Inking up the blogosphere. And no, I don't glow in the dark. But thanks for asking.

December 9, 2010

I'm On A Break!

Squid's been dark and quiet lately. Taking a bit of a rest, hibernation, sabbatical, after-dinner nap, brain breather, what have you.

I think it's coming to an end soon though. Starting to feel the light coming through and waking the cells up. Things are starting to stretch and stir.

Stay tuned.

May 26, 2010

Apropos Of Nothing...

...except to make me laugh uncontrollably.

Proving yet again that you can't fix stupid, not even with duct tape: favorite Facebook FAILS!

funny facebook fails
Funny Facebook Fails
Funny Facebook Fails
Funny Facebook Fails
Funny Facebook Fails
Funny Facebook Fails
Funny Facebook Fails
funny facebook fails

May 24, 2010

Three Cheers For Kanani Fong!

The Kitchen Dispatch has always been a ray of light when the day seems dark and gloomy.  Always-creative Kanani has created a contest to win a copy of Sebastian Junger's book "WAR".  Go check it out!  Even if you're not a blogger, her site is worth a read.

Not Gone, Just Elsewhere

Hey all,

Just wanted to let you who stop by know that I haven't been posting here recently because I've been rather busy.  I've had the honor of being able to contribute over at David Bellavia's blog.  I'm writing as SquidThinker if you want to check it out.  It's a great site with a lot of smart, sassy, well-informed writers (myself excluded, LOL).

March 25, 2010

Paying Tribute

So you think you're having a bad day?  Here's something that will help put things back in perspective.  There is a great website called Veteran Tributes that honors the bravery and sacrifices of our servicemen and women.  On this site you can view their military history, awards, medals, and citations.

Two specifically that you should read are the Congressional Medal of Honor citations for LT (SEAL) Michael Murphy and QM2 (SEAL) Michael Monsoor.  I challenge you to read about their gallantry and selfless actions--if at the end of it you don't feel pride and sadness at their loss and what they have given for their teammates and country, have a harder heart than mine.

Trust me: any frustration with morning traffic or a bad day at the office will evaporate after reading a while on this site.  I am humbled, and am forever grateful for the dedication and devotion of those who serve so that we can live our lives knowing we are safer and more secure.

To all who have served, thank you.

March 18, 2010

TBI Awareness

I recieved a very nice email the other day and learned that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.  I have agreed to repost the following article relating to TBI and our military because I think this is something we need to be aware of and concerned about.  There are lots of facilities like Care Meridian that are caring for patients with brain injuries, and the number of patients with military-related TBI is increasing.

Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Military

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is becoming a common wound of modern warfare. It has even been coined the “signature wound” of the War on Terror. While TBI is becoming more prevalent in wartime activity, many service men and women continue to go undiagnosed. Institutions, like the US Department of Veterans Affairs, are working to make quick and accurate diagnoses in order to prescribe appropriate and effective treatment.

TBI is caused by forced trauma to the head, either by being shaken or hit. The severity of a TBI varies from case to case, but symptoms range from mild concussions to a debilitating state. The majority of TBI’s acquired by military personnel are classified as mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). Initial symptoms of MTBI consist of loss of consciousness, disorientation, loss of memory, headache, and temporary loss of hearing and vision. They are often partnered with anxiety, irritability, difficulties processing information, limited concentration amongst other problems experienced down the road. While MTBI is most common amongst the men and women of the armed forces, more severe cases of TBI are happening much more frequently and often require the victim to attended specialty rehabilitative nursing centers, like CareMeridian.

The most common cause of a TBI in the military is due to blasts. There are three degrees of blast injuries where a TBI is common; Primary (due to blast itself), Secondary (due to objects being propelled by a blast) and Tertiary (due to a collision with a third party object). According to the Veterans Health Initiative, active male members of the military from the ages 18-24 are hospitalized with a TBI at a rate of 231 per 100,000 and females 150 per 100,000. Based on military force projections this would mean that 4,141 military personnel are hospitalized on average each year with a TBI, and these numbers often rise during wartimes.

The best prevention for veterans to avert the long-term effects of a brain injury is to recognize the symptoms of a TBI. Once the symptoms are identified an individual should take basic precautionary measures in order to begin the healing and recovery process until a more specific diagnosis can be made.

Service men and women give so much to protect this country and they deserve to come home to a happy and healthy life. Creating awareness about TBI will help ensure their long term health. By helping our veterans, their friends and their families recognize the early warning signs of a TBI, treatment can be sought as early as possible.

March 11, 2010

Lone Survivor Foundation

Here is some additional information about Marcus Luttrell's wounded warrior ranch.  As I mentioned in this previous post, Mr. Luttrell is developing the Lone Survivor Foundation to fund a variety of projects to support wounded warriors and their families, and in the future it will also encompass a ranch retreat:

Lone Survivor Foundation's Mission: Honor and Remember American Patriots by providing unique educational, rehabilitation and wellness opportunities. In memory and honor of the Lost Heroes of Operation Redwing and all Fallen Warriors, Wounded Warriors, and their Families.

Vision: Provide financial support for unique recovery and rehab opportunities, wellness events, and resource other unmet needs for wounded warriors, their families, and surviving families.

What this Foundation will specifically do:

Lone Survivor Ranch - Marcus has a vision of an all encompassing, phased in facility that will not only support hunting, fishing and many outdoor activities, but other rehab/wellness as well. The primary intent is to create a safe haven for warriors and their families to heal. He plans to identify a BEAUTIFUL piece of property in TX and build a multi-phased ranch/rehab complex. The ranch will have an on-site gym complete with coaches, trainers, etc. He intends to build it with significant expansion capability, and ultimately support warriors, their families and kids. He'd like to have a counseling aspect interwoven into all activities which could include team building, obstacle courses, horseback riding, bowling, rock climbing, art therapy, journaling, fishing, yoga, spa services, etc.

Long term he sees the need for a physician, nurse, and social worker/therapist on staff. He'd like the physician to be trained in pain mgmt, because that is an issue that affects almost all of our wounded warriors. He also plans to have benefits counselor come there during everyone's stay to conduct a government benefits brief and help get whatever is lacking.

Unique Rehab Opportunities for Wounded Warriors: Fund people to go to Athlete’s Performance or other appropriate rehab facilities that don’t have a government source of funding due to the unique nature of how they do business.

Other things falling into this category is funding invitro-fertilization for those who have lost their ability to naturally reproduce due to combat wounds, hyperbaric oxygen therapy for wounded warriors with TBI, providing adaptive athletic equipment such as recumbent bikes, etc.

Until the ranch is fully operational, Lone Survivor Foundation will fund wounded warrior and family attendance at other sporting and hunting events.

The Foundation is set to officially launch on 28 June 2005 - the 5 year anniversary of Operation Red Wing. There will be a kick off event in Houston on June 26th - more information will follow once it's available.

Please visit for more information.

The website is in its very EARLY stages of development, and the Foundation is currently solely reliant on volunteers, so please be patient while we develop the content.

Lone Survivor Foundation is pending 501(c)(3) approval, and expects to obtain it within the next few months.

For those of you on Facebook, there is an official authorized fan page for Marcus Luttrell where you can keep up to date.  

March 8, 2010

There Are Places Where Voting Isn't A Chore

I believe that all people should have certain inalieanble rights, rights that belong to the human species as a whole; of which one of the most important is the right to self-determination.  The ability of a society to choose its future begets all the other freedoms that we Americans take for granted--to be free from fear, to have clean drinking water, education, infrastructure, safe housing, medical care.  The simple act of being able to cast a ballot and impact your own future can be the most crucial and liberating thing a person can do.

When was the last time you thought about civics that way?  When was the last time you were excited about your ability to vote, proud that you live in a country that asks for a majority opinion--rather than looking at election times as something that must be endured?

Sunday's elections in Iraq should humble those who have grown bored or cynical about the democratic process.  When something is earned at a great and terrible cost it is truly valued.  234 years ago, we knew this.  Now, some 12 million Iraqi citizens know the same thing, and I am proud for them.  Only people who have lived with tyranny can know how exhilarating it feels to have a voice.

If you have any doubt whatsoever of why our mission in Iraq was so important, I urge to to read this article that David Bellavia wrote.  It's one of the most poignant and impressive things I've read lately. 

Updates: 08MAR2010

As of 0800 this morning, here is the latest information I have for the following topics of interest--

Sergeant Shelton's Black Book:  The book has been cancelled. 

Wounded Warrior Ranch (Sergeant Shelton's Wounded Warrior Ranch Retreat-->Marcus Luttrell Warrior Legacy Ranch-->the-yet-to-be-renamed-wounded-warrior-ranch):  Following the dissolution of partnership with the Warrior Legacy Foundation, plans for the ranch project and its fundraising lie solely with Marcus Luttrell.  Strictly a guess on my part, but I believe the ranch will probably move forward under the administration of:
  • The Lone Survivor Foundation: -- non-profit founded by Marcus Luttrell to ensure money donated is money given back.  Its mission is to "...honor and remember American warriors by providing unique educational, rehabilitation, recovery, and wellness opportunities to U.S. Armed Forces service members & families".  Please visit the Lone Survivor Foundation website for more information.  The Foundation will officially launch on the 5th anniversary of Operation Redwing, June 28, 2010.

February 9, 2010

DARPA: Continuing To Blur The Lines Between Science Fiction and Science Fact!

I don't often comment here about articles in the mainstream media, but this one was too good to pass up.  I was browsing through Google News and a headline from caught my eye....

To read the full article, click here.  Excerpt is as follows:

Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms,’ Molecular Kill-Switch Included
The Pentagon’s mad science arm may have come up with its most radical project yet. Darpa is looking to re-write the laws of evolution to the military’s advantage, creating “synthetic organisms” that can live forever — or can be killed with the flick of a molecular switch.
As part of its budget for the next year, Darpa is investing $6 million into a project called BioDesign, with the goal of eliminating “the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement.” The plan would assemble the latest bio-tech knowledge to come up with living, breathing creatures that are genetically engineered to “produce the intended biological effect.” Darpa wants the organisms to be fortified with molecules that bolster cell resistance to death, so that the lab-monsters can “ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.”
Of course, Darpa’s got to prevent the super-species from being swayed to do enemy work — so they’ll encode loyalty right into DNA, by developing genetically programmed locks to create “tamper proof” cells. Plus, the synthetic organism will be traceable, using some kind of DNA manipulation, “similar to a serial number on a handgun.” And if that doesn’t work, don’t worry. In case Darpa’s plan somehow goes horribly awry, they’re also tossing in a last-resort, genetically-coded kill switch: 
'Develop strategies to create a synthetic organism “self-destruct” option to be implemented upon nefarious removal of organism.'
"nefarious removal of organism"....Bwahahaha!!  Wow, I just inked a little bit.  Curse you, Moose and Squirrel!

I can't help but envision a group of DARPA geeks, strung out on Pop-Tarts and Red Bull sitting around a table and tossing out ideas:

--"Hey, seriously, what qualities would the ultimate superhero have?" 
--"'d have to have the soullessness and invincibility of the Terminator, the hamstring flexibility of Jean-Claude Van Damme, and the rage-strength of Rambo."
--"And don't forget the undefendable Chuck Norris roundhouse kick!"
--"Ooh, ooh, and maybe it could have bad-ass tentacles and tracking capabilities like the Predator!!"
--"Naw, man, that would just be over the top. Waaay too comic-book."
--*sigh* "Yeah, you're probably right.  I still say tentacles are cool though."
--"DUDE!! Let's build one!!  We could SO push it through on the budget to do this--Jenkins over in Fiscal owes me a solid."

Now, I am all for progress, especially in the realm of science.  Also, no innovation has ever been achieved without bold thinking.  However, and call me crazy here, this MIGHT be one of those times when an "" might be in order.  In my opinion, the Universal Soldier is something that needs to stay on the DVD shelf and not brought forth for field testing.

February 8, 2010

**FLASH TRAFFIC** Marcus Luttrell Warrior Legacy Ranch Update

*** UPDATE 03/2010:  The ranch is now being administered by the Lone Survivor Foundation.  Please view this post for further information. ***

In my inbox this morning, from the Warrior Legacy Foundation, regarding changes to the Marcus Luttrell Warrior Legacy Ranch:

Washington DC 08 February 2010

Recently the Board of Directors at the Warrior Legacy Foundation was informed by Marcus Luttrell's business management that they no longer wanted Marcus’ name attached to WLF’s for the "Marcus Luttrell Warrior Legacy Ranch” project.

"Regardless of whose name is attached to the project, Marcus Luttrell will have a world class ranch retreat and we are very proud to have been partnered with him,” said Warrior Legacy Foundation Executive Director David Bellavia. He continued, "At this time we will no longer be sharing a title with Marcus Luttrell on his ranch, we will no longer have any fiduciary responsibility regarding the ranch and WLF will NOT offer a competing ranch product.”

Warrior Legacy Foundation’s Chairman Matt Burden went on to say, "There is far more work out there to be accomplished and even more opportunity for the skill set of this great organization. It is my sincerest desire that Marcus’ ranch not only build a top notch facility, but I envision it to be as unique and special as its namesake.”

All funds donated to: to WLF’s "Marcus Luttrell Warrior Legacy Ranch” up until the account is closed on March 1, 2010, will be sent to the management team of Marcus Luttrell for the explicit purpose of his ranch.

WLF deeply regrets not having had the opportunity to see this project meet its full potential. Stay tuned for continued status reports of the project and where future support can be given to Marcus. Please reach out to with any questions regarding this format change.
I haven't had time to dissect the letter to fully understand its meaning, but it appears as if the Ranch is still going ahead--albeit privately, divorced from the Warrior Legacy Foundation. (NB: I'm trying to withold judgement regarding why the WLF has been removed, there has to be a good reason that's sub rosa)

I truly hope more information will be forthcoming.  I really believe in the goodness and necessity of this project and would hate to see it fade into obscurity because of lack of promotional channels.  I'll post anything that comes through to me so that all of you that land here because of searches relating to the Ranch will have the latest information.

January 20, 2010

Sergeant Shelton's Black Book

***UPDATE 03/2010:  Publication of Sergeant Shelton's Black Book has been cancelled. ***

***UPDATE 2/09/10:  I have recieved word that the publication of Sergeant Shelton's Black Book may have been cancelled.  It is my hope that this isn't the case, but according to my recent searches I haven't been able to find the book.  The publisher, Bantam, also doesn't have it listed as a release or an upcoming release.  For those interested in the possibility of the book, please keep an eye out periodically.  I'll post any new information as I find it.  V/R, ST***

Billy "Soupbone" Shelton--friend, mentor, and trainer to Marcus Luttrell and other brave young men--has written a book, with co-author James D. Hornfischer.  It's called Sergeant Shelton's Black Book: Young Men and War-The Special Operations Legacy For A New Generation.  The release date is set for January 26, 2010.

I've been eagerly anticipating the book since I first heard about it, and I encourage everyone to buy it when it's released.  It should be a great read!  Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble don't have it listed for pre-order, but Tower Books does.

January 18, 2010

David Bellavia Is Blogging!

It is imperative you go visit David Bellavia's site.

Go.  Now.  Clicky-Clicky!

January 1, 2010


I'll be glued to the TV today, there's gonna be a little bit of Oregon way down in Pasadena.....UO in the Rose Bowl!

Go Ducks!!!!