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December 03, 2005

I'm lazy - Caption Contest, again...

But, it's Christmas time, so we'll lead with this, anyway:

Stop the ACLU has some Christmas suggestions for you...

Okay - here's the pic, go for it!

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The Right Place blog is having their weekly caption contest here. (The pic *is* a hoot...)

Sigh.

It's a very, very hard weekend at 29 Palms. When they dribble in in ones and twos, that's one thing. 10 death notifications, with the associated 11 WIA notifications, all from one small unit - it's a rough day in the Corps.

No. 1252-05 Dec 03, 2005 IMMEDIATE RELEASE

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of 10 Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Clay, 27, of Pensacola, Fla.

Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, 20, of Suprise, Ariz.

Lance Cpl. David A. Huhn, 24, of Portland, Mich.

Lance Cpl. Adam W. Kaiser, 19, of Naperville, Ill.

Lance Cpl. Robert A. Martinez, 20, of Splendora, Texas

Cpl. Anthony T. McElveen, 20, of Little Falls, Minn.

Lance Cpl. Scott T. Modeen, 24, of Hennepin, Minn.

Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Patten, 19, of Byron, Ill.

Sgt. Andy A. Stevens, 29, of Tomah, Wis.

Lance Cpl. Craig N. Watson, 21, of Union City, Mich.

All 10 Marines died Dec. 1 from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Fallujah, Iraq. All 10 Marines were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, their unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Media with questions about these Marines can call the Twentynine Palms Public Affairs Office at (760) 830-6213.

This seems a good time to link to Bill Lind's piece on Operational IEDs and 4th Generation Warfare. Food for thought, regardless of what else you might think of Lind's thoughts on the subject of war and other things.

I gotta admit - Van Creveld did some useful work in the 70's and 80's, but lately seems have just gotten to be a crabby curmudgeon, but sometimes we've got to get out of the echo chamber and consider other viewpoints. I don't find his assessment persuasive at this juncture.

While it's small comfort - there is less joy in Jihadiville today, too.

The fledgling Iraqi Air Force (which has had some serious problems with corruption) is starting to get off the ground. Heh. I wonder if the Iranians will ever return the last Iraqi Air Force - the one that flew to Iran during Desert Storm because they knew that being anywhere else was going to be fatal. Nah, probably better to start from scratch.

December 02, 2005

Hmmmm.

Just, hmmm.

H/t California Yankee via The Corner.

The Midget Frog General.

I was going to do a post on Napoleon today, it being the anniversary of Austerlitz, and his coronation as Emperor, and tomorrow being the anniversary of Hohenlinden -but I ran out of time this morning.

I offer instead an email Jim C sent me, from some mutal acquaintances who have dream jobs... teaching military history at the Command and General Staff College. They should have to pay to have those jobs... not get paid!

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wanted to reminder you of today's significance, being the 200th anniversary of the French victory over the combined Russian and Austrian armies at Austerlitz. The Battle of the Three Emperors is arguably Napoleon's greatest victory and using today's doctrine, an example of a commander who could visualize the battlefield- since he had picked it as a place to offer battle a least a week before and set the conditions to cause the enemy commander's to react as he wanted them.

Attached are two music files- Marche D'Austerlitz and Pas de Charge de la Marine Imperial to help you get in the mood for the day, as well as the text of Napoleon's address to his troops after the battle. His letter to Josephine is also telling- he wrote it the day after the battle and "was a little tired."

Mark

Soldiers, I am happy with you!

At this day of Austerlitz, you have justified everything that I expected of your intrepidity; you have enriched your eagles with an everlasting glory. A 100 000 man army, under command of the Emperors of Russia and Austria, was, within less than four hours, cut or disbanded. What escaped your blades drowned in the lakes. Forty flags, the banners of the Russian imperial guard, 120 pieces of artillery, twenty generals, more than 30,000 prisoners, are the result of this day now famous forever. This infantry so reputed, and superior in number, could not resist your shock, and now you have no rivals to fear. So, within two months, this third coalition was vanquished and disbanded. Peace cannot be far away; but, as I promised to my people before crossing the Rhine, I shall make only a peace that will give us guaranties and ensure retribution to our allies.

Soldiers, when the French people placed the imperial crown upon my head, I entrusted myself to you to maintain it forever in the high beams of glory which could only make it worth to my eyes. But in the same moment, our enemies thought about destroying and dishonoring it! And this crown of iron, conquered by the blood of so many French, they wanted to force me to place it upon the head of our most cruel enemies! Temerarious and insane projects which, upon this very anniversary of the crowing of your Emperor, you have annihilated and destroyed. You taught them that it is easier to defy us and threaten us, than to defeat us!

Soldiers, when everything that is necessary to ensure the happiness and prosperity of your fatherland will be accomplished, I shall bring you back to France; there, you will be objects of my outmost favours. My people shall see you back with joy, and it will be enough for you to say "I was at the Battle of Austerlitz" for you to be answered "here is a gallant man".

To the Empress, at Strasbourg,

"Austerlitz, 12th Frimaire, Year XIV (December 3, 1805)

"I have sent Lebrun to you from the battlefield. I defeated the Russian and Austrian army commanded by the two emperors. I am slightly tired.

The Democrats muddled message.

Lemme see if I have this straight, too.

The Democrat opposition to President Bush's handling of the war boils down to...

1. We left Afghanistan too early, leaving the Taliban bent, but not broken, so now they are reorganizing and causing trouble. We should have stayed longer, rather than leave the Afghans to muddle out self-governance themselves, after all, they haven't had much practice.

2. We've stayed in Iraq too long, and used too many troops who should be elsewhere fighting terrorists, and we should leave the Iraqis to muddle out self-governance themselves (though it has been some time since they've had any real practice...).

3. The troops are too tired and the Army too broken to fight, but if they weren't in Iraq, they could be somewhere else fighting terrorists, which presumably means deployed to other countries, since the only terrorist attacks near military installations in the US have been the Phelps Phamily annoying people at military funerals. But, I guess there would be fewer of them doing that overseas... so there is *some coherence* there.

And of course these countries can just jump on the self-governance bandwagon!

Just look at us... we did it overnight! Not. It took sitting on Japan and Germany a good 10 years (with a lingering presence for decades after) to get them realigned and moving on.

Where else have we seen this quick reaction... I know, lets check in on a Democrat-inspired nation-building exercise... the Balkans. I think Bill covered that pretty well, let's rummage in the comments a coupla posts below.

*rummage, rummage* Ah! Here we go! Bill opined thusly at 8-ish yesterday morning:

In 1998 (three years after the Dayton Accords), Bosnia-Herzegovina was still severely factionalized, but there was reluctant official cooperation between the Serbs, the Bosniaks (Muslims), the Croats, the Bosnian Serbs, the Serbian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats. The various ethnic groups still hated each other's guts (and made no excuses for it), but everyone was pretty much sick of the killing.

By 2001, the cooperation was well-established and the various factions were at least working together actively, albeit not happily. The various ethnic groups drifted from active hatred into grudging acceptance of each other's right not to be summarily shot.

These days, the politicians in BiH are still squabbling, but at least they're doing it within the framework of a constitution. The various ethnic groups are now only mildly annoyed with each other and are willing to settle differences with a ballot rather than a bullet.

I'd say Iraq, three years after the war, is midway between Boz's 1998-2001 progress, and the Army's even further up the road.

Extrapolate from the Balkan timeline above and apply it to SWA and that should yield a fairly accurate timetable for a US withdrawal, Mr. Congressman.

Ummmm, what's that? You say we've still got troops in the Balkans?

Heh. Yeah, I know...

*wadding timeline and tossing a 3-point sinker*

Ry made the observation that it takes time to build an Army and other Security Forces. Especially ones that don't have "strong NCO" traditions. Oddly enough, Bill had a post that discussed that, too, in June of this year.

Update: I see I'm slow to this... Jeff at Protein Wisdom knocked this apart before I did. Great minds, etc.

The Army is worn out.

So sez Representative Murtha.

LATROBE, Pa. - Most U.S. troops will leave Iraq within a year because the Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth," Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record) told a civic group.

You can read the whole thing here.

Hmmm. From where I sit, I see a different Army. I see one where some parts are more tired than others, having just returned from one of the boxes, but I don't find the grumpy, living hand-to-mouth Army Representative Murtha describes.

Are there challenges? Yep. Stuff is wearing out, and it's hard to keep up. Welcome to a war. To hear Mr. Murtha talk, we should have pulled out of WWII around, oh, 1943, certainly 1944.

I recently spent two weeks at Fort Benning, Georgia. Arguably the heart of the Army now fighting, being the home of the Infantry.

As a middle-aged fat guy with a beard, no uniform, I sat among the soldiers in all sorts of places - restaurants, fast food joints, bars, movie theaters, the mall, out in the field, in garrison... everywhere.

And they griped like soldiers griped. And they had war stories to tell. And some were going to get out. And some were worried they weren't going to be able to re-enlist without reclassing to a different MOS. Many were concerned about the stress on the family. But a surprising number of them also noted that they had it a lot better than their fathers/uncles/grandfathers had it in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam.

Some weren't all that crazy about Iraq, either. Some thought they had dumber-than-dirt NCO's and Officers. And listening to the stories - *some* of them did, though nowhere near as many as *thought* they did. And most of them knew that, too.

In other words, they were soldiers in an Army at War.

I heard bitching about how the war they see in the US is not the war they fought in Iraq, or even Afghanistan. In fact, many of them wonder how many people still know we've got people on the ground fighting in Afghanistan. And none of them knew who I was, only that I didn't look important, so they ignored me and talked.

I didn't see the Army Murtha describes. I see an Army that is meeting it's re-enlistment goals. An Army that is having trouble meeting it's new end-strength numbers, but if they hadn't been given the 50K increase they didn't ask for... they would be meeting their goals.

Has it occured to anyone that there might be a limit on how many people you are going to get to enlist - regardless? And that if you raise the bar high enough, well, yep, yer gonna fail. Of course, we did field an All Volunteer Army of over 745K when I was a Lieutenant... in an economy bequeathed us by Vietnam, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter.

At work, I move amongst the core of the next generation of senior leaders - the Majors attending CGSC. We do studies and analyses of the Army and it's gear - now, next year, and in the relatively far future. In all my work there I find an Army that is very busy, and struggling to keep an eye on the future because of the present - but I don't see an Army living hand to mouth. Just one working flat-out.

The Reserve and Guard, there are some issues, and the study I'm going into will lead me down some of those paths. There are some real challenges there, right enough. But it wasn't just that part of the Army that Murtha was referring to. I just don't see the Army that Representative Murtha claims to see. Unlike Senator Kerry, whom *every soldier he's talked to has said we should leave Iraq* that simply isn't true for me. And I'm betting my sample is better than his.

Just sayin'.

by John on Dec 02, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Murtha says army is 'broken, worn out'

December 01, 2005

Busy busy busy - so here's a caption contest...

Boquisucio provided this some weeks ago - I've been saving it for just such a time as this.

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Have at it - it *screams* for a caption!

BTW - if you've sent me email that you expected a response for, I discovered this morning that the spam filter has been a little too zealous. For some reason, Ry, it didn't like you - and since I tend to just flush that without looking, I have probably lost other emails as well.

Just sayin'. I'm not rude on purpose, just by accident and laziness!

Beth is Gonna Kill me for mentioning this...

Yo! John! Check this out.

Objective: The roof of the Eisenhower Building. Heh.

MWAAAHAHAHA!!!

HT: Instapundit


Update: Larry's comment needs to be up here!

The big gun of vegetable artillery -- the pumpkin cannon:

Pumpkin Cannon!


by Dusty on Dec 01, 2005 | Artillery

November 30, 2005

Some levity.

A living will

A man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to her,
"Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state,
dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle.
If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of his beer.


H/t, Randy K.

Next!

What a shock. A bear.

HASH(0x8c4fd80)
The spirit of the bear follows you. You are a very
down-to-earth person, lots of people find you
easy to get along with. You care a lot about
your family and freinds and you are a curious
person and like meeting new people. But there
is something that lies beneth(sp?) all of that
kind ness, an agressive person that will kill
if you have to. Yes, you love people, but if
the mess with you too much then out comes the
beast within. People that have experienced this
side of you keep their distance.


What animal spirit follows you?[gender friendly,8 different results,((PICS)) READ MEMO!!]
brought to you by Quizilla

Snerk - so's Bill...

And, um, don't mind the typos, the quizmaster means well...

H/t, AFSis.

Hey! There *is* a Strategy on Iraq!

Sez so right here!


No, I haven't read it yet. Posted as a public service...

November 29, 2005

Interesting tidbits.

Hmmm, it *isn't* the poor and disenfranchised who are joining the services. Just saying it's so doesn't make it so.

H/t, Ry.

Inventive minds at work... on eavesdropping... *this* one is going to annoy teens... if you watch Emeril, you know he's always telling you to hit on the cable company for smellivision, right? It's on the way... lastly, another competitor for space in the artillery's basic load - mine clearing rounds. Of course, now you have all those darts for the kids to hurt themselves with - or me to hurt myself with, given my track record...

Speaking of inventive minds... Snerk!

Heh. Ted Turner says Iraqis are not better off than before... Senator Joe Lieberman, just back from Iraq, has a slightly different view. Ted hasn't been there, has he? But - could they both be right? Just like the surgery patient at the moment isn't in the best of health... but is on the mend? Just sayin'.

I see Lex is back. Good.

For a change of pace: Anybody know what this is? A new addition to the Castle Munitions exhibit. It's a milestone piece of ordnance, albeit it had a brief life.

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So, research away! Unless you're a grognard and already know...


Update: Ken and Fred got it at pretty much the same time. But CAPT H got it first, and in detail:

A version of the Armour Piercing- Composite, Rigid projectile. In this case, the round is fired through a tapered bore barrel; the two flanges are squeezed into the main body, and the velocity of the round increases. "...was the squeezebore gun, of which there were two basic types; the Gerlich and the Littlejohn. In both, a projectile fitted with flanges to fit a large caliber barrel was squeezed down to a smaller caliber before it left the muzzle."

http://homepages.solis.co.uk/~autogun/ballistics.htm Geek Warning!
Drawings: http://homepages.solis.co.uk/~autogun/APtypes.jpg
Picture: http://homepages.solis.co.uk/~autogun/Subcalproj.jpg
More: http://www.lonesentry.com/german_antitank/index.html

Looks like yours is a 28/20mm for a Gerlich tapered bore gun (2.8cms PzB41?).

Got it in one, John.


On killing morale - and damaging trust and respect... and undermining authority

How do you seemingly work hard at destroying a generally fine Army? Like this... Reforms are one thing, hacking away at the basic glue that holds it together under pressure is another thing.

First, there's this: Strip officers of the power to charge their soldiers for serious offenses.

Officers will lose historic power to charge their men By Michael Evans, Defence Editor COMMANDING officers are to lose their historic powers to decide whether to charge their soldiers with serious offences, including murder, rape and human rights abuses. The most senior officers at the top of the chain of command will also be excluded from the decision-making process under new legislation to be laid before Parliament next month.

The decision comes after an unprecedented case this year when a commanding officer of a tank regiment was overruled after he had judged that one of his soldiers had not committed a criminal offence when he shot dead a civilian Iraqi.

The commanding officer of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment ruled that Trooper Kevin Williams, 22, should not be charged.

On the evidence available he decided that the soldier had acted within his rules of engagement.

However, the case was referred to the Army Prosecuting Authority, and Trooper Williams was duly charged with murder. But when his case came to the Old Bailey in April, the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the charge and he was formally acquitted.

The case highlighted the complexities of prosecuting soldiers in warzones, when they have to make split-second, life-and-death decisions. The role of the commanding officer who knows his men and understands the dangers they face in a war environment was always considered to be a crucial element of the military prosecution system.

Not any more. From this point on "Men in England now abed" will no longer hold their manhoods cheap for not being there on St. Crispin's Day, but will in fact be able to apply their 'safe in Bristol' sensibilities to combat decisions.

Read the whole article here.

It's one thing to have oversight, it's another altogether to equate combat zones with "routine procedures" in civil life. The term is mine.

Under the Armed Forces Bill, which is to be laid before Parliament on December 1, military investigators in serious cases will have to pass their findings direct to prosecutors.

Part of the aim of the new Bill, which will cover all three Services, is to forge a closer and earlier relationship between those who are investigating alleged offences — in the Army’s case it is the Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch — and the prosecution service.

This will be more in line with the civilian police and prosecution system.

So, we will overthrow the cart, rather than take a look at driver's training, so to speak. And while we will take authority from the commanders, the responsibility will remain in place.

This is not how you raise good leaders.

Then there's this, after you've been out gelding the officer corps, let's go and finish our trashing of the core of your army, the Infantry, and hit at a key piece of morale, unit affiliation. The US Army has gone through this trauma before, as well, albeit we have few units in the Regular establishment that have lineages as long as Brit regiments.

One of the Army's most senior officers expressed "great dismay" yesterday after learning that restrictions are to be imposed on wearing historic caps and badges after the merger of Scotland's regiments.

Lt Gen Sir Alistair Irwin, Colonel of the Black Watch, who is regarded by many critics as the architect of the Scottish "super-regiment" merger, said the decision would undermine the "painful process of amalgamation".

The new cap badge of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
He also said it would make the task of building a new single regiment, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, from Scotland's six regiments much harder.

This will pass, in time, but it still reeks. But, on the flip side, the US Army's combat efficiency wasn't terribly affected by the taking the black beret from the Rangers and giving it to everyone. The Rangers adapted. The average troop adapted.

Mostly.

Many US troops simply don't know how to wear the damn things properly, though. The Armorer does look rather dashing in one. If you can ignore the bowling pin physique underneath.

You can read the whole thing here.

H/t to CAPT H.

Lastly, to close out this mil-themed post, a little reminder that in this war, unlike most wars the Air Force has fought - it is the enlisted Airman who is more often at risk, whereas they usually waved 'bye-bye' to the officers as they took off to find glory in the sky.

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NORTHERN IRAQ -- A suicide bomber struck this truck on Nov. 30, 2004 killing seven and injuring 20 more. Miraculously, the three Airmen inside the vehicle emerged with only minor injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo)


November 28, 2005

Random Rounds.

After all the pictures of guns n' stuff the last coupla days, let's delve into some other stuff while I'm home for lunch.

1. While it's sad to see his decline and fall - the Republicans don't need a politician who sells his office. Well, no party does, actually. Too bad you failed the test, Duke.

2. Don Surber has this week's RINO Sightings posted.

3. The Christian Science Monitor covers the frustration of some returned Marines about how the war is portrayed in the media, though the writer Mark Sappenfield clearly struggles to maintain his worldview...


Like many soldiers and marines returning from Iraq, Mayer looks at the bleak portrayal of the war at home with perplexity - if not annoyance. It is a perception gap that has put the military and media at odds, as troops complain that the media care only about death tolls, while the media counter that their job is to look at the broader picture, not through the soda straw of troops' individual experiences.

Yet as perceptions about Iraq have neared a tipping point in Congress, some soldiers and marines worry that their own stories are being lost in the cacophony of terror and fear. They acknowledge that their experience is just that - one person's experience in one corner of a war-torn country. Yet amid the terrible scenes of reckless hate and lives lost, many members of one of the hardest-hit units insist that they saw at least the spark of progress.

You can read the whole thing here.

4. Surely by now you've heard of the foofa-raw over this year's USPS Christmas Stamps. Jay over at Stop The ACLU was all over it, as was "Spotty the Wonder Teen" (Real Teen at Right on Right) - and the Left went after them. I didn't touch this story, because when I looked at the USPS website, the stamps that were chosen for this year - and the fact that there were unsold Madonna and Child stamps from last year, I just didn't see it the way Althouse, et. al, did. But it was funny to watch the Left devolve almost immediately to calling Real Teen a Hitler Youth. I call Godwin's Law on the subject (though the author did mount a defense of same) - and the Left loses - though the Right jumped without looking, the great bane of blogs. Oh, heck, they both lose. For jumping without looking, and for being too cliche'-ridden.

5. The reasons behind the recently slowed, and slightly reversed slide of the Canadian Forces becomes more clear. Arrant Moonbattery at the top. H/t to too many to mention who sent that along.

6. Another story Real Teen is covering is that of the soldiers in Afghanistan who burned the bodies. The officers who made the decision to do the burning are getting slapped around for being insensitive to cultural issues, and the two NCOs who did the taunting are facing Art. 15 proceedings. While I understand the differences in disciplinary actions - if the NCOs did that with those officer's knowledge, I hope the officers are getting an equivalent spank.

7. Lastly, from the "Flaw on the Kaw" (Kansas University), we bring you... inverted Christmas Holiday trees!

8. Update: For an interesting perspective (and one I hadn't really thought about, not being a Limbaugh fan) on the prevalence of the use of Nazi in finger-pointing discourse, see Sanger Magee's post at the Grand Retort.

Personally - my recollection is that the Left has been using Nazi to describe the right since the 60's, and I think Sanger lets his annoyance with Limbaugh overpower his point - but he *does* have a point.


by John on Nov 28, 2005 | General Commentary
» The Grand Retort links with: Nazis Weren't Funny!

Hah! I *knew* there was more to the story than he was letting on...

While goofing off this weekend, I found a strange trackback. The IP address was all Fibonacci numbers, and when I went to the source it appeared to be a blog I'd never heard of before, "Pinfeathers". I would link to it but now the URL just brings up a message about no such server ever existing in any space-time continuum. Anyway, this page remained in my cache and I thought the Denizens would find it of interest ...

Now I know why Bill didn't hit on them - it wasn't because he thought they were carrying... it was Divine Intervention!

Anno Domine 2005, Cycle of Harmony 265
I really miss Effluvius. He was the funniest one of our team and he could come up with great names like Spreadsheet for Lt. Excelsius and I'm pretty sure he was the one who replaced Dolorius' wing powder with Extra Strength Gold Bond. I was thinking about him especially today because we got a special ops mission he would have loved. Seems our assigned human is just bound and determined to get into trouble even though his helicopters have been taken away (and that was a good thing 'cause Sgt. Carborundum was getting demonic around the edges close to the end there). So he figured out a way to get sent all the way out to where these two lady bloggers live and when Carbo heard that he did a one-jump launch and started spittin' coffee with the orders 'cause he was talking too fast to swallow.

It was really strange too because we have some new equipment, label says "PG-17a" and "BCR Laboratories" on the side and it went all spastic on us at the same time. (I didn't know robots went to Heaven but Dolorius says dogs do and why not robots?) Anyway, I get a case of the stupids and say something like we aren't the Morality Squad and don't they have their own GA details so Carbo has to pull my feathers out and douse me with poultry seasoning, pointing out we know *both* of them can place lead where they want it to go and did we really want to stand before a Board of Inquiry chorusing "I didn't know they were loaded"?

Point taken. Then the Ell-Tee wakes up and says maybe Tuttle will behave himself and man, it was funny how the whole squad found something else they just had to do right then. Carbo inhaled his coffee which was probably good even though he nearly choked 'cause he calmed down by the time he stopped coughing. Anyway even the Ell-Tee didn't really belive it either so we had to come up with a plan and I think we did a good job, that's what comes of working as a team for so long in a dangerous environment, it really makes you work together. We had it all covered. The long flight, switching the decaf and regular coffeepots, Incompatible File Formats, screwing up the meal schedule, even the weather. The best bit was Carbo hacking into the human's logistics systems and getting all the gear Tuttle was supposed to look at in three different places. He's mean, but he's good! And it worked -- he was too tired to hit on anything except his beer! Never seen him so well-behaved.

Non-denizens may find this confusing. You can catch up...

Here...

And here...

And here.

Now yer caught up on Guardian Angels.

Okay, Okay. Context *Isn't* Everything.

'Pears that accuracy in writing code is also right up there.

Grumpf. There's more to this bloggin' thing than meets the eye. Especially if what's supposed to meet the eye *doesn't*...

F'r instance, if you dropped in here and clicked away at the links and didn't see this bit of etchery

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or the foundry's marque

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it's because I bollixed the code. Looks like I'm a magnet a$$ for stupid bit more of a tyro than I'd thought. Anyway, John got it in one--what a surprise. I never thought he'd recognize them in sunlight. And, for your edification, here's the context

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and--ta-daaaah!--the verification.

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Soooo, how did the Water Battery's antiques wind up at Fort Lewis? Here's one theory:

Fort Lewis is in the state of Washington, the capitol of which is Olympia; Admiral Dewey's flagship was the cruiser Olympia. The night after the Battle of Manila Bay, some sailors from the Olympia were sitting around Emiliano's Cantina and one of 'em said, "You know, I'll bet we could score some points with the babes back in Olympia if we brought those two shiny carriage anchors back. I'll betcha it'll only take fifty of us to carry 'em back to the ship." So, the fifty sailors hefted the guns and were enroute back to the boat, but soon tired and decided they needed some additional porters. They left the guns and went in search of their other shipmates.

A Warrant Officer sauntered by, saw the guns, thought they'd look great on his lawn, tucked one under each arm and walked off.

As I said, it's a theory...

Heh.

Anyhow, botching the code kinda serves me right for throwing in pix of bowling ball launchers. Next time, I'll stick with the really *good* stuff, like

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the Cobra gunner's view of the bombardier's station after the bombardier's been watching the Cobra get closer--and then remembers *his* guns are dummies.

Ummmm--*that's* a theory, too...

November 27, 2005

Testing... testing...

Amy of Prochien Amy just did you guys who use older laptops or 800 pixel resolution a big favor. She fixed the stylesheet so that it displays properly - with a functional scrollbar (I wasn't willing to give up the three-column format for you guys... yet). Amy has done some tweaks for SWWBO, too - like her entire redesign.

I know it works in IE and Netscape - at least on my machine. I'd appreciate any feedback about problems - and please tell me what browser you are using if you are having a problem!

THANK YOU AMY!

Heh. While I have you here, I should send you to this video, provided by The Queen of All Evil(I linked to one of her tasty rants), via SWWBO and her Ad Blog!!!

And remember: It *could* be true, and that's all that matters!

What the heck - go visit MSG Keith and see his Christmas lights!

by John on Nov 27, 2005 | General Commentary
» Prochein Amy links with: Wooo hoooo!

Context is everything

Remember this?

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No problem if you don't--John was the only one to get really excited about it. And it *is* a Lange Morser--and here it is in context (which is what gave John the chuckle in the comments).

To the victors belong the spoils. Pretty much every military organization in the world agrees with that, judging by some of the items you see on military bases.

Like this, f'r instance.

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Cast in the days when a gun was also a work of art, which is probably the reason so many are now souvenirs. This one's Spanish. The year's not visible, but it's 1755.

And it was taken in battle by American forces.

Hmmmmm. Wonder who'll beat John to the type (that shouldn't be hard, unless he happens to be staying up late) and I wonder who'll guess closest to which war was its last...

Oh, yeah--the "context" pic will give you a chuckle. And when John finishes googling every Western Hemispherical war since Eric the Red bumped heads with the skraelings...heh.

by CW4BillT on Nov 27, 2005 | Artillery