Category: Hot Weather


It’s been quite some time since I’ve last posted something.  This has been due to a combination of shitty internet speeds, censorship, and laziness (one leads to the other in this case).  I’m back in Kuwait in a holding pattern trying to get into Iraq.  “Why are you going to Iraq Dirty?”  Good question!  “I thought all the troops left Iraq.”  Very astute of you!  “I need answers damnitt!”  Hold your horses, I will explain.  I was/am going to Iraq to fill in for someone who had to go home for a family emergency, mainly because I’m a team player but also because I’ve never been there.  I was supposed to just fly right in and start work, but that is not how it’s been going.  Apparently Iraq has been making the visa process rather painful as part of their “WE ARE A REAL COUNTRY” campaign.  They even snatched up a couple of Blackwater guys and held them for a while for not having the proper papers.  I am not in a rush to be held in the custody of the Iraqi equivalent of ICE/INS.  Being deported could have positive repercussions (free trip home) but I am not in a rush to go through all that BS.

Notice how Iraq is the chewy center of what I like to call "Super Happy Fun Land"

Either way, because we are NOT trying to get apprehended and/or deported we are TRYING to apply for the Iraqi visa.  The problem lies in the fact that the Iraqis don’t quite know what the hell they are doing at this point.  They are taking forever to process any visas, and they seem to change the rules quite often.  This is in fact quite a showstopper.  It’s really not that bad of a situation to be in though.  I’m not getting rockets shot at me in the “stan, but I’m not at home on my couch either.  This place is a real purgatory.  Neither here, nor there, and because of that it sucks.  Best case is that I get to go and help this guy out so he can go home and take care of his business.  Worst case is that I go back to the ‘stan.  There really isn’t a loss in any of this.  Oh, silly me!  I forgot to recap the last FOREVER in how I ended up here.  I think my last post was from my apartment in Kuwait.  Well, I lot has gone down since then.

"My" "Living Room" I had to share it with another guy, who is another post altogether.

I have since found my way to Afghanistan under employment of ITT on the MST in Bagram.  I worked there for about a month when I was sent south to Kandahar to do an install.  The install itself is a whole new post due to the amount of fail I experienced while working for/with the army.  So there I am in Kandahar feverently trying to undo all the fail the army buried itself under when a strange man walks into the facility and asks the question to end all questions…. “Who wants a job?”  Of course I, neck deep in army fail reply “I want a job.” From that point I am interviewed, the resume is submitted, I am vetted by several people, and ultimately hired.  I then go back to Bagram and submit my resignation (2 week notice) and immediately start catching hell from ITT management.  So here I am, trying to do right by the company, and they are fucking with me. So not cool.  Fortunately, we had collectively foresaw this happening and was set for an immediate hire.  Being as ITT decided to act like a bag of dicks, I re-submitted my resignation effective immediately. (That’ll teach them turds!)

It should say "Engineered to suck" Worst. Company. Ever.

After some rigorous on the job training from the boss, I am left to my own devices as he takes a quick vacation.  He did leave another guy there to help me out, but he was more of a suicide watch than anything else.  The first couple of days on my own, I was overly caffeinated, on edge, and petrified of failure.  After a few days I calmed down and was able to get things done.  Since I survived my trial by fire (I swear this is the only way my life operates…) I was welcomed into the family formally.  I then took my spot in Kandahar and have been there since.  I have gotten quite a bit done, but I need to reach the level of the boss man where I can make anything happen that I need to happen.  It takes time, but that is one of my goals.

It's time for the Big Time!

I’m not gonna lie.  Sometimes army officers like to shit on contractors, and when I say sometimes, I mean all the time.  But eventually they all come to their senses and request my help.  Most times I just smile knowing that they act out of jealousy and resentment.  My inner Marine keeps me professional, but my inner asshole keeps track.  I will have mine, whether it be on payday or some other occasion, but I will have mine.  Thank you for your time in reading this blog.  Drive safely!

So here I sit, on the sixth floor of my tower, in my apartment in Kuwait City, overlooking the ocean.  New roommate whom I’ve met before, with a boss damn near 10 years my JUNIOR.  Company cell phone in my pocket, company vehicle available once I get my driver’s licence (but I drive anyway).  Sounds like I got a pretty sweet deal going on out here, huh?  Well lets cover how I ended up here and what had to be endured by my family and I.

The living room. Not a bad spot. Not a GREAT spot either....

First thing I had to do was survive my enlistment without event, and complete the never-ending quest of checking out for EAS.  I almost didn’t make it though.  I ran into numerous obstacles in surviving, and in checking out.  I actually crossed the physical threshold on a junior Marine about 1 week before terminal leave.  He disrespected me so flagrantly that I actually blacked out and when my mind turned back on I already had closed the distance, and grabbed him.  Fortunately he wasn’t a complete idiot and did not make things worse by making any sudden movements or loud sounds while my mind wasn’t home.  Had he done that I probably would have begun beating on him, and that would have been bad.  Oh, all of this was going on with a space boot on my foot, due to my ankle surgery (as mentioned in previous blogs).  As for my checking out, I ran into some major delays with the dental and medical portions.  My shoulder was still not good to go but I needed a surgeon from the Naval Hospital to say it was so I could be found medically fit to separate.  This had to be done via appointment.  the appointment was about 10 days into my leave period.  The appointment took all of 5 minutes.  Needless to say, I was a little bit upset about that.  I also had a tooth extracted, you know, just because.  Then begins the medical screening for ITT.  I had a dental exam, medical exam, and shots to get.  All of these activities were conducted in the state on North Carolina, and required a shit ton of hours to get to.  My dental exam was in Jacksonville, fair enough.  I sat there in the waiting room forever waiting for the dentist to get there.  Why was I waiting?  Because the dentist lived in Wilmington, and there was a huge fire burning between Wilmington, and Jacksonville and traffic was all kinds of jacked up.  But the dentist finally arrives, and my 5 minute exam it conducted.  Yes, I was pissed about that, but happy that I was done.  The shots were done in Fayetteville which is about 3 hours from Jacksonville.  So after driving for 3 hours, and waiting for 20 minutes, I got 3 shots in about 5 minutes.  Yes, I was fucking furious that this could not be done closer to home, but it was done so that made me kinda happy.  Medical was done in Wilmington, about 1 hour away.  I got there and had forgotten that I needed to fast for some blood work.  It didn’t matter though because I got my fat ass on that scale and saw a number I didn’t think was possible.  I will not share that number with you, but lets just say that seeing that number sent my blood pressure through the roof as I was so damned pissed at myself.  Guess what test was next….. they checked my blood pressure, and it was pretty high, which pissed me further, and made it higher.  As you can see I am spiraling out of control at this point.  Well, I managed to keep it together on the outside,, but inside I was a mess.  I did my piss test and of course I was not worried about anything because I have not touched drugs for quite a long time.  I wasn’t even on painkillers for my surgeries at this point.  Then cam the blood work.  See I had forgotten to fast, but in an hour or so, I’d be back within their test window.  So blood work time comes and the nurse tries to get some blood.  Seven sticks, two nurses, and one bonafide doctor later, they finally get their blood and I get several band-aids.

Yep, they hooked me up with some band-aids.

Well I knew what had to happen, I had to lose a significant amount of weight and lower my chronically borderline blood pressure.  So begins a really effective, but shitty diet and PT routine.  Mass doses of thermogenic fat burners, no/low carb protein, water, and PT, followed with vitamin packs.  I lost the weight, and it sucked doing so.  Being laid up for months cramming in surgeries before my EAS was a strategic error on my part, but I was still able to pull it off.  With my medical package completed, I was given my flight date to depart to Ft. Benning GA where ITT and several other companies go for processing en route to the middle east.

You are good to go! Trust me, I'm a doctor.......

There are also soldiers there.  Tons of them, of all shapes and sizes and walks of life.  Mostly National Guard and reservists.  If you have never worked with the two aforementioned groups, then you don’t fully understand disappointment, and frustration with someone you THOUGHT was in the military.  Most of these people were complete tool bags.  Just getting out of the Marine Corps, my view of the military might have been a little biased, but nothing could have prepared me for the jackassery that I witnessed at Ft. Benning at the hand of those reservists and guardsmen.  Did I mention that the staff was reservist/guard?  Well they were, so that just added to the suckitude of being there.  After a week of processing, when I thought I’d reached the finish line.  I was incorrect in that assumption.  The medical people at Benning did not appreciate my recent weight loss, or my lower blood pressure.  They ignored my new results that I had to get in order to even be sent there.  They saw the first ones, and made a decision.  I was sent home, absolutely dejected and no longer drawing a paycheck.  I had already received my last paycheck from the Corps, and now here I sat with a half paycheck from ITT for one week of ‘work’ plus my signing bonus.  My wife was there for me, and she was supportive.  I had coordinated with ITT to return to Benning to finish my processing and finally get into theater.  ITT held up their end of the deal by getting the paperwork done for my return.  I did my part by not getting fatter, and showing up.  I finally completed Ft. Benning and flew to Kuwait.  I was still not too excited about to where I was going in Afghanistan, and what I was going to be doing.  Sitting in a TCF with my thumb about elbow deep in my ass unable to actually troubleshoot my own equipment was not something I was looking forward to doing.  I needed something that would allow me more growth.  Enter Mr. Edison, a soldier I worked with in Okinawa years ago at Ft. Buckner.  He had just switched contracts to go to a section called the MST in Afghanistan.  He would be able to get knee-deep in the gear and actually perform maintenance.  I was excited, I asked how I could get on with that.  He directed me to the MST boss and after speaking with him I jumped contracts at an immediate pay cut, at a higher salary.  I know it does not make sense, but it works like this: When you go to Iraq, or Afghanistan, the State Department adds 70% of your base salary to your first 40 hours, so I would make more money in Afghanistan, but at a lower hourly rate.  With the MST, I could still go to Afghanistan for work, but at a higher hourly rate, on top of all the labor perks that come with working out of Kuwait (more on those in a later blog).  So here I sit, in Kuwait, car keys in my pocket, ready to whip it on.  There is always more to the story as about a month has gone by since this point that i could speak on, but who wants to read a 4000 word blog?  Nobody, that’s who.  So enjoy the reading and be sure to leave a comment.  Thanx!

sigh........

Well, the girls have played their first games this weekend, and I’m a bit surprised by the results.  I really had no frame of reference going in, but even then, I just knew things would be different than they were.  I got bamboozled into coaching this game and could not take pictures, but Ayana’s Pee Wee Panthers played against the Pee Wee Titans first and won.  The starting offense and defense did very well.  They did whatever they wanted to when they wanted to.  It was like magic in the forest.  The other kids, you know… the little littles ones were a different story for both sides.  They were off the chain with what they would do.  Some lined up on the wrong side of the ball, some just stood there, and one kid on the Titans played keep away with the ball with every adult out there, during the game.  Funny stuff!  I had a kid tell me he was gonna kill me and my team and the we were going down.  A 5 year old felt the need to talk shit to me.  I was dying laughing inside, just laughing as much as I could, all the while trying to herd these little people and give this chaos some sense of order.  Ayana actually crushed some little boy, who landed flat on his back and started crying.  I had no idea if that was OK out here with the little ones, so I approached Ayana and had a stern look on my face, which got her to start crying.  I never scolded her, and I told her good job once I noticed the ref did not throw a flag.  A few seconds later she was OK, and right back out there.  Ayana has one hell of a mean streak under all the curls, dimples, and pony tails.  I left that game sweaty (it was really hot on Saturday), and proud of my 2nd daughter.

Rianna’s Termite Panthers played the Termite Stallions.  I also coached this game which is why there are no pictures.  First thing I noticed was the size difference.  The Stallions were on average 2-3 time bigger than our kids.  This was NOT a good thing, as the kids noticed this discrepancy as well.  They played the game with absolutely no sense of urgency, no hustle, and a heightened feeling of fear.  They were visibly scared of these big ass kids, and in turn those big ass kids wore their asses out.  The Stallions ran where they wanted, and scored at will.  Turns out that none of the kids on Rianna’s team tackle her in practice, because they can’t tackle very well anyway.  Arm tackles were run though, shaken off, and promptly scored on.  Rianna got a few carries for negative yards because they were hitting her at the exchange.  Our QB was getting hit 2 steps into his drop.  It was an embarrassing, and frustrating game to be part of.  All in all, we got our asses whipped.  I had to carry Rianna off the field on two separate occasions because she was laying on the ground crying because someone tackled her with some force and it hurt.  Relax, she just fine, but we told her that we were not going to baby her just because she was a girl.  She asked US to play football, and crying was not going to cut it.  She did have a pretty exciting kick return where she took the ball to the 50 from the 30, but other than that they kept her whole team bottled up.  We did score once on a kick return.  We had so many chances that we were bound to make one work by blind luck.  I can foresee practice getting a little more intense in the coming weeks.  The coaches will have to tell the parents that little Johnny is about to get his ass kicked for his own good, because football is a brutal sport on any level.  The training has to be brutal as well, and that some kids will not like it.  But either they get their asses handed to them in practice, and have fun during the games, or they have fun during practice, and get their asses whipped during the games, Mothers of America will have to decide.

Moving on from football to other updates.  Our garbage disposal went tits up this week.  We were absolutely delighted to hear the sound of it breaking, and henceforth be unable to use half of our sink.  I’ve got my eye on a new one, but it will have to wait for at least a week before I pull the trigger on it.  The broken one is a InSinkerator brand Badger.

One of those parts no worky

I wish I could replace it with this:

This is a real badger. They eat garbage right?

I just have to figure out how to keep this little guy under my sink.

The wife and I also switched out our bath puffs (bite me!).  I was in charge of this task, and I THOUGHT I knocked it out of the park.  But alas, I did not.  When I bought home what I though was a gentle exfoliating bath puff, was actually a new age scouring pad in disguise.  You know the old school one that your only use on cast iron pans.  The ones that will STRIP ALL THE TEFLON OFF YOUR PANS IN ONE SHOT.  Yeah, that’s what I brought home.  I took a shower, and was physically assaulted by this thing.  It was horrible.  I had to warn the wife, with her still dealing with allergy related hives, I could not let her walk into an ambush I inadvertently set.  I just got some new ones, lets hope I didn’t screw this one up as well.

What I thought I was buying......

what I actually bought home.....

I return to work this coming week.  Needless to say, I am really excited (no, not really at all.)  I get to catch up on things missed (crap other people should have done but didn’t), and see people I haven’t seen in a while (really not in a rush to see them ever again).  Returning to work should be joyous, and I look forward to it.(need I comment on the implied sarcasm?)

But I don't want to!

Well, that about wraps it up.  Feel free to leave a comment.  In fact, I IMPLORE you to leave a comment!

This is who came to fix my A/C

Along with THIS dipshit!

 

If it’s one thing I hate it’s someone trying to steal from me.  You can walk up to me and disrespect me, and I’ll live with that because we can handle that right there on the spot.  You can be a dirt bag, drug addicted loser in all things life.  I’m OK with that, I know you for who you are and will never be a victim of yours. 

Might as well be my uncle.....

But a thief posing as a mechanic, repairman, contractor, or otherwise is one thing I cannot get over, one thing I cannot let slide.  As previously posted, my A/C fell apart and was in need of repair.  I, unfortunately do not have the training or equipment to correct this.  I actually HAVE to call someone else to come fix that damned thing.  No problem, I paid a pretty penny to extend the warranty on my home just in case something like this happened.  I call the warranty company, the contact a company who then contacts me to schedule the maintenance and all I pay is a $60.00 service charge.  That’s it, cut and dried, $60.00 will fix damn near anything in my home.  Manley Heating and Cooling decided to try to get me for an additional $120.00.  Here’s how it went down……

Repair guy A shows up, troubleshoots, and finds the problem.  It’s the condenser, the condenser is old and has very non-earth friendly freon in it.  This stuff has to be disposed of, and that service is not free.  Repair guy A tries to plant the seed using that logic, “hey man…. there might be a disposal fee….”  I ask if my warranty company covers that.  He says “they normally don’t”, and I reply with “I’ll give them a call and check…”  Time passes and I call the warranty company to check status on the part delivery, and weather or not I have to pay any additional monies.  I was told “no” by the nice lady on the phone.  She reassured me that my contract stated the $60.00 fee was all I would ever have to pay.  If the A/C really did burst into flames, they would pay for a whole new unit to be installed, and I would pay $60.00.  Good stuff.  I am now armed with information.

Repair guy B shows up to install my part.  I am happy, because it looked like it was going to get hot that day.  He install the new parts, and turns on the A/C.  It’s blowing really cool air.  I am extraordinarily happy at this point.  He then shits on my day with this statement “OK, that will be $120.00.”  Excuse me jackass?  I reply with “I spoke with my warranty company last week and they said all I had to pay was the $60.00 service charge.”  He countered with ” well… you are authorized a certain amount for the repair, anything over that you have to cover…” touche fucker, but I’m an asshole and you have misunderestimated me.  “Let me give them a call to verify that I heard everything they said correctly….” I say.  “Let me call my boss”  He says.  I explain the last 10 minutes of my life to who I believe to be the same woman I spoke with last time.  She now sounds agitated, and she tells me once again that the $60.00 service fee is all that I pay, she also says that Manley Heating and Cooling should contact her company to work out any invoice discrepancies.  As I was telling repair guy B this new old information, he tells me that his boss say to write the invoice stating that I don’t have to pay anymore than what I have.

I guess this shit OK as long as you are military

I sign the invoice and give him exactly $00.00 on top of the $60.00 service fee I already paid.  I guess people are too trusting out here.  If he makes 10 repairs over the course of a day, and gets an extra $120 per house, he brings in an extra 1,200 per day.  That’s $8,400 per week, $33,600 per month, and $403,200 per year.  That money is on top of legit fees being provided by the warrantee companies and other paying customers.  I know they make more than 10 calls a day so the math just goes up from there. 

Now I can’t knock an honest hustle.  If you are selling candy or something that effect for your school, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts….. I’m all for that.  But when you cross that line and lie to people and steal their money, you deserve to be shot.  People put their lives on the line in foreign countries out here for not a lot of money, and these people try to steal what little they have.  For shame!!  What about you guys?  Ever had a business try to shaft you and get caught in the act?  Ever get shafted by a business and never have any get back?  Tell me about it.  Feel free to leave a comment.

As many of you should know, my oldest daughter Rianna is a tackle football player.  The coaches have her at linebacker and as far as I know, starting running back, and kick returner.  She can outrun the whole team with the exception of one boy sometimes, and has an agility I’ve never seen on a little girl.  Here is a clip…

Ok so that’s not her, but its very similar.  Very shifty, lots of speed,  lots of kids missing, and lots of moms cheering on some good ol girl power.

Now it’s Ayana’s turn.  We just signed her up for flag football and I think she can do well.  She is just as athletic as her older sister and for once in her life won’t have to chase anyone like her.  She will be playing on the same team as Rianna because all the age groups fall under one team name.  Since some naughty Shiba Inu ate Ayana’s cleats out of anger, we have to get her some new ones.

Just like me... this dog is an asshole

The interesting thing is this, Ayana has got quite a personality.

They may have locked themselves in the crate, but their spirits knows no bounds.... And just know that she does much weirder things on the regular.

We honestly don’t know how she is going to react when someone pulls her flag.  If soccer is any indicator she will be too busy steamrolling other children to really care, but if home is any indicator we had better buy a Shamwow to get all the tears, and ear plugs for the noise.  It really doesn’t matter, we will support Ayana just as much as we support Rianna and we KNOW she will be OK because she is our daughter.  Oh…. our A/C works now better than ever!!!!  Feel free to leave a comment.

Well, looks like the part for our A/C comes in Monday.  We should be back to chillin by Tuesday hopefully.  Nobody wasted nobody.  Good times.  Little baby Shaun has 5 glorious teeth in her mouth now, and I’m waiting for number 6 to break through.

CUTIE!!!

Rianna, and Ayana are doing great in school right now and we hoope to keep them engaged and doing well.  Rianna’s football team is pretty funny.  There are some kids who I swear are big enough to buy smokes and not get carded, and some that cant even ride the teacups because they are so small.  Rianna is somewhere near the smallish side.

That's pretty much how she sees it

It’s been an interesting experience nteaching my daughter how to play football.  How violent to you make an otherwise sweet 8 year old girl.  How much aggression do you bring out.  If she were bigger I would pretty much let things just happen naturally.  Since she is small, she has to bring more force, to the table to be effective in tackling and running the ball, two things she will be expected to do at linebacker, and running back.  I’ve seen her pop the crap out of the kids on her team, and then just kinda stand there and not take them down.  I’ve also seen he destroy kids.  She’s getting better though, I watched her completely own some kid yesterday, and I’ve seen her lay into the biggest kid on the team with no fear.

YOU GET TACKLED WHEN I SAY YOU DO!!!

She didn’t take him down, but she stopped him in his tracks.  The coaches say that with her speed and nose for the ball, she should do well this season, lets all hope so.  Ayana might be starting in flag football this year.

Ayana could OWN the league is she wanted to

THAT should be an intersting experience.  Ayana’s personality is peculiar to say the least, and despite her size, and physicallity, her reaction to someone taking her flag should be worth recording and sharing.  We hope there are still slots open for her to play, she needs to be involved in a sport as well and football might be really fun for her.  Just though I’d give you guys an update since it’s been a while since my last post.  Feel free to comment.

Just in time for some unseasonably hot weather, my home central air unit has crapped itself.  This is not the first time it has done this, but it is the most severe.  Here is a brief rundown of the love hate relationship we have with our A/C.  Prior to our moving into the house, the home appraisal guy noticed the A/C wasn’t kicking out cold air like it should.  It was under home warranty so it was no big deal.  They fixed it and we moved in.  Months down the road we noticed that once again it was not kicking the cold air like it should, so we called them in.  They replaced the fan on the unit outside and ghetto rigged it in the process.  I had cold air once again, so it was no big deal.  $60.00 well spent.  Well Tax return time comes around, and I have to make the decision to renew my home warranty.  I say “sure why the hell not, something is bound to break within the next year.”  I was dead on.  Just yesterday my A/C was in fact kicking out hot air. 

Kinda like this, but with more fire, and a pissed off black guy glaring at it

I jumped on the phone to call it in because I foresaw this exact thing happening.  The repair man arrived this morning to give it a look over.  He tried several things to get it working again, only to fail again and again.  He tells me the compressor is dead.  I tell him that the A/C was having a tough time keeping the house cool during daylight hours recently, and he said that’s because the compressor was dying.  Roger that, house has been hot because A/C is a piece of crap, got it.  I once again pay the $60.00 for the service call, I then ask “what now?”  He tells me that the warranty company has to order the part and ship it to them.  After that they can come and install it.  I then asked if I would have to pay his sorry ass $60.00 when he comes to install the part.  He told me that he didn’t think so, but I may have to pay a disposal fee for the compressor.  I’m wondering what would happen if I chose to dispose of the bad compressor myself and not have to pay for the disposal of these parts.  But we will cross that bridge when we get to it.  As it stands my house will be without A/C for about 1 week.  That’s right, a house that has 1 dad, 3 daughters, a wife, and a dog will all be without A/C for a while.  Think about how agitated everyone is going to be.  Yay, nothing like a bunch of uncomfortable women all in one place, all willing to tell you at every juncture how uncomfortable they are.  If you hear on the news that a man lost his mind and beat the holy hell out of every A/C unit on the block, just know it was me, and now you know why.  We do have ceiling fans in every room, but 2 of them are dying as well, and I’ve already replaced another 2.  Besides, all they to is stir the hot air around.  Maybe I can put something on the fan blades and use it to distract them when they start to complain about the heat, the same heat that I will be  feeling, the same heat of which I have no control over.  So for all you lucky bastards out there, sucking up the A/C, complaining about how cold it is in your home while I sunbathe in mine, I hope you freeze your tits off!

UPDATE: It is now so hot in our house that the hard drive in our dvr has failed and my computer is behaving badly. We have been sitting around 90 degrees inside since the A/C went down. I swear if this no A/C thing goes for to much longer, all of our electronics will die. Damn you shitty old A/C! Damn you to hell!

We would love to have this problem.... but we don't