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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in croi_iarainn's LiveJournal:

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Friday, October 22nd, 2010
10:49 pm
Since I am off for Iraq...
I figured that since I am flying out again headed for Iraq in the morning, this would be a good time to post this. I got this from a fellow operator, and I cannot begin to tell you how true some of this is :D
Apologies for some of the language and crudeness, I didn't write it...


1.       Tips for new contractors:


2.       Shave your head and grow facial hair. Bonus points for a scraggly Taliban beard. Lets’ face it, when Abdul is lining up that RPG with your vehicle, and he sees that bad assed beard, he will tremble in fear and put down his weapons. This is a proven fact. Also, it will help you blend in with the locals. Because all the locals are 6 feet 2 inches, 250 pounds, speak English and wear body armor.


3.       Buy Gucci kit. I know your company may issue you armor, but it’s probably crap. UN style blue vests are the corporate rage. Don’t go buy that crappy airsoft knockoff crap from China. Buy quality American made kit. Even if your company issues you good stuff, buy your own. It’s just cooler that way. Make sure to fit as many pouches and magazines on it as you can. Get molle pouches with molle on them so you can attach other molle pouches to them. The more the better. If you can’t fit in the door of your truck, cut the strap so the door opens wider. Can’t fit behind the wheel? Take out the seat and sit on ammo cans. That’s hard core.


4.       Get tattoos. I’m talking a lot of them. All over your arms and neck. Make sure they have skulls, tribal emblems, guns, Chinese characters, and barbed wire, in them. That makes them cool, which in turn makes you cool, and scary. Abdul sees that dark black ink all over you and shits his man jams. No way he’s going to fight that force. Huge crosses are always cool. Show everyone how devout of a Christian you are. Don’t put too much thought into the design, just pick something out of the book. Save that brainpower for the gym.


5.       Steroids. Eat that shit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don’t worry about piss tests. Get some pencil necked admin geek to piss for you. Twenty bucks is a ton of cash for those TCN’s and you know they are clean for steroids.


6.       Baseball cap. You need one and only one. Never change it or wash it. It needs to be sweat stained and covered with grime. Frayed edges and cool patches help. If you don’t have one, just grind a new one in the dirt for a while. Give it that “been there done that” look. The well gunner should be able to smell it when you’re driving.


7.       Morale patches. If you suck and can’t cover all the available Velcro on your kit with pouches, cover it with morale patches. There should be at least on offensive word on each one. Skulls, religious references, and brand name knock offs, are always popular. Nothing says “professional” like a “Hey Fuck Face” patch.


8.       Go to Thailand. Nothing says “I’m a winner” like paying a 16 year old for pussy. Better yet, get a Thai girlfriend. Support her, her husband, and her kids. Pay their rent and put braces on the crumb-snatchers. That way you always have a place to crash in country.


9.       Go to the gym. Every chance you get. Wear muscle shirts to show off your tribal tat covered guns. Grunt loudly so everyone knows how hard you are working. If it sounds like a porno, you’re doing it right. Stare at yourself in the mirror and check out that ass. Remember, when your boss sees how much effort you’re putting into the gym, you will definitely get that team lead position.


10.   Buy a new house. Your wife and her future husband need a good place to raise your kids. Make sure that the payments are at least 25% of your monthly paycheck.


11.   Buy a new car and motorcycle. Don’t pussy out and get a Corolla. Get an F-350 Supercab four wheel drive with the biggest Diesel they offer. Get a Harley. Anything but a Sportster will work. I don’t care if you never rode before, you need a Harley. Keep them in the garage of that McMansion that you bought so your wife’s boyfriend can borrow them.


12.   Spend all your money. You’ll get more in 28 days. Don’t save anything. It doesn’t matter that you have no retirement plan and social security will be non-existent when you are old. You can always start saving next year. This shit is tax free after all. Why should you save for tax payments?


13.   Buy an iPod. Shit, buy three. You need one for the room, one for the gym, and one for the truck. How else are you going to jam to the greatest band in the world, Nickleback, while you are driving, lifting, and relaxing?


14.   Bitch about the internet. It doesn’t matter that you are in some third world shithole, you have a right to be able to upload videos of yourself onto YouTube for everyone to see. Make sure to upload full videos of your daily movements. OPSEC is for pussies.


15.   Facebook picture. If it doesn’t show your rifle, your kit, your truck, and your guns, you are doing it wrong.


16.   Weapons accessories. Fuck policy, weapons were made to be altered. If there is open rail space, you fail. Bolt something to that. Buy a PEQ-4. It doesn’t matter if you don’t move at night, you still need it. Same goes with night vision. If you can’t afford the night vision, at least get the mount for your helmet. Vertical fore-grip is a must. Only losers use the hand guards. Plus, with all that shit bolted to the rails, you are going to need that vertical grip to hang on to. Weapon too heavy? Get your ass back to the gym.


17.   Knives. You need lots of them. You need the biggest fucking knife you can find to strap to your kit. Make Mick Dundee piss down his leg in fear. Get another one to tape to your thigh rig. You need at least one Benchmade auto knife to clip in your pocket. When talking to people, click it open and closed repeatedly. This will get your point across no matter what it is. If you’re man enough, stick a knife in your boot and another around your neck. Listen, you really can’t have too many knives. They’re like magazines in that respect.


18.   Cellphone. Like the internet, even though the citizens of the country you work in are still wiping their ass with small rocks, you need a cellphone that does everything. If you can’t check your email or surf porn while on venue, what good is it going outside the wire? If you can get a molle pouch to keep it on your kit, you get more bonus points. Bonus points are good for discounted pussy in Thailand.


Current Mood: amused
Monday, April 12th, 2010
12:36 pm
at 1331 06 April 2010, our daughter Fíonna graced us with her presence after scaring the bat-crap out of us with sever heart rate drops during contractions- her cord was around her neck, prompting an emergency C-section, but she's otherwise healthy as a horse... a very very hungry horse capable of producing three times its own body weight in poop. She weighed 8lbs 5oz, was 19 1/4 inches long, and already trying to crawl.

Current Mood: ecstatic
Sunday, February 7th, 2010
9:33 pm
Preparedness supplies, CDE
I haven't done a preparedness post in a while, so.... I figured I would repost an article I wrote for another entity I am involved with, as it A) might help some folks on here, and B) will reassure those who think I am nuts that I am, in fact, batshit insane

Preparation Overview for Catastrophic Disastrous Events (CDE)

A Catastrophic Disastrous Event, or CDE, is a major disaster so large that it dramatically affects the entire hemisphere or globe, reducing the efficacy of- or neutralizing entirely- any aid efforts that may be attempted. CDE vectors include major pandemics or widespread bioterrorism, complete destruction of the global power grid by a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), impact of a large celestial body- an asteroid or comet measuring a kilometer or larger in diameter- into the earth, the eruption of a caldera such as the Yellowstone or Aso calderas, full-scale nuclear war, etc. The principal difference between a regional disaster and a CDE is the scale, scope, and impact, which are global and crippling.
In a CDE, governments throughout the world will be pressed so hard that- should they survive, or a successor government rise to power quickly rather than over time- they will be unable to mount any relief efforts for months, and recovery efforts will take even longer. TheUS Dept. of Homeland Security advocates 72-hour emergency kits, which is adequate to get through a minor or very localized event, but for anything with greater impact it is vital to have proper resources. The following resources and information are designed to give the operator a familiarity with the equipment- much of which you may already possess- and stores necessary to effect minimal survival in the event of a CDE. However, this top-down approach of planning for a worst-case scenario is also effective in mitigating or countering lesser disasters, as preparing for the worst-case scenario also prepares you for the less severe ones, while the reverse is most certainly not true.

Shelter-In-Place or Safehouse
The best option for surviving a CDE is to shelter in place, either in a secured home or facility, or at a pre-established safehouse somewhere within your AO. Wherever you are going to be bunkering down, you should have at least a year's supply of essentials beyond the items I list below. These incidentals are oft-overlooked necessities- toilet paper, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene essentials, waste disposal bags (trash bags and contractor bags), contact lenses or spare glasses, etc. However, the scope of this article is to create an inventory recommendation for the operator to establish, and does not focus on the minutia. Common sense and experience will dictate those matters.

Food: http://www.internet-grocer.net/1yr-fl1.htm per person primary, with an additional three month supply- http://www.internet-grocer.net/3mo-fl1.htm is the recommended minimum food stores. Due to environmental contamination (see below under Environmental Considerations), it is highly recommended that the operator acquire a two-year supply: http://www.internet-grocer.net/2yr-unit.htm .

Water: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/CAMP205-1.html one per bathtub; http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/MLT4945-1.html as many as you can fill and store; and http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/CAMP352-1.html x3 per person.

Weapons: While the target audience of this article are obviously well-prepared in this category, I would be remiss if I did not include basics for those on this list who are not experienced nor equipped personnel. Skip over this section if it is redundant to you. At minimum, it is recommended that you acquire a reliable assault rifle that can double as a medium-range DMR if necessary. I recommend one of the following, based on financial circumstances-
* Poor: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct347.aspx or http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct843.aspx / http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct765.aspx (based on preference);
* Decent Money: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct390.aspx ;
* Some Money: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct571.aspx ;
* Well-To-Do: http://dynamicarmament.com/items/ar-15~ar-10-rifles/lwrc/lwrc-m6a2-556nato-16-rail-piston-30-round-magazine-lwm6a2r5b16-detail.htm .
A Reliable shotgun, either pump or military-built semi-auto. Recommend the following-
* Poor: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct534.aspx ;
* Not Poor: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct762.aspx ;
* Well-To-Do: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct808.aspx .
Sidearms are as per preference, but shoot for reliable weapons that have common ammo types. Handgun ammo is most common in 9mm and .45, so plan accordingly.

Ammunition (secure 1,000 rounds each unless otherwise noted): 9mm- http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct800.aspx ;
.45- http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/wolf-45-acp-230-gr-fmj-1000-rds.aspx?a=180451 ;
7.62x39- http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct823.aspx ;
5.56- http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct826.aspx ;
12ga (.00 buck defense/combat rounds)- http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/250-rds-12-ga-2-3-4-wolf-00-buckshot-9-pellets.aspx?a=140694 (250 round cases x2 minimum)

Medicines: Operators take note- field medics will still need supplies, so pay close attention to the following. It is important to clarify, by way of disclaimer, that the use of non-prescription medications herein is intended only for use during a catastrophic event where conventional medical supplies are not available, and treatment with these medications is a matter of life and death. I bear no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of someone taking these, as this is listed for emergencies only. Antibiotics- Prescription antibiotics will be extremely rare in the event of a CDE, and veterinary medications- which are available over the counter at feed stores (except in CA) and do not require a prescription- should be stockpiled prior. Veterinary antibiotics are not as refined as human-specific varieties, and will vary in strength to some extent. However, if used appropriately they are relatively effective in treating general infections as well. One of the more common human/veterinary crossover antibiotics is Tetracycline- http://petscriptions.com/medications/antibiotics/tetracycline . The general dosage guidelines for human use are 500mg every eight hours for 7-14 days, depending on the severity of the infection. It should not be taken with aluminum or calcium-based antacids, and should not be taken with food as that reduces the efficacy. Amoxicillin- http://petscriptions.com/medications/antibiotics/amoxicillin is another form of crossover antibiotic that can be purchased that will work as well. Dosage for this is 250mg every eight hours for 10-14 days, depending on the severity of the infection.
Painkillers- While veterinary painkillers will work on humans, the potential for abuse of information and sources by some prevents me from listing specifics here. In addition, unlike veterinary antibiotics, which are more or less rougher versions of human ones, veterinary tranquilizers and painkillers are chemically designed to affect different physiologies than our own, and the risks of illness or fatality are substantially greater even with proper guidelines. The next best step is to stockpile conventional OTC painkillers such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen Sodium. Given in a high enough dose (approximately 1.5-2 times the listed dose) they will be effective for moderate pain, and will help ease severe pain somewhat. It should be noted that hot-dosing in such a manner should only be done for acute pain over short periods of time, no more than a week or two, as prolonged excessive use can have detrimental side effects.
Antiseptics- Most antiseptics such as Hydrogen Peroxide are available over the counter, and have a very long shelf life. It is therefore recommended that the operator stockpile a substantial amount of these antiseptics and keep them stored in a climate controlled space.

Power: Due to the need for electrical power for communications and other equipment, or to run pumps and other key in-house infrastructure, it would be best if the home was converted to an off-grid solar/wind system. However, due to the expense of those systems, and the possibility that the vector of the CDE may prevent sunlight from reaching the ground or destroy external systems, it is important to have a secured generator with proper exhaust venting. http://store.colemans.com/cart/military-generators-c-22.html has several mil-spec generators, many of them diesel. While they are fuel dependent, diesel generators can run on home-made diesel or biodiesel with little conversion effort.

Communication: As with any operation you are familiar with, comms are critical. However, in this case it is less a matter of OpCom and more a matter of information acquisition. Key to both future planning once the initial CDE is over, and the psychological well-being of the survivors, communications equipment should be of a type common enough to access information being broadcast by emergency services and other individuals. HAM and shortwave systems are perfect for this. It is recommended that the operator have a full HAM rig established at static station, but for COMSEC and relocation signal acquisition also have a mobile unit mounted in a truck or similar vehicle prepared. Both systems would use the following base station- http://www.elecraft.com/K3/K3.htm transceiver, with the mobile station additionally using the following components- http://www.elecraft.com/buddipole/buddipole_from_elecraft.htm portable antenna, http://www.elecraft.com/MD2/proset.htm headset, and http://www.solarpowergetics.com/servlet/the-281/solar-panel-100W-24V/Detail for direct power.

Storage: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/MTM310-1.html , http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/gamma-sealwaterproof-storage-containers.aspx?a=266012 , and http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/plano-sportsmans-box.aspx?a=486648 with gaskets and sealant for caches and for storing notarized copies of key documents (deeds, birth certs, etc.), which will be crucial for establishing identity and ownership during future recovery.

Most operators already have at least one cache of one sort or another. However, the focus of this section is to spell out CDE-contingent caches for the attached non-combatant members of the operator’s group, such as family, friends, refugees, etc. Caches should be established in a three-layer concentric circle expanding out within your AO in the four cardinal directions from your secured area. In other words, there should be a set of four caches roughly a mile or two from your home, one relatively north, one relatively south, etc.- taking terrain and geographical obstacles into consideration- and then another set five to ten miles out, etc. Each cache should include a week's worth of food per person, a weapon and ammunition, extra clothing, a tent and sleeping bag, maps of the area with coded markings for escape routes and other caches, long-term storage water, a water filtration bottle, and notarized copies of all key documentation as above. This should all be placed in a backpack or packs so that it can be dug up, thrown on, and you can get back on the road fast. Best-case scenario would be to get to the cache, extract it, and be on the move again in under an hour, half an hour preferably. Here are recommendations for caches (these also work for Bug Out Bags, or BOBs)-

Food: http://www.mredepot.com/servlet/the-270/MRE-Military-USGI-Meal/Detail three cases per person, two dispersed into the packs, and one dispersed into a disposable duffel or shoulder bag (difficult to carry boxes). I am not a fan of MREs for long-term storage food, but for BOBs and caches they are perfect. 36 meals at 1,000 calories minimum each means 18 days worth of food if rationed at two MREs per day. Rationing down to one per day will sustain you for over a month, but not for heavy activity such as hauling a lot of stuff on the road, thus it is recommended that you plan on two per day.

Weapon: http://eastcoastgunsales.com/product.php?ID=98536 Mossberg JIC, which gives you a 12ga shotgun in a sealed tube along with backup supplies, and an adttional 250 round cases of 12ga ammo sealed in plastic and/or foil, and stored in the JIC tube and the backpack.

Clothing: A spare set of 5.11 TDU pants or similar, four sets of undergarments, including T-shirts, a pair of broken-in boots (old ACU boots or “deployment-worn” footwear that still has viable tread would be a good choice), button-up long sleeve, and jackets according to the worst weather expected.

Tent/Sleeping: A relatively small pop-up tent will work, however, depending on the vector of the CDE and resulting weather patterns, you may need more substantial shelter or secondary tarps and other enhancements. Sleeping bags should be suited for the worst, coldest weather possible.

Water: a MOLLE hydration bladder, empty to prevent pathogens from forming, attached or integral to the backpack, and as many of these- http://www.safetycentral.com/90packetcase.html as can be safely stored in the pack. Also include another case for emergency hydration, and to fill the hydration bladders. In the event that you prefer not to make a Johnny-on-the-spot filter out of charcoal, a rag, and a perforated coke can, I recommend a filtration pump- http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/CAMP175-1.html .

Backpack: As mentioned above, I prefer an all-in-one hydration pack, but if you need more space, duffel bags such as this- http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/BAG186-1.html can be used, but as many of us know from personal experience they are much harder to carry. Smaller bags for children or smaller-framed persons should be chosen based on who you believe may be in your evac group. However, I would recommend not going any smaller than a lvl III assault pack- http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemDetail.aspx?sku=PACK-121 and simply pack it lighter. If at all physically able, everyone should be able to carry gear and packs to carry their own supplies. The operator and all other combatants should follow their experience and carry quick-detach packs, while everyone else should be loaded only with what they can carry over a long period of time. Excessive weight will make a much bigger dent in the food and water supplies due to the person(s) being heavily laboured.

Cache Deployment: Everything should be stored in sealed containers wrapped in sealed plastic bags with desiccant packs, and ready for rapid grab-and-go. Even if there are no threats on the road from people, the longer it takes you to get to a shelter or safe area, the worse off you will be. It is very likely that many members of your group will not have the same level of discipline and experience, thus it would be best if the combatants were split into perimeter and processing teams, or the operator focus on extracting the cache while someone who is alert stands watch if no other combatants are present.

Environmental Considerations
It should be noted that the preparations for a CDE are not based on an event affecting only you AO or general region, or even state. A CDE is an event that is widespread in scope, often displacing millions of people, killing millions more, and- depending on the vector of the disaster- possibly severely impacting physical infrastructure and terrain. Even in a low-impact vector such as a biological agent or pandemic, many critical infrastructure components- power, sewer treatment, water, etc.- will not work or will quickly fail without personnel at the controls. This can have secondary disastrous effects that will severely exacerbate the impact of the initial vector. Toxins and pathogens from sewage treatment plants, chemical plants, and industrial facilities will eventually seep into ground water and rivers, contaminating them beyond potability with even the most advanced filtration systems for weeks or months, unmanned nuclear power plants will run out of diesel for their cooling tank generators, which will then boil off as the spent fuel rods heat up the water, causing a massive radiation contaminant discharge comparable to the fallout of a 20-40 megaton yield warhead (though without the immediate physical or gamma ray damage), and water that has ceased to be treated and stops flowing will become contaminated with pathogens almost immediately.

This will cause a chain reaction of infrastructure failures that will filter out into the environment at large, including radically altering arable land as irrigation systems fail, dams break due to lack of maintenance or factors due to moderate to severe vectors, and contamination of water and soil leading to secondary contamination of flora and fauna, rendering some of them inedible. Thus, it is important to review the potential threats and environmental factors in your AO to determine what additional steps will need to be taken to ensure sustainability and recovery.

Psychological Factors
While the scope of psychological impact will vary widely based on the vector and nature of the CDE and its immediate aftermath, some key principal elements are important to be aware of. It is an absolute certainty that a majority of the surviving population will endure some level of post-traumatic stress, and long-term coping mechanisms must be ready to be put in-place immediately afterward to mitigate the impact of the events. While most of us have been in hostile and stressful situations, it is incumbent upon us to remember that we will likely have a civilian presence around us, either family members- including children and possibly the elderly- or friends and others we have taken under our protection. These individuals have- barring unusual circumstances or training- lived a relatively sheltered life and will not have been exposed to the chaos and horrors of a world without the conventional controls and laws. Even experienced operators will not be fully prepared for what they will face in the aftermath, as such events have not happened in recent history, and it will be important to accept this inevitable emotional and psychological trauma as a reality that must be dealt with rather than shrugged off or suppressed.
Once security is established, a daily routine should be formed to give a sense of normalcy and order. Chores, regularly scheduled meals, duty schedules, family gatherings, religious services, etc. will all go a long way to help the survivors- including yourself- cope with the events and aftermath. As it is highly unlikely that you will have access to a counselor or mental health professional to discuss what you are going through, it will become important for everyone to be able to support each other. This will, in turn, also help create a sense of stability that can help mitigate the stresses of the CDE. Review your pre-deployment PTSD briefings for the signs and symptoms, and be willing to ask for help, and give it, when needed.

Obviously, it is a given that various elements of the immediate surviving population will turn to predation, either out of desperation or due to sociopathic tendencies they possessed that were held in check by the now-absent threat of incarceration. These predatory factions- termed "raiders" or "bandits" in various security threat assessments dealing with the short-to-long term loss of regional control- will likely be well-armed, either from pre-possessed weapons, or those captured from dead or overrun military units and abandoned facilities (National Guard/Reserve armouries, smaller bases and outposts, etc.) Unlike similar groups of insurgents that you may have dealt with in the past, these “raiders” will be comprised of a broad spectrum of society, and will be just as likely to include rogue elements of law enforcement or the military as members of criminal gangs. Depending on the strength of these raiders and your capacities, there are only two options- avoidance and elimination. If the hostiles are stronger, and are merely passing through your AO, mask any presence of your secure area and the presence of survivors. If possible, leave planted evidence that will send them elsewhere, preferably to a region where you know defenses could easily repel or eliminate them. If they remain in your AO, you may need to evacuate under the cover of darkness and secure as many of your supplies as possible. Bury or otherwise hide what you cannot take with you so that the hostiles do not have access to it. If your capacity is of sufficient strength to do so, elimination becomes a viable option.
Natural threats should not be overlooked, either. Environmental conditions may cause predatory wildlife and feral packs of formerly domestic canines to attempt predation on any livestock you may have secured, and possibly even yourself or any children or weakened members of your group. Most of these threats can be mitigated via appropriate fencing and elimination.

While there is no question that a CDE is the worst-case scenario, it is survivable, and it is important to acquire the resources to ensure survival not only for yourself, but as many others as you can save. However, in the end, we are responsible for our own survival, and cannot rely on anyone or anything else but ourselves and our own preparations.

Current Mood: chipper
Thursday, January 14th, 2010
6:14 pm
Regional Gaelic Polytheism lists
Several folks in various parts of the world are working on setting up local grass-roots resources for Sinnsreachd and general Gaelic polytheism, and as a part of that are local area discussion lists. I will be adding to this list as more are set up. These are JUST getting set up, so bear with the lack of material, but if you're in one of these regions and are interested, feel free to pop on :D

Gaelic Polytheism: Colorado Springs, CO

Gaelic Polytheism: Fredericksburg, VA

Gaelic Polytheism: Israel

Gaelic Polytheism: Portland, OR

Gaelic Polytheism: Houston, TX

Current Mood: busy
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
10:54 pm
Gaelic Polytheism- Houston
For those in the Houston or SE Texas region interested in discussing Gaelic polytheistic beliefs- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HouGael

Still being set up, so bear with while it gets off the ground

Current Mood: busy
Thursday, January 7th, 2010
1:22 pm
Since I am not really active on LJ or Myspace anymore- real life and all- I guess I'll be keeping my friends updated sporadically. So, where to start....
The week my mother died was hell, not just for the usual grief reasons, but that saturday Tiff, Orren, and I were in a three-car-pile-up on I-45. Some 19-year-old kid was texting while driving, we were at a standstill exiting onto Woodlands Parkway, and he plowed into us and a minivan at around 65mph.

Tiff was in the backseat, and I was in the passenger bucket, which snapped back and landed on her. Thankfully, my wife is stacked like a Hentai character, and her boobs caught the seat, protecting Fíonna. She was a little banged up and went to the ER, since she was in her 7th month. So, 7 hours in L&D with tests out the wazoo (they found fetal cells in her blood) later, she get's released with a diagnosis of placental bruising. Nothing critical, but she's going to the doctor Friday for a follow-up to make sure. Unfortunately, it was Orren's birthday, and his car that got totaled. He had a brand-spanking new one 72 hours later, so I joke that we got him a new car for his birthday. Silver linings and all ;-)

Anyway, I am back in school renewing my EMT-B and doing the pre-requisites for the Accelerated Paramedic Course and Tactical Emergency Medicine courses this summer and next year. I start the paramedic course in Fall, and graduate in August. Also not making the mistake I made last time, I WILL be getting my National Registry this time. Starting treatment for my knees, though it's going to take time to figure out what all needs to be done. Bone spurs and fragments of cartilage can be handled with orthoscopic surgery, but the trauma-induced osteoartheritis may require some reconstructive surgery. Time will tell. Speaking of fragments-


That's all for now, Tiff is psycho-nesting and I need to salvage my stuff before it gets filed away in a box and buried.

Current Mood: busy busy busy, but happy
Monday, December 14th, 2009
5:04 pm
In memory of the best bloody woman I ever knew
My mother passed away this morning. Rather than dwell on the loss, I want to remember her life.
She was one of the best paramedics in the US, and built three entire EMS systems from the ground up. She wrote the test for paramedics that is still used in this state to this day. She set up a mining emergency medical response team and systems that became the model for the industry today. She raised me to be strong, proud, fierce, stubborn, and free, and taught me the core values that I hold to to this day. She taught me to love the wilds, raised me in the forests and waters of Alaska, and held my hand as a child as I watched whales breach and feed, eagles land on our balcony, bears flump on our porch, sea lions play in the water, wolves run through the forest behind our house, and showed me the spirits of the land more than any shaman or draoi ever could. She made me what I am today, and what I am becoming even now. She has left me a hell of a legacy and some very big shoes to fill, but she taught me well, and I will do my best to fill them not out of ego, but to honour her and what she taught me. She was a hell of a woman. She was a hell of a mother.

Current Mood: drained
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
2:18 am
Moving, Blacksmithing, and Babies Oh My!
Well, we're (hopefully, still haven't heard for sure that we've got it yet) moving to a 3/2 out in a rural area near Magnolia (Conroe's getting a bit too big for us, and it's a much nicer place, in the woods with a lot of ranches and ranchettes around it), but we have to be packed and outa here ASAP or get nailed for November's rent and a butt-tonne of other annoyances fees. So, speed-packing like a madman.

Nor are my weekends free, either. Tis the season for the renaissance festival, and I have been bladesmithing my ass off. Made a bunch of knives, an axe, a sgian dubh (and another one almost done), a door handle, some various errata, and helped other smiths with their projects. Between that and packing and moving (damned second-story townhouse), I hurt in my everywhere

And lastly, Tiff had her OB-GYN appointment a few days ago, and the baby is doing fine, no confirmation on gender yet (though we have a pretty good guess), so we have to wait till her appt after the 13th to know that. Healthy lil bugger, though- strong heartbeat, well-formed, and moving and kicking enough to feel. Ah, my little Fíona/Liam, be kind to mommy's bladder and kidneys...

Anyway, off to bed with me, gotta finish loading a U-Haul truck the size of an aircraft carrier in the morning.

Current Mood: chipper
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
12:47 pm
Stupid deoraithe…
It never ceases to amaze me how utterly disgusted I can become with the deoraithe just by reading or listening to their words. Today, it was the contemptuous views of a bunch of loose-legged harlots- i.e. your average teenage or twenty-something American-Idol-culture deoraí female- and their views of pregnancy. Unlike these brainless tarts, the Sinsearaithe- and, thankfully, many other cultures as well- do not see pregnancy as a burden, ugly, unattractive, or shameful. We see it as a glorious, beautiful thing worthy of veneration and protection. Thankfully, Darwinism will end the lines of those pedantic harridans as they are unlikely to have more than one child, while we Sinsearaithe have many. Our families are large, strong, and proud, and we honour women who endure the pains and trials of pregnancy to further our family lines.

Current Mood: annoyed
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
11:02 am
I am happy to announce that, as of five minutes ago, I have been informed by my giddy-yet-woggy wife that she is pregnant again! YAY!

Current Mood: ecstatic
Saturday, August 8th, 2009
3:53 pm
A word from our founders...
This sums up my political views quite well, and the views of most Libertarians and freedom-loving Americans who remember the "We the people" part of our founding...

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, August 7th, 2009
12:08 pm
Three arrests last night, not even halfway into my shift, bad stomach flu, and general crankiness made for a blarghy night. This morning, I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck and very dizzy, so no workies for me tonight.

Current Mood: blah
Monday, June 22nd, 2009
7:41 pm
Yay! The Apocalypse is almost here! *grabs sunscreen and a lawnchair*
Well, after reading the real news (as opposed to the fluff pieces most networks are carrying), following intelligence reports out of North Korea, Iran, Russia, and Pakistan, and the daily reports I get from STRATFOR and NE Intelligence Network, I have to say this little video sums up my feelings about our near future-

Current Mood: amused
Saturday, June 6th, 2009
8:19 pm
Here's to those with the balls to hit the beaches, the brains to duck behind the tank traps, the luck to not be in the front of the landing craft, and the integrity to push through in spite of the hammering they took. And brolly to the lads and lasses that made it happen for them.
Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
1:55 pm
Hurricane Readiness Supply List (reposted from the Sinnsreachd Preparedness List)
Posted this on the Sinnsreachd Preparedness E-List, but figured it is handy for others outside of our faith as well.

This is for those who are in the bowling alley that is the Gulf Coast and
southern half of the East Coast. For those who don't have anything prepared yet,
or who want to establish a separate supply stockpile to avoid tapping into their
primary stores, here's a short list of the basics that we found were sorely
needed after the series of hurricanes we have had hit.
  • 6 weeks worth of canned goods, non-perishable food, and water. If the food doesn't require water for rehydrating or cooking, so much the better as a lot of areas south of us had contaminated water supplies for a month. I know six weeks may seem excessive, but consider this- Ike was only a Cat 2, and it obliterated the power grid throughout Harris and Montgomery counties, which buggered sewage treatment and water purification systems. Those systems were out of commission until the power grid was re-established, which took two months in some areas, and it took an additional week to flush out the contaminated water, clean out the systems, and begin pumping potable water.
  • Ice, blocks of it (not cubes), stuffed into a freezer. If you want to try to emulate an episode of Jericho, be forewarned that it takes about 15kg of Ammonium Nitrate to make 15 liters of ice, and that much AN is likely to make people at the Dept. of Homeland Insecurity twitchy. If you have a generator and an air compressor, you could try a different method (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101299,00.html for details), but it's much easier to just stock up on a butt-tonne of ice blocks.
  • 1 metric butt-tonne of liter bottles of propane. Trust me, they come in handy not only for cooking, but for trade as well.
  • 1 two-burner propane stove that runs on the above.
  • At least two full courses of non-Penicillin antibiotics. Go to the doctor with a cough with phlegm or some other creative BS excuse to get sulfa-based antibiotics like Trimethoprim Sulfa or Sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim), or tetracycline-based ones like Doxycycline. Clindamycin will also work, as it is a lincosamide, but it is like taking a bazooka to go dove hunting. Only use it for serious infections. For some bloody reason, MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, the nasty über-staph bacteria that resists most penicillin-based antibiotics) crops up after a hurricane in inverse proportions to the local hospital's stocks of non-penicillin-based antibiotics (usually Bactrim, Vancocin [Vancomycin], Cleocin, Minocycline, Cubicin, Zyvox, and Synercid, all of which work but are often in low supply to begin with). In other words, the less likely a hospital is to be prepared to treat it, the more likely it will occur. Sulfa-based antibiotics kick the crap out of MRSA because they are not commonly used due to side effects. However, one nasty poke by a nail and you could get a potentially deadly MRSA infection. Have the meds on-hand to treat it accordingly.
  • Shotgun with plenty of .00 rounds. This is for three purposes- 1) To greet any looters with the appropriate welcome, 2) to deal with any predators that come calling (alligators in Florida, coyotes, cougars, and similar here in Southeast Texas, and so on), and 3) most importantly, for snakes. I cannot tell you how many water moccasins Ike stirred up and sent into peoples' homes and yards, but they are aggressive as hell and should be shot on sight. Since I have lived here- 6 years now- I have seen one snake prior to Ike. After Ike, they were all over Hel's creation for a few weeks before the cold weather finally drove them back to whatever pit in Tarterus produced them.
  • ten-frillion gallons of fuel. This was the second most needed and scarce commodity after Rita and Ike (second to ice, which was needed for medicines, food preservation, etc.), and we had to drive an hour and a half one way to College Station on supply runs for our friends and neighbors to get it. Stockpile at least a full-tank's-worth in 5 gallon jerry cans (use Stabil- http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/stabil/default.aspx to keep the fuel from going south). Make damn sure it is in a safe place that the hurricane WON'T flatten, and away from your living space in case the unthinkable happens. I recommend putting multiple C-class fire extinguishers wherever the fuel is stored.
  • Solar/dynamo/battery radios (2 or more) with AM/FM/Shortwave/Weather bands (I linked to one in the previous emergency supplies post). Trust me, this will be a Gods-send. One of the worst things that sets in after the dust has settled is boredom, and one of the worst problems afterward is lack of communication, news, and information in general.
  • If you have kids, and can afford it, get a portable DvD player with screen and a butt-tonne of batteries for it. There are few things on Earth more dangerous and annoying than a house full of intelligent and bored kids without electricity or cell phones...
  • Speaking of, get a land-line. Cell phones are virtually useless for the first few days or longer after the hurricane hits. Land lines are generally unfazed, however, so invest in one.


If you have a wireless laptop, and leave the affected area for a supply run, pop
into the lobby of a hotel as if you were staying there, grab a seat in the
lounge, plug in the laptop to recharge it, and raid their wifi to get emails and
posts out to let friends and family outside of the area know your situation.

If you are 40 miles or closer to the coast, when they say evacuate, do so unless
you have absolutely no choice, and have everything loaded before the evac order
comes so you can hit the road and beat the worst of the rush. Between 41 and 100
miles inland, make the decision based on how secure and stocked your home is.
Sometimes it is safer to stay put than to be stuck in stop-and-go traffic for
twelve hours. At 100 miles and further, you will probably be relatively fine.

Know the backroads. If you evacuate, avoid major freeways and commonly-used
secondary roads at all costs. They will become parking lots if you are near a
major coastal city. Houston evacuated the majority of the 5.5 million people
living there when Ike changed directions, and it was a helluva lot better than
when Rita came, but it was still ugly. Know the little-known back roads and link
them together to form multiple evacuation routes. You should do this as a part
of any general preparedness plan, as what you see in a hurricane evacuation is a
microcosm of what will happen in a SHTF scenario.

Lastly, keep in touch. If you need a place to fall back to, ask here. If you
stay put, get in touch somehow to let everyone know you are alive. If you need
extraction, ask, you'd be surprised at how willing and capable many of us are to
get fellow Sinsearaithe out of a jam.


Current Mood: thoughtful
Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
1:47 pm
Of Crippling Injuries and Gaelic Stubborness, a Soliloquy
Well, working a security detail this weekend wasn't the brightest idea I have ever had. Even with braces on both legs under my 5.11s all weekend, I still wound up aggravating my knees to the point of winding up back on crutches. Tis Tuesday, and I am now off the crutches, but still need bracing and a cane to get around (and I need not tell you how old that makes me feel). Feck. Feck feck feckity feckfeckfeck...

At this point, it's looking more and more like my doctor's first assessment was correct- I need to move from PSD work into being an instructor. I have years of training and experience, the certs aren't that hard to get (just takes time), and I enjoyed teaching when I did it in WA after I got broken working for the state (are we seeing a pattern here? I swear, I am neither fragile nor foolhardy, I just push it too damned much. Though, in my defense, the incident on AD which left me in my current state was because of a dumbass staff sergeant who went off-road in ice and snow against common sense and protocol, so that wasn't my fault), so it's not all bad. I hate working desk jobs, but teaching isn't entirely desk-bound duty- there's dynamic entry, room clearing, convoy deployment and evac, detail formation, and range training that all take place out and about- so it's a good compromise in the long run. It's just hard to shift from what I have done my entire adult life- literally the past 18 years- and move into something else. Old dog, new tricks, you know the drill :-)

Oh well, not like I can get any more decent gigs regardless. After this, my beloved wife went into an overprotective frenzy and told me- in no uncertain terms- that I am hereby not allowed to take any overseas contracts- not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in Kosovo, not in Kuwait, not even in Qatar, where the greatest threat is death-by-boredom watching dirt. So, that limits me to western hemisphere contracts (Colombia primarily if I hook up with the Bulot Group, a PMC out of Fort Worth specializing in counter-cartel operations and training) or domestics, which pay a lot less ($350 to $450 a day as opposed to twice that in Iraq and Afghanistan), so monetarily it also makes sense. I can make decent money as an instructor and- except for the occassional catastrophically stupid or inept student- won't get shot at :-)

Of course, this means my mother is right yet again, since she said she knew I would always wind up teaching... >.

Current Mood: devious
Monday, May 11th, 2009
12:20 pm
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
11:13 am
so, apparently I'm a potential terrorist now... thank you DHS *flips bird*
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the same Dept. of Homeland Security that thinks the 9/11 hijackers came through Canada seems to think that we, military veterans, are now suspicious persons who should be watched because we are potential terrorists.

Think I'm making this shit up? Here's the text copied directly from the dept. of Homeland Stupidity Security's report (full text below behind the cut)-

"— (U//FOUO) Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are
attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing
extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to
boost their violent capabilities."

"(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and
radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from
military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the
capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out
violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist
groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from
the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.
— (U) After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military
veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing
extremist groups.
— (U) A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers
of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now
learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”
— (U//LES) The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement
that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have
joined extremist groups."

wow... so because I am a staunch Libertarian (yeah, they also mentioned supporters of third-party candidates are dangerous), a veteran, and a believer in the second amendment (which they spend a great deal of time hammering on as a basis for extremism), I am now a potential terrorist... Hey, DHS? If you're reading this, may I hereby personally present you with...

The Asshat of the Century Award!

And here's the full text (sorry about the formatting, it's a PDF file)-Collapse )

Current Mood: annoyed
Saturday, March 28th, 2009
9:30 am
Damn the Army

Don't have long to type this, but I'll put the bullet points up.

1) Do not ever mention the Army or my involvement with it again, I ask everyone here out of courtesy and decency. They have taken too much from me. I will be able to walk again in a few months after physical therapy and surgery, but their misconduct- namely marching my wife in freezing rain while pregnant, in direct violation of her medical profile, and causing her to get very sick, which in turn caused fetal distress- caused her to lose the baby.

2) I will be home in a week or two, but I will need a great deal of time before my anger subsides enough for me to be able to have a civil conversation about any of this. We will be trying again soon, but the pain is still too close for me.

3) I, who was once one of the most vocal supporters of the US military, am no longer one, and may well be it's most vocal critic. Damn them. They took my legs, they took our child, they can rot in whatever hell exists for those who see their soldiers as pieces of meat to be used and throw away like tissues.

Current Mood: enraged
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
9:04 pm
Well.... shit.
At drill this weekend we got the everloving batcrap smoked1 out of us- twice- prior to our APFT2, which is against regulations and caused a lot of people to have crappy results at best, go down with muscle failure more common (one girl even went down with a torn ligament as a result)... no, the people in charge who smoked us were NOT supposed to do so, nor are they our permenant unit, they were recruiters and cadets from the local ROTC program playing drill-sergeant for those of us about to ship out to schools and doing so badly. Drill sergeants know when to pull back and aren't sadists, despite accusations to the contrary. These people reminded me of frat-boys engaging in a hazing. Salesmen in uniform, NOT soldiers... feh.... Hate recruiters.
So, my pushups were only 61 and my situps even worse. However, during the run bad juju happened and I went down with shin splints and a pulled hamstring. I got sent to medical and was given Grunt Candy3 and put on profile4, but the problem I have is that I am supposed to ship out next week. ANY injury can screw that up. So, my dilemma- if the injury is still pronounced on Tuesday, do I  A) fake it and pretend I'm just fine, knowing that I will be getting the batcrap smoked out of me when I get there (I am going to a fairly hardcore school, so it's like boot camp on a bad day) and risk possible further injury, or do I  B) tell them and risk possibly being held back from shipping, lose my school slot, and get buggered?


Definitions for the non-military:
1. Smoked- Ordered to do punitive physical training- in this case, bear crawls, side-straddle-hop (aka Jumping Jacks), pushups, crab walk, so on and so forth until unable to do so any more due to muscle failure- due to some infraction by a member or members of the unit- in this case the idiocy of one chowderhead recruit who couldn't stop shooting his mouth off.

2. APFT-
Army Physical Fitness Test. Required before soldiers can go to training schools. Soldiers must pass with varying scores, 60% being minimum for most training, 70% or higher for other schools.

3. Grunt Candy- 800mg tablets of Ibuprofen, cures whatever ails you at the expense of your kidneys, which will pack up and leave your body, suitcase in-tow.

4. Profile- Medical restriction from engaging in some or all physical training and activities. Similar to work restrictions for civilians, but violating it can get the soldier and superior into trouble.

Current Mood: tired
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