23 July 2010

Vibe Roller vs. Zamboni

Life in Iraq goes on, and it's interesting enough.  Post curtailment (the official Army term for sending people home), we got a little busy for a while.  Now it's all about trying to get into a routine.  I am working on it, but the Army is revolutionary in its ability to create spontaneous emergencies spaced at random intervals throughout the day.  During said emergencies we all run around trying to complete some inane report during an impossible timeframe or trying to move some piece of equipment using mind power and disposable spoons.  Upon conclusion of these emergencies we will immediately return to our seats and do absolutely nothing productive for 3-4 hours (while making grandiose efforts at looking extremely busy and put off by the whole ordeal).  Okay, it's not that bad, but the stop and go pace of things (often referred to as "hurry up and wait") make it difficult to successfully establish a routine.

Of course it’s very easy for me to look busy with my newly acquired 42” monitor (actually I think it’s supposed to be TV, but be real).  I know a lot of you at home (like all 5 of you that read this), are saying to yourself, “That seems excessive”.  Believe me it is.  It’s almost difficult not to blind myself while using it, but I have found that it makes for a superior and almost immersive feel while playing Risk or Monopoly.  Further, I have always wanted to experience a life of decadence and I very much enjoy both the jealousy and conversations that it brings.

Other than using my computer screen, I’ve occupied myself with operational type things and various administrative tasks.  By no stretch of the imagination would anyone call me a respectable engineer equipment operator, but occasionally much to the chagrin (III Don that was just for you) of my fellow soldiers, I try.  Apparently when using a vibratory roller (pictured below), you are not supposed to drive it around in circles like a Zamboni (even though the area you are trying not to flatten is in fact contained within a circular wall).  Lesson learned.

I am almost done with one semester of online classes and I start another one the week after next.  If the Army’s willing to pay for it, I am all about it.  I am pretty excited about the “Food and Culture” class.  Well I’m done for today.