We went to KFOR Main a few days ago, and while I was there, I found a T-shirt at the souvenir shop.

It was only four Euro, and it made me smile.

So I bought it.


Business as Usual

Well, I've been busy. It hasn't let up, and it looks like there is no sign of it letting up any time soon.

On top of my other details, I have been tasked as the Webdesigner for Task Force Med Falcon. So it is my duty and privilege to put up a website for the Task Force. So I've been working on that.

Problem is, I have absolutely no content for this thing as of yet, because of all the rules and regulations you must abide by when putting up a unit website.

It makes it so much fun.

Anyway, that's eaten up a lot of my time so far this week (among other things, like two trips to Monteith in a day) that I haven't take a moment to sit down and think "gosh, that blog thing I usually do is just sitting there and I haven't put anything of interest on it for who knows how long. . ."

So, um, until further notice, I'm not doing much to the blog. Like I mentioned before, the things I want to talk about here, I can't talk about, and the things I can talk about aren't interesting enough to talk about. Yes, a catch 22. In fact, I wrote something about it earlier but then my internet connection promptly quit.

Oh, that reminds me, I've been having trouble returning emails too, so if you haven't heard back from me in a while, well, that's why. Its been busy.


iPod Continued. . .

Well, apparently ever since I posted that my iPod was going to be taken back, Fuji seems to have felt the threat and has been cooperating quite nicely lately. I'll give it until Sunday and if it does this again, sorry little iPod, but its back in the box and into the store for you. And I will pick up one of your identical twin brothers and hope it behaves better.

If that one doesn't, I'll give up on the iPod. But I really do enjoy it so far. When it doesn't pause in the middle of a song.

Meanwhile, Greece trip classes are now completed. I was hoping to get in on the class taking place at the end of May, but the Sofia Bulgaria leave trips are now in operation starting next week. I will be taking one of those MidMay, which will set me up for Greece some time in August. I was planning on doing it in the other order, but this works out nicely.

And day 2 of the Kajekenbo class. We have a few people in the class with us, one a brown belt in Judo, several of them obviously experienced with some form of martial art, and they are all impressed with the laout of the course. I'm weak on my stance and my punches, but I was told that I have a very good toe kick. I thinking kicking will likely be my strength. Whatever the case, I have decided to continue this for sure after I'm done deploying.

Troubleshooting Expensive Hardware

So today I have been struggling to maintain my alertness considering I went to bed at 0215 or something like that, being the person that I am, and surprise surprise, I didn't want to wake up this morning.

That's not really much of a surprise.

Anyway, yesterday, out of pure spite for my wallet and because it was just there, saying *buy me! Buy me!* i picked up an iPod at the PX. And then I got all excited about purchasing something that can take all of my music and I can just listen to at random whenever I feel like it, as my previous MP3 player only carried a paltry 128 Megs and it was a pain to switch those songs out regularly.

So anyway, I picked up this piece of hardware out of the blue and take it home with the excitement of thinking how cool it is and how brilliantly simple its design is.

Well, the thing doesn't work correctly.

I'll be sitting there typing posts at midnight or writing letters to people thanking them for all the schweet shtuff they keep sending me, and the song pauses. Right in the middle of one of the best parts. And there is no explanation as to why it pauses, it just does. I'm not even touching it, its just laying there, playing its music, and freezing. *grumble grumble*

I checked iPod's troubleshooting tips and reset it. Problem still happens. So I put the hold button on, and it still does it. I see if there is anything in the book about this, nothing.

This morning, I get online and check out iPod's website. Still nothing. I try to call Apple's tech support. They're in a different time zone. Apparently, to fix the problem, I have to mail it in.

Unfortunately, they don't mail back to APO addresses, so it would go home for my family to mail back to me.

I would predict that I wouldn't see my little iPod (which I have christianed Fuji) for over two months.

Kind of an overkill since I just bought it yesterday, don't you think?

So, that brings me to idea number two. Take the box and all the fixings, put the iPod back into it, find reciept, and exchange it for another iPod and hope the same problem doesn't surface. That seems to involve a whole lot less hassle.

The thing is, this iPod is now registered to me. Think that might make a difference?



R is for Relaxing
I is for Inspirational
S is for Sincere
A is for Alluring
W is for Wise
N is for Naughty

Can I buy another R Pat? Because that doesn't sound a whole lot like me.

R is for Relaxed
I is for Influential
S is for Sparkling
A is for Artistic
W is for Wild
N is for Nervy

Ok, after trying it again, that sounds a lot more like it. But I'm still labeled as 'relaxed', anybody who knows me knows that I am not relaxed.

And Sparkling? Oh well, you can never trust these stupid Memes anyway.

Gah, I really actually have to get up at a decent time in the morning. And my foot is asleep. *grumble*

I'm reverting back to my predeployment days of staying up to the wee hours of the night and getting by on about four hours of sleep. Not good. Definitely not good.

Or maybe it is?

I just reverted to my spontanious habit as well. Yeah, that's it, that S stands for Spontanious!

Oh heck, I'll just do my own.
R stands for Rabid
I stands for Incoherent
S stands for Spontanious
A stands for Artistic (eh, I like that one)
W stands for George Bush
N stands for Not Sorry


Apparently David Farrar of KiwiBlog made a Southpark character and now Silent Running is accusing him of pulling a Risawn.

I hate to disagree with my minions *(who rock by the way)* but if he pulled a Risawn, his character would look something like this.

Mandatory to now have at least three weapons on hand. But I couldn't get the hair to look right. Oh well, close enough.

Before and After

I got a letter from a seventh grader and I finally got around to returning it. But in the meantime, I realized I should probably give her a picture of myself so she can put a face to my name and words. So I dug through my archives and took various pictures of myself to give her an idea of my surroundings.

Then I realized how different I look now then I did when I first deployed. And how short my hair is. And how much wearing nothing but camouflage effects my appearance.

Well, I found a few pictures, including my official military picture taken here at Bondsteel and sent those, and then realized, well, maybe I should send one of me before I got deployed as well as ones of me now.

Well, this is one I particularly liked where I don't look like I'm out to kill somebody, because this is a seventh grade girl who describes herself as a shopaholic who's favorite color is pink. I wanted to find a picture to connect with her, and I didn't think Not Sorry was appropriate.

And then, I had to offer proof that once upon a time I was in fact a bonafide woman. At one time at least.

This picture was taken the week before I deployed. Back when I had long hair. Back when I was getting hit on like crazy, and yes, during the time when I was enduring swarms of emails.

Actually, I'll take that back. I'm still getting hit on. The male female ratio is after all something like 10:1, or perhaps even greater considering the fact that some female soldiers don't swing that way, and the fact that I'm young, and doubly single.

Now I look like a deployed soldier, with a hair cut that offers a different style every freakin' day whether I want a new style or not (and of course, the occaisional slept on a wet head next morning hair do, which have proven to be quite entertaining.)

Oh well, my goal is to grow my hair back to a length where I can pull it back. Into what I don't care, just so long as it pulls back.

But meanwhile, well, I've got about 40 emails in my inbox and 10 letters to return. Can I actually return these by the end of this week?

We hope so.

The Minions Status

Oh, I almost forgot.

My minions sent me a mug.

Oh, excuse me, he insists he's my agent. :P


I did my first Martial Arts class last night, which i learned is available every Tuesday and Thursday. Its called Kajukenbo and includes a lot of hand movements, punching, kicking and screaming "KE-YAH!" a lot.

Its also a lot of fun.

I discovered that I need to get more comfortable with the form, as getting back in the cat stance sometimes feels a little awkward, but I think once I get a feeling for it, maybe I can actually pick it up.

Apparently, Kajukenbo is a hybrid martial art form taking aspects from Karate, Judo and Jujitsu, Kenpo and Gung Fu. When I was in Jr High, I took a few classes of Tae Kwan Do (the first few lessons of that instructor were free) and had a blast and always wanted to do Martial Arts afterward. I wish now that I would have been able to take it, as I think I would have really enjoyed it.

Anyway, an instructor who is a third degree black belt of Kajukenbo is in Kosovo and he offered to teach troops the art for free. He wants to get us into a different uniform then the standard PT uniform and we have permission to wear it when we're in class and I'm thinking "an excuse to get out of army clothes when I'm not in my room? Cool! Sign me up!"

Of course, I'll have to buy the clothes, but meanwhile, until we leave here, and the few times I'm interrupted by leave and FMPP dates, I will be taking Kajukenbo. When I get home, I might see if I can find another instructor or just try to get into some other class in the martial arts field and go from there. If nothing else, it is a great way to get in shape.


Lack of Post Leads to Lack of Sympathy

Soo. . . I was talking on the phone with my family a few days back and my brother made an observation that I don't update my blog as much anymore. That updates are becoming fewer and fewer.

Well, I tried to update yesterday and the Blogger Server couldn't be found. So I didn't. But I assessed my situation and wondered out loud to myself, "why is it that I don't post as often to my blog anymore?"

So I thought about this and what had often influenced my blog before and realized that, well, here I've been talking a lot about what's going on in my life here in Kosovo, and how I write, with my frank and honest depictions (including at times a certain lack of tact) that I would more then once get called into the Commander's Office and told to watch what I say.

And, well, right now, Kosovo hasn't proven to be particularly exciting. Especially this last week or so, we went and inspected some places yesterday, whoop-de-freakin-do. That, and if I inspect some place and something is wrong, I can't really talk about what's wrong with the place. Inspections are one of my more visible job functions, but it basically boils down to me going around and inspecting various places to make sure they meet the sanitation standards of Army Regulation 40-5.

Needless to say, the job lacks glamour and drama. I'm not dissing it by any means, because it is an important job, but its just not something I wish to talk about on my blog.

I mean, how exciting can you make "today I inspected the Northtown Gym. It was clean, no grub or dirt I could find. Then I moved up to the Thai Massage place and surprised them with my early showing. Inspection went well. I did have some questions on the disenfectant."

I think I would put myself to sleep. Anyway, job done, next up is a power point presentation on heat injuries and preventing them, because the army has a love affair with Powerpoint.

Anyway, so my life is not filled with drama, I'm not shooting at anybody, my job, though important, lacks the luster to talk about on a daily basis, so that means what's going on in the rest of the world?

Yeah, every so often, I would write my take on current events in the rest of the world. The thing is, I've got three sources of news here. Military Newspapers (which consist of the Army Times and Stars and Stripes), The Television (brought to me by the Armed Forces Network and they're chosen news stations), and the internet.

I read the Military newspapers mostly for news on the military, because that's its primary focus. AFN I tend to avoid and only watch during meals, because from what I can tell they seem to be talking about the same thing over and over again, and the internet, well, my internet is still limited. I check my email, look at a few pages, and then get to work.

And quite frankly, nothing in current events seems to strike my interest that much. Sure, there's the Michael Jackson trial, but that is getting more exposure then it needs already. There's the Terry Schiavo case, which I had mixed feelings on and quite frankly, felt that it was blown out of proportion as well by BOTH sides. And thankfully, the Pope died to take the news off of that mess. Which brought us to the Pope. I'm not Catholic, so I don't have that effecting me as it is so many other people. But come on people, he was old, he led a very rich and full life, and he's now some place better. So as you can see, my interests are rather mum on the issue. He was a good man, a very visible leader, and he died like millions of people do every day. I hold no sympathies, because of the fact that he died of natural causes after leading a very long and rewarding life. Now I'm getting plagued with the question "who will the new pope be?" as that is all the news has a desire to talk about. Well, either that or reverting back to the Jackson case.

Um, yeah, ok. But, well, who will be the new pope has little effect on me, however. I just find it ironic how people want the catholic church to pick somebody who goes against catholic teachings in an attempt to modernize the church. But they *gasp* picked a conservative! How could they?

Well, there, now THAT'S something I could talk about. The leftist take on religion and the 'modernization' of. Oooh. . . I'm rubbing my hands together in anticipation.

I guess that leaves the last thing I can talk about. My thoughts on issues. Whether current or not, just my rambling thoughts on political issues.

Well, I guess I could talk about extracurricular activities. Yeah, that's another source of posting pleasure. And of course, there's my unwritten motto 'alienating the world, one person at a time'.

I'll just say I'm working on the posting issue so that there is actually something to read when you come to my blog.


Airstrike, huh?

Air Strike
You preferred a weapon with 56% power over speed and 80% range over melee.
You use Air Strikes.

Fighting? Fighting is for idiots! All you have to do is make a quick walkie-talkie call and have the ground ahead of you carpeted with explosive charges. Your enemies will be searching frantically for refuge as you chuckle from afar.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 85% on power
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 96% on range
Link: The What's Your Signature Weapon Test written by inurashii on OkCupid Free Online Dating (which I do not plan on using as an online dating service *gag*)

That explains everything . . .

Nothing. . .

Well, I broke down and did it. I got Yahoo Messenger on my laptop. How reliable it is depends on if the internet service is acting up or not. I've noticed the best time to get online is the middle of the day (ie - when i'm working) or after 10 at night.

So I don't know how often I'll be using it. But for the first time in probably a year or so I started chatting via Yahoo, well, actually now that i think about it, i haven't chatted on Yahoo! for probably three or four years.

Its been a while.

Hmm. . .

I've been quiet, I know. Not a whole lot going down on this front. It looks like I'll have a good shot of hitting Greece at the end of May and I changed my leave dates for the end of September.

And my minions sent me a mug. I think I'll take a picture or something and send it to them. They'd probably like that.

Hmm, nothing else going on today, the only reason why I trekked up to the office was to PMCS the vehicles. I think I'll finish doing that.

And checking my mail.

Ramblings really does fit this post. . .


Girls In Jr. High, Horses, and Art. . .

You know those girls in Jr High who loved and worshipped horses and talked nothing about horses and doodled nothing but horses on the cover of their notebooks and everything was horses horses horses?

I was one of those girls. *sighs*

Anyway, in my lifetime, i got good at drawing horses because, well, in Jr High I loved them and drew them. A lot. In fact, now that I think about it, that's basically all I ever drew. Well, amongst other animals.

I outgrew the trend about 8th grade, when the obsessions started to die down a bit because people started to think I was weird. They were probably right.

So anyway, getting back to the whole insomnia bit (yeah, can't sleep), and the 'can't draw jack squat' bit, I decided to just sit down and draw the first thing that came to mind. For me it was easy.

I drew a horse.

I'm happy to note that it does in deed look like a horse, and is even semi realistic. I also sat down and started working on my comic, drawing different panels and so on and so forth, and discovered that I can draw my little cartoon guys.

But my cartoon guys are taking away from my real art. I've got so used to drawing them that I can't draw the way I used to any more. Though I shouldn't get to hard on myself, as before I turned 20, I refused to draw people and they all looked weird regardless. I didn't really learn to draw people until I took figure drawing and started drawing them in the nude. Now I can only draw them nude, I'm not very good with clothes.

Oh well, I'm working on the drawing from life for real. I vow to get some decent pictures in. When I'm done drawing them, I'll scan and post accordingly.

Heck, I'll post the aliens I was drawing too. . . you might get a laugh out of those.


Visited Countries Map Updated

Quick Update, though you really can't tell from this map. . .

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

I've officially visited the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM, to appease the Greeks) for a couple of hours yesterday. I even got some FYROM Dinars to add to my growing collection of world moneys.

That brings my total countries visited up to 8. They include Canada, United States, Trinidad and Tobago (layover flight, actually didn't set foot there but did land there so does that count?) Suriname, Iceland, Germany, Serbia and Montenegro (well, the province of Kosovo which is part of Serbia and Montenegro for the time being) and FYROM. Ah, what the hell, I'll call it Macedonia, that's what everyone else but NATO, the UN and the Greeks call it.

Next country to likely be visited will either be Bulgaria or Greece.


Tired = Sad

Everyone seems to think I look really sad in that picture. I'm not sad, just bloody tired, and I could not sleep.

Well, I guess I was sad because I was trying to doodle something earlier and it ended in miserable failure. Again. *sighs*

Meanwhile, without nothing much to say in regards to that, here's a dorky picture of me being, well, a dork at the Letnica trip. . . because i have nothing better to say or do at the moment.


2 Minutes Ago. . .

I can't sleep. . . and my creative juices are all but absent at present. Which is evident by the fact that I haven't been able to draw a single thing since I got here.

Somethings wrong on the artistic front. I vow to work on that.
Looking at that blog post, that is one freakin' long post.

I don't think I'm going to do that again.

Q&A Part 2

Ok, the insane task I set myself up with was allowing people to ask me a variety of questions posted in my comment section of my blog, and see how creative they would get in asking me questions, and in turn, see how creative I could get in responding. I've enjoyed doing things like this in the past, but before I always did it with a slight twist. Once, for my comic, I had my readers ask my characters questions that I would answer as they would.

It turned out to be viciously funny at times! But, um, this is when I get to answer as me. So I don't get to be as creative. Unless I dug out those multiple personalities! Yeah, that might work!

Darth Monkeybone
Which Star Wars movie is your favorite?

Ewoks, Battle of Endor. But that was when I was four. I didn't know any better at the time because I didn't watch Star Wars all the way through until the seventh grade.

I think the second one has some sentimentality to me (Empire Strikes Back, not Attack of the Clones,, which I only saw the one time in the theater) for some reason because it is the true tortured character mythos going on there.

And Mark Hamil can really contort his face when he screams "NNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

If given the chance, would you pimpslap George Lucas for Jar-Jar Binks?
There really is worse travesties in this world. For instance, can I pimpslap him for Howard the Duck instead?

R Conte
How heavy is the M16?

Roughly Seven and a Half Pounds. It feels a lot heavier when you're involved with Weapons PT.

What should the maximum weight be of a replacement for the M16?
About the same. I think they should focus on making a weapon that doesn't jam as much before they concern themselves over trying to make it lighter.

What do you think about women in the military?
I'm a woman in the military. That said, I have run into some fine women soldiers and I've run into some females that needed to be slapped around or just kicked out. There is definitely a place in the military for women who want to serve and there are plenty of fine soldiers that can do the job as well if not better then any man.

Women in combat arms, now that's another story. As the military progresses, I foresee that eventually units that are designed to engage the enemy will eventually open up to women, but I don't feel that now is the time. As war changes, this will change as well. There is an issue with the combat issue in regards to women. I hate to say it, but its called "SEX". People are horny, and people under stress are horny. The battle field is not the place for hanky panky, and I know better then to say that soldiers are more mature then that for that to happen. That's a load of Bull. There's nobody hornier then the young private fresh out of basic. I know. I've met him (and her) many times.

In a perfect world, it wouldn't be an issue. This isn't a perfect world.

Army NCO Guy
What is the meaning of life?


No, but really. If you want me to get philosophical, I can simply tell you that I believe that life is really a test to see what we're made of. We are given various trials during the course of our existence and it is through the series of our choices and how we deal with the consequences that ultimately determine what happens to us on the other side.

I could go into further detail, but you did see the number of questions posed at me from the comment box, did you not?

David Farrar
What three books you would take onto a desert island with you?

Truthfully, I wouldn't want to be on a desert island so why would I take three books on that island with me? How long would I be on an island? No matter what three books I take, eventually I would get sick of them to the point that I would toss them into the water screaming "I hate you! I'm Sick of Reading the same blasted pages day after day after day! Why did I ever agree to come on this stupid Desert Island with three books anyway? What the bloody hell was I thinking?"

So I guess, that being said, I would probably not take novels. Hmm, maybe a dictionary, so I could learn new words that I would promptly forget thirty minutes later, and then maybe a book on how to make boats and sail them to safety using items found on desert islands (a loan palm tree appears to be common) and probably the sentimental answer such as the Holy Scriptures, so I can work on my lagging spirituality because I bet I would be getting pretty close to God during that time. Because I would likely have nobody else to talk to, considering the nature of these 'Desert Island' questions.

What countries you would most like to visit?

This is a good one. Lately I've been overcome with the traveling bug, and I really want to see the world. This summer I'm heading to Germany and hitting the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Italy and Switzerland (I might have to tone a couple of those down, I'm still planning this trip) and I really would like to see some of the ancient world, like Egypt, Isreal, China, India, and so on and so forth.

I'm thinking of swinging down south for some prime snowboarding in New Zealand and also make Australia. My sister was in Melbourne Australia area for a year and a half and she still has connections. That, and I've got minions down there.

Your preferred Democratic and Republican nominees for 2008?
If we could get a good solid Republican Nominee, I would love to see them spank Hilary's ass. In fact, I would love to see a good solid Democrat spank Hilary's ass in the primaries. (Good and Solid being used not in the terms of their politics being Republicans or Democrats, but them being a Good Solid Politician that agrees with my tastes)

That being said, for a Democrat, Joe Lieberman, but that's in my dreams. For a Republican, Rudy Giuliani's good, though he's a bit socially liberal for my tastes. I like John McCain too, he's a good moderate and he'd probably help with the stark division between the parties. But he's probably getting a bit old for the presidency, and he's done some things in the past that made me go "huh???"

To tell you the honest truth, I haven't thought to much about 2008. Most of the Democrats likely to be on the ticket I really don't like (gag!) and the Republicans all seem either moderate (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) or I don't know who they are. I'll likely look more into it as that time approaches.

Honestly, my ideal president would probably come from neither party, but my ideal president probably wouldn't run for president either. And I have no idea who my ideal president would be.

What's your opinion on those wearing hearing aids in active duty?

It depends on their job. If they can do their job just as well with a hearing aid as those that don't require them, then they're fine. Its a problem when communication is a big part of your job.

Do you see it alot? I'm getting waivered at MEPS for the reserve and they are telling me that its rare. But being that I have TDY'd at the Pentagon, Fort Meade, and now here in Portland. I see it very often.

I just did the Hearing Conservation Class and I actually haven't done a lot of work with the soldiers. That, and we're all National Guard/Reservists here. Some of the NG soldiers are older and require a little extra help with that hearing loss. In a couple of weeks, I'll get to be the one helping them out. Yay for me.

Are there anyone you know E or O rating that is weating a hearing aid?

I will show my ignorance now. I don't know what an E or O rating is. I think they use different terminolgoy in the class they just gave me.

Do You perfer the M16 to the M240 SAW?

What's an M240 SAW? I've never heard of one of those. Now the M249 is a blast. I got to fire one of those at the SIM Center and had a merry ol' time.

So in a question of which one I would rather fire, the M249 definitely. Especially at the SIM Center. You just mow those puppies down.

Which weapon I would rather be assigned to for carrying around on a day to day basis? I think I'll stick to my light and trusty M16.

Your Favorite Color?

Black. Oh wait, that's not a color. Um, Blue then. Or Green. I also like neutrals, such as browns and greys. I don't like pastels, and I hate pink. Though being a blonde I do look good wearing it. But then again, I think I look good in Black too. I love Yellow too, though I don't wear it because it makes me look dead.

I answered that question like a girl.

Boxers or briefs?

Boxers. Definitely. Guys in boxers are sexy. Take note.

Ok, now for a couple of not so mundane questions...

Which character in RA Heinlein's book The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress do you most identify with and why?

Hmm, I say Mike, because . . .
A) Mike is a Computer and I like computers
B) Mike is described as having a Puckish sense of humor, bringing a parrelel to Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, where Puck is my favorite character (and I was the one who got to play him in a lively rendition within my Sophomore English Class)
C) Mike is the only character I can find anything on in regards to a book I've never read. And I already like him.

Same questions for the RAH book The Glory Road.

Hmm, a book about dragons. *drools* I like Oscar already. He sounds like a character I would write about.

Both books are now on their way via Amazon. I'll give you a more detailed synopsis when I'm done.

m16a1a2 aka Talkie Toaster
Okay, here goes:
Seeing as that God is Infinite...
And the Universe is also Infinite..
Would you like some toast?

Yes please.
How about a Muffin?
Do you have Blue berry?
Er, I'll pass, thanks

What from home do you miss most?

Sidewalks. And halfway Sane Drivers. Not that there were many of the latter where I came from.

Have you ever listened to a record album and if so, how would you compare the sound to that from a CD?
My brother in law has about 5000 records on vinal. Yeah, I've heard a record or two. No, it's not as clear as a CD, but there is something about vinal that brings back memories.

Perhaps you've covered this a while back...

Fill in the blank: For Guard/Reserve soldiers preparing to deploy to the Balkans, make sure you __________ before activation.

Learn To Drive Defensively

Bonus question: greatest ex-President?
Hmm, I'll say Lincoln. For no particular reason.

Billy Budd
What would be three books and three Cd's would you recommend as influential to your life?

Three books, hmm. . . I guess three books that I actually wrote, because I think about them so freakin' often. Mostly in regards to "hmm, where should I take that character," or "what haven't I done to that character as of yet?" or "How can I make this thing even more freakin' complicated?"

Nobody reads my books but me. Believe me, I've had people try.

But I think the point of the question was "what three books that are published for distribution amongst people other then the author have been most influential on your life", correct? Hmm, then it gets tricky.

I guess one influential series of books is the Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander, which is a great fantasy series geared toward children that I first read in sixth grade that got me hooked on the fantasy genre, which influenced how I read books. Excellent series, highly recommended for young readers.

Unfit for Command, by John O'neil of the Swift Boat Veterans, was very influential in how I viewed John Kerry this last election cycle, and I never found a good rebuttal to this book, other then people telling me it's filled with lies without actually countering some facts of the books. It just rose some interesting questions for me, and made me think a lot about John Kerry and how unfit he was to be President. And not on his political ideals either, just as a person. I could see that something was being hidden on account of his time in the reserves, being a reservist myself, and that just didn't sit well with me. Yeah, call me a victim of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Propaganda Machine and I'll tell you "So Sue Me".

I could offer a few enlightening books on religious material, but religion is one area I tend to avoid on the Blog front, being a Christian of neither Catholic nor Protestant leanings. . .

As for CDs, I'm highly influenced by angry white chick music ala Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill (I made a vow last spring to see Alanis in concert last year, and lucky me, I was in Tacoma the weekend she came to Auburn with Bare Naked Ladies, now that's an interesting mix!). I'm also heavily influenced by Erasure's The Innocents, which is one of my all time favorite CDs of freakin all time, when I'm on a road trip and I want to keep myself awake or just need to get in a freak out mood, I pop either of the above two CDs in the CD player and scream at the top of my lungs with the songs (pity anybody who is in the car with me, as I can't hold a note to save my life, hence why I said Scream instead of Sing). Erasure also brings back those glorious days of the 80's where I would wake up and get ready for school while my high school aged brother and sister would be blasting Erasure, the Smiths, OMD and Depeche Mode in the bathroom. Great memories. Another good CD is John Denver's greatest hits, because that too brings back memories as I grew up from infant hood to John Denver and he was in Concert the year we moved to Washington and we didn't see him! GAAAAHHH!!! WHAT WERE WE THINKING!!! PRIME OPPORTUNITY MISSED AND WE SHALL NEVER MAKE UP FOR IT AGAIN!!!

John Denver's the BOMB man! The BOMB!

Runners up are anything by Linkin Park, Bare Naked Ladies, Matchbox 20, and They Might Be Giants (which when I first heard these guys, it didn't sink in at the time how utterly brilliant they were).

Yeah, nothing earth shattering, except for the realization that my musical tastes aren't exactly inline with my political affiliation.

Ones that made you go hmmmmmmm?

Gary Jule's rendition of "Mad World" is a great song, better then the original Tears for Fears version. I saw him in concert last year. He rocked! Then there's the Bare Naked Ladie's song "Good Boy", which is one of my favorite songs by them. I used to sing it to my nephew when I was trying to calm him down when I was baby sitting him. It didn't work on account of the fact that I can't carry a note.

(I Spent far to much time thinking about this question, the problem is, I've read a lot of books that struck me so, I just can't think of them off the top of my head)

Do you regret writing "ask me any question" yet?

*laughs* Um, believe it or not, no. Now the question you should ask is "Do you think it was a good idea to ask people to "ask me any question"?

Do you remember when The Maple St Toll Bridge was 10 cents or 25 cents?

The sign above the Maple ST Bridge still says 10 cents. You can kind of see it when the light hits it just so. . .

hey T-man I can answer that for you.
we moved here in 1996. After they stopped the toll.

That's not a question directed at me. But he's right.

How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?

You know, I never made it to the creamy goodness of the tootsie roll center. I think one time I tried it but my tongue got numb.

If you were a book, what would your title be?
Not Sorry.

Well, actually, that's a good question. Any prime candidates that people can come up with?

How about "My Life as a Internet War Goddess". Quite Frankly, what's wrong with "Incoherant Ramblings and Things Better Left Unsaid"?

D. K.
Who is your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?

Once upon a time, I would have said Michelangelo, but as I've been watching, I've noticed that he can be rather annoying at times. That being said, hmm, Michelangelo.

WA Tom
How can I too gain minions?

You need to be able to look angry and sexy at the same time. At least, that's how I decided i must have come up with them. Because I'm still not sure.

Guess you have to do something sorta unique to grab their attention first. Like pose with a badass looking weapon looking like your going to kick somebody's butt and then blog about it.

Mumblix Grumph
Why in the hell did the Howells bring so many clothes for a three hour tour?

Some things you just never will know. Some things are just not worth bothering to know. Case in point, anything involving Gilligan's Island.

Have you ever kissed a girl?

Yeah. my mum. Does that count?

(feverish minion fantasy, pay it no mind)
I got a question. What is it with Guys and fantasies about lesbians?

Barry N. Johnson
Why do women have a near-pathological compulsion about having to have salad dressing "on the side?"

Hey, you got me on that one. I've been here a total of nearly 2 and a half months and I've only had salad on the side once. Well, green leafy type salad that is.

Why is there air?

Because Breathing is Fun! Besides, if there was no air, we would live in a vacuum and the presure inside of us would cause us to explode because nothing would be holding us back. Come on, haven't you seen Total Recall?

Answer these questions three, 'ere the other side you see: What is your name?
Kami, but online I go by Risawn or Kalsanilasa (when I'm doing my 'geek' thing). People also tend to call me Marie, Kamiatris and Kamster. I got about a dozen nicknames. I had a blogpost about it too at one time, back before my webserver had a conniption fit.
What do you seek?
Sanity. And a better happy pill.
What is the forward airspeed of an unladden swallow?
What do you mean? What kind of Swallow? An African or a European Swallow?
(hopeless Monty Python Holy Grail Junky)

If the universe is expanding, what will happen when Michael Moore and Teddy Kennedy orbit too close to each other?
Hopefully the giant mass between the two of them would cause a temporary black hole so that they can both sink into oblivion.

Is that an African swallow or a European swallow?

You totally stole my thunder. Bad minion.

And for WA Tom: To gain minions you need an agent who is REALLY good at PR. But I don't come cheap.
Yeah, by the time I was ready to use that coupon, it had expired! Damn expiration dates.

Zendo Deb
Not that I'm complaining mind, just curious. How do you decide which posts go in which blog? (Both had pictures from your recent MEDCAP)

My Milblog is military postings only. My Main blog is about whatever the heck I feel like talking about at the time. Sometimes I feel like talking about the army. And the pictures on the Medcap were the ones with me toting around weapons, and that's always popular with the readers, seeing as that is what made this blog so popular in the first place.

Do you know the Muffin Man?

Doesn't he live on dreary lane or something? Or did I get that wrong? Should I go watch Shrek again?

Hey Kami,
Okay so I am new at this but I just wanted to say how the heck is Kosovo?

It's splendiferous! I had some minor problems at first but now everything is just peachy and I'm enjoying myself immensely. Going outside the wire is a blast.

When are you coming back to the states?
Sometime next year, around March of 2006. But not exactly certain, it could be sooner or later, they can extend if they need to.

Besides, if I gave you an exact date, then I'd have to kill you.

I'll likely take a roadtrip down there next spring to see the extended family. And of course, my connections (friends) down there as well.

I think you need to move out to Utah... Whatchya think?
I've been thinking about that. I was looking at Logan. Aunt Nora's there and I got a friend there who goes back to Kindergarten. I could go to school at Utah State.

ps what do you miss most from america?
The sidewalks, and the sane drivers (didn't I already answer this one?) Oh yeah, commercialism. The PX has a monopoly on this region, as we aren't allowed to shop off post, at least, not at the present moment. But there's always Amazon!

any particular food?
Momma's home cookin!

(Yes, Kambria is one of my many many cousins)

Dave J
Dammit, Murray asked my question already.

Then think of another one. There are plenty to ask. Like for instance. . .

"What's your favorite Brand of Shoe?" , "What's your favorite Comic Strip?" or even "What made you start a Blog?" or even "so, how did that talk in church go in the long run?" or how about "What in the hell were you thinking when you chopped off all your hair?" or "What one thing would you do different if you had your life to live over again?" or "If you had a choice to die hanging by your toenails with your eyes being pecked out by crows or sitting for eternity listening to self help tapes by fitness guru Richard Simmons in a room with not corners surrounded by neon lights and disco balls, which would you choose"?

To which I would reply "Sketchers", "Bill Waterson's Calvin and Hobbes, Gary Larson's The Far Side, Bill Armend's Foxtrot, Steve Pastis' Pearls Before Swine, in no particular order, but I am also slightly partial to Kami Erickson's Creature, Keeper of the Vortron: Dimension Gateway, the webcomic with the rediculously long title", "It turned out to be rather low key as I swiped something right off the internet and read that and then ended up adding my own two cents and blubbering like a baby at the pulpit, which is the custom of anyone giving a talk such as I did", "I was thinking of solving a problem, as my hair as always proved to be incompatible with the army, but I quickly learned that I made another problem as it wouldn't cooperate when it was short like it wouldn't when it was long and I can't wait for it to grow out again becuase I miss my trademark hair framing my face technique that I used to have when I had no bangs *sighs*", "I would have stuck with the Violin", and "Is that you, Julie?" respectfully.

WA Tom
I can always use some good PR however mostly I let my work do my talking though. I suspect for volunteer services I am just not the right gender!

This is not a forum! This is all about me I tell you! Me me me ME!

. . .

Ok, tantrum over.

Jeff the Baptist
Is the SAW as big a piece of crap as the after action reports say?

I wouldn't know. I've only fired them on the range, and the range isn't exactly a combat zone. I know I wouldn't want to be on the combat line when one jammed on me, but then again, I wouldn't want to have my 16 jam on me either.

What is the strangest habit that Kosovars think is normal?
that they think the traffic laws apply to anybody but them. Oh wait, that's universal. Hmm, I think the concept of the Kosovo Harley.

Army NCO Guy
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

I would think roughly a chord of wood, enough to pay my dad back at least. Hey dad, if I got you a woodchuck that chucks wood, would that count against my payment?

Um, that's an inside joke bytheway. I owe my parents a chord of wood.

seriously, I'm trying very hard to think of a real question...

Think Harder. . .

Sam the Blairite
I emailed you - did you get my mail?

*glances at overflowing inbox, sees that it is no longer there. Goes to folder titled 'minions' and checks. Sees it there.*

Yep! Didja get my reply? Sorry it took so bloody long!

I was the guy involved in UK politics.

Nice pictures. . . yep, I remember you!

Is your Dad OK? Have been checking his blog and he has not posted anything to it since his first posting.

As far as I know, he's still alive and kicking. Though I'm not exactly sure what prompted him to start a blog. He's really not the type. No offense dad.

Chevy Rose
Does the military furnish gun cleaning kits or do you have to buy your own? I see that as requested item on some of the Any Soldier request site.

Yeah, they do. And the one's they furnish work quite well, considering the only time we fire these things is when we do our standard weapons qualification. Now, if I were in Iraq where danger was imminent, I would probably want something a little more heavy duty, but for now, this works.

Dave I'll answer that.
I'm OK just busy and was hoping to get some assistance from a Kami's siblings. Please be patient. Nice to know someones watching.

Like dad said. I wish he would blog more too *sighs*

Is there anything that we can send you guys?

Carepackages titled "any Soldier" (because I've discovered I'm spoiled), or packages of goodies to give to kids at MEDCAPS. Check out my Milblog for more info on that.

Handwritten letters via Snail Mail is always a great thing too. We actually have it pretty easy here, they have the biggest PX in the region right here on Camp Bondsteel.

just two questions.
.45 or 9mm?

I've fired a .45 revolver, but not a pistol. Some of the old timers who were around before the army adopted the Beretta think fondly of the ol' .45 and wish that we still had it in our inventory. I'm kind of not very accurate with the 9mm myself, but being the pee-on enlisted that I am, I don't have to handle pistols in my line of work to often. It would be nice if that's what I had to carry all of the time however.

M16 or AK?
M16 seems a little more accurate, and not as much kick, but the AK is more reliable. My AK never jams. My M16 does.

Barry Johnson
Ooh, I got one! How do you pronounce your name?

Hmm, Kami's how it looks, but some people try to do the Japanese prononcuation, which sounds a whole lot like 'Commie", like Communist which isn't what I want to hear. But I prefer it like Cammie's, such as Camouflage. If you get my drift.

Oh, you meant my Alias, didn't you? Um, Audio Blogger Coming UP!

Uncle Bruce
I'm sitting here with your Dad in my office checking out your website. Jim told me about your books. I love that stuff--send me a draft! Love, your favorite uncle.

Sorry, you can't have a draft. Even if you're my favorite uncle! Er, especially if you're my favorite uncle!

Whats the first thing you desperately want to do when you get back to your All American City hometown?

Sleep. . . I know, weak answer, huh?



This blog entry is (WAS) post dated so that it will (WOULD) remain at the top of my blog.

I want(ed) to try something, just for fun, because I do things like this from time to time.

Ask me any question in my comment box before the date this entry is dated for and on that date I will answer them. The question could be for anything, about myself, how I feel about something, maybe in regards to story I said earlier that I didn't update or basically anything in general. Its open for discussion.

Then I'll see if this was a good idea or not :P

(Get your last minute questions in!)

ALRIGHT!!! ALL DONE!!! I AIN'T ANSWERING ANYMORE!!! (until next time I lose my sanity temporarily enough to pose it again)

Sorry Everybody, Five Months Later. . .

The "Sorry Everybody that we're Pathetic Losers that can't Grasp the Concept that Kerry was just an awful Candidate and obviously not a good replacement for the current commander in chief and we have nothing better to do then to take pictures of ourselves and lament about it online to the glee of fellow losers like ourselves!" Crowd apparently has a book.

The fact that I'm just now hearing about it (because I stumbled by accident back onto the website) must say something about its clout. Becuase I ceased to view that site about the time when I realized that they were completely irrelevant.

How I feel about these people can quickly be summed up here.

Note: I don't hate Kerry Voters, just Kerry Voters who think that it is their duty to belittle anybody that thinks differently then themselves, and then expose the hypocricy of them calling themselves 'liberals' and touting 'Diversity'.

Diversity is a difference of ideas as much as it is a difference of cultures, you bunch of bigots! A lot of liberal's idea of diversity is a faculty composed of every different ethnic group, but all sprouting leftist ideaology. Umm, that's not diversity. That's a Democratic National Convention.

Besides, I have to hand it to this little website for giving me the exposure that it did! Because I wouldn't have posted me toting my badass M203 and posted it online as a rebuttal if I hadn't seen this.

Duke'n It

Here's another take on that picture with the 3 weapons (though the M16 is a bit obscurred.)

I look far to happy for my own good. Almost sadistic like.

*Insert evil laugh here.* (and I can do quite the evil laugh)


Yeah, still posting. . .

. . . but it shouldn't surpise anybody that I have chronic Foot in Mouth Disease.

My latest thing, Hot Tamales. Especially fresh ones. I've been swiping them rather liberally from my NCOIC.

But then again, I've been sharing all the junk food I get in my care packages with my fellow unit members so he doesn't appear to be minding.

Second leg of the Greece Trip Class thing done. Two more to go and I'm qualified to visit the ruins of Philippi Greece.

Meanwhile, I've been getting quite a few Any Soldier Letters and been passing them around quite a bit, as well as opening one or two of them myself. I got one from a Seventh Grader I have to return (but I'll have to inform her that I'm actually not in Iraq *sighs*) though I think it will be a lot of fun to write that letter.

So my task tomorrow, which is my 'day off' (in quotations because I will probably still work, so its more likely to be a working day off) is to catch up on every letter I need to return. And then I'm going to play some DDR. And take pictures of me looking like an idiot playing it. . .

Our unit does a quote of the day for all interested. Today I got to chose it. I chose a Herm Albright quote, and its one to live by.

"A positive attitude may not solve all of your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort!"

Once upon a time, I did a quote at the end of every blog post. I quickly learned that as fun as it was, it was also a pain in the neck!


Simple Easy to Follow Instructions

Open Mouth

Insert Foot

Play Ball!

I've decided to get back into Sports. I haven't played sports since I was in High School, but I think they are a great way to get in shape and it's an excuse to associate with fellow human beings, on a competitive scale.

They have a 4 on 4 volleyball tournement coming up in a couple of weeks and I volunteered for that, seeing as I love Volleyball and played it through Freshman year. I even have knee pads, though I got them for something else. However something tells me this is going to be sand volleyball, they've got two sandpit volleyball courts outside the MWR building but whatever the case, it sounds like its going to be fun.

The Task Force is also setting up a Softball Team, and the Top is constantly asking me to throw a Softball around with her. Something always comes up. I haven't played Softball for a while, I played a little in Jr High and Freshman year but I was never that good. Still, I had fun while I did it and that's the whole point, right? I even went so far to invest in a nice Softball Mitt and some batting gloves, because I could and they were sitting there calling my name.

And of course, Soccer with Tornado. I played for the first time yesterday, we basically just kicked a ball around practicing, a lot of these Tornado guys really know how to play and I'm the token female because it's supposedly 'co-ed', and Tornado is a Combat Arms unit made up entirely of men, and so they needed to recruit some women.

When I have nothing else going on, I ride a Bike around post. Due to a previous question, it's a Kent Trail Blazer, a shiney Blue Color. Nothing fancy, in fact, it takes more work then it should to get up a hill, but that's ok, because that just means more PT for me.

You know, all of these plans are digging into my Returning Emails Quest and Book Reading time. And I still haven't finished Halo 2. *sighs* Oh well, Physical Endurance Building or sitting like a slug in my room playing video games/reading a large stack of books.

Choices choices.


The Rhetoric of being a Badass

I think there is something about somebody saying that I always posed with a weapon lacking a magazine, and so I made up for it.

We went to Letnica yesterday on a MEDCAP, providing medical support for the community sponsored by Task Force Tornado, which is a Combat Arms unit. I was all over this one. One of the SGTs had an M203 in his possession and I asked to pose with it.

Then they brought to my attention what they referred to as 'Bazooka Joe', which happens to be a M249 SAW.

Another Kodak moment.

But you know what's really badass? Carrying 3 weapons at once!

However, I feel that if I tried to actually fire these things at once, I probably would be bowled over like everyone thinks I would with the 203. Also, I probably wouldn't be able to hit jack.

My NCOIC wasn't impressed. And he posed a bit of rhetoric my way, asking me why I got a thrill posing with items that were meant for Death. Really, your talking about three pieces of equipment designed to kill other people. And I take them in my hand and say "snap a picture of me toting this badass piece of equipment."

Um, doesn't that ring the whole point of being a soldier to mind? Not everyone gets to pose with instruments of death at this scale. It is bloody COOL! That's why!

The supreme power of Peace through Superior Fire Power. People aren't going to mess with you if you strike an imposing image with an item designed to kill.

Though granted, I think the picture of me with the 203 and 249 and a 16 slung on my back would have more people laughing at the thought of me actually trying to fire those things simutaniously then striking fear into the hearts of enemies everywhere.

And I still stand by my statement. I love instruments of death, and I love posing with them. Even if they are designed to kill, because that's sort of the point.


Another Duty

I think I've just been tasked with putting together a website for the task force.

When it comes online, you shall see the link. I'll make it righteously wicked! And then you can meet people from my task force that I refer to by initials only! Sweet!


Subjected to Mass Punishment

I didn't see Elektra last night, I couldn't find my movie date, I think he stood me up, or he just forgot.

Well, the head of our enlisted Department, SSG D, saw Hide And Seek instead.

You know that there might be a problem if the typo in the schedule declares that the movie is called Hide and Sick. He came in this morning ranting and raving about how bloody awful this movie was until he was red in the face. It got so bad to the point that the commander officially ordered him not to talk about the movie anymore.

Fast forward to this afternoon, myself and two other soldiers were discussing about the policy that was reiterated this afternoon that we are not to go shopping, eat, or drink coffee on the local economy until further notice. To emphasize this, we were shown a picture of three soldiers sitting down at a cafe drinking coffee. Those soldiers were in our task force, and two of them were giving the brief (which was part of their punishment). Dang, I wish I knew I could have gotten away with it before now and claimed ignorance, because I didn't think we were supposed to stop and shop, eat, or have coffee.

In afterthought, in the office, I'm trying to get the ok to leave when we start discussing the briefing and various parts of the task force and how SSG D felt he was disrespected by a member of one of the other sections (as a side note). When the good Captain asked SPC D if she would ever treat any senior NCO with such disrespect, the wise cracking started, at the expense of the good sergeant. In good harmless fun mind you.

As punishment? SSG D kindly asked the captain to leave the room, and we were subjected to a full ten minute rant about how truly awful Hide and Seek really was.

Can I just have the push ups next time please?

No Particular Exciting Title

I think I should look up the history of April 1st and why it was chosen to be known as all Fool's day. Maybe its the fact that the weather will tempt you with all this beautiful March "in like a lion, out like a lamb" Springiness and then on April First it goes "Gotcha!" and the weather turns to near freezing.

Well, at least it was pretty this morning.

Anyway, I have no joke today. Usually I do something mischievious, and I had something planned but it didn't work. *sigh* Maybe next year.

Meanwhile, I updated some pictures in Dogtags.

I took a few pictures of the outlying areas via HUMM-V, so not all of them came out. The ones that didn't I didn't post. I also got some good pictures of some vehicles, I think those will wait until tomorrow. But I was particularly pleased with this one.

I haven't seen one person ride a horse since I've been here. They are all cart horses used to pull these log things that I think they use to prop up the cement when they build houses. Becuase there are no wooden houses here.

Meanwhile, I did a double whammy yesterday, the computer I was trying to post from was having technical difficulties and suddenly it posted twice and I didn't realize it. And I can't edit it until I get to a computer that allows me to read comments. I don't want to delete the one post that has all the comments and leave the other one barren.

In other news, I woke up looking like a rooster yesterday. Proof attached in a particularly hidious looking photograph.

I wonder what kind of grief I will recieve for posting that online.