A Bunch of Stuff With Ts in It

Some Thoughts on Thanksgiving, Things You See At Night, and Two Karshi Trips

I decided that longevity is going to be a factor and that I should take the days off we get. It’s only 8 hours instead of the 12 we work, but I can make up the difference. Therefore I took Thanksgiving Day off. It was nice. I did nothing, and it was all I thought it could be.

One of the first things I don’t do enough of: sleep late. I didn’t sleep terribly well the night before, thinking about work for some reason, in that vague and undefined fashion where you might even be half-asleep. I thought I woke up around 7:30 but was pleasantly surprised to find it was about two hours later than that. I stayed in bed anyways.

I did some reading. I sat and watched a movie. I went and worked out, in the middle of the day. I got a haircut. There were a few people I wanted to go visit, and a few things I wanted to check up on, but I’ve always felt it’s a bad idea to show up on your day off, since people will only want something from you.

I stopped by the DFAC for some of that wonderful holiday chow. Now, the major holidays typically you will find your local food service workers going the extra mile. This was no exception – had turkey (real, not the pre-processed turkey “breast” piece that’s best sopped in gravy,) steak, lobster, crab, shrimp, ham. Had never had actual turkey before, except maybe over Christmas last year, but that was so long ago it doesn’t even matter. On the other hand, it’s odd to look back and think it’s been a year already since I left Denver. We haven’t had baked potatoes in a long time, and they made a welcome return. And lemon meringue pie! Another one I don’t recall ever seeing before. I ate so much I had to make it a 2-Dew meal.

I felt so unbelievably bad after that. Crying or Very sad

I walked back in the dark having several things catch my eye. It’s odd what you notice sometimes. Before the gunships head out on a mission, they orbit the base 3-4 times to make sure Mr. GPS is right when he throws out that map with the big red X for “You Are Here.” I watched this shape fly over fairly low but rather indistinct. Had it not been for the disturbing number of daylights scattered all over the camp, I’m sure the bird would have been indistinguishable. Their lights were all out. I remember another time when the UAF actually had planes up at night. One was heading generally towards me, with the green and red lights blinking but not making any noise yet. That was an interesting sight as it streaked in at high speed. Thought it was a UFO or something.

Another thing that sticks out at night is the damn spider webs. Those little bastards are silk-spinning fools! During the day they are generally harder to spot, but they ride the wind. You can walk into a web flying around unsupported or attached to a post 20m away. At night you can look up into the power lines that cut through camp and see a whole patchwork pattern of spider webs going from one cable to another. They also have a tendency to gather visibly at the sides of the daylights waving gently in the breezes. I hate those little fellers, I have the constant feeling that web-silk is draped across me — and a lot of the time, it is.  I saw a guy today trailing a good 15 feet’s worth from the back of his hat. I kill 4-5 spiders a day. Only little ones generally, and I’ve only seen 1 camel spider so far. After I squashed his ass flat I no longer could get a really good look at him, what with being all ground into the umm…ground, and all.

The nightlife starts coming out at dark, too. I got a start when a little black and white cat jumped out of a trash can as I passed it 3 feet away. It ran off in the night before I could say hi. Given all the mice bastards we have here, I don’t know why it’d be digging through the trash can…

I’ve gone into Karshi twice in the past week trying to find some Cat5 cable. It’s nice to go somewhere outside the camp. Karshi is not particularly remarkable, but it is remarkably not a seemingly unending field of tents and the same old container buildings. Another remarkable thing would be the chicks in short skirts and boots. Man! Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t all wearing that, but noticing them had priority over all the others. Coincidence of coincidences, but the 3 times I have gone into Karshi I have always seen someone I know. The first time is not important Smile but the second I ran into a girl that used to work here but is now married to one of the guys here. Actually in a couple days he’s taking her back to the states. By run into her, I mean I almost literally ran into her. She didn’t recognize me at once because I was in disguise.

Now this gets complicated, so stay with me: On the next trip (today) as we were driving down the road I saw one of the guys who used to work in Maintenance. Akbar, the Man in Black, was a decent fellow, who happened to be the next door neighbor of an Associate (female, you know it) of mine, who happened to have a Girlfriend (platonic type) who came to work on the base, replacing my Associate after she was fired for having a cell phone on camp. As it turns out, the Man in Black and one of the higher-ups from the main contractor here were best buddies. The higher-up had this Girlfriend who’s been previously referenced, and Akbar was instructed to look after her when Sam was gone. Oops, who can’t see where this was going? Well, stupidity abounds. Since Sam is the wrong person to mess with, though he gave the concerned parties every chance to knock that shit off, Akbar found his passport pulled one morning when he showed up for work. No can get on base, not much work to be done. Later the Girlfriend switched jobs, and my Associate was hired back in her old spot to replace her friend who replaced her by the very person who fired her, and then transferred himself to Iraq 3 days later. It’s a crazy world, and 6 months later. Rolling Eyes

Oh, and since I was still in disguise, Akbar didn’t recognize me either, but I’m sure the American guy waving his American arm out the window of the American Toyota Land Cruiser stuck in his mind. We sorta stick out.

Speaking of that, I have a new nickname.

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