Monday, July 22, 2013

Month 11 Day 22

Notebook entry
“Day Skipped”

Journal entry
It was Jumah on Camp Shorabak. No work was had by anyone.  I caught up on a bit of sleep in the morning and had breakfast with the Danes in the morning.  They are a fun crew.  They are the GSU mentors.  They are facing some of the same problems that we are.  Their guys know how to do the work, they simply refuse to do so.  I learned a new word 'favell'  this is the root of the english word farewell.  Ah the vikings, so many colonies so little time. 

I worked out, caught up on some E-mails.  Worked on my book proposal some more, and then went to lunch.  This time I met up with two guys who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers.  One was a SgtMaj and one was a not kidding civilian.  The SgtMaj was an old Korean guy who explained to me how to cheat the system, and really double-dip on retirement from the military.  He was saying that no matter how close you are to retirement, you can get out, become a DoD civilian, buy the retirement scheme from them, work for an extra ten years, stay in the reserves, get recalled to active duty, hit sanctuary, force them to give you active duty retirement, go back work as a DoD civilian and retire at 50.  If this whole scheme works out, you will make more money in retirement than you did while you were working at either job alone, and once you hit 65 and start collecting social securiy/TSP/401k you will make about 4 times your original salary.  No wonder there is a federal deficit.  They also told me that in the northern region the USACE is spending 2billion on facilities for the ANA alone, awesome.  The old guy was a little more sanguine about the spending.  He didn't think it was entirely money wasted, he thought some good would come of it, those he suspected they were going to tear down all of the metal buildings and use them for scrap and that we should be building mud-huts for these stone-age people.

In the afternoon. I came back worked on the book proposal some more.  Spent some time figuring out the costs of flying to one airport as opposed to another, bought plane tickets for Thanksgiving (I think I acutally did that in the morning).  Anyway.  Maj Tawoos wanted to meet with the Corps G2 and have me come along.  He wanted me to come for dinner, but with my recent stomach troubles, I was not up to it.  I told him I had a meeting at dinner (I didn't), but after I ate I went to see him.  We found him and met up with Col Omar.  The loud-fast-talking lout was sitting in his room.  Papers were scattered and quasi-stacked in bunches along the far wall.  On the left had side of the room there was a bed, on the right had side there was a desk stacked with bottles and trinkets, clearly not used for work.  on his wardrobe there were pictures of him with General Wardak the Chief of Staff of the army, an equally fat lout.  We sat down and he did what he normally did which is start talking before he started listening, he complained about how hard he worked how he was up until 0200 patrolling the base and making sure that everything is secure.  Totally not his job.  I tried to bring up the one issue that Tawoos had asked me to, the manning issues withing the Bde.  I started to tell him verbally and he said to write it down.  Anyway I also tried to talk to him about the teleconference and the utility of regularly scheduling it.  He was oblivious to that.  He continued to ramble on and not listen.  He said how he was glad that Razaq was gone because he was corrupt.  He said that intel is like a business, to which I responded it was too much like a business, too many people making too much money.  He said he had a bunch of hotels in Kabul that he owned and that he didn't need any money (both Tony and I wondered where he got the money for the hotels from).  Anyway, we left and went to the airport.

There Maj James Blitz imparted some of his eastern wisdom on Tawoos 'it takes many years for a sapling to become a mighty oak.' Tawoos looked at him like he was crazy and asked me if he was a Sgt after we were finished.  We waited for our flight to head home on the benches and talked about the linguists who were worth a shit.  We also talked about a cute electric-blond LCpl who was working in the Airport.  Tawoos said 'if we have her in the ANA werry werrry problem.  There would be fights between the XO and the General about who she would work for and who she would sit next to.'  He wanted to know if we had combined sleeping quarters and I told him that all young horny men separated from women were the same and that would cause problems for the women, so we kept them separate for everyone's safety and comfort.  All men are like Tigers he said. 

We got back and I hit the rack.  Somebody left a Cosmo magazine on my bed and I read a page about Ashley Greene before I went to bed.  

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