4 Nov
          We did the 5K march with rucksack on Friday, followed by the obstac...er...confidence course. (Damn political correctness. Oh, wait, I can’t say damn, either. Darn. Nuts!--Hey, we don’t “Point” either. Pointing is too intimidating. We “direct.”) 
          Tomorrow we do a 7Km march, followed by the same confidence course. The recruits also have a drill test, with a weapons handling test on Wednesday. (That’s proper loading and unloading of the weapon, immediate actions and stoppages, making the weapon safe--no wonder postal workers that go Looney tunes are so good with high-powered rifles—they already have the lingo down. Well, except for the fact that we don’t fold, spindle or mutilate our weapons. Not usually, anyways.) 
          So, as you can see, I’m mondo busy, and don’t have time to update this webpage. Hey, wait a minute...!

23 Nov
          So I just got back from two weeks in the field (have I ever mentioned how much I hate camping?) and have reached the conclusion that no matter how many nifty toys we soldiers may have--nightvision goggles, laser sights, GPS, cans of Spam--you’ll never be able to maintain troops in the field for any appreciable length of time until we develop portable washrooms. 
          I don’t mean those smelly green Tardis-looking outhouse thingies, either. I mean something in an inter-dimensional bag--you know, like a purse you can reach your hand in and pull out a Buick, or a split-level bungalow. I'll crawl through swamps and sleep in the muck, cam up with that new Mary Kay camouflage paint we have, even eat the those horrid IMP's (Individual Meal Packs -- there's a ham and cheese omelette one that looks remarkably like a good old slab of Jabba the Hutt) as long as I know there's a hot shower and a porcelain flush-toilet waiting for me at the end of the day. 
          That's right; give yer average soldier a chance to clean up an sit on the throne with a copy of Maxim for about an hour after a hard days hunt, and you could sustain operations indefinitely.

24 Nov
          Hello? Is there anybody out there? I really love Victoria, but sometimes I swear I'm all alone out here. Well, except for Pen, and usually she's at work when I'm home and vice versa.
          Things are starting to wind down with Cyprus Platoon. All they have left is to return most of their kit, and then about a week of parade practice for their Graduation Parade on 2 Dec. My next platoon doesn't start up until 26 Jan, which gives me a bit of a break. I'm hoping to be able to get some writing done then, not that there's any hurry. 
          It's not like anyone's been breaking down my door to read my stuff. Heck, they're not even knocking at my door. They don't even drive by my house. It's all, "Nothing to see here, move along," and, "These are not the droids you're looking for." The eleven agents that I sent Darkside out to have rejected it. That means to date 25 agents and two publishers have turned it down. No luck on any of the short stories either. 
          There's no time to join any bands, either. Oh yeah, and did I mention I'm flat broke? Let's see: no time, no friends, no money, no band, writing career sucks. And I've got a cold, too. But, on a positive note, even though I know she doesn't read my blog:

Happy Birthday Kate!!!

27 Nov
          I accompanied a Reserve Artillery Officer as he visited our troops in the Mess Tent.
          Officer to young French Recruit: "How are you, Private?"
          Recruit: "Sir, Je suis manger." (I am eating.)
          Officer: "What did he say, Master Corporal?"
          Me: "I think he said he has mange, sir."
          Officer: "Mange, eh. That's bad. I haven't seen a case of that in years. Make sure he sees the Medic."
          Me: "Yes, Sir."

          Me, to a fellow instructor after I returned late to our camp tent (I stayed up until 02:30 by the fire). 
          "Wake up, Bill, you have to go to the bathroom."
          Bill: "Huh?" (Wiping the sleep from his eyes.) "Okay." Whereupon he got up, got fully dressed, walked through the woods to the latrines, then came back and went to bed.