Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Word for HM2 Xin Qi

Petty Officer Second Class Xin Qi, 25, of Cordova, TN, died January 23, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. His dismounted patrol was reportedly attacked by a suicide bomber.

Doc Qi (Chee) was assigned to Fourth Light Armored Recon Battalion, Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan.

He was a reservist and volunteered for the deployment. A commenter in the Memphis paper, responding to the report of Qi's death, wondered what the country was coming to allowing this son of Chinese immigrants to serve under our flag. I saw that and wondered why Qi would want to. We can be such assholes.

Semper Fi, my brother.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Putting California Behind Me

I have learned - or recognized or admitted - some things about myself lately.

I'm not a good mover. I told my sisters I was fine because I only had a few pieces of furniture that I was taking and six or seven 32-gallon tubs of 'stuff.' I thought about renting a 17-foot U-Haul, but got the 14-footer instead. I was wrong. It turns out that I'm something of a packrat.

I can be unreasonably stubborn about things. I was sworn, bound, and determined to be out of California before 2010, and so I spent a ridiculous amount of time (including twelve hours on New Years Eve) in an effort to cram a 17-foot truckload of crap into a 14-foot truck. I drove away at 4:30PM on New Years Eve leaving a substantial donation to Goodwill behind, and didn't stop until 11PM(PST) in Kingman, AZ. I guess that means I "won," but I've already had to replace several of the small appliances and other items I left behind.

I do enjoy driving across the country, and I caught a huge break on the weather. Having said that, I really should avoid trying to back up while towing a trailer - or get a lot better at it. A couple of times it's provided some laughs from my fellow Red Crossers when I've had to back a shelter trailer, but there were several minutes on that freeway off-ramp in Arkansas when I seriously wished I was better at backing off of that freeway off-ramp before someone tried to exit there.

Putting all of that behind me, I now live in an apartment on a hillside overlooking Asheville, NC, with a really nice view of the sunsets over the Smokey Mountains. I'm unloading boxes, and too often finding things that have me asking myself what the hell I was thinking when I packed that instead of my toaster oven or whatever.

My baby sister has already asked when I'm going to see the error of my ways and move back. I told her that, even if I were to admit to missing an El Nino winter in Southern California and California politics, I recognize that I suck at moving and I'm staying put.