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:
Like many of you, I'm spending a fair amount of my "free time" keeping an eye on what's happening in Ukraine. Perhaps unlike you, I have many Russian friends, some Ukrainian acquaintances and some almost-family types with strong Ukrainian ties. For these and other reasons, I have been very careful about my comments.
I'm not an expert on Ukraine, but I know Russia tolerably well. I know Orthodoxy. And I know a little something of the KGB of Putin's time.
Someone recently said that Russia is playing chess while the US is playing marbles. Keep that comment in mind with every article you read. Yes, it feels like the 1930s. And the 1980s. And 2008. We also need to remember Russia's Christian history and how this impacts their understanding of other territories.
We're getting a little too wrapped up in how Pres. Obama screwed this up. Yes, I predicted that Putin would have Obama for breakfast. But we need to move beyond that to have any real sense of what is happening.
Any simplistic explanation of what Putin is doing is likely wrong.
This is chess. Putin makes a move with his opponent's responses in mind. If he takes a pawn or a knight, was that his endgame? Of course not; he wants the queen to move.
Does Putin want to return Russia to her "former glory?" Probably.
Is it narcissism, like so many Russian leaders of the past?
He takes a knight and moves back a few spaces. So what does he really want?
Probably something most of us don't see.
On this day in 2002, some of our brave heroes lost their lives during the Battle of Roberts Ridge. We will never forget the stories of heroism from that battle and the brave warriors we lost.
USAF Pararescue SrA Jason Cunningham
USAF Combat Controller TSgt John Chapman
USN Seal PO1 Neil Roberts
USA Ranger PFC Matthew Commons
USA Ranger SGT Bradley Crose
USA Ranger SFC Marc Anderson
USA 160th SOAR SGT Phillip Svitak
Wednesday Hero was started to honor the men and women of the United
States military, but this week we're doing something a little
different. Sir Nicholas George Winton is a British humanitarian who
will turn 105 this May. On the eve of WWII, Winston was instrumental
in the rescue of 669 children, mostly Jewish, from Nazi-occupied
Czechoslovakia. Sadly, many of the children he saved lost their
parents in concentration camps.
This is a local story but I've decided it needs to go viral. ;) This shouldn't be news, but it is, and the fact that it has become a big deal just shows how much we need Jeremy Fischer's example. So sorry, Jeremy, but you're getting your fifteen minutes of fame.
Yes, I was that mom yesterday. The one with the screaming toddler who absolutely would not go into his car seat. And if you know his parents, it shouldn't be any surprise when I say that this little guy is strong. And wily. And very, very determined. So, I eventually got him locked down, but I hurt my lower back in the process.
This morning I was using the awesome tool known as the foam roller to try to unlock my muscles. And it struck me that using a foam roller right is a bit like working through other problems: if you avoid the pain, you won't get anywhere. You have to touch that spot over and over, and eventually lean in to the pain if you ever want it to release. It takes patience, because it doesn't happen instantly. It takes perseverance, because it will hurt and you'll want to go where it feels better. But if you avoid it, you'll just keep limping through life.
What do you believe about yourself?
What do you believe about the most important people in your life?
....Are you sure you are right?
One particular issue has tangled me and my relationships up for years. But in a recent late-night conversation about that issue, I heard the response, "I've been telling you X (the thing I want) for years, but it's like you don't believe I think that."
I don't trust easily, and if trust is broken, it is very hard for me to restore. But sometimes people do deserve our trust. They see things in us, good things that we don't know for ourselves. It can frustrate us if we think they are making something of us that we are not. My time in the Middle East did a real number on my understanding of what it is to be a woman, and I've spent years avoiding that pigeon hole. But the smartest thing I've done recently was to get personal feedback from a number of friends, and I discovered something interesting.
One of the things that makes me a good fiction writer is my ability to create a character or persona. I understand what pieces fit and how conflicts coexist. A person without conflict is boring at best and psychopathic at worst. So when my friends started describing myself to me, I realized those things I avoided were actually wrong for my character to neglect. Their absence put me out of balance; their presence belongs with the strong person I've become.
And so my current "project" is to rewrite the character in my head. We usually believe it is difficult to change ourselves, but we typically try to change our actions and hope the thoughts follow. I'm reversing that.
Decide who you are. Write it down, evaluate it, change the description to fit the person you are meant to be. Then act like it.
Jerry Coleman, a decorated war hero, Yankee World Series MVP and Hall
of Fame San Diego Padres broadcaster, died January 5 at age 89 after a
career of more than 70 years in baseball.
Coleman signed with the Yankees out of the San Francisco sandlots in
1942 only to spend the next three years as a Marine bomber pilot in
the Pacific theater of World War II, flying 57 combat missions over
the Solomon Islands. Upon his return from the war he rejoined the
Yankees only to be called back to duty in '51. He flew another 120
missions in Korea and rose to the rank of lieutenant
"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.