When Not To Run Outside, and Candlelit Dinners

Monday, June 28th, 2004

The other day we were in the operations office. There was a bang outside Shocked, and myself and two other sensible people went to the floor while Hans the Blind Turkish Guy runs like hell outside for the bunker at the combat lightning speed. Good reflexes, because he was the first to react, but a bad decision. In this case however, he got lucky, since there was only the one noise…which upon further investigation, since it just sounded wrong somehow, ended up being an exploding tire, not an exploding rocket or mortar shell. You don’t want to go running outside, since maybe there’s more than one on the way. We have sandbags about 5 or 6 feet high outside the containers, so on the floor you are relatively safe as long as one doesn’t come through the roof. Basically, there’s nothing you can do about the first one since it’s random, but in case of several rounds or secondaries, you can be flat. Then, if there’s a break, you can run for the bunker. I don’t really see the point in that, since mostly we aren’t seeing any sustained barrages anyway.

Anyway, it’s weird since there’s all sorts of thumping noises. You just have to learn to filter it out. It boils down to the fact that the not-very-loud dull noises don’t matter. It if isn’t a container or vehicle door closing and thumping from pressure, it could be an actual explosion. However, if it isn’t painfully and scarily loud, it’s too far away to hurt you, and you don’t really need to worry about it. Even the really loud ones can be far away, but given that it could be a close RPG, not as close mortar round, not to far away big mortar, safely ranged BF Rocket, or quite far away car bomb you really can’t tell, so making friends with the floor or your favorite concrete barrier isn’t a bad idea. Our camp is up on top of a hill, so it’s better, because anything not impacting the top of the hill isn’t much of a concern. There was an IED and a couple of secondaries down on the road yesterday morning at about 5:10 AM. I could tell it was downhill somewhere, so I merely prepared to unass the bed. It stopped, and I turned on the radio, but no one called for accountability, so I went back to sleep after a while, in time of course for the other guy’s watch alarm to go off. He sleeps through the first iteration, and wakes up at the end of the second. Can’t wait to get my own container, a room of my own, my own chitter and chower!

They did something odd in the DFac last night. I think their hearts were in the right place, but their brains had not joined the party. It was a candlelit dinner night. Most of the lights were off, and candles had been placed on the tables and lit. On some speakers, smooth jazzy R&B music was playing. You know, the stuff that makes you think of your beloved, or beliked, and how much you miss them and want to be up close and personal with them? WTF? That’s just horrible. Hey, it’s Think of Your Special One 8000 Miles Away Night! It’s ok, don’t cry, you’ll be together again soon…schmucks. Rolling Eyes

PS – they caught a couple of “Got Mortar?” jackasses. Go team! Only one of the two had fired, and luckily it was a dud. For some reason they arrested them instead of smearing them all over the nearest convenient backstop.

A Bunch of Stuff With Ts in It

Friday, November 28th, 2003

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. (more…)

You Know, Some Random Stuff

Wednesday, September 24th, 2003

Ok, a word or two on some things I’ve been meaning to do and write.

First, I’m going to start on the writeups from my last R&R. Really, I am. First I need to go through and reduce the size of all the pictures and then get them uploaded. It doesn’t take so long to expand on most of my notes, it’s just that I’m lazy. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care! Gotta love “Office Space.” I need more. My office is too small, especially to share with commo.

We had a rare surprise yesterday. Not only did the Uzbek Air Force have two birds up flying at the same time (which is unusual enough) they were actually flying in formation! I have never seen them do that. Of course, they were keeping it fairly simple, and staying directly over camp for the most part, but it was neat to see.

I was working on a machine last night and had some good ol’ Double Bubble gum that they had left laying out. It reminded me of a time when I was 4ish, and there was a school fair type of thing where my mom taught. I think my dad was in Korea at the time, so we had to be there since it was at night time. I spent most of the time in my mom’s room, where there was some kind of shuffleboard game. Of course, the prize was a piece of Double Bubble gum. I won a lot. It’s interesting the kind of things that bring to mind other things so long forgotten.

Speaking of those who are gone, our Site Supervisor left last week, bound for greater things. Dave really was a character. Another character in his own right, AB, provided the entertainment in the cookout we held in Dave’s honor. AB enthralled us with the “Shit to Do” song before moving on to a K2-specific version of Clarence Carter’s “Strokin’.” He played several others on his guitar and sang. It’s harder to be as creative on near beer I guess, but he did a good job. Several other honky tonk classics and good acoustic singer guy songs followed, and at some point the “Afraid to Fart” song got played. I suspect he stole that one from Adam Sandler but I am not sure. Of course, we can’t forget “Suzie the Skank.” No one can forget Suzie the Skank…

I had an interesting thought the other day. My car will be paid off next paycheck – I could have paid it off this check but decided to leave that money in savings for just in case. The rest of the check will go to the student loan, which will be paid off in another month and a half. The funny thing is that I have spent this year happily watching as debts were crossed off the list, and I could check my progress in Quicken, often daily, planning what to eliminate next. As I went through this process, I note that I have less and less reason to check Quicken since the bills are almost all gone. I think after this year I will have 3 payments to pay attention to each month. Two storage units and…I’m not sure, something else. Hmm…insurance every six months. Teehee. The funny thing is that next year I’ll just check on a rising balance, but the sense of satisfaction will be different as I will just be adding money, but not really doing anything per se. I don’t get to check anything off my list. Razz

Oh, and they seem to have gotten a few boxes of Lucky Charms and Trix into the DFac. That’s pretty cool, too.

Some things different, ‘atween US and THEM!

Sunday, January 26th, 2003

Ok, so consider having lunch at work. What do you think of? Going out to lunch with your co-workers? That one guy who says “anywhere is fine” and proceeds to shoot down every suggestion as unacceptable? (Hey MB! Wink ) Jeez, I could stand some Benny’s chips and salsa, followed by the Mighty J No Lettuce! Fuck this, I’m leaving! Laughing

Or do you think of bringing in something from home? Some leftovers from last night you heat up in the microwave, or a sandwich that while uninspired, gets the job done. Maybe a frozen meal. But in both of these cases, you are mainly taking care of yourself.

Not so the Uzbeks. (more…)

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