Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back In Texas

"Sitting in the lobby of a big hotel..."

That's a Joe Ely song or close to it.

And, The Faust Hotel isn't exactly big at all.

But, The Faust in New Braunfels, TX has "Home" in between trips for nigh on two years now.

"The Architect", "Marge" and "Echo November" are about 15 minutes down I35 from here and the "Folks" are about 45 minutes around the loop.

Having family close by is nice. We cook out or hang out or go catch some live music at Gruene Hall or some other venue.

Still I hang out by myself more than anything else.

It occurs to me frequently that I've spent most of my adult life by myself. That might seem to indicate that I'm comfortable in my own skin. I'm not so sure about that but it is certain that's the way my life runs.

Round Three in Afghanistan is in the books so I'm home for a while. So far it's David 2 Afghanistan 1.

Round One in Bagram didn't go so well and I think it's been documented here.

Two and Three were in Kandahar and went somewhat better.

Round Two has been the best so far. I got to travel a little. Got to fly in the King Air. Got to FLY the King Air. I've got more "Hours" in the left seat in the skies of Afghanistan than any where else. Also of note, to me at least, is the fact that I'm the only member of my family to fly a King Air (Including real live licensed pilots.) and the only one to fly anything in a Hot Zone.

Big deal.

So, Round Four is scheduled for October. Will I go back? Yes Bob. I most likely will.

Why? Money is the obvious part. Doing something that MIGHT be making a difference is a part of it.

NOT WORKING IN A REPAIR STATION is a HUGE part of it. Potentially bigger than the dollar factor. OK, MAYBE bigger.

Life in a repair station sucks the life out of me.

"Out In The Boonies" is where it's at. OK, most of my field trips have not been in the Boonie Boonies but they have been out there. Half way around the world about 10 times now. Camp Humphries Korea to Mombassa Kenya to Lincoln Nebraska to Howard AFB Panama.

All of them for some job or another.

All of them without micro managers, time clocks, shop rates or time clocks.

All of them, you do what needs to be done whether that means one hour or 36 straight.

I've had about enough Afghanistan but I guess I'll go back for Round Four.

Thanks for the kick in the ass Bob.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nada, REALLY Nada...

I'm sitting on the tailgate of my work truck. The connection goes from "Very Low" inside my room to "Excellent" out here in the parking lot.

It's almost 8 pm and the temp must be down to 90. So it's not too bad out. Kinda hard to type in the dark though.

So, yes here we are halfway through the third trip to Afghanistan. Yee Haw.

Do I like it? Enjoy it? Hell no. It sucks bilge water. But the money is OK. Yes just "OK" far from great.

Whose brilliant idea was it to go to war with no fucking alcohol?!?! Can someone explain that one?

The government could have saved a lot of money. Folks might have been willing to come over here for less. (Not me. I'm practically a Peace Corp volunteer.)

Hell, they could have made a lot of money. Bunch of knuckle dragging contractors lopping around with more money that a lot of them know what to do with. Re-coop some of that investment Sam!

Misbehavior? No doubt. But this place is crawling with MP's that are auditioning to be small town cops somewhere. Keep them busy doing something other than running radar traps on the perimeter road!

Top legal speed on this dump is 40 KPH. Do the ciphering... 24 MPH!!! Most of the base is 20 KPH! I do understand a lot of the low speed streets. Some of the roads are bad and pedestrians are every where.

Pedestrians are STOOPIT!

This is a seriously multinational place. Some folks seem to be worse than others. Americans are about as bad as anyone else that steps out into the streets without looking.

I won't point any fingers at out neighbors to the north but geeeeeze! And get around that coffee shop? You better have a foot on the brake. (I do have to give them a break there. Tim Hortons coffee and donuts.... mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!)

Gonna miss them when they go, well, I'll miss Tim Hortons and the cute Canadian girls with impossibly white teeth.

The Canadians also have a radio station simulcast here out of Ottawa, I think it is. Nicki Sixx does a late night show that I hear sometime during the day. Not too bad. They have the usual lead in spots when they play new songs. "New Music Alert" is one. To which I usually reply (yes, to the radio), "This is gonna suck."

Most times it does. I do like the new Theory of a Deadman. Cracks me up. And of course I just went blank on the name of it.

That station did introduce me to "The Headstones". What a cool band. I searched high and low and could only occasionally find signs that they did in fact exist. Record stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi. iTunes. Nada.

However soon after I got back in April I was sitting in my room and checked iTunes one more time.

There they were! A bonanza. What to choose? Where to start?

I opted for "Greatest Fits". I don't think there is a bad cut on the disc. Three Angels, Smile and Wave, Unsound, Tweeter and the Monkey Man, Cubically Contained.

Thanks eh!

So, as I started out, really nada. I think about this thing all the time. Never seem inspired or motivated. It's always something "I'll do it later." "What's my password again?" "I wonder if Blogger is still in Russian?" So tonight after a 'fabulous' day I decided, "Screw it. I'm writting something even if it's long winded and boring."

So, I did.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wow! The damn thing is still here and still works.


Well, no fancy build up this time.

It's Round Three in Afghanistan. Yup, I keep coming back to the trough that tried to take me out the first time.

The subsequent trips have been to much lower altitudes with much better attitudes.

Now that I got offa my ass and navigated through the Croation Google Blogger instructions maybe I'll get this thing rolling again.

Tonight is a seeing off party for a pilot friend. For a late twenties early thirties girl she's a rare bird. Only chick pilot I know currently. And, most likely the only one I've ever met that can toss around Corporate names, Government entities, NGO's and 'off the beaten path' countries with the Old Guys. Chad?! Who the hell goes to work in Chad?