Sunday, January 29, 2006

Impressionist? Does He Do Nixon?

Today I spent trying to put some culture into my life. Carnealian and I met Tonya in Philadelphia today to go to several museums, one of which was the Philadelphia Museum of Art (you've seen it in Rocky). We walked around gazing at Picaso, Monet, etc., until we came to an atrium with benches. Me being me, I had been trying to make lame-assed comments about the art in an attempt to be what some would call "funny". Typically, when I would say something like, "Monet probably thought he was a photorealist but was just myopic", T or Carn would just look at me in disbelief that they were in a public place with me. Then it happened.

Sitting on that bench between T and Carn, I quite possibly said the most inane statement to ever come out of my mouth besides "I do." Carn said that the building across the street, also named the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was probably the Rodin (pron. 'Roe - dan') exhibit. To which I hit bottom with, "Rodin....didn't he fight Godzilla?"

Carn's head snapped around in Exorcist fashion as she blurted out, "WHAT!?!" with as much disgust and disdain as any woman can muster. I started laughing so hard because she made me jump. There we are, Carn thoroughly in disbelief, me laughing so hard that tears are squirting out of my eyes, and T sitting next to me shaking her head muttering "Gawdzirra". The girls walked away from me to save some face, but I followed. That is when it hit me how truly stupid that statement was....which just fueled more laughter from me. I must have laughed at myself for 20 minutes as they kept walking in fear of being kicked out.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

One Man Can.....

Jan Palach

"Do not be indifferent to the day when the light of the future was carried forward by a burning body."

Evel Kneval

Learned to do wheelchair wheelies tonight!!! WhooooHooo! I rock. 6 more days of leave and I am squeezing in any guilty pleasure that I can. Open mic night tomorrow in Selinsgrove 7-9pm, I will be there. Join me at the Kind Cafe. I'll do some 4-wheeled stunts for you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Birth of a New Term

Being away for so long provides you with the unique opportunity to get to know your children all over again. As for my son, Zak, he turned into a teenager while I was gone. Yes I had him while I was young, that's beside the point. Being newly single and my son a new teenager, the conversations can get interesting. Here is one such chat we had that made me wonder what kids talk about; especially since I am paying for them to go to Catholic school.

Zak and I are just coming home from a flirt-fest at the local mall and we are talking about just random things. I said to him that I wanted to make a t-shirt that simply said "Single Father" so that the ladies wouldn't mistake me when walking with my kids. Zak turned to me and said, "You should get one that says, 'FILF'".

I tried to maintain control of the car as I comprehended the fact that somehow my son ran across the meaning of the term 'MILF' and applied it to this situation. Also, because I was trying to hold back laughing. He blamed it on MTV or something, but I remembered then my days at the same school. No group of teenage boys is impervious to that kind of talk.

So, anyone wanna buy a t-shirt? $19.95

Sunday, January 22, 2006

WWDD This Time.....

Would you kick a deaf guy's ass? What if he felt up your girlfriend / wife and gave another close friend a hickey in public? What if he was dum or blind? What is your limit for ass kicking? I'll tell ya mine if you tell me yours.

And yes, this was a serious discussion we had the other night while partying. Real people, real situations....

Saturday, January 21, 2006

One Reason

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why I Bought a Nikon D70s

My friend Mike plays at open-mic nights at a local bar. Nice little place. I thought I would support my friend by showing up and snapping some pics for him. But then I remembered why I bought the camera in the first place:

Dude: "So, what magazine do you work for?"
Me: "uh, why do you ask?"
Dude: "Well, with a camera like that, you obviously are a professional. So what magazine?"
Me: "uh, depends on how many women want to know."
Dude: "These two....."
Girls: "Yeah."
Me: -smiles-
Dude: "Maxim?"
Me: "uh, yeah, sounds good."

Later on someone else asked me who I worked for because of the camera. I told them the U.S. Military.

and another reason.....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

4 degrees

Back to some politically based discussion....

Since I hit ground in Germany, I have noticed that I just can't bring myself to watch the news anymore or hear reports on activities in Iraq. I can't even bring myself to watch the videos I made. When asked to play them for people, I walk out of the room. I still feel naked without my machine gun at my side, still dream about being on convoys and being around Iraqis. My driving has surprisingly adjusted quickly. I was worried that I would find myself driving down the middle, swerving from roadside trash, but no. I know it will talk a while to 'normalize' - whatever that means in my case.

Previously, I had alluded to certain situations in the war that just seem to smell rotten to me. One in particular I just can't bring myself to resolve, I just don't see how this fits. Here it goes...

Standing at LSA Anaconda during a convoy mission, I started to look around at my surroundings. Knowing that Anaconda is bothered by a "mortar attack" daily; sometimes 1, sometimes up to 3 or 4, I began to wonder from where these insurgents were launching their attacks. Several questions popped into my head that I stil ldon't understand. First, if you had a cache of dozens or hundreds of mortars as they apparently do, why would you only launch a few at a time? That's not an attack, that's just being a pain in the ass. And second, it is a pain in the ass with no result because they rarely ever hit anything. Seemingly they launch from the same vector daily and hit the same relative nothing. So why launch so few at so little so frequently? Geurilla warfare is intended to wear down the enemy by attrition and erosion, understood. But this is just negligible. At worst when 3 mortars hit, an alarm goes off and we don our full battle rattle to walk around in. Wow.

So as I stood there looking around, I realized that I was maybe 50 meters from the perimeter. That perimeter consisted of a chain-link fence wrapped in razor wire, with a single guard post. On the other side of the fence was the paved road we travelled in on, then a field of watermelon or something. Probably a 1/4 mile from my location then, on the other side of the field, is a fig grove thick enough to hide in, deep enough to hide a mortar tube behind. So quickly calculating distance and cover, I realized how easy and effective it would be to launch mortars from the other side of the fig grove since exactly behind me was some of the most dense area of buildings and people on Anaconda. No way you couldn't hit it. Plenty of farmers milling around in those fields all day, all night. Too perfect. Then I remembered some things.

It still bothers me that this situation is on my mind. The fighting in Iraq does not make sense. I don't mean us being there is illigitimate, I don't mean war is stupid. No, I mean that the type of, amount of, and locations of the conflicts just do not add up. What does that mean to me? Easy, a grand theatrical production for the purposes of money laundering and backdoor imperialism. The greatest shame is that so many of us have suffered or died for these activities. Paranoid? Maybe, but I can't explain what I've seen anymore.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Drunken Weekend

So I have been introduced to one of the coolest bars ever, The Hardware Bar. Thanks to carnealian, mattandriver, and Tracie for being the 3 greatest wingmen I've had to date. Unfortunately, no one brought a camera to the activities so we had to wait for the drunken photos when we got back. Here is just a few safe pics....I was asked to NOT post pics of Tracie but I think I can be persuaded if someone asks me nice enough.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Just Messing Around

If you've been reading Carnealian's blog, then you know that I just got a new camera. I've been taking some random pictures to get used to all the settings and controls and I thought I would share just a few of the less uninteresting. Here it goes....

Click on image for Larger version

Watering the Garden

Thursday, January 05, 2006

An der Flugplatz

Ok, my Block Leave should be starting within hours as I board a flight back to the States. Once I get settled in there the blogging should resume.