Saturday, April 29, 2006

Give The Man A Hand. (Explicit Content)

“I severed my fucking pinky get your ass out here!” Yeah, it got our attention as well. Yesterday was my first day off in almost a week. As it happens I am the only front line medic trained soldier on our shift, (Ironically we have two on the night shift.) So of course our first major injury happens at 8:30 in the morning while I’m sleeping a little under two miles away. Every morning we have a checklist of things that we have to do. The first and pretty much only mandatory thing is the vehicle inspection. Please keep in mind that I have heard this story 2nd hand and third hand and even fifth hand if that is even possible, so I don’t have all the details so much as a general idea of the story. As P-Dale and Big Red were doing there vehicle checks, P-dale was checking the lights and instrument panel and Big Red was checking the engine fluids and belts and such. Apparently Big Red was leaning over the engine compartment with most of his weight supported by his left hand which was above the fan blade. This is where things get a bit iffy, in order to accurately check the transmission fluid the engine must be running. P-Dale knowing that Big Red was checking the fluids turned on the engine. According to Big Red and Lucky Charms it is at this point that the fan caught his blouse sleeve and pulled his hand into the fan itself. He nearly lost his pinky and the other three fingers had severe lacerations when it was pulled in and lost some sizeable chunks of his hand as he pulled it back out. Lucky Charms and Brownie were inside the shelter that serves as our break area. They heard P-Dale yelling on the two way radio about a medical emergency and went out side to see what the commotion was all about. They found Big Red cradling his hand and saw that his blouse was covered in the tell-tale color of crimson. Lucky Charms got on the two way and requested an EMT from dispatch. They brought Big Red into the trailer and bandaged him up the best they could with the first aid kits that we are all required to carry on us at all times. (Thank God for small favors.) Apparently dispatch wasn’t able to grasp the severity of the situation in a timely enough manner for Big Red which is what inspired the a fore mentioned blue language above. Ten to fifteen minutes later the EMT finally arrived and took Big Red to the field hospital to stitch him up as best they could. (I asked how many stitches he received but he didn’t know off hand) About an hour later our day supervisor came to my room and told me briefly what happened and informed me that I was going to have to work for him that day. Thirty-six hours later Big Red is enjoying a Drug induced stupor as well as an oversized bandage that resembles a sparring glove. P-dale is not fairing so well as she obviously feels terribly about the whole situation and of course being the compassionate group of people we are a large majority of us have been ribbing her a little more than necessary. I only made one joke and I asked her permission first. She said I had one opportunity I had better make it count. So I said with the straightest face I could muster.” Hey P-dale I have this itch could you hack it off for me?” It wasn’t in the best taste but what more could I come up with on such short notice? Today went by with out too many surprises. I almost ran out of fuel again (not my fault, our on sight mechanic swapped out my original vehicle with one that had a little over a quarter tank of gas.) But luckily I made it to the fuel point with out having to push the evil vehicle. I some how skipped a day in my countdown I really don’t know what I was thinking. I’m just going to chalk it up to wishful thinking. The actual count will be below as normal... I can not wait. Never before have I needed and craved a vacation so much. Hawaii here I come! I just realized that this is my one hundredth blog posting. Wahoo! Thank you everyone for reading my ramblings and especially to those of you that have been reading since day one way back in August... I feel so special.

Riddle Me This
The answer to the previous riddle is: Fire.

And today’s mind bender:
I pass before the sun, but make no shadow, what am I?

26 Days and a wake up...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

P.M.S. Or Scatter Brain.

I read an article a while back that said according to some University study men suffer from PMS as well. (we’ll say USC for arguments sake.) The university studied a thousand men for over a year and according to their results men have emotional cycles that are similar to female menstrual cycles. They aren’t exactly the same as females, for example according to the study the male cycle is somewhere in the neighborhood of 58 days. I don’t remember all the details verbatim but suffice to say that I have thought about that article time and again since I read it. The reason I am boring you all with this study is I have noticed a disturbing habit I have fallen into every other month or so. I turn into the biggest little bitch on the planet. (If you’ll excuse my french.) This week happens to be my PMS week (a friend of mine used to refer to it as Putting up with Mens Shit) I like to think of it as my Pissy Man Syndrome. I’m sure it has more to do with a slightly stressful work environment as well as a growing number of coworkers that I am liking less and less. I really don’t know when I adopted the holier than thou attitude. I do know that when ever I did it was slow at first. I didn’t smoke because I didn’t like the way it felt on my tongue. I didn’t drink because I’m such a control freak that I couldn’t stand to even be minutely out of control. Soon the things I had chosen to abstain from started turning me off of other people. It isn’t that I think I’m better than anyone. I really don’t. I do think that my attitude is starting to give other people the idea that maybe I believe differently. So yeah on a happier note my Hawaiian vacation is coming ever closer. I truly can’t wait. Everyone always says they need a vacation. I don’t think I ever truly understand that feeling until this deployment. Things around here are going to change a lot over the next couple of weeks thanks to some shifty drug deals way higher up the food chain than I can even begin to reach. Apparently the Army is going to assume full control over my current detail. Which is slightly depressing, do mainly to the fact that this means all the very attractive Air Force women will be very hard to get in touch with as they will no longer be working with us. Incase you haven’t picked up on it already I enjoy talking with some of the Air Force personnel. I realize that I am sort of off kilter today and I apologize for that. I have a lot on my mind that I am not quite able to put into words at this moment. I promise that as soon as I figure out my issues I will share them with all of you.

Riddle Me This
Answer to the previous riddle... Silence

And here is today’s...
Feed me and I live, give me a drink and I die, What am I?

27 Days until I am on my way.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Naked Observations

I taught someone to play chess yesterday and I lost the first game she ever played. I am not bothered that I lost, in a way I have always believed that the only way to help someone learn to enjoy the things you do is to let them know how it feels to win. It wasn’t as though I didn’t have repeated chances to wipe her off the board. (I did however slowly but surely take away all of her power pieces, I left her with two pawns and a knight.) I have mentioned in the past that after I get out of the Army I am going to pursue my teaching certificate. Yesterday was one of those days that gave me an insight to how much I enjoy teaching anyone something new. Although teachers rarely receive the credit and thanks they deserve I honestly think it is something I could do for the rest of my life.
Today was one of those weather days that makes you wish you could curl up in a blanket with a good book and a hot cup of coco with marshmallows. It was gloomy all day long and you could see the sand storm heading our way for the better part of the day. Thankfully it wasn’t too terribly hot. The weird thing was that no sooner had the sand storm finally reached us that it started to rain at the same time. I truly dislike the mud rain. It makes everything look dirty and is just murder on my M - 16. Right before the sandstorm hit P-dale and I had decided to fuel up our vehicle... (Mind you there was an awesome lightning storm going on and most fuel points close if there is even a chance of lighting.) As we were waiting our turn I decided to get out and talk to the attendants to make sure they were going to continue to fuel even with the lightning at that moment the brunt of the sandstorm hit us full gale. Were talking 50 knot winds (like sixty some odd miles an hour) and a wall of sand. Luckily I was out in the open with nothing to hide behind and was pelted first head on (and then I had the good sense to put my back to the storm.) Thankfully my shift ended a couple of hours later and I was able to hide under the hot water for 45 minutes. Shower Good. Speaking of showers I had an odd experience in the shower this morning. (Every one of you should be ashamed of yourselves for finding that funny at all.) As I myself have wanted a tattoo for a long time (since I was 17, but it turns out they hurt a lot and honestly I’ve never been into that pain thing that so many my age seem to delve into.) I tend to notice other peoples tattoos (and for some of the more ridiculous ones I mock them at a more appropriate time.) This morning as I was drying off I noticed Toothpick has my name tattooed on his shoulder blades. As you can imagine this is a slightly disturbing observation when your in a small enclosed space and surrounded by 6 other naked men. (For those of you who don’t remember Toothpick and I share our surnames, or last names if you prefer.) I kind of just stood there staring at his back. Which I’m sure made him feel just as awkward as I did. So in a louder than completely necessary voice I asked “Hey uh, why do you have my name tattooed on your back.” Everyone else in the shower did that laugh a guy does when he finds himself in an uncomfortable situation that he has no hope of escaping from. (Like the “Is she prettier than me questions or the would you fall in love with someone else if I died questions. Or when a girl they really like takes them unwittingly into a gay bar.) I am such a tool. Have you ever had an opinion based on what you were told was fact, only come to find out that you barely had half the story? Never fear, no cannon fodder here!

Riddle Me This>>>
Answer to previous riddle:
A Human Being who crawls on hands and knees in babyhood, walks in two legs during Adulthood. And who uses a cane in old age
Give yourself a pat on the back if you got that one... (Grams and Gramps especially!)

And Today’s riddle is...
No sooner spoken than broken, what is it?

Random Quote of the Blog:
What a tangled web we weave, when first we seek to decieve.

And The Countdown Continues...
31 Days and counting....

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Briefings And Bonebags and Scarabs... Oh My!

Yesterday I had a completely unnecessary leave briefing. Lucky for me it took place in Cedar II so I along with a handful of others wasted a large part of our day off with the trip over there. I did run into our interim commander. Who did not appreciate my candor regarding our leadership here in Tallil, but then no one wants to hear that the people they have delegated authority to are worthless bone bags. Hmmm is that putting to fine a head on it? Grin. The briefing was pretty much a complete waste of time. Things will be different when you go home, your friends and family will be different yadda yadda... I was like uh... I’m going to Hawaii... And the only family I will be seeing yeah I have never meet them before. So uh... Shud it. The briefing it self lasted all of twelve minutes start to finish. This means it took us longer to drive to Cedar II then the briefing lasted. Lame. So very lame. Today I had to work with one of my less favorite people which means I had a very long day. I was able to finish the last third of my book which isn’t the worst way to spend twelve hours roasting in a military vehicle.
So I found out last night that Iraq has scarab beetles similar to those in Egypt. The freaking things are huge and they are everywhere all of a sudden... Someone told me they usually stay in the trees... (few and far between but there are trees). For the most part they seem to only be around The MWR area, although they seem to all be headed towards our living area. That can only be bad news. I have spent the past couple of days looking up things to do while I am in Hawaii I know at the very least I am going to go parasailing, and hopefully horse back riding on the beach. (I realize the former is usually done by couples but ever since I saw Black Beauty I have wanted to do that. Sue me.) I just finished season 4 of Smallville and I can not wait to get the fifth season. If you haven’t seen it you should check it out. I would say it is probably one of the best shows on prime time at this moment. (Although considering I have spent the last 7 months in Iraq my knowledge of what else is on is slightly limited.) Just trust me Smallville is worth watching.

Riddle Me This:
The Answer to the previous riddle is River, I have to say I am very impressed at how many of you are getting these answers I might have to start looking for more difficult ones in the future...

And today’s mind bender is a toughie so good luck!
What has four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs at night?

And the Countdown continues:
33 days and a wake up

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Smoke Breaks...

It’s funny to me sometimes how life seems to come full circle in subtle ways. There are many different ways that I could point this out. Although some of them are humorous, I am in a sort of somber mood. It has been an arduous week, and your scribe is tired. The particular circle I am currently pointing out is less of a circle and more of an observation of where I find my comfort with these soldiers, friends and strangers. My mother has smoked most if not all of my life and most of my favorite memories are times we sat and actually talked were during her smoke breaks at work. It was rarely just her and I (as most smokers have an unspoken rule that if one is smoking so shall they) but our conversations were always about anything under the sun. I honestly believe I learned more about my mother during those smoke breaks than I ever would of had we a different bonding experience, such as cooking together or knitting or what ever it is that most normal mothers and their eldest sons do together. The point is that even now some 5 years after the last time my mother and I sat out in front of her shop on any regular basis she smoking and talking with friends and me listening with earnest and doing everything I could to get a smile from the group. (Have I always been the clown?) Every time I see a group of smokers enjoying their vice I think of the time my mother and I spent together. The reason I bring this to your attention now is that I have found myself part of another group that does a similar thing, (though all of these smokers are male and a majority of them are smoking heavy scented cigars) Once again I am not smoking. I never really had a taste for it. I do how ever enjoy the camaraderie that is slowly building between us. Every night after what recently seems to be our unending days, we drop our protective gear and gather out in front of one room or another and sit and talk about everything. Sex, as it is often on most of our minds seems to be a common topic, today the main thing that we talked about was fishing and our weapons. (Two things I know next to nothing about as the last time I went fishing I’m pretty sure my mother had dressed me that morning, and excluding my military issued M-16 I have never owned a weapon more dangerous than a pocket knife.) It seems that these two things sort of ride hand in hand and remind my fellow soldiers of camping trips with fathers and uncles and grand fathers... and fishing trips where they do nothing but drink beer and try not to fall into the murky waters below. This time has honestly become what I look forward to the entire day as it is not only relaxing but a great time to release any aggravation the day has carved into our minds.
In other news the boy with the same name as I... (or Toothpick as he has asked to be referred. Is there such a thing as reverse fatism? Shrug) has a crush on one of the Air Force females we see every morning. For some unknown reason he refuses to speak directly to her so P-Dale decided to break the ice for him. By break the ice I mean she flat out told the girl which way was up and why the wind blows in her direction. In English that means she said in a very high school manner “Hey that guy over yonder thinks you are swell.” After Toothpick found out what P-Dale did he got all butt hurt, and now wont speak to her. I have to admit the whole situation has brought a smile to my face. I had to explain my reasons for refusing to date military females today to P-Dale and I don’t think I did very well. I know I did manage to point out that I am one of the few soldiers that has been in five years with out a negative mark against him. It has always seemed to me that you shouldn’t be involved with anyone you work with. And seeing as how as soldiers we could work with anyone at any time it is just easier to avoid anything more than friendship. Yeah they didn’t buy it either. I honestly don’t remember why I made the original decision when I first came in to the Army but I know that I have only been tempted to cross that line twice in five years. The first time in Germany with the most beautiful woman I have ever known, (in spirit, personality and looks.) And once in Ft Lewis with the first girl I laid eyes on the first day I arrived. I was blessed with awesome friendships with both of these women but I would be remiss if I didn’t admit my heart (as well as other parts of my anatomy) longed for more. Carpe Diem folks... Latin is fun

I have to apologize I have been reading Stephen Kings Dark Tower series as I have mentioned and it appears that Roland of Gilead has been influencing my speech patterns. Which is why the slightly out of place words such as scribe and over yonder have appeared in this blog. It might please you to know that I have been speaking out loud this way as well, I’m pretty sure I’m making my fellow soldiers a little batty... Eh, what can you do?

Riddle Me This
Answer to Previous Riddle:
The letter “M”

And today’s riddle:
What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a head but never weeps???

And The Countdown continues:
35 Days and a wake up...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Reasons For Therapy

Yesterday as I was climbing down the guard tower. (Something I do on a daily basis mind you.) I fell down. It is not as cut and dry as all that and in all honesty had I seen someone else fall the same way I had, I probably would have laughed uncontrollably for at least a good ten minutes. Our guard towers are pretty solid all things considered equal. They stand a good twenty feet or so in the air and are probably 8 foot square at the top. At the base there is a solid concrete foundation which protrudes about three feet out of the ground. The stairs that lead up to the tower have a slight gap between the second and third step. (by slight I mean an 18 inch gap) The foundation sticks out about half way through the staircase so as long as you stay to the right on the way up, and the left on the way down there is no real problem. No problem that is unless you happen to be a two hundred and thirty five pound man wearing 45 pounds of gear and carrying an M-16. Wait a second, that man is me. The funny thing is that before I started down the stairs my coworker (who will hitherto be known as Lucky Charms because he reminds of that cartoon leprechaun from the commercials.) Had said that if I fell down the stairs to be sure that I didn’t fall on him... Jerk. Any way I for some reason was walking down the right side and completely forgot about the gap. I really only fell a total of 4 feet or so but because I landed on the side of my rib cage, it was equivalent to about an 8 foot drop. Luckily a rather large pointy rock broke my fall. Doh! Trust me it hurt like the dickens. (I’ve never understood that phrase.) Onto a much more disgusting topic today I was assaulted on two different levels. The first was a gross factor level. The Man with the big V-8 licked a dead fly off the wall in our break area. (This whole situation started in the first place because Screaming Testicles was trying to get somebody to give him 5 dollars for licking both sides of a flyswatter (the most he could raise was 3 dollars, because (A) we have little concern for each others health and (B) We are all cheapskates) Screaming Testicle told The Man in The big V-8 that he would give him one of his Cuban cigars if he licked the dead fly off the wall and then spit it out. Not only did he do it with out hesitation, he did it with a smile... Ewww, just freaking Ewww! The second level of assault was of a visual nature. As I walked out of the port-a-john I found myself surrounded by Screaming Testicle, Big Red, Lucky Charms and The man With The Big V-8... Unfortunately for me that was not all I found... All four of them had decided to play the game I mentioned a week or so back. You know the one where they try to get someone to look at their exposed genital region... So lucky me all four of them kicked me in the bum. I am going to need so many years of therapy after this deployment... so many, many years.

Riddle Me This...
The past couple of weeks I have been reading the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King. I am currently on the fourth book and the beginning of this book has a lot to do with riddles there are quite a few really good ones so I have decided to share them with you in a new section of the sandbox files which as you can see above will be title riddle me this... I will state the riddle today and the answer in the next blog...
Have fun....

What appears once in a minute, twice in a moment and never in a thousand years?

Random Quotes Of The Day:

“Once the game is over the King and the Pawn go back in the same box.”
Italian Proverb
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter Sunday!!!

Let’s see first and foremost Happy Easter Sunday to each and everyone of you... I was originally going to go into a fit about how Easter is by far one of the most skewed Christian holidays... I mean honestly how do you go from a 30 year old man on a cross dying for our sins to a creepy 30 year old man in a pink bunny costume hiding eggs for our kids? Robin Williams has made this argument before and I am sure I could not possibly say it better so I am going to quote him, “ Nobody wants to bite the head off a chocolate Jesus, .... or look for the cherry jam in the grass... Find the blood of Jesus kids!...” Sheesh! So as I said I’m not going to rant about that (at least not any more than I already have.) Instead I’m going to tell you about the events of yesterday that lead into today. As you all know in a little more than a month I am scheduled to be sitting on a beach sipping an exotic drink out of a cocoanut with a foofy umbrella. Yesterday I was given a second leave form (I had signed the first the day prior) and I had noticed that the dates were wrong, according to the new form I was supposed to be starting leave May 2nd. Now don’t get me wrong under normal circumstances earlier would be better, but in this case I have reservations set for the original dates. Obviously I was not a happy camper so last night I called the hotel to see if it was even possible to switch to the earlier dates (the receptionist very kindly replied that they were sold out for five of the fifteen days that I am allotted and lucky for me it happened to be in the middle of my trip.) Needless to say I was very nervous about the whole situation. I asked my NCOIC (or NinCompOop In Charge) to see if he could get them to change the dates back as it was obviously a mistake since the form I had signed the day before had the correct dates. I was up until about 4am pacing in my room stressing and at 830 I got a knock on my door and the NCOIC said he talked to the higher ups and since I had signed the form the dates were final. (He told me to sign it and he would take care of it... jerk face!) I didn’t take this very well (read I told him where he could shove the leave form.) And told him I was going to IG (Inspector General, it’s there job to make sure the people who have control are fair) it was an empty threat, but he didn’t know that. I didn’t even know where IG was until about thirty minutes later.. Anyway After I calmed down I remembered that Barbie, The Mexican and a few others from my unit were running the Iraqi Boston Marathon today. Barbie and three others did the 26.2 mile course as a relay... (Barbie had the longest leg and managed to run exactly 7 miles in 42 minutes... how sick is that?) The Mexican attempted to do the entire 26.2 by himself but had to stop after 20 miles as he just couldn’t go any further... (Why didn’t I run you ask... I’ll tell you, the tires around my midsection are designed for rolling not running.) But I digress as I was waiting for Barbie and the Mexican I ran into our head honcho here at Tallil he out ranks the NCOIC I dealt with that morning. I explained to him my situation and the issue with the hotel, he told me That the first SGT would be around today between 13-15 hundred hours He said he would talk to him then and told me to come by some time in the afternoon. I managed to get a ride over there (our main office is like a billion miles from where I live... In the two months that I have been at this post I have been there three times counting today.) As luck would have it the First Sgt was running late and The Honcho said I could talk to him my self, once the first sgt arrived I explained my situation once again (at this point I had a script designed to pull at the heart strings. Grin) He in a rare act of kindness said he would work it out and jumped on the phone and told me there shouldn’t be a problem but I will know for sure by tomorrow. Talk about a load off my mind. So as it stands the original dates are still in effect, I should be arriving in Honolulu on may 28th. I think. I’m kinda iffy on how long it is going to take me to get there from here. Today we were lucky enough to be given a free concert by the country rock group The Charlie Daniels Band... (among other songs they sing Sitting on a barstool up to no good and The Devil goes down to Georgia.) It was an awesome concert and we had a total blast... there were close to 5 thousand military personnel there (Army, Air Force and a few Navy and Marines) and as someone brought to my attention 99% of them were red necks. There was a black guy sitting a couple of seats behind me that made a crack that he had only seen two other black guys the whole concert. Some people just don’t appreciate good music. I learned that Charlie Daniels have been a band for over 36 years... Man that is a long time... I mean that is ten years before I was even a sparkle in Mr Brooks’ eye. LOL. They had a soldier come up in the beginning of the show and sing Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places with the band to open the show. Much to my surprise he didn’t do half bad (we helped with the chorus) All in all it was a good day... hope you all have a wonderful Easter... be sure to enjoy it... And try and Avoid any chocolate in the shape of Jesus.

The Completely non Random Countdown:
40 Days

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Doing The Right Thing For The Wrong Reasons"

So I have to admit that the one positive thing that can be said about this country is that the weather is never boring. Completely Random and entirely unpredictable but never boring. All in all yesterday was a nice day (If you ignore the 109 degree heat that is amplified due to the up armored vehicles we cruise around in.) And then as soon as it got dark, quite literally out of nowhere we were hit by a High gale sandstorm. (Which if it hadn’t rained recently would have been much worse.) And during the sand storm it started to rain. And that is when we were introduced to Mud Rain. Even though it did not rain for very long it was enough to make quite a mess. A lot of the Port-O-Johns were knocked over (ewww) and everything is covered in mud including our Hooches (slang for trailers) As I was once again awakened at an un-Godly hour (0630, On my day off any time of day before noon is un-Godly.) I decided to clean off my door, it didn’t take long and with very little effort I give the impression that I take initiative. As I was finishing up The NCOIC and another soldier were walking by, the soldier asked if I would do his door next... I said “Hell no soldier, you need to show some initiative”... 3 minutes later I saw the NCOIC Cleaning off his door... Mwa ha ha ha ha! Dance puppets!!! Dance!!! Hmm every once in a while I start to think I might do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Eh as long as it gets done I suppose. I haven’t seen “Off Limits” for something like three weeks and then out of nowhere I bumped into her twice today, damn she is pretty. The partially sad thing is that she has a cold sore (or herpes) on her lip and it is very noticeable, so I think I might have been a little rude while I was talking to her because my eyes kept drifting from her very pretty brown eyes to the very unsightly mark on her lower lip. Does that make me shallow? I bought a Mad Magazine today. I haven’t even looked at Mad in something like 10 years or so, well that was true until about three weeks ago someone had one at work that was poking fun at House MD (a great show on fox) Anyway the reason I bring up this particular magazine is less for its mildly humorous content then a Pull out poster I found in the magazine. It resembles one of those old Uncle Sam “I Want You” Army Recruiting posters with the exception that Uncle Sam is actually George W. Bush holding a pair of head phones against his head with his left hand and Pointing at you with the right. It says I HEAR YOU very large and then underneath in smaller letters it says “Thanks To Unwarranted Wiretapping” He he he. Obviously a jab at the Patriot Act so I of course displayed it proudly on my wall. (Barbie hasn’t seen it yet but I can almost feel the dead arm that I’m going to receive after he does.) And even with many scantily clad women all around it. It stands out all on its own. I made the mistake of taking a five hour nap today. I say mistake because I normally only sleep 3-5 hours a night. Which means the odds of me getting any further sleep are going to run slim to none. Doh! Thank you all for the positive responses to my previous blog. Oddly there seems to be one response absent. I should not be surprised though as even a dog learns to stop barking after you smack it on the snout enough times. Oh I can’t believe I almost forgot. Last night I finally was able to make my reservations at the Hale KOA. I wasn’t able to get the category of suite that I had wanted (Deluxe Ocean Front) but I was able to get the category right below it (Ocean View) with the possibility of an upgrade if there is any cancellations in the Deluxe Suites. This is going to be such an awesome vacation. I am literally chomping at the bit an expectation. I am pretty sure that I am starting to drive my fellow soldiers a little batty as all I do is talk about Hawaii. The way I see it is the more I talk about it the more real it seems. A couple of my female friends have asked me to bring them back leis. I am commissioning all of you to help me to remember to do that. Don’t you just love how I delegate authority with such ease? So here is a Random thought Does Hawaii have nude beaches???
Oh the fun I am going to have.... grin

Not So Random Progress on the Count Down:
44 Days and counting ...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Nothing Nice To Say.

So after three weeks of getting nothing but the run around I finally received a straight answer about my leave. I will be in Hawaii the first two weeks of June. Wahoo!!! So now I have something like a thousand different things to get ready. I have to make my reservations. And I have to decide whether or not I am going to rent a vehicle. (And the more I think about it, the more I realize I am totally going to rent a car.) I managed to finagle a day off today and the Mexican and I did a little bit of running around. I bought a couple of new shows. ( My Name is Earl, and Ghost Whisperer) And I bought a nifty little pelican case for my laptop. The worst part about the last couple of days has been that it has steadily gotten hotter every day. It is so completely ridiculous every day. I am literally beginning to melt. One day I just might be the sexiest man alive. Grin.

In a completely different line of thought I am going to establish a rule that goes into effect as of right now. The comment section of this blog is not meant for snide remarks. I truly enjoy each and every one of your comments. What I do not enjoy is the “mud puddle” type of comments that have nothing to do with this blog. There is an age old saying if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. I am pretty sure that my mother, as well as many other people have said it to me more times than I can count. It does seem to be one of those lessons that we are constantly forced to implement in the Army. Although usually it’s if you can’t say anything with out pissing someone off, don’t say anything at all... grin... hmm maybe I shouldn’t talk as often as I do... grin
And as I write that I have decided to say just a little more… Ahem, Mr. Brooks let me give you a small glimpse into my psyche; When you imply that the time you spent with my mother was inconsequential, I get all butt hurt. Let me spell it out for you…. I am a direct result of that smile and wink… or mud puddle as you so eloquently put it previously. And to be honest it just really isn’t smart to aggravate the writer in his own pages. Because I promise you, I know enough about you and yours to make any rude comments you have made previously seem like gnats in the world of flying insects. I have never asked for a thing from you, I did not ask to intrude on your life almost 17 years ago. And I am not the reason we have only spoken in person once in the past twelve years. I am truly very happy that you read my blog, I hope that you, like everyone else finds humor in what could other wise be a miserable situation. All I ask is that you don’t use these imaginary pages as your own personal soap box with which to throw your verbal stones. (That privilege is reserved for me alone. Grin) I would however like to thank you for correcting my Billy Idol/Bon Jovi confusion and thank you for the lyrics.
I apologize if I have bored any of you with this little rant. Some things are just better when they are in black and white.

Random Count Down Sequence
The official countdown until I am officially on leave is starting today...

47 Days and Counting until I touch down in Hawaii .

Friday, April 07, 2006

Halfway Day!!!

As of today I have officially been in Iraq for six months. Wahoo!!! We’re half way there… Living on a prayer. Or whatever I am so obviously not Billy Idol, wait is that who sings that song??? Hmm I forget… anyway the important fact is that there is from today on out there are less days in front of us then there are behind us. And that is a happy thought if I ever heard one… Where is Tink when you need her?
So it is not as though I have never had a roommate before. Nor is this the first time I went so long with out one and then had one thrust upon me. I have had many roommates, especially since I joined the Army. I found myself thinking about some of the soldiers I have shared a room with over the last 5 years and I think I have figured out why the Invader seems to grate my nerves so much. For one there is a massive age difference between the two of us. The almost 8 years that separates us seems to be an almost impassable generation gap. Another huge difference between us is our internal moral compasses seem to be polar opposites, but I digress. He is really not that bad. Although I have to admit that he seems to be very stuck in that hump anything that moves point of his life. Now don’t misunderstand, I myself would like to be in that point of my life but where as I am actually looking for a candidate for marriage. He is looking for a candidate for a nooner. Hmmm I wonder when I became such a prude. I think I’ll blame my father. Why do you ask? In therapy most people discover if you blame your father long enough the shrink will stamp normal on your folder. As I am not in therapy my father is living a blame free existence. What kind of a “Wink and a Smile” end result would I be if I didn’t blame him for something. And seeing as how complaining about my lower anatomy only reflects my own short comings (so to speak) this is much easier for my ego to stomach, we will leave it at that for now.

In other news it rained again yesterday. Oh joy. So once again everything is a muddy, soggy, icky mess. Oh and of course the damn bugs are out in force. You know of all the questions I want ask God, and trust me there are a lot. (Like why do fat people super size their Big Mac Extra Value meal, and then ask for Diet Coke?) The main question I want to ask is why the bugs? I know there is a reasonable explanation I would just like to hear it from Him. I would also like to know why He gave men two brains and only enough blood to control one at a time. And now back to our show...
I had a ton of fun driving my route today as 80% of it was either under water or completely water logged mud, my new favorite type of mud is the type that gives the appearance of being solid until you are driving at high speeds over it and come to a very sudden and very complete stop. My poor partner, the passenger door on our hummv is broken so it doesn’t shut. Which means that every time I went careening through a puddle at 30-50 miles an hour, he ended up wearing the muddy mess. So of course I did everything I could to... aim for every puddle. I mean after all my door shut just fine. Grin. After about six hours of dousing him, I found a way to jimmy a make shift lock. And because I am such a nice person the only way to open the door now is from the outside. Mwa ha ha ha ha ha! So of course after he was secured inside I would leave him there for a very long time with out any hope of escape. Ahhh I do oh so enjoy the high points of my day.

Random Quote of the day....
"A person isn’t who they are during the last conversation you had with them their who they have been through out your whole relationship. " Lex Luthor Smallville

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Warning Graphic Material Follows, Or The Invader Hazing

The Invader seems a nice enough kid. With a few minor quirks that might slowly drive me into an early dementia. Although he has been a great writing inspiration. So he has officially been in country 14 days, he has been here with me three of those. In a rare occurrence of just dumb luck he managed to be scheduled on the schedule opposite of mine. I had been hoping against hope that it would work that way because for the most part that means that we really wont interact very often. With the exception of our days off, the most we will see each other is for about 10 minutes a day during the shift change. Which is just bloody brilliant. I think I am going to keep you all informed of his gross habits mainly just so I don’t start to feel like a psycho for being seconds away from vomiting on a regular basis. That may sound over dramatic. But some young men are just nasty. Now don’t get me wrong I am sure my mother would tell you that I had my moments when I was younger as well. Which is probably why I am such a neat freak now. I don’t know why but for some reason this guy has the oddest way to deal with his pistachio shells after he slobbers all over them. I mentioned before about throwing them in his hat. (Which he did proceed to wear the next day.....ewwwww) and last night instead of putting them in his hat he was just throwing them onto the floor. I came in and I was like.... “Yeah, you need to clean that stuff up. That’s just really nasty.” Hopefully this is just some sort of way for him to find his boundaries. You know to find out how far he can push me before I use my asp on his skull. Grin. Lucky for me I vent here instead of on him. In other news I can hardly wait to go on leave now. I find myself day dreaming about the Island through out the whole day. I am sure it has very little to do with my interest in scantily clad people of the female persuasion. Honestly I just need a nice long break away from hear to recharge my batteries. I think the Invader was a little nervous about starting work tonight. I kept telling him it would be fine, but I don’t think he is really going to believe me until he gets into a normal routine. While I was writing this earlier he was alternating between snoring and mumbling in his sleep. I am so happy he is on nights I can barely contain myself. So I have been trying to think of a way to tell you the following story in a PG-13 sort of way, but for the most part in order for it to make sense I have to be pretty blunt. Let me give you a little back ground first so that I can sort of put this into perspective. The week we left for the Sandbox a movie came out by the name of Waiting. It was about this group of people that worked at a restaurant similar to Applebee’s. The movie was a comedic look of what goes on behind the scenes while you are eating at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. It covers a lot of material any of which is enough to make you never say a rude thing to any waiter again, let alone want to eat out at all. There is a game the men of the restaurant play through out the movie that is sort of nasty but hysterically funny. The basic rules go like this If Guy A can make Guy B look at his exposed genitals Guy A gets to kick Guy B in the rear end. That’s it. In the movie it really is a lot funnier than I am making it seem here. Especially since they get very creative with how they get people to look. (Obviously this movie is Rated R) The reason I bring this up is that yesterday while I was at work Screaming Testicle (how ironic is that) decided to introduce the game into our little group. Much to our dismay. ( If any of you don’t remember ST I introduced him a couple of months back feel free to slide your mouse to the right and check the January Archives.) Now here is the funny part last night after we got off shift, The Man With The Big V-8 convinced the Invader that everyone on both shifts plays the game. And if he wanted to fit in quick he should try and get a couple of them. Keep in mind no one on the night shift has any idea the day shift is full of a bunch of nasty bastards that have far too much time on their hands. As he was leaving for work The Invader was bragging that he was going to get everyone tonight. Sigh. Hazing is a crime folks. I want to take this moment to make it clear that I myself do not play this game. I honestly think it is rather nasty. Though unfortunately I was kicked in the rear end more than once yesterday. Sigh, do you have any idea how many years of therapy I am going to need after this deployment? We are talking decades.

Random Actresses That I Drool over on a regular Basis:
Rachel McAdams She was in the Wedding Crashers and Red Eye.. And oh my GAWD is she so very pretty.
Kiera Knightly She was in Pirates of The Carribean and Domino and the new Pride & Prejudice

Kristin Kreuk She plays Lana Lang on Smallville and she was in the movie Euro Trip

Trust me they are all stupid gorgeous.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Infiltrated by the Invader

“Well hell.” That was my initial reaction to what I found in my room after work today. I don’t know if I have mentioned this but I have had my own room since we first arrived here at Tallil. I was one of the few, the proud that could say that and I was the lowest ranking person to have my own room. There are Senior NCO’s that have been in the military over 16 and 17 years that currently share their rooms. Needless to say I have been the subject of conversation on a number of different occasions in the past two months. Well that all changed today, some time after one pm. (I know this because I was in my room at thirteen hundred and it had not yet been infiltrated.) As I was going off shift, RFG in a very sing song voice said.... “You have a roommate...” And then he laughed. What a meanie! So that put me in the best of moods really... no not really. I was pretty grumpy. In fact I would of put Snow White’s little friend to shame. Now don’t get me wrong I was not foolish enough to think I would have my own room for the remainder of the time that I was here. (Although that had crossed my mind as I slowly strolled down wishful thinking lane.) I had hoped however that when I was finally given a roommate, I would have ample time to put my things away so he wouldn’t feel like he was uninvited. (Ignore the obvious fact that I sure as hell didn’t send out any invitations.) So as I walked into my room at 830 this evening and found all of my stuff tossed haphazardly onto my bed my quiet reaction mostly under my breath was “Well hell.” My new roommate. (Who from now until I can think of a more suitable moniker I will refer to as The Invader.) Is from some where in California. He did mention the exact city but either I didn’t care enough at the time to pay attention or it has slipped my mind. Wow do I sound bitter or what? All in all he seems like a nice enough kid. He is new to the Army and is obviously a little scared to be here. He has a girlfriend.. (It seems as though I am the only one who doesn’t recently. Ahhh more bitterness...) And already has a picture of his grandparents and mother up on his wall... How very sweet. I promise I will do my best to let him feel welcome, And I will schedule the necessary surgery to remove what ever it is I have stuck up my fifth point of contact. (That would be my rear end for all you non military types playing the home game.) The sad thing is I think a part of me was hoping I’d get a female roommate. While I know that they would never do that it was another nice little walk down wishful thinking lane. So far the only thing that I can see as bothering me is that he has been eating pistachios since he got back and has been putting the salvia dripping shells into his DCU hat. And EWWW!!!!!! I swear if he’s wearing that tomorrow I might vomit at an unexpected velocity. Grin

This Just In:
P-Dale came back today!!!! At least there is something to be happy about. All in all I’m pretty happy I had a decent day at work trading sex stories with my next door neighbor. Wow that was a little more revealing than I had planned. Sigh. Anyway when I saw P-Dale today I picked her up and spun her around in lots of circles I was so very happy she was back.

Random Fact Of The Day:
There are 89,400 seconds in a day, and my new roommate made ever one of them seem like an eternity.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Gnats Are Making Me Go Nuts

I can’t believe all the little crap that has happened in the past few days, I have been super busy which is why I haven’t posted before now. So the first thing that I can remember is the rather interesting issue I had with one of the hummv’s the other day, as I was driving my designated route it became increasingly difficult to turn. Almost impossible actually. As soon as I got to a spot that I could stop with out sinking in to the very soft mud I attempted to check the power steering fluid (bow at my extensive vehicle knowledge, bow!!!) And I didn’t get that far, somehow (I have no idea how it could have happened)
not only had the power steering belt broken but so had 3 others, I have no idea what they all do, but it seems very odd to me that they would all break at the same time. I have came to the conclusion that the most likely chain of events is that one belt broke and as it whipped about snapped the other three, or maybe it set off a chain reaction. But that was fun, Around this same time, maybe it was the next day RFG was sucked into some kind of mini war with one of the other NCO’s. For what ever reason the two of them are going slightly crazy they can hardly be in the same place for longer then ten minutes, although now that I think about it that seems to be a pretty common chain of events between a lot of people, I myself can think of a couple of people that I purposely avoid so that I don’t have to watch my tongue. I don’t know how many of you are aware, but it has been said more than once that I can have quite a sharp tongue. A trait I proudly inherited from my mother. Although her tongue had the gift of gab and story telling. Where as mine if left unchecked has an unnatural ability to cut some to the core. Hence the reason I write a blog instead of going into politics or some other public speaking type of career. At least in these imaginary pages I can truly speak my mind. I have come to a conclusion about the insanely stupid amount of gnats around here, Here is my theory It rains gnats, now bare with me for a second, when you squish them it feels a little bit like a drop of water, and they are a hell of a lot worse directly after it rains. So here it is, in Iraq it rains gnats, thousands and thousands of little very annoying gnats. And oh my holy gawd they are annoying. The absolute worst is when they crawl into your ear. I swear the other day I had four of them through out the day crawl in there and have a party... Unfortunately they decided to use my ear drum as a winged percussion instrument. So not cool. Let’s see what else. I have decided that I will be going to Hawaii for leave and I’ll be staying in the Hale KOA (Thank you Grams for the heads up on the hotel.) Not to sound like a cheap skate but that hotel has a special deal with soldiers on leave from Iraq, they give an additional 30% off their rates. So wahoo full ocean view and a vacation on the islands. And the only sand I’m going to see will be attached to lots and lots of water. Hmmm make that gnat free water. Grin
The only down side to this wonderful bit of information is that I still have no idea when exactly I’ll be taking leave. Which is only sort of completely making me crazy. As I’m sure you could guess not knowing means that until I do I can’t make flight reservations, hotel reservations or even car rental reservations... grrr freaking Army and their last minute ethos. In other news I have managed to make myself look rather imposing at work, I have attached my ASP to my shoulder which gives it a very threatening look as well as a few other do dads that I have found here and there. I’m hoping it makes me look more authoritative, the reality is that I more than likely resemble a bag lady with a taste for weaponry. Eh what ever works... I just ran into Brownie which means P-Dale should be back soon... Hooray! Last night RFG, Barbie, myself and a previously unmentioned friend (We’ll call him Ducky from here on out.) all got together last night. It was the first time we had an opputunity to hang out since we have been in Tallil. So it was good for us. We played cards, we had pizza and well mainly we vented on all the crap we deal with at work. For some unknown reason the war that started between RFG and the other NCO has very subtly seeped into a sort of standoff between the two shifts. Hopefully that will be ironed out soon enough... And if not at least I have my high powered rifle... Grin

Random Quote Of The Day:“When people think your insane and you’re holding a high powered rifle, they tend to do what ever you ask”.~~ Lex Luthor - Smallville