Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ActiveX Headaches - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 172

Sent my squad leader a text this morning “MOU Today” and then headed into the naval sub base outside of Silverdale. I continued with my normal morning routine of checking both my army and navy emails. I then surfed the web for a while getting caught up on all the world news. I then completed a SkillPort. I’m still working through every Windows 2008 server SkillPort I could find. There are a ton of them going over every portion of the new server OS, so I’ll have plenty to keep me busy for a while. The only problem is trying to space them out enough to where I don’t get burned out doing them.

I went to my car for lunch. It’s getting pretty cold outside, even with my blanket on me in the car I’m still almost freezing. I may have to start eating my lunch inside…it just feels weird eating lunch in the server room and they don’t have a lunch room in our building.

In the afternoon I surfed the web for a while and then helped my co-worker try a few things on the machines we’re still having issues with. We are still having the ActiveX issue on just two machines, it’s very strange because all the others work just fine. We’ve re-imaged them, tried uninstalling various software and reinstalling. We’re still waiting on the help desk request that my co-worker initiated with the company that makes the product. We had zero luck today getting anything to work…it’s frustrating.

So frustrating in fact that my co-worker said we’re leaving early today! We left about an hour early…time to start the (holiday) weekend. Well…after I work on my schoolwork. My kids came over tonight, so we all hung out and watched some shows together.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spiderman Cometh - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 171

This morning I sent my squad leader a text “MOU Today”, then went back to sleep. I slept in until about 0800 and then slowly got up and got ready for the day. I had an appointment for the exterminator this morning, but they could only give me the time frame of between 0900 and 1200. Once I got up I just started doing schoolwork, which is actually one of my MOUs so I wasn’t technically lying to my squad leader.

The exterminator came and did his thing both outside and in the crawl space of the house. We were starting to see a pickup of the number of spiders around and none of the girls in my family care for those too much. So this should get rid of them for a while. I then did a little yard work before relaxing on the couch and watching some college basketball on the “WatchESPN” app on my AppleTV. I have missed watching college basketball pretty much the entire time I’ve been in the army up until now. I’m glad to be back home!

The rest of the day consisted of eating lunch and finishing up my schoolwork for the day.

Monday, November 25, 2013

PCM & Refills - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 170

Yup...that pretty much sums it up (at least army PT anyways)

Headed to the morning formation and boy it’s starting to get cold. Even though I was in full winter PTs, I could still feel the cold air all over. After accountability the first sergeant released us by platoon. Everyone else headed in except for our platoon. For some reason our platoon sergeant wanted to stay out in the cold and do our stretches and exercises. I don’t care too much for when we get released by platoon because I can’t easily sneak off when we are released and just leave.

Once we finished our stretches and easy exercises we were supposed to walk around the WTB complex a few times, but I just headed straight to my car…I was getting pretty cold by this point. A lot of the exercises we did earlier to get the blood pumping were ones that I just can’t do…a lot of us couldn’t do because of the various injuries that brought us here.

I ate breakfast in my car, then went into the SFAC to check my army email. I then used their bathrooms to change into my ACUs. Once changed I hung out for a while in the lobby just to stay warm until my next appointment. I headed to my monthly PCM appointment and we went over how I have been doing. For the most part I’ve been doing pretty good. I’ve been using the traction device nightly and I have been taking less medication as a result. I still get pain and headaches, but they seem to be less frequent and less severe than before which is a good thing. I had my PCM get me refills of my pain medications, then headed to the pharmacy to pick them up.

After that I hopped in my car and headed home where I finished up the day doing schoolwork.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Days 168 & 169

This weekend was pretty laid back…my kind of weekend! My wife and I did a little shopping for some white elephant presents, which we give out at Thanksgiving. We went out to eat and also ended up purchasing an entertainment center with an electric fireplace in it. Now I can “start a fire” with a remote control. We needed a little something extra in our entertainment room because it does not receive any of the forced air head like the rest of our house. Next appliance in our entertainment room will be a mini-fridge!

Other than that I helped my father-in-law move a few things into his storage unit, then just took it easy for the rest of the weekend. There were no Seahawks this weekend, so it was all pretty mellow.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stuck on ActiveX - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 167

First time at any job where I've left the office and found a 
deer just chillin' eating some salad.

This morning I sent my squad leader a text “MOU Today” and then headed to the naval sub base near Silverdale. The I.T. office isn’t really an office. Instead it is a server room that also has some desks in it. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before in all my years of doing I.T. work. Because the “office” is in the server room it’s louder than normal because of all the fans running in the servers and also a little bit colder than normal because the A/C in the room has to keep it cool enough so the servers don’t overheat. As I was walking through the server racks I noticed one lone Mac Mini sitting among these giant HP and Dell rack mounted servers. My co-worker didn’t know what it was there for, now I’m curious.

My co-worker and I headed across the street to the naval regional 911 center once again to try and get the computer working. We tried until lunch time, but gave up and headed back to the office with one of the broken computers. My co-worker has put in a help ticket to the vendor to see if they have any idea why these two lone computers are not working.

I ate my lunch in the office today and then continued working on the broken PC. My co-worker and I have both tested and tried everything we could think of to get the program to run in the browser, but there is something with the ActiveX control that just doesn’t work…and it’s very frustrating. I ended up testing various ideas on it until it was time to leave for the day.

I headed home and did schoolwork and then went to the YMCA for a workout. I’ve been doing cardio, but figured I need to mix it up with a little strength training now as well. I could tell right away that I’m definitely out of shape! I started out using the universal machines that I used while in Germany, but at about 50% less weight to start out with…and I was straining! I gotta get back in shape, but with the holidays coming up I’m sure we won’t have a normal routine for a while.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Free Turkey - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 166

This morning I headed into Ft. Lewis. I received a message earlier in the week from my squad leader telling me that he put me in for a free turkey and that I need to pick it up today. I guess a free turkey is worth a drive to Ft. Lewis. I headed to morning formation, or what I thought would be morning formation, but nobody was there. I never got a text or anything telling me that the formation was somewhere else or cancelled, but it is definitely not at the usual spot so I head back to my car. It's so cold that even with my blanket I can't sleep. I do stay in for a bit and eat my breakfast, but at 0730 when the SFAC opened I headed inside where it's warm.

I checked my army email and then played games on my iPhone to pass the time. After a while I headed to the pharmacy refill area and picked up some prescription refills I had called in last week. I waited in the hospital waiting area for a while, just because it's so cold outside. I played a few games on my iPhone, then proceeded out into the frigid air. I headed back to the WTB and checked in with my nurse case manager. The quick check in is required and is pretty much the same every week (how am I doing, do I feel like hurting myself or others, what is my pain level today, do I need any medications, have I heard from the medboard yet?) Once finished with my NCM check-in, I headed to another building in the WTB and picked up my free turkey. It was a pretty fast and easy process. There was a civilian standing in the multipurpose room next to a table with some frozen turkeys on it. I walked up, he checked off my name, and I picked a turkey and headed to my car.

I then headed home and did some schoolwork. Later on I watched some college basketball. I am actually pretty excited that the WatchESPN app is now on my AppleTV. I now have access to all the ESPN channels and can even choose to watch certain college basketball replays. This is pretty cool!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Image & Secure - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 165

It's never easy to say goodbye, but my old friend "the beard" is gonna 
leave tomorrow...he's not welcome at Ft. Lewis while I'm in uniform.

I got a text from my squad leader this morning (he sends group texts all the time to his squad) that stated "100% weigh in everyone in PTs no ACUs". Screw that…I replied with my usual "MOU Today" and proceeded to get ready to head into the navy. If there is something that I need to head into Ft. Lewis for, I have to know the night before because I need to get up a lot earlier and leave a lot earlier in order to drive all the way there by morning formation.

I headed to the naval sub base outside of Silverdale today. I imaged a machine, then went through the security checks making each change line by line. At one point I had to restart the machine and one of the security check that I fixed was "turning off automatic login". The image I was using was created by my co-worker a while ago and he couldn't remember the password for that image, I had to re-image the machine and start over. I made sure to set the password before I did anything else.

I ate lunch in my car and listened to the radio for a bit. When I went back into the office, I finished up the security on the machine and then put through a system access request for what they call the legacy network. When I get this access I'll be able to do some more work, which I'm hoping will keep me busy. The access request is just a PDF that I had to fill out and email to my supervisor here. It always seemed to take forever in the army, I guess we'll see how long the navy takes.

I headed home and did schoolwork for the rest of the day. I'm really hoping to finish my degree before I get out. I have 3 more classes to take in order to do so. I'm hoping congress will get a budget passed and tuition assistance will be available before I need to sign up for my last two classes. I'm going to sign up for my next class soon and it will actually start before the January 15th deadline that congress made this last time. I'm crossing my fingers!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

911 - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 164

Sent my squad leader the usual text this morning "MOU today". Headed into the naval shipyard in Bremerton and started my morning routine of checking my army and navy emails, then surfing the web for a while. After about an hour I took off with a co-worker to the regional naval 911 center. We had 3 machines on our system that were not working correctly. This is the first time I went in there and the place is pretty secure, I won't go into detail…but for obvious reasons they don't want anyone without the proper authority having access to the area or the operators. Once we got in I saw what looked like a computer nerd's dream. Each user's workstation had at least 7 screens that were like a curved wall in front of them. The machines we are working on are not mission essential, but they are somewhat important and needed to get fixed as soon as possible. We sat down at the first workstation and after just a quick minute we had it up and running properly, it just needed an admin to be logged in, a web extension installed and to be joined to the domain. The other two machines were not the same story. We actually were stuck on the second machine for what would turn out to be pretty much the rest of the day.

While hanging out in the 911 center I got to hear just how crazy it can be on a slow day. The operators seemed to have 3 conversations going at once. They would be talking to each other, take a call, dispatch, and keep all three conversations going at the same time. I couldn't keep everything straight. Luckily they had some donuts in there because we worked right through lunchtime. By the time we left a little after 1400 my co-worker and I both felt pretty much defeated. I'm still learning how this system works and I do know my way around Windows, but I have been primarily a Mac person in the past. I felt pretty much useless the entire time, I just manned the computer and did what my co-worker would have me type or do. Nothing seemed to work, but it seems like such a small problem. The entire program is just opening up a window in an Internet Explorer window, but the darn ActiveX control would just not load no matter what we did.

We headed back to our office and decided to try again later. I quickly ate my lunch…I was starving by this point. By the time I finished, I surfed the web for a bit and then left for the day. I hate days where it feels like you get nothing done, we just spun our wheels all day trying everything we could think of with no results.

I headed home and did schoolwork and then went to the YMCA with my wife…I worked out my frustrations on the elliptical machine.

Monday, November 18, 2013

IT Follow-Up - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 163

In the office lunch area...I'm afraid to even turn on the hot water now!

I sent my squad leader a text this morning "MOU Today". I think I'll be just sending that to him each morning from now on…keeping it short and simple. I headed into the naval shipyard in Bremerton again today. I gotta say once again that I really love not having to make the drive all the way into Ft. Lewis everyday. Not only that, but I get to pretend I'm a civilian all day. I don't shave, I don't have to constantly be on the lookout for officers to salute, I can wear my hat inside, and I can even walk and talk on a phone…or heaven something and walk at the same time. I'm loving it!

I start my morning routine once in the office and check my army and navy emails. I then started working on the newly imaged machine again. I ran all the security updates and updated all the security settings making sure it's compliant once again. I created a new image and started testing the machine. This time the application actually works.

I take my lunch break in the office today. I brought some stuff that needed to be heated up, so I had to use the office microwave. Once I finished up lunch, I surfed the web a bit and then started working on a SkillPort until it was time to leave for the day.

Once home I did school work. When my wife came home we headed to the YMCA. We've been a little spotty lately, we gotta get back in the groove!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Days 161 & 162

The kiddos were over and we all slept in on Saturday morning. We had our usual big breakfast together (pancakes, bacon and eggs) which everyone loves. It's also nice to have a sit down meal together as a family, it seems like that doesn't happen as much as it should. We all hung out and watched some shows on TV before heading back to the local community college to watch the women's basketball game. I wanted my daughters to see the women play as well so they can have an idea of what it's like to play for a junior college. I'd like my oldest daughter to play basketball locally if possible after she graduates high school.

Sunday we all headed up to my in-laws for lunch and then we all watched the Seahawks play. We always have a lot of fun watching the game together.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Some Real Navy IT - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 160

I sent my squad leader a text this morning reminding him of my MOU today. I then headed into the naval shipyard in Bremerton. Once there I settled into my usual morning routine of checking both my army and navy emails and then surfing the web and reading the news. I try and do anything to keep myself at least somewhat busy.

I then imaged a machine, but more than just image a machine I actually learned quite a bit of new stuff. I've imaged many machines before, but there is a lot more this machine needed once it was imaged. The navy has some strict rules for all the machines that end up on the network. I had to run a scanning utility on the machine that checks for all the vulnerabilities, and then go through step by step fixing each of the vulnerabilities it found. There were a couple I had to leave how they were because of what the machine was going to do, but I did get it up to 98.5% compliant, which is what it needs. I then had to install a few things, run all the security updates, and then do some configuring of settings. I then learned how to "sysprep" the machine so I could make a new image from it.

Once I made the image, I then played around quite a bit with the new machine before heading to lunch in my car. When I got back from lunch we had a department meeting. The director went over everything that is going on and what he expects the future will hold…it doesn't look to optimistic.

I went back to playing around with the new computer and did some testing on it. Unfortunately I could never get the program they use to actually work. My co-worker said to try an older image, so I started the whole process over again. Because I started the whole process over, I didn't finish before I left for the day. The work will be waiting for me when I get back after the weekend. I finally felt like I had a normal day of I.T. work and it felt good for once even if I didn't get a whole lot done, I did learn quite a bit.

The kiddos came over tonight for the weekend and we all went out to eat. After dinner I took everyone to the local community college men's basketball game. I wanted the kiddos to see the difference between high school and a junior college basketball team. It was a lot of fun…even if our team got beat pretty bad.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Navy IT - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 159

I sent a text to my squad leader this morning "MOU Today". I then headed to the naval shipyard in Bremerton. At least at this office, I'm in an office with other people who know me and interact with me. I headed out with a co-worker first thing this morning to the navy base on Indian Island, which is about an hour away. We loaded a recently imaged PC into the TMP and I volunteered to drive.

We actually replaced the PC in the guard shack at the gate. This is the place where one guard checks your ID while the other comes out and stands a couple feet away holding his shotgun with a no nonsense look on his face. Once we explained what we were there for and the guards verified it, we got down to business. The guard with the shotgun said he thought about getting into I.T., but then found out you have to constantly learn because everything is always changing…so he decided to be a gate guard instead…lol.

We replaced the old computer with the new one and tested it before leaving. Once we got back to the office, I went and had lunch in my car. When I came back from lunch my co-worker had me image the computer we brought back with us from the guard shack. The computer is actually from the new batch, but it was having some issues which is why we replaced it. As my co-worker was showing me which image to use he told me to click on a certain spot and then click delete to remove some of the older images. Well he didn't realize that the folder holding the images was highlighted, so when I clicked delete, it deleted all of his images. Just like that…in an instant they were all gone. No warning or trash bin to recover them from because we were booted from the backup CD. Luckily the guy had another drive with some older images, so I used one of those to image the machine. Once imaged I had to activate Windows through the automated phone system Microsoft has. We can't connect it to the network because it's not up to specs yet, so using the automated phone system is the only way we can do it.

By this time it was time to head home. I went home and did schoolwork until my wife came home. We were going to hit the YMCA tonight, but my sister called and asked if we could take my nieces to their swimming lessons…I have to be a good uncle.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Navy Frustration - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 158

Sent my squad leader a text this morning reminding him of my MOU as usual. I've decided to just send him the words "MOU Today". Because technically my MOU is both my internship with the navy and my school. So it can kind of go both ways in the future. It's basically just a reminder anyways to let him know I will not be in formation and I am still alive and OK.

I headed to the navy base outside of Silverdale this morning. There are actually 3 different navy bases pretty close by and they are all considered part of the navy region northwest. I have heard I'll probably be working mostly from this one close to Silverdale, which is only about 10 or 15 minutes from my house. I was told to head here this morning, but when I arrived I guess they weren't expecting me. They had me sit on a couch outside of the server room for about an hour. I just sat there messing around on my phone reading the news, checking Facebook, and playing games.

Finally the lead tech came out and had me come in and turned me loose at a workstation. I did the usual and checked both my army and navy emails. I then surfed the web for a bit and finally decided to do a SkillPort. I did get a little frustrated after a while. Nobody even came and talked to me or even acknowledged I was there. The stuff I was doing on the computer I could be sitting at home and doing. I do appreciate not having to make the drive all the way to Ft. Lewis, but this is a little ridiculous. I found out later that the co-worker who was supposed to be working with me had a little miscommunication and went to the wrong navy base. I know sitting around and doing nothing for a job may be some people's dream job, but it's not mine. I'd like to be learning something and accomplishing something!

I took off at lunch and decided not to go back. I just headed home and did schoolwork. I don't even know if they realized that I left…and I don't really care. I guess that was the frustration taking over.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NCM & Dental Cleaning - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 157

We had morning formation today inside the gym because of the rain, finally there seems to be signs of common sense…but I won't get my hopes up too much. Once accountability is done I head to a stationary bike and peddle at a very slow pace…I mean so slow that if I were on a real bike I think an old lady in a walker could have beat me in a race. I've mentioned this before, but I really don't like to work out with my unit in the morning. I usually don't even wash my PT uniform for a long time because I don't wear it very long and I do not sweat in it. I really don't want to get all sweaty and have to take a shower at the gym each morning. I'd rather work out on my own at the YMCA with my wife. I get a better workout and I am a lot more motivated for sure. After about 15 minutes on the bike I then headed out to my car and took off to the WTB parking lot. I then ate breakfast, listened to the radio and then took a nap.

I went to my NCM appointment at 0900. I let her know about the bad weekend full of pain and some bad sleep last night, but other than that everything is pretty much the same. I left there and headed to the SFAC for a few minutes to check my army email. I then had to head to the dental clinic for a cleaning. When I got seated in the chair with my bib and glasses for the cleaning, the dental hygienist asked me how old I was. I responded that I was 40 and she shook her head and said "no way". I kinda laughed and said "yup, but I do feel a lot younger in my head". She said the soldier in her before me was only 30, but looked much older than I do! I guess I'll take that as a compliment.

After the cleaning I headed home and ate lunch, then did schoolwork.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up (Veterans 4-Day) - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Days 153 - 156

This weekend was awesome…why? Because it's a four day weekend! Friday I slept in a little, then took the car in to get the oil changed. I then did schoolwork and cleaned up the house a bit. I was still in quite a bit of pain from moving all that old equipment on Wednesday…it sucks that when I do something to trigger it, it can last for days!

Saturday I was still in a lot of pain, it was a lazy day for the most part. I took it easy the entire day and my wife and I watched her nephew play in his high school football playoff game. Unfortunately they were destroyed! It was still fun to go and watch. I always love the excitement, the band, the cheerleaders, and the students with all the excitement that goes along with a high school football game.

Sunday I finally was out of major pain. We hung out at my in-laws for most of the day. We watched the Seahawks kill Atlanta…finally a game I don't have to stress out while watching! On Monday I spent most of the day sleeping in, relaxing, and then doing schoolwork. I met my wife for a dinner buffet in the evening. The dinner was free for me and any other active duty soldier or veteran in honor of Veteran's Day. A nice way to end the weekend.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

FirmWare - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 152

In the Navy office...they're obviously aware of the clone wars

Another day working with the navy…I text my squad leader first thing in the morning to let him know I'm alive and will be at my MOU today. I head into the office and do my usual morning army and navy email checks, then surf the web for a while. I then did a SkillPort to pass the time.

I was then asked to download and install some firmware for a test server they have in the office…no problem. After I get the firmware installed I walk down to my car and have some lunch. Once back I configured the RAID on the test server and then installed Windows Server 2008.  By the time I finished all that it was time to take off for the day.

Once home I did schoolwork and then took some pain killers. Moving all the old equipment multiple times yesterday messed me up pretty bad. I was in pain for most of the day and it just kept getting worse as the day went on. The pain killers helped a little, but sometimes it seems when the pain gets to be too high nothing seems to help much.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Manual IT Labor - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 151

Sent my squad leader a text as usual this morning reminding him I'll be at my MOU today. I head into the office at the Bremerton shipyard and spend the morning checking my army & navy emails, then surfing the web to pass the time. I sure do keep up on the news, world events and technology news! Once I got a little tired of surfing the web, I decided to start a SkillPort. The SkillPorts cover technology, take some time to finish which helps pass the time, and I can use them as training that can be added to my CompTia continuing education.

A co-worker and I then loaded the TMP with a crapload of old computers, servers, and monitors. We had the TMP van so full that it actually sunk down a bit in the back and the tires were a little flatter with all the pressure. I drove slowly and carefully up to the other naval base outside of Silverdale. We headed to a warehouse where all the old equipment is turned in. Despite my co-worker gathering up and filling out all the required paperwork and calling in advance to make sure someone would be there, when we arrived we found the entire warehouse empty. We decided to unload all the equipment on the loading dock and then sit and wait, there was no way we were going to leave there without dropping off all the equipment.

About a half hour after we arrived a civilian worker came strolling up, then asked a question "Have you been waiting long?" My co-worker was nice and said "just a little bit". The warehouse civilian then brought out three pallets with a forklift and helped us load everything on the pallets. She drove them back into the warehouse and then had us come back with her. Evidently the massive amounts of paperwork that were done in advance was not quite enough, they needed a piece of paper attached to each device that basically stated the hard drive had been taken out and it's ready to ship. We decided to head back and take our lunch break. My co-worker was going to talk with our supply person and get everything straightened out. The amount of paperwork and processes required just to get rid of old equipment for the government is out of control. It's one of the reasons there was so much stuff just piled up in our office to get rid of, nobody wanted to take the time or effort to get rid of it all.

I headed down to my car and had lunch while listening to the radio for a bit. Once I went back to the office I finished up the SkillPort I was working on earlier. After that I spent the rest of my day there just surfing the web trying to pass the time.

After work, I headed home and started my new class "Business Ethics". It looks like it will turn out to be as exciting as my previous class of "Business Law"…yawn.

By the end of the day I started getting in some serious pain, I think I did a little too much with all the equipment moving today. I took my pain medication, but it didn't seem to help much, but the muscle relaxer never fails to knock me out for the night…so I slept very well.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NCM & The Physical Therapist - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 150

Me posing in my portable traction unit at home...
time to separate the head from the shoulders

Headed to morning formation at the gym. Once accountability was over and we fell out to head into the gym, I just headed to my car instead. I drove to the WTB parking lot, ate my breakfast, then promptly pulled up my blanket and took a nice long nap.

I headed into the WTB bathroom and changed into my ACUs and then headed to my NCM appointment. I had nothing to update and didn't need anything from my NCM, she asked me the usual required questions (do I feel like hurting myself or others?). I did get the dates for the upcoming holidays and added them to my electronic calendar. My NCM keeps asking me if I've heard anything from my MEB, I told her when I check on AKO it says I'll be out on May 25th…she seems to think it will be much earlier than that, I guess we'll see.

I head back to my car and do a little writing on my laptop while listening to the radio. Once I got tired of that, I took another nap…yes it's what I do here at the WTB. When I woke up I headed into the SFAC and ate my lunch. I then went back to my car and drove to the commissary and picked up a few things and then came back to the WTB parking lot. I spend some more quality time in my car listening to the radio passing the time. I finally had my physical therapy follow-up appointment. The therapist asked how everything was going. I let him know things are better and I'm looking forward to using my portable home unit. He said I could use it nightly if I wanted to, it's basically up to me to gauge how I'm feeling and how much to use it.

I headed home and hung out with my wife until it was time to hit the sack…I used my portable traction unit for the first time. It's very easy to use and I'm hopeful that using it nightly will help lower my daily pain. I'm cautiously optimistic!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hard Drives and SkillPort - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 149

I sent a text to my platoon sergeant reminding him that I'll be at my MOU today with the navy. I headed into the shipyard in Bremerton and did my normal morning ritual to start the day, check my army and navy email & surf the web for a while. I continued to surf the web and read the news until lunch time. I had lunch in my car, then headed back up to the office. I park a little ways away down a hill, so I get a little bit of a workout at least when I do have my lunch in the car…well perhaps not quite a workout, but at least I get to stretch my legs.

After lunch I physically removed 10 hard drives from computers that are going to be retired. That was the extent of my actual IT work today. I then added all the Windows 2008 modules to my SkillPort plan and then went through one of the modules. I figured maybe I can learn a thing or two while I'm spending my day here instead of just surfing the web and getting bored.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Days 147 & 148

The kiddos came over this weekend, we hung out at home Friday night watching TV and just chilling. On Saturday we headed out and had lunch, then went to see the movie "Bad Grandpa" which was pretty funny! Even though it's presented by "Jackass", it's not as vulgar...but still a good flick. After the movie we all headed up to my in-laws for the rosary once again. On Sunday we all headed back to my in-laws to watch the Seahawks.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Long Day - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 146

Sunrise this morning at Ft. Lewis from my parking spot...unfortunately 
I was driving and couldn't take an amazing view with Mt. Rainier 
in the background a few moments earlier.

This morning we had our morning formation at 0830 in ACUs. I arrived and was thankful to be able to sleep in a little. Our first sergeant arrived in front of the formation and I guess wanted to stroke her ego or something. She had everyone who was on profile that cannot do push-ups move to the back, the rest of us had to start doing push-ups. Doing push-ups is fine, but it just pisses me off when people have to strut around and show people who's boss.

My mood worsened when after formation we broke up by platoons and I was voluntold to clean the stairwell in the barracks along with another soldier. I was pretty pissed off. All I did was just glare at the NCO while he was instructing us what to do. What made it worse was that I was really looking forward to my coffee that was waiting for me back in my car. Instead I have to clean up a stairwell in a building that I don't live in or ever use…but that is the story of my army life…cleaning up after others it seems. The other soldier quickly volunteered to do the sweeping leaving me with mop duty…this morning just keeps getting better.

I do the cleanup and then head to my car where I finally have my coffee. I get a text shortly after from my squad leader telling me I have to sign my appointment slip at his desk. Stupid new rule. I head up and do that, then head to Starbucks on post, get a coffee and hang out in their lobby with my iPad making use of their WiFi. I needed to get away from the WTB for a little while. After that I headed to the JAG office to inquire about electronic repair estimate forms that the moving company needs me to have filled out because they broke a few things during the move. The JAG officer gave me the forms, but said if there is no physical damage evident that "the little elves inside electronics just die sometimes" and I will not be able to get reimbursed for the damage. They broke a 2TB external hard drive of mine and a pair of Bose wireless speakers. Both are not cheap, and now I realize that I will probably not get reimbursed for them. They worked fine in Germany before they were packed up and shipped here by the movers. That just pisses me off.

I head to Subway for lunch, then hang out some more in the lobby with my iPad. I head back to the WTB and wait in my car for a while…taking a small nap. I then went to my hydro massage appointment at 1500. The massage was great as usual. When I left I saw my company all getting in formation, there is no way I'm going to join them…I just head to my car and head home. Luckily I'm enrolled in class, so I don't have to attend any evening formations even if I'm not working with the navy.

I get home, do my schoolwork, then prepare for the weekend!