Wednesday, February 28, 2007

From a couple Saturdays ago, as explained here

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

it's 5:27 am. i'm still at work. not "i just got to work". no. still at work. got 90% of the things i wanted to get done, done. but one damned server...

i don't actually mind staying and getting the job done. but loads of political infighting i can do without. anyways. good motivation to get the last two classes finished and the the degree in hand and go job hunting.

morning everyone!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (42%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (46%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by

lifejunky had that on their blog. i took the test and posted my results.

i've frequently said that myself and alot of military guys i know are split-personality. taking this test drove it home for me. one question would be "do you like rules" "yes". the next would be "do you frequently break rules?" "yes." "are you a risk taker?" well, i've jumped out of planes in the military. but there's no way in hell i'd do it in the civilian world. i avoid conflict like crazy as a civilian. as a military guy i sometimes go seeking it out.

which life are you talking about? i frequently catch flak for the ammount of... stuff i own. and try to pack away. but the people giving me the grief don't get the "hey, i'm trying to fit crap from 2 different lives into one garage and i'm a pack-rat to begin with". when i left active duty the first time i gave away the majority of the field gear i'd bought/begged/borrowed/stolen. had to buy it all over again to go to afghanistan. went to iraq, bought a bunch new stuff. i'm not giving it up again now that i've passed the ten year mark and will end up probably just sticking it out until retirement. then there's civilian me, with a.d.d. never met a hobby i didn't want to start. of course, i never finish any of them, but i've got all the equipment out there in the garage someplace... just in case. and i'm a computer guy. books on top of books. cables galore. hardware everywhere. and let's not forget the wanna-be shade-tree mechanic....

i'm too tired to do this justice. but it's fun seeing how close the left/right brain percentages are.

my saturday night...

clinton and the p-funk were awesome last night. even if i do have white guy dance moves.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

saturday night the company that i work for had an awards ceremony/formal dinner.

last month i asked the m.c. for the event if i could have a few moments to present the owner of the company with a plaque and my gratitude for the support that he's provided me during two mobilizations/deployments.

i could go on and on about how while that was a sincere gesture, it was also a political move to point out how important that support is for future reservists and guardsment. although the owner treated me well, the department heads didn't. instead of suing or creating alot of havoc i decided to take the high road and try this first. i could go on about how much i really like living in my own little shell and how that was a special kind of hell for me to stand up there and make the speech, and then get applause, hand shakes and hugs from random strangers after the fact.

but instead of that stuff what i need to talk about is the guy who i've known for years. he's retired air force. spent more than a couple years doing things that we can't talk about here in support of missions that never happened. and in support of alot that did. after i made my speech the m.c. asked everyone in the crowd who had military experience to stand and be recognized. the rest of the audience applauded those men and women.

after it was all done and over with, the retired air force guy came up to me and shook my hand. he said that after 20+ years of time in the military, that that was the first time anyone had ever said "thank you" to him for his service.

two years ago my dad and his brothers went back to iowa for memorial day. every memorial day there alot of the vets come out of the woodwork, put their uniforms on, and march throughout the local cemetaries and pay tribute to their fallen brothers-in-arms. dad said that afterwards, at the vfw, that that was the first time he was ever cheered or thanked or had his hand shaken for his service.

yeah. i went through about 20 minutes of discomfort the other night. but there's alot worse pain in the world than having someone want to shake your hand and say "thanks". it was definately worth it to have those guys stand up and be recognized.

i'm closing comments on this. but if you come across a vet, as a favor to me, shake his hand and say "thanks for your service". (i don't mean to sound obnoxious with this. i know most of you guys do this whenever you get the opportunity.)


Monday, February 19, 2007


so it's taken about 4 months longer than it should've, but i'm finally wrapping up the desk project. not the most perfect piece of furniture. but when i bought it the top had a full length crack in it. i patched than, picked it up and it cracked again about four inches over. so all in all i'm kinda proud of it. have to finish the gloss coats on the legs, repair and refinish the drawer and get it all put back together. but all in all that should just be another couple days.

Friday, February 16, 2007

some of you seem like you could use a bit more humor...

...and so i present you with THIS. this is how my christmas 2005 went.

there are some rules though:

1) it's slow to download. i'm sorry. i'm too lazy/cheap to pay for a faster connection for my webserver. no whining. and be patient. it's worth it.

2) if you know the guy in the video, don't tell him i posted it. he is the nicest, funniest guy i know. he planned this thing for a year before he did it.

3) you click at your own risk. if it scars you for life or ruins christmas for you? i'm not responsible.

look close for my guest appearance at the end. it's a quicktime movie so you'll need quicktime to see it.


okay. i think it's you guys. but. you know. in case it's not, let's try this:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

new observations...

it was a beautiful night tonight. the snow was lightly falling, it's valentine's day so everyone was in a resteraunt or snuggled up with their honey. so it was a picture perfect night for an hour long stroll. real hallmark moment. while i walked i solidified a couple of observations in my head.

1) you're never driving along, hit a bump see your gas needle plummet and realize that it sticks but that you've got JUST enough gas to make it to the gas station. what happens is that you're driving along, all of a sudden the engine dies and you start to freak out a little, not knowing if you've got an electrical problem or what. just as you're saying "what the fu...?" you hit the bump, the needle drops and you realize you've run out of gas.

2) even though you had a pair of gloves and stocking cap in the truck, and were lucky enough to put your gortex boots on that morning, cotton slacks aren't appropriate for 15 degree weather. especially not when you're sliding down hills and climbing over walls to get to the gas station.

3) putting fuel in my truck while cars whiz by at 70 miles an hour, and hoping that one of them isn't being driven by some loser single guy who decided to get a really early drink-on to drown his sorrows isn't driving by and doesn't think that i look alot like the guy who stole his girlfriend and decide to make a quick flick of the wrist and take me out isn't quite as much fun as one might think.

Happy Valentine's Day!

A friend pointed out the close proximity of these two signs. Had to take a photo. Now what would've been even funnier is if the table with all the seduction books for Valentine's Day would've been a little closer.

Monday, February 12, 2007

more gift talk...

wanderlusting had a post about her anniversary with her beau here. In it she says:

Where I had been plotting over what to get him for it for awhile now (I'm a girl and that's what we do), it kind of snuck up on him. To be fair, he does work so it's not like he had the chance to run around and buy me things. And well, all last week I was at his place, so it's not like he could have done it around me. He did say that we could go out and I could pick out a present but I balked at the idea. An anniversary present should at least be something special and something personal.

to which i joking left the comment:

happy one year anniversary. and please don't be "that girl" when it comes to presents. ugh. some of us just really, really suck at presents.

which one or two took it to mean (from later in her post) that i was calling her a gold digger, only interested in the cost of the present or that i was saying that she equated the cost of the present with the value/worth of the gift. so not what i meant.

you see it all the time in sitcoms. the clod husband doesn't appreciate his wife or think about her and forgets her birthday/v-day/anniversary/x-mas whatever and has to scramble at the last minute and can't find an appropriate gift until the wife or friendly neighbor or whoever suggests that he just stops and thinks and let's his heart talk and he'll know what to do. and then magically, he hand crafts the perfect gift, the relationship is saved and the credits roll.

a) i hate alot of popular media just for these kinds of storylines. let me kick some touchy-feely writers in the 'nads please. also the ones who have to write "all guns are bad" story lines. b)gift giving requires a type of logic that some people DO NOT possess. and i HATE that it's equated with not loving someone or about being self-centered and not thinking about them.

i shake my head at people who can't figure out what i consider to be very simple computer tasks or problems. damn people, there's a freaking "help" button, how hard can it be? yet on a daily basis i have to show them how to do something for the 100th time. but everyone writes it off. "oh, they're just not very good at computers." forget the fact that computers have been an integral part of that career field for decades now. just fix it for them. i'm a radio guy in the army. one thing that's weird about me, with both computers, radios and alot of mechanical things... sometimes i don't have a firm grasp on how something is supposed to work. but i can intuit how to make it work. i may not know why i'm flipping this switch or that, or making this change to that setting in a computer program. but it just feels right, so i do it and then it works. drives co-workers/bosses/whoever insane. they'll ask me "how'd you do that?" "i dunno". and they think i'm trying to keep all the info to myself. and that's not the case. i REALLY don't know. i just did what seemed right and it worked. why doesn't it seem right to them? why can't they figure it out like i did?

once we were far away from home and were the ground/advance team for a parachute exercise. a group of navy seals were out there doing the same thing. they came over and asked if one of us could work radios because their commo guy was gone. i looked at their stuff and within a few minutes had it working. and it seemed so obvious to me (even though i'd never seen that type of radio before), it was mind boggling that they couldn't figure it out on their own, especially since they're supposed to cross train in case one of them gets hurt.

gift-shopping is the same thing. sure, i can be going about my life and something, a scent, a sound, a taste will transport me back to a place with someone. and it'll make me happy. but i can't equate those feelings with a present. i can walk through an entire mall and walk out without a single idea of what to buy someone else. i'll see plenty of things that i want to buy for them because it's something that i would like, or because watching sappy movies have told me it's what i should buy them (chocolates/roses/stuffed animals/blah-blah-blah) but that doesn't seem right. and i can't buy them a gift card because heaven forbid, it's not personal enough. it's not like this all the time. sometimes, yes, i'm out walking with someone and i see something that they want, but can't afford for themselves or that they consider to be an unncessarcy luxary. so at the first opportunity i rush back by myself and buy it for them. and sometimes things do "click" and i get that perfect something. but must of the time there's no "click". and it's not because i'm that stereotypical, unthoughtful clod. i'm agonizing over it. months before a big holiday i'm watching for signs. but it's just a type of logic i personally don't possess.

want to know a little secret though? frequently people who THINK they possess it really don't. frequently THEY buy things that they themselves would like and give it to me and i hate it, but i grin and smile and say it's lovely.

we'll willingly accept that some people have bad interpersonal skills, are bad a spelling or math or directions... but if they're bad at gift giving, it's because they don't love you enough, or don't think about you the same way you think about them. no one is willing to accept that they just suck at buying gifts. and instead of making it easy on the poor bastards when they say "what would you like for _______ (insert gifting occasion here)?" people have to be so freaking cruel and respond with "surprise me", or "i'm sure if you think about it you can come up with something great for me" or "oh, just get me anything, it's the thought that counts". jerks.

Friday, February 09, 2007

once again, gift cards get a bad rap...

a) i'd never date this girl. if instead of looking at ANY gift and being grateful for the gesture (you know, "it's the thought that counts"?) she would look at any gift and get a sense of worth out of the amount that someone spent on them. so much for handmade creations... no mixed cd's there...

b) i'd love it if someone got me a music store gift certificate this year. edie brickell and the new bohemians went and released a new cd without consulting me first.

c) i like how there is only one faux pas for buying for men listed. trust me, i've seen numerous guys get gifts that are NOTHING like what they really want for valentine's day. however, we just usually don't complain much because the night is usually capped off with sex.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

long rambling story...

... that was sparked by the memory of a duran duran song on my mp3 player.

once upon a time i was a young college student who did what young college students sometimes do. attended houseparties and consumed mass quantities of alcohol and acted stupid with my friends. some of our buddies had gone up to phoenix to college while some of us stayed in tucson. if there was a good party in either place, it was always a good excuse for a roadtrip for the weekend.

one night one of our crowd was having a bash, so the phoenix guys came down and brought some girls with them. one of them was absolutely gorgeous. awesome young body, with an incredible tan that was developed by laying by the pool in the arizona sun instead of going to class. she was beautiful and she knew it. however, turns out she was sweet as hell too. but we'll get to that.

one of the guys that we crossed paths with was kinda a jerk. had to be the center of attention. some guys can be like that and can pull it off. they're not malicious about it. they make everyone feel good. they tell good stories, they remember details... you want to like them. this guy wasn't that way. long, boring stories. if you weren't paying attention to him, he'd find someone to pick on to make people pay attention to him. at one point he faked going to a rehab clinic and a couple serious illnesses for sympathy. just a weird, weird guy. further example of why parents should hug their kids when they're young.

so of course this guy has to get hot girl to pay attention to him. everytime she tries to break free he launches into some new story. at one point a cat wakes up and decides to come into the living room to see what's going on. the guy goes on and on about how she'd better stick close to him because the cat's vicious and he'll keep her safe. all these stupid made up stories about how the cat's killed people and blah-blah-blah. about this time i tune out and go back to my wall flower routine. enjoying the beer, the music and the company of my fellow wall flowers.

i don't know how much time goes by, but all of a sudden i hear someone screaming my name. "man, what the f**k are you doing? quit staring at her ass! she's a person damnit, not an object!" and so on and so forth. turns out hot girl had bent over to pick up something she'd knocked over. and had stopped paying attention to the one person who can't take that. the cat had made another circle through the room and so i said something stupid about how it looked like the cat was about ready to pounce on her and how we all knew he was really a big gutless wonder and so i was just getting ready to save her. it was stupid, but everyone was sick of the guy and she knew i wasn't checking her out so there was appropriate finger pointing and snickering at him.

a couple hours later the crowd had thinned out and mellowed. we were out of music but i'd just gotten duran duran's greatest hits and hadn't listened to it yet. so i put it on and he started making fun of me and the music. fair enough. when i was a kid and duran duran was first popular i'd made fun of them to. for some reason ten years later though, their music clicked with me. so i ignored him and kept playing the music. it was getting late and things were breaking up, so he really started putting on the full court press on hot girl. she'd had enough of it and decided to shut him down once and for all. "rio" came on. she jumped up, exclaimed how much she loved the song and started dancing around the room. climbed up on top of the table and started putting on a show for the crowd, then ended up in front of me and finished the song out with a little lapdance just for me. ended the song by sitting in my lap and giving me the biggest kiss ever. gave me a wink and then turned around to see all the guys with their jaws dropped. center of attention boy got the hint. she's gotten him to stop taking stupid pot shots at me and and to leave her alone with one fell swoop.

here's for being in the right place at the right time.

my secret confession for the day...

i own this movie. and sometimes? i WATCH it! and laugh my ass off. and sing along with the song.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

it's kinda funny how once you leave college it's a pain in the ass to find someone to go to a p-funk concert with you... that's okay. i can go alone.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

army randomness...

so we spent the first 4 or 5 days on a machine gun range, teaching people how to shoot. that was a blast. long days out on the range, cycling people through, getting them zeroed and qualified. cold as hell. seriously. cold as a mutha. there was a day where with windchill it never got above freezing. that's fine when you're walking back and forth from the car to the office, but when you get out there at 6:00 am and stay out there in it til 4:00pm and you're not really moving a ton to generate body heat... miserable as we should've been, most of us had a good time. these guys needed ALOT of help. most of them listened and we got them dialed in. it was fun to work with the other coaches/safeties to get these guys to listen. tag-teaming them, playing good cop, bad cop on them. shooting SHOULD be the easiest thing in the world, especially when you have a coach. shut your brain off and just listen and follow really basic, really simple directions. but that's alot harder than it sounds. for myself included. i can't just point fingers at these people. i do it myself. the other thing that was kinda fun about it was seeing how much... stuff i've crammed into my noggin over the years. there was really good info up there, really good skills to train these guys with it. once again i have to tip my hat to all those who came before me, trained me and gave me the skills to turn around and train the next generation of guys.
the last three days have been wrapped up with building on those basic shooting skills. alot of advanced shooting stuff. which has again been rewarding, but was also alot of suck. over the last 3 days we've never been more than ten feet away from our vehicles. we were riding in the "trunk" of the hmmwvs watching guys inside of the vehicle and seeing how they operated. acting as "safety officers" to make sure they don't accidently kill one another and that they're learning good habits for down range. cold as hell riding back there.

all in all a pretty good 12 days, but some of it was a little discouraging. these guys are pretty close to leaving for the desert and their skill levels should've been alot higher at this stage in the game. we did as much as we could to get them up to speed, but they're going to need to take alot of personal responsibility and practice this stuff on their own. they're still good kids and they're doing okay. but they're with alot of guys who've been downrange before and should be passing that knowledge on. i'm not 100% sure where the roadblocks are. so it was really rewarding for us, but maybe it shouldn't have been?

we managed to get our hands dirty. these guys shot ALOT of ammunition. we were babying these weapons to keep them firing. and there were a couple times when we had a captive audience... that's me trying to get them to understand the "tap-rack'n'roll" method to clear a misfeed on a weapon. hopefully they'll practice it and remember it when they need it.

so it's over. fly home for denver sometime tomorrow and then back to work on tuesday. alot of pretty big changes happened in the office over the last couple of weeks while i was gone. hopefully for the better. we'll see how it goes. hope everyone else has been good!