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Duststorm Sounds So Innocuous

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Oh, by the way, we’re back from Uzbekistan again. I’m working on the pics right now, but this seemed like a good day to make a post. Also, remember to switch your email subscription, because I’m turning the old one off Real Soon Now.

Lots of Dust

It’s kind of dusty out today; the worst I’ve ever seen.

Even inside the office, the lucky are weary breathing masks. They’re a bit small for my face, but this storm is worse than the last big one last week, which was pretty rough, even inside.

It is visibly dusty inside; however it doesn’t show in pictures very well. Outside, it IS just that orange. I haven’t edited these pics at all. Headlights turn a bright blue shade, and are visible maybe as far as 50m in the mist. The vehicle itself won’t show up until about half that distance.

This building that you can not quite see is about 40m away. I could not actually see it when taking this picture, but I do know where it is. :) If you look closely, you can see the outline of the aluminum building, the darker shapes of the hescoes around it, and a tallish tree to the right.

This place blows.

Trip Reports

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

We’re lucky enough to have a pretty good vacation benefit, and every 3 months we get a couple weeks to go somewhere and visit, in addition to a time or two per year where holidays can be shoved together long enough to go somewhere short. It was a little slower when living on the camps, and maybe now it is going to slow back down a bit, but we are still amazingly lucky with the amount of travel that we are able to do.

Yes, there are currently some gaps. I haven’t imported all of the trip reports from the old forum where I posted them originally. That’s slightly dull work. :)

‘nuther Dubai Update

Friday, June 24th, 2005

It’s kind of funny — ok, well it’s ironic but it’s not funny I guess. Visiting the folks I now work with had in the past led me to believe that they were not too busy. Well, I ended up in the section of two people that constantly have a backlog. It’s all simple, non interesting stuff like account creations, deletions, moves, general fixes, bitching at those morons at the Help Desk, etc. Well, at least it’s not desktop. I get my hand in one some other stuff like I used to do, and find I am rusty but not rusted shut, at least. So I’ve been really busy. Added to that are the process of getting an apartment (2bedroom, at the Marina, great view, hopefully it will stay that way and all the other towers don’t get too much taller. 22nd flr.) Add to that getting a visa for Guli to go ahead and come over. I don’t want to wait until my residence visa is approved, and when I could sponsor her with no problems. We’ll switch to the “husband visa” later, but I want her here now. Or maybe even weeks ago!

There have been other problems:
– co-worker lets me use his car while he goes on vacation. Forgets fuel cap key.
– Boy does it take a long time to get a mattress set delivered. Luckily I can stay with a friend for a few days.
– various idiocy with the realtor lady. She’s really stupid. Culminates when I take them the lease and checks and she’s off wandering around somewhere else with the key.
– …which doesn’t work. I get all checked out of the hotel, and want to take and drop most of my stuff off at the new place. I tote about half of it up with me, only to find I am stuck in front of the solid, unmoving, unfeeling door. This makes Jobu very angry. It turns out the lock is messed up. We’ll get it replaced somehow. Much administrative roadblocks in place. The actual owner seems like a really nice guy and he’s been very helpful. I haven’t met him yet but he’s been both responsive and pro-active. I hate that word, but in application it’s a good thing.

I’ve been leaning on the guys to get certified to go diving. There had been one diver before, but he didn’t have much luck. At least two are in the first day of their class right now as we speak, or at least as I write. Most of you are asleep right now, though you might start getting up for your M-F 9-5s soon. This is our weekend. That’s right, we get Friday off. It’s like having a 3 day weekend, except you don’t get the following two days.

Gotta go. Going to head into work for a little bit of catch-up. It’s ok because I have been spending a good amount of time during the day doing apartment stuff. They have been flexible with me, and I will give a little in return, at least while I don’t have anyone else I can give my time to. Yall be good now, ya hear?

Oh, and yes there will be more of the Bangkok / Phuket / Similans / Ranong visa run / Cambodia trip stuff to come. I’ve just been on the go 12-14 hours a day for a while now. Following the usual pattern, even though that was an extended trip, I will finish it off just before I go on the next one, which gives me about two months for another 8-10 chapters or so. Wink

A Quick Update: I Am In Dubai Now & Here’s The Plan

Monday, May 30th, 2005

I got a job again. I am in Dubai now, where I wanted to be, and with the group of folks I wanted to be with. I’ve actually been pretty lucky targeting opportunities over the past several jobs, I must say. I’m back in server and system world, so hopefully my skills will un-rust. Guli is visiting the family back in Uzbekistan but we will get her here shortly. We will have an apartment and get to do all that fun shopping bit for all the stuff involved in making a home. Aside from curtains and furniture and crap, there will be manly stuff like TVs, computers, and probably some guns too. Actually, no guns.

Coincidences and Accidents of Timing

It is a good thing to be here. I get to BS with some folks I worked with before, deny their requests, and send them spiteful emails. Since folks come through here now to go out on R&R (even from Afghanistan) I have a chance to see folks even though we don’t work together anymore. As an example, while I and another ex-K2 person Annamaria were going to meet ex-K2 DJ, I happened to spot a guy I was in Mosul with. In typical fashion I snuck up from behind and ran into him. Then later we ran into another former K2 guy Stan in one of the bars. There’s people everywhere! I got another little fuzzy today via email, too. I sent out notification of new accounts to some folks, and the K2 IT guy emailed me to check on something. I knocked it out, and he came back with thanks and “everybody still misses you here in K2. Dude you’re like a legend here.” That’s a direct quote, even. That made me feel good. I must be at least slightly cool or something, but on the other hand everyone has probably just forgotten what a pain in the ass I am.


I suppose you can’t really say I revealed anything resembling a plan there. I guess in a nutshell, we want to go through several vacation locations before doing anything else. Anything else includes kids, since they tend to complicate vacation plans, and also any sort of permanent return to the US. I’m sure it’s in the cards eventually, but I am not yet ready to go back to the 2 weeks of vacation a year plan. Still too many places to go. At some time off every 3 months or so, that will be easier to accomplish.

Another nice thing is to actually have a day off per week, so the concept of a weekend comes back into meaning. Big change from 25 months of no weekend, and 4 months of never-ending weekend.

Check It Out: I Work

Thursday, June 5th, 2003

See! I DO work! Bona-fide action shots!

This was a day when Mr. Satellite decided to drop. I’m on top of a container, and decided to forgo any practice with my “falling off of things” skill. Oh, and it decided to rain, too.

Ok, I’m talking to the satellite guys on the Iridium, so stop talking to me on the radio for a bit! (more…)

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