Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend 2007

Happy Memorial Day!

It has been a very busy weekend. MEPs was interesting, and didn't go exactly as I had planned, but nothing ever does. Here's the run down:

Thursday around 1:00, I left for the capital. I arrived at MEPS around 3:45 or so, and after a few minutes of processing paperwork, I was pointed to the testing lab. The SSgt in charge set me up on an open computer. The ASVAB consists of 10 sections covering everything from science, english, and math to car parts and basic computer/electronic studies. Some parts of it were pretty rough, but fortunately, I pulled out a 98 on it. Needless to say, I was very pleased.

After the test, I drove to the hotel where all of the to-be military people stay. The accommodations were beyond everything I had expected, and the people were very nice.

My room mate for the night was an old pro, having already gone through with the process for the Navy before changing his mind at the last minute to go for the Army. Dinner was provided, and we spent the rest of the night (light's out at 2200) watching TV, playing PSP, and just talking.

The next morning, we got in line for breakfast around 5:00 and were served bacon, hashbrowns, and other continental-breakfast-type-foods. They were all great. When the shuttle call came, I headed to my car and followed the bus back to MEPS.

Everything you read about MEPS medical people is true. Their jobs are to disqualify people from getting into the military. It's nothing personal, but it's what they do. The second day at MEPS was long and full of hurry-up-and-wait scenarios. Blood-drawn, medical histories, hearing tests, orthopedics...I got through it all...and then came the eye exam.

I ended up with a PDQ because my left eye was at .75 below the lower limit for military allowance. They sent me home, but the recruiting Sergeant assured me that I would end up with a waiver. My recruiter from school told me the same when I called him. Regardless, it means another trip to Columbus (hopefully this week...) and 60 bucks more for gas.

So, as it stands right now, I am not yet a sworn member of the Armed Services. Once again, MEPS told me they would hear from Fort Knox on the waiver decision by Wednesday at the latest, so I expect to get an answer Tuesday or Wednesday.

Until then, that's all I've got. I hope you all had a magnificent Memorial Day and were able to keep those who have fallen defending our nation close at heart today.

Peace out.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

MEPS Today!

It has begun...

I'm headed to the capital today to start MEPS. ASVAB today, and exams/everything else tomorrow.

Wish me luck! I'll have a lengthy post about it when I get home tomorrow.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Thursday and Friday are the days...

That's all for now. Just wanted everyone to know I had finally reached the point of making a decision.

More news to come.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Air strikes in the Gaza Strip & Iraq: How the Cookie Might Crumble

Two Middle Eastern stories today...

Apparently, infighting between Palestinian factions in the Gaza strip has resulted in an a series of Israeli bombing raids in an effort to take out key leaders of one of the two factions currently fighting. Rocket were shot into Israel in an effort "to draw it into an internal Palestinian conflict." Interesting. Doesn't really have any immediate effects on the US, but interesting nonetheless.

Also, the Chatham House think tank in Britain apparently has postulated that do to the large number of localized civil wars currently taking place in Iraq (as opposed to one big one), the country is moving closer and closer to the breaking in, it will be broken up into smaller countries. I don't think I would be too opposed to this if it could really cool things down. When Iraq was originally formed, little-to-no attention was given to the local populations and how well (or poorly) that could coexist. Obviously, there have been some problems over the years. I think if we got a "do-over," so to speak, peace might be able to be found.

Of course, there would be nothing easy about this solution. It's just an interesting thought. Maybe the world should give it a closer look.

That's all I've got for now. Half-day at work, so I'm going to lift, run, and reinstall my operating system!

Peace out.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Something really cool happened this Friday...

I was in the car with my younger brother (just got his temporary permit), and we were on our way a friend's house. We were getting close, and he looked into the mirror and said, "That Army car's been behind us for a while."

I looked behind us and sure enough, there was a car covered in US Army paraphernalia. Jokingly, I looked at my brother and said that it was probably my recruiter trying to get me to pick a day to go to MEPS.

Well, the Army car pulled onto the street where we were headed and after both of our cars had stopped, two fully-uniformed soldiers exited the vehicle and approached us.

"That's a great sticker you have on the back of your car there!" a Staff Sergeant told my brother. (The bumper he was referring to reads, "Kick their ass and take their gas!")

Sure enough, the two men were recruiters for the county we live in, but they live in the neighborhood in which my brother's friend lives...

So we chatted with them for a few minutes and then I went home.

In our few minutes together though, the soldiers told me something that just about made my stomach turn. Apparently, on a recent trip to the area high school to get permission to talk to students at lunch for recruiting purposes, the principle asked them the following question:

"What's the difference between you and the Neo-Nazis?"

I can't even begin to address the ignorance behind this statement...and it's a high school principle for crying out loud!

In some follow-up news, I got some homebrew apps working on my new PSP. Absolutely fantastic! I highly recommend purchasing one if you're at all into old-school gaming. The platform itself has some decent titles, but the WiFi internet, music player, and homebrew capacity really make the system great.

That's all I've got for now. I'm going to try to keep up with the news a little better from now on so I can make some comments about current events this week.

Enjoy your mother's day!
Peace out.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

MEPS Coming Up

The time to finalize a day for MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) is closely approaching...I'm thinking I'm gunna go late next week. The Army apparently works on a 15th to 15th monthly schedule, so my recruiter has encouraged me to avoid the middle of next week because a lot of other recruiters will be trying to jam people in to make the monthly deadline. I'll be sure to post as soon as a date is set.

My early-morning routine has been hampered slightly because I've started taking my younger brother to school on my way to work. I've been making up for it in the afternoons, but it's getting excruciatingly humid as of late so I'd really like to get back into a morning schedule to avoid late afternoons (plus, I come home exhausted from work...I work for a general contracting company...manual labor, construction, deliveries, and the like...Been doing it every summer for years. I really like it.)

That's all for now...bed time for this guy.

Peace out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

End of the world

Good run...

This is something I've been meaning to post about since I got home.

Last Friday, I was watching the History Channel, and I saw the most wonderfully ridiculous program. The show talked about the signs of the "coming Apocalypse" centered around a strict, Christian interpretation of the Bible. Now, for those of you out of the loop, I wag my finger at strict-Christian-fanatics as much as I do for the Left-Wing-lunatics; needless to say, I had a good laugh.

"Experts on the Apocalypse" (I'm not sure exactly how that works...Biblical scholars probably, but that was the term the History Channel used...) say that "the signs are all around us." Death, natural disasters, plagues, starvation, and loose morals all point to the Second Coming and the end of the world.

Now, I'm no scholar or historian, but I'm fairly certain that all of those things have always existed (some in fact have actually decreased significantly since the time of Jesus...don't see too much leprosy today).

So, I watched for the hour it was on, and enjoyed a few chuckles. But the biggest laugh came just a few minutes before the end of the program.
After the Bible-thumping session ended, the narrator's voice became even more ominous. He said , "Maybe the end of the earth won't take a supernatural form. We humans in fact may be bringing about our own demise..."

You guessed it! Apocalypse-by-Global-Warming has made it all the way to the Right of the political spectrum...all the way.

This bizarre union of Right and Left made me start to think. Man as a species has been obsessed with Armageddon since well before the birth of Christianity; it's become a sort of expects the world to end, but only in the way he envisions it. Christians think the Second Coming will bring about man's true end...

(aside: I always wonder what will happen to the Earth when man's all dead...and the animals...will Earth just be a rock floating through space with some animals on it? ...maybe that's all it is now...oooo...deep)

So, this train of thought eventually brought me back to Global Warming. Weeks ago, one of my room mates put forth the idea that Global Warming was a religion for atheists...There are rituals (neurotic recycling), congregations (protests and rallies), and there is a system of beliefs (the world is getting warmer, SUVs are evil). There are even different sects (those that lump in anti-globalization and anti-corporatism) and hypocrites (celebrities who travel the world in private-jets preaching against SUVs)

And of course, Global Warming, just like the Second Coming, will bring about the end of the mankind's reign on this is very much like a religion in many ways, and mankind's need for a belief in the end of the world explains why it has spread like wildfire.

Food for thought...thanks to the Macrocosm's author for his thoughts...check his blog out in my "Friends" section...if he would ever update it.

That's all for post will probably be on censorship.

EDIT: It has been recently been pointed out to me that the idea of Global Warming as a religion was originally put forth by Rush Limbaugh. So, I thought I might give him some credit for it too. Thanks Rush.

He's back!

Finals are done, I'm on summer break, and work has started.

I've got lots of stuff on my mind to post, so I'm going to break them down into a couple of posts that should hit the site throughout this evening.

The first thought stems from the Sony PSP I bought a few days ago. It's wonderful. I do have one particular problem with it; it's not so much an issue with the system itself.

The rant should begin with an explanation. I have a problem with our country's current intellectual property laws. I don't like DRM (digital rights management) or the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. That being said (and all music, movie, and software related arguments aside), I would love to play old-school and homebrew games on my PSP.

The current laws are set up to allow anyone with a legitimate hard copy of a video game to own one soft copy for backup purposes. Reasonable...if it were easy to utilize or create those backups. There are ways to obtain emulators and get them to work with the PSP, but it is tedious and borderline illegal.

I understand holding the rights to older games that are being (or certainly warrant) remade (Final Fantasy series, Megaman series...etc). Those games, despite their age, are still making money for those companies. However, titles like Mickey Mania barely made money while they were out, but are still a blast to play. Why hold onto the rights for games like that?

That being said, I actually own copies of the games I would like to play on the I should be allowed to make/obtain soft copies...but changing my PSP to be able to do so could permanently damage the system and make it unusable. How in the world does Sony benefit from my not being able to modify this console as I see fit when I stay well within my legal rights?

Emulation is a wonderful way to preserve the classic games and keep "old school" gameplay alive. I wish the big game companies would wake up and think about whether or not older games are really making them that much money anymore...

On a more fun note, there is a website that keeps track of thousands of older games that are now in public domain for one reason or another. Check out The Underdogs for more info.

That's post one...not terribly well-written or thought-out, but it's something...more to come after I get back from my run...

Peace out.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Update on Finals week

Hello friends.

Well, the last week of the semester is upon me. I've got 6 finals plus a take-home exam and a final JAVA program, for a grand total of 8 end-of-semester-things...
3 are down, two more today, none tomorrow, 2 wednesday, and 1 friday.

Full load, to be sure

Last week the University gave us Thursday and Friday off and called them "study days," but they really became "sit-around-and-not-study" days. The last week of actual school was awful, so the two breathing days were welcome.

Not much has been going on in the way of PT since our battalion run to end the semester last wednesday...I've swam a couple of times, but my time has mostly consisted of finding my graduating friends to say goodbye and studying (after friday had passed, of course).

Haven't been paying much attention to politics, games, or books either...but it'll all be over soon.

3 more days!

Peace out.