January 07, 2005

*The Blackfive Interview, Part Two

Matt has answered your questions!

In the extended...

What did you do with Mr. Green's body?

What? OMG, I thought you knew…Mr. Green is really Al
Franken and he’s been busy lately.

Where does "Blackfive" come from?

It was one of my callsigns. I write about it here.

How has your blog changed since it was a relative
unknown compared to the big swanking summer sausage type blog it is now?

It has gained a life of it’s own (and it’s really more
of a bratwurst than a summer sausage). At first, I
looked for stories to post or write about, and now, I
get a hundred or so emails per day with suggestions
for posts or links to stories that should be read.
It’s to the point now where I struggle to answer most
of them.

Any human sacrifice involved in your popularity jump?

No, and there’s no truth to the rumor that I provided
over two hundred Rottweiler puppies for Glenn

How has your attitude toward blogging changed since
you began?

Harvey at Bad Example once posted about the dangers of
getting too popular and he was correct about the loss
of connection to other bloggers. It’s not as much fun
as used to be, but now it means more to me. For
instance, I really miss getting in on some of the fun
out there or reading all the other blogs. Now, I’m on
a mission to highlight the good that our military men
and women do every day. That can be fun too but it’s
also a responsibility (to me). It takes a few hours
per day so I don’t have as much time to surf and
participate at my favorite blogs.

Is it more important to get a post done or to get a
post done right?

That depends on the urgency. Is it important to raise
$ for someone that needs it or is it just to scoop the
blogosphere? Normally, I would say that it’s more
important to get the post done right. Everytime that
I rushed a post and then got a ‘lanche from a big
blogger, I regretted not taking the time to do it
right (especially, after a few thousand people have
read it). I would look at the post and think that
people must have thought that I am a cretin.

What inspired you to begin blogging and what motivates
you to maintain the highest integrity in the stories you relate and
comments/rants you post? Whatever it is, thank you.

Here’s a post about it.

I owe it to Mat, Cooter, and Mike…

If you had more time to blog, what topics would you
cover that you don't cover now?

I was going to start a blog about the antics of me and
my friends here in Chicago. Had a plan, had material,
had the blog set up, but then I just gave up because
it took too much time. Believe me, the stories are
freakin’ hilarious…I have friends with nicknames like
Slop, Buttafuco, etc. It’d be like Old School meets
Van Wilder on mescaline.

I also thought about starting a blog for writers to
post their novels as they work on them, chapter by

I’d like to write more about being a father. My kids
are so much fun. I’ve gotten one or two emails
requesting more little Blackfive stories.

What is the strangest thing to happen to you as a
result of your blogging?

I became an activist. It’s weird. Never thought that
I would be one, but that’s exactly what I do when I
post about our heroes or support causes to take care
of them. For instance, if the Marine who shot the
unarmed terrorist that was feigning death in Fallujah
ever gets charged, I’m going to start a defense fund
for him and I know some of the best Civilian lawyers
that specialize in military cases. We’ll take care of
that Marine. He’s been taking care of us. It’s the
least we can do.

Also, being invited to participate in a blog
conference at Harvard and meeting the Iraq-The-Model
brothers – Omar and Mohammed. It wasn’t strange as
much as incredible. When meeting the brothers, I
seriously felt like I was meeting the Ben Franklins or
Thomas Paines of Iraq. Most of all, after meeting
them, I knew that my friends, who gave their lives
liberating Iraq, did not die in vain.

What is the best?

Making connections – I get to know people I never
would have known or heard about had I not started
blogging - and getting Americans to know these regular
military folks and understand the sacrifices they make
on a daily basis.

Being able to actually make a difference for some of
these people is absolutely the best thing. And
helping people to realize that they CAN make a
difference by donating or volunteering is incredible.
While I feel great every time I can help out, there’s
always more to do.

Maybe when this war is over, I’ll hang it up…

What did you do between transferring to the Reserves
in '85 and Gulf War in '91?

El Salvador, Honduras, Korea (Olympic Games), College,
Armor OBC, Scout Platoon Leaders Course, Ranger
School. About the college item – I had the choice of
going to West Point or another University (Green to
Gold program). I chose the U of I because I could
drink beer, meet girls, have a good time, and learn
something. I had had enough military BS at that point
that I decided that I would rather have a three year
college experience than the experience of four years
as a Cadet. I had a great GPA and was Rush Chairman
of my fraternity two years in a row. I had the time
of my life (up to that point) and I learned a lot…and
drank a lot of beer and met a lot of girls.

Care to talk about calling artillery danger close, as
talked about in another interview?

That refers to combat in the Gulf War. It’s no big
deal and happened on a mission that I led. It pales
in comparison to what our military is doing in Iraq
and Afghanistan right now.

I lost about 50% of my hearing in my left ear.

And what does the Army do with a deaf guy? They put
him in Communications. The result was the Army moving
me into the Signal Corps where I got my start in Info
Tech. And that got me involved in Intelligence.

You publish quite a bit related to the Marines. What's
the reason or motivation behind this?

Ah, someone asks about that every now and then. Well,
the Marine Corps family network is probably one of the
best intelligence gathering organizations in the
world. So, once I got plugged into that network and
started gaining a reputation as trying to help, I got
inundated with information. Also, I think I’ve gained
the trust of some Marines by not caving into pressure
from the press to release names of some of the people
that I post about.

Also, the Marines do great PR. The Army doesn’t have
a clue about PR (and some people that have given me
photos or stories that turn into posts have been
threatened by their chain of command in order to get
me to remove the posts). The Marines like stories
about their good work to get around the internet. The
Army doesn’t. So, I tend to get more Marine stories,
emails, links, than I do about Army things.

I also have a few friends that are in the Marines.
One’s a pilot, one’s a sniper, and one is a General
Officer. I get plenty of tips from them, too.

What blogs do you read on a daily basis and why?

The smartass Foreign Officers at Diplomad are quickly
becoming my favorite read.

IMAO, Argghhh!, Mudville, Smash, Dean’s World are
usually read every day. I try to read Wizbang, Right
Wing News, Belmont Club, Instapundit, Hugh Hewitt,
Michelle Malkin, and others every day. While I never
really thought of myself as Conservative, you can see
from the list that that’s what I like to read.

My guilty pleasure blogs are – Trying to Grok, Grim’s
Hall, Laughing Wolf, Sondra K, Chrenkoff, Gut Rumbles,
Banagor’s, Bad Example, Dog Snot Diaries, Baldilocks,
Just One Minute, Tim Blair and Vodkapundit. Usually,
when I get some free time and a cup of coffee, I like
to spend time at those blogs and the others on my

What was the vilest piece of hatemail you've gotten?

Some @$$ sent me a threat – they had my wife’s name,
our home address, etc. It was horrible. I gave it to
a friend of mine at the FBI. That’s about all I can
say about it right now.

Is it fun to keep trolls as pets, or just not worth
the effort to feed them?

They are not worth the time or energy. I usually just
ban them. What’s more irritating to me are bloggers
spamming comments. I really have a hard time
understanding the bloggers who post off topic comments
but include a URL to something that they are writing
about (again, off topic of the original post). That’s
just bad form.

I never visit a troll’s URL because they just want the
hits or the attention.

Will you be supporting Lucky the Leprechaun's
presidential campaign in 2008?

What kind of drunk Irish Paratrooper would I be if I
didn’t fully support his campaign? I could be his
social chairman - ”And here, Mr. Lucky, is the
Lollipop Kid delegation from Oz…they know how to

When your daughter, Pinkfive, attains "dating age",
how will you screen her suitors?

Suitors? What suitors? I find comfort in that fact
that the Mother Superior doesn’t let suitors into the

What is it, exactly, that you do? For money.

I keep my pimp-hand strong…

Paid: I’m a CIO. Occasionally, I teach Network
Architecture and Engineering for a University here in
Chicago. The best job that I ever had was as a ski
tech (when I was in College).

Undpaid: I’m on the board of a research institution
(raise funds for research and build bridges between
scientists, grad student researchers and businesses –
parallel computing is one area), and I try to help
minority owned businesses understand how to get
contracts with the DOD.

Briefs, boxers or thong?

Boxers (lots of plaids – Polo or Tommy Bahama). I
usually blog in Sponge Bob Square Pants pajamas…long
story, my son has SBSP pajamas and my wife bought my
father-in-law and I SBSP pajamas so all the boys in
the family were the same for Xmas morning. My 3 and a
half year old son thought that was cool. I might post
a picture of me blogging in them for the LA Times.

Ever been arrested?

Of course.


You wanted details?

The last time was for a brawl. Three guys were
beating up my friend for being Jewish. They were
yelling “Hebrew Boy!” and other epithets. He’s the
nicest and most harmless guy in the whole world. I
think one of their girlfriends was talking to him.

I jumped into that one.

Oh, BTW, my friend is Catholic. How ridiculous is

Any tattoos, piercings, or other distinguishing
markings we should know about?

Got a tattoo that you’ll never see…and I might get one
to cover a scar – one of those memories from GWI. My
wife hates the scar so I might decorate it.

Have you mellowed in your attitude towards Alec
Baldwin in the last year, or do you just hate him even more?

Nope. He is a giant horse’s ass. I think I’ve
mellowed on the 9/11 commission and a few others, but
not Alec Baldwin.

Really, though, what did you do with Mr. Green? And
was The Bejuspundit somehow involved?

Damn, I wish Bejus/Donnie was still around…
Mr. Green and I are friends. I talk to him just about
every day or so. He’s okay, just has his hands full
with life right now.

Posted by Jennifer at January 7, 2005 03:15 PM


Great interview! Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Rosemary at January 9, 2005 03:17 AM

The link to http://www.blackfive.com/about.html should have the trailing slash ("/") removed to functionn properly. Otherwise, enjoyed this a lot!

Posted by: Matt at January 10, 2005 05:22 PM

Matt -- any more news on the Gunny Sgt and the little girl? Did you hear from Coleen? Is there some chance of that story getting media attention? Or do you think it was a 'Glurge'?

p.s. got this msg: Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: yah*o.com
the * is an o. Didn't know a yah*o mail addy would be a problem!

Posted by: Jack at January 12, 2005 02:09 PM


Still around, Bro - can't blog at the moment, and probably won't for a few months yet. The IP on this comment will probably tell you why :-)

Still reading you daily, though - and all those other fine blogs you mentioned.

RLTW, old buddy,

- The Bejus Pundit

Posted by: Donnie at January 15, 2005 12:04 AM