Tuesday, September 29, 2009

House Hunting

So I'm currently looking for a place in Eau Claire (or EC as the locals call it) and not having a lot of luck. The major apartment search websites, Apartments.com for instance, don't have listings for North Western Wisconsin. This leaves me having to rummage through Google looking for places advertised as for rent. The problem with this is, the places for rent tend to be places for rent right now. So me, trying to look almost two months out, am not having a lot of luck.

The first place I'd contacted which was actually advertising units for rent or lease that far out turned out to be subsidized housing with income caps, which I far exceeded. Of course there was NOTHING about that in their ad so it was something I had to find out after getting semi-excited about possibly finding a place.

El Paso is every bit as dull as I remember it. The unit I'm working for this time is a bit less organized than the ones who usually run these exercises. Or it might just be they do things differently and I'm not adapting. This is a blessing and a curse. It's nice because they've given my element a bit more of a free reign to set our schedule. It's problematic because we don't really have a left and right bound for what we're supposed to do during the events we support. As much fun as it might be to go WAY off the reservation and do things which cause massive ripple effects, it probably would cause more trouble than it's worth, and deprive a deploying unit of a training/ learning opportunity.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I can't believe that three years ago CAT IVs were a somewhat open category. The Guard has now lowered the max age to 35, and will only take Alphas.

In related news, ACORN COI is in the public eye, again. This time because they, allegedly, have a whole lot of employees volunteers strangers who occupy their offices and are in no way, shape, or form actually representive of aCOIrn, giving advice to a a couple representing themselves as a pimp and his prostitute, on how to go about hiding a bunch of underage hookers in a house purchased with aCOIrn's assistance, and then preventing the IRS from getting their cut.

Now, originally, when I saw the clips the first thing I thought of was Denver. Back between 2005 and 2007, private citizens and reporters going into recruiting stations and recording recruiters saying stupid stuff was perfectly fine. It was encouraged even. These were people doing blessed work, showcasing the lengths to which people had been driven to feed fresh blood into the Evil Bushco Oil Exploitation Machine. Four years ago this activity, which revealed an activity which wasn't felony, gets a high school journalism student pictured on CBSnews.com. He was able to parlay his fame into a position as the editor of CSU's newspaper two years later (he's the same person who penned the "Fuck Bush" editorial a couple of years back).

Today such investigative journalism is labeled "entrapment" by reporters on a major network.

Progress huh?

I guess that citizens exposing criminality in an organization nominally devoted to helping the poor and downtrodden isn't part of The Narrative.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The First Day

Eight years. I will let others talk about what this means in the big scheme of things. Today though is the first day in which everyone who is in the military joined after 9-11. With our eight year statutory commitments the 10th was the last day anyone who joined before the first plane struck the WTC would have been in the military. As of today every swinging Richard in the service has enlisted or reenlisted since 9-11.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Richard James Stadelberger

Three years ago I participated in Project 2996. This year I remembered to reapply for the project.

Richard James Stadelberger was one of the 87 employees of Fiduciary Trust who died on 9-11. He was a loving father, coached Little League baseball, taught, and even eight years later is still fondly remembered by the people who knew him. One of his former employees remembers him ending every day at the office by giving them his thanks for the effort they put in each and every day.

Almost eight years ago the lives of the families of nearly 3,000 innocent people were torn asunder in under three hours. Fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters never came home and left their families, and a nation, mourning. With the events of the day fading from memory and a whole generation of children who are growing up in a world where the Twin Towers never existed, it becomes more and more important to remember those who were lost as more than just a name on a website.

Behind those names are families with a hole in them. The hole has, hopefully, shrunk over the merciful passing of time, but like a scar it never goes away. Years, even decades, after the fact objects, scents, sounds, anything can bring something of the person back to your mind. A lost and forgotten letter rediscovered during a move, piece of jewelery left behind in an unopened drawer of a dresser, or a bottle of cologne or perfume which worked its way into the back of the bathroom cabinet. But, as I said three years ago, those feelings of loss are eventually replaced with fond memories of those who were lost.

It becomes more and more important, to me at least, to celebrate the lives the people we lost on 9-11 led, rather than mourn their passing. No one goes through life without touching the lives of others. For someone like Dick Stadelberger the friends of his children still remember talks with him. His former students from two decades before his death recall the importance he had in their lives as a teacher who cared. His employees recall him as the only boss they had who thanked them for their work. This was a life well-lived and one which many people would be grateful to have had.

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.