Sunday, November 21, 2004

Ratchet, Rain, and Rockets

Hello there!

Interesting goings on here! Unfortunately, they are classified. So we will talk about other things. Don’t be offended, I don’t know what the classified things are either. I mean, if everybody knew, they might go writing them in emails or something! We don’t want that. It’s called OpSec, or Operational Security. We are not supposed to say complete names or locations or schedules over the radio, the internet, or on phone calls because the enemy is always listening!! We have some numb-numbs over here that don’t grasp that and you can hear them on the phone calling home, "Honey, you won’t believe this! A mortar hit 60 feet from the big tree next to the ammo depot at 6 o’clock tonight!" Idiots! You can just see the bad guys talking to each other, "Mule Hammok, aim that thing 1.5 degrees to the right and fire again, praise Allah!"

Infidels.

Anyway, on to happier things. One of the boys at the shop, we call him Big Ed, because he‘s big and, well, anyway… He found this stray kitten, brought him in, and gave him milk. It was all over after that. Now we have a garage kitten and his mummy, Big Ed. The kitty’s name? Ratchet, of course. He provides a bit of amusement and something to purr and lick your ears or mooch your food if you need some love. If Ratchet sees you are eating, he sticks out those claws and heads straight up the front of your overalls like a mountain climber. The girl soldiers come over to pet him and hold him. I’m thinking of changing my name to Socket…

Then, there is new, cool temperatures, we had to move heaters into the shop! And the rain really came down this week. Heavy downpours, turning the dust to mud and clay, everywhere. It was so heavy on our tin roof we thought it was hailing but it was all water. And the wind whips right across this desert; combined with some nifty thunder and lightning, we are much amused. Apparently it dampened the insurgent’s spirits, or at least their gunpowder, because there have been no alarms for 3 days. Let it rain, let it rain, let it pour.

However, I am including a pic of a facility not in use, through which another dud mortar bounced. Notice I didn’t tell you when, or what building, or show location in the picture, eh? Every once in a while they get lucky and hit something. It went right through this building, in one wall and out the other, as you can see. Yes, the amusement never ends!

Finally, a disclaimer. You may notice that I mention names like Greske and Big Ed, and so on. I always change their names a little for Operational Security reasons. But I will confess, the name of the cat really is Ratchet. My name is on the email, but I’m not to worried about that--if anyone calls on the radio and says, "Ernie wanted outside the wire!", I’m not going. Especially if they have a Arabic accent…Mule Hammok, is that you?

Big Ern

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