Thursday, March 31, 2011

31 Below - (Korea) Day 121

It's interesting the things you come across when in another country.
I have never seen Aloe juice was pretty good!

Work call this morning was at our normal time…0830, it's nice to have a somewhat slow week this week. When I arrived to work not a whole lot was going on. I helped out SPC Mick wrap some frames. Our office is also in charge of all the awards that go out, so we end up putting certificates with medals and coins in frames for the award. Normally this is something our KATUSA does, but he's now on leave. The frames were all done, they just needed to be wrapped in order to protect them.
I did a little 25B work as well. I am now getting computer and network related emails. I was informed that we have a laptop that will be quarantined unless it receives some updates. Luckily it was a secret laptop and we don't have too many of those, so it was pretty easy to find. I hooked it up to the network and waited. We also had another one that is an unclassified machine and I wasn't so lucky finding it. It seems only about half of our computers are labeled with their name on them, so it can be a little hard to find. If it's turned on I can check the name in the OS, but if it's not I will have to turn it on and then check. I didn't have a chance to check our sister offices yet, so it looks like I may be visiting them tomorrow.

We setup a meeting this afternoon in a conference room located over in the 8th army building. I hadn't been over there yet since we don't do meetings there very often. The building is nice and you can't even get in without a card and a code which none of us have, so we have to wait for someone to open the door for us. The setup was quick and painless, then we headed out to lunch. We went to a KATUSA snack bar and I had a pretty good dish…I just can't remember the actual name of it. It comes out in a sizzling hot bowl and is a mix of rice, beef and vegetables. Good stuff!

When we got back SPC Roy and I took off to go to PT. Before PT we headed to Baskin n' Robbins, they have a new item called 31 below which is basically a blizzard treat like they have at Dairy Queen. I love those things. I bought one for me and SPC Roy. Am I a bad influence on him? He didn't want to go work out right away and I wanted desert. He ended up dropping me off at my room and promised he would go home and work out in the gym that's in his building. I thought about working out, but decided to take a day off. I'm still coughing quite a bit and need to get better before my PT test. When I walked in my room there was an odd smell…it smelled like a swimming pool. I looked around and found the shower curtain pulled away from the bathtub. All of our soap was on the floor as well. After closer inspection I saw that the black mold that had been accumulating inside the shower wall was gone. I'm grateful for the cleanup, but I think they should have at least warned us that they will be doing this. When living in barracks you are at the mercy of whoever is in charge and they don't really care about your privacy, they just do what they want when they want. I have the window open and the fan going in the bathroom, but that smell of chlorine is just not going away. So much for breathing easier.

I did schoolwork and then took a nap. After waking up I decided to watch a movie again. To continue on my Rambo theme I watched "Rambo First Blood Part II". Ahhh it was fun to watch. It was pretty funny watching some of the scenes because it's old and some of the acting is a little sub-par. Lots of action though, blood and guts, things blowing up and communists dying. Basically Rambo gets out of prison so he can do a recon mission in Vietnam to see if there are any POWs left there. He is betrayed by the guy in charge and left out there to die. He ends up rescuing them all and bringing them back to safety after killing all the bad guys and blowing up almost everything. Fun times.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Damn That Zumba - (Korea) Day 120

Waiting by my room (extra mirror in the hall - only one per room)
for the sergeant major to come and have us sign for our furniture

I had no work call this morning, instead I had to attend the mandatory barracks meeting. Just like in basic and AIT the rumor mill had been in overdrive up until the meeting. My roommate thought for sure they were going to rearrange people to match the places they work. This was the most common rumor, but there were others such as each room was going to be inspected and they were going to look for contraband etc. I tried not to listen to any of this talk. I really didn't want to pack all my stuff up and move and I didn't want to have to hope for a good roommate and also get internet again instead of sharing it with my roommate.

We went to the day room where the sergeant major of housing on post came in. She said as we knew that housing would be taking over control of the barracks from the company. All this meant was that we would go to them if we have any issues. We also had to hear all the rules of living in barracks housing and sign a number of forms. We then had to stand outside our room and wait for the sergeant major to come into each room. She just did a glance around and then asked if anything was broken. We then had to sign for the furniture in our room and wait for a couple of contractors to mount a mirror on the wall, I guess we can't have it leaning like it was before. That was it, it took about an hour and a half…and I didn't have to get up early so I'm not complaining.

I headed to work and arrived after the first and only meeting of the day was over. I went to the control room and watched some NIT basketball until lunch time when I went to go play basketball for real. When we arrived though it was a big disappointment, a small Zumba class decided to reserve the gym floor and do a little dancing. Our sergeant was pissed. We did some cardio work on the elliptical machines and then I did some weights. After that the Zumba folks had left so SPC Roy and I played some one on one. I beat him pretty easy every time, but we both got a sweat going.

We went back to my room and showered, then went to Quiznos for lunch where an older guy happened to come in with a Seattle Mariners jacket on. I asked if he was from Seattle and we chatted back and forth for a bit. He said he can't wait to head back so he can watch a game or two. I told him I never like to watch on TV, but I don't mind seeing a game live. He assured me that when I get older I'll like it…because it's slow. Hmmmmm…I still don't think so.

We went back to work and I was able to finish my SkillPorts for the week. This is good, one less thing to worry about. We cleaned up and left a little after 1600, but not before our sergeant called us all in his office to see if we were all doing the thrift savings plan (kind of like the army's 401K). Everyone was except for me. It's not that I don't believe in it, I think it's a great tool for soldiers to help build up their retirement plan. I just never signed up for it because I needed all the money…but I guess it's always that way. The new guy SPC Mick is saving 20% of his check! Very impressive! I told the sergeant I was thinking about it after the GI Bill stops coming out of my check, which is next month. He said he wants to see my paperwork once I sign up. I'll have to sign up and start small, funny thing is that I probably have more in my current retirement accounts than all of them combined.

I came back to my room and just could not keep my eyes open, so I took a small nap before doing some schoolwork and then just relaxing. I decided to watch an old movie…Rambo: First Blood. What an old flick and I haven't seen it for years. It was still entertaining after all these years. Blood, guns, knives…you can't beat it. I had forgotten a lot of the movie. John Rambo a former green beret gets his rights trampled by a local cop and then gets thrown in their little jail. When a cop tries to shave him he freaks out and busts out. After a big man hunt and a number of injured cops later, he finally turns himself in with the help of his old colonel…but not before he basically destroys a little quite town.

the wife

You guys should of gotten your Zumba on. Bet you would of got a good sweat going... just saying.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 12:16 AM


I agree with the wife, Zumba would have been a lot more of a workout than basketball. Go for it and try to keep up, lol

Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 04:34 AM


LOL...I don't think so

Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 09:16 PM

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back to Ball - (Korea) Day 119

Celebrating Seaman's birthday! Seaman with the ceremonial birthday
candle and his ice cream with our colonel to the left and our sergeant to the right

Work call this morning was at 0800, a bit earlier than our usual time…but still not too bad. I was still able to get up and get ready, then video chat with my wife for a bit. When I got to work I helped our KATUSA finish setting up for the first meeting. I then flipped slides in the control room. It was a KUB meeting and took an extremely long time. I ended up having Special K take over for me because I had to go play basketball during our lunch break.

Basketball was pretty good. I was a little worried since I haven't done anything for a week except be sick. I still have a cough, but I didn't let that stop me. We had SPC Roy, our sergeant, our air force master sergeant, Seaman from the admin office and a sergeant from the command group upstairs. Got a good sweat going and my team won two out of three. After basketball I showered in my room and then went to the PX with SPC Roy to get a birthday card for Seaman. When we got back to the office we also picked up some ice cream from the Sweat 'n Treat which is almost next door. I put the ice cream in the fridge and the card in the plastic shopping bag on my sergeant's desk. (more on that in a second)

I then logged into a computer and updated the events calendar. I then let SPC Mick use it while I was logged in, so he could complete the required IA training. You have to complete the training in order to be able to log into the network here, but in order to complete the training…you have to have a computer with internet access. I then went with SPC Roy to the company to turn in some paperwork and while we were out we looked around for his new office that he'll be moving to. We may or may not have found it, just not quite sure.

When we got back SPC Mick finally finished his training and printed out his certificate. Our sergeant then asked me where I put the birthday card. I told him it was in the bag on his desk. He said he threw it away as there was nothing in it. So me and our KATUSA had to start looking through all the garbage because we had already gathered it all up for the day. A few minutes later we find out that Special K had already removed it from the bag and had everyone sign it. D'oh! So they call Seaman down to our office and we all sing happy birthday to him. He got the ceremonial candle along with the card and ice cream.

After that our sergeant gathered us all in his office. First he asks me if I enjoyed basketball today…I look at him a little funny and say yes…except for the excessive coughing. He then goes on to say that I dunked over him…then he revises it and says I snuck around him and dunked. I would call it more of a tip in on a missed shot where my fingers were on the rim than a dunk. He said after I did it I turned and looked at him…like yeah boy! I don't quite remember that, but I think he may give me a few more lowered shoulders and hard drives next time we go out there. Our meeting continued and he went on to state that we are all doing a great job. We will be doing a PT test soon and when June 1st comes there will be a lot of changes army wide. He wants to make sure we all succeed and wants to push us to do the best we can. It was basically a pep talk, but also a reality check letting us know that we are in charge of our destiny and we need to make sure we do what we can in order to get promoted. Most of it was for the Specialists there because there is not much I can do except wait.

I headed back to my room and did schoolwork as usual. There was no time to do SkillPort at the office, so I did one in my room. I then cleaned up a bit. My side of the room is clean, but my roommate's is still a mess. I guess Housing is taking over control of the barracks tomorrow from our company. They will come in and do an inspection and then have us re-sign for all our furniture. I hear our 1st sergeant is going to be here and I don't want any extra attention on our room. I'm hoping my roommate does a little before tomorrow. Everyone else in the office has a work call of 0630, but I have to be at my room at 0800…so I'll not be going in that early, I'll be waiting until everything is finished with my room.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Noisy Liver - (Korea) Day 118

A photo I took back during the exercise of SPC Roy hanging out in the Van.

Work call this morning was at 0830. I met up with SPC Mick and we headed to work. Once we arrived SPC Mick started talking to our sergeant. Me and our KATUSA went down to our secret conference room and setup for a meeting. By the time we were done SPC Mick and Roy came in. SPC Mick got to see what it is that we do in our office…LOL. The final product of a meeting setup with name tags complete with coffee and water. Like me, little did he know when he arrived in Korea that he would not be doing the job he just spent months in training for. Instead he would be doing coffee and water setup. When I saw the look on his face I had to laugh because I had that same look of disbelief just a few months ago.

After the meeting SPC Roy took the new folks for in-processing. I checked my email and updated our events calendar. SPC Roy came back and wanted to head to lunch. We headed to the food court and he was a little grumpy. He gets that way from time to time, but when he told me what was to come I knew it was going to much worse. He went to see an herbal south Korean doctor. The doctor told him that something is wrong with his lungs and his liver…he could hear it. Now I know you can hear issues with lungs, but a liver? Anyway SPC Roy is now going to quit smoking…tomorrow. He is also starting a new diet complete with some sort of herb drink. He also can't drink any coffee. I told him maybe he should have started in a week or so when he moves to the other office.

When we got back I took our new captain over to the company to in-process. We then headed over to battalion and I hear him say "You may wanna get over here". I see that he's talking to me, but I wonder why. I'm on his right side and there is a car coming, so I'm thinking I'm pretty safe sir. If that car comes and gets too close it will hit you and not me, I'm liking my spot…it seems a bit safer. Then he says "When walking you are supposed to be to the left of the person that is higher ranking". Oh poop! I quickly get to his left and we keep walking.

After helping the new captain find certain shops in battalion I headed back to the office and started working on a SkillPort. Our sergeant then came over and started talking about how he's there to help us all out. He then asks SPC Mick who just got back with SPC Roy how his PT was. SPC Mick said his sit-ups could use a little work. Our sergeant then proceeds to have SPC Mick get down on the floor and start showing him how he does sit-ups. Our sergeant gives him suggestions and pointers, then tells our KATUSA to time him for two minutes and let him know how many sit-ups SPC Mick does. LOL…here we are in the middle of the office and our brand new guy is doing a sit-up test. He did 40, which I don't think is passing for his age group…but I'm feeling a little too lazy to find out how much he failed it by.

We clean up the office and then head back to the barracks. SPC Roy and Special K come with us. We all go to SPC Mick's room and give him an inspection. The guy doesn't have much yet, so it's pretty easy. I go to my room and start eating dinner. SPC Roy comes over and asks if I want to come out and watch him smoke his last cigarette. I tell him I want to finish my food first while it's still warm…he can't wait and takes off to go smoke it. I have a feeling tomorrow is not going to be fun for him…or anyone that is around him.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up - (Korea) Days 116 & 117

Our CQ desk on high alert! LOL - I couldn't help stopping and taking a picture of this guy.

I slept in as usual for a weekend. I have not much planned this weekend at all except relaxing and getting healthy. I felt a bit better, except when I stood up I felt some mild nausea, not too excited about this new development. I video chatted with my wife for a bit, then headed to the food court to hang out for a while. I watched some of the NCAA basketball games and also brought my laptop so I could download some extra entertainment. I have to be careful when downloading in my room because we have a limit each month and I don't want to go over it.

PFC Pickle ended up calling and came to visit. We had lunch and then dropped everything off at my room before venturing down to the movie theatre. We gotta get in our free movies while we can. The walk took quite a bit longer than usual, I had to take a few breaks. The nausea would come and go and the coughing fits would occur here and there, but we finally made it and on time to watch "Paul". A comedy about an alien who gets picked up by a couple on a road trip. It has some funny parts, but is one of those movies I wouldn't have paid money to go see at the theatre. Good for a Netflix queue addition or a watch when it comes out on TV.

On the way back to my room I bought a big jug of orange juice and a bottle of NyQuil. I'm going to beat this sickness one of these days. I did some schoolwork and then relaxed and watched a couple TV shows. I then took my NyQuil and fell asleep.

Sunday: I slept in even later that usual thanks to the help of my NyQuil induced mini-coma, that stuff really knocks me out. I woke up and thankfully the nausea was gone. I just have the chest congestion and the coughs still hanging around. The day was not very exciting as I just wanted to rest and get better. I started laundry and then video chatted with my wife and kids. After that I took a nap, then checked in with the new guy in our office SPC Mick to make sure he's doing OK. I let him know to bring all his orders and ID tomorrow so he can get all in-processed. I also let him know I'll come meet him and we can walk to the office together. Next up…another nap. I then did my schoolwork and took another nap.

My roommate came back and said he's been sick all weekend as well. Sounds like he has the exact same thing I have naturally. Except when he is describing the phlegm in his throat he calls it fire. "I have a lot of fire in my chest". It's the small things that make my day….LOL. The day ended with some more TV shows and then going to sleep. Hoping tomorrow is much better. I'm starting to get a little nervous now that April is coming, which means my PT test is coming soon. I normally wouldn't be worried, but I can't imagine trying to run 2 miles with my chest like this. I want to be healthy and have a week or two to get back in shape.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Folks - (Korea) Day 115

Work call this morning was at 0700…uggghhh. Luckily I went to bed so early last night that when I woke up I had plenty of rest. I thought it would be just me and our KATUSA working because all of the 42A folks had some mandatory training this morning. I started setting up for our first meeting (a KUB). After a while of being alone I had to assume our KATUSA was not coming in either. I setup the entire meeting which wasn't a big deal, it just happened to be the first time I had setup one by myself. When I was almost finished Special K came in and said Hi. I asked him why he wasn't at his training and with a look of shock on his face, he turned around and ran out the door. He had totally forgot about it…LOL I ended up staying through the entire meeting flipping slides and then cleaning up when it was over. Luckily this was the only meeting scheduled for the day.

I went to the computer and printed off my 5 SkillPort certificates for our sergeant, but he never came to work. He had an appointment off post and never came back. Our KATUSA covered his desk and I covered it while our KATUSA went to lunch. After I took lunch I watched some more basketball, then was called down to help stock office supplies. I was wondering where SPC Roy and Special K were after their training. Turns out they were out getting office supplies and now we had to get them delivered to our various offices.

A big surprise we found out later in the day was that we had 3 new people that arrived and were ready to be picked up from reception. SPC Roy went and picked them all up and brought them back to the office where introductions were made with all the officers. I believe we will get two of them, one to replace one of our captains who is leaving and one will be replacing SPC Roy who is being transferred out of our office so he can get some experience doing his real 42A job. Turns out that accommodations were not all made for them, so that had to be straightened out right away. Then they all went to get issued cell phones and after 1700 came and went SPC Roy gave me the office car keys and told me I had to take care of them because his wife was on post and he had to leave. Gotta love being a private.

When they were all finally done I gave them all a ride back to reception where the captain had me drop him off at the Dragon Hill Hotel. The specialist (We'll have to call SPC Mick) had all his bags packed at reception, so I helped him load everything into the car. I then dropped the sergeant off at the reception barracks where she will be staying for the weekend at least. SPC Mick was able to get a room in the barracks across from mine. I helped him find his room and then unload all his bags. I then drove him back to the office so I could return the keys and show him how to get back and forth from the office to the barracks. I then showed him where the PX was (so he could pick up a pillow and sheets & a blanket) as well as the food court and mini mall. I remember my first days here and how SPC Short helped me out quite a bit. I want to make sure I do the same for this guy. I made sure he had my number and knew where my room was in case he needs anything this weekend.

I then went to my room and relaxed. Still not feeling well and wanting to go to bed early and recover, I had to turn down both the young hawaiian and PFC Pickle's offers to go out tonight. I then did some schoolwork and then went to bed….sleep has never felt so good.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Drink It Out - (Korea) Day 114

On the roof cleaning our battle rattle with our sergeant's secret
recipe of warm water, dish soap, and scrub brushes.

Work call this morning was at 0830…our normal time. I love it when this happens :). I was able to get quite a bit of sleep last night. I woke up still pretty sick, but I felt different…I feel like I'm finally turning the corner. The cough still hurts pretty bad though. When I feel it coming on I dread the moment that I have to actually cough because I know the pain is coming along with it.

When I got to work I found that the Exchange server was back up, so I could now use my email. It's kind of strange being on the other side of the equation. For so long I've been the guy who gets called when the server goes down and when it's one that is as important as the mail server…there is a lot of stress involved. I know there were guys somewhere freaking out trying to get it back up and running all the while with generals calling every 5 minutes wondering why it's not up yet. That is a stress I haven't missed.

I was able to get all signed up for my IMO class now that I had all my emailed documents available to me. I was also able to get my "God Card" working. The "God Card" allows me admin access to all the computers when I use it to log in. This way I can actually fix some problems! Not sure exactly what I'm allowed to do yet with my new powers, that is what the IMO class will be for…that and I'm sure other procedural type things. We'll see.

As I was at the computer working I hear my sergeant call me over. I log off and head over to see my co-workers in full battle rattle. He tells me to hurry up and get mine on too. I grab all my gear and get it on, then we all walk outside. There is an exercise going on by the honor guard. They all have on full battle rattle and have various checkpoints setup around our parking lot along with Humvees, barricades, and constantine wire (kind of like barbed wire's nasty mean older step brother). I then find out the SPC Roy sped through a checkpoint this morning and also said something to one of the guards. Well that is just great, now we all get to do "corrective training" because of SPC Roy. We had to stand and listen to the honor guard tell us all about the importance of army checkpoints detail by detail. We then helped them clean up the area and put all their checkpoint gear away since the exercise was over. I'm glad this "corrective training" didn't include push-ups or any other physical exercise…with my sickness I would have been hating life.

After all the nice training I went into our conference control room and watched some NBA. After a while our sergeant came up and told us we had some more planned training to do. This training showed us his special technique in cleaning our battle rattle. His technique…using warm water, dish soap, and a scrub brush. So we all sat out on the roof and cleaned our battle rattle.

After we finished it was time to get back to my seat in the control room and watch some college basketball. I sat back and relaxed until it was time to clean up the office and leave for the day. I'm so glad we have a slow week this week…I guess it's the perfect week to be sick. I was then told that I needed to go with my sergeant and SPC Roy to the Navy Club for a couple of drinks. "The hard liquor will help me get better…it will kill all the germs". LOL I wasn't going to over do it, so I just had two drinks and then headed back to my room. I laid down for an hour, but then had to get up and do some school work. I really wish I had this class off, it's hard to do anything because I've been so sick. I really can't wait to feel better…I hate being sick.

My roommate is now starting to get sick as well. I was wondering if he was going to be able to avoid it. Our room isn't that big and there's not much I can do except cover my cough and wash my hands. I took his medicine once again. This time I had to ask him what exactly I was taking and he said they were mainly vitamins and some will also help reduce fever. That's good…I started to freak out a little today hoping I didn't accidentally take some sort of drug that I shouldn't have. I'm going to sleep early once again…I can't wait until the weekend. I think I may stay in my room quite a bit and just relax!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ROK SCJS - Day 113

Our sergeant presenting the ROK SCJS soldier with a plaque on his last day of work.

Work call is at 0730, I get up with plenty of time…but I find just moving is very difficult. I take a shower and shave, but I then have to lay down for a bit to rest. My head hurts, my throat is sore, my chest is sore, I've coughed so much I may be getting the abs of steel, my skin hurts, and I just feel fatigued. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through the day today.

I get to work and luckily there is not much going on, I head to the control room and just sit and watch a little NBA. The lights are out and I just sit back and relax for a few hours. When I make it down to a computer in the office later on I find out that the exchange server is down. Without email not a lot can get done around here. I hear one of the officers yell "how can we fight a war without email?" LOL.

I took off with SPC Roy a little before lunch to order a plaque for a ROK SCJS soldier. (The ROK SCJS is our counterpart on the ROK side. We actually have connecting offices and interact with them quite a bit). We then stopped by the PX so I could restock on cough drops and other drugs. I got one for chest congestion and coughing, hoping it will help. Maybe in combination with my DayQuil and airborne they can work some magic. I also picked up some Korean ramen at the shoppette for my lunch. I figured soup would be a good choice. I didn't eat breakfast this morning or even dinner last night. In fact I haven't been eating much of anything since I've been sick.

My coughs are getting so violent they are starting to hurt. I'm half expecting blood or perhaps actual pieces of my lungs to start flying out of my mouth as I'm coughing. I almost threw up a few times after coughing so much….Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I have diarrhea too. If I'm still feeling this way tomorrow I'm going to have to go to sick call.

I headed back to work and helped setup a meeting, then had to rest for a while once again. I then went with SPC Roy to pick up his car from the shop and help him return the rental car. He kept asking me if I was OK enough to drive…I assured him I could do it (It's only a mile or so). After we finished we were able to pick up the finished plaque we ordered earlier in the day. We headed back to the office and I did a couple more SkillPorts (2 more down…one more before the end of the week)

We all had to stay after 1700 for an awards ceremony for the SCJS ROK soldier. This guy is a pretty cool guy who is always helpful. His two years is finally up and he will be leaving the army. He was given an award and a special plaque just to say thanks for his two years of great service.

When I got back to my room I laid down for an hour or so. My roommate came home and asked if I wanted some medicine. At this point I would have taken anything and when he handed me a little baggy with some Korean writing on it filled with about 7 different kinds of pills I took it and ate them all. I then laid back down and went to sleep again around 2000.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sweat it Out - (Korea) Day 112

This post and the next few posts are being updated a little late, I had been so sick during this week that I just couldn't stay up to update the blog. I should be back up to date by the end of the weekend.

Work call this morning was at 0800, still too early when I'm feeling this bad. I walked to work with my bag of over the counter medications. I felt a little better than yesterday, but still pretty sick. When I arrived at work I took over flipping slides for a KUB that was going on so Special K could go run an errand.

After the KUB I cleaned up and then then did some SkillPorts. I really didn't want to do much of anything, but we have to have 5 SkillPorts done each week…so I really don't have a choice. I then did something a little stupid…I went and played basketball during lunch. I thought maybe I could sweat out the sickness. (It didn't work) I was hacking and coughing the whole time.

I was able to head over to S1 to try and get my ERB updated now that I had my actual A+ and Network+ certificates printed out. When I arrived I started signing in as I have in the past, but I was quickly stopped and told I need to have a "customer service sheet" filled out by my company before I can sign in and get my ERB updated. Really? I've never had to do this before. So I walk over to the company and request a sheet, fill it out and head back over to S1. I then sign in and a PFC helps me out. I ask him if he needs my little customer service sheet and he says no. That was a waste of time. Anyway I got my ERB updated and was good to go…. I'm official now.

Our office got an invite to go on a trip to Jeju island. I guess it's the "Hawaii of South Korea". The price was very inexpensive, but when I checked it was during the same week I plan on attending my IMO class. Bummer. I think I would have enjoyed that trip.

When I got back to my barracks after work I was feeling pretty sick. I figured the best thing I could do was to go to bed early, so I let my roommate know and crashed about 2000

Monday, March 21, 2011

Down With The Sickness - (Korea) Day 111

Yes...I am borrowing a 2-star general's cup to drink my theraflu.

Work call this morning was at 0600. Since Saturday I had started having a little cough, but today it seemed to take a turn for the worse. When I got to work we setup a meeting in the secret conference room, then the top secret conference room. After that I went to our conference room and just sat in the control room. I just felt like total crap today. My nose was running, my skin hurt, my head hurt, I was coughing like crazy. I feel like I have asthma or something and I need an inhaler. My sergeant asked if I wanted to head to the medical clinic, but I told him I'd tough it out. I don't know what they'll do except make me sit and wait in a room for a long time, then give me some cold medicine.
We cleaned up from the meeting, then SPC Roy gave me a ride to the PX where I bought my own cold/flu medicine. I took it and hung out in the control room. After a while of trying to get comfortable in the chairs I gave up and just laid on the floor. Just a crappy day all around. I didn't eat lunch, just laid on the floor taking medicine every so often until about 1600 when my sergeant said we could all go home. SPC Roy gave me a ride to my barracks where I just went in and relaxed. I took some airborne, ate some dinner and watched some shows. I also submitted my final paper for my current class…another one down. I had to call and check in with my sergeant every two hours just to let him know I'm alive…lol

I'm going to bed early tonight. Everyone is going in at 0700 tomorrow except me, they said I could go in at the normal time which is awesome! I'm looking forward to the rest.

the wife

Husband, you look how I felt all day Saturday. Hopefully what you have is only a 24 hour bug... I was sick all weekend and I can barely move today (Monday) but this chick needs to work. Ugh...

Love you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 12:25 AM


Even miles away you 2 share with each other. Glad Leandra is feeling a little better, get well B
love you, mom

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 01:19 AM

FS Miller

I wish I could spell the noise that David Draiman makes in Down with the Sickness.OOO ahahah!

Hope you feel better bro!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 11:51 AM


I am a 28 year old Marine wife who is thinking about joining the Army. I LOVED reading this blog and all of the information you provided. Thank you so much for helping me with my decision.
My cousin is an E-6 stationed where you are but I have a hard time identifying with his training since so much has changed. I'll keep your family and mine in my thoughts. Stay safe!

P.S. I go to University of Phoenix too. Lots of work!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 02:09 PM


Thanks guys...I am now finally feeling better.

@FS Miller :) that's what I was thinking when I titled the page

@Julie... glad you have enjoyed reading it, besides friends and family it's people like you that I decided to make this for. I'm constantly told all the time that being in Korea isn't like "the real army", so I'm sure my next duty station will be entirely different.

Friday, March 25, 2011 - 09:49 PM

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up - (Korea) Days 109 & 110

A view of the packed subway car we were in...people everywhere!

Saturday: I love weekends…I love sleeping in! After waking up, I did my normal Saturday routine of laundry and cleaning my room. I then video chatted with my wife for a while before doing some schoolwork. I met up with the young hawaiian for lunch at The Pizza School. I love that place, the pizza is pretty good and it's very cheap.

I heard that yellow sand was higher than normal today. SPC Roy had called me and told me that I may not want to hang outside too long today because of it. We were told about yellow sand during our in-processing. It looks just like smog around the city. The USFK website shows the current levels each day. It's basically a big dust storm that starts in China and blows down to South Korea. There are fine dry soil particles as well as pollutants from China in it, so it can be a little unhealthy to hang outside when it's high. It's also not a good idea to do any sort of physical activity if possible. I don't know if it was the power of suggestion or what, but I was finding it a little harder to breathe. I feel like I have a chest cold or something. SPC Roy mentioned that sometimes if there is yellow sand around (but not enough for a warning to go out) and we do a PT test, it makes it pretty tough to run the two mile. He said it feels like you're trying to breathe with someone sitting on your chest. Sounds like fun.

The young hawaiian and I decided to try something new and adventurous. We took the subway again and made our way to the COEX mall. This time we headed the right direction and made the switch to the correct subway line when needed in order to get there. The mall is huge. We had a good time just walking around and checking everything out. People watching is interesting as well. There is also a casino attached to the mall and we checked that out too. The young hawaiian showed me his favorite game of chance…baccarat. We played it a little while with $20 each. I just gave him my money and we agreed to split the winnings. I just wanted to see how the heck the game was played. After reaching around $250 with dreams of steak dinner in my eyes, we ended up giving it all back to the casino and instead we had $6 dinners that night. Luckily the mall had a lot of great places to eat and they didn't cost too much. Even though we lost, it was fun playing and learning the game somewhat.

SPC Roy called and decided to meet us at the mall on his way home from his in-laws. We had a few drinks and then we all went home.

Sunday: After sleeping in, I brewed my coffee and had breakfast. I then video chatted with my wife for a while. Just the easy going mornings with my coffee while video chatting with my wife is one of my favorite times during the week. I went over to the other barracks to watch the UFC fight which because of daylight savings now comes on at 1100, which still isn't bad. I was amazed at Jon Jones. I hadn't really watched too much of him before, but this guy has such a reach advantage nobody can get close to him. He just destroyed Shogun and took the championship belt from him with ease it seemed. Very impressing!

I then did a little schoolwork, video chatted with my wife some more and then went out with PFC Pickle. We had dinner at the food court and then went to the theatre to watch The Dilemma. A romantic comedy that was pretty decent. It's about a guy who finds his best friend's wife is cheating on him. He has to decide if he should tell his friend or wait until they finish a big deal first.

On the walk back SPC Roy called me and asked me to stop by the office to see when the first meeting is, that will decide when our work call is. I did and found out that there is a meeting at 0700…bummer, that means work call is at 0600. It seems no matter how early we go in, we always still get off at the same time or later.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What The French - (Korea) Day 108

A photo I took earlier this year of Special K asleep in the

Work call was 0830 this morning. I arrived as usual a little early at about 0815 and was immediately sent up to our conference room to get everything started up and ready for a meeting. I went up and got everything started up including the TV so I could watch a little NCAA basketball, you know it's March Madness time. I sat for about 20 minutes watching the game before a ROK soldier came with a couple of laptops to hook up. I helped him get those up and projected on the screens, then I sat back and watched some more basketball. During any ROK meetings we have to have a person stay in the control room to make sure nothing goes wrong and also to make sure they don't mess with any of the settings. I guess they are notorious for messing up our equipment in there. So it didn't bother me any, I just sat back and watched basketball the entire time. At about 1115 SPC Roy came up with my bag so we could change into basketball clothes for our lunch PT. We changed and waited for the meeting to end which was about 1145. We quickly cleaned up that meeting and then setup for the next one that was going on at 1230, then took off to the gym.

We played basketball again, but this time it was a bit shorter than usual. After a few games SPC Roy accidentally stepped on a sergeant from the command group. It twisted the sergeant's ankle pretty bad and he couldn't play anymore. So I got a good sweat, but didn't die like I thought may happen. I need to play everyday to get back into basketball shape, but it's going to kill me for a while.

SPC Roy and I went back to my room and took showers, then went to Taco Bell for lunch. For some strange reason they don't sell my favorite item here any more…volcano tacos. The do however sell volcano nachos which I decided on. We then ran to the KATUSA snack bar to pick up a to go lunch for our sergeant.

When we got back I headed back up to the conference room and watched more basketball. I had to sit back there again and make sure everything went OK for a KUB (Korean Update Brief) meeting for a bunch of French folks that were visiting. Well actually I believe they were called The French Institute for Defense or something like that. They came in and had on their funny hats. SPC Roy was at the door and said as they walked by he almost threw up because they all really stunk. These KUBs are given to various VIPs and government officials to basically give them the lowdown of North and South Korea. Since we are actually the United Nations Command here we do get people from various governments around the world, but from what I’ve seen it’s usually folks from the American government. The meeting lasted until a little after 1700, then we finally cleaned up and headed down to our office.

We turned in our 3 SkillPorts each to our sergeant, only Special K turned in 5! Our sergeant said that is now the new standard, we all have to turn in 5 from now on. That's fine if we're not busy, but when we are busy and I have school work at night it's going to be tough. It also means that instead of doing longer harder ones, we'll be doing the shorter easy ones just to get a certain number of completions.

When we were about to leave we were stopped at the front door by security. I guess there were some suspicious bags left in the parking lot and the MPs were called to check it out. It was probably some of the French folks. I was able to leave because I could walk the other way, but Special K and SPC Roy had to sit and wait because their cars were parked out there…..bummer.

When I got back to my room I took a nap, I wanted to be able to do some schoolwork but just couldn't keep my eyes open. After a quick nap I was revived and worked on our final group paper that is due on Monday. I then watched Mad Max (3) Beyond Thunderdome in order to finish the trilogy. I hadn't watched it in so long that I totally forgot about the midget and some of the other stuff that was in it. It has Tina Turner in it as well as Mel Gibson once again. There isn't too much driving in this one and it has a little more humor. Set in the future after nuclear war, Max ends up helping a group of kids who are survivors of a plane crash. Out of the three movies in the trilogy, I would have to say that number two "The Road Warrior" is the best.

I ended up staying up late enough to video chat with my wife before going to bed…that's always a nice way to end the day :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Honor Guard - (Korea) Day 107

Just a photo I took of my desk and office area in the conference control room.

Work call this morning was at 0830 (normal time) and I actually went in at 0830 which was nice. I had a good sleep and actually felt pretty good before going to work. I had a chance to video chat with my wife for a bit which is always nice. We've been trying to figure out how to use the Patriot Express (Space-A Travel from Seattle to Korea) so she can come over with the kids for free and visit. It's been nothing except a very frustrating experience. There is an official memo from USFK that states that soldiers that are unaccompanied in Korea can have their family come once a year via the Patriot Express. The problem is that nobody seems to know what I need to do in order to make this happen. Everyone I talk to has no idea, or they make something up…or pass me off to another person who doesn't have any answers. I feel like pulling my hair out.

I went to work today and found out that the honor guard is doing a post-wide exercise. All the bridges over "shit creek" which I have to cross were guarded by soldiers in full battle rattle…no crossing. I had to walk around the block just to get to work. They also shut down all the gates except for two. It caused massive backups outside the gates and made SPC Roy and Special K's commute last 1 1/2 hours instead of 20 minutes or so. They randomly selected cars to search and people to search when they were coming in. There were Humvees everywhere and even sandbags setup with big machine guns posted. I had to show my ID just to get to work.

When I did get to work there wasn't a whole lot to do, so I started SkillPort again. Later on we went to the TMP and "checked out" our car for another week. We then played basketball again for lunch. This time we had a few more people from the office and our sister office come play. We played three on three. I was still pretty sore from yesterday and by the time we finished I thought I was going to die. My legs were like jello and my entire body was sore. It was a great workout, but I'm not sure if I can do this everyday.

After basketball I went back to my room with SPC Roy and took a shower, then we left and had lunch. We then went to our battalion headquarters and updated some paperwork we received an email about. I went to try and pick up my packet for BAS which I was told was denied. There is no sign of it. Sometimes I think the army just tries to make everything so difficult when it comes to getting money or a benefit so people just give up. My sergeant is going to go with me to the finance office tomorrow with the copies of all my BAS paperwork and try and get everything straightened out. There is still a small chance that I may get it, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm sure when we get there, they will tell us we need another paper signed by 5 different colonels and a general before they can do anything.

We then cleaned up from the one meeting that we had today. It was in the top secret conference room and while we were waiting for an escort, we chatted with the honor guard on duty at the desk. I hear they get in trouble all the time. SPC Roy asked if they had live rounds yet for the exercise and he said no. Then I heard the story about why they are not allowed to use live rounds anymore. I guess one of the guards was playing around with his pistol and accidentally shot himself in his foot. If that wasn't bad enough, he then shot himself in his leg. WTF? Since then there have been no live rounds given to the honor guard. I guess there are a ton of other crazy stories that these guys do, but I think this one tops them all.

After cleanup of the conference room we did a deep cleaning of the office…vacuum, dust everything etc. When we finished it was time to go. I swung by the PX and picked up a few supplies, then headed to my room to do a little schoolwork and then relax and watch a movie. Tonight's movie….The Road Warrior. The sequel to Mad Max which I watched the other day. It's an old movie, but still pretty good. It's definitely better than Mad Max. It has Mel Gibson again driving his muscle car in the future where fuel is hard to come by and he has to scavenge to survive. Lots of fast cars plus some blood and guts. Still a pretty good flick after all these years.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sharpshooter - (Korea) Day 106

There are many videos out there of the Japanese Tsunami, but this one is at
street level. It's just amazing to watch the power of the incoming water and
how it moves cars, trucks, and houses right before your eyes.

This morning's work call was a little earlier at 0800 because of the normal Wednesday meeting. This is a meeting I always do down in the secret conference room. I have two laptops an unclassified one and a secret one that I go back and forth with displaying slides for the brass out in the conference room. There is always last second changes and it seems to always be a little of a pain in the butt. The meeting actually lasts from 0930 to 1100, so by the time I finished up it was almost lunch time. My sergeant told everyone to bring their civilian PT clothes today so we could work out at lunch. Because of various things going on, only me and our sergeant ended up going. We played on one and I just killed him every single game. I couldn't miss a shot. He kept wanting to play one more, but each time I beat him pretty bad. He finally gave up after 6 games. What a great workout though, I'm going to feel it tomorrow! I headed to my room after that and showered, then ate and video chatted with my wife for a bit. It turned out to be a nice 2+ hour break from work.

When I got back to work I sat down and did SkillPorts for a while. Our sergeant is now requiring all of us to finish at least three courses each week. I was able to finish my third today, so now I don't have to worry about that any more. The big news right now is the earthquake that hit Japan followed by the tsunami and nuclear plant issues. Because of this the network group has cut off almost all websites that are not .mil websites. There are a few exceptions, but that is about it. They want to conserve bandwidth for all the communication that is going on with the support effort. Everyone is a little worried about all the radiation that is coming out Japan's nuclear reactors and hoping it doesn't get too bad. It would really suck if they had a total meltdown and the wind blew all the radiation towards us. I might have to take leave…for a couple years!

After I did the SkillPorts I went up into our conference room where our KATUSA was watching Clash of the Titans on our sergeant's laptop. Later on we were joined by Special K and we watched about half the movie before we were told we could head home. It was only a half hour early, but I'm not complaining.

The rest of the night was the usual stuff…schoolwork and some TV shows. Going to bed on time tonight and I don't have to work until the normal time tomorrow…looking forward to a good sleep tonight.

Yea....crazy video. My sis who is in the AF showed me this link: interesting to see before and after.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 11:25 PM

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Peaceful Easy Feeling - (Korea) Day 105

Outside Olympic Stadium in Seoul getting ready to see The Eagles!

Today was a pretty interesting day. Work call was at 0830. I got up and was ready early, so I could video chat with my wife before leaving to work. A little before 0730 I got a call from the air force master sergeant in our office telling me I had to come in early to turn the conference room equipment on for an unscheduled meeting. Great! I said goodbye to my wife and finished getting ready as quickly as possible. I then got a call from my sergeant and then from SPC Roy…I guess nobody communicates there. I made it down there and half the equipment was on (turned on by our sergeant), but if you don't do it in a certain order and correctly it will not work. I had to back up a bit before I could figure out why the projectors were not displaying anything. I got it figured out and then I was stuck there flipping the PowerPoint slides for the meeting. The air force master sergeant was pretty cool though, he brought me up some breakfast and OJ to eat while I was flipping slides. Pretty cool guy.

At lunch time we all headed out to the KATUSA cafe to get some Korean food. Our sergeant paid for all of us and asked us to bring him back some since I stayed at the office. This day is looking good so far…free breakfast and lunch! When I got back I went to the medical clinic to schedule my PHA (Periodic Health Assessment). My status changed to amber in AKO since it's been a year now from my last appointment. Once in the medical center I grabbed a number and waited, then finally after I was called I was able to make an appointment…first available date is on the 1st. They gave me a bunch of warnings about not showing up for it, I guess it's a problem there.

When I got back to the office I spent the rest of the day doing SkillPort. I like this somewhat normal schedule where we can get other things done besides just setting up meetings. Once the day was over I headed back to my barracks and changed into sweats. Since I didn't get out of work early, I didn't go work out…I just cooked a pizza and started my schoolwork. I then got a call from MWR. They told me I hadn't picked up my concert tickets yet. I told them no worries, I was planning on picking them up before the concert tomorrow. They told me that the concert was today and the busses were leaving in ten minutes. Holy Cow! OMG! POOP! I quickly got dressed and ran down to the Main Post Club which is a few blocks away. I was able to get my ticket and the air force master sergeant in our office. I had called him while getting dressed and he said there was no way he could make it (he lives off post). He got a taxi and came and picked me up, then we headed off to Olympic Stadium. Seoul is huge and traffic sucks at all times. I thought we would have plenty of time leaving the post at 0700 for the 0800 concert, but we made it with only 5 minutes to spare (and that was after just getting out of the cab early and walking the rest of the way once we saw the stadium).

We made it…we saw The Eagles live in concert! These guys are legends of rock with such great talent. All the band members can sing and they put on a great show. They performed some songs off their new album “Long Road Out of Eden (I didn’t even know they had a new album) and of course performed so many of their classic hits. I was surprised that they even performed some of the solo work from both Don Henley and Glenn Frey. I've always wanted to see them, but never had the chance. It's kind of funny that I was able to see them while half way around the world. The place was packed and I'm guessing that 90% of them were Koreans. Each of the major military posts bussed people here and we were able to catch the bus back to Yongsan after the show which was nice since it's faster and free. The great thing was that they played for 3 1/2 hours, the bad thing was that I got back to my room at 0100. Time to take a quick nap before work tomorrow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up (3-Day) - (Korea) Days 102 - 104

Screen Golfing - SPC Roy getting ready to tee off at "Pebble Beach"

Woohoo we have a three day weekend! We get Monday off for a training holiday I guess because we just finished the exercise. I'm so looking forward to it. My first morning didn't start off as planned. At around 0630 I hear a banging on my door, so I get up to see who's there. Some guy asks if Jane (I think) is here. I look at him and say "mum….no". Since he was in civilian clothes I didn't know if he was an NCO or if was was just a private or else I may have told him to get the heck out of here and come back at a decent hour. Turns out he found the girl he was looking for which happened to be next door. I hear them yelling back and forth. Oh great…I guess I will not be sleeping in today. The guy left and came back a few times, finally I told the person on CQ to call the MPs if he comes back.

Since I was up I did some schoolwork and then video chatted with my wife. A little after noon SPC Roy came and picked me up. He was free for the night and wanted to go have some fun. We were going to go golfing, then changed it to the driving range, and finally decided on screen golf which is basically like a big interactive video game. I had never done anything like that before, it was actually pretty fun. They set you up in a room with a couch and table and the big screen in front. You use a real club and ball, but when you hit it into the screen it shows a virtual ball travel along the golf course. It was a lot of fun. We ordered some Chinese food and played 18 holes at Pebble Beach. We both are not very good…I was 40+ over par and SPC Roy was 50+ over par for the course.

We then drove around Seoul just checking everything out. SPC Roy had rented an SUV so he could drive his family and wife's friend around earlier, now he just wanted to chill away from the office. We must have listened to the Far East Movement's "Like A G6" a hundred times! For those of you who don't know the Far East Movement, they are a bunch of Asians that have had a couple of hits on the radio. I think SPC Roy is totally addicted to them. SPC Roy wanted to hit up a bar, so we went to The Rock n Roll bar in Iteawon (my favorite bar) and heard some good rock and roll to even out the night. We played some pool, some darts and had a few beers. We then headed off to SPC Roy's apartment where we watched "The Expendables" and ordered some chicken delivery. I ended up staying there on his couch for the night.

Sunday: I woke up with a bit of a headache. I'm not sure if it was the love seat I was sleeping on, or the lack of water from yesterday. We headed downstairs to the 7-11 where SPC Roy bought me some drink that was supposed to "help my liver". We drank one before the bar last night and he said it's good to drink the next day too. I'm not sure what it was, but it didn't taste bad. Unfortunately you can't purchase aspirin or any other drugs in Korea except at a pharmacy. That sucks! Guess I'll wait 'til I get back to my room before getting some aspirin. On our way out of 7-11 we heard a big BOOM!!! I looked up and saw a guy on a scooter had just ran smack into the side of a car. The wheel of the scooter flew off and was rolling down the road, the scooter driver himself did a few rolls as well. Holy Crap!!! I can't believe that just happened!! The scooter guy laid there for a bit, then kind of sat up and started rubbing his butt. The car driver got out and checked on him. SPC Roy and I ran out to the middle of the road and started directing traffic around the accident. The scooter driver stood up for a bit, but when he heard the ambulance coming, he promptly laid back down and stopped moving around. SPC Roy said Korean's are notorious for milking the system. They will stay in the hospital as long as possible for any reason. Once the cops arrived we took off and headed back up to his apartment.

SPC Roy gave me a ride back to my room and I was able to video chat with my wife and kids for a while which was nice. I later had to turn down the young hawaiian when he called and wanted to go out. I had to work on a paper for school. I got about half of it done before I heard a knock on my door. To my surprise it was SPC Roy again. He asked if I wanted to go anywhere…do I need a driver…anywhere you want. I laughed and told him my only plans were to go to the theatre and watch a movie later. He said he was down with that and we took off, he had to go to a Korean grocery store called Lotte Mart. The place was crazy, I would have taken some pictures…but I forgot my iPhone in my room. It was like black Friday but in the grocery store. I had people hitting me with their carts, their baskets, themselves…they navigated the store like they drive here in Korea…with seemingly no rules. There were workers giving out not only samples of food, but wine and beer as well. The place was a madhouse, and SPC Roy said it's like that every weekend! That was quite an experience.

We then went and watched Rango at the movie theatre. When we got there we saw a sign that said starting April 1st due to reduced funding they will start charging us to go to the movies. That really sucks! I think that was one of my favorite things about being stationed here. The movie was cute and had me laughing a few times. It's about a pet lizard that gets thrown from a car in the middle of the desert and how he survives. It has Johnny Depp doing the voice of the lizard. This is one of the movies that I would probably not go and see if I had to pay money for it, but because it was free we checked it out. I'm going to miss a lot of movies now.

I came back to my room and then finished my paper, that was it for the night.

Monday: I finally got to sleep in a bit on Monday. I was all out of sorts this weekend. I did my laundry while video chatting with my wife, but never got around to cleaning my room. I usually do a good cleaning each weekend, but I just never got around to it this weekend. When I finally thought about it I just didn't have the motivation. I did go work out for a bit, then it was back to doing some schoolwork which wore me out, so I took a nap…lol. I woke up and headed to the movie theatre once again and watched "The Fighter" with Marky Mark and his funky bunch. It was a pretty good flick, based on a true story. It's about a boxer late in his career with a crack addict brother and a pretty crazy family. He has to deal with all of that and try to make his final run in his career. Fun to watch, but this time I was all alone. It's just not the same going to the movies alone. Sometimes when I slow down and start thinking about my wife, my kids, my friends and family it gets really lonely. I try to keep busy and hope the time will pass fast.
A quick video I made to show those who don't know how screen golf works.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Last Day of the Augmentees - (Korea) Day 101

This isn't really a picture of my "DMZ" water that I'm drinking. It's a photo of the printer
technician we had to pick up at the gate...the only description we had..."a long haired Korean
with glasses...he looks like a dumb ass" Unfortunately his face is a bit blurry.

Work call this morning was at 0530. We had to setup our conference room and then get down to the secret conference room and get it setup. Today's meeting was a huge one with a number of generals from both the US and ROK attending for the AAR of the exercise.

After all was setup and finished I headed to the bathroom. Usually this is not a big issue, but when I came out and went in the office there was nobody there. I thought to myself…this is a little strange. A few minutes later my phone rang and I was told to come outside. When I came out I saw our office and all the augmentees in formation. Holy cow…I hate coming late to formations even if I wasn't even told about this one. It turned out to be a little awards ceremony for everyone doing a great job during the exercise. We all received a certificate of achievement which is actually worth promotion points. We were also told that they would have liked to give out more coins, but they were very limited in number. The certificate was a nice surprise. Our colonel along with our sergeant major came through and shook hands with everyone, thanking them and giving us the certificates.

After that we gathered some augmentees and returned the vans to the TMP now that the exercise is over. Everyone went up in our conference room after and we ate pizza that was provided for us. We hooked up our sergeant's laptop and started watching the action flick "Salt" with Angelina Jolie. A movie that starts off in North Korea ironically. It's about the CIA and sleeper spies. It is full of action and fun to watch. Unfortunately about half way through a sergeant came in and said they just reserved the conference room for a two star general in about 10 minutes! WTF! So much for sitting back and relaxing. I hurried everyone out and cleaned up all the pizza boxes.

SPC Roy then told me to get the GOV keys and we headed out. He had to go to the finance office to take care of some business and then we headed to the gate to pick up a printer technician. Special K told us to look for a long haired Korean guy with glasses. We checked all around and had no luck. When we called back to get more of a description and perhaps a phone number for the guy we were told "he looks like a dumbass". Great…that's going to help a lot. SPC Roy was about to lose it, he was getting really frustrated since it was approaching 1700 and he wanted to leave. Special K then told us he would be arriving via taxi and we finally found the guy. I escorted him on post which means I have to escort him back in order for him to get his ID back. I asked Special K when we got back to the office how long he usually takes and he said "oh about an hour and a half". Great…this is going to be one long day. Surprisingly our KATUSA, Special K and SPC Roy stayed in the office with me until the technician was through. We copied movies off the sergeant's laptop to check out and surfed Facebook. When he was finished SPC Roy and I escorted him back off post. When all was said and done we had all worked a 14 hour day…so much for getting off early today. At least we have a three day weekend now.

I went back to the barracks and did my schoolwork, then watched an old classic called Mad Max. The sergeant had all the Mad Max movies on his drive and I hadn't seen them in a long long time. Mad Max is the prequel to "The Road Warrior" staring Mel Gibson. It is set in the future and shows Mad Max dealing with being a "cop" and then dealing with the death of his family by a biker gang. It's a little slower than I remember and a lot cheesier than I remember too…lol. I could barely keep my eyes open after that so I went to sleep. I think I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Going Commando - (Korea) Day 100

I was not allowed to take any photos while in CP Tango, but thanks
to USFK Flickr I am able to share these photos with you. Both photos are
of our 4-star general in command of USFK. All of this command post are under a mountain
and you can see the actual rock on the photo at the top, which some of the hallways are like.
The photo on the bottom shows a typical hallway as the group walks through a huge doorway.
You can't really tell in the photo, but the doors are huge and really thick. I think they could stop
some serious firepower.

Today is our last day of the exercise…my last day at CP Tango for a while. I’m a little bummed I couldn’t take any pictures while I was there, but with the place being top security and all, I wouldn’t want to do anything that would get me in trouble. I'll be happy to get back to getting a little more sleep. It seems that no matter how early I go to bed, waking up at 0400 is too early. Work call this morning was at 0500. The morning was pretty unusual though. Right as I put on all my gear in the office, SPC Roy asked me to open our conference room for him (He doesn't have a key). I opened it for him and didn't think much of it until later on in the day. I went back and hopped in the first van with our colonel. I have to arrive there first so I can get all the laptops setup. Once that was done SPC Roy and I setup for the morning meeting. It was then he told me why he needed up in the conference room back at the office this morning. Yesterday he had some monster poop as I noted. I guess he had another great one this morning and somehow when he thought he was done…he wasn't. He had crap all over his underwear and it was sticking to him again. When he went in our conference room in back at the office, he actually cut off his underwear and threw them away. The rest of the day consisted of him asking me to look at his butt and tell him if I could see any poop stains or anything…that and him saying "free willy" a lot since he was free balling it.

We played some more hangman, this time with the ROK soldiers in the office playing with us. They choose some interesting words at times. After the last meeting we had to have a coin ceremony. The 4-star general in charge had each office select one or two people to receive his coin for doing well on the exercise. I was originally told I would be getting one, then found out that they gave it to the air force master sergeant in our office. They gave it to him because this will be his last exercise and they told me I still have one more. Great…but the person that told me and I think most of the rest of the folks in our office will be gone by then as well. Oh well…I still got my SMG coin. Instead of getting a coin I ended up being the coin holder for the ceremony. We heard the general say they won the war (the exercise is a simulated attack from North Korea and they play war games for two weeks in all the meetings). He thanked everyone for their hard work and then started handing out the coins to all the people in line. I stood with a box full of coins while our sergeant major would grab them and hand them to the general. The ceremony didn't take too long.

After the ceremony we started cleaning up the office. We also packed everything we brought to CP Tango and loaded it into a van. SPC Lee and I took off and unloaded everything back at the office. We then took the weapons back to the armory. We finished and also setup for a meeting that will be going on tomorrow, but for some reason we had to stay until 1700, while the night shift who didn't even come out to Tango came in at 1000 and then got off at the same time as us. I think I got screwed a little being on the day shift, but my hangman skills are much improved. Before we left we were all up in our conference room. SPC Roy told Special K and our KATUSA about his morning incident and Special K mentioned "I wondered why there were underwear in the garbage". That was when SPC Roy pulled his underwear out and proceeded to show us all the damage he did…it was pretty bad, I don't blame him for cutting them off. He was laughing so hard I thought he was going to hurt himself.

I ended up getting home too late to video chat with my wife, so I did my schoolwork and some re-certification studying. Ended my night relaxing with some TV shows and went to bed. Looking forward to the weekend!

the wife

OH! MY! GAWD! just saying.

Friday, March 11, 2011 - 01:19 AM

That guy reminds me of Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly. Little disgusting.

Friday, March 11, 2011 - 02:39 AM

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Deja Vu - (Korea) Day 99

A photo I found on the web showing the command center
in CP Tango. The windows at the top are the room where we usually
setup everything for the command. 
(Original photo can be found here)

Today seemed like a repeat of yesterday. We had the same work call (0500) and pretty much did the same thing all day. Setup for a meeting in the morning and cleaned up in the afternoon. We played a lot of hangman…so much that we got bored drawing the little man hanging and instead drew animals, then did away with drawing the hangman all together and switched to all sorts of creative ways to execute people. Other than hangman part II, the highlight of my day at work was reading the newspaper.

When I got back to the office we had to setup a small meeting. It only took a few minutes and then I was outta there. I came back to my room, changed and then worked out for a bit. My PT test should be sometime this month, I just hope I get a little advanced warning. I would just like a little time to mentally prepare for it and to also give my body a day or two of rest. I don't think I'll have any trouble passing it, especially since I've moved into the older age bracket.

Video chatted with my wife, then a little schoolwork with a little studying for the Apple re-certification exam I have coming up.

Overheard Quote: "I have to go dump alcohol in the tub and just sit in it" (SPC Roy describing his butt after taking a dump. He said he was going to have to throw away his underwear and then do some heavy cleaning to get it clean down there)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hangman - (Korea) Day 98

I took a pic of this guy because I was amazed at how many smart phones he had on his
scooter. There were at least 4 that I could see. Motorcycles and scooters like this are seen
quite a bit in Korea. You will see packages and all kinds of things on the backs. Sometimes
they carry so much it makes you laugh because the load is bigger than the bike itself...this
particular guy's load isn't too bad.

Work call this morning was at 0500 as usual for the exercise. I left in the first van like always, but Seaman was coming in place of the admin master sergeant. He didn't get in the first van, so when we arrived at CP Tango I was unable to get all the laptops out of the safe and setup. So I setup the conference room for the first meeting. When I was done Seaman had arrived and had the laptops out and setup. SPC Roy arrived a bit later and was surprised to find out he didn't have to do anything because the conference room was already setup.

It turned out to be a pretty easy going day. Our sergeant major was in the IMO room working on the secret computer all day, so I stayed out (not enough room for me and Seaman to be in there with her). I read the newspaper for a while and then spent most of the day playing hangman with SPC Roy. We cleaned up the conference room after the meetings were over and then ate an MRE for lunch. During lunch SPC Roy described one of the first times he visited his future in-laws house here in Korea. They were eating a family dinner and out of the blue his future father-in-law farted really loud. Everyone kept eating as if nothing happened. SPC Roy didn't know what to do and eventually started laughing. Now every time he goes over there it turns into a farting contest between the two of them. It was a pretty funny story, the way he was describing it had everyone cracking up.

When the day was over we headed back to the office. We arrived back after taking the scenic route. I thought the NCOIC was going to drive me nuts. The entire trip I had her behind me being a backseat driver constantly telling the driver what to do. I wanted to turn around and slap her and I wasn't even driving.

When I got back SPC Roy asked if I could come with him to the PX and then the commissary. I took him up on the offer so I could pick up some stuff as well. After getting well supplied I got back to my room and video chatted with my wife. No working out today since I got back late. I did a tiny bit of schoolwork and then had to lay down for a bit. I could barely keep my eyes open. I'm going to have to try and get to sleep earlier tonight.

After a little nap I got up and played around on the computer a bit before going to bed for real.