Saturday, July 3, 2010

Greetings from The Mediterranean

Hey bud! Even though we are only an hour apart timewise I haven't been able to catch you on the computer this week. Hope all is well with you. I know you have seen some of my posts 'cuz I've seen your comments.

This vacation has been wonderful. The week in Spain prior to getting on the ship was terrific. Seeing such historical places as The Prado was almost surreal. Madrid and Barcelona are great cities mixing very old with very new and doing it very well.

Wish I could write more, but it is bed time. We are getting off the ship in the AM so I will have to get up early to pack. We'll chat when I get home.

Love you lots. Be safe and KYHD.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Iraq During the Summer

So, just to give everyone a glimpse of what we have been having for heat, I pulled up Weatherbug's forecast for my area, and here is what it says:

Hi: 122° Lo: 99°
There is a 0% chance of precipitation. Partly cloudy. Extremely hot, Muggy. Temperature of 122°F. Winds WNW 15mph. Humidity will be 26% with a dew point of 77° and feels-like temperature of 145°F.

So basically we are seeing our first break in almost 4 days (it had been hitting 150 with the heat index.) And it will be around 145ish till like sunday, and then monday and tuesday will be in the low trips so that will be much welcomed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Three minutes is like doing 200 push-ups"

Except for the fact that my abdominal machine is running for 40 minutes twice a day. What I am referring to is the Flex belt. Now I only just got it so I cannot show results just yet, but I have taken a before picture and will take pictures after one week, three weeks and so forth to show my progress. My goal is to incorporate this into my work-out so that i can get a taste for what its like having 6-pack abs for the first time in my life. The Flex Belt has 7 different toning settings with 99 intensity levels. Due to my on-going PT routine, I was able to start out at level 35 (currently pushing 50 as I type this). My goal is to be able to consistently do level 99 for 40 minutes twice a day every day. Right now its definitely working my abs to the extreme, but its not uncomfortable nor can anyone tell that i am wearing it till they see my abs constrict. I am definitely optimistic about this investment.

Update: So upon further reading of the manual, I found the program I liked the most. Its # 6 and is by far the strongest in terms of contraction intensity (but it varies in itself between long pauses, strong bursts and short but powerful bursts).

Yup, you can find it @

Lately i have been using Program 6, which has the strongest muscle contractions out of them all (its called Ab-Power). And I am feeling the workout now. And I dont know any one personally that has used it, but of all the EMS devices out there, this one has the highest reviews/positive comments. The only negative I saw was the person said they wanted to just lose weight and not get a 6-pack look. lol (whatever dude)

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Upon thinking up a title to describe this blog, the only thing I got was either "Why am I not surprised", "Didn't see that one coming," and "I told you so just doesn't express it well enough." Basically, the BRIGADE personnel are now starting to also see the issue that our missions are not being flown as long as they should be. Now granted today was a HOT one. There was nothing cool about today. By 1030AM, it was already 122 Fahrenheit. But even my Shift NCOIC noted what I had already said, in not so many words, that there birds could be flying longer. Even if it was -2 outside, these birds would not be staying up for the full mission time. So lo and behold, people are asking questions and whaddya know, people are asking around NOW what can be done.

Like I said, I told you so just doesnt seem to cover it enough. But in other news, my infinite source of knowledge and the desire to learn more about my system landed me front and center with working our FOB Commanders vehicle so that he has a means of picking up our video. Basically, I was told that whatever or whoever I needed to get the job done, the FOB would provide. My only request for getting the job done: More light (they tried having me re-wire a system in pitch black with only flashlights. ) So tomorrow I will get to work in PTs (Our Physical Fitness Uniform) to get my task accomplished. So yea, right now I, of all people, am in the COL's good graces.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dear Iron Brigade

I sincerely apologize for trying to fully support our current mission with pushing to get the aircraft to fly in its dedicated time-slot and not RTB(return to base aka land) early. I don't know what I was thinking when I made the suggestion for our civilian maintainer and army maintainers to tweak the engine to get it to burn less fuel and stay airborne longer. I know we promised You (Brigade) that we could support 16.5 hours of aerial coverage, but 13 seems sufficient. So again I apologize for trying to fulfill our promise and obligation. And I apologize to the civilian maintainer for recognizing him not doing his job and indirectly calling him out on it. How inconsiderate of me to want to do my job. This kind of thinking is only reserved for the brightest NCOs who are doing their job. I hope this matter can be resolved and we only half-ass support you for the rest of the deployment.

Your selfish Sergeant,

Day Off??

OK - there is NO SUCH THING as a day off!! Yesterday I was not in the office at my paying job but it was certainly NOT a day off. It started bright and early. I had 3 different service technicians coming for 3 different jobs: install a new windshield, replace a leaky/broken kitchen faucet and an annual AC check. Everyone got here when they were supposed to. The windshield got replaced. The kitchen faucet got replaced - it works like a charm and the AC/furnace checked out fine. So what's the problem??

In the course of the plumbing job and AC job - same company but 2 different technicians, they checked our water heater and both agreed it needed to be replaced. In their words, "this is an accident waiting to happen. This thing could go at any time and flood your basement." So, we agreed on a new water heater to be installed at a time to TBD. We also decided to get an electrostatic furnace filter with a lifetime warranty. Well - AC guy did not have said filter on his truck so he said he would bring on back later in the day. All technicians were done and out by 1300 (1PM). We go to lunch and I run errands. DA requested some fans...something about it getting up to ~120 degrees Farenheit. So a trip to Walgreens and Walmart and then to Post Pack n' Ship to get the fans and other goodies out to DA.

I get home ~1600 (4PM) and dad and I are going through our trip/cruise arrangements. Making sure we have everything, etc. AC guy shows up with plumbers to install new water heater...he still does not have new furnace filter! (They had not called or anything, but no problem we were home and had no other plans!) (Dr Dave was off for the afternoon since he had worked the weekend). They get the old water heater emptied and disconnected BEFORE they realize they have brought the WRONG NEW WATER HEATER. They brought a propane HWH instead of a Natural Gas HWH. They are NOT interchangeable. So we now have 2 choices: no hot water until tomorrow (today) OR they can go the Home Depot and buy a new one and install it for the night then come back in the morning with the new 50 gallon one we had agreed on. So we decide we do not want to be without hot water for the night and morning showers, so off to Home Depot they go. They are back in short order and a new 40 gallon HWH is installed for about 14 hours. BTW - all this extra cost is on them - we had agreed on a HWH AND the price to install it, etc.
So the AC guy shows up this morning to help carry the newly delivered 50 gallon HWH down stairs so the plumber that is on his way can install it. Oh - and he has the new electrostatic filter with him!! YEAH!! They are both downstairs now emptying out the NEW 40 gallon HWH so they can install the NEW 50 gallon HWH. Hopefuly the plumber knows what he is doing and can work by himself because the AC guy has been called to go to another job. There are alot of things I learned to do by myself while Dr Dave was active duty, but installing a new HWH was not one of them!!

Moral of this story - don't call your day "away" from your paying job a "day off"...there is NO SUCH THING!!

P.S. At some point yesterday afternoon, Dr Dave notices that the BRAND NEW WINDSHIELD that got installed just hours before is CRACKED!! Luckily, that will be repaired at no extra charge since it is warrantied 100%.

Hope all of you had a good Tuesday!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What a Day!

You know, people always get on my case about knowing too much of my system, but today, those voices were silent. We experienced severe turbulence and with my calm, naturally cool attitude, was able to control the situation and save the aircraft (Our system isnt designed to fly in anything above moderate turbulence.)

And just for reference, everyone here has experienced on a commercial airliner what is considered LIGHT turbulence. Severe turbulence essentially is strong enough to cause structural damage to aircrafts. Guess that's why they call me 'Professor' this deployment. And to top it off, I had to correct our Warrant Officer on regulations for signing a risk assessment for a certain condition. But I will praise SPC W. for his finesse in landing the aircraft when it was uncertain what was going to happen. Kudos, dude.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's Gonna Rain...!

So, apparently I am a better weather guy then the ones that we use here in Iraq. While they are forecasting weather, I am predicting weather and I have been right on more occassions than they have. (I swear they have the best job... They can be wrong and still keep their job. The weather simply changed.) I had both SWOs (Staff Weather Officer) tell me that they use a magic 8-ball half the time anyways. And I tell them that my 8-ball told me on the days when it was going to rain(And it did!) They now want my 8-ball. lol

Anywho, we are finishing up the inventories before our current commander hands over our company to the new incoming Commander. Now mind you we have actually been working with this new commander since we got in country, and at first we werent too keen on his ability to lead a unit with a UAS platoon in it. But it seems that since he has been transitioning over to being our commander, his whole attitude has changed and is a pretty approachable guy. Hopefully it sticks that way.