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September 24, 2004

I want one of these!

It'd look good in the back yard as a Noon Gun.

Gimme one of these!


(Play nice, right click and download - don't spawn from my server, please!)

UPDATE: Wonderwife™ says I can have one - if I can figure out how to make it dig her a garden. Nope - I can't have it if *I* dig her a garden, I have to figure out how to do it with the gun. Without damaging the house. Or the neighbors. Dang. It's always something in the details...

UPDATE II: The Instapilot chimes in with this:

You can have your gun.

I'll take one of these


And spend Saturdays trying to fly up my own a$$hole...hehe.

While we're here, I might as well be efficient and stick in something else completely unrelated to the above.

I'm sure that military balloting is going to be somewhat bollixed-up this year, seeing as how we're fighting a two campaign war at the moment. But the services are trying to make sure that servicemember voices get heard, regardless of where they are, or who they want to vote for. That's always the way it was when I served - and I never ran across a situation where the Chain of Command was openly shilling a candidate. Anybody who has provable, sourceable info on that occuring - please send it to me - I'll happily forward it to the Inspector General's office. Recognize that if you *do* send something like that to me - please don't think it's because I support that - I don't, and I'll turn it in in a heartbeat. I'll be nice and strip your name out of it, but that's about it.

But I don't expect to see anything like that.

Anyway - here's an example of the sort of thing that DoD sends out to units to assist troops and Voting Assistance Officers to 'Git 'r done!"

Oct 4 Voter Information News. It's a pdf (Sorry, Triticale!) so you'll need Adobe Reader or Acrobat.

by John on Sep 24, 2004

We were soldiers once, and young.

I don't think General Moore or Joe Galloway will mind me borrowing their book title for this post...

Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer.

--Frederick the Great

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The boys in desert cammies are nothing if not inventive! Go. Give! From an email - a Stars and Stripes story:

2nd BCT Soldier's Plea To The World: 'Buy Us Beer'

By Seth Robson, Stars and Stripes

CAMP HABBANIYAH, Iraq - To Sgt. Dale Rogers of Company C, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, the near beer that soldiers sometimes get in Kuwait and Iraq tastes like something drained through a wet sock.

But that's the closest the beer-loving Strike Force (2nd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team) soldier will get to his favorite drink during the next few months of his deployment in Iraq.

The cyber-savvy soldier, though, has plans to make up for the lost consumption during mid-tour leave to Qatar and when he and his mates return to the States next year. And it won't cost him a cent.

Rogers is the creative force behind www.beerforsoldiers.com, a Web site which allows true patriots to buy soldiers a beer online. The shaved-headed infantryman set up the Web site in February just before he joined 1-503 in South Korea, where the unit was based before deploying to Iraq last month.

"I knew I was going to Korea, and I knew I was going to be thirsty. I didn't want to drink alone and I didn't want to pay for it out of my own pocket," he said.

Plenty of people are willing to buy soldiers a beer, said Rogers, who often receives free drinks from grateful citizens at bars back home in the States. And even more appear willing to pony up because the Internet is involved, he said.

"People will pay for anything on the Internet. A guy dropped his MP3 player and people gave donations to fix it," he said.

Beerforsoldiers.com allows beer buyers to click on links that charge their credit cards for anything from $2 for a "40-oz. ghetto beer" to $6 for a "tall beer from the bar," to $7 for a six-pack. Other donation options include $10 for a "pitcher" or $20 for a "keg club."

The site includes dozens of photographs Rogers takes of soldiers enjoying the free beer.

"I go to a pub where there are 20 to 30 soldiers around the bar. I ring the bell and say: 'Free beer for everybody.' The bartenders think I'm crazy. I get to meet new people and new soldiers and I will buy two or three rounds," he said.

One night Rogers spent more than $800 on free beer for soldiers at Outback Steakhouse and Gecko's bar in Itaewon, South Korea, he said.

"A lot of times I had to spend out of my own pocket. I'd buy a round and the Web site would buy a round. Now it's getting to the point where the Web site buys all the beer," he said.

Extra beer funding is provided from the sale of T-shirts with the message: "Hold my beer while I kiss your girl" and "www.beerforsoldiers.com" stamped on them, he said.

"They sold like hot cakes," Roger said. A Korean T-shirt shop owner "made a bunch more," he said, "and he is still selling them now, I'll bet."


Soldiers in Iraq crave beer, women and high-speed Internet connections, in that order, Rogers said. And near beer does not compensate for the lack of the real thing.

"People still drink it and imagine it tastes like beer but to me it tastes like [something unmentionable] drained through a wet sock. I am dying for a real beer," said Rogers, who updates beerforsoldiers.com and another, more serious patriotic Web site - rangerjarhead.com - at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Internet café on Camp Habbaniyah.

Beerforsoldiers.com costs $120 a year to run but pulls in from $200 to $600 per month in beer money, Rogers said. At that rate it should have accumulated almost $5,000 by the end of Strike Force's Iraq tour, he estimates.

Some of the money will buy beer for soldiers during mid-tour leave in Qatar. The rest will be spent on a homecoming party, he said.

"I'm going to rent a hotel banquet room and have a big beer-for-soldiers bash where the public is invited. Just fly there or show up and drink free beer paid for by the Web site and thank soldiers in person," said Rogers, who plans to publish details of the event on beerforsoldiers.com.

Hat tip to Rich B for sending this along!

September 23, 2004

I'll take two, please.

August 12, 2004 - Soldiers in a convoy of vehicles head out to investigate a suspected terrorist near the town of Al Taji, Iraq. The Soldiers are assigned to the 39th Brigade Combat Team, an Army National Guard unit attached to the 1st Cavalry Division.

I hope, by now, we've shed the old "Weekend Warrior" shibboleth?

One Army, One Force, though a certain Senator certainly doesn't think so - at least until he sits in the Oval Office (fates forfend!) as he tries to split the military vote along component lines.

Update: Monteith suggests these:

These are easier to fit in your basic garage and have a de-rated Jaguar engine in them. Easier parts since they aren't as large and more friendly to your average guy. And they're fast too.

Scorpion

or

Striker

I don't mind Commonwealth metal, but I've got local mechanics for a Bradley...

September 22, 2004

Here's some stuff with meat in it.

Austin Bay (of Strategy Page and currently serving in Iraq, and general defense intellectual) regarding the latest product from the intelligence community (which still needs some fixin' there, boss).

Wake up the Beltway bureaucrats: The Iraqi civil war started in summer 2003, when a group hard-core Baath (and Sunni-dominated) holdouts decided their route to personal survival -- and possible track back to power in Baghdad -- was relentlessly savage violence.

Savage violence is the daily routine of the criminal gangs who run dictatorships large and small, so virtually everyone expected some degree of post-Saddam thug resistance. However, no one knew the Baath hardcore had so much money.

The biggest mistake the Iraq coalition made, however, was underestimating the power of criminal arrogance. That's a mistake we Americans make repeatedly -- whether the thug is Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam, Osama bin Laden or one of our own mob chieftains like John Gotti.

Good stuff for some navel-gazing here. Go read the rest. Remember - this is written by someone serving on the ground in Iraq now.

September 21, 2004

Random Cool Stuff from the Arsenal.

I've been too serious lately, and the Instapilot has been pretty busy. Time for pointless pictures of cool stuff in the dungeon of Castle Argghhh!

Like this compressed-air artillery crew trainer from WWII.

If you've got the bandwidth (or the time), and think that's a cool bit of kit, click here for the hi-res version.

And then this, for Mike at Sworn Enemy:

I Can't Tear My Eyes Away...

As I said earlier, I've been in an aircraft accident and watched one...this reminds me of watching one.

Sheesh.

Instapilot

by Dusty on Sep 21, 2004

September 20, 2004

The Lord of the Rings, part Deux.

Via Northwest Winds I find myself at Aaron the Liberal Slayer's recasting of Lord of the Rings. Thanks for the cartoon, Curt - and the Lord of the Rings, Aaron!

Bilbo: Bush 41 - for starting something he couldn't finish and his (effective) son had to do it. Oops. I see Juliette beat me to it.

Pippin - Prime Minister John Howard of Australia.
Merry - Joe Lieberman/Zell Miller

Faramir - I can live with Aznar.

Where do we find such men?

It's Market-Garden week here at Castle Argghhh!.

Where do we find such men?

Jack Grayburn

Robert Cain

John Baskeyfield

David Lord

Lionel Queripel

Joe Mann

John Towle

Answer - they're everywhere. In the uniform of the Anglosphere militaries. And police services, fire services, and paramedics. Everywhere people put themselves between danger and the population. Other nations have them too - but here at Castle Argghhh, we recognize we can't recognize everybody. Feel free to send your own nominations - like the Canadian Contingent here at the Castle does!