I Thought I Caused the Formula Shortage…

It’s true. I have been feeling guilty. I thought I caused the formula shortage.

I remember the date, the same as you do. February 25th. It was the day after Russia attacked an area of Russia held by a people called Ukrainians for the past 30+ years.

Can you blame me? I had a baby due in a week or two and, in a moment of weakness, thought, “I remember the toilet paper run of ‘20. I’m not gonna be caught without formula when the results of last night formally play out in six months.”

So I rushed to Walmart and purchased $500 of diapers and formula.

Essentially walk-lunging down the main vein aisle between groceries and large women’s lingerie, I finally made it to the diaper section. I was sweating, not from the exercise, but from fright, as I realized I’d need a cart for six or so huge diaper boxes, sizes ranging from 1-4, and didn’t know whether I could trust leaving them alone whilst I went back to find one.

Cart in hand, diaper boxes crashing to the floor with a volume that drew far too much attention to the supposed clandestine operation, I then thought, “And formula. My wife’s production slowed around the 6 month point with A- and so I should grab some formula.”

When I saw the $50 a can price, I balked and said, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll grab two today and then just casually pick up another each time I visit. Wouldn’t want to do anything crazy.”

Making my way back to the front, I over-waved to the Somalis who looked at me as I struggled to keep the items balanced in the cart. “Hi. Yes. That’s right. Keep your heads covered, ladies. Faces, too. Nothing to see there, just like nothing to see here. I just realized I have a baby coming! Stupid American dad is all! Haha!” I jested.

All the while I knew that, supplies in hand—bird in the bush, you know—my child would be a veritable uberman to their already disadvantaged offspring.

Credit card passed the chip detector test, and I was out the door.

Only one time did a box fall off the cart on the bumpy trip to the car, a fact which none of the passing meth heads seemed to notice, and I eventually made it.

My tiny, but fuel efficient, Nissan Versa Note could barely hold all the goodies. The backseat was certainly employed for the proud duty of transporting size 2 & 3.

Fast forward several weeks, through me declaring we are in WW3, pivoting to the realization that “Ukraine is not a country”, and suddenly, after seeing celebrity gossip unseat war and rumors of war, I began to hear there was a infant formula shortage.

Imagine my guilt.

Scratch that. Imagine my first gasp of guilt.

“Huo! Did I do that?”

Then some more time went by. Nights were filled with either heavy, short-lived sleep or EMS flights toting around ailing patients. (I might point out for your edification that one was a “mums the word” victim of a stabbing in only his underwear, which I took as a friendly reminder to “Be nice to yo’ wife, Pete…”)

But today the headlines got me again. So I googled it. What is causing the shortage, I wondered? Me?

The answer? Trump.

Lol. Or that’s what The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson had to say. (Babylon Bee too.)

Whatever.

The important thing is—still perfect.

I have yet to make a mistake.

Review of the Hype Surrounding “Top Gun: Maverick“

The hype is real. The hype is palpable. The hype is fantastic.

It’s the kind of hype that inspires. It’s of a sort which begs the question, “Is it possible he actually made the perfect movie?”

I’ll say this: the just released official music video for Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” is the perfect music video for a film soundtrack’s main song.

I’m officially applying for pilot training.

WW3 Diary Entry 8 – Final Entry

Focus. We need to focus in order to “stay the course”. Without focus, there is no “course”.

Why are we here? What is the problem?

A while back, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, I posted a map as part of the six-step problem solving process I learned in the Air Force, and in which I still believe. In that post, I claimed we were on Step 2 “Gather the Data”. (Step 1 being “Recognize the Problem”.)

The problem, I said, was unclarity.

In gathering the data, clarity has begun to emerge.

(I love this.)

This is going to hurt some of you, so be ready. But it’s important to be able to speak simply.

Despite that map, Ukraine is not a country.

Ukraine is not a country. As for evidence, Look around. Their not being in NATO is one, probably the second largest, piece of evidence of this. The largest piece being the fact that no country’s military, including ours, is at war with Russia.

Remember, we’re defining the problem—by definition “defining the problem” is not jumping to conclusions. So calm down. Just because Ukraine is not a country, does not necessarily mean we skip the next five steps and “implement the solution”.

I don’t believe, and you don’t believe, that Ukraine is a country. Fact.

Ukraine is not a country.

So what does this mean? It means that we’re yet again merely providing weapons to the enemy of our enemy. Like we do in the Middle East, like we do everywhere else that isn’t yet civilized.

Kuwait: country. Ukraine, not a country.

New question: Does this mean that it’s not World War 3 anymore? Have I changed my tune?

I have. As the title of this post indicates, I am changing my tune for now.

Here’s why.

Citizens of one country are not able to will another country into existence. We don’t put a border on a map and “ta da”—a country! It just doesn’t happen that way. Ukraine must assert itself, must manifest itself. Think gang initiation or all the scenes in movies where the friend group intentionally leaves a newbie to himself during a fight to prove that he is a man. Is the newbie proving himself to his friends or to himself? Both.

Ukraine, in essence, is the newbie. It has been since the Soviet Union broke up. And Ukraine is not yet a country.

Our actions, our help, are actually keeping Ukraine from becoming a country.

Settle down. I’m not suggesting we stop. Who knows whether Ukraine should become a country or not? Not me. And not you. Only Ukraine does.

So what does this mean for the concept of World War? And how has this focus helped us? What is our course?

World War, meaningfully, can only take place between countries. We were, I was, wrong to suggest this was a conventional war. That confession is the result of my “gathering of data.” As stated, it’s got to be an attack on a NATO member country. Let’s not kid ourselves. You don’t give a rat’s arse about the Ethiopian Civil War, or any tragedies in the other parts of Africa. Me, neither. Same thing here.

War has to be between countries. Either NATO on NATO, or some non-NATO country (almost a paradox—almost) on a NATO country.

The political question, then, is, “Does our support of Russia’s enemies increase Russia’s desire to attack a country?” The answer is, “Time will tell.”

What’s our course? Our course is no different than my course. The course is life. Abundant life. America lives on. If we begin taking actions that put America’s sovereignty in question, that’s a problem.

Does helping our enemy’s enemy put America in danger? I have to believe it does at some point. But if there’s anything we also now know, it’s that our enemy, Russia, is not as strong as some supposed.

How about us? Are we strong?

I believe so. And I believe we can be even stronger if we increase our focus.

WW3 Diary Entry 7

“So what, Pete. What would you have me do?”

Good question. Lots of things. I’ll begin with the first two.

During war, the first order of business is getting right with your maker, getting right with your creator.

Now I’m not trying to preach here, but we all know who that is. It ain’t Mohammed, it ain’t his god, and it ain’t more than one god. That leaves Yahweh, the god of the Bible. You can get right with him by, first and foremost, changing your habits. Pray in the name of Jesus. Study the Bible. Go to church. This should sound easy. It ain’t. But without it, there is literally no point to life. So why fight?

(This brings me to a big assumption. I’m assuming that you asked me what to do because you want to live, because you want to win the war. Good. Me too.)

After getting right with your maker, step two is increase your strength—both mentally and physically. We’re not gonna win if you’re weak in either category.

Physical strength is easy to increase. I recommend walking and pushups if you’re coming at this cold. Heck, I just started doing several sets of pushups on my walks with the stroller. Just three weeks ago I stopped about every fifteen minutes and did sets of 30. And now I’m at sets of 45. Three weeks.

Mental strength can be increased by teaching yourself something you’ve read. Somewhere in your house you have a book which has information in it. Pick some one section or chapter in it, and teach it to yourself. Focus is the particular mental skill in this practice. You’re not teaching what you think about the topic, you need to teach what it teaches. You’ll know if you’ve done it right. To kill two birds, I’d pick the Bible or a book which has a universal skill, like cooking or hunting or carpentry etc.

There are many other ways to increase your physical and mental strength. Comment below if you have any to offer or to request others.

We must win. We can win. We will win. But it’s going to take all of us, and it’s going to take strength.

WW3 Diary Entry 6

And another piece of evidence I use to determine and broadcast that we are in the opening stage of WW3 proper, not some preamble to preambles but the real thing that historians of the future will use to date and explain what they mean by “World War Three,” another piece of evidence is this whole “war criminal” talk.

You’re telling me that the country (countries) who is going to hold Putin accountable for War Crimes (justice/alignment) is the same one that doesn’t have the balls to define “boy” and “girl” or to suggest that you’re born that way? Umm, no. That’s like Luke Skywalker popping in to Iron Man’s movie to save the day with “the force” by hopping onto Black Stallion. It just doesn’t happen. There are rules to our universe.

Moral high ground implies “moral,” which in turn implies belief in and enforcement of meaning. And this meaning is manifest by words having definitions. It’s also manifest by rules, by order, by standards.

No gay LGBTQ+ is going to condemn me to hell, get outta here. Gay means anti-consequence; do what-the-eff-ever.

Nope.

Putin won’t be tried for war crimes because no one has the moral high ground.

And this fact, or the current reveal of it, means that we’re at war. This is a component of war. “War is hell.”

And the way he is stopped or held accountable is violence.

Boys sporting girl’s hairstyles and wearing ladies underwear will not simultaneously be running the international courts and trying men for war crimes.

Hahahahahahahaha. That’ll be the day.

WW3 Diary Entry 5

On modern weapons.

As a pilot who grew up dreaming of becoming Maverick (I had the name on my side), I was well aware of what Hollywood thought about missiles. “Our pilots had become dependent on missiles.”

The first actual war story involving missiles that I heard spoken by a fighter pilot in my presence made me question Hollywood, but mostly just the fiery part of the impact. When missiles hit a plane, they cause it to stop working correctly.

Then, while sitting in Iraq, I saw, with my own eyes on what was lovingly called “predator-vision”, an unmanned ariel vehicle launch a “missile” at a man worth launching a missile at. If you’ve seen any modern movies with similar scenes, you’ve seen the same.

Waiting, waiting, waiting and then the tiny object zips in right before a brightness on the monochrome image.

But something not often shown in Hollywood productions is what I then observed that night with interest. I saw the body on the ground. Then we waited. Then it moved a bit. Then it rolled. And rolled again. Then it rolled again. And finally it got on its feet, staggered slightly forward, and then the person took off running.

There is no moral to this story. It is merely what came to mind as I read about the train station missile attack.

WW3 Diary Entry 4

I’m feeling philosophical as the world seems passed the idea that WW3 has begun.

Why do I want to be right?

What would I get for being right?

Short answer: being prepared. I like to be prepared. I believe in being prepared. I’m an Eagle Scout for crying out loud. Boy Scout Motto: “Be Prepared.”

But with being right about WW3, it’s more than that—especially as I’m no “prepper”.

With my belief that it’s important to know that WW3 is being actively waged right now, I also get to not be some stupid, head-buried in the sand, wealthy enough to not experience war, johnny come lately when the sacrifice really begins. Put in a simple analogy: toilet paper. That was you—not me. Over a cold.

If people lost their minds over a common cold, what do you expect will happen when the fire starts?

I know exactly what will happen. Denial. Chaos. And some sort of purification process wherein the only winners will be those who consistently tell the truth.

So today, I’m telling the truth.

The truth is this is it. The big one. Be prepared. Keep the long game in mind. And stay focused.

WW3 Diary Entry 3

This one counts, if only indirectly.

Had my second ever Aldi shopping experience today. The war (not to mention what they call “co-insurance” but what is meaningfully “let’s-get-you-to-your-out-of-pocket-max-asap”) has got me especially cost-conscious these days.

In any case, Aldi is not terrible. But it is weird. From the “get back your quarter” grocery cart pseudo-rental, to no bags and bare shelves, not to mention the regulars who unceremoniously move parts of the store around in a way that is not approved at typical grocery stores, it gets the job done.

“It gets the job done”, I say. But it carries a “homeschool” quality. Hear me? Like, I know you read books and learned math, but why don’t you talk right? You like watching moving pictures? You know George Washington’s horse’s name? You finished calculus in 8th grade?

Oh well. If it keeps us out of the poor house during the war, then I guess I can hang out at this place more often. They did have quite a selection of Little Debbie cakes, on and off brand.

WW3 Diary Entry 2

I don’t deny that it’s easier for a veteran to live in the state of war than in the state of peace. For one, most of my childhood and about a decade of my adulthood was one big effort to win wars. So, “I get it.” I understand that I am probably happier in WW3, I am probably more fulfilled in WW3 than in peacetime. But that’s not why I still believe we’re in the midst WW3.

I say “still believe” because headlines and news about the war are diminishing. For my money, that means that you civilian pukes aren’t convinced WW3 is really happening anymore. You’re bored by it.

“What’s next?” you ask. “Aren’t Kanye and Kim getting back together? Didn’t I read that somewhere?”

I accept your challenge. Heck, I like to play devil’s advocate. I like to show that I am willing to be wrong. So I’ll give you my ingredients for declaring I was wrong, that this never was WW3. (Apologies, but they’re fairly long term.)

Five years seems too long, one year seems too short, so I’m picking three. Arbitrary, but valuable nonetheless. I will freely admit that we were never in WW3, that I was a trigger happy vet seeing war like a hammer sees things to hit, if either of the following two events do not happen by April 1, 2025.

First, Ukraine joins NATO.

Second, another country’s military openly attacks Russia.

Regarding Ukraine and NATO, the reason it wouldn’t be WW3 if that never happens is that to draw in other nations (making it “World” war), Ukraine must be part of an international agreement.

Regarding another country attacking Russia, (whether inside Ukraine or within Russia), again, we need to see someone that makes this more than “one-on-one”.

Time will tell.

For now, I’ve got a newborn son and baby daughter to help place onto a good path. And two 12 year olds, my daughter and step-son, are ever in need of moral guidance and bravery training. Wish me luck.

WW3 Diary Entry

Unclarity reigns.

Is Russia winning? Is Ukraine gonna last? Is the war about land or ideas? Finally, is the MV-22 simply and somehow too difficult to fly?

I often look at V-22 mishaps with greater interest than others as I had a chance at flying it after my venerable MH-53 was retired. I passed up flying it, I told myself at the time, in order to focus on my family, which ultimately ended in divorce anyhow. But an instructor I was with at the schoolhouse as a student died in a crash in one and they just seem to have a terrible track record, whether that’s real or not. They’re an awesome machine in any case.

Anyhow, the reason I’m sticking with my WW3 mindset is it helps me to focus. I have had many ideas floating around this noggin of mine, but none seem to offer gravity to the situation I believe that we’re in. And over the last several years, I have not found myself so easily dismissing the nonsense, the clickbait, and the ever-present distractions as I do during this world altering event.

Did you hear me?

I said there’s a positive side to living through WW3—the end of bullshyat. Put inversely, the positive side is heightened focus. Decluttering. A long overdue house-cleaning.

Even for me. Sure, I want to discuss whether it’s biblically sound for Christians to believe The Chosen is a bonafide evangelism tool in the same way that Uncle Sam approves of Top Gun, and why or why not? But that’s really not important anymore. 3 million refugees.

I do want to direct one criticism towards you and your unquenchable curiosity and presuppositional belief that “education-solves-all”: at this stage in the game only fools would be surprised to learn that other countries and other cultures believe different things about politics than us, to include time-tested and robust defenses of their notions. And only fools believe that ignorance of these differences lead to war, and awareness of these differences will somehow help end the war.

You’re telling me that Russian leadership and perhaps many Russian people believe the people are created to serve the State?! Get outta here!! And you think that I should remember that this is different than how we believe the State should serve the people? Crazy talk! I thought everyone on the earth was American. Now that I have heard some real life Russian explain that there is a difference in our two cultures’ political beliefs, in other words, now that I know there are people in the world besides Baptists, I am not worried. Whew! That was close! I thought the war would drag on forever. Glad to finally learn the truth and see the light and the end of the tunnel.

To be clear: this blog will remain focused on posts regarding WW3 until peace is declared and signed. I recommend you use the moment to declutter your life, digital and physical too.

Oh, and go to church this Sunday. Unless, that is, you don’t love the “last best hope on earth”—unless, that is, you don’t love the United States of America.