Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Day and Bad Day

Yesterday was a good day. Went to church, caught the connecting bus and
met someone from work at the next bus stop (Small world isn't it).
Walking to church saw someone else from work who waved hi. Church was
good and went to the pastors house for a cookout afterwards and spent
all day there, finishing with coffee and deserts.

Today was somewhat of a bad day. I am sponsoring a new couple at work
and one of the nice things you do is buy them some groceries so they
don't have to go out shopping and have some stuff available. I had
asked them what they wanted and I went out to get it (They arrive
tomorrow). I have the keys to their apartment as I am going to meet
them at the airport and take them there. I buy the groceries and walk
to their apartment, not exactly a hop, skip and jump away but doable.
I get there and try to explain to the portero in my limited Spanish that
I have food for a new embassy people arriving tomorrow Showed him the
keys, thought that would be it, it wasn't. He's saying something to me
and I have no idea what he's saying, I tried explaining again to no
avail. I tried calling at least 5 people from work to help translate,
nobody answered their phones. I was hopping mad, literally. I finally
got through to somebody who explained to me that the portero wanted some
identification. I thought I was going to cry. I had gone home after
work and as my modus operandi I empty my pockets. I grabbed the
groceries and start for the long walk home. I was halfway home when I
realized I had my Uruguayan identification card in my shirt pocket of
all things, I thought I was going to scream.

I'll bring the groceries with me when I pick them up at the airport manana.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Church Party

Just returned from a church party, they are celebrating 30 years as a
church at their new location. It was pretty neat as they had opened a
time capsule that was 50 years old, it contained items from the era as
expected. Today the church put out a display showing how the church had
changed throughout the century as it goes back to 1892 but joined with
another church in 1976, the new building was dedicated in 1978.

On display was toys through the era, to include a 77 year old teddy
bear. The lady who owned it told me a fascinating story about it, from
the time her grandmother gave it to her when she was 2 to the time
American Airlines had lost the suitcase it was in on a flight to the USA
(Her second since being in Montevideo) but turned up the day she was

All in all it was a good time. I cheated on the way up taking a taxi to
my bus stop, but on the way back took the connecting bus. It was funny
as at one of the bus stops two girls from church got on the bus,
although I had left before them, they had caught a ride to the bus stop
from someone at church.

The Ramone's

I was talking to somebody at the Halloween party about how someone
looked like Joey Ramone of the retro punk rock group the Ramones. So
this guy says, I saw them last week. I thought he was joking. I said
there was only two surviving members and he said that the lead guitarist
said that he and the drummer were the only original Ramones, the other
two members of the band weren't. Apparently he just stumbled upon
someone selling tickets outside of a small venue for 150 pesos,
discounted from 400 pesos as the show didn't sell out. The Ramones
opened for some Argentine and Uruguayan bands. Incredible. I wish that
I knew they were in concert here as it would have been so cool to see them.

Halloween Party

Went to a Halloween party last night, but it was nothing like last
years. Not sure where the pizazz went but it was gone. I left at 2130,
some people were arriving as I was leaving but apparently nobody else.

There are picture of me at last years Halloween party on my Facebook
profile, but I'm going to make you look for it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

25th Anniversary of the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon

On Sunday, October 23,1983 at approximately 6:20 a.m. 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers were killed and hundreds of others were wounded or disabled. This was the result of a suicide truck, laden with explosives carrying the equivilant of 20,000 pounds of TNT that detonated on the ground floor of BLT 1/8 headquarters barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The largest non-nuclear explosion of its time. Other servicemen from 1982-1984 perished from sniper fire and other atrocities. Others died years later or are permantly disabled as the result of their wounds. This makes a total of 270 Marines, sailors and soldiers that died during a peacekeeping mission.
(Image and quote from )

On that date I was a young Marine going to MCCES at Twentynine Palms, Ca. I believe I first heard about the bombing on television. I remember how quiet the entire base was. At PT (Physical Training) our Platoon Sergeant had us do 100 jumping jacks in honor of those who had died. Not sure how exactly that honored them, but we were all pretty mad and sad at the same time.

My bunk mate from boot camp was killed there. I worked with Marines who had survived the bombing and the stories they recalled about digging for survivors were not pretty to hear.

When I was tranferred to my first duty station the call went out for a volunteer to go to Beirut, I think we about trampled all over each other to go.

Semper Fi!

Book Corner - Finished Reading

The Guts To Try: The untold story of the Iran hostage rescue mission by
the on scene desert commander
By" Col. James H. Koyle, USAF (Ret)
390 pages

This had to be the most depressing book I read this year! Hows that? I
knew that a CH-53 helicopter had collided with a C-130 but didn't know
everything leading up to that disaster. Six months of planning and
practicing but there were oversights, and like what happened during the
Katrina disaster communications between all involved was askew.

For you history buffs it is an eye opener.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Absentee Voting

I mailed my absentee ballot the other day, hopefully my write in for Ralph Nader will get him elected, I'm kidding!

Honestly it feels good to take part in the elections even though I am far away.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Latest Issue Of Marines Magazine

Someone dropped off the latest issue of Marines Magazine for me at work:
Well I start thumbing through it and immediately start ranting at my coworker about the pictures. You see the magazine was dedictated to "Drill', I being a former Marine Drill Instructor immediately took note of the sloppiness of the recruits in teh pictures. The genetleman who gave me the magazine asked my coworker if I had something to say about the magazine as he knew it would set me afire! Of course this is all in a joking sense, believe me,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus Day Holiday

Thanks Columbus! Kind of an overcast cool Spring day here, nobody
having Columbus Day picnics, don't know why, LOL!

Hackers Suck

So I found out the other day the church web site was defaced by some
Turkish Islamic group, at least they did use the Turkish flag as one of
their backdrops. Our webmaster had the web host restore the web site
from a few days earlier, one would think that would have fixed it. So
when I found out that the site was back up again I decided to take a
look, 2 seconds later I had the Bloodhound virus on my computer.
Fortunately my anti virus was up to date and working properly and caught
and deleted the virus, but still that wasn't a good thing.

I did some research and found out the exact vulnerability that the
hacker had utilized and forwarded this information to the church
webmaster who fixed it most rickey tick!

Only if hackers would put their skills to good use!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Church work day and riding the bus

I took the bus to church yesterday (More on that) as it was a work day.
I totally wore the wrong clothes, long sleeve black t-shirt and jeans.
Turned out to be a pretty nice sunny day and I was sweating. Spent
almost 5 hours shoveling rocks from a big pile and either throwing into
places that needed it or filling a wheelbarrow. Couldn't complain as
the gentleman that was helping me was 59 and he shoveled more than I
did. As expected I did end up hurting my back but after some Motrin and
a hot bath it took care of itself, my shoulder hurt that night though.

Now previously I had been getting to church by taxi, this costs around
250 pesos one way, at a 20 peso per USD exchange rate around $12.50, add
a tip, and closer to $14. That's one way. It was starting to hurt the
ol' wallet. I had tried to learn the bus system but it did sound
confusing. Well the associate pastor at the church has a program with
all of the bus routes and suggestions on how to get from point A to
point B. So I take a taxi to the nearest bus stop that for the bus I'm
going to take as it's a far off, this costs around 55 pesos with tip,
get on the 104 bus to Carassco for 13.50 pesos and walk the rest of the
way, beats 250 pesos!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Google Chrome Cool Down

Well my days of limited excitement about Google Chrome are quickly
coming to an end. Fast? Definitely. Easy on resources? Yes. But, it
just doesn't have the bells and whistles that I'm looking for. I've
switched to Opera for a few weeks now and haven't opened up Firefox or
Internet Explorer. The nice thing about Opera is it's built in RSS
reader which is by far better than it's competitors. Give it a try!

A Belated One Year Anniversary Shout Out

I called my daughter yesterday and she calmly reminded me that her one
year wedding anniversary had passed by. I felt like a schmuck,
especially since I did make myself a calender reminder, but somehow I
missed it.

Happy anniversary Daniel and Kristina and best wishes on another new
year together! :-)

Windy Days

On my walk to work this morning nothing appeared out of place, but on my
walk back I could tell that there was very windy while I was working.
Although Montevideo is a very pretty city when it gets windy the hidden
trash comes out. Trash everywhere, not so pretty. On a good note it
will all be cleaned up tomorrow, the city does a very good job at
picking up the mess quickly.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Best BBQ Song Ever

Click on the kink, these guys explain BBQ better than I have ever heard it before and in song!

Moving On Up

The clocks that is. One hour ahead last night so I am now 2 hours
ahead of EST. But when DST starts in the USA, clocks will go back one
hour there and then I will be 3 hours ahead of EST!

Book Corner

Finished Reading: "Finding Fish" by Antwone Fisher
369 pages

You may have seen the movie, I have. I was a little reluctant to read
it, but glad I did. In fact I now wish I had the book first and then
seen the movie as the movie didn't do justice to this man's very
difficult and sad childhood. Definitely worth reading/

The Chili Cook Off

I love chili! And nothing makes my ears perk up more than the words
'chili cook off'. Yesterday I went to one and it was a feast for my
belly! There was so many good entries, but Leney made the best by far.
It was very unique, I especially enjoyed the fact that the heat wasn't
overpowering and kind of was the last effect as you tasted it.

In all I must have ate 8 bowls of chili!