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.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Catching Up Part 3

This should be my last enstallment of my writings while at Ft. Lewis.

19 June
We've had time off. That has been nce, but, we find ourselves fighting off bordom. Severa; of us got together and went to Mt. Rainier. I was impressed. It was a unique place. We went to Paradise Inn(about 5500feet) and walked beyond Panaroma Point to 7200 feet.(The GPS said so) The trails are very established to a point, where we walked in single track through the snow. It was clouding up, but, Mt. Hood and Mt St. Helens was visible. The crater on St. Helens is huge. The wildlife paid you no mind. They just went about their buisness. Leading up to it was remanicant of Appalachia(is that why all of thse Transplantavanians are there?). Except our Mountains have more charector(nothing peronal Janie) and something other than conifers. I enjoyed it and would be glad to go back.

We continue to pass our time...If you can get enough people in on something and key's to a Van, your'e good. Some guy's play cards, some have gotten drunk and we've watched movies on computers. One pornographic movie has beome a big inside joke. Books are read, go to the PX. just to get out of the place.

Jokes are told, guy's are teased and passing gas causes an iruption of one sort or another. I've been on the Internet twice breifly. Just long enough to look at some e-mail. There is a Coffee shop here on "North Fort" that has a wirless connection and, if you have the set up, your'e good. I've quickly come to the conclusion that some time after my supposed Activation that I need to get a good, capable Lap Top with a wireless card (and DVD Player maybe). I had taken note on what Travlin' Ed had said about his being a life saver while TDY. If I can get by the Coffee Shop while it's open, that would be greaat. I'd at least give note on the Blog(I did) I have an old fashion Machine and I like it. But, o the road a Lap Top would be useful and entertaining.

I bought a new knife today. On the recomendation of e good freind I bought a Cold Steel Kneck Knife(3" Para Edge Tanto Point). I would prefer the Clip Point, but, Ft. Lewis Clothing Sales didn't have it. It was a good deal, $24.95. It's convienant, can fit in any pocket if needed and, Hey!, it's a Cold Steel, it's a tough knife. My buddy has had his for years and has sharpened it once. It's still a sharp knife.

Present Notes
Yesterday after it stopped raining(about 1930) I went out. There was a Black Bear up on the bank above the house. It scrambled at the sight of me. It hustled itself up the bank right smart. Bosco, my dog is supposed to warn me of such things...remember the Coon tale?(for you long time readers)...well, she was snoozing inside the house. I chastised her. She's out there gaurding right now. The Winchester has Nosler Ballistic Tips loaded up as well(.308). I say the thing was about 250 lbs.

I don't mind the thing being here. It's just there is not alot of food for bears at this time of year. Last week one got into a house up in Buncombe County. If they smell food and want it they're coming in. I was told today that one about the same size was seen just the other side of the Ridge that had two cubs(second hand, but, you hear that about every time, just take heed and carry on). I was told(from a good source) that a male has marked it's territory here on the Ridge.

Last year we had a little ol' Feist/ Jack Russell mix that was eaten by a Bear. The signs showed she got into it's face and it snapped her up.

You Suburbanites please do me a favor. If you can't stomach Bears getting into your back yard don't move to the Mountians or Swamps where such things live.

OK...I'm off of here. I've got pictures to download.
Appalachian Intellectual

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Catching Up Part 2

Here is the continuation of my journal notes from my trip to Ft. Lewis Wa. I'll write weather permitting. The last few day's have been stormy. Lightening came in on my Mother's phone line and played havoc with everything. A co workers pump on her well was knoced out, as were many others. Last night I could hardly dial up.

That Thing is Huge 16 June
Yesterday, the 15th was the first day that we were able to see Mt Raineir in it's entirity. It's a large Mountain indeed. The biggest that this Hill Billy has ever saw. I don't know how anyone could look at such a thing and not think there is a God. Though it's a Volcano, unlike my peacful Mountains at home.

The day before yesterday I flipped through Army Times. It showed the Air Forces new uniform, a real faded tiger stripe. The article called them "copy cats". I wonder what the Marine Corps calls us? This uniform thing is ridiculous. It all started with the Marines wanting a Digital Camo(wich the Soviets had). They asked the Army to work with them on it. The Army, being the slow unresponsive beast that it is didn't want anything to do with it. The only response they know anymore is a knee jerk. The Marines moved ahead and did a good job. The Marines have a propaganda machine that makes the other branches shiver in their boots. So, big knee jerk. I do think our camo would work once it got good and dirty. But, otherwise it's too light. And, the Marine's seems much better. But, it's not about not being seen, it's all fashion statment.

I also saw in A.T. this weeks "Toll". Every issue lists members of each branch killed over there. One wa a 19 year old girl. Why? Why was she over there? Don't give me this Women's Lib Shit! It's her job to give forth life, not take it. Though she may have been part of a Support Element it's a Combat Zone. Are we over there trying to get these people to "respect" women the way we do? Are women such an intergrated part of our Force under Politics and need that we place them there? That little girl volunteered for a job not many young men are willing to do. We're a sick society for sending our Daughters into battle.

Present Notes
Yesterday(27 June) I saw a snippet of a recorded portion of PBS's "Front Line". It showcased Private Security Contractors in Iraq. I recognised a "Black Water Man" that had been killed in Fulluja. He had been a Senior NCO in my Battalion(3/75 Rangers) during my early day's there. May he, and the other men killed with him that day Rest In Peace.

A local Reserve unit, 391st Engineer Bn is now deployed to Afghanistan. They were hit with an IED. No one was hurt. They spotted the "Trigger Man" and chased him down and killed him. This information I received from someone who was infromed via E-mail. Good Job 391st!

I now listen to the commentary on President Bush's speech. Yep, he's right, it's somewhat a show down. Our "leaders" tell you that the Armed Forces are deployed fighting for "Our Freedom", in the meantime the Supreme Court say's that a Government can take Private Property and hand it over to someone else.

Appalachian Intellectual

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Catching Up, Part 1

I now sit here in my 28X60' Castle listening to Local Noise, a Radio Show out of Athen's Georgia featuring the area's bands. Today has been a murky and at times rainy day. It's the first time I remember it raining on the 26th of June. Usually it is a hot, hazy and sticky day. I know...Happy Birthday to me...and to you.

What is to follow is a sries of Journal Entries I made while at Ft. Lewis Wa. It was written on Note Book Paper and is being transposed onto this blog. Internet Access was very limited for me. I eventualy made it to a Coffee shop where I could post quickly, if no one was in line.

Trip Out Tuesday, 7 June
Flying out here wasn't bad. Taxieing in Civiilian Aircraft feels like a Gooney Bird. The wings are below the fuselage and they bounce. In that case, I prefer USAF. I havn't flown in years and didn't know exactly what to expect as far as security is concerned. It wasn't much of a hassle.

During the one hour hop to Atlanta I saw alot of Garden Homes. Their building a new control tower in Atlanta. The Thing looks like a Battle Star. They should put Statue Of Liberty flames on top of it.

It was mostly cloudy from Atlanta to Sea Tac(Seatac?) Security at Sea Tac was a joke. It was practicaly non exsistant.* It didn't take me long to noitice it either. There sure are alot of pretty women in Airports. Now I know why one guy wanted to get an Airport Security Job.

Flying into Sea Tac , the thing I liked about the place is all of the tree's. It was cloudy of course and sure enough it rained before the day was out.

The building we're staying in isn't bad. I've stayed in far worse. WWII Barracks broken into two man rooms. They're not in bad shape for their age.

The Vegatation here is simular to Southern Appalachia. We don't have the amounts of Fir's, Hemloscks and Spruces. It looks simular to the High Lonsome's.

Excitement Friday 10 June
On Thursday after Duty Hours Several of us were piled up in a room watching a DVD on a computer. Then suddenly someone ran through the halls beating on doors yelling "smoke on the building!". We all promply exited and looked for the smoke(no, I managed not to go into Travlin' Ed's Arms Flailing Mode, though it would have been fun). Someone from another Unit(and building) had called 911. Within minutes two Fire Trucks came up. They checked...checked with a thermal imager...nothing. There had been a puff acording to several people and I did smell something. Any way, everything checked out.

Seattle Saturday 11 June
Well, it's a big city. Too big for me, but, entertaining. When in Seattle you have to go to the Space Needle so that you can say; "Yeah, I've been up in that thing". It was windy, sort of cold and cloudy of course. While there a sweet, cute Strawberry Blonde asked me to take her picture. I'm happy to do anyone a favor, so I did. Looking at this nice gal through her camera lense I thought, She's alone, and honestly trying to feel happy. I almost flirted with her. Well, there were eight other Joe's** with me, wich I am at the mercy of the group consensus and she needed the peace within herself. I left her be. God Bless Her. We wound up down by the sound at Pikes Place. Saw the Fish Market, ate through town some more. It rained of course. Only one that we have been here has it not rained in some form or the other. I've caught one half way decent sight of Mt Rainier. The top third of it was in the clouds. That was looking across the Airfeild(Gray Feild). This doesn't bother me. This may be the rainiest place in America, but, my portion of Southern Appalachia is the second rainiest part. Some parts of my county get 100 inches a year. We just get it more at a time.

Seattle sure has some beautiful women. An old Buddy back in 3/75 from here had told me so. He was right. I tried looking him up in the phone book today and there were eight of his name. I couldn't get a signal. I don't if he ever came back here. The last I had heard of him he was in Orlando Fl. Speacial Thanks to the guy at Harley Davidson of Tacoma for loaning me the phone book.(Thompson, you won't alway's hide from Germs)

Today was our first day off since we've been here. It's not been break neck.

Militarily, a boy from 2nd Infantry Division(2nd ID) let me look down the sights of his M4(An M-16 Varient) He has the holographic sights, wich I much prefer. It's a wide view with a red circle of varieing Minutes Of Angle***. A red dot centers it. I didn't ask, but it appeared it was two MOA(the dot mind you) The screen is about 1 1/2 inches wide and aloows for for shooting with both eye's open. Rare is it that an Army Infantryman today has Iron Sights. About all of the M4's have a Pistol Fore Grip anymore, wich, I don't realy like. I'm Old School in that sense. It is easier to control on bursts, but, for well placed shots not nearly o. It makes the weapon bulkier. A bulky Weapon can seriously undermine your Decision Cycle.

All of this is written in a Note Book to be added later. I'll probaly do this when I get to Iraq.

*more on Sea Tac's Security later, not realy negative though
**A nick Name for comes from the "Common Joe"
***Minutes Of Angle is kind of like a funnel. The further it goes the bigger it get's. For Example, 1 MOA at 100 yards is 1 inch. at 200 yards it's 2 inches. A gun consistantly capable of 1 MOA is rare. I would say your average Hunting Rifle is about a 4MOA Gun. Look it up to learn more.

More to come...
Appalachian Intellectual

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Home At Last

At last I am home. The house has been shut up and it's burning hot. AVG is scanning 39 e-mail messages. I'm tired, I've had lttle sleep. We cleared the barracks at 0100(1:00AM) Pacific and went to the airport ot 0300. Slept a little before we cleared out and on the plain, but, not much.
My dog stood in the drive way and stared at me. Then she barked and wagged her tail. The cat...well, the cat just stared at me.
Good to be home...
Appalachian Intellectual

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

At Last Checking In.

This is the third time I've been able to get on the net, and, the first time I've been able to look at something other than my e-mail. I do appreciate the comments. And, Janie, I could have fun in the "Emerald City"...there is alot of beautiful women in the area. Now, there are some things I don't like, like not getting dark until 2200(10:00PM) and getting light around 0430(4:30AM). I would imagine that it is a releif after such a dreary winter. Back home in my little corner of N.C. we get anywhere from 60-100 inches of rain a year, depending on what mountian you live on. So, I can relate, we just get it more at a time in uneven doses. Is this what I came here for? Talking about the weather? Well it is pretty and you can see all but the top of Mt. Ranier...Comfortable tempatures. That's enough of that. Oh, they don't have sweet tea here. A waitress last night said she had heard of it. Can you Southerners imagine that? One boy tried ordering a chicken buiscut at McDonalds...the response? "We don't have those. You must be from the South". Sgt C* is right, their Heathens.

I've only recently started to drink coffee and then I realy don't drink it much. An Aunt convinced me that it was good for digestion. I'm drinking a Chia Latte with Vanilla...not bad actualy. I had no idea what I was ordering, I just tried it. Could have been cheaper, but, oh well. There are Starbucks galore up here. And where there is not a Starbucks their is an Indapendant Espresso(this place is on Post).

I leave out of here early Saturday Morning. and get back to the Carolina's Saturday Evening. Then, I reckon I will post on a regular basis. I do have alot to say...and By Golly your gonna listen!

I'm going to go snoo news and such. With No TV and often compromising on what to listen to on the Radio I've only heard headlines. And, well, I've gotta check in on some of you folks.

*no, he's not a WASP either, and an adopted Southeasterener.

Appalachian Inteelectual(Once known as Willy in 3/75)

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Post Before The Storm

Today was a real June day, hot and hazy. It started out foggy down along the river and it quickly burned off so you could watch the thunderheads build against the higher mountains. The haze made mountians not too far away look as if they were further off. You were unable to make out the color of the tree's, only a pale gray with a hint of blue.. The haze is natural and it traps in the valley's when there are no surface winds to move it. Some of it is air pollution too, but, much of it is moisture. What looked to be a stale day was broken by the thunderheads. By mid afternoon the sky's were dark and thunder could be heard all around. Then it cooled off.

My dog, is terrified of thunder and lightening. She handled it well today being the storms were the other side of the mountain from us. She would look to me and give me the "this is not nice" look. But, my piticular location dodged the bullet. I can hear thunder back beyond the Balsam's still. And, it sure has cooled off.

This weekend turned out to be a typical drill. Nothing realy exciting. Just a hot and humid weekend right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina. There wa alot of cutting up and teasing. Soldiers tease relentlessly. Other wise it was mundane activities. My Company Commander left and we have yet to see his replacment, and I am being handed a "Squad". It's not a real Squad as one would think. Being more so an Instructor Commitee we are broken down into teams and then into two Sqauds. My Squad members will be E-7's, E-6's and E-5's. It's currently being shuffled, so I don't know who and all will be in it. Actually it's something just now being implemented and the designation will probably swich. That would be far more accurate.

I saw my Division Commanding General wearing the new uniform as well as his whole staff. It's their job to sport it and get the troops to except it. Again, I think the camoflouge will be decent, but, the Velcro? Word is it's very comfortable.

We watched "Sling Blade" on TV Saturday Night. Dwight Yoakam play's such a good Jerk. Billy Bob Thorton play's a great Simpleton. Carl was a true Cultural Icon.

The big highlight of the weekend was on the return trip back home me and my buddy passed a car with two girls and a guy in it. Both attractive girls. I glanced over at them and politley nodded. The girl driving gave me a polite smile. A few minutes later they passed us and one of them was looking back at us. Well, they slowed down to let us pass again and both of the girls turned towards us and flashing their breast at us. Now talk about supporting the troops. Those girls didn't have to do that, but, it was very thoughful of them.

I only worked half a day today. Last night I didn't get in until almost 2100(9:00PM) and my stepson stopped by.(I was glad to see him, I don't get to much. I didn't tell him about tose girls on the interstate) So, with much to do the day before I fly out to Washington State, I took half a day. I did come across a 4 foot Black Snake in the yard, that's a work highlight, but, he ran, didn't flash me.

I Wake up at 0300 and head out. I stop and pick up a buddy(The same one that was flashed along with me) and head off to the airport. I'm glad to be all packed up, I just hope they don't loose my luggage. Honestly, as much as Uncle Sam bails out the Airlines, they should fly us free if not at a reduced rate. After all it is official Buisness.

It's thundering closer and closer. I should finish this quick. When I will be able to post again, I don't know. It depends on my access to computers and the time and circumstances. Big Thunder...Time to go...
Appalachian Intellectual

Recover post worked...the stormknocked me offline..

Friday, June 03, 2005

AGT Tagged me

Appalachian Gun Trash tagged me, and Travlin' Ed too, for a Musical Meme. Of course I wondered what my Task Condition's and Standards were. As he told Ed, just follow the template on his blog. So here goes.

Starting with my last purchase. Social Distortion's last CD(the first in many years) "Sex, Love, and Rock'n Roll". It's a short one, just around a 1/2 hour. But, it is a very good CD none the less. What's Social Distortion? Take Johny Cash and cross him with the Sex Pistols. I'm a big fan of the those two as well. "I'm a Caddilac Tramp at the end of his rode/a swammy quak sitting on gold/yeah baby". I bought it just before the first of the year. Has it been that long? I could stand to pick up something new.

The Drive By Truckers "Dirty South" ..."We aint ever gonna change, we aint doing nothing wrong, we ain't ever going to change, so shut your mouth and play along". I love all of the Truckers CD's...I almost said Album's...I about wore out "Decoration Day". If your into a rougher sounding southern rock, you'll like these boy's(and girl). They put on one of the best live show's you can see, often a three(YES 3!) hour show. I missed them last week as I mentioned before, but, Good News! They are playing Bele Chere in Asheville NC, the Southeast's largest street party other than Mardi Gras. I'll try to see John Hiatt for you Ed.

Next is a simple repurchase. The Refreshments "Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy" wich the CD cover was graced by one of the sweetest Nose Art girls you will ever lay your eyes on. She actualy reminds me of a young girl I know and perhaps that is the reason I adore her so much, she has that smile that instantly wins anyone over. But, on to the music. This is not a real hard rock album...see, I said it. It has it's moments though. I once told Jello Boy it was the ultimate single guy CD, wich, I've spent most of my life a single guy. Though I never got into a bar fight for insulting someones Girl Freind or went fishing in Mexico. The music was great, and the lyrics very creative. Unfortunatly, their not a band anymore..."Mosh Safely".

Cracker. What can I say? Everyone loves Cracker, they just don't know it. They play stuff you can Mosh to and stuff you can stomp your foot to like you hear at the local Community Centers on a Friday Night. "Garage d'Or" is probably the ultimate collection, except I find it dissapointing it doesn't have "Can I Take My Gun Up To Heaven?" on it. I can't say enough about Cracker, so, I'll stop here.

As I was leaving work this morning me and a co worker were talking about The Cult. Their last one, "Beyond Good and Evil" was a true Cult album. Each one had it's own distinct sound. The "Goat Head" album was a bit of a disapointment. I did like "Star" though. They have been billed as the best "Blues Rock Band" to come out of England since Led Zepplin and are often refered to as "Goth Rock". The Cult is Billy's amazing guitar work and Ian's creative Goth lyrics."Lovers and Fighters, Adrenaline". It's legendary that the two barely get along, yet, they have such an energy together. They split for a long time and came back because they felt like Rock Music was eroding. Rock and Roll Patriots. "She Sales Sanctuary" is the kind of song that gives you confidence in everything around you. It's latley been featured on a popular car comercial. Ian is going to front The Doors? The Doors are going to do something? Sounds good.

One song I enjoyed hearing on the radio latley was Bottman, Turner and Overdrives "Hey You" ..."na na na na, hey you hey you". I showed up late at a Van Halen Concert once and missed them as the opening act(Your fualt big brother!) Oh well, we had a good time.

A purchase that some of my readers will find interesting is Iced Earth's "The Glorious Burden". They are an 80's metal style band that does theme albums. The one mentioned is a Military History Album. I enjoy their Star Spangled Banner. It mostly does the "Civil War"* in an epic style sound. From their web site they have a Gettysburg DVD coming..hmm interesting.

I have so many in my taste to mention., but, this is a snap shot of it. I kind of like this "Meme" thing. You can do it on books or what not...Fire Arms!...the endless possibitlies...even fantasy women. Just kidding. I'm off to drill.

Don't be a a hero...a sex pistol
Appalachian Intellectual

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Code Names, Political Personals, and Wars less known

Code Names
"Never Say Never!", that's what one of my buddies told me a few months back. I almost felt ashamed for saying "never" knowing he was right. The big suprize of the week is "Deep Throat" comes clean. Water Gate fanatics, Big Media*(and G Gordon Liddy) probably never thought they would know. All of a sudden we all do. Yep, Agent Felt is the man. I've never realy known much of a detailed history of the affair. I do know a couple of details. But, the one that has puzzled me is why in tarnation did they code name him "DEEP THROAT"! I in case of a wire tap they are only talking about seeing "Deep Throat". That's the reason the guy didn't want to come clean..."Hey, excuse me you'l... Uhm, I'm "Deep Throat"...please, no questions". Besides, who ever was tapping them would know "Deep Throat" was a code name. They might as well called him "Egg Sucking Mule". Well, now that we know we can sleep more easliy.

Political Personals
I get a Yahoo! Personals e-mail a few times a week. It can be a convienant way of meeting people, and towns here are seperated by 6000 ft. Mountain Ranges, though I'm not active in it. Well this one girl featured, kinda cute, early 30's, Graduate Student, somewhere down the Mountain. She was a pretty gal, so, I went to see what she was about. Boy! Did this girl show her attitude. I will give it that she is honest. She has been out of country and said she didn't miss our President. She expressed that she was disapointed in the election results and said that she is not Christian and will not participate in any other religion. Well, she is entitled to her veiws and she is honest, but, she just cut her chances in half. She said she was mellow...saying all of that in a personal ad? I wouldn't say she is. She expects to meet a man? She's breathing fire on her reume'.** I wish her luck. No meanness intended.

War's less known.
Now, it's not too hard to figure out I'm in Transylvania County N.C.(I have roots in Macon Co. and North Ga. too.) The other day I was reading Red Georgia Clay and Dave mentioned that he saw an old friend on the History Channel discussing the Andrews Raid. This reminded me of some of our obscure history here in Transylvania. This Sunday morning I was visiting*** the French Broad close to where part of the incadent took place. The Walton War was fought between N.C. and Ga, yes, shot's fired. It's said that some of my Ancestors fought in it. The article will mention a Selica Hill(pronounced Seh-leeka, a Cherokeee word possibly corrupted and lost). Selica is a slice of the valley, not a hill. I've never known of an actual Selica Hill. I beleive that the hill mentioned is Bunker Hill. It would be defendable with the fire arms of the times. Apparently The People at the forks of the River agree. I don't know what they base that on though. It's poorly recorded as to the actual fighting.

* I borrowed that term from Appalachian Gun Trash.
**I borrowed that from lyrics of the band Everclear.
***It must be the Cherokee in me, sometimes I just feel like looking into the river from the banks. Some of my earliest memory's are with my dad(who is not Cherokee) gasing into the river. He knew it well. But, I beleive it's the Cherokee in me as well.

Appalachian Intellectual