Bride’s birthday pre-game

It has begun.

Grey Goose dirty (filthy!) martinis for me, $68.00 / bottle glasses of Chianti for her.  I ain’t spending s*** on liquor at an expensive Brazilian steakhouse, and the groupon comes with a bottle of wine and dinner for two.

I’m afraid the steakhouse has made a rather large mistake – They won’t allow more than one groupon to be used per “group”, and we have a 6-person party.   So if they don’t seat us at least adjacently, if not push three tables together, its going to get loud.  Trust.


Ah well.  That will be entertaining blog-fodder at the very least.  With video.

RLTW, and out here.


Holy smokes

Just received, read, signed, and returned the offer letter for my new position.  I’m a bit in shock, I think, at the benefits and amenities…A FULL relocation (just like an army Permanent Change of Station – A truck shows up with boxes, wrapping paper, blankets, and 3-4 movers, they wrap, pack, and box everything and put it on the truck, and carry it off to your new home, where they unload and we unpack).  The bride only has to supervise.

On top of  THAT, they pay the Real Estate Agent’s commission on both the sale of the current home AND the purchase of a new home, as well as paying any closing costs or points on the new mortgage.

A “Real Estate Specialist” from the HR department will be here Monday to start the process…We have a full year to sell the house if that’s how long it takes.  In the meantime, they’ll pay for 30 days in an “Executive suite” while we look for a new place to settle.

And given we aren’t paying any closing costs, points, or commissions, I’m going to treat myself to something I’ve wanted for a very long time on Monday…A brand new Mercedes C300 – half of the payment down in cash, the rest financed.  I have enough guns, it’s time for the 2003 Mustang GT to go and be replaced with something more befitting my age.  Then we’ll take my wife’s leased Nissan back to the dealership and buy her an Escalade, or whatever her dream car is.  After 14 years of driving the same cars, we deserve it.

We’ll wait until one of my oldest and dearest friends from military college (you know who you are, Mark A.) who also served as one of my references, gets back from a business trip to Guam to celebrate, but tonight there will be adult beverages.

Thump is back, my friends.  I’m back.  If you’d told me in 1982 as a knuckle-dragging 11B Infantryman that I’d be in the position I’m in now, I’d have busted a gut laughing.  It took a h*** of a lot of work and stress, but now here I sit – Like Borat in his hotel room, seated, muttering “King of the castle, king of the castle, you do this, you do that.”

Used to be…

When I got a nasty cold or virus, I could conquer it in three days or so.  Ah, but I was young then, and in prime physical condition.

All of the shopping trips my wife has sent me on since my return from Alexandria seem to have exposed me to an ugly, nasty sinus infection – I haven’t slept more than two hours in three nights, thus the lack of hot air here.

Give me some time to gobble down enough Aleve-D Sinus and Cold, Sudafed, and locally produced honey, and I’ll be back in the saddle.

Adios for now.

Hm, that wasn’t so bad

After liberally indulging in adult beverages from December 10 – December 31, I was honestly expecting the shakes when January 1 rolled around and I hopped back on the wagon (my imbibing these days is limited to my birthday, vacations, and holidays – Otherwise I’ll gain a hundred pounds and engage in sloth).

Besides, I’ve drunk enough for three men at my age – Irish and German heritage lend themselves to over-indulgence, it’s pretty much time to cut the s***.

No shakes or other manifestations of withdrawal though, which is good – That means one less thing to dread at the end of next year.

I really should know better than to read Job before bed

…But my Central Texas upbringing included choosing a bible verse at dinner and discussing it until Dallas came on, at which point Daddy poured a scotch and water or three and demanded silence.

I foolishly chose from Job one evening in order to let the old man know in a roundabout way that keeping me out of football practice for a week in punishment for being caught kissing my girlfriend (now my wife of many years) out behind the field house at lunch one afternoon was excessive (one didn’t confront the old man – In consequence one would feel something cold on one’s face and realize right smartly that the cold surface was the floor).

He was wise to me, the Colonel (I think he was a Major at the time), and having just come home from a three-week field problem with the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, too tired to put one of his famed smack-downs on me, so my punishment was to memorize the verse, Job 17:11-16 DV.  To this day, I know it better than I know the Ranger Creed, and during times of worry (I don’t do despair), it comes to me:

My days have passed away, my

thoughts are dissipated, tormenting my


They have turned night into day,

and after darkness I hope for light again.

If I wait hell is my house, and I have

made my bed in darkness.

I have said to rottenness: Thou art

my father; to worms, my mother and

my sister.

Where is now then my expectation,

and who considereth my patience?

All that I have shall go down into

the deepest pit; thinkest thou that there

at least I shall have rest?

I discussed that verse once more with my Daddy the Colonel, twenty-seven years ago today, after being released from Silas B. Hays Army Hospital at Fort Ord, CA following a stay for wounds sustained during operation Just Cause.  This date always brings the verse to mind – Not so much for the content, but for Daddy’s comments regarding it: “You don’t get any rest, son.  You lead your men to the best of your abilities, you act as an example to the rest of the Company Grade officer Corps, you maintain yourself physically and mentally, and you put forth 110% effort every day of your career.  Then you’ll more than likely have to start a second career, where you’ll get no rest either.  But think about it – You just spent 9 days lying on your a** “resting” – Did you enjoy it?”

Nope.  I did not, Daddy…And for the record, you were always more wise than I gave you credit for.


Mother’s milk

All things that are old have become new again.

From 1990 – 1992 in the quarters at Kitzingen there were no such things as Keurig machines, one purchased a “Mr. Coffee” at the PX and hoped it lasted the length of your assignment (those d***** machines broke on the regular).  So the first two things you’d do before taking a shower would be to run out to your POV in PJ’s and a parka to start it up and run the heater, then start a pot of coffee so that you’d have enough for a cup over breakfast and a thermos to take with you on the drive over to Downs Barracks.

Well d*** if I didn’t just run out to the car (fully dressed by now, of course) and crank it up, turn the heater to full blast, then return to the house to make a third cup of Keurig to drink while the car warms up so that I can drive it to Starbucks and fetch the wife’s Pumpkin Spice Latte.

On the agenda today, haircut, lunch with an old NGC buddy, and purchasing a better vaping device than the cheap one I picked up in Panama City.  That those tasks seem exhausting thinking about them isn’t a good sign,