I say again: there are no pictures of Miley Cyrus minus her panties here. Nope.

But I’ll bet this post that has nothing whatsoever to do with naked Miley Cyrus brings in a whole new kind of readership.

Ha. I crack myself up.

For those not here for the allegedly-underwear-challenged Miley, just a stunning ol’ newsflash for you: a substantive post is actually coming. I mean one with no meta-narratives about blogging or strange digressions into the depths of irrelevancy.

Okay, I can promise the former, but not the latter. Stay tuned.

Oh, and since some of you traveled from afar just for the under-whelmingly quasi-talented equine-faced and very under-aged Ms. Cyrus, here’s a real picture of her and some really big boobs. Enjoy!

Because I really care about my readers.


Blog Policy # 2: No changin’ boo-boos once its published. Unless, you know, they’re extra-special retahded boo-boos.

(Note: I don’t remember what Blog Policy # 1 is. But I’ll bet there was one. Or 12.)

So I’m lackadaisically skimming what I laughingly refer to as “content” on my blog, stuff I’ve written prior to today. (I’d put “written” in scare quotes, too, but c’mon, this self-deprecating shtick isn’t infinite, you know?)

And as I’m reading, I notice a whole bunch of errors just about leaping off the page and slapping me in the noggin.

Which frankly is just fine on a nonsensical blog about nonsense. Who cares that I wrote “too” when I mean “to?” Do you? How is your canoe? Sorry. OCD causes people to rhyme. Some of the time. Stop it now, I mean it! Does anybody want a peanut?

Ah, raise your hand if you caught that last allusion. Sigh. I miss Andre the Giant. On the plus side, Princess Buttercup finally divorced evil Prince What’s-his-dick so she’s available now.

Mr. Hand was right about you.

Even by my standards of complete non-focus, that was some Grade A top-choice USDA approved digression right there, folks. You’re welcome.

Speaking of “you’re” – here’s the problem I foresee in the future: as a writer, the language, the words, the grammar, the structure … it is more than just a tool of communication. It is everything. It is how you are perceived; it is, in a way, your physical and metaphysical presence. Judgments are made instantaneously about your competence and intelligence and character … all based on the perfection of your language.

This was true even before the magnificently historic rise of the Internet-tubes. But now all substantive discussions are shaded by sideways glances at the tools used to participate in the conversation.

In simpler terms – which I should probably stick with, so that all 2 of my readers can follow me here – on the Internet, no matter how brilliant you may be, some jackhole in Boise is going to counter your rhetorical genius by pointing out that “you’re” and “your” ain’t the same words, and since you used them wrong, your an idiot.

Ha. See what I did their? And there?

God, I’m funny.

But if I can squander my comedic genius for a moment, let me just reiterate that none of this is a problem on the current blog. However, future plans might actually include – you know – substance. Some of which might actually result in – you know – readers. And discussion. And maybe even controversy.

Unfortunately, on the Internet, ideas are always secondary to whatever appeals to the least common denominator in the readership, and “gotcha” games about punctuation are where the most common of the least common denominator crowd always likes to start. Becuz illiteracy is fun and stuff!

So here’s the quandary: no matter my obvious mastery of all things related to the written word, I will screw up. Because I’m not God. Or Mat Damon. I’m only human.

Two choices: 1) I could diligently check and recheck each post, correcting all errors; or 2) I could just leave it alone and cover my ass in advance with a post like this one!

All great writers become great during the editing process. But that requires work, and since much of this blog is an ode to the joys of laziness, that would sort of run contrary to our philosophy here at Words R Us.

But there’s also a serious point: errors, by pointing out our humanity and fallibility, remind each of us that our minds should be open to other ideas and perceptions; our imperfections remind us that perhaps we don’t know everything and see everything.

It also reminds us to be gentle with others. For example, I glance over at my “categories” for blog posts and notice that I spelled “heroes” without the “e.” Pardon my language here, but what the fuck? “Heros” isn’t a word. It’s not even a sandwich. It doesn’t even look right. So how’d I managed to screw that up so badly?

The answer is that I ain’t perfect. And sure, leaving mistakes leaves me wide open to the ever popular Internet Grammar-and-Spelling Gestapo … but that’s okay. Because picking on that stuff just means you’re an idiot. I mean your an idiot. Or something. (Confession: I’m as guilty as anyone of playing Punctuation Police while debating something. But I also know that its very, very lame. So there. Or their. Or they’re.)

So I leave my mistakes to maintain my humility.

That seems to me to be a very good thing. I mean let’s face it: after this blog goes global and I’m practically drowning in Dom Perignon and supermodels, I’ll need something to keep me humble. Right?

So the policy is simple: once it hits the news stand, its there forever, for all the world to see.

Because we all need Heros.

A brief recap (which is, you know, sort of funny, since  “recap” implies prior substance):

I’m a writer. One who never rarely writes. Which is probably a good thing. Because if I actually wrote, people would realize I can’t write. This way, I can convince myself that my prodigious talents lie untapped in giant oily pools of brilliance, and if BP would only come along and drill me the whole world would see the truth!

As always, I now must digress: first, that last sentence up there is so full of muddled accidentally Freudian innuendo that I find myself both embarrassed and proud; second, there is some uncomfortable truth about myself (and about a lot of folks, I suspect) in that strange little burble: specifically, that I avoid working at things specifically to hide from the possible unpleasant truth that maybe no matter how hard I worked, I’d fail.

Interesting. If I had a shrink, I’d share that tidbit.

Of course, maybe I’m just terminally lazy.

Regardless, as I’ve covered extensively in prior 100% substance-free posts which I’m now recapping, I started blogging primarily to write about my current military exploits. Which have been almost infinitely entertaining, enlightening, and amusing … if only I’d actually, you know, written about them.

That changes today. I swear. No more procrastination.

So here I am in Iraq. Iraq sucks. And I promise to write all about it. Seriously. If you don’t stop laughing at me, I swear to God I’ll …


Update: so although I just embarked on this rigorously enforced New Year’s Eve Resolution to blog daily (hush, you. I know it’s June 20th. It’s the Chinese New Year today, isn’t it?  No? Just go with it, people) and I have to point out that – thanks to the wonderful country of Iraq, in which the infrastructure resembles decades-old moldy boogers stuck under a schoolkid’s chair – I’ll be losing my Internet connection in about a week … and Allah knows when I’ll be getting it back up again.

Oops, more Freudian stuff inserted into my post.

Ha. Inserted. See what I did there?

Just wanted to note this in advance, because terminal laziness is always much more effective as a life strategy when you plan ahead.

Where have I been?

Finished BOLC II in October. Shortly thereafter, BOLC II disappeared forever into the Place Where Good Ideas Poorly Executed Go To Die.

It wasn’t my fault. I swear. Probably.

Sometimes Google Images finds strange things. Very, very cute strange things.

What’d I do next? I got married!

Seriously. To the woman of my dreams. Your dreams, too, probably, but she’s all mine. For the record, it was not one of those spur of the moment “Oh God I’m lonely and really, really want all that BAH money!” military weddings.

Unless you call being together a decade “spur of the moment.” If your sense of time and perspective is that skewed, you may be a glacier.

This is a glacier. Glaciers are really, really slow. Which is kinda the point I was making there. In case you're a little slow yourself.

Happily married after way, way too much waiting around for her to make an honest man of me, I headed back to Benning for IBOLC. Also known as IBOLC or BOLC III for infantry types.

That is a long, long story. A deeply fascinating one, which can be summarized in a few short words. Words like: “Wow, that sucked, didn’t it?”

I graduated in February. And now here I am, a newly minted Lieutenant of the Infantry, beginning my first deployment to Iraq.

Today I sit in a piss-poor excuse for a billeted room – sort of a hotel for homeless types – at a local National Guard Armory. Tomorrow, I hop on an overcrowded, undereducated bus and travel on to my mobilization station; and after a few short weeks there, I’ll be on my way to Kuwait … then Iraq … and ultimately to a platoon of infantry riflemen just desperate for my skilled and fierce leadership.

This is going to be a trip. One that promises to range from tragic to banal to boring to endlessly amusing.

And thus the blog is reborn: after all, this was the stuff I really wanted to share. War stories, bore stories, and all in between.

Since I failed so miserably to blog daily about BOLC II and BOLC III, I plan – I swear! – to go back in time, when time permits, and tell stories. Or at least all that I can safely tell. Which leaves out most of the good stuff. Sucks for you, huh?

I’ll try to call it all up from memory, one day and week and month at a time. The same goes for OCS – after all, there are plenty of you out there curious about becoming officers. My advice? Consider Klown Kollege instead.

This clown is secretly very sad. Just like a Second Lieutenant.

Oh, I’m kidding.


Lots more on the secret life of Second Lieutenants later.

Stay tuned.

Melodrama is so melodramatic. And gauche. Which is a word I’m not entirely sure I can define, but always reminds me of cold soup.

But I digress. As usual.

This blog was born with such high, high hopes – with said hopes quickly dashed upon the sharp and pointy rocks of my own inconsistent discipline and consistent laziness.

Also, I’ve been kinda busy, yo. Insert assorted perfectly reasonable excuses here.

So I reached a stunningly obvious conclusion: the only way to blog – is to blog. Just as the only way to write, is to write.

Yeah, yeah. I know.

But here is the crux of my problem: each time I try to blog – or write, if blogging is too, I dunno, gauche of a term – I find myself wanting to be epic. After all, now I’ve got oodles to share and gigabytes of pictures to post … so clearly, I have to draft a tumescent tome each time I type. Right?

Well, wrong. If I have that attitude, I’ll never write. Or blog. Or learn to play the harmonica with my testicles. These things take consistent practice to perfect.

Thus and henceforth, a very late resolution is born: I will blog something – anything – daily. Pictures may be absent; grammar may be grammarless; wit may be unwittingly whittled away.

But each day I’ll write. Something. When the Internet is inaccessible, still I shall write.

Maybe once in a while, one of those bursts of brilliance will emerge. In the meantime, leave me alone. I is practicing. Mmm-kay?

See the next entry for something – sorta – substantive.

So I noticed a sudden and inexplicable blip in traffic on my fledgling little blog of blah recently – which I found strange, since a) I’ve barely had time to feed and water the little tyke, and b) I’ve done exactly zero to drum up traffic. So I checked the search terms … and shock me, shock me, shock me – it’s all from soldiers Googling their little green fingers off trying to figure out whether or not BOLC II has been canceled.

Well? Is it canceled or what? C'mon, LT ... I didn't Google for silly pictures and random drivel. Spill it already.

Well? Is it canceled or what? C'mon, LT ... I didn't Google for silly pictures and random drivel. Spill it already.

It’s not surprising, I suppose. As my beautiful era of OCS innocence was drawing to a close, the rumor that BOLC II was set to be canceled was the subject of much discussion. There are doubtless hundreds of young soon-to-be Lieutenants out there right this very minute, desperate to determine their BOLC II-related future. But before I get to that, I’d just like to point out that Googling “canceled” brought up a strangely impressive number of boobie pictures. Like this one:

Maybe its just me, but I would not cancel her.

Maybe its just me, but I would not cancel her.

Then again, every search on any search engine brings up lots of boobs. That’s what they invented the Internet for.

But back to the subject at hand: is BOLC II canceled? (Hey – I’ll bet if I keep typing that little phrase, I could climb right up the search rankings. But that would be silly.)

So is it? BOLC II – canceled?

Now you're just being mean.

Now you're just being mean.

All right, here’s the ice cream scoop, the straight poop, the goopety-goop: yes. Sort of. Probably.

We’ve had briefings from both our battalion commander and our brigade commander, and both have mentioned the impending disappearance of the slutty evil that is BOLC II. Huzzah! I have good intel that they’re transition to something they’re calling “BOLC-B” … which is basically a new name for the same old, same old OBC system – in which newly commissioned officers were sent straight to their branch school without this strange purgatory of BOLC II.

Even our platoon mentor and cadre NCO’s have mentioned it. We are supposed to be among the very last BOLC II classes: some say there will be one more starting in October; others suggest there will be one more – for this company – starting in November. Then its buh bye BOLC, catch you on the flip side, don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you!

So … yes. If you have orders to BOLC II that put you in Ft. Benning or Ft. Sill later than November of this year, you probably ain’t coming. Get ready for the FRAGO that’s headed your way. Yeah, you!

Aw. Sad. No BOLC II for you.

Aw. Sad. No BOLC II for you.

But … wait. Simple answers are for softies and sissies, and I hate to send you out into that good night completely unprepared for yet another FRAGO that may be headed in your direction (plus, I can’t resist stirring the rumor pot just a little myself). So let me complicate your complexity:

While all of the above is true – that BOLC II should be canceled very, very soon – I happened to have a very interesting conversation with an officer who was, strangely enough, assessing the BOLC II program. Which, of course, makes no sense, even by Army standards … since you don’t usually assess courses that are disappearing.

Unless they aren’t.

And this particular officer told me that BOLC II was actually going to be reconstituted, down-sized, and moved entirely to Ft. Knox.

True? Not true? You decide. All I know is what I heard, straight from a superior officer’s rumor-creating orifice. So tell your friends and keep the rumor mill spinning round and round. You know you want to.

Is BOLC II canceled? (Ha!) Probably. Almost certainly. Unless, of course, its not.

Welcome to the Army. Enjoy your stay.

Things change around here. FRAGO's are fun.

Things change around here. FRAGO's are fun.

I feel so dirty right now. Blogging for five minutes and already a traffic whore. Very sad.

So remember that promised “gentleman’s course” with banker’s hours – off every night by 1700, plenty of free time, all that jazz? Well, yeah. Not so much. It turns out that I had no weekend … instead we spent 20 hours on the rifle range on Saturday. And while being company commander made it worse, of course, the truth is nobody has gotten much free time thus far.

It is an amazingly relaxed place – at least in comparison with OCS. We are “sir” to everyone, and even when the cadre NCO’s are calling you stupid … they do it respectfully. Cell phones are ubiquitous, and texting is rampant; we spent most of the first day at the range sleeping.

But time is limited. Saturday began at 0500 and ended at 0200 on Sunday morning … then one day off, and another full day at the range, ended at dinner time only because of a God-blessed thunderstorm that sent us all scurrying for cover.

There is a point here, and the point is this: blogging time is very short. At least so far – I have hopes that next week will be different (of course, somehow I got stuck being Platoon Leader (PL) for next week! So that free time thing may be limited then, too). It appears that the rumor mills got Ball-Lick II very, very wrong. Of course, that same rumor mill swears its all Alpha Company’s fault … and it does appear that Bravo Company is actually having short days and long, sweet nights of freedom.

Back to my point. Which is this: if I plan to blog this journey, I better do it in short posts when I have the chance. So here’s short post number one – submitted for your reading pleasure, as we prepare to go hop on a Disneyland-type convoy ops simulator, and sit in air-conditioned (fingers crossed!) comfort as we blow away bad guys. Should be fun.

For now, here are some educational photos. Note that these are random pieces of Google thievery – I’ll post my own shots from the range once I get the film in my ultra-cheap disposable camera developed.

This is not a rifle range at Ft. Benning. But still ... its a picture. Quit being so pushy.

This is not a rifle range at Ft. Benning. But still ... its a picture. Quit being so pushy.

Also not a Benning range. Not our rifle, either - that's a sniper rifle. But its a cool picture, now ain't it?

Also not a Benning range. Not our rifle, either - that's a sniper rifle. But its a cool picture, now ain't it?

Nope. Still not our range. But the targets look like that. Well, sort of. Just squint, okay?

Nope. Still not our range. But the targets look like that. Well, sort of. Just squint, okay?

Hey, an actually relevant picture! That's the rifle we're using: the M-4 carbine with collapsible stock, with the M-68 Close Combat Optic (CCO). It basically has a frickin' laser. Sweet.

Hey, an actually relevant picture! That's the rifle we're using: the M-4 carbine with collapsible stock, with the M-68 Close Combat Optic (CCO). It basically has a frickin' laser. Sweet.