Scott’s Stryker Gets Hit, He’s OK

Here’s our conversation:

[13:04] rubleytj: Hey Scott, what’s up?
[13:04] bojodaddy: not much
[13:04] bojodaddy: how are you
[13:04] bojodaddy: well i shouldnt say not much
[13:04] bojodaddy: my stryker got blown up by a car bomb today
[13:04] rubleytj: holy shit, how are you?
[13:04] bojodaddy: luckily all my guys are ok
[13:05] bojodaddy: im fine
[13:05] bojodaddy: just a bad headache and earache
[13:05] rubleytj: jesus, do these guys know you only have a few months left or what??
[13:05] bojodaddy: i dont think they care
[13:05] bojodaddy: its was in a residental area too
[13:05] bojodaddy: killed at least 10 kids
[13:06] rubleytj: oh man, that’s terrible. Is the armour on the Stryker not up to snuff, or are the bombs getting bigger and bigger?
[13:06] bojodaddy: the bombs are getting bigger and better
[13:06] bojodaddy: the stryker is ready to roll again
[13:07] bojodaddy: it blew up 5 tires, our drivers thermal camera, a periscope in the drivers hatch and a headlamp
[13:07] rubleytj: the cabin wasn’t ruptured then I take it?
[13:07] bojodaddy: no
[13:07] rubleytj: well that’s good I guess. Probably couldn’t drive though
[13:07] bojodaddy: in the last month our battalion has been hit by about 15 car bombs
[13:08] rubleytj: how many strykers were on with you?
[13:08] bojodaddy: it drove back to our FOB
[13:08] bojodaddy: we roll out with 4
[13:08] bojodaddy: 4 in one platoon
[13:08] rubleytj: sorry, still learning! Are they suicide bombers, or remote detonated bombs that happen to be in cars?
[13:09] bojodaddy: when we first got here, it was just bombs made out of artillery shells, that they layed on the side of the road
[13:09] bojodaddy: those are called IED’s
[13:09] bojodaddy: improvised explosive devices
[13:10] bojodaddy: then they graduated to what we call VBIED’s vehicular born IED;s
[13:10] bojodaddy: where theyed park them on the side of the road and detonate them as we drove by
[13:10] bojodaddy: now its gone to suicide VBIED’s where they drive them into us
[13:11] rubleytj: damn, that is fucked
[13:11] bojodaddy: yeah
[13:11] rubleytj: do you get some downtime now?
[13:11] bojodaddy: umm
[13:11] bojodaddy: no
[13:11] rubleytj: this is just routine now, huh?
[13:11] bojodaddy: that happend at 1145 this morning, we went back out at 7pm tonight
[13:12] bojodaddy: and we go out again tommorrow
[13:12] bojodaddy: luckily, only 2 guys were wounded
[13:12] bojodaddy: one of them, my vehicle commander, or vc for short
[13:12] bojodaddy: was knocked out, got a pretty good concusiojn
[13:12] bojodaddy: the blast hit right below the side of my hatch, it knocked me down into the stryker, and him at the same time
[13:13] bojodaddy: it took me a second to realize i was still alive, then i grabbed my vc, and saw that he was unconcious
[13:13] bojodaddy: luckily my platoon medic was riding on my stryker today
[13:13] bojodaddy: so he started helping him
[13:14] bojodaddy: i thought he was hurt bad at first, but there was no blood, and doc got a pulse right away, so i knew he was just unconcious
[13:14] bojodaddy: the other guy, was in the stryker in front of mine and caught some shrapnel in the back of the neck
[13:15] bojodaddy: we rushed them to the hospital, chris, my vc was back with us about 2 hours later, he had a cat scan
[13:15] bojodaddy: and gabe, had surgery to have the piece of shrapnel removed, missed his spinal cord by an inch
[13:15] rubleytj: thank god
[13:15] bojodaddy: hell be back with us tommorros
[13:15] bojodaddy: tommorrow
[13:16] bojodaddy: this last month has been pretty bad
[13:16] bojodaddy: lots of ieds, and suicide vbieds
[13:16] bojodaddy: yeah
[13:16] bojodaddy: im ready to get the fuck out of here
[13:16] bojodaddy: you can only take so much of getting blown up

Just a few more months buddy, hang tight!

dc

Oh, no wonder the noise is still there…

When the noise was diagnosed, I was told the resonators were rotted out on the inside. My options were to get straight pipes in their place, replace with aftermarket resonators, or get a new exhaust. I chose the latter, but unfortunately, when he said new exhaust, he meant from the block back, not the cat-back system I bought.

The problem is the resonators and cats and downpipe… are one piece! So my ‘cat-back’ system isn’t exactly what it says it is. Here’s a picture

Sooo, I guess it’s sort of good news in that their diagnosis still hasn’t been disproved yet, it’s just not fixed yet either. Luckily, it won’t cost too much to get this taken care of. Stay tuned.

dc

Back from the shop, but the noise remains

Damn, I was so jacked too! It was hoped that replacing my resonators on the M3 would cure an annoying metallic ‘rattlesnake’ like sound that I get on deceleration, but unfortunately, it didn’t. However, the Stromung sounds amazing and the tips are gorgeous! The new euro-spec headlights are much improved and look extra sexy at a glance. Plus, the tires got replaced at the same service, and along with an alignment, and new rear control arm bushings, the car has never felt more solid. Two thumbs up to the guys at Autohaus. Hopefully I can get the car back to them soon to re-diagnose the problem that persists.

Another big Thank You to Clayton and Joyce who let me stay an extra night to get new tires put on — and at a price that I didn’t think was possible — But I should’ve known that the best bargain hunter in the universe could put it together, even after a night of decadence 😉 Thanks again for your hospitality guys!

dc

Computer Tips in 2005

1. Why aren’t you using Firefox yet? Firefox is an internet browser that is being independently developed and is far superior to Internet Explorer in many aspects. But most importantly, it isn’t a target for hackers and spyware, and most of those nasty security exploits can be circumvented by simply not using Internet Explorer. Get Firefox and surf safe!

2. Keep up on Windows Updates. This is critical as another patch usually comes out every week, sometimes several in a single week. And most of these patches are necessary to plug holes and exploits within Windows that makes it easier for hackers to infect your system with viruses and spyware. Keep up to date by turning on automatic updates.

3. Keep your virus definitions up to date! What’s the good of having a virus detection software if it can’t scan for the latest threats? It differs from software to software, but if you’ve kept up on your Window’s updates, you’ll notice that service pack 2 now has a virus protection monitor that keeps tabs on your virus software to make sure it’s up to date.

4. Invest in spyware protection software. It’s no longer a matter of just staying off those websites with questionable content, spyware comes from the most unsuspecting of sites these days to help the host recover costs. And unfortunately, redundant spyware software is the recommended way to catch it all. But if you’re going to buy just one, I recommend Webroot’s SpySweeper (~$30) and Microsoft’s Antispyware software (recently acquired from Giant, one of the best).

5. Tired of spam? Be careful when you sign up for anything online. Are you sure they need your email? Make one up if they don’t 😉 Also, if your email is published on a website, plan on it being harvested by bots for use in spam. If you’re getting hit with hundreds of spams a week, you need a new email address and/or some strong spam software.

6. Does your computer feel slow even though you’ve scanned it for spyware and viruses? Windows XP is a huge application and I now recommend at least 384mb of RAM and 512mb is recommended. Also, is your hard drive full? Make sure you have at least 500mb available on the hard drive at all times.

That’s all for now, but as I think of more, I’ll add to the list.

dc

Sergeant First Class Bojonowski

A couple of weeks ago, an old friend was in town and Paul and I were able to meet up with him briefly for lunch. But alot’s changed in ten years! Scott is still married to Janet and they now have two boys – both following the standing Bojonowski tradition of looking like their father. Sharp too, the little guy is quiet, but he’s listening to every word!

But as good as it was too see Scott and his family, he was heading back to Iraq to finish up his time there, which is about 6 more months. Scott is in infantry and pilots the Stryker:

To say he’s close to the action is an understatement. He was at the base that was attacked by the car bomb just after Christmas. You’ll probably remember the incident because it was a surprise to our forces how the car bomb got so close, exploding in the cafeteria. Here’s the story.

Here’s the video that was recovered by the military that the terrorists put together documenting their attack.

It’s frightening how big that explosion was, and I can only express how amazed and happy I am that Scott and most of his crew are alive. Scott said it was a 5000lb load. He said he couldn’t hear for a few days, and that just following the explosion they were under attack for a couple of hours requiring air support to finally put an end to the chaos.

Talking with Scott has been a real eye opener for me. I have been decidedly naive and ignorant about our involvement in Iraq, and I disapprove of our presence there. But I support our troops 100% in their efforts.

Thank you for being so brave, Scott. Come home safe soon!

dc

BMW Love!

The Bimmer is going up to Portland for some quality time with the guys at Autohaus Bayern. Control arm bushings are being replaced and that should help with the rear end shudder when transitioning off the clutch to gas. Also European lamps are being fitted. The beam pattern is so much better. After switching with the old 337, I’ll always try to make this upgrade with any of our European cars. And lastly, a new exhaust is being fitted from Stromung. My current exhaust is coming apart from the inside out and makes the car sound amazingly cheap and busted. This should cure that handily 😉

dc

Quick Trip Up the Coast

Last Sunday I was inspired. No, I was on a mission! Saturday we sat around on the couch and blew away an entire day. Literally, we did nothing! It doesn’t happen very often and I thought we’d enjoy it, but at the end of the day it felt like a waste. So Sunday, we were going to do something!

tillamook april 2005 020

Shana wasn’t exactly on the same page, but we settled on a drive somewhere we hadn’t been before. I suggested Crater Lake, because Shana’s been on my ass to go there since we’ve been dating. And it figures, I’m finally excited to go, and there’s still snow there. We also recognized we’ve never been to Astoria before and figured, why not?!

tillamook april 2005 015

After a late start trying to get Sleeping Beauty out of bed, we hit the road about 10:00am (Those of you who have been to Astoria can just figure this as foreshadowing…) We decided to take the scenic route via highway 22, to a small stretch of road called Little Nestucca River Road, that ends up just outside Pacific City. Along that stretch we took these pics of the M3. Turned out pretty good considering we used the snapshot camera w/o a tripod, at noon, in hazy conditions, within about 15 minutes.

tillamook april 2005 014

Anyway, we stopped at the Pelican Brewery for lunch in Pacific City, a favorite spot when nearby. After filling up for $2.70 a gallon for super (Way to go W, looks like that little war is working out great…), we continued our trip. After getting through Tillamook we realized the Northern Oregon Coast is nowhere near as nice as the Southern Oregon Coast. And the farther we got, the more it rained. And it was slow going and pretty gray. Before too long, it was already 3pm and considering how long it would take to get back, we bagged it.

Guess we’ll have to finish that trip another time. But I needed this post as an excuse to post up the M3 glamour shots, hehehehe…

dc

Audi Club Track Days at PIR

The good: The Rabbit cannot be stopped, and in fact, it can pass S4 owners with twice the horsepower due to the amazing corning abilities of this little car! That’s no BS, Paul and I both were flagged by because some of the ‘intermediate’ skilled drivers with 350hp+ don’t know how to drive. And I swear, the harder we beat the car, the better she performed. We did have to replace an exhaust hanger and bleed the brakes between days, but otherwise that little car took abuse from two drivers in separate sessions for two days straight without complaint! Can’t wait to go again, thanks again Paul for a beautifully constructed car!

The bad: It would appear the Audi Club chose profits over safety this particular weekend. The event was supposed to be limited to 50, and over 70 were in attendance. Furthermore, they only had a total of 3 corner workers available, which didn’t inspire any confidence either. But the worst was the complete inability to effectively manage this many people and the poor attitude of senior club members. The first day, no one had a clue and didn’t seem to care to get one either. My honest overall feeling of the event was that this was a much needed fundraiser to afford a track day and that they would have to put up with the nuisance of everyone else who was paying for their day.

As usual on track days, no one knew where to be or what to do without stumbling around. I’m used to that, but usually things come together by the driver meeting. Not this club. Paul and I were both new members to the club and paid our membership with the track day fee. Luckily we had our email receipts because this total asshole never got confirmation on the 15+ new members who paid the same way did and wasn’t going to let them out without paying again or proof of payment. What kind of bullshit is this, we’re using your email form and submitting CC numbers — get your act together!!

Then it’s Paul’s turn to go out and he’s required to have an instructor. He queue’s up and gets an ‘instructor’. Well apparently, instructors are club members who pay only $50 for the track day, but agree to ride with novices. And the guy Paul got was apparently totally lousy. Paul was ready to leave and I can’t say I blame him. These ‘instructors’ were just be interested in a cheap track day rather than helping novice drivers. My solution worked to keep us at the track: Since no one has a clue what’s going on, I’ll ride as Paul’s instructor. And it worked! No one noticed, and I got Paul the info he needed and after that he ran by himself. No one questioned it, and he was never flagged for bad judgment, driving or otherwise because by now he knew what he was doing and passing guys in $50k cars. The next day, they start barking at him for trying to go out without an instructor and he has to explain to 4 or 5 people that he was out all day yesterday w/o one. Luckily the instructor they forced on him next was actually helpful and day 2 was saved.

Long story short, I won’t be going back to their events. I was glad to get the time on track, but we have options.

dc

Summit in Honolulu

Oops, stale content! Blogger Procrastination! Where to start…?

Honolulu Report, short story: Honolulu has too many people in a small area to be enjoyed. The density is unbelievable, and the first trip to our hotel highlighted that point. You can barely see the mountains in the background due to the numerous high rise hotels that stretch the entire beach of Waikiki. Then you look down and the place is dirty, which is ironic considering all the exclusive shops along this stretch like Burberry, Cartier, Louis Vitton, etc…

But there’s more to Oahu than Honolulu, and when we drove the entire island on one of my days off, we got to see a lot great beaches and amazing waves. Even a couple turtles out of the water to rest.

And the B&B we stayed at (http://home.hawaii.rr.com/jnbshaven/) was a pleasant break from Waikiki. At $85 a night, it’s a bargain considering that includes tax and a wonderful fresh fruit oriented breakfast each morning. Situated in Hawaii Kai outside of Honolulu, this was a nice place to stay and there’s lots of restaurants nearby so there’s no need to go back to the craziness of Waikiki once there.

I was glad we got the chance to go someplace nice on business, but it’s not on my list of places to return to. I’ll get a web gallery together soon.

dc