Simple Update

Chilling in DC, been having a pretty awesome time on leave so far, but I think tonight I'm going to just take it easy and plan out what I'm going to do tomorrow and go from there.

And I guess catch up on the blog front.

Where was I? the last couple of days, I was in New York City, like I was last year.

today, I drove through Philadelphia. I wanted to stop, but then I learned that Philadelphia, if you don't get there early, is outragiously expensive to park, and they don't have the public transit system of New York and Washington. Some places it cost twelve bucks to park for thirty minutes! I wanted to go to the Franklin Institute Science Museum last year and decided to check it out this year, but the parking arrangement kept me from exploring further. That, and Philadelphia drivers are rude as hell. But I had a Philly Cheese Steak from a street vender, because I was in Philadelphia so that was a given.

so now I'm in DC.

What now? I did DC last year, saw a lot then. Well, I didn't see the Museum of US history (it was closed for renovation last year) and the zoo is free too. I got a nice camera and a new lens to check out. And I want to see the Spruce Goose which I've been told is somewhere in DC, I've just got to find out where (hmm, just googled, it's at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, in the Smithsonian true, but I'm on the wrong coast, nevermind).

I guess check out a couple more museums I missed last year too? There is a lot to do here, I'll be here through tomorrow for sure.

New York was awesome, it's always more fun to explore these places with somebody rather then by yourself as well.


Dude, I'm on TV!

Currently I'm in NYC, and when you're in New York, you have to do the morning shows, right? THat's a given.

They panned me and my cousin on the Today Show today, right before the fluff piece on the Pumpkins and interviewed Gordon Campbell from Canada. To bad they don't show that stuff online. They really should. I was looking for it but didn't see it.

We also showed up on Fox and Friends. Lynyrd Skynyrd was on and they did a final song (sweet home alabama) before they went back to the news and I think they had the camera on us for a second or two. So if you watched either of these shows this morning, you may have seen me!


On the Today Show???

If you are watching the Today Show tomorrow (Monday, October 19) keep an eye on the crowd, you might just see me. :P

Currently in NYC, maybe I'll update more of my blog in the next couple of days? But in the meantime, well, the Today show! Now we have to come up with a catchy slogan to write on our signs!


Recap on Vacation So Far

Still on the road. Been busy, enjoying stuff, and not blogging about it.


Right now I'm doing laundry. I made it to the eastern most point of my destination. Portland Maine. I was going to go to Bangor and Acadia National Park but it ended up getting the ax when I discovered that there wasn't a whole lot to see in Bangor really, and Acadia sounds awesome but to make it worth my while, I need to spend more then an afternoon there. I did the Adirondacks instead, which showed me that though spontanious is good, some planning is necessary. So steadily, I'm fine tuning this trip out. I've got a plan going as of now, though events keep throwing a monkey wrench into it every now and then. Or I just screw everything up by changing my mind last minute.

I visited a few historic sites from a religious perspective, not sure how much detail I want to go into that with my very secular blog but it was cool and I really enjoyed myself. Monday was primarily that, spent just outside of Cleveland OH, in a little town called Kirtland, and driving to get to Niagara Falls, which I saw at night, as well as Tuesday, which was spent almost entirely at Niagara Falls. I got on the road and spent Wednesday in Palmyra NY, another historic point in my journey. Thursday was the Adirondacks, a spur of the moment detour, where I got around to Lake Placid and the general area surrounding it.

Today was Vermont (and some of New Hampshire) where I went searching for Covered Bridges. That was my task for today, the covered bridge. I found about fifteen or so, I'll have to recount them, but going on the side roads looking for covered bridges was quite fun itself.

I had more then a couple people comment that I was a long way from home. I guess my Washington License plates stand out.

Niagara Falls needs a post all by itself. I've been dumping pictures on Facebook, but haven't really gotten to editing them down yet.

Tomorrow its going along the coast of Maine and I'm going to have Lobster damn it! That's a given.

Three states off my 'too see list' (I've been to Maine before, but it didn't really count seeing as it was only at the airport.)

Next post I'll try to make it more interesting.


My Inner Nerd Emerges

The trip continues. And I am about as spontanious as I've ever been.

Currently I'm on my way to New York, but I'm taking this trip fairly easy, steady as I go, part of the trip afterall is the trip itself. So if I see something that looks interesting, I'll stop and check it out.

Saturday, while driving between Cincinnati and Columbus, I see a sign on the road that says 'Renassaince Fair' and I think "hmm, sounds interesting" and I find myself at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. This was a complete fluke.

So I checked it out. And decided to come back the next day.

I meant to take more pictures (loved the jousting) learned that there is apparently a huge military subculture in the renassaince fair scene, and got dressed up in an outfit complete with flintlock pistol.

I need to post a picture, I spent more money then I meant too, but damn did I have a fun time!

That's what this trip is all about afterall. I just need to keep a tighter rein on the bank account.

I think I'll go to these more in the future. I've gone to things similar to it in the past but didn't get dressed up. That's half the fun in my opinion.

Halloween costume is a go and doesn't involve camouflage.


I'm Doomed to Disappoint

I made it to the machine gun shoot at Knob Creek. And learned my first lesson when dealing with the nation's largest machine gun shoot.

Arrive early.

Knob Creek is located in the sticks just south of Louisville Kentucky, on this little two lane highway. It's not really set up for a large quantity of traffic. As I drove up at about 9:30, I got stuck in the traffic leading about a quarter mile from the entrance.

It was stopped. Hmm. . .

I should have left earlier, but me being a procrastinator, I got my truck packed with the intent of only coming back home in case I bought a gun (I won't take a new gun on the road with me) so my truck loaded up for my roadtrip, I just kept trying to walk around the house and make sure I got everything (I didn't, I left my tripod)

so finally I got to knob creek and got a little disgruntled by one of my pet peeves. Traffic. I'm an impatient person in traffic, and decided I could walk it, so I parked my truck along the side of the road with all of the other impatient people, right next to a water point without actually blocking the water point. And then I walked it.

It turned out to be quicker to walk then to wait in the traffic, but as I got there, I was warned that if my truck wasn't parked within the white line, it would get towed. No problem there, except i was further warned about the very real possibility that my truck would get towed for being so close to the county water point.

Damn me and my impatience, but I was told I should be ok if I moved my truck before noon. I was half tempted to go back and get my truck at that point so I could park it and not worry about it until I was ready to leave, but I was really not looking forward to walking back.

I went into Knob Creek with my camera in hand (and didn't get any pictures of the arsenal of any type of fully automatic machine gun you can think of) and walked around looking for the gun, and I knew I would know my gun if I saw it (I didn't see it) and listened to the machine gun fire. I knew I could spend all day here, on top of that, renting a flame thrower or any available machine guns, and probably come back completely devoid of cash as well. However, I had a small problem.

My mind was on my stupid truck. I was walking around thinking "my truck is going to get towed, my truck is going to get towed" and decided that I needed to just go and get it, after I bought a 50 Cal Dummy Round and a holster for my Judge. There was some other things that caught my eye and all the guns I could take pictures of. Plus the burning cars and boats that they were firing machine guns at.

So I went to get my truck, to discover the line of vehicles trying to get IN had grown, and it appeared to not be moving. I walked, and walked, and walked, and the cars didn't move.

My truck, thankfully, had not been towed, however the line had extended quite a ways, and staring at that line, knowing I would be in line for an hour trying to get a place to park, well, killed all of my motivation.

I considered going back for a few minutes, and said screw it and drove off, heading toward Cincinatti.

Fortunately for me, if I ever want to fire a 50 Cal Machine Gun (the M2) I work in the right field, and it doesn't cost my $250 for a drum. In fact, I can shoot all of the machine guns I could want during US weapons week on the taxpayer's dime. Don't you like that?

But that means that I didn't get any pictures of the $45,000 machine guns that I saw. And I even laid eyes on a $999 M203 attached to a AR15 that I briefly considered, until I realized that I would have only bought it for the collector's benefit, seeing as I couldn't actually SHOOT the damn thing. And even if I did get some grenades for it, I can only imagine how much those things would run for.

So, I did the Machine Gun Shoot for about an hour, and I walked away with this lesson.

Arrive Early.

Yes, I was planning on going this year, and actually shooting some stuff. But alas, I am doomed to disappoint this time.

However, I was recognized by somebody who had seen my website. It came as a bit of a surprise when it happened and I had a goofy grin on my face for the next thirty minutes. But that goofy grin maybe because I was surrounded by machine guns that I could have mortgaged my brother's house to get.

Hmm, maybe the traffic has died down. Perhaps i should head back?



Exhaustive Roadtrip Much?

Machine Gun Shoot got rained out. Well, actually it didn't, but I delayed going there by a day. Instead, I spent the day getting things ready for the rest of my trip.

Which included getting my tickets for Orlando. I think I'll definitely be doing this trip, seeing as I've got Five Days at Disney World and Seven Days at Universal Studios. Plus I got a ticket to Kennedy Space Station.

For Free.

The hotel and food is what will cost me, and i'll likely spend the most money of my entire trip in Orlando (and nearby places) but whatever the case, looks like I'll be using all thirty days of my leave. I've got to be back by November 7.

So the trip is up into Ohio, through New York, Vermont and New Hampshire to Maine, go back down through Massachusetts into Rhode Island and Connecticut, through New York City, Philidelphia and DC, and then high tail it down to Florida from there.

I'm going to exhaust myself on this vacation, but damn am I not looking forward to it!


Leave Info

Yay for Leave! For those of you who don't know, Leave is basically paid vacation in militarese.

Every time I have had a bad experience on mobilizations, Leave has always been there right when I needed it most, to pull me out of the crapper and get me all rested and cheerful again. Or at least get my head straight.

Leave in 2005 led me to take a whirlwind trip across 5 countries in Europe, a trip I would love to repeat again if I ever get the chance (though granted, likely visiting different countries next time) and something I briefly considered this time around.

Last year, I did a Mid Antlantic State visit. I stopped updating after DC due to overwhelming number of pictures to edit, which meant I left out Philidelphia, NYC and Gettysburg, but I have pictures for my own record. In hindsight, I wish I blogged more on it. But hindsight is 20/20 and I was busy actually enjoying my leave instead of worrying about blogging about it.

And that is the point of Leave and all.

Actually, the trip home last year was interesting too, seeing as I did a detour in Illinois and down through Missouri and then there was that whole Prop8 thing in SLC.

Anywho, if you haven't gotten the news, I like to travel. A lot. I love to visit different parts of this beautiful world we live in and now I'm looking at different areas I have not been to yet.

Where haven't I been? Hmm, New England strikes me as some place I need to check out, so I'm heading up that way via Ohio and New York (brief stop at Niagara falls) and into Maine then go down through Rhode Island and Connecticutt through Massachussetts (Salem in October should be pretty cool) and back into New York and down into DC.

I have thirty days. I don't think I'll use the entire thirty days. Whether or not I continue from DC depends on how burnt out I am from being on the road though. I saw both NYC and DC last year, so I'll hit up some places at both I missed on the last trip (maybe Broadway this time?) and continue on. Depending on how much time I have left (my plan is not to stick to a rigid agenda of being at a specific location on a specific date and seeing museum such and such at this time and visiting historic location So and so at this date and time because then it ceases being a vacation) I'll head south from DC to Florida and go check out Disney World.

Why you might ask? Because for lack of any other reason, It's freakin' Free for me to go there. To bad I don't have any young children or significant others to go with, but if I play my hand nice, I can probably make a few friends on my trip and hang out with them there. Besides, I think everyone ought to visit Disney World at least once in their life.

My mother asked me why I don't go see disney world first. (Actually, my trip up north will probably take me about two weeks if I play it right). The reason, because I can get caught up in Florida for one thing. There is plenty to do there, and it will likely be pretty expensive to go to Disney World for free.

But who knows, I might reverse the itenerary and go see Florida first. I'm open. That's what I like about 1)traveling by my own set of wheels and 2)not having to worry about other people. As much as I love my family to death, we are quite large as families go (i've got five siblings, four of which are married, and at last count thirteen nieces and nephews) and trying to get us all in sync at family functions is akin to trying to catch a feral cat with nothing but a liquor license and a chain saw. If that analogy makes any sense whatsoever. Case in point, nothing ever goes as smoothly as planned when you try to get that many people on the same sheet of music.

Now, if my family would let me run things and put my current training into use, I would have any family function running like a well oiled machine except for infants are involved. But I digress, and I'm rambling off topic.

anyway, Leave should be interesting. I'll blog when I can. And at the very least, I'll TWEET it!

30 days of paid vacation. If you judge it by how many hours I have worked since February, its well deserved, seeing as I sometimes work 16+ hour days.

Totally Random

Haha! I need to bookmark this page.

One of my coworkers commented I'm an excellent worker, when I don't get distracted by the internet or my cell phone. I'm a slave to modern technology.

Money the Root of Most Disgruntlement

I am disgruntled.

Why you might ask? That's a good question. You know the whole postal worker analogy about how they go bat crazy insane because they do the same thing every day or some such nonsense? Well, I don't think I'm disgruntled because of that so much, as I'm more disgruntled due to, well, being repeatedly hosed by my employer.

As an alibi, the economy currently sucks and if I weren't here I would be unemployed or working a crappy dead end job somewhere. But I'm not, I'm here, and I'm employed, and the money ain't that bad. In fact, it's pretty good, though I work insane hours and often times I work my ass off to earn it.

That aside, there is a little thing about 'funds' and 'money' that is a rule of law with most people. See, most people don't like it when other people mess with their money. Fancy that, I wonder why? Myself, well, once you auto deposit that money in my bank account, I like to consider that money mine and I don't have to worry about paying it back. Like, say, that whole issue with the little trip back to Washington this summer. I got per Diem for there and my current location (somewhere in Kentucky for those of you who aren't tracking where I am residing) which I knew was going to bite me in the bank account later. I knew it. That's why I didn't even want to put in for a travel voucher, because I knew I would get screwed.

Well turns out they paid me for that trip. And I was double dipping. So guess what? I got to pay that back. Want to know more? I will be likely be paying back the HIGHER amount of $29.50 a day versus the paltry $13.50 a day. For 45 days.

That kind of money adds up. You know, its nice you paid me, but I would rather not get the extra money in the first place if you are going to make me pay it back later. But that's how Bureaucracies work, especially in the government with their thousands of various forms to fill out and desire to make things as painfully complicated as possible. But then again, that's the government for you. Their solution, if it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is.

And then there is that simple case of sticking me for an accident in a government vehicle that should have by all rights been insured, but that is just me ranting about something thats old news by now. It only hit my bank account by another grand or so, because somebody on top decided that it was more important to stick it to their lowly over worked staff while maintaining their budget instead of making sure that vehicles were properly insured when somebody (me) got into a minor fender bender a year ago. And they expected MY insurance to pay for it. That is another rant, I'm still furious over it and it is one of the reasons why my morale is pretty much at a stagnant 3 on a scale of one to ten.

Why isn't it at a one? Well, because I actually do enjoy my job and have fun, when I'm allowed to do it, or actually am doing it, and am not dealing with complete and utter retards. But that would be another rant. So please, take my money and tell me how to do my job when it appears people on the top or more interested in what looks good on paper versus say, actually training to quality and standard, and maybe if they would learn to back off and trust us to not abuse our authority that mayb we would actually be able to deliver a better product (using a generalized term for what I actually do). But again, that is another rant, for another day, and likely not something I should go into at this place and time. *sighs*

Meanwhile, I can say this. I'm glad that I was at least anticipating having my paycheck raped for the payback of that per Diem I will undoubtedly owe. So I'll just sit back and do mundane tasks for the next week until I go on Leave.

Ah yes, Leave. I think I will be back up to a six or maybe even a seven on the morale front when I get back from Leave.