Sunday, June 16, 2013

Month 10 Day 16

Notebook Entry

Journal Entry
Today was a fine day.  I slept in until about 0630.  That was really nice and I needed it because of the little sleep that I got the night before.  I worked out at the gym.  It is such a nice little gym, clean, compact everything that you need.  I did my normal morning routine, went over had an omlet, French toast sticks, fruit, and yogurt for breakfast.  I went to the Command post for the 215th Corps AT and I fought the battle of the inbox for a little while.  Not a ton going on.  One of the guys in my AO is trying to get maps for his guys and trying to get them to use their own system.  He has been told by his guys ‘my old mentors always got me maps, why won’t you…no shock there I have heard that a lot.

I went back wrote my journal for a long while. 

I had a lunch-date with Capt Jim Kim Sengupta from the Brits.  He has a bunch of good training marterial on his Centrix site, but because of the Marine Corps policy of not playing well with others it is very difficult for me to get off and get over to my guys.  Especially since there has been a knee jerk reaction to that fucking retard Bradley Manning.  It is amazing what damage one Army PFC can do. 

Anyway lunch with him was good, I had a meat pie, they were out of tomato sauce and that made me sad.  I also had some nice yogurt and some juice.  We talked about things.  Things are goin much better for him than me, or so it would seem.  It seems that they do a lot for their Afghans.  Their Brigade is basically directly tasked by Kabul he says because the Corps is so fucked up.  We talked about the HUMINT money, he said that he had not followed the money trail to the ground and was not even familiar with the forms that they use. He was saying that it  was not something that he really wanted to get into.  Without him knowing what is going on down at the lowest level it is difficult for me to assess the level of corruption in his brigade.  It is certain that he has better staffing than I do.  He says that he likes to talk to me because it makes him feel better about his own guys.  Ha, I guess I can see that.  I told him how we are all running out of steam on our team and I talke to him about Major Davidson.  He said that for the british intel corps their guys are deliberately staggered by 3 months so that there is no loss of corporate knowledge, but you have always got fresh guys working too.  That also would prevent the Afghans from pulling the ‘my last mentors…’ We also talked about Major James Blitz, he questioned just what the hell Maj James Blitz did.  WE both believe that he is a well-meaning retard, but that is ok, you can work with retards you just have to play Jedi mind-tricks with them. I went back, fought the battle of the inbox some more.

In the afternoon I was particularly naughty.  I layed down and watched two TED talks and a movie.  I watched one that really wasn’t all that great by Dan Dennet I think.  He basically said we have to calculate the cost of problems that we are already in and weight that with the cost to repair them.  I watched a good one by Richard Dawkins.  It didn’t have anything to do with God.  He was talking about how our brain is programmed to deal with a middle-sized world.  If we were a fly we would be programmed to treat surface tension as a major part of our lives, but we are not. If we were bacterium, then Brownian motion would be a big deal, but as it is, we generally view ‘solids’ as solids because to our hands they are, but if we were neutrino size, then we would have evolved differently.  It was a really good point and he brought up the really good point of why it is so hard to understand quantum mechanics because it is simply not a world that we live in.  He asked the good question, if we have kids play computer games that act according to Quantum Mechanics rules would they be able to build their brains to conceptualize them?  It is a reasonable idea.

I added to my naughtiness by watching Australia.  That was definitely a movie trying to be more epic than it was.  The acting was fine, the directions was more like a Jerry Bruckheimer, and it certainly seemed to take itself very seriously, but the screenplay just wasn’t all that it should have been.  I just couldn’t give a shit about the characters. Their predictability was a major problem too. That said, I didn’t turn it off even when I groaned towards the beginning and I turned it on in the airport.

That said, I felt a homesick for Australia.  I like the wide open spaces. I miss how open it is.  I hate and love that it is really far out of the way.  There is part of me that wants to say, fuck it, let’s pack it all up, move down there and just give it a go in some seaside town.  Maybe I could be happy with that. 

I caught a ride to the airport with Maj James Blitz.  He really feels like the USMC screwed him for some reason or other.  I suspect he thinks he is much better than he is.  He is probably going to try to hit sanctuary and retire, or do a contractor gig after this.  Then come back on active duty.  He asked ‘does that make me a bad person?’ I said no, that’s just how the system is set up, you are doing what is rational.

As I sit here and look around I see many more contractors than I did the last time, that more than the time before that.  There are 17 contractors here and only 11 military members.  War Inc. what games we play with numbers, the drawdown of military personnel has started, but the ramp-up of retired, and reservists with contractors has just begun.

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