Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Leave Pics

The Iraqi internets finally worked well enough to upload some pictures from leave. Those few that made the hazardous journey across the treacherous wasteland between Iraq and wherever the Blogger.com server is are presented here for your viewing pleasure (along with typically rambling commentary).



An Air Force EOD tech vainly tries to sleep beneath the morning sun

As I've mentioned previously, the process of going on leave is long, torturous, and seems mainly designed so intentionally, in order to increase the appreciation of troops for good ol' America. The picture above was taken just after leaving Shannon, Ireland. The sunrise was streaming straight into the windows- somehow, it seems a bit brighter at 35000 feet, with no clouds to scatter the rays.

My family picked me up from the airport, and we drove to my parent's house in Oregon. Once there, I indulged myself in the favorite pastimes of many a soldier: first food, then beer, then sleep.
First things first: I gotta cook!

This is a recipe that I found in my new baby: The Wine Lover's Guide to Cooking with Wine. It's a Greek dish- sauteed tomatoes, onions, fresh herbs, garlic, and Greek wine, layered with shrimp and topped with feta. It tasted almost as awesome as the layout of cheese samples, toast, basil pesto and roasted red pepper macadamia nut pesto that my mom and I laid out to complete the meal. I'll let this topic go now... I'm hungry again, and the Ramadi chow hall isn't going to do anything to help me on that score.

The whole family together

My nomadic sisters managed to make it back home while I was in town- one from Florida, and the other from most places between there and Oregon. This family picture is take #371. The only thing keeping me smiling is the dinner of grilled halibut and more of that red pepper/macadamia pesto that we just finished. There I go again...

Foothills above Anchorage, AK

After a few days back home with the family (and a dinner I made for Mel, my sister, and my friend Ariel- a meeting that I cannot get a picture of onto Blogger), I headed up to Alaska for the wedding of one of my college roommates and another friend.

A college roommate bites the dust

The wedding was probably the best one I've ever been to, and it was done in true Alaskan style. We drove south towards Seward for two hours, turned off, hiked for four miles, had a twenty-minute ceremony, and headed out. I think the reception that we had that night took longer than the entire shindig, including the hike. Another interesting thing about the wedding was the sheer number of guns present. There were some sixty people in attendance, ranging from toddlers to grandparents- a solid third to a half of those there had guns. One of my friends remarked that he wasn't quite used to seeing that many guns around. However, I am.

The bachelor party + the best man's HK SOCOM

Speaking of guns, the bachelor party was quite a bit of fun.

No, I'm not an alcoholic. We just forgot the glasses.

That's a CAO in my left hand, and Jonny Walker Black Label in my right. Those of you who know about such things may rest assured that I was well taken care of while I was on leave.


The last day before I left Boise was the annual Boise Beer Festival. I couldn't pass that opportunity up, so I dragged my dad and two friends kicking and screaming downtown. We made it through around half of the 20+ stands before nine months of Iraq started to catch up to me, and after a break in the Boise Basque district for roast lamb, we went back to finish the job.


Karaoke in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport

Some specialist from the 2nd Infantry scored a guitar off of the crowd gathered at the airport to see us off. We had a bit of karaoke and music-making while we waited.

Lindsay, Ben, Me, Kati
Badger 6 will no doubt use this photo as supporting evidence to back up his thesis regarding my motivations for blogging. In my defense, I mentioned nothing about a blog to either of these lovely USO ladies (a fact for which I find myself in a bit of hot water now). Lindsay and Kati introduced Ben and me to an excellent BBQ stand in D/FW- if you happen to be there, stop by Cousin's BBQ and tell them a soldier told you to go there.

Welcome back to the desert


It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose- landing in the Middle East, that is. This is Kuwait City International as we taxied to the download area. It's dusty, around 115-120 degrees, and generally not as nice as Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska. Now, of course, I'm back in Iraq, where we have all of that and bullets, too. I have the pictures to tell of that story uploaded to photobucket- now I just need to find some time tomorrow, and you can read and see my excuses for not blogging too much recently.

31 comments:

  1. Surely you've got some pics of you and the bigger pieces of hardware, yes?

    And yeah, And as far as that pic with you, and my bottle Johnnie... The words "developmentally disabled" come to mind...

    Eh, stay safe. We'll recreate the fun as best we can upon your return.

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  2. USO Girls4/7/07 19:18

    You ARE in a bit of boiling water, but we can find it in our hearts to forgive you!

    P.S.- We had Cousin's BBQ in your honor today. Yum! It just wasn't the same.

    Take care!

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  3. thanks for sharing your trip home.

    stay safe.

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  4. Oh how rough you had it on Leave, TD...

    How rough indeed...

    Tibbsy, can I come to the next wedding?

    Pretty please? :)

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  5. I wasn't good enough for a picture? *sigh*

    I'm totally kidding! Actually, I'm quite honored that you spent some of your precious leave time with me! I had a great time!
    Try to stay safe!

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  6. Awesome pictures! Great wedding! thank you for sharing :)

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  7. Teflon Don: Pimp of the Internet

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  8. The hero should always get the girl.

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  9. I, for one, was not at all suprised to find that you were not blogging during your leave and I suspect I wasn't alone (not that I didn't check ;) ) I just assumed you were having a good time and would tell us about it when you got back to the sandbox. I would not have wished for you to "waste" any of that precious time in front of a computer!

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  10. OK you clearly earned the girls;I have found my perfect girl in Mrs. Badger 6, but I have a few complaints about the HK SOCOM.

    First, where is your eye pro? Haven't I taught you anything?

    Second, why the heck did you not bring it back here for me to uh . . . oh yeah General Order number 1. never mind - good job.

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  11. "General Order number 1"

    What, never give the CO the silenced weapon?

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  12. I would like to state for the record that:

    1. I have stayed put in Oregon for almost two months now,
    2. The food was even better than it looks,
    3. I've never seen so much beer in one place in my life (outside of a store), and
    4. He has a really sweet, beautiful new camera that probably cost him more camels than my father will pay out for my dowry.

    Good job with the ladies. Love you.

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  13. Anonymous5/7/07 14:57

    Why are you wearing ear protection while shooting with a silencer?

    I'm glad you had a good leave.

    Bill Smith

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  14. "4. He has a really sweet, beautiful new camera that probably cost him more camels than my father will pay out for my dowry."

    Well, you have to have priorities... :)

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  15. I'm wearing ear pro because the two guys you can't see in the picture are shooting a shotgun and a Dragunov.

    AWG-

    And roger!

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  27. On topic, folks, not at each other.

    Thanks! :)

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  28. Anonymous10/7/07 08:33

    I'm sorry :(

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  29. (hangs head low...)

    I'm sorry...

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  30. Enjoyed having you up here in AK man. Hopefully you can make back up sometime when you get back to the states. Stay safe.

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