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December 31, 2004

2004 Is in the Books.

This isn't a thoughtful, well-reasoned, Post For The Ages. I'm not known for that anyway, and I'm still too busy with honeydews, etc. But it will be an eclectic, if very Armorer, kind of post.

1. If nudity offends - do NOT click on the links with an (*) asterisk! They aren't work - nor jealous S.O. - safe! The double** link is not for those sensitive to pain - but does honor sacrifice.

2. The Carnival of the Recipes #20 is up! Visit SWWBO, whose brainchild this is, and check her sidebar for links to the previous Carnivals.

3. Best Thing to Happen to This Blog This Year. Dusty. This one's for you, Fly-boy.

An A-10 fighter with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing takes off from a forward-deployed location Saturday March 29,2003 for a mission into Iraq. (AP Photo/Senior Airman JoAnn S. Makinano)

Hi-res here. This image has potential for mugs and mousepads at the Arsenal Store!

4. Biggest flop this year. Did I mention the Arsenal Store? With it's one customer, the Armorer? Another reason I worked for the government all those years... ain't got no business sense! Gotta admit though - the mousepad is pretty cool. The graphics for the mugs need work.

5. Best thing the Armorer scored via this blog - well, d-uh, the readers, especially the ones who comment. But the absolute best kewl thing was an invitation to ride in the Atlanta Veteran's Day Parade. In this.

Even if the Armorer did test the suspension...

6. Reason 1,344 why you should NOT pick a fight with the US. We'll come back harder, faster, bigger.

7. On this day in 1862, the USS Monitor sank in a storm with all hands off Cape Hatteras. (Oops. As Larry points out - "Minor correction -- the Monitor did not sink with all hands. 16 men (4
officers, 12 enlisted) were lost out of 62 aboard." Not minor to the 46 sailors I retroactively slew!)

Master's Mate Rodney Brown of the Rhode Island later noted, "We had now got in my boat all of the Monitor's crew that could be persuaded to come down from the turret; for they had seen some of their shipmates (who had left the turret for the deck) washed overboard and sink in their sight." "As the men came down from the Monitor's turret, holding by the life line, they were hauled into the boat. Some that were washed overboard from the deck of the Monitor we picked up and some we were unable to save." "The last to leave the Monitor was her notable Captain, J.P. Bankhead, Lieutenant Green, and several other officers...." Bankhead later said, "...I had done everything in my power to save the vessel and crew, I jumped into the already deeply-laden boat and left the Monitor, whose heavy sluggish motion gave evidence that she could float but a short time longer." As Brown and the other sailors in the boat begin to pull away from the Monitor, Brown notices two or three men clinging to the top of the turret. They steadfastly ignore the pleas of their shipmates to climb down and get into the boat, but Brown promises to return for them. The Rhode Island is by now some two miles distant from the sinking Monitor. After unloading his boat of wounded, Brown and his crew begin to return to the foundering ship.

8. Field Sanitation is important. And requires innovation. (look closely)

9. Holes in the fuselage induce drag. Not to mention make it even noisier.

10. The Armorer is fascinated with big booms. Especially ones that look like this.

11. The Armorer also really likes smaller globular booms, too.*

I *did* warn you.

12. The Armorer owes a debt of gratitude to his most prolific link mates and others to whom he owes a debt - like Jack of Random Fate, the Commissar, The Jawa Report, Blackfive, Ghost of A Flea, Citizen Smash, Pamibe, Cowboy Blob, Misha, Who Tends The Fires, GenX at 40, Kim du Toit, Murdoc, Say Uncle, Don Sensing, Dean Esmay, Brainshavings, Les Jones (they love that Glock Video), SGT Hook (sadly still dark), 2Slick, Mudville, Blogs of War, INDC Journal, CDR Salamander and others too numerous to mention, but all appreciated!

13. The Castle's Conquest of the World continues apace. Of great note is the real, sustained, spike in visitors from China - not just Hong Kong, but mainland China. Apparently the Armorer has not yet sufficiently offended the powers that be in Beijing. Only those areas in white are still benighted.

14. Anyone want to help a deploying Sniper?

15. Gunner asks a question.

16. Although we're cool, we're still not blogrolled by Glenn, Michelle, and Frank (even though we *do* have one of his t-shirts)! We admit the weekly Instalanches that Glenn bestows upon SWWBO's Carnival of the Recipes makes us envious... And while we're on the subject - Michelle has some good advice about predators taking advantage of the tsunami.

17. The Commissar, like many of us (yours truly included) is finding that blogging, well, just gets in the way sometimes. But you fear the loss of your readers and your standing. I'm getting better about that... but not much!

18. We at the Castle are grateful for our most garrulous commenters, CAPT H, Bill the Rotorhead, AFSister, SangerM, and Monteith! We like you all, but these guys and gal keep us busy reading email!

19. A true friend is a shoulder you can cry rely on.

20. The Armorer likes military art - such as this. Art imitates life.**

21. We may add some more later - but for now, here's hoping you and yours have a most excellent 2005. Happy New Year!* (remember what those asterisks are about, folks!)