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:
Real name or callsign
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:
I want to officially say WELCOME to all the new readers who have shown up in the last few months. It's great to have you here, and I'm always happy to hear from you.
In light of this, I'd like to resurrect the "roll call" that I did a number of months back. Participation is purely up to you. But I always like to know who the friendly faces are, and I have no interest in spamming or infringing on anyone's privacy. If willing, please comment with any or all of the following information:
Name (first, full or recognizable nickname)
How you found the blog
Anything else relevant
And if you're really bold, you can share a mailing address... rumour is that that I send holiday cards to readers occasionally! ;)
I won't publish roll call comments unless specifically asked to do so. This is all voluntary; currently I have no plans to restrict blog access in any way, and if you want to stay anonymous, that's ok too. But it would be very nice to get to know you! You can also email me at CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET if you're more comfortable doing it that way.
I'm trying not to write anything I shouldn't. Forgive me if I do it anyway.
I've sometimes heard it said that the behaviors and attitudes that most drive us up the wall in others are the very things we'll find within ourselves.
I growl when people I know disappear from the web, but I rejoice now that my real-name stuff has finally disappeared. Not entirely consistent, I know.
And I disappear as fast as I can when someone seems to be searching for me, yet I do web searches for friends who would really prefer not to be found online.
Some of it is the fragmentation of the soul which has not yet entirely healed. I'm the first to admit that I have some tremendous flaws. And some of it is experience that can only be updated, never unlearned.
If you've never seen your friends impersonated, your family dragged through public mud, or your email violated by someone who wishes you ill, be very thankful indeed. And if you have, stick with me here, because I have my own explanation to make:
I never want to see it happen to anyone else.
I haven't been perfect in this respect, and I'm no stranger to having past failures used against me. Spending a couple years thinking I was CIA-bound created some kinks in my ethics, and it takes a lot of time to adjust that kind of mindset. (Although my procurement abilities do make me a hit at church potlucks.) I still haven't shaken the "need to know", and sometimes that means I have a little more information at my fingertips than some people would like. Forgive me if you've ever gotten pulled into that.
But here's what you need to know: Acquaintances get my concern, enemies get my prayers, and if you have any reason at all to believe that I consider you a friend, then not only are you safe with me; I'll watch your back too. It's pretty simple.
Most people will tell you that I'm no good at the nuts and bolts of friendship. I forget birthdays, forget to call, and I'll stay behind rather than assume I'm wanted somewhere. But they'll also tell you that if you need a rabbit pulled out of a hat or your trembling body pulled away from a ledge, I'll do it without blinking. That's how I do friendship.
The internet is an odd forum for friendship. It's not the same as face-to-face by any stretch of the imagination, but we (perhaps unwisely) often reveal more of our souls here. And as such, it's dangerous. We need friends online for many of the same reasons we need face-to-face friends: to keep us real, to challenge us, to protect us and to help us survive the storms that come into our lives.
Trust is an odd thing, and I know people have a lot of different ways of gauging a person's trustworthiness. Don't trust me to be perfect. But be assured that if you harbor no ill will for me or my loved ones, you can trust me -online and offline- to treat you as a friend.
So, let's talk. Tell me about your day, demand an explanation from me, whatever's on your mind. Email's always open (CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET) and you can always ask me to not post a comment.
Good night (ok, probably good morning for most of you) and God bless you.
This is one of those days when I remember why I don't do the work any more. Everything I want to talk about, I can't talk about. Vigilance remains a priority, both personally and nationally. And I'm sick, I'm tired, and I could really use a clear victory right about now. A couple are lurking just around the corner, so this is more a reflection of fatigue than despondence. I keep submitting work to one particular group, hoping for constructive criticism, and they consistently say, "Great work"and move on to critiquing someone else's ideas. Obviously it's not a bad thing, but it gets a little disconcerting after a while. Amidst all the fatigue and discouragement, I can't help but wonder if these responses are a sign that I should do more, not less.
In the midst of this, I have a request. It would be very helpful to know who my readers are. I have no interest in spamming or infringing on anyone's privacy, but I've had a lot of e-trouble recently and would like to know who the friendly faces are! If willing, please EMAIL with any or all of the following information:
Name (first, full or recognizable nickname)
How you found the blog
Anything else relevant!
Email to email@example.com All information stays between us.
Several days after first reading it, this blog post from Castle Argghhh! still twists my heart.
The core question: when the children of the fallen warriors grow up and google their parent's name, what will they see?
Do you remember the "special" bus, the "special" kids? I do. I was sometimes lumped in with them because I had problems with fine motor skills thanks to lack of oxygen when I was born. I hated it, and did my best to hide it. By the time I hit college, no one had a clue. I remember a close friend asking, "How is it that you can be so sneaky and so clumsy at the same time?" I had hidden my secret well. Most of us spend our child and young adult years trying to be like everyone else, and then somewhere in adulthood we try to stand out from the rest of the pack. But our failures in that line leave us ashamed.
The problem of "Fakers," "Poseurs" and (insert appropriate uncomplimentary names here) has been on my mind lately...
A family member will be deploying next year. It's still some time away, but I'm watching the ripple effect in the family. Tears... contingency plans... worries... they're all coming to the surface.
It surprises me, but it shouldn't. We've all been at this for a while, but circumstances change and danger levels change. When you know that someone in the same spot you're loved one will be in just died, the reality slams in and you start fleshing out the what-if's.
I wrote earlier about the idea of the "first day of your real life." To me, this is the bedrock of courage. You face what you have to face, not so much because heaven is your "safety net," though it is, but because your eyes are fixed on something bigger and better.
That's how I cope. Don't get me wrong; I'll probably have Landstuhl on speed dial from wheels-up, but I've learned to have a big-picture focus that isn't destroyed when all hell breaks loose. At least, I hope I've learned.
"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.