Tuesday, December 23, 2003


The Internet is full of people with entirely too much time on their hands, and I have sick and depraved friends! And I love every one of them...



(email from my wife just a couple hours after I posted that link)

From: Shelley Grattan
Subj: Wow

Not, how sad I am that I am going to be away from my family this year, oh
no, it's a song about boobies....nice.

hehe See why I love her?

Monday, December 22, 2003

... just like my apartment ...

It's taking me as long to decorate my website as it is my apartment. Xmas is only a couple days away, and I still have more lights in boxes than I have on the tree and windows... Sad really.

Mostly we've just been getting as much done as we can before the holidays. Things are going to slow down a lot in the next couple of days, so we want to be ready for the inevitable slam on the other side.

Hope everyone is happy and merry, and all that junk... I'll post some pictures of my "Krissmas in Kuwait" when I get my Pixagogo account figured out.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Just so you don't hear about it from somewhere else...

Five foreign workers wounded in Kuwait attack

We're ok, and on a heightened state of alert, to say the least.

Love 2 all!

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Yes... that's right ...

... it's snowing. Well, not in Kuwait, but it's getting cold enough for it. (well it FEELS like it... sorta)

I've got some cool weather stuff to add to the page, as well as more pictures to get done. I'm trying to pay for my Pixagogo account, but they're having difficulties believing that I'm who I say I am... something about being in a foreign country... DUH

Other than that, nothing to report. I know I'm long overdue for a long overdone post, so I'll work on something for tomorrow... really!

Love ya all!

Friday, December 12, 2003

just a quickie...

... let everyone know I'm here. Been a bit crazy, and getting caught up. I'm going to be putting up some things this weekend, and let you know what's happening.

Talk to you soon, love to all!

Monday, December 08, 2003


OK... I'm flying back to Kuwait in a few hours, and the 'net connection just came back up in our apartment. It really does amaze me that in this day and age there are still major cities (... like... for instance ... Ankara, Turkey?) that have such problems maintaining an Internet link. It's very frustrating, to say the least...

Unfortunately, I didn't get all the pictures that I wanted to get. This trip back to Kuwait was kind of sudden, and I'll give more details later. I doubt I'll be back online for a couple days, so unless I post in an airport sometime in the next 24 hours, I'll be incommunicado...

Love to all!

Friday, December 05, 2003

Not a great week...

My apologies for not posting all week, but things have been very busy for us here. We're in the final stages for this project, and it looks like I'm going to have to get back to Kuwait sooner than expected. I'll know more about that this by Monday.

But what really has made this week lousy is some news we received last night. One of our co-workers, Stephanie Jones, passed away yesterday. She helped us a lot with this project while I was in New Jersey, and she was an incredible person. She was only 27 years old, and most definitely was in great health. We're still getting the details, but it seems like it was a blood clot in her lungs.

I don't remember for sure if I posted it, but this is the second person I worked with on this project that has passed away. Fred Castenada died of heart failure while he was deployed in Tikrit, Iraq.

I guess the point of this post is just to remind everyone that life is very precious, and not to take anything for granted. It really sucks that something like this has to happen to remind us of that...

Love to all

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Nothing really interesting...

I haven't had anything really overly interesting to say... but just wanted to post so that the frequent visitors don't give up on me! I'm going to be sending a whole new bunch of pictures this week, so watch for that...

Hey, did you notice the "mood indicator" on the left? If you click on it, it takes you to the site that explains what it means. For the longest time it said the Internet was feeling "tired", and I was going to remove it since it never changed... Anyway, on Thansgiving, people were feeling "Thankful"... then "sick" ... then back to "týred"... hehe but right now it says "happy" ... and that makes me ... well ... happy! Hope you are too!

Love to all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Pictures from home!

Well, instead of pictures from overseas, here's a few pics from HOME!

Time for bed, it's almost 1am here!

Turkeys CAN fly!!!

... and apparently, they can wave flags too. Hey, give me a break, it made me laugh, ok? :P

More pictures added, and descriptions. Mostly I'm just getting all the old ones uploaded before I start uploading some of the current ones. Be patient people, I've gotten farther with this in the past few days than I have in the past few months!

Anyone know what this quote is from?

"I swear, as God is my witness... I thought turkeys could fly."

First person to post the answer gets a star for the day... seriously.

One more day until TURKEY! And please ... no more "Turkey day in Turkey" jokes... they're just getting old!

My cell phone # is posted at the left, for those of you who were asking. Turkey is 9 hours ahead of MST, so we'll just have to work out something. I have been using Dialpad to call the states lately. It is an "Internet Phone" service, and only costs $.04/min to talk to the USA. I have no idea what it costs to call Turkey from the States, but if you just use your regular long distance, it can get very expensive (trust me...).

Ok, more later! Love to all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Got a few days off...

... since it's the last week of Ramadan, the facility we're working at is going to be closed for the next few days, so we're going to be working out of the apartment. It kind of slows us down, but it's a nice break. Hopefully I'll also have some time to upload more pictures, and get the website updated a bit.

Everyone has been asking where they can send Christmas gifts for me. I really appreciate it, but I think it would be best if you sent anything for me to Colorado. There's going to be such a flood of packages heading this way, I just don't trust the military APO system... not to mention the fact that I'm not sure where I'm going to be for the next month or so... I'll be home in February, and I suspect a lot of you will also be there about time too... =)

Ok, gonna make some changes here so I'll post later tonight or tomorrow!

Love to all!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

... and even more ...

... got a few more pictures uploaded, but still only about a quarter of the total pictures I've got. I also found a bunch of "humor" images I had sitting on a hard drive... Only uploaded a few pictures of my own. I slowed down on taking pictures when I wasn't getting them posted. Now I'll be taking a LOT more...

Anyway, I will post direct links to specific albums on the left side, but you can see the total picture gallery by going to HERE.

Shelley got settled into the new house, and sounds like everything is good there. I'll post some pictures as soon as she gets them to me! Thanks to everyone that helped!

Saturday, November 22, 2003


Ok, after spending entirely too much time trying to come up with a more efficient method for creating photo albums, I opted for the lazy way... pay for a service! It's pretty cheap, especially considering all the features...

CLICK HERE to see the beginnings of my "Turkey Album"!

Love to ALL!

Friday, November 21, 2003


... but not of overseas... yet. I found these in my growing folder of "pictures to post", and was playing around with a photo album setup. I hate this setup, but it will have to do for now. It took entirely too long to do these 5 pictures...

Anyway, hope they make up for the pictures from yesterday!

2nd trip to NYC

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Thanks for everyone's concern....

I've gotten several emails and IMs from people asking if we're in any danger, due to the bombings in Istanbul, but we're all ok here. Tension's are a little bit higher than they have been in the past couple of weeks, but there have been no real reasons to be concerned for my safety. We are taking every precaution, and being a bit more paranoid than usual ...

I need feedback about the photo I posted yesterday. Was it too big, a pain to change windows, etc?

Today's picture is of a guy in the street that simply would NOT leave us alone. He was trying to sell us kitchen knives, or a keyboard (I forget which one...), and kept yelling at me in Turkish. My mistake was looking him in the eye and saying "no thanks...", and then he would not go away. Finally I just took his picture:

Street Salesman

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


... I'll make you all a deal. I've been putting off posting pictures because I wanted to make them like the albums on the left. I'll just start posting one or two pictures with my posts, and work on the albums later. =)

I don't know what your part of the deal will be... I'll have to think of something!

Love to all!

Here's today's pic:

No idea what it is... since I didn't look before I uploaded =)

Friday, November 14, 2003

Geraldo Rivera said WHAT???

I can't believe I'm going to admit this to you all... but Geraldo Rivera actually said something I completely agree with. My disdain for this guy has been well documented, but he nailed this PERFECTLY! Good job GR!

Subject: The truth about Iraq...

By columnist Barbara Stanley:


"They have a saying in the news business," Geraldo Rivera related this
week. "Reporters don't report buildings that don't burn." And with that
introduction, he told a TV audience about the story that is being
systematically denied to our entire nation: the success story of
post-Saddam Iraq. Are we losing some soldiers each week? Yes. Is there
some frustration in the public about electricity and water service? Yes.

Are some Saddam Hussein loyalists scurrying throughout the land, making
trouble? Yes. Has this opened a window for some terrorist mischief? Yes.

But that's all we hear. No wonder the country is in a mixed mood about

If you hear about the buildings that are not burning, though, it is a
different story indeed.

Rivera is no shill for George W. Bush. But Bush, Condi Rice and Colin
Powell together could not have been as effective as Geraldo was Thursday
night on the Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes program.

"When I got to Baghdad, I barely recognized it," he began, comparing
his just-completed trip to two others he made during and just after the
battle to topple Saddam. "You have over 30,000 Iraqi cops and militiamen
already on the job. This is four months after major fighting stopped.

"Can you imagine that kind of gearing up in this country? Law and
order is better; archaeological sites are being preserved; factories,
schools are being guarded."

But what about the secondhand griping that the media have been so
efficiently relating about power, water and other infrastructure?

"To say that Iraq is being rebuilt is not true," answered Rivera. "Iraq
is being built. There was no infrastructure before; we are doing it. I
just think the good news is being underestimated and underreported."

At this juncture, one must evaluate how to feel about the voices
telling us only about the bad news in Iraq, whether from the mouths of
news anchors or Democratic presidential hopefuls.

At best, they are underinformed. At worst, their one-sided assessments
of post-Saddam Iraq are intentional falsehoods for obvious reasons.

If I hear one more person mock that "Mission Accomplished" banner
beneath which President Bush thanked a shipload of sailors and Marines a
few months back, I'm going to spit. That was a reference to the ouster of
Saddam's regime, and that mission was indeed accomplished, apparently to
the great chagrin of the American left.

No one said what followed would be easy or cheap, and that's why the
dripping-water torture of the cost and casualty stories is so infuriating.
Remember we pay our soldiers whether they are in Iraq or in Ft Bragg,
North Carolina.

We should all mourn the loss of every fallen soldier. But context cries
out to be heard. Our present news media is not performing this task.

As some dare to wonder if this might become a Vietnam-like quagmire,
I'll remind whoever needs it that most of our 58,000 Vietnam war toll died
between 1966 and 1972, during which we lost an average of about

8,000 per year. That's about 22 per day, every day, for thousands of
days on end.

Let us hear no more Vietnam comparisons. They do not equate.

What I hope to hear is more truth, even if we have to wrench it from
the mouths of the media and political hacks predisposed to bash the
remarkable job we are doing every day in what was not so long ago a
totalitarian wasteland.

Local elections are under way across Iraq, Rivera reported. "Where
Kurds and Arabs have been battling for decades, things have been settling
down. Administrator Paul Bremer is doing a great job."

So does Geraldo think his media colleagues are intentionally painting
with one side of the brush?

"I'm not into conspiracy theories...there's just more bang for your
buck when you report the GI who got killed rather than the 99 who didn't
get killed, who make friends, who helped schedule elections, who helped
shops get open for business, who helped traffic flow again.

"The vast majority of Iraqis are very happy to have us there... I would
like to see a bit more balance." This needs to be reported to the American
Public who are presently being duped. I expect the dominant media culture
to nitpick Bush, and Democrats to blast him with reckless abandon. But
when that leads to the willful exclusion of facts that would shine
truthful light on the great work of the American armed forces, that level
of malice plumbs new depths. Some call it - TREASON

I also found something else the other day that I found funny. I use 'BLOGGER' for my 'blog host, and they have occasional news for us. Here was the one from the other day:

The Onion: Mom Finds Out About Blog. Here at Blogger, we have no official stance on what to do when your mom discovers your blog. Maybe we should think about that.

Update: We now have an official stance on this matter.
– Biz [11/12/2003 03:52:17 PM] #

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

... a week later ...

Still no pictures posted, but I´ve got some great ones! The problem is our cable internet has not been hooked up yet. I´m gonna buy a satellite dish to haul around so that will never be a problem again.

btw, when you see a "ý" instead of an "i", it´s because I´m usýng a Turkish keyboard, and the layout ýs a být dýfferent, so just bear wýth me, ok??

Looks like my post a couple weeks ago was premature (about not seeýng fall weather). The temperatures are dropping, and we woke up to a little snow yesterday! I´m not complaining, but everyone else is whining! =)

I have to run, but HOPEFULLY our net will be up tonight!

Love to all!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

FINALLY!... I'm in Ankara, Turkey!

Several months past when I was SUPPOSED to be here, and after several HOURS flying, I made it to Turkey! Our flight took us through one stopover in Cairo (slept through that mostly), then a transfer in Frankfurt to Munich, then on to Ankara. Those of you good at your geography will notice that we flew in a big circle to get back to Ankara, but we flew Business Class, so we didn't complain (much). It still doesn't make much sense to me, but in order to have an open return date, we had to fly this route...

Cooler temperatures, actual FOLIAGE, hilly countryside, and an amazingly overpriced mall is about all I've experienced of this place so far. We're staying in the Sheraton for the time being, but are looking at an apartment at the end of the week.

That's all I've got time for right now. I'll post more tonight, and include some pictures... I need to stop promising that...

Love to all!

Saturday, November 01, 2003

... clearing the bats out of my belfry...

Ok, got the bats cleared out, now I need to find some turkeys to fly around in a few weeks...

Friday, October 31, 2003


... ok... NOW we've got bats... :P

Happy Halloween!

... ok... there SHOULD be some bats flying around on the page, but I'm not seeing them...


Thursday, October 30, 2003

... just like old times!

Well, Hugh and I are sitting in the operations center, at 2:21am, swapping old stories, and sharing files. Normalcy has been restored, and the world is, once again, spinning true.

So here's the latest: Hugh is going to fill my slot here, while I go off to Turkey to finish my original project. That should get me back here by mid-December... barring anything "unusual" (which is a relative term, lately).

I'm supposed to leave for Turkey sometime early next week. That's about all the info I have at this point, other than the fact that our equipment is already sitting there. The next couple of months is going to be very interesting... (another relative term...)

That's all I've got time for right now. I'll post more this weekend!


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I'm going to miss Winter!

More later... I'm running late!

Monday, October 27, 2003

Sparing you the spam!

Col. Hagan (his cell phone plays the "Hogan's Heroes" theme song... too funny) just showed me a great website, and I wanted to share it with you all!

The Interview with God

Be forewarned, there is no punchline. Just a lot of beautiful pictures, and an interesting "interview".

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Ok, latest happenings...

Nothing too exciting to report, save for a few minor "incidents":

As I have adequately chronicled, the drivers in Kuwait are just short of suicidal. They drive with complete indifference to the other drivers that share the same road (and often the same lane, sometimes at the same time), making for some fairly interesting adventures in driving.

So a few days ago I was driving to work in the morning, and after about the fourth time of being cutoff by someone who appears completely baffled by the concept of "lanes", this guy swerves into my lane (at 60kph), then brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me, causing ME to slam on my brakes. I honked my horn (which they only seem to use here to point out the fact that the light has changed .25 secs ago, and you should have ALREADY been in the intersection when it happened... apparently...), and in response, I got a LEFT hand "shooing" gesture from the driver I honked at...

Let me explain to you why this was an insult (as it has been explained to me... so excuse the colorful language...). The toilets here ALL have, at the very least, a spigot with a shower-head attached to it nearby. This is to wash their hand off when they're done wiping their ass (with their left hand), which they don't (traditionally) use paper to do. For this reason, to offer someone anything with your left hand, and especially to gesture at them, is considered an insult. I'm told that more "modern" Arabic people use toilet paper, but there is still a fair number that are "traditionalists"... I haven't been in a public bathroom yet that hasn't had both TP and the shower-head thingy...

So, this champion driver has his left hand out the window, gesturing at me. I throw BOTH my hands up, in a "COME ON" gesture, and he slows down to a crawl. Now he's REALLY pissed me off, so I start to pass him on the right hand side. He turns on his blinker (I was impressed he knew where it was...), and starts to pull to the right. I go back to the left, and accelerate past him. We both got a good look at each other as we passed, and it was obvious we wouldn't be bridging any culture gaps together. I resisted the urge to flip him off with my RIGHT hand (the one I use to wipe MY ass with), and just drove on. He flashed his lights at me a few times (another favorite driving tactic here: meaning "move over please", or "get the hell out of my way", depending on the mood of the driver...).

I got on the highway, and headed to the port. I noticed he was going the same way, but didn't think about him again until I saw him take the same exit. The offramp comes to a four-way lighted section, which was turning yellow with a truck approaching on the crossroad; slowing down but still rolling, anticipating the light changing. I rolled thru the yellow as it turned red, and as I finished my turn I saw the guy run the red light in front of the big truck, causing the truck driver to slam on his brakes to avoid sending my pursuer on to Allah.

I drove on to the checkpoint, not changing my speed. I was very interested to see how brave this guy was when he pulled up to a military gate, and noticed several M-16's, M-4's, and an M-249 pointed in his general direction. There is a turn-around point right in front of the gate, and he pulled off there as I was showing my ID. I should have told the guard to get the license plate, but I didn't want to have to do the paperwork that probably would have resulted from an "Incident Investigation".

So, I drove on to work, and this guy turned around and (presumably) went back to causing traffic problems, and all is good in the world. Of course, I'm a little more paranoid when I'm driving around now... hehe

In other news, Hugh is on his way back over here. He's either going to fill in for me while I head up to Turkey (for my original project), or he'll go on to Turkey in my place. More on that later, as I'm told.

Today is Shelley's birthday, and all of her presents from me are still sitting here. Yes I know, I suck. I ordered her a cartouche, which is normally an Egyptian thing, but the local stores do them (with the english name on one side, and arabic on the other). Anyway, getting this thing has been a huge fiasco, and I'm wishing I had just sent everything off, and sent her the cartouche later. Anyway, call her and tell her happy birthday, will you?

ok, that's all I have time for right now. I'm not even going to say anything about the pictures, I know you're all sick of hearing the excuses! =)

Love to all!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The Meaning of the Name: Geoffrey

... I never really looked this up, just always really liked the name. I just found this:

The meaning of Geoffrey
Origin: Anglo-Saxon
Meaning: Peaceful gift.

Origin: English
Meaning: Peaceful. See also Jeffrey.

Origin: French
Meaning: Divine peace.

Origin: German
Meaning: Derived from one of three Old German names, meaning district, traveler, or peaceful pledge. Famous bearer: Geoffrey Plantagenet was father to King Henry II; Geoffrey Cbaucer wrote 'The Canterbury Tales'.

Origin: Teutonic
Meaning: God's peace.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

"Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?"

I'm not sure what the cause is, but the effect is increased traffic, and proportionately: traffic ACCIDENTS. I saw FIVE (5) different accidents on my way to work this morning, involving about 12 vehicles. Bear in mind, my drive is about 15 minutes (took me over 30 today), and I am usually guaranteed ONE good smash-up on the way... but never have I seen five! One had rear-ended a flatbed trailer doing at least 60mph, burying the car up to the windshield. Another had rolled off the road, into a ditch, and landed on it's side. There was even a brand-new mercedes that looked like it had been going UP the off-ramp, and had hit two cars before smashing into a concrete pillar.

Ramadan begins 27 Oct, and that might have something to do with it. Everyone is getting a little bit wild before they're expected to behave themselves for a month straight. I was on the phone with Shelley the other night, standing out on my balcony, when I heard several bursts of machine-gun fire, and a single red tracer in the sky. This was in the MIDDLE of town, so needless to say it made me go... "huh!" One of the more interesting things (besides automatic weapons fire in the middle of a populated area), was the fact that red tracers are (supposedly) only used by our troops...

So anyway, I was SO close to getting pictures up last night, and the damn 'net connection dropped. I just went to bed, read for a while, then fell asleep watching a movie. My life has become very exciting that way ... =)

Ok, back to work! More later!


Thursday, October 16, 2003

... for you gamers and website designers out there ...

I know that more than a couple of the regular visitors here are gamers and/or website designers, so I wanted to point you to an amazing site I just found: Naughty Dog, Inc.

As seems to be the norm, problems and projects tend to surface here at roughly the same time, making for interesting days (and nights). The past few days have mostly been "work 6-8 hours", "sleep 4-6 hours", repeat. As you can imagine, this starts to take it's toll on the body, and I'm very fuzzy around the edges right now. I need to crash for about 12 hours soon, but I doubt that's gonna happen before Sunday. Yes, I'm eating healthy, taking my vitamins, and enjoying my work, but the past 96 hours are a blur. Oh well...

Also, for those of you that care, I got a brief - VERY brief - email from Hugh today, basically telling me he's coming back into the field, and will tell me more as he finds out... nothing about his new progeny, which is typical of Hugh, and just irritates the HELL out of all of us. I hope you're reading this Hugh! :P

I just finished "24 - Season 2" ... wow. I know I said I was boycotting Fox Broadcasting ... and in a way I did... I borrowed these DVDs... But this was just amazing! And now I guess Season 3 is starting up. The way they ended the last season I think will make it very difficult to follow (as with the first season), but if you get a chance, and haven't seen the others, tape Season 3 and SEND THEM TO ME!!! I have a lot of soldiers hooked on this show, and they would be eternally grateful, I can assure you!

I also used some of my downtime to work on the photo albums, and will put them up this weekend, en'shallah.

Ok, that's all I've got for now. I've got to get something to eat, since I won't get another chance until late tonight. Love to all!

Sunday, October 12, 2003

It's Good to be Loved!

Despite the opinions of my so-called "loving wife" and "friends"... I am not getting old and forgetful... I've just been really busy lately, and haven't had the time to regale you with the complete details the event deserves! It was a very "cool" moment for me (as a soon-to-be daddy), and I wanted to be able to give it my complete and undivided attention!!!


What was I talking about?

OH YEAH! So I'm standing outside our operations center talking to a few other people (about something important, I'm sure... like what we're going to do for dinner...), and my phone rings. My phone has some very interesting tones, so people always look at me funny. Fortunately, I'm used to that...

So it's Shelley, and I know it's like 4:30 in the morning there, so I'm already wondering what she's doing up. She tells me the baby was hungry, and woke her up, and now he's kicking her. She wanted me to "have a talk with him", presumably about his behaviour... I think she has a theory that if we start giving this kid direction at an early age (ie, in utero), we stand a better chance of keeping him on the straight and narrow.

Most of you knew me growing up (and someday, I might actually get there...); do you think this guy has any shot at being well-behaved??? He's still fetal and he's already giving her a hard time! Imagine when he's mobile!

OK, so I wander off behind a container (you know, those big metal boxes they put on cargo ships), and start talking to ... well... Shelley's belly. I tell him to settle down, and wait until he's actually OUTSIDE her body to start being difficult. I can only assume he ignored me (since I have no real leverage... it's not like I can ground him or anything ... "and you'll just SIT in that womb until I say you can come out, you got me mister?")

Oh yeah... this is gonna be fun...

Friday, October 10, 2003

... for those of you ...

... that are tired of checking my website, and finding nothing new, I have added a mailing list to notify you of changes. Just put your email address in, and you will get an email each and every time I feel the need to post something here... =)

Thursday, October 09, 2003

What are we going to do today, Brain?

... same thing we do every day, Pinky. Try to take over the world.

And according to this, I'm well on my way. This graph shows the percentage of visitors this site gets from different timezones. It's fairly self-explanatory, and not a real surprise (majority of hits are from MST), but there are some hits over here that surprise me. I guess the admins upstream from our link here in Kuwait have noticed traffic to my website, and are checking it out too.

Anyway, I guess we'll top 1000 hits since July 19, 2003 sometime later today, so that's something of a milestone. Must mean I'm popular to some people, I guess ("you like me! you really do!").

I'm heading off to work now, then I'm PLANNING on coming home and getting some picture albums posted. Same policy as usual: no promises! :P

I also wanted to explain the email situation a bit better. The first difficulty is the fact that the 'net connection in my apartment is not very reliable. It tends to go up and down whenever it wants... When it IS working, the distance factor makes downloading mail a very lengthy process. 100 messages can take over 15 minutes, and I get about 250/day. The majority of that is crap, and my spam filter only catches about half of the junk.

Finally, the last difficulty is the fact that this 'net service here doesn't provide an SMTP server, which is required for actually SENDING mail out... I know, doesn't make sense to me either... but I'm working on a solution for that as well.

So the best bets for getting mail to me right now are my and accounts. The Hotmail account will only get to me if you're on my address book, and very few people are. That one gets more spam then my gvcn account, and I got tired of having to login every couple of days just to look at junk mail.

So if you've sent me an email, the chances are good that I've gotten it, but replying isn't always an easy prospect. I'm working on it!

That's all I've got for now. I really am going to work on those pictures... I know you're all getting tired of my rambling, and want to start seeing the pictures...

Love to all!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Well... that was depressing!

I just re-read my post from last night, and I sound depressed! For the record, I'm nowhere near depressed, just really tired. We've got a lot of things that need to get done, and just not enough hours in the day to do them.

Anyway, I just wanted to post real quick and put up something a little more cheery... btw, has anyone noticed the "mood indicator" at the bottom of the page? I need to put it up on the left column so it's more visible, but that's something else I haven't had time to fix yet either. Now that I've finally got my computer system setup and online in my apartment, maybe I'll actually fix this thing up, and get some pictures uploaded. As usual, no promise! :P

Anyway, here's something that made me smile today, because hoping for snow here just seems pointless, ya know?

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Email ...

... as Shelley's tag says, my email has been a bit spotty out here. The biggest problem is that I hadn't cleared the mail from my gvcn.net mailbox in so long, it was taking forever to download all the messages that had accumulated since I left Colorado on Aug 10th. There was over 10,000 emails in my box, and that didn't include the times I would login on the webmail and delete all the spam I noticed.

To make matters even worse, the 'net connection at the apartment is spotty at best. So it took me the better part of a week to clear that box, and sort thru it. There's still over 4,000 emails I have to mark as spam. I've GOT to find a better solution; I refuse to give up my scotti@gvcn.net email account to the spammers. I will find a way to beat them, damnit!

So my recommendation right now is to send mail to either my SGrattan@tamsconj.com or scott.grattan@us.army.mil accounts. Doesn't matter which one, they both are getting forwarded to me here, so there's no downloading issues.

I'm getting ready to go to bed, it's been another long day. We've had an "Information Assurance Manager" in our midst for the past week, and I just dropped him off at the airport an hour or so ago. I was all set to dislike him before he showed up, but he turned out to be ok, and we share a lot of common interests. I even loaned him my Firefly DVD, so you KNOW I must think he's a decent guy. (he's probably reading this, so I won't be able to deny that statement later... ).

Well, there was dozen other things I wanted to share, but I'm just running out of energy. Still have a lot of projects that I need to finish, and am running low on stamina. I need a day to "recharge", but just don't have the time at the moment.

blah blah... I'm rambling, so I'll just say good night!

Saturday, October 04, 2003

..."to where the river flows"

The concert last night was pretty good, a little slow starting out, and it was funny listening to people around me who didn't know who Collective Soul was recognize songs like "Gel" and "Shine". Several of the songs were a little "changed" for the live versions, and I don't usually like the "live" versions as much as the studio recordings; but the version of "December" was really good. "Where the river flows", however, really wasn't that great. They ALWAYS open with that one in Grand Junction (rivers, junction, etc...)

Why drink the water
from my hand?
Contagious as you think I am
Just tilt my sun towards
your domain.
Your cup runneth over again.

Don't scream about
Don't think aloud
Turn your head now baby
Just spit me out
Don't worry about
Don't speak of doubt
Turn your head now baby
Just spit me out

Why follow me to higher ground?
Lost as you swear I am.
Don't throw away your basic needs,
Ambiance and vanity.

December promise you gave unto me
December whispers of treachery
December clouds are now covering me
December songs no longer I sing

I had another "surreal moment" the other day, as I was leaving for work the other morning. I was thinking that I'm probably one of the few people in the History of the World that has ever had thoughts like "I really hate it when the maid folds my shirts instead of hanging them in the closet." and "The Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce MRE* is pretty good!", in the same day.

* For those of you that don't know, an MRE is "Meal Ready to Eat", and it's a complete nutritional package of a main course, snacks and side dishes, heavy-duty plastic spoon, a hot and cold drink mix, dessert and snacks. Most of them are pretty good (read: fairly edible), some of them are just plain nasty (the Jamaican Pork Chop and Noodles, for example).

I'm sending Shelley a care package back for her birthday, and besides her birthday gifts, it's got a bunch of Kuwait and Iraq stuff (like a 25 Dinar bill from the Central Bank of Iraq). Ask her for a look at some of her goodies!

Ok, I'm off to work! Love to all!

Friday, October 03, 2003

... want to see me make Shelley jealous?

HA! Now that I have your complete attention... GUESS what rock band is playing tomorrow down in Arifjan?


That brings our total times of seeing CS in concert to two each!


Tuesday, September 30, 2003

2nd official baby picture...

Ok, I'm getting closer to a point where I can actually start uploading pictures. Unfortunately, it won't be with this post, since it's 3am and I will be back to work by 9am.

However, I will leave you with THIS picture:

Shelley said the video shows him flexing his arms and dancing around with no shame, further proof that he's mine (oh yeah... it's a boy, btw). I said that bears no resemblence to me, since I'm so quiet and introverted...

The geeks out there will notice that apparently this kid takes up 131GB of HD space. Damn... guess I better start looking into a file server now... Fortunately he's only running (currently) at 4.0MHz, so processor upgrades should be relatively inexpensive!

Speaking of geeks, if there's anyone that can help Shelley get that video into digital, I'll put a link to it here. I suspect they gave it to her on VHS, so will need someone to transfer and encode to RM or .avi.

ok kids, I'm going to bed... obviously I need the sleep (based on the geek humor).

Love to all, especially to our newest little software.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Where am I?

Ok, things have been too hectic to post the details of the concert, but for now I'll just say this: WOW! I've got so much more to say, but I just don't have the time right now. I swear, I'll post more details, with pictures. The pics didn't turn out very well though. I just couldn't convince the camera to use a faster exposure, so too many of the night shots are blurred.

I had to scan a local map today, and I made a copy to show some area details. Click HERE to see it! The picture is HUGE, and will open in a new browser window. After it's downloaded, your browser will probably reduce the size of it. If you're using Internet Explorer, just maximize the browser window (F11 for full screen), then hold your mouse over the image for a few seconds, and you should see an icon appear for maximizing the image. You will have to scroll aound this image, but it gives you a much better idea of where I am in relation to some of the OTHER vacation spots in the area...

Sorry that's all I've got the time for right now. Things are kinda slow at the port right now, so we're taking advantage of the lull to do some clean-up.

Before I forget, you've just GOT to check out Bruce Willis's website. It's very well put together, and is very personal. Needless to say, I was amazed by his performance last night, and I'm even more impressed with him after seeing the site. Bruce, you are my new hero! Thanks for everything!

Love to all!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

"... I'll post later today, I promise!"

what the hell was I thinking? Oh yeah, that I might actually be able to stick to a schedule... not happening!

Before I launch into a long-winded description of the Dewaniah, I want to think EVERYONE for the happy birthday wishes and cards! You should see the "care package" I received from Shelley. Lots of goodies for me, she's so good to me!

I also found a great website for learning about Kuwait: http://www.kuwait-info.org/. It's fairly well done, and very informative!

As for my recent adventure: being invited to the Dewaniah (I'm still not 100% sure of the spelling. I've seen it spelled so many ways... I liked "dinner thingy" better...), words cannot describe how incredible of an experience this was for me. I met some of the most interesting people, and talked at great lengths with them. Up until then, my exposure to the local people has been passing them on the streets and in the stores, or dealing with business owners/salespeople. No real insight into the true nature of the Kuwaiti citizen. That was the best part of me.

As I understand it, this Dewaniah serves it's purpose for nine other households, all owned by relatives. They own the entire neighborhood block, and gather there nightly. I spoke with several of the family, but spent the majority of the time speaking with one of the brothers at great length. He (as well as most of the other family members) made a point of initiating the conversation, as I'm sure they are cognizant of how overwhelming the whole experience is for most people. As most of you know, it didn't take much encouragement for me to babble on ... and on ... and .. ok, shut up.

The picture that was below in my earlier post wasn't just a picture of ANY Dewaniah, it was taken in this one! I wasn't expecting that when we walked in the door... but I recognized the corner of the room right away. I sat and spoke with Bader Al-Jassim (I have his card in front of me... I'm not THAT good at remembering names) while we drank three different coffees and teas, none of which I could tell you the names. One was made with oregano, and was actually quite good.

After about 45 minutes, we moved to the basement for dinner. There was a buffet style table set up, with more benches and cushions around the far corner of the room. The first thing when I turned the corner walking down the stairs was a poker table. That struck me as funny, because now the place just seemed like a big clubhouse to me! =) There was also a big screen TV, and a computer downstairs. I spoke with one of their younger sons about computer games (anyone surprised), and I think he was amazed at my knowledge of gaming. I'll explain why a bit later.

Dinner was delicious, with chicken and beef "kabobs" (I think is their term), which seems to be chopped and rolled, then roasted with spices. There was also some wonderful lamb, falling off the bone, as well as a rice (seemed to be like a vermicelli), but it was cooked with sugar, and had egg omelet over the top... interesting, but not my taste.

Desert was two cheese treats, one was a pastry with a mild cheese, the other a bit harder to describe, but with a bit stronger cheese. They both were served with honey, making for a very interesting and rich meal.

After dinner was more conversation. One of the relatives is a local journalist, who has his own newspaper. Mr Al-Jassim called him "Elvis", because of his sideburns and thick black hair, and also called him "nuthead", for his stubbornness. He was very loud and boisterous, and was definitely someone I would enjoy talking with... =) His paper has just recently been shutdown by the ministry for 10 weeks for printing things that weren't flattering to certain officials. I didn't get much detail on it, but it's something I would like to learn more about.

That's all I've got time for right now, I'll post more next time. I've got a few things I need to work on before I leave for the concert. Hopefully I'll have some great pictures!

Love to all, take CARE of each OTHER!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEEEE....

No real plans on what I'm going to do for my birthday... I just woke up, and now I'm going to head to work to finish some projects. I guess Sunday will be my "special treat"...

The Dewaniah was amazingly cool! I've got so much to say about it, but not enough time right now. I'll post later today, I promise!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

You won't see this on CNN

Here's something you don't see everyday... at least I HOPE not:

Also, another story that I don't think I've related to you all yet... this one comes from one of our guys working a site "up north" (everyone just says "up north", no one around here just says Iraq... dunno why).

Anyway, this guy has been working in Iraq for the past 3 months. He's been in and around Bagdhad the majority of that time. His impression of Iraq is a bit different from what you hear on CNN (or so it seems to me). He felt comfortable enough to bring his wife and child to visit him, and spent a couple days playing tourist. Everywhere they went were people smiling and waving to him and his family, some even yelling "America!!!". Places that he visited that normally would charge an entry fee (like parks and zoos), let them in for free, because they were obviously Americans. People would shake his hand, and though a lot of them don't speak english, it was clear to him they felt gratitude for what the USA had done, not the hatred the media seems to want to only portray.

Another thing he described was an advertising campaign that was seen on all the city buses and billboards. It was a picture of an Iraqi citizen hugging a US soldier. The caption read: "WE will NEVER forget!"

Just another POV, ya know?

More later, love to all!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

".... we're off on the road to Dewaniah... we certainly do get around..."

Ok, it's been a long day already, and I just got the details on the Dewaniah. What? You don't know what that is?? Sheesh, you people are SOOO uneducated... (yeah yeah, I just found out what it's called myself... until I got the email I've been calling it a 'dinner thingy')

Dewaniah, the gathering place
In every Arabian house, especially in the GCC region, there is a room called "Dewaniah" or "Majlis" for guests gatherings. Most of these Dewaniahs are for male visitors only. The Dewaniah is usually located close to the outside main entrance, away from the rest of the house. Women guests gather in a room inside the house and sometimes get to their gathering room from an outside entrance specifically assigned for female visitors. In some parts of the Arabian region men and women who are not directly blood related to each other or not married to each other don't mix. That's why there are often separate guest gathering rooms for both genders in the same house. In some Arabian houses this rule of gender separation is not followed. This regular gathering is a chance for relatives, friends, and invited guests to check on each other and converse in many subjects. It is a form of socializing where people communicate the latest news about other relatives, economy, business, sports, politics, etc. Tea, coffee, and sometimes a light snack are served.

When Invited to a Dewaniah

If you are invited to a Dewaniah, you are not expected to bring food, drinks, or gifts. Muslims pray 5 times daily where each prayer lasts for about 15 minutes: at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall. Prayers are usually held at the Islamic worship places called "Mosques". Regular gathering in Dewaniahs usually takes place after nightfall prayer and sometimes between the sunset and the nightfall prayers. Upon entering the house as you approach the Dewaniah notice the Dewaniah's door. If shoes and sandals were left at the door by other guests, then take off your shoes. It is customary when entering a Dewaniah or an office to greet everyone there by saying "Alsalamo-Alikom", which means "peace be with you" and it is the equivalent of saying "hello". The reply to this greeting is "Wa'alikom Alsalam".

Once inside the Dewaniah, everyone will stand up to greet you and shake your hand. Start with the person standing on your right side or the one who is approaching you. If you are a first time visitor or elderly, most likely your host and the attendants will offer you a seat at the head of the Dewaniah as a sign of respect and honor. Some Dewaniahs are furnished with couches; traditional ones don't have couches and attendants sit on the floor. The floor is covered with Persian rugs and against the walls of the Dewaniah there are pillows to rest your back against. Notice that in both modern and traditional Dewaniahs, attendants are seated in a circle to ensure that no one is facing someone's else back. Also, remember the rule that the soles of your feet should not point directly toward someone else.

In office or Dewaniah visits you might be offered Arabian coffee, which is served in small cups without sugar or milk. The coffee server will keep filling up your cup until you signal that you are done by slightly shaking your empty cup and either saying "Bass, Shokrann", which means "no more, thank you", or by covering the cup with the palm of your hand while returning the cup to the coffee server. Remember that you should always use your right hand. It is advisable that you accept at least one cup of coffee as a way of honoring this traditional hospitality.

It's quite an honor to be invited to this thing, and all I've really done is helped the new Col. with his computer issues. It helps that I'm sitting directly across from him, and every time he gets this confused look on his face, I'm there to lead him out of his computer conundrum.

Anyway, that will be something interesting to post on Friday. These things usually last until midnight (so I'm told), so I doubt I'll be up for posting anything on Thursday night. Who knows...

Ok, that's all I've got for now, get back to your lives!

Back in Kuwait...

...But it looks like .blogspot is not up at the moment. I'm able to post, but not able to pull up the site. Could just be a problem on this side of the world, but since there doesn't seem to be any comments or tags, I have no way of knowing for sure... (I can check those, without going to the website)

I'll be back later!

Monday, September 22, 2003

How's this for ironic?

Those of you that know me FAIRLY well know that I've always liked Bruce Willis. Not just as an actor, but also as a musician. I've been a fan of his albums since high school (Jamey Garner can attest to that... he and I spent hours listening and wailing along with Bruce)

Anyway, isn't it ironic that I had to travel half-way around the world to see him in concert?? He's going to be here Sept 28TH! How cool is that?

Another thought occured to me this morning, and I don't know if I posted it or not? When I was in NYC at the Kuwait embassy, waiting to get my visa, I bought a sandwich at some deli, and walked down to a spot by the UN that had a lot of tables, benches ringing trees (read that a few times, it'll make sense), and a big rock wall with water running down it. A very peaceful place.

I had bought a book at a street vendor (Wyrm, I forget the author's name, but if you're a geek, it's very enjoyable), so I ate my sandwich, read my book, and laid back on a bench (ringing a tree). I had been there about 10 minutes when a guy walked up to me and asked if he could bother me for a minute. I happened to be on the phone (which he couldn't tell because it was a headset), and I held up my hand and indicated that I was on the phone by showing him the headset. He nodded and waited for me to be done. When I finished, he seemed embarrassed, but asked if I happened to be homeless. He apologized for asking, but he said it was his job to make sure that indogent (sp?) people didn't camp out there. I showed him my DoD ID, and he was really embarrased at that point. I told him not to worry about it, and that I would "sit up and act respectable" if he thought it would be better. He assured me that it wouldn't be necessary, and shuffled off to avoid further embarassment.

Just thought I'd share that with you all, in case I hadn't done so already. (Plus I just wanted to prove Jason wrong... I'm posting WELL before the 25th... so bite me)

Love to all, even you J (you doubting fool)

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Still here...barely!

Ok, sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I was doing SO good there for a while too, wasn't I? I actually attempted to post something a couple days ago, but the 'net connection died, and the post was lost, and I just haven't had the time or energy to put something back up.

Basically, I got to work Monday morning around 7am, and have been in crisis mode ever since. The virus definitions on several of the systems here were very outdated. I had assumed everything was current, but that's a bad assumption to make. So since then I've been working about 18 hours a day trying to get all the systems uniform and current. Should be a lot easier than it has been, but last night was the first night I got more than 6 hours sleep in the past 96 hours.

I have to fly to Bahrain in a few days, something to do with my visa only being good for 30 days before I need to renew my entry stamp. It's a bit of a R&R trip too, since they actually have alcohol and pork (two forbidden things in Kuwait). I'm planning on having several large pork chops and a few beers. =)

That's all I've got to report right now. I'm still planning on getting those pictures up, really I am! I need to get it done so that I don't have to spend hours uploading stuff.

Here's something to appease you all in the meantime:

I'm sure it's too big, and will cause most of you to have to scroll to the right, but that's just too bad! I'll get it fixed this weekend!

Sunday, September 14, 2003

...just been busy!

Just been too much going on to post lately, and since I didn't get to put up the pictures yet, I just haven't been all that motivated. I'm really going to make the effort this week. REALLY!

Moved into my new apartment. It's in the same building, but it's a 3 bedroom, so that my team can all be in the same apartment. Makes things a little easier logistically.

I got to walk on one of the HUGE Navy freighters today. Words and pictures just can't describe how big these things are. Imagine a warehouse... now imagine stacking four or five of those on top of each other, then wrapping all of them in steel, and floating this out to sea. They have huge ramps inside so they can change the loading levels, and this one (the USNS Dahl) has a "weatherdeck", Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, and Golf decks... all loaded with trucks, humvees, tanks, APCs, etc... it's just amazing.

I'll try to post more later when I'm at home.

Love to all!

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Two years later... and a day.

It's 7am here, but that means it's midnight on the east coast, and 9/11/2003 has passed without incident (as near as I can tell). Yesterday was a bit more tension-filled than our typical day here, but there were some bright spots that I wanted to share with you.

The chaplain for our post organized an impromptu gathering, to coincide with the exact time the first plane hit the WTC. About 50 military men and women were gathered, as the events that took place 2 years ago were described by Col. Hagan, our interim Port Commander. There was a moment of silence, then a huge man. whose name I didn't catch, sang "I'm Proud to be an American". It was hard to see some of the big tough military guys struggling not to shed a tear, but it also seemed to reinforce their belief in what they're doing here. Some of them have received orders that their tour of duty has been extended, so they won't be home for Christmas like so many had hoped. But at this moment, that was completely forgotten of course. From where I stood I could see two huge naval transport ships unloading and loading their cargo, as people milled about and noticed our gathering. Those that realized what it signified stopped and put their heads down for a minute, then continued their work.

I really wanted to post this earlier, but there were too many people in the apartment already using the TV, and I couldn't get to it until this morning. That's ok, I needed the sleep!

I was looking for this column all day yesterday, but i was looking in the wrong place online. I found it this morning, and I wanted to put it here for anyone that hadnt' read it when it was originally published September 12, 2001, by Leonard Pitts, a columnist for the Miami Herald:

We'll go forward from this moment

It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.


Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.


You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.

Read his other columns. I'm especially looking forward to what he has to say today.

Well, that's all for now, I need to get into work. I'll post something a little later today, hopefully I'm going to be moving to our new apartment, more details later!

Love to all!


Obviously it didn't happen. The connection died shortly after I posted that last message, and didn't come up until I was falling asleep. I did spend that time getting the pictures ready, so they're closer now than ever! =)

I'll try again tonight...

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Ok... so... Tonight's THE night... maybe...

I'm home early, cooking dinner (I am SOOOO sick of eating out), and I'm going to make a real effort to get some pictures uploaded. The 'net is working, but as I've said (and bitched, and whined about ...) numerous times before, it's not reliable. But I'm wide awake, so the odds are good.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I don't believe this...

Wham-O Inc, the maker of the Slip 'N Slide, is suing Viacom over the movie "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star".

In one key scene that appears in Paramount's trailers for the PG-13 film, Spade's character launches himself belly first across a dry Slip 'N Slide -- not realizing it's supposed to be wet first -- then rolls over with red welts on his chest, crying "Oooooh, it stings." In another scene, Spade lubricates the toy with vegetable oil, then slides into a fence.

"Wham-O is concerned about the depicted misuse of its product in the film and its advertising, particularly the potential for injury to children and even adults who, after viewing the scene, might use the product in the same reckless manner," said Peter Sgromo, marketing director of Wham-O's toy division.

He said the movie "violates all safety guidelines that are clearly marked on the product and the packaging." Those guidelines limit the slide's use to children aged 5 to 12, weighing less than 110 pounds and under 5 feet tall. In addition, the product must be inflated, wet and connected to a hose before being used.

The suit goes on to say that advertising for the film may leave the public with the false impression that Wham-O in some way authorized or sponsored the Slip 'N Slide scenes.

Pardon my language, but give me a friggin' break. If it's "clearly marked", what are you worried about Peter? It amazes me that you can still function with your head that far up your ass.

When people wonder what's wrong with the way things are done in the US, I can use this as a perfect example.

Read the full story

Lithium for God... hehe ... I'm going to that "special Hell", aren't I?

SCI FICTION: Periodic Table

I have no idea how I found this, but I've been reading it for a few days, and it's very interesting. Almost all of the elements have been used, so if you started reading now, you'd probably be able to read all of them. They're very short stories, and if you're a sci-fi/fantasy buff, you'll appreciate them. Here's an example, I hope you find them as funny as I do:


Lithium for God
God sits weeping in the corner. His seraphim gently try to coax Him (God can't be made do anything He doesn't want to do, so He has to be coaxed) into taking His lithium. He requires five gigatons a day, just to function.

The Big Guy's bipolar disorder is the worst-kept secret in existence. Everyone knows how in a fit of mania he created the Heavens and the Earth in only six days. Everyone knows how, in depressive mode, he fell into such a slough of despond that he let that cretinous little toady, Morningstar, torment Job, who was the most faithful of His servants.

The problem is, God just won't admit He has a problem. He blames it all on Adam, for the apple, or on Eve, for tempting Adam. He blames it on Herod, on Hitler, on the Trilateral Commission, on anything but Himself.

"Open wide," sing the Seraphim, cheered on by all the Heavenly ranks and powers. "Take your nice medicine."

God buries His face in His hands. "Such children I have," he weeps. "Oy gevalt, what did I do to deserve such a family?"

"Why don't you try a little smiting?" the seraphim urge. "Wouldn't that be nice? Bangkok! It's the sexually transmitted disease capital of the world. It would be a great way of getting the Word out."

But God doesn't listen.

Meanwhile, the Kid comes slouching into Heaven (He's having a difficult adolescence), holds up His pierced hands, and says, "Look what they did to me down there! I am, like, so bummed out."

The Archangel Michael casts a jaundiced look his way. "So's your old man," he sneers.

The End


I guess I missed a little bit of action here last night. At some point, people that were leaving the port were turned around because of a report of shots fired (3-5 round burst). There was an investigation, but never found the source. It's suspected that it was just an over-eager soldier (US or Kuwaiti) discharging his weapon. Brilliant, considering the amount of storage of volatile cargo and chemicals around here. I would imagine a few well placed rounds in the wrong place would make things rather unpleasant for a bit.


OH!!! I almost forgot!!! Shelley called me around 4:30pm her time (1:30am mine), but I slept right through it... She had just heard the tadpoles' heartbeat! It was 140bpm, which is average (120 - 160 is expected). I wish I would have been awake to hear the excitement in her voice! When I called her back this morning, she was half-asleep... Her next appointment is 9/29, so hopefully we'll have another "baby" picture up here soon!

Love to all!

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Happy Happy Joy Joy....

'Firefly' lands in film afterlife

I heard about this a few days ago, but keep forgetting to post it. Most of you know of my obsession with this show... I've managed to get several of the soldiers over here hooked on it too. hehe

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Sunday mornng = Tuesday... ?

In Kuwait, Thursday and Friday are the equivalent of Saturday and Sunday in the US. Wednesday night is a madhouse around here; you have to make reservations for dinner at most places, and the traffic is quadrupled. You can hardly find anything open on Thurs/Fri, so you have to plan accordingly. Of course, sometimes we have to deal with vendors in other parts of the world too, and they have their "weekends" on Sat/Sun... Needless to say, it sometimes takes planning to coordinate all this....

So today is Sunday (US equivalent of Tuesday), and I've got to run down to Nerdvana (Hawalli) to pick up some computer supplies. I went to the Sultan Center (Kuwaiti version of Wal-Mart... seriously people, I don't make this stuff up...), and spent WAY too much time explaining to the people what I needed. I would venture a guess that NONE of you have ever had to describe "canned air" to an arabian... Picture me pantomiming a spray can going "pfffffft" to five different people.

I want that thirty minutes of my life back!

So, I'm posting this from my apartment, hopfully it will actually stay connected long enough to post and download my bloated mailbox in Colorado. I've been using a web interface to look at my mail, but it's very slow, and has no real way to sort the crap from the stuff I care about.

That's all for now! Hopefully the connection will still be up when I get home and I can actually get some pictures up here!


Friday, September 05, 2003

Reality intrudes on the surreal...

The past couple of days have been fairly hectic, and I've really only got to summarize. This is the second time I've posted this, because the first one got sent to the void when I hit publish... I've GOT to get into the habit of copying my posts before I publish, in case it dies mid-post...


Just to name a few of the events that have been going on here: Losing our satellite link sporadically, causing all manner of unhappiness for us. Our backup link not available due to a security key being inadvertantly destroyed. Siren testing for the entire area (all the different sirens: NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) attack, SCUD attack, industrial accident, etc). Discovery of a UXO (UneXploded Ordinance) in the area (there was talk of just exploding it, but didn't happen during my shift...). Can you imagine the uninformed person hearing the sirens and explosion? Never happened (to my knowledge), but I can just picture some poor guy in some remote corner of the port hearing all this...

Then, last night, there was a fatal accident on one of the ships. It was a TCN (third country national), and he worked on the loading docks. He had apparently unlashed a vehicle that was on a ramp, and was pinned between it and a 5-ton truck for a while before anyone found him.

This morning, at the morning briefing, as the details were related to day crew (most of them had already heard), I looked around at the assembled staff (all military), and couldn't help but feel a bit of wonder and awe. None of the people here had any responsibility in the accident, but I couldn't help but feel that everyone here felt responsible in some way. I doubt anyone here knew the man that died, but they each felt a sadness. It may seem like that's just human nature, but I couldn't help but wonder if the TCN's would feel that same sadness and responsibility if it had been a soldier that had died because of an accident. I'm not saying there's animosity between the locals. More like an "indifference". I could be wrong, but it's just the sense I get...

Anyway, I'm going to post this and get back to work. I just wanted to put this here while it was still fresh in my mind.

Take care of each other, love to all!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

More Surreality...

... so after we finally got out of here last night (this morning... umm.. a few hours ago), I was running one of my teammates to get something to eat, because he had to go back, and he just couldn't bring himself to eat another MRE within a 24hr period... (he's ex-military, so I guess he's had his fill...)... ANYWAY ....

We're sitting in a KFC (open 24 hours), and I'm eating a "chicken strip combo meal", and another wave of surreality hits me... there's islamic music (basically a singing prayer or something, no actual musical instruments), and I'm looking at the equivalent of my "biscuit" : a hamburger bun ... seriously... looking at wallpaper of Colonel Sanders, surrounded by Arabic lettering ... looking at grown men holding hands or wrists (I'll explain that sometime too... definitely WON'T be a PG-13 post).

Ok, back to some semblance of normalcy:

Another Classic Calvin

Appropriate for my current locale

The Calvin Decade

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

My Surreal Life (Part 2)

Today (actually... my "today" started about 16 hours ago... and still going... so it feels more like YESTERday...) was another interesting one, so I haven't had time to really comment on all the wonderful comments by the two most important women in my life (who supposedly love me, but it's hard to tell from their unabashed bashing of me...)... so we'll just ignore them, shall we? hehe

I've spent most of the day troubleshooting our network, which has refused to cooperate. Hard to believe that a bunch of electronic gizmos could be so stubborn, but none of them really seemed interesting in all working at the same time, making my job infinitely more interesting. As you can tell, it's around 11pm my time, and I got here around 7am...

But I remembered another factor in My Surreal Life (c) that I forgot to share with you the other day. In all this "dirty yucky" country, I have found a little slice of Heaven... TRUE NERDVANA. (Dilbert fans are smiling and nodding, n00bs are looking up the word).

There's an area that is just PACKED full of computer stores of every imaginable type. It's in Hawalli, and there is literally 2 malls, right next to each other, and EVERY store is a computer store. Imagine walking through your mall (whereever you live...). You don't see a Bath & Bodyworks, or any other "girly" store... No Gap, Old Navy, or LL Bean. No stupid kiosks in the middle of the floor selling your family history, or glass baubles, etc.... JUST GEEK STUFF. I was only in one of the malls, and I was only able to visit a few of the stores, but I saw no less than 30 stores... ALL of them computer stores. And to make things even WORSE, copyright laws do not apply here... think about that... here's how it works:

You walk into pretty much ANY computer store, and you ask to see their "book". They all know what you're asking about, and most of them have right there on the counter. So... you flip through the book, and you can immediately tell what it is you're looking at... Playstation, Xbox, DVD movies, PC games, whatever... in the corner there is a number. You tell the guy what #'s you want, and he disappears somewhere, and comes back with your choices, in a plastic bag, and a printed copy of the software or movie cover. A CD or DVD (game) usually has a hand-written description on it, while the movies usually have a nice printed label (similiar to the original). And these aren't always just copies from a DVD... for example, the book I last looked at included Bad Boys II, Open Range, S.W.A.T, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc... all movies still in the theatre. These works of art are filmed in the theatre (usually quite poorly), and just copied to DVD. What's really funny is if you watch one of them long enough, and you get into the movie, then all of a sudden someone (in the theatre that it was originally filmed) walks in front of the camera, and you realize that you're alone in the room.... your first thought is usually somewhere along the lines of "what the hell...?".

Anyway, back to my little piece of Heaven in the middle of Hell. Some of the prices are really good, some are really outrageous. Add to that the challenge of figuring out KD in USD, I'm going to be very cautious in there... but I did see some things I really wouldn't mind having... Sorry Shelley, but it's true... I'm really curbing my urges (do I need it vs. do I want it...), but I'm going to breakdown eventually. hehe I'll justify it by claiming it's to better prepare our progeny for the world of technology he/she is being born into...

Speaking of offspring, Shelley is doing good, in her 17th week, and sounds good when I talk to her. I know a lot of you talk to her on a regular basis, but would you please just call her and say "hi"? You can even call her and tell her I told you to, so I'll score some points too. I just can't call her now as often as I could when I was in the States, because of the time difference. She's asleep when I'm awake, and vice-versa. Anyway, just do it, will ya?

Well, that's all that I have time for, thanks for all your comments! I want to see 10 comments (from different people) on one of my posts one of these days. I guess I'll just have to post something REALLY interesting... =)

Love to all ... but especially to Shelley (and the BIG tadpole)!

Sunday, August 31, 2003

My Surreal Life

As I sit here in a collapsible metal office, on the edge of a port in the middle of Kuwait, eating green eggs and ham (Sam I am) that is served in the chow tent every morning... it occurs to me that you might find my surreal life interesting... I know I do.

Firstly, my apartment is full of surreal qualities. Nearly all the apartment buildings I've seen have businesses in the ground floors. My building has a fish store , (fish are friends, not food), a hair "saloon" for kids (yes, that's the way the spell it, and they mean salon, I assume. I suspect that a "salon" is something in Arabic they want to avoid confusing with...), and a few other unidentified stores that either haven't been open when I'm there, or I haven't gotten up the courage to explore.

Next, the elevators are alive. Seriously. They seem to experience actual human emotions: boredom, hunger, resentment... I mean of COURSE an elevator would be bored, but let me explain the other emotions. The reason I say they're hungry is because they will try to take a bite out of you if you don't get in fast enough. And these aren't wimpy Made in the USA elevators, these things close fast and hard. They do have that big strip of plastic that will prevent them from biting down hard, of course, but unlike their American brothers (and sisters?), they are a bit slower in releasing (picture smacking an animal on the nose to get it to release it's hold on something... like your leg...). When they do open, it's slow, and grudgingly... you can almost feel it's reluctance...

As for the elevators being resentful, case in point: I was leaving for work the other morning, and the damn thing tried to bite me. In typical testosterone fashion, I kicked the door (trying to teach it respect, I guess... *grunt*). When I got to the ground floor, the door only opened 6 inches... and just stuck. So I could SEE outside, just couldn't GET outside... I had to force the door open... and left it there, stuck open, glaring at me...

For the record, that's TWO dangers I hadn't considered when deploying: bad drivers and elevators.

Second in my surreal life is whoever cleans my apartment. I have a vague recollection of SOMEONE in my apartment at some point during my first day on the ground, and they were doing "housekeeping" type things, but I assumed they were just cleaning up for the previous tenant... or making sure I had everything I needed. I haven't seen her since, but then I noticed my dirty clothes were gone a couple days later. My bed is made every night when I get home, there are clean clothes (first they were on my bed, but now they're ironed and hanging in my closet ...) My dishes are washed and put away, and my furniture is sometimes re-arranged back to the way it was originally (I like to move it around to better suit me...).

This wouldn't seem so surreal if I actually had a better IDEA of the person doing it... I don't even really need a name, just a face. I was getting fairly spoiled while I was in NJ when I dropped off my laundry to have it done... but at least there I knew what the person looked like. Here I don't have a clue what the person looks like that is seeing my dirty underwear... how's THAT for surreality?

Another surreal moment was when I got home last night. I walked in the door, and caught a quick movement on the wall behind the door. Fearing some monstrous Arabian Spider or something, I stepped back and looked just in time to see a small lizard scamper up the wall. So I guess I've got a pet now. At least I know what IT looks like... I'll even give it a name... "Lizzy"

My drive from work at night has a VERY surreal quality... We're in a very industrialized area, and surrounded by refineries. If you've never seen a refinery, they're amazing. At night, it's lit up like a city, miles wide, with "smoke" stacks shooting great gouts of flame into the air, lighting up the sky.

I work in a collection of tents and POCs (Portable Operation Centers). Network cabling, telephone, and power cables run in all directions. Our meals our served "buffet style" in the chow tent, and it's surprisingly good. Especially Mexican Night. Every other night is some variation of beef and chicken, and lunches are usually MREs.

Well, this has been a lot longer than I inteneded, and I've got a bunch of things I need to get done. Still working on the 'net problem in my apartment, so I'll be able to get those pictures up pretty soon. I looked out my window into the bay, and saw some HUGE freighters and tankers (yet another surreal quality...), and took a few pictures and a video.

Love to everyone!

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Local Weather report, etc...

Local Weather

I'll place the link up by the location when I get my 'net connection working again, and am doing this on my own system, not from onsite.

Just another day here, minor goings-on, nothing exciting. Already starting to get in that groove of work, eat, sleep, etc... That's not a bad thing, makes the time pass faster, and I spend less money (ask Shelley!).

I finally got a cell phone (spent way too much, as usual), but it's got all kinds of helpful features, and it's a tri-band, so I'll be able to use it anywhere in the world I can get cell service. I'm not going to post the number here, because it's just too expensive for everyone to call! If you need to hear my voice, just ask and I'll Audblog something ... hehe :P

That's all for now. I've got a bunch more pics, and I'll be posting some as soon as I am sure it's ok. I've got some that I may have to do some editing on to make sure there's nothing revealed.

Friday, August 29, 2003


Sept. 11 call transcripts released

Check out this link, and notice the picture of the media hounds that can't even wait to get to their office to read the transcripts.

Also, note that it was the NY Times, and NOT the victim's families that actually went to court to get these transcripts released! Something about that just pisses me off...

The biggest reason I didn't post anything yesterday was that there just wasn't that much to say. We've got all kinds of technical and human drama playing out here, but nothing that anyone but those it affects would be interested in hearing about it, believe me. My 'net connection in my apartment still isn't working, and the support number we have to call has been out of service for days now. For added complication, OUR support people (the ones responsible for taking care of us over here) have been out of country for the past few days too... so...

So, that's what's happening here... I'm amassing some decent pics, but until I have time at home (and the connection) to organize it, I'm not going to upload them. I should have a decent enough collection by this weekend to justify either going to a 'net cafe or going to someone else's apartment to upload...

Also, I changed the 'blog's timestamp to reflect my local time, not yours. If I get REALLY ambitious I'll add a function that will show my time and your local time (since there are people in several different time zones reading this...). That may or may not be interesting to you...

That's all for now, take care of yourselves and each other!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

... just killing time ...

yeah... I was a little bored.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

... another day in Paradise?

Nothing really exciting to report, so I thought I'd try to give you a better idea about the situation here:

Right now I'm living in a great apartment about 30 minutes from where we're stationed. My teammates are living in another complex about 15-20 minutes further out, so we're trying to coordinate a 3 bedroom in my building, just for simplicity. We only have one vehicle between the three of us, so the logistics takes a bit of creativity. We're trying to procure another vehicle, but for now, we're just making due. The building they're in is a lot nicer, with amenities like a pool on the 12th floor (which never gets used), and a pool table in the lobby. My building also has a pool, on the ground floor, and the apartments are MUCH bigger... so we're going to have to make some decisions... (I know I know.. rough life, huh?) Actually, all the amenities are a somewhat moot point, since we really don't have much time to use them. Things are only slightly more hectic now than they usually would be, but time will tell.

I'm working 12 hour shifts, but that's also a bit of a moot point, since we're all on 24 hour call. Being the computer/network nerd, I'm (theoretically) more in demand than the other two, but that hasn't been the case yet. I was a bit relieved when the Exchange (mail) server went down this morning, so I could actually prove my usefulness.

For those of you that don't know about Kuwait, I'll paint you a bit of a picture (as I understand it). Apparently, just for being a natural-born Kuwaiti citizen, you are "provided" for... in other words, you don't really have to work. You are paid for being a native of Kuwait. There are, literally, twice as many non-natives here as there are natives, and their sole purpose here is for service and commerce. Stores, restaurants, hair/beauty salons, etc... ALL of these are owned and operated by non-natives. Egyptians, Filipino, Asian, etc... Most nationalities have some kind of stake in the actual businesses in Kuwait. It makes for an interesting culture.

I went to get a haircut the other day, for the bargain price of 5 KD (Kuwaiti Dinars), a little more than $15 USD. This isn't much more than what it costs in the states (at some places...), but the service is incredible. THe place we went to was owned by an Egyptian, and the haircut was the least of the process. I don't have much hair, so that was the easy part, of course. But I also was served a Turkish tea, a GREAT beard trim, lathered and straight-razor shave (yes, not even in country 72 hours and I already had a foreigner with a sharp object to my throat), neck/head "manipulated" (popped, chiro (Cairo?) style), back rubbed, some kind of pink goo smeared on my face (like a chemical face peel), and had my hair washed. Try getting all THAT for $15

Another impression of Kuwait I just HAVE to give you is the traffic. Oh... my... GOD! Remember what I said about traffic in New Jersey? Did I actually say it was the worst I had ever seen? Not even in the running anymore. The drivers in Kuwait are just ... terrible. There's no word in the English language that could possibly relate to you how incredibly bad the drivers are around here. But I'll bet there's a word or six about bad drivers in Arabic. I'm not exaggerating here, and as proof, I plan on taking pictures on the car wrecks between work and home. No less than 10 cars are smashed on the side of the road, and they sit there for weeks, apparently...

Well, that's all I've got for now, hopefully our 'net connection in the room will be up and running tonight, and I can start uploading some pictures. I bought all the power converters and transformers I need, and hooked my PC up to the TV. Everything is working great (after a 45 minute chkdsk scan on the system...).

More later!

Monday, August 25, 2003

Hello from Kuwait... emphasis on the wait...

Seems like doing everything around here requires a "wait", so this place is definitely appropriately named... I guess Kuhotterthanhell was too hard to fit on the tourism brochures...

I went to the airport last night, got bounced around from different offices, people, and finally found my footlocker. Everything seems to be working, but I haven't picked up a transformer yet so I haven't been able to power up the computer. I'll check it out tonight, and keep my fingers crossed. There wasn't any real apparent damage to the case, so I think everything should be ok... =)

I also found a lot of the soldiers here are computer gamers, and it seems they even have LAN parties when they can. Picture a bunch of guys (and girls, I guess), sitting around in a bunk or tent, with network cables running everywhere, plugged into laptops, and playing... umm.. I don't know what. One of the guys even said they played Battlefield 1942, but I just can't imagine what kind of laptop they would need to do that. I'll jump into their next one and find out...

That's all I've got for now. Our 'net was down in the apartment again last night, so I didn't get a chance to get back online. I've got to call tech support... I hate doing that. =)

Love to all!

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Still working on it!

ok... we're having 'net problems at our place, so I couldn't post last night. And I didn't get a chance to go pick up the cell phone yet. All things that are in the works!

One bit of good news is that the airline is claiming my bag will be in tonight at midnight. This falls into the "believe it when I see it" category, of course, but I'll let you know how that one turns out too!

I'll HOPEFULLY be able to post later tonight!

Saturday, August 23, 2003

... so ends another day...

Well, I'm ending another day, and still no phone. Just didn't have the time to get to set it up. There are so many things happening at once, I feel like I'm starting WAY behind the curve... but I'll catch up.

Another bit of good news was (supposedly) my missing footlocker will be here tomorrow. That's a bit of a relief, but I'm not going to believe it until I actually have it in my hands.

I've added a link underneath the "location" on the left, and it will answer your questions about "is it really 120degrees there?" ... that isn't just something they put in the tourism brochure, it really is friggin' hot here.

I'll post more tonight (hopefully) before I fall asleep.

Also, FYI, we are GMT +2 here, which is MST +9, CST +8

I haven't changed the time that the 'blog thinks I'm posting yet...

Friday, August 22, 2003

... power outage...

... and it's NOT Ohio's fault... this time. =)

I charged my laptop today, but apparently not enough, because I have less that 5% battery charge. Everyone has already left for the night, and I have no cell phone to call from right now... so... no phone calls tonight. I'm going to pick up a phone tomorrow, and I'll call then.

I've got a ton to post, but not enough juice in this thing to do it! I'll catch up tomorrow night, when I actually have POWER and PHONE to do it with!!!

Thanks for everyone's messages! I'll post my typical smart-ass responses later! LOVE TO ALL!

(PS to Shelley! I'll call you if I can, but I can't promise. If I can't call, know that I'm thinking about you! :^* 143)

ummm... it's hot here.


Got here late last night, and of course, the one thing that got lost was the most expensive thing... my computer. We're trying to track it down now...

I'll post some more later tonight, and call some people. Got a lot to do the first couple of days. Thanks for all the messages! Love to all...

PS, I'm living on a beach again... I'll send pics!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

This is better...

I just hadn't walked far enough! I found a "Network Cafe", and now I'm sitting with MY laptop, using their wireless access (had to pay for it, of course, but it beats paying .30 euros/min.. and no, I have no idea how much that is in $). I just got 20 euros from an ATM, and I'll check the statement to see the conversion later. I'm sure I could find it online, but right now, I just don't care.

Well now that I have access on my own system, I can paste what I had typed earlier and saved on here:

The flight from Newark to Amsterdam was totally uneventful. If you’ve never taken an international flight, I can tell you it’s a bit different from domestic. Our plane was a 767, and it sat 7 people wide; 2 on each side, 3 in middle. The most noticeable difference was everyone has an LCD monitor in front of them, and can cycle through different TV shows (Friends, CSI, Frasier, etc…) and a couple of recent run movies. Every seat has an attached remote control for controlling the channel, as well as the overhead light. You geek/gamers out there will be jazzed to know this remote did triple time: remote control, satellite phone, and game controller . There were 10 cheezy games available to play, and phone calls were a bargain rate of $2.99 setup and $6/minute! Since the flight left at 10pm, and I had been up since 6am, I didn’t really fiddle around with much of anything, because I was just too wiped. One of the cool things about this flight was the constant display on the main cabin monitor, which showed a graphic representation of our current position, as well as altitude, speed, and various time information (time at origin, time at destination, estimated time of arrival, etc.)

Right now, I’m sitting at the gate for my next flight, which is still only a short 4.5 hours away. I’m sure I’ll eventually get up and wander around, but right now, I’m just content to stretch out and relax. My next flight is about 7 hours, and I’ll be getting there around 11pm local time (3pm MST … I think).

we now return you to the present time ... or something like it.

I just realized something depressing. I paid for my meal with my 20 euros, and got all kinds of money back (that I don't have a clue about... I can assume the waitress knows.. or knows that __I__ don't know... hehe)

Anyway, that made me realize that I'm going to have to figure out currency conversions for my expense report. If I tell them they owe me 200euros, it will take them 6 months to figure it out (including time spent punishing me for requesting payment in foreign currency...)

ok, so that's all I've got for now. I'm going to go find a nice comfy chair to sit in, and finish downloading my email before this battery dies. I don't have an AC adapter here, so it's just going to have to wait until I get around to finding one.

BTW, for those of you I already told, the backpack is AWESOME. It's been a big help, and beats lugging around multiple carry-ons.

Talk to you soon!

Damn ... err ... Amsterdam, that is...

I'm typing this from a terminal in the Amsterdam airport, on the funkiest little keyboard... so I'm not going to say much here. Just thanks for everyone's thoughts, prayers, wishes, etc. I'll post more when I actually have REAL access...

Love to all!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

I'm leaving ... ON a jet plane...

... but I know when I'll be back again... or thereabouts...

I'm leaving tonight at 10pm. I haven't even bothered to listen to the Audblog above, because I know it probably sounds stupid and rambling... hehe

I'm going to be online off and on all day today, I've got a few last-minute things to get done, but I should be able to get everything all set.

...more later

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Monday, August 18, 2003

Technology fails ... anybody surprised?

Actually, it wasn't the technology that was at fault, it was more user error. I left an Audblog last night when I was driving to Ft. Monmouth, but instead of pressing # to save my recording, I just hung up... so about 2.5 minutes of me babbling was lost into the void... probably just as well.

So the gist of my rambling was that I had arrived in NJ (approximately 12 hours after I had begun the journey), and was currently making my way down the Garden State Parkway (a misnomer if ever I heard one: Garden and Parkway to me suggests flowers and serenity... neither of which are accurate here...) to my quarters on base. By the time I got settled into my room, it was about 0130. Another hour or so to wind down and finally fall asleep, to get up four hours later.

... so now I'm writing this on Tuesday, because what I was writing on Monday got lost when our network crapped out while I was publishing. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time right now to re-do everything I had put here. Since this is the SECOND time I have lost the record of that event, I'll take that as a sign and just forget about it...

Today I'm going to be in NYC all day trying to get my visa for travel. I think it's going to be an adventure, which I will try to relay later tonight.

Have a great day!