Sunday, July 30, 2006

Blogger meltdown

My apologies but as I was adding a post tonight (with Mike's mailing address in it) I had a total blogger meltdown and lost everything that was on our blog. I'm not entirely sure how I did it or what happened, but all that was left on the page was my profile and the title of the blog! That being said, I think I've salvaged some stuff and "rebuilt" to the best of my recollection. What I am not sure is if I was able to recover all of the comments so I'm sorry if you commented and it's no longer there. I did get to add his address in the margin, so it's there to stay.

Take care everyone and have a great day!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I'm back

Wow, sorry it's been so long since I've posted! Things have been a bit crazy lately. I was in St. Louis for four days at a Forensic Science conference hosted by AAFS. Now I can either study and catch criminals or become one! Just kidding Dad (for those who don't know, my dad is lieutenant of the major case squad). Other than the conference, the only other really neat thing I did was go up in the Arch, which I wasn't even aware you could do. You go up in these really tiny little windowless elevators, the size of a large screen TV box (no joke) and with 5 other people. The ride up takes 4 minutes and the ride down takes 3 minutes, and there really isn't much to do once you get up there except look out these really small windows - out to one side is the Mississippi and the other is "downtown" where you can see their courthouse building and a pretty cool view of the Cardinals stadium. When you are looking out the windows you can stand up on this ledge, so you are literally hanging over the outermost edge of the Arch. When I got back in to San Diego I started studying for my upcoming exams again and just got done with my first 24-hour "test run" this morning. I tried to go back to sleep this morning after I was finished, but couldn't so instead I cleaned the house. This is good because now I have no excuses next week when the testing starts back up! One of the reasons we decided to move back into this apartment, besides the parking spaces, is because it has two bathrooms. Now, it's not that either of us takes longer than 10 minutes to get ready each day...they just so happen to always be the same 10 minutes, so having that extra space is really helpful. However, since Mike deployed immediately after we moved, I realized as I was cleaning that precious second bathroom that I haven't even stepped foot in there since we've moved in! I was cleaning a bathroom that I've never even used! How's that for irony, Mike? :)

Speaking of Mike, he seems to be settling in well. He is working on getting internet in his "living area". Right now the unclassified computer isn't at his desk, so it makes it a bit difficult for him to spend extended time online. I'm hoping that eventually he'll be able to send me some stuff to post, or start posting himself. It sounds like the people he's working with on a daily basis are great, which I'm sure makes this whole process a bit easier for him. According to Mike, the Navy gang usually eats dinner together, a social/working dinner of sorts. And although he can't find a carne asada burrito anywhere, they do go out on Saturday evenings for real Italian pizza. He's working with a Master Chief from up north right now, who may or may not be there on a long-term basis. They drive around in a Humvee and, today, Mike drove it around a bit himself. It's diesel, so it's not like he's racing around base or anything, but I suppose it's way better than walking around! He's checking on equipment, doing a lot of inventory and even some training so he's really jumping in with both feet! He did make sure to mention that he noticed a driving range on base that he thinks he might try and check out sometime, which would be another very unique experience, of course! I still haven't gotten his disposable camera in the mail yet, but he did send a little package with some stickers in it to add to my collection. I've now got a camouflage "Don't Tread on Me" sticker and one for the Multi-National Corps but the one I've included here is my favorite! He only sent one of these, so I won't actually be sticking this one anywhere, but I just think it's hilarious! Somebody really should make t-shirts out of this one!

Well folks, I think that's about all for now. I will try and post more regularly but will be testing still for the next two weeks, so it might be a bit more sporadic than I'd like. On the other hand, posting will give me a way to maybe I'll post more often! :)

Hope all is well with everyone out there!

I love you Mike!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

"It's hot. Damn hot."

It's hot in San Diego today. Yes, I do realize that it's not nearly as hot as it is in Iraq and I am certainly not complaining, but it's hot none-the-less. I think we are on record for the hottest July ever! Tomorrow I am flying out to a conference in St. Louis where, evidently, they've also had a hot month and have lost power in much of the city because of recent storms. I'm sure it'll be a fun trip! Regardless, all this fun talk of hot weather had me thinking of one of those all-time great got it, Good Morning Vietnam. What would the skit look like coming from Iraq do you think?

I heard from Mike today that he'll be heading soon to his assigned FOB, which is Tallil Air Base, and with the 1-34 BTB at Camp Adder. You can check out their web page here. I don't know much else at this point, like about who in particular he'll be working with, his living/working spaces, what the base is like or what his daily routine will be like, but I thought I should post what I do know. Sorry it's not more information - I'll post it as I get it! :)

Love you Mike. Be safe!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Keep trying

Tonight I was watching the news and was struck by a comment made by an Israeli General. The reporter asked some question about meeting/not meeting the level of success they had hoped for and his reply was "We'll keep trying, it's only Thursday". I chuckled at the response at first, because of course he was being asked to give a time frame on something which I suspect is nearly impossible to do and he gave the only reasonable response. But then I started thinking about how much that comment is reflective of our own troops in Iraq. They do always keep trying - no matter what day of the week it happens to be. I might be a bit biased, but I really am proud to know that this is an attitude that our troops have. And I think our support for them - as a country - should take the same might be difficult, it might be taxing, it might be scary and lonely and in fact it probably will be all of those things, but we need to all keep trying too!

And, stepping off the soap box...we still haven't heard for sure where Mike will be heading though it's looking like South of Baghdad is the likely place. Also, he's sent that silly disposable camera home so within a few weeks I should have some pictures to post. Also within a few weeks, he should have the digital camera I sent him, so when he's finally in place he can post some pictures too! Won't that be more fun that all this gibberish? :)

I love you Mike!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

One of those days...

This is what happens after you leave your house for the first time in days - karma kicks you with everything it missed while you were away! Today I went in to work and noticed a strange odor coming from someplace but couldn't pinpoint it. So, I worked for a bit and then finally noticed a dead mouse on the table just a few inches from me. Just a little gross! Went to a meeting in downtown, came out and had two tickets - one for an expired meter (deserved that one) and one for expired tags (don't deserve this one because they haven't come yet and the DMV won't let me go in for "extras" until after 30 days!!). Oh, but my day doesn't end there! Even after all this I went to Lowe's in my car to pick up a new wine fridge (yes, for Mike!) and after an hour there realized it wouldn't fit in my car. Battled the afternoon traffic and finally returned with the Jeep, got all the way back home and realized I had left my wallet at Lowes! If it weren't so funny I think I'd be pretty upset. I think this means that, no matter how much work I have to do, I MUST leave the house at least once per day!

I did talk to Mike a bit this morning. He sounded pretty tired, but all right all the same. He still hasn't heard which FOB he'll be going to, but did say that they were told today that "things are changing by the hour" so he may not even end up at one of the places he requested. I guess we'll hear soon though. I think I am looking forward to Mike getting someplace more permanent as much as he is. I know he'd like to be able to "unpack" a bit and I can't wait to send him his first package!!

Oh, by the way, Dan, The Desert Periscope blogger posted today that tomorrow is World Jump Day and, even though it is totally silly (nicest word I could think of) I WILL be getting up and jumping at 4:39.13. How can I not? I live in California, where we LIVE to do crazy stuff like this. Plus, I figure I'm usually up around then anyway, so I might as well and maybe it'll offset all the bad karma from today!

If you too would like to participate and help "stop global warming, extend daytime hours and create a more homogenous climate" check it out:

Happy jumping everyone!

I love you Mike!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I promise that this blog will not always be mundane and will actually have daily posts - eventually! The problem is now I have nothing new to report as Mike still doesn't know where he's going yet and I literally haven't done anything exciting in the last two days! Some of you know, I'm prepping for a big test in August, which means that there are days that I do not leave the house and I sit in front of a computer surrounded by books for hours on end. These last two days have been just that. And sadly (or not, really I guess it depends on how you look at it) Mike's days haven't been much more exciting. Evidently today he found the post office, after walking clear around the base only to find out it was actually right behind his tent (who said sailors can't navigate in the desert?). Other exciting news - he's been enjoying Cookies-n-Cream ice cream! Seriously folks, that's all we've got! They did get a brief from one of the top ranking officials (Mike will have to fill in his name because I don't recall) today which he said was pretty neat - more that the guy took time out of his schedule to meet with them than anything else. And, of course, it's been hot there! :) It has actually been pretty hot here too, but I have lost my rights to complain about heat, humidity and pretty much everything else for the next year, so I guess I'll stick with that.

Hopefully we'll know more about where Mike will be heading in the next day or so. And, I promise to leave the house tomorrow so that I at least I might have something to post about as well!

I love you Mike!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A message from Mike!

Greetings from Iraq! This is my first posting to our soon to be named blog. Colleen and I figured this would be a good forum to let everyone know what's going on over here in my little corner of the Middle East. I'm in Baghdad right now, living in a tent with 20 other guys on Camp Victory, going to a week long course right around the corner from Saddam's former palace. I pass by it every day, and am amazed by the shoddy workmanship! I would have thought stealing oil money from your own people would make for better digs. Ah well.

So it's been about six weeks since I left San Diego. I met up with 40 other Navy guys in Norfolk, VA and have been with them ever since. We were in Noroflk for a week of admin and medical processing, then headed to Indian Head, MD for a week of training followed by two weeks of GI Joe training in Fort Jackson, SC. After being indoctrinated into the Army way of life, we all hopped on a flight to Kuwait via Rota, Spain for a 30 hour stop. Last call for alcohol for the next 365 days! We arrived in Kuwait July 3, and the counter started rolling down from there. We had a few days to get used to the heat and sand before heading out to the desert for 4 showerless days of more GI Joe training. The following day after a shower and a doublecheeseburger meal (yes, we had McDonald's in Kuwait!) we flew up north to Baghdad. That was July 12. Thoughts on Iraq to follow...have to eat!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Albino bugs

Well, I just finished cleaning out the garage, which I do not think has been cleaned out for at least 5 years. As many of you know, just before Mike deployed we moved back into the big apartment on Saratoga. After Mike left I moved our stuff out of storage and just put it in the garage. I haven't had time to get in there, organize and clean until now. What many of you may not know is that when I decided to move to San Diego one of the selling points that Mike highlighted (other than him, of course) was that San Diego has no bugs, knowing that I just hate bugs (they are sneaky and you don't hear them coming!). And, until today, I have found this to be true - and have loved the years of bug free living! This garage, however, is filled with bugs!! And what's interesting is, because they have been without sunlight for so long, they are all albino! No kidding!! I found stuff in this garage that has probably been there for years, through several tenants...and everything was bug infested. However, I think I have prevailed over the bugs and have, in my own OCD way, organized our garage so that it can fit "stuff" plus one of our cars.

Now that I've vented about my bug phobia, I will move on to the important information...what's Mike been up to? The other night he mentioned that they heard the "booms" from a firefight someplace nearby which he said was pretty crazy, but didn't sound too worried about it. They did their check in with JCCS1 the other day as well, so they are pretty much ready to go. He started his class today and said that, while interesting, it was basically a refresher of what they did/learned in Indian Head, MD. He thought that tomorrow would be more hands on, which I think they are all ready for. He did get to request which FOB he'd like to go to, and he requested to either go up north or with COSCOM. It sounded like each area had its perks and its drawbacks...and he may not even get one of the places he requested, so we'll just wait and see. Class ends next Friday so he should hear sometime between now and then.

I love you Mike!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

An important Thank You!

Before too many posts get in here I wanted to call everyone's attention to three people that I owe a big, important THANKS to. I've posted their blogs on our link list off to the side there. When Mike first deployed, neither of us really knew what to expect which made this whole process even more difficult. One day, while searching aimlessly for information on the internet, I happened upon the blog "My boyfriend, the Sailor, is in Iraq!". Kym's posts and our later email conversations about her early days - and current dealings - with her Mike's (also a Navy Chief) deployment really helped me through the early days when Mike first left SC. From her blog I found Dan's, The Desert Periscope and from Dan's I found another Mike's, The Chronicles of Narmya. I've read through both blogs and have also emailed both Dan and Mike directly about questions and concerns I've had. Let me just say that all three of these people have helped me in ways that they will never know and I am very grateful to them! Even though they are inevitably doing different, but very important jobs in 'the sandbox', Dan and the three Mike's (as they are all now affectionately known to me) are all part of the JCCS1, which also has a link on this blog.

I just wanted to make sure that I give credit where credit is due and thank these people who have helped save my sanity over the last couple of weeks.

"It's too hot to walk"

Another day in Baghdad for Mike, another day in San Diego for me! When we spoke earlier today Mike said that the high was about 117 and the low was 84. I had to laugh...the HIGH here at the beach today is forecasted to be 83! Crazy. Evidently it "cooled down" enough last night so as to be comfortable, which I'm sure was nice. Mike's living quarters right now are a tent and a cot with a mattress. I don't know exactly how many guys are in each tent, but it sounded like a lot. The tents have two air conditioners, one at each end, which helps to keep it cool which I am sure is nice for sleeping. The week of training or classes Mike is taking begin on Saturday, but they may not have enough room for all the people, so some might have to hang around Baghdad for an extra week (and then start their week of classes). Not sure if Mike will be waiting or not, should maybe find that out soon. He has tomorrow off again, with the exception of some possible admin. stuff. I told him he could walk around and just relax, and get the lay of the land, so to speak and he told me that it's too hot to walk! They have little trams or shuttles for them to get around base, which is huge evidently. Today they visited the Palace and Mike has taken some pictures he'll send along soon. He made an interesting observation about the Palace...that it was neat, beautiful, etc. but all a marble facade. I thought that was an interesting correlation to the old regime there - everything may have looked good on the outside, but underneath...not so much! Anyway, he saw and sat in Saddam's big chair and I'm pretty sure he got a picture of that. Oh, and I did buy a digital camera for him that I'll be sending as soon as we have an address - that way he'll be able to upload pictures a lot more quickly.

That's about all for now. We're still not exactly sure how this blogging is going to work out. I may be posting information Mike sends me, or he may post himself - or, it might switch back and forth and we'll all post - who knows?!? Regardless, we both hope this will help everyone keep in touch. One of us will be posting on a daily basis (and if your lucky, maybe both of us!), so check back often to see what's going on.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Journey Begins

Well, this is it, the first "official" entry into Mike's blog, which still doesn't have a name or any other detailed information yet! Mike returned from Kuwait today and is heading off to Baghdad tomorrow morning. The training in the desert went well, though high winds and bad weather caused some delays. Evidently at least one day the winds were about 45 miles an hour. Needless to say, a shower was a priority when they returned to camp in Kuwait - though I'm sure they haven't even begun to get rid of all the sand! No camel or bedouin sitings to speak of though - bummer! As far as I know Mike will be in Baghdad for about a week. As soon as we learn more about where he'll be heading on a more permanent basis - and when - we'll post that as well.

That's about all the information I have for now.

I love you Mike!