27 February 2010

Vehicle quiz.

No noteworthy comment tonight, so match up the vehicles with the film/TV show:

1) 1974 Dodge Monaco 440
2) 1981 DeLorean
3) 1958 Plymouth Fury
4) 1970 Plymouth Valiant
5) 1977 Pontiac Trans Am
6) 1966 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron
7) 1982 Pontiac Trans Am
8) 1976 Ford Torino 460-V8
9) 1969 Ford Granada
10) 1969 Dodge Charger
11) 1963 Volkswagen Type I
12) 1968 Ford Mustang GT390 Fastback
13) 1978 Chevrolet K10 Cheyenne
14) 1943 ALCO M4A3E8
15) 1979 Kenworth K-100 Cabover
16) 1974 Kenworth W-925
17) 1974 Ford Falcon XB
18) 1974 AMC Hornet 'X'
19) 1975 AMC Pacer
20) 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III
21) 1964 Lincoln Continental

a) Christine
b) The Green Hornet
c) Red Dawn
d) U.F.O.
e) Bullitt
f) Wayne's World
g) BJ and the Bear
h) Mad Max
i) Animal House
j) Smokey and the Bandit
k) Back to the Future
l) Duel
m) Herbie the Love Bug
n) Movin' On
o) The Car
p) Knight Rider
q) The Blues Brothers
r) The Man With The Golden Gun
s) Starsky and Hutch
t) The Dukes of Hazzard
u) Tank

yankeedog out.

24 February 2010

Latest news from the front

Been a busy first part of the week here at the Lodge.

Sunday my mom called here complaining of pain in the gut. We took her to the hospital, where they found that her gallbladder resembled a gravel pit. Monday morning saw a cholecystectomy, the five dollar word for removing the abovementioned organ. Everything went well with the surgery and I reckon she'll be back home in a day or so.

Gallbladder removal is done typically as a laproscopic procedure ('keyhole' surgery) and all they do is cut three small holes in the abdomen. My aunt had hers removed back in the late '50s. They cut her open from ribcage to pubis and it took weeks to recover from that. Amazing, the advances we've had in surgical procedures since then. Laproscopic procedures are so much better for everyone: a simpler procedure for the surgical team, faster 'turnaround' for the hospital, and faster recovery and less chance of a post-op infection for the patient. Win-win-win. A good deal.

Yet another crisis deflected. It would be nice to have a couple of weeks where we weren't skipping from one event to another. I suppose everyone else would as well.

Other than that, been watching the Olympics-the US beat Switzerland in hockey today, 2-0. That'll show those fondue-eating, four-language-having, neutrality-espousing, yodeling bastidges where the bear craps in the buckwheat! Really, I don't get too nationalistic for the Olympics-I enjoy watching bobsled, luge, and hockey. And curling. Especially curling. Best. Sport. Ever. Good performances are good performances no matter the sport or country-the exception of course being the St. Louis Cardinals and any NFL team Brett Favre is on.

One item of news that did catch my eye comes from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), home of the Ole Miss Rebels of the Southeast Conference (SEC). Seems some of the people on campus are looking to replace their logo and mascot, Colonel Reb:

Consarn it! Y'all cain't replace the Cuhnel, even though Ah look mighty like Cuhnel Sanders!

So someone in the student body proposed another great Rebel leader. Who dat, you ask? Robert E. Lee? Stonewall Jackson? Mississippi's own Jefferson Davis, Confederate President?


Our defensive line cannot repel an Alabama Crimson Tide attack of that magnitude!

Admiral Ackbar.

Well, he did lead the Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi when they went up against Death Star 2: Electric Boogaloo! Our hope is that the good Admiral does in fact become Ole Miss's next logo and mascot. And, of course, I hope this selection doesn't offend, annoy, or provide a negative image of any Mon Calamari that may be out there.

And people think college is all hard work and sweat!

yankeedog out.

18 February 2010

It all comes out in the wash

The other day the washer here in the apartment went belly up. I'm sure it's a drive belt broken or slipping as the motor runs but the machine doesn't agitate or spin. I could possibly fix this, but we won't get a break on the rent, so the landlord can get someone here to do the repairs. So tonight I trundled down to the local laundromat, big basket of clothes in tow and a pocket full of quarters to feed the machines.

I hate going to the laundromat. The time spent there seems slightly longer than the month of March but shorter than the last ice age. There's a row of washers, a third of which don't work. Usually you find out which ones don't work after you've put the $2 in them. The dryers aren't any better. I find the dog-eared Reader's Digest from 2002 provides seconds of entertainment as a preliminary to the main event of counting the holes in the ceiling tiles.

I find this clip from The Young Ones to be an accurate account of a trip to the laundrette.

There are a few Scrub Pubs out there, which is to me the perfect business concept. Put a bar and grill and some games right inside to the laundromat. I wouldn't mind taking the wash out so much if I thought a beer, some nachos, and a round of darts was close by.

Ah, well. The dryer here still works, and I reckon the laundromat beats taking the dirty clothes down to the river and beating them against a rock. But only just.

Cheers, all. Enjoy your weekend!

yankeedog out.

15 February 2010

Some trivia for the day

Today's President's Day, the commemeration of the birthdays of Presidents Washington and Lincoln, which is a holiday for government workers and schoolkids, but not for me or for about anyone else in the private sector.

But in honor of the day, some odd facts about some of our 44 Chief Executives:

Washington's inauguration speech was 183 words long and took 90 seconds to read. This was because of his false teeth.

That's it! From now on, all of our Presidents need to be fitted with dentures. Less yakkin'! More work!

John Quincy Adams (1825-29), the sixth President, customarily took a nude early morning swim in the Potomac River. He refused requests to be interviewed by a woman reporter, which he thought was beneath
the office of President. She got him to talk to her by sitting on his clothes and refusing to budge until he did.

I believe she was also the first person to see the Presidential Staff.

On January 30, 1835, a mentally disturbed man named Richard Lawrence fired two different guns at President Andrew Jackson from point-blank range. Both weapons failed to fire. The odds of this happening were put at 1:125,000. Jackson then chased after Lawrence and beat him with his cane.

"I don't need no stinkin' bodyguards! (whack!) You lousy little punk! You want a piece of me! (whack!) I've chewed up and crapped out tougher than you! (whack!) Here's a souvenir of your Presidential visit! (whack!)"

When he was Vice President, Martin Van Buren presided over the Senate with loaded pistols!

The President of the Senate votes 'Aye'. In favor of the bill, the ayes are 6. The nays are 32.
The ayes have it!

Franklin Pierce was arrested while in office for running over an old woman with his horse, but his case was dropped due to insufficient evidence in 1853.

I did-not-run over that woman, Miss Kowalski. Nor, in fact, do I have knowledge of the existence of horses.

James Buchanan had the opportunity to buy Cuba for only $90,000,000, but Congress wouldn't let him because they thought he would steal the money and run away!

You want a $90,000,000 check. To buy Cuba. Make the check out to you, James Buchanan. (uproarious laughter). No.

Robert Todd Lincoln arrived too late to stop three seperate presidential assassinations. He met his father,
President Abraham Lincoln, at the theatre after John Wilkes Booth had fired the shot. He went to a
Washington train station to meet President Garfield, arriving only minutes after he was shot. And, he
traveled to Buffalo, New York to meet President McKinley, but got there after the fatal shot had already been fired.

"Mr. President? A Robert Todd Lincoln is here to see you."
"Oh, shit! Tell him, uhh, I've gone to...Zambia! Yeah, won't be back for a year!"

While president, Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for driving his horse too fast. He was fined $20.

"I don't care who you are, 'Mr. Hot Shot President'. There's been too much riding up-and-down Pennsylvania Avenue, at all hours of the night, scaring all the kids and old people! I've giving you a ticket, and if I see you out again tonight, we're going down to the station..."

Rutherford Hayes was the first President to use a telephone while in office. The first telephone was installed in the White House in 1879.

"A-hoy-hoy. Office of the President. President Hayes speaking."
"You want who? I'll ask. Is there an Amanda Hugginkiss here? HEY! I'm looking for Amanda Hugginkiss!"
"Why, you! If I ever catch you, I'll smear you with honey and stake you to an anthill!"

William Howard Taft once got stuck in the White House bath tub, so a new one was installed, big enough to hold four grown men!

I bet President Clinton used that tub a lot as well...

Warren Harding played poker at least twice a week. He once gambled away an entire set of White House china, dating back to Benjamin Harrison's time. His advisors were given the nickname of the "Poker Cabinet" because they all played poker together.

"For all the gold in the Boston Mint, Mr. President. I got a straight flush, queen high. What do you have, Warren?"
"Two threes."

Richard Nixon was our only president to resign from office. His letter of resignation was as follows: "Dear Mr. Secretary: I hearby resign the office of the President of the United States.

Sincerely, Richard M. Nixon."

P.S. I ran a roll of toilet paper in each of the White House toilets. So fuck off.

After telling the press he was an expert in hand gestures, George Bush gave the "V-for-Victory" sign as he drove in his armored limousine past demonstrators in Canberra, Australia's capital in January 1992. In Australia, holding up two fingers to form a "V" has the same vulgar meaning as the middle-finger gesture in the United States. The Aussie demonstrators were very mad, and they signaled in the same manner back at the U.S. President. Bush later apologized.

Which, as we all know, was in retaliation for Prime Minister Hawke's gaffe in 1989. On a visit to the U.S., Hawke held up his middle finger to an American crowd. Hawke later explained that this gesture was known in Australia as the 'Wagga Wagga One' and he wasn't aware that this was considered on obscene gesture in the U.S.

Barack Obama is an avid Spiderman and Conan The Barbarian comic book collector.

Comic book shop owner: 'That is a Trojan-Man Vs. Impregnator Mint Condition Issue #1. Do NOT touch it!'
President Obama: 'But I'm the, uh, President of the United States!'
Comic book shop owner: 'And I am a 78th Level Magic Paladin and Lord Admiral of the Klingon Empire! Do NOT get your fingerprints on the comic!'

There you go. In addition to being a friend to all (and a national treasure), I endeavor to provide little nuggets of knowledge for you.

yankeedog out.

14 February 2010

Yet another V-Day

Here 'tis-Valentine's Day 2010. From what I've seen poking around the cyberworld, definitely a mixed reception to the whole concept.

I've heard it referred to as a guilt trip, and I suppose in most ways it is. Certainly most ads subtly paint it that way. For example, the ad that says 'Show her you care with a 1/2 carat diamond pendant' really means 'If you don't give your wife/mistress/sig other this 1/2 carat diamond pendant, she'll think you don't love her. Enjoy your time in the doghouse.'

On the other hand, what holiday isn't on some level a guilt trip? Christmas? 'You didn't buy enough stuff. Now your wife is pissed off and the national economy is ailing.' Anzac Day? 'You didn't do the gunfire breakfast at dawn? Aren't you a patriot?' The 4th? 'You didn't blow off a finger with cheap fireworks? What are you, a communist?' The admasters have done their jobs well. It looks to me like guilt is part and parcel of EVERY holiday.

I don't buy into the 'extravagant gift' school for Valentine's Day, but I do think-unless all concerned agree-that at least a token acknowledgement isn't a whole lot to ask...or to do. It doesn't have to be a card. Maybe doing something nice for your sig other-breakfast in bed, doing some task she wants done around the house, trimming your nose hair-would be the ticket. And, last I checked, a card isn't all that expensive. 

But then, I'm a nice guy. And we all know where nice guys finish. Read your Durocher.

Actually, I do appreciate the silliness of the cynical side of Valentine's Day, and that's what I focus on with my horde of female platonic friends (Well, not a horde...). It's a way to have fun with the opposite sex, but not be so heavy and cloying that it sends the wrong message.

At any rate, celebrate or not as you see fit. I suspect some of you guys publicly state 'I don't believe in it, and we don't celebrate. So there.' Privately? You're beat down as bad as everybody else. You did something for her today. It's OK.

For you diehards, I'll link to comedian Sean Morey's 'The Man Song', because he tells it like it is!! Feel free to sing along.

I don't take no crap from anybody! ... else but you.

I wear the pants around here!...when I'm finished with your laundry.
'Cause I'm a guy you don't want to fight! ... when I say "jump" you say "yeah, right".
I'm the man of this house! ... until you get home.

What I say goes around here! ... right out the window.
And I don't want to hear a lot of whining! ... so I'll shut up.
The sooner you learn who's boss around here! ... the sooner you can give me my orders, dear.
'Cause I am the head honcho! ... but it's all in my head.

And I can have sex anytime! ... that you want.
'Cause I'm a man who has needs! ... but they're not that important.
And don't expect any flowers from me! ... because if I'm not mistaken you prefer jewelry.
I'm the king of my castle! ... when you're not around.

And I'll drink and watch sports whenever I want! ... to get into trouble.
And I'll come home when I'm good and ready! ... to sleep on the couch.
Because a man's got to do what a man's got to do! ... and I'm going to do what you tell me to.
Because I'm top dog around here! ... but I've been neutered!

Good comedy always has a kernel of truth.

Finally, stop by our Jennicki's blog and read her Valentine's post. It's a great story, very moving. Also, meet Julianne-she's actually moving to the area and becoming a Mississippi River Rat soon. Stop by her blog and say hello if you're so inclined.

yankeedog out.

11 February 2010

The Bellevue and Cascade

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up the book 'Iowa's Last Narrow Gauge Railroad', which turned out to be a neat 'photo album' about the Bellevue and Cascade branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad.

I grew up about 20 miles southeast of Bellevue, Iowa, and I've driven through most of the places the railroad served in that part of the state-but I didn't know that rail line ever existed. The branch connected the town of Cascade, Iowa with the Milwaukee standard gauge line and the Mississippi River at Bellevue, with intermediate stops in the hamlets of Fillmore, Zwingle, Washington Mills, and La Motte.

Cascade at approximately the turn of the 19th-20th Century.

Bellevue at about the same time. At the center of the photo the B&C line and watertower can just be seen.

The line was built in 1880 as a narrow gauge (3 feet between rails) line. Narrow gauge lines were considered to be easier to engineer (smaller cuts, tunnels, and bridges) and more economical to run than a standard gauge (4 feet 8.1/2 inches) line. And the corridor between Cascade and Bellevue has some rugged terrain to deal with-a lot of hills, gullies, and bluffs typical of the region.

Unfortunately, narrow gauge was found to have some drawbacks (higher wheel loading and difficulty with interchanging with standard gauge, to name two). Freight had to be transferred manually from the Milwaukee standard boxcars to the narrow gauge B&C boxes. Still, Cascade and points east had a rail connection to the national transportation network, and the towns on the line thrived.

In 1880, the 36 mile trip from Cascade to Bellevue could be made in the comfort of a heated passenger coach in 3 hours and 15 minutes-or not quite 12 mph, less since the trains stopped in three towns along the way. I suppose in those days that was a blistering speed, and it does beat walking or getting the team hitched up to a wagon or cutter and riding along the rudimentary roads of the era.

Typical power for the Bellevue and Cascade branch-light narrow gauge steam engines (courtesy Stuart Kurth).

A view of the La Motte depot. Note the watertower and windmill for the pump, and the livestock cars (livestock was a staple freight on the line) on the spur.

The Bellevue and Cascade soldiered through the 1890s, 1900s, 1910s, and 1920s, running two (and sometimes four) mixed passenger/freight trains per day-rain, snow, or shine-hauling the livestock and goods produced by the local farmers, providing access to the wider world for the residents of the area, and bringing in mail and freight from points far and near.

By the 1920s, though, automobiles, trucks, and improved paved roads began to impact the region. US Highway 151 connected Cascade to the bigger city of Dubuque, cutting what was a four hour auto trip to less than an hour. The little railroad couldn't compete with the newer modes of transportation. The 3 hour and 15 minute trip in 1880 still took 3 hours and 15 minutes in 1930. A combination of improved transport, the chronic poor financial condition of the parent Milwaukee Road, and the Great Depression, did the line in, and in 1936 the track was pulled up.

Today it's hard to see exactly where the railroad ran. As I stated earlier, I didn't even know it existed, but the more I've read about the B&C, the more I find it interesting. It was a simpler time back then. Yes, they didn't have a lot of conveniences, instant communication, or advanced medicine in those days. One wonders if their quality of life wasn't better in some ways, though. People were more connected with friends and neighbors back then, it appears. There wasn't the great need to accumulate stuff in the name of a better life. And the arrival of the daily train, with goods for the town's general store, mail and parcels for the residents, and faces from other towns (even if that other town was 5 miles down the tracks), was an event to get excited about.

About 30 years ago, a carpenter from Bellevue built a copy of the B&C's single caboose, which is in use by a tourist railroad in southeast Iowa:

This is a combine/caboose. The conductor would have done his work back here, some baggage and mail could be carried and processed, and even a passenger or two might have caught a ride. Combine cars were prevalent on small railroads and lightly populated branch lines.

Hope y'all enjoyed this bit of local color. Perhaps for some of you, this isn't all that interesting, but I grew up in a railroad family and find short lines and local history fascinating. Small railroads do a lot of work with not a lot of people and they are an integral and vital part of the locales they serve-more so in the days before expressways and the 'Net.

yankeedog out.

08 February 2010

1.5 headaches

This weekend we did our first 'mentoring' at church of our sex offender. Basically, the duty consisted (and consists of) escorting the offender into and out of the building, sitting with him during the service, and generally making he stays where we can see him and ensuring he doesn't go to where the kids are. It went, as things like this go, well. He's a bit of a yakker-admitted to 'being stupid'. Fondling three girls? His statement might make 'Understatement of the Year' for 2010. One thing I've learned in my time on this earth is that everyone has a story. You. Me. Everybody.

He seems willing to play by whatever rules we put out for him. The church has a child protection policy, which no one bothered to contact him and inform him of. The leader of Children's Ministries is supposed to do this. She is a very nice person who frankly couldn't draw up a plan to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We can't drop the ball when dealing with someone like this. Parents there are a bit skittish right now as it is. Can't say as I blame them.

Most of you that come here aren't into organized religion. You're better off. On a personal level, we're chucking or scaling back a lot of activities there this year. It's too much of a drain on time.

I have a headache tonight in the megaton range. Today at work, the fab crew was painting a beam out back. No one bothered to vent the fumes, which permeated the whole plant and the office. Nice job, guys. I don't get the 'high' from paint fumes-just the pounding in the skull. I didn't even get the pleasure of drinking myself to this condition.

Oh, and we're in the beginnings of a snowstorm here. There's supposed to be, according to the forecast this morning, anywhere from 1 to 7 inches of snow. Talk about covering your ass either way. Thanks mightily, Kreskin. The weather people don't want to say 'Looks like about an inch on the way', then 10 inches falls. Far better to predict a Snowpocalypse and get flurries because they'll always come back with 'Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one!'

I'm in the wrong line of work.

Ah, well. Pitchers and catchers report for spring training in a couple of weeks. The new owners of the Cubs have a stated vow to make the Cubs 'a world-class organization'. We'll see.

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey is 'a world-class organization'. It's still a circus, though. I don't think I'll be getting in line for my playoff tickets. And don't get me started on the Bears.

Moving crabbily along...

yankeedog out.

05 February 2010

More deep content

Some more pictures for the weekend:

Now at Wal-Mart-The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon. This exciting thriller is on sale for just $9 to $14, depending on where in the stack you pull the disc!

OK-which one of you did this? Who was in Perth last?

Uhhh...I gotta defer this one to the ladies. So, does vibration enhance the placement of mascara? Huh? Vibration is used for what? Oh, I see (cough). Moving hastily along...

Damn! Might have to rethink screwing around with the Chinese if this is their idea of a manicure set!

Tell ya what, Mr. Lord of the Sith-why don't you clean yourself up, get off yer duff, and find a JOB, already!!!

You too, Cylon!

Aw, now, C'mon, man!!!

Now, Campbell's Microwavable Bowels aren't bad, but I like their Cream of Spleen Soup-good by itself or as a base for a casserole.

In case of nuclear attack, fall to your knees and shout "We finally really did it. You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

The Guantanamo Bay Trampoline Funland.

I have no problem with a woman that has a hearty appetite. But five pounds of bacon?!? Wow!!

The maze of Life-very few options, both going nowhere...

If I also buy a quart of whiskey, would you throw in some onion rings to go with that sandwich?

Cheers, all!

yankeedog out.

02 February 2010

A rant in three acts

Whew! I managed to escape jury duty last week. After several check-ins, I guess everybody decided to use trial by ordeal or military tribunal or some such.

Also, primary election day here in the cash-strapped Land of Lincoln-we're weeding out the candidates for governor, Senator, Representative, and a pile of local offices. I went Republican-I'm center-right in my thinking. But here in Illinois, both parties are corrupt as the day is long so I reckon it doesn't matter who gets the nod. The county I live in is pretty solidly Democratic, to the point where the Republican Party doesn't even run a candidate for many local and state offices. Actually there have been offices that have passed from father to son, so I guess I live in a parliamentary oligarchy or some such. I did get a laugh from the ads of Adam Andrzejewski, gubernatorial candidate. He said 'If I get elected, I'll rule by executive order, bypassing the Legislature.'

Okay, Emperor Palpatine-whatever. Have a seat, champ. And no coffee for you. Coffee is for closers.

I don't know. What I do know is that the State is $9 billion in the hole. We need to figure out how to not hemhorrage jobs and keep the elected officials out of the cookie jar, which is by now empty.

Finally, the cherry on the top of the banana split. Seems my church has a gentleman interested in joining, which would be OK were he not a registered sex offender. We have a child-protection policy in place, which states that should a known offender attend services, he or she requires a 'mentor' (read 'escort') to make sure he stays in the pews and not wander about looking for trouble. This worthy had a problem with fondling little girls. Seems he was let out early because one of the states, Illinois or Iowa, had an early release program since we can't afford to keep them locked away. Nice.

So let me see-there were absolutely no forgers, embezzlers, hackers, or small-timers to be released? We had to release child molesters? Really?!? If Governors Culver or Quinn, the legislators, or the bureaucrat in charge thinks this is a good idea, then Governors Culver or Quinn, the legislators, or the bureaucrat in charge should take this guy in to their home. He can stay with them. Possibly the early release thing would lose its allure were that policy instituted.

At any rate, I was asked-with the strict proviso that it only be twice-if I'd 'mentor' this guy.

Gee, I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. I don't have to forgive the man-if his victims did, that's their business-and if it were up to me, he'd be back in Anamosa or Fort Madison trying to figure out how to avoid being cornholed and/or shanked by the other inmates. I sure as hell have no desire to be his friend.

However, occasionally there do arise tasks that need to be done, no matter how distasteful they are. If he shows up, I'll follow him and play prison guard. Theoretically, we're in the business of giving second chances to those who fell. As a practical matter, he made a lot of people's lives miserable. There are sins, and there are sins-sorry, but that's how it is. A lot of things are forgivable. Preying on the weak, helpless, and kids-that's way low in my book.

Perhaps he'll do us a favor and not show up. Any bigger favor, like his falling in a hole, is probably up to the Almighty.

It's never dull.

yankeedog out.

01 February 2010

A Submarine Tour

This isn't what I was originally going to post about tonight, but I ran across this link to a big pile of pictures. It looks like someone got a tour of a true Cold War icon-a Soviet/Russian Navy Typhoon class nuclear missile submarine! I don't think it's Krasniy Oktyabr', though.

For those of you who remember the Cold War, the Typhoon class, or Akula (shark) class as it was known in Soviet service (and not to be confused with the class codenamed Akula by NATO) was a triple-hulled submarine-two pressure hulls side by side surrounded by the outer hull. It carried 20 ballistic missiles (more than enough to lay waste to any country), torpedoes, cruise missiles, and surface-to-air missiles. They were at one time the most feared weapon system in the Soviet arsenal.

Probably many of you have seen the movie The Hunt For Red October, based on Tom Clancy's book. The Typhoon was shown as a high-tech machine with enough lights and panels to outfit the starship Enterprise-very advanced.

I've toured a real Soviet submarine-an old Juliet class, 484, in Providence, Rhode Island (before the museum owners let the sub founder in a storm-idiots!). I've also been on numerous US fleet subs from the WWII era, many of which were updated and in service into the 1970s. To be honest, I wouldn't have sailed across the Mississippi River in that old Juliet. There was a lot of rough-looking metalwork on that sub, and electronics straight out of the 1940s. The American subs always have a 'finished' look as far as welds, piping, electrics, and overall layout.

As you 'tour' the Typhoon, you'll notice that whoever was on board had access to almost all of the ship except the crew's quarters-and right in the reactor room. You'll probably also note that the people at Paramount used a LOT of artistic license when designing their version of the Soviet submarine, because this ship looks nothing like what they thought it might.

Again, the electronics are simple, robust, and probably equivalent to an American boomer sub of the '40 For Freedom' built in the early 1960s. There are places where the exterior and interior are being attacked by rust and corrosion. The anechoic tile (the linoleum looking 'squares' on the outer hull) has gouges and pieces missing. The crews' head needs a scrub as it looks like something from a student sharehouse. The lathe in the ships' machine shop appears to be well used. Some of the paintwork looks like it was done by a blind man with a rag mop. Note also the exercise room, lounge, and tiny swimming pool.

The boat appears to have some sort of 'caretaker' crew on board him (Russian ships are always referred to in the masculine), but he doesn't appear to be ready to undertake any sort of major sea voyage, and certainly not a combat patrol. A submarine commander in any Western navy wouldn't let his or her vessel deteriorate so in peacetime, especially in port.

All that said, the Typhoon is still an impressive piece of machinery. It is a shame this vessel isn't in better condition. It would be fantastic if one of these giants could be kept as a museum ship. The Soviet Navy sent their crews out in some terrible deathtraps-the early Hotels, Echos, and Novembers weren't called 'Widowmakers' for no reason-but they were some brave men on both sides to go to sea in submarines.

Anyway, you can get to the pictures here:


yankeedog out.