Saturday, June 2, 2018

Tanks in Mexico and Famous People I May or May Not Look Like

M3 Stuart, as seen by STxAR, down Mexico way.
(Source)
So occasional reader and commenter STxAR says that he almost wandered onto a military facility during his travels for work, following directions written on a napkin apparently, and spots this old Stuart tank perched on a pedestal. Well, I read that while at work and figured that I would go off and attempt to find that tank using Google Maps (satellite view) by quartering the town of Reynosa in old Mexico when I got home.

I mean, I shouldn't be using my employer's time to research such things. Not proper and all. Well, a bit later on I check into the comments, which I do periodically, time permitting, and there is a comment from occasional reader and commenter Flugelman. With the latitude and longitude of the aforementioned ancient and honorable M3 Stuart, American made and who's last owner was the Mexican Army.

Mission accomplished. Once again our readers get the job done. I'd make y'all members of the yet to be created Département de Recherche du Chant du Départ, (French blog title so all of the departments have French names as well, stands to reason I suppose as I'm always putting on airs with regards to foreign tongues) but then the head of the Département des Pilotes de Chasse Retraités, i.e. Juvat, would no doubt commence to hollering about "where's my paycheck" and wondering what happened to PLQ's Premier Commentaire Trophée. Not insinuating that my man Juvat is given to muttering in the ranks and playing the old soldier, no sir. Not saying that at all.

On the other hand, our correspondent out California way, the head of the Département des Affaires de la Côte Ouest, i.e. Tuna (鮪), though a very laid back fellow (never having had to do time in the Pentagon) might start wondering where all the vast rewards, benefits, and glory of a blogger's life that I mentioned might could be in the offing would perhaps begin.

Soon Tuna, soon. Trust me. (Yes, Juvat the check is "in the mail." No, I don't know why that last bit is in quotes, no idea at all. Copy/paste error mebbe? Typo?)

Anyhoo.

I suppose LUSH and Beans want titles as well. I guess LUSH would be the Chef des petites têtes de merde inconscientes. Which is essentially her spelled out callsign with "Chief of" inserted at the front. All of which is in French. Hey, I don't make the rules, oh wait, yes, I do. (Note: For those wondering how LUSH got her callsign, read all about it here, the official authorized tale of how that callsign came to be.)

Now for Beans I though I might bestow upon him the title Le Chef des Haricots, which Google Translate gets all confused about, thinking that our man Beans might be The Chant's "bean chef." Now I happen to know that chef has at least two meanings in French, one is, yes, chef as in one who cooks fancy meals, the other means chief as in the person what be in charge of something, battalion commander, for instance, en français, is chef de bataillon. And that ain't the fellow what prepares chow for the troops. Not at all.

Besides which, though he is the FNG, the equivalent term for that in French is even more crude than the English one, which I will leave as an exercise for the reader. So for the nonce, Beans' official title in the hierarchy of the Chant du Départ is Le Chef des Haricots. Sounds kinda cool in French doesn't it?

In other news...

Seems the other day Big Time and The WSO (LUSH's name when she's not, theoretically, writing for the blog, or flying for the Navy) were watching this movie à la télévision (okay, I'll stop now, even I get tired of French, eventually) when Senior Granddaughter wanders into the TV viewing area at Chez Big Time et Le WSO...



Upon seeing Gene Hackman as the C.O. of the USS Alabama (SSBN-731), she immediately proclaimed, "Hey, that guy looks just like Grampa!"

Now this all occurred at or around 2100 hours California time, which is midnight Little Rhody time. At that time my text message chime sounded on my phone. Bleary-eyed, wondering "just who the Hell is texting me at this godforsaken hour" I checked the phone, the message was from Big Time, chief son-in-law, Navy department head, naval aviator extraordinaire, and father of both the Senior and Junior Granddaughters. Message was:
 Alexandra thinks you look like Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide.
Gave me a chuckle it did, had trouble going back to sleep thinking about it, I mean I  was once mistaken for French actor Alain Delon (by an extremely drunk Korean dude in downtown Kunsan in the middle of the afternoon) so I am not unfamiliar with being mistaken for some famous guy.


Yeah, that guy had to have been blasted out of his mind, where are my glasses, drunk.

But the next morning, The WSO had taken to Facebook to pose the question...
Watching Crimson Tide and Alex commented on how much my Dad looks like Gene Hackman...what do you think Chris Goodrich?

Hhmm, maybe a little. I look a lot more like Gene Hackman than I do Alain Delon, but hey, what do I know?

And yes, Your Mileage May Vary (quite a bit I daresay).

One last note, the scene from Crimson Tide is in no, way, shape, or form, similar to the conversations Juvat and I have had in regards to his alleged lack of a salary. And no, I have never, ever accused Juvat of mutiny. The WSO yes, numerous times.

Yes, I think I could use more sleep. Why do you ask?



56 comments:

  1. I did know the meaning of "merde" because working immigration is helped by learning to do your job in a variety of languages, and along the way you pick up a few colorful phrases.
    The romance languages roll beautifully off the tongue, especially if you can roll your R's. The phrase "roll you R's" takes on a completely different meaning in the English, not American, language.

    Good story today and the extra credit story of your daughter's callsign is another good read.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My attention span continues to shorten. Sigh.
      I was supposed to add, "Tank you for the post."
      And the internet can't seem to agree whether or not the phrase "Rolling your R's" should have the apostrophe.

      Delete
    2. At least you're on track to get the coveted "first commenter" certificate. Whether you'll actually receive it, that's a hull different issue.

      To follow the R tangent - I worked for a textbook publisher for a while, and the phrase "dos and don'ts" was a particular bugaboo to the head honcho. There are three "acepted" ways: the right way (dos and don'ts - but "dos" is a real word, and this looks really dumb as a chapter title, which is where authors like to use it), the inconsistent way (do's and don'ts - looks less confusing, but "do's" violates the rules for apostrophes, and then two words later, you're back to "correct" again? Amateur hour.), and the wrong way (do's and don't's - looks dumb, also wrong. Only fool's and igoramuse's use apostrophe's to pluralize word's, so this is a mega faux pas). The advice was always: "have the author try to come up with a new phrase."

      Now I'm imagining a chapter in a "French for Dummies" book titled "Rolling Your Rs: Dos and Don'ts" and the ensuing migraine. Thanks, er, Tanks!

      Delete
    3. John - dinna fash yersel concerning attention spans. I can't count the number of times there was something I wanted to put in a post and forgotten. Sometimes I remember before publication, when I correct it, sometimes it's after and it's a case of, "Perhaps another time I can work that in."

      Except in the case "its" (possessive) and "it's" (it is, contraction) the general rule is apostrophe-s indicates possession and the other use is for contractions, "y'all ain't kiddin' right?" But yeah, I screw that up all the time.

      Delete
    4. a bear - yeah, "dos and don'ts" looks rather odd, whereas "do's and don'ts" is just wrong.

      I see "dos" and I think "DOS," "disk operation system" as in MS-DOS. Unless it's paired with "don'ts<" then my brain gets it.

      The English, she is confusing, no?

      Delete
    5. One more note, my wife is marvelous at rolling her Rs. Me, bloody hopeless. It's also something Germans do rather well.

      Perhaps I need more practice, English doesn't really provide the opportunity to roll one's Rs.

      Sigh...

      Delete
  2. Wow, an honorable mention! And Flugelman finds the needle in Reynosa!! Amazing. Small correction: I'm a voracious reader of the Chant, an occasional commenter. I found Lex a week before the accident, and I found you about a year later or so. I've been here everyday since. You guys are like family to me now. If I get a reply or see my name in lights (Wohoo!!) It really makes my day. Happy Saturday!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, let me 'splain, "occasional reader" is an affectation I picked up from Lex. There are a number of wee quirks I garnered from his writings, which I try to use (but not overuse) as a tribute to Hizzoner.

      The past few days have made me realize how nice this blogging thing is, I have a bunch of friends out there, some of whom I've met, some of whom I've not but hope to someday. It is like a family in many ways.

      Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Le Chef de HarcourtJune 2, 2018 at 9:31 AM

      Yeah, "occasional reader" is a trap. Look at me, I went from "OR" to FNG rather quickly, when the agreed upon plan was, at least on my part, to drop occasional posts, in a guest-ish fashion.

      Eh, non, comme ci, comme ça. Le langue francaise et bon. Je parle francaise avec fromage. Ou et la Biblioteque? Pour encourager les autres. Ouvre la Porte! La chaise est contre le mur.

      Delete
    3. Le Chef de Haricots, dammitJune 2, 2018 at 9:37 AM

      C'est merde, Le Nom de Plume est in error, Frankish is doth expended... System error, system error

      Delete
    4. Le Chef de Harcourt - At first I thought we were going to need a post about the Hundred Years War, didn't Harcourt play a role in that?

      And yes, Admiral Ackbar was right, it IS a trap.

      Delete
    5. Oh, and "Où est la plume de ma tante?" It was here a minute ago.

      Name of a dog! Sacred blue!

      Delete
    6. I discovered that if you talk to arriving non-American passengers long enough, you begin to use their body language.
      The body language ranges from the dramatic arm sweeps of the Italian, to the slight shoulder shrug of the French.
      And the perfect language for asking intrusive questions was German.
      And I'm sure that visitors are still chuckling over some of my attempts at communication in their language.

      Delete
    7. I tend to do that as well. Did it all the time in Europe.

      Delete
  3. Happy to do's my part and keep El comandante on the ball... er... Happy. Yeah Happy, that's the ticket!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Aaaargh, Cap’n, ya’ve stirred up the crew this mornin!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh...Forgot. You look exactly like Gene Hackman. Except I've never seen Gene Hackman in a USAF hat (or you not in one) and I've never seen Gene Hackman smile. Other than that....Twins separated at birth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more I look at that picture...

      There is a resemblance, the Senior Granddaughter is very observant and seldom errs.

      Delete
  6. Wow! My name in lights! My work here is complete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're not done with you just yet Lone Ranger, er, I mean Flugelman.

      Delete
  7. I echo STxAR and Flugelman.

    Tis a lovely rant, er...post you have there.

    As to resemblances, your Senior Granddaughter has better eyes than I.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought of riffing on Monty Python in my second line, but decided it best not to do so.

      Paul L. Quandt

      Delete
    2. Remember Paul, Monty Python is to me as Yeats was to Lex.

      Quote Monty Python to me and you've won my heart.

      Now go into the forest and fetch me a shrubbery!

      Delete
    3. Monty Python is good, but they could never stand up to the sheer awesomeness of the aunchient Lancastrian artes martial called Eckythump (the 'h' is silent.)

      Now, where did I leave my black pudding...

      Bonus points to any who can link back to that comedian group without doing an internet search.

      Delete
    4. Oh dear, taking away my Google Fu. I'll be willing to bet Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, and Harry Secombe would know who you're talking about.

      Delete
    5. Only if their names translate to Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie… from that other other BBC comedy show.

      Everyone knows Monty Python. No one really knows the true masters of BBC comedy...

      Google Fu now allowed.

      Delete
    6. The Goodies! Why have I not heard of them before? I see they were big in the 70s and 80s, hhmm, I guess Okinawa and Korea didn't show those and PBS in Colorado and Nebraska were also deficient.

      I watched a couple of clips on the Tube of You, funny guys. Just what I need, something else to occupy my time. (But thanks ofor pointing me to those lads!)

      Delete
  8. LCdH it is then. I think that is a much better appellation than beans. My two cents.

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, once bestowed....Callsigns are forever! Now, they can be translated to comply with whatever rules the EU comes up with to interfere with Freedom of Speech, But Beans is Beans whatever the language. We should stay away from Swahili though (Matunda ya gesi kupita)

      Delete
    2. Paul - Beans is his callsign, Le Chef de Haricots is his position here at The Chant. Kinda like Big Time is my son-in-law's callsign, Safety Officer is his job title. (As a department head he still flies, the safety thing is an additional duty.)

      Delete
    3. Juvat - I better have our Legal Department research the relevant EU rules on callsigns...

      No, no I won't. The EU can go...

      Well, I'll let you fill in the blanks. ;)

      Delete
    4. Wait! Big Time is Safety Officer AND gets to fly? As the duly appointed Safety Officer for this blog I say "Forget the check (1 each, supposedly in the mail)! I want my Jet!"

      Delete
    5. Now, Beans I am. Proudly Beans. Beans forever.

      Because there are much worse things than, well, Beans.

      And because I am Le Premiere Chef des Haricots, I thusly pronounce that hereafter, on these hallowed pages, that Chili doth be cooked and/or served with BEANS! HA! Give me superpowers, I will USE those superpowers!

      Beans in chili, Beans in Chile, red Beans (but never communist or socialist beans,) pinto beans, refried beans, black beans and yellow rice, red beans and white rice...

      Beans I doth be.

      And I will bean-toot most fulsomely upon the EU over any attempts by those lackwitted poltroons, Walloons, balloons, baboons, euro-goons, spittoons, gaboons and macaroons to have any sway over what the heck we do here.

      What the heck do we do here?

      Delete
    6. Juvat - Oh dear, now you want a jet?

      This is going to wreak havoc with the budget!

      Delete
    7. Beans, as to "What the heck do we do here?"

      We educate, pontificate, and hallucinate. From time to time we rant. Like you just did.

      Beans! You magnificent bastard! I read your rant! (To paraphrase Patton getting all up in Rommel's grill. In the movie, don't know if that happened for real, but hey, George C. Scott could bring it.

      Delete
    8. Just as long as you don't use my guts for track grease, you can quote Patton or the movie "Patton" any time you want (as long as it isn't during that part when he was under Dugout Doug and used Tanks against American Citizens who were being screwed by their Government in oh, so many ways.)

      Delete
    9. If Juvat gets a jet, I'll settle for a Cessna. 152 or 172 would do just fine, used even. ;-)

      Delete
    10. Ya see what you've started Juvat? Now everyone wants an aircraft.

      Okay, so far it's just Juvat and Flugelman. Yes, I like to exaggerate.

      Delete
    11. If Juvat gets a jet, we all get jets. I'll need you to fix it though, and Juvat to fly me around in it, so it's gotta be a two-seater. One without command ejection though in case I start to wax political too much.

      Delete
  9. Ok, y'all can call him beans; but he will be AW to me.

    PLQ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beans because Murica, or Andrew to PLQ because MuricaJune 2, 2018 at 5:18 PM

      AWwwwww.

      America. Love it, like it, hate it in a learned discourse way, otherwise FOAD. Musket to the face, bra, musket to the face...

      Said as a certain day looms just 4 days from now (if you include night-time fun-times, which I do.)

      Delete
    2. I'll be watching Band of Brothers again I think.

      Delete
    3. Beans - CurraheeJune 2, 2018 at 6:38 PM

      Hey, I have HoBO again. Wonder if I can convince my wife to watch it with me, or do it undercover again.

      Delete
    4. Beans....You talkin' bout my Birthday? I know for certain Ike scheduled an invasion that day just to celebrate it. He was remarkably prescient.

      Delete
    5. Beans - I'll watch Day of Days as a minimum. (Second episode I believe.)

      Delete
    6. Juvat - that's right! But not to burst your bubble, but Ike did that for my Dad's birthday. ;) (Who would have been 90 this year, sigh.)

      Oh, and the Germans freaking surrendered on my birthday. (Okay, okay, it was Harry Truman's birthday as well.)

      Delete
  10. What the heck do we do here?

    I can't speak for the rest of you, but I am enjoying the conversations of family members. Grammar/spelling, military history, geography, language lessons and movie recommendations...what is not to like here? It sounds (reads) just like my family gatherings sound like in person. So, no surprise I enjoy wandering through here on a daily basis...

    And, yes, I agree with the granddaughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the kind of atmosphere I had hoped for when I started this place. With the exception of old weird Uncle Harry who hits the punch far too early and then goes to sleep it off after..

      The Hackman thing is kind of freaky. But only from certain angles.

      Delete
  11. Just to yank the horse onto a completely different racetrack (so as not to quote Monty Python), I suggest that, if you would like to read an account of M3 Stuarts in action, you should find a copy of Brazen Chariots. It was written by Robert Crisp about his time in North Africa. The book is a favorite of mine; I'd be interested to hear any other opinions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason that title rings a bell. I need to track it down and read (or reread, as the case may be).

      Thanks!

      Delete
  12. And me being a very laid back fellow, despite spending some significant TAD time at said Pentagon begging for money for various Fleet and COCOM shortfalls, I've grown satisfied with blogger shortfalls like vast rewards, benefits, and glory. The work hours here are completely flexible so I don't complain anymore. I don't even have my union rep on speed dial now.

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)