Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Then all of a sudden, two weeks pass...

Okay, not really. We've been sort of busy. Two weeks means a week of mission rotation and a week of guard duty.

The week of guard duty during which I didn't post, I was on ECP duty from 1500 (3pm) to 2300 (11pm). White and I spent the first 4 hours opening and closing the gate and searching people, and then the last four hours we would spend just chewing the fat about home and family and plans. It turns out he has a wonderful girlfriend who seems to be a very godly young woman, and who has been a tremendous blessing in his life. I encouraged him to marry her.

The week of missions, we prepared, repeatedly, for a lengthy mission which kept getting postponed due to the danger of imminent attack by the Taliban. We did go on a mission up to Qalat, and escorted a LTC around for a while. On the way back, a vehicle had the transmission go out, and I ended up driving the lead vehicle and intimidating oncoming vehicles off the road. That was kind of fun. I also smashed the passengers side mirror by accident.

Now I'm back on guard duty, in Tower 3. I spend a lot of my time off playing EverQuest now. It turns out that our internet connection is stable enough for decent EQ playing at least 6 or so hours a day, so I'm getting in as much time as I can.

Also, yet another laptop owned by a soldier in the company has gone to pot. And again, it was a Hewlett Packard. I'm starting to think that there's something wrong with those laptops.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fred Jr. comes to sleep with Anderson

Sgt. Arflin, if you read this, you left just in time. Fred apparently had a son, and he came to visit his fathers revenge on Anderson. This morning, we found a slightly smaller version of Fred running up a towel Anderson had hanging on his bed.

We gave chase, obviously wanting to eliminate the situation. But he was agile and got away, and we had to go out to the zero range. Eventually, Anderson caught up to Mr. Fred Jr. Mr. Fred Jr. had taken up residence in the bedclothes on Anderson's bed.

Mr. Fred Jr. got his comeuppance, and started rueing the day almost immediately. Still, I don't think you've have been happy about the situation.

We have a new pet. The ECP apparently adopted a dog, whom Spec. Parrot has named Lindsey. She is a very good guard dog, and apparently a christian, because she barks like heck when the ANA soldiers have their prayers broadcast over the PA system.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Vomit Sickness comes to FOB Lindsey

The vomit sickness has made its way to FOB Lindsey. At least two or three people have come down with it, possibly more. Including my bunkmate, who offered me $30 to take his guard shift today. I declined, and made him stand the first half of his guard shift, before going out to relieve him before the real heat of the day made its presence known. Hopefully, the vomit sickness will not affect me. I have been feeling a little off lately, but nothing major.

I have also been looking at ICANHASCHEEZBURGER lately for amusement. Some of the images are stupid, and some are in poor taste, but mostly they're very amusing. Over 100 pages of "lolcats" provided just for your entertainment make for a pretty jolly time.

In addition, today I saw Farhad the interpreter! This is a relief, because I had not seen him since about the first week I was here, and I worried that something bad might have happened to him. It does happen that the Taliban catch our interpreters. When they do, the Taliban behave in their normal, uncivilized, barbaric manner, which always ends up badly for the interpreter. Not having seen Farhad, I was quite concerned about his safety.

Also, I've discovered the best times for the internet are from about 11pm until about 8am, and from about 1pm to about 5pm daily. During this time frame I am often even able to play EverQuest, which is a real diversion from the normal discomfort of life in Kandahar.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Has the weather turned?

I was on guard at the Entry Control Point the other day, and spoke to a local national who was a KBR interpreter. He said (at least, I think it's what he meant) that the hottest part of the year was over and it was about to start cooling off.

I asked him how cool it gets in Kandahar and he didn't have the command of english numbers to really say. I've heard from other people that it rarely gets below freezing here, though. I hope that's true, because I hate to be cold, as most of you know.

We've been on several missions. One Village Medical Outreach we went on the other day had us coming back on back roads instead of the highway. We got to ford the river and drive over all sorts of rough terrain. I have some pretty neat pictures of the area, including of local children swimming in the canal that ran past all the farmland.

The other day, we were in Kandahar City and passed the fairgrounds / Stadium. There is a permanently emplaced Ferris Wheel there, as well as one of those pirate ship rides that rock up one side and then back down and up the other side. There was also a small concrete race track for racing go-karts. And just about half a mile away was a small village that we visited where half of the children didn't even have shoes.

It was at this village that I gave away my $1 Wal-Mart pocketknife. I gave it to a grumpy-looking 10 year old boy, who wasn't begging us for anything, but was taking care of his younger brother. He seemed a lot more cheerful after I gave him the knife. The upshot of the situation, though, is that I need a replacement pocketknife! So if you can run by Wal-Mart and pick up a $1 knife from their camping supplies section, and mail it to me, I'd appreciate it! Oh, and while you're at Wal-Mart, could you grab 2 bandanas in male-appropriate colors, and send them as well? Mine keep... disappearing, somehow. I probably wash them and lose them in the dryer or something, but there you go.