14 July 2009

Baladcation (Last Full Day in Balad)

My first real day off since I arrived 182 days ago.

Last night I played in the Monday night poker tournament at the Rec Center. I tried this once before but the last two tables get going around 11:30p and I was so tired that time when I went out in 11th place (made it difficult to get up the next morning so I didn't play again).

So I'm doing very well and make it to the final two tables again (wow, two tournaments in a row and both times I make it to the $1K/$2K blinds).

Yup, I got tired, and that lead to probably looser playing than I should, and my final hand I didn't even see the potential flush when I went all-in with two pair. Damn it, out in 11th (again!).

So it was 12:30a and I crawled into bed (sleeping in the top bunk since someone had moved into my spot in the room). First roommate's alarm was at 4:30a. Then mine went off at 5:00a (I forgot to hide it). Last, the new person's alarm hit at 5:3a. I gave up on sleeping in around 6:15a. Relaxed in bed, read the newspaper. Opened the door and was very pleasantly surprised to see SUN!!!!!

Strolled over to the main dining facility serving our housing area - wow! The breakfast bar options are amazing (this was only the second time eating breakfast in that place since I always just got mine at work, even on Sundays).

Checked in at the hospital - no new flight list yet. Walked to the BX, had a Cinnabon & mocha (yeah, "second breakfast"). Then a manicure. Back to housing and then to the gym. CrossFit workout (50 wall balls, 50 kettlebells, row 400m x 3 rounds). Back to the room to grab my bag and then off to the pool. Two hours with a light blowing dust but still blue skies above. Breezy enough to avoid excessive heat.

Around 2p Lisa walked across the pool deck and let me know that a pending list is circulating and tonight I'm going to get a show time for a flight out of here and back to Al Udeid - probably early tomorrow and thus ending my Baladcation (Balad + Vacation).

Headed back to housing and gathered stuff for laundry. Somehow I lost my dust buff (one of those Survivor buffs but in the military uniform colors that I wear around my neck and over my nose/mouth during dust storms). I was wearing it today and had it when I went to the laundry but didn't have it when I put the wash in the dryer. I think I put it in the wash and I know I double checked the washer so maybe someone snagged it :(

Took the clean clothes back to my CHU, threw everything on the floor and packed my 72hr bag (my backpack, leaving room for my computer) and my suitcase. Then I went to Muscle Therapy and got the best back massage I've had since I arrived - and there are still knots and crackles yet to be ironed out. But it's a start.

Got my last Mongolian BBQ of the deployment (wish I could take pictures in the DFAC). Hung out at the Rec Center, waiting for our chalk (the mission for our ride to Al Udeid). Watched Survivor episode 10 then walked over to the hospital to check the board.

Yay!!! Tomorrow I will have time to sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, do the morning CrossFit workout, shower, and time to rinse & dry out my workout clothing, then even have lunch before our report time. However, it's going to be a long long day and I don't expect to get to bed until midnight (but that should help me sleep).

Hope the wifi at the Deid has improved connection strength.

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