Tag Archives: US Navy

WPC: Early bird – On Deployment Morning Shots


This week’s photo challenge, Early Bird.

Experience the morning light…

I found some deployment pictures of the sunrise from my collection of my 2002 deployment with the Navy. Enjoy!

Crete at DawnLighthouse 1Egypt Sunrise in SuezSuez Escorts 2MVC-014SMVC-031S

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DP: 32 Flavors


Naples Noodle Headbeer barCookieslicoriceRaw Fish AnyoneKoper Dinner

Daily Prompt for 32 Flavors; Vanilla, Chocolate, or something else entirely.

When I joined the Navy in 2000, I had unknowingly become an anthropologist. Little did I know, that 10 years later, I would set out to go to college to become one, an anthropologist. An anthropologist studies humans and their origins, race, culture, societies, development, and a list of other things. There are 4 fields in Anthropology – Cultural, Physical, Linguistic, Archaeology.

Most of those in the military, especially the Navy, are unaware of their involvement as an anthropologist or that they are in a way more than diplomatic ambassadors, but they are also anthropologist. They travel to foreign countries as part of their duties, eat food from another country, talk to someone in their home country, shop in another country, walk around on soil that is foreign to them; it is all about submerging themselves into another person’s culture or society. I’m like a sponge, I love to soak it all in.

Before we pulled into port, we would have an idea of the things that we could see and do. A group of people are sent out before we pulled into port to find things that would be entertaining. Plus, they would locate the areas that weren’t safe for us and let us know. They would have tours set up and ready for us, names of a few places we could visit, and names of the shopping plazas nearby, as well as passing out a few maps of the city we were pulling into, and most importantly, they would bring bankers on board so we could exchange our currency.

The first thing some of us would look for once we got on dry land is food. It isn’t unusual to find a McD’s in most of the places we pull into and since some personnel are accustomed and habited to eating there, that’s the first place, and sometimes the only place that they’ll head to for sustenance. I actually look for something local, as I’m not bothered in trying new food. I especially looked forward to touring Italy and eating oven baked pizza and home made pasta. I even had the pleasure of eating tiramisu while I was in Italy, to which I loved immensely. Next thing I had to try was Italian coffee, then gelato.

I believed I spoiled myself, that when I came back home to the states, it was something that I searched for. Olive Garden was as close as I could get to Italian food, but I had some trouble finding Greek food, unless I traveled out of my way.

There were a few things that I tried overseas that I didn’t like; camel meat is on the top of my list to never try again, Greek burgers aren’t anything like American burgers, and I’m not sure what kind of burger meat I ate in Portugal. I’ve heard that camel is an acquired taste, or that the person who served it didn’t cook it right. To put it in the daily prompt’s words, it was definitely “something else entirely”.

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DP: Bryant, Arkansas


Today’s Daily Prompt is: We Built This City. What do you love most about the city / town / place that you live in? What do you like the least about it? If you were mayor, what would be the most important problem you’d tackle? How would you tackle it?

The city that I live in, Bryant, is a fast growing city. It covers nine square miles and has every fast food chain you can think of. It also has a Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Kirkland’s, two Starbucks, Lowe’s, and numerous other small and big businesses. I loved how people in our community was once generous, friendly, and hospitable. Now, you can look forward to sitting in a turn lane forever as no one is considerate to not block driveways to businesses. Or you’ll sit at a stop sign, forever waiting on someone to let you into the flow of traffic.

The problem with this city is that all the businesses are in one area, clustered, making traffic a nightmare to endure in the mornings and when school has let out for the day. Instead of clustering all businesses into one big area, why not spread them out? It makes it very difficult to get in and out of those businesses, as everyone is rushing to get some where and would not think twice to let you cut in front of them.

When I first left for the Navy in 2000, Bryant only had a Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and a small grocery store, as well as three gas stations. The population was a little over 9,000. Bryant was better known as the ‘bedroom community’ due to it mostly being houses and not the huge booming town it is today. After I got out of the Navy, Pizza Hut was demolished and a gas station was put in it’s place. We still have Wendy’s and McDonald’s, but the grocery store went out of business due to Walmart moving in just down the street. The current population is over 16,000. Almost doubled from when I first left in 2000 for boot camp.

There’s construction going on presently, albeit they’re building another fast food restaurant…that we don’t need. There was a town meeting the other day for a millage tax, requesting money to build another middle school and elementary school, to upgrade the middle school’s cafeteria, to build more things that our ever growing town needs for its community, yet the millage tax didn’t pass. Guess the towns people don’t see the things we need here or they believe the new High School that was finished last summer was enough as far as educational buildings go.

This city literally has grown immensely within the last fifteen years, that someone like me would have a hard time recognizing it. When I had gotten out of the service, I moved to Colorado to attend college for aviation. I stayed there for almost 4 years, then moved to Oklahoma for a few years, then moved back here in late 2009. I had been gone for 9 years and was astonished as to how much my hometown had changed. The service roads weren’t even two way anymore. They had changed to one way service lanes…good thing my grandmother warned me about that or I may have made a huge error by going the wrong way.

With the current mayor we have, our city has built on a new Recreational Center with an indoor pool and more fast food buildings. What our city needs is less fast food and more buildings for the community. The new rec center was nice, though the indoor swimming pool is mostly for swim teams. I had taken my daughter swimming to the new indoor pool and there were five other parents, gathered in a five by ten area that was sectioned off for ‘free swimming’. Ten of us collided into one another in the tiny space, just to allow our kiddos some time to cool off from the hot summer heat.

The other swimming pool that we have here, is a tiny pool, yet it is overly crowded every summer. We do need a bigger pool that is open to the public and not used for swim teams. Yes, we have a splash pad, to which you have to pay for, but my daughter is terrified of it, due to her autism.

There aren’t enough things here for special needs children. Or I should say, there isn’t anything for special needs children at all, other than a couple of daycare centers. We could use more parks with playgrounds; we only have one playground. There is a park currently being built that is accessible for disabled children. It isn’t here in Bryant, but it’s a twenty minute drive, without traffic. It’s actually a first of its kind park, which is sad as we need more parks that are accessible for all walks of life, disabled or not. (Click here and here for details on that park)

I would love to see a park with outdoor exercise equipment. Gyms may have dropped their prices so that us poor people can go workout, but what about daycare services? There’s only one gym here with a small childcare service while mom works out, yet it’s pricey. Some parents may only have a few minutes to workout after work, yet that’s when they have their kiddos with them. So, why not have an ‘Adult Fitness Playground’ along with our kids playgrounds? Family’s would be more active, would they not? It’s free and open to the public, so there would be more people out there working out, getting healthy.

As a mayor, the community and environment should be the most important things to think about and not what goes in and out of our pockets.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall


For more of this week’s photo challenge, wall, check out The Daily Post.

Below are pictures from my 2001 Navy deployment, on the USS George Washington CVN73. The locations are in the description of the picture. It starts in Crete, then Portugal, onto Naples, then to Rome.

For more of my deployment pictures that I have shared on my blog, click here.

Enjoy!

Churchcastle_pathsMVC-012SMVC-022Scols romecolsfloorsist.chapstpetesstpetes2

This Week’s Photo Challenge: Orange


This week’s photo challenge is, orange; anything to do with the color orange. Orange just happens to be my favorite color. It’s bright, colorful, and is cheerful.

Below are a few pictures from my 2001 Navy Deployment, as well as a few pictures from the past few months around here in Arkansas.

Enjoy!

Church in NaplesCrete sunset

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Symmetry


This weeks photo challenge is symmetry.

Symmetry comes from a Greek word meaning to ‘come together’. The definition of symmetry is, pleasingly proportionate; the quality of made up parts that are similar to one another around an axis or that are opposite of one another.

More photos from my navy deployment. Enjoy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMVC-011FSwinging Bridge to cross SuezDefense Pyramid in SuezSuez CanalSuez Canal 3Tight SqueezecathredalInside Lisbon mallGhost Ship in LisbonLisbon ArchwaysMVC-008S1OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAColiseum Hallwaywaterfall in rome

Good-bye, Flu!


sick

I’m not a fan of head colds. I don’t think anyone is. I’m especially not fond of the flu either. I’m particularly not a fan of any kind of sickness that my daughter gets. Even though my daughter and I got our flu shots, we weren’t protected against the strand that was going around after the flu shot mixture was sent out to the medical facilities. At first I was the one that had caught the flu. I thought it was just a normal cold – stuffiness and congestion, but I also had the chills to go along with it. I went to the VA in hopes of getting some nasal decongestant. Yet after running through my reasons for being there the nurse decided to swab my throat and nose for the flu, as a precaution. Then I had to dawn a lovely mask that had everyone staring at me as if I grew a third eye.

I didn’t have time to sit and wait for the results, so I decided to pick up my mini me and head home. For those that aren’t familiar with how the VA runs, a trip to the ER or making a doctor’s appointment is an all day adventure, without the fun of course. I didn’t step two feet in the door before the phone began ringing – test results are back, I have the flu.

Ugh!

Now to get my dad to pick up the meds for me as I wasn’t up to driving back to Little Rock…I started feeling a little more worse-for-wear, though I didn’t start the day feeling that great to begin with.

What’s worse is that if I had a sniffle of any kind, I couldn’t go into work. But I didn’t just have a sniffle, I had the flu. Quite upsetting as I love my job, working with the large primates at the zoo. Plus, I had to miss my classes, which was going to put me behind, especially if I miss lectures. After a week of feeling the utmost crappiest I’ve ever felt, my daughter comes down with the flu. After a phone call to her doctor, a trip to the ER, and several days in bed, she’s finally feeling much better.

With all that said, I’m playing catch up with schoolwork, all the while praying my grams doesn’t get the flu next.