Today Merrill and I were sitting in the 2nd Brigade Legal Officers office discussing the latest round of problem children in the ANA. This week the problem children are all in 2nd Brigade. Ken, Steve, Aaron and all the other 2nd BDE ETT’s get to deal with these people. One of them is even a woman. I’ll write more about them later.
As we were sitting in the office, I saw this grey streak run across the floor. Now realize that I actually like mice. OK, I don’t like what they do to my house, food storage, and other property – that’s why I agreed to get a cat, to keep the mice out of the garage and house. But on an individual, personal level, I like the little rodents. If they would stay in a glass cage and just run on the treadmill or whatever that round thing is they run on, they’d be fine.
So there I am sitting and the little bugger runs right in front of me. Now I didn’t jump or yell or do anything else embarrassing, but it did startle me. I know it startled Merrill as he told me so later. I don’t think it even phased the ANA and I got thinking that they’re probably used to seeing such things run around their offices and houses.
I then got thinking about the other “animals” that they must get used to. Take the flies. Now I hate flies on a personal level. I’ve never met one I liked. Once when I was much, much younger, I went out into our barn and caught as many flies as I could in a jar, a glass jar no less. I had a bunch of fire crackers in my pocket which I proceeded to light and drop into the jar…the glass jar remember. Of course the flies were pulverized by the blast and the jar you ask, well is exploded and sent shrapnel flying everywhere. Fortunately I wasn’t hit. I must have had enough sense to seek cover but not enough sense to not explode a glass bottle.
Well anyway, back to my story. The ANA and probably the Afghans are used to them as they’re everywhere. Now don’t think that there are thick clouds of them everywhere, just a few. Enough though, that they’re completely annoying. While I’m swatting them away from my face and head, the ANA sit there calmly while they land on them. If they land in a particularly annoying location, they’ll swat at them, but as I sat there in that room today, it seemed like they were not even paying attention to them. That’s just one reason why I’m looking forward to cold weather, so that it will kill all the flies.
I had to use the latrine in the ANA headquarters. Now that’s an experience in itself. Again, another entry. As I walked into the stall – that’s all they have, there was this huge, I mean really HUGE, spider on the wall. OK, with its legs fully extended it was only about as big as my palm, but that’s HUGE!! As I stood there, I kept thinking about how big the spiders can get here and was grateful that that was the first really big one I’d seen.
There are FOB dogs all over the place. FOB stands for Forward Operating Base. There is a pack that lives outside the back gate. Some of them roam onto base and into our camp. For the most part they’re really docile and tame. There are a couple that have been adopted by the guys at the Alamo despite a prohibition against adopting local animals. I know it’s against the rules, but there’s just something comforting about having a dog around. Here at Blackhorse, there’s an Alpha female that runs the pack here. When we had the flood in September, it was fun to watch them all up on the walls running around.
Merrill and I noticed that there appears to be a lack of rabbits and other wildlife outside the gates. Now we may just not see them but I imagine that with so many dogs around, they keep the rabbits, mice and other rodents down to a minimum.
Cats? I’ve only seen one and that was a scrawny, filthy little thing. Again, I imagine with all the dogs around that the cat population has a hard time surviving.
I’m trying to think if I’ve seen any other wildlife, other than birds. There are a flock of big, black ravens that I see every once in a while. But other than that, I think that’s about it.
Oh, I wasn’t counting the sheep, goats and camels that we see out on the range.
Wasn’t this an exciting, informative entry?