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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in tomyironmane's LiveJournal:

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Monday, January 18th, 2010
10:41 pm
So yeah.

Life in the Marine corps proceeds apace. I sent in an extension package MONTHS ago to stay in Okinawa. It's not a bad place, really, I rather like it here, but the Marine Corps, like every place it goes, clutters up your life with stupid rules to make you miserable.

So I'm pretty sure SOMEONE screwed up my paperwork. if I ever find them I will, I swear to you, do Bad Things to them.

In more current news, I'm gonna get to go to some far away place called Hijudai. I dunno how far it counts to you, but in my book it would be a tad farther than Iraq, in that in Iraq you can find a base with a coffee shop and a subway and a place that sells smokes. This place has none of that.

Current Mood: blah
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
8:26 pm
gonna have to update this soon. I've been keeping an offline journal, but if anyone has been reading this, they haven't commented. Hell. I'll take a f*** you over silence. As it stands, I'm too drunk right now to be eloquent, so if you read my posts, at least post your flames here. My compy is broken, so it might be a while, but I'll get to it.

Damn. I'm off to bed.


Current Mood: drunk
Monday, August 24th, 2009
8:21 pm
So today I got to work from 0630 to 1930 or so; tomorrow and the rest of the week expects to be similar, except we are going to be in at 0730 so we have time for PT at 0500 in the morning, which will be full of corporals telling me how worthless I am, and PT at 1115, which will be full of some other section's sergeants telling me how worthless I am. I've started to have destructive fantasies again, which range from slamming my head against the wall to just hanging myself from a pullup bar. These things scare me.

In other news, the CFT is replacing the PFT for six months out of the year; it is, in my opinion, a severe break-off of a test, and I have even more trouble passing it than I do the PFT. The only GOOD news is that since I'm 27, I get a LITTLE extra breathing room on the times. The bad news is that it seems that once again that the battery is out to fuck me over. I dunno. My section has started to take to marching to meals in formation for some reason, as if we're little shitbags that can't be trusted to find our way there and back without fucking up. Then I get yelled at if I don't sit with my section, most of whom I have very little in common with and all who seem to have their fun by slinging shit at anyone close. I am a frequent and easy target, though by shutting the hell up I can generally avoid most of it.

I find myself missing the civility and manners on the internet. Scary thought, ain't it?

I just feel so lonely any time I have time to think about it.

Current Mood: lonely
Sunday, August 9th, 2009
10:07 pm
WORDS! Meme.
So, Q has this meme thing going on his LJ.... you can look him up, but suffice it to say I am only partially participating, I won't be passing it on. He gave me five words that, in his opinion, describe me. I, in turn, have to describe what those five words mean to me. Personally, I might have slipped "Asshole" into the list if I were describing myself, but it's Q's list, so there.

I have to say, really, that I do have a passion for certain things. I love role-playing games, I love science and science fiction, and I love my job.... at least when I get to DO my job and not one of the 101 collateral duties that happens to be attached to my job while in barracks. But even so, it doesn't matter what the stupid little jobs are, they're my JOB, and I do them as best as I can.

There is only one way I can really respond when life knocks me down: I might need a friend's help, I might need to lick my wounds, as it were, but I have to get back up. That's the only way I ever made it through boot camp, and that is to get back up. I might have been bruised - a lot - especially by the obstacle course, but when I fell off, I got back up. That's my philosophy. I'm not defeated as long as I can get back up.

I'm a bad liar. So I just don't lie. I'll occasionally tiptoe up to the truth, but I'd rather have the truth, no matter how ugly it is, than have a comfortable lie. It does not make me a happy person. It does not make me a fun person. But it makes me an honest person, and, especially to a friend, that's the best I can give them.

I'm not subtle. If someone gives me the option, tactically, of leveling a target with artillery, I'll be looking for a good damn excuse to do it. My characters are very similar, and if you've ever met Tomy online when I'm playing her, you'll know this. It's one of the reasons I avoid fights in real life, too. If I am genuinely fighting someone, I am not looking to horse around, I am not looking to just make them look like a bitch. I'm looking for an excuse to maim them, to break them, and to leave them in a bleeding, broken pile on the deck, and then kick their face in while they're laying there. That way, I win that fight, and I win every fight that I don't HAVE to fight, because someone remembered that the last guy to tangle with me was seriously hurt. Not to say that in Real life I am exceptionally GOOD at fighting, it's something I am looking to improve right now; I am, however, a little frightened of that side of me and the amount of trouble and heartache it could cause for myself and others. It doesn't fight fair, it doesn't fight like a gentleman, and if I ever need it, it will take someone apart, gleefully, willingly, and without an unhappy thought afterward.

So why would I consider letting something like this off its very short leash? Because I will not hesitate to stand between my friends and the pieces of filth that are out there, wearing human clothes and looking like everyone else, and even wearing the same uniform that I do. I might be scared, I might find myself facing something that I know is going to hurt a lot, but that's why I keep getting back up, that's why I don't lie to friends, and that's why I give a damn even about a bunch of stupid bullshit that I have to do. It's why I signed the contract of Enlistment.

I don't know whether it's because I was the kid that had to wear generic and off-brand everything growing up (and was thus ostracized), or because I found myself liking things that not many people do, or because I am stuck in with guys that are 6-10 years my junior nowadays, but I find myself feeling like the outsider, like I am alone even in a crowd. I just don't relate well with MOST people, and I don't know why. I can't even say whether that is a good thing or if there's a way to fix it.

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
5:11 pm
Sorry I been so incommunicado recently. I'm a busy kitty, getting sent on training ops and doing all the dumb stuff they have us do... and recently I've been on the range. All week sweating my butt off at the range, shooting or pulling pits for the right to keep my expert badge.

I'm sunburnt, and usually tired.

And I've found a D&D group, but they tend towards the kinds of play where you either are adversarial to the group/to the DM, or it's all "kick in the door, kill them dead, and take their stuff." There is little in the world to interact with, and I am feeling a bit railroaded.

That having been said, any DM that lets me loose with the caveat, "Level 30, and 20,000,000 GP" (and lets me get away with a level adjust too), isn't all bad.

Current Mood: stressed
Friday, April 24th, 2009
10:13 pm
We ship back to Okinawa this week sometime... I missed you all a lot. I'll talk more a bit later.
Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
4:01 am
I'm leeeavin on a shiiiip. This might be one looong trip.

Off to Fuji... be back when the exercise is over.
Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
9:14 pm
bleah >.
So... I go to Fuji, I spend half the 6 week exercise on KP (not as bad as what comm did to a couple guys... they kept them in the kitchen the whole time). Which means my weekends were usually boned. So I get sick out there.... and bring back the squadbay funk with me.

I've been coughing up yellow green goo now for about two weeks.

So when I went down to the sick call a few days ago, they ask a bunch of silly questions.... and they give me over the counter cold remedies.

Big surprise, they don't work.

So I'm going to be made to PT tomorrow whilst I hack up a lung and try and keep my shoulder from falling off. Did I mention I sustained a tweaking to my rotator cuff? Evidently nothing career threatening, but it kept me from sleeping properly for about a week.

The big problem with medical aid in the military is not a lack of facilities or resources, it's the fact that the system is designed to weed out stupid, worthless malingerers, not to actually, you know, do anything groundbreaking like help the sick and the hurt. Add to this a culture where you can't go to the doctor unless they DEMAND that you show up... or your arm actually falls off. If you do such a thing you're either a malingerer or a weak bitch.

I'll go back and post some exercise notes from Fuji. I have pics too, but I dunno how much you all would like 'em.
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
5:04 pm
Been back from Yausubetsu for a couple days... but as soon as I get back into work, I get hit by MIMMS. The Marine Corps Integrated Maintenence Management System.

I hate it.
Sunday, November 9th, 2008
7:46 pm
For those few souls who still look around over here (and there can't be many of you, since no one seems to comment), I'm going to be out of contact for about a month... I'm leaving behind sunny Okinawa and going to some place so far into northern japan that a lot of the local street signs are in Japanese and Russian, and you can almost see the Russian mainland from it. We're gonna be cold. I'll try to write a few of you; you can write back, but it won't likely reach me till I am thawing out back in Okinawa. Still, I strongly encourage it, since everyone likes getting mail.

I'm just finishing up packing everything I'm going to need for a month into a big damn sea bag and my main pack, with still more junk in my assault pack.

I'll miss you all lots.

Current Mood: stressed
Sunday, September 14th, 2008
7:10 pm
Been watching Disney's "Enchanted." A classic Over the top Disney Princess, complete with singing to the animals, gets transported to New York City. Envision the classic singing to the animals and cleaning the "cottage" scene in an uptown high rise apartment with cockroaches, rats, and pigeons.

But it brings up a lot of questions of Love. How we see it as a society and how we react to it individually. The whole "Love at first sight.... we all ought to know that it's a sick joke our psyches play on us.
Thursday, August 21st, 2008
7:45 pm
I got to shoot machine guns yesterday... belt fed happiness. I kinda wish I had brought my camera, but I am getting leery about bringing things with me. There is always some asshole who wants to ruin my good things whenever I bring them out.

Another word on "buy me drinkee" bars. Sad, sad desperate places.
Friday, August 15th, 2008
10:46 pm
I'm getting my education in Okinawa tonight. I am literally trashed.... fortunately I'm a happy drunk. learned about buy me drinkee bars.

Current Mood: drunk
Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
9:51 pm
I'm up late tonight, doing laundry, cleaning, and getting ready for tomorrow. By some miracle I come back to the nets... black arts got me this bandwidth... and further reinforce why I will never run a wireless network if I can help it.

Roommate is lazy and dumb. He pays the internet bill but won't call them up to get our net moved to the new barracks room.
Monday, August 11th, 2008
5:20 pm
Losing my Internets
I have to shift rooms in the barracks... I will be losing my internet connection for up to a week. I'm going to go hate life now.

Current Mood: depressed
Friday, August 8th, 2008
3:32 pm
So.... My week in review.

I was in HMMWV class for most of it. There was driving around, and then there was backing up class. I can now back up a HMMWV that is pulling a trailer. There is a trick to it, as getting the trailer to turn is a little counter-intiutive at first. Plus, a HMMWV doesn't drive like a Civilian vehicle... it has about 2' of ground clearance and tends to at least feel like it has a wider turning radius... though this could just be a perception of the vehicle. It takes some getting used to, especially with the older M1123s. The new 1152s have a happy happy turbocharger added.

Wednesday brought a whole new meaning to "Hump Day," with a platoon 5 mile hike. The hike wasn't bad, and the weight wasn't heavy, but wearing a flak vest in "black flag" conditions around here is hell, especially since the humidity is always damn high. A flak vest is, for all intents, a sweater vest. My uniform was utterly soaked in sweat. My boots were starting to get soak-through from sweat. My glasses were fogging so badly that had I needed the rifle I was carrying, I wouldn't have been able to see to shoot it.

A side note on the M-16. The current variant of the venerable M16 is the M16A4. I had the pleasure of using the A2 in boot camp back on Parris Island, and in MCT, and there are significant differences. Like, for instance, the rear sight only adjusts to 600m instead of the A2s 800m. This isn't too bad, considering that the bullet drop for the 5.56mm round at only 500m is somewhere in excess of six feet, as is the the windage in anything but a mild breeze. The reason I think the 800m setting was included on there to begin with was for the purposes of supressive fire, mainly shooting close enough to the location of the enemy that you could hit massed troops or at least make someone keep their heads down. For point targets, the A4 has all the sight you need. Another thing to note is that the whole forearm of the A4 is different. On the old A2s, the handguards were a lightweight plastic affair with aluminum radiators installed. The A4 has a notably heavier steel assembly that can be used to mount all kinds of additional goodies, from IR laser sights to lights to scopes. I'll have to see if it affects how the rifle shoots. It might make things better, as a heavy forearm will slightly reduce the amount of sway in the barrel, and it might make it worse... All I know is it FEELS different.

As for my glasses, I am going to talk to optometry sometime this next week to see if I qualify for Lasik. As little as I like the idea of a cutting laser pointed at my eye, I like the idea of being out and deployed, and not being able to see when rounds start flying.

Thursday was field day. Anyone in the Marines knows what this is. Other services might too, but I dunno. For the uninitiated, Field day is when you clean your living quarters so that they will pass a white glove inspection. There was a lot of hogwater about "no more field days." Yeah, I didn't believe it then and I still don't believe it.

Thursday we also got our new barracks room assignments. Depending on what happens and how long it takes the local yokels to shift the connection, I might be without internet for a week or so. WHY we are moving is a bit of a mystery to me... someone called out "unit integrity" and shuffled us. Somewhere it makes sense, but right now it's just a pain in the ass.

Today was Battery PT... it kinda sucks. We also got the word passed that they are going to be changing the PFT standards as well as finally putting in place the much awaited CFT. Life's gonna suck. Plus, everyone's getting taped and measured and weighed.... because appearances are everything. I dunno, maybe I am just bitter.

Tonight I'm gonna go and drink to my buddy's birthday. All the crap meant that it kept getting put off. I'm hoping I forget the crap and the crap and the crap.... And I almost forgot to tell y'all about driving with Night Vision Goggles. To simulate this, take a toilet paper tube, and tape some green cellophane over the end, and put it over one eye. Look through the tube while you drive. Don't forget to close your other eye, because you're simulating darkness. Occasionally focus your tube to keep everything from going blurry. Get lost because the vehicles in front of you made a wrong turn. Fun times, fun times. Honestly, my A-driver knew his stuff.... so we were only following them to see how long it would take them to figure out that they were lost. They got clear to the C-block course (an obstacle course for HMMWVS) before they figured it out.
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
7:12 am
Why do I always seem to be the worst at everything that matters? And why am I even here? I don't mean Okinawa... I understand that part. I mean on Earth, as a sentient human being. Nothing really seems to matter.

I have to pull myself together... the sharks of the soul can smell tears like the sharks of the ocean can smell blood. And I've never seen more sharks than I do looking out my barracks window.

Current Mood: Despair
Sunday, July 20th, 2008
7:11 am
Still getting used to my new job. In response to the transit question, I had to check.... the instrument we use is called a theodolite, and is apparently a closely related cousin. I had to do some mental conversion to check what kinds of accuracies we were getting, but the instruments at the shop are at the higher end of the precision spectrum, if Degrees/minutes/seconds was properly translated to mills. Evidently the instruments we have now are precision commercial instruments, I've heard stuff about the Chinese using similar models to measure the height of Everest. At any rate, any error in the machine is due to the operator or lack of calibration.

Having weird dreams... had one this morning that suggested my inner psyche is trying to break things down barney-style for me. I was wandering between awake and asleep and I had some kind of existential moment... I saw myself from the ... I dunno, some kind of astral plane, looking back to the Real. The strange thing is that I could see how the inside me affected the outside me and it started to make sense. Like, when I knew my place and shape in the world, the inside me could inhabit the outside me. but when I got transplanted someplace new, all that confidence and ability went out the window.... and it didn't mater what actual dimensions the inside me had, the outside me started to look withered and small as the inside me withdrew.

... this was seen as weakness.

weakness attracts scavengers.

And that's why it seemed like I always had a tough time moving into someplace new.

I think my dream world is trying to help me with my grasp on magic, at the same time.

Current Mood: weird
Monday, July 7th, 2008
6:59 pm
Wow, I haven't even posted here since about this time last month... I've been online, but I dunno. What have I been doing? I've been getting used to life in a hot tropical island where Beer is expensive... Especially Guinness. T-T Unlike sy drinking buddies, however, I can't stomach Japanese beer too well.

Went snorkeling once... decided I need dive booties. A lot of the beaches around here are rocks or sharp coral... that was the last damn time I will go out on THOSE damn things barefoot. Found a few jellyfish, got really sunburned. Good times, good times.
Friday, June 6th, 2008
5:45 am
It's weird here... we must be on the leading edge of the time zone or something, because it gets light at about 5:30 and dark at around 7 or 8 at night.

When I got to my unit, dressed in my service alphas, there were four of us Fire Direction and controlmen, and a comms guy. We were all what the fleet calls "boots," in other words, straight out of boot camp, with almost no ribbons on our uniforms (only the National Defense ribbon) and our rifle badges. We met the regimental ops chief first... And I got assigned to survey. The one job that they could assigned me to that would completely invalidate all the things that I knew from school. Survey goes out into the field with surveying equipment to spot known points to help map the battlefield for artillery fire.
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