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August 31, 2005

MACDIS and the like 

During my time at Northern Command I held and managed the MACDIS and other related plans. These plans are intended for exactly what is occurring in New Orleans.

It never fails to amaze me how fast people are to steal and loot. Where exactly are they taking all this crap they are stealing? To their under water trailer park? I mean seriously.

I wonder how many of the bodies floating in the river are from grave yards.

What a mess. I know my bubbas at NORTHCOM and FEMA are crazy busy. Hopefully I did my job well and they aren’t cursing my name as they research the plans etc..

I am actually surprised that the more National Guard troops have not been called up yet… I guess that is because everyone is busy in Iraq and they don’t want to screw up the rotations. Today I heard CNN’s Wolf Blitzer call for martial law in New Orleans…. Weird.

I don’t mean to be insensitive because this is a bad natural disaster and stuff… but you know pretty much every single monsoon season in India and Bangladesh more deaths and destruction occur on an annual basis than this incident. There are a lot of Americans that need help in the effected areas right now and I don’t at all take away from their suffering and trauma… just want to put it al in perspective. The rest of the world see’s worse suffering on an annual basis than we have seen in many many years.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all we as humans had to fight and survive was Mother Nature, instead of each other?

August 25, 2005

I am so sick of the oil mafia 

When will we Americans get off our ass and start a revolution against these oil prices? Its rediculous and completely avoidable. We need revolution people....

Jamaica yesterday became the first Caribbean country to reach an agreement with Venezuela for oil at below-market terms. The Petrocaribe initiative is a plan to offer oil at flexible rates to 13 Caribbean countries. Jamaica will pay $40 a barrel, against a market rate of more than $60.

Mr Chávez said oil importers such as the US could expect no respite from the oil market, predicting the price of a barrel would reach $100 by 2012.

Guardian

August 23, 2005

A tribute to Turbo….. 

"Travis and I were driving around, visiting friends and relatives he hadn't seen in a while. One stop was supposed to be fairly quick, and I suppose the way things turned out, it was pretty quick considering the way things went awry." Read more  Posted by Picasa

August 15, 2005

Pakistan's mystical Islam thrives 

The mystical form of Islam espoused by Sufi saints for hundreds of years continues to thrive in Pakistan despite opposition from religious hardliners and the authorities.

Food stalls, bonfires, stereo-players, huddles of ganja-smoking men, smaller ones of heroin users, others swigging local brews, make up this multi-ethnic weekly party that rocks into the early hours of the morning.

Although Thursdays are traditionally holy nights when devotees pray at Sufi shrines, the revelry at Shah Ghazi seems to have little to do with prayer.

BBC

Bachelor Party, Grandma, and FedEx 

The bachelor party yesterday went off with out a hitch. Was a great time of man bonding and cultural experiences.

We started out the day around 1pm with a few shots, then out to paintball. We played some intense paintball for about 3+ hours and I have a number of bruises, strawberry marks and scars to prove it. Not as many as everyone else though! The groom got pummeled and yes even took one in the nuts! And no I did not shoot him in the nuts.

Some 12-14 year old boys came up to us and wanted to play us, they were talking smack… I was very nervous and voiced my doubts about playing them. I may be highly trained and have many related skills in real life, however I knew I would be no match for a 13 year old kid that paint balled every chance he got. I didn’t feel like getting wasted by a pre-pubescent little punk. But we ended up playing them 9 boys against 9 men, wooded area, and elimination. The men strategize and we killed all nine of the kids in less than 6 minuets. They were good, but they couldn’t handle the psychological pressure of suppressing fire or flanking movements, and they saw all of their buddies get shot not once but about six times before they where able to yell “I am hit” so we would stop shooting.

Beating the little kids did a lot for our self esteems.

From there we went back to the groom’s house and showered, BBQ, and drank. Then on to some serious go-kart driving. Go-carts have changed since I have grown up. They are fast and crazy fun. We had one huge wreck that almost involved a real Porsche being run into when the Nepali guy lost control hit the wall, went through it and came within 3 feet of the Porsche! That was cool!

From there it was bars, cigars and who knows what. A good bonding time was had by all and we all made it home safely.


Tonight Marigold and I took her Grandma out to dinner. She is 84 or so and is awesome. She has been publishing this weekly family newspaper for more than 24 years!

We took her to the Old Spaghetti Factory; there was a wait so Marigold gave her name for the list. As we where walking away Grandma said “Did you give them your real name?” “I always like to give them a silly name so they have to call it out in front of everyone when it’s our turn.” Yea, Grandma like most of us mischievous pranksters still at 86 pulls Bart Simpson type pranks. It was really cool to talk with her and recognize so much of the same stuff I see in Marigolds mom and Marigold. Family is crazy interesting.

One problem with gated communities is that the FedEx guy can’t get in to leave packages at your door. I have been trying to get this package for like four days now. I have a signed door hanger on my door and on the gate… what a pain.

Sweating In Seattle. 

I don’t sweat this much in Texas!!! Seriously this no A/C thing can suck. I mean it’s nice and cool here, but the sun beams into your windows and heats the inside up like crazy. the 80's here feel like high 90's Weird.

You know it has not rained since I have been here! Who says it always rains in Washington?
Fort Casey... this is a very famous cannon. I use to fit into this cannon... as did my bro Posted by Picasa

I love cool signs Posted by Picasa

Forward Operating Base Seattle  Posted by Picasa


Now that Marigold has High Speed Internet and WiFi I spend all my time in this chair. This is my corner of the postage stamp she lives in. I spend well over 6hours a day sitting in this chair, studying and researching. Communicating and pondering how I will continue to financially survive doing what I do. There is a nice view though so it helps me believe in some totally baseless way that something good will eventually happen and funding will be uncovered.

August 11, 2005

Best Buy Reward Zone 

I have been a stellar member of the Best Buy Reward Zone program for a couple years now. During my second time in Afghanistan they had sent me the $180. I had earned, however, I as not there to receive them. Now over a year later I called them up and told them my story. After reviewing my account (and being impressed with the amount of shopping I do there I am sure) they decided to re-instate the points and issue my reward certificates again....

Shopping at best buy makes me happy… even with the knowledge that I am being ripped off.

I think they should create membership levels with their rewards zone cards. I think they should have proximity alarms so anytime I walk into a Best Buy with my card they are notified and a hot techie chick comes to personally assist me with my shopping needs.

SERIOUSLY

Ozomatli Seattle Cingular Summer Nights 

Marigold took me to a concert with her sis and sises fiancé last night at the water front. We went to see OZOMATLI who was opening for Los Lonely Boys. Ozomatli was so much cooler; they should not be opening for anyone. We actually left with in the second song of Los Lonely Boys as they where boring.

Ate at a great Italian place after the concert, the bar tender sucked and charged me $6.75 for a half a glass of Chianti… that was more expensive than a main dish! Anyway it was good,

Finally have Marigold’s high speed internet up and running! Was a struggle with the installation technicians yesterday but I won in the end.

60 more brochures ready to mail today.

August 09, 2005

Only then can we eradicate the practice of open defecation by 2010. 

Sanitation promotion requires social mobilisation on a large scale

August 08, 2005

81 brochures 

The First 81 brochures went out today. .37 cents per brochure.. no bulk rates. I have been spending amazing amounts of man-hours folding, stamping, labeling, and sealing brochures…not to mention the days spent online researching organizations and addresses, names and contact info. Thanks to Marigold for her help with labels and spreadsheet creation etc…

I also applied for non-profit status today in Washington… it’s a long road to that status I hear but I think it’s going to be easier to work under in the long run.

From mujahideen to mountain guide 

How to turn a veteran Afghan mujahideen fighter into a mountain guide.

August 05, 2005

YEEEEE HAAA 

Talked to an old Navy buddy today, was very cool to get back in touch. He is finishing up his degree in Political science, Economics and Philosophy, he speaks Turkish, German and Spanish (all self taught), and is now learning Punjabi. He is also a snow board instructor.

I am pressuring him to take the Foreign Service Exam now; he would be such an awesome diplomat. We once drove from Las Vegas to Washington State in two cars non stop! No sleep! We averaged like 105 MPH. It was insane. Those where the days of the Navy.

I also found out my first Intel boss is back in town… will have to go harass him sometime.

Going to a party at one of Marigold’s co-workers place tonight, and then going to see the premier of Dukes of Hazard!

Blue angels, donuts and free WiFi 

I have been spending the past few beautiful days inside a coffee shop consuming caffeine in trade for free WiFi. I sit on wooden uncomfortable chairs for hours and hours…. Just for WiFi.

I was woken up yesterday by the sound of F-18’s buzzing the apartment. They where low! It was the Navy’s Blue Angels in town for the sea fair this weekend. They have been practicing for the past few days. All the “cool, alternative, tattooed, liberal, homosexual, punk intellectuals” of this neighborhood can be heard complaining about it on the street.

On a serious note, there are more butch lesbians here than anywhere I have ever been. I like Seattle because of its diversity and its activist population but it seems to me everyone is extremely self-involved. I mean, I think that about everywhere I go in the US and I think I am the same way a lot, but for being an activist “intellectual” type place I would expect a better defined world view from most people.

One other thing that strikes me here is the amount of white people. Not to mention the amount of young white street people who are begging for change. Seriously I get so angry at them. I really just want to kick there asses and then write them a resume and make them get a job. They are like 18-27 years old, in better shape than me and not ugly… yet they are lazy bastards who feed off the lower and middle class. If it wasn’t against the law I think I would have to punch a couple of them and then kick them while they are down. Seriously. You wanna see poverty you little snot nosed wanna be homeless kid? I’ll take you to where poverty exists and you will cry like the lazy bitch you are.

Wow that was a little psychotic! Anyway, it really does bother me. I mean the old guys and gals that are crazy and on the street have my attention and compassion, but the young ones get NOTHING.

Suck it up and pull yourself up by your

August 04, 2005

Just a Pirate chasing booty Posted by Picasa

Sunset Posted by Picasa

Space needle Posted by Picasa

Seattle Posted by Picasa

I didnt hit any whales Posted by Picasa

The 27 foot racer I sailed yesterday  Posted by Picasa

Can't beat this Posted by Picasa

WA Posted by Picasa

My Island Posted by Picasa

JUMP! Posted by Picasa

DP  Posted by Picasa

Deception Pass Washington State Posted by Picasa

August 01, 2005

The place I am staying in Seattle 

In the five nights I have been here so far, I have slept in three different places. The main place I am staying is in a trendy “gay” neighborhood. It’s a very diverse place with a great view of the space needle. The days are filled with music resounding through out the neighborhood from a school of music that is just across the road. Everything from jazz to classical can be heard on a regular basis. I have really enjoyed that. The weather is awesome. Even when it’s hot the windows and door stay open because very few residential properties have A/C.

One thing that pisses me off is that I have over six WiFi networks in range of this apartment and they are ALL encrypted. This is Seattle… share the love man! Seriously. Use your firewall and don’t encrypt your signal… dicks.

Last night was the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost. We walked up to Saint Mark’s Cathedral and enjoyed the Compline which are the ancient nighttime prayers, sung by monks (Compline choir) I guess it is a famous Sunday night tradition in Seattle. Its broadcast live on Seattle NPR. It was very cool, interesting crowed… as there always is at any cathedral. Lots of people just walk in and lie on the floor or do whatever in complete silence. Cathedrals make me think about the crusades.

One wedding down…. One to go 

This past weekend I attended the first wedding of my trip to Seattle. I was a guest of the bride; however I stood in as a groomsman twice for the rehearsal before I actually meet the groom…. Weird. Anyway they are a couple in there 50’s and very much in love. He is a chef (actually a professor who teaches culinary arts at a university… a “chefessor” perhaps?) He did all the ice sculptures, food, cakes, etc.. Himself. It was amazingly cool and good. I was able to hang out with some friends I hadn’t seen in five + years and we had a great time. The after reception party was good too. I played a little drinking croquet and was able to almost break the ankle of one of my competitors with my ball.

My old Island 

I had the privilege to go to my old Island already. I was stationed on this island when I was in the Navy and spent a couple good years there with my friends and grandparents. The island has changed a bit but most things remain the same. The property value has sky rocketed and I sure wish we owned the beach house still.

I walked on the beach that I use to build forts on as a kid and colleted shells and skipped rocks. I took the ferry back to the main land. We plan to go back and spend a weekend on the island sometime this visit. I still have to check out a few of my old haunts.

Road Trip 

My 2223 mile road trip turned into a 2500 mile road trip and took me three long days. I remember back in the day when I could drive 3k miles in three days and still be ready to party… I am old.

My trip was mostly boring except for a stop to see an old cop partner, and some family along the way. I drove mostly through the night so I could be alone and not deal with traffic. About halfway through the trip I wondered what my brother would think if I flew back….. haha

I would have to say the high point of my drive was paying $460 for four new tires 2200 miles into the trip. Most of the tired should have been changed before I left, but with the amount spent on getting the vehicle road trip worthy plus a 100k mile tune up…. We just couldn’t bear to spend more.

Montana is an amazing beautiful state when it’s not 2 am and your stick trying to change a tire on the side of the road in the middle of no where dodging 18 wheeler trucks. It only took me like an hour + to change the tire in pitch blackness (although my surefire light was handy). The spare tire was worse than the one that blew but I was able to make it a few hundred more miles on it (two states). The great thing about Montana is there concealed weapons law recognizes the my out of state CHL so I felt a little better changing the tire with my gat strapped on.

Wyoming will always be known to me as the road kill state. There was a 150-200 mile stretch of road that was just covered in road kill and live animals standing on the side of the road waiting to be killed. I hit a number of carcasses that were already dead, but was able to avoid over 15 rabbits and a deer. I saw a lot more than that waiting to cross the road, but those are the ones I actually missed hitting. I guess that is the bad part of driving all night… more animals.

The one live animal I did hit was a skunk. It was halfway through crossing the highway when I saw it, I usually don’t swerve for small things cause that is more dangerous… but I knew I was alone on the road and had the time and space so I started taking evasive maneuvers. Of course the skunk decided to stop and change direction. I was able to adjust and put him between my tired (so as not to run him or her over with the actual tire) however Le Pew decided to stick its ass in the air as I rolled over him and spray the undercarriage of my vehicle. Its ass was hit and I am sure it learned its lesson and survived… however, I also learned what a skunk smells like first hand.

My vehicle stunk for multiple states…… Luckily it rained two states later and it took most of the smell with it.

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