New York Views

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 

NEX5 tricks – Panoramas

Auto-HDR images:

more below…
Posted at 23:07:56 GMT-0700

Category: photoPlacesTechnologyTravel

Welcome Home

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 

After flying out of dusty airports with bullet holes in the windows on time, after passing through gauntlets of guards for whom “ankle holster” is an acceptable excuse for setting off the metal detector – all of whom were pleasant, and a few ear protectors put on “habibe” terms, it is a bit of a shock to land in the US where DHS shouts at passengers angrily, despite having run zero risk of IEDs to get to work and potable water running out of their taps at home, and flights delayed by 30 minutes on the runway for bad traffic management, not rockets.

Appreciate it, people are still dying for it.

Posted at 06:54:24 GMT-0700

Category: MilPolitics

Luxury is Relative

Monday, February 14, 2011 

At the COB, Green Beans  is a real, but essential, luxury. We started our day with a triple cappuccino expertly served up by the unexpectedly named Robert Rodriquez (perhaps an homage) and felt pretty well taken care of.

luxury at COB Basra_G B.jpg
Coming straight to Dubai is a bit of a culture shock. Indoor palm trees? We had to go off base to see outdoor palm trees.

Luxury in Dubai.jpg

We did have one bit of green on base…
Posted at 11:37:53 GMT-0700

Category: MilphotoPlacesPositiveReviewsTravel

Shipley is a Rock Star

Monday, February 14, 2011 

Who would’a thunk a little site like, the on-line clubhouse for a few bay area computer types, would make both the barracuda block list and the UAE block list. How cool is that?

If you’re not in the UAE: here’s the block list

And if you’re inappropriately blocked:

shipley is a rockstar.jpg
Posted at 10:58:54 GMT-0700

Category: OddPoliticsTechnologyVanity sites

Our Last Night at COB Basra

Sunday, February 13, 2011 

We had a nice cook out thanks to George, brats on the grill and alkoholfrei Lowenbrau and a few friends.


Tomorrow Carolyn and I part ways again after a fun two weeks together.

Posted at 13:05:59 GMT-0700

Category: photoPlacesTravel

When the Alert Sounds

Sunday, February 13, 2011 

If you’re not already in a hardened building, when the alerts sound, you get to sit in one of these until the all clear. They’re kind of homey in a homely way.

Posted at 12:32:11 GMT-0700

Category: MilPlacesTravel

History of the COB

Saturday, February 12, 2011 

The Brits had the base first and left their marks here and there.

resident field squadron.jpg
Posted at 15:06:29 GMT-0700

Category: MilphotoPlacesTravel

Iraq sites

Friday, February 11, 2011 

carolyn on saddams throne.jpg

Baghdad was the recipient of Saddam’s largess (and the PLO too), but the south wasn’t really on the nice list and has been a cross roads for conflict for a long time, which has left a mark on the landscape.

Posted at 12:06:07 GMT-0700

Category: MilphotoPlacesTravel

Proof! There is Yellow Cake In Iraq

Saturday, February 5, 2011 

Finally, conclusive evidence of the presence of whole trays of yellow cake in Iraq, and at extremely low prices, well within the reach of any organization.

Proof-yellow cake in Iraq.jpg
Greenbeans, supplying what’s needed.
Posted at 06:37:46 GMT-0700

Category: MilphotoPlacesPoliticsTravel

A Few Pretty Spots at VBC

Friday, February 4, 2011 

Saddam managed to build a fairly pretty complex here, with lots of artificial lakes (originally filled with potable water). Along one of those lakes is the Gates of Babylon restaurant. The food is excellent and the adjoining room is a hookah bar. The Nex5 does a pretty good job at night.

The palace is pretty inside, though the construction is legendarily shoddy and parts of the palace are starting to disintegrate as salt in the sand mixed in with the concrete disintegrates it. The main hall is quite dramatic with a three story chandelier.

gates of babylon.jpg

Posted at 13:49:56 GMT-0700

Category: MilPlacesTravel