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:
So I'm safely back in the USA after three weeks overseas. I had to mail half my stuff home via the base, I have what is probably the worst jet lag of my life, and to top it off, I've been sick for two weeks straight now. Yes, those items are at least somewhat interrelated!
Despite all that, it was a good trip. We squeezed in some excellent sightseeing, lots of family time (although it's never enough) and even saved the flight's Christmas party. And I think the flight commander finally figured out what I'm made of. We've known each other forever but have always struggled to connect, but when he figured out how sick I was the day after the party, I think he realized just how hard I pushed myself to make it all happen. It was a good thing, especially since he needs to know I have his back on an upcoming deployment.
A lot of topics I want to cover in the next few days... European airline security was quite interesting, as you might imagine. The Italians even wiped my clothes for explosive residue. It had me a bit nervous, actually, wondering if somehow something had cross-contaminated onto me. They just kept coming at me for further searches. London was interesting as well, although I wasn't targeted at all there. But everyone boarding our flight was frisked and their bags hand searched in addition to the normal metal detectors etc. But I forgot all about it when I got to my seat. We received an upgrade to Business Class on British Airways... Oh the bliss.... Seats that recline to a fully flat position, gourmet meals and unlimited adult beverages... semi-private compartments (and no one in the seat that shared my space), designer toiletries to erase some of the effects of trans-Atlantic travel... Truly an amazing way to travel. And to top it off, business class seemed to be well-populated with military types. I had a suspicion that they were handing out a lot of upgrades, and it made sense from a security perspective. Business class is of course near the *censored*pit, and if there's space available it makes sense to populate it with people who could actually be useful in a crisis.
I have just a minute or two as I wait for my chance to shower...
I wish you all a very merry Christmas. Today is bittersweet as I am away from my own faith community, my friends and most of my family. As I write, my host is away, taking an NCO to the airport who is trying to get home in time to say a last goodbye.
A bunch of us are still sick. (I'm much better than I was though; thanks for the good wishes and inquiries.) We're away from home and trying to make a good Christmas for others here. It's not an easy Christmas, but this year, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Have a wonderful day. I'll write more when the dust settles.
...I'm traveling at the moment. Not a whole lot of reliable internet available.
All is well except for me having what I hope is just a very nasty cold. Unfortunately this means that when I get back to my hotel, I just check email and fall into bed. I'll try to post some deeper things as soon as possible.
And if I don't have a chance to say this before the day, have a very Merry Christmas!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org All information stays between us.
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.