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Archive for July, 2004

Change Of Plans

Saturday, July 31st, 2004

Well…it seems I am not going to Uzbekistan. Just when I thought I was going to get out of here and that LOGCAP was done screwing up everything they touch, they get in one last jab, and boy was it a doozy. I’m of course glad to know they are only looking out for me. Evil or Very Mad

So now I am apparently heading to Malaysia instead. Suffice for now to say that I had a sticky set of criteria to work within, to meet both my goals of seeing my special someone, and not doing anything to get myself fired. I will be leaving this job under my own power, at a time of my own choosing. It certainly made mincemeat of one of my other goals though, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about that, and the possibility of changing the circumstances on that one doesn’t leave me anything to work with. It’s kind of hard to meet the parents if you can’t get in the country.

Oh I could, don’t get me wrong. I could do it, and in a way that they couldn’t prove anything, either. But if they decided to check up on me (a definite sure were I heading to an alternate ‘stan) they’d find the lack of findable proof as reason enough to fire me for some bullshit alternate reason anyways. It’d be simpler for them that way.

It’s funny — I’m not sure on what planet Uz wouldn’t be safer than the U.S., but goddamn if I can’t go to one because it’s dangerous…

Rant over. I gotta figure out interesting stuff to see and do in Malaysia.

PS – If you don’t follow the news, none of that made any sense. They had a few bombings in Tashkent again.

Never Take Their Word For It Part II

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

These people are hopeless. They can’t “provide” travel except from Dubai. This project is very poorly run and the staff is not helpful. I find it’s best to distance yourself from relying on other people where possible. Nobody is going to look out for your interests like you are, and they may not bother to look out for you at all. Lucky for me I am resourceful. If I understood the hyper-fast speaking Indian (?) guy at the Uzbekistan Airways counter I called, I just show up and I got me a ticket. Gonna be a busy trip, but a good one. I go Mosul Palace back to Mosul Airfield, fly down to Baghdad, then later on to Dubai where I take custody of myself, arrange a few things and then on to Tashkent I go…

One week, and I am there!

Never Take Their Word For It

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

Sigh…here’s the latest travel fiasco they’ve hit me with.

I put in for R&R with a departure from Sharjah (an airport in the UAE) to Tashkent. They have a direct flight from there 2 days a week, at a fare of somewhere around $600. I think the one I looked at left around noon, and arrived about 3PM.

The proposed itinerary I got has me leaving from Dubai (still in the UAE) at 2:50AM with a 4ish hour flight to Istanbul, where I wait 12 hours, and take a 3-4 hour flight to Tashkent, which arrives at 1:15AM. Add in a couple hours each side and you have a hell of a long day. This ticket is almost $1200. I advised them this was not an acceptable option. Smile

Somebody’s a schmuck…just don’t know who. Just not gonna let it be me. Wink

Band of Brothers

Sunday, July 18th, 2004

I bought this series on DVD well over a year ago, but hadn’t got to watching it yet. I’d seen it originally when it came out, though missed at least one episode due to Tivo problems.

It was interesting to compare and contrast the first time I saw it with now. It still makes me all emotional, and sometimes just a lil’ weepy. Imagine the sacrifice these guys went through. I have a little better perspective on taking fire now, and it was a bit ironic to find I had to stop playback for a minute during one of the battle scenes, because we had a small bit of incoming at that time. (more…)

Decisions and Value Judgements

Wednesday, July 14th, 2004

I decided something today, and there is something associated with that that I am as of yet undecided on.

I was in my container this morning, and heard a whistling whirring noise. This is when I decided to check out my floor. I think I need to clean it. It’s getting to be just like home, I am spreading clothes out all over the place. Primarily that’s just because I only got the damn footlockers here two days ago, and I am still in “put this here, or there” phase. Still, with my new container-home, and my stuff finally arriving, it’s almost like living in a real place.

So anyway, when nothing came through the walls I stepped outside and meandered to the bunker. We started doing the accountability thing over the radio. I was standing just outside the entrance to the bunker with two other guys. BANG WHOOSH WHIRRRRRRRRR “oops! IN! IN!” WHIIRRRR BOOM! Shocked We developed a united sense of purpose. That was the first time I’d ever actually heard the launch before. They tossed another two at us a couple of minutes apart. The fourth one went whir but not boom, and I think they may have felt discouraged, because they stopped firing after that. I’m all for stomping on some aggressive shithead’s sense of self-esteem. I mean, I’d rather have large (or small, that works pretty good too) holes poked in them to let their anger drain out onto the sidewalk with all the crap that makes them dangerous, but sometimes those little small victories are all you get.

The part I can’t really decide about is whether I prefer rockets over mortars. Rockets give you some kind of lead time, since they make noise coming in. With mortars, shit just blows up, and you don’t get much chance to do anything about that first one, or warning on follow up rounds. On the other hand, mortars tend to be a bit smaller. I’m on the fence on this one. On the whole of course, I’d rather they just knocked that crap off.

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