sgtdub: November 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

30 November 2006, This last weekend I explained that the camp was under a gag order and that entails having our Internet and phones shut down until such time that the immediate family of a soldier who has died will be able to be notified without interference from others. Today, we had a ceremony for that soldier.

2 LT Scott Lundell

I did not have the honor of knowing Lt Lundell, although at some point during our training our paths might have crossed. I do consider it an honor, now, to speak of him here. Lt. Lundell joined the Utah National Guard in June 2004. He volunteered with several others from Utah to become part of Task Force Phoenix V as an Embedded Training Team. His job was to help mentor the Afghanistan National Army and he deployed with them downrange. On November 25, he died during an attack by insurgents in Terin Kot, Afghanistan.

For his actions here, he received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge.

He is survived by his wife, 2 sons, 2 daughters and his mother. I saw many of his comrades at the ceremony and it was also my honor to serve as an usher during the ceremony.

2 Timothy 4:7,8

7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8) Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

"The Soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war" - General Douglas MacArthur.

The globe above is a creation of Mimi and is a prayer for peace that she started on November 7. I dedicate this one to the memory of 2LT Lundell for his service to his family, his country and his God.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

29 November 2006, well, we are almost through November and into December. I was pretty excited going to bed last night, because it was trying to snow. I got up this morning and with a little anticipation, opened my door, darn it!, anything we had gotten was already melted. Oh well, at least I was excited about something in this country.
Next week will end the dreaded algebra class as I turn in my homework and take the final comprehensive test. Comprehensive?? Did anyone tell me I was supposed to remember this stuff? Well, at least it's open book, and maybe this will help me figure out how I will do on the CLEP test I'm hoping to take, remember unless I pass the CLEP, I will have to take more algebra just to get through this thing.
One project I'm about to start working on has to do with the one or two police districts we work with. I met with the Chief of Police for PD9 a couple of days ago and I'm working on getting some rain coats for the officers here. These guys don't get much equipment and barely uniforms. Well, we have some access to raincoats and I've got that in the works. My department back home changed winter jackets a couple of years back and as far as I know, most of my fellow officers will still have that old blue Blauer jacket somewhere. I'm in the beginning stages of trying to see if there's any interest in donating them and then shipping them here. Between the two districts here I'm looking at 500 officers. The basic pay for a police officer here is $60 a month. Yeah, isn't that frightening, of course, that's when the officers actually get paid. That's one of the major issues being fixed right now. With time, I believe this could curtail the corruption of police officers here. The next big issue will be getting more pay for them, of course, I still haven't had that meeting with President Karzai yet.
Today was another good day around here. I was able to get several things done and got some other projects started. This was despite the fact that i was dog tired. I didn't get to bed till after 2300 hrs and not to sleep until 0030 hrs, and then got up at 0530. Yep, I won't be having any more cappichino at 2100 hrs again. CPT M went to the Italian compound today and had two cups of their coffee over there. He is wired enough that you can see that it is having an effect on him. Apparently that European coffee comes somewhat stronger than ours. Not much else to report on my end. Be safe and have a good day.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

28 November 2006, Well, procrastination has come to full bloom and it's time for spring cleaning, of course, I could always say I'm just getting ahead for next year, but who would believe that? I took off work at 10 am this morning and began what became the worst natural disaster to hit Kabul in a long time. I actually took some pictures and maybe when I complete the room, I will post them with the finished results. I haven't been able to pull off claiming a vandalism since my first year of college back in 1984, so that's an accomplishment.
I've been excited all day as when I came out of my room this morning we were getting snow. It cleared up for most of the morning and by this afternoon it had clouded over again. The sky cleared just enough that I could tell the mountains were getting a good snow covering. It keeps attempting to drop a few flakes now and then, I'm hoping for a couple feet of the white stuff, of course for numerous reasons, but mainly because I love it. We aren't too far off from that first good snow that I get to go out in shorts! Yippee!!
I'm about to head back over to the wood shop and build my entertainment center. This of course, is needed to support my t.v., microwave, computer, x-box, printer, and enough desk space to do homework on. Can you believe I still have to cram it into my small room. Luckily I have the full height of an 8' ceiling to work with. Can't build out, build up.
Well, I better get crackin, be safe and have a good day.

Monday, November 27, 2006

27 November 2006, Where have I been? Right here. We've had a gag order in effect for the last couple of days due to the death of a soldier who has ties to Camp Phoenix. He was down range. With the world of communications as it is today, the powers that be shut them down so that they have time to inform the family before they find out from somebody else.
I spoke with MAJ G and SFC J today, they still want me to join them on the tour of the country training police officers here. As much as I would like to....there are several forces keeping me from doing that. They sound good and from all accounts are doing fine. It would be the kind of job I could come home and say I did something substantial. I, of course, know that my job here is just as important, and I get all the excitement I could want from my job back home. But if you've been to a zoo, you know the animals would like to get out of the cage every now and then.
We had an official weigh-in again this morning. To my surprise, I came in at 238 lbs. My tape for body fat was .40 more than I wanted it to be, but that just means I need to work harder and now the Army is going to see to it that I do. I will take this opportunity to stop talking to avoid any repercussions.
I made two trips outside the wire today, a record for this deployment. Our first stop was to visit the new Chief of Police for the district we are in. He has been a police officer for 24 years and appears to be very sharp. We discussed various topics as to how we can make Kabul a safer place and support each other. My second meeting was to ISAF with a collective of nations that represent my field.
The family back home had a good holiday week and everyone got along. Things here have been good here and there's not much I can complain about, so I won't. Thank you to everyone who liked my poem from 22 November. I actually have been writing some, but most are forced and the decent ones often rhyme with popular ones that everyone else already know.
Be safe and have a good day.
Be safe and have a good.

Friday, November 24, 2006

24 November 2006, What did the pilgrims do? With Thanksgiving, you have expectations. One of which, is when you finish your Thanksgiving meal, you watch a football game. What did the pilgrims do before we had football? Watch corn grow? Anyway, Thanksgiving is over and we here on the other side of the planet have to wait until Friday, (today), to watch the games you saw after dinner. Now, very few games are very exciting when you know the outcome, so this makes it more difficult. But we manage, and time moves on.
Speaking of time, another Friday has now come and gone for us. I've been back in Afghanistan now for two months since I had leave back home, but it doesn't seem that long ago. This is good because here, time is our enemy. Waiting on everything, waiting for the next attack and waiting for the time that we come home. For most of us, we find ways of occupying our time with activities, the gym, school, sports and games. I'm doing well, and to be honest, other than missing my family, friends and the things we do back home, I don't have many wants. Most everything I need is back in Oklahoma.
There is no doubt now, sometime this next week I need to take a day off and clean this room. Mrs. Dub will tell you that when I say it's time to clean, it's probably past time and the worst has come. She has trained me over the last (wonderful) 15 years to at least throw out anything that could grow on its own, but my clutter control has never really been promising.
Well, I survived the tower duty last night and when we were replaced by the regular joes, they did seem cheerful and jolly. I guess the day off helped. This made me feel better and when I finally got to bed at 0045 hrs, I slept well. Today went good and we didn't have any problems. Be safe and have a good day.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

23 November 2006, Hello everyone, I'm wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. The time here keeps moving forward at a good pace and it won't be much longer before I'm back home with you. The DFAC had a large spread for Thanksgiving lunch and I hear it was pretty good. I just finished work in the office and as part of the senior NCO's here and officers, we are taking over tower duty for the joes today so that they can enjoy a day off. I head to the towers in about 30 minutes (1600) and will be there until 2400 hrs. It makes for a long day, but really, did I have any other plans. Today was good and the weather is nice, a little cool for some, but if you look like a stunt double for Chewbaca, it doesn't bother you much. Picture 1 is from Thanksgiving 2003, my first trip here, and picture 2 is Thanksgiving 2006. Be safe and have a good day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

22 November 2006, a poem by SGT Dub,

Twas the eve of Thanksgiving and all through the camp,
Not a single soldier was thankful for that old oil lamp,
But then the generators puttered and sputtered, and died,
And the camp was dark as the evening sky,
The camp had no electricity and all seemed to be lost,
As AFN's Happy Thanksgiving Charlie Brown was the cost,
Then the old sarge started to shout,
"Where's that old lamp, that we almost threw out?"
The Private stepped forward and with a smile he proclaimed,
"I put it in my room, as a keepsake", not wanting to be blamed,
Then off to his room the Private did run,
"Count off, one, two" the sarge added for fun,
The lamp was lit and all was now bright,
and the soldiers were thankful on that special night.

Ok, for 5 minutes worth of work and fresh off the cuff, I don't think it's that bad. I must of course add, that the take is off of the Christmas poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas, but I hope I can take the liberties.
I have to take a moment and explain some things. First, if I mention that when I say nothing much happened today and all was fine, this refers to things didn't blow up around town, people weren't being shot at, and I didn't stub my toe. It does not mean that I was bored out of my mind, I usually refer to that as, "Today, I was bored out of my mind." Today, of course, was not boring, but nothing much happened today and all was fine. My local national workers kept me busy with phone calls and running around trying to fix problems. I like most of the guys, but try not to know them too much. You see, when I'm around, they look for me to try and fix all their problems. It can be an all consuming affair that leads to the type of avalanches that bury men alive. Today was one of those days. You think you have the problem fixed and someone yodels, ( that's what they do in the mountains, not necessarily here) then the mountain comes crashing down and you find yourself digging your way out. Remember, we're camouflaged so you can't see us if we get buried. Anyway, I finally finished up the project and now we just wait and see what happens.
To all those back home, enjoying the next few days off, may your travels be safe, your family pleasant, and your bellies full. Be safe and have a good day.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

21 November 2006, I can't believe we are already in the week of Thanksgiving. Back home, people are getting ready for a short work week and planning for dinners and company. The DFAC will be putting on a traditional Thanksgiving spread on Thursday and with the exception of a very few minor details, things will pretty much run the same as any other week here. This is a time of the year that we begin reflecting on the past year and take note of what we are thankful for. For those of us away from home, we look towards the future as we also mark the halfway point to this deployment. I have to say that one thing I am enjoying is meeting good people from all around the world.
You really can't make me out in the photo but that's ok, I was the one on the ground taking the picture.
Yesterday was another one of the days of hades for me. It was crunch time on my algebra homework again and I was up till 2330 hrs getting it submitted. It's almost like doing each problem twice since I have to actually put the work into a document and email it. i stopped for a minute last night and contemplated just scanning my homework sheet and emailing that. I finally decided that the time it would take me to get back to the office, and do all that, I could just type it in myself and continued working away at it. I have one more homework and one more test. Math is best taken in a classroom environment in case anyone out there was thinking about taking it over the internet.
We actually had a hail storm this afternoon, this sent everyone outside instead of inside. The sky was still blue and just the brief storm came through. I have to wonder what a lot of these people are going to do when it actually gets cold here. I see many people bundled up and I'm still running around in my PT shorts and shirt, I wonder how they will survive the winter, which mimics central Oklahoma here in Kabul.
We went to Camp Souter the other night for a meeting (aka dinner). It was one of the better meals I've had there since being back this time.
Not much else to report on my end. Be safe and have a good day.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

18 November 2006, What a joyous day! What a magnificent day! Let us rejoice in today. Why? Because today was the day SGT R brought me real Oregon Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese, and 2 lbs of it.

I was told this was the best cheese in the world. Now, I've had real Wisconsin cheese, and I've had our own Oklahoma made Watonga cheese but since I'm a world away from the United States, I may have to agree with SGT R. He had his family send it just for me. Now is that a great guy or what!! Now if you think your cheese might be better, I am willing to put it to the test, Mrs. Dub can get the address to forward all cheese samples to.
The weather was much nicer today with the sun out again. I actually had a good morning with the exception of doing barracks inspections for the company. Health and welfare inspections to make sure the soldiers are obeying all the rules and also cleaning up after themselves.
I got all dressed up to go to the gym, but decided not to at the last minute. Not much else to report, so be safe and have a good day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

17 November 2006, Happy Friday everyone! Yep, it's Friday now, the sun is out, it's a beautiful day here, I got the heater in my room fixed. It appears that several are down, luckily I was high enough on the list to get mine fixed. It seems they are running out of the computer boards to go around.
My morning started off busy and I didn't get caught up till around 0900 hrs here, that's 1030 p.m. back home. After that, I didn't have any pressing issues, so I got a little bit of my homework done. I also got my test results back and made an 84% on that last algebra test, looks like I might actually pass. I have two homework's and one test left. Everybody dance!!!
I forced myself out of the office today and into the gym. I'm back up to 243 lbs. Yikes. I did 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer, did 10 minutes of shooting hoops, actually doing lay-ups and moving around to try and get the heart pumping and cardio out of it. I then went to the weights and lifted. I decided to stop the cokes until after I weigh in 10 days. I'm on day 2 right now. My Alaskan cousin is probably kicking my rear, but I'm glad for her. She mentioned the family was coming down for Christmas this year, so I'll miss that, but they promised to be back out in the summer of 08, let's hope I haven't been shipped off anywhere again then.
Not much else to report around here. I'm doing well, I even took the extra time this morning and slept in an extra 45 minutes. Be safe and have a good day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

16 November 2006, Happy 99th Statehood day Oklahoma! Yes, today is the 99th year of statehood for Oklahoma and during this entire next year you will be seeing many forms of celebrations as we look forward to our centennial next year. Several of you have noticed the count down board on the side bar and it represents the count down to next November 16th. I am very glad I will be home for that and be able to celebrate something in history. I had hoped to be able to present a fantastic site today to show you the history and heritage of Oklahoma, but this wasn't feasible for me here.
It's rained all day and that's what this country needs on several levels. During this last summer, you may remember that I had problems with my air conditioner not working for a couple of days. Last night, I finally decided I needed a little heat, yep, no heat. I fiddled with it for about 30 minutes with no luck and decided to just turn it off. I checked it again today following the instructions I was given, (someone that maybe I didn't know how to operate it), but it wasn't me. So now I'm waiting for someone to come by and fix it for me. Luckily I can withstand it without too much difficulty.
It's only 5:45 p.m. here and I'm already ready to go to bed. I bought two new CD's yesterday for Christmas, Bing Crosby and the Rat Pack. I haven't decided if we will decorate the office or my room any yet, that won't happen anyway until AFTER Thanksgiving.
Not much else, be safe and have a good day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

15 November 2006, Don't you love it when a problem falls into your lap. Yeah, me too. This one had to do with some interpreters that went down range for a few weeks with some of our troops here on Camp Phoenix. 48 hours before they are supposed to leave I get the problem. These interpreters don't have any TA-50. TA-50 is Army code for gear. Sleeping bags, winter boots, gloves, coats, backpacks. Things that might come in handy during....let's say....winter. Well, I figure it shouldn't be extremely difficult, just a couple of phone calls. (What I wasn't informed of is that this had already gone about as far as it could with no success, for one reason or another. Now typically, when something has to get done, (mission wise and not related to home, sorry dear) I am the man to go to in a pinch. However, as I have found out today, I'm 0-2. I started making cordial phone calls and emails yesterday just to be (putting it mildly) screamed at for bringing this up a second or third time. Hmmmm, obviously the person(s) that attempted before me left a wonderful impression and I'm reaping the rewards of it. Well, after enough effort, I finally made my way up to the interpreters and told them they had better pack stuff themselves. I did tell them I would keep working at finding these items for the next mission. Wish me luck. What was the other strike out? Oh, LTC Y, (oops), wanted to break a $500 Afghani bill, I only had a little over $200 Afghani on me. So that you aren't wondering in amazement that Mrs. Dub would let me have that much money, $500 Afghani equals $10 U.S. and I had $4 U.S. (of course, I had my own $500 Afghani back in the room)
We had a good day in the office. I was able to work on several issues and still got semi-started on my homework due next week. It's time for graphs, slopes, and coordinates. Of course, I just tell myself it's a lot like doodling, so that keeps me going. I finally got my grade for the mid-term, I got a 70% on that test. That gives me a passing grade, which for algebra is all I had hoped for. Anything higher would be impressive. I'm hoping for a 92 on the test I took last night.
It was a cold drizzly day this morning when I got out of bed, of course, I wanted to get right back in bed, but that can't happen. It stayed that way for most of the day, only letting up on the drizzle part. Winter is on the way. Not much else to report today. Be safe and have a good day.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

14 November 2006, Have I mentioned I hate math?? I'm working on my test that's due tonight, I have most of the problems completed, but I still have to type it into Word Equation Editor so I can show my work. This takes a little bit of time. I was being pulled in so many directions today, I'm having a hard time concentrating on just about anything. Other than that, all is well, and I'm doing fine. The PX is all geared up for Christmas, I guess we skip Thanksgiving this year. I never can remember if its the even or odd years we don't have it. Yes, the PX, where we (the soldiers in a combat zone) can get just what we've been looking for for the wooden nut cracker soldiers in 12", 24", 36" and the ever popular 48". Hmmmm, I have to wonder who put this order in. There's also the wrapping paper, you know, because we can't send anything wrapped in the mail, because it has to be open and inspected before leaving the country.
I need to cut this short, because (x+2)(x-3) is waiting for me. Be safe and have a good day.

Monday, November 13, 2006

13 November 2006, ayhee, who's idea was it to take algebra during a war? I musta been out of mind, (for those of you who don't know me well, and wouldn't say I was before I took algebra). Things, are going ok though, I'm working on my 3rd test (online, so I have some leeway with it). Luckily, one of the new officers I have in my office is a Navy person and loves this math stuff. I'm of course doing my work, but it helps to have a someone who can look over it and make sure I'm in the right neighborhood. The Navy calls him a LT, but the Army would call him a CPT, so we will call him confusing, I mean LT P. I try to work on my homework and test while at work, don't we all? I mean, why would I want to do it on my own time? I could be blogging or playing Halo 2, (of course, anxiously awaiting Halo 3).
The last two people I have been waiting on to get back from leave arrived today. Let's all dance!! Glad you can't see me. It looks alot like Kevin James from that scene in "Hitch". Yeah, not pretty.
I was sending out an email just a little while ago, yes, I tried to get caught up on several people today, I usually start with one at a time, and after 3-5 of them, I realize I have to work in the morning and I start clumping some of them together, sorry about that. Anyway, in that email I was discussing how actually good I have it here on Camp Phoenix, and if I was downrange, it would be different. I mean, after a long day at war, I'm able to walk down to the PX area, shop for a new movie, maybe a CD, buy some chips (yeah, I don't need them, but they are marked down), then run up to the DQ or Green Bean and get a mocha latte. I can just see guys like Sarge Charlie during Vietnam or those from World War II, coming in from a patrol where they got shot at, and ordering a cappuccino. Just this blogging, the internet emails, the phone access I have, really, even during Desert Storm, troops still had to wait in line for an hour or more to just try to use a phone once a month to call home.
Today, was busy, but I was able to get several things done and set in motion more things for tomorrow. With CPT C back, I can put more effort into my lane of work, or maybe sleep in in the morning (yeah, won't happen, but I can dream till 0510 anyway). My only complaint right now, is I have found out that I need the weather stripping on my door replaced as when it rains, it drips down on the inside of my door. Not much else going on. Be safe and have a good day.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

11 November 2006, Veteran's Day
In Flanders Fields By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This poem became greatly associated with Armistice Day which was signed November 11, 1918. Whether you know it by Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, or Veteran's Day, it is a day we celebrated the end of World War I, the war to end all wars. Well, as we have proven, that didn't happen. But it is this day that we stop and remember those who sacrificed of themselves so that the rest may attempt to live in peace. Although I can not, of course, give you the most accurate information, the last records I could verify showed 2839 American soldiers have died in Iraq and approximately 200 soldiers in Afghanistan. I do not consider their deaths lightly, or trivial, or wasted. For they gave their lives to help secure our freedom, and the freedom of the people in those countries. As long as there is evil in the world, men and women will heed to the calling of a higher purpose that I can not explain. As a police officer, I have seen death too many times. Each time, I wept inside for that loss of life. But the pride that swells up in me when I see my Flag of the United States of America, each time I see a veteran holding strong to the values establish by this country, I cannot contain those tears. We must stay strong in those beliefs. To you, the current soldiers of all nations standing against evil, to you, the veterans of past wars, Thank You.
Be safe and have a good day.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

10 November 2006, Happy Recognized Day Off for Veteran's Day!! Yeah, I know, it doesn't sound as cool that way, but I don't get either day off so it looks like I have to recognize both days. Friday here starts the weekend for Afghanistan so most of the camp does actually have it off. This morning turned out pretty busy for me, but fortunately nothing serious was going on. We finally got a good rain here this afternoon, after haze and clouds all morning. It could rain here everyday, and I wouldn't mind too much, at least for a while. We are still coming out of a drought that has lasted for quite a while.
I was asked what I thought about Mr. Rumsfield. I have a great deal of respect for him, and believe he deserves a lot more credit than what was depicted by the media. Yes, there were some problems over all, but again, arm chair quarterbacks can make those kind of calls all day long. It's not until you actually get out there and do it for real does it make a difference. I heard one legislator this last week make the comment, "If I had know it would have turned out like this, I wouldn't have supported it to start with" WHAT?? You mean someone told you a specific number of troops would die back then, and you said "OK, lets go for it" I mean, what knuckle-head would do that. It's called war for a reason. I've been asked to guest blog for another site, and I'm slowly coming up with my topic.
Mainly though, I would like to thank everyone out there who is a veteran, former military person, American, Aussie, British, French, Iraqi, and Afghan who has come forward to the call of their country, to the call of other countries and stood for freedom, justice, and what is right. Thank you for your service.
Be safe and have a good day.
09 November 2006, Can anyone tell me how to install a media player on this darn blog site? I can't get Utube to work for some reason that probably involves me, and just putting a simple audio player is apparently beyond my comprehension also. I can see me on Amazon now, "Blogging for Dummies, featuring Sgt Dub."
There are times I get worried about the news media. Of course, I've never been a big fan of them, I've seen them first hand twist something so far out of context that it's amazing I wasn't tarred and feathered a couple of times. With what might have been the biggest election story in several years, we had "breaking news" Brittany and K-Fed (up) are getting a divorce. The "other" big story was Faith Hill. I finally saw the reaction everyone is talking about, and I from what I saw, I would say it looked like a joke too. I've always like Faith, sheer class exhibited almost always. I have to wonder if the camera had followed her for a few more seconds, what we would have seen. But, then that wouldn't have been news. As far as Brittany and Kevin, the boy is screwed up in the head and is trying to make it on her name, good grief, what took her so long. But did either of these stories really need to be "breaking news". Anyway, today there were no big interruptions for Mr. Rumsfield. He had mentioned to me last week during our regular conference call that he was thinking about hanging it up, and enjoy some time in Florida. I told him I couldn't really blame him, what with the way the reporters go after him. I found Senator Hillary Clinton's remarks interesting. Let me see if I capture this right. Rumsfield resigns, President Bush announces this fact and then announces a replacement. Then Sen. Clinton says she thinks the President was smart for getting a replacement. What was he suppose to do? leave the job vacant? Glad your on top of the game.
We are seeing more clouds and cooler weather now. Of course, I still run around in shorts when I can. I haven't seen much wind blowing during the winter months and it will take a lot more for me to put on too much more clothing. I'm going to get started on my algebra homework tomorrow, (procrastinator) but I did make it to the gym today, getting about 1 hour total workout. I also had to look up camcorders on line for Mrs. Dub to go buy one today. Ms. Dub is giving a speech for the Veteran's Day assembly today and she wants to be able to capture it for me. Patriotism hits me hard and this will be something I will watch alone in my room.
Well, be safe and have a good day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

08 November 2006, Congratulations to all the winners of the elections, whether I voted for you or not. May God guide you in all your decisions. I know Governor Brad Henry had a fantastic finish and I believe he will continue to work for what's best for Oklahoma. I haven't seen the other results for Oklahoma yet, but I should be spanning the Internet shortly after this post. I hope everyone did their part to vote.
Today was nice, I was able to slow my pace down and worked at getting several tasks completed. I was also able to get Lt M caught back on what was happening, or the lack of happening around here during his absence. When I left, things kicked into overdrive, apparently I can keep things under control. (That's the way I will write history).
I received another package from the South Yukon Church of Christ, and this time I managed to send an email back to them to say thanks. My actual writing letters skills are very lacking. I'm still behind from the last mission, and that was a couple of years ago. I'm lucky if I get emails out to my friends and family. That seems a task at times. I have been trying to be diligent about this blog as it hits the most people with one shot. As you have seen in the past, I can go days without writing, but I'm trying to get better about that. My only excuse is that I'm a guy. Do I really need to say more?
Finally, I got a good night's sleep. I took that Tylenol PM Mrs. Dub sent and went to bed at 2045 (8:45pm) and didn't get out of bed till 0615. Wow! Is that what sleep feels like, I like it!!
Part of my job here is working with some of the Afghans, or actually, having them work for me. Today I had to talk with one who missed several days at work. When I spoke with some of the other Afghans, I was told he was working off post, I told them I had heard differently. At this point, they suddenly remembered he was very ill in the hospital. What I had heard was that he had been in an automobile accident and hit someone who later died, and that he was in jail. His story today when I spoke with him was that he was in a "detainee house" which is were you sit until they decide if you are guilty or not, and then at the hospital for a few days. Apparently one or more of the other Afghans working for me had been signing him in for an unknown period of time before we found out about it, I informed several of them, (and they know this from the past) that if I caught them lying to me, they would be gone. Now, some of you are asking why I didn't know any sooner, but I have several working and my job is as a manager for them, and they go out with other patrols, units and sections to actually perform their work, so I do not get daily face time with them.
Well, be safe and have a good day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

07 November 2006, I voted, did you?
One of the comments left yesterday was about standing in line with a cup in your hand and having someone watch you take a urine test. Well, Sarge was today's winner. Yes, today I was that person watching soldiers pee in a bottle. You see, the Army hasn't changed that much at all. I was fortunate since I only had to be up 45 minutes earlier than normal. For most of our Company, it was several hours earlier, and the line was outside, and the temperature is finally feeling like fall-winter. It's certainly a job I can do without.
Great news for me. Last night, my airman got back from her pass and today my LT. got back from leave. Yes, there was much celebration in my little world. As usual I gave my LT. a fright by telling him he had been moved to another part of the office with a different job. I had even put a sign above the door to his office, which I have been using and remodeling. It had my name on it as the head of that office. I told him there had been some changes around since he left, which was extremely likely, he had a look of terror on his face as he realized what I was saying. Of course, being the nice guy that I am, I quickly broke the joke after a few moments. I have always enjoyed the immediate gratification of a good joke as opposed to letting it run its course. It will be a shame to give up the office though, and return to the main office.
I made it to the gym tonight, did 25 minutes on the elliptical trainer and then moved on to weights. A little while later, LTC Y told me to join them in a basketball game. Apparently fouling was legal as long as you didn't break skin or cause bleeding. We played 21 with 3 people. I actually made 6 points, "cookie for me" , survived to tell about it. It definitely was a cardio workout.
I'm back in my office tonight, finishing up a couple of things and then calling it a night. Well, be safe and have a good day.

Monday, November 06, 2006

06 November 2006, Blogging is still hard work. Mrs. Dub wants me to tell about my day to day activities. Here in lies the problem. She also doesn't want me outside the wire. This just leaves me working in the office, right now from 0530 to typically 1900-2000 hrs each night(7pm -8pm). Now granted, it's not strenuous or anything. It's mainly time consuming. Then there's the fact that my job requires me to keep many things to myself, for if I shared them, government men in black suits and sunglasses would be knocking on your door, this was one of the reasons I had to leave the country....I mean I was deployed with the Army. So that doesn't leave much for me to say other than what I ate at each meal, which, we are at 4 days in a row for chili for breakfast. I had these kinds of fits back home. I finally had a lunch outside my office today, which was the first meal I haven't eaten at my desk in about 5 days. I haven't been to the gym in two days. I still have one more meeting tonight, NCODP, which is just Non-Commissioned Officer training. It's designed to help me be a better leader of troops. One day they will give me troops to lead.
While my LT has been away on leave, I have taken over his office. Each day I change something else in it. Last night, I brought in a saw and a drill. hehehhahhhwhawhaaa. Yes, Power tools are fun for everyone. I even still have all ten digits on my hands. When we get everyone back I want to start on my room again. I've gain so much stuff in there now that it's time to reconstruct a little. I don't believe I have shared with you the fact that I had two tough boxes stolen while in transit from Pakistan to here. I had to do some reports to file claims for it, but I don't really know where I would have put them with the way my room is set up now. (but that's only a small consolation compared to what I'm missing.)
We are having another official weigh-in right after Thanksgiving. Hmmm, wonder who's idea that was. Anyway, I better get back on track with my workout, I'm shooting for making the tape and not having to suffer any consequences afterwards. There's no way I would make the weight requirement because the Army thinks I need to loose 60 more pounds, which I would definitely need one of those Hollywood trainers and nutritionists working with me full time for about 6 months, and that won't be happening. However, I am shooting for loosing 30-40 more pounds on my own and hopefully doing while I'm here.
Be safe and have a good day.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Ms. Dub

04 November 2006, Happy Birthday to my daughter Ms. Dub. Yep, today she is 13 years old. I told her the only way she would make it to this age was if I got deployed, I guess she pulled some strings, cause this ain't Oklahoma. She is pretty....pretty smart and pretty funny. She has also taken an interest in learning Japanese. She is teaching herself with the use of the Internet. She has been writing short stories about a Japanese cartoon she watches and has published almost 20 chapters on
Her mother and I are pretty proud of everything she has accomplished so far to include making all A's in honors courses at school with only one B in one class. She got her good looks from her mother, and not for sure what she got from me, except grounded several times.

There's also a young boy in her life right now that sleeps much easier knowing I'm on the other side of the planet, and out of arms reach.
Well, I wish I was home with her right now. I love her very much, and her mother too. Be safe and have a good day.
03 November 2006, I guess it's just a political fever I must have. I'm gonna have to start off talking about politics again. This, of course, worries Mrs. Dub somewhat. Anytime we went somewhere that the topic of politics might come up, and some occasions where it shouldn't come up at all, she would pull me to the side before entering and say, "Promise me you will behave yourself tonight." Well, I've never had to be told twice, (in one night) but I've also never stooped to calling anyone "stuffed-suit mouthpiece" or "doughy", so I guess for all purposes, I have behaved myself. (And You can just imagine my wife, sitting at her computer now, shaking her head, while wondering where I'm going with this.)
Let's start with defining my categories. I could use Wikipedia, or Webster, but I just like keeping things simple, (it's always worked for me before). Democrats and Republicans are two separate groups based on ideology. I believe both share similar values, traits and goals. Liberals and Conservatives are two different ends of a spectrum. When I talk about issues, I don't discuss them as Dems or Repubs because that doesn't define anything, however, for this case, it is an issue between the two parties because both parties are rivaling for control of Congress. So, about Senator John Kerry during this last week. Yes, it was stupid, yes, it deserved to be called out. Yes, the Minnesota National Guard really put it in perspective. And yes, it should end now. But it can't because next week is the elections. Now to the Today show, which I saw this morning, but I guess aired Thursday back home. James Carville. Mr. Carville is certainly one of the most intelligent persons I would like to meet someday. He has that laid back down home southern flair that can be both appealing and annoying at the same time. He was on the television and was stating that this was a "no issue" issue. 1. My question is this, "If this isn't an issue for the American people then......why did they get you out here?" You see, Mr. Carville is one of the most powerful tools in the Democratic National Convention, and he doesn't come out for small potatoes. 2. The statement that Republicans are working this into an issue just before an election is correct. To be completely truthful. BUT, when did the Democrats learn about Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate emails? Over a year ago? And why did the Democrats wait until the second week of October to release this if it was such a horrible thing? (and it was) Because they were interested in making it an issue for the upcoming elections. So stop crying foul all the time, you are doing the same thing, or at least make sure Sen Kerry goes first next time.
Ok, that's enough of that for tonight. I didn't get much sleep last night and I've been typing one thing or another on computers all day now. Luckily, things have continued to be quiet in Kabul and I didn't have a lot of distractions. I ate all three meals at my desk. For breakfast, and to show you just how much I'm tired of the food here, I had a bowl of chili. For lunch, I grabbed a mini pizza and a corn dog. Of course, "he who should not be named" (LTC Y) came by and ate my corn dog. For dinner, it's steak night, forgot about that, I had a baked potato with chili on it. Yeah, don't get to close to me tonight. Tomorrow is a big day and I'll get started on working it up for you. Be safe and have a good day.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

02 November 2006, Well, I just came back from the gym. I didn't do a full workout, but I went. It's cloudy over here with the looks of rain. I hope so. The only bad part about a little bit of rain is that the smells here seem to intensify. Mrs. Dub can tell you about the smell of Afghanistan. Last time I was here I wanted to have a suit or two made. I, of course, being of sound mind, knew to ask her first. With an resounding NO, I was told that everything I had sent home so far had a horrific odor to it. Of course, after a couple of months here, we couldn't smell anything anymore. Staff Sergeant DX, (just a SPC then) had also advised me and "he who should not be named" that we might consider buying some men's body spray or cologne. I can speak for myself when I say that I showered everyday. But, showering wasn't enough and since then, I give a little hit of body spray, just so I don't have any unpleasant scents about me.
The Easy Button from Staples. I need one of these here in Afghanistan, and not for any reason you can think of unless you've been to one of my teaching lessons on anger. I've had several soldiers here who seem to get upset quite easily. I have had to set them down and explain that if they choose to wear an "easy button" on the front of their chest that is connected to their anger, people will undoubtedly come up and push it. It's much like the Easy button from Staples. If I had one sitting out on the corner of my desk, Every Single Person who walked by would push it. Why? Because I left it out in the open. That's the same with emotions. If you wear them where people can see them they will push that button. I have to tell my soldiers that they need to hide it. My suggestion has been that cool new calf pocket on the ACUs. Nobody would think to look there to find your anger button. Of course, I had one soldier who found it today, and for a brief moment in time.........well, that's when I decided to go to the gym.
Be safe and have a good day.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

1 November 2006, it's good to be
forgotten. [Soap Box] Senator John
Kerry was giving one of his great speeches the other night and decided to make a FUBAR out of it. (Because this is a family oriented blog, I will not give you the definition to that acronym.) Sen. Kerry was addressing a group of college students and made the following statement, " You know education, if you make the most of it, and you study hard, and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." (USA Today). First, it's good to be in Afghanistan, the forgotten war, as it is referred to. Second, every single military officer has to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree to become an officer. I understand and have told you that I have been working on my bachelor's for 22 years now. It's not because I'm the dullest bulb in the socket, but because of financial considerations, family obligations, the occasional deployment. For Sen. Kerry to announce that it was intended to be an attack on President Bush and not the military soldiers is actually an attack on everyone. To be honest with you, I have not read Sen. Kerry's full remarks that night, but in the quote above, he does not mention President Bush, he only mentions the target audience which also comprises the make up of the military forces. So with that, let me help Sen. Kerry out, his remarks as edited by me. "You know education, if you make the most of it, and you study hard, and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. You can even serve your country." Thank you.
Now, for my day, it's been another wonderful day. The office is keeping me busy and I'm waiting for things to return to the point where I can just do two peoples job. I got my other box from Mrs. Dub and it's a 50/50 box. The first 50% is good for me snacks like Triscuit crackers in the cool flavors like Rosemary & Olive Oil, and it says it helps reduce the risk of heart disease. The other 50% is Betty Crocker Warm Delights microwavable mixes like Hot Fudge Brownie. These are just yummie for my tummie. So with an equal balance of nutrition, I should be fine....right?
(and so you know, I'm actually snacking on the Triscuits right now)
We are half way through this week and that's always good news. Be safe and have a good day.