Vittle Statistics

49C49C. That’s just stupid and the first person to say “But it’s a dry heat” gets a kick in the head. Seriously, as humans migrated out of the great rift valley and spread across the earth, how did anyone end up living here? Where the hell were they before that was so bad they got to this shithole and thought “Oooh, this is just lovely! So much nicer than the place we just left. Let’s stay!”

Anyway, lots of KAF news and food bitches to get caught up on but first, of course, our latest messed up Toyota.

I find these delightful.

I find these delightful.

In The News

Yeah, she looked ready to leave.

Yeah, she looked ready to leave.

I’m sorry to say that you won’t be seeing words like “dustbin” “shite” and “lorry” in the blog anymore as Larrisa (the artist formerly known as “L”) has left KAF for greener pastures (as if any pastures aren’t greener than KAF), confounding Texans with her “funny talkin'” while running a business with her husband, Ramone, in Houston.

Larrisa seemed to know everyone on KAF and could get anything you might want.  Some actual conversations:

Me: “Hey, Larrisa, can we get more TV channels in the crew lounge?”
L: “No problem. I know a guy who has a friend with a cousin in India who can get us Dish TV. It’ll be ready next week.”

Me: “Dammit that RETCH  isn’t big enough to move this container. Guess we’re done for the day. Larrisa, we’re gonna need a crane.”
L: “There’s a crane over at that other compound. I’ll just ask him to come over here”.
Me: “Cranes cost $1000/day…they won’t just come over here at your behest, Larrisa”
30 minutes later – a crane is moving our container. It cost me a couple of pens and coffee mugs with the company logo.

L: “I got two lorries at $500/day each. He threw in the third one for free. I’m gonna need some donuts.”

Larrisa’s a fiercely hard worker with incredible initiative and a great sense of humour. She’ll be sorely missed. Best of luck, Larrisa…and KAF reunion party at your place when this is all over.

Why?

Why?

As if L’s departure wasn’t bad enough, the Monti and IH have new, tragically different apple and cherry pies. I really liked the factory-made goodness of their original pies. The apple pie used to have chunks of real apple in it. The new pie is filled with some sort of uber-sweet apple mush that M theorizes is what oozes out of the machine that cuts up the apples for the decent pies. The new apple pie doesn’t look natural…it appears all plasticky and shit. The new cherry pie isn’t even really a pie. “It’s like a cake with cherries on it,” M opined. “I think it might be a flan but I don’t know what a flan is”, he further elaborated, thereby clearing things up not at all. Anyway, the cherry “pie” tastes ok but is nowhere near as good as the original style and, oh yeah, it’s not a fucking pie! N.B. My apologies to the perplexed Indian guy who dropped the server and stood back as I was snapping the picture of the cherry pie. I’m afraid my comment of “No, go ahead, I’m just documenting this” only added to his confusion.

Whaddup wit dat?

“In Here It’s Always Friday”

Hey, what’s up with TGI Friday’s? I got back and both it and KFC had “Closed Until Further Notice” signs on them. There was no health inspector’s notice on TGIF this time so I guess they’ve got that whole hand washing thing sorted out. Whatever could it be this time? KFC has since reopened, only deepening the mystery. My only theory is that they’ve realized this is an Islamic country where everything is closed on Fridays…

They only think they can dance.

They only think they can dance.

Maybe they’re just shut down because they’re losing all their business to Food Fun.  These guys aren’t just rustling up the funnest food in KAF, they’ve now opened an indoor dining area. K and I stopped in so he could pick up something for dinner later. As we waited for his takeout to be ready, the cheery Food Fun guy directed us to the new, air conditioned Eden. It had a TV upon which was playing a show hosted by a man with a pompadour which appeared to be the Indian version of So You Think You Can Dance. I can’t be sure as the squiggles that passed for sub-titles were less than helpful. Anyway, it sure beats waiting or eating out in the blistering (but dry) heat.

The S&P 1000

The S&P 1000

On the lighter side, how do you like the fancy new salt and pepper holder thingies at Northline? They even have a place for the newfangled comment cards and sometimes, though rarely, even have comment cards in them. I like ’em! It’s a hell of a lot better than the aluminum pie plates Monti and IH used to put on the table. I say “used to” because they’ve now even stopped putting them out.

Should I be happy they have traps or worried they need them?

Should I be happy they have traps or worried they need them?

So, you have to guess how much salt and pepper you’re gonna need and get it from the condiment table before you sit down. That’s just stupid. If you think salt and pepper distribution methods are less than newsworthy, I invite you to spend over 4 years in KAF and see if you don’t get excited about anything that breaks up the monotony. Hell, sitting beside the rat trap the other day was cool as it at least offered the potential of spotting a rat. I didn’t.

Good Gravy!

Oh my, there were a few not so impressive food experiences over the last couple of weeks.

Mmmm...wet, beefy fish.

Mmmm…wet, beefy fish.

Ok, Cambridge steam line guy, I get that it’s some kind of slap in the face of all British people that I had fish and chips and a Yorkshire pudding but you’re a fucking colonial like me. I like Yorkshire pudding, ok? And I didn’t want any of the shitty roast beef with it. I know it’s not traditional but I really don’t think that warranted dumping gravy all over my fish when I asked for “some gravy on the chips and Yorkshire only, please”. Fuck. Fish with gravy is NOT good.

This meal made me crabby.

This meal made me crabby.

IH tried hard with their Crab Legs and they actually did a pretty decent job…but, oh my fuck, the corn on the cob was hideous. It had the consistency of semi-coagulated glue and stuck to my teeth with the tenacity of a pit bull. I thought I’d mix it up a bit and have some pseudo-beef-a-roni as well. It had almost no taste and the little it did have was revolting.

Something's missing...

Something’s missing…

Northline had a couple of real misses too. I don’t know what’s happened to their tomato supply but they’ve got me looking back with fondness on the days when the tomatoes were green…but not hollow. I mean, what the fuck? Where did the rest of the tomato go? They were all like this. Maybe I complain too much, I mean, it’s not like a hollow tomato is gonna kill ya, right?

Maybe the Jews and Muslims are onto something...

Maybe the Jews and Muslims are onto something…

However, raw pork might. GC had the pulled pork in the Northline about a month ago. Now, my wife makes an awesome pulled pork. She cooks it for something like 8 hours. As I understand it, pulled pork pretty much has to be simmered for that long so it can, um, be pulled. So, how the hell can part of it be fucking raw? GC tells me he lost his appetite when he came upon the pink morsel at right when he was halfway through the dish. Eww…just, eww.

This Time For Sure

Nobody's back bends like that.

Nobody’s back bends like that.

I’ve written about my hitherto futile attempts at exercise before. Well, while I was home, I found my hip was so sore from cutting my grass with my ride-on mower that I was almost unable to get up off the couch for a beer afterwards. That was a bit of a wake-up call. So, three days/week, I’m using the treadmill and doing some other light exercises in the little gym beside my office. The treadmill’s boring and playing Angry Birds on an IPod as you use it can be dangerous but it’s ok. I had someone show me how to use the thing at left to do crunches. Fuck, as soon as I laid down on the thing I admitted that the sun did indeed orbit the earth and swore fealty to the goddamn Pope. Crunches on it? Fergeddaboutit.

Kevlar?

Kevlar?

During my first workout last week I was feeling pretty proud of myself having done pushups, crunches and planks on the mat. I felt strong. I felt alive. I was like sprung steel….Then I tried to tear off a “paper” towel to clean my old man sweat off the equipment. What the fuck are those things made of? It took everything I had to finally wrest a sheet from the iron grip of the roll. Needless to say, being nearly defeated by paper towel is a humbling experience.

The Tao of D

I’ve figured out country music. Every male singer sings about his obsession with drinkin’, fuckin’ and trucks. Every female singer complains about guys’ obsession with drinkin’, fuckin’ and trucks.”

How many times do some people have to try and get a cup out of the dispenser with one hand before they realize it takes two? There’s a goddamn shelf there to put their tray on but, oh no, they’ve gotta pull it out, push it back in, twist it, pull it out again before finally putting the tray down. Idiots.”
Editorial note: I saw a guy today try and take a cup out with one hand acting just as D describes above…but rather than put his tray down, he just shrugged, gave up and walked away drinkless. Super-idiot.

Every day some Indian guy comes into the smoking area with his baseball hat on at that ridiculous 45 degree angle. Every day I say ‘Hey, your hat’s on crooked’. Every day he replies ‘Hello'”.

With a magenta printer toner in his hand: “If this damn thing hadn’t been colour coded, I would never have known what fucking colour magenta is. Any name for a colour should have the name of a colour in it. Like magenta-red”.
I agree. I was well into my thirties before I found out chartreuse was green. It always sounded red to me.

I would never order chicken fingers in a real restaurant yet here I am..looking forward to the damn things (sigh)”

Bottom Line

Ok, now you’re all caught up.

To the old, the new is usually bad news” – Eric Hoffer

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4 thoughts on “Vittle Statistics

  1. I stumbled upon your blog tonight. I couldn’t stop reading. I’ve been home since Christmas, and I don’t miss a lot of things about KAF, namely the red egg yolks. I hope they got that one figured out. You are spot on with your evaluations of DFAC life at KAF. Iraq had decent to real good food, and the best I could hope for was midnight chow at Northline, every other night, chicken fingers. Great blog… I’ll be back.

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