Friday, July 14, 2006

Texas Links and Miscellany

Taking a breather from my series of security stuff.

Here is a linkage path I recently went down while surfing the net before Meerkat Manor came on...

So I was thinking about how I used to run cross-country in high-school and how I probably couldn't make it more than a mile before my entire body shut down in protest. Then I came across this link: The Couch-to-5K Running Plan. A wonderfully attainable plan to go from zero to 3-miles in just two months of training. Now if I could just surf the net while I ran--Motoko style, I'd be set.

Since I was thinking athletics. I haven't mentioned World Cup 2006. I was disappointed to see Germany and Brazil get knocked out. Then again, watching France's Zinedine Zidane try to knock out Italy's Marco Materazzi certainly was surprising. I actually enjoyed the final and as an American, don't really mind games ending in a penalty kickoff. Seems very Clint Eastwood, American Western to me. For wonderful amusement, I offer you the following video: Zidane World Cup Headbutt Animation Festival. This is great stuff.

I then stumbled across a web link to NavSource Naval History: Photographic History Of The U.S. Navy. It's got pictures of almost every US Naval vessel ever commissioned. Really great stuff.

That led me to look for vessels named after Texas. Turns out there were several:

Second Class Battleship Texas (Fate: Sunk as target off Maryland by US Navy in 1911.)
New York Class Battleship Texas (BB-35) (Fate: Memorial in our back-yard in La Porte, Texas.)
Destroyer Leader DLGN/CGN-39 TEXAS (Fate: Disposed and hulk recycled in 2001.)
Virginia Class Submarine SSN-775 Texas (In active service.)

The USS Texas's webpage.

I used to build model-kits as a kid and I remember building one of a battleship with Dad in particular. I don't remember which one it was, maybe the Bismark? I've kept an eye out over the years hoping to find a local kit of the USS Texas but never have found one. I have found some nice ones on the net:

A nice hand-built one on the net.
USS Texas BB35 1/350 scale full-hull kit
Samek’s 1:700th USS Texas (waterline kit)

And then all this reminiscing on the Texas stirred loose a bit of sci-fi reading from my high-school years. While working at our city library back in my youth, I came across a paperback titled "The Ayes of Texas." I hadn't thought about that book until just now. It was actually the first in the Republic of Texas trilogy by Daniel da Cruz. Somehow world events conspire Texas to declare her independence (again), fight the Russians who are invading the US and re-fit the hulk of our locally beloved USS Texas (BB-35) into a high-tech ass-kicking machine again. It's kinda dated now, but at the time it stirred this young Texan's heartstrings something special.

Wonder if local sci-fi reading fan Jim Thompson ever heard of it?

Wrapping up the night in a WWII machine mode, I came across the history of The Lost Bomber. In 1956, a B-25 bomber crashed into the Monongahela river near Homestead, Pennsylvania.

Funny thing is, even though they knew where it crashed, it hasn't been found since.

See you in the skies,
--Claus

3 comments:

Jim Thompson said...

I have heard of The Ayes of Texas, Claus, but I have never read it, and I didn't know it was part of a trilogy. I'd like to read it, but this exposes one of the problems of my reading plan: I don't have a lot of time for books that haven't won a major award.

Claus said...

I'd have to honestly say that you aren't missing much if it's not in your list. It's one of those things that is a fun element if you are a Texan and like Sci-Fi, but only from that local perspective.

It isn't earth-shattering material. I haven't seen a copy in print for ages. Maybe at an old paper-book reseller store you might come across a copy or in a library book-sale.

I used to be an avid hard-copy reader (fiction/sci-fi/mystery/non-fiction (mostly history)) but family, work and the blasted Internet seem to be robbing me of time needed. Heck, I have a number of manga titles I have on my shelf I haven't had time to digest yet--that's really sad when you don't even have time for comics...

Jim Thompson said...

"I used to be an avid hard-copy reader (fiction/sci-fi/mystery/non-fiction (mostly history)) but family, work and the blasted Internet seem to be robbing me of time needed."

That pretty well describes me. That's why the Plan - to force me to think about reading, to set aside time to read.