Sunday, August 28, 2005

It's Getting Close Now

I know you all are expecting the Always Exciting Lightning Round of What Would You Do The Game Show, but man has it been busy here. We are getting ready, nay we are in the process of turning over our responsibilities to the next unit. I had to move my room this past week to make room for the new unit. We've been sending guys back to Liberty as the new unit has been moving in. That's pretty much all I can tell you about that In case the insurgents become interested in my blog and the Army decides I did something wrong and puts me in jail when I have such a short time left. So instead I'll tell you about how having the new unit come in has impacted my day to day Life.

A few days ago I had to move out of my nice four man room. My other three room mates had already moved out for various reasons including one AWOL. I don't know about you but to be out here fighting for your life and the guys life next to you it really ticks me off that someone would decide to go AWOL this late in the game. Not to mention the fact that he went on "Emergency" leave four times. Have you ever read the story about the boy who cried wolf? Well right now that boy is scheduled to be court marshaled. It's hard for me to have any kind of pity or sympathy for someone who would desert his unit in a time of war. However that's neither here nor there. So I had my own room with a shower and a sink. It was awesome. They asked me about a week before if I would move into a different room down the hall from mine so they could consolidate all the guys from our unit. I said yes but just laid low under the radar because I knew the new unit wasn't coming in for about another week and I also knew they wouldn't really need me out of my room until the new guys got here. So I stuck around in my room for another week of solitude and personal showers. Finally they forced me to move. My new room was a storage closet when this place was an Iraqi Soldier barracks under Saddam. It's large for a storage closet but small for a two man room. Anyway, the guy that was in the room moved back to liberty the day I moved in so I thought cool I'd get my own private storage closet/room. So I set up my bed, slid my still fully loaded wall locker down the hall, tossed my duffel bags under the bad, and settled in for the short remainder of my part in the Liberation of Iraq. Well about 11:00 that night they put another guy in there with me. He's pretty cool and we both work long shifts so we really only sleep in there at the same time and that's about it. The bonus to all this is I inadvertently got free internet access for a while.

About a month ago one of the local nationals set up a little Haji shop in a small metal building on our FOB. He also set up a satellite and some computers in the place. He charges something like 2 bucks an hour and he lets guys smoke in the building which was a brilliant niche marketing ploy if you ask me. If I had to guess I would say 75% or more of the Army are hardcore heavyduty chain smokers. He also started running a cat 5 cable to soldiers rooms for $80 a month. I only had one month left here when he started that and $80 is $80. So I didn't do it. A little too rich for my blood. The guy who's storage closet/room I moved into however did do it. So when I moved in there was this green cat 5 cable sticking out of the wall begging to be used. So I plugged it in and low and behold I had a pretty fast internet connection. That is up until last night. I was chatting with my wife on Yahoo when I lost my connection. I followed the cable down the hall and into the router they have set up in another Haji shop and saw that it was unplugged. What the heck? I asked the guy and he told me the man who runs the internet service came up and unplugged it. No problem, I said as I walked over to the router and started to grab my cable, can I plug it back in? You see, most of these guys are a little intimidated by Americans and generally want to please them. I figured I could at least get the last couple days of the month that I was sure the previous guy had paid for anyway. No, you have to go ask the guy in the internet place. So I grab all the crap you have to wear to be a soldier that walks out of a building and trotted down to talk to Mohammed. He speaks decent English so we were able to negotiate. I said what's up man, I thought the internet was by the month but it's only the 27th. I said this banking on the fact that he was just as disorganized as all the other Iraqis I've met and I was sure he would just plug it back in. To my surprise he pulls out a binder with entries of who has internet access, when it started, when it finishes, and how much they had paid. That single journal beats anything the Iraqi Army has been able to put together on their own so far. So I say look man, I'm only here for X number of days, how about 15 bucks and we call it good. Done deal. We shook hands, he tried to kiss me and it was all settled. So here I am in the comfort of my own bed typing away in pure bliss with the soothing sound of automatic machine gun fire outside the camp and the baby soft thump of distant mortar rounds pounding the snot out of probably absolutely nothing. Can it get any better than this? Why yes it can. In just about a month if all goes well I should be walking in the front door of my house in Any Town USA, dropping a load off on a real porcelain toilet, taking a shower without shower shoes on, and giving my wife a nice friendly handshake. (Censored for younger readers). It can get better than this. God Bless America


Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you! Seems a good thing to say since it is Sunday here. We are all anxious for the days to draw to an end and we will once again enjoy your humor from near instead of far. I can surely tell you have been working out. Even your fingers are thicker!I also noticed the broom is still in the broom closet, all the comforts of home. Glad we can stay in touch for the $15.00. zm

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like what you've done with your place. It looks "good". Perhaps you should consider home decorating when you get home as a new career. You know organizing small spaces, etc. Thanks for censoring your blog. I'm sure your wife appreciates that. We're all anxiously awaiting your return, especially the Mrs. (although probably less for the handshake than for other things). You know, I was wondering if the army is as organized as the man with the notebook. From some of what you've written, I doubt it. M. Pads Coach

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Handshake?! Ha! I'm sure there will be more...wink, wink, Say no more, say no more. Nudge Nudge. Maybe a smoochie on the cheek. Let's keep it civilized. I mean Come On! The Haji guy was going to give you a kiss. Sure think the wife can have one as well. Hee Hee. Sizzle!! The folks back at church will let you in on that sermon from PM. Hee Hee. I have had the privilage of shopping with the Mrs. Hee Hee. She is beautiful in her new dress. Hee Hee. She got strappy lil' shoes. Next, we get to shop for the jewels. What fun this part of your tour has been! Can't wait to see the pics of you two all dolled up! Yippee! CnH

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the picture of you on the blog makes me smile and think of all the silly faces Dad has made over the years. Seeing your funny face,I'm glad to know you haven't lost that funny side.
Look forward to seeing you.TM

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say when I checked your blog and the first thing that came up was a picture of you,I giggled, alot. It just struck me as funny, not that you're funny looking, but it is a silly picture. It looks like your trying to kiss your wife through the screen, ok, I didn't think that until after all the "handshake" talk. Anyway, looking forward to your return and I too say thanks for paying for the internet connection, it really has been great to read your blogs all this time. Praying for you always, SCM

11:23 PM  

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