Monday, June 30, 2008

Travel woes correction

So no 8 hour layover in St. Louis on the way to Dallas, but still a
fairly long layover in St. Louis on the way to Norfolk, and upon luggage. The most horrible travel award still stands!

Traveling Blues Part Deux

I thought I took the prize for most horrific traveling stories,
especially coming in and out (Mostly out) of Baghdad, but alas, I
relinquish my crown and now hand Chris the tiara of most miserable
traveler. She got out of Montevideo with no problems, albeit with a
lack of sleep. She called to tell me that she had been rerouted to
Dallas/Fort Worth instead of Atlanta (Switch from AA to Delta) then to
Norfolk with a 8 hour layover! Yikes! She then called me from Miami,
it gets better, there is a layover in St. Paul on the way to Dallas/Fort
Worth, she told me that it was a short layover and she would most likely
not be getting off the plane or so she thought. Yet another phone call
as she boarded the plane, that short layover,,,another 8 hours! I told
her to beg and scream when she got to St.Paul to get her out of there.
Apparently every seat on AA is booked up, summer time, cutting back on
flights, all of that stuff. 3 days traveling from South America to home
in Virginia!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Skooch" A Doc Report Podcast

Well that was fast! I have embedded the Flash Player version here, but the Podcast download is here:

Enjoy : )

powered by ODEO

Upcoming stories

I keep telling myself I am going to blog my favorite life stories when I
get a 'round-to-it', well now that Chris is gone and I've got nothing
but time on my hands, I will.
But, I am going to do something different, I am going to make a
podcast. Hopefully it will be easy and if so, I'll blog how I did it.

The stories I'll podcast are:

1. "skooch"
2. Shark fishing on Wake Island
3. 4th of July in New York

Maybe some Drill Instructor stories in the mix as well.

Traveling blues

Chris had a flight last night leaving at 9:00PM. I scheduled a driver
to pick her up at 6:30, arrive at the airport at 7:00PM or so, plenty of
wiggle room for a direct flight to the States. There was some fog last
night and we both wondered about it delaying her flight but decided that
it wouldn't be a problem. She calls me not soon after she arrived and
told me that now the flight wouldn't be leaving until 2:00AM, not only
that they would now have to rebook her from Miami to Dallas/Fort Worth
to Norfolk at a great delay. She wasn't a happy camper. I felt sorry
that she had such a long layover here at our little airport.
1:00AM rolls around and she calls me, the flight has been canceled! She
was coming home with a family that I work with and make the apartment
ready. They arrive around an hour later and the couches and spare
bedroom are full of sleeping heads. Wake up time 6:00 for taxis to pick
up everyone at 6:30 or so. This morning Chris asked what I was going to
do when she left, I said go back to sleep, she said you better not (She
thought it was Monday). She has since arrived at the airport, and
called. She now has a flight, but also a 8 hour layover at Dallas/Fort
Worth (yee haw). The ticket agent told her every flight is booked solid.

I get to go though all of this in a few weeks here...

Calender add on for Thunderbird

Way cool add on for Thunderbird users, finally a calender option. Just
installed it and it gives Thunderbird the Outlook 2007 feel, without all
of the fluff.
If your using Gmail I'd give Thunderbird a try, very easy to install and
configure for Gmail, in fact it's already set for it, add the calender
option and your good to go!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gordon Lightfoot 1974 - Sundown

Couldn't help myself! The subject says it all. Gordon Lightfoot, the man could write songs! C'mon, Carefree Highway, If you could read my mind, Edmund Fitzgerald. Gotta love the Gord man!

80's Flashback Supreme - The call - The Walls Came Down

I usually don't do this, but for whatever strange reason I had this song in my head this morning. Sure enough, everythings on YouTube and I found it. This is a fairly deep alternative cut that got lots of college radio airplay. I got into this band and bought LP's and CD's along the way.
Who? The Call, name of the song "The walls came down". There was talk that this was a Christian band but they downplayed that in all of their interviews.
Nevertheless, great song!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tawny the trained kitty

I'm going to have to word this carefully, so here I go.

So this morning I wake up and go to the bathroom and do what men 'do' in the morning when the door pushes open and here comes Tawny. As I'm standing there 'doing' what men 'do' in the morning Tawny jumps in the bidet, stands up, puts her paws up against the wall and promptly 'does' what a kitty does in the morning, finishes, turns around and scratches at the chained plug attached to the bidet and jumps out.

I'm not sure how she learned any of that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Get to know Doc - The news junkie

I am a news junkie, and I can't tell you why or when it happened, but I
just like keeping up with the news. Which is probably why I find it
hard to post to my blog in the morning because I am reading the news,
always starting with the back home news then onto
a back home television station and then to the
Washington Post

Now for those of you who
match news preferences with socio-political preference I really don't
care for the views posted on either paper and prefer Fox for news on
television, guess that let that out of the bag, LOL!

Time to go to work!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Comment Spam

Not you Monika, LOL! All of a sudden I got swamped by a dozen comment spams, I guess comment spam is better than no comments at all, LOL!
Tags: ,

A foggy morning

Chris shouts this morning "Where did the outside go?!", I join her looking out the window to see yes indeed, the 'outside' did seem to disappear in fog. I think our first real fog since we've been here, and guess what? My first morning blog post even though I need to leave for work, like, now.

Here are a few photos taken from our balcony, as usual.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

9:30 PM and the coughs begin

I've been sick for a few days now, not feeling so bad during the day, but having a really bad hacking cough at night that keeps me from sleeping. Was hoping it wouldn't be so bad tonight, but it's already started. Ugh : (

Tawny the veggie kitty

Remember Tawny, our Uruguayan kitty? Funny thing about her, she loves lettuce. We discovered this one day after Chris washed some lettuce and laid it out on the dining room table on a towel to dry. Low and behold Tawny is on the table with a piece of lettuce, we shooed her off, but this wasn't the last time. So the next time Chris washed some lettuce she threw a piece to Tawny, but that didn't stop her from jumping on the table to grab another piece. Now, Tawny watches Chris wash the lettuce as she knows there is going to be a piece for her. When Chris throws pieces of lettuce in the trash, Tawny goes looking for it.

I'll try to get a picture of Tawny and her lettuce and post it.

Palm froms

Chris corrected me, not palm tree leaves, but palm froms. So, here are some they fell off of the tree in from of our apartment, now picture the entire median covered in dead palm from from one end of the other. Probably would have made a better picture, but the weather was really nasty that day.

Homemade marshmallow fluff

All I can say is YUM! We can't find marshmallows here, and definitely not marshmallow fluff (Which I love with peanut butter as a sandwich). So Chris took it upon herself to make some, only it required corn syrup, yet another item you can't find here. So she was going to make the corn syrup but decided against it.

Well to our good fortune a colleague was leaving and bestowed upon Chris 2 bottles of corn syrup! The marshmallow fluff recipe was on the counter the next morning.

I am right now enjoying a very warm apple crumble with flax seeds covered in gooey marshmallow fluff! YUM!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Miserable Day

It's cold, rainy and very windy today and to top it off I'm still sick. I stayed home today, which is unusual for me, but better that then go to work coughing and sniffling and everything else.

Last night I had a good case of the coughs that kept me up most of the night, that was no fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Estoy infirmo

Translated: I'm sick. It started off as just a sinus infection, hardly
anything more than my head feeling funny and the occasional runny nose
and cough, but as the days went on I started to feel a little bit more
yuckier, and then last night the dreaded coughs kicked in, keeping me
and Chris up all night. We had run out of cough drops so Chris Googled
home made cough syrup, went to work in the kitchen and brought back this
"witches brew", believe it or not, it worked! I'll try to find the recipe.

Happy Birthday General Artigas

Thanks to General Artigas we have a local holiday and a day off, and
pretty much the country of Uruguay! There is a bridge named after him,
several roads and on and on. Can't find his wiki page, but I'm sure
it's out there.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Facebook me Facebook you

I know your dying to ask, do I have a Facebook profile? Yes, I admit I have a Facebook but I'm not really into the whole Facebook thing. I have bumped into a few friends and of course coworkers, but not much more than that. Haven't installed any of the applications (Do you install them?) or answered any of the questions I get bombarded with, maybe I will later.

I'll put a link to my Facebook profile later.

The winds of change

This past weekend was windier than ever here, sustained winds of around 32-37mph almost the entire weekend, which made for plenty of whistling windows and howling winds.
This morning on my way to work I noticed plenty of palm leaves had fallen down, makes sense.

Book Corner - Finished Reading

Battle Born by Dale Brown
576 pages

This is the second Dale Brown book I've read, the first being 'Storming Heaven'. Much like the previous book I read by the author it's chock full of pilot jargon, forcing me to Google some of the terms, I mean, what exactly is "angels eleven"?

It was a pretty long read!

But back to the book, not bad, a bit far fetched, but interesting. South Korea attacks North Korea in a planned effort to reunite the country, the USAF steps in with a secret weapon to prevent an all out nuclear war.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Muzak Attack

One funny thing that I noticed about shopping at the local grocery store has to be their choice of muzak, mostly classic rock and roll songs. Amusing in the fact that classic rock and roll songs that would be in English, not the most favorite music here.

Another thing about the muzak is it sure makes me feel old! Today at the grocery store I heard 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen,wow, never would have though that would make the muzak circuit, but then we heard 'Shine on you crazy diamond' by Pink Floyd, double wow!

So I'm guessing here that everyone knows what muzak is, for those of you who don't it's the instrumental music that is playing in the background at the mall etc. that usually has that lounge lizard feel to it.

Saturday blogging

I'm so mad at myself, why? I have really slipped on my blogging
efforts. I kept saying that I would at least try to post one thing in
the morning before I went to work, but haven't done that. Then it was
post something after work, haven't done that. Now, back to doing what I
have done for the past couple of weeks, a few blog posts on Saturday. I
need a kick in the pants to get more blog posts out!

Computer Success Award

I had reinstalled XP on our home computer using the restore DVD about 3
months ago and was never able to get the microphone to work, which is
pretty important for us as we use Skype. So I tried different
microphones, I tried the front and rear microphone jacks, I tried
updating the drivers, nothing. Everything pointed to the sound card had
failed. Well, I didn't want to invest in a new sound card, but what was
I going to do? I realized the web cam had a built in microphone, was
there a chance that I could make this work? To my surprise yes! How is
that? The web cam wasn't acting as a microphone per se as it was a
sound card. Took some playing with, but it works!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lefty righty left....

What in the world was that subject of this post? It doesn't make sense
just saying it, you have to hear it, hear what? A running chant, i.e.;
Marines Corps DI running chants.

See at work I have a computer with sorts of music on it, we listen to it
all day. Sometimes it plays recorded Marine Corps running chants. I
cannot understand at all how anyone can find this entertaining, but
apparently some people do or had.

Funny thing is, when I was a DI at Parris Island a recording company had
come to the Island to record just that, running chants. Chance are what
I listen to at work is one and the same. I watched the recording
engineers at work, they had Drill Instructor school students running in
a circle on the basketball courts with the recording team in the middle
extending a boom mike. The students in turn were singing various
chants. Had no idea I would be listening to then 14 years later on MP3.

Now something I have to mention about "singing" running chants, it was
never very fun, in fact it was a lot of work! When your the junior
Drill Instructor you can count on having to be called out to sing chants
for the recruits. Well for one, you have to sing loud, really loud,
then on top of that you have to be thinking about your next chant as you
are finishing ending another. You can't just finish a chant, stop and
catch your breath and then think about another! But there was a trick
of sorts if you were stumped on what to sing next, filler chants!
That's what I called them. What would that be? Well just little stuff
for the recruits to sing back to you, all the while your thinking...what

The all time classic chant? The all time Army and Marine Corps favorite
chant? The good ol' C-130 rolling down the strip chant, whoever came up
with it was a poet. There are so many flavors of this chant, all
depending on what branch of the service your in.

Here is a link I found on the web

Oh funny, you can buy this on eBay!!_W0QQitemZ230258900053QQcmdZViewItem?IMSfp=TL0806042045r12094


Exchange rate

The exchange rate here just keeps going down and down and down. It has
been as low as 19.10 pesos to the USD, compare that to around 24 pesos
to the USD when we first arrived.

All in all the prices are still reasonable on most things, but costing
us more :'(

I like to put overseas prices in the Big Mac perspective. As I
mentioned in my earlier post a Big Mac sandwich by itself is 60 pesos,
when we first arrived that sandwich would have cost $2.50, not to bad,
and now, $3.14. I was debating with Chris about the price of a Big Mac
meal (with fries and drink) in the U.S.A, I seem to remember that it was
less than $4.00.

Beautiful day here

Wow, what a nice day here in Montevideo! We went for a long walk,
original destination feria de tristan navaja, but after many blocks of
walking we realized that the feria would be probably be closing by the
time we got there. Instead we went turned around and headed for the
feria closer to our home. I got a nice big hamburguesa from a roach
coach for 4o pesos. Not a bad deal as a Big Mac by itself is 60 pesos.

Jack Lucas - Medal Of Honor winner dies

This is kind of strange in that I was just thinking about this gentleman the other day.  He had visited Parris Island (Marine Corps boot camp) and although I didn't meet him, I did drive behind his old Chevy van with handicapped license plates along with MOH recipient as well as Marine Corps stickers plastered all over.
His is a very unique story as he is the youngest person awarded this medal, not only that he survived jumping on a grenade, while a second one (grenade) was thrown in at the same time!

Here is a link to his story.