Busy Day

I went to breakfast early this morning so I could be at the band hall by 0830.  I had a class over at Camp Liberty – class was so I could be the Pay Agent and handle the money for some of our purchases over here – office supplies, furniture, tools/paint, etc.  It only lasted about an hour, and had a 12 question test at the end.  It was pretty easy.  The instructor was really good – really knew his stuff so that helped make the class interesting.  Once that was done, it was back to the band hall and I just did e-mails and stuff for the rest of the morning.  After lunch we had Brass Quintet rehearsal and then Salsa Band.  Both went well and were fun.  We sight read new music in both groups.  After salsa was done, I headed to dinner and then home as the Dodgeball tournament matches were cancelled tonight due to the dust storm.  Tonight was to be the semi-finals and final match, and we have TWO band teams.  One team is in the top bracket semi and the other team is in the bottom bracket semi.  You see where this could go on Wednesday when the games have been rescheduled for.  It would be way cool to see an all-Band final!

Once home, I showered and got into my Army-issue “PJs” (aka PT uniform) and took my stitching out.  I also chatted with Ryan and a couple of friends.  

is back from her vacation, so it sure was nice to chat with her again!  Now I’m finishing up e-mail and message boards for the evening and then it will be off to bed, hopefully by 2300.

Today’s high:  108 (dust storm pretty bad all day)
Current:  97 (10:25 p.m.)

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The end of CQ and 6 hours of Joyful Noez

I got up about 0630 this morning as I had to have the building open by 0700.  So I got into my uniform and got my hair up and started my day.  A couple of Soldiers that I let stay later than 2300 to play HALO (a computer game) got me some Cocoa Puffs and chocolate milk from the chow hall last night (midnight chow) so I didn’t have to go for breakfast and I was able to let my chow relief sleep in some.  Then I did some stuff on the computer and I stitched for a couple of hours.  I got relieved at 1215 and I headed home.  I had to pick up  my laundry so I could have my Joyful Noez shirt for tonight.  By the time I got my laundry, dropped my bag off in my room, and headed back, I only had enough time at the chow hall to grab a to-go box and throw some semblance of a salad and a cookie in it.  I got back to the band hall just in time for formation and then after formation I ate quick and then went and helped with details.  Did you know that a vacuum cleaner sucks better when the dirt & dust from inside is emptied?  And did you know that a vacuum cleaner sucks better when you unclog the end of the hose?  Well, they do work that way.  LOL  So we got our area cleaned up and I got my office cleaned up as well (not much to do in there – my office is smaller than most bathrooms in houses).  Then I did some stuff on my computer, and at 3 we had section time.  The trombone section went out back to an area we found (it used to be my secret practice area, but I guess others have found it, too) and we played quartets.  We rotated parts after every piece, so we all got to play all of the parts at one time or another.  It was a lot of fun even though it was hot out.  We got done about 1630.  I went back to my office to finish out the last half hour and then I changed into my Joyful Noez t-shirt and headed over to the chapel.  Oh – JN t-shirt is tan with the logo and stuff on it, but when you put ACU top on over the t-shirt, it just looks like a normal tan t-shirt.

We got warmed up and ran through our set for the service and had our prayer time.  The service went well, and after we went for a quick dinner at the chow hall and then it was back to practice for a few hours for next week’s “A Night of Worship” – the service next Sunday will be all music with a few testimonies during.  So we’re working up around 15 songs and having a few extra rehearsals to make sure we’ve got our A Game next week.  It was a great rehearsal, but we were all glad when it was done about 22:45.  We were all starting to fade after almost 6 hours of Joyful Noez stuff.  L and N walked me home like usual and now I’m heading to bed.  It’s after midnight and I’m tired.

The view from the trombone practice area:

Today’ High:  115
Current:  99 (12:15 a.m.)

Pictures

Well, since I’m sitting here as CQ, I thought I’d try and upload a few pictures.

Here I am sitting on the steps to the Band Hall.

Here’s the full moon the other night – looking from the corner of my CHU over the ones across the way.

Here I am on my first Blackhawk flight here in Iraq.

And my latest cross stitch finish.  Trombone by Stoney Creek.  It took me 38.5 hours to stitch.

I guess that’s all the pics for now.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog!  Feel free to leave me comments!

Supply Gatoring and CQ

Saturday is the best day I think.  I get to sleep in and not even have to think about PT.  I brought my backpack to the band hall and then went to breakfast.  After formation, SSG E and I went out on the gator to do some supply stuff.  He showed me where a few places are, including a place that I have a class Monday morning, and then we went and did some “shopping” at SSSC and got some copy paper, trash bags, paper towels, and stuff like that.  That took pretty much the whole morning, so that was nice.  After a quick lunch, I took over as the CQ.  I played on my computer, went to Brass Quintet rehearsal, played on my computer more, went to dinner, and then after dinner I stitched for about 3 hours this evening.  I’m tired now and I think/hope I’ll sleep good tonight.  It was a pretty uneventful evening as CQ and hopefully the morning half will be as uneventful.

Today’s high:  117
Current:  108 (11:45 p.m.)

Long day started and ended at a chapel

This morning SFC J came and knocked on my door about 0615 to see if I knew about the change to the schedule.  Nope, I didn’t know anything about it.  I had to be at Honor Chapel (the one by our Batallion) by 0830 for a class given by our Chaplain.  I did leave early enough so I could go to the chow hall and get breakfast before the class.  That lasted about 1/2 hour and then I stopped by my room on the way to the band hall so I could pick up my backpack with my PTs in it.  The rest of the morning was spent in stage band rehearsal and that was pretty fun.  After lunch we didn’t have BQ rehearsal, so I did some supply stuff until about 1500 or so.  Then I got changed into PTs and went to the gym.  I had planned on running outside since it was a nice clear day with no dust.  But since it was a nice clear day with no dust, it was also 117 degrees outside.  No thanks.  So I went and attempted to use the treadmill.  I say attempted because the power went out twice while I was on it and I had to start over each time.  Well, after the second time I gave up – I figure I got about 2 miles in.  Then it was back to the band hall and I changed into a clean/dry PT shirt.  Just after 5 the CQ left for dinner, and I was chow relief since I have duty tomorrow.  After he got back, I headed to Hope Chapel for Joyful Noez rehearsal.  After we rehearsed our set for this Sunday’s service, we broke for pizza (from Pizza Hut – a couple of the behind-the-scenes guys went and got it for us).  Then it was more rehearsing until about 2200.  We’re getting ready for our “concert” service – a service of all music with a few testimonies throughout.  That will be happening on 6 July, so we don’t have much time to put it together.  Our rehersal tonight went really well and we were actually done an hour earlier than we had planned on!

Now I’m home and I’m going to bed.  Have a great weekend!

Today’s High:  117
Current:  100 (11:00 p.m.)

Desert BBQ and the First Flight

It was an early morning for Desert BBQ.  We had formation at 0630 and got our equipment loaded on the bus for our ride to the airfield.  After about a 45 minute wait (that’s why I keep a book in my pocket!), our Blackhawk arrived and we were off on our hour-long flight to an outlying FOB.  It was an awesome flight, and the left door gunner gave me a headset so I could hear what was going on and the flight crew was talking to me and stuff.  We arrived without incident and got our equipment to the ceremony site.  It was just a short distance away but they had vehicles for us.  We got set up and waited around for a bit before the ceremony.  It was a Transfer of Authority Ceremony, and it went well.  They had a reception afterward and they invited us to partake.  We got our instruments packed up and then waited around for a while.  We wanted to make sure that all the important people got their food first and then we went in.  They had some Iraqi food and it looked rather, um. . . shall we say.  . . interesting.  I did take one thing that was kind of like an egg roll with some kind of meat inside.  I don’t think I’ll have any more.  I did have 2 cookies (one chocolate chip and one peanut butter) and a can of Mountain Dew.  That was lunch.  Our flight back was about the same – same flight crew, I got the headset again, uneventful.  But it was HOT.  It was a fun day, but by the time we got back to the band hall around 1400 or so, we were wiped out.  SFC J gave us the rest of the day off if we didn’t have any shop work to do.  I asked SSG E in supply if he could live without me for the afternoon and he took one look at me and said that he could.  I looked (and felt) like something the dog dragged in.  My hair was all over the place and “bun-bun” (as my bun was affectionately named back in Afghanistan) was all kinds of falling apart from helmet on/helmet off/helmet on/helmet off all day, and then the seat on the chopper pulled at it more.

So I came home and showered and got into PTs and took a nap until dinner.  I did chat with Dad and Rick for a little bit, and I had planned on stitching, but sleep was much more necessary I guess.  I felt lots better when I woke up and I went to dinner and boy did I eat.  Then it was home for a great relaxing evening.  I stitched for a little over 2 hours and I FINISHED the piece I’ve been working on!!  It’s called Trombone and it’s by Stoney Creek.  I’ll get a pic posted in the next day or so.  And while I was stitching, I watched my Canadian Brass DVD that I got for Christmas and boy are they an awesome group.  They really know how to perform, and there were some points I was laughing so hard I was crying – and my roommate didn’t know what to think since I had my headphones on and she could only see what I was both seeing and hearing.  I hope to be able to see them perform live some day.

Off to bed now as it’s getting late again.

Today’s high:  115
Current:  93 (10:25 p.m.)

Wednesday

 After the day I had yesterday, I slept in some this morning.  I got up around 7:20 or so.  I got ready and headed to breakfast and then to work.  After formation I didn’t really have much to do – some work e-mails and a little bit more paperwork.  It was a pretty relaxing morning for a change.  After lunch I went to the Mayor’s Cell (don’t ask – I don’t know how to explain it other than it’s like a Mayor’s office in a city) to get registered for the Peachtree 10K – the Iraq satellite for the Georgia race that is held each 4th of July.  Our race is on 6 July.  I have an official race number and everthing, and we’ll get t-shirts after the race.  Then it was back to the band hall for ammo inventory.  It was just a matter of taking all of my rounds out of my magazines, laying them out by 5’s and our armorer counted them and then I put them all back in my magazines.  It only took about 30 minutes.  Then SGT W and I went up to the Battalion to turn in some more supply documents and have something looked at by SFC C, the BN S-4 NCOIC.  It was a long hot walk there, and after we stopped by the mailroom as we both had packages to sign for from yesterday.  They technically weren’t open yet, but the SPC that works in there knows me and she was nice enough to let us have our packages.  Then it was the long hot walk back to the band hall.  About half way back, I could feel myself just running out of gas and I was walking slower and slower, but I managed to make it back.

We had brass quintet rehearsal to close out the afternoon and that was fun as always.  Other than that it was hot in the deep end rehearsal area – the A/C decided to stop working.  We all had sweat just dripping off us while we were playing.  Then right as we were finishing up rehearsal, they got the A/C working again.  It would figure.  After details, it was off for a quick dinner and then back to the rehearsal hall for an evening Salsa Band rehearsal.  Several of us grabbed cans of non-alcoholic Coors from the chow hall for rehearsal – Salsa rehearsal isn’t salsa rehearsal without beer.  LOL  Rehearsal was really fun this evening, and we almost have one set down.  That’s a good thing because I guess we’re starting to get requests for the salsa band to play places and we’re not quite ready yet.  After salsa was done, I had to do a little bit more supply stuff and I finally left the band hall about 2030.  I came home and got a shower and now I’m about to fall asleep with my computer on my lap so I guess I should go to bed.

Today’s high:  maybe 111 or 112?  It was 108 right after lunch and then I didn’t get to check again until about 8.
Current:  95 (10:35 p.m.)