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July 30, 2007

Infantry In Battle

I just finished reading through George C. Marshall's Infantry In Battle, a "lessons learned" document from World War I. (I stumbled across a reference to it from an old co-worker's blog.)

It contained a number of case studies from the Great War, used to illustrate a number of infantry concepts (obscurity, simplicity, terrain, time/space, mobility, surprise, orders, command/communication, fire/movement, artillery, etc). The case studies are morbidly fascinating... In each example, anywhere between tens to thousands of men slogged it out in the fields of Europe, often loosing their lives due to bad information, shaky leadership, or sheer chance. There have been a number of movies that depict the trench warfare of WWI (dark skies, muddy trenches, another wave of men getting cut down by in a hopeless charge at machine guns), and this is a good complement to understand why those things were happening (on a tactical level).

It follows, then, that the leader who would become a competent tactician must first close his mind to the alluring formulae that well-meaning people offer in the name of victory. To master his difficult art he must learn to cut to the heart of a situation, recognize its decisive elements and base his course of action on these. The ability to do this is not God-given, nor can it be acquired overnight; it is a process of years. He must realize that training in solving problems of all types, long practice in making clear, unequivocal decisions, the habit of concentrating on the question at hand, and an elasticity of mind, are indispensable requisites for the successful practice of the art of war.

July 15, 2007

Summer trip to Indiana

With some scenes very similar to 31st Birthday, Elizabeth and I spent a very pleasant week with my family in Indiana. We celebrated the Fourth Of July, my birthday (several times), and, well, we celebrated anything that we could think of.

One of the benefits of visiting the folks is the food. My dad made up several batches of fresh salsa (need the receipe). Lots and lots of vegetables. My grandpa made some tasty pork chops, and the grill was used.

Elizabeth, my sister Emily, and I made the trip to Notre Dame. Elizabeth swam in the fine Rolfs pool, while Emily and I did a 5.2 mile run around campus followed by some weightlifting. With the good food, rest, exercise, and time spent outdoors, I think that I came out of the vacation healthier.

A view of my parent's backyard.
My parents relaxing on the deck.
We built a fire, and toasted marshmallows.
On the Fourth of July, my aunts, uncle, and cousins visited. This was one of my birthday cakes for the season.
We also went to my grandfather's house, for dinner and yet another birthday cake.
Elizabeth and I, on my proper birthday, back home in Los Angeles.

July 14, 2007

Birthday Again

Another triumph, as I advance in years again! I'd like to thank my family and friends for the well-wishes, gifts, and (especially) the singing.

Here are some previous birthday notices on this blog:

Oddly enough, I didn't have an entry for last year.

July 11, 2007

Back To Blog

Well, it has been about a month and a half since I have made an entry on the blog. The reasons for my negligence are many, I suppose, but one of the major problems has been my connection.

I host this website myself. There really isn't a good reason to do that anymore… There are a large number of free (or almost free) blog-hosting services, which do all of the setup for you. The next step in complexity are the web hosting services, which run the servers and provide space to upload. Those are amazingly cheap, too, and provide 24/7 service.

But: I've learned a lot setting up Apache on Debian Linux, and I've gotten a better understanding of the infrastructure of this amazing internet. (The "New Seven Wonders of the World" are ridiculous and almost irrelevant. I like crumbling old monuments built with slave labor as much as anyone, but the REAL action is in the huge scale of humankind's more recent creative achievements. Where are the wonder drugs, like Herceptin, that save lives through detailed science of genetics? For the sake of all that is good, where is the Internet on that list?)

Anyway, I've purchased my domain name from GoDaddy, and that experience has been generally good. I recently upgraded my internet connection from Earthlink's residential DSL plan to the Small-Office DSL plan. This gave me a static IP address, a more stable connection, and better upload/download speeds. In the past, I used Dynu.Com for DNS (the service that directs requests from "borlik.net" to the IP address of my machine, e.g. Unfortunately, their service has been HORRIBLE over the past several months, and (even though I had the premium plan) required a service ticket every time my IP address changed. I gave up on them, and switched to EveryDNS , and that seems to be a much better service. (By the way, DNSreport is a great way to check DNS configuration problems.)

So, I am much happier with our network now, and maybe this will even result in more blog content.