy finally gave up and left before he lost his temper all together.

Before the IFP guy even got out of the parking lot, he received a call from his boss. His boss told him to go back inside, the guard had already called him and let him know he was very sorry, and wanted him to come back so he could apologize and let the IFP guy get his work done.

The IFP guy went back to the guard station, where the guard met him and apologized. The guard said, “Look, I apologize for getting mad. I needed to explain something to you and probably went about it the wrong way. We make C-4 here. After it’s formed into bricks, we rinse the machines where excess residue and material are stored in a sump. The mud daubers have started using this as the building material for their nests. I needed to let you know, that if you saw a mud daubers nest, not to touch it. If you look outside, you see the buildings labeled 1,2,3,5,6,7? You see one missing? Those nests are dangerous.”

The IFP guy asked, “I thought it took pressure and heat to make C-4 explode?”

The guard replied, “So did we. If you see a nest, call me and I’ll take care of it.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Exercise in Futility Week 1

I started going to the gym last week and have actually made it through a whole seven days without quitting so far. Good for me. It’s been tough since I haven’t really gone to the gym in the last five years. The first week is always the worse, and this last week has reminded me how much I hate exercising. I’ll explain.

The first day I worked out my chest and triceps. I knew I was going to be sore, but didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be able to smoke a cigarette without looking like I had cerebral palsy. I could have completed the whole look if I just had a handkerchief tied to my hand and drooled. So there was that and my legs were so tired after my run that I used the Segway, that my work has for me to use, to get around between buildings, which makes me look gay. So just after the first day I looked like a queer cripple.

The next day, while looking like a queer cripple, I worked out my back and biceps. I hoped this would even out the sore and stiff muscles from my first work out. It helped a little. I was able to reach my face now but unable to extend my arm fully. So in the end I still looked like I had cerebral palsy. My run again made my legs tired, so again I used the Segway to get around. I guess my plan didn’t work like I had wanted it to.

Day three I decided that since most of my muscles were sore and stiff, the best thing to do was just some abs and lower back exercises. Of course, I still ran my 25 minutes but it wasn’t as bad. I rode the Segway again because, well, I’m starting to like riding around on it. It still makes me look queer, but I’m secure enough in my heterosexuality not to care.

I ended up working out six out of the seven days of the week. I still plan to take Sundays off since I need one day to totally relax and not work up a sweat. I’m not even going to look at a scale until my clothes start to get too big. I really don’t care much about weight anyway. If I weighed 500lb but looked good it wouldn’t bother me. I’ll keep you updated on the gym experiment.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father’s Day Pop

Today is Father’s Day, and because I’m such a wonderful son, I’m giving my dad two of his favorite things: Beer and Boobies. The video game below has both. If your work doesn’t have the sense to block this thing out, just know that the girls will show their boobies if you play well enough, so it's not safe for work. All you have to do is catch the falling beer without missing three. Enjoy dad.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Phat History Lesson Hooah Pic

So, there I was; no shit, on a mission in Kosovo with one of the best teams ever assembled in LRS history. It was six soldiers that not only did I trust, but also were competent in their jobs. It was B-Cack, Will, Jones, Mofo Falco, Puffy, and yours truly. We inserted in the dead of night and due to stupid regulations forced on us by the brass, we had to immediately make a command decision. You see, because it was a “peace keeping” mission we were not allowed to have our weapons loaded unless we felt that the situation warranted it. Jones asked if everyone felt “safe” and we all replied we would feel safer if we had our weapons locked and loaded. So off we went, quietly moving towards our objective with a 30 round magazine ready to be fired with extreme prejudice.

Normally when moving it’s best not to have your night vision goggles on. We let the lead scout wear his and then we followed the “cat eyes” (glow in the dark patches) on the back of his patrol cap. With night vision goggles on, depth perception is a real pain. It’s also hard to tell the difference between a puddle, a shadow, and a hole. The problem with not wearing your night vision goggles is that occasionally the cat eyes that you’re following disappear. Whether they disappeared because the person fell, or that they walked through some foliage and they’re just out of sight is something you can’t tell until you either fall or get a face full of branches. Thankfully it was a clear night and visibility was good until we started walking through thick forest.

Falling while on a mission sucks. Besides the double basic load you’re carrying, you also have a rucksack that weighs in excess of 90 lbs. When you fall, this heavy rucksack has the knack of making sure it slides up your back and rests on your head making it almost impossible to get back up without help. If you happen to fall backwards and have the pleasure of not having your face pushed in the dirt, you end up looking like a dying turtle until you get righted.

All was well on the mission, but we were moving a lot slower than we expected. Looking at maps and aerial photographs don’t help you when you are estimating the amount of time it will get you from point A to point B. We end up having to hold up during the day in some thick brush and finish moving to the objective when it got dark again. We get set down to wait out the day, and Mofo Falco decides to break his camel back and lose 2 liters of water all over the ground. Normally this isn’t a problem. Everyone usually brings more than enough water to last the mission and then some. We can share; it’s a short mission any how.

Night falls, and we’re back on the trail to our objective. Everything is going well. We reach our objective and split the team. Half of us go to put eyes on the objective, the other half finds the thickest nastiest stuff to crawl into to set up a commo site. B-Cack, Will, and Mofo Falco head off to put eyes on the objective. Puffy, Jones and I set up the commo gear and prepare to send sitreps and intel. Now it’s just waiting. This is possibly one of the most boring things in the world. The objective was quiet with nothing to report. That means the only thing we had to send to the rear where sitreps letting them know we were doing well. When nothing is going on, all you do is eat, sleep, and be bored.

We’re already three days into the mission when I get orders from the rear letting us know that our mission had been extended a day. Remember when I told you that Mofo Falco lost those 2 liters of water? Ya, well later that day, I get a call from B-Cack saying that Mofo Falco was dehydrated and they couldn’t stick a vein to give him an IV. This means that me, Jones, and Puffy have to pack up and move to their location so that I can administer an IV. Even though I’m not a heroin addict, I have mad skills at sticking needles in people. I got his vein on the first try and we let him take in 2000 ml of .09 Sodium Chloride to get him hydrated. With that taken care of, we head back to our commo site.

The mission was finally over and now it was time for the team to head out. We packed up our stuff and as soon as it got dark we got on the move towards the extraction site. About halfway to the extraction site, no one had water. I’ll try to explain how thirsty we were. Me and B-Cack were so thirsty that we actually tried to drink the IV. Salt water is not tasty. I gagged a couple of sips down, but my mouth still felt like it was filled with cotton balls (heh he said balls). If we would have had some Kool-Aid it would have been fine, and probably pretty tasty, but no one bothered to save that part of the MRE. So about the time I was ready to try drinking some more salt water out of an IV bag, we get the call that the bird is in route. Everyone extracted; no one hurt; a successful mission.

The only on side effect of the mission that stayed with me for a few weeks was the rash that I had that went from my belt line to my neck. That crap that we crawled through and laid in for 4 days, turned out to be poison ivy. I never bothered bringing a sleeping pad and just laid on the ground. I never itched, until we walked to our extraction site. It turns out once I sweated through my clothes (yes I wore the same uniform for 4 days, it’s not pretty but you don’t want to be engaged while your changing clothes.) and all the oils from the poison ivy soaked through my top, it made one heck of an itchy mess.

This is a pic taken from that mission. This was staged (the picture not the mission). We were about to go to the extraction site and just made our last com shot to the rear, when Will told me to hold on while he took a picture. He took the picture using black and white film. I think it made it turn out better. Who wants a picture that’s filled with the color green? The reason my face is darker than my hands is because of the face paint. I want to thank Will for sending me the pic.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Meandering Thoughts

I was going to write a Phat History Lesson, but I haven’t gotten the picture that was sent to me scanned yet. I think that the picture is important for the story, since it relates directly to the mission that I’m going to tell you about. Instead, I’m going to write about the few thoughts that I’ve had during my two week hiatus. Believe me when I say it was only a few thoughts, as I try not to tax myself by thinking that often.

World Cup soccer has been front and center at my house. Despite most Americans not really caring for the sport of soccer, I feel it’s important to support the American team as much as possible (even if they lose 3 to 0), especially since they play in such a hostile environment. Most soccer fans are fanatical and they tend to take the game to a point that makes them look like blood thirsty morons that like to say stupid things. So screw everyone else; Go USA!

I did get to watch the Mexico vs. Iran match over the weekend. It was hard to know who to cheer for. Do you cheer for the team that represents a country that’s invading yours or do you cheer for a country that is being run by a mad man that wants nuclear weapons so he can destroy the JOOOOOOS? Plus the flags for both the countries look almost alike. Well, the Iranians do use a more sissy green on their flag.

I’ve almost been blogging a year. I’m not sure if this is an accomplishment or if it means I don’t know when to quit. I think I’ve matured a lot since starting this thing, and that means I’ve become less funny. I look back through the archives and say to myself, what the hell was I thinking that day.

I had a chance to actually speak to CUG. It’s kind of surreal to speak to some one that you’ve never met. I guess that’s why I never called one of those phone sex lines. I think that I impressed my Yankee friend with my stellar grasp of the English language and by not using the word y’all once during the conversation. Busting stereotypes one conversation at a time.

Tomorrow I will go to the gym for the first time in 5 years. I waited till the middle of the week to go back so that way my arms should work again in time for me to mow the yard this weekend. I’ll probably loose a lot of weight just because I won’t be able to get a fork close to my mouth for a few days after I work my triceps out. I’ll also start doing some cardio by using the elliptical runner. I hope I don’t slip off of it, because it looks like it can do a lot of damage if I get tangled up in it.

I hope that this last two weeks off will be the last time I spend that much time off from my blog. I can’t promise anything though. I’ll do my best and keep everyone posted on my experience at the gym and hopefully will be able to get the Phat History lesson done here in the next few days. Thanks for reading everyone.