Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Iraq - Day 16

Today is a slow day. 

The dust outside is just as bad or worse today (see picture below).  For those who have not been in a dust storm, it's not like I would have expected.  I thought the wind would be howling and it would be tough to breath.  It's not, at least not now.  You don't even notice that you are breathing in dust.  You can taste it a little, but not much.  Its just like fog except that it is warm to hot instead of cool.  The folks who have to work outside wear something over their mouth and nose.  I'll bet they still get some interesting stuff when they blow their nose.  I do, and I work inside.

100_0274Several of the guys here have a drink called Wild Tiger.  This stuff tastes to me like Red Bull, but with a lot bigger kick.  It comes in 250ml cans and is made in Jordan.  It is not available in the states (yet).  They buy it by the case when they can get it.  The stores run by the locals sell out pretty quickly.  Just one more thing that you won't see stateside.

Today's plan was to start a closer look at the server that I saved yesterday, but plans change.  Around here, they change quickly.  We ended up building some Full Text Indexes on a huge database.  We started populating the indexes right before lunch.  It wouldn't surprise me if it ran all night.  It was something that I've not done much before.  We had to write one query that stretched my TSQL abilities, but we got that to work.  I wouldn't want to write complex SQL code every day, but it sure is fun once in a while.

Going-home-itis is really starting to creep into my mind.  I'm starting to make plans for when I get home.  Thinking about seeing the wife and the dogs.  About taking a long private shower.  Of course, thinking those thoughts just makes it harder to wait. A couple guys I work with are leaving tomorrow and that doesn't help either.

I don't think I've said anything about the showers.  Like the toilets, the showers are a short walk from the hooch.  On one side of the door there are about 12 small stalls facing each other in a row. On the other side are the mirrors and sinks.  There are shower curtains of a sort.  They cover just over 62.4% of the opening.  I've been instructed not to let me feet touch the floor of anything in that trailer, so I shower with flip-flops on.  Finally, this being the desert, we are short on water so they want us to take showers only running the water when needed.  So a desert shower is turn the water on, wet hair, turn water off. Lather.  Turn water on and rinse.  Wet body and wash cloth and turn water off.  Soap up.  Turn water on and rinse.  Turn water off.  I guess I won't bitch about water restrictions at home (yea, right).

Finally, congrats to Al Can't Hang for his new gig and new life.  Life is too short to hate spending 40 hours a week at work.  Feed your passion.

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