Sweat the little stuff

I’ll start with a little background on what prompted this post. Yesterday was an especially frustrating day at work. It wasn’t so much that there was any terrible thing that happened, but it was more of the same little frustrating things. Yesterday hit some of my team members especially hard which in turn hit me hard since I’m the project manager. In reality, it’s not really any different, good or bad, than it was a few months ago, but these types of things are cumulative and at times exponential. I’ll come back to this later.

This got me thinking about how relatively little things in the past have added up to bigger things. If we look back to the events of April 19th, 1775, it could have just as easily been just another day in colonial America, but it wasn’t. Individually, the events of Lexington Green, the North Bridge, and Miriam’s Corner don’t add up to a revolution, but tensions had been building for the better part of a decade leading up to this. For years, the colonials had been dealing with and pushing back on the Intolerable Acts, and once the Regulars started the powder raids, it really kicked things up a notch. The key point here is that the events of April 19th add up to more than the sum of their parts because of all the relatively little things that preceded them.

This brings us to a question that is often asked but never answered. Where does that put us today? The truth is that we really don’t know. The colonials couldn’t have told you April 18th that tomorrow they would become Americans, and I can’t tell you today when things will change for us, but I believe that tensions are high and the powder keg is not far from being lit. Our version of the events of April 19th could be just around the corner, or it could be years away, but a relatively small chain of events could happen at any time. It could have been Ruby Ridge, Waco, or the Bundy Ranch, and it could just as easily be in my home state with the seemingly imminent passing of I-594.

My hope is that your take-away from this is that maybe we should sweat the small stuff a little more. I don’t mean you should stress about every little thing that happens, but you should be aware that those little things can add up to more than the sum of their parts. In your work life, remember that all the little things can add up be they good or bad. Saying hello to everyone and little complements can really make it a much more positive place just like the opposite is true. In the rest of your life, be just as aware of the small things because you never know what the next Miriam’s Corner is going to be. Stay vigilant and maybe sweat the little stuff a little bit more.

~BSB

On this Independence Day…

Thank’s to Alan for the new video:

See any of my previous posts for a detailed writeup. Have a safe fourth.

And as always, A Declaration…

Oh and here’s to that Fat Fuck King George, who without his tyranny this great American experiment would have never begun. This is why rebellion is in every American’s blood.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

70 Years Ago Today…

Worth a listen. Then think what it must have been like listening to it as it happened.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

Memorial Day…

Memorial day is upon us once again. Let me start by cheering the mood with a Terminal Lance.

On memorial day.

Now you might want to go over and read his post about it. Honestly his meme nails it. Along with this closing quote:

Whatever you did, I hope you enjoyed your 96 (or 72 for most civilians). If you had a barbecue and enjoyed yourself, more power to you.

For some memorial day is a much heavier time.

Luckily, not everyone has such a burden to bear. It’s part of what makes this country great, the sacrifices made so that others don’t have to. Ultimately though when it comes down to it, when the grinder is actually chewing away many of those sacrifices come about not as much for their loved ones at home but for their brothers and sisters who will gladly answer the call. Examples of this are seen all over, from the well-known Operation Red Wings, to the Battle of Takur Ghar(Roberts Ridge).

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, U.S.C., awards the Air Force Cross to TSgt John Chapman for extraordinary heroism in military operation against an armed enemy of the United States as a 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Combat Controller in the vicinity of Gardez, in the eastern highlands of Afghanistan, on 4 March 2002. On this date, during his helicopter insertion for a reconnaissance and time sensitive targeting close air support mission, Sergeant Chapman’s aircraft came under heavy machine gun fire and received a direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade which caused a United States Navy sea-air-land team member to fall from the aircraft. Though heavily damaged, the aircraft egressed the area and made an emergency landing seven kilometers away. Once on the ground Sergeant Chapman established communication with an AC-130 gunship to insure the area was secure while providing close air support coverage for the entire team. He then directed the gunship to begin the search for the missing team member. He requested, coordinated, and controlled the helicopter that extracted the stranded team and aircrew members. These actions limited the exposure of the aircrew and team to hostile fire. Without regard for his own life Sergeant Chapman volunteered to rescue his missing team member from an enemy strong hold. Shortly after insertion, the team made contact with the enemy. Sergeant Chapman engaged and killed two enemy personnel. He continued to advance reaching the enemy position then engaged a second enemy position, a dug-in machine gun nest. At this time the rescue team came under effective enemy fire from three directions. From close range he exchanged fire with the enemy from minimum personal cover until he succumbed to multiple wounds. His engagement and destruction of the first enemy position and advancement on the second position enabled his team to move to cover and break enemy contact. In his own words, his Navy sea-air-land team leader credits Sergeant Chapman unequivocally with saving the lives of the entire rescue team. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, and the dedication to the service of his country, Sergeant Chapman reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Ahh, but there was more than just Chapman doing things for his brothers on the ridge that day.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, U.S.C., awards the Air Force Cross to Senior Airman Jason D. Cunningham for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as a pararescueman near the village of Marzak in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan on 4 March 2002. On that proud day, Airman Cunningham was the primary Air Force Combat Search and Rescue medic assigned to a Quick Reaction Force tasked to recover two American servicemen evading capture in austere terrain occupied by massed Al Qaida and Taliban forces. Shortly before landing, his MH-47E helicopter received accurate rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire, severely disabling the aircraft and causing it to crash land. The assault force formed a hasty defense and immediately suffered three fatalities and five critical casualties. Despite effective enemy fire, and at great risk to his own life, Airman Cunningham remained in the burning fuselage of the aircraft in order to treat the wounded. As he moved his patients to a more secure location, mortar rounds began to impact within fifty feet of his position. Disregarding this extreme danger, he continued the movement and exposed himself to enemy fire on seven separate occasions. When the second casualty collection point was also compromised, in a display of uncommon valor and gallantry, Airman Cunningham braved an intense small arms and rocket-propelled grenade attack while repositioning the critically wounded to a third collection point. Even after he was mortally wounded and quickly deteriorating, he continued to direct patient movement and transferred care to another medic. In the end, his distinct efforts led to the successful delivery of ten gravely wounded Americans to life-saving medical treatment. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, and in the dedication of his service to his country, Senior Airman Cunningham reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Every man on that mountain was there to find their brother. Many volunteered knowing exactly how bad the situation was. Because they were not going to leave their brother behind. We see it over and over in the citations from SDVT-1.

For extraordinary heroism in actions against the enemy while serving in a four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Naval Special Warfare Task unit, Afghanistan from 27 to 28 June 2005. Petty Officer Dietz demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. Operating in the middle of an enemy-controlled area, in extremely rugged terrain, his Special Reconnaissance element was tasked with locating a high-level Anti-Coalition Militia leader, in support of a follow-on direct action mission to disrupt enemy activity. On 28 June 2005, the element was spotted by Anti-Coalition Militia sympathizers, who immediately revealed their position to the militia fighters. As a result, the element directly encountered the enemy. Demonstrating exceptional resolve and fully understanding the gravity of the situation and his responsibility to his teammates, Petty Officer Dietz fought valiantly against the numerically superior and positionally advantaged enemy force. Remaining behind in a hailstorm of enemy fire, Petty Officer Dietz was wounded by enemy fire. Despite his injuries, he bravely fought on, valiantly defending his teammates and himself in a harrowing gunfight, until he was mortally wounded. By his undaunted courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and absolute devotion to his teammates, Petty Officer Dietz will long be remembered for the role he played in the Global War on Terrorism. Petty Officer Dietz’ courageous and selfless heroism, exceptional professional skill, and utmost devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for the cause of freedom.

The song sung is not really for the people behind them but for their brothers and sisters on their left and right. That is why they keep going back and will go through hell to get them.

For extraordinary heroism in actions against the enemy while serving in a four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Naval Special Warfare Task unit, Afghanistan from 27 to 28 June 2005. Petty Officer Axelson demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. Operating in the middle of an enemy-controlled area, in extremely rugged terrain, his Special Reconnaissance element was tasked with locating a high-level Anti-Coalition Militia leader, in support of a follow-on direct action mission to disrupt enemy activity. On 28 June 2005, the element was spotted by Anti-Coalition Militia sympathizers, who immediately revealed their position to the militia fighters. As a result, the element directly encountered the enemy. Demonstrating exceptional resolve and fully understanding the gravity of the situation, Petty Officer Axelson’s element bravely engaged the militia, who held both a numerical and positional advantage. The ensuing firefight resulted in numerous enemy personnel killed, with several of the Navy members suffering casualties. Ignoring his injuries and demonstrating exceptional composure, Petty Officer Axelson advised the teammate closest to him to escape while he provided cover fire. With total disregard for his own life and thinking only of his teammate’s survival, he continued to attack the enemy, eliminating additional militia fighters, until he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. A champion of freedom, Petty Officer Axelson will be remembered for his self-sacrificing actions in the continuing Global War on Terrorism. By his undaunted courage, fortitude under fire, and unwavering dedication to duty, Petty Officer Axelson reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for the cause of freedom.

They think not of themselves but of others.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as the leader of a special reconnaissance element with Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005. While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphy’s team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers, who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four-member team. Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing fierce firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of the team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates. Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain, and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team. In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

They do it without hesitation knowing that their brothers would do the same, and that no matter what their blood and bond will not be broken.

So, this memorial day, have a BBQ, celebrate with friends, and don’t mourn. In the words of George S. Patton,

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

Independence Day…

I’ve written about Independence Day many times before.  Honestly, go take a peek at those posts if you haven’t read them before.

It’s not the 4th of July, well it is literally, but it’s our Independence Day.  That is what we are celebrating, not just some random day of the year.  I don’t celebrate the 4th of July, I celebrate our Independence.  I celebrate the men who in that Continental Congress that hot July 2nd 1776 voted unanimously to declare the following:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Re-read that last sentence and let that sink in for a a second.  These men were committing treason according to the British crown.  Those men had we lost would have been hung for what they did.  One man’s riot is another man’s rebellion.  It is important that we all remember those facts.

As you celebrate our Independent with family and friends today, don’t forget about those men who took the ultimate risk to secure your liberty, both then and now.  At the same time, you might want to ask yourself, “When was the last time I took a risk to preserve the liberty of myself and my country men.”  Currently there is a man on the run who exposed a serious overreach by our government.  Many in that government have called him a traitor.  He gave up everything to expose the wrong our government was doing.

I know for the most part with this last statement I’m mostly preaching to the choir, but when was the last time you were politically active and engaged?  When was the last time you contacted your legislators and expressed your opinions in an effort to make them represent you instead of themselves? When was the last time you spend researching a political topic and didn’t just trust the media for the information on the subject?  When was the last time you shared the skill, joy, and freedom that comes with firearms with someone else? All of those items merely require the sacrifice of time, nothing more.  If we aren’t careful though and we don’t start fighting back hard, the sacrifices that will have to be made in the name of liberty and freedom will be considerably higher and more costly.

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."

And given the day, you should at least watch this once…

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

Memorial Day…

There are hundreds of thousands of stories.  All evoke different emotions. 

Creek_TE_USMCFor conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with Company 1 in action against enemy forces. L/Cpl. Creek’s squad was providing security for a convoy moving to resupply the Vandegrift Command Base when an enemy command detonated mine destroyed 1 of the vehicles and halted the convoy near the Cam Lo Resettlement Village. Almost immediately, the marines came under a heavy volume of hostile mortar fire followed by intense small-arms fire from a well-concealed enemy force. As his squad deployed to engage the enemy, L/Cpl. Creek quickly moved to a fighting position and aggressively engaged in the fire fight. Observing a position from which he could more effectively deliver fire against the hostile forces. he completely disregarded his own safety as he fearlessly dashed across the fire-swept terrain and was seriously wounded by enemy fire. At the same time, an enemy grenade was thrown into the gully where he had fallen, landing between him and several companions. Fully realizing the inevitable results of his action, L/Cpl. Creek rolled on the grenade and absorbed the full force of the explosion with his body, thereby saving the lives of 5 of his fellow marines. As a result of his heroic action, his men were inspired to such aggressive action that the enemy was defeated and the convoy was able to continue its vital mission. L/Cpl. Creek’s indomitable courage, inspired the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

While many would focus on the tragedy of the loss of life, and it is a tragedy.  I am thankful that so many such men and women have graced our armed forces. That such men and women have lived.   It’s the stories which live on and act as an inspiration to others to achieve greatness.

Here’s another good one:

3481Specialist Four Leslie H. Sabo Jr. distinguished himself by conspicuous acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his own life while serving as a rifleman in Company B, 3d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in Se San, Cambodia, on May 10, 1970. On that day, Specialist Four Sabo and his platoon were conducting a reconnaissance patrol when they were ambushed from all sides by a large enemy force. Without hesitation, Specialist Four Sabo charged an enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers. Immediately thereafter, he assaulted an enemy flanking force, successfully drawing their fire away from friendly soldiers and ultimately forcing the enemy to retreat. In order to re-supply ammunition, he sprinted across an open field to a wounded comrade. As he began to reload, an enemy grenade landed nearby. Specialist Four Sabo picked it up, threw it, and shielded his comrade with his own body, thus absorbing the brunt of the blast and saving his comrade’s life. Seriously wounded by the blast, Specialist Four Sabo nonetheless retained the initiative and then single-handedly charged an enemy bunker that had inflicted severe damage on the platoon, receiving several serious wounds from automatic weapons fire in the process. Now mortally injured, he crawled towards the enemy emplacement and, when in position, threw a grenade into the bunker. The resulting explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Specialist Four Sabo’s life. His indomitable courage and complete disregard for his own safety saved the lives of many of his platoon members. Specialist Four Sabo’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness, above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company B, 3d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, and the United States Army.

Who’s story are you remembering today?

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

Some Historical Context…

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Most would say that’s just your standard political ploy… And they would be right, mastered through the ages by previous despots.

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How important is this principal for this type of political game?  It’s so important that Hitler inscribed it in Mein Kampf:

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people.”

-Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Publ. Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

While what we have heard today so far on the executive order is by no means life shattering, we must remain ever vigilant as this is by no means a guarantee we’re out of the woods.  Doubly so since he pointed to congress to do more.

As Joe said yesterday, you should be afraid and the hair should be standing up on the back of your neck.

As a buddy of mine said:

The Taliban aren’t the only people who use human shields.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

Seventy One Years Ago

In case you don’t immediately understand I will let someone who has a much better way with words than myself explain it.

And then you see her on the port quarter, what little there is to see of her above the water from an acute angle: The number 3 barbette of the USS Arizona, the watery graveyard of 1100 men and a mute testament both to perfidy and unpreparedness. Sixty-odd years after she went down, little rainbow pools of oil still bubble to the surface from within trapped spaces and voids, footless passageways embracing the mouldering bones of sailors whose names are known but to God. The old salts say that these are her tears of rage and anguish, her tears of loss and bereavement. They say that she is weeping. They say that she is weeping still.

Go read the whole thing, it’s definitely worth the time.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.