Thursday, June 26, 2008


I know that I haven't written much lately on my Army training. I would write if something really interesting were happening, but so much of what I have done here for the past 5 weeks has been the norm for me. i.e., lots of computer stuff that I have already done or that is so trivial at the level that it is taught that I pay attention enough to pass the tests, quizzes, and hands on exams handily but in reality my brain is stuck in low gear and not engaged. I will quickly say that I understand why the Army and the Signal Corp put together this plan of instruction, that for the uninitiated this is an excellent grounding in fundamentals that will prevent those new to the field to not be completely overwhelmed. But for about a 1/3 of the class this is not the case, many of them are in the same mode as I am in. Some of us are able to help the newbies but sometimes our help can be a hindrance, since we are so accustomed to working in this field and on problems of higher organization/complexity that we can make things too complicated. For a bunch of these people this is the first time that they have had a command line interface, dealing with a computer based on memorization and logic as opposed to clicking on the GUI (graphical user interface) that is old hand to a lot of us (I have been dealing with computers and programming them since I was in elementary school, which makes it over 20-25 years).
So instead we listen, maybe try to get a tidbit that we don't know and engage in the longest running game in the Army, trying to stay awake in class (this being a techie school it might as well be sponsored by Red Bull and Monster). I finally understand how the Infantry folks felt during BOLC II, feeling that they were paying penance and just checking another box. I do remain hopeful that the last 3-4 weeks plus the field exercise provide some mental stimulation since they cover material that is not really encountered in the civilian world.

Of course I am finding it a bit easier to stay awake now that I am on post finally. The extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning, the overall more relaxed morning and afternoons (and even the occasional noon nap) are making this a little more tolerable. It has helped me recover from NO, which took quite a while given that my poor body was not used that, both the staying up late (4AM EST) and the drinking (oh the drinking... boy can my family put it back).

To give an idea how ready I am for the 4th holiday (they give us the 3rd as well) I just paid someone $150 to take my CQ (charge quarters) shift on the 4th (its a full day shift on a holiday, but well worth the cost). He was already going to be here and I desperately didn't want to be here in GA, now that is capitalism at its finest. I am so ready to go home, see the improvements to my Condo and just relax away from the Army a bit.

And as a side note... $7000 in damages to my poor Prius. Hopefully I will have her back in another 3 weeks so that I can ditch this dreadful Dodge PT Cruiser. I miss my GPS, cruise control and a vehicle that doesn't turn like a beast.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Orleans

Hurricanes. Hand Grenades. And a slew of other drinks and miscellanious shots. Walking along the mighty Mississippi while eating a Beniate from Cafe du Monde. Hitting the poker room at Harrah's (did well when I was sober. not so well when I wasn't). Strolling down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Staying up too late and sleeping in. Family. Seeing my cousin marry a great girl. So many great highlights to an awesome visit to the Big Easy.
It was too short and I didn't want to leave, in particular when I had to return to Georgia.