Because of an excess of spambot activity, I have blocked new registrations. I hate taking such drastic measures, but I don't have time to clean up all the false registrations that result from whatever attack list I landed on. I will likely revise this in the future once I've upgraded some of my code, but until then, please email me if you would like a user account. Most days, you'll get a login within a few daylight hours. Please let me know:
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The WatchCat spent a year in Russia and the Middle East in preparation for a government career. Unfortunately she got in a little too deep, and health problems sabotaged her career before it began. The future? Now there's an open question. She gets her paws in the action whenever possible, with or without a paycheck. WatchCat keeps busy supporting the troops, recruiting pararescue candidates, yelling at traitors and helping people navigate the grey areas on international everything.
A close family member is active duty US military, but due to OPSEC (and the general need for family peace), WatchCat is unable to write about that person's activities. She makes the most of the opportunities that God gives her, knowing that she should be dead by now.
And yes, she is married & is going to stay married. Smacks upside the head are delivered as needed to those who don't understand this.
Any Amazon.com shopping you do via these links will help keep WatchCat in cream & ammo:
Airmen from the Kentucky National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group
help to offload wounded Haitian refugees and medics from Puerto Rico
National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters at the air hub Jan. 25, 2010, in
Barahona, Dominican Republic.
Photo Courtesy U.S Air Force Taken By Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others
may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to
call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women
Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information
about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can
Looks like I'm back on track! I'm still not up to the full weight load I could manage before my gym shut down last fall, but upper-body strength is always a tough battle for women and I'm glad to say I'm progressing in most of my weight-machine areas. Push-downs are still my nemesis; for whatever reason I'm not making strong gains there.
But today's interaction with the elliptical was rather amusing. The thing seems convinced that I'm going to kill myself on it. Simply put, I have a very high heart rate, and, at least according to the machine's monitor, its patterns are completely random. I tried to do the machine's performance test and received, "cannot compute your score." So I said fine, I'll do the program where I tell it where I want my heart rate to be. So I entered what for me is a conservative target heart rate...158...and it warned me three times about that being too high before I could begin. And then....I think for about a third of the workout, the screen flashed "SLOW DOWN." I was amused... and pretty much ignored it. If machines could talk I think this one would have cussed me out when my heart rate hit 178. I keep waiting for the day that some paramedic or fitness "expert" forcibly pulls me off the machine after seeing my numbers. Obviously I didn't die...and for the most part it felt pretty good.
But the best part was that I did my 3 miles at an average speed of 11 minutes each, which isn't top-notch by any means but it is what I was doing months ago before my gym closed and my routine was disrupted.
So I'm back in action...darn near shouted Hooah in the gym when I realized it. And then I completely insulted my heart rate by celebrating with an espresso.
Looks like we've got another PJ Faker to deal with! Not impersonating a known PJ, thankfully, but still trying to get glory for himself.
I'll post the details and known websites asap. But I'm looking forward to this...
UPDATE: Unfortunately the faker seems to share a name with a PJ hopeful. So I'll try to nail down the details more thoroughly to avoid confusion & to keep the new kid out of trouble. Will post once that's done.
It's not just a great quote or an old friend's blog. It was also an answer to prayer.
And I had no idea what was coming at me today. Just another speaker...
Some of you know that I'm trying to get into a paramedic program. I didn't publicize that here because I wasn't quite owning it yet. Until today.
The speaker from the international response group had a commanding presence, no mistake. I didn't get a chance to ask but I'd bet a bottle of something good that he's ex-military. Chalk it up to that if you want.
I don't think that five words were out of his mouth before I knew in my gut that I needed to listen. Ten words and I knew I was on holy ground. There are moments in life when knowing something "in your heart" is too mild a phrase. Knew it in my heart, yes, but I also knew it in my breath, my hands, my eyes. I have no idea how the heck it's all going to work out but I know I need to work towards it. I know I'll be good at it, I know they'll need me.
I think what really scared me was when I told Mr. WatchCat about my response and he pretty much said, "I don't like it, but yes, I know." He knew even before I opened my mouth.
So many questions, so many risks. I'm well aware of them. And there's a part of me that's still scared about the future.
But damn the torpedoes, I know what I'm working for now.
"He who is full of courage and sang-froid before an enemy battery sometimes trembles before a skirt."
So I'm getting maudlin and haven't even had anything to drink yet....
I just spent some time going through my (partial) archives of the PJ Country blog. Unfortunately I wasn't able to save everything, so the specific post I was looking for was missing. But what I did find was a bunch of posts I'd forgotten... vigorous discussions on everything from gun control to women in the military, with a bunch of other stuff thrown in just for giggles.
Don't know about you, but I miss those days. They were the blogging equivalent of that "one golden summer" when the world was full of promise and friendships promised to last forever.
(I promise I'm not drinking...just bear with me.)
I wish I was writing posts like that right now. Some of the issue is too much distraction & stress, although I'm also finding within myself a certain attitude of, "things are what they are; why elaborate?" And there's also an element of feeling that I spill my guts here too much as it is. Yet I also have the temptation to just lay myself on the line and let the shooting begin.
I miss the PJ Country days... a bunch of us sharing that mixed-up wealth of dialog, humor and loyalty. (Chasing down that faker was way too much fun.) And tonight I'm asking myself what can be done to revive it.
Corner the guys into doing a guest post or two? WatchCat Goes Extemporaneous on topics from the readers? Cozy up with CATO and VeriSEAL?
I can't do it alone but I'm open to suggestions. And...nudge nudge...creating a user profile might be a good step for anyone from the old community who might be inclined to do a guest post....
A U.S. Air Force Pararescueman from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Air Force
Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field , Fla. , and members of various rescue
teams climb a ladder to get to a 25-year-old woman who has been trapped in a
collapsed building for seven days Jan. 19, 2010, in Port-au-Prince , Haiti . U.S.
Department of Defense assets have been deployed to assist in the relief effort under
way after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the city Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr./Released)
A U.S. Air Force Pararescueman from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Air Force
Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field , Fla. , removes a lock from an access
point as members of Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue, Fairfax , Va. , observe
recovery operations in Port-au-Prince , Haiti , Jan. 17, 2010, following a
magnitude-7 earthquake that hit the city Jan. 12, 2010. U.S. Department of Defense
assets have been deployed to assist in the Haiti relief effort. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr./Released)
A U.S. Air Force Combat Controller from the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Air
Force Base, N.C., assesses a potential drop zone for relief supplies during
Operation Unified Response in Port-au-Prince , Haiti , Jan. 19, 2010. The U.S.
military is conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations in the area as
part of Operation Unified Response after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the
country Jan. 12, 2010. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr., U.S. Air
I'm supposed to be doing other things right now. Writing for publication, entrance exams, sizing down all the images on the blog...
But of course I had to open those emails from IntelCenter and read the "Watch Board." I'm seriously tempted to print copies and stick them under the wipers of any car I see sporting a "Give Peace a Chance" type sticker.
The "highly likely" threat to London hit me especially hard. Much as it's changed in recent years, I still consider it my other home town. And I remember all the times people there argued with me over gun control...and now it's likely to have a Mumbai-style firearms attack.
I read the Watch Board and I see faces. I start praying that friends won't visit the countries of their birth, that my best friend in London will get out of his policy job and into MI5 where he belongs.
I'm feeling the brevity of life today.
And I'm looking at signing the next months of my life away to pursue medical training, and struggling to see what the right path really is. I'm here; I'm ready for my "assignment" if I can just figure out what it is. Prevent attacks? Mop up after them? Both paths contain both urgency and futility. More terrorists will always come...Death will always come. Until Christ comes again, we can only stem the tide. And we must. But which one am I supposed to do?
178th Military Police Detachment, 89th Military Police Brigade, III Corps
October 29, 2009
He came into to this world a rather large baby, so big the doctor thought that he’d just walk home with his mother. Brandon was well mannered, polite, and tough with a contagious laugh that lit up those around him. In 2005 he graduated from Brimley High School and in 2006 enlisted in the United States Army, following a tradition of family military service.
He served in Iraq as a gunner from May 2007 until July 2008 and was deployed to Afghanistan in June 2009 where he was a canine tracker handler for Forward operating Base Fenty Kennel in the Laghman Province. He and his K-9 dog Maci were inseparable, working on tracking terrorists; Maci specialized in tracking the scents of IED making materials.
Spc. Brandon Steffy was killed when the vehicle he was riding in was attacked. His decorations and awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal-Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Spc. Steffy is survived by his wife, daughter, parents and his sister.
Brandon made people laugh and he made them cry. There was not one dry eye at his funeral, from every day townsfolk, to big construction workers to police officers; they all recalled Brandon, this "Gentle Giant." They want everyone to know that if you never knew Brandon, then you really missed out.
Well, I think I figured out the actual problem for the outsized PJ pics loading time....
Your connections can't keep up with mine! ;)
Anyone who's around me for tech stuff knows that I push my systems hard. I get well-supplied with new technology (at least it sits in my office in boxes; installation is sometimes a different matter) and my current internet connection is well-matched to the hardware.
So the little blip I saw when loading my site today caught my eye.
Here's the deal: the PJ pics will size down eventually. On my system it takes about a second; on yours it might be hogging your system resources for about a minute, depending on what you're running.
But since I know that's a royal pain....
Yes, I'll work to manually size down photos so you don't have such nasty load times. Thanks for being patient; you're better at that than I am! But I'll try to give you progress soon so you can get back to easy regular visiting.
"Even to the death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you." -Sirach 4:28
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -Isaiah 6:8
As many of you are aware, the PJCountry blog disappeared in November 2008.
I'm doing my best to help the pararescue community by sharing PJ-related news and events on my blog. The following information may be helpful:
You will find answers to many questions at pararescue.com and specialtactics.com
If you're ready to become a PJ, you'll need to decide between Active Duty and Reserve. This will determine who will handle your official recruitment. Visit Contacts and POCs to find the appropriate person or email me.
304th Pararescue Team (Reserve) (Oregon)
If you're on the west coast near Oregon and are considering being a PJ/CRO on the Portland Pararescue Team (commitment of 4 years beyond training), contact TSgt Stanley Iakopo at stanley.iakopo AT us.af.mil or email me.
I have no official role with pararescue or other SpecOps but I know enough to get you connected to the right people. Email to CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET
Jubilate Agno, Fragment B
[For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]
by Christopher Smart
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.