Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Class is Killin Me...

I'm not as smart as I thought I was. Or, I'm not as smart as the other cadets. I find classes are always either too hard or too easy for me. When they're too easy, I lose interest, but if they're too hard, I give up. That's where I am in my seminar class right now. I'm quickly realizing it's a class I can't BS, so I've already resigned myself to getting a C. I know that's not the best way to go about it, but that's where I am.

I always do this with academics and I don't know why. I could get such good grades if I tried, but I don't...I don't apply myself, then I get grades that reflect my half-assed effort, then I'm dissapointed. Is there a word for that in the english language? When you know that what you're doing is destructive or not good for you, but you do it anyway knowing full well the consequences? Maybe they should call it "Adam" if there isn't a word.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Interesting Quote...

I was just doing my reading for my International Security Seminar class (I know, I know...Who'd have imagined me doing the reading?) and came across this quote which I thought interesting:
The competition among ideologies is extraordinarily complex. This fact makes it difficult to define exactly what should be considered a political threat serious enough to justify the national security label. In one sense, the mere existence of a state espousing an opposing ideology constitutes a threat on the grounds of the 'one rotten apple in the basket' principle. To take this seriously, however, would require an interminable and probably impossible military crusade, the costs of which would far outweigh the objectives.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Ring...

The ring symbolized our camaraderie, the bonds and the brotherhood of West Point, forged by common effort against uncommon challenges. It was more symbolic of the effort, and the comradeship, than any building or monument on post, or any speech, tactics formula, or epithet created or remembered in its halls. “It’s like the whole thing’s inside the stone. All of the lifelong friendships are smelted into the gold. A stamp of approval from the Academy, from your classmates. From all West Pointers.”

Lee, G. (1994). Honor & Duty. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, p. 351.
First, Mikey and I were sad, because we did not yet have our rings. We were all dressed up and ready to rock, but no rings in sight.

Then we had the ceremony and the E3 Eagles kick some mad ass, got our rings and took off...

Mikey and I were happy...we had our rings.And even his sister Michaela was happy for us.
Expect more pictures as they come in...this was the greatest weekend ever so far.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


The internet is acting up here at school so I haven't been able to post. Then again, not much has really been going on either. I have to say, I've been drinking more than I should...not in the "I'm becoming an alcoholic" sense, but in the "I'm going to have a beer gut earlier than I probably should" sense...but, pot bellys can be hot...right?

Anyway, school is going ok. In general, I go to my EV class, which is interesting if not challenging, go back to my room for an hour and do the reading for my next two classes--law and International Security Seminar. Law is kind of below my level so far, but ISS is above my head. I do the readings but don't have much to contribute in class because, unlike the other cadets, I've not spent time in Croatia or Africa. Instead, I normally wait until someone says something smart and then try to be the first one to gives me the appearance of knowing what I'm talking about I think (although, I could be wrong and MAJ Wrona could go back to his office everynight to laugh at me).

My job isn't what I thought it was going to be. It's not uninteresting or even dissapointing, just different. I guess I have to learn I can't change the world (then again, if I can't even change a simple college program, why bother trying to change the world?) I've been told that I'm "difficult to read." I don't know how I feel about that because I've always considered myself fairly easy to read...I say what I mean and mean what I say in general.

On the brighter side, I get my ring tomorrow. Less than 24 hours and I will be wearing my "Crass mass of brass and glass." Beautiful. You'll all have to see it next time I go home.

Oh! I also met someone who digs good music. I know that sounds kind of stupid to post, but it's not often I meet another cadet with good's kind of cool. Not just music actually, he's got decent taste across the board...awesome.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I'm starting my third day of my last year today and, oddly, I'm bussier than I'd expected. I have a great schedule with no classes after lunch, but it seems my day is taken up with other random things. Meetings, breifings, tasks and other random crap eat up all my free time. Yesterday, I left my room at 0655 and didn't get back until sometime around 2100. I think my boss thinks I'm shamming out of some work, but honestly...I just haven't had any free time to get up to his office.

Otherwise, things are going well. I have good and interesting classes (one about water resource management, a favorite topic of mine, Constitutional Law, Western Political Systems, History of Military Art and Cultural Anthropology).

I haven't had any time to read the news lately, or go have some fun for that, this blog will be slightly less interesting for the next week or so.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Snake Skin...

In the light of the computer screen, at this angle, it suddenly seems so clear to me that my skin has the same makeup as that of snakes. In could probably make a leather suit out of me. Weird.

Good News...

On three fronts really:

  1. My saber has been returned. No harm, no foul.
  2. I read this article today and it gave me hope. If someone could make that much of a difference, just one person, working within the system, then maybe I can too. I know anyone else who has been dismayed by "the system" has often considered bucking the system entirely; move to Tibet or East a lot to help a few instead of a lot to help no one if you try and change things here. Well, this guy seems to have figured it out. Then again, it's not much different than what I do here. Sometimes, if people see you as being a part of the system, they don't realize that what you're trying to do is exactly what they are fighting happening from those who are considered "outsiders."
  3. My roomate and I were just talking about the environment. He, as I've written, is a very conservative person. I was reading to him an article from about how the amound of synthetic smells and chemicals has doubled in the Great Lakes since 1990. Being a very practical person who believes very strongly in the rule of law, he said that if it's dangerous and harms the environment, why not just make them illegal. I explained that without them, our homes would no longer smell like fake lemons, our floors like pine forrests and our hair unlike a fresh spring field.

    He asked if we could make the cleaning products without the smells, with more natural ingedients. I sent him a link to some really cool natural and organic sites where you can buy cleaners, soaps and other household good which are mostly natural. He seems shocked and asked, "So...we use things which are more harmful to the environment even though the smell serves no purpose and there are more ecologically friendly alternatives?" He was incredulous...but, the face he "got it" is good news to me.

Class starts monday. Should be fun.

Friday, August 11, 2006


My saber. Yes, someone took my saber.
I don't know why someone would take a saber without a scabbard, but mine was brand new...that's probably why. Not only that, but what the hell would you do with it? Would you put it under the bed or hide it in your sock drawer? Not likely. Normally, I'd assume I misplaced it, but I haven't once touched the damn thing since I got it other than to put it where it belongs, so I know that's not the case. Maybe I'm going nuts...maybe I'll wake up and it'll be right there.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

We Might Lose, or We Already Lost?

I was talking with my roomate about Iraq and about how anytime someone says we should get out of Iraq, some republican (VP?) says that person is "aiding the terrorists". His logic is, if we say we're going to pull out, we're admiting defeat, allowing us to lose, and thus, the terrorists win, so, in some sense, we did aid the terrorists.

I guess the way I see it is, in many ways, we've already lost. We didn't get defeated, we defeated ourselves. We lost the day we set foot in Iraq. We lost when we didn't plan for the peace. We lost when we were wrong about WMD. We lost when we didn't secure Afghanistan. We lost when we claimed "mission complete".

Just because there is no good way out doesn't mean staying is good either. It's a lose/lose situation that the current administration got us into that the next administration will either continue to pass the buck of acceptence of our selve defeat onto, or will take the blame for the inevitable bad outcome.

I may be wrong, in fact, I hope I am...but I doubt it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Right Wing Roomate?

My roomate is a Republican...his facebook profile lists him as "very conservative" and yet...I hear him on the phone now, talking about Lieberman, and how he hopes more moderates and independents get elected. It's funny...maybe times are changing?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Sister's Wedding...

I was going to write about how it went, then I thought, why not post pictures instead?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Rumsfeld on Equality...

"For over 200 years, the Army has been at the forefront of defending the freedom that makes our country such a very special place. The Army story is America's story, where men and women are judged not by race or religion or family heritage, but by merit; where anyone with a desire to serve and anyone with the drive and talent can excel."

I know a few people who would disagree. Oh yeah, but I forgot. Gays aren't people.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Seattle Summer, MP's and on my Way Home...

Sometimes, when I spend long periods away, I want to try and write everything I've been thinking and everything I've experienced, but just don't have the time or energy. This is one of those times. I've spent a month shadowing an MP Lieutenant at Fort Lewis in Washington. Weekdays were spent working non-stop and weekends were spent in Seattle having a blast with civilian and military friends.

There will be some photos to post soon, but for now, what is important is that I really liked working with MP's. The soldiers were cool, their mission was awesome and they were great to work with (for?). I only hope I'll someday be as good a lieutenant as Leah is and I am, for the first time in a long time, I'm geniunely excited to be in the military again. It feels damn good too.