Sunday, January 25, 2009

Despite the Recent Mortars...

I've been really busy on the job, but have been trying to update and such. FINALLY though, I"VE GOT BANDWIDTH!!! Which means y'all get a few pictures, and later, hopefully if it works (not in this post mind you) but video too. The pic above is of a new 7 or 10 story building in the Baghdad area... It's a new business center, and as you can see, they want YOU to KNOW that they are, as the sign sez "OPEN." It's a sure-fire positive sign of things getting better. A picture that would NEVER be published in the states, but here it is, Brought to you by the letter "F", the number "69" and the World Famous Intrepid Reporter.This one here I just sort of snapped on the way home. What struck me is how the Media, Other Governments and Liberal Fucktard Assholes of the planet (and in our own country) try to make us out to being an "Army of Occupation." Let me ask thid: In World War Two: Did we allow the krauts to keep flying the Swastika when we won? Answer: Fuck No! So, my 'proof' of this NOT being an occupation is this: a simple Iraqi National Flag flying proudly on Route Irish... which in itself is amazing as in 04, normally I stood a decent chance of getting shot if I stopped to take a pic like this.

Now, to update on other things and ephemera. Before the "One" was' I mean the in-auger-ated "One"... you know, that black dude. Anyways, the Dirty Haj had been throwing all sorts of nastiness our way, which in a word, SUCKED. That and the closure of the Duty Free... no more easy booze unless I go to a bar OUTSIDE the wire, which in itself is an adventure, as it means
A) going to bar

B) drinking like a fish as fast as possible (Chug 3- 1 liter Beers and 3 Double Jacks in 45 minutes)

C) jumping back in the truck and hauling ass back to base and getting inside a 'safe zone' before the buzz REALLY kicks in. (Gotta appear sober at the gate, lest the authorities become aware you've been boozing.)

It's sort of an "Extreme Drinking Game" put to it's fullest extent...
Said Bar being located pictured above, the Baghdad International Airport Hotel and Convention Center. Home of the Sinbad Bar and Grill. Yep. No shit folks... and yeah, that is a functioning fountain in the froont. They've recently added on to the building and added a Shisha Cafe, which is where you go to smoke up the flavored tobaccos through a Hooka Pipe. It's a nice hotle, but a bit pricey at $225 a night for a suite. But considering it's 6 bux for a beer and 3 bux for a decent shooter of booze, I'll risk the $$$ and the time to go. Seeing the asshole in the back waving his hand... What do you want? OH? WHY would I risk life, limb and my ass in going out there? Well... the answer is simple Poindexter:

I live in fucking Stonehenge.

Big fucking rock walls surround every fucking inch of my house, my yard and my life. THIS is why I booze...

You would too, if'n you were here.

Until Later, I'll keep my head down, and my liver lubricated. Email me those of you who do, and let meknow what you think of the pics and such. Otherwise, I remain The Intrepid Reporter.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Damn I though it was too quiet...

OK Dear Readers
The Intrepid Reporter of Lore and Fame, (if only in my own twisted mind) has been in the nightmare mode that Baghdad has become. Namely the Dirty Fucking Haj (TM) has been getting active again.

Yeah.. we went from "Dead and Boring" to "Potentially Dead From Incoming." This sucks man. I've Been There Done That with this shit before. Hell, I took 2 seperate pieces of shrapnel in 04 when I got caught at Logbase Sietz during the "Worst of the Worst" back in the old days... I really DON'T want to relive those days... like when my fucking house got hit in Sept 04. For those of you just joining the IR Report, I was smart enough to go to work on September 14, 2005 fifteen minutes early. Thankfully I did as my house took a DIRECT hit from a chinese 82mm mortar round which, if I had been there, would have reduced the Intrepid Reporter to grape jelly. I was early as I got into a pissing contest with my so to speak manager at the time, who had given me shit about the fact that I was always JUST on time and never early. That morning I decided to show the prick I could be early, and because of it, I'm still alive. Thanks be to Jesus that I went with my urge to show the prick that I could be early.

Right now, man, lately, we've been under some INSANE level of incoming… like compared to 2004, not so much, but considering that when I got here, it'd been over 9-10 months since any, mind you, ANY rounds hit, and for like 3 days/nights in a row we've had between 2 to 4 incoming rounds. The Close In Weapons System called "Cee-Whiz" has been getting the majority of them, except for the one that jammed/fucked up the other night. Mind you OF FUCKING COURSE that was the one that impacted like right across from my house. Shook the walls blew dirt and stuff everywhere on my porch and roof and rattled my nerves pretty well… killed my buzz too… the bastards!

I can deal with incoming however, it's the side effects like negating a mellow night and having to don my Dragon Skin. Let's face it, it's uncomfortable to lay in the bed and wear that stuff as Household Six was on the Skype Phone with me and heard the whole thing. Hell hath no fury like an Enraged/terrified Italian/Sicilian wife. She sez "Wear it" and well, I tell her I do. Realistically, so far today/tonight it's quiet, but it's only5:44pm local. They seem to shoot at us later in the evening, right after the evening pray call. The real pain in the ass is that we don't seem to have a CAP (Combat Air Patrol) over us of Apaches like we did 'back in the day.' It used to be they'd shoot a few rounds at us, and the Apaches would get a grid location from the "Far Finder" Radar (which tells them roughly within a few meters where the rounds came from) and the next thing we'd usually hear was the beautiful sound of the Bushmaster 25 mike-mike blasting the hell out of the retards who were stupid enough to shoot at us.

The reduction of forces has me nervous actually. They seem to be 'building up' towards 'something.' The word on the street is that they want to 'test' the new POTUS and what with everything I'm reading/hearing/seeing on the net/radio and TV, his talking about shutting down here in Iraq sooner is only going to provoke them into doing to us what Hamas is/has been doing to Israel. Meaning small provocative attacks that are pin pricks… not very effective on causing casualties per se, but makes life fucking miserable for the Joes and us Scumbag Contractors.
Otherwise, y'all say a little pray for the ole IR... things here be a bit off the chain...
Until Later
The Intrepid Reporter

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Coolest Foot Patrol EVVA

An interesting thing happened onto the way to the latrine this morning...

Now isn't that a show stopper?

Yeah, things here are quiet, and rather than go into how boring it is, I'll make mention of some of the wacked out weirdness that I'm so fond of reporting. Now, granted, the Intrepid Reporter of Fame and Legend (if only in my own mind) does his 'morning abulutions' like any other dude, but this morning was a real shall we say interesting experience on the way to the throne. Like I said, I was on my way to the Throne Room to my morning Shit, Shave and Shower (generally in that order, unless I have a case of the Explosive Shits) and as I came out of the hootch, I heard some music. Faint, but definately music.

Now here in Baghdad, depending on the time of day, sounds blasting out of the ethers is generally classified by three prime catagories. These being:
1) Announcements of Controlled Detonations and such stuff. They at least try to warn us when they're gonna light off some serios "boom-boom" so's to not freak out the REMFs.
2) Announcements of Incoming. This usually is after the fucking rounds have impacted, the followed byu the "All Clear" as the idiots in the TOC realize the rounds have already either hit, or been taken out by the CIWS.
3) Howling Hajjis baying to their god. 4 or 5 times a day, at any given time... now granted, I've covered this in other reports, so the people just tuning in have to realize that like multiple times a day the Fucking Hajjis play the Muezzinin Music or Islamics Call To Prayer. Granted, entertaining the first few times you hear it, but after a few weeks of it, you want to choke the fucking life out of the dude baying into the mike.

Now none of this matched, and there was a distict rythm to said music. It got louder as I got outside of the T-Wall barrier, and then started to form into something more comprehensive.

Techno. German electric boogie Techno.

OK I thought, what sort of deranged dudes would be blasting this at 0600 am in the fucking morning? Well... as I turned the corner, who should be bouncing and beboppin along but a squad of Grunts. And when I say bepoppin, I do mean it... They were in full battle rattle, rifles slung and unloaded, but still wearing their gear fresh off a patrol overnight in Baghdad proper. They were sort of "struttin it" to the music, and in step and kind of boppin along like they were back on the block or something... except stateside, they'd never be armed as heavily as they were. I looked closely, and the trail soldier was obviously the source of the tunage. I looked closer, jaw on the ground mind you as this was one insanely bizarre sight, and saw that the trail Grunt had a pair of speakers mounted on the top of his body armor complete with specialized carriers in ACU pattern. He obviously had them plugged into a IPod or something, and had the volume cranked. I was staring (obviously at what to quote Mr Clean from 'Apocalypse Now': "This shor nuff be a bizarre enuff sight in the middle of all dis shit!") and the Trail Grunt looked over and broke into a HUGE grin at the OBVIOUSLY befuddled contractor and said "This is the COOLEST foot patrol YOU'LL ever see!!!"

Yeah it was...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year - Peace on Earth - Keep your head DOWN!

Happy New Year to all from the Baghdad Cafe, formerly known as the Saddam-A-Go-Go... The title of todays missive from the front has nothing to do with the situation as such, but was a title header from my mouthpiece, Mi Consigleri, you know, my Lawyer. He's a great guy and has been a friend of the family for years and years at this point. I was able to re-connect with him and his wife, who I had sort of drifted from if only in a physical sense in that I hadn't seen them in nigh a many year or so. But when my Brother "Mr Fed" got married, they were there, and since then, I've attempted to maintain some better contact, if only in the respect that I gave them the blog location, and told them that thats where they could find my adventures, as well as any long-distance shouts for counsel, legal or otherwise.

But, New Years Day in Baghdad... and I finally took some pictures from outside the wire. It was a short trip, curtaining my usual "resupply" as the gate is now out of control with 'contraband' searches. Yeah. They caught wind of the many trips some of us were doing out there to get the hootch, and subsequently, I'm done in that it isn't worth my job to get a buzz on. So now I'm back to being 'dry' until further notice. Eh... it'll make Household Six happy in that NOW I'll be saving money instead of spending it.

Now... I started this on the 1st of January... I realize that it's now like the 10th, but the reason for this is the fucking Hajji-Net that I have to use suffers from an UNGODLY lack of connectivity and bandwidth. A squirrel on a treadmill hooked up to a generator a'la Gilligans Island would have a better chance of maintaining the loop. I'm stuck posting now with no pictures, but I promise, once I get them up and get in my new "personal" bandwidth, I should be able to post. I guess it'll be a few posts, as I've been somewhat 'camera mad' lately. I've got some great shots that I want to share... the stuff the normal media won't show in any way, shape or form.

But to give an update, New Years, as stated was a boring afair to a certain degree. Quiet, dull and booze free. The only thing as of late (and right on time I might add) is the IR came down with some abdominal crud that now has me booked to the gills with killer levels of antibiotics. The docs here, per usual, are great, and since it wasn't sure what exactly I have, they decided to kill anything I may have, had or ever may get. Overkill works for me. The main reason I went to the docs was I was feeling a might 'sore'... specifically it felt like someone had kicked me in the scrote. Yeah... too much heavy lifting as of late and I done went and strained the 'vital area' and then, whilst in there I mentioned that I didn't feel so hot all around the whole abdominal thing. They checked, gave me antibiotics and then Praise Be To God, a script for the groin pull of Percocet! The doc initially tried to give me naprosin or some such shit, but after explaining that naprosin was like eating tylenol (no good for me... not enough pain killing ability) she hooked me up with the percs, so I'll be plenty happy and painless for a few days at least.

On to other things, The workload here has been pretty heavy... lots of heavy lifting and such. The VSAT dish I'm helping to field weighs in at 1000 pounds total, which, I guess for what it's capable of is lightweight. If this's the light model, God help me if I ever had to fuck with the heavy. The military is all about getting 8 of these things shipped in and fielded every two or so weeks, but what with the holidays, shipping issues, and the usual bullshit that comes with working for the "Green Machine" it's taking a bit longer. Needless to say, besides being a "strong back-weak mind" I've also been doing other duties and trying at the same time to have some fun.

On the fun side, there ain't been no bombs, rockits or durned mortar rounds round this way since that one night waaaaay the hell back when the SOFA agreement was signed. MockRetard Al-Sadist's boys demonstrated their displeasure with it, and subsequently, I found out that the Apache Gunships shortly expressed their opinion, which from my understanding was a 'permanant' end to the arguement. Gotta love the Apache... 25mm Bushmaster "Deathcannon" and Missles to rip open a battalion of tanks... what chance does the Dirty Haj have? I mean if you haven't seen that gunsight footage of them assholes getting blown to fertilizer, I suggest a youtube search of "Iraq Apache Gun Footage" and it should come up. Gruesome even in Nightvision Green but OH so sweet!

One thing I FINALLY got to do was build a deck on the front of my hootch. It was a bitch to do as I had to utilize "Ferengi Modes of Acquisition" to secure the lumber. Thankfully, the stuff is usually just laying around in piles, and I was fortunate enough to 'acquire' enough to complete the project... The trick is to pull up and LOOK like you're SUPPOSED to be loading the lumber on the truck, and if asked, have a cover story ready. That and finding time to work on it. I had to do it on 'my time' usually during the down time right before dark. I usually work from 8am until 4pm, and then I have a break until the emails stateside start coming in at 8pm to 10pm... plus other shit that crops up like having to go to the airport and other such shit. Either way, it took me a few weeks, but now I've got a nice little deck that extends out on the front porch, and in the summer it'll kick ass for relaxing after work. That and it keeps me out of the fucking mud here for the rest of the winter season, which was part of my reason for building it. I'll post them pics too when I can.

Other busy fun things here are that I'm starting to get replies on my BIG project, which is building a compound for the company here on Liberty. We got some solid bids, and I expect the beancounting assholes to try and have their say, but seeings that I got a good bid back in early November that they didn't take, and the price has now doubled, I advised them to not be fucking stupid and jump on this shit. It amazes me how corporate can be so dumb... I had gotten a GREAT bid of lik 78K to build and outfit our stuff... it's now at like 200K... The reason being supply and demand... what with Baghdad shutting down (everything but the Embassy I hear) and coming here to Liberty and Victory, the space and supplies are in short supply, but GREAT demand. I TOLD them dumb bastards that this would happen, but they blew me off, "because they know best"... Suuuuuuuuure you do... stupid suited fruits in wing tips sitting on a Ledger with a thumb in the ass and a pocket protector in the jacket. Me? I'm just the 'guy on the ground' with 5 years overseas experience... WTF do I know?

Well, break out the lube oil and bend over boys... this'n here's gonna be an allllllllll day affair.

Otherwise, Like I sdaid, quiet... almost too quiet. We'll have to see as RUMINT (Rumor Intel) is that the conventional wisdom is that the Dirty Haj are gonna try to 'test' the Obamamessiah. Me? The next week or so I'm keeping the body armor handy as in the past, RUMINT tends to be a 60-40 kind of thing.... 60 percent of the time it's total bullshit, but that 40% is what can kill you. I'll upsdate more, and when I get some fucking bandwidth, I'll share more pics. I can't even post the pics to my fucking MySpace or Facebook page either! Fuck. Anyways... Happy Belated New Year Y'all!