Quotes from Redeployment


Redeployment by Phil Klay was a little rough and raw but showed many perspectives for modern veterans. I started reading it, coincidentally, after seeing American Sniper and it held much of the same tone.


Pg 11

“We took my combat pay and did a lot of shopping. Which is how America fights back against the terrorists.

Pg 76

Instead I will remember that our HMMWV had 5 PX. That the SITREP was 2 KIA, 3 WIA. That KIA means that they gave everything. That WIA means I didn’t.

Pg 191

“That’s not why I joined the Army,” I said.

“So why did you?”

I laughed. “‘Be All That You Can Be’?” I said. “I don’t know. That was the slogan for me, growing up. And then it was ‘Army of One,’ which I never understood, and then it was ‘Army Strong,’ which is about as good a slogan as ‘Fire Hot’ or ‘Snickers Tasty’ or ‘Herpes Bad.’ A better slogan would be, ‘You Can’t Afford College Without Us.'”

If only science worked that way

We live in a cul-de-sac, so we’re trapped with only one way to go. Another household in the neighborhood walks their little dog down and around the cul-de-sac which drives our dog crazy as her territory is encroached upon.

My crazy daydream once after getting really annoyed at the daily barking was to get the urine of an aggressive animal like a lion, a bear, or a bull. I would then go out with the testosterone-loaded urine in a squirt bottle and draw a line across the road to block the cul-de-sac. The next time that neighbor tried to walk down the cul-de-sac, their little dog would pull back in fear and refuse to cross the line no matter how hard the neighbor pulled the leash. After enough days of this happening, the neighbor might finally choose a new route.

If only science worked that way.

Oh, and I’m going to need a volunteer to go collect bull, bear, or lion urine. Any volunteers?

hop bear

Book Review: The Caterpillar Way

The Caterpillar Way: Lessons in Leadership, Growth, and Shareholder Value: Lessons in Leadership, Growth, and Shareholder ValueThe Caterpillar Way: Lessons in Leadership, Growth, and Shareholder Value: Lessons in Leadership, Growth, and Shareholder Value by James Koch

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was looking forward to some insights about the company that has its headquarters in the same state I reside in but was turned off by this book. There were some interesting details and history shared but it was hardly an objective perspective by outsiders as it bills itself. It was a business book turned marketing without any room for errors or regrets. The lack of balance led this book to its demise. Even mostly agreeing with the section on frustration with Illinois politics and looking at Right to Work states, the argument felt worthless because the bias had become so obvious.

It reminds me of the old scam you hear about:
A scam artist mails 100 different individuals with a different stock pick, promising them that the stock is going to increase.
A month later, the scammer tracks which stocks actually increased and mails those individuals with another set of stock picks, promising them that the stock is going to increase.
Another month goes by and the scammer again tracks the stocks and mails another pick to those that had stocks that increased.
By this point, the people that are still receiving the mail think this guy obviously knows what he talks about. He’s three-for-three. Most people would be convinced that he can’t go wrong, he has some secret to picking winning stocks and he is willing to share.

Now, the actual scam takes place and the scammer has them invest their money in his fake company or a stock where he gains some commission or other benefit by betting against the stock. Little did the victims know that the person was wrong plenty of times, he just stopped communicating with those individuals.

In that story, it feels like Caterpillar was one of the stock picks that made it through multiple rounds and you’re supposed to assume that they have everything figured out to keep the company growing in that direction. With the heavy bias coming from supposed outsiders, it feels like they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

The Sibling Effect

From the book The Sibling Effect РWhat the bonds among brothers and sisters reveal about us by Jeffrey Kluger

Page 7:

From the time we’re born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and our cautionary tales. They are our scolds, protectors, goads, tormentors, playmates, counselors, sources of envy, objects of pride. They help us learn how to resolve conflicts and how not to; how to conduct friendships and when to walk away from them. Sisters teach brothers about the mysteries of girls; brothers teach sisters about the puzzle of boys. Bigger sibs learn to nurture by mentoring little ones; little sibs learn about wisdom by heeding the older ones. Our spouses and children arrive comparatively late in our lives; our parents leave us too early. “Our brothers and sisters,” says family sociologist Katherine Conger of the University of California, Davis, “are with us for the whole journey.”

I ended up skimming the book after I got stuck in one of the early chapters. The book is full of interesting different statistics and related stories but was ultimately very academic and couldn’t pull me into the topic beyond the slight interest I had that led to me picking up the book.

Jeanne probably disagrees

Nothing like getting called a cheapskate by mail. This was the “cover story” of the newsletter from our electric co-op.

“It feels better around the house since I set our thermostat to cheap.”


I like to run the thermostat lower temperature so it’s cooler and cheaper. Jeanne probably disagrees that it feels better.

(Obviously the main context is about a programmable thermostat but the headline doesn’t really give you that context and I just thought it was funny.)