Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Vandals Kick Ass...

By Spc. Jan Critchfield
122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 1, 2005 -- Punk rock and military discipline -- not exactly
like shampoo and conditioner. More like fire and ice. But for some soldiers
able to see the Vandals kick out the jams here Dec. 28, it almost seemed like
they were back on the block, stomping like there's no tomorrow.

"I think it was an outstanding show -- I mean, a major relief on the tension
out here," said Spc. Robert Skidmore of Company C, 115th Forward Support
Battalion, while waiting in line to score an autograph. "I've been (following)
these guys for some time. I had a bunch of blank tapes with Vandals written on
it. You know, I didn't really know the names of the songs but just listened to
them a lot when I was driving around in my car."

Skidmore said the performance provided a welcome respite for the soldiers. "We
forgot we were in Iraq for a while," he said, indicating two buddies of his
standing in the autograph line.

"We're having actually a great time in Iraq," bass player Joe Escalante said
after the autograph session. "Everyone's nice. Everyone has a better attitude
than we thought they'd have when we first got here. Everyone's a lot smarter
than most people think the military is."

The Vandals' regular drummer was busy with other projects and didn't make the
trip. Byron McMackin from the group Pennywise sat in for him.

The energy of the crowd at Al-Amal, the band said, far surpassed anywhere they
had played during their tour of Iraq and Kuwait. "The show went very well,"
front man David Quackenbush said. "I know there's lot of people here that
haven't heard of us, but it seemed like they were having a good time, and there
were a lot of smiles. I think it was an awesome opportunity to come here and do

Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year...

DS Rob: "I don't need any stupid expensive motocross boots. An old pair of Army boots will be just fine."

(2 weeks later)


(This is the sound it makes when you lay the bike over in sand, slightly sprain your ankle, and fry a 4x8 inch section of your calf on the hot motor)

(2 days later)

Cycle shop clerk: "That'll be 129.99 please."

DS Rob: "Noooooo problem"

(Shmangy is having an apoplectic fit right now... I could have bought 25 homeless orphans a happy meal with that money.)


We went and rode today. It rocked. It's about an hour and a half away, but there are still sections of the trail we haven't seen yet. I don't have a whole lot to judge it by, since I'm practically a beginner at riding on dirt, but I can't imagine a much better track for me and James to start riding on. He didn't have too much trouble. He laid it over a few times, but mostly because he was going too slow lol. He did well for the most part.

When we got back he was pretty wore out, but I went out and did a short section of the trail by myself at a substantially higher speed. I didn't do too bad. I almost lost it once in some ruts on a turn, but pulled it off. If anybody out there is really good at riding motocross or enduros and has any advice, I'm all ears. I have a lot of experience riding street bikes, I used to have a Yamaha Virago (I called it the Hardly Davidson), but I haven't ridden nearly as much on dirt bikes. A little here and there, but not a whole lot.

[NOTE:Shmangy = other side of a small conflict on the xanga site]

By the way, I need to thank Shmangy (no really... I'm being serious). He got me to thinking about some things that might turn out to be a pretty good article. It might or might not be something I would try to get published, I'll have to see how it turns out first. (It's not really about our argument, he just sent my train of thought in a new direction.)

Open question... If I post something here how does that affect trying to get it published? I assume I still hold all copyrights, but would a publication pay for something that was already posted on the internet? Anybody who knows anything about the subject, let me know. I'm not really too concerned with getting paid for it, although that would be cool too. I would just like to see it get distributed widely if it turns out as well as I think it will.


Oh yeah. Remember the "to be continued" about the HUMONGOUS buck I saw a few days ago? Well, here goes...

Nada. No deer. Next year.

Season is over tomorrow, and we're going riding again, so that's it. I have almost as much meat in the freezer as I wanted, so no big loss. If I get a chance though, I'm gonna do some serious scouting before this next season. I've never tried to pattern an individual deer, so it should be interesting.

I didn't get a chance to count points, but his rack was BIG. If it is the same deer that people have talked about seeing for a few years though, they say it's an 11 point. I don't know if it is the same one, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. I also wouldn't be surprised if it was just a really big 8 point or something. I'm notoriously bad at judging deer after all. (see the post about little bitty doe)

I found a few tracks though that were 2 1/2 to 3 inches across. BIG. So I can't be too far off.


Anyway, Happy New Year everyone. 2004 was way too exciting. Maybe we'll have a nice boring year for 2005. I doubt it, but we can always hope.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Deer can low crawl... Pt 1

Big deer.

BIG deer.

BIGBIGBIG deer. (eyes rolling maniacally and arms flailing wildly.)

I know where he lives now.

I didn't get a shot at him, but I saw him. (BIG deer)

(to be continued)