Day by Day

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ragin' Dave's Quote of the Day, Military Edition

A helicopter is a collection of rotating parts going round and round and reciprocating parts going up and down - all of them trying to become random in motion. Helicopters can't really fly - they're just so ugly that the earth immediately repels them.

From an email I received at work today.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bloggus Interuptus

Sorry folks, but work is slamming right now.  Maybe Wednesday?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Soldiers love animals

No, it's true.  You get a group of Soldiers together in some far-away land, and I guarantee that before long they're going to have some sort of "mascot" tagging along with them.  Dogs, cats, anything.  A Soldier I used to work with actually had a pet camel spider.  And the Polish Army in 1942 had a bear.  (Found the link at Ace's).

Several years ago, I was in training at Ft. Jackson, back when we still wore that damn beret instead of an actual hat.  Every enlisted Soldier's beret had their DUI on it (Distinctive Unit Insignia).  It's a little bit of Army heraldry, which is still alive and kicking in the military.  Some of them are classical heraldry, and some of them....  not so much.  But the one that made me look more than twice was one Soldier who's DUI was quite literally a white dog with black spots, standing over a banner that read "Don't Kick My Dog".  The troop told me (and this is all second-hand knowledge, don't quote me on anything) that way back in the unit's history, they were fighting the Krauts in WWI, and the unit was getting it's butt kicked.  And I mean, kicked, stomped, and just about dead, until the Joes in the unit saw one of the Germans kick the unit mascot, an old hound dog they'd brought with them.  The sight of their mascot being abused by the enemy pissed them off so much that they counter-assaulted, pushed the Germans out and ran them back to their trenches, screaming "DON'T KICK MY DOG!" all the way there.

And a unit motto was born.

Soldiers like animals.  Maybe we just like having some companionship that enjoys being around a bunch of stinky, dirty dog-faced troops and doesn't demand anything more than a scratch on the head.  Maybe we enjoy having something to share the Suck with.  Maybe we just like it when something is happy to see us return.  But sure as shooting, you find a group of Soldiers, you're going to find some four legged friends there with them.

The Power Of A Dog

For Sondra.

The Power of the Dog
Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear? 

I stole the idea from Og.  It seems fitting.