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Monthly Archives: December, 2013

Fox’s new comedy – a study in screwuppery

So apparently Fox has a new comedy out. It’s called “Enlisted.” Now, as soon as I heard about the new comedy, I really thought it would wind up being a disaster. I mean, when does Hollywood ever bother with actual attention to detail, right?  Especially when it comes to the military!

How many times have we seen screwed up covers, out of regs hair, both on the head and on the face, messed up rank, name tapes in the wrong place, wrong color T-shirts… the list goes on. This Fox series is apparently no different, and those who saw the promos were quick to point out the screw-ups.

Well, to their credit, the execs took the bull by the horns, and made chicken soup out of chicken shit. They owned up to their errors, and made the mess into a contest. Good for them!

“Spot Our Errors” Contest

Watch the Series Premiere of Enlisted FRI 9:30/8:30c JAN 10 and write down all the things the show gets wrong!

I won’t enter the contest, and frankly, I probably won’t watch the show, because Sarah graduates Marine Corps boot camp that day, so we will be celebrating at Parris Island, but this is a refreshing idea, and I hope they do fix all the errors!

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Foreign Enemies and Traitors

Many of you who know me personally, know I love apocalyptic entertainment and dystopian literature. I eat up novels such as “Hunger Games,” “the Giver,” and “Divergent.” I was moved to no end by Ray Bradbury’s classic “Fahrenheit 451.” I am perpetually glued to the idiot box when the “Walking Dead” is on, and I will watch reruns all day.

It’s not because I love zombies. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even give “Walking Dead” a chance at first, because zombies… meh.

But the show is not about the walking dead. It’s about those still living, and that fascinates me. The thought of an apocalyptic event doesn’t appeal to me, but society’s reaction to it does.  What happens when government completely breaks down in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event? Be it zombies, earthquakes, floods, war or the complete disappearance of electric power (see: Revolution) – what happens when a complete breakdown of law and order occurs? How does government react? How do the people react to the actions of said government?

These are all questions I love to explore, both in literature and in other forms of entertainment.

I’m ashamed to say that I only recently picked up Matt Bracken’s “Foreign Enemies and Traitors” – the final installment of the “Enemies” trilogy.  It’s been a while since Matt sent me my copy of “Domestic Enemies” to read while I was on deployment, and unfortunately, the reviews I had written for both “Enemies Foreign and Domestic,” the first novel in the trilogy and “Domestic Enemies,” perished when I deleted my old blog on the Blogger platform. I should have saved them. Both books were excellent.

But I think Matt outdid himself with this one. It’s not only gripping… you don’t just care about the characters and what happens to them… you don’t want to put the book down.

The story centers on two major events (and a whole lot of minor ones) that lead to the catastrophic breakdown of American society.

First – the economic breakdown resulting from destructive fiscal and redistributionist policies of the government (sound familiar?).

Second – natural disasters: earthquakes and floods.

I don’t want to give anything away, but the results of those events are predictable to any one of us with a shred of logic. They are the rational and expected progression of events, based on the attitudes we are currently seeing in our society.

What happens when you regulate and tax producers out of existence?

What happens when natural disasters cause desperate people to do desperate things?

What happens when local and state authorities are helpless, and can no longer protect and serve?

How far will people go to survive?

What happens to those who are accustomed to living in a cycle of dependence?

Matt answers all of these questions and more in grizzly, realistic detail. He pulls no punches, and he doesn’t sugar coat reality. This is what happens when society breaks down. This is what happens when tyrannical politicians gain control. This is what happens when we give up our rights willingly for a little handouts. This is what happens when we forget how to fend for ourselves and every survival instinct is bred out of us.

This one was really the best of the batch.

Well done, Matt. Well done.

2013 – the year of change

Well, since everyone else on the planet is doing a 2013 recap, I figure I’ll join the party. I’ve read some pretty cool recaps so far, especially the one Dave Barry wrote a few days ago that had me nearly wetting myself with mirth (not to be confused with myrrh, which is a totally different thing and while it would make me smell odd, it could not match the smell of pee with which I very nearly wet myself reading Dave Barry’s 2013 in Review).

Dave Barry used the phrase “pathologically narcissistic sex weasels” to describe both Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner, both of whom attempted to revive their dead political careers by running for public office in New York. But even New Yorkers aren’t that stupid, and that’s saying something!

Dave also described Miley Cyrus as “this horrifying, mutant, half-naked and vaguely reptilian creature twerking all over the stage while committing unhygienic acts with both Robin Thicke and a foam finger, both of which we hope were confiscated by a Hazmat team.”

I love Dave Barry.

Our 2013 was a bit different. I’m not going to go into the plethora of political crap that set me off this year, because I really don’t want a brain hemorrhage before I toast 2014. Needless to say between the post-Newtown political kneejerking that had legisleeches all over the country look like they were all suffering from a contagious neurological disorder and the Boston Marathon bombing, the Trayvon Martin Hoodie Horde, the Syria crisis, the ObamaCare fiasco and the sequester and government shutdown that left us wondering if we were going to have to send the Redhead to a street corner to look cute and beg for money, it’s been a stressful 2013.

But 2013 wasn’t all bad. It was just odd. And different.

In June, Teeny (otherwise known as Sarah) graduated with an advanced degree from Washington-Lee High School. It was weird, knowing that the small 5 year old I took into my home sight unseen had grown into a responsible, wonderful young woman, whose ambition was to serve her country in the Marine Corps. She signed her enlistment paperwork shortly after having turned 18.

In April, we lost our cat Socks to cancer. Socks was a gift from my former boss in 2002. I remember sitting in my office, when my phone rang and the president of the company was on the line asking me if I had a cat. At that point I had two of them, but apparently Socks had wandered onto my boss’ property, and the latter made the mistake of feeding the stray boy, which made Socks stick around. But my boss’ son was allergic to animals, so my boss brought him in for me in a cardboard box.  Socks immediately climbed out of the box and made himself at home on top of my desk, sprawled out on my computer keyboard. He was immediately part of the family. In late March, Socks began bleeding rectally. Bright red blood. He was in pain, and I immediately took him to the vet. An oncologist found a mass in his rectum, and told me that even if she were to operate and take the mass out (a risky proposition for a senior cat), chances were it would likely come back. Socks was in pain. He couldn’t eliminate. He strained so hard, he pushed himself against walls and he bled.

In the end, I let him go.

socks

In March, Rob and I started talking about getting married. This wasn’t a decision we made lightly. Rob had never been married before, and my marriage… well… we don’t like to talk about that. *retreats to happy place* We didn’t tell anyone, because we didn’t want drama, so we decided to elope. To Vegas. I had made a couple of efforts to actually have one of my favorite entertainers of all time – Penn Jillette – officiate our wedding, but things didn’t work out quite like that. We still went to see the show, and took a photo with Penn. We were in the first row, and Rob actually got to participate in Teller’s red ball trick!

Penn

No, Penn didn’t perform our marriage ceremony, but it was cool as hell seeing the show again, and getting yet another photo with him. AND getting a Tweet from him later that night!

We wound up telling the kids about our marriage plans before we left. I didn’t feel it was right to surprise them with something so huge, because, after all, it was their family and their lives being affected too! To my surprise, they weren’t particularly shocked or upset that we had made plans without consulting them. They were genuinely happy for us, and I was getting text messages from the Redhead all day on July 13, asking me if we had done the deed yet!

Several weeks after we returned from Vegas, I left Rob with the kids and traveled to Germany for a five-week Russian language refresher course. It was quite brilliant! Not only did I get intensive language training every day, but I got to hike, climb mountains, drink incredible European coffee and see the opening of Oktoberfest, not to mention the weekend trip to Venice and Verona to see some of the world’s most incredible works of art!

Hike in the Alps

Hike in the Alps. Why yes, I did sweat like a canned ham! Why do you ask?

kreuznach

Just one look made me realize just how high I’d hiked! YIKES!

One of the old bridges in Venice.

One of the old bridges in Venice

One of the many canal alleys.

One of the many canal alleys in Venice

Roman arena in Verona. This was, unfortunately, the end of the opera season. I would have loved to have seen a performance there!

Roman arena in Verona. This was, unfortunately, the end of the opera season. I would have loved to have seen a performance there!

Juliet's house. Romeo and Juliet lived in Verona. Millions visit Juliet's house every day. It is said if you touch the breast of Juliet's statue in the courtyard, you will find success in your love life. No, I did not touch what has to be the world's dirtiest, germiest boob!

Juliet’s house. Romeo and Juliet lived in Verona. Millions visit Juliet’s house every day. It is said if you touch the breast of Juliet’s statue in the courtyard, you will find success in your love life. No, I did not touch what has to be the world’s dirtiest, germiest boob!

Did you think I was kidding about the boob?

Did you think I was kidding about the boob?

 

Ah! Verona!

Ah! Verona!

View from the other side of the bridge

View from the other side of the bridge

I could spend all day talking about the art and beauty I saw (and the vast amounts of wine I consumed) in Italy, but I won’t. It is enough to say that I really just want to go back for more.

A few weeks after I returned from Europe, Sarah shipped out to Marine Corps basic training. It was sort of bittersweet. I knew she would be fantastic. I knew she would succeed. And yet, there was this profound sense of loss, because the little child I’d raised and loved for 13 years was no longer a child, but a young woman who strove to be unique, dedicated and heroic.

Just as I was getting used to the idea of Sarah leaving the nest, I got furloughed, along with thousands of other government employees. I was so freaked out, that I got up and went to the offices of my old company, and worked there full time, doing new projects until I was recalled to work. I couldn’t stand the thought of not doing anything, so I did something. And I was freaked out, because I doubt my landlord would understand the whole “Hey, I got furloughed and don’t have rent money” excuse. Friends and long time readers of this blog came through. You guys really came through, and I truly appreciated every single person who hit that tip jar to help me out of a frightening financial situation and those who offered words of encouragement and support.

Several weeks after Sarah left, I found myself with an amazing new job! The new position is terrific! It’s a challenge. The new team is dedicated and committed to the mission. The days pass very quickly, and I’m still learning nonstop. It’s also a promotion. I’ve been there a month now, and I love every minute!

The Redhead started to drive by himself on 11 December. It’s crazy to see him so tall, so responsible and still my sweet little boy. To me, he will always look like this.

My perfect ginger child

My perfect ginger child

So yeah. It’s been a year of changes. Kids growing up. New job. New marital status. Losses. Gains.

I’m ready for some stability.

Aren’t you?

Happy 2014!

SHTF in Libya? (UPDATED)

Crap. Fox News is reporting that four US military personnel are being held by the Libyan government.

The New York Times reported the episode appeared to have taken place in a tourist area about an hour’s drive from the capital of Tripoli and that the region was generally considered friendly to Westerners.

Not a whole lot of information is available right now, but I’ll let y’all know more if I find out anything.

UPDATE: CNN reports:

The four are believed to be held by the ministry of the interior, the official, with knowledge of the situation, said on condition of anonymity.

It was not immediately known why the American personnel were in Libyan custody. “We are seeking to further ascertain the facts and ensure their release,” the official said.

The four were in Libya “augmenting security at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli,” the official said.

UPDATE 2: I did see some photos of those allegedly detained in Libya on Twitter. I’m not linking to them here, though. They include passports and what look like security badges. OPSEC, people!

UPDATE 3: New York Times has a bit more detail

According to initial reports received by officials in Washington, the four were believed to have been reviewing potential evacuation routes for diplomats when they were detained.

After running into a problem at a checkpoint — many of which are run by local militias — they were detained and later moved to the Ministry of Interior, said administration officials who asked not to be identified because they were discussing internal reports.

UPDATE 4: Al Jazeera tweets that the Americans have been released.

 

The continued crazy of Scott Schoemann

Y’all remember this turd who posted a photo of my husband and a friend after getting into a flame war with the latter, and accused them of being wanted by police for “child enticement?” At the time, Scott Schoemann claimed to have retired from the NSA and graduated with a PhD from MIT (which was actually ITT Technical Institute, but can easily be confused with MIT, right?).

Well, apparently he hasn’t learned his lesson.

A little while ago, I was examining my blog stats, and I came across a Disqus thread where someone linked to my post about Schoemann. The poster accused another commenter, dragon5126, of being Scott Schoemann, and linked to my post as proof. A quick look at dragon5126‘s profile proved the assessment to be the correct one. Only this time, Scotty boy is claiming a few more honors and bits of experience he obviously does not have.

Range Master for the Alphabet boys and I do not suffer posers or Liars well, I’ve done my time in the Behavioral Sciences Unit so don’t bother trying, I can see right through you…

With roughly 2000 comments in the Disqus media, it’s easy to see the writing style is identical to our favorite phony lunatic. Not only that, but he is making yet more outrageous claims. An examination of this discussion shows Scotty to have apparently taught military drill instructors how to shoot.

Jack Frost dragon5126

You sure have a lot of comments posted here. Yep, you are a regular Mr. “Know-it-all”. Almost every thing you post is as a reply, wherein you attempt to ridicule whoever or whatever was previously posted. What I’m really trying to say is… why don’t you shut up and choke yourself!

dragon5126 Jack Frost

I’m a professional, not a wannabe. I don’t care to see people end up dead due to bad information, So if you cant take the truth Biffy, that’s your problem… Wannabe.

[…]

Ramome dragon5126

Your studios appraisal of weaponry is so full of sh!t the rest of us stink just being near your posts. Take your nipple head back to boot camp and let your drill instructor beat some sense into it. You’re a fool!

dragon5126 Ramome

What’s the matter Ramone? you have issues facing facts? Perhaps its you that needs to run through boot again. You obviously don’t know your weapons drills, and as for a pathetic DI… well they are nothing to me, they cant stand up to the task. [emphasis mine] but that’s because they spend too much time associating with pussies like you

BruceMichaelGrant dragon5126

You’ve obviously never met a DI because you wouldn’t dismiss them like that. Your ignorant arrogance makes me suspect you are merely one more Chairborne Ranger spouting off from his basement room on topics you know only from Soldier of Fortune, Apocalypse Now or Good Morning Vietnam.

dragon5126 BruceMichaelGrant

Poser, give it a break you already outed yourself by claiming to use .223s as a Navy Security Policeman for 15 years in the service. Your lies just don’t stand up. As for DI’s Ive taught them to shoot. how to not crap their pants, and how to use toilet paper. [emphasis mine] And as for your favorite sources of information, are you sure your name isn’t Burt Gummer?

[…]

Ramome dragon5126

Good come back. Your logo suggests killing people is a noble profession. Can we assume the Talban think like you? Oh I’m a bad American now. What’s it like dragon? Did the riddled bodies make you think of mom and apple pie? I thank you for your service dragon but don’t come back here thinking you did something good. You did something necessary not something good. You have to live with any lives you took.

or maybe you are just a wanna-be

dragon5126 Ramome

Do you see any commentary about what I have done, in regards to Killing Taliban? no you don’t. I’m not a pussy like you who has to brag about things like that. I TRAIN people to stay alive under the worst conditions [emphasis mine] Pussies like you die under the simplest of tasks… YOU are a pathetic little bug, nothing more. You want the people here to listen to the garbage of these wannabes, and read about them dying in the papers, Just like a good little minion of Obama.MY job on the other hand is to ensure they live through an encounter with an armed assailant.

[…]

Red Jonathan Miller

00 will easily rip through two layers of automobile grade sheet metal. In fact, it will penetrate the outer door skin, the glass, and the inner door skin and the panel and still kill you.

dragon5126 Red

WRONG Bozo I teach this to Cadets all the time by demonstrating it to them [emphasis mine] but you know everything don’t you? hell a shotgun slug hits the windshield and falls on the back seat

[…]

dragon5126 Red

how about you come on down to Quantico and I show you? You are all mouth and nothing more half inch drywall is not legal for structural use as it does not meet fire safety requirements mouth

dragon5126 BruceMichaelGrant

Because unlike you, I know what I am taking about, due to experience and training, where as YOU are just a pathetic internet liar who misquotes my books

[…]

That’s just a taste of what Scotty’s been spewing on Disqus just in the past couple of months. To recap:

He teaches drill instructors in the military how to shoot.

He teaches unspecified “cadets.”

He is at Quantico (which is apparently somewhere near Cudahy, Wisconsin).

He teaches at the FBI academy (which is also somewhere near Cudahy).

He’s spent time at the Behavioral Science Unit.

Oh, and he’s a published author of more than one book, apparently (not just a horse botherer, as demonstrated by his photo below).

And…. he’s insane! But I think we already knew that.

But how do we know that the superhero dragon5126 is Facebook Warrior Scott Schoemann?

Why, it’s because the Facebook icon on his Disqus profile leads right here. Ooops!

schoemann

Click on the image to enlarge and see where that link leads.

And if you have doubts that this is the same Scott Schoemann who claims to have worked at NSA and harassed and libeled my husband, well, here’s a screen shot of his newsle profile that still bears that claim (not retired this time).

schoemann2

If you still have doubts, note the avatars. This one is exactly the same as the screen capture of his Disqus profile above.
Welcome to the Internets, Scott!

And if you need yet MORE proof, he also has a Disqus profile that bears his real name with the same logo, although he doesn’t seem to have used it yet.

And he still claims to work for the NSA on Facebook!

Note area of concern in red.

Note area of concern in red. (Cell phone operator at NSA? Wow.)

It’s unbelievable that his family hasn’t institutionalized this dildo yet! He’s quite obviously unhinged and completely insane.

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