My semi-blind date from hell…

Last night was one of those periodic get togethers with a friend and his wife. We decided to go to the local Italian place for an early (quiet) dinner. Bob and I were meeting his wife and one of her co-workers there; so Bob and I went in one car, and the women came from work. Now a little backstory here- Bob is a retired Marine Col., Debbie is a lawyer with a DC firm (name withheld to protect the guilty); Debbie is an determined fixer-upper of unmarried male and female friends. SO….

Bob and I are enjoying our adult beverage of choice when the ladies appear- I’m thinking, hey.. Nice looking lady, lawyer, so probably interesting conversation, etc… you know, the standard stuff…

Now Bob has never met her either, so we are both in the dark; so we do the introductions around, and ‘Amanda’ immediately is on a roll…

She proceeds to announce she is anti-2A, an avowed feminist, all men are useless, she hates hunters, all professional sports hould be banned and the money should go to help the porr and downtrodden in America rather than feeding male egos, she is an environmental lawyer fighting the good fight against the evil White House and their dark minions (yes she really said that), and all this before the order is taken.

At this point Bob and I are looking for a way out, Debbie is clutching Bob’s drink with both hands and a stunned expression…

Amanda proceeds to order one item from the menu, then ask about three other things not on the menu, and whether they can prepare them for her. The poor waiter is fresh off the boat from Italy, so his English is not the best, but he tries to cope, which only pisses her off more, but she finally gets what she wants. The rest of us order off the menu as always, and away Amanda goes again…

She is the best lawyer there, New Yawker, by way of Wellesley, Harvard, etc.- Made Partner in less years, has a senior staff (all women), did she mention she hates all men that travel for business, she hates guns, believes all SUV’s and pickup trucks should be banned from the road and crushed, along with all Semi’s and everyone should be force to drive Quote- Environmental Conscious- Unquote small vehicles, because the big vehicles cause too many accidents (now I’m sure there was supposed to be some logic in there somewhere, but I sure as hell missed it). She drives a Prius and shuns fur too!

She works 80 hours a week and bills 120 hours a week an has for the last three years, she is a volunteer for Hillary, and is sure when Hillary is elected she will be offered a job in the administration, and they will fix the environment, and gun control and get out of the war for oil in Iraq…

At this point, Debbie kicked me under the table- I ‘think’ she was aiming for Bob though. Now at this point neither Bob nor I have even gotten a word in edge wise… But Bob IS turning an interesting shade of Purple…

Thankfully dinner was served at that point, so we at least had something to distract us. Of course, the salad was too hot, the meal was too cold, the pasta too limp, the veggies not limp enough, so Amanda sent EVERYTHING back!

By now, she’s into the fourth or fifth glass of wine, with no food, so off she goes again… She considers herself a conservative Democrat, wants to ban all guns, all men that travel are whoremongers (yep she said that too), she is positive Hillary will win, why there is just NO other choice for the well informed…

Debbie kicks me again… and I get the ‘look’… then she kicks Bob and gives him the look…

At this point Amanda finally gets her food and finally shuts up for a few minutes. Debbie is just staring at the ceiling shaking her head, and Bob and I are just looking at each other with a you have GOT to be s**ting me expression on both our faces…

We finish eating and Bob gets the waiter’s attention and calls for the bill- Amanda finally finishes her meal, pronounces it not satisfactory, and FINALLY looks at me and asked what I do for a living… I felt the table leg move and heard Debbie mumble under her breath, but I went ahead and answered Amanda.

Well, I hid my leg behind the table leg, and I told her, “Well, pretty much EVERYTHING you don’t like; well, that pretty much describes me. I carry a gun, I drive a hot rod car, I travel 130 days a year for a living, and I think it will be a cold day in Hell before Billary gets elected again, Fred Thompson will mop up the floor with her and Obama both!”

Bob was coughing his head off because he had snorted part of a sip of wine trying to keep from laughing, Debbie was trying her best to keep a straight face, pinching the bridge of her nose and either laughing or crying, I couldn’t tell which…

Sigh…

Amanda’s expression was the proverbial deer in the headlights look- I don’t think she had ever had anyone answer her like that before. She looked over a Bob and asked him, he replied, “Well, I’m a former Battalion Commander in the Marine Corps, and it’ll be a LONG time before I ever vote for anything named Clinton, and this dinner is over.”

Amanda just stared back and forth at Bob and I for a minute and didn’t say another word… Debbie got up and Amanda followed her out and they left. Bob and I paid the bill and retired to my garage, where we continued to sip our adult beverage of choice…

About 45 minutes later, Debbie drove by so Bob started walking back up to their place. Shortly after, Debbie and Bob came back into the garage, she was apologizing up one side and down the other… She told me she had NEVER realized Amanda was that type of person, had she known, she would have never invited her, and she was sorry she kicked me. Bob and I both started laughing, which just pissed Debbie off more. She asked what we were laughing at, and I told her that was positively the WORST blind data I had ever had… She glared at me for a couple of seconds, looked over at Bob, and finally, sheepishly, agreed that yeah, maybe she had made a ‘small’ mistake on that one….

So ended my semi-blind date from hell….

We are… (insert acronym here)


It’s really interesting to read various Web Logs (blogs) and see the assumptions the writers make that everyone knows exactly what the author means…

Also, the creation of words and acronyms to make things easier… yeah, right…

Just a random sample, but I wonder why the medical community worries about Unix Editors (ED) or Erectile Dysfunction (ED) (now who the hell made up dysfunction???)…

Or Cockpit Control displays and Charged Coupled Devices (CCD)…

Or El Monte Airport (EMT)…

And police websites that worry about Low Earth Orbit satellites (LEOs)…

And accountants that worry about Closest Point of Approach (CPA)…

Sigh…

Now granted we in the Military have one or two acronyms of our own… mostly due to having to communicate with Morse Code and/or signal flags, but it is sometimes funny what happens…

One of the best stories is LBJ’s (Lyndon Baines Johnson’s) introduction of the Blackbird when it was made public, it was originally known as the RS-71 (Reconnaissance (R) Fixed Wing (S) -71) within the Air Force. However, LBJ mis-pronounced the designator as the SR-71. The Air Farce, rather than correct the President, changed the designator and re-published all the documents.

Anyhoo…

Sometimes I’ll read a post, get a brain hiccup when the acronym doesn’t compute, and then have to go digging to figure out what the poster really meant. Oh yeah, the definitions above are:

Medical- ED- Emergency Department (used to be ER for Emergency Room)
CCD- Critical Care Doctor
EMT- Emergency Medical Tech

Law Enforcement- LEO- Law Enforcement Officer

Accountants- CPA- Certified Public Accountant

I’m gonna go back to my corner with my USNA and figure out what happens when a DD and FFG can’t work with the MC on the MPA to get their act together on UNITAS…

I’m not saying these rooms are small, but…

Here are a couple of views of my Japanese hotel room down in Yokosuka, JA. Now I’ m not saying they are small, they are %^&* TINY. In the top photo, I’m standing against the wall by the bathroom door at the foot of the DOUBLE bed, looking catty-corner across the room. Note the large corner desk, chair and TV on top of a small refridgerator to the right of the picture. The closet is about a foot wide and about two feet deep; e.g. I can’t get the door closed on standard US size hangars… sigh…
Also forget any place to put the suitcase- When I’m not in bed, it is on the bed so I can move around. When I get ready to sleep, I store it in the bathtub. The bottom picture is the modular bathroom. These things are a wonder, they are literally modules, put in place complete. They are about 6 feet long and 4 feet wide, and the tub is about 2 1/2 feet deep. The counter space is also the water tank for the toilet. You really have to make sure you don’t drop anything…
Oh yeah, you also have to remember to take the suitcase OUT OF THE FRIGGIN TUB BEFORE YOU TURN THE WATER ON…
sigh…
Other than CNNj, you’re pretty much on full immersion japanese TV, so there is not much to do in your luxury room. As a valued customer, you DO get chits for two beers a day… X 4 days= 8 beers!!!!
Yep, all this for the government rate of only $149/day US…
I love my job… I love my job… I LOVE my job….

Firearms Refresher Course

“Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.”
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

(This is why Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Chuckie Schumer and Hillary Clinton want gun control so badly! )

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Colt: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it’s about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c)1791. All Rights Reserved.

11. What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.

15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

16. You don’t shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don’t make more.

24. When you remove the people’s right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

Nuff said….

On the Road again…

Just a quick blog- It’s really interesting signing into the blog from here… Most of the character sets come up in Japanese language (Kanji), with a few things coming up in English… You either have to visualize the boxes with english or take a stab in the dark, so to speak.

Anyhoo….. This is one of those months from hell for work travel, been to San Diego, Sydney Australia, Dallas, home for one night, and am now back (for the 4th time this year) in Japan. I spent Thursday through Sunday up in Misawa (way up at the North end of Honshu), working with our Sailors who fly the P-3 Orion aircraft. These folks have flown many, many thousands of hours over Iraq and Afghanistan in the last few years, protecting any number of our US assets in place over there. To a person, they were very upbeat, glad to be “on mission” and doing productive work out here in Fifth and Seventh Fleets. They joke about flying a bird that is older than most of them (the P-3 first came into service in 1962, and many of the current bird date from the 1970’s), it does have problems and takes a lot of maintenance hours for each flight hour, but it gets the job done. I couldn’t help but laugh a couple of times, when they asked when I had flown the birds and I told them 1973-1992. The typical response was it was all MY fault they are broke… Sorrrrryyyyy….

After the Bullet train back to Tokyo (reminder- Don’t lean against the window- meeting another bullet train also going close to 200 mph DOES rattle the window and your head), and two hours on the ‘local’ train (there are a LOT of stops between Tokyo and Yokosuka).

I’ve been down here for a few days of meetings with various staff folks, including a couple who have just come back from Individual Augmentee (IA) ops over in the Sandbox. Again many positives, and very few negatives about what they are doing. Today I was on one of the boats I’ll be working with later in the year. Talking to the JO’s and Sailors was a real pleasure, and I wish folks had to chance to hear what they really have to say, not just what ends up in the media!!!!

Weather is a good news/bad news thing out here this time of year- We had a four hour lightening storm Monday night here (Sunday morning in the States). Just walked over and looked at the weather guesser’s screen, and lo and behold, Typhoon Usagi has us boresighted for Thursday… oh joy… oh joy…

Ah… Babs, I’ll trade ya- A little lightening, wind and rain for a whole lot of wind and rain!
OH well, breaks over, I gotta get back to work… Remember, if you see or know a veteran, thank them for their service.

The collaboration from Matt, AD and Babs is up- This is OUTSTANDING!

If you don’t read it, you will really miss a very special set of stories. They have collaborated on the ‘same’ story from three perspectives- LEO, Paramedic, and RN. Please take the time to follow these links and go read it…

1) Start reading at MattG’s place.

2) Then, continue from AD’s viewpoint.

3) Conclude the story with Babs.


I ‘Love’ Tech Support

As usual, I’m on the road again and as usual they have shi**y internet connectivity in the hotel… It quits in the middle of sending an important email, just like usually happens.

So… I complain this morning, and get told, “Oh, I’ll have to connect you to our ISP, we don’t do it locally anymore.”

Okaaay, fine…

So I spend about 10 minutes listening to way old Musak (somebody PLEASE up date your subscription!!!!)

And I get, ta da… The tech from Hell!

Smarmy voice and all- “Sir are you SURE you actually have the cable plugged into the computer?”

NO- it just jumped out on it’s own…

“Now are you SURE the cable is plugged into the wall?”

No, it jumped out too…

“How do you know you are not connected?”

Well, maybe because I was in the middle of doing email when I got a low/no connectivity alert and the transmit/receive lights on your modem are no longer blinking, even after I reset power (twice), restarted the computer, rechecked all the plugs and connections, etc. and I have no address type, IP address, subnet mask or default gateway!

“Well, how do you KNOW you are not connected now?”

Did you not hear a single thing I just told you???? Guess not, sigh…

Okay, so I asked for an IP address for the gateway to see if I can ping it. I also asked if it was a flat or hierarchical network.

“Oh, I can’t give you that information!”

Say WHAT???? So I asked for his supervisor… Not available, so I hung up and went and bitched to the hotel.

Now 7 hours later, they finally have service back… sigh…

Where in the %^&* do these companies find/hire these people? Don’t the even LOOK at their resumes???

And why oh why do I have to PAY $14/day for this crap??? I can go to a No Tell Motel and get FREE internet with better connectivity, althought the pounding on the walls and moaning and groaning are rather disruptive…

I just love travelling… sigh…

Kicking my soapbox back in the corner now…



Thanks Tiger!

Tiger Woods hosted the AT&T National here in DC this week. It was at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda (near the Navy Hospital). All concerned deserve a big thank you for what they did…

AT&T and Congressional for putting this tournament on in just over 4 months from the start, Tiger for giving 30,000 tickets to the military in honor of his Dad, and specifically inviting the folks who are in both Walter Reed and Bethesda to the tournament. Congressional did a superb job of making the grounds wheel chair accessible and supporting the troops!

By begging and whining, I got a ticket and went today… They estimated 48,000 people were there today, a lot of them military. I was proud of the folks that wore their uniforms, and humbled by the folks from Walter Reed I talked to- To a person, they do not regret what happened to them, they just want, in many cases to get back on active duty!!!!

Right now I’m a soggy crispy critter- It was HOT! 94 in the shade and the humidity was up. I spent most of the day just wondering around, not following anybody in particular, but just enjoying the atmosphere.

I have been to a few golf tournaments, and this had to have been the most diverse crowd I have ever seen. I was standing by the fairway on #7 and talking to a couple of Army Sergeants (both golfers) and we got to talking about the condition of the course- They were remarking on how nice it was and how pretty the greens were, we started talking about cost per round (~$200 as a guest), and one Sergeant said, “Hell, for that I can play for 2 MONTHS at Belvior.” We all cracked up, and actually got frowned at by one of the matrons for our unseemly laughing… Oh well…

Anyway… Thank you Tiger, thank you AT&T, thank you Congressional!

Well Done!

Another Day, Another Roadtrip

Well, I’m off to see the lizard again… California to Australia to Texas to Japan… This is just gonna be SO much fun! Lemme see, I gotta pack for WAY Hot (Texas), cold (Australia- It is winter there) and San Diego (just right). This is beginning to sound like the Three Bears and whatshername…

And it’s all work- meetings, meetings and more $%^* meetings! Of course one of my co-workers had to rub it in when she said, “Oh I know you’re going to have fun.”

I told her I would be perfectly happy to send her in my place- hehehe- Then the litany of Oh, I have SO much to do, can’t leave the kids, my dog it, the cat she, started…

Probably the only real ‘fun’ of the trip will be riding the Shinkansan which is the 150 mph Japanese bullet train. That is a blast, especially when you are leaning against a window and the train passes one going to opposite direction at 300 mph closing speed! Believe me, it bounces your head off that window! It also has it’s own flight attendants, except that you have to pay for anything you get…

Come to think of it, you pretty much have to do that now on the airlines too! Not saying I’m old, but I remember when the beer and food was free and they charged you $5 for the movie.

The fireworks on the Mall were pretty Wednesday night, but the traffic was pretty bad getting in and out of the area. We went up to Ft. Meyer and viewed them from there.

Looking out over Arlington to the fireworks was sobering, as I thought about what has happened in the last 231 years; especially knowing that I was looking at them over the bodies of friends who had died in the Pentagon on 9/11 and other friends who died and are now buried at Arlington.

The talk as always, turned to things military- How the troops are doing in the Sandbox, who’s son/daughter is where and flying/driving what, who just got back and who is next to go. What we are developing to help them do the job, why the media continues to only promote/show the negatives, etc.

One of the wives really brought it home though, when she said, “Here we are enjoying the noise and things bursting in the sky, and my son is probably praying he doesn’t hear any noises and see anything bursting in the sky or on the ground.” (He is a Marine currently in the sandbox.)

Well, I’ve gotta run, gotta go figure out how to get 10 lbs in the proverbial 5 lb bag… My posts may be intermittent for the next month, but I’ll post if I get a chance.

Press One For English

This pretty much says it all for me!!!!