Thursday, October 30, 2008


Cool last night. Bright and Sunny this morning. My co-workers got more mail today. I got a video disk yesterday. Lunch today was pretty awful. I was not in the mood for meatloaf or turkey wings. I got a cheeseburger and a bowl of chili. I ordered a bread machine, it is on the way. We will have fresh homemade bread every day.

This election is interesting, I admit that I am hooked on politics.

Daylight savings time runs out in the USA this weekend. Afghanistan keeps the same time year round. I will have to wait another hour before I can call anyone in the USA. It looks like it is going to be a cold winter here in Afghanistan.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday 27 Oct

Had a good weekend. Generally quiet. For the last two nights, the Afghans have gone out at night, and shouted and hollered, in high-pitched voices. It sounds like Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". EEK-EEK-EEK. This is a strange country.

Went to church on Sunday. It fascinates me, that there is so little church attendance here. With soldiers facing death, and the boredom of this isolated post, you would figure that there would be more church attendance. It is said "there are no atheists in foxholes". Maybe there are more atheists in the Army than you would realize.

I got some mail this morning. A package of jelly beans from Jelly Belly, and some soap and toiletries from I ordered some additional snacks from and some items from a middle eastern grocer as well. I like to eat stuffed grape leaves and olives. When I lived in Saudi in 1991, I got hooked on "hummus" which is crushed chickpea paste, the peanut butter of the mideast. I ordered some cans of hummus.

The work goes on. I will be very busy in the future.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday afternoon

Got up and went to the chow hall. They were serving meat loaf, and jagerschnitzel. I decided to have canned ravioli. Tonight, the chow hall will serve TBones and fried shrimp. If four-star cuisine is what you like, then FOB Salerno is not the place. I will be getting busier, from now on. Life here is all right, but I miss Iraq. The quality of life is just better in Mesopotamia.

I am anxious to get back to the USA, we get a break every four months. Frankly, I will enjoy it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Setting the record straight.

It is a matter of public record, that I am suspended from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. This suspension is for a period of one year, and it expires April 2009. I intend to be reinstated at this time. Since I am up on a mountaintop in Afghanistan, where there is no Masonry, this is not a real sacrifice.

I graduated from Western Kentucky University in June 1983. I completed 197 undergraduate hours, and completed all of the requirements for my degree. This is also a matter of public record.

I am working in Afghanistan, on an unclassified project. I work with a team of installers, installing video cameras and infrared cameras. I also assist in training soldiers on how to use the equipment. My job title is "New Equipment Training Officer". I prefer not to list the name of my employer on this blog.

I am not interested in being any kind of a "savior". But I am very interested in Masonry, and I intend to keep studying the Craft, and keeping tabs on the state of Masonry, back in the USA, and overseas. One of the tenets of our Fraternity is Truth. I only tell the truth on this blog, I have no reason to post anything that is false. If anyone finds a posting here, that is not truthful, please leave a comment, pointing out my mistake, or email me directly. I will gladly publish any corrections.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

9 Oct 2008

Been here on FOB Salerno for a week. It is DARK at night. The base requires all lights to be off. I have to carry a small flashlight, so I won't bump into concrete barricades. At least the cable TV is working properly. Tonight at the chow hall, there was a mongolian barbecue. You select vegetables like shredded green peppers and onions, and the cook stir-fries them with shredded beef, then you place it on rice. My diet is a train wreck here. At least my feet and ankles are toughening up some, getting used to the walking.

I turned in some laundry, and the laundry is supposed to process it, and I can get it back in one day. We shall see. Today, the main shower house was closed, so I went to the smaller shower house. I got a HOT shower, with plenty of soap. I am glad that there is HOT water here.

I still have not received any postal mail here. I should be getting some mail soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why I became a Mason, and what I have received.

Your question is quite valid, and important. Nevertheless, it is difficult to answer. Men join the Gentle Craft for many reasons. Family tradition, is one. My father and both of my Grandfathers were masons, my uncle (deceased) was a 33rd degree Mason.

Masonry offers men many things, a chance to associate with good men from many different religious and educational backgrounds, fellowship, brotherhood, and a chance for self-improvement. While not a charitable organization, there are opportunities for charitable service. Masonry and the appendant organizations affiliated with Masonry, contribute about $2.6 million dollars per day, to various charitable and philanthropic causes in the USA.
I joined, because of my family tradition, but most especially because men I knew and respected were Masons. Most masons do not realize it, but they are the best advertising the Fraternity has.
During the last 26 years, I have received many things from Masonry. Camaraderie, instructions in ethics and morality, great frienships, and meeting some of the finest men I have ever known. I have sat in lodge in Paris France, with men who risked concentration camps for being Masons. I have sat in lodge in Moscow, Russia, with men who risked being sent to Siberia, for being Masons. I have attended lodge in the very room, where George Washington was made a Mason, in Fredericksburg Virginia.
Masonry enabled me to join the Shriners, and I have transported children to our hospitals for medical treatment. I transported a child, who was born with spina bifida, and his family had no medical insurance. He had to have twenty operations before he was two years old. The costs exceeded one million dollars, and the Shriners paid the entire costs.
Different men receive different rewards from being Masons. We refer to these rewards, as the “wages of a Master Mason”. The wages vary with the individual, and his particular Masonic experience.
I am now assigned to a desolate mountaintop Army base, in Afghanistan. Myself, and the Masons here, are going to establish a traveling military lodge, and continue on with the Masonic tradition, here on the “roof of the world”. Dictators and tyrants have sought to crush Masonry, for centuries. Our lodge will meet, in the very face of terrorism, continuing on with the tradition of religious tolerance, and freedom.
Masonic lodges have met on US Army posts, since Valley Forge. Our lodge has met in the trenches of France in WW1, and on the battlefields of Germany in WW2. We met in Korea, and in the jungles of VietNam. Our lodge met in the desert of Iraq, and now we continue, here on this rocky escarpment, under the mortar fire of the very terrorists who planned the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Hope this answer is helpful to you.