Friday, October 18, 2019

I Ain't'nt Ded Yet

So it's been almost three months since I posted a post here. When I got started, they said you should post every day if you wanted your blog to be successful.
I guess I must not have been interested in a successful blog.

Anyway, yes, I'm still here, and if any of those spam comments were really from people, well, sign your comment next time. And make sure it makes sense.

Reasons for not posting are various, personal and general. The personal doesn't seem like it would be of interest to anyone, assuming I wanted to share outside family and very close friends, and the general... well, you know why Tom Lehrer* allegedly gave up his singing career and went back to being a math professor, right? 

Not that I make any claim to being on a par with Tom Lehrer. (Despite having a related MOS in the Army.)

Anyhoo. I'm still here, if anyone cares, and I'll probably start posting again Real Soon Now...

*He denies it, basically says he got bored with it. And there's a thought: Better to die in  obscurity, or have your obit read "Author of 'Poisoning Pigeons In The Park' and inventor of the jello shot"?

Sunday, July 21, 2019

QOTD, 07/20/2019

I always knew I'd see the first man walking on the moon. I never thought I'd see the last.
Dr. Jerry Pournelle, scientist, author, raconteur

(Yes, I'm late posting this, thought I'd scheduled it and screwed that up...)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Independence Day, 2019

Edit: Edited on Sunday July 7th upon my re-accessing The Grid, and discovering I had botched the embed... 😳

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

69 years ago today

(Originally posted 06/25/2014)

..north Korea invaded the Republic of Korea.

The commie still claim that the ROKs invaded them, but when the USSR collapsed the Kremlin revealed that, in fact, Kim Il Sung asked Stalin for permission to move, and Stalin said "Go ahead."  US Secretary of State Dean Acheson had just laid out the US Sphere of Interest, and neglected to include the Korean Peninsula...

Acheson did persuade President Harry Truman to intervene, sending in elements of the US Occupation Forces from Japan.  Unfortunately, the US forces in Japan were pretty hollow, despite the prevailing feeling that, in the aftermath of defeating both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, that America was unbeatable.\

Said feeling, coupled with the idea that the Atomic Bomb had made war "impossible", may have had something to do with the stripping of all combat units in Japan to the bare bones: Regiments having three battalions on paper had two, battalion had two companies instead of three, companies had two platoons.  Worse, weapons and equipment were either not present, or not maintained, and the troops were similarly poorly trained and in poor shape, mostly garrison troops.

Furthermore, the US Army military advisors in Korea had pronounced it "not tank country", and had therefore not only deprived the nascent ROK Army of armored fighting vehicles, but also of anti-tank weapons.

Which left the ROK Army with little but bundles of dynamite to fight Kim Il Sung's T-34s.  They worked, sort of, but the ROKs petty much ran out of soldiers willing to do that sort of thing about the same time they ran out of dynamite.  Unfortunately, the commies still had some tanks left, which came as a shock to the troops of the U S Army's Task Force Smith. That they were heavily outnumbered didn't help, but the fact that the commies were better equipped and better trained would undermine the confidence of the US forces for months to come.

Driving the commies to the Am Nok River  and then being pushed back by every Chinaman in the world didn't help.

Previous posts from 6/25:

Also of possible interest:
Plus, of course, all the other posts tagged "Korea" at left.

Monday, June 24, 2019


Not sure this is real, but... LOL!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Can I tell you what I want?

What I really really want?

I want a handheld¹ dual band² transceiver³ that has bluetooth and an Android/iPhone control app so I can program it that way.

The problem with most amateur radios these days is that they have so many functions that programming them practically requires a computer science degree, not to mention a bewildering variety of ways to scroll through functions, depending on manufacturer and model. 

Using the cell phone to control it would also let you store a heckuva lot more repeater setups. (I.e, if the radio only stores 100 entries, well, there are more like 200 different repeaters in Western Washington on 2m alone, let alone 1.25m, 70cm, 6m...

If I could just download the databases for Western Washington, along with Eastern WA, OR, ID, etc., into the phone, I could select individual entries that I needed, and adjust as I moved.

Oh, and please make it for under two Benjamins, 'cuz I'm a cheapskate.

Footnotes for the non-radio active:
1. Handy-talkie, or HT to Amateur radio operators. In WWII, the handheld was a "Handy-Talkie", the "Walkie-Talky" was a backpack monstrosity.
2. 2m and 70cm, by preference.\
3. "Radio."

75 Years Ago...

The Great Crusade began.

D-Day By the Numbers, By the Men | VodkaPundit
I want you to imagine picking up every resident of a medium-sized city, everything they'll need to eat and drink and rest for a few days, any vehicles they might need, gasoline, of course, plus lots of guns and ammo -- did I mention this was a hunting trip? -- and then moving them all in a few short hours a distance of anywhere from 30 to 125 miles or so.

Now imagine you have to move all those people and all that stuff partly by air, but mostly across heavy seas in foul weather.

Under enemy fire.

I should also mention that if you messed up any of the big details, a lot of your people are going to die, and then you're going to have to figure out how to move them all back without getting too many more of them killed.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day 2019

From the Small Wars Journal: 

Nameless, Ageless, But Forever
SWJ Blog Post | May 10, 2017 - 6:09pm
Family Values
Keith Nighingale
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

This is a picture of God’s messengers on earth. It is an image of brothers born from a different womb but of the same mother-products of sights, sounds and experiences they absorb so the remainder of us do not. They have nobility that only shared sacrifice and pursuit of a cause greater than themselves can bestow grace.

They are nameless and ageless but they are forever. They made us what we are and they will determine what we will be. Their dress has changed over time as have their tools. But these are cosmetic compared to the common inner core that carries them into their tasks, bonds them forever and insures their collective and individual success for generations.

Unlike most similar apparitions assigned to many other Nation’s, these are unique. They carry a message of light to lands lost in darkness. Their demeanor and innate sense of goodness, generosity and grace effects the minds and wishes of the people’s within their range of influence and creates a lasting memory that a thousand years of bad history cannot erase.

They carry a sword but also a larger instrument of compassion-they carry themselves. In their simple world, one always leads to another. Complexity is for others not so directly engaged.

They may only vaguely understand the larger issues that brought them to a distant dismal place but that is not important. What is important is that they represent a hope and aspiration probably never-before experienced. Their image engenders a way of life and imagined ideals that are the residue of their momentary presence.

The uniform, the flag and the honest personalities pass a message no amount of media can generate. They are us and what we stand for.

The land they may take is small, not much larger than each of them but permanent in nature as what they stood for and their successors stand for now and as we all stand for the future.

Look at this image. It is us and it is good. The greatest of gifts has no price other than that which is willingly offered.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Stop The Bleed, Part 2

The Defense Health Agency maintains a web site called Deployed Medicine here: Deployed Medicine --  which includes includes links to their app on both the Apple and Android Stores.


The Deployed Medicine  website includes several sections, including Tactical Combat Casualty Care , curated by (not surprisingly) The Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care. Understandably, these folks are on the cutting edge of trauma care, so this can be considered the source.That page includes manuals, videos, and reference documents.

Also, Greg Ellefritz has an excellent post up (The Best Tourniquets- A Research Review | Active Response Training) on the latest release from the CoTCCC, regarding recommended procedures, practices, and equipment for trauma care

This includes ratings of several tourniquets recommended for use in trauma care. Link to that is here: CoTCCC Recommended Devices & Adjuncts, click on the "View Book" button to read and/or download it as a .pdf.

Again, better to have it and not need it, than to need it and be waiting for the paramedics or a passing  Combat Lifesaver...

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Stop The Bleed Month

May is Stop the Bleed Month. And May 23rd is National STOP THE BLEED Day.

(Yes, those seem to be "rival" web sites...)

Perhaps with that in mind, Tamara had a post yesterday (The largest window for error...) in which she linked to an article about gun safety vis à vis administrative gun handling, and said that, if you're going to carry a gun, you should have a "blow out kit" with you. (SayUncle linked, and, this being the Internet, predictably, derp ensured in comments.)

I've written about first aid and (especially) trauma care and training before, and on this very topic in The Clue Meter: Tourniquets Save Lives.

In that post I included some videos of how to apply a tourniquet, including one I reproduce here, how to apply a field expedient tourniquet:

As to which tourniquet to carry, the two standards seem to be the CAT (Gen 7+) and the SOF-T (Gen 4+); the advantages of one over the other seem be minor and due as much to personal preference of the professional you are speaking to, as well as to incremental improvements in one or the other. Similar tourniquets are likely to mimic the style or design, but use cheaper materials.

There is at least one "bargain" tourniquet that is essentially a long rubber band; in formal testing it was rated as better than nothing -- barely. (The sales pitch is cool, "Tighten until the diamonds are squares and the ovals are circles"; just doesn't seem to work as well in real application.)


You need to take classes; even if you master applying a tourniquet by watching YouTube videos, there are other things you'll need to know. So where do you find such training? After all, you might not know a handy Ambulance Driver who happens to be conducting a class on the subject.
If you're not comfortable buying  emergency medical/trauma care supplies off of Amazon -- and stories of counterfeit merchandise abound -- some reputable sources include:
This is another item in the "Better to have it (and know how to use it!) but never need it, than to need it and not have it and/or not know how to use it" category.