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:
From his Silver Star citation: For gallantry in action while
participating in aerial flight in the Mediterranean Theater of
Operations as pilot and flight leader of a B-25 type aircraft. On 22
June 1944, Lieutenant Black led a flight on a mission against shipping
and harbor installations at Leghorn, Italy. On the bomb run intense,
accurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered by the formation, holing
many aircraft, as a result of the heavy defenses, Lieutenant Black
sustained a shattered right arm, his co-pilot was painfully injured in
the hip, one engine and the hydraulic lines were shot out and gasoline
flooded the ship due to a direct hit on the gas tank. Despite his
severe and painful wounds, Lieutenant Black, with the aid of his
co-pilot, held the plane on course in to the target, enabling his
bombardier to drop his bombs on their objective. By the time a
friendly field was reached, the effects of the co-pilots hip wound
seriously compromised the strength of his legs and, although almost at
the point of complete exhaustion from the loss of blood, Lieutenant
Black manipulated the rudders while his co-pilot handled the other
controls, still at Lieutenant Black's directions. In spite of the
feathered propeller, and without flaps or wheels down, a successful
crash-landing was completed. By his great determination and
outstanding heroism, Lieutenant Black has reflected the highest credit
upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United
I still have the combat boots that I wore in the Middle East over a decade ago. They are torn up, muddy. They rubbed some skin off when I wore them in the garden the other day.
I need to let them go. Not only are they in bad shape, but they have enough weird vibes on them that they're not the greatest things to have around.
You know I wasn't a soldier. I should have been; I look back and wonder how it was that it didn't happen. I remember coming home and JFK security asking me if I was a paratrooper. "No." They didn't ask any more questions. Not a soldier. A civilian looking for answers. Something of those boots represents the reckless, angry, determined person I was back then. Though I've changed much, it's hard to let those boots go.
I recently got rid of my Sorels that I had in Russia. But that was easier, because I gave them to the VVA and they'll either go to someone in need or be sold to fund other worthy endeavors. But my Corcorans aren't fit to donate. And I really should stop gardening in them.
I don't have a ring-finger spot for the ring I got in the Middle East. The pictures have too much emotion to go up on the wall. I do have a few items around the house that are more curiousity pieces than anything.
Throwing away the boots feels like letting the suburbanite kill the adventurer and stuff her in the trash.
But I've come up with a plan. I'm going indoor skydiving (vertical wind tunnel) soon. I will bring home some memento and I will hang it on my wall. And then, while the adrenaline is fresh, I'll throw out the boots, because I'm in much better shape than they are.
Basic summary: Depression spikes in November, particularly right before the Thanksgiving holiday. However, studies have shown that a focus on gratitude raises happiness by 25%.
So...I'm going to try to regularly post on the theme of gratitude this month. Today, I am thankful for:
1) My best friend's husband's medical condition improving.
2) A brief email exchange affirmed that all is well in a unique friendship.
3) I have a son who is so strong that it's like parenting a rocket at times.
4) I have a husband who works very hard (and whose skills are in demand) to ensure that we have what we need and more.
5) A cup of coffee, a snuggly feline and a few blessed minutes of quiet this morning.
Let's make this simple: Do not put any flash drive or other media into your computer unless you know it's from a trusted source. Period. Also, if you haven't heard about the latest computer virus, I should add: don't use pop-up offers to encrypt your files.
The UN push against the activities of the NSA borders on laughable. I don't disagree that the NSA needs reform, but I've never seen why there's outrage when one country spies on another. It's an opportunity for political capital, nothing more. And we spy on our allies to make sure they're still acting like allies.
So why the uproar at the UN? Simply put, other nations are taking advantage of the discontent, dissatisfaction and a whole lot of other dis-ses of the American people to curb our intelligence gathering. Why pay for counterintelligence if you can just get the other country to share their secrets and defund their IC?
A Navy chaplain who served during World War I and World War II, Cmdr.
George Rentz was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for selfless
heroism following the loss of the USS Houston (CA-30) in the Battle of
Sunda Strait becoming the only Navy Chaplain to be so honored during
I don't want to try to guess what percentage of my life I have "control" over. I can't make people fix their relationships. I can't change the choices of the past and where they've brought me. I only have a 50/50 shot at getting my child to wake up or sleep in a particular time window, and I count myself lucky if the food I put in front of him gets eaten instead of turned into physics experiments. In some of these things I may have "choices" but the only good options are predetermined by love and integrity. Thus I'm not sure how much they count as a choice.
But I can choose to work on my own relationships. I can take the tiny opportunities for professional development and make the best of them. I can choose what I eat. I can choose to celebrate even miniscule steps forward. It's all I've got. And I can get down in the dumps about how I wish things were or I can do what I can to make something good.
The heroic actions of Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis saved the life of a
Polish officer during a "complex, three-pronged attack" on their base
in eastern Afghanistan, according to Combined Joint Task Force-101.
Ollis, a 10th Mountain Division Soldier, was killed while defending
Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Aug. 28, 2013. As a result of his
actions that day, he will be honored with the Silver Star, and by
Poland with the Polish Armed Forces Gold Medal.
His parents, Linda and Robert Ollis, are to receive the Silver Star at
Fort Drum, Oct. 24. The Polish Ministry of Defense will tentatively
present its medal in a ceremony in New York City, Nov.
At this time of year, I know we're besieged with requests for funds for many worthy charities. It can be hard to determine who to help amidst so much need. I try to take a "close to home" approach in which I give to causes that have some kind of personal connection for me. Fight for Elliott is a fundraiser started by Marcus Luttrell for the medical needs of SEAL Elliott Miller, who was severely wounded in Ramadi in late 2006. I would need to check a few details, but my suspicion is that on some level Elliott was taking Mike Monsoor's slot. I don't want to speculate too much, but whether or not that's true, Elliott Miller needs our support. Please consider contributing.
Another Navajo Code Talker has passed away. Nelson Draper died on
September 22 at the age of 96. There are only an estimated 25-65 Code
Talkers left with us. I couldn't find much on Mr. Draper, but what I
could you can read here
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so
others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When
There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look
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 go here.
"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.