It seems that every regiment in the Russian or Austrio-Hungarian Army had a regimental march – also every one in the British Army. That may have changed , but it has left us with a legacy of show tunes that can move aheavily-armed chorus line past a reviewing stand in three minutes.
Other armies have a repertoire of march tunes but don’t assign them regimentally – they can be used for different occasions by different bands. Of the two approaches, I favour the first, as it leads to a greater variety of music.
In civilian life there must also be occasions when a good march would be a real help to the day. Uplifting moments or times when you just want to get down and invade Belgium. We need civilian marches made to order. And not just pop tunes and ear-worms. Proper pieces of music about 3 minutes long that can get us through the crowds of other punters at the football or the local shopping centre. An insistent internal rhythm and regular pace can actually clear a way faster than a bulldozer.
For myself, I use three: The Königratzer or Preußen Gloria for faster movement or Le Boudin for slower crowds. The other people cannot hear the music but I can, and as long as I am marching in time with it I can dodge and move with precision. I will occasionally whistle but this may mean nothing to them.
What music do you march to?
There is slightly complex sequence of behaviour required to board an American warship in harbour. This involves proceeding up the gangway but not stepping aboard until you have saluted the quarterdeck flag and the person controlling the ship’s end of the gangway. You ask permission to board and do not step on until it is given. The rank of the person at the entry point is not relevant…if they are the authorised controller of this entry they represent the captain of the ship who has final say on who boards.
If you are doing this at sea the formalities are truncated, and if you are swinging aboard on a rope while firing a pistol at the crew you hardly have to pause at all…
Similar formalities probably attend entry to ereryone else’s ships, and army and air force bases…in the case of some you are issued security clearances after documents are inspected and these clearances are retrieved as you leave. Mind you, the army tank museum has a policy that if you can carry it out, it’s yours…
I should like to see the establishment of similar rituals in civilian life with regard to who comes in and why. Too often we open the door to relatives and in-laws without a bye-your-leave and they never buy and they just don’t leave…for hours at a time…I am not sure whether there is actually a quarterdeck in the average family home…perhaps the lounge room…but maybe we could do as Japanese homemakers do and deliberately incorporate a family altar or place of beauty in the front room, and the visitors could salute this as a promise that they will behave.
In return, I would be willing to accord them all courtesies…while having them closely escorted by armed Marines.
With the history of airliner shoot-downs – The Korean Boeing lost some years ago, the Malayan one over the Ukraine a few years ago, the loss of the second Malayan jet somewhere, and now the downing of a Ukrainian Boeing in Iran, I’m put to wondering several things:
- Do Russian rockets have a safety switch or are they live all the time? If they do have a no-fire position on the controller, is it Soviet-era quality?
- Are the rocketeers on drugs? Some sort of amphetamine to increase their speed of response?
- Do Russian targeting systems not have an IFF function? Or is everyone else in the world considered an F?
- Was it necessary to fly out of the Tehran airport in the middle of an alert?
- Was it deliberate? Was any of it deliberate?
- Where was Jane Fonda at the time?
I love pirates. From Johny Depp as Jack Sparrow to Errol Flynn as Captain Blood they have swashed buckles and shivered timbers from Tortuga to Tahiti. Even Aardman had wonderful pirates as animated characters.
I’m even more impressed with the ones off the Horn of Africa who try to zoom aboard passing merchant ships and rob the crews. And I just loooove the way the US, Britain, France, and the Russians treat them – from opening up on their tin can boats with autocannon to boarding them and blowing them up with satchel charges.
I note that the Iranian floating terrorists are now entering the game and stepping up the pace with ship captures and mines.
Please, let us return to the days of the Caribbean and the Royal Navy sinking pirates on sight. And Wapping Stairs, please. In chains.
Rules of engagement for countering pirates: There’s one, open fire.
PS: Let the air squadrons play too. If they can’t get a Warthog that far out from the coast, surely someone has a spare gun pack in the stores they could clap onto a Hornet.
Pirates are ALWAYS freie Vögel…whether they have a mullah or a mad king at their back. And eventually you get to storm their pirate nest and burn it to the ground. It took care of Port Royal and Cartagena…and Bandar-e Abbas is no different.
- Thou shalt refer to ice hockey as hockey. Thou shalt keep the festival of the Stanley Cup holy and undefiled.
- Thou shalt refer to gridiron football as football and to round ball football as soccer. Thou shalt keep the festival of the Grey Cup holy and undefiled.
- Thou shalt revere the salmon.
- Thou shalt revere maple syrup and not scream when thou dost see the price that they are trying to gouge for it.
- Thou shalt hate the American President and love the Canadian Prime Minister, no matter who they are and what they do, lest they become one and the same person.
- Thou shalt revere the CBC and revile the CBS, even if the shows are much the same.
- Thou shalt honour the memory of Ypres and Dieppe but not think too carefully about what actually happened – nor why.
- Thou shalt quake and tremble before the Lord, thy God, or if the Lord is busy at the time, before his deputies – the politicians of Quebec.
- Thou shalt apologise.
- Thou shalt glory in being right when that occurs and in being wrong when that occurs and film a documentary on both occasions with harmonica or accordion music.
Take these two tablets and if thy people will not heed, come back up the mountain, eh?
Here in Australia we are just a phone call away from India. And in the case of our house that phone call is at 4:05 every afternoon.
The amazing part is that it is a different caller each time – apart from the silent ones or the hissers – and there is a slightly different pitch thrown with every one.
Today’s was the ” NBN “- supposedly our developing national Broadband Network. It’s an ongoing fustercluck from both the federal government and a private quasi-corporation who pretend it is going to replace wires with optical cables and then up the speed of our internet connections. If it promised to connect us to unicorns and Judge Crater I would give it some serious credence, but as it is…
Now the Indian scammers have picked up on it and are ringing with either threats or promises to get us to allow malware to be installed in our computers. Today’s question revolved around technical work that was going on and what download speed we had. I suspect it was a complex shell game to allow some sort of ” test ” that would install a spyware program looking for passwords.
When the confused girl asked what speed we were experiencing I told her that we generally got about 350 MPH but this fell to 320 with drop tanks. Full throttle and water injection could up it to 385 but if you ran the computer too long at this setting the exhaust manifold would burn away. I was dead serious about this.
I’m not sure I cleared up her confusion.
We are contemplating digging a missile silo into our front lawn and installing an old Minuteman I we got off eBay. I initially wanted an Atlas D but the wife said she isn’t going to get up at night to pump in the liquid oxygen because it would disturb the cat. I am going to have to have a solid rocket and be satisfied with that. I agreed if I can have a concrete door that slides aside on rollers.
The problem with this is when you go to the BGC or Midland Bricks display at the Homecrafts exhibition they have any number of concrete options to choose from. And they also put them on their website. Unfortunately the numbers on the website don’t match the samples at the exhibition. You can’t really be sure if the colour you choose is the one that will be delivered.
It didn’t use to be this tough. In Australia there was a lot of concrete used for building – sometimes delivered by trucks or sometimes mixed on-site by Italian grano workers. You pretty well got one standard product – grey – and you could paint over it later if you wanted to be flash. Now there’s integrated colours plus choices in the sort of rocks in the cement. You can have it all exposed and polished it you wish, but that costs more. I’d be satisfied with a simple 3 metre-thick blast door in plain grey but the wife is fussy. She’s looking at colour cards and trying to match the paint on the missile fuselage. I’m smart enough to shut up but it is all going to take forever…
I feel like just parking a mobile SS-4 trailer in the drive and making do with that.