Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What it's like to be a Republican.

"And every single meeting with his so-called superior Is a humiliating kick in the crotch..." - The Police

Flan is available almost daily.

Via the comments in Steve Gilliard's News Blog, we find this mind-numbing item from Soldiers for the Truth. I present it in its entirety, in much the same spirit that Guernica must be seen in its entirety.

Camp Victory Complaint: The Lobster Tails Are Too Big

I loved the beginning part of Roger Charles' article ("Abandoned on the Killing Fields� No Medevac Coming�" DefenseWatch, June 23, 2006) about REMFs. Charles hit it right on the head. I've been on Campus Victory my entire time here. There is definitely a REMF mentality. I've forward you the minutes from a chowhall (DFAC) meeting from a while back and you can see what I'm talking about. Pay attention to the ranks of some of those asking the REMF questions.

We have guys dying outside the well-guarded walls almost every day, but these REMFs complain about lobster tails not being cut right and music being played in the chow hall. Pathetic.

It's double pathetic that everybody on base who hasn't even been out in town gets the same "Imminent Danger Pay" and Iraqi Campaign Medal that those who are in harm's way do/will.

--An Officer on the Ground

Ed. Note: "REMF" is a derisive term for those "in the rear with the gear." It's an acronym for Rear Echelon Mother Fucker.






APO AE 09342

AETV-SBH-DFAC 17 May 2006



1. Board Members were as follows:


Editor: Names Removed

2. Personnel attending the Advisory Council meeting were as follows:


Editor: Names Removed

3. The meeting was opened at 1500hrs on 12 May 2006.

Introduction: SFC W. opens the meeting by handing out suggestions cards that we had previously received from various customers in the past. She explained that the advisory council meeting is to encourage customer feedback, to advise management on desired adjustment to the menu to meet diner preferences or services that will provide a more effective food service program to the soldier/diner.

SFC W. opens the floor for suggestions, comments and concerns:

QUESTION: SGT R.: Why does the DFAC not provide bottled water in the coolers?

RESPONSE: SFC W.: With the new water plant open, we will be trying to provide such a service. However, the military personnel at the dining facility would be responsible for coordinating such an effort.

QUESTION: SPC R.: Asked if the dining facility could provide Belgium waffles, waffle cones, and more variety of ice-cream flavors.

RESPONSE: MR. L.: Explained that KBR is restricted by what they can order from the vendor�s catalog, but stated that they do strive to provide a constant variety. These changes do take time to implement. We must take into consideration, the ordering/delivering time.

QUESTIONS: LTC M.: Compliments the facility as one of the best he has ever seen. He expressed that when he and his soldiers have requested changes, they have been met: larger cups, onion and pineapples on the stir fry bar. He requested better Pita bread for the Gyros; the current ones tasted bad and fall apart too easily. LTC M. also requested chicken liver and asked if we could discontinue the live band performances. He considered the band to be too loud, and suggested that this may be the wrong forum for it.

RESPONSE: SFC W.: We thank you for your comment and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.

QUESTION: Requests Rye bread, bigger taco shells, and Jell-O without fruit or anything in it. He also stated that the salt and pepper shakers did not dispense enough salt and pepper and many soldiers would need to unscrew the top off to get enough.

RESPONSE: SFC W.: explains that the shakers have just recently been purchased and that in order to get better ones, the military would have to provide funds to replace the existing salt and pepper shakers.

QUESTION: Asked about the flies in the DFAC and on the salad bar.

RESPONSE: MR L. stated that the DFAC is aware of the problem and recently did a survey on how to minimize the fly problem. However, he warned that the fly issue is a difficult problem to contain completely.

RESPONSE: MSG I.M.: Vector Control has already implemented control measures: fly traps, fly blowers above the doors, as well as others.

QUESTIONS: LTC M. expressed that the serving portions are too large.

RESPONSE: MR. L. states that they do train the servers on serving sizes; however there is a language barrier issue with training the servers.

RESPONSE: SFC W.: The servers are briefed everyday on this issue. It is also put out that a diner should be specific on what he or she wants when at the serving line. The servers are very accommodating towards the diners needs.

QUESTIONS: LTC M. informs the panel that the soap dispensers are unserviceable and they have the wrong soap in them.

RESPONSE: MR. L. states that the new dispensers are on order and that the soap currently used is the right soap for hand-washing.

QUESTIONS: PFC P.: Is it possible to have the DFAC hours changed from opening at 0530 in the morning to 0600hrs.

RESPONSE: CSM H.: The hours are set for the entire camp. They are set to give diners ample time to get food during each meal. It is also so that the Dining Facility will have ample time in between the meals to clean and prepare for the next meal.

STATEMENT: PFC P.: The music in the dining facility is too loud. The soldiers cannot hear the televisions. I also would like to request more variety of fruit, with an emphasis on strawberries.

RESPONSE: SFC W.: The music issue will be addressed.

RESPONSE: MR. L. replies that travel time limits the type of fruit they can serve. We also can only order items that are available on the catalog.

QUESTIONS: SGT J. requests Spanish Flan and more exits during the lunch time hours as it is too crowded during that time for the one current exit.

RESPONSE: MR. L.: Flan is available almost daily.

RESPONSE: SFC W.: There are many soldiers that are traveling from other camps to this dining facility. From a Force Protection point of view, this controls the flow and direction of traffic in the dining facility.

STATEMENT: There is an inquiry into the size of the bike area, complements on the band and on the portion sizes.

RESPONSES: CSM H. replies that the bike area could possibly be expanded but there is a problem with a few bikes being abandoned there. If you know of anyone that claims this area as storage, please inform them to come and claim their bike.

QUESTIONS: SGT S.: Why does the DFAC only let the Contractors/Civilians get only one to-go tray, while military gets three.

RESPONSE: SFC W.: The three To-Go trays is the absolute limit and the policy is not strictly enforced, but there is a policy out there that states that civilians are authorized to dine-in and take-out only one To-Go tray. For all customers, a written memorandum is required in order to take more than three trays. The restrictions are in place to keep the headcount accurate.

RESPONSE: MR. L.: Each meal costs about 50 to 60 thousand dollars. KBR supports, but tries to control the cost of the meal while providing whatever they can to help morale. The DFAC gets it's funding by a per patron rate. $17.70 a day per patron: (BRK: $3.54 per patron, LUN: $7.08 per patron, DIN: $7.08 per patron)

QUESTIONS: SPC R.: This is for CSM H. What is the policy on having your weapon?

RESPONSE: CSM H.: MNC-I policy requires a weapon on you at all times, except when conducting PT. The guards have been instructed to turn away anyone who does not have their weapon.

QUESTION: SPC R.: If someone comes to the dining facility with a sweaty PT uniform, will they be turned away?

RESPONSE: (UPDATE since meeting) Mayor Cell: No one will be allowed to enter the dining facility in a sweaty PT uniform.

QUESTION: LTC M.: Why not use the Air Force to fly fresh fruit and vegetables to the base.

RESPONSE: CSM H.: At this time this is not feasible.

QUESTION: SGM A.: Can the lobster tails be cut in half?

RESPONSE: MR. L.: Due to the lack of proper equipment, this is not possible.

QUESTION: LTC M.: How often are the council meetings conducted?

RESPONSE: SFC W.: The council meetings will be conducted monthly.

STATEMENT: SFC W.: Each dining table has a customer feedback sheet. Do not wait until these meetings to provide your feedback. Each one of the comment sheets is read by management, however; keep in mind that some requests take time.

STATEMENT: SFC W. takes the time to read some policies concerning the dining facility:

-The "No Bags" policy means just that. No Bags carried in or out of the dining facility. Do not carry bags inside the dining facility in your pockets. You will not be allowed to carry bags of items outside of the dining facility. You will be stopped.

-We have a limit 2 items that may be carried outside of the dining facility. Limits are to ensure that the dining facility maintains an 8 to 12 day supply as convoys (Class I trucks) do not always make it to the base when scheduled.

-The dining facility must be cleared 30 minutes after each meal. Not 35 or 40 minutes but 30 minutes.

SFC W. proceeds to inform the council of the Special Meal Request Policy:

-Special Meals Request is being abused. A special meal request will not be used for personal BBQ�s. The DFAC is limited to how many requests that can be supported in a day. When the limit has been met, we will not take anymore requests. This affects the normal operation when the focus becomes what�s going out the back door versus what is prepared for the diners. All units need to be proactive in their planning.

-Beverage request are to be utilized only for warming and cooling beverages. These items are to be used by personnel going on convoys or special missions.

4. The Advisory Council meeting was adjourned at 1615hrs. The next council meeting will be held on 23 June 06.



Senior Food Operation Sergeant

I guess that's why we can't seem to commit to a withdrawal. It's hard to prepare and serve flan at the proper temperature and consistency while engaged in a fighting retreat across 300 miles of dessert desert.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Two weeks without a post must be evidence of a serious character defect, right? Surely I am among the laziest of men. You see, I'm willing to throw myself on the sword and accept the fact that I am afflicted with the cardinal sin of sloth.

Except that's not really true. Truth is, I've been pretty damn busy these past couple of weeks. No, wait. That's bullshit, too. Everyone is busy, everyone has jobs and projects that occupy their time.

So what's my excuse? As close as I can come to explaining it is a lack of blog mojo. The election results knocked me off my stride, deprived me of my fuel and my fire. Compounding this mojo deficiency has been a spate of exquisite work from the blogroll denizens listed to the right.

Blue Girl has been a fountain of brilliance lately, perhaps fueled by sweet, sweet confections. Or maybe it's a reaction to the approach of grim-as-death Winter in Cleveburg.

Bobby Lightfoot has evolved into some kind of Indian Holy Man.

Blue Wren's ouevre has been spectacularly good, never missing a beat. See, e.g., this gem.

I guess I can take credit for my good taste, having a blogroll featuring these worthies and others, such as Neddie, Patrick Hillman, Will Divide, Lacarte, Kevin Wolf, Fred Wickham....hell, all of them.

Long story short: I'll get my stroke back, and when I do, it will be because of the example and inspiration of such folks, whose gifts have brought so much enjoyment to so many. Thanks, guys.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Blue Sky Theory

I was so busy savoring the election results and their sequelae that I neglected to clear the cookies in my mental browser. Consequently, it wasn't until this morning that I realized that a Democratic high-pressure system had moved in and turned the Black Sky Blue.

How 'bout that?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Goddammit, Rumsfeld! You'll get under that bus and you'll like it!

"Come on, don't give me any of your thin lip. Get under there before I throw you under the fucker. My daddy already hired your replacement."

"Hey! Dammit, Rummy, don't be grabbing onto me! You're not gonna drag me under there with you. Just get your ass under that bus or I swear to God, those pictures of you and that bald-headed fella from the press room will be on the Google by sundown."

Bwaaaa-haaa-haaaa! I am not terribly graceful in victory. So sue me.

Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer, dead!

Allen, dead! Talent, dead! Burns, dead! Santorum, dead! DeWine, dead! Steele, dead! Hayworth, dead! Pombo, dead! Chocola, dead! Hostettler, dead! Ryun, dead! Bass, Kelly, Sweeney, dead, dead, dead! Weldon, dead! Sherwood, dead!

A stinging rebuke. A thorough repudiation. An utter humiliation. A good old-fashioned country ass-whipping.

President Allen? (Snort.) President Santorum? (Guffaw.)

I felt kind of bad about Chafee, but I got over it in a second or two.

I'd like to be in Washington when the new Congress is seated, but I might wait until the cherry blossoms subpoenas are in full bloom.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I had no idea the Baby Jesus loves me this much...

I tell ya', I'm this close to a "Saul-on-the-road-to-Damascus" conversion moment. As an atheist and a member of the reality-based community, it's difficult for me to accept the existence, much less the purposeful intervention, of a deity. But after the events of the past few days, I'm about ready to walk to the altar and give it up for the Baby Jesus (pictured at right).

My week of Sanctified Miracles started on Thursday, when, after a two-day trial on a felony possession with intent charge, a jury returned a not guilty verdict in favor of my client in a County Record 19 minutes! Now, it's not all that unusual for me to win a trial, but when you consider that twelve people will take 15 minutes to adjust their underwear, pick a seat at the table and elect a foreperson, 19 minutes is mighty damned impressive. I was so busy with my trial that it wasn't until that afternoon that I learned that the Reverend Ted Haggard of the Christopithecus Day Care Temple of Divine Grace, Anointed Blessings and Methamphetamine-fueled Man-love had been outed. Now, I'm a skeptic. I needed more proof that the Baby Jesus really loved me, so I asked him to send me a Sign. Something unmistakeable, like a picture of Pastor Brokeback Smokecrack with the Resident of the United States.

Imagine my rapturous surprise:

And then, in rapid succession, four days before the election, Bob Ney (R-Federal Prison) resigned, and the Army Times put the smackdown on Vlad Rumsfeld.

I'm tellin' ya', it's almost too much for this poor old atheist to take.