Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fitness Week 8 (Pre-Basic Training) 37 Days until Basic

Week 8: Weight = 189.6
Sun: a day of rest
Mon: Weight lifting (arms), Sit-ups 1 x 30 reps & a 2-mile run on treadmill 16:28
Tue: Push-ups 2 x 30 reps, Sit-ups 2 x 30 reps
Wed: Sit-ups 1 x 30 reps & 2-mile run on treadmill 15:55
Thurs: a day of rest
Fri: Push-ups 1 x 30
Sat: a day of rest

Notes: This week I have lightened up once again so I can do my Month 2 assessment.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another Movie Night (Pre-Basic Training) 14 Days until Basic

Tonight’s movie continued on the military theme that I have been on. This movie was quite a bit different than all the others though, it was a comedy. I’ll admit I’m a big fan of stupid comedies. I don’t expect much from them except a good laugh every now and then. Tonight’s movie “Delta Farce” was no exception. It will not go down as a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it did make me laugh a few times. Larry the Cable Guy and a few of his buddies are in the reserves and get called up for duty in Iraq, but mistakenly get dropped in Mexico while they are asleep. Very unrealistic, but if you like the red neck humor jokes and stupid comedy it is mildly entertaining. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fitness Week 7 (Pre-Basic Training) 44 Days until Basic

Week 7: Weight = 189.4
Sun: a day of rest (Valentine’s day get-a-way)
Mon: a day of rest (Valentine’s day get-a-way)
Tue: Push-ups 4 x 25 reps, Sit-ups 4 x 25 reps
Wed: Sit-ups 1 x 25 reps & 2-mile run on treadmill 16:42
Thurs: Push-ups 4 x 25 reps, Sit-ups 4 x 25 reps
Fri: 1-mile run 7:34
Sat: a day of rest

Notes: This last weekend I took my wife to Seattle for a Valentine’s day and an early anniversary celebration. I will be in basic training during our actual anniversary, so I thought it would be nice to get out and do something fun together. The weekend involved a lot of eating and a lot of relaxing, so this week I’m hoping to just get back on track. Next week I am hoping to make some better progress.

On Friday I ended up only running one mile. On my way to the YMCA I got called back into work to fix a problem… and then another. Such is the life of the "I.T. Guy", when something breaks you have to drop everything and get it fixed. By the time I made it back to the Y my time was getting limited, so I thought I would just run a quick mile. I started off way too slow and by the time I increased the speed enough the mile was over. The good thing is that I know I can do much faster than 7:34. I had plenty of energy left. My fastest mile ever was in high school where I ran 6:00, I wonder if I could come close to that now?


you may not remember this, but i once watched you run a 2:18 half mile in track, we were at Orting high school, and Pugh asked you to run the half mile!(and u hated running hah!) I won the the 2mile that day(of course..) and you buddy placed 5th in the half mile! amazing! good ol dayz..

Saturday, May 1, 2010 - 10:20 PM

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Recruiter a No Go (Pre-Basic Training) 45 Days until Basic

Wasn’t able to make it to the recruiter today for our bi-weekly check in. My boss is on vacation and I have to cover his Friday shift, or at least most of it. The recruiter had no problem with this and just told me to come back in two weeks. I have been diligently studying the items I should know so far. I believe I have it all down pretty well. I also finished another online course in the Future Soldier Training System (FSTS). This course was on rank structure and I was able to pass that with 100%. 
Speaking of rank structure I am hoping that after I’m in a while I can become a Warrant Officer. I’ll have to do some more checking on what exactly I need to do, but it is an option in my MOS. Warrant Officer’s are kind of in-between enlisted and commissioned officers. Their pay is better and from what I’ve read, they get to do more of the technical stuff. I’ll definitely be checking into that once I’m in and settled down for a while.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fitness Week 6 (Pre-Basic Training) 51 Days until Basic

Week 6: Weight = 189
Sun: a day of rest (Superbowl!!)
Mon: Weight lifting (shoulders) Sit-ups 2 x 25 reps, 2-mile run on treadmill 17:35
Tue: Push-ups 4 x 25 reps, Sit-ups 4 x 25 reps
Wed: Weight lifting (Chest) Sit-ups 2 x 25 reps, 2-mile run on treadmill 16:54
Thurs: 2-mile run on treadmill 16:49
Fri: Push-ups 1 x 25 reps, Sit-ups 1 x 25 reps
Sat: a day of rest

Felt pretty sick on Monday morning (may have been something I ate the day before at the Superbowl party. Felt a little better later in the day, but the run was very tough.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Commander, A Chihuahua, and the McDLT (Pre-Basic Training) 54 Days until Basic

 The McDLT was sold in a novel form of packaging where the meat and bottom half of the bun was prepared separately from the lettuce, tomato, American cheese, pickles, sauces, and top half of the bun and both were then packaged into a specially designed two-sided container. 

The recruiters asked me if I could come in today at 4PM. Their boss, who is the commander of the region was coming in and needed to meet with all the future soldiers. I arrived to the recruiter’s office and after a few moments all the other future soldiers where there. There were 6 of us total, 5 guys and 1 girl all ranging from 19 to me. The commander came in and I saw she was a captain, following her was a little Chihuahua dog with an army sweater on. (it had the rank of a sergeant major on it… lol). I expected the recruiter and everyone to be a little tense because there was now an officer in the room, but it was all pretty laid back. We each introduced ourselves and when it was the youngest guy’s turn, he introduced himself and what his interests were. The recruiter chimed in “and he likes gay porn”. That got a chuckle out of everyone.
Next she went over a question sheet that each of us needed to fill out and sign. It had a number of questions like “Have you become pregnant?”, “Do you have any new injuries?”, “Do you have any new tattoos?” etc. A number of questions to make sure there nothing to delay us shipping out. She also asked if we had any questions about anything. She wanted to make sure we were all progressing in our learning before basic. She asked what a couple of the ranks were. When asking what one gold bar is a guy stated correctly that it was 2nd lieutenant. She let us know that we should always call them mam or sir… or depending on the situation LT, but never butter bar. The recruiter then added “or we can just call them McDLT.” Only me and one other recruit even knew what he was talking about. I had to explain to the captain that it was a McDonald's hamburger back in the day “where the hot stays hot and the cool stays cool” because it was served separated, and the customer put it together. Nobody knew what the heck I was talking about. They all looked at me like I was crazy when I was explaining to them how it was served in two pieces. Funny how things change as time goes by and new generations arrive.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fitness Week 5 (Pre-Basic Training) 58 Days until Basic

Weight =192.4*
Sun: Month 1 Assessment
Mon: Weight lifting (arms & chest) Push-ups 1 x 25 reps, Sit-ups 3 x 25 reps 
Tue: Push-ups 4 x 25 reps, Sit-ups 4 x 25 reps
Wed: Sit-ups 2 x 25, Weight lifting (back) and 2-mile run on treadmill 16:11
Thurs: Sit-ups 1x25, 2-mile run on treadmill 16:10
Fri: a day of rest
Sat: a day of rest

*Either I’m gaining a lot of muscle, or I need to stop eating all the chocolate covered pretzels and oatmeal cookies that have been around the house.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Recruiter Check In (Pre-Basic Training) 59 Days until Basic

It was time again for my bi-weekly check-in with the recruiter today. When I arrived at the office there was a guy who was hoping to join, but he was just too heavy according to the charts. They did some measurements on him to check his body fat because you can be over the weight limits as long as your body fat is under a certain percentage. This makes sense because a guy who is all muscle may be over the official weight limit, but that shouldn’t stop him from joining. So they sent this guy off and told him to start losing weight.
It was now my turn. They first quizzed me on military time with a few questions like how would you say 3:45 at night… 15:45. That was fairly easy, but it’s not automatic yet. I still have to think on a couple of them.  Next quiz was on ranks. I would say I have them about 90% down. I get tripped up with a couple of the sergeants, but that is about all. Last thing they quizzed me on were the army’s 3 general orders. I have number 1 and 2 down, but number 3 always gives me trouble. I can never remember the whole thing, I may have to write it down a few times until it gets ingrained into my head.
Army General Order #3
“I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions, to the commander of the relief.”
The last thing we went over was how to stand at attention, saluting, parade rest, at ease, right face, left face and about face. Those will all take some practice for it to feel normal. It felt a little funny standing there in the middle of the office in my civilian clothes saluting and standing at attention. Even the recruiter kept smiling as he was giving me the orders. 
They also asked how my fitness training was going and they seemed pleased with the progress I’ve made so far.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cyber Squad Chat (Pre-Basic Training) 62 Days until Basic

Tonight I was invited to a “Cyber Chat” with other “future soldiers” that are all in the same 25 series of MOS (job type … or Military Occupation Specialty) that I’ll be doing. The 25 series of jobs in the army are all in the signal (communications) field. I will be a 25B (Information Technology Specialist), but there are a number of other specialties such as 25F (Network), 25S (Satellite), and even 25M (Multimedia Illustrator)
There were around 25 people logged into the chat along with a moderator. The chat took me a bit to get into. It didn’t seem to want to work at all in either Firefox or Safari (the Mac web browsers that I normally use). I fired up my Parallels program so I could launch Windows XP and then tried using Internet Explorer. At first it didn’t work with it, but I realized I didn’t have java installed on my Windows session. So I after I installed java, I was finally able to join the chat a little late. Once I was in, it was a little hard to keep up with all the chatting going on. Looks like there were people from all over the US. Most of the chatters were younger (as expected) in the 17 to 24 age range. There was a 34 year old and even a 38 year old, so surprisingly I wasn’t the oldest. There was one quote I thought was pretty funny, a guy said, “I’m not looking forward to shaving my facial hair. I have an epic beard going on. My recruiter calls me baby Jesus”
I also ran across some training on the future soldiers website. It’s full of stuff that we will need to know before we get to basic training. I should have checked out this site a little earlier. After the chat was finished, I went through two of the training sessions and took the tests after. I scored 100% on military time (pretty easy). I then scored a 90% on the phonetic alphabet. The phonetic alphabet uses entire words to replace letters. This keeps any misunderstanding from happening. For instance instead of saying a letter B or P they say “bravo” or “papa”. The only reason I missed one is because for “X” I spelled it X-Ray instead of X-ray. I’ll be taking more of the mini training sessions soon.

what website did you use to test yourself on the phonetic alphabet? please and thank you

Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 06:02 PM


I actually used a piece of paper that my recruiter gave me. It had the basics on it like ranks and the phonetic alphabet. But that is a good idea, I'll have to add that to my website. Give me a few days and I'll put it on my Misc Links page.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 09:23 PM

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2 Months To Go! (Pre-Basic Training) 63 Days until Basic

It’s hard to believe that I only have 2 months to go. It still doesn’t feel real. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s basic training journals (click here to see a list) to help me get a better idea of what it will be like. I have also been trying to keep on top of studying the army rank structure for officers and enlisted, memorizing the general orders and the other items that I’m supposed to know before I head out to basic. 
We had an open house yesterday, so we cleaned up and took the dog out. Our realtor said there were a few people who came by to look at the place and one realtor who brought another person. Hopefully one of them really liked the place. I would love to get that financial burden off our shoulders as soon as possible. The housing market (and the economy in general) are still not doing well. Our city just came out on a report by CNN called “America’s Most Overvalued Cities” It goes on to state that our housing market is 28.9% overvalued. Unfortunately we cannot sell our house for too much less than we are asking, especially not 29%. We cannot let it go into foreclosure either because I will have secret clearance for my job. If I have a foreclosure or other bad credit issues there is a chance I could lose my clearance. The only other option if it doesn’t sell is to rent it out once I get a permanent station. I dread the thought of being a landlord. Too soon to get worried yet, but it’s hard to not to think about it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fitness: Month 1 Assessment (Pre-Basic Training) 64 Days until Basic

In order to pass basic I need to score at least a 50 in each of the three areas.

100% scores (for my age group):
2-Mile Run: 13:18
Push-ups (2 minute time limit): 75
Sit-ups (2 minute time limit): 76

Starting scores (December 31st)
2-Mile Run: 22:30 = 16 points
Push-ups: 43 = 67 points
Sit-ups: 37 = 54 points
Total: 137

1st Month Assessment (January 31st)
2-Mile Run: 15:53 = 76 points
Push-ups: 56 = 81 points
Sit-ups: 38 = 55 points
Total: 212

Overall I am pleased with the progress made so far especially with the 2-mile run. I admit I was a little surprised that I didn’t score better in the sit-ups. Maybe it was the greasy pizza I had for lunch, or not enough water, who knows. What I do know is that I have to work a little harder for the next two months. I saw the biggest increase in my cardio doing the two-mile run. I found that if I start at a certain pace until I get my second wind, that I usually have enough left at the end of the run for a sprint to the finish. When I first started I could barely keep up with the 5.5 mph pace and now I’m starting at 6.9 and gradually increasing it from there for the entire run.

The plan for next month:
I will keep doing the cardio in a similar fashion. Increase my starting pace by a little each week and then kicking it up as I get near the end of the two-mile. The push-ups and sit-ups will be changed all together. I don’t think I’ve been doing nearly enough of them. I’m going to increase the sheer number of them and see if that helps out at all. My biggest disappointment is that I only increased the sit-ups by one rep. That is pretty sad for a month of training and I’m barely achieving a passing score on them. I will do a number of sets each day of both push-ups and sit-ups. Instead of doing a max of 75 every other day, I will try to do more of them, more often and not concentrate so much on the rest time in-between sets.