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January 10, 2007

Geez -- I'm Famous!

Uhhhh -- at least within a vanishingly small circle the remnants of my old Jersey Guard outfit.

I stopped by Flight Ops yesterday to see if I could snag some TCA charts verify a couple of noise abatement procedures (a long story and I'll leave you dangling for a few days) and the Facility Commander wandered in.

"Heya, Bill! How you doing, compadre?"

"Hiya, Sir -- que pasa, comment ça va and all that?"

(Jorge's the only Cuban-born RLO I know who speaks French with a Norman accent. 'Nother long story).

After the usual rundown on the usual not-for-publication-stuff, he said, "Mac went to the helicopter exhibit at the Air and Space Museum last week and got a book on the Loach. Guess what? You're in it -- a *lot*!"

"Geez, I guess he finally got it written..."

Okay, flash back to Spring of 1995. I got an e-gram from a bud at Guard Bureau saying that Wayne Mutza was writing The Definitive Book on the OH-6A and wanted some pilot input, pictures, memorabilia 'n' stuff. (The aviation grognards will recognize his name, but for the benefit of those of you whose library card expired right after Internet access got easy, Wayne's an aviation author. A very *prolific* aviation author. Go ahead and Google him -- I'll wait...)

Long story short, I sent him a bunch of pix and patches and pins, he wrote back asking for some stories, I wrote some war stories, he asked if I could find out the final disposition of all the Guard's Loaches, so I compiled a database of where all the NY-NJ-VT Loaches went.

We TINS'ed a bit over a couple of years about the bad ol' days in the Land of the Two-Way Gunnery Range and I scored an autographed copy of his Cobra book. Just before I left for Boz, I asked how the magnum opus was coming along and he replied that he'd changed the main focus a bit, but had been too busy playing with his grandson to get much done. Heh -- the man's got his priorities straight...

Flash forward to 2002. Enter me, back from Boz.

"Yo, Tim -- where'd my desk go?"

"Dumpster. Along with everything else that got trashed when the outflow pipe from the latrines cracked."

Fark. Cardfile, computer and correspondence files.

Flash forward to yesterday. Enter Mac.

"Wow -- I know you; you're the guy who landed on that rock!"

[Frey's Rock is a balancer perched on the tip of a bluff about a thousand feet from the Colorado River. A thousand feet straight *up* from the Colorado River. Visualize an Easter egg atop another Easter egg atop a ketchup bottle atop the peak of your roof and you'll have an idea...]

Heh. Don't take *my* word for it -- buy the book. Or at least rent it while you're flipping through the pages.

Who knows -- if Wayne makes enough on this one, maybe he'll send me an autographed freebie...

/end shameless gratuitous plug.


Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by CW4BillT on Jan 10, 2007 | TrackBack (0)

December 05, 2006

A serious blog survey.

I met David Perlmutter (in digits) via email during the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon, while I was helping Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee debunk the doctored pictures.

David is a photojournalist himself, who wrote an article in Editor and Publisher about the danger the photoshopping posed to ethical journalism. He is on the faculty at Kansas University, just down the road.

He's also interested in blogs and blogging. Heck, he sends his students to go read SWWBO!

Anyway - KU and Wisconsin are collaborating on a study of blogs. SWWBO was in the first wave of the survey. The Castle is in the second wave. If you've got some time, click the link below and take the survey. It's not too painful, I took it for SWWBO. And I'm not going to be hurt (nor will I know, either) if you aren't listing the Castle in the Top 5 blogs you visit every day. This place ain't striving any more to be that kind of place. We're where you come to relax.

Click here to take the survey.

If you missed it at SWWBO's, go here.

Well, unless Sanger or Ry has a hair up. Then it can get lively. When they have the results, we'll publish 'em if they'll let us.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Dec 05, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

October 27, 2006

Wanna get your emails published?

This works!

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Donovan,

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for what is, quite possibly, the best blog-site on the entire Internet. It is still lost somewhere in the back of my "brain-housing group" how I found your site, but every day, I make it a point to visit. I appreciate your support for the military, and revere your knowledge of all things militaria. Thank you.

(*thinks for a second, then goes to look for "Dixie Chicks" on your site…….this should be interesting…….*)

Respectfully Sent,

Corporal JB

Quite obviously a Marine of discerning taste and erudition...

For you, Marine - the Houseguns of Argghhh!

The Home Invader Defenders of Argghhh!

by John on Oct 27, 2006

September 13, 2006

Cross your fingers...

...toes and any other appendages (we have an eclectic readership) flexible enough to provide a reasonable facsimile of an "X."

Somebody reminded me a while back that I possess an uncommon commodity in the job market--ummmm, aside from my rugged good looks.

*artfully dodging repeated lightning strikes--and jeté!*

Owwww--my knees...

Okay, back to that uncommon commodity--I have a current gummint security clearance (it's not at the "Destroy This Before Reading" level, but it's gotten me access to interesting segments of the job market). So, I snooped around, found some vacancies and tailored 'n' weighted the resume-cum-cover letter(s) to be a perfect fit for each--Training Program Manager, Project Manager, Program Analyst, Olde Middle English Language Specialist--the usual standbys. And one three-page Crusty-Old-Warrant-Officer-JOAT with a less-than-formal cover letter that I threw together last Friday.

Guess which one has produced the most hits?

Yup. I interviewed today with

1. a Beltway Bandit PM who said I was exactly what he needed for a project opening next month,

2. a Fed who didn't have anything in her department but was intrigued enough to point me in a direction I hadn't previously considered and

3. a recruiter who wants to plug me into a financial oversight slot with some outfit in Manhattan.

In order: thank you, thank you, no thank you.

Now, if things go the way I'm hoping they will, I'll be employed, away from New Jersey for the majority of the year and I'll be doing something I'm eminently qualified to do, using just about every skill I've ever picked up (especially those that kept me *alive* all those years), passing that knowledge along and then evaluating how well the sponges absorbed the lessons.

Nope--I can't tell you exactly what it is. It's classified, ya know?

Heh--reminds me about the Top Secret mission I flew back in The Day. Peter Pilot and I landed at Chi Lang (within spitting distance of a mixed VC/NVA battalion on the mountain to the west) at o'dark thirty in the evening, walked into the Green Beanie TOC, saw the big TOP SECRET sign on the curtain covering a wall map of Southeast Asia and looked at each other, 'cuz we only had Secret clearances.

I told the briefer that we'd wait for them out at the aircraft while they had their briefing, since we weren't cleared for TS info. He got a little flustered, since we were the ones who were gonna fly the mission.

Once we got outside, PP and I laughed until our sides ached.

Anyway, it turned out that only the grid location of the business to be conducted was Top Secret, so before we cranked up Trusty Hubert, the Team Leader said, "Gimme your maps--I'll vector you, so you technically won't know the location."

*two shrugs--two maps passed back to the team leader*

"Okay, take off on a three-six-zero and fly for fifteen minutes."

*okayyy--flying due north outta Chi Lang for three minutes would put us into Cambodia, so doing it for fifteen minutes kinda blew the lid off the TS as far as we were concerned...*

It didn't take fifteen minutes, because ten minutes out, Team Leader radioed his guys on the ground, said we were inbound and told them mark their location with a strobe.

"Can't do that," came the whispered answer. "We're right in the middle of a whole sh*tload of NVA."

"How close are they?" asked Team Leader.

"Hang on a second. I'll let you talk to one."

Oh, *that* was a fun night, kids. Watch a video of one of the night raids on Baghdad to get a small idea of the fireworks involved.

And we got everybody out, too--including one guy who had planned to go further south, but was very unhappy at the prospect of doing it in a US helicopter.

They grow some *big* guys in northern China--and that's no secret...

by CW4BillT on Sep 13, 2006

September 09, 2006

In a nutshell--

--the rumors of my

a. demise,
b. moving into a cave in West Virginia,
c. going drinking with Paris Hilton (or doing anything else with Paris Hilton),
d. bodily ascension into heaven, or
e. finally landing another job

are all

1. True
2. False

Circle your choice on the monitor using a No. 2 pencil. Insure all erasures are complete or you may receive an incorrect score at the Last Judgement.


Since I got that first-hand experience in the mutability of the defense budget, KtLW has been in full-blown Panic Mode--which means she micromanages *everything*, to include me. If I ain't creating, updating, posting or pasting a masterfully-written, marvelously concise, perfectly-tailored resume for every job vacancy in the Western Hemisphere, I am obviously Wasting Precious Time. And, since she intends to see that I *don't* Waste Precious Time, she spends
breathing down my neck.

No blogs. No blogging. I haven't had my Day By Day fix in weeks. I have no idea what *anybody* has been writing about.

Heh. Toss me some gouda to go with this whine...

And why haven't I answered any gmails? Simple. Ever since I tried to answer a query from Trias ("What's 'hooah' mean, anyway?"), I get the following cheery message every time I log in: "Gee, it seems to be taking a lot longer than usual to load your mailbox. If it fails to load in the next few minutes, go to the Help Desk." So, several minutes later (continually minimizing and restoring the daylights out of the screen due to KtLW's unannounced inspections to see if I'm WPT), I click the Help Desk link and get sent here...

Somehow, it seems appropriate.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Nothing much else is newsworthy except that squirrels overran the three churches in town last month.

After much prayer, the elders of the Presbyterian church decided that the animals were predestined to be there, and who were they to interfere with God's will?

Soon, the squirrels multiplied…

The council of the Episcopalian church decided that they could not harm any of God's creatures, so they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free outside of town.

Next day, the squirrels were back…

The pastor and the deacon of the Catholic church baptized the squirrels and registered them as parishioners.

Now they'll only see them at Christmas and Easter…

by CW4BillT on Sep 09, 2006

August 14, 2006

No Good Deed Ever Goes Unpunished

Okay, the thirteenth is officially over (where I am, anyway), so my 24-hour tour in the Tanker Brothers’ Rolling Fast for Victory is over.

I'd originally figured Sunday would be a good day for a fast, since I’d only planned to do some yard work until dark, then put in a couple of hours’ worth of job-hunting on the ‘net. Nothing to work up an appetite over.

“The best-laid plans” etc.

I hadn’t figured on KtLW ‘n’ me being invited to a Polish Baptism--two kids we’d watched grow from knee-high to marriage-height had turned their parents into grandparents two weeks before. Since I couldn’t beg off, I had about an hour of windshield time to figure out how to

a. avoid chowing down and

b. explain why I wouldn’t be eating without sounding like a total idiot.

And if you’ve never experienced a Polish Baptism, imagine an Italian wedding minus the dancing and substitute paprika for oregano.


Kielbasa in beer with red cabbage.

Apricot ham slices.

Pierogis, kopytka, rugelach, honey spice cake…


However, by judicious application of the principles of maskirovka and the addition of some suitable props (i.e., flatware, a plate with a couple of potato salad smears, a mug of coffee) and some compliments to the ladies about the pastries, I validated the dictum that people see what they expect to see and didn’t collect any adverse remarks about being too good for the food.

Total intake for the day: one glass of water and most of the contents of a 20-cup coffee urn.

And, now that I can munch something without suffering the qualms of conscience, there isn’t anything in the house except dog food. KtLW decided to forego her normal Saturday shopping expedition “because I knew we wouldn’t be hungry after eating all that food on Sunday.”


Wonder what kibble with mustard tastes like…

by CW4BillT on Aug 14, 2006

July 23, 2006

Castle Rules.

In a general sense, you can get a taste of what this place is like by clicking here and reading this.

But if you want to be a *real* Denizen of Argghhh!, ya gotta know the lingo that has developed over the years as Regulars have come and gone and in some cases returned. (You *can* come home- and if there was stuff ya liked that you don't see any more, you can always *ask*).

Even though the comment parties have been pretty slack (I blame Bill) lately, there are certain elements of knowledge all Designated Denizens should be aware of.

That way, when you read Denizens talking in a seemingly baffling argot, you'll be warm and secure that you're a part of the "In" crowd, because it's only baffling to the Normals.

- Chandeliers:

1) Powered chandeliers must yield the right-of-way to non-powered (swinging) chandeliers.
2) All offensive armaments must have safety interlocks to prevent their use by scrup'ls, bedoodlewhoopies, and Neffi. This includes choklit guns.
3) Articles of clothing may be dropped from chandeliers. Visitors should plan accordingly.


1) It is considered uncouth to drink from the hose.
2) Primary 'Rita flavor is "dealer's choice".
3) Please ask before hooking up the RitaMatic to the Castle water system.


1) Please do not give the scrup'ls any of the following: Jolt cola, sugary snacks, tax forms 1023-2032 inclusive, backhoes, lockpicks, ideas, excuses, alibis, Parmesan cheese, crayons, My Little Spymaster disguise kit with the invisible ink pens and exploding moustaches, red licorice (black is ok), computer access, kimchee, live ammo, nuclear reactors, scissors, Jacques Cousteau documentary DVDs, or dimensional portals. Violators will be put on the next cleanup detail.


1) Trolls, moonbats, and telemarketers are launched from the Castle Catapult on the ramparts between the hours of 2-4pm, weather permitting.
2) The Catapult is available for private parties on a space-available basis.

-The Moat

1) Moat Monster Chow can be purchased at the kiosk near the entrance.
2) Swimming is not advised. (see #1).


1) One dancer per pole, for safety.
2) The Jungle Room is for Consenting Adults Only.
3) Alternate locations may be added by Dimensional Door. Firebase Rockford has a very nice hot tub, for example. See the party host for a map. It is advisable to write your home coordinates somewhere on your body in permanent marker for the cleanup crew.


1) Should you encounter one of these goddesses, the correct protocol is to immediately offer chocolate.
2) Other services may also be pleasing to the Denizenne. Ask for a complete list.

-Chocolate (var. choklit)

1) Food of the Gods (see Denizennes) without which life would be a dull emptiness. Can be utilized in molten form in weaponry.
2) The Choklit gun range in the dungeon offers instruction to novice users. Volunteer targets are also welcome, but the Castle cannot guarantee a tongue bath afterwards.

I suppose the next thing to do is publish a Glossary.

Hey, it's Sunday. Why be all serious?

by John on Jul 23, 2006

July 15, 2006

The Travels of Argghhh! Pac Norwest Edition, Day 2.

Yesterday the Master and Mistress of Argghhh! awoke groggily and stumbled to the cafe for breakfast. Then, we turned ourselves over to the Tour Guides of Argghhh!, Seattle edition, in the form of Bad Cat Robot.

I am required by Seattle City Ordinance and Washington State Law to aver that all these photographs have been Photoshopped to include blue sky and fluffy clouds. The weather here has been miserable, grey, dank, and rainy (okay, you can put the pistol away, 'k? It's leaving a mark on my neck!)

I suffered the odd feeling of being the least-geeky person present as our day opened with - a trip to Fry's Electronics where SWWBO and BCR giggled their way through the store. SWWBO bought a Borg-egg, the littlest 2 gig MP3 player, FM Radio, Clock Podcasting device I've ever seen. The coos and aahs in that aisle during the selection process were... treacly. It was embarrassing.

After that - off to Alki Beach, where no one was having any fun. Nope. None at all. All the pallid, dull-eyed inmates of the Seattle area were simply going about their dull, dreary lives, living in this man-made hell, where it's so dank, wet and dreary that not only does moss grow on roofs, trees do.

We did visit Pike Place market where we heard Chinese music, met oddly dressed people, were crushed in the crowds - but did meet one inmate who had her priorities straight.

After a nap, it was time to head north of Seattle, where we entered a world lit only by fire, rather maniacally tended by Sergeant B and BCR. The northern Outpost of Argghhh! in the area has a Shed of Doom, where BCR and SWWBO did some treasure hunting. After that, the pahty [sic] moved to the Cutest House, where Adjutant Brab met us at the door.

After some Cluebat deliveries and an gifting of things to Princess Crabby (She Who Traveled the Most to Attend) the 'Ritamatic was fired up and the pahty [sic] moved to the Library of the Cutest House.

Little more will be said of this, as Terrible Oaths were sworn to preserve secrecy.

I'll just leave you with this - which might lead you down a speculative path...

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Today, the Denizens of Argghhh! and other Milbloggers will be let loose in the streets... armed. Many are the circle-printed pieces of paper that will suffer this day, I assure you.

by John on Jul 15, 2006

July 14, 2006

The Travels of Argghhh! Pac NorWest Edition.

Yesterday saw the Master and Mistress of Argghhh! make our way to the Kansas City International Aerial Port of Embarkation, where we started the day with 'ritas at the Cuervo Tequilaria and used free tickets boarded the contract carrier and winged away to Seattle, via Los Angeles and Sacramento. SWWBO was entertained by (and entertained) a small Yuppie Larva named Bailey who was traveling with her ventriloquist-dummy puppet, Margaret. Both were far more interesting to listen to than the self-important sales reps who had to let everyone know just how important they were by sharing their cell-phone conversations. If anyone would like some interesting marketing and customer data for a Ginormous Manufacturer or a Massively Sized software company, let me know.

The air was bumpy approaching the Rockies, but otherwise the flights were uneventful. Upon arrival to the LA basin we flew by the fires in the mountains to an uneventful landing in the land of backyard swimming pools. After recharging the 'Ritamatic we departed to Sacramento, with everybody in LA wants to be an actor Ah-nuld and Doctor Evil as flight attendants. Flying up the central valley we were able to see the California Aqueduct, the straw by which LA enforces it's claim on 95% of the potable water on the continent, essentially asserting that "We're LA - you can't have any water, if that means your livelihoods and towns dry up so that we can have swimming pools and green lawns in a desert - tough, either shut-up move to LA, or we'll send the Ghost of Mulholland after you for harshing our mellow."

Departing from Sacramento (having, sadly, left the Dynamic Duo behind with a crew change) we flew up the mountains, with the Armorer tracking the trip by the passing volcanoes. Until, of course, we got past Mt. St. Helens, where we entered the Seattle Zone, where the pallid residents blink in bleary-eyed fear when the Great Heat Tab appears in the sky and the Air Force is flooded with UFO reports.

A credit to SEA-TAC, we got our bags (all of them), and our car, and went from airplane to out of the airport in 30 minutes. Then we spent 40 minutes on the 1.5 mile stretch of road to get on the 405 to get to Bellevue, where we're staying.

It only took 20 minutes to make the 15 mile trip, once we actually go *on* the highway.

After a brief stretch to refresh, we contacted Bad Cat Robot, who alerted Castle Adjutant Brab, and SWWBO and I sauntered through the Bellevue Financial District to old Bellevue and 520 Bar and Grill where BCR and Brab awaited us.

From left to right, Brab, BCR, SWWBO

The Armorer was too lazy to ask someone to take a picture with him in it. Besides, I know what I look like, I wanted pics of the chicks!

BCR had the Filet Gorgonzola, Brab the Crab Cakes, SWWBO the Pot Stickers and I had the Teriyaki Beef strips. Brab and BCR introduced us to edamame, better known to us mid-westerners as soybeans, as an appetizer. She was correct to do so, they were far tastier than I would have thought for such a versatile vegetable. The food was excellent, the 'ritas worth the $10 each, the entree's reasonably priced and worth the cost. We had a tableside visit from Michael Degginger, the Executive Chef, who proved a gracious host and actually kibitzed with us, taking the time to discuss in detail the various choices we'd made and a few food trends - in other words, I would guess Chef Degginger enjoys his work, (I know he's *good* at it) and has that knack for customer relations that makes you feel welcome, and not just the subject of the latest fad published in ExecChefs 'R Us magazine. Well done sir!

The Master and Mistress of Argghhh! recommend the 520 Bar and Grill to any and all. And no, that was *not* a compensated endorsement. Though I might email the Chef a link, for the fun of it. A good riff from Castle Argghhh! doesn't have quite the impact, I suspect, of making a nice splash in the food section of the Seattle PI.

Most of you Denizens were savaged in conversation behind your back, of course.

With that, Brab kindly took us back to our lodgings, and we await our fun and frolic of today - with BCR as our guide, and we'll hopefully be joined by Princess Crabby, who should have gotten in late last night.

by John on Jul 14, 2006

June 19, 2006

Whee! Yippee! (Sound of Fireworks)

For reasons which will become clear later, I'm as happy as this guy is - gonna get to do something kewl that is every bit as much fun as blowing stuff up! More later, as details become releasable. Let's just say, Blogging Can Be Worth It, sometimes.

Speaking of making people happy (sexist pig alert for Sensitive Workplaces):

Neffi - this one's for you...

Bill - this one's for you...

Lex - this one's for you!

Heh. That alert should improve the click-throughs... Yes Cassie - Oinkery!

Oh - and what's so kewl? I can tell you this much - it involves an all-expense (well, except for the tequila) paid trip to Mexico for a week in July. Doing a very Armorer-like thing. But not quite what most of you will expect.

Update: Okay. Maggie - this one's for you! And if that wasn't enough - here's a two-fer! (Both photos shamelessly swiped from here.)

by John on Jun 19, 2006

May 22, 2006

Yo, MSM-bubbas!

Ry comments thusly on the Jesse MacBeth story:

THe pogue: Makes me wonder what these reporters are doing. van Stanwyk has a point. Why aren't major news orgs tapping into the veterans for fact checking and the like on these types of stories? I wouldn't know to what to look into to double check the guys story either, but John apparently ended this whole thing in 3 minutes without having to do a photo analysis(like at B-5). The fact that they don't makes me laugh SO hard when they talk about 'diversity in the newsroom'.

To which I reply:

...about the MSM, several reasons come to mind.

1. The story supported the reporter's conscious or subconscious thesis, so what checking is required? It sounded right, right?

2. The MSM is still leery of blogs that are not "their own kind".

3. Heck, the PAOs are leery of us. I got into a credentialing discussion with a PAO on just that issue. Who vets the milblogs? The PAO can blame Fox/MSNBC/CBS etc for their journalists. They can only blame themselves if they come to us.

4. That said, there are some milblogs that have good reps, certainly. It wouldn't hurt the MSM to ask. But let's face it - about the last thing they want to do is become beholden to us on the right - because then they'd get savaged from the left, a place many of them are more comfortable with.

That said - reporters are free to ask me for info on background. I can at least point them in whatever direction they ought to head for some fact checking.

I'm also available for photo analysis... of course the process I went through there might not give them too much comfort, since I changed my mind when I realized I had gotten target-fixated... of course, I publish my corrections a bajillion times faster than they do theirs...

by John on May 22, 2006

April 21, 2006

Arrgghhh!!! in DC

The White House (d-uh)
Yesterday, the Master and Mistress of Argghhh!!! avoided trouble with the TSA despite having posted negatively about them (we'll see if we make it back...) and winged our way to the Capital of All That Is Evil In The World (unless a Democrat is President, in which case it is Paradise). At least that's what I learn from the NYT.

Getting Here was pretty much painless. Then we got to Washington, and tried to park. Snerk. We finally found a place in a parking garage in L'Enfant Plaza, after having driven all 'round from Union Station on the northwest corner of the Mall to L'Enfant, in the southwest. I blew an obligatory raspberry at the Hoffman building as we passed it. Those who know, know.

SWWBO has never been here before, and there was much dithering about where to go. We solved that by going to a chinese place for lunch, and considered the question with alcohol laden beverages. Under the influence of the alcohol, the Decidedly Unathletic Duo (including the poorly-shod SWWBO) chose to walk. Reaching the Smithsonian Castle with it's nice Haupt Garden, SWWBO decided she wanted to see ART (The Armorer, having been here several times, is deferring to SWWBO, who has never been here before). So, we're standing next to the Hirshorn... and the asian and african art museums are to the left... so of course, she chooses the Renwick. Which is on the other side of everything.

Espying the Metro, we figure out how to get fare passes (yeah, I know, it's not hard, but there was this nice Metro Guy there who was very helpful and sped the process up considerably) and down we go into the bowels of the city, to emerge a while later at Farragut West, and head for the Renwick. Where we happen upon these guys.

The Falun Gong supporters, showing their displeasure with the visit of Hu-Jintao. They weren't subtle, either. Called the PRC everything but father-raping-baby-eaters.

Falun Gong protest in DC

We wisely missed all the earlier stuff when the High-Muckety-Mucks were doing their thing.

The Renwick is a nice, small, accessible gallery. They are having a Grant Woods exhibit (sorry no pics allowed)- and it was very cool to see American Gothic in the flesh, so to speak. Upstairs, the exhibit of Caitlin's Native American paintings was fascinating - not the least for his whimsy.

SWWBO was taken with this clever swordfish, and really liked this (yes, Werekitten, it really *is* a wearable, though impractical, bracelet) Feast Bracelet.

Leaving the gallery, we went down and saw the Executive Office Building (no Stingers visible) where this veteran of the 1st Infantry Division was pleased to see the Monument still stands - with it's Big Red One. Remember, if you're going to be one, be a Big Red One! No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great, Duty First! Unless you're tired and crabby and pissed at the leadership, in which case the sotto voce response is... No mission, too difficult. No sacrifice, too great. Duty? First I'll have a beer... it's all the in punctuation.

We wandered over the Ellipse, where we saw the Zero Milestone (geography geeks wiggle in delight) the White House (see above). Then headed up by the Washington Monument, back up the Mall to the Smithsonian Castle, and headed back for the car. *Someone* had blisters. I won't name names, but her initials are SWWBO.

Off then in late rush hour traffic to get on 395, head south past the Pentagon, and into Alexandria and our hotel. We're cashing in SWWBO's points, and she's a high level member, so we got a Top Of The Hotel room with a jacuzzi bath, private rooftop patio, and we ain't spending a dime. Hilton is spending the dime. No, even though we're going to Fran O'Brien's tonight because of the Capital Hilton's behavior - we don't think it's inapt for us to let Hilton foot the bill for our stay here....

SWWBO in Paradise

As is obvious from the picture - SWWBO has more.

by John on Apr 21, 2006

April 07, 2006

Cassandra asked, I answer.

Post 2500. Anudder milestone.

Over at Villainous Company, the dyspeptic wench posits a poser:

I felt that this question, more than any other, gave me a real sense of who the candidates were: what there values were and how they thought. The question was, "What book or author, more than any other, most shaped your intellectual life?"

So I'm going to throw that question out to you all, because I think it's an interesting one. And don't limit it to non-fiction, because I think that would be a mistake. I was surprised to realize that fictional works often had a profound effect on my values and the way I ended up viewing the world.

If you had to list 5-10 authors or works, who or what would you list as the most influential? I would probably focus on authors, but if there's a particular work you can add that in parentheses afterwards.

A very small portion of the Bookshelves of Argghhh!!!

Heh. Shoulda posted that pic of Jock there yesterday...

I sat and pondered. And decided I would go with my gut. If I couldn't recall it easily, then it probably didn't meet the criteria.

So, this is my response as I left at her place (others have responded there too, don't forget to check 'em out):

Russell Davis. (Marine at War.) I ceased having an interest in being a fireman, warrior was the life for me. I was in third grade. I *still* like the book.

Robert Heinlein. (Rocket Ship Galileo.) Discovered science fiction while Dad was in Vietnam.

Leon Uris. (Battle Cry!) The whole brotherhood of war thing.

J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) Completed the Science Fiction/Fantasy link.

Heinz Höhne (Order of the Death's Head) Evil is real. And terribly mundane.

John Pullen (The 20th Maine) Introduction to Joshua Chamberlain, my warrior/scholar beau ideal.

Guy Sajer (The Forgotten Soldier) Little is as simple as it seems.

Over at Cassie's I left out three books I probably shouldn't have.

Ed Ezell's Small Arms of the World.

John Batchelor's and the estimable Ian Hogg's Artillery: the Gun, Rail Guns, Coastal Guns, Anti-aircraft Guns, Anti-tank Guns, Self-propelled Guns, Recoilless Guns, Fuzes

Martin Brice's Forts and Fortresses: From the Hill Forts of Prehistory to Modern Times: The Definitive Visual Account of the Science of Fortification. Those three books formed the kernel of the interest that bloomed into the reality that is The Arsenal of Argghhh!.

Heh. I'm pretty one-dimensional. No wonder I'm humorless and boring at parties. No great works of philosophy. No great books of/about religion. Not that I haven't read them, appreciated them, and drawn mental sustenance therefrom. I just am what I am. A soldier.

by John on Apr 07, 2006

February 18, 2006

BTW - The Milblogger Conference

Due to a change in the dates of my trip to Korea - SWWBO and I *will* be attending the 1st Milblogger Conference.

I see a few other names from these parts I recognize, too.

That is all.

by John on Feb 18, 2006

February 17, 2006

Hey! Buy our stuff!

C'mon guys - we showed you a nice rack of SKS's yesterday.

Ry - hide the screen, quick!

Today we're highlighting rack covers!

Wouldn't your rack look good in this?


Of course it would! Click the pic and order your Castle Argghhh! Rack Cover today! Keep 'em clean and dust-free!

All proceeds (we're cheep) go to Soldiers Angels. Well, they will once we finally break $50 in profit...

by John on Feb 17, 2006

February 14, 2006

In response to a (diminishing) number of requests

Okay, since I have to maintain my reputation as one who satisfies a Lady's every

>>hzz. have to *establish* rep before *maintain* one.

Butt out, Muffy...


Off my ankle PG-17c! Gonna strangle whoever uploaded that euphemism thesaurus into your drive...

To continue...uhhhhh--whim, and since a Lady requested this'n:

Gentlemen, take your seats, please, and click on Flash traffic while I endeavor to enlighten you with regards to the simple things which will teach you

How to Please a Woman (Almost) Every Time

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by CW4BillT on Feb 14, 2006

February 10, 2006


The individual who called yesterday's pre-meeting apologized for doing so. For the record, he does *not* read this space, nor was their any public (as far as he knows, hee!) griping, either. T'was a revelation he came to on his own.

All is forgiven, the BCR Labs, Inc NinjaForce® has been recalled (though I'll still get billed, dammit).

Yesterday was a day of toothsome meetings conducted at the rear headquarters of the Central Hub of the War, CENTCOM. And that's all you're going to hear about that.

If it weren't for the 16-hour or so days they work around here, *this* would be good duty if you have on-base housing. All in all, however, I don't think I'd want to live here - and not just because the highest terrain relief are the dredge piles across the bay from MacDill. Traffic, in a word, sucks. I find the older I get the more annoying I find it to waste what little time I have left in an earthly mode in traffic.

Today is going to be an even cooler meeting. Yes, I said that. Sometimes, the topic matter is just so attention-grabbing that sitting in a meeting is worth it.

And no, I can't tell you a *thing* about it.

But it has been *Good* to be surrounded by so many Really Professional People who are Really Into Their Jobs. And talking to foreign Liaison Officers has been instructive, too.

And no, I won't tell you a *thing* about it.


I'm glad I came. I'll be glad to leave. There is a rare airplane on base, though. A KB-50D, the aerial refueling version of the Boeing B-50 bomber, itself an up-engined, bigger-tailed variant of the B-29 Superfortress of WWII. The KB-50s are distinctive from the B-50s and RB-50 recon versions by the addition of two jet engines, so they could maintain a sufficient speed to refuel jet-powered aircraft. They added two wingtip pods and modified the tail to give the aircraft three drogue-style refueling points for TAC fighters.


Given this is the home of an air-refueling wing, it makes sense, eh?

On an interesting note - a KB-50, flight Tyler 41, was a casualty of the Bermuda Triangle...

by John on Feb 10, 2006

February 08, 2006

Heh. The Armorer@Tampa

...where the locals are wearing jackets, and I'm sweating in a short sleeve shirt.

Lots of battered buildings around here, too. And empty lots.

Reminds me of some places I visited while in the beating up on small nations phase of my life.

Update: Coming in from the parking lot after dinner at the Caribbean Grill (SWWBO recommended from her stays - crab cake, pulled pork, 2 Caribbean Clowns (with cute little umberdellas even!) and followed two seasoned citizens into the elevator. The lady says to me, "Aren't you cold?" as she huddled in her parka in the mid-50's/low 60's temps they're having right now. To which I responded, "When I got on my plane in Missouri this morning, I was dressed like this and it was in the 30's and breezy."

To which she responded, "Oh, Missouri - well, *that* makes sense, then."

I'm not sure if I was just dissed or not.

Or rather, if you Missourians were or not... Kansas never came up in the discussion... I did tell her it would be 16 degrees at home tonight... and that if it was windy, I'd probably put on a sweatshirt or something.

Apparently at that point she saw my pointy ears or something and shuffled on quickly to get away from the Ice Demon.

by John on Feb 08, 2006

January 13, 2006

The Armorers Domain

SWWBO, She Who Will Be Obeyed and who is also my wife, is a saint. She's not a neatnik, thank heaven!

She indulges me. In ways that make most of the male readers here green with envy.


Just as an example, lets take a look at the space just above my head in the Inner Sanctum of Castle Argghhh! The Server Room, wherein rests most of the computational power of the Castle, and from where most of the drivel currently inhabiting your screen in generated.

This is *just* the area above the cat perch which straddles the monitor. There are 8 shelves in this room...

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...and they all look like this, differing only in details.

No wonder she blogs from her laptop in the bedroom!

For a more detailed look, hit the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Jan 13, 2006

January 10, 2006

Oh, Denizennes...!

Denizenne stuff is now available, too. Just click on the tile to visit the store...

denizenne stuff.jpg

If ya want, I'll put the shirts in, too. Or mebbe temporary tattoos...

Now, who can give me a good graphic of FbL and W-K and Punct in their Chandeliers?

BTW - if any Denizen/Denizenne would like a nice, clean, non-overstamped version of the graphic, you have but to ask.

by John on Jan 10, 2006

January 09, 2006

How can you *not* want... least *something* from the new logo-stuff at the Castle Argghhh! store? All profit (c'mon, people, it's made $10 in a year, help me out here) to Project Valour-IT. And the profit is all of $1-$2 per item, so it's not like we're gouging here...

denizen stuff.jpg

Just click the tile to see the new stuff (that's the logo that Denizen Bobby the Kidd made for us, BTW) The new logo stuff is in the Argghhh! Paraphernalia section, but you are invited to peruse *everything*. Wounded soldiers who need voice-activated laptops are watching...

And if there's something you'd like, such as T-Shirts, Ball Caps, etc, let me know and I'll get it in the store!

by John on Jan 09, 2006

January 06, 2006


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1 Million Served!

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Sadly, the 1,000,000th visitor was a Googler.

Closest referrer however.... LEX! The Sailor referred #999,998!

We have a winnah!

But most importantly, thanks to all of you who visit. Otherwise this would just be me in a closet by myself.

And I *know* I'm not that much fun to be around!

And special thanks to Jonah, Dusty, and Bill... and K-Lo - without you guys, this place would be *months* from this milestone.

by John on Jan 06, 2006
» Outside The Beltway links with: Beltway Traffic Jam
» Don Surber links with: Best Of The Blogs For Friday
» NIF links with: Bigger-Better-Faster-More
» Target Centermass links with: A Million Congratulations

January 05, 2006

Customer Loyalty...

I admit, it's tempting to write a Jonah-bait post and shop it out to NRO, to get an NRO-alanche and finally push over 1 million served (997,056 and counting) but I'm not gonna do it. I'd rather you regulars get the shot at being numbah 1 millyun rather than someone drifting in, rarely, if ever, to return. Besides, I *might* be able to ID someone if I'm not getting 800 visits an hour.

So, of course, it will be someone in a raincoat looking for the "Double O" gurl.

Update: At the time of this posting, we're approximately %0.001957 away from the benchmark. Not that I'm counting or anything.

by John on Jan 05, 2006

January 01, 2006

The State of the Castle...

So, wondering what you're part of, if you consider yourself a regular visitor or Denizen of Argghhh?

Here's some data -

In 2004, this map shows the nations paying Tribute in the form of Visits to the Castle:

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Oops. North Korea shouldn't be colored in there...

In 2005, our reach had conquered Asia (still less those NKs, dang-it!), and we snuck into Cuba, too. We gained more than we lost in Africa. But we *still* don't own the world...

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Those maps can be made by visiting here. Well, that and some Photoshop action.

While we didn't make our goals this month of being at least 4th in the Weblog Awards (we're doing even worse in the Milbloggies) we did have the best month ever at Castle Argghhh!, thanks mainly to those rain-coated figures in the shadows googling last year's New Years Post. That worked so well, I gave them reason next year to google *this* year's post... But it's important to note that actual visitor (vice voyeur) traffic has shown a steady positive trend - even as links have been declining. Since we quit being all political and ranty, the linkage has dropped, but visits have increased... what's that say about bloggers? The other goal for the month was to break 1 million uniques served... but we'll do that in possibly less than two weeks. We've been over a million absolute visits (not counting bots, etc) for months. In 2004 we had 327,204 unique visits, 650,699 visits overall, not counting the 'bots, etc. In 2005 we had 687,785 uniques, with 1,573,585 visits overall. Most businesses would be satisfied with growth like that. I am, certainly!

We doubled our traffic over the year - actually 2.1 times the traffic of last year. If we can sustain that kinda growth (I'm not sure I want to, nor do I think we will) I may have to take up the blog-ad invitations I have to start paying the freight around here.

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All in all the news is pretty good 'round here, for the Castle as a concept, if not for several of the Denizens who suffered losses this year, whether family, friends, or property. And a job or two, as well. And that counts only those among the readership we know of. At the same time, there has been a lot of fun, and for that, we thank all of you! We've managed to keep this place pretty much Moonbat Free, and our Contrarians are interested in discussion and argument, not spittle-flecked tirades. Which we return in kind.

Our Top 10 Referrers this year are:

National Review's The Corner - Blogfather Jonah and K-Lo!
Hugh Hewitt
Les Jones
Mudville Gazette
Castle Adjutant Barb!
LT. Smash
Michelle Malkin
Kim du Toit

Woo-woo! A *Denizenne* made the Top 10!

Interestingly, aside from the home page, the Gun Rights Archive was the second most popular entry point over the year.

The single most popular post? This one.

But I'd like to take the time to thank you all for coming by - with a *Special Thanks* to those who comment, and share stuff for content. It makes this more fun *and* easier, to do, and keep doing.

by John on Jan 01, 2006