The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Maxim Gun

When I started to do some research on the Maxim gun after reading some stuff on WWI, and I decided to look up some information on the machine gun.  I remembered the Germans were very fond of the Maxim gun and used it extensively with the trench warfare on the Western Front.  After WWI, the armistice was brutal to Germany and if I recall they couldn't have any Maxim guns. 

They would up developing the MG40 and MG 42 or as they were called "Hitlers Zipper" because of the sheer amount of bullets they could fire, something like 1200 rounds a minute.
     in WWII the only nation that really used the Maxim gun were the Soviets, whom got the design and license to produce it back when the Tsar ran the country before the revolution.  The Soviets found the Maxim good for their needs during WWII, the weapon was robust and very reliable and they used it to support the infantry in the attack or the defense of the Motherland.

Left: Quad-Maxim M1910 anti-
aircraft machine gun mount, Moscow, Russia, 21 June 1942. Photo: RIAN / Vladimir Granovskiy / 41394. Right: Soviet anti-aircraft machine gun atop Hotel Moskva in Moscow, Russia. Photo: RIAN / Oleg Knorring / 887721
The Maxim gun was named after Hiram Maxim, an American inventor from Maine. He had an incredible talent for mechanisms, a skill he made his living from as an arms manufacturer. He made a fortune with a range of different schemes, then moved from the USA to the UK, where he produced the Maxim

The inspiration for the Maxim gun came from Maxim’s experience with a more conventional weapon. Given the opportunity to fire a .45-70 caliber army rifle, he noticed the kick the gun gave when fired. He wondered whether that energy could be used to power other mechanisms such as automatically loading and firing a gun.
That moment of insight led to all modern automatically firing weapons.

Image from the April 1895 edition Cassier’s Magazine, showing Hiram Maxim and the Maxim gun, along with Louis Cassier and J. Bucknall Smith.

The Maxim was first produced in 1884.
Maxim’s gun was not the first machine gun. The Gatling and Williams guns proved useful during the American Civil War of 1861-1865. During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, the French fielded the Mitrailleuse, an unwieldy weapon whose limited range left it vulnerable to German artillery and ultimately disappointing as a weapon.
Those weapons were not automatic. They were powered by a soldier turning a crank to load and fire. The Maxim was the first gun to make that unnecessary.

The Maxim gun’s loading and firing mechanism were based around the breechblock.
The barrel and breechblock of the gun were set up to recoil from the force of each shot. After moving three-quarters of an inch, the barrel stopped while the breechblock kept moving, separating from the barrel. As the breechblock moved back, it ejected the spent shell.

The movement of the breechblock connected with a set of levers attached to the ammunition belt. They pulled the belt a short distance, lining a cartridge up with the barrel. The breechblock then hit a spring and reversed its course. It drove the cartridge into the barrel, chambering it ready for the next shot.
The striker then swung in, firing the cartridge.

The Maxim could keep shooting until the gunner let go of the trigger, or the ammunition belt ran out.

A large-bore Maxim on the USS Vixen ca. 1898.

The Maxim gun could fire 10 rounds per second or 600 per minute. It set the standard for decades, with the guns of WWI mostly able to fire at somewhere around that rate.

Although the Maxim could fire 600 rounds per minute, it was often excessive for what was needed. To give more control, it had a lever on the right of the gun’s receiver. It controlled a variable oil buffer which changed the rate of fire.

The gun was fed by a canvas belt into which ammunition was inserted. The belt for the original could hold 333 rounds. Its ends were linked together, allowing a continuous stream of fire.

Soviet machine gun positions at Pavlovsk near Leningrad, Russia, 21 January 1944. Photo: RIAN / Boris Kudoyarov / 764 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

With such a high rate of fire, over-heating could put a severe strain on the gun. A water jacket around the barrel kept it from over-heating, another innovation which became standard in the guns that followed.

Maxim and his machine operators were incredibly talented. Due to his design work and their manufacturing, the Maxim functioned flawlessly from its first trials onward.

The British were quick to seize upon the potential of Maxim’s weapon. Their first production model, manufactured by Vickers, entered service with the army in 1891.

British Vickers machine gun crew during the Battle of Menin Road Ridge, World War I.

Faced with less well-equipped enemies, the Maxim gun was devastatingly formidable. Britain and other powerful countries used it to highly destructive effect in their colonial wars, mowing down enemies who sometimes did not even carry guns. During the Matabele War of 1893-4, fifty British infantrymen with four Maxim guns held off 5,000 Matabele in a 90-minute engagement, killing 3,000 of their attackers.

One of the first significant colonial uses of the Maxim gun was during the Battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898. British forces faced a vastly larger force of Sudanese Mahdists, but the British had six Maxim guns.
As the Mahdists jogged toward the British lines, the Maxim guns opened fire alongside the infantry. Hardly a single Mahdist got within a quarter of a mile of their enemies. 11,000 Sudanese died, almost all killed by the Maxim guns. The British and their Egyptian allies lost only 48 men.
“It was not a battle,” one eye-witness wrote, “but an execution.”

The Maxim’s first use against an equally modern army came during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5. The Russians fielded Maxim guns, while the Japanese used the Hotchkiss, a machine-gun first brought into production by the French.

Red Army soldiers with a Maxim machine gun, c. 1930.

The Maxim was heavy, especially when filled with water and accompanied by its ammunition. As a result, it was usually deployed from static positions. It could provide covering fire during an attack or be used for defense, shooting from within a fortification.

One of the early lessons learned by Maxim operators was that they were better off separating the weapon from the wheeled carriage used to transport it. The gun could be settled on a stable position low to the ground, where it would be less obvious to enemies and where they could find cover. Meanwhile, the carriage would continue to draw enemy fire.

The British, Germans, and Russians all fielded guns based on the Maxim in WWI.  The Soviets used them in WWII.   Added together, Maxim-based guns have probably killed more people than any other gun in history.
William Weir (2006), 50 Weapons that Changed Warfare

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lesson Learned and being a repeater

Well I had a few things I wanted to do this morning, and it didn't happen....Well I had bought on the Black Friday specials a "Bun Warmer" to put in my truck on top of the leather seats.  Ford didn't offer "Heated Seats" when my truck was built,It became an option a couple of years later.  Oh Well  Guess what happens when you forgot to turn it off....

Yep you guessed it....DRT battery.  Well I have a battery tender on it now.  I was planning on visiting my Dad this morning and going to the range.  I had purchased several boxes of Federal ammo
I bought the ammo at Wallyworld, I wanted to get several types of "high Performance" like Hornady critical defense or the  Speer Gold Dot.  Well all they had was the Federal Hydroshok.  I have heard good things about that one.  I was planning on running the ammo through my .40 Cal pistols and especially run the hydroshoks through the Taurus since that is my "carry" gun until I sell it or trade it.  But I wanted to see how the pistol performed.  In the past, the Taurus has proven reliable and functioned every time but the quality has been hit or miss with the company.  it is possible that I got one of the good ones and I wanted to verify it.  if the Taurus feeds the Hydroshoks, then the Hornady and the Speer and feeds it and runs well, I might keep the pistol.
 The Other Pistol is my S&W Sigma, the pistol that was such a carbon copy of the Glock that S&W got sued for it.  Well mine is a first generation of that pistol and it works fine, the pistol doesn't fit my hand super well like a SIG or a 1911, but the pistol functions well.

I am retransmitting this signal from Old NFO Blog, the raffle is almost done, if y'all can, please throw some more love at this.

3 days left… We will end the gun raffle at midnight on the 30th, with the drawings to be held December 1st, but the Go Fund Me WILL CONTINUE. Right now we’re at about 61% of our goal, not as far along as we wanted, but at least this should give Andi a good start on the therapy she needs.
Andi, a member of our Blogorado family, has suffered a stroke, which was misdiagnosed initially, leading to complications.  She doesn’t have medical insurance, and is having to fund her rehabilitation on a pay-as-you-go basis.  Several of us have pooled our resources by donating guns from our personal collections, and we’re offering them as an incentive to raise funds for her, along with some non-gun prizes (jewelry, books, etc.) for those who’d prefer them.  The Go Fund Me is HERE. Jenn as a personal post up on Andi, HERE.
You’ll find photographs of all the prizes in three parts:  hereherehere, and here. There is an additional package it’s number 14!  A full polish on a stainless or nickel plate on a blued handgun. This is from Reflections Chrome Plating up in Maine! Remember, donate to the Go Fund Me, HERE, and email your receipt to  4anditherapy@gmail.comtoparticipate in the raffle!!!
The drawing will be via a random number generator on 1 December. First number drawn gets their pick, second number gets their pick, and so on.
Thank you to all that have contributed both packages and donations!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Music "Human" by the Human League

 Dangit, forgot to put a title on this one....My Bad...

One of my commenters "Bob", which is a good name btw commented last week about the song "Human" by the "Human League".  I remember this song coming out in 1986 while I was stationed in Fort Devens in MA for AIT.  This song came on and we would watch the video's in the break room waiting to march to school.    This song also was used for parody commercials by Liberty Insurance, and I thought the commercials were creative.

"Human" is a song recorded by British synthpop band The Human League, and released as the first single from their 1986 album Crash. The track, which deals with the subject of infidelity, was written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
In 1985, the recording sessions for the Human League's fifth album were not going well, and the band did not like the results, which was causing internal conflict. Virgin Records executives, worried by the lack of progress from their at-the-time most profitable signing, suggested the band accept an offer to work with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who already had material to work with; and had expressed an interest in the band from their U.S. releases. Jam and Lewis had recently emerged as in-demand talent due to their success with Janet Jackson and her Control album.
Of the ten songs on Crash, Jam and Lewis wrote three, "Human" being one of them. It is a mid-tempo ballad which lyrically is an exchange between a man and a woman in a relationship who have reunited after a separation. In the first two verses Philip Oakey is apologizing to his partner for being unfaithful during her absence, and in the song's breakdown Joanne Catherall's spoken-word confession reveals that she too was unfaithful. The song's title is derived from the chorus, in which both parties in the relationship explain that they are "only human" and "born to make mistakes". The song is a composition in common time with a tempo of 102 beats per minute. It is set in a key of A major, with a chord progression from D-E-f.
"Human" became the second million-selling and final number-one single for The Human League on the US Billboard Hot 100 (after "Don't You Want Me") and their second chart-topper on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart (after "(Keep Feeling) Fascination"). Jam and Lewis' R&B-based production was also popular on American urban radio, bringing the Human League into the top ten of the U.S. R&B chart for the first time. The song hit #1 in the US; however, in the UK, where R&B was less popular, "Human" peaked at number eight in the UK singles chart.

The music video for "Human" was filmed in London during June 1986, in a studio using Chroma key overlay. It is heavily stylized to give a "water reflective" effect and blue hue throughout. In the first time that the band had been presented as a "Phil and the girls" trio, images of Oakey, Catherall and Sulley are constantly layered and blended. The video was conceived and directed by Andy Morahan.
In 2003, a new video was created and released to promote the Chinese Whispers mix. This music video used the original footage of Oakey, Sulley and Catherall from 1986 and interlaced it with traditional Chinese imagery of silhouetted water grass, water lilies and Chinese characters. It was subject of a U.S. MTV featurette which was introduced by Oakey and featured Ian Widgery talking about the creative process in the reworking of the original Human.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Some thoughts on the NFL protest...and Post Thanksgiving shopping

I saw a post on the Standard about Lynch sitting for our anthem and standing for the Mexican anthem and it again pissed me off so I did a respectable response in the comments and this is what I posted...

They want to protest, that is fine, do it on their own time on their own dime.  I am irritated that they brought politics into football. the politics have surrounded us, We watch football to escape the politics.
      When you have players kneeling for our national anthem but stand for "Hail to the Queen" in the games in England and for the Mexican National Anthem whom have a crappier "civil rights" record than we do, the protest fall kinda flat.  To me this is virtue signaling. 
    I have served under that flag and have friends buried under that flag, this protest rings false.  The National anthem is to unite us as Americans not divide us but that is what has happened.  The players want to protest police brutality, there are other ways to do this, not polarize their cause.   The NFL is losing viewers and sponsors by this, and the NFL Commissioner will not do anything about it.   The far left support the players that protesting but will not attend any of the games, too violent you know...and the players are pissing off the blue collar fans that are overwhelmingly conservative with this action who do go to the games and buy the merchandise.  If this continues, the players will in effect will have killed off the golden goose whome they get their huge salary and live better than 99% of other Americans.

    We sent our son on a band trip for the after Thanksgiving parade in another state, I will release the details after he returns.  Call me paranoid but when it comes to my son I am cautious on details.

 SEASON'S BEATINGS: Shoppers punch, kick, scream; Baby hit with shoe...
One shot outside mall, brawls shut another...
BLACK FRIDAY SMACKDOWN: Men squabble over toy car...
And the chaos goes global...
Customers wear employee uniforms to sneak in to stores!
Facial recognition tracking EVERYWHERE; Santa sees everything...
Cyber Monday forecast to be largest shopping day in history...
Credit card problems plague MACY'S...
AMAZON workers strike...


      Well we dropped him and the rest of the band kids at the airport we did a bit of Black Friday shopping.....There is a reason I like shopping online...

 I have heard of fights in Birmingham(Hoover) and other places and the sad thing is people are fighting of cheap crap and it really kills me(pardon the pun) that people are willing to be assholes to each other over a TV or some other electronics.
     We went to a couple of places, the sales weren't bad, the door busters were long gone but the crowds were out in force.  I spent an hour in line at Kohls and held a couple of things while the spousal unit perused the area.  I didn't mind, I like spending time with the wife. and we came home.  There is a reason that online shopping is becoming popular besides avoiding the crowd, I have concerns about "Christmas day Visits" from our local Jihadist.

I was looking for a pic from the Berlin attack and saw this on the google search..
 And this isn't including the squirrel In New York that rented a truck and drove it down a walking trail to see how many infidels he can run over.
     This is a sad state of affairs when you have to worry about getting wacked on a runup for one of the holiest days of the Christian Calender.   This doesn't even consider the usual increase runup of petty crime every year around this time.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Friends

Well Today is Thanksgiving, please go out...spend time with your family...or if you don't have any or can't stand them...Please spent time with good friends since in my mind family also.
And some Thanksgiving Humor...
For those that start mention Christmas real early,....like around Labor day

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Church Security...

I attended a seminar hosted by our local sheriff that was geared toward local houses of worship.  he explained the breakdown of incidences by religion, Whooda thunk that the Baptist had the highest incidence of church violence at 26%, but that also can be that Baptist are a larger religious groups here in the United States.  I am a trustee at the Church I attend, several members of the Trustee's went to the meeting to get clarification on what we can do after the well publicized church shootings.
 The Auditorium was packed standing room only with 400 people there, I was lucky to get a corner seat.

This is a list of Church shootings, some of them I knew about..Some I didn't.  Apparently there was another one the same time as the Southerland Spring and nobody knew about it because the Southerland Spring had soaked up all the media coverage.
     The Sheriff did explain the new law that was enacted in 2014, and this law was clear like mud, you either opt on with no restrictions or opt out with a "gun Free Zone", there are no gray areas.  Let me explain what the law means...

   I got a synopsis of the law right here...

The Safe Carry Protection Act, the new gun law, went into effect July 1, 2014. Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill that changed where a person with a gun permit can carry a concealed weapon. Georgia law contains two areas regarding concealed weapons.  The first change was at a public gathering. A public gathering is described as any sporting event, churches or church functions, political rallies, any government building and bars. Customers can now bring guns into bars if the owner specifically allows it. Under the old Georgia law, carrying a gun at any public location was a misdemeanor. The second area under current Georgia law is schools. It is against the law to carry any weapon within 1,000 feet of property owned by a public or private school. Violation of this law is a felony. This law is being reviewed in regard to employees of the school, however, if a teacher chooses to carry a weapon, special training will be required. The law Governor Deal signed included several provisions that will relax the restrictions on where a gun may be carried.
Sections of the new gun law that were changed or re-defined:
Schools: Local school boards will vote on whether or not they want to allow their teachers and other staff members to be armed on school property. Specific training will be required.
Religious Institutions: Church leaders can decide whether to allow their members to bring guns into their buildings. That includes services as well as other church functions.
Bars: Customers may bring guns into bars unless the owner asks them to leave, or posts notice of this in the establishment.
Airports: Guns may now be carried in common areas of airports. If a gun is accidentally brought to the security checkpoint, an individual may leave with the firearm without being arrested.
Government buildings: Guns may now be brought into government buildings that don’t have security checkpoints or metal detectors. An example of this would be a library.
Georgia has gotten a lot of press about this in the recent months. As with any type of change, not everyone is going to agree with it, or be aware of it. The bill also expands Georgia’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Before, a person couldn’t use that defense if a banned firearm was used in self defense. Under the new law, a Stand Your Ground defense could be presented even if a banned or illegal weapon is used.

    What it does is give the Churches the option to opt in or opt out...If they opt in, they have to be "all in" from CCW to open carry to long guns.  If they opt out, it is totally out, no guns period.  Now this  is maddening because most of the churches will "opt out" because of theological or liability reasons.  My church will have a debate on this.  In the past the southeastern Methodist left it up to the individual churches. This is the same logic that many food delivery places use.  "No Guns and no resistance".  This law was to put the liability off the food companies when the families of the Perps try to sue.  The company can say that "The driver violated our policies" so we are not libel for damages.
     Well it is the same thing with the Churches, they can say that "No Guns" so when some sicko shoots up the church or kills people, the liability ain't on the Church.  I understand the legalities, but morally and ethically I consider this policies wrong.  To deny someone's natural right of self defense is wrong and a violation of Gods law.
     If a Church "opt's in", then they can't say no to any type of firearm, they can't discriminate if someone brings an AR pattern rifle in or face a discrimination lawsuit.  This puts the Churches in a unenviable position.
    We will have to decide how to proceed.  Criminals and sicko's will target churches because they are a huge target of opportunities for someone wanting to make a statement or get their 15 minutes of fame.  Because of what has transpired us trustees have to decide if we will carry to help provide security and the Church policies on Firearm policies.  Normally I don't carry in Church because the vaguaries of the law and my being a law abiding citizen won't break the law.  But because of what has happened I will carry my compact pistol.
     Now I have a Taurus Millennium and it has been a good pistol and reliable but people have been telling me to get rid of the Taurus due to the company lack of quality control and the hit or miss (pardon the pun) quality of their firearms.

And get a Shield or a Springfield XDM or something like that.   I have contacted my buddy Mack who works at a gun shop about the cost and trade in of my Taurus for another more historically reliable pistol.  This got started when I inquired about a good self defense rounds, I have in the magazines normal ball ammo, but I wanted something more of a "man stopper" kind of round especially if I carry inside a church environment.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pushing the Mesage

I am pushing the signal compliments of the GodFather and we can't refuse the reasonable request of our Godfather.   I do wonder who his Consigliere is LOL.  Seriously if you haven't chipped in, Please consider it.

Update and a bleg…

Andi, a member of our Blogorado family, has suffered a stroke, which was misdiagnosed initially, leading to complications.  She doesn’t have medical insurance, and is having to fund her rehabilitation on a pay-as-you-go basis.  Several of us have pooled our resources by donating guns from our personal collections, and we’re offering them as an incentive to raise funds for her, along with some non-gun prizes (jewelry, books, etc.) for those who’d prefer them.  The Go Fund Me is HERE. Jenn as a personal post up on Andi, HERE.
You’ll find photographs of all the prizes in three parts:  hereherehere, and here. There is an additional package it’s number 14!  A full polish on a stainless or nickel plate on a blued handgun. This is from Reflections Chrome Plating up in Maine! Remember, donate to the Go Fund Me, HERE, and email your receipt to  4anditherapy@gmail.comtoparticipate in the raffle!!!
As I write this, we are at a little over $14,300, so a little less than 60% there. The raffle will continue until the end of November, so basically two weeks left! The drawing will be via a random number generator on 1 December. First number drawn gets their pick, second number gets their pick, and so on.
Thank you to all that have contributed both packages and donations!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Music "Don't You Want Me" by The Human League

I was driving on the way to work and this song came on my Sirius/XM and I decided to use it on my "Monday Music".  You know that you been doing this for a while when you have to do a search first to make sure that you haven't used the song already. Surprisingly I haven't.  Well I remember when this song came on and to me it represented the new heights of the 2nd British invasion and the New Wave that was hitting the United States and being played on that new channel MTV...You know..back when they played Music.  Well the sound was something totally new as far as the new wave and they played well on a good stereo and I was using my Dads PX Stereo that he picked up in the early 70's when he was on his 2nd tour in Vietnam in 1972.  He had the Stereo shipped home during his tour and I made use of it.  I remembered when I flicked the power switch "ON", I heard a hum and the power came on and it was a Sony and it played really good.  I continued the family tradition when I bought my Yamaha from the PX in Stuttgart  and I still have it. LOL.
And everyone in my barracks used foam earplugs to cover up all the Jacks from dirt and surprise that they are still there.
One of these days, I will have time to build models again...LOL

"Don't You Want Me" is a single by British synthpop group The Human League, released on 27 November 1981 as the fourth single from their third studio album Dare (1981).
It is the band's best known and most commercially successful recording and was the 1981 Christmas number one in the UK, where it has since sold over 1,560,000 copies, making it the 23rd most successful single in UK Singles Chart history. It later topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US on 3 July 1982 where it stayed for three weeks. In 2015 the song was voted by the British public as the nation's 7th favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.

The lyrics were originally inspired after lead singer Philip Oakey read a photo-story in a teen-girl's magazine. Originally conceived and recorded in the studio as a male solo, Oakey was inspired by the film A Star Is Born and decided to turn the song into a conflicting duet with one of the band's two teenage female vocalists. Susan Ann Sulley was then asked to take on the role. Up until then, she and the other female vocalist Joanne Catherall had only been assigned backing vocals; Sulley says she was chosen only through "luck of the draw". Musicians Jo Callis and Philip Adrian Wright created a synthesizer score to accompany the lyrics which was much harsher than the version that was actually released. Initial versions of the song were recorded but Virgin Records-appointed producer Martin Rushent was unhappy with them. He and Callis remixed the track, giving it a softer, and in Oakey's opinion, "poppy" sound. Oakey hated the new version and thought it would be the weakest track on Dare, resulting in one of his infamous rows with Rushent. Oakey disliked it so much that it was relegated to the last track on side two of the (then) vinyl album.
Before the release of Dare, three of its tracks—"The Sound of the Crowd", "Love Action (I Believe in Love)", and "Open Your Heart"—had already been released as successful singles. With a hit album and three hit singles in a row, Virgin's chief executive Simon Draper decided to release one more single from the album before the end of 1981. His choice, "Don't You Want Me", instantly caused a row with Oakey who did not want another single to be released because he was convinced that "the public were now sick of hearing The Human League" and the choice of the "poor quality filler track" would almost certainly be a disaster, wrecking the group's new-found popularity. Virgin were adamant that a fourth single would be released and Oakey finally agreed on the condition that a large colour poster accompany the 7" single, because he felt fans would "feel ripped off" by the 'substandard' single alone.
The Human League often added cryptic references to their productions and the record sleeve of "Don't You Want Me" featured the suffix of "100". This was a reference to The 100 Club, a restaurant/bar in Sheffield.
Today, the song is widely considered a classic of its era. In a retrospective review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, senior editor for AllMusic, described the song as "a devastating chronicle of a frayed romance wrapped in the greatest pop hooks and production of its year." Oakey still describes it as over-rated, but acknowledges his initial dismissal was misguided and claims pride in the track. Oakey is also at pains to point out another misconception: that it is not a love song, but "a nasty song about sexual power politics"

In 1981 record company Virgin were becoming aware that the promotional music video was evolving into an important marketing tool, with MTV being launched that year. Because it was agreed that the video for Open Your Heart had looked "cheap and nasty", Virgin commissioned a much more elaborate and expensive promotional video for "Don't You Want Me".
The video for the song was filmed near Slough, Berkshire, during November 1981 and has the theme of the filming and editing of a murder-mystery film, featuring the band members as characters and production staff. Due to it being a "making of" video, both crew and camera apparatus appear throughout. It was conceived and directed by filmmaker Steve Barron, and has at its core the interaction between a successful actress (also a 2nd negative cutter) played by Susan Ann Sulley walking out on "film director" Philip Oakey on a film set. It is loosely based on the film A Star Is Born. Near the end of the video, Wright, who also plays a film editor, has an expression on his face, while the camera pulls back to reveal that the negative room where Oakey, Wright, and Sulley were working in is yet another set (the camera can be seen in the mirror's reflection).
Filmed on a cold, wet, winter night, it was shot on 35mm film instead of the cheaper video tape prevalent at the time. Susan Sulley claims that Steve Barron was heavily influenced by the cinematography of Ultravox's video for "Vienna" (directed by Russell Mulcahy earlier that year). Steve Barron was also influenced by François Truffaut and his film Day for Night, and because of that the clapper board seen in the video bears the inscription "Le League Humaine" as a tribute to Truffaut.
The video is credited for making Oakey, Sulley and Catherall visual icons of the early 1980s but became controversial later for a scene involving the murder-mystery film subplot where Jo Callis appears to shoot Catherall (and later in the video repeated with Oakey shooting Sulley) with a pistol from a car window (a Saab 99 turbo). The scene is cut out of the DVD version and usually on music television, replaced with a montage of other shots from the video edited in slow-motion. The other car that was used in the video is a gold W-Reg Rover SD1. In a 1995 interview, Catherall mentioned that the car Callis was driving had to be pushed into shot as he couldn't drive at the time, to which Sulley added "he still can't!"
The video was released in December 1981.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Couple of musings....

Apparently a Navy pilot was doing some stunt flying and drew a phallic symbol in the sky and people are butthurt about it..

..jeez really?   Anybody that has been in the service knows that serviceman draw phallic symbols on anything that doesn't move.   The meaning is that "we are screwed by the Green Machine.  It is a tongue in cheek crass humor that is prevalent in the service.  Terminal Lance, had some good comments about it.   I thought it was pretty good flying actually...People need to get a sense of humor again.
    Also the sexual harassment stuff is really ramping up, as far as the Alabama candidate goes, what happened?  it took 40 years for these allegations to show up?  After 40 years of public service?  Something reeks of crass political opportunism.  At one of the accusers works for the Hillary campaign...Now we have several prominent democrats get rolled up in this stuff,
 We have feminist that support the democrats because "sure they got assaulted, but it is for the cause, they should be sacrificed for the greater good of the cause."  I saw that quote from the Washington Post from a couple of prominent feminist.  Apparently besides the obvious different from the big  government stater that views individuals as to be sacrificed for the "greater good" and the conservative where all individuals are prized.

I guess if it wasn't for double standards, there would no standards with the democrats. And the establishment Republicans are in a hurry to throw the Alabama election to the democrats in hopes of derailing the Trump agenda. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Veterans Day at my Job

My employer believes in hiring Veterans and they are very accommodating to employees that get called to active duty and we at work do the "send care packages" to our troops in Afghanistan.
    Several years ago one of my friends started a "Veterans Day Celebration" and it has gotten bigger and bigger each year.  They ask us veterans to bring our shadowboxes and assorted souvenirs of our travels.
They had a cake cutting ceremony and the Oldest Veterans and the youngest veteran cut the cake, the symbolism from the oldest to the youngest and the bridge between all veterans.  The oldest guy is 58 and the youngest guy is 24.
The employer named one of their airplanes for the Veterans, the plane a Boeing 757 was repainted in October 4 years early and we have our own paint department and had the new graphics added for the ceremony.
And speaking of airplanes we had several Military planes make an appearance,
I figured Old NFO would be excited since this type of airplane is his war chariot.
Different View
The Plane number, I surmise that the plane is based out of Pensacola 
Jacksonville Naval Station
.The A10 Tank Killer, we Army guys love the A10, it would have been our edge against the wave of Soviet Armor as they flowed out of the Fulda Gap if WWIII had started, but the A10 romped amongst Saddam's Armor formation in Desert Storm and made quite an impression amongst the survivors.  It is one of the few planes that to my knowledge is NEVER offered for foreign sales but the Airforce keeps trying to kill the plane because they don't like ground support.missions.
The KC-135, a plane based on the "Dash 80", the prototype that was the inspiration for this plane and the Boeing 707.   They are similar but not the same airplane. 
The Tail of the KC135.  The Alabama ANG supplied the F16's from last year.
We also had this huge American flag that my employer uses for special occasions.
Another View
Also there there were several vehicles present.
The M1009 "CUCV"
A couple of funny stories from my first unit.  We had the colonels driver, this guy was an arrogant prick btw, he took the colonels CUCV romping on the tank trails at Honenfels and he figured he would splash one of the puddles on the tank trail....well he did more than that....he sank the vehicle in the tank trail...all you could see was the antenna's sticking out of the water...We called him the U-boat commander after that.  But that wasn't the end...what did it for him was that USAREUR has an oil analysis lab that analyzed the oil in all the vehicles to try to gauge the health of the vehicles.  Well  the test was done every 6 months and for 2 checks, they found metal shavings in the oil samples of the colonel's vehicle..Well they started investigating because the CUCV was new when issued and they found out that the driver was racing on the autobahns with the vehicle, by far exceeding the mandated speed limit set.  Well he got bumped.   We laughed our butts off....couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
The M38A1
The successor of the WWII "Jeep" and before my M151A1 jeep that I drove at my first Duty station

Baggage Cart..
My Employer has a specialized team that greets Soldiers that have died on America's battlefields and they have equipment dedicated for this use only and nothing else, they are painted a certain color and when they are not being used, they are parked under a concourse out of the weather.  
This is a video of the event.
The carts hold the challenge coins and various memorabilia since this got started several years ago.
The guy that started this was a mechanic on the line and he never served but his sons did and he wanted to do something that honored their sacrifice and it took off. This brings great credit on him, and the employer.
One of the tables of various stuff that we brought in to add to the festivities.
Some of my stuff, from my Soviet and East German Stuff to my 
Beer steins.  I could have brought more stuff but I still feel weird showing my 
stuff to other people.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Custers Last Stand

This is a model I have on my shelf depicting the last stand of General Custer

I remember reading about General Custer when I was in the 6th grade and it caught my imagination, the small group of soldiers that were overwhelmed by the Indians and wiped out.   General Custer was considered to my mind at that time to be a great leader, it wasn't until later I realize that General Custer was a showman and sure he was bold and brazen but he also made a lot of errors like leaving behind the 2 Gatling Guns that would have made a difference.
    Now there is a bit or background on this story.  The average cavalry soldier was indifferently trained, there was no standardized training and they used the Spencer repeating rifle where there was far better rifles out there like the Winchester out there and the Indians bought those from the American traders.  The Army still used civil war rifles and equipment.  in the 1870's if I recall the Government passed a budget and forgot to include a budget for the Army so they didn't get paid, forcing the Officers to get creative to make payroll.  The Army was a refuge for the freed slaves, misfits, criminals, drifters and other people.  The Army developed a poor reputation on the frontier because of the actions of their soldiers.

The Cavalry, armed with single shot carbines was no match against Native Americans with far more firepower. They were up against 100 repeating Winchesters and more Indian firearms numbering as many as 350 total. It was an onslaught they were unprepared for.

These Cavalry soldiers were possibly not all well trained. There were several minors that were not yet of military age among them, and several of the men found in archeological excavations were not in military uniform. Indian accounts of the battle describe the men as scared and in a panic.
By most accounts, many of the men ran away from the carnage to make defense farther up, and it was on Custer Hill that Lt. Edward Godfrey and General Edward McClerand (and later confirmed by archeologists) found the bodies of Cavalry men surrounded by a circle of dead horses.
“On top of Custer Hill was a circle of dead horses with a 30-foot diameter, which was not badly formed.  Around Custer some 30 or 40 men had fallen, some of whom had evidently used their horses as breastworks.”  – General McClerand

“Numerous dead horses were lying along the southwestern slope of Custer Hill.  On the very top were found four or five dead horses that were swollen, putrid, and offensive, their stiffened legs sticking straight out from their bodies.  Close under the brow of the hill several horses are lying together, and by the side of one of these Custer was found.”  – Colonel John Gibbon

2. The Sioux and Cheyenne Were Not Defending Their Own Homeland – it Belonged to the Crow
Crow Chief Plenty Coups had a vision as a child that if his nation was to survive, it would need to befriend the coming white man. He stuck to that his entire life, and upon his death in the 1920s; he donated his home to the National Park Service.
The Crow were originally from Lake Erie, but in the 1700s were pushed Westward by other tribes to first Manitoba, and then by the Cheyenne and Sioux into Montana. The Crow territory included Little Big Horn, and in 1851, that land was included in the reservation boundaries set by the U.S. government for the Crow nation.
For decades, nearly a century, before the formation of the Crow reservation and the Crow’s alliance with the U.S., the Cheyenne, and Sioux had been stealing Crow horses and warring with the less armed nation on a regular basis. They were, in a sense, bullies.
In 1868, after battling with the Sioux, the U.S. signed the Treaty of Fort Laramie, which gave the Lakota Sioux territory up to the crest of the Bighorn Mountains. The Sioux treatment of the Crow became worse, and in the two years leading up to the battle with Custer, it escalated and it further involved the U.S. Army.
The Crow did not have enough numbers to defend themselves and neither did the Army, but together they were better off. Sioux made numerous raids on the Crow and Army outposts, and the Crow would often sacrifice their warriors in attempts to recover stolen horses and goods.
Indian Agent Dexter Clapp began to plead with the government for assistance in helping the Crow. He said, “As long as they are being driven from point to point, there is no use asking them to settle down and farm.” Clapp himself, in the meantime, armed the Crow with guns and ammunition. “The Sioux are now occupying the eastern and best portion of their reservation, and by their constant warfare, paralyzing all efforts to induce the Crows to undertake agriculture.”
It wasn’t only the Crow that were being pushed around by the Sioux; other nations included Shoshone, Blackfeet, and Arikaras.

3. The Sioux Perspective on the Worth of Looted Goods

Black Elk and Elk - Oglala Lakota
Black Elk and Elk – Oglala Lakota
During the battle, in addition to scalps, the Sioux took things from the soldier’s bodies that intrigued them.
Watches were seen only as an object that ticked, and once the ticking stopped, they were mostly discarded. Black Elk says of one that he took from a soldier’s belt “It was round and bright and yellow and very beautiful, and I put it on me for a necklace. At first, it ticked inside and then it did not anymore.”
They also found compasses and saw that the needle floated and moved when the compass case was turned. Because of their position to the bodies of the dead soldiers, the compass happened to point at the bodies. They concluded that the device was attuned to the soldiers, and that’s how the white men found each other.
Paper money was of no use as it was seen as green art and was given to the children or thrown away. The wallets, however, were worth more and were kept – an interesting and opposite perspective than ours, but probably more correct.
The Warriors also found flasks. They assumed the strong, burning liquid inside was “holy water” and that it was this drink that made the soldiers act strangely – shooting at each other and committing suicide in panic.

4. Custer’s Soldiers Panicked to the Point of Suicide and Deadly Confusion

Battle of Little Bighorn
After Custer himself fell, the remaining soldiers fled in a disorganized panic toward a stand of cottonwood. The stampede was such that an Indian warrior compared it with a “hunting buffalo”.
“The white men went crazy. Instead of shooting us, they turned their guns upon themselves. Almost before we could get to them, every one of them was dead. They killed themselves.” – Wooden Leg
“More and more soldiers were getting off their horses, preferring to hide or crawl along the ground . . . As hundreds of Indians surrounded this ridge, I saw one of the soldiers point his pistol at his head and pull the trigger. Others imitated his example, sometimes shooting themselves, sometimes each other. When Chief Lame White Man reached the soldiers, all of them were already dead. Indians then attacked the first ridge, and again, most of the white men were already dead. The only thing remaining for the Indians to do was pick up the abandoned guns and ammunition.” – Kate Bighead

5. The Animals

Custer and his dogs with Crow Scouts
Custer and his dogs with Crow Scouts
There were, of course, horses at Little Big Horn, but there were also other animals – pets among them.
Custer wrote home to his wife “Tuck regularly comes when I am writing, and lays her head on the desk, rooting up my hand with her long nose until I consent to stop and notice her. She and Swift, Lady and Kaiser sleep in my tent.” His dogs were trained to run alongside his horse that could be how Tuck died in the battle. The other dogs had been left at camp with their caretaker.
The horses have far stranger stories. Aside from the trench of horses mentioned above, there were mysterious horses like Little Soldier, the horse of Bobtailed Bull, an Arikara scout working with Major Marcus Reno. After Bobtailed Bull had died in battle, Little Soldier made his way over 300 miles back to his home in the Dakota Territory.
Another horse was found by General Godfrey on the Yellowstone River. It was missing nothing. It had its halter, saddle, and bit – everything down to the oats to feed it. The saddle bags were empty, but the general was told that they did hold a carbine when first discovered. The horse had been shot in the forehead. There was no sign of the rider.
A horse that showed up in Canada after its sale by the Sioux was recovered by the Mounties, and after U.S. approval, the RMP superintendent, James Morrow Walsh was allowed to keep it. He named him “Custer”.
6. Art History – The Indians Painted the Battle

Battle of Greasy Grass
There are several paintings of the battle done by Indians, the most famous of which was done by Kicking Bear, a Sioux warrior and a later performer in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show. From his perspective, the central focus is himself, Crazy Horse, Rain In The Face, and Sitting Bull. It also features Custer and the departing spirits of the deceased.

Red Horse pictographic account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, 1881
Red Cloud also shared his perspective in a pictograph.

7. There’s Buried Treasure – The Gold of the Far West Steamboat.

Captain Grant Marsh of the Far West Steamboat was the first to deliver the news of what happened at Custer’s Last Stand. His mission had been to take supplies to Custer, but instead, he ferried 51 wounded soldiers away from the massacre.
To do this, he had to drop some weight. Rather than drop the fuel needed for steam, or supplies needed for the men, he chose to drop $375,000 worth of gold bars on the shores of the Bighorn River. It has never been recovered.

8. Marked Where They Fell

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Montana. By 1025wil CC BY-SA 3.0
If you visit the battlefield at Little Big Horn, there is a visual cue for gaining perspective on how the battle went down.
Each marble marker marks the spot where a soldier fell. Originally, they were buried where they died, but the bodies were moved later. The markers remain.
The places where the soldiers fell are marked with white marble headstones, so from afar you can get a picture of what the aftermath looked like.

9. Custer’s Legendary Reputation is Legendary

Gen. George A. Custer
Custer’s life is a mishmash of failure, brazen luck, and some success, but he wasn’t the hero or anti-hero portrayed in movies.
He was known as a prankster at West Point and graduated as the lowest ranking cadet.
Most people believe he was a general, and he was for a while during the Civil War – a Brevet Major General. After the war, the rank reverted to Captain and remained so for the rest of his career.
He was court martialed twice – once for going AWOL to visit his wife.
During a campaign in Texas, the soldiers continually gave him gruff and balked at his discipline, and thought of him as a “vain dandy.” Custer was known for his appreciation of his hair and his attention to it with cinnamon oil for scent and other treatments.
Most of the legend surrounding Custer was embellished or even made up by Custer’s wife during speeches throughout her life, and by the shows put on by a friend and fellow soldier, Buffalo Bill.

10. CSI on The Big Horn Battlefield

It’s amazing what modern archeology and good investigation can accomplish.
Studies underway at Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument are so advanced that researchers can find a bullet on the ground and track where it was shot from, who shot it, and how adept at fighting the soldier was.
They conduct their research with metal detectors and microscopes and match firing pins to rifle cartridges. They are also working with new translations of Indian accounts of the battle.