Friday, December 29, 2006

Feline Physics

Law of Cat Inertia - A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.

Law of Cat Motion - A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.

Law of Cat Magnetism - All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.

Law of Cat Thermodynamics - Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.

Law of Cat Stretching - A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of the nap just taken. Or to reach that must-have-morsel.

Law of Cat Sleeping - All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position as uncomfortable for the people involved, and as comfortable as possible for the cat.

Law of Refrigerator Observation - If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Law of Electric Blanket Attraction - Turn on an electric blanket and a cat will jump into bed at the speed of light.

Law of Prime Position - A cat will always take the best position available to observe and take part in his human's activities.

Law of Random Comfort Seeking - A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.

Law of Bag/Box Occupancy - All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond. (Corollary: also applies to desk and file drawers)

Law of Cat Embarrassment - A cat's irritation rises in direct proportion to her embarrassment times the amount of human laughter.

Law of Cat Disinterest - A cat's interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human expends in trying to interest him.

Law of Pill Rejection - Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.

Law of Cat Composition - A cat is composed of Matter + Anti-Matter + It Doesn't Matter.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

(After) Christmas meme

Hope you all had a good Christmas, enjoyed the gathering of friends and family, and ate plenty - but not too much. I'd love to blame the lack of blogging on the power outage on the 15th (which lasted 7 days for Casa Way), and the continued lack of internet until yesterday. But the loyal two or three of you who still visit know better - it's been a long time, hasn't it? Of course, I always rise to Meme bait, and thus I have emerged from the darkness.

Someone managed to tag Snarkatron with a meme ... and rumor has it they're still ambulatory, quite an accomplishment. So to share the Christmas cheer and joy, she naturally tagged some of us in easy reach...

Three things I wanted for Christmas:
1. Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Restored power at Casa Way (which I got!)
3. Something to read that isn't by Anita Shreve

Three things I did NOT want for Christmas:
1. Anything requiring dusting
2. A Dance Revolution
3. Strangely colored Rubber Rain boots

There, I believe that satisfies the minimum requirement.

As to tagging someone else with this one, Christmas is past now, and I think that popping out of blog limbo and tapping anyone else on the shoulder would be ... rude. So no tagging here. Whatever passes for normal blogging can now resume.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peaceful Nature ... Me?

Me ... Peaceful? That'll make a few people laugh out loud!!

I should go back and play with the questions to see what the other options are. AFSister is digging her result...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Why does this surprise me?

This is one of the real downsides to living in the pacific northwest. I'm surrounded by tree-hugging anti-war numbskulls who think that supporting Watada is somehow good for our society.

December 5 * 7pm.
Lt. Ehren Watada Discussion and Film Screening

Lt. Watada will discuss his personal history and reasons for his refusal to deploy to Iraq, and his charge that it is an illegal war. Lt. Watada became the first commissioned officer in the US armed forces to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq in June 2006. He is now facing a court martial. Professors Michael Honey (UW-Tacoma) and Mark Jensen (PLU), will show Honey's short film A Soldier's Duty?: Lt Ehren Watada's Story and discuss the issues involved in the case. The event is co-sponsored by United for Peace of Pierce County and People for Peace, Justice and Healing.
King's Books
218 St. Helens Ave.
Tacoma, Washington 98402

Of course he's facing a court martial, dummies - he disobeyed orders. His personal history and 'reasons' are meaningless. The Army (and Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard) don't function when soldiers disobey orders.

Yes, I know, that part of their intent is to destroy our military. They might not be honest enough to say that, and their little poster boy here is supposedly willing to go to war in Afghanistan, just not in Iraq. But at the end of the day, they would love nothing better than to gut our military and have us all bow down to the terrorists of the world.

I can't get down to Tacoma tomorrow night to join them, but some of the Operation Support our Troops folks will be there. If you can get to King's Bookstore in Tacoma, Jeff and the gang would love to have you join in protesting this bizarre event:

You gotta be kidding!
Lt. Ehren Watada Film Screening !!??

This man deserted his troops!
He refused to deploy after training with his troops endangering those he swore to protect!
This man has no honor!

Shall we go down there and hold some signs on the
sidewalk outside this place on Dec 5, at 6:30 pm?

We have the right to peacefully express our views.
Who is up for it??

Jeff Brigham

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


America's Son didn't really take a vacation from blogging this summer/fall, he was just a bit wrapped up in the transition from Marine to Police Officer. There are still wolves to be dealt with, and fellow Sheepdogs to honor. There are also some somber but important parallels between Suffolk County and Al Anbar province.

CENTCOM: Pilot Earns Distinguished Flying Cross

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2006 — Back in March in Iraq, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lori Hill, with the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, was piloting her Kiowa Warrior when the lead chopper came under heavy fire. She drew the fire away, simultaneously providing suppressive fire for the troops engaged with the enemy on the ground.

A rocket-propelled grenade hit her, damaging the helo’s instrumentation, but instead of focusing on her predicament, she established communication with the ground forces and continued to provide them with aerial weapon support until the soldiers reached safety.

As she turned her attention to the aircraft, which was losing hydraulic power, the helo took on machine-gun fire, a round crashing into one of Hill’s ankles. Still, with a damaged aircraft and an injury, she landed at Forward Operating Base Normandy, saving her crew and aircraft.

For her actions she was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross by Vice President Richard Cheney at Fort Campbell, Ky., on Oct. 16.

“It’s was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to get the award and then have the vice president come and award it to you,” she said. “It’s just incredible for any soldier.”

Recalling that day in March, Hill reflected, “I was actually just glad I didn’t pass out and very happy I was able to help the ground guys out, and get our helicopter down safely on the ground.”



Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Cannon in Woodland Park

John of Argghhh posted a pic of a 6-inch gun at the Castle yesterday, and the comment thread implied the device was located somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Sadly, my investigative powers were not up to the challenge, and I failed to track down the little beastie in my searching.

He implied that it was a piece from the Coastal Defense system, and it looks like a land-based cannon. The Armorer can be sneaky, however. Finally he noted that he was sent the image, and that it is located along a path in Woodland Park here in Seattle. That was enough information to track down another image of the same device:

Naval cannon from the USS Concord

This cannon was placed along the path in Woodland Park in 1911:
Cannons from Admiral Dewey's cruiser, the USS Concord, were placed in a plot on the southwest corner of Woodland Park, now called the War Garden.

The USS Concord had a rich history ...

(Displacement 1,710 tons; length 244'6"; beam 36'; draft 14'; speed 14 knots; complement 187; armament 3-6", 1-4")

The second Concord (PG-3) was launched 8 March 1890 by N. F. Palmer, Jr., and Co., Chester, Pa., sponsored by Miss M. D. Coates; and commissioned 14 February 1891, Commander O.A. Batcheller in command.

Concord operated on the New England coast, and sailed from New York 17 November 1891 on a cruise to the West Indies and South America with her squadron, then arrived at New Orleans 27 April 1892 and cruised up the Mississippi River as far as Cairo, Ill., visiting various ports en route.

Returning to New York 18 June 1892, Concord made another cruise to the West Indies late that year, and arrived back at Norfolk 6 December. She participated in International Naval Reviews held at Norfolk and New York in March and April 1893, and in June sailed frum Norfolk for the Far East, calling at the Azores, Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Bangkok, and Saigon before arriving at Hong Kong 30 October. She cruised on the Asiatic Station showing the flag and protecting American interests until 29 May 1894 when she arrived at Unalaska. She cruised in the North Pacific to carry out the provisions of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain, which empowered her to seize all vessels violating the laws protecting valuable fur seals. She gathered hydrographic information to correct Bering Sea charts and conduct scientific observations of the fur seals.

Concord returned to the Asiatic Station in September 1894 and continued to serve in the Far East until returning to San Francisco 3 May 1896. She was placed out of commission for repairs between 27 May 1898 and 22 May 1897. After a cruise to Alaskan waters (1 July29 November), she sailed from Mare Island 8 January 1898 for the Asiatic Station. With the declaration of war between Spain and the United States in April, Concord joined Admiral Dewey's squadron at Mirs Bay near Hong Kong on the 24th and sailed for the Philippines. On 1 May the squadron entered Manila Bay and won the resounding victory that resulted in American control of the Philippines and renewed interests and responsibilities in the Far East.

Concord resumed her patrol on station in August 1898, but returned to the Philippines 19 December to assist in putting down the insurrection. Her duty consisted of patrolling the coast to restrict insurgent movements and shipping, bombarding various guerrilla strongholds; and aiding Army operations. Except for a voyage to Guam in March 1900 to deliver stores, and a brief voyage to Hong Kong for repairs, Concord remained in Philippine waters until June 1901, when she sailed by way of Alaskan waters to San Francisco, arriving 28 September 1901. She cruised with the Fleet in Mexican waters, then went out of commission 26 February 1902 at Mare Ialand.

Recommissioned 16 June 1903 Concord operated along the North American coast from Alaska to Panama and to Hawaii and Alaska until decommissioned at Bremerton 26 Aurust 1904. Concord was recommissioned again 16 September 1906, sailed from Bremerton 24 December 1906, operated in the Philippines until March 1906, then sailed to China. Until 1908 she remained in the Far East serving at timea on the Yangtze Patrol and as station ahip at Shanghai and Canton.

Concord served as station ship at Guam from 2 January to 10 September 1909, then sailed to Puget Sound Navy Yard arriving 11 October, decommissioning 4 November 1909, and assigned as barracks ship for the Naval Militia of Washington at Seattle. She was transferred to the Treasury Department 16 June 1914 and served as quarantine station vessel for the Coast Guard at Astoria, Oreg. Returned to naval custody 19 March 1929, she was sold 28 June 1929.

USS Concord

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Castle Denizens Alert

Yes, Castle Argghhh! is having some problems today. The Armorer is working on it behind the scenes, so all we can do is wait and watch.

In the meantime, amuse yourselves at some of the other fine blogs on the sidebar.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Spread a little Christmas Cheer

I had the best time joining with 100+ fellow military supporters at a pack event arranged by the local Operation Support our Troops organization. They raised enough funds through our local radio stations, including 570-KVI, to send over 7000 stockings to troop units in Iraq and Afghanistan. So the assembly lines were formed, and the OSOT 'troops' and volunteers (including myself, BCR and her sibling) stuffed stockings full of goodies until the stocking supply ran out. What a great feeling when the trailer full of boxes headed off to the Post Office!

The next mission on the horizon (after Thanksgiving - more on that later) is to help spread some Christmas cheer for a Ft. Lewis family. The program is called "Operation: Christmas Wish", and is sponsored by Operation Homefront / Washington Chapter. The Hubster and I found out about this program last year, too late to take part. This year we are starting early...

Grant a Christmas Wish

If you want to help grant the Christmas wishes of a military family, or provide dinner, or just donate to this good cause - click here, or on the picture above to get the details.

Sgt. Hook also writes about a similar program for his unit, and is accepting donations in the Angel Basket on their behalf as well. I'm thankful for many things - my health, a job that rewards me in many ways, a wonderful family, great friends (including all of you!), and the flag of freedom flying over my head. It only makes sense to help ensure that the men and women who preserve the rights of freedoms of this great country should have comfort and joy as well.

Perfect Definition

Political correctness defined : 


A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical, liberal minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which 
holds forth the  proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the
 clean end.


Monday, November 13, 2006

In the company of Heroes

I was thrilled to attend a very special Veteran's Day event this weekend, and to shake the hands of five very special men. The first four are recipients of the Medal of Honor for their actions in WWII, Korea or Vietnam. The fifth man is the photographer who created Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. This beautiful collection contains images of most of the surviving Medal of Honor awardees, captured by photographer Nick Del Calzo, along with the stories of their valour.

Medal of Honor

The book is presented in a format with two pages for each man, one of which is the new photograph, with the other containing the story of their actions and a photo from their days in uniform. The images Nick has captured of each person are great art, studies in light and shadow. You can preview some of the images online at the Portrait Collection site, but you will want to own this book for your self.

It was my honor to meet ...

Richard M. McCool
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, USS LCS(L)(3)122. Place and date: Off Okinawa, 10 and 11 June 1945. Entered service at: Oklahoma. Born: 4 January 1922, Tishomingo, Okla.

Thomas Jerome Hudner, Jr.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant (j.g.) U.S. Navy, pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, attached to U.S.S. Leyte. Place and date: Chosin Reservoir area of Korea, 4 December 1950. Entered service at: Fall River, Mass. Born: 31 August 1924, Fall River, Mass.

Kenneth E. Stumpf
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Sp4c.), U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, 25 April 1967. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 28 September 1944, Neenah, Wis.

Thomas R. Norris
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, SEAL Advisor, Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team, Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command. Place and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 10 to 13 April 1972. Entered service at: Silver Spring, Md. Born: 14 January 1944, Jacksonville, Fla.

The event took place at the Seattle Museum of Flight (see post below), and started with live performances of patriotic music by the Boeing employee band. We were also treated to a presentation of colors. Then photographer Nick Del Calzo talked about his inspiration to capture recent images of as many MOH recipients as he could, to honor their amazing actions and celebrate the living history. He then introduced each man by telling his story, at which point each stepped to the podium to make remarks.

Not surprisingly, each one was totally selfless, taking almost no credit for their brave actions. To a man, they spoke only of love for their brothers in arms, and a desire to do what had to be done.

After they were done, and the colors retired again, they proceeded to sit together at a long table to sign autographs. Many of us had bought the new edition of Medal of Honor to be signed, and we presented the books open to their pages for signature.

What struck me as I came close enough to hear and watch them was their gentle humor and easy natures. They chatted and joked with us, and their eyes lit up when some visitor would mention stories of their own parents service. I had to chuckle when I said to Ken Stumpf, "Thank you, Sir" ... and he responded "Don't call me Sir! My name is Ken". Ken Stumpf, by the way, was a draftee in the Vietnam War, and went on to serve 30 years and retire a Sgt Major.

It still amazes me that these gentlemen were happy to give up their day of honor in order to grace us with their presence. Only Richard McCool lives in the local area, all the rest came from other states. It was a great day ... one that I will cherish all my life.

"May we never forget those who fought for our Freedom.
My Best Wishes, Thomas R. Norris"

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank a Veteran today

Today is for thanking Veterans for their service, no matter when they served, and no matter for how long. Today is about the living, mostly, since we remember the fallen on Memorial Day. You can't really talk about one without the other, as John says.

Many of my family have served over the years, including my father and grandfather, both gone, but not forgotten. I have several uncles who served during and after WWII, and one in the early 60's. My brother joined the Army in 1971 - and we breathed a sigh of relief when he was stationed in Germany rather than sent to Vietnam. My cousin left the Navy a few years ago, and his daughter spent much time with her grandparents because of it. I have to thank them all -- their quiet service ingrained in me a pride for our military services.

I will have an opportunity today to thank some very special veterans. A big Veteran's Day event is scheduled at the Museum of Flight in Seattle ...

Museum of Flight
(click on the picture to go to the Museum of Flight page)

If I can get in to this, I will have the chance to shake hands with some Veterans who wear the Medal of Honor. Since the event information doesn't include the names of those who will be present, I will have to report back later. It's going to be a great day!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday to the Marines!

I just want to wish all active and former Marines and spouses (they also serve!) Happy Birthday!

Here are the blogs of just a few active and former Marines so you can visit and leave a Birthday greeting:
The Gun Line
One Marine's View
Straight White Guy
Drunken Wisdom
America's Son
Adventures of Chester
Grim's Hall
Villainous Company
The Word Unheard
Major Mike
Halls to the Shores
Evangelical Outpost
Grendel's Dragon
Random Firings
Stacking Swivel
Flight Pundit
Social Sense
Daisy Cutter

In time for the birthday, there is a new museum in Washington, D.C. ... The National Museum of the Marine Corps. OoRah! go check out the pretty pictures - including the glass-encased flag from Iwo Jima. I've already placed this site on my wish list for a future trip to the capitol.

National Museum of the Marine Corps

Meanwhile, we are still engaged in the battle to raise funds for the Valour-IT project for Soldiers' Angels. Thanks to everyone who has donated, and for the rest of you, please consider a donation for this worthy cause!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Continue the Mission - Project Valour-IT

So the Dems are dancing in the streets and the halls of Congress, and there's a new guy taking over the DoD. Lots of folks wanted change - and bless their flabby little hearts, they got what they wished for.

We still have a mission to accomplish, and a considerable distance to go before we are done. While the 'peepul' were voting, some amazing changes took place in the standings of the Valour-IT teams. For a day or so, the Marine Team took the lead from the Army Strong Team, and then the Army got it back in gear and regained the top spot. Then at some point, the Navy Team suddenly popped to the top with a commanding lead. On election day, no less ... Hmmmmmmm.

Regardless, last time I checked the Army team had about $29K - about $16K short of our goal. That means we still need to empty out the piggy banks and search the junk drawers for loose change to toss in the (Army) pot. Remember, folks - this is about helping our wounded - and each cent you give goes towards helping a laptop to match up with a troop whose life has been changed by injuries. They fought for us, now we have to fight for them.

Go Army!  Beat Navy!!!

It's easy. You can even bid on cool stuff - just check out the Valour-IT Auctions. Or go check out the Cluebats designed by the Armorer of Argghhh - you can't get these just anywhere! Especially good for whacking those moonbats in your world.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day ... Go Vote!

Election Day Election day seems like it should be a whole day event. Mandatory time off from work, at least a half day, to allow everyone plenty of time to vote - no excuses. It really disturbs me that some people, otherwise smart and well-informed, do not vote. Maybe they figure they'll go after work, and then 'get busy'. Or perhaps they simply don't want to be bothered.

That's hard to imagine in this time and day. Global events and polarized domestic politics make it imperative that each of us does our part. Whatever your beliefs and desires for your community and state, and for the country as a whole - your voice matters, and your vote is very much needed.

Besides, as I wrote two weeks ago ... we owe it to every man and woman in Iraq and Afghanistan, every active duty or reserve troop, and every veteran to use the rights they defended to our fullest.

Before voting, make sure you read *all* of Bill Whittle's latest essay at Eject! Eject! Eject! -- Seeing the Unseen (part 1). Worth the wait, as always.

"But sometimes all the solutions are awful, and it is the mark of an responsible adult, and a responsible adult nation, to realize that some problems you can not get around. Some problems you have to go through. "

Sanger at The Grand Retort reminds us how much Voting Matters.

Matty at Blackfive gathers input from a most important source : The Troops themselves.

Speaking of the troops, Sgt Hook has another fine production posted up for your enjoyment ... don't miss it!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Helping Wounded Troops

The Project Valour-IT challenge Blogwar has been underway for a week now, and I see that the combined amount raised is nearly half of our $180,000 goal -- HooAH! But we're not done, folks - there's another 5 days of work to do, and we owe it to the wounded to Continue the Mission.

Hint: Hit the Make a Donation button over to the right here, for the Army Team! --->

Keep giving until it hurts ... because it surely hurts to get blown up like Chuck Z did last year. And it hurts to lose limbs and suffer nerve damage, and it sucks completely to be stuck in a military hospital far from your buddies, your family, and anything familiar. So, please give it up for their sake - it's the least we can do.

There are so many blogs who have joined the Army Strong team, that I wanted to list them all here. So I finally built a blogroll for the team members, as of Sunday night. If you just joined the team, or notice that I'm missing any other blogs, please leave me a comment, so I can fix it up! If you would like to use my blogroll, send me an email or leave a comment with the email addy I can use.

If you need suggestions on how to spread the word locally, FbL and the Armorer put together an info packed post this weekend that you should check out. There are links for flyers you can print, and lots of ideas on how to spread the word.

Project Valour-IT Army Strong team blogRoll ...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Help Project Valour-IT

If you have donated already – Thank You!  Now go tell 3 other people !!


This is such an important project, and there are many deserving troops who still need help.  The Army team has made good progress on our goal of raising $45,000 (see the graphic at the top right), and currently leads the other teams.  But remember that it all goes towards the wounded troops, and we have a ways to go to reach the overall goal of $180,000.


Don’t miss the auction post at Op-For … okay, they are flyboys, but the auction benefits the whole fund-raising event – so go take a look anyways!


From my fellow Army team members:

Blackfive kicked it off, and is still recruiting Army Strong team members.

Chuck Z, our motivation, puts the need in plain language … he speaks from experience.

John of Argghhh pins up poster girl ‘Sam’ from Chris Muir’s Day by Day cartoon.

Sgt Hook joined to beat the pants off of the Navy, Marines and Air Force .


Continue the mission!


The Silver Lining

Local commentator and talk show host, Ken Schram, has taken the whole Kerry kerfuffle and turned it into something that supports the troops.  Mr. Schram is a fairly liberal leaning guy, and regularly awards “Schrammie” bobble heads to various targets of opportunity.  This week, he decided to award one to John Kerry for his remarks and (non)apology.  Better yet, he decided that he would auction off the Schrammie for a good cause … Operation Support Our Troops!


As much as I believe Sen. John Kerry deserves to be awarded “The Schrammie” this week, I don’t think he should actually receive it.

Given the inferred insult he hurled at the troops serving over in Iraq, I think it would be much more appropriate to use Kerry’s “Schrammie” in a way that benefits them.

To that end, I’ve contacted the people who run Operation Support Our Troops and with their permission will auction the Schrammie bobble-head off to the highest bidder.

The money raised -- every penny -- will be used to help pay the shipping costs of packages that OSOT will be sending to about 7,500 troops in time for the upcoming holidays.”


The bidding is over – and the winner will donate $2500 to OSOT in exchange for his Schrammie.  That’s good money to help this amazing group arrange for packages for so many troops.  Of course, they always need volunteers, and this year I will be one of the Santa’s Soldiers helping with the pack out operation.  If you are located in the Seattle region, and feel like helping out, please visit the Santa’s Soldiers site for more info.


My hat’s off to you, Ken!  Good work on supporting the troops.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

There they go again

Just when I think the Dems have reached their lowest level, one of them grabs a shovel and starts digging.

The Washington 8th District Congressional race has been closer than I would have liked, with incumbent Dave Reichert (R) battling against newcomer Darcy Burner (D) to retain his seat.  This is Washington, after all - home to "Baghdad" Jim McDermott.  However, the Burner campaign is doing something that could be just the lever we need to throw water on their efforts. 

A new flyer from the Burner campaign uses/abuses the well-known image of an American Soldier comforting a dying Iraqi child captured by Michael Yon last year.  The flyer features this iconic image along with the words "They won't tell the truth about how bad it is."! 

First to report on this was Stefan Sharkansky, at Sound Politics.  His update today confirms that the image was not used with Yon's permission...

"It's a copyright infringement, it's a legal matter," D.C. attorney John Mason told me ... Mason said that Yon turned down a request from the Republican Party to use it in campaign literature this year.

"Mike's not a political guy. Mike does not want the photo used for any message. He wants it to stand alone."

Stooping pretty low there, dems.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Fusileers Answer the Call

The Project Valour-IT challenge is on, and it's time to Choose a Side! I am teaming up with the Fusileers of Argghhh, and joining the Army team ... HOOAH!

What's it all about? It's about enabling our wounded to heal ...

"At that time I had no use of either hand. I know how humbling it is, how humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt, after Soldiers' Angels provided me with a laptop and a loyal reader provided me with the software. I can't wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier at Walter Reed."
Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss at TC Override

Want to be part of something big?
Valour-IT's online fundraising competition begins today! Let's see who can raise the most money to help reconnect ourwounded warriors with the world!

WHAT: Friendly fundraising competition for Valour-IT.
WHEN: October 30th through Veterans Day, November 10th.
WHERE: Based in the blogosphere, spreading everywhere else.
WHY: Because giving wounded warriors with hand and arm injuries access to a computer supports their healing and puts them back in touch with the world.
HOW: Blogger teams will be divided along military branches, with civilians "up for grabs."

The lines are drawn by service rivalry:
Jarheads (Marines) will be led by Villainous Company
Zoomies (Air Force) will be led by Op-For
Squids (Navy) will be led by Chaotic Synaptic Activity.
Doggies (Army) led by Matt and Jim of Blackfive
Non-military bloggers should choose a branch the Army to support.

Sign up for the Army team by enlisting at the Project Valour-IT site and click (under Army) "Join". We'll generate links, buzz, and get these heroes some Commo support!

  • Blog and email regularly about Valour-IT and the competition
  • Tell your friends, family and neighbors about Valour-IT
  • Put up these flyers around your community (I put one up at my local Starbucks).

So all you bloggers sign up with your choice of service and get the word out. Donate NOW!!!

Check the top of the right hand sidebar to see the ARMY team progress. Feel free to click on the Make a Donation button to toss something in the kitty, and help out the ARMY team!

Fusileers of Argghhh!

It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: for proof for the cautious).

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put ARMY in big letters on the check):
Soldiers' Angels
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248

Let's be a part of something big.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday links

Tha Armorer has a must-read Denizen linkfest posted today ... don't miss the discussions he points to on immigration and the intel community. John and Beth also represented the Castle well this week, as the Leavenworth community paid their respects to Cpl David Unger. Rest in peace, soldier.

Fellow Denizenne Maggie points out something scary for Halloween, with hat tip to the guys at Op-For. *Brrrr* ... makes me shudder.

Kate of Small Dead Animals links to an enjoyable slap-down of CNN by Lynn Cheney. Smack 'em until they apologize!

Beccy Cole's terrific video is all over the web, linked at Argghhh and Blackfive, among others. I'm posting it here for the few folks who might not have seen it yet.

Beccy Cole supports her troops ... my hat's off to her and the Diggers she loves.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Call me Spock

Found this one over at ALa's place, and had to give it a shot. I guess that Logic class from college is still stuck in my head after all.

You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!


I'm not sure what combination of answers led to this conclusion:

You Are a Sleek Black Bra!

Subtle, sophisticated, and classy.
You're not the first woman a man notices in the room...
But you're the one he remembers a week later.
You need a guy who will make a lasting impression on you too!

Cheerfully snagged from SWWBO, who in turn was inspired by FbL.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

An Angel with a Pencil

I had the great pleasure to meet Michael G. Reagan on Friday, when he came to speak about his Fallen Heroes Project. This is the time of year when our company encourages us to give back to the community, in time and in donations. One of my co-workers invited him to speak about his work, and I now know what angels look like, because I've met Mike.

Mike is an artist, and he has a gift for creating sketches that bring a person to life. For the last three years, he has been making sketches for families of those who've been killed in military service in the GWOT. Himself a Vietnam veteran, he will not take money from the families. He takes the photos sent to him, talks with the family members about the kind of image they want, creates his magic, and mails the finished drawing - and not a dime is accepted for it.

If you aren't yet familiar with Mike's work, then you should visit his online gallery to see just a few of the more than 400 sketches he has created so far. He's not done, because he hasn't finished drawing all of the fallen troops, and he plans to spend as long as it takes to provide an image for every single fallen man and woman, at the request of their family.

As Mike talked about the evolution of this project, he explained that he realized this work is the most important thing he has done in his life, and it has nothing to do with politics and one's feelings about government or policy. It is all about love and respect - for the fallen heroes, and for their families.

Towards the end of his talk, Mike mentioned one of the drawings on his list to do soon. He said it would be special, because it involves a Marine who tried to shield his fellow Marines, including his military working dog, and Soldiers from a bomber who approached a line of police recruits. As soon as he explained this, I said "You're going to draw Adam Cann?", which took him back a second. But he confirmed that the Marine he was speaking of was Sgt. Adam Cann, who was killed on Jan. 6th of this year. He asked if I was a friend of Adam's, and I explained that I never knew him, but knew of him from another Marine. My blogson America's Son, was a friend of Adam's felt his loss personally, writing eloquently about his reaction.

If you have wondered about a way to help the families of our fallen heroes to deal with the loss of their loved one, this is a wonderful way to help them heal. Go to the Fallen Heroes Project site, and read some of the letters from the families who have received a drawing of their loved one from Mike. Letters like this:

Dear Michael, we just received the portrait of my son A.J. and I am just amazed. I feel as though I am truely gazing into my son's eyes. You have captured my son's likeness right down to the smallest detail. You are a very gifted man, as you already know. Yes, Our Father has given you a special talent and we are all lucky you found it. From one veteran to another, I thank you. May God always shine his light upon you and your family.

We just returned last night from a trip to Colorado and the young lady that was taking care of our house put your package on the kitchen counter. I knew the minute I saw the package that it was the picture of Michael. WOW! I cannot describe the feelings that my husband and I had when we opened the package. It was Michael looking at us with those sparkling eyes and warm smile. You are truly a gifted artist and can capture that special look that everyone has. Our family will always treasure this work of art and I hope that you know that you gave us back our Michael. I will have it matted and framed to protect it and put it in a place of honor.

Take some time to read about the project, and consider donating if you can. Mike needs to continue this work, there are more families who need comfort.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More thoughts on voting

Monday's post ended with an exhortation to honor the sacrifice of our troops, and to make each vote count. This includes the brave men and women who have given the last full measure. It also includes every other service person in uniform today, doubly so for those deployed around the world, and a hundred-fold for those trying to heal from their wounds.

One of those currently serving, returned this year from a deployment in Iraq, is Wayne of Savannah Dreamin'. He stopped by and left a comment to my post that I have to highlight.

Thanks very much for this post, especially reminding the folks that we are at war and this isn't the time to be voting for the "run for the hills" types out there.

That's what would happen if we toss the party out with the bathwater, you see. We'd be cutting and running ... and the troops would be left hung out to dry. Don't be a Murtha *spit*, stay in the fight.

I'm well balanced

At least according to this quiz, I'm relatively balanced between the right brain and left brain functions.

You Are 60% Left Brained, 40% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Cheerfully stolen from SWWBO, who in turn lifted it from ALa.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Don't throw your vote away

Beth has the right of it. Voting is our right and responsibility in this country, and the talk I've heard of conservatives voting for the Dems or not voting at all, as some kind of statement to the Republican party just drives me up a wall.

I believe that you should vote for the person who you feel will represent you. Old fashioned, I know.

Don't vote for the Democratic challenger to your Congressman or Senator just because you are pissed off at the party. Especially if you didn't write to them or call them during the legislative sessions to tell them exactly how you felt.

Vote for the best person, or leave that box empty if you must. Read the initiatives, the pros and cons on the candidates, and go to the polls and weigh in on every issue you have a right to. Don't throw your vote out the window like a child throwing a tantrum, for heavens sake!

Also consider helping candidates outside of your district/state. I agree with Hugh Hewitt, we must support the best candidates in the tight races. Protect the political strength of the party. The alternative is too awful to consider:

So, the Dems will finally return from the political wilderness and Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Murtha, and Chairmen Conyers and Rangel will team with Majority Leader Reid and Chairman Leahy to: Force a retreat from Iraq; throw money at Kim Jong Il; talk to Ahmadinejad and then throw him a Framework Agreement; Refuse to extend the tax cuts and thus cost every American real dollars every month and large chunks of the estates of their Greatest Generation parents as they pass away; Refuse to confirm qualified judges and blockade Bush nominees in the event any of the Supreme Court's aging elite retire?

*shudder* The very thought makes my skin crawl.

After the dust of this election settles, if you want to make changes, then go out and get involved. Get hooked up with your local party connections, and make the system work by bringing fresh ideas into the party.

As you vote this year, remember that we are at war, that we have men and women in uniform around the world who are fighting to help the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan to keep their new voting rights.

Don't you dare let them down.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Shootin' with the Sheriff!

Okay, so I didn't actually shoot with the Sheriff, who is now Congressman Reichert, at the fund-raising event in Bellevue this week. But I did shoot, and got to meet 'n' greet some fellow R's at the Shootin' for Victory event last night in Bellevue. As noted by both John of Argghhh and Dave from Heartless Libertarian, this is my kind of fund-raiser. The chance to go throw lead down range with a group of like-minded folks was too good to pass up!

The donation included dinner (BBQ -- YUMM!), use of the firearms, and 2 boxes of ammunition. Of course, I brought my own guns, including my Ruger Security-Six, and enjoyed shooting it as always. But I really had a nice time shooting my friend Dunnermeister's Ruger GP100. Whooo -- what a sweet handgun --- I was quite happy with the results!

Almost forgot ... I got to meet Dave Workman as well. Any locals who are into firearms should have a copy of Dave's book Washington Gun Rights and Responsibilities. Unfortunately, mine was at home, so I couldn't get it autographed ... *grin*

All in all, a fun event, and a few bucks were raised for the King County GOP. Next on the political agenda --

WHERE: Meydenbauer Center
11100 NE 6th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004
click here for directions and parking info

WHEN: Tuesday October 10th - 7pm


I plan to be there to cheer on Congressman Reichert - we conservatives may be surrounded here in King County, but we don't give in!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Music on my mind

How do you get back on the blog wagon after falling off for a while? In my case, you get pushed tagged. Thanks for kicking me in the butt, Fuzzy!

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your LiveJournal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

Here's what I am listening to these days...

Send Me from Keni Thomas / Flags of our Fathers. First of all, the words really resonate right now, as I'm currently reading "Home of the Brave: Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror". Secondly, I can sing along (with apologies to Keni) since it matches my voice range.

Across the Sun from Keiko Matsui / Deep Blue. I saw her perform this piece and others from the album here in Seattle at the fantastic Jazz Alley.

Oh How the Years Go By from Vanessa Williams / Next. Listened to this on the ride to the airport the day my mother died. Nuff said.

In the Air Tonight from Phil Collins / Hits. I've been known to kill car speakers with repeated playing of this one at high volume. Why I can still hear is a complete mystery to me!

Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich) from Big and Rich / Horse of a Different Color. Big beat music again - reportedly works well when riding into those remote areas on C-130's, for example.

Regardez-Moi from Celine Dion / The French Album ... fun to sing along with in the car.

Last, and shortest, but definitely not least, there is one item that I listen to frequently at my desk at work. But most importantly, every Tuesday night around 9:04 or so, I love listening to Fired Up, Feels Good -- The Unit style, that is. Gotta go now, the show's coming on ... *grin*

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The "Pendleton Eight"

"They were over there to defend us, now it's our turn to defend them!"

Click here to read about the "Pendleton Eight" (7 Marines and 1 Navy Corpsman), who are now in prison based on the words of our enemies, are being denied their fundamental right to confront their accuser, and face conviction and death.

What can you possibly do to help?

1. Return the favor of their sacrifice, and make a donation (501(c)(3) qualifying for match) to help fund their defense and ensure they at least have the opportunity to realize their right to Due Process which they and their families have sacrificed to protect.

2. The media is not getting this story out, so PLEASE FORWARD this message to as many American Patriots as you know to help these soldiers and their families.

3. Repeat #'s 1 and 2 as often as you can.

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." - Ronald Reagan, 1985.

Make a difference and don't wait to help these men out. CLICK HERE NOW.

Also take a look at this post from Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive, about a way to help the families deal with the non-legal costs ... and the stress.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Remembering the past, Honoring the fallen

As we observe the 5th anniversary of the cowardly attacks on our country, I have several images in my mind. Images of destruction and pain, and images of bravery and sacrifice.

The 2996 project is about the people we lost in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania. These people were our family, friends, sisters, brothers, children, parents, co-workers, and neighbors. Each one is missed by his or her loved ones every day. We owe it to every one of them to remember their names and their lives. It could have been any one of us.

Here are some of their stories, as told by bloggers who each present one individual to remember and cherish:

Links added Sept. 12:

Alexander Lygin from Sgt Hook

Rick Rescorla at Mudville Gazette. Don't miss the timeline pictures below Rick's post.

Added at 9pm Pacific time:

Carol K. Demitz from Teresa at Technicalities

Stephen Poulos from Seawitch at Thoughts by Seawitch

Lt. Dennis Mojica from Two Babes and a Brain

Gregory Sikorsky from Frank J. at IMAO

Rahma Salie from That1Guy at Drunken Wisdom

(T1G also has a link post going - please go visit him for more tribute links)

Jonathan C. Randall from Michael at DownEast Blog

Efrain Franco Romero, Sr. from Damian at Conservathink

Daniel L. Maher from Conservative Schooler

Don Simmons from Boudicca at Boudicca's Voice

Lorraine G. Bay from ALa at MobyRebuttal

Original list:

Milagros Hromada from the 2996 Project blog

Mike Horrocks from TacoBell at Sandgram

Max Beilke from Echo9er

Timoth Patrick McSweeney from Fuzzybear Lioness at Fuzzilicious Thinking.

Lydia Estelle Bravo from Cass at Villainous Company

John J. Tobin from Snarkatron at Snark Patrol

James Sands Jr. from Sgt B at The Gun Line

Davin Peterson from AFSister at My Side of the Puddle

John Chipura from LindaSOG at Something … and Half of Something

Matthew Lancelot Ryan from Blackfive

Davis Grier “Deeg” Sezna, Jr. and Daphne Ferlinda Elder from Anna at A Rose by any other Name

Michelle Coyle-Eulau from DadManley

Kenneth “Ken” Swenson from MajorDad1984 at Cursed by a Classical Education

Father Mychal Judge from HFS at HomeFrontSix

Benjamin “Keefe” Clark from David at Random Nuclear Strikes

** UPDATE **

More tributes added ...

Karl W. Teepe and Police Officer Vincent Danz from John at Castle Argghhh

Heather Lee Smith from Lex at Neptunus Lex

This is not close to an exhaustive list. Murray of Hitting Metal with a Hammer has a complete list of the names here.

I hope to update the links as I get time.

Remember them always …

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Didn't know they had names!

For Lex ... boobie posting. Beth of She Who Will Be Obeyed, and the ladies of the Cotillion group, have started a trend. Boobie naming ...

Your Boobies' Names Are...

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Now I just have to inform the Hubster of the new names. Heh.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Eulogy to a great Father and Marine

Losing a beloved parent is very tough, and I knew my friends HanyaP and MrMan, her terrific husband, were struggling to deal with the loss of Mr. Man's dear father. What I didn't realize was how eloquent MrMan can be when pouring out his heart.  Nor did I know of the depths of his father's love of country and sacrifice in its service.  Not just in one war, but in two - and not just in one uniform, but in three. 
"He was a great teacher, a great story teller, a great father, and a great friend."
Here is definitely Someone You Should Know

Monday, September 04, 2006

Support AnySoldier Today!

The folks at AnySoldier (AnyMarine, AnyAirman, AnySailor, AnyCoastGuardsman) perform a great service, making it easy for us to make contact with our men and women in the military who are deployed overseas. In Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other places around the globe, we have military personnel who are serving this great country, and who deserve our support. I am sure that most of the folks who may wander in here from the Castle or parts around there are aware of AnySoldier.

But I was tickled when I spotted Captain Major B's post about the calendars and other items available for sale, with the proceeds going to help support the AnySoldier and AnyMarine (and other) sites. Marty Horn and his crew are doing a bang-up job, and it just doesn't get easier than buying something we all need anyway, and also support the site.

Better yet, if you get over there soon, you can even buy one of the special edition, autographed calendars - signed by either Major B, or by Taco Bell. (Click Here and scroll down)


There are other ways to raise funds ...

10. What if earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Well, now we can! is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results.
Just go to and be sure to enter "Any Soldier" as the charity you want to support. Just 500 of us searching four times a day will raise about $7300 in a year without anyone spending a dime! And, be sure to spread the word!

Make sure that you press the Verify button to ensure that AnySoldier is pegged as your charity ... you can even check to see how the donations gathered have added up!

Come on, how easy do they have to make it?? As Major B says - Get Some!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

We all have choices

Simple choices such as eating healthy or splurging on the triple dip cone, and tough choices like working for less money at a job closer to your kids' school so that you can spend more time with them. Some of them don't have a "right" answer, just a lesser of evils.

The political season is upon us. In fact, my absentee ballot for the Washington primary is sitting here patiently awaiting my selections. In some states, the races to be decided this year will help determine the balance of power in Congress. So when this article from the Weekly Standard arrived in my email, I was in a good frame of mind to digest it.

Will We Choose to Win in Iraq?
The war is frustrating. That doesn't mean we ought to get out.
by William J. Stuntz

Thirty-eight years ago, American politics was rocked by another politically controversial war. Then, as now, liberal Democrats competed for the allegiance of an increasingly powerful antiwar left. Then, as now, that constituency flexed its muscles in a key Democratic primary that seemed to turn American politics upside down: In March 1968, Eugene McCarthy almost defeated President Lyndon Johnson in New Hampshire; earlier this month, Ned Lamont triumphed over Senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut.

And there may be one more parallel. According to Michael Barone, the gold standard in political commentary, many of the voters who pulled the lever for McCarthy were dissatisfied with Johnson's conduct of the Vietnam war not because they believed the war was wrong or wasteful, but because they believed America was losing it. As Barone puts it in Our Country, voters dissatisfied with Vietnam wanted to "win or get out."

I would like to see us win, so that we can get out. Are we doing all we can to achieve that goal?
There is one more possible reason to head for the exits in Iraq: Victory is either impossible or (what amounts to the same thing) prohibitively expensive. And there is a sure-fire test of whether or not victory truly is impossible: See whether a rising number of American soldiers in a given city or neighborhood tends to produce more violence or less. If the answer is more, then it is pointless to send more soldiers; the ones who are already there are doing net harm. But that is not what the evidence shows.

Recently, as part of the Army's effort to reduce the killing in Baghdad, soldiers were pulled out of Mosul--and violence in Mosul escalated. Iraq the Model, a blogger who knows far more about conditions in Baghdad than most Western reporters, fears not that American soldiers will cause more killing, but that we have too few soldiers on the ground to pacify territory and then hold it.

I encourage you to go read the complete article. One section in particular caught my eye. It's not a new sentiment, but useful to remember as we head into our election season for this year...

Our side in Iraq holds elections. The other side kills people who stand in line to vote. America's military is fighting not to protect one set of thugs from another, but to allow a democratically elected government to establish itself in a society a majority of whose members want it to do so. It's hard to imagine a more morally worthy goal. And that would be true even if our enemies were not uncommonly murderous--which they plainly are. Rarely has a militarily powerful state fought for nobler ends.

Go read the whole thing, and let me know what you think. How much does the war in Iraq (and don't forget Afghanistan) and the tension with Iran and Korea affect your thoughts on voting this year?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Olympia Area Rally

From the folks at Operation Support Our Troops, a reminder about the Friday afternoon rally in Olympia:
Please join us for a sign and flag waving event to encourage support for our troops and our country this Friday, September 1st (and every Friday), from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, at the corner of 4th Avenue and Water Street in Olympia.   We will be on the south side of 4th Avenue.    If you cannot make it at the start time, come late and join us when you can.
Who:             Those who support our troops and our country and want to encourage others to do so!
What:            Fly our flag and signs encouraging support for our troops and country.
When:           Every Friday from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  If you can't make it at 4:00 pm, then
                      join us when you can.  Better late than not at all!
Location:      4th Avenue and Water Street in downtown Olympia.  See maps and directions below.
Why:             To show that there are people in the south sound area that support our troops and country.
Please join us for whatever time that you can.   If you cannot make it at the start time, come late and join us when you can.   If you can only stay for an hour, then join us for an hour.     It may be hot, so if everyone could bring at least one bottle of water with them it would help a great deal and be appreciated.    I will bring a small cooler with some water for those that stop by and do not have water with them.
I am tied up this Friday, but I encourage anyone close to Olympia to join the OSOT folks to join in.  Help to demonstrate to the troops that we care!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Home again

In the past 13 days I played some very mediocre golf at some decidedly non-mediocre places. In fact, I can say with confidence that I've recorded triple bogies in some absolutely stunning locales. Luckily for the Hubster, his scores were generally 20 strokes lower than mine!

Here is a picture of the type of awful surroundings I had to endure. (click for larger image)

Bonus points to anyone who correctly identifies the locale and golf course.

Alas, I missed several birthdays while traveling, and will have to 'deliver' some virtual gifts.

Having visited the lovely Okanagan wine country, I think a few bottles for the discerning palate will be perfect for Boquisucio.

For Bill, how about this pair of happy creatures.

For Cricket, I discovered a new (to me) lovely white wine called Ehrenfelser, which will be a delightful accompaniment to your gourmet summer cooking. Bon Appetit!

Now that my project is winding down, and vacation is over, I hope to post a bit more regularly than over the last few months -- including more pics from the travels. I am pleased to note that John has added another blog to the Denizens list. Check out The League of Disgruntled Majors and submit an entry for the Caption Contest. The only downside of all this is that I fall further behind in my blog reading daily!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Golfing for Memories

While listening to the radio on my way to work a few weeks ago, I heard the word Golf mentioned in the same sentence with Special Forces, and my ears perked up. The First In Asia organization provides support to family members of First Special Forces Group Soldiers who are killed or injured while serving our country. A few years ago, a new Memorial Wall was dedicated to the memory of those who have fallen.

"On September 11, 2001, Major Cole Hogan died in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. On January 4, 2002, Sergeant First Class Nathan Chapman died from wounds received during combat operations in Afghanistan. Later that year, on October 2, 2002, Sergeant First Class Mark Jackson died from a terrorist bomb in the Philippines. The common thread that binds these men together is that all were members of the First Special Forces Group.

Members of the First Special Forces Group are currently serving, with distinction, in support of the Global War on Terrorism around the world. Members of First In Asia are building a new memorial to honor members of the group who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this great nation.

Our wall recognizes the men who served from Vietnam, Haiti, Bosnia, and in the Middle East with a monument befitting their commitment to the defense of freedom."

In order to finish the wall park, the First In Asia group needed to raise some more funds, and that's where the golf entered in.

So we donated our registration fees, bought nice shirts with kewl logos, and 'purchased' mulligans - mostly used by the folks who Really wanted to win the pick-up truck in the hole-in-one contest. Donating the truck turned out to be a very safe bet, since no one even came close to popping one into the cup from 191 yards away (155 or so for the ladies) - even with the use of extra tee shots!

Luckily I didn't care if I scored well, since I dragged our team down mightily. The point wasn't to win, it was to gather some green for the fund - and this mission we accomplished ... Hooah! And for a bonus, we got to chatter with some active and veteran Soldiers of the First SF Group, as well as from other local units ... And some units that weren't so local. Three of the guys I talked with were from the land down-under, members of the Australian Defence forces, here in the US to take part in training at Ft. Lewis!

So, thanks to SFC "B" for getting us our registration and pass, and thanks again to the Soldiers of the First Special Forces Group and their spouses. Y'all sure know how to host a shindig, and I'm glad I got to meet you. I've never felt so safe on a golf course ... Heh!

Oh - If you feel the urge to push a few bucks into the kitty for the Memorial, there's a Paypal button on the donations page. Or, you can send email to to make contact and find out more.

Monday, August 14, 2006


So, for the few folks who still actually stop by here … Thanks! I've been buried deeply in a work project that I'm trying desperately to finish this week, and have had several family obligations, so blog time has been severely curtailed (obviously!). But I have had some fun recently to relate …

The weekend of August 4th I hopped a plane to Southern California to join baby sister, Becky, in celebrating her Natal Day at the Del Mar Racetrack, as mentioned in the next post down. Immediately upon exiting the airport, Becky and I headed directly to Disneyland to partake of both the Magic Kingdom and the California Adventure. They finally shut off the rides at midnight, but no one even tried to shoo the visitors out of the shops, so we didn't end up leaving till about 12:30 am! I hadn't been to the California Adventure, as it was under construction when I moved north in 1997, but I adore the Soaring over California ride … perfect for those of us with no desire to ride roller coasters. Give me a virtual ride any day!!

So we stumbled off to bed at 1am, and crawled out again Saturday morning to drive from Costa Mesa to Del Mar. Our ride was slowed by traffic here and there, but at least we didn't participate in any accidents, unlike SOME people I could mention! We arrived at Del Mar around Noon and nailed down our picnic space and pulled out the goodies to start munching and plotting our race picks. Much fun was had, several bottles of … um … Juice were consumed (that's our story, and we're sticking to it!), and nobody bet enough to lose big or win big on the races themselves.

All that would have made for a special day, but I had an extra special event as part of the gathering as well. I had buzzed Fuzzybear Lioness before hopping the plane, and goaded her into joining the crazy gang for the day at the track. Yahooo!!! I got to meet another Castle Chick! I had apparently confused her on the location of the infield that we intended to stake out as our own, so once she arrived at the track and came through the infield tunnel, my cell phone rang. Since I had previously configured it with her phone number, helpfully tagged as "Fuzzybear Lioness", I knew who was calling immediately. She was near the exit from the tunnel, maybe 50 feet from me, but facing away. As we talked, I walked towards her and said "Turn around …" – and then I waved Hello … *grin*

As all who have met her know already, she is a hoot to spend time with, and made friends very quickly with the rest of the party, including the youngsters in our group (who have been accompanying their Mom and Dad to the event each year since they were born!). We all had a great day, and had plenty of time to visit betwixt the races. At the end of the day, though, we were all ready to head for home.

I finished the weekend off with some shopping at Downtown Disney, and a viewing of the new Disney/Pixar movie Cars. If you enjoy light-hearted animation – go see it! Even the insects were cars … bugs, of course … heh!

Then it was home for a week of rest at work (Not!). I had some more adventures this weekend, but that will have to wait for another time. If you're looking for something interesting to read, make sure you check out the rest of the Denizens of Argghhh

Friday, August 04, 2006

Where the Surf meets the Turf

I'm heading south in a few hours, to spend the weekend with little sister.  Tomorrow is the annual Friends of Becky fun day at the Del Mar race track ... where the Surf meets the Turf, as the saying goes.  Picnic time with friends and family, a little betting on the horses, and a chance for a good sunburn - a perfect Saturday.

Del Mar Race Track

Not to mention, a chance to meet up with Fuzzybear Lioness! WOOT!!  Since Del Mar is a stone's throw from her current hideout near Sandy Eggo, I invited her to join us at the bash.  I'm gonna have So Much Fun this weekend ... *grin*

Any other Sandy Eggo folks (Hi, Lex!) who like to go watch horses run around the track should be able to find us on the infield near the first turn for the turf races.  Email me if you need contact info!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Catching Up

Catching up is hard to do, but I've finally updated the Bloggers I have Met section of the sidebar. It now includes all the great folks I got to hang with a few weeks ago.

I also got to add Francis Marion of Where I Stand to the list, since I had the pleasure of meeting up with him at the shootin' range on Saturday last. He was our original inspiration for the original blogshoot, and we hadn't given up on meeting up for some lead slinging. It was probably our last target of opportunity, so Bad Cat Robot and I took it! Since the meet was at the range, and it's hard to visit real well with the sounds of shooters doing their thing, it was mostly a working visit -- but nice to put another face with the name, as always!

While I didn't have a fancy Kimber like BCR and Francis, I did get to try out my recently installed rubber grip for the Ruger .357. The Ruger was originally my father-in-law's, and I've always liked it, but it didn't fit my hand quite right...

Hosting provided by FotoTime

During the blogshoot adventure a few weeks ago, I spotted the right grip at the gun shop, and was itching to try it out! I installed it Friday night, and was ready to test it out...

Ruger Security-Six

I have one word ... Suh-Weet!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Three Things

AFSis tagged Boston Maggie, who in turn trapped tagged me, with a meme in threes. As if that wasn't enough, BillT tapped me again! Well, too bad - I can only do this once ...

3 things that scare me:
1. Roller Coasters
2. Losing my mind (more than I already have)
3. Blogging so much that I forget to eat (yeah, right)

3 people who make me laugh:
1. Robin Williams
2. My sister Becky
3. Sugar Buttons

3 things I hate the most:
1. Willfully stupid people
2. A$$hats who write spyware and viruses
3. Losing something that I had in my hands just 5 minutes earlier

3 things I don't understand:
1. Those who don't support the military
2. The ACLU
3. People who refuse to use their brains

3 things I'm doing right now:
1. Reading email and blog comments
2. Planning my vacation
3. Answering a meme

3 things I want to do before I die:
1. Cruise the Mediterranean
2. Visit Alaska's Kodiak Island
3. See my brother become a grandfather, so I have grand niece/nephews to spoil!

3 things I can do:
1. Drive a stick-shift (drove a semi-trailer once - 12 gears, baby!)
2. Anything for those I care about
3. Be happy in most any circumstance, if friends are around

3 ways to describe my personality:
1. Quiet
2. Positive
3. Watchful

3 things I can't do:
1. Keep my mouth shut when I should
2. Speak up when I should
3. Figure out the difference in time to accomplish 1 and 2

3 things I think you should listen to:
1. Alison Krauss sing
2. Yo-Yo Ma playing the cello
3. "Flags of our Fathers" by Keni Thomas

3 things you should never listen to:
1. People who want you to "Get Serious"!
2. Celebrities telling you how to think
3. Hateful 'music'

3 absolute favorite foods:
1. Baked mac & cheese casserole
2. Cornbread
3. Yogurt covered pretzels (mmm, salty and sweet!)

3 things I'd like to learn:
1. Where John hides the keys to the liquor cabinet
2. Why my cat wakes me up 10 minutes before the alarm goes off
3. To ride a unicycle

3 beverages I drink regularly:
1. Coffee
2. Diet Coke
3. Mike's Hard Cranberry

3 shows I watched as a kid:
1. My Favorite Martian
2. The Rifleman
3. The Big Valley

3 people I'm tagging
Bad Cat Robot (that'll stop her snickering)
Trias of Insanity (welcome to the gang, bud!)
74 of The Bow Ramp