Army / Blogging / Iraq / etc.

On Travel and The Modern Era

In about 48 hours, I went from my living room on Oahu, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to sitting at a picnic table in Kuwait City, just inland from the northern tip of the Persian Gulf. Is it just me, or do others think that this is truly amazing? In 1932, my grandmother went to LA to go to the Olympics. Reading her account, it sounds as if that trip took more effort than the American effort to put someone on the moon. But today, in less than 2 days, I can move clear around the world,

Army / Iraq / Travel

Rock Star

For all those years that we lived in Europe, flying to and from deployments was a very uneventful thing. The USAF picked us up, and they dropped us off at an airbase in Germany. Maybe there’d be a reception or something at our actual garrison when we got off the bus, but really, the travel itself was very straight forward and uneventful. So, flying from Iraq to Hawaii was a bit of an adventure for me, for among other things, I was flying commercial airlines for 2/5 of the trip, and flying in uniform (which we never did on

Blogging / Oahu / Travel

65 and 13

65 hours and 13 time zones later, I have completed the secret mission. I made it to Hawai’i and surprised my family by ringing the doorbell late on a Friday night. So, if you need me, I’ll be at home. Yes, I’ll blog more about this later — sneaking out of Iraq and to your house is a pretty neat trick, I think.

Army / Blogging / Military / etc.

Another adventure

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve departed. Gone. Poof. Into the wind. I am going back to Iraq. Field Manual 30-5, Combat Intelligence, February 1951 I’ll be there for a year, or until they tell me to come home. I should get a two-week-or-so break somewhere along the way. I’d like to keep blogging here during the year. I am sure there’d be things to write; I know, though, that the Army is a bit cautious about blogs, so I will have to see what wickets I’ll need to jump through in order to blog. Feel free to email

Blogging / Cars / Mini / etc.

Tess Turbo is home

We went and got her from the port today. She’s got two new and tine scratches on the passenger door — the shipping folks acknowledged that the scratches are new, so we’ll work out something to get her fixed. It’s why we have insurance. I was thinking earlier that the arrival of Tess Turbo marks the closure of a pretty good summer of motoring. Since late August, Tess Turbo and I made it through the Nordschleife at the N?rburgring, across the Alps, onto a boat to Baltimore, across America to Kansas City via Hermann, MO, and then on to

Cars / Garmin Forerunner 305 / Google Earth / etc.

The Dragon

I drive a 2006 Mini Cooper S. I am, in every sense, just your typical Mini owner, in that I am as fanatically obsessed with my Mini as the next guy or gal. I love my Mini. I love driving my Mini. And I love my Mini adventures. I’ve got a running list of adventures that I’ve had in my Mini. It looks something like this: * Going full throttle on the autobahn * Driving the Odenwald * Sunday drives the Black Forest / Schwarzwald * Driving the Black Forest from end to end * Driving Poppa Bear Point

iPhone / iTouch / Mini / etc.

Atlanta: What a weekend

I went up to Atlanta for the weekend.? Went to see A & T & their daughter, MacAttack.? T and I went to college, and being as it’s only 120+ miles to their house, it seemed to close to not do.? Awesome, awesome weekend. Let’s see. There was: 1.? The new iPhone. 2.? The trip to the mall. 3.? Dinner at Ted’s. 4.? A morning of unlocking the iPhone and T’s iTouch. 5.? A lazy afternoon of looking at the new iPhone like it’s a naked lady who moved in across the street. So, bear with me — this

Mini / Travel

Baltimore to Jeff City

So, where was I?? Oh yeah — Baltimore. Wednesday night closed out well. JB and I went down the street to a tequila bar for some food and a drink (or two).? Yummy food, and wow, good drinks, er, I mean, drink.? Bartender took pity on us, I think, or at least found humor in serving up drinks, er, a drink to a guy who’d been living out of the country for so long. So.? Thursday.? Wow.? Drove a lot that day.? 600+ miles, from Baltimore to Louisville.? After two nights of about 4.5 hours of sleep each night.?

Mini / Travel

Baltimore

I made it to Baltimore on one piece.? Good trip, actually. United guy at the airport was good.? I gave him my two bags, he weighed them, and then asked, “Are you military?” Turns out that he knew the secret code to plug into the HAL9000, so that he would not have to charge me for my over-weight bag (yikes).? I ended up on a 767-300, in the Economy Plus section — next to a smelly guy, of course.? He moved over after we were in the air (when the lady on the other side of him fled), and

Mini / Travel

Tess Takes The States

Next week, I?ll make the 1000 or so mile drive from the port in Baltimore, to Kansas City, MO. After a week there, I turn SE and head to Georgia for a ~100 day course. After that, or during that, I need to get my Mini Cooper S on a boat and pointed at Hawaii, so I can hop a plane myself and head to the islands.

All good trips need a name. Tess Takes The States (TTTS) ? I think that?ll work.

Garmin Forerunner 305 / GPS / Mini / etc.

Garmin

Doug et al, I did some tinkering yesterday with how I use my Garmin Forerunner 405 when driving. I think I found something would sharing. 1. I changed the setting on my Garmin, to have it record the location every second. The default has it computing when to record the location based on some (unknown) algorithm. Recording every second increases accuracy, but cuts battery life to 1/3 (not by 1/3 – to 1/3), from about 9 hours to about 3. 2. I brought along the charging adapter and a USB cable, and attached it to a cigarette adapter that

Mini / Travel

The Nordschleife at the Nürburgring

26 April: New photos. 25 April: Update. Google Earth file, here. 13 April: Big day today. Me and the kids and the boys went to the Nürburgring today to drive some laps on the Nordschleife. Holy. Crap. The Nürburgring, known as simply “the Ring” by enthusiasts, is the name of a famous motorsport race track in Nürburg, Germany, built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel, which is about 70 kilometres south of Cologne, 100 kilometres northwest of Mainz, and 120 kilometres northwest of Frankfurt. Originally, the track featured four track configurations: