Saturday, July 02, 2011

Another Stoopid Re-Run

I got a nice e-mail yesterday from Ginger Cucolo, to wit:
To all,

If you are receiving this note, you contributed in some way to my project for researching the history of Military Identification Tags.
Dog Tags: The History, Personal Stories, Cultural Impact, and Future of Military Identification has now been completed. For this, I want to thank you.
Ginger went on to note her book is available at Amazon and through her book's web site, if'n you're interested.  I participated in her project by filling out a questionnaire, which came to me as a result of this post:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Lightweight Post for a Sunday

Via Kris, another one of those quiz thingies. This time, it’s “What Book Are You?”

You're Siddhartha!
by Hermann Hesse

You simply don't know what to believe, but you're willing to try anything once. Western values, Eastern values, hedonism and minimalism, you've spent some time in every camp. But you still don't have any idea what camp you belong in. This makes you an individualist of the highest order, but also really lonely. It's time to chill out under a tree. And realize that at least you believe in ferries.
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

This one is closer than most, aside from the fact the test results say I’m really lonely. Au contraire. I’m alone, true, but I am not lonely. Big difference. Boy-Howdy is it ever true when they say “you've spent some time in every camp. But you still don't have any idea what camp you belong in.” That statement really nails it! And I do believe in ferries, having been on quite a few. The book selection is interesting in one other aspect: check out this photo of my USAF-issued dog tag (click for larger). I’m Buddhist, by an official act of the US Gub’mint. The story behind that lil bit of trivia goes like this…

Once upon a time while I was still on active duty it came to pass, via directive, that all personnel had to have Official ID tags in their possession, at all times. Those of us who had lost their ID tags were ordered to report to the CBPO and get re-issued. So, I took my ol’ self down to the personnel shop, found the ID-tag foundry and presented my ID card to the airman in charge. He looked at it in a bored manner and asked “What’s your religion?” “No preference,” sez I. “No go,” sez he, “You have to choose a religion…pick one from this list…” and he shoves a list of about 25 religious denominations across the desk to me. I scan it quickly, and he’s right: there are no “No preference” or “Agnostic” categories. So I said “I’m Buddhist.” The airman didn't bat an eye and proceeded to pound out my dog tags. Ten minutes later I walked out of the personnel shop with my newly-minted dog tags and a brand-new religion. The Second Mrs. Pennington was most impressed when I got home, she being a closet Buddhist and all.

Siddhartha, indeed.

This is the third time I've run this post; I last published it in March of 2009.  A couple o' you Gentle Readers commented back then to let me know "No Pref" was an option on your dog tags, which caused me to doubt my memory.  I swear the story is true and I'm backed up by The Second Mrs. Pennington, who made one of her rare appearances in comments to that post to validate the story (and my religion, such as it is) in her left-handed way.  So, there.

I never mentioned this in previous iterations of this chestnut, but if ya look closely at the photo you'll see another war-relic: my P-38.  I've carried that puppy on my key chain ever since 1968, or so.  I use it, too.


  1. Well, I'll be damned!

    We just use a Black & Decker Gizmo.> We're pansies...

  2. I don't use it every day, Andy. Just when I need it, like when I'm camping out at the Holiday Inn Express. I have a trusty Swing-Away in my kitchen drawer.

  3. I forgot that you are anti-progress, and a high tech rejectionist.

    (BTW, "rejectionist" is not a word according to the little red line. But, it sounded right, so screw 'em!)

  4. We once had a entire multi-comment OT thread on the P-38 over at Lexs' place, remember Buck? lol. Just make sure you hold the arthritis off or you'll be doing the electric B&D number, lol. (no laughing matter, really, Dad had a very severe case towards the end and it made it difficult to live alone, but he managed to do so until the end despite 2 open-heart surgeries and a crainiotomy for a slow-bleed aneurysm and thoracic surgery to remove a blood-clot a week after the brain surgery; he lived another 10 yrs and died at home @ age 86)

  5. Buck,
    You made me go dig my tags out. Don't know what year; but I was in from 1974 to 1994. And it does say "No Preference". Oh, by the by; I do believe; just not in the organized way.

  6. BTW, "rejectionist" is not a word according to the little red line.

    Screw 'em, indeed. I make up a lot of my own words, too. Not that the English language is lacking, but some times it IS.

    Virgil: Yeah, I remember that thread. And hopefully I'll dodge the arthritis thang... so far, so good. But Old Age is just one long-assed installment of "waitin' for the other shoe to drop."

    tom: I believe, too. I'm fond of sayin' I just don't know what The Deity At Hand's name is.

  7. Do you really believe in ferries?

  8. Yup... especially car ferries.

  9. Mine had "Reformed Druid", which was also listed in my medical record. Every year, I would have my annual flight physical, and the Doctor always quizzed me on my religious affiliation.

    I explained that Reformed Druids passed on the human sacrifice thing as being retrograde.

  10. You mentioned the Reformed Druid bit the last time I posted this, Darryl. But ya didn't tell me about the medicos, though. Heh.

  11. Oh, I forgot I mentioned it before. Sorry about repeating that ol' rhubarb.

  12. I'm pretty sure I posted on this last night from the Kindle, but the ferries must have moved it.


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