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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Transition: Focus Your Need To Serve Elsewhere

10 May 2017

As a Citizen-Soldier for over 20-years, the thought of putting others first has always had appeal.  I originally joined the Army Reserves in college to help with the bills.  I wanted to be a soldier, and from an early age I had a duty to country as well.  There is a military tradition in my family, and I am sure most of you can relate to these conditions.  Most of us can also relate to the dramatic change in our attitudes toward military service in a post-911 world.  I left family, and jobs, to serve overseas like many others.  It was, as is commonly described by my brothers and sisters, the transition back that was hardest.

Coming back to a swirling landscape of career paths, additional education required to catch-up, and the need to be understood by people who had not served was stressful.  It was especially hard when I retired from military service and found myself on the outside of system looking in.  I missed the direct contact that came with being “in”.  I could no longer share the common bond of service that others who are still in have.  While we have shared experiences, my duty was at an end, and there was a hole left in it’s place.  I truly miss the camaraderie, training, and focus that came from service.

I found a new way to serve.  Troops to Teachers, a local college, and some fantastic mentors put me on a path to becoming an educator in the Philadelphia area.  I also turned my need to lead into a passion for coaching sports, clubs, and scouting.  The combination of these areas has had a profound effect on me, and my relationships.  It fills the gap left from my time of service.  I believe it is the best use of my skills and resources, and I encourage any member of the armed forces to try it.  I have taught STEM Engineering and Computer Science in the Philadelphia area since 2009..  I am currently teaching Middle School technology classes to help prepare students to use the digital tools that will serve them far into High School and beyond.  The planning and implementing of the curriculum, and the effective communication and sharing of methods and ideas with colleagues is very similar to working in a company, platoon, and squad size element.

Coaching sports allows me to help develop physical skills, agility, and leadership in kids.  Scouting allows me to stay in touch with the outdoor skills like camping, survival, first-aid, and orienteering.  The combination of all three allows me to keep sharp, and pass on, knowledge that I feared would slowly sink away into the abyss of time.  I also get to spend time with family at most of the events.  Most of all, it is the mentor relationship that I hope to have, in various degrees, with people in my community that fills the void where service once filled.  Being mentored by others (head coaches, scout leaders, school administrators), and mentoring others has added a dimension to my life that I thought I could not get back when I left the service.

Blogging here is also helpful.  I want to be available to those who have served our country, educators who need help adding or implementing technology in their programs, or anyone who is trying to find their way out of darkness.  I will post more topic, or skill specific, posts in the future here.  Requests are always welcome.  I have taken a path with my life, and I would be happy to share the route map, pitfalls, or keys-to-success so far with any of you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Where is Harvey and Websites Galore!

Hello Everyone!  It has been a while since I said hello, and updated you on my whereabouts!  I am currently teaching at Collegium Charter School in Exton, PA.  They are fantastic!  Great Students, Great Staff, and a supportive and encouraging environment to work in!  My Professional Information site is edtechfundamentals.com, and can lead you to find my linkedin, twitter, facebook and other ways to contact me.  This is my personal blog page!

My class website has changed names, but still contains a ton of valuable lessons for Business Technology, Computer Science, Engineering Design, and many other "STEAM" projects!  Please feel free to visit at http://collegiumtech.blogspot.com.  The school web address is collegiumcharter.com if you would like to learn more about the school.

I have been busy creating websites, videos, and other content for multiple applications and projects.  I am still an enthusiastic disciple of students learning to code!


In my role (since 2014) as a Training Facilitator in Partnership with Code.Org, I have trained over 1,000 educators in eight states!  My training site is at codeorgfunphilly.org.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for using Tackk.com to create single-page websites, but recently I found Strikingly.com!  What a fantastic way to create sites and let the world know what you are working on.  Here is my personal page:  http://harvey-scribner.strikingly.com/.

I am now an Atomic Learning Ambassador.  In this capacity, I can help you understand how to use this fabulous resource.  Atomic Learning Ambassadors team with other connected educators around the country. The purpose of the team is to build a community of educators who collaborate and grow through the support of the members. The Learning Ambassadors can participate in as little or as much as they'd like and each level attained opens more opportunity for the member.  While Ambassadors have a community of connected educators, they are also recognized for all they do to support learners. If you are interested in learning more about Atomic Learning use the code SCRIB and sign up for a free 3-month trial subscription.  You will be surprised how easy it is to learn about all the technology that can surround your classroom and your district.

On the personal front,  I am a Grandfather to a fantastic angel of a young lady!  Sinta Jane is healthy and happy, and currently resides with her parents in Georgia!  Jodi and I are still busy with the day-to-day happiness of living in Eagleville, PA!  Our boys are growing too fast, and we are all involved in sports, coaching, scouting and many other endeavors!  Drop me a line to say hello, or IM me on social media to see where we are planning to be over the summer.  There are a lot of camping days in our future!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Changes, Changes and More Changes!

Hello Everyone:

This post has been a long time coming!  I am sorry I have not updated this blog as much as I would have liked to.  I am going to be posting more regularly here.

New JOB!  After almost exactly 7 years at the School District of Philadelphia, I have moved on to a fantastic charter school!  Universal Vare Charter Middle School is my new home.  I have a fantastic new community of staff and students to work with!  I am no longer just a Business Technology or Computer Science Teacher.  I am now in charge of developing and teaching a STEM curriculum to students from 5th to 8th grade.  I also have some RTI time with 1st - 4th graders each day.  I am trying to institute some major changes at the school that include a switch to Google Apps for EDU, starting a school newspaper, yearbook, and other technology support efforts similar to programs I helped create at my other schools.

New GRANDPARENTS!  Yes, Patrick has married a wonderful girl (Alyssa) and they have had the cutest child!  Sinta Jane Scribner was born in February.  Jodi and I are now Grandparents!  WOW!

Jodi has also been promoted at work!  She is now the Director of Rehab for Manorcare in King of Prussia.

Evan and Erik are doing great in school, great at sports, and are following higher path as Boy Scouts. Evan has crossed over from Cub Scouts to Troop 133 in Worcester.  He is doing great things with the troop like skiing, first-aid training, and many other fun activities.  He earned his Arrow of Light prior to leaving Pack 608.  Erik is moving into Webelos this summer, and will go to camp again with me.

Hope this little update finds you well.  I will say hello here more often and let everyone know how we are doing!!

Harvey





Friday, August 22, 2014

Code.Org Affiliate Training Begins!

Are you ready for some CODE.ORG?

What a fantastic way to start my journey into the 2014-2015 school year!  I have had a fantastic summer so far!  I have been able to travel to my ancestral home in New Albany, Indiana, mourn the loss of a wonderful light in the world (Cheers to you Aunt Sally!),  visit with friends (Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and family in Florida!), and camp with my family in our Super Shanty (See Pictures in an upcoming post)!  We even found time to fit in sports and fun at Cub Adventures Scout Camp at Camp Hart in Green Lane, PA!

As the summer comes to a close, I am taking a trip I was invited on last school year!  I am going to training in Las Vegas to become a Code.Org K-5 Affiliate Trainer.  I will be learning how to engage other teachers and promote STEM learning in a fantastic new way!  Please check out Code.org online and find out more about how to get your students (K-12) involved and excited about learning to write CODE!  I will post more from the training!  See you in Vegas Baby!

- Mr. S

Monday, April 7, 2014

Back in Publishing Online

More news and notes from a Philly School Teacher!

Sent from my Windows Phone

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First day of school for the 2009-2010 school year!!! Welcome to University City HS gang!!!

Today was intro, discussion of rules, expectations, and we saw the video we made over the summer....

Lots of fun stuff coming this year....Intern Periods were awesome today!! Got a ton of work done!!

On track to get new systems out for new teachers and start refurbishing systems in the school....should have the roll out done by October with any luck!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Day at UCity!!

This picture is a representation of my job at UCITY!! I love it......

I use this picture for the professional development training I helped to create here. Interpret it as you like.

MR. S

Found this on Facebook!!


Old Pic of Harvey at St Pius X High School in Pottstown, PA. This was taken from a group picture of a production of West Side Story. I looked at it and immediately saw my son Patrick and where he gets his whole personality. Funny how we parents don't remember that we were probably bigger "pains in the butts" than our kids are today. Nice mischevious smile though, huh?

Monday, May 4, 2009

BDP

video
Big Daddy Productions is the logo for the movies I make of my kids and my adventures.  Have fun with it!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

THE PHILLIES WIN IT ALL!!!!

We were awakened at 0230hrs in the morning to the start of the end of the game.  The video of the end of the game and the happy soldiers high-fiving after the final pitch is available.  What a fantastic ending to a miracle season.  The best part is that a couple sports insiders actually picked the Tigers to go all the way.  Amazing that after all this time and so many tickets that were used by me and my family, that the Phillies would win while I am thousands of miles away!!  Only a few weeks left, and a big hello to everyone!!!  See you during the holidays!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

DAHAB


Our remote site is near Dahab, Egypt.  This is a sleepy little dive town in the center of the Sinai.  We are keeping to ourselves out here, even as we watch the many dive boats, windsailers, kite-surfers, and loads of taxi cabs headed back and forth from the resorts to the town.  
I am once again the cook for the site.  I have made chicken parm, shrimp with garlic and herbs, taco pie, beef stroganoff, and the occasional steaks and chops on the grill when we have charcoal.  We are soaking in the sun, working out, and even took a PT Test while we were here.  
I did get into watching the 4400, a show from TV a few years ago.  I went through the first 3 seasons in 3 days.  I have also had the chance to continue my Toilet Paper for South Camp morale.
We are pretty short these days.  No official date on leaving, but we all hope to be home before Christmas. I have even been in touch with our replacements and they are excited (?) to be coming here.  The last few weeks here should drag by, but I will be home soon I hope.  
As usual, thanks to Cornerstone Church, my mom, my Aunt Alice, and anyone else who was nice enough to send a few supplies and goodies to us.
See you in the Fall!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The river Jordan at its beginning!!  My visit to the Holy Land is underway!!  We have been across the Sea of Galilee on a wooden boat, fished in the "old style" with nets, and visited more churches and holy sites around Cana, Nazareth, Capernum, Tiberius, and other cities.  I think I even had a burger from the same McDonalds used by the Disciples, but I am not sure!!

The Holy Land is amazing.  It is really surreal to see all of the sites and so many different people from different cultures all reverently visiting the different cathedrals, mosques, and other temples.  It is hard to believe that people have fought for this land for centuries.  People here are pleasant and smiling.  There seems to be no undercurrent of hate or animosity!!  I am looking forward to seeing Jerusalem in the morning.  We are headed back to Egypt when we are done, and I will visit the Pyramids at Giza and get some more pics.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chicken Joe Saw the Light?

Chicken Joe had a slightly profound moment while hiking when he turned the corner and saw the "burning bush" at St Katherine's monastery.  He was overcome with the power of the moment and began speaking in tongues, unfortunately all he could muster was some crowing and a few wildly scattered clucks.  To a human this would sound like normal, but to the other birds in the area, he was proclaiming a cacophony of drivel and was later stoned for blasphemy.  Poor Chicken Joe!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

MOUNT SINAI July 2008

There is no preparation in the world that can prepare someone for a walk up the camel-trail at Mount Sinai.  6-Kilometers to the fourth rest stop.  You travel up a worn down, rock-infested track and pass donkeys and camels and all kinds of pilgrims.  There are places to rest and you move at your own pace.  You finally reach the top of the camel path and you still have about 300 feet up to get to a cut in the rock.  After passing the cut, there is a bowl shaped basin in the center of the mountain.  If you opted at the beginning to climb the Steps of Repentance, you would have cut your climb in half, but doubled the workload.  The steps lead directly, thru a cut on the front of the mountain, to Elijah's Basin.  The basin is the bowl in the middle of the peaks.  This is where we stopped for a bedouin dinner and to bed down under the stars for the night.  We were treated to a feast of soup, chicken and rice and salad.  There was an evening stroll to the side of the cliff to see the monastary at night and the lights below.  St Catherine's is an Orthodox monastary that has lasted at Mt Sinai since the 14th century AD.  After a relaxing meal, we read the Old Testament to the firelight.  After a restful sleep by the light of the full moon, we were awakened at 4 am to continue our trek up the cliff to the summit.  We went up after a throng of pilgrims.  They had arrived overnight.  They had trekked up the mountain by flashlight to get to the summit by morning.  We fell into the conga line that snaked to the top.  We were up there about 25 minutes before a beautiful sunrise.  If you ever get a chance to scale to this height, you should, by all means do it.  If you think the walk up is tough, try coming down the steps in the morning.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Change of Command Ceremony


We had the chance to participate in one of the Army's finest traditions while here.  Recently, the Commander of the US Forces here in MFO was changed.  The ceremony included stirring speeches, dignitaries, and the coolest marching band from the Fiji Battalion.  We stood in the 110 degree heat with the wool beret.  As hot as it was, watching the pass in review, the presentation of the colors, and the changing of control of the unit colors was a pretty moving experience.  Everything choreographed to the timing of the orders and the music.  Presenting arms to salute the flag and all the officers, and watching our Troop colors being presented was impressive.  There was even some pre-designated marching and a color guard made up of soldiers mostly from Troop-A.  Another nice perk from the ceremony was that we got the rest of the day off.  I went to bed and actually slept for 12 hours straight.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rum Runners Aviation


The Rum Runners are the Aviation Company that is here on South Camp.  They provide aviation support with the Blackhawk's.  They also have a really nice club that they just built.  The Dirty Bird is a small bar and patio right on the side of a hill behind the barracks that has a really cool mast and pirate flag.  They serve a number of fun drinks, and during the 4th of July fireworks, we could hang out and relax for a while in the chaise lounge chairs.  For fun, they have built two championship beer pong tables, and they also have a nice, padded lounge area behind the bar.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Night Vision Fun



Night Vision is so much fun to play with while on guard duty. You are barely awake at times and then you remember the pouch hanging just a couple feet away. Inside is a toy to provide endless fun for at least the next few hours. Look at barracks, friends, reletives, and mostly just the enemy lurking only a few feet away!!

This is a hotel complex that should have been done years ago. Way to go Mr Hyatt!! Nice view of the bay though!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Italian Coastal Patrol Unit

The CPU has been apart of the MFO since it's inception.  These are some of the most professional sailors in the world.  They have a small docking area in a harbor near our main base and they patrol the Red Sea to observe and report any infractions of the Treaty of Peace.  As part of their mission, they provide expert dive teams and maritime safety to the soldiers here on this mission.  Part of our training includes briefing on missions and tours of the facilities and boats that they crew.  We may also get to accompany them on live missions.  They also provide Zodiac boats and crews for beach landings and other missions.  These guys are also pretty fun to share a drink with, and can be found in town partying a bit with the other Europeans that vacation here in Naama Bay.  Ciao!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Football PT!!


The Commander has instituted a Physical Training Program that is a little more comprehensive than some of us have been partaking of here at the Country Club. The Captian has the shades on and that is the famous Herb's Gym in the background. We are now required to do a nice session of PT every morning, very, very early. If I divulge the exact time and place of this training, I could be shot for treason, but since I am not being specific, I am in the clear. HAHA, Kidding. Anyway, one of the Sergeants thought it would be a nice break to play a little football this morning instead!! We had a special sand edition of 20 on 20 touch football. Video of this exciting sport can be purchased in the lobby on your way out. Everyone had a great time, and some of the best plays came from the people least able to actually play this sport. Quite a spectacular presentation of athletic ability and grossly disproportionate luck!! See you soon!! More to come from the desert!!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

From the roof-top of the Camel Bar in Naama Bay, Egypt, you can see the lights of the bizzarre.  Our platoon has duties that keep it on Camp for a time, and we are able to spend our free time out of the confines of the chicken wire. There is always a taxi around when you need a little R&R in town.  There is a Hard Rock Cafe, a TGI-Fridays, KFC, Baskin Robbins, and Pizza Hut.  If you are craving a Big Mac, there is a McD's right nearby too.  Most of the fast food can also be delivered to camp pretty quickly.  The Camel Bar is a great little club that caters to the British Ex-Pat Community.  The roof deck has a bar and picnic tables and among the items to eat and drink, the nachos reign supreme.  You can also order a bit of the SHISHA to smoke if you like flavored tobacco, and the help brings you a 2-3 foot tall water pipe to smoke it with.  Very cool if you like that sort of thing.  I do not partake, but the fruit tobacco has a very nice odor that wafts around the room.  There are also couches and coffee tables to enjoy a beverage and a smoke for a more relaxed time.  Many of the local Europeans on HOLIDAY hang out here, and the single soldiers always have someone to chat with that is a lot more pleasing to the eye than the mongrels in their platoon back on base.  PS.  Finally got the computer running to peak performance and I will be posting more regularly from now one...... (Photo taken with no flash and timer to limit movement during nighttime exposure. Tricky huh?)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Finally!!!  As I have had to rebuild my email database and by computer had a problem from the fabulous internet service we have here, I can finally add to my blog and let you know where I have been.  As TODAY is a historic day of significance to me, I will tell you that I have been playing golf here in the land of camels!!  We got a couple days of a break here.  In the sweltering heat and oppressive sun we decided to play a few holes of golf.  The Jolie Ville Country Club is part of the Maritim Resort here in Sharm El Sheik.  They have an 18-hole course that was actually a site for a Senior PGA Tour event in 2004.  Obviously this is the winter, and the course is under various states of repair, but the $35 (US) greens fees covered the golf, clubs and cart for unlimited play.  We hit the course, played 18 holes, went to the Hard Rock for cheeseburgers and a cold beer, and back to the course for another 9-holes.  NO EXTRA CHARGE!!  We had such a great time that I went out and did another 18-holes the next day.  I am a gluten for punishment.  I had a great chip to 2-inches from one cup, a couple birdies, and some monster drives on the wide open fairways.  Too see the resort and course, just google the Jolie Ville Golf Club in Egypt......It should pop right up.  Other interesting things going on around here...hmmmm.   Oh yeah, Special Day Today for me!!  I enlisted in the US ARMY RESERVES exactly 20 years ago today at 2:34 pm.  WOW!! 20 Years of this ______!!  There might be kids reading this!!  Anyway, I am just choked up inside.  I would like to thank the academy, my agent, my mom, and especially thanks to my fathers?  Fathers you say?  Yes, my dad, Harvey Scribner III (Senior)(He is going to love that one!) told me that drinking my life away at Shippensburg U was not smart and he would not subsidize it.  I thought drinking was a great idea, so I joined.  It took my other father, with a phone call at the actual moment of decision, to make sure I was signing for an honorable reason.  Bill Landherr spent over 30 years in service to this nation in the NAVY , and talking to him at the moment of truth put a true and honorable spirit in me as I signed and was sworn in.  Who could have possibly predicted that 20 years later I would be on a second deployment with a family taking the brunt of the sacrifice gracefully and with pride.  I thank my wife the most for sticking by me through two deployments and a million drill weekend-frantic running around looking for my hat and why didn't I get a haircut on Thursday after work moments!!  I LOVE YOU HONEY!!  You are really the Trooper in our family!! See you soon , I HOPE!!  

More to come............

Monday, June 2, 2008

Well here it is.  Downtown Naama Bay.  This is the central square to the shopping district.  Behind us in this picture is the Hard Rock Cafe, The TGI-Fridays, KFC, Baskin Robbins, Taco Bell, and the Mall.  The mall has lots of stores to buy clothes and shoes, and some artists, papyrus, tobacco, and other shops.  There are also a lot of little markets for snacks and sodas, and the best nachos around at the Camel Bar.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

To Honor The Fallen..

In honor of a fallen trooper Stephen Allseits, First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry has established the Allseits' Bar N Grill.  "Steve" was a great guy and a solid soldier who was taken from us by a horrible accident while he was attending military training on the west coast in 2004.  The Troop mourned his passing while some of our members were deployed to Iraq.  When we arrived on the ground here in Egypt, there was a club-type recreation area behind our supply room.  Spc Wallace was one of the soldiers who was instramental in rehabilitating the space we now use for barbeque's and gatherings.  It honors a man who was easy to talk to, fun to spend time with, and honorable in nature and deed.  Anyone who knew Steve would agree that this is a totally appropriate way to honor his memory.  Godspeed Trooper Allseits!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tower Duty Explained


Tower duty is demanding and easy all at the same time.  You have to make sure you stay awake, and there is no sleeping or playing games while up there.  We take shifts so you are not in there all day, but the time seems to drag.  There are towers at all remote sites, and we are looking to our areas for any sign of troops or vehicles and boats moving where they are not supposed to be.  Mostly we see the same stuff, but there are sites in the desert, on mountain tops, and even on the beach to look for boats and marine traffic.  It is a duty we do not take lightly.  We do get a tan and usually have a fan, or in the more modern towers, air conditioning.  Not exactly the battlements of medevil castles or anything.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Paradise By the Dashboard!!

Well folks,  This is the view that races by as we drive around the countryside.  We often pass scenes like this on our way along the coast to the different remote sites that we support.  The Sinai is a beautiful place.  Even in the desert, the painted rock and undulating roadway through hills and dunes is pretty spectacular.  I will post more pics of the surroundings throughout this blog.  The Red Sea becomes the Gulf of Aquaba along the eastern coast of the Sinai Peninsula.  This gulf borders Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt.  The water is usually a sparkling blue and a light green around the reef areas.  The coral reef system here is one of the most popular dive spots in the whole world.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chicken Joe - World Traveller Extraordinaire

Chicken Joe is the best travel buddy a soldier could ask for.  He is quiet, clean, and does not mind if I snore.  I found him in a claw machine at my local market in Trooper, PA a month or so before deploying.  I "adopted" him for a paltry $15 dollars and a few attempts at trying to snag him.  My son Patrick's help was instrumental in freeing him from the confines of his glass-encased-home.  He has been in one critically-acclaimed short documentary, "The Adventures of Chicken Joe", and is the main subject for a photo essay that has kept my kids connected to me while I travel.  I have taken pictures of Joe everywhere in connection with this deployment.  He has participated in weapons training, bivouacs, land navigation and patrolling, and first aid training.  He has been a loyal companion throughout our journey.  He has even been joined on the trip by his son and been visited by his late wife. (A story for some other time)  He will continue to trek across the Sinai while with me, and he hopes to see Israel, Mt Sinai, and Luxor if time permits.  JOE is sitting in front of the Egyptian National Museum in Cairo.  The museum displays thousands of artifacts from ancient Egypt.  The most famous of these is possibly the exhibit of King Tut.  There are thousands of pieces of furniture, weapons, clothes, coins, and any other item you can think of.  his jewelry collection is secure in a well guarded room and contains, among other items, his famous mask of gold.  It is behind a few inches of glass, but it is truly a masterpiece to behold in person.  

3rd Platoon

3rd Platoon, Troop A 1-104th Cavalry Forward:  This shot is at Fort Lewis during some of the coldest weather I can remember.  We took this shot while we were out at "FOB Eagle", one of the training sites that was used to help us to prepare for the desert environment.  HMMMM?  Desert?  Yeah, right!  They should have issued us beach chairs, sunscreen, and volleyballs.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunrise on Memorial Day in the Sinai


Hello All!!

Went in the QRF Cage on Duty here in the Sinai.  Just a nice view from the "Dog-Pound" as the sun rises over the Red Sea.  The barracks in front of us lead to the beach.  The vague island in the background is Tiran Island.  We awoke to another hot day!!

My thought for the day is a familiar one.  I have been writing my brother's students at Glenfield Middle School, and the one memory of Memorial Day that has always stuck with me was a quote from a c-ration box that was sent home during the Vietnam War.  To paraphrase: "The taste of freedom is not so sweet for one who does not know what it means to sacrifice himself in defense of it."

On this Memorial Day, I would like to thank all of those who know the sacrafice of service to this great country.  This would include all the wives, mothers, fathers, children, and soldiers that I know.  

On that note,  enjoy the barbeque and beer, and have a great day!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Water Safety Instructor Day


I actually got to sleep in today!!  When I did get up, I had to take one of the Humvees in for weekly service and safety checks.  I actually got called out of that duty a little early because they needed me to be a Water Safety Instructor at Herb's Beach!!  So instead of gooey, uckey, 90-weight motor oil all over me, I got to go be a "Baywatch" guy at the beach.  We swim in near the reef and provide instruction and safety training to soldiers that have a hard time swimming.  I got to drag one of those silly red safety floats around behind me while I was swimming and I really looked the part.  Well, not really, as I have about a keg instead of a six-pack, and I am pretty naturally buoyant in this water.  The salt is hideous.  The saving grace is that there are a ton of colorful fish, sting-rays, and decorative coral all along the inlet that we swim in.  The beach is also quiet and cozy after you swim for a while.  I sat on the beach and had my lunch of a power bar and some bananas, and washed it all down with a cool bottle of warm water. MMMMMMM...Yummy!  Anyway, it is back on duty later tonight for another shift in the DOGPOUND!!  QRF is not that bad.  There is internet, and ESPN.  This is almost like a payed vacation, except I would want to play with my kids at the beach!!  That would totally rock!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Got this blogging thing down cold

For all of you who do not know, I am a member of The First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry.  The FTPCC is Troop A 1-104th Cavalry in the PA National Guard.  We have been activated to be the USBATT of Multinational Force and Observers (MFO51).  We are stationed in the Egyptian Sinai.  We are along the coast in a Southern Base and have a beach-front view.  It rocks!!  We spend our days observing and reporting possible violations of the peace accord between Egypt and Israel.  There are different duties, and I am a driver and radio operator while here.  I am also a trained combat-lifesaver.  While here I am publishing a rogue newsletter called the MFO Toilet Paper.  It is a comedy piece and I have posted four issues so far.  If you would like a copy, you can email me and I will forward them to you.  To the right is the symbol of the MFO.  

We deployed in November and we hope to return toward the end of the year.  We have to be relieved first.  My family resides in Trooper, PA.  We have friends and family looking in on them from time to time, but you may reach them to drop them a note of encouragement at the following email addresses:  jodi.kay@verizon.net, or pjswarrior12@yahoo.com.

I will continue to post here as daily as possible.  I will try to include pics and videos as best I can.  Thanks for all the support while I am away!!

First Post!!

Hello all,

This is the first post on my blog!! I am still in Egypt with MFO 51. I will update this as often as possible. Please check back for more fun information, pics, videos, and other exciting things while I hang out in the land of Abraham!!