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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.

Daily Danger In Iraq

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

I usually play off the danger here, so as not to scare folks, but today it hit home just how bad things can be here. In a quirk of timing, we got some footage just as an incident occurred. This footage is not for the faint of heart nor weak of continence, but does illustrate the very real everyday dangers we face here. I’m just glad we aren’t out there on the streets.

Short video, about 800k. More visually stunning when set to repeat.

Same As It Ever Was Part II

Friday, December 3rd, 2004

We had several close ones yesterday. I recall on the first one, which was not very far away, hearing the boom, grabbing the radio and starting to move, saying “that didn’t sound like outgoing…” and when #2 hit in the same general not very far away “twasn’t!” and sprinting for the bunker. #3 hit with an odd extra something to it as we slid into the bunker. We kind of looked around at each other, wondering what that was. Whatever it was, it was really close. I don’t recall anything interesting about #4 though it was still in the vicinity. While Opsguy was taking accountability, I responded for him on one of the subcontractor radios. The subcontractor guy is someone that no one likes, on account of he’s a major weasel. No offense to any weasels, of course. It doesn’t help that his last name is Anal. No, that just doesn’t work out to his benefit at all.

Anyway, he babbles out that one hit the t-wall production area, which is 30m away from the office, and maybe 25ish meters from my container. Thank Jeebus for the t-walls between us and there, huh? I told him to try and get accountability for his people but stay hunkered down. He was a little panicked at the time, but that’s forgivable. Luckily, maybe even amazingly, no one was hurt in this. (more…)

Same As It Ever Was

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

Same As It Ever Was

Well, things have gone back to normal here. After a week and a half of things being quiet on the FOB, we’ve started getting incoming again. For some reason they have more or less turned off the outgoing, too. They’re a lot harder to hear, since it now is more windy and rainy than it used to be, though they don’t seem to want to attack in the rain. On one of the last iterations, our security guy called the all clear just as the heavens opened up and poured a heavy rain on us. I raced out of the bunker, and only had a smidgen of key trouble before I realized I hadn’t locked the door in the first place.

One day I was taking care of an issue whilst reading up on my Russian grammar, since I have not really gone back over the rules in some time. I was engrossed in the rules for the accusative case, which defines your direct objects. It’s pretty basic for what it’s worth, but I’m trying to be thorough. It was approximately 2:19 PM. That old familiar whistling cranks up, with the accompanying vaguely sick feeling. This simply isn’t fair. How can this happen twice? Anyway, this one is headed right for me, I can just tell. It gets louder and louder. It must be a laser guided rocket, it’s heading straight for the container. I struggle to accomplish my basic objective – must get the pants back up. That’s all I hope for; all that I want out of my last bit of luck. Dignity in small doses. You ever try to crouch and pull your pants up at the same time? It ain’t easy, I can tell you, but I made it look good!

(Nah, kinda doubt that. I bet I looked more so than my usual idiot.)

This one is going to hit right outside, and the sandbags aren’t going to help, and some of me is going to end up in the shower, I’m quite sure of that. That will be kind of convenient I guess, but there’s gonna be drain problems I bet. As success moves up to waist level, I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that in my final milliseconds I made it. For some unknown reason I feel a final cringe may help, so I execute that with precision. (more…)

November 2004 Dubai Trip Part II

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

8 Clicks and A World Away

As it turns out, there is a bird out the next morning. Poor George has been waiting for days, whereas I am lucky enough to get nice day service. A small bright spot in an otherwise FUBARed trip. The travel babysitter always recognizes me and remembers my name, which is vaguely non-John Smith and has been in the news, though not lately. She used to work in Billeting. I am assuming she caught on the name thing, instead of me making a really bad impression. Of course, she’s polite enough, so I could have somehow made a good impression too, being as I am so uber-cool, it’s indescribable. Or at least some people think that. I call them crazy. I don’t even believe that shit. (more…)

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