Monday, February 07, 2005

Moving Day Take Three and Mardi Gras

I've been a little busy since I got back from leave. Most notably I've moved into my third room in as many months. The problem with this move was that nobody told me until the person moving into my room was knocking on the door. This is one I'll never figure out. I had to pack all of my stuff up and move into the room of the person that moved into my room. Did you catch that. We just swapped rooms. What's the point. There were about 20 people involved in a room shuffle and I just traded rooms with someone. Why not just leave us alone? That was one of the dumbest things I've had to do so far until I got to work yesterday. My task for the whole 12 hour shift, and I'm still not even halfway done, was to go to all the file names on our computer and take out any spaces and replace them with an underscore. If that's not contributing to the war effort I don't know what is. I thought maybe it was some formatting thing so people could search our files easier or something. No, that's just a new naming convention my boss wants to implement and thought we should do it to all the files. If any congressmen are reading this and you're wondering if recalling the IRR is helping the war effort you can be rest assured that if I wasn't changing spaces to underscores we would most definitely lose the war.

Yesterday was also my first taste of Mardi Gras. The unit I'll attached to is from South Louisiana and they organized a Mardi Gras parade around the camp. The decorated vehicles and dressed up in stuff people had sent from back home. They threw beads and everything. It was pretty cool. This coincided with what is probably the largest morale boost here so far. There was a superbowl party tonight here on the camp. General order number 1 makes it illegal to drink alcohol, which doesn't matter because there isn't any to drink. Well, Anheuser Busch donated 120,000 bottles of Budweiser and chartered a plane into Baghdad to transport it. Every soldier could go to a table they had setup and slide your ID card to get 2 bottles of Bud. I don't drink so I gave mine away, but you could see the morale rise as guys were drinking "real" beer. They have non-alcoholic beer in the chow halls but hardly anyone drinks it. They say it's terrible. So the combination of Mardi Gras, Superbowl, and beer made for one Americanized good time on Camp Victory last night. You could almost see the mullets grow as visions of motorcycles and bass boats twinkled in every eye.

This morning I was startled by a knock on the door and four foreign men standing over me as I woke up. KBR, the people that maintain the sleeping quarters here, came to clean the little air conditioner/heater unit in my trailer. They didn't knock and then let me answer the door. They knocked after they unlocked the door and were stepping into the trailer. So here I am in my underwear in the little 4ftx10ft space I live in with four other guys in muddy coveralls trying to get some clothes on and get out of their way. All of this in the first few seconds of waking up. I considered getting my rifle but thought that wouldn't really help the situation any. So it's three hours before I actually have to get up but I can't go back to sleep. Guess I'll go take a shower and get this day started. You can never get too early of a start when your changing spaces into underscores.

It's supposed to get down to 30 degrees here on Thursday. We haven't seen temperatures that low here yet. Of course it's raining and our humvee is broken down.

One of the Floats Posted by Hello

Another float Posted by Hello

Mardi Gras Girl Posted by Hello

Chow Hall Parade Posted by Hello


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You certainly are having an adventure! It seems more than one general order no. 1 can be disregarded if an influential or higher ranking person initiates it. No drinking, but if a big company wants to donate it and fly it in, well that's OK. Wasn't there a passage that stated we would call good bad and bad good? I certainly don't begrudge anything for morale boosting and since I am not the one there I'll let it go, and the other also.
I want to be the first to thank you for saving our town from terrorist because of the underscore project. No wonder you are in the position you are in. Actually, I confess that I organized this movement at great expense and brainpower from the maternal thinktank to divert the army from assigning you to a controlled strategic movement to search and destroy remote controlled bombs. Worked very well, don't you think? I think the army has been very generous in bringing Mardi Gras to you . This eliminates purchasing airline tickets to Louisiana after your discharge. I understand according to a close relative of yours that your favorite port-a-potty would not needed during Mardi Gras in LA. They use the gutter method. How divine! The pictures were cool and I am sure a good time was had by all.
Did you hear that Camp Victory was represented during the salute to the military during the Super Bowl? They showed some of your troops standing at attention for the cameras. I missed it but heard about it at church.
How scarry to know that nationals have a key to your room. Especially ones that have the open and knock on the door etiquette reversed. However, since it will be getting into the 30's maybe it was a good thing to get your heater cleaned--now about the humvee, shall I send James? Love to you zm

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you are allowed to have a little down time. Thanks for the pictures of Mardi Gra. Your camp sure was busy this weekend.This may sound a little funny but did your cable for sattelite go with you? Just curious since the unexpected move to a new trailer and all. Army gotta love em. Have you contacted Kentucky yet? TM

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KSW told me about your move........I can see how that would really chap your hide. :) Hearing about your latest work related "mission" really is almost unbelievable. The Army never ceases to amaze me. I really like the pictures. They add alot to the blog.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There we were . . .
Sitting . . . poised on the couch . . .watching the game start. . . up on the screen pops CAMP VICTORY! I throw myself forward to get a better view infront of the 54" screen. IS HE THERE?! I strain my eyes to catch a glimpse of you at attention. Nope! Not this time. Was great to see though. Maybe you knew some of the people. So glad to hear everyone is a bit lighter in their mood. Glad to hear you are such a pivital player in the war on bad file naming. Glad your week was going better than here on the homefront. I'm sure the Mrs. has updated you on our week of Dr.s and meds. CnH

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures, I agree with TSW they do add alot to the blog. At first glance the first two pictures looked like miniature army trucks with action figures dressed up in mardi gras gear, I thought it was all another "squishy santa" story. I'm learning nothing is ever predictable with the army and they give you no real advance notice, first they send you home on your "mid-term" leave, than they make you change rooms 2X when you get back, It's like they just don't want you to get settled for any period of time; pretty rotten. Well hope things get a little better for you, like maybe they'll give you a more mindful task next time, do they have real work for you? If not maybe they'll send you home early from your entire mission, that would be awesome!; wishful thinking on my part I know. scm

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Just took a minute to get your update. Sounds like you have an amazing job: _ _ _ _ _ Is that how you do it? Ha!
Got a 91st B.Day card sent today. Hope I'm doing that well when I hit 91.
Life is starting to return to normal; it's just hard when I want to talk to dad and can't. I know he's happy and pain-free now! PTL! Grandson was here and said, "Grandma, wouldn't it be neat if there was a computer in heaven? Then great-grandpa could just email us." Seems he's missing his great-granpa too. But I'm so thankful he understands he's with Jesus now.
You take care; it's fun to read your site. Hey, how many beads did you get? (I know what they have to do to get beads at the biker parties.) God be with you, cousins P&M

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you made it back ok. Thanks for the call when you were back in the states. The last time I saw people from Louisiana and holding LSU flags, they were about ready to cry because they just got beat by some team from IOWA. GO HAWKS!!! Keep posting pictures! It's nice to see what is going on where you are. I'm just waiting for the pictures of the port-a-pottie and the squishy Santa. Are you sure your not losing your mind ?


10:52 AM  

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