In an update on the war going on in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Air Force received $12.4 million worth of Rosenbauer fire vehicles last year for their fire protection program in 2013.
They got delivered to Kabul from Berlin. Because of problems at the Pakistan border, the delivery was delayed for 8 months. All of the vehicle batteries died from sitting outside in the winter. New ones had to be purchased. Then they got distributed to the bases. Aside from one getting blown up by a landmine and another’s roof turret smashed, all went well. Nineteen made it to the six Air Force Bases. One has since disappeared that was at a supply depot. I still can’t track it down.
It took six months to get these vehicles put in service, filled with water, fuel, firefighting foam and various tools. Then, we got a maintenance contract signed and executed because there were no trained Afghans to do that.
And here in Kabul, not a tire gauge to be found. Not one, at least on their Air Force Base in Kabul. Not at vehicle maintenance or the rotary wing or the fixed wing for aircraft maintenance.So being an American, I did the only logical thing. I ordered one from Amazon.con for six bucks. It arrived a few days ago. And now our vehicles’ tires have the right air pressure.
I’m not making this up, Reds fans. This can only happen in Afghanistan.
So how is Walt Jocketty doing with the Reds? Is he kicking the tires? Is he ready for the 162 game grind, the long war of attrition?
The Reds looked at Grady Sizemore and blinked. And then balked. The Reds came close to signing Homer Bailey and that stopped too. The Hot Stove League is colder than hell. No pun intended.
As a Reds fan, I can only assume this is the plan:
The centerfield job belongs to Billy Hamilton. I’m not confident about this. The backup plan would be Chris Heisey or a trade or a young hotshot in the farm system that has a hot spring training.
The Joey Votto we see in 2014 resembles the Joey Votto of 2010.
The Reds get better marginally better years from Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco.
Jay Bruce has a career-year, a year similar to Frank Robinson in 1961, George Foster of 1977 or Greg Vaughn of 1999.
But the one I’m banking on is what I call the “Price Factor”. With Dusty gone and accountability back, the new Reds manager will have both free reign and a blank check to do what he wants. The players should know this. Management expects this. And Reds fans desperately want it.
I like the Reds starting pitching, the bullpen shapes up well and I think Joey will be Joey. I’m just not sold on Hamilton. Centerfield (and the leadoff position) could be a big problem.
I’m not a doom and gloomer. Working over here in Afghanistan has cured me of that. We do the best we can, improve things, declare victory and move on. This is a third world country with no history of democracy and a fervent reverence of Muslim. That’s not a criticism; it’s simply stating the facts.
But we got our tire pressure gauge. A small victory, but a good day for Afghanistan.
Bring on those darn Cardinals for Opening Day and play ball.