5. If you know me you know that I hate spiders. I hate them with a passion. I'd like to say they are my one weakness, but that's not true, there are a FEW other things on this earth that scare me, like hippies. But, back to spiders. In Iraq there is a spider that we call a camel spider. These things get HUGE. I'd love to exaggerate and say they get to be the size of big dinner plates, but its more like bread plates. Either way, its too big for me. The other night someone found two of these things in our room. One was on Cabrera's bed, the other apparently running laps around the room. The last couple of nights have been awful. You lay in your bed more scared then on any patrol you've ever been on. I'm afraid one of these things is going to eat my face, and, of course, there exist legends that exactly that has happened. At night you will be laying there and you'll here a guy start freaking out in his sheets, slapping at an imaginary camel spider that he thought he felt crawling on his leg. I'll take a shoot out with the Hajji's any day.
6. A dedicated Badger fan informed me that Mifflin is in fact this weekend, and apparently the Man is trying to hold them down.
7. http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/05/army_to_blogger.html here's an update on the Army's military blog ruling. Apparently they're catching flak about it and are having to back off.
8. You'll LOVE this one. We have very strict Escalation of Force rules over here. Basically it is our guideline for how we progressively increase the use of force in a situation where we are at risk involving the local population. It goes like this Shout- Show (your weapon) -Shove (if it involves someone and not a vehicle) - Pop Pyro (flare)- Shoot (ground) - Shoot (grill of car) - Shoot (to kill). We have had to use this sequence a number of times, and usually it doesn't progress past the Pyro stage. However we recently had to shoot the ground at a vehicle that accelerated towards us as we were dismounted, this coming very soon after our batallion was rocked with 4 suicide car bombs.
So what is the newest step in the process, since higher ups want more steps involved before we fire our weapons??? We have a penalty flag. A FREAKING PENALTY FLAG. It's just like in football, bright orange/yellow fabric with a little bean bag in it. We now have to throw this thing at oncoming vehicles, hoping that we can get enough oomph behind it for the car to see it and then recognize that it means stop, and not offsides/holding. This is ridiculous. Before we came over here I posted about all the stupid things that were on the gear list (it's probably in the January archives). I made a big deal about having to pack a whistle (what is this the 19th century?). Well now it makes sense to me. Their whole plan this entire time was to get the Iraqis to unite together in one giant flag football game officiated by the US. Stupid.
9. Who's making plans for Badger football in Vegas??? I am. THAT is going to be a heck of a weekend.
10. Joe- you're package may be the most anticipated in history. Don't let me down. $1 brews.