Saturday, May 29, 2010

What a Day!

You know, people always get on my case about knowing too much of my system, but today, those voices were silent. We experienced severe turbulence and with my calm, naturally cool attitude, was able to control the situation and save the aircraft (Our system isnt designed to fly in anything above moderate turbulence.)

And just for reference, everyone here has experienced on a commercial airliner what is considered LIGHT turbulence. Severe turbulence essentially is strong enough to cause structural damage to aircrafts. Guess that's why they call me 'Professor' this deployment. And to top it off, I had to correct our Warrant Officer on regulations for signing a risk assessment for a certain condition. But I will praise SPC W. for his finesse in landing the aircraft when it was uncertain what was going to happen. Kudos, dude.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's Gonna Rain...!

So, apparently I am a better weather guy then the ones that we use here in Iraq. While they are forecasting weather, I am predicting weather and I have been right on more occassions than they have. (I swear they have the best job... They can be wrong and still keep their job. The weather simply changed.) I had both SWOs (Staff Weather Officer) tell me that they use a magic 8-ball half the time anyways. And I tell them that my 8-ball told me on the days when it was going to rain(And it did!) They now want my 8-ball. lol

Anywho, we are finishing up the inventories before our current commander hands over our company to the new incoming Commander. Now mind you we have actually been working with this new commander since we got in country, and at first we werent too keen on his ability to lead a unit with a UAS platoon in it. But it seems that since he has been transitioning over to being our commander, his whole attitude has changed and is a pretty approachable guy. Hopefully it sticks that way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Chocolate Milk Diet

And no, this is NOT a joke.
From Yahoo News:
Imagine if everything you needed to know about weight loss, you learned in kindergarten. Well, if your teacher gave you chocolate milk as a lunchtime treat, she was (unknowingly) giving you one of the most powerful weight-loss tools in the nutritional universe. Turns out this childhood staple may be the ideal vehicle for your body’s most neglected nutritional needs. Each bottle delivers a package of micro- and macronutrients that can help you shake off body flab and replace it with firm muscle. And when you served it ice-cold, the creamy sweetness flows across your tongue with all the pleasure of a milk shake. Yum.

That’s the crux of what I'm calling "The Chocolate Milk Diet," which isn’t a diet at all. It’s essentially three eight-ounce servings of chocolate milk consumed at key points throughout your day: one when you wake up, a second before you exercise, and a third directly after your workout. Or, if it's your day off, just pattern them for morning, afternoon, and night. Sounds good, right? It is, and that’s why it’s so easy. But is this a free ticket to eat as much fried chicken as you want throughout the rest of the day? Unfortunately not, but alongside a healthy diet, it can help you drop lots of belly fat fast. Here are the four reasons why:

Secret #1: The Calcium Effect

Researchers have known for years about the role that calcium plays in building strong bones, but a more recent development deals with they way it affects your belly. A series of studies have shown that calcium can actually impede your body’s ability to absorb fat, and when researchers in Nebraska analyzed five of these studies, they were able to estimate that consuming 1,000 mg more calcium can translate to losing nearly 18 pounds of flab. What’s more, other studies have shown that dairy foods offer the most readily absorbable calcium you can find. Knock back three servings of brown cow and you’ll reach that crucial 1,000 mg threshold. At that point, any other calcium that you eat or drink is a bonus.

Bonus Tip: Everything is not as it seems in the world of fat and calories. Click here to see the 30 “Healthy” Foods that Aren’t. You'll be shocked by the pounds of fat you may unwittingly gain while thinking that you're eating healthy.

Secret #2: The Vitamin D Factor

All the calcium in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t get a good dose of vitamin D to go with it. That’s because vitamin D is responsible for moving calcium from your food to your body, which means if you’re running low on D, you’re probably also missing the calcium you need to stay slim. Other symptoms of the D deficiency are weak muscles, easily breakable bones, and depression—not a great combo for success. Now here’s why this is significant: Most experts agree that the average American isn’t getting enough D. Some estimate that only half the population is meeting the requirement and one study published in the journal Pediatrics found that 70 percent of American children had low levels of D in their diet. The thing is, your body makes vitamin D naturally when you expose your skin to sunlight, but most people spend too much time indoors to benefit. And intentionally spending more time in the sun could put you at risk for skin cancer. The solution? Drink up. Chocolate milk, like most milk, is fortified with vitamin D.

One caveat here: Drink 1% chocolate milk. Vitamin D won't work without a little fat to help break it down. You want to skip the whole milk, too, as it has too many calories to make it a regular habit. The best option is 1%, or low-fat chocolate milk. It has the fat you need to absorb crucial vitamins, yet at three cups a day, it will save you 120 calories over whole milk.

Bonus Tip: Everything you need to know about cereal is right here: America's Best and Worst Cereals. Keep the sugar down and the fiber up for a perfect start to your day.

Secret #3: The Endurance Boost

If you want to lose the gut, you’ve got to exercise—no surprise there. But here’s a fact that’s not so obvious: Drinking chocolate milk can improve your gains. In a study published in The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, subjects given chocolate milk before hopping on the stationary bikes were able to ride 49 percent longer than subjects given a generic carbohydrate-replacement beverage. And on top of that, they pedaled even harder. Total work performed by the chocolate-milk group was greater than the work performed by subjects drinking carbohydrate-replacement drinks or electrolyte-fortified sports drinks. The reason? Milk has naturally occurring electrolytes that keep you hydrated—more hydrated then water, in fact, which I revealed recently on my Twitter account—and its natural sweetness helps push more energy into your muscles. Another study from 2009 found similar results, but it went one step further by asking participants which beverage they thought tasted better. Not surprisingly, 100% chose chocolate milk.

Bonus Tip: Discover more loveable liquids by browsing through our Best Beers slideshow. Or, if you’d rather avoid the calories altogether, then you’ll want to read The Worst Beverages in the Supermarket. Again, the point is to make weight-loss easy and fun, without ever worrying about going on a diet again.

Secret #4: The Protein-Body-Weight Connection

Want to know the secret to staying thin? You need more muscle. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat, so for every new muscle fiber you create, your resting metabolism receives another surge of fat-torching energy. And chocolate milk can help you do that. Researchers have determined that the ideal protein load for building muscle is 10 to 20 grams, half before and half after your workout. How much protein will you find in low-fat chocolate milk? Eight grams per cup. (That means one serving before your workout and one serving after will give you a total of 16 grams of highly effective whey protein—a perfect serving.) Add that to the extra cup you drank first thing in the morning and you’re looking at a turbocharged metabolism that keeps you burning calories all day long.

And don’t forget, you can still melt those 18 pounds of belly fat without giving up your favorite foods. You just need to make smart swaps, and we’ve got 10 new ones right here. You'll lose weight faster than ever—again, with ever dieting again.

Side-note: I will say that my intake of Chocolate Milk most likely exceeds the 3x8oz servings for this diet. But it might explain why I was staying at 165lbs for like...Ever...But I will say that I have slowly started to gain muscle mass as per the P90X program (and hopefully with the addition of the FlexBelt Ab workout device), I will be able to get to a nice healthy, lean/toned physique.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Its Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas...

In Campo, Colorado.... Certainly not here with a High of 109 today(RealFeel of 122), 111 tomorrow (with a RealFeel of 127), and 115 (RealFeel of 133) on wednesday... Umm, did someone forget to tell Iraq that its STILL springtime... HELLO!?!?!?!? Even the winds feel like someone turned on an industrial-strength blow dryer (much like the one from the movie "SpaceBalls.") Even the shade is in the mid 110s. But there is good news. We can now enjoy refreshing meals inside our new DFAC which recently opened and can seat 230 people at a time. Also some good news, the current FOB Commander has directed that snail mail arrive more frequently (even if in small quantities.) The reasoning may be personal, but it will mean that mail could arrive as quickly as just a few days. They have also changed up our flight times due to the heat so I will have a break in between the first and second flight of the day. (about 3 hour break). Which is nice cuz that means I will be in my nice, a/c cooled tent when its a million degress outside.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Another Saturday

Greetings from home. The day started with thunder, lightning and rain. It is now 1445 and the thunder and lightning have stopped, but it is still sprinkling. Eveything that is supposed to be is GREEN!!. I don't think I have seen plants, bushes, trees, etc. this green in the 17 1/2 yrs we have lived here. BTW - the pool water is about the same color of green. Why?? Because several years ago we had a bad ice storm in Dec. During that ice storm, a couple of large branches broke off one of the big trees close to the pool. When they fell, they were caught by lower branches and hung out there for these last few years. Well, this last spring we had some VERY windy days and the broken branches found their way to the ground by way of the pump and filter for the pool. SO...some parts have to be replaced/fixed. Consequently, although they came out on Mother's Day to "open" the pool, nothing is working yet. I am hopeful that all will get fixed this week so we can swim by Memorial Day.

Does anyone else think it strange that I "chat" with DA more when he is half way around the world then when he is "home"? That is certainly the case. We chat almost every afternoon for a little while. Don't get me wrong! It's not that I don't enjoy it because I do! It just seems weird that it happens this way.

Hope all is well where you are and that the haboob has moved on.

Love you lots. Be safe and KYHD!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blast from the Past

So I was going through some old emails trying somehow to clean up and organize my inbox when I stumbled across a particular photograph. So, if ANYONE has ever doubted how much the Army has done for me physically, I will show you how I used to look... Its kind of scary knowing that I personally was that big. And I will show how I looked the DAY of my graduation from Basic Training.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Latest from Iraq...

So its been 2 months since we have arrived in theater (pass the popcorn)... So far we have managed to piss off the locals by constantly flying around. We have enjoyed some yummy BBQ at our sister site. I have been promoted to Sergeant (AT EASE!!)... We have been established at the bastard child/shining star of the TOC (Tactical Operational Center)... I have been able to set in stone that I will be home for the birth of our first baby mac. So yea, that's 2 months of deployment in a nutshell.

Oh, and apparently the human body (specifically the human thigh) is no match when put against(thats an understatement) an after-market, up-armored metal HMMWV front bumper...Me Just an hour of colliding with the HMMWV

My "I cannot believe I did this" grin...