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Sol -17 : Only Half a Martian Year

I think we all wish we could be as cool as the Mars rover, Curiosity.  Who wouldn’t want to be trailblazing in a new and strange land, ‘doing a science’, or forging ahead against the unknown. Afghanistan is surely an unknown, strange land; a land where as you may know, I will be spending the next year. I feel some kinship with the Mars Science Lab. Unlike MSL, though, I will get to come back home from my desert wasteland. With all the things Curiosity and I will be learning this year I have decided to blog the whole experience. In keeping with my new perspective, and because counting days makes me feel like i’m making chalk marks on a a prison wall, I am going to chart my journey by counting Sols. I want to remember what I love about humanity, as I have come to understand that I may be encountering the worst of humanity on my trip.

We’re on Sol negative 17, or seventeen days from when I sign my orders and commit to my deployment. Today I worked on my list of online mini-courses the navy has ordered I take in preparation. I got my hearing tested and I’m learning some Dari.  I’m learning everything I may need to know about an M4 Rifle, which is the weirdest thing to stick in an online course, and that says a lot after what I’ve found available online from ASU.  The rest of the week I’ll be learning about the M9 pistol, Army core values and a bunch of other mind numbing but potentially life saving topics. That is Sol -17 through -14.

Also the computer is in the shop, so I’m posting this from my family’s HP. The repair guy thinks its a hardware malfunction, and we can fix it before I leave. The error is most likely in the RAM, but the processor and the hard drives are not being ruled out. It doesn’t make sense this would be a software issue because it happened before and after the whole system wipe.

Here’s a few links I want to throw at you, first is a collection the best photos from MSL posted on the WSJ.  Secondly, here is video experience out of 1969 of Armstrong’s landing on the moon from Space(dot)com. Lastly,  here is the track for the night: Cthulhu Sleeps by Deadmau5

Its only half a Martian year. Todd.

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