Sleep dep zombie, future of war

Can’t sleep. It’s amazing when I can drag for 14 hours through a day feeling like a zombie, then when I make it to bed, I can’t sit still. And after all of my bitching about the weather, it’s almost vaguely warm tonight, and I don’t have my fan armada set up yet. So I just took two Tylenol-PMs, got a snack of microwave pretzels, and I’m listening to some jazz show on PBS that doesn’t sound half bad. I really wish I knew more about jazz sometimes, but I guess I’ve only got so many brain cells, and most of them are occupied with worthless trivia about the heavy metal genre.

I just finished reading a book about the Civil War – more specifically, a journal or diary by a surgeon from New York who spent three years in the army. I think it was cleaned up by some high school teacher and some of his students as part of a historical society project, so I couldn’t tell if it read well because of the man’s education, or the post-processing. I thought there would be more blood and guts, lockjaw and field amputations. That stuff was mentioned, but it was mostly a travelogue, about how the army put down tents and set up camp, then moved at a moment’s notice. But even with this travel, they still had visits from their wives, leave in Washington DC, and semi-regular mail. (But not regular pay!) I did enjoy the little notions of the bygone era, like how the guy said “I called on Dr. Hall this evening,” not meaning that he picked up a phone, but that he walked over to his tent and socialized. It’s interesting how technology and society has changed this sort of interaction. I mean, the book was written mostly from letters the guy wrote to his wife. Who actually sits down with pen and paper to write letters anymore?

(The show is Jazz at Lincoln Center, btw.)

I went impromptu CD shopping for a second today (someone at work went to Tower after lunch and I tagged along.) I didn’t sweep the whole A to Z looking for specifics, but I did pick up the first Anthrax album, and the first (or third, if you count demos) CD by Pacific Northwest Death/Gore Metallists Engorged. I bought their CD on a whim, but I REALLY like it. It reminds me a lot of Carcass, which is one of my all-time favorite grind/gore-type bands. While most of Carcass’s grumbled lyrics are medical terms straight out of Grey’s Anatomy, Engorged is almost a parody, a lot more humorous and referential to horror movies. It’s a pretty good accidental find.

Not much else. I am playing Blitzkrieg still, on a very regular and scheduled basis. I’m now in the desert, outside of Libya. It’s neat to see the terrain change from France’s grassy hills and villages to the African desert. And even my equipment changed color, to the desert fatigue paint jobs. Missions are getting a lot more complicated, but I’m gaining ground faster, so I must be learning something.

I am reading a new book on the future of war, which is turning out to actually be a larger lesson in economic interdependence of major ruling powers, and how war has evolved since the conquest for land position has diminished, but the tension of economic dispute stays the same. It used to be the case that in order to be a world power, you had to have a strong rule on the Atlantic trade route. But as of 1980, the economy of Pacific trade routes equaled that of Atlantic. So even if you were a country in the far end of Asia, you could rise to the point of being a major economic power. (See also: Japan, Korea, Singapore, et al.) And a major point is that many people say war is obsolete because more and more countries are linked together by trade. But the truth is, before World War I, most academics said the same thing, and that France and Germany would never go to war, because their hands were so deep in each others’ pockets. And you know how that one ended up.

The magic of the little blue pills cascades over my head. It’s time to go have a long series of bizarre dreams.



I can’t stop playing Blitzkrieg. It is the most addictive strategy game ever. It’s fairly accurate to World War II, but instead of being a first-person sort of thing like Medal of Honor, all you are doing is moving around your tanks and troops and stuff on an isometric map that vaguely resembles the old SimCity, except it has way more detail of the French landscape (or whereever you are in Europe.) When your troops run into the enemy, they automatically enter battle and try to do their duty, so you don’t worry about that. What you do worry about is the supply line, guarding the flank, getting overrun, enemy dive bombers (you can call up air support) and about a million other things. It’s not hard to figure out how to move around your dudes, but it takes forever to learn the actual art of war and how to keep your army alive.

Not much has been up here. It’s still winter outside, which sucks. We have a three-day weekend, but it’s in the high 50s and cloudy and generally shitty. I have barely left the house all weekend; it’s the kind of weather where sitting in front of the TV is optimal. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything on but NASCAR and other crap. I went to the drug store yesterday to pick up a $10 prescription and left $119 later, with a ton of stuff I vaguely needed: new britta filters, new cleaining supplies, new toothbrush, new printer cartridges. I spent part of yesterday cleaning this hellhole, and actually got the kitchen somewhat in order. Pretty exciting, huh?

I got about 35 new CDs from Ray. A friend of his is apparently going to prison, and he sent Ray his whole music collection so he could somehow sell it off and scrape together some of the fines he will also owe the government. So for $206, I got this giant box full of Death Metal, Black Metal, and some other old stuff. I stocked up on a lot of the old early-90s stuff that I had on tape a lifetime ago, and haven’t heard in ten years. I finally got a CD copy of the Cynic album Focus, which is pretty cool and weird. I also got the metal cased version of the Slayer double-live album, which is pretty neat.

Right now I am listening to the Saxon album The Power and the Glory; I finally got a version from Holland for like $19 on Amazon. I love all of those old Saxon albums, and had them on tape back in the 80s when they had a deal with Sony (I think.) Now EMI has some of the old stuff out in Europe, and it’s great to hear it again. It reminds me so much of driving down the road in the old Camaro, listening to all the old heavy metal we could find in the local Camelot Music’s bins. But digging around for this old metal on eBay or weird third-party web stores always makes me think that my musical knowledge is somehow stuck at 1989, and I’ll always be trying to find that old Indestroy demo or looking up what Dave Mustaine is doing these days, while all kinds of other music comes and goes. And I’ll admit, I’ve tried to objectively listen to this New Metal a bit to see if I’d like it, and I realize that it’s probably true: I’m getting old.

I was at a party and someone was talking about Metallica, and I said “yeah, I used to be a fan of theirs, but I’m not anymore,” and the chick I was talking to said “oh, you mean you’re not a fan now that Jayson left?” No, since Cliff left.

I want to redesign the front page of, but I’m not sure I’ll do it this weekend. I almost saw the sun for a second, but now it’s gone. Looks like I’ll reboot to Windows and continue invading France.



I’m back. I’ve been back since Wednesday morning, but there’s been a lot of jetlag and apathy toward writing on here, plus I’ve been working on the trip page and other general unpacking.

Not much else is going on. It’s very depressing to be back in New York. The temperature is a good 20 degrees cooler than it was on Oahu, and the little (and big) problems of living in New York seem magnified now that I’m back. I felt so wonderful when I was gone, and now I’m back to having a perpetual hack and sniffle that won’t go away. I wish I could move to Hawaii.

Anyway, eating a late dinner – I fell asleep after work, so I ordered some Chinese. I need to spellcheck that story before anybody reads it, so I better go do that…


no sleep before Hawaii

I can’t sleep. I guess I only have an hour or two until the alarms go off, but I think I will be fairly screwed today. In about five hours, I’ll be on a plane to Dallas, then to San Francisco, then eventually to Honolulu. That’s about 14 hours of airplanes and airports, and yet I still don’t manage to score an actual meal on any of my flights. My biggest worry is that my transfer at SFO is a scant thirty minutes. The two gates are right next to each other, but if the Dallas plane is at all late, I will miss the last flight to Hawaii. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

I think I’m packed, except for the various electronics that are charging, and their respective chargers. I’ll only be gone four days, so I just have a bag of clothes, the laptop bag, and a small camera bag for the camcorder. I really feel like I’m forgetting something, but I think I’m ready to roll.

Okay, I really should try to at least lay in bed and rest for another two hours. It is currently 50 degrees and drizzling – it will be nice to get to 85 and some sun. Anyway, I’ll be back in a few days.