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January 10th, 2010

09:06 pm - B-Day, in so many ways!
Today... 01-10-10... 011010... Voila! Binary Day!!

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December 26th, 2009

03:15 pm
It's been a while, so I thought I'd update for posterity's sake.

After I graduated AIT, I ended up being stuck at Ft. Gordon for much longer than I should have.  Although I graduated in early July, I didn't get to leave until September.  This was primarily due to my daughter being in the EFMP.  To expedite the process of getting the heck out, and onto my first duty station, I withdrew Airborne school from my contract.  My first duty station is at Ft. Bragg, NC.  I was first told that I was going to be assigned to the 82nd Airborne, which was just coming back from being deployed.  Therefore, I wouldn't be deployed for at least another year.  However, once I arrived, I was then told that the Army changed their mind, and assigned me to the 525th MI instead.  I'm in the Brigade S6, and the work is quite enjoyable.  However, my unit is going to be deployed to Afghanistan in less than 6 months.  

Believing that I was going to be here for over a year, I made arrangements for my wife and kids to move down here from Oklahoma.  We decided that, despite the change in assignment, they would continue to come down to spend as much time with me as they can.  In the meantime, my wife's health has taken a turn for the worse.  We don't quite know why, but the symptoms that became such an issue after her injury last Spring have since increased dramatically.  My daily situation consists of mainly taking care of the household duties when I'm not working or sleeping.  In fact, sleep has once again come at a premium.  The house we're renting (off-base) is smaller than the one in Oklahoma, so we're trying to find room for all of our stuff.  And due to my wife's condition, she can neither homeschool our daughter nor take her to school on a daily basis.  My wife insists that the bus is not an option due to numerous reasons, so it's up to me to leave my unit each day to take my daughter to/from school each day.  This is the cause of a major issue with my superiors, too.  Because they do not approve of my doing this, my wife and I can see no alternative but to find a way for them to move BACK to Oklahoma again much sooner than we originally considered.  

I really shouldn't be taking the time away from house-maintenance just to type this, but I did.  I'm hoping the break will give me more motivation to continue on.  The wife is resting right now.  Whelp, I better get back to work.  Yay.  Merry Christmas.

Oh yeah, for Christmas my wife got me one of those Keurig individual cup coffee brewers from QVC or something like that.  It came with all kinds of those cups of coffee, plus an adapter that allows me to use my OWN coffee instead of buying those pre-measured cups all the time.  They can get expensive, too, so I'm glad to have it.  She also got me The Ghostbreakers on DVD, along with a copy of Hawmps.  Both have a history with my family and I.  I got her another bottle of Ombre Rose, some pearl earrings she saw on QVC that she liked, a jade necklace from the same place, and a blouse and black pair of slacks from Walmart.  I also managed to download the first volume from the first season of Thundercats, but wasn't able to burn it to DVD yet.  

Crap, the pumpkin pie is about to be ready to be removed from the oven, so I better go.  Yes, it's the day after Christmas, but I forgot to make it when I made dinner last night.  Gotta go!

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June 27th, 2009

05:10 pm - Today's the day!!!
...and I think I just got stood up.

Yeah, I think I just did.
Current Mood: crappycrappy

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December 31st, 2008

06:39 am - 1/2 way done, 1/2 to go!
"They got me... They got me... They got me lookin' like Gomer Pyle!"

Yes, I just spent roughly 5 weeks in Basic Training.  Everyone says I'm much thinner, and I am amazed at what I've accomplished (and what I managed to not have to do, too!)

I was on leave for the past 2 weeks, and enjoyed every moment of it with my wife and kids.  I go back on Jan 2.  

I'm scheduled to graduate on Feb 6, as I recall.  In order to accomplish this, 2 major hurdles stand in my way.  The first, I must qualify with my M-16.  This means hitting twenty-something targets out of 40 possible in a timed event.  Based on my progress so far, I have a high level of confidence that I can accomplish this.

The other hurdle... I'm not so sure about.  It's called the APFT, or the Army Physical Fitness Test.  Anyone who's known me knows that I'm no athlete.  I can probably manage the 37 push-ups and 42 sit-ups, as long as I keep practicing.  But running 2 miles in 17 minutes and change???  That's where I'm worried.  So far, my progress is less than encouraging.  I keep running out of breath!  I end up having to walk part of the way, and that just kills my time.  If I try to breath in through my nose, it helps... but after about 45 seconds of that, my nose literally starts to suck itself closed.  My nostrils just... collapse, I guess is the best way to describe it.  I've been practicing while at home on my elliptical machine, using BreathRight strips.  But I don't know if I'll be allowed to use them on my official test upon my return.  I surely hope so!  I'll have to see if I can appeal to my Drill Sergeant's sense of decency and mercy!

Unless someone else has tips to help???  PLEASE???

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October 28th, 2008

03:06 pm - "'The time has come,' the Walrus said."
Stolen from p_x_l 

I remember reading this from one of my high school textbooks.  I never could remember the whole quote, nor even part of it.  Just the message, really.  In this time of both major political races and my soon-to-come Army-fication time (November 12 is only a couple of weeks away!!), I think it is as poignant as ever:

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure."
-Thomas Jefferson

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October 24th, 2008

12:05 am - State of the Knapkinfish
It's been a while since I've updated anything about my current goings-on, as I still keep most contact with my friends via MySpace.  But since I still keep LJ around as a method to permanently log my life's happenings, I think it only appropriate to post on here again.

This year alone, I've lost 3 different jobs.  First in March, I lost my job at RelayHealth (previously Per-Se, previously NDCHealth, previously NDC).  Officially, it was noted on my record as being for attendance problems.  However, since my most-recent tardy was due to a flat tire, the state of Oklahoma does not deem that as "gross negligence", so I was approved for unemployment.  

My next was a company called SED Gaming.  They make electronic gaming machines for most of the indian casinos in this state.  My job was to drive a company car full of parts to 5 different casinos every day and fix the machines that were down.  Not difficult.  The machines were basically oversized computers, and were relatively simple to repair.  However, while working there, I wasn't getting paid as much as I would have liked, so I didn't take the time to take down my resume from all those sites I posted them on (Monster, Dice, etc etc).  As a result, I was contacted by Tulsa Public Schools.  SED Gaming found out about it, and promptly fired me for entertaining the idea of researching their offer further.

I was hired at Tulsa Public Schools 2 weeks before school started to work in their helpdesk.  This tends to be their heaviest time of the year, as lots of teachers will forget their passwords for computers over the summer.  New teachers will need to be setup in Active Directory, etc. etc.  Basically, lots of work before the year begins.  2 months later, I was let go.  According to them, there was a complaint about how "gruff" or "direct" I was with my coworkers.  They couldn't, or more appropriately wouldn't, tell me exactly how I was "gruff" or too "direct".  I was merely told that they no longer needed my services.

Now, the first time a man gets fired from a job, he can usually justify in his own mind how he was merely a victim of circumstances.  The 2nd time... well, it's a bit harder.  Some men can do it, but a few will truly start to question themselves.  I was somewhere in between.  After a 3rd time that same year... well... there's not much left of my self-esteem to even mention.  Each time I was unemployed, I had to wait over a couple of months before I got my next job.  I barely had enough in my savings to keep afloat the 2nd time.  I don't have enough now to pull it off again a 3rd time.  And because my record shows that I was fired due to a complaint on my behavior, I have no doubt it would constitute as "gross misconduct".  Therefore, no unemployment pay. 

Now presented with this new... yet old... situation, I decided to give more credible thought to an idea I had a while back, but had dismissed as quickly as I first thought of it... the military.  I called recruiters for the Army, Navy and Air Force.  To make a long story short, the Army was the only one to present a plan that was actually feasible.  Last monday, I enlisted.  I ship for Basic Training on November 12.  I'll be going to Ft. Jackson in South Carolina. 

I'm 33, and going to boot camp.  Can you believe it?  I've signed on for "job", or MOS, of 25B, http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/army/p/25b.htm.  I'll be a computer nerd for the Army.

I'll go ahead and post my address while in Basic once I get it.  I have no idea who on here will want to mail me anything (well, I know one that would, but that's it).  But just in case, I'll post it.  Whomever I receive a letter from, no matter who it is, can guarantee a return letter from me.  

Ironically, while researching some of the physical fitness tests I'm going to have to pass while in Basic, I discovered a book called "63 Days and a Wake-Up:  Your Survival Guide to United States Army Basic Combat Training".  It's a book written buy a guy in my same scenerio; someone in his thirties joining the army and going through Basic at Ft. Jackson.  Just like me!  I'm seriously thinking about getting it, but I don't know if I can manage to get a copy in enough time to be anywhere helpful, as I leave in just under 3 weeks. 

Either way, that's where I am.  I've since been jogging my heart out, trying to get into decent shape.  I've never been one for jogging, but at least my legs aren't sore anymore!!  

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October 13th, 2008

07:08 am
This is the first time I've ever heard of this stuff:


...and it was all thanks to a webcomic.  Why am I constantly the last to learn of life stuff???

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October 7th, 2008

08:48 am - Calling all conspiracy theorists!!
Where are they?

Where are all the people proclaiming that the reason we went through all this financial crap was truly because the government had some sort of conspiracy going on? 

Hell, suddenly the oil prices are dropping again after an all-time high over the summer, and no one is proclaiming this as an intentional plan of Dubya's and/or Congress? 

I'm just waiting until I read/hear about the first ones.

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September 29th, 2008

11:23 am - Ever heard of Lupe Vélez?
This date has been elusive for a good portion of my life.  I don't quite know why, but I have always had a hard time remembering that it was my mom's birthday.  When I was young, my dad would usually remind me by either coming right out and telling me that it was approaching, or not-so-subtly asking me, "So, what are you going to buy your mother for her birthday?"  It would invariably catch me by surprise each and every year.  After I left for college and lived on my own, I'd still have trouble remembering.  I'd at least now remember that it was in September, but I'd still try and try to remember what date.  It became almost a tradition to call my dad at some point in early or mid-month and ask if it was on the 18th, 19th, or 20th.  He'd usually sigh, and say, "The 22nd."  I'd feel like an ass, and plan accordingly.

Truthfully, it was the birth of my daughter that helped me start to remember on my own.  Since her birthday was on the 11th, it wasn't that far of  a stretch to remember that my mom's birthday was twice as long into the month.  But it was a benefit that I would only enjoy for a few years, as my mom passed a few years ago from bone cancer.

As I usually do now on the 22nd, I called my grandmother to see how she was handling the day.  Of course, both she and I had been thinking of my mom all day, so it was pretty solemn.  However, we're both considerably glad that she's not suffering anymore.

The fact that Fall began the same day didn't even hit me.  Changes made to the U.S. Penny were also announced the same day.  The largest diamond ever was discovered in South Africa.  Oil skyrocketed once again after dropping recently due to the whole Wall Street financial crapfest (don't worry, it'll go back up and down some more.  It always does).  All in all, it's been a pretty busy day.

When I spoke to her, I learned a little more about the family that likes to keep it's secrets cherished.  Such as, my grandmother seems to recall my mother being diagnosed with some sort of cancer in the pelvis when I was really little.  More specifically, when my parents were still married.  She said that it had supposedly gone away, but now believes it never did.  

Now, I recall my mother being in the hospital a few times when I was young.  Later on, my mother did explain to me why that happened, but I don't remember what the reasons were anymore.  But.. cancer?  I don't seem to recall it being THAT!  But, if I can't specifically recall what it was, how can I legitamately say that it wasn't?  I can't in this case, so maybe it was.

I also learned al ittle more about a gift I was given recently.  When mom passed, my grandmother brought out some metallic items that her father, my great-grandfather, had made when she was a little girl.  Apparently, he was a foundry worker, and back during the Depression and WWII, times were pretty hard for people in that line of work.  When the business he worked for in L.A. was about to close, the owner asked for any of the employees that wewre willing to stay on to stay, but with not guarantee of pay.  Obviously, most couldn't do that, what with mouths to feed and rent to pay.  But my GGFther stayed on.  The owner told him that, when whatever business came along, they would split the profits from it.  Of course, it was just two-bit work here and there, but it was work.  She said he'd come home sometimes with a few dollars, sometimes not.

My GGFther made the molds that were used for making these metal items.  The items she brought out of the box that night were some of the things he made that the foundry let him keep.  So he not only made the items themselves, but also the molds for them.  I don't remember everything that she brought ou, but I do remember 2 of them.  The first was a metal nutcracker shaped like a dog.  You lifted the tail for the handle, and the mouth ackted as the cracker.  It was shiny, smooth, unpainted and undecorated.  It seemed a bit old-fashioned, but go fig!  The other was what I was given to keep, a raught-iron crucifix.  I believe my grandmother told me about her father back when she first gvae me the crucifix a few years ago, but hearing the story again was like learning about it for the first time.

Yes, par to fme has been curious as to it's monetary value.  It's an antique, but not made by anyone famous.  Because of that, it technically is rare, but is it constituted as the proper kind of "rare" by the antique community?  I do wonder.

Well, mom... another year has come and gone, spending time remembering your life... your incredibly odd odd life, your impact on the worls and on us all.  Normally on this day, we'd celebrate one more trip around the sun with you still on the earth.  Yet, that not being the case, we still remember the day.  I guess you made quite the impact on the rest of us, didn't you?  Just like you wanted.  But you're not around to enjoy it.

How's that workin' for ya?

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August 20th, 2008

12:31 pm - A bit of a dillema
Ok, so I'm going to be awake from 5:00am Wednesday morning, until 10:00 Saturday morning, with the only sleep time available being between 5:00pm and 9:00pm between those times.  Sleep seems to be handled well enough... but figuring out when and how much to eat during that period is complicated at best.  I'm constantly hungry, but quite sedentary due to the nature of my 2 jobs right now, and I'm trying to avoid gaining weight (I can pretty much give up trying to LOSE weight until this is over). 

Any ideas?

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