Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hump Day

(fyi, I wrote this Tuesday but have added a couple things and am posting it Wednesday...)

Being back to work I realize just how quickly the weeks go by - tomorrow is mid-week already! Classes officially begin on Monday, but this week has been full of all the planning and getting ready. If it's not as tiring as when classes are in, it runs a close second! Overall, things are going well though and I am looking forward to a couple really cool opportunities for this semester - especially a couple of trips that, once I know more, I'll be sure to post about. I'm also a bit anxious because I should be hearing the results of my exams sometime next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I've passed and can move on to the next phase - writing crunch time! I'll keep you posted on that as well!

I just got off the phone with Mike and it was so good to hear his voice! It always is, but I just can't get enough, you know? Our emails have been sporadic at best because he's been pretty busy at work and, again, doesn't have email access at his desk or at "home" yet. We've also had some connectivity trouble where some of our emails haven't been going through. This is tough because we rely on email so much to keep in touch. Hopefully the bugs are worked out and that stops happening. Mike said he's been walking a lot since they gave away his humvee to some other people who, it sounds like, needed it a bit more. He's hopeful he'll get another mode of transportation soon, but until then, he's hoofing it! In our conversation tonight I was reminded, once again, that I can't take anything the news back here says at face value. We don't usually spend a lot of time rehashing news or current events, but every once in awhile, I'll tell him what I've been hearing on the news circuit here, just to get his perspective - even though he really can't actually share much because most of what he knows or sees falls under that blanket of security he's not allowed to discuss! But, tonight I was telling him that the last couple of days they have been making a big deal about Bush's recent comments that we'll be staying in Iraq through his Presidency, that things are terrible in Baghdad and all over and that we are calling up "thousands" of reserve troops "involuntarily". Mike reminded me, however, that pretty much all reserves are 'involuntary' in the respect that they are not on active duty. But, I don't think this is what the news is talking about. In an email, Mike said this:

I can't access the blog from work but I was talking to Steve (my officemate!) about it and he seemed to think they were IRRs, or Inactive Ready Reserves. IRRs are guys who have just gotten out of the service but remain inactive for a period of usually 4 years in case something happens. Everybody that is active duty has to do it. So when I get out I'll have 4 years of waiting around…[in a later email] If you're in the military, active or reserve or IRR or guard, you shouldn't complain when your number gets called. That's my two cents anyway. :)

As to the other parts of current news speculations, I don't know if you've been reading the other blogs on our Navy Bloggers list, but they also help give a little different perspective on things. For example, this evening I heard someone (can't recall who) on the news say that their turning over any security forces or authority to the Iraqi police or Iraqi military forces is impossible and a long way from happening. However, if you read this article and others that have been recently posted on the Desert Periscope blog you'll realize that we really are only hearing the grim details about what's going on in Iraq. I think this is the very unfortunate nature of the American news media "if it bleeds it leads" mentality. It's very hard to gain perspective when you are only hearing one side of a story.

Well everyone, I'm trying to get back in the habit of going to bed early...which is very tough to do! I hope everyone is doing well and has a great day!

I love you Mike!

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