Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"Landshark...ummm, Candygram!"

Don’t ask me what’s up with that big old blank header on that blog before last. I tried everything to remove it and it is still there. Go figure! Just sitting around tonight watching NX 3 (Northern Exposure, Season 3) which just arrived last week, compliments of Amazon.com! Man, I was always addicted to that show. Finally, I get to see them all in order. Problem is that I’ll have to wait for season 4 until probably next year. But, I did also get the first season of Bewitched too! Gotta love it…almost like Nick at Nite here in Iraq!

I was just cleaning up around the hooch here and ran across a few things to be put away in the shred file. What that means is I cut the address labels, airline stubs, old anything with my name and address on it to send back home for destruction. Back at home, you never really think about what you throw into the trash, but here it is a whole different story. From the first week you get here, you become leery about what you throw into the trash after you see all the TCN’s digging through it.

What supports the concerns even more is reading things in the NY Times (yes, I know it is a neo-liberal rag, but I find it interesting. If you want to really experience neo-liberal with a touch of socialism, read the English version of Deutsche Welle sometime!) about how some Iraqi vendor in downtown Baghdad has all his wares carefully laid out on a blanket in the souks. His wares consist of half-empty bottles of whatever products the Americans have thrown away upon their departure back to “the world.” All of these products have been fished out of the garbage by the dumpster divers! It went on to explain that during the Saddam years, outside toiletries and products became very hard to come by and very expensive. They like the quality of our products and pay hard cash for our half-used throw-aways.

So if my once-used tube of Dove hand cream (tossed because it smelled too flowery) ends up on the streets of Baghdad, what else is ending up in the hands of who-knows? I just don’t want any surprises after I have left this place. I don’t want any “land-sharks” delivering any surprises later in life. (Okay, I’ll explain. As in the land shark from the Saturday Night Live skit.) If you don’t know what I’m talking about, get the “Best of SNL” DVD.

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but leave me in my own bliss. I’m not the only one that practices this precaution.

The weather has been pretty ungodly lately. Within the last week, we must have hit in the upper 120’s. I was sleeping this last week and the electric went off three times in the middle of the afternoon. First time it was down for about an hour. Second time maybe 45 minutes and the third time probably only 15 minutes or so. These little trailers heat up fast once there isn’t anything to keep them cool. End up feeling like a TV dinner in the metal trays. Oh man, I’m dating myself again! For all you youngins that don’t remember microwave/TV dinners before they were packed in plastic trays…everything used to be in aluminum.

But working nights does have its perks. At least the evenings cool down to the low 90’s or so.

I have been not updating my Iraq blog quite as much over the past few weeks because I’ve been feverishly working on my Antarctic web book. Its link is up on your upper left of the blog page here if you’re curious. Unfortunately, you have to click backwards and start from the bottom – up if you’re going to read it chronologically. That’s just how these blog-thingies work, don’t-cha-know. Still debating whether I want to put it between covers and add some pictures (ooo-ahhhhh). We’ll see. I think I’m going to ask Jeremy some questions about using Framemaker. That is what he used for his book. You can also reference his blog and book on his link in the upper right hand side.
Interesting tidbit regarding TV dinners: On Tuesday, July 19, Gerry Thomas, a Paradise Valley man credited with inventing the Swanson TV Dinner in 1952, has died. He was 83.
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