Thursday, December 26, 2013

Classic '60s & '70s TV Memories

Friday, December 13, 2013

Blast From the Past - Robin 1989

Kenny Chesney - Anything But Mine
Sometimes one college summer can last forever.
She taught me the pain of my selfishness and how to look beyond the weekend.
Here is hoping your life turned out your way.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Prayer For Veterans, Peace At Last

In Flanders Fields 


By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) 
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.Sierrahotel.net

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What it looks like to get hit in the face with a tank shell

What it looks like to get hit in the face with a tank shell

So this is completely terrifying. In a you will probably pee a little bit as you watch this GIF kind of way. In a holy crap wait a minute this isn't a video game right kind of way. No, no it is not. This is what it looks like to take a direct hit from a tank shell in real life. You can see it blast out of the barrel and head straight for your face.

The GIF shows what looks like a T-72 tank firing a tank shell at the camera. The video was uploaded by Lewaa al-Baraa and supposedly taken at Jobar (outside Damascus, Syria).

Friday, October 11, 2013

Stretch At Your Office Desk

5 Simple Stretches To Boost Your Energy At Your Office Desk:

OCTOBER 9 BY JENNIFER WASYLENKO 

Seated Twist Sitting in your chair while keeping a long, tall spine, place your right hand on the outside of your left knee. Use that hand as leverage to twist to your left, and place your left hand as far to the right as possible to have something to hang onto while you twist. Now join it with your breath. Exhale as you move into your twist, inhale as you ease off. Repeat on the other side. Repeat each side 2-3 times.

Chest/Shoulder Opener Sitting on the edge of your chair, clasp your hands behind your back, opening up your chest and shoulders. Inhale/exhale several times, noticing that when you inhale your stretch increases. Release and repeat 2-3 times.

Seated Pigeon I call this one Seated Pigeon as it is a cousin to the yoga pose called Pigeon, which is performed lying on the floor. Clearly this isn’t an option at work. This Seated Pigeon version might not work if you are wearing a short skirt or dress unless you have an office to yourself!

Sit on the edge of your chair and place your right ankle over your left knee. Be sure that your left foot is directly under your left knee. Sit nice and tall, imagining a string is pulling the crown of your head up towards the ceiling. This one is great for releasing your gluteus medius and minimus muscles, as well as your piriformis muscles. These are your hip abductors. These are usually what aches when you sit so much! Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, repeat each side 2-3 times.

Hip Flexor Stretch Sitting truly shortens and tightens your little hip flexor muscle. It’s the one at the front in the crease of your hip. It runs through your pelvis to your back, so when it is tight it often presents with an achy back. To lengthen this one out while at your desk, sit at the edge of your chair but shift to face to your left. Take your right leg and extend it behind you with as straight a knee as you can. Sit tall and lift your sternum while trying to tuck your tailbone under. This increases the stretch. Repeat on the other side. Repeat both sides 2-3 times.

Hamstring Stretch This is an easy one to do either just before you sit down or just after getting up. While standing, soften your right knee and extend your left leg in front of you with your heel on the floor. On your left leg, draw your toes upwards, keep your knee slightly bent so you don’t strain your ligaments behind your knee. You want to feel the stretch in the belly of the muscle (that is, your mid-thigh, at the back of your leg) rather than behind the knee. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and switch to the other side. Repeat each side 2-3 times.

It isn’t necessary to do all of the stretches all at once. Take a stretch break every 45 minutes or so and choose a couple of different stretches. Next time choose a different set of stretches. Simple. Your brain and body will thank you for it!

Putting in a full day at the office can make it hard to find the time to exercise. 29 Exercises You Can Do At (Or Near) Your Desk"

(Via Louisville's Independent Media / LNOradio.com.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself Today

How To Stop hurting yourself

"1. Stop criticizing yourself Give yourself a break already! Everyone makes mistakes. There is nobody in this world who is perfect. Wallowing in the dark pit of regret and self-criticism does not solve anything; it only dampens your spirit and causes physical and emotional pain and hurt. Stop it now. You may wring your hands and loathe yourself for a little while, but don’t do it too long or you will create a problem that wasn’t even there to begin with. Let go once you have fully processed your mistake and replace the self-loathing and criticism with self-reassurance and determination. Tell yourself you will do better next time.

More to read on: 20 Definitions Of Happiness You Need To Know

2. Stop believing the negative opinions of others People say nasty things to each other every day and it has been so for eons. Whether someone says something negative about you out of love or hate, it’s going to hurt to some degree. That said, don’t take things too personally and let negative opinions bring you down. Just because someone says you are ‘crazy,’ ‘lazy’ or ‘worthless’ doesn’t mean it is true. Les Brown says, ‘Other people’s opinions of you do not have to become your reality’ and he is right. Take negative opinions with a grain of salt. You are stronger and more capable than people think and you prove this when you rise up and keep going. Correct what needs correcting and ignore what needs ignoring."

Read the entire article at Life Hacker………

(Via Louisville's Independent Media / LNOradio.com.)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Black Hawk Down" 20 year anniversary.

As a veteran of two wars and three humanitarian support missions I can tell you that this battle was a turning point in the way that the modern US combat soldier fights. Until Delta Force Detachment and company of US Rangers ended up surrounded and fighting against a determined enemy with no fear just blood lust the fighting spirit of the common soldier relied on the belief that Air Support and Artillery would always save the day. Rather than hide the battle under a blanket and never look back the military embraced it, studied it and eventually learned from it. By the time the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan LTC Steele was a living legend and well known guest speaker in pre-command courses and the War College.

After BHD we never forgot that the secret to combat is confidence, training, discipline and the will to fight. 

Never-before-seen military footage of "Black Hawk Down" | khou.com Houston:

"'Black Hawk Down.' Now for the first time, they can see how the actual battle unfolded in footage obtained by 60 Minutes. Lara Logan's report, containing the images and combat veterans' eyewitness accounts of the battle, also follows the secret, 7-month effort of a retired soldier and his wife to repatriate the helicopter's wreckage. This remarkable 60 Minutes story will be broadcast almost 20 years to the day of the battle Sunday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT."

(Via Louisville's Independent Media / LNOradio.com.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

7 Reasons Vladimir Putin Is the World's Craziest Badass | Cracked.com

7 Reasons Vladimir Putin Is the World's Craziest Badass | Cracked.com:

"presided over a sextupling of Russia's GDP, the doubling of average national wages, signed bills mandating increased wages for teachers and nurses, and his approval rating is so constantly, ridiculously high, he's the only world leader reviewed by IGN. Either he is ruthlessly exploiting the media or he is a real-life action hero of such colossal scope that any movie starring him would seem absurd."

(Via Louisville's Independent Media / LNOradio.com.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Trusted Surveillance vs 'Enemy of The State'


Whenever I was asked I would ask, "Have you seen Enemy of the State"? Except for moving the satellites Will Smith got it right ten plus years ago. FYI, insert Drone instead of Satellite.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Despite Flaws, Ashton As Jobs Is Worth Seeing | TechCrunch

Great for a TV movie, $20 plus popcorn night out with the girlfriend.... Nope.
TechCrunch: "If the Jobs filmmakers set out to make something entertaining, they also did a spectacular job. Jobs is inspiring and shows how difficult and isolating it can be to start a company — the long hours, the rejection, occasional wins, loss of personal relationships and the ‘overnight success’ after struggling for years. I think it should, and will be, embraced by the startup and tech communities."
(Via.)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Top 5 Android Apps-July 2013-Google Play

Top 5 Paid Apps-July 2013-Google Play-Distimo | TechCrunch: "Top 5 Paid Apps-July 2013-Google Play"

Tells You Which Programs Are Safe to Remove? Should I Remove It?

Should I Remove It? Tells You Which Programs Are Safe to Remove: " Windows/Web: Should I Remove It? explains what those mysterious processes are in the Windows task manager, shows you what those unlabeled applications are in your programs list, and lets you know if they're safe to stop, uninstall, or delete, all with a single click.

Should I Remove It comes in two flavors: A richly featured web database, and a handy Windows utility that you can fire up whenever you're in the mood to clean up your PC. The app lists running processes and other installed applications to help you figure out what they are, what other programs they may be related to (or necessary for), and whether they're okay to scrub off your system."

(Via.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Barbara Shanklin Ethics Vote Tally

WAVE NEWS:

Shanklin: How the council jurors voted
By Ali Hammond

Image

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After one week of sometimes contentious testimony in her Louisville Metro Council Court ethics trial, Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin was spared removal from the council Wednesday night. 

A 20-member council jury found Shanklin, who represent's Louisville's 2nd district, guilty of misconduct but only 13 members -- one short of the required two-thirds majority -- voted to remove her from office. 
Shanklin faced two charges of misusing her council powers. She was accused of repeatedly failing to disclose conflicts of interest, intentionally deceiving fellow council members and misdirecting taxpayer money. 

In a vote of 16 to 4, the majority found Shanklin guilty of misconduct and willful neglect. Only Attica Scott, David Tandy and Brent Ackerson voted to find Shanklin guilty but voted against her removal from office. 
Attica Scott: District 1 – No                          

Mary C. Woolridge: District 3 - No

David Tandy: District 4 - No

Cheri Bryant Hamilton: District 5 - No

David James: District 6 – No

Ken Fleming: District 7 – Yes

Tom Owen: District 8 – Yes

Jim King: District 10 – Yes

Kevin Kramer: District 11 – Yes

Rick Blackwell: District 12 - Yes

Cindi Fowler: District 14 – Yes

Marianne Butler: District 15 – Yes

Kelly Downard: District 16 – Yes

Glen Stuckel :District 17 – Yes

Marilyn Parker: District 18 – Yes

Stuart Benson: District 20 – Yes

Dan Johnson: District 21 – No

Robin Engel: District 22 – Yes

David Yates: District 25 – Yes

Brent Ackerson: District 26 – No

 
 
Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

(Via.)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Text Expander, Saves 50 work hours over six months

I am a very slow typist. Banging away at less than 40 WPM means my daily 750 word morning assignment took over an hour. With formatting, grammar and spell checking I used to spend up to three hours getting my thoughts organized and ready for the editor. For those of you who write professionally you know that a production rate of 250 WPH is not only unacceptable but a very quick way to go broke writing. The ROI for a writer is the ultimate rating for success regardless of talent level. Think of your favorite author and look at how many published  books, articles, screen plays they grind out every year. For each 1000 words they publish there could be as much as 10,000 words in the garbage or saved in draft form.

The point is writers, even a part time reporter like me, should generate thousands of words each and every day. So saving time and keystrokes becomes a numbers game. Saving keystrokes with automation scripts is something I heard about but never considered since I just write an hour or so a day. I found Text Expander by Smile Software on my employer's website as a suggested download. With a free trial and the encouragement of a few coworkers I quickly became very impressed with the product. Just using the built in snippets I was able to quickly insert properly formatted Headers and Signature blocks into any document with just two key strokes. Long phrases and company specific terminology soon followed as I added them into the easy to use "Snippet Library". Standard replies, email responses and HR compliant counseling formats soon entered my personal snippet library. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Twinkie Return July 15th 2013

The revived "Non-Union Made" snack cakes are due to return to stores next week. After an absence of over 7 months I am in dire need of a true Twinkie made of yellow sponge cake, vanilla cream filling and a shot of Nitrogen to enhance the flavor. Despite the claims of John McClain in "Diehard" the Twinki is only fresh for 45 days. The box I had stashed back in November 2012 is full of hard and crunchy to the touch crumbling imitations of a fresh Twinkie. If stories are true the new owners of the Twinkie brand intend to offer more fiber, less sodium and less saturated fats.
Who cares? I want a pre-World War II, Banana Cream and real Sugar Twinkie just once in my life....
COMING JULY 15TH, 2013!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Military Affairs, Suggested Reading

General Military Grounding

There are several essential reads for professionals involved in military affairs:
Carl von Clausewitz, On War. The author uses a dialectical approach to understanding war without being prescriptive.
Michael Howard, War in European History. This book is excellent, as is anything by this author.
Elting Morison, Men, Machines, and Modern Times. The author discusses the limitations of emerging technologies-specifically, he argues that instead of taming our environment, technology has further complicated it.
Williamson Murray, The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States, and War. This book helps connect military action to strategy.
Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War. The Greek historian shows that the drivers of war-fear, honor, self-interest-haven't changed over time.
Innovation and the world wars
Much has been written about World War I, World War II, and the interwar period-and about how these events changed the nature of war. The following are favorites:
Robert A. Doughty, The Breaking Point: Sedan and the Fall of France, 1940, and Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War
Memoirs and biographies
It is important to understand how leaders have adapted and thought about war and warfare across their careers. The Autobiography of General Ulysses S. Grant: Memoirs of the Civil War is perhaps the best war memoir ever written. The following are some other significant titles:
Carlo D'Este, Patton: A Genius for War
Selected histories of military campaigns
For selected histories of wars and military campaigns, the following are some of my favorites; I've also included recommendations on contemporary threats:
Ancient warfare
Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War
Seven Years' War
The American military profession and the American Revolution
David Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing
Civil War
Franco-Prussian War
World War II
Rick Atkinson, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944; and the forthcoming The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945
Korean War
T. R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War
Vietnam War
Iraq
Afghanistan
Contemporary threats to international security

Friday, June 21, 2013

Guest Hosting, Dale Gillespie's "TNT with Dale The Truth"

Pretty cool, I have been invited to guest host Dale Gillespie's radio show for the next few weeks. Honestly it does make me a bit nervous. I used to co-host and executive produce the "Geeks on Poker" and later the "Poker Night Radio" shows, been on numerous panels and given more live presentations than I care to remember. But with those gigs I was always the subject matter expert and the conversation was generally one way or at least very controlled. With Dale's audience I am going to have to be opinionated, get much louder and let my personal politics loose onto the world. And that my friends is what tempers my spirit.

Last night I was a last minute replacement and had a whole lot of help from Ed but next week I fly solo. What should I do here? Follow Dale's format, Long form interviews, etc... Really I am flying blind. So keep an eye out for next Thursday's show announcement. Perhaps we can tear down a few levels and see who the real players are in Louisville's own version of HBO's GOT???????????


Monday, May 6, 2013

15 rules to effectively lead


'Don't be a douche': 15 rules to effectively lead a platoon

No one thinks they are a bad leader, but it doesn't take much to get there

'Don't be a douche': 15 rules to effectively lead a platoon
(US Army Image)
We've received more than a handful of emails from people asking us to post our thoughts on leadership – mostly from seasoned NCOs who want us to use our powers for good instead of evil (at least every once in a while).
This is a tough one for us to write, because in some ways it starts with the position that we are qualified to teach leadership.  I mean you can go to the store and literally buy hundreds of books on the topic of leadership from real war heroes that should be dead a hundred times over, general officers or sergeants major who have a lifetime of service to the nation, or even business leaders, coaches, or politicians who have made a real difference in the world.  Hell, a lot of the guys that read this site have been to combat four times or more by now!  Candidly, we felt that posting an article on leadership would be more than a little presumptuous.
Nevertheless, the emails have continued coming in – as a result, I posed this dilemma to one the NCOs in the Ranger Up Militia.  "Why should we tread on ground that so many great leaders have already covered," I asked.  "Simple," he replied, "You won’t write it with the intent of making yourself look like a big deal, which means someone might actually listen."
His logic was hard to argue with, so we drew straws and for this one you're stuck with me.  I've decided to write it from a platoon leader's perspective, because no one needs more help than a 2LT, but hopefully most of my comments transcend all levels of leadership.  So here goes:
1.) Don't be a douche.
I am dead serious.  Nothing pissed me off more than watching some wannabe tough guy treat his people like shit and then hear someone say "that's his leadership style".  NO-GO.  I fully admit there are a lot of ways of running a unit, but the foundation of leadership is integrity and love for your people.  You can be hard and have high standards, but you cannot treat people like their existence is to serve you, amuse you, and accelerate your career.  That is not a leadership style, it's an ego trip.  Get over yourself or you will find yourself getting a wood line attitude adjustment .
My first boss was a hard ass.  We had the best trained unit in the Brigade because he was always pushing for additional training.  On the surface of it, one would argue he was doing everything right.  When one of my NCOs found out his mother was dying, the commander actually tried to convince him that he shouldn't go see her, because his guys needed him more.  This was pre-9/11.   He was willing to trade one of his men's last moments with his mother in order to minimize the risk that his unit might get a slightly lower grade on the training exercise. Instantly, everyone realized that all his training wasn't to take care of us at all – this guy was really just a spotlight Ranger. His actions led to my first counseling by the Battalion Commander, but that is a different story.  In short, don't be a douche. 
2.) Your guys are more important than your career. 
This ties in nicely with my last point, but it is worthy of its own bullet.  You’re all going to be civilians someday, no matter how much you love the military or how long you serve.  Years from now, the fact that you made Colonel or Sergeant Major won't erase the fact that you threw some unsuspecting subordinate under the bus to avoid punishment, and it certainly won't remove a stupid decision you made based on pressure from above that got someone killed or injured.  Every leader I've ever respected has been willing to stand in the Gates of Fire when it mattered.  If you're not willing to do this for your people, be honest with yourself and quit.  Join corporate America – you'll just annoy people, not get them killed, and you'll make more money.  Everyone wins.
3.) Be good at your job. 
Every day you should be working your ass off to be technically and tactically skilled (note I didn't say proficient – you need to be better than that).  You should be asking questions, reading, practicing, and training.  You can be a super-nice dude or dudette who loves your troops, but if you don't know how to train them, lead them, and they aren't ready for combat, you are a colossal failure.  If you look deep inside, you'll know the truth of where you are in this regard.  Either fix it or quit.
4.) It's not your platoon. 
Imagine you'd been doing a job for 12-15 years and grew so good at it that you were chosen ahead of others to lead 40 men into combat…with one caveat.  You're not actually in charge – some kid young enough to be your son is in charge…and you have to train him… but he rates you.  You couldn't make this shit up, right?  When you're walking into that platoon, appreciate the fact that you're not the badass here.  You, like your men and your platoon sergeant, have a job to do, and it is your job to do that as best you can.  Acknowledge their experience and allow them to help you grow.
Towards the end of my time with my first platoon, my platoon sergeant and I were a team to be envied.  We had figured out who was going to do what and we had each other's backs.  He had been very "anti-PL" over the last few years (I was his fourth platoon leader), but decided to give me a chance when I shook his hand for the first time and said, "SFC Stewart – it looks like I'll be spending a year or so in your platoon.  Thanks for having me."  I'll give full credit to my dad, a former NCO, for that one but it was my firm intent to let him know I needed to learn and that I respected his position and sacrifice, and our men benefited as a result.
5.) It is your platoon. 
We were at CMTC getting ready for our field problem.  I was at an OPORD and my platoon sergeant had everyone in the bay cleaning equipment.  Two of my new soldiers got into a fistfight over something stupid (one of them fancied himself a rapper and the other one felt his rap sucked – damn eighteen year olds).  My platoon sergeant punished them by having the entire platoon outside in the mud wearing all of their recently cleaned equipment.  He was smoking the ever-loving shit out of them when I rolled up on the scene.  Spotting me, he made the motion to stay back (this was NCO business).  So I hung low and watched from a distance so my guys couldn't see me.  Just then Sergeant Major Chickenhawk rolled up – the same Sergeant Major that I hated and had recently outlawed this kind of "hazing" because it was politically expedient to do so.  He grabbed my platoon sergeant by the shoulder and started digging into to him in front of my guys.  I ran over and told the CSM that this was my platoon and that he could have the conversation with me.  He told me that this was NCO business and I responded that my platoon sergeant was acting under my command with my permission to discipline the men.  He walked me over to the battalion commander.  They had me don my gear and do mud PT to "show me" how it felt.  Well – you can't smoke a rock.
Yes, your platoon sergeant has more experience.  Yes, he can run circles around you in a lot of areas.  Yes, he should probably be in charge over you – but he isn't.  You are, and anything that happens or fails to happen in your platoon is your responsibility.  Furthermore, in this scenario, I had a great platoon sergeant and I agreed with him.  But not all platoon sergeants are good and not all good platoon sergeants are always right – you need to trust your own judgment and execute accordingly, even if it means pissing your PSG off.
6.) Don't lie, ever, for any reason. 
This isn't grade school.  Your actions matter.  If you fuck up, admit it as soon as possible, even if you think it'll hurt your career.  The team cannot work on a solution until they know the truth, and this is one of the few jobs in the world where lies can get people killed.  Furthermore, the military, for all its faults, is one of the few places on earth where honest mistakes are actually forgiven.  Conversely, it is one of the few places where lies are extravagantly and brutally punished, and rightly so.
7.) You make mistakes – admit them. 
Don't be that guy.  Your men don't expect perfection.  They expect you to strive every day for perfection.  You'll be wrong a lot.  Fess up, get over it, get their feedback and drive on.  They will respect you infinitely more and they will trust you for it, as opposed to committing themselves over and over again to proving, quite creatively and to everyone's amusement, that you are often wrong.
8.) Leader is not equal to BFF. 
I loved my guys.  I still love my guys, even though I'm very far removed from being in command.  Many good-intentioned leaders make the mistake of believing that being a great leader means never having your guys be upset with you and hanging out with them all the time.  There's nothing wrong with taking your platoon out for a night on the town.  There's nothing wrong with socializing with guys when you bump into them at a bar.  There is something wrong with passing out on your PV2s couch at 3AM.  Once you become "one of the guys", you're no longer their leader, and they need you to be in charge a lot more than they need another buddy.
9.) You're not the smartest guy in the platoon. 
A lot of guys make the mistake of thinking that because they have achieved a certain rank, or have a certain degree; they are in some way superior to the others in their unit.  In my first platoon alone, I had 7/20 privates or specialists with college degrees – one with a master's degree.  One of them was literally a genius, having maxed out the MENSA (weak-ass organization, by the way) test.  You're not in charge because you're the smartest or most talented or anything else – you're in charge because you signed up to be the LT.  Don't act superior, because you aren't – just do your job.
10.) You can never quit.
You don't have to be the fastest runner, or do the most pushups, or be the best at combatives, or be the best shot, but you can never quit.  The second your guys see you give up, you've lost them.  Period.
11.) You are not the focal point of your subordinates' lives.
They don't spend their nights thinking about you, your speeches, or your goals.  They have wives, kids, girlfriends, bills, friends, and problems.  Acknowledge that – your men are not here to serve you.  They're here to serve your country.  You're here to serve them.
12.) But your subordinates watch everything you do. 
Just because they don't live their lives around you, doesn't mean you're not important to them.  If you lie, they assume it is okay.  If you quit, they assume it is okay.  Your actions, not your mission statements, speeches, codes, creeds, etc. will set their standard of behavior.
13.) Get your boss's back. 
Everyone wants to be in charge…until they are there.  We all think we could do a better job than our boss – sometimes it's very true and sometimes it isn't – but as long as he or she is working hard to take care of your men and complete the mission, you owe it to them to ensure they succeed.  You'll be there someday, and you'll find that despite your best efforts, you are very fallible.
14.) Have a sense of humor. 
You will be tested.  When I came on board my first platoon, my guys tried to get me with every snipe hunt in the book – PRC-E8, keys to the indoor mortar range, box of grid squares – you name it.  Skillfully, I held out for three weeks, until that day in the motor pool.  In formation, the motor chief announced that today was the day that everyone had to turn in vehicle exhaust samples.  Promptly, the motor sergeants disseminated to each platoon a vehicle exhaust sample kit, which included labels, sharpies, and garbage bags.  My guys grabbed the bags, turned on their vehicles and began throwing the garbage bags around the exhaust pipe, filling it, then promptly tying the bag off and labeling it.  This just didn't seem right – all the more so when they asked if I wanted to help get samples.  I balked.  They guilt tripped me.  Finally, even though I was at least 25 percent sure I was being had, I filled a bag with exhaust and started walking to drop it off at the motor chief's office.  Sure enough, they snapped about 2000 pictures of this jackass 2LT running around with a bag of exhaust.
They got their laughs and busted my balls about it.  We were about to head to an 18-hour computer simulation exercise.  Immediately afterwards they had a room inspection with all their gear laid out.  They, of course, had done this the night before, knowing they'd be going right from the exercise to the inspection.
As all the guys moved to the simulator, all the officers got called back to the bays for the OPORD.  When I came back, I asked them, "Don't you guys have an inspection tomorrow?"
"Roger, sir," they responded.
“Man, it’d suck if someone dumped everyone’s gear into one huge pile and then covered it in baby powder, wouldn’t it?” I asked. 
Their faces dropped.  They fucking hated me.  I had gone way too far and clearly was getting back at them for the exhaust sample thing.  For the rest of the exercise it was hard to get anyone to talk to me – even my platoon sergeant was edgy.
The exercise ended and we all came back to the bays – they knew they only had an hour to salvage the inspection.  When they busted into their bay, they found that none of their stuff had been touched and was in perfect inspection mode.
"Sir, you are a fucking dick!" my platoon sergeant shouted. 
"Why's that sergeant?" I asked.
"You said you dumped all our shit out on the floor and covered it in baby powder!"

"No, sergeant – I said it would suck if someone were to do that," I smiled.

I could take it, but I could give it back too.  There would be no more fucking with this LT.

15.) Do the right thing. 
This is the last and perhaps most important aspect of leadership.  I am a big believer that in almost every single case, people know the right course of action.  The bigger question is whether they have the courage to make the right decision, even when making that decision could be personally harmful.

Decide now to always be a force of good.  Don't justify away indiscretions.  Don't sell out.  Your life will be easier, your men will respect you more, and you’ll sleep at night.  More importantly, you won't start down that slippery slope towards being one of those leaders that will do anything to get ahead. We all want to think we're the next coming of Patton or Eisenhower.

No one thinks they are a bad leader, but it doesn't take much to get there and it happens incrementally – one little lie or moral concession at a time.

This article originally appeared on RangerUp

About the author

Nick Palmisciano spent the best six years of his life as an infantry officer in the United States Army and believes that unless he is elected President, which he says there is no chance of in our lifetime, he will never hold a more important job than Platoon Leader.Nick is a serial entrepreneur who currently works as the CEO of Ranger Up Military Apparel, Unapologetically American Apparel, and American Sin Bin Rugby Apparel. In 2011 he also began Wombat Vengeance Consulting to help small to mid-sized businesses with marketing efforts. He happily serves on the boards of several military non-profits and runs one of the largest military blog sites, The Rhino Den.Prior to becoming a professional instigator, Nick had the pleasure of working for a Fortune 100 firm in Business Development, Strategy, Government Sales, and Corporate Brand Licensing. Nick has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an MBA from Duke University, and received the Bobcat, Wolf, Bear and Webelos badges while in Cub Scouts. The Wolf badge is his favorite.

Friday, April 19, 2013

MAN RULES


AT LAST A GUY HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO WRITE THIS ALL DOWN
FINALLY, the guys' side of the story. ( I MUST ADMIT, IT'S PRETTY GOOD.)

WE ALWAYS HEAR 'THE RULES' FROM THE FEMALE SIDE
NOW HERE ARE THE RULES FROM THE MALE SIDE

THESE ARE OUR RULES!

PLEASE NOTE. THESE ARE ALL NUMBERED #1 ON PURPOSE!

1. MEN ARE NOT MIND READERS.

1. LEARN TO WORK THE TOILET SEAT. YOU'RE A BIG GIRL. IF IT'S UP, PUT IT DOWN. WE NEED IT UP, YOU NEED IT DOWN. YOU DON'T HEAR US COMPLAINING ABOUT YOU LEAVING IT DOWN.

1. CRYING IS BLACKMAIL.

1. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. LET US BE CLEAR ON THIS ONE:

SUBTLE HINTS DO NOT WORK!
STRONG HINTS DO NOT WORK!
OBVIOUS HINTS DO NOT WORK!
JUST SAY IT!

1. YES AND NO ARE PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE ANSWERS TO ALMOST EVERY QUESTION.

1.. COME TO US WITH A PROBLEM ONLY IF YOU WANT HELP SOLVING IT. THAT'S WHAT WE DO. SYMPATHY IS WHAT YOUR GIRLFRIENDS ARE FOR.

1. ANYTHING WE SAID 6 MONTHS AGO IS INADMISSIBLE IN AN ARGUMENT. IN FACT, ALL COMMENTS BECOME NULL AND VOID AFTER 7 DAYS.

1. IF YOU THINK YOU'RE FAT, YOU PROBABLY ARE. DON'T ASK US.

1. IF SOMETHING WE SAID CAN BE INTERPRETED TWO WAYS AND ONE OF THE WAYS MAKES YOU SAD OR ANGRY, WE MEANT THE OTHER ONE.

1. YOU CAN EITHER ASK US TO DO SOMETHING OR TELL US HOW YOU WANT IT DONE. NOT BOTH.
IF YOU ALREADY KNOW BEST HOW TO DO IT, JUST DO IT YOURSELF.

1. WHENEVER POSSIBLE, PLEASE SAY WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO SAY DURING COMMERCIALS.

1. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS DID NOT NEED DIRECTIONS AND NEITHER DO WE...

1. ALL MEN SEE IN ONLY 16 COLORS, LIKE WINDOWS DEFAULT SETTINGS..
PEACH, FOR EXAMPLE, IS A FRUIT, NOT A COLOR. PUMPKIN IS ALSO A FRUIT. WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAUVE IS.

1. IF WE ASK WHAT IS WRONG AND YOU SAY 'NOTHING,' WE WILL ACT LIKE NOTHING'S WRONG. WE KNOW YOU ARE LYING, BUT IT IS JUST NOT WORTH THE HASSLE.

1. IF YOU ASK A QUESTION YOU DON'T WANT AN ANSWER TO, EXPECT AN ANSWER YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR..

1. WHEN WE HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING YOU WEAR IS FINE...REALLY.

1.. DON'T ASK US WHAT WE'RE THINKING ABOUT UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO DISCUSS SUCH TOPICS AS FOOTBALL OR MOTOR SPORTS.

1. YOU HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHES.

1 .. YOU HAVE TOO MANY SHOES.

1. I AM IN SHAPE. ROUND IS A SHAPE!

1.. THANK YOU FOR READING THIS. YES, I KNOW, I HAVE TO SLEEP ON THE COUCH TONIGHT.. BUT DID YOU KNOW MEN REALLY DON'T MIND THAT? IT'S LIKE CAMPING...

PASS THIS TO AS MANY MEN AS YOU CAN - TO GIVE THEM A LAUGH...

PASS THIS TO AS MANY WOMEN AS YOU CAN - TO GIVE THEM A BIGGER LAUGH, BECAUSE ITS TRUE!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Last American Tanks Leave Germany

As a child of the Cold War the face off between NATO and the Warsaw Pact across a divided German Fulda Gap etched itself into my memories. The entire world sat poised on the edge of nuclear annihilation  the estimated 17,000 Main Battle Tanks sitting on the borders drew the line between life and holocaust. While I am glad to see fewer US troops in Europe the sacrifices of the WW2 generation will never be forgotten.  Three generations of American soldiers stood watch, maintained and trained to protect democracy on one of our final symbols of the Cold War era. As a veteran of war I pray that these last M1s someday serve as museum pieces, war monuments or better yet coral reef reinforcements. However, as a pragmatist I know in my hear they will someday be sent to another part of the world to stand guard over freedom.
http://www.stripes.com/us-army-s-last-tanks-depart-from-germany-1.214977

Monday, April 1, 2013

Challenge Coins hit by Sequestion


I’m always pleased to visit you at home and overseas, and leave you with a command coin as a small token of
my appreciation for your hard work, bravery, and your family’s sacrifice. But when I pass out coins later, you may notice they’re a little lighter than ones you might have gotten in the past. That’s because we had to strike them out of zinc instead of brass, to save money. They’re special coins – they won’t be around forever — but they mark a time when you and I served together, and grappled with the fiscal challenges facing our great nation.

For those of you old enough to remember, it’s kind of like the zinc-coated steel pennies that the nation minted in 1943 at the height of World War II. We needed the copper — for shell casings — so we ended up with zinc-clad pennies for a while. In the same way, my command coin will be lighter for the foreseeable future, to reflect the cuts the nation, and the nation’s military, have to make from the bottom to the top. And what better place for the U.S. military to begin – to set an example – than at the top?
General Jim Amos, Commandant USMC
Read more: Sequestion Time, #1 | TIME.com

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pentagon Watchdog Doubts Army Needs New Rifle

The Army established its requirements for the improved carbine effort three years ago. The requirements document calls for a weapon that’s almost twice as accurate as the current M4, according to a source familiar with the document. It also emphasized improved reliability, serviceability and a longer-lasting barrel.
The IG also questions why the Army is “seeking to acquire more rifles during a time when their total force structure will be reduced,” Halbrooks states. “In addition, it is unclear what additional capability this new rifle will have over the modified M4.”
The Army is in the process of cutting its active force down to 490,000 -- more than 10 percent from current levels -- by 2017, but senior leaders announced last year that the service plans to replace its current M4s with M4A1s.
The M4A1 is the Special Operations Command version of the M4. It features a heavier barrel and a full-auto trigger. The Army’s decision to dump the current three-round burst trigger will give shooters a more consistent trigger pull and lead to better accuracy, weapons officials said.

Pentagon Watchdog Doubts Army Needs New Carbine | Military.com

Ten Year Ago, Invasion of Iraq 2003

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Using Evernote All Wrong? It's Actually Amazing

I've Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here's Why It's Actually Amazing:
For years, I kept hearing how awesome Evernote was: how it could store everything you possibly needed, make it available everywhere, and how scores of people couldn't live without it. I tried it multiple times, and never saw the appeal until now. Here's what I was missing. More »


Saturday, March 9, 2013

US Ninth Circuit says border laptop searches are unconstitional

US Ninth Circuit says forensic laptop searches at the border without suspicion are unconstitional:
An en banc (all the judges together) decision from the 9th Circuit has affirmed that you have the right to expect that your laptop and other devices will not be forensically examined without suspicion at the US border. It's the first time that a US court has upheld electronic privacy rights at the border, and the court also said that using an encrypted device that can't be casually searched is not grounds for suspicion. The judges also note that the prevalence of cloud computing means that searching at the border gives cops access to servers located all over the world. At TechDirt, Mike Masnick has some great analysis of this welcome turn of events:



The ruling is pretty careful to strike the right balance on the issues. It notes that a cursory review at the border is reasonable:


Officer Alvarado turned on the devices and opened and viewed image files while the Cottermans waited to enter the country. It was, in principle, akin to the search in Seljan, where we concluded that a suspicionless cursory scan of a package in international transit was not unreasonable.


But going deeper raises more questions. Looking stuff over, no problem. Performing a forensic analysis? That goes too far and triggers the 4th Amendment. They note that the location of the search is meaningless to this analysis (the actual search happened 170 miles inside the country after the laptop was sent by border agents to somewhere else for analysis). So it's still a border search, but that border search requires a 4th Amendment analysis, according to the court.

It is the comprehensive and intrusive nature of a forensic examination—not the location of the examination—that is the key factor triggering the requirement of reasonable suspicion here....

Notwithstanding a traveler’s diminished expectation of privacy at the border, the search is still measured against the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness requirement, which considers the nature and scope of the search. Significantly, the Supreme Court has recognized that the “dignity and privacy interests of the person being searched” at the border will on occasion demand “some level of suspicion in the case of highly intrusive searches of the person.” Flores-Montano, 541 U.S. at 152. Likewise, the Court has explained that “some searches of property are so destructive,” “particularly offensive,” or overly intrusive in the manner in which they are carried out as to require particularized suspicion. Id. at 152, 154 n.2, 155–56; Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. at 541. The Court has never defined the precise dimensions of a reasonable border search, instead pointing to the necessity of a case-by-case analysis....





The court is led by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who is a fan of my book Little Brother (which features a scene where DHS officials force a suspect to decrypt his devices, on the grounds that his encryption itself is suspicious), and was kind enough to write me a blurb for the new edition of the book. I'm not saying that Little Brother inspired Kozinski to issue this decision, but I'm delighted to discover that something I've been pushing through fiction since 2008 has made it into law in 2013.

9th Circuit Appeals Court: 4th Amendment Applies At The Border; Also: Password Protected Files Shouldn't Arouse Suspicion