Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This really, really sucks.

link 1.

link 2.

Both links are in regards to a recent event in a city just north of me. To make a long story short, a cop stopped to assist a disabled motorist. Officer Keith Laughlin, 26, was apparently between his squad car and the SUV when a drunk driver crashed into the SUV, pinning the Officer between vehicles.

Laughlin, despite having what would most definitely qualify as a Pretty Bad Day, was able to call in to, you know, request some help for his crushed legs.

I don't care who you are, that takes some big brass ones, right there.

It has been reported that the Turd-in-Question had the smell of alcohol on him and, (surprise, surprise) has been arrested for DWI as recently as Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, asshole.

The few 'good' things about this story, I suppose, is that it sounds like Officer Laughlin is going to be ok. I don't know if the man is going to be able to resume his career in Law Enforcement that he started in friggin' April (on patrol for only 2 months!), but at least he'll be able to eventually go home to his wife and 7 month old child. As it happened on duty, I trust that Keith's expenses are going to pretty much be taken care of, but there are a few drives set up and hats being passed around for him and others here and here.

The timing of this will hopefully impress upon those that need it the importance of planing ahead. Walk, get a ride, call a cab- hell, sleep it off somewhere if you have to. In this day and age, there are even organizations that will give folks a free ride home, if all else fails.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Hangover, pt 1

Everybody have a good holiday?

I know, I know, too short and too expensive.

Perhaps the best thing that we did, starting a few years back, was the 'gifts fund'.

I had been at the time perusing the on-line bank accounts funds withdrawn and- debating between razor-blades, exotic poisons, or high-buildings- decided that we needed to do something about overspending during the holidays, without going back to putting everything on credit cards... it was getting outta control.

We made a list.

We checked it twice.


Immediate family got an amount penciled in for gifts spending. Extended family and some friends got another. A calculator and a few choice words later, and the amounts eventually got down to a somewhat manageable level. We took this final number, divided it by the number of paychecks, and we had an amount that we'd take out of every paycheck, in anticipation of future purchases. We weren't always successful with taking the intended amount out from every paycheck (still learning), but fairly close and we usually made up for it when the next one rolled around.

It wasn't all that much, but it added up.

What made it real interesting was, when the Gifts Fund started to add up (along with other accounts and funds), I started noticing more and more deals on my Man-Toys. Talk about torture! Fortunately, I was able to suppress the urge(s), (more or less), and continue to save up.

Now, last Christmas wasn't all that great due to a non-financial situation, so this year was the first where we were able to utilize the 'buying gifts from the Christmas Fund' plan. After thoughts... I'm going to need to increase the amount taken out per check, but only by a little bit. When it comes to planning gifts for female kin that are 'in a family way', I'm going to take a large step back (read: run like hell) and let someone else handle the actual purchasing.

Some friendly advice re: (any) guy shopping for a (pregnant) woman.

1: Be very, very, very, careful.

2: Wear protection.

3: Yes, 'protection'.

4: (if applicable) No, not that type, horndog - too late.

5, 6, 7, 8... 101, 102, 103... : Be prepared to apologize. Profusely.

1,346,233: You are wrong.

1,346,234: Hell hath no fury like a woman. (yes, that's a period) ((no, not that 'period'))

fin: Eventually, you'll figure out the benefits of staying out of sight and out of mind...

Hmmm, sounds kind of like a good start for Rules of Marriage, actually...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry... christmas.

Only 365 shopping days left...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One More Day

Less than, actually.

I just got back from the super-wallymart for a couple of gallons of milk, and I damn near killed 12 annoying people, 3 shopping carts, and an overhead music system....

...'in a pear tree
'. (<---there's my Christmas Spirit, drink it up, y'all.)

Justifiable homicide, I'm certain.

It's also a rough time if you tend to have a news channel on somewhat regularly, as I do. Like now, for instance, just tippity-tappiting away on my laptop, I can almost guarantee hearing the following upon flipping through the channels...

"...the world's most perfectly cut diamon-"


"... [orgasmosigh & flashing ring] he went to Jarro-"


"... so come to America's number one jewelry sto-"


"[woman, sitting on bench] ...but I don't remember this spot. [man, kneeling] you will..."


"... every 'kiss' begins with-"


Almost makes me long for ole Billy and whatever crap he's selling nowadays, as weird as that sounds... well, not quite.

Things That Make You Go, 'HHHhmmmm'

I'll be the first to admit, there's some stuff that I've done shooting-wise that aren't dancing-through-the-daises safe, in both training and deployed 'festivities'.

I was joking about the forward roll thing, from the last post...

Monday, December 22, 2008

(Quite Obviously) Volk &/or Tam, I ain't.

Like I said before, rode hard & put up wet a time or two, but still...

...shoots pretty good.

Take your pick of shooty info:

a) One (1) full magazine, emptied rapid-fire (weak hand), after first leaping from a moving vehicle, executing a forward roll, dodging flaming arrows from ninjas, shooting behind the back and blindfolded. Ready for movie roles, $$$, and groupies.

b) From a distance of .5 yds, supported kneeling, 1 rd/min (approx), utilizing spotter, windflags, and jerry-rigged scope. Ready to invade internet forums with mah awesomeness.

c) Shooting from a distance of, "bout here's good" and at a medium pace. Having fun w/every shot.

Good times.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inter-Service Moto


A couple of posts ago, I linked to Big Tobacco's blog, regarding a vid he did.

Motivator noticed the awesome swell of (near) double-digit traffic, and graciously sent me the embed.

I've heard that Army song a couple of times since seeing his clip, and it's made me chortle every time. Probably will too, for awhile.

Watch, then go and be snarky.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Speaking of Gifts...

Not funny.

I mean it.


No, not even as a joke.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bah. Hum. Bug. (part doh!)

Guess what I'm getting as an early Christmas present?

Four new car tires!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Semper Hooah.

The War on Big Tobacco: Burn Before Reading

Click play and feel the motivation wash all over ya.


Bah. Hum. Bug.

A couple of years back My Love and I bought our first house. That is a number of stories in and of itself, but I'll skip forward a bit to the point of this post. What comes after purchasing a house?

You get to put stuff in it.

Now, I'm a guy [last time I checked] so, in typical guy fashion, I'm not really too big on interior decor.

Shocker, I know.

That's not to say that I don't appreciate having stuff, I really do. Lemme put it this way; in my previous - [insert marriage-mandatory descriptions of; cold, lonely, miserable, solitary existence, without the benefit of the guiding light of my life, without whom I would continue to be a miserable excuse for a wretched human being] - bachelor life, for a short while I kept my clothes in a bag and slept on the floor of my apartment. So I appreciate having nice stuff, it's just that right now we already have stuff, it's the spending money on upgrades that I'm not exactly crazy about.

It was a battle, of sorts, and I appreciate her letting me think that I ultimately had any choice in the matter.

Said battle was on the spending of money. We'd already paid off everything but the mortgage, and had a bit of cash saved up. I was all for continuing to save, or perhaps spending it on truly worthwhile stuff like guns, ammo, big-screen tvs, fancy cigars, a bar, and perhaps a motorcycle or three. She wanted to buy nice furniture to replace the second hand stuff we'd used in our previous apartment/hovel.

So off we went, furniture shopping.

She did the research, I did the sulking and pining away for Daddy's oft-delayed toy collection, and eventually 'we' decided that 'we' had found exactly what 'we' always wanted for 'our' house and 'our' bedroom set. We walked into the local Furniture Store to pretty much get a last minute eyeball of the bedroom set and to start making the purchase.

Saleslady was good to go as far as they go, friendly and nice. My Love knew what 'we' wanted, but she had spared me on exactly what the price was. I had only just come-to after hearing the sticker price when some bastard explained to me that the number wasn't even for the whole set, just for the one fancy hoo-ya that you put a tv and blankets in. Some fancy-frenchy sounding name, and it didn't even come with a frisky-Frenchy, to ease (my) financial pain.

At the price, I thought it really should.

So we gave the lady our cash, she took down our info, and we were all set. She did kind of push hard for us to purchase the entire set (yeah, right!), but we explained to her that we'd be paying cash, not credit- no thanks, don't want to finance through the store, thanks - yeah, we understand that the set could go out of production (pleasepleaseplease, baby Jesus!) - just this one piece, for now, thanks. I didn't really begrudge her for the push, just her job, after all.

That whole process went ok. We got the delivery confirmation call a few days later, moving guys brought it in, dragged it upstairs, set it up and everything. It really does look good, and I'm sure we'll have it for the foreseeable future.

A few months later I decided to order the li'l tables you put on either side of the bed, for her birthday. I had scrounged up a bit more cash, took another long, depressed look at my various catalogues, and sulked my way back to the store. Same lady was there, and we did the dirty deed. Not as pricey as the first time, but it was still grimace-worthy.

Now, blame it on the mortars, IEDs, or what-have-you, but I hear (ha!) that the volume on my phone is a bit on the loud side. It works for me, so that the level I keep it at. I was having a grand old time tormenting My Love with false clues as to what she was going to get for her birthday one afternoon, sitting in the living room chatting, when my phone rang. Loud enough for apparently the entire neighborhood to hear, as she tells it, the lady from the furniture store yammered on about the delivery confirmation for our new bed-side tables. Mystery was kaput, after that, but she still loved the heck outta the things.

It was awhile back when I landed on the idea of what to get her for her Christmas gift. This was going to be the truly bend-right-over-and-take-it-in-the-wallet-pillaging item, so I knew that she didn't expect it at all. I had scrimped and saved like I usually do, mournfully drove right past the local gun store to the evil furniture nemesis shop of my doom. Quite surprisingly, they were again more than happy to take my money.


Well, I got the delivery-confirmation call yesterday afternoon from the store.

I was napping at the time.

Industrious lady / recent arrival to My List (and brand new top 10 member), after not getting ahold of me, looked into the store's records. Searching way back to the original purchase, she located another contact number for us.

It was My Love's cell phone number.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mmmm, Holiday Food

Is it too late to add this to my favorite Christmas songs list?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Great Googly Moogly!

You don't see this every day.

U.S. anti-kidnap expert kidnapped in Mexico.

Reports from the article was that the guy was down south for seminars dealing with his area of expertise. It also mentions that the area he was in was 'relatively safe' *snort*. He was taken after stepping outside a restaurant to take a phone call.


Is there nowhere truly safe, anymore?

Give y'all a clue. Nope.

Now of course I hope for the best when it comes to this unfortunate fellow, that he is released quickly and without harm. I couldn't help but think that if only he had access to some means of defending himself, some method of ensuring that he would be able to keep from harm should he be attacked by those who would bring him ill-will, maybe he wouldn't be in this unfortunate position...

Yes, I'm talking about dodge-ball classes from the President's personal trainer. Whoever that guy is, give him a raise.

Now, I understand that there were most likely many requirements, restrictions and considerations that the security detail were working with, but holy-hell, that's the friggin' President of the friggin' U.S. of friggin' A.! There should have been at the very least a hit that would've made any NFL defensive player weep tears of enlightenment and types like me cackle at the righteous violence. Now, I'll give 'em credit, they subdued the guy fairly quickly, as well they should have- you notice the guy's white socks? Heck, even I know that white socks are a no-no in that attire. We should have seen a few flying elbows and/or noogies, just for the socks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Things that go boom...

In May of this past year, I attended a family reunion of my mother's side of the family. Other than size, it was fairly typical of a standard family reunion, some folks I haven't seen in awhile, some who probably wish it could have been longer between reunions, more of my cousins with kiddos of their own, etc.

My favorite part is meeting new boyfriends/girlfriends of some of my younger cousins and seeing the expression on their faces when they realize that quite a few folk weren't even able to make it. (I can usually get away with introducing myself by at least 3 or 4 different names, 'cause it's almost all going in one ear, passing behind the glazed eyes, and out the other ear.) Yeah, my grandparents had well north of a dozen kiddos, so multiply that by significant others, their children (my level), and then great-grand kids... well, it can be slightly overwhelming. Heck, I have to review the family tree sometimes just to make sure I have it straight re: who's married to who- the offspring of aunt & uncle so-and-so.

Even with the no-shows it was a pretty large gathering, so last years reunion was held at one of my uncles farm, with some staying at the main house, some in RVs, some younger kids in the barn I think, and others in crappy, overpriced little hotels in the neighboring town (guess where I stayed).

Lots o' space on my Uncle's farm.

Plenty of uncles who hunt, recreationaly shoot, and collect guns n' stuff.

Yup, didn't take long for a shooting range to be set up down the way.

Of course, once the shooting started my ears sorta perked up and swiveled around and I lost interest in BBQ & conversation, causing My Love to laugh. She cautioned me not to spend too much time shooting with my uncles and cousins...

So the first day of shooting was pretty much handguns and a few shotguns, nothing too wild, just whatever some of the guys had in their trucks, RVs, or laying around the farm. The second day, well, that was special.

Early the second morning some of the uncles broke out their hunting rifles, project guns, antique guns, how-the-heck-does-this-thing-still-shoot guns, reloads, dare-ya-to-shoot-this guns, gizmos to measure bullet speeds, and (my favorite), old stories. My grandfather showed off and let us shoot a few pistols and rifles that he brought back from WWII and some that he had collected throughout the years. Most of my uncles had seen and shot these weapons many times before, but I was like a kid in a friggin' candy store [drool]. Grandfather asked me if we had been able to keep personally owned 'emergency pistols' over in Iraq, and seemed kind of disturbed when I told him that we were most definitely NOT allowed to do so. After I told him about the many, many, many shakedowns that we underwent to prevent anyone bringing anything back he grunted and told me how when they were sailing back the only restrictions on bringing back weapons was that they not be loaded. Some of his buddies had bags o' guns...


Other than the 'story guns', one of the pistols that I particularly liked was this old CZ-85. It looked like it was older than I am from apparently serving a bit of time as a truck gun, resulting in plenty of wear and tear to the finish. The slide stop and safety lever were thumbed silver from repeated use and contrasted nicely with the rest of the gun. The grips were wood, faded and dirty, complimenting the overall dirty/dusty color of the rest of the gun. The right side of the rear sight was the only one that had all its paint left, and it was pretty faded.

It shot like a champ.

This was surely due to the fact that I'm a natural born pistol-yoda, but the fact that it's still a good gun on the inside might've had something to do with it, I suppose.

Later on in the festivities, I was talking to Mom about family plans, people, and whatnot,when she asked me about the shooting. She told me that she had heard that Baby Sis and Little Brother had also fired off a few rounds and even managed not to shoot any eyes out. I told her that they did pretty good, we all had a great time, and I had been smitten with this little 9m that I had shot. I was already contemplating getting ahold of one to use for personal plinking and to offer a bit of variety to my humble collection when it came to going to the range with new and/or tentative shooters.

She took note of which of my Uncles it belonged to.

Fortunately for me, he had been considering finding it a new home, someone who'd take care of it and give it some TLC. He felt kind of bad at some of the treatment it had undergone, and was happy to send it off to a new home.


Sorry all (&/or Jay), I seem to be having some camera issues (no pics for you!), but in the vein of personal shooty goodness, there's some stuff I kinda like over here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How Silly

... to think that any man ever really gets out of the doghouse...


And no, I don't want to talk about it... I'm in enough trouble as it is.


From yesterday's post,

...due to our geographical location, the concept of snowy fields was negotiable...

Yesterday's high temperature here in Central Texas was 81 degrees, as some reported.

It snowed last night and this morning.

I'm still waiting for the word that Texas has been closed for the day...

Go ahead, marvel at my power.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An Age Old Question & Finding Perfection

Well, maybe not age old, but fairly well debated, nowadays.

Real vs Fake: what do you prefer?

Just about everyone has their preferences, of course, and most will let you know about 'em.

'Real ones tend to sag, droop, and look a bit lifeless after time, whereas falsies stay perky forever.'

'I want mine as nature intended / Fake ones just feel weird.'

'My man paid for it.'

'Real, fake, whatever.'

'It's not what's above, it's what's below that counts!'

Was that last one a bit much?

Interestingly enough, most women that I know have very strong opinions about sticking au natural- see, Christmas just wouldn't be the same, otherwise.


I'm talking about Christmas trees, you pervs!

So anyways, My Love and I a few years back had The Big Christmas Tree Debate. I didn't really have strong opinions either way, but my folks always had a fake tree, and we did all right. Fake trees might cost a bit more, tree for tree, but I was kind of keen on the reusability factor. No muss, no fuss, just toss that bad boy down from the attic, set it up, and voila! - time to decorate everything else risking life and limb on the rooftops..., and risking life and 'limb' when you find out that her treasured childhood stuffed animal collection is NOT to be staged in an erotic fashion.


And especially not on top of the Christmas Tree, mantle, dining table, or guest beds when family is expected. (In my defense, I didn't know they'd be there that early, honest!)

Back to the story and quite naturally, my opinions were duly pondered (for about this ][ long) , and rejected. See, My Lovely had always had a Real Live (sort of) tree for Christmas, growing up (her, not the newly hewn sacrifice to the Christmas Spirit). She had visions of us searching pristine and well ordered fields for The Perfect Tree. As I came to understand it, due to our geographical location, the concept of snowy fields was negotiable. Excess Christmas Crack pulsing through her veins was not. Bah.

Interestingly enough, after much excruciating searching of the area, we found that in our area of the great state of Texas, these idyllic fields of Christmas Trees are all located at the local Home Depot, outdoor area.

I was only slightly enthused by the fact that there appeared to be an overeager young kid to assist us with our purchase. I'll give the guy credit, he was crawling all over the place, searching amongst the stacked and bound offerings to find 'that perfect one'. Finally, she was satisfied and I was only slightly homi/sui-cidal from the temps (low), time (long), and nearby shoppers (annoying).

He offered to help strap the tree down for us.

It was at this time that I remembered a few smaller items that I was meaning to get (read: stuff she told me to fix around the house but I just remembered about). So I tossed her the keys, reminded/mumbled to her about her previous marching orders, and off I went. I returned to the car just as the kid was slapping his hands of the roughly 20 lbs of needles produced/min that our tree gave off and tightening the last knots of the cords that held the tree strapped to the car's roof.

She was all smiles. I, for about the first time that evening, was also sporting a grin. Immediately noticing the change in my countenance, she was probably suspecting a psychotic break and asked me what was wrong. "Oh, nothing, my love. Let's just get in the car and go home, m'kay?"

I let her tug on the door handle a couple of times before I pointed out that the cords, while excellently tied, very effectively secured all four doors shut. I suggested that we enter the car Dukes style, but that idea got shot down as well.

Not that big of a deal, we got the tree tied down correctly (I was just happy to find that I wouldn't have to drive w/one hand out the window, holding that sucker down while cruising down the highway). Off we went.

Back at the house, I expeditiously removed the tree from the car's roof (cut the cord with my knife and heaved ho, ho, ho-ed), dumping another 50 lbs or so on the yard, quite conveniently covering up at least two of the dead-grass brown spots. I managed to drag that sucker up the short walkway, up the steps, and into the house, losing ever more needles (I figured I'd turn the naked half of the tree to the corner of the room). It only took about two tries before we realized that our tree was too tall for our living room, by the roughly 6 in skid-looking marks on the ceiling that faintly exist to this day. Awesome.

Finally, the tree was trimmed, somewhat still nettled, propped up and decorated. Yay, 'cause after you get the tree up, yer done preppin' for Christmas, right?


I did have fun positioning those stuffed animals, though... I always do.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Can Be Such A Li'l Stinker

Seems like it's always those sporty-type cars that're riding my bumper like I'm a big booty gal shakin' what my momma gave me (Hay-ay!)... Well, a few days back I was driving down the road, minding my own business, when I had one of those right on my ass....

I was minding my own business, be-boppin' to the surely-to-be classic, 'I Kissed A Girl' (Man, that song never gets old, just as good the millionth time as the first!). I looked in the rear view mirror to see this car come speeding up right behind me. Something red, pretty asspensive, and very shiny. The driver, Miss Sweet Thang, was applying her make-up while talking on the phone.

Don't ask me what she was steering with, I'd be afraid to realize it was her penis...

What? She... (?) was a good lookin' chica!

So anyways, she's on my butt *snicker*, in the right lane, at the speed limit. I figure she's in a hurry to make the next exit ramp.

Nope. Not that one, at least.

She stays on my ass, close enough that I can't see her headlights, for two more exits.

I glance around at the sparsley occupied lanes to my left. I look around at my 10 yr+ old car, back at her shiny and new, clean car.

Hmm, her clean...

My windshield sure is dirty, must've been all that driving on those dirt roads...

*squirt, squirt*

I LOLed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...'

Some pictures that bring out the true sentiment of the Christmas spirit...


... for me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Somedays, It's Just Better To Stay In Bed


Why did I run those stairs again...?

Went to the range this morning, and I'm on the verge of declaring it a 'learning experience'.

Started out as I usually do, dry-fire from the holster, low & high ready, everything feeling good. COLD, but gun-wise good.

Got my ears on, called range hot, and started firing a few practice relays. The dummy rounds I put into my mags kept me honest, for the most part.

I quickly found out that my jacket is too 'poofy'.

Why yes, that is a technical phrase.

I found that as I would draw from the holster (right-handed), I've a tendency to flare my right thumb in anticipation to lay it on top of my left thumb. In warm weather this is no problem, but with the above mentioned poofy jacket, there were a couple of times when my left hand would rise up to support... not a damn thing, as my right hand's thumb was caught up in the right pocket of my jacket. Whoops.

Empty the mags, ready to shoot for score. Doin' the ICE qualification, feeling like ice, this morning...

First round, at 3 ft from target, bent-elbow shooting, from the holster.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast...

"Shooters ready?... The Shooters are ready.."

There's the target... draw... *Boom!* scan... tuck & re-holster... target turns again... draw & crap,snaggedonthefriggin'pocket-therewego,extendand... *click* whatthe-taprack*Boom!*... *click* sonofamother-taprack *Boom*!

... and it went pretty much downhill from there. I took a moment to clear and break down the weapon, nothing major out of place, slide-release worked fine, nothing blatantly out of whack. I suspected I was limp-wristing it, but was leaning more towards blaming the gun, the weather, the sun in my eyes... or heck, global warming.

I am, after all, a self-declared master combat super tactical expert pistol sniper...

For the record, I must've shot two bullets perfectly into one hole at the 15 yd line- uh, again. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

At least I can say that I got some great immediate-action drill practice in this morning. Darn near from every shooting line, to boot.

Transitioning from standing to kneeling was fun, lemme tell 'ya. Nothing like slamming yer knee onto a frozen rock while trying to not whimper from running those stairs the other day like I was friggin' Rocky, or something.

25 yards, shooting from cover... two standing shots, two kneeling (greeeaat), reload and prep for shooting on the other side of the cover, again two standing, two kneeling...

"Shooters ready? The Shooters are ready, standby...

The targets turned, my draw was good, extension was ok, first four shots were fine. Kneeling down again *groan*, I took my first shot from the kneeling on the left side of the barricade. I was so dialed in on the front sight post that barely registered the gun-light flying off the frame.

Figures... heck, I should be happy it's only happened once!

End result? Pretty good (considering), but not great. Heck, a bad day at the range is still a good day, right?

Naturally, runing through the course of fire again and for the heck of it resulted in no problems. None, zip, zero, nada.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Murphy's Criminal Friendly Neighborhood Tips...


*brrrring.... brrrring*

Hey, brain donor, it's the clue phone! It's for you!

1. Home invasion (in Texas) is a risky 'business'.

2. I don't really understand those that abandon their vehicles in an attempt to out-run the cops... in their squad vehicles... all with radios, and granted I've never been in a running away situation so mebbe I'm not the best to offer advice here, but a friggin' golf cart is probably not gonna be much better of a choice.

3. Kinda hard to cry 'Poor me!' when you have a stolen car in your garage...

Kudos to the boys in blue for commandeering their own cart to give chase. I'd love to see that tape!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Book Memery

Via Xtine.

1. English wasn't Dad's first language, but one he learned quite well, eventually. As the story goes, he had a good grasp of the basics but a heckofa strong accent when he first came to the states.

He was quite keen on the kiddos learning, early and well.

I think perhaps it was too much stressed too soon, but I distinctly remember dreading Sunday mornings because I knew that the weekly grilling over words in the comics section was coming. It caught on eventually, and instead of getting grief over not learning words quickly enough, I'd get grief for getting into the Sunday paper and pretty much destroying it in my search for the comics.

2. There were some lean times, financially, in my family. We always had food on the table and clothes on out butts, but there were times when the money just wasn't there. The library became a regular weekly fixture. Mom would load up the kiddos and take us over. There weren't any rules as far as what to pick out, and I would load up on all kinds of books.

3. This is where I mention that I've always read quite a bit, and pretty fast, but from what I've read of other bloggers, that really isn't random or weird, just par for the course. Besides, as fast as I did read, Little Brother read about twice as fast... booger.

4. I got some grief in some of my high school english classes for reading other books than what was assigned in class. The problem was that I'd have already read and sometimes re-read the assigned material, and spending quality reading time in class reading it over again wasn't something that I was terribly keen on doing.

5. My favorite classes in College were the Medieval lit classes. Good stuff, once you got the hang of middle english spelling. The stories were pretty gruesome, too, so that was kind of cool.

6. When I had some free time in Iraq, I was usually reading. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of 'lit' books we got in care packages, but I was honestly just as happy reading the usual page turners like King, Morrell, Koontz, etc.

7. I'm on my 4th copy of Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire. Great book. Two times I've loaned it out only to get it back pretty worn out. One book I re-read, dog-eared, spilled food on, and basically took with me everywhere for a couple of days (I was taking my time on the third readthrough of that book, m'kay?), and I eventually had to replace it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Movies

Somehow, someway, some folks out there in bloggyland have gotten the impression that I'm not a huge fan of Christmas.

Go figure.

Dunno if it's fond memories or improved technology, but I must admit the Christmas movies do seem to be getting better and better every year...

No trickery or nuthin' *snert*, but there's (technically) no vulgar language in the clip. Feel free to turn it way up.

Been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I thought I'd take a moment to let y'all know what kind of stuff goes running through my 'mind' the past few days.

What a difference a year makes...

Remember the '15 min prior' rule? That's the one that runs along the line of a Battalion Commanding Officer talking to his Executive Officer. He tells his XO that he wants to hold a formation at 1800. The word travels down the chain of command, from Officer to Occifer, Senior Staff NCOs to Staff, around and about to everyone that has something to say about it. By the time it gets down to my level, I'm standing tall in formation with my guys at 0745 that morning, wondering why the Battalion formation is running late...

Preparing for large family gatherings around say... Thanksgiving, for example - is kind of like that. Timelines are more of general suggestions and/or loosely held guidelines, especially with select members of the family.

Know what isn't a general suggestion?


One of the only things that's more fun than the 15 min. prior rule is the to-my-knowledge unnamed rule that deals with visits by a General. Before a General arrives, you better believe there is a massive 15 minute rule applied, but even more so than that is the advanced preparation. The guy could be planning to not even go anywhere near your shop/office/barracks/heads/whatever - but the cleanup... *Oy, vey!* Floors will be buffed to panty-viewing perfection, weapons will be lick-dried if necessary, and grass will be cut, by hand and by individual grass blade, if possible. All this and the Man is only going to visit the other side of the base... again. Yeah, we kind of had that goin' on this weekend. I almost expected My Love to tell me that she wanted the Virgin Mary herself to be proud to come over to take a- well, you know.

The next time I tell myself that I'm gonna go on a good run on Thanksgiving morning and not eat so much that night... I'm actually going to do it... hopefully. I'm lucky if I can get up enough steam for a good waddle, right now.

On a related note, in my life I've gathered up quite a few skills that, while not necessary enjoyable, in the moment make life a bit easier. Lamaze breathing and relaxation techniques on the throne is a good example of one of those skills.

I figure I've still got a few days before I get tired of turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pies, turkey stew, turkey a la mode, turkey jerky, turkey subs, fried turkey, turkey gravy, turkey jello, etc, etc, and etc...

Eric, I have no idea who you are, but you're on my list, buddy, and it ain't my Christmas list...

I love watching some good football games on a full belly - but I try to avoid thinking too much about it. If I did, I'd get pissed all over again about the way things are run and the way that certain players act. When I become king of the word I'm going to institute a single elimination tournament system. To make it interesting, elimination will be done with axes. Should make for some good times.

Speaking of interesting times, what the heck is going on with the players (again)? If I was making that kind of money to play a game, the only time I'd leave the house would be to do charity work, feed the homeless, and help the nuns at the orphanages. Sheesh.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanks, ABWF...

... the check's in the mail.

You know that deal that you do when walking in say, a hallway, down a sidewalk or wherever when you just about run into someone? Yeah, the ole, half-shuffle to the left, lean right, grin/nod, juke left & turn right, say, "thank you for the dance" and mosey on your way- all movements, of course, mirror-imaged by the other person?

I about did that while running this morning, with a van... sort of.

So there I was, running at my usual easy pace of a five minute mile, only a 20lb pack on my back, invigorated by the fresh air and exercise, breezing along for the adoring ladies- aw heck, who'm I kidding...

I was gamely trying for the wheezy-shuffle that would only somewhat disgust my sense of pt proprietary while praying for a stroke, compound fracture in a non-painful area, or good-sized meteor that would give me a reasonable excuse to slow down, stop, pass-out, or die - when I noticed the van. I was 'running' on the pavement towards the occasional oncoming traffic of my subdivision, the van was parked on my side of the road and would have been facing me had I not been looking down the ground wondering how bad it really would hurt to take a swan dive from a standing elevation. Ok, not so much concerned with pain (already had that, I was 'running'), but whether or not it would knock my ass out...

As the community is still fairly new, there's quite a few houses that are always being built at any time. Lots of electrician vans, cable-co. vehicles, workers in their personal trucks, flat-beds, and whatnot. The van facing me pulled away from the curb. Now, instead of doing the sensible thing and say, taking two steps to the left and getting my butt up on the curb (too high, what the hell, obstacle course), I did the whole crazy-assed lurch to the right / *pant* / lean left while moving even more right / *wheeze* / realize you're getting close to center-of-the-road-with-no-idea-who's-behind-you (Bad Idea) / all while continuing my 'run'. Finally, I more or less resigned / celebrated the idea of getting squished by the van and came to a stop, in the dead center of the road.

Turns out the driver of the cable-van was an old Marine buddy of mine.

We both paused for the 'squint, tilt-head, slight point, and mutter an expletive' thing...

I've run into buddies on different bases here in the States, a couple of guys in Iraq, one on the strip in Vegas, and one in a hotel lobby in Austin. It was pretty cool, catching up on who was still in, who where & doing what. Trips me out to hear about crazy Lance Criminals that are not the senior Sergeants running the show.

Best part about it? Got to stop and chat w/o totally killing the runner's high I had going on...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas, Shmistmas

That's right, I said it!

Snot even Thanksgiving yet, and I'm already getting this stuff in my inbox. Might as well have some fun with it...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Coal dust.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree.

3. When do you put up the tree?
As late as possible, after much hints, suggestions, requests, nagging, demands, and threats.

4. When do you take the tree down?
See above.

5. Do you like eggnog?
I love it mixed with whiskey, hold the eggnog. Make it a double.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
World Peace.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Baby Cheeses?

8. Easiest person to buy for? Moi. All I want for Christmas is Salma Hayek.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
We gotta do that nowadays?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
AK-47 bullets.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Scrooged, Bad Santa, and... uh, Mrs. Claus and the North Pole.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Eh, for this year or last?

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Ah, there is such thing as a stupid question!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas
? See answer to question # 5. Bring me two.

16. Lights on the tree?
Lights? Dang, next thing I know, you'll want something shiny on top...

17. Favorite Christmas song?
The indisputable classic, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?
Travel to the fridge, couch, and bed. Repeat as necessary.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
Let's see, there's Jerky, Medium-Rare, Venison, Fajita Fixins, Tenderloin (?)... aw shucks, guess not.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
My extended family has toddlers and small cats & dogs. We're lucky if we can piece together the remnants.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Crowds and bills... and realizing you don't have enough ammo to deal with both.

23. What theme or color are you using?
Bah Humbug Blood-Red.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner- See answer #5 Get the good stuff!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
See answer #5. Just leave me the bottle.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What the heck was he thinking?

So a buddy and I were talking about the current political situation and related news about a week back.

Inevitably, the conversation turned to our President-elect.

He's a wee bit more pro-O. than I, but neither of us begrudge the other for our differing views, too much, at least...

I was kind of surprised when, after about 10 minutes or so he made a comment in the vein of, " doesn't really matter how much I like to see the first Black President, 'cause someone's bound to try and take the brotha down n' out, ya know?"

[scratching record sound here]

"Really, you think so?"

He answered in the affirmative.

I might be pessimistic in some ways, but I'm not nearly that pessimistic..

I tried countering that by emphasizing the value of the Secret Service. I spoke about the group as being for the most part well trained, thoroughly vetted, highly motivated and dedicated outfit true to their mission. I told him that with their level of training, standard OCD level of anxiety in every aspect of what they do- hell, it'd almost be worth it (in an academic training sense) to see some turd begin to try something. Of course anything can happen at any time, but I'd be willing to wager that there's a fairly good chance that they'd perform exceedingly well, succeeding at their mission, letting nothing get in their way of accomplishing their tasks, no disctractions whatsoever, driving straight on through...



Down Time, Clips, and a Doh!

I was cruising through the MC Times the other day, when I read this.

Pretty nifty, huh.

Especially nice when they talk about service members and loved ones being able to communicate about babies first steps, birthday parties, and the like.

Obviously, this memory isn't about such wholesome and family friendly things. Heck no, this one's about what they don't allow on the family friendly channel...

I might've mentioned before that some of the guys would take digital video and pictures out on patrol. I don't remember this ever being something that was officially sanctioned, but the fact was that it was eventually commonly accepted as part of the information gathering process. For the most part, all knew when it was appropriate to have a camera out and when it wasn't. Also, it was much, much easier to pass over a memory card at the debrief rather than try to describe familiar tattoos on bodies or suspicious drawings and arabic writings. We'd much rather take personally owned equipment rather than take what would have been the military issued, gen 1, 25 pound, rarely functioning, often assed-up, Camera: Picture, Polaroid, 1.

Heh, '... for the most part...'

I remember one stop we made to the guys up north. If I remember correctly, we were delivering misdirected mail and dropping off a repaired hummer. We pulled into the staging area, got all the vehicles topped off, and I sent the guys to grab some chow while I checked in with the CO. After a fairly uneventful debrief and a little chewing of the fat with some of the staff, I grabbed a bite and wandered the area looking for some buddies I hadn't seen in awhile. I poked my head into one of the squad rooms.

"Hey, anybody know where y'alls squad leader is?"

Their eyes were rooted to the tv show they were watching. One guy pointed vaguely 'upstairs', another grunted something sounding like 'farther back down this hallway', and one guy farted.

Good times.

As it turned out, they weren't really watching a tv show, but an episode of Combat's Funniest Videos. Not familiar with that program? Lemme 'splain...

When I mentioned that most guys knew when to have the camera in their hands and when to have a rifle, well, that was correct. See, after all the hoopla has passed is the time to bust out the cameras for the record. Angles of approach, maps, id, uniforms, weapons, vehicles, anything and everything that can possibly help the intel weenies should be noted, and in detail. When the enemy is attacking well, let's just say not the best time to record, unless...

Apparently one of the guys in the squad I visited had hit on an idea. He had a fairly lightweight camera and a number of spare batteries. He was a Lance Corporal, so he managed to 'acquire' an extra helmet cover and a bunch of zip ties. He trimmed some helmet cover material with his bayonet and used his sewing kit to fashion cammo covers for his camera. He then affixed his camera to his helmet. Other than taking a little extra care getting into and out of his vehicle, he was good to go. No hands necessary after pushing the record button.

What resulted was a little bit documentary, a bit of COPS, and a whole lotta funny.

There was a passable Aussie accent when recording a pair of mutts going at it, some shaky footage of a Marine taking a deuce, and a short while later, the ambush. It was pretty standard as far as ambushes went back then, a bunch of amateurs with beat-to-hell weapons and questionable tactics, but his voice during the attack was what made it memorable. While narrating the video, he was grinning and chuckling as well and trying to explain his thoughts during his hasty nose dive out of the vehicle (not tripped, 'hasty vehicular dismount'). His running commentary of, 'ohshitohshitohshitohshit' as he ran to a building (talking to himself whilst trying to keep attempting to gain personnel accountability, not freaking out), and his high-pitched "Aiiiieeee" was a rallying cry/way cry (and most definitely NOT a 9-year old girl shriek).

It was a 9 year-old little girl shriek - trust me, I kno... - er, I'm pretty sure...

Hey! Who's laughing in the Back? Rambo? Well, ok then... the rest of y'all, tell me how you do the first time downrange!

Anyways, fast forwarding to a half-dozen months in the future, and I was sitting in my parents living room, my assorted bags scattered around, and my mom's toy poodle humping my leg.

Ah, the good old days...

Dad was really keen on getting ahold of all of the pictures and clips that I had collected on my all expenses paid trip to fun in the sun for his collection and for distribution to family. I don't think I had yet confessed that the one collection of pictures I had sent of a hummer hit in an IED attack was actually my hummer, but it was coming, I'm sure. Anyways, we were both on the couch, his laptop on his lap, and mine on mine. I was pulling discs from the pouch, inserting them into my laptop, getting a rough idea what was on it, and handing it over to him for copying. My part of the process was quicker than his, so he had a nice pile of discs waiting to be copied. He still noted when I subtly slipped a few discs back into the pouch. "What're those discs?" "What discs?" "The ones you just put back." "Oh, those. Those're nothing, just some ah,... recreational stuff." "Recrea... sure...."

Eventually, I got kind of lazy and began relying on the label details of what was on one of the discs. During the deployment I had eventually gotten detailed about what was on the discs, dates, names, and all of that. The last two discs weren't actually even anything I had taken, but some discs that other Battalions had handed out. Our Battalion had approached the end of our tour at the same time as some others, and during the inevitable down time that always happened back in the rear, we managed to trade a number of discs back and forth. Gave each other a rough idea of what else was going on in the greater AO while we were each in town.

I asked Dad if he wanted 'em, he said 'sure', and I handed 'em over.

It was only a couple of hours later that I remembered what one of those discs contained. The Battalion Disc in question had compiled a bunch of video sources together on one disc, voted on by popularity by its Marines. There were the standard combat ops, down time funny stuff, and some miscellaneous stuff towards the end. There was no question in why one clip at the end was hugely popular; apparently, one lonely soldier (female type) had decided to make a clip of herself... er, dancing around to Marvin Gaye's 'Lets Get It On', I seem to remember. I guess it was pretty warm in the can, 'cause she was pretty scantily clad at the end of the clip, you could say.

Very nice.

Wonder if Dad ever got that far in the disc...?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Did You Really Think I Wouldn't Notice?

Hmmm, how to phrase this...


If you take a gander over to the left, you'll see a bunch of really neat blogs, some interesting reading material, and my archives (if you're really a glutton for punishment).

The only link that I think is somewhat close to an advertisement is for a charity. I've got nothing against other folks posting links for profit - their blog, their rules. As for my blog well, I never say never, but not at this time...

I've been kind of freewheeling with my other links, 'cause that's what it appears to me that most other folks do - see something cool, link to 'em and write about it.

For the record, anybody out there that doesn't really want me linking to them in my posts or on my front page- no problem, drop me a line and I'll respect your wishes.

I'll comment on the occasional post - not nearly as many as I should, I know, but my blog feeder is getting out of control - so I suppose that technically, there's a link from some of my comments back to this site. What I don't do is comment on other folks' blogs with my comment consisting of nothing more than an advertisement for my little blog.

I got a comment / request recently, asking me to post a link to an on-line DVD shop. This didn't bother me much - someone asked a question, and I answered. Hell, I was somewhat flattered that someone out there thought that my stuff might actually toss them enough traffic to make a difference- but I declined.

Now, maybe I'm being a little sensitive here, long(ish)-term readers might understand the significance of the end of this month, so when I got a comment notification on a post for almost a year ago, I was most definitely not pleased to see a friggin' comment / link / advertisement.

I had comment notification.

I will now try to figure out how to do comment moderation to hopefully prevent this sort of... thing in the future.

In the event the posters of the above mentioned comments can't catch a clue if I crammed it up their rear - sideways, and sans dinner, drinks, or lube -, any of my blog savvy readers out there know how to delete undesirable comments? There's gotta be a way...

I do very much appreciate most all other mails and comments- funny, punny, questioning commiserating, hell- even the odd 'hey, dumbass...' ones.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just Another Day In Paradise, Pt1


All the vehicles were in more or less a decent position for the terrain, overwatches set, and no (major) issues to deal with. I still wasn't exactly sure what was going on, just that higher had sent word to stop the patrol and hold position for further developments. We had diverted from patrolling the MSR (Main Supply Route) and basically set up camp in the middle of nowhere to wait... and wait... and for some more variety, wait some more. In between monitoring the radios, some of my guys were talking about their fondly remembered conquests. Business as usual. At least they weren't acting out these heroic adventures or taking, uh... matters in their own hands... er, that I knew of, at least. The sun was setting (again), so nothing was for sure, of course.

I rolled over to the convoy net to see if there was something going on there that I needed to know about, like a particularly large convoy or anyone that had found an IED in our area...


I keyed my squad radio.

"All victors go to 50%, driver primary, VCs (Vehicle Commanders) to my victor." After my guys showed up we had a short talk about the situation (standby to standby), the patrol (loooong hours, and counting), and the fact that I at least wanted my drivers to catch a few zzzs so they didn't almost kill anybody, again. None of the VCs had anything for me, so they went to their vehicles to wait for the word. I started rummaging in my vehicle for my etool and my personal Roll of Life (toilet paper - ain't no way I was gonna use the MRE-supplied 'paper', nuh-uh).

One wise-ass asked, "Gonna take a dump, Sergeant?"

I glanced down at my tp and shovel. "Nope, gonna make a surrender flag and call it a night, Einstein."

He chuckled and returned to his story, this time with girlie voices and sound effects.

Dang, his chick voice is starting to sound pretty good... it's definitely been a long deployment.

Ask any Marine about what's the quickest way to interrupt a perfectly good period of boredom and they'll tell you;

1) Light up a smokey treat.


2) Pop a squat (in pitch-black darkness, no less).

I was about half-way through #2 (ha!) when, of course, we got the word to move.

ME: Comeon!, ya bastard...

RADIO: [stage whisper] Hey, Sergeant, we got the word from higher, gotta go! Sergent! You over there?

ME: [groan/whimper]

RADIO: [chuckling] You ok, Sergeant? What's the hold up?

ME: Jale... peno... [pant,pant]... chee... ese.

Gingerly climbing back into my hummer and easing into my seat, I asked what the word was. My radio man rogered up and told me that we were to return to the FOB for an escort of Psycho.


Back at the FOB, the new XO introduced me to the Sergeant First Class in charge of the Psychological Operations (Psycho) team. The good Sergeant nodded his head and said, "Bob", as introduction. I shook his hand, grinned, and introduced myself, "Sergeant". First name basis completed, he informed me that he needed us to escort him to a general location, east of the city that regularly lobbed little forget-me-nots over to our FOB. In response to my general inquiry as to what generally they'd be doing at said general location, he smiled and said "Psychological operations".


We spit-balled a few ideas for the escort, a somewhat more specific location for the op, and set a departure time in just under an hour. XO added the standard stuff, the good Sergeant had rank, but I was responsible for his ass to and fro the objective. At the party he was the man, and I was to help out wherever I could. No stickyfingered Marines near the soldiers' hummer, for security and common decency reasons. There was still more than enough time to pass the word, for my guys to raid the chow room for midrats (midnight rations), and still leave us all enough time to transit to our position to arrive on schedule at zero dark thirty.

"On the road again..."

Exiting the FOB again, this time with the Psycho vehicle in our train, we meandered on a somewhat scenic route to our destination. As it was about 0300 hrs and we were driving sans lights there really wasn't too much scenery to be had, but it was definitely not the straightest route, that's for sure.

Our route to approach the city included taking the hardball for the last few miles to our objective. As we crossed the last of the dunes and began our approach to the road, I started to pick out where I wanted to get on in the green blur of my NVGs. This was pretty important, because it would really ruin my day to get blown up before we even got the job done, you know. I directed my driver to the area I wanted, hopped out of the hummer, and walked up to the road. Not seeing anything particularly suspicious in the shoulder of the road, I marked where I wanted my vehicles to get on the road and started jogging in the direction of the city. One by one, my vehicles and that of Psycho climbed the berm of the road and turned after me.

Hopping back into my seat, I told my driver to keep the speed slow, as to allow all of the vehicles to get onto the road without too much space between us. I grabbed the mike and told my trail VC to advise me when they were on the road and ready to step. Meanwhile, my vehicle was proceeding forward at what would be a fast walking pace. My last vehicle finally climbed onto the road and rogered up that they were good to go. I was responding to his information when, from out of the pitch-black darkness, a huge friggin' deamonbeast of a mutt decided to stick his snout in my window and express his displeasure at my presence, loudly, vigorously, and with much snapping of teeth.

To my credit, I avoided shrieking like a girl (much), and even managed to restrain myself from okaying a MK19 expenditure. Thankfully, that was about the extent of excitement on the whole ride over there.

At the objective, well, it got a bit more interesting...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ah Yes...

The day has come again when I spend half of the day setting the clocks in my cars' radios, stove, micro, clocks, alarms, watches... and the other half trying to set the VCR (yup, still got one). I usually spend the whole day looking at the time and thinking, 'what time is - oh... hold on, did I set that one, yet?'

What always makes it interesting (aside from periodically discovering various time pieces throughout the next few days n' weeks and the inevitable one in April or May), is finally figuring out that I've reset the time on a few items that have already automatically switched over... again, and that I've set a few clocks twice.

A small price to pay, all in all, for the extra hour of sleep.

That other one, that cold & mean bastard who steals an hour? Well, that's just cruel.

Friday, October 31, 2008

That's funny...

I don't recall 'Night-Time Bimbo Barbie' being a popular costume for the girls when I was of trick-or-treating age...


I understand that Moms might tend to be a little bit more into dressing up to walk their kiddos around and/or hand out candies, but a... uh, 'perky', dolled up, high-heel, mini-skirt & sexy mesh hose wearin' Little Red Riding Hood?


It's ok. You've been married for awhile and had a few kiddos - great. If you need oil, deep exhalations and three friends to squeeeeeze you into your old cheerleading uniform, well, it just might be time to hang it up before you kill somebody with a explosively projected uniform patch. And tell your boobies to stop staring at me.

oh yeah

Your little pooch is precious in his/her little outfit... and pooping in my yard. Well, you do have a bag right there in your hands, right?

as well as

Kid, you're almost taller than I am. Time to hang it up, go to a party and hit on the girls, like everyone else your age. Think about it, you'll thank me later.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


A clip, by way of Theo.

Thaaat's gotta suck...

I like this clip for a number of reasons (besides the obvious).

Yes basically, the mortar is a pretty simple weapon... to fire. If you want accuracy with it, well that's another thing, but just getting it to go 'boom' is really pretty simple. Make sure the safeties are removed from the round, drop it in the tube, it falls to the bottom and hits the firing pin and - well, the rest just kind of comes naturally.


If you're the type to skip out on aiming stakes & sights and go by the tried and true 'spray and pray' method, well, you're probably also the type to take a pass on cleaning out the bore every now and then.

Mortar barrels have been known to get dirty, just like rifles and definitely not like that floozy showing off too much ankle three hovels down from your own.

When barrels get dirty, rounds can (will) get caught up in the tube. When rounds get caught up in the tube, I'd imagine that more likely than not they're not going to explode in the barrel (the explosion in the barrel comes from the propellants attached to the rear of the round), but all that pressure's got to go somewhere. (This is that same pressure that shoots the round up to the neighborhood of 3000 meters.) If the pressure can't go up, it'll go down and probably either find that faulty and/or loose firing pin or it'll definitely find that barrel failure that you didn't see upon inspection of your weapon. Dumbass.

The fact that the video existed to post up for posterity leads me to belive that the round didn't spew shrapnel all over the place turning the guys into meaty man-chunks (to include the camera man and his camera), but, Inshallah, the failure of the tube was enough to ensure that all in the immediate vicinity had a Very Bad (read: slow & terminal) Day. Further viewing of the clip shows the barrel failure (flash at the bottom), resulting in it getting some air time (lovin' it!), suggesting that the round was almost definitely stuck in the barrel and the ass end of the tube was hopefully embedded in the tender bits of nearby schmucks. If not the bits of the tube in the bits of the guys, I'm sure the sand bags, base plate, rocks and other assorted items were moving fast enough to make things interesting...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I got one of those letters the other day, letting me know that I was now eligible for a new phone.

Shoot, I'm still getting used to this last one.

I've had exactly four cell phones, kinda sorta. My first phone lasted about two months before going kaput, got it swapped out for another of the same model. I had that phone for about... forever, long enough that I don't remember exactly when I got it, just that it was sometime around '98 or '99. Still have it, and it still works. Looks good too, on account of there's the equivalent of about three years that it wasn't used, packed up in storage or at my folks' house while I was away on deployments.

Heh, I remember when I discovered that it had texting capabilities a couple of years back, when I got a wrong number 'booty text'.

ME: Sweet! Booty text!

ME: Holy crap, this thing has text!

CRICKETS: *sigh*

ME (typing): s-u-r-e... i... b-r-i-n-g... k-y... y-o-u... b-r-i-n-g... w-a-i-t... u-r-e... n-o-t...
a... d-u-d-e... ?

Never did get a response, guess it wasn't meant to be...

Anyways, I got a wild hair a couple of years back and got a new phone. One of those fancy ones, with a camera, music ringy thingies, games, and all kinds of stuff. That one lasted about a month before it disappeared.

So, after a short debate about just going back to old faithful, I wound up with another fancy new phone. This phone (the one I'm currently using) has most of the new stuff that comes with phones nowadays, but I realized the other day that about the only thing that I use it for besides calling (gasp!), is keeping a list of Stuff I Gotta Do.

I'm a big fan of lists.

Pretty sure this started in school, writing lists of everything, and it was something that carried over to the Corps. I have my own system, separating things that I have to do, stuff I have to buy, items of interest, and the like. With notes, you don't have to try to remember every little detail, just jot it down and there ya go. I used to have a bunch of note cards, and just grab one as the old one got all items crossed off, or disappeared.

I was always losing those darn things.

I was afraid to keep 'em in my wallet, because with my luck, I'd lose my wallet and all of my personal crap in it. Besides, I had a ton of cards, and if it was important enough to remember, it'd eventually make it back onto another list. That's not to say that it'd get done pronto, just that it had a better chance than before. I was likewise a little leery of putting my lists on a phone, but I figured I had that thing with me even more than my wallet, so mebbe I had a better chance of holding onto it.

As an example, one of those things recently was Find The Holster.

During the work-up to Iraq, I went out and bought my own high-speed low-drag Hollywood-sexy thigh holster. I knew that any crap we'd get issued would be just that -crap- and once I got the impression that higher wouldn't have too many objections to us getting our own stuff as long as it fit some regs, I went ahead and picked one up before they could change their minds. Naturally, as it turned out, there weren't enough m9s to go around, and once I issued them out to guys who needed 'em more than me, I read the writing on the wall and realized that I wasn't even going to get one (sad face), I gave one of my guys the holster to use in Iraq. He remembered to give it back at the end of the deployment, only somewhat worse for the wear, and that was about the last time I saw it, stuffing it down to the bottom of my seabag.

So, down in the garage in my storage space / pile o' military crap, there lies my old seabag. Standing it up and opening the flaps was a trip through memory lane. A faint whiff of stale man stanck, left over Iraqi dust, some uniform items that I doubt I'll ever fit into again, and assorted odds and ends. There was a nifty little map case with a bunch of pockets that I'd long ago forgot about, one of which included a list card. One side had a bunch of Marines' names and where they needed to go (medical, dental, admin, etc), schedules for issued gear turn in, flight schedules, and what looked suspiciously like a list of bars and strip clubs (ah, good times). Flipping it over, I looked at the other side to view my personal list of stuff to buy or do, and had a good chuckle.




Friday, October 24, 2008


via OLD NFO and Snigs.

Scribbling kind of fits, actually, when you think about my method of blogging. For the overwhelming majority of the time posts just kinda come to me at the keyboard and I bang 'em out as they pop up. My posts are occasionally a bit messy, tending to wander outside of the lines, but hopefully giving you somewhat of a picture of what's going on in my noggin'.

Now, over on the port side there are a whole buncha (technical phrase, 'buncha') good writers. I thought I might use this opportunity to call out a few new (to this blog) good ones. Consider each link as a representation of a violently self-administered headsmack for not linking them earlier.

Bob G.

M.& C. Byrne


The Captain

Still thinking 'bout the last one (hey, what do you expect from a blogger that takes the name of Murphy?).

Of course, the rules, originally from here.

  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Almost Near (Sorta) Brush With SumDood

Something that happened a short while back in Murphyland...

*brrrring... brrrrring....*

Big City Emergency Services, what is your name?

Uh... Murphy. (I was expecting the 'PD, Fire, or EMS question'.)

Ok Sir, do you need Police, Fire, or EMS?


Police, ma'am.

Allrighty Sir, and what do you need to report tonight?

Gun shots down the street at what looks like... the Peaceful Meadows Apartments Complex, ma'am.

Another interesting evening, indeed.

Every city has areas that are... well, not the best. Generally, I make it a personal rule to avoid said areas, but on occasion you just can't because, well, they come to you, wherever you happen to be. Before I get too much further, I should mention that no, I wasn't in any immediate danger (hence me taking time to call 911), but gun shots is something that I heard somewhere that law enforcement types might be kind of interested in hearing about.

Conversation went fairly quick after that, I told the lady that there had been gun shots in the apartment complex down the street - no, I wasn't involved, just in the vicinity, minding my own business and - nope, didn't actually see Sumdood fighting or running about, shooting or afterwards, running away. I suppose I coulda offered to help look around, but she probably would've strongly discouraged that and besides, I hear that Sumdood's an elusive and sneaky li'l bugger. She confirmed stuff like safety, names (mine, the roads, and apartment complex) and locations (of same), and promised that the local PD would be along shortly. Po-po, ho!

About 30 seconds after hanging up and re-examining the area, I got an incoming call.

'Iiif you think I'm sexy, aaand you want my-'


(I really should change that ring tone...)

Yeah, I'm calling in regards to the shots fired report.
[male voice, PD radio and vehicle engine sounds in background]


Well, I'm en route to your location, and I want to know... where's the gun?

(I really didn't like the sound of this because the thought had occurred to me that technically, I was 'a man with a gun'. Hmm, how do I respond to the Officer... 'the one on my hip or the one that's been shoot-' no, that's like begging for additional rapid orifice creation, and I don't want any of that...)

No idea Sir, I'm just in the area, see and-

You sure it's not just you what been poppin' off a few rounds?

(What the Hell? Visions of some dispatcher fumble-fingering my name into the 'shooter' line instead of 'reporting party' whilst sucking down the last Dr Pepper flavored ice-cube (mmm, delicious) were definitely flying through my brain housing group right about then...)


Listen buddy, I know you always got a gun, and I-

It was about at this point where he lost control of his 'cop voice' and started to chuckle.


Yeah man *chortle* what's going on? I saw your name when the call dropped so I thought I'd give you a holler and see if'n you were ok and give you some shit... whassup, bro?

Dude... Ok, I admit it, you had me going there, but still, choke on a bacon-flavored donut, m'kay?


Cop buddies, sheesh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Starting To Like This Endless Political... Stuff

I just realized something.

The never-ending campaigning, stupid voter tricks, completely unbiased *cough* journalism has taken the usual impact off of something that I find increasingly annoying, year after year.

I have yet to hear any sort of cutsey shopping countdown untill 'Bah Humbug' Day.

That pleases me, very much.

Inter-Office Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures

This is probably what would happen on day #2 of any Typical Office Job held by Murphy. Probably a good reason why I don't work a Typical Office Job...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Best thing about this pic.... is wondering about the poor bastard is who got issued this guy's 'secondary' mask next...

I was reminded about the gas chamber, of all things, while I was at the reception this weekend.

Work with me here, this is just the way my noggin' works...

The very first thing you do when you get your mask is test it. Sure, it's been inspected... right-o, that's nice n' all, but I like to make sure. You do this by pulling it out from the mask carrier and place the mask up to your face. That's test no 1. No use going further if you have a size XXL mug and a XXS mask. Helps if you can actually see through the eye lenses, as well. Uh... if it's new (to you), might want to check for lingering CS fumes and/or puke (bonus).

Then you go about the process of pulling the restraining straps over to the back of your head (test no. b). Imagine the suckage if you were to get to the chamber with the requisite NBC instructor crazy-as-hell (from years of fumes), only to find that the straps rip as soon as you start messing around with 'em. Not Cool.

Next thing you do is what we call don and clear (test 'ee'). This is the part where you you check to make sure that you can empty the mask's interior should any fumes get on the inside. This is also very important because there's not even a question about it, in the chamber you will get gas on the inside of the mask.

One of the last things you do is, while the mask is on and apparently working properly, to bend over at the waist and shake yer head around like the big green weenie of doom was fast approaching and all you could do was to shake your head in anticipation. This is to simulate vigorous activity. Kind of depends on the instructor, but you usually get some sort of level of vigorous activity (PT, mosh pit, beat down, etc) in the chamber, so making sure that your mask is adjusted well is also one of life's Important Things.

Now, what does this have to do with wedding receptions, you ask?

It's a pretty good example of advanced preparation for a known future event.


Ladies, when it comes time to plan for a wedding and more importantly (duh) your outfit, it might be a wise course of action to, you know, throw on that dress once before wearing it (out in public). Mebbe even move around a bit, in the comfort of your own place, or something. Ill fitting dresses just might result in frequent adjustments that look alot like you're feeling yourself up on the dance floor / buffet table / dinner table / outer hall / bar / etc. It's always a nice 'touch' if your girlfriend is aware enough to cover your assets when they unexpectedly try to come out to say 'hi' just as ole Murphy's walking through the door.


I didn't know whether to look for a beer or a lap dance...

Not that I mind, of course, and I'm pretty sure that it didn't bother Gramps one bit, but we deserve some sort of warning for that kinda of thing, you know? Heck, we have significant others that are just waiting to kick everybodys ass when the inevitable happens. Take a wild guess on whos ass is gonna be first in line for the ass-kickin'... Sheesh!

Oh, and to the classy lady that decided to do the limbo... in what looked like a wide belt of all things.... facing the tables...