Wednesday, 23 May 2012

By on May 23rd, 2012 in personal

07:35 – After having two months’ worth of rain a week ago, we had another month’s worth of rain last night. That’s a total of about 9.5 inches (24 cm) in one week. The reservoirs should be bursting at the seams by now.

I was talking with our neighbor Heather yesterday. Their son, Brian, is 17, and had been planning to join the Navy after he graduates from high school this month. Heather mentioned that he was instead going to join the Air Force. When I asked why, she said Brian had found out how small the berths are on Navy ships. Brian is taller than I am and weighs probably 260 pounds (118 kilos).

I said something about Brian not being destined to become a fighter pilot. When Heather asked why, I said that I suspected the Air Force still had size limitations for fighter pilots because fighter cockpits aren’t large enough for really big guys. My dad encountered that when he joined the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor. He’d wanted to train to fly P-47s or P-38s, but my dad was 6’1″ tall and the limit then for fighter pilots was 5’10”.

49 Comments and discussion on "Wednesday, 23 May 2012"

  1. Miles_Teg says:

    RBT wrote:

    “I was talking with our neighbor Heather yesterday. Their son, Brian, is 17, and had been planning to join the Navy after he graduates from high school this month. Heather mentioned that he was instead going to join the Air Force. When I asked why, she said Brian had found out how small the berths are on Navy ships. Brian is taller than I am and weighs probably 260 pounds (118 kilos).”

    I’ve read about showers on board ship, you aren’t given much water. A normal (“Hollywood”) shower is a luxury given for good performance.

  2. DadCooks says:

    As a Veteran of the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Service (Nuclear EM1 SS) (Vietnam Era) I am greatly biased towards the Navy. A person of Brian’s size is going to have very limited prospects in the Air Force, for a number of reasons. What really matters is training, and the Navy has the absolute best. The only berths that would not fit Brian are on submarines, but he would also find getting through the hatch a challenge.

    Anyone thinking of joining the Service should be very wary of the the line that the Recruiters spill. If you do not get all their promises in writing, you will end up being whatever “they” want you to be, not what you thought you would be.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Thanks. I’ll mention that to Heather and Brian. I know he originally choose Navy because of the training programs. Knowing Brian, I suspect he might make a career of it.

  4. MrAtoz says:

    I’m an Army Vet, my brother Navy. Even though I’m biased to the Army, the Navy and Air Force have the best technical schooling. Usually, when you “join” you are enlisting, so you won’t be a pilot, but could be an equipment operator or crew chief on aircraft. My originally intent was to enlist in the Navy and get into the nuclear engineering program. Alas, the Army charmed me away with helicopters. They even paid for my Masters in ORSA.

  5. ech says:

    Pilots in the Navy, Marines, and Air Force are all officers from what I have seen. There are warrant officer positions in the Army for helicopter pilots, however. For pilots, 6’5″ is the max height, but “sitting height” has to be between 33-40 inches.

    My wife has several nephews in the Navy. One is a senior chief petty officer in the nuclear program. He’s on the Enterprise right now, but has been on shore quite a bit as an instructor. Another is a damage control P.O. (i.e. firefighter), and has done stints on ship, ashore, as a trainer for reservists, etc. He just got transferred from Hawaii to Alaska. All have been well treated by the Navy over the years. Both can expect to have good job prospects when they retire – nuclear operators and firefighters trained in hazmat fire control are in demand.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Brian is taller than me. I’m guessing 6’6″, and he’s built like an NFL defensive tackle.

    He’s going straight into the Navy (or Air Force) because he’s a patriotic kid, enjoys working with his hands, and isn’t really interested in college right now. I suspect he’ll make a career of the service. He’s a reasonably bright kid, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get his college degree and end up in officer training once he gets a few more years on him.

    I think he’s made a good decision. If he went to college, he’d probably end up four years from now with a four-year college football career, a useless degree, and be unemployed.

  7. Ray Thompson says:

    If he gets the degree he needs to serve his commitment and then get out. Promises made at the start of a career are being eroded by congress every day. At the end of 20 years you may not be left with much. Best to get out, get a job, and join the reserves. You can still retire from the service but you will have worked for many years establishing substantially more income.

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    Pakistan just threw someone in the slammer for 33 years for helping the US find OBL:

  9. BGrigg says:

    How much more proof does the US need before deciding that Pakistan is NOT an ally, and never was?

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    No islamic nation is anything other than an enemy, not just of the US but of civilization.

  11. Lynn McGuire says:

    My 6’2″ uncle was a Navy A4 ( ) pilot during Vietnam (the early years). He was OK in the cockpit with the height but he had to twist sideways to get his shoulders through. He decided early on to never eject since he figured that his shoulders would be ripped off by the cockpit as the chair rocket motors went off.

    He got the Navy flying cross medal for trying to protect his wingman in a rubber raft in Hanoi harbor. His wingman was shot down on their 100th or so mission by an SA8 missile in the hills overlooking Hanoi. My uncle said it looked like a telephone pole going past his wing. The missile got his wingman instead. He tankered three times over Hanoi harber trying to get a helicopter in to rescue his wingman, shooting one 20 mm round as the VC ships tried to get close to his wingman. Unfortunately it got dark and he had to leave. I think his wingman spent 6 years in the Hanoi Hilton.

    BTW, back in those days, Navy pilots had to go through Marine Corps boot camp. My uncle still hates his DI and it has been 49 years. He made them run through the surf at Homestead? for miles on end.

  12. Chad says:

    I spent 4 years in the USAF in the 1990s.

    There is a general restriction that pilots have a standing height of 64 to 77 inches and a sitting height of 34 to 40 inches. Of course, you must also pass a Class 1 Flight Physical.

    As for what you get to fly, that comes down to a lot of factors. Obviously, USAF Academy graduates who graduate at the top of their class in UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) get their choice of airframes. The prestigious military academies product most of the pilots that fly what the average joe would consider a “really cool airplane.” The rest comes down to how well you do in training, how well you body tolerates high G forces, hand eye coordination, USAF needs, and so on. By the time you make Colonel you might be qualified on a half dozen or more airframes (plus whatever you toy with in your private life).

    Flying an F-22 is cool enough and having some kills under your belt is even cooler, but it’s the C-5 pilot that’s sleeping off his night of debauchery in the aircraft’s bunk room. 🙂 Fighters have limited range and are expensive to maintain that means a LOT of “flying around the flagpole” and taking off and landing on the same runway. The airlift pilots are the ones that get to “see the world.” Personally, for “combat glory”, I’d rather be a B-52 pilot than a fighter jock. 🙂

    I tell people enlisting to go USAF, USN, or USCG. Anything else (inter-branch rivalries and unit pride aside) is going to suck. I’ve met a lot of USMC and Army enlistees and get them alone and “off record” and most will tell you they wish they had joined the USAF or USN.

  13. Miles_Teg says:

    Chad wrote:

    “Personally, for “combat glory”, I’d rather be a B-52 pilot than a fighter jock. :)”

    Like Major Kong in Dr Strangelove? 🙂

  14. MrAtoz says:

    My one, and only, Air Force joke:

    Bomber pilot: Ah, I had a great flight over to England. Had a couple of yards and got to sleep in the crew bunk on the way back. What’d you do?

    Fighter pilot: We had and hour of range and air-to-air training. Man, I pulled a lot of G’s.

    Bomber pilot: Ha, you fighter pilots all get hemorrhoids from the G’s!

    Fighter pilot: Yep, but you bomber pilots are all perfect assholes!


    Not that funny.

    GO ARMY!!!

  15. BGrigg says:

    A friend who did two tours as ground crew with the RAF provided this rational:

    In the Army, the officers send the enlisted men off to do battle and perhaps die.

    In the Navy, the officers and the enlisted men go off to do battle and perhaps die.

    In the Air Force, the enlisted men send the officers off to do battle and perhaps die.

    He was happy to be an enlisted man in the RAF!

  16. OFD says:

    I was both AF and Army; uncle was Navy; dad was Coast Guard; maternal grandpa was Navy; paternal grandpa was Army. Mrs. OFD’s late dad was Navy; uncle in the Marines; cousin was Army Ranger, and son’s SIL was Marines.

    I agree with what Ray said above; and would only add that once you are in, you are the de facto property, no more, no less, of the State, and I recommend reading Randall Jarrell’s “Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”, anything by Paul Fussell on both world wars, and I have a nice list of other stuff to read as well. Even if you get something in writing at the recruiting station, it won’t mean jackshit out in the jungle or desert; you are first, last and always a fucking grunt rifleman. Or you are a REMF. And nothing against REMFs; they hack a mission, too.

    Also, when you get out, hopefully in one piece, and of sound mind as well, your service also won’t mean squat to most people. Get that out of your head right now. And least of all to the VA or the State; you ain’t a warm body toting a rifle anymore, bud.

    Also agree with RBT’s take on Islam; it is an enemy slavery-and-death cult, and an enemy to civilization and humanity, no matter what our various lords temporal, media nitwits and academic ass-hats tend to bloviate about it.

  17. OFD says:

    The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

    From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
    And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
    Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
    I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
    When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

  18. Rod Schaffter says:

    Hi Bob,

    I spent a night on the heavy cruiser USS Salem last year with the Scouts, and I was quite comfortable in the late 1940 era bunks; I’m 6’4″ and weigh 195. However, all of the lights were 6′ off the floor, and the tops of the hatchways were about 6’2″so I had to be careful. I don’t know if modern vessels are more spacious or not; you might ask Dr. Pournelle, as his son was serving as a First Officer…

    Rod Schaffter

  19. Miles_Teg says:

    Rod wrote:

    “However, all of the lights were 6′ off the floor, and the tops of the hatchways were about 6’2″so I had to be careful. I don’t know if modern vessels are more spacious or not…”

    Sounds like my house, built in 1977/78. I can touch the ceiling in bare feet without going on tip toes, and I walk in to light fixtures often enough (after living in the place for 27 years) that I’m thinking of having *all* the lights with flush mounted ones.

  20. Miles_Teg says:

    *lights with flush mounted

    lights replaced with flush mounted

  21. OFD says:

    If and when we ever build our own place someday, my first priority (I am 6’5″ and now approaching 265, all solid Herculean muscle, ripped like a mofo, with six-pack abs…and if U believe that shit I can sell U a lot more!), anyway, first order of biz is to build up the counters to MY specs, likewise sinks, tables, shelving, mirrors, etc. Lights and chandelier-type shit will be out of the way or not in the place at all. Chairs will have to be pretty solid, and we already got us a king-size bed (Mrs. OFD is 5’10” and around 170, a dwarf).

    Life has sucked for so long for us tall people, between the damn countertops, bus and train and plane seats, bathroom mirrors to shave by, assuming we want to shave our chests, etc., etc.

    And short people suck.

  22. Robert Alvarez says:

    “Short people got no reason to live” – Randy Newman

  23. Don Armstrong says:

    “And short people suck.”

    Well, they ought to get good at it. They’re about the right height to get plenty of practice.

  24. Don Armstrong says:

    On the subject of the service’s training, I can’t imagine the USAF has any basically different requirements than the RAAF. Any time I ran courses for our Air Force guys, I was massively impressed with their quality, and the quality of the grounding and prior training they had. There weren’t any square pegs in round holes either – all the guys who came to my courses had aptitude as well, although I guess their prior training would have sifted them for that.

    There’s a lot more to do in the Air Force than pilot aircraft, but if he goes for that, he ought to also consider that when he gets out, opportunities for civilian pilots are a lot sparser and less well-paid than they used to be.

  25. SteveF says:

    “And short people suck.”

    Well, they ought to get good at it. They’re about the right height to get plenty of practice.

    Huh. The conversation went down(hill), and I didn’t do it. I approve!

  26. Miles_Teg says:

    I don’t get it… 🙁

  27. OFD says:

    Yeah, I went into the AF hoping for Air Intelligence and a year-long tech school at Lowry in Colorado, but they took one look at me and stuck me in Air Police, soon to be Security Police, and I guess now they call it the Security Forces or something. Not the police gig like you see back here or on bases with the guys wearing white gloves and directing traffic, either. More like guarding aircraft, air base defense, etc., what was then called ‘the infantry of the Air Force.’ And during alerts, training, attacks, etc., we had Security Police Augmentees, drawn from the ranks of cooks and truck drivers and the medics. We took care of them boyz during such times and the rest of the time they took care of us. Medics faked our pee tests for us and the cooks gave us the run of the chow halls.

    I also joined the AF to get the high-tech training, avoid ‘Nam and hang out in Europe with the German girls, drink beer outta them long steins, have a ball. None of them things happened. My other motivation was for the GI Bill and college but we covered that depressing story earlier here.

    In any case, I cannot now recommend a hitch in the military services for young people of the type RBT described above; that young man deserves better, sounds like. Never has it been more evident that you will be used for worthless cannon fodder no matter what your trained specialty. And when you come back all fucked up, you will be ignored and blown off when you are not being treated like shit.

    That is all.

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, but in this economy he’s not going to find better. As far as young people are concerned, including college graduates other than those with useful majors, this might as well be the Great Depression.

  29. Miles_Teg says:

    You mean you didn’t get into CS Draper’s lab to do a PhD in physics? Tsk tsk.

  30. Dave Browning says:

    In any case, I cannot now recommend a hitch in the military services for young people of the type RBT described above; that young man deserves better, sounds like. Never has it been more evident that you will be used for worthless cannon fodder no matter what your trained specialty. And when you come back all fucked up, you will be ignored and blown off when you are not being treated like shit.

    Yes, but at least he won’t have $100,000 in student loan debt that will stay with him until he dies.

  31. OFD says:

    I hear all that, and duly noted, but being alive and in one piece, in my view beats the alternative all to hell. Here in Vermont we have young people facing this kind of choice and even the ones who go the Guard and Reserve routes are mos def liable to be activated and sent to the Sandbox for multiple tours.

  32. Ray Thompson says:

    Life has sucked for so long for us tall people,

    You would absolutely hate London. That place was designed for midgets. I am not exceptionally large but even I was cramped, especially in that damned torture chamber they call the “tube”. One hotel we stayed had a very small bathroom. To rinse your mouth out and discharge the water into the sink required that you open the door so your butt could stick out and your face reach the sink. Not a pretty picture or sight. My wife on the other hand felt quite comfortable with the smaller spaces.

    In any case, I cannot now recommend a hitch in the military services for young people of the type RBT described above

    I would disagree. For many young people spending 4 years in the military allows them to grown up and decide what they really want to do with their life. Better than spending 4 years drunk through college racking up debts.

    The trick is to pick a career in the military that does not involve danger, some support role dealing with technology. I maxed out the proficiency tests, at least for the Oregon recruiting units, when I took the tests. I had my choice of jobs. Took the first opening they USAF had and then took a bypass test to get into the field I wanted and avoid technical schools. Went straight to OJT instead.

    I re-enlisted after 2.5 years so I could get the $10K bonus that was offered for my skill set. That and the additional $75 a month for people beyond their first enlistment because of needing to keep people in my skill set. The bonus was going to be phased out so re-enlisting was the correct choice. At 6.5 years I re-enlisted again. That was a mistake. That took me to 10.5 years where I got out and returned to normal life.

    I realized that I needed to depart when I reached 8 years. Promises had been made that were not kept. Through some unfortunate incidents I found that rank outweighs truth. Colonels can lie through their teeth and their version of incidents is considered true even though it is the opposite of 12 other individuals that just happened to be enlisted.

    Promises of lifetime medical care for retirees and spouses has long since been trashed by congress (even though congress votes their own plan). You now have copays. You are also no longer allowed to make any appointments and just have to show up on standby. You may see a Dr., you may not. If it is an emergency you have to use a civilian facility, pay some money with the military maybe picking up part of the tab, but not all.

    You can still use the commissary or PX. But local food stores beat the commissary prices and have better products with better selection. PX only saves you taxes and you can beat the PX prices on the WEB. So I don’t count those as benefits.

    Best in my opinion is to spend 4 years or your commitment whichever is shorter. Get as much free education as you can from the military. When you get out you are older, wiser, hopefully have some education, and most importantly to employers, you have a skill set. Then take advantage of any free education plans available through the VA. Running a LOX cart or being a clerk at passenger services, motor pool car jockey or admin clerk should not be a career choice in the military. That is like getting a masters in liberal arts. You ain’t employable.

    The navy has a damn good nuclear program. Get through that program and get some experience and nuclear facilities will be begging you to work for them.

    And one last piece of advise. When you get out if you have any problems, no matter how trivial, have them documented. And get copies of the documentation to take with you. Some critical military records that would enable benefits have a habit of getting lost in fires or misplaced. Those documents will be mandatory when later in life it is necessary to apply for VA benefits.

  33. Lynn McGuire says:

    My son joined the USMC in 2005 after three years at Texas A&M. He just could not settle down. Boot Camp fixed that issue somewhat. He now understands what is important and that blue collar jobs suck. Filling sandbags and digging ditches suck bad. Marines always need more sandbags and a bored marine is very dangerous.

    He was based at 29 Palms (the marines call it 29 stumps) and could not tell when he got up in the morning if he was in California or Iraq. He did two tours of duty in Iraq (was part of Bush’s surge !) and feels that he made a difference there even though he was a lowly grunt. He actually likes the Iraqi people and think that they are just like everyone else – want everyone to leave them alone so they can live their lives.

    He left 4 of his buddies in Iraq. One of his buddies will live near the burn unit in San Antonio for the rest of his life as he only has 5 fingers left on his two hands and those do not work very well at all. However, his battalion for his first trip took 1,400 men. His second trip had ZERO casualties. They don’t talk about that in the media.

    As mentioned before, he is now completing his Chemistry and Physics degree on the GI Bill. Mom and dad are helping a little but not much. He has a new house that he bought with his combat pay (there is no place in Iraq to spend your combat pay as roasted chickens, much better than MREs for 6-8 weeks are $1).

    Have ya’ll realized that we cycled over one million service people through Iraq? We have the most experienced military in the world, bar none. Think about that for a while. Anyone else on this planet wets their pants thinking about going up against us. There is nothing worse than a soldier who has fought before and is willing to fight again to protect their buddies.

  34. Lynn McGuire says:

    I forgot to mention that he was offered $85K to reup in 2008. Tax free as he was in Iraq at the time. They do not offer that anymore with the recession. He got out as a Corporal in the Marine Infantry. The Army also offered him a job as a infantry sergeant but he turned that down also.

  35. Miles_Teg says:

    Mind if I ask what a sergeant gets in the Army/Marines? And what’s a MRE?

  36. eristicist says:

    MRE is a meal ready to eat: a prepared field ration in a packet.

  37. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    And what’s a MRE?

    Three lies in one.

    Meals Rejected by Ethiopians

    Mr. E

    Materials Resembling Edibles

    And so on. They really are pretty bad. I ate part of one, once. As far as I’m concerned rations went downhill when they stopped including cigarettes in them. And I wonder if they still include condoms. A lot of guys of my dad’s and my generations used them in every war from WWII through Viet Nam to cover the muzzles of their rifles.

  38. Dave Browning says:

    MRE = Meal Ready To Eat

    Although my understanding is that only a few of the meals are actually barely edibile. Others Colin wouldn’t eat.

  39. Lynn McGuire says:

    A sergeant in the Marine Corps makes $1,550/month. My son is getting that while he is in school as a living allowance. Unless they are auditing him. That does not include any housing allowance for married soldiers nor does it include combat pay (about 1.5X their base pay). A lot of the guys who are married need the combat pay to pay for basic needs of their families and will volunteer to go on combat duty. That is why we now have many marines who have made 5+ trips to Iraq/etc. About 1/4 of the Marine Corps is based in California which is doggone expensive. Even if you are in 29 stumps which is 30 miles north of Palm Springs.

    He brought a couple of cases of MREs back with him. The Marines charged him $120/month for meals and housing. The meals included all the MREs he could eat or the base cafeteria if there was one. We actually have bases in Iraq that have an Arbys,
    Subway and KFCs on them (10,000+ men).

    Today’s MREs are not bad. I have eaten a couple of his for grins. They are about 2500 calories and have a main meal, an apple sauce or equivalent, crackers and peanut butter and some kind of candy. Each MRE has a chemical heater for your main meal plus has utensils and a little bitty bottle of Tabasco sauce.

  40. OFD says:

    I just posted a response and then got bounced off, maybe my language was too salty…

  41. OFD says:

    Let me try again: I agree with Ray’s suggestion to a point and only add that it’s increasingly damned difficult to customize a nice career/training plan for yourself in today’s military services, and that no matter WHAT your damn specialty is, you are State property and totally subject to what the State decides to do with your sorry ass. That can certainly include sending a nuclear medicine technician/guru with mega-bonuses every year straight to whatever the current meat-grinder is in the world. Maybe they just need his or her ass toting a rifle on convoy security. Maybe a captain is pissed off at them for something. But they can go wherever in a nanosecond. This has been true for the ages of Man.

    And yes, vital records that pertain after your time in service to benefits for YOU have a nasty little habit of disappearing, being “misplaced” or lost, and going up in smoke. And the fuckers will stonewall you every inch of the way, even if you are missing limbs, suffering from burns and your brain is rattling around in your IED-rocked skull.

    And there have been no wars of ours worth fighting since that one in 1812. Sure, soldiers will fight and die to protect their buddies, and the rat bastard fuckers who run the wars take maximum advantage of that and have done so for ten-thousand years at least; old men lie and young men die (and now women, too), except that now old men die, also; saw that a dude older than me had gotten waxed a couple years ago; that’s really nice; grandfathers getting smoked over in the worthless fucking Sandbox.

    Do I sound bitter?

    “These fought, in any case,
    and some believing, pro domo, in any case ..

    Some quick to arm,
    some for adventure,
    some from fear of weakness,
    some from fear of censure,
    some for love of slaughter, in imagination,
    learning later …

    some in fear, learning love of slaughter;
    Died some pro patria, non dulce non et decor” ..

    walked eye-deep in hell
    believing in old men’s lies, then unbelieving
    came home, home to a lie,
    home to many deceits,
    home to old lies and new infamy;

    usury age-old and age-thick
    and liars in public places.

    Daring as never before, wastage as never before.
    Young blood and high blood,
    Fair cheeks, and fine bodies;

    fortitude as never before

    frankness as never before,
    disillusions as never told in the old days,
    hysterias, trench confessions,
    laughter out of dead bellies.


    There died a myriad,
    And of the best, among them,
    For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
    For a botched civilization.

    Charm, smiling at the good mouth,
    Quick eyes gone under earth’s lid,

    For two gross of broken statues,
    For a few thousand battered books.”

    As for MREs, the spec ops boyz keep Tabasco with them all the time and will even splash it on ice cream. Old buggers like me prefer Frank’s Hot Sauce, for the brighter and more tomatoey flavors.

  42. Miles_Teg says:

    Dave Browning wrote:

    “Although my understanding is that only a few of the meals are actually barely edibile. Others Colin wouldn’t eat.”

    I was thinking of the D-ration, a WWII chocolate bar with the following requirements specified:

    Weigh 4 ounces (112 g)
    Be high in food energy value
    Be able to withstand high temperatures
    Taste “a little better than a boiled potato”

  43. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Taste “a little better than a boiled potato”

    I believe that part of the requirement was to ensure that soldiers wouldn’t eat the things until there was no other option.

  44. OFD says:

    We had C-rats, and the worst was the ham or spam or whatever it was, just a pink blob loaded with salt. Best was the fruit cocktail. But I mainly ate off the local economy during my tours of Uncle’s wonderful tropical vacation lands. Healthier, tastier and much cheaper. And served up by svelte Asian women. Sometimes. Who in Laos and Cambodia affected to be pleased by my piss-poor middle-school French.

  45. Miles_Teg says:

    I used to have a Laotian boss and he’d show snaps of his female compatriots. Just… beautiful.

    Yes, people like it when visitors at least try to use the native language. I got a very nice smile from a female hotel desk clerk in 1990 in Biarritz, France, just for saying “merci beaucoup’.

  46. OFD says:

    Most of my fellow GIs had no use for, nor interest in, the local languages and cultures, and preferred to talk real loud, and otherwise act the part of the infamous Ugly American. Loud, aggressive, often hostile and obnoxious. They were tolerated for the money they spent. I went to language schools and made every attempt to speak the language with local people and was treated like a prince among men. To this day I try what French I can still muster across the border to our north and atrocious as it is, the locals are still pleased as punch that I try. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar…

    …and our current spec ops troops in overseas theaters know this well.

  47. Miles_Teg says:

    They speak French in Quebec? I’ve heard that even the French French laugh at it.

  48. OFD says:

    Yeah, they do. One of our regular vendors who leads a team which takes care of our CentOS clusters is from France and he finds the Quebecois version laughable. And the Maritime Canadians really don’t like the buggers; they refer to them as ‘pepsis.’

    Right now they have hundreds of thousands of students protesting a roughly $300 rise in their annual tuition, which is already the lowest in Canada. And naturally, the Canadian authorities are slamming the hammers down on them, they who despise our boorish and brutish behavior down here.

  49. BGrigg says:

    Hardly hammers, sadly.

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