Sleeping in the Bates Motel

Tomahawk Village LodgingEarlier this week, I traveled up to Camp Taji to prepare for a media visit, which occurred today. What I didn’t expect was that I would be put up in the Iraqi version of the Bates Motel.

If you’ve ever been on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot tour, you’ve seen the Bates Motel made famous in the movie “Psycho.”

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Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Jim Shryne in the studio

Jim Shryne in the Al-Faw Palace Broadcast Studio.

They say that the people you deploy with are like family. That’s probably true for people that deploy with their home units, but I think that’s probably not true for me.

Working as an augmentee for the Army is a little strange. For the most part, you don’t know anyone you work with once you get here.

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It’s a “Jump to Conclusions” Mat!

Jump to Conclusions matToday was one of those days right out of the movie “Office Space.” I love that movie, and the things that happened in it perfectly fit my life back in my old job.

In Baghdad, I’ve apparently created the military equivalent of a “Jump to Conclusions” mat.

When I was briefing a media visit for next week, the general took issue with one portion of it and flatly said, “that is a terrible idea… just a really bad idea.”

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The Journalist’s Holy Bible

AP StylebookI spend lots of time escorting media through various facilities here in Iraq, but what you may not know is that I write a fair amount of press releases as well.

Any journalist worth their salt only uses one resource to make sure their articles are up to snuff — the Associated Press Stylebook. It’s the Holy Bible of journalistic style.

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It’s All Downhill From Here

Roller CoasterA few days ago, I passed my halfway point of this deployment. Of course, that means it’s all downhill from here.

Last week was probably the busiest I will be during this deployment, so the downhill journey is already under way.

This is a relief to me because I was starting to buckle under the pressure. I’ve worked every day since the middle of June without a day off.

When I worked for CNN, there were times where I worked for 10 days in a row. By the eighth day, I was pretty burnt out.

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