Friday, April 25, 2008

Weird Things Meme

Hammer has an interesting meme up on his blog. I decided to give it a whirl. Here's seven weird things about me:

-I almost never remember my dreams, but will often wake up knowing I had a bad one. When I do remember them, it's only very brief little images and pieces.

-My sense of smell is impaired. I'm not sure when it started, but it's been gradual, I guess. I can smell just fine, but I struggle to identify certain smells. Something along the lines of, "That has a sweet smell, but that's about it," is the norm.

-I despise feet. I'd rather pick up a steaming turd than touch somebody's feet. Am I a closet Muslim?

-I can identify many aircraft by their sound. That's not really weird, but my wife says it is. Rotary wing aircraft don't count, since most military folks can identify those by sound. This probably all stems from my childhood fascination with military aircraft (I'm still a child in that regard).

-I look at really nice guns the way some guys look at really nice cars.

-I still view being a garbage man as a cool job (those trucks crush stuff...almost as cool as blowing things up).

-I have an unnatural fear of horses. I'm not sure what phobia that might be, but I think I have it. I'd rather fly in an airplane (which I hate), than be in a corral with a horse. This one really stinks, since horses are really neat critters, and I have a love of all things Cowboy.

Stupid People, or Moments of Stupidity?

Sometimes it takes a minute or two to decide if someone is truly stupid, or if they're simply doing something stupid during a momentary lapse of judgment. An incident this week made me ponder this, and caused me to reflect back on some of the indicators that I have seen in the past in other people*. Here's a few:

-A man stands on the soft convertible top of his car to hang a Christmas decoration on the edge of his roof. He's a large man. What do you think happens? If you guessed that he ripped through the fabric of the car top, you get a cookie! Stupid man, or momentary lapse?

-A man changes the oil in his truck. After draining the oil from the oil pan, he begins adding quart after quart of new oil to the engine. He cannot seem to figure out why it's taking more oil than usual...and eventually notices the oil running down his driveway into the gutter. If you guessed that he forgot to reinstall the drain plug, you get a cookie. This same man dumped his pan of used motor oil in his front lawn, and was shocked (shocked I tell you) that it made a big dead spot in the lawn. Stupid man, or momentary lapse?

-A man is preparing to grill some steaks. After firing up his gas grill, he waits a few minutes, only to have his wife ask him, "Is the grill hot yet?" He checks by placing his hand directly on the cooking surface of the grill (yep, it was hot). Stupid man, or momentary lapse?

This week's incident was much less dramatic, but still cause for head shaking. I'm currently attending (as mentioned below) the Staff NCO Academy Advanced Course. They make us buy nifty looking green t-shirts with Gunny chevrons on the back to wear at PT (physical training, aka: legal hazing). In order to make things simple, we passed around a roster with everyone's name on it, and we were told to put the quantity, style (cotton or mesh), and size of t-shirts that we wanted on the roster. When the roster came around to me, I couldn't help but notice that one individual had simply written "green" next to their name. No quantity, no style, no size. Granted, all of our t-shirts that we wear to PT are indeed green, so I suppose it was a good guess on his part, but it was still a keen indicator of possible stupidity.

*Disclaimer: I have deliberately left out incidents of my own stupidity. Rest assured that there is no shortage of them. That simple fact is what causes me to ask whether it's true stupidity, or a momentary lapse in judgment. In addition, did anyone notice the error in the graphic above?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Week In Review

It's been a frustrating week here in The Land of the Rising Sun. We underwent the below mentioned CGRI at work, and we did well (some other victims didn't do as well), and I had some frustration in dealing with my administrative section. As is typical of all admin sections, ours is full of people that either don't give a damn about the folks they're supposed to support, or they are simply idiots (more the latter than the former).

With spring in full swing here, my wife and I went to the Monkey Man store (Japanese version of Home Depot) and bought a bunch of flowers to plant out front. We hadn't done much of that since moving in here, since it was November when we made that move.

My ribs are still not 100%, but they're getting there. This injury is lingering and generally being a pain in the ass.

My father had surgery on Friday. At his age, it's no small affair. He's doing fair, but cannot keep any chow in his belly right now. I'll be rooting for his quick recovery.

Next week, I'll be starting the Staff NCO Academy Advanced Course. It's a professional military school that is part of the natural progression for senior NCOs. I guess after two and a half years, I'll finally learn how to be a Gunny!

How was your week?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Commanding General's Readiness Inspection

Have you ever felt like you were being examined under a magnifying glass? That's how I'll feel on Monday.

We found out this afternoon (Friday), that we'll be undergoing a 'CGRI,' or Commanding General's Readiness Inspection, on Monday. Old timers will remember them as CGI's, or IG's. This is when a bunch of folks show up and inspect everything from your troops' underwear (yes, really), to your unit's training records. It's a grand old time for everyone!

I'm not real worried; my stuff is in proper order, and my young Marines know what the heck they're doing (I'm lucky like that).

One nifty little quirk that one can expect when one of these inspections comes along is the "unwritten hit." By that, I mean that inspectors are fond of hitting you on things that cannot be found in any order or regulation. They just pull something out of their hat, and believe that it's right. That's where us almost-smart guys come in. We're here to stand up and say, "With all due respect, that's a load of crap."

All in all, it will be a really fun time (if you believe that, I've got a bridge that I'll sell you). What really will be fun is seeing certain people run around as if their hair is on fire...maybe they should have been doing things the right way all along.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Here's a nifty picture of my wife's incision on her wrist. She had her cast changed today. According to her, it was a ton of fun!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Week In Review

This week was pretty routine. It's been four weeks since I quit smoking, and I'm considering this habit officially kicked. It's amazing how much better I feel (except for the sore ribs...that's still lingering).

My wife is still recovering from surgery on her wrist (see last week's review for more info), and it's a slow process I guess.

My kids start their Spring Break on Monday, and I start firing on the pistol range. I'll be shooting that wonderful (yeah, right) piece of gear known as the M9 all week. Now that they've upgraded the magazines, it's not quite as prone to mis-feeds, but I still wouldn't trust it in a harsh environment. It's still a nice shooting weapon under ideal conditions though.

I've been doing the cooking, and most of the cleaning, since my wife only has one paw to work with. I'm eager for her to get back at it. My culinary skills are a bit limited, and the menu has been a bit boring lately. Granted, the red beans and rice was pretty good on Thursday, but that was the highlight of the week.

The weather this weekend is overcast and crappy, like almost every weekend here, so I've got that going for me. I'm sure that on Monday (when I'm back at work), the weather will be beautiful.

How was your week?