Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Topic: Things That Instantly Piss Me Off

Being in open barracks, everyone quietly minding their own business, and having an oblivious attention whore come in and crank the music on their laptop up nice and loud so they can enjoy it. What gene is it that causes people to be oblivious fuckwits completely centered on their own satisfaction while ignoring twenty other people in the same room? I don't know myself, but apparently it's linked to the same one that causes a need to use the talking-to-deaf-people voice volume while using the cellphone. Jackass.

PS- no comments about getting in trouble at work because of the picture. Because if you did, you shouldn't have been wasting your slave driver's employer's time surfing in the first place, Mr. Sneaky McSlacker.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Climate Change

From this:

to this:

in less than 24 hours.

On the positive side: no flies constantly trying to get in your eyes, ears, and mouth; 90% of the food in the mess hall isn't fried, then soaked in old cooking oil; civilian contract hires don't smell like armpit and ass; cleanliness is normal.

I love this country, even if it's -15 with the windchill.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

There Will Be A (Relatively) Short Pause......

while I attempt to avoid a DVT during my 20 hours of bus and aircraft travel returning to the States.

Posting will resume as soon as I find wireless in the hinterlands of Wisconsin.

Ugly Gun Sunday

This was a Model 1896 Swedish Mauser. Made by skilled craftsmen, each rifle individually fitted to it's stock, the Swedish Mausers were some of the most beautiful military rifles made. They exhibited flowing lines, warm glowing stocks, deeply blued barrels and receivers, and fit second to none. Like this one:

Unfortunately, we now have a Swedish version of the Savage 110; not a bad rifle, but not something that will speak to the shooter who appreciates history, or craftsmanship.

Sort of like putting Sears bargain-price tires on a Ford Model T; it'll still run, but it looks awful.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Newsweek: Dropping Acid or Just Brainwashed?

Obama, The Unifier

"Like Reagan, the 44th president has the potential to be a truly transformational figure."

Good Lord. Is this man serious, or is he just looking for a reach around from someone higher up?

Reagan was the president when I was in high school. As I recall, his philosophy was that government should be reduced, foreign enemies treated as such, being an American was something to be proud of, personal arms wouldn't drive individuals into homicidal psychoses through proximity, look to your own efforts for financial gain, and traditional values are worthy of being honored.

Now, if past personal history guides us, we may look forward to exponential governmental expansion and spending, requesting to address nations who fund terrorism directed at us, Americans are parochial bullies holding the rest of the world down, arms are only desired by mentally-ill malcontents, it's better for everybody if the people who actually work "give" some of the money to the perpetually unfortunate, and the Constitution needs some serious work because it's not reflective of a "more perfect state".

As far as unity goes, it's nice in theory. So's communism, but I've no desire to live under it here in reality. I see a whole of "-ists" coming into common use soon for those who don't go along to get along, such as obstructionist, fascist, capitalist, and of course, racist.

This is going to be a long four years of Change and Hope we'll all be blessed with.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Third-World Class Healthcare

The MFO, being small, has limited healthcare options. Essentially, the same as a small-town clinic. So if a soldier needs a specialized exam or doctor, the go to hospitals in either Israel or Egypt. If you're used to the American healthcare system, you'll quickly realize not everybody has the same standard. Israel has good hospitals and providers, but has a "suck it up and drive on" mentality towards patients. Blunt, but geared towards patching people up and getting them on their way. Egypt has a "why are you bothering me, why don't you shut up and go away" mentality. Which is why I wasn't surprised that once again, I've received a bundle of MRI exams on CD which have multiple patient names and exams mixed up. Open the exam up on the computer, it gives the patient name and exam description. As you scroll through the images, I get to see the correct exam, then someone else's partial exam, the correct exam, then a third person's partial exam. I can't decide it it's simply apathy on the staff's part, or incompetence. Egypt is not the place to be seriously ill.

Sunday Ugly Gun

Mr. Completely has, acting upon a question by one of his readers, created an ugly gun in the name of curiosity. Granted, the starting material itself, the Jennings J-22, is no great beauty to start with. But in the name of full disclosure, I will admit that the J-22 was my first handgun, many years ago.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I've expected that any Democrat elected as President would rapidly push for further restrictions on personal ownership of arms. I had expected that this would be in the manner it was done in the past, through the use of various members of Congress best described as socialists, regardless of the party registration. But until some of my recent reading of other's blogs, it had never occurred to me that a President may simply issue an executive order banning firearms, or some subset of them. There are some who feel strongly the incoming President will do exactly this. Personally, I think this could be quite possible. My impression of Barack Obama is of someone who is utterly sure he knows what is best for everyone else, and completely uninterested in what others think. He is someone who is interested in power, exercising it, and little else.

Should he issue an executive order, I have little hope the current Congress would overturn it. The Republicans seem to have become the socially conservative branch of socialists, while the Democrats are merely reactive, opposing anything that was formerly considered conservative for the last century.

The older I become, the more I believe we have been on a long descent into leftism since Roosevelt (the bad one) was elected during the Great Depression.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Beginning of the End

Our replacements are beginning to filter in to start their rotation. It's hard to believe almost a year has gone by this quickly. Covering radiology 24/7 except one weekend a month; doing rotating nights, weekends, and ambulance crew assignment as a medic; and starting my Masters program while here have made the time go by much faster than my Iraq deployment, where I focused my time on radiology, repeatedly playing Halo all the way through, and destroying portable x-ray units.

Now it's time for sorting through all the odds and ends I've picked up while here; what goes home, what's trash, and what gets sold to the numerous Fijians and Egyptians scouring the camp for deals. People will buy anything used here, if the price is right and it has any useful life left. Although the Egyptian staff's first approach is usually like this: "You have TV? You give me when you leave." That's not a question in the second sentence; it's a statement of fact, as far as they're concerned. And they become annoyed when you aren't willing to promise simply handing over your property. I've also had it directed at my for these other items: t-shirts, boots, camera, DVDs, Ipod, and medical supplies. Being shy isn't a problem here.

Can't say I'll miss this place.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And So It Begins..........

H.R.45, or as I think of it, the "Putting Peasants in Their Place" bill, has been submitted. More details at Irons in the Fire.

Time to start writing letters.


I was sitting here in my quarters thinking it's pretty cold tonight, until I opened an e-mail from The Wife. MauserDog doesn't look very happy at all out in the back yard, and usually he'll lay down in the snow and you have to persuade him to come back in the house.
Future fuzzy slippers #1 and #2 require areas shoveled out for them:
because the snow is almost over the fence that comes up to my waist:

I'm looking forward to getting out of here, but going from sand to heaps of snow? Not so much.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Great Aim Guys

Isn't this just wonderful.

Gosh, there's nothing I'd like better to be right in between Israel and Egypt for the first rematch since'73....not. I'm guessing this explains why the building I was in this evening physically shook. I won't say anything about our capabilities here, but it's well know to both of the previously mentioned parties what we do, and more importantly, don't have.

As much as I'd like to see Hamas pounded into street pizza, if you can't keep the bombs outside a neutral country's border, BACK UP A LITTLE BIT. The Egyptian government isn't pro-Hamas, but that's not going to mean much if the population (and army) starts thinking Mubarak isn't willing to defend Egypt's interests. I'm sure he's mindful of what happened to Egypt's last president.

I would guess our command structure is having a busy evening tonight. At least there's finally someone with some real influence trying to bring this to an end.

Ugly Gun Sunday

A M1917 rifle in 30-06. I own one of these, and they're heavy enough to really soak up a lot of the recoil in this chambering. Now I can understand how the big ugly front sight may have gotten there; at one time there was probably some micro-adjustable aperture rear sight that went with it, and it was too much of a chore to pull the front sight once a scope was mounted. But who puts a muzzle brake/flash hider on what's essentially a deer rifle? Did the previous owner weight 90 lbs? Or did he plan on follow-up shots so rapidly placed that muzzle rise was a (paranoid) concern?

I'm Guessing You Don't Read English

If you receive an article of clothing from someone that has writing on it in a language other than your native tongue, it's a good idea to find out what it says before you wear it out. Because I'm fairly sure the camp commander wouldn't be pleased that one of the local Egyptian staff is walking around in a hooded sweatshirt with this on the front:

"My Idea Involves Midget Porn"

Friday, January 9, 2009

How Stupid Are You People?

Jesus. How much Kool-Aid can the general public drink? The man is a Chicago ward heeler, socialist, and probably the closest thing to FDR we've had since the '40s. Somehow, we've manage to become a nation of freetards. An overwhelming sense of entitlement, combined with massive ignorance. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. Anything for somebody who promises stuff, as long as someone else pays for it.

God, how I loathe you.

H/t to Alphecca for the sudden desire to punch a hole in the wall.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Death By Powerpoint

Two afternoons of annual mandatory briefings. More effective at inducing sleep than slamming a bottle of Nyquil on an empty stomach. Also, when answering a young Specialist's question of "what's Lautenberg?" with "one of the stupidest laws ever passed" is not appreciated by the person giving the presentation.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Media Gods

The regional version of CNN is covering the current Hamas/Israel war non-stop, which is to be expected. Unfortunately, this means I have Ms. Amanpour's mug popping up on the TV at five minute intervals droning on about the horrendous humanitarian crisis inflicted upon Gaza by the barbaric Israelis, followed by the standard noting that the Israeli's won't allow any journalists in Gaza with the implied suggestion that obviously they're trying to hide a massive genocide. Although they don't seem to have any shortage of footage being shot by their local stringers who probably live there full time.

There was something new this morning though. Now Ms. Amanpour is being interviewed by her own network about the war. When you reach the point of journalists being interviewed by other journalists as regional experts giving their opinions, I'm pretty sure you've gone past self-absorbed navel gazing into full-blown delusional narcissism. Then again, perhaps it's just the last month of CNN commercials of an introspective Amanpour gazing off into the distance as the wind stirs her hair while she does her own voice over telling us all how she makes the news understandable for the rest of us has made me sick of her. Because we're stupid, and she isn't.

H/T to Jessie Rauch for the interesting artwork. There's a number of these pieces at the website that are interesting interpretations of the larger-than-life news personalities portrayed as Greek gods. Apparently Ms. Rauch has both an acerbic sense of humor and some highly developed media skills.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ugly Gun Sunday

Something I would have never thought of: a deep-fried pistol. According to the website, this is "art". One of my colleagues here has an X-box he plugged into a 220 volt receptacle here that is partially melted. As it too is "art", he is willing to part with it for a mere $695 US, a paltry amount for the amount of creativity is represents.

Please stop by the artist's site, which unfortunately isn't named "Things In My House I Put In The FryDaddy I Got For Christmas In 1978".

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How Close Am I to Gaza?

I've had a few questions about the current Gaza Strip/Israel situation. I should note the whole purpose of the MFO is to defuse situations that arise between Egypt and Israel; the Gaza strip is part of Israel, although it's administered by Hamas, which is an openly terrorist administration. The border between Gaza and Egypt has a massive wall manned by Egyptian soldiers/police, and the Fijian contingent of the MFO. In the past week, one Egyptian border guard has been killed by a Hamas gunman. Egypt and Hamas aren't currently getting along very well, although Egypt and Israel have no love for each other. Overall, Hamas does try to avoid angering Egypt too much, because all the smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip come from Egypt; Egypt does try to suppress this, which led to several dead Bedouin smugglers a few months ago, resulting in over 50 Egyptian border guards being taken prisoner by the dead men's tribe (yes, tribes are still important over here in the Sinai Peninsula). In brief, we aren't at much risk at all here, as Hamas would have to launch missiles into Egypt, and that would be very, very bad for Hamas shortly after that. We do get to listen to several explosions a day, and occasionaly see a large mushroom cloud from something really explosive getting hit.

The image above shows where North Camp is (this is open source information, Google Earth in this case) and it's relation to Gaza. The post has been here for 26 years, so it's certainly not a secret to anyone over here, and the MFO's own website notes the camp position.