Saturday, September 30, 2006

Nothing more than feelings

Darth Commando was talking with me tonight, explaining to me how to best torture jawas, when the topic of baseball came up. Darth Commando had obviously been enjoying some peyote because he was telling me how the Royals were going to win the World Series next season. I didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise. That and I was afraid he'd force choke me through my DSL line. I really should get dial-up when chatting with him. The slower connection speeds means it takes 75% longer for him to apply a good force choke.

Anyways, topic of the Braves comes up and, well, my dislike of the Braves is pretty intense. It's been that way since about 1997. When asked what three things I hate the most in the world I list Nazis, child molesters, and the Braves. Not always in that order. Words don't exist to describe my hatred of the Braves. I'm pretty sure that all members of the Braves have had sex with the Devil. They are evil. Pure, unadulterated evil. There is nothing good left in them. Their souls have been replaced by a wound straight from Hell. Blood does not flow in their veins, instead a thick, viscous, oil-like ichor sustains their unlife. They are a drain on the universe. While the Braves exist there can be no true happiness in the world. Just a vague simulacrum of joy that hides the ugly of the Braves behind a veil. The Braves are so vile that Jane Fonda sought out their owner so she wouldn't seem so scummy by comparison. It didn't work though.

Anyways... tomorrow is the day. Either the season ends or it doesn't. We'll see.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I find myself in the horrifying position of having to root for the Brewers.

Go Brew Crew!


Damn Brewers.

I hatethe Braves.

MacBeth Redux?

It seems that there is a bit of Jesse MacBeth happening again. I make it a habit to follow the "Loose Change" folks. My clearing house for that windmill tilting is Screw Loose Change. This morning they posted a story about SGT Lauro Chavez, aformer Soldier who is now a "Whistleblower" for the 9-11 "Truth" movement. I'll let other people dissect what he says about the events at NORAD or the training exercises on 9-11. However I will speak to my area of quasi-expertise. Army admin.

A copy of SGT Chavez's DD214 Form 1 was posted here. I saved a copy of it in case that version disappears. If you look at sections 13 and 14 you'll see that the text looks a little different. I'm not such an expert as to say that it's wholly impossible for that text to be fake. However it's different looking enough to make me question it. I'm more interested in the content of the blocks.

I've never seen an Army DD214 that called the Good Conduct Medal the "Army Good Conduct Medal". They've always listed it as simply the "Good Conduct Medal". However I've seen 214s from the USMC that listed it as the "Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal". That in an of itself wouldn't have been enough to make me call "shenanigans", however there are other, similar mistakes in these two sections.

As someone who was on Active Duty prior to NOV95 SGT Chavez would have been eligible for the National Defense Service Medal from that period. He'd have received a second NDSM for being on Active Duty after 9-11. His 214 only shows one NDSM. It's also strange to me that he could serve six years in the Army and not earn a single Army award. His other awards are both for joint service work. He did work at a joint command so it makes sense he'd have joint awards, but it's just strange to me he'd not have received at least one Army Achievement Medal in a nearly seven year career.

While the inconsistencies in block 13 are minor the mistakes in block 14 are pretty glaring to me.

His block 13 (Military Education) reads:

So, in his first two years of service he was able to attend the SFQC? As a 74G? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the selection course first? And how likely is it he was able to get an SF training slot without ever first going through Airborne, Air Assault, or Ranger? I'm not saying it's impossible but how many SF guys don't have that training?

But again, it's a content issue and that isn't what strikes me as wrong. What strikes me as wrong are the dates. If you look at the dates listed on Chavez's DD214 they are in a MM YYYY format. The Army has used a YYMMDD or YYYYMMDD format for dates since I enlisted about six months before SGT Chavez did. If you look in Section 18 of SGT Chavez's 214 you'll see what I'm talking about. The dates listed in there all use a YYYYMMDD format. While Block 14 will use only YYMM or YYYYMM, you'll never see MM YYYY. It's simply not done that way. Also, the double slash "//" added to the end of the "NOTHING FOLLOWS" on both section 13 and 14. In the other two sections where "NOTHING FOLLOWS" is used (Sections 11 and 18) there is no "//". I've seen 214s that have both "NOTHING FOLLOWS//" and "NOTHING FOLLOWS" but I've never seen one that used them both, it's always consistent within the document.

And finally Block 22 is unsigned by the official, but that might have been a mistake by the separation office.

I'd be curious to hear what the SF folks have to say about this Soldier. He says he was at the SFQC in July 1997. I wonder if anyone remembers him.


I took a closer look at his 214 and I noticed something suspicious. I was going to do a big, long post describing what I'd noticed, and then I discovered that someone beat me to it. Bottom line, this Chavez guy totally faked his 214.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


It always makes my skin jump a bit when I see the "Ft. Knox, KY" on my recent visitors info when checking my traffic. Of course maybe it means they're actually looking at what is being written about the Army and maybe even taking notes.

If that's the case I could really use a new cell phone. The backlight on mine has died and now I can't read the damned thing. If someone from Knox could pass that down I'd appreciate it.

Why do I have the feeling this is going to come back to haunt me?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

To Whom it may Concern

To whomever at GM designed the lugnuts on the Chevy Malibu: DIE.

A couple days ago I had to take another recruiter's applicant home. Normally that's not a big deal, unless the kid happens to live on the AZ/CA/ Mexico border town of Yuma freaking Arizona. For those who haven't been there Yuma is in the middle of nowhere. It's a good hour in any direction from Yuma to any other place that's more than a gas station. As I was driving back I felt the wheel start to go soft. I pondered to myself "Self, what could be causing this sensation?" I didn't have to answer myself because the 'Bu told me exactly what the problem was when a loud THUMP THUMP THUMP noise came from behind me.

A tire had given up the ghost.

I quickly pull over and assess the damage. The tire is done. A good portion of the tread had peeled away and the cord was visible around the outer edge. Go to the trunk, find the spare, jack, and tire iron. After some work I got the plastic cap off the wheel and exposed the lug nuts.

Or so I'd thought.

The Malibu has these little plastic... thingys... shaped like lugnuts over where the lug nuts should be. Now, Mrs. SFC B's Focus had a similar thing and those came right off. The 'Bu has no such feature. These damn things were attached and not coming off. So, since they look like lug nuts I figure "eh" and use the tire iron. Nothing happens. The iron spins uselessly. At this time I look at the stretch of road behind me and realize I'm about halfway between Aztec, AZ and Dateland, AZ. If you have no idea where those two cities are then you know how I felt when I looked at the empty highway.

Phone calls are made and it's determined that these little plastic caps are actually supposed to be attached to the actual lugnuts. They're obviously not so I do what any rational person would do I such a situation. I swear and violently hit the plastic caps with a tire iron. After my tantrum is over the caps remain there laughing. Laughing at my suffering and my soon-to-be-getting-eaten-by-vultures situation. So I use the crow bar to pry the covers off. There were no longer laughing when the first of their number gave way. I was the one laughing then.

Anyways, long story short (too late) got the covers off, got the lug nuts off, go the donut on, returned to the road and got back to the office.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Seven is the key number...

"Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 doors. 7, man, that's the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office."

Holly decided to tag me with the Seven Songs meme. Curse my royal purple background.

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your LiveJournal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

Rapture- Hurt
The Pot- Tool
Rescue Me- Eve6
Munster Rag- Brad Paisley
Shine Down- Godsmack
Hate Me- Blue Monday
I Believe- Brooks & Dunn

I'd tag people, but it's late and I'm tired. The meme dies with me!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Readin' 2

I'm still reading the Holocaust book. However I polished off the others in very short order. Most people who have known me for any length of time are aware that I'm a fast reader and can knock out a pretty hefty book in short order, so long as it's interesting. Clive Cussler's fare never lasts longer than about six hours before I'm closing the book and digesting the goodness my brain had just absorbed.

A trip to Barnes and Noble provided me with my latest page turners. World War Z came in and I finished it off that night. It was pretty good, however not as good as the Zombie Survival Guide. While WWZ made for a good read, but some of it just irked me. I enjoyed it, but it won't be on my list of books to take with me when I'm stranded on a deserted island.

I also bought and read the Penny Arcade: Epic Legends of the Magic Sword Kings. Penny Arcade is funny. The book contains Penny Arcade and commentary on the comics, so it's more funny.


Why didn't someone tell me that Bob Seger had a new album out? Bob Seger is like pure awesome to my ears. I can't think of a time hearing one of his songs didn't make me turn the radio louder or drive faster. For all of Metallica's sins the only one I cannot tolerate is their attempt to cover "Turn the Page". I am listening to the album right this second and I hate everyone for not clueing me into this prior to today.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Went out last night. Hurting this morning. Ugh. Didn't even have that much but I'm sick as a dog right now. Work is going to suck.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Recruiting Gods 2- SFC B 0

Happy New Year!

The new recruiting year started at 2100h on the west coast when the 2006 Recruiting Year ended and 2007 Recruiting Year began. So, on 12 September, 2006 RCM OCT 07 began.

I had started writing a long diatribe about how stupid everything is, but you know what? I lost it. It just didn't freaking matter. The absurdity of waiting until 2100 to find out my guy wouldn't enlist that day broke my spirit. If the whole focus of the world was going to be on GEDs and CAT4s maybe someone could have mentioned that rather than have my applicant and I wait around with a half dozen other recruiters. Foolish me for believing that a motivated, quality applicant should come before someone who can't enlist the other 364 days of the year.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Felicia Hamilton

Fiduciary Trust International occupied floors 90 and 94-97 of the World Trade Center 2. 87 men and women from FTI lost their lives on 9-11. In a small effort to keep the names from fading into ether of time I joined the thousands of other writers to say some words about people who we never knew, but to whom we feel a bond.

Felicia Hamilton was aged 62 when she was killed in the WTC2. The NYC resident left behind a loving family, doubly struck by the attack as her son-in-law, Anthony Ventura, worked with her at FTI. Her career was spent in the financial world and NYC. Those who knew her speak of her work ethic and dedication to her daughter and granddaughters. The void left by the passing of a loved one is something that never fills, and never really goes away.

As the fifth year after the attacks approaches and eventually fades the memories will as well. Grief and loss are terrible feelings. The hole left in your life when you lose a loved one like the Hamilton/Ventura families did is one that nothing will ever fill. However time will allow for those left behind to move on. The mind is a wonderful thing. The pain leaves, followed by the sadness. The hurt fades as well and time leaves one with only the memories that bring a smile. Sometimes it's a teary smile, but a smile nonetheless.

In the process of moving on though it's important to not forget the person who was lost. Words have the power to last through the passing of time. Things said and recorded now will live on for as long as they can be read. Felicia Hamilton is someone who should not be lost to the momentum of history. She was a daughter of parents who loved her, a mother to a daughter who loved her, a grandmother to granddaughters who loved her, and a friend to many who she touched by her joie de vie.

It's an awful thing to be forgotten. May there never come a day when those 2,996 become nothing more than a number in a text book.

To answer the question

I was at Ft. McCoy, WI attending the Unit Pay Administrator Course on Septembe 11, 2001. It was the the start of the second week of the two week class. That morning we had an exam over some finance regulation which was to being at 0700 CST. It was scheduled to last until 1100 when we'd review, break for lunch, and have another block of instruction for the next day's exam. The exam started a little after 0700 and I turned in my answer sheet and test booklet to the control officer around 0815. As I walked out of the classroom to the break room one of the instructors, an older civilian with glasses, came up to me and asked if I had any relatives in NYC. He explained that a plane had crashed in the city and he was supposed to find if anyone had any family in the area. I told him I had none (I'd forgotten about a cousin who worked in Manhattan) and I remarked to the professor how it didn't seem possible for a plane to crash into NYC while approaching La Guardia.

How wrong I was.

I got to the break room and listened to CNN Headline news as they talked about the events. There was confusion. No one knew how it happened. Speculation about how the plane might have gotten lost, or if it was crashed like that Egypt Air plane that had crashed off of Massachusetts a couple years before. I got a cup of coffee from the vending machine and a packet of Twizzler Nibs (mmmm Nibs) and sat down to watch.

Flight 175 was what got my attention.

That's when it went from "horrible accident" to "coordinated assault" in the breakroom of the ARRTC on Ft. McCoy. People were filtering out of the classes now. Non-testing classes were on break, and testing classes had people finishing. I had laid claim to a chair and I was not going to relenquish my territory.

The news kept flooding in. The occupancy of the WTC was talked about. Estimates of the damage, confusion about what flights they were. Reports from the Pentagon of another attack, possibly a bomb. No one knew what was going on. Fighters were scrambled, and then they weren't. In the break room everyone is quiet except to catch up newcomers who wandered in, unaware of the extent of the attack. Then one of the most horrifying things I'd ever seen happened. The South Tower of the WTC started to collapse.

Up to that point the thought had never crossed my mind. It wasn't something anyone mentioned. And as it came down I heard several "Oh my Gods," gasped from those watching. Tears were shed by many in this room full of Soldiers. I was numbed by the sight and could only imagine how terrifying it had to have been in those final seconds.

The rest of the morning ticked on. Flight 93 was reported hijacked and crashed. The North Tower came down. The attack was over. I never moved from my seat. My coffee had gone to ambient tempature and my Nibs were barely touched. One of the ARRTC staff came into the break area and ordered everyone back to their classrooms.

One of my classmates wasn't there. She had family in NYC and was desperatly trying to reach them. A nearly impossible task given the number fo calls being made and the destruction of the towers took out quite a few bits of infrastructure, including phone lines. Fortunatly her family would be found safe. A formation was to happen in the large classroom where AGR Soldiers receive their entry training.

The commandant informed us of what had happened and what the response was to be. FAA had grounded all flights and the post was being secured. No one in or out. There was a possibility that students would be put on guard duty. We were to report back to our units ASAP. If anyone had been activated any possible arrangements for transport would be made, but it was unlikely since there was no flight possible. We were to return to our classes and finish the day as "normally" as possible.

I walked from the ARRTC to my barracks room. I wasn't alone. There was a trail of BDUs walking alone and in twos back to their rooms. No one spoke. I sat on my bed and resumed my Headline News watching.

WTC7 had collapsed. The death toll was estimated to nearly 10,000. The images of people holding "Have you seen XXXXX" signs was heartwrenching. I spoke with my commander who didn't have much information. The command had ordered an alert and everyone had to be accounted for. One of my best friends in the unit called me to say he was planning to drive to NYC and volunteer for rescue operations. He wasn't able to make it because of the chaos on the roads.

I spoke with my mom that night. I think it was then I remembered that cousin and asked if she was okay. She was.

I only got about two hours sleep that night. The rest of the time I watched and watched. I felt useless. It's a feeling that hasn't really gone away 5 years later.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Driving Off

Sometimes my non-recruiting writing doesn't exactly get great reviews. You'd think since I have seven readers, two of which I'm related to, I'd better know what they like to read and do more of that. But I don't, so I don't.

For the second year in a row my station is running a fantasy football league. Rather than the 6 team affair of last year, this one features 12 teams and a head-to-head, rather than a points only system. Since I'm always desperate for something about which to write, I figured I'd do a post about the league, and my team, on Saturdays. As a way to maybe get another look at what's going down with time left to do something about mistakes I make. So, without further adieu, my fanatsy football league.

QB- Trent Green (S)
QB- Aaron Brooks
QB- Matt Leinert
WR- Steve Smith (S)
WR- Darrel Jackson (S)
WR- Reche Caldwell (S)
RB- Rudi Johnson (S)
RB- Julius Jones
RB- Fred Taylor (S)
RB- Laddell Betts
RB Marion Barber III
TE- Tony Gonzales (S)
TE- Marcedes Lewis
K- Jay Feely (S)
DEF- Philadelphia (S)

(S)= Starter

The league awards 1 point for every 10 yards passed, rushed, or received. And 6 points per TD. FGs and DEF are the standard rules. Because yards are the same value regardless of their source it makes QBs for more worthwhile than the other offensive positions. However on any given week one QB is as likely as another to have a great day. No one played Charlie Batch on Thursday thus leaving 37 points sitting on the waiver wire.

The only position which I'm very unhappy with right now is WR. For some reason I didn't put Dieon Branch on my "don't draft" list before the auto-draft and I was left with a player currently in a bitter hold-out being drafted a lot higher than I'd have liked.
I don't mind snagging a player on the hopes of them breaking out later. Hence why I used the extra kicker and defense drafted for me to get Matt Leinert and Marion Barber. Leinert will be the starter when Kurt Warner gets injured, and Julius Jones won't last the season before Barber pushes him aside. However the selection of Branch left me with one WR who will not be playing in Week 1, which became a problem when Steve Smith came up lame.

Smith was the most productive WR in the game last season, and when healthy he's a force to be reckoned with. However he's not healthy right now nursing two bad hamstrings. He's questionable and will be a game time decision. I will stay by the keyboard just waiting to make a switch the moment the NFL pregame shows say he won't be suiting up. However until then there is no way to justify keeping Steve Smith on the bench. A quick tour of the waiver wire shows a couple of servicable WRs, including Kevin Curtis (who was drafted by my team but cut in a fit of rage because of bad memories from last year), and Brandon Lloyd, and Chris Henry who might be the number 2 receiver in Cincy this week with Houshmanzadeh injured.

The team I'm scheduled to play, owned by a recruiter from outside the station, was the winner of the Larry Johnson sweepstakes. The only position where I have any serious advantage is at TE where I have Tony Gonzalez to his Randy McMichael. It's even more of a potential advantage since McMichael played on Thursday earning a whopping 1 point for his 10 receiving yards. Gonzalez is no longer the premier TE in football (real or fantasy), but he's still a very solid player and will hopefully catch 20 yards or more.

Anyway, it's getting late as I write this and I want to work on something else. Have a good weekend folks.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Polynikes from So Much the Better shipped out today. Life always well when the shippers actually ship.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah. Recruiting is hard. Whine whine whine whine whine whine whine whine. Wah wah wah wah.

That is all.


In the office we have a fantasy football league. It's about three times as large as the one last year so it should be pretty interesting. With the start of the new NFL Season tonight SSG Rage, who is in the league, has sent out a statement to SSG George and I. I reproduce it here.
i just wanted to let you 2 idiots know that my domination of fantasy football will begin tonight i have 4 players in the game and should score at least 90-110 points just in tonights game.

SSG Rage, you are going to lose. You are going to lose so badly. And when you do I'll take out an ad in the post paper for your assignment and tell all of the post that you're a whiny punk who can't even place in the top 10 in a 12 team fantasy league. You suck. That popping sound you're going to hear during the game is Dante Culpepper's knee exploding on a pass he throws that Chris Chambers drops after he gets a concussion. The 16 you were talking about isn't the number of games you're going to win. It's the over/under for the points you'll score each week. No one is taking the over. You're going to lose. You're going to lose so badly. You're going to lose so badly that Chuck Norris is going to look at you and go "Dude, even I'm not sick enough to do that to you and I've had sex with every woman on Earth."

Oh, and nice haircut.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bad, bad man

This is from SSG George, and I hope that he's the one who y'all direct your venom towards.

Coppertone had to recall all bottles of the sunblock endorsed by Steve Irwin because it doesn't protect against harmful rays.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Yesterday Mrs. SFC B and I went to Barnes and Noble to do a little browsing. I'd intended to purchase World War Z and Football Prospectus 2006. Unfortunalty WWZ doesn't come out for another week or so, and B&N doesn't carry FP2006. Oh well. I soldiered on leaving with a couple of Sin City books, a history of the administration of the Holocaust. I'm not one of those history buffs who's endlessly fascinated by The Holocaust, but the book at under $6, I really liked the movie Conspiracy, and I'm an HR wonk so I figured it would make for some "light" reading. Or as light that a book about the minor cogs in The Holocaust can be.

The final book I purchased was Heroes: US Army Medal of Honor Recipients. Aside from Audie Murphy I'm sure many Americans would be hard-pressed to think of another recipient of the highest honor that can be shown to a military member. Atfer I'm done with this book it'll be added to the table at the station.


When I had my latest processing misadventures it gave me a chance to see something I hadn't seen in a while. I was in Prescott, AZ at about 4am. The night was pitch black and there isn't a lot of ambient light in Prescott. As I was standing outside my GOV I stretched back and as my head tilted I came eye-to-eye with the most glorious sky I'd ever seen.

From horizon to horizon it was nothing but pinpricks of light. A scene I'd last observed in an astronomy lab back at SFA. I knew that Phoenix's lights and pollution blocked most of the stars leaving me with but a sample that consists of Orion's Belt and either Venus or Mars. But I'd never had the difference cast into such stark contrast. It was stunning and I was rendered quiet for a moment while I gazed in awe.

I've always had an affinity for the stars. Not in a predict-the-future way but in a glory of creation way. The distance and scales involved boggle the mind. I hold a perticular affinity for Eta Carinae because it's likely the biggest of the big. At a mass between 100 times the size of the Sun Eta Carinae represents the upper bound for stellar formation. Stars this massive lead short, violent lives. The pictures of the dust shedded by the star over its lifetime make for a beautiful, radiant cloud. Its eventual death will be unlike anything anyone alive at the time will ever see. It's even possible that the death of Eta Carinae will affect Earth 7,500 light years, 44,068,322,981,366,456 miles (give or take an exit or two) away. It's unlikely that it will harm life on Earth as was once thought, but it's possible that it could affect satellites in orbit.

At some point I must make an effort to go back north some clear evening. In a job where I'm on the road and hating people as much as I sometimes do it's nice to take a break and be awed by one's own insignifigance and the associated beauty of the rest of creation. Some Soldier's Mom, I'm jealous that it's something you get to see every night.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Well, as Chase Utley's reminder that he's themost valuable Philly sailed over the fence I bid a fond adieu to the Astros 2006 season. I knows it's not over, and I'd gladly eat these words, but this set with the Phillies was instrumental to bailing out the sinking season. It was a good effort, but it fell short. Some day someone will look back on this past season and calculate how many runs were left stranded at second or third because the Astros 7-8-9 hitters often struggled to hit the ball out of the infield. It happened again today with what wouldprove to be the winning run waiting for Adam Everett to bring him home.

Mrs. SFC B is a huge Adam Everett fan, and I know he's not without his uses. Hell, by some measures he's the best defensive shortstop in baseball. And that's something backed up by the visual evidence, he's a really slick fielder, but he can't hit his way out of a paper bag. It's not his fault though that the Astros sandwich him in the order between Brad Ausmus and The Pitcher. It would be interesting to know if there has been a team recently where three everyday players had as much of their value tied to their defense as Everett, Ausmus, and Willy Taveras do. The up-the-middle players represent a monumental drain of offense that required a repeat from Lance Berkman, Morgan Ensburg, and Jason Lane that only Berkman was able to deliver upon.

The meaningful season is over and my Astros, for the first time in two seasons, are reduced to spoiler.

How I wish they could have put together a handful more wins so I could spend SSG Rage's sweet, sweet money.

Day by Day's latest arc seems to have run its course. My concerns were addressed as Mr. Muir chose not to Jump the Shark by introducing/killing off beloved characters. Looking back on the weekend I realized that a comic strip was able to really get me involved into the lives of the fake characters. I like it when that happens. God forbid a Day by Day MMORPG is every created. My track record for separating the fantasy of the game and the reality of life does not bode well for me. I fear losing myself for hours at a time playing some office geek in the fantasy office of Damon and Company. It would be like Office Space meets... well... Day by Day. On second thought if they allow me to destroy a fax machine while listening to Ghetto Boys and making quips about Bush, free trade, Reuters, and interoffice relationships I'd pay the $14.95 monthly fee.

Labor Day draws to a close and the rest of the week looms large. It's going to be a race to find that last contract who'll join in time to box for the second time in a quarter. And to do it while also trying to prepare for the next month and year that looms even larger. Counting chickens is a tim-honored tradition in the recruiting world, and as much as I try and avoid it, I know it cannot be done. It's too tempting to think of what could be.

Late, tired, hope everyone had a good weekend.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Killing time on a Sunday. Watching the Astros take on the Mets. The Mets managed to ruin a nice little streak the Astros had going. Although they're not officially out of it, and after the past two seasons I just can't give up, 3 and a half games, and three teams are difficult things to overcome. In the mean time I'll just enjoy watching Roy O do his thing.

*UPDATE* I love watching Roy Oswalt throw a curveball. It really is a thing of beauty.

*UPDATE* Also spending time reconnecting with some old rugby buddies on MySpace. First time I actually found a use for that profile I'd set up ages ago. Were it not for a prior family engagement I'd be going to Nacogdoches for an alumni game on the 23rd.

*UPDATE* Day-by-Day is one of my favorite comics to read, but I don't know where this story line is going. I don't know if comics can jump-the-shark in the same way that television shows can, but I don't see how this story arc can end in anything but a JTS moment.

*UPDATE* Roy O was perfect through 6 and then blew it when Mrs. SFC B jinxed it by saying the "no hitter" word. Astros fans can feel free to shoot threating emails to her to my address. Today was a day for talking comics so I figured I'd share the funniest thing I've read in a comic in a long time.

I'll go one further: If the Nazis had been wearing Lance Armstrong masks 1492, maybe the French would have fought back.
I laughed myself hurt when I'd read that.

Friday, September 01, 2006


The Astros continue their winning ways taking three of three from the Brew Crew. This one had some excitement as the first base umpire apparently had a childish vendetta against the Brewers. I'm glad that there's an umpire who will give the benefit to the 'Stros now and again (Lord knows Angel Hernandez has made it his goal in life the screw the Astros every time theyt meet), but Jeff Cirillo wasn't out, and the spat w/ Brady Clark was childish.

Anyways it all counts as a W and that's what matters.

Supposedly today is going to be the start of a 4-day weekend. However MEPS is open and I have a kid testing, so no day off. There's also a function going on at one of our schools which means most of us in the station are working. Now, in one of the silliest things I've ever heard in recruiting, if we're working today we were going to get Tuesday off. Yeah. Right. Sure thing. Basically two people in the station are going to get a four day weekend while the rest will get a three day. The people getting four days are not the recruiters who've enlisted quality contracts.

That sounded a lot more bitter than I meant it to.

I'm not bitter about the recruiters getting time off. They deserve it. I'm bitter about the constant repeating of "you have contracts in you get time off" and yet I'm always rolling out at 8pm Monday through Thursday and working Saturdays regardless of what my production looks like. We get told things like "We in recruiting care about your families and home life" but when the rubber meets the road it will always be about production. And with the Cerebus of PMS, Processors, and Contracts there will always be something they can use to say you're failing.

"Sure, you enlisted two people by T2, but you don't have anyone testing. See you Saturday."

"Good job getting two testers for the week and conducting four appointments, but you're on a nut. See you Saturday."

"You nailed your PMS and you've put one in. Thanks for putting one in the fight, but you have no one scheduled for next week so see you Saturday."

And the latest bit of insanity I'd heard is this. "No, you can't go visit your dying close family member, or close family member having major surgery because we have a mission to accomplish. If you were in Iraq or Afghanistan you wouldn't be able to go see them." I can't describe the levels on which hearing about that made my head spin.

And that's just the frustration with the stuff outside of the Army. I could write a whole other post about the pain associated with stuff the Army requires of Soldiers. Things like CTT, counseling, PT, and basically anything related to career management. I don't mind the focus on the mission to the exclusion of all else, but I do mind the attempts to say that isn't the case.

Words of Wisdom

Although he endorses the hatred of Astros there isn't a milblog I like to read less than Blackfive. Today he posts a letter from Questing Cat in Iraq where QC talks about being the leader responsible for making the newly minted Soldiers competent.

Although it's been more than a decade I can still remember being that Young Soldier. And now that I'm the Old Soldier I've realized how important what we were trained on as Young Soldiers really was. The NCOs to whom I owe my career are never far from my mind. I don't even need to think back to clearly remember every section sergeant, PSG, or 1SG I've served under. I can name them off like I can name off the starting infield of the Astros. Nothing I've accomplished in uniform could have been done without those NCOs there leading and training me.

Even now, on the downslope towards 20 it's a process that never stops. As a recruiter I like to convey the honor I've had to serve with those fine men and women. Sometimes (often times?) you're dealing with a young boy or girl who's never had someone to whom they owed so much that wasn't related to them. It's actually a bit gratifying to see them return from Basic or AIT, filled to the brim with the very shallowest of inklings about the Army, but eager to delve deeper into the life.

The power at MEPS went out leaving two applicants from our office dead on the floor, waiting to enlist, and a tester for me stranded without a test to finish. The power outage is probably related to the light rail construction going on right outside the MEPS center. I've added Light Rail in Phoenix to my enemies list.