Monday, February 28, 2011

Continuation Confirmation

I found out today my extension was approved, and I'll now be staying in Italy until February 2013. True, I once had some skepticism about staying here longer, but it seems like every day I'm out in the small towns of Italy, drinking caffe' and communing with the locals, I want to stay here more and more.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Got Wood?

The Kaiserslautern community is pretty big, especially compared to Aviano. They have a huge shopping centre here with tons of stores and restaurants, and it's almost like being back in America. Josh, one of my classmates who's also from Aviano, and I did a little shopping today and ended up spending quite a bit. He bought a new bike, and I picked up a Burton Blunt 159 Wide plus a new jacket. I won't get to use them this season, but by the time the first flakes fall next winter, I'll be ready to go.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back to School

Class looks like it's going to be...interesting. There are about 150 students in the class with 15 people in my flight from different bases in different jobs. There's a lot of reading involved, along with papers, speeches, case studies, role playing, and tests. It seems kind of overwhelming right now, but I'm sure, once I get into the swing of things, the next six weeks should fly by. The people in my flight seem pretty cool so far, and I'm sure we'll have lots to learn from each other.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Road Trippin'

After 10 hours of driving, I finally arrived to Kapaun Air Station near Kaiserslautern, Germany. It shouldn't have taken that long, but there was snow and construction. Thankfully, tomorrow is a holiday, so class doesn't start until Tuesday, giving me time to get settled in and rest up a bit. It's gonna be a rough six weeks, but I'm doing my best to step up.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In For The Long Haul

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This morning, I re-enlisted for another four years. I was going to wait until later in the year, but since I'm going to be spending six weeks up in Germany, this was the best way to ensure retainability and give me a better chance at extending in Italy.
The ceremony took place at the top of the water tower on the flightline, and my friend Casey Bustamante did the honour of giving me the oath. I brought my Grandfather's flag, which made it even more special.

Casey & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
It was cold and rainy, but our spirits were high. (High as the water tower, to be exact.) Thanks to Casey for braving the cold and the altitude, and to everyone who came out to watch.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Like Pulling Teeth

It's been nearly three weeks since I put in my paperwork to extend in Italy, and I've been going over to the personnel office about twice a week to check for updates on my status. The people over there keep telling me they haven't heard anything, and that when they do, they'll let me know. Unfortunately, the people who work in personnel don't have a great track record of keeping up with paperwork, which is why I go over there and bother them so much. And this time was no exception.
When I went over there today, I found out that the guy who had my original paperwork was on leave and didn't give it to anyone else to send to headquarters. So I have to start all over again.
The only funny thing about this was when I was waiting at the front desk, I could hear all the personnel workers in the back arguing over whose fault it was. I just shook my head.

Monday, February 07, 2011


Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Last night was the Super Bowl, and like most people around here, I wasn't too concerned with who won. I was kinda pulling for Green Bay, but really I was just against Pittsburgh because I don't like Ben Roethlisberger.
Anyway, the game didn't start until 12:30 AM here, and Stan had a party at his place. We hung out, ate junk food, and watched the game. But the real fun came when Stan dozed off and Steve tried his hand at stacking stuff on Stan without waking him up. Luckily, Stan's a good sport and we all had a good laugh.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Riders on the Storm

Cortina D'Ampezzo
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This weekend, Steven, Berg, and I went up to Cortina D'Ampezzo. It's a little resort town nestled in the Alps of northern Italy. I'd driven near there before, but we were unprepared for how gorgeous everything was.

Cortina D'Ampezzo
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
The weather was a little warm, but the snow was perfect. And it was surprisingly not crowded.

Steven & Berg
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Even though Cortina is only two hours away, we decided to go up Friday night and stay until this morning. First, we wanted to get in a good solid day of riding without any sleep deprivation. Also, we wanted to check out the nightlife of the town, which didn't disappoint. This will probably be my last chance to get any board time in this season, and I'm glad it was good, quality time.