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Posts posted by stoat

  1. The old standbys are God is my Copilot(it has a sequel), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and Baa Baa Black Sheep. "Thirty Seconds" was alright, the other two didn't do much for me. My actual recommendations are Joe Foss: Flying Marine, and though they aren't pilot memoirs A Wing and a Prayer and Fall of the Fortresses are memoirs of European bomber crewmen: navigators in both cases. Gabreski wrote a memoir, though I haven't read it. Ethell & Sand compiled Fighters of WWII and Bombers of WWII, which are collections of short anecdotes told by fighter and bomber (as well as photo recon) pilots from their training stages all the way up through action in the ATO, MTO, and the ETO until the end of the war. "Fighters" includes an analysis of the P-38, P-47, and P-51 by Gabreski and he states his views on their respective strengths and weaknesses.

    If you are looking for books about air warfare and not just memoirs, I would recommend JG 26, The Battle of the Airfields, and Fighter Boys, as well as The Black Sheep, for a more objective look at VMF 214. A Question of Honor has a few chapters of bang-up stuff about the Polish Air Force in Poland, France, and Britain, but then it seriously loses its focus, so look for it in the library, as it's not worth the price. Ernie Pyle's Brave Men has a chapter about a dive-bomber squadron in Italy, and Listen to the Voices from the Sea has some letters and diary entries from kamikaze pilots.

    I know I've read some other books, including memoirs, from the ETO, including a good one from the 9th AF, as well as one from a carrier pilot. I'll mull it over and see what I come up with.

  2. Hey Peng! I was out reffing my second game of the new season the past Saturday, and it was a U-8 affair with a kid who really didn't want to be wearing his shorts. I hate doing U-8 to begin with, for many reasons, but on Saturday I had to shepherd a 14 year old girl who was wearing the black for the first time ever, and the none of the 6 coaches between the two teams had ever coached before, and probably had never seen a game with a round ball before. I had loads of fun, but one of the coaches bore an uncanny resemblance to the picture my imagination has formed of what a Peng looks like. The guy was in his forties, had an unkempt moustache, was missing a couple of teeth, and kept a can of chew in his back pocket, though he refrained from taking a dip with the kids around. He had no comprehension of the sport, let alone the current game situation, and his team would have been better coached had they watched Air Bud 6:Yes, They Actually Made an Air Bud About Soccer prior to their 11:15 kickoff. While I was shaving 7 minutes off a game that is only 40 minutes long I had the other 33 minutes to talk with parents on the sideline and consider my purpose in this life. It made me curious to know if you're still coaching or if Thing 1 and Thing 2 are still playing round-ball.

  3. Oh now this is just getting ikky!

    Theres facebook for huggy, butt slappy, old-chum-well-fare kind of schlep.

    The MBT is all about hate or have you forgotten?

    and don't acknowledge the 'others recognized'...it give them delusions of adequacy.

    You lot are on facebook? There's a scary thought indeed. And if you would like a tip, all the hot 12 year olds are still on myspace. Or so I hear.

  4. ng cavscout! Where the heck have you been? Illinoise finally wise up and incarcerate you for the good of... well... everybody?

    We want nothing to do with a Cheddarhead like cavscout. Unless he wants to run for governor and subsequently defraud the citizenry of millions. In that case, we'll have a slot for him next November, and after that we'll get around to incarcerating him in due course.

  5. Heaven forbid!!!! American? eep!!!

    You should know we're all learning to talk Chinese because at least they're buying our raw material!

    You work for Rio Tinto now? Or does BHP Billiton pay the bills with its delicious ore exports? Either way, the Chinese will use your natural resources to perfect its turn-anything-into-lead sintering process. It's like reverse alchemy. It's like ymehcla.

  6. I'm playing the UK scenario and am slowly categorising the "Scots" accents.

    That made me think. Do American accents sound so regional for Americans as Brit ones do to me?

    I've been to the USA lots and can tell the difference between deep south and New York, but there must be differences in Southern accents perhaps discernable only to Southrons. is this true?

    It is both true and untrue. There are distinct Southern accents that are discernable even to unholy nothern invaders. I am not particularly well traveled, but I've run across any number of forms of the "Southern accent." Texas has its drawl, and Southerners in Mississippi don't sound like those from Virginia. People living in southern Indiana and Illinois sound very much like people from Kentucky or Missouri, but southern Ohio has its own accent. I'm sure there is a Tennessee accent, and likely a true Southerner could tell the difference between a Virginian from the Appalachians and one from the tidewater, but my ear doesn't run across very many southerners. Others have already mentioned the Minnesotan/Dakotan accent, and the Boston, New York, and Jersey accents are well represented in American popular culture. Even Chicago has an accent (I had a shop teacher in high school who loved to say 'youse guys').

    But regionality for Americans is different than UK regionality. I took a trip over to England and Wales, and I was told that one's hometown could be accurately placed to within 40 miles just by hearing their particular accent. That degree of variance is not to be found in the States. I'm from Central Illinois, so I have an acutely unremarkable accent. I could pass for a native of Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Michigan. But I've been told by New Englanders that I pronounce a few words with a discernable accent.

    In addition to physical differences, American speech also differs slightly in the semantics department. There are different words for the same thing in various parts of the country. "Y'all" is an example, and I came across further examples at college in Ohio. I have cousins from California, and though their accent is only slightly different from mine, they use words in ways that would never be thought of in Middle America, such as using 'tasty' or 'sick' as a synonym for 'excellent.'

  7. Unsurprisingly, Dave H is right. Caution is the watchword when you're given vehicles that can violently explode when exposed to .50 cal fire. Halftracks allow you to advance infantry faster than they would be able to move themselves on foot, and they also offer protection from long range small arms and MMG fire, as well as carrying MGs that can be useful in support. The most important thing is getting your infantry to the fight in one piece. Infantry in or on vehicles have their fate tied directly to the fortunes of that vehicle. When I have halftracks in my force, I generally use them to deliver their charges to a covered location in front of where I believe the enemy lines are. The other way I use halftracks are to rush a platoon to a contested area where all existing threats have been exposed.

  8. Far more people die from "regular" flu. I was told to fear for my life because SARS was on the way, as was Bird Flu, and so was Monkeypox. I'll take my chances. I'm more worried about soybean rust, the fungus that's killing the common banana, and the corn virus that is destroying everything it touches in Africa and has spread to Iran and the Middle East.

  9. This is largely a matter of preference. My choice for this time period would be troops from an American Infantry division. I like the American squad size and company organization a lot better than the Commonwealth pattern. Basically your squads are bigger, they have more firepower, and I prefer bazookas to PIATs and I hate 2 inch mortars. I think American infantry gives me the best chance to win, but you must remember that I am American. I've played against Brits or Canadians that would stick to troops of their respective nationalities, and they handled them well.

    I would take French Infantry before Commonwealth, but they are not available in July, 1943. I am not enamored of any allied armored (mechanized) formations, and will not buy armored infantry unless forced to. Likewise I think airborne units are too lightly armed to be considered for most fights.

    The choice is up to you, and if you play CMAK more you'll get a feel for what nationality and what divisional pattern works for you, but my recommendation is American Infantry, followed by British or Canadian Infantry.

  10. I wonder how much the fields of 'useless' tanks are a product of beaureaucratic inertia, or left-hand/right-hand lack of communication.

    Step 1: We need tanks!

    Step 2: Build a tank factory!

    Step 3: We have a tank factory!

    Step 4: Build tanks!

    Step 5: We have enough tanks!

    Step 6: We still have a tank factory!

    Step 7: Build tanks!

    Step 8: ...

    The same could be said, though grantede to a lesser extent, of the US system.

    In the US you'd have the Air Force or the Navy saying they don't want more cargo planes or destroyers, but some senator or representative on an appropriation council will have a Boeing assembly line or a shipyard in their district with no work to do without government contracts. That's how we end up with more C-17s than the Air Force brass wants, and DD-1000s that the Navy brass says are ineffective.

    And someone mentions in the comments below the post that these are T-64s. I'm in no position to confirm that, but I would not be surprised in the least if these were merely Cold War era tanks that had been kept in storage for a long time, and that have been rendered obsolete by advances in weapons and armor technology. The tanks likely sat there until someone realized that their continued maintenance was a drain on their operational budget. But I guess this is good news for the VFW halls across Russia that have yet to acquire an old tank or artillery piece for display.

  11. When he takes up his duties as my new houseboy, Poi Ramekin, the hunching of the back and foot dragging sounds pretty good, but I am definitely NOT on board with the yelling.

    Have you considered taking the hearing aids out of your ears? The yelling would cease to be a problem, and the rest of us would be free of that incessant whistling, though I'm sure you perceive it as something more akin to Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains.

  12. Do not speak to me of such things. You are in Columbus where things are measured by how they will affect the Buckeyes. Even during the off season.

    Oh, look... it's past 1:30... time to give Gordon another raise.

    I'm back home in a state where men are men and poofy hair is by-God poofy hair. The high is 14, and it's another December day. This compared to Columbus where people stop going out when it hits 25, or Cincinnati, where snow is viewed as a sign of the coming apocalypse.

  13. From the wiki

    Sounds charming.

    Oh, that's not my typo, btw. Seems dioxin really affects th spelling.

    It was very dirty. But having personally analyzed nitrate, phosphate, and fecal coliform levels as well as testing for particles, turbidity, pH and a slew of other things, I can tell you that the Fox River is far cleaner than it was 5 years ago, much as the Illinois is stupendously cleaner than it was 10-15 years ago. I'm not sure I would swim in either, nor would I eat fish pulled from the waters, but using these waterways recreationally is very far from dangerous.

  14. Hey, Mr. Stickler For Details... it's Prairie Oyster (as in singular), and they're not so much a "duo" as they are a "group". Your googlefu has failed you, my friend.

    And as a matter of interest (well, maybe not to you but to some), the lead singer of the group is said to fit a size 17 shoe.

    Well okay, Miss I'm More Confrontational Lately than a Grizzly in Estrus, but no google was involved. I was aware that there were Canadians that named themselves after a euphamism for bulls' testicles, but I don't listen to them, nor do I care enough to learn more.

  15. Today was a good day. While Boo wallows in the misery of his minor defeat, it has finally stopped raining, and I enjoyed the sunny weather, and also the numerous motorists zooming around blind curves and past the fourth "road closed ahead: water on pavement" signs on roads alongside the Illinois River. The river reached a record high water mark today, and nothing makes me happier than dumbasses with flooded engines.

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