This is what I get for making plans.

As if to mock my Bataan ambitions, I tweaked my back again on Thursday morning.

What did I do?

The proximate cause of the latest back-tweaking was, believe it or not, a sneezing fit. But in the grand scheme of things, the answer is "went to Afghanistan." I can go to my journal and identify the exact date that I first experienced back problems over there, and the intermittent problems since are all--I am convinced--encore performances.

I do just fine as long as I don't sit down for more than a few minutes. I can stand or kneel indefinitely. Actually, even sitting is just fine--until I try to get up. Getting out of the low-slung '88 Toyota MR2 after a half hour drive to work is... unpleasant.

It will go away in a few days as long as I don't do anything too stupid. Or sneeze again. In the long term, I should probably consider options that don't involve TriCare, since I have never been able to get anything more than vitamin M (i.e. Motrin) from the military medical establishment.


Some things are just funny, and you need to get over it.

My wife shared an item, and then I saw the Slashdot article on it: Sniping Could Be the Next Killer iPod App. Basically, it's a rail-mounting system for an iPod with ballistics calculation software on it, so you can have it mounted on your rifle.

Kind of cool. Not something I would likely spend my precious coinage on, although I wouldn't mind having the rifle.

As is usually the case, Slashdot is good for lots of knee-jerk reactionary commentary, with the occasional insightful remark. And, of course, lots of jokes in poor taste--that is to say, funny jokes.

The reactionary stuff is the most entertaining, though. A typical example:

Anyone who has ever taken a human life doesn't crack jokes about it. unless they are a cretin or a sociopath, or have never actually taken a human life

so if you found the headline funny, please self identify as moron or psychopath or ignorant, and go about the rest of your day, content in the fact that you know a little bit more about your personal failings

In response, I can only give the following:

Q: What's the first thing you feel when you shoot a civilian?

A: Recoil.

Humor at its finest.


I voted in the primary.

[Originally posted at Vox Veterana on 23 JAN 08.]

...via absentee ballot, about 30 seconds before my wife informed me that my candidate had dropped out that day.

So now I`m supporting Great Cthulhu for 2008. I`m tired of settling for the lesser evil. Ph`nglui mglw`nafh Cthulhu R`lyeh wgah`nagl fhtagn!

I could possibly be talked into voting for Romney or Giuliani, however.


Round in the chamber

[Originally posted at Vox Veterana on 31 JUL 07.] asked us to answer some questions for a little interview type dealie; my responses are over here.

Since I mentioned it in the interview, I will give notice here, as well. My wife and I recently received a warning order from the doctor`s office; we are to expect reinforcement sometime in March of 2008, bringing our total family complement up to 3. My wife takes her role as a "force multiplier" seriously.

OK, I can`t think of any more terrible military metaphors for pregnancy without devolving into the realm of the truly tasteless. As it is, jokes about muzzle velocity practically write themselves over the concept of "round in the chamber."

More scribings are in the works. Have a good one, everybody.


We're a geeky family.

Some people do wacky recreational things on their holidays, or visit family, or go on outings. We stayed in and installed new aftermarket batteries in our venerable (but still viable) iPod Minis using instructions found here and batteries found here. $9 each, plus exorbitant shipping, but far cheaper than a new iPod, no?


That about sums it up.

That about sums it up.

After Bible study the other night a group of us headed over to Travis and Nicole's house, as is our wont. We got talking about the forthcoming presidential election, as is popular of late, and I remarked that the situation reminded me of the ad for the Alien vs. Predator movie: "Whoever wins, we lose." It never occurred to me that someone HADN'T done up a picture based on that premise, but I haven't been able to find one. Travis was up to the challenge, however, and I am indebted, since I have exactly zero Photoshop skills.

It's funny only because it's true. On our calendar at work, November 4 shows "Election Day." November 5's caption is "Drink heavily and cry a little."


Almost crawling

[Video embedded on full article.]

I know YouTube is evil, but it's still powerfully convenient.

He just can't quite figure out what the arms are supposed to do, aside from push the front half off of the ground. Taken with my crackberry, this is some high action captured on electrons, complete with a good spill toward the end. But, you will note, he endures with a smile. Equally hilarious, and much more common, is when he gets up on his hands and knees, can't figure out what to do next, gets angry, and starts yelling.

Although I haven't previously marked it here, he is six months old as of August 28. Mother and son do exceedingly well, and Dad is very very pleased with life.




I admit to putting the gator near his face, but the decision to ingest it was entirely unprompted.

The gator was the second stuffed animal I ever bought him, the first being Shiva, of course. I bought him at an alligator farm in Florida, one of the high points of a largely terrible TDY earlier this year. I thought the albinos were terribly cute, but I forgot the cardinal rule of buying things for infants: bright colors. He's just not that interested in Swampy, except as a chew toy. On the other hand, maybe that's the sort of aggressive attitude we are going for.




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.]

American soldiers murdering a helpless local national

Warning--this video is not for the faint of stomach. This is SGT (now SSG) Smallville's finest hour, when he single-handedly bludgeoned an Afghan rattus to death in our temporary barracks while the other American soldiers present laughed and took pictures. In addition to the graphic carnage, there is some soldierly language.

[Video embedded in full entry.]

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