Thursday, February 02, 2006

Army Annual Training - Part 1

I am not ignoring my blog or my promises of writing more stories. But I am away on a Army-sponsored trip to Jacksonville, FL. That's where our annual training is this year. Yes, it is not as exciting as some of our past training events (i.e. Holland and Germany), but it's not without its benefits. First of all, we've "been there, done that", so the stress level is way down. And second of all, we're only a couple of hours away from Daytona Beach. So Chris will be able to come up here for a day or two.

So far we haven't been busy at all. It's mostly because there's nothing to do right now. It's always like that with port operations. A couple of ships that we were supposed to work on are running behind schedule and will not arrive for another couple of days or so. And so for now our schedule is pretty relaxed. But don't you think that we just sit around the hotel and watch the TV. No way! Instead, we do go to a port every day for short classes on things such as contract supervision, RFIDs, and various equipment and software that Army uses to track its cargo shipments.

So far the one thing that totally sucks is food. We eat breakfast and dinner at a Denny's restaurant. We are not a very big group, but it takes at least an hour for breakfast and two hours for dinner - that's how slow the service is. And the food is terrible. Denny's menu is extremely unhealthy and not very diverse to begin with. But this particular Denny's can't make even this limited selection appealing. I will try to take some pictures of the food to put here. For now let me just say that the scrambled eggs are never cooked through, the french fries are served cold, the Coke-Cola float looks like raw sewage, and the pancakes are half-raw. On top of everything we are limited in our budget. We can't get anything over $6.50 for breakfast and $8.00 for dinner. That limits our selection even further.

But that's nothing compared to box lunches. Words fail me when I try to describe them. I'm going to just put a picture here. But I pitty the fool that really has to rely on them for lunch or dinner. Anyway, we don't eat anything out of these boxes except for trail mixes and crakers. Oh, and bottled water.

There's really nothing around our hotel. There's a Wendy's in the parking lot and sometimes we go there. Other than that, there is nothing around for miles and miles. And we don't have our cars here. So we're kind of trapped. Have I mentioned that so far we've seen 3 roaches in our room? (Yes, I have a roommate, but she's cool). I will continue these notes tomorrow if I am not eaten by hungry roaches.