Thursday, January 06, 2005

Getting down to business

Woke up after a good, long deep sleep. My comforter is quite cozy. I nearly scalded myself in the overhead rain-like shower (mostly because I could get it that hot). We got breakfast...the biscuits were like KFC's or Popeye's quality.  Head over to CES, which is housed in a nicely tiled, yet plain, former aircraft maintenance office. Got spun up on what kinds of projects there were for us. Then we went out to the airfield. We looked at one of the arresting systems that had worn away the earth, from heavy rain and use.  Then we drove down the runway to an area protected by Marines. During the drive, Johnny Cash was on the radio singing Fulsom County Blues while we waited for permission to cross the active runway. That was probably one of the better memories I have from the trip.

Once we got to 'Marineland', we noticed there were little shacks on top of the hangars with people moving around inside them. Kind of odd, right? Anyways, we got out of our truck to take some pictures by the wreckage of an Iraqi plane. No sooner did we finish our photo shoot than a Marine appeared and told us that we needed to let them know when we're in the area because the snipers in the shacks were "freaking out." Apparently, our US uniforms, government vehicle, and Caucasian appearance weren't enough.
Move slowly Sgt P, you're freaking out the snipers!
After that, we got lunch: hot wigns and pizza. Good, real, hot wings. Went over to the BX and bought some Iraqi money. It might be counterfeit, since it was 50 cents per piece of paper, regardless of the amount on the bill. A couple have Saddam's picture on them. Roughly 320 Dinars for $4. Also found a 6-inch by 6-inch Persian carpet. So hilariously small that I had to buy it. Also found a kneeling wooden camel for my scultpure collection. Checked email, met with some folks. By 1700, I was worn out, my nose was fillled with dust (it was very windy) and my head hurt.

The biggest headache, though, is that we are not here to define the requirements for them (the base), only what we need to do to make it happen. We've seen no requirements so far, and people are redeploying back to the US daily and taking their knowledge home with them. And...exhale.

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