A Naval Officer takes a long strange trip to the Desert.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What's up ya'll?

Hey all,
I'm back, and ready to give you all the "Oh my GOD, this is really boring!" brief.
I have begun to slip into the daily routine of the International Zone.
I haven't actually started my job yet, and won't for several weeks. In the meantime, I try to soak up as much info. as possible, and stay busy at my work computer with Navy elearning courses.
I got to take a tour of the IZ a few days ago, and got some pretty nice shots. The one I've posted is an illustration of the aftermath of "Shock and Awe". I was told that this is what a JDAM attack looks like. That might just be bad gouge, but it's probably not far off.
I am continually amazed by how quiet it is here. Even in the heart of Baghdad, I have to bend my ear to hear the evening call to prayer. The only weapons I hear going off are from a firing range down the road.
I did do one interesting thing today. I got dragged to a new operations center that the Iraqis are setting up with our help. Within ten minutes of being in this large and very impressive space, a couple of the guys decide to bring me up to speed on what used to happen in that room. Apparently, Saddam Hussein used to hold meeting with all of his generals in that room. If a general wasn't quite up to snuff, Old Saddam would stand up, walk around behind him and "give him the bad news". At which point the general in question would probably be escorted out and shot.
Talk about a bad day at the office.
I am going to look into posting all of these photos I'm taking on another site. I will post the appropriate link in the links section if I do.
Take Care,

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Oh Man...who did I piss off to end up here?

And, why didn't I piss him off sooner?
Looks like a pretty nice place to be, doesn't it?
On the lighter side, there isn't a drop of scotch anywhere, and last night my roommate woke to find a mouse walking on him. He freaked out, and then he threw it against a wall.
All we could find were droppings.
One more day down,
Time to hit the rack.

Monday, June 19, 2006

First day in Baghdad.

Hey gang,
I have finally made it to my destination.
I am in the International Zone in lovely downtown Baghdad.
And let me tell you, there 'aint nothin' like swimming in the Tyrants pool, working in the Tyrants palace (the new American Embassy), and crapping on the Tyrants throne!
It's glorious. The palace has marble EVERYWHERE!
That asshole spoiled himself in ways that I just can't describe.
And he's got these damn things all over the place. I saw at least three on my way in from the airport, including one that he couldn't get finished before the war started. It's called, get this, "Victory over America Palace".
I kid you not.
How's that for irony.
I also saw the whole crossed swords road that you always see on TV, too.
That's when the reality of your surroundings really hit's you, when you see stuff for real that you've only seen on TV.
To quote myself,"Holy shit! I'm really in freakin Baghdad!"
Anyway, I need to get to bed.
I will try to get some pictures up tomorrow.
Take care,

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Arabian Desert (simulated)

The procedures below will allow you to simulate the wonderful conditions of the Arabian Desert right in your own home, without having to deal with any messy travel agencies, airlines, or unfriendly governments.

What you will need:
one pair of hiking boots
one pair of thick winter socks
one sweat suit
One roll of duct tape
four hair dryers
3 extension cords
one pair of hand cuffs
one fire extinguisher
one stocking cap
water based lubricant

Step One:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (be sure that all windows and doors in your house are secured, and the air conditioning is turned off)
Step Two:
Put on socks, sweat suit, stocking cap, and hiking boots.
Step Three:
Using the duct tape, tape together the exhaust ends of two of your hairdryers. Make sure you have enough tape to keep them securly together.
Repeat with the other pair of hair dryers.
Step Four:
AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN, run around your house, and plug the extension cords into various places (make sure you have them on different circuits, if in doubt on this point, run down to the local electrition and consult him, then run back.) Have them run into the kitchen, and terminate near the oven.
Step Five:
BREAK TIME! Open the oven door and allow the dry Arabian warmth to wash over you.
Isn't this FUN!
Close the oven door, and RUN and retrieve the hair dryers. Hurry, Hurry, Hurry.
Step Six:
Plug the hair dryers into the extension cords that should be resting on the kitchen floor.
Stand back up, VERY QUICKLY! You should feel slightly dizzy, and sweat stains should the showing on your clothes and stocking cap.
Step Seven: Turn on the hair dryers to their maximum setting.
Step Eight: Open the Oven.
Step Nine:
As the heat from the oven envelops you, grab the hair dryers, and direct the flow of hot air

You have now correctly simulated the effect of living in the Arabian Desert. If you have experienced any nose bleeds, nausia, dizziness, or believe you smell your nose hair catching fire, then you have achieved maximum effectiveness in this simulation.
note: The handcuffs and lubricant don't serve any purpose in this simulation, but they're terrific fun to play with and I believe they should never be left out.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Our families latest Graduate

Here she is. Our very own, personal, Dental Hygenist. I can arrange autographs, but phone numbers any no longer available. Sorry...

I am back in South Carolina for only a very short time before boarding the plane to the sandbox. It will probably be a week or so before I can post again. Next time I should have a great deal more to say. We have a long flight, and then a full training schedule when we get there. I had a whole lot of fun in N.O. while I was there. I would like to say "thank you" to all of my friends, both new and old, who showed me a good time over the last two weeks.

Also, a hearty "Congratulations!" to Gina the graduate. Can you believe she had a job waiting for her before she even finished school! And the money this girl is going to make! She makes me feel very poor...But, she deserves it. Not just because she likes cleaning teeth, because she works hard too...

Thanks again for the good time guys, see everyone in a year. Rest assured, I will miss every one of you.