> Got your mail. Iraq is an interesting place. I consider myself an
> "old mideast hand" after spending a year in Saudi Arabia. I think
> Saudi Arabia is a paradise, at least for American males.
> My work is fantastic, I love it. I supervise 9 computers (soon
> 10) on 5 forward combat bases in Western Iraq. I am based at Al
> Asad (33deg47min N/42deg28minE). My other bases are in a "ring",
> and when one of them conks out, I get on a chopper, and fly up.
> On New years eve, I flew to Ramadi (a big insurgent area), and
> stayed in the barracks.
> I went to the office the next morning, and serviced the computer.
> I got it back on line, and then "baby-sat" the system all day, to
> make sure that it did not go out again. I then got a ride to the
> helicopter terminal at 9pm. I stayed in the terminal, and got a
> chopper ride back to Al Asad at 3am. I got back to my trailer at
> 0400am. that means I worked 21 hours in one day.
> I then grabbed a hot shower in the shower trailer. I slept for
> about an hour. Then I got up at 0600am. I took a disc drive from
> an old computer, and installed it in another computer. I then got
> a chopper ride up to Al Qaim. I installed the computer, and got it
> back on line. I stayed with that computer all day, again making
> sure that it did not go out.
> One of the men there got a pizza oven for Christmas, so he made
> homemade pizza for all of us. I ate a slice, and then I watched
> "Flight of the Phoenix" on the television. I then grabbed my
> duffle bag, and walked over to the barracks for the night. I slept
> in the barracks, and then got up at 0900am. I went back and
> checked the computer to make sure that it ran all night. By 1130,
> the chopper was ready to go back.
> I got on the chopper and flew back to Al Asad, then got a bus back
> to the trailer. I had not eaten anything for 24 hours, so I was
> hungry. I went to the Chow Hall, and got a dinner of pork loin
> roast, and baked pollock fish with parmesan cheese and curry
> flavored rice. The chow hall has unlimited baskin-robbins ice
> cream, but I got cheesecake for dessert.
> I then went back to the barracks, and watched "Midway" with
> Charlton Heston. I fell asleep, and went to work at 0600am. I
> usually work 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I am on call 24/7.
> It's great, and I am 99% ready to re-enlist and spend a second
> year here in the Iraqi desert.
> I am getting a masonic lodge organized. (see
> http://gbp.net/rtj/iraq.html) I wish that there was a MENSA
> chapter here, but no luck. When I was in Dharhan, Saudi Arabia
> (1991)we started a MENSA chapter, and it was just getting
> underway, when I left.