Archive for June, 2007

Day 122




Day 122

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Cut my hair today, no mirror, and plenty of sweat. Worked out alright though I think. The power went out on my pad today, while I was sleeping. It gets hot in those tents real quick and fast with no cool air flowing. Not quite as bad as the CHUs got last time with no power, but that makes sense considering tents are not big steel boxes.

I’ve planned my Lap Around America ride up to San Diego so far. The route takes me through Shiner, TX (mmm beer), out west to Ft. Davis (haven’t been there since I was a young whipersnapper), through Sierra Vista, AZ (assuming my sister and brother-in-law still live out there), up to the Grand Canyon, across into Las Vegas, and then back down to San Diego. From there I plan on riding up the length of the Pacific Coast, though I’ve not decided where exactly to go. A few people are helping me with that, so I don’t miss anything cool on the way. I’ll shoot across the northern border, stopping to visit folks in the Great Lakes area before making my way to the east coast and riding back down towards some of my favorite roads in eastern TN, northern GA, and North Carolina. Having been across the Gulf Coast at least 300 times, I’ll find some other way to get from the fun twisty bits out east back to Texas. Should be fun.

Day 121




Day 121

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

So I got a most awesome box today. Inside this box there was a fan. Fans are sweet. There were also speakers for my laptop, so I can watch movies without subtitles. Also sweet. A few things that are decidedly unsweet have happened, though I am working through various channels to correct the problems. Hopefully it all works out alright.

Day 120




Day 120

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Another day, with temps rising. Most of my morning was spent processing some video for the PAO folks. Go go gadget Macbook Pro. Should I ever do that again, I’m definitely doing it in a cooler office, and using my external HD. All that editing chewed up a good 32GB of temp space, much more and I’d have run out of disk space.

After thinking about it some more, I’m 99% sure I’ll be moving to Corpus Christi when my masters elect to free me. It really isn’t that far from Houston, 208mi by the route I’ll be riding when I visit over R&R. That’s “visit for lunch” distance in Texan standards. At any rate, my visit there over R&R will make or break the deal. Should I find myself sufficiently enjoying the area, I’m moving there, and that’s that.

On the photo front, I really don’t want to break the 350D, but I also really don’t want to finish out the deployment with nothing but a P&S. The 28mm f/1.8 lens I have is awesome for the 350D, and rarely gets removed for any reason as it is. Over R&R I’m pretty sure I’m going to mail my 350D, along with my 28mm lens, directly to myself in Iraq. Should make for some more interesting photos I think. Hopefully the camera makes it back arlight, but if not I’m sure it’ll end up being worth it.

Day 119




Day 119

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

My ETS has changed again, to a full 13 months beyond the day on my enlistment contract. I’m pulling out all the stops now, court martial me if you must Uncle Sam, but I’m not taking this one sitting down.

Day 118




Day 118

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

I decided to play with a 3×5″ notecard and my camera today. Direct flash off the camera is all kinds of harsh, being a small light source very close to the subject. Unfortunately, on the tiny point and shoot camera, I don’t have a lot of options around that. Unless of course I happen to have access to one very reflective white nylon tent wall, and a notecard. Bounce the flash back into the wall, and watch the wall become a very large light source still pretty close to the subject. Softer shadows, good things in general. Heck I even smiled, or at least as much of a smile as I’m ever likely to do.

Day 117




Day 117

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Yet another rather uneventful day for me, which is a good thing. I actually visited our MWR facilities for the first time this deployment. There wasn’t much of a wait, and the internet was actually fast enough that I didn’t have visions of firebombing rabid cats while surfing. What takes me an hour to do here, I can do in 15min there.

When I finally got back to my tent, it was insanely hot inside (visit the photostream for photos) – 108.5F. The A/C was frozen over, much worse than I’ve seen it freeze yet. Giant ball of ice. Not good, obviously. Once I got it melted, and got the A/C pumping out cool air again, I watched Ricky Bobby pray to Baby Jesus (Christmas Jesus is his favorite if you didn’t know), and then I passed out.

Day 116




Day 116

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Longest day yet I think. Today we moved everything from one place to another, though nothing went as planned. I’m inclined to believe that nothing went as planned, because nothing was ever actually planned in the first place. You can brief a concept without actually having a plan, and that happens here entirely too much. The result of course was an execution that went far beyond the timeline discussed in the concept, and me working individually for 15 hours to get things working correctly.

Somewhere during the course of the day, we lost another soldier. As I was not at my usual position, I never got anything even resembling information about what happened. All I do know is that I have friends in that company, and my prayers are with them all. Nearly falling through a poorly constructed catwalk pales in comparison to what they do every day.

Day 115




Day 115

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Really didn’t do much today, my photo is from my trip to work at the end of the night, when I did do quite a lot.

Day 114




Day 114

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Just another day in the sand. I actually walked to lunch today, and I’m still not a fan of walking that far for food that bad. Two more songs graced my brain with their presence today. One of a decidedly slow tempo, and likely depressing tone. The other is upbeat blues-rock. Funny how they both hit me at the same time. I’ll scribble some notes down, and churn out some likely unimpressive lyrics eventually. Good thing I never make any claims that suggest I’m a “songwriter” – just a guiarist.

Day 113




Day 113

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Slept like a rock again today, and I wasn’t really that tired. It was hot, and I just didn’t feel like doing anything when I got off work – so I evoked my superpower, and slept. For those that haven’t heard, I’m thinking that Houston may not be “home” when I get out of the Army. In fact, since I’m effectively starting over at this crazy thing we call life, the place it all started for me is looking to become the site of my rebirth if you will. Some may not know, as it rarely comes up in the course of regular conversation, but that place would be none other than Corpus Christi, TX. History has proven that awesomely cool, and ridiculously hot people come from this jewel of a city in South Texas (ex: my sister and I, and some silly famous people). Really, I’m not sure what prompted this desire to move back, but the more I ponder it, the more I think I’m just going to do it.

By the same token (just doing it), I feel a massively expensive order of photography gear coming on. Following that purchase, and my ComingUpSoonâ„¢ R&R, I may well find an appropriate fast prime lens, and mount that to my 350D, which will find its way into a box to be mailed to me, myself, and I in Iraq. Not having control over things like shutter speed, aperture, or really anything at all on my P&S is driving me insane. Destroying the 350D has never been part of the plan, as I intend to keep it working for as long as possible. Bringing it to a region of Iraq covered in moondust-like sand probably counters that goal, but I’m going to see what I can do to prevent a massive influx of dust into the very unsealed 350d. My best guesses right now involve the following:

  • One lens, and one lens only.
  • Not ever removing said lens
  • 100mph tape over cracks/joints/things I don’t use
  • PrayToJesusModeâ„¢

That’s all for now, and we’ll see how things ultimately work out.

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