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Archive for December, 2004

A Musical Odyssey in Time and Space

Friday, December 24th, 2004

I was listening to some music last night and thought of a song I had not listened to in a while. It is “Aisha” by the group Outlandish. They are from Denmark apparently, with members from Honduras, Pakistan, and Morocco.

I first heard this song in December of 2003 in Tashkent. Actually, there is a possibility I first heard it in October, but looking back I can’t be sure. Anyways, it makes a better story if it’s December, so it is officially December. So there! It was on or about mid-December and a friend of mine and I were on the way out on R&R. We had processed in Houston together and arrived a day or two apart. We spent a few days there before flying out. Of course this was before the lockdowns and other ridiculous stuff imposed by the company folks, so you could go out and do whatever you wanted. Out in the clubs we heard this amazing song. We both noticed it, and it was obvious that nearly everyone else really seemed to like it a lot, too. In a nutshell, it sings the praises of a woman living her life. It tugs all the right heartstrings. (more…)

I’m OK

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

It hasn’t hit the news yet but I’m sure it will soon. There was a bang over at the other Mosul site. Don’t have much information as of yet, but it sounds ugly.

(Ed. note — this was the suicide bombing of the DFAC over at Marez that killed 22 people. Initial news reports were that it was a mortar/rocket attack but we were listening to the radio traffic and they knew it was something else fairly quickly.)

Had A Scare

Saturday, December 18th, 2004

No shit, this really happened.

So there I was, in our crappy little gym-container because I was too lazy to brave the cold for 10 minutes getting down to the real gym. I could have borrowed a vehicle to go down there, but that’s unbelievably lazy and I can’t lower myself that far. I had just finished my cardio fun and was heading to the bench, thinking about killing myself to the sweet tunes of Jewel, from her early days of music to slit your wrist by. Tears course down from my puffy eyes and drip forlornly to the floor. On the other hand, maybe it was just sweat coming from above my eyes. But that’s not important right now because BANG!

And I’m out the door. That was a strange sounding one, and the fact that the gym container has pretty much no sandbags around it doesn’t thrill me to be there anymore. It was a noise of bang on metal. I come out past the HESCO at the front, smartly remembering from a previous trip that the entrance to this bunker doesn’t seem to be where I want it to be. It is therefore no surprise when I go face-first into a sandbag wall where the bunker entrance most definitely is not. It’s not fair; the other time it was daylight out and I could see. Now it’s 10PM or so and I’ve gone from a lit container into black night. At least the idjits over at the old consulate have had someone with a brain consult them about the fact that being lit up like a Christmas tree is a really bad idea. I’m sure the inaccuracy of our AIF friends would merely result in a cluster of rounds into our AO. Anyway, I blind-man shift over the few feet into the actual entrance in record time and pause to catch my breath, while my nasty sweat condenses and steams in the frigid air, thankfully not currently filled with pieces of metal, tiny and those that ain’t. Contrasted with the anti-brevity of this paragraph, I expect it took no more than 4 seconds from sound to safety. Eventually, nothing happens. I head back into the container, and just as I open the door…

…the second outgoing round goes off. I jump, on account of it’s loud, but I’m comforted by the knowledge that I am not provably insane. I hear and understand what made it sound so strange the first time. This container is of different manufacture than the others, and it has more in common with a tin shack. The noise sort of seemed to slap the walls oddly. This is when I remember the 2200-2400 window for outgoing. I take great relief and humor in my own stupidity, and now you can too!

Of course, they didn’t fire off again til I was in the shower.

In Case You’ve Noticed

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

Yes, I dredged up some older posts from another board. I started to get a little confused on which had been posted where, and didn’t want to leave stories untold, or worse yet told twice. I’m getting short and need to clear out the story queue before I go, because that will become an adventure too.

In a nutshell: I start out of here 1 January. Will spend a few days in Dubai with friends, doing a dive or a few, and a little bit o’ networking if I can. I’ll come back to that. (more…)

Things That Make You Go…

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

…gotta go! Smile

Apparently a taxi 75m out the gate was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 107mm does a number on the bodywork. These went over us on the way through I think. Not very far over though.

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