Monday, July 24, 2006

Nonsensible Rambleings of a Wasted Mind

Amazing you don’t feel old until comparisons are made. I don’t feel my age most days, I feel the same as I always have. I maybe wiser than I was, (shut up) But when we talk around here I find out one I would be retired by now if I went in after High School, be a Major by now if I would have come in right after college, or be on my last tour if I would have stayed in. Most of the E-4 and below would have been my students when I was teaching. The guys in the hut are pretty good. Helped some with some remodeling gives you a little more room to rearrange some. The oldest in the hut is 26, His mom is 45 holy crap. One girl is 19 gez I have socks older. Nice girl naive and unsullied nature. Ah, let the jading begin. Nothing new on the job front I did get the server moved and built doors for it. One of the most enjoyable things I’ve done building. Putting it in was an adventure. The network was configured wrong dead lines, and a drill happy Major who hit a power line and knocked out half of the Operations Center. Waiting still on the shipment. Supposed to travel with it tomorrow, but if its not here I guess we stay put. My partner has a new friend I call it Haji cat but he has no named it yet. We give it water, cheese, and tuna. Speaking of food the chow has gotten worse lately. They have a weird way of creating menus. It will be Mexican night with most of the sides covering that and then have Swiss steak with it. We had corned beef one night, then three days later the cabbage came. We have stayed put for the month, I am waiting on an outpost to call and say they have upgraded. I don’t want to go back there, Pez is kind of a pain to travel with. I’m torn between what to do If I go down there I can assure that its done but I would miss the shipment. If I don’t hear by the end of week I will go and get it done and spiral out from there. My neck still hurts but its better. The back cracker is working on me. Have added about 80 songs to the IPod bringing the count to 292 some new most oldies. Doobies, Doors, Dire Straits, etc I know oldies depends on when you were young I was going with the current terms. I don’t have a TV and movies and the IPod are my diversions. I hear that the new pirates movie can be gotten at the Bazaar. They can’t get good roads, good treatment of each other here but you can get bootlegged movies almost as quick as they come out in the theater.

they put up the flags outside of the building I do some work in.

I did not buy it but will ask the wife if she wants a special outfit
Camel at the Bazaar $2 for picture

Get the most for your money

Me and Haji Cat

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Another week in Paradise

Well another week in paradise, (for someone, somewhere else). Here the weather is constant, hot in the day cools off in the evening. It is windy almost all the time. Everything has a light coat of dust. The two good things this week was I got up the nerve to ask the PX (think very small Wal Mart) if I could have a broken chair that has been outside for the last month. They said sure. The only problem was a broken seat. I scavenged some plywood and made a new seat, then for style I bought an Afghan pillow case for $3 and a small pillow for $2. I then made a nice cushion with the stuffing from the pillow and covered with the pillow case. The left over plywood I added to the footlocker desk, so now I can sit like a real person and type. Then the same day I was talking to the Captain about the horrors of having to shot someone. And I mentioned I had the authority to carry a defensive weapon. She said, oh I was worried about you guys lets see if we can get you one. We went to the Supply area and they said sure, before you go on a mission come and get a M16 and ammo. Plus they are going to send me to the range to get it dialed in and get some practice. Two good things in one day, plus we had a very good phone call with the girls back home. We started discussing the possibility that I may get a week off. What I would like to do is have the girls meet me in Europe, and travel through Poland, Austria, Germany or any place really. We are in the beginning stages of the planning. And since it is a might it may not happen. One week is not enough time to come home, so meeting would be nice. If they can’t do it I was thinking of Scotland or Poland alone. Of course if there is something good there must be bad as well. I have a large project to do, pinched nerve in my neck, getting ready for NATO, and a good bit of travel to come. The places are some small and some large, some unsettled and some quite stable. The US is handing off the south to NATO and there is much planning and getting ready to be done. Looks like I will be working with some of these countries soon. More travel that we do not know about yet. It does break of the boredom. At least we get to get off base. There are people who have not left in 5 months and are starting to get cabin fever. Strange thing also this week I got a class email stating one of our class rings (89) was on E-Bay. When I got there it was already sold for $750 that more than twice we paid for them. The next day I learned someone in our class bought it. I think its kind of cool, and wonder whose it is. They all have our names in them. Friday I bought some DVD’s at the bizarre. Three for $9 they include UltraViolet (stupid), Wedding Crashers (somewhat funny), and The Brake Up (not watched yet). They are of course bootlegged, in one half way through you can see the shadow of some guy getting up to leave. The pictures are from Salerno just click on them for larger versions.

Afghan Ant they run around everywhere with their tails in the air

The Salerno Hilton

Afghan Bakery on base (flat bread like pizza crust)

Orchard on base

Mosque center of base

NFL players and cheerleaders getting off chopper

My new chair

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Afghan by air

Sorry for the delay in posting. I was at FOB Salerno. Stuck there for 8 days. It is about 125 miles south east and 10 miles from Pakistan. It was hot and had thunderstorms every day but two we were there. The Friday before we went to Ghanzi to deliver a laptop and training from there we learned that Salerno had been down for two days. Hopped a chopper and went there the pilot said we had 2 hours. We ran to see what we could do. We had only my Gerber. We had no spare parts either. Nothing we could do so we ran back to the chopper, got on and went back to Ghanzi, refueled and on to Bahgram That was 5 hours on a Blackhawk. I would not recommend that to anyone. AT Ghaniz I relearned a rookie lesson. If something is not tied down it can and will blow out the open windows. So my nice glasses went out the window and into a minefield. Thusly I am wearing my cheap pair, and since I have them on I went all the way and got a crew cut. Now I sort of look like Drew Carry. Anyway I took some picture on the way from Ghaniz to Salerno. I did not take any from Bahgram to Ghaniz because I ended up on the General’s Chopper, and didn’t want to offend. We came back very sick and sore. Got a flight on a Chinook back to Salerno a few days later. Fixed everything and hoped to be gone the next day. No plane, they were scheduled but never came. Finally we hopped a mail plane this morning. Best ride in country thus far. So there we were, stuck. Day two the cell phones died no charger, day three my IPod died, day four my cell went for a swim, really dead now. I did read 6 books there, and strained my neck and back carrying the damn tool boxes back and forth to the terminal. They weigh 80 pounds each, plus our gear, and packs. We took three days worth of clothes, luckily found washers and bought a tshirt and socks. I guess I lost a little because XL fits ok and my pants size is down 4 inches. Don’t get me wrong I’m still a fat turd just not as fat. I think. Still have several other small places to go, I tell you after the fact, secret squirrel stuff and all. The excitement we missed was a Russian cargo plane came in on fire, the other day. It was the load for the store and the whole thing burned to the ground. The pilots landed and ran from the plane right into a minefield. They lucked out twice they did not find any mines. Next time the place once called the mountain garden renamed Salerno for some reason.

My partner the hardware guy Pez

Little settlement in a valley

Long road through the rough mountains

entering the mountains

Dry river bed

Most of the compounds are like this sun baked bricks surrounding a garden and houses