Wednesday, November 30, 2005


My brother joined the Air Force right out of high school in 1989. He served his four years, and got out. Then Sept. 11 happened. He was outraged. He wanted to serve his country again, so he contacted the local recruiters.

The answer? "Sure! You can sign up again- but you'll get busted all the way back to basic as an E1".

The response? "Screw that... I'm staying civilian"

Then in the early months of 2004 the local recruiter called again.

"Mr. B, this is so-in-so. We'd like for you to join the Air Force Reserves at a higher rank and better job that you had when you left a few years ago, plus you'll just have to attend AIT if you can pass your physical"

The response this time? "HELL YES! Where do I sign?"

It would now appear that the Army is making this more of an official stance. They are allowing former members to rejoin at their old rank- without going back through basic- as long as it's been 5 years or less since they left the Army. It's about damn time! There are so many who would LOVE to go back in, but won't take the leap because it means starting over again. We have been losing experienced soldiers over this policy.

I'll say it again: It's about damn time!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Home Schooling

I don't mean the "I'm a SAM and teach my kids at home so that they don't have to be subjected to public school bullshit"- which is very valid and honorable, and I applaud anyone who can do it.

I mean the kind that means I spend half of my night doing something called "homework" with my boys- after they've spent the entire day at school. Well, apparently I'm not the one complaining about the amount of homework being sent assigned. The front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer entitled "How much homework is enough?" Reading the article reminded me of the past few years helping Thomas with his homework. The child is in third grade- he just turned 8 in August. However, since KINDERGARTEN, he has brought homework home almost every single day. It was not uncommon for us to spend 2-3 HOURS every night doing homework when he was in first and second grade. I don't know about you, but the last time *I* spent 2-3 hours doing homework, I was in high school- and that was just because I had a big test the next day or a paper to finish.

The paper quotes one Dad as saying "I think homework is largely about what school has become about, which is about grades and test scores. And so, when my daughter as a first-grader brings home (100 math problems), it's painful and it's silly. And she asks me, 'Daddy, why do I have to answer 2 plus 3 again? I've answered that three times already.'" For the past several years, we have often wondered what in the hell these kids are doing in school- because it would appear that they are bringing home the work they should be doing in class. What's the point of spending 7 hours in school if you don't work on things like math facts and reading? I'm not shirking my duty as a parent- but rather believe that the teacher is shirking HER duty to my child.

I whole-heartedly agree. Fortunately, so does Thomas's current school. He still has homework to do every night, but at his recent Parent-Teacher conference, the Principal said that "Homework is just extra practice, so if it's too much, don't worry about it." WOWZER! An educator actually admitted that homework is "just practice"!

I don't have a problem with older children having homework that actually *is* homework- like book reports, studying for big tests, reading novels and such. But the amount of homework assigned to early elementary students astounds me. The Brown Institute says that nationally, first to third grade students now spend an average of two hours a week on homework. I'm here to tell you that it's not uncommon for kids that age to spend an hour or two EVERY NIGHT on homework. It's ridiculous.

Harris Cooper, director of The Program in Education at Duke University, found that there is NO correlation between the amount of homework assigned and academic achievement amongst elementary school students. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. NADA. By the time the kids are in high school, students in classes that assign homework outperform 75% of students in classes which do not assigned homework. That's a huge difference, and one I support.

Let our young kids be kids. Let me spend time with them at night reading because it's fun- not because it's assigned. Let me play games like Monopoly and Yahtzee, which also teach math (Think about it- if your kid is the Monopoly banker, he has to add and subtract, and in Yahtzee, they have to add up the dice). It's OK to send home a little homework, but the amount these young kids are doing is just insane.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Save a horse........

The spirit of the horse follows you. You are very
free-spirted and a happy-go-lucky kind of
person. You have a lot of friends who you care
about very much. You are very emotional and
hate hurting people, but if you think your life
is on the line then you don't care who's in
your way. You are a very caring and loving
person and anybody who is your friend should
consider themslves lucky.

What animal spirit follows you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I know... I know... another stupid quiz. I'm just not feeling very inspired. 12 hours of shopping and work yesterday wore my ass out! I'm still recovering.... but I promise pictures of baby Jesus very soon. *wink*

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

So much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Heard in bed this morning.....

"Mommy... why do boys have weiners and girls have cushies?"


"Um... well, Kevin... because God made us different. And by the way- who told you to call it a "cushy"?"

"No one. Girls just have butts, you know.. cushies, and no weiner."

*the sigh heard 'round the world... again*

Heh. Could have been worse. My aunt has a boy and a girl who used to take baths together... until Maggie asked "Momma... how come Elijah has a stinger and I don't?"

Friday, November 18, 2005



You are the phoenix! A
phoenix is a a giant, magnificent bird plumed
and wreathed in flame. The phoenix is a symbol
of healing and of peace. The phoenix is calm
and serene in all things. The phoenix also
symbolizes rebirth as this creature is reborn
from the ashes of its death during which it
enrupts into flame and disintegrates. The
phoenix can also be a symbol for faith and for

Which mythical creature resides in your soul? (11 Results + Pictures)
brought to you by Quizilla

I've always been intriqued by the story of the Phoenix. Different cultures have different versions of who the Phoenix is, and what it means. Hans Christian Andersen's poem, The Phoenix Bird, is one of my favorite classic literary selections.

When a mother sits by her infant's cradle,
he stands on the pillow,
and, with his wings,
forms a glory around the infant's head.
He flies through the chamber of content,
and brings sunshine into it,
and the violets on the humble table
smell doubly sweet.


I know you all follow Michael Yon, but... he just finish his post about the redeployment ball, and it's great. Make sure you check it out.

Dadmanly is home too, and having adjustment issues. Go lend a listening ear and be patient.

A HUGE "WELCOME HOME" and "THANK YOU" to all of our returning heroes.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Torture bunkers in Iraq?

"An Iraqi guard who took part in detaining some of the 173 prisoners found locked in an Interior Ministry bunker showed no remorse on Wednesday over reports they were abused, saying they were suspected "terrorists"...They were found in an underground cell near an Interior Ministry compound in the Baghdad district of Jadriya and many of them showed signs of severe hunger, beatings and torture, Iraqi officials and U.S. military sources said." (source)

When I first read this, I kept looking around for an old date on the story. Maybe in 2002 or 2003. But no. This story was just printed YESTERDAY. It seems that Iraq's Interior Ministry has fallen prey to their past and are resorting to Saddam-like interrogation techniques.

The site was discovered by US forces over the weekend. U.S. troops, led by U.S. Brig. Gen. Karl Horst, went to the facility because a 15-year-old boy was believed to be held there illegally. Once there, they discovered approximately 170 detainees, many of whom showed signs of illness, torture and malnourishment.

Salam Pax, writer of the first blog I ever followed, broke his writing silence this week with this story. Reuters published a story about this as well, quoting Hussein Kamal, a deputy interior minister, as saying "There were 161 detainees in all and they were being treated in an inappropriate way ... they were being abused. I've never seen such a situation like this during the past two years in Baghdad... This is the worst...I saw signs of physical abuse by brutal beating, one or two detainees were paralyzed and some had their skin peeled off various parts of their bodies."

Salam reports that according to the rumor mill, they were using razor blades to peel the skin off of the detainees, and several had holes drilled into their legs and feet with power tools.

sick. sick. sick.

Abu Ghraib looks like Disney World compared to Iraqi interrogation techniques.

President Bush is on the defense again regarding interrogation techniques as well. Last month the Senate voted 90-9 in favor of an amendment that would ban the use of torture. Dick Cheney has been pushing for an exemption for the CIA. Many see the White House's lax stance on aggressive interrogation techniques a mistake. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel says that he and a whole host of other leaders, including Sen. John McCain and Colin Powell, will push the torture issue with the White House "as far as necessary."

Me? I'm torn on the issue. I really am. Which is exactly why I'm not in the CIA, and why I'm glad I never quite made it into the Army, because my recruiter was pushing me toward Interrogation as my MOS. I can see instances where torture may be necessary, but I can't stand the thought of the United States committing such atrocities.

It's a see-saw issue for me. Yep. I'm a waffler. *sigh*

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Only in Cincinnati...

...can someone ask you if you want a three-way, four-way or five-way and NOT get smacked. you have to drive to another state to get to the CINCINNATI airport. you say "please?" when you really mean "excuse me?"

...would you put cinnamon and cocoa in your chili.

...could someone who paid for a prostitute with a check become mayor, and then a national talk show host.

...can you buy goetta.

...would you consider a mixed marriage when an East-sider marries a West-sider.

...would you know the difference between a Hudy and a "Who Dey"

Yep. Only in Cincinnati. What a strange town I live in....

Hump Day!

Yesterday kinda sucked, until my son's parent-teacher conference last night. We found out that Thomas passed his 3rd grade state proficiency test already! WOOT! WOOT! WOOT! One less thing to worry about this school year. Way to go, Mr. Smartypants! (Check out the new glasses- very cute, don't you think? He looks better in his than I ever have in mine.)
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And on a totally unrelated note, did you hear about the new FDA warning labels for alcoholic beverages? Here are some of the proposals:

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an asshole.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to SMASH YOUR HEAD IN.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at 4 in the morning.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your pants.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and or name you can't remember).

WARNING: consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, handsomer and smarter than some really, really big guy named Thor.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible.

WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause an disruption in the space-time continuum, whereby small (and sometimes large) gaps of time may seem to "disappear."

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Minnie Result
Minnie Mouse

Which DISNEY character are you most like?
brought to you by Quizilla

In Memorium

Rest in peace, Spc. Tommy Byrd.

You will not be forgotten. Neither will any other soldiers who have fought for our country- the living or the dead. Thank you all.

Two Frogs

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out.

When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1) There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.

2) A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them. Be careful of what you say.

No, I didn't write that, nor do I know who did. The site I found it on listed it as "Anonymous".
Boy... that Anonymous person sure is smart. Whoever she/he is knows that kind words go far, but destructive words go even farther. Take the time to be constructive today, OK people?

That is all.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank you, Veterans.

Happy Veteran's Day. It sounds so strange, doesn't it? It's not necessarily a whoop-it-up "happy" day, like a birthday, or New Years Eve, or Christmas. So why do we say "HAPPY Veteran's Day?"

Because if it wasn't for people like John/Bill/Dusty, Ma Deuce Gunner, CBTFW, Free & Jpck, Sgt. B, Lex, Matt, Chuck, Currie, Maj. K, Neil, Redleg, and so many others I can't even name, it wouldn't be a happy day at all.

Men like them, and countless women as well, have protected our country from danger for hundreds of years. Today is the day we thank those who have served and fought in wars. Memorial Day is reserved for those who fought and died for our country. Veteran's Day is for ALL military who have served during a war.

Bill has a fantastic post about Veteran's Day, including a must-see three minute video. But my favorite Veteran's Day post isn't by a Veteran at all. It's by the teenaged sister of a Soldier who, as she puts it, is now draped in Red, White and Blue. If you read nothing else today, THIS is the post you have to read. Here's a poem titled "Fallen Hero", by M. Doris Fuller, she inserted in her essay:

I saw your Mother on television today.
Her face was sad as her tears flowed.
I have never met you or heard your name,
But you’re someone I wish I could know.

It seems hero’s lives may be too short,
But your death will help others be free. They say you died doing what you love
Because you love all Americans like me.

As I watch the bombs blast that desert city,
I know there are many young people like you
Who answered the call to the freedom fight?
I shall pray they not be a fallen hero too.

Your Dad’s face was unhappy and drawn,
As your casket his body was draped.
In his hands he was clutching “Old Glory,”
While praying his sorrow he couldn’t escape.

You gave everything you had to your country,
To your convictions you were forever true.
Fallen hero today you, America must honor
A soldier killed defending the RED, WHITE, and BLUE.

Go thank a Vet today. Thank them with your thoughts, prayers, actions and words. Honor their service not only today, but every day. They deserve so much more than just one day of thanks.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Blogger Rodeo

I've already got my Veteran's Day post ready to go, which was shamelessly borrowed from Redleg, so I thought I'd do a round-up today.

John is blegging for votes.
Go make the man happy and toss a check-mark his way. He's been at Benning for the past two weeks, getting paid to have fun. Bassid. Eh. Go vote for him anyway- he's so cranky when he doesn't win.

Froggy got duped into reviewing "Jarhead" for Hugh. Thanks for saving me the price of a ticket and popcorn!

ALa and Tesco's friends, K and CJM, have a GORGEOUS new baby girl! Only four days old. Sadly, her Mommy, K, was admitted to the hospital yesterday due to excessive bleeding. Prayers are needed here. K has had two blood transfusions since being admitted yesterday afternoon.

Both the Army and Navy teams have reached the $21,000.00 mark for the Valour-IT competition. PLEASE donate to the Air Force team (see my sidebar for the link). The Marines are holding their own too.

Carren was pumping Valour-IT on MSNBC yesterday. WOOT! WOOT! Way to go girl! Chuck is back in Kansas recovering from his recent surgery.


MA DEUCE GUNNER IS COMING HOME TODAY! He's been in the States for a week, but he's finally flying home this afternoon. WA-HOOOOOOOO! Make sure you read the interview he conducted with his three Iraqi interpreters. It's WAY cool.

For all of you Dilbert fans, make sure you check out the Dilbert Blog. It's written by the author of the Dilbert cartoon strip, Scott Adams, and often features some behind-the-scenes looks at publishing the strip.

Happy Belated Birthday to both Lex and Sean. Sgt. B is lookin' pretty good for a 230 yr old Marine....

Firepower 5 has returned to Afghanistan after helping out with the earthquake relief efforts in Pakistan. Thank you, Sir!

Michael Yon is getting national exposure in the Senate this week. VERY cool. Congrats, Mike!

More congrats are due to Major K, who just returned from leave after witnessing his wife give birth to "Mini-Me" ... otherwise known as Sean Andrew. YAHOOOOOOO! Now keep your ass safe and get back home in one piece, m'kay?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sex Offender Database

I really like Family Watchdog.

I've used other search sites for sexual offenders, but none seem as complete as this one. Put in your home address (or your babysitter's, or daycare center, or whatever you want), and it will plot the location of sex offenders nearby. It's very cool. Very scary too, if one lives close to you. But wouldn't you rather know than live in the dark?

Site Meter Readings

Too funny....
Check out some of my word searches recently:

"panda food chain"
"hot liquid in a blender 'physics'" and "hot liquid blender"
"cooking tins" (I'm pretty sure they didn't want a TINS, but rather a real cooking tin, LOL)
"coward etymology"
"zits on nipples"
"when girls drink too much"
"bare back side"
"bread puddle"
"freda, jpeg, peanuts"
"why we shiver when we pee"

And last, but not least: "I'm my sister's new nappy slave"


But on good note, I'm #5 on Google for SSG Martinez and #3 on CNN, #1 on MSN for my BLT Dip recipe (which happens to be my top word search), and #2 on Yahoo for CVG's airport drill. Interesting stuff.

Election Update

Apparently, not everyone in Ohio shares my views on all of the issues.
I wanted 1 and 3 to pass, and 2, 4 and 5 to fail. 1 passed by a 9% margin. The rest failed, with 70% against and 30% for.

That's cool. Issue 3 wasn't *that* important to me. It was more of a "I don't have a problem with that" issue. The others that failed though- I'm VERY pleased.

Hope your local elections made you happy too! (Thank GOD I don't live in San Fransisco)

Tune into MSNBC from noon-1pm today

Carren Z, Capt. Z's wife, will be on MSNBC's "Connected Coast to Coast" between noon and 1pm, EST, TODAY.

Here's what Chuck had to say about her appearance:

Mkay... I dragged my drugged and temporarily one-handed body out of the hospital bed to tell ya'll about something most important.

Carren is gonna be on national TV (and live national TV at that) to let everyone know about Project Valour-IT. She will represent me (the nerd who thought of this project), and the many people who have made this project a success.

She is going to be on "Connected coast to coast" a show run by MSNBC. Don't know how long she'll be on, but for the love of god, please tune in, put your hands on the top of your TV, and talk to Jebus when the show is over. The show runs from 1200-1300 (noon to one fer ya civlians out there)(and that's eastern time) My beloved is supposed to be on around 1240, but I will rest assured that her looks, personality, and general charm will either get her on early, or the show will go into extra rounds like Rocky and the Big Ruskie in Rocky IV.

Here's how you can help. Send this to every one you know, post it on your blog, get them to post it on theirs. One side will say it's a failure of the gummint to not prvide this for the soldiers, others just see it as a way to help our brothers and sisters who have fallen but will be getting up. However they spin it, just get the word out.

He's right, you know. It doesn't matter how the story is spun; what matters is that the story gets out. I'm a little fish in a GIANT pond here, so I'm hoping that you big fish will promote the show too. I know some of you already have.


Be sure to stop by Lex's place to give him a few birthday spanks. He's 45 today. But do me a favor, willya? Don't fall prey to his promise of a ballcap for a $100 donation to the Navy's V-IT team. Stick with my Flyboys and donate to the Air Force Team!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Election Day

Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians.
~Chester Bowles

'Tis true. It never ceases to amaze me how many Americans take voting for granted, especially after seeing the great lengths the Iraqi and Afghanistan people have gone to in order to vote.

There aren't any "big" elections being decided in my district today, but there are five VERY interesting state-wide election reform issues.

1. Jobs and Roads.
It would authorize spending $2 billion on rebuilding roads, expanding scientific research, and attracting new employers. The money will be raised by issuing bonds, not by raising taxes. Those for the issue believe it will attract new jobs, which will pay off the bonds. Those against it point to the fact that there is already $240 million in unused, yet allocated, funds aimed at rebuilding Ohio's infrastructure.

My stance: It authorizes the issuance of bonds- it does not mandate their issuance. This means that if the money is needed to attract employers and improve roads, the state can raise the money by selling bonds. I see no problem with this.
My vote: YES

2. Absentee voting.
It would allow any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot by mail or in person up to 35 days before the election. It also allows "An elector to whom a ballot has been mailed, but which has not been received by the issuing county board of elections prior to the election, may cast a provisional ballot on election day. If the elector’s first ballot is received by the tenth day following the election, the provisional ballot shall not be counted."

My stance: It opens the door to voter fraud. They are saying that you can cast an absentee ballot early, BUT if your absentee ballot hasn't been received by election day, you can ALSO cast a provisional ballot on election day? Holy smoke. How in the helk do the plan on regulating that?
My vote: NO WAY

3. Campaign finance reform.
Issue three will lower individual contributions to local, state, and national political campaigns, AND ban corporate contributions to political parties.

My stance: Opponents of this issue claim that it will allow wealthy candidates to move unlimited personal funds to their campaign, giving them an unfair advantage over those with less personal wealth. Proponents believe it will limit the amount of influence large contributors have over the politicians. I am a proponent of this issue. By lowering the amount individuals can contribute to campaigns, and eliminating corporate donations, we are putting the campaign back in the hands of the candidates.
My vote: YES

4. Redistricting
Right now, the Ohio General Assembly draws up congressional districts. The state legislative districts are drawn up by a board which includes the governor, the secretary of state, the state auditor and one additional Democrat and Republican. This issue would change who decided upon districts by changing the members of the commissions. The new commission would include a Democrat and a Republican chosen by a judge from each party. The other three members of the commission would be chosen by those two representatives.

My stance: What this will do is allow a judge from each major party to appoint their own representatives to the commission. I understand that the current system would include three publically elected officials, and two who aren't necessarily publically elected. It would appear to me that by allowing judges to choose the initial members of the commission, and then those two members get to select the remaining three, we are opening the door for favoritism. The current system seems much more equitable to me.
My vote: NO

5. Who runs elections.
This was a HUGE issue during the last presidential election in Ohio. Currently the secretary of state is ultimately responsible for running the elections in Ohio- including settling any disputes that arise in local county boards of elections. The new system would eliminate this responsibility from the secretary of state's duties, and would place this job in the hands of a nine-person nonpartisan commission. Four members would be appointed by the governor, four by members of the state Legislature who are not of the same party as the governor, and the final member would be chosen by unanimous vote of the Ohio Supreme Court. This board would then hire someone to supervise elections.

My stance: Being a democracy has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage being an equal voice. One disadvantage being too many equal voices. By allowing a 9-member nonpartisan (yeah, RIGHT) commission to hire someone to run the elections, we are just adding unnecessary steps (and salaries) into the election process.
My vote: NO

Monday, November 07, 2005

Hershey Bows!

Last Friday my son, Thomas, told me that "pirates do NOT exist, Mommy. They're just stories, like Darth Vader." Sorry sweets. They do, indeed, exist.

As for the title of this post, well... you can thank Kevin for that. He was playing "pirate" in the bathtub Sunday, yelling out those all-too-familiar pirate phrases "HERSHEY BOWS!" and "BOMBS AHOY!". (translation: "Thar she blows!" and "Bombs away!" Cute, eh?)

The night before he was looking at a magazine cover with my husband. My husband said something like "Boy, she looks nice". Kevin responded with "Well then, why don't you sassy her, Daddy?" Oi.....

Where DOES he get this stuff....

"Ancient Chinese Secret", my ASS!!!

"Foley Foods owner Nou Chang, 52, told police that Franklin T. Forlemu, 22, of Savage came to his store several times this fall trying to sell him a chemical potion that he claimed would turn white slips of paper into U.S. currency."


I'm not sure who should be prosecuted- Forlemu for the scam, or Chang for falling for it. Public Display of Idiocy *is* a valid charge, isn't it?

*walks away...shaking head and laughing*

Mother Nature

She's a fickle old bird. Sometimes, when she's in a good mood, oh boy! What a joy. Here's our house last Friday morning:
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Two days later, just about all of the leaves are gone. The storm that created deadly tornados in Indiana hit our house around 7:30 Sunday morning. We got an hour or so of 30-60mph wind gusts, a hard, driving rain, thunder and lightening, and hail. In Kentucky, several horses were killed at Ellis Park. Needless to say, the beautiful autumn leaves have fallen, but thankfully, our house was not damaged nor did we lose any trees. I hope my next house has as many trees around it. I absolutely love fall color.

I love stupid people....

.....because they make me feel like a frikkin' GENIUS!

Like the guitarist for the band, Chicago, Terry Kath, who was messing around with some handguns. He put a 9mm semi-automatic to his temple and said "Don't worry- it's not loaded"... just before the chambered bullet ripped through his head.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Nerd Alert

Nerds don't just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.
~Paul Graham

I, sadly, am not a nerd. I am, in fact, an html IDIOT. I've been trying all morning to get the Air Force Valour-IT scorecard up on my post, and I can't get the code I have to work.


Maybe I'll start wearing white socks with my black shoes. Start off small; work my way up to pocket protectors....

Happy Halloween (finally)

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OK... OK!!!!!! I know, Halloween was four days ago, and I'm just now getting around to posting pictures.

Thomas went as my brother, Bill, again. Bill's in the Air Force, and he bought Thomas a set of bdu's with insignia to match. So all of you Army guys out there- yes, I sewed the stripes on the right way. They are NOT upside-down. Bill's dog, Sarah, had a clown hat on. So cute!

Kevin went as the Red Power Ranger SPD. We weren't sure what he would end up as because he has TONS of super hero costumes that he wears all year long. Batman, Spiderman, Daredevil, Blue Power Ranger, Red Power Ranger, and probably a few more I'm forgetting.

Halloween to me isn't just a day. It's a month, kind of like Christmas. Maybe because October is so frikkin' beautiful around here with the changing of the leaves. We usually do something special every weekend in October. One weekend we painted mini-pumpkins. One weekend my Mom took the boys to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. One weekend I took Kevin to the Newport Aquarium and Bryan took Thomas to the pumpkin patch. The aquarium is host to the only Shark Ray in the Northern Hemisphere. It's VERY cool. We also made a Halloween Gingerbread house.

I love Autumn.

Come on you guys!!!!!!!!!!!

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The Air Force team is behind in the Valour-IT competition. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!

Here are the stats as of 8:00AM, Friday, Nov. 4:
Navy: $6,375.00
Army: $5,754.99
Marines: $3,715.00
Air Force: $2,070.00

Yes folks... we are THAT far behind. *sniff*
But here's some good news:

1) The competition fund raising goal is $21,000.00, and we've already raised a total of $17,915.99! HOLY COW! BLOGGERS SOOOOOOO ROCK!

2) Capt. Z boldly told the Secretary of the Army that the DOD or the Army should be supporting this project, not just donations from the public. The Secretary, Dr. Fran Harvey, said he would look into it and to call him in two weeks if he hasn't contacted them yet. How cool is that! CAPTAIN Z, YOU SOOOOOOO ROCK!

3) Bloggers: It's now easier than ever to promote the Valour-IT competition and to register your blog with one of the four teams. Click HERE, and sign up for the AIR FORCE! ( can sign up for any team, but you don't really want me to beg, do you?)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Irony and the New World Order

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."

~Albert Pike

The irony of quoting a Confederate General, a Klu Klux Klan leader, a Satanist, and an Illuminati about being remembered for what we have done for the WORLD instead of just what we have done for ourselves is not lost on me. When I think of the KKK and the Illuminati, I see selfish, inflexible, control freaks. Pike believed that he, and the rest of the KKK and Illuminati, had the world's best interest at heart when establishing their New World Order. They believed that the current leaders of the world were incompetent, and that they, the "enlightened ones", should be the leaders of the world. They were wrong.

The term New World Order (NWO) is a generic term used to refer to a worldwide conspiracy being orchestrated by an extremely powerful and influential group of individuals which include many of the world's wealthiest people, top political leaders, and corporate elite whose goal is to create a One World (fascist) Government, stripped of nationalistic and regional boundaries. (source)

Conspiracy theorists will have you believe that even world peace is an evil plot to establish the New World Order. They believe that war is a good thing, because it prevents us from becoming uniform. They do not believe that achieving peace simply means getting along with your neighbors- even those half way around the world. They believe that peace means conformity, and is therefore a step towards the New World Order. I do not.

I believe that peace means acceptance of differences, and the freedom to express those differences. We will always have conflicts. Always. We may not always be at war, but we will always have conflicts. We have different religions. We have different customs. We have different languages. We have different morals. We have different ethics. We have different lifestyles. Are we trying to mold the new Iraq in our image? NO!! We want Iraq to be its own country, able to stand on its own against evil dictators like Saddam who DO want uniformity.

Ironic, isn't it? Both we (the American Coalition) and the Islamic extremists believe we are in the right. We both want a new Iraq. The difference is that the Islamic extremists want to control the country, whereas we want Iraq to control its own destiny.

While testifying before the US Senate in 1950, Paul Warburg said:
"We will have a world government whether you like it or not. The only question is whether that government will be achieved by conquest or consent."
He was referring to the establishment of a unified national banking system- the Federal Reserve- but you can see the parallel to the New World Order. Money, after all, does make the world go around, so it's not surprising that this quote came from a banker and not a politician.

Taking the world by conquest and without consent is EXACTLY what the Islamic extremists are doing, and it's EXACTLY what they think WE are doing as well. We believe they are in Iraq to take over the country. They think the same thing about us.

I fail to see how what we are doing in Iraq could be construed as establishing a New World Order. I see the war in Iraq as a chance to birth a new nation out of an old one. Like the Phoenix rising out of the flames.

Saddam may have started the fire, but the Coalition Forces breathed new life into the Iraqi Phoenix. Now they are building up their strength and flying up out of the flames. I'm proud we could be a part of that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005



n : the qualities of a hero or heroine; exceptional or heroic courage when facing danger (especially in battle); "he showed great heroism in battle"; "he received a medal for valor" [syn: heroism, gallantry, valour, valorousness, valiance, valiancy]

n : Soldier's Angels project providing voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded warriors recovering from hand and arm injuries at major military medical centers [syn: a great project I am proud to be a part of]

Seeing as of how I *am* AFSister, I *had* to join Greyhawk's Air Force team for the Valour-IT competion.

WHAT!?!?!?! You haven't heard about the competition????

Everybody who's anybody is involved, including Blackfive, Greyhawk, Holly Aho, Argghhh!, and lots more I don't even know about. (Lex... when are you gonna set up to the plate and lead those squids?) We're raising money for Valour-IT, because they are 100% outta cash. No more laptops can be provided at this time, and they are well below their goal. Anyone who donates during the competition will receive a Soldier's Angel coin.

Each laptop setup costs about $625.00. Many have already been delivered and have been put to use.

Please take the time to visit one of the team sites (Blackfive for Army, Greyhawk for Air Force, Holly for the Marines, and we're not sure who is taking over the Navy team), click on the Valour-IT competition donation button, and give freely to this wonderful project.


Mrs. Smash has taken on leadership if the Navy team. Thanks, Mrs.Smash!

Hope eternal.

Extreme hopes are born of extreme misery.
~Bertrand Russell

Many thanks to the 10th Mountain Division for their continuing search for clues to Matt Maupin's fate. Although I hope he will be found alive, I know in my heart he's gone. If they did find items that belonged to Matt, I hope they will find concrete proof of what happened to our hometown MIA. Rest easy Matt. I hope you know the Army is still looking for you, and we all think about you daily.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Martinez officially charged with murder

Nearly 5 months following the death of two officers in Iraq, SSG. Alberto Martinez has formally been charged with the murder of Capt. Phillip Esposito and 1LT. Louis Allen.

I first wrote about this under the title of "Fragging Suspected" back in June, immediately following the incident. John and Bill told me to wait it out, because it may not have been a true fragging, because it sounded more like a grudge killing to them.
John's original comment was "I refuse to attach the "fragging" label until I find out it had a political/truly military motivation to it... not just 'I'm pissed at my boss for not patting me on the head' going postal ass-hattery."

Bill's comment included a definition of fragging:
"Fragging technically refers to the act of killing or wounding a superior with an explosive device in order to remove them from the operational chain-of-command, e.g.,
1. tossing a frag into the hootch of a leader who is so consistently inept that he loses soldiers for no good reason, and the fragger(s) are operating in (extreme) self-preservation, or
2. tossing a frag into the hootch of a leader who is considered by the fragger to be an instrument of national policy, and by killing him, the perp is making a political statement.
Anything else is just a grudge-killing. What John said..."

It would appear that SSG. Martinez killed the officers after being disciplined by them- a grudge killing. He's been formally charged with premeditated murder after allegedly using three grenades and a Claymore anti-personnel mine to kill the two officers. According to hearing transcripts, Martinez "hated" Captain Esposito, and had even threatened to "frag" him.

The MSNBC article I originally referenced includes the following explanation of fragging: "The term usually refers to the assassination of an unpopular member of one's own fighting unit by lobbing a fragmentation grenade into his or her tent at night. The idea was that the attack would be blamed on the enemy. The term came to include intentionally killing a comrade during combat."
No where does it mention that fragging involves a perceived inept superior or was motivated politically. No wonder the MSM is referring to this incident as a "fragging".

This is the second case during the Iraq war that a US soldier has been accused of murdering fellow soldiers. The first case, involving SGT. Hasan Akbar, resulted in a conviction and the death penalty. However, unlike Martinez, Akbar's motive was clearly political. He admitted to launching the attack because he was afraid that American troops would kill fellow Muslims. THAT, according to Bill and John's definitions, is fragging. Martinez's motive had nothing to do with politics, religion or leadership skills; it was pure revenge, which is NOT fragging.

Will SSG. Martinez's case follow suit? I hope so. No matter what you call it, murder is murder.... and is punishable by death in our society. I hope the military has a nice, cozy cell reserved for Martinez, right next to Akbar's.

Why quote anyone?

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
~Marlene Dietrich

That's why.

Sometimes I feel inspired, and I say the right thing in just the right way. More often than not, however, I feel my words fall flat. Finding just the right words to describe a perfect Halloween night, for example. Telling you that the air was crisp, the sky jet black, allowing the stars to shine, and describing the funny look on my son's face when he saw some teenaged boys dressed up as female hula dancers... well, it's just not enough. It doesn't really convey how gorgeous the night was, or how shocked Thomas was at sight of these boys("Mom!!!! They're BOYS! And they're wearing skirts and coconuts on theire, um... you know... boobies!), but it's true. Or trying to tell you how much candy they collected? Man... I think I'll have to measure it in TONS this year instead of mere pounds.

Sometimes, finding a famous quote will tell it better.

Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night.
~Steve Almond

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