October 31, 2010

Justin found and coming home (?)

Last night I finally managed to track down some information on my Silent Soldier Justin - and it looks as though his unit will be returning to the USA by the end of November. 

The information is from his Brigade's facebook page so I'm really hope that it's all of their troops coming home, and not just a few of them.

With luck he'll receive the Quackers Parcel before he heads home - their information on the "going no mail" reads
We're getting closer...November 1 is the last day to mail packages/letters to our Soldiers.

so hopefully it will make it to him in the 1 week/10 days time frame they allow.

J - if you ever read this - know that I'll continue to think of you and send the occassional prayer heavenwards that your life goes well.

October 28, 2010

Pax has gone Quackers!

Found something super-silly for Justin today.

Not sure what he'll do with them but the possibilities are endless (why yes... yes I *do* have a fertile imagination - thank you for noticing :D)
you can get them here

 And yes.. it's another parcel sent out into the ether since I'm still not quite sure if Justin is receiving anything.  I guess if I see a weird news report about "Talib claim Alliance forces using weapons of Mass Duck-struction" I'll know it's made it to him.

October 23, 2010

Pax confused...

Wait! What!! - when did it suddenly become the end of October?!?

I am woefully behind on *everything* and just realised that I should have started working out the adoptee's Christmas stockings at least a month ago :(  [advanced planning required if you're half a world away from where things have to be shipped to]

Sadly this year I can't afford to treat every one's team with stockings (It was lots of fun last year but the postage costs alone were staggering - Team DarkSide Cookies are both having to watch our pennies a bit more carefully this year). I think we supplied about 26 or so stockings - full of both Aussie & USA treats - and loved every minute of the plotting.  [Team DSC consists of myself and the Fabulous Vicki in California who took delivery of everything, sorted it out into stockings, added lots of extra goodies and then shipped it all out. She's amazing! :)]

And I'm sure I read somewhere online that the "Guaranteed to deliver to troops for Christmas" deadline was earlier this year (sometime in November?!?) - still trying to remember where I saw that so I can go back and check.


So... utterly unorganised... lacking in clues... the Boys sure are gonna be *surprised* this year :D.

Hmm.. maybe I can see if Amazon will ship small Christmas trees for me? that would be a starting point (often I get the whole "will not ship to that address" problem - meaning they realise it's going out of country via a military address and won't allow it due to liability clauses. May need to re-route to an assistant for resending... OOOH VICKI!!!!! :D)

October 20, 2010

Pax annoyed

Sorry for the delay in posting - it's taken me a little while to work out how to discuss this incident without including any rude words.

A few of you might know that I play an online multi-player computer game. Social interactions there can run from dealing with nice, kind people to avoiding the utter idiots. Keep in mind that it's a world-wide game where people from any country can belong to different servers. Our local server is predominantly Australian / New Zealand due to the local time zone factor (if you play within your own time zone you have more players online at your shared night time etc) however shift workers or insomniacs (that'd be me) sometimes play on international realms to suit their own quirky time patterns*.

In the game itself you can belong to a "guild" - basically a (hopefully) like minded group of people sharing the fun and helping each other out.

So just recently I was in a 10 person group when the leader was called away unexpectedly for work ( no big deal really - it happens to most of us at one time or another since we all have Real Life obligations, so for most of the players it was a "see you next time, take care" situation). One of the group was less polite and asked what sort of work he does that dared to interfere with our game time. His best friend (and workmate) replied "Oh we're in the US Army".

Cue the idiot blathering on about them being "paid to kill night and day".

Guess who saw red?

But you'll be pleased to know that I kept it polite and simply shot back a (typed) comment reading "actually (idiot's game name) - they are PROTECTING day and night".

Idiot was wise enough to type a half-@rsed apology and then go off-line before I could work out how to reach through my computer screen and beat him about the head with my mouse.

The really sad thing? - the player in the US army had obviously had this comment thrown at him before and was then surprised to have someone else stand up for him.
I haven't seen him back online since. I really hope that he'll accept the reality that there are idiots in all countries; and that it doesn't interfere with his future game enjoyment. (meanwhile the "idiot" is on my watch list - one more xenophobic asinine comment and I'll recommend that he's booted out of the guild)

And on the "would you join up" question that's thrown at me occasionally? Well.. baring the age factor (sadly the "never grow old" thing only seems to apply to vampires and Rock Stars with botox budgets) I'm not sure that I have the personality type that the military would find useful. I'm timid, docile and prone to tears if people yell at me. However I think I'd make great support staff (NATO standard coffee anyone?**) - and I deeply believe in supporting those that are brave enough to stand between me and harm*** (oh okay... I may also be admiring just how nicely they look in their uniforms too... it's a girl thing ya know)
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - Winston Churchill
*I should mention here that I'm in the middle of a move across to a USA based server. Part of the move is to deal with the weird hours I've been keeping (3 a.m... oh I'm awake *again*) - also to become part of a guild that a friend of a friend is in (it's been described as an "awesome group of ADULTS" - which is novel enough for me to want to experience it first hand. They've kindly allowed one of my characters to join them and yes - definitely Awesome so far. Now to afford to move my main characters across so I can be useful :D)

**Did you know? - The phrase "NATO Standard Coffee" is widely recognised to mean "Coffee, White with One TWO Sugars" [CORRECTED SINCE I AND EVERYONE ELSE I KNOW AGREE'S IT'S TWO]

***I also deeply believe in freedom of speech. If your arguments are well reasoned, and articulate I’ll gladly debate with you. Tell me how you feel about the ongoing military situation by all means (I may even agree with some of your points) but Don’t DON”T ever try to reason your arguments with attacks against those that are doing their sworn duty for their country. The Chain of Command requires them to follow orders. So if you feel strongly enough about changing the situation as you see it then learn how to VOTE – and do it effectively – because it’s those at the Top that call all the shots.

October 11, 2010

Warning : Musk Sticks are not for the faint of Heart

So I sent J2 a care parcel recently with some Aussie sweets and munchies in it.

Included therein was a packet of
J2 has given me permission to quote the following message he sent:-

The Must flavor Sticks were a trip i have a sensitive sense of smell so i got sick but the reaction when my buddies ate them was priceless
I'm not quite sure what "priceless" means in this situation... hopefully it doesn't translate as American Military speak for "we shall track you down and tell you awful jokes until you are sorry" (or some variation on the theme).

Bwhahaha.... next month I'll see about sending him some Vegemite

October 10, 2010

Pax is a Slacker! - updates follow...

I swear that I think to myself "I must go update my blog" and then life intervenes and I'm once again weeks away from the last post and feeling guilty [actually I do guilt really well - the nun's at my girls school *really* had an effect on me... but that's another tale]

Updates on the "Boys":

Justin *may* have been located.  Actually he may be where he's always been just that my mail is now reaching him(?)  You might recall that I had the Cunning Plan to send a small parcel to him via Amazon.com.  In the Past if I've had parcels rebound to them they have advised me promptly, so I knew that if J's parcel bounced back to them I should hear about it in 3 or so weeks from sending date.  Last week passed by and nothing received from Amazon so I'm really hoping that he got the book okay.  I've now resumed my regular letters to him in the hope they get through too - I can hope at least.

K is home on leave - happy thoughts are directed to him and his family.

C had a birthday late September. Parcel with cake in it arrived early and I remembered to think Warm, Fuzzy thoughts at him on the day [yes yes... points to the peanut gallery ... it IS a fact that so many of my normal thoughts are naturally "fuzzy" - these ones had extra fuzz applied :D]

J2 has been in touch via Facebook and Myspace (oooh social networking how I do love thee, you maketh it easy for me to know people are safe).  He's reported back on the Aussie treats he received and I'm hoping he'll let me quote his reaction to the Musk sticks :)

Oooh and I may have a guest blogger or two lined up. Kyle (he of the air force and amusing quips) has agreed to be Primo Guineus Piggus so we'll see how that goes.

In 'at home' news - work: we may be back in our library by the end of October (see my post on what happened to it here). The refit is shiny & new & utilised all of the insurance money. It's also in shades of grey, white & charcoal (dull dull dull) and we are verbotten from putting anything colourful (or interesting) on the walls or in our cubicles. I'll post photos when I get back down there.

My mum... she has been getting along okay. Remaining cheerful. They can't give her Radium treatments unfortunately (aparently you can only have one dose of those in a lifetime and since she had a cancer 20 years ago that was her 1st & only chance at that). So they are giving her some sort of oral treatment that will hopefully disperse the cancerous cells missed by the op. Time will tell how that goes.  My Middle brother Mike & his family travelled up from Sydney for a weeks long visit.  Two of my three nephews were there (the eldest had to work unfortunately) so Mum & Dad had two rambunctious teenagers (14 & 15) running about the place. They looked like they loved every minute of it.  Family lunch on the weekend (BBQ with the Men tending the flames and the women sitting & chatting - got to love tradition :D) saw all of the family gathered together for a few hours. Good to see them even if the reason to is a sad one.

It's Sunday Pm here so I need to stop larking about on the computer and go do some chores (walk to the shop in the rain for some groceries; clean the kitchen; vacuum the cat.. okay vacuum the cat FUR off of everything but idea 1 might stop the problem at the source)  No rest for the wickedly Pax.