Monday, July 29, 2013

World of Tanks: More El Halluf Gold

"A [tank] Chorus Line"
A real chorus line

The entry for El Halluf reads thusly:

A large valley filled with rocks, vegetation, and a small village surrounding a dried out river bed separate the two teams. The large hills on either side of the valley offer many firing positions, and very little cover in the valley will protect a large tank completely against all positions. Regardless of approach, attackers will face a long climb into the enemy's camp, and effective use of the cover en route is essential. The northern approach offers plentiful protection to attack either hill, but the southern approach makes up for lack of protection with shorter distances and better concealment. 

Camo Type: Desert

I offer the following edits:

A large valley filled with dead tanks, dead tanks, and small dead tanks with bigger dead tanks. The large dead tanks on either side of other dead tanks offer many firing positions, and very little cover in the valley will _not_ protect a large tank completely against all positions. Regardless of approach, attackers will face a long climb into the enemy's camp (emphasis, "camp"), and effective use of the cover en route is essential useless. The northern approach offers plentiful no protection to attack either hill, but the southern approach makes up for has a total lack of protection with shorter distances and better concealment. 

Camp Type: Desert

[Note: that edit is _not_ serious; I'm joking; calm down Francis]

Btw, whilst composing this and visiting, I see some put a "Hi" at the top of the El Halluf entry.  I did _not_ do this, but I'm thinking I'll get, "yes you did fkd!!!"  I promise, did not.  Someone fix.  I'm too lazy....

Stop writing on our bathroom walls!!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

World of Tanks: The Tank Graveyard: El Halluf

A3 ... bad tings man .. bad tings
A3 on El Halluf _has_ to be the most/best place for tanks to pile up and die.  I think it holds the record for the most dead tanks.  Show me a better place where everyone goes to die?

This screen I took tonight inspired me to post this:

Here's more of the Bermuda Triangle of tank death, El Halluf's A3:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Guy On A Buffalo

I finally finished the "Guy On  A Buffalo" series.  That's one more thing off my bucket list.  Next up: complete all the works of Tolstoy and Melville.

Episode I

The "Guy On  A Buffalo" series is a documentary based on the real life events of Amos Smith: buffalo rider and outdoorsman of the untamed west, circa the early part of the 19th century.

This series has many layers to it, as we see the struggles of a man escaping pain, reshaping his life, taming the wild, taming a buffalo.  He starts life a greenhorn, surely to be expected to die in the unforgiving harsh climate and wild of the world of uncivilized North America.  At several key points, when surely death will take him, and the earth will consume his remains, Amos emerges victorious.

The greenhorn becomes a veteran of the wild.  He tames all he sees.  Then, he becomes hero, to then become legend.

A seemingly Marshall of the wild, this man is both Robin Hood and Davy Crocket.  Good and evil collide at the nexus that is "Guy On A Buffalo."

The music is haunting and carries the atmosphere, the very weather patterns that mark the backdrop to the travels of Amos.

With his trusty Buffalo, Stewy, the rider is always underestimated, always struggling to tackle the obstacles nature throws at him -- and sometimes, things thrown at him from his fellow man.

I highly recommend this series.


Monday, July 15, 2013

The Kee Bird

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Although some 4,000 B29s were built, they were all destroyed/scraped but a handful.  There is now only one flying B29 in existence, and precious few that exist at all.  This made the fabled, "Kee Bird" B29 that had to emergency land in the harsh, abominable middle-of-no-where Greenland, all the more desirable.  Thus, it attracted the elite of the flying world, who attempted to save it:

The Kee Bird, pre-1994/95 Rescue Attempt

I watched the Nova documentary on this attempted rescue/restoration of The Kee Bird B29 years ago.  It was one of the most tragic and haunting documentaries in my memory.  I revisit the status of this plane every so often to see if there are any new attempts at getting it, but it appears the answer is: no.

Spoiler alert!!!

A mechanic died during the 2 trips that spanned 1994/95 rescue attempt of a blod clot, and after millions were spent in 4 new engines and other parts installed, an entire specialized crew being sent to the site along with a bulldozer, the plane largely burned-up due to the simple over-sight of not checking a jury-rigged fuel system in the rear.  This caused a fire upon taxing that marked the end of, "The Kee Bird."

I can't but help to find synchronicity in the drama and tragedy of both the plane that dropped the 1st atomic weapon in human history, forever changing the world, and the tragedy that is the rescue attempt of The Kee Bird.

Here are two 2009 discussion threads on the plane along with 'recent' pictures.

Recent articles even as of May, 2013, claim that it has sunk the bottom of the lake, but not knowing about the lake, I believe this only means a few feet of water, and the plane has remained largely above the lake, with the landing gear submerged and the lower part of the fuselage.

A picture (seen below) was snapped in 2011 of the B29 wreckage by the crew of a P-3 during "Operation Icebridge".

Here is a tinyurl link to the GPS coordinates to the Kee Bird, near Petermann Glacier, Greenland.

Just enable photos and it will show a thumbnail of the Kee Bird's location.  The picture is pre-1994/95 restoration and disaster.

I do love wise and witty quotes, of which, I came across this one from the forum links above:

"There are more planes at the bottom of the ocean than there are submarines at the top of the sky." --Old Naval Aviator

A picture snapped in 2011 of the B29 wreckage by the crew of a P-3 during "Operation Icebridge."
The half-fuselage is seen covered in snow, still atop the surface of the lake.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


camping  present participle of camp (Verb)
Live for a time in a camp, tent, or camper, as when on vacation.
(of a man) Behave in an ostentatiously effeminate way: "he camped it up a bit for the cameras".

Friday, July 5, 2013

fkd Visits the Nation World War II Museum in New Orleans

For the 4th of July, my wonderful wife took me to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans (ok ok, we also hit Bourbon Street!).  I walk in, and I'm like a kid in a candy shop as I see:

A Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine.  I tell the wife, "...that's a Merlin!"  An elderly guide hears me and goes, "look up."  I do, and see a Perfect Spitfire hovering above me.  I start taking pics of both like a paparazzi photographing Bradjolina....

Not far away ... omg! I see it!  The legendary German 88mm.  Beneath it, two MG-34s!  I begin rattling off history to my wife, as I had over the Merlin and Spitfire!  (She's a good wife, she smiles at me).  A hipster walks up to the area containing the 88 and the MG-34s, looks at the German motorcycle and begins telling his girlfriend how he could fix that up!  Dude, you're standing feet from the gun that made history in North Africa, and to the ancestor to the MG-42.  I continue to snap pictures as he explains to her how he would fit her on the bike.  He doesn't once acknowledege the 88 or the MG-34.  /facepalm

The museum did an incredible job of laying-out the entire war, from it's gestation in Asia circa early 1930s, through until the end, and in both theaters.  As we toured, I watched my wife go off on her own reading the descriptions, watching the mini-videos.  She would come to me and ask questions, asked about my Grandfather on my Dad's side who fought in the Pacific, and my Mother's Dad who fought in the 4th "Ivy" Division -- which was featured in the Western theater section, with an entire billboard of pictures and descriptions.  She said many times: "it's amazing you're here."

Thanks to those men, I am.

And yes, I stood feet from the almost mythical Sturmgewehr 44 -- the first, ever, assault rifle in history.  I have to say, it moved me even more than the Merlin or the 88.

As we left, two elderly guides were near the end of the tour.  My wife went over and talked to them on her own -- now fully knowing my Grandfather's Division -- the 4th "Ivy."  She calls me over.  They tell me, "he would've landed on Utah."  "Yes." I said, "That's what I've read."  "Well, go out this door, see that?"  And they pointed at this hunk of concrete.  "You're Grandfather and that slab of concrete met on 6/6/1944.  That was brought over from Utah beach.  If you look on the top of it, you can see a German Soldier's boot print, and the hobnails too.  He walked on it before it finally hardened, the imprint is forever set in it now."

So, in the end, I got to see a piece of the beach defenses my Grandfather stormed, along with his troop -- most of whom died on D-Day.

Wife in foreground, German 88 in background

Front of 88

88 description and info

The incredible Rolls-Royce Merlin

Two MG-34s

Supermarine Spitfire

The Sturmgewehr 44 ... legendary drop

Steel-reinforced concrete from Utah beach, Normandy

The bootprint of an unknown German soldier, circa early 1940s, on the slab of concrete above

The full album along with pictures of a fully restore B-17 can be found here.