02 April 2006

teh l00t

The last few days have been very strange. I've been feeling like I'm missing or forgetting something, like there's something that I should be doing that I'm not. I've been really busy and have gotten a lot done, I just feel like something's missing.

I've also found myself thinking a lot about things I'd like to do with my son when he's born and as he grows up. The things I'm going to teach him and things that we'll do together. I'm really anxious to meet him, to see what kind of boy, young man, and man he grows up to be. I've also been collecting things here that I think would be cool for a young boy to have, although I worry a bit that if we have a second or third kid that I won't have collected anything for they may get jealous. I'm thinking that if I get enough different things with children as yet to be named in mind I may be able to avoid it.

Most recently I made a trip out to the Crossed Swords while giving the grand tour to one of the officers of my battalion and at the base of one of the hands is a trinket merchant staffed by a couple Iraqi policemen who make a few extra bucks on the side. They have an assortment of patches, insignia, knives, lighters, flags, rugs, pre-war Dinars. I've started keeping a collection, buying something every time I head out there that I can send home or to friends and family or, more importantly, for my son and other as yet to be born children. Part of the fun of going out there is haggling with these guys to knock a few extra bucks off the price of whatever it is that I'm trying to buy. I know that these guys got the things I'm buying for fractions of what I'm paying and even though I always manage to work the price down by about 20% they're still making a huge profit.

My current prize acquisition is an Iraqi army red beret with the emblem attached to it. At the same time that I got the beret, I put my hands on a complete set of branch insignia, it seems that the Iraqi army was structured very similar to the US Army complete with a dedicated Signal Corps, though I must say that I much prefer the US wigwags to the Iraqi lightning bolt and try as I may I can't seem to find any pictures of this online and don't have my camera with me at the moment so I can't take my own picture of it. There's another trinket vendor at the PX over here who sells old Iraqi Dinars with Saddam's picture on it for $2 each, but the guy at the swords sells them 20 for $5. I'm thinking that I'm going to head back and ask if he can get his hands on a bunch of them for me. For the right price I'm sure he could find a stack of them.

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