Friday, January 30, 2009

Photos of the New Embassy Compound

A while back, I gave you a link to some photos of the old Palace, where the Embassy was located.  Wanna see where we live and work now?  Go back to the Baghdad Anne website and look at the new collection of photos.  These will give you an idea of what the State Department's newest and biggest Embassy looks like.  They even show you the inside of one of the apartments.  This guy obviously did a major cleanup before taking the pictures, as very few guys on their own keep their room that neat ... your intrepid reporter included!

Our weather has warmed significantly in the past couple of weeks.  Our lows are now around 45-50 and our highs approaching 70.  Really nice.  Today, though, the wind picked up, meaning that tomorrow the air will be loaded with grit and sand.  Yuck.

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I was going to the Rock-Hard Abs class at the gym.  Well, I've kept it up, going usually twice a week.  Yesterday, while getting dressed, I actually saw my abs again!  Yes!  They looked like they were covered with a thin comforter, but hey, there they were, very distinct below the ribcage.  I haven't seen them in 30 years.  So tonight at the abs class, I showed everybody ... you know to motivate them ... but nobody was interested.  My marshmallow-covered abs aren't very impressive next to some 20-year-old gym rat's.  Oh, well, they're my abs and I'm just happy I can see them again. 

I gotta keep going to abs class because our DFAC (the dining facility) is getting better.  When it first opened it ... well, it left a lot to be desired.  But the staff worked pretty hard at getting things better, and for a while it was all right.  But then it started to slide.  We'd see the same stuff at meal after meal, the layout of the serving lines was poorly thought out, and the quality wasn't as good.  Well, friends, our DFAC is on the upswing again, because Mr. Lee is back.  This is a retired Army chief master sergeant who ran Army chow halls his whole career, and went to work for KBR doing the same thing after he retired.  He's a little guy with more energy and enthusiasm than should be legal.  Mr. Lee ran the DFAC at the Palace for a while, and ran one out at the airport for a while, before having to go back to the States for a year or so.  Now he's back and we've got him.  He's making lots of changes with every meal and responding to comments every day.  It's amazing how fast things are improving.  We're the envy of the IZ right now.  Seriously.  One of the other compounds has a really good food service setup, but they were whining because we got Mr. Lee and they didn't.  Too bad!

And no, you won't see pictures of the DFAC nor Mr. Lee on the link above.  We're keeping him on a short leash!

1 comment:

Nixon said...

Damn. Mr. Lee is still around! I think he was working at the DFAC before the invasion.