Monday, December 21, 2009

Pond Hockey

Our friends mother kindly took some pictures of our hockey games at Evergreen Lake on Saturday.

I posted them here on Google web albums.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting High on a Working Weekend

Our company is now on knockdown till exodus. We have allot to do so this weekend they put the whole building on knockdown. That means regardless of phase we can't leave post or the company area all weekend. We can only go away from the building during certain times to eat chow. Other than that we are working on our barracks. All yesterday Schumann and myself striped and waxed about half of our room by hand. Because there is only two mops and no buffers we had to do everything with a couple scouring pads to put it down and a sponge to take it up. for the waxing we've been using a shirt duct taped to my swifter. It takes wax about twenty minutes to dry. Yesterday spending the entire time in a small room with stripper had everyone in the company high. Everyone is real excited and regardless of what we are doing it seams that half of the company has left to go home already in their head. Or maybe that was the stripper.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Exodus Lockdown

This weekend is a work weekend. Everyone is to report at a 0800 formation in ACUs. We'll be working this weekend, cleaning and packing. Monday our wall lockers are sealed and we live out of our dufflebag we packed. 0000 on Thursday we are out on the sidewalk till our bus shows up. This whole week we'll be in uniform till that last night. I really don't care much what they put us through... there are only a few more days, and I'll be back home.
We had our last night of class this year last night. Because we tested out on Wednesday night we didn't have anything real to do so they played a couple movies in our classroom and let us sleep. I raced a friend to figure out the max value of a unsigned int on paper. Right now the only way to describe my attitude is cold resolve, I don't care what goes on these next few days, I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

PT is improving!

The picture is of our pt track with Schumann and the graduation stand on the right. We come out to Barton Field to do PT as a company every morning. It is the open grassy field I've ever seen, the dirt track around it is 5K. About a month ago someone high up in TRADOC(Training and Doctrine) decided to "standardize" PT for MOSIs(Initial Entry Training, non MOS qualified soldiers). In our case that meant that PT got retarded. We started doing CD1(conditioning drill one) at the start and end of each PT session. This consists of exercises like the "bend and reach" where you reach up and back down to touch your toes ten times. In between that we have been doing the "military movement drill" which are these dumb looking hopping and shuffling followed by a 30yd sprint. After that we would do CD1 again and a couple of stretches. Needless to say in order to just maintain a decent PT score we had to do quite a bit on our limited own time. Several of us have been complaining about this lack of decent PT. In the past we've had good hard PT. Two days ago they did CD1 and MMD real fast and got right into some hard pt. We did several sets of 50 4count flutter kicks, over 100 4count v-ups, 45 dips, 45 decline push ups, 45 incline push ups, 2 sets of six pull ups and six chin ups, with 12reg/12wide/12close push ups in between, and 10 slow KTEs(Knees to Elbows, on pull up bar bringing knees up to elbows and flexing the arms to bring head to bar). This all within the hour we have for PT. Yesterday they changed some of the exercises up a bit, but it was just as brutal. I'm excited, hopefully It'll help me improve. Without the gym anymore it's been hard to get real good hard workouts. I'm praying it continues.
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Monday, December 07, 2009


No, this is not a post about anyone else. :P

This is more just a bunch of short random things I wanted to write about.

The army is but isn't paying me. Last Friday I was all excited when I checked my LES and realized that a new one was up and I was being paid. It was a complete back pay for the last month. What I failed to realize right away is they forward dated it. In the small print on the bottom it says, "Direct Deposit 20091211". In other words I'm not being paid till the eleventh. Just so you know... I did resolve the issue and I will continue to be paid while here.
I learned a new word today, holler. Say it with a southern accent and it means a slight depression in the Appellations, not big enough to be a valley. Because logically, how can you have a valley if you don't have any real mountains.

Thirdly, I had a run in with one of my classmates today because he was acting like a younger sibling, and he is twenty six. Maybe he was an only child.

Today in class we learned about the satellite systems that we use. And as of Saturday a new bird is up on the WGS(Wideband Global Satellite) constellation. WGS-3 is the third of six of these new birds that can each handle as much bandwidth and the whole last system combined(5 DCSS-III and their backups). Each of the WGS birds cost roughly $300mil. The cost of sending the shuttle up to repair and upgrade an old bird would be roughly $1.2bil. That is why we just put new ones up and let the old ones die when they run out of the fuel needed to stay in orbit. This bird was put up by a Delta IV from ULA. Here is a link to a story about it.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's Been Ten Days

When the National Guard drafted up my orders they wrote them so as to pay me only till the 28th of October. I didn't discover this till the next pay period(15th of Nov). Immediately I went into the National Guard Liaison's office. They told me it was squared away and I would be paid in eight to ten business days. Today marks that tenth day since my inquiry. I have now lost two pay periods because the thanksgiving holiday made ten days over two weeks. I went into their office on the first when I wasn't paid then either and they told me eight to ten more. I called again today and stated it's been ten days since my first inquiry and he told me to come in to see if we can't make this go faster. Pray it works out. Above is the paperwork they keep asking me to bring. They are three LES(Leave and Earn Statements), one that shows I'm not being paid and the last two where I was paid. Pray for it to go well. I do have another option but by just talking to this other person I would be going out of the official channels and could cause problems in the chain of command. As they say "snowballs" get larger as they roll downhill.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

A new home... DD has it's perks!

They've been talking about it for a long time now, moving us to different barracks because the current ones were getting way too crowded. Yesterday when we got back from school they told us to go get our stuff and move. We'd already been assigned rooms in the new building and I was in a twelve man. I didn't have much of a problem with this because I had a bottom bunk and our class was next on the line to get good rooms when the senior class graduates. Come to find out the senior class tested out of their last class last night so they were put on the day schedule to wait to leave. It was only third platoon(mids and swings) that they moved so as to make more space for both shifts. Long story short I got a two man room with Schumann complete with a desk.

Last night after Schumann came back from his denial appointment and moved his stuff over he asked if I would go with him to a Texas country music concert (Robert Earl Keen) in Atlanta. An old friend from where he went to college invited him. Because he way paying for the rental car, and the tickets I said why not. The drive to Atlanta is a good two and a half hours with out traffic and it was nice being able to switch out on the way there. Because I'd been on my feet all night in class and day moving our stuff over I was beat. The last hour on the way there I slept. We arrived and I was passed out, and the guys at the entrance saw me passed out. Schumann woke me up and gave me a 5-hour energy shot which woke me right up. I was still slightly groggy when I got to the door and I handed the man at the entrance my military ID. He read my birthday and then attempted to give me a "Over 21" wrist band. The manager saw what he was doing and came right over. The manager asked if he had really said 89 and then confronted the guy for trying to give me the band. The manager had seen me passed out in the car and asked how much I had drank tonight and I told him nothing. He then had me step aside where he gave me a Breathalyzer test just to let me in. Once everything checked out we got in. The music was allot of fun. It was a huge non-smoking honkeytonk where the band plays right above a huge dance floor. Someone wasn't doing their job all that well on the sound board so it was rather hard to make out the singing from about half way back to the back of the building. Therefore everyone stood on the dance floor right next to the stage where you could hear the acoustic instruments and the singing w/out the sound system. Robert Earl Keen is a mix with traditional country(Willy Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, etc) and some delta blues instrumentals(pedal steel and dobro). I had a blast.

On the way back I drove(DD) since Schumann had a couple on the friend who invited him. We stooped by a gas station to doze off in the car for a couple of hours before driving back and I discovered canned Arizona Green Tea. This might not sound like much, but here in Georgia it is near impossible to find. I've only run across it twice the whole time I've been here. I proceeded to purchase it and slowly sipping on it I drove all the way back straight through. We arrived back around 0320.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Skydiving video

I'm awful on video. Guys around here say I do some of those weird things normally, going to try to stop. For example the quick head twitch, awkward smile, non looking at the camera, etc. YouTube blocked out the audio, which isn't a big deal because it's just some stupid song they put on there. Anyway, enjoy without sound. I didn't think I was that nervous.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Now that the half marathon is over and I'm getting back to a more normal schedule I played racquetball for the first time in two weeks today. Hopefully I'll be doing it more often. What is more important that that though is the outcome of today's two games. I killed Schumann in both games, first one was 13 to 15 and the second I only let him score five. During the second game he repeatedly was in the way of the racquetball. I hit him three times. We used to play for an hour or two at a time, now for some reason he's beat after just two. But that was back when I lost almost every game. The huge beer he had at lunch today probably didn't help either.
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Thank God for good weather!

This is the third weekend we've driven out to this airport to attempt a jump. This time the weather was beautiful. Not a cloud in sight. Before we could get started we had to redo the paperwork... yes I am jumping out of a airplane, yes I understand this is not normal, yes I am committing suicide, yes I know this parachute could possibly save me, but it could not also, yes I know this is a conscious decision, no I will no sue anyone, no my family will not sue anyone, and even if they try they will have to pay all their own winnings. Nearly twenty initials and four signatures later the paperwork was done for the third time.

Here we go again. This time we take off all metal and everything out of our pockets. They give us these marune looking one piece suits. It fits just fine. We are then adjusted in the harness and helmet. The funny looking helmet is more for the sake of the guy jumping with us so it doesn't hurt so bad when we bang heads.

Schumann and I were on the second ride up. Once we were on the plane it started to set in what I had relly got myself into. Within a couple of minutes we were at altitude and the door came open. We scuffled to the door on our knees and on a count of three we fell out. Up at fifteen thousand feet you can see the curvature of the earth. Tumbling several times we saw earth then plane to earth again and back up at the plane. You know that falling feeling you get on roller coasters and stuff, there was none of that. You just go faster until you reach terminal velocity. Which you manage to keep under 140(safe parachute opening speed) by the traditional skydiving position, belly to earth. After a minute or so of free fall we had gone nearly ten thousand feet and my ears felt like they were about to explode. Changing altitude that fast can have negative affects on your hearing. For the rest of the day everything was muffled. The only real falling feeling is when the chute opens. We opened at roughly five thousand feet and floated around for ten minutes or so. Next time we go I'll do the AFF(accelerated free fall) which includes a six hour class and allows us to jump with our own parachute. The took a video of it, I'll have that this next weekend to post.

Connell who is pictured up top had never been on an airplane before and he was completely terrified of the whole thing. Having airborne in his contract he wanted to get some of the fear out of the way in a more relaxed environment. When he got down he loved the free fall and the plane ride but hated the parachute. He kept asking if there was ways to open lower or do away with it all together. They reminded him that you don't need a parachute to jump once, you need it to jump twice.
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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Room cleaning...

We had a few new people move into our room and we are no longer able to keep our supplies in the "broken locker". In an effort to hide and yet allow access to all members of the room they are located in a ceiling tile. This we did after asking our squad sergeant. He is one of the few that allow reasonable compromise if it won't hurt anything. Most other squad sergeants wouldn't allow anything in the ceiling. Been spending allot of time around Connell recently working out after PT. It's fun to do some real exercise. Regular company PT here is a joke.
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Monday, November 02, 2009

Picture-less day...

It's not like anything happened. Nothing happened today, and I left the camera in my wall locker. I spent the day attempting to recover from yesterday, I'm still walking funny. I need to get off, My Internet device doesn't reset till the fourth and I think I'm near my limit.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Today starting at 0700 I competed in a half marathon. Around 12.5 miles a friend who was a road guard for the race had my camera. I finished 91st out of nearly 800. One of the guys in our group finished fifteenth. I maintained roughly a 7.40 mile pace. My time was 1:39:42. In the red is SFC Norganrd. Underneath him is Schumann. And lastly SFC Albers. Starting about mile eight there were allot of hills to the end. 10.5 to 12 was the hardest for me. It was on the freeway, which was canted to the left and had three large hills with no downhill in between. This is when quite a few passed me.

We were invited to return to compete in the half iron man as a relay team next year as a relay. One man runs 13.1 miles, One bikes something like fifty miles and then a third swims. I hope to be gone before then.

Out of the women overall a 55year old finished third with a time of 1 hour 25min. The guy who won overall ran in an hour and twelve minutes. His overall pace was 5:20/mi. His first two he ran in just over eight minutes. If only I could do that on a pt test. Usually when I run after a couple of miles it gets easy because most of the pain goes away. I found the end of that today. At ten miles in it became real painful. I would say the reason is because when we trained we never ran over nine miles because of the amount time allotted for PT.
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Phase Change

Wilson passed his PT test yesterday earning him Phase five. It didn't take him long to find someone willing to sell him an outrageous set of civilian cloths. He's the completely sacrilegious "viking" in our class.
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Friday, October 30, 2009


Pure awsomeness! No weekend formations any more!
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Released for the Weekend!

When we returned from school this morning we discovered that someone put our Battalion crest in the sand. It must have taken allot of time. The flags and torch in the bottom right are a reference to the civil war when the "signal core" was founded.

The army will make NCO's(Non-commissioned Officers, aka Sergants) be AIT cadre if they want to "put them away" because they did something stupid. Several of our cadre have punched and even beat up officers. Another is here because of adultery and the rest are various things. There are only a few that chose this position, one of those I suspect is SFC Albers. He is awesome.

Sergeant Gerrero spent allot of time making a spider to put on top of the vending machines in the day room. Trash bags stuffed with shredded paper and eyes and mouth made with styrofoam cups.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

A trip to the library.

My Verizon air card doesn't work with Windows 7 and as of now I can't find any solutions online that have worked. I sure hope they fix it soon or I'll be spending alot of time at the library. It is the only place on post with free Internet, but it is slow and a long hike. The rest of the company is doing a PT test tomorrow. I might just to see if I've improved. But because I'm on the half marathon team and that is this Sunday SFC Norgard and SFC Albers gave us a pass this time. I just received a call from a friend of a friend back home who might be able to hook me up with some good Christian fellowship here in the August area. I'm excited to say the least.

UPDATE: Windows 7 is awesome! I was able to figure out the solution to the driver issue.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It Arived!

Today at main call I received my copy of Windows 7. With this new version Microsoft wrote a totally new kernel. I'll see in a couple of days if it is all it's been made out to be. They sent it to me because I bought a computer so close to the the release.
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Laundry Day

My laundry bag was looking pregnant as they say here so I devoted today to doing my laundry. If you have a "Christmas sack" they will throw it all over your room while you are at pt. The only problem is in a building with 450 soldiers there is like a grand total of three working washers and maybe one more drier. Our other option is to hike about a mile and a half to the laundry mat. It takes more time to do your laundry at the company than to hike there and do it and hike back because you not only have to wait but these don't always work well. I spent two and a half hours in the laundry room today because I don't like paying for things I don't have to. I don't really have anything better to do anyway. That sign saying that a work order was submitted is nearly four months old and the other one I took a picture of has never worked, even though people have tried. Another company just recently moved into some new barracks and they have twenty washers/driers per platoon. Each of their platoons are around eighty people. Part of the reason might be because they plan on us moving out of where we are eventually even though they don't have anything built for us to movie into, or even started for that matter. I have formation in an hour and I have to fold my laundry.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When it rains

Today was the first day we have ever been rained out of PT. I don't know why, it was just another Georgia rain. I don't think the sergants on duty wanted to be in the rain any more than we did. They just took roll and did room inspections then released us to do barracks maintenance. Because our room is real squared away it wasn't anything. We were given permission by our squad sergeant, SSG Robinson to use the extra wall locker for our cleaning products. We're glad for it because just last week we had our broom stolen while we were at class. Now we have a lockable place for our cleaning suplies with out storing them in our wall lockers.

Out our window from the third floor you can see the sidewalk we normally form up on. The truck that fills the vending machines in the day room is not deterred by the rain.

There is a bible study today at eleven. I hope we get released from cleaning soon enough to go.

Because the budget for supplies for our barracks ran out and we no longer have wax till the beginning of next year we are all stripping our floors to take off all the rest of the wax so everything looks uniform. It's not just about being clean, it's about looking the same. At least now with no wax we can wear our shoes in the building.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

How to Copy a Program.

Step 1: Make image files out of the disks.

There are several very good applications out there for helping you do this but one of the best and free ones is ImgBurn. ( )
On their forum at you can find a tutorial on how to create image files.

Step 2: Copy the image files.
This may sound simple but it is where many people make mistakes. If you skipped the first step you wouldn't be able to copy these files and might end up copying something completely useless such as the PROGRAM FILES (hint).
This is accomplished by locating the files on your hard drive in windows explorer and right clicking then selecting copy. Then you open up the external hard drive or flash drive that you are using to transport these files and right click and select paste. Remember not to disconnect the drive until the files have finished copying.

Step 3: Mount the images.
Again this step is not possible if the first two steps were not preformed correctly. It is rather frustrating if someone is trying to share something with you and they failed to follow the first two steps. Daemon tools is the industry standard free software that works wonders when it comes to mounting virtual drives.

Step 4: Install the program as if you had the disk in.
You know how to do this.



Do I need all the files?
Yes and no... all the files are on the images.

I copied the program off my desktop and it doesn't work on the other computer, why not?
That is just a link, nuf said.

I copied all the files in "Program Files" but it doesn't work, why?
Those aren't all the files, and the program needs to be located in the system registry to locate it's libraries.

What if I copy the registry files?
Go ahead, and try that.

Would it be easier to just copy the whole hard drive?

For extra credit figure out which screen shows what should have happened.
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Mail Call

Every day before we go to bed we change back into uniform and form up at 1450. The actual formation is at 1500 but they call fall in ten minutes prior to every formation and if you ain't there then you are marked FTR(failure to report) during the roll call. An FTR will result in at the least extra duty if not phase back. If the right Sergeant is on duty when you do it you could even get a negative counseling which will keep you from winning honor grad or distinguished honor grad.

I took this picture in formation while roll was being called. If you look to the left you will notice what looks like two ramps coming out of the windows on the second and third floor. Both latrine 2 is closed right now and DPW(department of public works) is doing maintenance. They use those rams to allow them to throw stuff out the window and into a dump truck they sometimes park there.

Another thing to notice is the painted rocks and raked sand. Those rocks are painted regularly and the sand is raked daily. Raking sand is one of those details they make people do when they want to waste their time but have ran out of things for them to clean. This is a daily occurrence.

Here at this formation Brown(old guy, aka "dad") finally got his off post packet and one of his POV packets back. The Army, or maybe just Ft Gordon, has a way of loosing paperwork at random. Never disciplinary paperwork, but always stuff that has to do with more privileges. You have to put in a packet off all sorts of information on your house if you want to move out of the barracks. This allows married soldiers to live with their wife and children while in AIT. Brown's wife moved here over a month ago. They have lost his packet several times, for some reason they signed it this time. He also got one of his POV(privately owned vehicle) packets back. A POV packet contains everything from prof of insurance to a record of the depth of tread on each tire. It was also lost once and he had to resubmit it. Just the sphere length and number of signatures required makes it prohibitive. When they called his name he ran up like a little kid. He has been daily inquiring about it till they finally did it two months late. It took him all of twenty minutes to call his wife to bring the car over and empty out his wall locker. We now have two blank lines on our room roster.

On Thursday last week we came back from class to discover that someone had stolen our broom. Below is a picture of the really trashy broken broom that Wilson "creatively acquired" today to replace it. We have to seep several times daily to keep our room up to standard. For right now we are keeping it in one of the spare wall lockers. Hopefully tomorrow one of us will walk to the PX(post exchange, think military walmart) and buy a real one.

And lastly I put a picture of Dean and Townes in Dean's bed sharing something on their hard drives. Because of the real lack of things to do here many have HUGE movie collections on hard drive. Both of them have been here just two months and already have over 1.5Tb of media. The sad part is they have probably watched all of it.

This morning in class after I finished a test and had to sit there waiting for Brown to finish his practical I read Proverbs 26 several times. Verse twelve jumped out at me. "Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him." It was encouraging because I have been down because I feel like a complete fool with no answer for everyone around me. No matter what I say to them they continue to give me advice. For example right now... Townes is telling me that my decision to have my parents to be completely involved in any relationship that would result in marriage is stupid. How I need to go out seeking and and dating. Garza is over here saying that I should just sin on the weekend and then repent the next Sunday. His nose is huge. I can't keep from looking at it. I wish I had a satisfying answer to tell them so they would just shut up.

We got out and ran with SFC Albers today. In forty five minutes we ran just under seven miles. If anything the one thing I've noticed is that the more we run every day the faster I am recovering. I hope after the race on Sunday we can continue to run during regular pt instead of doing conditioning drill one. Even FM21-20(standard Army pt) is rather lame. CD1 has to be the most retarded PT ever.

For closing, today marks one month exactly before Thanksgiving, I can't wait to see everyone again.
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