sphoto number 9

          The word bad in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, refers to the Dutch word for bath because the city was once renowned for its bathhouse.  Because of my experiences there—for me—the English definition of the word is more apropos.    
          When I first visited the city in 1993 I was performing a protective service mission (at that time, I was a protective services agent for the NATO Commander).  Oddly, I found this 1⅞ inch (48mm) limestone sphere and its too-large-cup-stand at a local Italian restaurant where I ate dinner.  For two days I worked with SA Nwtptg (name withheld to protect the guilty) from the two-man Bad Kreuznach CID office.  He always referred to the city by its initials, so I—also—began doing so.
          Six years and two assignments later, I took over the Wiesbaden, Germany, CID office and learned the BK office was now subordinate to me.  Oddly, SA Nwtptg was still there.  I quickly learned he was unable to perform the most common tasks (report writing, investigative note taking, collection of evidence, etc.) without constant oversight and guidance.  I documented his failings, but as is normal (not just in the US military, everywhere) he was promoted and assigned to a larger office, where he assaulted a suspect, lied to an internal affairs investigator and coerced a witness to lie for him (resulting in his extreme reduction in rank—from officer to enlisted—and removal from CID).
          I investigated numerous grisly traffic fatalities on the road between Wiesbaden and BK because several drivers took their eyes off the road to change their radio or CD; I got the biggest ass-chewing in my career (from a two-star general, the 8th Inf Div CG) because of the unprofessional actions of another subordinate assigned to the BK office; and the German civilian "translator" at the BK CID office was the highest-paid, most-worthless person I ever had the misfortune to share a room with (I'd write supervise, but she never worked...all she did was read books).  I attempted to terminate her employment and discovered it wasn't possible.  In fact, the opposite was true—authorizing an annual bonus was mandatory even though she performed no assigned duties, ever.
          Not every sphere reminds me of good places, people or times; this one elicits nothing but bad memories.  I guess that's not completely true; the lasagna at the Italian restaurant was pretty good.

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