Thursday, April 05, 2007

Getting Away in LaGrange, TX

Train over the CO river Posted by Picasa

A few weeks ago I had a chance to get away with some family. I have always spent time in LaGrange when I was growing up and have lots of family there. If you don't know anything about LaGrange, TX then maybe you should listen to more ZZ TOP. Anyway, I took this on one of the relaxing afternoons we were enjoying down by the Colorado River. I think it came out pretty good and was a good photo to experiment with Focal Point black & white.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Iraqi Mantis in Jungle Camo

Praying Mantis Posted by Picasa

Today we came across this Mantis while moving some Camo-netting. It was nice to see some color for once. Most bugs here are either to small to see and biting you or blend in with the brown dirt that is Iraq. Even the Ladybugs here are tan/brown. A friend said to me yesterday that they are "naked ladybugs, out without their spots." Well, spots can be found but there is no bright orange or reds for sure. I don't know if praying mantis' have a religious preference or not but I would assume this little guy is muslim here in Iraq.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The New Canon EOS REBEL XTi

Canon Rebel XTiPosted by Picasa

This is my newest toy and a great step up from a point and shoot. Now that I have purchased my first DSLR there is a whole new world of photography that has opened up, as well as the new expense of lenses etc. But so far this puppy is a great investment and loads of fun!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Taji Bloggers Conference

Meeting of the minds! Posted by Picasa

24-May-2006 was the gathering of bloggers on Camp Taji -Iraq for a Blogger Luncheon.
Attendees included the Bloggers from Dave's Not Here, Talking Salmons, Those Wacky Iraqis & myself.

This was the first of what I hope will become a monthly gathering of bloggers and a chance to kick back, relax and share stories of our time here in Iraq.

We enjoyed some of the best food in the country, "TACO BELL," which is quite a rarity to find on a base in Iraq. On a side note: It seems everyone else had to comment on my "No Tomatoes" order and make a much bigger deal of Salmon eating my chicken tacos than it was. Heck, I didn't even care, let the man eat! He's the soldier, we work here to support him. Any soldier that wants my Taco Bell is more than welcome to it... LOL

Anyway, it was a great time full of good humor and a chance to break from "the norm."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thailand -Pattaya!!

Walking Street -Pattaya Posted by Picasa

Vegas & Mexico eat your heart out! Thailand was one of the most awesome vacations I have ever had and the price is one of the best parts. If you have never been then you just don't know! It was a great trip even with a day visit to the Dentist. Jetskiing and the beaches were great, shopping and food was too. Thank goodness my buddies girlfriend didn't like the whole bug thing, so he didn't eat any or try to get me to eat any either. I am definitely going back soon!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Random Thought!

Taco Bell Iraq -Taji! Posted by Picasa

In the next few days I will be traveling to Thailand. I have never been to an Asian country before. East of the "Middle East" will be a big first. I know that Taco Bell has nothing to do with Thailand, that I know of, but these packets are pretty funny sometimes and this Taco Bell meal will probably be the last good American food that I get until I return. I have heard good things about food in Thailand, but I will just have to see for myself. One of the friends I am going with showed me some video from his last trip. He was eating big fried grasshoppers and grubs. He said I have to try it, but I don't plan on tasting any insects unless its for survival necessity!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Icy Ukraine in March '06

-5 Below in Kharkiv Ukraine Posted by Picasa

In March I ventured back to the Ukraine. My first trip here was wonderful weather in July '05. This trip was but a taste of Siberian winter. At -5 degrees Fahrenheit cold has a whole new meaning. It snowed almost every day of the 2 weeks that I was there, but it was a nice change from Iraqi sun.

Monday, April 24, 2006

After the Rains

After the Rain Posted by Picasa

I dont know about most people, but cracked earth has always looked interesting to me. I thought I would tool around with this shot a bit. This is more evidence of the extreme temps in Iraq that turn age old, baby powder like, sand/dirt into the stickiest muck you've ever seen one day and back into cracked dry earth ready to start the erotion process the next.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Guess What?

Guess what? Posted by Picasa

I was playing with a coworkers Canon Digital RebelXT today and decided to play around with it a little. This is one thing that I took a photo of, any guesses? Those that have served/worked in Iraq can not answer... heh! Good Luck, leave a comment... this may be easier than I think, but it could be interesting.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Things Worth Blogging

Dan the Man Posted by Picasa

After my hiatus from blogging a very important matter has given me reason to break my silence.
The author of "Fingers are Faucets for the Brain," Danial, a close friend of mine was medivac'd to Germany and has been in critical condition for several weeks.

A new blog, "Dan Updates," was created by Dan's friend Darve to help all friends, family and loved ones keep track of the updates on his condition.

This site is also a place where we are posting photos/good times in support of Danial and his family to let them all know that they are in our thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Russian Parliament Proposes Polygamy

Russian Parliament says WHAT? Posted by Picasa

MosNews -
Deputy speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, has called the idea to introduce polygamy in Chechnya "absolutely right"” and proposed to spread it for the whole Russia.

"We must welcome (this idea) and spread (polygamy) for the whole Russia because we have 10 million lonely women,"” Vladimir Zhirinovsky was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying.
This is definitely one of the craziest things I have seen out of the Russian government yet! I eludes me how such stordon'tdont make it into US or World news. I'll have to do more research in Russian Orthodox beliefs, but I would think that this would clash with their belief system.

The Chechen Prime Minister, RamzanKadyrov, has also called for polygamy to solve their problem in their time of war stating,
"it is necessary because we are at war and according to statistics there are 9 percent fewer men than women in the republic. It is very important for the Chechen people. The law of Shariah allows this, it does not run counter to it. Therefore, each man who can provide for four wives should do it. It should be allowed."
Read the full story here...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

1 for the "Brain Bucket"

Brain Bucket Posted by Picasa

Often referred to, by those I know, as the "Brain Bucket" -this one saved a soldiers life recently in Tikrit!

Helmet Protects Soldier from Sniper Fire
By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mark Wojciechowski
133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORWARD OPERATING BASE REMAGEN, TIKRIT, IRAQ, Jan. 6, 2006 — For many soldiers, the new Army combat helmet is a necessary evil. It can be cumbersome when in the dining facility trying to handle a tray of food and it causes headaches and tension in the neck when worn on lengthy missions.

Snyder was standing up in the turret scanning his sector and had been waving off traffic for about 15 minutes. He recalls hearing a shot and feeling "a little jerk."
Read more here at Defend America...

UPDATE: I just wanted to thank Mudville Gazette for link this week..It's always inspiring!

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Big 2K

I had to post about my 2000 hits on my Blog!!!
I missed my 1000 hits while I was still on vacation in early November, but in just 2 months I have had 1000 hits! I do understand that this is small beans for some, but it was a much longer road to my first thousand and that just means that my readers have increased. I don't aim to be a top blogger or anything, but it is cool to see that others find my site interesting in one way or another.

For the most part my blog is for friends & family and some type of creative outlet for me while I'm working in the sandbox (Iraq). I was never good in English and never cared for writing, but I must admit I never imagined that something like a blog would be filling my free time.

Despite all my typos and grammatical errors I appreciate all those that visit me to see what's up on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, December 30, 2005

What Will Be Your Resolution?

Personally, I am not all that big on new years resolutions. I do however plan on focusing on time management! Sometimes things get hectic at work over here and its difficult to prioritize. I want to start planning my day and managing time better. It seems like there is always so much to do that I just try to tackle whatever possible, whenever possible.

There really aren't enough hours in the day, even a 12+ hour one! I think that with better planning and actually setting aside time for the things that I need to be doing, Ergo: reading up on policies, procedures, planning out jobs fully and personal study work improvement, things should be able to be accomplished more smoothly.

Having more order in the day should also help with getting out of the office and away from work on time. This would result in more time to organize and accomplish my personal ambitions, like getting to the gym and improving my sparse Russian. Who knows? It may even give me some time to relax and catch some extra, but much needed, rest!

Maybe this resolution will work out. I sure could use more hours in the day though! I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and remember the Soldiers and those over here supporting them in the New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Camo-Net Christmas -Taji Iraq

Taji Xmas Tree Posted by Picasa

We did our best to celebrate Christmas here in Al Taji this year! This was our Camo-Net Christmas Tree! "When in Iraq -Improvise!" and improvise we did. Best wishes to all those back home and around the world! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!


Friday, December 23, 2005

Explosive Ordnance Disposal -Taji Iraq

Ordnance Disposal Posted by Picasa

by Staff Sgt. Kevin Bromley

December 21, 2005

Explosive ordnance disposal technicians detonated the last seven, 1,000 pound bombs in Taji, Dec. 16. 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division was tasked with management of the Taji Ammo Dump, known as Area Echo, and worked with Iraqi contractors and explosive ordnance disposal teams to clear the compound of all munitions. Nearly 20,000 tons of weapons and munitions were destroyed in Area Echo and the removal of these munitions was a significant task that added to the safety of Coalition forces and the Iraqi people.

Friday, December 16, 2005

One Fine Day

Fine day in Egypt Posted by Picasa

This week has been a "Ground Hog Day" to the extent that I have been so wrapped up in work day in and day out that it seems the week will never end. The days have changed but each day of work has repeated itself over and over.

I was taking a moment this evening to look back at 6 weeks ago when I was on vacation. I found this photo that I decided to post because it reminds me that in another 6-8 weeks I will be free again. Free of the confines of living and working on a military instillation in the middle of a war ridden country where every day is work, eat, sleep, with what seems like no end.

Today was a fine day, (tongue in cheek!) as if things couldn't be better, it rained! Most people would expect for rain to be a good thing in the desert, but IT'S NOT! The dust and dirt here becomes extremely sticky and the next thing you know its everywhere! I really wanted to get some photos of the new rainfall, but my little Canon Digital Elph isn't quite set up for super high speed/wet environment shots! Instead, I decided to think about places I would like to be...

I have no clue why another desert popped into my head! Maybe it was just a cleaner, dryer place than here at the moment. My thoughts should really be on my next vacation. This will be the end of year 2 coming up and I have 3+ weeks to plan for. I just hope it begins to warm up in February. I do like the cold, but if its going to be cold it might as well snow. The slush and ice back home in Houston are not fun to deal with!

Friday, December 09, 2005


Over There Posted by Picasa

I was recently introduced to a new TV show that was on this past season. The series is called OVER*THERE. It's about the life of soldiers in Iraq. The series follows a platoon in 3rd ID short for Third Infantry Division. 3rd ID is currently deployed in Iraq as I speak and have been here since the Stryker Brigade rotated out this past year. -(As far as I know)

I have been in several parts of Iraq in the past 2 years and to my knowledge I have seen the 101st Airborne Division rotate out as they were replaced by Stryker and then they were replaced by 3rd ID who is now rotating out. I'm no expert on what groups/divisions etc are or have been here, but this is what I have seen.

In my honest opinion this show is the most accurate depiction of what soldiers go through day to day while they are deployed to Iraq. I have been here, I have seen some of what they have seen and plenty of pictures and video that the public has never seen. I hear the stories and see some of them unfold before my very eyes. I can honestly say that I don't believe the events depicted in OVER*THERE to be far from the truth!

I haven't seen such a true depiction since Gunner Palace! I was informed just as I learned about the series OVER*THERE that it has been cancelled. I heard that "they" said it was to controversial. Well, I have news for "they"! Since when do we censor or television like China? We can air the beheading of civilian Americans on National TV, but we can't run a show that happens to of hit the nail on the head when it comes to what our men and women are going through over here daily!

I back this series 100%. I don't know what another season could bring, maybe they would stray from the current path, but maybe they wont! Either way I think the show deserves a chance! I have heard of a petition to get the show back on, but I haven't had the time to do any online research yet. If anyone does know about this, please leave comments with links/addresses and I will update the information here for other readers. I will post whatever I may find out as well.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Weapons of the Past

Blue Sky Dirty Tank Posted by Picasa

It's always interesting here to see things that many could only catch a glimpse of at a old war museum. Here in Iraq the weapons of forgotten wars find their resting place. Many are even cannibalized for the repair and maintenance of the aged Iraqi forces still operational armaments. I don't know the history of these military vehicles that well, but from what I hear most of this stuff came out of Russia from the second World War! Talk about a time warp!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

1st Camel Spider I Saw in Iraq

Camel Spider Posted by Picasa

One night at about 2 AM I was spending some leisure time with friends after a long hard day. This bugger caught my eye as it scurried back and forth across a sidewalk in the dimly lit area. I grabbed a friends flashlight, zeroed in and popped him on the head with flat of my foot. I was wearing shoes of course! I didn't want to annihilate it and got him just good enough to make him stop moving, for ever! We decided to take the picture like this to show relevant size etc.

*UPDATE* -Another big "THANK YOU!" to Mrs. Greyhawk of Mudville Gazette -Dawn Patrol for linking!