Six weeks into an unusually long nine week rotation that has presented nothing much of interest. Consequently, all I’ve got for this shitty little blog are some random comments on the flotsam and jetsam of KAF life over the last couple of weeks. It’s pretty pathetic that the highlight of my week was a dust storm. Kinda cool the way it just sorta hangs in the air though.
The Heat of the Night
Every ISO is equipped with a heat exchanger to provide air conditioning and heating. They generally work pretty good and one can keep an ISO at a decent temperature even when it’s 50C outside using “Cool” mode. “Heat” mode works similarly well to keep one warm during the winter. But what the fuck is the “Auto” mode supposed to do? Yeah, I bet you’re thinking “It will automatically use heat or cool modes to regulate the temperature as required,you fucking moron”. Well, you’re wrong. Auto mode is, apparently, some sort of random number generator that will ensure the temperature never approaches room temperature. It’s either way too bloody hot or freezing cold which can in no way be correlated to the temperature you set on the remote. This really sucks at this time of year when the nights are pretty cool but the days approach 30C. I dislike discomfort.
That’s An Order
Where the hell has Santo’s, the Omelette King, gone? There’s been another guy serving up the eggs at the Cambridge for the last several weeks. Sure, he does a decent job preparing them and is pretty quick (not Santos quick, mind) but I’ve been there 3 times and I’ve had to tell him my order every time! Speaking of ordering, here’s a hint to all the mumblers out there. It’s fucking noisy in the DFAC and, often, English isn’t the cooks’ first language and they likely can’t understand barely audible, mispronounced, grammatically incorrect vagaries at all. Whispering “far ahhgs” when he asks for your order is less than helpful. Speak the fuck up and maybe tell him how you’d like your “ahhgs” cooked. Idiots.
Steak and Potatoes
I love mashed potatoes. For over four years I’ve been hoping against hope that one day, in one of the DFACs, I’d find mashed potatoes that don’t taste like fetid horse-based glue. Well, it happened. On April 1st, the Monti served up honest to goodness mashed potatoes. They even tasted like potatoes which was even more than I was going for. Good job, Monti…now throw out the vats of freeze dried potato flakes along with the dish water you usually mix ’em with.
Who’s been to Monti for “Live Steak” night? I was a little put off by their word choice as I envisioned slices being hacked off a mewling cow as DFAC patrons looked on hungrily. Then I thought “Wait a second…if by ‘live’ they just mean ‘freshly cooked’…how fucking long had the other steaks I’ve eaten here been sitting around?” It turns out they merely mean that there is a live guy cooking the steaks in front of you at the short order bar. Was having them cooked by a dead guy ever an option? The steaks are then randomly placed in the “rare”, “medium” or “well done” bins depending, it seems, upon which one is most empty.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Grease
There’s a lot of people here, primarily Americans, who pray over their food in the DFACs. I find it a little disconcerting that people who talk to invisible friends are given guns but let’s just hope they’re not hearing anyone answering. Anyway, most of these mumbling sessions take only a few seconds presumably because they don’t figure god deserves too much gratitude for DFAC food. There was one guy in the NL the other day, however, who musta prayed for a good 2-3 minutes. Head bowed, eyes closed the whole bit. “Wow, he’s been at that a long time” I observed. “Well, take a look at his plate. All he’s got are deep fried chicken bites, a Pogo, and fries. ‘Please, please god…don’t let me have a coronary'”,T replied. I looked at my plate…and bowed my head.
Could You Repeat That?
As I wandered around the Cambridge on 5 Apr and saw unappetizing slop on the main steam line, I began to resign myself to yet another meal of fish of chips. A quick glance at the usually slimy and greasy short order line, however, revealed Crab Legs. Now, my experience with seafood (other than the aforementioned fish) in KAF has been everything you’d expect from a land locked country in a war zone. “Aw, what the hell” I shrugged, “Worst case is I can blog about my upcoming intestinal distress”.
Well, despite having to wrestle them apart with my bare hands and revealing my inner pig boy, they were really damn good. Only mildly over cooked but miles away from the sloppy mess the Monti made of lobster. So, like a fool, I insisted we return to the Cambridge the next night. Well, espying the crab legs on the steam line again, how could I resist? “Well, this makes me sad. These are awful. Overcooked, mushy and tasteless”, I whined to my tablemates. “You do realize they just reheated the ones from last night, right?”, L informs me. As much as I hate to believe that…they sure tasted like they’d been sitting in tepid water all night. Is a little consistency too much to ask for, Cambridge?
Signs of the Times
A Little More Conversation
In The Car:
K: “I once drank with Dr. Hook in the Motor Hotel Lounge in Kamloops”
Me: “That’s one of the most pathetic sounding anecdotes I’ve ever heard, K. This musta been about 30 years ago, eh?”
K: “Um, I’m not sure. How old am I now?”
At the Cambridge:
M (after being blocked by a drone at the drink dispensers): “Why are people such idiots”.
Me: “Oooh, ooh, don’t tell me. I know this one…”
Me: “What the hell is that?”
M: “It’s supposed to be vanilla pudding”
Me: “It looks more like turkey lung”.
M:(chagrined) “Yes, yes it does…”
L:“This chicken cacciatore tastes like soil.”
DK: “I discovered a new use for those pashminas. Saw a guy grab a corner and blow his nose into it before wrapping it back around his head.”
So I’ve Heard
I’ve bitched about the ambient noise levels in DFACs before. Most of this is incidental to having a lot of people in one acoustically awful space…conversation, chairs scraping, that fucking laughter etc. I can accept all of these as pretty much unavoidable but, for chrissakes, is there really a need to add to the din? Sure, I get that there are some announcements, like “Rocket Attack” that have to be made..but they don’t have to be made at 14.3 zillion decibels. The sirens and voices literally hurt my ears and I’m half deaf from years in the Air Force…I can’t imagine how much it hurts the young’ns.
To add insult to ear drum injury, KBR was having a Christmas party or some fucking thing at the Monti last week. They had half the place cordoned off for their rambunctious festivities. We couldn’t even get to our regular comfy chairs at the back. Fine, I’ll suppress my OCD tendencies and sit on the wrong side of the joint…just shut that fucking whistler up! As they cheered and applauded for Employee of the Fucking Month or whatever some asshole was whistling that high pitched, “hey look at me, I’m an asshole” whistle that should be reserved for outdoor concerts at which I am not in attendance. So, for your listening pleasure, I’ve compiled the DFAC greatest hits of annoyance. First you’ll hear whistling asshole, followed by distorted “controlled explosion” boy with the siren’s song of the “all clear” lady at the end. Just click on the arrow below and for the most realistic experience, crank your speakers to max.
Boredom is kinda dull.
“These go to eleven”- Nigel Tufnel