Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Corner - Finished Reading

The Bible - Various Authors
1094 Pages
New International Version

My 11th time reading the Bible cover to cover. I just checked to see when I finished reading the Bible last year, October 30th. I believe the year before that around the first week of November.

It was a good journey through the Bible.

Book Corner - Finished Reading

The Night Stalkers by Michael J Durant and Steven Hartov
352 pages
Military history

Not to be confused with the bad guy (Richard Ramirez), this is about a special operations helicopter unit.  Think Blackhawk Down.

It was a good read.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Corner - Finished Reading

We Meant Well How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (American Empire Project) by Peter Van Buren
288 pages
Nonfiction - Personal narrative
First Edition

The best thing I liked about this book was that the author covers many subjects that I always forget to blog about, and he does it with grit and humor.

This book has gained a rather controversial status and I can see why.

As with all Doc Report book corner reviews I just get to the point, it's a good read.  At 288 pages, put away the TV remote for an hour each night and you'll read it in a week.


I'm bad, I haven't posted a Doc Report in what seems like forever.  Truth be told the company frowns on blogging, especially about certain places, especially Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  It's because of security but also because things are just a tad bit sensitive here.  I just have to be careful what I blog about.

I mentioned before that I live in a CHU, Containerized Housing Unit, it's about 12' x 16' with a small private bathroom.  The CHU's are back to back as there is another one connected to mine.  When I was in Baghdad in 2005 we called them hooches and we had a shared bathroom between the hooches.

All in all it's not bad, I have a dresser, a stand up closet, a television, dorm fridge, a desk, nightstand, a rug, and pretty nice pillow top twin bed mattress.  I am supplied with sheets, pillow and a blanket (towels if I need them), an ironing board and a outside fold up camping chair (that I never use).

The CHU's are under a big protective covering.  Honestly I don't know and nobody seems to know what exactly make it a protective covering but I believe it has sheets of E-glass which is composed of kevlar.  I can't begin to imagine how much sheet of this stuff costs, to say the least cover our entire living area.

All in all, we feel safe, although as far as anyone knows the covering hasn't been "tested".  I hope it passes if t does.

Now along with the CHU's I live in we also have the concrete CHU's, the hotel CHU's and the dry CHU's.

The concrete CHU's are a group of just that, CHU's made of concrete.  They look like a group of very small hotels.  It's not so good to live there as there is no wifi, half of the outdoor lights don't work, the door locks are always finicky.  But on a good note they seems fairly new on the inside and you do have a private bath.
I always thought people who lived in the concrete CHU's lived in the bad side of town.  I never ventured over there until recently.  It wasn't that scary.

The hotel CHU's are also called the double decker CHU's.   Why they are called the hotel CHU's, I don't know.  The hotel CHU's are actual shipping containers that have been converted into a CHU.   They are rather small as you can imagine.  But they do have a desk and a television mounted on the wall, a tiny private bathroom and occasionally the wifi does work there.  They are also called the double decker CHU's.  Reason being is that they have a row of shipping containers on top of these units for protective purposes.  Nobody knows what's inside them, rumor is sandbags.

I have yet to see the dry CHU's here but apparently we do have some.  Dry because they do not have a bathroom, at all.  There is a unit with sinks, toilets and showers nearby.  Most dry CHU's have two single beds.  I have slept in these while waiting overnight at the Baghdad Airport.

The folks in Baghdad know nothing about this as they have nice apartments with fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms with bathtubs and 50+ channels on TV (we have about eleven working channels on a good night, and most of them are Arabic).

Till next time!