Monday, September 23, 2013

Wherein We Exceed the Half-Life of a Blog Post By a WIDE Margin

For the fourth and LAST time, I swear.  Skip to the end to find out why I'm posting this yet again.

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.
You might want to read the comments linked above.  But anyhoo... I posted this to enlighten Sherlock.


  1. You've also enlightened Gandalf.
    He uses his P-38, too.
    His dog tags were left behind when he separated from active duty.
    They said Catholic.

    1. Gandalf most certainly fits. I completely agree with that outcome, too.

  2. Thanks to this post Buck, I researched (eh.. googled) Siddhartha. Of great interest, yes. Even more so... the discovery that the 1972 song Close To The Edge by Yes (my all-time favorite song/group) was inspired by the book. I think I have a love/hate relationship with the internet. It creates this huge ADHD string of web searching from one thing to the 'nuther and I almost forget the original, oh by the way I was Anne of Green Gables, thought process. Thanks!

    1. I've been lost out there in Google-land a lot, too, and I never read AoGG. There are more than a few classics I haven't gotten around to, alas.

  3. Where was I in the old comments? I read Siddhartha back in college - snore. Yet I can see how you fit the book - the search for the meaning of life.

    1. Maybe you were running around in Scotland somewhere at the time?

  4. A friend of our family spent his Army tour in Iraq, and he said they advised all Jewish soldiers to have new dog tags made that didn't have Jewish on them. The same reason was used for not wearing your uniform when flying commercial. The military is all about surrender he said. Can you imagine not wearing your uniform, or not wearing your religion in the face of the enemy? Why serve? Can you imagine a Knight Templar going to Jerusalem and not wearing his uniform? Death to the Infidels! Crusade or hide under a rock!

    "...And realize that at least you believe in ferries." Funny, but you mean "fairies" I'm sure, giggle.

    1. I'm with you on the "in yer FACE" aspect of dog tags. That said, SN1 had "No Preference" on his tags when he was in the The Af and Iraq. As for the ferries/fairies bit... you should read the comments in the old post; there was much discussion about that. Shorter: The quiz folks really DID mean ferries... Siddhartha worked as a ferry man in his early "on the road to enlightenment" days.

  5. OK, OK, I took the stupid quiz. And I got:

    You're The Catcher in the Rye!
    by J.D. Salinger
    You are surrounded by phonies, and boy are you sick of them! In an ongoing struggle to search for a land without phonies, you end up running away from everything, from school to consequences. In this process, you reveal that many people in your life have suffered torments and all you really want to do is catch them as they fall. Perhaps using a baseball mitt. Your biggest fans are infamous psychotics.

    WTH? I wonder which of my answers led 'em to this? None of it - and I do mean NONE (well, except I do have a baseball mitt) - rings even remotely true. Well, maybe the psychotic fans, but in point of actual fact, I really wouldn't know about that. . .

    1. LOL! Both the "you're The Catcher" and your reaction to it are priceless. We've never had a beer together or anything, but I know enough about you from yer blog to realize you're absolutely correct. Some of these quiz thingies work sometimes and sometimes they DON'T... in spades.

    2. Well, next time you're in Michigan (or if I'm in NewMex for the first time in my life), we can correct that 'we've never had a beer together' thing. . .


Just be polite... that's all I ask.