Friday, May 30, 2008

Xbox 360

Well, I'm very disappointed in myself - I hopped on the band wagon and bought an xbox 360

I had been saving money for a new pistol, but then the urges overcame me and I blew my fun money on a video game console that will no doubt be a sponge for absorbing time that might have been spent on more noble pursuits.

By the way, I've had it for less than a week and I've already beaten Halo 3 and COD 4.

On the bright side, at least I was smart enough to wait until I had finished my last semester before committing the stupidity of the year.

It's so much fun :-)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Drill Weekend

I finished my first drill weekend as an el-tee (sorry if you're tired of hearing about this, but I worked really hard to get hear so SUCK IT UP!), and I have to share my amusing anecdotes:

Customs and Courtesies
I have a friend (who shall remain anonymous), let's call him B. Mower... no that's too obvious, let's call him Ben M. Anyways - Ben decided it would be hilarious to dramatically salute me in grand style, but then he turned and walked right past the battalion commander, and wished him good morning WITHOUT rendering a salute. Oops - the BC let PFC Mower know he wasn't impressed.

Where's PFC Brough!?
At the end of the first day of drill, our company 1st Sergeant was making a lot of noise looking for a "PFC Brough". I made my way over to him, and the look on his face told me that he wasn't sure if he was supposed to punish me for impersonating an officer, or stand at attention as he addressed me. If you're wondering why a 2nd Lieutenant is listed as a Private 1st Class on the unit roster, then you've never experienced how slowly paperwork travels in the National Guard. In any case, this poor NCO wondered aloud if I planned on being promoted to Colonel before next month's drill.

The Rappel Tower
I've been on MANY rappel towers, but I've never been able to rappel off the simulated helicopter skid - until today. I was pretty pumped to go rappelling again today, but I have to admit - I was disappointed. It wasn't BORING by any means - but I seem to remember the rappel tower being much more exciting - and the helicopter skid was less fun than the rappelling wall. Oh well...

Do unto others...
One lesson I have learned in the Army is that it pays to be respectful of others - regardless of whether they are your subordinates, peers, or superiors. I learned this lesson first hand when I returned to ROTC this spring. I suddenly found that my subordinates from two years ago had become my peers. I was EXTREMELY happy that just about every one of them had a kind word for me and was happy to see me again.

There were a few individuals at drill this month that appeared to be noticeably nervous in my presence now that I outrank them. Their unease is probably due to the fact that they treat all of their subordinates poorly, and wondered if I might return the favor. Of course, I'm not a vindictive person, but I'm not going to tell them that *insert evil laughter here*.

The moral of the story is that while it may be fun to be an jerk, sometimes that guy that you put through hell could become the guy that you have to salute.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Major is back

I spoke with Major Roberts yesterday, fresh back from deployment to Iraq.

For all you vintage USU Army ROTC guys (circa 2004 - 2005), you'll remember Major (then Captain) Roberts. He was my first ROTC instructor and he never missed a chance to brainwash his cadets into thinking that the Engineers are the best branch of the Army. (Fact - The first Medal of Honor recipient in the GWOT, was given to an Army Engineer)

I remember very clearly sitting in a chair in front of Major Robert's desk while he looked me over to decide if I was worth sending to Leaders Training Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky back in the summer of 2004.

My favorite memory of Major Roberts goes back to the military history trip in the summer of 2005. Mrs. Roberts yelled (as she tried not to laugh) at the Major as he inched a 15 passenger van closer and closer to an over zealous and cranky employee of the Maryland Department of Transportation on the highway running past Camp Frettard.

Incidentally, we were on our way to a dining establishment called "Beef Shakes". Major Roberts instructed me to approach the takeout window and ask for a "beefshake", as advertised on their billboard. They gave me the stink eye and tried to justify their lousy diner name - maybe you had to be there... it was hilarious.

Others of you might remember a certain "coming out" ceremony as well - involving a sleeping bag at several dining in ceremonies...

I better limit my stories to the information I've already given, being that the Major has MUCH more incriminating information about me.

The Turkey Hunt

I am still trying to get a hold of some pictures of our "alleged" turkey hunt, but here is the skinny:

Within hours of being made a Lieutenant, I was half asleep in the back of my father in laws truck, heading south to Wayne County for the turkey hunt. John (my father in law) and Mike (brother in law) were lucky enough to draw out for the Boulder Plateau, and I came along as a guide/cook since I have spent a lot of time in the area and was foolish enough to guarantee John a turkey if he drew out there.

Before marrying Becca, my hunting experience was extremely limited, being that my father is a die hard fisherman more than a hunter. John has taken me hunting several times over the years, so it was kind of nice to be helping him find the game for a change.

There was still snow on the ground, so we had to ditch the truck. John and Mike got on their ATV and left me at camp to cook dinner (how did that happen?!). The next day, we went out with one of John's friends (Ron) and his daughter Jenny. John got a poor shot at a tom and missed - but Mike and Jenny were able to get their turkeys before we left for home.

Luckily, John is benevolent and he forgave me for not delivering on my promise to get him a turkey. I also forgot to bring the ingredients for the dutch oven dinner and dessert - but I think I'm forgiven for that too since I didn't burn either of them.

John did exact some small form of revenge by giving a turkey leg/claw to Eli as a "back scratcher".

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Shotgun

It's been kind of crazy for the last few weeks - I haven't had time to post all of the substantial events that have occurred recently

I think that both Becca and I have mentioned this, but Becca and my parents were kind enough to pitch in and get me a new firearm for my "anti-zombie" arsenal of freedom. It's a Remington 870 Express with an extending magazine tube and an 18" cylinder bore barrel. For those of you who AREN'T rabid gun fanatics, it suffices to say that it is black and evil looking.

Here is Eli, modeling the shotgun in true manly/Brough style:

My mother in law will be pleased to note the trigger lock is in place and the gun is not loaded for the picture ;-)

Within 48 hours, the 870 had already drawn blood down on the Boulder Mountain. It did its part to reduce the jack rabbit population, which is part of another story...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Big Day

Well, I finally am a 2nd Lieutenant and a college graduate.

It's been a long time coming and our family is very happy. Becca has done a pretty good job describing the event here.

I cleaned up a few of the photos for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure if that's the case).