Oh THAT Ain’t Good No Way

Greetings Me Droogs N Droogettes!
Appreciate all the advice re: city-spine (say it like South Park). I’m actually going to try the kratom (never tried it before) and the BPC-157. I’m always up for a new try to relieve this shit.

In fact I had an appointment today with some ‘life-coach’ that the VA has started doing as part of that whole ‘holistic thing’

Blah fucking blah.

Just give me the membership to the “Y” so’s I can start doing laps. Of course I have to jump through ten thousand fiery hoops before they’ll cut loose and do that… and even then I have to hit the place 3x a week to show I’m actually participating. Thing is I sort of understand it, as when I looked up how much it costs to join the YMCA? Damn… $75 up front, then $56 a month… I can sort of afford it BUT I don’t know how crowded the new Y is here.

The one the town over, when I had the Cancer, the One Nut Armstrong Foundation got me a membership for 6 months… and unfortunately, the place was balls out packed at ALL times… gym AND pool. Made it hard to get there and get either my lift on or my swim on. They built another one up the road a bit that IF it’s not stupidly packed, I’ll sign up after… it’s all in the wait-and-see mode.

Personally I hope like hell I can start using a lap pool again. I used to use the Pool on VBC that the Aussies had cleaned up post-Saddam. Every morning, one hour laps, and then night time, 8pm to 9pm laps. Every. Single. Day.

I got fit quick that way.

So on to the News:
Got a call from my Gunny tonight. He was my old Boss in Baghdad and a Retired Gunnery Sgt/Spook. He’s like an older brother to me, and we ended up ‘getting the band back together’ a couple of times… Baghdad, Afghanistan… couple of -other places-… working for -other people- doing -odd jobs-. To say the least we’ve been through some shit.

So he called me to catch up tonight as we do a monthly if not more often bullshit-session on current events. As far as I know, he’s now retired-retired from all of his -odd jobs- and whatnot like myself. The thing that caught my eye, and I asked him about was this:

To say he was flabbergasted is the understatement of the week.
Link to the story is HERE
The only other time the Corps Ball has been slowed/modified was during the Coof. Mind you modified… NOT cancelled.

This’s a fucking first.
Gunny was in shock…
As am I truthfully. Even at the worst of the worst in Affy, Iraq… hell –anywhere– The Corps never outright Cancels the Ball. It’d be like the Pope calling off Easter man…

Shit’s gotta be getting pretty fucking bad for this to happen
I mean it’s a thing of badness IMO
Just what sort of “unforeseen operational commitments” came up!?!
Shit like that AIN’T normal…
Jes’ Sayin’

I mean hell, 2005/06 in Iraq, man, the Marines were balls deep in Fallujah 1 and 2, Maybe even 3 and they didn’t stop shit… Like
considering in 2005, on the 230st Anniversary of the Marines being formed, well… this’s a bit of a story, but what the hell…

So there I was, 2005 in Baghdad.

It was a Thursday as memory serves, which meant we weren’t doing shit the next day, ‘cos Fridays in Iraq was like the Haji Sunday. That’s where “Man Love Thursday” came around as it was known ‘cos Haji liked to throw down on Thursday nights, knowing they didn’t have to work on Friday. Since it was Thursday, and things were s-l-o-w I only had a half day, and went to check in with Gunny and see what was shakin’ around the Head Shed.

Gunny had a new face there hanging out with him, Marty I’ll call him, as he looked like Michael J. Fox from ‘Back To The Future’… Marty it seems was one of our ‘field analysis team members’ meaning he actively hunted down bad guys via intel and such. Seems he and The Gunny had been in the Corps together, and he’d come in from the boonies for what became known as “That Wild Fucking Night”. I got along well with Marty, as sometimes the intel weenies are a bit hard to deal with, but dude was bros with The Gunny, so hey… what the hell.

About 30 minutes later, the Head of our Intel Unit, The Gunny’s second in command for our contracting company (me being the #4 guy as Operations/Facilities), “Mean Gene the Gyrene” poked his head in and was all “Hey you guys ready to go!?!” and then sees me and goes “Oh hey Big Country! How you doin’?”

Now Mean Gene was a Marine who’d also been ein Korpsbruder with The Gunny. Of course that “…ready to go?” question perked up me ears as something was afoot and of course I wanted in. The Gunny very graciously explained that they were going out to BIAP… Baghdad International Airport to celebrate the Corps Birthday in the tower First Class Bar/Restaurant with “a few beers/drinks” and then asked if I’d like to come along?

It’s 13:00
On Man-Love-Thursday
Ain’t got shit to do.
I mean why the hell not?
What could possibly happen?

Now, in those late days of Oh-Five, the newly renamed Baghdad International Airport still didn’t have shit except Russian Cargo planes flying in and out.

ZERO Passengers. They DID have the Airport open, BUT only for the Duty Free and the Aladdin Bar ‘n Grill (or whatever they called it) The following pix are what you could call a ‘drive by’ of the Airport taken on April 8, 2004 on one of our first trips out there. It was still a ‘red zone’ at that time despite assurances. Trust me on that one…

That’s after the checkpoint, Aladdin on his carpet….

You can see the stains of Saddam’s Name up there

C Terminal, Babylon

Abandoned and scrounged-out Iraqi-Air planes and one interesting one ahead… the first one in front is a Russian IL24 I think

Baghdad and points west

That silver/white plane that still has it’s engines? That tarp on the right wing? That’s the DHL A300 that took a SAM through that wing, and the crazy assed pilot who managed to get it on the ground… DHL -I think- filed it as a combat loss… the story is HERE

Fucking cool Aye?
And I took all of them pix meself.
Ain’t no goolag pics there… Unfortunately the lappie that I downloaded later pics when we -did- go in the Airport, THAT was the one that shit the bed. THESE only survived because I had dismounted the chip and lost it in my gear before I could do what I used to do was download and wipe the SD Chip. THIS particular chip ended up in my shaving kit so I at least have these from the early-early days of BIAP and VBC. I literally found the chip years later in my shaving bag… funny how that worked out….

I’m still pissed ‘cos when my first Laptop shit the bed unrecoverable, I lost all sorts of exceptionally cool pix of me and Lil Country walking around an International Airport geared up carry automatic weapons… shit like that you never get to ever do again knowhutimsayin’?

So, even in November of 05 it was a mite hairy up and around BIAP and the area. However, I was cool with this lil jaunt as hey, it’s 13:00…

How long could they be
planning on partying?

As Archie Bunker woulda said: “Oof!”

So, I of course decided to go, and I asked The Gunny if he wanted me armed? as we really weren’t supposed to be packin’. It was one of those “If something goes sideways, best not to be caught out packing” But only the phony tough and crazy brave ran around Baghdad in the 04/05/06 timeframe unarmed.

The Gunny, being the boss of course went all corporate and suggested since we wouldn’t be long that I leave ‘Roscoe’ in my room. Now, for clarification, ALL my weapons had names. It was a way of talking about them in the open around folks whom I and others may not be trustworthy to let them know we were heeled. My pistol was a Belgian made Fabrique National Hi Power DA/SA former Iraqi Police handgun. I had 2 mags. 13 rounds per. Named ‘Roscoe’ for obvious reasons amiright?
So, no gun.
wouldn’t be long…”

Famous Last Words.

That’s the parking lot at the airport…and yeah I was waaaay overweight back then…410 pounds as I recall… hadn’t sweated it off at that point…
I sure AF did later:

November 19 2004… and yeah, that IS Rollins

Now, the parking Garage was really dangerous.
Lots of potential ambush points… wrecked and stripped car frames and NO ONE who gave a fuck around… NO US Troops there… only them worthless as fuck Custer-Battles faggots. I had my Ka-Bar… that was it.

Now, got to point this out: Those ‘scripted sunglasses I had with me? Yeah… I wore them until dark and by the time I got home, I go over to the non-sunglasses mode. So, since it was 13:00, and was supposed to be an early day/night (sundown wasn’t until 9pm over there…. looooooong gorgeous twilights)

So, we get to the bar…
Which I see is still there and operational…. no pics of that unfortunately, and well, not too bad a thing… the décor of the Bar and Grill was literally lifted from “The Brady Bunch” 1970s blue-and-gold everywhere. Gauche doesn’t even to begin to cover it.

So, like I said… There I was:
Drinking and boozing it up with 3 Marines bound and determined to see who hits the floor first. Turned out it was Mean Gene who went boneless… The Gunny, while pretty stewed, was still conscious and cognizant. Marty was a bit on the slurry side, but OK… their party man, I’m JAFO Just Another Fucking Observer.

I also was watching the clock… and let me tell you…
Nervous Making to say the least.
Like I said, their party dammit.
At least no one tried to pick a fight, with either myself nor each other, which on other occasions that I’ve partied with Marines, that does happen frequently.

At about 0130am they realized we needed to go.

I mean yeah, fucking curfew DotMil Enforced Curfew was in effect. <Le Sigh> I had realized around 23:00 (11:00 pm) that I needed to cut the sauce, and had the bartender keep throwing Red Bulls at me, sans the normal Raspberry Stoli. I mean someone had to drive home…

Which is also about the time I realized:
“Fuck, I’m wearing my shades!”
Didn’t even have my ‘regular glasses’

Y’all need to know, even before the cataracts I was a blind-melon-motherfucker no joke. 20/400 right 20/450 left with astigmatism. Even with ‘ultra thin lenses’ my shit was bullet proof, never mind resistant. So here we go…

I finally rally up the Marines. Got ’em to the car… which was interesting as Mean Gene started doing drunken MOUT moves around corners and shit… Shitfaced MOUT, but urban combat stuff either way. Rather comical to be honest. He insisted that he lead the way, which I was good with ‘cos IF there were any evildoers about, HE’D be the first guy they went after, and not me. The Gunny was fucking damned near laughing his balls off, and Marty? Well Marty just staggered on like a good Marine should I suppose.

As far as Mean Gene and him insisting on taking the lead? Hey, I liked the guy, but fuck at that point, I was so heebie-jeebied out about potential kidnapping/headcutting/and/or getting shot by our own troops IF they felt we might be a threat… Never mind I somehow got made the designated driver of this raggedy assed Marine Detail? Let him take the ‘initial hit’ and I’ll sort out shit after Aye?
In fact to paraphrase the Blues Brothers, when we did get to the car, (mind you, an unarmored Ford Explorer) I looked over at The Gunny and said:
“It’s 0230 in the morning”
“I have 3 Shitassed Marines in the Truck, Half a pack of cigarettes, we’re in a Red Zone, and I’m wearing Sunglasses”

Without missing a beat he said “Hit It!”

Which I did…
Now, as much as I’d like to go into some wild and crazy story about Terrorists and shytte like that, IRL it was pretty mellow… I mean for the definition(s) of mellow.

No one shot at us
I didn’t roll/wreck/crash the truck
I mean I did speed like a fucking madman to get back…
No need to be outside the wire at that hour for too long…

The only time things got a wee tense was rolling up to the back gate. The Guards there had at least one Ma Deuce on us hot and ready to go, as well as 2 or more 240/249s… They were packed heavy but with good reason. Thankfully I knew the rules (dim main lights, turn on ALL cabin light, have IDs ready, keep hands visible IF all your passengers are conscious) and it was the Hawaiian National Guard guys that I knew running that post.

Rolled up with a friendly “Ma ‘halo!” and as the Brits say “Bob’s yer Uncle” and we were in the gate, safe and sound. It also helped that I regularly ‘donated’ some ‘libations’ to these guys to make sure I could do booze runs as by November of 2005, we had a pretty good rapport going.

So, we got home, everyone went to bed.
‘Cept for me.
I broke into the rum-ration as I needed to quench the quart-and-a-half of pure adrenaline that’d been pumping as well as the 7 or so Red Bull Cardiac-In-A-Can I had slammed. Finally passed out at like 0430.

At least The Gunny let me sleep in Aye?
We still laugh about this shit yearly.
Good Times, Good Times.
More Later
Big Country

23 thoughts on “Oh THAT Ain’t Good No Way”

  1. Saw Henry Rollins in an airport once. He was alone, reading a book. Another soldier and I went over and said hello. Then we left…didn’t want to invade his space. Nice guy, very gracious.

  2. If you’re looking for a gym, take a look at Eos Fitness. I pay $20-something a month, and there seem to be some in your general AO. Mine has a 25m pool, free weights, machines, treads & bikes, whole 9 yards. No benny to me.

  3. Just wondering how often does the top guy in the USMC end up in hospital with a “heart attack”. Now that got my attention. For a whole bunch of reasons.

    As did the fact that for the first time in 18 months the Russian state TV stations are back pretty much to a pre war programming schedule and the newscasts are “War? What War?”. Only a few weeks ago it was wall to wall “All our Glorious Victories in Denazification on All Fronts” while showing exactly the same battlefield maps as before Victory Day almost 6 months ago. So much for “Lets Meet in Odessa before the Leaves Fall”…

    Is Putin getting ready to declare “Victory” then flounce off back to the Feb 23’rd 2022 starting line. Before Sevastopol becomes totally untenable. Oh for those good old days of February 2022. While still basking in the afterglow of the successful Kazakhstan operation in Almaty.

    As they say in aviation all the holes in the cheese are starting to line up. Buckle up, head between your knees, and brace for impact. Because this baby is going down. There aint no one sitting in seats 0A or 0B.

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit…

    1. Agree on Kratom. Worked good first couple of times. Good as oxy w/o feeling too stoned and had good analgesic effect. Third & fourth use? Notably diminshed effect. After that? Zero relief.
      Will relook at MJ med card. Avoided it because of the gun thing. Good info.

    2. I second Hedge’s recommendation for pain relief. One of the ‘gifts’ of type 1 diabetes is neuropathy, and when my feet hurt, they fucking hurt. Like homicide inducing hurt, “Imma fucking injure you for speaking right now” hurt. Only consistent pain relief is/has been Gorilla Glue #4. And then I fall asleep.
      And I will be celebrating the birthday of my beloved Corps no matter what the fuckheads in partial control say. For the majority of us, the party happens no matter what the fuck they dictate, they can tate dick.
      Can’t engineer on top of a mistake, gonna have to tear this fucker down and start almost over. No need this time to find redcoats, we have a target rich environment down south.
      But yeah, Big; try like Hedge says, might work for you as well.

    3. That marijuana and guns ruling doesn’t mean much until the Federal Circuit you live in adopts it or the Nine Dark Lords in DC adopt it. Right now it only applies to this particular case. If the Feds appeal to the 10th Circuit and lose, then it will apply the 10th Circuit. Other Circuits can adopt it or not. It comes down to the Supremes saying yes, the gun ban for using marijuana is void under Bruen for it to apply nation wide.

  4. I remember standing on the flight deck of the USS Inchon, celebrating the 200th USMC birthday (1975) out in the Med, or 2 yrs earlier (1973), at Upper MAU Camp in Subic Bay. It’s like a religious experience for marines.
    And now they want to remove us from all that is holy and sacred to a warrior cult.

  5. The DHL flight was probably CRAF, and I don’t know about the furriners but the American crews are even more disproportionately former military. A lot of the guys flying cargo planes now spent years flying C130s, doing all the crazy shit C130 pilots do when they aren’t landing that fat fucker on carriers.

  6. Love the damaged Haji road sign and it looks like a slice of bacon on wall in that first airport pic, we know that wouldn’t be happening.
    Hank Rollins made Black Flag a powerhouse and Kira still has the ten and a half, Liar is still busted out and his solo band is underrated.
    The fighting assclowns have ordered 800 troops to go out and recruit and recently the leader of the USMC had a heart attack.
    CCP is the model the FEW want for the world after the order out of chaos and China says your terms are acceptable.
    I laugh at those who mock MAGA hats with the CCP isn’t our enemy horseshit.
    Always wondered if the small hats would be able to fool the land of Sun Tzu but it’s all about the shekels.
    Is it just me or is anyone sick of fucking hearing about the Shekelsteins?
    There are other people on the third stone from the sun.

  7. I take some kratom.
    Some tips:
    It’s easy to build a tolerance for it without rotating “types”.
    There is White, Green, and Red, along with blends, “yellow”, etc but they usually fit near or in between the first three.
    White feels more peppy especially with caffeine so good in the morning.
    Green is an all-rounder.
    Red is more relaxing and best suited in evening.
    Taking kratom helped me cut out alcohol completely when I used to drink a lot. It’s a lot more clear-headed feeling as well. Just don’t go with the extracts because they are far more potent and habit-inducing.
    They don’t taste the best but the powders are not bad mixed with juices (though of course those can up your sugar intake). Grapefruit can make it feel more potent so try less of it with that, similar with tumeric taken before (with black pepper for that). If you got the time, brew up some green tea and after that simmer (don’t boil) a spoonful of kratom in it. Those little drink-mix packets for water are ok too to just throw in with some water and kratom. Whatever you are adding it to, it doesn’t mix with water well so it is good to let it soak a bit before mixing and stirring it again as it settles while you sip on it a bit at a time. I don’t drink it all at once, just keep at my desk or wherever and drink it over time.
    Or just take them in capsules.

    You can probably find a shop nearby that sells it, but try to avoid the really low-end shit in some sleezy gas station or elsewhere.
    Kat’s Botanicals is a great site for some quality stuff though it can be more expensive than a local shop may be. Better quality though. They have sales every so often to make up for that.

    Also, Tumeric is a great spice for a bunch of health benefits; the interaction with kratom is not why I’d suggest taking it, but it’s just good to add more into diet via spicing up foods. Also, there’s a drink you can make with it, Golden milk which is nice in the evening.
    Simmer some tumeric in milk with a bit of cinnamon, ginger, and a sprinkle of black pepper, sweeten with some honey to fit your taste. Just be careful since the tumeric can stain things yellow so be wary of spilling. There are some recipes online but a lot of them suggest coconut milk or almond milk. I prefer actual milk.

    1. Dude, Jarheads will crawl over broken glass to go to the Ball. This def means something.

  8. Glad to hear you sweated off some of the pounds. Man you were a big guy. Jeeze–over 400 pounds? At what point do you begin to throw off gravitational waves? I hope you weren’t bending light per Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Any heavier and there would be the risk of implosion like a black hole–risking destruction to the entire planet over an event horizon from which nothing escapes. Just joking of course as I have to shed some pound myself. Glad you survived the sandbox wars. I love your sense of humor so please keep it up. Question: does this cancellation of the Marine Corp Ball portend something big and bad coming down the line shortly?

    1. Cancelling the USMC ball in any unit is serious shit, like cancelling the Super Bowl to sports fans.
      Even when a unit is deployed, they make do wherever they are, like Thanksgiving feast in the bunkers, while the main unit stateside goes and puts on their blues and celebrates for the guys not there.
      It’s either some weird political stunt, or they were ordered from higher up for who knows why, but it makes no sense.

  9. Recommend going to Y and seeing if you can get a big discount, Vet, senior, whatever.
    Our Y has a program that is really cheap for seniors.

  10. I had chemo induced peripheral neuropathy for years. As someone else said, it’s painful and debilitating. DMSO really helps. It’s for horses, you get it at the feed store. Says “not for human use” and stinks to the high heavens, but it works. You can get the pansy ass human stuff on amazon which doesn’t stink but doesn’t work as well. Arnica also works. You can get it in a gel to rub on or these little pellet things that you dissolve under your tongue. Homeopathic. All the shit I’ve seen, I don’t trust drs or the system at all. Get the arnica from vitaminshoppe.com.
    I have a local witch doctor that has helped me get to the source. Some of it expensive but it resolved the neuropathy. After 4 years, I’m finally pain free. Doublehelixwater.com. we buy it in bulk from the witch doctor. Still pricey but it worked for me. 14 months pain free now.

    1. one thing to know with DMSO, is that it is known to cause small margins of the retina to detach, increasing the load of floaters within the eyeball. happened to me – and i had bought four nines grade – 99.99% purity.

      don’t rely on my say-so, YMMV. worked good for my sore joints – for a while.

  11. Hate to break it to you kids, but the only USMC Birthday Ball that was cancelled was that of the Marine component of CENTCOM. Who will only have access to any dozen non-command-sponsored Birthday Balls in the Tampa FL area. Maybe read better…?

    Every other USMC command is celebrating the birthday, as normal, including units deployed overseas.

    It’s only all the other services that have no balls. As always. 😛

    Semper Fi,

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