Sunday, October 4, 2009

Journal 28Sep - 04Oct

Click on the TAPA entries for more information!

28 Sep 09

Bible Reading: I Samuel 23-25

TAPA: 1781, American and French troops begin a siege of the British at Yorktown, Virginia. (I have walked through that battlefield…)

Workout: 60 mins on elliptical (5 miles); sit ups, stretching

Breakfast: Protein Shake, oatmeal w mixed berry yogurt, coffee

Lunch: Tuna salad wrap, broccoli salad, fruit salad, V-8, diet coke

Supper: Taco salad, Grapes, V-8

29 Sep 09

Bible Reading: I Samuel 26-28

TAPA: 1780, Patriots under General Francis Marion (aka, “Swamp Fox”) surprise loyalist forces on Black Mingo Creek, South Carolina.

Workout: 60 mins on elliptical (5 miles); sit ups, stretching

Breakfast: Protein Shake, oatmeal w mixed berry yogurt, coffee

Lunch: Turkey wrap, fruit salad, V-8

Supper: Italian sausage, meatballs, corn, broccoli, grapes, V-8

30 Sep 09

Bible Reading: I Samuel 29-31

TAPA: 1949, The fifteen-month-long Berlin Airlift comes to an end. During that time, American and British planes made more than 277,000 flights delivering some 23 million tons of food, coal, medicine and other supplies after Stalin had closed all roads and train tracks leading into the free Western part of the city.

Workout: 60 mins on elliptical (5 miles); sit ups, stretching

Breakfast: Protein Shake, oatmeal w mixed berry yogurt, coffee

Lunch: Tuna salad wrap, broccoli salad, fruit salad, V-8, Snapple

Supper: Chicken enchiladas (2 small), chili beans w cheddar & onions, cole slaw, V-8, Gatorade

SSG James said that I mentally stimulate him, that I make him think. I thanked him, but not after the joking quip: “You know, that’s actually kinda disturbing…” To which he said, “Why you always gotta be like that?” (He’s a large man of color from Tennessee and a hip-hop way of talking.)

01 Oct 09

Bible Reading: II Samuel 1-4

TAPA: 1811, The first steamboat to travel down the Mississippi River, the New Orleans, reaches its namesake city after a month-long trip from Pittsburgh. (The New Orleans just happened to be built by Nicholas Roosevelt, Theodore’s great uncle.)

Workout: 60 mins on elliptical (5 miles); sit ups, stretching

Breakfast: Protein Shake, oatmeal w mixed berry yogurt, coffee

Lunch: Salmon, broccoli, peas/mushrooms, V-8, diet coke

Supper: chicken enchilada, corn dog, pulled pork, V-8, Snapple

02 Oct 09

Bible Reading: II Samuel 5-8

TAPA: 1780, In Tappan, New York, British major John Andre is hanged as a spy after he is captured carrying papers for traitor Benedict Arnold.

1835, The Texas Revolution against Mexico begins as American settlers resist Mexican troops at Gonzales.

Workout: 60 mins on elliptical (5 miles); sit ups, stretching

Breakfast: Protein Shake, oatmeal w mixed berry yogurt, coffee

Lunch: Tuna salad wrap, Fruit salad, V-8, diet coke

Supper: Steak & shrimp, corn on cob, green beans, V-8, Snapple

I received word from Rich Callas of the Newport Booz Allen Hamilton office that Mark Perry, an office colleague, died of a suspected heart attack while on business travel in Hawaii. He was in his hotel room and discovered after his wife, Cindy, was unable to reach him and had another colleague on the same trip go to his hotel and make inquiries. Mark was a good guy. Very helpful. Very intelligent. He knew a lot about American History and was an avid Civil War buff, as is his wife. He leaves behind 3 children, including a son who flew home from Iraq for the funeral. Mark Perry, dead at 51.

I used this occasion to remind Jordan and Jaclyn how fragile and short life is; that every day is a gift. We should end each day on good terms with everyone within our sphere.

03 Oct 09

Bible Reading: II Samuel 9-11

TAPA: 1904, Mary Mcleod Bethune opens the Daytona Literacy and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls.

Workout: 60 mins on elliptical (5 miles); sit ups, stretching

Breakfast: Protein Shake, oatmeal w mixed berry yogurt, coffee

Massage: $30 (with $10 tip)

Lunch: Chicken wrap, fruit salad, V-8, Diet Pepsi

Supper: Roast chicken breast, peas, steamed mixed veggies, grapes, V-8, gatorade

04 Oct 09

Bible Reading: II Samuel 12-13

TAPA: 1927, Carving begins on Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Chapel Service: Philippians 3:1-16; v. 13 sums it up for me: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” I have the choice, just as Paul did, to put aside old/bad habits and take hold of new/good ones. It really is a choice. Sometimes, oftentimes, not an easy one.

Breakfast: three egg omelet (jalapenos, cheese, bell pepper), biscuit w gravy, French toast sticks, coffee

Lunch: Tuna salad wrap, fruit salad, V-8, Diet Pepsi

Supper: Pulled chicken sandwich, 3 deviled egg halves, chicken salad, onion rings, V-8


At the request (urging) of someone very near and dear to my heart (Lora), I will aim to write more about what goes on during my day, to include, especially, humorous anecdotes, which almost always occur, daily, around here.

This week at a glance (since I won’t necessarily be able to remember/capture details of events had I written sooner afterward than now):

The incoming Brigade leadership visited this week. I met with the S2 OIC (Intelligence Officer in Charge) for 173rd Airborne. He likes what I have already been sending them as far as analysis products and wants me to review the Brigade campaign plan for their deployment from an operations analysis perspective, to wit, ensure the metrics they have set are, indeed measurable and have a timeline associated with them. No matter to them that I am a submariner looking at an Airborne Brigade campaign plan.

This week, one of the female staff sergeants was going back to her dorm-tent with her pink 2 foot diameter exercise ball under one arm and a bottle of water in the other. When she rounded the corner, a LTCOL (Lieutenant Colonel) was just coming the other way. (Note: Army must salute officers no matter what either is wearing. I have not asked about birthday suits, though.) Needless to say, she did not really have time to drop everything and render a salute. Instead of just saying Hoo-Rah! Carry on, Soldier, seeing she was obviously encumbered, the LTCOL says Just forget it, you probably don’t want to “effing” salute me anyway and even when she did put her gear on the ground, come to attention and salute, her merely took her name and reported her to the First Sergeant. Meanwhile, soldiers are dying every week around here from IEDs, corrupt Afghan National Police, separated from families (this female soldier has 2 or 3 kids and is a single mom) and this LTCOL has the gall to make a big deal out of whether he got saluted by a soldier with stuff in both hands?!? Talk about insecurity…

On a lighter note, I am rewriting the lyrics to “Ghost Riders in the Sky” to tell the story of certain aspects of life and operations around here. More to follow.

Friday night, I shared the evening meal with Joe the Seal and Jack the COIC (analyst). Joe was telling the story about a time when he was in college and he and his buddies were at the convenience store stocking up on football watching ingestables. All the guys grabbed their 6, 12, 24 packs, except for Joe, who arrived at the cashier with a tub of ice cream and that chocolate sauce that hardens on the ice cream, you know? The fellows all looked at him and quipped, “Hey Joe, are you turning into a girl? Is there something you need to get off your chest?” To which I added, “Yeah, your hair. What? Were you having your man-period or something? Feeling a little confused? Was it one of those times when you weren’t sure who looked better: SGT Fuller (a balding, Charlie Chaplin look alike, sans moustache) or SGT Zelton (a gazelle of a woman who was most recently labeled “Hottest chick on the FOB”)?” Jack spewed whatever was in his craw at the time: it was Friday night, so it could have been surf or turf. Joe, tried to look hurt and shocked, also busted a gut drawing the attention of other tables in our orbit.

There were other, much funnier events, I am just not recalling them, presently.

A typical day has me up around 4:30-5 when I talk with Lora for 30-60 minutes on Skype (oh thank Heaven for VoIP!) By 6, I am in the Brigade Intelligence Support Element Fusion Center where I spend 30-60 minutes preparing for the day, catching up on overnight emails/taskers and then head to the gym. 60 Minutes on the elliptical (usually around 5 miles) and sit-ups/stretching to cool down before the highlight of my day: O A T M E A L W I T H F R U I T Y O G H U R T ! ! ! That’s how they spell yogurt over here. Rich Gonzalez makes fun of my six-days-a-week breakfast selection, to which I usually respond with something like, “We old guys like our food as liquidinous as possible – as little chewing necessary. Taste? Schmaste! At this point, I am merely eating to live.” (all said with my best Yiddish accent.) Then he usually spews his ShMuffin back onto his plate. (McDonalds = McMuffin; Shank = ShMuffin.) Breakfast is out of the way in under 60 seconds, most mornings. Back to the BISE Fusion Center for some Tassimachine made coffee. Oh yeah, another highlight of my day. And in the afternoons, I make Lattes! Work til 1130, then lunch! (Since you already know my menu, I will not repeat here, except for the aforementioned oatmeal.) Back to the BISE for another 4 hours and the latte, then dinner! Actually, lately, I leave around 4:30PM for the MWR Call Center, from whence I call Lora on the much better connected SPAWAR run computers. The Gonzalez boys grab me around 5:30 for the evening meal. We chat about the day, what’s going on at home, why Rich makes gay Freudian slips all the time. Back to the BISE for a couple hours, prepare for the 8PM meeting, have the 8PM meeting, then head back to B-Hut #27 for some quiet time, at least until Jerry the foghorn tunes up his apno-snoring box, which I actually feel more than hear. Jerry is an older, DOD civilian with the USAID project. Oh, he’s not the oldest guy out here: there is evidently an Army Captain (O3) who first joined in N I N E T E E N S I X T Y S E V E N ! ! ! He fought in Viet Nam and rejoined to come over here. Perhaps he just wanted to get away from his wife. Anyway, that’s a typical day for me. I will keep you apprised of any changes…

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