Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I got Paroled!

well, I've been just walking on cloud 9 since monday afternoon. Put in a request and had it fast tracked, should be recieving my orders pretty quick to head to San Diego sometime after the 4th of July to undergo some more training. Once I submit this training to the Coast Guard, it's a few week wait and then I'll be seeing at least a 50% increase in my base pay at a minimum. Plus, during this wait time, since the company I work for is hurting for this postion, the whole industry is actually will put me up in a hotel and pay me to boot until I get my new papers. Sure beats twiddling my thumbs in New Jersey.

Although, I wouldn't be able to make the trips to New York so easily, that was an intresting trip. Did a lot of walking around, just seeing the sites, watching the people and frequenting all the side walk venders. Found a little hole in the wall pizzeria that had the best pizza I've had to date, we figured it was a good spot when the line for it was out the door. Would like to do more of the tourist bit, but the whole trip was basically to walk off a hang over and just get out there and walk since we've been stuck sitting in the classroom these many weeks. Slept like a baby saturday night, I should hope so after 7 continuous hours of walking.

I shall cut this shorter, I have much more to say but have a little study/review for a written test tomorrow which is a prerequiset for the practical exam on friday and that'll effectively be the end of my training here in New Jersey.

Monday, June 19, 2006

No title just yet

So, this week is an intresting bit of training. Non-lethal forms of hand to hand combat. It's almost better to come into something like this without any sort of training then to have even the basics of what I have already been through.

This isn't very advanced, some basic throws and joint lock/holds for take downs. My hesitenacy in all this, is my own fear of my own strength. Rather then risk injuring my fellow shipmate in practice I find myself hesitating nor using quite the right amount of pressure to pull these moves off. I still have some fair amount of residual strength from when I went hog wild years ago months before I got out of the Army and added 40 lbs of bulk muscle in less then 4 months. It's still fun to see the surprise on people's faces on the agility/balance/speed I possess despite me being this big of size.

Well towards the end of the week, things will get more intresting as we go about force on force training using sub caliber weapons of what we trained with to shoot paint ball like rounds inside a ship mockup. There is definately a different mind set to this whole minimal force approach, what you typically see employed by the law enforcement community. Taking a lot of restraint to not shoot first and ask questions later.

This of course brings up what I've been seeing in the news the last few weeks of "ethics" in battle. That's about an oxymoron if I've ever heard one, there's nothing ethical about warfare. If it weren't so sad it would be humorous that politicians and the public are outraged about the unethical behavior of combat troops in a hostile enviroment. We weren't trained as peace keepers, that's what the Military Police are for, Infantry and Marines are trained to kill, oh wait, I am suppose to be politially correct, we're trained to "close with and destroy the enemy". What ever happened to using the right tool for the job?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Don't people walk anymore?

I'm seeing a general trend on the East Coast of not beingvery pedestrian friendly. I noticed this years ago in South Carolina, but figured it was just them, then saw it again in Virginia, now in New Jersey and into Philadelphia as well. Now, me being from the Northwest, pedestrian walkways are almost big enough to drive down, well not quite but they are nearly every where. You can safely walk everywhere you need to go, which I very often do and not just because I was in the Infantry. However if you hear me talking about something being within walking distance, it's a relative term, in the Infantry, EVERYTHING was within walking distance :)

Another bit of my Army training came into play the past week, small arms training. Since we are Navy Civilian run ships, we support the Navy, however, we don't have a contingent of Marines aboard to provide physical security so we're trained to do it ourselves. Just three basic weapons we're trained for shipboard use, the M14 rifle, M9 pistol and shotgun.

On friday we underwent qualifications on the M14 and shotgun. Shane, one of the group I'm in of new hires, and I had a bet about who would score higher with it. Wasn't that big of deal, just something for both of us to take the whole bit more seriously. After two 40 round qualification periods, our score was identical, however he conceeded the bet to me after seeing my 1 hole pattern of 15 rounds I shot on the second go around. I've told him somewhat of my military career, but I haven't made it clear just yet that I was a weapon specialist, I think everyone has the idea now after seeing me shoot.

Some intresting things going on around the hotel, see a cop car make the rounds through the parking lot at least once a night, the same hookers making their way through the hotel hallways, I still haven't had the "pleasure" of seeing them, been told they're enough to make even the horniest of sailor want to remain celebate. Could hear their antics from the room above mine, friday night late.

Hopefully I'm not stuck shore side for too much longer, the boredem will probably drive me to drinking just to have something to do. It's bad enough right now that all of our group has a running grocery list but we purposely don't buy items just so we have something to do the next day going to the store to pick them up.

Anyways, just taking a weekend off and getting caught up on my sleep, I seem to have fallen back into my old habits of not sleeping much during the week and sleeping a lot on the weekends. I have a lot of really odd stuff that I do to myself, most of it makes me wonder if I really am crazy.