Friday, July 13, 2007

The US Army does NOT travel light...

The Army gives their soldiers lots of stuff, and expects them to take it with them.. no longer is it the day of a soldier fitting everything into a rucksack and a duffel.

For further evidence, see the below pictures.... I am about to head off for AT (Annual Training, in my case its OCS (Officer Candidate School) Phase III) in another week so I decided to start laying everything out and seeing what I need...
The worst part is that there are a few items missing still..... (a couple of uniforms on the black container (not coming) and other things such as a personal hygiene kit.)
BTW, that thing wrapped in the rope is my tent... I swear it must date from the Korea war....
And thats not all... the next picture has items not on the packing list (though badly needed for the field) and yet ANOTHER bag full for gear that I had already packed (and there was no way that I am going to unpack at this time, its time for bed...)

Time to have one last glass of wine (my instructors would probably mock me for drinking wine instead of beer as I packed) and then off to bed... hopefully I won't stumble over this stuff in the morning....

T-minus 6ish days until Phase III... 2 weeks of hell in Alabama.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter

I am that guy.... apparently the one guy who hasn't seen the other HP movies....

And of course somehow (namely because of the GF's obsession with HP) the first HP movie that I see is the 5th one. I read the first book and just decided to step back from the series. After this movie I have decided that I must rectify this after I get back (maybe not the books but at least the movies).

Overall I enjoyed the show, it was pretty fun though a bit packed. I guess enough of the movie seeped through from pop culture (and add in a whole life of reading SF, so I can pick up plots/different worlds pretty quickly) that I pretty much knew what was going on.

T-minus 7 days until Phase III... 2 weeks of hell in Alabama.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Love my media...

What I am watching on TV this summer (assuming I don't lose any more shows from my Tivo... poor thing doesn't like the new external HD):
  • Burn Notice - I have really enjoyed the first 2 episodes
  • Eureka - loved this show last summer
  • Pysch - Fun show
  • Dresden Files - need to catch up
  • Flash Gordon
  • Reruns of anything that I have missed
  • Pretty much anything HD


  • Harry Potter
  • Transformers

What I am playing

Now back to my game of Carcassonne.... darn game is addictive. And the best part is that you can play heads up, unlike Catan...

T-minus 9 days until Phase III... 2 weeks of hell in Alabama.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fun (or not so fun!) with Physics

While at Kings Dominion the GF and I ran into someone with a tenious grasp on physics (far beyond the wonderful comment that my mom made earlier this week.... "What goes down must come up".... hehe.... that will be a common line for us for quite some time to come).

They have a number of water slides there, and the one I wanted to try was called "Night Slider" - "the world's tallest enclosed dark tube slide". Sadly due to this womens misunderstanding of cause and effect I was unable to give it a whirl. Apparently right at the bottom you come off and keep heading down the water to slow you down... but this woman had the misfortune of standing up immediately upon hitting the bottom, which immediately caused her to flip over and onto the ground by the slide (solid concrete mind you) and slid for some 20 feet. She tried to play it off but my GF stopped her and pointed out that her shirt was ripped, then she saw her backside(major road rash, though it was hard to see since she was a black woman and luckily wearing a t-shirt). I only saw some of it, and then had to dodge her BF as he barreled down the stairs to join her. In the end it looks like she can chalk up the shirt, an couple of days/weeks of bandages (luckily her BF was a paramedic so she should have good help in that area) and one massively hurt pride/embaressing story to tell (or to desperately pray that it never gets mentioned again).

Sadly the ride was closed for the rest of the day so I didn't get my chance to try.

Weekend update

So other than the ruined weekend (which I still feel I haven't made up enough for to my GF) it was a pretty good weekend & 4th.
Had a great night out drinking on the 3rd with the GF and some of her friends. Love Cafe Asia's Happy Hour deals! By far one of my favorite restaurants in the area. Tried some Ginger beer at Dr. Dremo's (my how I will miss that place). Then a movie at home.

I was lucky that I won a drawing to see the Fireworks from the top of my building (pictures to come) along with my GF and parents. It was definitely a cool way to take in the fireworks. If you have the chance its among the most civilized ways to check it out, AC and free food.... hard to pass up.

Went to Kings Dominion on Friday. We started late (didn't get there til 1300) but it actually worked in our favor (since we could stop by Sonic for lunch and then avoid some of the heat of the day). Lines were longish (though I still love the Volcano). Popped over to the water park, rode some of the great rides (Tornado wins for the best water ride ever... now they just need to automate the lugging of the raft up... Zoom Flume was fun too.). Other than realizing that Tomb Raider:Firefall was so not for us (leading to a good 40 minute break) the rest of the rides were fun. Still need to go back and hit some of the rides again and do clean-up on some of the ones we skipped.

Then after an early start for me on Saturday (3 hours to get through the physical at Sandston) we went downtown to Chocobottom, stopped in a brewpub for lunch, hit this place called the Railstation further down the street for dessert (some awesome Gelato and some pastries), did some window shopping and browsing. Then we went to the GF's Sister place over by Charlottesville (where of course I wore my VT gear everywhere). A great dinner and wine (me and the GF basically by ourselves killed the 2 bottles that brought), some playing with a friendly 2yo, then bed. A nice brunch in the downtown mall (more VT gear , hehehe) then off for home. Then I got to play with my nephew (making this the weekend of the 2yo) then off to an early bed.


My countdown clock continues for my disappearance for 2 weeks (crikee, I even dreamed about the Army stuff last night, something that I HATE when it happens). 10 days before I head out. I blame the physical I got on Saturday (which completely ruined my GF's plans for heading to the beach.... I think that I hate that more than anything else. The Army can mess with me as much as it wants, I am so used to it. But messing with loved ones? Completely UNACCEPTABLE.. I don't think my GF has ever seen me so worked up as I was when this happened(one week from when we were to head out on vacation... you would think that they would have noticed this issue before that and allowed me to plan). I am so not used to decisions that I made (joining the Guard in this case) having adverse affects on others. Guess I had better get used to it given that I am mere weeks away from commissioning.
That and making me get up early on one of my last free weekends? What the heck was I thinking when I signed up??!