Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great Things to Come

So firstly, I want to start off by apologizing to everyone who pretends to read my sad excuse for a blog, and while I have been pretty busy with leave (more on that later), work, and other projects; I still could have found the time to get on at least every other day and write up a quick little something. Next, I would like to inform everyone that I will be moving soon; both physically and where I post online. Unfortunately there won't be much time for me to post here over the next month or two with work and moving, but soon after that my website (!!!!!!!!!) will be up and running at full strength and I would love to invite you all over to join me as I unravel the story of "The Chosen" for you with the help of a very talented friend of mine, who will be providing the art for my webcomic. So please forgive my (damn near) two month hiatus so soon after I started, and please join me this october at SamaCaw Comics.

Now as far as leave goes, it was great!!! I was always doing something, constantly moving, seeing one person or another. It was very tiring (ironic for a vacation), but it was also very worth it. The fly home sucked (as you can read in my last entry) but the fact that I was on my way home made it bearable. When I finally got in to BOI, I was greeted by my family, best friends, and girlfriend and we all went to IHOP because it was midnight by the time I was able to get off the plane. It was a fun little reunion dinner, my friends were stoned, but nobody could really tell because that's how they've always acted even before they started smoking. My siblings bickered with each other, my girlfriend was ecstatic for me to finally be back in the states, and I was too. We all talked and caught up, everyone was asking me what it was like, I told them what I could both legally and without making them worry, I embarrassed everyone (while in uniform. it was pretty awesome), and the food was pretty good for IHOP.

From there we all part ways, my friends went to one of their houses, my family went home, and I stayed with my girlfriend to spend some long overdue quality time with each other. We ended up staying up all night talking and catching up and we went to her house so she could do the dishes and then we took a nap. We woke up around noon because her mom wanted her to check the store for some craft supplies for her daycare kids so we went around and did that, and then went to a mongolian grill for lunch. I love mongolian grill and she had never had it, so it was a pretty good meal, I actually finished my entire bowl (a first for me, but when you go 9 months without real food I guess you scarf down as much as you can). I was pretty pleasantly surprised when we were done and I went to pay that someone had paid our bill for us. At first I was a little confused, until I realized I was still in my uniform (I know, I hadn't showered yet. I felt as gross as you are probably thinking that is), which made me feel good to know that people still do appreciate service members and will go out of their way to do something nice. At the same time though, it made me a little sad because they probably wouldn't have done the same thing if I had been wearing civilian clothes. After that Jess (my girlfriend) took me home and then headed home herself. I showered hung out with my family for a little bit and then went to sleep.

The next week I spent my time hanging out with Jess, my family and friends more or less on a rotary basis, I bought a truck and a new gun and went out shooting with everybody (I was finally able to convince Jess that guns aren't scary and when used properly and safely they're actually a lot of fun), and got drunk with my friends and made EPIC mac & cheese several nights (I turned 21 while I was home, so whoop-de-freakin-do).

The last weekend I was home I went up to Portland, OR with Jess to get some actual alone time and have some fun in a decent sized city. It was a lot of fun, I got to see my aunt who lives in the area, we had the BEST sea-food either of us has ever had, and Jess got to do some shopping. We had some little fights (which really shouldn't have been fights to begin with, but whatever), but we got over them by the time we got back to the hotel. The downside of that trip though was on the last day, right before we started the drive home, I caught a glimpse of Jess's drivers license while she was buying something at the mall. Apparently she had been lying to me since the day I met her about her age, saying that she was two years older than she actually was. While it did weird me out that I had been dating someone younger that my sister for almost a year (meaning Jess was under age when we started dating), I was more bothered by the fact that she had been lying to me for this long. So that night I asked her if I had misread her license (because I had only caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye) and she said that what I saw was correct and she had in fact only recently turned 18. I probably over-reacted a little bit, but I was pretty freaked out, and also pretty mad. I told her I needed to think about all of this and that I would see her and talk about it the next day. She didn't really like that I guess because she kept calling me and decided to drive to my house (it was close to 2am at this point). Luckily for me, I was not at home at the time, however she claims to have been in a car accident on her way (personally I think she was just being dramatic to get my attention because she was still able to continually call and text me and the next day when we talked her car was fine). Either way she ended up calming down and stopped calling (or maybe I turned my phone off, I don't remember) and I was able to think things through and get some sleep. The next morning I went home, showered, shaved and got dressed then headed to the coffee shop where we agreed to meet to talk about it. I was early like I normally am, and she was about half an hour late, like she almost always is. I explain to her why I was upset, she tried to make excuses for lying to me, I explained my point of view again, she tried to convince me it wasn't a big deal, it went back and forth like that for a while until I finally had to tell her that I didn't think we could date anymore, at least not for the time being. She started to cry and asked why we couldn't just start over and why I wouldn't let her build that trust back up. I don't think she realized (probably still doesn't) how important trust is to me. Either way, we both left in not so high spirits, and I only had two more days left before I had to fly back to Iraq. So I went home, talked to my family, had lunch and waited for my buddy to wake up so I could go hang out with him. From this point until I got on the plane out of Boise, I did not sleep, and I probably drank way more than I should have. My last day I went to see transformers 3 with a couple friends (while drunk, it was a lot of fun lol) and then hung out until it was time to get to my house so my family could give me a ride to the airport. It was pretty bittersweet because I had to leave, but also knowing that I was almost done and would be back soon. I also think that I was still a little bit inebriated until I arrived in Dallas.

In Dallas, all the flights to Kuwait had already left by the time my flight got in, so everybody who was returning from cities west of Phoenix were put up for the night at the holiday inn. Most of the soldiers put on some civies and went out for one last night of partying, while I decided to get a free dinner at the restaurant downstairs and get some much needed sleep. I'm pretty sure I slept for 12 hours. The next morning we all went back to the airport, went through customs and security and then flew out to ATL for a layover and to pick up some more soldiers. From there we flew to Europe, then back to the sandbox. I spent a few days at various bases, then right back to the patrol base for ten more days of guard and pointless missions. Now I'm still in the sandbox, just not doing much except avoiding the heat and whatever stupid little detail comes up. Oh yeah- and working on getting my site setup. So until next time (which will hopefully be at a new location), speak softly and carry a big stick ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why I want my pilot's license.

For the love of God, I hate airports!!!! Not just the airport itself, but all the hassle that goes with the entire system. Don't get me wrong, I love to fly and it sure beats driving as far as comfort and time goes, but dealing with all the stupid crap and high prices that come with airports almost isn't worth it. Security really isn't that much of a problem because unless you're a total idiot the longest part of the process is the line (and this is coming from someone who has 12 pockets that he has to empty when flying in uniform). The price isn't even my biggest complaint either, because air-fare has significantly decreased over the last ten years to the point where it's cheaper to fly to and from certain locations than it is to get a greyhound ticket (don't even get me started on greyhound, maybe some other time if I hit rock bottom); I mean, sure, they do tend to over charge at the little gift shops and restaurants, and you better have a pretty deep wallet if you want to get drunk on the plane, but there are plenty of inexpensive alternatives. No, for me, the biggest issue I have with airports is the wait. Maybe it's just because I'm part of the new "I want it now" instant access internet generation, but when you only have so long that you can be away, every hour, minute, second, of your vacation time is precious, especially that spent traveling. The main reason I fly when I travel is because it's faster than driving (most of my trips are between central Texas and southern Idaho, a 26ish hour drive) and I can sleep on the move. However when you end up spending an entire day waiting in an airport because your flight was oversold or they sent a smaller plane than expected, or the comp. voucher you were given only got you a flight through a connecting hub that only has two flights going out to your final destination a day, it kind of defeats the purpose. Now with gas prices rising yet again (or so I'm told, I haven't seen a legitimate gas station in nine and a half months) and "fuel efficient" marketed cars costing an arm and a leg, the cost difference between flying vs driving is becoming much smaller. Yet when you factor in food and hotel (if you're one of those people who's not comfortable sleeping in your car, or traveling with young children) I would say that the cost is about equal, so people mostly fly instead of road trip due to convenience and time. If I were able to get my personal pilots license though, I would be able to cut out the middle man. I could buy a small little prop plane and then the most expensive/time consuming part of any long distance trip I take would be fuel. It would give me more job opportunities for flying around spoiled rich folk with more money than they know what to do with. But just the convenience of being able to take off and land in smaller regional airports with no difference in cost would make up for any inconvenience I can imagine that would come with flying yourself from point a to point b. I feel like I'm about to start talking in circles, so I'm just going to end this with a suggestion that there should be more scholarships for commercial airline pilots to help get flights moving more frequently. And with that, I'm off to find something to keep me occupied for the next two hours until my flight boards.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wow, I'm REALLY sorry everybody

Hey everyone, I just wanted to apologize for starting off so strong and then not updating for three days (or however long it's been). I've been really busy with work and haven't had the time to sit down and write an actual post. I'll be free in a few days though, and then I'll most likely be able to update every day for at least two weeks, possibly a month. So until then, I'll try to update with small posts about this length or maybe write something out at work and then type it up when I get back. Stay tuned, this is only temporary.

Thanks for understanding :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

So how 'bout them Percs huh?

So on the first I got my top left wisdom tooth pulled (I know, kinda late, but dental work is expensive if you don't have insurance), and everyone I talked to who already had theirs taken out said it would be excruciatingly painful. The procedure itself wasn't very bad, Novocain is one of the few drugs that actually does what it's supposed to do for me, so I didn't feel a thing when they yanked it out, but they said it was the after effects that would leave me crying and begging for more pain pills. However, aside from some tenderness in my cheek, I really didn't feel anything, and still don't. But I was given 12 Percocets, so I figured I may as well enjoy a nice, legal, opiate high. The first one I took was a couple hours after I got the tooth pulled, before the Novocain wore off, so I could see what the effects were without any pain, and within fifteen minutes I was passed out. Now I thought that would happen every time I took them, but apparently it was just a combination of not having had enough sleep in the last nine months, and the natural stress on my system of having a tooth pulled. I didn't take another pill for something like 28 hours because I wasn't in pain, so why use up this drug that everyone seems to be crazy about, but being curious and having never done a drug other than alcohol and tobacco (I had never even had any medication stronger than a tylenol at this point), I decided to take another one, just to see if it would have an affect on me. Well this time, I didn't pass out, but I didn't really feel anything either, so I talked to my buddy who's pretty experienced in the drug world and he said "just rail three next time". I didn't want to right then because it was the middle of the day, and I had some stuff I needed to take care of around the base and didn't want to be all drugged out (just in case it did affect me the way it was supposed to) so I waited until last night and popped two at once. Now while I didn't feel any different, and it certainly didn't do what the drug was supposed to, it did affect me this time. Instead of putting me on my ass, or making me feel slightly detached, it totally wired me. I ended up being awake for well over 28 hours (which is not something I do unless absolutely necessary. I love my sleep) and spent at least 13 hours (straight) talking on the phone and skype with my girlfriend. I'm surprised she didn't notice because I was a lot more talkative than usual, maybe she just thought I had more to talk about, but it was actually a very nice long conversation. Anyway, normally when I stay awake for that long, it takes me a good 13-15 hours of sleep to feel recovered/refreshed, yet today, I only slept for the regular 8 hours and feel totally fine. So as far as being a pain medication goes, let's just say I'm very thankful for my high pain tolerance, but as far as being awesome, I give Percocet a B+. Let's see if I feel the same way when I have to get all the others removed at the same time this fall.

Friday, June 3, 2011

We have the technology, we can save him.

No, this isn't going to be a post about the six million dollar man, or the remake with the female lead (although I do enjoy both), this is a post about the internet. Now obviously if you're reading this, you have a decent enough internet connection, which means you also most likely live in a pretty well developed country. However, there are many places in the world where there is either absolutely no internet access, or it's very expensive and very slow. I am currently in Iraq, and the internet over here is garbage. In order to get even 256 kb/s for a month it's going to cost you $60 U.S.. I can get 15 Mbps for the same price back in the states. The excuse that TigrisNet gives is as follows directly from their FAQ section:

"Bandwidth in the Middle East area is extremely expensive because multiple satellites must be used (with multiple International satellite hops) to get the bandwidth to the country of Iraq. In the US, bandwidth is nowhere near the cost it is in Iraq because America has better Internet and Wifi infrastructure, the surplus of fiber backbones, and high speed cable lines to propagate the bandwidth."

Now this is bullshit!! Lack of infrastructure or not, there should not be that big of a cost difference. If we want the internet to survive and evolve, there has to be a way to make the internet globally accessible at a reasonable rate (preferably free) with acceptable speeds. I believe this is entirely possible with the technology we have available today, but I don't think anyone is doing anything about it because of the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and ISP corporations aren't exactly complaining that they get to charge more for less. Maybe it's just because I read too much sci-fi, but I imagined that we would have a global net system similar to what they had in "Ender's Game" by now, but I at least hope to see it in my lifetime. Virtual computing is already about to make a drastic rise in popularity, especially with Google's chromebook about to be released in a couple weeks (which I plan on buying while I'm home to use for blogging and managing my website etc). So would it be too far fetched to have virtual servers located all across the globe/web? Or maybe even start putting servers on satellites constantly orbiting and communicating with each other so no matter where you are in the world you'll always have the same access and the same speed (depending on terrain) no matter where you are in the world. Maybe I'm entirely mistaken and there's no practical way to spread the internet and improve the quality of online time globally right now, but I do hope to see drastic improvements within my lifetime, and I don't just mean faster speeds in the states (or Europe, Canada, Australia etc). Let me know what you think, am I an idiot, do I have a point, do you have any ideas on ways to improve worldwide connectivity? The only way to know is to talk it out and brainstorm. As always, comments are appreciated, let's see what we can come up with.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hello, Blogosphere

Hey there internet, I'm new to the whole blogging scene, but I figured I would give it a shot and see what it's all about. I suppose as my first entry I should probably introduce myself, let the world know the intimate details of my life that for whatever reason we fear to reveal in person, but that's the beauty of the internet isn't it? You can create yourself however you want to, but on a mask in order to be yourself, it's a strange paradox, but I enjoy it.
So first things first, I'm a 20 year old male, born and raised in a little state most people don't ever think about unless their potato shopping called Idaho, I graduated high school with decent grades, but nothing spectacular enough to get any scholarships, so I did the only logical thing I could (please note, that was sarcasm) and joined the Army right after high school as an Infantryman. I've been active duty for almost three years now and while it's hard and sucks at times, I don't regret my decision. I plan on going to school to get my DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine) degree. I love animals and have been set on being a vet when I grow up since I was at least six years old. In the mean time, I'm an aspiring cartoonist in my free time and write a little bit too. Currently I am in the process of getting a webcomic set up, and hope to have the whole thing up and running and updating regularly by this fall/winter. I really do like the storyline I have and I think people will enjoy it, but my artwork still needs to improve and become more consistent before it's ready for the public. If anyone reading this is a semi-talented artist looking for a way to showcase their art, leave a comment letting me know that you're interested with your email and I'll get in touch and send you a sample of the story and you can send me a sample of your work. I would of course not expect you to help me out for free, so I would of course give you a commission for your time and talent. Alright, enough business talk, more about me bwahaha (I'm not normally this narcissistic, I swear). I am not married, but I have been dating someone for quite some time (it really has been a long time since most if not all of my past relationships have crumbled into nothingness after two months) and I honestly couldn't be happier. We compliment each others' strengths and supplement each others' weaknesses and when we argue it's like a clash of the titans hahaha. We're both horrible know-it-alls and refuse to be wrong. Even when one of us realizes what we're doing and just lets it go, the other will still keep arguing their point until someone gets pissed off haha. I don't know how much money I've spent on apology flowers and chocolates over the course of our relationship.
As I already said, I draw and write a little bit in my free time, I also dabble a little bit in music (play the saxophone decently and the guitar poorly) and LOVE just about anything outdoors. I love camping, rock climbing, shooting, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, white water rafting, swimming, snowboarding and pretty much anything else you can do in the mountains and rivers of the northwestern US. I do play video games from time to time, but I'm not very good at most first person shooters, but I do enjoy a good RPG from time to time. I'm not really big on mmo's or online play in general, and I have a hard time playing a game for an extended period of time. Unless you put a Pokémon, Zelda, Sonic or Star Fox game in front of me, then I'll play that game for weeks.
So now that you know a little bit about me, you more or less know what to expect my blog entries to be about, there will be a few that might seem out of place, but those are just random little insights or general observations I've made either recently or throughout my life. I like to think of myself as mostly impartial, since I had a pretty lonely childhood and tend to even now separate myself from others. Well, hopefully I'll get a few people to read this and get a decent following by the time I'm ready to get my website up and running. Please feel free to comment on this or future posts, feedback is always very important and helpful, even if it's negative.
So, I hope to hear from you internet, and until next time,
Thanks for listening to the ramblings of a crazy young 11B