Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gushikawa Castle Pt. 2


Entrance to the path below the castle


ooooh this should be fun


So yeah we climbed down


And found caves


And lots of jagged Basalt...I am not walking on that LOL

Gushikawa Castle Ruins

Here is a brief history dowloaded off the BBC Website:

"Gushikawa Castle was built for the chieftain of Gushikami in the mid-14th century. It stands on a cliff that is 50 meters high. The castle has two enclosures and a natural cave called sufuchimi, which leads to the sea. Some pieces of celadon from the 13th and 14th centuries were found in the castle ruins pointing to the possibility of Okinawa having had trade relations with Southeast Asian countries. The site is considered as an important Okinawan cultural asset."

Here are the pics from the castle:


What use to be the entrance to the castle


Remnants of the Castle Walls


Another pic of the walls, FASCINATING!!!


A pic from the castle overlooking the sea.

Beach Park

Here are the pics from the beach park somewhere near Naha Airport LOL....


The Beach


Have to get ur feet wet sometimes


Hmm...contemplating my next photo


Lori looking for her next one...


Dunno who this couple was, but they made for a cute natural photo

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gate Sentry Qualified

Well yesterday I didn't get a chance to write before bed due to my immersion in playing my PS3 so I figure I would write this morning after a nice morning of gun powder, cordite, and Red Bull...In case you are wondering what the hell that means, I got up this morning and went to the range at the base and since they finally got a corpsman for medical standby, I was able to shoot :) Nothing like that smell first thing in the morning...

So yesterday I go into work, and finally take my Gate Sentry Qualification Board. The board consisted of my now THREE watch commanders and my new FTO. I basically sat there while they did a round robin of questions from the PQS book...I did fairly well and only missed 4 questions, so they qualified me, and it wasn't nearly as hard as I had anticipated.

I was assigned to go stand gate sentry with another guy from my shift, but he had his armorer board so I was sent to one of the posts alone for the first time since I got here in October...

Pretty much nothing to it...Take one of our EV's and drive to the post and sit there for 4 hours until the next watch comes, RTB and turn in the EV and go home.

This particular post had I known I was going ahead of time, I would have taken my laptop and watched a movie to keep myself entertained, but I get there and all I have is my Reader's Digest, the SOP binder, and some papers to file in my binder...I managed to keep myself busy till the next watch came so it wasn't so bad, just boring LOL.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Out and About....

After grocery shopping today, we decided that we would again hop in the car with our cameras and take off on an adventure around the island...This time around we decided just to drive on the side roads and of course doing so we got lost...THAT WAS THE POINT. So here are some pics from today's adventures


First off who would have thunk we
would see a Parrot just loungin outside a hotel?


Moon Beach....SO AWESOME!!!! This Island
Has nice beaches EVERYWHERE!!!


Now I dunno Japanese, but I thinks I can
figure this one out...UNLIKE SOMEONE!!!



A view from a hilltop overlooking one of the many
cities spread out throughout Okinawa...


I know Okinawa USE to be a Volcanic Island EONS
ago, but who would have thunk I would get to see an
old Lava Flow like this up close.


Then of course Lori taking something I said
the wrong way and the look on her face LMAO


Lori the RTARD


And a pic of the local wildlife...Crab People...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pics from Work...



Ok since I am bored and have nothing to write about here are some pics from work...Enjoy


Me getting ready to go Boating...

HSB 108 coming alongside


Rollin in the Humvee


Hee hee hee don't mess with this cop!!!






Monday, December 15, 2008

PICS FROM OKUMA TRIP!!!


Here they are pics from our trip to Okuma Resort for our 6 year anniversary




YES THAT MEANS YOU!!!!!!!!! IS OUR BEACH NO CAN HAZ


OUR PRIVATE CABIN W/GOLF CART


OUR CHARIOT CART


LOVED THE WAVES OVER THE ROCKS!!!


OUR PRIVATE BEACH...KEEP OUT!!!


SUNBEAM


DOIN WHAT WE DO BEST

Sunday, December 14, 2008

6 Years....Happy Anniversary

So it has been 6 years now since Lori and I were married...Where does the time go? After reading her blog she pretty much summed it up in her blog...Traveling together, Military separations, following our dreams, doing fun stuff together.

Here it is 6 years later (Sorta) and tomorrow we will be leaving to a private cabin at the Okuma Resort on the Northwest end of the island to celebrate our six years of adventures. Pretty nice to end up on a tropical island between the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean where every day is like summer. We have a private cabin, on a private beach, and to add on top of that, a private golf cart...which will give Lori a chance to finally drive. There is also recreational watercraft, fine dining, and most importantly, due to my days off falling on Sunday and Monday and the fact that our cabin is isolated, we are not as likely to run into obnoxious little brats while we soak up the sun and try to enjoy ourselves.

Tomorrow is definitely going to rock.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

GIANT BUGS!!!!

So yesterday at Camp Shields, my partner and I were walking over to the Shoppette to get some sodas and something to eat. Suddenly he jumped back and said "OH HELL NO!" I looked down to see what had freaked him out and saw this giant praying mantis...It had to have been roughly 6inches long and was quite the fast, stubborn, and defensive thing...So we proceeded to annoy it by taking pictures.


A Shot looking dead on at it


A shot of it getting ready to attack the camera LOL

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rollin Code 3....

Ok so today was the usual day at Camp Shield's Post. Go into work, arm up, run RADAR most of the day, then check ID's for the last 2-3 hours of shift and then go home...Well today started going as planned up until right before it was time to leave...

We were sitting in our office when we heard sirens...Not unusual for Okinawa considering drivers always running into each other (nother story for nother time) This time, the sirens were getting louder and closer, then next thing we know we see a fire truck appear at our gate...Lights, Sirens the whole 9 yards.

Before he can make it through the gate, the adrenaline kicks in and I am running across the street to my Tonka Truck (Patrol Vehicle) and in doing so manage to drop my radio. I pick my radio up and hop in my truck and hit my lights, code lights, and start backing out of my parking spot....Damn I knew I should've backed in earlier. The truck roars by me as I am backing out and getting turned around.

I hit the siren and horn and am off to catch up...Now on C/S there is a hill that goes up into housing, so I have to play catch up and then struggle to keep up...Then of course I lose sight of the fire truck...I know how do you lose sight of something that big and red with lights and siren right? Out of the corner of my eye I catch his code lights and finally catch up behind him.

We wind our way through housing until we make it to where the call came from. I get the info from the call and check to see if I am needed and then head back down to the station. I got back as the other shift was arriving so it was time to download and go home, the adrenaline didn't wear off till about an hour later when I had gotten home and started to relax.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bored....Time for a change of job pace

So today at work I was assigned to Tengen Pier with another one of my fellow patrolman. Tengen Pier is only manned when a ship is in port and basically we sit out there staring at the water in a Humvee mounted with an M-60 Medium Machine Gun.\

I spend five of my eight hours in the back of the humvee reading the book "Dreamland" which is a fictious book about Black Projects and Area 51. Then the last two hours were spent sitting in the guard shack at the front of the pier to check ID's of personnel going to the ship...Whooo hoo. Our relief finally came and then we took off back to the station.

I get back and am hit up by one of my watch commanders about going to "flightline" Funny my partner and I had been discussing that earlier in the day...Basically I am sent temporary assigned to the Air Force 18th Security Forces and I work Law Enforcement with them...HOLY SHIT SIGN ME UP :) hell I will go for a year not just 6 months :)

I am finally going to get my wish at doing actual law enforcement...Not that I don't mind the easy job I have now, I am bored and restless (yeah I know "ALREADY???") and doing law enforcement is what I signed up for so now I will get my chance....Just a matter of when.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Okinawa Pictures

FINALLY PICTURES!!!!


Sunset over the South China Sea


GECKOS GECKOS EVERYWHERE!!!!


MANTA RAYS!!!...
One of the few places in the world that you can see them
In and out of Captivity


SEA TURTLES!!!


DOLPHINS!!!


Gorgeous Lagoon on Henza Island


US Naval Facility White Beach....Where I work,
Rough Life right?


Burial Tombs (Ancient and Modern) can be found ALL over the island,
very sacred place for the Japanese.


Creepy Caves litter the island as well, used by
Okinawans and Japanese soldiers during WWII
some are said to be haunted

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tonka Trucks....



Since I got here I have been hesitant about driving any of our emergency vehicles given the fact that we don't have standard police cruisers but rather Mazda Titans that look like old Tonka Truck toys. They are big, bulky, and noisy and diesels. So when doing patrol, I would either:

A. Pull the "I am not EVOC qualified and cannot drive.
B. I would check out a pickup truck w/no light bar.

Today circumstances dictated that I HAD to drive one to deliver a weapon to our watchstanders to take to a pier because we had a ship coming in at the last minute. I grabbed the key and off I went.

Started the truck, put it in drive and found it rather odd that this truck actually drove like a standard car...Not to mention it had ALL the cool gadgets and widgets you find in a civilian Police Cruiser, so yeah it was fully loaded :) and a lot of fun to drive. The only thing that sucked was when I checked it out, I was in a hurry and didn't check the gas, so I had to make a stop on another base to get gas and then drive it all the way back to the precinct, and drop it and the gun off before I could go home, so I got home later than I had planned, but what can you do?

Me with my Tonka Truck

PULL OVER!!!

Today I was assigned to stand post at Camp Shields which is a Navy Seabee base here on Okinawa. Normally the watch consists of 8 hours of boredom doing nothing but helping our Japanese Security and watching the gate from the comfort of our guard shack...Oh and the occasional helping check ID's...Some people would kill for a job like that...Me I find it BORING!!!

I was told that one of the guys knows how to operate the RADAR Gun...UH OH, Eddie is about to find a new toy to play with and a way to kill the day's boredom. Once my partners shows me how to setup and run the gun, I am off...

I set up in front of the front guard shack and start clocking cars coming in, tee hee hee this is FUN!!! I don't get any speeders because we already have a RADAR telling them their speed, and of course I am in front of them with my RADAR gun. So I switch from there to the adjacent parking spaces where I nab my first speeder of the day...Gotta love the loudspeaker (PULL OVER) 36kph in a 15kph zone. With the help of my Japanese counterpart I issue a ticket and send him on his way, then I get another car...Soon I discover that I am not getting people on the inbound lane...However on the outbound I noticed people tend to accelerate rather quickly in what is still 15kph...I move to a better intercept point and its game on...

Sure enough I start getting them one by one coming out, this time I have to be quick on the gun and the PA, I issue a couple more tickets and several warnings...I finally found something I like to do (Run RADAR not write tickets) So this went on for about 4 hours and I managed to piss off a couple drivers, one crumpled his ticket and threw it on the floor and one I am sure her daughter thinks I am just this awful guy because mommy said "I wouldn't let her turn the car back on." (Standard procedure is to have the driver turn off the car, remove the keys from the ignition and then place them on the dash)

That was pretty much it for my day, hopefully I will get more practice working RADAR and doing more traffic enforcement.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Helping Hand...

So today I was on my way to work, and I was in a line of cars waiting at an intersection. I see the light up ahead is a red light. The van in front of our line for some reason only known to that driver decides to go through the light anyway I see a car out of nowhere (which has the right of way) coming from the left on the cross street. Now it appeared they were just going to miss each other...

At that point things kind of slowed down and I watched as the two vehicles impacted with a loud bang and then a screeching stop. Our light goes green and people start moving. I get to the intersection and pull off to render assistance, as others just pass completely oblivious to what had just happened.

I go to the van first and am assured by the driver and passengers that they are ok. I then go to the little white car and find that its driver is not so lucky. At first it didn't appear as if she was moving, but once we got the car door open she was coming to. I ask her if she is ok and tell her that I know first aid and will help her. Don't think she understood.

I climb into the backseat and do the best I can to stabilize her neck until the paramedics arrive. Fortunately some of the bystanders understood english and told her to quit moving. The medics were on scene within minutes and started tending to the woman.

I stand around and wait for the JP's (Japanese Police) as I am thanked by several Okinawans for stopping to help. The JP's arrive and with a brief struggle of the language barrier and then the help of an interpreter (via phone) I am able to give them my side of the story and then head off to work.

I am kind of taken back by the whole thing in what I saw, there was maybe one other person who stopped briefly to help but everyone else kept on driving....I am not sure if it is a cultural thing or what but it just left me kind of puzzled.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thoughts on Sushi

Ok, so I have been here for just over two weeks, and since I have gotten here I have had the opportunity to try various sushi dishes made fresh and served at the comissary on Kadena AFB. Now I must say, before I got here, I was hesitant about eating sushi because well some of it is actually Sashimi (Raw Fish) so I decided that I would start off kind of small and go from there. The first sushi I tried here was a cream cheese and some kind of sea creature or imatation thereof, and it was actually pretty good. I decided to get a little bolder and try sashimi, well unfortunately the first time around I bought it and ate part of it but didn't finish the rest so I ended up tossing it in the trash. Today I got to the comissary and decided to buy a couple different dishes, one was Summer rolls (wasn't all that great) and the other was sashimi...Now I didn't read exactly what was in it (would spoil the surprise) but I must say it was unlike anything I had ever tasted before, so I scarfed it down pretty quick and LOVED it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

First Adventure

Ok after today's boring ass boat drills, I finally got out and drove, no particular intention or direction, just get in my car and go...The first place I ended up was at the end of a dirt road where there was a trail and on my right was a coral beach and on my left was some creepy cave...

I chose to take the path to the beach. Finding it fairly secluded I broke out my camera and started taking pics of hermit crabs and shells and the city across the water where I had driven from...Out of nowhere this local appears and with a little bit of trying to understand each other he told me about a beach around the corner I could wade out to...Lets see I have my snorkel gear, and my camera gear...Ah hell with it, I started to walk and got around the corner finding that the coral is too slippery and I wasn't going to risk my camera or gear so I went back to the beach.

I decide I have had enough of the beach and then head up to the cave...There is another guy (different person) looking at the same thing. We kinda break the language barrier and neither of us can figure out what the cave is, other than there is a shrine in front of it...Old Burial tomb...perhaps...Well we look down into the mouth of the cave and he gestures me to go in...I shake my head and motion him first...We decide we are going to go together (Strength in numbers) we start to go in but realize neither has a light and it is PITCH BLACK (cue creepy horror music) and it got VERY COLD ok both of us are starting to get creeped out, so we decide it is best to go no further. We chat for a bit (best we could) and then part ways.

The next hour I find myself just driving down the hwy over a couple bridges making stops along the way taking pictures :) At one point I come to the end of a road where I have to execute a 50pt turn to turn around...HOLY SHIT!!! I go the other way and come to a beach where I took pictures of a bunch of crabs LOL

My last stop brought me back to base where I went to the beach and took pictures of the sunset...Finally got those pictures, it has been a hectic week and it was nice to get out today :)

Of course my adventure had started during the boat drills where I got to ride in the humvee and man the M60 Machine Gun :-P (See new pics) That was cooooool

Now I am in my room with a REALLY nasty sunburn and headache LOL but it was WORTH IT :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I haz car will travel

Ok, yesterday the plans to get the car I wanted went to hell so I had to come up with one that was a little more reasonable and within my price range...Today I picked up said car that I mentioned in my previous blog entry...Now I was a little dismayed to find out that this car cosmetically is UGLY as sin, but runs actually quite well and the A/C is FUCKING COLD (Definitely a good selling point)

I met up with the owner and was a little unsure where the bank was (needed the cabbage to pay for the car) so I had the guy drive us over to the bank...This would give me a feel for the car and a chance to feel and listen to it w/o getting distracted.

Turns out by the time we got there, the bank was closed...WTF FAIL!!! Ok so much for getting the total amount of cash needed out at once...So we head over to the ATM...It turns out that I am limited to a set amount that I can withdraw each day (DAMN IT!!!) so we finally settle on the max amount of cash and the rest as a check...Good to go payment taken care of...

We head over to USO to get the paperwork done and it turns out I need a copy of my orders, and also a Japanese letter of attorney (Don't ask) neither of which we had...FUCK!!!

Back to HQ for us...Well this time luck turns and fortunately the Legal Chief is there so we got that paper, and one of the guys that works in PSD was there so I was able to get a copy of my orders...Back to USO

Ok we get there and this time everything is in order...well on top of what I paid for the car, I had to shell out money for insurance and title transfer, now it has the option to be paid every 3, 6, or 12 months...I say to hell with it and buy a years worth of insurance...With that another fair amount of money is tacked on to what I have already paid out...But now I have a car and a new friend (the guy I bought the car from) We head over and drop him off at his home and bid farewell...

Now I am behind the wheel for the first time and have to find my way back to White Beach (where my barracks are) fortunately I have another shipmate with me and he reads off my right and left turns as we make our way back...We actually made it back w/o getting lost. Of course the whole trip back, I am scared shitless, it is rainy, the roads are slick, and it is getting dark, not to mention first time out actually driving more than a block from the base.

We made it back and I come to discover that making a turn into a parking spot is going to require some practice but hey its a start.

Speaking of driving, tomorrow and Wed, I get to learn how to drive and maneuver boats for my Harbor Security Class, hopefully it is nice out on the water tomorrow WHOO HOO :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

First Week on the Island completed

Well, here I am exactly a week later from the day I arrived on Okinawa. My check-in is complete with the exception of meeting the CMC, CSO, and CO tomorrow...Should be fun...They are the last three that I have to check in with.

On another twist of events it turns out I won't be able to get the SUV that I wanted so badly to drive around in for the next three years due to lack of fundage and the falling through of Plan A, B, and C...Talk about bad luck and timing...But I will be getting a car tomorrow so I won't have to wait till next weekend which would have been the case for the SUV...Now I can FINALLY get around the island YAY!!! Oh and the car gets better mileage LOL I promise pics will come once I get the cable to my camera (For those of you who have been asking)

So lets see what did I do today...Slept in late :) Kinda lounged around my room and then discovered in fact the pool across the street is in fact open, so I went and took a swim, I thinks thats where I will be spending A LOT of my time now until I get into base housing and Lori gets here, then we both will probably spend A LOT of time down here.

I am finding that despite being isolated from the rest of the world, White Beach seems to be a really nice and quiet place with very very few people, hell there was only one other person at the pool besides me. There is also a restaurant here called Naps and it is on a cliff overlooking the water below another cliff that has an even better view of the water and beach and also has cabins you can rent out...will have to look into that.

Well that is about it for updates, in other news I have completely tron'd out my computer so now it can surf the web, watch TV, watch DVD's make phone calls, and play games :) sweeeeeeet.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Venturing Out for the 1st time

Ok so today was my first day off on the island...Wouldn't ya know it, I was BORED off my ass...Kinda sucks not having a car, but on the flip side I did get to test drive my soon to be car earlier this morning, didn't really take much getting use to driving on the left side of the road and I actually did pretty good (didn't kill anyone) Anyways after that, I decided to go on a little adventure and take a cab to Camp Foster (Marine Base) and pick up a couple things from the PX...

I called the Taxi service and cab came here and picked me up to take me to the base...As my luck would have it, my driver was new and trying very hard to learn English, it made for a fun conversation and ride to the PX because I am trying to learn Japanese as well...Both of us were doing terrible at the other's language but we also both got a good laugh out of it.

While heading to the base and talking with my driver, I got to take in the island. Everything from sugar canes to kids walking to the insane traffic, I think I am going to like it here...Though I could have done w/o paying the 36.00 cab fare (OUCH) but it was kind of worth it considering I got to where I needed to go and got to kind of experience a little bit of culture.

I got to the PX and paid my driver and said sayonara (no I am not kidding) then I headed into the PX...Talk about a crowd, I think I might have been safer in the cab LOL...I got what I needed and then left. Found the Scuba shop (glub glub glub....Glub glub glub LOL) found out that scuba certification is really cheap...Only about 252.00 and seven days of my time and I can get open water certified :) Will have to set some money aside for that :)

After enjoying an icecream cone at Baskin Robbins it was time for me to head back...This time the cabbie wasn't much for coversation and it cost me 39.00 to get back to base...Eh guess you can't win them all.

I get back to my room with my new little gadgets and low and behold the power of BLUETOOTH...I got my headset sync'd with my computer and by paying 10.00 on yahoo got 1000min of VoIP via yahoo IM...for those of you that don't know what that is, basically I can use my internet to make phone calls...The only drawback is if connection goes down bye bye phone call....But it is MUCH cheaper than vonage and no little gadgets required.

I also bought a TV adapter for my computer and am still tinkering with it to get it to work...so far I have one english channel...

So far I have: Cell Phone, Internet, TV (sorta), Way to call home (now), Car (SOON) and housing (SOON), Can't wait till Lori and the Kittehs get here then we can get settled and go on more adventures...YAY!!!

PS: Did I mention the spider that was bigger than my hand that I saw or the Gecko that damn near fell on my head LOL...So it begins LOL

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Arrival

I arrived here a couple days ago after a long and exhausting Trans-Pacific flight from Seattle...There wasn't a lot to see my first night here, because it was already dark by the time I got in, and of course not to mention late, so I crashed at the barracks and that was it for the night.

Yesterday and today have been filled with nothing but checking in with my new command, everyone here seems pretty cool and laid back. I have been taking in the sights riding back and forth from Kadena AFB. Our actual station is White Beach and our admin is at Kadena.

Once I am done with check in, I will be assigned to Section 2 which currently works days, which is from 5am-1pm, but I have to be there at 4am for Guard Mount. (YUCK) Not too worried, because I won't be in my section for at least 2 weeks after this week (love the check in process) We also only have 3 posts to stand as well, here, Camp Shields (Gate), and then Harbor Boat when ships are in. Also I am happy to find out that I can use my own gear that I bought when I was on my last ship, and anything else I buy later :) I hate issued gear, can never depend on it LOL

I will be getting a car soon, so then I can actually go out and take pictures of the countryside, which so far I have found A LOT of nice places to take pictures. The only restrictions on photography are here at White Beach and also on any of the other bases. I have my joint license test on Thur :) too

That is about it for now.