Monday, July 28, 2008

What I Did At Summer Camp

Well, it has been more than three years since I returned from my last deployment and it's my turn to go again. Here is a quick update of what I have been doing the past few months and what I will be doing the next few months.

Kristen and I ended May by adopting a Boxer of our own named Tyson.

We also took a trip down to Kentucky to see Aunt Deb and Uncle Bob. We went on a tour of the Toyota Georgetown factory which would be interesting for anyone but was especially interesting for me as an Industrial Engineer. Or a soon to be Industrial Engineer anyway. We also went out on their boat and had Tyson in the water for the first time.

As you can see, he loved the water... He actually did love the water if he knew he could get back out on his own but the boat proved to be a challenge for him.

Back in Flint I practiced my woodworking skills and made a window bench for the dog. You can click on the picture below to go to and see more about the bench. And if you are like me, you can spend all of the time you were supposed to use to work on your thesis there also.

Click for details: Dog Bench

As soon as we got back from Kentucky we packed up all our stuff in Flint and moved down to Illinois. That is where Kristen is going to be staying with her parents for the duration of the deployment. It was very interesting to pack up and move in about three days but we had lots of help from both of our parents.

I headed off to Washington for three weeks of Army training and Kristen practiced her interior design skills setting up her room.

For my training in Washington we drove from Minnesota to Washington state and then hauled fuel around for a week. We were staying out in the middle of nowhere but they had some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.

We also got to practice our job while we were there of hauling fuel. I suppose there is no better place to learn to haul jet fuel than in the mountains.

Kristen picked me up from the airport after that training and we went back to Flint for about a week. My sister Stacey and my new niece Lillian were also in Flint that week so it was good to meet her. We also went to a Tiger's game with fireworks afterward.

We swung by Chicago for a few days because that is technically where we live now (and we needed to do laundry). Once we had clean clothes we were off to Iowa to visit some of my family. We were able to do some projects around the house for Grandma and also take the cousins to a Iowa Cubs game.

We came back to Chicago to regroup again from that week and then headed to Silver Lake, Michigan with Kristen's extended family. We always have a good time there even if we do get up at 7 in the morning on vacation to get the smooth water for skiing. This year we stepped up the beach games a notch with a trash pump and two huge tarps.

As you can see, a good time was had by all. I also took my truck up in the dunes to see if I could break something before I park it for the year. No breakage this time but we did have a lot of fun cruising around. Naturally, the best thing to do during a thunderstorm is go to the top of a sand dune and sit on your tailgate watching the storm.

For those of you thinking, "Man, that's a nice truck. I wonder if it's for sale." It is. Just like everything it can be bought. The first million dollars in 1994 Susan B. Anthony coins takes it.

After Silver Lake it was back to Flint for a few days to get things settled there. Also because we have long forgotten where we actually live at this point.

I was able to convince enough people at Kettering that I had done my homework and they gave me a degree. I also have a few classes done for my Master's degree and I'm going to try to work on some more while I am deployed.

I leave Monday, 28 July, to start my deployment. We are going to spend a few days in Minnesota and then head to New Jersey for more training. Once we are trained and ready to go we will be heading to Iraq. Probably sometime close to October.

This site is where I will post all of the updates and pictures for this deployment. Apparently since my last deployment someone invented these things called blogs which makes what I did last time much easier. If you care to refresh I have put up a link to the site from last deployment on the right side of this page. Not all the links work right anymore but you can get through the site pretty good. There is also a ling to my personal blog that will be dormant for the time being.

Many of you have said you are keeping Kristen and I in your thoughts and prayers and we really appreciate it. We both think we are well prepared for the deployment but can certainly use your support over the next 14 or so months.

I am invincible as long as I'm alive. -John Mayer

P.S. This is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R went on vacation.

I have no information on mailing addresses yet but I should have fairly consistent email access. I will post any updates here. I also have comments turned on here as a sort of trial. If you are a Nigerian prince and want to make blog readers rich just for helping you transfer money you'll have to try another blog. Everyone who reads this blog will become fantastically rich within 7 days of reading this as long as they mail 8 ounces of feta cheese to 4 strangers within the next 10 minutes.