Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rants and Raves and How Old am I???

Back again but not really motivated to do the “Usual Wrecking Ball” job. Maybe after I warm up a bit on the keys... The Old I.R. of fame & legend (if only in his own mind) is sort of at the burnout stage in this tour. Normal to see as I’m now looking at the One Year Marker in Baghdadland, formerly known as the Saddam-A-Go-Go. Yep. One more year checked off and ‘check the box’ for weirdness, incoming fire, and the usual bullshit that goes along with being here. The past couple of weeks have been the hairiest out of the past twelve months, seeing that the “High Hardheaded Weirdbeards” and associated “Dirty Haj Brethren of Bad Body Odor and Offenses against God and Humanity” have started up to their old tricks, and the incoming has claimed a couple of lives over the past few, Ye Olde Intrepide Reporter is a bit off his stride.

Hell… how can one NOT be off one’s game? Another year… this make 6 years of being over here in various positions, with the most common one being BOHICA. That to the newbies means “Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.” I’m surviving, but as I’m also approaching another major life marker, I’m a bit on the down side. That major marker being my Birthday and the “BIG Four Fuckin’ Oh.” Yep. The reality is I ain’t a young’in no more. I’m old. Hell... the fact that I’ve made it thus far after the past 6 years of intensely strange stuff in itself is a minor miracle. Two shrapnel wounds, a bionic kneecap and too many traumatic brain injuries to count later, The I.R. is more amazed that I’ve retained the barest mentality, and that I’m not in a home somewhere drooling all over myself whilst waiting on my mush. I mean hell, I can understand the whole ‘mortality’ thing better than most at this point. Some of my friends have been like “You should celebrate!” and I’m like “Shut the fuck up. What the fuck evar!” as I’m now feeling slightly bitter. 6 Years on near continuous field operations has me spent like a smoking shell casing left on the range. It’s hard to wake up in the morning facing 40, and coming to the realization that I’m still HERE as opposed to THERE with my wife and kids. Anyone for a nice, tall, cool, glass of ‘Haterade’ for breakfast hmmmn?

I mean from what I understand, it’s a normal thing for a guy like myself (formerly athletic, now ½ crippled by my standards) to be hatin’ on the four zero. I think I’m entitled to it. I mean shit, the guys who wake up in my mood at least are waking up in their own fucking hemisphere. In their own fucking bed… going to a job they may hate, but where the most dangerous thing they may have to face that day is a paper cut or a layoff. Me? No layoffs to foresee, not until we wrap Iraq up and put a bow on ‘er, but sheeeee-it…. I’d strangle a busload of Nuns in the Vatican to have a ‘normal’ lifestyle again.

Unfortunately, I’m faced with a thing called R-E-A-L-I-T-Y. A word that seems to elude small children, the mass media, the military and politicians alike. Reality is there isn’t a way for me to come home in this fucked up economy. Reality is short of a lottery win or finding the pot ‘o gold to pay off my huge-mongous mortgage means I’m stuck in the (temporary) tax free shooting galleries. That until the aforementioned politicians figure out how to rape me even more than they already have and tax the fuck outta me. Delusional is another word for those people, minus the small children… lil kids are supposed to be that way, whereas these demented motherfuckers whom I’m about to unload on, well, they get what they deserve IN SPADES.
Yeah… time to unlimber the “Rant-O-Thon.” Been a while but after reading the headLIES for the past couple of days, I’m ab-so-fucking-lute-ly done with being Mister nice I.R. I’m calling it like I sees it. My particular Rant of The Day is for the Mainstream Media LIARS and ASSHOLES who they are COVERING UP for. Specifically: Body Count.

A VERY sore subject for me. It’s like a hot knife through my heart to read about our U.S. Casualties. The fucking media vampires and scumfuck editors couldn’t get enough of splashing death and dismemberment of our brave troops on the headLIES and front pages when they were capable of dropping said bodies at the feet of the “Bushitler and Darth Cheney” and helping the Goddamned Code Pink Fuckstains. Yeah I’m heated. Why do you ask? Well lets see… we just had the SINGLE MOST amount of casualties in ONE day and the media has managed to ‘spread it around’ and, despite stating the “largest single loss of U.S. life,” it’s been played like nothing. Now granted, I’m not in the US, but the ‘play and spin’ on the major news media websites can give me a gauge as to how things are playing back home, and we DO get CNN and ABC on the AFN (Armed Forces Network) TV to show what’s happening back home. Right now? I’d have to say “Fuckin’ Bupkiss.”

14 Guys bought the farm in 2 count ‘em TWO Helicopter accidents. Now, the editor in the back waving his fucking pencil wants to say “Well I.R… they reported that.” Yeah? Well what about the 8… count ‘em EIGHT OTHER Joes who got blown the hell away by various I.E.D.s and attacks… all on THAT SAME DAY. Nevermind the announcement of the recovery of 3 contractor carcasses who got shot down three days before? Hmmn… they, the “Department of Propaganda” A.K.A. the Mass Media Myrmidons or “The Obamanation’s Mouthpieces” have very cutely sidelined it and spread the news around to make it LESS of an event. Can you IMAGINE the screaming foaming at the mouth uproar if such a mass-cas list was unveiled under the Bush admin? Granted we’ve all seen it before, but it really gets under my skin… That’s 22 guys/gals gone to the Final Formation with the Head Sky Pilot… Never mind the ‘mercs’ who bought it… add them in as legit casualties and you get 25 in one day… That’s ¼ of a hundred… a HELL of a lot of blood on the hands of the man who stated Monday: "While I will never hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests, I also promise you this—and this is very important as we consider our next steps in Afghanistan: I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way," Obama said Monday during a visit to Naval Air Station Jacksonville. "I won't risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary." (stolen from A.P., all rights reserved… for me that is, to shove it up the AP Editors Collective Asses if I ever meet the sonofabitches face-to-face.)

Lets break down that little Statement from the “Cow…er... Commander in Chief.”

1) “While I will never hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests, I also promise you this—and this is very important as we consider our next steps in Afghanistan: I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way,"
I.R. Translation: “I won’t hesitate to throw you to the wolves, if the Lobbyists who pull my pathetic strings order me to. However, because there’s an election coming up, and I can’t afford to piss off the Nutroots of the Demon-cratic Party that elected me, I’ll put on the brakes as best I can.”

2) “I won't risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary."
I.R. Translation: “Once the election is over, all bets are off, and you’re all cannon fodder again.”

Is it any wonder we’re having MAD Morale issues? I mean Holy Jumping Dog-Balls Batman! With statements like that, it’s amazing we haven’t seen more Joes just saying “Fuck it, Fuck you, and FUCK OFF.” The main reason is that these kids are FAR better trained and have been fucked over so much in the past 7 years that they are, for lack of a better word, used to being assfucked by the politicians and the media.

I’m waiting. I still maintain that eventually, these kids/men/women of the Armed Forces are going to FINALLY get tired of the lack of accountability and stupidity coming out of Sodom-on-the-Potomac. They’re going to come home and for lack of a better word, come home ALL SORTS of PISSED off. Heavily trained, and unemployed, the nightmare that the current Dot GOV should be thinking of is three words, modified from an ‘already happened in history’ moment. These being “Modern Bonus Army.”

For those of you, who don’t know your history; check the Wikipedia entry for “Bonus Army.” In the FIRST Great Depression, the unemployed homeless and indigent Vets from Dubbaya Dubbaya Uno made a HUGE homeless camp on the grounds of the Washington Mall. They wanted/needed their bonus money that had been promised to them early, and in response, a thoroughly terrified Political Class unleashed the US Army on them in direct violation of the Posse Comitaus Act. This, mind you was in 1932. Now, officially, the Posse Comitatus act doesn’t hold sway in D.C as it’s a Fed-Gov territory, and in reality, this’s the SECOND time that the Feds freaked when their Mil-Vets demanded financial remuneration. The first was in 1783 when the Pennsylvanian war vets marched on the then-capitol of Philly. The feds being feds set up the new Area of Operation A.K.A. Washington D.C. as exempt from Posse Comitatus so that they have the full power of the US Military as their tools to put down rebellion and insurrection… pretty slick of them I think…. Without it they’d be run out of town on a rail on a regular basis. That in itself wouldn’t be a bad thing. Who was it who said “"A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."? Jefferson I believe…

I’d have to say that if “The One” turns tail and hauls balls out of the ‘Wars’ the “Three Strikes You’re Out” rule might be in full effect. My own opinion is that the reason we’ve stayed on for so long in all of these wars is that they, the Political/Patrician/Elites/Ruling Classes have got to KEEP the military kids busy… if they don’t and we go to a ‘neutral corner’ so to speak, and what with the economy being in poor, nay ABYSSAMAL shape, then the LAST Thing they want is to let a quarter million HIGHLY SKILLED and WAR HARDENED veterans loose in America… Hence all of those reports that ‘slipped out’ calling on Homeland Security to keep an eye on Vets and the like… they, the fucking Fed-Gov have turned from being the “arbiter between the states” to being “Lord High and Overseers of Any and All Aspects of Your Lives so Shut up Peon, lest you be smited.”

Dunno about y’all, but I’ma getting tired of all the rules, regulations, expectations and bullshit that seems to be flowing like a broken sewage pipe out of D.C. Whatever happened to “Freedom?” I mean it’s sure as hell isn’t a ‘party thing.’ Political Parties, the “Repuboobicans” and the “Demoncrats” are strictly the means that the elites keep us divided and busy while they loot and rape us. And between the intentional dumbing down of our children in Public Schools, is it any wonder that any parent worth a shit is homeschooling these days? Even my 11 year old is aware of how retarded the school system is and DEMANDS to be taught at home. Hell, the threat of punishment in our house is “Do you WANT to go to school? We can sign you up and drop you off right now if you don’t behave!!!” Household Six only has to drive by the public school and point out to the kids that if they keep acting up, that THAT is where they were going to end up, with the dummies, malcontents and Mexicans. (As a side note: No bash on the Mexicans intended, but the illegal immigration in our A.O. is so bad that the school is running 50 to 60 kids PER CLASS and has to be bi-lingual because of insane overcrowding… due to this the quality of teaching is bottoming like a lead hulled boat, and the kids know it.)

Anyways... enough ranting for the moment. I gotta go to lunch.

OK Back from “The Ptomaine Palace” also known as “The Dagger Inn” or even now, the “Raider Inn.” Yep… how many name changes does a place go through? Too fucking many. When I first got here, the Camp I lived on was “North Victory.” Then just “Victory” Then, some asshole started calling it Camp Al-Taheer, or “Liberty”. This begat the split between “East Liberty” and “West Liberty,” as well as splitting East Liberty into the subheadings of “Camp Blackjack” and then, renaming it to, and not limited to, let’s see… “Tigerland,” “Ironhorse,” hmmm… and now, if to be believed,” “Camp Firesweep” whatever the fuck THAT means. One of my guys I work with thinks the “Firesweep” sign is more for identifying the Fire Department in the East Lib side, but it’s all the way up at the main entry to the area, mounted on the Main Entry Signframe that USED to say "Tigerland" or whatever, so until I’m told otherwise, I'm in an A.O. that sounds like a Gay Retreat off of Long Island.


Is it any wonder I feel sorta kinda schizophrenic on a near daily basis?
More later, if I have time or inclination… 26 Days and a Wakeup til the Big Four Oh. Man I hate getting old….

Until then, I remain, The Intrepid Reporter.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Despite being CENSORED...

Greetings from Baghdadland, formerly known as “The Saddamn-A-Go-Go!”
Now, to start this particular rant, I need to state that I’ve been advised by Council… namely my mouthpiece(s) (read my Lawyers… no joke) that my intel and such might be ‘tweaking the nipples’ of the FedCorpGov. My reaction to this is twofold:

First: Fuck ‘em.

If they can’t take a joke, then fuck ‘em. I’m not revealing ANYTHING OPSEC-wise. EVERY single thing I throw out here is generally filed under “been there-done that” and for the most part, the fucking “Dirty Haj” ™ know what they done did. It’s not like I’m going to give anything away that could adversely affect our operations here, and for sure I’m not telling anything until such time as I see it on the AP/Brietfart/Communist News Nutwork. As an aside… the editor, who’s been on a lovely hiatus wants to know what ‘OPSEC’ is… ok poindexter… for you, again, I’ll spell it out in cake-eating civvie terms so you don’t have to google it.

OPSEC is Operational Security. I.E. ANYTHING that could give critical info to the enemy. I TRY like hell to NOT give anything away in my rants, rambles and general verbal diarreah, but hell… generally in my experience (6 years now) the fucking Haj know more about what we’re doing than we are. I operate under the OPSEC rules as it not only keeps the ‘Joes’ alive, but is also responsible for keeping my favorite thing, namely my pretty oversized pink carcass, in one piece. Now, granted, giving up some info like that the Commanding General prefers to take his morning shit in “X” latrine at “Y” time is a violation of OPSEC, I try to avoid stating it… after all, I wouldn’t want the “Dirty Haj”™ dropping a round or setting a bomb off while I’m dropping the ‘morning deuce’ as every man / woman is entitled to a quiet morning grump. I mean only a TOTAL savage like the Haj would do something as dirty as that right?

Second: The blocking of my access to this webpage seems to be more of a ‘blanket policy’ since the Obamanation took over. Under the ‘Shrub’ I was able to rant and rave nonstop. These days, not so much. Seems the Neo-socialists out there feel that whatever info I provide (as well as others who use Blogspot dot com) is either detrimental, or they just want to shut up anyone who feels that we’re in deep shit, seeings that we’ve got a no-brained neophyte running things, and since “The One” took over casualties are skyrocketing. Haven’t heard much about that in the “Lamestream media” now have we? I mean it really pisses me off that under Bush, every casualty was waved like the proverbial “bloody shirt” as evidence of failed policy. Now that the Moron is in charge, we see nothing.

Fuck them motherfuckers is what I say.

If telling the truth is against the law, Costa Rica is looking that much better now.

To Whit: As courtesy to my concerned lawyers, I’ll start off by saying that said attack that I’m going to talk about was on Fox News, ABC, CNN and all the other plethora of dinosaur media. Difference is, I was there. We got hit a few nights ago… first time in a LONG time. We took some SEEEEEERIOUS incoming… which in “The Big Country Bible/Dic’nary” means more than 10 rounds in a 5 minute interval. The fucking dirty unwashed Haj lobbed them in 10 minutes after our Close In Weapons System was tested… that’s an insane 20 MM gatling cannon that used to be mounted on ships and is designed to shoot down cruise missiles… some wayward lunatic (of my make is my guess) figured out when we were getting pounded back in 03-04-05 by rockets and other mortar like bullshit that if it (the CIWS) could shoot down a fucking cruise missile moving at warp factor 5, why the hell can’t it shoot down a terminal velocity object like a rocket or mortar? Thus, as it was written, THE LORD shined down aponst the Navy Loons head, an IDEA was borne, and IT WAS GOOD.

They took the guns off of decommisioned destroyers and mounted them on flatbeds with it’s own generator. Looks a lot like an R2D2 with a big ole dick sticking out, but when this dick comes, it spews a wave of 20mm High Explosive Proximity BBs.

Needless to say, they test fire them, and the test fire lasts a few seconds worth of ammo… which translates to like the ENTIRE mag of 20mm. ( I have no idea in real life mind you) They waited til the test fire, and then 5 minutes later, before it could get reloaded, the fucking Haj Bastards dropped on us. No OPSEC violation there. THEY sure as hell knew what was going on as when the CIWS goes off, it can be heard for 20 + miles. Ain’t no lie there… when that fucker goes off, pray to God or ‘insert-diety-of-choice’ that you ARE NOT standing next to it, elsewise yer gonna need a hearing aid. Loud? No fucking shit Sherlock. I figure the fuckfaces had heard the test, and knew it was a good time to hit us.

I spent the majority of the rest of the night in the bunker, wearing only my helmet, shorts, t-shirt, flip flops, and sucking on a jug of my homebrew. Best way to ride out a shitstorm I’ve found is drunk as a fucking skunk. Figgered also the way I was dressed, ain’t no way St Michael (Guardian Saint of the Airborne and Special Forces) was gonna let me show up at the Pearlys looking like a ragbag/legg. I was generous passing around my squeezin’s as I’ve always been a giving soul, and I figgered also that was NOT the time to be hebrew in giving, seeings that if I DID by some chance get hit, if I didn’t share, the guys might not be so inclined to save my fat ass.

So then it’s begun

The drawdown means we’re getting kicked back to an “05” sort of timeframe, and what with “The One” in the White House bowing and scraping before all and sundry, the bad guys are feeling fucking frisky. No longer are they feeling like that “The Hammer of God” was to fall on them lest they make a stupid move, but more like “We can do it, and that joker ain’t gonna do shit about it.”

My call: McCrystal will resign inside of 4 moths if he’s not backed. Affy is decending into a Tribalistic Infatada/Jihad, and we’re now playing the role of the Russians/USSR circa 1983. I mean we’re dealing with a TOTAL guerrilla war, and we keep trying to frame it under conventional methods. God help me for saying so, but >shudder< Joe “Never go full retard” Biden has the right idea in that we should allow the SF to go in and culturally assimalate the Affy’s and work from within, to include growing beards and living like the locals. The ‘conventional model’ of warfare IS NOT GOING TO WORK in Affy. We’re talking tribalism at it’s core, which has outlasted the Brits (x2) The Indians (x2) and the Sovs (x1) and I have NO idea how they think that we’ll far any differently. Problem is that the ‘Cold War Warriors’ in the “Puzzle Palace on the Patomac” keep thinking inside the box, when it’s already been proven it doesn’t fucking work. The issue I’d have to say is most of the senior brass out there have a issue with being able to let the SF kids “off the leash” and because THEY themselves were never allowed to (I mean when did you ever hear outside of Special Forces dudes being allowed to have beards?) do the ‘fun outside the box stuff’ that they shy away from proper SF type missions.

Otherwise, I’m gonna keep this short. (For a change) but things here are hairy, and getting worse, seeings that “The One” is a total fuckup of the first order. My advice at this point would be he needs to make a decision, and stick with it.. this waffling and vaccilation in only causing our enemies to gain confidence. Right or Wrong, make a fucking choice Mister President. Us dudes/dudettes on the ground can NOT afford the luxury to wait otherwise.
Until my Next, I remain
The Intrepid Reporter

Monday, September 14, 2009

Baghdad to the US to Costa Rica and back...

Greetings and Que Pasa!!!
El Intrepid Reporter here, blogging again. Many moons have passed, and the Editor and Poindexter In Charge has taken a bit of a break, so I decided that tonight, as I’m in rare form, should take advantage of the situation, and Blog as far as things are, have been, and possibly might be. The wild whackness and weirdness that continually inhabit and infiltrate my life are yet again in full effect.

This time, the Reporter of Infinite Fame, Fortune and World Weariness is hitting you from Esparza, Costa Rica. I’m in town for Lil Country’s impending nuptials, which take place in 3 days as the clock states. I’m here in Central America as the “Best Man” as spurious a title as it may be, but, nonetheless, after a First Class flight (literally I’m saying… screw flying with the common folk anymore… bigger seats… better food… free booze… how the hell can I argue with that?) I’m ensconced in the bar that I have a 1/3rd ownership in, and am attempting to turn the ledger sheet red if I’m capable. Lord Knows I’ve been a ‘good boy’ lately, despite the inherent weirdness in Baghdad. More on that in a few. Point being, I’m melting Brain Cells by the friggin barrel load, and I also managed to become “walking wounded” within the first 4 hours in country.

OK: Hmmmn where to start: Well, lets go with Baghdad. Last time I blogged was many weeks ago… almost a month and a half truthfully. Unfortunately, if nothing is happening, and I’m bored, and there ain’t shytte to write about, I’ll go the easy route and say to hell with it. Not like I’m getting fucking paid for this anyways right? Well, all that changed 2 days before I was due to rotate home on R&R. (Not the pay thing… the local sit-rep) This, as the long term followers of my writings (pre-blog) know that this is a familiar situation. Every. Single. Time. It gets fucking old. Every time I’m going on R&R, no matter what time of year, the fucking Haj decide that “this time” is the “perfect time” to start lobbing rounds / actively trying to kill us infidels. It started early one morning with a world class explosion. World Class means, in the IR book, strong enough to rouse me from a dead vodka-induced coma. The explosion made international news. The “Dirty Haj” took advantage of the whole goat rope that the change of “US Troops to Iraqi Troops” and nuked a whole fucking neighborhood. Like 79 people KIA’d but probably more, as the counting of the bodies with a bomb THAT big is usually, at the morgue, a situation of “How many Left Arms do you have? We need a body count of casualties.” Sort of gruesomeness that I’m happier to avoid. I mean how the fuck do you get an accurate count when an ENTIRE neighborhood gets vaporized? It brings back memories and thoughts of Dresden and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No one will ever know exactly how many died, and the way theses dudes hit the block, same principle can be applied.
So yeah, here I am, crashed out, dead to the world in a magnificent Harem Inspired dream (tell me I haven’t been in Iraq too fucking long eh?) and I get jolted right out of the fucking bunk. As in physically thrown out of the fucking rack. Talk about a “Hey what the fuck?” moment…

SO yeah, I “got the fuck outta Dodge” ASAP, and got home. Home… what a wonderful place… as long as the Household Six isn’t in full on rage at the Spawn for misbehavior… Yeah… the kids are at that tender age when they think backtalking, smart mouthing and generally being little assholes is in ‘vogue.’ Seems this’s a regular thing these days when I’m gone, but I’m hoping to crush this little rebellion like a 40 pound maul on a cockroach: decisively and brutally. Gotta keep the Six happy don’t ya know? But after momentarily threatening grievous bodily injury and/or crippling them they seemed to behave, up until I split for LC’s wedding here in Costa. I wasn’t out of the country 12 hours and they were acting the goat, being all jacked and racked. Difference is the Lil Basterds forgot I’m only on a 4 day bounce shot, with a return that promises to be a real Smackdown when I get there.

So: here I am in Paradise. Not a bad place actually, Costa Rica is laid back, chill, humid and covered with more Greenery than Florida. Real life rainforests, giant assed lizards that are reminiscent of the Iguanas I had to deal with in Guantanamo Bay, and currently, one hell of a Thunder Boomer Storm that’s knocked out the power, so’s I’ll have to be posting this later. The Casa Of the Red Neck as the crib is called, is a botanical garden spot after the past 5 years in fucking Iraq. Avocado trees, lemon trees, lime trees (who knew?) banana trees and even coconuts are growing right in the yard. When Lil Country offers you fresh produce at his table, you can be damned sure it was picked right out of the tree. Another aspect of being here is the beer. Damned good beer. Imperial Silver being my current brewskie of choice. It’s the National Beer of Costa Rica and comes in Silver or just straight Imperial. To be honest, I got me a hunch that the guy who started the brewery > might < have been one of the “Sieg Heil” escapees from old Dubbya Dubbya Dos. The beer is a first rate Bavarian, and the symbol for it is a what appears to be a modified Austrian/Hapsburg Royal Eagle. I’m not casting ANY aspersions, but it does seem awfully convenient that the beer here is a german style brew with what appears to be an Imperial German Eagle (slightly stylistically modified of course) but man? I wanna ask the founder: “Where were you in ’42 Mien Herr?”

(Lil Country notes: The 3 main beers of Costa Rica were originated by German Ex Pats)

So anyways, as far as the local brew-ha, I’m in like Flint. Good stuff, and Lil has stocked the cooler with approximately 10,000 bottles in 2 giant coffin sized coolers. I’d say that should take me through the weekend, and if not, well, Imperial delivers much like the milk man. Leave a case of empties (24 in a hard plastic case) out on the front porch, and the Beer Man comes by and drops off a fresh case. Good thing they don’t have that in the States as I’d be trying to break records for “single largest empty/reload in history” But, OK: as we go: Tonight was a good party… Lil Country’s Grandma, Great Aunt, Father and a couple of other relations thrown in for the mix. I spent most of my night regaling them with stories of Lil and Me and Middle (yep even Middle Country made a showing) back in the day and the sort of trouble we used to get in. It was all in good fun, and I’m sure I horrified that nice ole lady, but she was laughing her ass off all night, as were we all, so it wasn’t that bad… The only negative was I took a tumble. Yep… the Old I.R. of poor co-ordination and even worse balance was in full effect. And this BEFORE I began boozing in earnest. I was sober, but missed a small step on the back bar. Head over ass over teakettle. Damned near destroyed my right knee, and gave myself killer road rash on the left knee, as well as breaking the knuckle on my right hand. I really know how to party these days… I swear, any more tumbling, and I’m going to start using a walker when I’m boozing. So anyways, this all was before the night began… I ass ended myself, and mutilated myself pretty well, and as I lay there, bleeding, Middle Country races over to check the concrete. “Whew… damn Big, I wasn’t sure you wouldn’t’ve done gone and shattered that!!!”

Gee… Thanks a lot asshole.

On retrospect, it was a funny comment, and yeah, I did shake the house when I hit, but damned man… kick a brother when he’s down… that’s cold. The bonus in all this self flagellation was that Lil’s wife to be was worried when the old right kneecap swelled to about 5 times the norm, and so she called in a doctor. Yep. Full on house call. I was impressed that they even do that shit, but within 40 minutes, a nice dude (Jerry I think his name was) in full surgical scrubs and a bag right out of the movies shows and proceeds to check me over. A few prods, couple of pinches, a few of me screaming “OOOOWWW!!! That hurts man!!!” and out he whips Mr. Magic Morphine Needle.
Yay! Nothing sez “Good Times Ahead” than getting a ½ a grain of Morphine or one of the many mix-it-up derivatives. A quick stick and pull, and all of a sudden, I could have been physically on fucking fire, and I wouldn’t have given a shit. Knee? What knee? Pass me the beer. All I wanted was to be propped up at the bar with a beer within reach. This also was the EXACT diagnosis that Jerry or whatever the hell his name is/was/is going to be was that I should stay in a chair, knee elevated and beer to “help with the pain.”

MY kind of doctor let me tell you.

Also: The cost of this little adventure? Lets round it out… one housecall, complete with medication and a script. Any guesses? Try around $6 yes SIX United States Dollars. Yep. To hell with socialized medicine or whatever that lame assed President or whatever have to say… gimme them Costa Docs any day of the week. In the US I’d expect at least a grand to start… just to get a fucking sawbones to the house would have to offer like my first born, and indentured servitude to the insurance company for the next 500 years, and oh yeah, my soul probably on top of it. In Costa? I mean talk about a killer time. The funniest part was since my future sister-in-law is friends with Jerry, he decided to help prop me up in a barstool and we then spent the next few hours drinking our asses off. I mean not only does he do housecalls, he stuck around to keep me company while I got shitfaced. Now THAT is service!

So that rounds out the first night, or at least my part in it. It’s all sort of hazy at that point, as the Morphine kicked in, as well as the beer and ‘other’ recreational materials that are legal there, and the only other aspect of the night was the “Night of the Mariachis” which, I think personally sounds like a Mexican horror show complete with a Guitar wielding Mass Murderer in a cheesy suite covered with Spangles. Well, I guess it’s a Costa Tradition that the groom to be serenades the bride to be from the front door, and seeing that Lil Country can’t sing anything but “Margaritaville” (and that’s NOT the song you want to woo a broad with) so he hired a roving band-o-mariachis to do the singing for him. Yeah… and unfortunately, these guys weren’t the ‘cool’ mariachis from “El Mariachi” or “Desperado” (think gun toting guitar cases and such…. Only I could think that’d be the ‘cool mariachis’) Try the “Cheesy Mister Mustashio’d Mariachi Man” with bad pelvic thrusts and even cheesier shirts. I know it’s a tradition, but DAMN. Bad porno style mustache, and playing a guitar and singing in Spanish loud enuff to wake the fucking dead. I mean he was loud enough to bellow out and wake my ass from a narco-induced beer haze to the point where I gimped out and caught him on video. I’m glad I did, or I might have written off the entire episode to the drugs and booze.

OK: So I passed out… the video I shot at the time of myself shows a sweat soaked IR sitting in the midst of loud trumpets and even louder partying, which that I can tell, was a smashing success, and judging from the incomprehensible mumbling and rambling such of a “Fear and Loathing in Costa Rica” type that it’s obvious we had a great time. The next day, well… it wasn’t bad, but it was challenging to say the least to rise from the dead and roll. The wedding practice was fun too… I got to see another culture and how they throw down for a party… this makes now a German Wedding (back when I was stationed there) an Egyptian wedding (back on vaykay in Luxor) and now a Costa Rican wedding/Central American wedding. Out of them all, to include the standard American wedding, the Costa Wedding tops out on the top for radically good times.

They did the traditional High Catholic Mass for the wedding itself. OK… I’m catching heat from the pencilnecked editor on my timeline… Now, mind you… the scattershot approach I’m having to writing this down is primarily as I’m somewhere in the “simian” category for brain power right now… Fucking Neanderthal man has more brains available to him than I do… that critical fluid that envelops the brain to keep it safe from impact and shock? Mine’s been replaced with 100 proof and beer. Lots and lots of beer. I’m not exactly on the razor’s edge right now… unless said razor was dragged behind a car down a gravel road for a bit…. That’s more my speed at this point… so where was I?

Oh yes… well the wedding itself… It was held in a small church at the top of a big assed mountain. Which leads me to yet another tangent: Everything in Costa Rica is either on a mountain, going up a mountain, or right at the seashore. Finding level ground here is a fucking jo0b in itself. EVERYTHING is on a hillside, going up or down is about what you do. You want level? Go to the beach. Of course that’s as soon as you get down the fucking mountain. Mountains covered in rainforest mind you… pretty as hell, but thank goodness there’s roads cause I sure as hell wouldn’t want to do it the ‘old fashioned’ way with machete and breaking brush. How they ever settled half of these places is a miracle in itself. So anyways… oh yeah… Church… Mountain…wedding… ah yeah as we last left our hero and his doomed bro: Well one good thing was the Church was Saint Michael’s. As in the patron Saint of Paratroopers. Lil Country took this as an AWESOME portent for the marriage and for the future, seeing that the last two went down in hurtling flames and such. The front had a etched picture of St Mikey crushing the living shit out of a demon or something, and looking pretty mellow while performing said act of divine retribution. The etching was pretty vivid… I didn’t get a picture of it as since I had to be best man, I thought it’d be in poor taste humping and schlepping a big assed camera all over, and that seeing I had to escort the Maid of Honor (a chick I call “Camel-toe”for reasons I’ll explain in a bit) I thought leaving the Kodak moments to others was the proper thing to do. So yeah, it was a threateningly almost rainy day…. The sun started out nicely, but the cloud cover rolled in as the ceremony started. I wasn’t too concerned, but the Bride Lindsey would have been heartbroken had the skies opened up. Thankfully we got a break, and the rain held off until the reception.

The ceremony, well I won’t bore you with particulars, as needless to say it was a High Holy affair with the priest either confirming or admonishing the congregation (tough to say as my Spanish ain’t so good) but his tone carried conviction, and they had all the whistles and bells in all the right places, even if the language wasn’t what I cottoned onto for a Catholic mass. The ritual cannibalism (“this’s my body, eat me” or words to that effect) went off without a hitch and there wasn’t any sign of lightning bolts at either Me, Middle or Lil C, so I guess all was well in the world and God was cool with what was going down. Leastways I didn’t by some miracle burst into flames when crossing the threshold of the church, and didn’t get burned by holding the cross, so all’s well that ended well.

Like I said, thankfully the rain held off until the reception… which was a gas. It was held in the roller rink of the town in Esparza. It was the biggest open space that could be found in the AO for the party, and man, it was friggin PACKED. Must have been at least 400 plus packed in there, and did I mention the heat? Ah… seems I overlooked that little note.

This gets it’s own paragraph. Does the word “Equator” mean anything to you? How about “ Under the magnifying glass?” Not as in being looked at closely, but as in “Scorching the hell out of you hot” and humid? Yeah… I mentioned rainforests earlier. Jungle… wet jungle. Wet hot assed soaking in your own juices hot. Not Iraq hot which is scorching and dry, but this’s Viet Nam hot… Jungle Hot… Tarzan stuff…. I went through an average of 3 shirts a day… soaked in perspiration… gross I know but such is life at the equator… Thank GOD John’s house was fully equipped with washer and dryer or I woulda been out of clothes after 2 days. I mean there’s sweating and then “looking like you fell into the fucking pool fully dressed” sweating… either way a definite exchange of environments.

Enough for now… I’m too hungover and burned to continue… More later... I remain, the Intrepid Reporter.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pirates and Iraq Upates

Ok Dear Readers… I’m back and feeling better… the workload has been upswinging (is that a word?) and the Old Intrepid Reporter is out doing his gigs on a regular basis, attempting to maintain sanity and status in driving himself to an early grave. Baghdad has seen a bit of an uptick in the ultraviolence, but not to worry me Droogs… Ye Olde I.R. of fame and lore is safe and sound on Base.

Seems the stuff as of late has been concentrating downtown in the typical “Shiite Versus Sunni” Deathmatch, and the favorite tools of the tools in question are indiscriminate Car Bombings and such. Myself? I say we do an open invitational… get all the guys who have a beef on both sides WAY out on the edge of nowhere. The location wouldn’t have to be too far… the friggin country is a wasteland once you leave the cities… Round them all up and drop them off in a 20 mile by twenty mile enclosure, and then air drop a pile of machetes and such whatnot edged weapons in the center of the containment area. Fence it off with 20 foot high T-walls and tell them it’s a case of “Thunderdome” to the extreme.

Two/Three/However many teams enter, only one can leave. Whoever wins gets to run the show.

Problem is, these jokers for the most part these days are cowards. They use little kids to do the dirty work that they are too cowardly to do themselves. In the entire time I’ve been over here, I’ve witnessed AND participated in too many incidents where only ONE American, Singular, Beef Fed, True God Believing/Fearing Type One Each has it out with 5 or more Hajjis. In my case... it was the other night when I went out for a cold beer and a dinner in Baghdad. Two of the waiters decided to beef, and then all holy hell broke loose.

I was there with my bro from back in 04, codenamed “Grumpy” as he’s a retired First Shirt who thinks the Army has gone to hell in a handbasket. He’s only a few years older than I am, but salty? Can you say Dead Sea salty? Grumpy thinks that these guys are too pampered, what with the ‘net, sat-phones, AC and all that other jazz that we NEVER had in Gulf One (yeah… remember that one?) so he tends to be sort of grumpy and pissed off on a regular basis, (hence the codename) and has what’s been referred to as the “Poo-Face.” The Poo-Face being the look a father gets the first time he opens up a diaper for the first time, and gets a load of what his prodigy has sprung forth. Yep… The Poo-Face.

Well, long story short: The bar went into “Mayhem Mode” and I got pissed off when my $22 steak ate the floor. Up to that point, I was going to stay the fuck out of it, as messing in a Bar in Baghdad when the Locals decide to get frisky can be potentially lethal. However, when the steak got rendered Hors De Combat, it was on like Donkey Kong… Or maybe King Kong? Whatever…. Anyways, I jumped up and waded in and, with Grumpy at my back we had the shitfest settled in about 45 seconds. Can’t really say that I blame them… I roared in a Drill Sergeant voice “AT THE FUCK EASE!!!!” as I waded in, and which I’m sure that they didn’t understand, but they DID get that the 340 pound six foot four American Gorilla was perturbed and was choke slamming motherfuckers to the floor left and right.

You’ve NEVER seen a room mellow and clear so fast.

Needless to say, dinner was on the house, as well as all the beer I wanted. The Maître d was falling all over me… I swear it had to be Man-Love Thursday or something because this guy kept giving me the Ay-Rab kiss on both cheeks (how French!) and offering me a job. I told him he couldn’t afford me. (man... now I sound like the whore I am!) I mean hell do I look like I want to become the “Dalton” of Baghdad? Hell no!

Ok… the editor has been heard from, and to clear up the obscure reference and to quiet the geek down, the Dalton line is a throwaway from the Patrick Swayze ‘Roadhouse’ movie where he plays a ‘cooler’ (I guess that’s slang / kool-dood lingo for a professional bouncer) named Dalton. This dude here wanted me on as nightly security. Fun is fun, but damned if I don’t not get enough sleep as it is.

So otherwise, while perusing and sliding around the ‘net I found this gem that I lifted shamelessly from the brit Daily Mail website… (my comments are in the parenthesis.)

Luxury yachts offer pirate hunting cruises
Luxury ocean liners in Russia are offering pirate hunting cruises aboard armed private yachts off the Somali coast. (Sounds fun! Where and who do I have to talk to to sign up? Can we take friends? I'm sure Bob Owens from Confederate Yankee would love to go! How about a group package deal?)

Wealthy punters pay £3,500 per day to patrol the most dangerous waters in the world hoping to be attacked by raiders. (A bit on the pricey side but still….)

When attacked, they retaliate with grenade launchers, machine guns and rocket launchers, reports Austrian business paper Wirtschaftsblatt. (OH HELL YEAH!!!! Git some!!!)

Passengers, who can pay an extra £5 a day for an AK-47 machine gun and £7 for 100 rounds of ammo, are also protected by a squad of ex special forces troops. (Wonder if they will give me a discount as I don’t need a former Spetnaz bodyguard, and do they have a bulk ammo discount? I mean if I get to go, and go ‘live’ I’m planning on eating up the proverbial Metric Fuck-ton of ammo)

The yachts travel from Djibouti in Somalia to Mombasa in Kenya. (Getting there is half the fun I suppose)

The ships deliberately cruise close to the coast at a speed of just five nautical miles in an attempt to attract the interest of pirates. (Ye Olde “Bait and Switch”…I LOVE IT! Just like the British Navy used to do with “Q” boats to take out U-Boats… make the fuckers think you’re a lamb, then show them that yer the wolf!)

"They are worse than the pirates," said Russian yachtsman Vladimir Mironov. "At least the pirates have the decency to take hostages, these people are just paying to commit murder," he continued. (wah wah wah...And of course, a killjoy has to be heard from… How much you bet Mr. Vlad The Yachtsman has a small arsenal to protect himself on his tub?)

Is that the GREATEST piece of marketing you’ve ever heard of? Legalized Terrorist Hunting! Talk about a brilliant “The Best Offense is a Good Defense” kind of thing… I mean for real… They attack, and expect to ransom you or your boat. What to do? Go out and lure them in, and cull them. It’s magnificently Darwinian in many ways. Free enterprise at work! Only the truly desperate or retarded would now think about hitting a cruise ship in the East African Ocean… Oh well Stupid is as stupid does I suppose. I mean it frees up any and ALL governments from looking like bullies, and helps elimnate a pesky problem.

And for the bleeding hearts out there who say “But they are so poor and it's America's fault yadda yadda…” Hey… Fuck you. After seeing the Iraqis bounce back, the only reason the Somalis don’t get their shit together is that they’re a bunch of ignorant malcontents who live on the hard work of others, as well as our food donations. Their tribal chiefs LIKE the situation and don't want to change it because they are in charge... rebuilding and reorganizing means they'd have to give up their little fiefdoms, and there ain't no WAY they are going to allow that. Hell we have the same issue brewing back in the states... Ever heard of "Term Limits" Senator Kennedy? Hell, the first thing these tin-pot shitheads do when they take over a country is line the intelligentsia of the nation against a wall and summarily execute them. I just wish all those neo-sixties retreads teaching in our hallowed halls could see that. The first people on the 'disposal' lists are those who empowered them to begin with. For historical facts, look at Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao and the current "Gargoyle of the Year" Dear Leader Kim "Kid N Play Called: He Wants His Hairstyle Back" Il-Jong.

Either way, I should really look into starting up my own little business like this… I mean for real… talk about a potential cash cow. And it’s all legal. The laws of defending oneself on the ocean has LONG been established. So fucking what if they are making money off of “murder.” I don’t see it as murder by a long shot… more like pest control and eradication. I think I’ll see if Lil Country is up for this for his honeymoon… it’d sure be a cruise to remember!

Until the next writing bug bites… I’m gonna hit the fartsack and count nekkid wimmen. Until then I remain, The Intrepid Reporter.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rebel Rouser

Yes folks.... The IR back again with the latest and greatest from Iraq... but in this case, Iraq takes a sideline. My dad, as those of you know, cashed in this past month, and truthfully, it's been a bitch for the ole Intrepid Reporter to have much to say... those who know me have been in shock, and many have emailed me asking "What the fuck?"... well I'm here to tell you, the verbal abuse I had was directly influenced by the Old Man, and in his passing, I just have had one hell of a time being able to write. Call it the "Death of my Muse/Father." Dad didn't teach me much to be honest...his athletic skills rated right up there with a retarded child in a wheelchair and the only things he ever really taught me how to do, as well as FedBro (my baby brother) was how to drive and shoot, and most improtantly, how to WRITE.

Thusly, its a motherfucker to try and capture the moment, but thankfully due to lugubrious amounts of liquid mind lubricant (Smirnoff 100 proof) that I'm now capable of formulating a coherent thought. The title of this blog is "Rebel Rouser." This is a Duane Eddie classic rock song that, since the Old Man cashed, has been my 'monument' to him in that, as a child of the 50's, Dad LOVED Duane Eddie, and the music that was produced. Every time I start getting ripped, I play it, and hoist one for the Old Man, and hopefully, somehwhere, he's smiling, and if we're lucky, he's hoisting right along side of me.

The othe reason for this post, well... truthfully, one of the few things that was passed on to me, well, as stupid as it sounds, was his ability with a Zippo. Yep. The Old Man, being a child of the "smoking generation" was the ability to manipulate a Zippo Lighter like a fucking Ninja with Nunchucks. I was getting plastered about 15 minutes before this (truth being I'd been getting hammered all night) but the realization that I had my "Countries INC" lighter (Zippo, type one each) and was flipping it, whipping it, and generally doing what would be considered 'bar tricks' with it, whe it hit me, "Hey... here's another thing the Old Man taught me."

Once I realized it, it was like a ephiphani. Dad, being a "Doctor of Some Literary Rupute" (published in like 60 languages and 148 countries), that his true worth was more to me in his day-to-day things that, at the time, seemed minor, but now have a great impact. I'm a ninja master of the Zippo because of him. And it's something, being that my baby bro has never nor EVER will be a smoker, is sort of a 'secret club member' with him. I mean my baby bro ALWAY had cars with Dad, and I was barely a motorhead to say the least, but having this ONE thing that was shared to me, well Hell, its special. Iknow to those of you you who are out there say "So fucking what?", but to me, the ability to one-hand-snap-and-light has new meaning to me, and now, ya'll can look forward to more postings, as I think I've now buried the demons of the past behind me.

Best Regards until my next, I remain, the Intrepid Reporter

Saturday, May 23, 2009

...and Back in Baghdad...

OK friends and neighbors. Back again. This time with a legit update on casual observations I’ve made here in the Land of The Baghdad Café. Ye Olde Intrepid Reporter had a tough one, what with his Dad getting a bad case of the “deads” and all, but seeing that I’ll be home shortly to celebrate his life and see my wife and kids, that about evens the score. So, as the late great Paul Harvey used to say…”Stand by…for NEWS!”

One observation in the ‘supposed’ drawdown is the uptick in Iraqi military activity. I’m not giving any secrets away because even the bloody insurgents can tell the difference between the US troops (grey-digital ACU uniforms) and the Iraqis, (desert tan old style US camo) Seems that the Iraqis, from my observations, are getting more ‘hot n heavy.’ A few weeks ago I was on Route Irish, formerly known by Newsweek magazine as “The SINGLE most DANGEROUS section of highway in the known Universe” (quick aside: my how things have changed!) and as I rolled down the pockmarked pavement, what should I see but a convoy of Iraqis.

Not just any convoy tho. I counted one T-72 Echo model, one T-55 with IR spotlight and night vision variant, two BMP-1 export models, a World War II vintage armored car and an MT-LB Command Track all being moved on what appeared to be the old US Army prime mover flatbeds. Now at first, I thought that these were more ‘trophy’ vehicles. To explain, the Army LOVES taking and shipping the old armor that the Iraqis either abandoned or lost to us and sending it back home so they can park it in front of the Unit’s buildings as a “See what we captured?” For the most part it’s bullshit, heaping , steaming, type: many each. The unit “captured” in that they went down to a muddy field where the tank/apc/whatever has been sitting since the Haj abandoned it in 2003, dug it out of the mud, slapped a fresh coat of paint on it, and then bring it back home to the States to display in some byzantine display of “pseudo-military prowess on the battlefield” Anyways, I digress per usual:

The stuff I was seeing was completely refurbished. As in if not factory new, at least depot-level refinished. Now to those of you just arriving, you may ask “Hey Big Country, how do you know what those tracks were?” Well, for the pencil waving editor, I’ll provide the following. My first MOS (military occupational specialty a.k.a. as my job) was 11 H or Hotel, which was Heavy Anti-Armor Weapons Infantryman. Means I was a tank-killer, and that tank identification was and still is my bread and butter. How many guys do you know who were given a complete set of “Janes All The Worlds Armor” identification books for Christmas? And I don’t mean the little paperback jobbies… but the gorilla two-grand- a-book ID books that even some libraries have trouble getting. Mom and Dad thought they were the PERFECT gift for their lunatic TOW-Gunning son of a gun. Ergo, I’m a fucking expert who still as a hobby lives and breathes Armor ID.

Now, the interesting part on this was as the same day I saw the tanks being moved downtown, I also saw something that reflexively froze my blood in my veins. I was on my way out to Sather when I heard a helicopter overhead. Now, being here for 5 years, I can tell you much like any Vietnam vet can tell you if it’s a Huey overhead or not. I can pretty much distinguish between a Blackhawk, Kiowa, Apache, and a Chinook. On occasion, there are the odd Hueys, being Bell 206’s that the Iraq Government uses, but this time it was different… A deep resonant bass sound… Loud… make that LOUD!!! And thevibration emanating ran from my chest to my inner ear it was so deep and loud. I looked up.. and what do my eyes behold:
A Hind. A motherfucking Hind… Mi-24D model… The reason we developed the AH-64. A pure-d BADASS mo’fo of a Warbird. The Bane of the Afghan Mujadaheen (back when we wuz still buddies) up until we gave them the Stinger MANPAD (typical jihadist… no sense of loyalty or gratitude) and when I was in the Army, the feared and preferred weapon of out adversary, which makes a distinct sound when flying at you… Flying in Iraqi colors no less!

Seems between the Heavy Armor and the Hinds I’ve seen cruising around lately, one of two things are happening. One is that the Iraqis are beefing up and not going to take any more shit from anyone or Two, well…

Hell… I got nothing. The amount of firepower that I’ve seen the Iraqis fielding lately is immense, and I HOPE bodes well for our guys starting to ramp down. Granted the Maliki Government doesn’t want us to go, seeing that there are ten thousand political parties/loyalties here and this government is pretty weak in the hinterlands, but the Iraqi Military might be getting into a position to take over. I mean with the firepower they are accruing, it sure is as hell possible we might see a “Saddam the 2nd” except under the guidance of the “Kinder Gentler” United States and whatever puppet is currently in charge there. It could happen. The majority of Middle Eastern States LIKE having a strongman in charge… ye olde ‘velvet covered iron fist’ ideal. I guess we’ll just have to watch and see, and see what cooks over the next few months.

Stay tuned as it’s bound to be interesting.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dr. Dad.....May19, 1942 to May 6th 2009

With great sadness I announce the passing of my father, Dr. Dad. at 1055am on Wednesday May 6th, 2009. He died peacefully and slipped away while I was on the phone with the family... he waited until we were all together. I’m staying on here, per his wishes, and Mom is being supported by #2 Son , His wife and Household Six. There will be a Celebration of his Life in New Hampshire at a time to be determined. I leave with this prayer written by my brother in arms, “Lil Country”: :
Subject: for your father

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.


Our Father, who art in heaven
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.


Lord our Father, please watch over Bill Sr. the father of my best friend. Keep him well at your side with his faithful companion Bomber. Understand his faults and forgive him his vices. He is a good and honorable man and he will stand at your side when he is called from this world. Knowing his son as I do I ask you try not to irritate him, the Irish have such ill tempers. If you feel the need to tame his spirit, a few shots of whiskey should suffice. His council will be indispensable as I am sure you know, after all, you did make him the man he is. Please guard his soul among your most cherished so that when his family arrives at your gates he and Bomber will be there to welcome them.
I ask this of you in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit,


I'm staying on here in Baghdad. Dad, when I saw him last on R&R pretty much said that we're not going to let anything like his death stop me from completeing the Mission. Charlie Mike. F.I.D.O. Fuck it. Drive on. Hard as hell, but necessary, as I'm STILL cleaning up the mess here from my R&R.

Cancer ate him up. I'm actually happy for him, if thats the correct term, nay, relieved as well that his suffering is over. I guess it was really bad at the end. Now, as Middle Country said, "He walks with the Angels."

Myself, I prefer Rhah from the movie "Platoon" and his philosophy: “And if there's a heaven and God I hope there is, I know he's sitting up there, drunk as a fucking monkey and smoking shit. Because he left his pains down here.” I'll miss you Dad.

More later... I had a LONG one I was working on the night before he died, and I'll throw it up later when it's appropriate. Until then, Peace, and tell your parents you love 'em while you can.