Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Popping smoke: Lighting pyrotechnic device to generate dense clouds of colored smoke. Used in signaling aircraft from the ground and to identify specific locations. Especially used in marking pickup spots for personnel extraction by aircraft.
Popping smoke: Leaving, especially very quickly.
Usage: "When are you popping smoke?"
Friday, August 24, 2007
P1: "It is pink. It might as well be contaminated"
P2: "Does that mean you can't use it? How secure are you in your masculinity?"
P1: "(young daughter), did mommy get a new phone? What color is it? Where you with her when she got it? Did you pick the pink phone?"
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The usual parades of armed power. And speeches. The week has been one marked by honesty in public. President Karzai talking about the importance of education. Rather strange for a President of a country that is covered in war and conflict. But
Karzai said the Afghan people must be ready to make sacrifices for the country's freedom, but also need to focus on education.
"Without education, technology and science we will be under the attack of the foreigners," Karzai said. "For an independent, our youths have to get an education."
There is a realization that the end of this is when the Afghan are educated enough to govern themselves. Or my way of putting it, when the children we are putting through school now become the elders and leaders of Afghanistan.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
This is a fun sounding book. In 1943 American and allied soldiers were in Iraq, because Nazi Germany was threatening to conquer it via Syria. The article is an interview with LTC John Nagl, an American officer known for his book "Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife." Me makes the comment that it sure seemed like we knew alot about Iraq back in 1943. A "charming" book, with illustrations, written in a more hopeful, less irony-filled time. Back when we were sure we were fighting evil.
The article title came out of one of the points that Nagl talks about. I remember being dragged by a shopkeeper who wanted to get me to buy a rug. Brought me into his shop, and immediately offered chai. Very recognizable story.
There is a lot to be said about referencing the past. When I wrote my dissertation, one of my goals was to have at least one citation older then I was. I was successful. I also was able to do the same in a presentation I gave for work. One of the most compelling slides that I have. This is a difficult business, marked by what is unknown as much as is known. Using the advantages of other people's hindsight sems like a good thing.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Chief's Initiation: Ceremony commemorating new Chief's. A time of solemn recognition. Also a time of incredulity of how some sailor was able to con his superiors into regarding him a person of maturity. Where old salts look at these new guys and wonder if they have what it takes, and put them through many tests of their, umm, endurance, resiliance, intelligence (wisdom? these new guys?) because they want to see just how much these new guys can take. Definitely not something to tell mom all the details.
Usually remembered as one of the happiest days in the guy's life.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
1. Are you getting short?
2. How short are you? He's so short he can look up at a dime.
The state of being when your assignment is close to an end. Long form: short timer. Symptoms: the number of days left in the assignment is recalled instantly by the person in question, as well as anyone who spends more then 10 seconds with the person in a day. Viewing the pages in the calendar below the current month as worthless. Boxes being used to get stuff out instead of bringing stuff in. Office mates looking around and thinking about rearranging all the furniture as the desk and shelves will be cleaned out. Everything done is associated with the question "How are we going to do this when ___ is not here?"