That Fake Map is Boss

Next Wednesday, we'll be on a plane headed for Iraq!

It's crazy to think that in the past two years, I've travelled to Iraq 3 times.

Ummm, it's crazy to think that in the past two years I've travelled to Iraq.


In other news, I saw this fake map today on the Columbus Underground.

I wish this really existed! That would be pretty boss.

Yeah, that's right. I said boss. I'm bringing it back.

Happy Halloween!

I hope yours is boss.


Fun Video

This video is long, but funny.

If you understand German, you'll know that they're twins! I hope that doesn't ruin it for you, but the announcer says it right away.

$1000 Is A Lot of Money

Below are two links to the same story. An Iraqi military unit raised $1000 to donate to the victims of the wildfires in San Diego. This is from men who make very little defending their country. Angie found the story at Michael Totten's blog and CNN picked it up a bit later.

Michael Totten


After reading this, I read some more of Michael Totten's work. I am familiar with his blog, but I read this article from Azure magazine. You should check it out. It includes this quote:

"Erbil, the largest city in Kurdistan, has suffered three terrorist attacks since coalition forces terminated the Baath regime in 2003. The second-largest city, Suleimaniah, was struck only once. The third-largest city, Dohuk, has never been hit at all. More people have been wounded or killed by terrorists in Spain than in Iraqi Kurdistan since 2003. No one has been kidnapped."


"You Kinda Look Like Jerry Revish"

Angie, Nila and I arrived back in Columbus today. We fled the San Diego fires, spent four hours in the air and came home to Mom, Sis and pizza - oh, and a fussy baby!

She was great on the flight, but not so great now that she's back home after the excitement.

During the 10 o'clock news, Sis told me i look like Jerry Revish. A younger, white Jerry Revish. For those of you who may not know, Jerry Revish is one of the anchors at WBNS, Columbus's CBS affiliate. Well, and also for our CW station at 10 o'clock, which, of course, is where I watched him this evening.

Also, I learned that there's a huge MERDS outbreak in the city. Please take precautions against MERDS!


California Burning

Yes, much of San Diego County is on fire.

Yes, over 250,000 people have been evacuated.

No, Angie, Nila and I are not among these evacuees. We're perfectly safe. We can see the huge smoke clouds to the north and south of us from our house. From the training center, we get a pretty spectacular view of the the smoke from the fires in southeast San Diego county.

We have been pushed around a little by the Santa Ana winds, but we're good.


Hi, Everybody

I don't have much to say.

Training has been going well. We'll be taking a well-prepared, capable and intelligent group back to Iraq with us, so that's good.

Not like those fools who've gone before. haha

Last night Angie made me eat dinner at a place called "Chinese Food and Donuts." We'd had the donuts last week and they were very tasty. Angie deduced that they must also have good Chinese food, too. She was mistaken. It was some of the lamest Chinese food I've eaten. She was sorely dissappointed.


Turkey Makes Me Sleepy

Has anyone been following this is the news?

Here's a link to a good story on Turkey's threats to attack Souhtern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq.

If you haven't been following along, here's the deal:

Turkey has been building up troop levels in it's eastern province along the Iraqi border all summer and they've been threatening to attack the PKK bases in the Kurdish mountains.

The PKK is a Kurdish seperatist group active in Turkey with guerrilla bases inside Iraq. Last week 15 Turkish soldiers were killed by this group (although this blog makes a case for the improbibility that the PKK in Iraq actually had anything to do with it). Since this, Turkey has moved foward with plans and threats to attack.

Here's where things get interesting. Currently, the US Congress is being presented with a nonbinding resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide! the Turks have recalled their ambassador over it (although, they insist he will return). Last year, France approved a similar resolution much to Turkey's consternation. If approved, Turkey may cut off military ties with the US (like they did with France). This would mean that the US could no longer use Turkey as a base for operations in Iraq. Of course, the Bush administration is pushing Congress to reject (or even just ignore) the resolution.

Also, Iran has recently been shelling PJAK in Iraq. PJAK is like the Iranian PKK. Neither Turkey nor Iran admit that their militaries are coordinating attacks against Iraqi Kurdistan. So it must just be a coincidence, I'm sure.

The question, though, is: How will all this affect me? It won't. Even if Turkey attacks, they won't attack anywhere near where we live. The biggest fear would be that Turkey (and maybe Iran) will close their borders to trade. That would mean an end to tasty Turkish cookies in the stores. That would make my life sadder and more difficult.


Nila Meets People

The day before we came to California, we went to a family reunion of sorts. It was Grandma Kay's sisters and brother (although he was sick and unable to come) and their families. I hadn't seen many of them for years, so it was nice to get together and have a good time and, of course, eat.

When we first told Grandma (Nila) Kay that we intended to name our baby after her, she said "Oh, no. Don't do that. I don't even like my name. No, no."

I did it anyways because I knew at some point this would happen:

It was the first time anyone in this part of the family had seen Nila and Grandma introduced her to each person as "Nila, named after me." She was obviously very happy to have her first grandchild named after her. It was totally worth it.


Alive and Well

I haven't been able to keep the blog updated because...umm...

Would you believe that there's a giant sink hole? Well, it's true. There's a giant sink hole/ landslide incident here in San Diego. It makes it very hard to blog with this type of disaster happening in one's vicinity.

Of course, by vicinity I mean a thirty minute drive from where I actually am staying and working, but still. It's on tv and stuff.

In truth, I've just been working hard teaching language and the apartment in which Angie, Nila and I are staying doesn't have internet. We can sporadiclly intercept someone else's wifi, but it isn't consistent enough to rely on.