September 10th, 2006


Free Day

Went to the Watervliet Arsenal Museum today on the suggestion on Bill (ex-Army artilleryman). It is the oldest, continuously active arsenal in the United States. The museum traced weaponry from the 1600s through modern times - most of it developed there. There were two highlights to this tour. One, was the development of the GBU-28 "bunker buster" used in the first Gulf War which was made out of a surplus of old 8-inch artillery barrels taken from deactivated M110 howitzers - conceived, engineered and built in just 22 days, and the other highlight was one of the employees who took an interest in us (after overhearing Bill giving my boss and I his own tour) and took us off the tour to show us their newly restored belt-driven low-rpm Civil War era machine shop! He turned it on and everything started moving and spinning through a series of cranks, pulleys and gears. Everything was oiled and working. It was fascinating. He stamped our leather wallets with the official Civil War 'Watervliet Arsenal' stamp of that era. What a great tour! It also dawned on me that this was the first time I'd been anywhere where the civil war was from the Union perspective. Being from Texas, I'd only ever visited Confederate sites. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably should NOT have worn my 'General Lee' shirt to this event. Live and learn. I took a ton of pictures, but I offer you this, thanks to photogoot's recent successes, a macro of a gravity-fed oiler circa 1860:

If we were going to see what Albany had to offer today, I wanted to see the USS Slater, the only memorial/museum Destroyer Escort ship still afloat. My first ship was the USS Alabama. Later, I was onboard six aircraft carriers currently serving (and I saw the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor). This would be the smallest military ship I've toured. I was planning on just poking around and taking some snaps, but we were rushed over to a tour group just starting, and instead received a wonderful guided tour from a man who had served aboard a DE during WWII. You couldn't ask for a better guide:

That collage everyone is doing. What's with all the porn? I laughed heartily at all the cocks that showed up on my friend's page - and luckily I had none of that - but I did an extensive collection, women. Which is pretty funny, because I'm pretty boring and don't have a lot of interests. All I'm going to say here, is click at your own risk. You've been warned!

Yanked from Everyone on my friends page:

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