Thursday, October 20, 2011

What are you still doing here?

Wait, what? I’m still here?  Hmmm thought I was going to leave by now.  Oh well.  So I’m still living the life at C^3.  Turns out my replacement had some minor delays so I said I’d hang around a little longer till he got it sorted out and gets here, shouldn’t be too long so no big deal.  Me staying a little longer than planned is much better on the whole than not having any overlap and him having to learn everything on his own.  Once he gets here we’ll have a few days of overlap where I need to try and teach him all the ins and outs of my “normal” routine.  I put together a list of that this week, it’s pretty short.  But there is a lot of other stuff that I do “as needed” which takes up a larger chunk of my time so getting him ready for those random bits is important too.  At least for me a large part of this job is reactionary so really what I’m doing any given day/week is dependent on what is going on across the country and here at C^3.

I did get to have some fun this week.  The boss and I went over to Bagram for a day to take care of some administrative stuff.  Aside from seeing most of the guys over there we also got to see the new PIF that one of the teams is installing.  Basically when it is all delivered, setup and functional it will have the capabilities of a regular machine shop back stateside.  There are some issues with the whole concept and scheme of implementation and how you make something like that useful while still following all the army rules on R&D type activity but when they get it all sorted out it could be a really awesome capability to have.  Either way it was neat to go check it out and see all the machines and talk to some of the guys that I normally only talk to over email.

They gave me the choice of which DFAC to go to for lunch, so in my ongoing quest to eat at every DFAC at Bagram I choose to go to the BBQ Tent. (ok do you really need any other reason to go to the BBQ tent, I mean they serve actual grilled food.)  Of course it was delicious; I had ribs that I ended up turning into a sandwich.  Pretty much any meat product is better when surrounded by bread, I don’t know why it works like that all I know is that it is delicious.  Oh I had sweet tea and corn on the cob too so that brought everything together rather well.  Also that means that I’ve eaten at every DFAC that I know of at Bagram,  I imagine there are still a few on the list that I haven’t hit but I doubt there are many, especially not if we only count US DFACs. I’ve been to seven, but I don’t know the true number of how many there are.  Not bad considering I don’t live there, also I’ve been to a DFAC that one of the guys that has been at Bagram from the last year has never eaten at.

Once we got done with all the stuff we had to do in Bagram we had some time before our flight to kill so we ended up going to the Bagram PX and then the Bazaar that they had setup. (Their bazaar is more of a permanent fixture where as the one at C^3 is a once a week deal.)  I found what I was looking for at the PX so that was a worthwhile trip.  At the bazaar we ended up spending all of our time at one shop talking with one dealer.  One of the guys we were with wanted to buy an old rifle so most of the time was spent haggling over the price and quality and all sorts of things like that.  He actually go a fairly good deal all things considered.  As this was going on I was looking around, mostly just the usual collection of trinkets which are all pretty cool until you start seeing the same thing over and over at all the different shops in the different bazaars.  LOTS of stuff that isn’t nearly as old as they want it to look like it is, which is kind of a shame since a lot of it is pretty neat.  Anyway one thing this vendor did have that I had seen before but in in such quantity was old Afghan Afghani bills.  He had stacks of them.  Now of course they have been replaced by new currency and so these old ones are pretty much worthless, still I’ve always liked old money for some reason and stacks of it is even better.  But why would I ever need stacks of old cash…..Monopoly….yeah that’s right.  When I get back I’ll be able to play Monopoly with a foreign country’s currency.  Well worth the price I paid for it even considering how much I overpaid for a few stacks of worthless bills. (still I did pretty well considering his initial price,  plus did I mention playing monopoly with REAL currency from another country?  Is that wrong?)  Now they didn’t make 500 Afghani bills so I just got a bunch of extra 100’s and then a stack of 1000’s as well.  Plus since the rules of Monopoly say that there isn’t supposed to be a limit to the amount of money in the game it should workout without any problems.  Holding the stack it feels like I robbed a bank.  I don’t even play Monopoly that much, but when I do I’ll have the best set ever!

And we still got back to C^3 just in time to go to dinner.  (This was a major concern, not mine but still glad it worked it.)  Plus I got in a couple more Blackhawk rides, good times.  Helicopters are the coolest way to travel.

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