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March 30, 2005

Castle Jobs

"Lessee," *rustle of paper on clipboard* "where's the duty roster?"

"Ah, yes, here we go."

*runs finger down list*

The Armorer - Master and Figurehead
SWWBO - Mistress and Commander
Dusty - Chief, Air Ops.
Bill - Chief, Rotary Wing, add'l duty: Scrup'l Master and Emcee
Punctilious - Bedoodlewhoopie Mistress
Neffi - Chief, Fixed Wing and Devilish Rake, add'l duty - Margaritamatic Maint.
Cricket - Chef
Were-Kitten - Chief, Entertainment Divsion, add'l duty: Flirt (see FBL)
Sergeant B - Chief, Hvy Wpns Platoon, add'l duty, Chief, Security.
Bad Cat Robot - Chief, Xenobiology and Head Physicist - Catapult Crew Chief
FuzzyBear Lioness - Designated Flirt (to keep aviators outta trouble downtown)
Barb - Bartender add'l duty: Adjutant & a/c Crewman (Gunner)
Jack - Chief Contrarian
SangerM - CrewChief, add'l duty:Long Comment Compositing, Ass't Contrarian
Monteith - Chief, Motor Stables, add'l duty: Ass't Contrarian.
AFSis - Chief, Weapons Maintenance, add'l duty a/c Crewman (Gunner)
*sound of computer keys* *insert* *insert* *muttered sotto voce:"Dammit, Barb, the list was short!"*
Alan - Beer Consultant. add'l duty: Chief Canadian Contrarian.
CAPT H - Forces LNO add'l duty: Chief Snark. Fact Checker.
"There!" *back to list*
"Argghhh!!! Barb! HOWINAHELK DIDJA LET ME MISS MSG KEITH! Geez, he's like the only deployed member of the staff!"
MSG Keith - War Correspondent. add'l duty: Avoiding Purple Heart.
Bosquisucio - Unassigned Headum Scriptorum and Admiral of the Moat Fleet (not to be confused with the Motie Fleet, a far more dangerous thing). add'l duty: Ass't Chief, Security.

"Okay, izzat it? Did I miss anybody? If so, Barb's the Adjutant, personnel management is her responsiblity. Let her know"

"Carp! We did miss one. Sigh. It's hard, he's always wandering around the Arms Room, randomly dissassembling things - and there is *always* something left over!" Okay, okay, okay... *ponder ponder ponder* Nope, nothing's coming up yet. Barb! - Put JustThisGuy down as "Pending Assignment". And somebody get the locator collar on him. Sergeant B - have the computer keyed to track him and let us know if he's getting near anything breakable/dis-assemble-able, okay?"

"Okay folks, gather 'round. This is the new duty roster - any changes you need wanna make, get 'em to Barb - Barb, tidy 'em up and make recommendations - including for JTG."

"Most of you know I made Bosquisucio (BCR, WK - get this guy a good nick, wouldja? Too many vowels in there, send some to Bosnia) Head Latin Geek (What's that in Latin, anyway?). Based on further input, and the need for Moat Monster Management, I've reviewed resume's - and he's now Admiral of the Moat Fleet. Gottit everybody? Hey, Sanger - Pipe up, man! I can't hear the rocks rattling around in that melon of yours when you shake your head!"

"This is why the Admiral got the job. Mostly he sent me pictures of people shooting guns - but he had a good story, too. Here it is."

Behold the Moat Fleet:

Catching sight of that big happy pile of spent 40mm Cartridge Cases jogged my memory to a project I carried South of the Border.

Four years ago, we found good loving parents for a couple dozen Mk19's that we put up for adoption. During the post adoption phase, we did a visit to their new home to counsel the proud new parents on how to best rear these youngins. I am proud to report that with the attention that we instilled into their doting parents, our babies are sure to give back much warmth and love for years to come.

On our last day of counseling, we took our brood to cut their teeth at the range. Since there was no 2km Quarantined FanShaped Range to be found, we politely asked a nearby Cattle Ranch whether we could use their river bank. Their answer was of course yes. Our Escorts set up a couple Bed Sheets on the Bank, Shooed away the Cebu Cattle from the vicinity and pulled back to cover our flanks.

They were also there to cover our six, as the region is infested with
EvilDoers. They do love their SS77's. In any case, if they'd show-up, we had both HEDP's [High Explosive Dual Purpose, ed.] in the Cans, M14's on the racks, and an ungainly 40/70mm Bofors PeaShooter to back us up. Luck would have it, their only exertion was to prevent the Cebu Cattle from becoming Hamburger - GREAT DAY AT THE RANGE

Couple of funny things happened:

1- A couple of the gunners overcompensated for the displacing 15-pound bolt slamming forward, and elevated the muzzels too high. Instead of hitting the river bank, two of the HEDP's sailed clear over it and reported back 10 seconds latter on who knows what hill up yonder. We didn't hear back of our freshly purchased side of beef, so I guess that no bovines were hurt.

2- Since we were at the very end of the logistical train, we had an odd assortment of Swartklip and US made HEDP's. Some of it was in excellent condition, others weren't. We tried a batch of early 90's vintage M430's which were left too long under the weather. In the middle of the shoot, this round malfunctioned. The High Pressure Chamber blew back the primer, prior to pushing all of the gases up the Low Pressure Chamber. All of a sudden, our baby in a sickly burp, belches a grey pall of smoke backwards. The round goes up half way up the barrel and promptly gets stuck. Next thing we know the gunner yelps and runs back like a little girl. No one gets huts, except for the gunners moist drawers. The funny thing is that during the course of the whole week, the babies' new parents always would swarm around us like little children around a blacksmith, but when this malfunction happened they all scattered like flies. With full trust that the M550 Fuzed wasn't fully armed my buddy and I wrenched the round out of the barrel with an extractor latter on.

Oh and I forget, 'ere's yours trully, getting ready to put one last round down range.


Welcome aboard, Admiral!