Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Military Officer Career Planning

A question for those who have served as military officers. Question follows the scenario.

You laid out a career path as a diversity/social justice/etc specialist with the idea of building credentials to allow a smooth transition to the civilian world built on diligent networking with like minded people. You were very successful in the eight years of the Lightbringer administration and looked forward to eight more successful years with the Shillary administration.

Suddenly, the real warriors are in charge. Are you fucked?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Doubling Down On Stupid

A Colorado politics rant. Long and windy. You are warned.

Why am I still a registered Democrat?  Part of it is knowing your enemy. Mailings and emails keep me up to date on the various ass clowns inhabiting the (P)regressive wing. As an example, this email from a Shillary clone running for governor. I can’t find a single verifiable fact in it.

Subject: PETITION: Protect Colorado's public lands from President Trump

Today I join you in celebrating Earth Day. For almost 50 years, April 22 has been dedicated to honoring our environment and advocating to protect it.
And here in Colorado, our belief in protecting our public lands and our open spaces makes Colorado the place we all love.
But in Washington, Donald Trump has a different view.
Donald Trump sees public lands as a resource to be sold off to the highest bidder, putting our lifestyle and recreation economy at risk. Can you imagine The Great Sand Dunes, Rocky Mountain National Park or Browns Canyon National Monument being sold to the highest bidder?
Coloradans see things differently than Trump. We know our public lands and beautiful open spaces define who we are. It’s what makes Colorado special, and is a vital part of our strong economy.
My family, like many of yours, loves and uses our beautiful public lands. Access to these places helps make Colorado the place we love. And we will not go backwards.
Colorado’s treasured lands, our outdoor recreation economy all deserve better than Trump’s misguided approach.
- Cary Kennedy

Note she never uses the word President. Oversight or deliberate?  Congressmen, not President Trump, have advocating selling some public land, and transferring more to the States.

You start wondering if (P)regressives  would recognize a fact if it bit them in the ass. All feelings, all the time, seems to be their style. Should you question their ‘feelings’, you are a despicable racist, misogynist, privileged oppressor. (Missed some labels here, I’m sure)

Her formal announcement she is running for Governor drew national scorn. Or is any publicity good publicity?

I would pay good money to watch her take her act to Northwest Colorado and ask for the votes from my coal mining relatives (of both sexes). No, she will stay in those areas known for turning Colorado purple. Splendid opportunity May 6 in Maybell as the Sombrero Horse Drive takes place. Vendor spots are only $20.

She is up against some serious Democrat heavyweights. She might be a good fit for them as a candidate for Lt. Governor. Nasty primary fight brewing?

Colorado went for Shillary. What I find interesting is the usual reliable Democrat counties, like Pueblo, went for Trump.

I’m reconciled to the prospect of another Democrat governor. The Blue Dog Democrats are nearly extinct and the GOP is a Jeb! club.

Thank God for TABOR (and Douglas Bruce).

I don’t vote for any candidate by party alone. I vote for politicians who have a philosophy, and record, of giving people a hand up, not a hand out.

That said, any politicians that is in any way anti 2nd Amendment won’t get my vote. Why the hell do they waste their time? Oh yeah, makes for great stump speeches. Gives the impression they ‘are doing something’.

In 2015 Colorado had 172 homicides. About 114 involved a firearm. In 2015 there were 547 traffic deaths. Per the people on the front line, distracted driving was the main culprit. About 125 were donorcycle deaths. Seems to me to be a much bigger problem, one that should be a lawmaker priority.

Please let me turn over a large rock: Pensions, government and teacher pension funds in particular. Mathematics is exact, and the math says these funds are not sustainable. You rarely hear calls to investigate the crooks who run them. Think Cary Kennedy will touch this topic? Only to put the burden on the general taxpayer is my guess.

My favorite Colorado Governor was John Love. A Republican, he served from 1963-1973. Often you would see, parked in the his reserved parking spot at the Capitol, a dented GMC pickup, bits of loose hay in the bed, and a personalized license plate reading GUV LUV. The current crop of (P)regressives couldn’t carry his hay fork IMO.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Natives Are Restless

Kind of wasted attached to a yuppie scooter. Like the sentiment.

Westbound on I-70 on a Saturday morning. How many are California transplants?

More bad news for the ‘Keep the Bastards Out’ crowd.

What we need is another record breaking Spring blizzard.

Probably should shut up as I was born in Wyoming.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Because I'm The Boss, Damnit

Looking for a good cheese to go with my whine about my part time job. Any recommendations?

My part time employer operates a fleet of Toyota Prius (Prius’?). Our satellite operation is out of a warehouse/industrial park complex with overhead doors at each end of our bay. With judicial positioning, six, possibly seven cars can be parked inside our locked building.

Every car is parked outside because it isn’t “convenient” to work around them as we spend ten minutes or so loading or unloading them.

Much easier to leave them outside in an area well known for hail storms. Our remote unpatrolled location is sooo convenient for thieves with just enough nighttime lighting to make car stripping easier. Gah!

Drivers can’t be trusted to see maintenance is done. Just the daily checks. My notation on my daily driver log that it had 12,000 miles since the last oil change wasn’t appreciated. Seems my ‘boss’ hadn’t read it until after her boss read it.

Must have been a good reason IBM booted her.

Since my mouth has never had a filter, it is very hard to keep quiet. My motivation is to do so is keeping the big shots from making me the manager. No, no, not happening. I’m done herding cats.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Reckless Adandon

Just below a nasty descending corner marked as a 55 mph section. I slow to 65 mph in the Prius on this section.

Colorado Hwy 52 at mm 98.5.

A case for reckless abandon for living and driving  in Weld County might be a stretch. We did lose a Mitsubishi pickup due to tornado/hail damage a few years ago.

It is not reckless if it makes the ecofreaks happy.

Gutless politicians recklessly spending public funds.

Ok, ok, it is a weak post, alright?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Biannual Bitching

Every other year we folks in selected Colorado areas are forced to spend time and money fulfilling ecofreak’s  wet dreams. Referring, of course, to having your vehicle’s emissions checked before you renew your license plates.

This is a defacto poor tax in several ways.  Poor people drive old, high mileage clunkers. The cost of the test. The time off work as the testing stations aren’t open in the evening hours. The cost of repairs needed to pass the test. Look for the sign and bend over.

Three days ago it was necessary to take the elderly Mitsubishi Might Max in for the test. Having spent years selling used cars, know some tricks. The truck’s test result was near new standards. Caused some questioning looks from the testing personnel. 


For once there wasn’t a long line.

The waiting area isn’t palatial or welcoming.

The assembly line.

Didn’t appreciate the test monkey popping the Mitsubishi’s clutch. This was after showing them the location of the catalytic converter, attached to the exhaust manifold, and not under the vehicle in a Mighty Max.

Afterwards, it was mailing a check to the county for $71.72. That is another reason I drive old stuff. Colorado is the only state with a TABOR act and the revenuers find other ways to fund themselves.

Suspicious minds wonder why license plates on newer vehicles are close to a monthly payment. Probably just a coincidence. 

 The only thing I’ve known to knock down the smog along the I-25 corridor is a brisk West wind.

Oh, WSF, you are full of stinkin thinkin.

Yeah? Bite me.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Tale of Two Malcontents

A trip down memory lane some 50+ years ago and a tale of two reluctant soldiers.

He caught my eye as we waited to board a slow train to Missouri under the watchful eye of two Army NCOs. Newly sworn into the Green Machine, it was off to Ft Leonard Wood, MO, to become trained killers (opps, Army not Marines) one September day in 1963.

About 5’4”, 140 lbs, red hair, map of Ireland face, he radiated surliness. From Boston, he had committed some  offense against society on his way through Denver and, as was common in the early 1960’s, a kindly prosecutor suggested he join the Army and all would be forgotten. Little did we know then we would become tight buddies and be in the same units our entire time in the Army.

Our bonding began after I went between cars to smoke a cigarette. Per the PSG  (prior service guy who couldn’t make it on the outside) and was “in charge” of our group, this was forbidden. Tom joined me. When the PSG got proddy I offered to throw his sorry ass off the train. Tom offered to help.

The five days spent at the reception center was an eye opener. Picture a grim moderately sloped hillside covered in crushed gravel, about the size of a tennis court, no shelter of any kind, with cut off telephone posts strung across the top. Each post had alphabet letters. Per your last name, you stood in a line behind the appropriate post. All fucking day except for noon chow. Need a latrine? You should have taken care of that before formation. Thirsty? Tough shit.  From time to time we were herded to haircuts, to the medical staff, to testing, and were issued our uniforms and such. Then we were trucked to our basic training battalion (and the last time I rode anywhere until after basic).

 The reception center was within earshot of the infiltration course. For several hours at night you could hear machine gun fire and explosions.

Leaving the reception area was absolutely forbidden! Tom and I used our free evening hours to explore some of the area.

Basic was basic. Millions have experienced it. My normal response to inter personal conflicts wasn’t approved by the cadre.

Corporal Arnold. “Goddamnit shithead, gut punch them. I get pissed off dealing with bloody noses.”

“Yes, sir”!

With the Army running on the alphabet, Tom was in the third platoon and me in the fourth. Both platoons shared the same building after week three when the whole company was relocated after one of the barracks collapsed.( WWII ‘temporary’ barracks)

At the rifle range, the first step was zeroing our rifles. From a standing position in a concrete pipe on end (simulated a fox hole) we fired three single shots at a bulls eye six feet away. For many, including Tom, this was the first time they had ever fired a weapon. I grew up with rifles and was in the NRA Junior program for years. My three holes could be covered with a nickel. Tom struggled with a rifle. After evening chow and before lights out I worked with him on fundamentals. He never got to the expert level but did qualify.

We moved about a mile to AIT, Combat Engineer School, along with about twenty from our basic company. Tom kept a low profile. I didn’t. We did manage a weekend pass. Six of us, four in the back of a pickup with a camper shell, took off to Columbia, MO to chase college girls.

 Tom was initially the most successful of our group but her boyfriend and his pals objected. Had to rescue him. The local constabulary suggested we load our sorry asses in whatever vehicle we arrived in and get out of town.

 The Daniel Boone hotel also requested we vacate our rooms but didn’t offer a refund.

Our next opportunity for trouble was Fort Dix, NJ as we awaited sea transport to Germany. Tom was from a Boston longshoreman clan and understood shipping.

“The next troop ship sails in eight days. That means eight days of pulling shit details. Let’s go to Boston”.

“Hell, yeah”.

We returned in time to make the load out for the buses going to the Brooklyn Army Terminal. As the irritated Sergeant read off names and the named person responded, he either directed the individual to a bus or ordered them to a spot near him. Not surprisingly, Tom and I were in the second group.

“Where have you two fuckers been the past few days”, he demanded.

“We’ve been stuck guarding some fucking duck pond, and with no relief. I demand to see the I.G.”!

“Yeah”, said Tom.

Glaring at us, the Sergeant said,

“Get on the fucking bus”.

 Which we did.

Whenever we weren’t in a permanent unit, I removed my name tags. In a mob of green uniforms, everyone a slick sleeved Private, it was the rare cadre that would remember your face.

“What is your name, and where is your name tag?”

“Private Anderson, Sergeant. Lost my duffle bag and was given this to wear”.

“OK, Anderson. Tomorrow after formation report to supply for a work detail”.

“Yes, Sergeant”. (Yeah, like that is going to happen)

Aboard the good ship General Maurice Rose, Tom was assigned to the kitchen detail. While he had never been seasick, he managed to puke on a hot grill covered with cooking eggs, and was banished.

The voyage was scheduled for nine days but took fourteen. Why was never explained to we cattle. Those who understood such things explained the ocean state wasn’t conducive to a fast voyage. This landlubber didn’t understand the bow and foredeck underwater wasn’t the usual condition.

Had the trip went as scheduled, my malingering wouldn’t have mattered. On the eleventh day, I was cornered by three pissed off NCO’s. Traveling steerage, they were still assigned supervision of the numerous shit details. I had become an irritant, and needed, in fine Army tradition, instant correction.

One thing I knew before going into the Army, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. NCOs can be quite creative in devising attitude corrections. They respect the malcontent who accepts his punishment without whining. Not that they don’t remember you, and watch you a bit more closely than your peers.

Disembarking in Bremerhaven, we stood for three hours in the freezing wind on an open area at the railroad station. Gave Tom and I ample time to deduce a nearby building might be a liquor store, slip away to verify our assumption, and exchange a few US dollars for something called Steinhaeger. Nine hours later, arriving at our final destination, Hanau, Germany we were drunk on our asses. 

This didn’t please First Sergeant Richard Nelson or Sergeant First Class James J McGarity Jr. They decided to ship our sorry asses to a three week demolition course in Bavaria with the hope,

 “You will blow your asses off and we won’t have to deal with you”.

Nine of us from AIT were assigned to the same float bridge engineer company. Another five or so were in the next door fixed bridge company. This made our transition easier.

Tom and I had a lot of fun in Germany, and got into a lot of mischief. As an example, after winning a drinking contest, we found ourselves at a dispensary being treated for acute alcohol poisoning. Don’t believe the term, stomach pumping. A tube in forced down your gullet, chemicals are introduced, and you puke your guts out, repeatedly. After release, we headed back downtown and resumed partying, but did pace ourselves.

Toward the end of 1965, we got a nice Army wide pay raise, and promotion slots opened up. By 1966, both Tom and I were E-5s. He was a buck sergeant, me a SP 5. I think the First Sergeant’s reasoning was this:

“I take the biggest assholes, put them in charge of the other assholes, and make them responsible for the assholes.  Then I can concentrate on just a few assholes. Makes my job easier”.

After the Army Tom went on to college and then medical school. He became a shrink.

The one thing I’ve always admired about the Marine Corps is the way they go about making each Marine proud to be a Marine. If the Army had an official song in the early 60’s I never heard it.  Certainly never learned the lyrics. Keep your boots shined, march in step, and do your job was all that was expected.

Tom struggled with basic soldier shit. I found it to be easy and usually was the guard mount supernumerary, the extra in case someone couldn’t complete their duty. I helped Tom with soldiering, and he helped me with what is today called “anger management”. We had each other’s backs even when we developed other circles of buddies. He was the only person I trusted completely.

Hope this trip down memory lane didn’t bore you, and you got a few laughs.