Monday, November 16, 2009

Treadstone Towers

It's been a while since my last post, and I am getting directives to put a new one up. I'm on the downhill slide here, just wanting to wrap things up and get home to my family. I finished the deck about a month ago, so I'd better give an update about the finished product. Our first "official" use was our Halloween party. Most everyone came in costume, and we were able to buy a few pizzas from the on base Pizza Hut. We had about 30 people on the deck at one time, and there was room for many more. We had a "down day" today, so we are going to have the Company BBQ here tonight. At our last Company meeting, we took a vote and "Treadstone Towers" is now the deck's official name. Here are a few pictures of the finished product.

Here is a picture of the "lower level"


This photo is looking to where I was standing when I took the first photo:


This shows the stairs and is taken from the same direction as the last one:



This was taken from the Hesco's (big barriers) looking at the stairs from the other direction:


Looking down from the 3rd floor (you can see the Hesco's where I stood to take the last picture)


This is looking at the covered part of the 2nd floor:

And here is a shot of the ladder to the 3rd floor:

And a closer shot of the ladder. Notice the lightly used pull-up bars:

And finally, a shot from outside of our LSA:

Well, that's all for today. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll try to get another one out soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Birthday Bash

Well, Tiffany really outdid herself this time. Evidently she has been emailing my commander to plan a Birthday Party for me. After I got home from flying for the day, my commander's husband (he is also deployed with us) come by and asked me to come over to their room. I figured he was up to something, so I told him no, I don't think I want to come over, and then I gave my roommate a knowing wink. He busted out laughing while Aaron said fine as he stomped back to his room. So I headed over to their room and this is what I was greeted by:


Well, this, and about 20 of our pilots! They all sang Happy Birthday to me, helped me eat the cake (yes, she got a cake to us) and watched me open my presents. Tiffany shipped everything to us, to include the little army parachute guys as party favors.


The cake is from a company called Bake Me A Wish (http://www.bakemeawish.com/). They have a program called "Operation: Birthday Cake" where you can order a birthday cake for your soldier overseas. Evidently it was triple boxed with cooling packs to keep it cold. And my commander said it worked, it was still cold when they received it. And it was excellent! I will be sending some of these pictures to Bake Me A Wish as a thank you to them. Here are a few pics of us enjoying the cake.





And a few of me opening my gifts. The first one is a series of storyboards about the boys' summer. I now have these hanging in my room.

The next one is of me as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity movie poster. Tiff has the poster on her blog.
And last, but not least, is the T-shirt my boys gave me for when we play Rock Band on our Wii. Thanks guys. You really made me feel special on my birthday, even though I was so far away. Hopefully we'll be able to be together next year. xoxo ~Daddy

Thank you to everyone who sent a Birthday Card to Tiffany for me. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of you who sent me Birthday wishes. It feels really good to be remembered.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2nd Story

I had today off. So after working on next week's flight schedule for 9 hours, I was able to work on the deck for about 45 minutes before the sun went down. Let me back up. I have been, on my off days and if I get back early enough from missions, working to build a deck beside my CHU. I probably didn't take enough pictures during the process, but I did manage to snap a few.

First thing I had to do was build the bottom floor (duh!). When it starts raining in the winter, the less dirt (then mud) you have to walk on/thru, the better. Here are the in progress photos of the walkways.
And here is some of the wood I "procured". Had to unload it by hand.

And here are a couple of shots of the uprights, which will support the second floor.

Yes, those are 4x4 uprights, with 2x12 headers, and 4x4 cross beams. The uprights are 16 feet tall.

And some more 2x12 support beams. Once this framework is done, I will use 2x6 boards as the flooring, just like the lower floor walkways.

And yours truly, in a staged photo (still wearing my pistol).

Some of my scrap wood in the foreground, with the 2nd floor extention in the background. Eventually I plan to have a set of stairs going up to the 2nd floor right here.


And lastly, here I am with most of the 2nd floor complete. I'll try to get some pics from up there for the next blog. I am making appointments for some deck building work on the side for when I get home!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nose Art

Still pretty busy here, working 12 hours days more or less. Thought I would share some of the nose art on our aircraft.


This is me and my roomie getting ready to fly an American flag for Grant's second birthday. I flew one for Jack's first birthday when I was stationed here flying Apaches.

I have to send a special thanks to Donna and all of our friend at the Robson Ranch Support Our Troops in Texas. I recently received 23 boxes of care packages for my unit from them. Everything from Twizzlers, to trail mix, to popcorn, to deodorant (can you smell us from all the way over here?). Thank you all so much, you don't know how that can lift every one's day when I bring a big box of goodies to the company. (I've been bringing one in every couple of days, so they last longer!)

Let me get this posted, and maybe I can even get a second one done this week! We'll see.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hot Cockpit

As you may have guessed, I have been pretty busy lately. We have had a high turn-over rate of pilots, which means those of us left have to pick up the slack. In addition to this, I have been appointed as the scheduler (I fill in the names for the flight schedule) and I took and passed a Unit Trainer (UT) check ride. So I now fly with newer guys and teach them our mission.

As we flew over Iraq yesterday the temperature in the airplane rose steadily. Since we wanted to continue our mission, we elected to open our side vent windows to try to cool it down. After we landed, our maintenance people determined that the aft blower for our air conditioning had seized up on us and they proceeded to replace it. Here is a quick video of us flying at 150 mph with the windows open. Sorry about the sound, it was a little noisy.

video

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rocking Out!

Sorry it's been so long since the last post. Been pretty busy over here. I have recently purchased a Christmas present for the family. I know, what a good daddy I am. Soooo, I will just keep a hold of the Wii and the Rock Band game that goes with it until I head home before Christmas. Here's a quick video of us playing. Remember, this is our first "gig", so don't be too critical of us!
video

I just hope the family enjoys their new gift as much as we do!

I'll try to get some more posts up in the next couple days.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chow Hall and Dust Storms

First of all, Happy Birthday, America. We spent the day here just kind of relaxing. Had a few administrative duties to attend to, but that didn't take long. I was going to head to the gym first thing this morning, until I was greeted with this:No that's not the surface of Mars, and yes, it was orange out with all of the dust. We had maybe 50 feet of visibility.
On my way into work, it looked like someone had already been by the airplanes.

Here's a quick video of my walk to the Dinning Facility (DFAC):

video

Yep, not a whole lot to see out there. Thank goodness we have made that trek a few times before and know our way to the food.

Speaking of the food, they put on a pretty good spread for us today. There is soooo much good food to eat here, that I usually only eat 2 meals a day. So lunch was my first meal today. They had decorated the chow hall for the 4th in red, white and blue. We had a few additions, to include Uncle Sam,The Statue of Liberty,

And of course, all of the food stations. There was a special cake, complete with a cutting ceremony:
Here's a picture of my plate, complete with BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, corn bread, greens, V-8, and strawberry, yes, strawberry cobbler. I'd never heard of it before either. I did go get some ice cream for the cobbler before I ate it.
It all tasted excellent. We really don't have it too bad here. Well, I have more pictures of the food serving stations, but our Internet is pretty slow here. It takes a couple of minutes to upload each picture, and it is already after midnight here. So I will try to post again tomorrow after church. Hope you all had a Happy 4th of July!