Thursday, January 31, 2019

Oh Look, Unicorns...

(Source)
Okay, you got me, those aren't unicorns.

So yes, I've been a bit gloomy as of late. Much on my mind, people dying, but hey, on the upside the weather has been nice.

So yeah, it'll probably snow tomorrow.

At least I'm not in the Midwest where apparently all of the cold air in the Arctic is leaking down into the United State through Canada. I mean seriously, still air temperatures around -30°? Wind chills down around -60°? Damn, that's cold. (Still warmer than the dark side of the Moon.)

It's supposed to get down below 10° here, bloody cold for Little Rhody, but I'm sure folks in Minnesota would take that right about now.

Somebody get on the horn to Algore*, what happened to global warming?

Wait, what? It's called climate change now? Huh, I didn't get that memo. Okay, makes sense, I guess.

I want to rant about something but I don't want to be too negative. I mean I've been Gloomy Gus/Debbie Downer** all week. Well, Tuesday and Wednesday anyway.

Oh and Beans, I was talking to a friend of mine today at work (stop laughing I have friends, no really) and he wants to move to Florida when he retires. I told him that he should check with you first. I mean, we are guilty of sending our retirees down there. Not that I'd go, too dang hot in the summer.

By the way, did you know that the German word for rhinoceros is Nashorn? Well, now you do.

It's also the name of a World War II self-propelled anti-tank gun. Which started life being known as Hornisse, which means "hornet" in German. I cannot find when (or why) the Germans changed the name. Perhaps one of the readership (aka The Chanters) knows?

Oops, belay my last, Hitler renamed the thing in 1944 according to this website, which has some good pictures of the vehicle. I'd repost one or two but...

Ah, what the heck, why not?

(Source)
I'm sure juvat would love to see it all blown up, but that's all I've got. Truth be told, that track looks a little slack, a lot looser than I've seen on other vehicles of that ilk. Darn maintenance guys! (Actually the crew is responsible for their own maintenance. Slackers.)

Anyhoo, that's all I've got today. I have a new Jack Reacher novel that needs reading, needs it bad. So I'm going to go do that.

I'm all better now, morale-wise anyway.






* Patron saint of bovine excrement.
** That's me being inclusive and diverse. Or something...

54 comments:

  1. I agree with your assessment of the track on the vehicle, that was my first thought as well.

    Hey, cheer up; you have friends, both in the area where you live and on line. Plus, it is always nice to have a book at hand that you want to read.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    Replies
    1. I know I have friends, I was being ironic. I think.

      Thanks Paul.

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    2. It seems to me that there are equal numbers of Nashorn photos with droopy tracks, and tense-er tracks. So it’s definitely not just that specific vehicle. Is it maybe something they set based on terrain? It seems like to rectify that amount of slack, you’d have to remove some links?

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    3. Interesting point a bear, any tankers out there?

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes, I sprayed the monitor on that. Brilliant on a number of levels.

      :)

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    2. There may be no slack, but there definitely is flak.

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    3. Always. And AAA is not your friend.

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  3. I would imagine that weather would affect one’s morale Northern California isn’t exactly warm but I guess now compared with Minnesota...

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  4. It only made it to -27/ - 50 Wind Chill! HUZZAH! HUZZAH! HUZZAH! It was supposed o get to -37/ -60 WC! I am NOT looking forward to this weekend. It is gonna be in the +40's, with rain. The 12 inches of snow we got Sunday night was not very well plowed, so the roads have snow pack on them, which, with the rain will be wet ice. Sigh.

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    1. Oh dear, sounds like some crappy driving in your future.

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    2. When I parked the F-150, when I got hone, it was -32. The Badger's Burrow is on top of a small hill.

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  5. Hah Scott! Much warmer yesterday, made it up to minus 13. Now..... minus 23 with a high of minus two this afternoon.....heat wave... we're having a heat wave! And a chance of rain Sunday. Thank God there's Globul warming, how cold would it be without that? That Nashorn/Hornisse was the object of several models back in the high school days, throw in the Wespe also, good times!

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    Replies
    1. Little Rhody was at 5° this morning, -17° with the wind. Positively balmy compared to northern Minnesota.

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    2. The indoor outdoor thermometer in my bedroom says it made it up to -1 today. It is currently, at 1954 Thursday evening, back to -8.

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  6. Five degrees this morning in Philly.

    I don't think about moving to Florida, but I do occasionally think about moving to some mythical land where there's a change of the seasons, but the heat and cold extremes are both lessened.

    Yesterday's snow squall was short lived, but intense. We experienced it while out for a couple of errands and the visibility was way, way low.

    Gloom?
    My plans to weigh in on yesterday's post got sidetracked by emergency repairs to our water heater.
    Did you know that if you have the right adapters, the stainless steel washing machine hose works perfectly as a temporary repair to the heater flex hose that began weeping water through the flex.
    Death is something to think about, and I do think more about it as I age.
    I know there's a final resting spot in a Vereran's cemetery somewhere, and my directions to my wife are, "I'd like to be planted in my Mess Dress Blues, and beyond that do whatever you want."

    Good post today, and belatedly, good post yesterday.





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    1. (Exasperated sigh) Please change "Vereran's to Veteran's)
      Of course I saw it the instant I pushed publish.

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    2. Philly gets awfully cold. The Nuke went to the Army-Navy game there one year, she called from the stands to tell me how frigging cold it was.

      Thanks for chiming in on yesterday's post, a lot on my mind that day, much better today. I'm shooting for Arlington, if they'll have me, I'm eligible but you could say that there are others who are "more eligible." If you get my drift.

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    3. On that typo - I wouldn't have noticed, my brain automagically corrects for that.

      Which is why I make so many typos.

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    4. Proving what you said, I read "automagically" as "automatically" on the first go around.

      Yep. There are those "more eligible" but death is the great equalizer, and if you are eligible for Arlington when that time comes, I can think of nowhere that is more hallowed. (pollen attack)






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    5. Heh, I thought you would.

      Arlington is, for me, one of the most hallowed places on this planet. (Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is right up there as well.)

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  7. If moral has improved, then the beatings have resumed.... *shiver*.... Thank you, no.

    I much prefer honest funk to fake happiness. It's been pretty cool down here this year. I can tell the weather up north is nasty. We've had a couple cold snaps, and overnight temps in the 30's at times. Last year we had one freeze, and the rest was warm. I figured last summer would be a hot one, and it was a cooker...

    I glued up a Sherman with an organ on top. I don't know if we even had that in the 40's... Did we use B40's? or the early HVARS?? Guess I need to study more....

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    1. You mean like the Sherman T-34 Calliope? Check this out: http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2-us-calliope/

      Yeah, I was in a bit of a funk the other day. Too much death around, friends passing, friends' dogs and cats passing. It was kind of a really, really sad day.

      Today the sun is shining and it's colder than brass monkey's you-know-what. So yeah, that makes me happy. In a weird old-timey Vermont kind of way.

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    2. That's it! The "KAL-EE-OPE".... I could read, but didn't necessarily pronounce things correctly. I always thought those old Ruskie trucks with B40's were really cool. To find out we did similar stuff was really neat. I read the entire corner of our little elementary library where the non-fiction WW2 history was by the end of 4th grade. I'd forgotten about even building one until today.

      Also: morale. ye gads, my typing is beginning to short out...

      Welcome back to the sunshine Sarge!

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    3. The Russian Katyusha! Also known (by the Germans) as the "Stalin Organ."

      Awesome!

      Yes, sunshine good, dark thoughts bad. It helps that I have a three day weekend this week.

      Cold or not, I don't have to work, always a plus.

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    4. Katyusha dance! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YoB4Vkvceo0

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    5. Hhmm, the Red Army has changed since the 40s!

      But this is what I had in mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArSZmPz6dAo

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  8. 66° here on Key West this morning, supposed to get to the mid 70s today. There is a lot to be said for Florida this time of the year..

    A new Reacher book? Which one are you reading?

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    1. Past Tense. Like all of Lee Child's books, it's a page turner!

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  9. My wife just finished "Worth Dying For" and that meant we could talk about it. A page tuner as always, and it is dark indeed.

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    1. All of the Jack Reacher novels are awesome, but that one is really good.

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  10. Please, only move to Florida if you are a conservative. There's free tax breaks if you move to California for you non-conservatives....

    Seriously.

    Technically the two animals in the photo are bicorns, just their horns are located perpendicular to the eyes, rather than parallel...

    Thanks for self-slapping yourself out of funkytown. One more morose post and I'd have to release the monkey ninja warriors on you, and being monkeys, they might have mistaken The Missus for you, which would have spoiled all plans of monkeywhacking the morosity out of you. Whew, a somewhat fatally flawed plan not put in action. Chalk one up for the good guys.

    As to the Nashorn, nasty critters. Love to pull up behind them in World of Tanks and hose the crew compartment with some rounds, though WOT doesn't show the crewmen, which is good I guess. Hate Tank Destroyers. Almost as bad as Destroyers full of torpedoes in World of Warships.

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  11. To repeat - "…you never heard of anyone who retires moving North."
    Florida - Ormond Beach - has been good for us. Liquidating EVERYTHING in CA was always the plan and it is working out so far. We've known this area since the seventies because of nearby family (Jeanie is a real Floridian!). It felt like home when we got here. We see the offspring (and theirs) two or three times a year and the infrequency is really hard, but Gavin Newsom? You have to be kidding me!

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    1. Yes, California's old clown retired, so they elected a new clown.

      Not all of California is like the coastal enclaves. Central Valley is rather conservative.

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  12. How can you make jokes about climate change? Didn't you see the picture of the teapot steam forcing arctic air into the US. The cold is clearly our own fault you denier you! Let me enlighten you on what has recently become clear to me. You can not do jokes about climate change, gender issues, abortion, the economy...hell, let me just shorten this, it is OK to make jokes about Trump. That's it. Anything else is not funny, now get with the program.

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  13. The first steps of socialism are to marginalize religion, and eliminate any sense of humor...we are on our way.

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    1. I guess the second step is when people start taking socialism seriously. Has it ever worked anywhere? (Yes, that was rhetorical.)

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  14. I was up north last weekend.
    That would be the north end of the Sacramento Valley.
    I’ll just say it was nothing at all like the current state of the upper Midwest.
    The surrounding mountains are all covered in snow, but the valley was springlike.
    My Michigan and Wisconsin relatives are all hunkered down (only one has been required to actually go into work).
    The other evening, while volunteering at the overnight shelter, we were reminded how bad it must be for the homeless back there.
    It also occurs to me that Jack Reacher is homeless.

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    1. Ah, but Reacher is homeless by choice. He is truly "off the grid."

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  15. Ok, so Beans beat me to it...they can't be unicorns cause they have 2 horns, not one. But they are good for a grin with your headline.

    Yes, the sun has returned, and I am definitely solar powered, mood wise anyhow...and Yes, it is still cold (-6 this morning, no clue what the wind chill was, don't really pay attention to that) but it is the cold of when I was a kid and we used to go sledding. No hills here, well, none that don't end up in the creek, so, no, not going sledding. But the sun is out and it does look pretty.

    Went in to the office today, was supposed to open up at 11am. Did my payroll all up, and, taking my life in my hands, left a little early, went down the highway to the city, and drove through town. OMG!!!! There must be a BMX cross event coming to Grand Rapids. That is the only sane explanation for the roads being turned into moguls that I can think of. There has obviously not been much plowing going on, and sand seems to be an invention that has not made it this far west yet. Every intersection, every hill, every single one, is potholed into the ice/snow from folks spinning their way along, and I am sure I need a new suspension system after going down Leonard Street today. So I am bouncing/driving along and my work cell rings...I thinking "you're kidding, right? I'm driving, leave a message." It quits, then peeps that a message was left...then rings again...still not picking up folks. By now I am about a mile from the office...so I pull into the parking lot (which is beautifully plowed), and listen to the voice mail my boss left telling me TPTB have changed their minds, and we are closed again today. So I call the boss, to let her know I got the message, head into the office, drop off the payroll, so that whenever the office is open mine will be handed in already, and, taking my life in my hands again, go home using the expressway. Only went 45, which was about what most others were doing. At least it was plowed. Still no sand tho'. This makes 4 days in a row we have been closed. I feel sorry for the full time staff. I just don't make any money when I don't work. They lose a vacation day.

    So in the time it took to type this, the lake effect snow band is starting up again and now we have big-time snow outside my window. Glad to be inside today!!!

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    1. Other friends of mine in Michigan have mentioned the cold. I spent New Year's in Michigan not that long ago (south of Detroit). When we arrived I mentioned to my host that I had expected to see snow. There wasn't any.

      Yes, it snowed for the next four days we were there, didn't seem to stop.

      You folks in Michigan know winter.

      Stay warm Suz!

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    2. Local school district closed Monday for the snow, closed Tuesday through today for the cold /wind and will be closed tomorrow for staff development day, that was a quick week off. Warmed up now to minus 5F. Careful driving Suz.

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    3. Not really any wind today.
      Now they are issuing flood warnings on the rivers because we are supposed to get freezing rain on Saturday and the high is going to get to 37ish. There is an ice jam already on the Muskegon River which is threatening a bridge. I would not want to worry about flooding in February!! Bad enough to have to do it in March, can't imagine doing it in January/February...come on Algore, enough already!
      Aaannd I have work tomorrow...or so the email says...

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    4. Flooding?!?! Next you'll be telling us you've got cats and dogs living together! Chaos!

      I remember as a kid when the Connecticut River would freeze over for most of the winter. Some of the ice jams were pretty spectacular.

      Be careful out there Suz!

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  16. Glad to hear of other Reacher fans - the latest is a good one, as are most of them. I even thought the movie was petty good except for the fact that Tom Cruise didn't live up to the physical presence that is such a part of Reacher's persona in the books. But since Cruise paid for the book rights, I guess he can cast himself in the title role... and thank goodness Lee Child doesn't spend half of every book catching people up on the previous plot lines, lIke some other authors do with their series.

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    1. I agree on the movies, Cruise might be a small guy but I think he has Reacher's attitude down.

      Yes, each book is standalone, I do like that.

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