Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Missed It....

Was there for the beginning protests, wish I woulda been there for this.....

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Paris sans L'Hilton

Been living on the sunny side of the mountain lately, so here are some things that have been going on with me professionally and personally.

We switched to the new ACU uniforms this week. Style over function, feels like the French designed this one. A zipper on a uniform?? Please. And the velcro...what the hell were these people thinking. Funny watching soldiers sit close together and accidentally pull each others arm patches off because their velcro caught. I'd post a picture of me in them for visual reference but apparently it is impossible for me to get someone to take it for me....soon enough I will.

As of Monday, I will be the Section Sergeant for my shop's section. Didn't get promoted yet so they are getting their money's worth out of me. Been working late every day this week but today....today we came in an hour early so I can't catch a break. Feeling a bit exhausted. Going from lazy to physical labor is not the transition I like to make.

Been trying to set aside time each night to process all the pictures I took from our 3 days in Paris this past weekend. I took about 200 pics with the new Nikon and so many turned out better than I expected. So if you've been on my mailing list that's been receiving these, hope you're enjoying them there are more to come. If not, too bad, more to come anyway :)

Paris really changed my opinion. I admit it. I hated the French prior to this but Paris was not the dirty smelly city I was told it would be. Maybe the sewers in March are less odoriferous because of the cool air. Je ne sais pas. I was the only one of us that spoke French, so when the locals seemed to get a bit grumpy, I'd whip out some phrases and that seemed to ease the mood. There is nothing that can describe the Eiffel Tower at night when it is lit up. My pics can't even come close to capturing it. Realistically, it is just a metal tower with some christmas lights strung throughout. But somehow in a gestalt phenomenon, it takes your breath away. I am hoping to start a Flickr account (or similar) this weekend to house these pics and the other pics that I consider "art".

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Unclever Title

Just a few quick updates....

This Thursday will be the 17th Signal Battalion's Welcome Home Ceremony. To mark the occaision, our place of duty for the day is the base near my house for "mandatory fun" after a short, pompous, and circumstantial ceremony. I'll be standing in ranks as part of said ceremony. After the military business is through, we are rewarded with $1 beers and $1 wine. Somehow for that price I figure they will be serving them to us in Dixie cups instead of the traditional German .5 litre mugs. But to top it off, we have a little band playing at 2200. You may have heard of them....Staind. Yep, we got Staind :) Rumor had it that Godsmack was going to show up. Hell, the more the merrier!

On a personal note, I have pulled out of my terrible funk and am doing much better than expected. Many of you know why, too.

I just walked in from passing a PT test. Not bad for not trying because of just getting over bronchitis. Never failed one yet, and to top it off I lost 10 pounds on the "hefeweissen diet".

So, I am back to the sunny side of the egg instead of the frying pan side. I may be spending this coming (4-day) weekend in France, so lots of fun coming up. I just don't understand why everyone doesn't join the Army.....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


"What does not kill you only makes you stronger." -Nietzche

I was hoping to be able to post the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer today. Disappointingly though, I can't because I was kicked out of the promotion board. I wasn't kicked out because of anything more superficial than I had worn my short-sleeve dress shirt under my Class A jacket, and so did my sponsor.

The SGM had me recite the Soldier's Creed then the NCO Creed, then the Army Values....all of which I did well on. Then I was dismissed because I didn't have sleeves under my jacket. By AR 670-1, I have the option, but it seems to be tradition for boards and photos to wear the long sleeve shirt. Now I know.

Am I disappointed? Sure, a bit. Pissed? No, not at all. Adversity makes me stronger, diappointment makes me more independent, and experience makes me more wise. The other aspects of my life have greatly improved recently. So much so that the stress of being given short time to prep for this board overshadowed a lot of happiness. maybe that is why I am taking it so well right now; I have some time now to fully enjoy my peronal life for a while. The next board I will attend will be in April. Bob, you may be visiting at an interesting time....you may experience one of the biggest celebrations that you've ever been too when I get this promotion next month, a party of unexpected proportions!

Monday, March 06, 2006

My Only Creed Up To This Day

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.

I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my Warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment, and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of Freedom and the American Way of Life.
I am an American Soldier.

So there you have it. This really is 99% of what I am right now and have been for 37 months so far. I say this creed today because today I am simply a soldier. Tomorrow, though, I stand before a promotion board to become a Non-Commissioned Officer. At that point I will live by an additional creed; the NCO Creed.

I say 99% because though I am a guardian of freedom and I understand the idealistic components of the theoretical "American Way of Life", too much in recent times have I hung my head in shame or bewilderment at what disgrace we broadcast to each other and the world as representation of our daily, de facto lives. And though I joined the Army to be part of a force of change in the world against movements to which I whole-heartedly object, I also realize that my greatest effects will be wrought in the hearts and minds of my children by the example I have tried to live, the philosophy behind my life, and the meaningfulness of our lives together.

So a creed should be something more than what we recite in Church, or before a promotion board. It should be the words that succinctly and powerfully sum up our raison d'etre. Today creeds have been supplanted by overstimulation and the ideal of immediate gratification, for what else drives our maniacally capitalistic society but the money of the shallow. No one ever made a dime from depth nor nobility.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Forty Six & 2 ... feels like a 0

Sorry for not updating much recently, just having some issues that I would rather not put on public display. Keep thinking of me as that strong, impervious, opinionated, head strong, calloused soldier and sometime soon I may return to that.