Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Word of the Day

Got two words today, one real one I learned, one I just made up. Guess which is which

catenary
n : the curve theoretically assumed by a perfectly flexible and inextensible cord of uniform density and cross section hanging freely from two fixed points
"They sent me a diagram to show me the catenary of the refueling hose at different speeds. "

gluttonize
v : to make a total fucking pig of oneself
"Being unable to decide between the cake and the pie, I decided to gluttonize and get both. "

Thursday, March 17, 2005

For the unbelievers and the ignorant

From Combat to Rebuilding: A Soldier's ViewBy Donna MilesAmerican Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 17, 2005 – Two years ago, Army Spc. Leo Bridgewater and his fellow soldiers were preparing for the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the coalition’s push toward Baghdad, Iraq.
Army Spc. Leo Bridgewater, who participated in combat operations in Iraq two years ago, is once again deployed to Iraq to support stabilization and rebuilding. Today, Bridgewater is once again deployed to Iraq -- this time in a stabilization and rebuilding role. He said he couldn’t be prouder of what’s happening in the country he and his fellow servicemembers helped free from 35 years of repression under Saddam Hussein.
“Saddam had them in a box for 35 years,” said the Trenton, N.J., native, deployed from Joint Forces Command Naples, Italy. “That’s a long time to be in a box.”
When he first entered Baghdad two years ago as a signalman attached to the 3rd Infantry Division, Bridgewater said he was struck by the pictures of Saddam posted “all over the place.”
“I could see why they were so scared of him,” he said. “It felt like he was saying, ‘I’m watching you.’”
Two years later, the Saddam pictures are gone. The four huge statues of Saddam that towered above his Baghdad palace have been removed. The massive palace dining facility Saddam used to entertain his senior officers, and sometimes, to stage their executions, now buzzes with U.S. and coalition troops, government workers and contractors focused on helping the Iraqi people build a new Iraq.
And Bridgewater recognizes that this tiny corner in what’s now called the International Zone in Baghdad represents just a microcosm of what’s taking place all over Iraq.
“Just look at what’s happening. It’s just amazing!” he said, noting the March 16 seating of Iraq’s Transitional National Assembly. “And the reason that happened is because on Jan. 30, the Iraqi people stood up with one voice and decided to take control of their destiny. That was a beautiful day.”
Bridgewater, who lost buddies and fellow soldiers during combat operations two years ago, said this progress is the positive proof that shows his buddies did not die in vain. “Jan. 30 showed that it was not for nothing,” he said. “It’s showing the world that Iraq can be a model that democracy can work in an Arab state.”
By playing a part of Iraq’s liberation, stabilization and rebuilding, Bridgewater said he’s getting a front-row seat to history in the making. “And I’m in the midst of all of it,” he said. “That’s a pretty amazing opportunity.”
In his current mission, providing communications support to NATO as it helps train Iraq’s security forces, Bridgewater said he’s struck by the common sense of purpose that brings together the coalition members.
“It’s one team, one fight,” he said. “You take pride in knowing that you have an important mission ahead of you and that you’re contributing to a greater cause.”

Some reading for the weekend

Medics at Abu Ghraib Helping to Win Iraqis’ Hearts, MindsBy Donna MilesAmerican Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 17, 2005 – Mention Abu Ghraib, and the last thing that’s likely to come to mind is the thought of winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis — especially detainees at the complex.
But that’s exactly what Army Lt. Col. Christian Macedonia believes he and his fellow soldiers are doing every day as they provide what he calls “top-notch” medical care to more than 9,000 detainees at the complex.
As deputy commander for clinical services for Task Force Med 115, Macedonia and his 350 Fort Polk, La.-based soldiers care for people who, in many cases, were injured in attacks against coalition troops. Wounds run the full range, he said, but many are serious because the insurgents wear no body armor or helmets.
In one highly publicized case, the unit treated a truck bomber who was severely burned when his truck detonated prematurely as he approached a coalition target. Two and a half months later, the attacker is still being treated at Abu Ghraib, where he is now undergoing physical therapy.
“He’s had the most advanced care he had ever imagined possible,” Christian said. “This guy has been nothing but effusive about the treatment he’s received.”
Medical care at Abu Ghraib is “the best America has to offer,” Christian said. “These people are getting really top-flight care.” The unit is installing a CT-scanner to further improve its services, he added.
Christian said he recognizes that some people may consider his unit’s work as providing comfort and aid to the enemy. And he openly acknowledges that some of his patients ultimately could return to anti-coalition activity, putting his fellow troops in harm’s way.
But Christian said he considers the care his unit offers its enemies a higher calling: caring for a fellow human being in need, and providing a way to help restore honor to the prison complex that’s been tainted by scandal.
“Taking care of human beings is a reflection of the type of people our society is,” Christian said. And that’s a message he said is not lost on his patients. “They’ve been fed hate all their lives, and many say they didn’t realize how Americans could be,” he said.
Christian said he believes Task Force Med 115 is helping win the hearts and minds of the detainees they treat “one patient at a time.”
“Some, hopefully, will turn around and say, ‘We were fighting the wrong enemy,’” he said.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

sunset over the lake. time to go get some grubb.

handling his rod in public

i spent most of saturday chillin at lake arlington w/ my uncle/godfather. what a great relaxing day. just hung out w/ the ducks, drank a few beers, watched the people and the world go by. chillin.

cool effect

sun gettin low, but still almost 7 miles from the truck.

path

thru the woods

same

i liked this shot cuz it seemed like the clouds were an extension of the tree

two different kinds of clouds coming together to form what looks like (to me) smoke coming out of a volcanoe

farm

old bridge from a different angle

path thru the overhanging trees

cool old bridge

"hey soda, take a picture of me jumpin this tree" "little late, maybe it would be easier from a head on perspective"

mt makin it look easy. ok soda, your turn...

"man i like donuts. i mean i really like donuts. and cookies too. yeah, chocolate chip cookies rule! what was i doing again... oh yeah, jumping this log. no sweat, im a pro, i dont need to concentrate. mmmmm donuts...."

lookin good so far. look at the concentration on his face. or is that uncertainty

uh oh, this doesnt look good. man i'm glad i had my camera

oh my sides hurt from laughing. possibly not as much as his face, but still they hurt pretty bad. HAAAAA!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Widener U in PA

America Supports You: University Offers Scholarships

By Jim GaramoneAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2005 – A Pennsylvania university is putting its values and money to work for the sons and daughters of servicemembers who make the ultimate sacrifice.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” said Widener University President James T. Harris said during a telephone interview with the American Forces Press Service.
The genesis of the idea came when faculty and students at the four-year undergraduate school began being called up and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. “I was speaking with a fellow faculty member,” Harris said, “and we wondered if there was something we could do.”
Harris said he went back to his office and began “crunching numbers.” He found enough money in the scholarship budget to offer four full scholarships to the university. The offer equals $100,000 for one student for a four-year degree.
Harris said the university “took it out of hide,” and he did no additional fund-raising to get the money.
He presented the idea to the university’s board, and the board members unanimously approved it. The board also went along with the program’s long-term commitment – some of the servicemembers killed in action have young children who won’t be old enough for college for many more years.
Harris began the process after the November election because “I didn’t want politics to intrude. No matter how you feel about the war in Iraq, as Americans, we should still honor those who serve.”
It’s called Widener CARES – for Children of Active and Reserves Educational Scholarships. The program is open to the sons and daughters of servicemembers killed in action in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. It is a national program.
The university – in Chester, Pa., part of the greater Philadelphia area – spent some of its early life as Pennsylvania Military College. The school today still retains a “good-sized” Army and Air Force ROTC program, Harris said.
“We think this is an appropriate thing for a university to do,” he said. “We talk all the time about educating young men and women to be good citizens. This is a way for our university to show that the institution is also a ‘good citizen.’”
The first children in the program could begin in September, Harris said. He said the program can take a huge financial burden off families already coping with the loss of a loved one, often the primary breadwinner in the family.
He said he hopes other colleges follow Widener’s example. “There are more than 3,000 colleges and universities in America,” he said. “If each one offered a scholarship, most of the children of those killed in action could receive a college education.”

Lets go roadtrippin!

The weather for next weekend in Comstock, TX looks great. I'm going to clean out Sue today so she's nice and fresh. Time to oil up your bikes and do any last minute shopping you may need to do, which shouldnt be much since RRR supplies almost everything! Here's your checklist, optimized, organized, and categorized:

1 duffel bag, preferably collapsable, containing:
clothes
sweatshirt / sweatpants for when it cools down at night
raincoat / rainpants (we're camping rain or shine)
plenty of socks
comfortable sneakers
towel and washcloth
deoderant
toothbrush/paste
1 roll tp
a bar of soap
any medicines you may need

a backpack for hiking, containing:
flashlight
hat
sunglasses
camera (bring at your own risk!)
rugged, comfortable, waterproof boots for hiking

tent
sleeping bag
pillow
bedroll or airmattress (the ground is usually quite hard)
camping chair

mountain bike
extra tubes
helmet
gloves
water bottle



RRR will provide the following, so please do not bring any of these things (this also serves as my checklist):

small cooler:
frozen meats
main meal food
ice

big cooler:
sides
sodas
juice
water
ice

dry container:
gatorade mix
potatoes
cans
fruit
smores supplies
breakfast bars
snacks
energy bars
grilling utensils
lighters
skewers
knives
can/bottle opener
scrubbies
plates
plasticware
paper towels
pots/pans
cutting board
tinfoil
tupperware
garbage bags
citronella candles
tablecloth
games
seasonings, sauces

grill
table
charcoal
bonfire wood


RockandRollRoadtrip mobile "Sue" checklist:
maps
cds, tapes
first aid kit
suntan lotion
bugspray
hatchet
shovel
rope
air pump
tires, spare tire
multi-tool
walkie talkies

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Word of the Day

Mushmellows (n.) What you get when you put an open bag of marshmellows in a cooler where the ice has melted. Cooking them doesnt make them better either, they just stay slimy.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Some people just dont get it

Here's one for all my crazy liberal relatives. You're not helping, you're just whining

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Words of the Day

some variations of yesterdays word

amenitize (v.) pretty much the same as amenate- to decorate a room w/ amenities.

ameniful (adj.) you know those people that have way too much shit in each room, those rooms are ameniful.

finally

so i finally posted the pix to my blog. when i have an official site and a real company hopefully i'll be much faster about it. anyway, the stupid program i use to post the pix was actin up, so the pix may be out of order and i may have missed a couple, but you'd never know would ya.
all RRR patrons will be getting there cd of full size pix soon. if you're not one of the lucky ones that got to go to Colorado Bend last month and you see a pic you'd like a larger version of, just let me know and i'll send it to ya. enjoy!

and so the sun sets on the first roadtrip of 05.

little restaurant in a little town along the way

headin out. there were like 3 or 4 fires along the way off in the distance, dont know what was up with that.

weird sign i couldnt read

the log that tried to kill me. i was so tired (i'm way out of shape) i could barely throw my bike over this log

where we stopped for lunch

you sure this is the way to the falls soda?

time to climb

vultures getting ready to eat us. either side of picture, vertically center

cliff tastic


hiking thru uncharted territory

cool cliffs and caves

soda just being glad to be in our presence

ray being scary

pick in the firelight

family of deer.

the road back to camp. we couldnt have asked for more amazing weather. next time we'll have rick meet us at the top w/ our bikes so we can ride down.

the view from the end of the trail

cacti waving at us. ok, maybe i'm the only one that sees that, i cant help it i'm imaganitive

me and soda at the top of a cliff. you cant really appreciate the height or steepness of the cliffs w/ the zoom, but w/o you wouldnt be able to see us as well, so just trust me, it was high and steep.

ray doing his best explorer pose.

path before you get into the woods

soda and ray trekking towards the river

gnarly trees

spoooky woods

heart shaped cacti. quite the metaphor

cacti on the cliffs

cliffs

cool