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No. of Recommendations: 9
This place is WAY more quiet than it was three years ago, almost a ghost town! Did everybody get a life, or what? Seems that nobody is using this space anymore to brag about profits in a bitchy market (Grinch), complain about the government (who, me?), promote their bar-b-q sauce (Lizzard), offer financial advice (Eudamion), showcase their art (Blackmare), show off their guns (Grumpy), mother the miscreants (Donna), speculate on HOG values (Dcanfield), pitch woo to their beloved (Bikermike -- RIP), or even brag about their last ride (Hogridin)! No beekeeping advice. No praise for the Texas weather and Texas women (wasn’t it here that someone posted that “there are no ugly women in Texas”?). Where'd all that daily intercourse go? No joy! How come?

Here's some stream-of-consciousness prose to get you going:

Weather has turned here in NE Afghanistan. Spring is here. And, now, when it's no longer so painful to shower with cold water, the boys at KBR have finally fixed the boiler in the south latrine in Infantry Village, where I live. Bad timing? Maybe. But the hot water sure is nice! I think I only showered twice in January, and then with a grand total of maybe 30 seconds under the water!

Missing my bike. But elder son will be visiting Detroit about six weeks from now and riding it west to Idaho. He's never really shown much interest in my bikes 'till recently, when out of the blue he wrote to ask if he could take one of 'em since I'm not using 'em at the time. Told him he could take his pick -- pretty sure he'll choose the Deuce. He'll be taking the MSF classes in April. It'll be his first motorcycle trip, almost 2,000 miles one-way. Wish I could be there to make it with him. But he's been on his own for years now, left home just a few weeks after he graduated from HS in '00, his 26th B-day is next week, so he should handle it w/o any problems. Just wish he weren't doing it solo. I did my first trip across the country solo in the ‘70s, at age 23, from Pocatello to Ft. Belvoir, on a Honda. But I had been riding bikes for a decade by then. And the times were different.

Do parents ever quit worrying about their kids? Didn't think mine did when I was younger, but maybe they did. They don't now, though, since they're both long gone.

Got a new pistol. Sig P229. Shoots 9x19 para bellum. Laser grips. Promethium sites. Nice. It's my "personal defense weapon", which even non-combatants like me are allowed to carry.

Lots of outside-the-wire work coming up this spring & summer for flood control and civil works, looks like design for a largish (23,000 square feet) medical facility for FOB Sharana is going to land in my lap, too, so I'll be out and about all through the summer & fall. I'm on the cusp of a very busy and very interesting construction season -- that's what constitutes "fun" in these parts.

Saw a clip of Hillary on the wide screen TV at the mess hall. She said words to the effect of ". . . must defeat the Republicans. . ." Stupid. How 'bout "Must defeat radical Islam!" Seems to have forgotten that we're in the middle of a war with a long way to go, and quitting isn't winning. A winning campaign strategy for a presidential candidate ought to be "I'll kick the Taliban's ass quicker and better than the Republicans have done!" But, no, she doesn't get it, hands out hope to the enemy like candy to kids. The Republicans aren't the enemy. The radical Islamists are. I really don't care what your political philosophy is, but please, recognize that we are committed and vote for somebody that'll win this war, not somebody that'll ignore it for political expediency and then abandon it once in office.

Speaking of riding bikes, here's a link some of you might enjoy. It leads to a post at Maggie's Farm about riding a very cool machine: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/7821-Major-Brian-Shul-I-loved-that-jet.html

Read a post this evening over on the guns for sport and protection board that generally disparaged today's youth. It got several recs. I wish the Fool had negative recs, because I wanted to give it one. It was a broad-brush generalization equating the behavior of a 10-year old who shot his sister in an argument over a bag of potato chips to the behavior of our youth in general. Yes, we have some stupid, self-centered youths, and there are plenty of parents out there who are worthless or even evil -- in all of history there has never been a shortage of poster children for retroactive abortions. But the young people that I worked with in church youth groups in Detroit from 1996 through 2005 were good souls, even though in many cases both parents and schools were letting them down badly, and the young people that I see and work with here daily are generally magnificent. They’re self-reliant, smart, dedicated, tireless. And they have the courage of their convictions -- they are not hollow, lost souls, as are many of my generation, the boomers. I have great hopes for the next generation.

Hope you all have a great Easter! It'll be just another work day here, but the mess will put on a special spread for dinner, and that'll be nice.

As always,

Tom
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