Sunday, April 29, 2012

Slow Saturday (FTX Day 13) - (Germany) Day 124

(Due to the FTX my posts may be a little sporadic, I found out the USO offers free Internet and will be toting along my laptop and uploading posts as I get a chance)

This morning we had to be at work by 0600. Since I had showered last night I slept in a little, then got ready and left after brushing my teeth and shaving. As expected there was nothing to do when we got there. The day shift has 4 air force folks and 6 army folks in it. There are three help desk computers to be manned in order to in-process new people that come for the exercise and get them access to the network. Three airmen were chosen to take the computers the first shift and stare at a large empty room. The rest of us were just waiting around and then finally the NCOIC said he wanted us to go around to all the rooms and check each computer to make sure it could print. We knew this was just "busy" work because we had already done this multiple times in each room. On top of that once we started we were told not to actually print test pages because it would be a waste of paper. So we are supposed to make sure each computer prints without actually printing…brilliant!

Everyone scattered out and basically just surfed the web for an hour or so until we were released for breakfast. We took our time eating at the DFAC, then headed back and continued to "check" the printing on each computer…everyone just surfed the web. Maybe I lack some imagination, but there is only so much surfing a person can do. Check Facebook, check email, read the news and so on. About 1100 we all started to gather in the help desk area waiting for noon when our shift was over and the other team would take over. During that time our first actual customers came and the guys at the computers in-processed about 4 people. Each one takes only a few minutes, so all of us came in for about 10 minutes of work. My guess is the night shift will be even slower.

I then went to the barracks and headed straight to do my laundry. Everything I had was dirty and I needed to get it all washed. The machines we have to use are all coin operated which kind of sucks. Unlike all the other washing machines I've used on army installations in the past, these are all awesome industrial strength machines. They take large loads and work fast! I ate a "ranger bar" out of my MRE for lunch and that was it. The ranger bars are the equivalent to an energy bar you can get at a store. I also ate some trail mix and called it lunch.

Once back at the barracks with my laundry folded I took a nap…after that I read. One thing I do a lot of on an FTX is read. This time I loaded my iPad with a number of books, so I would not run out like last time. I just finished an interesting book called "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle…the autobiography of the most lethal sniper in the U.S. military history. The book was about a guy who decided to join the navy with the hopes of becoming a navy seal. He tells about his tale of becoming a seal and then in turn becoming a sniper. He was deployed to Iraq 4 times and describes everything he went through over there. It's a complete biography as well with the tale of his life growing up and what he's done since leaving the navy. The strain that it put on his marriage and the strain it put on him losing friends. All told it's a pretty interesting story and he doesn't sugar coat anything. He does say that a lot of having the most official kills as a sniper has a lot to do with luck, being in the right place at the right time. It lets you see the Iraq war from his view instead of just what we've all seen in the news.

The other thing I do a lot during an FTX is watch a lot of movies, it passes the time and I can also watch some of the corny movies I know my wife doesn't want to watch. I have an external hard drive that I've copied movies to, mainly from people while I was in Korea. I mentioned that I watched Missing in Action with Chuck Norris the other day. I watched part 2 and 3 the last two days and they are both just as funny as the first. After watching them I don't understand how we lost the Vietnam war when Chuck Norris was in it. He could stand in an open field or road with a machine gun at his hip and kill everyone around him, while no shots ever hit him…LOL.

This FTX we are allowed to go off post and go to town if we want. Some of the guys have been going out each night to the bars, clubs, and karaoke joints. I guess I'm just too old to do that stuff now on a work night. There is no way I want to drink and stay up late when we have to start work at 0600. So far I've heard the most popular bar is a special one, but just on Tuesdays…that is a special day called "Titty Tuesday" and the waitresses go topless for the night. Oh to be young and wild again…I have to go to bed now.

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