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Old Guy

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Everything posted by Old Guy

  1. At least two men from my home town went ashore in the second wave on Omaha Beach. On, WO3 Manfred Kliev, was killed later in Vietnam, the other, Larry Fonner, suffered from various ailments stemming from his combat across Europe. Larry died some years ago. WW2 vets are becoming rare. Honor those we have left. They and their Allied comrades truly saved the World. OG
  2. Old Guy

    New Deck

    We get lots of hummingbirds here in Montana. I have at least 6 drinking from our feeder. They're cool little birds. But no heated bird bath here. OG
  3. We already got you a snazzy flight jacket, Donnie. All you have to do is put it on and settle back in your easy chair . . . and dream . . . Second Lieutenant Donster made a slight adjustment to one engine, then settled back to enjoy a quiet ride in his A-20 back to Port Moresby. The interphone was quiet, mainly because his gunner, Private Fick, had screamed some nonsense about an attack by armed purple elephants and bailed out shortly after takeoff. Fick suffered from various forms of mental instability, caused mainly by drinking too much of the hooch brewed up by the Aussie ground crews. Donster smiled at the thought of Fick standing in front of the unit CO, trying to explain this latest event. Suddenly, the instrument panel blew apart, accompanied by a bright flash. Bits and pieces struck Donster in the chest and head. There was a loud bang, followed by several others. The A-20 lurched to the right. A dark shape zipped past not more than ten feet above his canopy. Something wet flowed down over his face and goggles. Blood! My God! I'm bleeding! This will ruin my snazzy flight jacket! He shoved the goggles up so he could see. Several large aircraft loomed up, head on. Japs! Bombers! He grabbed for the control yoke, but the planes roared by and out of view before he could try to evade them. God! Luck is still with me. I hope. With trembling fingers he inspected the front of his flight jacket. The news was not good. There were holes in the soft leather, holes wet with blood. Anger flared. Bastards! I'll get them for that! He grabbed the wheel and started a hard turn to the right. Just then, the right engine burst into flames. All thoughts of revenge vanished. Quickly, he shut the engine down and pulled the extinguisher. The flames died down for a few seconds, then flared anew. Damn. Shoving the nose down, Donnie looked for a place to crash land . . . or bail out. He saw nothing but green jungle and water. There was a narrow beach. Too narrow to land on. He'd have to ditch in the ocean as close to shore as he could. The left engine lurched to a stop. No choice now. For perhaps thirty seconds everything went Donnie's way. The fire went out and the A-20 glided smoothly toward the water. Then he noticed the fins moving lazily around, just off the beach. Sharks! A sick feeling enveloped him. Goddamn sharks. My snazzy jacket is already torn and bloody. Now it's going to end up as shark shit. Then, hope filled his heart again. Surely this was just a dream. Any second he'd wake up. Any second. . . . . OG
  4. I think I parachuted into that same tree! Shooting down the attacking fighter after your crash is a classic. I did that several times in War Thunder. Haven't been able to end up in the right circumstances in this game. Yet. OG
  5. Fick, you forgot to say "Honest" or "Trust me." OG
  6. Hah! I forgot about Spaceball One. That would have served to let everyone know what DH had really been doing with his so-called life. OG
  7. It was just the kind of bar he was looking for. The sign above the door hung askew. Two drunks lay on the cracked and broken sidewalk. A cold wind pushed fitfully at Fick's thin jacket. Trash lay piled in odd corners. He stepped over one of the drunks and went inside. The room lay cloaked in shadow. Fick stood for a moment, savoring the rancid mix of waterfront mixed with stench of cheap beer and vomit. It reminded him of his favorite dive in Kiel, when he ran a couple girls back in the thirties. “Looking for someone?” The speaker slouched on a stool at the end of the bar. “Ja, needz visky.” The man stood up and moved behind the bar. “What'd he say?” His question was directed toward a bright green and red parrot occupying a large cage hanging over one end of the bar. “Give him a boilermaker, Sidney.” rasped the parrot. Fick stared at the parrot for a long moment, then shrugged and took a stool. A shot glass and mug appeared in front of him. The whiskey burned as it went down. He gasped and sipped the brew. The beer was even worse than the whiskey, but it was cool and obviously heavy on the alcohol. He wiped his mouth. “Zankz. Chust ze zing fer zirzty man.” Sidney shook his head. “Run that by again.” Before Fick could reply the parrot chimed in. “He said thanks.” With a bored lift of one shoulder the bartender sauntered back to his position at the end of the bar. He filled a cup from a coffee carafe and began working at a crossword puzzle. Silence settled over the room. As his eyes adjusted to the dim light Fick noted several hunched figures at tables in the back. None moved or spoke. Occasionally Sidney would mutter something and make a few marks on the puzzle. The parrot seemed to be imitating a statue. Thus passed an hour or more. Fick was long used to nursing a drink for as long as possible, having always been somewhat light on funds, even in his days as a pimp. Finally, as he finished the last of the beer, the bartender stood up. “Want another?” Fick replied in his best Germlish. Again the words seemed to make no sense to the barkeep. “Just a beer,” said the parrot. A fresh beer appeared before Fick. He studied the parrot. Birds, generally, were of little interest to the former SS thug. Except to eat. This one, however, piqued his curiosity. He turned and asked Sidney what the bird's name was and how he'd come to live over the bar. “I don't know what language you're speaking, friend. I thought I'd heard them all.” The parrot made an exasperated sound. “Same old questions, Sid.” He turned a malignant eye on Fick. “Call me Ishmael.” “Izzmaal,” murmured Fick. The name meant nothing to him. Literature wasn't a topic of discussion in his circles. “As to how I came to live here, it's none of your business.” Fick nodded and turned back to his beer. Whatever curiosity he had died as the result of a short attention span, product of too many shots and beers. Conversation expired. Sidney returned to his puzzle. Someone in the back cut a fart, eliciting bored laughter. Fick worked on the alleged barley-based brew. As he neared the bottom of his drink the door creaked open and a squat figure lurched in. With a maniacal laugh and a torrent of squeaks the thing waddled to the bar and laboriously clambered on to a stool. A skeletal fist thumped the bar, accompanied by more painful squeaking. Sidney slowly approached. His caution was due to the anomalous appearance of the creature. It appeared to be clad in a heap of burlap bags. Well worn bags. Tatters and strings stood out in all directions. A partly burned leather helmet sat atop what was probably a head. Bulbous eyes stared madly from scorched goggles. “Any idea what he's saying?” asked the bartender. Fick nodded. Itchie Crotchie's Germlish was barely understandable, laced as it was with pungent Asian expletives, some of which Fick thought he understood. “Visky. Gif visky. Bik visky.” Before Sidney could respond, the parrot explained. “Whiskey. A large glass. Better put it in a mug. Make it the cheap stuff.” “Okay.” Sid retrieved an unmarked jug from under the bar and poured a chipped mug full. Itchie clasped it with both hands and slurped noisily. “Who's paying?” asked Sidney. Fick stared meaningfully at Itchie, to no avail. The little shit just sat there, slugging back booze and mumbling to himself. With a sigh, Fick opened his wallet and extracted a sheaf of bills. Sidney sorted through the pile until he found a few twenty dollar bills. “I'll let you know when these run out.” “Ja,” agreed Fick. Before he could ask for more beer the parrot spoke up. “Give the jerk another boilermaker. He's gonna need it.” Fick frowned at the bird. Questions faded as Sid placed another shot and beer on the bar. Fick tossed back the whiskey. It didn't burn nearly as bad this time. A couple sips into the beer he remembered the bird's warning. As he began mumbling a question the door slammed back against the wall admitting a swirl of chill air and a large black helmet with legs. Even the parrot was struck dumb. Sid eased off his stool and reached for the sawed-off shotgun he kept under the bar. Itchie gibbered some nonsense between slurps, lost to anything other than the strange shapes that slithered and slid between the few nodes of life in his diseased brain. Fick swung slowly on his stool. Helmet Legs shoved the door shut and stomped toward the bar. “How they hangin', Fick?” “Mein Gott! Dark Helmet!” Fick lapsed into confused mumbling. “Beer, barkeep!” cried DH. He turned around, displaying a well-known beer company logo. “I'm your new sales rep! A round for the house.” Itchie got a fresh mug. The shapes in back roused for free beer then lapsed into their customary inertia. Fick had another boilermaker lined up behind the beer he was still working on. Even the parrot got a saucer of beer. DH settled in behind a tall, frosty mug of something Fick suspected was a lot better than what he had. The thought vanished down into the sticky muck. He was used to subsisting on the dregs. Curiosity, that stranger to Fick's life, bloomed again, like a bad weed. “I thot du vas vorkingk vor ein Emperor.” He was fairly certain DH would understand the Germlish. “The Emperor is dead,” said the parrot. “Nein!” wailed Fick. “Nein!” He lapsed into a Germlish monologue familiar to all barflies. Sidney looked at Dark Helmet, then at the parrot. “What's he going on about now?” “Nothing that makes sense,” explained DH. “He's drunk.” “Who's this Emperor?” asked Sidney. “Nobody important,” said the parrot. “An evil overlord who imagined himself a cut above the rest.” “That's baloney.” Sidney laughed and shook his head. “Okay. Don't tell me.” The parrot sipped the last of his beer. “Doesn't matter anyway, Sid. The Emperor is dead.” Dark Helmet nodded. His helmet clanked on the bar. “True. He's dead.” Lifting his mug, DH saluted the parrot. “I could use a . . . bird like you. The pay is good.” “Thanks. No. This place suits me.” Itchie emitted a low moan and toppled off his stool. A sodden thump announced his arrival on the stained wood floor. “Another one bites the dust,” muttered DH. He slid to the floor and slipped out the door. No one except the parrot noticed him leave. Fick staggered out before the ambulance arrived, still mumbling a confused line of nonsense. When Itchie had been hauled away Sidney anxiously surveyed the room. “The helmet clod is gone,” said the parrot. “So is that kraut drunk.” “Damn! Helmet guy didn't pay for the round.” “That ain't all, Sidney. Those twenties you got from the kraut are counterfeit.” Sid collected glasses and mopped at the counter. He waxed philosophical. “Don't matter. When Benny hears about it they won't last long. It's not like they'll be hard to find.” The parrot shuddered. “Benny's not a nice . . . ah . . . whatever he is.” “Dragons are like that.” Sidney sighed and went back to his crossword. End
  8. I was there in 67-68. Everybody listened to AFVN. I think a lot of guys had radios capable of picking up the BBC World Service and stations out of Japan, but I'm not sure. OG
  9. Then there's this one . . .
  10. This was one of our theme songs in Vietnam. The video is pretty good. Accurate portrayal of a combat assault. Plus, the helicopters have the doors off. Only Hueys carrying generals and other staff morons had the doors on.
  11. Then there were the Beach Boys. I was a sophmore in high school when this one came out. Nothing particularly memorable in the song, but there are fantastic cars in the video.
  12. From my childhood. We listened to stuff like this whenever the dinosaurs left the gramophone untended.
  13. Adapted from an earlier tale. The Recruit Fick moved with caution, keeping to the shadows, avoiding moonlight and street lamps. He well knew what sort of sinister things traveled the Canadian night. His goal was the parking lot behind Mulligan's Irish Eyes Saloon. Of certain nights -- typically Friday or Saturday -- and shortly before last call, Fick was in the habit of supplementing his day job by rolling drunks in the poorly lit parking lot. Drunks being drunks and Mulligan's being an out of the way place, he did fairly well, though the hours were less than desirable and there was the occasional competitor. Fifi, his girlfriend, voiced half-hearted complaints about his nocturnal prowling, but she liked the added cash flow. Fick suspected, correctly, that her concern wasn't so much for his safety as for the possible loss of money for new shoes, clothes and snazzy car. Then there was the competition. For the occasional thug who ventured out of the downtown area, with its cluster of bars and clubs, he carried a two-foot length of iron pipe. Fick always approached his operational area via the Methodist church and its associated burial grounds. The city toughs seemed to have an aversion to graveyards. He'd found that a swift and stealthy clot up side the head followed by the breaking of the unconscious competitor's kneecap discouraged repeat visits to 'his' territory. Fick was careful with the pipe. He had no intention of killing anyone. A plain sap sufficed for his victims. Nevertheless, there were other kinds of intruders. Thus, his extreme caution. It turned out to be a good night. Fick only managed to sap two lone drunks. One looked to have imbibed his entire paycheck, as the yield was a mere seventy-four cents. The second inebriated soul proved to have a thick roll of bills in his coat pocket. So impressed was our hero at the size of the wad, he lifted the donor out of the dirt and shoved his unconscious form into the car he was unlocking when bopped. The delay proved to be Fick's undoing. A warm, dry tentacle fastened on his arm. Another lightly encircled his neck. He emitted a piteous groan. "Not again!" "Having a good night, Fick?" It was a soft voice, with mechanical overtones. He was gently, but firmly made to turn around. "Dammit, Dark Helmet," whined Fick. "You promised you wouldn't be back." The so-named Dark Helmet was impressive for a Hork. He measured a trifle under four feet from the bottom of his clawed feet to the top of the tiny black helmet crowning his head. The front of the head -- face, for lack of a better word -- sported one huge yellow eye over a short flexible trunk. Two multi-jointed arms sprouted from thin shoulders. The tentacles gripping Fick grew from the thing's middle, just above a checked kilt which was its only garment. A metal box hung from the broad belt securing the kilt. The soft voice issued from the box. "You promised," sniveled Fick. "I lied," admitted Dark Helmet, with no discernible trace of regret. "And you're already repeating yourself." The box gave off a creaking sound that might have been laughter -- or the rasp of a closing coffin lid. "You didn't start that until we began probing orifices last time." Fick slumped in the thing's grasp. He knew better than to resist. "Who's your pal?" "Call him Itchie," said Dark Helmet. "My new apprentice." The second Hork stood no more than half his master's height. A thatch of what appeared to be dried vomit covered the top of his head. He wore something like a tattered burlap bag. Fick managed a choked laugh. "Itchie. Not much of a name." "It's a perfect name. Itchie ain't much of a Hork." Dark Helmet tugged at the diminutive Canadian. "Come on. The ship is this way." "Wait! You guys better think this over. If I turn up missing again, the cops might actually get out of the donut shops and investigate. I was late for a payoff that last time." "Forget it, Fick. The police wouldn't care if your rotting corpse turned up in the chief's office. They'd be glad to bag and tag your remains." Ficfddsk struggled against the tentacles. He didn't really mind the orifice probing. It's just that it was so mechanical, so devoid of emotion. And they never let him smoke a cigarette afterwards. Claimed it was bad for his health. “Wait! Wait a minute.” “It does no good to fight back,” rasped Dark Helmet. “You know that.” “Don't . . . uh . . . don't you guys work for . . . ah . . . whats-his-name? The dead guy?” “Dead?” squeaked Itchie. “Dead? The Emperor isn't dead!” Dark Helmet hissed laughter. “He just smells that way.” “Well, um,” Fick was grasping at straws. “Is he hiring” OG
  14. Looking back, if Vietnam had accepted Johnson's proposal, it would have saved a great deal of blood and money, regardless of how much it cost. And Hanoi might easily have wound up better off than they are today. Still, who could see it then? I wonder if Ho even considered it? If he had accepted would the Chinese have invaded North Vietnam to make them toe the Communist line? Given that they were in the middle of ripping their own society apart at the time, I doubt it. Still, if it had happened, people would have pilloried Johnson for spending all that money on a Red Enemy. It would have taken decades, if not a century, for the wisdom of the deal to be seen and appreciated. OG
  15. Don't let him fool you. He's been slouched in a chair in the Babe Bunker for most of that 20 years. There's nothing wrong with his legs either. His rudder pedals expired due to the accumulated drool. Presented as a public service by the Old Guy radio network. OG
  16. I use the Thrustmaster T-Flight Stick X. It's easy to use, not difficult to assign tasks to buttons, though that varies from game to game. I don't have rudder pedals since I always had a stick with the rudder function. As Donster says, for more immersion a HOTAS setup and rudder pedals should be on your shopping list. Mostly, I play World of Warships, which is keyboard and mouse controlled, plus IL-2: Battles of Stalingrad and Moscow. In the IL-2 games you set stick dead zone and application curve in the game. Some sticks have their own apps to accomplish those things in addition to doing a lot of other hooyah I don't understand. I tried DCS but I'm not smart enough for that game. Old Guy
  17. No pics. Sorry. Left my iPad at home. It was a little below freezing anyway. Don't like to expose the iPad to that for more than a few minutes. Maybe 10-15% of the returning soldiers were women. That's a huge change from my day. The one pic I wish I had gotten was of a young man greeted by his wife and two little girls. The kids clung to Daddy like they were never going to let go. This old fart got tears in his eyes. I'm glad I went. We had about 30 VFW, VVA, and other ex-military there, with flags. Probably 200-250 families. Jim
  18. No, Donnie, it doesn't involve women with boobs the size of watermelons. Sorry. The local Guard unit has been deployed to Afghanistan for the last year and they are returning tomorrow evening. The local VVA chapter, of which I am a member, has organized a flag line to welcome them home. I'm sure the VFW will be there, along with the families and others. I've never had the opportunity to do anything like this. My welcome home included a bunch of bearded protestors, chanting some anti-war crap and waving signs painted with bullshit slogans. My clearest memory of the whole thing is that of an MP waving us toward the terminal at Travis. "Pay no attention to those bastards, guys. Ignore 'em and go on inside." But none of us could really ignore them. After fifty-odd years it still pisses me off. Anyway. I don't think there will be any protesters at the airport tomorrow night. Jim
  19. Don't own one. Don't want one. The whole concept of "smart" appliances and electronics makes me gag. For the average person maintaining a simple network is complex enough. Adding all those gadgets simply makes your electronic environment impossible to secure. In theory it can be done, but in practice? We have literally millions of PCs running constantly with little or no security. Hardly anyone knows how to secure their cell phone. Mikew is right. Why should we willingly pay big bucks to provide hackers with free access to our homes? Forget the government. They're always behind the power curve on technology. No government has the money and expertise available to provide the monitoring capability feared by various conspiracy groups. Hell, North Korea had to essentially close the country in an iron ring in order to even approach that kind of oversight. I'm in the process of hard wiring my network, mainly because Cat6 cabling is faster than wireless. It's also more secure. Only my iPad and my wife's cell phone will be wireless. And those I can secure. Well, my wife won't let me "secure" her phone, but at least she isn't doing any financial stuff on it. I can walk to the refrigerator and see if I need any milk, thanks just the same. OG
  20. See? The hallucinatory episodes continue. Stop self-medicating with cheap wine, Fick. Take the meds the doctor prescribed. OG
  21. Poor Fick. He never gets a break. He can't help it that his mom worked the dock area in Kiel, swinging her purse under street lamps along the waterfront. I doubt the "strained through a sheet" reference. Sheets were not common in Kiel alleyways. Still, other than his speech impediment, Fick has done well considering his coming into the world in one of those same alleyways, not to mention the years spent in Mother Gertrude's House of Bastard Children, nor his several stretches of confinement in various institutions of criminal learning. That he became a pimp on the Kiel waterfront can just be seen as a way of continuing the family business. Of his experience as a Gestapo informant and subsequent employment with the Bulgarian Secret Police doing wetwork (mopping the floors at a "interrogation" facility) we will not speak. OG
  22. This is a better Vietnam related tune.
  23. I saw Raquel as part of the Bob Hope show at Cu Chi in late 1967. My Southeast Asia junket was about 1/3 completed at the time. My wife was 10,000 miles away. Talk about depressing. OG
  24. I didn't look. Honest. There's nothing to see. Nothing. 🙄😱☠️ Not really OG, honest.
  25. When you get a chance take a look at the YT videos of Tina S, a young guitar player from France. She's fantastic on classical and hard rock music. OG
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