Monday, July 28, 2008

Guess who's getting sick?

That would be me! I can't believe it, another head cold. So far runny nose and the headache behind my eyes. No swimming pool for me today!

Anthony Bourdain in Uruguay

In 15 minutes Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" (Travel Channel) show comes on and he'll be in my neck of the wood, Uruguay. Should be cool!

Crew blog entry here about Uruguay

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Note to self

Don't watch The Food Network for extended periods when hungry.

So to satisfy my hunger pains I went to Red Hot and Blue a bbq joint. There are a few up here in Northern Virginia I'm not sure where else. I got a sandwich to go, but next time will eat in as I think the portions are a bit bigger. They do have a wicked hot bbq sauce. I know everyone has a really hot bbq sauce, but this one is definitely hot, but a good hot.

Saturday in Warrenton

I'm bored. Beautiful day, but nothing to do. Went to the pool and was hoping housekeeping would have cleaned my room while I was away, but they are still at the other end of the hall.
I have been using the wireless connection versus the wired connection at the hotel, amazingly faster. I can get a wireless signal poolside but the screen on my both my laptop and handheld are to hard to see.

I should be studying, but I wonder whats on HBO...

Gadget Review - Skype for PocketPC

So I bought a used HP Ipaq 4700 around two years ago for whatever reason and was really excited when Skype developed a version for PocketPC. Initially it was model specific, so you had to find your model, download the software and install. It didn't work. Then Skype came out with an all around version for all PocketPC's, it almost worked, but when I tried to make a call the program would quit. Well I overheard someone saying how he has been using Skype on his Ipaq and I thought, well it should work for mine then. So I went back to the Skype download site and see that the latest version was something like where I had version, would it make a difference? YES! I can actually get Skype to work on my Ipaq now. The point? So anytime I am at someplace that has a WiFi hotspot I can logon to Skype via my handheld and make a call : )
If I am really geeky (Okay, so I am), I also have a Bluetooth headset for my Ipaq, so I can use this in conjunction with my Ipaq just like a cellphone.

Now really what I would like is a PocketPC capable cellphone, then I can have the best of both worlds : )

Monday, July 21, 2008

Trip Report

Well I'm here in Warrenton, VA, aka worlds most boring city. My flight to Buenos Aires was without incident. Made it to the airport in Montevideo with minutes to spare. Had submitted for a upgrade on United and was waitlisted, which I thought for certain meant I wouldn't get it, but surprisingly even had a choice of seats : ) Of course it's always nice to fly business class but United business isn't that special, although the meals are usully pretty good.

Chris met me at Dulles which was a nice treat as I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've arrived at an airport all by myself.

I'm staying here at the Holiday Inn Express, nothing special except they do offer a halfway decent breakfast and the rooms have a fridge and microwave. I have lots of Priority Club (Holiday Inn) points so I tend to stay at their hotels to keep up my status with them.

So back to the boredom.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Forfeited Air Miles

I got an email from US Airways telling me unless I fly one segment by September with them or sign up and get a US Airways credit I am going to forfeit almost 19K air miles.
Super bummer. It may actually be worth it to fly one way from Dulles to Norfolk one weekend while I'm in country as 19K probably won't earn a free ticket but possibly a upgrade.

I'm also getting close to losing my miles on Delta, although not as much confused

Buen Jura de la ConstituciĆ³n

Woo Hoo, another local holiday and short work week. But alas I am
scurrying around packing my bag. Which brings me to another story. My
old faithful green "Jeep" brand luggage. I bought it at Value City
years ago, it's olive green and rugged. The nice thing about it's color
is I never mistake it for anyone else's. It's also very rugged and has
been seam popping stuffed and tagged with a "Heavy" label so many times
I can't count. Well last night I grabbed the larger piece and weighed
it, nearly 18 pounds, not a good thing these days. Might have to trade
her in on a big rolling duffel bag :-P .

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Preparing for the trip home

I know I'm going to forget something, always do! Had to arrange to have
a cat/house sitter for the time I'm gone. A nice college girl will be
watching the feline gang. She just needed to know the most important
thing about the apartment, how to work the remote control ;-)

So the office threw me a small birthday party Tuesday which was very
nice. That makes the second office birthday party I've had. The first
being a surprise birthday party in Sarajevo that was well planned out.

Oh No!

I'm going home in a few days and looking forward to going to the beach,
but I forgot, I'm white as a ghost! Now I'm really going to look like a

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

When I got off work today and stepped outside I thought I was in the
wrong country, it was so warm! 79F to be exact. This winter has been
unusually mild although the temperature is forecasted to drop next
week...but I'll be in the good ol' U.S.A! :-)

A new record!

Turned on a light switch this morning and blew two bulbs at once!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Montevideo in the Wash Post

Thanks to my former coworker for pointing out this article about Montevideo in the Washington Post.

Enjoy biggrin

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gadget Review - VoFree VoIP (Skype) Adpatar

What is it? It allows you to use an ordinary home phone as your Skype
phone. I have been making my Skype calls in front of the PC or laptop
which isn't always convenient. We have a cordless phone and it I
remembered seeing these devices. There were several on eBay and I was a
bit skeptical but took the plunge, it was only $26 with shipping.

Installation was easy enough, plug in the box to a USB port attach the
cord to your phone and your phone line (You can still use your phone to
make regular calls).

What the directions failed to mention was the extra steps to get it
configured with Skype but being the geek that I am I was able to solve
that fairly quickly.

The directions on how to use it also was wrong, but I was able to figure
that out.

I was also a little uneasy because the product was made in China, but my
anti virus hasn't screamed yet.

Made some test calls back and forth with Chris and the quality was very

So if your a Skype user and want to break free from the PC give it a shot!

Woo Hoo I'm Page Rank 2

Unless your a blog geek you probably have no idea what I'm talking
about, and still I'm not sure if I know what it all means. I checked my
Page Rank and I have gone from a 0 for the longest time to a 2 (Out of 10).
You can read about Page Rank here:

and check your blog or web site here

Book Corner- finished reading

Air Battle Force by Dan Brown

The third book I've read from this author and the last. I thought I'd
like his epic tales of air superiority with neat sounding futuristic
weapons, but I guess I wasn't.
Not that it was a bad book, it was a good read, but not for me : )

Blog catch up

So here's a short summary of my past week:

My son visited me, his first trip to a foreign country.

We took a tourist bus to Punta del Este.  I had never took the bus so it was an adventure, mostly because of the language barrier.  Managed to find the right bus company, buy the tickets and make it to the bus with minutes to spare.  Our visit to Punta wasn't that great as we got off at the wrong bus terminal in Maldonado which put us far from the beach, but we ended up walking to Punta which then turned into another adventure as we became somewhat lost after finding our way back to the road the bus terminal was on (Wasn't sure which direction to turn).  A taxi solved that problem!

All in all a good time was had.  He found himself saying "Si" and "Gracias" quite a bit around the apartment by weeks end.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Great Guns! Stray arms at Baghdad embassy

I found a bandoleer of 5.56mm SAW machine gun ammo, a coworker found a 9mm pistol in the bathroom.  You heard it first on the Doc Report way before it was news, LOL!

Great Guns! Stray arms at Baghdad embassy

Associated Press - July 11, 2008 5:33 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Embassy workers stationed in Iraq's Green Zone are being reminded about the embassy's gun rules.

An unclassified memo obtained by The Associated Press says "Weapons are continuing to be left unattended throughout the embassy compound." It warns that improper weapon handling has "legal and political implications."

The rules say people with permission to carry guns must keep them within their reach at all times or with a person assigned to keep them. The rules apply even at the Green Zone's swimming pool, where someone has to be designated "gear guard."

And the rules specify that no weapon can be carried if the staffer is drinking alcohol.

Those whose guns may be confiscated by a security officer need to bring a note from a supervisor certifying that they've been "counseled on proper weapons retention."

I've got some 'splaining to do!

Where have I been? Between internet connection problems and my son
visiting I haven't been able to send off a Doc Report in a few. I'll
catch up this weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Iraqi Dinar laughs

When I was in Baghdad the big frenzy was buying the Iraqi Dinar, it was something like 1500 Iraqi Dinars to 1USD.
Current conversion rate is: 1,195.000 Dinars to the US Dollar ($0.00084)
If it would just equal 1 penny, we'd be rich. So people bought huge amounts of Iraqi dinar in cash and stuffed it away.

Take a peek at the exchange rate

Gene Simmons - Marine Corps Boot Camp Treatment

So last night I'm channel surfing and catch a little bit of Gene Simmons 'Family Jewels' om A&E. Noticed that he was on a Marine base with his daughter, wanted to see where this was going (Yes, I know now the episode is a year old, LOL). So he (Gene) asked for a little taste of Boot Camp, the Marines gladly obliged.
Two Drill Instructors, male and female swoop into the picture and start a firestorm. So this is where I start getting a little anxious, for whatever reason I don't find stuff like this "entertaining", more flashbacks for me than anything else, so I watched something else, but curiosity drove me back. I then was quite amused by him trying to go through the obstacle course (His 14 year old daughter navigated every obstacle). I then was shocked I was ever able to do it! And not only that, have to demonstrate the course flawlessly in front of a few hundred Marine recruits, talk about pressure!

When Gene an his daughter visited the VA hospital, that was something. This man showed deep sincerity and appreciation to all of the vets he met. When he met this young soldier who had been paralyzed by a snipers bullet it they were both moved to tears, it was quite moving. Here one of the most famous rock stars of the 70's, who personified everything rock and roll, yet a caring human being.

There are video clips all over the net of the episode.