Monday, October 31, 2011

Root Beer Floats - (Korea) Day 336

Work call this morning was at 0830. I checked my email and then turned the system on for our conference room to get it ready for a ROK meeting that was going on this morning. During the meeting we have to have one person in there to make sure they don't mess with the equipment. So I read the news on the computer until the meeting was over.

We cleaned up from the ROK meeting and setup for a ceremony that was up next in our conference room. After the setup we all left for lunch. I headed to my room and called my wife. I still don't have internet, so no video chatting today. Once back at work PV2 Charlie brought in ice cream and root beer in order to make root beer floats. Our new KATUSA had never had one before so we wanted him to try it out. We all had some floats along with most of the others from our office. Once the ceremony was over in our conference room we all also had cake too!

We then had to do a silly setup for a general who we don't support. The setup consisted of just one set of items for this general. I'm starting to think our army sergeant has a crush on this guy because we've never done anything like this before.

We cleaned up the office and were let go at 1600 for PT. Today we had to do swimming for PT, so we all headed to the pool and swam for an hour…well almost an hour. We all got in the hot tub after about 45 minutes and it felt so good.

Once back in my room there was a lot of yelling and banging on the doors. I guess there was another barracks inspection and they were doing a lot of cleaning. I just ignored them. I really hate living in the barracks. I hate all the banging, I hate all the noise, and I hate all the invasion of my personal space. I'm going to ignore everything unless I'm actually told there is a formation or an inspection.

Later on I headed to PV2 Charlie's room to do my schoolwork, but unfortunately he was having issues with his internet. Luckily he was able to let me tether to his phone so I could get everything I needed done. I spent the rest of the night watching Grey’s Anatomy and Hawaii Five-0.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up - (Korea) Days 334 & 335

All the performers for the taekwondo exhibition during 
the Itaewon Global Village Festival

Saturday: Woke up about 0930 and did laundry and video chatted with my wife as usual. I then headed to Itaewon to check out the Itaewon Global Village Festival. They shut down the normally busy street and open it up for various performances and vendors. I got there in time to see a  taekwondo demonstration. These guys were pretty impressive jumping all over the place breaking boards and kicking apples into chunks all over. I walked around checked out some of the vendors, but decided on eating Cold Stone ice cream since I don't happen by there too often.

When I got back I made a trip to the commissary with PV2 Charlie. Before we left I setup my laptop in his room to do some downloading. Unfortunately I went over my limit for internet usage today. I got a call from my roommate telling me we were over. If I were to redo my internet usage I would have kept with the unlimited plan I first had instead of trying to save money with my roommate's version. Yes it's been cheaper, but it's also slower and there is a limit. I shouldn't be here too much longer, so I'll make do for now.

I headed to the gym and had a pretty good workout. It was pretty funny because I was one of the few US soldiers there on a Saturday night. There were a few ROK soldiers, but they are not allowed to leave the post. I did run into CPT Hooah! and we chatted a bit before I left. I just don't have the desire to go out unless I'm heading out with a friend or if there is a specific reason to do so.

Because of my internet situation, when I got back from the gym I went to PV2 Charlie's room to do my schoolwork. He then let me borrow the latest movie from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. I watched that and was surprised that it was actually better than the previous ones out there. I then watched an episode of The Ultimate Fighter before turning in for the night.

A flying kick to break some boards during the Itaewon Global Village Festival

Some Korean clown vendors giving away some sort of candy
during the Itaewon Global Village Festival

Dancers started dancing right in the middle of the street
during the Itaewon Global Village Festival

A little video I put together from the event

Sunday: Woke up around 0900 and headed to Starbucks to get some coffee and a bagel. I then headed to PV2 Charlie's room to watch the UFC event. The young hawaiian has his parents visiting and PFC Pickle moved into Hannam Village. His family finally arrived and this is where all the family housing is. Worked out fine because PV2 Charlie is just right down the hall from me in the barracks.

When the fights were over I headed to my room for lunch and then went and got my haircut. When I got back I went back to PV2 Charlie's room to do my schoolwork for a while. All the time he was playing XBox with a friend of his over the internet. It sounded like he was talking to himself the whole time…lol.

I headed back to my room and watched an episode of Flashpoint before heading over to visit PFC Pickle and his family. I was invited over for dinner, so I grabbed a taxi and took off. The ride was interesting to say the least. I had an old man, who because of the festival in Itaewon took a number of backroads…some of which only one car could fit through at a time. There were a few times when we found our selves face to face with another car…both would sit there for a while and then finally one would back up and find a way to move to the side and let the other pass. I didn't think I was ever going to make it.

Once there I met up with PFC Pickle and to my surprise he had another family of three over as well. It was fine and the food was good, but I really felt like the odd man out. The two wives were talking and hanging out, the two kids were full of energy and playing non stop, and the two dads were trying to control their kids the entire time. Finally about 2030 I said I needed to head back and PFC Pickle took me to the taxi stand, but there were no taxis there. I called the number and then received a text not too long afterwards saying that they would not be coming to pick me up. I ended up going out to the street and catching a cab on the outside. I was able to finally get him to understand where I needed to go and he was able to drop me off at the gate. Needless to say I will not be going to visit PFC Pickle anymore. Too much of a hassle to get there and get back.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hunger Games - (Korea) Day 333

Work call this morning was at 0830. I slept like a rock last night which was just awesome. My roommate has been on leave starting on Wednesday, so it's been quieter. When I arrived at work I headed up to the conference control room and watched some TV. We setup for a meeting in the secret conference room, then watched TV until it ended…then we cleaned it up.

This was the only event of the morning before lunch…the rest of it consisted of trying to find something to watch on the limited channels we get. For lunch i headed to my room and ate while video chatting with my wife. When I headed to work it was more of the same (watching TV) until about 1400 when I drove our new air force captain to CIF so he could get all his issued gear. I helped him sort through it all and check everything off. I then drove him to his apartment not too far from the post. Once you get out on the streets of Korea things change in a hurry. You go from normal drivers for the most part on the base, then to a hot mess once you're off the base!

We arrived back to the office in time to get a safety brief for the weekend which consisted of all the normal stuff along with the added warning that there are a lot of Koreans that are still not happy with the US and all the trouble that soldiers have been getting into lately. She said that we need to be careful when heading outside of the post. It's too bad really, just a few stupid people can ruin our image.

I headed to my room and ate dinner while watching a CSI: NY. I then did my schoolwork before heading to the gym carefully missing the rush hours there. When I got back to my room I continued reading a book my daughter loved and suggested to me. It's called The Hunger Games. It's about kids in the future where each "district" has to send a boy and a girl to "The Hunger Games" once a year. There are 12 districts and they all end up fighting each other to the death. I recently found out they are making a movie out of it, which I'm now looking forward to seeing. There are some stars in it, but surprisingly one I didn't expect was Lenny Kravitz.

Our old KATUSA stopped by my room to say hi and chat for a bit. He's been on leave and will come back next week to start out-processing from the army now that his time is up. While talking to him I can tell he's going to miss everyone.

I finish out the night watching an Ultimate Fighter. I get to sleep in tomorrow!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things That Go Bump on the Door - (Korea) Day 332

I heard a rumor that we were going to have another room inspection today by our first sergeant. I never believe rumors anymore, but sure enough someone was banging on my door at 0500. They didn't say anything and I didn't answer it. They banged on my door a couple more times, but I just laid in my bed. If they can't tell me in advance to be ready by a certain time, then don't expect me to be. Also if you're going to bang on the door say something like "hey this is sergeant John Doe…open up for inspection". How am I to know that you're not just some person just being a jackass? Have I mentioned lately that I really hate living in the barracks?

Work call was at 0830 and I arrived, checked my email and then watched a little TV until it was time to setup for a meeting in our conference room. I had everyone clean up a bit and then we setup. SPC Mick stayed up in the control room to flip slides while the rest of us headed down to setup for another peculiar meeting. I'm not sure why we were doing this one because it's not one of the generals that we support and it's not in any of our conference rooms. Who really cares though…I'm just  a private I do what I'm told.

SPC Roy's major in his office was having a computer problem and he asked if I could come take a look. I was hoping my demigod card would have it's admin powers in his OU, but unfortunately it lost all it's powers when I took it away from my small network. I was unable to help them out. I was rewarded anyway with my choice of hot dog, chili, with a number of sides. I chose a bowl of rice covered with chili…so good and also reminds me of my wife. Poor SPC Roy is in the process of trying to lose weight. He's going about it the wrong way, but he wants results fast. He's basically starving himself and only drinking a ton of water and smoking a lot. He is also wearing some sort of waist belt that helps him sweat a lot in that area. He has to sit in that office while all this food is cooking (all for a fund raiser).

I headed to my room for the rest of my lunch break and video chatted with my wife for a while. Once back at work I was able to do a little more IMO work. I had to restore my NCOIC's personal folders for her Outlook. Her current folders got corrupt and she lost a ton of data. She was freaking out. Luckily I made a backup about a week ago when I moved her to a new machine. So when I restored her files she thought I was freakin' awesome. I then headed over to our protocol office and helped the director over there get his computer squared away. He had some settings he needed changed, but needed an admin in order to do so.

Once back at the office our NCOIC tells me and PV2 Charlie to run to the company and get some shower curtains and that they are giving them out first come first served. We both need them because our current curtains are getting moldy. Not sure what it is about the old barracks, but mold definitely likes it here. When we arrived at the barracks we had to answer 20 questions and then the first sergeant wanted to actually see us. When she asked about our current curtains we told her the condition…then she looks at me and says "I don't remember seeing you this morning". Oh Crap! I told her that nobody told me which is actually the truth. I only heard a rumor that she may come and do an inspection, but was never told a time or anything. She then gave us the curtains. She had paid for them out of her pocket which is why she didn't want to just hand them out to anyone. It's probably a good thing that I got a new one though, mine is starting to show more black mold than it does any other colors…now if only I can get my roommate to spread it open when he finishes showering maybe it will dry between uses.

We then cleaned up and everyone went home except me at 1600. I volunteered to stay a little longer until a meeting was finished in our conference room so I could shut everything down and lock up. I ended up leaving about 1630, still early…but not early enough to hit the gym right away without running into rush hour. I eat dinner at the food court and then watch a CSI: Miami in my room. I then worked on schoolwork before heading to the gym and working out. Once finished I watch an episode of The Ultimate Fighter and then call it a night.

PCS Move Update: Not a whole lot going on. I sent S1 an email today asking if there has been any update or change in the status of my paperwork. They had sent everything to Germany to get everything approved so I can take my wife. I received an email back saying they haven't heard anything yet. I wasn't expecting anything yet, but it was worth a try. I'll check back next week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Town Hall - (Korea) Day 331

The Town Hall event at Collier Field House with The Secretary of Defense.
Korean media & of course AFN were there to cover the event.

Had to wake up at 0440 this morning to quickly get dressed and shave. Our NCOIC was going to arrive at 0500 to do a pre-check on our rooms, but I received a text that she had to make sure her kid got to school. We had the room inspection at 0530 as promised. A number of NCOs came through the barracks inspecting all of our rooms. I heard that one of the NCOs got really mad at PV2 Charlie because he had a spoon in his freezer?? They came to my room and didn't like the bathroom. Said I needed to scrub the floor, then it was over. I tried to lay down and rest a bit, but I was already up so I just laid there for an hour until I had to start getting ready for work.

Work call was at 0830, I was told to see our master sergeant in admin. When I got down there she said to make sure everyone in our office knows she's only the IMO on paper because of her rank. She doesn't want to do any IMO work, she wants me and PV2 Charlie to be the "go to" people. I was fine with that and it makes sense, but she was actually a little pissed off. No worries, I knew where she was coming from and let her know I'd pass on the word. Sometimes when someone has a problem they automatically go to the highest ranking person even if that isn't the correct solution. She can't really help them with anything except ask me to fix the problem or put in a help desk ticket.

We then start our morning with our normal Wednesday meeting in the secret conference room. This time I have PV2 Charlie do everything from scratch. He needs some instruction here and there, but he's coming along. He should be good to go for the next meeting. After it finished we cleaned up and when we arrived back at our office we helped clean up from another meeting that was in the top secret conference room.

Once finished it was lunch time, but before we left we heard that we have to be back early to head to a "town hall" and that was all the information we got. So I quickly ate at the food court and then headed towards the movie theatre which is where the pre-town hall brief was going to be. We were instructed that the secretary of defense will be conducting a town hall and told that we could not bring in bags, knives, any weapons, or even multi-function tools. Luckily our NCOIC told us to bring some reading material, because we sat in that theatre for a little over an hour total waiting for everyone to get accounted for and for the buses to arrive, so I grabbed my iPad before heading there.

We then all boarded buses and headed to Collier Field House which is not too far away, but they wanted us all to arrive at the same time. We then waited outside the gym for a little over a half hour while secret service checked the gym and had their dogs sniff all around. Security was pretty tight. We went through metal detectors and had to show ID to get in. Most of our office had to attend. I think there were a lot of people "voluntold" to go because they wanted to make sure all the seats were full and there was no embarrassment to the post by having any empty seats. This worked because all the seats were indeed full.

We sat and waited for about another 2.5 hours with a couple of briefs here and there getting us ready. I read a lot of my book during this time and also showed Special K a number of photos on my iPad to pass the time. Finally Leon Panetta, The Secretary of Defense, came in and gave a bit of a speech. He thanked everyone for serving and promoted public service, giving back to the country. Made me feel proud to serve even though I've made plenty of sacrifices to do so.

He then answered a few questions and then had everyone line up for a picture and gave everyone in attendance a coin, which was pretty cool. We're told we'll receive the photo at some point…we'll see.

By now it's getting late and we all head back to the office and then leave. I get back to my room around 1830. It's late and I have a dehydration headache, so I decide not to workout. Instead I drink water, eat dinner, drink some more water and watch CSI: Miami & NY while drinking more water. I then do some schoolwork before heading to bed. It's been a strange day, but I'm glad I was able to attend the Town Meeting with The Secretary of Defense. Not too many people can say they've done that or received his coin which beats my previous highest coin which was a 4-star coin…not too bad.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Morning of Football - (Korea) Day 330

"We Flush Together" a funny take on our motto here working with the
ROK army, which is "We Go Together"

Work call this morning was 0830, but it could have been after lunch because we did absolutely nothing today before lunch. I checked my email, but besides that all I did was watch football in the conference control room. We all headed out for lunch at about 1130 and I went to my room and video chatted with my wife.

After lunch we setup for a meeting in the secret conference room. Our new KATUSA lost the "rock, paper, scissors" contest with PV2 Charlie and thus had to call "Stand-By" for the first time. I stayed with him to give him the signal when to go in and call it. He did a good job! We then watched more TV until the meeting was over and then cleaned up the meeting. We cleaned up the office and headed out at 1600 as promised.

I headed to my room, changed, then went to Trent Gym to workout. After finishing and heading to  my room to shower and change, I headed to the CAC (Community Activity Center) to sign up for another tour this weekend that looked interesting. Unfortunately I was told it was already full. I guess I should have signed up a bit earlier. I'm a little bummed because it looked like it was going to be a pretty cool one. I guess I'll deal with it. Off to the food court to have some Subway for dinner. I have to say for being a sandwich shop, they have the best cookies!

Back in my room I watch Hawaii Five-0 and then do some schoolwork. Next up is an NCIS before ending the night with cleaning my room. I was told we have a room inspection at 0500 tomorrow morning. I didn't bother to clean it any more than I normally do on the weekend. It really doesn't do any good because the sergeant who inspects it will always find something to complain about. So I'll let them complain and then move on. Living in the barracks just pisses me off to no end. I hate these stupid room inspections all the time. I thought I was through with those after TRADOC. It sucks to have to wake up so early and then have someone come into your personal space. Have I mentioned lately how bad I want to get out of the barracks.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bumped - (Korea) Day 329

A sign in our protocol office...LOL

Work call this morning was at 0830. Nice to have a normal work call especially on a Monday. I went to my office and checked my email. To my surprise I found that I've been bumped from the Windows 7 class I was scheduled for next week. I was actually looking forward to getting the Windows 7 certification. I had all my prerequisites finished and all signed up for the class on time. My mistake was choosing the last class, I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get everything done. There were a number of "higher priority" people that waited until the last minute and bumped everyone that had already registered a spot in the class totally out. Both myself and PFC Pickle were bumped. It's pretty stupid, but what can I do except…deal with it.

Me and PV2 Charlie headed over to our protocol office and he gathered some information from all the folks with email accounts for the upcoming mail migration. I installed some specialized drivers for a receipt printer and then we took off…mission complete.

Back in the office I watched some TV for a bit and then headed to my room for lunch and some video chatting with my wife. Once back at the office I picked up where I left off and watched some more TV. There wasn't a whole lot to do today.

At 1500 we were briefed on our new PT schedule. As of now we are supposed to leave at 1600 and do PT at the gym. The only reason we would stay is if there is a meeting we have to take care of. This is actually perfect because then I can miss the rush hour at the gym. I guess the battalion wants everyone to do PT together, but we had to get an exception to policy because of the meeting schedules we have to cater to. Part of the exception was that we would do our PT at 1600. Sounds good to me.

After the brief everyone left, but they asked me to retrieve a laptop that the command group borrowed from our office earlier. When I went up there they made me wait because it was in the commander's office. They were afraid of having anyone go in and get it and wanted to wait for their "commo" guy to get back and retrieve it. I told them that I was in fact a "commo" guy and it's not too hard to unplug a laptop and carry it out. That didn't persuade them, I guess they just couldn't trust a private even though I probably have more experience and certifications than their special "commo" sergeant. What a freakin' joke. I had to sit there and wait a half hour until their special sergeant came up and went in the commanders office to unplug the laptop and hand it to me.

After that incident I was finally able to leave. I headed to my room and changed, then headed to Trent Gym and had a good workout. Maybe I was taking out my frustrations on the weights…maybe that's how I can just deal with it.

I headed back to my room, had dinner, and watched CSI. I did my schoolwork and then watched some more TV shows (Falling Skies & Greys Anatomy). Time to turn in.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up - (Korea) Days 327 & 328

The Black Eagles during their performance at the Seoul International Aerospace
and Defense Exhibition

Saturday: Woke up around 0930 and video chatted with my wife for a bit. I was going to head to K-16 (which is a small US base next to a ROK air field) and then see the Seoul International Air and Defense Exhibition with PFC Pickle, but his family finally arrived here in Korea and he ended up not going. Can't say that I blame him, so I decided to head out by myself. I caught the 1030 bus to K-16 and saw The Black Eagles perform. The Black Eagles are the ROK performance team with jets similar to America's Blue Angels.

I headed to the the event area where they were having "K-16 Family Fun Day". I watched their live band play and then a traditional Korean performance. After that I caught the bus over to Seoul Air Base and went through the whole exhibition. It was pretty crazy. I've seen stuff like this on TV shows, but I thought they were exaggerating. The place had vendors all selling different sorts of weapons and technology. It was interesting to see kids running around the place where everything they are selling are designed to kill people. The kids were there obviously to watch The Black Eagles perform, but it was still a little strange. After checking out all the latest these vendors had to offer with their sexy sales staff showing off their small arms and their big guns, I headed outside. It was all so strange I had to laugh.

Once outside The Black Eagles were getting ready to perform again. There were also a number of planes and helicopters setup for viewing. Some of the big US planes allowed people to go inside and look around. I would have checked it out, but the lines were so long I decided to pass. Watching The Black Eagles perform from the Seoul Air Base was much better than at K-16. The view was unobstructed and all the performance was in front of us for the most part. Pretty impressive!

I caught the bus back to my room and relaxed a bit before doing some schoolwork and calling it a day.
The 2ID band performing during K-16 Family Fun Day

A Korean traditional performance during K-16 Family Fun Day

A few videos I took and put together of The Black Eagles doing a performance during the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2011.

Sunday: I woke up around 0900 and did my laundry, then video chatted with my wife for a bit. I then went to the food court for lunch and stopped by the shoppette on the way back to pick up a few items. Once back in my room I video chatted again with my wife for a bit before cleaning my room and then working out at Trent Gym.

When I got back to my room I did schoolwork and then watched some TV shows. We were informed that the office swimming PT that was scheduled for tomorrow was cancelled…no surprise there. I have this week of work and then I have a week of Windows 7 class.

The rest of the night consisted of watching some TV shows and eating KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) with my roommate. This has become somewhat of a Sunday night tradition, unfortunately he will be getting out of the army soon. He goes on his final leave this Wednesday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Driving Angry - (Korea) Day 326

Work call was scheduled to be 0900, so I woke up and was planning a long video chat with my wife, then I see my phone rang while I was in the shower. A few minutes later it rings again and I find out i have to come in as soon as possible to drive everyone to the range. So much for a nice relaxing morning. I headed into work and after waiting around for about a half hour I find out nobody will be going to the range because the arms room would not check out weapons to anyone in our office…lol.

I headed to the conference control room and watched some TV. I then checked my email and found that I received a reply from S1 concerning my status request on my orders. They said since I want to take my family that I need some extra forms, then listed forms I sent to the company. I guess they didn't pass them along when they put in my request. Luckily I had digital copies of all the needed forms and replied with them attached. WTF? Sometimes I think Murphy's Law is all about me. They said they will forward along the information to Germany…now I wait…again. I'll check back next Thursday for a status update to see if they've heard anything. I watch some more TV.

I head to lunch and video chat with my wife, then head back to the office and watch some more TV until it's time to setup for our only meeting of the day. Our KATUSA calls "stand-by" for the last time in his army career. Today will be his last day at work. He'll be going on leave, then when he comes back he'll be out-processing. He's been so happy all day long. His two years of virtual slavery is finally almost over.

I then did some IMO work helping our admin office setup a couple of new monitors and then I watched as the tech from the secret network worked on our colonel's laptop. I did some basic troubleshooting yesterday, but couldn't do much more without any elevated privileges. He troubleshooted for about an hour and then decided to take the laptop to re-image it. I'm glad it wasn't anything simple…makes me look a little better!

We then cleaned up and I headed back to my room where I ate dinner and watched a movie called "Drive Angry". I strange action movie about a guy who escapes hell to revenge the death of his daughter and save his grandchild. Not very realistic, but entertaining. After that I did my schoolwork and then called it a night.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Running In Circles - (Korea) Day 325

Work call was 0630 this morning. Another early morning, which also means we only did one "office" PT session so far this week…lol. Anyway…we had two KUBs that both started at 0800, but we had to have them setup completely by 0700. One was inside our conference room and the other was downstairs in a smaller conference room which was nice, we didn't have to go far. Once we had everything setup we all split to eat breakfast. I headed over to Starbucks to get my grande mocha. I headed back to our conference control room and drank it with my granola breakfast "to go" blend.

PV2 Charlie is still off on the cultural tour and our new KATUSA as well as SPC Mick had to leave to PMI after breakfast since they will be going to the range tomorrow. That left only me and our KATUSA, who's last day is tomorrow unfortunately. He is a great worker and will be missed. When I turned on the two PCs in our control room I found one had an error on it and we couldn't log in. Oh crap! I had our KATUSA run down and grab a laptop and I took the desktop and started imaging it right away. We were able to use the laptop until they took a break after about an hour and a half, then I was able to swap out the newly imaged desktop and the laptop…crises averted. We celebrated by eating some of the donuts they had out for the folks in the conference room.

I was called down to flip slides for our colonel's meeting with all the major deputies and XOs on post. I had to get everything setup and rush around getting enough seats in this small conference room. It ended up getting down to crunch time and almost got a little stressful…I say almost because I still have my switch flipped to "I don't give a shit mode".

After the meeting I helped our colonel with an email issue he was having, then went to lunch with Special K. Once back in the office I had to escort our new air force captain to get a security badge from our battalion. This was the first time I met the guy. The entire process to get this security badge has changed since I received mine unfortunately and there is no clear procedure on how to get it done. We've heard different stories from different people. The whole afternoon was a disaster with us just wasting time going from one place to another being told we need this special form or that special form or the same form with a different signature. We came back empty handed with a bunch of paperwork that I gave our security officer in our admin office. She was pissed because she just took the air force gal in her office over yesterday and they did it all for her with the same exact paperwork I had. What can I say…the army can be pretty stupid sometimes when it comes to paperwork.

When I got back I helped clean up the office and we left around 1715. Since I left work late, I wasn't going to chance heading to the gym. I tried a new alternate plan…I ate dinner in my room and watched a CSI: Miami (probably my least favorite TV series, but I have a crap load of them to watch…so they pass the time when I don't have any new shows). After the show I worked on my schoolwork and then ended up heading to Trent Gym at 1930. It wasn't all that bad, I think rush hour had passed at the gym. I had a great workout and then played around on my computer for a while before calling it a night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moving Day - (Korea) Day 324

The army major in our office gave me this coin and said "Here you deserve it".
The ROK 4-star general is leaving and I think they are trying to unload his coins by 
giving them to different officers in our building to give to their soldiers. Still it's pretty
cool to have a 4-star ROK coin to add to my collection.

Work call this morning was at 0830. First time in a while it seems that we've come in at the normal time. I setup for our normal Wednesday meeting in the secret conference room and then ran the two computers. I was going to have PV2 Charlie do the entire thing, but he's on a Korean cultural tour today and tomorrow. The meeting ran without incident and I cleaned up afterward.

I then headed to our conference room and made sure the system was up and running for a meeting. I stayed there in case they needed me for anything, but they only had one slide up for the entire meeting. I relaxed and watched some college football.

I headed to my room for lunch and video chatted with my wife. Once back to the office I had to swap the army major's desk with what used to be the air force major's desk. The army major is going to leave in a few months and a new deputy will be taking over so he wanted to move out of the way. The process actually took quite a while. I had to move all the crap from one desk to another, but clean everything as I was going. Once I had everything all setup I then had to go through the incoming deputy's drawers and clean them out as well so there wasn't a bunch of crap in there waiting for him.

I had to drive across post and find J8 to pick up a coin for an award that was going out. It was an emergency that had to be done right away. I'd never been to this place before, but armed with a map and a building number, me and our KATUSA were able to find it.

By the time we got back it was time to clean up and leave. I headed directly to my room and changed, then headed to the gym trying to beat the rush. It was still only slightly better than yesterday. Working out on weekdays is really going to be a hassle unless I get off work early.

Back in my room I ate dinner and watched CSI: New York. SPC Roy came by to visit and vent a little. He's in limbo right now trying to re-class, but is running into all kinds of problems. Once he left I did schoolwork and then went to bed…another day closer to seeing my wife.

the wife

another day closer. <3 :) ing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 01:34 AM

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Late Late Show - (Korea) Day 323

These early mornings prove to be just too much for PV2 Charlie, who passed
out in our conference control room.

Work call this morning was at 0630. We had to setup for a 0800 meeting, but the female captain in our office wants all meetings completely setup an hour before it is scheduled to start. It kind of sucks for morning meetings because it makes us come in so much earlier. (We usually start setting up for all other meetings about an hour before). In this case it was a small meeting and we actually had it setup shortly after 0630 because of course we always arrive to work at least ten minutes early. After we setup the meeting we all left for breakfast. All this took place before the female captain even showed up for work.

I went to Starbucks and grabbed a grande mocha, then headed back to our conference control room and watched some TV while drinking my mocha and eating my granola mix. On TV was the late night shows which seems a little strange to watch at 0700 in the morning. PV2 said that at some point last night before he went to sleep there was an NCO that banged on all the doors and forced everyone to clean up. I never heard anything and I'm glad too, I would have been pissed! Our KATUSA came back from the DFAC and brought me a "to go" cereal and milk which was great…the granola mix only goes so far. Just when I was about to finish I get called down to the small conference room for a technical emergency. I run down there and then have a couple people crowded around the laptop trying to figure out why it is not projecting on the screen. I look, then tell them they need to plug in the display connector. They had nothing plugged into the laptop and just expected it to somehow magically display on the screen…D'oh!

I headed back up and watched some more late night TV shows. A little while after our normal starting time I figured I better get to work. I started imaging yet another laptop. I've been trying to get all the laptops imaged after people leave so that before I leave everyone will have a fresh image to work with. I also went to our admin office and helped them out with an email issue they were having. While I was down there the new air force gal asked if I could go with her to the PX and help her pick out a wireless router. She offered to buy lunch if I did…how can I refuse? So me, the new air force gal, and the air force master sergeant from admin all went to lunch, then I helped her pick out a wireless router.

After lunch I checked on my imaging laptop and installed all the post-image drivers and setup the printers. It's now as good as new and ready to go. I then am told that I need to drive the air force gal to CIF to pick up all her gear (actually she is an E6…a tech sergeant), but for the sake of my journal she's gonna be the air force gal. We get there and I help her identify all the items they issue her. When you go to CIF they give you a ton of stuff along with a paper itemizing everything. We dumped out the duffel bag and ruck sack, then start checking off each item. It seems easy enough, but knowing the names of some items can be a little challenging, so it took us a while to complete. It's funny that I was the one there helping her, because all junior enlisted soldiers are required to have an E5 or higher go with them to CIF to make sure everything gets done correctly.

Once we got back to the office I sat down, but then immediately had to get up again and take the new KATUSA to housing. He is currently in different barracks than everyone else and was told he should check to see if there is room now in ours. What a pain in the butt. Housing is a mess and we ended up just waiting there for an hour before being told to come back on Monday. I then had to go to the company to check on PV2 Charlie's separate ration status by order of our NCOIC. Made me wonder why nobody was looking out for me with my separate ration issue…I had to do it all alone. Anyways the company was no help, but I did run into SPC Roy there so we talked for a bit.

I headed back to the office and we cleaned up and then had to wait around for about 45 minutes before we were finally released. I'm not sure what the hold up was, but I'm just rolling with the punches now. Not letting the little things bother me. We left about 1730 and I ended up going to my room and snacking a bit before heading to the gym. When I arrived at the gym it was packed. I think I picked the peak time to go there and work out. I ended up having a pretty crappy workout because of this. There were so many people there it was frustrating. On only our 2nd day of "working out everyday with the office" we didn't because of the early meeting. We'll see if it ever even picks up again.

I then headed to my room and watched a couple TV shows before going to sleep.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday’s Back - (Korea) Day 322

This morning I woke up at 0545 in order to get ready and go to our swimming PT with our NCOIC. Just as I was almost ready I got a call saying that our NCOIC was not coming and we were all to head to Trent Gym to work out instead. This was actually fine with me, just a little funny that our NCOIC didn't make it at all though. I did cardio and then worked a little extra on my abs. After that diagnostic PT test I realized even though I passed my sit-ups, it was not as easy as the run or the push-ups. I'm going to pay some extra attention to my abs until my real test.

After an hour workout we left back to our rooms for a 0900 work call. When I got to work I checked my email and then just watched some TV. I then helped PV2 Charlie get all setup with SkillPorts. Now he can start the ongoing process of SkillPorts. I made sure his first goal is to complete the A+ and Network+ portions. If he can get those done and then take a class here on post, the army will pay for his certification test after the class. This will bring him one step closer to having elevated privileges and able to do more to help with IMO stuff. Until then he'll just basically be a point of contact between the users and the help desk. He has a long way to go.

We setup for a meeting in the 8th Army building before I headed to lunch with Special K. After lunch we cleaned up and then I watched some more TV. I'm trying to let the new guys do as much as possible and just ask if they have questions. This is the best way for them to learn the job, but it can also be a little boring for me…especially when there's nothing on TV!

We cleaned up the office and ended up leaving a little late while waiting on our KATUSA to finish translating a document. We didn't want to just leave him in the office. We got out of there around 1730 and I headed to my room to eat dinner. I then watched a number of TV shows before calling it a night. Not much of an exciting day. I can feel "short timers" syndrome wanting to take hold of me. It's still a bit early for that, so I need to find something to keep me busy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up - (Korea) Days 320 & 321

The newly renovated Trent Gym. What used to be a basketball court is now
a huge exercise and weight room. A pretty nice setup...just too bad
we had to lose the basketball court

Saturday: This was yet another chill weekend where I didn't do a lot. Just chilled for the most part. I slept in until 1000 and did laundry (my normal Saturday routine). I then watched some TV shows until my wife was able to video chat with me. After we finished I stayed in my room, the weather outside was pretty crappy. There was non-stop thunder and it was raining. I just watched some more TV shows, took a nap, watched some more TV shows. By this time the rain changed to a light sprinkle, so I headed over to Trent Gym to work out.

This was the first time I'd been there since the remodel. They took out the entire basketball court and replaced it will exercise equipment. I'm pissed that they took out the gym, but the setup is actually quite nice for weight lifting. Plus I don't have to worry about Zumba going on…lol.

The rest of the night consisted of yet some more TV shows in my room…pretty boring day.

Sunday: I slept in until 1000 again which is always nice. I watched a TV show before video chatting with all my kids for a while. It's always great to chat with them. They are growing up so much, I just can't believe it.

I then went to the food court and grabbed some Subway for lunch before video chatting some more with my wife. After the chat I spent some time cleaning my room…well at least my side anyway. Watched some more TV shows and then decided to switch it up a little and watched a movie instead! The movie was Colombiana which is about a girl who's parents are killed and she in turn grows learning to be the perfect killer and eventually returns the favor to her parents killers. It's actually a pretty decent movie.

My roommate came back and we ordered some KFC "Korean Fried Chicken" for dinner. Always tasty stuff.

Starting to think about how soon I'll be heading home. I don't know if my time remaining will fly by, or if it will drag on. I can't wait to see my wife, my kids, my family and my friends. It's been too long!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Deal With It - (Korea) Day 319

This morning we had to get up early for what we were told was going to be only a diagnostic PT run to test our 2-mile run times. We had to meet in Camp Coiner where we take the actual PT test, which is located about a 5 to 10 minute walk from our barracks. We found out that our NCOIC was not going to come, but instead put Special K in charge of conducting the test. She also decided to make it a full diagnostic test instead of just the run. This means we had to do the push-ups and sit-ups as well. I'm sure glad I ended up not working out last night!

Personally I was still in the "I Don't Give A Shit" mode. I had been stressed out over a lot lately and decided to "turn off" my caring mode in order to relieve some stress. When it was my turn for both push-ups and sit-ups I did the absolute minimum required for my age bracket, then got up and walked away. I was going to get the absolute slowest time possible on the run as well, but I wasn't wearing my watch. I guessed it and got a 17:50 which is actually pretty close (18:18). This gave me a "barely passing" score. The test is not worth anything and I have nothing to prove to anyone. In fact the only reason I'm still working out and trying to stay in decent shape is just to try and beat my previous score as a personal goal…but that will come later.

Unfortunately Special K and I were the only ones to actually pass the test. Everyone else failed at some portion of it. I knew this wouldn't be good once our NCOIC found out. We all headed back to the barracks and took our time getting ready for the 0900 work call. When I arrived to the office, I headed straight to our conference control room and watched some TV. I waited until about 0930 and then took my new and improved levy packet over to the company. The specialist at the company said all my paperwork was already turned in, so he didn't need any of the new stuff. I guess we'll see if it gets sent back or not. I've stopped caring too much about it and have accepted the fact that I'll just deal with whatever happens. The specialist said I would have to check with S1 to get my orders and should check in about a week or so.

When I got back we all headed to the conference room and Special K gave a class on Land Navigation/Map Reading. This is one of the new things our NCOIC is having us do, only when I had to do mine back during the exercise I only had to give it to our NCOIC and our KATUSA. Doing a class in front of more people and in the open conference room is a little different, but Special K did a decent job.

After his presentation is when our NCOIC talked to us about our pitiful scores on the diagnostic test this morning. Since Special K put in effort and had a decent score, she said he could have a day off in the future. She also said since I passed…barely, I could have a half day off. (Do I think this will ever happen… She then told everyone else that she was pretty disappointed. Now we are all going to have to start doing PT together everyday. We'll see how long this actually lasts. There seems to always be conflicts with meetings and such, which is why we have never been able to do this in the past. My prediction is that we will do it off and on for a couple weeks tops…we'll see.

After the meeting I did a little IMO work such as imaging a laptop for the new officer that will be coming to our office soon. I then helped Special K get through the email pre-migration checklist. After that I headed to lunch and video chatted with my wife.

Once back in the office I had to attend a mandatory IMO meeting. I took PV2 Charlie since he is going to be my replacement. I also took our admin IMO and she brought her new person as well who actually knows a little about computers. I drove everyone to the "Yongsan Training Facility" which is actually the movie theatre…lol. The meeting was a little frustrating because the people there were freakin' retarded. I couldn't believe these were IMOs from around post. The presenters went over a few subjects with the main portion concerning the upcoming email migration. People kept asking the same questions over and over again. These are supposed to be the technical personnel on post, but they were driving me nuts asking stupid questions that had just been asked and answered by the previous person. This made the meeting which was scheduled for 2 hours go for 2.5 hours.

By the time we got back to the office it was time to clean up and go. We got a quick safety brief from our NCOIC and then she turned us loose. I was also told that even though they signed me up to go to the Seoul Air Show next week, I can't go because there will be a number of people going to the range to qualify. No big deal, I was planning on going during the weekend, but oh wait…I also heard I may have to be a driver on the weekend to take the officers to the range. And if I do end up doing this not to worry because I'll get a day off in the future….yeah right! What am I gonna do? I'm gonna deal with it.

I headed to my room and ate dinner while watching Falling Skies. Then I did my schoolwork before taking a quick nap. When I got up I watched an NCIS: LA before turning in for good.

More Frustration - (Korea) Day 318

Work call this morning was at 0645, we setup for a KUB in our conference room. After setup, I headed to Starbucks to get some coffee and a bagel for breakfast. I forgot to bring in my granola nut mix….grrrr. I guess I just wasn't quite awake when I left my room. When I got back to the office I had my breakfast and watched a little TV until the meeting started. After that I headed to my office and checked my email.

Once the meeting was over we cleaned up and then I worked with people in our office on getting them through the email pre-migration checklist. I then headed to my room for lunch and a little video chat. Unfortunately I got called back into the office before my lunch break was over, so it cut our video chat time a little short.

Back at the office I had to setup our conference room for an unexpected meeting. Donald Rumsfeld (the former secretary of defense under George W. Bush) was on post for a book signing and he had a little question and answer session with some of the officers in our building. I don't know too much about the guy, but I thought it was nice he stopped at the door and took time to shake my hand before heading in the conference room.

I then took our new KATUSA and PV2 Charlie to try and get a security card in order to access the secret conference room. What a nightmare! We've been trying to get them access for a couple weeks now and have been given the run-around. This time was no different, when I went down armed with memos for their badges I was told they don't have anything to do with it anymore. If anyone did help out from their office before, they were just being nice. I was a little frustrated and found myself called into the LTC's office along with one of their workers. I had to listen to this guy go on and on about how things have changed blah blah blah. The guy would not stop talking and all I could do was say "yes sir" and "no sir". What's worse is we left the place not knowing where to even go from this point on. Our NCOIC made some calls and now we have plans to go to another shop tomorrow. What a pain in the neck. When I got mine it was such a piece of cake.

By this point I'm already pretty frustrated and I had to head over to the company to drop off my levy packet. My NCOIC thought it would be a good idea if I turned in the actual paperwork as well as her email. This way we can make sure the documents don't just sit in someone's email box. Great…I thought the process was started, but it turns out I may still be at square one with this issue. On my way over to the company I ran into SPC Roy who wanted to take a look at my packet. He found a number of errors and offered to help. He does this kind of stuff all the time, but when I was gathering all my stuff together he was on leave. He straightened me out and told me all the extra forms I needed before turning in the packet. I'm thankful for his help, but I'm frustrated beyond belief at how little anyone is told here on how to do anything. I had no idea of all the different forms I needed in order for the packet not to get sent back for various reasons. The company only told me the bare minimum. One of the forms I needed was a leave form and it had to get signed and approved by my NCOIC. With any leave form you need to add your LES, PT Card, and Weapons card. I was able to get everything needed and ready to go by 1600, but by then everyone at the company is gone. I will have to turn it in tomorrow morning.

We cleaned up and everyone left around 1645. I stayed back for about an hour helping Special K study for the promotion board. By the time I got back to my room it was a little too late to work out. I did my schoolwork instead and then watched a Vampire Diaries and a CSI Miami. An end to a very frustrating day. I'm just so pissed that things can't be normal and easy in the army. Why do they have to make things difficult? How hard would it be to have things documented? There should be a clear concise procedure in order to get access cards to this place. Even more amazing is the issues with the levy packet. Why isn't there a website or a checklist somewhere that all soldiers must do at certain times before they leave. Instead we are left to fend for ourselves finding out little scraps of information from whoever will give it. We then have to try and find out what is good information and what is bad information. It's all pretty stupid!

Which leaves me to the status of my PCS: I'll turn in my "real" final packet tomorrow to the company and then who knows. I'm going to try and forget about it for a while after that. It's just too stressful.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Holding Pattern - (Korea) Day 317

What I thought was a pretty neat tribute to Steve Jobs while walking near Myeongdong
yesterday at a store called "Willy's", which is not quite an Apple Store, but they are
an authorized Apple reseller...and try to make their store similar to the real Apple stores.

Work call this morning was at 0645. We setup for a KUB in the top secret conference room. Once that was done I headed to Starbucks to grab some coffee. The other guys headed to the DFAC for breakfast. Back in my office I had my grande mocha and my "breakfast on the go nut and granola mix". These days we have early meetings I don't eat a normal breakfast.

I then checked my email and also sent one off to the specialist at our company asking him what the usual wait time is for a person to get their orders, once the levy packet is turned in. After that I headed down to the secret conference room with PV2 Charlie to setup for our normal Wednesday morning meeting. He's going to be taking over for me which means he'll be in charge of this meeting. He's seen it run a couple of times and this time I let him run the show and just supervised. It went off without a hitch. Next week I'll have him use his login and do it from scratch with minimal supervision by me.

Once finished we cleaned up and had to setup for another meeting in our conference room. PV2 Charlie flipped the slides while I went to my office and did some prep work for the upcoming email migration. There is a number of pre-migration checklists that all our users are supposed to finish before Friday. I sent everyone instructions, but I am also planning on visiting each user's computer to make sure this has been done.

Once the meeting was over we took off for lunch. I headed to my room and video chatted with my wife. After lunch I had PV2 Charlie work on some other miscellaneous items making sure he knew what he was doing. Seems strange now that I've finally got everything down, I'm training someone to take over.

I then went to our admin office and worked with our IMO to get her mailbox through the pre-migration checklist. It's funny that she's an IMO, because she doesn't really know too much about computers. She was only made IMO because they needed another higher ranking person to be an IMO as well. I then went to our main office and helped the folks that were there get through the checklist. I'll be doing this as well tomorrow because of the missing people.

We left about 1630 after cleaning up and I headed to my room to change and work out at The Point. This would be my last trip to The Point to work out. The weather is starting to get a bit cooler, so the walk to and from is a bit chillier. Trent Gym which has been under renovation for a while is finally open once again, and it is located almost right across the street from my barracks so there is no reason for me to keep paying to attend The Point…even though I've really enjoyed working out there.

I ate dinner in my room and watched the TV show Terra Nova. A new series that looks interesting. I'll have to watch a few episodes, but it has lots of futuristic gadgets, guns, and dinosaurs…what's not to like?

I started class once again now that my tuition assistance with the army has reset. I plan on taking one more class before I take another break during my transition to my new unit in Germany. Once I get settled in there I'll resume classes.

Status of my PCS: Right now I'm in the waiting mode. I've sent the email to the company just to ask about an ETA on my orders, but haven't heard anything yet. I've heard from various people that it can take a couple weeks. Until I actually get my orders we are stuck in waiting mode. We cannot do anything without orders now. So here I find myself waiting once again on the army. I have about a month and a half left here in Korea and I know this time is going to fly by.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up (4-Day) - (Korea) Days 313 - 316

On the way up to Seoul with a view of the city behind

Saturday: Woke up around 1000 and did my normal Saturday routine of laundry and video chatting with my wife. This weekend is a four day weekend, so I'm looking forward to relaxing and sleeping in each day. I ate lunch in my room and then met up with PV2 Charlie and PFC Pickle to hike up to Seoul Tower. PV2 Charlie hasn't left the post yet and wanted to visit the tower, so I figured I would count that as my cardio for the day.

Once we got back we split up and I met up with the young hawaiian to watch some fireworks. I'm not sure what the occasion was (either fall harvest season or the birth of the Korean nation), but there was supposed to be a big fireworks show along the river. The young hawaiian knew the park to go to and we boarded the subway and headed there. Once we made a transfer to another subway line the crowd started to gather. It was bigger than the crowd at the Linkin Park concert that boarded the subway earlier this year…and I thought that was a lot of people! There were a number of police everywhere for crowd control. It started to sink in that this was a big deal. The subway train arrived and people started to board, but they all couldn't fit and the doors would not shut, this is when the police got involved and forced the ones keeping the doors open to exit the train.

The next train came and the young hawaiian and I made it on…just barely. The subway train was so full! I've been in full subways here before, but this was unlike anything I've experienced yet. I couldn't move my arms…it was similar to being in a rock concert in the general admission section close to the stage. Just so many people squished into one place. It was pretty crazy!

A few stops later everyone departed the subway and we just followed the crowd. The streets were full of people. When I say full of people, I mean there were more people than I've ever seen in one place before…ever. In every direction I looked there were just crowds and crowds of people walking down the streets. When we made our way to the riverside park, the scene was more of the same…people everywhere you looked. We stood and watched the fireworks, which was a pretty impressive show for a little over an hour and then decided to head back. We weren't sure how long the show was going to last, but after a while it was all pretty similar stuff. We headed back and the crowd was still large, but not nearly as bad as when we came…..what an experience.

PFC Pickle, Me, and PV2 Charlie at Seoul Tower

A view down one of the streets full of people during the fireworks show

Some of the fireworks at the park on Hahn River

Sunday: The morning consisted of watching UFC 136 in the young hawaiian's room. His roommate is TDY until at least January, so he rearranged all his furniture. He now has quite the setup and it's all his room for a long time. He moved all the furniture to the outside walls and joined the two beds to make one big bed. He has a big screen TV in the middle which made a great setup for the show…which was great as always.

We then headed to Walker Hill's Paradise Casino and did the poker tournament. I have come to the conclusion that I'm not a very good poker player. I'm glad it's a free tournament. Granted I didn't get any good hands, but I lost pretty quick…it took the young hawaiian a bit longer, but he eventually lost as well. He came in about 18th place, while I was more like 50th or so. Unfortunately you have to be in the top 5 in order to win the 100,000 Won.

We headed back and got to our rooms about 1830. I watched TV shows (CSI, Falling Skies, & Survivor). Falling Skies is a new show (for me). I saw that it had Noah Wyle in it, whom I always liked in the show ER. The executive producer is also Seven it's about aliens invading earth, so I had to check it out. We'll see how it progresses.

Monday: I slept in until 1000 and video chatted with my wife for a while. The day was a pretty chill day consisting of watching TV shows, going to lunch with SPC Roy and then watching some more TV shows. I then then went to dinner with PFC Pickle and followed that up with even more TV shows. Not a lot to report on except it was a nice relaxing day.

Tuesday: I slept in until about 1000 again and video chatted with my wife for a while. I then cleaned up my room a bit, I'll save the more extensive cleaning until next weekend. I met up with the young hawaiian and we took the subway to Myeongdong. This is a shopping district that is pretty cool. There is a lot going on everywhere you look and they have a number of shops to check out. The young hawaiian wanted to do a little shopping, then we stopped and had lunch.

SPC Roy ended up calling and wondered what I was up to. He actually lives close by Myeongdong, so he ended up meeting up with us after a bit. We did a little more shopping and then had dinner together. We ate at one of SPC Roy's favorite spots and had makkoli (rice wine) with dinner. I enjoy drinking makkoli so much more than soju.

We then headed to a bar and had a couple beers. We discussed the current events with the US military and the couple of rapes that have happened. SPC Roy said the Korean news has been reporting about it a lot. What the news states though is that these guys were investigated and then the military just came in and took them away. SPC Roy said his family (all Korean) have been asking him what is going on. To the Korean's it looks like we're just taking these guys and protecting them from the Korean justice system. The news doesn't report on the trouble they are getting in with the military and the jail time they will be serving. Instead it just looks like they are being protected by the military. So of course there are a lot of Koreans that aren't too happy with the US military in Korea at the moment.

We called it a night early since it's a work night and headed back to post. The end of a nice 4-day weekend!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Curfew in Effect - (Korea) Day 312

Work call this morning was at 0845. Even though we "started" doing PT with the company I think 5 weeks ago, I have yet to attend one. Last week they actually did attend a battalion run, but SPC Mick and I were on the Hyundai Cultural & Friendship Tour. This week all of our reflective running vests were at the shop getting our names, rank and unit sewn on them, so we were not able to attend. The work call was also a little strange, we had no meetings at all scheduled today and when that is the case we usually come in at 0830, but we got an extra 15 minutes today for some reason.

Even though we had no meetings it seemed very busy for some reason. I checked my email and then was busy running errands and tying up loose ends. I checked with our NCOIC about my levy packet and she said she forgot to send it last night, she just got overwhelmed. She did tell me to stand at her desk until she composed the message and sent it off. Now I know it has been officially submitted.

She then asked me to create a spreadsheet for her from some of the inventory items that we are going to get rid of. I had given her the sheet that listed all the items, but she thought for some reason I had it. I checked everywhere in my office and then came back and told her I didn't know where it was. I told her I could create a new one from the master copy, but then she found the sheet I gave her earlier on her desk. She then apologized and got down and started doing push-ups…lol.

I then had to send her the requirements for my replacement to become an IMO like me, and also what he has to do to get the elevated privileges (the demigod card). He now has a checklist of items he's going to need to work on.

We all then gathered in our conference room and watched some required sexual harassment videos. I suggested we make it a pizza party and our NCOIC agreed and sent Special K and SPC Mick off to Pizza School to get some pizza! After the videos I headed over to an IMO meeting with a lady from our admin office. She's an air force master sergeant. She's also a little peculiar, she doesn't ever wear her uniform when coming to work or when leaving work. Maybe she doesn't like all the saluting that is required when in uniform. Anyways…that will be her nickname since she is also a little peculiar in other ways as well. The meeting was all about the email migration that is coming up soon. The entire DoD is moving to a new email system and the end result is going to be better, but there are going to be some pains in the short term during the migration process.

After the meeting MSgt Peculiar and I headed back to the office and briefed our army major on everything that is going to happen. Me and MSgt Peculiar are going to be busy next week getting everyone ready.

We all had to gather once again up in our conference room and get a brief from our NCOIC. Evidently it seems there have been a number of incidents where American soldiers have been getting into trouble. This is what prompted the sexual harassment training which also went over rape and such. There have been some instances of soldiers raping Korean nationals. There was also an incident of an E-7 masturbating in front of a Korean school. WTF? I wonder what the heck these people are thinking. Not only are they getting into some serious trouble themselves, but it really puts a stain on all the rest of the American military that are here in Korea. It has been big news in the Korean media. Because of this a curfew has been implemented effective today. I heard before I came there was a curfew, but since I've been here there has not been one in effect. I was surprised about how lax the curfew actually was though. We have to be back on post by 0100 on weekdays and 0300 on weekends. Right now it's only temporary, but our NCOIC says she thinks it will stay in effect for quite some time…we'll see.

We then got our safety brief and were turned loose to clean the office and leave. We ended up leaving about 1730. I headed to my room and called the maintenance office about our bathroom light being out. I called first thing this morning, but hadn't heard anything. They actually sent a guy out right away and he replaced the light. I changed and headed to The Point and worked out. My body is still pretty sore from the hard workout I had two days ago. I'm hoping I can keep up this pace, I'd like to get a better score on my next PT test…which should be in November now.

I got back to my room and ate dinner, then watched Conan The Destroyer. A great classic movie! Now I'm ready to watch the remake! I also watched an episode of Breaking Bad before calling it a night.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs - (Korea) Day 311

This morning work call was at 0730. We had to turn on the system and open up our conference room. After everything was ready, I took off to Starbucks to get my morning coffee. Once back I did my usual morning email check and found that finally the folks from Ft. Lewis emailed the DA Form 5888 that I needed for my wife's health screening. I then went about printing out and getting everything ready to turn in my packet so I can finally get the process started to get my orders.

I then worked on a Windows 7 SkillPort before setting up a meeting in the secret conference room. Once finished I headed up and out of the blue heard the news about Steve Jobs death. I knew he was sick, but I didn't think it was going to happen so soon. He was a great man that really changed the world with his innovative ideas and his relentless drive. What a loss. We all ended up just watching the news for a while soaking it all in.

We then cleaned up the meeting and headed to lunch. I video chatted with my wife for a while and headed back to the office. I gathered all the paperwork and forms for my packet and headed to the company to turn them in. When I arrived there was only KATUSAs there, everyone else was either at lunch or doing a check at CP Tango. Grrrr. I wasn't about to leave something this important in the hands of KATUSAs. They have a habit of losing things and don't inspire much confidence when talking to them. Of course that is just a generalization…our KATUSA is actually a very good and hard worker.

I was going to head back after an hour or two, but our NCOIC said I should just send them digitally. That will leave a record and there will always be digital copies if something goes wrong. She then said to send them to her so she could send them and let them know it's urgent, so I can get the orders earlier. I'm hoping that is the case. I scanned all the documents and then sent them all to her…we'll see how it goes.

She then wanted to switch laptops with one that had just been imaged. Then I would image her old laptop sometime before a new person comes. What should've taken a few minutes just copying her profile to the server and then to the new laptop took much longer. I should know better than to ever think a simple I.T. project is going to be so easy. When I switched the laptops I had no network connection at all. I thought something crazy like her cable went bad or something. I tried another network cable and still couldn't get it to work. Finally I asked another I.T. civilian across the hall if he had any ideas and he said he would check it out. Well after some digging he found that the network folks decided to implement some increased security and will only allow one physical computer to each network connection. In the past we've moved computers from station to station without issues, but now we'll have to call the help desk and give them the MAC address of the machine so they can update the switch before it will work in another port. I'm all for security, but I wish they would have passed out this information so I wouldn't have wasted so much time troubleshooting.

Once that issue was fixed I had my NCOIC up and running in the few minutes that I originally planned. She then said she would email my packet to the company, but first she was going to do a surprise room inspection in all of our rooms because she forgot yesterday. We were not allowed to go clean up or anything. My room was a little unorganized, but not too bad…well at least not my side. My NCOIC said if my roommate doesn't start cleaning up and at least taking out his trash bag on a daily basis she's going to talk to his sergeant major and I will also get smoked. WTF? I am not going to clean his side of the room, I'll tell him to clean from now on…but I'd rather do some push-ups and stuff than clean up his crap. Also when our NCOIC tried to check our bathroom the light didn't work. Great…now we have no light in the bathroom. I'm so ready to get out of these crappy old barracks. I tried calling maintenance, but nobody would answer the phone…wonder how long this is going to take. It's going to be difficult to shower and shave…and poop in the pitch black.

I changed and headed to The Point to workout. After the workout I made sure to take a nice thorough shower, that way I will not need to take one in the morning. I think I can manage shaving in the morning with the door open and the room lights on. When I got back to my room I ate dinner and watched The Ultimate Fighter. After that I finished the finally Windows 7 SkillPort I needed to do. I'm now ready to go for the class at the end of the month. I finished up the night with an episode of Vampire Diaries. Can't help watching that one, my wife and kids all watch it…so I have to keep up on what's going on. :)

Status of my PCS: (Decided to start using the correct terminology…PCS is what it's called when we move from one assignment to another "Permanent Change of Station"). My stress level is down quite a bit now that I received the paperwork that my wife needed to get done. I've turned in everything that I needed to do. Now it's just a waiting game on the company and asking my NCOIC to get updates for me at certain intervals. Since I was able to do all that my stress level is now only about a 4 or so, but that will start to elevate as time goes on until I get my orders.