Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stupid Rail Road Companies anyway!

All the experiences with time zones in my existence have been either so-so or bordering on the negative. Such as: trying to facilitate phone calls to family members without waking them up in the mornings. Or vise-versa, them waking me up at night. All in all, not that big of a deal since I like talking to family and we all agree sleep is highly over rated. Most recently we experienced one of the negative aspects of time zones.

Dave and I had a little jaunt up to Louisville, Kentucky a few weeks ago. (Yes, we saw the big bat outside the Louisville Slugger Museum while driving around. It's hard to miss since it accents the skyline.) Even though Louisville is only a 3 1/2 hour drive away, we had planned on staying a few nights and seeing what the city had to offer. Due to school madness and timing we were limited to one evening. Before returning home from Afghanistan Dave purchased tickets to Wicked in Louisville.

By process of elimination, we choose to go the night of the show and leave our packed overnight bags to gather dust on the living room floor. Arriving 4+ hours before the show we killed time in a local book store and at dinner. I've just got to say that I judge restaurants by the quality of the raspberry lemonade. Hard Rock Cafe is one of the few that still puts real raspberries in theirs. They are now on the good list, even though they're way mainstream, which usually takes people off the list. Melting Pot, on the other hand- I have no words for serving me hard lemonade. My lawyer might though. But that's for another post.

So, back to Louisville. We would have loved to continue killing all our oodles of time down at the river and enjoy more of the city. As fate would have it, the weather was bitter butt-cold, and the wind howling like a banshee, so we opted to go the venue about an hour early and see what they had to offer by way of visual art. Bah, as if we saw any. The show had started 7 min. before we got there. While trying to wrap our minds around this concept it dawned on us that we must be in a different time zone.

DUDE! I mean really! Shouldn't there be like some loud voice that announces when you've entered a new time zone. Or, at the very least, a sign on the freeway. Every city and county we passed through had a sign letting us know we were in their territory. We were in one county for less than 2 miles. And how do I know this? Because there were signs. I even commented to Dave on the matter when he was wonderfully reading Treasure Island. Our city alone has 10+ signs letting everyone know that it's the home of Miss USA 2007, who fell on her face at the Miss Universe pageant. OK, so it doesn't say all that. I can't help but think of it when I see them though. So signs, they're handy, they're informative, they're helpful, they're necessary. Come on people, work with us here!

And another thing: why are there two times zones in one state. They should all take after Alaska and become one time zone. It took like four years for Alaska to get there once they started (it's just that big). But they did it. And if Alaska can do it, you can too.

On a completely different tangent, Wicked was pretty good. The Defying Gravity song, spectacular.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

College Man.

For the first time since 2000 I am a full-time student!

(Not including two very breif and unsuccessful attempts in '03)

Part of my re-enlistment was an agreement to take a semester off to do school full-time. I still have to go in to work first thing in the morning to do PT and the morning meeting. But after that I am released to prusue my education. What a deal eh? Ok Army, You don't suck so bad anymore. Just remember what I said about the singing and the Santa Clause speaches.

So getting enrolled was a great pain. Registration started on Jan 12th. Tuition was due the 14th, and classes started the 15th. Not much time to work with I thought. My boss, who had to sign off on everything, didnt get back into the country until the 16th. So we were really cutting it close. But so far everything has worked out. I got into the classes I wanted, and I have all day tuesday and thursday off. That's really nice because the school is in Nashville and it's an hour drive to campus. And I have time to go into work now and then to fly and stay current on my work-stuff.

I'm in the Animal Science: Pre-Veterinary program and my classes are American History 2, Algebra 1, Anatomy and Physiology of Domesticated Animals, Plant Science and Poultry Science. Yep, I said poultry. It's required, that's all I'll say for now about that one.

I haven't mentioned yet, I'm going to Tennessee State University. A fun fact about the school- TSU is traditionally an all-black school. It's still a mostly all-black school. Actually it's more like a mostly all-black girls school. All my classes are between 75%-90% female. I guess all the guys are home playing Madden and Grand Theft Auto 4.

Go Tigers! Also, the video Valli made of the bike works now, If you want to check that out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Parenthood

Wednesday morning we picked up the puppy. He's a big beautiful boy and a real handful. We named him Sully, after Monsters Inc's top scarer. Nature combined against us because the day we got him Tennessee was (and still is) hit by the cold snap. So he is inside in his kennel almost all day because he isn't housebroken yet.
Here are some pics from his first day home. He is 16 weeks old and about 30lb I guess.






He is probably going to be huge. Wish us luck!

video

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Daddy's Home!!

I'M BACK! And I love America. It's the best. I haven't sat down to write a blog because I've been to busy having fun, and I forgot all about it. Valli is at a lathe class so instead of pinning I'll write a blog about being home.

I got back to Ft Campbell around 8pm on the 23rd of December. Happy Birthday Joseph Smith, Lindsay Firth, and a bunch of other people not listed att. After 4 hours of time-wasting bullcrap I got to go home. The Army sucks. Literally, who on Earth wants to listen to the crappy band, sing the crappy Army Song, and be speached at about 'How great it is to have us back, now don't kill yourself or get sent to jail the first night back' for four hours, after sitting in airplane and airfields for 30 hours while our families are waiting in bleachers. Army: you suck for that. Suck. Anyway, after that mess I had seven days of repatriation/paperwork/dont-kill-anyone-including-yourself-beat-your-wife-drink-and-drive-drink-and-anything speaches.

I told you I was busy having fun. Now that that worthless crapfest is over with I have finally started my vacation. I have 30 days of Army-free bliss to spend doing all the things I've been waiting for. It's been awesome. Valli posted the bike pictures already- which is uber-cool, but not the best thing. The BEST thing is being with Valli, and includes a billion smaller reasons rolled up together.

Other best things about being home are:

Peace and Quiet. I could go on and on about the one. But I'll just say that Afghanistan was a very noisy place.

The House. Valli has done so much work on the house that I hardly recognise it. The bathroom is awesome and the eternal hot water is awesome and the new kitchen counters and cabinets and no more crappy carpet and crappy panelling is awesome too.

The huge truck Valli bought.

Christmas Holidays and rad gifts like friggin-awesome fuzzy slippers, REI gift certificates, and a monster gas grill. Also, Jenny- your gift is almost done, I swear I'll have it sent by February. And Ed, sorry man, not this year either.

Cooking my beautiful cow. He is so delicious.

Not working. There are no words.

Not being in Afghanistan. Way too many words.

The. Bike. Is. AWESOME!!! In case you also want one now, it's a Yamaha RoadStar Warrior 1700, and it has a ton of power! Who knew? Apparently not the insurance company because the premiums are so cheap! About a quarter of what they were for the last one. It is so sexy and loud and fast and shiny and cold to ride on in January but I DON'T CARE! I just bundle up and suffer because it so much fun!

The list has to end somewhere and I guess this will work, but I could go on and on. Being home is wonderful, and Valli and I are doing great, and if I haven't got around to calling you yet you are not alone because I've hardly called anyone. But I love you guys and hope you are having at least as good a time as I am, if not better.