Thursday, February 28, 2008

Machine guns

Mmmmm....50 cal rounds. Heavy machine guns are an interesting thing. The Mark 19 (a grenade launcher on steroids) has some heavy hitting power, but doesn't provide the visceral thrill the .50 cal does. You don't hear one feel it.

It's always an eye-opening experience firing these weapons. The lethality packed into these packages is impressive...and that should never be forgotten.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fun with explosives

Today we played with C4 and TNT. C4 comes in spiffy blocks that look like cream cheese, but smell like horseradish.

It was lots of fun blowing up everything. You can really tell the difference between C4 and TNT. C4 is significantly..."boomier." It was definately lots of fun.

Monday, February 18, 2008

DC Night Tour

After leaving the art museum, it was getting pretty dark. We decided we would take a "quick" tour to the North and visit our boss's house.

We headed South and East to the new (to us) World War II memorial. It's very pretty at night, but the presence of a million teenagers (on some sort of tour) was far from quiet.

We continued on to the Lincoln Memorial where we saw this sight:

An then on into the memorial itself. I was pretty impressed.

We headed back home, walking by the Vietnam Memorial. I stopped and looked through the many names there. I found three Scroggins that had served in the Marine Corps. I had to wonder if we were related (my great-grandfather ran away from home when he was young). I also stopped and read a Navy Cross citation someone had left at the wall. From there we headed back to the Metro for the long ride home.

The National Art Museum

The museum is actually almost overwhelming. It's massive collection just seems to go on and on and on. Not being a fan of "modern art," I was pleased to discover that the main building focused on less...controversial art. The building itself is absolutely beautiful. Upon it's completion, it was the largest marble building in the world...and I believe it.

And here's a gratuitous picture of Napoleon.

Roaming DC

While living in VA, we've been trying to visit all the places we would want to while being so close to DC. Unfortunately, our schedule is so crazy, we're pretty limited on when we can do this. Being President's day weekend, we actually had time. So, step right up and we'll walk you through our journey.

We started with the National Archives. Every time we had gone to DC before, the line was ridiculously long. Since we had sworn our lives to uphold and protect the Constitution, we wanted to see the document.

They were arranged in chronological order. So it started with the Declaration of Independence:

Unfortunately, the Constitution itself was not there.

But, the Bill of Rights was there.

Well, we didn't see the Constitution. Maybe next time. We then wandered through some of the exhibits at the Archives, and I was pretty impressed. It had some pretty good and very interesting displays there. They also had the best gift shop by far. Continued next post.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Trip to DC

We took a trip to DC today. I'm still organizing the photos and stuff, but I thought I'd throw this little teaser out there:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The real video

Ok, so the last helo video was lame. I jacked up my attempt to capture the coolness of the helo insert on monday, but I got a decent video of us doing the insert side:

Warm...warm at last.

We're back from FEX II...and a pretty cold one at that. I feel bad for my wife, as she is still out there, freezing. The fun part was last night when it back to sleet (pretty heavily at times). The end result was a light glaze of ice on everything:

It was good training despite the cold temps. It was especially enlightening sitting in the defense. We watched as our opponents (the a platoon from the other half of our training company) attempted to attack our left flank (where my position was). Their problem was that we were on a gradual slope...after they ran up a very steep one. The end result was chaos on their side and lots of targets for us (especially because so many were falling as they charged the hill).

Anyway, we still have another field event later this week, but I'm glad this one is out of the way.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Wow...Marines scare people

1/24 was one of my old unit's (3/24) sister battalions. We also had a lot of personnel deployed with them last year, one of whom lost his life. The Marine world is a small one...we also have long memories. Here's a round of applause (the sarcastic kind) for the Mayor of Toledo as he tells the Marines to leave downtown:

A company of Marine Corps Reservists received a cold send-off from downtown Toledo yesterday by order of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.

The 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to spend their weekend engaged in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.

Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.

"The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.

"He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area."

Wow. So cancel expensive training the day of without telling those in charge. Awesome. And why? Because is frightens people. Nevermind the police manning the roadblocks, or the local media informing people. People are frightened by Marines. Um, well, I think he should specify that only certain people are frightened by Marines...and the general populace should be comforted by that. Oh, well.

I am not

Contrary to popular thought, I did not get any older today. I do not have aching hips and back. And to be absolutely clear, I am not 28 today. Why is my nose getting longer?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Helo Extract

So I finally got my video of the helo extract.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Heh...Best rant ever.

Via another Marine at’s time to start droppin’ elbows.

Indeed it is.

Oops, we ticked off over half the nation...

Remember my post pointing to the town that resolved to arrest President Bush if he ever visited? Apparently, it backfired a little bit.

Town officials in Brattleboro are being inundated with complaints from across the country about a decision to let voters decide whether arrest warrants should be issued for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.


Town officials say the petition that led to ballot measure complied with the law. Petition organizers say the measure was symbolic.

"Symbolic?" How about stupid. Note to city councils: concentrate on "city" issues, and you can avoid a lot of needless pain.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Maybe Sarah and I should try this...

The Wife Carrying World Championship in Finland.

I bet Sarah would actually do pretty well if she had to carry my heavy tuckus.