Так мое слово становится камнем

Getting NCOified

What homework? It's day two of Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, better known as BNCOC or "bee-knock." As my beloved pointed out, this would more logically be pronounced as "bean-cock," but for some reason that version has not become popular.

Good mood

Good mood

No particular occasion, but he was very cute and the light was halfway decent, so I had to take a picture. Yesterday he rolled over both from front to back and from back to front. He's a very determined young man, and usually pretty serious.

I felt really, really hypocritical: "Come on, Ian, smile for the camera! Smile for Daddy!" I have not yet caught him on camera doing the half smirk that is apparently one of my distinguishing features, but he does it occasionally and it's creepy/cute.



This isn't "walking on the moon," but it is Ian bouncing around a bit with Mommy.

He's cute.


You don't see me.

You don't see me.

I took this picture yesterday evening. Like all smart soldiers, Ian prefers to view the world from behind cover and concealment.


Walking on the moon

Interesting factoid: Walking on the Moon by The Police has a nigh-instantaneous calming effect on the tsarevich when he is crying, especially if Daddy bounces him up and down in an exaggerated "low gravity" motion while singing the lyrics in an even sillier voice than Sting did on the original recording back in the 80s.

Some might say that calming my son and heir down is not worth paying the price of listening to me sing in this manner. These people have not had the pleasure of having him shrieking in their ear from a range of 6" for durations of greater than 20 minutes.



It wasn't a planned thing. I just haven't been able to muster up enthusiasm to write at the end of the day.

I have a new job down at Fort Lewis that has me traveling a little farther and, more significantly for here, keeps me without intarweb access for the duration of my work and travel day. No chance to write anything until I get home around 1500 or 1600, and my charming son and heir (not to mention my wonderful wife) claim my attention then. Computer time I do get is often, I must admit, squandered pointlessly on video games. But it's not so much time as you might think, so I don't really feel too guilty about it.

If you follow the Sig's Reader block, you know that I have been reading and marking things of interest; I just haven't been writing much myself. A lot is going on that I'm interested in, but not so much that I feel qualified to comment on, and it's easy to fall into the temptation of "well, such and such said it better than I could anyway, so my input is not really needed here." That is occasionally true. However, sometimes my rather different perspective can be of use, so I ought to throw it out there once in a while.

What sort of workplace has no intarweb access all day long, you ask? The same sort that requires you to empty out your bags on a table before you enter or exit, every single time--a process I think of as "Security Gate Show and Tell." Enough said.

My son is now three months and some change old. He smiles and laughs a fair bit. He tolerates my presence and even seems to draw some positive feeling from being held by me; occasionally I can pick him up while he is screaming and he'll calm down right away, which I suspects tends to annoy his mother. He's growing by leaps and bounds. He's still pretty even-tempered except when hungry or tired or needing to be changed--you can usually tell which of those it is. Screaming just for the sake of the sound of his own voice is a phase that is still somewhere in the future.

I recently fasted for a week with a friend of mine, who is still going strong, albeit solo. Nothing but water, some apple juice, and occasional decaf coffee (because it's just not a weekend without coffee). It was awesome, and a neat opportunity to grow closer to God and really take stock of myself--it's amazing how much time you free up when you don't eat. Definitely going to do it again, and for longer, but I had to start getting some fuel so I could train up for a PT test (which yes, I passed).

Other stuff is going on in my life, and work is interesting but very off limits, so I'm not sure what I'll write about. But I'd best think of something. There is some old stuff still sitting on the front page.

Note to self: need to review some of the books I've been reading, including two that everyone should read and know. First, Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor, and second, The Zombie Survival Guide. One will tell you an amazing story of self-sacrifice and the bonds of brotherhood in war; the other will keep your brain safely inside your skull when the dead walk the earth. I read both on the flight back from Florida.

Oh man. I have got to talk about Florida.



Five years ago today, President Bush stood in front of a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished." I remember the cautions about how we were in for a long war, but the Iraq campaign was considered done.

Five years ago yesterday, I enlisted for 8 years in the Washington State Army National Guard.


What have we done?

I think it was five beers in total. Not much when I was in college, perhaps, but I'm older now and out of practice.

We talked about the Army, and Afghanistan, and the people we brought over, brought back, and left behind. We ate some excellent steaks. We heard the stories again, and we told the stories again, and we didn't interrupt when we heard one we'd heard before, because we know that the secret is in the telling, not the hearing. We asked the questions that shouldn't be asked, and we left unvoiced the questions that others ask, because they've been asked and answered before--water under the bridge.

I saw the valleys and the mountains, and I smelled the gun smoke and I heard the zipzipzip of incoming rounds and I felt the Humvee rock on its springs as the F-18s released their concussive payloads, and I saw again the local nationals who have bet it all on our notoriously fickle public policies, and I felt the SAW hammer at my hands, the ratatatatatatatatataPING as the casings ricocheted off the roof of the truck and then off the front glacis plate. I felt the frustration of 11 time zones of separation from my beloved. I heard the haunted tones from comrades who were seeing their own visions from OEF VII.

And I wondered whether we are draining painful blisters when we reminisce about the defining moments in our lives, or whether we are merely picking half-healed scabs...




I submitted this image to Military Motivator, but it either slipped through the cracks or was deemed not quite proper.

This is, of course, one of my team leaders in Afghanistan, about whom I have posted before. His sins against the uniform never ceased to amaze me.


[Edit: I spoke too soon; maybe he just had a backlog. Anyway, this one made MM a few weeks ago.]

Review: Expelled

Anyone interested in the state of science in America today really ought to go see this film. Anyone who believes that science is nonpolitical REALLY ought to go see this film.

I give it 9 out of 10 DNA-seeding space aliens.

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