Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top 10 Things I Did on Christmas 2010 that I have never done before...

As I went through the day yesterday I realized that I was accomplishing many Christmas Day firsts.  If I had been at home with family, the day would have most likely consisted of waking up at the crack of dawn (which I know Jack forced everyone to do) eating cinnamon rolls, watching football, drinking beer, and eating way too much food.  Yesterday my plan was to stay as busy as possible to keep my mind occupied as not to get too depressed.  In the course of the day I accomplished 10 things that I have never done on a Christmas day before.  Here they are:

10.  Ran a 10k Christmas Jingle Fun Run

09. Swam .7m miles

08. Did laundry

07. Received mail


06. Went to a shopping mall

05. Ate schwarma and hummus

04. Smoked Shisha (relax, its just tobacco from a water pipe)

03. Skyped with my wife and kids

02. Went to mass presided by an Arch-Bishop

01. Went to work---no pictures of this one....

So as you can see it was a busy day.  Thank you all for the awesome presents and I really cant wait to see you again soon.  Hopefully next year it will be a much more relaxing Christmas day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Golf Outing

Today was one of the perks of my current job.  Got to have an awesome day of golfing with the boys.  I cant believe I am saying this, but the weather was absolutely perfect.  Here are some pictures.

Our foursome

seriously, what a rough life!

notice the salt water and the floating golf balls...an ingenious way to help golfers find their balls

view from the 18th tee of the clubhouse.  can you guess where the sprinkler coverage ends?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Night at the Deid




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Monday, December 6, 2010

World Cup 2022

My things to do in Qatar seemed to be a post people were interested in.  So here is another one about the proposed first five stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.  They have a lot of work to do, but they also have a lot of money to get it done.  Who knows where we all will be in 2022.

5 Destinations to explore in Qatar

(CNN) -- A lot of travelers probably had to get out the atlas Thursday when Qatar was named host of the 2022 World Cup tournament. A little-known destination, Qatar is a small Middle-Eastern nation with a population of less than 1 million. It borders the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia and promises hot and humid summers.

Qatar beat out bids from the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia for the right to host the tournament.

Temperatures average about 95 degrees during the summer, but have been known to reach 120 degrees -- something that, along with sandstorms, could prove uncomfortable for fans.  But Qatar plans to build new stadiums and improve old ones, hoping to shield the players from the hot weather. The stadiums will include air conditioning, powered by solar panels.

Qatar is developing a public bus system, and visitors can also rent a car or hire a driver. And you'll want to get around -- Qatar has plenty to see aside from the best soccer in the world.

Lonely Planet suggests visiting these five places while in Qatar.

Al-Corniche
A road stretching 4 miles runs along the harbor in the capital city of Doha on Qatar's eastern coast. Aside from the beautiful Indian Ocean's waterfront and the dhows (traditional sailing vessels), visitors traveling along the road, Al-Corniche, will see some of the country's most innovative modern architecture.  The road has six lanes, but it is also possible to walk alongside the shoreline.

Souq Waqif
One of the main commercial areas of Doha, Souq Waqif has been undergoing a major makeover. Buying and selling has been taking place on the grounds of the market for centuries, and the shops have been remodeled to look like a 19th-century souq, with mud-rendered storefronts.  "Whether its Souq Waqif, Villagio - Doha's best mall, or the wholesale markets, there is something for everyone," said Lindsey Wallace, a travel agent at Linara Travel, which specializes in the United Arab Emirates. Don't forget to bargain.  Souq Waqif is one of the most traditional marketplaces in the city. Here, you can purchase spices, perfumes and garments, as well as handicrafts and local coffee.

Al-Khor
Located up the coast from Doha, Al-Khor is a former pearl-fishing village and is much smaller than Qatar's capital city. There is a fish market in front of the harbor, and the beaches are pristine.  Visitors to Al-Khor can also go birdwatching in the mangroves and gardens of the city.

Bir Zekreet
On the opposite coast of Qatar, Bir Zekreet is a great beach destination for those who like camping. The city is also surrounded by desert, which is where you'll find sand dunes and desert mushrooms.  Nearby are a wild deer reserve and an old movie set that looks like a deserted village.

Khor al-Adaid
Surrounded by crescent-shaped sand dunes, Khor al-Adaid is known as the Inland Sea. Lonely Planet recommends spending a night there, and local tour operators organize both overnight camps and day trips.  You can drive along the dunes, ride camels or sand ski in this popular desert area.

Shamelessly stolen from CNN.COM.  But thought it was an interesting article.  I have been to the first two, Corniche and Souq Waqif.  Now I have some ideas of where else to go when I can leave base again.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

6 hours into a 24hr bug...

The worst part about being sick when you are deployed is that there is no one to give you sympathy...but it gives me some time to catch up on some posts.  The other day I got the awesome opportunity to see some Falcons perform...yes falcons, the live performing kind.  here is a picture...

Why the crazy face you ask, about 2 hours earlier this is what I saw this Falcon do...

video

Seriously, can you imagine if this is what the Falcons at the Academy games had done?   The second best part of this video is seeing all the Land Cruisers racing across the desert.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Night out

Dinner at an awesome Lebanese restaurant, an EID, festival and watching John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg play an exhibition tennis match. And oh yeah it Ellie's birthday. What a full day.














video


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rain in the desert

it stopped before i could get out there, but it was raining here today.  you can kind of see in the photos the clouds and the sand kicked up into the clouds.  it did rain here today and it is actually pretty cool outside.weird...

Trip off base

I was able to travel off base for the first time a few days back.  I was actually doing my off-base drivers training.   Before we are able to drive off-base we have to get training (during daylight and night time).  Anyway, we went to this mall called "villagio"  I know, sounds just like bellagio, and it seems like they were definitely trying to make it feel like a las vegas casino...not that there was any gambling, but it did feel just like walking around the forum shops at Caesars Palace.  Here are some pictures that I took
when you walk in, notice the sky ceiling and the comparison of the westerner and local dress
you know, because every mall needs a canal and a gondola
another must for a shopping mall in the middle of the desert...ice skating

in addition to everything else, there was a pretty full-up carnival inside the mall
as you can see it is a pretty amazing place.  for me the most eye-opening things were all of the kid activities, you could really see how family/kid oriented the locals are.  it made me very homesick for my little homies, i know they would have loved all the things for them at the mall.  it is also an extremely weird feeling going from on-base and all that goes along with that and driving 20 minutes away and feeling like you are back in the "real" world.

365 Countdown

For those of you who check out the blog may have noticed the 365 countdown on the right column.  For those of you paying attention you will notice that the 365 countdown has dropped dramatically.  I found out that I got picked up for some intermediate developmental education...what does that mean....that now i should now be leaving here in the middle\end of June.  While I don't know what day exactly I will be leaving, I do know that I wont have to be here a whole year,  which is pretty friggin' awesome.

What it looks like on the outside

I have shown some pictures of the inside of my room.  But here is one of the outside of the building.  As you can see gone are the days of tents and trailers, they are finally building structures that they plan on having here for a while.
Notice the complete lack of green everywhere...i think that is the most depressing part of around here.  Everything is that same desert sand color. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Everyday is Tuesday

My boss asked today what day it was, I said, "Its Friday."  He said, "No, Dubs, it is Tuesday.  I will tell you why:
Saturday and Sunday are weekends; we don’t have weekends at this undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, so it can't be Saturday or Sunday.  Friday is the day before the weekend; there are no weekends here, so there is no Friday.  Monday is the day after the weekend; there are no weekends here, so there is no Monday.  Wednesday is hump day, never over the hump because there are no weekends here, so there is no Wednesday.  Thursday is the big college night, the big pre-Friday night, there are no Fridays here, so there is no Thursday.  Therefore, everyday here is Tuesday."

He wasn't lying.  It was Friday, but we didnt leave work until 700 pm and we plan on being to work at 0700 am tomorrow morning.  Oh well...I guess I will get used to it.  But as promised, here are some pictures of my room.
Here is the view of my bed, desk, and entrance to my room.
Here is looking from the entrance at the tv.  Notice game 2 of the world series on the armed forces network.

Here is my desk from the room entrance.  You can see my sink and the entrance to my shared kitchen.
This is the shared kitchen
The shared kitchen looking the other way and you can see the bathroom.
 So all in all not bad at all.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My first post from downrange

I have been here for two days now, sorry for not writing sooner...but things have been a little busy. I landed here from my flight from Baltimore approximately 30 hours after I left. We stopped in Ramstein for 6 hours; left Ramstein flew to Aviano for a three hour layover, and then onto Qatar. We landed at 0100 in the morning local time, 30 hours after I left Baltimore. We then spent 4.5 hours doing our initial in-processing. I cleared customs and walked out of the air terminal at 0445. My new boss was there waiting for me, apparently he had been there since 0200 in the morning, despite it all, he was very accommodating and had everything set up for me. He took me straight to my room and told me that I could just give him a call when I was ready to come into work. I took a little nap and decided that I didn’t have anything else to do so I called up my boss and went in.
Not very exciting from then on…just did a whole bunch more in processing and started to meet everyone who I will be working with over the next year. I know that the most interesting part of this blog will be the pictures and interesting experiences along the way. I am not sure what I can/cant take pictures so I don’t have any yet. And I really haven’t done anything the last two days other then in process so not may interesting experiences.
I will say that the internet here is awesome, way better then I expected…so if you want to skype or FaceTime let me know, I haven’t had any problems getting it to work.
I will try to take some pictures tomorrow so you can see what this place looks like. But until then here is an awesome picture of Kate and I at the Buckeyes game last Saturday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It begins

I am on my first leg of my journey, i think the hardest wart is already over, leaving Kate and the kids. It was pretty awesome, we started the morning with an awesome brunch at Easton and then Rappa, Sasa, Mike, Austin, and kate and the kids all went to the airport. Some of Sasa's friends, the Scherners, met us at the airport. Kate had a big banner (Kate should be able to post some pictures) and flags for the kids. They all waved their flags and held up the banner, while all the other people in the Columbus airport looked at us like we are crazy people. I am not wearing a uniform and there aren't too many bases near Columbus so it was understandably a little different then what people are used to seeing in Ohio.

The flight from Ohio to Baltimore is only an hour. Once i get to Baltimore i will have to get all my luggage (my two massive duffle bags that were well over the 50 lb weight limit, but southwest airlines hooked it up, didn't even try to charge me extra. Maybe it was the crazy family waving flags or the 33 year old man balling his eyes out, whatever it was, it was enough to convince them that my overweight bags were justified). We were also able to get passes for Kate and the kids to go through security with me and hang out at the Kate. The kids, thankfully don't really seem to understand what is going on, so they were content to stuff their faces with Buckeyes from Rappa, and color.


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The journey begins

My posts will be a little out of order. Had a really awesome post that wrote about leaving Columbus, but I didn't get a chance to send it because I couldn't find any wifi in Baltimore, but it is 2000L and my 365 day countdown pretty much starts officially now. Had an awesome surprise... meeting one of my best friends from the Academy, Peter, in line checking in for the flight downrange. We decided that instead of feeling sorry for ourselves in the BWI terminal that we would take a cab down to the Baltimore downtown and have an awesome steak dinner at "the capital grill". Pete actually already had plans and invited me along with him and one of his family friends, Graham. Graham was a great guy and picked up the tab for all of us. It was a great last meal before we leave and I was very grateful. Here's a picture from the dinner.



Standby for updates from Germany and the post about leaving Columbus. Kate, please email some of the pictures from today.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

GO BUCKS!

On our way to the game

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On the road

Two hours into the trip. Will stop in Franklin, TN tonight.


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Last Florida Sunrise


What a beautiful site for our last morning in Florida. The house is all packed up and we are staying at the TLF (temporary lodging facility) on base. The room, or should I say three bedroom house isn't much to look at, but the view out back is pretty spectacular. The plan is to meet the renters at the house, do a walk thru, and then hit the road to make it somewhere around Nashville tonight.
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Location:Postl Rd,Eglin AFB,United States

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It finally seems real...

I don't know if it is the fact that next Tuesday I will actually be gone or if it is because the house is finally getting emptied out, but it just hit me that I will be gone for a year before I know it.



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Location:Parkwood Ct W,Niceville,United States

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Toddlers Favorite Toy: The iPhone



It has only been a day but I am now obsessed with blogging. I can see how it has been so addictive for Kate.

Anyway, i was just reading an article in the NY Times and anyone who has spent anytime with us lately knows that this is definitely the case in our house. So enjoy, but don't judge until you have spent a whole day with the little devil and demon otherwise known as Jack and Ellie, the five minutes of quiet time, at the time, seems worth the possible educational stunting. Check it out

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Bowling Fun

video

First Real Post for the New Blog

I figure I should start learning how to work on the blog while I am still here with the blog expert---Kate. So I will begin the first new series of post with my last event in my old squadron. Here are some pictures of my "fini-flight". But on the new blog instead of a bunch of pictures in the post, my plan is to have one picture and then a link to a gallery of the pictures that the post is about. By clicking the "fini-flight" link or the picture within the post it will take you to the MobileMe gallery of that post. Let me know what you think about the MobileMe galleries and if you would rather just see all the photos within the post...but back to the post. For all the non-Air Force people, a fini-flight is a tradition that after your last flight in a squadron, everyone meets you at the jet and they hose you down with water. If you have kids, they usually let the kids do the spraying. As you can see, Jack really enjoyed it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A new twist...

I am not sure if anyone still reads this, but as you know this blog has been nearly abandoned as theshoppingmama.com has blossomed and taken more and more of Kate's time. But as I prepare to deploy for a year my plan is to use this blog as my journal throughout my deployment. So keep checking in to check up on what i am doing.

Test

Mobile post test

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Buzz Heard 'Round the World

In case you haven't seen it yet...

(There's something wacky about editing the video from my Flip camera so we sound like chipmunks. Sorry!)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Porterhouse Steak

She is definitely daddy's girl.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jack and Friends at Epcot

Jack with his BFF Nemo.

And with "Nemo's dad", Marlin.

And with Dori.

And with a random seahorse he liked (holding his new plush Dori).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Disney Dance Party

videoCheck out Ellie's moves...and pay close attention as the camera zooms
to Disney's youngest breakdancer trying to do head spins. Disney is
awesome!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

UFC 109

Staying an extra weekend in Vega before we fly home on Monday, but got
some free tickets to UFC. Yes, it as ridiculous as you think.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Big Day Out

... At the mall in Pensacola. Sigh.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A New Project

As if I needed another obligation... but this one is fun. It's part of the 365 Project Challenge.
The 365 project aims to collect photos documenting 1 year of your life. We want to build a picture of the little day to day things that make your life so special and unique. Everyone can take part and join in! All you need is a camera.
I've put The Shopping Mama spin on the project and am documenting 365 Days of Children's Clothes. So if you're looking to get your Jack and Ellie fix, pop on over to the Children's Clothing Blog and see what they're wearing every day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

His shirt says "bad hair day." Nap did a number on his 'do.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Go Buckeyes!

Finally a big win! It's probably because the kids look so damn cute.