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January 01, 2005

1st post of a new year

I think I'll go for nostalgia, irony and machineguns.


Nostalgia first. Let this be the year we drive a bayonet through the heart of Islamofacism.

Irony second.

Machineguns, third. This is a present for all y'all, considering the bandwidth cost!

The present is not the guy above, he's an Iraqi Security Force guy trying to secure rights for his people - though he's gonna have feed problems with his belt like that. I just liked the pic.

No the present is this: A 13 meg movie. A movie of people enjoying the Second Amendment... Right click and save - don't even try to stream it - it'll be choppy and it's better played from your hard drive.

And, what the heck, a little trivia, too. Notable events for January 1st.


1735 Paul Revere, patriot, silversmith, gunfounder
1739 Edmund Burke, Whig politician, author ("Reflections on the
1909 Barry Goldwater, bomber pilot, senator
1912 Kim Philby, Soviet spy


1950 Secret Service agent Leslie Coffelt, killed defending Pres Truman
1961 Dashiell Hammett, war veteran, novelist ("The Maltese Falcon")
1969 Ian Fleming, secret agent, author ("James Bond")


1586 - Sir Francis Drake launches a surprise attack on the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in Hipanola.
1660 Samuel Pepys begins writing his famous diary - good reading if ya like that kinda stuff like I do.
1801 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland formed - huh. I thought the UK moniker was older than that.
1846 Yucatan declares independence from Mexico - that didn't last long, did it?
1861 Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect - who says war never solved anything?
1892 Annie Moore becomes the first immigrant to arrive at Ellis Island
1915 - The German submarine U-24 sinks the British battleship Formidable off the coast of Plymouth Massachusetts.
1920 League of Nations convenes for the first time - an organization even less successful than the United Nations.
1923 USSR formed - Bummer.
1944 Oran, Algeria: Army defeats Navy 10-7 in football "Arab Bowl" - would we could do that with a little more regularity... Beat Navy that is.
1946 Emperor Hirohito of Japan announces he is not a god - tell me again about war never solves anything?
1950 Puerto Rican terrorists attempt to kill Pres. Truman - they got Agent Coffelt, above.
1951 Massive Chinese/North Korean assault on UN-lines - beginning of a bad coupla days for Dad.
1959 Castro enters Havana as Fulgencio Batista flees - and he's still there, sadly.
1962 Navy SEAL teams established - Happy Birthday, fellas.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

December 31, 2004

2004 Is in the Books.

This isn't a thoughtful, well-reasoned, Post For The Ages. I'm not known for that anyway, and I'm still too busy with honeydews, etc. But it will be an eclectic, if very Armorer, kind of post.

1. If nudity offends - do NOT click on the links with an (*) asterisk! They aren't work - nor jealous S.O. - safe! The double** link is not for those sensitive to pain - but does honor sacrifice.

2. The Carnival of the Recipes #20 is up! Visit SWWBO, whose brainchild this is, and check her sidebar for links to the previous Carnivals.

3. Best Thing to Happen to This Blog This Year. Dusty. This one's for you, Fly-boy.

An A-10 fighter with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing takes off from a forward-deployed location Saturday March 29,2003 for a mission into Iraq. (AP Photo/Senior Airman JoAnn S. Makinano)

Hi-res here. This image has potential for mugs and mousepads at the Arsenal Store!

4. Biggest flop this year. Did I mention the Arsenal Store? With it's one customer, the Armorer? Another reason I worked for the government all those years... ain't got no business sense! Gotta admit though - the mousepad is pretty cool. The graphics for the mugs need work.

5. Best thing the Armorer scored via this blog - well, d-uh, the readers, especially the ones who comment. But the absolute best kewl thing was an invitation to ride in the Atlanta Veteran's Day Parade. In this.

Even if the Armorer did test the suspension...

6. Reason 1,344 why you should NOT pick a fight with the US. We'll come back harder, faster, bigger.

7. On this day in 1862, the USS Monitor sank in a storm with all hands off Cape Hatteras. (Oops. As Larry points out - "Minor correction -- the Monitor did not sink with all hands. 16 men (4
officers, 12 enlisted) were lost out of 62 aboard." Not minor to the 46 sailors I retroactively slew!)

Master's Mate Rodney Brown of the Rhode Island later noted, "We had now got in my boat all of the Monitor's crew that could be persuaded to come down from the turret; for they had seen some of their shipmates (who had left the turret for the deck) washed overboard and sink in their sight." "As the men came down from the Monitor's turret, holding by the life line, they were hauled into the boat. Some that were washed overboard from the deck of the Monitor we picked up and some we were unable to save." "The last to leave the Monitor was her notable Captain, J.P. Bankhead, Lieutenant Green, and several other officers...." Bankhead later said, "...I had done everything in my power to save the vessel and crew, I jumped into the already deeply-laden boat and left the Monitor, whose heavy sluggish motion gave evidence that she could float but a short time longer." As Brown and the other sailors in the boat begin to pull away from the Monitor, Brown notices two or three men clinging to the top of the turret. They steadfastly ignore the pleas of their shipmates to climb down and get into the boat, but Brown promises to return for them. The Rhode Island is by now some two miles distant from the sinking Monitor. After unloading his boat of wounded, Brown and his crew begin to return to the foundering ship.

8. Field Sanitation is important. And requires innovation. (look closely)

9. Holes in the fuselage induce drag. Not to mention make it even noisier.

10. The Armorer is fascinated with big booms. Especially ones that look like this.

11. The Armorer also really likes smaller globular booms, too.*

I *did* warn you.

12. The Armorer owes a debt of gratitude to his most prolific link mates and others to whom he owes a debt - like Jack of Random Fate, the Commissar, The Jawa Report, Blackfive, Ghost of A Flea, Citizen Smash, Pamibe, Cowboy Blob, Misha, Who Tends The Fires, GenX at 40, Kim du Toit, Murdoc, Say Uncle, Don Sensing, Dean Esmay, Brainshavings, Les Jones (they love that Glock Video), SGT Hook (sadly still dark), 2Slick, Mudville, Blogs of War, INDC Journal, CDR Salamander and others too numerous to mention, but all appreciated!

13. The Castle's Conquest of the World continues apace. Of great note is the real, sustained, spike in visitors from China - not just Hong Kong, but mainland China. Apparently the Armorer has not yet sufficiently offended the powers that be in Beijing. Only those areas in white are still benighted.

14. Anyone want to help a deploying Sniper?

15. Gunner asks a question.

16. Although we're cool, we're still not blogrolled by Glenn, Michelle, and Frank (even though we *do* have one of his t-shirts)! We admit the weekly Instalanches that Glenn bestows upon SWWBO's Carnival of the Recipes makes us envious... And while we're on the subject - Michelle has some good advice about predators taking advantage of the tsunami.

17. The Commissar, like many of us (yours truly included) is finding that blogging, well, just gets in the way sometimes. But you fear the loss of your readers and your standing. I'm getting better about that... but not much!

18. We at the Castle are grateful for our most garrulous commenters, CAPT H, Bill the Rotorhead, AFSister, SangerM, and Monteith! We like you all, but these guys and gal keep us busy reading email!

19. A true friend is a shoulder you can cry rely on.

20. The Armorer likes military art - such as this. Art imitates life.**

21. We may add some more later - but for now, here's hoping you and yours have a most excellent 2005. Happy New Year!* (remember what those asterisks are about, folks!)

December 29, 2004

Mebbe I'll have to rethink the satellite dish...

I have one, but it's not active.

The Pentagon Channel - CSPAN for the Services...

On a wholly unrelated note, but I don't want to waste a post on it...

Ramsey Clark squares the circle.

Jan Egleund is a Complete Buffoon

How to respond to the Norwegian UN talking head? Ignore the bastard and give through organizations that actually put the money to good use.

"Buffoon" and "UN bureaucrat" is, in some circles, a redundancy, I know. Of course, it's unfair to generalize...but like the fifth-column MSM and the United Nations as a whole, it's getting harder and harder not to.

Lemme think, I need money from somebody...hmmm...first, I'll start with a petty insult...


In any event, I have to hand it to the American people...we have already kicked the French government's ass, donation-wise, without even getting out of our pajamas.

Not to be outdone, of course, corporate America is starting to stir. My own company has already sent a world-wide message out saying they'll match anything we worker bees will donate, up to $10,000. Ten...Thousand...Dollars. And this is not a big firm (as in GM, Microsoft, etc., big). Plus, because it's a private firm, this matching money in essence comes out of the Partners' pockets, filthy corporate running dogs that they are! Right.

Because the events in the Indian Ocean are so horrific, I think the ball is pretty much rolling and the buck$ pouring in will only accelerate...petty insults and pugnaciously stupid WaPo editorials notwithstanding. Sooooo...

Here's something else to consider if you still have some money burning a hole in your pocket. This is really cool, in that it's a process that leverages a little money for a lot of stuff for the guys and gals that deserve it. It's simple, it's easy, it's not that expensive (and tax-deductable!)...and it gives them what they want and need while doing God's work (hear that ACLU? GOD! GOD! GOD! GOD! GOD!. heh) without you having to figure it out. What a concept.

A doff of the chapeau to:
Matt Drudge
Hugh Hewitt
Claudia Rosette
Glenn Reynolds, and
Tim Blair


Baddest of the Bad

Over at Strategy Page today they have an interesting discussion of what tank is the baddest of the bad.

In their discussion of the subject - the M1A2 wins, barely, over the Leo2, with the Challenger and LeClerc trailing... with no Russian products really in the running.

What say you, tankers? I'd really like (unlikely, I know, but one can hope) to hear from some Brits, German, French, Eastern European and other tankers in addition to the normal garrulous visitors from North America!

Ah, to be a Combatant Commander...

...with your own R&D and Acquisition funds. Special Operations Command didn't like the XM8 rifle, nor did they like the time development was taking.

So they took their money and got one built to their specs, by Fabrique Nationale, vice Heckler and Koch's product.

The SCAR, the SOF Capable Assault Rifle.

Hmmmm. Pointedly different approaches here in procurement. The M4 and M16A2 don't meet SOCOM's needs, they want something NOW. So they go get it. Evolutionary, not revolutionary, and get it pretty quickly.

The Acquisition Corps (and the Army leadership) go for revolutionary, a leap ahead, with the XM8. Which guarantees long lead time, in addition to the pathologies inherent in a politically-managed acquisition process (much of which SOCOM gets to skirt).

Only the US has the money to operate this way...

On a related note, however, it would appear that the M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun is performing well in Iraq.

Speaking of the US - is it me, or are all the new small arms in the US arsenal being designed by Europeans? Beretta (the M92 pistol), Benelli (the M1014), FN (the M240 and M249 and now the SCAR), Heckler and Koch (the XM8). Is the US firearms industry so moribund that we can't compete? Am I missing something because I'm so much more focused on the old stuff vice the new?

by John on Dec 29, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» SayUncle links with: Not Buying American
» links with: XM-Wait?

Disaster Relief for the Tsunami victims.

I don't have anything useful to say on the subject. The pros and the bloggers with connections will have more to say on this than I could possibly add.

My firm is matching employee contributions up to $10K. We're a multi-billion dollar a year corporation, I know of several of us who are suggesting that's cheap given our resources and the magnitude of the disaster - and are suggesting that we could go higher without hurting our bottom line any.

SWWBO and I have given via the Red Cross. I'm sure that next week, when Rotary meets, we'll be digging in there, as well, to send assistance via Rotary International.

Rotary has several actions on-going, for you Rotarians stopping by.

LankaFoods is channeling food via the Colombo Rotary Club.
District 3000 is accepting donations via mail:

Send checks to "RI District 3000, c/o Governor M. Elangovan, M D., Hotel Sevana, Tiruchirapalli 620 001." For additional details, contact: Sd.Prof R Panchanadhan, District Secretary, RI District 3000, No 5, 9th Cross, 7th Main, Srinivasanagar, Tiruchirapalli 620 017.

You can also donate via (donations are for the Red Cross). Although I myself am not Catholic, I work with Catholic Charities, another venue to contribute.

If you have internet security concerns, here is the Red Cross contact info for donations:

You can help those affected by this crisis and countless others around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance, and other support to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

DoD has sent the Forward Command Element of Joint Task Force 536 to coordinate DoD's assistance in this relief effort. AF 'Nam vets will recognize Utapao...

Given the UN's level of competence in matters like this, SWWBO and I will channel our giving through NGO's like the Red Cross, where we have some assurance that the money will at least make it to the region, though not all the involved governments have good records regarding distribution of aid, but you can only influence things so far, eh?

I know we just got done shaking you guys down for Spirit of America, but hey, give what ya can, it'll help balance your Karma score. Regardless of their politics, or religion, or nationality, they're people who are in serious need, eh?

And if you feel like "Yeah, that's horrible, but there are still people in the US who need help, too," fine. There are plenty of ways to help there, as well - because you're right, there are people here who could use help - so give 'em some. Karma points still accrue.

December 27, 2004

I'm taking the week off.

Sadly for you, not from blogging, but from work... which of course means that the "Honey-Do" jar will figure in my week, as SWWBO is not taking the week off, just today, and I must pay for my effrontery!

Shortly, I will take a short break for my monthly turn at "Meals on Wheels" as doing my bit for one of my Rotary Club's service projects. I do the Meals bit monthly as a penance for my absolute refusal to ring bells for the Salvation Army. I have an irrational dislike for the bell ringing and simply will not participate. This should not be construed as putting me in with the retailers who no longer allow the Salvation Army to ring bells in front of their establishments... it simply means that I simply dislike the whole concept as a bunch of annoying humbuggery and won't do it. My father, by contrast, happily does it with his club. And, since the local charity on whose board I sit coordinates closely with the Salvation Army to not duplicate services, I can say that my relationship with the Army is just fine.

Gad, that certainly ran away from where I was going...

I was am gonna do a bit on Snipers. Well, indirectly. I'm really doing a bit on how snipers suck. They get in the way of doing your job - like peering over the parapet in order to get an idea of what the other guy is up to so you can kill him before he kills you - except that he gets these guys who can shoot really well, and then puts a scope on the damn rifle, and lets him hide behind a steel shield and shoot at you! Like, really! What's that about? Hasn't the damn bad guy learned his job is to either die, run away, or surrender? Not resist?

Anyway, there you are, a young sub-altern in a trench needing to keep an eye on the other fellow, in a sniper-infested section of the battlefield. And you aren't some rich dandy who is a member of a fashionable regiment with independent means. You're just a guy who was a school teacher during the week and a Territorial (Brit equivalent to the National Guard) on weekends. But, you work for an Army that serves a notoriously penurious government. Heck, this government at times even required Regular soldiers to pay for the ammunition they consumed in combat... needless to say, you aren't going to score any fancy stereoscopic 'rabbit ear' periscopes like those fellows on the other side have.

Nope. You'll reach into your nearly empty pocket and buy something cool yourself, or settle for what they give you.

If you're settling, you're getting something like this: A #9 Mark II Trench Periscope.

Simple gizmo, just like the ones you (or at least I) remember from cereal boxes in the 60's. A simple tube with two mirrors, tall enough that your head wasn't sticking over the parapet when you were peering through it.

It was designed with the intent that you could use it with binoculars, by putting one optic on the shelf and peering through it. It was well thought out, I think.

It hinges in the middle to make it easier to store and carry. There were sliding doors to protect the mirrors from mud and dust, and it has doors behind the mirrors to make replacement easy, as well.

It was still a fragile bit of kit. Sometime down the line, I'll show the American equivalent, and some of the other periscopes that were in use in the World Wars.

December 26, 2004

We're back!

Not that there's anyone here at at the moment...

I got a cannon! I got a cannon! It may only have a foot long barrel, and shoot .54 caliber balls, but...

I got a cannon! I got a cannon!


Thank you, SWWBO! (She got a spa massage coupon, since I know you're wondering)

by John on Dec 26, 2004 | Artillery
» Technicalities links with: People Seem to be Having a Good Time This Week