Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Glow in the Dark

One thing about the Army Combat Uniform (grey, digital camouflage) is that it’s hard to see.  By design, of course.  People spent a lot of time and money developing something that’s hard to see.  Which, of course, makes it dangerous to walk around in the dark on a dimly lit base.  At some point, someone in the chain of command has decided that we all need to wear highly reflective belts when walking around outside at night.  I think this has been the policy for a while, but only recently are they actually cracking down on it.  It’s amusing seeing someone in subdued grey tones with a bright, shiny yellow belt draped over their shoulder.


Along with the darkness comes the cold.  I really noticed the difference between when I left for R&R, and still had to run my air conditioner, and when I returned, where the heater is running full time.  I’ve been spending some time trying to find the right balance between too hot and too cold (good thing I’m not a porridge taster!) and think I’ve arrived at the right setting.  My floor, exposed to the outside, is still a bit cold and I’m glad I had the forethought to purchase a rug earlier on.


I finally had an opportunity to watch last Thursday’s Broncos-Chiefs game, which was replayed tonight on AFN.  I wasn’t able to watch it at home on Thanksgiving (perhaps mercifully so) because it was televised on a subscription-only cable channel!  Who made that decision?  At least AFN was able to get the game.  Now we just need to see more winning!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Back in the Game

A successful first full day back at work. Having paid no real attention to the news over here for the last three weeks, I had a lot of catching up to do with regard to the latest developments, but fortunately I had good people covering for me and they took good notes. I still don't feel back in the "routine" here, but I'm sure that will come soon enough, and I'll feel "back in the game" in no time.

Speaking of "the game," some Navy guys down in Baghdad managed to decorate a portion of the palace, providing their Army colleagues a woderful view on their way in to work. See below: I managed to sneak this picture into the morning brief, the first of many jabs I'm sure will be exchanged between me and the West Point grads on the staff.

As a final Navy Football note, I'm informed that Midshipman Tye Adams, starting Defensive End (#43) will be wearing our JCCS-1 patch on his uniform during the game. Be sure to tune in this weekend and cheer him (and the whole Navy team) on!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Spirit of the Season

I made it back to my base today, in a rather smoothly executed travel plan. I'm told I'm one of the lucky ones, as many others have had problems and delays getting back. I'm still a bit jet lagged, and hope to rectify that with an extended night's sleep.

Leave was awesome. I really enjoyed the time with my family, and hardly thought about Iraq at all. I think that's how it's supposed to be! About the only disappointment during my many fun experiences was finding that Universal Studios has a "Raiders Store" in their "Citywalk" area. I might just boycott them!

I returned to my office to find that a fellow Bronco fan had borrowed my Bronco pennant. No doubt its absence from the lucky wall above my desk was the source of their recent troubles, and if I put it back up their performance should improve.

The first signs of the Christmas season were the Santa hats being worn by the flight crew of the C-130 that brought us back to Al Asad from Kuwait. But I'm not quite yet in the Christmas spirit. More importantly, this is the week to show my Navy spirit, as I'll be trading jabs with my boss, a West Point grad, in the runup to the Army-Navy game on Saturday.

All for now, my eyelids can't stay open any longer...

Saturday, November 11, 2006


It's 6am Pacific Time and I've been awake for a few hours. Adjusting ten time zones can be difficult! But since everyone else is asleep, I figured I'd give everyone a quick update.

I did arrive safely back in the states and am enjoying two weeks with my family. I have never seen my son smile so widely as he did when he first saw me... so that's what "ear to ear" means! My daughter, despite only having known me the first month of her life, seems to have taken quite a fondness to me already. I'd like to think it's something special about me, but it's probably that I'm just a large version of her big brother, whom she adores. My wife is beautiful as always.

Our charter flight's arrival at Dallas was hailed with great ceremony. Fire trucks honored our return by spraying the plane with water as we passed (and all other jets held up to give us right of way to the gate). And as we left the plane we were met in the terminal by thunderous applause, lots of handshakes, and a few hugs. I'm not ordinarily a sentimental guy, but I almost cried. That unforgettable moment will stay with me throughout the rest of my military service. Thank you, Dallas Airport USO (who organized it) and thank you to everyone who takes the time to spot a service member in uniform and thank them for their service. Words cannot express how much it means to us all to know how much many people appreciate what we're doing.

Off to Disneyland!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Down Periscope

After counting months, then weeks, and recently days until my return home for Rest & Recuperation (R&R) leave, I'm down to counting hours. Sometime tomorrow I'll be hopping a flight down to Kuwait, and then from there I'll be heading back home to see my family for the first time in seven months. I can't wait!

I have a full schedule of fun stuff to do to keep me busy, but more important than anything I'll be doing is the fact that I'll be doing it together with my family. And all that adds up to little or no time at the computer. This will be my last entry for about three weeks.

Don't forget to vote. Go Broncos! Go Navy! Beat Army!

"Down scope... "

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Go Navy!

This was a good weekend for Navy Football. On Friday night, Air Force soundly defeated Army, ensuring that Navy will retain the Commander-in-Chief's trophy this year no matter what happens in the Army-Navy game. (We all know Navy will win and this will be a moot point, but "clinching" the trophy is nice!)

As an aside, this banner was unfurled at the Air Force-Army game, and received loud cheers from cadets on both teams. [Hat tip: Blackfive.]

Navy went on to defeat Duke on Saturday, for their sixth win, clinching a spot in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. Go Navy!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Quoth the kid: "I have giggles and giggles and giggles all inside of me because I get to see my Daddy. Do you have giggles inside of you?"

Mom: "Yes, I have giggles inside of me for you."

Kid: "But I have more giggles than you!"

Two days and a wake-up.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Terrorists endorse the Democrats

Here's a quick round up of some of the most interesting items in today's news.

First off, Iraqi Forces discovered an ass load of mines being smuggled in from Iran. I'm serious! And I'm not being profane! Read the article.

In other news, it appears the New York Times tried their version of a November Surprise, publishing an article about how Congress pushed the Bush administration to make available documents on the net that could enable anyone to build a nuclear weapon. What were these documents? Iraqi documents seized from the Hussein regime. Made public in the interest of showing the world what they were doing. The interesting thing about the NYT's report, though, is that they are admitting just how close Saddam was to building a WMD, and supporting the President's rationale for the war. [Hat Tip: Captain's Quarters]

And finally, the subject of this post, a lovely collection of political endorsements from terrorists. In case you don't know who to vote for, let's ask our enemies.

Everybody has an opinion about next Tuesday's midterm congressional election in the U.S. – including senior terrorist leaders interviewed by WND who say they hope Americans sweep the Democrats into power because of the party's position on withdrawing from Iraq, a move, as they see it, that ensures victory for the worldwide Islamic resistance.

The terrorists told WorldNetDaily an electoral win for the Democrats would prove to them Americans are "tired."

"Of course Americans should vote Democrat," Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, told WND.

"This is why American Muslims will support the Democrats, because there is an atmosphere in America that encourages those who want to withdraw from Iraq. It is time that the American people support those who want to take them out of this Iraqi mud," said Jaara, speaking to WND from exile in Ireland, where he was sent as part of an internationally brokered deal that ended the church siege.

Muhammad Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, said the Democrats' talk of withdrawal from Iraq makes him feel "proud."

"As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk," he told WND. "Very proud from the great successes of the Iraqi resistance. This success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible withdrawal."

Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas' military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the policy of withdrawal "proves the strategy of the resistance is the right strategy against the occupation."

"We warned the Americans that this will be their end in Iraq," said Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas' Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas' declared "resistance" department. "They did not succeed in stealing Iraq's oil, at least not at a level that covers their huge expenses. They did not bring stability. Their agents in the [Iraqi] regime seem to have no chance to survive if the Americans withdraw."

Abu Ayman, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, said he is "emboldened" by those in America who compare the war in Iraq to Vietnam.

In a recent interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, stated, "The jihadists (are) in Iraq. But that doesn't mean we stay there. They'll stay there as long as we're there."

WND read Pelosi's remarks to the terror leaders, who unanimously rejected her contention an American withdrawal would end the insurgency.

Islamic Jihad's Saadi, laughing, stated, "There is no chance that the resistance will stop."

He said an American withdrawal from Iraq would "prove the resistance is the most important tool and that this tool works. The victory of the Iraqi revolution will mark an important step in the history of the region and in the attitude regarding the United States."

Jihad Jaara said an American withdrawal would "mark the beginning of the collapse of this tyrant empire (America)."

While the terror leaders each independently urged American citizens to vote for Democratic candidates, not all believed the Democrats would actually carry out a withdrawal from Iraq.

[Hat tip: Power Line]


Tomorrow is finally Friday, and an exciting milestone for me, as, barring unusual circumstances, I’ll be enjoying the next three Fridays at home on R&R.  To say I’m excited is an understatement.  I’ve been looking forward to this leave for … about 214 days or so.  It couldn’t come early enough.


I’m finishing tying up loose ends here and making sure things will run smoothly in my absence.  Fortunately I’ve already been doing a lot of delegating, which means that things will run much the same as they have been in many areas, except I don’t get the credit for other people’s work as much.  Hey, it’s nice when the people working for you are really smart, hard working folks, like I’m blessed to have!


I’ll continue the Kerry-bashing from my previous post and note that the chow hall has run out of (Heinz brand) ketchup.  French fries just aren’t the same without it.  I think I might write a letter to the Senator and see if his wife can help us out.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Message To Sen. Kerry

I wish I could claim credit for any part of this. But really, I just nabbed it from the front page of The Drudge Report. Hilarious.

November Surprises

Moods were generally upbeat today (which I will share despite the blogging policy saying I’m not supposed to discuss morale!  Bah!) primarily because it was a new month.  While it was also a payday, most people were celebrating the change of the calendar more than the money in the bank, which we have very little to spend on out here.  I’m sure my wife back home is enjoying the funds, though!


We are all amused at the back-and-forth of the political attacks as the election back home enters its final week.  Today, of course, the topic of discussion was Senator Kerry’s mangled dig at Bush that ended up sounding like he was calling the troops stupid.  Not many troops cared that much… most had given up listening to Kerry back in 2004.  Still, it was something to muse about over lunch.


We’re all looking forward to the November Surprise this week.  Will we finally reveal that we have actually captured Osama?  Or that we discovered where the WMD are?  Stay tuned to your local stations.  Just blank out the commercials.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Saints Day

Happy Halloween!  I’m getting reports of the fun back home and what costumes the kids are wearing (or are refusing to wear, in the younger one’s case) and that’s a good thing.  More importantly, the calendar is turning over to a new month, one in which I’ll spend a lot of time at home on R&R.  I’m very excited.  We’re to the point of finalizing vacation plans, making reservations, and other fun stuff.


Work is keeping me busy, which is only helping time fly by even faster.  I’m actually getting a lot accomplished.


Chuck Norris was here tonight signing autographs.  Since I’m not really that big a fan, I decided to skip out on the signing, although I did see him from across the room, and consider that enough.  The guys in our group’s karate class all took their belts to get them autographed… if I took a martial arts class I would probably have done that as well.


Rumor around here is they’re renaming tomorrow from “All Saints Day” to “Chuck Norris Day”.  Go figure.