In Domestic news, I just got into Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. My Uncle Mike doubles as LT Adams of the 82nd Airborne. This week the Lieutenant will show the Cadet a few of the ropes (including Infantry PT sessions, the use of night vision goggles and a few weapons). I’m also lucky enough to spend some quality time with his family (in increasing order of age) – Drake, an infant with better manners than some adults I know (no crying, no tantrums, no squirming during diaper changings), Delaney (pre-K), who melts my heart when she hears my voice on the phone and asks Mike if she can speak to “Joshy Bear,” and Drake (1st grade), a Spider-man loving one-upper (you ate two bowls of Kix, Josh? I ate seven!), and Jennifer, the poster-mother of ‘wifery as a full-time job’. They’re a pretty cool bunch. Also, Mike plays intramural hockey with a few Delta Force Operators, so I’ll get to see a few of those games.
In International news, I leave for Australia Monday, January 31st. I arrive in Sydney Wednesday, February 2nd at 6:15AM. After I make the “I’m okay, I got in safe” calls, I’m railing up to Newcastle (a 2.5 hour train ride). I’ll be picked up at the train station by Pete, the manager of the Hutchins House, where I’m living (it’s off campus – one bus ride from the University and 10 minutes from the beach). I’ll drop my stuff off at the house, tour around Newcastle and sign the contract. Then I’ll grab my backpack and hit the rail. I might hit Tasmania, but it’s pretty up in the air. What I know for sure is: I’m taking a 7-day surf camp, starting Monday and finishing up right before school starts.
Any of you are welcome to bother me in Newcastle. It’s probably the cheapest chance you’ll ever get to visit the GDU (Great Down Under). I won’t have much except a floor to sleep on, a safe place for your stuff, and a detailed knowledge of where to go and what to see, but what else do you need? If you’re a student, check out www.studentuniverse.com for low, low ticket prices. Seriously, folks.
I’ll also be writing for the Index, Truman’s fine student newspaper. Just like Hemingway, except I’ll be writing correspondence on how people treat me when I tell them I’m Canadian versus American and how everyone thinks Americans are deceptive, stuff like that. I’ll send those out as they’re published.
BTW, I’m still sitting on AIM as ORsolidarity. I know nobody will message me, but I’m there if you want to. Also, unless I find a cool Internet cafe or something, the only Internet access I’ll have will be when I’m on campus – Monday, Tuesday, and every other Wednesday. So give me a little bit of time to respond to e-mails and the like.
The attached little gem-of-a-memorial is a camphone pic taken in Oregon‘s beautiful capitol, Salem. I thought it was pretty neat-o and, at the very least, worth sharing.
And the pictures:
From the month-old get-together:
From Truman ROTC’s last Squad Training Exercise (STX). We practice ambushes, front-on assaults, and the like. The flat, blue brick I’m setting up against the tree is a dummy Claymore. When triggered, it would release a bunch of little ball bearings with a quite a bit of force. It’s a pretty nasty anti-personnel weapon. There’s also a
digital copy of the Ranger Challenge Alpha Team with Major General (two stars) Castro. Yeah, I shook his hand. He looked CDT Fenton in the eye, shook my hand and said “good luck.” It was pretty cool. Yeah.
These last two aren’t pictures, but still worth clicking. The first is a countdown site until I return (dorky, I know, but still semi-useful). The second is a sicka-sweet commercial that McDonald aired in Israel. It’s subtle humor, and the punch line isn’t at the end. If only they’d show this sort of thing in America.
Josh Fenton (or, as I’m known in Denmark: Tyler)