SigSpace - History http://www.sigspace.net/?q=taxonomy/term/164/0 en Because "Bataan Happy Fun Kittens and Rainbows March" doesn't flow off the tongue. http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/664 <p>I wasn't always a lame ass admin puke. It's hard to remember sometimes that even as recently as six months ago, I was a lame ass intel puke--and while the transition to admin was sudden and hurty, it was relatively recent.</p> <p>Harder still to remember is that once upon a time, I carried a ruck and some really expensive equipment on and off helicopters, and rode around in HMMWVs, and even returned fire occasionally.</p> <p>There aren't many cool military jobs stateside. By and large, the more interesting the job, the less application you have in times other than war (or deployment). My wartime job is interesting. My stateside job involved signing my name to a lot of forms today so I could get some pay problems unFUBARed. Yeehaw. It's important--certainly to the soldiers getting paid--but it's not terribly interesting when you get down to it, and the fact that I'm actually pretty good at it is more depressing than encouraging.</p> <p>I've been thinking about it more since I've been going through photos from Afghanistan in 2006 and planning for some of my soldiers to come back from their current tour there. I'm fortunate to have been able to go the places I've been and see the places I've seen and shoot at the assclowns at whom I got to shoot; not many get those opportunities even once, let alone get paid to have them. I should be grateful that I got to go at all, not annoyed that other people are having fun without me. I should be glad to be here and enjoy my family and my friends and my nation. And I should remember, too, how much I wanted to be back here when I was over there and all of the stuff that I wanted to do then but couldn't. And I should do some of it.</p> <p>OK, so I'm still holding off on forming the Police cover band. But I did start geocaching a little, using the ridiculously expensive set that I have signed out from work (for um, training). I am reading more. I'm writing a bit more, although work still sucks up most of my writing energy. And I'm looking at doing stupidly ambitious things, just because I can.</p> <p>I decided last week that I am going to try to go to White Sands, New Mexico in late March for the <a href="http://www.bataanmarch.com/" rel="nofollow">21st Annual Bataan Memorial Death March</a>. 26.2 miles, starting at 0700 and ending when you hit the finish line or fall on your face. For added fun, I have tacked on the additional intent to compete in the "military heavy" category, which means regulation uniform and boots and a 35-pound ruck sack.</p> <p>Step one was finding out if I would be allowed to take time off to do something so lunatic. I e-mailed my battalion commander and full-time boss for permission. His response, paraphrased, was "I'm game, who else is going?" In the last few days, I've found another MAJ and a 1LT who are "strong maybes," but no enlisted takers--I'm not sure what that says about our relative abilities to perform on-the-spot risk assessments.</p> <p>There's still time. Registration doesn't even start until mid-November. Meanwhile, the LT and I have been doing some easy pace (4 or 4.5 MPH) rucks around Camp Murray, just to get a feel for the undertaking. The Bataan march will be the equivalent of nine laps, roughly. Hopefully, we can find some more interesting places to train up.</p> <p>I'm actually really excited for this, which is pretty stupid on the face of it, but it's something that I know will be a) difficult, b) painful, and c) absolutely within my ability and will to accomplish. Added bonuses are getting out of my office, and associating with other insane people. If I can actually burn some of my accumulating leave at the same time, so much the better.</p> <p>Anyway, that's one of my projects for right now. When I get some new strings for my bass, maybe I'll start working on another.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/664#comments History National Guard US Army Work Tue, 01 Sep 2009 02:51:41 +0000 sig 664 at http://www.sigspace.net Will I remember? http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/661 <blockquote><p>The American and Soviet armies were still massed in Europe, trained and ready to fight. The ideological trenches of the last century were roughly in place. Competition in everything from astrophysics to athletics was treated as a zero-sum game. If one person won, then the other person had to lose. And then within a few short years, the world as it was ceased to be. Make no mistake: This change did not come from any one nation. The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful.</p></blockquote> <p>Sometimes I think I ought to spend my writing time exclusively documenting things that I know, so that thirty years from now, when the political machines have finished rewriting history, I'll still have something true and good to read about my nation.</p> <p>The quote above comes from my commander in chief--via <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124744075427029805.html">a column by Liz Cheney</a>--who apparently believes that the world cast aside the Soviet regime and its policies much as children on a playground may reject a rope swing in favor of a basketball--"This no longer amuses; let's do something else." In doing so, he dismisses the thousands and thousands of Americans (and our allies) who dedicated (and occasionally lost) their lives to our security during the Cold War.</p> <p>The disconnect from reality is stunning--or would be if the last few months hadn't made me somewhat numb to it.</p> <p>In April, I <a href="http://chroniclesofgeorge.nanc.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=32111">posed a question</a> on the bulletin board I used to frequent asking whether our President had so far turned out as everyone had hoped. I think it a little telling that other than "hope" comments, the highest praise offered him at that time was that he wasn't W and thus wasn't in the news all of the time for his gaffes. Apparently, the bar for our nation's leadership is pretty low.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/661#comments History Politics Stupid People Wed, 15 Jul 2009 03:03:03 +0000 sig 661 at http://www.sigspace.net