Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Random (and Not-So-Random) Thoughts

First off, Scot, I don't think anyone's taken a picture of me since the wedding...hopefully there'll be a couple taken this next week or two that I can share. But really...for all that 5.5" is a lot, as long as I keep my unbuttoned pants adequately covered, no one would notice a thing. As a friend pointed out on Sunday as I was showing off my "big" belly, "Now you look like the rest of us!" So...I'll post a picture when there's one to be had, but don't expect it to look _too_ different from "normal" me.

That's leads me to another thought...a realization, really: I'm a very little person. I've always thought of myself as pretty average....but I'm beginning to suspect that I'm actually very small. For instance, when I get "regular-length" pants, they drag the floor, even when I'm wearing 2" heels. And, even though my belly is 5.5" inches bigger around than normal, no one would notice unless they saw my unbuttoned pants or I pointed it out to them. I'm not complaining (although, all you non-miniature people out there would be surprised at how difficult it is to find clothes that fit)....I've just never really thought of myself that way.

Which begs the question, "why are so many people intimidated by me?" I mean, if I'm microscopic, why does my company president look like a scared little bunny whenever he talks to me? That's not even a "rocket scientist" thing because he's one too (or some kind of engineer anyway, but he started an aerospace firm, so I think that lets him into the rocket scientist club). I will continue to be fascinated by this phenomenon until it ceases to be true.

But I'll leave you with something to think about as the entire country complains about the heat. Right now, there are ~150,000 US servicemen and women (not including the Brits and the rest of the multi-national forces) who are in Iraq. Today it is 109° F in Baghdad. Temps this week will range from 111° to 115° F. And that's still not the hottest part of the summer. At the end of this month, temps will range into the 120s, 130s, and even possibly the 140s (yes, it's happened....I've been there - and if it doesn't get that hot, people complain because then the dates don't ripen). During that time, these ~150,000 servicemen and women will wear their DCUs (desert cammo uniforms) or their new BDUs ("desert-colored" battle dress uniforms) which are long-sleeved, usually with a t-shirt underneath, and whose pant legs either tie around their ankles or are tucked into their boots. They're made of heavy, thick material to provide protection and last in difficult circumstances. When they're in a vehicle, they're required to add to that a heavy, dark, flak helmet, and 60 lbs of "battle rattle" (flak jacket), not to mention their weapon (usually a rather hefty M-16). If they're on guard duty, they'll often be in direct sunlight for hours at a time, and if they're guarding (or in) a tank (which can be cooked on, even in cold weather), they get even more heat. So keep that in mind as you complain about the sweat that develops as you walk from your air-conditioned car to your air-conditioned house. Yes, the humidity is lower there....but even factoring that in, they've still got it worse!

1 comment:

scot toler said...

what, you worked for nasa and you don't have a digital camera? tragedy. maybe you can get them to turn the hubble around and get a shot of you, so you can post a pic :)