Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday night in Zormat

Like the film "Ground Hog Day", this place never changes. I work from 12 noon to 12 midnite. We have busy periods, and slow periods. Today, I took an air compressor, and blew the dust out of the air conditioner. Somehow, the filters were installed backwards. I cleaned the same air conditioner last week, and the filters were installed properly.

I had to assist in filling the balloon with more helium today. It was interesting, to haul the hoses, and assist. We brought the balloon down, and it was about my fifth time here, helping on a down-haul. I am getting the hang of it, I wish was more expert.

After completing the re-fill, I helped hang some protective blankets on the balloon platform. The blankets are industrial plastic, with metal fillings, imagine a bullet-proof vest that is 20 square feet. The blankets are heavy, I strained by hands, holding them.

I am charged with garbage removal, and it is amazing, how much garbage 6 men can generate. I collect it during the day, and then at 1000pm, I haul it to the base dump, to be burned.

I don't know if I can stand 12 months in this dump. I am at Zormat for training, and then I will be pushed on to another base. It will probably be a small forward operating base, like here. If it is really terrible, I will have to re-think my employment situation. There are a lot of jobs in the USA, they do not pay so much money, and they do not have the tax-free status of overseas work.

Food here is about what I expected. I was in the chow hall at 1130, exactly when they open up. For lunch, there was chicken nuggets, cold, and french fries, also cold. I ate some, and they felt like lead bricks in my gut.

Dinner was good roast beef. Thoroughly marbled and stringy, with big globs of fat hanging off it. Also mashed potatoes and peas and carrots. A decent salad, also. Dessert was sara lee pecan pie, and M&M candies.

Back to the office after dinner, slow today. I did a cross word puzzle and a cryptogram. This base is entirely gravel. The rocks do a job on my feet, I must wear combat boots. Someone left a brand new pair of boots in the office, so I decided to "glom" them. ("glom" is a Yiddish word for "take"). I used to live with a Jewish woman, and she taught me a bunch of Yiddish words.

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