Archive for May, 2007

Day 92




Day 92

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

So today had a little bit of action, and tomorrow probably will too. For some reason I was totally exhausted when I got off shift, I actually fell asleep while standing next to my cot, and again while I was watching Round 2 of the World Superbike race from Monza. You know I’m tired when I fall sleep watching a Superbike race. I just uploaded some more photos of the TOC wildlife, this time a toad that wanted to read my email with me. We’ve got mice, we’ve got toads – I just want to know where the snakes are.

Day 91




Day 91

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Day 91, and nothing has really happened of any interest lately. I watched some motorcycle racing today, which only made me wish I could ride even more. A few days ago a big rainstorm rolled through, accompanied of course by high winds. One of the unoccupied “transient” tent areas didn’t quite survive, and became my photographic subject for the day. I’m actually in the process of uploading those right now. In the morning, as they arrive, I’ll give my soldier’s their monthly counseling. That’s all for now.

Day 90




Day 90

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Today was a scorcher. I don’t know how hot it actually was, but my highly calibrated ears were registering at least 115F as I walked to our newly opened (and further away from my tent) chow hall. Imagine my joy and delight upon finding, after a 30 minute wait in line, that I could enjoy the fine dining of Chili Mac. That might sound like a complaint (and several hours later, it probably will be for whoever services the latrines), but it could be worse. In fact, for our first several weeks here, it was much worse – and for the guys out at the COPs, it is still way worse.

In other exciting news, I shaved my head again today. You can see in this photo that my hair was getting a bit long, and if you know me you are well aware that my hair is a) really dark and b) extremely thick. When it’s over 110F out, having a nice thick head of hair does not make anything any better. Shaving it completely bald is an option as well, but I don’t have the patience for that.

A few more boxes came in today. One from my friend Lindsay, one from my Brother-in-Law’s family (thanks for the missing Lost eps!), and three different packages from the good folks over at Two Wheeled Texans. If you happen to ride a motorcycle, and live in Texas, you should go there and join. I got some good stuff, more food, and the motorcycle races from Monza (which I will be watching as soon as I get off shift). That’s all, until tomorrow.

Day 89




Day 89

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Today was fairly cool, with a little lightning, and a short drizzle. I could live with that on a daily basis if I had to. In fact, I’d rather deal with high winds, lightning, and muddy floors than high winds, sweltering heat, and a fine coat of dust on everything. The summer in Iraq can get pretty crazy. Random rainstorms out of nowhere, causing a high of 90 or so, followed the next day by a light breeze of 110 degree air.

Today finally gave me enough time to sit down and change the strings on my guitar, which of course also required that I jam for at least an hour. A friend of mine came by, and we rocked out for a while. Quite a few people I know would call him insane for bringing a Martin to Iraq. Everyone that knows me, also knows that I have no problem spending over a grand on a piece of equipment, and then using it wherever I happen to end up. Take my custom 1911 for instance. Is it mechanically any different than my Colt? Nah, not really. It does however carry a price tag 5x the size. Some are shocked that I would even consider putting a $2000+ pistol in a holster and subjecting it to the wear and tear of regular carry. My question is, why the heck would I spend that kind of money on a stone cold reliable precision tool – and not use it? I take the same approach to guitars, so understand my friend bringing his Martin to Iraq. It’s a guitar, it was meant to be played. It can’t be played if it is nowhere near its owner. If I had the space, I would have brought my Strat out here, along with my favorite (and smallest) amp. My inexpensive, but tonally pleasing, Alvarez RD20S will have to hold me over. Something tells me it’ll put up with this deployment just as well as it did the last.

Day 88




Day 88

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Fueling our generator, which gets much less efficient every day. 15 second exposure with my camera resting on top of a 55gal drum. Anyhow, today was fairly uneventful, at least during my shift. Not really wishing for the Hammer of Idiocy to come down upon my blog, I’ll refrain from mentioning anything that might be of actual interest to anyone with a pulse. My shower today had exactly two temperatures of water – hot, and really damn hot. I was sweating pretty hard when I got to the shower, as I’d just finished working out. I was sweating worse when I got out of the shower.

A little more space was made available in my tent, and I have occupied that space. I won’t lie, it’s kind of nice, and gives me a little more privacy. At least now I don’t have everything stacked on top of, or underneath my cot. If I want socks, I can just go to my footlocker and get out a pair of socks. It’s the little things. Always the little things.

Day 87




Day 87

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Another day has passed uneventfully, and that is obviously a good thing – for now. There will be another photo in my photostream, a macro shot of the “air filter” in our A/C unit. There’s enough matted crud in it to badly clog the flow, and make the A/C pretty useless. At least it was only 93F in the tent today.

I’ll be the first to admit that I never expected so much support, from so many people, when I posted the list of things we’d need out here. My assumption had been that perhaps my immediate family, and best of friends would lead the charge, and ultimately be the only supply line from home. That assumption was dead wrong, and I’ve seen what can only be called an amazing show of support from everyone. I say everyone, because I’ve recieved boxes that people I don’t even know spent $80 just to ship.

At day 87, I have taken in enough personal supplies to quite probably last me, and my soldiers the rest of an 18 month deployment. Hopefully, I won’t need that long of a supply, but it is better to have and not need, than need and not have. On that note, I’m going to make change 3 to my list. Sending things like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and shaving supplies is still fine – anything I can’t use, I will bring to the Chapel (as I did with the remaning contents of the boxes from Trinity Day School.) I went out and talked with some of my friends down on the line – from Team Leaders to Platoon Sergeants – every single one of them said “wipes.” I don’t use many wipes out here, having access to a shower on a daily basis. I had a bunch of wipes, so I gave them to my friends down in 1-15IN – but they’ll need more for sure. The food I’ve been sent thus far is excellent, and sure beats the chow hall for lunch – so by all means keep that up. Anything of entertainment value is more than welcome as well, recorded TV shows (I already have a supply of Lost, Mythbusters, Croc Hunter ,and Future Weapons), new movies, music, magazines (topics of interest in my tent: motorcycles, fitness, photography, rock climbing/adventure sports, outdoors/hunting/fishing, computer/console gaming, and of course women *cough* maxim/stuff).

Well, that wraps up my 87th day update. Check the photostream for the rest of the photos I took today/yesterday.

Day 86




Day 86

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

This is the first of what may be a daily blog, to include whatever photo I end up taking of myself for the 365 Day challenge/group @ Flickr. Of course I’ll be lucky to only have 365 days of deployment photographically captured, but I’ll keep up with the challenge, and continue until I put my boots on the ground at Ft. Benning again. Hopefully that won’t be on day 450.

Anyway, the photo is me, tired from yet another 12hr shift, followed by helping my soldiers out with a few other tasks. I’m sitting on a few of the 17 boxes I received from Trinity Day School (Beaumont, TX), and smiling to comply with instructions from my most awesome friend Johanna Nice (yes, I clearly am smiling, and obviously got your letter.)

In the interest of not filling PlanetArslinux with completely non-technical banter, I’ll only be putting these entries in my “photography” category. Facebook is probably going to explode with the note importing and all, but oh well. That’s about it for now.

Lots of Boxes




Lots of Boxes

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Check out all the boxes! Many thanks to everyone at Trinity Day School for such a large show of support. Your boxes have been shared throughout this base, and made life a little easier for a large number of soldiers.

Hard Candy




Hard Candy

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

So I said I love Sweet Tarts, and the world took note. Now I’ve got some 15lbs of them in my toughbox, and I’ve shared a good 10 boxes and bags worth throughout the Brigade Staff.

I decided I’ll start blogging my 365day photo, and other photos I upload to Flickr, just because I feel like it – and because some folks don’t really get the whole Flickr thing.

Holy Maildrop Batman

I woke up to head in for my 0000-1200 TOC shift, and was greeted by a solid 4′ wall of packages. It would appear as though everything is flowing towards us quickly now, having been through a weeklong interruption in mail flow due to the damage of two bridges that connect us to the rest of Iraq. I got 20 boxes last night, and one letter (Johanna Nice wins the “first one of my friends to handwrite me a real letter” prize, which has yet to be determined, but it’ll be good). She made a request, so I’ll make good on that with my 365day pic later today.

Honestly, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with everything. My toughbox is nearly overflowing, and I’ve shared so much stuff with everyone out here that some stuff is just left hanging around. I think I’ll be bringing several boxes to the Chapel, for whoever happens to stop by. The majority of this last drop came from my Aunt’s pre-school(?), I got 17 boxes. The other three were from fellow motorcyclists, and members of Two Wheeled Texans. We’ll all have to go for a ride when I get home.

I’ve got a photo to post tomorrow, of my new Clock/Thermometer – 100F inside my tent. I know how an AC freezes up, but it still amazes me that it is even possible out here, given the dry air, and the extreme heat. We had to shut off the AC, and run the vent to melt the ice and let air flow freely again. Once the AC thawed out, it dropped the temp in our tent from 103F to 84F in 7 minutes. The Macbook Pro still did a pretty decent job of cooling itself off despite the ridiculous ambient temperature, the FujiP however would have been perfect for cooking a 2″ thick filet to medium rare in about 5 minutes. I can’t really say anything bad about the FujiP though, it’s probably still full of sand from OIF3. The fact that it even runs at all is awesome.

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