Jason's BLOG pages



Jason Grose's BLOG

June 2000




What's a blog, you ask? It stands for "weblog" and it's basically an online journal of daily thought. We'll see how long I can keep this up (as though I don't have enough to do!)

If you must have a title, I'll go with: The daily thoughts/rants of a Marine Officer, father, scholar, husband, marathon runner, Flash cartoonist, computer nerd.

This short BLOG collection proves how valuable a journal can be. I read these today (August 2, 2003) for the first time since writing them and realized I forget much more than I remember and that I've forever lost portions of my life by neglecting to write about them. I stopped writing them but at least I get a peek at my life for ten days in 2000.

Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

I really, really tried to get up at 0430 but it was closer to 0500. So I did not get into work until 0530 but got a lot of work done. I had to spend a lot of time on the message board and got a lot of stuff cleared out on it. But of course the XO leaves me a note on it saying that he wanted me to clear it out. Figures.

I got an incredible amount of work done but it came in as fast as I was pumping it out. I had the Adj meeting and at the same time, the FASMO Gunny came in with an attitude. It ended up he really did not need to see the investigations that he delayed my Adj meeting for.

Today was Gy Bergan’s first day and he spent most of it checking in and going over legal with Tye. I will not bombard him just yet.

Did not see much of Top. It is more trouble than it is worth trying to get him to do things so I have to depend on him getting things done. I just wish he would keep me more informed.

A LCPL from ISMO came to my office right before lunch and said that my new computer was ready. I said that I hated to look a gift horse in the mouth but I will. I asked who requested it for me and he did not know. But it is an upgrade out of the box. I have a Pentium 350 and this is a 500. I was just afraid that I would lose some capability or file and I did not have the time to mess around with it. I told him that I would transfer my files via the network before they actually swapped the machines. But by the time I got around to it, I could not get through.

The CO asked me a strange question: if I wanted to be the OIC of IPAC. Everyone was smiling and I smelled a trap. I declined, not wanting to take on such a manpower headache and new operation. It seems that some General had called and ask if the Captain Adjutant was interested because Gunner Curtis was too “abrasive.” The CO said I was not interested. I do not think he ever gave it much consideration and wanted to see what I would say.

I stayed at work until after 1800 and went home tired once again. Carrie had chicken and rice waiting. It made me more tired and I had an ache on the inside of my shoulder blade from sitting at my desk typing too long. Carrie rubbed aspercream in it and it felt better.

We went for a bike ride and stopped by the CO’s house to drop off a jock strap. He was going to put it on a plaque as a gag gift for the Division Chief of Staff’s Hail and Farewell, Col Studenka.

Then we ran into April and talked to her for awhile. Tim will be getting back in ten days and she could use the help with the newborn and the other four girls.

We went to the golf course where Steph wanted to see the bunnies. We had a good ride.

The rest of the night was a relaxing night at home. I will be going in early tomorrow to catch up on the legal packages that bombarded my in box at the end of the day today.

Free Advice for Today:
“Offer your place in line at the grocery checkout if the person behind you has only two or three items.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Monday, June 19, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

I was tired this morning and would have been very content to sleep in. But I knew that was an impossibility. I got up about 0530 and got to work just after 0600. Sure enough, there was a ton of emails and work piled up in my box. I got a pretty good jump on it but in my job, you are never caught up to the place you want to be.

I have a lot of emails to try to read but many more of them was some virus-generated joke that I deleted many hundreds of. The rest were things I knew I could not get to in their entirety. I did get a reprieve because the XO called in and said that he was extending his leave for a day.

The day was spent trying to take care of a thousand little things while thousands more were thrown on top. We had a staff meeting that went pretty well. The definition of “pretty well” is that it did not result in too many little taskers.

I continued to take care of business until lunch time when I went to the gym. I ran for 30 minutes and worked up a good sweat. I then did some sit ups and pull ups before coming home and eating a Cup-O-Soup. Carrie was here and I had a calm about me despite the hectic morning. I had sweat enough at PT to feel good about myself.

The afternoon was more of the same. Taskoid after taskoid. Then I had to deal with Sgt (X)’s latest load of crap: carving six inch letters of his wife’s name on his chest. What a loser-idiot. I hope we can admin sep this idiot before he EAS’s.

Carrie had a KVN meeting tonight so I had to make it home by 1800 which I barely made. I had a chicken patty salad, corn, and salad for dinner. Nice and lowfat since I am still feeling like a beached whale. When I put on my cammies, they were tighter than last time I wore them. This was getting ridiculous.

Carrie got home early and we invited the Norquists out for a bike ride. Brent said that Melissa was feeling sick and they bowed out. So we got on our bikes and went for a ride. On the way back from the golf course, we ran into the Norquists. They decided to come out anyway. They had water guns and I detest being squirted. I told Melissa that after she squirted me.

We finished out the bike ride and went home where I adjusted Carrie’s and Alex’s seats for them. The rest of the night was spent catching up on this journal and getting ready for tomorrow.

I kept myself busy tonight and got over being tired after dinner. I feel better about myself that I did not just sit around like a bump on a log. I need to stay active and get things done. Plus, I need to lose this damn weight.

Tomorrow, I am going in early because my boxes are full and the XO will be back to unload all the good ideas he has had in the last week and to bitch about things that DID NOT get done while he was gone.

Free Advice for Today:
“Add postscripts to your letters. Make them sweet and kind.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sunday, June 18, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

The alarm!!! Good God, it was early. In fact, I slept in until 0609, not wanting to get up. I had a pretty good hangover and we had a 0645 T time on the golf course. Brian had wanted to play golf while he was here and I got Brent to go along. At one point we even got Major Churchill to agree to round out the foursome.

I made sure that Brian was up and scurried around getting things ready. My head was hurting and I had to make sure I made a pot of coffee. I got everything ready just in time and we waited for Brent. When it got to about 0630, we figured that he was going to meet us at the course. As we got in the truck, we saw him coming down the walkway. He got in and we were off.

We had a good time. I bought a new glove and the fees ended up being $10 each for 9 holes. Major Churchill showed up as we were going to the first tee box. So we let a couple of twosomes in front of us.

It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was not that hot yet and the coffee did wonders for my hangover. I did not golf all that great but I held my own. I even got a par on one hole. Brian and I were about equally all over the place and the Major’s did about the some between them.

Before we knew it, it was over and we were headed home. At one point the asshole groundskeeper told us to speed it up and we all wanted to tell him to stick it straight in his ass.

We got home and took showers since we were slated to go to brunch at the O club. We were plenty hungry and I thought it was a good opportunity to show Ang and Brian the white tablecloth treatment of the O club. I was actually proud to take them there and the spread did not disappoint.

After breakfast, we went back to the house and relaxed. I was not looking forward to them leaving but they wanted to go to Cabazon to do some shopping. I knew that Brian was as tired as I was and felt sorry for him. I would have piled Carrie and the kids in the car and gone to Cabazon with them if I would not have been so tired.

So we bid them farewell but not without Brandon biting it in a rosebush and cutting up his legs. You gotta love kids.

They left and I slept. But the damn phone kept ringing and I was too hot to sleep more than an hour. So I came down and finished up working on my webpage.

Later, we decided to go get a bike for me so we could go bike riding as a family. We went to K Mart and got really bad service. I was a little pissed but I got a good bike for $89 plus a gel seat cover for another $20. We got home and after some adjustments, we all went on a bike ride which I thoroughly enjoyed. Alex had a little bit of a hard time coming back up the hill but he liked it overall. My new bike is great and really makes riding easy. But I know my butt will be soar tomorrow!!

We got back and spent some family time. I really do not look forward to tomorrow because the XO will be back and I have been off since Wednesday. I know there will be a lot of work waiting for me but I decided to let those worries wait until the morning.

My back was hurting from the golf so I had Carrie rub it with Aspercream. It hurt but it was extremely necessary. Tomorrow I start my stepped-up physical workouts. I am putting on too many pounds.

Free Advice for Today:
“Don't get caught glancing at your watch when you're talking to someone.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Saturday, June 17, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

I woke up feeling pretty good this morning. So much so that I decided to go for a little run. I had not run since Wednesday and along with my picture that I felt fat in, I knew I needed to hit the a pavement.

I ran to Tanks and back. I had planned to go to the gym and do some abs and pull-ups but the power was turned out. So I went in and visited the duty. It was a good place to rest.

I got back and mowed the lawn. The neighbor (Margarine!) had put down some high speed fertilizer that made their grass grow fast and thick. Of course they did not do the entire middle section, only theirs, even though we always fertilize the whole thing.

The grass was so thick that it was choking my lawnmower. It took forever to mow that front part and I was really getting pissed off about it. I finally got done and started on my side when the mower cut out. Being tired, hot, sweaty, and irritable, I got mad and threw the mower on its side, breaking the safety handle that cuts the gas line. Carrie started in on me because she thought that I broke it and I snapped at her. She needed to just leave me alone.

I went inside and cooled off. After awhile I came out and tried to figure out the mechanism that made the thing work. It took a long time to figure out but at least it was not broken. I finally did figure it out and fix it but it did not improve my mood much. I got it fixed and finished mowing the front and back.

After taking a shower, I finished up my marathon page. I liked the way the stories turned out and I got them published on my site. It went incredibly smooth. After I was done, we went the McDonalds and met Ang and Brian.

I was starving so we ate. Carrie was ordering as they pulled up so they came in and talked to us while we ate. It was good to see them and I was glad that they were there.

I finished and left with Brian to get a haircut. Then we went to get my cammies and then stopped by the package store to get Brian some Long Island Ice Tea mix. He had not been able to find it for 6 months and the package store carried it. I was a little nervous because I had an untucked shirt and no belt. But it went smoothly. It was a good chance to show Brian parts of the base and we had a good conversation.

We went home, got ready, and headed to the pool. It was very hot but everyone had a good time until some kid crapped in the pool and we had to get out. We had been there for awhile so it was a good time to head home where everyone hit the showers.

The plan was to have the Norquists over for dinner and then play poker. And that is just what we did. We made Long Island Ice Tea, which was good and strong, and had steaks. There were a lot of people and kids. It was a great time.

After dinner, we started poker and Major Churchill showed up. We had to teach Brian most of the games but he caught on and we had a fun-filled poker night. It was not as good as the Four Horsemen but nothing ever will be. But it was a good time anyway. We stayed up until after midnight and were pretty drunk by the end. I lost all my money and some of the other’s too. But it was all in fun and I think everyone agreed that it was worth the time.

But it would be another point of view in 4 ½ hours when we had to wake up.

Free Advice for Today:
“If you borrow something more than twice, buy one for yourself.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Friday, June 16, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

I was still sick today. Felt a little better but not good enough to attempt going to work. I figure that Top can handle it. I tried to call but could not get through to Major Davis. So I left a message with the drivers and went back to sleep.

Carrie had to go to work and I agreed to keep the kids. They would pretty much take care of themselves anyway.

I decided to try to make better use of my time today. I scanned 17 pictures from the Gulf War and then designed the page for the galleries I plan to post. I have had these pics for so long and I would like to give them back to Rob in August. I got them scanned, cropped, adjusted, and put into a page. Like all things I do with my page, it turned into a big project that I really get into. I do not know exactly how it will turn out: I just act on the ideas I have while I am going along. That is when I do my best work.

Not much more happened, other than getting sidetracked and starting on my marathon page. Another work in progress but it kept me interested. Too much scanning, cropping, etc can get boring. I got most done and was happy to get to the project I had been putting off for so long. It also helped my depression by reliving good times with the Four Horsemen.

Ang and Brian will be coming tomorrow and I look forward to it. I have not seen them in a long time and am glad they will be here for Father’s Day.

Free Advice for Today:
“Don't write down anything you don't want someone else to read.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Thursday, June 15, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

Yesterday, I wanted to play sick. Today, I got my wish but I must be careful of what I ask for. I woke up feeling like Hell and I called in sick.

I was in bed all day and did nothing but watch TV and sleep. The kids were over at the Doran’s until noon and then they came home.

Not much to write about except that it left me a lot of time to contemplate. Sometimes I get depressed about the job I am in. I do not think that I enjoy it any longer and really look forward to moving on. If I can get that SEP, I can go back to school and spend more time doing what I want to. But I have to wade through the monotony and stress of being an Adjutant for another year. But at least LtCol (X) will be gone. That should settle things down a little bit.

Nothing much more happened. Carrie came home and took care of me and I stayed in bed. I do not think I will make it to work tomorrow, either.

Free Advice for Today:
“Never forget the debt you owe to all those who have come before you .”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Every Lance Corporal I've ever known, including myself

I wanted to play sick this morning. I was so tired and had no motivation to go to work. But I got up at 0615 and came downstairs to do my exercises. At least I am keeping up with that.

All day, I felt tired and listless. The CO was at his desk all day and I did my normal routine, busier than ever and frustrated that I have to keep following up after everyone else’s incompetence.

I decided to call Brent to see if he wanted to run. I wanted to get into the heat in order to lose some weight. I am tired of feeling fat. He wanted to run but then called me back asking to put it off until 1230 because he had a last minute meeting. I said OK but then Carrie called and asked if I could go and relieve the babysitter. So I called Brent back but he was gone. I left a message with Brent’s Gunny who is the second asshole Gunnery Sergeant I have met in as many days.

So I left the message and ran. It was the hottest day to date and I had to stop twice. I felt like hell. But I made it and Lauren went home. Carrie was late so I made all the kids lunch (Alex, Steph, and Ashley). Carrie got home and took me back to work.

Computers were down after work so I did a lot of “off-line” stuff. Finally, 1600 rolled around so we could go. I went to the family pool because Carrie and the kids were going to be there.

It felt good to lay out in the sun and relax. But it was damn hot. We were there over an hour and then headed home to have fajitas. I only had one, after comparing the two pics I had (promotion and SEP) and noticed that I have gained weight. Compared to the one 4 months ago, I look horrible. So now is the time to pour it on. I will start running EVERY DAY!!

I think it is a kickback from the marathon because I really have not had any motivation to run long distance since. Plus, the heat is so bad that I am just going to have to run in the morning or hit the treadmill.

Free Advice for Today:
“Never ignore a ringing fire alarm.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Tuesday, June 13, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

I am writing this a day late. I forgot to write yesterday so this will be an abbreviated entry. Since so many things happen in a day, the new things tend to displace the old in my memory. All the more reason that I should be keeping up with this journal!!!

I took my picture for the SEP. I felt fat and could not wait to get out of the uniform. I was not too happy with the pics: I look fat. But luckily it is an education program and the pic should not be that important.

The CO was in Pendleton all day so it was relatively low stress. The normal work routine kept me busy and the new XO, LtCol Cameron, was due in at Palm Springs in the afternoon. The CO had a dinner with the General and cut it close coming back. But he made it and that is over.

I had the IPAC meeting and the Adjutant meeting afterwards. The IPAC meeting was long and the room got hot. But a lot of good ideas are shared. Plus, I am the senior man at these meetings and I think that lends importance to the meetings in the eyes of the reps from other units.

After the IPAC meeting, I had a meeting with the Adjutants. The big story here was the Admin Chief from 3/4, GySgt (X). What an asshole. He was borderline disrespectful and contemptuous. I came so close to dressing him down right there but there were LCPLs in the room. He did not like that we were sending a package back for pro/con marks being too high. He argued and I basically told him that was the way it was going to be.

After the meeting, I went by 3/4 to talk to the XO. I wanted to head off any problems he the Admin Chief was going to pass on to him and to introduce myself. They just got a new CO and the XO was in an acting status. So I had a long talk with Maj Carrier and explained the situation. I tried to get across that Regiment was there to help and that we were not the enemy. We also discussed the rumor that their Adj was going to be snagged for 2/7’s upcoming deployment. I told him what I knew and think that he was surprised and happy that I was so candid about it. We left on a good note and I know that GySgt (X) thought I was there to talk about him. His name did not come up and I hope that he is sweating when the XO will bring him in to discuss his attitude.

Afterwards, I went back to my office and waited. Major Davis had already left and the CO was due in for a farewell dinner for the base General. Also, the new XO was due in from Palm Springs. I waited there and finally the driver showed up and told me that LtCol Cameron requested to be dropped off at Roughly Manor. I called the Colonel’s wife to see if she had heard from her husband and she said that she was supposed to meet him at his office because it would be close. So I went home.

When I got here, Brent was here because Melissa had kicked him out while she did some Girl Scout stuff. When I walked in, Emily was being punished because she pushed Steph. She was on the stairs throwing a fit, crying, because Brent would not let her down until she apologized to Steph. Brent let her go and finally agreed to let her have a drink of juice if she said she was sorry. When he let her drink, she mumbled a little “Sorry."

Carrie and I wanted to watch a movie and we finally got to it around 9:30. So that means we were up past midnight…again!!

The movie was American Beauty. It was a good movie with a crazy end. The lead character was played great and it really kept my attention, even though I was tired.

Free Advice for Today:
“Compliment the parent when you observe a well-behaved child.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Monday, June 12, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

Happy birthday to Stephanie!! I stayed up until past midnight last night downloading mp3 files to listen to. I found a good site but had to wade through all of the hundreds of crap titles just to find a few good ones. It was relaxing, mindless work and it was fun to find a diamond in the rough sometimes. Madonna’s remake of American Pie, The Red Hot Chili Peppers with Scar Tissue, Metallica’s Unforgiven II, Foo Fighters’ Learn to Fly, and Sisco’s Thong Song to name a few.

I was tired when I woke up and slept until 0600. But I felt good and was ready for a day’s work. I did some ab exercises and some push ups (another addition to my morning routine that I will attempt to upkeep.)

I got into work and had my normal morning routine. Major Davis was the acting XO and I had a few random taskers from him before the Commander/staff meeting. The meeting went off without a hitch without too many taskers coming out of it.

I decided early that I would work through lunch and then go to Steph’s birthday party at the pool. I got about a billion little things done and worked through chow. Top pissed me off a little because I could not find him most of the day. Then the FAP program, that I was told was 100% for over a week was, in fact, not. Pinguelo (3/7) owes me three FAPs but I really doubt that he cares.

Steph’s party at the pool was HOT!! I was there for a little over an hour and Brent and Melissa showed up. Brent was on leave for the day because they had gone to Phoenix. Steph was so happy to be the queen for the day. She was so cute and was having so much fun with all of her little friends.

I also took care of the MEFEX taskers but then found out that Lt (X) was being kicked out, finally, and that he could not be slated for the deployment. So I had to call Division and let them know.

I also took care of Lt (Y)’s fitrep. I just made a copy and stuck it in the binder. I was tired of it hanging over my head and General Newbold was the 3d Officer. Today must have the day of fitreps because I also took care of X’s by getting Capt Gilbert to sign and getting it over to Major Fulham. His had to go to Division because it was an adverse on an Officer. I am glad to have all of those over with and now when (X) gets out, we will finish up his and that will be it for the shit head Officer crew. What a pain in the ass!!

I got out of work at about 1730 and got home to see my little birthday girl. Carrie had a coffee so she made me some dinner and took off. After dinner, I took the kids for a bike ride, with Steph in the seat behind me and Alex riding his own bike. We had a good time but it was uphill on the way home and I was sweating like a pig by the time I got home. I walked around shirtless while I cooled and Steph waited for Grandpa to call back (he left a message while we were gone). Melissa came over because Emmy threw a fit when she realized she never got a piece of Steph’s birthday cake at the party. Classic.

We talked for awhile until Lyle called. They talked with Steph for awhile and then handed me the phone. I talked to Sharon and had a good talk. Melissa had to go and a little while later, I got on the computer to practice programming. I bought a book while I was in Oklahoma and am learning how to program Visual Basic 6.0. I was doing one of the exercises when Scott and Kristine called for Steph. They talked for awhile until they wanted to talk to me and I talked to Scott. Everything there seemed fine. They had switched to the bottle because the baby was not getting enough food.

Carrie came home as I was saying goodbye and then they talked for awhile, while I finished the exercise (by having to look in the back!!!).

Tomorrow should be good because the CO is gone all day and I am somewhat caught up. I do not feel like going in too early and while the XO is gone this week, I doubt if I will have the motivation to get in too early anyway.

Free Advice for Today:
“When you're the first one up, be quiet about it.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sunday, June 11, 2000

Quote of the Day:
- Unknown

Today I am starting my personal journal, again! The last time I did this was when I was going through TBS over three years ago. But I have wanted to do this for a long time and finally got around to it. If I can keep it going, it is a really good way to see my life, from my eyes, later on.

Today Carrie, I and the kids went to a pool party with people from the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Volunteers. It was OK but I got a little irritated toward the end when I wanted to go. I was tired and needed a nap. Carrie had played volleyball in the pool for a long time and I had no one to talk to. I also felt fat which did not help my mood.

The place was nice, with a large pool and a Jacuzzi that fed into the pool. The owners had these two huge dogs, Shadow and Thunder. They were the biggest dogs I have ever seen but they were gentle creatures.

Many people were there including the Bessingers, Suzi who is pregnant, Maya (a black woman), and a few others I can’t remember.

After we got back, I took a nap and then got up, ironed my uniform, and got a haircut. When I got back, I ran a couple of miles with Alex riding his bike. On our warm down walk, we went over to the Dorans to see April. Tim was gone and I just wanted to see how the baby was doing. On the way over, we saw the Fernandez family sitting on their porch.

This weekend was kind of sad for me. Major Patch took off to go to NoVa for 10 days of house hunting. He will be back for about a week but will then be leaving permanently. Captain Gary Bash also left on Thursday to go to Yuma. I will miss them both and last Thursday, we sat in both of their empty houses and got drunk and talked. It was a really good time. They will be missed.

This upcoming week should be low stress. The XO is on leave and I left relatively caught up on Friday. Tomorrow is Steph’s 6th birthday and Carrie is having a pool party for her during the day.

Free Advice for Today:
“Regardless of the situation, react with class.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Email -- jason@grose.us
Web -- http://www.grose.us/