I didn't realized how long it had been, but for a while there I know I went "radio silent," or as the Comms guys say, "RF Cold" here on the site. Only when three separate friends e-mailed me on three straight days last week to check up did I realize it had been almost a month since I'd posted. The very GOOD news I have to report is that things are steady-state over here.
All that really happened was that when I got back from the quick trip home in September, my boss was on R and R. Which meant I was the boss, which meant the endless days and other staff shenanigans. And then as soon as HE got back, our lead NCO went on R and R. Which meant I picked up a lof what he'd been doing, plus my lane in the proverbial road. If blogspot weren't blocked from the computers on our network, I could probably find the 15-20 minutes to write almost every day, but all the *fun* sites are a No-Go. So it goes.
Thankfully the wireless connection near our chow hall is actually working right now, which is enabling me to write.
I would say things definitely *suck* here, but just as quickly as I'd say that, I would qualify it for a mostly non-military audience by saying they don't suck in the way someone in Kunar or Khost Province is dealing with the *suck* of dodging frequent rocket fire from Pakistan, or the way someone in Helmand is doing daily foot patrols and worried about IEDs in the ground.
Perhaps ironically, you might be in more physical danger if you're taking 128 every day (esp. that godawful interchange onto Rte 3 that forces you to cut across multiple lanes while the people coming onto 128 are trying to get across you to do the opposite), but the special feature of the American military staff is the go-go-go all-the-time mentality (and the one really cool thing about being here is that I've gotten to see how lots of foreign militaries operate, and they aren't all like that!)
So anyway, with a nod somewhere in Tolstoy's direction, I would say that every less-than-ideal deployment scenario sucks in its own unique sort of way.
And on the bright side, we all noticed the snowcaps up in the Hindu Kush foothills around the base today. Seeing the snow up there, and feeling the first few cold snaps of the season, is a great reminder that February might not be all that far away.