Never any time

Eleven days isn’t all that bad when you consider the workload I’ve been under this past week and an update of this magnitude. Don’t give me grief.

The SAI is finally over! Now I can concentrate on my time off, which just happens to get filled continuously with junk from every direction that I can’t avoid. Last night Gunny called me and asked if we could put together a color guard for some national police day or something… tomorrow! He has yet to get with me on the details but it looks like we’ll be goose stepping around in jock straps, dress shoes, and a light coat of Vaseline unless further specifics can be given. So in spite of the fact that I had Tues-Thurs off, yesterday was weapons training and language training, today is a crash rehearsal for the color guard, and tomorrow will the the actual ceremony to be either preceded or followed by discrepancy coverage and recommended corrective actions from the SAI. I’m beginning to think that I work less when I’m standing post.

There are a lot of things I’ve been needing to do lately that I still haven’t gotten around to. Some of many are to get my unfinished stories and articles done so I can either post them here or submit them to my Medieval fiend of a semi-boss at MountainbikingX.com. He’s a slave drive, all right. I’ve got plenty of lies and scandal to dredge up if he ride me too hard though. Keep your eyes peeled for The Dale Chronicles: Ten tales of a boy who’s exploits shocked a nation when I get back from ND in mid July. It’s a series of stories I wrote back in high school when Dale and I weren’t exactly seeing eye to eye for a time. He stole my pens, broke my locker, hid my English assignments, and drowned my favorite mechanical pencil. It was all I could do to keep from smashing his head in with a brick and blaming it on a freak farming accident. But all that’s water under the bridge now! Don’t worry Dale, you’ll get your story soon… (which is a relative term by anyone’s standards).

To reiterate, I still haven’t finished my story entitled Adventure that details my two cave outings. There’s another one scheduled for this Sunday but my attendance is questionable due to operational commitments. The story is about all I have, because I only got three pictures between the both of them. My camera flash isn’t strong enough to penetrate the darkness so I only used it outside of the caves, which was a fraction of the time spent.

And speaking of cameras, the function at the Marine house last Saturday night doubled as a birthday party for two of us in the detachment and two local employees at the embassy. I brought my camera down to take drunken photos of everyone, passed it off, and never got it back. I fear the worst because we’ve turned the place upside down and can’t find it. There are a few hard copies of the party floating around and I’m going to try to scan them and and posted as soon as possible. I’m looking at a Canon Powershot A70 3.2 megapixel for my next purchase. I can get it for about $270 and can control the f stop and shutter speed which is paramount for the actions photos and variable light conditions I always end up in. A few of the guys in Pretoria had similar Canon digital cameras and the flash were plenty bright enough for strip clubs, clubs, and bars, so I’m comfortable in the decision to go with a Canon. If anyone has suggestions or ideas for cameras from 3-4 megapixels and in the $300 range, then email me. I could use any info I can get.

My gym regiment is coming along nicely. In another couple of weeks Hill and I will be taking gratuitous, self inflating action shots of working out and the progress we’re making. I assure you now that no digital trickery or touch ups will be applied. I’m sure pictures such as these will be in high demand from various sports and fitness publications, so I’ll be offering reduced rates on all high resolution photos to “The Life and Times” viewers only! It’s just one of many perks to being a faithful subject to my web site.

I have recently become involved with the local embassy community running club called the Brasilia Hash House Harriers. For those of you who don’t know what a “Hash Run” is, let me fill you in briefly. A hash run is essentially a run with no form or function, with dead ends and wrong turns, with stick and branches and rocks and water and bugs, and a lot of beer drinking during and after. It’s almost an obstacle course of sorts and surprisingly attracts quite a diverse crowd. As the locally known amateur webmaster, I’ve taken the responsibility of creating and maintaining a small website for the Hash with basic information on scheduling, members with contact information, countries that are represented, and pictures from various hash runs. See it now at http://brasiliahhh.tripod.com! Bookmark it and check back about every TWO weeks (the frequency of our hash runs) because this site also as a few photos of yours truly. In addition, a lot of the people are my friends so you can get an idea of the kind of ruffians I’m hanging around with out here.

College classes update: I finally got around to ordering my books for the summer term and they’ll hopefully be here by the time classes began 5 June. It’s going to be a juggling act of the century with over three weeks of leave falling in the same time frame as the first, and most crucial, month of classes. I’m developing my schedule now and should have solid dates and times by mid next week to post in my Yahoo Calendar. Ferguson was held here on post past his rotation date due to the war, and now that it’s been lifted he could leave anytime between now and September. Also, Jaramillo will be rotating in early July instead of September like I had originally said, so that will bump into my leave dates considerably. All I ask is some definites! Cripes!

But all that aside, I’m still plugging along as predicted. The weather is still gorgeous despite the winter season and daily tanning and bike rides are being scheduled in regularly. My stuff from South Africa still hasn’t gotten here because some fool shipped it to Sao Paulo, Brazil instead, and now they don’t believe I’m actually in Brasilia! When I do get my stuff, I’ll be sure to include many pictures of the exciting unpacking process for your viewing enjoyment.

Until then… you know the drill!

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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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