Friday, July 29, 2005

Task Complete

Mission Complete

Well we did it. I got a lot of flack for not doing it faster but, I'm not too good at replicating myself in about 5 different places at the same time. I'm working it but, since I know understand the amount of authority I seems like I shouldn't have too many more complaints.

Okay. That sounded a bit strange. To quote good old Dr. Cho "Aaaanywaaay".

Here are some action shots of my crack team of IT specialists at work.

For my first photo, we have a solid signaleer running CAT-5 cable from the MWR room into our office space. Notice the small hole he is running that cable through.

That would be the product of about 5 minutes of drilling through about 2 inches of chalk board and cinder block. We had to punch about 3 of these holes and I think we ran into about 1-2 hundred feet of CAT-5.

In any case we were pretty content with the results.

In this next photo, we have a "trance shot" of my signal operators working cable out of ceiling tiles. As we manage to setup yet another room in the building with access gratis MWR. Man those guys are so great!

Well we attracted a lot of attention and we managed to get the internet access window pushed back. Originally, we were kicked off MWR's feed at 2230. Now the access is limitless. Hence the late time of this post.

I'll try to post more photos later. I may even get a shot of me completed suited up for my biochem training tomorrow.

I'm sure it'll prove to be a tight set of shots with my sinuses draining forth all of their worldly treasures. Should be fun for you and me!

I'll keep posting may get one out Monday. Later all,


Thursday, July 28, 2005

My First Mission & CIF

My First Mission

We've been in New Jersey for a couple days and it looks like my section has just gotten funding for a mission to wire up the operations work area.

For 4 days I've tried to work with the Department Of Information Management (DIOM) to hook us up with NIPR access (NIPR is a non-secure military network). On NIPR, personal PC's aren't allowed to draw a connection so we have to get authorized military/government machines for use.

DIOM is like the IT department for military installations. My contact there sent me to two people who could give us this asset and I have had no luck with them as those people are never in their offices.

Oh and in order to use NIPR, each user has to turn in a request sheet with proof of security clearance, and a certificate of Information Assurance Training (IA Training).

IA Training is basically a way of saying you know enough not to do completely silly things to give unclassified users access to a military network. In other words, this is a lot of paperwork for something that's vital. We have now reached a time crunch.

As of tonight, we still have not received NIPR or authorized machines for internet access.

This isn't much of a problem since there is a Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) day room that is located inside our billets.

Long story short. Since we can't access the military net, my boss basically told the installation we were going to "borrow" access from the MWR room.

This MWR room has wireless and 100 Mbps lines provided to soldiers for free. It's really great.

Now for my mission.

We have to drill through about 4 cinder blocks and run cat-5 from the MWR room into another room about 20 meters down the hall. The line also has to run into an adjacent room.

My soldiers are really excited about this mission. It doesn't seem like much but, if we can pull this off, then that means we've proven ourselves on a toy task.

So this is a street cred oriented task.

I'll post photos and more about what we did later.

Oh, this MWR point we're uhm...borrowing...from was populated with soldiers on laptops within 12 hours of our showing up on cite. Of course, yours truely was one of the first. Not sure if that's a good thing but, when there's a will...

Clothing Issuing Facility (CIF)

Today we also received our inital issue of gear. So now I have my battle rattle. I also got my body armor issue. It's pretty sweet. I'll post photos when I get some time together!

Oh and on the matter of photos... I have offically posted my monthly quota of photos into flickr. The photos I've posted for this month are from my trip to Jordan last summer. Hope you enjoy!


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Day 1: Jersey Sun

So we took off around 12 am and landed in Jersey around 1 pm. The process was pretty painless... minus having to say good bye to my folks.

I've been up since about 5 am and it looks like I've a boat load of work left to do. Yeah, and here I am blogging. Go fig. So here's a quick recap for interested parties:

  • Got up at 0500.

  • Hit the armory in Atlanta by 0600.

  • 0630 formation, practice farwell ceremony until 8.

  • 0800-0900 farwell ceremony.

  • 0900-1100 family time.

  • 1100-1330 travel to Jersey. (We got 3 meals: Subway, an in flight box meal, and dinner in Jersey!)

  • 1330-Present (2147) meetings, dinner, getting people hooked into a communications net. Blog started.

I managed to find some sweet connectivity in the barracks (wireless!) and installation the risk of sounding like a valley girl...*totally* hooked up. So there should be no excuse for me not doing my own brand of computing while I'm here.

Well, I'm off to conduct more office type work. I'll post sometime on Wednesday. If I manage to get photos from my Dad's cellular phone camera, I'll post them.

Thanks again to Mom, Dad, John, Erica, Joey, Ester, Edric, Neil, Kelly, Josh, etc. for meeting up with me and making my last couple nights in town enjoyable.

That's it for now - signing out,

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Last week in town

This is my last week - starting tomorrow I'll be on active duty for the Army and working various issues all in the name of getting my happy little self back here in (God willing) 14 months.

I had a blast in Clemson last weekend. It was probably the most fun I've had in about 2 months. It also felt like the first free weekend I've had in about as much time.

I'd like to say thanks to Casey, Joey, Ester, Andrew, Sarah, Tom, Brie, Adam, and Mitchell for taking time out of their summer schedules to kick back and join me in the last "real weekend" I'll have prior to my going off to OIF.

I'd also like to say "thanks" to everyone that has been reading the emails, listening to me on the phone, and (as the kids say) "showing the love".

This is my last week in Atlanta, GA. By next week, I'll be a Jersey Kid for a couple days and then it's off to OIF.

I'll try to post some photos of all my stuff and I need to get the list of what I'm bringing along with me up here. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

2 More Weeks and I'll be Moved

Looks like I'm getting nearer to zero hour. I've two weeks remaining and I'm still moving slightly-faster-than-snails-pace with my packing.

My parents came up this past weekend to spend part of the 4th with me. So by the time I see them again, I need to have accomplished the following:

  • Packed up all my stuff for storage

  • Moved out of my apartment

  • Gotten my car insurance relocated

  • Made badly needed repairs to my car

  • Hit the bank for some more information updates

  • Get my account with Verison placed into 'stasis'

  • Changed my address with the post office

  • Gotten a copy of my orders and have duplicates sent to my apartment, cell phone company, insurance company, storage company, and boss

  • Packed up all my gear for Iraq

So far, I'm almost done getting the gear packed up. I need to purchase or acquire some packing foam for my foot locker.

My apartment packing is getting close to completion too. I just need to buy some bubble wrap for my furniture and break down some of my collapsible furniture.

Beyond that I have a bunch of new DVDs to see me through next year. I also have a bunch of video games stored up for the coming `winter`. Or maybe that should read 'summer'.

In any event, my flickr account is going to get updates this weekend. Which means, whenever I need a break from packing, I'll be 'flickring'. I'm almost 80% finished with "The Great CD Ripping of 2005".

When all is said and done, I should be ready to go by next Wednesday or Thursday. I'll be going up to Clemson, next weekend, to say my good-byes.

After that, my folks come into town and drive me to the unit where I'll begin my 14 month (or greater) `adventure`.

Next week's installment will include my entire packing list.