Monday, March 31, 2008

First Blooms

After some rough weather, the first signs of Spring have finally come. These blooms just popped open ... under a nest that some birds have built in the lattice for the climbing roses. Those roses get very bushy and bristle with thorns. The chicks will be well protected and have the best smelling nest in the neighborhood!

A little further down the wall, I found the first rosebud of the season.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Banjo-legs of Customer Support

Was cruising past the pond today and I saw the strangest thing. A goose with a banjo-leg.

For those from more Northern latitudes, a banjo-leg is the strange condition that a dog gets when you scratch his belly just so ... and one of his back legs starts working all by itself. One could say that it's a semiquaver from a itch needin scratched, and you'd be almost right, because what the dog is really doing is picking an imaginary banjo with that strumming leg. It's a musical itch. If you don't believe me, just try it. Scratch your old dog just so ... and when that leg gets to strumming, sing these words:

Chicken in the bread pan pickin out dough.
Granny, does your dog bite? No, child, no.

Just see if your poor hound doesn't look back at you, forlorn and bedraggled, with that "You SO did not go there" expression.

I used to believe that dogs were the only animals with banjo-legs, and I was ... yet to be enlightened. How it hurts to say it. Fortunately, Enlightenment was right around the corner! I was having a bad day at the Corporation, so I drove to the pond to contemplate Nature. There was a goose, a brand new goose by the way, standing on one leg in that classic "I'm sleeping, leave me alone" pose. Then, as if by magic, the other leg began strumming. It became a banjo-leg! I don't know if it was a dream, or one legged aerobics, or what ... but all of the sudden the events of the day became perfectly clear to me.

Humans have banjo-legs too.

It's not in their real legs though, but in their emotional legs. Don't believe me? Try this the next time your in your favorite Corporate customer support office ...

"Hey, Joe SoAndSo, a customer called with a software problem. They need Sum_Thingy changed really bad."

Presto! Mere moments after your coworkers' hollow, horrified indignation comes the more familiar strumming ... the emotional banjo-leg ...

"It can't be done. It quite simply can't be done."


"There's no money. There's no feasibility. We don't have the staffing for that. We can't put that on one of our networks. There's licensing issues. There's no approvals."

Really there's no willingness to try, no courage to actually TALK to someone who can solve the problem. A whole department with the moral substance of a popcorn fart. So, the banjo-leg goes faster and faster, and when it reaches an incredible, butt-tingling speed ... out pops:

"It's impossible!"

But all you them saying is:

Chicken in the bread pan pickin out dough.
Granny, does your dog bite? No, child, no!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bindi, Sweet As Sugar

It happened again! Another award. I'm so happy. My dear friend, Bindi, wrote this one into her Friday, March 21, 2008 posting:

at this Easter season am sending a delicious award to Dawn, Jo, Maithri, baby Suzanne, Skeeter, and Arv...

Enjoy your delicious award!!!

I love you all

Happy Easter with lots of ♥

Thank you so much, Bindi. You are a dear and I love you too. You're far too kind. Thank you again and bless you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone. Best wishes to you and yours this season.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Skeeter wins an Award!

Happy news! I've been given an award by The Snarkiest who said:

Ah, the perfect levels of sarcasm an wit I enjoy. I hadn't found a post worthy of an award for March 10, and here it is. I hope you don't mind that I award you as the Snarkiest Post of the Day belatedly. It is well deserved. The award is here:

Now if I can hold out til Monday for #2.

Isn't it ironic that on the day for which I received this award, thesnarkiest carried a picture with the caption "Condom truck tips, spills load"?

This is an unbelievable honor and a complete surprise. So many people have a part of this, chief among them Mr. Frank Wiggly, for his commitment to nudism and the restrooms in my building. Wiggly may be the High Templar of Nudism in civilian life, but he will always be the Bowels Beneath the Brains in this Corporation. To Guilderfleece, I can't think of anybody I would rather be standing here with than you. Thank you so much for this. For everyone at Patty Cake's Janitorial, the entire team who makes our facilities sparkle and keep our dispensers stocked. Because you remind us, we know that "Real Men Flush". A brilliant, brilliant job. Thank you to all of them.

Thanks to the readers who signed this lucky post. To Robyn, yes, it is the paper, the whole paper and nothing but the paper every single day. To mrs4444, if you figure out "the vibe" please let me know, until then I'd be very, very happy for you to come back anytime for a visit. To terrirainer, you look pretty damn good for a (and I want to quote your remark for accuracy) "naked, overweight woman with stretch marks". You know I love you and would have said the same even if you weren't naked. Honestly you need to come back to class. We miss you. To nouveaublogger, maximum power to you brother. May there never be a shortage of reading material anywhere you go. To suzanne, because you are the greatest. Your garden may be as close to Eden as I ever come. Thanks for sharing pictures of it with me. To bindhiya, I'm so happy that you visit my blog. You are the kindest, gentlest soul I know. Bless you. To maria, your writing is so good it lifts me up when I read it, and it challenges me to be a better person. Thank you for visiting my blog. To eva, I find rattling the newspaper to be very funny also. Thanks so much for visiting. Please, please come again.

Thanks to thesnarkiest for this award.

Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Is that a Polynomial in your pocket?

I am completely insufferable today.

Back to Waynesburg for another day with the Contractors, and what an excellent day it turned out to be. Any day that contains lengthy and spirited discussions of particle-induced X-ray emission, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray detection, tomography, carbon nanotubes, subparagraphs of IEEE standards, jet engine gas path dynamics, renormalization and deresolution factors of spectral data, numerical analysis and statistical package preferences ... well, you know it's going to be a good one. But a really great day is one that contains a moment when a dedicated group of uberNerds staring at the graph of a group of data points start placing bets on the which order polynomial is needed to best/most efficiently fit the curve. Oh yeah, do you feel it? I feel it. That's right! Jump back Jack, this Big Daddy-O wins a big round of ice cold Diet Coke from the hapless mathematical wannabes. Polynomials? I got a pocket full a polynomials. I got constants to go with 'em too. Woo hoo!

When lunchtime rolled around, we convoyed in rented nerdChariots to Stryker's Grill,1117 Willow Road, Waynesburg, PA.

It's advertised as a sports bar restaurant and grill offering burgers, sandwiches, pastas, seafood, and pizza in an upbeat social atmosphere. It's in a bowling alley, so it's blue collar enough to be real. I didn't see a bar, but I did see the Budweiser man wheeling beer by the handtruck-full. The food is alright. For Friday Fishday, I had this:

When we finished working, it was really late in the afternoon, so I drove as fast as I could south to Morgantown, West Virgina, to see the campus of West Virgina Unversity. It was raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock, so the drive over the mountains to Morgantown was interesting. I was hoping to find something on campus to help soothe the agony of that miserable thumping the Mountaineers of West Virginia put on our beloved Oklahoma Sooners in the last Fiesta Bowl.

I didn't. The campus itself is kind of disappointing. Yes, it's winter and the trees are bare and there are no flowers, but ya don't need Braille to figure out Butt Ugly.

Their main Library is downtown instead of right in the middle of campus. This little building is the only on-campus Library that I saw.

The best thing I found on campus was the Personal Rapid Transit. These little, driverless shuttles travel around campus and into town on tracks like shuttles at an airport. Here's what one of these very cool vehicles looks like up close:

Naturally I had to seek out the few, the proud, the girlfriend-less unterNerds yearning to graduate into real jobs ... and work for uberNerds like me. I found them.

If what I said before about the girlfriend/date-less students of engineering was TRUE, then why is this building ...

dark as a steer's tuchus on a moonless prairie night? It's Spring Break, of course!

A Change of Plans and Mel on the Shelves

Big Jim, one of the guys with me here in Pittsburg, got a phone call from home. His elderly father in law passed away in the afternoon. So I took Big Jim to the airport yesterday evening. Sympathies to the family in their time of mourning.

The job goes on, so back to work I go. The rush hour traffic on the way back from the airport was terrible, so I pulled into a Walmart just off the interstate to kill some time. Look at what I found on the bookracks!

It Mel Odom's latest book, HellGate: London: Goetia. It's a dark and strange tale about demons, magic and people who fight to survive in and overcome the horrors of a post-apocalyptic London. I have a copy at home. I brought one his Rogue Angel novels, Serpent's Kiss, with me on this trip. If the Hellgate book is as good as the Rogue Angel series, then it's going to be great. Can't wait to read it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Groovy in Waynesburg, PA

Spent the day visiting a Contractor in Waynesburg, PA. With an office between a maximum security penitentiary and an unguarded runway, you'd think there'd be more traffic … just passing through. Sure enough, right around noon the giant alarms at the prison began to wail. Definitely time to drive a little … faster.

Went to Groovy's for lunch. Had the Special, a Chix-n-Cheese with Bacon Sandwich. Hey now, it was good. Stop by if you have a chance. Prices are reasonable and the food is good.

Late in the evening, we called it a day and went to Pittsburgh. The scenery was perfect - the hills, the convergence of the great rivers, the lights of the city …

And the "rough as a cob" roads! I thought the roads in Oklahoma were bad. This place has axel-snapping canyons for potholes and narrow, twisty death-funnels for off-ramps. I had to snap this image with my teeth clenched to keep them from rattling out of my head.

Eventually we found Fatheads, 1805 E Carson St, in Pittsburgh. How I miss my GPS unit! We timed it just right apparently and made it through the Fort Pitt Tunnel after the rush had cleared. Fatheads is famous for its oversized sandwiches, selection of beers, and being full to overflowing with some of the Steel City's most beautiful women. Unfortunately, they were all my son's age. At least they had hockey on the Bigscreen.

They brought me a bowl large enough to hide a human head. Here's the Chef Salad that was inside it. The turkey was smoked and the salad greens crispy cold. Yum.

Oh yes, everything does go better with a nice Harp lager.

Hope tomorrow is as much fun. We'll see you at The Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh. Hold the table for us because we'll probably be a little late concluding a small business matter … before pleasure.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another Adventure

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. The Corporation sent me Pittsburgh today. I be here until Saturday. The good news is that I have a internet connection so I can compose blog entries. Promise I'll write again soon - probably tomorrow evening.

Night, night. Talk with you again soon.

Peace & Love,


Monday, March 10, 2008

A Poopie Practice

Have you ever seen the man who boldly, confidently strides through the hallways at Work, a newspaper tucked under his arm, a cell phone going jingle-jangle-jingle on his belt loop, and a single-minded focus on reaching the restroom as elegantly, yet as quickly as decorum permits? Why? It's simple. There's an old Corporate Theory that says you do everything, including #2, on Company time. This works well enough for weekdays, but makes for some exceedingly uncomfortable weekends, especially those of the three day holiday variety.

We have a few subscribers to this Theory working for us at the Corporation. One such person, Mr. Guilderfleece, reads the entire paper (including circling want ads for that next best job to come) while perched upon the porcelain throne. For the life of me though, I can't imagine what could be so important that he has to talk about it on that cell phone from inside a restroom stall?

There are times when it doesn't pay to ask such questions. Today was one of those days.

Mr. Guilderfleece pulled back into the office from his morning Constitutional holding a bit of ill gotten booty over his head. Apparently at some point during the Sports page, he dropped the Lifestyle page. When Guilderfleece reached for his Lifestyle, he found a wallet down there. Not immediately knowing who its owner was, and being the Good Samaritan that he resolves to be, he opened the wallet to look for an ID. There was one in the featured, plastic-protected slot right in the front of the wallet. It was a photo membership card from a nudist colony in New Mexico. Maybe there's more to nudism than meets the eye, exactly how I can't imagine - having seen the photograph. I had to insist that Guilderfleece quit looking for more ... photo identification ... and contact the rightful owner of the wallet.

Guilderfleece used the Corporate Email Address Book and soon located the owner of the wallet, one Mr. Frank Wiggly. Franklin, as he says his friends call him, works in another building altogether, and just visits our building for the facilities - in the mornings, five days a week, that is.

Father Jake

I've never been one to let the truth get in the way of a good story, and I hate to start changing now, but I have some bad news and the only way I know how to say it so it will mean as much to you as it does to me is ... like this. I hope that you and the people in my story will forgive me for any embellishments.

When I was a Senior at good old Springfield High School in always sunny and ever lovely Springfield, Colorado, the vocational specialists from Colorado State University blew into town. The School Board invited them to come and "talk" to us Seniors about the Future and Work and the horrors of growing old without any prospects. They set up a film projector in a math classroom and ran a film intended to prove to me that Rock & Roll was a Lifestyle and not a Profession. The difference between the two is that one earns money, makes a living and is respectable. The other leads to poverty, grim despair, hair loss and impotence. Being raised on a farm, I was accustomed to the first two, but those last two were deeply, deeply disturbing.

They took us off in groups of five for testing. It seemed simple enough. Read the question, check a box. The vocational aptitude test was multiple guess, so how hard could it be? When it was over, the very first computer I'd ever seen graded the test and kicked out a sheet of answers. I heard some of the kids being advised to go the University and study engineering. That was a good Profession. Some of the kids were slated to do best with the welding, automotive repair or carpentry skills they'd picked up in the trade classes. Sadly, a wrinkle creased the forehead of the graduate student reading my printout. There was only one Profession for me. Apparently, I would do best in a life of Service the sheet said. The options were limited to Soldier in the United States Army or Priest in the Roman Catholic Church. Having discovered GIRLS a few years before, the options narrowed down to just one. Damn! Big Green Corporation ... here I come.

So I talked with a recruiter. He said that what I needed was an "Action and Adventure Lifestyle". The hair would be shorter than the "Rock & Roll" Lifestyle, but the camouflage clothes would be exceedingly cool. He said the money would take care of itself and that I would earn over three hundred U.S. dollars in just my first month. Hot diggity damn, I was going to be rich in no time. One of my crazy uncles back from Vietnam told me "A soldier leads a life of sex and danger". My grandfather (the one who personally liberated the Hell out of France in World War 2) quickly agreed. I have to confess that Sex and Danger seem like pretty good career rewards. What I didn't realize at the time was just how remote the odds were of having our next several wars in places exclusively populated by beautiful, sex-starved women.

No matter where I went in my travels, somewhere at the back of my mind was that question. You know, the "what if" one.

When I eventually enrolled in the University, I had the very good fortune to land in the parish of a most dynamic and wonderful priest named Father Jake. He had served in the Air Force, earned a Master's Degree and been a teacher in the public schools for a number of years before going to the Seminary. He was the most energetic priest I'd ever known. After he'd fulfilled all of his pastoral obligations and duties, he taught a 4000 level Comparative Religions class at the University.

St. Brigid's was a fairly large parish. It had an extensive outreach program for poor and disadvantaged people. He was creative with penance, and for me that was especially helpful because it gave me the chance to "volunteer" time to help with the outreach effort.

Father Jake didn’t like to drive, but driving was required because the Church had opened a mission parish that he needed to visit regularly. The Church also had three elderly nuns that helped. When I had the chance, I'd volunteer to drive. Father Jake had a big old car and there was always a group wanting to travel somewhere.

One of those visits was to a mission parish. It was the Christmas season, but this was for a funeral. The tiny town we were going to was poor and most of the people made their living raising chickens. The countryside was ditched with earthworks to handle vast amounts of rainwater that came regularly. Unfortunately, after a series of floods a little girl had disappeared while playing near one of those swollen channels. She fell. The current in the water was too much, and she just disappeared. The townspeople desperately searched for the child. Several days later, someone found her a great distance from where they'd searched, trapped in the roots of a fallen tree.

The church building was a plain brick building that had once belonged to a small Protestant congregation that had aged and died out as the town's fortunes declined. The pews were cold, hard and old. The place was so quiet. It smelled of flowers, a mountain of them towered over the small, white coffin at the front of the church. For reasons I don't care to know, the casket was open. The little girl inside looked as though she were simply sleeping there.

Father Jake greeted the people and began the service. It went on as any such service goes. There was a lot of crying. There was so much emotion. I don't remember any of the words now, just the rhythm of the words as they passed by. I only noticed when it stopped. I saw him staring at the casket. He was deathly pale, as though he'd seen a ghost. I stood and looked into the casket too. Tears were coming from the corners of the little girl's eyes. Father Jake sighed, made the sign of the cross and finished the service.

We didn't talk about it on the way back after the burial. I don't recall ever seeing him take a drink on any other occasion, but he did that day. After that, he had to prepare for a discussion group. I left him to it, but returned that evening for the discussion group meeting. Father Jake believed that Life was for the Living and that the Service of the Lord was of the utmost importance. That night he spoke about how people have options in Life and how it is best if they look to making decisions in keeping with what God wants for them. He spoke of the example of Luke 1:38 which ordinarily says: "And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her."

Because of the entirety of what had happened that day, his mis-paraphrasing of that passage went something like ... "And Mary said do it to me according to your will". Most of the people in the audience laughed. Eventually, I did too, but I understood what he meant.

I also understood that it took a better man than me to be a Priest in the Roman Catholic Church. That was the last time I ever did the "what if".

When I got back from Turkey this last week, I just learned that Father Jake had died. He was a saint and I will miss him.

Fences & Good Neighbors

Spent this weekend removing the fence that was broken by the falling trees from the ice storm. Yep, the old fence had to go. It was fourteen years old, rotten, and patched way too many times. Meter readers had gone over the top of it. One armadillo and a countless horde of gophers had drilled under it. This is it on the trailer ready for its great ride to the garbage transfer station.

My neighbor just had her 90th birthday. She really didn't like that old fence. It took all day, but with the help of her grandsons, we put up the new one, installed the gates and everything. Here it is.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Gifts from the East

Well, I finished unpacking from the trip to Turkey and organized the souvenirs into these nifty little gift bags. At work yesterday, I passed out all of the gifts to the people who linked in helped me solve the problem I was working on over there. It was great fun seeing everyone's reaction. I promised to bring a souvenir back for Marisa, the second from the left is for her. Hopefully I'll see her and our instructor, Mel Odom, at class tonight.

Got a couple of pieces of news while I was gone. One of them is bad, and the other is good, but a little unexpected. The good news is that I'll be starting an important new assignment soon to at work. The new adventure begins in a couple of weeks. Hopefully this is onward and upward ... ah, Life in the Corporate World. Another day ... another $1.35 after taxes.

Monday, March 03, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

Home at last! What a trip. So much excitement ... so little time ... I have to confess that getting to work like this is why I am still a lackey to my corporate masters. Where did they send me this time? Ankara, Turkey.

I went on this adventure with a corporate handler named Nix. Nix doesn't like his real first name, so he tries to get everyone to call him "Nix" and I'm not sure why because I've seen his real name and THAT ain't it. Nix's full time job is preparing and presenting briefings, executive hand-holding, and putting out corporate fires. He's been doing this same thing since the Cold War, so he's gray, brittle, and talks about his prostate a lot. He hates coffee, people who whisper and Republicans. He loves American food, drinking tap water, and firearms. His working vocabulary actually includes the phrase "commie, pinko bed-wetter."

My job is much simpler. I'm a technical Prima Donna. For purposes of Full Disclosure, my resume also includes Self Righteous Prick and Insufferable Ass, the proximal location of which, I'm sure, qualifies me for Management.

When we landed at Washington Dulles, so I turned on my cell phone and called the office.

Did you know that CNN is reporting that 10,000 Turkish soldiers had crossed the border into northern Iraq to chase the PKK?

(bitter sarcasm)

(gleeful anticipation)
What part of Turkey are you going to anyway?

Whenever I received news like this when I was in the Army, I could immediately locate my next duty station by finding the biggest, nastiest, steaming anal-esque fissure on the map. Once again, it looked as though I would be riding to that destination with my old friends, Bitterness and Cynicism wedged in between Nix and I.

Our next stop was in Munich, Germany. I wanted to buy a Diet Coke in a newsstand in the airport, but my Corporate "Hi-Ho, Let's Go!" Card was rejected at the cash register. I had no Euros, so Nix paid while I called the Card.

No "Hi-Ho". Wassup?

You are the Bad One. You tried to use the Precious in a Duty Free store. We've protected Precious from places like that. We will report to Management every such attempt to improperly use Precious. Is there anything else I can help you with?

It WASN'T as Duty Free store!

Yes, it was. We know those things.

Did you know that there is a dildo store on the main concourse in this airport?

**click** ... buzz ...

Our next stop was in Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey. Went through immigration and Customs, then on to curbside to meet our escort, "Mr. Happy". As far as escorts go, Mr. Happy is about as good as any I've seen. Sure, he knew where all the good places to go were, but he was too proud of his country to permit us to see any of them. He immediately told us that it was safe to travel anywhere in his country at any time. I asked him specifically about a number of places I'd read about on the internet to which he consistently replied, "Except there."

He drove us to our hotel. It was a small, out of the way place, but did it have location! It is within 400 meters of both the Kizilay Square and the famous Kocatepe Mosque.

Kizilay Square is more or less the center of Ankara. There are "Mom and Pop" type shops everywhere. This one had cakes in the window. I haven't developed the pictures of the fondant cake sculptures they had.

I would wake up every morning with the call to prayer from the Kocatepe Mosque. The call to prayer starts with a hard electronic click and then a wailing chant just like you hear in the movies. The Mosque stands on a hill and commands the area around it. It's roof is made out of a colored tile that makes it look blue in the evening and a kind of green in the morning. It changes colors all day long between those two. It's something worth waking up to see.

Mr. Happy would arrive promptly at Stupidly Early, so I had to shower quickly and then sprint down to the self-serve breakfast in hotel restaurant. Nix had been to a few Middle Eastern countries before, but never stayed long enough to acquire a taste for the food. Turkish cuisine has similarities with that style, but really is unique. Nix wasn't happy with the offering. I had a great breakfast every single morning.

Mr. Happy drove us off to where we would do REAL work. The drive wasn't unpleasant, but it was longer than I'd expected. Traffic? Well, I didn't have to cover my eyes with both hands, scream and beg God to let me live another minute ... all the time.

Work is work. What can I say about that? Nothing, nothing at all, so don't even ask.

Once the sun was down, Mr. Happy would drive us back to Ankara. There was internet service in the hotel so I could check the email and see how things were going. Sleep.

I wanted to take a cab and see the landmarks, but Nix put the official kibosh on most of that. One place he didn't know about until I'd already planned it with Mr. Happy was a visit to Ankara Castle. Excellent place for restaurants (albeit pricey ones) and the view is spectacular.

One of the dishes you really need to try in Turkey is Adana Kofte. It's spicy ground veal and lamb patties formed on kebob skewers and grilled. Oh my God is this stuff good! Here's a picture of it and it's chicken counterpart. I had this stuff every single day for lunch just because I could. I even found a recipe for it on the internet that I'll try later.

There was a bar, the 1-A, just across the street from the hotel. Thank goodness. They had one choice of beer, a Tuborg lager, and an impressive selection of liquor. Most of it was RAKI, the national alcoholic beverage of Turkey. Raki tastes like black licorice and packs a wallop. It is usually served mixed with cold water, and when it is first mixed with water, it becomes milky white. That's why its nickname is "lion's milk". You sip it slowly and the common toast is SEREFE pronounced "share-a-fa" which means "to your honor".

Coffee in Turkey is interesting. Turkish coffee is served in the cute little espresso type cups. The coffee is not as tough to choke down as its cousin in the Persian Gulf states, but it will still pop your eyelids open for sure. I did find a Starbucks on a corner in the Kizilay Square, and it was certainly good.

Sure, there were plenty of people who refused to acknowledge our existence, some even spit and few more hissed as we walked by, but Nix and I didn't see anything genuinely unbecoming until out next to last evening.

We were walking back to the hotel from the Burger King across the street from Kizilay Square and out of the blue, a pair of very aggressive Night Crawlers approached me. While one mimicked repeatedly swallowing a banana, the other announced ... the rather obvious ... and its price. Naturally I said "No" and walked away. They persisted. I tried to be diplomatic and told them that I was married and therefore perfectly accustomed to going without, so "No, get out of my face!" That didn't work either. Then something spectacular happened. Nix earned his pay for the trip. Oh yes, handling problems is something that Nix knew how to do very well. In about as minute or so, not only were the street urchins gone, but so was everyone else on the street. It was kind of like a movie, only weirder because after all the screaming (OK, I'll own up to it. It was only me, but I was caught up in the moment.) was over Nix asked me why I thought that the girls weren't attracted to him ... as he hustled me off the scene. It turns out that prostitution is legal in Turkey. Who'da thunk it?

Alas, all good things come to an end. Our last evening ended in the 1-A bar drinking Tuborg and watching CNN. They announced that Turkey was ending it's campaign in Northern Iraq and would pull the troops out in the morning. Ironic, don't ya think?

Ain't life grand?