Tuesday, October 21, 2008

30 And Counting

22 October 2008

I've been back from Kuwait for two weeks now and hardly know where the time has gone to. Well, maybe I do. Been adjusting back to a midnights schedule. Now that I'm back on my night sched, I'm getting switched to a swing shift starting Sunday. Just goes to show ya, "if it's not one thing, it's another!"

Missed my 30th High School Reunion. I was actually a bit indifferent about going to it until the last month before. One of our classmates set up a server interconnecting all of our emails. So a message sent up to the server was copied to all the classmates who had their email addresses on the list. What started out as a few people chatting via email ended up a flurry of about 2000 messages over a three week period. It was kind of wild to see all the different memories flying across the email and the responses to said email. It probably is one of the primary reasons that this reunion ended up such a success too.

It gave people a chance to start thinking about things and change their mind about going. For some, a chance to relive the past, for many others to rekindle or start new friendships. Some may not have had much in common in high school at times, but after 30 years, we still share some of the same values, memories, ideas or are willing to accept the different ideas and views of our former classmates.

The 10th, I had no interest in going to at all. I had a good excuse not to attend too...I was enroute to Palmer Station, Anarctica. The 15th, I was still a bit stand-offish about attending and ended up having to work a night shift downtown at the Federal Reserve for the telecom company I worked for. But the 20th, I would say that by the 20th, people's attitudes have changed. A few might still have a chip on their shoulder, but for the most part, people have matured enough to look at one another from the inside instead of from the outside. Same with the 25th.

And now by the 30th, it is just great to get together with people who you have more in common with than you ever thought you could have...and all gathered in one place! Wooo-hoo! People who actually understand you, unlike your new trophy wife. I mean, who at work could ever possibly understand the story of your tearing up one day on your afternoon commute home in the car on the expressway when you hear that "oldie" by Alice Cooper, "Dream On"???? And no...it wasn't from bong smoke getting in my eyes either! Dream On! I'm sounding a little like That 70's Show, aren't I???

Anyway, wish I would have been there for this reunion. But, I did get to reconnect with a number of people via email and facebook. Hoping to see a few of them too for drinks/lunch/dinner when I go home for Christmas this year.

Was on my way to get coffee last night when I hear a huge ka-boom. Sounded like an incoming mortar, but I didn't hear any swooosh sound and the Big Voice didn't go off. Thought nothing of it and then two minutes later, another. EOD (ordinance disposal team) doesn't really make announcements anymore when they're going to blow stuff up, so I guess if we hear anything going "BOOM" in the night, the Big Voice will tell us when to worry and take cover.

We've also had rain this week. I guess one downpour on Sunday which I slept through at 2pm and then it spit a little out last night around midnight. I am sure hoping that we aren't going to get payback for the lack of rain last year. That would suck. They put down all this stone all over last year and into the spring, but the vehicle traffic in the living areas has kind of moved the stone around, so we could end up, up to our behinds in mud this year. Gotta love it.

Love Iraq or leave it...I'm guessing that is what the Iraqi's are saying right now too. The new SoFA (Status of Forces Agreement) agreement is causing quite a stir now. The Iraqi's are in nearly unanimous agreement that they want the US troops out ASAP. Not too surprising. The people here are feeling safer again and things have changed significantly in the last five years.

So I guess we will wait till the new year and see what comes of that. I wouldn't be surprised to see a gradual drawdown throughout next year and 2010. But whoever comes out of here will probably be restaffed in Afghanistan where a new "surge" really does need to take place. With UN welching on their deal to send more troops, something has to be done. Wouldn't be too hard for us to relocate troops and resources from this front to Afghanistan. I know what you're thinking..."What budget crisis???"

Ahh well, it is 0830am, my eyes are tired and about time for bed. Pleasant dreams.
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