Friday, December 30, 2005

I am not 21 anymore

My recovery time from drinking has increased 10 fold over the last decade. I can not do a shot for shot with these 21 year crowd and expect last all night long. I am lucky if I wake up before noon. The majority is definitely about 5 to 7 years younger than I. All I got going for me is the experience. Maybe a little stamina for the longer nights. Japan has parties all night long in most bars. In fact the best time to go is from Midnight to about 5 am. This where the experience comes in, I will take a nap until 10 or 11pm then go out. (Don't get me wrong, this is not a nightly event, more of a once a paycheck.) Regardless, I can't go out as much as I used to.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

T minus 222: Day 143

It is Christmas weekend and that doesn't mean much more than a few extra days off. I personally never got into the "holiday spirit". I will be spending my Christmas with a fellow sergeant and his wife. I am also bringing several other "single" Marines with me. The holidays is more of a time of sharing than anything else. My friend is sharing his house and hospitality to those of us who do not have anyone to share the day with. ( I promise to take pictures.)

On January 4th, I will be going to Camp Hanson for that training I mentioned in an earlier post. The "academy" will last for 7 weeks. This hopefully will be my ticket to advancement. If not I may be joining the ranks of the civilian world sooner rather than later.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Babs Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a
small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily
apprizing a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh
green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the
peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas . sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"

"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?"

"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?"

"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I got's my prize marble here."

"Is that right? Let me see it."

"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go
for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"

"Not zackley . but almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."

"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our
community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain
with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."

I left the stand smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A
short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering.

Several years went by, each more rapid that the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... all very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.! They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size ... they came to pay their debt."

"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments
that takes our breath.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Marine Corps Ball 2005

I did some updating.
You will all notice that some people are in this year's pictures as they were in last years. It should strike a funny bone if you pay attention.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I have once said, "Life is not a joke, it is millions of little jokes one right after another."

This may be true today as it was once yesterday.

My hopes and dreams are a fantasy that are ill afford.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Sometimes, I think that the reason I am not loved by my peers or women is the ambitious factor. Not that it was the factor in why we ( the women in question), got together it is or may have been a reason why we spilt in the first place.
Or maybe, "they" still love me, it is the ambition that was missing. I personally do not believe that. I always thought I had a lot of ambition.
Maybe it was the lost "Goth".
Or the Latin.
Whatever the reason, I wish for love to be the factor which keeps us together whoever that may concern.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Marine Service Journal

A friend of mine, "Dee Dee" gave me a book titled "Marine Service Journal."
Sort of a paper based version of this blog. Granted, I do not tell you all everything, what fun would that be?
The book has some great illustrations and pictures. It has a place for a personal history, which can be quite boring. It has Unit Activities, which, anyone but myself and other Marines would understand. It has "Service Friends" which over the years I have had many. There are a few other nifty details as well, I would tell you all, but where's the mystery in that?

Now do not misunderstand me, I have filled out he book and have been filling out the book since I received it as a gift. I appreciated the gift, more because no one else thought of it for the last decade.

Dee Dee is a great friend and my heart goes out for her.
Semper Fi

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

T minus 250: Day 115

It is Thanksgiving. In about 2 hours I will be departing to my SNCOIC's (Staff Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge) house with about 6 other Marines. I plan to bring some cheese and summer sausage my mother sent me with some Ritz I bought yesterday. All should be well, I am breaking out some good clothes I brought with me. ( I had a woman helped me buy it, so I am in fashion.)

Yesterday, I ran my second half of the year PFT (Physical Fitness Test). Not fun. I didn't do nearly as well as I have in the past. I did my 100 crunches with 12 pull-ups (counted) and a 24 minute 18 second run time. The younger Marines thought that it was pretty good, I know better and should have done better. My "boss" thought it was not "bad" for a thirty year old. Well, let me tell you all first I am hurting today. I will probably be hurting tomorrow too. I still have not done the math but I think it is around a 223 or 222, something like that. It is about 20 points lower than my last one and about 35 points lower than the one before.

The monitors will be here in a couple of weeks. (The guys who tell everyone where they are going to be stationed.) I plan to figure out what my next steps will be. At the moment, an extension here is looking like the best option. We will see.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Immigrants of History

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Fun Stuff

This was shared with me, now, I share it with all of you.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The ball tomorrow

Tomorrow night is the ball. It may be interesting. Or it may be politics. I will see and keep you all posted.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Image Archive

I spent the good portion yesterday putting thumbnails into my website. I still have quite a few to go yet, but hopefully by the end of the weekend it will be complete.
The photos are in alphabetical order, so if it looks like chaos, it really is not.
Every photo or document on my website will be displayed here.
Like I said, I have about 150 to go yet, so if you think I am missing something I am not quite done yet.
I would appreciate it if you all would at least look at it, once. Just for my hard work.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Last Week in Yuma

Well, someone "fucked up" and the phrase of SNAFU comes to mind. The crappy schedule I had when I first got here is back. Oh, and my renter, he just turned my landlord experience into FUBAR. He pissed off the neighbors and they called the county, which in turn puts me in a violation that if not fixed shortly will cost me a $10,000.00 a day fine until fixed. Hopefully, this will be taken care of before I leave the states.
The whole part that really chaps my ass is that the person who turned in the individual that did the wrong should have taken care of the Marine instead of fucking him and everyone else. This statement would not have been foreign 5 to 10 years ago nor would it be when my father or anyone else's family was in the military. The situation did not harm anyone and the violation was not a major one. I am not saying to break the rules, the rules are there for a reason. All I am saying is this Marine just needed to be looked after for about twenty feet and all would have been fine.
What is the one thing that Marines do the other services do not do or do not take pride in?

Well, the answer is history if this truly is the "new" Marine Corps.

The good is part is a friend is visiting me for the last few days. I hope the best for that.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

T minus 281 : Day 84 : Rotation Time Minus 11

I can not wait until this detail (exercise) is over. I like the area, but I am truly hating this job I am doing here.

One of the good points of being here is I have an awesome renter. He is actually taking care of my house. (Saving me a dime or two.)

When I do return, I will be going to the ball "stag." If that is a surprise then you haven't been reading.

I did receive a few awesome presents from some really cool people. Definitely, this is year has been a banner one.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Nothing Special

This post is nothing special.
I do not have time to post anything of any real value.
I barely have enough time to type this message.
This thought process is a complete waste of time.
You have just wasted your time by reading this.
You and I can not feel any smarter or wiser by reading this.
In fact, you are probably wondering, why I would do this?
I do not know.

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Good Analogy to Share

From a person who's there, in the midst..........

The other day, my nine year old son wanted to know why we were at war...My husband looked at our son and then looked at me. My husband and I were in the Army during the Gulf War and we would be honored to serve and defend our Country again today. I knew that my husband would give him a good explanation. My husband thought for a few minutes and then told my son to go stand in our front living room window.

He said "Son, stand there and tell me what you see?"

"I see trees and cars and our neighbor's houses." he replied.

"OK, now I want you to pretend that our house and our yard is the United States of America and you are President Bush."

Our son giggled and said "OK."

"Now son, I want you to look out the window and pretend that every house and yard on this block is a different country" my husband said.

"OK Dad, I'm pretending."

"Now I want you to stand there and look out the window and pretend you see Saddam come out of his house with his wife, he has her by the hair and is hitting her. You see her bleeding and crying. He hits her in the face, he throws her on the ground, then he starts to kick her to death. Their children run out and are afraid to stop him, they are screaming and crying, they are watching this but do nothing because they are kids and they are afraid of their father. You see all of this, son... .what do you do?"


"What do you do son?"

"I'd call the police, Dad."

"OK. Pretend that the police are the United Nations. They take your call. They listen to what you know and saw but they refuse to help. What do you do then son?"

"Dad.......... but the police are supposed to! help!" My son starts to whine.

"They don't want to son, because they say that it is not their place or your place to get involved and that you should stay out of it," my husband says.

"But Dad...he killed her!!" my son exclaims.

"I know he did...but the police tell you to stay out of it. Now I want you to look out that window and pretend you see our neighbor who you're pretending is Saddam turn around and do the same thing to his children."

"Daddy...he kills them?"

"Yes son, he does. What do you do?"

"Well, if the police don't want to help, I will go and ask my next door neighbor to help me stop him." our son says.

"Son, our next door neighbor sees what is happening and refuses to get involved as well. He refuses to open the door and help you stop him," my husband says.

"But Dad, I NEED help!!! I can't stop him by myself!!"


Our son starts to cry.

"OK, no one wants to help you, the! man across the street saw you ask for help and saw that no one would help you stop him. He stands taller and puffs out his chest. Guess what he does next son?"

"What Daddy?"

"He walks across the street to the old ladies house and breaks down her door and drags her out, steals all her stuff and sets her house on fire and then...he kills her. He turns around and sees you standing in the window and laughs at you. WHAT DO YOU DO?"



Our son is crying and he looks down and he whispers, "I'd close the blinds, Daddy."
My husband looks at our son with tears in his eyes and asks him.


"Because Daddy.....the police are sup posed to help people who needs them...and they won't help.... You always say that neighbors are supposed to HELP neighbors, but they won't help either...they won't help me stop him...I'm afraid....I can't do it by myself Daddy.....I can't look out my window and just watch him do all these ! terrible things'm just going to close the blinds.... so I can't see what he's doing........and I'm going to pretend that it is not happening."

I start to cry. My husband looks at our nine year old son standing in the window, looking pitiful and ashamed at his answers to my husband's questions and he says...

"Yes, Daddy."

"Open the blinds because that man.... he's at your front door... "WHAT DO YOU DO?"

My son looks at his father, anger and defiance in his eyes. He balls up his tiny fists and looks his father square in the eyes, without hesitation he says: "I DEFEND MY FAMILY DAD!! I'M NOT GONNA LET HIM HURT MOMMY OR MY S ISTER, DAD!!! I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM, DAD, I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM!!!!!"

I see a tear roll down my husband's cheek and he grabs our son to his chest and hugs him tight, and says... "It's too late to fight him, he's too strong and he's already at YOUR front door should have s! topped him BEFORE he killed his wife, and his children and the old lady across the way. You have to do what's right, even if you have to do it alone, before its too late." my husband whispers. THAT scenario I just gave you is WHY we are at war with Iraq. When good men stand by and let evil happen son, THAT is the greatest atrocities in the world won't affect him. "YOU MUST NEVER BE AFRAID TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT! EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALONE!" BE PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! BE PROUD OF OUR TROOPS!! SUPPORT THEM!!! SUPPORT AMERICA SO THAT IN THE FUTURE OUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER HAVE TO CLOSE THEIR BLINDS..."

(name withheld)
CMSgt 332 ELRS/Vehicle Management
Flight Balad Air Base, Iraq

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Friends and Enemies

Since being back have run into many people that I have known before. The vast majority are good friends, but on occasion there are those people that I wish to have been run over instead of seeing them again.

I would like to think that most people I encounter view me as a friend, but I think that would be over stepping my boundaries. I admit it, when I meet someone that I don't like I tend to let them know about it. {There are exceptions to the rule.}

Some of the people who obviously do not like me have been avoiding me. I know this because I keep running into their coworkers. A little odd. Some of you know this person or people and I do find it quite odd.

The funny part is, I am not looking to pick a fight, have an argument, or have a run in with anyone while I am here. I feel that I can hold my own and be the bigger person.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I am truly on day 66. For some reason my math went to crap and no one noticed. If fact, I believe that maybe when you all say you read these posts, you actually don't think about the posts.

A horse by any other color. ~ A bird in the hand as luck would have it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Everyone has one.

Mine tend to make my life harder.

It is times like these that maybe it is a tell tale sign that I need to transition to the civilian world.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Family Circus

>Click on "files" then September 9th, 2005.<

My mother sent me something very special. Instead of scanning the picture and posting it which will slow your computer down I thought this would be easier.

It made my day, maybe it will make yours.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I see a Finger and Thumb in a Shape of an "L" on People's Foreheads

In MARADMIN 428/05, my name is clearly not listed. I am not going to be promoted.
I know and fear my suspicions were right and the reason seems to point to my PME.
I wasn't really happy about the fact I was told by a person I despise, respect, but despise.

My options are:
1) Receive the training I am missing and kiss a lot of ass.
2) Prepare for the civilian world.
3) Be disgruntled, and piss everyone off.
4) Or go see the "doc" for all those "things" that I have been "sucking up" with for the last decade.

Currently, I feeling that option 1 is the best course of action.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

T minus 315 : Day 40 : Rotation Time minus 48

I survived the "typhoon." I deployed to the states. I have slept an eradicated schedule. I have a stomach virus. I have been SIQ (sick in quarters) for the last few days. I am still living in a icebox in the middle of the desert. Oh, and I have a head cold.

All in all, not bad. Not bad at all. Could be worse... Right?

I personally wish to have deployed to the Middle East, then at least my crappy sleep/work schedule would not bother me as much.

I just read an article about the diversity on the social order of America and the military. I agree with the author. There is no point in going into specifics. The military is a scapegoat for the rational teenager and rational parent to have. We do our job, and they go to soccer games and PTA meetings and have coffee and cookies. I am paraphrasing here but I think you get the drift.

Even though I am in the good ol' US of A, the time here counts as if I were still overseas. That is the reason for the title of this post.

The good part of being sick is the fact I am getting lots of sleep. The bad part of being sick is I am getting lots of sleep.

Have you ever read the "Lockhorns?" It is a comic strip. When you have the opportunity you should. My life is similar. I am just missing the wife part right now.

I am been chaste or pure as of late. I don't know how becoming that will be.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

September Stress

-The constant change in my venue has reminded me of what being a Marine is all about. I have mentioned this before in a previous post.

-The "per diem" that I am supposed to receive for being here, has not been received. And as my current rank I am not authorized to drive a non government vehicle. The cab fare for 4 miles is 8 dollars. I don't know how many of you have been to Yuma, but everything is at least 4 miles away, probably more like 10 to 15 miles.

-The real stress in my life seems to be that message I have waiting for. You know, the one that says whether I will get that promotion or not. I know of few things I could have done to make myself look better on paper. My excuse was the job tempo of my previous command. (Everyone has an excuse, I am not the exclusion.) In fact, I was denied Professional Military Education (PME) twice due to this operation tempo. Of course, none of that is documented. So, if I don't get the promotion and the reason is my PME, I will definitely not be a happy camper.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I just received word that I will be returning to Yuma on a ....Deployment!
The thing is that I actually wanted to go back. I will receive a dislocation allowance while there. This is commonly referred to as "per diem."
So, hopefully, I should make up for the losses I had during my February disaster with my house.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Time Off

Apparently, no remembers whether or not we, the military, have holidays. I write this because I have received several inquiries about the Labor Day weekend. So I have decided to share this link with you all.

As far as how much actual time off we receive that depends on duty status and how the Commanding General feels he or she should give us. The most common is a 72 hour liberty, sometimes a 96 hour liberty is granted.

T minus 329: Day 26

Well, the people reading this today, should be aware of the "Super Typhoon" heading this way, by now. Yea.

I personally have survived a many hurricanes such as Fran and Bertha which were both class 4s and were back to back within 5 days of each other. Granted, this one is a class 5, but how much worse can it be?

Not too many trailers here.

The Sgt. Maj. is back. My first impression is a good one. It's kind of strange, but I can relate to this guy pretty well. I figure it is a good thing.

This is the first Saturday I haven't worked. It must have something to do with the typhoon thing or maybe it's because of Labor Day being on Monday. It doesn't really matter, I am happy either way.

Mail call didn't go on Friday, I am a little perturbed about that. There may have been a letter from someone who put smiley faces on the envelope.

For those people that have worked on a flight line or have been on ship know that your head is supposed to be on a swivel. (Meaning you should always be aware of your surroundings.) Well, last night I was sandwiched between two honchos(taxis) and my left calf muscle got the brunt of the force. Luckily, there is no visible damage. The Doc (corpsman, who lives next door) said I should just take note of my body and explained what I should look for in the next couple of days. Overall my legs are fine as long as I don't try to use them.

The main consensus here is this is a crappy place because of the command, meaning the higher ups make life hell for the juniors. Well, now that I have been here awhile, I may be one those people. I already started making changes, everybody hates changes. I am hoping that the few little tweaks here and there are going to make little better cohesion within my workcenter and moral will hopefully go up after some time.

One last thought, for those who know me, know that I have a hard time hearing things at times. I feel that I must have "Superman" hearing. Everyone here seems to be deaf. An example, would be the the other guy next door to me, he turns his TV up so loud that I can watch TV without having one. Which I don't. Think about this, I mean, how loud do you really need it in a room that is 10 feet by 15 feet.

Maybe I am getting old.

That can't be it. I like good sound vibrations too, but I ask the people around 1st if it is too loud. I have a surround sound system, my neighbor doesn't.

A note on my system, I broke out a compass and a measuring tape and calculated the best positions for the optimum sound in my given environment.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Many of you are inquiring if I will receive a promotion or not. Well, the simple answer is, yes I anticipate a promotion. The complex answer is, I do not know whether I will be promoted or not.

The selection process is a once a year for each rank Staff Sergeant (SSgt. E-6) to General. 60 days prior to the selection board a message is released and it has a series of Military Occupational Specialties, MOS(jobs) listed by the corresponding number of who has promotion slots and who does not.

Some MOS' have several other MOS' "feeding" into other MOS. Such as, 6423, 6432, and 6433 feed into 6434.

The MOS' are listed by the feeder MOS and ones that stay the same in numerical order. In that list there will be several columns referring to the criteria for promotion. It is broken up into 3 sections, the above zone ( Marines who were in zone the year prior that did not promote), the zone (Marines who were not looked at the year prior), and the below zone (Marines that have not been in any zone thus far).

In each zone there is a column for Date of Rank (DOR - when promoted to present rank) and the Armed Forces Base Date (AFBD - when entered in military service). Usually, the above zone lists the AFBD as N/A, but this is not always the case.
45 days prior to the convening board, another message will come out with "tweaks" or changes in matters of number of allocations to date time frames that are eligible.

The board selection process is performed by higher ranking Marines with at least one officer for enlisted boards. Each board member receives a "jacket", which consists of Service Record Books (SRB) , Fitness Reports (FitRep), and any other information that the Marine sent to the board or is listed in other administrative records, for each Marine eligible for promotion. Each board member gives a brief (about 2 minutes) for each Marine's Jacket that he or she may possess. The board then takes that information and votes on who should be promoted.

In the case of the SSgt. promotion board, the board convenes in mid-July and the results are posted usually a few days prior to the first week of October. The list will state the names, MOS, and a number, which states the order in which the promotion will take place. The order is listed by the most senior Marines first and then descends to the most junior Marine. (Senority is time in grade (rank) then time in service.)

~~A side note~~

I may missed something here but all this information is available at the Marine Corps website.


So back to the question at hand, Do I think I will be promoted?

I would like to think I am the best candidate for the next rank and will do the Marine Corps justice if given the opportunity to lead in the next rank.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


If you did not know it, it rains here alot. So the effect of the rain on our metal containers that I work in, is rust.

This in turn means that we, myself and my fellow Marines, need to do corrosion control efforts whenever it does not rain.

Maintenance slows down to a crawl.

If we were at war with the rain, we would lose.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Complications, Part II

I have been told and retold enough times I felt I needed a second part to this. Apparently the consensus is 'I am too simple which makes me complicated.'

What is this supposed to mean to me?

It is definitely not the answer I was looking for. In fact, it kind of sounds like an answer I would give. If you didn't know, I tend to answer questions with more questions or say an abstract statement that could or could not answer whatever the question may have been.

Say it is the politics in me. The forever amount of red tape that I apparently absorbed somewhere down the line.

The way I look at this is, 'you the person reading this, is more complicated than I could ever be.'

Then again maybe I am misinterpreting this statement.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Being a child once again.

The thought or idea when asked of the junior Marines here are we are all kids that need constant supervision. I personally do not remember having this many restrictions ever in my life. Especially as a child. The idea is that the junior ranks (lower than mine) statistically are the ones in trouble. So, the restictions imposed make the average Marine stationed here feel like they are in the "tiniest of rooms" and have leash no longer than a few inches.

When I was a child I did not receive a punishment (or restriction) until I personally did something wrong. My older brother's wrong did not dictate my restrictions.

I hope I am getting my point across.

Tonight, I was checked, meaning someone of higher rank came into my room and verified that I am of age to drink, for which I was drinking alcohol, and I live in a clean and presentable manner. Which I am, because I feel why dirty up something that I have to clean in a few days when I can clean it as it happens. Or in other words, I pick up as I go. The thing is that this room I live in is 10 by 15 feet of livable space and has a area about 4 by 4 feet by the door that is completely useless. There is a mirror there, so that helps. I share my bathroom with other of the same rank and the bathroom is about 8 by 4 feet which includes a shower and a toilet. This space is all I have to make unclean.

I have to show my ID ever time I leave and enter my barracks. This great and all, but if the MPs are doing there job then everyone here is supposed to be here. The duty does not verify that I live here, just that I am military.

Really, I have yet to figure this one out. I know there is a reason, but it has me stumped. I asked a few people of higher ranks and they didn't know either.

The thing that really gets me is when I recieve a promotion to the next rank most of the restricitons go away. I am the same person as before but because I am the next rank all is better.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Nifty Link

A friend of mine just sent me this link. I think you all will enjoy it.

T minus 353: Day 12

I am lucky. I will be able to work tomorrow. The reasons for such have really nothing to do with me other than I should have kicked some tails in gear. I thought I was still getting my feet wet, but I was wrong about that.
I am soaking and there is not a towel in sight. I am not the only one, there is another guy in the same boat with me. He is feeling the same way. Such is life.

My speaking to the "nationals" here is proving much more difficult. When I am speaking about something above a grade school level the words I use apparently are not the ones taught to those who do speak English. My Japanese is proving most difficult to learn as well. I am understanding the traffic laws better, though.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

PT, The Acting Sgt. Maj. And Inspections

From the time I got on station to about the 1st week in September, I am required to wear a white undershirt for PT. The theory is that if someone is going to need medical attention the newer personnel will most likely be the ones who need it. I personally think I may be in better shape than the personnel who have been here awhile.

The acting Sgt. Maj. is a MGySgt. and in keeping with the traditions of the Sgt. Maj., who is currently TAD, has weekly briefs with the Sgts. and below. I have witnessed only one thus far, but my fellow Marines tell me this "brief" is the same every week. My opinion of the brief is to keep it brief and have once a month. I did suggest it to the Sqdrn GySgt. and I will not repeat what he said to me.

Tomorrow, I will have the great opportunity to inspect the "C" uniform. Plus, I have been informed by my superior that "we" will be doing a different uniform inspection including JOBs at least once a month if not more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Driving Under Japanese Traffic Law

I just checked out the guide, "Driving Under Japanese Traffic Law." The good news is that most of it is in English. The bad news is the size of the lettering is about 4pt. Hopefully, I will be able to take the test in about a week. I need to go to a different base to take the test, 30 written and 30 sign multiple choice.
The guide reads like a kids' safety pamphlet, but the signs are at least in color. The wording they use is a little odd. It seems like they try to translate with as many words as possible.
Most of the penalties are levied as jail time. So when the Corps said we are professional drivers they must have meant it.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Good Book, Part III

Even though no one really has commented on me writing a autobiography, I was thinking, that may be a good way to use my spare time here. Especially if I do not get a car or license.
The big question about writing is, should I do a chronological version or something that resembles the way I think and talk?

Friday, August 12, 2005

T minus 359: Day 6

I am not happy about this place.

Without a car or driver's license this place has lots of walking or expensive cab fares. With a car, I would be looking at about $400 for the year to drive it not including gas. I figure if I use the cabs once a week I will spend about $800 to $1000 by the end of the year. Looks like a no brainer. In about 20 days I will be able to take the test and then I may be able get a car.

The tip-offs that I received so far have been correct, as far as the command and the area surrounding this place. I feel that I was demoted and I have less freedom than I had in High School.

Supposedly it is a privilege to be on the 4th deck of the barracks. Ha. I would have rather been on the 1st or 2nd deck. I will not have to worry about getting out of shape.


So far I folded.
I have not quit, but smoking is a real pain in the ass unless I am at work. Funny, huh?

I did go about 12 hours without smoking though. To me, this is a big step.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

USO and Smoking

I am currently at the USO awaiting for the 2nd flight of my trip. I am also on my "last" pack of cigarettes. Trying to lengthen my pack so it will last and trying not to smoke at all is not fun.
I feel I am in a losing battle. The archers are killing my infantry and the artillery is bombarding my castle.
I feel I may need more prayers for my smoking habit than anything else at this point.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Moist Towelette

Sometimes I feel used. I really hate it when an individual does this to me. The worst part is when they intended on it from the start.
Granted, there are times I may seem to ask for it.
My opinion of it is worse if it is for some vendetta that has nothing to do with me.

Why do I write this?

The person or people who did what they did changed my opinion of them and the chances of reconciliation are dwindling. I try to forgive and be the bigger person. I am human and that will never change.

Monday, July 18, 2005


I will be spending the next few days away from civilization in a matter of speaking. I am looking forward to relaxation and peace.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I am currently revisiting my family. I say revisit for a reason.

It has been quite strange, the family that I enjoy the company the most has been my cousin Pat who is getting married to Jamie(which I like also) on Saturday.

I have remet my aunt Lori and she looks very good. In fact I think she got younger.

I will see the bulk of the family on Saturday, hard to tell how that will go. I probably won't be trying to revisit with anyone though. I just want the best for Jamie and Pat.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Pay and Benefits

For some reason I knew I could not leave Yuma without a hitch. I had asked for 1 month advanced pay and for repayment in 24 months. What I received was, 60% of 1 month pay and repayment in 12 months. That missing 40% means I will not be able to pay off everything I needed to pay before leaving the good ol' USA and I will have more taken out for repayment in my paycheck every month. This puts a damper on things a little. I am having a problem with fixing this due to the fact I have already picked up my orders and all data about me has been shredded at the respective administration sections.

July 11th 0930 CST- Reply to comments-

If you didn't know it, I am a little less than a quarter of a million in debt. Granted a good chunk of that is the house. I spent 9500 on my driveways and only 3500 of that was my money. The rest of that recent expense I am trying to pay off. ( At least to the contractor that gave me a break with it.)

Monday, July 04, 2005


I discovered this blog, and would like to share it.
It needs no more words to describe it.

NOTE: Click on the word PostSecret to follow the link.

My Fingers Ache and I Can't Hear You.

Why do I keep an insisting on typing this babble on to this site?

I have been doing it for a month now. Not very long.

One friend of mine rings in her comments, we will call her "Michelle." Michelle seems to peruse the thoughts that I have laid out and tells me something. That something is better than nothing.
Why do I write this?

The original idea was this was to use this as a communication tool for when I am far, far away. Which I am. Sounds like a good idea.

You, the person reading this, doesn't even have to leave a name. No logging in. It is simple.

Maybe no one is really reading this. Maybe everyone really hates me. Maybe I am the bad guy and your dog barks at me funny. Maybe I am wasting space. (in cyber space)


ha ha

(It was a pun.)

Okay I get it, no one likes my spin on words. Well, TELL ME THAT.

Tell me something, for example:
You are an egotistical slob who knows nothing and steps on a pedestal of light that doesn't exist.

Now wasn't that simple.

I am starting to ramble, I know, I tend to do that. Let me know what you think.

Questions and Answers about Commenting

I use HaloScan for my commenting for the ease of use and managerial side of this "blog." Here is a few FAQs.

Q: How big can my comments get ?
A: Currently, there is a limit per comment with an unlimited number of comments per comment page.

A: There is no limit per comments.

Q: Are there any smilies ?
A: Yes. In fact you can click on the question mark in the comment page, which will bring up a menu allowing you to click on the smiley you want, and it will also show all the html tags that you can use while commenting.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Kindness, The Act of

This morning I went to Cracker Barrell to have a "Country Boy's Breakfast" with cold apple cider and some apple jam with my biscuits. I just had the urge, and since a friend of mine woke me this morning prematurely with a phone call, I figured I had plenty of time for it.

About 10 minutes after sitting down, an elderly couple sits at the table next to me. The older man asks me where I am from and I do the same. A conversation then ensues. I find out he and his wife have been married for 50 years, he is a Navy veteran of Korea, his kids and their kids have all served in the military, and his wife really doesn't like the Yuma heat.

Well, I eat my breakfast and about the time I was reaching for the check this guy picks it off my table. Of course I question him, and his reply was, "I once was hitch hiking home after leaving the service, and a fellow that had picked me up drove me about forty miles and dropped me off. After some time passing, he drove back and gave me 20 dollars."

After another minute, I ask him to reconsider and that I could get it. His wife then replied with, "You can get our check the next time."

I shook both their hands and said my farewell. They wished me luck.

I know that I will probably never see this couple again, but I wish I could.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Good Book Part II

Again, I have been confronted about writing a book. The strange part is that this was done by a completely different person, and of whom barely knows who I am.

What is it about me that makes people want to know me?

Is it: My Fate?, My Charisma?, My ability to piss someone off and they still think of me as a good friend?,
Or maybe it is: The fact I am Invincible?, My tender touch to someone's heart?, My undying defeat of the world that I will own someday?

What is it that makes me this interesting person?

I am starting to believe it may be my resilience to life. Whatever "evils" that befall of me, I end up triumphing or at least walk away.

This would be a great place to comment. If enough people convince me maybe I will write that book.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Good Book

Recently, a friend suggested that I start to write a book. I replied with, "what kind of book?" She didn't know.

I have always thought of writing an autobiography. I actually have about 1000 pages of crap that I have written over the years. I friend of mine and about 4 bases ago told me when I left that he would buy a book about me if I ever wrote it. So that's one sale for sure.

Okay, so let's say I write this book, what do I call it?
What not do with your life.
How many ways can you screw your life over.
The military is fiction and so is your personal life.
Investments, and how piss your money away.
-These titles might not do, but titles are important. People always judge a book by its cover.

The funny thing is "I hate typing." Here I am and I have a web log. It is kind of like my life. When I was a teenager I hated authority and rules. So what did I do, I joined the military.

I told my friend that maybe after some time I would take what I wrote here and put that in a book or make an "e-book." Stupid, huh. I thought so too.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


The last few weeks I have been questioning my morality. With Tom passing and what my employer is, I have been wondering a lot about the vastness of life. I feel that I am a realist, with meandering doubts. It may seem that I am depressed about a certain situation, but I will do it, whatever that task may be. I always prepare for the next day. Does that entitle me as an optimist, I don't think so.

There are many questions that I have about just why are we here. And questions about what is the purpose of it all. I can not tell you, nor can anyone I have ever asked. Don't get me wrong, I have heard a many reply.

Such as:

Procreation-God's Will-For you parents-For your children-For your soul

The thing is, what propels that conscience state?

I don't have my answer, nor do I expect to receive one.

I am just going to prepare for tomorrow, and see what that day brings.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Telegraph Pass

We did it!

From the Dead End of North Frontage Road to the cross roads in front of Telegraph Pass it took about 13 minutes. It is about 3/4 of a mile.

From there to the top, (the bench in front of the towers) it took about 22 minutes. That includes 5 cigarette breaks. It is about a mile as a crow flies.

From the top back to the crossroads it took 9 minutes.

Then from that point to where we parked our trucks and cars it took about 8 minutes.

Now, granted at each point we waited for everyone to get there before doing each trek. There were about 4 people ahead of me, 2 with me, and the rest were behind. The times are my times for each distance. The whole time that elapsed was about 2 hours. Not too bad I was expecting about 3 and 1/2 hours. It was a good last PT for me.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Checking out

All this week I have been checking out of MCAS Yuma. If fact someone realized I did not have enough time on my contract for my move to Japan, so, this morning my contract has been extended. (Yea!) This doesn't really mean much other than my EAS (end of service) is a later date.

Now here I am, about 2 weeks out from my last day in the squadron, and I really don't have any responsibilities. I kind of feel like I don't know what to do with myself. I did ask to go home. I was denied. Such is life.

The real "fun" is tomorrow, my last day for PT(physical training) and since it was my choice for what we are doing, I wanted to do a "Telegraph Pass" run. I recieved all my approvals from the higher ups and we will have a safety vehicle. I have a feeling that my Marines will remember me as the asshole who made them run up a mountain for 2 hours. That's okay. I do the trek twice a month, anyway. Should be real fun.

In retrospect, the area here is very simular to the Middle East so this great training.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Thomas L. Stueber Jr.

Thomas L. Stueber Jr., age 29, of 1105 Dewey St., Manitowoc, died Sunday evening, June 12, 2005, at Holy Family Memorial Medical Center, Manitowoc.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Michael?s Catholic Church, Whitelaw. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Rev. James Jugenheimer with burial to follow at St. Michael?s Parish Cemetery.

Thomas was born Dec. 21, 1975 in Manitowoc. He was the son of Jane Mueller and the late Thomas L. Stueber Sr. He was a graduate of Valders High School with the class of 1994 and continued his education at the Lakeshore Technical College receiving his associate?s degree in computer aided design. Thomas was employed with Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry since 1994 as a CAD/layout supervisor. On May 15, 2004, Thomas married Nicole Kane at First German Evangelical Lutheran Church, Manitowoc. He was a member of the Viking Bow and Gun Club in Valders and was involved in the Tuesday night trap league. Thomas had a great love for life, enjoyed his time with his wife, family, pet dog, Carmen, along with time spent hunting.
Tom was my best friend. And after the funeral and wake I realized he was many people's best friend.
Tom and I had something different, we would call each other, " Assholes." But this wasn't what he would hear and it is not what I would hear. For some strange reason, this translated into, "your the best friend I have ever had and I would do anything for you." Funny, isn't it? If you knew him and me, you would know this was true.
For the last 10 years, Tom, had picked me up from the airport when arriving or taken me back when I would leave. This is the first time I flew back to Wisconsin and something was missing.
Now, I really didn't write this post to be sad. Tom would have not liked that one bit.So here are a few of the memories that I will cherish.
Everytime, we would go back to Sam's (for whatever) he would stop in the kitchen, find the biggest bowl he could find and fill it with all the toasted garlic bread he could find. By the time we would leave there seldom was any left.
-And if the bar was open, he would just stuff his pockets ,when no one was looking.
One time, Tom and I went to a party to watch a boxing match. Of course this party, was just that a party. I got kicked out of the house some down the line for doing something stupid and was trying to find Tom to tell him I had to leave. Well, I never found him. I drove and his jacket was in my car along with his keys to his parents house, and it was in the middle of winter in Manitowoc. I made it home, put my keys in the same place I always put them and passed out.When sometime in the middle of the morning he had found a ride back to Valders. He climbed upstairs outside in the snow and it was snowing, got my keys found his jacket and his keys and headed for home.
Well, he never actually made it home. He got about 2 houses away and decided to sleep under the porch until his neighbor woke up and kicked him towards his own house.
Sometime, I figure about 3 or 4 hours laterI woke up and couldn't find my keys. I got my spare set and trekked off to Tom's house. When I got there he was sleeping in his own bed, and if you Tom, he is near impossible to wake up. After I finally got him awake and semi coherent, he told me that he got ride about an hour after I left, got back to Valders, couldn't wake me, so he got his crap from my car, locked the doors, and set my keys on top of the driver side front tire.Tom and I spent about 3 hours looking for my keys in impacted snow.
That is not the end of the story, Tom always got back anything I had ever done to him.
- It was a NewYear's Eve a few years later and I was in the Corps by then. I was home and he said his girlfriend, Nicole, would drive us out to Whitelaw and drive us back. Ha Ha. Well, I didn't take a jacket and dressed for a hot and sweaty evening, as did he( he was always hot.) We had a great time and people started filtering out about One in the morning, so I look for Tom and Nicole. Neither could be found. Then, the bar was kicking everyone out. So I go outside to find where we had parked and I couldn't find the vehicle. And I know exactly where it was, but it was not there. So I figure, I will go back and see if I could use the phone, well, the doors were locked. At about this time, I could no longer feel anything, I had little iciles forming where sweat had been. As luck would have it, a car just circled the block and it was a relative of mine, opened the door and told me he would give me a ride. Whew!
Sometime the next day I got ahold of Tom, and all he would do was laugh, and tell me I should've ate more. That way I wouldn't have been so cold. ( He did say that alot.)
I have alot more memories, but I think these 2 are the only PG rating ones I have. Maybe someday if you see me I will tell you in person some of the adventures we had. There were many and I could talk about him for hours. Tom was truly the best friend I ever had. I will miss him greatly. I know if Tom is with me he never stop laughing at all the dumb things I do, that's what friends are for.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I still go to church. I just go to the sermon then leave. Is this really wrong?
If there is a heaven or hell, I am definitely going to hell, probably in the seventh ring. Or maybe purgatory. I am no angel. That's means not one you'd see in a church anyway. Those of you that know a thing or two about angels know that "Lucifer" was an angel. And there are lots of different types of angels, kind of like people.
In almost all religious text, the common theme is basically "doing the right thing, and do the right thing when no one is looking."
- This something I try to instill in my Marines. It is hard. This is the one thing that depresses me at the end of the day. These Marines are really my heaven and hell.
Back to that church idea. I did go to the whole service, quite regularly at one point in time. I lost the need to be there. Probably the only good part about staying for the whole service is: you can sing and suck at it and no one cares. I believe this is why most people go. They can't sing so they group up with others that can't carry a tune either and disguise this as a church outing.
The question in your head is why do I even go? It's a good question. I could watch it on TV or listen to it on the radio. Why do some people need to go to the opera, or play, or the movie theaters?
If you know me, which most of you do not, I would tell you, 'God will not kill me yet, he isn't done screwing with me.' Or My life is similar to Job. I keep thinking this one is true, do you remember what Job got in the end?
One thing most of are thinking is: here's a guy who goes to church regularly and I(you) don't go, there must be something wrong with me.
I believe that America has turned into a giant bowl of lard. And on the way, 'God' got stuck in it and drowned.
Why is the 'world' in such a hurry? I allot time in my day on Sundays, sometimes it is a workday(like Monday or Thursday) and go to a sermon. {1 : a religious discourse delivered in public usually by a clergyman as a part of a worship service 2 : a speech on conduct or duty} When you were growing up, or right now as you are growing, have you ever wanted to listen to someone's speech?
- I admit it, I didn't. I wanted to go play with my friends or play pong.
- Side note about pong, you needed 2 players to play.-
Have you ever noticed that in sermons the only part God or whomever the deity may be, is only mentioned in the beginning and the end? The middle is usually a story about something that may have happened to you or me or someone you know. This is a known as an analogy.{ a : resemblance in some particulars between things otherwise unlike : SIMILARITY b : comparison based on such resemblance}
The proctor uses this to help us humans understand something he or she need a degree for. This way we never have to go to "church school." We just need to stop by every once in awhile and listen.
Does God hear me? Do you hear me? Do your kids hear you? Do your parents? Do your friends?
I am a confirmed Lutheran. That is ELCA. Yea! I was baptized, had my first communion, and then was confirmed. Since that day, I have dabbled in more than 27 different types of religion and beliefs. (Why didn't I say 28? There were a few that didn't count as a whole one maybe two thirds.)
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate what my parents did for me. And if I have a child some day I will insist on the same thing.
I did not find what I was looking for. This is why, I just go to the sermon.
The message is the same no matter which church you go to. Some people are just better than others when it comes to relaying that message. So I don't limit myself to one type religion. I tend to go to more Lutheran based services, it's a northerner thing. And if you are not Roman Catholic and go to "their" service, you will be treated like you are Lucifer himself.
Why is it that some people don't like outsiders in "their" church? Why are they there? What message are they really saying? What sermon did they listen to?
{1 : an act or instance of sharing 2 a capitalized : a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ b : the act of receiving Communion c capitalized : the part of a Communion service in which the sacrament is received 3 : intimate fellowship or rapport : COMMUNICATION 4 : a body of Christians having a common faith and discipline }
Sharing is not what Roman Catholics do. Why am I picking on this set? They are by far the worst. And it doesn't matter where you go' Atlanta, Georgia or Phoenix, Arizona' it's the same reception. Maybe they need to read the dictionary.
{1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions 2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust 3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs}
I have faith.
I have faith in my country.
I have faith in the Corps.
I have faith in God.
This why I believe everything will work out in the "End."
Death- I am not afraid. I know it will happen. Part of life is death. I just want to know before that happens that I did something or said something that made a good difference to someone. Is that asking too much? I hope not. I think this is what God wants.
If there is a higher power, (I know I said I have faith in God. This doesn't mean the same thing) why do 'we' assume he (she) is human or even have a sex related to it. What if God is energy? A conscience energy. I don't know. I think it is better that way. Not knowing. Life is better with uncertainty.
Some people say,' Do things for the right reasons.' If fact my boss repeats that at least 20 times a day. It's nice to say, but really, what is right? I happen to know my boss does not practice what he preaches. I have not told the others. Thing was, I was looking, and he did not do the right thing for the right reasons.
That's probably why I like the phrase. 'Do the right thing when no one is watching.' You don't know who is around the corner. This is a small world. I believe if you try to do this, you will be doing the right "thing" when it matters.
This goes back to the original idea of 'God.' If God is keeping a tally for "our judgment."
What would your score be?
I think I am still in the negatives. I am working on it though. I figure that I might get back in the black, in a couple of years.
I can't judge myself.
You can judge.
I can't be a self described "good guy."
You can call me a good guy.
Do see where I am going with this?
I hope so, if not, you've just wasted your time regarding this column. And you are probably late for something. Because your time management sucks, or you have lost your common sense.
God and Common Sense
You can't buy God. (Maybe at Walmart, a little statue.)
You can't buy common sense. (Not a state quarter.)
You can't earn them.
You can't get them as a gift.
You can find them, but I can not tell you how.
- I believe sometimes, that man couldn't figure out what to call common sense in the 'early days' and called it God.


For some reason no one believes me when I say 'I am a simple man.'
This is what I need:
1. Food ~
I pretty much like all foods except for:
anchovies, fish eggs, cold potato salad, squash, eggplant,
and chocolate.
(I really like chocolate, but tend to get migrains if I eat more
than a Hershey's Kiss worth.)
2. Sex ~
I wish to be a 2 minute man.
Let's face it, I have a 'hard' time of orgasming in less than
half an hour.
If I do, you would be one of those special people.
3. Quiet Time ~
If you've read "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"
this would be referring to "the cave."
If not, then here's the breakdown, sometimes,
and I won't necessarily know when,
I will need to spend some "me" time away from you or anyone else.
4. Exercise ~
This is usually achieved by my job, but can also be done by number 2 above.
When I don't exercise, I get depressed. At least, I know it.
5. Touch ~
I like to "feel" women.
I list this separate because this does not
have to include sex.
Most of the 365 days of the year, hugs and a gentle
squeeze somewhere will suffice.
This is sometimes referred to by women as cuddling.
I don't like to call it that, it seems to be too much.
No, I just need to known that I am alive with my soul.
Well, that's it. 5 (five) things I need. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of wants. If the the above 5 are covered, my 'list of wants' gets smaller. Amazing isn't it?
So, you tell me, does this make me simple or complicated?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The task ahead of us is never so great as the power behind us." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do I really need to add to this?

Japan and the last few years leading to it.

For those of you that haven't heard, I am on my way to Japan for a 1 year stint. Knowing the Marine Corps and all of its "Red Tape" and "Green Weinie Awards" I feel there may be a good chance of me stayinga little longer than 365 days. That's reality. Yes, I did say Japan, but odds are good I won't just stay there either.
I really just have to count my blessings and say I was fortunate to stay in a non-deployable unit for the last 5 years. This is one of the things that has bothered me the most since being a Marine. Not the fact that I have not deployed for a little under half the time I have served but that my family actually came to visit me. This I don't understand, I have spent time in beautiful places, places that have many activities places that are green, but I did not have one visit there, no, I have been visited in the desert. Little to nothing to do, and unless Arizona landscaping (desert and cactus) is your premier choice for a backyard, it has been the most "dry" place one person could spend in the Marine Corps. My brother, my Mom, my Dad, and several other family members took the trek to this "God forsaken" place.