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.