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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in psi032's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, May 21st, 2009
7:54 am
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.
Friday, October 24th, 2008
6:45 am
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 this....fun. 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.
Friday, September 26th, 2008
4:01 pm
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.

Current Mood: sleepy
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
10:53 pm
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

Current Mood: content
Monday, August 14th, 2006
12:16 am
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.
Saturday, August 12th, 2006
9:35 am
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.

Current Mood: amused
Friday, July 28th, 2006
3:34 pm
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!
Thursday, July 27th, 2006
9:30 pm
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
Saturday, July 15th, 2006
4:59 pm
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
Read more...Collapse )

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.
Friday, June 16th, 2006
3:05 pm
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 ....me. 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.
Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
6:09 pm
Hey all,
The good news is that as usual I stressed the height weigh in for no reason. I'm sure its a subconscious thing but someone telling me that they are going to take my measurements, and knowing I'm going in heavier than whatever BS standard is established and have to go through being taped for body fat percentage just puts me in a bad mood. But yea, I was over on weight, but easily under the maximum allowed body fat percentage. Yea me and two other guys in my section who I got taped with all celebrated passing with cake and ice cream after dinner that night. Yep, we are spoiled!

Randomly as my time to go home approaches I realize that I might be a control freak. Either that or I take a bit too much ride in my work. I’m starting to put together the lists of tasks that have to get done while I’m gone and doing the backwards planning and figuring out who I’ll give what projects too, and its actually hard. Its like I don’t trust people to do my job because its stuff that I’m ultimately responsible for and stuff that I take more seriously than some of the people that work here. Oh well, I’ll get over it. But I did find a flaw. I work really hard but I don’t set up good systems to allow things to get done as well in my absence.

Good days.
Sunday was an awesome day. I didn’t have to be at work until 1000, which beats 0730 any day. Then I left early for lunch so I could go meet friends at the foodcourt on the other end of post. I ate with someone that I went to college with who I have not seen in a long time. That was fun. After a few hours of work I left to go to church which is a highlight in my week. Then I got a phone call from another friend who I’d not seen in a few weeks asking me to dinner. For once I was able to get out to eat in day light hours and the heat wasn’t oppressive so we ate outside by the lake. Granted it’s a man made lake, but its still nice. It’s the same lake we had our easter sunrise service near so I’m starting to appreciate that view. Good company, nice weather, great view, and good food, it was really a good day.
Saturday, April 22nd, 2006
6:07 pm
Hello all,
My will power seems to be rapidly deserting me. I have a height/weigh in on Monday. Now I think this is silly because we are in a war zone and that is a very garrison type thing to do. Heck as much as the uppity ups are preaching get out there and do PT on your free time they are also expecting you to be working from the crack of dawn until the wee hours of the night. So I know I’m going to be over on my weight. But so what, I’m always over on my weight, so a tape test is in order. 18 months ago this time this same event (height/weigh in & tape test) really had me stressing. I was about to enter my Captain’s Career Course and if you go to that school and don’t make tape they kick you out. Well 18 months later several thoughts come to mind. First I stressed my ass off for that last one, didn’t eat right, did massive exercise, I think there might have even been laxitives or a diet supplement involved for a few days. Well I passed tape, and would have likely passed tape even if I’d done none of that stuff, and then I took a PT Test with like no energy, yea not smart. Now my thoughts are um….if I don’t pass the tape what are they going to do….punish me by sending me to Iraq? Okay that was the bitter me talking, I’ll stop. This whole rant started with will power talk. I have a big chocolate bunny that a buddy gave me that I forgot I had and found two days ago. Something in me says its probably not smart to eat that thing right before a weigh in but another part of me says…hmmm chocolate. I think the bunny is talking to me darnnit.

In other news, I think I have senioritis. I had a huge mission/project/order on my plate recently. It involved way more work than I want to think about. The whole time while I was doing it I kept thinking, finish this then you get to go home (I shouldn't have said that to myself because I'm done and I'm not home yet). Well I finished the project and it was a big success, got applause from a few people on how smoothly things worked out. I had to get out there and do some leg work at the end to force things to go the way I planned them and provide direct supervision in a few places but it worked out well. But now I’m done and the mundane duties that I’d been letting slide are all piled up and waiting my attention. And additional projects are being pushed my way. Don’t these people and projects know that I’m going home on vacation? Why give me new things to do when I won’t be here to see them accomplished? As for the old stuff that I let pile up, completely my fault, but I still don’t want to do anything with it. I’ll get it all caught up because I have to, time needs to speed up so I can get out of this place. I’ve not felt like this since highschool when I knew that no matter what real work I did I was still going to graduate. When cutting days or just not turning in assignments sounded like a good idea because I was going to graduate regardless. That’s my mind now. I know I’m getting on a plane no matter what is going on here, now I’m likely to face a shiiite storm when I return if I leave some things undone, but for now its hard for me convince my mind to care. Well that’s my rant for now.
I miss you all and will see you soon.

Randomly one of my buddies found me on the work email account. He's no where near me but his first email to me was a D&D intro scenario taking me back to the days of highschool. So not what I needed to get in my blood right now. So now I'm in the mood for a D&D fix and its been years since I've done that, great...

Current Mood: eager
Friday, March 17th, 2006
5:11 pm
Alive, and kicking...well not really kicking
Alive, and kicking…well not kicking

Well I’m not really doing so much kicking right now, hell it hurts to walk. I went on a workout binge and for 4 days in a row did the wake up at 0600 and do a hard workout. Maybe three weeks to a month ago I’d gotten into a decent routine and was working out maybe 3 times a week, more or less when work allowed, but I got very busy and that whole sleep vs exercise thought process started and sleep won every time. Well the scale and I had an argument and I started working out again. And since I am an extremist, I went from no work outs to 4+mile runs with some pushup/situp workouts, boxing with a bag, and lifting thrown in for good measure, either once or twice a day. Well my feet rebelled and I somehow opened a cut on a painful spot on my foot which the running aggravated. So because I’ve been told that Running more = sweating and pressure which = infection, I’ve taken a vacation from the whole work out thing. So my workout binge comes to a quick end and I am working on disguising the fact that I have a limp.

In random news a few days ago I went to a working group where we were supposed to discuss improvised explosive devices, and it turned into a very interesting meeting for me but very boring for most of the people there. Someone from my higher headquarters came down to pitch a software tool that they want to field throughout the units that tracks events. I felt bad for the guy because listening to him talk it was very obvious that he wasn’t very comfortable with the system, and listening to the questions that many present asked reminded me that despite the fact that I don’t use my Major in the least bit I may be able to use it later. The meeting ended up talking pure functionality testing, compatibility, security of networks, data fields, user training, queries….okay I’ll stop. But it was enjoyable to see what happens when a novice comes to push a tool that he knows little about to the end user. He brought a tech guy with him, but it was a programmer who kept talking in terms that few there understood. Eventually it was agreed that what was needed was an offline meeting between the unit force integrator, and the programmer with some oversight or guidance from the person presenting the presentation and the person chairing the meeting. But listening in on that meeting reminded me of the need for good project managers. I wonder if I’d enjoying going down that line eventually….

That is about all that is going on, I miss ya’ll.
Saturday, February 25th, 2006
5:57 pm
randomness and over eating
So yesterday I woke up and went about my day. On my walk to work I saw three crows flying around squaking at me. I think since I've been here I've seen one crow the entire time, but seeing three follow me and land on the posts as I went into work and squak loudly in my general direction was just weird. Then last night on my way home I saw three bats flying around (extrmely close to my head level) on the walk from work to home. Even the person I was walking with was kinda freaked out by the bats and kept grabbing her hat and pulling it tighter on her head fearing a bad interaction between bat claws and her hair. I was just suprised since I'd not seen bats here before. I also had to stop from laughing as this experience reminded me of having to catch a bat in a pillow case back in MI to let it go free.

Last night I expected to stay at work late (it was my late night), but the other person who works in my office who tag teams with me had hours of work left so I went home later letting him pull the late night. Well apparently my body wasn't ready to call it a night and I couldn't get to sleep to safe my life. I got home by 9 pm and couldn't get to sleep until after 0200. It was likely over stimulation as I spent the time reading, watching a movie, and snacking on cookies. Well after a 3 or 4 hour nap I woke up this morning to get ready for work and the random habbit of cracking my neck comes to the fore. I cracked my neck extremely hard, like painfully hard, and I thought I saw a spark in front of my eyes, and lost my balance almost falling. My first thought was, um, I'm dead. I just broke my own neck and the spark was my life passing before my eyes and I missed it, or maybe my life didn't pass before my eyes and that was my last synapse firing before my snapping my neck severed my brain from my spinal column. Then I blinked and said, oh I'm still here. Turns out the spark was me seeing the sun glint off a fan blade at just the right angle. Yea I nearly scared myself to death and if I'd lost my balance I just knew I'd have banged my head on something hard and unforgiving. But I'm okay, I'm a little nuts, but I'm okay. But I'm really tired right now.

As for my eating...um, today I complained that I'd thought about going to the gym last night when I got off of work but since I'd just gone to dinner and had a big dinner I wasn't in a gym mood (if I'd known I'd be up nearly all night I'd have gone to the gym anyway). The guy I work with suggested I do what he does, eat a crazy big lunch so I'm not so hungry at dinner. Well I'm like great idea. So I get what he gets for lunch (coincidentally he is getting all things I like, but it would be like multiple eals for me). A full wrap (roast beef, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, pickles with condiments), an order of french fries (pretty large order), an individual pan pizza, serving size one, and some fruit and cookies that I had in my room. Now I remember why you are supposed to eat slow so your stomach has time to realize it is full. I got back to work and felt like I was going t burst....or fall asleep in my seat. I'm going back to my normal lunch of just a sandwhich and fruit tomorrow. Its dinner time and I'm not at all hungry, but that only means, great if it was my early day I could go to the gym because I wouldn't have eaten an hour or so before getting off work, but now I'm going to be starving by like 10 and its not my early day so I'll be here till mindight or so. Bright guy I tell ya.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
2:59 pm
More Valentine's Day Fun
A soldier I work with received a great V-Day Card that I wanted to share.

"Thanks for serving in Iraq. You have lots of gut. I guess School isn't much different from your jobs. You battle evil, we battle homework. You have captains and we have teachers. Thanks a lot. Sincerely....signed." I thought that was funny.

Hope you all are having a good day.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
3:56 pm
Happy Valentine's Day from Iraq
Hey All, wanted to send love from the sand. Hope you all are having a good day.
Saturday, February 11th, 2006
1:13 pm
Special Meal &mean people stink
I was pleasantly surprised tonight. There are a few cultural advisors who occasionally float in and out of my section. They travel a lot with different teams that go out, but sometimes they sit a desk here. One guy decided he’d had enough (he had been here for over 18 months) and decided to go home and be with his family. Funny thing is his family is in MI. I’ll let my Detroit friends figure out where a Cultural advisor of Arab descent might live in Michigan. He was born here and moved to MI with his family about 10 years ago. Well because he is leaving we hired a replacement for him. In light of this there was a impromptu dinner thrown. We had some great local cuisine and I stuffed myself. Shish ka bobs, and wraps of lamb, chicken, beef, tomatoes, peppers, salads, and some other great food. Now I’m sitting at my desk trying not to go to sleep and resisting the urge to unbutton a button on my pants, and rub my stomach. My sweet tooth is speaking to me, ice cream, that’s what I need to finish off this day!

Random vent
Play nice with others.
In the past few days I’ve run into two new people who I will work with on the almost daily basis. They have both reminded me that people in my world are just not nice. Its like they don’t know how to play well with others, or they are so incredibly embittered that if they can get the job done with a smile and making everyone come out happy or they can make people pissed off and ruin someone’s day they go for the worse of the two choices just because they can. Case in point. One guy wrote a tasking to put together a conference and in it he said if people send him their information he would coordinate transportation for everyone tasked to attend. Then he came to me to and gave me the job of putting together the list of people who should attend. Looking at subject matter experts and people who have extreme difficulties in certain areas and bringing them together was pretty easy so I gave him the list and contacted each and as per his tasking told them he would take care of their transportation and lodging if necessary. Once he started getting phone calls he immediately told them he was not responsible for any of that and told them to do their own co ordinations. Not so easy for some of them who are not in this area or have never been to where we are going. I assisted where necessary to make sure all the arrangements were made. He genuinely pissed some people off with his you do it, not my responsibility attitude and as it happens to be people I work with on a daily basis they all came to me to complain about it, so I made sure the right accommodations were made. After I was sure everything was going to work out I confronted him on it. He said, "if you read the fine print you’ll notice it says I’ll coordinate transportation for people in our unit only. After all coordinating transpo for people who don’t live and work at this base is way too complicated." So I explained to him in words a small child could understand that there is no small print when you are dealing with people either a) arriving safely and on time, or b) getting lost in a foreign country where gunfire, kidnappings, and roadside bombs are an every day occurrence and that guess what, all the people on the list were in our unit, its just that you don’t ever leave your office so you have never met them. Not working in our building or on our base does not mean they aren’t in the unit. I brought in the subject matter experts from all the regions because I’m a liaison cell. Its my job to reach out and touch these people and take care of them. He asked me if they were all getting there? I said, yea, he said, good, no harm done, I knew they’d all figure out how to get there if I didn’t do it for them. He then went on to say how since we are a higher headquarters staff its their jobs to accommodate us, do what we say, and go where we say go. I was just beyond words that this “staffer” was assuming the purview of command and thinking just because his boss outranked their boss they were beholden to him. I left before I said something that would have made future work with him nearly impossible, then sent him some officer professional development reading from our Division Chief of Staff on what our (his staff's) roles and responsibilities are and aren't. I doubt it will make a point, but I made an effort. I'll just pretend that working long term with me will teach him a different way of doing business.

Next Example. I met another guy who because his job like mine involves writing a lot of orders he realized that he could pretty much task any unit to do anything he wanted as long as he could back it up operationally. In other words a lot of rough, painful, difficult, or just boring missions are out there to be done and sometimes it really doesn’t matter to the boss who does them. If you have it out for a certain person or a certain unit its not too difficult to ensure more than their share of the crappy jobs go there way. This kid had a grudge because he didn’t care for some of the decisions his old boss 4 years ago made. So now he is in a position to make life difficult for that person because he can task the hell out of nearly any unit he's sees fit. So this great example of a human being found out that the guy was trying to go on leave. Not only does he send a crap load of jobs that way to make him work him self to death before he goes home, he also being an aviation buba got in chummy with our flight coordinators and got this guy bumped from his flight for several days delaying him going home on vacation. Why, because he is mean and spiteful. I asked him didn’t that strike him as wrong as hell, like past the point of getting back at someone for a petty grudge, just evil to delay someone’s time with family. He said, yea, I’d not encourage you to do something like that, you might find you have a conscience, but I enjoy being a bastard. I had a quiet word with one of my peeps in the Aviation Cell, so he's been cut out of that loop, but people like him will always find a way to ruin someone's day if and when they put their mind to it. If only he could use his powers for good. Some people’s kids!
1:08 pm
Rank hath its privileges?
I can not leave this place. I’m already living Ground Hogs Day, but now circumstances conspire to just not let me leave. First example, I get assigned to a Working Group that evaluates Force Protection of different bases and living areas. I participate in the vetting of the assessment process, then help plan the mission, which places to check, finding location, putting together flights, convoys, security parameters. Then I bring the trip itinerary to my boss and he tells me I can’t go. His exact words, “who would run the office if I let you leave for 5 days?” Learning point, don’t ever get to the point where your boss thinks you are indispensable. So I was a little bitter but I got over it. Then yesterday I get told that I am participating in a conference in another location. So I spent a great part of yesterday preparing my presentation, putting notes together, compiling slides, all that fun stuff. We schedule a helicopter flight to get to our destination. Unfortunately the flight got canceled so we planned to convoy to our location. Well after spending the needed time putting together a security team and going through the safety convoy briefing and all the fun that goes along with that, someone who out ranks me by two pay grades comes up and says, I need a ride. Without even a seconds thought I’m kicked out of the vehicle so they can make room for him. Apparently rank hath its privileges. I was looking forward to getting away from this place and doing something different, even looking forward to getting stranded where I was going, I know a few people there and I had my bag so I was good to go.
Friday, February 3rd, 2006
1:58 pm
missing my friends
Hello All,
I thought I was close to on track with writing monthly, after all I knew I'd sent christmas or new years wishes out to someone! But alas I guess I didn't do a Christmas/New Years posting, and I know I didn't post in January because my head was all filled with the nonsense of coming on board and learning a new job then finding out that my boss hates the way the last group did things so of course we are going to start from scratch an do things the right way....right! Anyway, I am alive and well. Yes I've been keeping busy, but yes I've also been taking care of myself and staying safe. I wish I had cool exciting things to tell everyone but if that were the case, I wouldn't be able to claim I was staying "safe," now could I? :-) Randomly finding old Army buddies around. Ran into a friend from WP over workmail, so he and I chat once or twice a day to maintai our sanity and complain about our bosses. And on a visit to my higher head quarters to drop off some correspondance I ran into someone I went to Basic and Advance Course with, small world. But all these are kinda well, work friends. Seeing/talking to them just make me miss you all. You all and my cat, I miss that little stinker too.
That's all for now...oh wait, a late Happy Birthday to a very special little person. Love Princess give him my love.
Monday, December 12th, 2005
7:32 pm
I don't wanna go to school, I'm sick!
Yea somehow I contracted an upper respitory infection. Been miserable since yesterday. My tentmates made me go to the clinic today because I kept several people up withmy nose blowing and other sickly noises. Got some meds today so hopefully I'll feel a little better soon, but I took it earlier today and no change. sigh....
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