News Shouldn't Be Bothered to Get It Right, Should They?

I just ran into a bit of hilarity in the blogosphere from the Dissident Frogman about an article in the AFP (French Press) that released an article with an Iraqi woman who is displaying two bullets that hit her house by coalition forces.

The problem is, well, see for yourself.

Definitely worth reading the article and viewing the video. This guy is great. Got to love the stupidity of the press to gobble up anything that makes America look bad.


Still Alive

So, I thought I would update on the events of Fort Leonard Wood Missouri and how I'm hanging in here.

For more information, the Milblog is updating.

First off, I can't go into a ton of detail about my training here because, well, I can tell the training is meant for the Drill Sergeant to protect them and I wouldn't want to give initial entry trainees any extra ammo against me and my battle buddies.

Furthermore, I've got really long days and tomorrow I'm going to have to wake up at Oh-Way-To-Freakin'-Early to take a bloody PT test. This is my main hurdle, but I'm confident I can pass it because I've been running. Everywhere. If I fail it, it's on account of the humidity here. But I ran the first day I got here (on a full stomach, so I only ran a mile) but if I can keep that same pace, I've shaved a good two minutes off of my two mile run. We'll see tomorrow.

I'm going to be in shape after this school. But whatever the case, I'm enjoying myself and everything is going well.

This blog will likely go to a weekends only posting pattern, because I really don't have a lot of personal time in the evenings to devote to updating it. I've got a lot of things to do, a lot of places to be, and a lot of crap to memorize.


Traveling Trials

I've learned when traveling through airports that you just have to go with the flow and take it as it comes to you.

I got to St Louis in one piece with all of my luggage in tact, except I left a few vital pieces in the luggage I decided not to take. Like personal hygiene items (I managed to grab a few at least) Fortunately it is something I can replace when I get to FLW, but in the meantime, well, I will have to purchase some heavy duty hair gell, some clips and some hair bands to make sure my hair is squared away for duty tomorrow.

So the first task I ran into was having one piece of luggage to many, and not wanting to pay the fee to have the army reimburse me later.

As soon as I walked through the security, they did a random check on my shoes, and my shoes caused an alarm so they had to pat me down. The best way to handle these situations is to cooperate as best as you can.

When I got to Denver, the plane was overbooked, as I had mentioned previously, but I had time to get to my destination so I volunteered up my seat and had a four hour layover in Denver with a detour to St Louis through Chicago with a carrier change.

I forgot how big O'Hare airport is. And moving from United to American Airlines meant I had to leave one terminal and hit another. I wasn't scheduled to get to St Louis until around 10:30 but I decided to work on getting Standby for the two St Louis flights leaving before my scheduled flight. So I asked for standby at the ticket counter and without anything to check, apparently I came up as suspicious and with a heightened threat level, when I went through security, I got patted down and my stuff was swabbed as an extra precaution. Again, the only thing you can do is cooperate and be as pleasant as possible.

Fortunately, I got cleared to leave on a flight an hour before the one I was scheduled to take was to leave. But in the meantime, now I'm waiting for my busride to FLW.

I remember this thing being free the last time I came through here. Oh well, another expense to add to my Travel Voucher. I'll be sure to hang onto the reciept.


Meet Me in St Louis

I did mention I love the USO, right?

Well now that I finally made it to St Louis, I'm holed up in the USO for the night and will catch a bus to Fort Lost in the Woods tomorrow. I was wondering if I had gotten sent a little early to this school but turns out everything has worked out well. I'll get to Leonard Wood by around noon tomorrow and it will help me get settled in and give me time to get whatever I need like personal hygiene items and all that jazz(I had to leave a bag at home).

I had somebody ask me how long I had been in and when I said three months shy of eight years, they flat out told me I didn't look old enough to have been in that long. I don't feel like I've been in that long.

This USO is exactly the same as I remember it from that time, except more computers and the Television is more current. But the layout is the same.

I'm going to go pass out for the night now.

Who Loves the USO?

I do! I do!

I think the USO at the Denver Airport is one of the nicest I have ever seen. Apparently the Presidential Club offered some space for soldiers to relax and I'm currently kicked back in a leather recliner watching a big screen TV. It's nice!

I actually should have been on my way to St Louis, but they changed planes from the original plane and asked for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for a free round trip ticket to be used in the next year.

Now usually, I can't do this when flying on military orders and ethically keep the ticket. Except I'm not actually being paid for my travel days and don't belong to the army until Tuesday, so technically I can do anything I want so long as I'm in Fort Leonard Wood by tomorrow evening, to play it safe. I also had to make sure my luggage would be all right. Nothing like showing up in St Louis to find that my bags were on the baggage claim for anybody to take. But they promised that my bags would be pulled and waiting for me. Ok, that's a relief. I'll take the ticket and get to St Louis sometime tonight.

If I get mobilization orders after I get my hat, that free plane ticket will come in handy.

About To Leave, and Can't Sleep

It's nearly one in the morning, and my mind is racing a mile a minute. I seriously can't sleep.

Maybe I'll catch some zzz's on the plane ride, but I'm supposed to be at the airport in three hours. I have a feeling I'll be a bit out of it all day today, not to mention I have trouble waking up in the morning and I'm losing two hours in the time change.

Fort Leonard Wood, here I come.

Milblog will be active again. I hope. Please refer there for any information in regards to Drill Sergeant School, at least when I post. This blog will update sporadically based on other thoughts or whatever, if I get the opportunity to post. Considering Fort Leonard Wood is in the middle of nowhere, I'm pretty much counting on not having much of a social life on my time off, nor am I really counting on time off. But, well, just in case.

Now I think I'll try to see if I can catch a couple hours of sleep before I have to leave for the airport.

My car has never been cleaner in the time I've owned it. I will miss it for the next two months.


IncoherAnt Ramblings

Some people take my blog way to seriously, or don't realize that I don't take myself seriously at all.

My blog has a lot of stuff on it, and some of it is old as dirt. I don't get around to reading a lot of blog replies until after the fact, so a lot of things I miss.

But I do love trolls. They scream obscenities at me and call me stupid for whatever reason because apparently they can't think straight otherwise.

Click here to read the comments for yourself.

So anyway, I get a lot of people posting things still because they look at me for whatever reason and call me ugly or whatever they damn well want too. I never remove Trolls. They amuse me.

So I get ripped on for my spelling mistakes and grammar, oh, and by the way, I plead the fifth, I'm usually pretty decent with my spelling and grammar, well, better then a lot of people anyway, I tend to type really fast and spelling and grammar get caught up by the wayside. You should hear me talk, I mispronounce things all the time. Bush has Bushisms right? Well I have Kamisms. My family will never let me forget how I pronounce Lattice as lah-TEESE and called Shingles Shindles. Recently I made a little video where I pronounced Nova Scotia as Nova SCO-TEE-AH. Her her, oh, whoops?

Another thing I plead the fifth on is the lack of a combat patch. I will admit that this topic does leave me a bit glum, because now that I'm training to be a drill sergeant, I'll be one of the few without that patch which leads to extra credentials as a Drill. I was supposed to deploy a half dozen times to a combat zone and my orders got revoked by the army and not because I made an effort to get out of deploying. The army told me you're not going. And I've tried to volunteer to deploy to combat zones, and told I couldn't go. It was my crummy MOS. My crummy MOS that I don't feel I'm very good at and have no business deploying to a combat zone under has led to another catch 22. I was up for Reenlistment, I had to find a job I liked in a unit I liked, if I went active duty, they would have activated me under my MOS because it's understrength and retraining to a job that I feel I would be good at was not an option. But I found a job where I don't have to reclassify my MOS that I love and that's Drill Sergeant. Unfortunately, mobilizing to a combat zone as a drill sergeant doesn't happen very often, unless i find myself able to volunteer as a grunt for a mission. I still may. But don't tell my parents that.

Yeah, I deployed. I got to go to Kosovo with an ate up sergeant.

As for the whole Bush is a loser thing and why in the hell did I vote for him, well, to tell you the honest truth, even in 2000, I was not impressed with Bush. But there are some things I like about the man and when I assessed the two candidates side by side, John Kerry and George W Bush (because, let's face it, they were the only two options) I decided that Bush was the better man for the job. So I voted for him. End of story.

If you disagree with my decision to vote for Bush, ok. And your point? You can claim that Kerry was a better alternative but until you discover an alternative reality that exists where Kerry won the election in 2004 and we can see how the country is doing under his leadership then we will never know for sure, will we? Besides, I don't think Bush is doing as bad a job as the left lament he is. Sure, he could be doing a BETTER job, I don't agree with everything he's done and by all means he is probably not the best man for the position, but that's what we had, wasn't it?

For the record, I'm still not sorry.

The Beat Goes On

So, last weekend I may have mentioned was a Drill Weekend. Not a whole lot happened except for a couple of drill sergeant stories that amused me to no end (I'm taking notes) and a PT (physical training) test that I did, well, abysmally at.

I passed my pushups and situps just fine (though my pushups could use some sprucing up and smoothing out, yikes!), it's my run that got me.

I don't know what is going on, becuase I feel like I'm running and giving it my all and I never remember running being this hard. I hate growing old and being short because my pace is not the pace I need it to be to really pull out a strong run time on my PT test.

So in order to combat this, I've been running every day this week to improve my run time, and yesterday I ran two miles (give or take, it was on a high school running track so the mileage is off by a little) and I found that I shaved a good minute and a half of my run time by running every day. However I have to shave another thirty seconds off of it before I hit Fort Leonard Wood to get a solid 70 points in that event. My goal is to get 70 in each even when I get there, at the very least. 70 won't be great, but it would be better then just barely passing, which is what I don't want to do.

Fortunately, I do have a few things going for me.

When I do run the PT test for DSS, I will be running with other soldiers and if I'm lucky, there will be another female there who can help me get a good pace. Pacing helps me a lot. Just as long as she's not slower then me. I just hope I don't slow her down!

Leonard Wood is a lot closer to sea level then home is. The Elevation does impact your breathing when running, and right now my breathing is my biggest concern for the run.

My motivation should be in full gear at that point.

I don't know when I will be doing my initial PT test, but I intend to run on Monday to give myself an idea of where I'm at and how well I run the course. I fully expect to run into a Drill Sergeant and get treated like a private when I first get there, and get barked at by asking who my drill sergeants are, what unit I'm with and where the hell is my battle buddy.

Should be fun.

Meanwhile, back on the homefront, I'm trying to get everything in order so that I'm ready to high tail it to training and I won't have to worry about anything back home. This includes my car, my bills, my stuff, my rent, my fish, so on and so forth. However, my First Sergeant has told me to bring my Laptop along, so I am somewhat confident that I will have a little more freedom then I did when I initially went to Basic Training some seven years ago.

I haven't been to Fort Leonard Wood in seven years. Before it was as a E-nothing brand spankin' new to the US Army private. This time it is as a slightly more matured buck sergeant hoping to earn an extra shiny for my uniform (as I don't have near enough).

I should be getting promoted at some point through training. We'll see how that goes.


Summer Movies, 2007

I've been in a very big movie watching phase this summer and have seen a lot of movies compared to previous years. My movie watching will soon come to an abrupt halt however when I leave in a bit.

So I wanted to kind of give some mini reviews of some movies I've seen that came out this summer. They are listed in order of how much money they have taken in, because that's the order I'm reading them.

Spiderman 3 - I really like how the Spiderman franchise has been done, maybe its because I'm a big Sam Raimi fan. When I initially saw Spiderman 3, I liked it, mostly because I think I'm drawn to the good guy in conflict with himself and the storyline of Venom. However, when I look back on it, I realize how campy and cheesy the series can be sometimes, and although there is a lot of villains in this particular installment, it probably would have run more smoothly if the villains were cut down to two instead, especially since Venom is such a popular character in the franchise, I think the storyline let them down in favor of appealing to a general audience.

Still, it can't have been that bad, seeing as it's the highest grossing movie this year. ***

Pirates of the Carribean: At Worlds End - I was so impressed with the first Priates movie that it was a given I would watch the two sequals. However, it seems like they didn't necessarily plan out the sequals as well as they did the original. Like they made the first one with the hopes that it would do well enough to make a series to it and when it turned into a major blockbuster they were all scrambling to come up with an idea on how to milk as much money out of this thing as possible. So in the end, though entertaining, Pirates 3 is a bit of a mess and at times a little hard to follow, like there isn't a real coherent plot. **1/2

Transformers - Being an animation major, I loved this movie. But it is not without it's pitfalls as well. There was a couple of scenes that could have been left out, and most people's biffs with the movie is it focuses more on the humans and less on the transformers. Other then Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, none of the Transformers are really developed in this movie to help you sympathize with them. And they could have left off the scene where Bumblebee 'pees' on the special agent and the masterbation discussion scenes were unnecessary and makes this a movie that you don't wish to take young children too. Great action though, but not enough character development in some parts. ***1/2

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - I have come to see the movies of Harry Potter a little seperate from the books. Some characters I picture in my head differently in appearance on screen vs their book counterparts. And Order of the Phoenix is a large book, so I was somewhat forgiving in how much they had to cut out, as long as they stayed true to the source. And they did, to a certain degree, though I would have loved to see more of some of the scenes, such as the Weasley twins, and its a shame they had to cut out the source of their funding from the previous movie, but all in all, this has been an enjoyable franchise that has been done well. Ironically enough, the longest book has become the shortest movie. ***1/2

Knocked Up - I wanted to see this movie the moment I saw the previews, it just looked so freakin' hilarious. That, and I'm a huge fan of the tv show Freaks and Geeks. However it is incredibly raunchy so not for the faint of heart. Well acted, great story, and lot's of fun. Despite its R rating, its a keeper and probably my favorite comedy of the summer. ****

Live Free or Die Hard - I didn't really expect to see this movie in theaters, but when you are stuck somewhere with nothing to do, going to see a movie seems like the logical choice, and this one was a great choice. This thing is action packed and it does not let up. Pure testosterone on the screen, even if some of the scenes are a wee bit unbelievable, but you just have to turn off your brain and enjoy the movie with a big tub of popcorn. ***1/2

The Invisible - This movie's previews are very misleading. It makes it out to be a thriller, instead its one big drama. Not bad, but not great when its completely different from what you expected. **

Next - This one completely bombed in the theater. I can see why. I wasn't impressed with it, and Nicholas Cage, for all his merits, doesn't come off as an attractive character in this film. In fact, he doesn't have a lot going for him other then his unexplainable ability to see into the future. So he comes off as a bit of an obsessive guy who just keeps reliving the same moment hoping to say just the right thing so he can get into Jessica Biel's pants. I was disappointed. *

There are a few other movies I've seen, but I've either seen them on DVD or before May, like Bridge to Terabithia, TMNT, Hot Fuzz, and 300.

There are a few movies that I do want to see however, whether it is in the theater or on DVD doesn't matter, but it will likely wait until DVD at this point.

  • Rattatouille - looks insanely cute, but I haven't gotten around to seeing it in the theater. Will likely be a DVD venture for me. Besides, its got Janeane Gerofalo and I don't really like her at all, so I tend to boycott her movies these days by simply refusing to watch them.
  • Shrek the Third - I like the Shrek series well enough, but not so much that I think it is deserving of the major blockbuster status it has recieved. That said, I tend to watch animated features on principal. This will likely be a DVD feature for me.
  • 1408 - I just want to see it.
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry - For a while I wanted to see this one in the theaters, it looked amusing. But I think I can wait for it to come out on DVD.
  • HairSpray - Just looks hilarious.
  • Stardust - Comes out this weekend. Might be the last movie I see before I head out.
  • Superbad - Another 'knocked up' style humor type film.
  • Bourne Ultimatum - Actually, I haven't seen Supremecy yet, even though it came for free on HDDVD with my Desk Top.
  • Balls of Fury - I've been wanting to see this for some time. Looks like a riot.

Here are the movies I am avoiding simply because i have absolutely zero desire to see them. In no particular order, and most of them should be self explanatory.
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - I thought the first one sucked so much I never finished watching it all the way through.
  • Evan Almighty - I love Steve Carrell, but this has never looked that appealing to me and I thought Bruce Almighty was way overhyped.
  • Sicko - Well, its a Micheal Moore movie. I try not to watch propaganda to much, and despite the message of needing to fix US healthcare, I don't think following Micheal Moore's suggestion is the way to do it.

Er, that covers it for now. I think I'm going to call work and see if any Magazines came in.


School's out for the rest of the Year

So I'm done with school, for now.

This is a relief. However when I get done with my Drill Sergeant School, I'm not sure what is going to happen in regards to regular school. Whatever the case, I don't think I can come back until January term. And I might be cutting my workload to only one class a term, depending on where I am at during that time.

Anyway, my final project for 3D animation was creating an architectural structure. I admit, I completely shammed this piece, but I like how it turned out in the long run. I was doing something a lot more complex originally and that thing went to complete shambles. So although I would like this to look better then this, I'm ok with it.

There are some flaws, like the fire having a shadow, but I don't know how to do fire yet so I was compromising. And the exterior looks like it belongs on a model trainset or something. Still, I like this part of modeling better then character modeling, which will take me a long time to get the hang of. Meanwhile, I think I'm getting a better grasp of things so when I do come back to school, I don't think I'm going to be entirely in over my head.

More on the HorseBack Riding

I found a new picture for my blog's sidebar.

I was on vacation last week in the little town of Seaside Oregon (this picture was taken just north of there on Del Ray beach). I had to arrive a little late because I was working on homework trying to get that done and all (will post the finished works in a minute)

So anyway, I got there Saturday night when everyone else had gotten there on Thursday and I was struck with a realization that I really really REALLY wanted to run a horse on a beach, in fact this is something I have always wanted to do. So I shopped around for a place that would let me lope a horse on the beach and found Small World Farm. They offered the best deal and they actually let me run the horse on the beach, while the owner took a lot of pictures for me. He was very kind and this was one of those opportunities I couldn't pass up.

The horse I'm on is named Thor, he was a great little Arab, he loved to run and I got the impression he could go all day. He didn't like to run in the water so much, which is a shame because I really wanted to run in the surf, but after riding on the sand I realized how difficult this would be for some horses as the sand along the surf is really soft and horses tend to shy a bit when they come across water.

There were people along the beach with us, but I went early so I could avoid to much crowding. I told the owner I would probably post these pictures on the web and that I would give him a shout out, so if you are going to find yourself in Seaside Oregon anytime in the near future and you want to take a horseback ride along the beach (it is a lot of fun!) I would recommend giving him a call.

I had so much fun on the beach that I took my nieces for a trail ride later. I didn't enjoy it as much, mainly because I spent a good portion of last summer walking horses on trail rides so that experience has lost the novelty of it. But the trail had some good views as well, and also some photo worthy moments.

The beach ride was worth every penny I paid.

If I make it down to Seaside in the future, I'm pretty sure I would go again.


Horseback Riding on the Beach

So I've been quiet for a bit, and I'll probably remain quiet for another couple days as its a drill weekend and I'm busy and I should be in bed by now.

Anyway, here is a glimpse of me in my latest adventure.

I just got back from vacation, and one of the things I have always wanted to do was run a horse on the beach. I had to find the right place that would let me do it, and this little private stable let me do whatever I wanted to (well, within reason).

I will write more later, but I have to say that I had a blast!