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October 28, 2005

Interesting stuff.

If you haven't read this, you should.

Psychology of Suicide Bombers, over at the Counterterrorism Blog.

Milestone: Jim B from Kansas posted comment 20,000. And mentioned Quantrill and Liberals in the same comment!

Administrivia: For those of you who will be participating in the Project Valour-IT blogathon shortly - here are the flyers that Fuzzy is mentioning.

All Flyers for you hi-speed guys.

by John on Oct 28, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Fuzzilicious Thinking links with: Flyers Have Arrived!!
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Wounded Warfighters - How to Help
» Common Sense Runs Wild links with: How You Can Help Wounded Marines
» Common Sense Runs Wild links with: How You Can Help Wounded Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, And Airmen
» BIG DOG's WEBLOG links with: I’ve Joined The Marine Team
» BLACKFIVE links with: Calling All Bloggers - "Green Light!!! GO!!!"
» Right-Wing of the Gods links with: Real Support for the Troops...
» Technicalities links with: Of Course I Will Be Signing Up For The ARMY!
» Mudville Gazette links with: Valour-IT Blogging Fundraiser Competition Begins Today!
» BLACKFIVE links with: Calling All Bloggers - "Green Light!!! GO!!!"
» The Jawa Report links with: Join The Navy And Raise Some Coin
» Mudville Gazette links with: Valour-IT Blogging Fundraiser Competition
» Small Town Veteran links with: Valour-IT Still Need Your Help!
» Bad Example links with: VALOUR-IT FUNDRAISER
» Theodore's World links with: You Can Make a Difference- Be A Part of Project Valour-IT

Here's one for you aviators.

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Oct 28, 2005 | Aircraft

Woe, O Woe.

New Jersey has no current Official Slogan. The last one worth mentioning was “New Jersey and You: Perfect Together”--problem was, you had to say it in a Tom Kean accent (think Bill Buckley on downers) to get a decent chuckle out of it, to wit: “New Juhsey and You: Puhfick Togethah.”

Its successor was “New Jersey: A Garden of Diversity.”

Right. That one sure brought an influx of tourists from Ohio (“Pack the bags, Maude! We’re off to Jersey to see that new Diversity Garden!”). Soooo, the Fraternal Socialist Ministry Department of Tourism took the initiative by the horns and shelled out $267,000 for a slogan guaranteed to pack ‘em in like sardines in EVOO.

“New Jersey--We’ll Win You Over.”

*sigh* They spent $267K for something that sounds like rejected dialogue from “The Empire Strikes Back.”

To his everlasting credit, the Acting Gov told the Fraternal Socialist Ministry Department of Tourism to return to the drawing board, posthaste, and deposit the $44,500-per-word slogan in the nearest available dumpster.

The way I figger, there’s some bucks to be made in the slogan-writing biz. But I can’t decide whether to slant the entry toward
Traditional (“The Garden State. Full of Blooming Idiots.”),
Historical (“New Jersey: Connecting New York and Delaware for Over 200 Years.”),
Logical (“Why Do We Call It the Turnpike When It’s So Friggin’ Straight?”),
Commercial (“Serving Your Mobster Disposal Needs for A Century.”),
Folksy (“If It’s Good Enough for Hoffa, It’s Good Enough for Me.”) or
Futuristic (“New Jersey: Get Out While You Can!”)

Anybody else? If you come up with a winner and the Acting Gov buys off on it, I'll betcha there’s at least a ten-spot in it for both of us.

Ummmmmm, maybe not. The way the budget’s shaping up, we might just get a voucher for a dozen doughnuts left over from the graveyard shift at the local Cop Shop…

October 27, 2005

Context is everything.

Which is why CAPT H won't play the Whatzis game... Interesting suggestions. Salad shooter. Jacuzzi. Nose trimmer. Bloodspite was closest overall (at the time of this entry, anyway). And Devin was the most interesting of the plausibles...

It's all a matter of scale.

That's the nose of the WWI Austrian Universal Grenade, an attempt to make a grenade All Things For All Purposes. A Swiss Army Knife of a grenade. A one-size-fits-all solution. Y'know - like the F4 Phantom, or F111. Except those turned out to be useful, in the end. The Universal? Well, how many of you have heard of one?

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The thing is about the thickness of a hot dog. (I can hear the Ya-Ya's twittering behind their fans already.) It gets the name Universal from its ability to be either a hand-thrown grenade or a rod-grenade fired from a rifle. An impact fuze or a time fuze. The one in the Castle Armory is the rod version, as you can see from the left hand photograph. This one is also configured for a friction time fuze (that thing dangling off the side), with the percussion fuze as a back-up. The item in the lower photo standing up on end is the cover for the nose, needed so that the propeller-safety of the percussion fuze won't inadvertently arm. We hateses it when that happens!

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The rest of this will be in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Oct 27, 2005 | Grenades

New Whatzis!

Go for it.

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Answer later today.

Haven't done this in a while...

And I know some airplane grognards used to skim by here on occasion...

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In which aircraft type specific model of aircraft does this office pilot-aircraft interface module sit?

by John on Oct 27, 2005 | Aircraft

October 26, 2005

New Mil-themed TV show.

From an email. A sense of humor is alive and well among the troops. And, of course, just enough truth to bite.

The New TV Series, "The E-Ring"

Episode 3: DFAS Trauma [Defense Finance and Accounting Service - the Paymasters]. The Major's LES [Leave and Earnings Statement - The Pay Stub] still reflects combat and jump pay. He spends the entire episode trying to get through to the help desk at DFAS, with no luck. He therefore launches a cruise missile strike on the call center, only to find out that it's really in Pakistan, thus creating an international incident. Fortunately for him, COL Dennis "Billy the Kid" Hopper discovers that a number of Al Qaeda operatives have been manning the phones as a fund raiser. All's well that ends well.

Episode 4: The 15-6 [administrative investigation]. Major Ben Bratt is assigned as a 15-6 investigating officer, to determine who was at fault when a cache of Girls Gone Wild video files are found on the office laptop computer. While he's doing this, he has to use the laptop to thwart an Iranian nuclear strike on the US. When a DoD attorney discovers that he actually used the laptop, he is accused of looking a the Girls Gone Wild website. COL Hopper comes to rescue by explaining to the SECDEF that the Major, once again, has saved the nation.

Episode 5: CFC Campaign [Combined Federal Campaign Campaign - the feds United Way campaign, as written by the Department of Redundancy Department]. As the new guy, the Major is assigned the additional duty as the Combined Federal Campaign officer of OSD. He struggles to meet the SECDEFs goal of 100% participation in the office. Knowing that this could jeopardize his future, he get on the secure SATCOMM and calls his buddies deep in the mountains of Afghanistan to get them to contribute. He then jacks up the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs and his staff saying "even my guys in the field donate". The Chairmen congratulates him, awards him an impact JSCOM [Joint Service Commendation Medal], and reprimands his staff for not supporting the CFC.

Episode 6: The Ugly Girl. An ugly female Air Force officer is assigned to the staff. Although fully qualified to do the job, the colonel and Major must do what they can to get her out of the building. At the same time, the good looking DoD lawyer, the good looking marine MSG, and the good looking intel officer all band together to keep Ugly Girl on staff. They figure that they will always look good if she's around.

Episode 7: The Young Colonel. COL Dennis Hopper is put to the test as a young-gun O-6 from USSOCOM [US Special Operations Command] is sent to the staff to show them "how it's done in the field". The show climaxes when the two colonels get into a fight at a gentleman's club in Silver Springs. You can imagine who wins. Guest starring Charlton Heston as the young O-6.

Episode 8: ACU Issue. Major Bratt is assigned the additional duty of coordinating the Army Combat Uniform issue for the office. He's not sure why, since they always wear their their Class A or B uniforms. COL Hopper tells him "There's a war on Major! Let's get it done!". The Major then gets an intern from the Pentagon Information Management Center (MICE) to develop a spread sheet for him that lists uniform and boot sizes. He then goes to the Undersecretary of Defense for Resources and gets him to develop a spreadsheet for the officers who must purchase their uniforms.

Episode 9: The Commute. This episode actually covers a couple of days in the life of the high speed, low drag Major. On day one he drives his POV [Privately Owned Vehicle] to the building and parks in an open spot in Lane 3 near the Corridor 3 Entrance. Turns out it's the Asst Secretary of Defense for Manpower's temporary parking spot. He's not happy and confronts the Major. But the Major puts the SES-4 [Senior Executive Service, Level 4 - muckety-muck civilian appointee] in his place, telling him that he should be ashamed of himself for talking to a warrior like that. The civilian backs down, but because the Major realizes that there is some protocol involved here, he moves. The next day he rides the bus and Metro. Not having exact change for the bus he lambastes the driver, who is obviously not of European descent, for telling him there will be no change. The other people on the bus bust into applause as the Major says "Keep your change, and welcome to America!".

Episode 10: The Briefing. COL Dennis Hopper tasks the Major to prepare a PowerPoint briefing on a variety of SIGACTS [Significant Activities] occurring in the office. The Major (as you may recall) is a warrior and doesn't know how to use PowerPoint: "Sir, in Tora Bora the bullets we used made a different statement!". The Major, who previously infuriated a young good looking female intern at the IMCEN (see Episode 8), must now turn on the charm to get her to help him. While this is going on, he must participate in a covert mission to Colombia to eradicate the coca leaf crop.

Episode 11: Lost ID Badge: The Major loses his Pentagon access badge. While he's able to talk his way through the numerous check points (there are some attractive female guards working there), he is ordered by COL Hopper to go to Crystal City to get a new badge. While he's there, he stops off at the Crystal City Mall for lunch, and realizes that the food server is none other that Albanian war criminal Mlvncqzc Kdfpqzvmncv. He needs to get an 80% facial recognition by DIA on this guy before he can call in SEAL Team 6 to take him out. Thank God for Verizon cell phones!

Episode 12: Career in Jeopardy: Last show of season. The Major is in deep trouble, and COL Hopper might not be able to help him out. It's the end of the FY and the Major has repeatedly failed to attend the Mandatory Ethics Briefing. He has gone just too far this time. Even the SECDEF is pissed off about this one. There's one session left before the final roster is sent to Congress for review. If Senator Boxer and Congresswoman Pelosi realize that the Major did not attend one of the 24 available sessions during the FY, it could jeopardize the entire DoD budget for years to come. He's scheduled to attend the last session the day after tomorrow, but just received word that "Mr. O" and "Mr. Z" will be meeting in Syria tomorrow. Can he get there in time to take these HVTs [High Value Targets] out and return for the briefing before it's too late? Wait until next season to find out!

*Spoof episodes, of course - yet more reflective of reality than the show.

by John on Oct 26, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» NIF links with: Gonna be a long day!
» Mind in the Qatar links with: I love the E-Ring!
» BLACKFIVE links with: E-Ring Future Episodes
» CDR Salamander links with: I demand royalties
» Silent Running links with: Now THIS would be reality TV
» Voice of the Taciturn links with: Guest E-Ring Review
» The Stupid Shall Be Punished links with: Sub-Themed TV Show Idea

Preview of coming attractions...

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Update: Since the Gurlz of Argghhh! (heh, a calendar, perhaps?) seem to be a little confused, the following information is provided to help the Ya-Ya Blog Sisterhood (YYBS) better comprehend what is in the photo above (because if you read the comments, the YYBS' are having some difficulty)...

Top, from left to right.

British No23 Mk1, bottom of Austrian Lakos, top of Austrian Kugelhandgranate (both from last week), German Diskushandgranate M1915, British No 5 Mk 1.

Next under is an Austrian Universal grenade in rod configuration.
Next under is a long-hafted brass-bodied grenade that while it does have a proper British No19 grenade fuze on it is probably not an official grenade at all but someones attempt at a repro.

Bottom, L to R: German Ubungs, or training grenade that substituted for the M1916 and M1917 stick grenades in Stormtrooper training exercises. Russian Lantern grenade, British No19, with streamers (which are prolly replacements), British No1Mk2 (short handled, missing the streamers), German Kugelhandgranate M1915, and lastly, a German M1917 stick grenade.

One of these grenades (unrelated to repro parts) has something wrong with it. Let's see if there's a grognard out there who can figure it out. Hint - *I* wasn't paying attention at some point - a factoid which will only assist a *real* grognard or dogged pursuer of the question. Oh, and if you think I've mis-identified a grenade, that's possible, but would only count as extra credit...

Oh, and yes, dear - I've taken all the toys and put them back in the case, rather than leave them strewn on your antique butcher block table... really!

by John on Oct 26, 2005 | Grenades

October 25, 2005

We few, we happy few...

Today is St. Crispin's Day... the most famous (and perhaps far-reaching in subsequent impact) event of this day in history is...

Agincourt - the Flower of French Nobility is slaughtered. Net IQ of the region improves.

St. Crispen's Day Speech
William Shakespeare, 1599

Enter the KING
WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

by John on Oct 25, 2005 | Historical Stuff
» Techography links with: St Crispins Day Modern
» Neptunus Lex links with: St. Crispian’s Day

I'm busy today - so here's some carnivals to keep you busy...

Despite their best efforts, the troglodytes of Iraq couldn't stop the vote, nor alter the outcome to their liking. How many of *you* would have voted in the election, knowing there was a chance you could be a strawberry mist and chunky salsa for so doing?

Bob Owens reads Democratic Underground... so you don't have to.

RINO sightings, for those of us on the Right who don't drink the Kool-Aid.

And the Blogs Brigaded, hoist the Red Ensign, to show that Kool-Aid isn't that popular in all parts of Canada, either!

Lastly, this, just because I think it's funny. Be vewy, vewy caweful out thewe!

Right Wing News has an interesting post - Right Wing Bloggers decide who should run the Rest of the World. I was invited, but, in the end, just decided that all I would do is export Alex Baldwin, Madonna, Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton,, to go work their magic and get out of my hair. Since that isn't what John was looking for... I didn't play this time (though we appreciate the invitation, John!)

Last, but not least. It's not always the "Great and Good" who move mountains. Sometimes the little people topple the statues by simply standing firm, and refusing to acquiesce.

Rosa Parks, RIP.

by John on Oct 25, 2005 | General Commentary
» NIF links with: Excuses are like ...

October 24, 2005

Real Men of Argghhh!

Those outside the Castle environs thrash around about gender-role confusion, inventing new terms to boggle the mind. Luckily, we Denizennes never have to look far to find real guys.

Today Fortune is shining on us, as we celebrate the natal days of two of our own Real Men of Genius ...

Happy Birthday, Keith and Jack!!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Time to Par-Tay!!

« Secure this line!

by Adjutant on Oct 24, 2005 | Birthday
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Castle Birthday time!

October 23, 2005

23 October, 1983.

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Click here.

There are words to Taps.

Day is done.
Gone the sun.
From the lake,
From the Hill,
From the sky.
All is well,
Sleep tonight.
God is nigh.

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

Denizen Link-Fest!

Time for a Denizen link-fest, plus whatever else motivates me.

Up first if MSG Keith, with his post about going to the range to shoot some Kewl Stuff while he was in the 'Stan. Yes, Keith, I *am* envious, but I still think I *never got* this story...

Sergeant B is looking for some old buddies, and his Second Military Career looms closer. (Green-eyed Monster time).

Jack muses about his start in blogging - all in response to The Commissar's request for blog parentage. Stephen is trying to develop the Blog Family Tree. I'd say his research is incomplete... you should go take a look.

While Cassie is semi-retired (she's got one of those cushy guest-commentator spots somewhere...), she did leave this update over at Villainous Company.

Castle Adjutant Barb (yes, I did remember upcoming events, btw) suggest this bit of hardware. At $20K with $650 shipping, one will not be showing up at the Castle anytime soon. Ooops. Never mind - sold out! Well, rather than link to that post, let's link instead to her linkfest (a diversity-post of military opinion there!), and wind up with some Lessons to Learn.

AFSis wants to know how did you get your name? My Expression number is 5, if you care about such things. I explain my name over there, as well.

Bad Cat Robot, aka the Snarkatron, has actually done something many of us dream about - so many of us and so much so it's a hackneyed movie cliché (did I use the farking accent right this time, Bill?). *Drum Roll, Please*

~{She Sold Her Novel}~

There's some other good stuff in there, too, but that's the Really Kewl News. All y'all know an Author. (Well, you actually know several, if we're going to count textbooks).

I dunno where Castle Philosopher Kat finds the time for this - but she has two *excellent* posts on the evolution of Body Armor. And how we're reinventing the wheel. See number 1 here. And see number 2 here. The answer to a question Kat asked me that I overlooked in email - why we reinvent the wheel - Engineers study engineering, not history. And they think that anything old is, well, old. They want patents for New Stuff. Jack might have a different opinion...

Punctilious has taken over administration of the Carnival of the Recipes for SWWBO. BTW - the newest version is up! She's also one of our authors... and she has a naughty idea for a replacement for Miers. Obviously, she wants to cripple governance, not just gridlock it...

Fuzzybear Lioness is getting ready to kick us bloggers in the butt for a new iteration of fundraising for Project Valour-IT. The war still continues, despite the SCOTUS nominations... and more importantly, the needs created among the wounded of this war (as in all others) will continue after the war fades from the TV and headlines. More on the subject of fundraising later...

SWWBO gives us some more travails of the traveler.

Lastly among the Denizens ('cuz I went bottom to top this time), Alan ponders some questions about the Internet. A subject near and dear to my heart, albeit for different reasons than you might think.

Other notes. The Armorer will be at Fort Benning, Georgia 1-10 (maybe 11) November. And he will have the weekend intermezzo free. Aside from Monteith and his kewl toys, anybody want to get together in the area?

Lastly (until I decide to add something, which I no doubt will) this upcoming weekend we're going to be at the Straight White Guy's house, meeting all these Really Smart, Debonair, and All 'Round Kewl! people...

How about an Airplane Pic?

I like this. Well, except for the Grape Juice part. But I understand that, what with the Puritans running the US Military and all.