Weekend Miscellaneity

As I’ve said in other posts, I have a range of interests.  Yes, I do an awful lot of political posts here, or depending on your point of view, a lot of awful political posts, :twisted: but I do range around.  This is one of those days.

After the Vietnam War, the military decided they needed a new airplane.  That’s not really unusual, but one of the types they decided they needed was something for “close air support.”  After a competition, they picked one.  It was relatively cheap (around $14 million each), and was built specifically for that purpose.  The Air Force hated it.  They tried to palm it off on another service, and then came up with plans for replacing it.  Then came Desert Storm, and the plane the Air Force didn’t want, because it was “low, slow, and ugly” showed just what it really was:  The single best air support and anti-armor attack aircraft in the world.  The A-10 Thunderbolt II, or as it’s better known as, the Warthog.

The saying in the ground forces is that when it looks like things might be tough, you want to “go ugly early.”  It’s now an indispensable part of the Air Force, and even loved:

Since then, the Warthog has been an Air Force darling and a financial priority. Ongoing upgrades to the fleet, including new wing-sets, sensors and improved firing precision abilities, will cost the Pentagon an estimated $2.25 billion through 2013

Moving on from ugly, there’s cute.  Say hello to Cookie, the penguin mascot at the Cincinnati Zoo Bird House:

And further, just “wow” stuff – water droplets orbiting a knitting needle:

And just because I can, some pictures with captions!

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9 Comments

Filed under Humor, Science, Technology

9 responses to “Weekend Miscellaneity

  1. Love your humor and info diaries. My brother’s last deployment before he retired was Desert Storm. He talked about those warthogs & how the ground forces loved those planes. It stuck with me because the plane’s name gave me a laugh. When we were in Africa we found warthogs (the animal) very interesting creatures and tough little dudes. They don’t take caca from anyone & they may be ugly but they aren’t slow!

    I also enjoyed the cat in the geranium basket. It’s amazing where cats can hide when a trip to the vet is on the schedule.

    • The A-10’s used to do a lot of practice missions up here in the Adirondacks. They have a very distinctive sound, and you’d always hear them long before they’d suddenly pop into view. One of the stories about Desert Storm was that it didn’t take long for Iraqi tank crews to learn about that plane, and after a while, it wasn’t uncommon to see tank crews suddenly pop out of their tanks and run away from them at the sound of an A-10 approaching. What makes it such an interesting story is comparing it to all the stories of the costs of development and fielding of other planes, the ones the Air Force really wanted. :lol:

      Dogs are a little more up-front when it comes to veterinarian visits:

      • LMAO!!!

        Cats just promise to suck your breath out while you sleep!

        Hubby has a mustache & one of our cats loved to wash & groom it especially to wake him up in the morning. He refused to ever take her to the vet because: “I’m sure she will suck my breath out!”

  2. sjterrid

    Always appreciate your miscellaneous threads.
    On a side note, I was jut reading the BPI thread and wanted to congratulate you on your promotion.

    • Thanks! :-D What it does mean for this blog is that I won’t have my usual “summer hiatus” sparse postings. It’ll be going well if I have any postings. Figures that it’d be during an election year. :lol:

  3. sjterrid

    As much as I will miss your postings in the summer, It’s great to know that you are appreciated and the work you do is so important. Hopefully you can occasionally drop in at BPI.

    • Thanks. My posts in the summer tends to drop to “occasional” anyways, since my usual workload then goes to heavy, then “really heavy,” with occasional forays into “insane.” In this case, it’s simply a matter of a) I’ve done the job before, so I don’t need training; b) I’m senior to everyone else; and c) I said yes when they asked. :lol: But, in this case, what it means (besides a raise) is that I won’t be doing a daily commute, but actually staying out on-site. There’s upsides to that (it’s about a 35 mile one-way drive), but the downside is that I’m not going to be all that near a computer very much, and what connections I will have have … limitations. :roll:

  4. Alan Scott

    Norbrook,

    I read where the Air force wished to get rid of the warthogs a long time ago and the Army said that if the Air Force didn’t want to fly them anymore the Army would . That is how much the ground forces loved them .

    • That’s true. It was kiboshed by the DoD, since while the Army has helicopters, it wasn’t supposed to have it’s own air force anymore. The Air Force was pushing for a modified F-16 to replace it, so they could have an “attack plane” that was fast and glamorous, and could also be used as a fighter. The plan was to phase out the A-10’s by the mid-90’s. Then came Desert Storm. Now it’s scheduled to remain in service until at least 2028. When it’s coming in, someone is going to be having a very bad day. :lol: