Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spirit of Christmas

So today I go into work as usual when my buddy called me over to his van. He hands me an unwrapped Japanese Toy Police Car that has light up lights and siren, and says Merry Christmas. I am touched by the gesture but at that time had nothing to gift back...So as I walk to my car, I think to myself, what can I buy in return for him for Christmas...I don't have a lot of money to spare for Xmas this year, but I still feel obligated to give him a gift in return, even if it is something small.

It seems like another boring day on the pier standing watch when around early afternoon I receive a call. My buddy calls me and wants to know if my crew and I could cover his watch on Monday after our three day weekend so he could go do a volunteer project, I think nothing of it and agree that we can take care of him. My biggest thing with my unit is, we never say no to a shipmate who asks for help.

After working out the details, he asks me for another favor. This month we are pulling duty on the 25th, 26th, and 27th. With the holiday stand down, all sections are at minimal manning and have just enough people to cover each post. His father is going to be in town and he wants to spend the holiday's with him. He asks if we can again cover for him, for at least half a day each of the three days. He then tells me that can be my Christmas gift to him. We work out the details, and I agree it will be done. What he doesn't know though, is that I am going to go one step further...He will have all of Christmas day off to spend with his father, his wife, and his daughter.

It is interesting to read everyone's Facebook Posts, and posts on other sites about how much they spent on Christmas, what they bought, and who they bought for, how much shopping they did, how crazy it was trying to shop, finding the perfect gift, etc, and all the usual talk that comes along with Christmas. People tend to forget, that you can give a non material gift to someone through a gesture of goodwill and lending a helping hand, and to that person (ie my buddy) that is worth more than any material gift.

Lets not forget what the spirit of Christmas is really about.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Passed but not advanced....Nothing to be mad or upset about either

Well the results for the MA1 exam just came out today. It turns out that due to quota's, only 13 MA2's were advanced to MA1 Navy Wide...Now here is a brief summary of how I did.

Your Final Multiple: 200.16

Minimum Multiple Req'd: 215.29

YOUR OVERALL PERCENTILE WAS 98. YOU SCORED HIGHER THAN 98 PERCENT OF THE CANDIDATES IN YOUR RATE WHO TOOK THIS EXAM

SUBJECT CANDIDATE PASSED THE EXAMINATION FOR MA1, BUT DUE TO QUOTA LIMITATIONS CANNOT BE ADVANCED TO THE NEXT HIGHER PAY GRADE

Normally people get upset when they don't make it to the next higher paygrade...Am I kicking myself? Maybe a little bit...And now I know where my weak areas are that I need to study. But there is an upside to this story:

Last exam results:

Your Final Multiple: 190.5

Minimum Multiple Req'd: 205.03

YOUR OVERALL PERCENTILE WAS 89. YOU SCORED HIGHER THAN 89 PERCENT OF THE CANDIDATES IN YOUR RATE WHO TOOK THIS EXAM

SUBJECT CANDIDATE PASSED THE EXAMINATION FOR MA1, BUT DUE TO QUOTA LIMITATIONS CANNOT BE ADVANCED TO THE NEXT HIGHER PAY GRADE


My score increased by 10 and my percentile increased 9%.

That is something to be proud of and I am going to pin my profile sheet in front of me on my desk and make it a point to study my weak areas and next time I will not only make MA1 off the spring exam but I will also do it and graduate college at the same time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More of the M60 Machine gun

Since I have been going in nightly and cleaning this damn thing, I figured I would post more pics of my favorite gun :) The M60 Medium Machine Gun (source Wikipedia)

Eddie Manned

Harbor Boat Mounted

Humvee Mounted

Somewhat useful at night LOL

Mounted with Ammo ready to go (sort of)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I love you Grandma Weiler.

Well I was getting ready for work today when a message came through on the computer from my dad...It turns out that my Grandma Weiler was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, and that it is terminal...Meaning she isn't going to be with us very much longer...The doctors are sending her home to hospice. I tried to hold it in but when I tried to tell Lori, all I could do was cry...As I sit here and write this, I am doing my best to hold back the tears.

Just last August we went home for Lori's 10 year Reunion and took an entire month to visit family. While we were in town we went and visited my grandmother at her house for dinner. On the way there we turned a two hour car trip into a four hour car by trusting a GPS. We had to keep constantly calling my grandma to find our way but we finally managed to get there.

I helped my aunt with a couple things while grandma got dinner started. Then we got back to the house and my aunt started helping with dinner while Lori and I hung around the kitchen. It was nice to just sit there and chat and make jokes. For my grandma's age she is sharp as a tack when it comes to witty humor and jokes.

Dinner was pretty much the same; chatting, and bantering. Afterwards, we all settled in the living room. Lori and Aunt Cathy carried on their own little conversation while grandma and I watched the news. Afterwards the Seahawks game was coming on, but the channel was changed to a cooking show. Guess grandma wasn't a football or Seahawks fan LOL. The cooking show turned out to be much more entertaining.

The sun started to set and Lori and I decided rather than get lost around Clear Lake and Yelm in the dark, it was time to head home while we could still find our way out. We bid farewell to my grandma and my aunt and made plans to visit again next time we were in town. As we were backing out of the driveway my grandma waved to us and then stood there. As we got the car straightened out on the road we waved one last time and then headed off.

I look back on this memory and all the other memories I have shared with my family, and have learned that life is very short. You never know or wonder, when you see someone that if thats the last time you will see them.

I close this entry with this: Make time to spend time with family, loved ones, and friends. Cherish each and every moment, because you just never know when or if you will see each other again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Off Roading...

So today for whatever reason, I decide to come into work early and log some hours driving the humvee around base. The off going section supervisor is fully qualifed to take people out and drive along with them and sign off the hours logs.


After getting to base and hanging out for a bit, the off going sup. and one of his guys come rumbling up in the humvee. His guy and I switch out and we are on our way. One key thing about a humvee...NO AIR CONDITIONER!!! So I start driving off, and its just like a car only bigger and wider. We get going and I am told that he has areas on the base that make for some nice courses and push the humvee (and driver) to the limits (keeping safety in mind though)...We will see...I am also told to do exactly what he says when he says otherwise I could end up wrecking the humvee and injuring both of us....This should be fun....


I start driving and am told to head towards Army Hill. As we come up around a corner I am instructed to take it off the road and down a hill...Now at the top of the slope it doesn't look so bad...Then you start down and you think you are going to hit nose first at the bottom...it isn't until you are almost all the way down that your front wheels catch and you level out...Here comes the fun part...Getting back up...


I am told to straighten out as much as possible and crawl it back up the hill...Well I don't get it quite straight and my upward decent is stalled and I slide sideways back down...Ok straighten out a little more I am told and try again...As we start up, I go from looking at the hill to looking at the sky...I am thinking HOLY SHIT we are gonna FLIP this bitch over...But the humvee is designed to climb hills up to 60 degrees and traverse 40 degree inclines. The front wheels catch pavement, and we are now back on the road...


We head to the next obstacle which is pretty much identicle except now its the beach with more room, and less steeper slope, and now with POURING RAIN...This time I make it up with ease and a little more confidence and we press on...


After hauling ass up Army Road, we drive to the next test...The hill traverse...We take the humvee down a REALLY narrow dirt road and come to a nice incline/slope. I am told to put my humvee sideways on it and traverse it until told to straighten out. As I start my traverse, I ask my trainer "are we gonna roll?" the next few phrases are pretty much OMG OMG OMG until I straightend out and off the slope, the trainer laughing the whole time. Ok task accomplished...


We head down the hill and through the campgrounds...I am told next to drive over the curb and hit the beach...When I get on the beach I am told to throttle it and keep going (otherwise we'd get stuck) HELL YES!!! Time to haul ass across the beach. Now the tides and wash have created semi little berms which I just fly over like they are nothing...I am actually using the humvee for its intended purpose and LOVING every minute of it.


Next we head to a rock wall which with my renew'd confidence in the humvee and my adrenaline pumping, I make very short work of climbing, then its a quick hop over the curb (they don't stand a chance) and back to HQ to park the beast.


After a couple attempts I get it backed in and parked and when we get out, we notice all the sand stuck to the bottom front of the humvee and all up in the tires.


HA HA HA MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tip-A-Cop

Ok so it is the time of year where all the cops on the island are working on raising money for the Special Olympics. Tonight we held a Tip-A-Cop Fundraiser at MCB Camp Foster Macaroni Grill. Our job as it was explained was to bus tables for "tips"

I was thinking "WTF have I gotten myself into" We would be doing dirty work like that...GROSS!!! Well there is a silver lining behind every cloud...Mine came as a we need a greeter at the front to greet customers as they come in...CHA CHING!!! To the front I would go...Until...Wait we need someone with the KSO T-shirt...Damn fired before I started...GAY!!! Fool me twice...

Well then the real silver lining came and I was assigned to work behind the bar...No really I was just suppose to bus and reset the three tables in my section as needed and clean glasses for the bartender...Ok not so bad...But...It was waaaayyyy more then I expected.

We started getting busy and the bartender shows me how to work the little soda gun...So the next thing I know I am up to making drinks. I could only make non-alcoholic due to several laws, statues, liabilites, and just the idea that it would be bad for a sailor of all people to dispense alcohol LOL...But I could serve them as they were made along with virgin drinks I made.

As the hours passed we got even more busy, and I yelled to the bartender to throw me her tablet so I could start taking orders...Next thing I know, I am actually waiting the tables in my section and calling out drink and food orders to the bar like Gordon Ramsey (minus the theatrics) greeting people as they sit down (required for our tips for KSO) getting drink orders, making drinks, calling out orders, tracking orders, washing glasses...Suddenly I was doing it ALL!!! and quite well I might add :)

I was asked several times throughout the night if I had previous waitstaff/server/bartender experience. The only thing I use to do was work at Taco Hell for 6 months prior to joining the Navy...After that I did a brief stint working as a Food Service Attendant on the mess decks for three weeks before I put on E-4...

So really I had no "real" experience doing what I was doing. I was told I did my job tonight like a pro and that I was a natural. A couple times the bartenders just sat back and let me go. I know I wasn't in charge by any means but they said I sure took charge of the bar and kicked some serious ass :) Hell I was even offered a part time job working there several times as well LOL

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Hoopty Bites the Dust

Ok so last Wednesday I had to go into work on my day off for a gun shoot qualification. Heading my usual route, I had crested a hill and was starting down to the seawall. In front of me was a car stopped on the side of the road, and there was also oncoming traffic so I could not safely pass. I stopped about a car length and a half behind the car. Unfortunately for me the car behind me didn't stop and slammed right into the rear of my car.


Up close shot of the damage

Side view of my car

Full frame shot

The car of the guy who hit me

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Neighbors

So about a week ago we arrived back here from Seattle after a 4 week vacation. While we were gone we had our next-door neighbors taking care of our cats for us. Pretty simple task, make sure they had food, water, scoop the box/change the litter, and pay them a little bit of attention.

We didn't get a chance to iron out the details as far as compensation and what not, but I had offered to maybe have them over for dinner once we got back in and got settled. We got back about a week ago, and I got the keys to the house and thanked my neighbors for their help.

While I was there I extended an invitation to have them over for dinner my next weekend off. They said we would talk about it later and with that I headed home. Last Thur. I walked over and re-extended the invitation but was told they might be busy Sat. so I offered up Sunday. She said they would get back to us.

Come today I hadn't heard from them so I caught up with them as they were coming in and for the 3rd time extended my invitation for dinner. My neighbor said he wanted to talk about that so after he helped his wife get stuff in the house he came back out.

He told me that while we were gone he noticed our house wasn't very clean and that it was very unkempt. He also said that they don't care how we live and had no problem helping us out with the cats and the yard, but wasn't comfortable with having him and his family come over to our house for dinner...Taken back by his comments I really didn't have anything else to say, so I just went back inside.

It was pretty simple, take care of the cats...Didn't realize our neighbors were going to come over and judge our house and us based on what their standards of clean are...So what if my house isn't spic and span, I DO clean it, and really clean it if we are expecting company...I am not going to deep clean it daily, and I certainly as hell am NOT going to clean it top to bottom RIGHT before I go on vacation.

Understand this...We have two cats, they do use the litter box, they do kick litter everywhere, they do have a tendency to barf wherever whenever. They also shed, animals DO THAT!!! so to sit there and judge us and our house, you can GFY!!! I will never EVER EVER EVER extend another invitation to your snobby asses...BTW FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON.

Friday, September 11, 2009

8 years ago...

Well another night passes here at work and I am working as Dispatcher/Desk Sergeant. Today I am a Master At Arms 2nd Class stationed in Okinawa Japan.

8 years ago I was an Aviation Electronics Technician Airman stationed aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) I still remember the vivid details of the day which would changed the lives of everyone.

We were on our way to the Persian Gulf to support Operation Southern Watch. I remember waking up for work (I worked nights) There was an odd silence about the berthing...Usually there is laughter and banter and the tv blaring the evening movie...But not that day.

I got dressed and walked around the corner to see my fellow sailors huddled around the tv watching the news. There was a breaking story that a plane had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I had some time before I had to report to work so intrigued by the breaking news, I found a seat and quietly joined the group.

We sat there and watched for a bit...What we saw next could only be described as something you see in Hollywood. We all watched in horror as another plane smashed directly into the South Tower of the WTC...America was under attack.

Less than a month later (Oct 7th 2001) America would launch a massive campaign (Operation Enduring Freedom) in Afghanistan determined to find Osama Bin Laden and those responsible for the attacks on the United States.

I remember Sept 11th and will never forget.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ikei Island

Today Lori and I went out picture taking again...We had planned on heading north along the island but since I had to go to the base to take care of something we decided on somewhere closer. It just so happens that Ikei Island is right between where I work and where we live so we made a trip there :)

ZOMG WHERE'S MAH FEETZ!!!

The Beach of course

Surfs Up DUDE!!!

Even bigger Mondo waves

Love the view of the beaches :)

And of course the view straight off the edge of the cliff

And of course we can't forget the local wildlife

ZOMG Hermit Crabs

ZOMG a Snail

ZOMG Fishys

And lastly HOLY SHIT A GIANT SPIDER!!!

And of course we have signs that well I think we understood LOL

Fire breathing red snake?

Danger???

Awww c'mon you knew this one was coming, I never pass up the opportunity to take a pic of the flora :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

M60 Gun Shoot 7/14/09

M-60 Medium Machine Gun

Our mobile shooting platform

Belts of 7.62 X 39 Ball Ammunition

Loading the gun
GET SOME!!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

HSB 108, I am in command

(HSB 108 28ft Dauntless Class SeaArk)

Ok so today I was originally assigned to AWASE Main Gate/White Beach Patrol, to facilitate my patrolman board that I was suppose to take at 0900 upon my return from AWASE. Well things change as usual and we are down one person. I am reassigned to the boat for the day along with another one of the guys, and was told I would take my patrolman board when we returned from escort duty.

Our day starts off with meeting the off going crew on the pier for turnover and what not...We get down to the boat and go through our report, and everything is on track to get underway...There is just one hitch, I am the primary coxswain this time.

I gently back the boat off the pier and take her underway and out of the boat basin. So far so good...We get out on the water and I commence my usual area sweep which consists of checking the waterside areas of the ships, then we take station in a central area where we can react and engage any and all threats.

The morning goes on and my partner/gunner is sound asleep in his seat, I put on my I-pod, and every so often do a security sweep of the area as we wait for the tugs to show up to take the ships out to sea.

The tugs arrive sometime around 8am and my partner suits up to go do his inspection...New task, I have to nose up to the tug (never done it before) and drop my partner off, then nose back up and pick him up...I make my approach and as I nose up, I cut my throttles to gently bring my boat up to the tug, Now at this point I have to judge when to reverse my throttles so that I don't impact/bump the tug but at the same time not dump my partner into the water between the two vessels. Well I judged a little too late and bumped into the tug (at least they had bumpers) Then break off to wait for my partner to be ready to be picked up. The pickup this time was much easier, I got my partner and managed to not bump the tug this time YAY ME!!!
Once our tug inspections are done, it is a matter of waiting for the ship to get underway so we can commence to our escort...It is usually routine in nature and nothing ever happens...That was until today...

As the ship is being pulled out, a fishing boat crosses into our area...Time for interdiction...First time at the wheel and in command of our boat and I am chasing...Our goal is to keep him away from the ship. I bring my boat abreast with his starboard side and we start signalling him to change course...It took some doing but we forced him to alter his course and leave the area...Ok he is gone...Easy day...

Well we make contact with our ship and commence to escort...Off our starboard side we notice a fast moving boat heading perpendicular to where we are and on a possible collision course with the ship we were escorting...FLASHING LIGHTS ON, rock and roll...We head out to meet the contact and to verify intent...Well as we get closer he is in no way shape or form moving...I decide to hit the siren...Scared the shit out of my partner but at the same time got this boats attention and he decided to alter course and leave.

After that I am shaking from the adrenaline rush of what has happened so I have partner take the helm, I am done for the day, time to take a break. I take over gunner duties and as we are getting ready for another escort...damn more speedboats...WTF is wrong with people today??? My partner moves to intercept and I take my M-4 and step out on deck, that didn't take much to get them to think twice

We finally finish our last escort and head back to moor in the boat basin...Our old lines have been replaced with heavier (probably due to typhoon season) mooring lines. We go to pull into the boat basin and I jump to the pier to tie the bow line...Well one thing leads to another and we bump the port ops boat (oops)...Thankfully we only knicked paint of their engine guard (glad they had that) We get the boat tied, report finished and call for pickup

Another happy day on the water

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pics from a day of Harbor Security

Sunrise Over White Beach Naval Station

Me shootin deuces

My Controls: GPS, Compass, Monitor,
Radar, RPM Guages, Trim Indicator, Wheel, Dual Throttles

My view from the Coxswain's Seat

S.O.G. Sealpup knife along with my new assault gloves
(B-day presents)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Half Empty? Half Full....Hmm 2/3's work

So today I was out on the boat all day doing escort and then harbor security for a vessel that pulled into port at work. It is getting towards the end of our shift and we get a call from our dispatch.

Dispatch: "108" (Our call sign) "White Beach" (Their call sign)
Me: Go
Dispatch: What is your fuel status?
Me: Standby

At this point my partner goes to check our fuel...Then asks me what is halfway between 3/4 and 1/2...We both decide that it is 2/3 and snicker because we know that when we call dispatch they won't figure this one out.

Me: "White Beach" "108"
Dispatch: Send it
Me: Be advised both tanks read 2/3's full

*Long Pause* *Wait* *Wait* *Wait*

My partner and I both sit there and laugh because we know dispatch is trying to figure this out...

Me: "White Beach" "108" Did you copy my last?
Dispatch: Is that above or below 3/4's

My Partner and I laugh even harder

Me (Straight Face): "White Beach" "108"
Dispatch: Send it.
Me: Be advised 2/3's is halfway between 3/4 and 1/2

*Background laughter* HSB (1) Dispatch (0)

Dispatch: "108" "White Beach"
Me: Go
Dispatch: Return to boat basin for refuel

Me (Off Radio): Damn it
Partner: I figured they were going to make us refuel

Dispatch (10 for the win) because they are in a nice Air Conditioned Office HSB (Pwn'd) because we spent the rest of our shift in the boat basin fueling our boat by hand using 5 gallon gas cans because the pump on the boat truck is broke...GAY!!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Defense Department regrets to inform you....

Ok so today I was suppose to start my physical security class. I arrived at 0600 as instructed to find out that along with my other classmates we were going to be used as watch standers for a drill that they had planned for that morning...Um yeah the reasoning of using a bunch of people for a drill rather than the actual watch standers was beyond me. Ok hell why not roll with it.

After spending a whole three hours of doing nothing we get our gear and roll out to the gate. Once the real world vehicles were cleared we relieved the armed watches with us and our equipped toy guns and took up post...

It wasn't long before one of the MA1's came wandering in to the gate looking ever so obvious I mean a raincoat when it was sunny and blazing hot, (fully zipped) and green pants...Hmm red flag anyone? Mind you he gets 50ft within the perimeter fence before he is stopped and challenged....Thats not good...The only one thinking at this point is our overwatch and he shoulders his M-16 and takes aim at this "suspicious person"

During the verbal altercation that insued, I got an uneasy feeling and dropped my hand to my gun...Well our "suspicious person" decides he is going to leave, at this point out of nowhere comes another sentry weapon out, my partner yells for the person to halt and which point he starts reaching in the jacket. I draw down on the person as does the other sentry and my partner makes a move to secure the guy's arm...

The next thing we know there is a loud bang, cloud of orange smoke and now my partner and the suspect look like what can only be described as a couple human cheetos as they are covered in orange dust...

We are told the three of us plus the civilian guard that was nearby are all dead...Great killed by the cheeto bomber

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Never give up, never quit

So the time has come as it does every 6 months for every command in the Navy to run their semi-annual PRT's (Physical Readiness Tests) which consists of Sit and Reach, Sit-ups, Push-ups, and choice of 1.5mi run/walk, 12min on the bike, or 12min on the eliptical...The bike and the elliptical you have to burn a certain amount of calories which equates to a run time if you were to do the 1.5mi run.

Yesterday our section gets together after work and we commence to do our PRT...I was able to do 44 sit-ups (probationary but automatic Mando PT), 50 push-ups (Passed), and I ran my run in 14:40 seconds (FAILED!!!)...I didn't walk any portion of the run, but my run just wasn't good enough...

Now a lot is riding on this PRT other than just not getting put on Mandatory PT...As it stands there is a position open with NCIS for an E-5 however, seeing as how my PRT scores sucked I saw my chances of that job slip away...Fortunately we had a bad day clause for our PRT and were allowed to run it again as long as its by next Thursday...I decided that I would give it another shot this morning and was given the option to do the bike instead of run.

I showed up at 0630 at the gym and proceeded to start my PRT all over again...This time, I blew it away 50 sit-ups (Passed) 51 Push-ups (Passed), and burned 135 Calories on the bike in 12min which equated to a 12:45 run time (Passed) and the hopes of going NCIS are back on the table.

I am now beatdown, tired, and sore but my PRT is done with and I will be hitting the gym starting Monday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Katsuren Castle Photo Shoot



Today we revisted Katsuren Castle with a friend of ours who was more than happy to throw on a wedding dress despite the sun and let us do some model pics for her. Thank you Megan :)


This one kind of reminded me of LOTR









And of course what shoot would be complete without pictures of the local flowers and creatures


I haz a flower

I can haz? NOOOO IZ MAH FLOWERZ NO CAN HAZ!!!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Haze Gray and Underway



Due to personality conflicts with my Flight Chief and other problems, my 6 month stint with the Air Force was cut short at 2 months. I was sent back to my command where I fell back into place quite easily.

Today I got a chance to be the Asst. Coxswain/Gunner on HSB 107 and spend my 8 hour shift doing Harbor Security. Finally I WAS TRULY HOME!!!


(HSB 108, same as the boat I was on today)


(A View from where I was sitting in the cockpit)