Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Hooch

Before I get into the daily update, let me pause to offer a Happy Mother's Day to my mom and my kids' mommy! I love you both! Real work starts tomorrow morning, so I was able to spend the day buying cleaning supplies and getting a good deep cleaning done on my "hooch", the portion of a trailer where I'll live for the next year. I grabbed a few photos to give you a guided tour. This is the view from outside the wall of concrete that surrounds my housing area. These concrete walls are everywhere on the base, surrounding housing areas, offices, and just about anything that needs protection from rocket attacks. I presume they would also contain the effects of a mortar, as well. You can see that the ground is covered with gravel, somewhat of an improvement over the dirt/mud down in Baghdad, although I'll withhold a complete review of the benefits of gravel until I see what happens when it rains. Once you pass inside the concrete, you can see all the trailers in the housing area, all surrounded by sandbags. There's a series of concrete steps creating a walkway to each of the individual trailers. To the left is my trailer; I have the middle section. As you can see, each of us has our own air conditioner, which is remarkably efficient. It got up to 104 degrees today and was still comfortably cool inside. It's not that bad outside, either, to be honest. Mainly because it's not very humid. It's that "dry heat". My friends in Las Vegas probably recognize it! Whoever lived in my hooch before me must have been from New York because there's an "I (heart) NY" bumper sticker on the door. I haven't bothered to take it down, because I kind of like New York too. To the left is the view from just inside the door. You can see the lovely twin bed with yellow (yes, yellow) bedding provided courtesy of KBR. I might be splurging at the exchange for some other sheets. Or maybe someone can send me some 600 thread count sheets in a care package? After the last few days of putting my bare feet on the tile floor, I decided to splurge on a little persian rug. One of the interesting side effects of troops rotating in and out of a base is that they tend to leave things that will do them no good at home. I picked up this corner TV stand which had been abandoned. Now I just need to find someone who's leaving, so I can grab a cheap TV! I've used the area under the stand as a nice storage spot for my "battle rattle" (body armor and other accessories). I've put my stand-up wardrobe storage area on the wall opposite my bed. There's another bed in the room (lower ranking officers and enlisted end up two per room) which makes a convenient horizontal surface to toss things temporarily. It might work out as a good couch once I manage to get a TV for my TV stand! And that's the tour of my living quarters. I have lots of wall space that I'm allowed to thumbtack things to, so I'll put out the call now for photos, posters, and anything else you think I should hang on my wall! And I suppose you'll want an address to send it to... I'll post that tomorrow.

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