I start my new assignment on Monday. I've been on leave for the past two weeks, and enjoying every minute of it. Not waking up in USAREC is the best feeling I've had in a while. Not worrying about what the day will bring, be it no-shows, hot DATs, uncommitted people, or whatever, is wonderful. I, literally, spent every morning for the past three years dreading what the day would bring. Even days off were unfulfilling because of the knowledge that it would end and I'd be returning to an assignment which I felt was destroying me from the inside out. That feeling has been lifted. Cell phone and laptop were turned in. I've signed out of the battalion and received the 201 file I had when I originally reported.
I was moderatly successful. I only rolled a couple of nuts in my time out in recruiting. I wound up averaging about 1.5 contracts a month. Not a superstar by any stretch of the imagination. I had my good months and my bad months. Although the distinction between them is one of fractions of a degree. The best advice I can give to a newly detailed recruiter is "Suck it up." I'd have to tell myself that several times a day, and even then I was still pretty whiny about my time as a recruiter. I'm not proud to admit such a thing, but it's true.
There are a lot of good people in USAREC. I never give them their props because, frankly, I considered them guilty by association. Two of my three station commanders have been NCOs with whom I was proud to serve. They cared deeply for their Soldiers, and always had our backs. The success Army Recruiting has had for the past three years, and going back to 2001, is a direct testament to the people in the Recruiting Command. Recruiters on the ground, detailed and volunteer, have worked their asses off, or had their asses worked off depending on the location, to make the mission. A mission that many thought could not be achieved. And even worse, a mission many do not want achieved. Throw in to the mix the occasional boneheaded comment from an elected official and the fact the Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard have been as successful as they have been is stunning.
Despite how much I hated it, I am proud to have been a part of it. Albeit a small part.
Now, I don't know what to do with this little slice of cyberspace. I had a couple of people offer to replace me as the "Recruiter" in "Detailed Recruiter", but it just wasn't able to work out. I can't blame them. Coming in to recruiting is enough of a challenge. Trying to do so when you're new makes it even harder. No harm, no foul. I'm going to do my best to remain connected to the local recruiting community, the NCOs with which I worked for three years are people whom I consider friends, but I'm no longer a recruiter, and not a part of that world anymore. Any changes that come down, I'll find out with the rest of the world, rather than the inside-knowledge I had as a part of that community. Hopefully that won't make me too uninteresting to my seven readers (Hi mom!). I'm going to keep the title as is for now because, frankly, I like it. Although the disclaimer will be changing.
It looks like it's going to be a long, cold future for Astros fans. When you see your farm system described as "the worst in baseball", and it's true, it hurts. With a tough Brewers team, and the Cubs remaining strong, it's just not going to be pretty for the Astros in the NL Central. And with the chance of Miguel Tejada facing federal perjury charges, it could get ugly fast.
Of course Tejada's legal crisis is based, in part, on the fact that, apparently, our elected officials really do have nothing better to do with their time than to step into the business of professional athletes and the sport in which they play. Sure, this was started back in 2005, but I'd bet there was something better that our elected representatives could have been doing back then too. Of course who does care when rich athletes are probed by Congress? I do, when, as a result of the probe, a criminal investigation is launched which results in the private medical information of everyone associated with testing, whether under suspicion or not. Since we have a legal system that relies on precedent, the fact that a Circuit Court ruled that the government is able to seize the information of every record on an electronic storage system, and then use the information they find on everyone in said system in a criminal proceeding is chilling to me. While I find myself a bit disillusioned by the fact that players would cheat the integrity of the game by using performance enhancing drugs. I find the fact that the off-the-field leadership, from Bud Selig, to the owners, to the general managers, and so forth were also culpable through their silence, acquiescence, or ignorance far more troublesome. And I'm irate that no one seems to mind a sweeping change to our rights to privacy because the first victims were rich athletes.
For all the gnashing and wailing about the PATRIOT Act, it's been around for seven years and has yet to cause anyone other than librarians a single moment of lost sleep. And, let's face it, the PATRIOT Act gave the American Library Association its greatest moment in the sun. I suppose announcements about the addition of a heading for Neoliberalism just don't garner headlines like they used to. However, in a single investigation into PEDs the federal government managed to make it legal for an FBI agent to find out all about my medical history just because my record happened to be on the same hard drive as someone they were investigating. And not just find out about it, but use it in their investigation and subsequent prosecution. I eagerly await the ACLU's amicus brief on the appeal to the full 9th Circuit or the Supreme Court.
And, rounding out my stream of conscious ramblings, McCain won the Florida Republican primary election, and Clinton was the one nominated by the Democrats if Florida was allowed to vote. The irony of the DNC disenfranchising the entire state of Florida did not escape me. I'm sure when Al Gore read that originally he went "Serves ya right you bastards!". He probably then clubbed a baby seal and sprayed an entire commercial sized can of Aqua Net into the air. So, the likelyhood of me voting for John McCain increases.
With a Presidential choice boiling down between McCain, Romney, Clinton, and Obama, I'm pretty sure that "None of the Above" would win. We have a flawed conservative in McCain. A right-now-I'm-a-conservative in Romney. And two borderline socialists, one who thinks that they're entitled to your vote because of a second X chromosome, and another who will happily remove troops from Iraq to launch a war in Pakistan. And remember, that's the "peace" candidate. Any chance I can get an age waiver to run for the presidency?
Finally, I'm done with Opera. It's a horrible browser. I hated every second I used it. I don't give a rat's ass if Firefox occasionally gets a little memory hogish, or that IE is likely to give my credit card information to every Bulgarian Internet user. At least they don't suck total ass. Nothing short of a giant magnet will ever rid my computer of Opera to my satisfaction. Wow, I hated that browser.