Argh. Can't believe it's about so long since I last posted. I have been meaning to do a catch-up post but, in the meantime, something bizarre I came across during the whole AV referendum campaign. aeshna_uk had mentioned the Communists and the BNP were anti-AV so I was puzzled to come across a pro-AV article from the the Communist Party. It turns out, as Ben Goldacre is so fond of saying, it's a bit more complicated than that:

Anybody know of any more UK communist parties? Just wish Zampolit Golden was still around to explain this! Guess I now know the inspiration for that Life of Brian stuff about the Judean People's Front etc
  • Current Music
    Your Cheating Heart, Leann Rimes
  • Tags

It's a small world after all - again

It all started off innocuously enough - Just before Christmas, Dad got a call from an ex-colleague inviting him to Genting, a mountain casino resort, for a performance by Arrival, a Swedish Abba tribute band. He said the problem was aeshna_uk and I were in town so we got included too!

It turned out to be rather a grander affair than expected - we found ourselves seated next to the Swedish Ambassador and his wife at dinner. I mentioned I knew the Swedish Ambassador in London who he, not surprisingly, knew too. I know her through her husband who was in my MBA tutor group. Turns out he and the Ambassador had worked at the same firm before he joined the Foreign Service!

As for Arrival, they were pretty good and we had second row VIP seats. Rather amusing to see various VIP and families all bopping away to Abba songs too. Not in a tearing hurry to return to Genting though - rather a bit like a not entirely successful attempt to cram Disneyworld and Las Vegas into a small mountain top. Crowded doesn't begin to describe it!

Also learned by email that I am one of 8 on shortlist for Professional Services Award at work, and have been invited to join the company ski trip. Just one slight snag - it starts before I return to the UK... :-(

Now down in Singapore, survived neice's 3rd Birthday bash and generally exploring Singapore, including a couple of Singapore Slings at the Raffles Hotel Long Bar last night!
Norfolke Trayned Bandes

Last Hurrah For Musketry

Re-enactment season's over for the year but Rawdons got asked to provide a musket fire display for the Bonfire Night bash at Royal Gunpowder Mills and they duly extended the invitation to various other regiments, including Norfolkes (Rawdons are a pretty good bunch, especially for Royalist scum ;-)). Alas, of the London Norfolkes, I was the only one to attend (the other London musketeer a) was working over the weekend and b) has her mnusket stored in the South-West).

So, headed up on Saturday with aeshna_uk. Actually had a bit of time to explore some of the Mills I don't normally have time to peek into and to introduce aeshna_uk to various members of Rawdons. Lots of gunpowder available so we did three separate bits of firing, along with one of the cannon. The muzzle flashes got progressively more impressive as it got darker but it did make it trickier to reload. I am therefore rather glad I chose to use the flintlock! Even then, trying to establish I'd primed properly got harder and I did get a few misfires towards the end as it was hard to see the crud building up on the frizzen.

Still, firing muskets is always fun!

Fireworks were pretty good too. Only problem was people badly parked on the access road meant it took some 45 minutes to get back to the main road afterwards. By contrast, it took about 35 minutes to drive there from home!

End result was I decided not to go back again today. Also, now the muskets live here, today was my first experience with cleaning out a musket myself. God, a lot of crud builds up in them. aeshna_uk also commented that I reeked of sulphur last night. She has a point. I guess I never noticed much at a muster as I was in the company of people who also reeked of gunpowder residue.

Also noticed this weekend was another zero insertion fee weekend on eBay so I've been listing more tat to dispose off. Fingers crossed...
ARVN Ranger

And I thought my interests were a little specific

A while ago, aeshna_uk and I ended up discussing the idea of Asperger ratings for how obsessive books, memorabilia or similar were. I thought Jaunty Tilt: A Presentation of Berets and Other Headgear Worn During the Vietnam War (actually, it's even more specific - it's South Vietnamese berets and headgear...) was pretty much the highest rated item I'd come across but I think it may have been toppled:


This book retails for $49.95 US, plus shipping and tax, here in the USA. I can get you copies, NOS, for $29.95, US, no tax, and shipping from USA, NY, zip 12601, to you. If interested, please contact me, at have funds prior to 12/15/10....thanks/regards, Anthony Barbuto, A & B Helmet of book is below...

Helmets of the ETO: A Historical and Technical Guide

By Régis Giard, Frédéric Blais - Histoire & Collections (2008) - Hardback - 191 pages - ISBN 2352500621
This book proposes a complete study of the variants in the manufacturing of the M1 helmet, illustrated with more than 700 full-color photos and presents a new selection of helmets coming from the woodwork, stemming from private collections and museums. The technical evolution of the M1 and its paratrooper conversions M2 and M1 C is summarized in the form of plans and clear synthesis boards. The selection of more than 120 helmets evokes, from Normandy to Germany, the battles of the European Theatre of operation. Numerous photos reveal their peculiarity, pictograms summarize their technical characteristics and legends tell their history. These material witnesses bring to life a conflict which ravaged the western Europe. REVIEWS "At first I thought a book about a type of combat helmet, how interesting can this be? Well, let me tell you, this book covers the M1 helmet completely from design to combat history in World War II. The neat thing is that this book has stories to tell about a collected series of M1 helmets that were found after the war. I was very impressed...a must have for your book collection." Internet Modeler, 06/2008"This forensic look at history one helmet a time will be of interest to any World War II historian, and will also be an excellent resource for World War II figure modelers that are missing out on some very distinctive details that were applied in the theater. Definitely recommended!Cybermodeler, 06/2008

Well, I suppose there is also Spiked Helmets of Imperial Germany Volumes 1 and 2...
ARVN Ranger

Sat Cong!

Some time ago, I bought an ARVN poster off eBay. I finally found somewhere that could scan it for me. I'm not sure exactly when it dates from - there's no details on it but, given it has the 3rd Division on there, it's got be late 1971 or after. Irrespective, it's pretty!


I know, strictly speaking, it's a RVNAF poster rather than strictly ARVN as it has the Air Force and Navy represented too but the central motif is an ARVN soldier and the majority of unit crests are ARVN too...

Consulting the Oracle - mobile phones

Bird entrails etc optional.

My mother's looking for a new phone. Her requirements are broadly as follows:
  • Will be predominantly for basic talk and text
  • She's keen on a touchscreen device
  • Good UI - she's also been exclusively a Nokia user to date
  • Not too complex - she views phones like my N97 or my sister's iPhone as over-sophisticated/complicated
  • Not too big - again, she thinks my N97 is a bit on the chunky side

So, anyone know of a mobile which meets the above reqs?