I was sitting here tonight after a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with a friend who drove in from Pittsburgh and he left with as much food as we could convince him to take because otherwise, you know, leftovers are in our future for some time to come. Somehow the name Somalia came up and while I've never been there I did once get a message from our Ambassador to that place who strongly proposed that we eschew any upcoming port calls in Mogadishu because, as the ambassador relayed, "even the trees have VD." We, after consultation with the very absent Middle East Force staff who never seemed to be aboard, this their flagship, decided to go to the Seychelles where we got one whole day and then were ordered to steam at maximum power to Jeddah to embark 3 minesweeping helicopters, or in the actual event, 2 that flew, one that didn't and none of them was the slightest bit interested in pretending to sweep mines in the Red Sea.
So anyway, thinking. I will never again fly across the Pacific. I won't do it again and certainly not 2 to 4 times a month for years on end. I will never again play soccer against the French Foreign Legion or the Pakistani Army. With any luck I will never again have to be the french interpreter on Jules Verne or with 'Omani" maritime patrol aircraft in the Strait of Hormuz.
As I got up from the table tonight it was with some serious pain and there is a mystery bruise on my left thigh muscle and so I can only be grateful that I no longer represent America on the soccer fields in Djibouti and Pakistan because those really hurt, a lot.
I hope that you all enjoyed Thanksgiving with family and friends as we did. It is one of the wonderful holidays we try to capture every month with our dinarians nights out with friends where we pick a venue and invite our friends to join us either at a local (ish) eatery or maybe down by the creek at one of the Metro Parks for a picnic lunch/dinner.