How you doin' this evening?

So I managed to pick up some kind of icky bug while traveling. The kind of bug that makes you ache from head to toe and shiver and basically just want to curl up in a ball and beg for death.

Yep, that's where I am. Wrestling, once again, with "the curse" (we can't seem to travel without getting sick. It's our curse.). So I stop at the grocery store on my way back to my best friend's house to get saltines, chicken noodle soup, popsicles, and NyQuil (hence, I am no longer responsible for any typos. Nor do I plan to edit this when I'm done). I'm shaking so bad from having the chills (and probably a fever) that I can barely swipe my debit card. What does the checker do?

Asks me "How you doin'?"

I am not kidding.

I told him I felt like ass. (hey, he asked) That was the last I heard from him. Genius.

Hopefully the concoction of NyQuil, Airborne, vitamins, and H2O2 gargle will help kick this thing to the curb by tomorrow. I'm off to pass out.


- hfs


SpouseBUZZ Live 3 - airport blogging

I'm off on the first leg of my adventure to SpouseBUZZ Live 3 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Even though I'm simply sitting at the gate, waiting to board, the adventure has already begun. It's a sad state of affairs when your carry-on (in my case, a computer backpack) weighs more than your actual suitcase. Such is life these days, right?

I've come to the conclusion that airport security is of the devil. There really is no rhyme, reason, or common sense to any of it. The poor couple in front of me were about stripped searched because the bar of soap in their carry-on set off an alarm somewhere. We can put a man on the moon but we can't come up with sensors that can tell the difference between Dove soap and C4??? Really?

I'm currently being "observed" by an older gentleman (tourist, I assume based on the manner of clothing he is wearing) who seems to be fascinated by the fact that I have my laptop up an running, plugged in to the outlet next to my seat, while talking on my cell phone getting directions to my BIL's house from the airport. I didn't realize that was such an oddity. Huh. Maybe I should charge admission?

It's an 8-hour flight to my layover. I plan to knock myself out and sleep. Hopefully I won't be dragging by the time I get to the actual event. It's not like there's a lot to look at while you're over the Pacific Ocean. At night.


Stay out of trouble and I'll post again when I get to the mainland!


- hfs


Weekend funnies

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Princess Trouble lost her first tooth today - big news around these here parts! The tooth is currently awaiting the Tooth Fairy's arrival in her pretty pillow made by Auntie 'Lor. We'll see what the Tooth Fairy brings!

My baby's growing up. *sniff*

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Last Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa B. got the kids an Ice Cream Ball and we broke it out tonight to make ice cream. The kids had a ball (no pun intended) rolling it around and back and forth. Little Man then remarked, "I hope mine's a Clown Cone!" hee hee

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Wednesday, when Little Man and I went to pick up Princess Trouble from school, all of the kids were coming out of class with all sorts of crafty turkeys. When Princess Trouble came out with hers, I asked Little Man what he thought it was. "A chicken in a dress, Mommy."

Kid cracks me up! Have a wonderful remainder of the weekend.


- hfs


Tech Lust

It's name is "Mike".

Digital avionics suite. Embedded GPS and INS technology. Threat invisibility system. Onboard Integrated Vehicle Health Management System. Anhedral blades which generate more lift and hover capability and a rotor system with a wide-cored composite blade, which can stand up better to enemy gunfire. AN extra 100 shaft horsepower. New seats for the crew and pilots who sometime suffer from back injuries as a result of hard landings and seats contain variable-load energy attenuators, basically customized shock absorbers which allow the pilots to digitally dial in their weight. The pilot and crew seats will then "stroke" on seat support poles.


Anybody have a few extra million lying around that they don't need?



- hfs


Where do we find such men?

Hawaii man seeks new start as Army recruit at 40

His 40-year-old father is joining the Army. After nine weeks of basic training and then some more instruction, he'll be assigned to a post as Pfc. Clayton Beaver. Soon after, there's a good chance he'll end up in Iraq or Afghanistan. The boy is excited, sad and a little worried all at the same time.


The Army and Beaver have turned to each other out of desperation. Beaver, who had never seriously considered military service as a young man, needed a steady job, income, health benefits. An already strained Army, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan while maintaining its presence elsewhere in the world, is struggling to make recruiting quotas.


"This is for Kalani," he says, while driving. He envisions better schools for his son and unique experiences for the entire family. As a private first class, he will earn only about $18,400 a year — less than some fast-food workers make. But Army benefits from educational aid to housing allowances more than offset the meager salary, he believes.


"I don't want him to have to worry about money," Beaver says. "I want him to see everything the Mainland or Europe has to offer. I want him to see the Grand Canyon, the White House, a Major League baseball game. ... I want to have a little money to take him on a vacation. I want him to dream about doing something big. It's hard to dream here; people are trapped. The Army is the only way for me to do it."


Five weeks later and 25 pounds lighter, Beaver stands at attention with other recruits at Fort Jackson. A drill sergeant pins medals on the seven soldiers among the 54 in Beaver's platoon who have won sharpshooter awards for above-average shooting with their M-16 rifles. Beaver — who, other than hunting a few times as a child, had never handled guns before — is one of the sharpshooters; he hit a distant target on 30 of 40 shots.

Read the rest.


- hfs


Happy Thanksgiving

This past year has been one of the most difficult, most stressful year of my life but it has also been one of the most wonderful, most rewarding, most fulfilling years as well. And that is due, in BIG part to you. The support and love my family and I received while MacGyver was gone was - and continues to be - an incredible blessing.

Thank you. So much.

Have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving.

- hfs


One of those days

I can usually handle one day at a time. But when they start to gang up on me, I get a little pissy. Which is where I find myself today. Not really the frame of mind I was looking to be in as we head toward a day when we are supposed to count our blessings and revel in the love of those around us. Instead, I would very much like to take a baseball bat to the heads of the following morons:

1.) The broad (i.e. mother of one of the darlings at my daughter's school) that drives a nice, big, shiny SUV and can't park it to save her freaking life. Honey, learn how to drive that damn thing. You sure as hell don't need to take up THREE frigging parking spaces in the morning when parking is limited and a major PITA to begin with. Women who can't drive make me nuts. And just because your SUV cost more than most of the other cars parked in the lot to begin with doesn't entitle you to three parking spots either. I have two words for you: PULL. UP.

2.) The butthead (i.e. the father of one of the little darlings at my daughter's school) who seems to think that the 15 mph sign applies to everyone BUT him in the mornings. Just because you and your kid can't seem to get out of the house on time and to school on time does NOT give you the right to drive Mach 2 down the damn street during school hours (or any hours, for that matter!). How about you pull your head out of your dark stinky place for a moment and set your flipping alarm for 15 minutes earlier in the morning so WE are not forced to worry about YOU running us over as we walk our children into school.

3.) The woman at Wal-Mart who chooses to ignore her rotten 4 year old as he darts up and down the aisles and gets in my way repeatedly and then manages to run YOUR cart up the back of MY heels while I'm trying to find the Drano. It took every ounce of self-control not to whack you upside the head with said Drano for being a bonehead parent.

4.) The self-absorbed 20-something at the gas station who, rather than park her car in a position that would allow others to maneuver around her easily when finished, gets her panties in a wad when I try to maneuver past her after I was done getting gas. Had you parked just 2 feet further back, I would not have had to try to weasel my way past you in the first place (which I could have easily done, thankyouverymuch. I happen to know the capabilities of my car as well as my driving abilities) which would have allowed one of the 5 cars in line behind me to pull up to the pump and begin pumping gas. Instead, you were too busy talking on your cell phone to even take into consideration the situation. And, instead of hurling obscenities at me because I was too close to your car (I was at least 2 feet from it), you could have simply hopped in the front seat and backed up a foot or two.

5.) The people in charge of taking care of paperwork for the Army (at the local level). Ever hear of "timeliness"?? 'Nuff said on that one.

6.) The woman who about took out the front end of my car while I was making a legal U-turn. *I* had the right-of-way dammit. That's what that pretty green arrow just above the sign that says "U-turn permitted on arrow" means. And, given the fact that YOU had a RED light, had you hit me I would have owned you. And THEN you had the audacity to flip me the bird? May the fleas of 1,000 camels infect your armpits.

Seriously people, it's only 2p.m. Give me a break already. I didn't even attempt to go into the commissary. I drove up, took one look at the overcrowded parking lot, and came home. Otherwise, MacGyver would be on her blegging for bail money. I think I'll stay home for the rest of the day.



- hfs


Friends far and wide

I am starting to compile addresses for my Christmas card list. I like to try to get started on them early so I can have them out in the mail in early December. Sometimes that is unrealistic (like last year) and sometimes it's not. This year, I should be able to do it.

As I work on the list, I realize that in front of me sits a testament to how rich my life as a military spouse truly is. I have friends (and family) in all corners of the earth. Literally. Left coast, midwest, Alaska, east coast, Europe, Asia, medium-sized-turd-in-the-middle-of-the-Pacific-ocean, middle east...you name it and I probably need to send a Christmas card there.

And I love that. I do not know that there is another lifestyle out there that could afford me such richness. And I DO see my life as incredibly rich. I am blessed by the fact that, pretty much no matter where I go, I will know someone in that area. I am heading to North Carolina in a few days for SpouseBUZZ Live and I am looking forward to not only seeing family members but also a few friends that I've been missing. And, of course, my SpouseBUZZ cohorts.

When we go back to SoCal for Christmas, not only will we be able to spend time with family but I'm hoping to be able to hook up with a few friends in the area as well. And not just the friends I have from my childhood but friends I've made via "this blogging thing" and via my life as a military spouse as well. What a rich life. I am incredibly thankful for it.


A few other things on my mind lately...

Some Soldier's Mom has a wonderfully informative post up about HOLIDAY PACKAGES FOR THE TROOPS. We are blessed to have our soldier home, safe and sound so I'll be taking the kids out to put together a few to send off sometime this week. What a wonderful way to let them know they are not far from our hearts. I think one of the hardest times (they are all hard, aren't they?) to be away from loved ones is over the holidays.

I know I've not been very prolific (is that redundant?) with the blogging lately. I promise it will pick back up. In the meantime, there are a few incredible things out there I would encourage you to read. The first of which is Michael Yon's latest, Come Home. I have no words to describe it so you'll just have to go read it and see what I'm talking about.

The next thing I think each and every person - especially those returning from combat, is Grim's piece On Coming Home. He discusses - in an incredibly honest and blunt fashion - the concept of PTSD and how we should be dealing with the issues that come along with it.

I was reading the part where Grim says,
"Yet now we have a society full of people who have never looked death in the eye, and never felt what it feels like to want to kill, or the guilt that comes from having wanted it. You have to come home and live among them, but to them you seem strange."

And it made me wonder...with such a small percentage of our current population having been involved in combat (in comparison with, say the generation surrounding WWII) is THAT a factor in PTSD? Grim says that those who have been through the rigors of combat have seen a part of human nature that those of us who have not been there have never glimpsed. If that is the case, is THAT why PTSD is such an issue these days?

During previous wars, servicemembers were not always in the minority. There were many others in society who were going through the same thing. So the illusion, the belief by those dealing with these issues, that they are the "odd man out" wasn't as prevalent. Is that a mitigating factor? Would the feeling of being alone, of having something "wrong", be less if more people had experienced the same things? I'm not sure if I'm articulating my thoughts very well on this.

I just wonder if the uniqueness of the current military experience, based on the fact that such a small portion of society is dealing with ever being in combat, has any bearing on how returning servicemembers are coping with the adjustment to being home.

Did any of that make sense??

That's about all for now. Try to stay out of trouble and I'll post again soon, I promise.


- hfs



MacGyver and I were in the kitchen making cupcakes for the Awana Grand Prix and he throws a completely random question at me...

Does Dave Ramseyever say, "Give credit where credit is due."?

Huh. Don't know.

The other day I heard a Chinook out flying and, since it is not a sound that has been heard all that often around these here parts lately, I went out to look. They had some serious altitude going on. And I realized that, at that altitude, the Chinook looks surprisingly like the widget in a Guinness bottle.


I think not.

These are the things that plague my brain these days.


- hfs


Damned if you do

and damned if you don't.

First, the Army drops $8 billion on the Comanche program which it then gave up on. And were ridiculed for spending too much.

Now it seems the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and decided to go with the bare bones, no power windows version of the newest addition to the flight line. Whoops.

Moderation in all things people. Sheesh. Back to the drawing boards, boys. Opt for the air conditioning for goodness sake.


- hfs


Garden Gnomes and barricades

Crystal's post reminded me of a morning back in high school. I'm pretty sure it was the morning after a football game but don't quote me on that one (I've slept since then). My dad came in and rousted me out of bed which is not something he usually did. He was quite insistent upon me coming outside with him.

Which is also not something I usually do in the morning just after I wake up. But again, he was insistent so I dragged myself out of bed and headed out into the front yard with him.

As I walked out the front door, I about tripped over a barricade. A construction barricade.

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On my front porch.

Out in the yard were another half-dozen or so along with cones, caution tape, and all sorts of other pieces of equipment from the construction that was going on across the street.

Come to find out, two of my friends thought it would be funny to swipe them from the construction site and load them up in my front yard. I thought it was funny too. Until the foreman from the site showed up.

Crystal's story is funnier than mine though. And we never stole garden gnomes. Though we did think about stealing Bob from Bob's Big Boy...

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- hfs


Gotta gloat!

I. Am. Too. Cool.

I figured out John's "Whatzis"!!!!!

And it wasn't even a helicopter "Whatzis".

And now that I know more about tracked vehicles, unmanned armoured vehicles, muzzle brakes, and the like, I can no longer be classified as a "Lex Babe". Heh.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Still, too freaking cool. I got the "Whatzis"!!!!!! Shweet!


- hfs



The blog, people. The blog. Good grief.

Things may look a bit different to those paying attention. I'm just cleaning up around here a bit. Long overdue in that department. If something's not working for you, let me know.

I'm debating leaving blogspot and going elsewhere but it's free and, unlike scrapbooking, airsofting, and scuba diving, this "hobby" has (for the most part) been free so I'm loathe to start paying for it now. We'll see. I've also been looking for a new template that works well with Blogger and have yet to find anything that jumps out at me. So we'll see on that too.

In the mean time, go take a look not only at the General Pace coin that I have up for auction for Project Valour but also the other items up for auction. There's some cook stuff over there (see link in post below). But don't bid against me for the Thunderbird stuff - that's (hopefully) going to be some of Little Man's Christmas gifts!


- hfs


Up for auction!

Peter Pace challenge coin up for auction.

In case you don't remember, I was given this coin at a Town Hall meeting with General Pace a few months back.

The money goes to Project Valour-IT and helps to provide laptops and voice-activated software to wounded servicemembers.

Happy bidding!!!


- hfs

Crud. I missed it.

Sometime yesterday, I hit 100K on my sitemeter. Wasn't paying attention. I knew it was getting close but I've been paying attention to other things lately.

Cool beans. Thanks y'all.


- hfs


Hooker pr0n!

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A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter carries a humvee loaded with medical supplies to a drop zone at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Oct. 31, 2007, during an exercise to airlift Joint Task Force-Bravo's Mobile Surgical Team. The exercise demonstrates the ability to move the operating room into areas where access by road would be impossible. This is the first time this capability had been tested in the task force's 25-year history. DoD photo by Capt. Joseph Skinner, U.S. Army.


- hfs

Nickelodeon goes moonbatty

Hollywood writers going on strike

Hmm...this could be a good thing. Heh.

Nickelodeon is trying to brainwash your children in the morning, or a leftist primer

You can watch the video clip here.

AWTM suggests that you pay particular attention to the second and fourth parts of the segment.

She shows a group of "tweenagers" walking around in orange jumpsuits, hooded and yelling from a bullhorn. "We are not ok, with people being tortured by American soldiers!" "Are cooperation's priority over human lives?"

There is also a call for the impeachment of the President in the second segment of the video, "democracy is at stake because of the President violating the Constitution".

The fourth segment of video shows another tweenager, who has put together a video of wounded Iraqi children, with the song Jesus Loves Me playing over it. This teenager blames America, the military, for what is happening in Iraq. This young girl says "she finds, videos and facts on the Internet" to show what is REALLY happening in Iraq. I am guessing she is getting these images from Al Jazeera.

Now, imagine this...my six year old is watching one of the limited number of approved channels one morning. Her daddy has just returned home from a 15-month tour in Iraq. She's aware of where he's been. After "Dora, the Explorer", a segment comes on that shows kids slightly older than her yelling about American soldiers torturing detainees and Iraqis. That's followed up by another segment showing images of injured and maimed Middle Eastern children set to the song "Jesus Loves Me" being sung by a child.

Then daddy comes into the room and his daughter asks him why he was torturing the people in Iraq and why he lied to her when he told her that his mission was to HELP the Iraqis.


If you are as upset as I am over all of this, feel free to contact Nickelodeon and let them know how you feel:

Nickelodeon-East Coast
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
Phone (212)846-2543

Nickelodeon-West Coast
4040 Vineland Suite 105
Studio City, Ca 91605

Nickelodeon Animation Studio - Burbank
231 West Olive Ave
Burbank, California 91502

Yet another reason I would like to cancel cable.


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...