The Bow-Tied Blogger

The life and adventures of one soldier and his various journeys.

  Monday, April 30, 2007

Readings for April

I know I have two reviews for March pending, but for now, I will add my roundup of books for the month of April:

Judaism for Dummies

Homeward Bound

What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism

What Would Machiavelli Do?


Books for April: 5
Total for 2007: 18

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  Sunday, April 29, 2007

Slight update for now.

My time has been going great. I have purchased a new laptop for my upcoming deployment, so my computer troubles are less. I also spent Friday with the beautiful, witty, and highly intelligent Irina the armed.

My plan is to teach history and Ft Hamilton is an excellent place for a field trip. The scenery was also beautiful and I am also glad that I showed a very good friend a fun time.

That night I went to a party at RT's and stayed until midnight. Then I went back to David's and got up to go to shul with his dad. I hope we start Saturday services at Ft Hood, though there are not enough men for a minyan. However, one may be able to tell I was not raised Jewish as I actually like gefilte fish, which I enjoyed at kiddush after the service, plus I was mistaken for David as well as his brother-in-law (highly amusing as he has no sister) :)

Afterwards I had lunch with David and boarded the LIRR to RT's place where I am now. Today was spent in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens where I saw lovely cherry blossoms, as well as folk dances, and a samurai show with dancing and katana waving. For dinner I went to this wonderful Yemeni restaurant on the Upper West Side, and highly recommend it, especially for anyone not used to Sephardic or Yemeni cuisine....I always encourage diversity, plus it's kosher.

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  Monday, April 23, 2007

Well, to start my trip has been excellent, despite soem problems with my computer as it has been having this tendency to click back without me wanting it to.

So far, I have been enjoying myself immensely as I spent Friday with the most beautiful woman in the Western Hemisphere and enjoyed the campus of Fordham. I also used Baleboosteh's mandelbrot recipe for Shabbat dinner with another friend's family.

Saturday I went to shul with friend's father and was calledup to aaliyah, but I'm not Jewish yet, so no Torah reading....yet!! Still I felt very honored and it was my first Saturday service.

On Sunday I visited my aunt and spent the evening with another beautiful lady and enjoyed a kosher sushi place in the Upper West Side as well as a grocery store that can compete with suburban prices.

Monday I enjoyed the sights of Boro Park, Brooklyn as well as venturing into Long Island City and Park Slope.

Due to the fickle nature of my computer here, pictures will wait until I return to the black pit of Killeeen, but I will add pics and commentary.

Also, for the JIBs, I have voted for and fully endorse the following bloggers:


Best Right Wing Political Blog
Best Student/Student Life Blog

I'd also addmost beautiful and ideal to spend a day with, but no such category exists.

Mr. Bagel

Best New Blog
Best Designed Blog
Best of the Rest
Best Overall Blog


Best Photo/Graphics Blog
Best Personal Blog

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  Thursday, April 19, 2007

Today was a fun and exploratory day. I traveled through Roosevelt Island and grabbed the bull by the horns (and balls) downtown with RT, and we saw the Museum of Jewish Heritage, along with going to a great Italian restauarant. For now, I am off to bed, and I will add more about my adventures in New York City :) Pictures and descriptions coming soon.

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  Monday, April 16, 2007

Start Spreading the News.....

I'm off to New York, New York much later in the morning. It will be uplifting to my spirits to be in a real city, out of Texas, and with good friends. I have been suffering from a spell of depression, but this will provide a perfect solution, along with some St. John's wort :)

And after my time in the Army, NYC will be new home, so it is good to visit :)

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  Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It is hard to believe that I will be going to NYC in just six days. It will be a much needed break from teh spread out suburban misery of Killeen and my unit. Since I got back form WLC, I've just been in an odd state, not exactly depressed, but unmotivated. I guess that is life with me, but the weekend approaches and Monday is my last work day before I go on leave, so I shoudl feel more excited as I haven't left Texas since January, though I did get out of Killeen for Pesach.

On an unrelated note, RT was on the audience of the Colbert Report tonight, and maybe I'll see her on the show.


  Sunday, April 08, 2007

Book Review Time

First of all, I want to let Bagel Blogger know that the series I am reading is the same one and the picture of Mao, Hitler, and Stalin together is a chilling triumvirate of 20th century evil.

To Sara, feel free to email me at if you want me to pay you a visit when I'm up in NYC from Apr 17-May 3. If not, no biggie.

Now, for the review:

Colonization: Aftershocks is the conclusion of the Colonization trilogy and the second to last book of this time line. This book also reveals a huge secret. Who slaughtered the lizard ships?

Now, Shiplord Straha defected back in WWII and has been living in exile in Los Angel es. Sam Yeager has recently discovered the truth about the attack on the colonization fleet and gave Straha copies as a precaution only to be opened if Sam disappears. Sam's son is aboard a lizard ship giving lizard-raised human Kassquit adult education lessons and thoroughly enjoying them. Jonathan's girlfriend Karen will not be happy.

The Lizards have wiped the floor with Nazi Germany and forced them to grant France independence, and Lt Colonel Drucker was promoted, but also captured by the lizard ship that Jonathan and Kassquit are aboard.

Now, from back in the WorldWar series, Col Drucker was one of the men working for Col Jaeger and he in fact helped Mordecai Anielwicz in releasing him. Now, Mordecai and Drucker team up again as they search for their families after the war's end. Luckily for them, the new Fuhrer is Drucker's old Commander, and he helps both Drucker and Mordecai find their families, which they do. Also, Col Drucker is promoted again to Major General and in charge of helping to rebuild Germany.

Sam Yaeger is captured for being nosy, but his abduction prompts Straha to head off to the Lizard Consulate in Los Angeles and give Atvar the much needed information. The nation responsible for the mass murder is in fact the United States, and Earl Warren's response is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. In retaliation the lizards nuke Indianapolis and Earl Warren commits suicide.

In France, Monique is free of the SS goon, but he brother is captured by the lizards, but Monique plea bargains by acting as a historian to help the lizards, though she needs her brother to act as translator.

After Sam is released and Jonathan and his girlfriend make up and get married, Straha's driver attempts to kidnap Sam, only to be surprised by Sam speeding and colliding with a pick up truck knocking the driver unconscious, all on the way to his son's wedding.

Straha returns to live with the lizards and decides to write a book about his adventures to support himself, along with being a nuisance to Fleetlord Atvar.

Another thread involves Rance and Penny who are now in Marseilles, as well as Basil and David, along with David's cousins in Jerusalem and Jane Archibald, who was Reuven Russie's shiksa goddess girlfriend. Rance and Penny use their connections to get Basil killed so he can no longer harass David. David uses his own hand at evil by inventing furbies, while Jane moves up to Edmonton and treats David's injuries as well as marrying David's boss. Reuven menawhiel works with his dad and begins courting an attractive widow who's son is one of his patients.

This is a rough summary of what went on in Aftershocks, but only a small amount as I encourage everyone to read the series. In some ways it seems too completed, though luckily there is one more book Homeward Bound, and I will be checking that out of the library asap...well tomorrow. Once again I enjoy how the characters are interconnected and the small world effect Turtledove uses, even if it can be predictable at times.

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  Saturday, April 07, 2007

Thomas' Adventures in NCO Academy land

Well, the whole thing started one warm early morning on Mar 22. MY sponsor picks me up and I get my M16A2 rifle along with all my stuff ready for Howze Theatre. I am in processed and weighed as well as taped as I was 199 lbs, 15 lbs over the maximum weight for my height. I pass all of that and eventually head off to the Academy itself, where I meet my squad, am assigned a room and get acquainted with everything. The day ends and I am tired form lack of sleep so I get a good 5 and a half hours or so.

Friday is my first day in class, and the room is shared with another squad. I learn about leadership and prepare for my PT test the next day. Nothing significant occurs, beyond I am still very nervous and uncertain about what will come. Saturday is the same except I pass my test, so one hurdle crossed. The rest of the day focuses more and more on leadership and counseling courses, which leads into Sunday and an exam on the subjects. I pass the exam with 97.5%, but am annoyed I missed one question as I had open notes and could search through the documents containing the regulations.

For the next Monday-Thursday, I complete two more steps. I give a class on giving First Aid to a bleeding extremity and/or severed limb, as well as demonstrate a session of physical training. I do well enough on both (95%), along with demonstrating Garrison Leadership, though I did worse on that, receiving only 87%.

The next Friday proved my worst day yet as I had Land navigation, trying to find 4 points with a map and compass, yet the weather was awful and I foudn only one point, plus I got lost. Luckily that was a practice session and I passed the land navigation the next day finding all four points. That was my toughest challenge yet, but it gets tougher for me.

That Sunday until Wednesday morning, we went to the field and did combat infantry tactics. As a Finance soldier and desk jockey, this is not my strong suit. I froze up as team leader during one attack, though i was considerably better at the second chance. I received a 79% for tactical leadership which was quite low, but I passed and that was important.

My total score was 91% for the course, though I did not make the top 20%, but that is fine as I am not that good on PT or tactical stuff. The only thing I had left was the graduation and the seats were packed in, which is bad as I am somewhat claustrophobic and had a mild panic attack, but I made it through and will never have to take that course again. Now, I can be a non-commission Officer in the US Army and maybe I'll get promoted within my remaining year and a half or so, but with Finance I doubt it, but I'd enjoy the extra pay.

Not much of a description, but a brief account of the last two weeks of my life.

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  Thursday, April 05, 2007

I have just graduated from Ft Hood's Warrior Leadership Course. I am glad I completed it, but I NEVER ever want to do that again, and I mean never. I now have training to be an NCO in the US Army, and maybe I'll make Sergeant before I get out, but more on that later. For now, I am off to rest as my sleep has been reduced. More updates later.

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