Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Senior Citizens Rock the Desert

So, we had a little excitement on the COB last night. The USO brought the band Bad Company in for a concert. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I’ve got to admit that it was a lot of fun.

The fact that Bad Company is still playing concerts anywhere raises a few obvious questions, which I felt I should answer for you:
1) Aren’t they kind of old?
Yes, yes they are. Wikipedia says they started recording as a band in 1974, and most of them had been in other bands before that.  For perspective, I think that my parents were still college students at that point. That officially makes them old.  (The band, not my parents.)

2) Where have they been for the last 20 years?
I don’t know, perhaps playing concerts in the middle of middle-eastern deserts?  I definitely haven't heard them anywhere outside of classic rock stations.

3) Can they still play?
Believe it or not yes. There wasn’t a single walker, oxygen tank, or set of dentures visible on stage (although who knows what goes on backstage). And, while I obviously don’t have any prior concerts at their prime to compare this to (given the fact that I wasn’t alive during their prime), I have to give them credit. For the most part their lead singer sounded like their studio records, to include being more or less in tune. (Which is a lot more than I can say for a few other rock acts I’ve seen live.)

The lead-up to the concert was funny and even made me feel a little old as I sat in clinic trying to explain to some of my medics who Bad Company was. I think we finally determined that most of them had heard at least one or two of their songs, they just didn’t recognize the band name. In my defense, the band’s probably a little old even for me. (And the appearance of their lead singer would certainly support that… talk about somebody who’s showing his age!)
I was much more excited about this band than some of the previous acts we’ve had on our COB. The USO does a great job bringing in folks to entertain us, but I guess you can’t please everybody. The last 2 acts centered around a former Pussy Cat Doll’s solo act and some country singer who’d been on American Idol (Kelly Pickles?). Neither one was much of a draw for me.
Either way, the concert was fun. It wasn’t a huge crowd, so we ended up within 5 or 10 feet of the stage. (My ears are still ringing.) They played most of their old hits, and managed to make a pretty hilarious mistake by pulling a bunch of soldiers up to have them sing the chorus on “If You Needed Somebody”, only to find out that most of them didn’t know the song or any of the words. (In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t know them either. I had to scroll through the band’s Wikipedia page to pick out what the song’s name was.) It got a little awkward at times because, let’s fact it… these guys are not young and our parking lot stage was definitely not a stadium packed with screaming fans. (Was Bad Company ever big enough to play to a stadium packed with screaming fans? I don’t know.) But, all in all, it certainly beat spending the night watching a movie on the laptop.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Getting Kinda Toasty!!

I'm not sure how this snuck up on me, but it's getting kind of warm around here! It seems like a short time ago that I was freezing at night and wearing my cold weather gear for the first hour or two of daylight in the morning.  Now suddenly, it's warm again.  Last week, I was very comfortable, and it felt like a nice, moderate, Midwest summer.  This, week... not so much.  It's been up in the mid-90's, with a high of 97 predicted for tomorrow.  (And this is March!!!)  Apparently, the axiom here is the March goes in like a Lion, out like August.  On the plus side, it's stopped raining for a while.  It's starting to get pretty dusty again, but at least we're not slogging through the mud or dealing with flooded tents.  Also, I feel obliged to say, since I never could when we lived in Augusta, "At least it's a dry heat."  I don't think I ever fully appreciated the phrase before.  Usually, it's folks from Phoenix who are tossing this out, something like "It's so hot outside that your flesh blisters if you get exposed to direct sunlight... but at least it's a dry heat."  I don't think that dry heat really means that you sweat any less, it's just that your sweat evaporates from your clothes so quickly, you don't notice.  (So, net result = still kind of dirty and disgusting, just less slimy)  Thankfully, both my CHU and the clinic are air conditioned, so I don't spend too much time out in the elements.  My CHU's air conditioner is starting to get a little erratic.  It seems to have 2 settings: blowing ambient temperature air and icicles hanging from your nose.  Either one of these conditions could occur at any given thermostat setting, with no rhyme or reason to which one you get on any given day.  So, I've figured out that if I crack my windown to let in some warm air and hope that it stays on icicle setting for most of thie night, I usually do okay.
In other news, the deployment's starting to wind down now.  I'm past the halfway point, and have at least a ballpark idea of when I'll be coming home.  (As usual, I can't post online when that'll be, but it's getting closer every day.)  Cristin and I are starting to plan some trips for when I get back, and I'm getting ready to spend some quality time with her and Drew before I go back to work.  Hopefully, more on that at a later time. 
For those who didn't see it posted on Facebook, here's a picture of myself and some of our clinic staff posing wearing a bunch of wool stocking caps that a group of grandmothers from somewhere in the US knit and sent to us. Given the recent temperatures around here, the stocking caps didn't seem like the most practical articles of clothing. (Although they did come with instructions that said in warm water, they'd cool you head if you soaked them in cold water and then put them on.  Having experienced wet wool before, I haven't been brave enough to tough out the itchy head and try it.)  Either way, we figured if they made the effort to knit them, we ought to let them see a picture of the end result, which you see below.