Happy Thanksgiving

For those that celebrated the holiday, or for those that just like to give thanks, and belatedly, Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a quiet week at home. We were both off work for the whole week. I gave a fair bit of time to school work, and a few hours to Skyrim. Marcia quilted and ripped and quilted. We did a big bird for the day itself: 23 pounds. We’ve now got a pot full of yummy turkey soup, a week’s worth of turkey tetrazzini, and more meat left. So, a good week overall. We hope that everyone else enjoyed theirs, as well.

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We’re also thankful for the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make on our behalf. Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Lance Cpl. Joshua D. Corral, 19, of Danville, California, died Nov. 18 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Pvt. Jackie L. Diener II, 20, of Boyne City, Michigan, died Nov. 21 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Cpl. Zachary C. Reiff, 22, of Preston, Iowa, died Nov. 21 of wounds suffered Nov. 18 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

What happens at UC Davis

is what happened at Kent State, and many other places. Democracy and peace and plenty is a momentary aberration: blind cruelty and painful existence is the normal human condition, and I think this experiment is almost over. Our republic’s evolution into a police state is progressing, inch by inch. The beatings will stop when everything is safe. I wonder who it’s safe for?

In much less important news, I finished up the week’s project for class and turned it in. Marcia returned from a weekend-long quilting retreat, and we watched the final Potter film tonight. I enjoyed it.

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. 1st Class Johnathan B. McCain, 38, of Apache Junction, Arizona, died Nov.13, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered after encountering an improvised explosive device while on mounted patrol.
  • Spc. Calvin M. Pereda, 21, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, died Nov. 12, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered after encountering an improvised explosive device while on dismounted patrol.
  • Spc. David E. Hickman, 23, of Greensboro, North Carolina, died Nov. 14, in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered after encountering an improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. James R. Burnett Jr., 21, of Wichita, Kansas, died Nov. 16, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Pfc. Matthew C. Colin, 22, of Navarre, Florida, died Nov. 16, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Sean M. Walsh, 21, of San Jose, California, died Nov. 16, in Khowst province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained after encountering indirect fire.
  • Pfc. Adam E. Dobereiner, 21, of Moline, Illinois, died Nov. 18 at Kandahar province, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Another week spins by

Whoa! Really? Mid-November? Where are the years going?

This week the ‘A’ for my Social Gerontology course landed at the Academic Records Office at UMUC (I made that name up, but it sounds good). Of course, the class wasn’t about whole societies getting older, civilizations dying, etc. Mostly it was an overview of the field of research into anything nontechnical on the subject of aging. You could, I guess, call it Gerontology for non-science majors. As usual, I learned some stuff anyway. The biggest thing I learned, though, was this: To do well in school (as I didn’t do the first time around, and as I am doing this time around), work to excel in the boring classes as well as the interesting ones, too. In 1981, I was politely asked to leave, since I wasn’t passing enough classes. I passed every course… every course I was interested in. Now I’m getting an ‘A’ in every course. Motivational rockin’.

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

Lance Cpl. Nickolas A. Daniels, 25, of Elmwood Park, Illinois, died Nov. 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Pfc. Cody R. Norris, 20, of Houston, Texas, died Nov. 9 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

Pfc. Theodore B. Rushing, 25, of Longwood, Florida. died Nov. 11, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Thank You!

It’s Veteran’s Day here in the US. While I didn’t serve(*), I have nothing but boundless gratitude to and pride in our warriors! My thanks to those that serve now, that served in the past, and my moment of silence goes out to those who have fallen while in service to our country.

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Thank you!

 

[*] – I was a couple of hundred spots shy of getting into the Air Force Academy following high school, and college, rather than service, was the encouraged thing to do at my school. Things would have likely been different if there’d been a hot conflict at the time.

Some Fallen Warriors Are Mothers

Really, there’s nothing that should make the loss of any one of our young men or women any different from one another. This week DoD reported about Cabrera, Newman, Darrough, Eugenio, Gailey, Butcher, Cullers, and Vincent – all of these people gave their lives for our country. Each loss is deeply felt. But please, why are we sending young mothers into war zones? Nineteen year old PFC Sarina Butcher had a three year old daughter. Yeah, we have to follow our laws, and women fought for equal rights, including the right to die for their country in battle. The law of unintended consequences strikes again. Sigh.

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Lt. Col. David E. Cabrera, 41, of Abilene, Texas, died Oct. 29, in Kabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. Christopher R. Newman, 26, of Shelby, North Carolina, died Oct. 29, in Kabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. James M. Darrough, 38, of Austin, Texas, died Oct. 29, in Kabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. Carlo F. Eugenio, 29, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, died Oct. 29, in Kabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
  •  Sgt. Christopher D. Gailey, 26, of Ochelata, Oklahoma, died Nov. 1, in Paktia province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
  • Pfc. Sarina N. Butcher, 19, of Checotah, Oklahoma, died Nov. 1, in Paktia province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. Ari R. Cullers, 28, of New London, Connecticut, died Oct. 30, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when an insurgent rocket-propelled grenade exploded near him.
  • 1st Lt. Dustin D. Vincent, 25, of Mesquite, Texas, died Nov. 3, in Kirkuk province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

Their Sacrifice…

The goal is non-terrorist-friendly countries. Is our path the best way to that goal? Yea or nay, that’s a policy question. There’s no doubt that our men and women in uniform perform their duty at 110%, every day. Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Paul A. Rivera, 26, of Round Rock, Texas, died Oct. 22, in Logar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered in a vehicle rollover during an attack by enemy forces.
  • Lance Cpl. Jordan S. Bastean, 19, of Pekin, Illinois, died Oct. 23 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Airmen 1st Class Jerome D. Miller Jr., 23, of Washington, D.C. died Oct. 13 due to a non-combat related incident in Parwan province, Afghanistan.
  • Pfc. Steven F. Shapiro, 29, of Hidden Valley Lake, California, died Oct. 21 in Tallil, Iraq.
  • Lance Cpl. Jason N. Barfield, 22, of Ashford, Alabama, died Oct. 24 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Capt. Shawn P. T. Charles, 40, of Hickory, N.C., died Oct. 23 in San Antonio, Texas, from a non-combat illness.
  • Sgt. Edward S. Grace, 39, of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, died Oct. 23 in Silver Spring, Md., from a non-combat illness.
  • Sgt. 1st Class David G. Robinson, 28, of Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, died Oct. 25 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Sgt. John A. Lyons, 26, of Seaside Park, New Jersey, died Oct. 26 in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.
  • Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Dunning, 31, of Milpitas, California, died Oct. 27 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

 

Long Week

It’s been a very long week. A lot of work and planning went into two big multi-system transitions at the office. One took most of the day on Friday with follow-up work Saturday morning and today. The second was a bigger job, and we had most hands on deck from 5PM to nearly midnight last night. So far, everything seems to have come off as well as can be expected. Everything that didn’t come off according to plan had contingency planning already completed – our checklists were really good. Yeah … meetings are good for that. Sigh, I really didn’t want to say that.

I also got the lawns mowed, and most of the leaves in the front are mulched down into the lawn. Many of the trees in the back yard are still holding their leaves. The oak in the back corner is just now turning color:

The backyard oak tree is coming into fall color.

The backyard oak tree is coming into fall color.

It also turns out that sometime Lexi doesn’t want her picture taken. Unlike our Lucy, who was a camera hog, Lexi seems to often make an effort to not be a good photo subject, and other times tries to beat a slinking retreat:

Lexi retreats from the camera

Lexi retreats from the camera

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor, 25, of Hurst, Texas, died Oct. 13, in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Spc. Michael D. Elm, 25, of Phoenix, Arizona, died Oct. 14 in Khowst, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. James R. Leep Jr., 44, of Richmond, Virginia, died Oct. 17 in Babil province, Iraq.
  • Staff Sgt. Jorge M. Oliveira, 33, of Newark, New Jersey, died Oct. 19 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Border, 31, of West Lafayette, Ohio, died Oct. 19 while assessing a route in Paktika province, Afghanistan.
  • 1st. Lt. Ashley I. White, 24, of Alliance, Ohio, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, of San Diego, California, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Pfc.Christopher A. Horns, 20, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

The Duty

A busy weekend – the second paper for the Social Gerontology class is submitted. We got down to the District yesterday, and saw the new Degas exhibition at the Phillips Collection. A very nice day, and great weather for wandering about. Marcia’s knee wasn’t too happy about that after the fact, more’s the pity. Today, mostly shopping and chores and whatnot.

 

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

Capt. Joshua S. Lawrence, 29, of Nashville, Tennessee, died Oct. 8, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade.

Capt. Drew E. Russell, 25, of Scotts, Michigan, died Oct. 8, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade.

Chief Warrant Officer James B. Wilke, 38, of Ione, California, died Oct.10, in Doha, Qatar.

Staff Sgt. Nathan L. Wyrick, 34, of Enumclaw, Washington, died Oct. 10 in Kandahar province.

Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Michael R. Tatham, 33, of University Place, Washington, was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident, Oct. 12, while on rest and recuperation leave from supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Bali, Indonesia.

Lance Cpl. Scott D. Harper, 21, of Winston, Georgia, died Oct. 13 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Robert B. Cowdrey, 39, of Atwater, Ohio, died Oct. 13 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered during combat operations.

Spc. Jeremiah T. Sancho, 23, of Palm Bay, Florida, died Oct. 13 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Garden beds turned and dressed for winter.

Garden beds turned and dressed for winter.

Mostly chores and a bit of school work defined this weekend. I turned over the garden this weekend, and mowed the lawns. With a warm-ish week, the lawns both grew quite a bit. Washed the car, cleaned and organized in the house today. Tired and a bit sore, and debating whether to clean out the front beds, or wait for the first frost. I’m leaning towards the latter right now.

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Our condolence to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Pvt. Danny Chen, 19, of New York, died Oct. 3 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
  • Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt, 24, of San Antonio, Texas, died Oct. 6 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Ricardo Cerros Jr., 24, of Salinas, California, died Oct. 8 in Logar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.

Day and Duty

The day was successful, in that everything that needed doing got done. Shopping, coffee roasting, further research for school project, school work, lots of dog walking. Additionally, more of Marcia’s wall-mounted shelving started auto-detaching. So I pulled the balance off and patched the holes. I purchased two more 4′ wide x 6′ tall wire rack units (6 shelves each) to put into that space, and assembled them. Marcia’s already started reorganizing all that fabric onto the new storage.

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I was looking at the flow chart that SF Signal created for the NPR Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. It turns out that on the SF side, I only missed the top marks by not reading any of the Star Wars fiction (Really in the Top 100? Really?) and, it appears I’ve missed Connie Willis. So there’s an author to add to my reading list. I’ve read 85% or so of the rest of the books on that chart, too. Of course, I only just recently read the Vorkorsigan Saga, and Bob’s been after me to read those for ages.

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The worst of times for sixteen of our friends and family at war. Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Tyler N. Holtz, 22, of Dana Point, California, died Sept. 24 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.
  • Spc. Francisco J. Briseno-Alvarez Jr., 27, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, died Sept. 25 in Laghman province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
  • Lance Cpl. Franklin N. Watson, 21, of Vonore, Tennessee, died Sept. 24 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Garrett A. Fant, 21, of American Canyon, California, died Sept. 26 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • 1st Lt. Ryan K. Iannelli, 27, of Clarksboro, New Jersey, died Sept. 28 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Lance Cpl. John R. Wimpey Cagle, 19, of Tucker, Georgia, died Sept. 28 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • 1st. Lt. Andres Zermeno, 26, of San Antonio, Texas, died Sep. 25 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade.
  • 1st Lt. Ivan D. Lechowich, 27, of Valrico, Florida, died Sep 28, in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Steven E. Gutowski, 24, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, died Sep 28, in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  •  Pfc. David A. Drake, 21, of Lumberton, Texas, died Sep 28, in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. Nicholas A. Sprovtsoff, 28, of Davison, Michigan, died Sept. 28 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Christopher Diaz, 27, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died Sept. 28 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Adrian G. Mills, 23, of Newnan, Georgia, died Sept. 29 in Kirkuk, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by insurgents using indirect fire.
  • Spc. James A. Butz, 21, of Porter, Indiana, died Sept. 28 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
  • Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Caleb A. Nelson, 26, of Omaha, Nebraska,died after his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device while conducting a combat patrol in Zabul province, Afghanistan on Oct.1.
  • First Sgt. Billy J. Siercks, 32, of Velda Village, Missouri, died Sept. 28 in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds suffered Sept. 27 in Logar, Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit using indirect fire.