"A Copse. Evening"

"A Copse. Evening"
A. Y. Jackson, 1918
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Win a Bar Bet!

 It's a sure win and my cut will be quite reasonable.
The other day I hit the shops looking for two of the necessities of existence, beer and a printer cartridge (black).
While in the checkout line I scanned the news of the day as interpreted by the tabloid covers when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a (as is typical for these rags - unflattering) likeness of our 41st commander-in-chief, George Herbert Walker Bush - the good Bush although nobody knew it then. The accompanying headlines screamed something to the effect that the old boy isn't doing well. He seems to be suffering from "92-years-old-itis". Too bad thought I even though I hadn't voted for him or trusted him in any way back in the day.
In fact,I showed myself to be waaay ahead on the diversity curve that election ('88).
I voted for the first woman - and the first African-American to ever run, Lenora Fulani.   She didn't win.
Back to old George and the bar-bet mentioned above.
I would advise - this is investment advice now - I would advise you to head on down to your local place-of-refreshment and grab a seat at the bar
Then take any steps necessary to ensure that your jaws are well lubricated.

In a clear strong voice address the room at large saying:
"Even though old G. H. W. Bush may have been the youngest Naval aviator in the service in 1943, I'll bet he's still so old that he qualified for carrier landings on a paddle-wheel steamer!"
Be patient. Someone will rise to the bait.
Then you reel them in.
Ideally, by the end they should be betting... their car or... their guns, kids! Make 'em commit!
Now, having negotiated your payday, you can spring the trap.
Here's the payoff:
He really did qualify on a paddle-wheel steamboat (A side-wheeler).
And another 17,820 Navy and Marine Corps aviators did as well; either on USS Sable, IX-81 - like the former Pres did - or on her sister ship, Wolverine.
They were both converted, excursion steamers purchased by the Navy in 1941.
A four-stacker carrier. How about that?
Wolverine was the older of the two by about ten years and so was a coal-burner to boot.
They both used old-school, reciprocating engines and they both had paddle-wheels...  paddle-wheels!.
The steamer, Greater Buffalo was launched in 1923, into the possession of the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Co and thereafter cruised regularly between two cities, Cleveland and Buffalo I think.
She later became Sable.
Wolverine can be considered the-artist-formerly-known-as:  Seeandbee.
About the same overall, around 500 feet long and 7000 tons.
She was called "Seeandbee" after the initials of her owners, the same Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Co.
"Seeandbee" See the initials.

Both ships were constructed by the American Ship Building Company of Lorain, Ohio but weren't identical. Different engines among other things.
In the wartime Nav it was decided that training aviators in carrier take-offs and landings on either coast would be problematic due to war-related shipping.
The Great Lakes offered the perfect environment, almost.
They weren't real carriers by any means. they'd merely had their superstructures removed and replaced with a flight deck (Douglas fir on Wolverine and steel on Sable). No elevator, no hangar deck. If the weather was wrong (ie: No wind. The old girls weren't fast enough to generate sufficient speed for the planes to be able to take off into so on a calm day, things went nowhere).
Or if too many planes were damaged and had filled all the parking spots on deck; it was back to the barn and hit it again tomorrow.
If there's a point here, it's eluding me. Just an interesting factoid. 
The lake is apparently full of aircraft as well. The one pictured went down 23 Dec. 1944 due to an engine failure on takeoff.
Now I had some problem wrapping my head around the paddle wheels since they're invisible in the photos.
So here's a shot of a model (Scratch-built by someone with far better fine-motor skills than I have) of Wolverine.

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