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December 07, 2006

Band together or hang separately?

We’ve got a problem on our hands. The latest election has caused some cracks to form in the US domestic coalition supporting the war. Two camps seem to be forming and both are pointing fingers that accuse the other of being dumb or worse. One can be called ‘kick their backsides until they get tired of it and quit as the path to victory in Iraq’ while the other can be considered the ‘Ack! We need to take half a loaf and take a longer view even if means cozying up to crapheads to win in the Long War!’ And we’re starting to see some real hatred form between the two.

My stance found here and of the ‘Ack’ school of thought, makes me kind of unpopular in some circles. My unpopularity is evidenced not only be the response it got in that thread but also by Lex’s dissing it in an illustrative manner to voice his displeasure of the general position here, which puts him in the ‘my leg don’t get tired of butt kicking’ school. Luckily, I’m not alone and have good company (or more like I hide in the shadow of some choice people).

(Rest is below the fold. Modified 23:50 7/12/06)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Dec 07, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

November 26, 2006

The Garden Shed of Argghhh!!!

The bits and pieces of the Shed of Argghhh!!!

Raised, finally. I tell ya, sometimes, when I see that deposit from the VA hit the bank I feel a little guilty about the size of it.

Then, I try to build a shed. I'm underpaid. It took us a month of weekends to do what probably should have been a weekend job.

Okay, some of that was inefficient materials handling, I admit it. Moving stuff more times than it needed to be be moved. But some of it you just can't avoid. Picking up the 1.5 tons of gravel and 1.5 tons of topsoil at the store and loading it onto the big cart. Then loading it into the car. Then off-loading it into the garden tractor's trailer. Drive. Off load at work site. Then, one more time, spreading the stuff around when you needed it. Turns out fatboy was lifting a lot more than 1.5 tons, even if it was 50 lbs at a time.

Then you have to dig the hole, to get things roughly level. SWWBO did that. She's good at digging. I watched from the ramparts with a 'Rita.

Then some screwing needed doing, so I went down to the work-site and screwed away. Oh, puh-leeze. Get yer mind outta the gutter. Assembling the frame for the gravel pit foundation.

Then, load in the topsoil and gravel, and get that sucker level. Pound in some rebar through holes in the frames so the thing won't migrate.

That's three weekends worth of work for slugs like us. And that's work to exhaustion.

Comes the Big Weekend. We really can't risk the weather too much more.

There's the shed. It's in boxes too big and heavy to move, so we leave it on the driveway, at the mercy of the elements. Finally, Prodigal Son and His Sweetums arrives, and he and she and SWWBO get pressed into service schlepping the pieces back to the work-site.

All right! Ready to go! The instructions being in the box buried under the others, I sit down to go through the assembly process. This things a snap-together plastic job, shouldn't be too much of a problem, right?

Heh. Farking thing needs to be on either a concrete slab (preferred, but ain't happening) or a 2"x6" framed wood foundation with 3/4" plywood floor. Treated, natch. Sigh.

Off to the Big Orange Boxy Store. Get the lumber, take it to get cut, rent their truck, load their truck, schlep it to the house, unload the truck, return their truck. Then everyone gets pressed into service to schlep the lumber back to the work site. Thus endeth Wednesday. Thursday is Thanksgiving, off to visit family! Come back Friday, too late to get anything done.

Saturday. Lay down the cement tiles to support the frame, get 'em mostly level. Lay out the frame. Start nailing. Get the sides done, start first stringer. Discover that lumber is cut to "rough dimensions," meaning it's going to be roughly 2"x6"x10'. They're pretty good about the 2"x6" part. It's the 10' they're a little sloppy with. Knock apart the frame. Get sawhorses. Get circular saw. Get tape measure. Schlep the damn wood up to where I've got a safe place to put the sawhorses. Measure. Measure again. Cut. Schlep the farking wood back down the yard to the work-site.

Put together the frame. 72 nails later, the Armorer is in agony. But the frame is built and anchored.

The Frame.

SWWBO renews her offer to buy a gun for the Arsenal. Woot! A gun!

Off to the Big Orange Boxy Store to buy a framing nail gun. The Armory now has Airsoft! Hey - it worked that way in Lethal Weapon II, right?

Bangity-bangity-bangity-bang-bang! SWWBO likes the new gun, too.

100 or so nails later, the frame and floor are done. The Arthritis of Argghhh!!! manifests itself in a manner not to be ignored this day. Undaunted, I determine that at least the finagle-danged floor of the shed will get finished on this day. 48 pan-head screws and 8 lag screws later, the floor of the Shed of Argghhh! is complete, and anchored to the frame.

I ponder my next move.

Whatever it is, it's gonna be tomorrow.

Morning dawns. To helk with blogging. I read email, make sure no one is being too naughty in the comments, slug down some coffee, and head for the work-site.

So, of course, it's gusty. And me trying to assemble light plastic panels seemingly suitable for wind-surfing.

I was supervised.

Undaunted, the walls go up. Then, the roof. There's some challenges there. Assembling the roof required the Presence of SWWBO.

SWWBO supervising roof assembly.

But she brought lunch, which was cool. There was some frolic (or disagreement) over who has successfully hunted the Wily French Fry of Argghhh! which made an appearance during lunch.

Finally, the roof of the Shed of Argghhh! is raised! Huzzah!

There were some last minute things that need attending to - like the door handles, shutters and window boxes. An itinerant furry blob was hired for that work.

Then comes the Loading of the Shed.

And finally, the doors close, and the Garden Tractor of Argghhh! sleeps under true cover (vice the deck) for the first time since it joined the motor fleet. The tractor and a buncha other stuff. Hey, that's what goes in sheds, right? Stuff?

Hosting provided by FotoTime

It didn't take long - but the Woodland Gnomes of Argghhh! made themselves at home, too. Loo and all.

Woodland Gnomes of Argghhh!!!

Do your Gnomes need homes? Get 'em right here, from Murray, Castle Worker-in-Metal. This particular home was one that went un-bid upon in the last Project Valour-IT fundraiser, so I ponied up the bucks for the donation and left it where the Gnomes would find it.

No Armorers were pierced or mashed in the making of this post.

Coda.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 26, 2006

October 02, 2006

On the keeping of secrets

CAPT H points us to Don Sensing - pointing out an artilleryman who can't resist publishing classified information. For shame, Don!*

Of course, it *is* a disease, seemingly. Mebbe it's contaminated spinach or something.. I had to divert my eyes last night as Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes blithely tossed up a slide marked "Secret" as a part of their Woodward interview.

Where I work, we have signs up that say cute things like "Clearance + Need To Know = Access." The Press has decided that Need To Know, as determined by their wants, needs, and ratings desires, trumps Any Other Consideration. Their definition, btw, is not quite how *we* go about classifying information. However, I'm beginning to agree with the Press. I think that all Pentagon and Coalition meetings should have Press presence *and* be put on C-Span, with a special subscriber feed for People In Remote Caves Hiding From Bombs, and all documents sent out as spam emails to whoever wishes to read them.

Heck, I should start up a new blog, completely anonymous of course - spoofing Instanpundit IPs - (no, wait - Kos's!), and just start posting all the Secret and heck, why stop there, Top Secret stuff I've been trusted with through the years up through today and on to tomorrow.

Because apparently, it's, well, like it's okay to do this, judging from all the prosecutions and investigations I see. I just can't *sell* it. To Israel or the Russians. *That* will get you put in jail.

Heh. I don't even talk work with SWWBO, because I can't keep what's classified from what isn't - so it's all in generalities. Technically, right now, saying that I do sometimes classified work is a technical no-no. How ironic if I get canned for that... vice what hasn't happened to boatloads of other people who've done far worse.

All I know is - if this were the world that Representatives Murtha and Pelosi, or Michael Moore or Markos Zuniga *say* it is, or becoming, Bob Woodward and Mike Wallace, and the production crews, and Woodward's publisher would be on their way to the Gulag, to work as drones on Katrina Clean-up crews, while living under tattered canvas, eating only what food they could scavenge for themselves in a savage wilderness. And randomly, one a day would be fed feet first into an industrial chipper, pour le encouragement les autrés.

Oh, wait - that's *my* fantasy. Actually, it isn't that, either. IIRC, it was Saddam's reality. Except for the Katrina clean up part, in case a dazed Kossack, or better yet, DU'er stumbles in from a Technorati search or something, and accuses me of dissing Saddam, because Katrina wasn't his fault and Bush is worse than Saddam and Hurricanes are all Bush's fault (and we Red Staters, too - because if Algore hadn't had the election stolen, Katrina wouldn't have happened...). Okay. I'll stop. I'm out of control, now.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Oct 02, 2006

September 27, 2006

Another never ending post: Immigration this time.

Since John’s said he’s busy doing God’s work and wanted someone to pull in some of the slack around here (wouldn’t hurt if we dusted either) you’re all being subjected to another non-gun pr0n post that never ends. This one is on immigration. You’ve been warned.
ry
(the real stuff is below the fold.)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by Denizens on Sep 27, 2006

September 22, 2006

Killing the music meme

Because The Armorer decided to skip out on the latest music meme he was tagged with by Cassandra I’ll answer it, and thereby uphold the honor of Castle Argghhh!. (Yeah, we know you’re busy doing God’s work, Boss. That’s why you keep us ankle biters around, on short leashes, right?).

“List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions your site along with your seven (for those of you who, like me can't count, that's all the fingers on one hand, plus two more) songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to:”

(songs below the fold)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by Denizens on Sep 22, 2006

September 19, 2006

ry's got a beef. And in praise of Brothers

(Endless post warning. You've been warned.)
As we’re finding out around here, a brother’s love is a wondrous thing.

It’s no secret that I like Thomas Barnett and his work. I think he’s got a lot of the solutions to the current problems and some of the mid-term ones too in his Felix the Cat Bag of Tricks. I get the guy. I get what he says and why he says them. I get his motivations for his philosophy---as would Alan McLeod (definitely) and Trias (kinda sorta), but not Jack Grant (who would question it on many levels given what it calls for at times). Good guy. Good egg. Man with a heart of gold, most of the time, and the best interests of the world as his star to steer by.

But sometimes, only sometimes, I’d like to take a newspaper and smack him in the back of the head. Why? Well, he supports the kind of thing his brother wrote about neo-cons (me being a neo-con) that is just the usual tawdry list of ‘reasons why conservatives/republican are the devil’ with a neo stuck in front of it. I mean, it’s great that your brother gets that there’s a difference, a slight difference in the stream of things, between neo-cons, real neo-cons and not those who just have the tag hurled at them as an epithet, and neo-libs. That’s great. Having a brother have your back is great thing, and I’m happy for Dr. Barnett to have the backing of his brother. We all need that sometimes. And it’s good that where the distinction between the two was attempted (Writers at the New Republic, call your office!) But……

I wasn’t always a neo-con. At one point I was a crazy anarchist Punk (like mohawks, leather jackets with tons of safety pins in them, and listening to loud dis-harmonic stuff played allegro with bad lyrics by Gello Biafra Punk---though I still attended Mass and school (lettering in track and cross country), never cut my hair all weird and didn't wear the clothes that were part of the scene, and really worried about my Mom being mad. So I wasn’t really Punk. I just tried to be.). Then I woke up in my late teens. That chit just was not going to work and was the epitome of arrogance. Only we, the anointed few, who by listening to the same bands who hand fed us some really watered down philosophy, really knew what was going on and how to run the world? Baloney. We knew spit, less actually, and, worse, we knew it and just didn’t care. It’s just, well, rebellion is cool (though I still didn’t have my first date until I was a junior in HS while most of my punk buddies had lost their virginity by that age. Go figure.) and telling people they didn’t know anything while we of course knew everything made us feel good about ourselves.

So then I stopped that stuff.

I moved onto something else.

Call it isolationist populism. The world’s problems are their own. We had more than enough problems here at home. People matter first, philosophy a distant second. Helping people out is a good thing and the first good thing. Whatever does the job best is the solution regardless of ideological reasons--- though this last bit got modified a bit as I got older and learned more, the process often does matter.

But I differed in a lot of my friends on how to fix those problems. I asked the question: does gov’t intervention really help? Sometimes it did. Lots of times it didn’t. So I wasn’t for reflexive ‘gov’t solves it by throwing money at the problem’ type solutions, like Hillary Care. Growing up on Welfare like I did taught me something hard and true: gov’t programs have to toe a bottom line, but Father Scanal’s charity knew no bounds (and he could be viscous in getting the Parish to help us out); the gov’t would have to follow a schedule of payments regardless of our actual need, but the people my Aunt worked with at Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station or The Strand could be counted on to take collections, loan money, or bring us food whenever we needed it ( Another sign of charity of the Navy: Once some officer brought Disneyland tickets on Armed Forces Day because the guy felt bad that a family that lived no more than 10 miles away had kids that had never been in their entire lives while his kids had been several times. Ociffers. Such a weird lot.).

[If you want the rest of this essay, just hit the "Flash Traffic/Extended Entry" button there and all will be revealed]

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by Denizens on Sep 19, 2006

July 13, 2006

Hey! I'm not fat, I'm embonpoint!

Yeah - that's it!

I often disagree with John Derbyshire of National Review - but I'm with him on this one!

[Enter Husband from left. He has just taken a shower, and is wearing only a towel fixed round his waist.]

Wife [pointing at husband's fairly ample midriff]: What's that?

Husband: That? That's my embonpoint.

W: Your what?

H: Embonpoint. That's my embonpoint.

W: That's not a word.

H: Is so.

W: Well, it's not an English word.

H: If it's in the dictionary, it is. I bet it's in the dictionary.*

W: It's flab, that's what it is.

H: Embonpoint.

W: Flab. Gut. Beer belly. You should get rid of it.

H [feigning outrage]: Get rid of my embonpoint? Never!

W: Om bom pom, phooey. You give it fancy name, doesn't make it beautiful. It's flab. You need to exercise more.

H: No time. Too busy working to support my family.

W [scornfully]: Hah! You worked much harder when we first got married, but didn't have om bom pom. What happened to your six-pack?

H: It's there.

W: Where?

H: Under my embonpoint.

*Oh yeah it *is*... embonpoint.

by John on Jul 13, 2006

July 01, 2006

Argghhh!

How'd I miss this! Jim, I *knew* you were ill, but damn, fella, this is taking it too far.

Jim Baen is dead.

Little SciFi authors (and we who love to read 'em) have lost a great friend.

Flip side - the Other Side has now been blessed with the arrival to two Dyed-in-the-Wool Curmudgeons, as Jim joins Acidman Over The Rainbow.

How'd I miss this? I've been so busy I haven't been keeping up with my Snarkatron.

Raise a glass my friends - to Army Security Agency Analyst, Greenwich Village Coffee shop manager, but most importantly - A Father of Science Fiction - Jim Baen.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

by John on Jul 01, 2006

April 15, 2006

Argghhh!

Damn damn DAMN! Farking lottery tickets.

Sharp eyes might correlate this datum.

Sigh. It's also kind of sad, to see a life's work like this broken up. There's some rare stuff - stuff we've *never* seen in the US, except as photos, like the two tanks on this page.

Geoff, yer a mean, mean man, to send me this.

You, you, you, POMMY POOFTER B@ST@RD YOU!

We return this blog to it's upright, non-potty-mouth position.

Thank heaven I can't get Down Below for this. I'd be a homeless guy at a Raffles buffet.

by John on Apr 15, 2006

March 29, 2006

Paying attention, reasons for, #2,354,671

Don't sleep and drive.

Wear your seatbelt.

That is all.

by John on Mar 29, 2006
» Quotulatiousness links with: A cautionary video

January 17, 2006

Okay, let's put this baby to rest.

I should get a job as a consultant. Oh, wait! I already have one! (Though not for much longer, If I dork up a client engagement like I hosed this post- watch the melt-down of a cocky blogger as he gets deconstructed by his *friends*. I can't wait for the moonbats to show up).

This mystical missile/artillery projectile which the US has been blamed for. I've been in training for the last two days and haven't really been able to jump on this.

But I've got my answer.

This is the round in question:
Mystery Missile as reported by NYT and causing a tizzy

My conclusion?

Russian 122mm HE Hosting provided by FotoTime

Update:Originally I thought the 152mm HE. Then I found the pic of the 122mm HE (left) and let myself get target fixated on the markings match. Just like that one. Then, on my own and outed in the comments before I could post it - I found the 155mm version (on the right).

The Pakis make a 155mm round, with the same general marking scheme, though I haven't been able to get good dimensional data (though they call it an M107, the dimensions of the round in the picture don't quite match the M107 dimension I was measuring (which I chose because it was self-referent and didn't require an external reference.) but some of that is accounted for in distortion in the photographs, as well as the fact that the rotating band on the NYT is squashed a bit from firing.

As Tobias notes in the comments (he caught me before I was done with this update), you can make a case the contours are different from the 122mm pictured, I concede that and won't deny perhaps a little target fixation on my part. Heck, when I really think about it - 122mm in comparison is really rather smaller - further reinforcing the 152/155 idea - and with no evidence (thus far) of Pakistani 152mm production... That said - the markings match Pakistani practice, and while I haven't slugged through the deployments - I don't believe we ever sent 155mm guns to Afghanistan, and we don't drop artillery munitions from aircraft. We have dropped artillery cannon barrels from aircraft... as ordnance. The Gulf War GBU-28 bunker busters.

Updated updated updates. Fark it. I quit. I'm too stupid for this job. This is turning into a Wiki where I'm the secretary...

"we don't drop artillery munitions from aircraft."

Weeeeellll, actually, we do. 105mm Rounds, precision fired at a rate of about 9 per minute, handfed, from about 5-10K feet up. But that round's too small for a 105, right?

I'll just leave it alone from here on out, and quit trying to be newsy and current. I suck at it. At least today. To hell with the voices in my head. Feh.

He's right of course. The flipping AC-130. No I don't think it's a 105. But nonetheless, I give up. I'm tired of all the edits and editors. (It's *my* fault, I'm the dolt who typed this drivel and then put it up).

Here - look for yourself. From left to right (the two center are *roughly* in scale to each other, the two outer are larger in relative terms to the center projos): 152mm, 155mm Pakistani, 155mm US, the NYT projectile.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

The Pakistanis also make a 130mm round, which follows the same marking conventions, but the rotating band is so dissimilar as to not be in contention.

BTW - guess who makes and uses these rounds? With these markings? Pakistan Ordnance Factory. Click on products, ordnance, artillery. Take a look at the wares offered - and how they are marked.

Okay, that's the dull and boring stuff. See the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry for How I Reached That (partly wrong before the update) Conclusion.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Jan 17, 2006
» CDR Salamander links with: NTY doesn't know beans about things that go boom
» Murdoc Online links with: John the Armorer on the NYT's "missile"

November 24, 2005

The pathetic life of geeks.

I'm included in the usage.

An email exchange this morning:

From Beth:

More coffee?

please?

Then I'll get up and do the dressing!

besides, you can do a post of my laziness!!!


love,

Beth

My response:

Re: more coffee?

Yer pathetic. You know that, right?

Regardless of my thoughts, the coffee *was* delivered.

re: more coffee?

I'm just giving you a blogging opportunity!

love,

Beth

Words fail.

by John on Nov 24, 2005

May 31, 2005

Training Status Report

Phase II of the Armorer's retraining in the use of sharp pointy objects continues. (Phase I was the Chinese Commie period of self-criticism and the abuse from youse guys).

The Armorer handled a sharp blade with a pointy end today.

SWWBO was present.

No damage was inflicted anywhere it was not intended, nor was any blood shed.

The Armorer has received 1 'Go' at this station. I have not been made privy to how many 'goes' are required before I will be allowed to solo.

Confused? Click here. The post above it has a kewler pic.

by John on May 31, 2005

May 26, 2005

Sigh. When will they *I* ever learn?

What have I learned today?

That I'm a slow learner.

That I will never compete with Neffi regarding bayonets. But not for the reasons you think.

The Staff at Cushing Memorial Hospital are *very* nice.

When you're the Armorer, even little arteries can spurt several feet.

Remember this post?

Well, I'm a slow learner.

Seven, yes, seven stitches.

Sigh. I'm an idiot.

But! But! Nice staff at hospital aver that hydrogen peroxide would clean the blood off of my nice pants.

They were right.

The *very* nice staff sent this note home:

Dear Mrs. Donovan,

While we thoroughly enjoyed your husband's visit today, we feel that perhaps the Castle Household needs some more adult supervision.

In the future, if you are going to be gone for any length of time, and your son Andy is going to spend his time with his friends in Lawrence, *please* lock up all the sharp pointy things at the Castle.

Frankly, Mrs D, your husband can't be trusted with sharp objects.

Hope your trip to London was fun,

Warm Regards,

The Emergency Room Staff.

PS. We're serious. *Seven* stitches. Oh, and don't forget the knee pads and helmet, too!

Sigh. I think I'll take tomorrow off.

Update: As Were-Kitty and Boquisucio point out- it's an epidemic!

The Brits, it would seem, are keeping tabs on the Armorer and RedSix... well I fooled them! The kitchen knife I used wasn't that long! So there! Hat tip: Confederate Yankee!

Heh. Once again the Denizens are trying to steal my thunder in the comments. No fair, guys - I'm typing one-handed, waiting for the drugs to kick in.

Anyway, sorry Boq - not the cartridge, simply the projectile. And it's the Navy-produced projo for the Army 3inch antitank gun, discussed elsewhere around here, though I'm too lazy to go look right now.

Here it is. The hole in it is the official demilitarization action. That is in the 'ballistic cap' part. The ballistic cap is light sheet steel, intended to improve the aerodynamics of the round.

This is a different view. This is a tracered (glowing phosphorous in the base, so the gunner can follow the projo in flight), armor piercing round with a small charge of Composiiton B (this round, being demilled, has no tracer or Comp B, *John*). The actual part of the round that was to do the piercing was pointed and hardened- but during the war they discovered that solid or semi-solid shot like this would deflect when the round hit sloped armor. So, they put a cap on the projo, the purpose of which was to keep the round in place as it hit sloped armor - the 'cap' has a much blunter profile and is not hardened, so it tends to deform as it hits and the actual damage-producing part passes through, slightly lubricated by sublimated superheated material from the cap. That is what you see in the picture below. I can't take off the cap without a lot of effort - and then it won't stay on, so trust me about the pointy part...

Anyway, this was in a very tight cardboard tube. I was being careful (reeeely!) with the knife... when the blade hit the spiral of the cardboard wrap.... which diverted the knife... into my hand.

Sigh. What the heck, semi-gun-porn!

Update: Boquisucio, Commander of the Moat Fleet and Castle Latin Grammarian, asked in an email whether or not Zirconium Oxide, vice Phosphorous, was used in tracer compounds. Well... I dunno about Zirconium Oxide, but he's prolly right in re phosphorous, given that we use red and white phosphorous as screening agents (smoke screens)... I did find a corporate website that showed what mil-standard chemicals they provided for modern tracer use:

Tracers The tracer composition is used mainly in small arms ammunition for spotting, incendiary and fire control purposes. The light produced by the burning tracer composition is used for tracking.

IPI manufactures the following materials that are used in the production of tracer compositions:
Barium Nitrate, MIL-B-162D
Barium Peroxide, MIL-B-153A
Calcium Resinate, MIL-C-20470A
Coating Compound (Bituminous Solvent Type, Black), MIL-C-450
Magnesium-Aluminum Alloy Powdered, JAN-M-454
Magnesium Powder, MIL-M-382C
Polyvinyl Chloride, MIL-P-20307A
Strontium Nitrate, MIL-S-20322B
Strontium Peroxide, MIL-S-612B
Vinyl Alcohol Acetate Resin Solution (VAAR), MIL-V-50433

That's at least a partial list of what is currently in use... I'm not that motivated to find out what was used in the past!

by John on May 26, 2005
» TacJammer links with: No Pain, No Gain
» Confederate Yankee links with: And Finally, They Came For Our Sporks
» The Glittering Eye links with: Catching my eye: morning A through Z
» Villainous Company links with: The Unkindest Cut Of All...

May 23, 2005

A Promise to Keep

Two years ago, I promised Kate the LudditeWife we'd go somewhere for our 20th. She's an oenophile (no, Neffi -- it means she knows about wine) and has friends in Napa, so naturally I figured she'd pick a trip to Wine Country.

She did. She gets Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Cognac...not the wines, the provinces and towns.

Good thing she gave me a little advance warning--it took two years to pay for it. And, since she's a Luddite, I have to tag along to work the digital cameras.

Drat. At least I talked her into seeing the invasion beaches.

I'll see all y'all on 4 June. I may even retain a semblance of sanity...

by CW4BillT on May 23, 2005
» Quotulatiousness links with: Disguising yourself as a Canadian

May 15, 2005

Mea culpa.

I have been remiss. More than a few of you have asked how things are going, so, just to keep everybody in the loop, here's an update.

Ummmm--but first, about Kate the LudditeWife. I've mentioned her and her aversion to the triple-dub world a couple of times (to expressions of utter disbelief), so here's KtLW in Context:

KtLW: "It's after midnight! What are you doing on that %$#@! computer?"
Me [glancing at watch]: "It's only 9:45. I'm re-working my resumé and getting ready to send--"
KtLW: "Turn off that computer and do something about getting a job! Call somebody!"
Me: "It's a quarter to ten at night. I don't think there are too many--"
KtLW: "Well, call somebody who's still awake and get a job!"

Even I couldn't make that up. Or this:

[*telephone rings*]

Me: "Hello?"
Kelly: "Hi, Bill, it's Kelly. Is Kate home?"
[note: Kelly is a thirtysomething single mom we've known for a couple of years. I know what you're thinking, and the answer is "No."]
Me: "Hi, Kelly. She's out boosting the local economy. She should be back in an hour or so."
Kelly: "Cool. Could'ja tell her to call me when she gets back?"
Me: "Sure."
Kelly: "Thanks. Toodles."
Me: " 'Bye."

One hour later.

KtLW [exiting garage]: "Get the packages out of the trunk. Did anybody call?"
Me: "Kelly. She'd like you to give her a call."
KtLW: "What were her exact words?"
Me: "Uhhh--'Is Kate home? Could'ja have her give me a call? Thanks.' "
KtLW: "And did you get a phone number?"
['nother note: KtLW and Kelly yak on the phone about five times a week]
Me: "Well, I kind of thought you already knew her number."
KtLW: "There you go again--stop thinking and do something intelligent for a change!" *flounces into house*

So, that's kinda how things are with me--same-old, same-old. Thanks for asking...

And how are things with you?

by CW4BillT on May 15, 2005

April 01, 2005

G-o-o-o-d Morning, All

Okay, my Cricket impersonation is nowhere near as good as my Tom Selleck, but here goes...

[*a-hem* *chirp*] [*flawless cricket*] Good morning, all! Brekkies will be served in continuous seating by your wait-scruple. Mimosas for starters, made with a charming asti left over from the party last--ummm--week, was it?--artfully mixed with freshly-defrosted jus à l'orange, garnished with marshmallows that Were-Kitty found stuck to her--um--oh, dear.

Never mind.

Oh. And decorated with festive white mini-umbrellas hand crafted by Fuzzybear Lioness (take a bow, o serene one!) from some latex balloons she found behind the red couch in the library where she hides from Neffi.

Your appetizer will consist of eggs Benedict served on oat bran muffins, so they're actually heart-healthy! These specially-procured bedoodlewhoopie eggs...*?*... [*reverts to normal reverberant baritone*] Punctilious, darlin', where did you say you got those eggs? Bedoodlewhoopies are marsupials, hon, they don't--the sub-basement??! Oh, geez, when? Uhhh...okay, scruples, another round of mimosas and don't forget the rubb--uhhhh--mmmmmbrellas...I gotta go mend a fence. Oh, man--that's gotta be one torqued Komodo dragon...

Geez, Punctilious, chickens have feathers f'gosh sakes...no, no, no--I'll go down first...drat.

by CW4BillT on Apr 01, 2005

March 25, 2005

All, right. That's it.

SWWBO is coming home, so I'm doing the Happy Dance.

And... Donna at Pajama Pundits has The Carnival of the Recipes, Vol 1, #32 up!

:grump

But.

But..

But... This travel has *got* to cease.

Today, I went until noon before I noticed (noon and two meetings) that I had my shirt on inside out.

This just doesn't happen when SWWBO is home.

Sigh.

/grump

The money spends, though. The money spends.

by John on Mar 25, 2005

February 16, 2005

Bad Days.

Yesterday, SWWBO and I both had Bad Days. Bad Days in ways that are completely typical for the respective individuals.

You can read about SWWBO's here. Hey, she posted it! It's not like I'm talking out of school or something.

Anyway - she calls last night to chastise me for not answering my email. (That's related to her Bad Day) We get off the phone, and I go back to what I was doing, which was maintenance.

To shorten a short story further, I bayoneted myself yesterday. Yep. At least Dad got to shoot the guy who bayoneted him. That just would have made things more annoying in my case.

Dang. That hurts.

Bled like a stuck pig, too. Now I know, on several levels, what that means.

Anyway, there I was getting ready to clean up a Czech Vz24 Mauser. The thing's long enough without the attached bayonet, so off comes the John-sticker. Part of maintenance is bayonet maintenance, so I try to pull off the scabbard to check the blade. This is a nice, Predzuce 44 bayonet with a VERY SHARP TIP. And it's always had a sticky scabbard - which I may now look into more closely.

Anyway, sitting there, rifle all properly cleared and resting on the table, I'm trying to get the scabbard off (yes, bayonet-geeks, the blade was inserted properly - this is a spring problem) - while at the same time not wanting to suddenly have the blade clear, with my hands suddenly flying left and right - to knock down the rifles stacked there waiting their turn for the Armorer's attention.

Which means I'm putting a good effort into pulling apart - while at the same time holding together... which sets me up for my magical moment.

The scabbard gremlin - sensing victory - lets go, hoping for a game of 'pick-up-sticks-with-rifles' when I foil his evil plan. The counter-tension I've got going works, and nary a rifle is disturbed. The bayonet however...

It goes.

Not far. Only about, oh, an 8th of an inch too far, plunging the point into the knuckle of my right index finger. Who'da thunk that particular body part was so well supplied with blood? *I* certainly didn't!

This morning, it's a little, tiny dink. Hurts like hell though, since apparently it wasn't my Herculean effort at stopping the bayonet that worked... it was the bone inside the damn knuckle.

Sigh.

Still - I'd rather bayonet myself than have to admit that I sent some sappy love note to someone else's spouse... especially after having busted MY spouse for not responding to it... hee hee hee.

And, a Bad Day bayoneting yourself while cleaning your collection is better than being a liberal twisty-pants all wrought up over the fact that someone, somewhere, *didn't* have an abortion yesterday...

by John on Feb 16, 2005