Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marvel


For your viewing pleasure... click and marvel at the dainty tinkle of this zoomie's sterling silver set o' balls!

linkypoo.

n.b. Grunts may want to put down any and all beverages before watching the video. Seriously, I think I damn near literally busted my gut.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Random Internetosity

"President Obama for the Heisman" (amongst other awards).




I LOLed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A good man is in need of good thoughts and prayers.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whoda thunkit?

Holy moly, did y'all hear about this?


Kayne West Told to Leave VMAs After Upsetting Taylor Swift
.


Now, to be fair, all I really know of these two is 1) She's purdy and 2) She's how young? 3) Hasn't this schmuck done stuff like this before?


Not really sure I could name any songs either have done. Might be able to get kinda close with one or two, and I'm reasonably sure I could point out a song or three if I heard 'em, but that's not what gets me about this story.


What really sticks out to me after hearing about his outburst at her award reception is,



MTV is playing music videos? When did this happen?

Friday, September 4, 2009

WTF, Over.

When I was in Iraq we had, on occasion, the odd journalist or two posted at our FOB. Officially, we were to extend every courtesy, if asked. We were instructed to provide non-sensitive information if questioned and, for even a suggestion of uncertainty, to professionally and politely refer them to our chain of command, blah, blah, blah.


Unofficially, the word got out that they were to be regarded in the highest of suspicion.


We went with the unofficial word.


This is a pretty good representation of why.


ETA:

Sweetness.

Condolences go out, of course, to the families of the translator and the soldier.




Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Feliz cumpleaƱos, Salma!


1) Nod to Bobby G for the pic, and it's a nice one!

2) You better believe I knew what day it was!

3) *sigh*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Shouldda Stayed In...


Hmmm,


Looking at the picture above, what is your first thought?

1) Oh, cool. You can see the mortar round just leaving the tube!

2) (sucking at teeth in a decidedly Senior Staff NCO fashion) where in the &#*@ is their $@&-$^%%!@ kevlar helmets!?




Yeah, me too.


For that and many more cool military pics, go over heah.




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For Those Guys In The Baby Namin' Window

I found out back in the day that baby namin' was a bit like weddings. Once the conversations were out in the open, I realized that My Love had already been planning things for quite some time, I just never knew about it. Also like wedding plans, my input was not exactly needed, followed, or generally appreciated, but I still had to give it. Books and books (and yet more books) of baby names and their various meanings started appearing all over the place. There were still a few lessons to be learned, though.



If there is a particular name passed down from generation to generation, hopefully, this is something that's already been covered with your significant other. Thankfully, we'd already covered this, and there was little debate about what any first-born male child would be named.

She reminded me of the history of twins in her family, and that it might be a good idea to have other boy names ready, in case and for eventually. Good point.

Proposing 'Sue' as an alternate boy's name was kind of funny because I didn't consider myself a country music fan, and I remembered the reference. She's much more the fan of the genre, and didn't.

Superhero names were out, not even up for consideration (she was a party pooper, that way).

When hounded by My Love as to what girl names I really liked, 'Candi', 'Bubbles', and 'Honey' weren't terribly popular suggestions. In my defense, we'd been talking baby names for a long time by then ('bout 10 minutes or so), and my brain was gettin' tuckered out at the time. Shoulda just quit while I was ahead, because 'real' girl names of Salma and Rosalyn got equally chilly responses... go figure.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Random Fun





Hey, Dancing around with some catch me - do me's on and at risk of nipple chafe isn't as easy as it looks... so I've heard.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More on Parties

So speaking of parties, I think the best part about house parties is the fact that you can show off your stuff. New grills, shotguns, cars, boats - heck, sometimes the house itself is the new item to show off / check out.

All of that, of course, has nothing on showin' off the babes at the party.

*wink*

Now, there's a progression of the quality of stuff that gets shown off, when movin' on through the years. A few years back, the 'new' stuff was just new to the owner, and usually showed up at the apartment at random intervals usually around when folks would drag stuff out to the corner or out to the dump. Some creative application of school money and / or food cash might lead to a relatively high-quality television entertainment center. Some years later, more & consistent pay and a bit of discipline in spending will inevitably lead to better and better stuff.

At about the time when the majority of my friends were getting married, a few things inevitably happened. They ran out of cash and didn't go to any more parties? No, silly, just the parties themselves changed a bit. When most of the guys have their significant others with them we tend to be a bit better behaved (shocker). The food got a bit better too, come to think of it. More folks kept most of their clothes on (usually), and the get togethers became more about, well, gettin' together and hanging out than what they were in the past.

Inevitably, some couple will announce that they're expecting. Soon after, big ole bellies become on the of the things gettin' showed off at parties. This, of course, leads to the babes mentioned earlier.

There's a few funny things, 'bout baby-attended parties.

First of all, when a baby's gotta eat, they eat, and momma's gonna feed 'em. Most of the ladies got their Hooter Hiders (no kiddin', that's what they call 'em), but I've learned that the covers aren't strictly needed to feed the kiddos, apparently. Now, I'm a fan of the boobies as much as the next guy (mebbe more), and I understand what they're alleged main purpose is really for, and while I'll admit to seeing some level of boobage at parties before, seeing a partially topless good friend can give one pause. Lot's of the guys adopted a practice of entering the house via the laundry room, making a bit more noise when entering a living or dining room, or plain announcing their entrance in a room with one or more feeding babies. Generally, whenever we could we'd just hang out in the garage or out on the driveway / porch with the grill, swappin' stories and/or lies with the rest of the guys.

This is where another thing started to happen, with a disturbing regularity.

More often than not, the new dad(s) would be tellin' horror stories about the delivery, and all the other guys would be listening like so many Pfc's gathered around their grizzled old Sergeant.


"So there we were, the doc in it about to his elbows, when he reaches back and grabs the biggest pair of scissors you ever seen..."

"Hey, Zeus", just about in unison from the rest of the guys.

'Bout this time one or two of the ladies would just happen to wander outside in search of their significant others, and ask them inside. The gathered guys would immediately tend to the grill, their beers, or whatever they could, in somewhat of a 'maybe if I don't see her, my neck will be spared' kind of thought. When the condem-er, said named guy has been called out, there'd be some claps of the back, and well wishes from the spared guys, and a few relieved sighs from those not picked.

What happens when you get called in is something of a practical application test for prospective dads, in a room full of ladies. Sweetness, huh.

First of all, there's holding a baby.

Now, I suppose it's a good idea to practice this sort of thing, but my life experiences weren't exactly geared to holding and caring for small children. Mebbe if they needed some disassembly, oiling, loading and whatnot, but basically a small wriggling infant would be thrust in my arms and a room full of ladies would start giving me / barking advice, all at once. 'Support the head', 'tuck the blanket', and possibly 'raise the bottle' would start flying around the room, all accompanied by the critical gaze of My Love, and the even more critical gaze of the new momma.

Actually reminded me of going in front of a board, somewhat...

The best part of baby-attended parties was the number of baby-oriented conversations that we'd have in the weeks following. My Love was strongly in favor of starting a family immediately after each baby-party, hearing of a co-worker having a baby, seeing a baby on the television, or even hearing one cry out somewhere in the neighborhood. She had the fever, in other words. Me, I was of the opinion that things were going much too well for her to get preggers. Money was coming in pretty good, we were still paying off the credit cards at the time, purchase of the house was then not too far away, we had a little left in the bank at the end of each month, etc. I figgured that I'd lose my job immediately after paying the down payment for the house and right before totaling the car, and then we'd find out that she was pregnant. With twins. Regardless of my thoughts, I was always the thoughtful husband and allowed how we might need to practice the sort of actions that brought about the babies in the first place. Purely selflessly, of course.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Joke and a Party

An oldie, recycled, but still somewhat humorous and applicable to a recent story.

Three vets are all walking towards the same intersection in the middle of a small town. They served in different branches of the service, doing different jobs, many years distant, but they had a few similarities. They liked to wear various Marine Corps or Army caps, perhaps a VFW pin, maybe even a set of old comfy boots. The one thing that they all have identically in common is that they are all dragging one leg behind them as they walk.


As they near talkin' distance, the first veteran slaps his right hip and says, "Vietnam, back in '69".


The second vet nods at the first, pats his thigh and says, "Fallujah, back in '04".


The third looks at the other two, grins, points a thumb over his shoulder and says, "Dog turd, 'bout 2 blocks back".



Vets can be like that, about their wounds.


War wounds might be brought up in conversation between vets as a part of story time, a sort of 'life really sucked, back when...'. Sometimes, when the source of a scar might have a more humorous shine to it, it can be more of a 'lemme tell you 'bout the time my dumb-ass tried to change a tire with my forehead right in the middle of a sand-storm'-type story. Other vets don't really run away from talking about their scars, they just don't ever seem to get around to it, either.

I was at a party recently, a birthday party of a buddy o' mine, as it were. Now, I knew that he had taken a round in Iraq back in the day, but that was about it. I didn't serve with him, so I wasn't there when he got hurt. We weren't shower buddies in the civvie world, so everytime I saw him, he had long pants on, so I never even saw his scars. Over time, the one conversation where he mentioned that he'd had a somewhat Really Bad Day more of less faded.

Until the party.

See, his kid was of an age that part of the festivities included various water activities, including getting tossed down a slip and slide, sprayed with a hose, or getting heaved into the kiddie pool. As this is Texas and it's currently hot enough to melt the hair on your head, just about everybody was in shorts and tees, haning out in the shade of the trees and occasionally getting hosed down with water.

Good times.

Good times were kept good by a discrete conversation with some about 1) letting him bring up the scars on his leg, if he wanted to, he would 2) yes, that's probably the entry wound. 3) yup, that would be the exit wound 4) that too, another exit 5) yeah, it's about half as big around as it should be, I would imagine that it hurt like hell - probably still does.

True to form, he came over a bit with a couple of beers (this guy, brining me a beer - sheesh!), patted his leg and said, "good thing I'm already married, 'cause I dunno if I could get many chicks with this leg, huh." I responded by telling him that different ladies go for different things but I still wouldn't want to test out that particular theory, as I've met his wife and have no desire to get on her bad side, at all.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Signal Flare

Yup, still alive.


It's a shame that I have a no-blogging about-work-rule, because what with all the time I've been spending there in the past month or so, there's some awesome stories. I might have to write a few up and wait for the inevitable time when I'm no longer with this particular company... On a related note, at least to a couple of posts back, money is great (hell, I've at least doubled my usual in my last three paychecks), but time spent in the yard has diminished greatly, to the point where the grass is a lost cause... except for that mutant section, of course, that part just looks mildly pissed-off.


Rumor has it that I might actually have a day off next week, and what with this week's hours continuing the decline by dipping into the low 60s, one would hope that time for just about everything other than shower, sleep, and work (read: mebbe even posting a bloggy post or two) should show signs of improvement.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Reminders

  1. Stamps have now gone up to 44 cents.
  2. The metric ass-ton of 1 and 2 cent stamps are still in the computer room/office/library/spare bedroom/ah, the hell with it toss that crap in The Room-room from the last time, and for the nest time.
  3. Really should get those last of my bills set up for that automatic withdrawal thingy.
  4. While I'm at it, I should probably take the stack of mail to the Post Office. This is all the crap that is addressed to the old owner of the house I live in. [Yup, the same guy that moved out Over Three Years Ago! Not too pissed about in essence delivering this guy's mail for him (and without those schnazzy shorts, neither), except for...]
  5. Try not to think about my lost letters, plans for reduced delivery 'service', or their creative relocation programs while pondering too much about any of my mail (like say credit card apps.) getting sent to old addresses.
  6. Better go ahead and check my credit report, again.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Is this thing still on...?

What the hell, am I made of money?

meh

Awhile back when My Love first pitched the idea of cutting back her hours at the office, she mentioned that she could always return to full-time hours, if needed. As I am the somewhat reluctant 'saver' in the relationship and she the buck-wild, former credit card melting, bane of savings accounts everywhere, patron saint of sales clerks' childrens college funds etc etc, I immediately told her she needed to stay full time. Heck, pick up some OT, while she was at it.

After further discussion, we decided that it would be a good idea for her to go part-time.

meh

She's now gone from part-time to no-time, at that job.

meh

Now that she's 'spending' (meh) alot more time at the house, making plans for future upgrades, paint-schemes, redecorating, future purchases and the like, I've been putting in quite a bit of time outside of the house, in the yard. Now, before I get to much further, I should mention that we're fortunate in that her quitting her job is not the end of the world, financially. (I just like to piss and moan). As it looks, we might have to tighten our belts a bit, but nothing that'll lead to me hanging out on the corner showin' a little leg... yet.


Back to the yard.


My yard is lookin' awesome.


Know what really helps out, yard maintenance-wise, besides a wife that's planning to paint the downstairs bathroom for the 12th time?

That's right, the recent run on ammo.


See, I haven't actually bought ammo for a quite a few months now, and while I'm not resigned to collecting rocks for slingshots or anything, I've started to keep an eye on my 'cache', with a mind to conservation. The question arose then of what to do with my ammo acquisition funds. I was mowing my rocks and weeds one day, thinking these deep thoughts, when the mowers started kicking up something totally unexpected. No, it wasn't forgotten lawn ornaments, my feet, feral cats, or small children, but grass. Lush, thick, green grass.


Yeah, 'WTH' was my thought, as well.


I remembered the fertilizer and composts that I was playing around with a couple years back. I had bought a few different type of compost, place some here, scattered some there, and in the end usually managed to sequester roughly half the bag in my pants cuffs for the trip inside the house. It worked pretty good, but after a buddy mentioned some types of fertilizer, I made a trip over to the local Home Depot. I bought a bag, brought it home, poured the stuff in the spreader, and started out. Of course something came up, as it usually does (if I remember correctly it was buying antique furniture), and the bag o' fertilizer spent a bit more time in the spreader than is probably recommended.


I believe it was about 3 or 4 months-ish.


Come spring time (of '08), I dragged the spreader out of the garage, and promptly dropped the ass-end of the spreader (and the solidified fertilizer it held) onto the driveway. I'm not a pro, but I figured that fertilizer on the driveway wouldn't help out too much, and the solid mass of of fertilizer should probably go in the yard. It wasn't all solid,though, there was some brownish liquid that spread out quite nicely with a healthy application of the hose. There was a strip of 'grass' between one side of my driveway and the neighbor's yard that was my lawn-products test strip, so that's where the fertilizer went. All of it (enough for most of the front and back yards) went in that strip.

So here we are, more than a year later, and I have some sort of mutant grass in that strip that grows roughly three inches by the time I've finished mowing it, isn't afraid to reach up and turn the spigot for itself when it gets thirsty, and, (coincidence?) the neighbor lady's cat Fluffy is still missing.


So yeah, I've been putting down compost and fertilizer all over the rest of the yard, in an effort to help it catch up to the mutant-strip.


That, putting in some plants and flowers, re-planting the flowers that died right after planting, replanting those flowers that somebody *innocent whistle* forgot (again?) to water, digging a garden we wanted, filling in the preliminary holes that we dug when we decided that we wanted our garden in a slightly different position, and well, that's what I've been doing for the past month or so.



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wha?

You know, this is something I never really thought about before, but since you brought it up, Coopster....

0:50





We didn't ask, why do you think he had to tell, hmm?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Morons, 1 - Darwin, 0

Wowwwww....

I dunno if I'm more upset at the actions in this clip, or the fact that the vest didn't fail outright, leaving future reproduction a terrible possibility. Apparently, these post-operative brain donors have never heard of Murphy's Law, using your head, - or hell, a game of pool.




Warning for language and for friggin' idiots...



Bulletproof Vest Test Goes Wrong - Watch more Funny Videos

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A pretty good example of my wicked-awesome 'puter skillz. Unfortunately, now I have to worry about that worm / viurs / thingy timed for today, anybody else having these kind of issues?

n.b. #1 warning: language.

n.b. #2 minesweeper rocks!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yeah, I'd say this fits the bill for amusing... my type of 'amusing', that is. It's not mine obviously, but sent to my email from a friend. HI-larious! Thought the Mommies (and a few of the Daddies) out there would get a kick out of it...




A 3-year-old tells all from his mother's restroom stall.


My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we are in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window. People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume. It's always fully cranked. There have been several embarrassing times that I've wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Costco.

Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you'd been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:

''Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?''

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full ... 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued: ''Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren't you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh...Mommy! I'm trying to see In dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!''

I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming new born when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting. Trying to divert him, I said, ''Why don't you look in Mommy's purse and see if you can find some candy. We'll both have some!''

''No, I'm trying to see doze more stinkies...Oh! Mommy!''

He started to gag at this point.

''Uh - oh, Mommy.. I fink I'm gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!''

As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall.. I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the
subject. I began to reason with myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone.

''Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!''

He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door. ''Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at? Mommy? You wooking at the wady's feet?''

More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation.
''Mommy, it's time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy.'' He started pounding on the door. ''Mommy, don't you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!''

I saw that my wait 'em out' plan was unraveling. I sheepishly opened the door, and found standing outside my stall, twenty to thirty ladies crowded around the stall, all smiling and starting to applaud.

My first thought was complete embarrassment, then I thought, where's the fine print on the 'motherhood contract' where I signed away every bit of my dignity and privacy? But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I'd sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.


You must pass this on to all the mothers who have had embarrassing moments with their children. Isn't it great to be a parent!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blergh.

My Great-Grandmother passed this weekend. At... [counting fingers n' toes]... well over 100 years old and with her slowly deteriorating condition (acute well-over-100-years-old-ia), nobody can really say that it was much of a surprise, and I'm sure her latest doc is relieved that she hasn't outlived him like his several predecessors, but it's still somewhat difficult, most of all for the fact that she lived in south America, leaving visits for those of us here in the States too few and far in between.


If this had been the only loss the (extended) family has undergone recently, it would be easier, but unfortunately that hasn't been the case. Been a rough few months, just part of life...


Add to this some fights with an insurance company (Grrrr), miscellaneous medical bills (save for one rump-rogering exception small but numerous), work (too much), sleep (lack of), and realizing that my pants gathered around my ankles is a good indicator of tax time and, well, postings have been at times somewhat of a struggle. This is just a heads up to those sorta kinda in the know and with those with curiosity how things are plodding along here.

More (hopefully frequent and amusing) soon...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coming Back Home

Everything is so... damn... green...


I was staring out the window of the bus taking most of my platoon from the base where we landed to Camp Pendleton. I was touched by the reception of the Fire Department's water arch, the volunteers and vets shaking hands and handing out munchies, but my most distinct memory of that ride was the landscape.


It was early Spring, just past the end of Winter, so in reality the area was most likely moving along just as normal, just showing the start of real vegetative growth, but after the sand and rock of Iraq, it was a bit overwhelming. My wide-eye and nose-squishing view of the relative greenyness of real, live, actual grass (and, holy crap, trees!) was interrupted by the flashing red and blue lights of the escort squad cars, leap-frogging the bus convoy to block another intersection.


'Polowsky', in an actually pretty spot-on accent, exclaimed, "Oye, Cortez, la migra, la migra!". 'Cortez' responded with the appropriate (and expected) finger. Both were staring out the window, like myself.


As we approached the base, the buses first crossed the outskirts of the city, where we first started seeing the folks out on their front yards, then in front of their offices, and even a few just walking around. Seemed like a larger number than I would expect were waving and holding 'welcome back' signs. After extended periods of time seeing nothing but the same scruffy Marines, seeing random ladies waving and greeting us was a bit overwhelming, as well.


One of the last speeches that we got before stepping off the bus was from the platoon sergeant. He rose from his seat, called for our attention, and said a few short words. Paraphrasing, he acknowledged that he wasn't going to be too long, because he knew it wouldn't sink in if it was too long.


He told us to enjoy returning home, that we deserved it, for a hard job, done well He told us to remember that just because we were home, well, the job still wasn't completely done, quite yet. He told us to remember that there was quite a few of our Marines that were recuperating, waiting at Camp Pendleton, but still others in hospitals that hadn't recovered enough to greet us.

No reminder was necessary, but he mentioned the 12 Marines that were already home, but that we'd never eventually see or talk to again.


Coming back home was alot like that.


There was almost nearly constant surprise, seeing how much has changed, and realizing that some things had just changed in my perspective. The elation was off the charts, what with guys meeting newborns, reacquainting with wives, taking calls from long-distance family, and beginning the process of unwinding. Every once in a while, though...

From what I understand, a fairly usual homecoming.


Memory snippet above has been rolling around in my head for a bit, but was prompted by an email pointing out a music video by Pat McGee. Good stuff.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

*snorfle*

Helluva idea.


link.
(NSFW-ish.)


Dunno if it'll catch on, though...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Well, Looky There!

How about that! I just logged into my gmail to see my li'l blog in the 'top recommendations' panel of my reader-thingy. Thought process follows...


Top Recs? I rule!


*clickity-click*


Ah, I see... 'Recommendations for new feeds are generated by comparing your interests with the feeds of users similar to you.' Probably means only I saw the false new-found indicator of my future fame and fortune, huh.


I don't rule, after all.


Holy crap! 74 subscribers?


I rule again!


General Order #4 and Spontaneous Hand and Arm Signals

4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant to the guard house than my own.

from the General Orders for Sentries.


The General Orders are something that all learn (and well), in boot camp. The way that this one was explained to me was that, back in the 'Old Corps' (which you might remember is the time period of everything up to one day earlier than you entered), before company squad or personal radios, GPS, satellites, and all that happy trash, Marines had to call out to the sentry on either side of them. Leaving one's post is not always possible, due to little things like rules & regs, sneaky bad guys, and worst of all - cranky NCOs. This would ensure that vital word got passed down, you know, stuff like changes in orders, where the enemy was currently attacking, or what, uh, 'entertainer' the guys were going to go visit that night.


This order was reflected, in a way, throughout my time in the Corps, on the 81mm mortar gun line.


Mortar firing ranges are a bit larger than some others, due to a number of factors. Gun positioning mandated that we were at least 40 meters apart, taking into account the killing range of an 81mm round, terrain, our comm abilities, cover and concealment, etc. We were also usually placed into a more or less 'W' shape, to further spread ourselves out, avoid making an easy target by being on line with each other, and the like.


Kinda got to the point where we had to have good comm to function, at all. 'Good' comm(unications, i.e. radios) was not always easy to be had. Heh, on some occasions we were reduced to screaming the commands to guns farther down on the gun line, noise discipline be damned. At least the sounds of the Platoon Sergeant getting about neck deep in the radioman's ass warmed our hearts, 'cause if he was yelling at him, he wasn't chewing us out... as much... usually.


It kind of evolved into a SOP that if the Platoon Sergeant started sounding off at the top of his lungs, you took for granted that either all radios were down, or that perhaps just one line was out. It was then 'OK' to sound off yourself, at least to pass the word. That first word was to make sure that the radio of the gun in question was actually bad, or the gun team leader had his head outta his ass.


One day we were at the range, just about 20 minutes from going hot, all the guns laid in, just waiting for the word. The call came over the radio, "Gun line, gun line, this is FDC... comm check, roger up when you're good to go, over." Following our own procedures, the gun team leaders got on the radio and transmitted their gun and status. "Gun 1, up", followed by "Gun 2, up", and so on and so forth.


I believe I was the Gun 4 gun team leader, at the time.


The gun line radio transmissions came and went down the line... until it got to the last gun, Gun 8. Gun 8 seemed to be our problem child for a while, not 'cause that's where we stored all our shitbirds, but just that it was their bad luck to always be on the ass-end of pretty much everything - the armory draw, PFC allocation, radio issue, last to get the word, and the like.


The Platoon Sergeant had left the FDC (Fire Direction Control, or the 'brains' of the mortar platoon) to check out his gun teams. He had moved more or less straight ahead to the position that Gun 4 occupied. After ensuring that everything was progressing more or less on schedule, he performed a right flank and proceeded down the gun line to Gun 1. One would assume that after completing his checks of 1st section (Guns 1-4), he would then frolic on over to eyeball 2nd section (Guns 5-8). It was when he was at Gun 1's position when Gun 8 failed to come up on the radio to confirm that everything was good to go.


As the radioman was hustling down to the Gun 8 position, the Platoon Sergeant decided to inquire WTF was the hold up. Rather than hop on a radio to ask Gun7, he bellowed out from faaaar right, 'PULL YOUR HEAD OUTTA YER FUCKIN" ASS, YOU!!!'


Remember what I said about passing of word?


Yeah, well, true to form, the entirety of Gun 2 promptly turned to the Gun 3 crew and unanimously passed the word along, at top volume, prompting them to continue the favor down the gun line.


I think hand and arm signals were initiated somewhere between Gun 3 and Gun 4. Really, there was no reason for silent signals as we were screaming at the top of our lungs, but the fact was that by the time Gun 8 got the word, all of Gun 7's crew was doing the same thing - PULL YOUR HEAD OUT (open hands, on either shoulder, moving up as if pulling one's head out) OF YOUR FUCKIN' (violent standing hip thrusts) ASS (*slap*), YOU (pointing).


The Gun8 response detailing how their radio had 'shit the bed' (was out of action) was passed back down with equal speed and humor. Don't think the hand and arm signals (squat w/grunt and folded hands under the head) were passed along to the Platoon Sergeant, though. Just guessing, on that...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Something To Think About

The Marine Corps SOP class dealing with immediate actions for countering a (close distance) ambush is probably the easiest class to sum up. It is in a word, this;


Attack.


The Marine Corps is big on teaching immediate action drills. These drills ideally will provide the individual Marine with available actions to be done automatically and almost as a reflex to a likely complicating situation. A good example of this is when your rifle or pistol fails to fire, what do you do? If you're anything like me, taprackbang takes longer to type and say than to actually do.


My personal belief is that keeping in mind IA (immediate actions) to a near ambush is just as important subject to address in civilian life, as well. A near ambush as defined by the Marine Corps was one within 50 meters, a distance that falls right into the danger close zone. In your everyday life and without an issued m16/m4, you definition of danger close might vary. Probably the very last thing an enemy can anticipate happening when opening up with all the element of surprise is, instead of his hapless prey flailing about in a panic begging to be disposed of, is to have some or all of his potential targets immediately turn and charge his position. It is this brief hesitation that will provide you with the brief window to re-assume command of the situation and break it off in his ass. In a worse case scenario, it will at least allow you an opportunity to redeem yourself for finding yourself to be in a position to be ambushed, and provide a better chance of survival for others on your team. Your 'team' might not be fellow Marines, or even a friendly acquaintance, but might be friends and family members...


I can't help but think about and be grateful for at times, when watching the news, that there are those that understand this concept - they will not lay down and die, but will fight. They might have not had endless training sessions or even their own weapons, but they had their minds, bare hands, and a determination to stop the attack.


Semper Fidelis.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Buddy o' mine through work, also a former military guy, calls me up most every day. He's always a bit on the chipper side, and more often than not I'll respond in a growl to his upbeat, "Good morning!" with the ever classic, "What are you, a fuckin' weatherman now?" as an inside joke to our impression of select senior staff NCOs. link


Always good for a chuckle and a few memories...


For further explanation of differences between some of the higher ranks, go hither.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book Pimpin'

Awesome.


I got AD's book a little while ago, actually, and wound up reading it fairly quickly. I suppose that it's partly due to the fact that I'm a fairly quick reader, but mainly because of it's a helluva read. It's reads quite a bit like his blog, 'cept that I gotta say that the comments section doesn't seem to work too well (Har!). Seriously though, for being pretty much a completely different subject than my experiences in the Corps, much like his blog, there's quite a few similarities if you know where and how to look.


As an added bonus, Mom really liked it, as well. She spent a short while as a volunteer when we lived in Nowhere, AZ, and she said that it brought back some memories, good and bad and in between, about her time slingin' needles and strappin' bodies. She would've returned it quicker, but...


... Gramma got a hold of the book, and while she reads alot, she doesn't read as quickly as either Mom or I. Gramma was not really a fan, mainly due to the language. Guess she's used to a certain standard of intimidation that'll make a combat vet (and everyone else, really) mind their p's and q's around the teensy and lovable Gramma (as long as you're using nothing more vulgar than an occasional, 'dangit'). Said personae doesn't translate too well to book intimidation, I guess. Heck, that shi-er, stuff just makes it more flavorful to my reading palate!


Can't win 'em all...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things That Make You Go 'Hmmmm....'


Two things wrong with this pic... can you tell what they are?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So, got a call the other day, whilest I was fast asleep.


It was from Baby Sis, and My Love picked up the phone.


Know how you can be kinda-sorta asleep, aware enough to register familiar noises but not really be disturbed by them? Yeah, well this nap was not to be. I could tell almost immediately that My Love was going into comfort-mode, and that Baby Sis was crying. A few seconds more was enough to tell me that it wasn't due to a recent break-up or anything, but due to a 'death in the family'.


Shit.


When I was told that it was that Lazy Bum had died, my thoughts were roughly;


1) Thank God.

2) Er, that didn't sound right...

3)... thank God that it was just one of the cats.


4) Guess I can't really claim to be all that much of a cat person now, huh.



As nap time was pretty much kaput, I threw on some shoes and moseyed on over to Mom's house. Mom was kind of upset, completely understandable due to the fact that she's a stereotypical cat-lady and that this was one of 'Dad's cats'. Lazy Bum was everybodys cat, really, largely due to the fact that he was so dang lazy anyone could pick him up and pet him. Heck, he wouldn't even get outta the way of the over-amorous toy-poodle that Mom dotes on. But he and Dad used to cuddle on the couch, so...


So Mom and I hung out a bit, enough to establish that she'd be ok, more or less. We talked a bit about Dad, all of her 'beasties- those that have died and those that are still roaming around- and that she wanted to bury the cat in the back yard, mebbe plant a tree in a bit. I volunteered to dig the hole with Mom's 2ft shovel and reminisced about good times with an e-tool. Eventually got a little bit of a chuckle out of Mom, telling her about the days in the Corps when a young PFC Murphy had to complete his e-tool qualification, so that was good.


Meh, the whole time that Mom and I were talking, her mother was just sitting on the couch, with an odd expression on her face. See, to her, cats were for killing mice in the barn, and not really much else after that. She was trying to understand, you could see it on her face, but it just wasn't quite working. Guess Gramma definitely fits into the dog-person type.


So, here's to you, Lazy Bum, may the mousies run slow, the milk pour just right, and all the poodles find someone else to bother. Say 'Lo to Dad for me...




Just Passing A Little Word...

link.


Think of the kittys.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This Friday, February 20, 2300 CST, Mark is doing another Preparedness Show, focusing on food storage preparations.


Interesting... There's somewhere else besides Mah Belleh to store food...?


Unfortunately, I already know I will be eh, 'at' work, so I'll have to catch this one after the fact. Still looking forward to it, though.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Note To Self: Follow Instructions

When calling in to Mark's show, the recorded message instructs the caller to press '1' to notify the host that he has a caller on-hold. It might've continued by reciting that the host would be notified anyways, but I took that moment to take a sip of my drink... and decided to just listen on my phone for a bit. Riiiiight about the time when my thought was solidifying about the how to of spreading knowledge and the previous glassy-eyed looks I'd received from some family when it came to talks of ditty-boppin' to San Antonio, or the Valle-


"...a caller from the 512 area code, hello? Hello?"


Nuts. Am I on?


All in all, good show, from all. Plenty o' food for thought when it comes to planning, from starting small, not getting carried away, 'insurance', thumb-drive info, generic posted info, and the like. Good stuff.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fire In The... Hole?

Way back in the day, probably similar nowadays, there were a number of ways to identify, off-base, if a guy was a devil-pup. An involuntary, momentary brain-lock upon being addressed in Marine-jargon was most likely a hold-over to recruit days, or those from the School of Infantry, when every Marine was in trouble at one point or another, would be a good sign. Likewise, a subtle shifting to the position of parade rest when addressed by a senior Marine was another. These signals were abandoned as soon as possible by the new Marine, so you couldn't always rely on those to ID who was in SOI or a recent grad.


Another, really easy way to spot an SOI libo Marine, besides the presence of the war-bag ((BOOOT!!!)), would of course be the moto-Ts. Motivational T-shirts were usually decorated with at least 17.5 symbols of the Marine Corps and/or nekkid ladies, death, big ta-tas, weapons, frisky females, other service disparagement, and finally & for a bit of variety, nekkid ladies.


Truly, high fashion it was.


Inevitably, moto-Ts were destined to fall out of favor with most Marines on libo, either due to the 'appropriate civilian attire' requirements that couldn't be wriggled out of, or just plain better fashion sense, as the Marine grew up a bit. This wasn't to imply that the Marine stopped getting moto Ts; oh no, we did, we just stopped wearing them so often on libo. Heh, one somewhat memorable pre-liberty soliloquy that I remember from one of my First Sergeants was the speech, shortly after threatening the well-being of any Marine that found himself in the local pokey at the end of liberty, was the part where he spoke of proper liberty attire. He always said something along the lines of, '... closed toed footwear, no exceptions. Trousers, and if it has loops, a belt, no exceptions. A collared shirt, no exceptions. NO motivational T-shirts, no exceptions. Now, I can't control what you wear out and about in town, but when you leave my area and exit my gate, you will most definitely not be wearing any t-shirt that says something along the lines of,



Eat the

and fuck the

I never actually saw any moto T that had this (or would that be a DE-motivational T?) on it, but then again every time the First Sergeant said it, I know there were a few Marines fantasizing about making one up, just for him...


One important exception to the moto-T rule was, of course, the company T. Every so often, usually during or after a float (deployment on ship), school, combat deployment, or as desired, a unit would come out with a T-shirt. Said shirt would have as its primary color camo green and would usually have a small unit logo on the front and a somewhat larger decoration regarding the units activities on the back. The T would often find its way into the rotation of wear under the cammies, where few would see it. The absence of nekkidness on the T would even make it ok for the odd boots and utes PT, depending on the command, of course.


I have found, now nearly 4 years (!?!) after getting out, that most of my old moto-Ts are getting back into my wear-rotation. Might be a shocker to hear, but I don't get out to the bars nearly as often (or at all, really) as I did before, so the Ts are nearly always worn during my puttering about the house, landscaping, during my 'runs', and whatnot. Some are so frayed and 'holy' that puttering about is about all they're fit for.


Moto-Ts have also become something of the 'easy gift' for My Love. One day she ran into this website, and it quickly became a go-to place for gifts, for me. It's a website devoted to not only the moto-T (and they have come a long way), but bumper-stickers, coins, flags, patches, rank items, and just about everything you could slap an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on. As I am in danger of entering into 'crusty old bastard' Marine status, even the stuff that was in fashion, then not, and now again is good to go, for me. They send us a nice catalogue every month or so, and apparently the models they use are actual Marines, their wives, girlfriends, and kiddos.


Methinks the inclusion of the ladies cuts down quite a bit on the 'nekkidness' of some of the old stuff that I remember. Sure it's still out there, just not so much from this company.


Anyways, I got the most recent catalogue the other day, and pretty much as soon as I opened it, I saw something... interesting.


Now, I really hope that this is something for the ladies...


I really hope that this example is not in fact 'man-panties' that are now standard issue...


And mebbe it's just me, but 'fire in the hole' is not something that should be used on a pair of panties, man or otherwise. Seeing the phrase, 'fire in the hole' just makes me think that if a Marine were to take 'the li'l General' out for a little 'close order drill' with a 'training buddy' that had 'fire in the hole' on their panties, well, said Marine might have to later 'get his bore punched'.


Any Marine can tell you that 'getting ones bore punched' is never, ever, ever a good thing, probably because that big beefy Doc remembers every crack you ever made about his beloved Navy...


One slightly chuckle-worthy item aside, they are otherwise good-to-go and officially Murphy-approved, as dubious as a distinction as that is...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stamps going up... again.


Hey, that reminds me, I have to take some letters (delivered to my house & for the previous owner) to the Post Office. Hell, it's only been almost three years, and his name and that of my wife do share a few letters, so mebbe this'll be the year they figure it out. While I do that, I'll have to try to keep from thinking about all of my mail that's probably still being delivered to random addresses in California and Texas. On a related note, time to pull my credit history again, and check to make sure that no one opened up a credit account for me from one of those addys, as well. After all o' this, I do have that one mortgage bill that I need to switch over to direct withdrawl.


Thanks, USPS!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good Idears

Courtesy of Ahab, I ran across this story, about plans in the works in the event things down south go, uh, south... or move north.


Call me crazy, but shouldn't there be somebody, somewhere, who's main job is to think of the crazy, maybe, improbable, possible, prolly never happen but what the hell might as well type situations in the world... and make a rough plan for them? Or is that just me? (I'm ready for your attack, Canada!)


Speaking of preparedness, and how it's nearly always better to have some thoughts before things get froggy, I got an email from Mark about his show. Sounds like he's going to have some interesting folks on, this Friday.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Highlights

Highlights, from this past Saturday, at the Bracken Range.


  • Take a wild shot in the dark as to who managed to leave his directions to the range at home... give ya a hint, look at my blog title...
  • Well, at least I still know that my 'navigation by guesstimation' still works, more-or-less.
  • I still called, though.
  • The first thing that we did when we were paid up at the range office, guns on the table, range hot was... grab our cameras.
  • Perhaps the best benefit of shooting a Glock with a 56.43 lb trigger pull is when you shoot that Kimber 'Big Sexy' by merely looking lustily at it. It was like buttah...
  • Shooting that CZ-52 made me want to do my Tim Allen man-laugh.
  • I wasn't entirely sure that I was actually shooting those .22s, but there were cute little holes appearing in the paper, so I was happy.
  • I really should get me some .22s...
  • And a CZ-52.
  • And a Kimber 'Big Sexy'.
  • I think a laser might be good for a few training applications, but I'm afraid that (for me) too much of it would wind up with me looking like one of my mom's cats, just chasing it round and round...
  • It's probably not just me, but I like to see all kindsa folks at the range. White, black, old-timers, whipper-snappers, church youth, cops, good ole boys, military, men, wimmen, and... was that family sikh? Cool.
  • Even better than the folks are the guns and being able to, for the most part, randomly walk the range and strike up conversations about folks' different collections.
  • And the random discussion(s) of how guns are (and are not, besides the obvious) like boobies.
  • Mosin-Nagant. [insert more Tim Allen here].
  • That last one didn't sound quite right...
  • Few might know this, but the Mosin is actually a dolt-action rifle. Yeah, that's when, after the first round, you turn your head to give your best cheerio-droolin' grin to the rest of the group, get behind the rifle again, squeeeeeze that trigger, and then when nothing happens sheepishly rack the bolt, load another round, and fire.
  • I have it on pretty good authority that I wasn't the only one to do this...
  • Evil. Black. Rifles. Mmmmmmm....
  • Enthusiastic trigger work does get a visit from range personnel in the form of a warning to slow down the shots... for us.
  • I think the rapid fire that didn't raise any eyebrows from the range folks was the concealed class, perhaps? Regardless, looked pretty well populated, good stuff.
  • I'm not an advocate of spray-n'-pray for the hell of it, but it is nice to be able to practice multiple shots. I got the feel it was more of a 'hunters rifle range' though (slow fire, bench rest, etc), so I understand - their range, their rules.
  • When that guy came over to eyeball our EBRs, ask what caliber they were, prices, and why we would want them in the first place, considering that "they were for killing folks", I had to bite my tongue from replying, 'you say that like it's a bad thing...'
  • I don't think he would have understood my answer.
  • Whoever responded with the more pc (and overall better) answer of hunting, training, and fun, kudos to you.
  • Speaking of which, time really flies when you're having fun, huh.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Final head count for this Saturday's festivities right ovah hyaw.



Looking forward to it and hope to see y'all there!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

With My Luck...

"Ok Murphy, as the new guy on the R&D team, you've been designated as the man to *cough* test out the prototype bio-mech combat suit for the range trials."


"Sweet! Is this the one that makes the wearer almost super-human?"


"Suuuure..."


"What kind of Camo does it have?"


*snicker* "Huh? Camo?"


"You know, is it like a ghillie suit, twigs & foliage n' stuff?


"Not so much foliage as much as... fur..."

*snort*


Saturday, January 31, 2009

I remember a conversation that I had with a pair of my gun teams, in Iraq. The conversation was actually part 3(?) of what had started in an argument between a few of my guys. The argument itself wasn't really all that important, and honestly, I don't recall exactly what it was about. I do remember generally that eventually it had something to do with citizenship, either natural born or naturalized.


We were up on a lonely hill, watching a whole bunch of nothing, again. The only item of interest that had occurred was that one of my guys had invented/discovered that, with only minor modification, a wooden ammo case can make a pretty good shitter, for field use. He was quite proud of this, and tried to insist that everyone take a look at his ingenuity.


Yeah, it was a real slow day.


After mean-ole Sgt. Murphy made him dispose of his 'perfectly good' shitter, the conversation took a turn towards when we would see (if ever) an influx of Iraqi-born servicemen in the U.S. military. Most seemed to think that there would be a few here and there, but most likely no huge numbers, for a long while. Some pointed out the ING soldiers that nearly killed their fellow soldiers in training and ops, to support their dim views of the prospects. Others pointed out the soldier we nick-named 'Old Blue', as damn near the highest mark of respect for a crusty old bastard.


Even our translator got into the mix.


'Yusef' was a good guy, a bit older than us, in his late 20s - early 30s, very bright, motivated, and interested in a lot more than just collecting a paycheck. His family was Christian, and therefore didn't do all that great before but were managing ok, in their current situation. He was happy to have work far from home to protect his identity, but even still he would cover up on some of the ops in town of larger populations. His accent was only medium thick, his grasp of subtleties, innuendos, and whatnot was kind of tenuous, but he could definitely read between the lines. He was able to tell when to immediately stop whatever he was doing if say we needed to un-ass an area, post haste. He would at time saunter up to us, and with a whisper and a nod, tell us that the two detainees in the line were educated Saudis, and therefore the guys that we might really be interested in taking back to the detainee facility. He taught me a lot of Iraqi Arabic, and I taught him a little bit of Spanish. He had asked about Marine Corps training at one point, but honestly admitted he might have a better chance at going Army, due to his age and conditioning. His main goal was to one day live in the States.


Shortly after we were rotated out, the unit that replaced us took a pretty bad hit due to a land mine strike. KIAs included too many Marines, one doc... and one translator.


There was no word for a while, and eventually / for the longest time I assumed that he was the unnamed translator onboard. Word eventually came in a roundabout way that it was another translator that died, and that he was not only alive, but had figured out a way to make it to the States.


A little bird told me a while back, so I'm not sure of the exact date, but I'm just going to mark it down here for me how happy it makes me to hear that soon (if not already), 'Yusef' will complete his training and become a fine addition to the United States Army.


Hooah.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Now This Makes My Leg Tingle

Update for the Blog get-together right over hyaw.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

From my inbox, the other day;


"Are you the J. 'Old Goat' Murphy that went to Undergrad at Oregon State?"


Nope, but all indicators are that I'll be an 'Old Goat', one day...


What followed was a nice back and forth with someone looking for an old friend. It's a bit of a stretch to say that this'll work, but stranger thing have happened, right?


So, other Murphy, OSU class of '90 and deployed Lieutenant(?) in Iraq around 3 years ago, shoot me a mail, you got an old buddy looking for ya.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sweet, Sweet, Merciful Death...

... take me now.


Just follow the trail of crumpled tissues, pitiful moans, and gurgled hacks up the stairs to the couch. You might not be able to actually see me, what with the additional tissues, 'medicinal' bottles, lozenge wrappers, blankies, and whatnot, but I'm really here, lying on the couch waiting for your touch.


blergh.


Edit to add:

Bwaha *hack-coff-whimper-hack* haha...

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Six Things/Habits/Quirks meme

1) I like memes, but rarely find myself following them to a T...


2) In a recent financial-type discussion with My Love, I jokingly mentioned that, after reading our latest and 'greatest' investment reports (long story short, t.u.), I should pull some money out to invest in... 'precious metals'. She sounded pretty receptive to the idea. Now, I'm sure that her idea of precious metals doesn't include those that come in firearms form, but as I consider them precious to me, I'm currently debating my desire for sound, diversified, and solid financial planning (international and domestic, of course) vs. my desire to enjoy living, and sans one of her high-heels through my sack.


3) I spent much of last year testing out different fertilizers for my lawn. I fear that landscaping is going to be yet another one of my hobbies/second jobs (too much time, too much actual work, too much money, etc). I started with my back yard, mainly because I figured that I could hardly screw it up more than it already way. In the portion of the yard that actually has grass, there area sections that have the normal winter look to it, some that seemed burnt to the dirt, and a nice, pristine, lush area covered in dark green grass.

I've forgotten what type of fertilizer I used for the green area.


4) Since I've started planning a trip down south for my great-grandmother's birthday later in the year, I've been craving ceviche and pisco, two things I rarely have.


5) I love the COPS-type shows, but I don't really consider them a reality show nor do I consider them to be the end all be all of techniques and tactics. It can be a heckofa comedy, though...


6) Speaking of comedy, I really get a kick outta this guy...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Schweet.

Go here for details re: blogshooty goodness, and the list of prospective attendees.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pucker Up, One Last Time

Peter had a post recently, here, about a li'l old lady that brought what she thought was a land mine to her local police station. Kind of humorous, in the end, due to the fact that no one was seriously injured by the antique... thing.


Reminded me of a story 'bout those who play by 'Better Safe Than Sorry', and those who should.


It was during the left seat / right seat, them in the left seat. This is to mean that the new Battalion was essentially running the show and that we had a few guys stay behind to sit 'right seat', to offer last minute advice, instruction, and anything else that might help.


Guess who was one of those that was initially told his services wouldn't be needed.... and then they were?

Yeah, I got a good picture of all my boys givin' me the friendly one finger salute as their 7-ton pulled out of the FOB.


We were out on patrol one day, nothing too extravagant, just moseying up and down our AO, seeing what was crack-a-lackin', and I was pointing out items of interest to the VC and crew that I was riding with. The reason I was talking to the Vehicle Commander and not the Squad Leader was that my Captain and the new companies OIC were chit-chatting in the vehicle, with the squad leader. That only leaves room for a driver and a gunner, both most likely Lance Corporals, and if anything was gonna get done in that vehicle, they'd need both of the work horses there. Besides, I had sat down with the new Squad Leader already, he looked like he had a good head on his shoulders - nobody I needed to worry about.


I was continuing a conversation that I'd started with a bunch of the new Lance Corporals - where we'd been hit, where we suspected the enemy was moving, how to read the roads, our immediate action drills according to specific situations, particularly spectacular convoy failures, the worthlessness of the average ING and IP when our Battalion started and some of their improvements, enemy tactics, their IED and land mine camouflage - you know, a few odds and ends here and there.


One of the Lance Corporals had asked me about our actions with landmines vs. IEDs, and what my personal thoughts on the matter were.


I started by telling him that there was definitely a progression in the ability of the enemy to set up, camo, and implement their weapons. During the time of my deployment, I'd noticed landmines that I couldn't see from more than 4 feet away and on foot, armor piercing MG rounds wrapped around arty rounds, incendiary IEDs, all building up to where our forces were at that day. The weren't too many stupid Jihadi Joes left, 'cause we'd already killed most of 'em. Our usual action once we determined that we had an actual threat was to call up EOD and let them take care of business. I stressed the fact that EOD was going to be escorted by some of their sister squads on their 'off' days, so it might be nice to know that when your squad is rolling out of the racks after only 2 hours of sleep that you can be pretty sure that you aren't going to get called out to disarm a bag of trash, a dead sheep, or a pillow. I told them that even if they were Blue Falconed that way, in my opinion it was always better to be safe than sorry. I'd take a shit-talkin' every day of the week for calling out a false alarm if it meant I could avoid a KIA, particularly moi.


One of 'em asked about shooting the IEDs. I told them that we hadn't, and that it would eventually be up to their command whether that flew or not, but from my experience, there was quite a few IEDs that were set up interior to a city, on a local bridge, or otherwise in an area where shooting it wouldn't be an option, really. If, on the other hand, they just happened to be out in the dunes oh, say, randomly conducting a test fire and 'just happened' to hit an IED, well then...


They got the idea.


It was about at that time that the lead vehicle spotted a possible land mine in the shoulder of the road, left side, immediately before crossing the bridge. The road was littered with previous craters lining both sides of the road and various vehicle debris, so it was something that definitely looked promising.


The call went out over the radio, the lead vehicle hauled ass over the bridge, the second and third were kind of stuck on account of terrain, but made do the best they could. Another vehicle started to make their way, off road, to link up with the lead victor, just in case. My vehicle stopped in place, turret faced to the rear, and the VC and I got out to check our area. I could hear the initial vocal tension of the FNGs' voices over the radio, and the relative calm as they realized they weren't dead, there was (initially, at least) no further threat, their figurative cherries were kinda-sorta popped, and there was still a job to do.


As the VC and I checked the area, I asked him for a verbal run-down of immediate actions that his vehicle and the squad needed to do. Once we established that our vehicle was secure, we pushed out a bit to face-to-face with the next vehicle and to cover ground in likely areas of attack. I had a separate radio on my gear, for my guys that were right-seating in other vehicles. One of 'em asked me to head up to his position, if I wasn't too busy. He was closer to the suspected mine, had better eyes on, and wanted me to confirm something for him. As the VC and I walked back to the road, I pointed out debris from convoys that littered the area. I wasn't trying to scare the guy, just impress upon him that this particular area was one to keep in mind, for the future.


As we were walking up and over the last of the hills before the road, he asked if I had any EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) trained Marines in my squad. I - still examining old tire, motorcycle, bicycle, sheep, and herder tracks - responded in the negative. I told him we had some former EMTs, some recreational gun-nuts, one radioman, one guy who liked to work on low-riders in his spare time, and an Irishman in some serious throes of alcohol withdrawal, but no EOD guys.


He paused, and asked if we had no EOD, why was one of my guys working on the landmine?


It was the guy who had called for me earlier.


The image that flashed though my head at the moment was one of a curious monkey poking a stick into a potential grub hill, for some reason. Brain Donor was using his k-bar to gently poke around the edges, at a good 45 degree angle, around the circular edge of what, from my closing distance and perspective, could be the edge of the pressure plate. As I contemplated getting blown up two days after my squad officially stopped patrolling, he managed to fit his knife under the device, and more or less pried up...














... what looked like an old, dusty, large paint-can lid that had been embedded in the dirt.



Good thing I had left a few extra pair of clean skivvies for the return trip to the states...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Here.

Death in combat is something that, for some, is not really talked about too much. Just by the nature of the environment it is commonly accepted knowledge that there are plenty of risks in war, everyone is exposed to them, and sometimes, your number is called. When someone dies, you console yourself with the knowledge that the person died 'fighting the good fight', doing what they volunteered for and were trained to do, alongside their buddies.


It's still never easy.


Death, in training, is something that is possibly even harder to bear, but it does happen on occasion. The soldiers here still volunteered, were still among buddies, and even though it happened in training, I believe that they were still fighting the good fight.



Thoughts and prayers to the families of the broken and broken-hearted.


link

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Interesting...


I got an email recently from SpeakerTweaker, and he had a interesting proposal. The idea that he had was to suggest a gathering of like-minded bloggers in our area (roughly San Antonio to Austin) for food, firearms, and fun. Some others have held similar get togethers and have managed to have a great time. Well why not us, then?


Indeed.


During a recent planning conversation/spitball session, we chatted a bit about guns, better halves, Christmas guns, ammo, kiddos, possible ranges, recently purchased guns, rising prices, bare gun shelves and the like.


This could take awhile...


So, in the interest of testing the waters so to speak, we're both planning on tossing this out there to all who might be interested.


Bueller...?


Pretty much everything is up for debate right now, from location, ranges, food, dates and times. As I understand it, responses and those interested will determine exactly where (what city) this'll be held, and from there where we go, etc.


Anybody up for this can email Tweaker or myself to let us know of your interest, make suggestions, offer sponsorship for my ammo fund, and/or donate small children for the post party clean up.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Via Snigs.


1. Do you like blue cheese?

Nope, as a rule I toss it before it gets medium-dark green.

2. Have you ever smoked?

Cohibas are pretty good...

3. Do you own a gun?

a) Uh... no. They are scary, evil, death machines that should only be used by other, better trained... guys.
b) Sumdood stole 'em.
c) I lost them all in a freak accident whilst on a boating/poetry/nature communing trip.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite?
'Red'.

5. Do you get nervous before a doctors appointment?
Only if they were to say that I was going to get 'tutored'.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?

I'm not one of those sick puppies...

7. Favorite Christmas movie?
Full. Metal. Christmas.

8. Favorite thing to drink in the morning?

Coffee.

9. Can you do push ups?
Not like I used to.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
Hip metal.

11. Favorite hobby?
I dunno if it qualifies as a 'hobby'...

12. Do you have A.D.D.?

Huh, what?

13. What’s one trait you hate about yourself?
I'll tell you later, sometime... mebbe.

14. Middle name?
Yes.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
1. Two is one, one is none.
2. I should probably run.
3.
Mmm, pizza good.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
Coffee, coffee, and coffee.

17. How many siblings do you have?
Two.

18. Current hate right now?

Close race between the Sham Wow guy and B. Mays...

19. Favorite place to be?
At home.

21. Where would you like to go?
To visit familia and Dad.

22. Name three people who might complete this:

No idea.

23. Do you own slippers?
With or without duckies?

24. What shirt are you wearing?
T. (Not 'Mr.', but 'white'.)

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
Dude, really?

26. Can you whistle?

Yes.

27. Favorite color?

Black.

28. Would you be a pirate?

Nope. Definitely a Ninjer.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

30. Favorite Girls Names?

'Peaches', 'Bubbles', and 'Candy'.


31. Favorite boy’s names:
Sorry, bro, Homey don't play that.

32. What is in your pocket?

Pocket pool balls.

33. Last thing that made you laugh?

Previous post (link) & comments.

34. What vehicle do you drive?
Car.

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had?
I had a bad hang-nail once...

36. Do you love where you live?
Sure.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house?
3.5.

38. Who is your loudest friend?

?

39. Do you have any pets?

Quite a few dust bunnies.


40. Does someone have a crush on you?

Heck if I know.

41. Your favorite book(s):
Lotsa.

42. Do you collect anything?

Yes.

43. Favorite Sports Team?
Swedish Bikini Team.


44. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Uh, I'll be dead, what's the difference? As long as folks aren't clappin' and dancin' in the aisles, I'm good.