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More dispatches from Iraq

In a recent blog entry at 365 and a Wakeup, a deployed American soldier talks about the difficulties that an Iraqi Army brigade had when they were ambushed in a civilian area and couldn’t adequately defend themselves for fear of hitting local civilians. While the reasons we went to Iraq …

365 and a Wakeup

"In the days prior to leaving on R&R soldiers are required to watch
a series of videos that are meant to ease the transition to the "land
of cool water". To be honest I don’t remember to much of those videos,
they rest somewhere buried deep under the ocean of anticipation of
reuniting with my wife. But there was sagacious piece of advice in that
presentation that stayed with me… you can’t make up a year and a half
in two weeks." -Baghdad soldier blog, "365 and a wakeup"

On this Memorial Day

Violette Szabo, undated photoFor Memorial Day I’d like to share with you one of the most beautiful and saddest poems I’ve every read.  Even today I debate reading it aloud, because I’m usually choked up by the second stanza.  But its history, and the sacrifice it represented for freedom is worth the attempt. 

This untitled poem by Violette Szabo was composed during World War 2 before her deployment.  Violette was a French resistance espionage agent managed by British intelligence who worked covertly in Nazi-occupied France during World War 2.

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

You deserve a bit of an explanation of course…

Holy crap!

Where did the time go?  Did I really go 8 days without a blog update?

Tracey, a dear friend, and my sister Sam threw us a baby shower two Saturdays ago.  The "No cute onesies" rule was adhered to and they tossed us the kind of adult bacchanalia you expect out of the Safdar household.  Much liquor was consumed (but not by the mother to be), much smoke was inhaled, and the next morning I found myself picking up random items of women’s clothing that were discarded on the way into the hot tub. 

Several weeks into my HP TC 1100 Tablet PC

I’m now several weeks into my life with my HP TC1100, and it’s pretty indispensible.  Below I’ve written up how I’ve been using the tablet, as well as what improvements I could make to it to make it more useful.  On the whole, I think if you’re going to buy another laptop, you should definately be shopping for tablet functionality on your checklist of things your laptop should have.

I’d carefully compare any new prospective laptop purchase to the HP TC4200, a brand new "laptop with tablet features" that looks really, really good.

My birthday so rocks.

I’ve had an awesome birthday.  Coinciding with several large factions of my family speaking for the first time in fifteen years, I got birthday wishes from all of my parents and parts of the family I haven’t spoken to in years.   My moms sent me some good-looking shirts, one phoned in an order to Cakelove, and my little sister had Imo’s Pizza drop-shipped to me from St. Louis.

Besides having all the kids of this generation speaking, Sarah put out a call for birthday poetry, and I got it back in spades from the Burning Man clan I hang with, Fandango.  I can’t keep them to myself, so I include them below with their authors.

Selected links you should read

Check out another one of Sarah’s "Pregnancy Myths Debunked".  I think there’s a book in this somewhere. Bill Rini, one of the people that blog a lot about poker, has a good link to the diary of a guy who started playing online poker for a living in between consulting …