Quick note on Salzburg

Mom and I went up to the Ice Caves and saw Hohensalzburg yesterday. Today its the eagles nest and last minute shopping in Aldstadt Salzburg before we catch the train to our next destination.

Were hoping that the wireless internet is better. If it is, well be showing pictures for Friends and Family so the extreme envy can sink in.

Today should be good fun :) Hopefully more tonight.

This is still a German Keyboard and though I slip up, Ive been doing better. Unfortunately I dont know where the comma is. Hence my grammer.



Well, another german keyboard, Ill make a stronger effort to actually type correctly.

Me and Mom connected in Frankfurt with little problem, except for me getting on the wrong S-bahn to meet her.

Stayed in Frankfurt for a few hours and then zipped on down to Salzburg and spent all yesterday touring about seeing the Saltmines and getting reacquainted with the movie Sound of Music.

Today we went to Munich and celebrated Oktoberfest. Much fun! Beer tents were cool, so were the horses. Pictures to come ASAP.

Internet, however, is expensive. As is evident by the extremely short post and lack of updates. Better luck in Vienna!


Two Nights in Frankfurt

Well, another day in Frankfurt. I slept in a little longer then I wanted to and got going at around Nine, which proved to be Ok as most stores don't open until 10 anyway. I stepped out into the street, and decided to just start walking. So walk I did.

Frankfurt am Main got the crap bombed out of it during World War II so when they started rebuilding it, it became a more modern city then most European cities. Its the banking capital of Germany, the Euro is even minted here. As a joke, some people call it 'Main'hattan, as there is a definite skyline filled with sky scrapers here. It is actually a very nice city, but it doesn't attract the tourists like some other German cities do. So it really doesn't cater to tourists as much as, say, Munich does.

But that's ok, I went ahead, walked around, and just enjoyed myself as I familiarized myself with the city.

Oh, and I found an Art Store! I was in bliss for the five minutes I strolled around. I found that I couldn't hang around for to long or else I would spend a lot of money and then be at a loss of how to ship the stuff home. But it felt nice to be in my element once again! If only for a little while. *sigh*

Meanwhile, I walked around, bought a pretzel and ate it walking (typical American thing to do), familiarized myself with city, saw the Zeilgallarie (which is a really interesting Mall) and walked around that, walked a lot more, and ended up at the Frankfurt Zoo.

Hmm. Animals.

I bought a ticket and checked out Europe's oldest zoo for a couple hours. Some of the animals, being kept in a zoo all of the time and annoyed by the shrieking kids visiting on a field trip from school, were hiding out in their respective cages and I couldn't see them. But I was still over all impressed. I especially liked the Nocturnal Exhibit where night is simulated. I found the Bushbabies to be particularly cute. One of them hopped right at me and just stared at me for a few minutes. I stared back. Its eyes were HUGE!!! They were also really playful, jumping around as if they were showing off.

I want one.

Anyway, I took gobs of pictures at the zoo of all the furry little critters, and some that weren't so furry, when I found that I had traversed the zoo and was ready to see something else. I was at one part of the city and needed to get to another part so I grabbed a cab and asked about the Mathematic Museum I had read about (and I was certain it was located in Frankfurt). The cab driver didn't know what I was talking about and it isn't located on any maps so maybe I was indeed mistaken. *sigh*

I read about the Natural History museum and inquired upon that. The cab driver agreed to take me there and as he did so he showed me some other parts of the city and made recommendations on where to go, as most of the museums are in one section of the city, with an exception of the Natural History Museum. I decided to save those for when mom gets here, and it turns out that this was a good choice. Those are all closed on Mondays.

Well, I bought a ticket to the Natural History museum (known as the Senckenberg)and for some reason took an immediate left. Which brought me to a whole lot of animals, many of which I had already seen. Except those were alive. These were stuffed. Kind of morbid if you think about it.

Hmm, maybe the Natural History museum wasn't such a good idea?

Well, actually after wandering around in it a bit more, I did enjoy myself as they had an excellent dinosaur bone exhibit and I have had an infatuation with dinosaurs since I was a child. Overall, the museum was very impressive, I really liked their stuff bird display and I was looking for an example of the Peregine Falcon as it is one of my favorite birds but alas, they didn't have one. Had just about everything else though.

I had been recommended to check out the Palmengarten as well, but when I got to it, it appeared closed. This might be because I was trying to access it through an area that actually wasn't an entrance but I didn't know this and decided that my feet were starting to get sore and walked back to my Hostel.

Where I discovered I have a roommate from Japan! Even though I'm in a dorm with five beds, I was the only person in there last night. She had just finished traveling most of the big cities of Europe for the last month and she's going home tomorrow. I'm just starting off and discovered that she had gone to a few places I was going to and I asked her about them. I haven't really mentioned to anybody my military experience, that is something I have been recommended to keep quiet about.

Anyway, I took it easy for the evening, figuring out how the European Rail system works and having some Thai for dinner. (yeah, I'm in Germany and everything, but you know how often I get to have Thai? I have to go to KFOR Main!) I think I got the finer details of the trip planned out with room for flexibility.

Except for I've been told to get advertisements and things about Volkswagens in German. I did mention all of the men in my life are Volkswagen Nuts right? It would have been nice to know this detail when I went to the IAA fair on Sunday, because they had a quarter of one of the halls dedicated to Volkswagens. I could have gotten gobs of stuff!

Oh well.

I called home and found that my mom had indeed taken off in her plane just fine. I will confirm that she made it tomorrow. Since she will be getting here when everyone else is asleep, maybe we should just give a quick blog update and leave it at that?

I'll get pictures up soon.

Protests and Counter Protests

Great post on Code Pink and Counter Demonstrations over at Conservative Propaganda.

When I get back to the states, I'm going to get into my chapter of Protest Warrior and take part in more of these. Sounds like great fun, dont you think?

Edit - thought I would emphasize why I think this particular post was a good post, mostly because I don't mind people protesting the war or what not, but I feel that in front of Walter Reed is NOT the place to do it. Code Pink has calmed their rhetoric, but I still think that in front of a hospital is tactless. And the soldiers don't appreciate it.


German Kezboards and Autoshows.

So, I went out into the world, and just came back from mz time in Frankfurt.

That cool internet service I told zou about_ Well, itäs down. And Iäm on a funkz kezboard that exchanges z and yäs and everz time I trz to put in a comma, I get an A with an Umlaut.

The noveltz of it makes me just want to tzpe as I normallz would and see how much this will drive me nuts__ Oh zeah, question marks are now underscores like just demonstrated.

Enough alreadz. Anzwaz, I kind of went for a stroll to see what is out there and I made mz waz to the Messe of Frankfurt, and ran into something that was pure testosterone.

Something known as the International Automobile Außtellung. I didnät know how long this thing had been going on, but apparentlz todaz was the last daz. Automobiles from everz car maker imaginable. Including quite a few I had never heard before. For a Euro thez let me in, which I thought was a prettz good deal. crayz, I just couldnät help but think that mz dad would have loved to see this.

Pictures to come. When I get mz normal computer up.

Ate dinner at a little bakerz in the Hauptbahnhof, it was good. All the food Iäve eaten here has so far been excellent. This morning, I was in Weisbaden (I drove there in the rental and kind of landed somewhere completedlz bz accident) and had a breakfast buffet at this little cafe called Alex. I donät think Iäve ever had a crescent roll that tasted like that before. It was delicious!

However, surprisinglz, I havenät been gorging mzself.

Anzwaz, I think Iäve had enough of the kezboard and now I have to find a waz to call mz mom and remind her to bring a change of sheets for the hostels, one for me and one for her. I wish I would have known that before I got here *sighs*

The kezboard has an Essyeht! Known as ß.

I donät think Iäll tzpe as I normallz would when on these computers anzmore however.

In Germany Again. . .

So, Leave Officially starts today, but my orders say Friday. Or something. I think I'll get that worked out soon.

Currently, I'm in Frankfurt staying at a local Hostel which is really cheap, but for a reason. I'm new to this method of traveling but I think I can handle it. Mom will be joining me in a few days so for a little while I'll be flying Solo.

I rented a car today (they gave me a BMW!) and realized that car rentals are not necessary if you stay in Frankfurt. In fact, cars are more a Pain in the Fourth then they help. That, and it helps if you know your way around the area, which I don't, and I spent a lot of time driving around. And Gas is expensive, see, I know you all know Gas is expensive, but for the last eight months I haven't had to pay for gas. So I didn't realize exactly HOW expensive.

The infamous Autobahn quickly lost its luster. I turned the car in and found that my Hostel is conveniantly close to the Hauftbonhof, which is German for Train Station.

I also stayed at Rhein-mein Air Base last night, which was interesting as its slated to close in like a week or so. In other words, the place is dead.

Anyway, found a source of internet for dirt cheap (actually, completely free :) that I think I'll use to update over the next few days. Tonight, I'm going to find a place to eat, explore a bit, work out exactly what I want to see tomorrow, and call mom.

Yeah, that should do it.

Life is good now that I'm away from Kosovo for the next two or so weeks.


Roller Coaster Day

So, I was doing really awesome today, on account of my Leave fast approaching, I can't think of much else. Which has left me very little to write about on my blog other then to ramble on stupidly about what I'm going to do while I'm on leave. In fact, I've been trying to avoid doing that because it does get old and I'd rather talk about it as it happens then anticipate something and babble on about it so everyone gets sick of it.

Well, today was like any other day approaching leave. And I was doing great.

Then I got in an accident.

Now I'm not doing so good. Unfortunately, things like accidents are the very things that Big Brother doesn't want me to talk about. As much as I would like to.

Well, all I can say is the Humm-V is fine and nobody was injured, though I still have to go to sick call in the morning, just in case. Can't say the same for the vehicle that was hit, the window shattered.

Hopefully this will take care of itself, but now I'm not looking real forward to the events of tomorrow. I guess I'll anticipate the following day, as long as this doesn't mess up my leave.

Well, a rousing game of Spades did improve my mood a wee bit. We played Boys against Girls, and although this is only the second time the Girls have played Spades, Girls kicked butt. That's why I was on the Girls team. :)

Then it was off to Kajukenbo. That is one thing that makes me sad about leave. But overall I think I'll do the tour Europe thing.

PS - Can I beat the dead horse over the head one more time and state that my internet sucks??? Well it does.


Political Meme

So, according to this quiz, this is where I line up Politically. . .

You are a

Social Moderate
(50% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(61% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Not a bad quiz, more in depth and not as subjective as previous tests I've taken, but I wonder how close I'll line up with that if I were to take it again???

Meanwhile, What is with these Hurricanes this year??? This is going to be known as the Year of the Hurricane, isn't it.

Leave and Blog Policy

As leave continues to approach, I find myself getting more and more anxious and excited by what I'm planning to do, and trying to decide where I want to go for the two days I ride solo.

I think I've got it all figured out, and I also got access to internet through most hostels who offer it for free.


In other news, everyone in the task force knows me as being the Blogger and when the latest policy letter came out, they all looked at me and was wondering why they were all informed of it when it seemed to only apply to me. Then they seemed to start accusing me of doing something to make everyone get harped on about it.

I think one of the things I did was soliciting, which I kind of put up on my blog without even thinking about it in regards to the military (more of my server getting swamped back in November) which proved to actually be a huge no-go. As was the Amazon Wishlist (so for those of you who have access to it still even after I removed it, please do not buy me anything else off of it). Strange, I removed all of that before the policy letter came out.

The Any Soldier Packages were Ok, but I ended up removing my name from the list due to me being on leave and then BNCOC and by that time, I'll be packing and heading home so it seemed pointless to keep it. That, and its tough to get people to take letters because everyone seems to think that they're obligated to write back.

I've learned that lesson myself. Hmm. . .

Anyway, Bedtime fast approacheth and I have an early day of work tomorrow (though can't tell you what I'm doing because of the policy thing, see, even though I think I was always pretty good at this aspect of it)

How many pairs of boots does a soldier need, anyway?


ATTN: James, Brian and Jared

For the Volkswagen Lovers of my life, while I was touring the Kaiserslaughtern area, I saw this and knew what I had to do.

I had to take a picture of it.

So I sweet talked my NCOIC into stopping and getting a picture with it (it's between Ramstein and Landstuhl, as in the German Villages, not the military bases, though I guess you could say it was there too.) He didn't seem to be entirely thrilled, especially on account that it was raining, but being the last day of us being in Germany, I basically told him that I didn't care what else we did, just so long as we stop and see the Volkswagen.

I seemed to have convinced him because we ended up going out of our way later to get some pictures.

Indeed brings an all new meaning to the name of the Volkswagen Beetle.

Getting the good Sergeant to actually take a picture of me with the Bug was akin to pulling his teeth, so I'm grateful to have managed to get him to take one picture, though not a very good one granted.

Yes, when I saw this bug I immediately thought of my kin. I knew they would appreciate.

Dear Mom in America

My mom thanks you for your support.

For more information, see comment bar in previous post.

And I thank you too :)


Blog Stuff

So, the regulation has just came out, and they are really cracking down on the blogs. Along the lines of trying to keep information from leaking out to where our enemies can retrieve it.

Which is one of the problems I have been having with the unit website, which I told the CSM.

I'll admit that at times when I had a spare moment, I would update from my office but that must cease and disist. Meaning I have to depend soully on my laptop and its lackluster internet service.

You know how difficult it is to talk like a pirate??? And you know how much my internet provider sucks???

Also, I left my heart in Germany over the last week. Fortunately, I get to go back in a few days to retrieve it.



Avast, Ye Scurvy Land Lubbers,

Today be 'International Talk Like A Pirate' day, and I be celebrating in full force, and we be making it International indeed.

Aargh. . .

Though we pirates in the confined to the land mass of the balkans celebrate our holidays a wee bit early. The Treasure Hunt was most successful, and I be adding to my collection of Jolly Rogers and Fine Tunics of Cotton.

But alas, we ran awry when confronted by scurvy dogs that brought out the guns and aimed balls of water at we, attempting to send us to Davy Jones' Locker. We managed to hold out and fight another battle.

All posts made on this fine day will be in Pirate Speak.

When I was in Germany, I discovered that I can't wait to have my mom with me when I see Europe. I discovered this on account of two things. One, I was in Germany with my NCOIC and he had the rental car in his name.

And he liked to be in his room to watch Football games and what not, leaving me to pick my nose and twiddle my thumbs.

Don't get me wrong, SSG D is a good guy and all, and we went and saw Kaiserslaughtern and Landstuhl and I found those two German Towns to be very interesting. He just liked to call it early on some days.

See, he even said this. He's old, I'm young. And asking him to take a picture for you is like asking somebody to have their teeth voluntarily pulled.

I think we could have remedied the whole issue by having me get the rental car in my name, but alas, it wasn't the case.

Meanwhile, Germany was beautiful and when we were out and about I sincerely enjoyed myself, and thought about how much fun I was going to have and how much my mom was going to enjoy this. When I mentioned this to SSG D, he said I should. . .

I didn't finish this post, and if I were to rewrite it, I wouldn't be so kind to SSG D

Bulgaria, Take Three

Continuing on in the pace of the hit and miss discussion of Bulgaria, Sunday is kind of a slow day for Bulgarians, after doing a bit of shopping, we tried to find something more to do and ended up going back to the hotel early, where we got ready for that evening and then went to eat dinner.

Um, Sunday Night was actually kind of blah. And unfortunately, all of the clubs tend to be closed, at least that's what I was told.

So we had to find something else to do. Which honestly, I wasn't to happy about because we ended up going back to the same place we went the night before. I mentioned something along the lines of 'why didn't we go to the club Yesterday and come here today instead?'

Oh well. It seemed that the evenings were not the highlight of my trip.

Monday, we slept in longer then I would have normally wished, but I expressed an interest in walking around and seeing Sofia except for I was with three guys who didn't want to. Hmm. . .

Anyway, Lunch was on everyone's minds and somebody suggested Indian. We went to an Indian place but alas, well, due to the holiday, it was closed. Balderdash.

We went to the Rio instead, and ended up being the only people in the restaraunt.

So we had some Brazilian food at the Rio. Apparently, the best time to eat at the Rio is in the evening, as like the Bulgarian restaraunt, they have dancers too.

The Rio was a cool place, it was all made up in a Brazilian style, if I get another chance to go back to Bulgaria, I want to make an effort to go there again, in the evening.

Anyway, after the Rio, somebody suggested a flea market, that they have on most days in front of an old church. Now I can spend all day at a Flea Market, or so I discovered. There was a lot of old world war two memoriabilia and what not. And Bulgaria is not far from Russia so there is a lot of Russian influence. I collect foreign money so I got some coins and what not along with an old compass from the German Olympic games in 1936. Afterwards, I found out it was a reproduction, but it is still kinda cool.

This was the Flea Market for the most part. Just a bunch of old antiques and so on.

I saw this old sword and I so wanted to buy it. But Sword and Fire Arm Purchases is considered a violation of General Order Number One, and comes with some stiff penalties. *sighs* There were some cool knives too.

I bought this hat. I couldn't resist. It was so fuzzy. The flaps aren't normally down but the picture was snapped then so. . .

This guy makes art from mechanical parts, like clocks and stuff. His stuff was so cool that i had to get a picture with him. I wanted the scorpion I'm holding but didn't end up getting it.

Across from the flea market which sold all sorts of nicknacks and antiques was a lion.

Without realizing it, I did something I shouldn't have. Apparently this picture could get me arrested in Bulgaria. So to Bulgaria, I'm sorry. I love your lion and I meant no disrespect. I'm just a stupid american that likes to crawl on things I guess.

That night, we went to the Indian Restaraunt. Which was very spicy. But good. I loved my soup. Should have gotten more of that.

It was at this time I explained my idea of NOT going back to the place where we had been going for the past two nights and actually told Nate that I wanted to kind of have a little more alone time with him. Unfortunately, because of the forementioned Bulgarian Holiday, there wasn't much we could go, so we ended up going Bowling. I think I scored like a 75 in one game and a 60 in the other.

Yeah, I really can't bowl.

Afterwards, we went back to the hotel which has a Casino within it. No I didn't take any pictures because cameras are not allowed within the Casino. But anyway, I'm not much of a gambler, but they had a little show at midnight with some dancers and me and Nate went and saw that. It was actually pretty interesting and I enjoyed that. Anyway, Nate wanted to gamble a bit, and that part of General Order Number One was lifted so I watched Nate play a little Poker and Black Jack. Eventually, out of sheer boredom, I decided to play about 50 Lev in Black Jack, and when it was gone, it was gone.

Unfortunately, because of that pesky holiday closing the museums and what not, (Nate wanted to go to a Tank Museum but it was closed), we didn't really get to do everything we wanted to do. I felt like we spent to much time sleeping in and i wanted to do more during the day and just walk around.

I might get another shot at Bulgaria, but it will be tight, I'll have to squeeze it in between Leave and BNCOC (Sergeant School) and that gives me a two week window.

I think I'll get my feel of Museums and walking around when I go to Europe with my mom so I think this was my shot at Bulgaria. Maybe I didn't have as much fun as I wanted to, but I still had fun. Who knows, in a few years I might go back there.


Bulgaria, Take Two

So, I left off with the Bulgarian Eatery didn't I? Well, actually let me back track for just a moment.

In the Bulgarian Black Market (I'm not sure if this is a real black market or not, but that's what they call it), they had a video store with some movie posters in Bulgarian. I couldn't resist taking a snap shot of it.

Kill Bill, in Syrilic. Too Cool.

Anyway, back to the Bulgarian Restaraunt. We ordered our food and around 9 PM they started a show with traditional Bulgarian Dancers.

I took some pictures and some video, but they didn't all come out like I wanted them to.

It was basically a group of four men and four women that would go and change into different costumes between dances, all of them in a traditional Bulgarian style. I thought they were quite cool looking and really enjoyed the show, which lasted for about an hour.

My favorite part, however, was the three guys in masks. I'm not sure what the story behind these guys were, but they looked kind of scary and they had sticks they were swinging about. I think I need to do some research on the history of these guys.

Anyway, they go into the crowd and pick out an unsuspecting individual and draw them out onto the dance floor, lie them on a blanket, and then incoorporate this individual into the dance by jumping over them, pretending to smack their staffs on them, and what not. The person, meanwhile, just lies there.

Yeah, that was kind of fun. See, Cipi the Cab Driver talked to the dancers and had them take me out of the audience.

So, while we were watching the dance and digesting our food, I got probably the best picture of me and Nate since we've been going out. Of course, now we're just friends, but still, I thought the picture looked pretty good.

We left the restaraunt at about 1030 and had to find something to do for a Saturday night. I wanted to hit the clubs, but Bulgaria is kind of strange in that nobody really shows up to the clubs until around midnight, but the clubs stay open all night.

Well, we had to blow some time, and unfortunately for me, I was with three guys. They decided to go to a place that really didn't cater to women. Read that as you will. We were only supposed to stay there for about an hour or so but for some reason, when your with three guys who are drinking and you aren't, they seem to forget about the idea of going to the Club.

So, well, we didn't go to the club that night. And because of this odd Bulgarian Holiday that had everything closed, supposedly, I didn't get to go to a dance club the entire time we were there.

The weekend was going well until we hit Saturday night. *sigh*

On to Sunday. Sunday consisted of us waking up rather later then I would have wished. We met up with Cipi and decided where we wanted to eat. Somebody suggested Indian, and so Cipi took us to an Indian Restaurant that was alas, closed.

So we had Japanese instead. That was a lot of food, for not a lot of money. That's one of the beautiful things about Bulgaria.

Then we hit the Gocarts. I couldn't resist going Go Carting when we heard about the fact that they had Go Carts in Bulgaria.

We drove those things around the course for about thirty minutes. I didn't flip it or anything, but my Battle Buddies kind of whooped me on the course. But that's ok, I still had fun.

Anyway, I really wanted to go shopping for souveniers so we found a place that was open. Underground Malls are apparently really common in Europe. At least in Bulgaria. We went to one and I bought a few things for the family and what not. Anyway, on the way out there was a guy with two guinea pigs with a sign that said something along the lines of Picture - 1 Lev. I saw the Guinea Pigs and being a sucker for small furry critters, I wanted a picture.
Well, actually, the guy who didn't speak English, actually had the Guinea pig pull out your fortune out of a bunch of slips of paper for a Lev. Since the slip of paper was in Bulgarian, I didn't really understand what it said, but I still got a picture with the Guinea Pig.

Guinea Pigs are kinda cute :)


Bulgaria take One

So, I thought I would finally get around to telling you about my Bulgaria trip.

It started at 1 in the morning. We had kind of crashed after ordering a pizza and chilling in the SEAHuts waiting for the time when the bus would arrive.

Well, what do you know? It was late.

The busride consisted of me sleeping on the back seat with the edge driving into my spine. It wasn't very comfortable.

So anyway, Bulgaria is considered an FMPP event, meaning Force Management Pass Program. Its different from my previous Greece Trips in that Greece had an itenerary where Bulgaria they just drop you off at a hotel and you are on your own until you are due back.

The Hotel they dropped us off is a very nice one in Bulgaria, but I won't tell you where because that is part of the reason why we got our last Bulgarian Trip canceled. Dad Nab It All.

So we got our briefings, checked into our room, and then we were off. Because Bulgaria is a little, well, nuts when it comes to driving on the road, you are not allowed to rent a car. In fact, you are not allowed to take any public transportation unless it is a cab due to Pick Pockets. You can get a cab in two ways. Just pay a taxi to take you where you want to go and be done with it, or you can buy a driver for three days and he will be your chaufer, translater, and tour guide.

We went ahead and four of us together got a cab driver named Cipi, prounounced C.P. We had to decide on where to go and so we decided after that drive, we'd get lunch first.

We ate at a place called Happy's, which is kind of like the Bulgarian version of Hooters. Sort of.

Um, I was with three guys by the way, to include Nate, as we were dating at the time, right?

The food was good, and then we had to figure out what else to do. See, we ran into a problem on the particulary weekend we decided to go to Bulgaria. Bulgaria declared a national holiday for that weekend and nothing was open. Well, we all wanted to shoot some guns, so we went to a firing range and shot some pistols.

I showed you a picture from this before :)

Alright you gun nuts, name all of various fire arms located on this table.

We could fire all of the firearms the range provided, we were just responsible for paying for the ammo. It was a little expensive, but much fun. Unfortunately, the shot gun jammed up pretty good before I got a chance to fire it.


Fortunately, I got one of those at home that I can fire for a lot less.


Another Not Sorry Pose, with a Russian Pistol that packs a nice solid punch.

BTW, that is a Rooster Teeth Shirt, makers of the Popular Web Series, Red Vs Blue.

this is Cipi, who looks like a Hitman for the Bulgarian Mafia. We had a lot of fun with him. He drives like a Maniac, or rather a Bulgarian Cabby.

We then went to the Sofia Black Market and checked out clothes for the night. Or rather, we did that BEFORE we went shooting, but I didn't take pictures. It was like a flea Market, except everything was new. And rather cheap.

Afterwards, we went back to the hotel, freshened up a bit, and decided on where to go eat for dinner.

Dinner was a blast, at a traditional Bulgarian Restaraunt complete with dancers. I will tell you all about it later, as I'm going to have to go back to class now.



So anyway, I found myself a library, complete with internet capabilities. :)

But I don't have access to email. :(

I'll have to tell you all about my class I'm in later. Its really interesting! *Unfortunately, I'm running out of time and need to be back in class*

Deutschland, cont. . .

So, like I said earlier, I'm currently in Germany, which honestly is not a bad place to be. In fact, being here is a huge difference from being in Hohenfels earlier this year. I'm sure Hohenfels isn't a bad place, but it kind of takes away from the novelty of being in Europe when you have to trudge about a block and a half through two feet of snow to use the bathroom, and the food literally tastes like cardboard.

Well, right now I'm in Kaiserslaughtern (er, I'll have to doublecheck the spelling on that) and I'm enjoying the pleasant drive from the inn at which I'm staying to Landstuhl. The drive is beautiful and I've actually quite fallen in love with the country as the leaves are starting to turn and the German villages tucked away within the valleys.

Sometimes when we're driving back, it almost feels like home again, driving through the cascade mountains to get to Seattle or even the scenic drive through Northern Idaho and Western Montana. And with the drivers driving a bit saner then those in the Balkans, as Kosovo looks nothing like the States. Though the German Autobahn often provides the opportunity to show us how well its known for having no real speed limit (well, technically it does, but it isn't really enforced.)

I kind of spent a few hours planning a bit more on the trip I'm taking for R&R, and I really can't wait to see my mom and explore more of Europe with her.

And being here is also making me wish to go Active Duty and find a way to get stationed here. I'm pretty envious of the people that are here currently. Maybe I don't agree with Germany politically, but it is really a beautiful country.

Past Haunts

Note: I wrote this blog post a few days ago on September 10th, but I didn't have time to actually read through it so it was worded properly enough to make me comfortable to post it. I just recieved the moment to actually sit down and proofread it and make it acceptable to me to post.

The thing about blogs, is you got these old posts that can resurface now and again. Also, its always good fun to look through the old comments that people have put, or new ones that you forget to read. I don't go back and read old postings to often because to me they're practically ancient history.

Well, sometimes the past postings are brought to my attention courtesy of another forum. That of Electronic Mail. Such as the case with this post, my comments on the Sorry People of America, and they are a Sorry Bunch indeed.

So I get an email from a guy who is anonymous, calling himself No Namer and asking me to read his comment. His english isn't the greatest, but I'll give him the pass because he's obviously foreign. I haven't had a 'troll' in the sense come by and hound me on my turf in a while, but I will leave the comment because unlike some websites, I believe in the right to free speech, just as I believe that the Sorry Everybody Folks had every right to say whatever they wanted to in regards to the election, just as I have every right to disagree with them. And when they post their pictures online they are setting themselves up for fodder from people who disagree with them, just like I set myself up for Fodder with my posting with the people that disagree with me.

Anyway, his comment really didn't have anything to do with the blog I had posted, but rather it had more to do with him painting all American Soldiers as being War Criminals. Maybe that's a broad generalization from reading the comment, but its the first thing I note when I see it.
"did you ever be in house where AK 47 painted blood on walls? did you ever look in eyes of dying human? did you ever go in afganistan without weapons? do you talk to does people on pictures?have you ever talk to bunch of people in one place that not agree with you without guns?did you ever cryed and tears fall on M16? did you ever saw burned human and you dont know is that man or woman?did you ever talk to woman that american weapon kill her son and hosband?were you ever shot and youre enemy help you survive? did you ever talked to man who wanna kill himself? did you ever talked to woman who was raped by american ranger ?have you ever talked to muslim who have no gun?

"i dont think so."
Obviously this guy has a score to settle with someone, or maybe he saw a few things, I don't know, he didn't exactly say if he had experienced these things or not.

Have I experienced them? A couple, yes. In fact, many times I have found myself surrounded by people who disagree with me and my political beliefs. You know what we do? We agree to disagree, as I have quite a few friends who are radically different from myself in this area. You know what? They are still my friends. I think that is the only thing he really posted that applied to the post he commented about.

And FYI, I know a few muslims that are really good people, I knew one in high school that did shape a lot of my thinking on the Muslim world as he was a genuinely good person that had a deep conviction in his faith. Knowing him made me realize that not all Muslims can be painted with the broad stroke of Radical Islam. Unfortunately, there are the ones that give the rest a bad name. And it is most unfortunate that I haven't had the opportunity to talk to him since 911.

Its interesting to me that the Insergents currently making a mess out of Iraq today are doing more harm to their own people then they are doing to the American Soldier trying to restore order to their world. I think that says a lot about the insergents, doesn't it? Which is one of the reasons why I do not mind going to Iraq and serving there.

So, have I experienced all of the things that No Namer mentioned in his post. No, and I hope I don't have too.

So, where is he going with this? According to his email, I get the hint he's Bosnian but I can't be sure on that. I don't know if he realizes that I am currently serving in Kosovo which is predominantly Muslim (and the Albanians love America)

My own response to the Not Sorry Crowd was my infamous pic "I am Not Sorry", and of course, my Follow Up Explanation. I explained my real problem with the sorry folks as well.

This is my website. I often speak very frankly on it. You can agree with me or you can disagree with me, that is your right, you can even tell me so, which is why I have comments available. I will not censor anything that is put on here in reply to what I say.

I am somewhat befuddled however, by the email that brought this comment to my attention that admits to being so Sorry for me.



Yay, I'm in Germany.

The internet here is iffy. And expensive, by the minute type pricing.

So this week Updating will be sporadic, if it happens at all. Things might be cheaper via library or what not.

To keep you all entertained in the meantime, here is a picture, of me, in Bulgaria. At the shooting range.

If all else fails, see you next week!


Decisions, decisions

So, every once in a while people inquire about my plans for what I want to do with the rest of my life, in regards to the military and what not seeing as my enlistment is up in a few more months and I have the option of reenlisting or getting out.

Unfortunately, one of my traits is indecisiveness, and I can't seem to make up my mind on issues important to my life.

So, the options of me and the army was reenlist active duty, reenlist reserves, or get out completely. Each of those has options of themselves. Which means I need to decide what to do now, and I gave myself this deployment to figure out what.

One thing I made a decision on for certain was my job field. 91S is a good job and all, but it is for certain people, of which I am not one. The other people in my section are good Preventive Medicine Techs, but I always kind of felt sub-par in this field and it is a feeling I never particularly liked, to commit myself to something I'm not good at.

So, whatever I do, I want to change my job. And that has been a factor that has kept me from reenlisting while I've been here because of the fact that a lot of my options, such as going straight active duty, means i have to keep my current job. Maybe I can change it later, but that's when things like huge bonuses become tricky. They give me a bonus, I'm stuck in a commitment or else they will take it back. That's one of the reasons why I haven't changed jobfields before now.

Anyway, enough of the ramblings, as I have made some sort of commitment to myself. I've decided to reenlist, but I will probably stay reserves so I can go back to school. They have a reenlistment incentive in country that I'm looking seriously at that doesn't lock you into any specific job (or so they say) and has a nice hefty little bonus attached.

Which brings me to point two, reserves is a one weekend a month sort of thing. What else?

I've decided to also go back to school. So now the question is, where do I want to go to school at? I've got three basic regional choices for school. Stay close to family and go to an Eastern Washington School, move across the state and go to a Western Washington School, or a third option, move outside of Washington and go to school in Utah, where I have more friends and family residing. Plus, Utah has the greatest snow on earth and I'm slightly addicted to the sport of Snowboarding. Each region has at least two or three schools of which I can go to.

Which means I have to look at what majors are available at which schools and take it from there.

But I think I've made a final commitment to Reenlist in the Reserves. Now I have to decide on which jobfield in the reserves to reclass into.

Commence with the indecisiveness.

ICW Wrestling

So, Wrestlers came by a couple of days ago to offer us an opportunity to get a handshake, and autograph, and what the heck, a few Kodak moments as well.

I'm not one for keeping up on wrestling and all, but I'm all for getting free signatures and posing with celebrities! So I thought, what the heck?

My NCOIC is a huge wrestling fan and went into a huge spiel with them on wrestling and all and it brought tears to everybody's eyes. I didn't have a camera when one of the guys went up and gave SSG D a big giant bear hug.

So when I went and got their signatures and thanked them for coming and supporting us in what we do, I couldn't help but get another goofy pic from them as well.


Look Alikes???

Apparently Army of Mom has found another look alike for me. Bonnie Piesse off of Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith (aka Aunt Beru).

Usually I get the Reese Witherspoon comments, and believe me, that ain't anything I haven't heard before.

But quite frankly, I don't see any resemblance so I don't know what these people are saying.

Latest Relationship News

I learned quite a bit about relationships while being here in Kosovo, though both myself and Nate will admit that on a deployment stuck in one place is not the best place to carry out a relationship, but we still managed to have fun now and again.

So, where am I going with this? Well, while we were in Bulgaria we encountered the first time in our relationship where we were outside of Bondsteel. We even shared a hotel room, so truthfully it was the first time we had the opportunity to have complete privacy. (don't worry mom and dad, seperate beds, and nothing happened) But it was coming back I realized how much I care about Nate and how much fun I have with him. . . as a friend. But there is nothing else there, just the fact that we both agree that we're good friends. He's probably the best friend I've had since I've been here.

So after we came back from Bulgaria, something was just bothering me about the trip (I'll go into the trip itself later) and I realized that there was nowhere else to go with our relationship as it stood. And the small fact of me being a 24 year old virgin (yes, I'll even freakin' admit it!) I knew that he wasn't the one and I had stated from the moment that we started dating that I wasn't going to go that step.

Breaking up with Nate was difficult for me to do, because I didn't really know how he would feel and I didn't want to hurt him, but when I finally talked to him, he told me he had similar feelings, and in my last lesson from him, he wanted me to break up with him.

It turned out to be a mutual break up, but the one thing I feared when I broke up with him was that I would lose his friendship, which thankfully was not the case. We even ended up eating dinner together yesterday.

Apparently the news that we broke up shocked his friends, who didn't see it coming. But I think both of us did.

So, the news is, well, I'm single again. . .

I wonder what kind of news that will bring to the Minions?

And don't worry, the Anthrax was not needed.


I was Gone

Well, now I'm back from a wild and crazy weekend in Bulgaria.

Urm, more later. For now, I'm just going to recoup.


Hurricane Katrina

Well, everyone else is talking about it. . . however I don't have a lot to say as I'm not keeping up with the disaster very well from where I am and am getting most of my news second or third hand. Anyway, because of my lack of knowledge on the subject, I won't go into details on whats occuring in New Orleans right now, except for the fact that its getting Bad. We've even had a few people here in Kosovo affected by the Hurricane, as a lot of soldiers in Task Force Med Falcon live in the South.

Anyway, I thought it would be important for me to list a bunch of places to donate to help this crisis, as we all know that the international community will likely leave us hanging high and dry despite the fact that Americans donated Billions to the Tsunami Relief effort.

One of the most extensive lists for places to donate can be found over at Instapundit, so I shall direct you there.

If you want to find out more about what's going on in New Orleans, I recommend surfing the Blogosphere for information, they are keeping pretty up to date with what's happening, and are doing a far better job then I ever could.

Also, as petty as my words are coming at this time, please keep the people of New Orleans in your prayers as they try to reconnect with their families and survive this difficult time. We can all attest that disasters seem to be one of the few things that bring Americans together as one, which is unfortunate, and this is a prime opportunity to put all our differences aside and reunite and show our strength as a nation is best illustrated in how we handle times of difficulty.

I just hope that I'm not proven wrong in this as the situation appears to be intensifying.

UPDATE - I added a blogbar up above on my post to give everyone a friendly reminder to please donate if you can afford too. If you want to put one up on your website, you can find instructions here at bRight and Early.

Hat Tip : GOP and the City

House Keeping. . . Completed. . . For Now

Well, I went ahead and took some time and kind of redid my blogroll. Before there really wasn't any method to my madness (a favorite term of mine by the way) and I kind of had miscellanious categories that, well, didn't mean Jack Diddly Squat. So I left all blogs in the general Blog Category save one kind. Milblogs. For some reason they deserve their own category. Every other blog, well, I listed them all Alphabetically and to break up the monotony I seperated them into categories of 12 to 15. . . or more. . . or whatever.

There are going to be other blogs that I will have to add to, but at a later date. I miss surfing the blogging community like I used too. I haven't had a huge opportunity to stay current on the Blogosphere since I've deployed and it was fun going through my blog list and remembering reading these blogs quite frequently last year.

I also remembered the whole mess that resulted in me posting THIS Picture. My brother thought I should post to all of the cross links at that time. While that is quite impossible, I decided to start at it anyway, leading me to actually use the "Sock It To Me" Header in my sidebar that I have had sitting there empty for all of this time.

Click on any of those links under that particular heading and you will see where it takes you. Call it a vanity page, I don't care. But I couldn't help it.

I don't think I'll ever track down every page that linked to me.

But you can't dwindle in the past. Oh well, anyway, Sidebar Complete. . . For Now.