Thursday, September 22, 2005

8 days and a wake up...Maybe

I am a single digit midget from leaving here for R&R. I count 8 days and a wake up but there may be a little hitch as I may have to go to another site for a briefing before I leave. We will see. I am ready too. The fact that I have so much less stress than last year has made me soooooo much calmer but I still am chomping at the bit to get away for a while.

Carren and T-Man are ready too. She is doing her usual planning and packing (How she gets that much in a bag is beyond me) and T-Man is telling Knock-Knock jokes and asking about the Hot Tub. He really liked the Hot Tub on the cruise ship and was disappointed we were not going on it again until he found out that we have a Hot Tub at the resort in Jamaica.

I have not planned like I usually do. Part of it is because every place I am going I have been before. Dubai, Jamaica, and the UK. I will spend a couple of days in Dubai just drinking beer and unwinding and the fly to meet Carren and the boy in Miami. We continue from there to Negril for 7 days and then 2 days in Mo'Bay. I leave there for the UK where I will spend 3 days in Cambridge. I am going bicycle riding and to attend the last air show of the season at Duxford.

When I called American Airlines about us all sitting together on the Miami-Mo'Bay flight the lady was most helpful. She automatically upgraded us to First Class and the way she did it was to change T-Man to a Gold level frequent flier. I have been Gold on American for a while but she made him Gold and Carren remains regular. He is probably the only 4 year old Gold level member in their system. I can't wait to check him in.

I also rejoined the AA Admirals Club for us all. It is not cheap but we all have club privileges at airports world wide. When you fly like we do that is huge. The airport at DFW, Miami, and London all have kids rooms, internet, bars, showers, leather chairs, etc. It just takes some of the pain out of travel. Plus you have a private check in desk so you don't have to stand at the gate waiting. If you travel international I highly recommend that you look into joining a club.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Salt Lick to the Rescue!!!!!!!!

The Salt Lick is a famous Texas BBQ place located just outside Austin, Texas. It has wonderful BBQ and terrific sauce. I contacted the owners and while they could not send us any BBQ they were kind enough to send a case of sauce. We had a big ole Texas style cookout and even invited some Texas National Guard troops to the cookout. Every bit of this sauce was either soaked into meat or sopped up with bread. This small gesture by the owners will cause years of good will with all the Texans who work, live, and fight here. Thank you Salt Lick!

Some times the little things from home go a long, long way. If any of the readers know people over here they should send them some small taste of home. I'm going after pickled okra next!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's not my fault!

Every so often one of the crew is tagged as the "It's You Fault" person for the day. It does not matter what happens, they are at fault. If someone gets left off of a manifest, if lunch is late, if there is a flat tire, if it is hot, it is their fault. This joke goes around and sometimes is pretty elaborate.

One day I woke up and walked outside and started finding fliers posted all over stating that this was was my "fault" day. When I went in the office I found this poster up on the wall. They had taken a photo of me with a slurpee and changed it to look like a cigarette. It was funny except for the cigarette part. I have not smoked a cigarette for years!

I have some pretty talented folks in my shop but on this day I don't think they were busy enough.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I wish I took photos this good

This shot was taken by one of the Army photogs here on post. It is just a beautiful shot showing one of the AH-64s at sunset. I love the color play with the fade from yellow to red and the stark sihlouette of this non-nonsense killing machine. I admire these chopper jocks and have the greatest respect for them. I always though that fighter pilots were the end all of aviation unitl I started watching these guys. I know I promised more day to day "our life" photos but this one was just too good to pass up.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Labor Day in Iraq

Good Grub! This photo was taken on Labor Day. As you can see, we don't go hungry around here. In fact we joke that there are only three things to look forward to around here and they are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The cooks did a great job and made up a mess of fried chicken, ribs, collard greens, pinto beans, dressing, corn on the cob, cornbread, etc. Even though they are mostly from India they have learned to cook the American way and it took a few lashings but they save the curry and cloves for Indian food.

I am going to try and make some postings showing life around here. Everyone has seen all the sexy stuff like helicopters and tanks so I will try and go for the slice of life concept.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Places I Have Been

A lot of people ask me how many countries I have been to. So far I have been to 30. They are, in order of first visits:

Saudi Arabia
Cayman Islands
Vatican City

Hurricanes and Politics

We have several people here who were directly affected by the hurricane in NO. A female flew home because her son was missing. One of our supervisors did not hear from his daughter for 3 days. One of the other women's families lost every house in the family. I am grateful that I was not directly affected and thankful that I am not there now. I am also thankful that I have my hands full here and am not assigned to that mess. I'm not hard hearted, I am just tired of being in the middle of an effort that becomes mired in politics and rhetoric as I see happening in the Big Easy. The only good thing I can see out of this is that we don't have to listen to Cindy Sheehan for a while.

I could pontificate but my friend David has done a much better job than I could on this subject. I invite you to read his blog on this at
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