Friday, March 31, 2006

TDY is over...and so is Company Command....

Well, the TDY trip is over, no more smelly sewage, MRE's, or sleeping in the cold. However, this will more than likely be the last time I am at HHC, and it is the last time that I will be in command. The feeling is bittersweet, I am ceding company command, and going into a position with the BCT. Back to Iraq again...I suppose it was inevitable. Financially I feel good about everything, my wife is okay, my kids will be okay, but I am worried about how my mother will take things when I tell her about my upcoming deployment. The time here on the Peninsula is approximately 1105 HRS, and I will be heading out the door at 0400 HRS. I can't wait to get home and see my little ones. I can't wait home to see my wife either. It has been a looong 3 weeks. I know I will be jet-lagged as hell, but I can't wait to get there.

As soon as I get home and can get these pictures developed off of this cheap-ass disposable camera, I will post them. One more night on the Peninsula, and I am on that freedom bird. I can't wait, but I will miss my fellow Soldiers in HHC.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I will pray for Abdul Rahman...

Since I have been on this mission in Korea I have had less access to the internet than what I am accustomed. I got a chance to get on line a little while ago, and I happened across an article on CNN that talked about a born-Muslim who converted to Christianity approximately 16 years ago. He lived in Germany for a time, and converted then. It seems that his family turned him over to the authorities in Afghanistan because it is against the vaunted "sharia" law. The United States, Great Britain, and even the Pope have asked that this case be dropped out of respect for religous freedom. But, the Clerics in Afghanistan have demanded for this man to be executed unless he denies Christ and reverts to Islam.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am all about respecting culture, and I do my best to not look at other customs and religions with an air of superiority, but in this instance I think it is time for Aghanistan to step out of the Dark Ages and show appreciation for what many countries, (mainly the U.S.) have done in order to secure their "freedom". The free government system that awaits them is a de facto result of the Taliban's mistake in thinking that we wouldn't come over there and topple their regime if they did not cooperate in regard to handing over Osama bin Laden. But, it seems that instead of a small minority of corrupt leaders who were enslaving a populace, it seems that there are quite a few like-minded individuals who relish the idea of killing and maiming all those who are different.

I still don't agree with the idiotic notion that all Muslims are fanatics, or even the idea that the majority of Muslims in the world are fanatics. I will, however, say that there are a large number of Muslims with radical ideas about who should live, who should die, and why. I have to say that in my belief, unlettered as it may be, there are far fewer Christians who would wish for, hope for, and assist with the death of someone for being different. Of all of the descendants of Abraham, it seems that Ishmael is the most troubled throughout the word. Answering perceived injustice with blood has never been the way to survive in the world. Especially now in the age of technology when we can actually "see" what goes on in other parts of the world in real time. No longer will the revisionist, or the students of moral and culture relativism be able to justify, rationalize, or hide their inhuman actions. We all see actions for what they are, either good or evil.

Mohammed Karzai is under a lot of pressure in this situation. Does he want to seperate himself that much farther away from the conservative base in his country, or does he want to repay all of the economic, military, and political capital given to him by the West with a blood-soaked handshake. Time will only tell. I just hope that time is on Abdul Rahman's side....I will pray for him in the meantime.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Can you smelll-l-l-l-l-l- what the ROK is cookin'?

Man, Korea stinks...and when I say stink, I mean funky. Since I stepped off the plane my olfactory senses have been assaulted with no mercy. Apparently a hot commodity in Korea is feces. When I did my initial site recon where my company will be, I noted that on the port-o-lets there was a sign that said, "Do not waste waste." No, they were not being redundant, they were simply letting us know that feces of all sorts, human, cow, pig, dog, or whatever is used as fertilizer.

Anybody that knows me, knows what a keen sense of smell I have, consequently it makes me particularly sensitive to lets say....umm...pungent odors. I was taken to a restaurant by a gentleman by the name of Young Gap You who is a DOD contractor. Young was raised in the states, is an American Citizen, but has been living back in Korea for the last 5 years for work reasons. Anyway, we went to a restaurant, which was really cool by the way. It was just like you would imagine, or like you have seen on TV. You take off your shoes at the door and sit on the floor on cushions to eat. The food was beef, rice, broth, gravy, and Kimchi. The food was good, but for some reason there was an odd smell to the place. Actually, it wasn't the place, as everything in the building was immaculate, but it was the smell of "manure" outside that seemed to permeate every square inch of the restaurant. After we ate, I learned that it is not customary to tip people in Korea after they serve you.

Well, that is all I have time to write right now, but I will try and find a net connection when we get to the training site. Ten more days before I prepare to head home..... TDY Blues.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Korea Trip....Day 3

Well, I am into Day 3 of my trip, and I still have a few more until my unit gets here. Part of the problem of being advanced party is not knowing whether it is going to be "feast or famine" once you arrive. I am in waiting status to see what needs to be done before the rest of the Soldiers arrive. I will have a little bit of work to do tomorrow, but we shall see how that turns out. There were several plan changes today. Korea time, it is now 11:10 p.m. and I am trying to see how long I can stay up so that I can finally sleep all the way through the night. I just talked to my wife and my mother a little while ago, and they seem to be doing well. I have only been able to talk to my oldest, but I haven't been able to talk to my other two children.

Got a little bad news yesterday, twice over, but all we can do is realize, react, realign, and respond as best we can. I didn't bring my digicam on this trip, because I thought that once we headed out into the woods it would get messed up. It is indeed Monsoon season here, so I am looking forward to LOTS of dampness. I may buy a disposable, and see if I can periodically get to a location where I will have scan and computer access. I want to capture as much of the essence of Korea as possible.

Well, my body is so tired now that I feel as if I am about to get nauseous. I have been up since about 1:30 this morning. Hopefully this will allow me to sleep all the way through the night, and finally get on line with the South Korean time. Well, I will post more as time permits.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

TDY South Korea.....Seoul.....

I just got to my room about 15 minutes ago, my watch, which is still set on Eastern Standard time says 8:27 a.m. In reality, it is 10:27 p.m. here. I tried to send out a few emails to my wife, but I am not sure if my VPN is working correctly or not. I am hungry, and I am not sure whether or not I should make myself go to sleep or not. I am wide awake, but I have a peculiar "hangover" feeling. The flight was only 15 hours, but the total travel time is now hitting the 27th hour. Advanced party sucks....Hopefully I will be over jet lag by the time the rest of my unit gets here. I love you, Renee....I love you Devon...I love you Robbie....I love you Alexandra. Oh yes, I almost forgot. Happy Birthday to my big Sis! Gotta go...on a quest for food.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

3:47 a.m.....Why am I awake?

And I have actually been awake since acout a quarter after 2. My allergies are hammering me, and I don't feel sleepy at all. What's wrong with me?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Gordon Parks dead at 93...

Gordon Parks, who I think of as the original "Renaissance Man" is dead. A person who made his way in life, originally as a laborer, piano player, and waiter ended up making a name for himself as a professional photographer with Vogue, and Life magazine. Imagine...buying a camera for about 6 bucks, and challenging the editors of vogue magazine to give you a shot. What was even more amazing than the "good eye" that he had, was the fact that he was able to convey a social commentary in his photographs for Life Magazine. His photographs of poverty-stricken people and places is a testament to his skill, and his ability to capture the gritty rawness of city life. He will truly be missed.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Jordan legacy....continues.

I got this video from the Volokh Conspiracy and he said it best. "I didn't think that a video about Michael Jordan could give me chills anymore....I was wrong."

While I did get thrills thinking about this video, it kind of left me feeling wistful.....Jordan on the sidelines, never to fly again.