December 22, 2003

You Asked, John of Arghhh! Answers

John has answered ALL of your questions!

Gun porn! Women in combat!

Great interview; read it now!

Why did you decide to blog?

Wonderwife™ who blogs as She Who Will Be Obeyed decreed that it be so. She was tired of having to replace the televisions when I put my foot through the screen, so she's trying to channel my excess energy and bad karma. Plus, with the pussification of the editorial board of the Kansas City Star, my letters to the editor weren't getting published any more. No, I won't accept the suggetion that they weren't worthy!

Who were the first bloggers you read? Did/do they influence you?

Instapundit, Misha, Frank at IMAO, Kim du Toit, Boots and Sabers all pointed out to me by SWWBO. From their blogrolls I started reconning for myself. Like Donnie I drew inspiration from them, as well as lessons like - I'm never going to be that popular. As I've developed my blogvoice, I realize that in order to get and have a large audience, you either have to provide a lot of info, like Reynolds, or be entertaining, like Lileks, Misha, Frank, etc. Misha and Frank use their passion to entertain. I'm more laid back than that, and I'm pretty narrowly focussed on things military and guns and such. Not much at Castle Argghhh! for the ladies, in general, though I have a fair number of fair lady regulars.

What the @#%% kind of concept is gun porn?

Gun Fearing Wussies detest guns. The very concept, much less the thought of someone not in the government actually owning one. And people like Senators Schumer, Clinton, Feinstein,, have, at one time or another, characterized gun owners in terms that match can be used to describe pornographers - though the left seems to like pornographers more than gun owners and makers. I decided to take my ownership out of the closet so to speak and to show people that it's not just nutcases who own a large number of guns, but people who live next door to you.

If "rude trash [is] thrown out unread", how do you know it's rude if you haven't read it?

Um, well, ya got me. I uh, live in a time-warp and I have poor short-term memory. Yeah, that's it! I just know when I look at it the second time that it's bad and so I throw it out... in fact though, I don't attract many trolls and the only rude trash I've gotten has been comment spam, which is easy to pick out from the subjects!

Why did your site make my browser lock up? Was it the dancing Cossack?

Nope. It was the fact that I have waaaaay too many pictures and graphics. My site is not slow-machine nor laptop friendly. Sorry. I work for the government and I'm here to help...

Are different guns better for different climates? That is, is there a "desert" gun, a "tropics" gun, etc?

Well, they all have to be taken care of. Wood stocks don't last well in jungle climates. Better to go with a synthetic stock there. Rule of thumb - the finer the tolerances, the less tolerant your weapon is going to be of rough climates. You can ameliorate the impact of that by cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and using graphite or similar compounds rather than oil as your lubricant. Grease is only for storage! Most of us aren't good enough shots that the finely made weapons make that much of a difference (not true in the hands of experts) and if you are taking a weapon that expensive into the jungle or desert, you either are making a living as a safari hunter or you won the lottery and are now a member of the idle rich. Or you are an idiot. The last two can go together.

How come Cavalry Scouts are so much cooler than Artillery types?

Simple. God had to make up for them being stupid. He knew the rest of us needed 'em to breed like rabbits so there would be enough of them, but he kept 'em stupid so they would do the work and our mind control techniques would work (waving hand) "There's nothing to see here, move along".

How did you get your disability?

By playing soldier. More specifically, handling nukular weapons as a young soldier, and having a very large melon on my shoulders, and being a combat arms soldier. Suffice it to say, my thyroid didn't get along well with fissile material. As for my head, when the Army went to the kevlar helmet, my noggin is sooo huge that I had to have one custom made. The small and medium Fritz helmets weigh less than the steel pot. The large, extra large, and Pumpkin Head (mine) weigh more. A lot more. Spend several years in the desert driving a HMMWV cross-country like a bat out of hell trying not to get run over by Brads and Abrams in zero illum, well, that does a job on your neck and lumbar region. Then there are the large bangs inherent in artillery training and any kind of combat, so there goes your hearing. Then, as Donnie is finding out, falling out of the sky does not do good things to your spine. Then there's the marching... the miles and miles of PT runs, it all adds up. I have three 60 percenters, one 30 percenter, and a 10 percenter, which in VA math adds up to %70. That actually makes sense, since the impacts overlap and are not additive.

How do you get the military information that you post so quickly if you are a civilian?

I'll argue I'm not really a civilian. Technically, I'm in the Retired Reserve, and as a Regular Army retiree, my commission has a slightly different legal status as well. I'm a beltway bandit who does government contract work. I essentially do what I did before I retired, except I don't have to do PT any more and the money is laundered through one more set of hands before it gets to me. Plus, many warriors I worked with, for, and who worked for me still serve, and we are still in communication. The frustrating part of it is that I get lots of info I can't share because of the source - regardless of whether it's classified or not. Which get's me scooped by guys like the Strategy Page or Matt at Blackfive because they aren't "Read On". If you understand that last, you understand. Plus, I don't use anything I get directly as a result of work as a courtesy to my employer and client, and to avoid any conflict of interest that might arise. I still have my sources elsewhere though. As an example for this long-winded answer - the M1 tank that got hit by the mystery round. When I got that info, it was classfied FOUO, For Official Use Only. Little quirk of the system. It's not illegal for you to disclose classified information if you find it legally and you yourself do not have a clearance. But if you have a clearance, even if you get it from an unclassified source, it's illegal to release it. There. Confused?

What was the single worst experience that you ever had in the military?

Killing someone. It was also the best, as it saved a buddie's life.

What was the best?

See above. In the non-combat arena, turning around a hard-case troop into a good troop.

Women in combat? Explain.

That's when you let women fight. I thought that was simple. It has it's good points and bad points. I just point out that no one has made it work well yet, in terms of female combat units. But, as OIF showed, women in the combat zone are going to fight, and in fact have to learn to do so. That still doesn't answer the question of whether they should become significant members of the direct-combat elements. As I said, everybody who has tried it so far has not made it work. I think that's significant. And the Brits and Canadians and Israelis made serious attempts, and the Soviets did too, during WWII. But none of 'em are doing it now.

Would you rather babysit 4 three year olds or face enemy fire?

The enemy. It's legal to hurt 'em.

Have you ever killed an animal with your bare hands?


How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Depends. How big is this sucker? How big is the wood in question? Has he trained for the event, or is he just winging it? What's his motivation level? Has he been under fire for weeks, with poor rations, or is he fresh from boffing Ms. Chuck and feelin' chipper? Are Ms. Chuck and/or his drinking buddies watching, or is he having to do this as punishment from his parents on a hot August afternoon. In the words of HAL, "Insufficient Data for a Meaningful Answer." Did I mention I was a contract analyst working for the government?

You can choose a super power: x-ray vision or the ability to fly. Which do you choose and why?

X-ray vision. Bloggers with Boobies! Silly question. Only a leg ranger would choose fly.

You are marooned on a desert island and need to pick one celebrity to stay with you. (You can not pick Michael Moore for cannibalism purposes.) Who is it and why?

Wonderwife™. All the celebrity I need, and I know I can get along with her and she with me.

Which alcoholic beverage do you bring to the island?

Tequila. What's that dear? Oh, I meant Irish Cream.

Who is the single most influential person in your life?


What is one thing you would like to do/see before you die?

Be the man my wife and puppies think I am. I ain't there yet - but don't tell them.

There, Donnie. I answered ALL the questions!

Posted by Jennifer at December 22, 2003 12:01 AM


You can not pick Michael Moore for cannibalism purposes.

Urrrgh. I'm eating dinner, dammit!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 22, 2003 07:06 AM

Hilarious. I especially appreciate the part about the 3-year-olds, since I have one. ;)

Posted by: Dana at December 22, 2003 07:16 AM

"Bloggers with boobies!" matter how old they get/are, it's still about the boobies. ROTFLMAO!! And what an eloquent term too! :)

Posted by: radtec at December 22, 2003 01:16 PM

The women in combat thing - I would've said it could work if the women were in top physical shape (and by top, I mean as good as the men). But then I saw all the comments from the guys about the Jessica Lynch thing (over at Blackfive) and I realized that the built in mindset that is part of human survival, just simply precludes men and women on the battlefield together.

It reminds me of the arguments about 30 years ago - that babies (boy or girl) are exactly the same and it's the environment that makes boys more aggressive...etc. After raising a girl and boy I can say this is the biggest bunch of BS ever handed out. I believe women on the battlefield falls in that category for the same reason.

Great interview!

Posted by: Teresa at December 22, 2003 03:30 PM

Everything is about the boobies.

No matter what, it's about the boobies.

Posted by: J. Fielek at December 22, 2003 03:34 PM

Radtec... Now you know what Beth's life is like! Not quite 6', but close, and always chasing boobies! I ask ya, aside from seein' yer kid grow up to not be a serial killer or mass murderer, what else in life (for a guy) is bettern' boobies? All sizes, shapes, colors, and 'ahem' flavors.


PumpkinHead (which is nicer than what they called me when I played football...)

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at December 22, 2003 06:19 PM

Um, Pixy, dinner? At 7 in the ayem? You work nights?

(Yes, I'm obsessively checking the comments. I told you I'm insecure - and since that was the first comment, I'm also not terribly observant anymore...)

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at December 22, 2003 06:41 PM

Thanks for this interview. I came across John's site some time ago (I'd blogrolled it a few weeks ago) and he seems like a cool guy. I just recently found out about his injury, though, from the comments discussion at this entry; I was actually just thinking about that earlier today in fact, I think. Thank you for this information, and this great interview. And I hope that you, John, Mrs. Donovan, and your readers have a Merry Christmas.


Posted by: Aakash at December 24, 2003 10:58 PM