3 Jul
          So the LGMT-IT (Leadership General Military Training--Instructional Techniques) course graduated on Wednesday. They gave me two days off, and I start with Raven Platoon on Saturday. Raven is a Youth Employment Training program for First Nations people--kind of a summer camp with a military theme. We run these kids ages 16-24 through a watered-down, kindler/gentler mini-recruit course. It should be fun. At the worst, I should have some new Dumb Recruit © moments for you.
          Today Pen and I are going into Victoria for the big Cultural Festival that they run every year. Lots of food, crafts vendors, and music and dancing from various cultures around the world. Then we're going on a three hour sail aboard this wicked cool sail boat, and tonight we'll probably go see T3. (We watched the first two movies the past two nights just to bone up on the story.)

4 Jul
          Sailing yesterday was great. We took a three-hour tour aboard the Thane--a fifty-five foot sailboat. The three-hour tour thing made me a bit nervous, but I checked and there was no one named Gilligan on board so I figured we were safe. The captain told us Thane was modeled after the Captain Joshua Slocum's vessel--Spray. Slocum was the first man to circumnavigate the world solo. Apparently he would wire the papers to tell them what he was up to, but no one would believe him. I commented that maybe he should have brought along a witness, but either no one got it, or they just though I was an idiot and were too polite to laugh. 
          That happens to me a lot. The other day we were watching an escape artist do his act on the inner boardwalk. He'd wrapped himself up in about three hundred turns of saran wrap, and was trying to get out. I said, "On the bright side, if you don't escape at least you'll stay fresh for days." Nothing. I wonder if maybe that's why I'm having a hard time selling the humour in Darkside?
   And to all my American friends, happy Independance Day!

13 Jul
          Tommy Prince Platoon--that's what it's called now, after the most decorated Canadian Indian....er....American Ind…um…Native Ameri....no, that's not it....Aboriginal....wait, I've got it....First Nations veteran--is in full swing now. (Whew! This political correctness bull....er....lingo is tough to get the hang of.) I'd like to say things are going along smoothly, but---EDIT--Hey! What the heck? 
          Oh, right. Sorry. Things are wonderful. The program is working just fine. The staff is working hard to assimila...train our First Nations youth in the Canadian military tradition, and blah, blah, blah. How's that for a sound bite? 

16 Jul
Warrant: Did you fall asleep in weapons class again?
Recruit: I think so.
Warrant: What do you mean you think so?
Recruit: I closed my eyes, and when I opened them it was ten minutes later.
Warrant: So, what did you miss?
Recruit: How would I know? I was sleeping.

17 Jul
          Today a Master Seaman was making fun of the air force, and more specifically, the Sea King helicopter. (Granted, even I have to admit the Sea King can best be described as a thousand whirling parts flying in close formation, but I'm air force, so it's okay.) As an example, he made reference to a Sea King that went down in the ocean as it was trying to land on the back of one of their ships. He pointed out how it floundered in the water for forty-five minutes before navy personnel rescued its crew, and the ship finally sank out of sight. To which I replied: "Yeah, but that Sea King floated for forty-five minutes longer than one of your ships can fly." Navy people. You have to coddle 'em sometimes.

22 Jul
          So we went rappelling on Saturday. It went well. We give them an hour or two of ground school, and then take them up the tower. At the top we inspect them to make sure they're rigged properly, then give them the command, "Ready." They connect up, and on the command, "Position,"  take up a position at the edge of the tower. At this point they holler down to the person on brake, "ONE ON RAPPEL," who hollers back, "ONE ON BELAY." 
          I had a little trouble convincing one of the female recruits, but after passing inspection, and hearing the "Position" command, she hesitantly moved into position.
          "I can't don't it, Master Corporal, " she said, shaking like a leaf. 
          "Sure you can," I told her. "If the Master Seaman can do it, anyone can." (Okay, that was a little dig at my navy co-workers, but it got a laugh out of her.) "Just take a deep breath." After she'd taken several I asked her, "All right, what do you say to the person down below?"
          At which point she turned and called out, "I'M NOT COMMING!"

And later:

Female Recuit: Can I speak to you for a moment, Master?
Me: That's Master Corporal, but I like your attitude.

(By the way, the first recruit did successfully rappel down the tower.)