Discovering who you are is not just for teenagers. Midlife men must also rediscover the world around them while struggling with their own impending mortality and legacy, especially those who change careers and lifestyles.
Middle-aged men like me are under siege, beset on all sides by personal ambition, internal expectations, familial pressure, disillusionment, uncertainty, and legacy. It’s a constant battle to balance the needs of the self and the needs of others and a struggle to discover which ones really take priority. Some win this battle and some tragically lose.
Curmudgeonism is a state of mind, unwavering, unapologetic, and uninterested in what people think. We are the proverbial old dog that can’t be taught new tricks because we know the old tricks are tried and true. We have firm beliefs that can’t be shaken. Free trade is good. True leaders are rare. Happiness is a luxury. Golf is a waste of time and we don’t have enough years left to be unproductive. We don’t apologize for our views because we’ve spent half a lifetime developing them. Theory and idealism sounds good in school but only until it becomes cost prohibitive and the real world determines ground truth. Curmudgeons are uncaring about what people think and have low expectations on the world because it’s done little more than disappoint us. We’re middle aged and tired of looking, acting, feeling the way people want us to, so we’re breaking out and being who we were meant to be; irascible curs who make the world a better place through brutal honesty. We see this as our duty and take it seriously.
This awesome book was written, unflinchingly, by my fellow curmudgeon (local 198!), Kelly Crigger. Crigger looks into the mirror and is now ambivalent with what he sees...at home in his own curmudgeonly skin...ready to band us all together to yell at all the kids on our collective lawns.
The book opens with:
I heard a guy say, "I didn't go to my best friend's funeral because I couldn't deal with it" to which I replied, "You're a pussy."...
And just gets better and better. Inside you can find the 3 stages of curmudgeonism (I only wanted 2, damn you), maxims, quotes, terminology for the curmudgeon - essentially the "how to"...but the best chapter is the Curmudgeon insults which I now use daily.
This is the must have for your Dad, best friend, Rabbi, plumber, neighbor, or anyone who is a curmudgeon, wants to be one, or needs to know how to live with them.
The White House announces a new initiative. Since an ISIS rapper killed James Foley, President Obama is raising a Rappers Regiment to bring the payback beatdown with a back beat. Instead of getting shot at VMA parties, they can get shot at and shoot ISISscumbags. Or something like that.
Airborne 1943 - Troops of the 82nd Airborne Division jump en mass, during a demonstration at Oujda, French Morocco, North Africa, on 3 June 1943, shortly before the Sicily invasion. (World War II Signal Corps Collection). Photo courtesy of SOCOM.
SRES 207 ATS 113th CONGRESS 1st Session S. RES. 207 Designating August 16, 2013, as ‘National Airborne Day’.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 31, 2013
Mr. REED (for himself, Ms. MURKOWSKI, Mr. BEGICH, Mrs. HAGAN, Mr. REID, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. COCHRAN, Mr. WICKER, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. TESTER, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. MORAN, Mr. ISAKSON, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. BURR, Mr. CASEY, and Mrs. MURRAY) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to
Designating August 16, 2013, as ‘National Airborne Day’.
Whereas the members of the airborne forces of the Armed Forces of the United States have a long and honorable history as bold and fierce warriors who, for the national security of the United States and the defense of freedom and peace, project the ground combat power of the United States by air transport to the far reaches of the battle area and to the far corners of the world;
Whereas the experiment of the United States with airborne operations began on June 25, 1940, when the Army Parachute Test Platoon was first authorized by the Department of War, and 48 volunteers began training in July 1940;
Whereas August 16 marks the anniversary of the first official Army parachute jump, which took place on August 16, 1940, to test the innovative concept of inserting United States ground combat forces behind a battle line by means of a parachute;
Whereas the success of the Army Parachute Test Platoon in the days immediately before the entry of the United States into World War II validated the airborne operational concept and led to the creation of a formidable force of airborne formations that included the 11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions;
Whereas, included in those divisions, and among other separate formations, were many airborne combat, combat support, and combat service support units that served with distinction and achieved repeated success in armed hostilities during World War II, and provide the lineage and legacy of many airborne units throughout the Armed Forces;
Whereas the achievements of the airborne units during World War II prompted the evolution of those units into a diversified force of parachute and air-assault units that, over the years, have fought in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf region, and Somalia, and have engaged in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo;
Whereas, since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the members of the United States airborne forces, including members of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment, special operations forces of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and other units of the Armed Forces, have demonstrated bravery and honor in combat, stability, and training operations in Afghanistan and Iraq;
Whereas the modern-day airborne forces also include other elite forces composed of airborne trained and qualified special operations warriors, including Army Special Forces, Marine Corps Reconnaissance units, Navy SEALs, and Air Force combat control and pararescue teams;
Whereas, of the members and former members of the United States airborne forces, thousands have achieved the distinction of making combat jumps, dozens have earned the Medal of Honor, and hundreds have earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, or other decorations and awards for displays of heroism, gallantry, intrepidity, and valor;
Whereas the members and former members of the United States airborne forces are all members of a proud and honorable tradition that, together with the special skills and achievements of those members, distinguishes the members as intrepid combat parachutists, air assault forces, special operation forces, and, in the past, glider troops;
Whereas individuals from every State in the United States have served gallantly in the airborne forces, and each State is proud of the contributions of its paratrooper veterans during the many conflicts faced by the United States;
Whereas the history and achievements of the members and former members of the United States airborne forces warrant special expressions of the gratitude of the people of the United States; and
Whereas, since the airborne forces, past and present, celebrate August 16 as the anniversary of the first official jump by the Army Parachute Test Platoon, August 16 is an appropriate day to recognize as National Airborne Day: Now, therefore, be it
(1) designates August 16, 2013, as ‘National Airborne Day’; and
(2) calls on the people of the United States to observe National Airborne Day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
They posted this NSFW video back in March (and we posted it here). Seems like they already knew about problems in the VA. It makes you wonder how Ranger Up was all over it, but folks like Senator McCain are shocked, SHOCKED!, I tell you.
Matty O' here to remind everyone that St. Patrick's Day is coming tomorrow. To get you moving towards the spirit of St. Patrick's Day in Chicago, here is my favorite video about my favorite sustenance...
Jarheads drowning in the waves, It's UDT that always saves, Although they say they're first ashore, UDT's been there before. And other things that they can't do, It's UDT that pulls them through, Oh leathernecks on bended knee, Come kiss the ass of UDT!
Blackfive: "How To Cook A Turkey" 1) Go buy a turkey. 2) Take a drink of whisky. 3) Put turkey in the oven. 4) Take another 2 drinks of whiskey. 5) Set the degree at 375 ovens 6) Take 3 more whiskeys of drink. 7) Turn oven the on. 8) Take 4 whisks of drinky. 9) Turk the bastey. 10) Whiskey another bottle of get. 11) Stick a turkey in the thermometer 12) Glass yourself a pour of whiskey. 13) Bake the whiskey for 4 hours. 14) Take the oven out of the turkey. 15) Take the oven out of the turkey. 16) Floor the turkey up off of the pick. 17) Turk the carvey. 18) Get yourself another scottle of botch. 19) Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey. 20) Bless the saying, pass and eat out.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.