Friday, June 28, 2013

A Work In Progress

Been busy At home and that has made less time for being online.  When I was in Afghanistan, I had some extra time on my hands and that allowed for time to work on the web.

Now that I am home, there are a multitude of items that need my attention.  This keeps me from spending more time online but that is fine.  I will make time to keep this blog updated one way or the other.

One off shoot of the time overseas in Afghanistan is that I will be e-publishing a book on my travels through Afghanistan.  I have quite a few stories to tell ( or retell) as the case may be.  I am working on a title as that will be one of the keys to marketing it online.

More info to come but for now, I am trying to make time to balance home, web, work and other tasks.

As with many other things in my life, it is a "work in progress"

To be continued.....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Being Home is the best & working with The Home Base Program

Been home for a month now and things are just starting to feel normal again. By normal I mean that I am starting to feel like I will be home and stay home. The first few weeks felt like a R&R as most time at home while deployed is 2-3 weeks.

Now, with Summer in place, I am looking forward to the things I missed over the last few years - 4th of July, Barnstable County Fair, Cape League Baseball and some time at the beach.
I am also working with the Home Base Program out of Massachusetts General Hospital. The VA has proven to be pretty useless as they don't listen and don't want to see things as they are. The VA seems dedicated to downplaying the issues that you have as if they validate them, it will be a "cost" to them. When it comes to the VA, it comes down to $$, not what is best for the Veteran.

The Home Base Program has been put together by MGH and the Red Sox foundation. If you are a Veteran of Iraq and/or Afghanistan and need help, they will assist you free of charge. The staff is attentive and focuses on what is needed, not what it costs.

I highly recommend you look into this great program. Click on the link below.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chicago Teacher Union Boss/BS Artist - "It's everyone else's fault...."

BullSh-t Artists abound in our society.....You can spot them easily as they have been on the government payroll their entire lives, have not done a thing to help others ( only worked on fattening their wallets) and still want to blame everyone else for their failures.

Case in point - The Head of the Chicago Teacher's Union. While I am no fan of the Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emmanuel, this woman is a total BS artist.  She'll be living off the taxpayers for the rest of her life, but still thinks taxpayers need to impoverish themselves to make things her warped world.

What a bunch of BS.  There ought a be a law against ths type of outright stupidity.

Chicago teachers union chief faults ‘rich white people’ for city’s education mess

The Daily Caller

In a scathing speech on Wednesday, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union charged that racism and “rich white people” are to blame for the immense financial crisis facing the Chicago Public Schools.
In her remarks to an audience at the upscale City Club of Chicago, union boss Karen Lewis strongly criticized Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She also urged the city schools to follow the strategic blueprint of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
“Members of the status quo — the people who are running the schools and advising the mayor on how to best run our district — know what good education looks like because they have secured it for their own children in well-resourced public and private institutions,” the Dartmouth graduate charged.
“When will there be an honest conversation about the poverty, racism and inequality that hinders the delivery of a quality education product in our school system?” Lewis also asked in the speech. “When will we address the fact that rich, white people think they know what’s in the best interest of children of African Americans and Latinos—no matter what the parent’s income or education level.”
The union leader then questioned the motives of “venture capitalists” who have expressed a desire to improve the quality of education for poor and minority students.
“There is something about these folks who love the kids but hate the parents,” Lewis inveighed. “There’s something about these folks who use little black and brown children as stage props at one press conference while announcing they want to fire, layoff or lock up their parents at another press conference.”
Lewis called for “an end to corporate subsidies and loopholes.” She demanded “progressive taxation” to close the $1 billion budget deficit currently facing the Second City and its public schools.(RELATED: It’s official: Chicago Public Schools will close 49 elementary schools for good)
Higher income tax rates on wealthy residents would generate billions in necessary revenue, the union chief suggested. She also proposed new taxes for commuters and for financial transfers.
In her closing remarks, Lewis, a self-professed Chicago White Sox fan, suggested that the Chicago Public Schools would be wise to emulate the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise.
“When the Cubs lose a game they don’t call for Wrigley Field to close down. They don’t want the entire team dismantled. Despite empty seats, the stadium isn’t accused of being underutilized,” she said.
Lewis, who obviously spends little time listening to Chicago’s two main sports radio stations, also suggested that “no one questions” the salaries of Chicago baseball players.
Year after year — despite individual player performance, despite game losses and near wins — the fans show continue to show up. We keep cheering for our Cubbies. We know they are winners. We dream. We believe,” Lewis said.
“Do the same for our children,” she implored. “Cheer them on. Invest in them. Love them. Support their parents. Support their teachers. Support their schools. Let’s work together. Let’s win, Chicago. Let’s win.”
The Chicago Cubs famously have not won a World Series since 1908 (or a National League pennant since 1945). The team is currently in next-to-last place in Major League Baseball’s National League Central division — 16 games out of first place.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Best laid plans of mice and men

Well I hoped to be home by Saturday but the bus needed another repair.  Right rear CV joint and axle was NFG so that cost me a day in Madison, WI.  Found a great group of guys at Kelly Moss Motorsports who were able get me up & running, even coming in on Saturday morning to finish the job as the parts weren't there until then.

Ran into some great people along the way at the KOA Campgrounds I stayed at and had a good time but like anything else, the trip was longer than I wanted.  Time to be home and start working on the next adventure.....Had enough of being away from home. Really.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

On the road.....

As previously mentioned, I am on an adventure of sorts.  Bought a 1974 VW Bus in Seattle and I'm taking her cross country back to Boston.  Something I have always wanted to do (Drive Cross the USA) and part of getting the right vehicle.

Have had a few hiccups - Fuel Pump went in Spokane, WA - That delayed me a day but found a shop with great mechanics.  Had to replace 2 front tires after road damage on Rt 16 leaving Mt. Rushmore ....These things happen on a 3000 mile drive in 40 yr old vehicle.

Every where I go, she's the "Rock Star" as all anyone wants to talk about is her, I'm just the entourage.  This VW Bus attracts attention everywhere we go.....

I'll post pics later once I get home .  Trying to get there sometime Saturday......Inshalla
 As my Afghan friends would say.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lay Offs at NUWC at Newport, RI Navy Base

We have plenty of $$$$ for the lack wit in the White House to waste on numerous vacations & other BS but we'll shut down NAVY research into better systems of defense for our fleet??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ??? 

 2400 more furlough notices go out at NUWC 

Jun. 7, 2013 The Associated Press 

NEWPORT, R.I. — The second round of furlough notices for civilian employees of Newport’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center is being sent out. 

 WLNE-TV reports the letters were going out on Friday. A spokesman at the center tells The Associated Press that about 2,400 notices are being delivered. That’s in addition to 300 that went out last month.

 The furloughs are a result of automatic federal budget cuts at the U.S. Defense Department. Employees are required to take 16 hours of unpaid time off every two weeks through the end of September. Furloughs start the week of July 8. 

 The facility serves as a research, testing and support center for Navy submarines and ships. All 439 civilian employees at the U.S. Naval War College are also being furloughed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Apologies and updates / On the road again.......

I apologize to anyone who has wondered why I have been lax in posting anything for a bit. Getting off deployment to Afghanistan is not as easy as it sounds.

I have been home for just under 2 1/2 weeks and it takes getting used to being back on home footing. I have visited with most friends and family, gotten caught up with some home stuff and also got busy on some work related items.  Then an opportunity comes along that changes the schedule.....

 I'm on a road trip of sorts and it involves a cross country drive. Landed in Seattle on Saturday and made my way across Washngton State. Pretty country and some serious, spending the day in Spokane. The Eastern part of Washington State is wide open farmland as far as the eye can see....It was breathtaking and eiree as there were places out there without people/towns/etc. as far as the eye could see. Lots of large wind farms near Yakima.....A great place for wind energy.

 More info to follow....Just wanted to let you know that Middleboro Jones is out exploring a little of the USA for a change instead of the wilds of Afghanistan.  Hope to be able to share some pictures soon.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

On the Cape today

Took a ride to the Cape today....

Visiting with Dad and making sure the woods don't take over his yard.

 As always, a stop at the beach is required....A few people were sunning themselves. Looks like the start of a nice summer.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sailing on the Charles with the staff of MGH Home Base Program

Spent Sunday sailing on the Charles River with the staff of Mass General's HOME BASE Program, the RED SOX Foundation and the staff of Boston Community Boating.

Colleagues back in Kandahar are dealing with heat, dust and the ongoing issues in Afghanistan but I was able to spend the day with my daughter on the water. A great day and a great time was had by all.