Hypocrits Among Us

You know, say what you want about the war in Iraq and this presidential administration or whatever your views may be and I'll respect them, even if they're different from mine.

But come on people, you do realize that when you put a 'oil bad' sticker on an SUV, you look like a flippen retard, right?

I shot this at a stoplight as I was following behind this guy and went 'huh?' I had my camera ready and tried to snap the picture, but it still blurred a bit. If you can't tell what it says, it says "Grand Oil Party" with the republican elephant logo looking a bit like a gas pump.

Come on, if you're going to put a sticker on your car that says something like that, make it a fuel efficient vehicle and not a gas guzzler. Gees.


Celebrity Look Alikes ???

Easy Amusement. . .

Just for fun, I decided to try this out and see what kind of hits I could get. However, I found it was very hard to find a picture of myself looking at the camera dead on.

So we decided to do several pictures and see what I could come up with.

All I can say is 'huh?' My number one match is a guy?

So I ran it again. . .

I have heard Reese Witherspoon (about a million times) as well as Christina Ricci once or twice. I've never gotten Katie Holmes before, but I think that has something to do with the angle of my head matching hers.

Hmm, for kicks and giggles, should I do it again?

Aahh! That picture is scary! Like, all the hits are guys!

Ok, I'm addicted. . . Just a couple more. . .

All famous child actresses . . and then. . . Benny Hill???

Ok, you can't get much more straightforward then a DA photo for the US army and I get. . . Tom Welling??? Ok, I'm done. . .

(I also got Ernest Hemingway on that last round, lot's of fun, of course I'm thinking this website is old news)

Ok, now I'm really done (did mention this was addictive, right?)


So, Captain Falcon survived the day, and the world is still here.

The fish theory worked!

I stand corrected. Captain Falcon did die, sometime last night, so the fish theory didn't work.

Or something like that.

I'm out of gold fishies.


Down to One Little Fishie

Captain Falcon is all that remains. Link had a fitting eulogy at the toilet yesterday before I flushed him and now I'm down to the last gold fish, which is ironic because I was sure this one was going to be one of the first to go. But he's doing pretty well. I need to change his water, but now I can't find the stuff to do it.

Bleh. . .

Clark is still going strong, but he needs a water change as well.

Meanwhile, two days until the end of the world. I'm counting on CPT Falcon to die then.

Do you have your emergency kit???

For Those Who Hate Work

My Cubicle

I'm usually off the ball with things like this, and this link is a few months old, but that's a pretty dang funny parody.

Time to spread to the rest of my family.

Courtesy Marnie


All the Little Fishies

Status on fishes. . .

Tiger and Marlin have joined the ranks of Pedro, Mario, Fettacini and Nemo in that sewer in the sky.

Fortunately, status on my next residence has opened up to pretty soon (like in the next couple of days) I can start moving in. I'm thinking of getting a freshwater aquarium, which I haven't had in a few years. I used to have a Jack Dempsey Cichlid I named Dempsey (I originally had a second I dubbed Jack, but eventually Dempsey killed him) that would eat anything that entered its tank. Which meant I had a lot of dead fish whenever I tried to make an actual aquarium. I had Dempsey for a couple of years, he'd eat frogs, milworms, and grasshoppers, not to mention other fish. He'd also nibble on your fingers if you put them in there, quite a personality for a fish. However, plantlife didn't survive for long. So for a thing of beauty, it was something of an eyesore.

With any luck, my last two gold fish, Link and Captain Falcon will last a few more months and I can be reassured that if I do put some money into an aquarium, I'm not going to get a bunch of dead fish within a couple of weeks.

I'll give Link and Captain Falcon a couple weeks to survive. Then I'll see about getting a freshwater aquarium.

Meanwhile, Clark's pretty chipper, if the gold fish don't make it, maybe I'll still have my Betta.


DI In training

I sincerely hope I don't look this psychotic when I finally make Drill Sergeant (some day. . .)

Reasons Not to Date People From Berkley

Warning: Graphic Images abound, not for children or people with Heart Problems.

Zombie Hall Of Fame

Really, what is this world coming to?

What I find ironic is the insertion of a Swastika on the Isreali flag. Is this an oxymoron or something??? Didn't Nazis like try to kill all the jews? Or are this anti war ralliers who claim that we're repeating history forgetting what Nazism was all about?


Back to that Kosovo Issue

Blind Eyes Over Kosovo, a fairly recent article about Kosovo that I can attest to from first hand experience of being over there. A region that used to have significantly more diverse population is now about 92% Albanian.

When I was over there, I didn't know what we were really doing to help support and stabalize Kosovo so that we can pull out of there. Its a mess, we've been there for seven years, and it doesn't look like we'll be pulling out any time soon.

What a mess. . .

Hat Tip - Desert Cat

Terror Plots and Current Events

Earlier this year, I had a premonition that something big was going to happen this summer. It was one reason why I felt that maybe Yellowstone wasn't such a great idea after all. But it was just this dread hanging over me, I didn't want to sound like some paranoid psycho so I really didn't say a whole lot at the time.

However, on top of all the latest stuff going on in the world, well, I've been watching Glenn Beck, which is apparently another source of disillusionment *well, he is pretty frickin' funny!* But there is a point to be held in regards to all this info about terrorists planning to hijack airplanes to the US from Britain (in case you have been in a cave or working in Yellowstone, at which time I was getting little to no news about issues going on in the world). This is just a little speck in the whole picture, there is something bigger out there.

If you look at this from a religious standpoint, is this really the end of the world? Are we approaching World War III? Will I ever get the chance to see Australia? Is this revelations come to pass?

Also, Fettacini and Nemo died. That brings the Gold Fish Count down to Four. I wonder if I could make this into some kind of doomsday prediction?

Either that, or I should listen to more REM.

In the meantime, unless its a presidential election year, my blog doesn't hold a lot in regards to current issues unless I'm right in the middle of it.

Details on the Sandbox

Alright, because of the nature of my blog currently, and the all important question, 'To Go, or Not to Go', and what other people have told me in emails or in my comments of why I should or shouldn't take a deployment to Iraq. I'm aware of the many angles I can take on this, but when making a choice like this, I often take a look at many different angles and the whys or why nots. I often like to make lists.

So, in regards to me, from my perspective, the bulleted list of reasons for me to go, or not to go, from reasons that are incredibly mundane to very important. Granted, this is just for me volunteering to go. If the army ended up sending me on an involuntary deployment, I would go and not try to get out.
Reasons to Go To Iraq
  1. Career wise with Military it would strengthen my resume for longterm.
  2. Would make me a more effective Drill Sergeant if I continued that route when I returned (I would know exactly what I'm training soldiers to eventually face)
  3. Lot's of Money, of which most would be tax free.
  4. Would definitely make E6 while over there (or even before I went over there)
  5. Sense of duty drives me to serve.
  6. Combat Patch
  7. When facing criticism for my political standpoints on various topics, I have the legs to stand on and back up my position. (Put your money where your mouth is)
  8. I support the war in Iraq as a soldier, it is only fitting that I am willing to serve in it.
  9. This deployment would only affect my schooling by a few months.
  10. If I wait and reenlist overseas, big fat tax free reenlistment bonus (unless bonus is removed by that time)
  11. I will likely not be working in the position of Preventive Medicine (Yes, this is definitely a plus)

Reasons for Not Going
  1. My current Unit needs me here.
  2. People change when they face combat, and not always for the better.
  3. Deployment could easily span out to two years, I'm not sure if I'm ready to spend that long in that environment.
  4. Strong family ties makes me want to stay close to my family, and the stress they endured for a relatively easy deployment to Kosovo makes me reluctant to put them in that position again.
  5. 25 years old, I'm ready to work on settling down.
  6. Self preservation, Iraq is a high risk deployment and I would lie if I said that wasn't a factor
  7. Potentially dangerous mission, even for Iraq.
  8. I wouldn't necessarily be deploying with people I know very well, and I could literally go anywhere.

A note on voluntary deployments, in the military, especially considering the contrevertial nature of the War in Iraq, the military is trying to go about a certain way when deploying troops. In regards to deployments such as the one I am mentioning, the Army is first taking soldiers who have never deployed to fill slots, then taking soldiers who are volunteering to deploy (if the soldier has never deployed and volunteering to go, they are almost guaranteed a position). The rest of the slots are filled with soldiers who have already deployed once but still have time on their clock, so to speak.

What that means is in a five year time frame, soldiers can expect to be deployed for two out of those five years. Those two years do not count Mobilization time and only takes into account 'Boots on Ground'. I have one year on my clock, and have just gotten off a deployment seven months ago. The timing of this deployment I can easily be picked up to go. The only thing that would definitely keep me from deploying is if I get scheduled for my school on time, or if we have enough people in the Brigade that fill the current slots and they do not need me.

Because of the security nature of the deployment, or what not, obviously I can't give times or dates, I'm not even going to mention the mission and what it entails. There's a good chance I won't be doing my primary job skill.


Let's Play 'FLAME THE SOLDIER', starring me

I gotta love it when people flame me like this and have no idea of the background information. Hey look, I'm patriotic, I stand by the troops and now I'm going to bash you for not serving to what I think every soldier should be, which is on the battlefield of Iraq'. . .

I gotta say this,

That is pretty selfish considering you are an American soldier. To NOT go because your family worries?

That is a real wussie reason . . .

That is the kind of thing that makes me believe that women should not be in the military -I say suck it up or GET OUT.

Shame on you. You are just running a scam to get a paycheck. I am completely embarrassed FOR you.
Proud Mom

Dear Proud Mom,

I've been in the military for 6 and a half years. I enlisted before 9/11 with the full knowledge that I could deploy. In fact, I've been ready and willing to deploy since I got in the military.

I was supposed to deploy to Iraq 3 times and to Afghanistan twice. I was ready and willing to go each time, until my orders got revoked or my unit got stood down.

Finally I voluntarily deployed to Kosovo last year because I could not afford to wait around for the army to deploy me or not (I tried to volunteer for an Iraq or Afghanistan mission as well but was turned down). Now its time for me to continue on with my life. I considered getting out completely. However, I feel the need to continue serving.

Right now the army is in a critical point where they need soldiers to be trained and they are relying on the US Army Reserve to supply Drill Sergeants to train these soldiers. I have four choices right now.

  1. I can get out completely, meaning I can stop drilling right here right now as I have no more obligation to the military. Chances are, coming this soon off a deployment, I will not get picked up to go on another deployment.
  2. I can serve out my time in the unit (16 months) and a BIG maybe, get picked up for the Iraq mission. If I get picked up, I get picked up. I'll serve.
  3. I could flat out volunteer for the Iraq mission. I HIGHLY considered doing this. But I'm not going to do because right now is not a good time in my life to do this. And if my family had their way, for cripes sake, I would be getting out completely!
  4. I could reenlist and go to school ASAP to become a drill sergeant, which is my current unit's primary mission. There is a severe shortage in female drills. If I don't get to school on time, I could (possibly) get picked up to go to Iraq. Mostly because there are a lot of people in those slots who are just biding their time.

I looked at going to Iraq this past weekend, and asked my NCOIC about finding more information about it. What did he say? "You too? You can't go, we need Drill Sergeants!" Three Drill Sergeant Candidates have already volunteered to go, leaving our unit even more short.

If I get orders for Iraq, I'll go. I've been waiting to go for the last four years. And you know what? After trying to volunteer and almost going this long, I'm tired of waiting. Maybe my family is more important to me since the Army can't make up their mind to utilyze me for the war in Iraq. If they want to send me, I'll go. But right now, it is not a high priority in my life. Frankly I want to go back to school and get that degree I should have gotten a year ago if I hadn't decided to selfishly use the military for my own reasons.

I'll take a critical mission that is also needed, regardless of whether the US is at war or at peace, and be proud to continue to serve my country.

So maybe I'm using the army to my advantage now. Heck, going to Iraq right now would be to my advantage. I'd make a buttload of money and it would all be tax free. I WANT to go! I'm WILLING to go. I'm even READY to go! But I'm not going to put my family through another deployment voluntarily. If the army wants me, they can utilyze me. But they are going to actually have to buck up and sign the orders first, and I won't even count on those orders being valid until I find myself in Iraq.

A Selfish, Wussy, Scamming, Female Soldier.


Army Life

When I came home and found a new unit to drill out the rest of my contract with, I did something somewhat unintentionally.

I all but guaranteed that my future in the army was set.

See, this is my current deal. My deployment to Kosovo was not all peaches and cream. I had an idiot for an NCOIC who basically killed all of my motivation for the military, so by the time October 2005 rolled around, I was pretty much set on the fact that I was likely going to get out of the military completely once I got home.

Come Thanksgiving and the Crap hit the fan, of which I only briefly went over on my website. My respect for my leadership (specifically my NCOIC) came to a grinding halt and died, and within two weeks I was completely out of my section (and regrew my backbone). Oh how I would have liked to have told you all about my NCOIC at the time, but I did have enough respect for NCOs senior to me to not say anything about him at the time. Well I'm well out of his chain of command now so I can say whatever the heck I want.

The man was an idiot. I will say two good things about him. He's a Harry Potter fan and he's a damn fine preventive medicine specialist. But he had absolutely no business leading soldiers. The worst NCO I have ever had, bar none. However, what I have gained from that experience is that I now know everything about what not to be in a Leader, and one of the reasons why I chose this specific position was because this unit was what I needed to prove that I was not the soldier he said I was, and I could develop the leadership traits I needed to develop as an NCO and he failed to take the time to develop with me.

Unfortunately, one of the things he did is now biting me on the butt, most specifically his evaluation report of me that is far from steller. In fact, it isn't very favorable at all. I was misled on it for one, and two, one of the sections on it is completely misleading to a reader who didn't know either of us reading it. Basically, my report has me as being completely incompetant, literally. At the time I signed it, I was in a F*** it mood, was planning on getting out anyway, and, well, I made the mistake of signing it without reading it through.

When I looked back on the report after I got out from under his leadership completely, I realized what I had done and after talking to different people about it, including a Leutenant (who sometimes reads this blog) who knew more about NCOERs (Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Report) then most sergeants do, I realized that I had every right to appeal it.

I've been kind of in that process for the last few months, but because I've been in somewhat of a transition these last few months and my life is in somewhat of a disarray, I realized I needed two things right now. I needed good consistent leadership, something I've never had, and I needed to get an NCOER for this year that was excellent. Its hard to show a reserve unit what you got when you only see these guys one weekend a month, but my current unit is a no bars held squared away unit that knows what they're talking about.

Mostly because they're drill sergeants.

I've been told by several members of this unit that I have the personality to do this job, in fact, my leadership style is actually attuned to doing something like this, and I've wanted to be a Drill Sergeant since I got out of AIT.

However, to properly appeal my NCOER, I have to go through my current unit and have them help me do it. I talked to my First Sergeant yesterday about it, and in fact I've mentioned a few things about wanting to Appeal my NCOER, but I didn't want to go into detail with what happened in my previous unit, part of the appeal of coming to this unit was starting with a clean slate. However, he knew about it and coming into the meeting, he mentioned to me the fact that most soldiers coming appealing their NCOER do not get the results they desire. I nodded, understanding this, then showed him my current NCOER, the sections I was contesting (the competence section) and kind of explained the circumstances behind it. Then I showed him the Counseling Statement that was given to me in response to one Bullet Statement.

He took one look at that and said "this isn't a counseling statement, this is a threat! Heck, I feel threatened by this." The fact is, I got a negative remark that is supposed to show for an entire year of observation and all bullet statements in the Competence section are for incidents that occurred within two days of each other. In other words, I had a bad week, and my NCOER reflect that when it shouldn't. It should reflect the entire year.

My current First Sergeant then completely supported my decision to appeal this BS and backed me on it, I showed him a couple of counseling statements (one he called an agenda) and told me that my goal was to make sure my performance in the unit exceeded expectations so I could have an excellent NCOER for this year to balance out this last one.

Meanwhile, well, I mentioned that my current choice of unit guaranteed my reenlistment. My current unit is slotted to go to Iraq. But not the Drill Sergeants, who have a mission regardless of times of Peace or War. If I'm not slotted for school by January 2007, I could very well find myself slotted to go to Iraq instead. I don't think this will happen (in fact, if it weren't for my family at the moment, I would volunteer to go) but it does mean that I need to make a decision and get ready to go to Drill Sergeant School by next Spring at the Latest.

But before I go to school, I have to reenlist.

Guess I'm reenlisting. . . but if I'm going to make this a career after all, I need to get that NCOER squared away.

EDIT - I've talked to my unit further, more confirmation on the fact that I have every right to appeal my NCOER and I have plenty of evidence supporting me.

In the meantime, the rest of my mission consists of me doing the best damn job humanly possible.

I got flamed in my comments. Reply in next post.

Fish Names

Having 9 nieces and nephews that come through the house on a regular basis can be hazardous to a fish's health. Especially when they all want to take a turn feeding him. On the same day. And don't bother to ask you if they can.

Pedro lasted just under two weeks, and then I gave him a small eulogy for being with us before sending him to the sewer in the sky.

I went out and bought another fish as soon as I discovered Pedro to be dead. He's got similar coloring, but a little more red. I named him Clark.

Yes, Pedro and Clark are weird names for Betta Fish. Actually, they are both named after horses from Roosevelt in Yellowstone. Pedro was this bay paint with only a couple paint markings. Every time we handed Pedro to the lucky person who got to ride him, we would start quoting Napoleon Dynamite. Clark was the oldest horse in the operation. He had been at Roosevelt since 1985, and hence he's probably close to 30 years old. Another interesting fact about Clark is he's a Mustang, in fact he used to be a wild Mustang and still has the government brand on his neck. In his day it took a talented wrangler to handle that horse. Nowadays, being old and all, he suffers from arthritus and we had to put kids on him. He was the brokest horse in the operation. He's tall too, tall for a kids horse.

Clark and Pedro stuck with me for some reason, Pedro for no reason other then his name, and but Clark had a history behind him. When I first got Pedro the fish, I decided to name him after one of the dude horses at Roosevelt, and it was a choice between Pedro and Clark. I guess its because, well, who names a horse Pedro or Clark? Pedro won out for Fish #1. Fish #2, however, well, I guess he's clark now.

I kind of got on a fish frenzy and decided to buy some Gold Fish as well. The little feeder gold fish that is, because they are so cheap, like 10cents a fish. I went ahead and purchased a fish bowl for them and got five. As I brought them home and dumped them in their new home, I let my nieces and nephews have a look at them, and then I offered them the opportunity to name them.

Kelsey found the most colorful one and named it Nemo. Cody latched onto a Silver one and called it The Silver One. Later I think he settled on the name Fettacini. Brian, fresh off of playing Super Smash Brothers Melee, took the honor of naming the remaining three Mario, Captain Falcon and Link.

Mario died, so when I bought Clark, I bought two more gold fish (as well as some tank accessories to brighten their homes up a bit) Kelsey came with me, helped me choose Clark, and then I let her pick out the two new gold fish. They are now Marlin and Tiger.

So currently, I have seven pet fish. Six Gold Fish and One Betta Fish. Funny how you stare at fish and you can just watch them.

But now come to think about it, Fish are actually not all that interesting. . .

Hmm. . .