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Archive for May, 2008

May 31 2008

Drop Leg Holster

Posted by Dale @ 8:45 pm in Deployment,Must Have Gear

Another item that I couldn’t live without during this deployment is the holster for my 9mm handgun. I bought the Vapor model from Spec Ops. It is a drop leg holster that fits my needs exactly. I see many people wearing the underarm holsters all throughput the FOB. The problem with those is that you can’t wear them with body armor. So you need a separate holster to wear when you put on your IBA. With the drop leg holster, I can grab my IBA, and I’m ready to go.

I added the single magazine holder to meet GEN Petraeus’ requirement to always have a magazine of ammunition with your weapon. I have additional magazines of ammunition in other pouches on my IBA. All in all, a holster that meets your needs is a must.

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May 29 2008


Posted by Mugs @ 6:36 am in Pets

Blaze is convinced he is being followed. He occasionally catches a glimpse of the perpetrator following him and spins around quickly to catch him. Sometimes he succeeds, but other times his tail gets away from him before he can grab it. It’s quite entertaining to watch. One time he arched his head over his back, grabbed a hold of his tail. and did a complete backwards roll. It was hilarious. Over the last three days, we have been working on him following us on the leash. I am trying the technique of walking forward until he tenses and pulls back; not looking at him, I stand there with the leash taut until he moves forward, praise him and repeat. Yesterday, it took me ten minutes to get to the mailbox at the end of the driveway. Today, he did much better. Each of the kids took a turn walking him around the yard and back and forth in front of the house. On one of my practice walks with him, we came around the corner of the house to discover the black cat sitting in our path. Her eyes became slits, her back arched, and she hissed at him. Blaze moved a little closer to me. I informed her that this was my house and she best move aside. She backed slightly up into the bushes and we walked past. Apparently, the cat isn’t the only one who thinks she lives at my house. When I informed my neighbor that I had gotten a puppy, she said, “Now you have a cat and a dog.” I told her no, the cats weren’t mine. She replied, “But they are always in your yard and mine.” I am unsure how many of my neighbors believe I own the black cats. If it’s a lot, I imagine I am not too well liked. Maybe I’ll have to wrap the whole house in tinfoil.

May 29 2008

Waiting Room

Posted by Mugs @ 5:58 am in Family,Pets

Zeke and Blaze both got their physical exams. As evidenced in one of my earlier rants against the military medical system, I tire of constantly changing physicians. Either we move or the doctor does. The military assigns us physicians and we may see them once before we are assigned another. So, we met another doctor. This was Zeke’s preschool physical and his siblings had warned him that he would get shots. He received a vaccination in each thigh and had to have his finger pricked for a lead level test. When the tears subsided, he told me, “I don’t like to get poked.” Blaze’s exam was a bit easier since he didn’t have any vaccinations due. He just had an overall health check and exam for worms. The breeder recommended a vet who has a walk in clinic, no appointments. You sign in, wait your turn, and go see the vet when your name is called. It was a very low budget operation. One old vet, one understudy, and two receptionists. The building was old and small and worn out, but the vet is good at what she does and you can’t beat the prices. Sitting in the waiting room with us were a Pitbull, a Cockapoo, a hyper dog, a German Shepherd, a tiny dog in a cat cage named Max, and a Bassett Hound named Einstein. It was very crowded. I held Blaze throughout, just in case the Pitbull decided he wanted a snack. I opened the door to leave and discovered someone standing outside with a Husky. I had to laugh, because if I had to bring Czar to that place, that is exactly where I would have been.

May 26 2008

Memorial Day in Mosul

Posted by Dale @ 8:17 pm in Deployment,FOB Life

Today was a day like most others I’ve see during the past 9 1/2 months. Now that I think about it, there was one big difference, I went for a morning run. At about 0555, I headed out the door to hit the road for my run in the nice cool (70F) morning. One security team was lined up ready to go on a trip to the Erbil office. I stopped and talked to Andy the team leader for just a minute, then we both hit the road. My trip lasted about 45 minutes, while his wouldn’t end until about 6 hours later.

Just like any other day, I spent too much time on the computer. I tried to get things on my to-do list checked off. It seems to take me twice as long to accomplish anything here than anywhere else I’ve been. Maybe I need to get a pill organizer and put a daily dose of ginkgo biloba in it!

For dinner this evening, I went to the DFAC on Diamondback with Mike F., Sarah, Tiffany and Alda. Tiffany complained that she would have to watch her language since she was eating with “Saint Manry”. Sarah commented that she had better watch what she said because it might end up as a blog post for the next day. I guess she was right. Tiffany is due to go home in July. She says it’s time because her 3-year old son has started calling her “Tiff”. Here’s a picture of me, Tiffany, and COL Pfenning from last month. Apparently, COL Pfenning and I didn’t realize that we were supposed to strike a pose!

I think it’s appropriate that today, Memorial Day, was like every other day. We shouldn’t let a single day pass where we don’t remember those that have paid for our freedom with their lives. Every day should be Memorial Day.

May 26 2008

Puppy Games

Posted by Mugs @ 6:08 am in Pets

We have been playing with Blaze using different balls, ropes, and bones. Today, he decided to invent a few games of his own. The first game was called Fight the Wisteria. The previous owner of the house grew a wisteria as a stand alone tree. Because it is a vine, the branches trail to the ground. Blaze kept grabbing a hold of the end of the vine with his teeth, backing himself up, and tugging with all his might. The wisteria, of course, won. As those who have ever attempted to get rid of it know, wisteria is not easily beaten. His attempt to pull down the wisteria reminded me of one of the numerous things Czar destroyed years ago. When we were in Germany, we lived in an old farmhouse with an enclosed courtyard. The back wall of the farmhouse was covered with ivy. The base of the vines were as thick as a person’s arm; it was quite old. One day, Czar decided that he would redecorate. He pulled all the ivy down and dug out the roots. Dale and I came home and just stared in shock. Blaze’s second game was called Don’t Let the Stick Escape. I had planted some flower seeds in one of the beds and had marked the rows with two sticks connected by twine. (My Mom’s favorite row marker.) Blaze decided those sticks were a great find. The kids would hold one stick and the length of twine and second stick would follow. Blaze had great fun trying to prevent the trailing stick’s escape. Blaze’s third game was called Keep the Towel. In the morning, his feet were muddy and I ran up to get a towel so Josiah could dry them off. I remembered I had used a small towel on my pillow because my hair was wet when I went to sleep, so I grabbed that one. Josiah used it to dry off Blaze’s feet, then Blaze grabbed the towel from him and would not give it back, so Josiah let Blaze take it into the crate with him for a nap. He curled up next to the towel and went to sleep with quite a bit less crying. I was sitting there thinking how funny it was that he wanted the towel, when I remembered a bit of advice that I had read about providing the dog with something that has your scent on it to comfort the dog. I hadn’t done it, because I didn’t really believe that it would work. So, Blaze did it for himself.

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