War is Hell

As a team offsite yesterday, 20 of us went out to the Los Gatos Paintball club for what amounted to 5 hours worth of strategic paintball games. The field was not themed, but rather about a 50-100 acre (I’m terrible with Acres) wooded area with a steep hill at the north side and thick brush at the south. Throughout the entire course, there were bunkers, barrels, make-shift houses, and other things to hide behind.

We played the typical games: elimination, capture the flag, VIP, etc. and it was a blast. My first time out, actually. The paintballs do in fact sting a little — but it’s not something you can’t bear. In my opinion, snowboarding was more painful than this — then again, with snowboarding it’s less painful as you get better, but at any rate…

What was surprising, however, was how exhausting it was. We’d play two 10 minute games followed by a “five minute break” that usually wound up being more like 15-20 minutes. But by the end of those two games, I was beyond exhausted.

From all of the running, hiding, squatting, crawling, and shooting — it’s a tiring effort. Worst of all, though, is the adrenaline. Your heart is racing the entire time as your basically playing for “your life.”

Not to under-value what our troops are doing in Iraq or Afghanistan, but it really gave me a small sense of what it must be like to be in a war zone. The main difference, of course, is that they’re not shooting paint. Thoughts of Iraq, Vietnam, World War II and other wars came to mind as I exited the playing field so out exhausted that I could barely hold my gun above my head as to indicate that I was “dead.”

I now understand what basic training is all about — and more so, I have a new understanding of the term “War is Hell.”

Trust me… it’ll work!

Last night, President Bush addressed the nation for the first time in several months, carrying a stern message about the dangers of the economy. He explained that if the $7B bailout plan was not carried out immediately that our economy would “experience a long and painful recession.”

This is the first time that the President has spoken any negative words about the economy and yet, for some reason, we’re supposed to take his word for it. He’s done such a magnificent job of managing the other crises faced by the country, let’s check out his track record:

How can we trust someone who thinks kittens are an American delicacy?
How can we trust someone who thinks kittens are an American delicacy?
  • 9/11: The President failed to act on intelligence reporting that a serious attack with airplanes would take place on American soil.
  • Afghanistan: After said attack, the President attacks Afghanistan citing that “we will chase them out of their caves” — only to let Osama Bin Laden get away.
  • Iraq: The President then manages to convince the country that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that we would need to attack… swiftly.
  • Katrina: The President let the city of New Orleans drown while he watched from the sidelines.
  • Housing Crisis: In March, when the banks and mortgage companies started to fail and people were not able to make their mortgage payments, the President ensured the country that the economy was in great shape!

He’s done such a great job managing all of these past major crises throughout his term — does he really believe that now is the time to start trusting him?

Mixing it up

So, I’ve been meaning to give The Diatribe a bit of a makover for a while now.. Last night, I happened to be reading some of my feeds and I happened to come across a neat new type of theme known as “Magazine” style.

I liked the style and figured I’d use one of the pre-made templates and tweak it to be a little more diatribe-style. I can always revert back to the Diatribe 2.0, but I figured I’d give this one a shot for a bit and see how it works.

Feel free to leave some feedback and let me know what you think!

Stress Factors

I really hate to dwell on the political topic, but The Diatribe is meant as a way to express your opinion or just rant — so, for those that don’t like it, take a hike and go read something you might find more interesting.

I’m stressed out and it’s politics that is causing it. I’ve told Miss Possible that I feel as though I’m one of those crotchety old men who says that they have given up on following politics, it as aggravates their blood pressure. This really is the case with me. It gets me so angry and so worked up to see how John McCain and his lying, evolution-hating, uneducated, book banning running mate from the middle of nowhere are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people yet again.

Though, maybe it’s not the Republican candidates that I should be frustrated with, but rather the sheer stupidity of the American people. Do you REALLY think that a McCain-Palin presidency will be that much different from the last 8 years? It won’t.

The Clinton administration gave rise to the greatest economy I’ve seen in my lifetime. People had jobs. People were happy. The Bush administration has been riddled with corruption, scandal, and economic collapse.  I’m not implying that Obama will be able to do the same job as Clinton — I have no idea.. but I can tell you that he will do a much better job than McCain.

Palin is an idiot. And it’s clear to me that the American people think that she’s something special, because McCain seems to be climbing in the polls since he’s brought her along.

America needs to regain its respect in the world. John McCain, being the age that he is, frightens me that Palin will be in the hotseat before too long.. and this is something we cannot afford to have happen.

I feel I’ve done all I can within reason. I’ve donated to the Obama campaign. I’ve put up banners on the site. I’m going to vote. But, apart from that, living in the great state of California (where people understand where I’m coming from already) — most of this is out of my hands and it’s so please.. go out and vote… please…

9/11

Hard to believe it’s been 7 years.  I was just a young 24-year-old kid when America was under attack.  I remember every detail of that day vividly.  I woke up in the morning just like every other work day.  I drove north on Route 93 just like I had been doing all summer.  Just as I hit Somerville and the Schraft’s building, Howard Stern and the gang broke the news of the plane hitting the first tower.  They, and most of the Western world, thought it was just an accident, so they treated it lightly.  By the time I reached my office, the second plane had struck and the world knew it was no accident.  We all changed that day.  It was my generation’s JFK and RFK rolled into one.  I’ll never forget where I was, who I was with, who I called, and what I did that day.  It was all a blur, but it’s remained crystal clear in my memory.  I ended 9/11/01 by driving straight to my precinct voting station and voting in that year’s local primaries.  It was my way of using citizenry to not let the terrorists win.  Each year, on each successive anniversary of 9/11, we cope a little better, we get a little bit more normal, we get on with our lives as usual, but we always remember.  Here’s to hoping that we’ll always remember, but we’ll always remember to not let the terrorists win.

Overheard at Work

“So, my daughter is going into the third grade this year and guess what they’re teaching her… Cursive! Who the hell writes in Cursive?! What a useless skill. It’d be so much more valuable if they taught them all how to set up WordPress or something useful!”

More Politics

I don’t mean to continue on the political rants, but it’s an important subject — especially this time of year. Now that both parties have had a chance to say their peace on the national stage, let’s take a look at who said what. The NYTimes put together a great diagram highlighting the frequency of words used during all of the speeches.

It’s interesting to hear the Republicans talk about change in one setence and then continued by saying that “his party was elected to change Washington, but that they let Washington change them.” It’s all the same. McCain = Bush. Face it.