Monday, July 03, 2006

Do you smell something burning??!!

Hello All,

Know it has been awhile since my last post. We finally completed getting the house ready for sale, put it on the market, have another house on contigency, took a week off of work and spent two weeks on Grand Jury duty. Little busy.

Shelle is swelling up, though everyone cannot believe she is 31 weeks pregnant. She is very small, yet the doctor has her in great shape and she is doing pretty good. She keeps asking me if she is waddling yet. I tell her no as I quietly laugh as she walks away like a little penguin.

Right now everyone knows what the baby is but us. That is right, we dont want to know what it is until Shelle spits it out. We had the nurse who did the sonogram write down the sex and put it in an envelope. So if anyone in the family is blogging make sure you dont put it in your writing.

OK, time to rant. Been reading a lot on alternative fuels and such. Chevy has their great yellow ads to make them look more enviormental and all, BS!!! Ford has been putting out Ethanol vehicles for years, heck, I drive a multi fuel Ranger I bought when I got home from Iraq and it is a 2003 Year model. Most manufacturers vehicles are E85 capable so the can get tax incentives but they never tell you.

Everyone wants to go enviromental so let me help you get a few things straight:

1. E85 is 85% Ethanol (which is about $2.45 + a gallon) and 15% regular petrol. Right now you run 85% petrol and 15% Ethanol.

2. E85 gives you less mileage (My Ranger gets 21+ miles on petrol whereas E85 I would get 14 to 17 MPG)

3. You have to change your fuel filters more regulary.

Ethanol is really nothing more than good ole moonshine (allbeit 140 to 190 proof). You can make it yourself at home with a still (you can obtain a permit from the ATF so you can produce up to 10,000 gallons a year) and something that will decompose. Once you have the sweet nectar of hillbillies you have to cut it (that is add) 15% gasoline so the govt knows you arent starting a shine operation.

Currently efforts are underway to use bacteria and enzymes to break down grasses and straw (generally E85 is made from old corn) to be able to make more for the market.

Now they are building hybrids (Still have to gas them). OK, great, they get 38 + MPG. Good idea but does not really take care of the problem.

Did you know that only 25% of the energy your car produces is put to the pavement??
In that 25% you are also running accessories such as A/C, power steering, and Alternator. 75% of the energy released from your car is heat, pure hotness.

So, you ask me "What can we do about it Mr. Know it all"

Demand electric vehicles from the Big 3 and make the Government (You know, that organization For the People by the People) .

But they dont have any range on them. Studies show that most families generally only drive about 20 to 30 miles a day. Some electric cars can go 100+ miles before they need recharging.

They are soooooo s-l-o-w. Most electric cars that have been manfactured by auto makers can do 55 to 75 MPH. There is a growing contigent of people building their own cars, some are even raced and can beat Ferraris, Porsches and yes, Corvettes.

Your switching from burning fossil fuels yourself to making the electric company burn more coal.
1. If you live in the U.S. we run on a 110 volt system that is very efficent.
2. Guess what, they are burining it anyway. If you dont burn it then you cut down on the pollution.
3. Most people recharge their vehicles at night when peak demand is lowest.

Did you know when autmobiles came about in the late 1800s that a majority of the vehicles on the road were electric??

Did you know the first speeding ticket was handed to a person driving an electric car?

Of course there are drawbacks:

The weight of the batteries and you have to change them about every 3 to 5 years.
(But then you are not changing oil, pulling over to the gas station (not to mention paying gas tax), changing fuel filters and air filters, etc. etc, etc).

You can generally drive about 30 to 100 miles per day (Set your trip every morning and check it when you get home and are not going anywhere until the next day, you may be surprised).

What it comes down to is being responsible (OMG, he didnt say it). Yes, RESPONSIBLE, being on Grand Jury showed the amount of people that are not personally responsible, and those are the ones got caught.

OKay, thanks for tuning in, gotta chow.

Until next time

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Hello everyone,

My beautiful wife Shelle is now pregnant (and yes it is mine!!!), we thought we would have to wait a while and possibly have to use medical science to concieve but it only took one night. We pretty much got it on the first try, Literally!!!

We went to the Doc today and got to see the baby for the first time. I will try and post the pics. It was really cool, beside the ultrasound (you know, the grainy little pics that look like something from bad TV reception) they did some 3D shots. They are really cool!! Once Shelle saw those she had no want to start smoking again. So far she has done great since she found out she was pregnant and stopped smoking. I have gone from a pack and a half a day to about 5 to 7 cigs a day. Hoepfully soon I can quit. I dont smoke in the house anymore so it can be a pian to have to go outside and smoke (hope that helps me quit quicker).

We have pretty much resolved not to find out the sex, but myself and most everyone is in agreement that it will be a girl. When we took the pics they let us hear the heartbeat and it was at 162 BPM, not exactly proof it is a girl but more than likely.

I have been giddy in my own way but coming home from Iraq and getting back in the groove it will take a little while for everyone to see it.

It has been a little weird getting used to being back home, it sure is a lot nicer to be able to be in bed and not have to go outside to a porta john or shower with a few hundred other people to take care of business. Nice having a fridge too.

Not much more to say for now. Have to get back to work next week, ready for things to get normal for me soon. May have to plant some IEDs outside on the road to really make it feel like home.

Take care everyone!!!!

I have added HaloScan if you are wondering why all the past comments are gone. I hated doing it because a lot of readers left some really great post while I was overseas and I really appreicate them but I had a lot of problems getting rid of spam and did not want anyone coming to my site and getting misdirected.

Again, thank you everyone who commented and supported me and my family while I was gone. It is people like you why I will fight for this country.

Thank you

Monday, December 05, 2005

Leaving Las Hell Hole

Hello All,
I apoligize for such a long absence on the WWW, my job has kept me more than busy wrapping up our government sponsered vacation to Asscrackistan. I am eagerly looking forward to my exdous from my exile in this sandy hell which I have temporaily resided in. To date I have been mainly working on awards for our troops here, we have handed out Army Commendations by the truckloads, Meritorious Service Medals Purple Hearts and the coveted Bronze Stars. Not to mention the newly desinged Combat Action Badge. Then there are the five "I was in Iraq" awards which will make everyone here have a bigger Christmas Tree ( Awards worn on the Class A uniform) than most General Officers in the Military today.

It has been an experience, one that I will relish in putting behind me!!! I am more than ready to get back to life and pick up the pieces. My Beautiful Wife has faithfully stood by my doofus self through out this entire rotation and has endured more hell than even I have had to deal with. I am truly blessed with a wonderful Wife and Friend. And of course I cannot wait to wrestle with my boys and just have fun with them.

Well my comprades, soon I fly and hopefully have a very controlled landing in the great United States of America soon and will be able to enjoy the fruits of fast food resturants and the hordes of people doing their last minute Christmas Shopping!! Oh, and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone if in case I am unable to blog in the near future until I can return to a online connection. And if you are a liberal, KMA!!! I will start spouting off against the liberal left as soon as I can ease back into society.

Until then,


Sweetheart, you are the greatest gift I could ever recieve.
Love you

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Long Time Gone

Hello All,
Sorry that it has been ages since I last posted. It has been a mix of busy days and just plain aggraviating days! Things are slowing down somewhat but that does not mean it gets easier. We are about at the halfway point and it is starting to show. People get agitated really easy and tempers flare. We have been sending personnel on leave, which is great until you have to come back. I will not see leave until possibily August. I was originally slated for October but then realized that it is going to be so busy that I cannot be gone at that time. I am ready for a break, I have not left this FOB in almost two months. Person can go a little stir crazy!!!
We have had a few sandstorms, enough to blot out the sun for a little while. But we have not had storms like some of the other areas. I have seen pictures and video of walls of dirt smashing into camps, day turn to night and everything buried under airborne sand. And the heat is upon us, the temperature has consistently hit about 110 F. and it is just going to get hotter. One of the locals told us it got to 140 f. about six years ago. Hey, can help save on electricity for cooking!!!
Recently we had internet installed in our tents. Now before you go saying "The government is taking care of those boys", understand we paid for it. About 30 of us went in and purchased a system, it is better than nothing but can be extremely slow. I have been able to talk to omy wife and boys, and a few other family members via Instant Messenger. My beautiful wife sent me a webcam so we can all see each other, which is great. helps to reconnect to the world back home.
Now your saying, You have internet why have'nt you blogged. My computer (and quite a few others) have decided to go on strike recently. My harddrive is on its last legs (just bought the computer in October of last year) and several others are petering out with some of the same symptoms. Colleys motherboard has completely gone out so he had to order a new computer. I have a harddrive on the way so then hopefully I can get back to blogging and more once I get my laptop dependable, and faster!!!
The new "Combat Action Badge" has now come out. If you have followed the controversy over this badge, it is supposed to be kinda like the Combat Infantrymans Badge which you have to be in contact with the enemy and in action (that means getting shot at). According to the criteria for the CAB we are allowed to recieve this badge. We have been mortared and rocketed over 60 plus times so we are considered in contact with the enemy (indirectly). I know we will probably never hear the end of the controversy over this badge but I will definately wear mine after enduring rocket attacks, mortars, small arms fire and IED's. Even though I am a "FOBBIT" bullets and explosives do not distinguish between us and groundpounders!
I must return back to work. Hope to be able to post some pics of us and also show you the reason you do not swim in the canals here. Also, looking into putting up a webpage of pics of some of the more gruesome aspects we have encountered here. Dont know if I will be am pondering the idea. Maybe something I do once I return home.

Thank you everyone for your support and may you all be blessed.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Been a while since my last post, been a busy week. Weather is getting hotter. Not so bad right now but I have been told that the summers are comparable to turning your oven to 140, then after it has heated up open it and stand close. It is very dry right now, seems the rainy season has ended. So that means that we have to be very careful around our buildings about fire. Smokers are required to keep 50 feet away from wood or fabric structures, which only makes sense.
Work has been pretty good, and steady. Of course you can never catch up. What you did last year someone found you did not dot an i so therefore you have to redo the entire document.
As for my personal time, I have not taken much time on my HTML. The heat sort of kicks you in the hind end and tires you out pretty quick, regardless if you’re inside or out. I have started going to the gym recently. For the few times I have been it has made me feel better and helped out some with dealing with the heat. I hope to be in really good shape before I get home, 1. for the wife and 2. so I can do really good on my next PT.
I have received an abundance of packages in the mail recently. My beautiful wife sent me a pillow so I don’t have to rest my head on the cotton ball I was using. She also sent me loads of food and snacks and an official” I Hate sand and Camels” T-Shirt. I hope to have a link on this blog soon so that your too can order your official anti-desert propaganda walking billboard. My father in law sent me a good little stash of elk and buffalo jerky made close to where they live in Montana ( I gotta move there!!). I also received a package from them with girl scout cookies (my wife also sent some too,,, thank you!!!!!) sweets, a rubber spider (Oh am I gonna have fun), and Bag Balm.
Bag Balm? What is that you say? Hmm, well let’s see. Ever had a problem with your feet getting dry and cracking, corns or calluses? My beautiful wife introduced me to this wonderful concoction shortly after we began dating. It is a petroleum based product that you simply salve up your feet with and start rubbing it in. Soon (if you have dry calloused feet) it will feel like sand between your hand and foot (this is the dry skin coming off). The more you rub over the hard areas it will take away the calluses and get to the soft skin, It also will put some moisture in your dermal layer (Oohh...I’m using big words now) and after repeated use it will make your feet soft and supple.
So, thinking you could use some? Where can you pick up some of this wonderful product? Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sams, Dollar General…..Nope Nope Nope and Nope!!!
This wonderful product come to you via your local Co-op. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this product is available at your local feed and seed. You see, this is a cow teat ointment to keep utters from getting dry and cracking from milking or the use of a milking machine. Never thunk it huh? One of the many tricks that my wife learned from her mother (that’s right. the Mother-In-Law). I came out pretty good on my marriage I would say!
Well I have spouted enough off, time to get back into the game and see about going to get a tan (which is illegal for us here). Oh well, at least we still have our Blogs…for now!



Friday, April 01, 2005

HTML part 2

OK, well, if you have read my blog in the last few days you might have noticed that it was a little messed up. This totally scared me when I saw it. Not just that it was messed up but the fact that it messed up after I blogged about doing some changes to my blog. You know, honey I fixed the car then while going to town the engine blows up. Does not look good.

Well, not only is the blog messed up. I find out that the Daily Journal (local hometown newspaper) had linked to my blog. Ok, bad gets worse. So here I go on an extrmely slow server speed (talk about pre dial up), trying to get my blog back up and right. Ok, check the blog code against the source code for the page template, No problem. Look through the changes I made, have someone who knows what they are doing look at it, no problem.

So, I have spent two days looking and no conclusion. Then, a moment of inisight flashes across my mind (actually I figured it out after I deleted a blog). The whole problem was the title of the last blog (which has been deleted). I titled it "HTML" but it was in code. Therefore the computer was reading it as source code for the page and screwed up everyting. Now it is fixed..for the moment.

If you are using Mozilla you may need a javascript plug in if you cannot see the clock or just use IE (ugh).

Disaster averted, onward with my studies.

Other than that it has been a quiet few days. We did have a few Soldiers injured, we found the articles in the papers within a day. Does not take long for the news to get out. I do my best to be careful of what I blog here. So if I seem vague or don't blog of anything of significance until a later time, it is in the interest of the safety and security of the Soldiers here and their families back home.

Now I did get a really great surprise today. My Beautiful wife sent me some pictures today. They were great, makes me really miss home!!! (Bad) ")

Oh well, off again into another day gone. Soon the road ahead will be behind us and the reunion home will be so much the sweeter.

Hey Bautiful,
Thank you for the gift, I will keep it with me always.
Love You XOXO

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Palm Sunday

An absoutley beautiful day that will turn into a hot but semi comfortable afternoon. Interesting to be close to the Holy Lands on the day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
I get to thinking of how close I am to Babylon and what religous and world altering events took place in that great city. Some of the oldest carvings are there, one of the worlds first alphabets and beginning of keeping historical records. The place where God destroyed the temple man built to be gods themselves.
Just all the history that surrounds this place. Alexander the Great triumphed here, then marched on to Indo-China and into the areas of Siberia and Mongolia.
I only wish I were allowed to see more and that the people here understood the land they live in and how it helped to change the world.
How many times in History or Geography did you learn or read about Mesopatamia, and here I am in the cradel of civilization. Nevermind the mortar shelling and trying to bring something to help people who are completely unaware of the benifits. Just being here is life changing.
Ohh-I did not tell all of my experience one evening coming back to the office from chow. Now to stave off the thoughts that I am crazy (well I did sign up for this), for years I have watched the skies. Stars, planets and whatever exist out there always fascinated me. I have studied aircraft and aerodynamics and what it takes to fly and the limitations imposed on the technology we have. I always keep an open mind and just don't jump to conclusion.
So, there I was, Anton and I were walking behind some other soldiers from chow back to the office. I saw one of the soldiers look up and point. I looked skyward and just happened to notice a dim blue light with a blue halo around it. It was traveling from east to west at a high rate of speed. I thought at first it could be a small radio controlled aircraft we use with a chem light attached. That was until I saw the object take a ninety degree turn and shoot off then another ninety degree turn and pretty much disappear.
Anton and I went into the office talking of this and trying to find a plausable explanation. Soon we left and were still discussing this phenomonon. During our discussion I pointed to the belt of Orion and just happened to see a bright oblong shape that traveled in the same direction of the last object, as it traveled it became dimmer. Now this could have easily been a meteorite.
Anton at this time is just telling me"I didn'nt see a thing, I did'nt see a thing", you know, plausable denability. As we turn to walk toward our tents another object streaks from our left to right at a high rate of speed, could be another meteorite.
As for the first object, who knows. Lets just say that Gods reach is incrediable and nothing is impossible!!

Happy Easter all!!

P.S. There were not reported incidents of abductions or anal probes (Oh that was bad)

Have a great day my Beautiful wife, get Chan better. I Love You.

Friday, March 18, 2005

What the Shizzle?

Hello All,

Sorry so long since last post. Just another exciting day here at our little piece of paradise.
Received an email from my beautiful wife today, her Uncle who is a civilian with the Corp. of Engineers will soon be at Camp Victory. That’s about 40 miles north as the crow flies. Some of our guys make regular runs there, so I am going to get my butt in a seat and see what family I can.
Been pretty peaceful lately, rain, then mud and no electricity. The water is receding and the power is on now.
Last night we got another great dinner of lobster, crab legs, steak and shrimp. Going to get fat if I don’t watch it!!
Leaving chow tonight, the moon was out casting a ghostly glow about, fuzzy little clouds blanketing the stars. Get to my tent and smoke a square with the guys and head back to the office. Walk out of the Alaskan barriers on my way to work…BOOOOM…oh crap. Get down, screw that… to the bunker. Get inside the Alaskans….BOOOOOM. Make it to the bunker, everyone is cramming in like sardines in a can….BOOOM..BOOOM…….BOOM.

Ok quiet….BOOM…BOOOM………..BOOOM. And we wait. Eight rounds in all. Everyone’s ok, “Did you feel that?” Rocks or shrapnel from the rounds had flown over the Alaskans and peppered some guys outside. Nothing harmful, just like picking up a handful of rocks and gently tossing them. As we take accountability…BOOOOOOM…..BOOOOOM, Outgoing, mortars fire for effect. BOOOM…BOOOM. See the mortars burp firelight off the sky as they fire, the concussion beats into your chest, the round streaking angrily overhead. About 10 seconds later the horizon brightens, artificial sunlight spits away in the distance. About 15 minutes and the air stirs with the sounds of turbines coming to life. An angry monster sucking in air hungrily to come to life. You can just hear the blades as they chop through the air, trying to find grip as they continually gain speed. Then you hear the unmistakeable liftoff, the hunt begins. Angrily the beast lumber into the sky looking for the unlucky victims that have incurred their wrath. Woe is to the straggler who lingers too long.
As the minutes tick by the conversation turns to movies and games the guys were playing. Some are laughing about being caught while in the shower having to flee in nothing but a towel. Then a muffled voice comes over the loudspeaker… ALL CLEAR…ALL CLEAR.
And here I am, another day closer to home.
Work is my friend; it keeps me busy to hasten the end of the day. Some nights I end about eight, some two or three in the morning. Sometimes you cannot stop working when you’re on a roll. It passes the time.
A few of us are trying to get an MWR tent set up. We have the tent just need to clean it out and get some supplies. Hope to set up some computers for those who wish to continue their education or just earn some credit to help with promotions later. All in all, just something to keep busy. Idle hand and mind are the devils workshop.
Amazing, as many rounds as we take in this country everyday, the toll of injured or causalities toll little more in months than that of large cities in the US in a day or week.

oH, and my last post. Thanks for the comments. They were great, love to get people thinking.

Stay busy and keep safe!!


Love you babe, get Chan well and I will be calling home soon.


Friday, March 04, 2005

The Camera Dilemma now I have purchased a camera, and there is absoutley nothing to snap a pic of. Before there were sunsets and aircraft, a plethora of opportunities.

It is raining, the drops pelt the metal roof of my office and slowly ...........zzzzzzzzzzz. Oh oh ah sorry. Anywho, just another exciting day in the world of administration.

Our PX got restocked the other day, more of stuff that I do not need. The local nationals' shop has nothing I need either. Oh, I did get some Dr. Peppers. Amazing the little things you miss when your gone.

Speaking of missing, Shelle sent me this email. Appearantly it was from a formatted story email service. You know, type your name here and their name here and a story is made. I cannot tell you of the story but if you search the web I am sure you can find one if you have a frustrated soldier somewhere.

Ah well, I will take no more of your time or bytes. Take care all and have a great day..

Mom, happy birthday (Everyone thinks she is my sister when were in Town!)

Sweethart...your in trouble...Good trouble...

Love you

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Travels in Iraq

Today I was granted a temporary pardon from my cell to experience what life was beyond the wire. A little apprehensive about what lie ahead I prepared myself for the worst, (which I seem to be good at) and joined my comrades for the day’s travels.

Our mission was to first go to two FOBS’ for material and the return one of our soldiers who had come to visit us for a short time. As we left the gate I began to absorb what life spread before me. As I had said before, the land somewhat resembles the Gulf coast with its palm trees and brackish water. Most of the homes I saw were of mud brick and stucco, almost like those you would see in the southwestern United States. There were some more modern structures that were in disrepair but pretty much the same building materials. Arched entryways beckoned one to enter into seemingly innocent structures surrounded by brick walls and iron work. A plethora of shanties built from whatever was available and the traditional tents of the nomadic tribes that dot the lands as they move from one area to another to graze their sheep, goats and cattle.

The land in some areas was open plains crisscrossed with hastily dug canals to divert the water to raise crops of herbs, spinach, clover, thick stalked onions and a type of lettuce. Some areas were being prepared for the planting of corn and cotton. The water table being just a few feet underground makes it possible to grow various types of produce, yet when the standing water evaporates it leaves behind snowy patches of salt. After so much accumulation the farmers must move their fields until the salt can be removed or naturally taken away and nutrients replenish the ground.

Livestock was typically sheep, goats and cattle. They would be herded to areas of grass which grow plenty in this area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, the cradle of civilization. Along the way I noted poultry and ducks, and even some very large turkeys. I noticed one that must have stood at least three feet tall. Thanksgiving may have some fresh bird instead of processed and canned meat by product.

As we ventured further east the palms went from patches to groves. The grass became a vibrant green between channels of water that sprouted cattails that stood over ten feet tall. The highways are somewhat traditional four lane highways that are in somewhat a state of decent repair and heavily traveled. As we move down the avenues cars pull to the sides of the road to let us pass. Those who do not are flashed with headlights and gestured to pull over. When that does not work the turret gunner usually has an ample supply of rocks to get the attention of the drivers who then promptly move aside. Due to IED’s the convoys travel down the direct center of the road to give maximum distance from the sides of the roads, pretty much road hogs.

My attention was directed to large earthen hills that were built by Saddam in the four cardinal directions surrounding Babylon. I saw one large hill that was incomplete (the East hill) and the South hill that a beautiful Palace was perched atop. Saddam was to have a palace in each direction of Babylon and connected to the ancient city by tram. I was unable to view the city in which God struck down the tower of Babel and the people were punished by talking several languages. I hope to be able to make this trip; hopefully I will have a camera by then to give you a glimpse.

Onward south we came to the city of Hilla, which I learned upon returning that a car bomb had killed over 120 people and injured several more right before we came to the city. It was a crowded and heavily traveled city with businesses in almost every crevice that afforded any room to display wares. Cars lined the sides of the roads awaiting fuel stations to open to purchase petrol for their vehicles. I was told that people will wait anywhere from three to four hours to three to four days. There has been a lack of oil products available to the civilian populace since the war. Some people sat on the sides of the roads with gasoline in various containers they had purchased the day before to sell at highly inflated prices. Think about that next time you wait for that one spot at the gas station next time. The streets were crowded with all types of conveyances from cars and trucks to buses and tractors. I was surprised to see a late 70’s model Trans Am parked at what could pass for an apartment building. Trash was strewn about everywhere, buildings were in disrepair but life goes on. People would wave at us and we would return the courtesy. Children would wave to us in hopes of candy and other sweets; unfortunately I had none and felt bad. But in order to satiate them I would have to had a very large truck completely packed with the sweet concoctions.

We arrived safely at FOB Lima and conducted our business and made our way to FOB Duke further southwest. As we drove the landscape turned from palms and grass to desert littered with small tumbleweed scrub and dotted with a hardy grass that the nomadic peoples herd their livestock to graze upon. Great stretches of road led to the horizon miles away into the sky. Tents of nomads dotted the landscape with a few mud brick structures close to clumps of small trees that had found sustenance in the arid desert. Unlike where we are stationed just a few decades of kilometers away the air was dry and warmer. The dust stirred as we whipped from asphalt to dirt roads to reach our destination. After we arrived we met out party we made to lunch. Afterward I browsed the local vendors on post. One had scores of rugs, machine and hand made. I found one beautiful tapestry I would have loved to have purchased that was handmade in Persia. It was made from cashmere and silk, the asking price was $3000. Sweetheart, I am still looking, if I had the money it would be on the way home!!!

Soon thereafter we made to our vehicles to return to our station. The sky advertised signs of rain and soon it began. First the wind whipped up the dirt reducing visibility until the rains forced it back down. The air was chilled and heavier rain started with hail. We were able to make our way out of the storm which was still in its fury lashing the parched land with lighting and thunder that rivaled artillery fire. Soon we were back in the bounty of greenery from which our journey started.

Now back in my bunk I resolve myself to the chores of the oncoming day and hopefully the promise of more peaceful travels of this strangely beautiful and deadly land in which I temporarily reside.

Remember daily what privilege you have been given and never take anything for granted. No matter how bad the day or situation seems, be brave and smile. Against the storm lies the rainbow, hope and promise is always there. Keep a full heart and a welcome smile; you never know when you may be entertaining angles.

God speed and blessings to all

Babe, have a wonderful day and thank you for being such a wonderful and loving friend.


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Just Like Paradise

Another day, once again not much to report. Everyday we hear explosions but have pretty much been able to discern good from bad. So far they are not rattling me; I just hear them and do what needs to be done. We have installed an alarm system on post for mortars. so far it has only been used once.

The excitement in my day is when it ends, I sit in my cell (you could consider it close to prison) and do my daily grind. I set my priorities and then, “I need this, I need that”, I just relegate myself to getting done what I can.

Mail is running pretty good now, and sweetie, your package is on the way. I received another package from my beautiful wife; I got my P.J.’s and some toiletries. I can feel a little more like a human now. I cannot wait until Shelle gets her package. I packed the boys a DVD I bought here. You can buy pretty much any DVD movie here for five bucks, granted it may not be the best quality or a tapes theatre. But the upside is you can get up to four movies on one disc. So far I have been lucky and got some good ones, I should have a good movie collection by the time I get home.

The temperature is increasing daily and soon we’ll be cooking camel eggs on the sidewalk. With body armor and Kevlar on it gets hot pretty quick. Guess I don’t need to gripe about my office then, the guys outside are going to catch a little taste of Hades this summer. August in Mississippi will seem like a tropical paradise compared to here.

Have been trying to situate my living conditions a little more in the last few days. Trying to get all my things off the floor. So far we have caught two mice and have set traps for more. The mice don’t bother me; it’s the snakes they attract. Let’s see, there are the Asp and the Cobra. I really don’t want to wake up in the morning with a Cobra staring me in the face. Then there are scorpions, especially one little bugger called the red scorpion. This little guy is attracted to urine, and some of the guys have been treating this like Camp Shelby and using urine bottles. We do not allow anyone in our tent to do this; if we caught them we would empty the contents of their bottle on their bed. Just a deterrent.

Oh, and don’t forget the camel spider. I don’t even want to see one of these guys. I will probably unload every round I have for my 9mm. Safe to say I don’t like things with more than four legs or that slither.

Ok, enough of that. I feel like we have a good security system going on here. Every night I hear choppers lifting off and circling or the Bradley’s or Abrams shaking the ground as they make their nightly patrols. The Abrams (M1A2 Main battle tank) has an eerie whistle to it. It’s power plant is a gas driven turbine that can propel this behemoth of a machine around. There are some good stories of M1 tanks in battle during the first gulf war. Some of them I read in Tom Clancy’s Armored Cav.

There was one story of an M1 that got stuck in the desert, (Imagine that) and could not be pulled out. The platoon left the tank and crew there to continue on mission while a M88 (Tow truck tank) was en route to pull them out. While waiting, three T-72 Russian made tanks happened upon the stuck tank and opened fire. Out of three shots only one scared the shell of the M1. The guys in the tank opened fire and destroyed two of the opposing tanks while the third ran for cover. Now the M1 has thermal sites and can see pretty well at night. The gunner could see the exhaust plume of the T-72 (Their exhaust is vented upwards in the rear) come from behind a sand dune. The gunner then aimed canter mass of the dune and shot. The round went through the dune and destroyed the T-72. As we found out in that war, the turret of the T-72 blew off in one direction and the engine went another. Hey, the Abrams is pretty bad.

Oh well, enough babbling. Gonna finish work and go call my beautiful wife soon.

Take care all

Hey babe, I love you. And thank you for my PJs. Xoxoxoxo

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Need more caffeine

Another day has passed and I was actually able to get some work done.

First off I wish to thank everyone who has commented on my post, I enjoy reading each and every comment. I wish I had more time on the internet to respond to each and everyone. Unfortunately our service is not able to handle the load it absorbs.

last night I called home and spoke with Shelle, or tried to. The satellite phone system we use did not allow Shelle to hear half of my conversation. I could hear her fine but she was unable to make out most of my end of the conversation. I will try calling home again soon Babe once the phones get better, promise.xoxo

Anton started up his blog today,
The URL comes from T-shirts that some of the guys are recieving here from home. Sher, he did it so be proud of that little bald guy!!:)

Anton is trying to quit smoking, Cold Turkey. He has not been feeling very good either.There may be some fratricide here soon if he does not get over
the want for a square.

Another day down and another to go, will talk to everyone again soon.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Blah Blah Blah

Arrrgghhh, a boring day and I feel like I have accomplished nothin. Meetings, I want this, I want that. Oh well, another day has passed and it's one day closer to home.

Not much to say today, missing home and my wife, the boys and the comforts of the civilian world.

By the way, next time you want to nag about how the store does not have something you want or not the right size or color, think about not having it at all. Our PX will not be restocked until the end of the month, and it will still have nothing.

Oh well, enough of my ranting. Gonna make a early night and clean my bunk.

Take care all, talk to you soon.

Love you sweetie, have a great day.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A View to a Kill

Upon my inital arrival to FOB Kalsu it was about 0400 hours, I came in on a mni Chinook helicoptor skimming above the palms and over the Euphrates river in pitch black. When we landed I could not see my hand in front of my face. When I say pitch I mean turn on the lights and the cockraoches scatter!!
But now this mysterious orb has invaded the night sky and blanketed the land with an eerie white light. It's almost bliinding, no need for a flashlight. You could almost get a tan! It is coming to the climax of the full moon and we are at 92% illumination at night. No need for Night vision googles!
It is almost like walking on the moon itself. You can almost see detalis of trees in the distance.
With the full moon we expected more mortar attacks but to our surprise they have been few if any. Apparently the insurgents are not too keen on the idea of mortaring us and turning around to see an AH-64 Apache hovering behind them looking straight down the barrell of a 30 mm gatlin gun!
Speaking of Apaches I am quite surprised that we have them here. And not only are they Apaches but they are Longbow Apaches!!
Ok Ok, for those of you not immersed in the world of military equipment, an Apache is an Army attack helicopter. This baby is a Lamborghini on steriods of helicopters. It has a tandem seat arrangement with the pilot in the back and the co-pilot gunner in the front. The gunner sits over the 30 mm gatlin gun which he can move in any direction by just meerly looking, sensors in his helmet position the weapon to the gunners view. The Apache also carries on two stubby wings Hellfire missles which can either be aimed by radar or laser. These little babies can destroy a tank without breaking a sweat. And then there are the 2.75 inch rockets which pack quite a punch once unleashed.
The gunner and CPG view a good bit of their insturmentation via two displays whch can be toggled through to show how many weapons they have , systems functions and maps and flight infromation. They also display images in either white hot or black hot thermal cameras or infrared from a camera package mounted on its nose (nacelle).

Now to the Longbow package. This is a Westinghouse millimeter wave radar which can track up to 250 some odd objects on the ground and classify them as to vehicle type or personnel. The system (with the pilots help) can then set up priority fire zones and dessimante that information to wingmen so that many Apaches can wreak havoc upon the unknowing poor souls in its sights.

Almost sounds like a bad dream if your a bad guy! Anywho, enough of the equipment.

Unlike the life of those truly blessed to scream through the skies in almost slient death machines, I am dispacthed to sit in my orifice (not a mispelling) and peck away at my computer and unleash masses of tree killing keystrokes.

Maybe I'll get a moon tan and watch the hunters go out for sport.

later Mano

Hey sweetie, have a surprise for you once the package mail gets running. Don't you just hate the suspense?!

Love you bunches!!xoxoxo

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Steak, Shrimp, Lobster and Red Bull

Yep, thats right...(Something must be up!?). The cow was a little chewy, shrimp ok and Lobster was pretty good, no hot butter though. I think it was monthly birthday day. It was called "The Bubba-Q", they even had a big screen TV in the Eagles Nest (Fortified mortar proof dining hall) playing "Black Hawk Down". Read the book but never watched the movie.
All in all a pretty uneventful day. Tried like crazy to get email to State so I could wrap up some long standing issues but have yet to recieve a response.
We just finished placing triple strand concetina wire around the perimeter of the FOB, so now the kids cant get to the dump. Got a little taste of outside the area though. I met a young man named Ali, who woulda thunk it. He was a nice kid though, about early twentys and about 5'9" tall. He spoke broken english but I was imipressed nonetheless. He kept saying "Marines bad, Army good", probably because we don't shoot at them constantly. Winning the hearts and minds of the people, maybe help quell the insurgency and get us home sooner!?
It almost seems like the Southern coastline, almost. Briney water, palm trees and cat-tail reeds. The ground is almost like red clay just paler, and when it gets wet it sticks to everyting. Your feet weigh about forty pounds each when you decide you have to scrape off the mud to walk. Good areobic exercise though!!
Slowly we turn this little taste of hell into a more livable habitat, even for military purposes. Right now we are mainly upgrading barriers and hope to see a contract with KBR (Brown and Root) to build some new living structures. The tents are'nt too bad but I am tired of living like a refugee.
Oh, and the dust, it permeates everyting. It's like sweeping a dirt floor, you cant get the dirt out. You constantly have to clean any electronic equipment if you want to keep it working, canned air is my best friend!! Thankfully we have not had any bad wind storms, but with the spring coming I expect a few.
Nothing more to report today Commander, maybe have some tantalizing tid-bits for you in the up and coming days?!

Until then,

Love you lots babe, hope to call you very soon

Love you

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Here we are again, The cool nights of the desert have whipped up and its time to blog.

The weather here is changing , everyday it gets a little warmer. It is about like a cool spring day. Soon enough it will turn into a scorching wasteland. Our location is between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers so it is pretty much a desert swamp. I heard the frogs croaking last night and it has been overcast so I am expecting rain.

Things have been pretty quiet, mainly were upgrading defenses and trying to make the FOB more livable. We are living in tents with AC and heat (The ones that work), and work out of either pre-existing structures or metal buildings. It looks like stonhenge here with the tall Alaskan barriers (about 15-20 foot tall concrete walls) that surround our living and working areas. maybe soon I can post some pictures of Club Iraq so you can see our up and coming desert resort. Reservations can be made for a small fee.

Shelle sent me several packages, of which I have recieved one today. She packed it with sweets, a dual time watch, silly string and a nerf dart gun. God I love my wife, and she's beautiful too. Never could figure out what she sees in me, but I am a lucky man to have her. And if any of you guys have any ideas, I can be anywhere at anytime and claim post traumatic stress syndrome ').

She has been great at writing me too, which I am terrible at. I try to write when I can but email is so much more efficent. But I know the written word means a lot to her so I continue my scribbling for her love.

Another day comes to a close and another day awaits, closer to home every minute.

Take care all

I love you Babe!!XOXOXOX



Change Cometh

Hello all, and welcome to my first attempt at Blogging. My beautiful wife got into this and I thought this a great way to let others know what goes on (somewhat) in our military (United States that is) and our strive to give a people freedoms that they probaly never knew existed!!
I came to my FOB (Foward Operating Base) in Iraq about two weeks ago. I will try to let you know what we do and go through, but there are security issues so I may be a little secretive about things (such as our FOB name and where we are). It may seem petty but any info the enemy gets they will use and I will not be the cause of my brothers and sisters in arms getting killed.
We took over our FOB from the U.S. Marines, an outstanding military organization. I serve with the Mississippi Army National Guard. This is our first big deploynment since the Persian Gulf war in 1991.
I volunteered for a deployment in 2001 to go to Bosnia-Herzegovnia which actually helped me ease into this one. Bosnia was heaven though. Peacekeeping missions are cake. FOB's are great and attacks are few if any at all.
Here we patrol local villages and keep guard on a local power comapny, along with many other missions. The men and women are upstanding citizens who take pride in what they do and are proud of their service and the United States of America. A lot of people think of the Guard as weekend warriors, and to a point we are. But we are great weekend warriors. My Brigade has distingusihed its self several times at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, CA. and exercises with the regular Army. These Soldiers lead ordinary lives with careers, jobs, families and friends, but they give up their weekends and summer vacations to train, and train hard to help in any way they can to protect freedom or help out their fellow man.
As time goes by I hope to give you a look at a Soldiers life from their work, family and friends.
As I said before, my beautiful and talented wife introduced me to Blogging, her site is she is my support and greatest lover and friend I could ever have.

Until I blog again,

later mano

Scott Melton

Love you Babe!!!xoxoxoxo ')
Hello from Hell