Sunday, February 26, 2006

Monday on Duty

On duty today, got 2 more days left. It's really boring, and one guy didn'y salute the X.O. so we can't listen to music anymore. We had some excitement, the water heater electric box caught on fire. One guy put it out then turned off the breaker. The fire department came an hour later.

We have some books, but most of them are war or micheal connelly/stephen king/ tom clancy. And for some reason there are a bunch of danielle steal books? Why, who in america thinks that what any Marine wants to read. Also the PX has a huge selection of Ashlee Simpson, Jessica Simpson, Madanna, Enya, Reba Macintire.... Terrorists must have swithched the PX shoppers demographic to Armed Forces that are 16 year olds at the Mall.

Got some letters form the parents and a box of beef jerky and gum.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tuesday (put new pics on flicr)

originally uploaded by spacemanor.
On Barracks duty today. SSGT put me on when another guy went to work at Battallion. It's simple and boring. I'll be on duty till the end of this month. That means I can't go on the road or anyhting else.

Everyone from my Platoon is on a convoy. They have been gone for three days. I heard that security found an I.E.D. So that would delay them alot. E.O.D. comes out and blows it up.

The Highlights of my day are listening to mp3's, writing this, going to chow, and taking a shower. I found a Dean Koontz book, So I'll read that later. And me another guy have braiding stuff with 550 cord. He made this sqaure deal thats about 6 inches long. It's like 8 ropes weaved together, kind of like a rug but going vertical not horizontal. Shaped like a square stick.

Some workers came and and got our showers working. So now we can take hot showers inside. You just can't drink the water casue it got some bacteria or virus in it. Someting, I don't know. The water is piped in from the Euphraytes River.

First Convoy

originally uploaded by spacemanor.
Went on my first convoy last week. Wasn't too bad. Got to the motor pool couple hours early. The trucks were already staged and loaded the day before. All the civilian semi drivers were there. Most of them looked like "Good ole Boys". thier trucks were outside ready to get in our convoy. They had kind of a pep rally for them cuz they haul a lot of stuff for us, so we can focus more on security. We had breakfast at the shop. and then got the radio, check the truck over, my gunner got his 50. cal muchine gun. then we took off.

We loaded our weapons outside of base, when we started I was looking everywhere up, down, left, right, for IED's, bombs, people, whatever. then after awhile you realize it's all sand. the roads are pretty terrible. Some people go over the potholes, some people go around on the side of the road. I would just go over them. The gunner stands up in the turret, from his torso down is in the cab. A couple times I knocked him all the way in the cab. Once the bridge was out, so they built a bypass through the water. I waited for the semi to get out of the way and we floored it through the creek. Water came all the way over the cab soaked the gunner, that was the best part of the convoy. And we did on the way back too.

Drove through two places the whole way where poeple were. One village that had about ten houses and one small town, saw some little kids waving for MREs, we don't give any away cuz then they would run in front of our trucks. We waved back to show that we were paying attention to them. My gunner waves and points a 50. caliber machine gun at them.

There are some places where alot of IEDs have been placed before and they tell you over the radio, but all you can do is keep driving and try to see them first. We got to our destination finally that night, waited forever to unload the truck, then the convoy comes back in the morning.

We had lumber on our 7 Ton and this guy told us to go unload over by this guard tower, so we drove over there and we entered an Iraqi National Forces camp, my gunner got all upset because the Iraqi couldn't speak English (the Iraqi is making wierd hand signals and so forth)and we were lost. So after a couple of U-turns we went back and asked for directions again where we started. When we got to where we were supposed to be, we waited last in line for like three hours to unload. When we're on a convoy we make stops on the road for security haults and all the Marines get out and look mean and provide security for us and the civilians. The civilians get out of thier trucks, stretch, pee, smoke, and have a good time. I guess they feel safe with us. They say when the Army goes on convoys, they don't even get out of thier trucks. We would see the army drive by and the gun turret would be empty.

OH and I had to go pee in a bottle while driving, that is not easy. It was always when we hitting the worst potholes. Next time I'll drink way less water before I go on the road.

On the road, there's alot of sand, sand as far as you can and sheep. I saw this little kid, like five years old out in the desert, herding sheep all by himself, it would be a pretty place if it wasn't Iraq.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Weekend in the Dust

Our barracks is an old Iraqi barracks. There are 8 squadbays that hold about 7 or 8 bunkbeds in each room. There isn't much storage space here. So we can make our own pretty much. I made a wall locker before work. One guy got a circular saw from the PX. It was from scrap wood we found next door. Everyone else has the attitude like it should be given to them. Not me I'll fix up and use what Use can find.

Went on the roof and found satellite dish. Propped it up and aimed like all the dish's on the civilians trailers. Hooked it up to the receiver. Didn't get any signal, Someone said you need an Iraqi to aim it better and sign up to pay. I remember on Dish back home it would at least show signal strength. So I think its the dish on the roof that is rusted and or broken.

We have electricity from a generator outside each building. It looks like they put new wires and outlets in, but its either not taken care of or poorly done. So there is a lot of fix it stuff here. The outlet for our green tinted TV was broken. So I got a new electric outlet and wired it up, Hot and 240 volts(without getting shocked).

At work we went to the supply place and loaded the trucks for the next convoy. We haul everything from razor wire to electric razors. There are contractors, supply buildings, trailers, trucks everything you could think of that drives the war machine.

Friday, February 10, 2006

'Tent City"

'tent city"
'tent city",
originally uploaded by spacemanor.
Here we are in Kuwait. We got to Iraq Wednesday night. The base we are on is old Iraq base. It was nice, now not so much. The barracks we have is descent. The Marines before made shelves and added some stuff. They had some carpentry skills.

Yesterday the sand was blowing everywhere. It's like there is layer of sand over everything in the room, and on me, on my face, hands, hair, tounge, and nose... The temperature is in the 60's.

The chow hall is better than the states. It has pop (in arab cans), banana milk, muffins, crab legs, steak, lobster, grill, gatorade. Just about everything you could want. don't even need to buy food from the PX. The PX is in an old gym. It has about everything, even cd's and dvds.

We have some Marines going on a convoy today. So they get to Know the routes from the people we are replacing. My platoon would go around 2 convoys a week, plus or minus and other platoons might need bodies. We deliver supplies to other bases, and grunt camps.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Flying to IRAQ

I am in Kuwait right now. The time on deck is 6:54 am Wed. It took us about 18 hrs of flying to get here. We waited at the AF base to leave for about 12 hrs. We watched part of the super bowl and USO ladies had peanut butter sandwiches. Then went to Maine, Ireland, then Kuwait somewhere. Then we rode in buses with curtains closed to Camp Victory.

I guess we would scare people if the curtians were open? It was midnight and no one was around. They do have big lights all the way down the freeway. Looked like desert everywhere. Where we are now is just a huge tent city. They have px, phone center, gym, chow hall, USO with xbox's, big tv's, and free internet.

I am staying in a big tent with about 55 Marines. Everyone is still on California time. So the lights were on all night and people were watching movies and playing cards. The chow hall is pretty good. they alot of fruit, bagels, bread, juice, banana milk, free coffee, exspresso machine, ice cream, pop, those fancy muffins. The quality of a chow is determined by the extra stuff, not the main food.

Then we might leave today in a C130 for someplace in IRAQ. I'll put some pics up later.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Antenna Connector for Buffalo AirStation Turbo G HP Card

This is how I put a SMA connector on Buffalo's AirStation Turbo G HP wifi card. The Buffalo card comes with a MC connector. I didn't want to buy the mc to sma cable. So I just opened it up and soldered a cut in half cable on and this is how you can too. You can also substitute diferent connectors and card I think.

Tools needed are wifi card, male sma connector with cable(depending on type of antenna connector you want to attach), nail clippers, little multi tool, solder, soldering iron and electric tape optional.

Step 1.
Open it the card, pry the plastic apart at the end of the card. It will just bend out of the way.

Step 2.
Take your sma cable strip it so that both wires are bare, leaving the male sma connector on other end. Make the total cable length about 1 inch. Then solder those 2 stripped wires where the external connector is attached to the card. This is where you should test it before you close it up. On mine it was difficult to solder on such a little space and get the wires attached. ( I forgot to take a pic of it soldered on).

Step 3.
The last thing to do is put a hole in the top plastic of the card for the male sma connector. Then Secure it with something like tape so it doesn't rip out.


I have no electronic skills, so any damage you do I take no responsibility. It looks like you could also remove one of the internal antennas and attach the wire there. There are some little chips that do something, but I don't know what. Also attaching this way the original mc connector is looks to be still functional.

New gear and getting ready

originally uploaded by spacemanor.
I'm leaving pretty soon. Most likely before the Superbowl. Maybe we'll watch it in Kuwait.

We are getting those nascar suits to wear. To keep the heat down while we are driving. My company is the only one to get those.

Still have to pack, cancel stuff, move, store car... what a pain.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Day 1 or something

originally uploaded by spacemanor.
Here is Meatball casserole suprise I made. It wasn't to bad just to much macaroni.

I'm going to the field for 4 days tomorrow. We can't take electronics or tabacco. So I'll have to listen to people complain about how bad they need a cigarette.

I'm using Flickr for pics and Blogger it's pretty easy. It'll be cool if this works in Iraq.