Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sometimes art just speaks to you!

I don't know if it is known by the general public, but there seem to be armies of christian youth groups out there making pictures and posters for overseas service members. Most of them say some sappy christian slogan like "Be Strong Because Jesus Loves You..." or some drivel like that. Every once in a rare while one of the pictures will be signed by some kid who actually has personality and gets what is going on here. Our Marine Gunny wrote back to some kid who drew a picture of a vicious dog holding a big K-bar style knife. The kid wrote that he wanted to be a marine and kill. The Gunny read that and immediately liked that kid. So far I have never been much inspired.

Until TODAY!!!

This was on my door. Someone got this in the mail from some preschool... they thought it was appropriate for my door.

"Thanks Lawson! You're a sharp kid, though no pilot smiles that big standing next to the RQ-1 Predator."

This was on the Canadian Pilot's door... (Close to the canadian flag...)

"The kilt is a nice touch, that is how we knew it was a Canadian in the picture."

An abstract piece by Colton titled "Jalalabad: poppies and dust."

"...I agree."

Any by far the local art critic's favorite!

"That's the spirit kid! We do too!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Old blogs never die...

Not all blogs continue their lives as useful fountains of wisdom... or even as convenient ways to secretly stock old flames. What happens to neglected blogs? They don't really rust or rot. Unless they are actively dismantled do they last for ever in perfect condition? I have had quite a few blogs linked on mine. Some have been dismantled... some sit static like unfinished conversations. When does a blog die? Is it the day that it's last post has been posted. It could have finished and no one even knows it at the time. Is it the day that it gets pulled from the internet?

These are a few that had been linked to me. Some sit in an unknown condition of dormant, some are totally gone. I occasionally check with hope to see if they have ever updated or been reinstated. But I fear all these are in a more RIP condition... some obviosly for sure.

(pores one out for the blogs) Kodjo of the Sea Try-N Jest of Crates R-also Lois Lane Baghdad Burning Tink' He with the pointy hat

This brings up another question in my mind. Are there thousands of blogs out there of dead people? I would have to assume so. If I auger in tomorrow, how long will my blog exist on the internet. A lot of these things are fairly conversational... It seems that when one stops posting, it is actually a conversation that isn't finished. Is the modern equivalent of "giving your buddy a stack of letters to send home if you buy it," to instead give your buddy the password to your blog with a post prewritten that he would just publish instead? (Probably not a bad idea actually.)

Another thought... Everyone has heard the usually hypothetical question:

"What would you do if you found out you only had one day/month/year to live?"

Are you thinking about your answer......................................................?

Why the fuck aren't you doing it now! What the fuck are you waiting for? Are you waiting until it isn't a hypothetical question anymore? Good luck with that. The only short lives are those that are lived with fear. Any moment you aren't taking your life where you really want it to go is the real waste. Why do so many "SETTLE" for unfulfilling lives? This is the only game there is... why you benching yourself? Am I the only person that gets a tightness in my chest from thinking that I am not living my life to the fullest?

Next and very related question:

Think of the person you are most in love with... now,

"What would you do if you found out that person only had a month to live?"

Again, think of your answer..............................................?

Why the fuck aren't you doing it?

Ok... that's enough out of me! "Peace, Love, and Action."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sometimes I even agree with myself!

I was recently sent THIS by an astute reader and fan.

It is always great when others agree with my ideas too!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Snow and shipping containers

Hola, amigos. How's it going with you? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya. I have been neglecting my online life, but I guess I have been staying busy with off line life.

Now that I have straightened out the "blue job" in the minds of a few of my pilots it was time to tackle other important issues. I don't often have to search long for new subjects. Often I find they present themselves... Like earlier this week... innocently... always out of the blue... like a child asking her parents if Santa is real...

I got this question:

"Mr Teacher, is wrestling real?"

How can you answer that question? The guy that asked really likes pro-wrestling. I couldn't break his heart, so I paused to think about the best way to answer this cosmic inquiry. Before I could answer, the guys broke into two viament camps. One clamming that it must be real! With training and good food, they could do all that! The other half arguing, it must be fake because no one can take a folding chair hit to the head. Good arguments on both sides...

The whole thing reminded me of a few discussions I have had in my past... (Most of them in the All Saints Church/middle school parking lot.) After a few moments heated debate, they turned to me to settle this discussion.

The only way I could answer the question was by asking a question.

me: "Are the Olympics real?"

them: "Yes..."

me: "Do they have wrestling in the Olympics?"

Them: "Yes..."

me: "So... what do you guys think?"

Them: "if she weighs as much as a duck, she must be a witch!"

me: "right!"

Them: "So... BURN THE WITCH!"

(I really did get asked if pro wrestling was real... but we didn't conclude that if she weighs the same as a duck, she is a witch... but things are weird here so I just wanted to explain, it would have been plausible either way.) I am just glad that we don't have any folding chairs around in case someone wants to advance human knowledge through experimentation the same way my cousins and I checked on some of the moves from "Karate Kid"... as well as Mr Meiagie's hand rubbing healing techniques.

....Break Break....

This little guy is a tomato plant I found growing naturally along the side of the road. Until it snowed, the tomatoes looked really good.

....Break Break....

So there I was... I had a brown out training sortie planned for yesterday. (basically, I take the helicopter and some students to somewhere that has shitloads of dust, then land on the dust, practicing how to land without balling it up from not seeing anything but the inside of a giant dustball.) Now given that it has rained once in the last 5 month here, I didn't think it would be a problem finding some dust to train in... but as Murphy does around here, he showed up and it was raining and snowing before we even took off. It was only light showers, but still... it seemed that I might be out of luck for blowing dust up when it is wet. What the duce! Is it really possible that the one day I want dust I can't find it?

Luckily not! Afghanistan came through and I had no trouble finding plenty of dust to blow up in the air. Something happened that I hadn't thought through all the way. It can be a lesson to all. So, let's say you fly through a rain shower on your way to a brown out. Rain is no problem, just close the window. Good idea anyways for the up coming dust. Then down into the ground.... Pooff! The world turns brown, cant see anything, but amazingly you are on the ground safe and sound. Yea! still upright and alive. So far so good. Now for the take off. In comes the power, the brown around you darkens as you blow more and more dust up. All is to be expected. This is an instrument take off anyways... "50 meters" call from the other pilot... your peripheral vision should be picking up the real horizon now, why don't you see out side? Are we still in the dust?

A momentary glance out.

What? You have got to be shitting me! The windshield is the transparency of wax paper!

The wet windshield from the rain was fine, until you landed in the dust. All the dust then stuck to the wet glass and now you have a coating of mud to look through! Unbelievable!!! so what do you do? You can't run the wipers, then the plexiglass will be so scratched you will never see through that windshield again... No problem! Open the side window and just fly a little sideways! Easy enough. It is like driving a car with your head out the side when your windshield fogs up from an antifreeze leak in your heater core. But you can't go home yet, you have a whole training sortie to get with these guys. It isn't like you can clean it with the washer fluid, as a helicopter doesn't have such a feature. Another problem... You have never been above swerving into the splash from an oncoming semi when in the winter when the car windshield gets covered in salt. It is usually just wet enough to let me clean a hole to see through... but what is the airborne equivalent of a semi truck?

Hey! is that another rain shower? Close the window, fly into it! Excellent! Like a natural helicopter wash! We could do this all day! Problem solved!

We landed, the maintenance guy look and immediately started yelling! "What is he saying?" I ask the other pilot.

"He asks did you go to school to learn this? Do you plan on planting potatoes on this helicopter?" (apparently it was still a little dirty...

....Break break...

I have seen some amazing things done with shipping containers around here. And, I know that american companies are some of the best at marketing in the world. Leave no markets untapped! right? It was only a mater of time until their powers combined to form:

The mobile tactical fast food restaurant! You can install one of these babies anywhere on the surface of the planet in under 24 hours! I like to think of it as another tool in the arsenal of American world dominance! An authentic italian place is no match for one of these babies! Just install it at night right in front of the door to Italy! We will own the country in a week!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


It is true... if everything goes according to schedule, I am halfway to going home. I will be celebrating with a non-alcoholic beer and maybe some oreos.

In other news, "The Vegetable" got here a few days ago, so you all can consider me updated on everything 40th. My only recommendation is that if you are a young and possibly fertile woman and don't want to get pregnant, don't stand downwind of the Malmstrom flightline. Though if you are trying to consieve... there is probably a water fountain that all this can be traced to as the epicenter of this epidemic. I leave and the 40th goes from an organization dedicated to chasing women, drinking, and detering the terrorists to a baby factory / nursery! I will assume that someone threw a party with vodka watermelon and nobody warned the women not to eat the seeds.

Seriously though, Congratulations to everyone... and let me know if any of you need godfathers for any of them! (that is a joke...)

A few ground dudes took our pictures this week and forwarded them to me. More fun than landing in the mountains is landing in neighborhoods!