Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fighter Factory

Josh and I had our first visit to the Fighter Factory / Military Aviation Museum in Pungo. There are two groups of buildings; the one at the far end of the driveway has the workshop / maintenance area and the WWI planes, while the main building has the WW2 planes and some vehicles.
Some of the planes:

  • P40 with Flying Tigers livery
  • P39 
  • P51 Mustang
  • FW190
  • Yak 3
  • Corsair
  • B25
  • Junkers Ju52--larger than I expected, and the exterior is all corrugated, including the wings
  • Mosquito
  • Spitfire
  • Storch observation plane--they said it had a 300ft takeoff roll
  • Fokker DR1 triplane
  • Fokker D VII biplane
  • Albatross D.Va
  • Sopwith  1 1/2 Strutter
  • V1 flying bomb
They also had a display of the various types of ammo in use, from .30 cal to 30mm, and several vehicles--staff cars, gun tractors, that sort of thing. They also had a British antitank gun from the North Africa campaign, and a 89mm Flak gun in an Afrika Korps paint scheme, which was cool -- nobody was looking, so I sat in the gunner's position for a while, and thought about...well, what I actually thought about was telling Josh to go get the car and see if we could surreptitiously tow it home. We could put it behind the house. I can see the conversation when Diana gets home:
"What's that?"
"It's a tree, sweetie."
"A tree?"
"A fliegerabwehrkanone tree."
"When did you get it?"
"We've always had a tree in the back, hon."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Battle of Montgisard

Broke out GMT Games' Infidel, which I've had for a while, and put counters on the board for the Montgisard scenario. Historically, in 1177, a tiny Crusader force under the sixteen-year-old King of Jerusalem, Baldwin the Leper, came across a much larger invading Saracen force under Saladin. The Saracens were tired from marching and unprepared for battle. Although outnumbered by something like 6 to 1, the Crusaders merely paused for a quick prayer, then attacked. With the King leading the attack personally, they broke through the whole Saracen army, destroying 90% of it and nearly catching Saladin himself. The game AAR went pretty much the same way.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Communism vs Capitalism

On April 17, a fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas, blew up, with over 160 casualties. I've heard people saying "The explosion happened because, CAPITALISM! It hadn't been inspected by OSHA since 1985 because, CAPITALISM!"

On this day in 1986--three years before the fall of the Berlin wall--the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine suffered an explosion and fire which spread contamination over much of western Europe. Over 130,000 people were evacuated; deaths from radiation exposure and cancers were estimated as at least 4000.

So disasters happen because humans are greedy, careless, ignorant, or lazy; it doesn't seem to matter much which economic system they're operating in.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Larry Correia, Howard Tayler and others had a Book Bomb to pump up Nightingale; the author's son was seriously injured in a skateboarding accident, and buying the book will both help with medical bills and promote the book, leading more people to buy it, thereby helping more with the medical bills.So I bought it.

I stayed up to 2am to finish it. That's not unusual, but normally I'm aware of the time. In this case, the clock somehow jumped directly from 11:29pm to 1:52am. That's pretty rare.

And as soon as I finished it, I wanted to start the sequel immediately. That's very rare, but I really wanted to know more about...not just the main character, but some of the secondary characters. What about Olivia's husband Mike? Is he a werebear? It seems unlikely, but not quite impossible. What about Father Leery, and how did he convert? How about the Weigher of Lost Souls?

Unfortunately the next book in the series isn't out yet, so I bought Million Dollar Outline and the first book of the Runelords series, and I expect to buy more of his work.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


The #1 reason why most people aren’t productive, isn’t that they’re not exercising – it’s that they don’t know what to do. They don’t know what to do because they haven’t decided what they’re going to do. They’re either waiting for a cue from someone or simply mulling over the pros and cons of the decisions over and over and over. --Joel Runyon

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I expected dragonfruit to be a little more colorful. The outside certainly lives up to that; it looks like a red and green flame. The inside, however, is fish-white, with a speckle of black seeds. The taste is bland--something like a mix of cucumber and kiwi, but watered down.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher

"A man's right to work as he will, to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the state as servant and not as master--they are the essence of a free economy, and on that freedom all our other freedoms depend."

--Margaret Thatcher, from a speech in 1975, later Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Birthday party

Had my semi-surprise birthday party today -- moved back a week to deconflict with Easter. "Semi-surprise" because I knew there would be a party, and Diana showed me the list of potential guests; but I didn't figure out where it would be until a day or two before, and I mostly didn't know who would be able to attend. As it turned out, we had Diana and Josh; Mom and Dad; Tabitha, Chris, Ian, Kathleen, Emma, and Luke; Willa; people from work, Jimmy, Georgette, Robin, Desiree, Rob Cass; people from church, Charlie and Margaret Pittman, Bob and Maureen Kolstee; friends from previous jobs, Barbra, Mike Sahib and Rebecca Kowalski; gamers Tracy Johnson, John Andros; dentist Mary Dooley (how many people have their dentist come to their party?); neighbor Ella, and Mario from Taco Loco.
The cake image from a "put your face here" board with a Royal Navy uniform, taken in Madeira when we were there five years ago. Little did I know....
After the party dispersed, Tracy and Josh and I came back to the house and went through the introductory scenario for Conflict of Heroes: Kursk. In the evening, Mom, Josh, Diana and I taught Willa how to play Skip Bo, with the usual warning about Mom's underhanded idiosyncratic local interpretation of the rules.