Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dollar Movies

So, out of boredom, I headed over to the base theater to try out the dollar movies. You get a free drink and a movie for a buck...so I ended up watching 3 movies the last couple of days. Here's my reviews:

The Benchwarmers:

Okay movie. Humor didn't switch well between adult and junior high. Still had funny moments. 3/5

Ice Age 2:

Pretty funny. Good story. Will watch again...but probably wouldn't buy. 4/5

Inside Man:

Felt like an Oceans 11 knockoff with less humor. Weird story and some oddball cinimatography (if I mention that, it means it was distracting from the movie). Interesting music. 3/5

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Random observation

You can always tell if a news story is about Iran...there will be a cluster of Marines standing in front of the TVs in the chow hall.

Tires for the Z

To occupy some of my spare time, I've been researching the tires I plan to purchase for the Z when I get back home. For most people, this is a simple process. For me, it get's complicated quickly. I know enough about cars to be dangerous. I like to replace parts with better parts (read: performance). The end result is I've been calculating tire sizes all over the place to ensure proper wheel clearance and maximum tire contact patch. The Z currently has cheap 215/60R15 tires on her...and I'm looking at a wide variety of performance summer tires. I thought I had my mind made up, but two new offerings are $30 less than the Yokohama AVS ES100s I chose. I'll continue my research...and post it here....because I have nothing else to do...except torment my wife.

Tormenting my wife from afar

So, a form of bordem has set in out here...and it has taken an evil twist. My wife and I's (is that proper grammer?) anniversary is coming up shortly, and I've found what I think will be the perfect gift. Now, my wife is the type that can't stand not opening something. I hide Christmas gifts from her and make great strides to avoid having her figure out what she's getting (going as far as plotting with her friends and sister). Well, I told her I knew what I'm getting her for our anniversary, but flat out refused to tell her what it will be...other than greatly vague clues that could describe anything from a car to an electric toothbrush.

So, she's got to wait one month for our anniversary to find out. I really hope I'm home when she sees it...that'd be the best gift of all.

Friday, May 26, 2006

It's kinda warm out here...

...in overly sunny 29 Palms. I've arrived at my next step in training...my MOS school. Right now, we're having liberty over the Memorial Day weekend (what a better place to celebrate it, than a military base), so I'm not doing much. Next week, I apparently will be picking up with my class for my MOS. In the meantime, I'll be on working parties (which normally means doing odd jobs for various places...which, at it's worst is raking sand). I'm enjoying myself, as it's very college-like...except you don't see M1A1 Abrams tanks parked around on most colleges. I'm really looking forward to getting my training going. My record estimates my training completion to be on July 14, so we'll see what happens. For the time being, I'm going to enjoy myself this weekend...and call my wife lots.

Speaking of my wife, I'd have to say she'd love it out here. It's already hitting the 90's...and it's not even to the hot part of the summer. I bought myself a Camelpak today, as keeping hydrated out here is kinda tough. I've been doing pretty well, but carrying a bottle of water around is annoying. The Camelpak solves that. I'll have to post a review later after I've used it some.

I'm hoping to get internet in my room shortly...I'm waiting until I pick up with my class, so I won't be moving around (you're put in your final room upon the start of your class). Until then, my posting will probably still be spotty. At any rate, it's good stuff.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

...a little more time

I had a little more time than I thought I did, so I can answer some quick questions about MCT (Marine Combat Training). The philosophy behind the Marine Corps is that every Marine is a basic rifleman first...and whatever their job (pilot, artillery, supply clerk, etc) second. To that end, they put all non-infantry through MCT to learn basic combat skills. The end result is a communications guy, or "comm hound," can pick up several weapons in the USMC inventory and put them to good use. While at MCT, I shot hundreds of rounds out of the M16A2, the M203 grenade launcher (my personal favorite...it's mounted under the barrel of the M16), and 240G machine gun (which was a BLAST!). I also fired simulated AT-4 rockets and one M67 fragmentation grenade (after lots of mostly harmless practice grenades). Given some time at home, I'll see if I can pull some pictures together.

One other purpose I see in MCT is to prepare boot Marines for the fleet. Basic training 'forges' you...instills specific types of discipline in you...but doesn't really prepare you well for life in the real world. MCT corrects that by instilling the appropriate Marine image...and how fleet Marines really act (i.e. not like drill instructors).

In the end, I had a lot of fun, but I'm glad I'm done. I'm ready to move on to my MOS (military occupational specialty) school and get my training done. I happen to have family in the area out there, so I'm hoping to see them (and get some quality Mexican food while I'm at it). I also will have access to my cell phone and can call my wife in the evenings...which makes me very ,very happy.

Graduated from Marine Combat Training!

Well, I'm posting in my 'utes' from Camp Pendleton on my grad day. I'll hopefully be posting more often, but I'm still in training and really busy. Updates will follow...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Where Does He Go From Here?

Currently, Aaron is at Marine Combat Training (MCT) at the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton. All Marines who are not Infantry go to this school before going on to their Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) School. Aaron will graduate from MCT May 23rd and Board a bus that afternoon to 29 Palms to start his MOS training. His MOS School will last another 41 days (he will have Internet access).

So far Aaron says MCT is a blast. He really enjoys the fact that the instructors call him a student and a Marine. He feels a brotherhood. A lot of it is pretty fun and he seems to like playing with grenade launchers. However, as much fun as they have, they also get serious. There is a war going on and they are training for it. Aaron says most active duty Marines who are in MCT right now will be in Iraq within the next 8 months. Reservists go when there unit is called up. As for now, Aaron's has not been activated.

He's still very motivated and doesn't regret his decision at all. He still wants to go for Officer and hopes for a spot as Navel Flight Officer. He's shooting for a meritus promotion to Lance Corporal in hopes that it might help things out in officer selection.

Upon Becoming the Few and the Proud

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them in every way.

When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country or its allies or harmful to their cause.

I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free

I will trust in my God and in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.



186 lbs
17.1% Body Fat

3 Mile Run: 22:06 (won 3rd in age group with a 24 minute 5-K time last fall)
Pull-ups: 10
Crunches: 100 in two minutes
Push-ups: 47


158 lbs
11.5% Body Fat

3 Mile Run: 20:40
Pull-ups: 10
Crunches: 117 in two minutes
Push-ups: Hasn't counted his max (my guess-150ish?)