Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mid-Week Rock

Some music to keep me going on the drive to Ames tonight:

Speaking of which, blogging will be light to nonexistent over the next couple of days as I'll be in Ames helping my roommates move in and otherwise enjoying a few days off of work.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Real life imitates Family Guy

Drunken man tries to fill his car with jet fuel:
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A drunken man broke into a small airport and tried to fill up his car's gas tank with jet fuel, police said. Police arrested the man, 20, on Sunday night for driving while intoxicated and attempted theft.

The man probably wasn't trying to save money. The aviation fuel in the pumps used for aircraft and race cars, was going for $5.97 a gallon, accessed by a credit card, authorities said.

"We've had people try and steal gas here in the past," said Jim Meide, who works in operations at the county-run Reid-Hillview Airport in East San Jose.

The only question I have is whether it was Avgas or jet A. Avgas would run in a car's internal combustion engine. Jet A, seeing as how it's kerosene based...not so much.

That Family Guy episode?

Sporko.comclick here for more funny videos

I'd have worn shorts...

...if I had known I was going to spend most of my morning at work wading in a lake in waters up to my waist.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Seen Today

A mangled flipped over cement powder tanker. Somebody is probably going to be losing their CDL privileges for awhile.

A 22 car freight train, which may not seem too unusual, until you consider that 7 of the cars were hauling 2 Case combines a piece, and another 2 of the cars were stacked high with combine tires. That's a pretty expensive train.

A Stryker ICV tooling down eastbound I-80 going about 50 mph. I did a double take, because while military vehicles aren't a complete rarity on our roads, they're usually just Humvees and deuce and a halfs from the local National Guard units. It was a full up Stryker complete with crewman in ACUs standing in the commander's hatch enjoying the breeze. I have no idea where it was going or what it was doing.

South Park Monday

Close up animals with a wide angle lens...wearing hats!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sleep Schedules

Meant to blog about this when this comic was first posted. Going roughly off of the go to bed-wake up 0000-0800 rule contained in the alt text, the farthest I have been off would be Tokyo. I have at various times been in Honolulu, eastern Australia, Tokyo, parts of India, and a wide band of Europe from Moscow to London.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A good evening

Involves this:

And this:

Friday, July 25, 2008

The damn mower had it coming

Angry man shoots lawn mower for not starting:

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee man was accused of shooting his lawn mower because it wouldn't start. Keith Walendowski, 56, was charged with felony possession of a short-barreled shotgun or or rifle and misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed.

According to the criminal complaint, Walendowski said he was angry because his Lawn Boy wouldn't start Wednesday morning. He told police quote, "I can do that, it's my lawn mower and my yard so I can shoot it if I want."

A woman who lives at Walendowski's house reported the incident. She said he was intoxicated.

Walendowski could face up to an $11,000 fine and six years and three months in prison if convicted.
Indeed, it was his lawn mower and his yard. However, if you're going to shoot your lawn mower, it's probably best to not use your very illegal sawed off shotgun. Somehow I doubt the balance of that six year jail term is for the misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed.

Mid Late week rock

I had the Righteous Brothers "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'" stuck in my head yesterday. Since it's not really appropriate for a mid week rock, here's the next closest thing.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

South Park Monday

For the record, when Cartman is agreeing with your position it's usually a sign that you are a complete retard.

You were right and I was wrong

...about the horses.
VIENN (AFP) - The white coat of the Lipizzan horses performing at Vienna's prestigious Spanish riding school is caused by a mutated gene, a new study showed Sunday, solving a decades-old mystery over the horses' colour.

White and grey horses, including Lipizzans, are born with a darker coat but lose their colour between the age of six and eight due to chromosome mutations, Austrian and Swedish researchers found in the study published Sunday in the scientific journal Nature Genetics.

Pretty Funny


Bullet --> Foot

While I'm not a PAO by any means, it probably isn't the best idea to have motherf**king TOPS IN BLUE headlining the USAF homepage on the weekend that a major scandal broke about possible USAF misuse of funds for "comfort."

I mean, Jesus...sometimes I think that organization has done more to hurt the perception of the USAF as a war fighting organization than the F-22, Kelly Flinn, and Merrill McPeak (and his bus driver uniform) combined.

Smooth SLICC Move, Air Force

There's been considerable consternation all over this weekend as a result of the disclosure of the USAF's SLICC palletized VIP transport pod. Most of the wailing and grinding of teeth has been due to the perception of the USAF brass spending GWOT money hand over fist in order to fly in style, furthering the meme that the USAF leadership is nothing but a bunch of perfumed fighter pilot princes, longing for a good dogfight and blowing billions on their "next war-itis" while shortchanging the valiant soldiers and Marines fighting on the ground.

Sense the sarcasm? I think it's been made apparent on these pages that I am no fan of much of the USAF leadership and the decisions they have made and that I have often criticized some of those decisions...when I have felt it is warranted. This is not one of those times. Yes, this was probably not the best use of funds, but it is incredibly naive to think that none of the other services would ever behave in this manner. The Post article that started all of this is a hit piece. For a more balanced perspective, read this post over at Danger Room (no friends of the USAF's leadership) and the official USAF press release.

I feel the best take on the whole situation comes from that Danger Room post:
Actually, it's not the Air Force's response that makes me think this story is overblown (and in at least one case inaccurate), but the documents the story is based on. I've gone through the documents, posted on POGO website, and I must admit, it shows typical signs of a troubled acquisition, but it's weak soup as a scandal. I strongly encourage everyone to check out the documents for themselves. Most of the changes outlined revolve around routine fixes to things that don't work, like seatbelts that are too short, etc. As for one issue -- that the brown be swapped for blue -- the reason, according to the e-mail, was to match the interior of the rest of the plane, not to match the Air Force's color (gray was another option provided).
Exactly. This out of proportion reaction is indicative of a larger problem. The USAF has become (largely through its own actions) everyone's favorite punching bag for a variety of issues. On everything from UAVs to next war-itis to overreaching with technology there is enough blame to go around between all of the services, yet the only one who is repeatedly beaten up in the public eye is the USAF. Why is that?

As I stated before, it's because we've done it to ourselves. Thanks to the numerous legitimate scandals that have plagued the Air Force in recent years, we've reached a tipping point where the slightest whiff of a scandal is enough to send alarm bells clanging. Whether or not that scandal is actually a scandal is irrelevant. The point is that it's another chance to beat up on the Air Force and add to the litany of Air Force screw-ups in recent years.

Something needs to be done, and soon, to address this because if we don't it's only going to get worse. The USAF's leadership needs to step up and start leading. Hopefully the replacement in leadership at the top will help effect this. However, it's not going to be enough to change within the service. There also needs to be help given by the civilian officials at OSD. They bear some of the responsibility for the current toxic relationship between the USAF and the rest of the Pentagon, and they can help fix it. Again, hopefully the change in USAF leadership will help with this.

Improving this relationship and public perception needs to be near the top of the priority list for all concerned because as much fun as it might be to beat up on the Air Farce, the current situation isn't good for the service or the country.

Fire 'em all, I say

LTC Bateman doesn't go quite that far, but figures there's at least some that need firing and haven't been. Along the way there's a lot of good info about how we got to this point, where Presidents are apparently afraid to can their generals. I'm not sure that his "BRAC for Generals" solution would be a workable one, as if there's anything we've learned from BRAC, it's that despite its intention of reducing the amount of politics involved, it does nothing but increase the politicking. Giving Congress this much power, especially in an occasionally unpopular war (as most of our future wars are likely to be) is a recipe for disaster.

That said, something needs to be done, because 7 years at war without a general fired (besides the abysmal Karpinski) isn't a good thing. Of course, we need to be careful about setting the metrics, because some generals aren't the best at unconventional warfare. That's fine, but a sign of a good officer is the ability to adapt. Some have. Others wouldn't or couldn't, and when that becomes apparent is when they need to get fired. And make no mistake, firing is the only acceptable outcome. Undeserved promotions or normal retirements are unacceptable. Examples must be made. The SECDEF apparently understands this with at least one service, it would be nice if he could convince the President to apply the same standard to the rest.

h/t: Danger Room

No Comment

Probably not the best design.
h/t: Countercolumn

A Must Read

This account in Stars and Stripes of the attack last week on the U.S. outpost in Kunar Province. Reinforces the initial thought I had that this would be the Rorke's Drift for this war.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Is important when being a second late makes all the difference. 25 photos taken at exactly the right moment. I thought I was going to have trouble deciding which one was my favorite...that was before I saw the two near the end of the kitties.

h/t: Lex

The Dewalt-16

This is sweet. Make sure to check out the details of the battery-mag.

h/t: Patrick

Monday, July 14, 2008

South Park Monday

Chocolate Salty Balls edition:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Generation Kill

Premieres on HBO tonight. Unfortunately, I don't have access to HBO but I will be awaiting its release on DVD. If you do have access to HBO, I highly recommend you tune in. It looks like it's going to be an honest picture of the people America has fighting for her. Unfortunately, like any honest picture, people unfamiliar with the underlying culture will read into it what they want. The heads of those on the right explode because these Marines aren't baseball and apple pie heroes. They are "casually racist, homophobic and ignorant beyond reproach." What I read out of that is that they tell offensive racial and gay jokes frequently, rag on the ethnicities of their comrades, and are unrepentantly proud of their background, however lower class that might be. Sounds like most 18-25 military personnel I know. The left, on the other hand, mistakes the routine bitching of soldiers in combat with extreme disillusionment regarding their leaders and the mission. The only time I would worry about junior enlisted personnel is when they AREN'T bitching about their leadership, especially field grade officers and above.

It'd be better for all involved if you left your political preconceptions at the door and just watched:

h/t: Charlie

Because there's not much funnier than a guy getting hit in the balls

Like Bubblehead says, the buckling of the knees is what makes this one stand out.

Reagan the comedian

h/t: Op-For

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Rules

Like Chap says, you could do worse than to follow these ten rules.

Since I've now linked him, might as well point out that Big Tobacco is now my new favorite deployed blogger since Lt Nixon has returned home (if you can call the Green Zone "being deployed"..:-p) and LT CPT G of Kaboom got shut down.

Speaking of the Gravediggers, they've suffered their first major casualty of the deployment and could use some thoughts and prayers.

First Flight

...for the Vulcan in public. In a long time, anyway:

Thousands of people turned out to see a Cold War bomber's first flight at an airshow in 15 years.

The Vulcan, which cost £7m to restore, flew in a five minute display at The RAF Waddington International Air Show in Lincolnshire on Saturday.

The Civil Aviation Authority gave permission for the plane to fly from its base in Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire on Friday.

About 125,000 people turned out to see the Vulcan's milestone flight.

Some 20,000 people have contributed to the restoration fund for the bomber.

Always nice to see old Cold Warriors being restored and flown instead of the fate so many of them face.

Here's a couple of vids of the restored Vulcan (XH558) back in action:

h/t: Alert 5

Sunday, July 06, 2008

South Park Monday

Today's clip has been chosen for two reasons: one, the tunnel bit is one of my favorite Cartman moments, and two, it's very topical given the anti smoking law that went into effect recently in Iowa.

Sentry Solutions

In all my gun blogging, I've forgotten to put in a plug for Sentry Solutions. They make several protection and lubrication products for guns, knives, and just about any other sort of metal tool. The products all use dry film technology, which means they are applied using a liquid carrier agent (usually either mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol, depending on the product) which then dries off, leaving the dry compound on the surface to do its job. Their product line ranges from a cloth to wipe down exterior surfaces to provide corrosion protection to a bore treatment that severely reduces cleaning time to powder for fine tuning sensitive areas like bolts and trigger sears and a lot of other stuff.

Their products are, simply put, the shit. I made sure to give my carbine the once over with all their applicable products once I got the cosmoline off. After I took her out the first time and put ~200 rounds through, all it took to get the bore mirror shiny again was once through with the brush and one patch. That was it. Granted, 200 rounds isn't much, but I was still impressed. Don't just take my word for it, though. I also use the product on all the knives I own and I have yet to have a significant problem (minus one slight case of surface rust on a knife, which was my fault for a) using a dried out tuf cloth and b) putting the knife in an extreme corrosion situation).

Like I said, it's the shit. If you use firearms and/or knives and you aren't using their products, you should really give them a try.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mid Week Rock

Continuing with last week's Irish theme, if we're gonna be talking about whiskey, we need to play Tim Finnegan's Wake:

Not the version I wanted, but you can't complain about the Dubliners.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Smoking Ban

I'll be looking forward to be given the opportunity to flout this law when I go back to school in the fall.

Force Shaping

Rather amusing image regarding the recent firings of the Air Force's top two leaders...

h/t: Skippy