Blog Stuff

Forgive the growing pains of a young blog... by the time I get home, this should be in decent shape.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Stop reading treble clef for a decade...

I used to play violin up into high school, but was always solidly mediocre at it, so I gave up in the interest of other classes.  12 years later, and I broke down and ordered a cheap mandolin to try and learn to play while I'm here (much to the dismay of my tentmates, I'm sure.)

(Yes, flannel penguin sheets. I can't help how awesome I am.) 

The silly thing actually looks fairly decent, but the g-string (giggle) leaves a little to be desired. It just doesn't seem to resonate quite like the rest.  I'll probably mess with things a little, but I've got a feeling it's just the way the low notes are going to be on this thing.

Anywho, the couple hours I spend plucking around with it (after a good half-hour to tune it... double strings are fun...) were a great exercise in frustration. Not only are the calluses needed to play tiny thin strings long gone (12 years will do that,) but my brain seems to have forgotten which finger goes where on what string to make the note that the little dot on the paper is supposed to be.  I described it to one of my tentmates as feeling like somebody took apart that really complex lego set I put together years ago, and I lost the instructions for.  I know how it's supposed to go, and my brain remembers bits and pieces, but it can't quite put them all in the right order.

I'm hoping that by the time I go home, I'll at least be able to play more than "Drunken Sailor" (seriously... that took like 5 minutes to get down, and it's like cheating... until you go the right tempo anyway.)  Regardless, it's something to pass the time, and at least I didn't drop much cash on the instrument in case something happens to it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Post Holiday Day

Amazingly had some down time for Christmas, spent it playing D&D and watching Serenity, and the bad guys were kind enough to refrain from lobbing rockets or anything at us, so no bunker time!

Back to the office now though.

(Speaking of Serenity, I got Firefly: A Celebration for MandaFern as a surprise gift. Apparently it's good, she's blaming me for likely not sleeping tonight and being very tired for work tomorrow. If you're a Browncoat, it may be well worth checking out.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don't Worry!

Intrepid reader(s)! I'm still here, just haven't had much time to get much up on here. Give me a couple weeks though, and there'll be more photos and junk.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

From Afghanistan.

Batting average of .333 with knives today...
(The turkey wasn't bad, but the knives were.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Check Ride

So I got to leave the office a couple weeks ago and head down to KAF.  Part of it was getting my "check ride" to get fully licensed on the M-ATV.  My TC was our maintenance section commander, who happens to be a CW4.

Those of you that have spent time in the Army know the reputation Warrant Officers have, especially when you get into the CW4-5 territory (the one in question should be making his 5 any minute now...)  Needless to say, this was going to be a memorable "check ride."

The mission, as a whole, was uneventful, but driving a finely tuned 15+ ton piece of Wisconsin engineering through downtown Kandahar City is not something you'll likely forget in your life.  Afghanistan has no driver's licensing system, and the locals are used to having military convoys rolling around, so they treat us like any other traffic (despite the fact that we will win any wreck... the trucks are armored after all.)

I can pretty confidently say that this was possibly the only time in my career that a check ride will involve the TC telling me to "Close the gap and don't let that $%&*# get in! Run him off the road if you have to!"

As for the truck, I did tell my buddy that works for Oshkosh that they need more cup holders in those things. His response was "yeah, I keep telling them not everybody is 5'6" either, but they don't listen."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Coffee Cup!

The red part changes to match the level of hot coffee in the cup (or when the coffee gets cold, it turns black too... which is about the same anyway...)

It's the little things that count.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Picture Time!

Have a handful to toss up.

There be mountains past the crap!

Yup... hiding behind the t-walls... Oh, and they have the Moon in Afghanistan too.

We have a porch. Which is nice for enjoying morning coffee.

It's like camping for 9 months straight!
Hopefully more pictures eventually...

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Last mail call brought a French Press and Hario Grinder, today the Emy's showed up.  I'm actually kinda looking forward to the morning a little.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"If you didn't drop it..."

"Don't pick it up" applies to the office refrigerator just as much as is does the battlefield.  Jerks stealing my near-beer...

Friday, October 19, 2012


We finally got some today.  That means I have a pillow and sheets to sleep on tonight! Hooray!

Speaking of, I know a couple people asked about a mailing address.  I forget who, so shoot me an email if you're one of them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I have eight bosses Bob. Eight.

In case anyone is wondering, the title of this blog is quickly looking to be rather... unfitting.  The deployment is certainly shaping up to be far less "Blackhawk Down" and much more "Office Space" (which, coincidentally, I'm still waiting to finish downloading off iTunes... if you know me on Facebook, you know my troubles.)

Less complaining next post, I promise.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Still Here

Sorry if I've been light on the postage. Interwebs (well, personal ones) are spotty here, and I've been working pretty much solid 12 on/12 off since we hit ground here doing stuff I can't talk about on here (go figure.)

Hopefully before the end of the tour I'll be able to get out of the office and take some pictures or something.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012


In Afghanistan, in case anybody was worrying. Just don't have regular internet access, since we're not at our final location as of yet.

Friday, October 5, 2012


In case anybody was wondering, while the general landscape of the place still screams "former Soviet Republic," Manas has grown quite a bit since 2005.  Although Green Bean is still in the same place.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ranger Coffee

Engineer Blend!  Will have to get some sent over when we hit country, it's only proper.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

McGregor Photo Dump

Here's some pictures from the last few weeks.

I can drive this now!

At night too!

Sitting on a road...

Purple Haze, Man!


Hey Moon!

Night Ops!

A whole Engineer Company, and all I have to
pound in tacks is an 8lb Sledgehammer. True Story.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Probably the only time I'll ever get to throw my Commander on the ground repeatedly and not get in a lot of trouble...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good and Bad

On one hand, things are rather boring here... lot of classes and sitting at ranges. On the downside, things are rather boring here...

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Nothing like a crappy internet connection cutting out every time the Brewers do something good in this freakin' extra innings game...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Feels almost like home...

Overcast and 20 degrees cooler than yesterday.  Feels a lot like it's supposed to in September.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012


Had a visitor the day before we moved out the the "FOB"...

Keeping politics out of it, it's pretty cool that both times I've deployed to Afghanistan, I've had the opportunity to see the current President speak.

Dear New Mexico...

You're lack of shade disturbs me.
Moments later, the truck I was hiding under moved...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sometimes it's not so bad...

Got a little downtime. Coffee, comfy couch, and a stack of free books. I do like the MWR.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

McCoy Photos

A handful of pictures off the "real" camera (not cell phone...) from the last month or so.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Only Two Things Come From Texas!

We've successively transitioned to spitting distance from Mexico.  Good times.  It's a bit hotter, higher up, and a lot dryer, so it's not so bad... yet.  Give it a few days and we'll be in the field. I'm sure it'll be different then.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Too Short...

Pass always is. Back at it, sporting Multicam (er... OPC) and Active Duty orders.

Speaking of cool-guy camo, the OCPs don't breath worth poop, in case you were curious.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rockin' the .50

Familiarization fire with the M2.  Just an excuse to burn ammo really.

Home for a couple days on pass before heading down to Texas.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


PT test + bruised ribs = suck.

Now off to language class. Is it time for pass yet?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Not tonight. Tonight is laundry. And wet boots.

More Training

I swear... give it a couple months and the cool stuff will show up on here. For now it's still wet Ft. McCoy.

Still, sometimes some mediocre coffee is all you need. And the ass-end of a 916 in your face all day.


It really kind of sucks the energy right out of you. Of course the lack of sleep doesn't help...

Rain started last night during NVG driving and hasn't really let up much since.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012


The lack of a "weekend" really throws you off from the rest of the world. It just clicked that none of the major blogs I read did much updating today because it's Saturday.

More training tomorrow. Time for sleep.


Apparently I can't find an Android Blogger app that with post photos anymore.

Stand by.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.6

Thursday, August 2, 2012


More better "Gun(s) & Coffee" picture.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.6

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I look like I jumped in a lake. I'm a big sweaty guy, and an IOTV with plates and SAW are not light, plus ACHs don't breath well.  Add broken terrain and 80°+ temps... and well... yeah. I feel gross.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Long Days

Full of boring briefings and lots of boring work.

I'm still alive, just nothing more exciting than driving back and forth across post five times to find a truck somebody parked somewhere... "it's a green Humvee, should be easy to find!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shooting in the Rain

If you look close, you can make out my prone silhouette on the mat... would have felt good, but it's about 90% humidity here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If it ain't rainin'...

Can't get rain at home, but McCoy is soaked with liquid sunshine. Should make for a great time at the ranges this week.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Is the big day, report for AT and all the fun begins.  Should be an interesting year, to say the least.

I'm anxious to get things started, since the sooner we get going, the sooner the clock starts figuratively ticking; plus when we're busy there's less time to sulk about what I'll be missing at home.  I know the next few hours are going to be rough though, since the last couple weeks slipped by way too fast.

Oh well, gotta run a few errands and pack everything.

Saturday, July 7, 2012