How Cool Is This?!?

So I posted a few weeks back about the USO tour that brought Leeann Tweeden, Colin Quinn, Jeffrey Ross and Gale Sayers, right? Well, because of the limited amount of time, I didn't get to actually meet Gale Sayers or Leeann Tweeden and get their signatures.

Well, Gale Sayer's Business Partner found my blog and wrote me this Email.
"I saw your blog on the USO Tour. I am Gale Sayer's business partner and would be happy to get you a signed football or picture if you would like one. Thanks for serving our country."

I thanked him for the offer and asked him if he could ship it to my family's address, and sure enough, I got an email from my mom threatening that she was going to sell it on Ebay!

Well, of course she was kidding, but indeed, how cool is this?

Gale Sayers' Rocks! Thank you so much Mr. Sayers, that really made my day!

September's Going to be Nuts!

Well, without giving away dates and timelines, September for me, well, it'll just be plain nutso!

I was supposed to go to Bulgaria at the end of July/beginning of August but since that got blown completely out of the water, I had to settle on going at a later date. Well, that later date has come when Nate (aka The Boy) came around asking me if I could go *enter date here*. I'm looking at that date and what else is supposed to happen this month and asked if he couldn't change his.

Nope, no can do. So I'm going to Bulgaria at the beginning of September *will be sure to post all about that adventure here, hopefully in a timely manner!*

So, what else was planned for this month? Well, this was something that we weren't entirely certain on, but there is a Preventive Medicine Refresher Course going on in Germany for one week (read = the training we should have gotten before we came here) which will undoubtedly help me as I am not the greatest 91S in the world nor do I pretend to be. Well, I just got my TDY orders confirming that indeed this train-up is a Go.

So I will be back in Kosovo, working like a dog when that is all said and done, and what do you know? I leave on Leave toward the end of September. Leave will once again be in glorious Germany, where I will meet up with my mom (who can't help but tell me every time I talk to her how excited she is about this, and I'm in the same boat with her!) and we will head south to Austria, Switzerland, Italy and *possibly* Hungary. I think we should also hit Liechtenstien too because nobody thinks about Liechtenstein, and we could go there on a day trip on our way to Switzerland!

So, anyway, my leave will indeed seep into October, where I'll come back here from my exhaustive vacation that I will undoubtedly need a vacation from, but anyway, September is going to be nuts and quite possibly slow on the Blogging Front due to lack of time to actually post about it.

Well, I'll let you know more as the month progresses.


Red vs Blue News

Red Vs Blue Season 4 has begun.

And it won't download fast enough.

Update - Ahh, RvB downloaded in lovely High Resolution and now I can be content to watch my weekly fix again.

All is well with the world.


Love and a 240

And you may have thought the M203 was bigger then me!

This is Betty, she belongs to my boy, who happens to be the 240 gunner for his squad. Ain't she sweet?

Well she's heavy too!

Of course, I had to get my traditional 'not sorry' pose with her.

I can't say I have shot her yet, but next time the boy goes to the range, he said he'll let me know so I fire a few rounds.


The Boar Hog

This is the Boar Hog. I drew him for a certain soldier in Task Force Tornado.

Long story.

On The Radar Again

Boy do I love it when this happens </Sarcasm>

Apparently, I'm under investigation for things I've posted on my blog again. Though I have been trying to keep my postings about operational activities in Kosovo to a bare minimum (which in turn all but killed my Milblog) and trying not to talk about things going on in theater, every once in a while I find something I want to talk about that interferes with the military. Fancy that. And every once in a while I slip up.

Anyway, apparently now my blog has been sent to the JAG office and I'll likely hear something back on it here in the not to do distant future. I guess this is reminder that as a soldier, my right to free speech is not necessarily a right, especially in leau of the mission. I am aware of this, which is one of the reasons why I have avoided politics while I've been in uniform. But sometimes its hard not to say something when your life is the army 24/7. Which is why I sometimes go into a dry spell for periods of time.

I don't know what I would do if I were in Iraq with this. I probably would forego the blog entirely.

Note to the G3 and JAG. Offending post has been removed, and yes, I have been briefed on what I can and cannot post when I first got here. My command does check up regularly on my blog to make sure I do not post anything in violation with OPSEC. I will make a stronger effort in the future to remain in compliance.

That is all.

Calling Home

I got up early this morning to celebrate my brother's birthday, as early this morning = to last night back home. The entire family was there, except for one missing void. Which happened to be me.

I talked to my mom earlier this week and she commented that I should call Saturday evening to get most of the family.

Whats more, the MWR was slow, so they let me talk a little bit past the usual 30 minute time frame.

Its always good to call home.

Unfortunately I don't usually like to get up at 0600 on a Sunday to do it!

Happy Birthday Jared. Hope you enjoyed our brief phone call.


Referrals from the Dead

I had a little blast from the past recently. Ok, so not so much, it was more in regards to before this deployment. During my brush with my 15 minutes of fame in regards to the whole election and not sorry photograph that got me, oh, about 95% of my readers.

In retrospect, that whole incident couldn't have come at a worse time in regards to me trying to keep up with it and get ready to deploy. But I spent a good portion of the two weeks following my posting of that picture just tracking down how far it had gone, which led me to forums, blogs, and of course, even the democratic underground. The little referrers javascript I had placed only a few weeks earlier on the bottom of the website really came in handy. Apparently I startled a few people when following back on references and posting out of the blue.

Well, since a lot of people have blog rolled me, its harder to follow those referring links now. But every once in a while, I come across a link that rises from the dead. Especially something like a Forum Topic.

Case in point, Lightfighter's Tactical Forum (unfortunately you have to register to see it). When I initially found them, I think I gave them a shock when I posted there.

Following referrers. *sighs* Those were the days.

Getting Closer to the End of the Stretch, and the Restlessness has Kicked In

So yeah, still house keeping. It will probably take me two weeks to get that organized, and then I'll be gone. And I will be grateful.

The Sergeant in Charge noted my moodiness lately. In which I'll likely reply 'eh.' I was thinking of this and I realized that I don't get outside the wire enough. So most people probably look at me and think "what do you mean, you don't get outside the wire enough? You're PM! PM always goes outside the wire!"

Yeah, Preventive Medicine is always going out of the wire, but when I go out of the wire, I'm usually going someplace else TO DO WORK! And to do work that I don't particularly like, however I do it because its my job.

I just realized that I haven't been in any other sector except for MNB-E, which is where I live, and MNB-Central, which is where the Airport, KFOR Main, and all that Jazz is located. I drive through Pristina to get there, however I've never actually been to Pristina.

We had a women's conferance in Ferazai last week that I went to, and it was just nice to get to go someplace I had never been before. Traffic was crazy, like it usually is, but it was just a Nice Change of Pace. Just seeing parts of the country and stuff that I hadn't seen yet.

I want to go to the German camp or something, but I can't seem to go to anyplace unless I have a valid reason to go there. Is 'I need to get out more' a valid reason? And not just Ghilane and Ferazai, I mean seeing parts of Kosovo I hadn't seen yet. I don't want to tour the streets and go shopping, I've done that already. I actually want to see some of the other camps and cities and such.

That, and we're not even allowed to stop and mingle to and from places. So I go to Monteith, or one of the other camps. My mission is to go there and come back. You aren't allowed to stop for any reason.

Big Duke was a really nice change. But I'm still restless. Good thing Leave is quickly approaching. Can't wait for that.

How to Say Risawn

It's really easy. Ris - AWN.

Ris rhymes with Kiss.

awn like in Dawn. or even On, like On and Off.

Now say it together. Emphasis is in the second syllable.

In case you were wondering. Because for some reason a lot of people like to put a bird in there or something. And I have never for the life of me associated myself with a Swan.

I've had people misspell my alias ever since I started using it back in 1999. Though I've had people call me Ris, Sawny, or whatever.

Just thought maybe you would like to know. In case all of this time you were wondering.



Been doing some housekeeping lately.

Sidebar for the most part down, until I decide to completely revamp it. I don't know when this will be. But a lot of it will entail me going through my bloglist, cleaning out ones that have died since the election and of course, adding new ones.

Care Package Status - Update

I've had to condense my space from having a little to much room to having not very much at all. Not that I mind, as I've been very fortunate to have the room to just spread out and do my own thing.

Well, that changed, and today I took a few items and shipped them home. And the bill to ship it all told me "ouch!" Fortunately I have another five months or so to start shipping things home, but that still leaves me with the issue of all this crap I've got that eventually has to go somewhere. Whether that be to the incoming soldiers on the next KFOR rotation, in the trash, at the MWR library, or back home.

Choices choices. Hmm.

Anyway, I feel like the status of my Care Packages should be updated. To start, I want to thank everyone for their generosity who decided to make my day by sending me something special, off of my Amazon Wishlist, whether it be a care package full of miscellanious goods, or just a letter with a kind word.

Well, from the first few months of being known throughout the task force as having the most packages, from both my blog and being the one to start the Any Soldier Bandwagon, I've gotten so many books, movies, and other interesting goods that I'll never get through them all on this deployment.

So I took my Amazon Wishlist down. I want to thank everyone who bought me something off of it, but it has gotten to a point where the more stuff I get, the more inclined I am to keep it, and then I have to ship it home when all is said and done. I've been far too spoiled on this deployment as it is.

So what does that mean? If you find it in your heart to send me stuff, what should you send me?

Er, stuff to eat is always good. We share it with the rest of the hospital and it goes pretty fast. I would say Letters, but I've done a poor job of returning them (and I've been bad on the Emails!) Basically, anything that won't hold a sentimental value in that I can leave it here when I go home.

That basically means I'm going to stop asking mom to send me stuff. Well, other then perhaps Eurail tickets. And an occaisional snack.

You all have been great. Thanks for your support so far!

Trouble In Deed

Been a while since I posted to other blogs, but since I've been out of the loop, I don't tend to cross link unless its about me.

Dang that makes me sound vain. When I get back home, maybe I'll start ranting about things other then myself.

Hmm. . . I was wondering when Cadet Happy would use his photoshopping skills again.

Apparently it was enough to make IMAO.


On the Home Front

Apparantly Protest Warrior is getting in on the action with the "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" tour, as a counter protest to Cindy Sheehan, leaving from San Francisco today and caravaning to Crawford Texas.

Dang, right now I wish I were in the states. I would so get in on that. This whole story has made the news here in Kosovo and I've wanted to comment on it yet have refrained due to my active duty military status. Being a member of Protest Warrior, I only got the opportunity to go on one excercise with them within my chapter. But ever since I heard about this, I wanted to do something with it. Unfortunately, I'm not in a state to do anything. Maybe when I get back to the states I can if a similar issue arrises.

I'm at a state where I would volunteer to go to Iraq just to know what its like to be there, for the experience and also being able to back up my viewpoint. You know, the "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt" business? But I know it wouldn't make mom to happy if I did that. Moms are moms, and I guess from that angle I can sympathisize with Cindy Sheehan. But Kosovo, well, Kosovo just isn't the same.

If I hadn't volunteered to come on this deployment to Kosovo, there is a good chance I'd be in Iraq this summer, though that doesn't mean anything because there was a good chance I would go to Iraq three or four times over the last couple of years before I finally got sick of it and volunteered for the first assignment that would take me out of limbo, which happened to be Kosovo. I had even volunteered to go to Afghanistan in December of 2001 but that fell through within a week.

I guess maybe somebody above is watching out for me, but I support the mission we are trying to accomplish in Iraq, and it pains me to see that there are so many people in the states who want the insurgents to win, as if America is the bad guys for wanting to put a little calm and reason within an area of the globe that hasn't seen it for so long. And their rationale doesn't always make a whole lot of sense. Besides, these insurgents are at a point where they are doing more harm to their own people then to the US soldiers who are trying to stabalize the region.

Anyway, I guess one way to show support for my fellow soldiers and their mission would be in a sense to counter protest those that think we should pull out. And showing my support for the war in Iraq wouldn't be considered political, considering I am a member of the military, is it?

Hair Blogging

so, yeah, I cut my hair again.

I was trying to grow it out, but I had it long in the back and short in the front, and I decided I would make it so it could all grow out in one length. Mostly because everytime I would pull it up, it wouldn't quite stick the way I wanted it too. Well, anyway, I drew a picture so the lady at the 'Beauty Shop' (which is what they call it) would know what I was talking about because the last time I went there she didn't speak an ounce of english.

Well, this lady did speak some english, but I guess i drew my hair as being longer up front then it really was. I'm fairly happy with it, though the first sergeant got on my case for cutting my hair again. A lot of people got on my case when I first got back from christmas leave with no hair. I think they thought I was on something. Or something.

I think I'm going to let it grow out from here. Of course, my sister might ask if she can do something to help me style it.


Who Loves the USO?

I Do, I Do!

The USO came around Bondsteel yesterday doing a tour with GEN Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. For those of you who don't know, GEN Myers is the Highest ranking person in todays Army. Well, actually he's even higher, because he's not in the Army. He's Air Force, but I won't hold it against him. . .

Meanwhile, well, this is a USO Tour. USO conjours up images of Bob Hope on Christmas.

Well, Bob Hope is no longer with us, so other celibrities have come to try to fill his shoes as best as they can.

Master of Ceremonies was none other then Leeann Tweeden, of FHM and Maxim fame, as well as ESPN and other venues of Testosterone Entertainment. She was very nice, though being a babe in a sex starved military deployment, when they split the groups up to get autographs, a bunch of guys went to her line. I decided to go a different route, though I would have loved to get her autograph. I did end up getting a card signed by her, one of those generic ones that she presigned to go around, but I decided to be nice and give it to Nate who had fore-gone the USO tour to take the Pilgrimage trip to Letnica for spiritual enlightenment. He's catholic.

There was also a run on the PX's Sports Section, from what I heard they sold over a hundred footballs. See, Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers showed up too. I missed out on getting an autograph from him as well, considering, well, the forementioned Football Blowout. There were a lot of people in line wanting to get an autograph and these Celebrities were only there for an hour and a half to entertain us and then gift us with their John Hancock.

Well, that leaves the fun old fashioned comedy routine, brought on by two talented comedians who gifted us with some jokes that were at times making the generals blush upstage thinking *what have we done?* It wasn't PC in the slightest bit, and that's probably why I laughed that hard.

Jeffrey Ross was first. He hosts this routine on Comedy Central called The Roast where they honor any given celibrity by dishonoring them. Apparently he had just finished Roasting Pamela Anderson the night previous. He was a bit raunchy, but pretty freakin' funny!

Last up was Colin Quinn. You may know him from venues such as Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central's 'Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn', amongst other shows. I knew him from SNL, in fact, right off the bat, he's the first name I recognized. And like Jeffrey Ross, he made me laugh. Hard. I took some video, but I got to remember to dump my memory stick before going to things like this. I did the same thing at the ThundHERstruck Concert.

I loved his metaphor on the war on terror and the nations involved compared to a bar fight. Classic. . .

I'm going to have to watch more SNL when I get home now.


I don't know if I'll Ever hear the end of This.

You know that magazine ad for the Guardian(KFOR MNB-E Publication) I told you about? The one I posed for?

Well, I knew the repurcussions of posing in it, and sure enough, I've been getting a lot of comments.

Fortunately, I can just laugh with them. As I can blame nobody but myself. Er, and maybe SPC H for talking me into posing for her.

We must have taken a few dozen pictures of him assaulting me and me assaulting him. Of course, it had to be tame enough to publish in a government publication. What's Nate's unit going to probably say?

"And you can't get into that girl's pants?"

I think the whole thing is a riot myself :)


Anonymous Messages

I got a cryptic message on the door. . . it was a simple envelope that simply said 'SGT E' with a blank CD Rom attached.

At first I didn't know what it was, but then I thought it might be the pictures that SPC H (the task force photographer) giving me the extra pictures she took of my photoshoot (that I guarantee I will never see the end of when that issue of the guardian comes out)

No, I popped the CD into my computer and there was a video of me air strumming my M16 to Thund'her'Struck.

Did I mention that a lot of people deployed here read my blog? You know how eerie that is sometimes?

And is it a coincidence that within a couple of days after my post about an incident that happened over a month ago, an anonymous CD turns up on my door describing pictures I didn't have?

I think I'll take a few stills off the CD and post them here.


Bunker Drills

We had a full bunker drill recently, and during the drill I had my camera ready. So me and my battle buddy took pictures of each other across the room hunkered under our 'bunkers' *when you are in the hospital, getting under the table counts as a bunker*

Later, we then played drills and got into position with MasCal excercises.



Rockabilly and All Girl Cover Bands

The Battle of the bands indeed. . .

Ok, on top of current events, this post will pick up on an event that happened well over a month ago. Meaning this post will be picture intensive. Because I love pictures.

I'll start with the old and end with the new. . .

All Girl Cover Bands

Sometime in June, we had a group called Thund'HER'Struck come in and treat us to a rockin' good time with a bunch of songs from AC/DC. They were an all girl cover band. And they were fun.

Though several people mentioned the fact of them singing 'Big Balls' (by request I might add) was somewhat wrong. But I enjoyed them despite the fact. As I enjoyed it when they invited all of the females in the audience up on stage with them to rock out.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of me air-strumming my M16. I could probably find some from somebody around post, there were a lot of people in the audience with cameras taking pictures.

Anyway, without further ado, pictures of an all girl ACDC cover band playing hard for the troops in Kosovo.

Here's a shot of the soldiers enjoying the concert.

Its the Drummer. . .

Rhythm Guitar. . .

Bass Guitar. . .

This is why I miss having long hair. . .

Band going Body Surfing!!!

The Entire band ended up jumping into the crowd, I tried to get the drummer in mid air but got a small delay in my camera.

Me with the band, when it started to get cold. . .

. . . the bassist stole my Boy's jacket! (but don't worry, he got it back after the fact) And if you wanted to see what my boy looks like, well, there he is. He's the only male in the group, of course :)

I got quite a few pictures of them rockin' out, as I tend to do.


And then, last week, we had another band come and treat us to a rockin' good time singing some Rockabilly. What, you may ask, is Rockabilly? Well, I was asking the same thing, as I hadn't heard it before. Nate was trying to describe it to me and told me it was like a hybrid sound of country, rock, surfer, swing and oldies, or something. When I just kind of gave him a 'what?' look, he mentioned the Stray Cats, and then I asked him about Stray Cat Strut. So I was trackin, sort of.

The Bassist even emphasized the Stray Cat influence.

Anyway, this band called Jack Knife and the Sharps came and introduced me to this genre of music and I found myself enjoying myself, meaning I might just have to check out this genre more often. But maybe it was because I was also in the company of Nate, who Swing Dances. And when they started singing swing, he took us out and we started dancing.

I'm not much of a dancer, but I've always wanted to learn how to Swing Dance and so we started busting some moves.

Live Bands Rock, by the way.

Becuase I'm inexperienced with Swing, we didn't do anything to crazy, but later he showed me some other moves we can try when the time arises and we find ourselves the only ones dancing in front of a bunch of people.

Usually, the Bassist plays a standing bass, you know, the REALLY big violin type instrument, which would have been really cool but flying into a warzone sometimes you have to make sacrifices and leave gargantuan instruments back home. *sniff*

I love this guitar. Its so cool. In fact, I found myself paying a lot of attention to how they played the guitar, seeing as I'm learning myself.

Later, in introducing his band, Ric (the singer) told us he picked up his Bassist at a Garage Sale and his Drummer off of Ebay. *snicker* What, it made me laugh!

The drummer reminds me of a skinnier version of my brother-in-law, who happens to be a drummer :)

It has become customary for me to get a picture with the band. Because I love bands. They rock. Literally. I asked to pose with them and Ric put his guitar around my neck and it hung past my knees. That's what I get for being short.

Next time I'll try not to wait a month and a half to gloat to you about the cool people I get to meet.

Art, and More Art

I just thought I would mention about my Gallery. I updated it slightly, because I got a whole bunch of art from people when I was selected for the draw in one of these art exchange live journal communities. I had them draw characters out of my webcomic.

I feel all special now. And I finally got the pictures listed on my Gallery. That thing is going to get pretty large at this rate.

I've really been in an art mood as of late, and not just illustration but really getting into the desire to do funky things with art, and add to my online portfolio which is a little weak at the moment. I've been trying to do some things with the colored pencil, especially after my Wacom tablet decided to play the 'will I work?' game and I found out I don't like to illustrate so much with colored pencils. But I think I'm going to really start focusing on drawing things more.

I think I'm going to draw a pigeon.


There are Pigeons on Camp Bondsteel, and I don't know if I've ever seen pigeons as fat as these. They are really waddly and they just walk around bobbing their heads in whatever manner that pigeons do.

I have a strange desire to catch one and squeeze it. Not so much the other birds, just the pigeons. Every so often if you catch me at the right time, you may even witness me running after them. They always fly off though.

I bet if I creep up on them all quiet like, I can probably nab one. But that wouldn't be good preventive medicine practices on my part.


Getting into a Musical Groove

Free Guitar Lessons. . . courtesy of the Chaplain's assistant, and I decided to hop on board and pick up another hobby, or talent, or what not. I've discovered that small fingers go against you with guitar playing, but that's ok, that just means I have to work those fingers. And build up some Callouses (yeah, I know I mispelled that, balderdash) on those fingertips.

I'm using the Church's Guitar for now, but I just ordered my own. It's an Ibanez Acoustic Electric Guitar, its shiny blue black and its on order! Soon it will be MINE!

Then I can start practicing all those nifty chords and proceed to drive my roomies stark raving insane! WooHOO!