Archive for January, 2007

New domain is hot

I decided it was about time to retire, so I registered All links to should continue to function until 2010 when the domain expires, though they will be forwarded to

If you’ve got my site linked, or my email address just change the ‘’ portion to – and all will be jolly and grand. Examples – go to instead of or instead of It should all JustWork(tm).


In my routine check-up on my ERB (Enlisted Record Brief), I happened to notice one very irritating change. It would be a lie to say I didn’t expect the change, but seeing it in print still annoys the hell out of me. Kyle (aka greenfly) might want to edit truck_ets to 13 JUN 2008 instead of my original ETS date. All in all, things could have very easily been worse – the date could be even deeper into the future.

There is of course some usefulness to this displeasing update. Once a stoploss is initiated, and the deploying unit is given orders to theater – ETS dates are changed where necessary to reflect the duration of the ordered deployment, plus 90 days of stabilization. A little math gives me a small level of confidence that at least the current order only has us gone for a year, as opposed to the rumored 18 months. My best guess based on my new ETS date says I’ll go mid-March, and return a year later. Given my current lack of leave days available, I’m probably looking at a best-case of 20ish days of terminal leave when I return from Iraq. Rest assured I’ll be taking them as soon as I finish processing out of the Army.

From NTC…

For those of you that have spent time in this sandy hell before, you can probably just skip to the end. January in the middle of the Mojave Desert is cold. Cold enough to freeze giant puddles solid in a few hours at night. Those of you that know me, are fully aware of the fact that such temperatures fall well below anything meeting my approval. Fortunately, I remembered to pack my entire sleeping bag, so the nights are not that bad.

As with all training I’ve done in the Army, I find little relevance to anything in the real world out here. Hopefully my soldiers will learn something of use, though it will probably come as hip-pocket training from myself or one of the two other NCOs that actually care. The GoodIdeaFairy(tm) is alive and well in 3rd BDE, and is in no way experiencing any difficulty coming up with GFIs (Great F’ing Ideas) on a daily basis. For those of you that don’t know, the fairy is an idiot and any ideas coming from said fairy are far removed from reality, logic, or even the most remote regions of sanity. Do not ever attempt to question a GFI, particularly if you have a real solution that will save time and maximize the efficient use of available resources.

The above rambling aside, anyone holding out hope that I would make it out of the Army on time (read: August) had best let that go. I will be going back to Iraq in short order (read: March-ish), and I will be gone for a while. When I get back, the Army can stick a fork in me – I’m done. Having limited access, I will make whatever updates I can make, whenever I can make them.

Back to the Mill

Given the great weather today, I decided to head out to one of the old vacant mills along the Chattahoochee River and take some more photos. A few of my friends saw me leaving and decided to come along, two of them requesting a few portraits (which won’t be posted) by the water. With the five of us out there, we did a lot more exploring that I had on either of my two previous trips to the mill. Some of the exploring probably fell right into the realm of stupidly dangerous, but has given me a great place to setup a particular black and white shoot I’ve got in my head.

No lens changes took place today, though I did put my circular polarizer on and take it off a few times, my Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM stayed mounted all day. I even popped the on camera flash for some fill a time or three. Next time, I will have some dedicated off camera flash goodies to play with. has given me more information on light control than I could have ever asked for, and I’ve got a real itch to try a lot of it out myself. After NTC, I’ll be on that like the white on rice.

Towards the end of our time out there, a photography group showed up. When I finally got home and uploaded my photos, I noticed one of the photographers that had come out was also one of my Flickr contacts. Small world. Anyway, I got some photos I really liked today – of a variety of subjects, in both color and black and white. I’ll inline small linked photos of my favorites below….

But before I do that – I’ll step off the photography topic for a bit. For those that keep track of where I am, or where I am going (and when) by way of my blog, here’s an update. Tuesday I’m heading to Ft. Irwin, California (middle of the Mojave Desert – see also: no cell service.) I will be there for a month, so I won’t be very active online during that time. My current assumption is that, as usual, I will have access to the internet. That said, it will probably be limited to a quick blog post should I have that level of access, or emails to the folks I love. Should you just so happen to be the most beautiful woman on earth, live in Beaumont, and get several text messages from me a day – if I can find a phone that works, you’ll get a call every night. It just might be from a number you’ve never seen before. So now it is nearly 0300hrs, and I’m about to pass out so I’ll get busy with the in line addition of photos before I get an hour or three of sleep.

Mill Tools


Holding On - B&W


Going over the Dam

Down by the River

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