Bitmask Helper Function

I had a need recently to be able to determine if a given position of an integer bitmask was set or not (for example, given the bitmask 0101 which is 5 in decimal, how would you check if the 4 position is set? — this is less obvious for, say decimal 75 — is 16 […]

Big Guns

No, not my muscles… We had weapons qualification earlier this week and brought along some other weapons to familiarize with (courtesy of EOD). I got a few pictures and a couple of nice movies of the experience. All the pictures are in the August gallery. Here's one of my favorites: More pics in the gallery, […]

Some Product Reviews and Packing Tips

Still love all my UnderArmour stuff — I don’t wear anything else for shirts/underwear now. Got a Gilette Mach3 razor from my wife a few days ago to replace my Gillette Sensor (figured I’d give the new one a shot and see how I liked it). The difference was amazing – there’s no way I’m […]

Update From Caldwell

Things are moving along here. I’m fine. My roommate moved to another base a few days ago, so now I’ve got a room to myself. However, that probably won’t last since it sounds like I’ll be moving to another base (separate from Chris) as well in a few weeks. Still most likely doing the same […]

EQT Training

Because I’m stationed at the same base as my battalion and brigade headquarters (‘close to the flagpole’), my platoon (and company) has to endure some silliness that units further from here do not. For instance, while back home, some of the major training activities that national guard units do include common task training (CTT), engineer […]

Goodies for Iraqi Kids

I wrote last month about how the Iraqi children come running and waving whenever we drive through villages, and how sometimes our troops have candy and stuff to throw to them. Since I have most of what I need to get by here, I told people wanting to send me stuff that they could send […]


I got two letters this morning, one from my wife and one from my mom. One was sent on July 12th and the other on July 27th. So, as you can tell, the mail system is sometimes a bit flaky, but so far it seems like everything that’s been sent has been getting to me, […]

Changes Coming in Whidbey B2

In case you’ve been in Iraq or something and haven’t already seen this, here’s a post from Shanku about upcoming changes to ASP.NET coming in Beta 2 (mostly features that won’t make the cut). Somehow, despite my being in Iraq at the moment, this blog still gets way more readers than my current one […]

Engineers Doing EOD Work Get Incentive Pay

This Stars and Stripes article:,13319,FL_pay_042004,00.html Describes how engineers doing the work of ordnance disposal are now (as of last November) eligible to receive incentive pay of $150/month. So far I haven’t seen this but at some point I should since I’ve been doing this since July and my company has been tracking this.