•June 26, 2009 • Comments Off on Milblogging

Some of you may know (if you bother to check this blog, still) that there’s a thriving blogging community for servicemembers and their families. “Milblogs” have become not only the modern-day equivalent of the letters written in wars prior, but a means of collaborating and even organizing a vibrant veterans group online.

This article exhorts those who no longer update their blogs to keep them archived and available online. A bit of a wakeup call for me, as I’ve been terribly remiss in my updates, but also a reminder that I have my side of a deployment coming up. My first, David’s second, and perhaps the right challenge for me to keep writing here. After all, I’ve a decent-sized list* of milblogs that I check regularly – it seems only fair that I in turn update mine.

So, while things are going well, I’m likely to be quiet on this here keyboard. My greatest impetus to writing is strong emotion, and the absence of loved ones triggers a fair amount of introspection. Hence, the writing will probably resume with more regularity in the coming months. I’m both apprehensive and excited to see what insights I gain from this one.

Go Web 2.0 – keep everyone connected, on a variety of platforms, and pay me to make it happen. Woot.

*List (a mix of personal blogs, group blogs, and newsblogs that I check pretty regularly each week)

  • Army of Dude – Alex’s account of his experiences in Iraq… and what has happened afterward.
  • FOB Tacoma – the local newspaper’s blog tracking all things Fort Lewis.
  • SpouseBUZZ – for military spouses, and I argue, the significant others as well.
  • Stryker Brigade News – news organized by brigade, including both home front and overseas information.
  • VetVoice – politics aside, it’s a pretty interesting set of public and personal blog posts by a variety of veterans. I often get some good links from these folks.
  • Army Live – yes, even the Army itself has started keeping a blog. Go Army.

Lighter by 4 teeth, and burdened with grim knowledge

•June 10, 2009 • Comments Off on Lighter by 4 teeth, and burdened with grim knowledge

First, for those who have ever lost luggage, read this.

Secondly, I am, as of this morning, now lacking in wisdom teeth and discovering the joys of bloody mouth, painkillers, mild nausea, and general drugged-up haziness.

Thirdly, I have affectionate and cuddly cats. They and David take care of me quite well.


•May 5, 2009 • Comments Off on Floribundance.

It appears that I am loved.

In the last few hours I have received red roses, a lovely fern, and instant approval for a Chase credit card.

Wait, scratch that last one. Turns out Chase sends it to all the girls. Psh.

Still… the other two items make me feel very warm and fuzzy.

Unfinished goodbye

•April 30, 2009 • Comments Off on Unfinished goodbye

Found out yesterday that a cherished 4-H friend passed away earlier this month.

Ross was a Nevada Collegiate 4-H’er and camp volunteer whom I first met at the 2004 National 4-H Technology & Leadership Conference while working on 4-HUSA. Since that event, I’d kept in touch with him and often called on him for his insights while working on other tech and leadership projects for 4-H. Everyone in the 4-H community who knew Ross spoke highly of his sense of humor, unquestioning commitment to the 4-H program, and overall classy personality.

He was someone I could (and often did!) call up for an impromptu ski trip or advice on a presentation. We even survived a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras together, as well as road trips to San Francisco and San Luis Obispo. For the Collegiate 4-H, he was a mature and stabilizing influence who refused to fall into the notorious drama of that time period, but still someone who would happily mediate everyone’s differences so we could all go out and celebrate afterward. The guy had incredible integrity and a great smile.

Here’s to you, Ross. May you find peace wherever you are now.

Lest there be rumors…

•April 2, 2009 • Comments Off on Lest there be rumors…

I’ve added a Twitter gadget so’s you can track my micro-blogging updates in between actual blog posts. I find it hard to devote big chunks of time to composing and wordsmithing, so I’ll let you all in on a secret.

Twitter lets me do mini posts of 140 characters or less. It also lets me cross-post that update here via that gadget over yonder, and on Facebook.

Cool stuff.

Anyway, if you’re concerned that I’ve disappeared, double-check the Twitter and you may find that I’ve hared off on another adventure.

Adventures in Creative Housekeeping

•March 21, 2009 • Comments Off on Adventures in Creative Housekeeping

While the idea of “keep the litterbox in the unused bathtub” was a worthy one insofar as it contains the tracked-out litter and prevents it from joining the greater carpeted wilderness…

it turns out that using the bathtub’s integrated water-powered cleaning tool (read: faucet and/or shower) perhaps was not. For, you see, kitty litter is meant to clump up and turn into glorified mud, the same kind of mud that might be used for a facial, which means that it is goopy and sticky and stubborn.

I’ll be in the bathroom with my scrubby brush for the next little while. As soon as the standing water in the tub does its work and dissolves its clumps.


57 plus two partial reads. Dude.

•March 16, 2009 • Comments Off on 57 plus two partial reads. Dude.

According to the Interwubs Meme Generator, and unconfirmed by … the BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total and put it in the title.

I added a (-) to the ones I would not willingly read again. Sometimes once is more than enough.

I believe Villanova’s English department is responsible for perpetrating a good half of my list onto my poor, pathetic mind.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (X)
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (X+)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (X)
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (X+)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (X)
6 The Bible (X)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (X)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell (X)
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (X+)
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (X-)
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott (X)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy ( )
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (*)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (* and a partial X+ … I’m slowly working on it!)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier (X)
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (X)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk ( )
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (X)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (X+)
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot ( )
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (X)
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (X+)
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens (-)
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (*)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (X+)
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh (*)
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (X)
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (X)
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (X+ , especially the all-in-one Annotated copy from my dad)
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (X)
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy (*)
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens (-)
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (X+)
34 Emma – Jane Austen (X)
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen (X)
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (X … I cry duplicate to #33!)
37. Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (*)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres (*)
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden (X+)
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne (X)
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell (X)
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (X-)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (*)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving ( )
45 The Woman in White – (*)
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery (X+ … plus the series)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy ( )
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (*)
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding (X)
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan (X -)
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel (X+)
52 Dune – Frank Herbert (X)
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons ( )
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen (X)
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth ( )
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon ( )
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens (X-)
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (*)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon ( *)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (X)
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov ( )
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt ( )
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold (*)
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas (X -)
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac (*)
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy ( )
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (X – … upon further reading)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie ( )
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville (*)
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (X)
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker (X)
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson ( )
75 Ulysses – James Joyce (X)
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (*)
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome ( )
78 Germinal – Emile Zola ( )
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray (*)
80 Possession – AS Byatt (X)
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (X)
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell ( )
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker (*)
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro ( )
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert (X -)
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry ( )
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White (X)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom ( )
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (partial X)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton ( )
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (X -)
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (X+)
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks ( )
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams (X+)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Toole (X -)
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (X -)
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (X+ … though I call duplicate to #14!)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (X)
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (X)

OK, OK, so I’m an incorrigible geek with a penchant for literary self-punishment. Shaddup.