So a couple of not so major yet almost important things happened this week. Earlier this week I hit the 50% point in my summer vacation. So I’m on the downslope if you will. Actually my initial roommate that I had when I got here has been making fun of me this whole week about it, we got here at the same time but he is here for a year so I imagine the razzing about being short will only continue as I actually do start to get short. I don’t really consider myself short yet but it is all perspective I guess. I think this is going by faster than my winter vacation trip to Los Alamos. But man I could go for a breakfast burrito and some chicken tacos from El Parasol. They do have mexian night at the dinning hall here every once in a while, it isn’t bad but nowhere close to the El Parasol level. They did have Mongolian BBQ night here this week, that is about a once a month thing, so I finally stood in line and waited for it. I made the mistake of thinking the asian sauce would be more sweet than hot…oops. Oh well maybe I’ll try again next time because other than my mouth being on fire the whole time the food was pretty good.
We’ve been having a long ongoing discussion about Oreo’s too as we tend to get them from time to time in packages. Specifically which Oreo’s are the best, advantages of regular Oreo’s over double stuff (are there any?), how to properly separate cookie from cream, what do you do with the cookie if you are able to separate it completely from the cream, should goldies/blondies even really be considered Oreo’s or are they an affront to Oreos everywhere, is it harder to separate cookie from cream on a regular or double stuff oreo, proper dunking procedures, milk vs water (for drinking with oreos not dunking them). As you can probably imagine between a few people with science/engineering backgrounds and those that just love oreo’s this can go one for a while. Also our supplies for testing are limited (we can get regular and mini oreos at the PX but that is it.) now this isn’t some sort of hidden plea for lots of double stuff oreos as I don’t really have a desire to hit the gym any more than I already do, But it has been a pretty funny ongoing conversation so I thought I’d share.
Speaking of the PX, the new one they built here just opened this week. The old one was in a trailer. Not a house trailer but the back of an 18 wheeler trailer, needless to say it was small. The new one is huge in comparison, word on the street is that it is the biggest/nicest one in Kabul. So of course everyone went and checked it out. They have a lot more stuff than the old one and a lot more variety in the brands they carry, however I’ve made it this far without really needing anything so I didn’t see anything I had to have. I might pick up some t-shirts or something before I leave since they have a couple of OEF tshirts and stuff like that. I did purchase a few things this week, first I got my dad’s birthday present at the bazaar (yeah it’s late but it took the guy a while to get it and finally bring it to the bazaar), now I cant say what it till I send it home and my dad gets it, then again he probably already knows what it is, but it is awesome! Also I broke down and decided that while I was over here I could spend a little time in the evenings learning how to program Arduinos so I bought a kit and a book on them from Amazon which should get here sometime. Now I’ve known how to program BasicStamps for a while and I’ve done some pretty neat thing with them but at the same time at ~$50 a pop I don’t use them as often as I’d like to. Arduinos are significantly cheaper (~$20) and more or less just as capable so once I get comfortable with them hopefully I’ll be more willing to use them in various projects. The big difference initially is that BasicStamps are programmed in a modified form of Basic, which I’m comfortable with and understand the syntax and all that rather well. Arduinos use a C/C++ type code for programming which I have no experience with and always looks strange when looking at code. Since I already understand microcontroller and things you can do with them I figured if I can get comfortable with the C/C++ syntax/coding structure while I’m here I’ll be good to go when I get back. Not that this has anything to do with Afghanistan….
I was able to see the last shuttle landing due to the time difference so that was pretty cool, I think that was this week right? Also it has been weird seeing the news from back home about the super high temps, we’ve been having beautiful weather here. High in the low 90’s with low humidity and a nice breeze, we’ve been eating outside whenever the wind is calm enough to not blow everything away. Of course we’re also at about 6000’ which doesn’t hurt. Down south/southwest where they are lower it gets brutally hot, 120F+.
Also Axis won IRCWCC Nats, again…