11 October 2007

War News

Mr. Abby's little brother is in Iraq with the California National Guard. He's on Camp Victory, and, last we heard is happy to be anywhere as long at it's not Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He emails regularly and we send pictures and the occasional object and don't think much more about it.

We heard from him within the last few hours, we know this wasn't him.

Meanwhile in Iraq on Thursday, two coalition soldiers were killed and 38 others were wounded in an attack on Camp Victory, a large U.S. military base near Baghdad International Airport, the U.S.-led coalition said.


The military said the attack occurred by indirect fire, such as rocket or mortar. Such attacks on the base are not unusual, officials have said.

Even on the big, nice, base, Mr. Murphy is always somewhere in background, rolling his dice and chuckling.

Also, I note that someone in the Marine Corps planning structure seems to think that everything would be much simpler if the Marine Corps and Army juggled their forces a little, gave Iraq to the Army and made Afghanistan a Marine Corps show.

The suggestion was raised in a session last week convened by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and regional war-fighting commanders. While still under review, its supporters, including some in the Army, argue that a realignment could allow the Army and Marines each to operate more efficiently in sustaining troop levels for two wars that have put a strain on their forces.

There might be something to this - I'd think it would make planning easier. And Marines do "divide up" easily - the Corps has a (for lack of a better term) "modularity" in its organization that makes it much easier to mix and match units and pieces of units to achieve a desired balance of capabilities.

But, I gotta admit, that is not what I thought when I read the first couple of articles. I scrolled immediately to the bottom and started looking for something like this:

Naval officers also are quietly advocating for the Navy to be given primary responsibility for U.S anti-terrorism missions in seaport bars in both Italy and the Phillipines as part of a new "play-to-your-strength" deployment concept. The U.S. Air Force will be presenting a plan outlining the strategic advantages of pulling their personnel out of Iraq and redeploying them to several "very nice Mexican hotels" on the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard is expected to develop plans to realign all its personnel to Key West.

I'm not sure if the plan (the real one, not my version) actually has legs, but it's an interesting concept. We shall wait and see.

“This is not about trading one ground war for another,” said one Pentagon official briefed on the Marine concept. “It is about the nature of the fight in Afghanistan, and figuring out whether the Afghan mission lends itself more readily to the integrated MAGTF deployment than even Iraq.”

10 October 2007


C'mon, you gotta admit it. This looks like a good time, no matter who you are.

You also dig my high-speed, low-drag Firearms Tomfoolery Table, don't you? If you cruise the local Goodwill SuperStore enough, you too may score one just like it. Ugly as sin, heavy as the average donkey, and 15 bucks.

So I poked and I peered, looked at numbers and wiped a little cosmoline out of the trigger assembly. Then I realized there was something horribly awry with the rear sight tensioning, so I figured I'd just take the thing off and put it back on to ensure it was:
A) done right
B) screwed up by me, which is obviously better than screwed up by a stranger

I took the base off, and....hey! What's this?

Now, we can assume that stands for "Army," or maybe the rifle was once signed over to "Albania." It's possible it was once the T/O weapon of Pvt. "Anderson," or perhaps it was an organizational marking and this was an "Alpha Co.," rifle.

But, you know, I choose to believe that's an A as in Abby. T'was meant to be mine, I think.

Look what we have here!

The doorbell rang as I was getting dressed. It was my new best friend!

I don't know this guy's name, but I love him. Mr. Abby took the photo and I cropped myself out because, I realized, although I had put pants on, I had not buttoned or zipped them.

What do we have here? In this box-o-joy?

Why, it's a 5.9m Service Grade Garand, that's what it is! Alas, of course, I am a member of the working class, and so fondling time was limited.

I had only time to perform the well-known "stroking the buttstock and generally looking at things" routine. Now - it's back to the Salt Mine for me.

But I have a wonderful night of peering at parts and looking things up ahead of me. I cannot wait.

09 October 2007

[shrieking like a schoolgirl]

I do it every day, four or five times (at least). Click over to the CMP website, log in, check to see the status of my Garand order.

It seems the little CMP elves were working late last night - I think I checked around 2030 or so and it was "open." No serial number yet, but that should be there soon...followed by "shipped," followed by the beautiful, beautiful tracking number.

The Devil

made me lazy there for a few days. Last post was #666, and I was tempted to sit out on the back porch and talk to my dogs and do absolutely nothing else.

We finished the Tiki bar project and, using beer, bribed some Marines to come help the Mister carry it out to the pool. The thatch for the roof arrives today, and that will be the end of that. I'm quite happy with it.

The Mister is showing serious social inclinations, which drives me a little nuts, but led to us Having Company Sunday evening. I'm a slob, and he's easily sucked into my slovenly habits, so there was a lot of cleaning involved.

We did it, of course. We cleaned and rounded up meat for the grill, and I made a fruit salad. I bought two small watermelons and only used one - I thought the second would be nice to have later this week. So I put the fruit salad in the fridge, the extra on the back of the counter, and we went off on a last minute onion run.

And came home to this.

I don't call 'em the Bad Dogs for nothing, folks. That was the end of the road for the WalMart runner, and I pitched the watermelon over the fence, since no matter how much I adore Casey, we do not enjoy the fruits of evil activities.