Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Bird!!!

Kip and Lafawnduh added a new member to the Family. Maybe Tina - if it's a girl... I've been worrying for the last few weeks because I used to see scurrying, chirps, and movement in the box, but it's been pretty quiet lately. I've been providing extra food and nesting material, but I haven't been able to tell what's going on. Lafawnduh viciously blocks the box with her whole body and pecks when I get near. Today I lured her away with a treat and got a picture of the little guy. Its head looks nearly full grown with a tiny body - gray and brown, but looks like it will be the same colors as its parents. Didn't want to use the flash - the chick's supercute!

Blog update

Haven't cleared the digital camera for awhile - here are a few pics that go with earlier posts:

Top level are from Mudfest. I love the truck with all the bottles pushing its way through the crowd.

Next are from President Bush-ie's visit. That was right in front of my building. The light on the right and its twin on the left were kept on for a few hours - throwing all kinds of heat at us.

Another pic of the president from behind. On the right's my over the top custom leather riding suit, complete with mesh lining, fake patches, and integrated protective pads. Amazing what kind of custom work you can get done for $420.

Here are a few pics prior to the Jump at Maeson-Ri. They hooked me and another Navy guy up with 3 chutes yesterday! Everyone else only jumped one. It was outrageous. We jumped in the 2nd, 5th, and 7th(last) balloon runs! Shortly after hitting the ground we grabbed another parachute, got rigged up and checked, then back up again. I still can't land exactly where I want, but I'm starting to get a feel for steering with the toggles! Next week will be big. It'll be a Friendship jump with our Korean counterparts. So I'll get a chance to present a set of my wings to one of them and recieve Korean ones. Not only that, but my first Helicopter jump (CH-47) and my 10th, earning my gold Navy and Marine Corps parachutist.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cherry Jump!

My first scheduled jump from a CH-47 Chinook was canceled due to weather - it's still Monsoon season here. Lucky for me the balloon jump still happened. You go up in a small blimp-looking balloon that's tethered to a wench on the ground. The "gondola", a small, rickety, metal platform with vinyl siding takes up 4 American jumpers and our Korean jumpmaster - I'm told it's good for 6 Koreans. It's very different from any other platform we jump. Instead of a fast mass exit from a loud and fast moving aircraft, you step off the edge of the calm balloon one at a time, rocking the gondola for everyone else. Instead of a series of well rehearsed, exact commands and responses, our Korean host moved the chain out of the way and waved his hand - not unlike waiting in line for a carnival ride.

Being outside of a training command was a welcome change. The process of getting suited up and inspected, and the pre-brief and practice were a piece of cake. The controllable toggles and beautiful site added a nice touch.

Unfortunately my detachment sergeant wasn't available for my first jump. I missed the opportunity to be properly indoctrinated. He had cherry pies for each pocket in my cargo pants.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Presidential Visit

I was invited to see the President speak. Although we filled the gym with what must have been close to 1000 spectators, space was available. Based on OEF/OIF participation, I was selected as one of ten from our command to sit directly behind him in the bleachers. I didn't get any good pictures so I used a few that I found online.

His speech was interesting enough, the event motivational. It was entertaining to see the level of attention that went into every minute detail - secret service, water carefully placed at the last moment, labels on the ground for where he and the generals stood.

There's a lot going on with the US and Korea in the coming years. It'll be interesting to see which direction it goes. Kapchi Kapchida!