** This is "joeslist"! Your (hopefully) daily taste of the war from somewhere
in the Gulf. You get this because I only get to send 2 emails per day (when
it's working) and I want all of you to be informed, and possibly entertained.
If you'd prefer not to get this, or get it sent to a different address please
contact john@announcetech.com and tell him this. I won't be offended (much).
I understand what it's like to get WAY TOO MUCH email these days. I will assure
you that I won't be pitching you for a mortgage or penis enlargement, however.
So far nobody has noticed the pointless comments in this area or the reference
to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you notice this you have too little to do.
If you think that somebody would enjoy this or find it useful, please feel free
to forward it on to them, but let the rest of us know who else is "out there".
Some questions can't be answered due to security constraints. **

Messages for inclusion to this list or private personal ones should be sent to:

Saturday 12 April 2003  5 PM Still Floating around the Northern Arabian Gulf (NAG)

Environmental conditions:
Temps: Berthing = Icy  Ship Internal = 80f   Ship outside = 82f  hot water = OK
Unusual Smells = from nearby head, indescribable
Stormwatch: Expected sucking never happened. Ship movement is barely noticable
Apparent Morale (as measured in the Chiefs Mess) OK/Boredom increasing
Boredom index (0=Exciting 9=Excruciatingly dull) today = 8.5
Most Annoying Event = Continuous 1MC noises (bells, whistles, announcements, tests)
Movies Watched: Transporter (site TV), Heat (DVD), Ace Ventura Pet Detective (Site TV)
                Band of Brothers episode (DVD)
Food Ratings: * = Sucky  ** = Better than MRE's   *** = Average  **** = Yummy
              ***** = Unlikely ("It's just a tiny wafer")
Tonights Dinner: Pizza (****)
Lunch: Shrimp Salad (****) Salisbury sTEAK (**)
Mail received = None

Todays Happenings:

Today has been slower than yesterday (hard to imagine I know). I slept 'til 0900,
showered, checked email, checked the news on TV, helped one of our guys burn a
CD of a game and make it work on another laptop PC (he plays it 6-8 hours a day).
Then I listened to the radio, (the ship has moved) found Radio Dubai 92.0 mhz, and
a "smooth jazz" station on 107.9 mhz. In our new location, there are many, many
dhows and ships and oil platforms. The air smells like burning oil or gas, which
makes sense considering that the platforms burn it off continuously. There's also
a think brown sulfer cloud around the area.

I heard from the guys who just came in from "the beach" that the last Saddam tile
mural in Umm Qasr was brought down yesterday. I have pictures of myself in front of
it (all jocked up in body armor and carrying an M-4 no less-- 'course we couldn't
go out without all that stuff at first), you'll see them when I get back or get to a
fat internet pipe. You'll notice in the picture, a hole in his forehead, added by
a SEAL sniper friend of mine. The Marines who "took" the port also "marked" it,
with spray paint "USMC Fox was here" everywhere. And of course, Marines couldn't
just go through a door, they had to blow it up. You'll see. I guess I have to say
that they earned the right to do whatever thing (no matter how juvenile) that they
wanted to.

I saw some video today that showed Umm Qasr and large piles of food and supplies
that had just been offloaded. That was gratifying. I think that I even understand
the looting thing a bit. I hope that they calm down and start to act like civilized
people soon. It would be interesting to help get the lights back on, the telephones
ringing again, heck, even getting the radio and TV going again, but.. I look forward
to getting home. I'm relieved that the really ugly stuff go on for long. It was
weird watching the Iraquis surrender in mass in the north on TV here on the ship.

I've watched more TV in the past few days than I've seen in the past 5 years. Yecch.
Watching CNN/Fox News/CNBC et all is truly mind numbing, I hope that you're not
doing it. I felt better informed by listening to BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting
Service) at the top of the hour on the radio and watching the TV without sound.
I saw the taking of Baghdad and Basrah that way. It was exciting. Then when the
press guys came "home" and I saw their footage, more of the picture was filled in.

Fox news reported the finding of a mobile "bio weapon lab", but when it was shown
it looked more like a camper. When it was described, it made more sense that it
was some kind of chemical loader or support system, yet they went on and on with
the rediculous assertion that this sub-winnebago was a "lab". It does show that Iraq
had systems built an deployed to support chemical missiles. Scary.

Todd: I heard an unpleasant story today: I heard that David Bloom died covering
the war. Have you heard anything? I hope that this is in error.

That's all for now. Talk to you tommorrow. Please let me hear from you!


Mail Bin:

My Dad Says:

George [next door] comes over every day to check on news about you. He has
been over every day since you have been overseas. He only stays about 15-20
minutes. He gave me the same info [neighborhood news] every day for the
last three days. I feel better about my memory now. I'm 7 years older than
George. At least I remembered that he told me the same thing three
times.  He's a good neighbor. I'm lucky to have him next door. Coleen was
married last month. She and husband bought a new house in Chino Hills area.
Enjoy your idle time.Hope they returned to you the mail that was sent to
the beach. It was probably the extension cords, they were sent early. Keep
me up to date, I enjoy your e-mails. Love Dad

Joe Says:
I'm really sorry to hear about Georges memory lapses. I know people that are far
younger than even George that have problems like that. The idle time has turned
to serious boredom. I am now completely irrelevent and plan to try to get out of
here once the guys and the LT get back. The command also got two more people
out here from San Diego (one had an operation and couldn't come out initially),
so they probably don't need us even from a "numbers" standpoint. They have been
sending some people home. I was having dinner with the admin Chief who thought
that the CO was pretty good about sending people home if necessary.
John Sends to Rusty:

On behalf of Joe, let me thank you for your contribution to Joe's
finances! I know he appreciates that.

John Higdon

Joe sez <with a confused look> :
Uh. This sounds good, but I have no idea what you're talking about. Did I miss
something? <sheepish grin>

This comes from Larry:

At 3:01 PM +0100 4/11/03, Talbot CEC Joseph E wrote:
>  Oh, I got your SMS message, did you get my reply?

Sadly, no. I will not send you more for fear that ch-ching-ular might
bill you big bucks for them. When you get back stateside, I would
suggest you enlist the aid of an obnoxious "problem solver" TV
reporter, and play up how the big nasty company screwed over our
brave fighting troupes. If they don't give you any relief on the
bill, at least they might get the publicity they so richly deserve.
As the Iraqi Information Minister (currently on administrative leave)
used to say; "God will roast their stomachs in hell!"

Joe Sez:
Yeah, that's sort of how I intend to handle it. These days companies can barely
handle basic day to day operations, let alone deal with the needs of CUSTOMERS!
Even if they had their shit together (which I can assure you they don't), I'm sure
that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Perhaps if somebody
(possibly an employee) could "leak" to me an email address of somebody very high up,
or maybe I could get it from the stockholder info web page, I could embarass them.
Or maybe somebody at the company (who you could never get to) might actually care.
No. That's silly.

Larry goes on:
It occurs to me you may know nothing of the amusement the Iraqi I.M.
has been providing in daily briefings to us, up until a few days ago
when he sorta stopped showing up for work. I miss him already. (He
has his own fan club site
which I know you can't access, but it's down at the moment anyway.)

Joe replies:
No, I've heard of him (of course)! He is one of our favorites! I particularly
liked his "They are not in Baghdad" comment to which the Marine Oficer said
"He's in that building over there. We'll just go talk to him."

Larry continues:
Here is a small sample of what we'd been enjoying:

 "Wall Street Journal | April 7, 2003
Although "embedded" TV crews have provided extensive footage of the
move on Baghdad, as well as last week's capture of Baghdad
International Airport (né Saddam International), Iraq's "information
minister," Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, in which CNN dryly calls "an
apparent show of defiance," is insisting none of it is happening. The
BBC has the transcript of one of his statements:

     'There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never! . . . As
President Saddam Hussein said: God will roast their stomachs in hell
at the hands of Iraqis. . . . Their infidels are committing suicide
in their hundreds under the walls of Baghdad! The battle was fierce
and God granted his soldiers victory. He granted heroic Iraqis
victory. The battle is continuing on the main fronts. Be reassured,
Baghdad is safe, fortified and great.' "

Comedian Dennis Miller has suggested he left to take the position of
Michael Jackson's publicist.


Joe Relies:
Perfect! Actually, I think that he has quite a future in publicly traded
companies or maybe SBC or Verizon.