Archives / 2004 / December
  • Back in the USA

    I flew back home Tuesday the 28th and am now on a pass in Fayetteville, NC (Ft. Bragg).  I'll be here for probably a couple of weeks yet while we outprocess and demobilize.  It's great to be back in the US again, and Michelle drove down from Ohio to see me arrive, which was really nice.  Thanks again to everyone for all your support, and to the 278th for relieving us in country so that we could return home. more

  • PocketPC (and desktop) .NET Chess!

    I've recently been getting back into playing Chess while I'm in Iraq.  I'm pretty good, compared to a lot of people here, but I'm definitely still a novice.  I need look no further for proof of this than my difficulty in beating this PocketPC chess game even on its easiest setting.  It's a very cool, and free, chess game for PocketPC and for the desktop.  No longer will I be limited to Solitaire on my PocketPC for entertainment! Link   more

  • Army Looks to Boost UpArmor Humvee Production

    After Rumsfeld was asked earlier this week why soldiers going into Iraq are having to scrounge for vehicle armor, the Army is now actively looking to boost production of uparmored Humvees.  That's a good thing, to be sure, and one I doubt is any coincidence considering the media attention the issue has received this week.  However, in addition to building more up-armored humvees, there also needs to be more effort on getting the vehicles already in Iraq up-armored with kits.  In particular, the gunners on such vehicles need some kind of protection.  Ideally, a ring mount in the center of the Humvee's back seat works well, with 'chicken plates' around the gunner.  … more

  • Rumsfeld Responds To Tough Questions

    AP Reports Disgruntled Troops Complain To Rumsfeld.  I don't think they're complaining - they're asking legitimate questions to someone in a position, one would hope, to take action.  But Rumsfeld does a good job of answering the questions, I think.  One was asked by a member of the 278th out of Tennessee -- the same unit that will be relieving us shortly.  The question, which is perfectly valid I think, was this: "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and … more

  • Tikrit

    Saw Tikrit today, including a few palaces from a distance.  Apart from Baghdad it's the biggest city I've been in over here.  Its rush hour was comparable to something back in the states, with lots of traffic, and there were lots and lots of people walking around outside.  Tuz is decent-sized, but with smaller buildings and narrower roads and less traffic. I didn't get to actually go near any of the buildings, and overall they weren't as impressive as I'd imagined in my mind.  Certainly nothing compared to, say, Schloss Neuschwanstein in Germany.  But at least now I can say I saw them. What did impress me was FOB Speicher's facilities.  They have the nicest chow … more

  • What's a Blog?

    If you're asking this question, or wondering what B-L-O-G could possibly stand for, you're not alone.  Blog was the #1 most looked up word in 2004 according to Merriam Webster.  Read more about it in this article, which also lists the other members of the top 10 most looked up words for the year. “Blog” is a concatenation, not an acronym.  It's short for “web log” and according to Webster's current definition, is “a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks.” more