Friday, June 30, 2006

Round Chambered

Got a bit of good news yesterday. Two bits of good news even. The first was a tester of mine came across with a 57. Yay. That brings my average tester QT for this week to a 28. Yes. Do the math on it and you'll find the QT of the first person I'd tested.

The second bit of good news came from my GED failure of last month. He passed the portions of the GED he'd failed and he's ready to come back and join, and ship, and be a Soldier. Yay-er! His packet is still all done from the last time he enlisted, all he has to do is inspect and he's in. That'll put me at 3 volume, 2 net. I do have a young woman taking the phys today, but she's probably going to be a med waiver, and has a tattoo that may be a problem. I'd never noticed it before because she wears earrings and had her hair down the previous times I'd met her. Who the hell gets a tat on their ear lobe?

Anyways, it's looking like I'm going to need to find at least one more, and possibly two more, people to enlist this month. It's frustrating because if I'd been a bit more aggressive or attentive I might have been able to prevent the positive match. Doing a bit of a personal AAR I realize that I'd gotten too focused on putting someone in during Week 1 than on making sure the person would stay in beyond Week 2. SSG Rage is laughing right now I'm sure. Without that pending loss we'd be looking at a 3 for the AR rather than returning to a two. SGT W^3 might have had a bonus fall into his lap, but it's something that will require a good bit of processing, and won't happen quickly.

It's Friday, and I'm going to be late for PT. This morning we're taking on the other two local stations in a game of basketball. Undoubtedly this will end in another glorious victory for the Mighty Glendale. Now that I think about we've done pretty good in sports ever since SSG Rage PCS'd. Hum...makes one think.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another in

With another new Soldier in the Army I feel a giant weight lifted off my shoulders. In a long month like this one (five weeks long for recruiting purses) failing to achieve mission is an even greater sin than normal. As it stands right now I'm still pending a loss, but until it's taken the AR is at 50%. SGT W^3 has someone ready to go so that will cover down on my loss, and I'll be able to put in one more,and with some work, two more. If that happens the AR is covered.

Now that I've shown such pride the recruiting gods will be sure to smite me down. I feel like the villagers in Black & White when you're an evil god; I know the pain is coming, I just don't know if it will be a fireball, a hurricane, or being picked up by the hand of god and thrown into a neighboring village as a way to terrorize others. I am such a geek sometimes.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Slow morning

Power is out in my part of town. There are advantages and disadvantages to losing power in Phoenix. The bad part is that, even at 6am, it's blazing hot. 90 degrees inside the home when I awoke. The good part is that it is so hot even the cold water is hot enough to not make you sing soprano when you take a shower.

A new first sergeant has been assigned which means changes are incoming. This morning is an early one where I'm sure we're going to be getting some good info, and some not good info. Production hasn't been awful, nothing like it was last month. I still haven't taken my loss, but it's going to happen soon. Fortunatly I had a battalion waiver get approved yesterday and the applicant will be in tomorrow. Regardless I'll still be at a +1 and that's better than nothing.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


If a comic like this were to be remade today, using the War on Terror as the motif, which group do you think would be more offended?

My favorite detail from the comic is that it's Issue Number 2 of God comics. What the heck was in issue number One?


I didn't feel like adding another post to include this.

The content isn't very funny, but the concept is. It seems that Al-Qaeda is having a hard time finding a new leader, so they turned to everyone's favorite source of hard-to-find items. Craig's List.

I'm sure this is something that will be taken down soon, but I saved in in case it does go away.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

No excuse

Ever see a movie that is not very good, but whenever it's on you feel compelled to watch it? I've got a few. BASEketball is one. Clue is another. But tonight I was able to rewatch the grand daddy of them all.


The first time I watched this movie I was like 14 years old. I was instantly hooked because, by chance, I tuned in at the moment one of the weird hippy chicks was walking around topless. There's a decent amount of pointless toplessness in Zardoz, and pointless toplessness is a guaranteed way to make me watch something.

Since that time more than half my life ago I've seen Zardoz several times. Each time though it makes my head hurt. It's a movie with so much plot it has no plot at all. It's that infinite symbol of the snake eating itself. John Boorman, the writer, director, producer, had no idea what he was doing. I'm convinced that Zardoz was the result of him directing and producing something he wrote after sniffing the Sharpie marker used to draw the mustache and goatee on the creepy dude in the big stone head. Yes, that is the dude to the right, and yes, his facial hair has been drawn on.

Zardoz takes several different sci-fi concepts which would all have been interesting by themselves, and combines them into a mish-mash that's the movie equivalent of putting pizza, ice cream, and chocolate sauce into a blender and hitting "puree".

A movie about a society that stops aging and yearns for the sweet release of death? I'll watch it.
A movie about a band of exterminators in a post-apocalyptic world? Hell yeah! I'll see it twice!
A movie about an omnipresent computer that controls everything? They made three of them starring Keanu Reeves!
A movie about chicks who go around topless? Do I really need to comment on the likelyhood of me wanting to see such a movie?

Adding them all together though... no so much.

But despite that it's a movie I'll watch whenever it's on. I've even sought it out. I'm not proud of the fact, but I've done so. I'm hoping that an admission like this might lead to me getting some help.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Nearly a dollar after taxes

Another day is almost in the books. I spent most of today getting ready for next week. I finished assembling a waiver packet for someone who will be joining soon. As I'd mentioned before, no one wants to join more than someone who isn't qualified. To ease Sugarbutt's concerns I don't mean that to be as mean as it sounds. I actually like it when the people I'm running waivers on are anxious to join. It's a lot of work to get a waiver done, so knowing that the work will result in a contract is a burden off the back. Working a waiver for someone who is not fully committed is an exercise in frustration.

Tomorrow my pending loss sees "the man". I got the call this afternoon from "the man" looking for what time he'll be seeing Mr. HB. FYI, around 11am PST my DEP loss will be confirmed. It's nice to know when the blade will be dropping across my neck. Despite what they say it's not the suspense that kills you, it's being decapitated by the axeman's blade. I wonder if I can get that on a t-shirt? Or maybe add it to my business card?

Despite my pending nut-itude I remain hopeful, because I have no choice. Previously my release valve for work-related frustration was to bitch and moan with my fellow recruiters. However that avenue was recently cut off by a requirement to be happy, and if you're unable to be happy one must "fake it unitl you make it". So I'm unable to express my displeasure at "the system" through my usual release. This is the stress equivalent of blue balls, and it feels just as good.

Oh, and I liked the add from eBay that comes up when you Google blue balls.

When I originally pulled back the curtain to reveal the small man manipulating the large, floating head I knew that it would comes with a price. That point was driven home to me not long after. Since then I've had to become more of a self-editor. I won't call it censorship or prior-restraint, but knowing that people in a position to cause great pain read this, and know who to call, does have an effect. For the most part it's a positive effect though. It makes me think harder about what I'm writing, and what's motivating the writing. I try not to write when I'm feeling pissy because, well, I'll say something I don't really mean, and really don't want put out for all to see.

However I've noticed a trend that feels like it needs to be commented on, and I find myself worried about what will happen if I do comment.

There have been a lot of changes in recruiting lately, and I've commented on them, but not really in the way I'd have liked to. These are changes coming from my command, and it's not a Soldier's place to question such things. But what does one do when they feel that such changes aren't a good idea? Of course one has to suck it up and drive on, but does that requirement mean that it's unauthorized to contemplate at the same time? I've never really thought so.

One of the things that makes the American military great is our unacceptance of convention. Thought and analysis are encouraged. Everyone from the lowliest private to the highest general is allowed, within reason, and sometimes encouraged, to think outside the box. The recruiter incentive pay is an "outside the box" thing. I know that such a monumental shift in the way we do business wasn't undertaken lightly. I'm sure that many, many meetings, phone calls, emails, and forests of PowerPoint slides were involved in the analysis, development, and implementation of the program. And that lil' ol' SFC B wasn't even a thought in those steps. Whatever secret squirrel conferences were key to the decision were many, many echelons above SFC B. But just because it came down from above does that mean it's beyond question?

Offering a monetary incentive to perform one's duty just strikes me as wrong. What is so much harder about recruiting that it requires payments for specific performance? Will the rest of the Army look at USAREC and start to think that maybe they should be allowed to pay for performance as well? I'm sure that the Soldiers who push themselves to score a 300 on the APFT wouldn't mind an extra $50 for that accomplishment? A sniper who kills an enemy sniper probably wouldn't mind a couple more dollars for such a difficult achievement. And the opposite holds true as well. Will pay start being deducted from NCOs who get a 4 block? If we're going to be paid for doing our job it stands to reason that it will become acceptable to reduce payment for those who fail to achieve.

Maybe this is a step towards a contract force. I know that several recruiting stations and companies are all civilian recruiters, and I think many of those stations and companies are successful. Now, I've heard rumors that they were successful because the civilians were put into productive locations in productive markets, but they're rumors and I don't care enough to investigate. Rumors notwithstanding I guess the theory is that the civilians are paid by the contract so they work harder to enlist people and are thus more successful. The incentives are being passed to the Army recruiters as well though, so is it something that will make us work harder and become more successful?

I have no idea.

Myself, I am already working 12-14 hour days. It's not always the most focused of work, but it's a good, honest effort. Obviously it's possible to work harder, but there reaches a point of diminishing returns. There are also some gaps in the incentive. The enlisting of three Prior Service and two kids with a grads with a 49 QT will receive nothing for enlisting five Soldiers, while someone enlisting 40% of that is eligible for $100 because they happened to have the same grad pop a 50. I know it's a stupid situation to imagine; if they guy has 5 enlistees he's a good enough recruiter to have a GSA as well, but I'm sure it will happen to someone and do nothing but piss them off.

I stand behind my assertation that adding money to what we do will just result in increased bitterness, a greater chance of improprities, and provide fuel to the counter recruiters' points. And all this for no great improvement in recruiting. That's my opinion at least. I'll probably be wrong, and I'll be happily wrong as the RIP leads to 5,000 new enlistments of people who would not have enlisted were it not for the extra effort put in by the now paid-on-commission recruiting force.

As a taxpayer I find myself a little concerned by the money being spent in the recruiting effort. I have no problem with the money being spent, but with the method for accounting for it. Between the increased enlistment bonuses, college money, referral bonuses, and now recruiter incentive pay, what is actually going to work? I'm sure there is a method to determine the additional enlistments generated by each, and, well, I'd like to know that the information is going to be readily available to the public.

Many of the recruiters I've heard from through email feel that the referral bonus hasn't really been a terrific source like some believe. The people being referred are people who would have enlisted anyway. Of a hypothetical 100 enlistments, 90 of them were people who would have enlisted regardless. So, basically the Army is paying $100,000 to get an additional 10 enlistments. Maybe $10,000 per contract is worth it, I don't know.

Any shortfall in recruiting is not going to have an easy answer, or at least an easy answer that works. Throwing money at the problem won't fix it, but it will make it look like the problem is being fixed. Solving the disconnect between the civilian world and the military world is something that will take time and effort. With bases closing fewer and fewer people live near the military. Reserve and National Guard facilities take on the look of civilian office buildings, to the point where people can drive by them daily and not notice the motor pool filled with cammoed HMMWVs.

It's too easy to throw media blame into the game as well, but that doesn't make it an untrue allegation. The rumor of a massacre conducted by Marines results in footlong stories in the A section of the paper. A senator piles on to the charges by saying he was told the Marines were guilty before the probe could be completed. The possibility the Marines were acting within the rules receives scant attention, and as the truth of the matter slowly comes forward the "massacre" looks more and more like a tragedy of war, exacerbated by the enemy's penchant for using innocent people as shields. But the story leaves the front pages and moves to the later sections, next to ads for a dollar off an oil change.

The heyday of WWII media jingoism isn't the answer, but I'd be happy with a media that is simply impartial, or, failing that, not quite as willing to publish Al-Qaeda press releases. The fact that most captured AQ plans seem to contain some reference to the important of creating negative reports from the US and world media should be a notice to those who publish. I do believe that when my enemy's plan requires me to do something, it's to my benefit to not do that thing they want me to do, if possible.

Personally, I'd like to see more of the milblogs tout the benefits of serving more directly. Far be it from me to tell the big guys what to write about. I'm a lowly recruiter that just recently hit 20,000 visitors after a year. But I'd be willing to bet that an effort by the recruiting commands to reach out and advertise with bloggers, mil and non-mil alike, would result in new enlistees who wouldn't have been reached before. It would tickle me pink to read Smash suggesting that those interested in serving go call their local Navy recruiter. Blackfive could do the same thing, and possibly make some additional money off of it through the Referral Bonus program.

Anyways, it's late, I'm tired and my train of thought has derailed and jumped about three different tracks.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Of course

SSG Rage, hold on to your chair. I don't want you to hurt yourself so you can't go on your next 21 mile road march.

SFC B: So, have you ever tried marijuana?

Mr. HB: Yeah, when I was a kid I tried it a couple times, but never since.

SFC B: Never since? Ever?

Mr. HB: Nope.

SFC B: You told me your parents smoked it a lot, you've never smoked with them?

Mr. HB: Nope, not my thing.

SFC B: Glad to hear it. Ever get in trouble because of it? Ever get busted for marijuana? Even if you were just holding?

Mr. HB: Never.

SFC B: You sure man? Cause it's important. If you got busted it's not a problem if you tell me now. We do some paperwork, you write a statement, speak with my commander and it's done.

Mr. HB: I've never gotten into trouble for marijuana.

SFC B: Good deal man, good deal. Cause if you did we'll find out and it'll be a problem.

Mr. HB: Never been in trouble.

Three days later the Positive Match email comes. Four days the police checks are rerun. Five days later, today, they come back. Possession of Marijuana. $90 fine, year of unsupervised probation. I'm the World's Worst Recruiter. If I had any sense of honor I'd go out back and commit ritual suicide.

Monday, June 19, 2006


In the year and some odd months I've been on recruiting I've seen a handful of acts of vandalism conducted against recrutiers, stations, and vehicles. These acts include:

Throwing eggs at recruiters
Throwing eggs at government vehicles
Breaking the emblems from government vehicles
Shattering the window of a government vehicle
Breaking the steering column of a government vehicle
Stealing the tires from a government vehicle

That's just at my station.

This morning, while preparing to drive to an appointment, I discovered that my GOV had been broken in to. Among the items stolen were my satellite radio, the change in my coin tray, some RPIs, and... this is the best... toothpaste.

In my center console I had a variety pack of toothpaste. It contained four travel size tubes of toothpaste of different flavors. The thief only stole two of the flavors leaving the remaining. My car thief may be finicky, but at least he tries to be hygenic. So if anyone sees a guy with recently brushed teeth, listening to a satellite radio, and paying for something with coins please shoot me an email.

Oh, and in the Sirius/XM war I chose XM because they have MLB. It's been a choice I never regretted. I like their playlist, they have the sport I like and the team I love, and it's been something which I've been very happy with. Until I had to report my radio stolen. I was left on hold for about half an hour, and when I finally spoke w/ a service person I learned that I may be charged to activate a replacement radio. WTF? It's not a given, and I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, but making me pay to reactivate something that I didn't want to cancel in the first place will make me want to hurt things.

Anyways, it's Monday and the week is already off to a painful start. Mondays in recruiting are usually painful enough, the burdens of meeting PMS numbers, trying to find that next contract to stovepipe to maintain leadline are fun enough by themselves. Adding in the pain of having a vehicle broken in to, and your possessions stolen just increases the fun.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Different Pain

Last night I was introduced to a wholly new concept in recruiting pain. SGT W^3 is currently processing a young lady, and to his credit she's very willing to join. However, she had a low EST and that mystical theory "They do better on the paper test" was put to the test.

Now, of the three people who tested at the MET site last night, only one passed. And it was her. Although her EST was in the 20s she came away with a 47. Yay for SGT W^3.

Through some cosmic joke though SGT W^3 wasn't available to take her home. Somehow, someway it became my task to take her home. Unlike the test given downtown the paper test takes the full three hours, and to get the predicted score the proctor has to grade them. By hand. A task which can take some time, and take some time it did.

At 2115 hours, 9:14pm for those not familiar with numbers greater than 12, I started driving to her back to her house. Her house is in Arlington, AZ. For those not familiar with the valley of the sun it's an hour away. An hour away in the middle of ranch land. I'm going off-roading in a Chevy Malibu. The drive out isn't bad actually. We get a chance to talk and I do my part. She's pretty aimless in life right now, her father's been telling her she should join the Army, and she's ready, so W^3 better be calling her ASAP.

The killer was the drive home.

Two separate times I came to a complete stop on the highway. Once for an accident which had traffic stopped for about three miles, and again for construction related to the new football stadium. I pulled in to my home at four minutes past midnight. All for a tester that wasn't mine. The late night, coupled with my 4 am wake-up so I can take my own guy downtown for the phys/AIMS/enlistment has me in a.... different... mood this morning.

Anyways, have to roll out.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Creativly Stupid

My contract from last month, the 09L is a wonderful thing for the Army. The Middle Eastern Translator Aide Program fills a dire need for the service by providing the Army with native speakers of a language that isn't common within the United States. It also allows people who are eager to serve their country with an opportunity to do so.

For recruiters this is a great program because it allows a recruiter to get a GA credit, while also reducing the mission for their station by 1 GA. It's a twofer!

Or, well, it was.

Turns out that the people who authorize the reduction in the mission also have a very strict intrepretation of the Constitution. Found out today that my station wouldn't be getting a mission reduction because the rule is a mission reduction of 1 GA. My station was missioned for a PS and an OT. Yes, they refused to lower our mission by 1 OT because it wasn't a GA.

As always I learn the wrong lesson from things. Next time a 09L doesn't enlist in a month where we're not missioned for a GA.

Alert Webster...

... "team" is now spelled t-e-I-a-m.

Usually I dislike when a headline is finished in the first body of the post, but it seemed fitting in this case, and it's my blog and I'll do what I want.

Two major changes happened in the recruiting world yesterday. Two changes that, to me, reflect a fundamental change in the way that business will be conducted.

Change one is the announcement of individual mission points. Previously the only way to receive mission box points was to have the station/company/battalion achieve mission. Now, with this change, it's possible for a recruiter to earn mission box points for putting in their, individual, assigned mission. 50 points if you hard box (achieve exactly the categories missioned), 25 if you volume box (simply put in the required amount). For example, if I'm missioned for a GA and a PS, and I enlist a GA and a PS I get 50 points, in addition to any other points for the enlistments. If I just enlist a PS and a SB I'll get 25 points. This, to me, is a big change that takes the focus off the unit and onto the individual.

Now, this change is bound to be accompanied by the usual remarks about how the priority is still on the unit, and that this is just a way to better recognize the difficulties of recruiting. My concern with this though is that if you reward a particular behavior you're going to see more of that behavior. Now that individual performance is rewarded recruiters will perform more as individuals.

Incentive points are all well and good, but the big, big, big is that Recruiter Incentive Pay was announced. Effective, I guess, today recruiters can now earn money for enlistments. This is something that has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The entire message is pretty huge and involved. I'm not going to torture my six readers (Hi Mom!) by republishing it here. In brief the RIP is an additional $100 to $5,000 that can be earned by a recruiter based on their monthly, 3-monthly, and yearly production.

At the lowest level a recruiter can earn $100 for enlisting two people, one of which must be a quality enlistment. Anyone beyond the two will result in an additional $100 each. Every three months, if someone writes two per for those three months they can receive an additional $1,000, on top of their monthly incentives. And if someone writes like 42 contracts in a year they can receive a $5,000 bonus. This is not chump change. Granted, enlisting 42 people should be recognized by something more than a piece of flair and some clapping, but between the various levels of incentive some recruiters will be adding $10,000 or more to their bank accounts.

A cash reward for accomplishing our mission just seems... wrong. I'm not principled enough to say "Take your dirty money" and refuse the incentive pay if I receive it some month, nor will I be donating it to anything other than the SFC B Motorcycle Replacement Fund. If I get the money I'm taking it, having it cashed out into $1 bills, spreading it across the bed, and rolling around on it naked.

My apologies for any emotional trauma caused by people suddenly thinking of my large, pasty white posterior. Mrs. SFC B tells me that eventually you will be able to feel joy again, the horror will pass.

I'm curious what the motivation for this incentive is. Money will only work as an incentive if someone isn't putting in maximum effort, and that is all that will motivate them. Otherwise this is money being spent to accomplish something that was going to be accomplished without the money being spent. I don't know why that doesn't make me feel tingly inside.

Currently, I myself, don't have a problem referring someone interested in the Regular Army to one of the RA recruiters. And for the most part that feeling is mutual. This is something that will change that. Previously a referred prospect or applicant was just that. Now those names are money. It's naive to think that someone won't hold a name longer to try and flip them one way or the other. And within a station it's sometimes expected that a more successful recruiter will assist a less successful one by referring someone. Now, that additional contract is going to take money from that recruiter in addition to depleting the funnel. This makes it that much harder to be a team player. I'd be lying if I said that these factors wouldn't come into play for myself. I'd like to think I'm professional enough to help someone out, but at the same time if that referred contract is going to cost me a $500 bonus for the quarter... well... who knows.

Lastly, and I hope this is something I'm just seeing the worst in people on, this is another temptation to do wrong. As it stands a small percentage of recruiters do things wrong. Whether intentionally or accidentally rules get broken or bent. And these improprities occur in an environment where the biggest reward, the reason to bend and break rules, is so that you get left alone. Now we're adding a financial incentive to the mix.

I'm CPL Snuffy and I've got my GA enlisted for the month and it's the Friday before Mission Monday. If I can get one more OT I'll be able to get that $100 and take my girlfriend out to dinner. I find a senior bravo who's ready to go, except he's so hot that he melts the DAT stick. Now I'm in a CPL in a pickle. This guy is going to be it for me for the month. There's nothing else. I make the wrong decision, take him to the head shop, get him "the drink" and hope for the best. He phys's and enlists. Rejoice. Three days later he's a DAT loss. Is the incentive pay now recouped? Even if it isn't, and I'm lucky enough that the kid shuts up about me taking him to get the drink, I'm still in the hole for next month and I've done something stupid. Far more likely the kid talks, tells someone he was told to take the drink, I'm now under investigation and will face the possibility of being PFC Snuffy.

I know it's not a perfect example, I made it up on the fly, but I'm trying to point out that money changes decisions. The totally straight-arrow recruiter is more likely to get a bit of a bend when the difference between getting $0 and getting $1,000 is a kid shutting up about a law violation.

I realize that I'm being just as bad as the counterrecruiters when I assume that a new incentive like this is going to result in more improprities. The vast, vast, vast majority of recruiters are honest NCOs who wouldn't risk their career or integrity for such a small, short-term game. But With a new incentive like this there are going to come new temptations and problems.

I hadn't even touched on the problems of perception that Station Commando discusses, and that's a very valid concern as well. This is something that's going to make us Army recruiters look more and more like sales people. The same annoying species who descends on you at Circuit City. Obviously someone being a "salesman" isn't a bad thing. Despite the perception it doesn't keep people from buying a car, a house, a plasma TV, or whatever else. But it's a perception the Army has tried hard to distance itself from, and in this one step undid all that work.

Maybe in the end it will all work out. Maybe this is going to be the incentive that makes the mission easier. Maybe that carrot will result in USAREC hitting 110% for the recruiting year. Maybe, after six months of this program the Recruiter Incentive Pay will become even MORE of an incentive by penalizing recruiters for failing to meet mission. If we get $100 for putting in two, maybe the next step is to take $100 if you wind up at a -1? I know it's a stupid thought, but if you'd asked me six months ago if I could get $100 for enlisting what I'm supposed to enlist I'd have thought that was stupid.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Manatees are no longer on the endangered list. I can't wait to go to Basha's and get me a side of tender, juicy manatee. All of y'all are invited to the party when I grill them up. Who's going to be bringing the beer and the buffalo eagle wings?

The approaching switch

The end of RCM June is approaching. Monday will mark the last day for someone to get off a donut, and Tuesday will be the day that all our sins are washed away, and all our miracles are forgotten. The enlistment of a Middle Eastern Translator and some numbnut failing to get their Good Enuff Degree didn't happen as of the 13th. It's a mixed blessing.

The mission for my component gets a bit more interesting this coming quarter. While SGT W^3 and myself savored the good life of a 2, 4, 2 this quarter it's a 4, 4, 3. A bit more difficult, but far from impossible. The bodies are there, we just need to find them. The job will be made much easier if our Regular Army partners can improve. The "tide lifts all boats" applies to recruiting as well. Plus, I try not to let it, but it does get frustrating when the minor success W^3 and I contribute gets buried in an land slide of pain from the other side of the ledger.

This evening most of the station will be enjoying the sights and sounds of Chase Field as the D'backs take on the Mets. I've only been an Astros fan since '89 so I have no memory of '86, but when I became a fan of the Astros I picked up a full-helping of Mets-hatred. Hopefully this will be a solid stomping by the D'backs and I can write a wrap-up that will make Baseball Crank's ears steam for his summation of past Astros mistakes. It's depressing to think what 1998 looks like with Lofton, Schilling, Harnish, and Abreu wearing blue and gold.

Friday, June 09, 2006

For my best man

My best friend who was also my best man is a die hard Republican. He's got the necessary shrine to Ronald Reagan in his closet. He actually kinda knows what he's talking about since he's currently working on his doctoral thesis in political science. And I'm sure he'll use the "Yes, I'm a doctor" line when he's at the Colorado in Houston.

CM, this one's for you.

Firday Firday

There's an inside joke to "Firday", so please move on with your life if you're not shaking your head.

Currently visiting one of the outlying stations. Had a couple of appointments yesterday and one more today. Yesterday was a wash, one got a 14 on the EST, the other is just looking at their "options". It's like you just want to take them by the neck and throttle them until they say "yes" or "no". "Maybe" is something that will drive me to drink. In the end though Option-boy wasn't willing to commit to anything, not even a test done at the MET site so that's a "no".

I'd started and stopped a couple posts this week. For whatever reason the ol' muse hasn't been kind lately. It's not the first time I haven't felt it. My "edit post" menu is filled with poorly written and thought-through drafts.

However events of this week do require some comment. I mean, c'mon folks, it's the first official Shiloh Jolie-Pitt pictures being published! That's like the most important story ever! I can't imagine a story that could be more important. I'm relativly confident that Shiloh Jolie-Pitt is going to grow up to be painfully dysfunctional. It's just a feeling I'm having in the back of my brain, but she's going to put every child star to shame in the levels of life-screwed-uppedness she's going to have to endure. She's going to be both the Olsen twins and the Diff'rent Strokes cast rolled up into one. All the coke-snorting, self-induced vomitting, liquor store robbing, Penthouse posing, and bizarre appearances in Kid Rock videos wrapped up into one photogenic tabloid cover fodder.

Oh, and there was something about an airstrike in Iraq. But according to many people who really should know better it wasn't important. That the deaths of the people in the strike won't end the insurgency, and that Bush could have killed him years ago so now it's all just a way to distract from the price of gas. So, that whole Iraq thing just isn't as important as a baby born to two pretty faces.

I wrapped up my last appointment and am now preparing the packet. No one wants to join more than someone unqualified, and her 28 EST isn't filling me with warm fuzzies. Oh well. Who knows. Have a good weekend.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sneak Previews

Went and saw Da Vinci Code with Mrs. SFC B last night. Not a bad chase flick, but it wasn't without its flaws. I can't speak to the whole "blasphemous" or "conspiracy" thing. It's a movie. If someone will lose their faith because of it, well, kinda says something about their commitment. And if someone watches the movie, or even reads the book, and decides to question about 1500 years of history well, there's that Loose Change movie that I'm sure is on their Netflix que.

It's summertime and that means there are some decent looking movies coming to theatres near me. I've already dropped my $6.50 to see X-Men III, and this summer another awesome superhero movie will be gracing the screen. Superman returns to the movie going public and I'm eager for it. Much like Bill from Kill Bill, I like Superman. I like the mythos, the history, the everything. The original Superman movie is one of my favorites, despite it's occasional stupidity.

There isn't much about Cars that really appeals to me. But it's by Pixar and Pixar has earned my money in the past. If Cars is the worst thing that Pixar puts out in past 15 years it's a track record any other studio would be thrilled to have I'm sure.

Dead Man's Chest probably promises to become to best movie sequel to a movie based on an amusement ride in history. That's an unfair backhanded compliment. The original was an incredibly good movie. It was well-written, well-acted, and it was aware that it was a silly concept. There's nothing wrong with a stupid good movie, as long as they're treated like a stupid good movie. Few things suck more than a stupid movie that wants to be taken serious.

Will Farrell stole my talking pet schitck in Ron Burgundy, but he's still wicked, wicked, wicked funny and I have no problem enriching his coffers for his Talladega Nights. Despite him often playing painfully stupid characters he plays them straight and honestly. At least that's my opinion. All too often it seems to me that actors trying to play comedic characters try too hard. Farrell comes off naturally and that's why I'll be dropping my SDAP for him.

One film I will never, ever, ever, ever see will be Snakes on a Plane. I don't care if it's the best movie ever. It could be better than every other movie that has ever been made, and ever will be made, and I will never watch it. I know that snakes are incredibly important predators in the ecosystem. Snakes control rodent populations helping prevent the spread of diseases and the loss of valuable grains. Good snakes. They also creep me out more than anything else. It doesn't help Snakes on a Plane's case that every other snake-based movie ever made were painfully stupid.

Anyways, there's my to-do list for summer movie watching. Tomorrow to suck resumes again.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Just redoing the look a bit, nothing major. Had some free time and I figured I'd go for something a bit different from the handful of premade blogger templates. I hope to make it look a bit better over the next couple days.


Wow, I'm not good at this.


I kinda like it. Not what I had in mind, and I'm very worried about the text on a black background, but have to start somewhere.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Mrs. SFC B recently discovered a website that makes me think that maybe we should have used a couple more nuclear weapons in WWII.

Japanese TV is just... strange. Of course, in their defense, I think it would be far, far more interesting to see an Americanized version of the heart-rate show with the dominatrix rather than some other redone British home makeover show. Bring on the chicks in leather with whips and large phalluses!

Speaking of large phalluses, one of my favorite web related pastimes is to look through the "came from" stats on my site counter. It's entertaining to see some of the search engine results that bring people to my site. My post about a spanish spam message promising me a larger... something... resulted in me getting a whole lot of traffic from spanish websites. Who'd have thought that many people were googling "ejaculando"?. I wonder how much traffic "phallus" will get me now?

For some reason Googling "Trent Reznor gay rumors" resulted in me getting another hit. Although my site appears no where on those search results. "Recruiters lie" and "lies recruiters tell" both got me more traffic. They didn't stay long though since apparently my site wasn't what they were looking for.

Anyways, it's been a routine week. Appointments have been made and conducted. The usual assortment of qualified not interested, interested not qualified, and qualified interested but not sure of component were conducted. I do have an applicant prepared for the next week, and plan to enlist him then. Although I could like to hide him until next month the recruiting gods do not approve of such actions, so if he's able to he's going in. I'll worry about next month next month.

SGT Patience finally popped his cherry after two and a half months of suckitide so we're going to go enjoy a lunch in his honor. We might even let him come along. Might.

I've been debating trying to add something to the header of my blog. Maybe an icon of some sort. Although I like my Bud Ice Penguin that's more of a personl thing. I was also thinking of something cheesy like a Sergeant First Class insignia with either a "B" in it, or wearing glasses. I know it's stupid, but the plain blogger template just isn't doing it for me any more. I want something different.