Saturday, February 2, 2008

Uuuhhhh – could I get a Volunteer?

Today is Saturday – I think. It’s tough to keep track when the days seem the same. Everyone jokes that it’s like Groundhog day around here. Same routine day after day. Ironically it is Groundhog day today. The shop we’ve been working in gathers together on Saturday nights and watches a movie and socializes…today they are watching…you guessed it - Groundhog Day. I declined the invitation. We don’t know most of them and you know me…the stand-offish guy.

We kind of finished our oh so meaningful task of putting files away. There is a Navy Lt that is appreciative of our efforts. I think she saw the task as a major part of her many month deployment and we knocked it out in just a week or so.
I’ll recap the groundhog day for you just for grins:
0630 wakeup – shower – shave and dress
0715ish – breakfast – it was Saturday so I splurged with an Omelet and a doughnut (usually it’s just cereal for me)
0800 walk around the palace to our building
0815 open the large metal containers and begin placing loose papers amongst thousands of files
1100 quick check of work e-mail
1130 lunch – salad, plus a small taco salad mix on the side
1215 walk back around the lake, this time walk along the edge of the water on a sidewalk/path just above lake level – just to be different
1230 we had finished most of the papers so we started closing up
1300ish more files brought out from the dungeon (or wherever she was storing them)
1315 put the movie MASH in the dvd player while we sort a few thousand other pages into numerical order
**** we all looked and wondered how “different” the current deployment would be with alcohol. No alcohol here in Iraq – at least not any out in the open. ********
1400 we begin taking the sorted papers and putting them into the files outside
1630 or so – we cry uncle and start closing up
1700 ish back to the tent
1705 quick hop on the info dirt road, webcam with family,
1830 dinner (106 types of wings – if you were wondering…I watched as some guy played along with him and had him say it over and over again by asking “how many?” We postulate that he just adds a number each time it is wings night at the optional bar.)
1930 back to the tent to draft TEA blog, read, watch a few minutes of a movie on my laptop.
2300 sleep

Ok I know we aren’t working that hard or long hours, but I wanted to give you my groundhog day schedule because that’s the thing right – same thing over and over. Clearly it’s only been a few days and I was lucky enough to go over to Camp Cropper and watch some boards so that helped break it up as well. The guys who work in the shop are on 12 hour shifts with a crew at night for continuous 24 hour coverage. 7 Days a week with a ½ day off every 2 weeks or something like that. Like I keep saying – we could have it worse.

For those readers who are unaware you should also know that this is not where we are supposed to be or the job we are supposed to be doing. They brought us here (Baghdad) for a couple of days orientation…almost 2 weeks later – still here. We are all pretty grumpy cause hey – we are AF and we are used to the easy life. I was going to complain some more but I’ll stop.

The larger event of the day that I did not address in the routine was a call from the Navy O-6 for a volunteer. He asked if one of us (preferably an officer) would volunteer to stay and be an assigned board member at Camp Cropper. We debated it over lunch. One of the Lt’s volunteered. Since I’m never sure who is reading…I’ll let that Lt tell the world/family that he is staying Baghdad for the remainder of his 6 months. The funny part is two of the Lt’s flipped a coin for it.

None of us are excited about breaking up the nine. We not a close family mind you but we mostly get along. I’m personally sad cause I like the guy and he has a great movie collection with him. Oh well. I considered the volunteer, but decided against it because of the relative lack of facilities at Cropper. They rely upon some of the other bases for some facilities and I wasn’t real fond of that. Although there were many positives for it – more steady yet less taxing schedule, dorm like housing vs metal sheds, inside plumbing vs portables. Anyway – he jumped on the grenade.

Word is we leave Monday – at least that is the consistent story two days in a row.

We don’t know when we’ll leave but we are all praying it will be late enough for us to stay up and watch the Superbowl in the middle of the night (0200 kickoff). One thing we have heard is AFN (armed forces network) cuts out the commercials and puts in their own…we are all bummed about that.

No pictures today…I was not inspired to take any. If I can I’ll load a previous days picks, but no promises this late at night for uploading on the unpaved info-highway. No jackals either. A reader suggested I get some wings from Pops and use them as bait for the Jackals then take a picture for the blog. Funny.

We called Bucca today and they said – yeah you guys have about a million boxes in the corner waiting on you. We asked if our laundry was amongst the pile…they couldn’t tell because if it was it was inside a box. Never the less – good things await us!!


kiackbldr said...

I will try to get the SB for you... with commercials... you should expect that the computer will crap out at least once, probably at a pivotal moment in the "Not the Cowboys vs. Pumpkin Eaters" game--wait, can there be a pivotal moment in such a match-up?

Perhaps I should just try to get the commercials for you.

constant reader said...

I was wondering midway through the blog just how "could I get a Volunteer" in your title fit into the blog. That's interesting. Perhaps getting used to the routine and realizing it's not so bad and then not liking "change" played a part in their volunteering. I think I'd want to see what was behind door #2.

Well, I must say I am disappointed in the lack of Jackal pics. I jumped over to Google and did a search for Jackals in Baghdad. Interesting one military blogger who worked in an ER over there said 2 people came in with Jackal bites one night. Apparently it had gotten very cold and the Jackals go into the tents and don't want to leave. That's scary.

Well, I hope you get to what the Super Bowl even at 0200. That should make for a long day. And no beer? Shameful....