sgtdub: August 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

31 August 08
Many years ago my mother in law, Mrs. C, gave birth to my beautiful wife, Mrs. Dub. How old is she today. Well, we have been together for 17 years now, and she had to be of age to get married, so that must make her about 29....right?

Well, American Airlines has been on time and no problems. I flew out of Phoenix's Sky Harbor. I haven't been a lot of places, but that's certainly a big airport. We went to a nice dinner last night, went by the furniture store and picked out a new mattress and box springs. Ours came unstitched and was still under warranty. The store sent some one by the house last week and looked at the bed, told Mrs. Dub they don't make that one anymore and we would have to come pick out a new one. The store gave us a credit for the entire purchase amount of our last one towards the new one. We opted to upgrade and are waiting for it to be delivered to the house now. Not bad.
We are about to fix dinner tonight having birthday cake and presents. It's been another huge task getting Mrs. Dub a birthday present without her knowing anything. Of course, I walked in the kitchen this morning and say the receipt for her present sitting on the counter top and am almost certain she knows now. Oh well, She still hasn't figured out how I bought it. That was some tricky stuff.
Well, I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day weekend, be safe.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

27 August 08
Only 4 days till Mrs. Dub's birthday, but she probably doesn't want me to keep bringing it up, so just pretend I didn't mention it.
Well, you've been reading about me not enjoying this last week in Arabic. Some how, today, I felt in the back of my head that something was about to explode and I was getting very close to getting this. I hope so. Of course, with a 3 day weekend coming up, I'm sure it'll all disappear. I felt more comfortable today than I have since we got here. Here's hoping.
It looks like we are going to get out of class around noon on Friday. I already purchased my airline ticket for Saturday morning and have no interest in trying to find a Friday flight.
I'm sitting here watching the Sci-Fi channel and watching Ghost Hunters. The early episode just happened to be filmed about 18 miles from here, yep, Tombstone, at the Bird Cage. I've been to Tombstone one other time back in April and we arrived late in the day and didn't get to experience very much. I'm definitely hoping to visit it again and get more. And of course, now I'm going to make sure I visit the Bird Cage to run into a ghost. Eerie.
Well, I'm going to get back to the television, I know I should be studying, and I will before I go to bed. Be safe and have a great day.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

23 August 08,
Ah, the weekend. It was really nice NOT going to class today. Over all I'm still enjoying it, but we are definitely in the 'I hate this stuff' phase. It's only suppose to last a couple more weeks, then we'll love it again. We'll see.
On to politics. I try to stay under the radar on politics and don't sound off too much unless I feel it really is needed. I don't really have anything to say now about the upcoming Presidential race, except I'm wondering if anybody else has picked up on Senator Obama's announcement for his VP. At a time that the United States is involved on a war on terrorism did he make the right name selection? Who are we hunting? Osama bin Laden. Now we have the Democratic ticket of Obama and Biden? Really? Just a thought.
Labor Day weekend is coming up and so is Mrs. Dub's birthday. This time I have a planned trip back home, no surprises like two years ago when I came home from Afghanistan. I hope everybody enjoys this weekend. Be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

19 August 08,
Our lead instructor, Jabra, told us last week, that the upcoming couple of weeks would test us, that we would hate Arabic for that time period. Boy, he wasn't kidding! AAAGH! We've started story time. We are given stories in Arabic to read and speak. This part of the school has been different from our hands-on methods we have been using up to this point. We are currently sitting on 800 to 1000 words in Arabic, that we have been given. Now, I can give you many of them, I will say with all certainty, it's not close to 800, but I can sit there and say, yes, I mean,
'na'am', I've heard that word used before. Most of our instructions come in Arabic now, which means I know about half of what's being said and can get the gist of what they are telling us. I would like to know all of what they are saying and have a clear understanding, but that will take time. We are supposed to take our first test this week which will gauge where we are at as individuals in our learning. Yeah?
I bought my plane ticket to head home for Labor Day weekend, back to American Airlines. My part of the City back in Oklahoma has been seeing a lot of rain in the last couple of days, I read one report that they are looking at some flooding now. Our place is up high but we still see water standing in the yard. (Just one more thing I need to work on when I get back to Oklahoma)
Over to the right side of my page you should see the link for Keni Thomas. He was one of the performers who came to Afghanistan during Christmas with the USO. If you don't remember, he also served in the Army and was in Somalia, which was later made into the movie, Black Hawk Down. Since leaving the Army, he has worked as a motivational speaker, song writer and performer. His first CD was Flags of our Fathers, A Soldier's Story. His new CD is Gunslinger, I've heard a couple of tracks from it and will be looking to buy it soon.
Well, I need to get back to the studying. Have a great day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

11 August 2008
Well, tomorrow makes 14 years in the Oklahoma National Guard. It's hard to believe. I have to say I'm pretty happy with where I'm at and what I'm doing. With two deployments, Katrina, and Arabic Language School, the military has given me a better quality of life than I could imagine having without it. Of course, I would rather be home with Mrs Dub and Miss Dub. But as any veteran or current military member will tell you, sacrifices have to be made to ensure we all have that better life.
This is a short post as it's time to head off to school now. Happy Monday, be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

05 August 08,
Ok, enough about Continental Airlines, even though I got back to Arizona 4 hours late. Mrs. Dub let me buy a Garmin GPS and we used it on our way to Ft. Worth. It really helped going through that maze down there. My brother was able to break away for lunch and then he took us back to the training center for the ceremony. He made a good point in that Ft. Worth has the resources to have the graduation at any of their municipality buildings but instead they had it in the training center. They did state this was the largest class they had had in a long while so it's possible they weren't anticipating the crowd that showed up. During the ceremony they walked across the stage where the Chief of Police handed them their badge and then once everyone had theirs they lined up in front of the stage and that's when I got to go forward. I was proud to have been asked to pin his badge on him. He got Saturday off and started in his FTO (field training officer program). He will be with an FTO for the next 4 months, changing shifts and sectors and applying all he has learned. Here are some pictures.

Be safe and have a great day!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

03 August 08,
I'll share more about my trip in another post. I wanted to dedicate this post to the folks at Continental Airlines. Now, this was my first experience with this airline company. I originally chose Continental out of necessity as it was the closest flight to what my time line needed to be. The price was comparable to the others. I arrived at the Tucson International Airport on Thursday afternoon and the first leg of my flight was running about 10 minutes late. Really, no big deal, I was headed home. We board the plane and fly to Houston, where I have to change flights. When I landed in Houston I looked at my ticket and thought my arrival time here was my departure time for the next leg. I raced across the airport and made it to the gate to discover my flight was in an hour. Ok, good, I didn't miss anything. I waited at the gate and they announced our flight was going to be about 30 minutes late. Um, ok, I can handle that. I called Mrs. Dub and informed her, she wasn't thrilled as it meant she would have to stay up a little longer, but was excited to have me home. Well, the flight ended up being about an hour and 1/2 late pushing me from arriving in Oklahoma City at 10:35 pm to 12:15 am. What was funny at the time we finally boarded was watching the commercial provided by Continental Airlines about how wonderful they are and how they have a great satisfaction rate from their customers, mainly us. I got a chuckle out of this and continued with my trip. I always assume something can go wrong and now and then isn't a bad thing.
We enjoy our weekend and now it's time for me to head back to Arizona for school. I arrive at the airport in Oklahoma City an hour and 1/2 before my flight, get to the gate and am notified that the our flight to Houston will be an hour late. Really?! Is this every flight with Continental? Well, since I'm heading back to Tucson and have given myself leeway, it'll work out. We finally get on the plane, which just came from Houston. The pilot makes an announcement as soon as we are all seated, "Folks, don't blame us for the delay, we are the new crew and have been waiting for this flight just as long as you have". Ok, I can live with that. Now, we finally take off from OKC and head to Houston. I'm watching the time and wondering which gate we will land at and how far it will be from where I need to be. The gates of course change when you have such a tardy flight like ours. I arrive at Houston, grab my next ticket and see that I need to be at the next gate. I get inside the terminal and realize that I only need to walk 30 yards to the next gate but that I'm looking like I'm about 10 minutes late. I think to myself, " Well, Continental hasn't had an on-time flight yet in my experience, so I have a good shot at this." Well, I found Continentals' only "on-time" flight and it was the one that left without me. Good Grief! How hard could this be? Well, I walk up to the employee behind the desk where my flight was suppose to be and talk with Alisa. I tell her I just arrived from Oklahoma City and that our flight was late because the flight from Houston was late. She confirms this and reschedules me for the 6:15 pm flight. So, that's where I've been for the last 3 hours. We had a lightening storm roll through which delayed some more flights. I still have 45 minutes before I'll know about my flight. I don't see where I'll try this airline again. I'll let you know if I make it out of here, and if you find yourself in the Houston Airport, look me up.
Be safe and have a great day.