sig's blog

Been Reading

Been reading some more, courtesy of a trip to Waldenbooks.

First up, Tricky Business, by Dave Barry. Hardcover, found for $5.99 on clearance. Shweet. His first book, Big Trouble, was dark and hilarious. This is darker, and still quite funny, though with not quite as many laugh-out-loud-even-though-I'm-reading-in-a-room-by-myself moments. Subject matter involves gambling, drug money laundering, high school bands that never take off, and psychotic mothers. It features much of the style that made Big Trouble so entertaining--a diverse cast of characters who are all having a really bizarre day.

Second, and still in progress, is Generation Kill by Evan Wright, which follows the Marines of the 1st Recon BN on their frankly insane high-speed run to Baghdad. It is full of genuine Marine language and vulgarity and whatnot, and gives a very good picture of what it was like for the grunts on the ground, complete with the exploits of some truly disturbed officers that were running things. This came highly recommended to me by one of my drinking buddies from DLI, a Marine corporal, and it has lived up to expectation so far. It doesn't do anything to glorify the violence or the mission--far from it--but it does help the reader understand how the Marines somehow find glory there anyway.

[Edit: Check out the original Rolling Stone articles starting here which Wright eventually compiled into the book.]

Also, it reinforces something that I already suspected: Marines are crazy, and Recon are the craziest of the crazy. I'm glad we have people like that.


The Last Full Measure

Courtesy of Soldiers for the Truth, a gut-wrenching article by COL Brett Wyrick, USAF.

An excerpt:[quote]The Detail marched back from the flight line, and slowly the doors of the big transport were secured. The chaplain offered prayers for anyone who wanted to participate, and then the group broke up as the people started to move away into the darkness. The big engines on the transport fired up, and the ground rumbled for miles as they took the runway. His duty was done – he had given the last full measure, and he was on his way home.

The first rule of war is that young men and women die. The second rule of war is that surgeons cannot change the first rule. I think the third rule of war should be that those who have given their all for our freedom are never forgotten, and they are always honored.[/quote]


Media Matters for America

Knowingly passing false information and distortion while preaching on about truth and balance makes you a hypocrite, no matter what side of the aisle you sit on.

Organization or lack thereof

In which Sig messes around with the menus, causing chaos and despair among the (small) userbase.

Faux Doughboy

Killing me. My feet, that is.

Friday is the Army's 230th birthday, which means that it's time for the Army Ball. Shiny! I love the Army Ball--not as much as my wife, and not as much without my wife (she wanted to surprise me and show up, but we just can't afford it), but it's still cool. Here, the battalion does something pretty cool for the streamer ceremony: they borrow 9 historical uniforms from different periods of the Army's history, and soldiers from the battalion wear them to carry the streamers up to be hung on the Army flag.

I'm number 5, a.k.a. World War II soldier.

Today was our first and only dress rehearsal, and I hadn't made it to the fitting the other day (or rather, hadn't been told), so today was my introduction to the uniform in question. My respect for the WWII-era fighting man--already quite high--has gone up a few notches. Just getting the thing on made me ready to surrender; I can't imagine fighting a war in it.

It is pretty sharp looking, however, or would be if the jacket were not faded from the olive drab to a dingy yellow. But hey, it's 60 years old, and it'll be dark anyway.

The boots even fit, but WWII brown leather combat boots are not the Gore-Tex and leather beauties that I normally put on my feet, so after three hours, I was really feeling it.

In closely related news, it was in the 90s today. Guess how happy I was to be wearing wool trousers and a wool shirt plus a jacket for three hours, even in an air conditioned conference center?

It will be a really moving ceremony, though, and I count myself lucky to be a part of it. The only down side, really, is that we have an open bar at the Ball this year, and I won't be able to partake at all until after the ceremony--which is the last scheduled event. So I'll have some catching up to do when I'm back in my own uniform, circa 2200. I'm not a heavy drinker by any stretch, canoe tales notwithstanding, but it's sort of obligatory for the Army Ball to take a few for the team, and on behalf of those currently serving in dry regions.


Back in the search mode

Unfortunately, the best case scenario for this summer is that I do indeed pass my course the first try, graduate on time, and end up back home in WA in mid-August with an apartment lease and no income.

So it's back to looking for a job again. The pluses and minuses of a 21-month break in employment in my chosen field--


  • No current relevant work experience
  • Only vaguely aware of current trends in the IT world
  • Last job ended on something of a negative note


  • Top Secret/SCI security clearance
  • Passable Russian linguist
  • I can do 60 pushups in two minutes.

Unfortunately, in my residence of choice, none of those pluses count for anything at all. This is a little depressing.

So anyone know of a need for a once-competent PC/network support guy in the Puget Sound area? I learn fast.


Weather is mysterious and strange.

. . .
And the drill sergeants wonder why we were not motivated this morning. Simple:

  • We were desperately hoping that you would be struck by lightning, thus proving by act of God that it is unholy to be up and singing cadence at that hour.
  • It's hard to be terribly impressed by a drill sergeant--ANY drill sergeant--after you have just seen and heard and felt nature kick everyone's ass.

Spam-filter 66, Spam 0


[quote="Spam module admin"]66 of the 66 (100%) automatically detected spam postings were correctly marked as spam.[/quote]

Sweet. Now if only the spam sites weren't clogging up my referral logs.


An interesting perspective on Orson Scott Card

I won't claim to have detailed knowledge or understanding of What Ender's Game Really Means, but this is certainly interesting. This guy makes some pretty heavy-duty accusations--among others, that OSC did not in fact write Ender's Game.

Killingmachines @ the Wayback

So basically, I'm another one of those self-absorbed Intarweb 'writers' with delusions of importance and relevance. What else is new?

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