Tuesday, January 31, 2006

H3’s and the new Enya CD

27 January 2006

I can truly say that the reason I haven’t written in the past two weeks wasn’t because there was nothing to write about. Most of it was sheer laziness because too many things have actually occurred and I’ve been slow to decide how to proceed.

To start with, the military has decided to block all personal online journals and blogs. Unless you have your own domain which isn’t recognized as a journal or such, that means another bump in the road for my blog. Some of it might have begun with that helo crash up north about two weeks ago. One site in particular was basically pulled offline and no comms were allowed in or out. This is the military’s way of insuring that info doesn’t leak out ahead of what they want released. Seems like the days of Geraldo running around and drawing maps in the sand with locations- is over! For criminey sakes, this is a military operation, not the 5 o’clock news!!

So I’m dealing with that blow so far. A week or so ago, I decided to make a move from my trailer to another one with one of my coworkers. We both had Anteon roommates who pulled back to Kuwait, so we knew we were both due for new roomies. We get along fine and are both anticipating (at this point and time) to leave at the end of contract at the end of May. Either way, with each of us taking leave in March, that means we will only be in this trailer together for about another 100 days all total or something like that. Not a whole lot of time. So as I explained to him, I’m figuring it is better to room with the butt hole you know than deal with the butt hole you don’t know…if you know what I mean. Now don’t take it that I’m calling Raymond a butt whole, okay? If anything, I always worry about being the difficult one to live with.

This interpretation of living with me dates back about fifteen years ago when my sister and I co-owned a condo in Naperville. She wasn’t exactly a peach to room with either, but she would holler at me more times than I can count, saying that I was probably the only person alive who could pour Honey Nut Cheerios into a bowl in the morning and make it sound like I was pouring boulders into a big metal bowl at a height of six feet!

Meanwhile, back at the trailer park things were drying out nicely until two days ago. It must have rained for 24 hours straight with only slight pauses. If things weren’t muddy before the removal of the Hesco barriers, it is certainly a pig-sty now. We could probably have some serious WWF women’s mud wrestling out here about now. MWR is never on top of these things, ya know?

Had an interesting encounter with a very loaded Welshman last night…and it wasn’t (whoah, whoah, whoah) Tom Jones either. It was an interesting situation. I was at the other building last night and this guy just wanders in covered in mud … even his hair … and believes he is somewhere else! He’s obviously mistaken because we don’t have proper barware, ice or rocks glassware to partake of rounds of his still-nearly-9/10’s-full-bottle of Crown Royal (smelling like this was the second go-around for him)…not that we couldn’t have maybe been a bit more accommodating, but I think he was a wee-bit over-served at this point of the morning anyway…and NO, liquor is not allowed on base.

Bout all we could get out of him was that he was Welsh and I think I deciphered that his name was Ian. If I ever thought that the Scotts were difficult at times to understand, please forgive my untrained ear; but this guy was more difficult to understand than my old German landlady who spoke German with a hair lip (bless her heart and ^ forgive me for even saying that)!

Well, what does an American unit do with an over-served, self-invited international guest at 4:30 a.m. in our “dry county”? (And yes, “tin roof…rusted”…thank you very much. Please refer to my fav B52’s CD Cosmic Thing for the above references.) My running route used to take me to the other side of the lake where I seemed to remember a building with the flag of The Empire on it and the name below designating it as the “British House.” So, with this info I volunteered to take him there to hopefully deliver him to his countrymen, thus resolving our international quandary. He’d actually said that he lived in a building near the Aussie building which was on the way, so we’d soon see if the lost puppy knew the way home.

Easier said than done with my man Ian. At least he wasn’t in a fighting mood…even though his bottle of spirits was safely confiscated by our CQ desk back at the other building. But he did make sure to explain to us that it wasn’t his bottle. In fact, did you know that it was given to him by his mates and he actually doesn’t drink because he is a Baptist (just a little nip here and there, right?) and he was just given the bottle for safekeeping. I’m not suggesting that he was a Tibetan monk doused in gasoline in disguise, but if you’d a lit a match by this guy, he probably would have spontaneously combusted!

So we walked in the direction of the building number he was supposedly from, but he never seemed to recognize any building as being “home.” So I figured we’d walk to the Brit house. Stupid me, I forgot that to get to the Brit House, you have to walk past the General’s Quarters. All I could think about was him getting away and insisting on paying the Base Commander a friendly visit at 5 a.m.! Got most of the way there and he told me to “carry on” to where I was headed. I ran ahead and dialed the phone at the Brit House and told their CQ that I had one of their guys that I’d like to leave with him.

He asked me, “How do you know that he’s one of ours?” Well, he doesn’t speak American, he isn’t speaking Australian and he isn’t a Scott or a Londoner and he claims that he’s Welsh…not Tom Jones, but Welsh all the same. So the CQ guy comes out, but Ian is already flown the coop. As we get further down the road, we’re looking in the lake on one side and in the full ditch of water on the other. Luckily, no Ian.

A car goes by and from his headlights going forward, we see no people in the road. That could only mean one thing; he took the road to the Base Commander’s house. Well, he wasn’t there (Gott sei dank) but where the heck is he? The street empties out at near the Aussie building, so he can’t be too far. Sure enough, he was waking up someone in the corner building. So his British compatriot was able to convince him to come with him back to the Brit House. Although he wasn’t in that particular unit, the CQ guy knew who he was by name and would take care of him until his unit down the road could come and pour him into a container and back to his respective bed and location. That’s my good deed for the day.

Wandering by the PX earlier last night, I saw Enya’s newest is out. Listening to it as I’m writing, it isn’t as good as Shepherd Moons or Watermark, but still very “enya-ee”. You know what I mean? You’d recognize it as distinctly Enya if you heard it on the elevator. And that’s what made me think of H3’s. When I was at Palmer Station in the Antarctic Peninsula, part of my duties was to do the weather observations. Al made sure that I got quite good at identifying all the different cloud types as temps, precip, winds and cloud types and heights were all passed on to our British counterparts at Faraday Station (since abandoned by the Brits and taken over by the Argies. Now that is some turn of events, no?)

H3’s were those high and wispy groups that kind of roll across and punctuate the sky like a string of connected cursive small i’s with wispy little cloud tails dragging behind. Kind of relaxing and angelic like Enya’s music. Looks like no new precip and nice cooler weather seems to be in store today. Time to sleep.
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