Archive for October, 2006

WLC so far

A full week into the Warrior Leaders Course @ the Henry Caro NCO Academy, and I’m definitely not feeling overwhelmed or challenged in any military way. While I have certainly learned a few things – namely just how screwed up my unit really is in terms of counselling, NCOERs and training in general, very little of the material presented thus far has been a suprise. In fact, the entire training schedule shapes up much like a basic training refresher for NCOs.

Right now, as far as I can tell, the only things being stressed by this course and my military service in general are the only relationships I actually care about. Unfortunately, I signed some papers on 18 March 2003 that said I was government property on a full time basis for the next four years (starting 05 August 2003), and on a standby basis for four more years after that. My last day of contracted active duty is not too terribly far away, but it seems like an eternity for many of the people I love. There is still a chance that when that day comes, I’m back in the desert as one very angry SGT (or PVT if I totally lose it.)

Regardless of what happens when the dust settles and I trade my rank back in for my rights and freedom, at least I can say I spent time as a trained NCO in a wartime Army. Sure it cost me my sanity, two great role models, and possibly more.. but… no, I really can’t say “it was worth it.” If you ever need someone to talk you out of enlisting, come see me.

Off the net for a month

I start WLC tomorrow, so I won’t be very reachable for the next month or so. There’s a chance that weekends are somewhat open, and I will try to keep up with my normal habits as time permits. Otherwise, my lack of connectivity should alarm no one – I’m just off at basic training for NCOs probably bored out of my skull. Being a school, at Ft. Benning, in October and November, I put my money on a freakish cold front rolling through, and raining the entire duration of any time I spent out in the field. Surely I will have something to write about when I graduate.

Computer Upgrades Complete…

.. well almost anyway. I got my upgrade hardware today for my old gaming rig. This machine has lived for 5 years as an AMD XP1700+ w/ 1GB RAM and a GeForce 3 Ti200 on a Shuttle AK31 rev3.1a board. Various drives have filled the case over that time, as have different network cards, sound cards, and for the last 3 years a Promise Ultra100TX2 IDE controller. Sadly, the age of this machines puts it back before there was a crazy thing we like to call USB 2.0. I’m stuck with USB 1.1, and the slowness that comes with it. What’s that? You think I should just go buy a USB 2.0 card and use one of the 6 PCI slots on the AK31? Yeah I did that already – it no likey non-Knoppix 2.6.xx kernels. Apparently you’re screwed if you have a VIA chipset on your motherboard, and have any intention of using a PCI card that also has a VIA chipset of some sort (like say a USB 2.0 controller). Works fine in Knoppix – not so fine anywhere else. Doh.

Anyway, on to the details. Happyface, as the machine has been named forever, still packs the same XP1700+, though now there’s 2.5GB of RAM, 2x 80GB hard drives, 1x 250GB hard drive, a DVD-ROM, and a dual layer DVD burner. The GF3 has been replaced with a GeForce 6200LE, and that about covers it. Oh wait, I forgot the best part – be gone horrid resolution. 20″ LCD @ 1600×1200 = teh win. Seriously, I didn’t know you could fit this much stuff on one screen – and be able to see and READ all of it at the same time.

When I get back from the Warrior Leader’s Course, I’ll order a USB 2.0 card with an NEC chipset, so I can have the benefit of fast transfers from my CF card reader. The drive behind this upgrade is of course photography, hence the increase in RAM and larger screen. That means I’ll be transfering huge RAW files across USB – so this won’t be finished until I’ve got USB 2.0 love going on here.

Columbus Day Weekend

I had a good time at home this past weekend, probably the last one I will have until Christmas so I’m happy with the time I got to spend with my family and Amanda. Anyway, I took a ton of photos over the weekend, most of which I have posted to my Flickr. My favs are below.

Pumpkin head Madeline

Pretty Blue Eyes

Victoria

Grandpa playing guitar

Grandpa playing guitar

Amanda

Promoted to SGT

Yesterday my parents pinned on my SGT rank in front of my company.

Promotion Ceremony

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