Monday, July 26, 2010

more on moths

Well, I spoke too soon. Checking the traps found good numbers (like 10) in both the spare bedrom and wife's sewing room. Which would let me blame her, except I then turned up some in the basement. Thankfully not in the actual collection room, so far.

At this point if it were possible I would bomb the house, but for various reasons I don't really have a place to relocate for a few days and with a small dog you have to be very careful.

So, more pheremone traps everywhere. Try and vacuum as much as possible (this really does help) and I may have to get some DDVP (no pest strips). These slowly give off a toxic gas that sinks to the ground (where moths love to be) and kilsl them The downside is that there is a potential of them causing cancer. Which is why they should only be used in places people don't hang around a lot. Like a sealed basement collection room.

I use them in a large sealed container to fumigate all the wool that enters my collection (is some weird old NASA airtight container I found years ago). But I think now I need to be a bit proactive.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An infestation

Well, it's a moth infestation.

Luckily nothing has shown up on the traps ine the basement where most fo the old wool is. And only one on teh 1st floor (right by the stairway), but 7 male moths on the 2nd floor.

So I am now moving the traps between all the 2nd floor rooms with the doors shut to see if one seems to have a greater number than the rest.

Then I have to figure out the life cycle of the clothing moth so as to make sure I try and nail all the next batch of males before they fertilize the females.

There is somethign to be said for collecting modern stuff- moths do not eat cotton or nylon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

damn politics

Korean War Battalion Awaits MIA Decision
July 19, 2010
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- Trapped by two Chinese divisions, troops of the 8th U.S. Cavalry Regiment were left to die in far northern Korea, abandoned by the U.S. command in a Korean War episode viewed as one of the most troubling in American military history.
Sixty years later, those fallen Soldiers, the lost battalion of Unsan, are stranded anew.

North Korea is offering fresh clues to their remains. American teams are ready to re-enter the north to dig for them. But for five years, the U.S. government has refused to work with North Korea to recover the men of Unsan and others among more than 8,000 U.S. missing in action from the 1950-53 war.

Now, under pressure from MIA family groups, the Obama administration is said to be moving slowly to reverse the Bush administration's suspension of the joint recovery program, a step taken in 2005 as the North Korean nuclear crisis dragged on.

"If I had a direct line in to the president, I would say, `Please reinstitute this program. There are families that need closure,' " said Ruth Davis, 61, of Palestine, Texas, whose uncle, Sgt. 1st Class Benny Don Rogers, has been listed as MIA since Chinese attackers overran his company -- I Company, 8th Cavalry -- at Unsan in late 1950.
It was one of Rogers' I Company comrades, Pfc. Philip W. Ackley of Hillsboro, N.H., whose identifying dog tag appeared in a photo the North Koreans handed over at Korea's Panmunjom truce village in January of this 60th year since the war started. The North Koreans also delivered photos of remains, a stark reminder that Unsan's dead still wait to come home.
The U.S. "has developed the humanitarian issue into a political problem," complained a North Korean statement urging resumption of the MIA search project, which earned hard currency for the Pyongyang government.

The devastating losses at Unsan, in early November 1950, came as China intervened to fend off a final North Korean defeat. In a last letter home, dated Oct. 30, Rogers told his parents, "It is a lot better over here, but it's not over yet."
The U.S. command had ignored intelligence reports that China's army was moving south, and Rogers and the 8th Cavalry had been sent too far north, just 80 kilometers (50 miles) from China, where they stumbled into a closing enemy vise.

Higher headquarters rejected requests for a pullback, then refused to send artillery forward to support a rescue effort. Finally, it ordered the rescue force withdrawn.
Two of the 8th Cavalry's three battalions managed to escape, with heavy losses. But only small bands from the five companies of the doomed 3rd Battalion made it out as waves of Chinese infantry attacked their 200-meter-wide (200-yard-wide) defense perimeter.
The 8th Cavalry's abandonment at Unsan became an infamous chapter in Army annals -- "one of the most shameful and little-known incidents in U.S. military history," wrote Korean War historian Jack J. Gifford.

Some 600 of the 3rd Battalion's 800 men were lost, about half believed killed and half captured, many of whom died in Chinese-run prison camps.

The U.S. and North Korea established the MIA search in 1996 after lengthy negotiations. Over nine years, working across North Korea, the joint teams recovered 229 sets of remains believed to be those of Americans, including 14 subsequently identified as 3rd Battalion men.
But an estimated 260 U.S. dead are still unaccounted for at Unsan, among almost 4,600 U.S. MIAs in North Korea, the Pentagon's Defense POW/MIA Office says. When then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld suspended the program in 2005, officials cited what they said were concerns about the security of American personnel working on the territory of a longtime U.S. adversary.

Richard Lawless, the former Pentagon official who recommended the move, defends it today, telling The Associated Press it was a "prudent decision" because the U.S. field teams "were potential high-value hostages as the North Korean nuclear crisis deepened."
The MIA support groups rejected that rationale, saying they suspected President George W. Bush's administration instead wanted to break the lone working link with North Korea and pressure Pyongyang in the nuclear showdown.

"This safety aspect from the Pentagon sounds like so much hogwash," said former 3rd Battalion sergeant Robert J. Earl, 82, of Federal Way, Wash. Earl was not at Unsan, having been wounded earlier, and for years he has sought information on his 8th Cavalry mortar platoon, all of whom may have perished.

Stepping up their lobbying in Washington last year, the MIA families appear to have made headway with the new administration.

"I'm in touch with everyone there, and they all support restoring the program," said Frank Metersky, 77, a Marine veteran of the war and longtime MIA campaigner.

Larry Greer, spokesman for the Defense POW/MIA Office, said officials are "evaluating" a possible resumption. Other administration officials have pointedly referred to the recovery program as a humanitarian mission unrelated to political considerations. But the recent furor over North Korea's alleged torpedoing of a South Korean warship "has stopped everything in its tracks for now," Metersky said.

Nevertheless, U.S. specialists sound ready.

"We are prepared to resume operations in [North Korea] and will request access to the Unsan area," the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii, home to the field teams, said in its latest annual report.

Its forensic experts, meanwhile, continue the laborious work of DNA identification of remains returned years ago, like those of Master Sgt. Roy Earl Head of the 7th Infantry Division, finally identified, brought home and buried June 5 in a family cemetery in Grit Hill, Va.

"It's remarkable, after 59 years," said brother David Head, 71, of Kingsport, Tenn.
All his life, he thought daily about Roy, he said. His mind turned sympathetically to others.

"There are still a lot more families out there who might not ever find out, or get the closure we will get," Head said.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Moth, oh crap!

I found a moth in my basement today. Even with strict quarantine procedures for bringing new stuff in, I got a moth. A single male moth.

I have been lax on my anti-insect prevention for a while. But as I just received a WW1 uniform for a friend in France and re mailed it, I started to get nervous. It was supposed to be mint, but there were two small moth holes on it. It spent its time in the freezer while it was at my house, but it kicked me to replace my moth pheromone traps.

These are expensive (about $10@), but they lure the male clothes moth onto their sticky goodness. Now it is possible the moth was just a random type of non-wool eating pest that stumbled onto the sticky pad, but the probability of that is pretty low.

So within 12 hours I got a moth. Crap.

I have set some more traps on other floors to see if any have gone up. Now in theory the male moths will all get stuck and die in these, so there is no one to mate with the females. Although technically they should serve only as an early warning device that there is an infestation.

You can buy the traps from Insects Unlimited- but sadly only in packs of ten.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hitler's Holy Relics

Hitler, the gift that keeps on giving. It seems there is always one more way to package this guy. Most fo them are pure crap, such as the stuff shown on the History Channel, or people that claim he was an occult master.

I've read some scholarly stuff looking into the whole Hilter occult matter, and its actualyl really interesting as its seems good old Adolf was not as wacked in this way as some cvlaim, but was really doing some interesting things to psychologically manipluate people, and form a base to built the legends of Germany on.

So I picked up this book, Hitler's Holy Relics, more as a joke, as I like to read all the junky Hitler and occult/flying saucers/antarctica bases etc.

Minor note. I blew my 4.0 GPA in my history program when the prof got mad at me for for making an obvious joking mention of Hitler developing atomic zombies in a secret antarctica base. Seriously. He gave me a bad grade even though the rest of the work was really good, as he felt I did not take the paper seriously enough. Yeah, I came back with a "but how can you prove he wasn't? I can cite numerous books saying he was."

Anyway, this book was a good surprise. It is easy to read, and I detected very few thigns that made me feel the guy had not done his homework. It had a good ring of truth.

It covers the investigation of on of the US Army Art people trackig down the missing relics of the Holy Roman Emperor that vanished from a Nuremburg vault just before the town was captured. It dies a good portrayal of what the immediate post war period was like, and brings up some reaqlly intereting possibilities for some of the things Hitler had in mind to confirm his grasp on Europe- like have himself corronated the Holy Roman Emperor, and also convnce people that Jessu was actually born in a different Bethlehem where the population was of aryan (not jewish) stock.

I would love to hear what some serious experts have to say on all this, but just the story of dealing with all the ex-nazi's ( who now were no longer nazi's) trying to get jobs in postwar Germany is interesting by itelf. I take some of the claims with a grain of salt, but yeah, I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Dogs of Kabul...

One of the forgotten victims of war are pets. There are many agencies ready to try and help humans, but dogs and cats come in last when there are limited resources. I know that often military units adopt a stray dog (unofficially of course), who is always there when a patrol comes back. I have been told that this is a major boost to morale, and everyone knows the therapeutic value of dogs. If it was up to me I would allow every platoon that wants one, to have a dog that just hangs out in the area. I would be willing to bet money that the amount of PTSD in unit with a dog around to pet or play with from time to time would be lower than the average rate The problem is, these unit dogs get left behind. And it costs about $2500 to ship a dog to the states, so when some grunt makes a special bond with a four legged buddy he may not be able to bring him home That's where comes in. Yes, they help a lot of animals over there. And many of those that get shipped to the states are not 'Army dogs.' But it says something about us that we do try and take care of our pets. And when an Afghan kid's dog gets sick and one of these vets saves it, I think we've prevented a terrorist for life. I just made a donation, and I hope you will consider it as well.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

66 years ago today

Yeah I know, George Washington, patriots, Independence, car sales, blah, blah, blah. But 66 years ago today my father stepped off a boat and landed in France. Within a few days he was in the thick of things fighting, getting wounded, trying to run a company while wounded, and generally not having a very good time.

But 66 years. That is what a lifetime used to be. Time keeps munching on, and slowly the past fades. What was to him a memory, is now history. Things that to me are memories are now history to college kids.

When my dad was a kid he used to sit and listen to civil war vets tell stories as they sat on their front steps. That used to seem amazing to me, but now my dad's exploits are as far removed. Someday (I hope) some kids will ask some old guy what it was like fighting in Iraq, and he'll remember the time he talked with some old guy who fought in France.