Archive for the ‘MilBlogs’ Category
This story was originally written by me at our sister site Techography.com June 5th, 2006. As so many of my work, the original article is no longer in the archives there. I republished it here in May of 2010. I bring it back around every June as a remembrance to the D-Day Invasion and for those whom have gone before. It’s that time of year again, to bring it back to the front page. The time to Remember. Always, Remember.-BS
I mentioned before I owned a picture of that painting. (You can too But mine has more history as I got mine from the now dissolved Navy Aviation Ordnance School out of Oceania, VA.) I received it from my father, a US Naval veteran, at age 7. It has hung on walls in my homes ever since, and in my bedroom as a lad. I never knew that years later I would be inspired to write about those units, that beach, that day. Maybe he did.
Water. My father and uncles told me once that at sea the ship becomes an island, and the water becomes all encompassing.
It surrounds the Landing craft, reminds you of that old poem
“Water water everywhere, and not a drop to drink…”
The wind is cold, the spray is miserable. The clothes are soaked through, and the landing craft is pitching and yawing like a kite in a windstorm. The boys vomit from the roller-coaster affects of the seas and smashing waves that jar your teeth out of your head.
The place, is Normandy, the beach is Fox Green.
Welcome to the Invasion
I wrote this in March of 2012 once it had finally settled in to my brain on the passing of Neptunus Lex. Brother in Arms, Brothers in Ink, Milblogger, and a man I’d like to consider a friend. I think it needs to be reposted as its that time of the year again.
It is Ireland’s sacred duty to send over, every few years, a playwright to save the English theatre from inarticulate glumness.
Kenneth Tynan, Observer, 27 May 1956
We didn’t send him to England. But really, for an Irishman there really isn’t much difference between death and Ireland.
For me, it didn’t really click until this morning.I had an eval with my current employer, I sat in front of my laptop at 4 o clock this morning with my coffee, and on impulse clicked Lex’s blog link from my bookmarks. My nerves akimbo. I wanted some peace.
Over the years the people I have known via websites have waxed and waned. When I first started writing on line back in 1995, there was one other site I visited with regularity. In 2000, there was eight. In 2002 twenty two. In 2007 almost 52.
Now? 17…and of those fully half are inactive links. Its a testament to my love for Lex’s work that I kept him on my book mark list. The others I liked and I keep hoping that they will update. I have been reluctant to remove the inactive ones from my bookmarks for this reason.
As I clicked his link, and the page loaded the hot coffee turned cool against my lips as I was reminded by whisper…he’s gone. His words will not grace us any longer, save for works in days gone by. His thoughts of previous days left to haunt us in the present.
I set my cup down and wondered. This digital snap shots in to our lives. Where will they go? What will happen to them. For many, when the costs come due our families will shut them down, turn off the lights, and our words will vanish in to the ether at some point.
Our words left unread by those in the future whom may read them. It is one advantage our print and media brethren have over us. Our archives are only around as long as someone wishes to pay for it. There are no libraries whom receive our subscriptions, no history scribes whom will hallmark our work and words. It is up to us to find ways to back up these works, save them, and distribute them in some fashion for others to hold dear.
Our children may not come of age knowing our works, or what motivated us without these very lines I type. How we thought and the people we sought to be, in the end are portrayed here, in black and white and sent to you in hi definition on 1,024 x 768 pixels through a OC48 pipe from one coast to another.
Lex is gone. That much is final. His words may one day slip in to obscurity. Like my other blog friend triticale whom we lost in 2007, or Acidman whom we lost in 2006, their websites stand testament to their sentiments, themselves, and their values. Digital monuments.
But one day those digital monuments can and will fail. Companies get sold, servers crash, people move on, costs become exorbitant. For me a culmination of almost two decades of writing belong on two websites…the thought crosses my mind…what will happen if? I have no regular blog partner with keys. My wife has no interest in these things, and no interest in voicing her own ideals. It will simply become like my coffee, cold, and one day to vanish in to the electronic ether.
Maybe I am bleak because a little light has left this world. Because one who continued, with others fell to the way side, to provide us with measured, rational doses of words, wisdom and work. Who shared with us his day to day experiences, struggles and life.
Maybe I am bleak because how many of us, in that former profession, had those narrow misses? Those brief glances in to our future? that feeling that all we knew and had was about to change in a single instance….and once he was past that point he chose to go back to it, willingly, knowing the costs at stake? Only to be snatched at the last possible instance mere feet from safety?
It seems incomprehensible really. But the Banshee does not care about prose, wit, or talent and at some point when she calls to us to warn of us of An Bás, the time to prepare will be over.
I prefer not to think that those engines final whine were the cry of the Banshee for Lex, although fitting it may be.
When An Bás came calling, I choose to think that someone, up there….just wanted a good debriefing on how life is down here these days. And to keep it interesting he picked the best writer we had.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam
May he rest on peace
With The Armorer finally going dark there aren’t too many folks from the heydey of blogging still around.
So whose left?
Well John DuMond of Nobody Move is still writing, and doing so with much more regularity than myself. I’m a frequent lurker there and rarely comment but I still like his work, especially his true crime pieces.
Harvey too, is also still running over at Bad Example. Again I lurk but do not comment often. Mostly because I have a hard time finding time to do much more than quickly read any more with work and school.
Laughing Wolf has been much more creative than I posting quite regularly.
Stephen Sherman aka The Commissar still runs his Ace Pilots page, but his Politburo Diktat is long gone.
Teresa and Technicalities is still alive and kicking
Doc at DocInTheBox also posts occasionally.
T1G of Drunken Wisdom is another sporadic like myself.
EricSWG of StraightWhiteGuy also writes sporadically, and well as always when he does.
The Conservative UAW guy last posted in May.
Nidonemo is still active thankfully.
The Ministry of Minor Perfidy is another who has not posted since May
Slobokan has been silent since April
All of the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers are gone save for myself.
Since I started writing online back in 1997 I have seen the web undergo a lot of social changes. From mIRC to OTC sites such as Tripod and Geocities, to the MySpace and Blog Heydeys.
All the folks I have listed above, for the vast majority I interact with via Facebook with regularity. They get tired of the spammers, the Chinese hackers, the internet drama, and the “Take this down or we’ll sue you!” crowd.
Its hard to blame them. I’ve been threatened with at least 4 lawsuits in over 15 years of writing on line. I’ve gotten more hate mail than I can shake a stick at. Its one reason I have rarely if ever used my real name online: the fact is there are just some plain old fashion sick people out there.
But I have also met some fabulous people, made great connections. Been introduced to some legends, and people who I consider friends today.
Blogs may be going to the way side, and one day it is entirely possible that this site too may go dark (though I have no immediate plans to do so) but until that time its much like digital cave drawings. People have evolved, maybe not for the better, but their digital social culture has definitely swung towards the instant gratification world of Facebook and G+. Even I use them.
But I can’t put down my keyboard, not entirely. I feel like if I do, a little piece of me might die with it.
Over at The Armorer’s place they are celebrating their Anniversary of have their web doors open.
Over 10 years, and frankly given how many website’s I have seen come and go that’s pretty impressive.
Calimus and I started blogging back about 1995 under the heading of Techography.com. We had a major database crash in 2005 roughly, and we split the sites by opening this one in 2008 due to a change in focus of my own and what I blog versus the content at Techo.
We’re limping along, but much as The Armorer says, I’m not looking to do anything phenomenal, not that I ever did online. It’s been a hobby for me, and a study in social as I watch how the technological world changes from m-IRC, to forums, to websites, to blogs, to Facebook and Twitter. Watching as the people move from one system to another.
In any event having a website for 10 years is a pretty big deal and should be celebrated accordingly.
Go drop him an “Atta Boy!” will ya?
So we finally heard from the USO
TSO over at This Ain’t Hell spearheaded the way, and enough cant be said for what he did from my point of view, frankly. Milblogging isn’t what it used to be so the fact the he was on the tip of the spear proves the brotherhood, both militarily and internet linked, still exists. A big thanks nonetheless to everyone who stood up and added a voice. Sure it may be from behind a laptop, but then look at how many folks said nothing. Point made I think.
He got a hold of key individuals at the USO, and found out that it was simply a communication breakdown.
So stand down the war dogs, all is well. I’m glad that this came to a happy conclusion for The Sniper. I always liked his work and have had him on my blog list for a number of years. I just wish I had more time to blog as I used to. Maybe once I finish graduate school I’ll have more of my life back.
It’s one of those headlines that, when you type it, you have to read it a second time to make sure you are not hallucinating.
The short version, from my perspective anyway, is that the wars are over. The general, 30 second attention span populace, can now shove their faux affection for veterans in to a broom closet and go back to being peace time advocates for not giving a damn about anything or saving the #2 pencils from rampant extinction.
If there isn’t a t-shirt sale involved then its not of their concern.
In this case an individual at the USO, whom apparently feels their position is one that does not require actual…you know…communication with others….is asking…no demanding that a MilBlogger shut down his entire website.
This isn’t anything new. Folks and companies attack bloggers with semi regularity because of something we have written or published. Sometimes they succeed in getting their way…sometimes they don’t. I’d say its about 50/50 split in the legal world today regarding overall, but with the overall general public coming to understand that blogging is as much about free speech as it is journalism. We will write things that folks may not like…but that doesn’t make it any less true from our perspective or interpretation. And Court’s are not very big on slapping people around for interpretation of literary licensing, but I digress.
This particular representative of the USO has managed to not only inflame Stolen Valour advocate, and faux soldier investigator TSO over at This Ain’t Hell who has went on an all out offensive to get to the bottom of the mess, they have also stirred up one time Fox commentator, former embedded blogger and book author Laughing Wolf at Blackfive.
It’s been a long time since I have seen the MilBlogger wheels try to turn, and given so many bloggers and MilBloggers have walked away from their websites and gathered around the instant gratification system known as Facebook I can’t help but wonder…much as the old time websites I use to run and mIRC servers that were predominant in the past…has the blog worlds time passed?
For The Sniper’s sake (whom is the accused party in this muck) I hope not, and as such I’m lending my voice to the others by attempting to spread the word regarding this. Such a request is unreasonable. The USO representative is not dealing with a 13 year old in his mothers basement who is trying to find old Sara Michelle Gellar pictures online. This is a military veteran, with tours in the recent conflicts under his belt, exercising his right to free speech that he damned well earned.
Agree, or disagree with his position, the fact of the matter is he has a right to say it. No more and no less that Jerry Springer and his ilk have their right to portray people as raving lunatics. No more and no less than CNN. No more and no less that someone with a T shirts stating their position on a particular topic. Offense is not a reason for submission…it’s a catalyst for discussion.
And if the USO has a brain in their head, instead of playing footsie with a couple of military vet bloggers and social media they’ll join a roundtable regarding this and deep dive the root of the problem.
So its finally March. Usually my favorite time of the year.
As you can see I managed to ensure that the website changed to its typical green hue for the occasion, forests of Ireland a backdrop for something I have done on this website for several years: that of sharing some Irish history, Mythology, lore and my own families history with you.
This year has been crazy, and the last several weeks hectic. Last year our March celebration was marred by the loss of longtime friend and fellow MilBlogger Lex.
I can’t promise you this month will be better. There are things moving in m own life that have me as worried as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but I digress.
It’s March. There is still snow on the ground. Spring is coming soon as the last vestiges of winter make their way from our lives for this year.
This is a re-post from our November, 2009 post regarding this week. Other Military bloggers covering today: Blackfive
On November 5th, 1965 the 173rd Airborne Brigade deployed on a Search & Destroy mission in to War Zone “D” north of Bien Hoa. Also involved was the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment ; 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry; and the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Divisions . The name of the operation, ironically, signified the units halfway point in their tour of the Vietnam war.
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The unbearable lightness of Lex…
For the last several years literally hundreds of us have been greeted with that banner, repeatedly.
Whom can forget the infamous “pink” Hornet?
For many of us we awoke and found those words painful this morning.
And thats not how he would have wanted it. Miles apart the modern world of technology has brought us close.
I’ll be holding a Cyber Wake here. All comers are welcome, for no one should drink alone.
I will open comments to the world for the night, for us to share stories of the indomitable Lex and hold as close to a wake as was possible with those of us who found him more than just a man, a pilot, or a Milblogger..but a friend.
Officially I’ll unlock comments starting at 18:00 Central Standard Time.
Unofficially, let this post start the works.
Let the stories, links, music and words flow freely and let the dancing begin.
Adde gubernandi studivm: pervenit in astra – et ponum caelo coniunxit.
Then, too, the pilot’s care: the stars are scaled, and the sky with ocean joined
A video, of Lex doing what he loved
For Lex in a lighter time, try his golf swing.
Click the Jump for others blogging on Lex
The Armorer is taking a break. Possibly a permanent one.
And he’s right. As is evidenced here hiatuses typically kill blogs. Even those that have two bloggers. Unfortunately as you may have noticed only one of us has shown up for duty lately and the other is swamped under work. The former is just treading water himself as his career has taken off in the last three months.
Good things and bad things.
The good news is The Armorer is not shutting down. Personally, given the mans occasional pontifications, I doubt he will be able to completely walk away. However given the disenchantment many of us whom I think I can say are relatively middle of the road I can see how politics, and the world in general would grind us to the point that we find our selves spitting at the wind. The spammers, and fickle nature of some commenter’s can play in to that as well.
Well, more he than I. I don’t think I could buy a regular commenter around here as of late.
That said, we aren’t going away. Neither is he. The doors remain open. Volunteers are always welcome to write here. He has his own staff.
As for myself, it seems like I’m watching another ship leave the harbor. Folks are moving on, as they did years ago when Calimus and I first started Techography.
The more things change. The more they stay the same.
However I can not allow him to close that door without saying thanks. The Armorer opened his home, and his armory to me on several occasions. He has put up with my incoherent rambling e-mails on several occasions, and even furnished cold frosty adult beverages. Insofar as blogging goes he and The Commissar (when he still blogged as such) both showed much kindness and politeness to a web writer who was trying to adapt to the changing format of the Internet.
The Internet has much discourse, but little in the way of civility. He may walk away, but he deserves to know that he furnished one of last bastions of reasonable discourse that I am aware of on line. And for that he deserves a salute.
How many years has it been now?
Without Google can you recall?
It’s pretty easy really. Almost ten.
Ten years since I spent time at Ground Zero. Ten years since I was reactivated. Nine years since the dust settled.
The Witch is Dead says the news.
Color me pessimistic. But Hopeful.
So we have 11 days. In the next 11 days I will be wrapping up a lot of details at my current job, and preparing for my new one. After that time I’ll be joining the quote “Big Leagues” and will be changing some of my habits.
After much discussion, folks input, and E-mails as well as commentary, the decision has been made to keep the doors open here at Registered Evil, and see how it goes.
If we attract no H&I fire, we’ll keep it operation.
If we start taking rounds, I pull the plug.
Sorry folks but family welfare takes priority over much beloved hobbies.
I, personally, will be cutting back not only on when I blog, but what I blog. Sports, Military and History will probably become my forte. Look for more stories like this, to give you an example.
V00d3w will be picking up the slack on political commentary, as well as anyone else who wants to sign up.
We have only a few rules: no pr0n, no Boonie Rat speak*, always consider OPSEC** and keep it civil***. That’s it. Any subject is a go, and nothing else is taboo.
So you want to be a blogger? Want to be a MilBlogger?
Consider this your recruiting call.
Drop us a line here, on Twitter or on Facebook.
* below the jump
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During the course of my career I received the minor reputation as a bit of a madman.
Long hours were my hallmark. The ability to sleep under ones desk and work at a computer station for over 48 hours can not be under rated when talking about project support. The ability to subside purely on coffee, nicotine, and finger nails is a survival ability needed in very few occupations, but practically second nature when on a IT Roll out spanning the entire country.
I have worked almost every position that can be had on a roll out. Field Tech, Help Desk, Help Desk manager, Project coordinator, Project Manager, Logistics, SME, QA Inspector even Safety and Field trainer. I have worked in 38 states. 4 countries. Thats not even including the places I went in the service. Over 1,000 projects, and who knows what the monetary value of all the projects I have worked on would be if I even tried to add them up. I wouldn’t mind having 1% of that, heh.
Now I have been given one step below my dream job: Roll out Specialist. However it’s not just the job, but with who. The number one company on the Fortune 500 list. No other company has more roll outs, and does it on less money than they do. No one. period. You can’t find a bigger, or better, challenge than that.
It’s a corner stone for me, a turning point, and as pilots refer to it: Bingo.