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2002 12: The Journey to Uzbekistan

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

This covers leaving Denver, processing in Houston, the flights, Tashkent, and getting to Karshi-Khanabad Airbase.

Going back over these while migrating them from the old phpbb forum I noticed a few things that I mis-noticed at the time of writing or now know not to be quite true, having have more exposure to Uzbekistan, but I am leaving them in to more properly document what I saw and what I thought about it.

Irony, Managerial Stupidity, and You

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

People are deserting this place in droves for better pastures. One of the guys was asked by the Project Manager why he was leaving. Obviously, he gave a placating answer. But the question that should be asked, is why would you stay?

Let’s take time off as an example. There will be irony involved, and it will be good. As it stands now we are not allowed to take LWOP, or Leave WithOut Pay. This is the entity formerly known as MWR, which was a 3 day timeout in Tashkent. This was later extended to 4 days, but turned off altogether only two months later. What that means is that you get your time off once every four months. (more…)

Ordinary Life

Sunday, January 18th, 2004
Pay the bills, watch TV, day in, day out the same routine
Mow the grass, fix the leak, just to fix it again
We go to church, go to work, so picture perfect that it hurts
I feel like I’m trapped inside this ordinary life

I was just sitting here listening to Chad Brock’s “Ordinary Life.” For those of you who don’t know the song, it starts out with the husband leaving his family because he wanted more than the ordinary, everyday type of life. Later it has family carrying on with their ordinary life, and he calls back yet again missing his ordinary life.

You know what? I never wanted to do this. I simply wanted to do the whole American dream thing. I felt I was making decent progress, but it suddenly fell apart. All I ever wanted was to be some ordinary average person, just like everyone else. I wanted to be loved. Wife, family, a little house just big enough, grass I have to mow all too often. Let’s throw in a vehicle or two that isn’t fancy but generally works. Just another day in paradise. So close.

But instead here I am in Uzbekistan? How the fuck does that happen? Now I get to be world traveller, with more money than I thought I’d ever have. I can do whatever I want. I don’t have much in the way of freedom here in Karshi, but I’m looking for something to change that. I may have the opportunity to go to Kuwait for a spell before coming back here and wandering Afghanistan migrating some servers. Of course, Evil Dwarf may get in the way of that, that micromanaging shithead, but we’re trying to work around him. More places on the list to say “yeah, I been there” I guess.

It works out that I can’t have my dream while I am here. Maybe I can see other dreams but they all have attendant problems, more so than the old dream. I wonder after a few more years, what will I want then? I certainly don’t want to live this life forever, where I look back and find I have nothing to show for the unconventional choice. I think a lot of these guys go back to their families, try to remember who everyone is, and get frustrated and leave again. Of course, there’s a threshhold of years before that happens, but it’s easy to see what I don’t want to do, even if I don’t know what I do want.

Definitely I need to move out from the prison camp to have any idea of these things. I think you can put up with it for a year, but after that it just wears too much. I’m looking for something in Tashkent, maybe one of the other NIS republics, or even Mother Russia herself. Making the network of contacts is the difficult part.

It’s also like another song:

…you don’t have to go home
but you can’t stay here.

Speaking of Closing Time, I guess this here post is over.

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…)

Greetings from God’s Hairdryer

Sunday, July 20th, 2003

Greetings from God’s Hairdryer!

It was hot today.

(How hot was it?)

Thank you, lovely assistant!

Gather around kids, and let me tell you a true* story. I noticed it was a little warm in the tent today and went out to check the ECU setting. (more…)

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