Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

I don’t claim to know anything about the complexities of Global Positioning Systems. But, considering it was developed by the US Department of Defense, I would expect it to be capable of accuracy to within a hair on a gnat’s posterior. But, of course, what most of us commonly refer to as “my GPS,” isn’t actually THE Global Positioning System, but the navigational device, and the mapping software created to utilize it for navigation. Whether it’s a feature in the dash of your new vehicle, an app on your phone, or a stand-alone device made by a company like Garmin, Magellan, or Lowrance, you are still at the mercy of the accuracy of the mapping software you are using. Because the GPS satellites don’t tell you where you are, at all. As GPS.gov explains, the satellites simply send out their location in space. It’s up to your navigation device to determine your location based on those reference points provided by the satellites. And I don’t know about you, but latitude and longitude readings would be perfectly meaningless to me. What do I care how many degrees I am north-south and east-west on Earth, if I have no idea how to get home from wherever I am? And that’s where the mapping software comes in.

Let me just say that, were the GPS lady from Mapquest in my passenger seat Thursday, I’d have had to pull over, and there’d have been some %#&@ kickin’ goin’ on. And, had the GPS lady from Apple’s Maps been in my backseat, after I was through with Lady #1, Lady #2 would have been like a naughty kid scramblin’ across the seat, try’n to avoid the smack down. Because it would…have…been…ON!

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It’s amazing that, even in constant pain, most of us can still laugh. Or, is that because of the chronic pain, we are able to see humor in the worst of things? Therese Borchard, author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression and Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes said in an interview:

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Image by ReloVertigo 2013

“Haven’t you noticed that pattern? Those who’ve had rather uneventful lives don’t have as much to say at cocktail parties as the ones who have been cleaning up feces for a few decades. As much as I curse depression and bipolar disorder (and most of the DSM-IV that I’m diagnosed with … let’s be honest), it has brought me the blessings of humor, perspective, compassion, humility. Plus I write better!”

According to the world famous Mayo Clinic, laughter has both short-term and long-term health benefits, so it would almost seem instinctual to find a sort of gallows humor, even through great physical pain. And we don’t have to work hard to imagine the physical pain of a combat-wounded  US Marine. In June, 2006, Marine Lance Cpl. Toben Madeiros was severely injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq. As he recovered at a Bethesda, MD military hospital in August of that year, despite being “mangled,” he joked about feeling like Forest Gump. President Bush had visited him at the hospital. I’d imagine that I’d feel like Forest Gump, myself, if the Prez dropped by. But after having given whole chunks of my body, I don’t know that I’d be able to laugh about it. (more…)