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Masters of the Air

The legendary TV-Show Band of Brothers from 2001 and his follow-up The Pacific from 2010 will be continued by Masters of the Air, an upcoming war drama miniseries based on the actions of the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.

That will be the first project announced by Apple which is moving into the entertainment world. The show will be executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks in Apple’s own production studio. The Masters of the Air will be a limited drama series and will be available exclusively through Apple’s new Apple TV+ streaming service. Everyone seems to be getting into their own streaming service business (with an associated fee). Productions such as this one are designed to act as lures to get you in. It may be a good program. I can’t say. I may see it one day when it ends up on Netflix.


On this week in history, the 82nd Airborne Division were moved by trucks to the Werboment, Belgium area to take up a defensive position during the Battle of the Bulge.


Celebrating the Christmas Run-Up in Newport Beach, CA


Brown Bess

Not a racial term …more here

But where does the name of the legendary musket originate? I hunt deer with a Brown Bess musket. It gives the deer a fair chance and I just enjoy going out with it. I’ve never bagged a deer with the Brown Bess, but killing the deer is not the object of the exercise so much as it is the style with which one hunts.

LL with granddaughter and Bess

Photo right, LL, age 7 1/2 shortly after shooting my first buck with that scoped .22 LR.

Of course, everything has changed since those early days when I hunted with my grandfather.

But in another sense, things haven’t changed all that much and now I have grandsons to hunt with to carry on the tradition.

And naturally, they have their own rifles to hunt with. It’s not so much about teaching them to kill as it is about teaching, discipline, control, and character. Woke people won’t ever understand that, but since they lack discipline, control and character, one shouldn’t wonder.


The Ghost of Christmas Future?


Celebrating the President-Elect


The New Woke Military

Tucker Carlson (Fox News) has been running a series on the new, progressive, US Military where the meritocracy has been replaced by racial and gender (possibly all 36, he didn’t say) quotas.

Tucker Carlson Tonight (Fox News)

As with many things today, it is depressing.


20 thoughts on “Random Topics

  1. It looks like that little .22 would need an NFA tax stamp. Great picture. What does that Brown Bess weigh in at,just curious?

    1. I re-enact American Civil War and the Model 1861 or “63 Springfield weighs north of 10 pounds. The Brown Bess, I’ve held a few of them, weighs more.

      1. Klaus, even back then.

        I don’t know what the Brown Bess weighs. I’d guess about 12 lbs. I’ve carried .50 Barretts, McMillans and Armalites and they all weigh in the 35 lbs. range +/-, add ammo weight and your basic load-out. I don’t find the Bess to be uncomfortable to shoot. You aim over the rear tang screw and the bayonet lug.

        Wayne, it’s amazing how slowly firearms evolved from the Bess to rifled muskets that you shoot – 80 years or so. By the end of the War of Northern Aggression/Civil War, there were a number of improved weapons. By 1900, the world was beginning the transition to modern semi-automatic rifles, and today we can group rounds at over a mile with the right rifle.

  2. I’ve played a bit with flinters, both smooth bore and rifled. Fun stuff. I’d like to try a matchlock and I’d really like to try a wheel lock.

    1. I’ve fired matchlocks. Now they were heavy. More of a hand-cannon with a mono-pod to rest it on. If you think back to crossbows, they were frequently accompanied with an assistant holding a pavise (body sized shield) who defended them while they reloaded. Similar with matchlocks. they’d have somebody with a spontoon defending them because of the low rate of fire. (spontoon was also called a Lucerne hammer, Menaulion, Military fork, Ox tongue spear, Partisan, Pike, Plançon à picot, etc. Almost a boar spear in many cases.) It was a crew-served weapon after a fashion in much the way a crossbow had become.

  3. Christmas at Sea:

    I would need a VERY wide surfboard, I think.


    Wait, we still elect Presidents?

  4. I actually got a ride on “Nine O Nine”. Here is that story–

    “OK. Here’s my B-17 ride story. This takes place in Chico, CA in 1997. I won’t take up space here with the back story as to how I snapped my left Achilles tendon a wound up with my leg in a cast.

    The main point is that it was a toes down non-walking cast, which meant that I was pretty much stuck at home for the duration of said cast (7 weeks). Watched TV until I was sick of it. Read books. Bored out of my mind. One of the things that helped me keep my sanity was that there was some decent local talk radio.

    So one day while I’m sitting there with my leg up, the local station starts to promo a visit to the Chico Airport by the Collings Foundation B-17 and B-24. Not only that, but in the weeks prior, there will be a contest on the radio for a ride on said aircraft. Callers answering WWII history questions correctly will get their names tossed in a hat, with the winner to be drawn. I am on this like white on rice. At some point, I manage to be the first caller in line to answer the question “who signed the surrender documents for Nazi Germany?”. Bingo. My name is in the hat.

    Comes the big day of the drawing and I am glued to the radio. They mix the hat, draw the name, and ta-da, it ain’t me. I recognize the name and know who it is (good for him!) but, it’s not me. Oh, well. At this point, I decide to turn off the radio call my army buddy as it has been almost a year since we last yakked.

    I find out after the fact about the following train of events.

    The radio station calls the contest sponsor (Thrifty car rental?). “We have a winner for the plane ride”
    Thrifty: “Great! Who’s the other winner?”.
    Station: “Whut? What other winner?”
    Thrifty: “Yeah, you know. Two planes, two rides, two winners”.
    Station: “Standby”.

    Pandemonium breaks out. Recover the trash can. Dig out all the names that didn’t win. Toss them back in the hat, and draw another name. THAT’S when they drew my name.
    They announce this on the air, along with the fact that I have one hour to call in to claim my prize. Except that I’ve turned off the radio and am yakking on the phone. Everyone in the county who knows me and heard this is calling me and getting a busy signal (land line) and are ready to drop mortar rounds in our yard to get my attention.

    Luckily, I got off the phone with about 10 minutes to spare. It rang the instant I put it down. It was my good friend and reserve XO (ex-Navy enlisted) who told me in a most direct and eloquent manner to “CALL THE FIRE TRUCKIN’ RADIO STATION!”

    So I got my ride, along with my crutches and my cast. And I got to tell my dad all about it.”

    I was heartbroken when I heard the plane crashed on landing. There are detailed reports on Blancoliro Channel over on YouTube. Short version–maintenance had become shoddy, leading to malfunctions in the magnetos on #1 and #2 engines.

    Bought a used 50 cal T/C Hawkin back in the late 70’s. Still have it, but have not fired it in decades. Maybe I should drag it out in the interest of conserving cartridge ammo. It has a 1:48 rifling twist so that it can shoot both bullet and round ball. Drives tacks with round balls, bullet loads can be a bit stiff with that stock design. I have never owned a flintlock.

    We were victorious when our young boys grew up with 22’s.

    1. I have a T/C Hawkin 50, same set up. Fun to shoot. Very accurate out to 150 yards with a patched ball, a bit more range with a mini-ball or a maxi.

      I’m envious of your ride.

  5. Nice looking musket. I’ve never shot one, oddly. Good photo of Marie Antoinette too. I don’t think she deserved the guillotine. Nancy Pelosi? Different story.

    1. I don’t believe that she deserved the guillotine either, but revolutions have a nasty habit of whacking people even if they don’t deserve it – because of the momentum they generate.

      Pelosi should go first.

        1. Who knows what will come their way. Maybe all three will drop from the same scaffold at the same time.

  6. I’ve crawled through some Warbirds, but have never flown in one. A Bell 47-G is as close as I ever got to flying in an antique aircraft.

    I’ve never fired any type of muzzle loader, either. Biggest, baddest rifle I’ve ever fired is an M1 Garand, followed by a bolt action Weatherby in 300 Win Mag.

    Been down to the Christamas boat parade in New Porsche Beach numerous times. Nice place to live if you can afford it. And as much as I love the ocean, I’d rather live someplace less crowded.

    1. Hopefully, the plague will lift and I’ll make it north to CO this coming summer. I may bring stuff to shoot, maybe a muzzle loader? This past year has been a major problem.

      NB is ok, but you live in a better place in the mountains.

      1. You’ve got a place to stay if you make it up here, and I’m sure WSF knows the best outdoor ranges around. He speaks highly of the Baker Draw range in the Pawnee National Grasslands a bit East of here.

        One of the first Supras I looked at was down in NB. Had rust holes you could put your fist through. Lived it’s whole life down there “Blocks From The Beach”, and never was garaged. The salt air plays havoc with early 1980’s Japanese cars. I saw a two year old RX-7 with rocker panel/fender bottom rust when I lived “Blocks From The Beach” in Redondo.

  7. I did the walk through on the Nine-O-Nine at Worcester Airport two weeks before it crashed. I did not get to fly on it because it was booked up. I went up on the B-25 “Tondelayo” instead. We flew over Quabbin Reservoir and I got to ride in the nose position. Flight of a lifetime to be sure.

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