sgtdub: April 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

29 April 2007, I'll definitely need a reminder to pay my internet bill tomorrow. It will be the last day of the month. This should be the last time though.
We had 2-3 rockets fired at the airport last night. To my knowledge, no significant damage and no injuries or deaths reported yet. Today has been better and all the celebrations are officially over and done with.
All in all it's been a quiet day and I don't have much to report on. If you didn't stop by Miss Dub's site and let her know how good her drawing was, please take a minute and do so. I was able to watch a movie last night before retiring for the evening and watched "Night at the Museum" with Ben Stiller. It was a good movie and I certainly enjoyed seeing Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney again. Ben Stiller is improving with each new movie, (or am I just getting used to him by now) I might watch another one tonight, but haven't decided which one to see.
Be safe and have a great day.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

28 April 2007, well, you know the guy to the left, that's me. That's what I look like. Today, though, I look more different than I have in my 41 years so far. I went and did it finally. Now, Mrs. Dub says she would prefer I didn't get a tattoo and i can respect that, but this isn't about tattoos. (Got her)

I stopped by the optometrist today and had an eye exam because my left eye is getting a little blurry when reading books, computer, and maps. They made these while I waited. When I get home, I will look into getting a better looking pair of glasses but these will do for the time being and they do help. They are just for reading.

Today, the Afghans celebrate their freedom from Russian rule that occurred during the late 70's - 80's. As I have mentioned, it's more about the former military than anything. Some on camp thought the bazaar we had schedule yesterday would be cancelled because the Afghans would rather celebrate. I think I saw the biggest bazaar yet, and I didn't even go down there. I competed a couple of projects and will be working on finishing up a couple more before Monday. We've had a couple of reports of bombers being stopped, but I haven't seen anything confirming validity about it yet. Not only have I stayed inside the wire today, I managed to slip back to my room at around 2 p.m. and got a good bit of blog reading done whilst I was printing some of those certificates off.

Be safe and have a great day.

Miss Dub finally drew my portrait in Japanese anime/DragonballZ style per my request, she used the desert camos for this ine, I really like it.

Friday, April 27, 2007

27 April 2007, If you remember, I still can't log into blogger on this computer for some reason. So, I start reading your blogs and get logged in when I leave a comment, I know, I'm using you, but at least I'm enjoying it. Anyway, sometimes, I get to reading and it takes a little while before I realize that I haven't updated myself yet. And that brings us to today.I slept ok but had a touch of indigestion from all the food and juice I had last night, I don't regret it, it was good, I remember how the meat was falling off the bone, did I mention that? hehehe. I'm currently working on interpreter certificates, Air Force awards, other certificates, walked 3 miles today with my assault pack, and had pizza for dinner. If you are catching the news about events in Afghanistan, my neck of the country is doing ok at the moment.
Well, time to get back to reading what happened in your world today. Be safe and have a great day.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

26 April 2007, Am I running late today? Well, I guess so, but I'm safe and sound, and full. One of the security companies here in Kabul are pulling out and invited us over for a cookout. We've had a very good relationship with them. They started off with grilled sausage links, yep, had some of those. Then the roasted potatoes were done, had a plate. Then the steaks were done, had one of those, well done, and the meat was falling apart. Then shouting the bull for a couple of hours and the rest of the steaks were done, so I had another one. And over the course of the evening I had two cokes and four glasses of pineapple juice. I'm very full. This was my first steak (and second) since September 21 of last year when I left Oklahoma (again) after 15 short days of leave to see my wonderful family. Did I mention the meat was falling off the bone?
Today was a good day and I stayed pretty busy. I spent 3 hours in briefings today before we left for the other compound. I haven't been around to my usual blog route in a couple of days but I hope to fix that soon. I certainly miss reading and I hate getting behind in it. It's already 10:30 p.m. so I better stop for now. Be safe and have a great day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

25 April 2007, My room is a complete mess at the moment. I've been running so much that I haven't kept my room straightened. Mrs. Dub can tell you this is a chore on a good day. I did at least make my bed. I will try to make this a priority soon.
The Afghans celebrate the freedom from the Soviet Union this coming weekend. Well, I should say that the government celebrates this more so than the people themselves. This is one of the largest events, in Kabul anyway, and the parade route ties up a considerable amount of main roads and has caused some inconvenience for many during this last month.
As I had mentioned yesterday, BG Deering came over from Oklahoma to visit with us. The 45th is preparing for a mission in support of Iraqi Freedom during 2008. The National Guard and Reserves have been used quite a bit during the last fives years and the Pentagon is finally trying to get a schedule established so that some predictability in future deployments can come into existence. It is hypothesized that with this next deployment year putting a cramp on units who have done a mobilization in just the last few years, a rotation can start that would ensure us soldiers some time home. The proposal is that only one deployment every five years allow families and employers the ability to plan ahead and are better prepared to deal with the absence of citizen soldiers. Of course, an immediate strain is required to get that plan on line. BG Deering assured us that nobody on this deployment would be required to go next year on that mission. I'm trying to remember if I heard the words "at this time" or not. I better check Wikipedia and make sure that BG Deering wasn't a recruiter at any point during his career.
My neighbor behind my connex, seems to be doing a major reconstruction plan over the last 3 days. I'm not sure how much you can put into a 7 x 9 cell, but they are finding a way to keep busy every evening.
Be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

24 April 2007, Well, a very busy day for me. BG Deering from the 45th Infantry Bde in Oklahoma came for a visit and as the acting OPS NCO I was running out in front of them to make sure the next item on the agenda was in order. It's 2000 hrs now, and things are over. A good day all in all.
We had our official weigh-in this morning and I was at 232 and 23.5% body fat. Yes, it's still too much, but at least I'm well under the maximum of 26% allowed for an old fart. I have heard that taking weight off slower is the best way as it tends to stay off at a better success rate than quickly lost weight. Well, it's been slow alright, but at least it's coming off. No walking for me over the last two days. Probably be back on it tomorrow, we will see.
I realized this evening after dinner, that I've had spaghetti for three meals in the last two days. I like spaghetti, but by tonight I was getting tired of it. It might be time to head back over to Subway tomorrow, and I still have my hamburger helper.
The local police and government agencies found and disarmed a vehicle borne IED yesterday on a major route. They are getting much better at this and as I mentioned, the local population is finally starting to contact the authorities when they feel something isn't right. Certainly a positive note and shows we are going in the right direction.
I'll sign off for now. Be safe and have a great day.

Monday, April 23, 2007

23 April 2007. It only takes me 18 minutes to wake up, brush my teeth, shave, get dress and be at work. If I don't wake up to my alarm that is set earlier than that and I wake up 22 minutes before I need to be at work, did I still oversleep? Well, needless to say, I had a rough morning of it, and after a long meeting this afternoon, I'm totally wiped out.
In between there I was able to practice my questioning skills once more we had detained a guy outside the camp today. I ended up taking him at his word and we released him shortly afterwards. I think this is the second one this week.
I'm not able to come up with anything else to talk about tonight, so we will end this one here. I'll check out a few sights I didn't get to yesterday, shower and call it a night. Be safe and have a great day.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

22 April 2007, another week under the belt. We are almost finished with April, I'm so glad the time is moving fast. Today was Sunday, not much happened in the office. This afternoon we went to Camp Souter to meet with our British counterparts, and of course, eat dinner. I had the steak and mushroom pie, potatoes, gravy, green beans and carrots. I haven't had anything off of our main line in the DFAC in a very long time, but the British put on a very nice spread. During our first deployment in 2003-2004, we managed to make our way over to the Canadian camp once a week, and of course, planned those meetings around meal time. It's fasicinating because, they all come to Camp Phoenix to eat. I guess it's just something different.
The winds picked up this afternoon and for a brief period we had a decent dust storm that brought visibility down to just to a matter of feet.
Mrs. Dub told me she let the dogs and the goats into the same fenced in area yesterday, we have Carin Terriers, and both dogs got head butted. This is funny and it's a shame she didn't get it on video.
My biggest chore in the next few days will be getting to the post office on camp. Does anyone want to stand in line for me? If you think the line is long and takes forever back home, try standing in one where you have to have everything inspected before you box it up. Well, that' s all I have on this end. Be safe and have a great day.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

21 April 2007, Well, our internet today is as slow as molasses on a cold morning. There was an explosion in southern Kabul today, I'm not aware of any injuries or deaths associated with it at this time.
I spent most of the day working on cleaning up the storage room, and then a few smaller projects.
CSM B and I did 3 miles this evening, it felt pretty good. Tomorrow I will go without the pack and then alternate everyday.
I slept great last night and hope for that again tonight. Really not much to report on today, but no news is good news. I hope every one is enjoying your Saturday, Mrs. Dub is about to start mowing the yard. She's going to try and get it done before they get some rain. I'm ready to be home and help with that stuff, I can bring her a fresh glass of water, wave to her from the front porch, you know be supportive to her.
(Isn't it a good thing I"m out of arms reach right now?)
Be safe and have a great day.

Friday, April 20, 2007

20 April 2007, Happy Dance Friday to all!! I am worn out but today was fun, great and I had a ball. I got to play with skytrak forklift today, aarrrrrrhhhh, aarrrrrhhh, aarrrrrhhhh. I went down to the connex yard in the back this morning and we were loading up two connexes to be shipped back home. During the last two hours, I got trained up on using a skytrak forklift which I have been wanting to do for about two years now. I was able to move 4x4x4 sized crates around, stack them and then put them inside the connexes. It was fun, and hopefully I'll get it put on my military license before we leave here. I couldn't find anyone who had brought a camera with them, so all I could find was this picture. Mine is O.D. green, but the orange one would be cool too.
I got plenty of sun and I'm toast, but when you get to make work fun, it's worth it. I told CSM B that I would pick up on the walking again tomorrow. SrA W managed to get some bratwurst links on camp so we are having a picnic of sorts outside the office in a little bit. Usually to find something like this you have to go to one of two grocery stores in Kabul that I am aware of that are set up like your typical store and a bit pricey but getting to indulge every now and then is great.The stores are mainly set up for the coalition forces around Kabul. I'm not sure where these came from but we can hardly wait to eat.
Everything else is going pretty good, the weekend is upon you, be safe and have a great day.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

19 April 2007, Today is the anniversary of the Murrah Building Bombing in Oklahoma City, this happened twelve years ago. I was at basic training that day and learning about traffic control points. We had heard that morning that a federal building blew up, but nothing more. Most of us from Oklahoma figured a gas line eruption or something along that line. Who knew what we later learned could have occurred. However, another tragedy has happened that has everyone talking. My heart goes out for those students and their families. Lt R is from Virginia so he feels that connection much like I did in Oklahoma.
However, the media of course, is beating this horse as they do every other story they ever get. This is wrong, yes we want answers, but giving this the coverage 24 hours a day until you make people sick isn't the answer we want.
I was reading one of the scrolling messages at the bottom of the newscast and Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Kennedy, Sen. Kerry and other liberals are saying we can't win in Virginia and are demanding the National Guard be pulled out of the state. I'm not sure what they were thinking.
I did 2 1/2 miles after lunch with the 23 pound assault pack, then 4 1/2 miles after dinner this evening. I told the Sergeant Major I'd be calling in sick in the morning. He wants to do at least 6 miles everyday. I'll see if I can hang with him. Everything else went pretty good today. I slept good last night with the exception of waking up from 0100 to 0230. I'm going to take my shower in a little bit and get to bed.
You do know I was kidding about the Pelosi comment, right?
Be safe and have a great day.
I also forgot to mention HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BOTH OF MY SISTERS IN LAW, C.C. was yesterday and L.W. is today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

18 April 2007, here I am. Ok. we finished our video conference with our Oklahoma National Guard. They are focusing on us getting demobilized and back to Oklahoma. This is the difficult part of the deployment, maintaining our awareness and our missions while still serving here and preparing everything that is required to get us out of here. It's a juggling act for sure. Today I spent the morning going to the downtown camp to take care of some contract issues, part of it was taken care of, the other part will hopefully get taken care of soon. I've been attempting to get this settled for over a month now, and between insurgent activity and the good guys with their "red tape" it's amazing no one has been hurt in the process. I had to release my "very anger face" and held it long enough to get someone to compromise and alleviate the situation this morning. Of course, inside my head, I was just thinking "this is typical b.s. and I'm tired of it" but the outside looked like I was going to "lock and load" on somebody. Well, as I have perfected this look, and believe me, if I'm not cutting up and joking with someone, you know somethings wrong. So, my biggest challenge is holding a straight face for any given length of time.
This afternoon was spent packing up the boxes and getting the forms printed, emailed, filed, blah blah blah. Then I changed over to my P.T. uniform, put on my assault pack, picked up a case of water and put it in the pack and did 3 miles with LTC Y. I forgot to mention we played ping pong yesterday, and forced him into an extended match with him winning 22-20. Yes, a victory in my eyes. Well, it's time for bed now. Thanks for stopping by, be safe and have a great day.
18 April 2007, I'll post more after while, I have a couple of meetings to attend right now.
Be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Just a quick note. Miss Dub has put the letter on her site too, but more importantly, she has posted her feelings about the letter and it's contents. Thank you all for your kind words, prayers and support.
17 April 2007. Well, I'm still at work at the moment. I'm about to sneak out so I can go to the gym and workout. It looks like the next week will be rather busy but it does make the time go by faster.
I slept a good 7 hours last night and felt pretty good today. I mainly worked on straighting up the new office spot I have acquired as 1SG R left today. I'll be combining his duties with mine.
The night before last, the city decided to tear up the road in front of the camp to resurface it. This makes a lot of sense and I believe they have been trained by the Oklahoma Dept of Transportation. It was the smoothest piece of road in a 5 mile area and they haven't finished any other part of the road they have been working on in the last year we have been here. They have remained out there for the last two days and at least appear to be doing something. We will see how it goes.
The biggest piece of news I have at the moment is a letter my daughter wrote. As a class assignment they were asked to write a Any Soldier letter and they would be mailed out. She thought the letters would go to Iraq. Well, a Major serving in the Bde here was the recipient of the group of letters and he recognized of course the unit and the last name. Major E brought the letter over to LTC Y and then they showed it to me. I was able to scan it and sent it to Mrs. Dub. I gave her a little bit of grief saying she could write to another soldier but not to me. Of course, I was just joking with her and I was very proud of the letter she wrote. Prior to our first deployment we went to an awards assembly at her school. I didn't know anything about what her project had been at the time until we arrived at the school. I found that she had been awarded 1st Place for her painting of her hero, me. This made me cry then and swell with pride for my daughter. The letter yesterday did the same. Here is what it said:
"Dear U.S. Soldier,
My name is ______, and I would like to thank you for all that you have done for our country. I know what your family is going through with you half way around the world, only able to talk to them every few days, sometimes longer. My dad is with the 45th infantry and the 180th infantry from Oregon. This is his second tour to Afghanistan. I really appreciated everything you are doing to help keep this great nation free.
I hope you and your comrades are kept safe. Our prayers are with you and the rest of the troops. I deeply cherish the sacrifice you make on a daily basis to be away from your family, friends, home, and country. I know it's hard, but you seem to always keep strong and never give up. This country may have some people who don't appreciate what you are doing, but know that everything you do is for a good cause. To keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave.
when you troops come home, you help make it the home of the brave. I don't go to at night without praying for you and the others serving with you. I can't wait till you and your comrades can come home to your families! It will be such a joyous reunion.
So, with that said, I thank you again for everything you have done in order to keep this great nation free. You of all people know that freedom is never free. I hope God keeps you safe throughout the rest of your deployment.
God bless you, your comrades, families and everyone else serving to endure and protect freedom."
I've got a pretty good kid on my hands. MAJ E said he wanted to keep the letter to frame it. I was fine with that.
Be safe and have a great day.

Monday, April 16, 2007

16 April 2007, Happy Funday and Monkey Monday to all. Yep, we started another week together. From the looks of this post, I have short choppy sentences set up. The brain just doesn't want to function properly at the moment.
My days are going to get busier, as of tomorrow I will be taking over some of the responsibilities of the office First Sergeant.
I slept a wonderful 9 hours last night but it still didn't seem like enough. I'm feeling tired right now so I'm hoping for another good night's rest.
I'm also packing the rest of our equipment and getting it ready to be packed away so it can go back to the U.S.
I checked my site on Alexa a few minutes ago. I found the following results:
I'm ranked 2,222,315 overall.
In the Philippines I ranked 60,228
In the U.K. where they say 62% of my readers come from I ranked 62,765.
In Canada I ranked 90,907.
In the United States I ranked 1,650,649.
Alexa offered to sell me a t-shirt, this is a picture of it.

It says ".000025% say my site rocks!" Yeah, that's right, it's a positive number. and you thought I was just another pretty face. (please note, I couldn't keep a straight face typing that).

In really important news, I had several boxes of mail today. A combination of The Salem Riverways Girl Scout Troop 507 and the Citizens of Salem Missouri sent me more cookies!! A HUGE thank you and a loud shout out to these young ladies. I will be sending them a special present very soon.

Be safe and have a great day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

15 April 2007, I was doing fine till about 5:30 p.m. today. I went to bed last night at 11:00 p.m. and woke up at 2:00 a.m. And didn't get back to sleep. If you noticed a few more entries yesterday/today, it's because I was looking for things to do since I wasn't sleeping. I did tell myself several times to go to the gym, but my other self just laid there and whined about not wanting to get up because I would fall asleep in just a few minutes anyway, (the whiner was wrong!) Anyway, went to work and had a great day. But at 5:30 this evening my mind crashed and I'm not going to do anything else on the internet after this post for fear I might start sounding a little more loopy than normal. Be safe and have a great day.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Blogger's Choice Awards. This is a Pay Per Post Ad, but you have already heard me talking about it this week. It's the Blogger's Choice Awards by PostieCon, just follow the link to best blog Anyone can nominate. Anyone can vote. Both require you to fill out a quick sign-up and you can only vote once per blog per category. What kind of categories are there? Well, there's the Freakiest Blog, Hottest Mommy and Hottest Daddy Blogs, Best Travel Blog, Best Photography, Politics, Animal, Best Blog of All Time and many, many more. Who has the Worst Blog or is the most Obnoxious Blogger this year? Over the last week I have seen nominations going through the roof. The big race at the moment seems to be for Best Celebrity Blog with the lead changing frequently. Voting ends on May 22, and the results will be announced at PostieCon. PostieCon is taking place in Orlando Florida on June 2nd. Which blog site do you have to go to each day for that daily dose of laughter, then go find out if they have been nominated for Best Humor Blog, and cast that vote. Forget the Oscar, forget the Grammy, forget that Golden Globe, this year it's real people with real blogs. so get out there and vote.

If you ever wanted to vote for a celebrity, now is your chance. Ross Mathews, the intern for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is in the race to win the Blogger's Choice Awards. Go here to vote for him. This is an order! He's currently 800 votes behind another person who has obviously been promoting herself. I don't think Sarge Charlie wants one of his former Yellow Bellied Sap Suckers down in his part of the country. If you agree, put this on your site too.
14 April 2007, well, last night Mrs. Dub told me to take no chances today. You see, while the rest of you fear Friday the 13th, I have the same bad luck with Saturday the 14th. Now, the only thing even remotely close to bad luck today, so far, was having to sit in a meeting that wasn't a very good meeting at all. The person running the meeting started off with, "well, we don't have everyone we need, so let's just do introductions and we'll meet again next week." Forty-five minutes later, we leave.
So, today wasn't too bad. Maj F has me working on a wood project, I'll try to snap some pictures along the way. I'm a little rushed on one of them, but I think we can meet all the time tables set forth. Not much else is happening at the moment, and that's always good. I did notice a large gap between myself and the other person we discussed yesterday, I feel much better now, and I thank you.
Be safe and have a great day.

Friday, April 13, 2007

13 April 2007, Friday the 13th. Always a good day in my book. In fact, the only glitch I had was getting a wood splinter in my thumb. My worst day has always been Saturday the 14th, yes, I am a rebel. The Gabbard turned 24 today, you remember him from the Ghar. I've approached him about doing the Gabbard the Guru column, so if you can bear to hear his answers, send in the questions.
The 2nd annual blogger's choice awards are under way. Now I managed to find them and started voting on who my favorite (favourite) bloggers were and then it finally happened. People started throwing my name around. Yes, I know, that happens a lot, but this time there were no charges or warrants being associated with my name, only nominations for awards. I want to say thank you for the nominations and for the votes I have gotten thus far. Now for my plea, I am completely fine with finishing in the top 10,100 or so, however, I have found one blog site that repels me and I've noticed that in the 3 categories I am listed in she seems to be just right ahead of me. Now, to avoid any Google association link between us, I'll call her "R""O""S""I""E" from that show the "V""I"'E""W". I only ask that if you deem it appropriate, send some votes my way to separate the two of us. Now, please fill free to vote for any of your truly favorite sites out there. The awards show will be in Florida on June 2nd, if I read that correctly.
Our British counterparts were over this afternoon, and we have been doing what we can to get them up to speed. Lt M wanted me to join them for dinner. He doesn't think the steak and seafood night is all that bad, so I had a baked potato and a salad. We talked for a bit and then burned some products off to CD for them. It's a nice night and I certainly enjoy having my door open on my connex to allow semi-fresh air in.
Well, not much more to report, be safe and have a great day.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

12 April 2007, ah, what a nice day. Of course, I didn't get out in it, hardly, but it looked nice when I came out of the cave of an office we work in. The question was posed today, "what if they told you to be ready to leave in two hours to go home?" Well, I just couldn't get packed, honestly in that short of a time frame. Guess I better get myself busy. So, I just packed one foot locker to mail back home, sorry honey, it's the first one. Of course, this foot locker has been around the globe now, twice. It's brother will make it's maiden voyage a few days later, as I need to work on packing it. I think, that after I mail those two home, I can get most of the rest of my stuff into the other two larger black boxes to ship home with our equipment. Then I only have my large ruck sack and two duffel bags to carry....and my assault pack, and my weapon....
I guess it was a lucky thing my computer and bag got stolen, I ran out of arms to carry stuff.
Back home the 45th Infantry Bde has been selected to mobilize earlier than expected and will be going to Iraq in 2008. The 41st BCT, Oregon National Guard is already slated to return here in 2009. Anybody else want to call us weekend warriors? I haven't talked with very many soldiers that are complaining. We would love to be home, but we understand the importance of the missions. It's part of the give and take we signed up for with the National Guard and to be called upon by our state or our country to serve when needed. Does it put a stress on family and employers, yes. Just one of the reasons I call home everyday. Our last deployment I called home twice a week and emailed everyday. This deployment, I have relied on the blog to keep family informed, and now friends, and I have called home everyday. I've missed a couple of days here and there due to one reason or another, sneaking home to surprise Mrs. Dub during leave in September was one of them. I won't be able to pull that off again, but she can't handle that kind of surprise too many times. My division and shift does feel the pain of having officers gone. Of course, I save them money on hospitals visits by me.
Well, I weighed yesterday at 232 lbs, went to the gym yesterday morning before work and am about to head to cardio and ab lab in a few minutes. Be safe and have a great day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

11 April 2007. What's headlining the news today? The real father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby has been announced. I'm really sorry that we couldn't have had a reality program dedicated to this, perhaps, "Who's your Daddy?" This season's winner was some guy called, Birkhead, I think? Anyway, I did catch part of his interview after exiting the courthouse. When asked what he was going to do next, his reply was, "I'm gonna leave Daniellyn with Howard and I'm going to Disney World!" Yes, this child is in good hands.
Camp life has been good today, we learned several new knots to tie and tonight we are roasting marsh mellows. Oh, I forgot, I'm in Afghanistan, not summer camp.
It was another busy day in that I was just moving from project to project. I finally sneaked out about 1630 and came back to my room. I had a discussion with a Captain about the importance of carrying your ID card with you if you're gonna move around the country topped my list today. Did I mention I won that one?
This morning we went downtown to take care of some business at another camp. We found a Dutch restaurant there that had a great breakfast menu. We had to use these items to cut and pick up the food with called utensils. These were made out of some sort of metal, nothing like the plastic ones we use at Phoenix. It was a treat.
As you can see, I'm just a little bit silly today. You're probably thinking I'm even further off my rocker than the other day. Well, that could be, or I could just be tired too. I did make it to the gym this morning, after weighing 234 with shoes, I did my cardio workout. Well, not much else to report today, be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

10 April 2007, You think you're confused? You should wear my boots for a day. I must admit that my mind hit on several topics at once, but I told you that in the first place. I just continued with it.
I spent part of today working on gathering paperwork for soldiers who we have scheduled for schools upon our return. It's amazing, I had no problems pulling mine up and getting them printed off. But I haven't had another soldier I'm trying to get done work out the same. I will attempt again tomorrow to tackle this problem.
I mentioned the other day that I was glad that a shopkeeper called the police when he thought another person was suspicious. I told you this was a good sign as it meant the people were giving a little trust to the police, who have been corrupt for too long. We had another small humanitarian drop for a very select and limited group of Afghans just down the street a couple of days ago. One of our mission statements is to "put an Afghan face" on every mission we do. The people need to see Afghans helping Ahghans. Well, we brought along the ANP (Afghanistan National Police) to assist with the drop. What I found out later was that the police were stopping each taxi that the families came in after we gave them food and clothing and were taking a portion of it for themselves. This is unacceptable and hopefully we will get it addressed with the PD commander in the near future. This is, however, almost a way of life for the people of this country. As I mentioned yesterday, there is no easy fix to a problem of this magnitude, but I believe it can be fixed and should be.
The Taliban ruled over Afghanistan through fear and intimidation. One weapon in their arsenal is education, or should we say lack of. A simple way to rule a people is to not let them be educated. If they are only taught what you need them to know, they will never know any better. Freedom to learn was not a right under Taliban rule. Women were forbidden to learn. Women could be executed for things like this. Since 2002, this has been lifted and all children are back in school. I have seen a report that over 300 schools have been burned since 2002. Most are in the outlining communities were the government and coalition forces have not been able to secure yet.
We did a school supplies drop last week here in Kabul.

We brought supplies for the school and each student got a packet that contained notebooks, pens, pencils, markers and a few other items.
Grace at Echos of Grace pulled a nice surprise on me. In case you haven't seen it, I have a link on the side bar called Sgt Dub's Store. I designed one item and never got around to doing anything else with it. Well, she apparently bought a shirt and sported it on her site today. Thank you Grace.
Be safe and have a great day.

Monday, April 09, 2007

09 April 2007. I had a couple of different things come to mind about posting for today, but my day didn't lend a helping hand with it. No problems here, don't worry. I started off, with I have some pictures from a supply drop at a school. I will do this one later this week. My second thought was to post about some new sites I found about Afghanistan. I stumbled upon a directory of sorts that lists many sites dedicated to the struggle here in Afghanistan, but I'll do that one later too. It will be interesting as I found some of them to be negative, others hopeful and still more much happier. Along with those, there was more information about the government, the military, the business opportunities and so on.
I started my day off with no particular plans of doing much outside of the office. I ended up going to a meeting at the police district headquarters during my morning and a meeting at ISAF during the afternoon. Then after all that a company meeting with the First Sergeant. Don't tell Oregon, but I'm glad they canceled the other meeting that was on my schedule for this evening, NCODP. That might have been what did it for me. I was in no particular mood today, but after the First Sergeant's meeting I was in a pretty good mood. No, this isn't much of a stretch for me as you might know, I stay in a good mood most of the time.
Can someone speak with Al Gore and find out why Ohio had a White Easter? Speaking of Global Warming and Easter. You do realize that believing in this stuff is actually denying Christ as Peter did in the garden? That to put stock in Global Warming is rejecting a higher power, a creator, my God. If Easter was about Jesus resurrecting from the grave, then God is in control of all we do, and the earth will be around and operating as long as He sees fit.
I have been reading some great posts lately out there in my little circle of the blogsphere. I want to say thank you and keep it up. I want to also say thank you to each one of you who truly support the men and women wearing the uniforms of the military forces, U.S., British, Canadian, French, German, Afghan and Iraqi. I am by no means an expert on much, but having been in this country for a total of 20 months on two separate occasions now, I know what is working and what isn't. There is no easy fix, we spent 30+ years in Germany before Berlin became one city united, we are still in Korea after 50+ years. There is some fine tuning that needs to be done, some ideas and programs probably scrapped all together, but we can not under any circumstances quit. Quiting and failure are simply not an option against this enemy.
Well, for not knowing what I wanted to put in this post, I think I've said a mouthful.
West Coast, Happy Funday, East Coast, Happy Monkey Monday. Be safe and have a great day.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

08 April 2007, I heard a large disturbance outside in the plaza, then realized it was the Sunrise service marking the resurrection of Christ, it's Easter Sunday. May God bless you on this day.
On a lighter note, you might have stopped by Mrs. Dub's site and seen the Easter bunny from 2004. Here is his return picture for 2007.
07 April 2007, Today, I have pictures to share. Things were much nicer today and the weather is nice. Yesterday, besides everything else going on, we had a group of soldiers go climb the Ghar. The Ghar is just a mountain, and supposedly the highest point in the Kabul area. You will be able to see that the mountains surrounding Kabul are certainly higher.

This is the Gabbard. He works in my office. Gabbard is much like the Guru you seek on the mountain to ask a question. You will never leave without an answer. Now, I didn't say it was the answer to your question, or even the right answer, but an answer none the less. Seek and you shall find.

Now, in the almost two years I have been in Afghanistan, I have not climbed the Ghar. For one, I didn't leave anything up there. If I did go ahead and climb it, rest assured, I would leave something up there and have to climb it again. Would that make any sense?
I have been asked to show a picture of my MSM Award. This is it.
I wasn't asked to post a picture of me. I was extremely hurt, but also suffering from a short attention span, I got over it quickly. I then just figured it was an oversight and you really wanted the picture.
We were at an ISAF camp and waiting on everyone to return to the vehicles to head back to Phoenix. Have you stopped by Mrs. Dub's site to see her idea of an Easter picture? Well, I will have mine up tomorrow. Be safe and have a great day.

Friday, April 06, 2007

06 April 2007, Well, I'm here. It's been a busy day, got back to the connex late and then I decided to zip through your sites first. Sorry about that. Just after 0800 this morning, we had an explosion downtown. It seems a shop keeper thought a fellow in a car looked suspicious and decided to call the Kabul Police. When the police arrived, an officer approached the vehicle. Well, the shop keeper was right and the driver detonated himself and the car right there. 5 people were killed besides the driver and up to 15 were wounded. It's difficult to find any good out of this, but for one, I'm glad the shop keeper noticed this guy and two: that more people are feeling better about calling the police. For too long the police department has struggled with corruption as many lower officers would not receive their pay for several months or have part of it taken out by a higher ranking supervisor. Of course, if you complained, you got fired. The International community has been working on training the police in addition to standing up a military force. Part of that mission has fallen on Task Force Phoenix. I have been considered during both deployments for that mission, but my current assignment always prevails as I help keep our soldiers safe. During the last few months of 2006, the biggest change in the workings of the police forces came into effect. The establishment of banking accounts for each individual officer. That meant that each officer would finally receive his pay on time each month. I believe the next step is getting that pay up, as it is right now, an officer makes $70 a month. Most of the training right now is designed more as paramilitary. The next step should be training them how to assist the citizens here in making life safer and better. To serve and protect. (Did I get off track somewhere?)
This late afternoon one of our towers spotted a suspicious character with a camera. We quickly had him detained and Lt M, SSGT G and myself went to question him. Being familiar with report writing, I was elected to fill out the report afterwards.
And the last bit of news from today, Mrs. Dub said I could tell it or she would. We had an Awards ceremony today for the HHC of the 1-180th. I knew I had been submitted for one but was less than overly optimistic about getting it. Today, I was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for my service during this deployment. I was really surprised while standing in formation.
Well, be safe and have a great day. Tomorrow we will have pictures.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Your Brain is Green

Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.
You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.
You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).
05 April 2007, I don't think the weather can get any nicer here. I really need to get a job where I get to spend at least part of the day outside. Office work just doesn't cut it when spring time hits. As a police officer, I'd have the windows rolled down and cruising the back streets enjoying the breeze. However, I'd also be running call to call because all the stupid people would be outside causing a ruckus. In other words, I just need to win that lottery, Mrs. Dub, did you buy that ticket yet?
I wish I had more exciting news for you, but you understand excitement here means bad things, and a slow day is a good day. We are trying to make things more stable.
Sorry this one is so short, I just don't have much to say today, shocking, isn't it?!
Be safe and have a great day.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

04 April 2007. Double Wow! Sarge Charlie made me the "Great American" Award and I'm the featured blog of the week for the Never Forget slide show from Cap'n Bob. It truly is a good day. In fact, Sarge, you got me teared up watching the slide show you put together.
Another good day in Afghanistan. The day went by quickly as I stayed busy tying up some loose ends with the interpreters. I was still down there during lunch time and ate with them. I won't eat the chicken but the red sauce they accompanied it was good over the long rice, had a little lettuce, and an onion. It's still better than what the DFAC has to offer. About three hours in the office out of the entire day, so that is always nice. I just had to shut the door on my connex as it has started raining. I have been amazed at the amount of precipitation we have had this deployment, it is greatly needed.
Miss Dub brought home her report card and it meet the requirements we set forth so as a reward she is wanting language CDs from Rosetta Stone. She has a thing for Japanese at the moment so that might be what we are getting. I would push more towards, German, Spanish, French, or Italian, but it is up to her. She is taking Spanish for this next nine weeks at school right now.
I forgot to mention yesterday the earthquake we had here in Afghanistan. The center of it was about 150 miles north of us but it registered a 6.2. We had a good tremor in the office and I decided to play like I was surfing. I haven't seen any reports of damage yet. Be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

03 April 2007, I thought we would start with a joke today.
Bob stood over his tee shot for what seemed an eternity. He waggled, looked up, looked down, waggled again, but didn't start his backswing. Finally his exasperated partner asked, "what the heck is taking so long?" "My wife is up there watching me from the clubhouse," Bob explained. "I want to make a perfect shot." "Good lord!" his companion exclaimed. "You don't have a snowball's chance in hell of hitting her from here."
There, that feels better. Actually I love Mrs. Dub quite a bit, and she knows my golf swing. Speaking of the family, here's a couple of pictures of us back home before I headed out again to wonderful Afghanistan.

Depending on the immediate future, (the next year) I would like to get one more horse. We have two now. My honey do list Mrs Dub brings up now and then includes almost 1,000 feet of pipe and cable fence, a barn, remodeling the kitchen and master bath. She told me last night that the "old" lawn tractor is fixed and ready to be picked up. This will make life much more bearable for all of us. We only have about 1 1/2 acres that stays manicured and the rest of the 5 acres is wild. On my list is to get that other 3 1/2 acres growing a nice mixture of grasses for the horses to munch on.
It's been a good day and I got those signs done this morning without any problems. Then SSG T saw them and wanted two for himself. No problem, I actually printed extra.
Next week is also National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Have you said Thank You or given your local 911 dispatcher a hug today? Well, I told mine last week thank you, but that was for the boxes they sent me. There aren't very many days in a year that they get bored and it's not a job for just anyone. It takes a special gift to try and keep someone calm during a crisis and dispatchers have always been behind the scenes at every major crisis we have seen. A big THANK YOU to each and everyone of them out there making sure you get the assistance you need from us.
Now, I'm not telling you to dial 911 just to say thank you, but a card mailed or delivered would be nice.
Be safe and have a great day.

Monday, April 02, 2007

02 April 2007, Happy Funday to all! and Monkey Monday to Ms. Odat. All is well here today. I worked a little late trying to get a project finished but after an hour of trying to print it off, decided tomorrow morning would be a great day to work on that project.
I woke up at 0530, an hour before my alarm was suppose to go off. I could have gotten up and went to the gym, you guessed it, I just laid there in bed and waited for the alarm. I should know by now that the day isn't going to let me work out at a more convenient time and I should get up and exercise before going to the office. I don't require coffee to get me started in the day, and unless someone just decides to poke me with a stick or something I am usually pretty pleasant too. I just don't like getting up.
MAJ M was able to travel to Jalalabad this last week and showed me some of the pictures. I'm going to try and get them to share with you. Now, of course, I would have loved to been able to go on that trip too, but someone has to go play with the guns. We are seeing the countryside here start to green up with all the rain we have had. Hopefully in a short amount of time the country will flourish as it had once before all the wars had torn it apart.
Be safe and have a great day.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

01 April 2007. This is one of my favorite days, yet, I don't really play too many tricks on people during this day, maybe because I spend every other day during the year messing with folks I just take today off. My last promotion to SFC was on this day, two years ago. I think it was fitting and would love to see all my other promotions occur on the same day. Come to think of it, if I get any more promotions, there would only be two anyway. Today was absolutely gorgeous, clear, clear blue skies, a light breeze and warm weather. The only thing I'm missing is almost 7,000 miles away.
Sunni Kay at Rantings, Ramblings and other Miscellaneous Stuff pulled a fast one on me. I had been planning all week on mentioning her today on my Sunday Shout Out and then I find out from her that she mentioned me on Saturday as her Saturday Super Site. I've been bested again. Luckily, I'm a gracious person. Check out her opinion on political do-overs here. Just click on the name above to get her entire site. I really loved the video about banning Di hydrogen Monoxide. I couldn't believe it and googled it. What an amazing discovery. If you are truly worried about the dangers of Di hydrogen Monoxide then you should research it too.
My second shout out isn't a blog, but a company. I told you we had a visitor during the last couple of days. Vaden Willis from Build A Bear came over to Camp Phoenix but just before he arrived he had shipped over 120 bears to be given to the soldiers. I'm quite familiar with the company as Mrs. Dub and Miss Dub own several bears and other creatures from their store. Mrs. Dub has a brown bear in the desert camo's with one of my dog tags around his neck. This is in fact where Sgt Dub began. That's the Bear's name. In his paw, there's a push button recording of a message I left for Mrs. Dub when I shipped out the first time to Afghanistan. Miss Dub has also had a birthday party there before. Anyway, Vaden is also a friend of Lt. M and come to find out we had several people in common that could connect us. Here are some of the pictures taken while the bears were being passed out. I want you to see the joy on the faces of soldiers, male and female alike at this little piece of home brought to us. Of course, Vaden is the one in the civilian clothes and the Boomer Sooner hat.

Be safe and have a great day.