sgtdub: December 2006

Sunday, December 31, 2006

31 December 2006, New Year's Eve! Could I get any more excited? Well, to be truthful, yes. I've never been as big on New Year's as some of the other holidays, but it's still one I enjoy. Especially when you consider that Mrs. Dub and I got married on this evening. It sounded like a good plan at the time, every one's in the party mood, tax deductions, those sort of things. Our tenth anniversary, we went to Las Vegas and had Elvis renew our vows. I'm not sure if we had big plans for our 15th or not, but I'm pretty sure it didn't include being this far apart and on completely different time zones. Yet, all in all, it's still a good one.
Today was nothing special in the way of work. The weather is just warm enough to melt the snow we've had but still freeze up over night. My procrastination is still intact as I've still not done anything about the next school term which starts later this week. Maybe, I'll do better this next year, (yeah, that was bad, but I promise it's the last bad joke I'll tell this year)
For the new year, I've given myself a new look. Yep, Mrs. Dub won't be too thrilled, but my mustache should grow back in by then. I shaved it off, just to give me a change of pace. Not much else to report on my end. I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful New Years' Eve, remember to get a DD is you're going to a party. Sorry, I won't be available this year for it. See you next year.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

30 December 2006, Wow, only 1 more day till the end of the year. What have you got planned? Me, I'll be working. , but it's not that tasking, and besides, what do I have to do here in Kabul?
It's about 6 p.m. here now, and we just came in from working on a project outside. Let's just say that my toes are frozen and not very happy at the moment. Of course, the rest of me is just fine and I'm sippin' on some hot chocolate. We spent a good portion of the morning either watching football or reports about Saddam. Being part of the Big Twelve conference we watched the Texas Tech game with much dismay until the fourth quarter. What a game!
Tonight is Ab Lab and I guess I'm going to it. I'd rather try and thaw out ad just go to bed, but that's not what's good for me. Right now I'm sitting here at my computer trying to fall asleep.
Miss Dub informed me that she has her blog site up and running now too. Looks like the whole family is here now. We can just tell each other how we are doing through our blogs. Well, really not much else to report from my end, most everyone else out there is working on big plans for tomorrow evening. Drop me a line and let me know what your plans are.
Be safe and have a good day.

Friday, December 29, 2006

29 December 2006, Well, it appears the polar bears have left now. We went out through the camp to look for them and couldn't find them. It was a little warmer today and that may have sent them migrating back to the north.

It's been a long day here for some reason. I went to the gym this morning and my unofficial weight is at 235 lbs. We should be doing an official weigh in this next week, I'm ready, I think. We did an hour of cardio and then some weights. Not much though. I really need to get back into it full speed, but at least I'm doing something. Who hasn't had problems being good during the holidays? The only other pressing issue for me is needing to either try and test out of the next algebra class or get enrolled soon. Class starts this next week, procrastination strikes again. All else has been quiet here. I called home and Miss Dub is sick. At least I can say I didn't give it to her. Nothing else to report, have a good weekend, be safe and have a good day.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ok, Folks, I have an announcement. I will put it out there, but it's up to you if you wish to visit. Mrs. Dub has possibly gotten bitten by the blog bug. Now, no need to panic, I think she'll be ok. Check her out if you want at Mrs.Dub, on the sidebar, and as always, be safe and have a good day. Now back to our original post.

28 December 2006, It was another cool day today. I don't mind that much and it wasn't as cold as yesterday.
The polar bears are still being spotted on camp though, this one was watching our Ab Lab class and decided to try some reverse sit-ups. You know how bears put on that extra weight during the winter. No, really mom in law sent this one with a polar bear blessing email. Of course, my favorite polar bears are the Coca-Cola polar bears. Who can resist a Coke? Everyone knows I can't. Ah, the Route 44 Cherry-Vanilla Coke from Sonic. Have one ready for me when we get home.That was of course, my first meal last time we came home from Afghanistan, and I'm pretty sure it will be this time too. Food is one of my most favorite things, but I am pretty picky about it.
Anyway, I was able to post yesterday, then logged off and went for dinner, (food again, see the trend). When I made it back to the room, my internet was shut down because that blasted bill was due again. The internet guy here has it set up where the day the bill is due, it locks you out if you haven't paid, pretty effective. So today, I promptly went and paid my bill again. Someone remind me that on the 27th of January, I need to pay my bill before they shut it off. As you can see, I'm up and running again. Tonight is ab lab, so I'll be signing off in a bit and working out. I need it.
Mrs. Dub and Miss Dub have lots of fun plans coming up in the next few weeks, that I will miss. Darn them, of course, I'm getting to travel, (yeah, right). We talked last night about what type of trip we should take when I get home. I think we will take a driving vacation and either visit east coast or west coast. I have a lot of interest in seeing the east, visiting Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, New York. I would like to take the family to see every state, but that will take more than one trip, so we have to break it down.
Not much else to report today. I'm feeling better and getting over this stuff, just basically have the cough left. Be safe and have a good day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

27 December 2006, Lost?

I'm not sure if I'm in Afghanistan or Alaska. I took this picture this morning. It seems it have gotten cold enough the polar bears are moving in. No, just kidding, I'm pretty sure this picture was taken somewhere closer to my Alaskan cousin's house, although she didn't send it either. It was a bitter cold day today, cold enough I put on long sweat pants to go to the gym, yep, that cold. I believe with the wind chill it was around -5. Brrrr. A slow day in the office as anywhere else in the world that celebrates Christmas and New Years. Nobody wants to be at work during this break between holidays, why should the Army be any different. I'm getting over the crud slowly but surely.
I guess I still have a lot of folks confused by my countdown calendar on the sidebar. It's not for when I go home, it's for the Oklahoma Centennial that's coming up in November of 2007. I do have a countdown calendar on my office computer based in an excel spreadsheet. Without giving details, I expect to be home in time to celebrate the 4th of July on my 5 acre ranch. Mrs. Dub did say that we could spend whatever I wanted on fireworks this year, I'll try to keep it reasonable, but I'm thinking along the lines of Sydney,Australia on New Years Eve is about the recreation I'm looking for. Speaking of New Year's Eve, it will be Mrs. Dub and I 15th anniversary. How does she put up with me for that long, well, she keeps shipping me out for one. I've also learned the secret to a successful and happy marriage, "Yes, dear"
Today was pretty much paperwork in the office, I'm working on some stuff for my airmen that are redeploying soon, and more of the usual. Not much else is happening around here. Be safe and have a good day.

Monday, December 25, 2006

26 December 2006, A Wonderful Christmas.
I woke up Christmas Day and went to work just like any other day. I mentioned that yesterday afternoon, Christmas Eve, it started snowing, by the time I had gone to bed it was around 3-4 inches. It snowed all night and all the next day. Christmas day was peaceful. There is no other way to describe it. Most offices were shut down to give their soldiers some time off, something that doesn't happen very often. The snow is around 8-9 inches now and is very relaxing. I've captured parts of the day with my camera and am eager to share them with you. Let's get started.

Leaving my room and
seeing the snow on the
tree, it's dark out but
the scene was perfect.

Christmas gators decorated and on view outside the DFAC.

Our Chapel on my
way to the guard tower.

I passed by some Mongolian soldiers who were in the festive spirit building a snowman while another one played Christmas tunes on a homemade flute.

The guard duty went well, as the peaceful scene would indicate.

Me on my way back from guard tower duty.

I found these soldiers taking advantage of a day off and enjoying the snow.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

25 December 2006, Is Al Franken Santa?
I've kept you waiting for two days now to see what Al Franken had in store for me at the USO Hope and Freedom Tour show. Would you believe the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders! Yes, Santa (Al) gave me a big smile and quite a treat for Christmas. I'm sharing some of the pictures with you here. Oh, and Mrs. Dub was the first one to know outside of Camp Phoenix. Blackmail is not an option, sorry.

And in case you're wondering, this is the second time I've worn a feathered boa in a combat zone. I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas today.
24 December 2006, Christmas Eve.
Christmas is one of my most favorite times of the year. I have had reason to not be fond of it at all, and could even bare an excuse to avoid it all together. "God is good, all the time" as Ben would say at his blog site. My mother passed away on Christmas Eve 14 years ago. God is good. God replaced that lost with the birth of my daughter, Miss Dub, who was born on November 4th, just in the nick of time for the holiday season. So I got a reason to be thankful, to feel blessed, and to enjoy Christmas as much as I always have. On Christmas Eve around 1800 - 1830 hrs, I stop what I'm doing and talk to my mom, just for a few moments. Then I go back to celebrating the meaning of Christmas, the Birth of Christ, my family, my friends and of course, wait eagerly for Christmas morning to see what Santa brought me.
Now with that out of the way, As I logged on tonight, I found one of those stories that our fine media slips up every once and a while and publishes. This one I found in Yahoo News. I won't get on the soap box tonight, but this story brings hope to all here in Afghanistan, and it helps me realize even more how much more that us as a Nation, as a world, are bringing freedom and hope to this country. For those of you who wanted to see what Al Franken had in store for me, you'll have to wait one more day. This story should be the headlines all over the world. It's simple, but it speaks so loudly to me.

By RAHIM FAIEZ, Associated Press Writer
KABUL, Afghanistan - In devoutly Muslim Afghanistan, Christmas is like any other day — people go to work, there are no blinking lights lining the streets and pine trees remain unadorned — except on Flower Street, where local tree vendors are making an extra buck from the foreigners' holiday.
Located in the heart of Kabul, Flower Street is different at Christmas from any other time of year, transformed into a festive place full of trees decked with multicolored tinsel garlands and lights.
"After the Taliban, we started to make Christmas trees because lots of foreigners are around, and they are asking for them," said Eidy Mohammad as he decorated a tree at his shop, the Morsal Flower Store. "Business is growing — we had only the wedding season before, but now we have Christmas as well."
Unlike many non-Christian countries in Asia, Afghanistan does not recognize or celebrate Christmas. But thousands of foreigners who live in Kabul working with the
United Nations, non-governmental organizations or international military forces, celebrate the holiday quietly in restaurants and behind military barracks.
Many shop at Flower Street for their holiday trees.
"Christmas is a good season for flower stores in Kabul," Mohammad said, adding that during the Taliban's rule, nobody was allowed to make Christmas trees in Kabul.
He has sold about a dozen Christmas trees, earning anywhere from US$20 to US$200 — a hefty sum for Afghans, many of whom make only about US$50 a month. The trees are from across Afghanistan and are adorned with Chinese-made artificial materials.
"I was amused when I saw trees with lights," said 29-year-old Abdul Qader. He thought the lit-up trees were a new fad in Afghan home deco, but he later found out they were for Christmas.
"They looked beautiful to me," he said with a smile.

Had this story gotten out earlier, I would have attempted to go and take pictures and shop there. I have been on flower street before, walking into the flower shops, the corner stores. It is a marvel unto itself in such a war-torn country. May they continue in their freedoms.
Be safe and remember to give extra kisses and hugs to your loved ones. Have a Merry Christmas. Did I mention that I'm having a white Christmas this year, it started snowing today at about 2 p.m. It's beautiful.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

23 December 2006, What a Show!

Al Franken and Leeann Tweeden did a fantastic job emceeing the show last night. Al, during one of his moments showed concern about traveling to Bagram Airfield by convoy. He stated to the crowd that if he was captured and video taped, we should look for messages from him. "If they video tape me and you see me and it looks like I'm crying, that's the signal for you to come rescue me. If they video tape me and it looks like I'm crying....and I've wet my pants, that's the signal for you to come rescue me...and bring an extra pair of pants." He continued in the Bob Hope fashion of attempting to get a kiss or more from co-emcee Leeann, and failed.
The show started off with the All-Army band and singing group knocking out the hit song "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas. Four very talented singers got the group ready for the rest of the evening.

Former Army Ranger Keni Thomas came on next with Shevy Smith playing keyboard and guitar for him. Keni has one album out right now, Flags Of Our Fathers, A Soldier's Story. Shevy has an amazing voice herself and it shouldn't be long before she starts to shine.

A hip hop group called Washington Project is a brother sister team who's father is a retired Air Force Sergeant. They have some real talent and every song was geared towards the troops, heck I even gave a shot at dancing

Next up was Mark Wills. The troops had been as far away from the stage as 35 feet, but with each new act, we got closer to the stage, partly because we were enjoying the show, partly because the stage had heat radiating off it from blowers and it was 35 degrees outside. Anyway, Mark put on a great show singing and interacting with the audience. With his announcement it was his last song, someone from the crowd booed him, Mark quickly turned and said, "Don't boo me, I'm not the Dixie Chicks." This got a round of applause from the troops.
Darryl Worley was the final act and really had the crowd worked up. First, he came out wearing a jacket over a seemingly red jersey style shirt. Please remember that Camp Phoenix is primarily made up of troops from the Oregon National Guard and the Oklahoma National Guard. Some time back in the college football season these two teams met on the field and Oregon came out on top, (we won't mention the obvious bad calls by refs, oh...I just did) Well, just before Darryl got started he mentioned he was awful hot and took off his jacket, revealing a Oklahoma Sooner's jersey. Now, in his defense (as he is from Tennessee and said he was already doomed for wearing the jersey from folks back home) we gave him the jersey and he said he would wear it since nobody else gave him a jersey to wear.
Guess that was about it.....oh, wait.....I forgot to mention getting up on stage with Al Franken, didn't I? Yeah, I didn't know what he had planned but he asked for a couple of soldiers to come up on stage.

Guess you need to check out tomorrow's post to find out what he had in store for me. Be safe and have a good day.

Friday, December 22, 2006

22 December 2006, USO Tour Hits Phoenix. Yes, we are all excited here as the Hope and Freedom Tour comes to Camp Phoenix. Let's go through the line-up for today's show.Al Franken - comedian/radio personality - Al Franken was one of two original writers for Saturday Night Live and spent more than 15 years with the show. He has written several political books, hosts a radio program and this is about his 8th USO tour since 1999. Although Al is considered very controversial and is outspoken on the Liberal side of the world, he does show a considerable appreciation for the U.S. troops overseas having been in Kosivo, Iraq and Afghanistan. We may not agree with him on many, many, uh....many topics, he is entertaining and hopefully will put on a great show.
Darryl Worley - Country Music Star. Darryl Worley has been on scene for several years now, and with at least 3 different CDs showing gratitude and support for veterans and service members. Those songs include POW 369, Have You Forgotten, and I Just Came Back From A War, which is on his newest CD Here and Now, and he is. Darryl has been doing USO tours since 2002.
Mark Wills - Country Music Star. Mark Wills is another singer that is on his 4th USO Tour. Mark just had dinner at the White House last week and is spending his Christmas time here with the troops. You can't ask too much more of a person who is willing to spend Christmas away from his family to bring a little piece of home to us here. And as his hit song says, The Crowd Goes Wild.

Keni Thomas - Veteran/Motivational Speaker/Rising Country Star. I had to use Wikipedia to find out about him, and I'm glad. 'A former Army Ranger and member of the elite Task Force Ranger assault unit, Thomas fought in the Somalia battle recounted in the book and motion picture Black Hawk Down. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the combat infantryman's badge. Thomas spent four more years in the Army as an assistant team leader for the 75th Ranger Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment. He got out of the Army to work as a counselor in an outdoor therapeutic program for troubled youth.'(courtesy of) He has done much in motivational speaking and has his own band, Cornbread.
Leeann Tweeden - sportscaster/model. Leeann Tweeden is on her 8th USO tour. She has been featured in Maxim, FHM and various other magazines as well as being a host on several sports shows.

We also have a duo called Washington Project and a couple of Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. Stay tuned for tomorrow to see how things turned out, with any luck, I'll get some pictures and autographs. Be safe and have a good day.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

21 December 2006, I had to post a little early yesterday because I had to sit at the front door of the DFAC for three hours. Why? Good question. Out of about 1500 people on this post there are about 10 that decided they don't want to wear identification like they are suppose to. The Army here has decided to combat this by posting 4 soldiers at the doors at each meal to tell these 10 people to put on their badges. So for the last several days we have pulled 12 soldiers from their normal tasks to sit at the DFAC. We won't mention ( I lied) that we also posted 2 soldiers at the PX for the same reason. We won't state the obvious here, that almost everyone on the post knows who they are or that we know where they work. To say that it gets more ridiculous is, well.....true. But I'll stop here. Anyway, I sat at the DFAC doors for 3 hours to tell these people that they needed to display their badges.
Afterwards I came back to my room. Then between 2000 hrs and 2200 hrs it apparently snowed about 2 inches. I noticed it when I went to take a shower and it was awesome. Most of it was still around today. The snow shovelers were out in the early morning hours scraping it off the boardwalks in our connex housing. I say early, remember I get up at around 5-530, and they had been working on it, (and it sounded like outside my door the entire time) for a couple of hours already.
The crud has really kicked my butt today and it wasn't until late this afternoon that I finally started feeling a little better.
We had some visitors come in just this afternoon, but I'll share more about that tomorrow. Be safe and have a good day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

20 December 2006, 100th Post. For such a grand occasion Blogger announced the official transition from old blogger to new blogger. I am once again honored that such people choose to make me feel special. I guess my teachers were right.
But really, you didn't come here to hear that, so is there anything I can say that will make your time more enjoyable? Well, only 4 more days till Christmas eve and then it's Christmas Day!! Certainly a favorite time of year for me. We are looking at a 50 % chance of snow tonight, and I'll have to check the weather to see if I will get to have a white Christmas. I started listening to my Christmas music yesterday.
In other news....well, I'm not sure if there is other news, it's been pretty quiet around Kabul, and of course, we like it that way. I'm going through the coughing, congested stages now of this crud. I did make it to PT today and did an hour of cardio, but I didn't push myself to the limits, as nobody would have enjoyed that very much. We stepped up on the scales afterwards and I was at 237 lbs, but that's the unofficial verdict so I will have to wait until the first of the month to do something official. I'm hoping I can knock another 2 lbs off and bring me down to 235 lbs. CPT C is working hard to catch me, he's lost over 40 lbs so far during this deployment and he wants to catch me on my weight. I told him I am going to stay 1 lb ahead of him at all times just to keep him motivated. He's only about 1-2 lbs away from me so I better get busy, either that or start leaving some homemade cookies by his desk and fatten him up some more, hmmmm.
That's about all I have on my end, be safe and have a good day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

19 December 2006, The Battle Rages. Don't worry, it's not that kind of battle. I'm coming down with something, even though the Army insisted I take their flu shot. I was pretty bad off yesterday, even taking a half day off to sleep. The illness seems to be taking it's course in reverse, as the worst part was Sunday night-Monday morning.
For those of you who showed concern reading my last post, maybe I should have started with the responses I got just for turning it in. MAJ M, (formerly known as CPT M) started laughing when I handed it to him. I asked him what was so funny and he stated it was just his anticipation of what I wrote. Remember, LTC Y will tell you I was just brought for comic relief.
This afternoon I had my choice of torture. I chose to go to an ISAF briefing. "I'll tell you whatever you want to know, just stop the briefing!!" rang through my head several times during that 3 hours. Actually, I should have recorded the briefing and then market it next to Sounds of the Ocean, or Highland Wind Chimes and other relaxation CDs.
Not much else to report, be safe and have a good day.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

17 December 2006, Narrow Escape. Today started liked every other day here in Afghanistan for me, way too early. But that's not the point. We left camp this morning around 1000 hrs to finish up the police sub-station project you have been reading about. At 1058 hrs, it all began. Below is the debriefing statement I gave, with the omitting of names, all other information is as I reported it:
"At 171158LDEC06 our convoy had finished the construction at the sub-station located at the above grid. Before we could leave, several members of the convoy heard gunfire 100 meters east of our location. Immediately, the patrol set up a defensive position providing for 360 degrees of coverage. SFC M and SPC M defended the western flank to deny any enemy forces from attacking. CPL L and SPC T assembled to the east providing coverage from the direction of the gunfire. 2LT M immediately established contact with the ANP Officer in charge at the sub-station and with the assistance fo the interpreter began gathering intelligence to ascertain our situation. I maintained a position that would allow me to communicate with both our security elements at this crucial time. The sound of approximately 7 rounds had us all on edge. 2LT M was quickly able to determine that the ANP was attempting to arrest a _ _ worker. After several tense minutes we were able to extract ourselves without further incident. Although rattled, we were able to continue our mission."
Now, before you get all excited, I'll tell you the real story. We had just finished the construction, and my LT was talking with some elders of the villages surrounding us. I went to my truck and sat down. I then began to eat some potato bread CPL L had gotten for us from a vendor. I looked over at another guy and he made a motion. I opened my door and he said they had just heard some shots fired. (If you haven't read it before, I had to have a waiver for my hearing, it's that bad) I didn't hear any shots fired, but could see the ANP had two pickups about 100 meters from us and were definitely doing something. I won't mention names but someone, not me, called in to headquarters and made the statement "We're taking fire". If I had been closer to this individual I would have slapped him in the back of his helmet. (That's because this incident was much like me getting taken off a bicycle by a real clothes line and the other officer making the comment over the radio, "Officer down". Anyway, we contacted headquarters again and let them know that we only heard gunfire and that we were not engaged in anything. Within a couple of minutes the whole incident was over and the man they were looking for was in custody. My only concern during the incident was that I really needed to travel in that direction and I was hoping they would be gone soon. Other than that, it's been a normal, boring day, which in a war is a good thing.
Be safe and have a good day.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

16 December 2006, Building Afghanistan II, The ANP (Kabul Police) officers didn't show up this morning. This isn't a bad thing, because I was able to work on the wall without their assistance. It was a nicer day weather wise. Yesterday we saw snow flakes on occasion and today was all sunshine. After about 2 hours I had the wall finished and had made a door handle for the outside of it. If you notice the pictures, there isn't a handle anywhere.
This didn't seem to bother the Afghans at all, it would have been one of the first things asked about back in the states, "I'm sorry, where's the door handle?" I am planning on going back to the first site and installing the handle as well as putting in a window if I can. Even Marshall Matt Dillon from GunSmoke had a nicer office than this, but it's a start. The scale of police work involved at this level is very low. They have branched out to having investigators, but the grunt work almost revolves entirely around traffic detail and setting up checkpoints. Anyway, let's get on with the pictures from yesterday.
We offloaded the wall and began to set it in place.

U.S. and ANP pull security so I can play, (um) I mean work.

Promo shot for Dewalt Tools, I'm waiting by my computer for that endorsement deal.

The crew is all set now. Now only 5 more is what I hear. Guess I'm going to be busy. Yeah.

Tonight is Ab Lab and I'm just about ready to go. I need it, I just don't want it. Lousy sleeping last night. Such is life in Afghanistan. Be safe and have a good day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

15 December 2006, Building Afghanistan. I've noticed that when looking through my archive, that I give the date first and then start typing what's on my mind. There are a couple of posts that I have done that I consider good work. However, since I don't title my posts, it could make it difficult to find it again. So from now on, for me, and for anyone else out there, I am going to do the date followed by a very short title, then I will start typing whatever is on my mind. Today, it's mostly sawdust.

As I mentioned, today I worked with 4 Afghanistan National Police Officers in building two walls with doors for the connexes we donated to them to be used as sub-stations within the district we reside in.
I was fortunate in the fact that two of the officers spoke some English and this helped to speed the process up some what. CPL L took two of them and they got some pencils and paper pads gathered for a future mission coming up to give to the children at a school. We have been very active in our community in building clinics and schools, putting together medical clinics to provide basic medical care for the villagers and donating literally tons of goods shipped from home. There are times it doesn't seem like enough, but it's our little piece of Kabul and we are doing what we can.
While CPL L was doing that, I had the other two with me and we started building the second wall based on the dimensions of the first one. With a couple of hours we had two walls and then started on the doors for both. As I mentioned out there in the yard and as Mrs. Dub can attest, I am handy around the house, but doors and windows are not my forte. Within an hour, I was proving myself right. I had to disassemble the first door twice because I was making it too big for the opening. We broke for lunch and treated the ANP officers to the DFAC. I hope it was a treat for them, I stayed with the corn dogs and onion rings. After lunch, we finished the doors and then took a convoy down to Massoud Circle where one of the connexes was located. Within 30 minutes it was put in place and looked ok. Our plan is to go back and using the spray foam insulation seal the cracks and openings that need it. It was getting close to being dark out so we stopped by the second sub-station and made some measurements and then headed back to camp.
Tomorrow I will hopefully post the rest of the pictures showing us putting them in place. All in all, a fun day,(if LTC Y is reading this, I wasn't having fun, it was hard work, really hard work). Be safe and have a good day.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

14 December 2006, If I'm not here tomorrow this is why. CPT M in my office is growing his mustache. He decided it has grown enough that it could be captured on film, and asked me to take the picture. If you haven't guessed by now, I'm mischievous. I sent him the copy of the picture, and then the gears in my head started turning. I had one of my airmen find a background that has animated snow falling. We also have a Homer Simpson Santa figure that sings Christmas carols and dances. I took CPT M's head, Homer's body, painted a roof top and chimney on the snow falling background and added Homer Simpson singing Jingle Bells to a PowerPoint slide, which will of course, be seen tonight at the Battalion briefing. If that wasn't enough, I took LT M's picture, which we put his head on an elf a couple of weeks ago, and today have him floating down from the sky onto the rooftop during the song.
The rest of the day, I spent getting paperwork done. we didn't have PT this morning so I'm not as sore today as I was from yesterday's run but tonight is the ab workout again. I'm feeling pretty good, so hopefully, here in a bit, I'll head over and get a good workout done before hand and then do the ab class. Right now, my biggest problem is staying awake. I keep saying I'm going to go to bed earlier and I stay up till 2200-2300 hrs.
Here are a couple more pictures from our trip two days ago. The first one shows you a closer look at the houses on the mountain. The construction is mainly mud bricks, some concrete, and wood.

I'm not sure if these were houses or just bunkers of some sort. But as you can see, plenty of mountains all around. Well, not much else from my side of the world. Be safe and have a great day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

13 December 2006, will I be staying in the office anymore? I took another trip today, this one only an hour long and we didn't get the mission accomplished, so guess that means another trip out soon. I was also informed today that I shall be "dubbed" (hehe) Head Construction Guy this weekend. We have given some old connexes to the Police District we are in so they may use them as sub stations. Well, to make them more winter friendly I have been instructed to build fronts for them so that they can have a door and be enclosed. You know what this means....POWER TOOLS, HAHAHAHAHAHA. I have been telling everyone here that I was trying to get fired from my job in the office and be sent to self help, this is about as close as I'll get. Of course, I have guys back home that have already said I was helping them with some roofing projects, Mrs. Dub said I have a kitchen to remodel, bathroom to remodel, barn to in law bought my old house, so it's in pretty good shape already. If I can only win the lottery, I would just go around and fix things all the time.
Anyway, let's get to the pictures I wanted to share today. I looked around on the Internet and wasn't able to find a picture of the Queen's Palace in all it's glory, so I'll just post this one as it stands today.

This next picture is several houses with a view, although the smog and haze take that view away.

Fortunately the sky is much clearer where they are. I just wouldn't want to live at the top or the bottom, somewhere lower middle works best.

This next shot is the mountain range in south Kabul still near the Queen's Palace. The building on top of the hill is the old Russian Officer's Club. It stood stripped and abandoned for several years to include when we were here the last time. We went up there several times during our first trip for the spectacular view it offered. Someone finally decided it was worth fixing up.

We went out on the track this morning and ran 3 miles. Let's just say that that my body and I are not on speaking terms at the moment, although it is yelling at me for doing that. The fact that I have been working out is probably the only thing that kept me from falling over from this week. Time to go, be safe and have a good day.