sgtdub: October 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

31 October 2006, Happy Halloween. I really didn't have much to say today, but I did have this last cartoon to use before Halloween was over. I've had another productive day, this time work related. Yeah, that doesn't happen very often and I don't want anyone getting use to it. The weather has been great, in the 50's in the mornings and 75ish in the afternoon. I haven't made it to the gym tonight yet and I'm wondering if I will.
Next week is the elections. I'm ready. Polls are misleading as usually those doing the polling have an agenda and the results will normally fall into the realm they were looking for. If this could be applied to things you have lost, it would be of great value. You know, you lost your keys and begin searching for them, then you find the remote you couldn't find last night. You look for your favorite shirt and find your baseball glove. Poll takers are usually favoring one opinion over another and will seek out those results that support them. Once the elections are over, we can say at that time, "hey, this is what the people were thinking." We will find out soon enough.

My new boss has had a stressful time as you can see by his picture. Cpt M is working in a new office and decided to try and give up tobacco at the same time. Luckily he has had his coffee this morning and is in a good mood.
I just received two boxes in the mail, one from Mrs. Dub and one from my aunt Max and Uncle Ron. Goodies, goodies, goodies. I at least got to have something different for dinner tonight. Mrs. Dub found Hamburger Helper in single serving sizes and they are microwavable. Tonight was Cheesy Beef Taco. My aunt and uncle sent a box with an assortment of goodies, but it looks like I'll have to keep it to myself, as I don't think there's enough to share, mean aren't I. Well, enough for tonight, be safe and have a good day.

Monday, October 30, 2006

30 October 2006, Only one more day till Halloween, and I still don’t have a decent costume. I guess if I go out trick or treating, I’ll dress up as a soldier. It’s always a favorite, of course a cowboy would be more fun. I don’t need the extra candy though.
I won’t be going to the gym today since I have to give a briefing. It does look like I will be able to go on Tuesday though.
I mentioned a couple of days ago that LTC Y didn’t read the blog. Guess what? The Army is on another, “check your soldiers’ blogs to ensure they are not giving
away vital information” kick, so the Colonel asked who was writing. I raised my hand and then later printed off a copy of it to give to him. I told him to skip over the part about sticking it to the man. He told me not to mention his name again.


Verily I sayeth, from hence day forward,
LTC Y shall be referred to as
“He who should not be named”

Of course, “He who should not be named” should know better than that. I have a hard time following directions. And then there’s that whole hard of hearing thing I like to use.
Now, would that mean that as long as I didn’t mention “He who should not be named” I could use his picture on my blog instead? Well, I won’t push that issue very far I might be… uhmmm, ping pong challenged, but I’m smart enough to figure out where to cease fire.
The quiet spell continues here in Kabul, it’s been just over a week now since the last attack. This is more like I remembered from the first trip; however, we are all leaning towards the edge now waiting for something to happen.
I’m trying to be a little more productive today, not necessarily work related, but productive, so I pushed out some emails today. I still have to knock out the last 8 problems of my algebra homework that I thought was due last week but wasn’t due till tonight. Does anyone doubt my procrastination now? Really, it’s pretty bad.
My afternoon was lost in 3 hours of meetings. I'm numb from the shoulders up. Most would say that about me without the issue of meetings. Not much else to report tonight. Be safe and have a good day.

Friday, October 27, 2006

27 October 2006, It's Friday, YEAH! Of course, it's just another day here in Afghanistan. Our last deployment we fell into Ground Hog Day at about month 5. It seemed like it would never end. Then, it hit me. (Of course, lots of things hit me, but this was the solution!) All I had to do was get Andie MacDowell to fall for me, then all this would end. Of course, where was I gonna find Andie in Afghanistan? So we continue.... Then one day I was at the chow hall (they prefer DFAC or dining facility). I looked at the TV and they were showing the movie Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. I say to the guy next to me, "Wow, they are showing us our movie" he looks at me and says, "yeah, it's Ground Hog Day." Oh, well, that would explain it. Well, it's not quite that bad during this trip, but we are still in the early stages.
I made it to the gym for a second time this week. Long hours have pretty much wiped any energy I might have had out of me, so the motivation has been tougher. LTC Y told me to go with him, and of course, we had to pass by the ping pong table to get there, so, you guessed it, we played ping pong first. Now, we played a couple of days ago and it was then that I learned he had been practicing more. If you remember, I said I was able to score double digits on him in all three games, and he took that as a sign that he needed to hone his skill a little more. You know, you can only beat up on the uhmmm, ping pong challenged kid so many times before he starts getting better. Anyway, he is back on top and I only managed a high of 9 points in any of the three games. As he is feeling pretty good about himself now, we head to the gym. Now, he wants to play basketball. (Yes Sir, anything you want sir). Did I mention he was a basketball star back in day. Yeah, it wasn't pretty either, good thing he only has one good arm. After 45 minutes of inhumane torture ( can I use that term in a war zone?) I went to lift weights. I weighed in tonight at 239 lbs, so with that I went to the chow hall (DFAC) and celebrated with a Baskins Robbins ice cream sundae.
Lastly tonight, I would like to welcome some new readers that have now put me coast to coast in the blogging world. Thank you Charlie and Empress Bee, a retired couple living it up in Florida. Charlie is also a veteran and my sincere thanks goes out to them both. Rock and Douglas V Gibbs are on the west coast in California. domination. I never had the intent to be read other than those back home, but it's nice to meet new people and build the support. Thank you to everyone, love ya.
Be safe and have a good day.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

25 October 2006, Yeah, Eid is over and things can return to what we consider "normal" here in Kabul. It's amazing that a city of over 4 million people (estimated), can turn into what would be considered a ghost town. We are finally seeing cooling patterns in the weather and have seen a little bit of rain in the last couple of days. In fact, my section posted that there would be a 60% chance of showers today. Well, as you have heard LTC Y loves to find something to pick on me for.
Of course, me being, well me, I don't make it that hard for him or anyone else for that matter. Anyway, we had a briefing today and of course, there's my slide with the chance of rain. He's make a comment and I tell him I thought I saw it sprinkling before coming in. Well, ten minutes later, you can start to hear thunder overhead, 5 minutes later it's coming down hard enough that I have to tell him to speak up because I can't hear him over the rain. MAN DO I LOVE THAT!!
It's always good when you can stick it to the man. Luckily, I don't think he reads this blog.....
It is nice having both of my workers back, I'm able to move around a little bit more. Today, Eric from Camp Souter came over and I had two other visitors, both working for an American Company now, but one from Britain and the other from Australia. We had a good lunch, discussed various ways to, I mean help Afghanistan. I usually let my LT handle the socializing around here, but since he is touring Europe right now, I'm obligated.
I send out a congrats to DX for making promotion to SSG back home, and still hoping the problem with Storm'in Norman's promotion gets fixed. I do miss drilling back home with my unit. Who talked me into this deployment? Oh, yeah, the needs of the Army.
We finally have a TV in our office now, so we are getting a little more news from back home. One report that comes to mind is that President Bush met with the generals in Iraq and has announced that we are revamping our slogan campaign there. Apparently, the ones we were using weren't effective enough and it's time for a change. As a soldier taking orders from him, here's one I like, "Knock off the crap or we'll give you both barrels." For those on the left side of the dial, I'm not talking about the oil, get off it. But, those are just my suggestions.
Well, as Mrs. Dub tells me, try to finish on a good note. I was scrambling around Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to finish up my algebra homework for Monday night, (yes, I can see that would make it late). So last night, I decide to give up trying to work the last few questions and just get it turned in. I log on and discover that it's not due till next Monday, jeez. So with that, here's my cartoon for my teacher. Be safe and have a good day.

Monday, October 23, 2006

23 October 2006, Its Monday evening here. Tonight is reported by some Muslims as the Night of Power. Tomorrow starts the 3 day celebration Eid ul Fitr, which ends Ramadan. We have people back home complaining about having to give a day off here and there during holidays, here in Afghanistan a holiday lasts anywhere from 3 days to a month. Try working that into your employees' schedule. For us, Halloween is next. There are actually people here decorating B-huts and offices in preparation for it. I'm not sure why, other than it gives a reminder of home. CPT G's family sent two big boxes of Halloween treats,masks and decorations to us and my soldiers have been playing it up. Halloween has to be Mrs. Dub's least favorite holiday. She's not even that excited about going trick or treating. Typically, we go to our church or another event where the atmosphere is nicer, safer and has a little bit of everything.

I just bought and am listening to George Strait's new CD It Just Comes Natural. As usual, it's pure Strait. I figure after I finish with it I'll send it home to my mother in law. She's a big Strait fan. It's been a week since I was in the gym. With part of the office down range and others on leave I just haven't wanted to go. I'm working a few more hours more than I have normally done on this deployment, which is by far much less than what I worked on the first one. I hope to start back tomorrow though and will put it back into high gear. Not much else to report on my end. It's almost time to call it a night. Be safe and have a good day.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

19 October 2006, Well, what a day. The local police notified us that they had found or where looking for at least 3 explosive devices in Kabul. Two of the IEDs were basically outside our front gate. Well, we found an abandoned donkey cart just down the road from us and that set in motion the next 2 hours. From where we sat and watched the events unfold, it appeared the donkey cart was harmless, but the fact that there was no donkey and no owner, we couldn’t take that chance. We summoned for the bomb guys to come and clear the scene. Let’s just say they don’t advertise “30 minutes or it’s free”. When all was said and done, it was just a donkey cart. The owner felt it was appropriate to leave in the middle of the road.
I got my copy of the last book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The End by Lemony Snicket. This is interesting as it was during my first trip here in Afghanistan that I learned of the series while watching the BBC during a slow Sunday afternoon at the office. If you have young ones at home or just enjoy reading it’s a good series to invest in. I was able to purchase the first 10 books through and with a twist of fate, have now bought the last book the same way. I imagine even Lemony Snicket would find that amusing.
My counterpart from the British came over today to chew the fat. I’m having a much better time understanding him than several others. Remember, I had to have a waiver for my hearing to come on this trip and with their accent (or is it mine?) I’ve had problems deciphering the English language.
I took off work early tonight thinking I might turn in earlier. I stayed up till 1 a.m. last night. Of course, here I am at 9:15 p.m. and still typing on this computer. As I have mentioned in the past, I am reading a lot of good blogs out there, by all kinds of interesting people. You can see some of my favorites in the sidebar. As you saw in my last blog, I mentioned that was my 50th blog written. For most out there, that doesn't really have any significance. I've seen some blogs that appear to have had a lot of work put into them only to see that after 3 or 4 blogs they stop. I guess it all depends on why you are blogging. For me, it's the easiest way to let everyone back home know I'm ok. I have seen where it can be habit forming, and if your blog is a success and everyone is reading it, well, then the pressure is on to perform. Give the monkey a quarter and he'll bang those cymbols even more, right? Well, as with everything else in life, too much of a good thing is bad for you. I will try to keep it under control. Be safe and have a good day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

50th Blog by Sgt Dub
17 October 2006, well, we have made it to our fiftieth blog posting since I deployed. If I had any more clue about fancy websites I would have had fireworks exploding in the background. I have read many good blogs out there and as you can see I’ve added some new ones in the sidebar. I’m hoping to add more to this site to make it even better in the future.
What I do have is this great picture of my dayshift crew with a NASCAR #16 flag, owner Jack Roush, driver Greg Biffle, crew chief Doug Richert and the whole Army National Guard crew signed the flag and had it sent to me. After taking the picture, it now hangs proudly in our office. One good day soon when we have a little bit of wind, I will fly it over the camp here in Afghanistan.
Several events have occurred here in Afghanistan. We had another IED attack here in Kabul yesterday, this one about two miles down the road from our camp. We are thankful he was recognized as being suspicious and the local police were able to react quickly and effectively in order to get people away. After the blast, only the bomber was killed and one child injured.

SFC J and me

Maj G and SFC J, both of whom I have mentioned several times, took off for other parts of Afghanistan to become part of the training mission with the Afghan Police. Once again my name had been mentioned to be a part of the team, but either I’m too valuable or too clumsy. I have many opinions about the police training here, but this is not the correct forum for that discussion. I certainly wish them the best of luck, and say a prayer for their safety. (I have, of course, told them that the area they are going to have less activity reported there than we do here in Kabul, and that they will probably just be sitting around playing checkers in a cave.)
I spent all day yesterday, (minus the bombing) on my algebra homework and after considerable trouble today, took my midterm exam. Let’s just say that after answering “Your Name” I started downhill. To be honest, I only got that one right because the Army makes me put it on my shirt. I feel really good about more than half of the questions presented so we will see. Professor, will there be a curve?
I haven’t seen much television lately, but between Kim Il Jong and the upcoming November elections, I’m sure I’m not missing much. When I was home last month, I was more interested in what new commercials were out. I finally got my ballot in the mail last week and got it sent off. We’ll see if I picked any winners.
Not much else to report here. Be safe and have a good day.

Friday, October 13, 2006

13 October 2006, Well as today is Friday the 13th I will make this post. For 99 % of the world Friday the 13th is considered bad luck. For whatever percent I represent Saturday the 14th has always given me problems. So just in case I fall of this side of the earth tomorrow you know you heard from me today. I've never considered Friday to be evil in any shape or form. I mean if we have to pick a bad luck day, let's make it Monday. Does anyone out there like Monday? I've often said if I was in charge of the weather it would rain on Mondays and be nice the rest of the week.
Overall, today for us here in Afghanistan went pretty good. We saw no attacks here and the weather was nice. I've been trying to work on my homework for algebra and I'm suppose to take a test at some point. (Probably Saturday the 14th) I've finished dinner and after this blog and a phone call to Mrs. Dub, I plan on watching a movie. I'll give you a critic on it afterwards.
It's hard to believe I've been here 4 months already (and gone for 8 months already), and yet it's hard to even remember what home was like. Only 7 1/2 more months if things go right, but then again, this is the Army. Well, enough rambling for now, be safe and have a good day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

10 October 2006, Well, another fantastic day in Afghanistan, as long as you weren't on that bus this morning. But besides that and the 20 year old kid who was stupid enough to say he wanted to hurt American soldiers, it was a fantastic day. I can't go into full details about the kid but suffice to say, after our talk with him, (and it appeared he might be a tad bit slow) we handed him over to his uncle.
I went to the gym afterwards and weighed in at 240 lbs. That actually took me by surprise. With that motivation, I did 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer and then did some weights. My motivation actually ran out about 5 minutes after I got off the trainer.
I watched two Bruce Willis movies over the last two nights. Lucky # Slevin and 16 Blocks. I found both movies to be very good. Lucky # Slevin also starred Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu. I found Lucy's character to be fun and energetic and the movie had the right number of twists to keep it running. 16 Blocks is a redemption movie about a police officer. Being a police officer myself, I fell we should never be in a position to need such redemption but that's the storyline for the movie. Mos Def had a great role.
I found another good blog site. The jest of it is stories about a police officer by the name of Officer Hidrent. (Now is it me or does that sound like a play on words for the fire dept?)
Mrs. Dub told me not to end my blogs with such depressing news so I had someone tell me a joke today that I shall add here. This comes from Rob, who like so many other smart people decided if they had to come back to Afghanistan again, do it as a civilian and really make the money. Rob is from the UK. Here's the joke. "Why did the boy throw the clock out of a moving car?" "He wanted to see time fly." Yeah.....he said he deleted the joke right after reading too. Be safe and have a good day.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

08 October 2006, Good Sunday to everyone out there. Today was as nice a day in Afghanistan as you could have, more peace and quiet. LTC Y and I went and played ping pong today. He actually accused me of practicing because although he beat me as usual I was able to put up an impressive loss. I scored 11, 15, and 12 in the three games. I even was able to put some moves on that he was unable to counter. (hehehe). Afterwards I headed back over to the gym and did a light workout on upper body. Tomorrow it's back to the grindstone.
Things were certainly quiet on camp today as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Oregon all lost this weekend. Cpt C was quite upset and after I made a comment about OU's lost he asked if I wanted to be removed from the office. I looked at him and asked " Do you mean go back to my room and take a nap? sure." He suddenly realized that wasn't a good idea.
SGT Stormin Norman sent us a package a couple of days ago. I wanted to keep everything in it except the pink feathered boa. That was sent for my LT. However, I must admit it didn't look bad on me. I can say that looking at the fact that Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair have all worn feathered boas.
Well, it looks like we won't be having another Dodgers- Yankees face off in the World Series as both teams were eliminated this weekend but with force. It has been a while since they faced each other in the series and it looks like it'll be a little while longer.
The news reported that 2 more journalists here in Afghanistan were killed by terrorists. I'm wondering at what point the media will wake up and realize that the terrorists groups are the bad guys and that associating with them, promoting their ideology, and supporting them with every chance is just plain wrong. I hope it's sooner than later, because when they finally get on board with the rest of the world, we will see a turn in the tide against such evil.
Well, I shall end this now, be safe and have a good day.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

07 October 2006, Ok, for all those that have been snickering behind my back. I found this quiz for everyone to take, (or those who dare to accept the challenge).
You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 8/10 correct!
For all those who are just here to read what's on my mind today, well, there's not much. It's been almost 4 days since the last attack here in Kabul, and we are enjoying the peace and quiet. The Afghanistan equivalent of the FBI stated they arrested almost 20 people in the last couple of days and broke up several cells. Good news if there is any accuracy to the story. Speaking of accuracy, I here that Al-Jazerra made the statement that one Afghan suicide bomber destroyed two tanks here in Kabul and killed 4 Coalition Force soldiers. Well, I see the mushrooms they are smoking work pretty well. For the record, I haven't seen any tanks rolling down the streets of Kabul since they celebrated their Independence Day and it went without any problems.
My workout partner has decided we needed to step it up a notch in our workouts. So for the last two days we have gone out on the track and walked with our armor on. This weighs roughly 25-35 lbs depending on what size you got. We have managed to do 2 miles each day. Then in the afternoon we are still doing our cardio and weights. Of course, the infantry guys are laughing at me, but they can. One patrol leader told me he has logged on 70 miles this month so far. I haven't driven that many miles this month.
I stepped out of Afghanistan yesterday and entered another place. We went downtown to one of the CF bases. Apparently they have been busy there. We walked behind one set of buildings and I noticed they had a paved road, tiled sidewalks, trees. We entered through a building and into a courtyard of sorts. There they had the inside walls built up to look like wooden buildings, grass, tiled sidewalks, benches and chairs. Over in one corner they had a large caged area with bunnies. Yeah, welcome to Europe. It did have a calming effect. After one hour I was transported back to Afghanistan and all of it's glory. I must admit that one road I'm familiar with from the last deployment was cleaned up. It was an improvement. Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Be safe and have a good day.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

04 October 2006, Well, another fine day in.....ok, another day in Afghanistan. I've been since getting back. The last 3 days we have had a wind storm during the afternoons. The first day it was so thick visibility was cut down to about 10 feet, maybe. The great thing about dust storms here is that nothing is sealed really good, so even if your inside you won't miss out on it. I thought I would throw in a picture of one of my new flags here in Afghanistan. Go Cowboys! I'm hoping in a few days to add the pictures of my other new flag. It's the real prize. Stay tuned! We went out just before my
leave to one of the training
sites here in Kabul. I'm the one in the middle. It's not hard to find old military pieces here. I have pictures of bone yards just full of military armament. This makes for a good picture though.

This is just a picture of what Jalalabad Road looks like going east. It's suppose to be under construction by another country to get repaved. I'll add some more on the next post. Be safe and have a good day.

Monday, October 02, 2006

02 October 2006, You'd think I was in a war zone with all this chaos going on around here. Yet another attack here in Kabul today. This one was just down the road a couple of miles. Luckily, the suicide bombers are all that sharp and this guy ended up only killing himself. He could do it in the privacy of his own mud hut and then we wouldn't have to clean him off the pavement. Anyway, I'm safe and sound and all is well here at Camp Phoenix. I finished my algebra homework tonight and got it submitted. UGH!
I swear if mathematicians are really this anal about this stuff, it's hard to believe we got anything done. Take for example one problem that just bugged me more than fleas on a three legged dog. They have a board they want cut into two pieces. The board is 20 feet long. They want it cut to 6 ft and 14 ft. That's all you would have to say. But the mathematician says, Cut the board so that " 5 times the length of the shorter piece is 2 ft more than twice the length of the longer piece." UGH UGH
Ok, enough with math today. I had a mushroom burger from Burger King tonight. It was ok. The afghans working there really need to be sent off to a good fast food restaurant back home so they can get a good idea of how it's suppose to be. They are doing a decent job though so I won't criticize too much, and it still beat what was being served in the chow hall.
We had a sand storm this afternoon that brought visibility down to nothing. It's cleared out of the city now, but you can see the wall of dust surrounding us right before the sun went down. Not much else to report from here today. Be safe and a good day.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

01 October 2007, Well, I finally went and looked at my test score for algebra. I got a 92. I have been working on my homework for several days now. I thought I would work all the problems in the exercises so I had a good grasp of the work, then after the first 60 problems I looked and each exercise (there are 6 in this chapter) had over 130 problems each. Well, I had to ditch that plan and started working the first 3 problems before one of my homework problems and the 3 after it so that I made sure I was doing the work correctly. I could have more fun with taking my algebra class back home. While writing a police report I could state that I spoke with 2 squared witnesses and located 3 cubed casings at the scene. I could refer to the unknown suspect as X. Here I'm just trying to figure out how two people of different weights can sit on a see-saw and make it balance. I thought if two people sat on a balanced board it was called a bench. A see-saw is designed to go up and down.
Well, this past month has been busy here in Kabul. Several attacks here earlier in the month after I left and then a big one downtown at one of the government offices. It's my opinion we should use every attack to publicize that the insurgents are attacking the people of Afghanistan and they may be next if they don't start helping us get rid of them. The media is more than willing to help out the terrorists with their cause.
I had an official weigh in yesterday at HQ. I weighed 242 lbs. I lost weight during my leave back home. You know what that means.....I deserve a cookie. cookie...cookie...
OK, so I will try to stay on the right path here. After a long grueling trip back to Afghanistan, and only two hours back on camp, I went to the gym and worked out. I missed Tuesday due to work and have made it every day since. So I am staying with it. Well, that's about it for now. I hope everyone has a good day and be safe.