Appalachian Patria

Appalachian Intellectual. To me that means plain thinking. I am A Non Commissioned Officer in the Army Reserves. Let me say...My views expressed here are mine and not those of The U.S. Army, Army Reserve or my fellow brethren in The National Guard. This is entirely Sua Sponte. This is My Thinking. I'm single and in my mid 30's. Politicaly, I'm a Libertarian. (Again, Sua Sponte.I do not represent the Libertarian Party.)I love my native Appalachia, Rock n Roll and...I love God.

Location: Brevard, North Caroilina

I started blogging for two reasons. I was concerned about the changes to the area I live in, Southern Appalachia and I was about to go to the war. I was in Iraq in 06 and 07 and now Kuwait in 11 and 12. Blogging was a means of documenting my experiences and hoping it would help gain clarity. I don't feel that way about it any more. It's said people write blogs because they are frustrated, that's why people read them too. That makes us sound apocalyptic. Are we? Let it be said, what I say here is of my own thinking. This is entirely Sua Sponte and not an official representation of the U.S. Military or the U.S. Government as a whole.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Tonight we Dine in honor of a freind. He retired last month with 26 years of service. 13 of those months in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade(and somehow managed to avoid a Purple Heart). He's a great guy that would do anything for you and he will be missed. Espeacialy when we cook out...he's mean on the grill.

These times are bittersweet. When a guy retires the past and the present get together. Tonight I look forward to seeing people that I havn't seen in a long while, or since the last Retirement Dinner. On the other hand you have someone leaving that has been a part of something so long.

He turned 60...that's the maximum age you can stay to. As well going by your rank(E-6,E-7,E-8)you are allowed to stay so many years. The less your rank the less your years. When you max out either in age or years you "wet the bed". He had a break in service, i.e 4 years Active Duty, get out, and go back into the Reserves 8 years later. If it wasn't for turning 60 he could stay a couple of more years. When the war got underway they extended everyones time by a year or two, at least they did in the Army.

The National Guard, being a State Orginization in part has different rules. You can pretty much stay until your 60 regardless of rank. So if you know a guy who is a Sergeant/E-5 and is 55 years old that's the deal.

We got together and had a plaque made up for him. We used the place next to Clothing Sales at Fort Jackson. The price wasn't too bad, but, the service was to be desired. We wanted Jump Wings on one side, Combat Infantry Badge on the other with a 173rd patch centered. His rank on either side above the wings and CIB came to us later. Well we had words of wisdom on it. Crossed Rifles(For Infantry) with "Teach, Coach, Mentor" around them(he taught land navigation with a passion). The writing was too big and we couldn't place the 173rd patch in the center. I think(key word) we opted to put a Vietnam Service Ribbon there. The rank and ribbon is being put on by one of us. He will either laugh or cry.

It's not a formal thing, not a Unit function. It's just people that knew you getting together. Now, if your a Seargent Major or something they will have a big deal. Or, if your a full timer sometimes.

Well, it's pouring rain, thundering and I've sat in this chair long enough for first thing in the morning. Happy Blogging folks.
Appalachian Intellectual

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Missing post.

This morning I skimmed across the Blog and found a post was missing, "Fire". For what ever reason, possibly my own fault it was saved as a draft. So, it's there. And it is a subject I feel passionate about so, it would touch me deeply if you would scroll on down a few and take a look.

Saturday night I went to a "sweat". Simply it's a home made sauna. Build a dome frame drape canvas and tarps over it and you have your "lodge". Rocks are heated in a fire then placed in the center of the lodge. Put water on the rocks and bare it. Indian Style.
The guy's a did this with are from Montana near a Reservation. Now, their the kind of "outsiders" mountain people like. They don't bad mouth people, put them down, make up a bunch of rules to place on everyone or carry on about how great it was where their from while for some reason living here in these mountains. Their different, but, not bad.
One of them has a brother who went back out to Montana for a visit. He brought back some rocks from a Tee Pee Circle. Once he got back he had bad luck he said. "Did you bring the whole circle?", one asked.
"You've gotta bring the whole can't break the circle!"
So, the boy takes them back
"Did you put them back in the circle?"
"Well kinda...their out there on the prarie"
"Well, did your luck change?"
The Moral? Kinda setting things right only kinda gets results.

I went in the lodge four times for any where from 15 minutes to 40 minutes a peice. I build up to it slow...that first wave of steam knocks me hard. Sweating in such a way takes impurities out of your body. A bitter wind blew some cold air, but, with your tempature up it feels comfortable in the air. When you lay down to sleep you sleep soundly. Sometimes it's fun being eccentric.

Appalachian Intellectual

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A Qoute

"Don't you know that things will never change if we never make it happen"...
Southern Bitch, "Mark of The Beast"
As to my earlier comments on The American Revelution we may have barely won it, but, we wouldn't have if we didn't fight it.
Semper Vigalans
Appalachian Intellectual

The Sylvan Valley

The following are pictures I took two weeks ago while Rucking, the same time I found the impressive Bear tracks(See below and incase your "Drive By Blogging", as Travlin' Ed say's, then dance around the campfire...hang around a while)
Earlier I was watching Mel Gibson's movie, The Patriot. Though it refers to some flawed history of The French and Indian War, it bares some humble truth. In this Nation's(The United States) struglle(like a kicking toddler) to break free from the Mother Country(England) we were initialy not doing so hot. The Contintetal Army was getting it's ass beat all across the North East. At last came Princton. The Contintetals could hold their heads high. I'm feircly proud of the fact that I had Ancestors who helped teach Tarleton a strong lesson at Cowpens and knock the Playboy, Stewart off of Kings Mountain. After the Revelution this is where my Fore Fathers came, and, I'm what remains.
Behold the French Broad River Valley in all of it's glory. Posted by Hello

The French Broad

This is a Forest Service Road once used to access clear cut's but, now in place as a fire break/access road. It is a slightly differnet veiw of the picture posted before. This Mountain is a part of the Blsam Range. Beyond the Mountains furthest out lay's South Carolina. Betwen is The French Broad River Valley, at least the upper end. The French Broad was named becuase when British Traders first penetrated the Appalachian Mountain's they noticed that it was broad and flowed towards land claimed by the French(but, ruled by the Cherokee). It's a very special river, it flows north and Geolegist tell us it's the third oldest river in the world, proceeded by The New and The Nile.
Looking across the Upper French Broad River Valley. Posted by Hello

Good Times

In the picture below, the sky line from left to right, I've been there. I have alot of good memory's of the place. It's been some years since I "tromped" there. Before it became so grown up at this spot it was a veiw to hold in awe. It's still very impressive. As in the picture below, it is a good case for controlled burning.
I've had good times there. Posted by Hello


Fire. It's a natural thing. Some plants and tree's thrive off of it. The Indians made use of it as a matter of course. Controlled burning keeps serious fire threat's low, puts basic nutrients into the soil(the ground is very acidic) and opens ground to beneficial grasses, plant's, and trees, thus benefiting wildlife. Despite all of this, the Forest Service hardly strikes a match to the Pisgah or Nantahala Forests. I don't give up hope though.
A Case for Controlled Burning. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Four Ninteen, close to the original

As you may see from my previous post, "Four Ninteen", The post being written was lost. Unfortunatly, it could not be recovered. The net was moving like pond water and I was bumped off line. Unbeknownst to me not the entire posting page was fed in. So, half way through writing when I went to make a link and reconnected, it fed the page in and every thing written after being disconnected was lost. Just happened to be the entire post other than the title.

I've been a bit slow on posting here and was going to take the next couple of nights to put something up. I'll just start writing all over again.

Four Nineteen
Yesterday was the 19th of April, the anniversary of the Battle Of Lexington. The birth of our revelution. Unfortunatly it was also the day the Branch Davidians were gassed and burned alive in Waco Texas. Their crime was being different. May they rest in peace.
Four Nineteen is more than just a date, it's a state of mind...Every man created and let liveand...don't you dare tread on me! So, to true American Patriot's, FOUR NINETEEN!

The Land of Dust and Pollin
It got cold all over the South this last weekend. Saturday morning at my weekend Drill was cold with a stiff wind from the east. It didn't get comfortable until about noon. I have to admitt it cought us folks of gaurd. It had been so nice for the last two weeks we thought that the cold was about gone. Not seeing the weather, I unpacked the Polypropalene Underwear from my Ruck Sack. Now, that was a mistake. No biggy, you just put up with the uncomfortness for a while. What was adgitating was the dust and pollin being blown around. It had about everyone stopped up and there was much snoring in our cabin Saturday night. Sunday was calm, but, cold still. At least until about 0900 hrs(9 AM). More on that .

The Hardest Substance Known to Man
The hardest substance known to man is not a diamond. It's the brain matter of an Army Adminisrtator. I'm not nesascarily talking about all Admenisrtators, IE Unit Administrators(more on them in a later post). Beuracrats if you will. They get locked into patterns and can't get out. They just can't bust out of the box...protocal and mediaocracy morph into one. Protomediaocracy?
I think I've got a new saying:"Standards are for results, not actions". So it be said, so it be written, so anyone can qoute me free of charge.
Sometimes to get an idea into ones head you have to jack hammer a hole, pour the information in and seal it back up with concrete before it leaks out. To the Adminisrtator everything is on paper, true results don't matter.
It's a Biproduct of a way of doing buisness.

Don't Laugh
We(my Unit) had our Semi Annual PT Test Sunday morning. Remeber me saying that it was cold...heck there was frost on my buddies seems like we stood around for an hour waiting for the sun to come up. Well, there was a heavy dew on the ground so matts were brought out for the Push Ups and Sit Ups. I'm not sure why, but, the detail putting out the matts kept flipping the things over. So, now both sides are wet with the dew. and, standing around going through the preliminaries, that were in my opinion unesascarily long, the dew continued to fall on the matts. I only saw one person use them.
A few Drills back when we were conducting PT some Navy Reservist came and did a PT Test. I heard alot of snickering and jokes about the Navy's Satandards.* I don't see what was so funny. They may not have had to run as far as us, but, they got right to it and had it over with. Us? We hee haw around in the dark for an hour.Overall I had a good Drill. I was in good company and was able to put some things in perspective.

*One boy was definatly in good shape. Not only was he cut, he ran well. He would have beaten some of the jokers

If you have followed my Blog some, you have seen me refrence COL John Boyd, USAF(Ret). May he rest in peace. This article is based on his work. A good read for Infantry or anyone who can apply it to their needs. If you need Adobe get it here.

If you have just gotten around to reading me...lucky you...if you will, read my first post. Not only is it sentamental, it's about this Blog.

Be vigalaint
Appalachian Intellectual

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Four Nineteen!

I just lost a post.

Appalchian Intellectual

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Getting one in(Revised)

My Fellow Americans(and those who understand our language),
My night has ended early. So, in order to unwind(wich won't take long) I'm throwing in a post. Of course there is so much of what I want to say. Alot of it will have to wait.

It's that time...
It's time for drill weekend again. I look at how my hair has grown out and it reminds me. It's time for the 3 1/2 weeks of growth to come off. I've basicaly had a High and Tight since I was 18 years old and when it get's grown out it just doesn't feel right.

Right after last drill I was posting a rampage and poof! lost the darn thing. Apparently quite a few people had a problem about the time. Mine came from a problem on my home computer(I'm thinking about naming it). and then I wasn't feeling well either. Any way, I will come back from this one(drill) agrevated with the system's typical quirks and wanting to fix the world. Actualy I don't get all mad and put everything down. I try to see things for what they are. The Military is very standardized. As a result, sometimes peoples actions become standardized. That in it's self can be agrevating.

Real quick and then I'm going to bed. Over a year ago one of my Leaders retired. He put me and a few others in for a Medal. Well, it's nice to receive some recognition, but, not a very big deal. I have several of them. Unfortunatly some Units/People hand them out like candy, but, sometimes their earned. Everyone's Award was approved, but, mine. Mine was "lost". My former Leader(bearing the 9 Principles), followed through on his actions. He has kept checking on it up until this day(15 months). He has informed me so. Now, this is a Unit I have transfered out of. So, the Administrator doesn't realy give a damn, apparently. Again, to me, it's nice, but, not the end of the world. The Former Leader spoke to someone at the Parent Unit(Brigade) and they retyped the Order and it was approved. My former Leader carbon copied an e-mail to me enquiring about the status. I saw the reply. The Administrator wrote him a nasty gram. He was raising all kind of a fuss. Basicaly telling him he was not a part of the Army any more and should stay out of it. He was refering to us as belonging to that unit. We have all transfered out. The reason for not sending it forward? They don't have the Medals. All they have to do is see if our new unit has one and mail the Award itself. Just give me the Award and I will go buy the Oak Leaf Cluster(that means you have more than one).

The group of us left the Unit because it was deactivating and we met someone anxious to take us aboard. As I've said, it's no real big deal. Things happen, but, why be so obstinate?

Blog Notes
I deleted the post made on the 11th, "Give This a Listen". I reaslised the link was not connecting. So, no sense in having it up there.

I edited the post in the morning adding a statement or two so that it would be better understood.

Appalachin Intellectual

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mighty Big Bear

These pictures were taken when I went Rucking this Sunday. I'll put them up for now, and edit them in a post later. Spring time means Bears are getting out of their winter hides. That also means that they are hungry and looking for food. I found these tracks on a Forest Service Road. This is the biggest track that I have seen. That's my size 9 jungle boot next to them. The dots in front of the pads are claw marks. These tracks are probably two to three day's old.
Big Bear Posted by Hello

Downed Oaks

Quite a few storms with wind have came through since last summer. Hurricane Frances, she just dumped rain. Ivan the terrible brought wind, and, from the worst direction...the east. Most weather comes from the west, so, trees naturaly defend against it better. When Ivan came, it sound like a train. A couple of high wind storms have blown through since then. The last Sunday was feirce. When it hit my house on a west side at 2800 ft., it realy scared me once. We were without power for over 8 hrs. The ground in my yard was real soft and the wind yanked a twig off of a Hickory tree about 14" long and burried it about 3" deep into the ground. This picture here is a good solid Oak that was blown down in one of the earlier storms(I havn't been on this road since that time). Before, Hurricane Opal for example, the Forest Service has opened up the roads for people to collect it up. Strangley, this time they haven't. The treee behind it is a Hemlock. They are being attacked by the Wooly Aldiged, a problem potetionaly as devastating as the American Chest Nut Blight.
Blow Down Posted by Hello

Very Good Oak

This is on the road before the last picture. Again a shamefull waste(by the way, our National Forest were initialy intended to be a National Resource) These two trees are on either side of a place called "Burned Ass Gap". You want find it on the map. It's local lore(at least it was pointed to me as the place). A long time back a man and his wife were using it for a hunting camp. The Mrs. got cold and too close to the fire. Historicaly, this is a good mountain for hunting. Just look at the Bear tracks. I've encountered more Bear here, other than my back yard.
Blow Down Posted by Hello

A Nice Creek

This is one of the many streams of Appalachia. This shot was taken from a Forest Service Bridge. The concrete bridge doesn't have any rails so the creek can wash over it.
Cedar Rock Creek Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Seriously Posting

The last few nights when I've had the chance to post the net has been moving rather slowly for me. At last, I have the chance.

Fair Tax
The Fair Tax, a National Sales Tax, wich I support has made the news recently. Alan Greenspan liked the idea. And, yes, he did say that it would be a hard transition for the Government. In my veiw it is a transition needed. You know, "The only thing to fear is fear itself". I see it as needed for several reasons. It will boost our economy by lowering our tax burden by making everyone under the table pay as well. We need a strong economy, not one on paper, but, a genuine strong economy. We are at war with forces that do not fight conventionaly, if you will remember, Air Liners being flown into the World Trade Center. Our at the time recessing economy was dealt a strong blow. Make no mistake about it, we could receive another blow of the same proportion if not stronger. Americans don't have very much money saved either, wich, is not good. Monday I read this by Talk Master(and fellow Libertarian) Neil Boortz:
Yes, if you read it(and he is right) then the National Retail Federaration is afraid that we Americans will save too much money. If you checked my Southern Bitch link, you may have heard the part in the clip about "keeping us behind".
The Fair Tax is a good thing that we need. We live in a world of uncertainties, and as the strategist Col John Boyd. pointed out, the counter weight to uncertainty is adaptability. We need adaptability, the more money we have saved, the more adaptable we are.. We need the Fair Tax.
Oh, BTW, the book mentioned in the Boyd link has already been published.
My Plant Engineer told me he had read something saying that some "Conservatives"(face it some people calling themselves Conservatives are knee jerks to the Clinton Admenastration) don't like the Fair Tax because it would be too effecient. I can't afford Socialism either way around.

4 GW
4th Generation Warfare. As I pointed out above, we are enganged with forces that do not fight conventionaly.(well duh, I know) But, still many do not get this. They know it, but, they don't get it. Some just can not comprehind how it works, and much of it is unfolding to me. Here is an article by James Webb and another by William Lind that may help you get a better understanding of it. Like what is said or not. Definatly read this. Realy want those borders sealed up now don't you?

As a foot note before I get gone, some people are just lazy to the point of incompetance. I'm glad that's out of my system.
Appalachian Intellectual.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Check this out

This is a good band that plays with The Drive By Truckers alot. Serious posting will resume soon.
Apalachian Intellectual

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Yeah, that's the fickle thing knawing on a deer bone in a blowing snow Posted by Hello

This is one of our snows this year in my back yard. Posted by Hello

This Pic Posted by Hello

Dressing this thing up.

My MilBlogs Banner sticks into the posts when using Mozilla Fire Fox. At least it does on my home computer. At work, using Internet Explorer, it doesn't. So, I figured that I wold change it. I thought about a small plain one, but, saw this one and , Hey! I've put my knees in the breeze. So, I'm pondering it while I figure out how to get it there. I need the HTML code to copy it and well, theres instructions somewhere and I'm not reading them. The other night when I hit the wrong button, I know where the post went. It posted. Hit control+shift+s and it will post people. I had to clean it up the next morning because Blogger got real slow. I need a pic for my profile too. I need it smaller. I can work on that today, I have pics on my digital Camera that needs downloading, anyhow. I think I just figured how to get it there. if it works you will see it. but, the darn thing is bigger than I tried to get. Let's see.(I know, I'm rambling) No, it didn't work. Backspaced it...oops.
Posted by Hello