Random thoughts and pictures for August

December 2, 2008 at 11:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 27, 2008

It is time for another random thoughts and pictures post, so here you go.

I promised a picture of the women who don’t dress very conservative, the power rangers, so here are they are. The first picture is taken just outside of the Basrah University and the second is taken in the market area near the Hyall Shuala area of Hyanniyah. What is remarkable about the second picture is that is a fairly conservative area and I was shocked to see a woman not wearing the black abaya.

Yes, folks that is me sitting on the hood of a late 1990s Mustang V6. This bad boy, with it’s optional bolt on, off center, hood bulge, was sitting next to an Iraqi Army checkpoint that I was visiting with the Brigade Chief of Staff, I couldn’t resist taking my picture next to it. The interesting thing is this isn’t the first Mustang that I’ve seen in Basrah, we passed a late 1980’s GT being towed about a month ago. I was scanning the side of the road looking for IEDs and almost didn’t realize it was a Mustang until we had gone completely past it, if it was an IED it would have got me. In the glimpse I got I think it was also a convertible but all I can be really sure is that it was a Mustang and that it did have the ground effects of the 1980’s GT.
So, how do you swap the transmission out of one HMMWV into another? Well, I would put the truck up on a lift and drop the transmission out or take both the engine and transmission out at the same time. Well the Iraqi solution, since they don’t have a lift, is to tip the HMMWV up on its side and then take out the transmission, then put the new one in. It’s a good thing there is no Iraqi version of the EPA as well or else we would be in trouble for the oil/fuel spill spreading from the side. Oh well it’s an Iraqi solution for an Iraqi problem.

Here are a couple of pictures of me out on patrol with the Brigade Chief of Staff, helping him check on the platoon and company positions with the Battalion Commander. Interesting story here is the British officer to my left in the picture. He just completed a two year tour teaching at the Armor Captain’s Career Course at FT Knox, where he taught with a good friend of mine Jesse Bell, and was his next door neighbor. Small world isn’t it?
Here is a picture of me reenlisting SSG Patrlja. He signed the rest of his life away to the Army for a bonus and the chance to be stationed in Hawaii. Sorry Shantel, the only way I can get to Hawaii is to volunteer for Iraq again, the Army’s already got me to 20 years.

Finally a picture of our toilet, you put a plastic bag into the plastic toilet, do your business , tie the bag off and then put into another plastic zip lock bag and then it gets burned. I never thought I would really like to have a port a john, but I really would in this case. Next to the toilet you can kind of see the wooden shower stall we built to take our bottled water showers. Personal Hygiene is oh so much fun in Iraq.

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