Thursday, January 07, 2010

Groundhog Day, Revisited

Ever since I returned from my jaunt up north, it's been the normal routine here. Nuthin' much to report. I get up at 0615, shower, have something for breakfast, and get into the office about 0730. Make myself a cuppa coffee and open up my email. Then I try to remember what the heck I was planning on doing today, go through my calendar and notebook and yesterday's to-do list, and then scribble one for today. And off I go. About lunchtime, I often go for a jog or hit the gym. Back in the office in the afternoon I'm buried in this or that project, answering pop-up queries and stupid questions from On High ("On High" in this case being one particular organization that has no value added that I can see, but interjects itself into things it has no business being involved in ... it shall remain nameless, at least for now ...). I'll knock off work around 6:30 or 7 and go grab some chow in the DFAC. Back in my room, I'll do something exciting, like laundry. About 9, I'll try to Skype with Janis. The internet service in my room has been marginally better this past week and we can actually connect most nights. Lights out about 10:30. Alarm goes off at 0615. Repeat.

This afternoon we had our routine broken up. We were rousted out of our offices because there was a "suspicious package" right outside and the EOD guys were on their way. The package, of course, turned out to be a big nothing, but it required a couple of hours to determine that. I took advantage of the break to make a quick run to the mini-BX next to the DFAC. This mini-BX is, literally, a trailer ... the kind you see behind every 18-wheeler in the country. It's got steps and a door at each end and wall racks of geedunk (Navy slang for junk food). It's about as well-equipped as a tiny little mini-mart, only without gas pumps.

As I was heading back to the office, I spotted an unusual Stryker. Most Strykers are armored vehicles that carry a bunch of troops inside. Instead of troops, this one has a big cannon installed. I stopped and talked to the young private who was standing guard while his buddies were in the DFAC. Turned out that this version carries the 105mm gun from the early M1 Abrams tanks. They left off the heavy armor from the turret, but all the good shooting stuff is there. So you've got a lotta firepower in a much lighter and more maneuverable vehicle. Abrams aren't very good in cities, but Strykers do pretty well, so this is a great combination. Wish I'd been carrying my camera.

I've got another R&R coming up in another week. I'm ready for it. I picked this time because I thought it would be fairly quiet while all my projects were out for bids from contractors. Well, that's not quite the way it worked out ... hey, this is Iraq, NOTHING works out the way you think it will. Still, it's not a bad time, and I am NOT going six months without seeing my wife and friends and dogs again. I'm a bit worried about the weather, though. We have a lot of people who've been going out or coming back lately, and many of them have horror stories of cancelled flights, missed connections, $140 cab rides, and spending a day in an airport. Ouch! Let's hope there are two windows of opportunity for me to make the hops there and back without interruption.

1 comment:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 01/08/2010 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.