Ich bin ein Ente... The story behind this duckie just takes my breath away. The father of one of my old high school flock (Marty Suspenders) stopped into the Duck U Bookstore a couple of weeks ago. I was surprised, as I hadn't seen him in years, but he just stopped in to chat. Very cool catching up with him, but when he mentioned he was going to Germany, I asked him to beg, steal or borrow a duckie from that European country. Now, I ask anybody who's going overseas (heck, a trip of any duration) to look for rubber duckies from their destination, but only once has there ever been a result. In my dreams, right? I've gotten the distinct impression that rubber duckies just aren't all that common in most countries of the world.
Anyway, Suspenders the Elder walked back into the store on Monday with the above duckie and a world of smiles. He and the friends he was visiting were on the Metro, on their way to go dancing in Berlin (for some reason, I never picture people in Berlin dancing), when at a stop he saw this kiosk selling, amongst other fripperies and geegaws, the Berlin duckie! Of course he picked it up for lil' ol' me, and off they went with Mr S trying to explain about the weird friend of his son...
What he didn't realize, he told me, is that the duckie had already fallen out of his jacket pocket and gotten lost in the crowd, which must have been sheer torture for the Berlin duckie. Imagine being told you're going to America to hang out with 400+ rubber duckies, and then have that dream taken away from you... yeesh! But, surprisingly enough, Mr S found the duckie in the Metro station on the way back. Dramatic tale of duckie rescue! Then it made the long flight back to Duckford and into my wings and a happy introduction to the rest of the flock here at Pond Central.
That's it, that's the whole story. Pretty darn cool, huh?
Ph.Duck and I got together for dinner tonight at the Chinese place we tend to go to every month or so. In lieu of me actually having anything to actually, y'know, write about, there's a picture of my main course.
Let's Talk Books
A couple of years ago, I was at the Duck U Bookstore when one of our history professors came in. At the time, we had a small area set aside on the counter for "Staff Picks", books that those of us who worked at the Bookstore had read and recommended. My two picks that month were World War Z, which I had just finished reading, and Shattered Sword, the 2005 book that turned a lot of what was known about the Battle of Midway on its collective head.
Knowing that the professor in question taught a class on WWII, I suggested Shattered Sword to him, and thus began a close to 45 minute dialogue on Midway and the Pacific War in general (it was summertime, during a stretch where we might go the entire day and see maybe three customers). When we were finished and the prof had purchased both of my "Staff Picks", one of my co-workers looked at me with something akin to stunned disbelief. "He's a history professor, how were you able to to talk to him like that about his specialty?", for indeed, his specialty was the Pacific War and Korea (where he himself served).
I thought for a second and replied "I read a lot." Her reaction, again, was stunned disbelief. "History books? You read history books for fun?"
Well, yeah. I do.
I'd like to write a little bit about some of the books on Midway that I've in my collection, if I may indulge myself a bit... and, seeing how it's my blog, I think I can.
In "The Codebreakers", Kahn devotes an entire chapter to the code group at Pearl Harbor, particularly talking about their performance during the Midway campaign. As you say, it's clear that the code breakers themselves were not in doubt about what "AF" meant, but since they were trying to convince Nimitz to gamble the fleet on it, they needed proof.
The "Midway" movie is a travesty in a lot of regards, especially concerning the codebreakers. That scene where they talked about "15%. No, 10%" is bullshit. In fact, they completely decoded and translated the entire Japanese operational order which was transmitted in JN-25B just before the superencipherment tables were changed, and gave the whole thing to Nimitz so he could use it to plan his battle. He couldn't have learned more if he'd personally attended Yamamoto's flag briefing session.
Bee-YOOT-eeful post, Duck. Ordered up a copy of "A Glorious Page" while I was reading your post. Please to send the info WRT Last Flight as I think I need that to go with my copies of Shattered Sword and A Dawn Like Thunder.
Thanks for feeding my history jones....
Posted by: The Old Man at September 23, 2010 12:59 PM (+LRPE)
Got interested in Midway flight to nowhere after seeing the movie battle of midway on tv over Memorial day. The magnetic declination in the Midway Islands in 1942 was just under 10 degree positive from true north. If that guy that went the wrong way "flight to nowhere" and left the torpedo bombers unprotected had not used this declination it might explain the whole mystery. This seems to be a common mistake for new crews, especially is they are used to using some other declination say from the US west coast. Thank God for GPS these days. Thanks, nice site
Posted by: ted parsons at June 02, 2011 02:06 AM (i4M8y)
If the magnetic declination was added instead of subtracted the difference would be from 240 to 270 degrees, almost exactly (to the degree) the diffence in the flight paths reported during the battle. Just so no one thinks I'm a know it all, the reason I thought of this was that I failed desert phase of Ranger school for sending my company in on the wrong heading during a raid. We jumped into in west Texas and heading out on a heading I planed while still in Ft. Benning GA (incorrectly using Ft. Benning GA magnectic declination).
WWII had very unpleasant results much worse than mine, interestingly with possible overall benefit to the battle as chance or providence would have it (who knows what the fighter cover would have been like over the successful bombing runs if this mistake had not happened). I know its possible to easily screw this up, as it happened to me too.
Posted by: ted parsons at June 02, 2011 08:10 PM (i4M8y)
OK I know its 30 degrees verses 20 degrees difference but what the alternative explaination?
Posted by: ted parsons at June 02, 2011 08:57 PM (i4M8y)
I remember that the first one that came down got us over to the left. Lt. Cmdr. Waldron, who was on his air phone, asked Dobbs if that was a Zero or if it was one of our planes. I didn't know whether Dobbs answered him or not, but I came out on the air and told him that it was a TBD. He also called Stanhope Ring from "John E. One, answer" and we received no answer from the air groups. I don't know if they even heard us or not, but I have always had a feeling that they did hear us. I think that was one of the things that caused them to turn north as I think the squadron deserves quite a bit of credit for the work that they did.
Personally, I was just lucky. I've never understood why I was the only one that came back, but it turned out that way. I want to be sure that the men that didn't come back get the credit for the work that they did. They followed Waldron without batting an eye. I don't feel like a lot of people have felt that we made mistakes and that Waldron got us into trouble. I don't feel that way at all. I know that if I had it all to do over again, even knowing that the odds were going to be like they were, knowing him like I knew him, I'd follow him again through exactly the same thing because I trusted him very well. We did things that he wanted us to do not because he was our boss, but because we felt that if we did the things he wanted us to do, then it was the right thing to do.
Posted by: ted parsons at June 02, 2011 09:17 PM (i4M8y)
One Year Later One year ago today, the woman readers of The Pond knew as Momzerduck, and I knew as Mom, passed away. I'd love to say something deep and meaningful right now, but find that I'm just... numb. It's taken me close to a hour just to type this short statement.
I guess I'm coping with her loss. I can't remember the last time I broke down, and I no longer run away whenever I smell hand sanitizer. I no longer expect my cellphone to ring at 7pm.
You Gotta Be A Football Hero...
Today was the first home game of the season for the Duck U Ducks, and we had a great turnout!
Unfortunately, the good guys lost to the bad guys, 31-21, but from all reports it was a lot closer than the score indicates.
But I was there way before anybody showed up, so as to get Duck U Bookstore signs up, so people knew we were going to be open. It's amazing just how different a football field feels when there's nobody around and the weather is... marginal.
Anybody out there ever have a hernia repaired? Someone I know has a bad one, and is going to have a surgery scheduled soon. I'd like to know more about the procedure, but not the usual wiki stuff...
I had an inguinal hernia repaired when I was 12 years old. Back then they didn't use endoscopic surgery, but the incision was pretty small nonetheless (I'd say just 4-5 inches, don't know exactly cause I'm metrical) and the cut was done in one of the natural wrinkles that form between the abdomen and the pubic area (the scar is almost invisble, and that's considering I have no gut). It was an ambulatory surgery, and I was sent to my house that same day (although I had to stay in bed for 3 days and out of school for a week).
It's a pretty simple procedure if the portion of the small intestine that's protruded into the pelvic cavity has suffered no traumatic damage. They just open up, put the small intestine back in its place and stitch the hole in the inguinal cavity that caused the hernia in the first place.
Mine was detected and repaired before there was any severe symptoms visible (just a little bulge, but no darkening or pain) but I understand that even in severe cases, the risk is low and the procedure is simple.
Posted by: Mauro at September 10, 2010 08:11 AM (k6tMR)
I've had a couple of hernia repair jobs, one on each side. The first one was essentially as Mauro described his, except that the surgeon also placed some mesh in the area for further reinforcement. The second was done laparoscopically; the primary incision was in my navel with a secondary one a couple of inches away along the waist. In both cases, the hospital staff caused me more trauma than the surgery. I was home the day after both times and spent the next few days in bed. I did have to return to work four days after the second procedure, but I wasn't happy about it. It was about two weeks both times before the doctors said I could lift more than 20 pounds, and before I (very carefully) got on my bicycle again. I had a fair amount of mild to moderate pain in the groin after the laparoscopy, about which the surgeon didn't have much to say. It gradually faded over the course of a year.
Posted by: Don at September 10, 2010 04:52 PM (FYZAw)
I've had an inguinal hernia repaired with mesh, which is far superior to the old-fashioned way. I've also had a belly-button hernia repaired without mesh, and it had to be re-repaired four years later. The (different) doc used mesh the second time, and also did it laparoscopically. You heal up a LOT faster that way (the first two surgeries I had were open.)
One thing to watch out for, which your friend's doctor will not tell him: you may experience numbness in the area the mesh was placed, due to the trauma of the surgery--where I had the inguinal surgery, I had a patch of skin maybe a couple of square inches where the sensory nerves were cut, and couldn't feel anything there except pressure. It took a couple of years for the nerves to completely regrow. By contrast, the laparoscopic surgery had a smaller numb area, and that healed a lot faster.
Posted by: RickC at September 11, 2010 09:15 AM (lbzph)
The Never-Ending Reinstall
It's been a while since I last did a re-install of Windows, and I was noticing some slowdown in the Chiyo-chan for whatever reason; it wasn't from any virus or spyware that I could detect. I suspect it might have been because of the whole problem with the external hard drive a month or two ago. Whatever, it's not like I had anything to do tonight, and with a NASCAR race on, I could watch that while I reinstalled Windows. Pure genius! I'd be done before the race was over!
Yeah, not so much. The race lasted four hours. By the time Tony Stewart won, I was still downloading updates... the last two times I did this sort of thing, it only took three hours total to have everything done. As I post this, I've still got a few apps to install, and it's almost seven hours later. Ugh.
We'll return to regular blogginationing on Monday.
Monty comes 9th, and... no race quotes again. What's up with that?! In Formula 1 it wasn't optional, but here he always does this stuff: only communicating when he thinks he's high enough. Last year it included top-10 finishes thought, but I guess not anymore? How soon is he going to skip out from the 3rd place press-conference?
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 06, 2010 08:38 AM (9KseV)
I really need to re-install my Windows box too. I've bought a set of new drives for it so I can run RAID-5 and I have a free copy of Windows 7 from my friends at Microsoft, so all I need is a rainy long weekend and my Card Captor Sakura DVDs... And, realistically, Urusei Yatsura and Ranma and the entire Precure metaverse.
There's a reason I tend to just go out and buy a new computer every couple of years. Linux boxes are just an rsync away, but Windows is forever.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 07, 2010 07:25 AM (PiXy!)
Name This Mystery Ship IV
While I am working on the post that Siergen won for identifying the HMS Unicorn last time around... he selected a topic I know next to nothing about... here's another possibility for someone to win their very own post on a topic of their choosing! Name this ship:
Winner gets a post on a topic of their own choosing... hopefully not one as difficult as Siergen's, but pretty much anything is free game!
I'm hoping this one is difficult... if it's not, you guys are even more obsessive than I am!
UPDATE: Okay, maybe it was still "easy." Only took about four hours for Pete Z to come up with the Wakamiya, a seaplane carrier of the IJN.
She's best known as the ship that launched the world's first naval-launched air raids (against German targets in Tsingtao) on September 5th, 1914... 96 years ago today. In a way, this humble 8000 ton vessel with its four seaplanes and canvas-and-metal hangars is the direct predecessor of today's 104000 ton, 85 plane Nimitz-class carriers.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 05, 2010 12:29 AM (blg68)
My guess derives from typing "seaplane carrier" into Google and then looking at pictures. It only took 10 minutes, but only after I wasted hours trying to match hull design to various IDs and even AKs. I thought it was one of the conversions, I forgot what they were called.
Please post the wrap-up of Rocket Girls that you teased a bit over 3 years ago (thought about asking Oh Edo Rocket, but I doubt you watched that).
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 05, 2010 08:35 AM (9KseV)
Extraction #2 Successful Well, the bad tooth has been removed, and this one was a different experience altogether. The nitrous didn't make me feel sick to my stomach this time, which was a pleasant bonus. The tooth didn't come out quite as readily as the last one, which wasn't nice. Turns out that it had two roots, where the first one (the mirror image tooth of today's) only had one... and one of the roots off broke when the Doc did the deed. No fault on him, he's very good. Heck, my dentist sends his children to him for oral surgery. Eat where the truck drivers eat, go to the oral surgeon your dentist uses.
And hey, he's got this print hanging in the extraction room:
"In Gallant Company" by Robert Taylor
...which is nice. I don't think he was too impressed by my fascination with the Battle of Midway last time, but how many of his patients know the difference between the F4F-3, the F4F-4, and the FM-2?
Oh, and his assistants expressed an interest in visiting the site too... Hi, Ladies! The other tooth extraction post with that picture you wanted to see is right here. Thanks for visiting... and for helping make the extraction go easily!