Friday, September 29, 2006

Tempus, help!

Aieee! They are on the attack, again!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

News of Afghanistan ۲۳

Ha - I think I found the right font for numbers. A minor triumph to be sure.

Let's get to the News, shall we?

"Ladies and Gentlemen...the Beatles! Um, make that President Hamid Karzai."

This Woman frightened them, and the Enemy continued to show themselves as what they are.

"Those who remain have serious obstacles to return."

This qualifies, I think, as a trickle.

The weekly summary.

Steal? From one of these trucks?! Hmmm. A very small first step, I can tell you with authority.

I wonder what the Dari or Pashto word for "posse" would be?

A petition drive.

In case you missed it... Ramadan Mubarak
First Taraweeh on September 22 and First Fast on Saturday, September 23 and Eid ul Fitr on Monday October 23, InshaAllah.

Man, I love!

I am not sure I agree with the author's contention that Iran would actively seek to undermine Afghanistan - but he is spot on about the economic impact. Brrrr.

Hey, they are working on it!

Now back to the War...

Bet you didn't hear a word about this.

"He's right you know."

Bridging the gap - ha, I crack me up!

If you had told me back when I enlisted in 1985, that someday US soldiers would be repairing Kalishnikov rifles as part of their duties, I would have assumed that the Soviet Union had conquered us. I guess not.

Ah, the old newsletter. Sigh.

This week's installment brought to you by the Tea I can't find here in the US, and really miss.

Alokozay Tea

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What's Next, Salt?

NYC is considering banning trans fats. Chicago has banned foie gras. What's next?

"Dear, would you please pass the salt?"

"Reginald, this chicken cordon bleu is quite salty already."

"That's alright dearest sugarplum, my bloodpressure is not really that hi -"


Monday, September 25, 2006

Like Father, Like Son?

I found an old photo of my Dad from 1945 - when he had just joined the Navy and was home for a bit. I scanned it and have cut it down to just show him.
I also found a shot me of me from Afghanistan in late 2004.

I put them side by side and noticed that we looked an awful lot alike (despite my Dad's being taken when he was much younger). I guess we both have that - "uh-oh" look on our faces, heh heh.

At least Dad has forgiven me for being a ground pounder (Army). Both sides of my family had previously left the plains of Iowa to serve exclusively in the Navy. We also have the tradition of starting out as enlisted men, then later getting commissions. My father left the Navy as an 0-3, but he warned me when I was selected for O-4 that he wasn't going to call me "sir"... ha!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Oh No You Don't!

Not this time! I still have the smoke rising off me from thinking Hekmatyar Gulbuddin got caught. Besides, I have always maintained that OBL was already Purina Vulture Chow for some time now...

Friday, September 22, 2006

News of Afghanistan XXII

Installment of the News. Ready?

Daily summary for the huried.

Inability to move decisively in the Legislature? I knew the Afghans were alot like us!

Nice, but they may need more than that.

"Maybe this much more money?"

Speaking of money - wanna see what theirs looks like? Go here.

What is the Enemy like in Afghanistan? Read this and know them by their works.

"Okay, I want you to go to your corners and come, no, that's not right. Knock off the squabbling and cooperate with each other, dang it!"

Wow - I for one am shocked!

O Canada! I think you understand.

Excellent! Now if they start pimping Lamaze...

President Karzai interview here.

Afghan girls attend a ceremony for marking the World International Peace Day over an hill in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006. As Afghanistan strives to consolidate its hard-won peace following decades of conflict, young girls and boys in nation's capital expressed their hopes for a brighter future at a hilltop ceremony today with the children play with kites and balloons inscribed with personal messages of peace, as world marks the International Peace Day. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

Unacceptable. Period.
Now why would Karzai do this to a seemingly nice man? Heh.
This week's Afghan Info Source:

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Vote For Me

I did it again. I entered another Mirable Visu contest.

This time I'm letting you all know so you can go there and -


A Sad Little Memo Entry

While reading a memo about one of my accounts, I saw a reference to the business in question. The entry described the family-owned firm as "basically an empty shell with insurance." What a sad little summary of what had been the life's work of two generations.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

We need a break.....Afghan underarm music

Popes, Thailand, Budapest, Taliban, yadda, yadda,yadda
And now for the lighter side.....I love

A plea from Kabul

Through an Instapundit reader (and my old association with the Instapundit as his onetime Afghanistan Correspondent) I have been asked if I can help find treatment for a 2 year old with leukemia. In Kabul.

I have sent out a couple of inquiries, but am a bit stumped. I am going to push this through what informal military channels I can tap into - but I need some contacts, and some ideas.

If you weren't wise, intelligent and clever, you wouldn't be reading this blog, right? So how about it - can you float me some ideas?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Da Pope, Da Bears and Da Greeks

I believe I am the official (or token) Papist among the Donuts, so I have to report on this (I may go into more depth in Illini 6 after I read up on it).

The Pope made a disparaging remark about Muslims last week. The statement put out by the OIC was:

“while you’re at it why don’t you give us a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it!”

The Vatican replied, “Lighten up Francis.”

The Bears beat the Detroit Lions today. Hey, where’s my money? Wasn’t there a guarantee that the Lions would win? Well, where’s my money? GO BEARS!

Go to Illini 6 for an explanation of that sound you heard this morning.

Finally, I went to a Greek Christening today. I can’t give any personal information about my family so I’ll just say I’m not Greek, but certain blood relatives of mine are half Greek. We had a blast. I know this photo looks like a wedding, but the Christening look exactly the same.


Friday, September 15, 2006

News of Afghanistan XXI

st installment of the News. Let's go!

The weekly round up, for the hurried.

Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends...

"Was it something I said?"
Maybe if they get this refugee situation under control, things will be smoother...

A graphic showing the main contributors to the NATO-led force in Afghanistan. Top NATO officers made no formal offer of reinforcements to combat a raging insurgency in southern Afghanistan but gave "positive indications" that they might, a spokesman said. (AFP Graphic)
Um, the Poles are going to move some troops up to Afghanistan, however.
I think that, just maybe, the critic here is not a big fan of "Kabul Express"...

"Hey Sarge, do you think NATO will figure out what we should be doing?"
"Private, just keep an eye out, would ya?!"
E-Arianna's latest editorial cartoon is here.
Less than good news about refugees on the other side of the country.
Heh. Press freedom? Note the endorsement within. I do agree that Pajhwok is a good service.
This is why it is good to have Marine Generals talk to the press. No BS, just blunt truth.
This is just plain wrong.
Hey, what's in the 'fridge?
Mr. Karzai will be gone for a little while... Have fun storming the castle!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How to gut your own economy

"Evil, evil, evil!" So says Europe.

Think a bit on how you would go about hamstringing your own economy... Saddle it with a large layer of bureaucracy, check; Foster mistrust of anything necessary for modern life, check; try to sell it as "health savings" to the populace; check.

Can Europe pull this off? Certainly they are making a REACH for it...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

BusinessSpeak, a translation.

"Seven Universal Underwriters Group Staff Legal Offices (SLO) are co-locating with existing North America Commercial facilities in a move designed to boost synergy among SLO employees while improving business efficiencies."

So reads an announcement made yesterday. A bit wordy, isn't it? Let me offer a pair of translations:

We are consolidating 7 of our Staff Legal Offices;


To save money, we have moved some lawyers to the buildings our other ones use.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ding Dong the Wicked Witch is...Caught.

BAD NEWS UPDATE: It doesn't look like it was HIM after all. ARGH! Someday, Hekmatyar, someday....

I am retaining the original post below as a warning to all others in celebrating too soon. NUTS!

[Original Post]

Ha! Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the renegade who had it made, retrieved for a bounty..

This is a great day for Afghanistan, and a very happy one personally. the HIG (Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, or Party of Islam, Gulbuddin faction) was the only bad guy outfit working the part of the country I was stationed. They shot rockets at us, they threated local leaders who worked with us or the Afghan central government...they were rat bastards to a man.

Hekmatyar was an interesting and very bad person.

"Who? Me, bad?!"

More here.

If the HIG folds up, this will be a significant relief to the Afghan government. They will really be able to concentrate all their efforts in the South and the Southeast.

Also, since the HIG were/are bastards, it is just a good thing to have their leader in irons.

I'm off to hoist a drink or three.



Our Boys in Orange and Blue Do It Again!

No, not the Illini (who lost to Rutgers 33-0), I'm talking about the Bears. They beat the hated Packers 26-0!


This was the first time the Packers have been shutout since 1991! Do you know who was the last team to shut them out? Do you know the last time Brett Favre (pronounced Fav-Ray) was shut out?

Go to Illini6 to find out!

I don't know what to say today

Being the 5th Aniversary of the attacks of 9-1-2001, there is a lot being said today. I cannot really contribute to it, however. I still feel a mix of anger and sadness about the day - I have a hard time really recalling too much about the day in any great detail.
I would only ask that people simply try to remember what happened, and who did what that day; all while ignoring the mawkish presentations of the media, the opportunistic blathering of people running for office and the like.

Friday, September 08, 2006

News of Afghanistan XX

Really it is installment but I still don't know how to put Dari numbers in the Title bloc.

Anyway, let's get to it:

Your daily quick summary.

Outrageous! Intolerable!

To be more serious, even worse than that...

A U.S. soldier walks away from a suicide blast site in Kabul, September 8, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

NATO "we have needs". But are they getting results?

"Hey Buddy, can you spare a squadron of F-16s?"

I wish I could stop giving bad news out...

Results, gentlemen, results!

"We aren't getting anything done!"

Somebody remind me, are these guys supposed to be our allies?

And now a word from our sponsor... Ok, they don't sponsor us, but this is just too cool to pass up.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Holy Cats! I Won!

I won the latest Mirable Visu SSIW (Short Sharp Intuitive Writing) contest.

My story was called "Faun-O-Matic."

The rules were that we only had one week to write the story, it had to be 500 words or less and it had to include one or more of the following elements: smoke; initiate; imitate; start and end with the same paragraph; science fiction and first person point of view. I did all of that.

I was very surprised. I didn't expect to win.

What did I win? Well, I get to tell all of you that I won. That's something.

Also, I get to put it on my writing resume.

The point is, I haven't won in a while and it sure feels good to win again.

I'm Back Baby! I'm Back!

Gratuitous R. Lee Ermey Picture

Just because I like him. Here he is visiting us at Bagram, AF in 2004. He has his own site, heh heh.

Monday, September 04, 2006

CSM Bones and Major John go to White, Kabul House.

CSM Bones and I kept up our tradition of sporadic get togethers at Afghan restaurants this past week. We finally made it to Kabul House. Oh my. Mantu and Qibili Pilau to die for...

This is the "before" picture. There is no after as nothing was left over.

Darndest thing too...while we we there, 190 North was filming a segment. I gather it will be in an upcoming episode. I'll try to give you a heads up when it is going to air.

Friday, September 01, 2006

News of Afghanistan XIX

Well, to be more exact. Later today I will have a report on the best Afghan restaurant in the Midwest, but for now - the news:

Remember if you want a quick summary of news and events, read this.

Personally, I'd be careful making predictions.

Afghan Culture Days over at - check them out all week.

Uh, OK. I guess we'll see, won't we?

"You'll never take me alive, coppers!"

Iran keeps expanding economic ties with Afghanistan. I can only imagine what the people living along this route must think.

Japan continues to help. I don't think too many people realize how much Japan has, very quietly, assisted with rebuilding Afghanistan.

"Tashkour, Japan!"

If this one gets done, it would be a big help. Badakhshan is in a pivotal location for roads. I am sure the Chinese, as well as the Tajiks are happy about this one.

Afghan school girls walk towards the Mollia Girls School ahead of the inauguration ceremony of Mollia Girls School in the Ghorband disticut of northern Parwan province Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006. The girls' school of Mollia is centrally located to service five village communities comprised of approximately 350 school-age girls and the construction of the school cost a total of US$120,000. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

A sad, but enlightening story from an Afghan ex-pat, here in the US. By the way, she is spot on.

This isn't very good, either.

A sign that the Afghan Parliament (Wolesi Jirga) is becoming more sophisticated.

It is difficult to understate this station's importance. Good thing to hear they are fixing it up.

News Source of the Week: Yahoo News

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