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June 21, 2008

Feh. Memes. And the people who tag you with them.

But, as Ry notes - they die with me, I don't pass 'em on. But, it's Saturday, the only people here are googlers-for-gun-pr0n and the regulars, who might find some of this interesting.

Cassie tagged me, Bill, and SWWBO. Ry, loyal as he is, tried to deflect it for me, but was unsuccessful. The Doomsayer is persistent.

So, here's the rulez:

The rules are
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. [Okay]
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. [Heh, don't hold your breathe about how weird I'm gonna get.]
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. [Nope. Ain't doing it.]
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. [See #3]
5. Present an image of martial discord from whatever period or situation you’d like. [Okay - though I admit I don't get this one, in context.]

I, like many of the others who have suffered through this, also misread the initial requirement of martial discord as marital - so this is probably some college student's bad psych project...

Seven facts.

1. Not counting deployments, etc, I've lived in 22 places over the years. While this does include multiple times in the same area, like Fort Sill, there's always more than a year between those times, and with one exception, a different street address.

2. I've visited every continent except Australia and Antarctica. 99% of the time it was not to meet interesting people and kill them, as the old snark goes (only on weekends, if you're a Reservist).

3. I'm one of the few bloggers who've been invited to spend an hour with the President in the White House as a result of my blogging.

4. Heh. I've met Michelle Malkin, gotten hugs and chatted, and can't score a link. I've never met Glenn Reynolds, but I've gotten 5 Instalanches in the last two months... of course, I'm still not blogrolled by Glenn... or Malkin for that matter. But I have done Hugh Hewitt's radio show, which is always fun. Hmmm. The key seems to be - stay away from them, interact remotely, and don't let 'em get close enough to smell you... 8^ )

5. I'd like to find a way to make this writing about stuff I really like to write about turn into a paying gig - but the writing I do that I *do* get paid for pays a lot better than anyone wants to pay for what I do on the blog... which, in truth, is a good measure of the value of the blog... sigh. Because the writing I do for a living is... boring. Important, but really boring.

6. When I retired, I was allowed to keep my kevlar helmet and gas mask, because they were custom-made to fit this huge pumpkin on my shoulders. My football helmets were custom-made, too. That's one way you know you're a decent ballplayer - they're willing to spend the money on a custom helmet. Well, except for my first helmet. When I played youth football in Germany, the AYA (American Youth Activities) didn't have a helmet that would fit. So my Dad got ahold of the people who were storing the football equipment for the 3rd Armored Division football team (Divisional competitive sports had recently been discontinued) and got a helmet from them. It was an older-style helmet, but we marked it to match the graphics of my team (Go Eagles!) and thus was a nickname bestowed. No. You don't get to know.

7. I won my first competitive shooting trophy when I was 14, shooting a Colt Combat Masterpiece while I was attending the Missouri Cadet Patrol Academy. That was an American Legion thing conducted ICW the Missouri Highway Patrol at the Patrol's academy in Jefferson City. I had never pulled a trigger prior to that. A man approached my Dad at the graduation/awards ceremony (Dad was in his Colonel-suit) and congratulated him on how well he had trained me. This guy fully expected his son, who finished 2nd, 10 points behind me, to win. Dad looked at him and said, "I didn't teach him anything. This is the first time he's ever shot anything as far as I know. He doesn't even have a BB gun." Heh.

On to a picture of martial/marital discord. I give you both. The Secretary of Defense filing for divorce from the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force...

Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne, left, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley resigned Thursday following a series of high-profile scandals and disagreements between Air Force leadership and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne, left, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley resigned Thursday following a series of high-profile scandals and disagreements between Air Force leadership and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 21, 2008 | TrackBack (0)

June 19, 2008

Conservative ceiling cat...

...bitterly clings to his bible, his rifle, and rum.

Conservative ceiling cat bitterly clings to his bible, his rifle, and rum.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 19, 2008 | TrackBack (0)

June 18, 2008

Why I'm Voting Democrat

[Kat]

The Armorer stole my thunder, but I definitely wanted to explain to all of our dear Castle Readers why I am going to vote Democrat this year.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe that we don't have nearly enough regulation of our commerce, health care and free speech. Especially, free speech. There are way too many people saying way too many things that just don't jive with my political and personal beliefs. I think we should be able to use the government, the police, the courts and any ad hoc, un-elected, un-trained bureaucrats to point out and persecute people who don't say or think the right things. We can call it a human rights commission. Wouldn't that be ironic? But, everyone would take that super serious just because of the name and when they prescribe a thousand mea culpa's on our knees for daring to note someone has a different color of eyes than all the other people, we'll be so grateful it wasn't worse.

People can be offended by the things that people say, write and do and the people that do these offensive things should be made examples of using every means possible, up to and including imprisonment. I am so ready for that because I am way tired of being offended.

[continued in flash traffic]

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Kat on Jun 18, 2008 | TrackBack (0)

May 20, 2008

Concerning Angels, Pins, and Dancing

I have no idea why you mortals have spent the last few thousand years getting all worked up about our recreational activities. Really, you are over-thinking things just a tad if this post is any example. Instinct for the capillary, I believe it's called.

First: Yes, angels dance. It is a relaxing and enjoyable activity that my therapist says can help with the Tuttle-related flashbacks, except when there are collisions which just triggers them again.
Second: We don't dance on pins. (Why pins? This has never been clear to me. Why not ... oh, mushrooms? Or spiderwebs? Clouds, even? I really don't understand humans. At all.) Anyway, as I was saying ... we're angels. Check out the wings. Our dances are three-dimensional because we fly. No dancing surfaces needed.

I hope this helps alleviate some of the uncertainty inherent in the human condition. Really, guys, you've got more interesting things to wonder about -- like why the number of hot dogs in a package is not the same as the number of hot dog buns in a package. Aren't they supposed to go together?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Carborundum on May 20, 2008

May 15, 2008

This is no [some bull]shite!

It's not new and I didn't look, but Bill may have run this before), but it's funny, and it strikes at the heart of a chunk of the military experience... the stories. And the picture is worth it.

A guy was driving around the back woods of Tennessee and he saw a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog for Sale'.

He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the back yard and sees a nice looking Beagle sitting there.

'You talk?' he asks.

'Yep,' the Beagle replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'

The Beagle looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA and they had me sworn into the toughest branch of the armed services...the United States Marines. You know one of their nicknames is 'The Devil Dogs.'

'In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders; because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running, but the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger. So, I decided to settle down.'

'I retired from the Corps (8 dog years is 56 Corps years) and signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

'Ten dollars,' the guy says.

'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'

'Because he's such a bullshitter ... He never did any of that shit. He was in the Navy!'

devildawg.jpg


H/t, The Auld Soldier.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 15, 2008

May 14, 2008

The Rooster Rides Again

[Kat]

Back by popular demand, the Rooster Wranglers of Arrgghhh!...Benny Hill Style...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Kat on May 14, 2008

Let peace reign rain...

Let peace <s>reign</s> rain...

Tacky, but my kinda sports metaphor.

H/t, JimC

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 14, 2008

May 11, 2008

I deny everything

ANGCOM would like to take the opportunity to state, for the record, that this purported Guardian Angel has absolutely no connection to them and they repudiate, with extreme prejudice and a ten foot pole, any and all responsibility for disasters associated with its use. Just to clarify, this fake GA is what you mortals call a computer program. Real GAs are numinous spirit beings with wings that don't have license agreements or inexplicable error messages. Further, when WE decide to do something to save your hides, we do not ask your permission or input. Just ask Tuttle. The real hint is the fake GA was spawned by B*ll G*tes. Do I really need to tell you we don't work with that guy? He's responsible for a significant percentage of current human moral decay, you know. Too many Blue Screens of Death lead to profanity, violence, and subsequent corrosion of the soul. And just look at what they want to do with this idiotic idea:

"In addition to protecting you from possibly diseased people, by detecting body temperatures, the Guardian Angel's 'monitoring component can take note of the number of conversations occurring in a room (and more specifically, a breakdown of the types of people in the room accompanied by a warning for dangerous persons, based on sex offender registration, FBI most wanted, etc.).' The versatile Guardian Angel, Microsoft notes, can also recommend restaurants, advise you on the appropriateness of your jokes, detect that your heartbeat has stopped, display targeted ads on billboards, and block spam."

I mean, nothing bad could possibly come of that. (courteous dip of the wings to Slashdot)

- Carborundum

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Carborundum on May 11, 2008

The Rooster Wranglers of Argghhh!

[Kat]

Since no one has offered me a bribe or generally genuflected in my direction and blackmail loses its power unless you're willing to do what you said you would do, I bring you your Sunday morning laugh: the Rooster Wranglers of Argghhh!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Kat on May 11, 2008

May 10, 2008

Doggoned MSM

Talk about misleading headlines -- this one is just plain cruel...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on May 10, 2008

May 9, 2008

It's Contest-In-Context Time!

Contest Space-Time Continuum Time, actually. Here's a sample from Abyss & Apex:

11/15/2104 At 14:52:28, FreedomFighter69 wrote: Reporting my first temporal excursion since joining IATT: have just returned from 1936 Berlin, having taken the place of one of Leni Riefenstahl's cameramen and assassinated Adolf Hitler during the opening of the Olympic Games. Let a free world rejoice!

At 14:57:44, SilverFox316 wrote:
Back from 1936 Berlin; incapacitated FreedomFighter69 before he could pull his little stunt. Freedomfighter69, as you are a new member, please read IATT Bulletin 1147 regarding the killing of Hitler before your next excursion. Failure to do so may result in your expulsion per Bylaw 223.

At 18:06:59, BigChill wrote:
Take it easy on the kid, SilverFox316; everybody kills Hitler on their first trip. I did. It always gets fixed within a few minutes, what's the harm?

At 18:33:10, SilverFox316 wrote:
Easy for you to say, BigChill, since to my recollection you've never volunteered to go back and fix it. You think I've got nothing better to do?

Got the idea? Go back in time, do something cool, then yak about it. Or *un*do somebody's cool deed or farcup.

My example, reference *this* episode:

08/25/2104 At 04:32:45, CageyHajii502 wrote: Just returned from 24 Feb 2008. Filched the last two soap dishes from the PX/BX at FOB Warrior, Kirkuk (old spelling) in Iraq, thus compelling one W. Tuttle, an obscure US contractor, to procure a soap dish from Husam ("Sam") Ramaad, future CEO of the Kurdish Free State and Alpine Resort Association, who was then-proprietor of a small sundries shop. The results of the transaction were two-fold:

1. Sam sold Tuttle the last soap dish available in what was then Northern Iraq, thereby compelling al-Qaeda-in-Iraq soap dish foragers to return to Mosul empty-handed one week later. AQI members were left with no option but to leave their sole bar of soap on a nearby rock during their ablutions; nettle spines which had settled on the rock during the previous day's sandstorm adhered first to the soap and then to AQI members during subsequent ablutions, resulting in a 99% death rate from terminal rectal itch and reducing the remainder of the organization to committing random acts of jaywalking.

2. Sam used the cash (USD1) to corner the dust market in Kurdistan and, when the haute coutoure bunch declared khaki talcum powder the "absolute must-have" accessory for 2009, Sam became the wealthiest man east of the Greenwich Meridian.

The rest, as we now know, is history. Go pound sand, SilverFox316.

Hat Trick Tip to JMH, via the Flea.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on May 09, 2008

May 8, 2008

Mix 'n match cultures... dangers thereof.

Yesterday, in the H&I Fires, I pointed to an article about Golf in the Green Zone.

Bill chimed in with the observation that if you are an inveterate golfer, you need to have a care that just because *you* golf, doesn't mean everybody does - and that which looks "golf-ish" just might be something altogether different...

Photo copyright Akinoluna at: http://akinoluna.blogspot.com/2006/03/golf-iraq-style.html



There's a driving range up here, according to a couple of the guys who think golf is actually a sport of some sort. They checked it out last week -- spotted chunks of red-painted rebar driven into a flat spot, figured those were the Permanent Tees, and started popping balls downrange.

Couple of Iraqi Engineer types came sauntering up and casually informed them they were teeing off on suspected UXO markers...

This PSA is brought to you as free service of Castle Argghhh!, a painful grip on the obvious for 5 years and counting...

The photo above was sneekily snatched from Akinoluna and her blogpost on Golf, Iraq Style.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 08, 2008

May 2, 2008

Sent along by the Auld Soldier...

With this kicker: "Having just spent your inheritance for a couple of squirts of printer ink, I can relate to this."

Seen some like this before but they are always fun to read again. Enjoy and feel better about the price of gas.

I guess the next time I spend $9.00 for an 8oz. bottle of shampoo, I won't feel so guilty! The price of Gas versus Printer Ink

All these examples do NOT imply that gasoline is cheap; it just illustrates how outrageous some prices are....

You will be really shocked by the last one!
(At least, I was...)

Compared with Gasoline......

Think a gallon of gas is expensive?

This makes one think, and also puts things in perspective.

Diet Snapple 16 oz $1.29 ... $10.32 per gallon

Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz $1.19 ..........$9.52 per gallon

Gatorade 20 oz $1.59 ..... $10.17 per gallon

Ocean Spray 16 oz $1.25 ........ $10.00 per gallon

Brake Fluid 12 oz $3.15 ...... $33.60 per gallon

Vick's Nyquil 6 oz $8.35 ... $178.13 per gallon

Pepto Bismol 4 oz $385 .. $123.20 per gallon

Whiteout 7 oz $1.39 ..... . $25.42 per gallon

Scope 1.5 oz $0.99 .....$84.48 per gallon

And this is the REAL KICKER...

Evian water 9 oz $1.49..$21.19 per gallon! $21.19 for WATER and the buyers don't even know the source

(Evian spelled backwards is Naive.)

Ever wonder why printers are so cheap?

So they have you hooked for the ink.

Someone calculated the cost of the ink at...............

(you won't believe it....but it is true.......)

$5,200 a gal. (five thousand two hundred dollars)

So, the next time you're at the pump,be glad your car doesn't run on water, Scope, or Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or God forbid, Printer Ink!

Just a little humor to help ease the pain of your next trip to the pump...

And - If you don't pass this along to at least one person, your muffler will fall off!!

Okay, your muffler won't really fall off...but, you might run out of toilet paper

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 02, 2008

April 24, 2008

Doggone Apache Pilots Have All The Luck

Well, *some* Apache pilots do, as John noted in yesterday's H&I.

Of course, the *Cobra* pilots (yeah, yeah, okay, I'm the only one -- sue me) of the SugarButtons Brigade Aviation Battalion have a few incentives to keep current, too.

The SBB Armament Section, for one. And I sure couldn't fly very far without the selfless devotion of my fuel handlers. Of course, since the dreaded AH-1F is a flying *crew*-served weapons system, I'd be just plain foolhardy to slip the surly bonds of earth solo and deprive myself of the services of my highly-trained, exceptionally-skilled gunner.

Ah-*heh*...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Apr 24, 2008

Doggone Apache Pilots Have All The Luck

Well, *some* Apache pilots do, as John noted in yesterday's H&I.

Of course, the *Cobra* pilots (yeah, yeah, okay, I'm the only one -- sue me) of the SugarButtons Brigade Aviation Battalion have a few incentives to keep current, too.

The SBB Armament Section, for one. And I sure couldn't fly very far without the selfless devotion of my fuel handlers. Of course, since the dreaded AH-1F is a flying *crew*-served weapons system, I'd be just plain foolhardy to slip the surly bonds of earth solo and deprive myself of the services of my highly-trained, exceptionally-skilled gunner.

Ah-*heh*...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Apr 24, 2008

April 22, 2008

A look at the campaigns from across the pond...

Subject: One Foreigner's Opinion

We in Denmark cannot figure out why you are even bothering to hold an election.

On one side, you have a witch who is a lawyer, married to a lawyer . . . and a lawyer who is married to a witch who is a lawyer.

On the other side, you have a war hero married to a good looking woman with big gazongas who owns a beer distributorship.

Is there a contest here?"

H/t, Princess Crabby

Aside from the fact that it's funny (and probably is even to many Democrats) the alignments, laid out like that, are... interesting.

Not that war hero, large glands and beer are qualifiers - but that the contrast, I'm thinking, does serve to show a possible source of the Dem's candidates troubles in connecting to significant chunks of the electorate which would otherwise seem an easy-to-connect constituency.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Apr 22, 2008

April 14, 2008

My Sibs Are As Odd As I Am

And as proof, I offer this from My-Sister-the-Forest-Ranger, who dwells in -- ahem -- Tucson.

DOG DIARY

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 PM - Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 PM - Milk bones! My favorite thing!

7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

CAT DIARY

Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless torso at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.

B*st*rds!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

Heh.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Apr 14, 2008

Breaking news! New Acquisition for the Arsenal of Argghhh!!!

Eschewing contact with shady arms dealers in the Miami area (based on Boquisucio's advice) I worked with reputable Merchants of Death in the DC area... and the Armorer of Argghhh! can definitively support Senator Hillary Clinton's "dodged sniper fire in Bosnia" story!

We have acquired the *actual* rifle used in that event! The Senator is un-equivocally telling the truth.

The sniper rifle actually used to attack Senator Clinton when she was First Lady visiting Bosnia!

(click the pic for a better, more stealable view)

Unsurprisingly, when we examined closely, we discovered that this rifle, like most phallic objects in the Senator's orbit, only shoots blanks, and displays a disturbing tendency to deposit firing residue on the person pulling the trigger.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Apr 14, 2008

April 11, 2008

The Deployed Guy's Guide to Dining Hall Etiquette

The first time the Deployed Gentleman (DG) enters the Dining Facility and encounters, in order,

1. The Lady Contractor, clad in either shorts or spray-on jeans,

2. The Lady Contractor, clad in full-up battle rattle and spray-on cargo pants, and

3. The Warrior Princess, clad in full-up battle rattle, packing enough heat to fight (and win -- single-handed) the Napoleonic Wars, and displaying more cutlery than Emeril ever owned,

the DG is faced with a quandary. How to comport himself during Polite Social IntercourOOOPS Conversation with his Feminine Potential Dining Companion.

They didn't cover *that* at CRC.

To correct that unfortunate, but forgiveable, oversight, The Castle has instituted still *another* One-Off, Never Go There Again chapter in its miniseries of Public Service Symposia.

Lesson One: Mastering Polite Table Talk

First, the DG should be aware of the length of time his Dining Companion has In-Country, which will enable him to expand upon their mutual experience. Fortunately, the Gentler Sex communicates this information through body language, and the astute DG should key on these subtle signs.

Been Here One Week: Observes DG in peripheral vision, recoils.

Been Here Two Weeks: Makes inadvertent eye contact with DG, recoils.

Been Here Three Weeks: Makes inadvertent eye contact with DG, shrugs.

Been Here Four Weeks: Makes inadvertent eye contact with DG, smiles.

Been Here Five Weeks: Makes deliberate eye contact with DG, smiles.

Been Here Six Weeks: Asks DG to get her a cup of coffee when DG gets up to refill his.

Been Here Seven Weeks: Mentions that the PX has just received a new shipment of stationery.

Been Here Eight Weeks: Mentions that the PX has just received a new shipment of military accoutrements.

Been Here Nine Weeks: Mentions that the PX has just received a new shipment of combat cutlery, but it consists of "the same crappy Chinese KaBar knockoffs" as usual.

Been Here Ten Weeks: Slams tray on table, says, "Geez! What a farking day *this* -- hey! Don't you *dare* move! -- has been! I swear to..."

Ahem.

Next Lesson: Complimenting the Warrior Princess on Her Choice of Fighting Knives...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Apr 11, 2008

April 2, 2008

I've been pretty resistant...

...about getting all snarkily political this silly season.

But sometimes, you just can't resist, and I *do* have Photoshop®. There *is* this thing called the Internet...

So, Senator Clinton, in Philadelphia yesterday, compared herself to... Rocky.

I had a very strong mental image of Senator Clinton's arrival at the Democratic National Convention this summer...

Rocky VII - The Horror...


Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Apr 02, 2008

March 29, 2008

From an un-named source at the MANSCEN*...

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE Our doctrine guys getting bored...

______________________________________________

This is an actual military working dog in Iraq.

You Engineer and MP types are cool.

size1-army.mil-2008-03-26-082844.jpeg


We in the Chemical Corps are catching up…

HazmatDog!


Working dog envy. MPs have em, EN has em...

Or, this is what happens when the bugs & gas crowd uses a little too much of their own product.

Don't attribute me...I got it from our doctrine folks:) Just credit the think tank at Leonard Wood.

Snerk. *MANSCEN = Maneuver Support Center. The home of the Engineer Corps, the MP Corps, and the Chemical Corps at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. "Fort Lost-in-the-Woods"

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 29, 2008

March 27, 2008

Seen around New York.

Hosting provided by FotoTime


Heh. Speaking of politicians from the Empire State...

From the fertile mind that resides here: http://directorblue.blogspot.com/

The latter comes from the man who gives us bucket's o' snark at Doug Ross@Journal.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 27, 2008

March 15, 2008

Major Movie Star... the movie.

Yeah, yeah, Jessica Simpson is making a movie.

Let's get to the important stuff.

Who the *helk* taught Private Jeter how to wear a bloody beret? The technical advisor for this movie should be summarily executed.

Jessica Simpson, as Pvt Valentine, graduates basic training in this screen shot from her new film

Jessica Simpson, as Pvt Valentine, graduates basic training in this screen shot from her new film "Major Movie Star."

Seriously, take a closer look. That Private needs some serious help.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 15, 2008

March 14, 2008

British Speed Trap

Heh. It's not new, but it's still funny...

Two British traffic patrol officers from North Berwick were involved in an unusual incident while checking for speeding motorists on the A-1 Great North Road. One of the officers used a hand-held radar device to check the speed of a vehicle approaching over the crest of a hill, and was surprised when the speed was recorded at over 300 mph. Their radar suddenly stopped working and the officers were not able to reset it.

Just then a deafening roar over the treetops revealed that the radar had in fact latched on to a NATO Tornado fighter jet, which was engaged in a low-flying exercise over the Border district, approaching from the North Sea.

Back at police headquarters, the chief constable fired off a stiff complaint to the RAF Liaison office. Back came the reply in true laconic RAF style:

"Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete the file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked onto, your hostile radar equipment and automatically sent a jamming signal back to it.

"Furthermore, an air-to-ground missile aboard the fully-armed aircraft had also automatically locked onto your equipment.

"Fortunately, the pilot flying the Tornado recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile systems alert status, and was able to override the automated
defense system before the missile was launched and your hostile radar installation was destroyed. Good Day..."

The Coppers were prolly out looking for this lot:

H/t, Bob W.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 14, 2008

March 10, 2008

I didn't know the Pilsbury Doughboy was a Navel Radiator.

PERSIAN GULF (March 5, 2008) Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) Airman Waldemar Martinez, assigned to the

PERSIAN GULF (March 5, 2008) Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) Airman Waldemar Martinez, assigned to the "Red Rippers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, cleans the canopy of an F/A-18 Super Hornet on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Truman and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 are deployed supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo J. Reyes

I know those are radomes on the island of the Truman, but, c'mon, doesn't it look like the Doughboy and his doxie are in the front seat there?

If you'd like a larger version of the picture - click here.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 10, 2008

March 5, 2008

If it's Mattel, it's swell!

Just for fun.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 05, 2008

March 2, 2008

Point/Counter point, Castle Argghhh! style.

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to do much of anything online (with the taking care of my friend’s widow and all her legal issues, babysitting, and then getting really, really, sick), but I’ve been wanting to act as counter point to Kat for a while. She’s gone on a rampage with content. Some of it deserves very lengthy, serious, and thought out responses. Some of it doesn’t.

So let me kick off this counter-point to her in classic SNL style:
(more below the fold)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Ryan on Mar 02, 2008

February 27, 2008

I think we could use a break.

They Gave Their All

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque.

It was covered with names with small American flags mounted on either side of it.

The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, 'Good Morning, Alex.'

'Good morning Pastor, what is this?' he asked the pastor.

The pastor said, 'Well, son, it's a memorial plaque to all the young men and women who died in the Service.'
Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque.

Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked...


...'Which service, the 8:30 or the 10:45? '

H/t, Jim C.

by John on Feb 27, 2008

February 14, 2008

Last night at the Battle Update Brief...

Hosting provided by FotoTime

For those of you who have *ever* conducted a BUB, sat in a BUB, or [squinty eyed glare] been the *target* of a BUB, you'll die laughing.

Well, maybe not you guys who've been the *targets* of a BUB. For you guys, let this just be a lesson on how the *rest* of us were seeing things.

So, click here, make sure you're sound is on... and sit in on the BUB.

H/t, Jim C.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 14, 2008

February 13, 2008

"High Flight" Updated

Well, as John has noted previously, the Castle's fairly well established in Google as a source for Aviation Poetry by People More Famous Than We Are. Heh. This will either cement us at Number One or dump us into the "Yeah, we found it, but didn't list it because you don't really wanna go there" category.
HIGH FLIGHT
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr
(Annotated for Army Aviators by -- *ahem* -- Yours Truly)
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds1 of earth
And danced the skies2 on laughter-silvered wings 3;
Sunward I’ve climbed4, and joined the tumbling mirth5
Of sun-split clouds6 -- and done a hundred things7
You have not dreamed of8 -- wheeled and soared and swung9
High in the sunlit silence10. Hov’ring there11,
I’ve chased12 the shouting wind along13, and flung
My eager craft14 through footless halls15 of air.
Up, up16 the long, delirious17 burning blue18
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights19 with easy grace20
Where never lark or even eagle flew21
And, while with silent, lifting mind22 I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity23 of space,
Put out my hand24, and touched the face of God25.
Annotations, naturally, are in Flash Traffic. Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

by CW4BillT on Feb 13, 2008

Tips For Bosses of Military* Planners

I should note that this note went out to Bill's new boss in yesterday's email dump.



1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 1800 hours and then bring it to me. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing.

2. If it's really a "rush job," run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes inquire how it's going. That helps. Or even better, hover behind me, advising me at every keystroke.

3. Always leave without telling anyone where you're going. It gives me a chance to be creative when someone asks where you are.

4. If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books, or supplies, don't open the door for me. I need to learn to function as a paraplegic and opening doors with no arms is good training.

5. If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me which is the priority. I am psychic.

6. Do your best to keep me late. I adore this office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do. I have no life beyond work.

7. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. If that gets out, it could mean a promotion.

8. If you don't like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to be popular in conversations. I was born to be whipped.

9. If you have special instructions for a job, don't write them down. In fact, save them until the job is almost done. No use confusing me with useful information.

10. Never introduce me to the people you're with. I have no right to know anything. In the military food chain, I am plankton. When you refer to them later, my shrewd deductions will identify them.

11. Tell me all your little problems. No one else has any and it's nice to know someone is less fortunate. I especially like the story about having to pay so much taxes on the new Navigator.

12. Wait until my annual efficiency report and THEN tell me what my goals SHOULD have been. Give me a mediocre performance rating. I'm not here for the money anyway.

*Actually, any good staffer, regardless of the staff.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 13, 2008

February 12, 2008

The Ballad of the Powerpoint Ranger

lrga127.jpg

(To the tune of "The Green Berets")

Demands are made, from day to day,
Briefings held, and changes made.
Graphics slides, a must they say,
and PowerPoint is the only way.

Computers crash, and printers stall,
Overloading protocol.
Network's down and soldiers cry,
Briefing's late so heads will fly.

Pin PowerPoint Slides upon my chest,
Full-color slides, they look the best.
One Hundred Slides were made that day,
But only 3 were ever displayed.

A smile came on the General's face,
Slides were done and looked just great!
T'was up all night, worked really late,
Just to hear, the General state:

My soldier son, your slides were great,
Briefing's done, slides up to date.
One problem son, the color's wrong,
One more chance, or you go home.

So tell my mom, I've done my best.
Pin PowerPoint Slides on my chest.
One hundred slides were made that day,
But only 3 were ever displayed.

Mark Grimsby has more, over at WarHistorian.

Just remember, Staff Weenies - keep your eye on the ball.

cbb.jpg


Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 12, 2008

February 11, 2008

Fifty Years of Math

My globe-toodling has at least given me an appreciation for the fact that fast food in an airport (and there isn't any other kind) is an order of magnitude higher than the price of fast food anywhere else. And I noticed something else about fast food -- or it's purveyors, anyway.

Last week I purchased a burger at the local Chew-'n'-Choke for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 while I dug a bit for some coinage, then pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

My purpose inrelating this vignette?

Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s. Of course, none of the Denizennes will be able to relate to the *earlier* years, say, those prior to 1997...

*cherubic smile* *batting eyelashes*

1. Teaching Math In 1950s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Math In 1960s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In 1970s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1980s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990s

A logger cuts down a beautiful old-growth hardwood forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes?
Remember, there are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's okay.

6. Teaching Math In 2007

Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

Heh. I *dare* the NEA to tell me I'm exaggerating...


[Update: Greetings to visitors from Instapundit. If you've the inclination to hang around, we've got civil-military affairs here and here this week, and some more funny stuff in tips for bosses of military planners and Ballad of the Powerpoint Ranger, and a little bit about "Why do people like to shoot?" Since you're here, feel free to knock about! -the Armorer]

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Feb 11, 2008

February 9, 2008

How 'bout a coupla whatziss' for ya this weekend?

They might both be simple, they might both be difficult, depending on what you already know.

But heck, I have the most fun when you guys give up and start making stuff up, anyway.

This one, you might have seen before, in a couple of places.

Whatziss?

This one, while I know what it is - I'd never seen a picture of, before I stumbled across this one.

Whatziss?

You may commence.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 09, 2008

February 8, 2008

Electile Disfunction Sufferers--take heart!

Exciting new breakthrough from BCR Labs-Biotech Division! [For Immediate Release]

Researchers have announced the development of a treatment for Electile Disfunction (ED). In recognition of the grave situation the FDA has waived all time-consuming requirements such as human double-blind trials and safety testing in an effort to get this drug to the countless millions of sufferers before the upcoming election.

[Ad Copy]
Do you suffer from flaccid political interest? Unable to function during caucuses, primaries, or even general elections? Have you noticed an inability to become excited or aroused by any of the candidates?

As voters become older and wiser many frequently find the thrill of voting, the heady feeling of changing the world won't rise to the occasion. Sometimes health issues, such as inability to forget prior candidate performance, can also inhibit spontaneity and pleasure.

I had such a severe case of ED I wasn't even interested in voting for myself! -- Bob Dole

It's embarrassing -- you've always considered yourself a stalwart citizen, firm in your beliefs, always ready to raise the standard of civic responsibility and stimulated by the energetic give-and-take of political debate, the penetrating analysis, the oral arguments, all culminating in waves of passionate support that crescendo to a final overwhelming conclusion.

But now you usually drift off to sleep before the debate has finished. You have no interest in initiating political discussions, evading questions with awkward excuses. Perhaps your spouse has discovered the pamphlets about Antarctic condos, the benefits of long-term hibernation, or the Popular Mechanics issue about converting old missile silos to comfortable bomb shelters.

Help is on the way! BCR Labs new biomedical division has worked feverishly through many long nights to develop GRAVITRA®, a safe and effective treatment for the tragedy of Electile Disfunction. GRAVITRA® allows you to sustain an interest in minutia when *you* feel the urge. No cumbersome electroshock equipment to spoil the mood! (See a doctor if effects last longer than four hours, or if you find any secret messages from the Illuminati while alphabetizing your kitchen cupboards). With GRAVITRA® everything the candidates do will be deliciously fraught with meaning! Long stump speeches will no longer provoke humiliating snores! You will enjoy elections again (and in Chicago, frequently!)

(GRAVITRA® is not for everyone. Patients accustomed to rational thought, philosophers, and individuals with a genetic propensity for common sense should use caution. Side effects include Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, anal-retentive behavior, and late-onset autism)

See your doctor for a prescription now! New patients are eligible for the BCR Labs GRAVITRA® Promotional Kit, with tools and suggestions for imaginative role-playing and decision-making.

--Bad Cat Robot, if you couldn't guess

[Coming Soon - ED Bumper Stickers and Shirts!]

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Denizens on Feb 08, 2008

February 2, 2008

Countdown

Three more hours and I begin the trek to Ft. Benning, Jaja. And, while I'm TSIRTing my fingers to nubs on Sunday (and all the rest of the week, too, but this joke happens to refer to Sunday), you guys can watch The Game with your minds at ease, knowing I'm out there cussing a blue streak stoically preparing to defend your sorry butts right to nacho your LDL numbers into low Earth orbit.

Ummmm -- save me a couple of chili-dogs, John. Extra cheese.

A Patriots fan has 50-yard-line tickets for the Super Bowl. As he sits down, another Pats fan comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him.

"No," said the firstcomer, "the seat is empty."

"This is incredible!" said the second fan. "Who in his right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it ?"

Somberly, the first Pats fan says, "Well, the seat actually belongs to me. My wife usually accompanies me, but she passed away. This will be the first Super Bowl we haven’t been to together since we got married in 1967."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else -- a friend or relative, or even a neighbor -- to take the seat?"

The man shakes his head, sadly, "No. They're all at the funeral…"

Heh. A present for Maggie from her neighbor, Baby-san.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Feb 02, 2008

February 1, 2008

Okay, this has been a pretty chewy week...

...with lots of meaty, portentous posts and comments - and not enough silliness.

So. Silliness! There is a photo below the fold in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry provided by Boquisucio. It's pretty much safe for most work environments, but... it's down there so no one is embarrassed when they go to a co-worker, "Hey! Lookit this cool website I found, that got lots of good military stuff on ...GAAAAAAAACK!"

Boq proposes a caption contest. I'll get you started, with a caption that will give you a clue, too.

"An Israeli General Staff officer, mistaking the movie "300" for a documentary, introduces proposed changes to the IDF combat uniform..."

That oughta do it. Whoa! Don't get between the Flash Traffic and Werekitty and Princess Crabby! Dangit. Now I'm going to have to replace the door!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 01, 2008

The Greening of the Castle...

...reducing our carbon bootprint by recycling old jokes.

Although, since some of you weren't paying attention when it first appeared, it'll be a *new* joke to you.

Two Arab terrorists are in the locker room taking a shower (well -- this *is* a joke) after their bomb making class, when one notices the other has a huge cork stuck betwixt his nether cheeks.

“If I do not offend your tender sensibilities," says the observer, "that cork looks very uncomfortable. Why do you not remove it?"

“I regret that I cannot," laments the observed. "It is permanently emplaced within my sphincter."

"I do not understand," says the observer. "How came it to be there?"

The observed replies, "I shall endeavor to explain. I was walking along the riverbank and I tripped over a lamp of curious and ancient design. There was a puff of smoke and then a huge old man garbed in raiment of the flag of the Amriki with a white beard and top hat came boiling out. He said, "I am Uncle Sam, the Genie. I can grant you one wish."

I said, "No sh*t?"

Dedicated to the AQI-types hunkered down in Mosul.

P.S. Go take a nice stroll along the riverbank to settle your nerves...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Feb 01, 2008

January 31, 2008

For those contemplating retirement, some useful info...

While there no perfect place, there is something for everyone.... I can validate the Midwest portion. You can meet famous people, but you have to go somewhere else to do it. Of course, you can also buy an expansive demesne nearly the size of Central Park for what half a duplex will cost you in California.

Where to Live After Retirement
You can live in Phoenix, Arizona where.....
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot wa ter in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!

You can Live in California where...
1. You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
6. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought .

You can Live in New York City where...
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
3.You think Central Park is "nature,"
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
5. You've worn out a car horn.
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You can Live in Maine where...
1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.

You can Live in the Deep South where...
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. "y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3. "He needed killin'" is a valid defense.
4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, MARY BETH, etc.

You can live in Colorado where...
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.

You can live in the Midwest where...
1. You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"

OR, You can live in Florida where..
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2.. All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you are often driven by headless people.

H/t, Dad.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 31, 2008

January 28, 2008

Money Quote...

The wife while watching Ted Kennedy endorse Obama:

"I haven't seen him this excited since he got out of the water..."

Heh. - Instapilot

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Dusty on Jan 28, 2008

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

Since this week the Castle is getting an uptick in visits from the college crowd, I should post something that will play to the stereotype of a right-wing gun-nut, so we having to talk about in class... 8^ ) Not that Kat hasn't been doing her best of late to stir that pot.

And with this post, I can play to both the Right-Wing Fascist Myrmidon *and* Gun-nut stereotypes... though, for the record, I don't like Glocks all that much.


Jihadi portrait service.

To see what I mean - click here.

[You should read the comments to this post - that's where I make my point.]

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 28, 2008

A Retired American Major...

...of Irish lineage was touring the Ancestral Isle and became pathetically lost somewhat misoriented. Chancing upon a pub in the center of a small village, he stopped in and asked the landlord, "What's the fastest way to Dublin?"

"That depends," he replied. "Are you walking or driving?"

"I'm driving," answered the Major (Ret).

"Ahhhh, very good -- that's the fastest way."

Heh.

Got my orders -- I'll be spending the first week in February in Cricket Country (the Benning School for Boys, aka, the Columbus Stockade). Last time I was there was June of 2001, doing a trainup for wintertime in the Balkans -- which struck me as akin to conducting ASW training in Denver.

Remind me to pick up some decent desert boots while I'm there -- Clothing Sales at Dix only had chick sizes in stock...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Jan 28, 2008

A Retired American Major...

...of Irish lineage was touring the Ancestral Isle and became pathetically lost somewhat misoriented. Chancing upon a pub in the center of a small village, he stopped in and asked the landlord, "What's the fastest way to Dublin?"

"That depends," he replied. "Are you walking or driving?"

"I'm driving," answered the Major (Ret).

"Ahhhh, very good -- that's the fastest way."

Heh.

Got my orders -- I'll be spending the first week in February in Cricket Country (the Benning School for Boys, aka, the Columbus Stockade). Last time I was there was June of 2001, doing a trainup for wintertime in the Balkans -- which struck me as akin to conducting ASW training in Denver.

Remind me to pick up some decent desert boots while I'm there -- Clothing Sales at Dix only had chick sizes in stock...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Jan 28, 2008

January 25, 2008

Urban legend abornin'...

I got an email this morning that has all the highlights of an urban legend in the making.

[Photo removed at the request of the copyright holder - see comment fom Tim]

The K9 above is Brutus, a military K9 at McChord. He's huge - part Boxer and part British Bull Mastiff and tops the scales at 200 lbs. His handler took the picture. Brutus is running toward me because he knows I have some Milk Bone treats, so he's slobbering away! I had to duck around a tree just before he got to me in case he couldn't stop, but he did. Brutus won the Congressional Medal of Honor last year from his tour in Iraq. His handler and four other soldiers were taken hostage by insurgents. Brutus and his handler communicate by sign language and he gave Brutus the signal that meant "go away but come back and find me". The Iraqis paid no attention to Brutus. He came back later and quietly tore the throat out of one guard at one door and another guard at another door. He then jumped against one of the doors repeatedly (the guys were being held in an old warehouse) until it opened. He went in and untied his handler and they all escaped. He's the first K9 to receive this honor. If he knows you're ok, he's a big old lug and wants to sit in your lap. Enjoys the company of cats.

Emphasis mine. Okay, we know the Medal business is bogus. And if the story was otherwise true, doncha think it would be all over the 'net like a rash? But it isn't. Snopes hasn't heard of it yet, and I couldn't find a whiff on Google.

I'm throwing the BS flag - if you know better *do* please offer up some corroborating evidence! The reason I posted it is because I just wanted to be in (as a debunker) of what could make it into Urban Legend.

Well, that and I like the pic of the dog. BTW - anybody find that picture elsewhere on the 'net, in other contexts?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 25, 2008

January 23, 2008

The C.O.'s Morning Briefing:

The Commanding Officer of a Regiment in the U. S. Marine Corps was about to start the morning briefing to his Staff and Battalion and Company Commanders.

While waiting for the coffee machine to finish its brewing, he decided to pose a question to all assembled. He explained that his wife had been a bit frisky the night before and he failed to get his usual amount of sound sleep. He posed the question of just how much of sex was 'work' and how much of it was 'pleasure?'

The X.O. chimed in with 75-25% in favor of work.

A Captain said it was 50-50%.

The Colonel's Aide, a Lt., responded with 25-75% in favor of pleasure, depending on his state of inebriation at the time. [Marine Colonels have Aides?]

There being no consensus, the Colonel turned to the PFC who was in charge of making the coffee. What was HIS opinion?

With no hesitation, the young PFC responded, "Sir, it has to be 100% pleasure."

The Colonel was surprised and, as you might guess, asked why?

"Well, Sir, began the PFC, "if there was any work involved, the officers would have me doing it for them."

The room fell silent.

H/t, Joe McD via Brian H.

Do try the veal, and amply tip the wait staff! I'll be here all week!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 23, 2008

January 22, 2008

More Global Warming, Plz.

I'm not griping - I *like* this kind of weather. I'm just saying it's s'posed to get colder... people who've lived here since the 90's are somewhat surprised by this weather - snow that stays on the ground for over a week, temps below 10F, etc. If they'd been here for the late 80's or early 70's, they wouldn't be so surprised.

Where's AlGore and the Global Warming he's been promising me?

So, where *is* Algore and the Global Warming he's been promising me?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 22, 2008

January 18, 2008

Pink weaponry, continued.

Ah, why not?

People brought up the SAS Pink Panthers...

SAS Pink Panther Land Rover.

And while we noted "Mountbatten Pink" for warships, there aren't any color photos of same... so we'll substitute a much brighter shade of pink, as applied to the USS Balao.

Not your father's Yellow Submarine - the USS <em>Balao</em> gussied up for her movie role in Operation Petticoat.

Even if it was for a movie...

There are two more in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry... because, well, one is embarrassing.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 18, 2008

January 15, 2008

Phrases for Frequent Deployers: Lesson the Second

Maggie made a comment on yesterday's lesson

I have found that tipping with American money helps people from other countries to understand me completely.

that I thought was worth expanding upon:

If you go to the USA, you'll find that a dime is a lot of money.
· Si vous allez aux Etats-Unis, vous trouverez que dix cents c'est beaucoup de fric.
· Si usted va a los Estados Unidos, se dará cuenta de que diez centavos son mucho dinero.
· Wenn du in die USA fährst, wirst du rausfinden, dass zehn cent viel Geld sind.
· Kogda Vy priedete v SShA, Vam stanet izvestno skol'ko kupit desyatka.
· Se va negli Stati Uniti, scoprirà che dieci centesimi sono un sacco di soldi.
· Hvis du tager til USA finder du ud af af, at ti cents er mange penge.
· Als je eens naar de Verenigde Staten gaat, zul je ontdekken dat tien cent veel geld is.

Soooo, Our Princess answers the *supposedly* rhetorical question: "But how ya gonna make some time when all ya got is one thin dime?"

Clicky for a luvverly rant in the comments...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Jan 15, 2008

January 14, 2008

Phrases for Frequent Deployers: Lesson the First

The Defense Language Institute has a bunch of handy-dandy downloadable (except to machines running Vista) English-to-Whatever common phrase pamphlets for folks going to pretty much anywhere. Problem is, the subject matter is limited to items like, "Halt! Put the pin back in the grenade and place it gently on the ground!" and "You have a sucking chest wound. Shall I notify a medic?"

Personally, I prefer my Phrasebook for Frequent Deployers. Not only are the phrases more appropriate for social situations, but the languages are limited to French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Norwegian and Dutch, which makes them both easier to memorize and pretty much insures that you'll only be conversing with someone who's not about to stick a shiv into your spleen.

Today's lesson:

I understand your language perfectly.
· Je parle français comme une vache espagnole.
· Hablo español como un gringo borracho.
· Ich sprechen deutsch wie italienisch Fußballtrainer.
· Ya govoryu po-russki kak gruzinskiy pederast.
· Parlo italiano come un cameriere di un ristorante cinese.
· Jeg forstår dig fuldstændigt.
· Ik spreek Nederlands zoals een Fransman Engels.

See how easy that was?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Jan 14, 2008

January 13, 2008

Fractured Fairy Tales...

In the comments of this post by Bill, Bill and Trias had this exchange:

BillT briefed on January 9, 2008 12:56 PM:
Actually, "homelike" means anything that doesn't flood much in a monsoon and with enough snakes in the surroundings to keep the rats down but not enough to be a nuisance. Oh, yeah -- and within walking distance of a bar.

Trias briefed on January 10, 2008 7:12 AM:
I think your walking distance to a bar could cover quite an area, particularly if the beer is cold.

Hmmmm. Parrothead Jeff went hunting, and found out how those contractors are really getting their CH3CH2OH (it must be CH3CH2OH, because we know "alcohol" isn't legal in that part of the world...).

Seeing this, and remembering this post of Bill's, I sent out the spies. After a series of sordid dealings, we got photographic proof of what a bunch of contract helo jocks do when they're in a country where ordnance is just laying about, scrup'ls are haram, and personal security is hard to come by, and they've had some CH3CH2OH.

Myself, I think the second round out in a ripple might suffer some accuracy problems due to platform stability issues. To keep this place from getting blacklisted by PETA, you'll have to click the Flash Traffic/extended entry to see Bill's External Guard Force Iraq).

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 13, 2008

January 9, 2008

Self-explanatory.

Rules for a gunfight.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 09, 2008

January 7, 2008

Fighters or C-130's?

John, Dusty;

This was sent from an aspiring young man who wanted to become a pilot ... a fighter pilot. The response was hilarious and would probably apply to some airline jobs ... especially a few freight dog jobs that see misfit pilots flying all over the world. Anyway, read and enjoy.
Mike



Sir:

I am D. J. Baker and I would appreciate it if you could tell me what it takes to be an F-16 fighter pilot in the USAF. What classes should I take in high school to help the career I want to take later in life? What could I do to get into the Air Force Academy?

Sincerely,

DJ Baker
*********************************************

From: Van Wickler, Kenneth, Lt Col , HQ AETC

Anybody in our outfit want to help this poor kid from Cyberspace?

LTC Wickler
**********************************************

A worldly and jaded C 130 pilot, Major Hunter Mills, rises to the task of answering the young man's letter.
**********************************************

Dear DJ,

Obviously, through no fault of your own, your young, impressionable brain has been poisoned by the superfluous, hyped-up, "Top Gun" media portrayal of fighter pilots.

Unfortunately, this portrayal could not be further from the truth. In my experience, I've found most fighter pilots pompous, backstabbing, momma's boys with inferiority complexes, as well as being extremely over-rated aeronautically. However, rather than dash your budding dreams of becoming a USAF pilot, I offer the following alternative:

What you really want to aspire to is the exciting, challenging and rewarding world of TACTICAL AIRLIFT. And this, young DJ, means one thing, the venerable workhorse, the C-130! I can guarantee no fighter pilot can brag that he has led a 12-ship formation down a valley at 300 feet above the ground, with the navigator leading the way and trying to interpret an alternate route to the drop zone, avoiding pop-up threats, and coordinating with AWACS, all while eating a box lunch with the engineer in the back relieving himself and the loadmaster puking in his trash can!

I tell you DJ, TAC Airlift is where it's at! Where else is it legal to throw tanks, HUMV's, and other crap out the back of an airplane, and not even worry about it when the chute doesn't open and it torpedoes the General's staff car! Nowhere else can you land on a 3000 foot dirt strip, kick a bunch of ammo and stuff out on the ramp without stopping, then takeoff again before range control can call to tell you that you've landed on the wrong LZ! And talk about exotic travel; when C-130s go somewhere, they GO somewhere (usually for 3 months, unfortunately). This gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture long enough to give the locals a bad taste in their mouths regarding the USAF and Americans in
general, not something those C-141 Stratolifter pilots can do from their airport hotel rooms!

As far as recommendations for your course of study, I offer these:

1. Take a lot of math courses. You'll need all the advanced math skills you can muster to enable you to calculate per diem rates around the world, and when trying to split up the crew's bar tab so that the co-pilot really believes he owes 85% of the whole thing and the navigator believes he owes the other 20%.

2. Health sciences are important, too. You will need a thorough knowledge of biology to make those educated guesses of how much longer you can drink beer before the tremendous case of the G.I.'s catches up to you from that meal you ate at the place that had the really good belly dancers in some God-forsaken foreign country whose name you can't even pronounce.

3. Social studies are also beneficial. It is important for a good TAC Airlifter to have the cultural knowledge to be able to ascertain the exact location of the nearest topless bar in any country in the world, then be able to convince the local authorities to release the loadmaster after he offends every sensibility of the local religion and culture.

4. A foreign language is helpful but no t required. You will never be able to pronounce the names of the NAVAIDs in France , and it's much easier to ignore them and to go where you want to anyway. As a rule of thumb: waiters and bellhops in France are always called " Pierre ", in Spain it's "Hey, Pedro" and in Italy , of course, it's "Mario". These terms of address also serve in other countries interchangeably, depending on the level of suaveness of the addressee.

5. A study of geography is paramount. You will need to know the basic location of all the places you've been when you get back from your TDY and are ready to stick those little pins in that huge world map you've got taped to your living room wall, right next to the giant wooden giraffe statue and beer stein collection.

Well, DJ, I hope this little note inspires you. And by the way, forget about the Academy thing. All TAC Airlifters know that there are waaay too few women and too little alcohol there to provide a well-balanced education. A nice, big state college or the Naval Academy would be a much better choice.

Hunter Mills,
Major USAF


Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 07, 2008

January 1, 2008

*Sigh* My Bad --

-- a perfectly good blonde joke and no comments from the blondes.

I take full responsibility.

I should'a been here to explain it to 'em.

Heh. Happy New Year, gang!

Update: It's worse than I thought -- google's not accepting any more queries for "shiny"...

Now, I feel awful. Really.

So, I think I'll saunter over to Maggie's for an arithmetic lesson to cheer me up...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Jan 01, 2008

December 31, 2007

Another Public Service of the Castle.

Why let Bill have all the fun? Some tips to improve or even save your life!

AMAZINGLY SIMPLE HOME REMEDIES

1. If you are choking on an ice cube, simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat. Presto! The blockage will instantly remove itself.

2. Avoid cutting yourself slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold while you chop. [The Armorer is consdering this one next time he tries to get a bayonet out of a sticky scabbard...]

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the shower.

4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button. [So will 7 hungry cats with claws]

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

7. You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

8. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKYS. NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS... ..


H/t, Stacy via SWWBO.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 31, 2007

A Castle Public Service...

...for those of you attending Celebratory Functions (if you don't know what *that* means, you've had too much egg salad) tonight. When the small talk dies down (as it inevitably does around 0345), you can crank up the frivolity with:

A blonde goes into a store and sees a shiny object. She asks the clerk, "What is that shiny object?"

The clerk replies, "That is a thermos."

The blonde then asks, "What does it do?"

The clerk responds, "It keeps hot things hot and it keeps keeps cold things cold."

The blonde says, "I'll take it!"

The next day, she walks into work with her new thermos. Her boss ('nother blonde) sees her and asks, "What is that shiny object you have?"

The blonde replies, "It's a thermos."

The boss then says, "What does it do?"

She replies, "It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold."

The boss says, "Wow, what do you have in it?"

The blonde replies, "Two cups of coffee and a popsicle."

And, for FuzzyBee and Maggie, in recognition of their sterling tag team act last week:

Q: How do you get a blonde to take off her blouse?

A: Ask her to count to 12.

But first, make sure the digicam's batteries are fully-charged...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Dec 31, 2007

December 29, 2007

Gee, It Really *IS* All How You Look At It!

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director, "How do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized?"

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Ah, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No," replied the Director, "a normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"

Heh! H/t to Mo...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Dec 29, 2007

December 28, 2007

Doctrine For Dummies.

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FM 3-0 for SAMS Students. Given the post below this one - I'm thinking Ralph Peters would approve this version.

Table of Contents


Introduction………………………………………………………2

Text……………………………………………………………………..3

Glossary………………………………………………………………...5

Introduction

You are students. This means you are supposed to learn things. Read this and learn it.

There will be a test. There are only two grades…”win”, or “lose”.

Come back with your shield, or on it.


I.M. Mean
General
Soldier in Chief

The rest is in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry - including a link to a .pdf version you can send to all your friends [Wait! Don't do that! Send them a link to the post, so they'll come here to get it and I'll get all that traffic! Yeah! That's the ticket!]!!!

Update: Just to be clear (because it wasn't) I'm *not* the author of this FM. I *wish* I was, and I do work for Fort Leavenworth, but I didn't do this piece. This came to me in an email blast, and no one has fingered the author yet. Which might be on purpose... -the Armorer)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 28, 2007

December 27, 2007

What I Wanted for Christmas

Last year, many of us went to Santa's Gun Shop, and got to ask for our favorite things for Christmas. Well, this year I didn't forget. I sat on The Old Elf's knee again and asked for a Kitty-Corner-Shot-Rifle®.

To my dismay, on Christmas Morn' there wasn't any Kitty-Corner-Shot-Rifle® under the tree. Only the usual boring socks and shirts were awaiting for me.

Knowing that Mr. & Mrs. Kringle are great 2nd Amendment Supporters, I knew that it wasn't out of fear that I would poke my eye out, that I didn't get my Kitty-Corner-Shot-Rifle®. Then I remembered, that in order to hedge my bets, I also went to The Three Kings' Tent and put in the good word to Melchior for a Kitty-Corner-Shot-Rifle®. Mr. Clause and Melchior always cross reference their "Nice" Lists in order not to double-up gifts. I'm sure that my Kitty-Corner-Shot-Rifle® is packed into one of them camels, and is on its way in from the orient. How do I know? Well, every evening when I look at the Western Sky I see them, I see them; Melchior, Gazpar and Baltazar riding high in the sky bringing gifts to good children everywhere.

Yippieee! I better get grass clippings ready for the camels, along with cookies and cream for The Three Kings. Because come The Feast of the Epiphany (a.k.a. The 12th day of Christmas {as in The 6th of January}), I shall get my Kitty-Corner-Shot-Rifle®.

BOQ

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Denizens on Dec 27, 2007

December 26, 2007

'Twas the Day After Christmas

And another Vulture joins the List Of Infrequent Contributors with this tale of wintery woe:

One winter morning, a husband and wife in northern Colorado were listening to the radio during breakfast. They heard the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through." So the good wife went out and moved her car.

A week later, while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer said, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through." The good wife went out and moved her car again.

The next week, they were again having breakfast, when the radio announcer said, "We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park..." Then the electric power went out. The good wife was very upset, and with a worried look on her face she said, "Honey, I don't know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowplows can get through?"

With the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married to blondes exhibit, the husband replied, "Considering the amount of snow they're expecting, I doubt it'll make much difference. Why don't you just leave it in the garage?"

And a tip of the bullet-scarred SPH-4 to slick870.

Now Cassie will be gunning for *both* of us...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Dec 26, 2007

December 24, 2007

Ya better watch out - Brass coming to visit!

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To: ALL Personnel
From: Goode, U. B., MG, Commanding

Reference: Operation Order 12-15-07 for: Official Visit of Lieutenant General Santa Claus

1. An official staff visit by Lieutenant General Claus is expected at your house on 25 December. The following directives govern activities of all soldiers during the visit.

a. Not a creature will stir without permission. This includes warrant officers and mice. Soldiers may obtain special stirring permits for necessary administrative action through the Battalion S-. Officer stirring permits must be obtained through the Deputy, Post Plans and Policy Office.

b. All personnel will settle their brains for a long winter nap NLT 2200, 24 December. Uniform for the nap will be: Pajamas, Cotton, Light Weight, General Purpose, ACU pattern, and Cap, Elf, Woodland Pattern w/White Fur Trim and Ball. Wear of the beret is not authorized. Equipment will be drawn from the supply room prior to 2130. While at supply, all personnel will review their personal hand receipts and sign a Cash Collection Voucher, DD Form 1131, for all missing items. Remember, this is the "season of giving."

c. Personnel will utilize standard "MRE" ration sugar plums for visions to dance through their heads. Sugar plums are available in "MRE" ration sundry packs and should be eaten with egg loaf, chopped ham, and spice cake to ensure maximum visions are experienced.

d. Stockings, Wool, Cushion Sole, will be hung by the chimneys with care. Necessary safety precautions will be taken to avoid fires caused by carelessly hung stockings. First Sergeants will submit stocking handling plans to S-3, Training prior to 0800, 24 December. All Platoon Sergeants will ensure their subordinate personnel are briefed on the safety aspects of stocking hanging.

e. Upon first indications of clatter, all personnel will spring from their bunks to investigate and evaluate the cause. Immediate action will be taken to tear open the shutters and throw up the window sashes. On order OPLAN 7-2006 (North Pole), paragraph 6-8 (c)(3), dated 4 March, this office, takes effect to facilitate shutter tearing and sash throwing. Non-Commissioned Officers will be familiar with procedures and are responsible for seeing that no shutters are torn or sashes thrown in house prior to the start of official clatter.

f. Prior to 0001, date of visit, all personnel possessing Night Vision Devices will be assigned "wandering eyeball" stations. The CompanyBattery/Troop First Sergeants will ensure that these stations are adequately manned even after shutters are torn and sashes are thrown.

g. The Battalion S-4, in coordination with the National Security Agency and the Motor Pool will assign one each Sleigh, Miniature, M-24 and eight reindeer, tiny, for use by Lieutenant General Claus. The assigned driver must have a current sleigh operator's license with roof top endorsement and evidence of attendance at the winter driving class stamped on his DA Form 348. Driver must also be able to clearly shout "On Dancer, On Dasher, etc." Under no circumstances will CW4(r) Tuttle be assigned the duty, due to a special drective from ANGCOM.

2. Lieutenant General Claus will initially enter house through the Company/Battery/Troop Dayroom.

a. All houses without chimneys will draw Simulator,Chimney, M6A2 for use during the visit. Draw chimney simulator on DA Form 2765-1, which will be submitted in four copies to the S-4 prior to 23 24 December. Personnel will ensure that chimneys are properly cleaned before turn-in at the conclusion of visit.

3. All Non-Commissioned Officers will be rehearsed in the shouting of "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" or "Merry Christmas To All and To All a Good Night." This shout will be given upon termination of the visit. Uniformity of shouting is the responsibility of each Company/Battery/Troop First Sergeant.

Mission First!
GOODE, U. B.,
MG, Commanding


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H/t, Parrothead Jeff

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 24, 2007

December 15, 2007

"Kansas 1850" days 4 and 5.

So, Day 5, still no power, so we're not Eloi. But...

This is what Day 4 looked like.

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The horses were glad to see the Candy Man, sure enough!

But - the generators did get in at Home Despot, so now, we're proto-Eloi! With a room that has light... and we actually watched a little television last night. Climbing the evolutionary ladder, one slow, ice-covered rung at a time.

Of course, now it's snowing, which will no doubt slow down the restoration of full up juice to those wall-thingys. And it's supposed to get *cold* tonight. As in between 0-10, so SWWBO tells me.

More disturbing perhaps, at least to the locals... is this picture of Sasquatch, caught on a hunter's critter-cam...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 15, 2007

December 13, 2007

Hey! Wi-fi! I can post while getting coffee!

Castle Argghhh! brings you Day Three of our Living History Event, “1850’s Kansas!” Or, “How I learned to appreciate electrons spilling from that thingy in the wall.” More accurately named, “Living in a chilly world lit only by fire, except when at the office.”

Kansas Living History - a World Lit Only By Fire (with apologies to William Manchester)

Oh, and there’s that problem that at least with an *actual* 1850’s Kansas house, it was built to maximize the benefits of the fire (yeah, sometimes *too* well) whereas the 1970’s simulacrum we’re using… isn’t.

The one thing *all* of my compatriots participating in this Living History event agree on… the thing that sux the most is… no coffee that first day, if you were unprepared (as we were) for that eventuality.

I’ve got it easy. The office is open, so I go to work, where there’s light, internet access, heat… and coffee.

SWWBO is learning that fires have to be fed, a lot. This means schlepping wood from the substantial pile and staging it by the fireplace. Plus, with the ground frozen, she’s got to schlep hay out to the horses twice a day. Yesterday the two guys who pasture their horses with us brought out a round bale, so SWWBO doesn’t have to schlep as much hay… but then there is the water for the horses. The ice is thick enough now that the horses can’t easily break it themselves, so SWWBO has to go crack the ice. Firearms do that nicely, actually. And the horses are getting used to it… so we’ve got the beginnings of a cavalry Remount Station going here.

Me, I get fire duty at night, which is fine, since I don’t sleep worth a fiddle because my CPAP doesn’t work well sans electricity. So, since I’m up - a lot - I keep an eye on the fire.

The one thing all of my compadres-in-flickering-light agree on is… coffee. SWWBO made it clear yesterday that if I didn’t produce a coffee-making miracle, to not bother coming home last night. I ended up driving 20 miles away before I found a place (Cabelas) that had any stoves, much less old-timey coffee pots. Or propane. Or batteries, for that matter. But that’s not as much fun as my buddy with the $40,000.00 coffee grinder. It’s largish, in fact, it looks a lot like a pickup truck. But it has an ac/dc converter in it… and so that big old diesel was fired up to grind coffee… Hmmmmm. Ac/dc converter for the truck… (scribble).

I was successful.

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On the drive home, the Ur-Armorer came out. Driving out Eisenhower, past all the snug, warm homes with Christmas lights ablazin’, my Inner-Grendel awoke, muttering darkly at those strange creatures in their strangely bright surroundings.

Moving farther out, I found “my people,” the Morlocks, flickery shadow-beings in dimly-perceived structures, with flickering, red light casting eerie dancing shadows, as they huddle around the communal fire.

Heh. Move from the oasis of lights into the abyss and something else happens… the fog. Only it isn’t fog – its wood smoke. Talk about 1850’s Kansas… or London. Well, in London it would have been coal-smoke.

Turning north I passed by some more islands of Eloi, before plunging back into the Morlock demesne. Then, head west again, and find little groupings of Eloi, with their thrice-damned Christmas lights ruining my Morlock-vision before plunging back into the realm of darkness, and its huddled denizens. Here and there you’d see proto-Eloi, with a single room illuminated; watching TV while the little generator out back made a racket – a racket disturbing to the ears of us Morlocks. My inner-Grendel howled at the heartless stars above the leaden clouds!

Motoring on north again, we approach the Demesne of Argghhh! still in Morlock-thrall. But wait- there’s a difference this night. There’s a line of light on the horizon… only a half-mile away, once-worthy Morlocks have sold their souls to the Electric Demon and have regained Eloi status! Rage burns in a sullen breast.

As I pull up to Castle Argghhh! the wolves coyotes howl. One not fifty meters behind me as I get out of the truck, another just a hundred or so meters away on the hill… both answered by another on the hill a ¼ mile to the east.

And a dog, barking defiantly into the darkness.

Two other things. 1. Will Sell Rent Soul For Electricity, Wanna Be An Eloi Again! 2. Writer’s strike? Who cares?

Of course, it could be worse, much worse. I could have lights, heat, hot chow... and people shooting at me or trying to blow me up. So, all in all, we're doing fine living in our little Living History event of "1850's Kansas!"

Oh, and the utility tells us, two more days if we're lucky, 4 if we're not.

Feh.

Oh - it really *is* pretty. However, once this stuff starts melting... look for local flooding! Which *we* being on top of the ridge that is the highest ground in the county... are pretty much safe from.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 13, 2007

December 11, 2007

Admittedly, I've been taking a mini-vacation.

Well, rather, my *Muse* has. Never fear, there are things in the works. I never realized, however, how much my ability to post relied upon true high-speed internet access vice the faux-high speed we've got via satellite. Which is still light-years better than the putative (Hi Mark!) wireless cell access and double-lights years better'n dial-up. So, while Calliope, Clio, Melpomene are all AWOL, Thalia does show up now and then.

Anyway - a Joke, via Mike L:

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

This is why women should not take men shopping against their will. You might also want to reconsider if you really want to retire with your husband.

After Mr. and Mrs. Fenton retired, Mrs. Fenton insisted her husband accompany her on her trips to Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, Mr. Fenton was like most men--he found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunately, Mrs. Fenton was likemost women--she loved to browse. One day Mrs. Fenton received the following letter from her local Wal-Mart.

Dear Mrs. Fenton,
Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and may be forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr. Fenton are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4.July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, "Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away."

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.

6. September 14: Moved a "CAUTION - WET FLOOR" sign to a carpeted area.

7. September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.

8.September 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"

9. October 4: Looked right into t he security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11.December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.

12. December 6: In the auto department, he practiced his "Madonna look" by using different sizes of funnels.

13.December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled "PICK ME! PICK ME!"

14. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed "OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!"

And last, but not least ....

15. December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!"

Yours very truly,
Management of Wal-Mart

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 11, 2007

December 8, 2007

A Joke! A Joke!

Because I suspect this one is really funny because deep inside, many of us, including hard corps I'll-die-before-I'll-vote-for-anyone-other-than-a-Democrat Democrats relate to this punch line slapstick...

Denizenne AFSIS sends:

.... and the crowd shouted "HALLELUIAH!!!!"

*****************
The Pope and Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) are on the same stage in front of a huge crowd. "Her Majesty" and His Holiness, however, have seen it all before, so to make it a little more interesting, the senator says to the Pope, "Did you know that with just one little wave of my hand I can make every Democrat in the crowd go wild?" He doubts it, so she shows him.

Sure enough, the wave elicits rapture and cheering from every democrat in the crowd. Gradually, the cheering subsides.

The Pope, not wanting to be out done by such a level of arrogance, considers what he could do. "That was impressive. But did you know that with just one little wave of MY hand I can make EVERY person in the crowd go crazy with joy? This Joy will not be a momentary display like that of your subjects, but will go deep into their hearts, and they will forever speak of this day and REJOICE."

The senator seriously doubts this, and says so. "One little wave of your hand and ALL the people will rejoice forever? Show me!!"

Sooo----the Pope slapped her.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 08, 2007

December 1, 2007

Go 'way. I'm busy today. Today sucked.

Contents of this post deleted due to complete irrelevance.

Ya got to be able to beat Oklahoma, boys, if you want to be National Champions.

A prefect trifecta of losses, I didn't even have *one* number in the lottery drawing.

Ah well. I can go back to not giving a flying flip about sports until next year.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 01, 2007

November 30, 2007

Empiric Proof of the Answer to the Question.

And the Answer is "Yes."

Proof of the Answer is in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Nov 30, 2007

November 28, 2007

It's Time to Jump the Gun...

...on Christmas jokes.

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates. "In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said, "you must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas in order to get into heaven."

The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said. "You may pass through the Pearly Gates," Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells." Saint Peter said, "You may pass through the Pearly Gates."

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just *what* do those symbolize?"

The man replied, "They're Carol's!"

H/t to Mo.

Hey, at least I didn't post it right after Columbus Day...

by CW4BillT on Nov 28, 2007

November 21, 2007

Accessorizing your Instapilot.

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I can see Dusty with this accessory.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Nov 21, 2007

November 16, 2007

It's Friday, time for a little lightening up.

I heartily agree with Kat's post, though - while we need to defend the troops from slander and those who would paint with a large brush - we need to spend as much time making sure we bring 'em *all* home, and by that I mean the guys and gals who've come back... but a significant part of them is still "over there."

Stress is stress. And getting help to handle it is the *right* way to go.

Now, that levity I promised...

RETIREMENT PLANNING FOR 2007

If you had purchased $1,000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00.

With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1,000.00.

With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.

If you had purchased $1,000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49.00 left

But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling refund, you would have had $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

It's called the 401-Keg Plan.

H/t CSM Larry.

Then there's *this* - here's a Non-Commissioned Officer with a weighty responsibility.

Presidential Leap<br />
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kevin McDaniel November 14, 2007 </p>

<p>Former President George H.W. Bush, 83, the oldest living president, free falls with Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliot at the grand reopening of the Bush Library in College Station, Texas (Texas A&M University), Nov. 10.

Presidential Leap Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kevin McDaniel November 14, 2007

Former President George H.W. Bush, 83, the oldest living president, free falls with Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliot at the grand reopening of the Bush Library in College Station, Texas (Texas A&M University), Nov. 10.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Nov 16, 2007

November 5, 2007

FOUO: Service Branch Football Playbooks

Poking through the old Boz Dufflebag O' Stuff from 2002, I discovered my copy of the Consolidated Comparative Analysis of the Service Branch Playbooks (Abridged) -- and, since Football Season snuck in through the back door while I was engaged in teaching Gaby the Junior Scruple that tunneling in the compost heap is frowned upon in these here parts, I figure it's time for it to see the light of day once again...

Recently, the Pentagon announced new rules for the Fall 2002 Army-Navy-Air Force-Marine Corps football tournament. It is now known that the gender-integrated teams will take to the gridiron only after negotiating the following:

1. Only flag football will be played. The Joint Chiefs of Staff rated both tackle and touch football Extreme High Risk: first, due to the CNN factor, the public will no longer tolerate even one field casualty, and second, touching another player today--even the congratulatory pat on the butt--is asking for a court-martial.

2. The phrase "making a pass" will be changed to the less inflammatory "throwing the ball."

3. The Army, Navy and Marines will be prohibited from attempting throws beyond 5 yards because of Air Force protests that it alone owns the long-range aerial attack mission.

4. The Marine Corps may run with the ball, but no more than 25 yards per quarter, the Pentagon ruled. It was prompted by Army objections to long-range naval ground operations.

5. The Navy may not use tailbacks. The term is entirely too close to one denoting the arresting gear of an aircraft and we all know how well *that* term plays in certain circles.

6. To promote Jointness, all teams were ordered to use the same game plan.

After receiving suggestions from all four services--

· The Army's plan, called "The Game After Next," called for handoffs of a digitized football to the fullback, up the middle, on every play. The Army plan's last chapter, titled "Exit Strategy," was oddly blank, which would leave players with no choice but to set up bunkers, Port-a-Pots and temporary housing on the 50-yard line.

· The Navy's "Forward...From the Bench" plan called for players--each called a ball "carrier"--to be surrounded by other Navy football players in a pack called "carrier groups." These units would establish a “roaming presence" all over the playing field. Less important than crossing the goal line is the Navy strategy of being able to protect the carrier group wherever it patrols the gridiron. So threatening are these “carrier groups,” the Navy strategy suggests, that no one would be foolish enough to even mount a defense.

· The Marine's "Three-Yard War" plan was predictable: seize ground, every down, no matter how, regardless of the price, but preferably while on the playing field. The linchpin of the Marine game plan called for packing the audience with members of Congress to ensure that the Marines' performance did not go unrecognized.

· The Air Force's "Fieldwide Engagement" plan kept calling for very long, accurate throws on every down, during huddles, timeouts, halftime, between games, in the parking lot and even in the showers. So fast and accurate would these throws be, went the Air Force strategy, no other team would even bother to take the field.

After examining each team's playbook, the Secretary of Defense ruled that none could be used, and that each service was to be left to its own devices.

The Navy decided victory could be had by not taking the field. Instead, its players patrolled up and down the sidelines in breathtaking formation, hoping that would sufficiently deter the other teams from leaving their benches.

Likewise, the Army decided against taking the field, at least until several conditions were met:

1. that vital U.S. national interests were declared to be at stake,

2. that conditions for victory were concrete and easily defined and

3. that the President would activate 550,000 Reserve and National Guard Army football players if the game actually were to be played.

The Air Force also felt victory could be achieved by not showing up. Secret plans were later leaked to the press that the Air Force had spent $38.7 billion on a Space Shuttle-launched system able to fire the football into the end zone from a low geosynchronous orbit.

Bolstered by congressional resolution to be the "most-ready football team when others are the least," the Marines stormed the playing field two days before the game was to be played and declared themselves the winners.

And there was great joy in Mudville.

To muddle a metaphor...

Sic transit -- Military-dot-com used to have a *great* Joke-of-the-Day section until it started taking itself too seriously...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Nov 05, 2007

November 4, 2007

Ten Reasons Men Prefer Guns Over Women

(Mind you, this is *NOT* the Armorer's Official Position®! We provide this only to be, um, Fair and Balanced.® Yep, that's it! [The Armorer's Official Position® is in the brackets.]

#10. You can trade an old 44 for a new 22. [This is utterly false. The Armorer never lets go of a weapon once it enters the books. That's why he has a *Collectors* license, not a *Dealer* license. I gather, not disperse.]

#9. You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you're on the road. [Only two? Pikers.]

#8. If you admire a friend's gun and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times. [True. I cultivate those kinds of relationships. It is true for the Armorer, as well.]

#7. Your primary gun doesn't mind if you keep another gun for a backup. [The Armorer doesn't carry. That's what the tank is for. Okay, we don't have a tank. Yet.]

#6. Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo. [True. That's why we get the bayonets. Hate to damage a stock, especially some of the antique stocks in which the wood is a little dry and might snap at the wrist when buttstroking your antagonist.]

#5. A gun doesn't take up a lot of closet space. [Well, one might not, but, well, 30 do.]

#4. Guns function normally every day of the month. [Heh. As long as they've been lovingly cared for, properly lubed, and you feed them right, otherwise they can have... issues. Especially semi-autos.]

#3. A gun doesn't ask, "Do these new grips make me look fat?" [No, in fact many of us like fatter grips. Easier to control the motion of recoil.]

#2. A gun doesn't mind if you go to sleep after you use it. [As long as you cleaned it, anyway.]

#1. YOU CAN BUY A SILENCER FOR A GUN [Heh. Not in Kansas you can't. Legally, anyway. And no, I have no idea where to get one illegally. Nor do I intend to make one.]

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Nov 04, 2007

October 25, 2007

Time for a break.

Lesson in Marketing

Two beggars are sitting side by side on a street in Rome - one has a cross in front of him; the other one the Star of David. Many people go by, look at both beggars, but only put money into the hat of the beggar sitting behind the cross.

A priest comes by, stops and watches throngs of people giving money to the beggar behind the cross, but none to the beggar behind the Star of David. Finally, the priest goes over to the beggar behind the Star of David and says, "My poor fellow, don't you understand? This is a Catholic country; this city is the seat of Catholicism. People aren't going to give you money if you sit there with a Star of David in front of you, especially when you're sitting beside a beggar who has a cross. In fact, they would probably give to him just out of spite."

The beggar behind the Star of David listened to the priest, turned to the other beggar with the cross and said: "Moishe, look who's trying to teach the Goldstein brothers about marketing."

In a different context, having played the role of the Priest, this one just left me rolling on the floor, stereotypes or no... H/t, Dad.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Oct 25, 2007

October 23, 2007

Schadenfreude Is An Ugly Thing...

...but not the ugliest of things.

Heh.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Cassandra on Oct 23, 2007

October 13, 2007

It's nice to be read.

Even if you are in the "adults only" section of the magazine rack of MNF-I's online world...

MNF-I OPSEC screensaver page.

Always happy to be a training dummy. Army Retired: Still Serving!

The delicious irony is, of course... the featured blogs all got invited to the White House.

MNF-I has good, discriminating taste!

And their message is valid. I just like the free advertising. Now to get them to put the URLs up!

Larger version can be had by clicking here.

I may have to reopen the Castle store and make a mug for myself...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Oct 13, 2007

"Just Like Frank..."

A guy walks into the street and manages to hail a taxi just as it's passing by. He hops into the taxi, and the cabby says, "Perfect timing. You're just like Frank."

Passenger: "Who?"

Cabby: "Frank. Frank Feldman. He's a guy who did everything right, all the time. Like my coming along just when you needed a cab, things happened like that to Frank each and every single time."

Passenger: "Yeah, but there are always a few clouds over everybody."

Cabby: "Not over Frank. He was a terrific athlete. He could have won the Grand-Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star and you should have heard him play the piano. He was just one amazing guy."

Passenger: "Sounds like he was something really special."

Cabby: "Oh, there's more. He had a memory like a computer. Could remember everybody's birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out. But Frank, he could do everything right."

Passenger. "Wow, some guy then."

Cabby: "He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid traffic jams, not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them. But Frank, he never made a mistake. Never."

Passenger. "Mmm, there's not many like him around."

Cabby: "And he really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good and never answer her back, even if she was in the wrong. And his clothing was always immaculate, his shoes highly polished -- like mirrors, they were. Frank was the Perfect Man! He never made a mistake. No one could ever measure up to Frank Feldman."

Passenger: "An amazing fellow. How did you meet him?"

Cabby: "Well, I never actually met Frank."

Passenger: "Then how do you know so much about him?"

Cabby: "I married his %$#@! widow."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I don't care *who* you are -- *that* one's funny on a couple of levels! H/t to Don C.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Oct 13, 2007

October 12, 2007

Army Secretary Gate's speech to the AUSA Convention. The Intro.

Gotta like his intro...

First, I would say welcome to Washington. A city where those who travel the high road of humility encounter little traffic. Where people often say, “I’ll double-cross that bridge when I come to it.” Where you can see prominent people walking down lover’s lane holding their own hands.

The story Peter told about my wanting to be a doctor is true. I often tell people my decision to join CIA probably saved countless lives.

I returned Saturday night from visiting five Latin American countries, including Peru. My visit there reminded me of the perils facing hosts when receiving foreign dignitaries. Some years ago, a European foreign minister, a notoriously heavy drinker, was visiting Peru. He was at a formal event, and he was drunk. Music was playing, someone in a long, flowing gown passed him. The foreign minister asked this person to dance. The individual turned on the drunken minister and somewhat haughtily replied, “First, you are drunk. Second, this is not a waltz, this is the Peruvian national anthem. Third, I am not a woman but the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima.”

I leave tonight for Russia, where all visitors for decades have assumed they were being spied on. Often, visitors have been a little too paranoid. Such as the time Canadian hockey player Phil Esposito was in Moscow and he and his roommate decided to find the bug in their hotel room. They searched high and low to no avail. And they flipped the rug back and found there the supposed bug inset in the floor. With great effort, they unscrewed it only to hear a thunderous crash. They had undone the anchor of the chandelier in the room below them.

Despite the travel, different time zones and different so on, perhaps the most difficult, confusing aspect of this job for me is closer to home. It may also have vexed some of you at some point and that is navigating the Pentagon – in every sense of the word. General Eisenhower learned this the hard way shortly after World War II when he tried to return to his office – by himself – after eating at the general officers’ mess. Eisenhower later wrote: “So hands in pockets and trying to look as if I were out for a carefree stroll around the building, I walked … and walked and walked, encountering neither landmarks nor people who looked familiar. One had to give the building grudging admiration; it had apparently been designed to confuse any enemy who might infiltrate it.”

Newsman David Brinkley used to tell a story of the early days at the Pentagon. A woman told a Pentagon guard she was in labor and needed help in quickly getting to a hospital. The guard said, “Madam, you should not have come in here in that condition.” She answered, “I wasn’t in this condition when I came in.”

We'll do the serious stuff in a different post....

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Oct 12, 2007

October 6, 2007

Looks like, sounds like...

...everybody's sleeping in.

Soooo, just to see if your neurons are still triggering, here's a little quiz: passing grade is 40%.

Well, it's a *surprise* quiz, right?

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get catgut?

4) In which month did the Soviets celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI's first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where do Chinese gooseberries come from?

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?


All done? Check your answers in Flash Traffic (I gotta set the example for kat and ry, after all...).

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Oct 06, 2007

September 30, 2007

Sundry Sunday

An old farmer in Georgia had owned his farm for several years. He had a *huge* pond in the back, fixed up real nice; picnic tables, volleyball net, a horseshoe pitch -- like I said, real nice. And he'd properly shaped and graded the pond for swimming when he built it. One evening, the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over.

As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee.

As he came still closer, he saw the noise originated from a bunch of young ladies skinny-dipping in his pond. He coughed to make the ladies aware of his presence and they immediately swam to the deep end of the pond. One of them shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"

The old man replied, "Calm down, now, hon -- I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim or make you get out of the pond nekkid--

"--I'm just here to feed the alligator..."

V-29 swears he *didn't* make that up.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So far, the Kill Bill Match the TINS! to the Radio Call Contest has produced some enlightening results: Brab and NinjaFluff (with Pogue flying CAS) want to see me crisped, the starch-wing contingent wants me to go trolling for flak, Sis wants to see me ventilated, ry's opting for a Blue-on-Blue and Two Who Shall Remain Nameless want me to go up for a rematch with the heat-seeker. At least Cassie hasn't shown up to fling the trivet. Or engage in rampant foot-tapping, followed by a faire la moue et la flounce.

However, if the trend holds, *most* of you will be able to -- ahem -- brag about your prescience...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Sep 30, 2007

September 28, 2007

Friday Two-Fers

Yesterday, ry walked all over it with golf spikes was kind enough to remind me that I walked all over it with football cleats hadn't yet announced the winner of the new tagline contest from a couple of weeks ago.

Ahem.

According to the rules of the contest, which you *all* read, agreed to, and then consigned to memory -- with the evident exception of ry -- nobody won. There were some really, really, *really* good one-liners that *nobody voted for*. So, it looks like I'm stuck with answering the once-a-month e-mail with "It's an OH-58D" in the subject line. For the time being. And it's all your fault, slackers.

Eeeep! I'm channeling John...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
However, with me, you always get a shot at redemption. First, for those of you who have been stuck in a two-year time warp remember this one from a little while ago, congratulations on your admirable ability to restrain your curiosity for this length of time. Second, for those of you who are new to the site (and we *all* know who you are, but like you a lot anyway), here's the synopsis:

Every once in a while, regardless of what your particular job happens to be in the military, you hear a comment or a call over the radio that makes you realize how badly it sucks being you at that particular instance and in that particular point in space. One morning, I shook a bunch of them out of the *Ohhh-Boy!* compartment and listed them -- there's a TINS! that accompanies each -- and I asked you to vote for the particular one you figured would bore you the least deemed most interesting.

1. "Ooops!" [#1] -- from a gunship, two seconds after his rocket hit the (flooded) paddy I was just about to land in. Right underneath me. Instant concussive waterfall.

2. "Holy sh*t! They said Charlie didn't have any flak down here! One-Five, are any of you guys still alive in there?"

3. "Ooops!" [#2] -- from a different gunship, one nanosecond before my crewchief screamed that a rocket had just passed between our right skid and the belly of the aircraft.

4. "Hey, One-Five, you look like Niagara Falls. I thought those fuel cells were supposed to be self-sealing."

5. "Aaaaah! One-Five's dead!" -- from my copilot, right after I took a direct hit in the chicken plate that slammed me flailing off the controls while we were at flat pitch in an LZ. I thought I was dead and his squeak didn't do anything to lessen my depression.

6. "Sir? The world's biggest tracer just came offa Nui Coto an' -- geez, it's following us!" -- my introduction to the game of helicopter vs. heat-seeking missile. I won. Barely.

7. "Chalk Four, you've still got a tailboom. Couldn't say for how much longer, though."

8. "The SEALs are ready for pickup, sir. Along with about a platoon of VC on the other side of the treeline they're in."

9. "Sector TOC wants you to check out a possible 37mm site west of Nui Hon Soc. The others they sent there never called in."

10. "Hey, One-Five -- uhh, ya do know yer on fire, don't ya?"

Number 6 won. 'Fess up. You guys wanted to see if I really *did* get out of these things alive, didn't you...

However, there are still nine more to go, each one a bigger yawner than the last leading to a small vignette of a TINS! Pick a number and pop it into the comments -- the biggest vote-getter gets posted. And remember, one legit addy,

*glowering at a certain Denizenne blogtwin with multiple persona disorder*

one legit vote.

And then we'll do it again. And again, and again, and again until I figure you're ready to take on the sidebar -- again.

Two-Niner's allowed to pass, although he'll probably pop in to snark, because he either made some of the calls or knows the story already.

He *thinks* so, anyway.

Heh -- you don't think I only have *nine* stories left, do ya?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Sep 28, 2007

September 22, 2007

This could be one reason why the Castle isn't in a home owners association

Murray has a kindred soul. somewhere.

Randy K found this thread over at Fark. He sent it to me under the cover of the title of this post:

Here's a fair amount of a letter I got today. I edited it and trimmed it a little but here is the gist of what was in there.


Dear Mr. XXXXXXXXX

Pursuant to your previous correspondences, we would like to respond to your current request to build a "trebuchet". If you would examine the covenant that you signed when you joined the homeowner's association you will clearly see that homeowners are forbidden to construct any of the following without permission:

Destructive Devices
Fences
Pools
Outdoor Shelters
Garages
Decks

Because there is potential need for a clarification of what a "Destructive Device" could be, the accepted definition for the covenant is defined as, but not limited to:

Tire spikes
Razor Wire installed anywhere
Traps of any kind
Any device that could potentially cause irreparable damage to property

For this reason we cannot approve your request to build a "trebuchet" on your property. Please be advised that you were given similar notification when you requested to build a medieval siege engine and moat.

We would also appreciate it if you cease writing requests to build any form of ancient weaponry either for personal use of as you have termed it "neighborhood enrichment." The homeowner's association has no plans now or in the future to permit the construction of any of the requested items you have proposed.

Indeed.

The Castillo Nuevo is a motte-and-bailey style edifice, while thus far the curtain wall is a palisade, it is such only in that it's a bunch of wood poles standing upright, with branches and leaves, and still rooted in the ground.

There is a moat, however. And I have contracted with a sign company for some custom signage.

It will read:

WARNING!

DO NOT FEED THE MOAT MONSTER!

(trespassers excepted)

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Sep 22, 2007

September 21, 2007

Everything Old Is New On the YaddaYaddaYadda...

John seems to be obsessing with quizzes lately, so I figured I'd recycle this from one of my first appearances. As always, you get context -- during the last couple of days of our Boz rotation, we watched our replacements finish making a hash out of everything assuming their responsibilities for everything and everyone in the MND-North AO, thereby leaving us with nothing to do except scratch our nu precious little in the way of meaningful work.

Devil, meet idle hands. Idle hands, meet keyboard.

Took darn near an hour, but I ratcheted up a quiz, slapped it in e-mail, triggered "Everybody Who's Anybody In SFOR Except For The CG" in the "To:" block and clicked "Send."

Now, it's your turn to see if *you* are smart enough to Get Out of Bosnia...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
There will be a written examination as the culmination of the SFOR-10 rotation experience. Since there will be no time available to conduct a review of the subject material, you will find a representative sample of the examination below. A passing grade will entitle you to receive your choice of either two college credits from the University of Maryland (Eagle Campus) or one boarding pass on a military aircraft departing Tuzla on the day that you thought you were supposed to be leaving…

Sample SFOR-10 Qualifying Examination

Read each question thoroughly. Answer all questions. Time limit: four hours.

· General Knowledge: Describe everything you know in detail. Be objective, specific and concise.

· World History: Describe the evolution of all major religions from their earliest known origins to the present day. You may substitute Zoroastrianism for any other contemporary fire-worshipping Indo-European religion. Prove which is the one true religion in a manner that will convince everyone else.

· Combat LifeSaving: You will be given a double-edged razor blade, a piece of gauze and a bottle of muscatel. Remove your own appendix. Do not suture until your work has been examined by a proctor. You will have 15 minutes to complete the operation.

· Public Speaking: 2,500 fire-worshipping, gauze-clad muscatel drinkers armed with double-edged razor blades will storm into your classroom as soon as you have finished reading this. Calm them using any ancient language except Demotic Egyptian or Mycenaean Greek. Do not use passive voice.

· Biology: Create life. Estimate the subsequent differences in the rise of human culture if this life-form had developed 500 million years ago, giving special emphasis to the effects on the next Presidential election in Peru. Prove who will win and why.

· Music: Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate it and accompany yourself with flugelhorn and drum. You will find a piano in the middle drawer of your desk.

· Psychology: Evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment and repressed frustrations of each of the following individuals: Alexander the Great, Amenhotep II, Gregory of Nicosia, Joan of Arc and Hammurabi. Support your evaluation with at least three quotations from each person's work, cross-referencing as appropriate. It is not necessary to translate.

· Sociology: Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct a 1/32nd-scale experiment to test your theory.

· Political Science: You will be given a two-Euro coin. Proceed to the nearest pay phone and start World War III. Report on its socio-economic consequences, if any.

· Management Science: Define both management and science and their intrinsic relationship with the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and H.P. Lovecraft. Create a generalized algorithm that can be used to optimize all managerial decisions. Design the systems interface and prepare all software necessary to program this algorithm onto an Apple MacIntosh. Use only those applications found in DOS 3.0.

· Engineering: You will find the disassembled parts of a Civil War-era Sharps rifle in various drawers of your desk. You will also find an instruction manual for making gunpowder, printed in Sanskrit. In 10 minutes, a hungry Kodiak bear will be admitted into your room. Take whatever action you feel appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision to PETA.

· Economics: Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the National Debt. Trace the possible effects on plate tectonics, the wave theory of light and the overcrowding of CB radio channels.

· Epistemology: Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.

· Physics: Explain the nature of matter. Your answer must include an evaluation of the impact of the development of quantum mechanics and Boolean algebra, plus the possible effects of beta radiation on the Hubble telescope’s infrared imaging systems.

· Philosophy: Sketch the development of human thought and estimate its significance. Compare this with the development of the other kinds of thought.

· Military History: Explain why the United States never lost a war in which the Army used mules.

· Extra Credit: Define the universe. Give three examples.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Betcha John gets a higher score than Jonah on this one.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I *know* Demotic is a script and not a language -- geez, guys, this is a *joke*...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Sep 21, 2007

September 19, 2007

Heh. I got this down cold.

25 things a man should be able to do - according to Popular Mechanics.

1. Patch a radiator hose - check. BTDT.
2. Protect your computer - check, BTDTGTTS
3. Rescue a boater who has capsized -check. BTDT.
4. Frame a wall - check. Um, does it have to be square, true, and plumb?
5. Retouch digital photos - alla time. In my pic with the President, I lost 100lbs...
6. Back up a trailer - check. BTDT, but sloppily.
7. Build a campfire - check! Scorch marks in military training areas all over the world attest.
8. Fix a dead outlet - check. without making me dead, either.
9. Navigate with a map and compass - check, and I'm not sure young loots do that anymore!
10. Use a torque wrench - check.
11. Sharpen a knife - Check, I can and have, but for well documented reasons, I hire that out.
12. Perform CPR - check. BTDT, for real.
13. Fillet a fish - okay, Got me. -1.
14. Maneuver a car out of a skid - Check. More times than my insurance company would like.
15. Get a car unstuck - Car, truck, M113, M109, M578, CUCV, HMMWV, M151. Check.
16. Back up data - check. Often, sadly, not often enough, once.
17. Paint a room - check. Just don't check that wall ceiling line...
18. Mix concrete - check.
19. Clean a bolt-action rifle - check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.... Semi-autos, full autos, and small and large bore artillery, too.
20. Change oil and filter - Check.
21. Hook up an HDTV - Okay, not yet. It's still in the box at the New Castle because we don't have TV service out there yet.
22. Bleed brakes - check.
23. Paddle a canoe - check. LBRB and RBRBs, too.
24. Fix a bike flat - check.
25. Extend your wireless network - check.

I got this knocked. How about you?

I apparently spanked the Blogfather on this.

He outscored me by 1 on the Civics Test. I got 4 wrong to his three. Which put us both light years ahead of this crowd.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Sep 19, 2007

Once Upon A Time In The West

Once upon a time was last Saturday, in fact. In the West Section of the local multiplex, to be precise--

The usher responded to the complaints of several patrons that there was a drunk sprawled over three seats in the theater. Moving moving resolutely down the aisle, he soon found the offender, sprawled, as reported, over three seats.

"Sir, it's theater policy that there's only one seat to a customer. You'll have to straighten up and take your one allotted seat."

The drunk just gave him a woozy look and groaned.

"Sir, if you don't move, I'll be forced to bring the manager into this."

The drunk just repeated the woozy look and the groan.

The usher proceeded to the manager's office and soon returned with that worthy in tow.

"Sir, our policy is, 'One customer, one seat.' If you do not remove yourself from two of those seats, I shall be forced to summon the constabulary."

The drunk repeated the same woozy look and the groan.

Whereupon the manager departed, only to return with The Law.

The cop looked at the drunk and asked, "Okay, buddy, what's your name?"

The drunk looked at the cop and said, "buh. buh. bob."

The cop followed up with, "Okay, Bob. Now, where are you from?"

The drunk blinked at the cop, pointed up and said, "buh. buh. balcony."

H/t to Doc E. Throw the rocks in *his* general direction...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Sep 19, 2007

September 18, 2007

Speaking of the Castle...

Kat asks up in the H&I above when I'm going to move the German WWII K5 gun (or something similar) to the Castle. All I can say is, I don't have the rail spur in yet.

That doesn't mean there hasn't been some progress.

First off, Sergeant S'mudge had her first long weekend as Acting Commander of Castle Argghhh! and did just fine. All her rekeets survived, and based on their flying capabilities they demonstrated on Sunday, she drilled them while we were gone, and based on the growth, the Mess Hall was serving adequate chow.

Equally important, the Vault Door of the Arms Room of Argghhh! was delivered last Thursday, just in time to make us almost late for the plane to DC. Work on the Arms Room itself proceeds apace, this being an update from this morning - when the contractor's guys were there before 8AM.

And lastly, in partial answer to Kat's Koncerns... there *is* some firepower resident at the New Castle, as the migration continues piece by piece. We've got the close-in and medium range fires covered - we can hit anything we can see, and drop into the ravines and crevasses we can't.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Sep 18, 2007

September 13, 2007

A contest.

As I've mentioned before, SWWBO and I are, as we settle into the new Demesne, naming appropriate places for Denizens, such as Neffi's Field, suitable for landing ultralights/Tank Table 8 Gunnery (probably not simultaneously), Werekitty's Pole, up in Meriwether Meadow, Fuzzybear's Lair, down in Donovan Dell, there's Bill's Mud Flat, over by the dam, things like that. We're not done, by a long shot.

Anyway, we all know that Ry gets sent to clean the privy a lot, and is always nattering on his "privy plaque." Admittedly, this represents a softening of the requirement to get this kind of honor. Previously, you had to die. Remember "Provo's Privy" from The Green Berets?

Well, he's got his privy. Procured in a seamy transaction that involved inter-state outhouse-smuggling, with the transfer occurring in a small town park in southwestern Missouri, where a pick-up carrying a privy slipped into town from the south, while another slipped into town from the north, meeting in a muddy field behind the local Subway franchise. With many furtive over the shoulder looks, money was exchanged, an outhouse transferred from one black, nondescript truck to the other black, non-descript truck, and both left, taking different routes than the ones they'd taken to get there.

And it was delivered to the New Castle.

Ry's home away from home.

And it's fully functional. Well, it will be after we dig a hole for it. And get the Sears Catalog Holder. Though we might just stuff it with the electronics for the garden railway. But if we do that, we'll have to do some weather-proofing, which Ry won't mind, since the wind will howl through the gaps in the boards and the knotholes if we don't.

I asked Ry what he wanted his plaque to say. He brushed me off to you guys.

So - that's the contest... what do we put on Ry's plaque?

You don't need to be a Denizen/ne to play - you just need to be clever!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Sep 13, 2007

September 3, 2007

Tagline Contest Redux

Okayyyy, the tagline contest generated more responses than I figured, but it won’t be a genuine contest until The Winnah is picked.

Unlike those "contests" at -- ahem -- some *other* sites.

So, I figure our weekenders (technically, it's still the weekend) deserve a shot at it, too. Here’s the deal.

A. Go back to the link in the first sentence (you know, the one you ignored in your hurry to see what this is all about) and get the gist of what I’m hoping to achieve.

B. Snarken up your #2 posting finger and get ready to play.

You can either vote for one of the previous entries (by number) or submit one of your own. Or, you can score major points by picking one of my brilliant gems modest suggestions.

Ready? Go!

From Denizenne BlogTwin and perennial favorite (and not just in caption contests) AFSister comes this:

1. Aw, come on, Bill! I LIKE IT!

BlogNeighbor (and part-time blonde) Cassandra came up with:

2. [tapping foot]...

Mmmmmm – I predict I'll have to put Damage Control on Immediate Response status when / if she gets here.

We have two entries from the Castle’s Mistress of the Snark, Bad Cat Robot:

3. Ignoring the law of gravity since 1857!

4. If you throw yourself at the ground and miss really fast, you might be in a helicopter.

Chiming in from the Land of Backwards Seasons is trias with:

5. Bill's new copter with its Advanced Bill Correction Device (ABCD). This fantastic marvel of engineering automatically adjusts helium levels to make the CG move around wildly thereby providing Bill with normal operating conditions. AI could, unfortunately, not be included in the extensive feature list due to it's propensity to eject before takeoff.

Journalist NevadaDailySteve proves that the MinisculeStreamMedia does, indeed, have a sense of humor (a small one – but a sense of humor, nonetheless)

6. If you build it, some idiot will fly it.

Pat has been weeding in his DVD collection:

7. That's not a TINS, this is a TINS!

John, as usual, hit the wrong comment box – the one he obviously wanted concerned somebody’s guess about the Whatziss:

8. BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Castle newbie NinjaFluff has a twofer, too, fer ya...too...fer...*whap!* Owwww!:

You guys are great... This is why I love this site so much!

Okay, so that *wasn’t* one of her suggestions, but I'll take any compliment that staggers into the area. Geez, can’t I throw myself a bone, here?

9. Chief Sugarbuttons... flying the helicopters American's won't!

10. Bill, the Rotorhead - STILL flying faster than his Guardian Angel!

*sigh* Now I know who's been hounding me to join the Carborundum Fan Club...

Fellow GuardBud Pogue whaps my aged snoot with:

11. Four decades of combat operations.

Ymarsaker managed to avoid the firewall between Cassie’s place and the Castle:

12. Bill needs a helicopter to escape Cass's wrath.

Okay, he’s not *that* funny, but he thinks *I’m* funny and since he’s probably smart enough to take me two falls out of three in brain wrestling, I’m hedging my bets.

And perennial favorite in her own right (and another BlogNeighbor and demi-Denizenne), HomefrontSix tosses out:

13. Helicopters Don't Fly: They're So Ugly the Ground Repels Them.

Which I choose to take as a compliment, because I fall down a lot and have yet to miss the ground.

And -- a new record. I only got bumped offline by *two* power failures during the composition of this po

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Sep 03, 2007

September 2, 2007

Hosting provided by FotoTime When email spills over to the web...

Adjutant Brab sent out an email, containing a joke. Shock! Surprise! Disbelief!

Anyway, the joke's only tangential, so I stuck *it* in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry, since, let's face it, most of my weekend readers are probably also on the email list anyway.

As is the wont of email streams, like comment streams - especially one that has Bill the Rotorhead and John the BadPest (CAPT H) in it, this one morphed.

Now, I'm busy, I get a lot of email, and I admit I don't always read, um, er, closely.

So, Martha at some point in one of the emails morphed into Mothra (this after CAPT H accused us of hating his sister, btw) which then tumbled around in my as-yet-uncaffeinated brain as something else... which sparked an idea, which required a little searching, opening up some software and resulted in this - so you can see what happened in my head when Martha went to Mothra went to....

Murthra!

Murthra!

With a tip of the beret to Ghost of a Flea for one of the images and this song...

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Sep 02, 2007

September 1, 2007

It's the Labor Day weekend. Surely you have better things to do than hang here.

I hope you all are mostly going to be away from computers, and celebrating American Labor. Whatever you may think of unions these days, they served their purpose in the beginning, certainly. Besides, if yer a filthy steeenking rich corporate fat cat, *every* day is Rich Guy Exploiter of the Masses Day, right? 8^ )

We're going to spend the weekend moving. Prodigal Son and his GF are here, so I have some quasi-muscular flesh to impress into service with moving furniture. We just spent 20K on getting that bedroom, by golly, we ought to get some use out of it!


But, I guess I should let you guys off the hook about the Whatzis.

Glasmine 43

JTG and Rikkochet actually got it, good on yaz, guys!

More details... here.

Heh. It's even in Wikipedia...

That waxpaper box? A block of wood the size of the TNT charge, wrapped in an original wrapper.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Sep 01, 2007

August 28, 2007

A New Contest

Relax, Cassie -- it's *not* a caption contest (mmmm, technically, it might be -- but it's not the one she's gonna damage me for).

Whatzis helicopter and why does it have a balloon on top?

Every month or so, I get an e-gram with the correct answer. OH-58D. Kiowa *gag!* Warrior.

Unfortunately, it's not supposed to be a serious question. Y'see, a couple of years back, when John first dragged me squalling and scratching into this mess suggested I start doing actual posts, rather than sending his spam filters into overload mode merely e-mailing him vignettes, he asked me what I wanted above my sidebar pic.

And he attached a jaypeg of a KW. If I hadn't thought he was kidding (I've never even been off the ground in one), I never would have replied with the phrase

Whatzis helicopter and why does it have a balloon on top?

because it's sort of an "in" joke in the fling-wing community, to wit -- "The aircraft's got such a high c.g. [translation -- it's so topheavy] it needs helium in the MMS to keep it from rolling over on the helipad."

If I'd known he was so freakin' Machiavellian serious, I would have come up with a cooler meme. Something like,

Proof that there *are* old, bold aviators! Ummm -- *old* ones, anyway...

Soooooo, that's the contest -- "Give Bill a new sidebar blurb." Winner gets brag rights and a free Urdu pronunciation lesson *or* a hi-res pic of a Cobra you can PhotoShop your face into and impress your friends, especially if they think you've never been in the Pakistani Army.

Changing the pic out will be the object of a future contest.

*waving hiya to Cassie*

Meantime, go for it!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Aug 28, 2007

August 17, 2007

On remodeling...

Installment 9 of my sister's saga:

Subtitle: When your clothes drier becomes a counter top.

The tiny flies have mostly died. Many of them committed suicide in our beverages. We would look down at our drinks and find 10 itty-bitty bug bodies floating in them. Not too appetizing, eh? They also had a penchant for flying up noses and into ears. We are not mourning their passing.

I had planned to spend Monday packing up the kitchen in a logical manner. You know, putting things into neatly labeled boxes and placing them in reasonable locations. But nooooo. They wanted to begin demolition on Monday. That meant cramming stuff into boxes and putting it anywhere it would fit. I may never find some of it again. We also moved the dining room furniture into the living room which still contained its own furnishings. The dining room table slid very nicely over the coffee table. During all of this hullabaloo, Dodger came into the kitchen, looked at the workers, and peed a river on the floor. He is such an expressive canine.

We took Erin to Chicago for a few days to see the musical “The Twenty-fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” If you ever have a chance to see this play, absolutely do it! The first laugh comes about 30 seconds into it and you won’t stop laughing until it is done. A word of caution: it is not a show for children due to a small amount of bad language and a hilarious song about unexpected adolescent erections. There were some stunned parents and grandparents in the audience. As Erin said, anybody can check these shows out on the Internet!

We returned home about 10:30 Thursday night. I opened the door and reached out to turn on the light, but the wall was gone. There was no switch. So I walked my fingers along the closet door until I found the hallway and located the light switch. The house was very warm, so we wanted to turn the air conditioner down. The thermostat had been located on the missing wall. We searched and searched to no avail. A worker showed it to me in the morning. It is now taped onto the furnace in the basement. I never would have found it in a million years.

They have created a little kitchen in the utility room. They moved my sink base, dishwasher, and range downstairs. I did not think I would still have the dishwasher, so I am very grateful. There is no prep space, however, so I am using the drier as a counter top. I haven’t tried to cook anything complex yet and may decide that heating things up is about as complex as I want to get.

Oh, I almost forgot. They taped heavy sheets of plastic over the entries into the living room to keep the dust out. That was very thoughtful and we appreciated it. Except the refrigerator was in there, too. It was a little hard to get breakfast.

We put the kitchen table in the family room. It is a little crowded, but it works. Our dishes are being stored in a book case and the coffee maker and toaster are out there, too. This of course meant packing up the things that are normally in those spaces. I love packing, especially in a hurry.

The exterior wall has been removed, as has the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Now we can really see how large the new room will be. It will be so nice when it is done, if we can hold on that long!

Heh. Okay, here's our saga. I drove out, took a picture of the progress on the Boudoir of Argghhh!, clapped people on the back for doing such a good job and being so neat, fed Sergeant S'mudge, Caretaker and Construction Supervisor of the New Castle, and went home. The material was dropped yesterday for the Arsenal Vault of Argghhh!, construction on which starts next Monday!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 17, 2007

August 16, 2007

On the importance of Roll Call.

As reported yesterday, Permanent Private Houdini was dropped from the rolls of the Castle Argghhh! Guard Force, with his status changed to Missing, Presumed Lost, though the SAR effort continues. Right after I posted that bit, I went downstairs to let Sergeant Kiki and Recruit Gunner back in before I headed off to soul-crushing meetings. It's waaaay too hot to leave 'em out - and they don't want to stay out. Like any good turnkey, I count 'em out and I count 'em in - to make sure the Interior Guard doesn't sneak out for some AWOL time on their own, and to make sure all the Exterior Guard are accounted for upon re-entry.

Imagine my bemusement when, in a blurry rush of canine fur, they came galloping in, black, russet, black.

Waidaminnit. There shoulda only been one black. I whirled around, thinking that Permanent Private Houdini had self-recovered! But the blur of excited canines had swarmed up the steps to steal some cat-food prior to being forced into their less-interesting demesne.

Up the stairs I go.

I was right. Much looting of cat breakfast was being done.

And there *were* three canines being scolded by the felines for their audacity and loutish behavior.

Sadly, the second flash of black was not Permanent Private Houdini.

Say 'Hi!' to Harley.

Meet Harley. He was AWOL from his own guardmount from the demesne kitty-corner to the left rear of the Castle.

I'd not met Harley before, but he had tags, so he was apprehended, put in irons, and returned to his Commander. Who was *very* annoyed, though happy to have Permanent Private Harley back under military control, so to speak.

While we're at it - you might as well meet the Keets of Argghhh! as well. 19 of them survived being shipped in the mail as eggs, 3 weeks in the incubator and hatching process.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 16, 2007

August 9, 2007

Update to yesterday's update...

...in which I foretold:

And, if John's running true to form, by Friday we'll be numbah one in Google for "I impaled myself on a picture of a lance."

Geez -- *that* was fast. Googlebot's got John's proclivities nailed.

Ummmm -- so to speak...

And here's one for Consul-At-Arms:

I don't care if you *do* read Urdu -- it's OPSECed!

Hanseatic Pacifist Lancers?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Aug 09, 2007

August 8, 2007

On remodeling.

Compare and contrast... my sister is doing a live-in remodel, the chronicle of which I have been sharing with you. Here is installment 8 of the series.

I have a new mantra: remodeling is a self-inflicted wound. We chose to do this to ourselves. I believe we may need a therapist. Perhaps a team of them.

The trenching was done with a wet saw. That is good because it reduces, but does not eliminate, the dust. Wet saws spew mud all over everything. The workers cleaned most of it up pretty well. However, I went into the utility room to get some clean laundry and discovered that the drying rack containing my “dainties” had been sprayed as well. It was at least 10 feet from the trench. No one wants to wear a bra covered in concrete mud. It does come out in the wash, however.

There is a fine layer of gritty concrete dust all over everything in the basement. We may get it cleaned up by Labor Day if it does not clog the vacuum cleaner.

Here’s a keen observation for you: a closed door will not deter a cat from entering a room if there is a trench in the floor. Not even a fat cat.

The pipe has been laid in the trench and covered with new concrete. Today they will replace the bathroom floor and relay the carpet in the hallway.

The addition has beautiful new windows installed and they have begun to replace our old windows. They, too, will be wonderful. There are two downsides to window replacement. One is that some windows break when they are removed and we now have broken glass all around the exterior of the house. The other is that gaping hole appears when windows are removed. This allows insects to enter. We are infested with little tiny flies.

Next week they will begin to demolish the kitchen…………

Out at the New Castle, our remodel has begun.

Day One. Destruction. Notes: I drove out and took a picture.

Destruction.

Day Two: Construction. Notes: I drove out and took another picture. And said hello to S'mudge, who BCR refers to as "The Bonsai Smilodon." S'mudge keeps an eye on things for us.

Construction

Day Three: Well, that's today. I'll drive out and take a picture. So far the toughest nut to crack has been getting SWWBO to choose some colors for the room. She did choose her laminate flooring, which was $2K more expensive than the high quality carpet the contractor used for his estimate. So, this *is* a government job with cost overruns starting before the first prybar hit the sheetrock...

But I'll take my method over my sister's any day...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 08, 2007

August 4, 2007

What famous movie/TV character is your boss?

One of the projects I'm working on is an analytical effort supporting Army experimentation that will take place over the coming year. One of the things you've got to get done early - and well - are setting your objectives, from that developing the issues, from that decomposing your essential elements of analysis, then your measures of performance and merit, etc. Parallel and in conjunction, all of that helps you define your venues, participants, and how you are going to generate and collect all your data. All of which wraps up into a product called the Data Collection Management Plan. Thank heavens I'm not in charge of it - but I'm on the team that's developing it. I'm also helping in the parallel efforts of scenario design and models and sims support.

All this means meetings. Meetings with smart, very experienced people of diverse backgrounds, from warfighter commanders and operators, to math geeks, to academics.

Meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting of smart, type-A personalities, each and every one of us capable of a detailed-in-the-minutiae discussion of how many angels will dance on the head of that pin.

I don't envy my colleague who has to herd these cats.

Some of this is *hard*. We'll sit there, seeming victims of a Harry Potter-esque "Stupefy" spell, all anxiously waiting for someone else to drag us back from the precipice. Well, that's early in the meeting. Later in the meeting you can hear the conductor in the background yelling "Boaaaard! Last call for the bus to Abilene!"...

Yesterday, in the DCMP meeting, we were discussing differences in commanders and how they gather, analyze, and act on information, and how that relates to what data they need and how it needs to be presented to them. We were talking about explicit and implicit knowledge, and where a commander's knowledge of his subordinates came into play in that context.

It was one of those precipice moments.

And one of us suggested (tongue-in-cheek) that the way to get to that particular element was to bring in a division commander and his brigade and battalion commanders... and run a seminar along the lines of "The Apprentice."

Whereupon someone else noted - "I worked for a commander like Trump - he'd point to you in a staff meeting and say, "You're Fired!"

Heh. After noting that I too had worked for a commander like that - I added that I had also worked for the Dread Pirate Roberts - a commander who said the equivalent of "Well enough for today John. I'll likely kill you in the morning."

So - what famous/infamous/funny cultural characters have *You* worked for?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 04, 2007

July 27, 2007

Toluca Nole sends...

March 6, 1836


On that fateful day, Davy Crockett woke up and walked from his bunk on the floor and walked up to the observation post which was on the west wall. Col. William B. Travis and Jim Bowie were already up there.


As the three gazed at the hordes of Mexicans moving steadily towards them, Davy turned to Bowie with a puzzled look on his face and asked,


"Jim....are we landscaping today?"

I don't care who you are, that's funny!

Lord, I apologize, and please be with the pygmies in New Guinea...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jul 27, 2007

July 26, 2007

Trias inspires me...

Trias' comment on the screed by Lew Rockwell columnist Robert Higgs was an excellent piece of reductio ad absurdum.

So, me being myself, I just couldn't stand for the reductio part, and had to inflate it a bit.

But it's rather longish, so I stuck it below the fold, in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Every bullet is Sacred!

So, c'mon - come to where... Ev'ry bullet is Sacred!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jul 26, 2007

July 25, 2007

There but for the grace of God go we...

The joys of a live-in remodel, installment 7, courtesy the Armorer's Sister. Thank heavens I have a place to live while the smelly men with plumber's pants rip apart the house to make it better....

Water, water everywhere. Our prayers that it would not rain while the roof was open were not effective. On Thursday I returned home to see the project foreman hauling 4 fans up my driveway. I asked him if I should be concerned and he replied, “Yeah, a little bit.” Now there’s an understatement for you. We had one of those sudden summer afternoon deluges (almost 2 inches of rain) and they could not cover the trusses in time. Erin was home and listened to them yell at each other as they scrambled to get it done. She decided the better part of valor was to take the dog to the basement and hide.

They mopped up the kitchen floor and the basement utility room floor. They pulled up the carpet in the basement family room and the fans are still running. The carpet must be getting drier because the house doesn’t smell like wet carpet any more. The kitchen and dining room ceilings are stained and the back door is so warped that Ed is the only person strong enough open and close it. It really doesn’t matter because that door will be removed, but it would have been nice to have it functional for a while longer. Sigh.

Yesterday our drains backed up. The tree roots won again. I really love my great big pin oaks, but I wish they didn’t have roots. It’s a good thing the contractor has plumbers on the payroll. I wonder how many honey-do projects I can get done.

There are no pipes of sufficient size for the drains we need on that side of the house, so our basement floor is being trenched from the downstairs bathroom, down the hallway, and through the utility room to lay some pipe. I would guess it is a good 30 feet. I am glad that I am having a root canal today so I won’t be around for the noise. Yes, I really am having a root canal today.

Here is the best part of all: we got to entertain in our little piece of paradise. Ed’s sister, whom I dearly love, came to visit this weekend. She was very gracious about the state of our abode. She will be the last houseguest until this is all done.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jul 25, 2007

July 20, 2007

Last night, out at the new Castle...

We find SWWBO practicing for driving her newly ordered compact tractor (an AG King 3540)... and the Lawn Tractor of Argghhh! finally has a challenge worthy of his abilities.

SWWBO cutting the grass in the front yard

Hmmmm. That sign by her left hand looks familiar.

Well, familiar to those of us who are an age, at any rate.

All part of my plan to make walking/riding in the demesne rewarding in terms of little "easter eggs" throughout the place.

Mind you, they're going to be Armorer and SWWBO "easter eggs" so it will be an eclectic mix of "Achtung Minen" and fairy houses...

And the very real "Warning, Impact Area" signs.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jul 20, 2007

July 19, 2007

Speaking of strange things I found on the 'net...

Strange things, indeed!

Strange things go into tanks - indeed!

A version suitable for framing can be had by clicking here.

Update: Not a peep? C'mon, John - you know there's something about that poster that's niggling at the edge of your consciousness...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jul 19, 2007

July 7, 2007

Concern in the heartland...

...though not quite of the same nature as covered in yesterday's H&I Fires.

The Armorer fires the evening salute

An email this morning:

Some folks that hang out at the feed store are convinced that some kind of extremist muslim terrorist camp has been started up in the Easton area. Seems there have been reports of explosions and gunfire coming from those parts. Care to make a statement, sir?

The Official Response from Castle Argghhh! PR:

No worries!

I want to assure my new neighbors that we're not being over-run by any diaperhat-wearing poopy-heads. It's a buncha right-wing wackadoos, so they should stand down their worry-gene.

Rotarians, mostly. You know how dangerous *those* guys are!

Come to think of it - they all have military training, too, and at least two have significant arsenals that include small artillery.

But it's far more "Dad's Army" and "Gomer Pyle, USMC" than it is "24." No need for a Ruby Ridge or Waco op.

Gad, one of those buffoons didn't even have a magazine in his weapon, for pity's sake!

The Armorer doing a little dry-firing.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jul 07, 2007

June 30, 2007

A report from Remodel He11 and a note on genetics.

My sister's live-in remodel continues. I was going to say, "apace" but this is anything *but* "apace." It does have a pace, but it ain't a real fast one.

When last I wrote, a hole had been started in my yard. The next day the hole was made larger. That also meant that two mountains of dirt from the hole had been constructed on the lawn. Who needs grass anyway? A small amount of lumber had also appeared.

Then.…..they went away. No activity for two days (really four because of the weekend).

On Monday, two guys came and put a couple of stakes in the hole. Then they left and didn’t come back. I hope they get paid by the job.

On Tuesday, a bunch of guys came and pounded stakes into the bottom of the hole, wound some strings around the stakes, poked some new rebar in the dirt, and created a form for the foundation. I don’t know how long they were there, but at least there was some progress.

On Wednesday, a cement mixer came. They put a pipe up over my roof and dumped cement into the bottom of the hole and filled the forms. You know what Dodger did when that happened. The trend is strengthening.

On Wednesday evening, it began to rain. A lot. It rained a lot all night long and into the morning. When we arose this morning, we had a lovely cement pond surrounded by a muddy moat, ringed by eroding mountains of dirt. But we have the beginnings of a foundation, so all is good.

For those who have been following this saga, and remember the discussion of the pile of rebar snakes, concrete, and how delicate certain strains of grass are to be mauled by a bobcat - here's proof.

Moving on to genetics, or "The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree." The Castle Guard Force consists of the Exterior Guard, a force of two dogs scrup'ls and the 8 felines who consitute the Interior Guard. All are foundlings of one sort or another. I used to wonder if there was a marking on my forehead which reads "sucker" in Cat and Dog.

Heh. It's either that or a pheromone or something. Why do I say that? This note from the Armorer's Father will explain:

There is a new resident in the old house. Dee Corn called me Tuesday evening upset about a kitten that was living in her back yard. Very young and constantly crying. Her two dogs were not pleased, but she was slipping water and milk to the creature. She called for advice but and before I could think of a good excuse to avoid it she was at my door with this very young teeny black and white fluff ball.

The kitty decided I was mama. climbed up my leg using ice climbing crampons and stuck her nose in my eye, mewing pitifully.

Of course she spent the night, much to the disgust of my other two housemates. She slept with me, or to be more accurate, we occupied the bed together. She cried most of the night resting on my chest. Damncat wouldn't speak to me (except at meal time) and Biby was an aggressively nasty hostess.

Yesterday was the first window replacement day so I spent most of the day trying to keep the animals from escaping and keeping the little one away from the feet of the workmen.

Last night was calm. The crying had stopped, but I still had a little body clinging to me most of the night.

Today Damncat has adopted his the "if I ignore it will go away" stance, but the BIB is still hissing & growling & sputtering. She blames me of course & won't let me come close except to fill her dish.

We have an appointment with John Williams tomorrow.

I have tentively named fuzzball Elizabeth - Lizzie for short, at least until I can come up with more appropriate like fuzzball or darned cat or needlefoot (I look like a drug addict)

You can also see where I learned my naming conventions. Given we have cats named Barnacle, Little Girl, Rest Stop... And Dad had one named Noname... Damncat is pretty obvious - but Biby (more correctly, the acronym BIB) - well, that's short for Bitch In the Basement.

And she is.

But she's family. And now, so is Lizzie. That little pointy-ended fluffball doesn't know how good she's got it.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 30, 2007

June 29, 2007

Let's have some fun.

It's going to be a busy day. We close on the new demesne this afternoon.

Which means rounds downrange this evening!

While we wait for that... caption this:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

And SWWBO is soliciting suggestions and advice.

Yeah, I know, this place is supposed to be a milblog... but I gotta have *fun* too!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 29, 2007

June 26, 2007

Hey, Punc-til-iouuuus!

*Someone* has been notably absent of late. However, this may draw her out from behind the tapestry in the Great Hall. Throw the rocks at slick870 (my "former" enlisted buds send me stuff, too)...

Two brooms were hanging in the closet and, after a while, they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married.

One broom was, of course, the bride broom and the other the groom broom.

The bride broom was a vision of loveliness in her white dress. The groom broom was suavely handsome in his tuxedo. The wedding was, naturally, the social event of the year.

At the wedding dinner, the bride broom leaned over and whispered to the groom broom, "I think I am going to have a little whisk broom."

"IMPOSSIBLE !!" said the groom broom...

The punchline's in Extended Entry/Flash Traffic. Open it up if you dare...

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Jun 26, 2007

June 21, 2007

Living in Aitch-Eee-Double-Hockeysticks.

The Armorer's sister, who doesn't blog but is a reader of this space, has been keeping us apprised of the joys of a live-in remodel.

Thank heavens we won't have to live-in when we start work on the New Castle Argghhh! (closing is next Friday). Her first missive is here.

Did you know that zoysia grass is very sensitive to weight? For instance, if you put things like a backhoe, a bobcat, or chunks of concrete on it, or even drive the vehicles on it, it will die. Fifteen boys from the neighborhood playing football on it won’t hurt it at all, however. It also tolerates shade and drought very well. It simply doesn’t like weight.

Well, the pilot light mystery has been solved. It wouldn’t light because there was no gas. The gas company surreptitiously moved the gas line and didn’t tell the contractor they had done so. We, of course, were blissfully unaware on Thursday evening as we happily used up all the hot water left in the tank. When I returned home on Friday evening it had almost been rectified and the project supervisor was embarrassed. I told him I have already begun a journal about living in my home while it is being remodeled. He told me that wasn’t a good sign. Not good for whom, I wonder?

No one came to empty the dumpster on Friday, either, so the concrete chunks stayed where they were for the weekend. They were removed on Monday. It is a puzzlement, but they left the bent, twisted pieces of rebar that resemble a nest of snakes. It is not a lovely modern sculpture for my lawn, but perhaps it will grow on me.

It rained after they removed the concrete. Rain and dirt make mud. The puddles that formed in the clay looked like they were filled with the broth from Campbell’s condensed navy bean soup because we have truly awful soil. Rain also meant that work was done for the day.

I can’t wait to get home and find out what happened today.

Check back tomorrow... and you'll find out what happened.

by John on Jun 21, 2007

June 17, 2007

Heh. I *like* the pipes...

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman were captured while fighting in Iraq.

The leader of their captors said: "We're going to line you up in front of a firing squad and shoot you all in turn. But first, you each can make a final wish."

The Scotsman says: "I'd like to hear Flower of Scotland just one more time to remind me of the auld country, played on bagpipes in the style of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards."

The Irishman says: "I'd like to hear Danny Boy just one more time to remind me of the Emerald Isle, sung in the style of Daniel O'Donnell, with Riverdance dancers skipping gaily to the tune."

The Welshman says: "I'd like to hear Men Of Harlech just one more time to remind me of the Land of my Fathers, sung as if by the Aberavon Male Voice Choir."

The Englishman said: "I'd like to be shot first..."

H/t, Mike D.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 17, 2007

June 16, 2007

This is too funny not to share. Remodeling hell.

The Armorer's sister, who lurks here (and the fact that she does so is a vindication of The Rulez and your general demeanor as commenters) is doing what SWWBO and I are - her husband and she are getting a new place to live. The difference is, SWWBO and I being really lazy, we went and bought .02% of the county to do it. My sister and her family have entered Hell... a live-in remodel.

I'll let her take it from here...

Oh my. Although signs of impending disaster have been accumulating since early this week (a really large dumpster in my driveway and spray paint on my grass marking gas and water lines), yesterday they began in earnest. When I got home from work, my patio was in chunks, the neighbor’s tree had been cut down (yes, we had permission to do that), my flag pole was in pieces on the ground, and the shrubbery I have disliked for 12 years had been ripped out leaving a large area of, well, dirt.

The air conditioner guys were still there moving my unit and running in-and-out so often it made my head spin. The grill, which I had planned to use to cook, was now about 20 feet away from the back door in the middle of the yard. The large chunks of patio were between it and me. The grill now resides in the garage.

The dog was so upset by all of this commotion that he peed all over the place yesterday. When Erin got home, he would wet on the floor every time she left him alone. He calmed down once his family had all come home to comfort him and take him out for walkies since his fence has been taken down and there are large chunks of concrete at the back door.

This morning we got up to discover that the pilot light on the water heater had gone out. We think that has to do with the moving of the air conditioner. We couldn’t get it relit, so hopefully one of the workers at the house today will be able to get it working. No one in the Hanson household had a shower this morning, so stay down wind of us. Cold sponge baths are not much fun and I had to deal with my terrible bed head by sticking my head under the cold sink faucet! I do realize that millions of persons all over the world would consider themselves fortunate to live in a home with air conditioning and running water, even if it isn’t hot. I just wasn’t ready for it.

This has nothing to do with the remodel, but the ice dispenser on the fridge is broken and keeps dispensing parts. So far, it has produced a plug, a pin, and a spring loaded bracket. Someone will come fix that next week. Good thing I called when I did because my warranty expired yesterday. Since I called before the expiration, it will be covered. I sincerely hope the repair person will be able to enter the house!

Please pray that every day is not as eventful as day 1.

Oh, I *am* conflicted. If each day is as funny to be an *observer* of as this one...

I responded:

Heh. I guess the 40-or-so ticks that Beth and I removed from each other in a stunning display of primate grooming behavior does, indeed, pale beside this.

Thankfully, we're going to have a place to live while the new place gets some remodeling done.

The latent Safety Officer in me is driving me to intone "We're not going to *cook* in the garage, are we?" 8^)

The odd thing about the ticks... the dogs had none. Frontline works for them. The stuff we used kept the ticks off of our feet and legs... but did nothing to stop the little vermin from parachuting onto our heads and shoulders from the branches above.

Heh. "Airborne! Death from Above!" indeed.

However, I'll take the requirements of primate grooming behavior (less eating the ticks, mind you) over your fun and adventure!

The radon, structural, and termite inspections are done for the new place with no major problems to report...

I am *so* looking forward to the series. Shoot, I may make you a guest-blogger if it remains this engrossing and amusing!

She responded...

I think you write better than I, but I can compose a few words. Don’t you find it ironic that they took the flag pole down on Flag Day? We couldn’t have flown a flag anyway because the tree that was removed had covered the flag pole in its entirety.

No, we won’t cook in the garage. The grill just won’t wander about the yard at the whim of a workman if I store it there. We will grill on the driveway next to the dumpster, silly. I think all people should have a cooking appliance next to a giant trash bin.

Is there Frontline for humans? If not, you will be rich if you invent it. Honestly, yuck. The tick bite I got at the Renaissance Festival was incredibly gross and scary. When I did a google search on tick bites, the photo captioned “Lyme disease” looked exactly like the mess on my body. Dr. V's response when she looked at it was “Oh, that’s nasty!” Not words you want to hear from your doctor. I had to take meds for 21 days. Someone on Beth’s blog suggested guinea hens. Buy some now. Do bats eat ticks? I know they are good for mosquitoes. Do you have a cave for bats?

I will keep you apprised of the ongoing saga.

Methinks the Armorer's Sister writes just fine.

Regardless, from both of us, Thanks, Mom. And Dad, too - it wouldn't have happened without both of you.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 16, 2007

June 10, 2007

Helpful Hints for Driving in NW Arkansas.

I've been driving in this area off and on for years - conducting Staff Rides at Pea Ridge, or driving through on my way to visit relatives in Conway and Little Rock. Bloodspite, who lives just north of the border in Missouri, offers up these tips to help you navigate your way through the area.

Interestingly - both of the farms we looked at have NW Arkansas connections. The owners of the one up in Buchanan County, Missouri, just retired to the Beaver Lake area, and our new neighbors are going to spend the next week camping at Beaver Lake. Heh.

For reasons which will become apparent later - here are some snippets:

If your NW ARK map is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one. If you're in Rogers or Bentonville and your map is one day old, then it is already obsolete.

If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out and possibly shot. When you are the first one on the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going to avoid crashing with all the drivers running the red light in cross-traffic.

If someone actually has a turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.

All old ladies with blue hair in tank cars have the right of way. PERIOD.

Highway 540 in rush hour is the NWA equivalent of NASCAR. Just shut up and drive like the rest of us.

With these simple rules in mind, you are now ready to drive in NW ARK.

Please try and keep up.

Aha! The truth is out - Bloodspite swiped that from this blogger - Res Ipsa Loquitur. So you should go there to read the rest. Bad Bloodspite for not attributing this! [stern look] But he did make good in the comments - so we edited out most of it - that Ms. Res Ipsa will better benefit from the traffic in atonement for BS's bs.

8^ D

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 10, 2007

June 9, 2007

Indeed. No Moar Taxes!

Four moar cheezburgers!

Happycat for Prezidunt!

Can't do any worse than the current crowd.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 09, 2007

June 8, 2007

Now why didn't I think of that...

Hey, if nothing else, the Internet is useful for recycling jokes. Because there's always *someone* who hasn't seen it. The corollary to Barnum's "There's a sucker born every minute."

Subject: FW: AMAZINGLY SIMPLE HOME REMEDIES

1. If you are choking on an ice cube simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat. Presto! The blockage will instantly remove itself.

2. Avoid cutting yourself slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold while you chop.

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

7. You only need two tool s in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

8. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES. NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS

H/t, Tom W.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 08, 2007

June 7, 2007

Snerk. Caption contest.

Some days are diamonds...

That was to warm up your funny bone.

Let's have a caption contest.

What's this guy saying?

Caption this!

Larger version here, if your Muse needs a jump-start.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 07, 2007
MilBlogs links with: Utah Beach.

June 5, 2007

Hmmm. Interesting.

Lex certainly uses big bait when fishing on a deployment. Or, was this the catch?

Ooopsie!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 05, 2007

June 3, 2007

My, apparently everything I thought I knew about my family was wrong.

I have relatives in Africa!

BARRISTER AT LAW JEROME AKASHI ESQ Bankruptcy Law, Estate Planning, Elder Law, Family Law, commercial litigation , Immigration & Naturalization Law, Probate & Estate Administration, Wills, Taxation Law 24 OGUNGBE STREET COKER VICTORIA ISLAND LAGOS-NIGERIA.


FROM: BARRISTER JEROME AKASHI
J.AKASHI LEGAL CHAMBERS.
NOTARY PUBLIC & LEGAL PRACTITIONER.
NO 24 OGUNGBE STREET COKER.
VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS-NIGERIA.
EMAIL: barrjakashi1@yahoo.co.uk

Dear Donovan

I know that you will be surprise to read from somebody you have not known or seen before, But behold" I entreat you to take the will for the deed. I believed it is indeed one of the miraculous work of God that I got your contact coincidentally when I was searching for the relatives of my late client: Mr. Dasne M. Donovan.

I am BARRISTER JEROME AKASHI, (Notary Advocate & Legal Practitioners) and I am the personal attorney to late Mr. Dasne Donovan Foreigner from your country, a licensed Contractor with African largest crude oil producing Firm, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation ( N.N.P.C.).

Well, On The 4th of May 2002 My Client,involved in an Aero plane Crash (while on a picnic-trip.) involving The BAC 111-500 belonging to EAS AIRLINES. Which the Pilot, 7 Crew Members and 65 Passengers on board unfortunately lost their lives.

To throw lights on this and more prove of my story, Please click the under mentioned

BBC ARCHIVE NEWS and CNN.com NEWS ARCHIVE //news.bbc.co.
uk/1/hi/world/africa/1968300.stm \//archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/africa/05/05/nigeria.crash/

Since then I have made several enquiries to his embassy to see if I can locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has all the while proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives (i.e. same surname) over the Internet, to locate any member of his family but of to no avail.

Basically I am contacting you to assist in accommodating a mega amount of money left behind by my late client before it is confiscated or declared dormant by the Bank where this huge approved contract fund is floating unclaimed . The Bank where my late client had an approved contract payment valued at eighteen Million, United States Dollars (US$18,000 000.00) has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin to my late client to claim this money or have the fund confiscated by the Bank.

Therefore, Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 4 years now, I am seeking for your permission to present you as the Next of kin of the deceased since you are still a foreigner , and most fortunately your Surname is the same with my late client, It will be easier and convincing to present you as the next of kin to my late client Mr. Dasne M,So that the proceeds of this fund valued at (US$18,000 000.00) can be paid to you.

Then after the transfer, It will be shared as follow: First and foremost, 10% of the total fund will be donated to Church and Motherless babies home in your country, Then you and I will share the remaining money, 45% for me and 40% for you, while the remaining 5% will be
used to defray all our expenses incurred during the course of this transaction such like Telephone bills, Vats and Taxes as the bank or your government may require. I have all the necessary legal documents that can be used to back up this claim such like e.g Death certificate of my client , e.t.c. which I will furnish to you upon your acceptance to do this deal with me.

All I require is your honesty, mutual understanding and co-operation to enable us actualize this lucrative deal which is a golden opportunity for us to make wealth for our individual families. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me by my email or mobile phone numbers as indicated above so that we can commence the documentations quickly.

Finally I need your Mobile Cell, Telephone & Fax numbers for easy communication in return.
Awaiting your urgent response.

Best Regards,
BARRISTER JEROME AKASHI.
234-8037229260.

I assure you sirrah, I am *very* "suprise to read from somebody you have not known or seen before" regarding rich dead relatives in Africa. Dare I suggest that I am *also* very sceptical - nay, convinced, that this is a 419 Scam? Don't be waiting by that phone for too long, buddy. It ain't ringing.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 03, 2007

June 1, 2007

Top 10 Signs You Are Blogging Too Much.

Reader Jim C. sends us to CentralSnark to check out this list, and provides us this list.

1. Your immediate reaction to seeing a "ten signs you are blogging too much." is to blog your own top ten. [um... er, ah...]

2. You bought a new hard drive just so you had enough room to backup your list of RSS feeds. [Nope.]

3. Your spouse carries a picture of the back of your head in their wallet because this is what they normally see. [Well, it's actually a profile as she sees me when she walks by in the hallway.]

4. Sitemeter goes down and you have a panic attack. [Well, only if the *numbers of visitors* go down. I can live with the server going down - then everybody on my server, at least, is suffering.]

5. Your philosophy comes down to that there are two things in life - bloggable/unbloggable. [um, guilty]

6. You have a bumper sticker that says "I ♥ my Aggregator." [Nope, dodged this one. Don't even *use* an aggregator. Yet.]

7. When you have just got done reading 500 some posts your first instinct is to hit refresh to see if any more have been written. [Thankfully, no. Unless they're comments on *my* site.]

8. You don't always remember your wedding anniversary but can instantly remember the year, month, day, and hour you started blogging. [Nope. SWWBO trained me better than that - besides, that's what the archive thingy is for. So I don't have to remember, I can just look it up.]

9. You are more concerned about comment spam than Homeland Security and while you are against the death penalty in general you think surely for Trolls deserve the exception. [Yeah, so?]

10. The first thing you do when visiting a new blog is to see if your blog is on their blogroll. If not you try to find a post where you can immediately leave an intelligent and witty comment so that they will immediately add you. [Well, sometimes.]

Heh. The #1 reason you know you are too into the whole thing? Aside from having your buddy laser-engrave the Castle logo on your gun rack, and bar mugs?

When you announce to the world that you are #1 on Google for "I bayoneted myself" at the Milblogger Conference... and everybody thought that was funny, vice a shocked silence.

And then you keep mentioning it... because, well, you want to *stay* number one~!

8^ )

So, what's *your* sign, baby?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 01, 2007

May 31, 2007

What's the world coming to?

To quote Doctor Venkman:

...Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 31, 2007

May 13, 2007

Gurls Gone Wyld, Milblogger Edition.

Finally, the camera I left at Carrie's has made it home, and I can help keep the Milblogger conference lingering a while longer in the public eye. Of course, I have to resort to pics of nekkid gurls to do it. Well, not entirely true, tomorrow I'm going to tag Noonan. But, come to think of it, oh, never mind. Moving on!

Since today is Mother's Day, it seems appropriate to show you a horde of milbloggin' mothers (whether actual or just in nature) partyin' hearty at Carrie's domicile.

We'll start off with demure, and innocent. Lookit these chikz!

Gurlz gone Wyld - Milblogger Edition!.  Left to right, on the couch - Andi, Mrs. G, Carrie, Fuzzybear, SWWBO, Mary Ann, Sara.  On the floor, left to right, Cassandra and Lisa.

Gurlz gone Wyld - Milblogger Edition!. Left to right, on the couch - Andi, Mrs. G, Carrie, Fuzzybear, SWWBO, Mary Ann, Sara. On the floor, left to right, Cassandra and Lisa. Higher res available by clicking here.

Oh, sure, they look demure and well behaved and all. Heh. Only because it's a photo, not a video. They were a wriggling, giggling mass. This was a milblogging-male's dream - a sorority party where you're the only guy! (Carrie's husband, Will, who refers to all of us as Carrie's "Invisible Friends" was polite, but didn't hang around much. Prolly got High Level Guidance from "8th and I" about hanging around OPSEC threats like us!)

Gad, less than a second later they're all a-gigglin' and a-wrigglin' again.

And there's a fatality. You can see it in the picture.

You can't? Lemme help.

That sobered 'em up! And that brought out the CSI's to determine the exact cause of death and sequencing - not to mention the crime scene clean-up.

If you weren't there, you missed a good time. *Someone* is just as tartly snarky in person as they are in blog...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 13, 2007
Villainous Company links with: Uh-oh...

May 8, 2007

Dang Canadians, always spying on us!

Remember the story from last year where there was a DoD warning put out about contractors in Canada having spy gear planted on them?

The high-tech device... was a Canadian commemorative coin. According to Fox News:

The odd-looking — but harmless — "poppy coin" was so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. Army contractors traveling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them. The worried contractors described the coins as "anomalous" and "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology," according to once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails obtained by the AP.

The Globe and Mail goes into rather more detail - and, to me, amusing detail.

"It did not appear to be electronic (analog) in nature or have a power source," wrote one U.S. contractor, who discovered the coin in the cup holder of a rental car. "Under high power microscope, it appeared to be complex consisting of several layers of clear, but different material, with a wire like mesh suspended on top."

The confidential accounts led to a sensational warning from the Defence Security Service, an agency of the Defence Department, that mysterious coins with radio frequency transmitters were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors travelled through Canada.

You really should read the whole Globe and Mail piece. It's, well, funny.

I rather think Bill Ockham's toiletries should have been applied rather earlier in the process than they were. Me, I'm guessing I would have looked at the coin and said, "Hey, kewl coin!" Of course, I know the symbolism of the Poppy, and might have connected that to the word "Remember" on the coin.

H/t, CAPT H and beery Alan.

But then, I'm not clever enough to work in the intel business. Heh. Someone could have just... asked, or something.

Canadian Commemorative coin that spooked the US
Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 08, 2007

May 1, 2007

A funny story making the rounds in .mil email.

I have no idea if it's true or not.

But it *is* funny. It also explains Army divorce rates better than extended deployments. H/t, Blackhawk. Warning - adolescent soldier humor abounds.


Update: Ooops. Ry is right. How sad he knows my archives better than I do? The original post is here... over *2* years ago. Heh. That's not short-term memory, so I can't blame Alzheimer's for this one.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 01, 2007

Asymmetric Warfare

How do you shut down a US air campaign with little risk?

Put 'em in danger of trouble with PETA.

Moose at Eielson AFB

This photo was taken at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska around 2003. The large critter is a moose, and the F-16 in the picture ain't going anywhere until the moose decides to leave. The Eielson base and the surrounding area is home to over 500 moose. After September 11, 2001, the usual hunting activity (to keep the moose population down) was curtailed when the base was closed to civilians. But this policy was soon changed to allow the hunters to go in and keep the moose population under control. Since there are not enough local wolves (fewer than a dozen) to keep the moose population down, without the hunters, many moose would starve over the long Winters because of a lack of sufficient food for a larger herd.

H/t, Strategy Page.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 01, 2007

April 17, 2007

I am not a golfer...

...nor do I play one on TV. However, I think it's past time to put to rest the foul canard that, to a golfer, no matter what it's all about, it's all about golf.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Lamaze class was in full swing. The room was full of pregnant women and their partners.

The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly and the men how to give the necessary assurances to their partners at this stage of the pregnancy -- she said, "Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial; it strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make your delivery that much easier!"

She then looked at the men in the room. "And gentlemen, remember -- you're in this together. It wouldn't hurt you to go walking with your partner."

The room became very quiet as everyone absorbed this information. Then, a man at the back of the room slowly raised his hand.

"Yes?" asked the instructor.

"I was just wondering -- wouldn't it be even *more* beneficial to her if she carried a golf bag while we walk?"

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

Heh. And a tip o' the flight helmet with the 7.62mm groove over the left earcup to Ben Hogan's protege V29.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Apr 17, 2007

April 6, 2007

How Government Contracts Work

This one from Walt, one of the old farts former crewchiefs in the 162d AHC:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Three contractors are bidding to resurface the Congressional Parking Lot -- one from Florida, another from Tennessee and the third, New Jersey. They go with a House official to examine the parking lot.

The Florida contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The New Jersey contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the House official and whispers, "$2,700."

The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"

The New Jersey contractor whispers back, "$1,000 for me, $1,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to do the work."

"Done!" replies the House official...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Heh. Who sez I don't comment on political stuff?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Apr 06, 2007

April 2, 2007

The Air Force announces new awards schema...

Courtesy Oldloadr's daughter, currently serving in the Chairforce in Germany...

Click the award below to get the .pdf of the whole new schema. Warning - there is a tiny bit of naughty in there. Nothing horrible, just be aware of your surroundings.

duckncover.jpg
Duck and Cover Award Awarded to Airmen who spent their entire deployment at a Forward Operating Base (FOB); the only real sign of war was the occasional “Duck and Cover”siren that followed infrequent mortar attacks.

Update: I'm thinking I should make it clear - this came from an Air Force Source - I stripped the data from the original ppt before I pdf'd it - this is zoomies poking fun at themselves, like the Army has Bob On The FOB (click the "comic archive" button in the sidebar).

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Apr 02, 2007

April 1, 2007

Another Motivator....

Strength!


Update: BTW - I'm just the publisher of these things. The actual *creator* of them is a sailor who sails Joint waters. I need to stick that disclaimer in because Lex (and, I assume, others) came away from this with the assumption that *I'm* the creator.

*My* copyright is JHD, not JH. Hence why the copyright notice I add to the pic is ©2007 JH @www.thedonovan.com

It's the author's property - I'm just tagging an ad onto it for those who swipe 'em for their own purposes.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Apr 01, 2007

March 30, 2007

A new motivational poster for you...

...from our source at a Higher Military Headquarters™!

Ingenuity.

The Arsenal will take one on an evaluation basis, please.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 30, 2007

March 28, 2007

Since I baffled a former Navy Surface Warfare Officer with this pic...

I think I'll try it out on you guys.

As a Whatziss.

So, Whatziss?

Okay! Nope. Try again.

There, your first instinct or google-result has been discarded. Keep working on it.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 28, 2007

March 23, 2007

Adding Nothing To The Discourse

Here at The Castle diversity is encouraged. There is no name calling. Even Princess' must obey the Rulez. That said, I am engaging in some totalling partisan tweaking.

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him; an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and; responded, "You must be a Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault.."

kisses........Princess Crabby

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Denizens on Mar 23, 2007

March 20, 2007

More Moonbat* thought...

Need I remind the reader that it is our flag, not the troops, that we salute? It is our nation-state, not a bunch of 20-year-olds in parachute pants, that deserves our allegiance. As a patriot and true American, my heart sings at the thought of the Pentagon, and the zealous, calculating measures undertaken by the proud military bureaucracy of this great superpower. I feel a surge of pride when I think about our high-tech GBU laser-guided bombs, capable of carrying a 2,000-pound warhead. I tied a ribbon around my tree for the safe return of our nation's F-16s, because our military aircraft are instrumental to finishing our work in Iraq. And on the back of my car, I have a sticker stating my support for the CIA's ongoing efforts in Iraq.

I support the occupation, and the occupation alone, because when we start to support the troops, we pave the way for irrelevant concerns about their families back at home. Before you know it, questions about who is and isn't going to be home in time for Christmas will be interfering with the crucial decision-making process of our commander-in-chief.

Read the rest here - but check six, while there isn't any pr0n, there can be a few naughty words in the sidebar.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

by John on Mar 20, 2007

March 19, 2007

TINS! of a Different Color (Continued...

...as you kind figured it would be.

Checking downstream to the original premise, in which I requested you guys submit your deathless (i.e., no fair killing me off) prose via e-mail -- which would have served the dual purpose of

1. allowing me to scrunch similar endings together and

2. giving the jillion "Congratulations! Your E-Mail has won..." missives some legitimate company.

*sigh* At least it generated some comments.

From Sanger:

Then I died.

Buuuutt...

God sent me back, to continue until the ring had been destroyed, having been cast into the fires of Mt Fuji... Where I'd been sent by 7 homely geisha girls after one soulless night in the Ginsha-kinfe area of Naga-shima, savoring saki-dipped rice, chopstick-fed to me one grain at a time, while my feet were massaged....

Or maybe it was Bangkok, or...

*Someone* has been reading The Book of Five Rings with one eye and Bored of the Rings with the other. Heh -- hang around with Maggie and you, too, will discover talents hitherto undreamed of...

And Cricket:

and right there and then I had an epiphany; I would work to resolve the issues of drab icky colors. I was reborn as BT.

*sigh* Now it appears I've morphed into a character in Primary Colors with the power to halt gypsy moth infestations.

Tomorrow's dissertation will be on Chuck's unlikely combo: beets, which we didn't get in RVN, and chianti, which was available, but which nobody drank. And Boq's e-mail won 600,000 Pounds Sterling in Euros, payable in Yoruban Baht ...

And if anybody's curious, the case of Abdominable Voorheaves (sorry 'bout that, H.P.) was *not* due to something I ate...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Mar 19, 2007

March 17, 2007

Those who know, know...

New Regional Pilot Qualification Minimums

1. Must be willing to pay $5000 training fee for Second-in-Command (SIC) type rating in Canadian Regional Jet (CRJ).
2. Current Drivers License
3. PC with Internet access, and cell phone.
4. Green card (preferred)
5. Positive attitude (team player highly valued)
6. Ability to sleep in narrow aisle way (preferred)
7. Must be able to lift 50lbs.
8. Knowledge of aviation lingo (preferred)

Duties to include:

• Sit in right seat to satisfy Federal requirement.
• Load/unload baggage
• De-ice aircraft
• Perform routine maintenance procedures
• Fuel aircraft (when operationally required)
• Wash/clean galley
• Dump and service lavatory
• Ensure all federal regulations are complied with

Company will provide training on government assistance.
10 company shares of stock to be awarded upon 5 years service with company.

Minimum requirements are subject change without notice, and are not restrictive. Six-year bi-lateral contract required; fifteen thousand dollar early termination fee applies, including training failure event on pilot’s permanent FAA record.

There's been lots of wonkish discussion (and even an editorial in the WSJ recently) about "Open Skies" to make it easier for US and European airlines to compete in each other's regions. Of course, anything that makes air travel cheaper is good for the consumer, right?

Been on a passenger jet lately? Comfortable wasn't it? I'm especially impressed with the comfy RJ seats.

I'd rather be a box.

Then there's the airline pilot career field. The above list may be a joke, but it isn't far off. Plus, an airline owner's principal function, given the standard profit margin of 1 to 2 percent in the industry as a whole, is to maximize hours worked and minimize pay and benefits for those actually doing the flying.

While it's grossly unfair, not to mention tedious and unoriginal, to just write them off as evil, rapacious capitalists, there is something to be said for the perennially grotesque relationship between airline management and labor. See Frank Lorenzo for a taste...and note the link is a government website.

Deregulation is, at least hypothetically, a good thing in most cases but the net effect for air travel has been, to put it mildly, somewhat disappointing. I doubt American consumers today are leaning forward in the foxhole to complement the industry as a whole on its efficiency, reliability or reputation for making air travel a pleasant experience. The exception proves the rule.

I avoid air travel as much as possible in my job, and I'm an airline pilot.

Not counting First and Business Class, the best seat is in the front with the special windows that allow one to see forward. Luckily for me, I work in a industry niche where the crews have, to date, been able to avoid the insane scheduling associated with the vast majority of the industry. The regional guys have it the worst...low pay, long hours and an environment that makes mishaps more likely thanks to chronic fatigue. You don't want to know how experienced the guys in front are...or aren't...or how many legs they've flown already that day...or how many mistakes are made in any given flight, despite the number of people on the flight deck.

Alas, management is driven to do what it does by the market and labor is driven to do what they do...by the market. So, while the WSJ editors may celebrate the death, for all practical purposes, of labor unions in the US and encourage a cutthroat competitive landscape among the airlines, my guess is they don't have a clue about the industry at the worker bee level.

But this is the same mentality that sees nothing but good things in a cheap labor pool, whether they be illegal aliens or low-wage foreign airline crews who have little, if any, leverage to insist on safe and sane schedules and competent maintenance practices. Nothing's perfect, not even entrepreneurial capitalism. That's why we have an FAA, but they're overwhelmed.

Just ask their folks that track how the airlines are taking care of their jets--maintenance is now usually outsourced to places/countries you don't want to know about. Maintenance actions are no longer required to be done by fully-qualified Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) techs (FAA-certified aircraft mechanics), just that the final paperwork is signed off by one.

Now, let's extrapolate a bit. If the A&P function can be done by unqualified foreigners, why can't the planes that carry passengers in the United States be flown by unqualified (or shall we say "less experienced foreign") pilots? That's probably not gonna happen, yet. For now, it's too politically explosive because it would be so glaringly obvious in that it would allow the bad guys to eliminate a step in their attack plan. Why storm the cockpit when you can get yourself hired to work there to begin with?

But back to explosives. I wonder how many airplanes could be sabotaged while going through depot maintenance in, say, Pakistan. From the people who bring you world-class customer service for your malfunctioning laptop, I give you...engine overhauls and wingspar inspections by Ali and Mohammed, the Beltbomb Boys! (With apologies to Fred and Mort.) Think Pakistan would be non-starter? OK. How about France? They build the Airbus, which you fly on all the time. They also overhaul them. They also hire high-risk profile individuals to handle luggage at Charles de Gaulle. Maybe the Brits are doing the work...hmmmm. No, I don't think we're immune from this kind of infiltration either, but I think we do a much better job of preserving a society that still favors assimilation over the Eurabian ghettos springing up all over that continent and in that light believe we should stick to US-based and FAA-monitored maintenance depots and their technicians.

So I guess you'll have to forgive me for belonging to a union that lobbies against an unbridaled approach to the US airline business. Now, before you write me off as a bomb-throwing Trotskyite, understand that I don't agree with all they preach. It's fairly obvious they support Democrats uncritically 'cause they're pro-union (and lately, thuggishly so), despite the Party's utter cowardice in the war against the Islamofacsist menace. While I can't prove it (yet), I'm sure some of my dues support the political goals of a Party I find, at times, in almost conscious cooperation with enemies of the West and civilization as a whole. Single-issue mindsets are almost always self-destructive and ALPA's organizational philosophy, while somewhat understandable, is no exception. Moreover, it's hard to argue that the pilots' union, like the auto industry's, has often been its own worst enemy. Conversely, when a company unionizes, I personally think that's a pretty damning indictment of its management. It's a freakin' mess in this business and I had a solution.

Bottom line? The union is a necessary evil in a world where management sees labor as an enemy to be conquered, not an ally to be supported, and vice versa. ALPA, for all its flaws, is right now the only labor-oriented vehicle available that I'm aware of that has any chance of influencing how things are done, I guess.

Now, with all that said, if I ended up with a choice between voting against capitulation in the war on militant Islam or for a Party that thought union issues, national health care, and global warming were more important, I'd go with the former in a hearbeat, even if it meant national policies that reduced my pay, increase my workload...or even cost me my job. BUT, we're not quite there yet. And, given the nature of the industry where I earn a living, the unions are a necessary tool in assuring--or at least trying to assure--that employee working conditions meet an essential minimum level and safety doesn't always take a back seat to revenue generation.

So, how's that for expanding the topics found on a milblog?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by Dusty on Mar 17, 2007

March 15, 2007

New (to me) Nigerian 411 scam. Your mileage may vary.

Another one purportedly a soldier out of Iraq. Annoying thing is - there really *is* a SFC Daniel Vaness in the Army, and there *is* a SSG Kenneth Buff, USA, retired.. I hope they've not been too bebothered and confusticated by this scam.

DEAR FRIEND,

HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY? HOPE ALL IS WELL? [Well, my mother just died, thanks for asking.] MY NAME IS (SGT 1ST CLASS) DANIEL VANESS.I AM AN AMERICAN SOLDIER, [Really? Then wouldn't you have done that as SFC?] SERVING IN THE MILITARY WITH THE ARMY 3RD INFANTRY DIVISION IN IRAQ WITH A VERY DESPERATE NEED FOR ASSISTANCE, I HAVE SUMMED UP COURAGE TO CONTACT YOU.I FOUND YOUR CONTACT PARTICULARS IN AN ADDRESS JOURNAL. I AM SEEKING YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE TO MOVE THE SUM OF ($18 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS) EIGHTEEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS TO YOU IN YOUR COUNTRY,[hey, I thought it was *our* country, Sergeant?] AS FAR AS I CAN BE ASSURED THAT MY SHARE WILL BE SAFE IN YOUR CARE UNTIL I COMPLETE MY SERVICE HERE IN IRAQ. [You've been talking to Fuzzybear again, haven't you?]

SOURCE OF MONEY: SOME MONEY IN VARIOUS CURRENCIES WERE DISCOVERED IN BARRELS AT A FARMHOUSE NEAR ONE OF SADDAM HUSSEIN'S OLD PALACES IN TIKRIT-IRAQ DURING A RESCUE OPERATION, AND IT WAS AGREED BY STAFF SGT KENNETH BUFF [Hey, SSG Buff is retired, what's he doing, working over there as a contractor? But he can probably use that 18 mil!] AND I THAT SOME PART OF THIS MONEY BE SHARED AMONG BOTH OF US BEFORE INFORMING ANYBODY ABOUT IT SINCE BOTH OF US SAW THE MONEY FIRST. THIS WAS QUITE AN ILLEGAL THING TO DO, [So, you run to a commissioned officer with a blog to get help... I'm sorry you think I'm like that - what kind of officers do you work for, Sergeant?] BUT I TELL YOU WHAT? NO COMPENSATION CAN MAKE UP FOR THE RISK WE HAVE TAKEN WITH OUR LIVES IN THIS HELL HOLE OF WHICH MY BROTHER IN-LAW WAS KILLED BY A ROAD SIDE BOMB LAST TIME.YOU WILL FIND THE STORY OF THIS MONEY ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW;

THE ABOVE FIGURE WAS GIVEN TO ME AS MY SHARE, AND TO CONCEAL THIS KIND OF MONEY BECAME A PROBLEM FOR ME, SO WITH THE HELP OF A BRITHISH [Sorry about that lisp - pretty episodic, huh? Or is the brit the guy with the lisp and that's where you learned how to pronounce "brithish?"] CONTACT WORKING HERE, AND HIS OFFICE ENJOY SOME IMMUNITY, I WAS ABLE TO GET THE PACKAGE OUT TO A SAFE LOCATION ENTIRELY OUT OF TROUBLE SPOT. HE DOES NOT KNOW THE REAL CONTENTS OF THE PACKAGE, AND BELIEVES THAT IT BELONGS TO A BRITHISH/AMERICAN MEDICAL DOCTOR WHO DIED IN A RAID HERE IN IRAQ, AND BEFORE GIVING UP,TRUSTED ME TO HAND OVER THE PACKAGE TO HIS FAMILY IN UNITED STATES.

I HAVE NOW FOUND A VERY SECURED WAY OF GETTING THE PACKAGE OUT OF IRAQ TO YOUR COUNTRY FOR YOU TO PICK UP, AND I WILL DISCUSS THIS WITH YOU WHEN I AM SURE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO ASSIST ME, AND I BELIEVE THAT MY MONEY WILL BE WELL SECURED IN YOUR HAND BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE FEAR OF GOD. I WANT YOU TO TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU WILL TAKE FROM THIS MONEY FOR THE ASSISTANCE YOU WILL GIVE TO ME. ONE PASSIONATE APPEAL I WILL MAKE TO YOU IS NOT TO DISCUSS THIS MATTER WITH ANYBODY [Ooops! Too late!], SHOULD YOU HAVE REASONS TO REJECT THIS OFFER.PLEASE AND PLEASE DESTROY THIS MESSAGE AS ANY LEAKAGE OF THIS INFORMATION WILL BE TOO BAD FOR US SOLDIER HERE IN IRAQ. I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG WE WILL REMAIN HERE,AND I HAVE BEEN SHOT, WOUNDED AND SURVIVED TWO SUICIDE BOMB ATTACKS BY THE SPECIAL GRACE OF GOD. [No doubt.] THIS AND OTHER REASONS I WILL MENTION LATER HAS PROMPTED ME TO REACH OUT FOR HELP.

I HONESTLY WANT THIS MATTER TO BE RESOLVED IMMEDIATELY.PLEASE CONTACT ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITH THIS E- MAIL ADDRESS WHICH IS MY ONLY WAY OF
COMMUNICATION. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. [And you and yours, Sergeant. At least the *real* SFC Vaness.]

REGARDS,

DANIEL VANESS.

I think rather than destroy the message, as asked, I'll publish it, instead. More fun that way.

SFC Vaness, SSG Buff, I'm sure you aren't involved in anything like this. If you were, you'd have Fort Leavenworth addresses... rather than the units listed in AKO.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 15, 2007

March 14, 2007

Hah!

From the Times UK:

Short men were irresistible to women until mankind’s ancestors learnt how to use tools as weapons, research suggests.

Being short made modern man’s predecessors more adept at fighting — with a lower centre of gravity and better balance — and guaranteed them huge sex appeal, according to the study by David Carrier, of the University of Utah.

The adaptation was so successful that for two million years human ancestors with the shortest legs were the most successful. They would also have been the most aggressive, probably because they were confident of winning fights rather than having a complex about their height.

So the state wrestling championship comes into focus for me now - even how 205lbs me beat the 380lbs behemoths in the Unlimited class.

Interesting (to me) sidenote. I'm just shy of 6 feet tall, but always had a problem with the Army's weight regs... because the bulk of my height is in my torso, not legs. Made me a good sprinter, too - 10.3 in the 100 yards, 4.5 in the forty. But the Army's system didn't account for that too well. My inseam is... 30. The current deputy commander at Fort Leavenworth is BG Joe Ramirez. Joe and I were Majors together as small group leaders at Fort Sill. Joe used to bug me about my weight compared to his until I made this comparison for him - Joe is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, or just under 4 inches shorter than I am.

We have the same inseam.

I could take him, though. Not that he cares, given what his retirement check is going to be like compared to mine.

8^ D

H/t, Jim C.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 14, 2007

March 13, 2007

Speaking of Cannon Cockers...

I finally figured out why John keeps snarking us aviation types (even though his efforts usually go over like a styrofoam sub).

Poor guy's starved for attention. Nobody ever tells Artillerist jokes.

Ummmm. Until now.

At a busy bus stop in a crowded city, a lovely young lass wearing a tight miniskirt was waiting for the bus.

The bus stopped and it was her turn to get on, and she suddenly became acutely aware that her skirt was entirely too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step on the bus.

Slightly embarrassed -- and with a quick smile to the bus driver -- she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little, thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg. She tried to take the step, only to discover that she couldn't.

So, a little more embarrassed, she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a bit more, and assayed the step a second time. Once again, much to her chagrin, she could not raise her leg.

With a wan smile to the driver, she reached behind yet a third time to unzip a little more -- and again was unable to take the step. Without a single word, the artilleryman in dress blues who had been standing behind her picked her up by the waist and placed her gently on the step of the bus.

She went ballistic. She turned to her benefactor and yelled, "How *dare* you touch my body! I don't even know who you are!"

The redleg blinked and said, "Well, miss, normally I’d agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I sorta figured we were friends.”

There ya go Big Fella -- feel better now?

A doff of the tin derby to V29 (who completely forgot he sent it, by now...)

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Mar 13, 2007

March 12, 2007

This One's For Bloodspite...

...who's having some *difficulties* with his company's insurance provider.

The local charity realized that it had never received a donation from the city's most successful insurance firm. So, a volunteer visited the CEO in his lavish office.

The volunteer opened the meeting by saying, "Our research shows that, even though your annual income is over two million dollars, you don't give a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give something back to your community through our organization?"

The CEO thought for a minute and said, "First, did your research also show you that my youngest sister has a rare and fatal blood disorder, and she has huge medical bills that are far beyond her ability to pay?"

Embarrassed, the charity rep mumbled, "Uh -- no, I didn't know that."

"Second," continued the CEO, "my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children."

The stricken charity rep began to stammer an apology, but was interrupted again. "Third, did your research also show you that my elder sister's husband died in dreadful car accident, leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three children, one of whom is disabled and another with learning disabilities requiring an army of private tutors?"

The humiliated charity rep, completely beaten, said, "I'm so sorry, I had no idea."

And the CEO finished, "So. Since I didn't give any money to them, what makes you think I'd give any to you?"

Feel free to insert the name of your *own* provider when you recount this during coffee break. I mean, you sure wouldn't read it aloud during work, would you?

Heh...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Mar 12, 2007

March 10, 2007

I am not a golfer...

...nor do I play one on TV. But I find the following joke (told in V29's inimitable style) downright chucklesome:

Four lawyers in a law firm lived for their Saturday morning round of golf. It was their favorite moment of the week. Then one of the lawyers was transferred to an office in another city.

It wasn't quite the same without him. Then, a new lawyer joined their law firm. A woman.

One day she overheard the remaining three talking about their golf round at the coffee table. Curious, she spoke up, "You know, I used to play on my golf team in college and I was pretty good. Would you mind if I joined you next week?"

The three lawyers looked at each other. They were hesitant. Not one of them wanted to say “Yes,” but she had them on the spot. Finally, one of them said it would be okay, but they would be starting pretty early, at 6:30 am.

He figured the early tee-time would discourage her immediately. The woman said this might be a problem, and asked if she could possibly be up to 15 minutes late. They rolled their eyes, but said this would be okay.

She smiled, and said, "Good, then I'll be there either at 6:30 or 6:45." She showed up at 6:30 on the dot and wound up beating all three of them with an eye-opening 2-under par round. She was a fun and pleasant person the entire round. The guys were impressed! Back in the clubhouse, they congratulated her and happily invited her to play again the following week.

She smiled, and said, "Sure, I'll be here at 6:30 or 6:45." The next week, she showed up at 6:30, but she played left-handed. The three lawyers were incredulous as she still managed to beat them with an even par round, despite playing with her off-hand. By now the guys were totally amazed, but wondered if she was just trying to make them look bad by beating them left- handed. They couldn't figure her out. She was again very pleasant and didn't seem to be purposely showing them up, but each man began to harbor a burning desire to beat her!

In the third week, they all had their game faces on -- but she was 15 minutes late! This had the guys irritable because each was determined to play the best round of golf of his life. As they waited for her, they figured her late arrival was some petty gamesmanship on her part. Finally, she showed up. This week, she played right-handed and narrowly beat all three of them. However, she was so gracious and so complimentary of their strong play, it was hard to hold a grudge against her. This woman was a riddle no one could figure out!

Back in the clubhouse, she had all three guys shaking their heads at her ability. They had a couple of beers at the 19th hole, which helped the conversation loosen up. Finally, one of the men could contain his curiosity any longer. He asked her point blank, "How do you decide if you're going to golf right-handed or left-handed?"

The lady blushed, and grinned. She said, "That's easy. When my Dad taught me to play golf, I learned I was ambidextrous. I have always had fun switching back and forth. Then, when I met my husband in college and got married, I discovered he always sleeps in the nude. From then on, I developed a silly habit. Right before I left in the morning for golf practice, I would pull the covers off him. If his thingie was pointing to the right, I golfed right-handed; if it was pointed to the left, I golfed left-handed.

All the guys on the team thought this was hysterical." Astonished at this bizarre information, one of the guys shot back, "But what if it's pointed straight up in the air?"

She said, "Then, I'm fifteen minutes late.

The premise is kinda far-fetched, though.

Not that the notion of a good-looking, ambidexterous, female lawyer with a dynamite personality who plays pro-grade golf is all that odd -- but a *punctual* female??? C'mon...

Heh. If I'd posted that during the week, the SB Brigade would'a shredded me...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Mar 10, 2007

March 4, 2007

Smirk.

Son asked his mother the following question:

"Mom, why are wedding dresses white?"

The mother looks at her son and replies,

"Son, this shows your friends and relatives that your bride is pure."

The son thanks his Mom and goes off to double-check this with his father.

"Dad why are wedding dresses white?"

The father looks at his son in surprise and says,

"Son, all household appliances come in white."

I would note at Castle Argghhh! they're all black. I don't think that's going to save me, but I thought I should note it anyway.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 04, 2007

March 1, 2007

Speaking of aviators...

Lex, this one's for you.

Naval Aviator

On a carrier, the Naval Aviator looks over at the Catapult Officer ("Shooter") who gives the run up engines signal by rotating his finger above his head. The pilot pushes the throttle forward, verifies all flight controls are operational, checks all gauges, and gives the Cat officer a brisk salute, continuing the Navy / Marine tradition of asking permission to leave the ship. The Cat officer drops to one knee while swooping his arm forward and pointing down deck, granting that permission. The pilot is immediately catapulted and becomes airborne.

Air Force Pilot

We've all seen Air Force pilots at the air force base look up just before taxiing for takeoff and the ground crew waits until the pilot's thumb is sticking straight up. The crew chief then confirms that he sees the thumb, salutes, and the Air Force pilot then takes off. This time-tested tradition is the last link in the Air Force safety net to confirm that the pilot does not have his thumb up his a$$.

Army Aviator

If you've ever seen an Army helicopter pilot preparing for takeoff, you will note that the pilot gives the ground guy a thumbs up before he is given hover and takeoff signals. There are two theories about the origin of this gesture. One is that it is to show that the pilot has identified which of his fingers is the thumb so that he will be able to properly operate his controls. The most compelling theory says that this is to show the ground crewman that the pilot indeed knows which direction is up.

It's not often I get to diss Dusty and Bill in the same post...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 01, 2007

February 27, 2007

This One's For Husbands Everywhere...

...One-point-Zero and higher. In light of John's post yesterday...

Esther and Charlie went to the state fair every year, and every year Charlie would say, "Esther, I'd sure ‘nuff like to ride in that helicopter."

Esther always replied, "Charlie, that helicopter ride is fifty dollars -- and fifty dollars is fifty dollars."

One year Esther and Charlie went to the fair and Charlie said, “Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter this year, I might not ever get another chance."

Esther replied, "Charlie that helicopter ride is fifty dollars -- and fifty dollars is fifty dollars."

The pilot overheard the couple and said, "Folks I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire flight and not say a word, I won't charge you! But if you do say something, it’s fifty dollars."

Charlie and Esther agreed, climbed into the helicopter and up they went.

The pilot flew all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a single word came from his passengers. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word.

After they landed, the pilot turned to Charlie and said, "By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!"

Charlie replied, "Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know -- fifty dollars is fifty dollars...”

(And a tip of the dinged steel pot to V29...)

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Feb 27, 2007

February 26, 2007

I don't know 'bout you guys, but I need a joke. Even a variation on an old one.

I understand BCR Labs is working on some additional apps...

As I discovered, being on Wife 3.x myself, "dot zero, much less One-dot-Zero releases can be very tricky programs. Of course, I only recommend switching OS's as a last resort. The upfront and downstream costs can be immense, and any interim OS's will have their own bugs.

INSTALLING HUSBAND 1.0

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance -- particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0 , NBA 3.0, and Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed, Desperate

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

Dear Desperate:

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Please enter the command: "http: I Thought You Loved Me.html " and try to download Tears 6.2 and

don't forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband

1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance.

We recommend Food 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck, Tech Support

H/t, Tommy V.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 26, 2007

February 25, 2007

Clio Meets Carborundum

Neffi, inspired by the Serial Thriller, has been visited by Clio, Muse of Limericks -- to wit:

A Frog driver has killed all our pot-
I demand Cap'n Bill Tuttle be shot!
You'll have piasters galore,
Or bikes; we have more-
He's torqued me off, I kid you not.

Not to be outdone, Carborundum, Guardian Angel (j.g.) and Muse of Nomex™, has inspired me to reply:

At Krak Argghhh! I ain't really high caste --
I compose all my posts in great haste.
But no one can refute
That the gurls think I'm cute
(There's just *no* accounting for taste...)

*snugging 27-inch zipper against 40-knot gusts*

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled posts.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by CW4BillT on Feb 25, 2007

February 19, 2007

MajMike - this one's for you.

JTG stole my posting thunder today, putting this in the comments of yesterday's H&I Fires. So, I'll yank it up here and let him tell the story.

Calibre missile: main warhead: 137.4 mm 136 mm Warhead: Tandem shaped charges high explosive (HE) Weight: firing post: tripod: thermal imager: missile tube: in tactical container: 5 kg 5 kg 3.5 kg 12.5 kg

Range: 50 m to 600 m

Time of flight to maximum range: 4.3 seconds

Guidance: optically tracked, single wire semi-automatic command to line of sight

Control: thrust vector controlled

Missile velocity at launch: at 600 m: 18 m/s 245 m/s

Rate of fire: 5 missiles in two minutes

Operating conditions: -31°C to 51°C

Sights: optical and thermal imagery

Manufacturers Eryx: Mirabel thermal imager: EVIGS: EPGS: Aerospatiale, France TCO/Asaca, Montreal, Canada Simtran, Montreal, Canada

Livefire demo video available here.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 19, 2007

February 15, 2007

Reach for the Stars!

'Nuff said, eh? The Motivator Man is back!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 15, 2007

February 8, 2007

Photo post...

What a difference 100 years makes.

This was collar brass intended as a reward for a highly-skilled and accomplished company, then. It would have rather a different connotation, today. Anyone remember the infamous "Peyote Platoon" of the 6-14 FA, 1st Tank DIVARTY, oh, 1984, I think?

These fine young Italian partisans in Milan in 1943 get points for a spiffy turn-out (well except for those clunky shoes on the lady in the middle) - but the young lady on the left gets -10 for weapons handling.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 08, 2007

February 6, 2007

Tagged, the saga continues.

The BCR Labs matter-transference box pinged today, delivering Cato the Elder's response today. We like Cato. Well, we like his oratorical skillz. We should, we shamelessly stole his theme...

Cato the Elder
1. To harden myself to the True Roman Way, I chewed iron nails for breakfast. Much later I was informed the early Romans did not have iron nails. Damn Greeks! They think they know everything!
2. Before I had my own children to beat, I borrowed the neighbor's to perfect my technique.
3. If Scipio Africanus had been named something nice, like Maximus Fuzzius, maybe we could have been friends. If True Romans have friends, that is.
4. Whenever I wonder if I am Truly Roman enough, I have the urge to fall on my sword to see if I will moan or not.
5. I mistrust Greeks because their letters have squiggles. A True Roman does not squiggle!
6. and to conclude, CARTHAGE MUST BE DESTROYED!

You heard it here first!

by John on Feb 06, 2007

February 2, 2007

The SugarButtons Brigade in the Assault.

Be All That You Once Were!

More funny stuff, not always work-safe, here at FreakingNews.Com

H/t, the Auld Pharts in Korea, via Jim C.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �