Wednesday, June 30, 2004

How cool is this?

I got an email the other day from someone who was searching the net for information about where her fiance is stationed. Somehow, searching for Port Shuaiba led her here, and she had some very nice things to say about my site in general, and me specifically! Well you all know how much I dislike praise... (hehe) ... so I felt obligated to do something nice for her...

To add a bit of "gee, what a small world" to this whole thing... her name is Shelley, and she lives in Arizona. For those of you that don't understand the significance, Shelley is also MY wife's name (don't forget the e... which is fairly unique), and Shelley's mom and sister (my in-laws) live in Arizona also...

Kind of a Twilight Zone thingy, don'tchathink?

I did a bit of searching myself, to try to find my site using Google, but didn't have much luck... but I did find a couple links to sites that have done a MUCH better job of describing the surroundings than I ever have... check them out here, here, and here

Anyway, thanks for visiting, Shelley --- not you Shelley, the other one ... ok, it's not funny anymore... :P

So now that my viewing audience has grown by one (bringing the total to about ... umm.. 7?), I'm inspired to start posting a bit more frequently... my energy level has waned a bit here, and I'm running out of interesting things to say. Why do you think I resort to Calvin & Hobbes cartoons so frequently? Speaking of which:

Something else occurred to me the other day... I've got a TON of those C&H cartoons on this site... but no easy way view them without reviewing all my old posts. I wouldn't subject you all to having to sift through my rambling just for a fix of C&H, so here's all of them on one page... How nice am I?

Love to all!

Friday, June 25, 2004

At war for 23 years and too stupid to know it.

I recently got this in my email, and thought some of you out there might appreciate it. Some of you might even NEED to see it...

U.S. Navy Captain Ouimette is the Executive Officer at Naval Air
Station, Pensacola, Florida. Here is a copy of the speech he gave last
month. It is an accurate account of why we are in so much trouble today and
why this action is so necessary.


That's what we think we heard on the 11th of September 2001 (When
more than 3,000 Americans were killed) and maybe it was, but I think it
should have been "Get Out of Bed!" In fact, I think the alarm clock has
been buzzing since 1979 and we have continued to hit the snooze button and
roll over for a few more minutes of peaceful sleep since then.

It was a cool fall day in November 1979 in a country going through
a religious and political upheaval when a group of Iranian students attacked
and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This seizure was an outright
attack on American soil; it was an attack that held the world's most
powerful country hostage and paralyzed a Presidency. The attack on this
sovereign U. S. embassy set the stage for events to follow for the next 23

America was still reeling from the aftermath of the Vietnam
experience and had a serious threat from the Soviet Union when then,
President Carter, had to do something. He chose to conduct a clandestine
raid in the desert. The ill-fated mission ended in ruin, but stood as a
symbol of America's inability to deal with terrorism.

America's military had been decimated and downsized/right sized
since the end of the Vietnam War. A poorly trained, poorly equipped and
poorly organized military was called on to execute a complex mission that
was doomed from the start.

Shortly after the Tehran experience, Americans began to be
kidnapped and killed throughout the Middle East. America could do little to
protect her citizens living and working abroad. The attacks against US soil

In April of 1983 a large vehicle packed with high explosives was
driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut. When it explodes, it kills
63 people.

The alarm went off again and America hit the Snooze Button once

Then just six short months later a large truck heavily laden down
with over 2500 pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine
Corps headquarters in Beirut and 241 US servicemen are killed. America
mourns her dead and hit the Snooze Button once more.

Two months later in December 1983, another truck loaded with
explosives is driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait, and America continues
her slumber.

The following year, in September 1984, another van was driven into
the gates of the US Embassy in Beirut and America slept.

Soon the terrorism spreads to Europe. In April 1985 a bomb explodes
in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid.

Then in August a Volkswagen loaded with explosives is driven into
the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main, 22 are killed and the
snooze alarm is buzzing louder and louder as US interests are continually

Fifty-nine days later a cruise ship, the Achille Lauro is hijacked
and we watched as an American in a wheelchair is singled out of the
passenger list and executed.

The terrorists then shift their tactics to bombing civilian
airliners when they bomb TWA Flight 840 in April of 1986 that killed 4 and
the most tragic bombing, Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988,
killing 259.

Clinton treated these terrorist acts as crimes; in fact we are
still trying to bring these people to trial. These are acts of war.

The wake up alarm is getting louder and louder. The terrorists
decide to bring the fight to America. In January 1993, two CIA agents are
shot and killed as they enter CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The following month, February 1993, a group of terrorists are
arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the
underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six
people are killed and over 1000 are injured. Still this is a crime and not
an act of war?

The Snooze alarm is depressed again. Then in November 1995 a car
bomb explodes at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing seven
service men and women.

A few months later in June of 1996, another truck bomb explodes
only 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It
destroys the Kohlrabi Towers, a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and
injuring over 500. The terrorists are getting braver and smarter as they see
that America does not respond decisively.

They move to coordinate their attacks in a simultaneous attack on
two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These attacks were planned with
precision. They kill 224. America responds with cruise missile attacks and
goes back to sleep.

The USS Cole was docked in the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling on
12 October 2000, when a small craft pulled along side the ship and exploded
killing 17 US Navy Sailors. Attacking a US War Ship is an act of war, but we
sent the FBI to investigate the crime and went back to sleep.

And of course you know the events of 11 September 2001. Most
Americans think this was the first attack against US soil or in America. How
wrong they are.

America has been under a constant attack since 1979 and we chose to
hit the snooze alarm and roll over and go back to sleep.

In the news lately we have seen lots of finger pointing from every
high officials in government over what they knew and what they didn't know.
But if you've read the papers and paid a little attention I think you can
see exactly what they knew. You don't have to be in the FBI or CIA or on
the National Security Council to see the pattern that has been developing

The President is right on when he says we are engaged in a war. I
think we have been in a war for the past 23 years and it will continue until
We as a people decide enough is enough.

America needs to "Get out of Bed" and act decisively now. America
has been changed forever. We have to be ready to pay the price and make the
sacrifice to ensure our way of life continues. We cannot afford to keep
hitting the snooze button again and again and roll over and go back to sleep.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto said "
seems all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant." This is the message we
need to disseminate to terrorists around the world.

Support Our Troops and support President Bush for having the
courage, political or militarily, to address what so many who preceded him
didn't have the backbone to do both Democrat and Republican. This is not a
political thing to be hashed over in an election year this is an AMERICAN
thing. This is about our Freedom and the Freedom of our children in years to

Please forward this to as many people as you can especially to the
young people and all those who dozed off in history class and who seem so
quick to protest such a necessary military action.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Serenity website is up!

Not much going on here, so I'll just tell you about a neat thing I've found lately. The Firefly movie, Serenity, has the official website up and running. It's still being worked on, but it's looking good!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Things I saw today... that you didn't. (Resurrected!)

A couple weeks ago I posted this, and then accidentally posted over it. I found an archive of it, so I thought I'd repost it, posterity's sake...

In my continuing observation of how surreal life is over here, it occurs to me just how many things I see here (and have accepted as "normal") that the majority of you reading this likely did NOT have to deal with today.

- There's a couple of spots right outside the base that there are constantly local police parked, with their lights flashing. I'm not sure what their function is, because it certainly isn't law enforcement. It's not uncommon to find them having a "picnic", complete with a blanket, pillows, tea, and snacks. More common to find them with newspaper in the windows to block out the sun (or the light at night so they can get some sleep). Today, and I swear this is true, one of them was backing up along the side of the road, with his hood open.

- At most of the major intersections there are crudely constructed banners and signs, all in arabic. These are usually made of two 2x4's and canvas or sheets of plywood. These typically get blown over every couple of days, but there's always someone there to replace or rebuild within a couple of days. By contrast, vehicles that have broken down or are involved in accidents sit for weeks.

- Outside of most entrances to the US military installations there are "HAPPINESS IN ISLAM" signs, with a number to call for more information. I have this image in my mind of "Islamic Recruits" anxiously awaiting the multitudes of soldiers calling to convert...

- Arabic women, fully veiled, driving at breakneck speeds, with nearly no peripheral vision. Avoid at ALL costs... trust me on this.

- Herds of TCNs (Third Country Nationals) ... and a term that just makes me smile for some reason... chasing vehicles as they pull into parking lots, waving their dirty rags towards their dirty water buckets. "Wash, boss?" is their most commoon request when you exit your vehicle, and usually takes several "no thank you's" before they lose interest. One enterprising TCN even washed my truck despite the fact that there were NO car-washers within 100 yards of my vehicle when I parked. When I returned to find my "clean" truck, he demanded 4KD (the usual rate is ~1.5KD). When I told him "no way", and got into the truck, he jumped into the back of my truck, and despite threats to drive him to the closest US base to have him shot, he refused to get out. Only after I threw a couple of 500 fil notes on the ground did he jump out and scramble after them...

more as I think of 'em!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Happy Fathers Day

Ryan sent me a picture to show me how much he missed and loved me (I suspect his Mommy helped a bit...) this Father's Day...

Guess he got a little sleepy mid-pose... You know he has a very busy schedule these days.

Love to all! Happy Fathers Day to those who qualify!

Monday, June 14, 2004

Been a while...

Time for some C&H!

Ok... I feel better now...

Friday, June 11, 2004

You just THINK you've heard this one before...

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well.
The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to
be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to
shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.
Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked
down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt
that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake
it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel
dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon,
everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well
is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.
We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off
and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less

NOW -------- Enough of that crap . .

The donkey later came back and bit the the farmer who had
tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected, and the farmer
eventually died in agony from septic shock.


When you do something wrong and try to cover your ass,
it always comes back to bite you.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Tuesday was a bad day...

... for a lot of people around here. I've been meaning to post about it, but have been working some long, strange hours; and haven't had the time or energy.

Of all the bad (and odd) things happening, it doesn't appear to be specifically targetted. Just random stuff.

Anyway, first there was a fatal accident in front of our apartment building. I was at work when it happened, but one of our other guys was home, and another one was on his way to the site. The guy that was killed was thrown from his vehicle, and even though the police and an ambulance arrived quickly, the body was left on the road for hours before it was finally picked up. I'll spare you the details that were given to me... there have been some rumors that it was a contractor, but nothing confirmed yet.

Shortly after that, an explosion was heard nearby, and our guy that was at home said he saw smoke coming from the small ship that's usually anchored offshore in front of our building. In a lot of the pictures I take of the water, you see it there. Looks like a coast guard ship, but I really couldn't tell you what it's doing there all the time. Mike said several boats raced out there, but he really couldn't tell what happened. The boat is still there.

And then later that day, two semi-tractor trucks hit at an intersection right in front of me. I was never in any danger, but if anyone had been in the front of me, they would have been crushed because one of the trucks was pushed into my lane. After we made sure no one was hurt (and the tanker truck wasn't carrying anything bad for our health), I got some pictures.

Suffice it to say, when I got home (and heard about the other events of the day), I just went to bed. There was just too much bad karma in the air to risk staying awake any longer that day... ya know?

Also, Ronald Reagan and Ray Charles both pass away in the same week. Two legendary figures, gone forever.

Love to all!

Oh yeah! Remember the BDM banner they fans sent to the Firefly set? One of the producers took pictures of the cast in front of the banner! How cool is that? Well... click here and see how cool it is...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Some new pictures...

Shelley got the disposable camera that the hospital gave us developed the other day, and uploaded the pictures. There are some very cool pictures... including this one:

Link is above

Love you all!


For those of you that care, filming on Serenity (the Firefly movie) began a few days ago. The hardcore fans (and there are quite a few of them that are a lot more hardcore than me... if you can believe that... ) sent this banner to the set:

There's quite a lot of information at the website, as well as links to several forums with posts from both Joss Whedon and Adam Baldwin.

Anyway, that's all I've got right now. Life has been pretty busy around here lately, but nothing exciting enough to tell you about. I've got a few new pictures to upload, but I'm going to wait until I have a few more, and organize the ones that are already there.

Love to all!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Smartest Man in the World

Four people are on an airplane: the president, the smartest man in the world, an old man, and a young girl. The plane catches on fire, and there are only three parachutes.

The president gets one and says, "My country needs me!", and jumps.

The smartest man in the world grabs one and says, "Well, the world needs me, since I'm so smart," and jumps.

There now just one parachute left, and the old man says, "You take it -- My life is almost over anyway."

The little girl says, "No, we can both jump."

Confused, the old man asks, "How?" The little girl smiles and says, "The smartest man in the world took my backpack."

It appears that I somehow managed to overwrite a previous post... but the comments remained. Since I have no idea how this happened, and I have no real recollection of the the actual post (other than this picture, and wondering what the hell I'm doing here when THIS guy is there...) I figured I'd at least repost the picture.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Some new pictures!

Shelley uploaded a bunch of new pictures today, and they're all in the Latest Photos album. I'm way overdue to clean up the albums, and promise to get it better organized in the next couple of ummm ... days? Really... I'll try.

I'm working a very odd shift now, but it allows me to spend time on both night and day shifts and give our regular morning guy a break. Midnight to Noon does some strange things to your head... since I literally go to work, go to sleep, and wake up to go to work, all in the space of one day (think about it). Believe me, it rapidly makes figuring out what day it is very difficult...

So, now I've got a new background for my computer, and I need to get back to work to get some things done... More later!