Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Apology and Excuses

I wanted to apologize for not posting here for several months.

I have changed jobs twice since Major John has left. I've also changed my work hours three times. I have a miriade of other things going on in my life that pale in comparison with the efforts that CSM Bones and Major John are making.

Mostly I feel that I have nothing worthy enough to post on this blog. My knowledge of Afghanistan is almost exclusively that of the inside of my base over three years ago. There are other members of this blog that are far more knowledgable on a very wide range of topics and I feel that my lighthearted parochial rantings are not appropriate where such weighty matters as the rebuilding of nations are being discussed.

I apoligize for not contributing and for not having anything of value to contribute. I salute and applaud you CSM Bones and Major John. I will continue to support you in any way I can.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh no, I am "Them"

I have had the most terrible realization in the whole time I have been here in Iraq. Since I moved up to Baghdad and began working for MNSTC-I, I have become one of the people at the "Puzzle Palace". I'm one of the guys at the Head Shed. I'm part of the "they" as in "they @#$%ed things up, back there in Baghdad" as spoken by people in the field (I know, I was one of 'em).

Oh no, I might become one of "THEM"!

I swear I will do everything I can to not become one of the faceless bureaucrats at the "flagpole". I don't want to be Them.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dust in the Wind

...All We Breathe is Dust in the Wind. Sorry to riff on the Kansas classic, but it came to mind yesterday. Rather a lot, actually.

The picture doesn't quite convey how the very fine dust was everywhere. I woke up thinking I had caught a cold, when Iwalked outside it looked like a misty/rainy type day. A pity it wasn't. The dust was so pervasive, that when I got indoors at my worksite - it was almost foggy looking in the hallways...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Arch of .... Mundanity?

There are several really cool arches and gates in the IZ here in Baghdad. The Assassins Gate has the best name, for example. Many are decorated or architecturally interesting. Of course, I have no pictures of those. Yet.

What I do have is this one:

What I don't know is what it is for or commemorates/symbolizes, etc. Since it is in a fairly government office heavy area, I suppose it could be the Arch of Bureaucracy or the Ordinary Gate or the Commuter Porte...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ha! Got ya, ya bastid!

"Who, me?"

As I have said previously, I didn't forget about you, Radovan. I'm glad they caught you, and I hope you join your former master. Soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Continuing HP Lovecraft Tour of Iraq

I felt safe here, even after my earlier encounter. I was in Baghdad, large and cosmopolitan. A city looking to the future, despite a long past... how was I to know what waited for me?
After settling in at my new quarters, I emerged the next day to see the tower reaching for the Elder skies...

It is part of the Believer's Palace. But this belief was in who...or what?

Heh. More pseudo-Lovecraftian writing for you all. I live near the old "Believer's Palace" and this tower is quite the notable feature. I have not had much of a chance to see anything else in Baghdad but the small compund I live on and the camp where I work. The hours here have gotten even worse than when I last checked in.

I hope to get a little time someday to see the sights, and as I do, I will try to report those that I can.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Random Musing on Certain Musical Selections, from Baghdad

If you do not feel at least a little bit better after listening to Buckwheat Zydeco's Zydeco La Louisianne or Buck's Step Up....then something fairly serious must be going on.

I haven't quite figure the IZ out yet...

OK, so I have been here almost a week, in the International Zone ("IZ" or what used to be called "the Green Zone"). It is an odd situation, to be sure.

Where I live is relatively nice, if a little bit crowded compared to where I have previously been. There are, ironically, very few services available. There is almost nowhere to do anything or get anything...but it almost doesn't matter. Why? The insane working hours.

In the command I work for, people are basically 'at the office' all the time. We get in sometime in the morning, moderately early - and don't get out until quite late. On Friday, when everyone else is off in the morning, we are still in. Most other groups that work where I do don't put in the same hours, but I wonder what they do in the time they do have...?

I hope to not appear to be complaining - the food here is excellent, we have only had one 'incoming' and it is a nice change to be in an office compared to where I have been. I just can't quite figure this place out just yet.

UPDATE: I found another new reason to like being up here... Forecast for Basrah 120 degrees, forecast for Baghdad 117. HA!

Monday, July 14, 2008

So I'm on my way to the IZ...

And I am sitting in the terminal at the military side of Baghdad International Airport. A civilian fellow sitting next to me turns and asks if my first name is _____. He has it exactly right. He then introduces himeself... his work was featured here. We had exchanged some very pleasant e-mails, and he had come here to Iraq quite some time back.

It's a small world out there for bloggers sometimes.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Back in Iraq

I'm back in Iraq - but I am waiting to move to Baghdad in the near future. Looks like I will round out my tour with a stint at Higher HQ...

Monday, July 07, 2008

40 killed in Kabul Indian embassy Blast...

India has been one of the biggest investors in Afghanistan's reconstruction. Maybe an enemy of India is not happy with that.

Afghanistan says Pakistani Itelligence Services is supporting Taliban again....

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Back to Iraq

R&R Leave is over. It was even better than I had hoped. I think I can take the last few months of my rotation in good spirits. I had plenty of sleep, food, and fun with the family.

So it's back to the Iraqi summer!
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