29 January 2010

Housekeeping and Engineering

Every time I think I've established a new battle rhythm, something else comes along to muck it up. This past week, it was a visit from Omah and Opah Sherpa. Like the Air Force says, "Any landing (and parental visit) you can walk away from is a good one." They walked away with a few more grandparenting memories and war stories, and Household-6 and I walked away with a number of remodeling projects nearly finished. And there was much rejoicing.

We also got a chance to talk face-to-face with our parents, about our needs and fears and expectations for the pending deployment. We even talked in more detail than usual about the possible mission. (As an old radio guy, Sherpa refuses to discuss official news over cell phones, cordless phones, and baby monitors. Ever hack one of those Bearcat scanners? You might as well announce personal secrets and credit card numbers to the neighbors via a public address system. Or in the New York Times. Or on one of those ding-dang Internet blogs I keep hearing about.)

Sherpa grew up in an active-duty military family, so everyone was pretty familiar with the drill: You can't say when or where or how, because everything is a secret and, even if it wasn't, it will change 50 times and still be wrong. So it's "hurry up and stew."

I should mention here that there will be more Sherpa news happening in the next few days. Nothing big, but thought I'd try that "foreshadowing" thing I remember from high school English.

In the meantime, I've finally managed to follow-through on a few suggestions made by some supportive commenters and fellow mil-bloggers. Coffeypot, a salty blog-dog and storyteller, suggested the installation of the Blogger/Blogspot/Google Friend Connect "follower" widget in the Red Bull Rising sidebar. That's it, right over there. Ky Woman, of whom I've already sung many praises, helped expedite an introduction over at Milblogging.com. Milblogging.com is a perfect place to start a search for bloggers with past or current experiences, depending on where you're heading in the world. I plan to use it a lot in the coming months.

Ky Woman also urged me to link the Red Bull Rising blog with a Facebook page. I'd had some technical difficulties earlier, but they're solved now. See my mug over there, by that Facebook button? Click it.

I'm still waiting for this whole Internet fad to blow over, but I've noticed that some younger soldiers don't even e-mail anymore--it's all texting and Twittering and Facebooking. Some Iowa National Guard units use Facebook pages as their primary means of communicating routine information with soldiers and families. There's no official policy out there, for or against the practice. A short pro-Facebook editorial follows, however: If people are already using the tool, and it doesn't hurt security, use the darn tool. Don't stick it behind layers and layers of bandwidth-chewing passwords and card readers and then wonder why people aren't getting your messages.

End of mini-sermon.

So, dear reader, whether you read blogs by "following" via Blogger, via a Facebook fan page, via some sort of RSS reader, or just plain old-fashioned web-browsing, I hope you find this ongoing project variously useful, insightful, and/or entertaining. Thanks for your suggestions, and your support, and for recommending Red Bull Rising to anyone who might find it of interest.

Like my Engineer buddies say, "Essayons."


  1. So now I know what "essayons" means. Kewl!

    And sadly, must let you know that I didn't actually have a hand in expediting the milblogging add. Didn't I tell you that he was a nice guy...

  2. Thanks for adding the Follower thing-a-majig. And I became a follower on FB, too. I don't like twitter because I don't know how to say somehting as simple as hello in 40 charactrs. Keep up the good work, Sherpa.


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