Phew! nothing like killing 18 hours at the Seoul Incheon Airport. On the plus side though, It has given me plenty of time to Make numerous blog posts, download itunes, check email, and grab a nap.
This airport actually has a lot of things to keep you occupied and is what I like to refer to as "Layover friendly"
Back around 1971 My brother in law took me to see the film "Man in the wilderness" which was a Mountain man film loosely based on the Saga of real life Mountain man Hugh Glass. A day or so after that he gave me a ratty paperback copy of the book "The last of the mountain men" by Herold Peterson.
In my youthful enthusiasm I read and reread that book until the covers fell off. I wandered the woods and Hollers of the homestead imagining myself as a mountain man and trapper.
It is a great book, and there are others on the subject of this American legend. Check them out. You might enjoy his colorful story.
"I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the
vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to
the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and
difficult trail, leading into the unknown to any paved highway, and the
deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities."
I have been reading a bit about Everett Ruess "The vagabond for beauty" AKA "Nemo". He was certainly a wonderful artist, appears to have possessed a keen intellect and a daring personality.
He was a young American artist, poet, and writer known for his solo explorations of the High Sierra, the California coast, and the deserts of the American Southwest and his ultimate disappearance while traveling through a remote area of Utah. His fate remains a mystery to this day.
In 2009, DNA
from human remains found in Utah were initially linked to Ruess, but
the findings were soon challenged and shown conclusively to actually be
the remains of an American Indian. The 2009 find did not resolve the Ruess mystery but rather fueled popular interest in his story.
You might find his stories and lifestyle interesting.
The old Tomahawks Adventure travel gets a new name and a new cover photo. When I started this blog back in 2009 it was called "Tomahawks adventure travel and survival"
Then it had a couple of other names I cannot remember now but they all had Tomahawk in them. After the recent Cyber bullying and subsiquent internet stalking by Mykel Pierce. I decided to update the Name to;
"Merely my opinion blog"
Subtitled "Tomahawks Adventure travel"
That way for the normal , rational people who view my blog there will be no confusion. For the irrational ones like Mr. Pierce, who cant seem to understand what a personal opinion is, I can only hope they seek assistance in finding the definition of "Personal Opinion"before they allow themselves to appear as a huge jackass in the public eye.
And this is no shit!, In 2003/2004 I was doing logistics
work for a youth wilderness program operating in the Big Bend Texas National
I came across a job announcement from a company I will call
“Dime-whore”. The job was to work as an armed security officer in the small
Middle Eastern country of Qatar.
I figured what the heck and filled out the application,
attached my resume along with the other requested documents and sent it to the
It wasn’t more than 10 minutes before the recruiter called
me on my company issued cell phone and began to give me his spiel about the
After a few minutes of listening to this recruiter I told
him to mail me the recruitment packet and I would get it back to him as soon as
I completed all of it. Thus began my 1st encounter an extremely
annoying recruiter .
This guy called me several times a day, every day until I
completed all of the papers. I figured then and there that the Job was either a
really bad one ,and he didn’t want to loose a sucker Orrrrr….. I was highly
qualified and my services were needed – the former proved to be true.
What I did like was the free travel to Qatar and the speed
in which this company got me in country.The very next day after completing my
papers, I was at the Tucson, Arizona airport for first leg of my journey to
The trip took me to Atlanta, Frankfurt Germany, Bahrain, and
then Qatar. I was told that a representative of the company would be there to
meet upon arrival but, of course that didn’t happen. Taking that information to
Heart, I foolishly did not write down any number or names etc. The only name I
had was the one of the company I would be working for.
After 17 hours in the back of an airplane and 2 or 3 plastic
meals, I wasn’t in the mood for too many problems, and my bullshitameter was
pegged. After about an hour of sitting around waiting for a company
representative to arrive I happened to hear a guy speaking American English so
I asked him if he knew the number to the “Dime-whore” people on the U.S. Army
base. As luck would have it he did and gave them a call. I thanked the man for
his help and sat down to wait for the rep to show up.
After another hour or so I saw a guy approaching holding a
sign upside down that said “Dime-whore”, I had to chuckle at this moron who
just happened to look like a cross between Humpty Dumpty and Clem
Kadiddlehopper. But, I was relieved to finally see someone so I could at least
go to my apartment to get some sleep. I
stuck out my hand and introduced myself and all this A-hole could say was “Grab your shit”, “Let’s go”.
And so began my association with most likely the worst employer
I have ever had in my life. This job was filled with the largest bunch of
neurotics, misfits and losers (my self included) I had ever seen in one place.
This Job seemed to be a dumping ground for X army Special
Forces, Navy SEALS, Air Force PJ’s , Rangers etc. Oh, and SWAT team members.
And just about everyone I spoke with had an advanced degree from a university.
I was a miracle to have that many highly qualified people in one spot!
In actuality, aside from a few guys with legit
qualifications, most of the people
working there were non combat arms types like cooks, secretaries and truck drivers.
There was also a smattering of correctional officers and former policemen. I
noticed that a lot of the Police officers who worked there had been fired from
or asked to resign from their jobs in the states. We even had one guy that got
his experience from being a Wal-Mart security guard!
Out of the hundreds of guys that cycled through that job I only
met maybe 10 that were what I would call “Normal”. Those guys headed out to
better jobs with other military contracting companies is a very short time.
I completed my 1 year contract with this company but it was
a difficult because there always seems to be guys and gals around who love to
make things more difficult then they need to be.
During my “Training” I was issued 3 sets of uniforms, a
Kevlar helmet with no head band or chin strap. A gas mask with no filters, a
pistol belt with a broken buckle, a broken right handed pistol holster (I’m
left handed), 2 ammo pouches with no buckles and a bullet proof vest with no
trauma plates, And the most
uncomfortable pair of boots I have ever worn.
Later on I purchased my own equipment and boots out of
The training consisted mostly of standing around on the
various posts listening to the guys who had been there for a while complain
about the job. One thing though, we did get to qualify with the M16A2 rifle and
do a familiarization fire on the M2 50 cal machine gun.And prior to deployment,
I had to quality with a 9mm pistol on a police standards course.
In due time, I was assigned to the main gate of the base.
Personally, I think it was because I could speak complete sentences and didn’t
use several colorful metaphors in trying to describe something.
On the gate I met 4 interesting guys with whom I enjoyed
working. One of the guys, Jon martin, had traveled all over the world for free
doing military contracts. We ended up sharing an apartment together. He was a
good roomie and usually had a few lovely ladies hanging around.
Another guy was Lee Head AKA “the pimp of Doha” this rascal
had more ladies in the year I was there then Kareem Abdul Jabar claimed to have
had in his basketball career. Lee was from Florida if I remember correctly, and
was a former county deputy and army vet. Lee had some great stories from his
days as a cop in the sunshine state.
Then there was Roger Her from North Carolina, he was a good
guy out building a resume to be a military contractor. I admire the fact that
he never made any claims about being anything like a SWAT cop, army ranger or
navy seal ,commando, CIA. or gung ho guy.
What impressed me is that as shitty as this job was, Roger
did it every day in a dedicated professional manner. And later on he went to K9
handler’s school then worked in Iraq as a dog handler for 2 or 3 years.
And finally the Old vet Jimmy Reser. He had vast experience
with armies all over the world and was the best K9 handler I have ever met or
had the privilege to work with. Jimmy is an expert horse/mule handler, hunter
and mountain man. He also liked to smoke Cuban cigars as much as I do.
I loved working with these guys and a few others, but the majority were pretty worthless.
After working on the main gate for a while in the heat,
humidity and blazing sun I began to look around for other options.
While on the Bus coming into work I noticed some M2 machine
gun positions with the guys manning them sitting around in the shade. I asked
about them and was surprised to hear that most people didn’t like to man those
positions or work in the guard towers due to boredom. Hell Bells! I’m an
introvert and it sounded perfect to me.
What I hated most about working the gates was the forced
interaction with folks coming on and off base. But worst of all was interacting
with my fellow employees aside from the ones I mentioned.
In a tower or on a gun I could sit there in relative peace
and quiet unless some A-hole came by to test my knowledge of the post orders
and weapons etc., which was pretty common. I never understood those guys that
have to make things more difficult then they need to be.
It was my practice to avoid talking to or hanging out with
90+% of the guys I worked with. The recruiters who hired there characters must
have went to every halfway house and bus station in the USA looking for people.
Most were severe alcoholics and chain smokers and were usually broke all of the
time due to spending all of their per dium and pay on booze, hookers and
Qatar itself was a tiny shit hole of a country. Like all
Middle Eastern countries it is not a pleasant place to live due to the rules
and laws of Islam where everything is “Haram”. Now, I’m all for religious
freedom and freedom of choice but Islam does not allow for any lateral movement.
I love pork products, booze and ladies. If you are Muslim it is Haram –
forbidden. And if you are not Muslim it is still Haram.
I can’t live under that yoke. Besides, anyplace where it is
forbidden to hold hands with or kiss a lady in public is not my kind of place.
I believe and many of my friends believe that the Middle
East was (and still is to me) a real shit hole place to live. Less than 60
years ago those folks were living in tents in the desert now they are enjoying
the good life due to oil which foreigners helped them find, when the oil runs
out they will be back to living in tents again.
Anyway, back to “Dime-whore”, I worked there for a year
mostly on the M2 positions or in the towers. I got lucky and made friends with
the project manager who happened to be from Arizona. The PM hooked me up with a
sweet gig at the Primary ammo supply point about 40 miles from the base. Aside
from the drive to and from work it was a great place to work. It is a case of
simple demographics – fewer people, fewer problems.
PSP was peopled by older guys, most were retired army or
USMC and were not into the drama associated with the younger crowd. If I had
not gone to PSP I would have not returned from my vacation.
In Qatar, I worked 7 months straight before I had a day off,
then I went on vacation. In fact my 2 weeks of vacation, and the 10 scheduled
days off I had in a year, were my only free time in Qatar.
After returning from my vacation in Nepal, I was sitting on
my front porch smoking a Cuban cigar in the apartment complex where a lot of us
lived, when I saw this piratical looking character walking around. I was
tempted to call security but noticed he looked like an American…..
Turns out he was indeed American – from Minnesota of all
places! I struck up a conversation with him because he had an intelligent
looking face. His name was Jeff Olson and as I was to learn later, one of the
most piratical, scallywag, intelligent rascals I ever ran into.
Jeff had something like 10 years in the USAF security field,
worked as an EMT , rode horses, loved guns, travel and survival stuff. My kinda
After a few months of working at the PSP, I was offered a
position as the force protection equipment tech, or FPET/ DYN4, this job was to
take care of all the electronic equipment used in the security of the base –
easy peasy. I worked as the FPET for the remainder of my time in Qatar, I
decided not to renew my contract even with this easy job. There were too many
Army senior officers that really got on my nerves and also too many “Dime –
whore” officers that were equally annoying.
Living and working in Qatar as a military contractor was a
good experience for me, I learned that the contractor world is too full of
self-important types for me, and I also learned that I do not care to work in
that environment . I’ll stick to the outdoors where the people I know are real
and not trying to impress me with bullshit.
Just FYI - due to the excessive cyber stalking and bullying by Mykel Pierce AKA "Mykel Hawke" I was forced to change my Google plus profile and change my email address. Should anyone with to reach me and discuss Mr. Pierce and his irrational activities you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The other day I was
walking around the Carbon Market in Cebu city PI and found a bunch of vendors
selling Hands (leaves) of Tobacco.
The sight and smell
of the tobacco took me back about a million years to my family farm in
Illinois, My older brother and I would grow our own tobacco and hang it in the
barn to cure then make our own chew or smokes from that.
While in High school
I read the book "King Rat" by James Clavell. The book is about POW's
in Changee prison in Singapore during WW2. In the book There was a paragraph or two on how they local Malay folks processed tobacco the raw tobacco into chew and smoke for
I decided to try it
out myself all those years ago and discovered that the process turns out a
decent tobacco for smoking and chewing.
Anyway, my process is pretty similar ; I
purchased several hands of tobacco and make myself some chew like I did all
those years ago in Illinois. Obtain some
decent tobacco leaves, remove stems, cut the tobacco into bite sized pieces (i
used a scissors), soak it for a while in green tea to remove some of the
nicotine, squeeze out the tea and let it dry a bit, place the semi dry tobacco into
a cast iron skillet, add a liberal amount of sugar (i used palm sugar), then
slowly dry out the tobacco and melt the sugar over a low flame, constantly
stirring to tobacco to keep it from burning.
Once the sugar has
melted and has coated the tobacco well, let it cool for bit, then enjoy the
chew. I am not a smoker but my brother use to smoke the tobacco we processed
this way from his home made pipe (maple bowl, willow stem).
Just thought you guys
and Gals might get a kick out of this process and maybe try it for yourselves.