I'M GOING TO BE A DAD!!!
That's right, Shira is with child, a blessed wonder that is life. How can he or she not be a gift from God? I was home on leave for 2 weeks and BAM! Miracle. An unexpected miracle, no, but from all accounts, scientific and religious, a miracle.
SO, I'm here, in a hotter hell (see "The Ugly") without the benefit of seeing all the progress of my first child's growth from nothingness. It would have been more enjoyable watching the first sonogram than listening to a description of it over the phone from half a world away but that was all I was afforded. I will get to see the end of the pregnancy, birth and beyond so a little bit lost in the beginning isn't the end of the world. Which brings us to "The Bad"...
So, there I was, minding my own business, sending emails to buddies scattered around theater when I got an email from my boss saying "Call me ASAP." Knowing my boss for only a month, this could mean absolutely anything. It turned out to be a warning of sorts. Due to the change in training cycle length back in the states, some people were going to be extended to fill the gap. This information did not bode well. My luck has not been the best in the military. BUT, he didn't say I was one of them...
Well, of course I had to tell my buddies about this development so when one responded saying how he was on the list with a bunch of others from my class, it got me a little worried. We all went through training together and if they're getting extended, then it was possible my name could be next on the list.
Two days later, I get "the list" from him and, lo and behold, who's name is plain as day right smack dab in the middle? MINE with a 14 day extension... Meanwhile, my boss contacts me about 30 min later to tell me he's coming down to Dragon to "chat". My response to him went something like "I saw the list. (rant expletive expletive rant expletive rant) See you tomorrow." It just didn't seem like it needed pleasantries. Sometimes, pithy is more unambiguous.
He shows up and tells me exactly what I already knew - I was extended and my new rotation date is 29 June. Yeah... I went from expecting to rotate early to rotating late in a span of one month. All because the people in Navy Personnel Command decided not to give word of deployments over the "holidays" and didn't want to notify anyone any earlier than 90 days from deployment. Whereas I was notified 3 July that I was leaving in 27 days. "Thanks for being a patriot, here's your present."
14 days is not a lot in the grand scheme of things but it sure solidifies your decision to depart the organization that caused it... especially when it takes you closer to the HOT part of the year.
It's hot here. (I know, "duh".) I know I've mentioned it before because it's something everyone always asks about. Is it hot here all the time, HELL no. It snowed here once and for about 3 months, it easily maintained a temperature in the 30's and 40's. But, it's hot here now and won't cool off again for another 8 months. From now until August, the daily highs steadily increase from around 90 degrees to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
120 degrees Fahrenheit. What happens at 120 degrees? Or better yet, what happens BY 120 degrees? Here's a few good ones:
59 degrees - Standard Day temperature used in aviation
98 degrees - The temperature the human body is regulated to
106 degrees - Brain cells start to die
108 degrees - Blood boils
Now think about this... This country and others in this region (*throat clearing with a subtle point to the east*
So, believe it or not, HELL is getting hotter. A snowball's chance here has been greatly reduced here but pigs could possibly fly...
90 days remaining... again