15 December - a chilly morning in Iraq

Guten Morgen! I woke up to a very chilly morning indeed. I think the temp is in the 30s somewhere. Not below freezing, though. It's cold enough to put my t-shirt and jacket on to go do hygeine this morning and wear my shemagh to work. The weather has been weird over the past couple of days. The rainy season is hesitatingly coming on. With it comes extremely hazy conditions with sometimes 60 degree mornings falling into 38 degree evenings. So strange.

Emily put up some wonderful new photos of Amelia yesterday in her new bear snowsuit. She is so stinking cute! I'm sure she's like wtf, mate, what's all this getting dressed up about. But she is just...well, my cute daughter. Sometimes I look at pictures of her and study her features. I remember being home with her and Emily when AJ was born, but she's just grown so much already that I hardly recognize her. The last time I was with her, she weighed around 7 lbs. Now she weighs over 15! It's wild. I'm itching so bad to get home and be with both of them.

I also look at photos of Em and recall what it feels like to touch her face and look her in the eyes. I miss her so much. I can't WAIT to get back home and be with my best friend. We have so much to catch up on!

Right now we (I) are (am) trying to come up with ideas of what we can do while on leave next year. We both want a couple of days alone together and we both want to make a trip home. Aside from that, I have a lot to plan for! We set some parameters yesterday on how much $ we can spend and timelines and such, so that should make my planning easier, but it isn't. Right now, thinking past just being at home with my family is difficult. All I really want at this point is to be home. But never fear, I'm sure I'll come with something. Got any ideas?

As far as music, I've been really getting into Electro-House. Think David Guetta. You can also check out DJ Bl3nd's Youtube channel for some interesting electro-house mixes. I've been working on a new mix myself. However, from now I'll be trying to plan the mix better and make it make sense.

On another music note, I've been researching Digital DJ controllers (Hercules, Vestax, Numark, Denon...) to try and figure out which one would benefit me the most. I've put a lot of time into it as I'm trying to avoid just blowing cash on something that I just won't use or is too much tech for what I need. I'm also trying to think through what kind of time I will be spending doing mixes when I get home. I mean, I want to spend as much time as possible with Emily and Amelia. We'll also be traveling. Eventually I'll have to go back to work. So, while it's easy for me contemplate my DJ dreams, I also know that I've got too much time to myself here and that will not be the norm once I get home. NOT that this is bad - just fact. So, I reckon in essence I'm trying to prepare myself for re-integration now vs leading myself into shock if I wait until I'm actually boots-on-ground in Colorado.

This post is probably going to run on, so read on if you're bored, but it's mostly for me.

Recently I've had to tell 4 of my 9 interpreters that I will be releasing them at the end of this month. At one point I was responsible for 11 local national interpreters (all from Iraq). When I say responsible, I mean I made their work schedule, filled out and turned in their "timesheets" so they could get paid, and generally helped them in any way I can. They are all really good guys and have a dangerous job. The bad guys outside the wire often threaten to harm their families if they continue to work for the US military. Regardless, they still come to work.

Since the drawdown in Iraq is in full swing, I'm forced to cut down my interpreter (terp, for short) force considerably. Like I said, they are all good guys, but just like any employee, some of them are better workers than others. So, after analyzing the data on how many times each of them were late and/or missed work without an excuse, I came up with my 4. I'm trying to get them a job elsewhere so they can continue to get a paycheck, but they can't work for me anymore. Sad, but I'm glad I got some time with them.

Two of my favorite DJ info sites are at BeginnerDJ and Digital DJ Tips. There is a plethora of info on each and are helping to guide my DJ evoultion. BDJ is run by a really cool/nice guy out of Florida. I email with him every now and then with questions and comments and he always replies with prompt, well thought-out answers and tips. DDJT is run by an ex club DJ out of the UK. His site is quite a bit bigger and more trafficked than BDJ and garners many more sponsors. He also responds promptly to guest posts and comes off as very proffessional, never biting onto flamer comments. I recommend both sites if you are into mixing music, be-it analog, CD, or digital. BDJ has more on analog where as DDJT is almost exclusively digital music.

Check out this 69-yr old Grandma DJ out of the UK. She's wicked! DDJT did a nice article on her here.

So, I reckon that's all for now. I'm going to work on a promo mix right now. I'm getting into mapping out my keyboard to function as a mixer, which is blowing my mind, to try and give me that hands-on feel of mixing. So, look for a new mix coming out soon :)

Love -


  1. thanks for the kind words - Phil, Digital DJ Tips

  2. Phil! I'm pleasantly surprised you made it over to my blog! Thanks for the comment :)