Monday, December 15, 2008

The Money Pit

I got a much-needed lesson in compassion recently. I'm a very by-the-rules person and feel that people must be accountable for their actions. (Probably why I like the military so much most of the time.) I was very much against the mortgage bailout, partially because I felt like many (or maybe even most) of the people had borrowed more than they could afford, so there needed to be consequences or people would just keep doing that same type of thing in the future. (I also wasn't too thrilled about bailing out a bunch of companies on Wall Street that had made bad investments. Plus, it didn't seem like the bill being passed stood a high chance of success in "rescuing" the economy.) I found out how easy it is to judge when it's a bunch of faceless people that are losing their homes. Now, it's more difficult because I actually know people that's happening to. Especially around Christmas time, people are supposed to be more giving, but I guess that forgiveness and compassion are part of that. Granted, the common homeowner really isn't being helped by the $800 billion bill and I'm really unsure where that money has gone. But, the greater point to me is that I should have more sympathy for those in trouble, however they ended up that way.
That being said, I'm still not sure the UAW should keep all their current wages and benefits as the big three US automakers head towards insolvency, but maybe there should be a happy medium between total bailout and filing bankrupcy since so many people outside the plants will be affected by any actions. I guess the spirit of Christmas is sometimes a gradual gift.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I saw earlier this week that some people were advocating that the US go to war with Russia over Georgia (the country, not the state). Are people really that stupid? What would the US have to gain? If the US won, would it prove that we really are a superpower? What would it mean if we lost? That Russia's a better superpower? People still argue today whether we should have gotten involved in Iraq and, even, Afghanistan. I can't see how we have more of a vested interest in Georgia than we did in Iraq. Granted, we have trained Georgian troops, but we've also trained troops in many African countries that are currently at war. Does that mean that the US should enter every conflict that comes along? If so, then every male and female aged 18-40 had better be ready to put on a uniform since there are a plethora of wars around the world.

I do wonder if the people advocating US action are in the military or if they're simply advocating action that they'd sit home and watch on the news. I tend to think it's the latter.

This really does make me wonder if there are some people that are just hawks and think any battle is a good battle. (Granted, some of those people are probably in the current administration.) I even own stock in companies contracting for the US, but getting my stock prices to rise isn't a reason to go to war with another country or group. Of course, I'm sure there are people that advocate that, too. Idiots!!!!

If I could command this system, maybe I'd be more amenable to

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Almost done with NC

Well, my training is coming to a close in the next week or so. It's been an experience. I've met some great people, so more people to see at odd trips in the future. The only bad thing about training with a group is that it's taught at the level of the lowest common denominator, so it can be tedious if you're not that person (and I don't think I am). Last week was my first time shooting in the rain and I noticed how difficult it is to aim when your glasses keep getting wet. (Maybe the glasses with wipers would be useful in a situation like that.)

I've packed my bags yet again and this time got all my gear into three bags. I'm not sure how far I can carry the two that aren't on my back, but I'll find that out when I get in country I'm sure.

The realization that I'll be in Iraq in the near future has really only been hitting me in the last couple of days. I've been in touch with my sponsor who's over there, so I know a little more about what to expect, but I'm not sure if that makes it more comforting or not. The element of the unknown is still there since I haven't seen where I'll be going or what I'll be doing, but at least I have a better idea of what it'll be like and I know that my sponsor made it though his tour, so I'll make it through mine. I can't yet fathom working every day that I'm there since I've only gone about 4 months without a day off in the past, but how much worse can six be? At least, I'm not over there for a year or more like some of the other guys I've met. (Not that I wouldn't go, but I'm sure that's a tougher thing to get one's mind around to be gone that long.)
Right now, I just hope I have a good flight and get lots of sleep on it since I'll probably work once I land. And so the adventure really begins...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Almost Done with SC

Well, I finally qualified on the 9mm on my third try. It took a lot of prayer and a lot of extra practice, so I'm very happy that I got past that hurdle. Then, last week, I took my physical fitness test and passed that, too! That was a huge relief since I couldn't even run 1 1/2 miles when I started out in mid-Aug. (Of course, I did my test last Tues and I've only run once since then compared to before when I was running four days a week.)

I saw Megadeth in concert on Friday night at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach with a few of the guys from work. It was a great show! Dave Mustaine was incredible on the guitar. He hasn't aged at all. And, of course, the rest of the band was great, too. I really loved seeing them live. The place was packed but it was pretty small, so I was still only about a hundred feet from the stage even though I was in the back. I'm so happy I got to go! Especially since this is my last free weekend for the next six months or so.

I spent today packing and picking up a few more items. I really do have four bags worth of stuff. The bag with my body armor is especially heavy. Hopefully, none of them are over my 70 lb weight limit. I also have to pack most of my civilian clothes since I'll be leaving them here. (I just need a couple of outfits for my time in NC since I won't be wearing any civilian clothes over in the Middle East.) Also, I finished reading my book about Israel's revenge for the Munich massacres since I know that it would be a bad idea to take it with me overseas. (I don't know if every country searches the incoming luggage as much as the Saudis did.)

It's both scary and exciting to be finally moving on to the next leg of my journey. The scariest part is really the unknown since I haven't gone over before, so I don't know what it'll all be like. (Of course, I've been to the Middle East about 7 or 8 times, so I'm familiar with the culture and the region.) I haven't been back since 2004, though, and I do miss traveling over there. It's a completely different world from the US, but not an uncomfortable one even as a female. I just hope it all goes well.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Just the usual

Well, I still haven't managed to master the 9mm pistol yet. Hopefully, that happens this Friday. I have no idea what's going to happen if I can't shoot well enough. (Maybe they just let me carry the gun, but no bullets? lol)

I started doing all the medical checks to leave. That included getting some shots. I got the anthrax shot again, which is still sore after over a week, and small pox, along with a couple of others. I still wonder how effective the anthrax shot is, but I've got to get the shot, so it's sort of a moot point. (I do know some people that have gotten sick from the shot.) The small pox shot takes a lot of care since it's actually a live virus, so you have to be really careful about keeping it covered when sleeping or working, but uncovered the rest of the time so that it can dry out. I'm very thankful that I didn't get the shot when I was a baby, though, since they have to give you triple the dosage if you've had it before. The shots definitely make you feel run down, though, so I haven't had much energy this week.

I still managed to go to the running track on Tuesday and yesterday and I actually made my run in the time I needed to. In fact, if I cut about another 10 seconds off my time, then I'm sure I'll pass with no problems. I recently heard that the AF is using BMI to measure if people are overweight or not. I'm overweight according to BMI even though I don't think I'm fat. Who comes up with these ideas? It seems like each method they use to measure body fat is worse than the last. Of course, they don't use calipers, which is the most accurate measurement next to water displacement.

I did a practice pack of much of my stuff this weekend and it looks like I'll be able to carry what I need to in only 4 bags. I guess if I end up going over, then I'll have to get someone to send the rest to me. Now, if only I can carry it all.

Overall, things are going pretty well, though. I just want to get on with this deployment after sitting around for the last couple of months.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Well, I managed to shoot well enough to qualify on the M-16 rifle last week. (To qualify, there are a bunch of different sized targets and you have to get a certain amount of rounds in the targets.) Sadly, I didn't shoot well enough on the M-9 yesterday, so I'll be returning next week to try and shoot again. I'm such a perfectionist that I hate that I didn't shoot well enough, but some things take practice, I guess. I really hope I do better next week.

We have a long weekend due to Labor Day, so it'll be nice to have the extra time off. I really need to figure out what bags I'm going to take with me. My uniforms are on back order, so I hope they arrive in time for me to sew on my name tapes before I leave. If not, I guess I'll have to take my old uniforms and get the other ones sent to me. It's taking a lot more effort than I thought to prepare to go over there. I wish I would just leave tomorrow to go, so that it'll be over sooner. (I don't anticpate that this tour will be a lot of fun, but I guess I could always be wrong about that.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Back in SC

Well, I was right. I did work a lot in Vegas, but I still went to the casinos a few times. The people I was with won more than I did (well, most of them, anyway). I still came out slightly ahead, though, so it's all good.

Since I've been back, I've set a goal for myself to run 6 days a week so that I'll be in better shape by the time I leave in a couple of months. I've been successful so far, so I hope I can keep it up. I've started getting a lot of my gear that I'll need over there. (It's costing like $2500 to get it all.) I'm allowed five bags and I'll probably be carrying that many. It's a lot more stuff than I've ever had to take with me. When I've deployed in the past, I've been pretty stubborn about carrying all my bags myself. This time, I may have to accept help, which I hate the thought of. I think I'll be wearing about 40 extra pounds of stuff, which seems like so much right now, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. (I think the most I've ever had to wear was about 15-20 extra lbs.) At least, I'll probably lose a few pounds off myself over there.