A power outage this morning gave me an hour of blissful silence – the first time in nearly four months that I haven’t been bombarded with some kind of continuous droning sound. Generators, air conditioners, fans, vehicle engines – this place is awash in white noise and it drives me insane. Even outdoors, there is no place that is truly quiet; if nothing else, the diesel-powered light sets every fifty yards make sure of that.
Inside the bay, the fire inspectors decided that our eight foot plywood walls looked too flammable. Luckily, that could be cured with a liberal application of magical Kuwaiti fireproof paint (pictured at right)! OK, so it’s regular indoor latex paint, but apparently the idea is that the paint will “soak” into the wood, rendering it less prone to bursting into flames when we burn furniture & old uniforms for warmth during the approaching brutal Kuwaiti winter. (The winter might be brutal yet, if only by our own doing – I’m wearing pants and a sweatshirt as I write this, thanks to the pair of monstrous air conditioners that are still running full tilt.) I guess I’m not a highly-trained Army fire marshal, so maybe the idea has some merit, but it sure seems like some pointless busywork to me.
Last week at dinner a few of us noticed that one of the regular tables near the salad bar had been replaced by a table only half as long, leaving a big gap. Upon discussing the issue, it was revealed that our sergeant major (technically “Command Sergeant Major,” or CSM) was angry about the salad bar running out of certain items, so he stormed off and demanded that the DFAC staff keep a cart of extra stuff on hot standby in that spot, making a sort of vegetable-QRF. We proposed that it be named the “CSM’s Memorial Salad Cart” and that the floor be taped off to mark the area. The half-table also sparked jokes that the CSM had hulked out and broken the table over his knee, which actually seemed more plausible than the salad cart idea. I guess if you’re high enough rank, you can make anything happen, though I’m not sure that deploying lettuce carts would be a priority for the use of my powers if I was an E-9.