Playing catch up

Okay, okay, so I missed one lousy week! Bite my head off why don’t you! I’ll have you know that the new Gunny finally got on deck Monday, 24 March and I spent the weekend trying to not look like a failure in all the things that should’ve been done in the two weeks I was alone, instead of updating my site. But as you can see, here I am and I’m doing my best to crank something out to appease the masses.

Before I get into too much detail of the past goings on, I’d like to mention a little site, made for mountain bikers by mountain bikers, that is soon to be the “premier product and trail review of mountain biking in North Dakota.” But it won’t stop there. It’s going to extend into South Dakota as well and maybe even reviews on trails in Utah. Why do I mention this and where do I come in, you may ask? Well, I have been solicited for contributions from a global perspective. I’ve ridden quite a few trails in a handful of countries not to mention most of the western U.S. In all that time I think I’ve tried practically everything on the market and have developed my own personal, semi-professional reviews so to speak. There was a concern that my involvement with both a personal and professional web site would affect one or the other, but rest assured it won’t. It’s still under development as this is published and the grand opening will be advertised in all it’s glory right here. Be there or be square!

I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t taken a single picture of Brasilia since I’ve been here. Then again, all my Pretoria pics were taken the day before my bike was packed up for shipping to Brazil. I’ll be better this time, I promise. We plan on taking a tour of the city during the command visit in mid April, so expect Brasilia pics sometime around then. This site is a living organism. Expect changes, delays, unpredictable results and a good time for less than the price of a manicure.

Good news: We’re finally up to snuff on manpower. All our bodies are here (six Marines standing duty and the Gunny) and the duty schedule looks pretty cush. I’m talking three days on and three days off baby, yeah! If you’re doing the math in your head, that means we’re only standing duty half the month. The other half we’re recovering from hangovers, sleeping late, or roaming the city park staring at G-strings. Benefits like these are what makes getting paid $1.73 an hour. (This number is based on my 2002 taxable income divided by being a Marine “24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Pretty scary, isn’t it?) So, if we assume the duty schedule remains magically unchanged for 12 months and we really only worked 8 hours per “shift” (instead of after hours training, drills, collateral duties and such) then we can calculate that I now make $3.52. Holy crap! I actually thought that number was going to be a lot higher than that. Even working as a prep cook in 1995 I was getting $4.25. You know, if I never got the opportunity to shoot somebody, that dollar figure might actually upset me. Luckily I have inexpensive tastes (and leave my bikes and laptop out of this) and am easily pleased.

How is it that I always end up writing this update at the butt crack of dawn? My brain is practically mush right now. More so, in fact, than usual. It’s 0311 but the good news is I don’t have duty until 1400. The Detachment is having a BBQ with all the guys and the new Gunny and his family but I’ll be on duty. Sometimes things just work out that way, but the boys better send some chow in to the embassy, or there’s going to be hell to pay!

Registration for my classes finally began 7 April, with classes commencing for summer semester 1 June. I think that’s going to be my biggest obstacle with my leave to the states. The last thing I want to do is get behind so early in the game. To top it all off, my debit card expires 31 March and I’ve just switched duty stations. God knows where that thing will end up in the world. Without it I can’t get my books and/or supplies or cover any miscellaneous expense (the government’s tuition assistance is only so generous).

Wow. What a incoherent rambling this thing turned out to be. That’s my queue. Enjoy the new pics and drop me a line with anything you want posted or ideas you may have. Boa noite!

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The author.Born in the year of the Dragon, the author grudgingly accepts the fact he has too many interests and not enough time. A cyclist as long as he can remember, an avid yet inconsistent writer since age eleven, and a U.S. Marine since age twenty-one, the author also adds peak bagging, diving, snowboarding, and computers to his list of interests. Incidentally, he is aware of his inability to make a living from any but the Corps. The author accepts this as fact and remains optimistic. Feel free to drop him a line.

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