Thursday, April 08, 2004

The struggle continues...

OK... actually it's not that bad.

I think I have the hang of most of the basics. Thank you to everyone who offered advice or different sites and tutorials. So far I have ... well, not mastered ... but at least become familiar with links, fonts, and colors. This is not to say I'm satisfied with the page yet, but I have a general idea of how to tweak it.

Tonight's mission: Tables and graphics.
Actually the mission might take a week or more since we pick up soldier's tomorrow and I won't have any time to work on it unless I do it when I get home around 2100.

I added some links to Military Gear. Needless to say, I don't get paid by anybody to advertise, and I only put em up there if I use or have used their products and think they are worthwhile. This does not mean they are cheap though. I am of the mind that you get what you pay for 80% of the time.

I'm actually looking forward to picking up soldiers again. If anybody followed our progress on the xanga site, you know we had a pretty good cycle. We are starting the new PT program this cycle also. This should be interesting. It is almost a return to the daily dozen they used to do back in the day, with some variations and additions. The idea is to get away from training for an APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test-Pushups/Situps/2Mile Run) and focus on a more well-rounded overall level of fitness. I was worried at first that it would be weak and ineffective, and certain exercises I'm still not sure about, but the complete workout when done correctly gives you a pretty good workout.

My goals for this cycle:

1. Have the most disciplined, tough, combat ready soldiers in C Company. This is a given. Our platoon will kick ass as usual. I have some of the best partners around and we are all strict disciplinarians. We don't put up with any bullsh*t from our soldiers, and by the end of the cycle they love us for it. Once it's over, everybody wants to say they were in the hardest platoon. Ours mean it.

2. Hit 90% "first time go's" on qualification day in BRM (Basic Rifle Marksmanship) and 100% qualified at the end of the day. We hit the 100% this last time, but only shot around 80% the first time. This isn't bad, but we can do better.

3. Blow the other platoons out of the water in Physical Fitness. We did this last cycle as well, but had two soldiers fail the first time. They both passed on the retest, but they shouldn't have been close enough to have a chance of failure. Still, our average score was far above any other platoons. If I remember correctly it was around a 250 average, which is outstanding for a Basic Training platoon. We'll shoot for a 260 this time. (150 points, with at least 50 in each event, is the minimum score to graduate from Basic Training.)

Now it's in print, so I can look back in 9 weeks and see how we did.

anyway, enough for now

... out

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The Most Repulsive Blog Award...

Is there such a category?

Well, it's all for the betterment of humanity. I am talented at lots of things, but sucking at HTML is an affront to my pride and meager intellect.

I tell you now...
(assumes heroic pose and shakes fist in air vigorously)
this will not STAND!

It is my manifest destiny as a new breed of digital warrior to conquer Hypertext Markup Language!

HTML, I have discovered, is not something to be learned. It must be clubbed into submission with the blunt edge of the keyboard.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

AAARGH (the roar of anguish and frustration...not the really cool blog by the same name)

If given a choice between learning HTML on my own, or standing around in the CS chamber without a mask... definitely the chamber. Unfortunately we don't go to the chamber for several weeks... so I guess I'll keep trying.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The American Dream…

Tell me if I'm wrong here...

In light of the current debate where President Bush points to the highest growth in jobs in 4 years...and Kerry points to a still flat rate in manufacturing jobs... shouldn't we just go ahead and say it? The hard truth that some people don't want to hear is that as productivity goes up, the need for large amounts of workers in manufacturing goes down.

It's not like President Bush or Clinton or anyone else went out and did something wrong to make those jobs go away. As manufacturing becomes more streamlined and efficient, we need fewer people to cut sheet metal, pop rivets and push buttons. The job market is changing. The job market has always been changing, and will always change. This is how a free market operates.
There are open jobs all over the place, but there are fewer unskilled, high paying, unionized, relatively easy jobs. Around 15-20% of the Registered Nurse positions will go unfilled this year. We are talking about an extreme shortage of workers in just one sector among others. Face the facts, take advantage of the training and educational opportunities that are out there, and go improve your lot in life.

The only way to keep manufacturing jobs on the rise is to either manufacture more goods or REDUCE productivity and efficiency. The latter is out of the question, but manufacturing more goods sounds reasonable. The problem is that we are so successful as a society, nobody wants to work for the low wages that people in other countries will. Obviously this increases the cost of producing goods in the United States. Now, the outlook is not that grim. Certain products will always be manufactured here, just as certain products will always be manufactured overseas. The ratio will shift, but even if we begin to produce more goods here for some reason, the same cycle will begin again. As new sectors of manufacturing open up, those with a financial interest in the companies will always look to improve efficiency and cut costs. This most often either means finding cheaper labor or automating processes, both of which reduce the number of jobs available to American workers.

If you don't want to take the time, or for some reason believe that you can't do it... can't get an education or find the training, then there are plenty of unskilled jobs available. You just have to get used to the idea that you will work harder for lower pay. You might not always be able to get a union job where you push a button or watch a conveyor belt for an annual wage in excess of what our teachers and policemen make. Go pick some friggin fruit. Go do some roofing. I've done sucks. But find a way to provide for your family. And quit whining about it.

Hell...join the damn Army. I'll train you. You might not like it, but you'll be paid a reasonable amount after a few years if you do well, and you will have outstanding benefits for your whole family from day one. Just accept the fact that you will be expected to act like a grown man (or woman) and take some pride in who you are and what you do. This might be a little much for some people.

Your spouse might even need to get a Part or Full-time job. It is not difficult to survive on one income in today’s society, rice and beans are cheap, but it is very difficult to prosper and afford the luxuries we all want on one income. My wife and I both work full time jobs, not because we couldn’t survive otherwise, but because we want our kids to have the things that we didn’t when we were growing up. Material possessions are not the path to happiness… but being the only 12 year old in your class without a video game system sucks. Wearing hand-me-down clothes in the eighth grade sucks. And driving a broke down beater car as an adult would suck. So we find ways to make a pleasant and reasonably comfortable life for our family.

It is not the Government's function or responsibility to provide the American people with jobs. They are not an employment agency. It is their responsibility to provide and promote a stable and productive economy that makes things like gainful employment possible.

There are plenty of jobs out there. Immigrants... both legal and illegal... find them everyday. They are HAPPY to have the opportunity to work and build a life for themselves. They, for the most part, don't expect anyone else to do it for them.

It is the responsibility of the American people to provide for themselves and their families by going where the jobs are.

I'm sick to death of people looking to the Government to take care of them. Take care of your frickin self. What happened to the American Dream? I'll tell you. People started turning it into a real dream. The kind where everything is easy and you don't have to put any real thought into it or come up with any kind of a good plan. It’s not a damn dream, it’s a goal… something you have to work toward.

Life is hard...not sometimes...ALL the time. Deal with it. Stop sniveling lol.

Bah...more later.