Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October APFT

It's been an awful week...

I've had two major programs due in two different classes between yesterday and this afternoon...they've been sucking up all of my free time...

To top it all off, I had an APFT this morning. I went to bed around midnight, crabby and ticked off because I was so frustrated with my program for today.

I woke up expecting the worst. As it turns out, I should take more APFTs pissed off...I ended up 1 pushup short of a 300...if I had only been two years younger, I would have had it...

Pushups : 74(gah!) up from 57.
Situps : 90(w00t!) up from 84.
2MileRun: 12:34 up from 12:28 (but my first lap/one mile time was under 6 minutes!)

I found that the key to kicking butt on pushups is just to not stop...your first full set is what matters the most. I did 30 on the first test, 40 this time, so I'll shoot for 50 on the next one.

Thanks to my APFT scores, I'm in a fairly good mood...despite the fact that in a little under 5 hours, I have to turn in a 100 point program that isn't going to completely work...

Anyways, I just wanted to post my good/frustrating friggin pushup...


Monday, October 29, 2007

Military Appreciation Day

This weekend, two of my favorite things (Army and the marching band...) came together in a big way. At the football game this past Saturday, in addition to the normal Parents' Weekend festivities, the University thought it would be appropriate to hold a military appreciation day. Our ROTC battalion was at the heart of the festivities. We wore our ACUs and marched onto the field with the band for pregame and the Star Spangled Banner.

The MS4s got us really into the game...we split up half-and-half in each endzone and did push-ups for points which the crowd seemed to really enjoy.

At halftime, a few of the cadets helped the dance/flag line hold open a giant flag in front of the band, which got a stading ovation...very cool.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend...and unfortunately, the week itself is going to be atrocious...2 major programming projects due T/W respectively for Software Engineering and Database Management...Java and Perl...And I've got an SE test this Thursday in addition to the normal homework and whatnot.

So, I'm gunna head out...No political rants...I'm overdue for one of those...


Monday, October 22, 2007

Birthday Weekend

I just had one of the greatest weekends ever. Period.

Ever year the marching band takes a trip to one away game. This year, it fell to a University a stone's throw from Chicago. What made this trip even better was the fact that it fell on the weekend smack dab before my birthday...which is today!

The greatness really began on Friday morning. Because we weren't going to leave until 10:00am, I didn't have an excuse not to go to PT at 6:00, which if you know how much I love to run was actually ok with me. The route was the 6 mile trek that I screwed up the last time I led it, so I was a little nervous, but it really couldn't have gone better. We kept an 8 minute (or better) mile pace through almost the entire route, and by the end, I felt fantastic. After a quick breakfast, I through my weekend bag together, unplugged the video camera charger, and headed with my house mate over to the music building to wait for the buses.

The ride was great. My house mate is the band's CEO and one of only three fifth year seniors in the group (myself included); he had previously warned that those wishing to sleep and/or study en route to our first performance (4-5 hour trip) really needed to grab a ride on the second bus because of the loud, obnoxious songs we were going to sing and the fantastically crude stories we were planning to share with the newer members. We stood by our warning.

After checking into our hotel, we drove to a local high school to play with their band. This turned out to be the only truly disappointing part of the whole weekend. The students, both band and fan alike, were fairly rude to us and the atmosphere was fairly bland. In the end, it was the few who got into our cheers, jeers, and powerful half-time show made it worth while. The buses rolled into the hotel around 11:00pm or so after we left the game. I hit the pillow and was out.

The next morning, we grabbed some breakfast and drove to the college game. It was a tiny stadium, and we dwarfed the home team's band which was more of a pep squad then a marching band (they didn't take the field, but they were pretty cool people. A few of us met with them after half time and they were incredibly gracious hosts). The energy was great. A boat load of our fans showed up to the game. The tiny stadium made cheering so much more fun because it was possible to get shouted messages back and forth across the field without any real problems. Our team ended up winning by quite a bit.

After the game, the buses drove us into downtown Chicago. Our band announcer took all of the seniors to dinner as is tradition on the trip. We got authentic Chicago-style pizza and watched the Cleveland Indians get stomped in the sixth game of the ALCS. After dinner, most of us just walked around the city until the buses came back to get us.

Sunday, we went back to Chicago. We spent the day on the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier, shopping and walking. Chicago's just a neat city to be in for a while. It was cool having been there before because I could help figure out where we needed to go and all that good stuff. We left around 4:00pm. A quick stop at a flustered, but friendly Arby's filled us up at the halfway point. The last few hours of the bus trip made the initial trip pale in comparrison. Song after whole back of the bus was glowing.

Got in bed around midnight just in time to get a few text messages from my friends wishing my a happy birthday. PT was great this morning, but I'm going to really be draggin' my feet and smacking my face to try and stay awake...

We're going to my favorite place to eat tonight...about as authentic as an Irish pub can get in middle America. Good times, good potato soup!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall Break

I'm going on Fall Break after classes today...but there's a football game on Saturday, so like any good marching band videographer, I've got to stick around campus. I'm actually very much looking forward to it. I was just very recently at home, and this will give me some much-needed, actual downtime (as much as I love being at home with my family, they, like me, hate to sit in one place for very long, so my breaks at home tend to fill up with activities very quickly).

PT was excellent this morning. We had a nice long run. I led this morning without any significant incident, which was nice. One of our lieutenants, a graduate of the program, ran with us and offered some really good suggestions on marching and handling road guards.

I've been spending more time on the Army Knowledge Online forums lately. It's a pretty cool place. Lots of interesting people talking about a whole lot of things...I've met some people who are supposed to be heading to Ft. Leonard Wood around the same time I do. It'd be great to at least know some names before I get there.

Work's almost over, so I'm out.


Monday, October 8, 2007


We got zonked at PT this morning...we showed up and went home. Excellent times...I've been sick for a few days, and a zonk is exactly what Dr. Spot ordered.

Working on Arabic homework right now...when I finish, I suppose I'll look at the news and post s'more.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

An Inconvenient Bias

A judge in the UK has ruled that before secondary school students are shown Al Gore's Academy Award winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, they must first be informed of the film's "...inaccuracies, exaggerations and statements about global warming for which there is currently insufficient scientific evidence."

This ruling comes just a few short months after then Education Secretary Alan Johnson announced that copies of the film and other global warming paraphenalia would be distributed to every secondary school in England.

For those of you who would believe the debate on global climate change (and more importantly its cause) is over, here's evidence to the contrary.
And don't give me any of that, "This is a judiciary ruling, not science" garbage...Al Gore's no more of a scientist than this judge, and the judge looked at the same evidence as Mr. Gore, viewed the film, and came to an entirely different conclusion.


Civl War II: This Time We Mean It

Apparently there are still people who think their states would be better off if they seceeded from the US. A Vermont secessionist group has been conducting talks with the League of the South (mostly comprised of Civil War vets, I hear...heh) to see if they can't bring some plans to fruition.

I can't even begin to take this seriously.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Yes yes yes yes yes...

I'm not a terribly huge Radiohead fan, but this is exactly the direction the music industry needs to be turning...

The Kingdom

The Kingdom

One last post before I get back to work (awful awful week ahead).

I saw The Kingdom Saturday night with my youngest brother and a good friend. Fantastic movie. Anything you read about the movie's political stand point is irrelevant. I viewed it as more of a career advisement film, personally...

It's split half-and-half thriller and action and the majority of both sides is very believeable.

All the performances are spectacular, particularly those given by Jamie Foxx and Ashraf Barhorn the film's two male leads.

The Kingdom gives a very down-to-earth look at how the West and Middle-East interact on both friendly terms and unfriendly terms, specifically how the Islamic way of living greatly conflicts with the Western understanding of the world.

Brilliant film.

PT Test from Friday

I was very satisfied with my results from Friday:

52 pushups
85 situps
12 min 28 (I swear it was 24) seconds

Run was an improvement (eitherway), situps were consistent and maxed, and the pushups were down from the spring, but much higher than last winter, and I wasn't terribly beat after I had finished them, which means I'm capable of more.

Max by December 15th is the goal for the semester...Here's to hoping I make it!

Troubles in Running

So last Wednesday, I really screwed up a run...crossing streets as a leader with a group of like 20 people is a lot tougher than I would have thought...I felt pretty stupid, but fortunately the MS4s are a lot more forgiving than any drill seargent will ever be.

I was apprehensive about taking up the position again this morning, but I certainly wasn't going to turn it down. The route was much more manageable today, and in light of the situation last week, the cadet cadre opted for the use of road guards this morning, which was an enormous help. Other than a pacing problem, things went much much smoother, which made me very happy.

Learn all I can now, so I'll be less likely to screw up later...not a bad philosophy.