Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!!!

I know it isn't the new year yet, but I wanted to get a post in before this year technically ended. The Kuwaitis are celebrating now, and the roads are mad crazy, yeah that's right I said mad crazy :) People here in Kuwait do not care how they drive, or where they drive or even what they drive. I've seen it all here.

Back to topic. It is going to be 2005 here shortly, and I wanted to say that 2004...whew I'm glad you're in the books. Not that it was all bad, there are parts I love about you. My daughter's birthday for one. My marriage to Shanon for one :) and my deployment for two. I say the deployment only because it is out of the way now, and I am not at home wondering...could it be this year...I have fulfilled my committment to the Navy in a lot of people's eyes. I can't wait to get home soon, as we now begin the downward trend into redeployment (going home). FWD Charlie you have your orders, and if you don't then they're waiting for you at your reserve center :)

I am looking forward to 2005, my 1 year anniversary to Shanon for one, and my daughter's birthday for one :) and my 4th year at Aon for two. Yes those of you who work for Aon who read my blog, I will return :)

Anyhow, I hope everyone is well. Email me if you have time. I am going to bed now, and will get up at midnight to call my wife :) So honey if you're reading this, that's why I haven't called yet :)

Take care,

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Life disconnected...

Yesterday I had a chance to unplug from the internet. It was down due to some satellite hardware misconfiguration. So I decided to once muster was over to venture out to the camp. I watched a couple movies at the MWR room. Called and talked to my wife an extra long time yesterday which was nice. I finished clearing the shipyard level on Rainbow Six 3 for the Xbox. Which by the way took a long time... I don't think I could make it as a special operator :)

Yesterday we practiced changing a tire on the Tahoe as a traveling team. It wasn't as easy as it first sounded, when we had to figure out how to get the spare off the bottom of the Tahoe. Once we found the english user's manual it was ok, and we got it finished in less than 10 minutes.

Not much going on here today. I am going to workout today...Surprise surprise. I've lost enough weight just doing the normal walking and eating healthy since I've been here I think it is time to start doing some rebuilding and endurance training :) Gonna show a shipmate how to work the elliptical machine so you can set it to your workout liking.

Take care everyone.


p.s. Shanon says her toe is feeling much better :)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Getting Closer...

Today was a beautiful day out. It started rather cold then warmed up. I spent most of the day cleaning up from Christmas aftermath. I had received a couple of care packages, one from my Grandma and Grandpa in Arizona. The other from a Naperville IL based troop support operation. Operation Support our Troops. It's always nice to get packages. I look forward to the packages that my wife sends, because she always includes little notes on each item. It's like she sends a part of herself in the box to take care of me. She always does look out for me. I talked to her today, and she thinks she might have broken her toe. She's going to take it easy hopefully it will heal up, right now it hurts pretty bad she said. I also forgot to mention that I talked to my family over Christmas, they had a bustling household that day many people coming to visit. Next year I will be there :)

We're just under ## days :) Can't wait. The days seem to fly by, I wonder where they all went. Someone was looking through their journal and saw their entry from September 1st, at that point there were ## days. Glad those days are over :)

Take care,

Reggie White 1961-2004

Not sure what to say. Reggie White was a great football player, and a great role model for every Christian on how to live your life in the public eye. When my wife told me about this, I couldn't believe it. He is in heaven now. Rest in peace gentle warrior. - NFL - 'Minister of Defense' Reggie White dies at 43 - Monday December 27, 2004 12:25PM

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Day after Christmas

We got back to work today, or atleast I had gone back to work after a long time off. We were able to get a lot accomplished as our first day, as the new Day Shift. I got to work in the Status Center. Where we keep track of all the equipment numbers and do reporting to the TOC (Terminal Operations Center) it was fun. I really enjoyed it. It was a nice day out as well. I love working the day shift. Now if I could only get back to sleeping at night :)

Take care,

Spiderman's at it again

This guy is crazy, if you have ever heard of him, he's pretty popular. I remember when he visited Chicago and climbed Sears Tower without permission. Lots of airtime for him.

Oddly Enough News Article | Spiderman to scale worlds tallest building

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

To all those who read this blog. Merry Christmas!!!! Over Christmas eve, and Christmas Day we had a series of thunderstorms. It was pretty wicked about 0430 this morning when I went to start my laundry, unfortunately there was no water. No laundry. I was able to start it later today which is a good thing. FWD Bravo Master Chief, and Port Element Master Chief came by about midnight and dropped off Christmas presents. Then after that one of the Chiefs from Port Element came by and dropped off anothe gift for the each of us from all the Chiefs here. I was able to talk to Shanon for a little bit this morning. I'll get to see her and Lauren tonight, Fox News is sponsoring a Video Teleconference with some of the people from Chicago CHB7. It will be good to see her and Lauren. Shanon posted some pictures from Christmas Eve with her and Lauren, mostly Lauren. She's getting so big, and has so much personality already, she's so cute. Then again I am biased she's my kid :) I miss not being there for her fist christmas, but she's getting pretty spoiled by everyone so it's ok. I'll get to see her tonight. Shanon takes lots of pictures so we'll always have the memories. If you would like to see pictures of her go here Lauren Christmas Pictures.

Being here though makes this Christmas memorable, because of all the work that has been done to make it a special time of year for us. It could be just another day in Kuwait, but today we took a group photo, yes in the rain. Our MWR building has Christmas music playing and goodies to snack on. There is a Christmas Tree and all the decorations. We'll have food cooking later on, some turkey and other side dishes. Each of us has gotten Christmas cards from people back home. Some of those we know and some of those we don't know. The American People in general have supported us greatly with numerous care packages, and have kept us well supplied. I am amazed at what you are able to continually send us. It says a lot about those back home. We have bags of cookies, and snacks, and toiletries, and candy, and games etc. We're collecting our extras and dispersing them to troops who don't have as much, and to those who are in need here. I received a box of cookies that, not the one from my mom, but one from someone else who I didn't know. I have shared that with my tentmates. I also shared with the Foreign Nationals who work around the base. They appreciated it.

This Christmas will be one of the most memorable for me. I do wish to be home for this time of year, but this Christmas has been special in its own right.

Take care, Merry Christmas!!!

Electoral College support

After the election there was again talk of abolishing our "archaic" system of the Electoral college. I've always been a proponent of it, saying that our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they set it up. That a one person one vote direct election would not be a good thing. That the minority of people in any election would have no power and be forced to suffer under the power of the majority. I found this document rather interesting. It shows that one vote actually has more power under our current system mathematically than it would say under a one person one vote direct election system with no Electoral College. You decide for yourself. There is a lot of technical stuff in here but the author makes it very easy to understand, in my opinion. Check it out.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Will Hively, Math Against Tyranny, Discover Magazine, November, 1996

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Another day in Kuwait

It was a rather beautiful day outside. Warm but not to warm, with a slight breeze. No clouds. I thought a lot about what I wanted to post today. I've decided against much of it. I am continually irritated by the Stars and Stripes news paper that I have discontinued reading it, except for the small article that lists the names of soldiers and Marines that have been killed in combat. I check it each day hoping never to find any of the names of the people that I know there, and hoping that it says "No combat deaths reported" .

Tomorrow is Christmas, I can't wait to open my presents. I have a christmas newsletter that was sent out to family and friends through Christmas cards. I will be emailing the electronic version to many people I know on Christmas day so if you haven't gotten your copy through the mail don't despair. If I have your email you will get a copy of it :)

That's pretty much it for today.
Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

To my wonderful wife... :)


I wanted you to get this right away, so I am posting it here. I received your cards in the mail today. I want to thank you for sending me such wonderful packages and cards, all the time. They never seem to stop coming. As I looked at the pictures, especially of the one of Grandpa Brost, and Lauren sleeping, I thought of all the wonderful things that you have done for me. I'm not the best communicator. I don't send letters and cards out like I should. They don't have any cards here which really is a downer. I miss you so much, and I cannot wait to get home to you and Lauren. I am so excited that I will be able to see you in a few days. I can't wait until Christmas, when I get to open the gifts you've sent me. I love you honey, very much. I will talk to you soon.

your husband


Hey everyone,

There's nothing like being forward deployed to make you feel like being under a microscope. Everything here is monitored. Phone calls, DSN and Cell phones. Emails etc. Everyone has a right to privacy, PGP helps that. You can download a freeware version of PGP available at PGP Freeware. Download it and read the instructional manual it is fairly straight forward. This tool allows you to encrypt your email so that only the recipient can read it. As far as PGP knows, no one has been able to beat its encryption, not even the government. I will be posting my public key here so that you can send me encrypted emails in the future if you so choose to.

Take care

Training for Eternity

No doubt you have heard of the tragedy in northern Camp Marez Mosul, Iraq. Where a Dining Facility (DFAC) was hit by a mortar round. The last I heard 14 soldiers were killed, along with a few contractors, and foreign nationals. Such a horrific event at such a special time of the year for all of us. Please remember the families of those who were killed or wounded here in your prayers. Below is a link to a blog from the chaplain who is at Camp Marez.

The post about the attack is somewhat graphic just so you know.
Training for Eternity

take care,


Hey everyone,
Just checking in. We're on a holiday schedule around here now, which means I should try to be up during the day, and I am. It is so weird for the last few months all I've seen is the dark side :), and slept during the day. So now being up during the day i don't know what to do with myself. My natural tendencies here are to fall asleep and stay in my tent, but with my Halo 2 borrowed out, and the tent camp internet not working. I've decided to venture out, for the most part things are pretty normal during the day, everyone works so i don't see many people that I know except for the night shift zombies who mull about between the smoke shacks and the CDO office.

I'm also getting agitated with the little things around here. I'm sick of wearing windpants.!!! but the only pair of regular pants I have are the nice white cargo pants I am supposed to wear on the way home :( so I am going to the exchange to see if they have any decent pair of jeans for cheap, otherwise I'll just wear the nice white ones. I've also dug out my black work boots that we were advised to bring with us, and this is the first time I've worn them. What a great idea that was...anyhow I'm sick of wearing running shoes, so I'm wearing the black boots :) Lots of lessons learned here, that if I ever have to come back, I will totally disregard whatever the command says to bring as extra stuff. I'll pack my seabag like I'm supposed to but, most definitely will bring more off time clothes.

I was also made aware of the fact that of those who have served in CHB7 we are the first ones to be mobilized as an entire batallion. Sure there have been individual augmentees at some point in time, but this is the first time that the entire batallion has been mobilized. During the Gulf War they were put on alert but never sent, so we have secured a place in CHB7 history atleast of being the first ones mobilized. I wonder how the new people at 7 feel about this, the fact that it is more than likely they will be mobilized with some future reincarnation of NAVELSF Forward.

Anyhow, take care folks 3 days until Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Holiday Season

Hello Everyone,

The internet access hasn't been that great lately, and I haven't posted. I apologize for that. Things are going well here. We've had some time off and will have some more time off over the Christmas Holiday. We had our Christmas dinner and monthly meeting yesterday. The Kuwaitis were nice enough to let use use their enlisted dining facility. The CDO office and MWR staff put on a great feast for us. We had real Butterball turkey and all the fixings the Chief's served dinner for us which was great. Thanks to CS1 Parsons and her band of volunteers.

I've got my Christmas Tree up and a few presents under it for opening on Christmas Day. Something to help with the passing of the holiday. The weather here is cold, so it feels like Christmas, but without snow. A couple of nights ago the temperature got down to 22 degrees.

Shanon sent more pictures of Lauren. She's getting so big. She's 24 1/2 inches long and 12lbs 3 ounces. She is getting stronger, she holds her head up, and is looks around at things. She concentrates on the toys on her bouncy chair. She likes to put things in her mouth...and can grab onto things. We have to keep stuff out of her reach other than her pacifier because she'll try and put those in her mouth. She gets to eat baby rice cereal now too.

Shanon is doing well she keeps busy with her friends and sending me packages. We talk a lot, and she's looking forward to me coming home. I am looking forward to coming home too. I'm starting to feel like I've been here long enough, but I know that some people have been here longer. I'm not complaining but I am missing out on stuff at home and it is my right to feel like that :) I enjoy the camaraderie that we have here, and the team I work with. It keeps me busy enough to keep my mind off of being at home. It's when I don't work that I find myself trying to fill the time up and my mind wanders towards home.

Anyhow Happy Holiday's folks. I will try to post more often. I know I've said it before...bear with me.

Take care

Time's Person of the Year

Love him or hate him, but George W Bush has been chosen as Time's "Person of the Year".

Top News Article |

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Its Snowing....

No not here in Kuwait.... here on my blog :) I found this neat little script to make it snow :). I think I will keep it until after the holidays. Now I get to see snow happening :) even if it is just digital. Hope everyone is doing well. I put up the Christmas tree yesterday :) . I have pictures will share soon. Thanks to everyone who sent packages recently. I have received one almost every day this week. You will be hearing from me more soon.

Take care

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Next Question

I thought this was an interesting article. Journalism is not a crime, nor are the people who become Journalists criminals. However I feel that in certain outlets Journalism has become tainted beyond reporting facts from both sides. We all know that presidential press conferences are scripted. It is interesting to see from the vantage point of a Journalist how the questions get asked, and who asks the questions.

Yahoo! News - Next Question

Monday, November 29, 2004

Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party

After having started my own blog I thought, who else is blogging and what are they blogging about. It was then that I was reading in the Stars and Stripes (a newspaper delievered here free for the troops) that blogging is a popular thing amonst those here in Iraq and Kuwait in the armed forces. Its also popular in the now free Iraq. Two links below are just a sampling of what has come from the work we have done here in Iraq. Do you think you will hear abou this on the Mainstream Media? I think not. Start with these two links and follow them areound, see how the Iraqis are reacting to their freedom.

Iraq the Model Blog
Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party



When I packed for this deployment, I had never been to Kuwait. I was told to expect BLAZING hot heat, like you were standing in front of a kiln with a fan on. It never happened. So I didn't pack all of my warm clothes like sweatsuits and jeans and sweatshirts. So I've been making due with the sweatshirts my wife has sent and the plastic windpants that I have. Boy it sure is cold around here. Yesterday it didn't get above 50 I think, and this morning it was about 36 out. BRRRRRR it is cold. Not that anywhere in the MidWest is any warmer right now, but there I have things that help me deal with it, like my nice warm winter jacket, with my nice warm winter gloves and long underwear.....I work the night sure is going to be a long shift if it keeps this cold.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving Day!!!!

It is Thanksgiving Day here at Camp Patriot Kuwait. I have today off,
which I am thankful for.

In the years past around this time I have often wondered how those who
serve feel during the holidays that we hold so dear to our culture. I
know now. It is a bittersweet day here for me, because I miss my wife
and my daughter, and the rest of my family a great deal. Today the
officers that we serve under have taken a day to serve us. They serve
Thanksgiving dinner. There is nothing special about the meal itself, it
is the same turkey, the same potatoes and gravy, the same stuffing, the
same salad and vegetables that are served at other times. The
difference is in the atmosphere, the fact that everyone is wishing
everyone else a Happy Thanksgiving. Close friends are gathered around a
table together sharing their Thanksgiving dinner with one another.
Bottles of sparkling grape juice and apple juice are shared among one
another toasting to going home and seeing our loved ones, toasting to
the rest of the troops serving in more dangerous areas than Kuwait.

There is plenty of time here to be thinking. Time to think about what
is important in my life. Circumstances like these cause one to think
about what has been taken away from them for a time. Waking up with my
wife in the morning, and eating breakfast together. The morning commute
to work on the train. My coworkers, and our lunch time discussion
topics. The smile on my little girl's face that I only get to see
through pictures. These are some of the things I miss the most, but
these are the things in my life that I am most thankful for. These are
the things that are flooding my mind on this Thanksgiving Day.

It is a beautiful day out, the crisp breeze and cloudless day makes it
feel like the days of indian summer in November, back home. My wife and
I shared our first Thanksgiving together last year in my stuffy
appartment at Village in the Park. Outside it was a gray, cold and
blustery November day. The windows were frosted up due tol the humidity
in my apartment from cooking mashed potatoes and gravy, stove top
stuffing, and vegetables, and 1 kinda small turkey in the oven. I'd
never cooked a turkey before, so we had help from both of our parents.
I called my dad with questions about how to cook the turkey and Shanon
her mom with help on cooking everything else. We lounged around all day
playing Skip-Bo and enjoying our time together. It is days like that
which cause me to be thankful for everything I have.

In some ways I am thankful for this deployment. There is not much to be
thankful about and don't need to bring that up here, but what I am
thankful for is that through this time my wife and I have become closer
to each other than ever. We've had the time to develop and work on our
communication with one another, and to develop a love for one another
that can only be created when you realize how much you have and never
take it for granted. So in that way I am thankful for being here
serving my country over Thanksgiving day.

People say that Forward Alpha, the group we releived, had it really
rough. I don't doubt that, they were busy and they were the guinea pigs
for NAVELSF on how to do what we're doing. Forward Alpha is home
enjoying Thanksgiving with their family, and they will enjoy Christmas,
New Years, and Valentine's day as well. We will be here, standing the
watch, waiting for our relief to come.

I am thankful for serving with Forward Bravo, because now I know how a
servicemember feels having to serve the holidays away from home.

Veterans Day

I know it isn't Veterans Day today but I wanted to blog something about
it. The internet here has been acting weird the past few weeks and
hopefully it will hold out a little longer so that I can get my thoughts
out :-)

People ask isn't Memorial Day like Veterans Day? There is a difference
that I would like to point out. Memorial Day is for those members of
the US armed forces who have died in service for their country, or those
who have served their country and passed on. Veterans Day honors those
members of the US armed forces serving in current operations, those who
have returned from those operations, and those who have retired from
military service and have served in previous operations or conflicts,
who are alive.

When you encounter veterans in your everyday life thank them for their
service, and if you have time ask them about it. They might have some
excellent stories to tell. These people have given enormous amounts of
time, and have sacrificed their personal comfort more than anyone I
know. Without them we would not have the great nation that we do.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Get out and vote

Hey everyone,

Sorry it has been a while since I've last posted. I was deeply affected by the loss of one of our own. It hit a little close to home for me. I wanted the post for LCpl Wyatt to remain on top for a while out of respect for him and his family, and I didn't want it to be followed by some of the littler things that go one out here. I have been readying some new posts, about what we've been doing the past 13 days :), but today's post comes just before the American election. I cannot stress enough how important it is to vote. Whether or not you vote for George Bush or John Kerry, or Ralph Nader for that matter, the important thing is you voted. Most people don't even do that.

As a member of the armed forces, I am somewhat prohibited in what I can say, and since I am serving currently on active duty, I will refrain from supporting one or the other candidates. Let me offer some advice on how you should vote from a somewhat objective viewpoint.

You should vote for the person who you feel has demonstrated solid leadership ability regardless of whether or not you agree with them, you know where they stand. Presidents have to be leaders when the public likes them and when they don't like them. Presidents are high-level policy makers, if you don't like their policies and can logically argue the point without getting emotionally involved then vote accordingly.

The real power comes from Congress. Get involved in your local representative, and senator elections. Know those candidates and what they stand for. They are easier to get in touch with than the President of the United States. The President may set policy standards, but it is Congress who decides when or how those policies are enacted. You through Congress have the ability to affect the policies that you do not like.

Our country has had peaceful transfers of power for almost 230 years. A part of this is because we value the fact that each person is independent and has the ability to exercise their right to vote without fear of persecution or repercussion. Please do not shame people who vote one way or another, or who do not have the same viewpoints as your own. I've seen this happen and it isn't pretty it causes one to not want to participate in the process of electing our national officials and leads to apathy. If you can argue your viewpoint while allowing the other person to retain their dignity do so, if not keep your mouth shut. Sorry that last viewpoint was pretty subjective but I hope that all in all you take a serious look at the election tonight and tomorrow, and then get out and vote.

Off the soapbox now :)

Monday, October 18, 2004

LCpl Daniel R. Wyatt

One of my closest friends Anthony, serves in the United States Marine Corps in
the 2nd Batallion 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division. It comes as no
coincidence for me that we are both deployed in this fight against
terrorism. Myself on the supply side, and he on the combat side.
However I might wish to be in his position and fighting for our country
and for the freedom of the Iraqi people, my place is to serve where I am
at. I read the Stars and Stripes paper every day and in it there is a
small article that announces the number of servicemembers killed in
Operation Iraqi Freedom. I noticed a name someone from his unit, LCpl Daniel R. Wyatt 2nd BN,
24th Marines, 4th MarDiv out of Chicago. LCpl Wyatt was from Caledonia,

Below is an email from the LtCol in charge of their unit, as he speaks
of the death of LCpl Daniel R. Wyatt. Please keep LCpl Wyatt's family
and his fiancee in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their son, and
husband to be.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Smith LtCol Mark A"
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004
Subject: Weekly Update 15 Oct 04

It is with the deepest sadness and most profound grief that I must report
to you the loss of Daniel Wyatt, LCpl, Fox Co, 2nd Bn, 24th Marines, USMC.
Daniel was killed in the line of duty, while conducting foot patrolling
operations in Yusufiyah Iraq. Daniel was killed by a command detonated
improvised explosive device. He died instantly, suffered no pain and was
immediately recovered by his fellow Marines. My command security element
and myself personally recovered Daniel's body and escorted him back to the
forward operating base, and then onto the helicopter for the beginning of
his final ride home. I cannot even begin to express to you the soul
touching sight of combat hardened Marines, encrusted with weeks of sweat
and dust, who have daily been engaged in combat, coming to complete and utter
solemnity and respect in the handling of the body of one of their own. It
puts on display a level of brotherly love you just cannot see anywhere

We conducted a memorial service for Daniel in the battle space owned by his
fellow Marines, as well as one the following day at the Bn forward
operating base. I have spoken with his fiancee and expressed the sorrow and sympathy
of the entire Battalion. If I might for a moment, I hear and see some of
the media coverage. I hear the accusations and charges. I hear what could
almost be labelled as hysteria over the situation in Iraq. Let me tell you
something from ground level. The town of Yusufiyah that Daniel and his
fellow Marines seized, had not seen government structure or security forces
for over 8 months. FOREIGN FIGHTERS, TERRORIST AND THUGS have had free
reign and have routinely murdered people in the market for no reason other
than one day they MIGHT support a democratic process and speak for
themselves. For nothing more than they MIGHT choose a version of religion
even slightly different than the terrorists and foreign fighters. They
live in squalor and fear. The Marines of Daniel's unit have not had a shower
since seizing the town. They have eaten MREs day on stay on. They live a
Spartan existence that few can imagine. And, on all my trips to their
position for planning, coordination and command visits, I ask them if they
want to be relieved. To a man, they look me in the eye and tell me NO WAY.
Why? Well, I am not going to soften it for anyone, the primary reason why
is to kill terrorists. Please remember, that is what they are trained and
paid to do. But, they also tell me, they want to help the people of
Yusufiyah. They want to show all of Iraq that they can stand on their own
feet, push back against extremism, and with our help live the life of freedom that all men yearn for.
Yes, from the mouths of these young and hardened warriors, this is what they tell me.
And then...and then...they ask me how I am doing! Unfreakingbeliveable!
They worry about everyone else but themselves.

So believe what you want. That is your right as Americans. But I am
telling you, there are no heroes on any football fields, basketball courts
or halls of government. Their are honorable and decent people all over
America. However, the heroes are on the battlefields of Iraq. Suffering,
killing and DYING that others might live, and live in FREEDOM. Americans
free from terror, Iraqis free from opression and tyranny. I am an
under-educated gun toter from Indiana who is just lucky there is an
organization like the USMC where a half-wit like myself with some
rudimentary combat skills can succeed. But I do know heroes! I am
surrounded by over a thousand of them. And I am not the least bit ashamed
to tell you I have wept like a baby for Daniel Wyatt. Because when one of
these heroes falls, it is if an Angel of God himself has fallen from
heaven! I will not profess glory of battle or any other such hype. I will profess
duty and sacrifice. Daniel showed us all true duty and ultimate sacrifice.
I have no doubt that the instant he died, he was whisked to heaven on the
wings of Angels and placed before the unapproachable light of Jesus, who
himself said: "greater love hath no man, than a man lay down his life for
his friends."


Yours in profound sadness

Mark A. Smith, LtCol
TF 2/24 Cmdr
Mahmudiyah, Iraq

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ads...Adsense : -)

I know everyone hates ads, but I have some put on the blog from Google. I can't say enough things about this company they are one of the coolest I know and their search technology is the best there is IMHO. Anyhow, I have signed up for Adsense, it is a program where Google will put text ads on your site, and you can earn money for people clicking on them. Now I know what you are thinking, "He wants me to click on his ads to make him some money". Well yes, but only if you find an ad useful please click on it, otherwise ignore them. I doubt you can even see the ads on my website, you might have to try hard to find them : )

Thanks for visiting my blog folks. I'll post more later

Happy Sweetest Day!!!

For those of you out there who aren't in the know. Today is Sweetest
Day. This holiday works both ways in my opinion, and you can give a
gift as well as get one.

I wanted to wish my wife a Happy Sweetest Day!!! Shanon I love you very
much, you are always there to support me when I have my bad days...and I
do have them. You are a very strong woman and have risen to the
challenge of raising our daughter alone while I am away. I know I have
said this before on this blog, but it bears repeating again and again
until I am home :) which won't be too much longer. I miss you and
Lauren very much. I want you to know that I am thinking of you this
Sweetest Day 'cause you are my sweetheart. I know you've already
received your gift from me ;) ... thank you for the wonderful cards and
letters and poems of encouragement you have sent me. They mean a lot to
me and I read them all the time. I promise I will get better at
writing, I know we keep in touch a lot via email and phone, but you will
get letters :) I promise. I love you very much.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

New Google Tool

Hey everyone,

I am a big fan of Google anything.  I think they are the coolest internet company around.  Their technology in search is the best there is, and that's all they focus on.  They have a new tool that allows you to search your computer with the same technology they use on the web.  Currently it only searches Microsoft office documents, internet history and AOL, AIM messages.  You can check it out at this link.

Take care

Monday, October 11, 2004

Update at home...

I talked to Shanon earlier today. She's doing well, she's been able to catch up with things around the house and that's a good thing. Lauren is getting bigger everyday, and stronger too. I can't wait to get home to be with them. One night this week on the webcam I watched her as she was laying down on our bed, and it looked like she was doing exercises, swinging her arms up and down and her legs up and down as if she were trying to touch her toes on the bed. She wasn't fussing or crying or anything...just swinging her arms and smiling and laughing. Children are such a blessing and a lot of hard work with two parents, and even harder with one parent. Shanon has been doing a great job keeping things squared away, as we like to say in the Navy, at home. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers during this time as it does get challenging at times. The days are going by fast and I will be home soon, and I've already been made aware that I will be doing everything but feeding Lauren when I am home :) not that I mind she is the cutest little thing ever, I think we should enter her in the cutest baby contest. Anyhow here's a somewhat recent picture of her.

Shanon I love you and you are doing an excellent job at home, don't ever doubt yourself. Give Lauren a kiss for me.

take care

R.I.P. Superman

I was just checking up on the news, and saw a small link on Christopher Reeve has passed away at the age of 52.

Here is a link to the MSNBC article / eulogy for him.

Gas Gas Gas... :)

Hello everyone,

Sorry I haven't posted in a whle. My schedule got kinda changed up and the wireless network here is going through growing pains. For the past few days I was moving equipment between the yards it's a lot of fun and a change of pace from what I was normally doing. The days flew by pretty quick. We had a chemcial release yesterday and like anything else the groups responsible for reporting it took their sweet time. We were moving between the yard and the pier at Ash Shuaiba when we started to smell ammonia, and it smelled like someone had just dumped millions of gallons of Windex, you kno what Windex smells like, well imagine that smell 100x stronger and you get what we smelled yesterday. I betcha that wasn't safe, but about an hour and a half after that there was an alarm and then we were told to stay in our containers or tents wherever we were at. By that time the air had cleared and we could breathe normal again. Not to worry they do provide us with paper masks and gas masks and we can use them if we feel individually believe the air quality is poor enough and dangerous enough. Nice to know that atleast we control our own destiny when it comes to that. Other than that things are pretty slow around here, it's hot and humid today. Really humid. I've started working out, and probably should have started since I got here but you know how it is. I'm doing my best to keep it up. We have a Physical Fitness Assessment coming up in November so I have to be ready for that, but I should be working out for my own sake, not just the assessment.

Take care

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Sunday...a day of rest

AHHHHH.... what a week. I almost forgot it was Sunday. The days here run together here, and I usually only go by the date. I can't really remember the last time I actually looked at a calendar. Mostly I keep track of time by the paychecks :) We get paid on the 15th and the 30th of the month. Today I'm taking it easy, I am right now watching a movie and blogging it doesn't get any more relaxing than this. The days get cooler here now in the evening, winter is coming they say, the sun sets sooner, and the humidity is going away thankfully. I can't imagine what winter is going to be like. They say that sometimes it gets to about upper 30s lower 40s at night here. If I ever see frost, I'll make sure to take a picture of it and post it.

Anyhow, back to the movie.

BTW A friend of mine, Greg, passed on a link that helps to figure out what time it is here based on your local time zone.
Check it out sometime. The blog posts in Kuwaiti time, so currently it is 9:19am, and I started this at 9:05am. Anyhow for what it's worth.

Take Care.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Forwarded Email

How many times have you received forwarded emails from others? Plenty I am sure. Today I was forwarded an email about the Congress reinstating the draft, or a draft like measure. The email proclaimed that a draft would begin June 15th 2005, just after a presidential election. Yeah right I thought, so I decided to take the email's advice and look up the two bills associated with the so-called draft. S 89 and HR 163. These bills actually exist, here are links to their content.

(Note I copied the HTML from search this website for any and all information regarding any Senate or House bill, including S89 and HR163)

Senate Bill 89
House of Representatives Bill 163

The email went on to say that Congress is trying to sneak these bills by while the American people are busy with the elections and campaigns. I would hope the American people aren't so naive. Since the Republicans are in control of the House and Senate and I vote Republican I thought, crazy bastards. Why would they want to have this kind of publicity circulating around the internet while we're fighting a war in Iraq, have 1,053 casualties to date 10-1-2004, and a sitting Republican president is fighting hard for re-election. Someone's got it all wrong. Turns out, this bill is sponsored only by Democrats. If you look at HR 163 you can see that REP Charles Rangel (D-NY) is the author, along with a few other democrats from around the country. The Senate bill is also sponsored by a lone democrat Senator Hollings from South Carolina. Also not a wise move for someone to distribute when a democratic candidate is working hard for election. If you look further this bill was created before the war in Iraq started, and was created with Homeland Security in mind. The bill has since been referred to committee where it has stayed. You can check the validity of this, by clicking on the Bill Summary and Status link at the top of either bill's web page. Now having this bill in some committee means it might be as good as dead. Although I don't want to take that chance. I would urge that people contact their senator AND representative to tell them that they don't want these bills even considered, and they should be removed from debate in committee.

Why would any social program loving democrat want, whose primary stance is to avoid conflict at the cost of american lives, to initiate a bill that would bring back the draft you say. If you look at our military a vast majority are minorities, a large democrat constituency, who are tired of seeing their loved ones die while the rich kids go to college, and onto an MBA, and etc, etc. I believe the thought process is one that is noble (to share the burden equally) but, detrimental to our military service. If you enforce a draft that means all individuals, young 18-26 year olds as the bill states, men and women, as the bill states would have to serve in some form or fashion with the United States Armed forces. All of them. Rich, Poor, Black, White, Hispanic, Minority, or not would serve. While we would then have the numbers, and the burden would be equally shared, I fear however the value of military service would be drastically minimized. The difference between the men and women who are dying now and those who would be drafted, is that those men and women CHOSE to serve, and CHOSE to if necessary die for their country, whether or not they agreed with the decision that put them in harms way. To institute a draft NOW would be tantamount to pissing on their graves in my mind. To those who served honorably under draft conditions I applaud you, and thank you for your service. That was a different time, and a different world. The draft is not something that will keep American society moving forward in my opinion. I chose to serve in the Navy reserve, knowing that we were going to war against terrorism, and knowing that I could be called up at any time to leave my comfortable lifestyle (and my wife, and my newborn baby daughter) to share in the burden of supporting my comrades in arms, and protecting my country, and it is a choice that was easy for me to make. Don't force that on anyone!!!! Not everyone believes in America and the founding principles of our democracy that make our country what it is today. Not everyone can handle the monotony and extremely hard and dangerous work. Not everyone can put politics aside and take orders. Not everyone can see the greater good. Don't make them serve.

Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are the best there are because they choose to serve. They are a unique cross section of American society. To institute a draft will only corrupt that, and cause us to falter in our mission of protecting our homeland, and divide the people we are sworn to protect.

At any rate, I felt that email was created to spur on fear, through no fault of the individual who forwarded it to me. I felt the need to offer a rebuttal and a chance for a somewhat objective picture of what the email was trying to convey. The prospect is real, but not impossible to stop. I urge you all to go to or and look up your representatives and send them an email, stating that you do not want these bills to pass.

Stepping down from the soap box

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

All About the Military HMMWV

Today's post is about the military humvee, or HMMVW, or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. You can't buy a HMMVW from the military, and anyone who says you can is a liar. There is a special circumstance in which you can own a military humvee, and it is spelled out at the link below. Here is a picture of me with my humvee... I say it's mine cause I'm standing by it, but that's about all :D I am getting my humvee license, which is nothing more than a piece of paper saying I can operate one. Not that it is too hard, or anything.

All About the Military HMMWV

So much for my dreams of owning one of these to junk around in...

Take care

حاخىث اخةث

I wanted to test out the Arabic text input on my computer today. The title should read Phone Home in arabic, not sure if it does, I hope it doesn't offend anyone.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

My wife and baby...

I just wanted to take some time to post about my wife Shanon and our little girl Lauren. I love them so much, and miss them tremendously. Since I've been gone my wife has taken care of the house, it is pretty much "her" house. She's paying the bills, and keeping up with everything all the while taking care of Lauren, which is no easy task. Speaking of Lauren, you see her in the picture below, she's there hanging out with mom, at Grandpa and Grandma Brost's camping site at the lake. Jus' chillin' she gets that tounge sticking out thing from me... :D anyhow she's a good little girl and growing like a weed. I can't wait to get home to hold her and spend time with her. I know that she'll be pretty much mine for about the first few months after I get home... mine to feed, change and bathe, since you know I missed out on the first few months. I love them both and this post if for them. Love you Honey!!! Give a Lauren a kiss for me !!!!

Take care

Up in flames..

I know that I was going to talk about the weather today, but that will have to wait. Yesterday 27-SEP something happened at Ash Shuaiba... that was rather disturbing I would imagine. The story as I have it goes that at one of the refineries, or the main powerhouse for the Shuaiba port. The generator, or boiler went up, and power was lost to the refinery and surrounding area. This apparently caused the refinery to "burn up" if you will more oil or burn off than they normally do.

The pictures I have show only a small portion of the burn off towers that were burning. I plan on posting them all to a Yahoo! photo album so you can see it all. 20+ towers were burning and most of them had flames that I would imagine reaching 100+ feet into the air, and billowing black smoke and God knows what else into the air. Chemical warning sirens were going off, and the HAZMAT crew from the Camp Spearhead fire department was seen rushing to the area where the sirens were coming from. Check out the pictures below, they really don't do the situation justice, but try if you can imagine, that the flames from the towers you see burning are 100 times smaller on a normal basis.

The reason I use Mordor as an example is because when all these were burning the sky was black and it looked like what Mordor would look like. If you've seen the Lord of the Rings you will know what I am talking about otherwise... it' doesn't make sense. Again, these pictures really don't do it justice, you had to be there to get the full effect. The place looked as if it was going up in flames.

Take care

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Living accomodations...

Lets talk about living accomodations shall we. We live in tents. That's right ladies and gentlemen, no barracks, no dorm rooms, tents. Big green tents. Sometimes they pack a lot of people into the tents other times they put only a few in them. Here is a picture of what I call home.

When I got here I only had a space as wide as my cot, and had to stack things on the end, and underneath. Now we've thinned out a bit, and I have the space you see there. Not very big, but that doesn't matter over here. I have my space now and I'm comfortable. It is clean as you see in this picture, and that is only for this picture :) . No really I keep it pretty clean but it is hard sometimes, when you are moving things around in the dark, changing clothes, etc, because people in your tent work different shifts, and you want to be considerate of them. Anyhow, this is where I live. More tomorrow on the weather around here. It isn't always hot and sunny :D

Take care

Friday, September 24, 2004

Three in one day... this is some kind of record :D

Hey everyone,

Me again. Yes I know I've posted before today, but I have been on a roll, and the wireless internet here at Camp Patriot is working like a charm. I've got to confess something to you all I have converted. I am no longer a worshiper at the Microsoft church anymore. I have for the most part supported everything that Microsoft has put out as far as software. Today that has changed. I no longer use the Microsoft web browser known as Internet Exlporer. While it is still part of Windows and hard to get away from. I choose to browse the web using Mozilla FireFox. This browser is fast, and furious. It renders pages in half the time of Internet Exlplorer, plus it has many cool features such as tabbed browsing, and pop-up blocking that make it a 22nd century web surfing tool. I love FireFox so much I've decided to put a link and banner on my blog. That ought to tell you something. GO and download it today. Visit, or

Take care.

Gadget of the Day

I'm going to throw a curveball here, since this blog is all about me and things that interest me it wouldn't be my blog if I didn't talk about gadgets. Ask my wife...she'll tell you, sometimes she feels like a gadget widow she says... but it's not true. Anyhow here's something that's near and dear to my heart. Nextel phones. I love Nextel, the service where I am at is great, I love the direct connect features and the rugged phones, (since I tend to drop mine :D again ask my wife about it :) ) Anyhow today's gadget is the new Nextel i325 phone. It a rugged cell phone that operates on the Nextel iDen 800mHz frequency. It has all the standard Nextel services, web, direct connect, java apps. This version includes a color screen and the new Direct Talk service. Here is a link to the Nextel i325.

Basically the Direct Talk feature allows you to communicate with other radios on a public service band called ISM. This is available in the US, it is monitored by emergency response personnel, and can be used for situations where you find yourself lost in the wilderness, or for accidents on the highway, or when you want to reach another Direct Talk user, outside of normal Nextel coverage area. Check out more information regarding Direct Talk at

Take care

It's a beautiful day in Ash Shuayba...

Welcome back folks. Over here in Kuwait we work at the Ash Shuayba port. It is the biggest port in Kuwait, it has many oil refineries, and chemical plants on it. Sometimes it is affectionately referred to as "Hell" it smells like sulfur on most days, and on others is smells like chlorine. There is some nasty stuff over here, and I have some pictures for you all. One is of the "gates to hell" two burn off towers that never seem to stop burning...The other is of the gates, and another tower that burns off a white cloud. Mind you this is no cloud of steam, it is actually some sort of chemical burn off that is allowed into the air, most of the time it is sulfur or chlorine. The other plant here at the port makes ammonia...yeah...great stuff.

Today we had an alarm that there was an unusually large release of some chemical. I believe it was sulfur, and were advised to remain in our buildings until the could passed. We have been issued gas masks with special industrial filters. Although some who have been through CBRD training have said, that if it comes to using that...we're pretty much screwed. Nice to know. Anyhow folks this is where we work everyday.

Another side to the port other than the chemical plants and oil refineries, is the dirt. Kuwait has dirt imported to their country because they are unable to use their own to make concrete. This along with the chemicals makes for a nice oxygen cocktail. Most of the times I feel like I am walking around in a cloud of Tear gas, which makes my eyes water and my throat very itchy.... can't wait for the exit physical from this trip :)

Not every day is filled with sulfur and dust, and most of the time the air flow takes all the clouds out over the Persian Gulf. My sarcasm might make it seem worse than it really is, but I tell you one thing, after I leave here and get back to the states, you will never hear me complain about EPA regulations on air quality. Yep folks its that bad...

The White Cloud... and it ain't steam folks :D

The Gates to hell.... you should see this at night

This is a dirt ship, look for the brownish colored cloud

Hopefully this post doesn't land me in any trouble, I am not releasing any information that isn't already publicly known, and i have no pictures of any thing that would be considered OPSEC. What's the worst they could do... send me home.... HA! Anyhow, I am doing well staying as safe as I can. Email me some time folks

Take care

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Live ... sorta from KNB :-D

Welcome back folks.... sorry it has been so long since my last post. I've been here over a month now and finally settling in. The Internet access has been spotty but now there is a dedicated network up so you will be hearing from me more often now like it or not.

The weather here isn't really bad.. not as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's hot don't get me wrong but if you live in Arizona it's not worse than that. But when it gets humid... boy look out.. you need to be hydrating like there is no tomorrow. We've been busy working and settling in, we've had our share of tough times too.

A member of our group suffered an stroke a week ago, and her husband is in the group with us. Both of them are in Germany waiting for her to stabilize so she can be sent home.

Other than that things are ok over here. I eat three times a day. I am starting to work out, so that I can lose weight and get back into shape while I am here. I keep myself busy with helping others out on their computers or fixing the wireless network here that keeps us all plugged into the internet. I have some pictures and I swear i've said this before but I am going to get them up online.

Thanks to all of those who have sent care packages you are the greatest !!!!!!

Take care I will post more... stay tuned.

IT3 out.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Gooooooooooood Morning KNB!!!

Hello everyone, sorry it has been sooooooo long since my last post I hope you haven't given up on me. A lot has happened since my last post. We've been through combat training in Virginia, at which time access to the internet was extremely limited so I was not able to post then. With the passing of hurricane Alex the weather got extremely nice, and temperate. Not too cool and not to hot. It was perfect no humidity... it really helped during that time, though not as much for over here in Kuwait. More on that later. In other news, my wife Shanon gave birth to our baby girl Lauren Kayla on saturday August 14th, at 2:51 pm. I was able to come home for 5 days to be with her through the labor and delivery of our beautiful baby girl. It did make leaving a little harder though. We have some great pictures and as soon as Shanon gets them uploaded to Yahoo! I will make a public foto album and provide the link here.

I did arrive in Kuwait as of the 19th of August, and let me tell you it is hot here... it like a furnace...or standing in front of a cooking oven with the door open. I've been acclimating as much as I can as quickly as I can.

It is about 4:30 in the morning over here. I am going to head back to bed for a couple hours before I get up for breakfast. Will write more later.

take care,

Friday, July 30, 2004

Processing time...

One of the things you learn when you join the military is how to be patient, and how to deal with downtime, and inconvenience, and .... I'll stop there.  We have arrived safely at our processing destination and have been going through the mobilization stations.  The main things are medical issues.  Everyone gets a top to bottom review and visit with the doctor.  This no doubt takes a lot of time on its own, much less when you have a substantially larger group like we have.  All is good though I can't complain I have had some time to take it easy off of my feet, waiting in line. 

CBS2 has a video of our departure day on the internet.  Go to this URL

Click on the link in the right hand window, you may have to scroll down quite a bit.  It is titled Chicago says goodbye to Navy Reservists or something like that.  It might not be up there for ever, I would imagine they would take it down after a week or so.

Thanks again for the emails I have been getting.  I will write back when I have time.

Take care,

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


I almost forgot.  The Labor process has started and Shanon and I are anxiously awaiting the birth of our baby girl.  She should be here within the week.  Pray that she's safe and healthy.

Sorry for missing this in my first post.  It's really the best news yet.

I'll keep you updated



It seems there is never enough time.  This appears to be a recurring theme in my life, as I am sure it is in many others.  Today is the day we began the activation process.  I am now an Active Duty Sailor in the United States Navy.  Temporarily that is, until at the most July 25th 2005.  Life as an Active Duty sailor isn't much different than that of a reserve sailor, just that the lines are longer.

We say goodbye to our loved ones.  Shanon I love you I know you will read this.  I am heartbroken that I have to leave now, at the most one of the most important times in our life, and in our marriage.  God has allowed this to happen, because He believes that we are strong enough to handle it.  I love you, and we will get through this :)  

By now most of you should have my email with contact information and list of things.  If anything please drop me a letter or a post card, or an email.  I will be able to check them, and I hope I will be able to do it often enough to have regular communication with you all. 

I'll post more from my interime destination.

Take care.

Saturday, July 17, 2004


A lot has happened since I last posted. We are counting down the
days left. There are 9 complete days. We have been
trying to get things in order around the house, but it always seems
that there is not enough time. We'll get'er done though.

Lauren is really active lately and hopefully she will come soon.
Shanon and I both hope that she comes before I leave so that I can see
her and hold her. We've got the car seat ready for her, and have
started the stockpile of diapers and baby wipes. If you would
like to send us some of that stuff please email me, and I'll give you
our mailing address :)

The laptop is in order and completely upgraded, I've got 768 MB ram in
the old toughbook, and a replacement Cross Penabled Digitizer pen,
which increases the accuracy by 10 fold, and I can notice the

I am working on getting a cell phone for Kuwait. I have a sim
card and a phone number and will email it to those I have on my email
list. I can take free incoming calls if you want to call and say
HI! Obviously I can't post it here but if you want to get my
Kuwaiti cell number and I did not email it to you , send me an email at

I still have to pack, which is typical for me because I wait until the
last possible moment. I'll be spending a lot of time doing that I
imagine over the next week. I am still coming to grips with the
fact that I am going to be gone for the better part of a year.
How does one do that. I mean it's not like our 2 week Annual
Training where we have an end in sight. I mean the end is next
year 2005, needless to say I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I am
going to miss out on a lot of stuff over here during the next
year. Hopefully when I get back things won't be to hard to adjust
to, and I'll be able to get back to some sense of normalcy.
Hopefully having the laptop and cell phone will help keep the shock of
change down to a minimum and make the whole trip seem like an extended
consulting gig or something like that :)

Take care,


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Playing Catch Up

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of days. Things have been busy at the Wildes' house. Shanon is hanging in there, the baby is growing leaps and bounds. I got my new laptop in the mail and was able to sell my old one on eBay. My new laptop is a Panasonic Toughbook CF-18, a convertible laptop that becomes a Tablet. Using the tablet is quite amazing, and I must say that it takes some getting used to but once you do, you will wonder what you did without it.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. If you know anyone who serves in the military even if they are a normal "weekend warrior" reservist, please take the time to thank them for their service, I know they'll appreciate it.


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Good news

With all the negativity and worry that surrounds being recalled to Active duty, having to worry about a reduced income and losing your job ranks up there close to the top. Even though there are laws that technically protect your job until you get back they do not require the company to support you while you are gone, and rightfully so. So it came as an answer to prayer when I found out the details of Aon's Military Leave policy. Most companies go so far as to support your transition to active military service by giving you the difference in your pay compared to your military base pay for 30 days. I'd rather not go into details, but I can say that Aon's policy has gone above and beyond to make sure that my family and I are taken care of while I am away. In the age of cost cutting and greedy corporate scandals, the fact that Aon is extending the benefits that they are speaks volume of their concern for their reservist employees. Special thanks go out to my direct supervisor Delores Stimpson for her help in this time, and her challenging me in my personal and professional life. I would also like to thank my team members on the ARS-IT PMO for their support and encouragement.


Monday, June 28, 2004


Since I cannot post photos here on, I have created an account over at Yahoo!. Click here for Photos You will see the public albums that I have made available. Not all photos will be public. If you want to see all the photos you have to have a Yahoo! account. I know it is a pain, but Yahoo! has the best services out there in my opinion their IM client is awesome, they have 100MB free email, and unlimited storage for their photo albums. Get a Yahoo! id and then email me at with your Yahoo ID then I will add you to the list to view all my photo albums.


Welcome to my Blog

Hey everyone,

This... is my blog...or web log. Soon I will be taking a trip away from home, and unfortunately at the worst possible time in my new family's life. For some background, I serve in the United States Navy (reserve) and was recently married to my beautiful bride Shanon (yes that's with one N) on May 22 2004. We are expecting our first child (a girl ;) in the middle of August 2004. While I am away I will be posting here details of my expriences. Due to security restrictions I will have to be somewhat vague. This blog will serve as an outlet to all of those who I cannot directly contact all of the time, to let you know how I am doing, and what you can offer prayers for me on. If there is one thing that I am certain of it is that God is with me, and has allowed these circumstances to take place in my life in order to grow myself, and Shanon. We will not run from these tough times, but instead will embrace them together even though we are apart. Please remember us in your prayers, as almost every facet of our life is affected by this. Thank you for your support, I hope you will check in often to see how things are. I will post as often as I can.