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Showing posts from December, 2014

"Fury" Again with My Son--Nicknames

On Monday night, my youngest son and I went back to see "Fury" again.  Third time for him, sixth time for me.

By this time we were quoting the best lines to each other just before the characters said them.  On the way home the first thing we talked about was the point at which "Machine" got his nickname.  We left before the end right after the final battle started.  At that point the movie goes all John Wayne.  But the moments before that, when Norman becomes Machine, are some of the best in the movie.  It is in those moments that Wardaddy, Bible, Coon-Ass, Gordo and Machine each face certain death and each say, "Best job I ever had."

In that final battle, the other crewmen call Norman only Machine. Nicknames really stick.  My first gunner's nickname was Merc.  I don't remember his first name.

On the way home after the movie (at almost midnight) we had a long discussion of nicknames and what they mean.  We also talked about thickness of armor and…

What Place and Period in History Do You Want to Live in? HERE and NOW!

On a recent bicycle ride, a Trekkie on the ride told me about a Star Trek episode he liked in which the crew traveled back in time and visited great moments and times in history.  He talked about times and places he would want to visit.

I would like to visit Florence when Dante was alive, Rome when Julius Caesar ruled, and be in the room when the Constitution was debated.  But if I could live any time, anywhere, I would stay right here in America in the 21st Century.  No question.

It's not like America is perfect.  We have to be the biggest gathering of whining, privileged bitches in the history of the entire Universe.

But by living with whiners who have not missed a meal in their entire lives, I get to live in a time and place in which every injury I manage to inflict on my aging body can be fixed.  I live in a place where I can choose to fast, but otherwise I can eat every meal, every day and if I want to eat snacks till my ass fills two seats on a Greyhound bus.

This month o…

Dunker Training--Flipping Upside Down in the Deep End of the Pool

Last week I went to Dunker Training for Detachment 1, Charlie Company 2-104th.  Aircrew members are strapped in seats with five-point restraints then flipped upside down in the deep end of the pool.

Chris Calhoun made an excellent video of the training:

Here's two more videos:

First one going into the pool:

When a helicopter crashes in water, the crew has to be able to get out of the aircraft and get their passengers out of the aircraft. "Dunker" training teaches downed aircraft drownproofing to pilots, crew chiefs, flight medics and other aircrew members. On December Drill Weekend, Det. 1 of Charlie Company, 2-104th (Medevac) put eight aircrew members through a day of "Dunker" training. This first video shows a pilot and a flight medic flipping into the deep end of the pool at Somerset Senior High School. They are wearing flight suits and helmets and land upside down in a five-point harness in 12 f…

How to Wear a Suit.

This is an Army blog, so why I am writing about wearing a suit?  Because soldiers will need a job or need to wear a suit at some time in their lives.  And as our culture becomes more "Casual Friday Every Day" it is very clear that wearing suits is becoming a lost art.  And of all people, soldiers can put themselves in the right frame of mind to wear a suit.  Because wearing a suit well is not just about the suit, but how you think about wearing a suit.
So let's begin with first principles.  When you wear a suit you are wearing it to identify with a group--not to be your own special, individual, wonderful self.  This is important.  The primary reasons men and women wear suits is to apply for a job, work at a job with a dress code, or attend an event at which people dress up.  In each of these occasions, the man or woman wearing the suit is saying, "I am part of this group;  I respect this group."  
From this point on, I have specific advice about selecting and …