Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas

I'll be departing Kabul soon, and be home for a little while shortly after that... in fact, I should make it home before Christmas (knock on wood) so long as nothing comes up to delay my travels.

After having been here 8 months, I can say I am ready to leave for a while. The personal restrictions, while (mostly) tolerable, will be great to get away from. Like being able to have a drink. Of beer. Or whiskey. Or even non-bottled water--water safe to drink straight from the tap!

On another note, why is it that contractors try to save $3 today when I warned them yesterday not to try it, and it's gonna cost them $10 tomorrow to fix it? When if they'd have just done it right the first time, it would have been loads cheaper than doing it wrong once and then having to tear it out and re-do it.

A certain Turkish Contractor, Z, tried to save a couple of thousand dollars by downsizing an electrical neutral line under a condition where doing that is 1) dangerous, 2) prohibited by contract, and 3) prohibited by the National Electrical Code.

Now, the certain contractor, Z, will have to remove the too-small conductor and order the correct wire and re-install the wire.

This isn't the first time, nor is Z the only contractor who tries to do this kind of thing.

On a happier note, Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

36 hours of snow

There's been nearly 36 straight hours of snow here. Not quite 36 straight thru--two or three times it's stopped for maybe an hour or so. But still, it's been snowing a lot. Though very little of it has been sticking. An inch or two on the ground; sidewalks and roads vary between water, slush, and snow-on-top-of-slush, changing as the temperature changes. Colder objects (like the picnic table outside my window--the cold air hits the top and bottom of the table) have 3 inches or so of snow on them, but nothing else has it quite so thick.

But now I see why the Taliban doesn't attack in winter. I mean, I knew it snowed, and I knew that makes transport even more difficult than it normally is, but the fact that it's not stopped for almost two days... well, I can just imagine higher elevations must be hellacious.

It would probably make for some really good skiing, especially to the north, where the mountains are higher.

Maybe in 20 years someone will open a ski resort.