Tuesday, October 18, 2005

“Sox Win! Sox Win!”

17 October 2005

Long, long ago around 1980 and 1981, before broadcasting for the Cubs, Harry Carey used to broadcast for the Chicago White Sox. He would be so proud and excited today that one of his teams finally made it back to this position. It’s great that the Sox have made it to the Series. Now if only Chicagoans will finally rally around the White Sox (formerly known as the Black Sox (http://www.chicagohs.org/history/blacksox.html )) and forgive them their sins of 1919. As you know, aside from Chicagoans not being too quick to forgive anyone of anything (it's always been far more pleasurable to get even than get mad), Chicago doesn’t get a winning team all that often. Maybe it’s time to forgive and forget and get on with the real job of partying down now that the chance presents itself...even though it *is* the south side team we're talking about here. Okay, I confess; deep deep down, we all keep this eternal belief that this event was really intended for the north side team instead of the south siders. But back to reality; Go Sox! Wouldn't it be great if they were to go against the Cards?

I’m feeling pretty random this morning, so bear with me here and follow close. I’m about to take you on a little trip through my scattered thoughts. Be brave!

For starters, we had clouds this morning! I can’t remember the last time we saw so many clouds in the sky. But accompanying them was a steady 10-15 knot per hour wind. So we are either in for rain or in for another sand storm. Smelled like rain at 05:30, but that doesn’t mean anything. If you have ever been fortunate enough to have signed out a vehicle in this kind of weather, odds are that you’ve experienced what you thought was going to be a downpour, but which only turned out to be enough rain to convince you to turn on the windshield wipers. Then to your great dismay, all you end up with is a mud-streaked windshield. That much anticipated storm never develops past the twenty-five raindrops on the window which tricked you into smearing up your windshield, erasing any hopes of driving back without sticking you head out the window!

By the time I ran this morning at 9 am, no rain. The clouds cleared and the winds increased and the visibility reduced from the sand blowing around. I’ve been here too long. I already had guessed that it’s too early for rain.

A couple of us were at Green Beans (the coffee shop here) last night discussing what a sorry-ass MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) division the Army maintains here. It’s not bad enough that they couldn’t even see to scrape up the cash to have any of Saddam’s pools open this summer (as they did last year), the computers and access at the MWR buildings are spotty at best. For soldiers who don’t have computer access during their normal shifts, this can be their only lifeline outside of this godforsaken crap-hole. Having served in the Air Force, decent MWR was one thing you can say they always made sure to provide the airmen. Guess that’s why I was in the Air Force. They took care of us.

But then again, soldiers and their families still aren’t getting reimbursements for proper body armor purchased out-of-pocket how many months or years ago. It is a real crime that this issue has fallen to the bottom of Don’s (as in Uncle Donny Rummy) “To Do” list of things to get done before 2008. Maybe he is hoping that attrition of soldiers is on his side and if he waits long enough they will forget about the personal expense made by the families of the soldiers over here and they’ll be happy enough that they got their loved ones back from Iraq and Afghanistan.. Haven’t you noticed that since the fervor has calmed from last year, his smiling face hasn’t been seen much over here. You know what they say? It’s either “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” or “politics as usual.” Take your choice.

Well, the ballot for acceptance of the constitution seems to have gone nearly without a hitch. Not to mention that except for some stray booms here and there, very quiet. Not to jump the gun (or the shark), but maybe they are getting the hang of this democracy thing. Don’t know if the lessons will stick, but maybe eventually the Iraqis will find their own version and interpretation along the way. Baby steps. You can only feed a baby so much oatmeal before they start spitting it out and creating a mess. Give them a chance to digest what they’ve started into.

One of the guys I work with got a bit of a scare the other day. A stray round apparently found its way through his trailer skin and into his locker. It rattled around some inside the locker and then rested. With all the gunfire we have had over this weekend, it’s not too much of a surprise to have episodes with stray rounds. I can remember not so long ago when I was over in South, a guy in a trailer a few down from mine got woken up midmorning by something lodging itself in his trailer roof, sending white tile dust onto his face. Just a lost round coming to rest in his outer ceiling. What goes up, must come down.

“Colonel Ellis sets the standard for Fraud, Waste and Abuse”

It must be true…Alex read it on the porta pottie wall. Just like everything you read in the National Enquirer. It *must* be true! He happened upon these nuggets of wisdom (what better place to find “used” nuggets of wisdom?) when he was looking for secret messages under the porta pottie toilet seat from the Dead Poets Society or some obscure secret organization. At least he wasn’t digging out a Leatherman tool or a flashlight from “out of the blue” (porta pottie water that is.)
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