Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here is a cool wintery picture I took out the window of the plane. I'm pretty sure it's Mt. Rainier that is sticking through the clouds, but there are so many mountains in the area, and I don't really know how long we had been flying when I snapped it. The clouds look like white waves lapping against an island. I got to come home for 10 days for the holidays. It is so good to be at home with the family. I hope everyone is having as good of a time as I am.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's uncomfortably cold here.

I don't like the cold. I've always heard that at least in the cold you can always add more layers to get warm, while in the heat you can only take off so many layers. That sounds like a great idea, but when it comes to putting it in practice I find it less than effective. The main problem has more to do with the army though. The army doesn't pay any of the soldiers by the hour. We get a salary whether we work 23 hours a day, or not at all. As a result of this, it's much easier to have everyone hurry up and get in line, and then wait as long as it takes. In the civilian world it would be more efficient to set up schedules or appointments and manage employee's time. In the army, time is free, so we do a lot of "hurry up and wait". So my main problem with the cold, is balancing between to much cold weather gear, and not enough. If I have to much gear on, I'm comfortable while we are waiting around, but then I'm overheated and sweaty when we start running around playing army games. The exact opposite problem happens if I wear too little cold gear; I end up freezing while we stand around and I'm just right while we are busy. I chose the wrong day to go light on layers. The training that we did ended up being less physical than I had anticipated, and the weather was much colder than I expected. The picture was taken today right after we got back to the barracks. I was standing on the stairs leading up to said barracks when I took both of those pictures.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Meaning of christmas?

Here is a quote from an anonymous poster the other day.
I'm curious what you tell your children the meaning of Christmas is.
I'm curious if you even know what the meaning of christmas is? It really doesn't have the same meaning for everyone. For me it is a time to love and cherish my family. Although, it's hard to love and cherish them more than I already do. Maybe it is just about the toys. There definitely isn't a standard meaning of christmas. It doesn't even have the same general concept from one country to another, and from one time period to another. The history of christmas has far less to do with Christ than most people think. If you'd like a brief overview of the history of christmas, check out this bit on the history channel website. Did you know that christmas used to be illegal in the United States? I had no idea.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

God is great, god is good

You may have heard the prayer god is great, god is good, let us thank him for our food, by his hand we are fed, give us lord our daily bread. I was thinking about saying grace and ended up writing a little poem. It's not as great as anything over at Digital Cuttlefish or anything, but maybe someone will like it. I guess that's what happens when you don't have anything to do riding in the back of a humvee all the time.

God is fable, god is fake
myths, wife's tales, a big mistake
Blindly following and misled
don't they know that god is dead?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thank you god for choosing me...

Fuck everyone else. That's all I can think of anytime I see someone saying grace. Every meal at the chow hall there is at least one person bowed in prayer thanking god for the wonderful meal they are about to eat. It makes me sick really. Are they completely unaware of how many people are starving in this world? If you are thanking god for your food, then you must think he had something to do with it being in front of you. If he is the one giving people food, then how come there are people in the world without food? Is that because of the devil? God can fight off the devil for you, but not for the millions of little children all over the world? If ever a prayer would be answered, it would be in the case of a starving child. Regardless of what god or religion the child has heard of, that internal voice asking for help would be answered if there truly was a god. If you can't see that, then you must really think you are special.

If you think that evil is in this world in order to give us the power of choice, then you must never have been to Baskin Robbins. They've got more than 31 flavors to choose from, some of those choices are pretty tough to make, and not one of them involves, starving, raping, murder, war, genocide, or nazis. Next time you are thanking god for the delicious meal in front of you, think about who/what you are really thanking, and why.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hello from Yakima Training Center

Here is a picture of the barracks I'm in right now. They are actually pretty nice, as long as you don't like chairs or desks or dressers or wall lockers that lock. The one chair you can see in the picture is the only one in the barracks. It's so weird the things that you take for granted. I would love to sit down on a couch and watch a little bit of tv. Oh well, what are you going to do. It's really not to bad here. The chow is pretty good, and even though the it's really cold (at least compared to Texas), they gave us very nice cold weather gear. Brand name Polartec cold weather gear with 7 different layers that will keep us warm down to minus 40 degrees (supposedly).

I'm also not the only atheist around, so that is nice. There are 3 other full blown atheists. There is also one spiritual but not religious, and one that is basically a diest that enjoys the community that a church provides. There are also some young earth creationists, and a few very devout catholics. One of the catholics was passing out rosemary beads that were blessed by the pope. I touched one of them and it cured the cancer that I didn't have. It's really quite amazing. I have already sat through two prayers, one praying to a general god, and one to (baby) Jesus. They weren't mandatory per say, but they were both following official military classes that were mandatory. I could have made a stink and gotten released I'm sure, but I don't really mind and I'd rather not have the whole battalion (minus 5 others) against me.