26 June 2009

Just FYI

In case my US readers thought they were the only ones...we have satellite feed TV here sourced from somewhere in the middle east. We get CNN International, the BBC and Al Jazeera (in English).

When the Michael Jackson Grief Festival got to be too much on CNN, we switched to the BBC. When it overwhelmed us there, too, we went to Al Jazeera.

The good news is, it's not just the US that's overwhelmed with this godawful contrived celebrity media seizure that's become the norm whenever anyone who's ever made the cover of the National Enquirer gets athlete's foot.

The horrifying news is that it's everyone in the world who gets their news in English.

The worst job in the Army

belonged to the platoon medic for the guys we were out with the other day. We had to sit in a small meeting room (cushions on a concrete floor, etc etc), drinking even-less-trustworthy-than-usual tea and talking about water projects. We had to continue said discussion even when the power went out and the flies tripled in number.

But unlike the medic, we did not have to examine the muktar (town headman) as he lay sprawled out on the floor, wincing.

Unlike the medic, we did not have to have the level of highly personal physical contact that allowed him to declare "torsed testicle, he needs to see a doctor."

We don't smell very good, and we have access to sufficient water for a daily scrub. I don't envy the man whose job took him into a crotch without that resource.

23 June 2009

Mail Call!

Bossman and SSG C went out to look at something this morning, so that left SGT B and me on mail detail.

Sometimes we ignore the mail ritual and let the little HHC gnomes schlepp our stuff back through to their headquarters, but this morning we thought we'd join our teammates in the spirit of up too early doing stuff, and, after an awful attempt at what passes for breakfast here, we lurked outside the mail conex to be offer our help.

That's four days worth of mail. This is where it gets fun. We hopped in (much to the confusion of the mail guys - "why are there two sergeants helping us?") and joined the chain passing boxes out and stacking them.

"Alpha! Alpha! Bravo! HHC! Alpha! K-9!"

You don't know how many weird little subunits you have until you start making piles.

It starts small, but you schlepp packages and packages...and then you get to the rear of the conex and start coming back toward the door on the other side...

As the piles grow, people start showing up and sub-sorting. Because, hey, if you're with Second Platoon, Alpha, you're sure not schlepping mail for those Third Platoon bastards.

We made it to the end of the conex, gathered up the stuff for our team, and loaded it into a handy plastic footlocker the Bossman had shipped in. We were preparing to lug it back to our area when a little karma tapped us on the shoulder.

"You guys want to just throw that in our Gator?" A civilian worker grinned. "It's no problem."

Hooah, not dragging boxes through gravel. That's a win, kids.

21 June 2009

Hey, Dads!

You guys are great. A good Dad is just about the best thing a kid can have. So you all get today to put your feet up, hoist a cold beer and tell yourself, "Self, I rock."

In that spirit, here's a picture of my Dad, wrestling some dogs in the snow.

And once you're done relaxing...there's a possum in the garage, the lawn mower won't start, there are sparks coming out of my breaker box, somehow your axe has a broken handle, I have a sliver in my finger, we're out of beer and someone - I'm not saying who - may have wrecked your truck.