Thursday, June 29, 2006

Oh How I Love Meetings... And Other Random Thoughts

My days are panning out to be very long. As I progress up the ladder, the meetings I attend get longer and longer. Oh how I love meetings (read sarcasm here). There is a lesson in every experience, I suppose. As soon as I figure out what the lesson is here, I'll write another post. In the mean time, I've got to go to a meeting.

I'm actually glad I got here during the hottest part of the year, so I'm getting the worst over up front. Things start cooling off in September. By the time fall gets here, 90 degree temps will feel pretty comfortable. The temperature today got up to around 117 degrees. I quit keeping track once it is over 110. It's all relative above that point.

Sidebar: Okay... I listened to a briefing today in which this guy spoke in the future tense about current operations, i.e. things happening in the present... meaning NOW. It lasted for over an hour. I thought I was going to die.

My bank of acronyms continues to grow. Here are a couple of new ones:

BBS - Big Broken Stuff
BFT - Big F'n Truck

Interesting Experience of the Day!

There I was... minding my own business... and in walks this high ranking official (hence forth referred to as HRO). Luckily I was engrossed in something and wasn't his first victim. Unfortunately, our G2 (Intelligence Officer) was. The G2 just sits in our area because he has to, he really isn't involved in our day to day operations. And the HRO walked straight up to him and started yelling even though he had no idea who he was talking to at the time. I can only speculate that he saw our unit patch on the G2's sleeve and he therefore assumed that he was talking to the right person.

Long story short, I had to suffer through 5 minutes of "Blah, blah, blah" at a zillion decibels, over something that I knew nothing about. And I just happened to be sitting there. Our poor G2 couldn't do anything but say "Yes, sir" repeatedly. The last words out of the HRO's mouth were, "This has 2 star visibility and you had better get it fixed!"

As this was going on, I noticed that our counterparts (the individuals we are replacing) didn't even budge, look, utter a comment or fain the slightest bit of interest. The HRO left and the G2 and I just sat there dumb founded, staring at each other, wondering what the heck he was talking about, what we had to fix, who we needed to talk to, etc. That's when our counterparts piped up. "Okay, here is HRO's M.O. He comes in here and yells at anyone he outranks because he's too afraid to take it up with people of equivalent HRO rank or higher." After learning that, my "Give-o-crap Meter" went down about 50%. After some investigation we learned that the situation, as described, didn't exist.

The moral to the story is this. The decibel at which an order is given is not always directly proportional to the urgency of the matter.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Back in Kuwait in 2006

Patton Road. Yes, that is water. 3rd Army is trying to grow grass!
Well, here I am again... back at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. The events that brought me here are too long and sordid to type so, suffice it to say that I am again serving my country in a far away, arid, place. Unfortuantely I must keep this short as I am using a pre-paid internet account. I promise to get better at this as time progresses.

The wierd, positive, ironic thing is that Camp Arifjan makes Camp McGregor back at Ft. Bliss look like a third world country. I can honestly say that after training in the New Mexico desert, you are properly prepared for the harsh environments of the Middle East.

I now have a few words to say about "bangers." For those of you who don't know what a "banger" is, just remember this. If someone ever offers you one, refuse it... run far away... suddenly become vegetarian... just DON'T EAT IT! Okay... a banger is a funky little, sausage-like thing common to northern european cuisine. They make Vienna Sausages look like prime rib. The texture is somewhere between goose patte, which I rather like, and potted meat, which I do not like. They taste like..., well... they taste like crap. Final comment... avoid them at all cost.