"Not the victory but the action. Not the goal but the game.
In the deed the glory."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving in Iraq - the Pictures Part 2

Our PAO (public affairs office) here on Anaconda has a website where they upload pics of the big events after they are complete. I did some surfing and tracked down a few from the Thanksgiving night show.

Here is Delilah strutting her stuff. Like I said, a little bit risque. And I just dated myself by using the term risque. I am 30 by the way. Almost 31. She had a soldier come up and help her take the garter off. Yeah, okay....

John Popper kickin' it old school style.

Jamie Oneal and John Popper.

Not sure who this is. Oh right, the cheerleaders. Nice win by the Pats this weekend, probably due to the good karma from sending their women to Iraq to cheer up the troops.

Here is me in the Colonel's office during the game, pretending to be the boss, and ordering a code red. Of course my friend the PT belt is always around to keep me company.

The rumor mill says that the WWE folks are going to be here before Christmas, so we are pretty pumped about that. We are going to camp out so we can get ringside tickets. Should be a great time. You know who we'll be rooting for.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

9 Wins, Big 12 North Title, All Around Good Year

As usual, your favorite soldiers downrange gathered to watch the NU vs CU game last night at 2330. Some of us got started a little early and gathered to watch A&M take it to Texass. Sorry Longhorns. Well, not really. I'm sure there are quite a few people in the Longhorn state that are pretty big Okalahoma State fans today, if the Cowpokes pull off the upset Texass will slide into the title game. If OU wins, they get to opportunity to lose to the Big Red. Actually, I am a little bit scared of Oklahoma, they can really run the ball well and their defenese is outstanding. We'll have a tough time moving the ball on them. But, we can break that down next week when we know for sure who we are beating.

We got a little bit crazy last night, as the big dog Lt. Colonel is back home on leave right now. Sidebar, this leaves MAJ Teegerstrom in charge of Task Force Saber aka Team Cav. The LJS did a nice story on him that you can find here. No mention of Tomahawks though. Back to the game, we bribed the CSM with some pizza and he let us hang out in the SCO's (Squadron COmmander) office for the game. There used to be a Brigade sized element doing our job, and they had a General in charge, so the SCO inherited a pretty nice sized office. By nice size I mean ginormous, it is bigger than the S1 section where we have 6 people working. As it was our 8 month anniversary, we always eat out, so we bought some Iraqi Pizza Hut, CSM Hall brought the NA beers, and we got to work. Very tasty. We joked about leaving all of the empty beer bottles and pizza boxes for him when we got back like some fraternity party, but decided that would be a CLM (career limiting move). Hammer took some pictures which I'm sure he'll post in a day or two for your viewing pleasure. All in all, it was a good time, the entire section (except for the Chief, as the nursing home locks him down at 2100), the Sergeant Major, SGT Hunt, and even the Chaplain hung out and enjoyed the victory. Good times were had by all. The only real negative is that some other group of soldiers came rolling into theater about a week ago and already have their own commercial supporting the Huskers. We've been here for the whole season, living and dying with every snap, and no love for us. Bummer. Plus they had on their Husker gear which we aren't allowed to wear, even in the office for the game at 0 dark 30. Well, what can you do?

Here are some pictures I stole downloaded from Billy C sharing a last tunnel walk with Zac on Senior Day.

Barry Turner pulling in the TD on the trickery. We sure pulled out all of the stops in this game. Joe Ganz said this about the play: "Barry's always bragging about how he was a good tight end in high school. We ran the play in practice and he dropped it - so I didn't think I'd ever throw it to him again. And Defensive tackle Ola Dagunduro had this to say about Turner's catch: "I'm going to hear every day from him about that touchdown. But I'm happy for him. He was open and caught the pass. In practice he actually missed it, so we thought that we'd never go to him." How funny was it that ABC was ready with his high school stats at TE?

Purify making an acrobatic catch. That was a huge play, and came as they were interviewing his mom. I think if we are having problems moving the ball against our Big 12 South foe next week we should one of Taylor's relatives ready to interview. You are guaranteed a big play.

Brandon Jackson had another huge game. He is tough to tackle in the open field, as quite a few Buffs found out. He is slowly turning into one of my favorite I-backs.

This is one of the best pictures I've seen all year. Nice shot World Herald, Huskers carrying the Big 12 North trophy to the locker room.

On to the championship game. We'll be underdogs regardless of who we play. We'll need to eliminate the mental mistakes, turnovers, shoddy tackling, and penalties (6 false starts in the 12th game of the year is absolutely unbelievable) in order to have a shot. But we can beat either team with a solid performance. BCS here we come!

Well, I only got 3 hours sleep last night due to the late game time, so that is all I have to say about that. I am going to try to get bed early, so I can get up and watch the USC and Notre Dame game, which kicks off at 0400 our time. Most likely I'll reset my alarm for 0600 and just watch the second half, but a boy can dream. A boy can dream.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving in Iraq - the Pictures

First of all, those of you that read the Omaha World Herald may have seen this already, but I've gotten some more free pub this week. This story was to run in Thursday's paper with a quote from yours truly. If you have a copy of it, and don't mind giving it up, I don't have one so if you could hook the wife up with it that would be pretty cool.

Thanksgiving was pretty much business as usual here. I actually had a pretty busy day and the day went by pretty quickly. Normally, we go to lunch in shifts so we can keep someone in the office at all times in case anything goes down. We decided to go ahead and get a little risky and went to lunch as a section. The only person we were missing was SSG Johnson who was enjoying the holiday back in Nebraska. It was nice to go as a group, it is the first time we've eaten together since, well, probably back at Shelby. Beans and Hammer have a post up too with some more pictures. Make you sure you check out Beans's post to see the tribute to SSG Matt Maupin, who has been MIA since 2003.

Flecker, me and the Burnometer getting ready to roll out.

The group on the .75mile (one way) trek to the chow hall that we make twice a day. In case you are curious I measured it on my Garmin Forerunner 201 one night while out running.

Some Thanksgiving decorations in front of the DFAC. We had a great plan, we went down early and didn't really have to wait in line
My plate. I saw no reason to mess around and had them load it up. They had prime rib and turkey with all of the fixings, and it was all really tasty. You can barely see it but there is a nice cut of prime rib under everything else. It wasn't as good as what you get at home, but much better than our usual meal.
They also had the chow hall all decorated up, and the workers were dressed in holiday attire as well. Some of the higher ranking officers even served us, so that was pretty neat. They put a lot of time and energy into the decorations and really did a nice job.

A decorated cake with some fun Army stuff on it.

So, after lunch, which was fantastic, we went back to work. SFC Kerchal cut us loose about an hour early and I went to run off some of the 2000 calories or so that I had for lunch. I wanted to continue the tradition that JAg and I have been doing the last few years, busting out a run in the morning as a pre-emptive strike against insane eating. This was also to make way for dinner as they had the same menu. I switched it up a little bit at dinner and had the pecan pie instead of the pumpkin, which was a nice move. It was much better.
After crushing another meal, we headed down to our entertainment for the night, which was a little USO show. Unfortunately, I was too far away to get any good pics, so this is the stage with the mosh pit in front. The rest of the ones I tried to zoom in on, but I got a little bit too crazy and they are all pretty blurry.

The opening act was the New England Patriot cheerleaders. They were of course a crowd favorite for the mainly male crowd. They did their thing, and then they had an Air Force band out there. They were actually pretty good. Next was John Popper. He really rocked. He played some great tunes that I really enjoyed as back in the college days I rocked quite a bit of Blues Traveler. He used the Air Force reserve band as his backup and they sounded great as well. This is where the night started to get a little bit strange.
Delilah, the radio gal that plays love song requests, came out next. I'm looking for the right term here, but she had a rather seductive outfit on. And her act was a little bit, umm, racy I would say. Which was a surprise. She did a little kit where she tried out for the cheerleader squad which was amusing. One part that was pretty cool was that she had recorded some phone conversations from 2 soldiers' husbands back in the states, and she brought them on stage and played them. Last but not least was 4 time Grammy nominee Jamie O'Neal. She sings country music, but it still sounded great and we enjoyed it. All in all, it was a pretty fun night. The crowd wasn't quite as big as Toby Keith, but everyone seemed to be having a pretty good time.
Here are some pictures of the coins I mentioned early in the week. The top one is a Brigade deployment coin that we were able to purchase as a souvenir. The one on the left is the one I got from MG Lempke, and the one on the right is from CSM Beam.
Here are the backs. the NE TAG has a nice Red Husker N so that is cool.

We received two of what we call "gimmee" awards today. These are the ones that you get for doing duty in a combat zone. The one on the left is for fighting in the Global War on Terror, and the one on the right is the Iraq Campaign medal. Afterwards, MAJ Teegerstrom gave us a little pep talk about staying focused over our last 4 months. We are starting to get in sniffing distance of talking about going home, but we still have the mission to think about first. It is exciting to start talking about getting out of here though.
Last but not least for those of you that have made it this far, today is our 8th month anniversary. And of course the Buffalo game. We are going to get pizza, watch the game, and drink a few NA beers. Maybe smoke a cigar. OK, definitely smoke a cigar. It is 1130pm tonight but that won't slow us down. Except for Chief, that is too late for him, but the young guys and me will be up cheering on the Big Red. We have a pool where we guess the score beforehand, and I have 60-0 Skers so I am hoping that we pour it on. Go Big Red!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving in Iraq

I don't know how many of you watch The Office, but if you don't, you should. There is an episode in Season 2 where Michael (the boss) professes to be the King of Email Forwards. I can tell that you he isn't. That honor belongs to CPT WarCorn. I've mentioned him before on my blog, he is a former Nebraska paralegal and JAG that now lives in Florida and did a stint here at Anaconda during OIF III. He doesn't send me a ton of stuff, but when he does, it is always quality. From up to date Husker rumors, happenings in Iraq, to support our soldiers type stuff, he can be trusted to send a good email.

Submitted for your review is this Thanksgiving tribute that the good Captain sent me last week. Check it out while you are enjoying your long weekend of turkey, football, and family this weekend.

As with most other holidays, it will be business as usual here with one exception. The DFAC I'm sure will have something special planned for us. I don't suspect that we'll get a Butterball (umm, ConAgra, do you really think it is necessary to make me choose between English and Spanish before I access the Butterball web site? I sure don't). I'm sure they will do their best with what they have, and I'm hoping for some pumpkin pie. And some pecan too, it is Thanksgiving after all. Maybe even some ice cream as well. Might as well get crazy.

One of the Weber traditions on Thanksgiving is that everyone says something they are thankful for before eating dinner. I've always thought this was a good way to make sure that the purpose of the holiday is not lost amid the eating, drinking, and being merry. Since I won't be present this year, I thought I would share my list ahead of time.

I'm thankful this Thanksgiving for:
  • Having the most supportive wife in the world during this deployment, thanks babe, I couldn't do this without you
  • Being blessed with a happy and healthy son
  • The support of my family, friends and co-workers back home, your letters, emails and packages always but a smile on my face
  • A relatively safe job here on a base that has the most amenities of any in theater
  • Working in a great section with great guys, and at a desk with a/c
  • Internet, email, and phone access to stay in touch with everyone back home
  • Cool weather here, I don't miss the days of 115+
  • My employers generous support while I'm gone
  • Our weekly bible study
  • All of the people at home that our praying for me, my family, and my unit
  • The opportunity to grow in my faith while I'm away from home
  • Being able to serve in the finest armed forces in the world, for the greatest country on earth, on a mission that is bringing freedom to people that haven't ever tasted it

I had a few more but they are escaping me right now, so I may do some updating this week if they come to me. You enjoy your time off and hit the Black Friday sales for me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

BigRed Network, Ohio State vs USC

One of the sites I've started checking quite often for news of my beloved Huskers is I always surf by on Fridays to print out their handy pocket guide for each game. It has the 2 deep rosters for each time in addition to other fun facts and figures that you can use to impress your buddies during the game. They also do a nice job finding some of the more obscure news and links from around the web. For example, their link for a first person account at the A&M game led me to this little nugget. Herbstreit voted A&M #21 this week in his AP ballot. So surely the 'Skers are rated higher than that seeing as how the last game that was played we won. In College Station. Alas, we are no where to be found. I did some Googling (is that a verb yet?) this morning and tried to find his week 11 and 12 ballots to find out what he had us last week, but was unsuccessful. Maybe he turned the game off early and thought A&M won? If so, that is grounds for losing your vote.

The head honcho at BigRed Network contacted the Hammer and I to ask about how we roll on gamedays here in Iraq. They have a nice article you can find here with our answers. Head on over and check it out. Part II will be posted sometime soon, as usual I was long winded so you'll need a few minutes to dig through everything.

It was nice watching the big game on Saturday and not being emotionally invested. I was definitely rooting for Michigan. I've always been a fan of the Wolverines, ever since I harbored delusions of grandeur and attending U of M. However, those dreams were dashed when I found out they don't let poor people from Nebraska go there. Ohio State was definitely the better team on Saturday. Were it not for a few mistakes they may have won by a much bigger margin. Great effort by Michigan, but it came down to the basics and they just didn't tackle well.

So of course the big controversy is who is the best one loss team. First of all, I don't think everyone needs to get all worked up quite yet. Lots of football left to play. I saw a quote from Florida's coach Urban Meyer about how if Michigan and tOSU play again they need to immediately scrap the BCS. Settle down Urban. You've got a big game to win before you can get angry about getting passed over. Come back and get upset after you win the SEC and don't get a shot. In fact, but whining about it now I think you've assured yourself of a loss against the Razorbacks.

Second, as much as I hate to say this, I think USC will win out and jump Michigan. If they do, they deserve to get a shot. The main thing for me is that unless Ohio State plays and beats a good team from another conference, we won't know really how good they were. Michigan had their shot and they weren't good enough, sorry. Of course, by saying this I've now effectively locked USC out of the title game, see my earlier post about Auburn vs Michigan in the title game for an example. Nobody called me out on that one, so I am going to keep prognosticating. I wouldn't have a problem with USC, Florida or Arkansas in the title game. ND doesn't belong, but it would be fun if they beat USC, get the bid, and then get destroyed by Ohio State. That would be okay. I would only want to see Michigan get in if all of the 3 teams above lose in the next 2 weeks.

4 days to Colordao! Normally I'm the one warning about watching out for the Buffs as they always play us tough. Not this year. They are bad. Very bad. And we are a different team at home. Plus Cally with a week to prepare is always a good thing. I think we get up early and win handily. The game is on AFN so we'll be watching A&M vs Texass first and then our game, will be a good night of football.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Distinguished Visitors and The General Responds

Our State Adjutant General, MG Lempke, and State Commander Sergeant Major, CSM Shunk, made a trip to Iraq this past week. It was good to see them out and about visiting the troops. There are currently around 650 Nebraska Guardsmen here in Iraq, and they visited us and a few other troops.

On returning back to the states, he commented on his visit in this story on Here are some quotes from MG Lempke:

"I came away feeling that we've made an investment there that still has the potential to pay off for us, but it's not quite ready," said Maj. Gen. Roger Lempke.

"We need to be careful before we start talking about pulling out. But we do need to find new ways to pressure the government there to understand that we're not going to be the primary force forever," he said.

He also makes a nice analogy here that kind of matches what I posted last week about Secretary Rumsfeld's departure.

Lempke said he is hopeful that Rumsfeld's departure might foster renewed debate on U.S. strategy in Iraq, even if he disagrees with calls to withdraw from the country.
"When you know how the boss feels about something, you don't walk into the office with opinions that vary too much. Now, you'll see some freer discussion of strategy and tactics, which I think would be a good thing," he said.

I was lucky enough to get to have lunch with the General along with some of the other Nebraska soldiers. And, I was even luckier to get a coveted coin from him. For those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, the senior leaders carry around commemorative "coins" with them, usually the size of a silver dollar and bearing their unit symbol, rank, motto, or something else memorable. They hand them out to soldiers as a way of saying thanks. So, that was pretty cool.

Additionally, just yesterday SFC Kerchal and I were walking to chow for lunch when CSM Hall stopped and picked us up and gave us a ride. He and LTC Apprich share one of 2 NTV (non-tactical vehicles aka Ford Explorer) in the Squadron, so we got to ride in style. When we got there we happened to walk in at the same time as CSM Beam, who is the CSM for Multi-National Corps - Iraq, which is our higher-higher-higher headquarters. We got to watch as the CSMs partook in their favorite past time, which is making on the spot corrections for soldiers with uniform deficiencies. Sleeves rolled up on your ACU? Wrong answer, fix it. Wearing a non-authorized US flag? I don't think so. Hair too long? Get it cut. Good stuff, it is fun to watch the soldiers' faces as they realize that who they are getting corrected by. As we were wrapping up lunch, CSM Beam hooked us up with one of his coins for our hard work. So, I went from January 2002 (coin from 1SG Valenzuela for guarding the airport after 9/11) to 2 coins in 2 weeks. Pretty sweet.

If I may continue on with the politics, General Abizaid, the commander of all forces in the Mideast, had a little meeting on the hill earlier this week. Here is a quote that I really liked:

"With regard to hope not being a method, Senator [Clinton], I agree with you, and I would also say that despair is not a method," he said. "When I come to Washington, I feel despair. When I'm in Iraq with my commanders, when I talk to our soldiers, when I talk to the Iraqi leadership, they are not despairing."

First of all, I have to give Mrs. Bill Clinton props for using "hope is not a method" which is one of my favorite lines. That is the last time you will probably here me give Hillary any props so don't get used to it. Second, I think with a few exceptions most serving over here understand why we are here and support the effort. Granted some days are worse than others, but generally the soldiers doing the fighting and dying support this war. Failure is simply not an option if we want a safe America. I posted a while back about our nations failure to react to any terrorist activity from '83 to '01 and how this weakness may have contributed to 9/11. How much more so will be viewed as weak by our enemies that have vowed to destroy us and our way of life if we leave the job unfinished? I think our media has already gone a long way to aiding and abetting the enemy in this endeavor by continuing to push the stories that show this effort in a negative light. The withdrawal of US forces at this point would solve nothing other than emboldening our enemies and leaving us vulnerable to attack.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Anger Management is for Sissies

One thing that is different for me this year is that I'm actually watching some NFL football. This is partly due to the fact that I'm stuck here with not much to do and partly due to our fantasy football league. I haven't done fantasy football for quite a few years, but we got a friendly league going here in the office. My team has been doing pretty well, at least up until this week. I was sitting at 6-3, tied for first in the league and looking to make a strong move into sole possession of first place with a victory over Chief Regan's team, who I absolutely dismantled earlier in the season. This was not to be, as he had Carlson Palmer (8000 yards and 20 TDs) and Frank Gore (842 yards rushing and 6 scores) have career days. So I needed Steve Smith to score 6 TDs on Monday night, and of course he didn't pull through. He really let me down with 150+ yards and only 1 TD.

Anyways, perhaps one of the greatest improvements to the NFL viewing experience since the last time I followed the league is the NFL Network. I believe there is some sort of litigation involving the NFL and Cablevision and Time Warner so you may not have it back in good old Nebraska just yet. The most enjoyable part is the NFL Replay, where they broadcast an entire game in 2 hours. They clip out all of the boring stuff between plays like the huddle, kickoffs that result in a touchback, and some 3 and out possessions. AFN broadcasts these replays throughout the week, so we get to catch a few more games than we normally would. Edited to add that they also show the interviewers with the players and coaches about certain plays while they are showing them. So you can hear what the coach was thinking when he called that bonehead play.

I do have a point here, so just hold on a minute and I'll get to it. So, there I was, spending a little quality time on the treadmill last night. Lo and behold, the St Louis vs Seattle game was on the TV directly in front of me. I knew that it ended up on a last minute field goal by Carrie Underwood stalker and Nebraska's own Josh Brown, but I was still excited to see how it went down. Classic game. St. Louis is up 16-14 midway through the 4th quarter. Seattle's Nate Burleson returns a punt 90 yards for the score on an unbelievable return, where he actually stopped dead in his tracks on the sideline, restarted, and nobody touched him. You don't see guys stopping in the NFL very much, usually all that is good for is getting your head separated from your body. This makes it 21-16 for The Seahawks. St. Louis battles back and marches down the field. With 2:30 left, Stephen Jackson scores on a ridiculous run where he breaks a few tackles and then pushes a couple of 'Hawks into the endzone. Huge, huge run to put the Rams up 22-21.

Now, here is where our story starts. After the touchdown run, there is a big pile in the endzone, and Mr. Jackson has his helmet ripped off. Guess who is there to protect him? None other than our favorite bad boy Richie Incognito! For those of you that don't follow Husker football as a religion, Richie was dismissed from the team back in 2004 due to continued "personal problems." He then transferred to Oregon or Oregon St. or some other Pac 10 team, not that it matters which one because he never played a down and left for the NFL. He is now the starting center after some other dude went out with a knee. So, Richie comes roaring in, drills a guy way late, and gets flagged 15 yards for a personal foul. Not a big deal, you say, they still scored. Well, we'll come back to that. So, St. Louis goes for 2 to open up a 3 point lead. And the conversion is good! Oops, wait a minute, there is a flag on the field. Holding, #68, on the offense, repeat the play. Nicely done Ritchie. The second try is then no good. The 15 yards is then marked off on the kickoff, which means St. Lous is kicking off from their own 20. Seattle takes it out past the 50, they only need about 20 yards to get into field goal range. You know the rest, Josh Brown is the first kicker (I think in history but I could be wrong on this) to beat the same team twice in the same season on a last second FG. I don't think it is too much of a stretch to say that Richie greatly contributed to the Seahawk's win. Nice work Richie on keeping that temper under control. You've matured greatly since your days in the corn.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

That Didn't Take Long

I would have thought that the incoming majority party would have waited at least a week to start demanding changes, but I was wrong. Carl Levin, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, has already called for a troop withdrawal and time table for exit. The incoming Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, has also stated that a time table needs to be set and soon.

The White House had this to say:
"I believe it is very important ... for people making suggestions to
recognize that the best military options depend upon the conditions on the
ground," he said.

The idea by itself isn't a bad one. Think back to a time you started a new job, and the person you replaced still worked in your office. How easy was it to just head over to Eileen's and ask her a question about good ol' Hyperion, instead of figuring it out yourself? Why put in an hour on a problem when you know that that person can solve it in 30 seconds? But once they are gone, and you have nobody to go to, you end up learning more than you would have otherwise. Some things may get broken in the process, but eventually you get it figured it out.

In my opinion the issue lies in the getting the timing right. We do need to step back at some point and force the Iraqis to step up, take the training wheels off so to speak. But the risk here is more than just the numbers not adding up at the end of the month. What do you think happens if we leave too early and the country disintegrates? Thousands (hundreds of thousands? millions?) of innocent Iraqis die due to widespread sectarian violence and extrajudicial killings. Or someone else Iran swoops in and fills the power void. Would that be better for America? I don't think so. Now, if we can set up Iraq to govern themselves we lessen the more radical nation's influence on the Middle East which I believe is a good thing. Which of course is the challenge in front of us. I don't think you can say we are stepping back in 4 months and have this thing work. The Commanders on the ground need to make that decision.

I guess I'm not surprised with the timing. After another brutal year of attack campaigns (one of the very few things I didn't miss about being home) it is hard to believe that the 2 parties have any common ground. I don't know what the answer is, but until our country finds a way to come together and end the incessant arguing, our problems will never get solved. Immediately after 9/11 the country was united, but along the way this spirit got lost and we are now more divided than ever.

I think part of the reason is that the general public was never really asked to do anything other than sit in longer lines at the airport. I know this isn't WWII, but where are the War Bond tours, Rosie the Riveter, and rationing of consumer goods? The American public was ready, willing, and able to support the war on terror, but instead a pretty small portion of our population, the military and their families, has been asked to do the heavy lifting over and over again. I think looking back 5 years that is probably the biggest fault of the current administration, that they failed to engage Americans to become partners to help protect our great country. Instead, most don't understand what we are doing here or how they can help, and just see the body count piling up.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Lowest of Lows to the Highest of Highs

I got a little bit of sleep last night and have settled down a little bit. Just a little bit though, I still can't believe we won that game. We really had no business getting the W. I don't know what it is about this team but we are just not a second half team. Do we just not make halftime adjustments? It is just strange how we've taken off almost 3rd quarter this year after getting up big. We have only scored 42 points in the 3rd quarter this year. Here are some sweet pics I got from

Cody Glenn scoring early. What a stud. Definitely outplayed the Aggie's big back. Nice to see a Texas boy who had 60 to 70 friends and family in the stands get a couple of chances to take it to the house. Yup, he don't play.

Man, we needed a 3 and out and a miracle and we got it. Aggie fan can not be happy about their back going out of bounds on 1st down. I would blame the coach for running a freshman back towards the short side. That saved probably 45 seconds on the play clock and really gave us a lot of time to work with on the final drive. I don't think we win with only 1:15 and no timeouts. What a huge block. I read that Cryer said he knew the snap count and told Turner to just follow him. Nicely done.

What a catch. Wow. It is nice to see us exploit a matchup of WR vs corner as we have gotten worked all year on plays like this.

I think Mo is excited. He said this after the game: "(Taylor) said, 'I'll get you the ball, no matter what,'" Purify said. "All I was thinking was, I have to get it. I can't drop it."

What a great picture. With a bye week coming up, you know that Billy C didn't want to spend 13 days answering questions about blowing another big lead.


  • The defensive line was great all night. Carriker and Moore have really arrived. The D tackles played I think their best game of the year. We had great pressure all night from the front 4 without doing hardly any blitzing.
  • Running game was great in the first half against a tough run defense. Our backs do a great job of finding holes and exploiting them. Nice to see Kenny Wilson get a few carries.
  • Lucky is a great receiving back. What a weapon out of the backfield.
  • I thought the game was very well officiated. I don't really remember any questionable calls other than some holding that didn't get called, but it looked like they were pretty consistent at least not calling it on both sides.
  • How tough is Taylor? Man did he take some shots and just keeps getting up. He is a warrior. Although he may be the worst scrambler I've seen this side of Drew Bledsoe. Get down buddy! Don't take those shots.
  • Offensive line did a pretty decent job on pass pro. Taylor usually had time to throw, although it looked a lot of the time like Zac couldn't find anybody open, hence the scrambles or sack.
  • How big was the late hit? I was relieved that it was a clear penalty and not a close one that would be debated for days.
  • Huskers did a nice job taking care of the ball, other than the one pick that was almost disastrous.
  • ABC didn't show one smooch that I saw. Nice. Nice.


  • First of all, the announcing was some of the worst I can remember. Did anybody else think that the was one of the worst examples of Homerism they've seen since Griese was calling Michigan games while his son was playing? I mean, come on, the play by play guy was screaming at the top of his lungs every time A&M busted a big play. They also constantly hyped the A&M players it seemed to me. The color guy was fine but the other yahoo really chapped my hide. I scoured the Internet this morning looking for a tie to Texas or A&M but couldn't find anything other than this and this. No smoking gun unfortunately, other then one of the dudes started 3 years at UCLA at QB and likes to play poker.
  • The telecast wasn't that great, other than the aforementioned no smooching. There were a lot of plays they didn't bother showing a replay, like that play where the ball popped out on the goaline. Maybe it wasn't a fumble, but can we at least get a replay on it? This happened a few other times I think. ABC should be better. And what was up with the camera being 3 miles away?
  • Where were the linebackers? Octavien had a few nice plays, Ruud had the athletic play where he knocked down the pass, but other than that I don't remember seeing them make many plays, other than Brandeberg who had some big hits.
  • Way, way too many dropped balls. Purify dropped 3, Peterson dropped 1, and Nunn dropped 1 as well that I can remember. Some of them were tough catches but this is D1 baby and you need to go out and make those plays on the road.
  • Tackling was piss poor for this late in the season. You know, I don't mind when our corners get beat because they aren't very good, but when 3 guys have a shot at making a tackle they need to bring the guy down. Wrap him up and wait for your buddies. Could have, and probably should have, cost us the game. Most of the big plays were a result of missed tackles as opposed to
  • What happened to out tight ends? Started out hot and haven't seen much from them at all.
  • I don't know whether this is a positive or a negative, but I'm going to drop a dime on my co-workers. We did our usual late night burger cook out, and SSG Johnson was in rare form. The nachos and burgers were great. After the Taylor interception, SSG Johnson, SFC Kerchal, and SPC Fleck left the office as they thought the game was over and they were disgusted by our collapse. I was disgusted as well but of course there was still time left and we were still in the game. I made a joke to Hammer that it would serve those guys right if we came back and won it. I also made a joke that hey, at least all of goals are still intact. Ha ha. I'm sure you are all laughing with me right now. Sure enough we roared back. Brad came sprinting back to the office after the TD to celebrate with us. SFC Kerchal went to bed and missed the finish. Good stuff. Hammer made a joke that once we cleared out the negative vibes it cleared the way for the Skers to come back. Lots of jokes in this section.

Bottom line:

  • I'll take the win anyway we can get it. On the road, ranked team, Big 12 south. Gutty performance. That last drive was awesome. Converted a 4th down, a 3rd and long, and made the plays we needed to. Nice job Huskers. I talked to Dan on the phone after the game, and he was at the Arena in Omaha. He said after the Taylor interception the bartender got on the intercom and gave a little speech about Veteran's day and not to give up on the Huskers just yet. Good work on the homefront.

So, a week off next week. Disappointing, but we have biggest CFB game since last year's Nat'l championship in Ohio State v. Michigan to take its place. Should be a great one. Michigan is 0-3-1 when undefeated against an undefeated Buckeye squad.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Texass loss (we held the Mildcats to 3 points by the way so I don't really care that you lost your QB). I don't like Texas. I don't like anything about them. Burnt Orange makes my physically ill. So, I root against them at every opportunity and nothing puts a smile on my face like a big Horns loss. It is even better than a Iowa loss (those happen quite a bit nowadays so they have lost their luster). Sorry Texass fans, this may not make me a good sportsman but you have caused me so much pain since 1996 that it is only right that you get a little bit right back at 'ya. I hope you lose to A&M and then lose your bowl game as well. Badly. By like 50 points. Sorry. I just can't help it. And I will hate the player and not the game. I'm making the down with the horns sign as we speak.

Are You Kidding Me????????


I'm so jacked right now I can barely type. What a win for the Huskers. That was unbelievable. Our offense takes the second half off, and then decides to stage one of the greatest comebacks that I can remember. Unbelievable. And AWESOME!!! More to follow in the morning.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Louisville, Michigan vs Auburn, Texas A&M

Wow! What a game. Woke up this morning and watched the end of the Louisville game. If you didn't see it, it was a barn burner. Louisville needed the win to keep their Nat'l Title dreams alive. They were up 25-7 in the 3rd quarter and Rutgers came screaming back to tie it up. Rutgers got the ball with under 4 minutes to go inside their own 10 yard line. They ended up driving down inside the 20 for a game winning field goal. And they missed! But wait, Louisville is offsides, and they get another chance that they convert. Unbelievable finish. Good stuff.

There were about 10 1 loss teams that were watching and cheering, let the politicking begin for who deserves to play Michigan in the title game. I think it will be interesting because you know that some of these teams will start talking about how they deserve a shot, and the coach that screams the loudest will usually be the one that loses a game before the end of the year. It always seems to work out that way. You heard it here first, but I think Auburn ends up the title game. I'm not a huge Florida fan, although they should cruise into the SEC championship. Most likely Arkansas will be their opponent, as they are unbeaten in the conference and even if they drop one against either LSU or Tennessee they'll have the tiebreaker with Auburn. So we could have some more BCS hi jinx where Auburn doesn't win their conference but still goes to the big show ala Nebraska in '01. And I'm all for controversy. Of course our beloved 'Skers will get a huge win in KC knocking Texass out of the hunt.

We are on a roll with the AFN folks, and they've picked up the A&M game this week. At the beginning of the season we were hoping to get the USC and Texas games and feel very fortunate to have had 4 in a row with a great shot at getting the CU game as well (and a Big 12 title game). The only negative is that the game is on at 1130 PM our time, so we'll be up late. Which is fine by me. I think we match up pretty well with the Aggies. College Station is one of the toughest places to play but we should have a good shot at shutting down the run. We'll have trouble running on them as well, but that is why we installed the West Coast Offense so we can throw it around a little bit. I'm already mentally preparing myself for the whole kissing your girlfriend debacle. I'm sure if you are a cadet it is pretty cool but watching it on TV really turns my stomach. I'm feeling a solid win for the good guys, we get up early and then grind out the W. We'll do our part with a SSG Johnson led BBQ in the middle of the night, you do your part with steaks on the grill and co' beers.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rummy is Out and the Dems are In

So I'm sure you've seen the news by know that ol' Rummy stepped down yesterday. Reaction has been somewhat mixed. Some have seen it as knee jerk reaction to the Democrats taking control of Congress. My personal opinion is that it probably isn't a bad idea to have a change at the top. After over 3 years it may be good to get another set of eyes on the problem. It will be interesting to see what changes will be made in the strategy.

In bigger news, the Democrats are poised to have control of both the House and Senate. I'm curious to see how Congress and the Executive Branch will get along. This article details the President and Nancy Pelosi, the soon to be Speaker of the House, making nice. Pelosi is as liberal as they come and the fact that she is so far left, and not a more centrist Democrat, makes me wonder how much the new Congress will look to change. I think you can trust it will be a lot. The worry for me is that the Congress will move swiftly to bring the troops home. As much as I would rather be home, there is still much work to be done here to stabilize the country.

This fact really hit home the other day watching a 60 Minutes report on the hospital here at Anaconda. Beans and I were getting breakfast before doing the mail run, and the story came on the TV. It gave a really nice overview of the entire medivac procedure from the time a soldier is wounded until they get home to the states. They had interviews with the staff of the hospital in addition to wounded soldiers. It was a powerful piece on the dark side of war.

What really affected me and I think everyone watching that morning (I didn't see one person in the chow hall leave or not watching during the entire segment) was the wounded Iraqis they showed. Over half of the hospitals patients are wounded Iraqis, and the vast majority were wounded by suicide bombers or sectarian death squads and not coalition forces. They profiled an infant wounded by a bomb and a 12 year old girl injured by shrapnel. The baby ended up making a recovery, but the little girl was beyond help due to a traumatic brain injury. If we leave before Iraqi security forces are competent, many, many more women and children will die needlessly. Regardless of how we got here, I believe we have an obligation to the Iraqis to finish what we started and set them up for success, and not for failure. In this way we can honor the lives of the approximately 2800 US Servicemen and Servicewomen that have given their lives, in addition to enabling a fledgling democracy to stand on its own.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

VTC and Two Good Causes You Can Support

I had the opportunity to do another VTC (video teleconference) with my family back home last night after the big win by the Huskers. Last time, we only had 10 minute time slots, which went by incredibly fast. This time I got an entire 30 minutes. It was, I'm searching for a word here, ummm, there it is, AWESOME! In all caps which is extra-awesome for me. Erika and Benjamin were there, along with Erika's dad who was at drill at the Armory and came to help with Benjamin, as he can't really sit still for more than 10 minutes. He did good though, he recognized his daddy and waved at smiled at me quite a bit. Erika's dad shared the latest news about what is going on back in Nebraska with the Guard. Nebraska was number 1 last year out of all of the states for Warrant Officer recruiting, which is one of his main focuses of his job. Quite an accomplishment. Benjamin made it about 15 minutes before he got bored and wanted to go play with some stuff. It was really nice to be able to talk face to face with the wife and see her smile and laugh at my dumb jokes. Talking on the phone is nice, but getting to see her and Benjamin in person is so much better. All in all, it was a great 30 minutes and that combined with the Husker W has me in a pretty good this Sunday morning.

Blackfive had a couple of posts this week that caught my eye. They are both charitable organizations that are supporting the troops over here. The first one is called Valour-IT. Here is a quick description:

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss (Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss' father), provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse.

Follow this link to get more information and/or make a donation. There are also updates every few days at Blackfives blog.

The second one that really caught my eye was a project called Snowball Express. This is an all expenses paid Christmas vacation for children that have lost a parent in the war.

Our goal is to make this holiday season as joyous an occasion as possible. The children and their surviving parent or guardian will fly to Southern California courtesy of Southwest Airlines, and will stay at hotels in Orange County that have been donated by corporations such as Marriott and Ayres, among others. Oakley World Headquarters is providing a party for the families, featuring an extreme sports show and major entertainment. The Crystal Cathedral will be hosting a special presentation of “The Glory of Christmas”. The weekend will end on a high note, with a full day at Disneyland/ California Adventure hosted by the Walt Disney Corporation.

You can go to their website at to donate. Check out the page called Why for a moving account on why the founder puts this together. Here is the summary post on Blackfive as well with some more information.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Husker Ramblings

It may end up badly for us again, but we are on a hot streak with AFN. NU vs Mizzou will be televised, and again since it is an early game we will be able to watch it at 8:00 here. Now, the 3 games that AFN has picked up live are USC, Texas, and Okie St. Hmmm, coincidence? I am ignoring that they played Iowa State on tape delay as that doesn't help my argument. So part of me was hoping that they were going to not televise so we could break the streak.

I think the Huskers have some work to do this week. Obviously the balance of the season is resting on this game. I don't think must win quite covers it. The match up isn't a great one for us, as Missouri's spread offense may wreak havoc on our secondary and really challenge our linebackers. The front four is going to have to do a better job of penetrating and stopping the run, and the linebackers and secondary really need to show up for this game. Offensively we should be able to run the ball on Missouri, as Oklahoma looked to have some success against them last week without Peterson.

As far as last week's games, it really took a lot out of me. I kept waiting for the funk to lift all week so I could get excited for this game, but it still hasn't happened and the game is tomorrow. There is just something about the team basically shutting down that left me depressed. I still don't know why we went away from the run after the 1st quarter.

We were working out the other day and Scream was on the tv. There wasn't any sound but I was able to watch the first 20 minutes or so. Great horror movie, one of my favorites, and the opening scene is fantastic. Some say this reinvigorated Drew Barrymore's career. Anyway, the point of the story is that when you are battling a serial killer, and you get a nice heel stomp, head butt, or crotch punch in, you don't immediately run away. This never works. What you should do in this situation is seize the advantage, and seek to crush a windpipe, break a skull, or reign down repeated blows on the assailant before stealing his knife, stabbing him in the heart, and saving the day. Analogy time: this is what the Husker team seems to be lacking this year. We can score some points and get up early, but then we try to run away and crawl through the doggie exit in the garage door. (BTW, there is no way that a garage door could lift a person, even one as small as Rose McGowan, much less crush them to death again the garage). Next time we are up by 17 points early (tomorrow I hope), the gloves need to come off. We need to start breaking some stuff, and not go away from what got us the lead. Take that knife and put it firmly in the chest like a TO coached team liked to do.

The other thing that bothered me after the game was Billy C's attitude. The whole, "All of our goals are still intact" speil is starting to get old for me. While technically correct, it lacks the aforementioned killer instinct. I'd rather hear a Jim Mora profanity laced tirade about how the coaching was atroucious, our guys weren't ready, and we got beat but a second class citizen of the no so Big this year 12. Big 12 North titles are for the Kansas States and Missouris of the world, National Championships are what the Huskers should be focused on. Do I think we have the talent this year to compete for a National Title? No way. But that doesn't stop the focus and the attitude being on more than just winning the North and getting another shot at Texas and hopefully playing decent and not getting blown out. It is a subtle difference in my mind. If we do end up winning the North, playing well in the title game, and getting a decent bowl game, that would be a decent season. But we should want more. We should want to go on the road against teams like Okie St and Iowa St. and take care of business, leave no doubt that we are in the elite and they aren't. Beat them into submission. Let them know this is how you play if you want to compete in Division 1.

Well, that is all I have to say about that. We are going to do burgers and italian sausage on the grill tomorrow, so that should help. And by we I mean SSG Johnson, he is the NCOIC of grilling operations due to his superb showing so far this year. There is also a rumor of some semi-famous nacho dip being involved as well. The one good thing we have going for us it that SFC Kerchal's wife sent us some Misty's seasoning so that can only be a good omen. Go Big Red.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

John Kerry is an Idiot - Part 2

This is a little higher quality picture of the now infamous pic from Irak. Drudge has it as his top story currently. The headline is "GIs drop smart bomb on Kerry: hilarious heroes fire back over dem and dumber crack about Iraq. I like it.

Why do I post this again you ask? Because if you open it up and zoom in, you will notice the Red Bull insignia of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division. Yup, you got it, our higher headquarters for this deployment was involved in picture-gate. Pretty sweet. Generally we have a love/hate (I can't tell a lie, it is probably hate/hate) relationship with Brigade as they are our higher and, well, nobody in the military likes their higher. I am lucky in that I get along with all of the JAG people at Brigade, but I can't say the same for the rest of the unit, and I'm sure they would say the same about the (insert expletive here) Cav. Anyway, I've never been more proud to be associated with the Red Bulls than I am today. It even went so far that the head honchos down in Baghdad sent out some talking points about the picture. Rest assured that everybody knows it is a joke and nobody will be punished in any way.

I guess Mr. Waffle decided to apologize, kindof. Here is what he said.

"I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended," he added.

Man, this guy can't even apologize right. I regret that my words were misinterpreted? Not much of an apology in my book. I think he is saying that we in the military are too dumb to realize that he isn't really apologizing and is also saying that we weren't hip enough to get the joke. We get it John. Now go back to Massachusetts again please. The last 2 years have been nice without you.

Random Pics and Chuck Norris

Blogger and I made up and are friends again so I was able to post some of the pictures I wanted to put up on the last few posts.

You may have to click on this one to enlarge it but this is what some of the troops over here think about Mr. Kerry.

Thick and tasty!

I got this emailed to me from a couple of different people last week. Just an awesome pic of the Star City and Ol' Grandma.

Wings and beer! Dan sent me this picture from the NU vs Texass game, which happened to coincide with B's birthday. The report is that good times were had by all.

Guess who showed up in Iraq this week? Chuck Frickin' Norris!!!
This pic is from one of the other Brigade paralegals who is at a different FOB out west. Unfortunately, they didn't allow him to travel to our neck of the woods, as he would have roundhouse kicked the insurgency into the middle ages where they belong and the war would have been over. Did you know that Chuck is now a columnist at WorldNetDaily? You can find his first article here. Chuck is actually a Christian and speaks about the recent Chuck Norris Facts phenomenon and his beliefs, so that is pretty neat. I would think that the mainstream media will have a hard time attacking him for his Christianity, as nobody wants to get a roundhouse to the face. After all a study showed the leading causes of death in the United States are: 1. Heart disease, 2. Chuck Norris, 3. Cancer

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

John Kerry is an Idiot

I'm sure that by now everyone has heard of the remarks made by Senator and almost President John "Heinz" Kerry. does a nice job with lots of good quotes. (Completely off topic, but if you love America you should buy Hunt's Ketchup, a fine ConAgra brand, instead of Heinz. Do a blind taste test and you will agree that Hunts is a thicker, better tasting ketchup and more affordable. And you will be supporting hard working Midwesterners like myself and not East Coast socialities like the Heinz-Kerrys. I tried to upload a sweet picture of a Hunt's bottle but Blogger is not behaving tonight so you'll have to come up with a mental image instead. End of commercial). To quote him:

Kerry told a college crowd Monday: "You know education, if you make the most of it, and you study hard, and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Excuse me? Now, since I wasn't born with the last name of ketchup or hotel chain I was forced to go to a public university and not an ivy league school. That may not rate very high in John's book but I am awfully proud of my degree that the Army helped me pay for. I also don't have a law degree like "the waffle" but I did earn an MBA while working full time (and no, SSG Johnson, I didn't buy it online either so stop telling people that). I'm sure that wouldn't impress Johnny boy either since it came from a pedestrian university in the Midwest. It isn't like I'm unique either. There are lots of educated people in our unit, and a good chunk of the guys were either enrolled in college back home or are working on distance learning here in their limited spare time. So to say that everyone over here is stupid and uneducated is a bit of a stretch.

He has since retracted the comment and said it was botched joke aimed at the President and he didn't mean anything by it. And of course accusing "right wing nut jobs" (he actually said that) of taking the quote out of context.

"I'm sorry that that's happened he said of his earlier comment. "But I'm not going to stand back from the reality here, which is, they're trying to change the subject. It's their campaign of smear and fear."

Right. For as smart and as educated as he is, you would think he would be able to tell a simple George W. is an idiot joke, I mean come on, you hear 10 of those a day from the mainstream media and the Hollywood elite. Surely it isn't that hard to get it right the first time for a Yalie and a lawyer. This to me typifies why people don't like this guy. Whether he meant it or not, it comes off as elitist, leftist, and, well, stupid. His response was typical as well. Cheney had this to say:

"Of course, now Senator Kerry says he was just making a joke, and he botched it up. I guess we didn't get the nuance. He was for the joke before he was against it," Cheney said in a line meant to recall Bush's skewering of Kerry in their 2004 race for saying he had voted for war funds before he voted against them.

Well played Mr. VP, well played. You know that he has been waiting about 4 years to drop that line again. Howard Dean weighed in as well. This is a guy that I want in my corner after an embarrassing public moment.

"Bloopers happen," Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean told reporters in Burlington, Vt.

Pretty deep and insightful there Howard. Nice work. Bottom line, you said it John, so be a big boy, man up, and apologize to the troops that are in harms way, trying to do the right thing. Of course this rube will still think you are an idiot and continue to buy Hunts ketchup because it is the right thing to do (and the tasty way to do it).