Saturday, March 08, 2014

At last

For various reasons, including overall governmental slowness, the best NCO in Illinois took a little extra time being promoted to the top spot.  I present to you, Command Sergeant Major Mark Bowman, Illinois State Sergeant Major:

Want to see a few qualifications?  How about a whole bunch...

CSM Bowman enlisted in the Army in October 1979 as a tank driver. He attended basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. CSM Bowman served overseas in Germany for nearly four years. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2004 to 2005 and again with the 33rd IBCT as part of Task Force Phoenix in 2008 to 2009.
CSM Bowman has held various positions throughout his career, including: tank commander, K Troop, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Calvary Regiment; tank commander, senior tank commander and senior drill sergeant, Company C, 3rd Squadron, 337th Armor Regiment, 85th Division; platoon sergeant and first sergeant, Battery C, 2-202nd Air Defense Artillery (ADA), 35th Division; first sergeant, Battery H, 2-202nd ADA, 256th Brigade Combat Team; first sergeant, Battery D, 2-202nd ADA; first sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2-202nd ADA; command sergeant major, 2-202nd ADA; command sergeant major, Task Force Eagle Bagram, Afghanistan, 33rd Area Support Group; command sergeant major, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment; command sergeant major, 33rd IBCT, and most recently the command sergeant major of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix VIII Kabul, Afghanistan and Illinois Land Component Command Sergeant Major
CSM Bowman's military awards and decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal (2nd Award), Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd award), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (5th Award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Afghanistan Campaign Medal( 2nd star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (�M� and Silver Hourglass Devices and Numeral 2), NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 4), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 3), Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, NATO Medal (ISAF), Drivers Badge-Track, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, German Marksmanship Badge (Bronze), French Military Defense Medal (Silver).
Yeah, finally the right Soldier in the right job!

Here is how I first remember the CSM (Charikar, AF 2004)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ludophilia IV!

Northern Illinois' best gaming convention is set and scheduled - find the details HERE

Friday, February 14, 2014

Take V-Day Like a Man

Speaking of love, Happy St. Valentine's Day.

Head on over to Illini6 for my suggestions for manly romances and let me know which ones you prefer.
You mean Inner Prop is going to show me a better way to get the girl, I accept


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fun with an insurance commercial

No, it is not "Mayhem" or the gecko. Zurich Insurance has a new advertising campaign "For those who truly love"...

Here is a Swiss commercial I found quite amusing - sorry about the German, but it starts "No love" then "Some love" then "True love"... "You love ice hockey, so do we"  "Zurich Insurance, Official Sponsor of Swiss Ice Hockey".

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good Luck "reconciling" with these scum

OK, Mr. Karzai - here is who you are trying to make good with.  I am sure all will go well.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Neal Stephenson passage

I am not sure why this amuses me so much, but in Neal Stepheson's "Quicksilver" William Penn addresses a character, Daniel Waterhouse thusly

I am chagrined, appalled, mortified that you are here! You are not welcome, Brother Daniel, you are a problem, and obstacle, and if I were not a pacifist I would beat you to death with a rock.

Probably just the image of a Quaker saying that does the trick.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Whither this blog?

The Inner Prop is the only other person who has contributed to what once was a group blog.  Some dropped out, some have more or less transitioned to Facebook or other sites to post photos, links, commentary.

I will leave this up, so as to preserve what I have done in the early years, but what to do going forward?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Winner! I'm a Winner!

I wrote over 50,000 words into a novel from November 1st until today!

This was my 6th attempt and 4th win.

The key now is to edit it from terrible first draft to sell-able final draft.

My goal is to do that by April.

Oh, it's called Hidden Temple to the Lost Gods.


Friday, November 01, 2013

Kαλό μήνα, I Could Use a Good Month

I started my next novel.  I've finished some other ones, and they aren't very good.  Here's hoping I can finish this one by the end of the month and I hope it's a good one.

Wish me καλό μήνα (good month) because I think I'm going to need it.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Oxi Day!

On 28 October 1940 the Greek Prime Minister told Mussolini to go pound sand.

The way I figure it "Oxi" ranks right up there with "Nuts!" as the greatest surrender response in history.



Saturday, October 19, 2013

8 Year Long Quest Complete!

Thanks to the good Command Sergeant Major's diligent watch, the long Afghan Tea Quest is over!  Alokozay Tea is available in the US...ahhh!  Thank you Tony's Finer Food.

Don't forget to add a dash of cardamom.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Not a Cheese Castle in Sight

I'm working outside the country for a while.  Can you guess where?
Hint:  that's the Indian Ocean
Check out Illini6 and / or Flowers of Mundelein for more info.


Monday, September 02, 2013

Illinois RFC Old Boy's 2013

This was the 50th Anniversary of the Illinois Men's Rugby Football Club. Largest turnout I have ever seen (I started playing in year 26 of the Club's history).  I managed to escape with only mild injury - a big improvement from the past two years!

Here is some of what it looked like:

You do feel it when a 19-20 year old tackles you head on...

They finally designed a rugby ball even I won't drop!

Mid to late 1980s ILRFC alumni

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Aaaah! Vultures!!

Yikes....turkey vultures circling over Castle Rock, on the Rock River.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spackle for Blackhawk?

Blackhawk still has it...but I think a bit of patching is in order.  Should you want to check it out yourself, look here.  Oh, and if you are in the area, and don't mind a bit of the fruit of the vine - stop in here.  I recommend the Chambourcin and Chardonel.  Oh, and if you like drive-in...try here. Don't forget to ask about the 1 lbs soft pretzel and try the root beer...
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