It's been 7 months....that is bad even for me

Hello all, I know it has been way too long since I posted anything on here so I figured I'd give it another try. Besides if userillusion can post from the hospital room while waiting on his baby to be born I can get off my lazy butt and post too. Congrats again to userillusion and buffyeas on the beautiful baby. Thanks youphoric for the picture.

I'm still in Korea. More accurately I'm back in Korea as I just came back from a little rest and relaxation back in the US. I had a good time. Spent some time at home in TX, some time in Virginia, and some time in Detroit as well. Obviously I saw Youphoric, also I visited with angelkizzez, and loveprincess 524. I spent some time with the parents, grandparents, and cousins, and unfortunately missed seeing userillusion and buffyeas, but I heard she was in an awesome concert 9 months pregnant and singing up a storm.

Flights, customs, and health agencies are crazy right now due to swine flu and whatever else. I know for a fact I did finger printing and several general health surveys. In addition I spent lots of time in front of thermal cameras, experienced some new thermometer techniques, and I think I either got my picture taken or someone took a retinal scan....sigh. At least it was retinal and not rectal. Anyway it was crazy.

Life here isn't bad. Lots of work which is Ok, since I like staying busy. I'm still enjoying the job and enjoying the people so no major complaints.

Hey folks

I hope you all are doing well. I have officially made it through my first month here. Nothing to spectacular to report but having one month down is an accomplishment. Though I've been here at least 30 days I don't have all my people on the ground but that should be fixed in less than a week, then they can share some of Today we had a big ceremony with pomp and circumstance celebrating the guys leaving who I am here to replace and celebrating our arrival and picking up this mission. I also made my first formal brief to my bosses boss today. He seems nice enough but he asked my boss some pointed questions that caused all of us to put in some long hours untangling a few things but all in all it was a good day and a good month. Friends, I miss ya.

alive and well

Hello all,
Just a quick message to let everyone know that I am alive and well and in Korea. I hope all of you are doing well and I miss you.
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Still Alive and Kicking

Where to start? I can’t believe it has been that long since I checked this thing. If my work wouldn’t block this site I’d be much more likely to read others post. Would I post more myself if I could do it during work time…..I don’t know, that is just asking a lot….

The PastCollapse )
Okay okay already. As hopefully everyone knows, I’m back safe from Iraq. As always the Army made things a little more painful than they had to be with the whole moving out of trailers into tents, then moving from tent to tent three different times in a one or two week period. In addition I spent a lot of late hours at night working with the person who replaced me. My group was replaced by a National Guard unit and it was difficult getting to a point where they were comfortable with their handover. But they are doing an exceptional job now, I still check on them from time to time. Unfortunately someone I knew well passed away my last few days over there and it hit me harder than I wanted to admit but I have moved on with life. The actual trip back from Iraq to the U.S. was pleasant, I managed to sit next to people I like so I had good company the whole trip although it felt like we were flying for an entire day. Random note, don’t watch the Adam Sandler movie “Click.” It was one of several that played during the flight. It was more memorable than all the rest but it dragged on and actually managed to depress me, it depressed me and I was coming home from a War. I was fortunate enough to have angelkizzes in TX when I got back. On a broken foot she drove herself and her toddler to TX to help me settle in and readjust. With her help I was able to find an apartment, get my car back and get it running, get my stuff moved out of storage and basically start life all over again. I’m sure it wasn’t easy on her with me being all maladjusted, moody, anxious, tired, unsettled, emotional and confused but as always she was there and her help and friendship snapped me back into reality.

Things got very very busy after that. On a good note youphoric came for a visit to see the new apartment and welcome me home. We had a blast and I got to introduce her to one of the crews I hung out with in Iraq. We visited a friends house, and went out to eat and she heard stories of our exploits. Terra has moved on and is no longer working with me in TX but she was one of the few people that made the year in Iraq bearable and I thank her and her peeps for welcoming youphoric with open arms. Also while youphoric was in town we did dinner with another of my good friends who I worked with in El Paso. The entire visit was fun and showed me and likely youphoric as well that she could live here and have fun, which boded well since we had already planned for her to move.

I was lucky enough to get to go home for Christmas and Las Vegas for New Years. Yea I know that was two months ago so I shouldn’t go into too much detail. As always I did the last minute Christmas shopping, I had a great time with family, and got to spend quality time with friends. My Grandfather went into the hospital during this time for major heart surgery and came through doing well so for that I’m thankful. Unfortunately during that same time angelkizzes' husband's father passed away. Both her and her husband are close to me and I wanted to help them out in anyway I could. I already had time off so I cut my visit home a little short and went to visit them. During that time we managed to drive from TN to MS back to TN to NY and pick up all their household gear and move them along the way. Before I had to go back to work I was able to see them pick out there new home and start settling in.
That sums up my holiday. After that I went back to the grind at work. I still work for the same person I did when I was in Iraq. Very nice guy but unfortunately doesn’t push back on tasking requirements from anyone and after the deployment 75% of our section got out of the army or moved to another section or unit so I’m stretched pretty thin but working as hard as I can, but nothing like the hours back in Iraq.

The PresentCollapse )
My next venture was going home for a friend’s wedding. A friend whom I’ve known since before 9th grade married about 3 weeks or so ago and I was lucky enough to get to go home for it. Beautiful wedding, and no surprise beautiful and happy bride. youphoric accompanied me to the wedding and after spending a day with my family her and I made the drive from MI to TX. We made the trip safely and in two days and she is now comfortably moved in with me. The two of us had a good Valentine’s Day together (she cooked me a Valentine's Day dinner, don't let her fool anyone else into thinking she can't cook!) and are enjoying learning more about each other as we start to put together our future. Right now I’m settling back into work, every day is a joy there, and Brandi is job hunting.

During our free time we’ve managed to go out with a group of my friends from work, and she has humored me by going to play D&D once as well. Aside from that we are mostly watching TV, catching me up on 24 (now that I have caught up on Grey’s Anatomy), playing video games, and just enjoying going out and spending time together. Playing Pool and catching a Movie was last week, this week we are trying bowling.

The FutureCollapse )
That pretty much catches everyone one up on me. Last thing is I’m working on getting a different job (still in the Army just with a different unit with a different boss). I hope to take Command of a Patriot Battery in the next 3 months. More to follow.
P.S. We both suck at bowling but I bowled 110 which means I broke a 100 so I achieved my goal...all about the baby steps.

Love ya'll
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    content content

I smell

Okay so I smell me…and too many other people. The walk to and from church I 122 degrees was just a bit much. I mean I am not a slow person and it takes me on average 15 minutes at a decent clip to get there. Yea I kept thinking, is something cooking? Oh that is me! Well it was a good service and now I’m back at work and I can smell myself. Two of my guys just returned from missions. One is my boss and the other works for me. My boss went home and took a shower because he’d been out for nearly a week and baby wipes can only do so much. The other only went out this morning and came back in this evening but he was covered from head to toe with a drenched uniform, yea I just him home to clean up too. Anyway he was telling me about his trip and the helicopter flight. His first this deployment and it reminded me of the mission I went on last weekend.

First helicopters are nice and all but if I never ride in one again I’d be ok with that, I can’t count how many flights I’ve taken this year but I’m not complaining, my flights were much much better than any of the convoys I’ve been on. I’m in no way afraid of flying but I’ve come to realize I’m not a fan of flying over water. Anytime we’d cross water, or fly the line of a river I’d tend to feel my stomach at my feet or in my mouth. Oddly enough I have no fear of falling to my death into a treeline, or on a cement pad, or into a city, but flying over water makes me think of the helicopter crashing into water and yea that I feared. OK, work calls more on my trip later.
Yes I'm posting at after midnight from work...because I love it here.

Tonight I remembered the addage of it really is easier to do it yourself than teach others. I had a project that I've done in hours and it was spread amongst 3 people and they have taken oh so much longer. I gave very clear guidance to one person, he spread the project to his two subordinates and the guidance got very very blurry. Now I'm bouncing between the three supervising and giving subtle hints of slightly better more efficient ways to do it....
Sleep soon I promise myself.
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    TOC sounds

morning routines

This morning as I stumble into work awake but with the shadows of sleep still clouding my mind I realize I’m as usual about 45 minutes earlier than everyone else in my office except my boss who beat me in. Then I go to the morning meeting that I’m the only participant from my office. Coming out I’m awake with a sheet full of notes, things I or the office owe to this or that person for the day and I can sit and watch the office from a detached place. To my right a someone eats his pop tart and muffin for breakfast along with his mug of coffee. To my right sits someone else, eating snack well cookies and checking email, next someone one empty rip it can and drinking a second snacking on some kind of breakfast or energy bar.. Then I see 4 empty seats as 3 people are on vacation and one is off on a mission, next sits someone chewing on his nails, and finally someone else already on his second cup of coffee. This place runs on caffeine and junk food.
No one is willing to wake up 30-45 minutes earlier to go to breakfast because we all know that not one of us will leave this office before 10 pm and some of us will be here as late as 2 am and that is just how life goes. This morning I’ve heard 3 people comment about not getting enough sleep all the worse case the guy who got the 3 hour nap and the best me, who managed 6 hours last night. The funny thing is I’m in a good mood. I’m not the least bit bitter this morning, could be because last night I got more sleep than I’ve gotten all week or could be because I’ve realized that I’ve been internalizing other people’s gripes and complaints.
Yesterday one of my peers snapped and said, I can’t (insert swear word) believe this….He was commenting on the fact that one of my bosses said that some other section was swamped and we needed to support them so he loaned me out to work in their shop for however many hours a day they needed me, then in the same breath he loaned my NCO out to go on a mission to support another section. So basically we are running without 4 people, then he sends two of us out to do part time work elsewhere leaving the remaining 4 people in the office pretty tapped out and I just realized, yep, that’s my job and I don’t mind leaving the office to go work elsewhere because it’s a change of pace even though I still have to put in the hours either earlier or later in the day to make sure my day to day stuff is getting done.
While some people here are keeping a tracker of how many hours of sleep they are getting, one of my guys is keeping a tracker of how many hours a day he is in the office. The red line appears at the 12 hour mark and he is doing a bar chart for how many hours past that he works. This chart is only two weeks old because someone turned up the heat on him at about that time. Its funny how many times he crests 16-18 hours since in the last two weeks he’s left every day before me but twice. He is much more prone to bitterness, complaints, and whining than I am. This is the same person who was seriously considering a mutiny (like either making a boss disappear, find an unexpected injury, or just discrediting him….). Of course he wouldn’t do any of that but those thoughts kept him going for weeks. I think his thought processes is what led to me being salty about my plight before, but bottom line is I’ll be home before December so none of this is important.

I can’t wait until an 8 hour day is normal, until weekends are off time, until going home doesn’t mean going to a trailer, until I can talk to my friends at will…but its coming soon.
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    Kanye West in my head from when I was getting dressed

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I feel better!

I also now realize that working up the nerve to tell my boss that though I'd been at work since 0800 and it was "only" 2130 I didn't have the strength to stay at work, going home early doesn't do a bit of good if you don't go to bed when you get home. Why did I stay up until 0130? To watch 4 episodes of a show I had been enjoying, that is why. So I've overly sleepy right now but I do feel better. Bah it was the first "me" time I've had in as long as I can remember so I'm okay with it.

On a side note I should learn not to ask questions. I didn't understand something so I did the common sense thing, I asked for guidance. What happes? I walk away with a task to write an information paper detailing a recommendation, points of interest, pros and cons, current situation, background information, and an assessment/list of implications based on the two different possible decisions. Yea that's all oh so easy to do when you don't understand the problem well enough in the first place. Oh joy. So I'm tabling all the things I was going to do do so I can write up a freaking synopsis my boss can give to his boss so he can request guidance. I should have seen this comming.

See if I weren't feeling better I'd be in no mood to complain.

Oh yea, my NCO is back, that also makes my mood better, we all need our comic relief. Not that I laugh at him, he just manages to find the jeuvenile part to my sense of humor and tweak it until every once in a while I......giggle...yea I said it!

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Anyone ever feel like if they looked in the mirror they would expect to see blood flowing out of their ears? That is how bad my headache is. I was fine this morning but this afternoon sometime after 2 pm I just felt like crap! The analytical part of me wants to figure out why I feel like that. The cry baby part of me just wants to go home, shut out the world, and embrace the blackness that is sleep because I almost always manage to sleep off my headaches.

Let's see, I woke up and worked out which I haven't done in at least a week. Yes I'm lazy, and yes I've been busy! So 5 miles, 400 crunches, and 150 push ups later I skipped breakfast (my stomach isn't very accepting of food right after a hard workout). 2 hours into my morning I realize I'm running on fuems and my productivity starts to die so I eat half a box (individual serving box) of dry cereal at my desk. I haven't woken up in time to do a real breakfast in months (see previous comment about me being lazy) but I usually have a peice of fruit, or dry cereal, pop tarts, nutra grain bars, or granola bars for breakfast, for some reason after my work out I thought oh I just won't eat anything so I failed to bring any food in. Thank goodness I'm a good scrounger and I have friends that don't mind feeding me.

At lunch time I was not in a be with people mood, not sick but kinda not happy about work stuff and not wanting to burden anyone with my grumblings so I grabbed a to go plate and went back to my room. Off topic I've found a new favorite show. One of my coworkers has the Fire Fly series. Its the show Serenity the Movie was based off of. I loved the movie so I asked could I borrow it. I really really like the show. Thank God for commercials (or the slight pause and where commercials would be if it weren't a Series on DVD). I watched an entire show and let the other one start playing. I looked up and realized that I was somewhere between skipping an hour of work to watch TV or just falling asleep in my bed. That pause in the show made my mind click that I was supposed to be back at work so I jumped up and ran in, late but not missed too badly I think. Anyway, to commerate working out that morning I skipped out on any sweets during lunch (yes I have a sweet tooth) and had a ham and cheese sandwhich (closer to a sub/hogie really) and a few peices of cantelope.

Within an hour of me being back at work my head started hurting but nothing terrible. After hours of playing with excel, manipulating spreadsheets, formulas and graphs, then writting info papers and trying to crawl out from being burried under requests for information emails things just got worse and worse and worse. The fact that there has not been a day this week that I have not been here for at least 14, but usually 16 hours might be part of it as well. But either way by 7 tonight I realized that if I kept reading there would be tears of pain so I just kinda shut down. Went into that look busy but do anything mode. Its a skill that is quickly developed when you work within 10 feet of three people who all have the ability and authority to task you to do anything at anytime if you don't look busy. Fortunately getting out of the building and going to dinner made me feel a little better (or maybe the two extra strength tylenol that someone brought me kicked in). I still feel like crap, in fact I decided not to go to choir tonight for fear of being violently sick if I tried to sing and knowing there would be no memorizing songs or standing for 2 hours for me. But I feel better than I did before dinner and I felt it was time for my monthly posting.

PS Worse part. I've discovered that this current sickness has give me a heightenend sense of smell. I can smell every person's cologne, in fact I think every person I smell has a scent a strong aftershave or cologne and it makes me want to puke....Not a good time to sit less than 6 inches from the person I share this computer with who has very strong cologne as well....sigh
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    u mean the sound of my boss giving taskings left and right?

my vacation ....2 months later

Why do I wait so long between posts? Maybe I like getting floggings by my friends. Or Maybe I just don’t think I have anything interesting to say. I have no idea.

One of the Majors who sits in my office (set of cubicles really) just returned from leave. He’s all energized and relaxed and revved to go, its almost sickening. He came back full of mirth, joy, and stories about the fun he had during his vacation. Oddly enough he and his wife are both reading the same series of books I am reading now (Terry Goodkind, The Sword of Truth). He told me that he saw it on my desk before he left and it looked familiar so he bough it when he was home. He read the first book 10 years ago then lost track of the series and between flights and down time at home he’s now on book three. He is actually a good guy and I enjoyed hearing him talk about his wife and children and all the fun activities they took part in. Hearing the summary of his vacation made me realize I never wrote about my vacation. The real reason for that is because most of the people who read this were there for my vacation!

My Vacation
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All in all I had a very good vacation.

How did this all start? Oh yea the MAJ who just got back from leave. Hearing his stories of home made me a miss all of you.

moral of the story...don't skip meals

Since I’ve been here working my crazy schedules I’ve given up on the idea of eating breakfast. I’m a big eater and breakfast is my favorite meal of the day but I just can't convince myself to get up early enough to make it to the dinning facility, wait in line, eat, and still get to work on time. So instead I try t remember to grab a piece of fruit at lunch and eat that as my breakfast the next morning. Well today I had no fruit for breakfast and before lunch I received a package from a friend. I planed to take the package to my room then swing by lunch then head back to work. Instead in my excitement to look through my package I forgot to go to lunch and had to head back to work hungry. My stomach and my productivity said that would never do. So as I went about my day walking to other people’s cubicles, going to meetings, checking on friends or associates and going to briefings I ended up eating one small bag of chips, two home made peanut butter cookies, an apple, a individual serving box of coco puffs, a nutra grain bar, two poptarts, an individual serving of tuna fish with crackers, and a handful of mini oreo cookies. Yea I have lots of friends willing to feed me apparently. And that wasn’t the real tragedy. The pitiful thing is in my hunger I opened the tuna to fast and tuna fish juice went flying everywhere. So first I get tuna juice in my hair, in my eye, up my noise and on my uniform. The one or two people in the office at the time think this is hilarious until one of them sees the scour on my face as I race to the trash can grabbing my canteen midstep. Nothing like seeing a man tear up and pour water all over his face while he is bent over a trash can to stop people from pointing and laughing. After I could see out of both eyes and people were sure I was okay I made a joke of the whole thing, admitting how funny it was and saying that I needed a warning label on the tuna or a tuna juice shield or something. My NCO just shakes his head and laughs at me and tells me that i takes a very special person to do what I just did. So all is well and I spent the rest of the day smelling of tuna...

All this was my reintroduction of I'm back and I'm going to try this updating regularly thing. We'll see how long it lasts.

I've got some friends who could use some prayers and I'm praying for you all.
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    ginny owens