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December 10, 2006

H&I* Fires, 10 DEC 2006

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite.

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Greetings! SWWBO and I are in Princess Crabby's stomping grounds, Boston. Yesterday was the day of taking the Trolley to see the sights (so much stuff for a history geek packed into such a small area). Today is the day of the USS Constitution, USS Cassin Young, and wandering the Freedom Trail. Or, as some of our Commonwealth visitors have put it (to paraphrase) the "Greedy Merchants Forcing Everybody Into A War No One Wanted Trail".

Snerk. Boston - the Very Old (for America) sandwiched in amongst the New.

Boston - the Old Statehouse nestled amongst the tall buildings

SWWBO is getting all the seafood she can handle. She's actually here in Massachusetts for two weeks working in Lowell (fascinating place itself, as a monument to the Industrial Revolution), and she decided rather than leave me unsupervised in Leavenworth for a weekend (who knows how many sharp pointy things I might find to pierce my integuement) she'd fly me up here for the weekend.

One observation thus far: Boston - friendly people, good food, poor service. How can you let someone go at breakfast without once checking to see if that coffee cup needs refilling? Or dinner, with that ice tea glass? Or if another beer is needed? Shakes head sadly. Especially considering prices around here - you'd think service staff would fall all over themselves to pump up the bill! Anyway - that's it for me. You guys have fun. I'm off to see some warships. -the Armorer


*A term of art from the artillery. Harassment and Interdiction Fires.

Back in the day, when you could just kill people and break things without a note from a lawyer, they were pre-planned, but to the enemy, random, fires at known gathering points, road junctions, Main Supply Routes, assembly areas, etc - to keep the bad guy nervous that the world around him might start exploding at any minute.

Not really relevant to today's operating environment, right? But, it *is*

The UAVs we fly over Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for targets of opportunity are a form of H&I fires, if you really want to parse it finely. We just have better sensors and fire control now.

I call the post that because it's random things posted by me and people I've given posting privileges to. It's also an open trackback, so if (Don Surber uses it this way a lot) someone has a post they're proud of, but it really isn't either Castle kind of stuff, or topical to a particular post, I've basically given blanket permission to use that post for that purpose. Another term of art that might be appropriate is "Free Fire Zone".

Comments on H&I* Fires, 10 DEC 2006
John S. briefed on December 10, 2006 09:55 AM

When your awe of things nautical is calmed down, if you can escape adult supervision for a while head west, young man! Springfield Armory museum is well worth a pilgrimage, and check ahead to see when they might have tours of the upstairs storage area- a fee is charged but you WILL enjoy it! S&W recently opened their own museum for those fascinated by that species- but they are open odd hours. Hartford, CT is just down the road. "Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention,"Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention, is on view at the Wadsworth Atheneum from September 20 through March 4, 2007. The Atheneum is located at 600 Main Street in Hartford. For more information call (860) 278-2670 or go online to
If you can escape for even more time- keep going west to Watervliet where the little green men have a very nice museum to delight lustful artillerymen.

Arditi briefed on December 10, 2006 10:14 AM

Looks like fun. Get some good pics of weapons and uniforms if you can.

Jack briefed on December 10, 2006 12:26 PM

I was in Boston a couple of weeks ago the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. I was able to visit the USS Constitution (for the second time, it was just as cool), and this time I bought a pen made from wood used in the ship. Yes, I'm a geek, but I think it's incredibly cool.

It's hard to believe people lived on ships like that, and the US Navy was more benign to sailors than the British Admiralty was in that era...

Have fun!

dick briefed on December 10, 2006 01:54 PM

You are so right about that bad service comment. I have been in most of the chains in Boston and you almost have to trip the waiters to get service and if you want anything else you have to specifically ask. They will not notice and they make a point of not looking.

Have you tried the Indian Pudding yet?

wolfwalker briefed on December 10, 2006 05:55 PM

Just there for the weekend? Too bad you couldn't arrange an extra day and go down to Battleship Cove. It's about 1.5 hours south of Boston, and features many things of a large, nautical, military nature.

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 10, 2006 10:24 PM

John S -- been there, done that, got gigs of pics to prove it.

Wolfwalker - SWWBO was keen on seeing the Constitution, was okay with sitting around while I did the Cassin Young, I'd have come home single and penniless if I'd tried to drag her down to Battleship Cove.

I know how far I can push her. That woulda been too far, and will have to wait for another trip to that part of the country. Not that I don't want to, mind you. And we did strip some stuff off of the ex-Voegelgesang (the Gearing FRAM-II the Mexicans just sank as a reef) for their Gearing-class they've got up there.

Arditi - they won't let you take pics in the museum. I do have some pics of the sailors giving the tours of the Constitution.

Jack, I passed over the pens in favor of the medallion made from her copper sheathing replaced in her last overhaul. The last time I saw her she was dismasted and sitting in the dry dock and you could only walk her main deck. This time was much better.

It's amazing to think that Old Ironsides displaces almost as much as the Cassin Young, a WWII Fletcher-class destroyer...

Trias briefed on December 11, 2006 01:50 AM

Sounds like you're having fun and that picture certainly captures the old amongst the new as you said.

karla (threadbndr) briefed on December 11, 2006 10:06 AM

RE Boston - have you noticed that they drive like maniacs, too? It's the only city I've ever been in where I got honked at for stopping at a RED light!!! What did the guy behind me want me to do, run it so he could, too????

And after a week there, I developed a deep seated hatred for traffic circles that extends to this day.

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 11, 2006 02:10 PM

Karla - we didn't get honked at at a red light, but we did get honked at for stopping at a stop sign - but that was in Lowell.

Maggie briefed on December 13, 2006 11:13 PM

They are *not* traffic circles. They are rotaries.
As far as maniacs........I remember a comedian who summed it up correctly when he said "Did you ever notice that everyone that drives faster than you is a maniac and everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot?" Yes, yes I have!
I just came 67.6 miles from dinner with SWWBO in 59 minutes........through the city.......who's a maniac baby!
Our slogan should be "Boston....not for the faint hearted!"

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