Thursday, September 15, 2005


A Cooler Breeze

The heat here has definitely tapered off. I think we've actually had a high this week that was like 99 instead of over a hundred, and at night or in the morning it has actually dipped into the '60s once or twice. Cool breezes, very very nice for a change. Not as much air conditioning. The only downside is, now the bugs are coming back. I hadn't realized, but the heat here completely kills almost anything that satys out in the open, so they don't. You never see an ant, unless food is like right there in front of their hole, then poof, they're all over it. Take the morsel away, and the disappear. Same with mosquitoes. The surface water here reaches such a temperature, the larvae are killed off. No mosquitoes at all during the summer, but now they're coming back.

That is a funny thing about the water; we are connected to city water, but it flows in through these reservoir tanks (black, go figure), so that there's water if the city water goes out. (Like the electricity, but we are lucky and have a generator that kicks on.) Anyway, throughout the summer, the cold water was actually hotter than the hot water (unless the hot is set to highest heat). The bathroom I use for showers (the females in our building use that one too, no funny business but it’s next to my room), the hot water heater went out sometime in July, I thought someone intentionally turned it off. So here's how I took a shower. While I brushed my teeth and shaved, I turned on the cold water tap in the shower and let it run. By the time I get in, it's hot. I then used the "hot" water to cool it down. (With the hot water heater off, it cats like a giant cooling tank, it's inside and the tank is white.)

The air quality might be improving, too. At night, some of the troops have said, “Man there are a lot of stars.” I look up, and I think two things. One, this guy’s never spent much time in the Adirondacks, and two, that’s something we just got used to. You don’t see a lot of stars, not because of night illumination (there’s not a lot of that), but there’s always sand or dust or haze, or even just junk in the air, and you never see much by way of stars. But perhaps, we are seeing more than we had.

On a cool morning, or later at night, you can almost be lulled into believing your back home, somewhere in the old familiar places. A cool night, late summer hanging on, or an early fall, no crispness yet. Breathe deep, make the illusion last. And then there’s some boom way off, and the reverie is broken and you’re back in the sandbox, wondering if that was off the FOB or if a rocket or mortar landed somewhere down by the river. Curious, but not with any real concern. Just wondering. Were those last two counterfire?

Praying it’s like every other night, and the Soldiers of the FOB are safe. No injuries, no wounded, no medevacs, no casualty reporting.

And we can go back to look at the sky, thinking it’s supposed to be the same one that the folks back home are looking at.

Links: Basil's Blog, Outside the Beltway, 365 and a Wakeup

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