<!--{{{-->
<link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS' href='index.xml' />
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Background: #fff
Foreground: #000
PrimaryPale: #8cf
PrimaryLight: #18f
PrimaryMid: #04b
PrimaryDark: #014
SecondaryPale: #ffc
SecondaryLight: #fe8
SecondaryMid: #db4
SecondaryDark: #841
TertiaryPale: #eee
TertiaryLight: #ccc
TertiaryMid: #999
TertiaryDark: #666
Error: #f88
/*{{{*/
body {background:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}

a {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
a:hover {background-color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]];}
a img {border:0;}

h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {color:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryDark]]; background:transparent;}
h1 {border-bottom:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}
h2,h3 {border-bottom:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}

.button {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::Background]];}
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.tabSelected{color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]];
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.tabUnselected {color:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}
.tabContents {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]]; border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}
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#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel a {border:none;color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
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.wizard .changedServer {background:#8080ff;}
.wizard .changedBoth {background:#ff8080;}
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#messageArea {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}
#messageArea .button {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryPale]]; border:none;}

.popupTiddler {background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]]; border:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}

.popup {background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]]; color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]]; border-left:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]]; border-top:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]]; border-right:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]]; border-bottom:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}
.popup hr {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; border-bottom:1px;}
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.popupHighlight {background:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}
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.tiddler .defaultCommand {font-weight:bold;}

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.title {color:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryDark]];}
.subtitle {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}

.toolbar {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
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.selected .toolbar a {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}
.selected .toolbar a:hover {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}

.tagging, .tagged {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]]; background-color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]];}
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.tagging .button, .tagged .button {border:none;}

.footer {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}
.selected .footer {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}

.sparkline {background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryPale]]; border:0;}
.sparktick {background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]];}

.error, .errorButton {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; background:[[ColorPalette::Error]];}
.warning {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryPale]];}
.lowlight {background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}

.zoomer {background:none; color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]]; border:3px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}

.imageLink, #displayArea .imageLink {background:transparent;}

.annotation {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; border:2px solid [[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]];}

.viewer .listTitle {list-style-type:none; margin-left:-2em;}
.viewer .button {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]];}
.viewer blockquote {border-left:3px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}

.viewer table, table.twtable {border:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}
.viewer th, .viewer thead td, .twtable th, .twtable thead td {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]]; border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]];}
.viewer td, .viewer tr, .twtable td, .twtable tr {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}

.viewer pre {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryPale]];}
.viewer code {color:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryDark]];}
.viewer hr {border:0; border-top:dashed 1px [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]]; color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}

.highlight, .marked {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]];}

.editor input {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
.editor textarea {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]; width:100%;}
.editorFooter {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}

#backstageArea {background:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}
#backstageArea a {background:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; border:none;}
#backstageArea a:hover {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; }
#backstageArea a.backstageSelTab {background:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}
#backstageButton a {background:none; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; border:none;}
#backstageButton a:hover {background:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; border:none;}
#backstagePanel {background:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; border-color: [[ColorPalette::Background]] [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]] [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]] [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}
.backstagePanelFooter .button {border:none; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]];}
.backstagePanelFooter .button:hover {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}
#backstageCloak {background:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; opacity:0.6; filter:'alpha(opacity=60)';}
/*}}}*/
/*{{{*/
* html .tiddler {height:1%;}

body {font-size:.75em; font-family:arial,helvetica; margin:0; padding:0;}

h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none;}
h1,h2,h3 {padding-bottom:1px; margin-top:1.2em;margin-bottom:0.3em;}
h4,h5,h6 {margin-top:1em;}
h1 {font-size:1.35em;}
h2 {font-size:1.25em;}
h3 {font-size:1.1em;}
h4 {font-size:1em;}
h5 {font-size:.9em;}

hr {height:1px;}

a {text-decoration:none;}

dt {font-weight:bold;}

ol {list-style-type:decimal;}
ol ol {list-style-type:lower-alpha;}
ol ol ol {list-style-type:lower-roman;}
ol ol ol ol {list-style-type:decimal;}
ol ol ol ol ol {list-style-type:lower-alpha;}
ol ol ol ol ol ol {list-style-type:lower-roman;}
ol ol ol ol ol ol ol {list-style-type:decimal;}

.txtOptionInput {width:11em;}

#contentWrapper .chkOptionInput {border:0;}

.externalLink {text-decoration:underline;}

.indent {margin-left:3em;}
.outdent {margin-left:3em; text-indent:-3em;}
code.escaped {white-space:nowrap;}

.tiddlyLinkExisting {font-weight:bold;}
.tiddlyLinkNonExisting {font-style:italic;}

/* the 'a' is required for IE, otherwise it renders the whole tiddler in bold */
a.tiddlyLinkNonExisting.shadow {font-weight:bold;}

#mainMenu .tiddlyLinkExisting,
	#mainMenu .tiddlyLinkNonExisting,
	#sidebarTabs .tiddlyLinkNonExisting {font-weight:normal; font-style:normal;}
#sidebarTabs .tiddlyLinkExisting {font-weight:bold; font-style:normal;}

.header {position:relative;}
.header a:hover {background:transparent;}
.headerShadow {position:relative; padding:4.5em 0 1em 1em; left:-1px; top:-1px;}
.headerForeground {position:absolute; padding:4.5em 0 1em 1em; left:0px; top:0px;}

.siteTitle {font-size:3em;}
.siteSubtitle {font-size:1.2em;}

#mainMenu {position:absolute; left:0; width:10em; text-align:right; line-height:1.6em; padding:1.5em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; font-size:1.1em;}

#sidebar {position:absolute; right:3px; width:16em; font-size:.9em;}
#sidebarOptions {padding-top:0.3em;}
#sidebarOptions a {margin:0 0.2em; padding:0.2em 0.3em; display:block;}
#sidebarOptions input {margin:0.4em 0.5em;}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel {margin-left:1em; padding:0.5em; font-size:.85em;}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel a {font-weight:bold; display:inline; padding:0;}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel input {margin:0 0 0.3em 0;}
#sidebarTabs .tabContents {width:15em; overflow:hidden;}

.wizard {padding:0.1em 1em 0 2em;}
.wizard h1 {font-size:2em; font-weight:bold; background:none; padding:0; margin:0.4em 0 0.2em;}
.wizard h2 {font-size:1.2em; font-weight:bold; background:none; padding:0; margin:0.4em 0 0.2em;}
.wizardStep {padding:1em 1em 1em 1em;}
.wizard .button {margin:0.5em 0 0; font-size:1.2em;}
.wizardFooter {padding:0.8em 0.4em 0.8em 0;}
.wizardFooter .status {padding:0 0.4em; margin-left:1em;}
.wizard .button {padding:0.1em 0.2em;}

#messageArea {position:fixed; top:2em; right:0; margin:0.5em; padding:0.5em; z-index:2000; _position:absolute;}
.messageToolbar {display:block; text-align:right; padding:0.2em;}
#messageArea a {text-decoration:underline;}

.tiddlerPopupButton {padding:0.2em;}
.popupTiddler {position: absolute; z-index:300; padding:1em; margin:0;}

.popup {position:absolute; z-index:300; font-size:.9em; padding:0; list-style:none; margin:0;}
.popup .popupMessage {padding:0.4em;}
.popup hr {display:block; height:1px; width:auto; padding:0; margin:0.2em 0;}
.popup li.disabled {padding:0.4em;}
.popup li a {display:block; padding:0.4em; font-weight:normal; cursor:pointer;}
.listBreak {font-size:1px; line-height:1px;}
.listBreak div {margin:2px 0;}

.tabset {padding:1em 0 0 0.5em;}
.tab {margin:0 0 0 0.25em; padding:2px;}
.tabContents {padding:0.5em;}
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#splashScreen {display:none;}

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.toolbar {text-align:right; font-size:.9em;}

.tiddler {padding:1em 1em 0;}

.missing .viewer,.missing .title {font-style:italic;}

.title {font-size:1.6em; font-weight:bold;}

.missing .subtitle {display:none;}
.subtitle {font-size:1.1em;}

.tiddler .button {padding:0.2em 0.4em;}

.tagging {margin:0.5em 0.5em 0.5em 0; float:left; display:none;}
.isTag .tagging {display:block;}
.tagged {margin:0.5em; float:right;}
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.tagClear {clear:both;}

.footer {font-size:.9em;}
.footer li {display:inline;}

.annotation {padding:0.5em; margin:0.5em;}

* html .viewer pre {width:99%; padding:0 0 1em 0;}
.viewer {line-height:1.4em; padding-top:0.5em;}
.viewer .button {margin:0 0.25em; padding:0 0.25em;}
.viewer blockquote {line-height:1.5em; padding-left:0.8em;margin-left:2.5em;}
.viewer ul, .viewer ol {margin-left:0.5em; padding-left:1.5em;}

.viewer table, table.twtable {border-collapse:collapse; margin:0.8em 1.0em;}
.viewer th, .viewer td, .viewer tr,.viewer caption,.twtable th, .twtable td, .twtable tr,.twtable caption {padding:3px;}
table.listView {font-size:0.85em; margin:0.8em 1.0em;}
table.listView th, table.listView td, table.listView tr {padding:0px 3px 0px 3px;}

.viewer pre {padding:0.5em; margin-left:0.5em; font-size:1.2em; line-height:1.4em; overflow:auto;}
.viewer code {font-size:1.2em; line-height:1.4em;}

.editor {font-size:1.1em;}
.editor input, .editor textarea {display:block; width:100%; font:inherit;}
.editorFooter {padding:0.25em 0; font-size:.9em;}
.editorFooter .button {padding-top:0px; padding-bottom:0px;}

.fieldsetFix {border:0; padding:0; margin:1px 0px;}

.sparkline {line-height:1em;}
.sparktick {outline:0;}

.zoomer {font-size:1.1em; position:absolute; overflow:hidden;}
.zoomer div {padding:1em;}

* html #backstage {width:99%;}
* html #backstageArea {width:99%;}
#backstageArea {display:none; position:relative; overflow: hidden; z-index:150; padding:0.3em 0.5em;}
#backstageToolbar {position:relative;}
#backstageArea a {font-weight:bold; margin-left:0.5em; padding:0.3em 0.5em;}
#backstageButton {display:none; position:absolute; z-index:175; top:0; right:0;}
#backstageButton a {padding:0.1em 0.4em; margin:0.1em;}
#backstage {position:relative; width:100%; z-index:50;}
#backstagePanel {display:none; z-index:100; position:absolute; width:90%; margin-left:3em; padding:1em;}
.backstagePanelFooter {padding-top:0.2em; float:right;}
.backstagePanelFooter a {padding:0.2em 0.4em;}
#backstageCloak {display:none; z-index:20; position:absolute; width:100%; height:100px;}

.whenBackstage {display:none;}
.backstageVisible .whenBackstage {display:block;}
/*}}}*/
/***
StyleSheet for use when a translation requires any css style changes.
This StyleSheet can be used directly by languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean which need larger font sizes.
***/
/*{{{*/
body {font-size:0.8em;}
#sidebarOptions {font-size:1.05em;}
#sidebarOptions a {font-style:normal;}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel {font-size:0.95em;}
.subtitle {font-size:0.8em;}
.viewer table.listView {font-size:0.95em;}
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/*{{{*/
@media print {
#mainMenu, #sidebar, #messageArea, .toolbar, #backstageButton, #backstageArea {display: none !important;}
#displayArea {margin: 1em 1em 0em;}
noscript {display:none;} /* Fixes a feature in Firefox 1.5.0.2 where print preview displays the noscript content */
}
/*}}}*/
<!--{{{-->
<div class='header' macro='gradient vert [[ColorPalette::PrimaryLight]] [[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]'>
<div class='headerShadow'>
<span class='siteTitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteTitle'></span>&nbsp;
<span class='siteSubtitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteSubtitle'></span>
</div>
<div class='headerForeground'>
<span class='siteTitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteTitle'></span>&nbsp;
<span class='siteSubtitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteSubtitle'></span>
</div>
</div>
<div id='mainMenu' refresh='content' tiddler='MainMenu'></div>
<div id='sidebar'>
<div id='sidebarOptions' refresh='content' tiddler='SideBarOptions'></div>
<div id='sidebarTabs' refresh='content' force='true' tiddler='SideBarTabs'></div>
</div>
<div id='displayArea'>
<div id='messageArea'></div>
<div id='tiddlerDisplay'></div>
</div>
<!--}}}-->
<!--{{{-->
<div class='toolbar' macro='toolbar [[ToolbarCommands::ViewToolbar]]'></div>
<div class='title' macro='view title'></div>
<div class='subtitle'><span macro='view modifier link'></span>, <span macro='view modified date'></span> (<span macro='message views.wikified.createdPrompt'></span> <span macro='view created date'></span>)</div>
<div class='tagging' macro='tagging'></div>
<div class='tagged' macro='tags'></div>
<div class='viewer' macro='view text wikified'></div>
<div class='tagClear'></div>
<!--}}}-->
<!--{{{-->
<div class='toolbar' macro='toolbar [[ToolbarCommands::EditToolbar]]'></div>
<div class='title' macro='view title'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit title'></div>
<div macro='annotations'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit text'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit tags'></div><div class='editorFooter'><span macro='message views.editor.tagPrompt'></span><span macro='tagChooser excludeLists'></span></div>
<!--}}}-->
To get started with this blank [[TiddlyWiki]], you'll need to modify the following tiddlers:
* [[SiteTitle]] & [[SiteSubtitle]]: The title and subtitle of the site, as shown above (after saving, they will also appear in the browser title bar)
* [[MainMenu]]: The menu (usually on the left)
* [[DefaultTiddlers]]: Contains the names of the tiddlers that you want to appear when the TiddlyWiki is opened
You'll also need to enter your username for signing your edits: <<option txtUserName>>
These [[InterfaceOptions]] for customising [[TiddlyWiki]] are saved in your browser

Your username for signing your edits. Write it as a [[WikiWord]] (eg [[JoeBloggs]])

<<option txtUserName>>
<<option chkSaveBackups>> [[SaveBackups]]
<<option chkAutoSave>> [[AutoSave]]
<<option chkRegExpSearch>> [[RegExpSearch]]
<<option chkCaseSensitiveSearch>> [[CaseSensitiveSearch]]
<<option chkAnimate>> [[EnableAnimations]]

----
Also see [[AdvancedOptions]]
<<importTiddlers>>
[This is the text of Jawa's last post, which he posted immediately prior to deleting all other posts on this blog, on 14 July 2006. -Sig]
|It's been said that El Jawa can't be killed. This is simply not true. That tap I took to the chest a few years ago did some serious damage. The Docs have done what they can, it's now time to stop fighting and to just let nature take it's own course. No big fuss. To my comrades, I can't WAIT to see you. To my friends, I love you, and thank you for your support. To all the haters, suck it. Suck it long, suck it hard, and suck it until I say to stop. Later.|
[[What is this?]]
[[What is this?]]
-----
[[By the time you read this, I'll be dead.  Or gone.  Same thing.]]
-----
[[So who is teh Jawa? (Pt 1)]]
-----
[[So who is teh Jawa? (Pt 2)]]
<!--{{{-->
<div class='header' macro='gradient vert #222 #383480'>
<div class='headerShadow'>
<span class='siteTitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteTitle'></span>&nbsp;
<span class='siteSubtitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteSubtitle'></span>
</div>
<div class='headerForeground'>
<span class='siteTitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteTitle'></span>&nbsp;
<span class='siteSubtitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteSubtitle'></span>
</div>
</div>
<div id='mainMenu' refresh='content' tiddler='MainMenu'></div>
<div id='sidebar'>
<div id='sidebarOptions' refresh='content' tiddler='SideBarOptions'></div>
<div id='sidebarTabs' refresh='content' force='true' tiddler='SideBarTabs'></div>
</div>
<div id='displayArea'>
<div id='messageArea'></div>
<div id='tiddlerDisplay'></div>
</div>
<!--}}}-->
sig at sigspace dot net

http://www.sigspace.net
Better known as Ron Arlt, Jake ~Nun-Ya, and more
All About Teh Jawa
[Originally written 29 July 2006.  Edited for formatting.]

So who is teh Jawa, anyway?  And what the hell happened to all of the content?  And why are some people writing worried comments, and other people writing pissed off comments?

I'm Sig, the administrator of this site, and I can only answer a few of these.

I have been reading the works of and corresponding with Jawa for several years now.  I have followed him through several blog hosts, and when he inevitably pissed someone off and got banned, I would find him again on a new setup - livejournal, blogger, blogspot, whatever.  I didn't keep track of them.

I liked his humor, his bizarre stories, his voice - whatever it was.  It was often patently offensive, but occasionally pretty insightful.  I took to saving bits and pieces for the inevitable closing of the accounts.  Eventually, after I had been running my own site for a while, Jawa asked on the ~CoG boards about getting help setting up his own site.  I'd been thinking about suggesting this for a while, so I jumped at the opportunity and set him up at a defunct testing site I'd configured.

I even spent a long-ass time developing a theme for our mutual use, the one still set up here, blueelectric.

So who is Jawa?  Or, almost as importantly, who did Jawa claim to be?  I'll recount what I can recall first, without regard to proven veracity, and in no particular order, since this is garnered from comments, writings, and personal conversation.

Jawa served a number of years in the US Army, first as regular infantry, then as a sniper.  He worked in Special Forces.  Eventually he served in Delta Force for a while.  He was in Iraq for Desert Storm.  He was married to a woman who had a great deal of trouble not knowing where he was and what he was doing - "need to know" was a source of tension in their marriage.  She died after only a little while - perhaps as little as a year - under circumstances I do not know.  He had another close relative die, the details of which I will not share here on the off chance that it was true.  He was in Delta for the Mogadishu "Black Hawk Down" battle; the first post of his on ~CoG that I remember was one in which he memorialized the fallen of that battle (which I'd never heard of at the time), listing their names and vitals.

He exited the Army on a medical discharge in the mid- to late- 90s as a Staff Sergeant (E6).  I know that he worked in IT, but not what else he might have done.  He has a tendency to get broken doing stupid things a lot, and strange things tend to happen to him - thus the title of "weird magnet."  His stories are responsible for many memes on ~CoG, including the idea of waving your hat for extra points (from a story in which he rides a bull in order to impress a girl).

He did not adjust to civilian life very well.  When the War on Terror kicked off, it wasn't terribly long before he quit his civilian job and went into intensive physical therapy to get healthy enough to rejoin the Army.  He cajoled his way in as a Chief Warrant Officer, in charge of a special protective detail for bigwigs in Iraq.  He found a great deal of purpose in using his skills to train and lead young soldiers in the job that he knew so well.

This came to an end when he and his team responded to an ambush of a quick reaction force in one of the major cities.  He was seen to have been shot several times during the battle, and went missing for a while.  He was found and picked up by a search party, having been hit by a dud RPG during the battle.  All of his ribs were broken and he had a number of additional injuries beyond the gun shots.  He spent a good deal of time in the hospital and rehabilitation.

Psychological and physical damage put him on medical leave.  During this time, he went on a road trip, visiting the families of some of his fallen friends, which he chronicled in another blog called The Journey.  Among the families were those of several of the BHD dead, including one of the snipers who received a Medal of Honor.

He was discharged again and reentered civilian life.  He had several girlfriends, and seemed to settle down somewhat.  I met him in person for the first time last summer, when he stopped by Goodfellow Air Force Base and took me out to dinner.  One of the first things I noticed was that he moved like an old man - and had a lot of scar tissue.  He also eats more than any human should be able to, albeit very slowly.  He's just as loud and unashamedly abrasive in person.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast, Jawa worked briefly as a diver and as security for some sensitive things that could not be easily moved.  The group he was with also did rescue work - he posted a number of aerial photos on this very site, and also some pretty disturbing stories.

I met him again over Thanksgiving last year, when he picked me up for the weekend from Fort Sill, where I'd been mobilizing in preparation to go to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.  He and his girlfriend took me to her house, where I spent the weekend drinking beer, eating good food, swapping lies (how many, I'm still not sure), and playing ~XBox.

During that weekend, I again noted lots and lots of scars.  His girlfriend joked that this was the first weekend in a month that they hadn't gone to the emergency room.  He was meeting her family for the first time that weekend, so I was there partially to run interference, which I was happy to do.  We had planned to go shooting and look through some of his old gear that he wanted me to take with me, but he was fairly ill - from medication, she told me - and we spent most of the weekend as described.

While there, we did go into his work (an IT job) to resolve an issue he was having with some servers.  I saw his office, his I-love-me box with awards and medals - all of which seemed to be in order and appropriate for someone who'd done what he claimed - and a picture whose significance I won't go into here.  We never got around to shooting nor going to his place to look at old gear, though I saw a ghillie suit that he had at his girlfriend's house for some reason (which now escapes me).  His girlfriend had never seen his place either, actually; this might be significant.

He was very supportive during a personally difficult weekend for me, far away from home on Thanksgiving after learning that my wife's newly-discovered pregnancy ended in a miscarriage that same week.

During conversation, we talked at length about Somalia, the Army, his own training and time in service, Iraq, and the ~CoG.  He supplemented stories I had read of on some of his old blogs.  At no time did I notice a contradiction with what I already knew.  He also spoke about his continuing medical problems and the grim prognosis for his future given the sheer volume of injuries and artificial parts he was carrying.  This seemed to depress him a little.

At this time, he was also in the middle of trying to obtain custody of his niece, who was (I think) his sister's kid.  He eventually adopted her.

That was the last time I saw him in person.

Many ~CoGers have met him over the years; many more have tried.  He cancels without warning, or just fails to appear; he is somewhat notorious for this on the boards.  While I was there, in fact, we were supposed to meet a local member but did not.  My impression of him was that he was easily distracted and not the most organized person on the planet; after spending the weekend with him, I could easily see him simply forgetting previous plans.

Anyway, that's teh Jawa as he claimed to be and as I knew him.

To be continued, because obviously there's more to it than this.

Sig

[[Read Part 2.|So who is teh Jawa? (Pt 2)]]
[Originally written 30 July 2006.  Edited for formatting.]

This is really sucking for me, since I'm trying to collate links and conflicting information and various viewpoints and all of that crap over a massively slow connection, and it's mostly just bringing back memories of other stuff.

You don't like to find out about your friend's failings. Still less do you like to find out that your friend may not be your friend at all, let alone a total stranger.

Most of the nastiness comes out in this thread [now gone], started when Jawa deleted all of the posts on this site and announced he was dying.

One of the problems with doing mysterious and grand gestures in a group of computer nerds is that they are generally pretty adept at electronic research. Genuinely worried over someone who was a dynamic (if not always popular) member of their community, the phone calls and searches began. And uncovered some fairly unpleasant things.

The e-mail that went around (posted eventually in that thread):
>[Jawa], formerly known as "Jawa", is in jail.
>
>And not for good reasons.
>
>According to Susan, his former girlfriend, [he] took a Jeep that she had bought for them and ran off to California, where, I assume, he was caught and arrested. In the wake of this event, Susan found out from his family that everything he's said and claims to be is a completely and utter falsehood.
>
>[He] was kicked out of boot camp long ago, never went to Somalia, never participated in the Gulf War, and never went to Iraq. Not only that, but he also has several warrants out for his arrest from different states. He never had a wife who died. Everything "Jawa" has ever done has been nothing more than the fantasies of a troubled mind -- and "Jawa" is nothing more than that: A persona.
>
>We've all been cleverly duped, but the one who paid the most is Susan, who is now in serious debt and has to sell her house and downsize in order to pay off what he's cheated her out of.
>
>I'm very sad, but not ashamed. Everyone fell for it. He was a smooth talker. I *wish* it wasn't this way, but I think we have overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that "Jawa", for all intents and purposes, is not only dead, but never actually lived. And [Jawa], our favorite war hero, is a fraud.
>
>God help him.

No, I don't know why I'm still protecting his name. It's certainly out there if you search for it.

Additionally, it came out that he had written a number of bad checks in Susan's name. Susan is a ridiculously nice person, and deserves far better than this.

Some of the forumgoers were immediately able to track down court documents and records substantiating these and other claims. Also, a [[blogspot|http://namaste--.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_namaste--_archive.html]] entry by an apparent ex-girlfriend in CA shows the same sort of behavior. I can't load that link at the moment, but I've seen the page before.

I asked him about that once. He replied:

>As always, it's a matter of interpretation.
>
>The one chick that is most venomous is kind of sad really. Most of what she posts is bullshit, and the people that really know who I am know that what she is describing is totally in-accurate. Believe me, if I thought I had to defend myself, I would. But again, nobody that really knows me believes any of it.
>
>Story of my life. Lots of people want something from me, and when I'm not willing to give it, they get pissed. It's my own fault. i cultivate this jawa persona pretty carefully, and people come to expect that's who I really am, and people want to jump on that train and "experience" the crazyness. And when they find out I'm not really that person all the time, they feel cheated. Especially females, which is why my relationship with Susan is so great. She doesn't want me for something I'm not.
In retrospect, maybe I should have pursued the issue for Susan's sake.

Combined with everything else, it seems fairly damning. Yet...

If he never served in the military, he did a hell of a lot of research for the Jawa persona. His name is listed in some places as being a sniper in Desert Storm, which might mean nothing if he's been pulling this act for a long time.

Most convincing to me was his blog The Journey, in which he supposedly visited the families of some of his fallen friends. It's long gone on the web, but I have a locally archived copy back home.

If it's not true, he should have a career writing fiction. He lists names, locations, and dates, several of which may be verifiable. In no sense was it "over the top" as many claim his stories to be -- but it was painful to read sometimes.

He gave me good advice, too, in an e-mail I have from shortly after I announced my impending departure for Afghanistan.
>Dear [Sig],
>
>Well shit. I've attempted to start this email a bunch of times, and then can never seem to make much sense. But time is getting short, and there's a lot I want to say, so I'm just going to kind of wing it. My apologies upfront if some things sound a little weird. They might not make sense now, but eventually they might become clear.
>
>Either way, I want you to print this email out and take it with you. Don't obsess over it, but keep it handy. When you have questions, (and you will), hopefully in this text you'll find some answers. Or if not specific answers, maybe some direction. I want you to share this with [Sunbeam] too, make her a copy. I'm going to try and tell you how things "are" before they happen, so that maybe it'll be easier to adjust to how much your life is about to change.
>
>First off, this is the way the military really works. We, the old guard, must take you, the cherry, under our wing and guide you. Hopefully we do a good enough job that someday you yourself will step up and guide someone else. The military is great at training you, but horrible at preparing you. Preparing you is my job.
>
>No matter how flippant you are about the job you'll be doing over there, don't kid yourself. I don't care if you're just plugging computers in. You're still going to be in a combat zone. And the way this war is being fought, there are no safe zones. That's lesson number one. The minute you step on the plane until the minute you step off the plane back home, YOU ARE IN COMBAT. You cannot, for any reason, let your guard down. Not even for a minute. This is going to be hard, especially if you're posted in the rear with the gear. It's going to be easy to become comfortable, easy to be less vigilant, because for the most part nothing bad ever happens. Don't be that guy. That guy being the Dumbass who gets killed because he never expected anything bad to happen to him. Live every minute of every day as if someone has a gun pointed at your head. Be alert, pay attention to your surroundings, and above all, never take a chance you don't have to. Sometimes the safer decision is harder, or takes longer. But always, ALWAYS base your decisions with the safety of yourself and your men as a higher priority than what is easiest.
>
>Your equipment is your life. I can't stress this enough. You can never give me a reasonable excuse as to why your equipment isn't in perfect condition. Your weapon is the single most important piece of equipment you have. I know that cleaning weapons is boring. Tough shit. Do it. Often. If you have time to do anything else, you have time to clean your weapon. Do it while you're on the crapper. Do it in between strokes when brushing your teeth. Do it instead of sleeping or eating. Given the choice between cleaning your weapon and doing anything else, cleaning your weapon should always win.
>
>Here's the part where [Sunbeam] is going to strangle me. But [Sunbeam], please understand I say this not to be a total dick, but because I care.
>
>When you're over there, [Sunbeam] is not the most important person in your life anymore. She might not even be the second most important.
>
>Your Sergeant is the most important person. Listen to him. Study him. Learn from him. If his mouth is open, then you need to be listening. Even if it means missing a phone call from your wife. Your Sergeant is there because he knows his shit. Watch him, because he'll keep you alive.
>
>I can't stress the vigilance thing enough. Don't watch people's faces or eyes. Eyes can deceive pretty easily. Always watch the hands. The hands will tell you when a threat is coming before a face will.
>
>Learn to play "what if" games. Scan an area and start going through scenarios. What if that car explodes when I'm near it? Where do I go? What if that kid lobs a grenade at me? Where do I go? What if this tent catches on fire while I'm peeing? Which direction do I pee? What happens if my right arm gets blown off? Can I draw my weapon with my left? There are no ridiculous scenarios. Think, think, think.
>
>All of the above is pretty straight forward, normal advice. This next part is a little tougher because it deals with emotions, and everyone is built differently. So instead of telling you how YOU should feel, I'm just going to tell you how I felt, and how I dealt with being in the bad place.
>
>For me, it was easier to just emotionally shut down. The less I felt, the easier it made things. This isn't to say I became an un-emotional prick; it's more that I didn't let the normal everyday emotions affect me. I didn't differentiate between happiness and sadness. I didn't try and work out where my anger came from. I still felt things, but instead of dwelling on the why, I just let them happen.
>
>I never bothered to make plans. Never stopped to think where I'd be a year from now. I know this is not true of other guys. A lot of them, that's what kept them going. They'd be counting the days until DEROS, or RnR, or when the next time they could talk to their wives. I guess it was their way of marking time. I found it easier not to set any expectations. That way I was never disappointed.
>
>One trick that really helped with the crushing loneliness was to keep certain memories special. There are specific times in my life that were special to me. Rather than thinking about them constantly, I only allowed myself to think about them sporadically. This kept them special.
>
>I know I'm not making much sense. I kind of know in my heart what I want to tell you, but my stupid brain can't translate it. It's frustrating as hell.
>
>The most important thing is to not let this experience change you. You're an awesome guy, and you have a wonderful wife. Some guys, when they go to a combat zone, they allow themselves to be changed by it. Some, like me, allow themselves to be changed so much that they never feel "normal" unless it's in the middle of chaos. And that's a fucked up way to live. Know that this is only a thing, only a year of your life. What you see and do over there should not define who you are as a person, nor should it define who you end up being. I let combat define me, and in doing so made a mess out of my life.
>
>Shit. What else? I wish I was going with you. There's nobody else I'd rather show the ropes. Trust the people that have been there for awhile. Do little talking, and a lot of listening. Always, ALWAYS expect the absolute worst, even while hoping for the absolute best. Expect Mr. Murphy to show up constantly, because Mr. Murphy loves combat. (Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong). Trust your teammates. Even if they're REMF's, they're still your lifeline. Some of the guys I served with were absolute pricks. IRL I would never have hung out with them. But because they were team mates, we found ways to make things work.
>
>Orders must be followed, but orders can also be questioned. But not out loud. Don't just follow an order blindly. Think about it, dissect it, try to understand the big picture. The more you understand the big picture, the easier it is to be vigilant.
>
>I know there's tons more but I just can't seem to get it down in words. So I'm going to leave this as is. But I want you to know that I am extremely proud to know you, and I'm even more proud to be able to call you my friend. Actually, you're about to become more than a friend, you're about to become a brother. (We few. We happy few.) I know you're going to have email access over there. If you have any questions, any problems, any issues, I don't care how stupid or trivial they may seem, I want you to promise me that you'll contact me. Even if I don't have the answer, I can at least point you in the right direction. This goes for [Sunbeam] as well. If she needs anything, has a question about anything, or simply just needs someone to talk to that "understands" the fear and loneliness she's going through, she can call or email me day or night. I'll always be available.
>
>Keep your head down and come home not only in one physical piece, but one emotional piece as well. I know it shouldn't need to be said, but getting hurt is not fun. I know I make light of having been shot, but the truth is, it's pretty horrible. Not just the physical implications, but the emotional baggage that gets attached as well. Let this experience enhance the greatness you already posses. Accept the good parts, and deflect the bad parts.
>
>Be safe. And thank you for doing this. I wish I could go with you.
>
>Sincerely,
>
>[Jawa]
Ask my teammates. I am freaking compulsive about cleaning my weapons. That piece, at least, stuck with me.

You can maybe understand my problem. There's two Jawas -- one of them is an absolute dick, and one of them has given me good advice and a sounding board and a hell of a lot of amusement and a sympathetic ear when I was having a really lousy time of life. I only met the second one.

This isn't to say I didn't suspect the first one existed. I'd seen many of those links before, because someone like Jawa doesn't exactly inspire uncritical trust among his friends. Here's an excerpt from an e-mail I wrote late in 2005 -- you'll have seen some of these things mentioned before:
>A lot of what he says is implausible to say the least. A few things I've noticed, though:
>
>*The man is a walking mass of scar tissue. Some of them are very visible, some not so much. One of his shoulders sits a lot higher than the other, certain motions he just doesn't do, etc. In many ways, he is severely jacked up. According to him, his doc laid it out for him what he can expect over the next 10 years as far as debilitating injury goes, and it's not terribly pleasant. Whatever else he's done, he uses himself up pretty hard.
>
>*He DOES have a tendency to hurt himself in dramatic ways, unless his current girlfriend is also a pathological liar. According to her, they spent several hours just photographing scars and injuries a few weeks ago. I saw some of these while he was tooling around on his computer, looking for some other pictures of something else.
>
>*He definitely plays paintball. Things I have found on the web are consistent with this much, at least -- he is an infamous smack-talker on the field. =)
>
>*He knows a LOT about Somalia. He described a lot of people, a lot of events, that I had never heard before, and details about things I have read. Many of the people there were first names to him, and he could tell you how they each died and where. He could just be very creative, but it's all internally consistent with things he has written on his other blogs (The Journey, in particular).
>
>*He knows a LOT about shooting, weapons, and the way the Army works. Combined with another site out there that used to list him by name as a Desert Storm sniper, I think that much, at least, is pretty credible. His medals and whatnot are arranged appropriately in the display case (e.g. not randomly strewn about, lame next to awesome), as far as I can tell.
>
>Other tidbits that are probably worth mentioning, as they pertain to his general truthfulness:
>
>*From things he has posted on some of his many blogs, his wife died, but I don't recall how. She came up a few times over the course of TG weekend, but mostly because we were talking about OPSEC, and she was apparently someone who was very troubled by not knowing what was going on with his work -- clearly a source of conflict in their relationship. He didn't go out of his way to mention her at any point. Maybe she didn't die, or maybe there has been an additional spouse somewhere along the line. Or maybe he's lied to some of these angry internet chicks by letting them find out about his "wife" to get rid of them. I have no idea.
>
>*He has a picture of a little girl on his wall -- an old picture -- which he says is a daughter he had with someone else (not his wife) when he was fairly young. She died of cancer. He also says he is in the process of adopting his niece, whose mother is not fit. This may be the source of some of the allegations on the links you mentioned -- perhaps they were being confused. Or perhaps neither exists. The photo on the wall was old enough to coincide with the timeframe he was talking about. The conversation was in the context of our miscarriage, by the way.
>
>*His eBay seller rating is not spectacular, but it's not awful, either. He didn't have any negative feedback as a seller.
>*He told me that he had a fair number of weapons and a stock of paintball gear at his place, but we never made it over there that weekend. Interestingly, his girlfriend has also never been to his place.
>
>Relating to his general reliability (or frequent lack thereof), I'm not sure what to tell you. He was heavily medicated most of the time I was there, and I personally observed him fall asleep while eating a piece of pie. He did not recall the last hour or so of our conversation on that night. We didn't make several of the meetings that had been intended, largely because he was unconscious (or in the bathroom hurling). I gathered the impression that he is not exactly famous for his attention span.
>
>I don't know what to tell you. He's definitely not what I would classify as normal, and I suspect some of his stories were more than a little bit exaggerated. But if he's a "PX Ranger," he's a carefully researched one. I wouldn't classify him as a "nice guy" or anything, and I would always make backup dinner plans, but I'm not worried he's going to go through my wallet in my sleep or anything.
>
>It is unlikely, but plausible, that he's pretty much exactly what he claims. More likely, he's most of what he claims. I'm with you on this much -- even a significant portion of that is worthy of respect. I was skeptical of some of his stories, but there was nothing I heard that was clearly a lie. I wish I could do the weekend over again, since I just spent several days learning how to interpret deceptive speech and body language indicators, but that's life.
>
>So, in short, you're not crazy, he is. But that doesn't necessarily mean he's a pathological liar and a thief. Don't worry about being skeptical and concerned, because you'd have to be a little off not to be.

I'm not a big fan of airing personal business, and I'd have preferred not to have to write this post. The question of Teh Jawa has cost some people money -- some people a good deal of money -- and it has hurt a lot of people who trusted him.

The whole truth can only be known by the man behind Jawa, and I don't expect to hear from him again. Parts of the truth may be known through public records, and from personal correspondence with his family, particularly his brother "J" (if he exists). I'd like to think there's a positive spin on this, or things are not as they appear, though I frankly can't think of a way for that to be.

Mostly, I'm just sad at the prospect that the friend who gave me good counsel may not exist at all. I'm sad that I have to doubt him, and sad that so many are gleeful to see his "downfall." I'd like to know the truth, but more than that, I'd like to talk to Jawa and bounce some of my recent experiences off him. I can't do that, because he doesn't seem to exist.

And that sucks, because I loved that guy.

Sig
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This //was// the personal blog of a guy I knew as Jawa.  Mostly, I knew him from a web board we both used to frequent, the Chronicles of George [referred to herein as ~CoG], but I have also met him and stayed with him over a Thanksgiving weekend.

In the summer of 2006, while I was looking for talibs in Musa Qah'leh, Jawa performed a grand exit, claiming he was dying and deleting all of his previous content from the [[Drupal|http://www.drupal.org]]-powered site that used to be here.  Since it hasn't actually seen any new content to manage in three years, I've copied the remaining material to a [[TiddlyWiki|http://www.tiddlywiki.com]] for simplicity of maintenance.

I considered simply taking it down, but there have been enough contacts over the years that I feel it would be better left up as a resource.  Despite what you read, Ron isn't a complete and total scumbag, and I'd like to think that my account reflects that.  I would recommend reading in the order listed on the left.

Comments and concerns can be directed to my e-mail at sig at sigspace dot net.

We're done here.