Thursday, January 31, 2008

Final 4

So we are down to this. McCain vs Romney and Hillary vs Obama for the right to pummel all of us about the whole enchilada. This really reminds me of 1996 when it was Clinton-Dole. I'm just not excited about any of these candidates. None of them really represent me or get me excited about any issues. They are not even covering real issues, they are sniping at each other and that is too divisive for me.

I sideline root for Huckabee simply because he is the one who signed my Arkansas Traveler certificate which was awarded to me by the 39th Brigade Combat Team, Arkansas NG. He is really a bit too religious for my tastes.

Hillary is a proven liar but at least we know that going in instead of being body slammed by it as we discovered with W. Obama is way too liberal for me and he will get the entire minority vote simply because of skin tone and the Kennedy connection.

McCain seems to be nasty and spiteful and I think he is a closet Democrat. Romney is a Mormon. That alone disqualifies him for me. I worked for a Mormon owned company and listened to their prostelytizing. It is a kooky religion and I'm sorry but I just can't follow a leader who really thinks that Jesus Christ cames to the Indians of upper state NY after he was crucified in Roman Palestine. Oh yeah, there is that whole golden tablet thing which is a big pill to swallow also.

OK. We have to choose. Most of us will simply follow party lines and either vote Republican or Democrat as always. I don't. Even though I am a foreign policy and fiscal policy conservative I am moderate when it comes to individual rights and law. I am liberal when it comes to women's rights and freedom of the press. At the same time I am fierce about my rights to own a weapon even though I have no problems with registration. How weird is all that?

Can't I just vote all four of them in on a power sharing ballot like they do in the UK?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Worst Nightmare Ever

The Worst Nightmare Ever
In the nightmare I found myself nude in bed, and I was looking at a mirror on the ceiling, and I discovered that I am a Negro,and I'm circumcised! Quickly I sat up, found my pants and looked in the pockets to find my driver's license photo and it was that same color. Black.
I felt myself being very depressed, downcast, sitting in a chair. But it's a wheelchair!! That means, of course, besides being black and Jewish, I'm also disabled!!! I said to myself, aloud 'This is impossible. It's impossible that I should be black and Jewish and disabled.
''It's the pure and holy truth', whispers someone from behind me. I turn around, and it's my boyfriend. Just what I needed!!! I am a homosexual, and on top of that with a Mexican boyfriend. Oh, my, Jewish, disabled, gay, with a Mexican boyfriend, drug addict, and HIV-positive!!!
Desperate, I begin to shout, cry, pull my hair, and Oh, noooooo...I'm bald!!! The telephone rings. It's my brother. He is saying, 'Since mom and dad died the only thing you do is hang out, take drugs, and laze around all day doing nothing. Get a job you worthless piece of crap... Any job.

Mom?... Dad?... Nooooooooo... Now I'm also an unemployed orphan! I try to explain to my brother how hard it is to find a job when you are black, Jewish, disabled, gay, with a Mexican boyfriend, are a drug addict, HIV positive, bald, and an orphan. But he doesn't get it.
Frustrated, I hang up. It's then I realize I only have one hand!!! With tears in my eyes I go to the window to look out. I see I live in a shanty-town full of cardboard and tin houses! There is trash everywhere.
Suddenly I feel a sharp pain near my pacemaker.... Pacemaker? Besides being black, Jewish, disabled, a fairy with a Mexican boyfriend, a drug addict, HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, an invalid with one hand, and having a bad heart, I live in a crappy neighborhood.
At that very moment my boyfriend approaches and says to me, 'Sweetie pie, my love, my little black heart throb, have you decided who are you going to vote for in the Primary? Hillary or Obama??? Say it isn't so!!! I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug addicted, Jewish queer on a pacemaker who is HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, oh dear God, please don't tell me I'm a Democrat too....
Thanks to Mighty Fine Dodge for this heartwarming reminder of how good we all really have it. Other than the circumcised part I am none of the above. If this offends anyone I'm sorry. It is just a funny story and we all have to get over being too PC.
Just two weeks ago my sister took me to see the stage production of Tuna Christmas. This is a series of stage plays about a fictitious town in Texas named Tuna and they hold nothing back. Why this time they even made fun of Methodists! That I am!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Back to the Middle East

I just accepted an offer to go TDY to Saudi Arabia for 60-90 days. I will leave in two weeks or so. Crap, just when I was getting the hang of being a regular Joe again. Oh well, I have to make a living. Our income stream fell to zero but our burn rate was still high. New car, new house, new furniture, lots of new projects. It eats at you fast. Gotta recoup the ducats!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Subject: Roswell New Mexico

July 8, 1947

Many of you will recall that on July 8, 1947, almost 61 Years ago, witnesses claim that an unidentified flying object (UFO) with five aliens aboard crashed onto a sheep and cattle ranch just outside Roswell, New Mexico. This is a well-known incident that many say has long been covered up by the U.S. Air Force and other federal Agencies and organizations. However, what you may NOT know is that in the month of March 1948, nine months after that historic day, the following people were born:

Albert A. Gore, Jr.
Hillary Rodham
John F. Kerry
William J. Clinton
Howard Dean
Nancy Pelosi
Dianne Feinstein
Charles E. Schumer
Barbara Boxer

Shit happens when aliens breed with sheep....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

An Army Wedding

We have been invited to a wedding between two officers I know from Iraq. Hell, I didn't even know they were friendly let alone bumping uglies together! The wedding will be in San Antonio and this will be the first time my wife has met many of these folks. She loved the invitation too. It was a Scrabble box with the invitation spelled out with Scrabble pieces. The paper invitation says"Mess Dress with Stetsons and spurs". You gotta love the Cav. They run that western heritage to the hilt and since they are based at Ft. Hood it is almost like they are the Texas Army.
I'm excited. I have not seen a lot of these folks for about two years so I am anxious to finally have a drink with them and celebrate something positive in their lives.

Georgia Frontiere is Dead

I'm not sad about this. I'm not happy either as I am sure that there are many people who are grieving today and her having died of breast cancer makes it even more tragic for them. I though am part of that minority of people who absolutely reviled her. See, I am or was, a Rams fan. Not the St. Louis Rams. The Los Angeles Rams.

I had season tickets, I was an officer of the booster club, I worked charity events, I traveled to away games. I was about as passionate a fan as I could be but when they up and fled SoCal for St. Louis I was just crushed. I was so hurt by this that I have had a love/hate relationship with the NFL ever since. I now watch with interest but very dispassionately.

You may sit back and think that the fans had it coming for not going to games but you have to understand that L.A. was a Rams town until two things happened. Carrol Rosenbloom died and left the team to Georgia and Al Davis brought the Raiders to town. Georgia moved the team to Anaheim and abandoned the core base of fans who were from the San Fernando Valley and West L.A. Anaheim never really owned the Rams, they were just caretakers. Al and the Raiders went after a different fan base altogether, Ghetto love and bangers. Not a nice crowd to be in. I attended a few Raider games and it was downright scary sometimes. They also screwed up beer sales for Trojan fans. Trojan fans (Of which I am one!) could purchase beer for the entire game but Raider fans caused so much havoc in the stadium that they changed policy and quit selling it BEFORE half time. The Rams quickly followed suit and it sure was a different atmosphere.

The Rams were in L.A. for over 50 years. You think losing your team can't happen to your NY Jets, SF 49ers, Chicago Bears, etc? Think again. It happened to the Baltimore Colts (Indianapolis), Houston Oilers (Tennessee Titans), Cleveland Browns (Baltimore Ravens), Dallas Texans (K.C. Chiefs), Cleveland Rams (Yep, they started there first!), Portland Lions (Detroit), L.A. Chargers (San Diego), and Decatur Staleys (Chicago Bears).

Pro football is all about one thing. It is about money. Your money and taxpayer money. I will never vote for a bond election where my tax money is being used to pay for a stadium used 10 times a year for a multi millionaire owner of a team of multi millionaire football players. Sorry Charlie. That is what Georgia wanted from SoCal and they told her to pound sand. They told Al Davis the same thing. Georgia went to St. Louis and took the team she had worn down to a nub and then spent money and drafted players wisely. They won the Super Bowl in 1999 that should have belonged to L.A. Carrol Rosenbloom must have rolled over in his grave that day. Al Davis went to Oakland and not only scalped the fans and taxpayers there, he had them ruin the A's baseball stadium for the sake of 10 games a year. Keep in mind the A's play 82 games a year in that same stadium and you see how out of whack that is. Georgia did the same thing to Anaheim Stadium. After the Rams left the City of Anaheim and Disney spent over 130 million just to fix it for baseball again.

Georgia is dead. I am sad for her family but inside I am gleeful. I know it is wrong and petty to be that way but it seems like a little payback for the pain she put true Rams fans through. Carrol Rosenbloom can roll back over in his grave now.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Our Political Process

Our entire process of selecting a President is just ridiculous. It takes too long, the media magnifies everything too early and no candidate who does not produce good sound bites will ever be elected again. This photo about sums it up. Just vote her in and get it over with. She will either be the worst President we have ever had or she will be the biggest warrior we have ever seen. I'm just sick of the whole mess anyways and no Republican has a chance in hell this time unless Osama surrenders and states the GW's campaign has broken the back of all insurgecies worldwide.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Same old story

Well what do you know? The powers that be have fibbed to me again. Seems this TDY assignment is not in Nigeria after all. It is in Saudi Arabia and is for 90 days instead of 30. Oh yeah, they also forgot to mention that they want to underpay me this time. Ix-nay! Not going. I have had enough of the Middle East for a while and need another month at least with the family before I traipse off again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nigeria Part II

I told them I would go. I was informed that they are waiting on the client to review my resume first. Not a problem. I'm in no hurry and neither is my wife.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I have an offer to go to Nigeria on a TDY for one month. It is to sit in for a friend of mine who is taking a month off. I'm thinking about it. Nigeria is dangerous but not like Iraq. If I do it I can pay off the Tahoe we just bought!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Mindset

I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to see anyone. I have been to my dad's house for a day and a half but other than that I have just been working around the house doing guy stuff like decking out the attic and installing a home theater. I am not trying to be anti-social, I'm just decompressing right now. The holidays came and went and I didn't get all caught up in it. Other than watching a pile of college football it could have been any other time of the year for me. One of the only people to contact me that I really wanted to see was Fritz but he and I missed each other. He was nearby and we missed becuase of my trip to see my dad. Oh well, that is how it goes.
I know that some guys get all gregarious and want to see and hang out with everyone, some want total solitude and some try to pretend that they were never gone. I know that I am doing just what I need to do. I am thinking less and less each day about the sand box and am trying to be a regular guy. My son's Karate instructors have asked when or if I will go back and I just give a non committal shrug and say, "I don't know." I really don't know but right now I really don't want to.
There are some class A a$$holes over there on the civilian side. Some of the Quality Assurance reps (QARs) for the DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) make it a point of contention that they WILL find you doing something wrong and you will be punished. It's not enough that we had a gaggle of retired Generals to deal with who were only interested in making the place a retirement community for their retired buddies; we also had our own employees who had this stateside sense of entitlement (Be careful not to hurt their feelings!), the various government agencies we worked for, and the client (DCMA), but we also were in an active war zone. We had Haji to worry about too. There are some days I wake up and know that no matter what I have scheduled for today it will never be as mentally tasking as what I have been through. I also know that I damn sure don't miss it right now.
Some of the guys who have come back say they miss it and want to go back. Maybe I will one day but right now I am enjoying doing the Seinfeld thing. Nothing.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Calls and Emails

"When are you coming back?" "I am leaving now because you did. I will go back when you do." "I want to go with you to the next one." All this makes me feel really good about my abilities as a leader in a tough area but at the same time makes me feel guilty. I worked for a retired Marine O-6 who was one of the best leaders I have ever met. He told me, "Never take a group of followers with you to a new project unless it is a start up."
He is right. I remember when Hurricane Gonzalez (I changed the name so he can't sue me) came though Taji. That is what we called it; Hurricane Gonzalez. It was pure Hurricane management. Come in, flatten everything, and build from scratch.
I was the Camp Manager and Taji was so damn big that it was decided by the powers that be that it needed to be a stand alone project. The place had four full brigades at the time and the ADCS of the 1st Cavalry Division too. I had been handling this all alone with only my support staff and had been raped on the supply end by the materials department in Baghdad. We had survived despite our senior management, not because of it.
Gonzalez was an HR Manager turned Project Manager and he is a straight up hatchet man. He was in Bosnia too. They announced he would be the Project Manager and that I would be his Operations Manager (S-3). He brought a posse of people and he made a lot of promises that he promptly broke. He went on a witch hunt and ruined the careers of two of the finest people I had under me. He went after the Project Controls Manager because he had shredded a copy of a training cost report. He went after the LNO (Liaison Officer) because he was nice to a fat girl craving attention and Gonzalez called it Sexual Harassment. It was no such thing. She was flirty and just wanted some attention. The LNO was nice to her and told her he would take her to the cinema on post one night. His only mistake was he did this by email. She cried foul and it cost him his career. I have never trusted the Desert Queens and she was definitely one of them at that point. I'll cover the theory of Desert Queens in another post.
The cost report was a very minor issue and neither of these people deserved for him to do what he did. Gonzalez simply wanted to place his personnel in those positions and he did. He did every demeaning thing he could to me in an attempt to get me to quit. I didn't. I just put my head down and concentrated on developing the finest 3 shop in the theater and that I did.
When I was promoted out of there 1 year later I had developed this shop to a point where 6 of my 8 personnel were all promoted to senior positions in other locations. I am still proud of that. Mark, Jeff, Bruce, Mario, Joe, and David all went on to bigger roles and all did very well. I am proud of those six. The personnel that Gonzalez put in place all atrophied out within six months each. Without their sponsor in place they could not survive and each one either quit or was fired. The beauty is that they were fired by the same O-6 I referred to in the first paragraph. Them being crammed into positions caused so much animosity from the others that no matter how good they were, they never could overcome the stigmata of having been jammed in by Gonzalez. They were never trusted by the rest and it caused ripple effects that are still felt today in Taji.
If I go back...............strange I even consider that too. If I go back it will be with another company. If I go back it will be in a start up capacity too. Head Hunters are already contacting me and making me offers. It is hard to say no. If I get a good enough offer I will consider. Some of the fat cat offers pay enough that with one more year I can sit very, very well and not have to worry about bills ever again. I'll keep you posted but rest assured that I will not be taking a posse. That to me is a recipe for disaster.
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