Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All Right Folks

... I've got a lot to talk about so grab a cup of coffee and have a seat, this could take a while.

First off let me preface all this with the following statement. I am an American soldier and I go wherever and do whatever the American president tells me to. My loyalty lies unconditionally with the President and the constitution. The party of the President or my agreement/disagreement with him or his party does not affect that loyalty.

Now having said that, I was pretty open minded about the "stimulus" bill until I saw this. At this website you can pick a state then a city and see what chunk they have of the "stimulus" package.

After looking through my state and the states of a couple of guys I work with I have been unable to find ANYTHING that I would call "stimulus." Now I am no economist but I work with one (who is a lefty BTW) and I consider myself to be of at least average intelligence. It looks to me that this "stimulus" is nothing more than a laundry list of projects that every town in America wants to get done. I was unable to find anything that "stimulates" the economy, unless you only care about the construction industry.

It reminds me of the stuff we are doing here in Afghanistan. The projects are largely of the same variety. I guess we must be trying to "stimulate" Afghanistan. It's no wonder there was such a sense of urgency to get it passed. I am sure that if the American people had this kind of information before it was passed the switchboard at the Capitol Building would have been lit up like a Christmas tree. Oh well, get ready for a lot of this from the most transparent Congress in history.

Ok, let's talk about NCOERs for a minute. This is mainly directed at people who know what I'm talking about. If this makes no sense to you then just move along.

For all of you officers out there let me explain something to you. Just because an NCO is not the perfect model of an NCO, you know the kind who even if your life depended on it you couldn't come up with a single thing he could do even the slightest bit better, that doesn't mean you 2 block him.

In a perfect world only the greatest of NCOs would get 1 & 1 but unfortunately the real world doesn't work that way. Here on planet earth you get 1 & 1 unless you're a dirtbag. Stop trying to change the world one NCOER at a time. You may think you are doing the right thing but in reality you are screwing a perfectly capable NCO just because you don't like how the system is. It's quite Quixotic. Unlike your OER system ours is not weighted against the raters other reports. Us NCOs really have very little use for you officers anyway so why make it worse?

That's ok. I don't need to ever get promoted again.

Ah, on to love! I have been a smoker for a combined total of about 15 years off and on. I am currently off and like every time before I am bound and determined to stay off. For those of you who have been smokers you know that it's like being an alcoholic. No matter how long it's been since your last drink you are still an alcoholic. No matter how long it's been since your last smoke you are still a smoker. You still have cravings. The longest I've ever quit was four years (then I met my first recruiting 1SG.) Even after four years I would still have cravings every now and then. Now I'm at 7 1/2 months without a cigarette and still going strong.

So how does love tie into all of this? Love is the same. I have been truly in love twice in my life and both times it ended with much heartache. When love ends it's a lot like quitting smoking or drinking. You start off with constant cravings and eventually they get less and less. The first time I was 17 and "quit" so to speak for four years. The longings got less and less but they never totally went away. I think I could even say that today. They are subtle and don't carry a lot of water but they are still there. This time around it's been almost two years and while they are still there I can at least think around them. They no longer define me. However, I have several more years of them being there.

I'm like a heroin addict who got clean and then started smoking crack. Now that I've quit smoking crack I have two addictions to battle. I don't think I need a third one to add on top of all that. The temptation is always there but in reality I just don't need it. I'm old enough now that my hormones are in check. Now, I love you ladies but the whole thing is just not worth what it costs. I think I'll just stay celibate for the near (and far for that matter) future. You women are just too much work.

My little Pavlov moment. I read an article about a pill that claims to erase bad memories. In the course of the article it talked about a study where they tried to create bad memories in people. They basically showed someone a picture of a spider and then gave them a small shock. After a while the people would associate spiders with shocks.

This is all nothing new. Pavlov figured out this basal response way back in 1890. So here's how this all relates to me. My 1SG when I first started recruiting duty (the same one who lead me to start smoking again) was the epitome of evil. I've never met a man I despised more (notice I said man.) Picture the worst person you have ever had to work for and then multiply that by... oh... about... a gazillion. From here on out we'll call him Satanus (latin for Satan.) Satanus would pull up in the station parking lot and you would get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know the one. When, as a child, you screwed something up majorly and your mom said "wait till your father gets home." You dreaded it all day and then you see the lights of your dad's car as it pulls in the driveway. That feeling you had then was the same one I would have about once a week when this guy would visit my station.

He would usually show up right around when you were supposed to start P1. This was the worst possible time because every phone call you made, whether or not anyone even answered, would be followed by about 30 minuted of him yelling and you not saying anything. He would have you report to the company HQ around 2000 and wouldn't finish yelling until midnight. One of the guys I worked with was a ring recruiter after only two years on the job. He was and still is the best recruiter I have ever met and the guy never once so much as thought about bending a rule. On about a weekly basis Satanus would call this guy every name in the book. I heard names come out of that guy's mouth that I'd never heard in my life before that. And this was to a guy who religiously wrote four a month. Imagine what I got called.

When I first got there one of the guys told me never to just pull into the parking lot at the end of the day. Always, he said, pull around the side of the building and check to see if the 1SG was there first. That way you could either call the station and make some excuse for not coming back or failing that you could at least stretch out and get psyched up for the beat down. I followed that advise my whole time in recruiting.

The point of all this is that whenever I see that certain model of car (not a common one) driving down the road, for just a split second I want to swerve the other way. For a moment in time I want to go in the opposite direction for a long ways. I look for the nearest way out. And then the conscious part of my brain takes over and I am reminded that all of that was a long time ago. I haven't seen that guy in about four years and still I do that.

Music is a cruel mistress. I am so frustrated by my inability to let out the music that is inside of me. I get so much joy from music but it's is so frustrating when I can't express it the way I want to. Maybe one day I'll crack the code, but it won't be today. In the same vein I have about four half written books. I wish I could just finish one.

I really hate MPG syndrome. Never heard of it? It's My Personal Gym syndrome. It's where some yahoo has four sets of dumbbells, two benches, a bar and the squat rack all tied up so he can do his own little personal circuits. All this while there's about 30 people in the gym.

In closing take a look at this picture and remember how wonderful this world is, even the crappy parts of it.