02 August 2008

We're off!

Or, I am.

Of the four phases of this trip I'm about to take, this first one is the least conducive to effective communication with the outside world. It's not that we're secretive - the Army does not believe in wasting your tax dollars on luxuries like cell towers, easy internet access or, in fact, air conditioning at these podunk training camps.

So please - bear with me. I'll throw up a post or two when I can, but I'd really like to have you along when the communication gets simpler and the process gets more entertaining.

01 August 2008


Thunder and lightning this morning. It's perfect sleeping weather.


But the alien baby and I are off for another wild and crazy day.

31 July 2008

There's an alien baby

in my left, upper arm.

Some of you veterans of military vaccinations know what that means - Abby got an anthrax shot! (It's actually a tender lump that's visible to someone looking at your arm - it's creepy)

I had this entire series a hundred years ago on Okinawa, but, of course, I haven't had a booster since. So....

At least I remembered this well enough to get it on the left, because I sleep on my right side, and the "alien baby" makes that uncomfortable.

30 July 2008

Life is Good

Tomorrow I start doing Army stuff, and I'll be doing it for more than a year. The actual mobilization isn't quite here, but it's time for a few days of home station prep, then a pre-mobilization trip, then the mobilization itself.

So this is really my last evening of enjoying the total bum's life. The Mister and I decided that we should celebrate that with high-quality chow. So we headed over to Central Market, traded a kidney for a cart full of goodies, and fired up the grill. It all begins, of course, with meat. Sweet, succulent, fabulous meat.

There might be something better than the ribeye, but I haven't met it yet. Of course, we're crazy dog people, so we buy the bone-in ribeyes. A little marinade, a little time...then onto the fire!

The Mister normally doesn't look this frightened of things, but the fire was hot. Very hot. Don't worry, we didn't leave the steaks on too long. But meat alone is not, some folks say, a balanced meal.

So we added some asparagus and shrimp, and called it well-rounded.

'Twas wonderful. Bloody, yet crispy. And now, I'm sure I have something to organize for tomorrow, but I think first I'll drag my meat-stuffed gut over to the couch for just a few minutes.

Note to self...

The next time I promise someone an object, I should probably locate it first.

I was trying to locate a desert tan Safariland thigh rig. It came home with me from Iraq, but I had never really warmed up to it, so it was going to live with someone else.

I could have sworn all my random tactical holsters were in the giant green footlocker in the garage. But...no.

Since the object was tactical, and not in the footlocker, and not in the rotation of gear I've been using for Army stuff recently, that left only one option. It had to be in the attic. Shit.

For those of you not in Texas this week, please allow me to point out that it's pretty toasty here. It's extra-super toasty in the attic.

The attic, by the way, has only one dim lightbulb. And since the Mister has been in the Service nearly 18 years, and I have been in several services for quite some time myself, can you imagine how many boxes and bags of military crap we have up there?

Uniforms, woodland. Uniforms, DCU. Pouches, ALICE. Pouches, MOLLE, tan. Kneepads, tactical, coyote brown. Boonie hat, DCU. Boonie hat, woodland. Boonie hat, chocolate chip. Boonie hat, ACU (hold on - I might need that - toss down the attic hatch). Duffle bag of miscellaneous raingear, duffle bag of jungle boots, duffle bag of duffle bags (???).... Plastic trash bag of gloves, plastic trash bag of belts, plastic trash bag with elbow pads, more belts and...hey! A tan Safariland thigh rig!

I crawled down, victorious and drenched in sweat.

It's like Hell's Own Military Surplus store up there. A smarter woman would take a day and organize all that crap, but I'm really not htinking that's going to happen anytime before our next move.

29 July 2008


Xavier has an excellent post up about choosing your first 1911. It is truly fabulous, and if you don't have some 1911s, but think you might need one, you should go and read it immediately. Then don't forget to come back here.

I came to the 1911 platform...probably the way a lot of us do, although it's not a very glamorous tale.

I'd heard about the 1911, and why it was the best handgun ever made, and why the military had to be out of it's collective mind to have ditched it. But I'd never fired one (we were not a handgun family). After I got out of the Marine Corps, I made a friend who one day let me shoot his 1911.

It was a few rounds at an outdoor range. I squeezed them off generally in the direction of the target, handed the pistol back, thanked the man, and went home. And thought about it. Gosh, that's a big round, but that was a comfortable gun and it didn't have a bad trigger pull...

So I decided that I wanted a 1911. The Mister and I were not yet married (although we were Living In Sin Together), and we were po'. That would be poor, but we couldn't, at that point, afford the last two letters.

The Mister, being a pretty romantic guy in his own creepy, militant way, saved his nickels and pennies and, come Christmas, Santa brought me a 1911 - of a sort.

He bought me a Ballester Molina. This is not, strictly speaking, a 1911, but it sure feels like a 1911. And we could afford it, and I had it, and I loved it.

Loved it, loved it, loved it. But it would only feed FMJ, and so I, of course, eventually, needed another 1911.

Around that time, we became foster parents for an insufficiently loved Springfield Mil-Spec.

I have to admit, I disliked that pistol intensely. The grip safety felt sharp at the edges, the whole thing didn't quite seem...put together. And, of course, it was stainless steel. I find stainless tacky in the extreme. But! It convinced me that I really needed to find a good, well-finished 1911.

Which led to my Warrior.

I may well have fallen victim to Kimber's excellent advertising, but this gun makes me happy. It ran like a clock out of the box, it's phenomenally easy to shoot very well, all the bits and surfaces were pleasing from the get-go... Loved it.

But, of course, it's a railed 5-inch 1911, which is a little hard to tote, right? Which meant I needed another 1911.

And thus came the Pro-Carry. Which is also a sweet shooter, after a significant amount of effort and profanity were devoted to extractor issues.

But here's the point, for anyone who read Xavier's excellent post, and is still on the fence: You just have to buy the first one.

When you start asking question of the Learned (and I am not counting myself among them) about the 1911, and you start surfing the gunnut websites, you can get so much information that you don't think you should buy anything until you can afford a high-end piece by a master pistolsmith (not that I wouldn't swap a couple of toes for one). But it can keep you on the fence and off the range.

If you think you want a 1911, get thee to the local gunshop and buy one. Some weird mil-surp knockoff? Sure! A truly entry-level gun from one of the big manufacturers? Get down with your bad self.

Don't get sidetracked or disheartened by all the information and opinions out there on this most popular of firearms platforms. It's a fun pool to swim in (even down here at the shallow end), and you won't know unless you jump in.

I'm a despot

I did it last night, and I'm going to end up doing it again. That's right - I am Abby, Queen of Backyard Ethnic Cleansing.

The systematic elimination of an ethnic group or groups from a region or society, as by deportation, forced emigration, or genocide.

Can you see it?

Of course, it's their ancestral home. Or, at least, a habitat that's pretty much ideal, regardless of where they might originally hail from. There are bricks, directly under a drippy spigot. And a porch light that attracts bugs.

Alas, they cannot be tolerated in the Kingdom (Queendom?) of Bad Dogs, for they vex mightily the Very Small Dog, and make him foam at the mouth most voluminously.


I moved one last night (avoiding the toad pee), and it looks most likely that I'll be relocating another tonight. At some point, they'll probably file complaints about Forced Amphibian Relocation with some sort of Toad UN, and I'll find myself in front of some shabby international tribunal, explaining how it was all really for their own good.

28 July 2008

Oversights and inclusions

I finally got around to updating the address for Confessions of a Gun-toting Seagull. Jim rid himself of MySpace a while back (which, I admit, frightened and confused me), and has now joined the rest of hoi polloi on Blogger.

Also, we've added SpeakerTweaker's place - Where Sometimes Things Go Bang. Tweaker is one of those guys who shows up with really useful and helpful comments, so he's a repository of good info. Or, at least someone who could tempt you to buy another gun.

And finally, last but certainly not least, I've added LabRat and Stingray over at Atomic Nerds. Scary smart folks, those, and paralyzingly funny when the mood strikes.

I figured this would be a great time to do blogroll additions, since I'm rebuilding my favorites list. I'm pretty cheery about having more of these great people on my official "click every day," because some of us need things to be simple.

If you're a bad person

you have to spend eternity doing online Army training. Thus far today, I've done Heat and Cold Injury Prevention (for the 7,894th time since 1996), Media Awareness (Jesus God), and Mine Awareness (Bosnia version).


Coming soon is Law of Land Warfare (another one that the DoD feels is worth hitting four to eight times a year), Suicide Awareness (ditto), and miscellaneous installation-specific computer user orientation courses.

However, I don't think there's anything on my to-do list as terrible as the Commander's Safety Course I took that involved memorizing the appropriate form to use when investigation a helicopter crash during training (as opposed to during real-world operations, since that may very well have been a different form).

27 July 2008

What the....

Look what I just saw on TV.

An odd commercial, to say the least.

You get that? The Vampire Rights Amendment.

I don't get it, so I googled it. Seems the Vampire Rights Amendment is sponsored by the Vampire Rights League.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was still scratching my head, so I returned to my google search.

Turns out, this is a viral marketing ploy for an upcoming show. It's explained nicely here.

I'm not into vampires, and I think people who are tend to be kinda weird. However, that is some damn good marketing. A little web searching reveals sites and commericials for the opposition group, in fact. Some junior VP-for-advertising earned his or her bonus this year!

I swear

I'll stop being boring at some point, but for now, y'all are stuck with me going on and on about this new computer.

Today I figured out RSS feeds. Ok, maybe I didn't really figure them out, but the MSNBC feeds went away and I know how to put the ones I want in that spot. Pretty cool.

I've won the battle and sucked all my data over from the old hard drive. Downside, it seems physically impossible to make this goddam "Windows Mail" abomination recognize Outlook data files. However, I'm hoping to plunk a real version of Office on this machine this week, so perhaps real Outlook will come with it. I can't remember.

In cheery news, I finally remembered the password for my BADDOG38 email account, so I'm back to filtering a ton of spam and, if any of you choose to use the email link, I'm getting those messages as well.

Whoever dreamed up Vista deserves a size 7.5R combat boot straight between the lower cheeks, but aside from that, this switchover is going about as well as any technologically adaptive activity that I engage in does.

commo check

Can abby post using the email function on her phone? i am going to need some alternate posting options in the near future, but this one is painfully slow and seems to rule out capital letters and pictures.