Blogging News

The pictures I had posted along the side of my blog, as much as I liked them, I was told were probably not the most conducive to have very visible on a sight, especially because of my current position. So if you are wondering why I changed to this bland and unappealing look, now you know.

I'm going to give it a minor facelift later when I have the time, put something else in the sidebar and probably another header with my title, but this is the quick fix for now.

I need to get the pictures on my camera off of it and post some. Not many of me, but I got some cool extreme close ups of some bugs. Bugs are cool.


The Zoo

Louisville has a great zoo. So this is a picture post, complete with pictures of animals at the zoo.

I've noticed that when it comes to zoos, a lot of them have the same animals in them, so you kind of get the impression that once you've seen one zoo, you've seen them all. Thought the Zoo in Frankfurt was pretty sweet, I wish I had my nifty camera then.

The poor animals must get bored to tears in the zoo, they just sit around and sleep all day as people stare at them and try to make little chirpy and whistling noises to get them to react.

I have a few new lenses, got a few shots of different animals with them. Some turned out, some didn't, but hey, what better place to test out your camera and all the fun lenses that come with it then a zoo?

I got a couple dozen pics of Lemurs. Lemurs appear to be always active and cute. This one spent a bit just staring at us at first in that cave behind him.

These two were all over the place. I want a pet lemur, though i think I would change my mind once I had one. Oh well, I have had a ferret in the past. But they are so dang cute!

Half my pictures I had to take behind glass. The camera does the best it can to siphon through the smudge marks that people leave with finger prints and crusted jelly.

This bird started showing off for me by fluffing its feathers, I had to get a picture.

No, its not charging, but the rhinos proved to offer several different shots from different angles and moved around a bit. And I love a clear unobstructed view of the subject I'm taking a picture of.

This poor guy looked bored, but I love what he's doing with his hands.

All lizard shots were taken from behind glass, this one came out pretty cool.

This guy just watched me walk around the paddock with my camera in hand.

I love these kinds of shots when the subject is in clear focus but everything in the background is blurred.

Louisville has two bald eagles. Generally they aren't in zoos, but these guys have been shot and can't fly, so they are on loan from the government. I got a few good head shots, but it might be nice to work out my white balance in the future.


All the kitties slept. Kitties like to sleep. The lions had some of the better shots available. I was particularly fond of this one.

He's checkin' to see if those annoying walking meals just beyond his reach are still there. Yep, still there.

Fortunately the fence sometimes can be obscurred by the zoom lense, but its presence is still known. I understand, they have to keep a fence between the cat and potential prey.

The fence barely shows up in this one. Yes, another sleepy kitty.

More sleepy kitty, more fence, all in all, it works, don't you think?

I actually visited the zoo on Saturday. I'm hoping to get some opportunities to hit Church hill downs and get some action pics of some horses racing. We'll see if I've got a camera and some lenses that can handle it or not if I can make it over there before the end of the summer.

Indie 4

I snuck out and saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull today. I did enjoy it. It is after all, Indiana Jones.

But I realized that it's been a while since I've seen Indiana Jones, and when I first saw this series, I was a kid and so I didn't really think much into it at the time. I just saw it as a pretty cool action flick. And it has been a while since I've seen the first three. Like, ten years or something. I'm due to another viewing.

Well, I watched the latest installment and it occurred to me that Indiana Jones is like a genius with archeology. He just looks at something, thinks about it for a bit, and then it suddenly comes to him where he's seen it and he whips open a book and there's his answers.

And he picks up languages pretty well too.

I'm actually curious about the back story between Indie 3 and Indie 4, about 20 years and a world war has gone by and they talk about what had occurred during this time but they don't really go into heavy detail. I guess its implied and leaves most of it up to the viewer's imagination.

Well, its fun to see this series going again, though Harrison Fords added a few years since Last Crusade.

I guess its just like any other Indiana Jones, completely improbable, don't think to much into it. Just turn off the brain and enjoy.


The shame.

I locked myself out of my house.

It wasn't so bad as when I couldn't find my keys this morning and had to stop my battle buddies to see if I could hitch a ride to the unit (we did PMI in full battle rattle, which in non army speak means we went to the similations center and fired M16s and M9s at a big screen with pop up targets, it saves lots of energy when you don't have to worry about real ammunition) but regardless, I was hoping to get an early day off so I could take advantage of at least a two and a half day weekend.

Yep, say hello to six day work weeks. The joys that come with being a Drill Sergeant, and it will get even more fun when we actually have some joes to push.

Regardless, found my keys when I got back to the house and set myself up as I have since taken most of the key chains off, leaving just a green loop and my car and house keys on there. Except for I had the rest of my keys and keychain sitting there, so I just took off out the door and grabbed THAT set instead of my other set.

So now I'm waiting outside my house for them to come lock the door. Its going to take them about an hour to let me back in.


Hey, at least I remembered my security blanket (that would be my laptop). It gives me SOMETHING to do while I wait at least.


Working Out

I'm trying to actively work out, but this is not always successful with me because I have a tendency towards slothfullness, which is not a good thing to be in my career choice.

But I'm doing better, and making an effort to get on board with the working out.

A couple other people in my unit are running every day and they invited me to tag along, we ran about three miles or so. I actually did better then I was anticipating when I ran with them. I got myself a heart rate moniter that comes with a spiffy new watch I got so I can keep track of my heart rate and see what kind of workout I'm getting. I have to figure out exactly what my max heart rate is though so I can work on pushing that and can see what my work out level should be. But I can predict that if I push this thing I'll be able to burn some serious fat or just get some intense workouts.

I also picked up Wii Fit today. It's pretty low key, but I did all the exercises it let me do today. I got a decent workout from it, especially considering I just ran before I used it, but a lot of the workouts didn't do much for me, I didn't get my heart rate going great guns by any means. But I did feel a little burn in some of those exercises strength building and yoga exercies. It's kind of handy, my balance is good if I just want to stand there, but if I have to lean anywhere it goes in the crapper.

still, its kinda fun, I can get some great workout ideas with it, but the aerobic exercises are lacking.

I think I'm going to work on hitting the gym after work here soon. there's an olympic sized pool on post, I should take advantage of it.

I knew I should of brought my bathing suit. I just didn't realize I would have this downtime before we picked up.


Visited States - Updated

I nearly forgot, everytime I go on a major trip I try to update this thing. Well here it is. Since I took a cross country road trip, I can update my list.

I think I'm going to add Kansas, Tennessee and Ohio before I make it back home.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

If you don't count Airports, Virginia, Florida and Maine can be taken off the map.

For fun, here is my world map again. I need to add more countries to this.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Again, Trinidad and Tobango and Iceland can be taken off if you don't count Airports.

They haven't listed Kosovo as it's own country yet.


Runnin' Around

Today was my first day off. I wanted to make the most of it. In the end, I think I only proceeded to aggravate myself.

It started off easy enough. I slept in. I slept in until about 9ish, which is quite late when I'm on orders, and enjoyed the extra sleep muchly. However, I had some things to take care of and I didn't want to waste the day away so I gathered my list of things I need and headed out.

First was me taking back my juicer, which I wasn't happy with because the strainer would clog up after I juiced two vegetables. I really want to get into juicing because I am working on getting more healthy but alas, when I got to the devil store itself, Wal-mart, they were sponsoring a 'Hooray for Heroes' day, which in and of itself isn't bad, but made parking near impossible. So I took the juicer back, walked around and got a free hot dog, and then came back and got some stuff and headed out.

One of the companies let their privates have a day of R&R because there were Basic Trainees everywhere. I largely left them alone, I was not in uniform after all.

Well, one of the things i picked up at Wal-Mart along with my juicer was a AC-Adapter which I could use to power my laptop or something along those lines. The thing is, I had a splicer in there already, because I have an iPod and my phone charger that I have to charge at the same time, and that thing got stuck in there. I swear I ended up pulling my dashboard out and killed my adaptor. Hopefully I just need a new fuse and it will be as good as new, but I fear I killed it and it will cost money to fix. The problem is, I need it. I don't get internet in my stupid house, because of the lead paint we all assume, so I actually have to sit in my car to get internet.

Well, after I headed over to Louisville, I realized that I forgot all my crap, like my little things telling me where the events were and how to get to things in Louisville. I did have my laptop, except for I somehow didn't charge it, my adapter isn't working, and I discovered, being Saturday, everything closes at Five.

Well, I know where everything is now. I plan on hitting the zoo, Churchill downs, Six Flags, Louisville Slugger Museum, and a hand full of other locales before I leave this place. There is also a lot of historical sites to check out as well.

Unfortunately gas is pricey, especially in Kentucky, and I don't have loads of time, and when we pick up our troops, well, say goodbye to free time and trips to Louisville. I do want to catch a horse race while I'm here though. And if I can, I'd like to try to get some pictures.

Well, I guess I can right this day off as a route recon/familiarization day. Tomorrow I'll make sure all my stuff at home is squared away and get ready for Monday.

At least we're getting off by five this week. When we pick up troops, I can say goodbye to regular workdays and say hello to sixteen hour days.

Ya know, I can't wait.

Now I have to go find a place to change my oil and see if they can't fix my adapter while they are at it.


I'm Here

So, I made it. With plenty of time to spare.

Yes, that's right, I'm in Kentucky now.

I'm not exactly sure what I should or shouldn't be posting while I'm here in regards to military matters, because of the nature of the job of the drill sergeant, I will likely not post a lot of things in regards to my job, maybe just some vague details here and there, and I have no idea what's going to come of my poor neglected Milblog. I think I will be posting a lot of pictures though (I brought my camera) but not necessarily pictures of troops training, because that's a sensitive area. Mostly pictures of whatever I want to post pictures of. Like bugs, extreme close up shots of random normal objects, scenery, plants, Louisville, you know, just random strange pictures.

I think I could easily fall in love with Louisville. I just drove through it, but on those rare weekends off or the occaissional pass, I will have plenty to occupy my time with that one city.

Meanwhile, I am puttig myself on a diet and going to be working my butt off so when we do pick up our troops, I will be fit and ready to go. I do not want to be the weak link in my unit, though I'm really confident in the capabilities of my fellow drill sergeants that they might make me look like a hyperactive kid in a candy store in comparison. I've got great battle buddies as far as I can tell, and I think working with them will really help develop me as a drill sergeant and a leader.

But I'm here. I'll be here for a while before we even pick up troops too. I think I'll also be quite busy so don't expect much on the blog front. If I'm not posting, well, you should know why.


On The Road

I'm currently on a road trip, and road trips are so much fun when you are seeing friends and eating junk and driving non stop for hours on end. My road trip is also cross country.

I'm currently in the Salt Lake City area, Kansas city is next on the stop. Except for it being 15 hours according to mapquest. I might be stopping in Lincoln Nebraska.

Or sooner.

After Kansas it's Kentucky.

I'm taking my sweet time when i come home. Of course, it didn't help matters that I misjudged my trip by a day, so i'm cutting myself a day short.

I'll get there on time, its just going to be more driving and less stopping and resting. *sighs*

cars doing great so far. Knock on wood.

I'll post some pictures when i get to my destination.


Put a Banana In Your Ear

Those of you who watch stupid internet movies a lot are probably familiar with Charlie the Unicorn. And how completely insane and stupid it is.

I love the damn thing. I get in a mood and I'll start quoting it. "We're going on an adventure, charlie! An Adventuuuuure. . ."

Well, they came out with a new one. And I've had the Banana song stuck in my head for a few days now.

So much that I actually did it. You know, it works. You have to be in a completely goofy mood to put a banana in your ear, you can't help but be happy, in a completly stupid sort of way.

Bloomsday 2008

So yesterday was Bloomsday. At first I didn't think I would be able to run it because I thought I would be out of town by now. However, I could delay my trek enough to get a free t-shirt.

Mom and I are back in the orange group, behind the fence, because we're not big runners (If I train better, I could be, but when I'm not in shape for it, I hate running) So this is our group of bloomies representing our family at the start line.

There's quite a few people who take part in this event, though participation has been down in the last few years. I try to take part whenever I can.

After the runners took off, we go this pic of us slow pokes. Mom and Brian walked it.

I don't think I could come up with an even more unflattering pic of myself. This is the only action shot I got and I shiver at the sight of it.

This is what I look like after cresting Doomsday Hill, around mile marker Five. And I haven't trained up for Bloomsday. This race did show me what i was made of, but I did better then when I ran two years ago. I never walked once. Yes, I ran incredibly slowly, especially going up that stupid hill, and sometimes walkers were going faster then me, but I never walked. If I stopped to walk, I wouldn't have been able to start again.

I always feel the need to have something to carry my camera, wallet, keys, spare change, and MP3 Player. I need to get one of those arm bands. I have one, but it sucks greatly and doesn't fit this MP3 player. Otherwise, I wouldn't have to look like an incredible dork with all of this crap on me.

Me modeling the t-shirt this year. I look back and realize i should have gotten a bigger size. *sighs* Oh well, I intend to lean up this summer, kind of like I did last summer for DSS. And by the power within me, when I'm done, I WILL maintain myself, unlike this winter, with the snow and all, I let myself vedge to much and felt it when I tried to run a 7 and a half mile road race.

The whole fam damily, after the race, don't we look swell?

My sisters Arah and Julie blogged about their experiences with the race as well. Thanks Arah for getting that flattering shot of me :)

I wanted to run last year but broke my foot so I couldn't do it. I should have people watched.

My specifics.

Finish Time: 1:34:20

Overall Place: 14,707 out of 42,697

Ran with a pace of 12:38 per mile

The average pace for 27-year-olds was 14:01

Placed 351st among people the same age

Placed 5,151st among people from Spokane, WA

Placed 10,951st among people from the State of Washington

Placed 20th among people with the same last name

Placed 6,568th among females

Placed 164th out of 454 among 27-year-old females

I've got my goal for next year, if I'm able to run it at least. I want to break 1:15. I'm not distance runner, never really have been, but by next May, I plan on averaging about a ten minute mile. If I can shave fifteen minutes off my time, I'd be ecstatic.

If I could break an hour, I would be even more pumped. But we can only expect so much.


Black and White on Grey Matters

Listen to this guy, he is AWESOME!

He's got about six videos up so far. Be warned, he can get vulgar at times, but the guy has common sense, tells it like it is.

Check out this guy's other videos

Note - the videos are a little on the long side, this one is thirty minutes, but they are well worth the watch.

Hat tip: Baldilocks

Dude's Back

So I finally got a response from the writer of that email I posted about a few days ago. He commented on my reader's comments, saying
Hello Risawn, I re-visited your site a few days ago and was mildly amused by the "Recent Comments" remarks.

Just amazes me how many Americans have an insight into other countries they haven't travelled to or never left the United States.

I am just hoping the American electorate in November chooses wisely.

So, how many of my readers have been to Britain? I know my sister and my father both have. I haven't been to Britain, but I have been to Europe.

And who's been outside of the US? Who commented that wasn't American?

Just want to see where the layout of my readers are. I know one of my friends who's British thought his statement was stupid.

I do find it interesting that he didn't comment on any of my remarks. I won't talk about what I know, but I got to thinking, why is he telling me what to say and think, basically telling me how his country is superior.

Dude, whatever.

I'm sure the electorate will vote according to how they feel. It appears these days the votes are decided by a few percentage points, which shows the diversity of the American people.

Bumper Stickers

I have discovered something I absolutely loathe.

People who have bumper stickers on their car that you have to tailgate to read. It's annoying. Especially when you're on the freeway. If people hate tailgaters, they would be wise to not have microscoping lettering on their bumpers that encourage people to read them.

So as I was driving today, I ran across somebody who had some bumper stickers on their car and I noticed a few things about them that really annoyed me.

One is the rainbow sticker. Why is it that whenever you see a rainbow it is immediately attributed to LGBT groups? It supposedly means diversity, at least it did when they first came out with it, but there is more to diversity then who you prefer to have sex with. And even if you are in support of LGBT groups, if you have a rainbow sticker on your car, people will think you are gay. So the only people who can really get about using Rainbows are those who are Gay, or those that don't care.

I'm sorry, no offense to gay people, but a rainbow is a universal symbol and its annoying that its come to a point where it means one thing.

Well, there was the other sticker where it said "another family for Peace", thanks for the info.

And of course, the liberal slogan of attributing the phrase 'Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism' to Thomas Jefferson, which was on this same vehicle.

They must be liberal.

Ok, this saying is just stupid. Though Jefferson has attributed the need for resistence to government from time to time, as 'quoted'** here:
"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then."

You know, I would agree with this quote. However, for some reason, I don't think this means dissent being the highest form of patriotism. For one, that doesn't make any sense. There are many greater forms of patriotism then dissenting, and I don't think that Jefferson would say this being the highest form. I've heard liberals use this as their battle cry in support of the war against the war on terror.

But I thought the urban legend that this saying belongs to Jefferson was done by now. When people still use it and put it on their cars, it makes them look like morons.

I don't think I want to make political statements with my car. At least, if I were to make a political statement, I would make sure it is at least accurate.

**I don't know if this is really a Jefferson quote or not. I surfed the internet, found it attributed to him, and think it is a quote that makes more sense then the other. And since the internet is not always the most reliable source of information, this quote comes with this disclaimer.


More Dream Interpretation

I had a dream last night that lingered in my thoughts, it was actually kind of vivid, but I'm the type of person to forget them after a few hours.

Yes, it is a dream about Knox. Again. I get there, and for some reason I start out in quasi civilian clothes for some reason and hanging with my battle buddies. I don't recall who these people are, they are just other drill sergeants, and then we have our pickup, a bunch of 'privates'. For some reason, they are all in uniform, but their uniforms are all ate the hell up, their shirts are undone and open and the pattern looks sort of like a hawaiin shirt for some reason. I'm wearing this exact same uniform, but a different pattern, I think mine is more flowery. Yeah, WTH.

So anyway, we are going in a big room and we appear to be going over some training, I don't know what, where you have to hug your battle buddy (I can't think of any army training that requires this, but then again, this is a dream) and one of the privates says jokingly when she runs out of battle buddies that she has to partner up with me, though she refers to me as 'Kami'. For some reason, I've got my first name on my uniform.

I then kick her back and chew her out, telling her to never touch me or call me that again. She sulks and goes back into formation, where the training is over and they all stand around. (Oh, and this is a mixed company, for some reason, we do have females.) One of my battle buddies takes a group of them and starts training, and I look at the rest and they are all doing their own thing, in no semblance of a formation, pretty much talking and joking, and I go over there, yell at them and try to get them in some semblance of a formation.

Well, the other drill sergeants start moving the soldiers out for chow and I'm realizing this, so I start yelling at them to move faster and get in line, because we aren't marching there, and the privates are just not getting it. When we get to the chow hall, I find a few of them doing their own thing, and for some reason, I realize that all of the privates have turned into elementary school age children. I'm chewing them out and yelling at them like a good drill sergeant should and they are laughing at me and pretty much think I'm funny. They go through the chow line like this, and I'm about ready to pull my hair out, when I get the chow hall workers to come out and tell my now kindergarten age privates to please listen to 'miss kami', and I'm looking at her, asking her how she knows my name and she states that they are on a 1/3 shortage at that moment.

As the privates are going through chow line, they are leaving behind their back packs and lingering at different food plates, including one where it looks like the chow hall folks take the uneaten food of the tray and put it on another one for the rest to pick through and eat, and one of the little kids is stopping and picking through this and I'm all disturbed by this so I go back in the back and am peering at their facilities and warning the food people 'hey, I'm Preventive Medicine, please don't make me inspect this place too.'

And then I woke up.

In the dream, I felt all I was doing was yelling and nobody was listening to me. I'm wondering if it is similar to that 'not wearing pants' dream that I had earlier, me doing my darndest to train soldiers, only to find that no matter what I do, the soldiers are untrainable.

And thinking its one big joke.

You know, the dream was funnier when I had just woke up from it, realizing it was a dream. Now I look back, I realize how intensely frustrating it was.