Friday, December 19, 2008

More 1941 Camouflage.

So as I had mentioned a while ago I found some camouflage documentation back in May at the San Francisco NARA. I'm slowly going through it as I get through stuff or if I get a bee in the bonnet to. Someone over on SteelNavy said something less than educated and I found that what I wanted to post in response as a reference wasn't online yet... so I back-burnered the Franklin report and started in on three documents regarding the shift from pre-war gray to the early war camouflage paints.

The #5 formula had been in production for quite some time at the beginning of 1941 and it's clear when reading through the documents that Mare Island had problems switching over; the first document posted (Feb 1941 - New Paint Formulas) has the formula for both 5-D Dark Gray and 5-U, a white base formula. Both contained a fair amount of zinc oxide, and even in May Mare Island was scrambling to get some. So it's probably safe to say that the west coast fleet didn't start receiving full 5-D shipments until June or so.

As always, your mileage may vary. I think it's cool that we've got the full recipe for 5-D, 5-L, 5-O, and 5-S on the net now at least!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Museum Visit Fail!

A couple of years ago while passing through Oak Harbor, Washington my wife and I saw an old gas station that had been turned into a mini-museum of sorts. Plastered across the front was the silhouette of a PBY Catalina patrol plane from the second world war. Both of us like the plane and we stopped by, only to learn that they were closed; only being open on Fridays. It was the temporary headquarters of the PBY Memorial Association, and we kept it in mind as a place to visit. This last friday made our way back up to look it over and see what they had. I burned a disc of some of the PBY items I had found during research at the various national archives I've been to.

They had since moved to a new location on base. There was no description other than "Building 12," and there were no directions on their site other than a link to the NAS Whidbey Island page that only gives vague directions to the ISLAND itself and none of the base gates. Given that they're focused on a plane that was based on the amphibious side of the base, I figured it wouldn't be that hard to find.

Two hours later, we arrived at the gate I thought was our best bet. It was in building 12 of NAS Whidbey, and we hit the gate near the base exchange, which used to be the seaplane base hangar. Just as we get close to the gate a MP comes up and says they need to close the gate for 15 minutes but that we can use "torpedo gate." I should say at this point, that my grandmother lives in Oak Harbor and while I have no idea where Torpedo gate is, I'm fairly familiar with the area, so I figure no big deal; we'll just swing it with my phone and google maps. I take one wrong turn; google maps didn't know that the Navy had closed off one road probably post 9-11.

About ten minutes after we leave the first gate we reach the gate on Torpedo Road and as we pull up I tell the guard "We were just sent here by the other gate; we're trying to get the the PBY museum." The guard gets this uncomfortable look on his face and replies with, "they just re-opened the gate, and I can't let you go driving through the base..."

So... back we go. We get to the gate, and it is indeed open. Pulling up, we get an MP with what was probably a South African accent, and I go through the spiel again. He looks confused; is the museum open to the public? The other MP says yes... and then he tries to give us directions. It's close enough; the building is literally right above us on the hill.

So we drive down, make the first left, and then left at the fork at the top of the hill and pull up to the building. No cars in the parking lot. "Uh-oh.." I think to myself. We park and walk up to the doorway and the dark hall on the other side. Edges quivering in the breeze is a little paper note that says "November and December Hours." Scanning the note, we see that they will be open on Thursday, December 11, and not the regularly scheduled Friday the 12th that we had arrived on.

I had really looked forward to posting some neat pictures of the museum and what it contains here, but at that point we just turned around, headed back to the warmth of the car, and called my Grandmother to make arrangements for a (hot) lunch at the nearby Mitzel's Kitchen. It was worth it, at least, to see her.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Frankie

Well, it's been a busy couple of weeks, so updates have been slow, but here I sit with 15 other people in a Seattle Starbucks at 10:20 PM on a Saturday night, and I've been working on the Franklin 1946 Damage Report. Most I've been able to do in a month. It's proof read to page six, but I've added about 15 blank pages at the end for photos... once I get all the way through I'll add the photos themselves and text.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Memory: Joe Canavan

For the last seven or so years I have enjoyed the chili of an amazing man. I was introduced to Joe Canavan's World Class Chili by a co-worker when I was working down town. It was truly world class chili; the best, in my opinion, on the west coast. A group of friends and I had been eating at McKinley soups at Westlake center on pretty much a weekly basis (although we also ate at other restaurants there), but we quickly started walking the extra five blocks to Joe's place in the Pike Place Market. Joe was always very friendly with his customers, although he was known as the "chili Nazi" to some people due to him chasing non-customers away from a table he had just outside his restaurant. We used to sit at that table specifically during lunch hour to make it easier on him as he was there at work, starting every day at 6AM, over seventy years old and with bad hips that hurt him.

Joe was a Marine (not Army, as his obituaray is currently saying) and had fought in the Korean War, taking part in the Battle of Chosin. You could tell he was special; he'd been there and had seen hard things, but was enjoying life; he was tough but fair and friendly if you were.

I started helping him out; I did his website and would go in once or twice a month to help him with his computer. Robin and I helped judge the chili contests he ran at the market and tabulated all the results from the voting for him so he could concentrate on other things. It was the least I could do as thanks to a man who had fought for our country, and who was so nice to those around him.

Joe died this month while snorkeling in Maui. We'd talked about his trip for a couple of months... I lived on the island for a while and sent him ideas for things to do during their first trip to Hawaii. I don't know if he was at one of the locations I suggested when he had a heart attack, but regardless, he went out as I knew him; active despite his pains, living life to its fullest.

Joe, I will miss you and keep you in my thoughts. You set the gold standard in my book for chili, and were an inspirational person in my life. I can offer no higher tribute.

EDIT: A food writer for the Seattle Times has blogged about Joe.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lack of updates

I've been working on a review of Hasegawa's 1/350th Aircraft carrier Akagi for ModelWarship.Com. Text of the Franklin report was finished about a week and a half ago, but none of the proofreading has been done yet, nor have I done any work on the photos and damage plates. Hopefully this week.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Way to lame out

I don't pull punches. If something is wrong, I usually speak my mind, unless I have to be diplomatic for work. Even then I'm pretty outspoken. If someone wants to accuse me of being too much of a hardass on this, I won't argue, but I think that ModelShipWright.Com is run by a bunch of amateurs who are knowingly trying to build their site up by theft of the hard work of others.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a couple of threads on u-boat aces such as this one that contained an awful lot of text and photos. There was extensive information, and you just don't normally see someone post that much material in such a fashion, so I got a little suspicious and started poking around. It turns out that most of the text and photos were lifted en mass from other sites, without any sort of attribution.

I posted responses to a couple of the threads to that affect, in one cases showing paragraph examples and in another simply listing the two pages that material had been copied from. The threads were removed from the message board without comment, but this morning I received two notices of actions taken upon my posts:

Hello TracyWhite,
This is a courtesy email to inform you that a recent post of yours on ModelShipwrights was removed for the following reason:

Offensive Post (LEVEL LOW)

and the kicker:

Hello TracyWhite,
This is a courtesy email to inform you that a recent post of yours on ModelShipwrights was removed for the following reason:


Removed Post Text:


Sites this post directly copied and pasted text from: (Copywritten)


Posting a warning is an inflammatory RANT?

And then a new "Copyright Infringement Policy" post by Mark Smith went up, with the following text:

Some of our posts of late have come under question of copyright law infringement, and after close and careful examination, the posts have been re-instated.

Simply stated, this is the KitMaker Networks policy outline on the issue:

"These posts (by a volunteer with no financial interests in KitMaker or Model Shipwright) were meant to be informative and done in the spirit of 'fair-use' as outlined by US copyright law. Further we are asking all users of the site to (as a courtesy, not a legal requirement) give credit to any sources of information they may post.

Also it is the site owners policy that if a copyright owner takes issue with any of their material being used by modelers on a community based web site such as this, than they can contact us to ask that the information be removed."

This indicates that they don't understand copyright law and are, in fact, just fine with misuse. Naming it a "Copyright Infringement Policy" is ironically apt.

Section 107, Title 17, US Code:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

In regards to part (1) while they may argue that the poster receives no monetary compensation for his posts, he is listed as a "News Writer" for the site, and the site itself does generate some revenue through banner ads and google AdSense, I.E. it is of a commercial nature.

In regards to part (3) "The amount and substantiality of the portion used," Instalment 2 has 14 images "courtesy" and the words "Extract from" below portions of text 14 times as well (some of those are multi-paragraph sections). I don't have the time to come up with a percentage of the site used, but that is a significant amount of both text and images. Additionally, the US Copyright office says this:

Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

Finally, part (4); the "effect of the use." This one is harder to quantify but I believe that any time you copy text you in effect dilute the original. If there is one site on a topic, it is the un-disputed top ranked site, but if there are two, then its position has been diluted. When they permit the copying of that text, they are in effect making it so that less people may stumble upon the site that invested the time and work into posting that material in the first place. Regardless of any monetary damage, they are causing actual harm in terms of the traffic that goes to that site.

One of the reasons I post information, for example, is that it tends to draw more out. I have a site on the USS Ward, for example, and after my site went up I received somewhat regular contacts from former Ward sailors who provided me with even more information. I have received photos from at least two sailors as well as action reports and deck logs, and these are things I would not have been able to obtain otherwise.

Now, I'm not claiming there should be any monopoly on information like that, I'm just arguing that there is actual harm in such reposting of material, even if the person who originally posted it hasn't done so with any obvious commercial intent.

Mark Smith says;

"These posts (by a volunteer with no financial interests in KitMaker or Model Shipwright) were meant to be informative and done in the spirit of 'fair-use' as outlined by US copyright law. Further we are asking all users of the site to (as a courtesy, not a legal requirement) give credit to any sources of information they may post.

But there is no SPIRIT of fair use, copyright is a law. Stating that giving credit is a courtesy and not a legal requirement further demonstrates lack of understanding of copyright law as well as taking a weak stance against plagiarism; it's not an endorsement of it, but it really does nothing to discourage it either. Attribution is one of the requirements of fair use as the owner of the work in question has the right to claim ownership, and by stating it's not a legal requirement the crew over there are setting the site owner up for a nasty surprise at some point.

And in his final sentence. Mark Smith states with emphasis that if the COPYRIGHT OWNER takes issue, then they should contact ModelShipWright to have the material removed.

Written another way, UNLESS you are the copyright owner, we don't care if what we have posted is done legally or not.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Truckin' along

Got about 15 pages added to the Franklin Damage Report today while doing the "hurry up & wait" routine on a client computer. Up to page 35 out of 45
After that there is still much to be done:

  • Save out the photographs that were in the booklet

  • Stitch the two remaining damage plates back together

  • link everything up (where it says "see photo X," I like to photo X directly

  • Proofread, proofread, proofread!

  • I'm going to take a break on this for the rest of the weekend though.

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Franklin Damage Report

    One of the first things I posted on Researcher@Large was a damage report I found for CV-13 Franklin's Kamikaze hit in October of 1944. While a great resource, many people get confused with the later, worse bomb hit in March of 1945 and I always wanted to find a report on that to post as well.

    I happened to find that report in San Bruno and have began working on it.

    What's nice for me is the difference between the two. The original was a copy that did not OCR well and I wound up hand-typing the entire thing over a couple month's time.

    This one was a much cleaner copy, and with the newer and better OCR software I have now, goes in like a dream; I can add a page literally in five minutes without proof reading, and even the proof reading reveals only the odd character here and there as opposed to entire sentences that come out as garbage.

    Text could be done by next week, images and links afterwards.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Ward Photos Updated.

    Noticing a couple of new photos of the USS Ward on the Navy Historical Center's Website finally got me off my butt enough to update the Ward website I have on another server. They were all photos of her from 1918 and 1920; the 1918 ones I had found at NARA San Francisco back in May and the 1920 ones were from NHC. A couple of them haven't been published before, and I found out for the first time that Ward had a special ship's wheel in the wheel house as well (which I had posted originally here)... all visible in the gallery of Construction to Mothballs.

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Dead is Dead

    One of Robert Heinlein's characters once said that you were just as dead if killed in a police action versus an all-out war. Five sailors died on the aircraft carrier Hornet CV-8 during the battle of midway, but they died in an accident, and have been largely forgotten in the overall picture of a crucial battle. The report that I just finished doesn't even mention casualties, but in addition to the five killed, twenty were wounded.

    U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8) - Report of Damage to Ship's Structure by Machine Gun Fire.

    Hit the highlight & comment for more details about the accident. Photos at the bottom.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Why I like WWII

    So, I brought in a ship model to work on during lunch today, Dragon's 1/350th USS Buchanan DD-484 1942. I haven't had a lot of time to work on it, but I set up the parts that I have assembled on my desk so I've got something fun to look at from time to time, and while staring at the midships superstructure while listening to the news about the stock market (dropped 508 points, like a load of depth charges) I remembered one of the reasons why I spend so much time studying the second world war.

    We view it as a simpler time, and it's an escape from the modern day problems to a time when it was an "us & them" fight to the finish. Sure, there were a lot of complications and war-weariness, but the simple matter is that the concept of a simple Allied Versus Axis fight is a nice break from the uncertainty of a fast-paced but troubled global outlook.

    Sure, it was a difficult time, and many people died, but it was an essence boiled down; an us-or-them fight. No worries about slow, distant problems; no "your kids may have to live with global warming, no "this generation is putting the next ones into debt," just simple "if we don't win WE WILL DIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!!"

    Saturday, September 20, 2008


    Found this last weekend and just got it stitched back together. It's an experimental design of some sort for CVE, but doesn't match any that I know if. It's got some similar elements to some, such as the feathering on Measure 32 4A and some of the shapes on pattern 10A for the Essex class, but also differences. Note that the black shapes "fade" as they move forward... the colors in general start to move towards lighter shades about midships.

    In the same folder was a picture of the model... showing the desired affect, although it appears to me they didn't fade out the black towards the bow.

    These were part of a letter to the "Engineer Officer" of USS Nassau in July of 1942, and pre-date the Measure 3X series of dazzle schemes... this is not Measure 17, however, and may be an early forerunner or experiment for Measures 31, 32, and 33. The letter said, in part:

         As you can see from the enclosed photograph, the model was painted and tried in the theater. It has quite a bit of course distortion as is apparent in the photograph. The model was actually pointed in a south easterly direction, but has the illusion of going due east.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Less evidence of Stupidity

    So, I got a missing half-page of text online in the OEG ASW in WWII report... nothing like seeing a half page of text missing in the middle of a document to make you feel competent.....

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    On a roll.....

    Worked on three separate pages today, but I'm only going to mention two for now. The Raleigh Report has all of the text in place and photos added... it just needs proof reading.

    I was not in the mood for proof reading tonight though so I got another page and half added to Chapter 3 of "Antisubmarine Warfare in WWII" which is only about the Atlantic theater, because, as you know, the Japanese didn't have submarines. This is a long-term project at close to 200 pages long. I try and gnaw away at it here and there in addition to the shorter pieces so that I don't disappear and not have ANY updates for 4-5 months.

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it

    With nods to Mitch Hedberg.

    So, the Boeing Machinists' Union is on strike. Can't help but feel like it's the nail on the coffin for the possibility of the next plane Boeing builds being built here in Seattle. Who knows, maybe they'll hire out the EADS/Northrup Grumman factory that'll probably be doing the tanker.

    Oh yeah, one more page on the Raleigh Report done.

    Sunday, September 7, 2008

    A bit about the process....

    Hit a model horse show with my wife this weekend. That hobby is more about collecting than building, so when I go to one with her I usually bring stuff to work on; it's great to be trapped in this way as it really forces you to focus on what you brought and not get distracted. There were no tables available for modeling, but there was power out in the lobby, so I was able to work some more on the USS Raleigh CL-7 Pearl Harbor Damage Report. She was one of the first ships torpedoed (Must pull out David Aiken's excellent "Torpedoing Pearl Harbor" to double check; it was Utah first and Raleigh second I think).

    This damage report is somewhat of a slog, perhaps due to the fact it was a ship's report and not an official booklet, or perhaps because it was earlier in the war before they had refined these reports a bit. Regardless, the "text to formatting ratio" was highly skewed to the formatting side, which alway slows me down. When it's just 4-5 paragraphs a page with the odd indent here and there I can walk through a page in five minutes, but all the table work for this one has been taking me

    Certain elements can be carried from page to page quickly, such as headers, but how about the actual text? This one I had to start each page by looking it over from a formatting view and planning out how I was going to lay out the HTML and tables to get things to line up the way they were on the original document. Page 4, for example, took a half hour just to set up the formatting down to item C.1., at which point I could copy and paste rows in and replace text, but even after that it took another 15 minutes to get the rest of the text into its respective code. (which I did while sitting at The Rock Pizza in Vancouver as I waited for our lunch to cook. We were the envy of the show hall).

    Items spanning pages are a concern; do I want to make sure all the numbers, etc. are spaced exactly the same or will it be too much of a PITA (Pain In The Ass)? How do I make it graceful, so there is a minimum amount of code and I don't look like an idiot to any other HTML Wrangler who inspects my code? Some times there is an area that I can see is going to be difficult and I'll code around it and leave it for later... when I come back, the solution turns out to be simple.

    Anyway, I managed four pages in about as many hours yesterday. Page 7 still has the table borders up at this time so I can double check layout, spacing, etc.. Once it's all kosher I'll remove them.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    OOps Redux

    Thanks to everyone who pointed out the bad URL in the ASW screen link; I changed the name a bit after the original post and forgot to come back an update it.

    In penance I offer this gunnery log for an unknown destroyer during the invasion of Guam.

    Friday, August 29, 2008


    Realized I finished this back in May and then never posted it. ASW screen formations; handy to the 1/1250 modeler perhaps.

    Sunday, August 3, 2008

    New Posts this weekend.

    Been a busy weekend... finally got off my but and mostly finished the Mark 49 Gun Director page, which I think will become a good resource to ship modelers over the next couple of years.

    Also, Rick E. Davis, another researcher who has been focusing on destroyers, forwarded on a camouflage document he found with permission to post it, which I have. It compares the Measure 12 Mod camouflage on DD Plunkett with an unknown camouflage on Lansdale, possibly Measures 15 or 16. No pictures, but at least we know she wore something odd.

    Next up I'll be finishing the sub camouflage instructions.

    Oh yeah, I have watched a heroic amount of the new Watchmen Trailer this weekend.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    Stupid Green

    So, I'm an environmentalist, albeit one more of the Bjorn Lomborg variety. I've been trying to reduce my impact on the environment way before carbon footprint was a buzz phrase.

    So today I'm going to inaugurate a theme about Stupid Green, what I call those who wind up wasting vastly more energy than they save while trying to maintain a "green" facade. Say something like shipping an "eco-friendly" car by air.

    Today's winner: The Philadelphia Eagles football team, who, as part of their Go Green campaign, created an environmentally-themes swimsuit calendar featuring the cheerleading squad. Take a look at these pictures though, and once you're done oggling and whatever, uh, else you feel like doing, consider this.

    All that is promised is pictures of ladies in suits using recycled or eco-friendly materials for their construction. Take a look at the beach in the background... that look anywhere close to Philly? It's Punta Cana, apparently. So for the purpose of a "Eco-Friendly" calendar, the team flew a whole bunch of people roughly 1,500 miles to a tropical location, transported them around for various shoots, put them up, and brought them back.

    Now, I'm not belittling a swimsuit calendar in the slightest; just the fact that they're trying to label it as a "green" project. If part of the funds went to green programs, great, but they don't mention that on the calendar page. Riding the green wave...

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    Stirring up the blue muck

    This is a rough draft for a post I plan on making in a week or so.

    So, when I was down in San Bruno back in May I spent some time looking for and then through World War Two Naval camouflage documents. There is an argument that the the battleship Arizona was not painted in Dark Gray as previously thought, but in a newer paint called Sea Blue and designated 5-S.

    This has been a contentious and acrimonious viewpoint, and it hasn't helped that one of the proponents and researchers championing this view backed out of plans to publish his referenced findings in disgust over treatment he was receiving. It can be hard defending a view when you have no leg to stand on.

    I was one of the researchers who went looking for documentation, since Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was where Arizona's last major overhaul was and where she was due for another one soon. It was not surprising that I didn't find anything as orders were found to destroy by burning all of Arizona's records when she was struck from the Navy's list of active ships. No direct information was found for Arizona one way or another in regards to the paint she wore on December 7th, 1941 when she and 1,177 of her crew were immolated by a magazine explosion caused by a japanese-dropped bomb.

    So other methods were used. General orders were located and collected, and a piece of the carrier Enterprise, freshly painted, that had been found accidentally, was used as a comparison piece. When compared to color charts, the 5-D Dark Gray paint was found to have a darker Munsell value than the #82 camouflage black paint in use at the time.

    Combined with orders found to phase out production of 5-D in favour of Sea Blue at the end of July, the theory was that by the time Arizona was under repair following a collision in October, stocks of 5-D would have been depleted enough, and orders have been found to paint other ships in 5-S by that time.

    So, back to San Bruno. Buried within some unprocessed boxes I found some correspondence from Mare Island Navy Yard, which was the yard in charge of paint manufacture on the west coast at that time. I've been posting the relevant ones the last week or so, and am about ready to make a thesis statement of sorts.

    On the 11th of July BuShips (The Bureau of Ships) sent a memo to the Shipyards at Norfolk, Mare Island, and Cavite, warning them that the manufacture of 5-D was most likely to stop soon and to not build up a stockpile. On the 30th of July the official word came down to cease production of 5-D and to start production of 5-S.

    Mare Island complied, and I found a cluster of documents starting on the 21nd of August, 1941, where they returned outstanding paint requisitions with instructions to re-submit a requisition for the new two-part. Shipyards were responded to early on, with Pearl Harbor, Puget Sound,, and Naval Supply Depot San Diego having responses written on August 21st, then ships. Arizona's was sent out on August 22 and Pennsylvania's on the 29th. Another document referenced the same type of letter issued to the light cruiser Helena on the 18th of August.

    This document is interesting in that it orders Helena to paint into Sea Blue on the 26th of August, but also that it references a letter from Mare Island to Helena similar to the above requisition resubmissions but dated the 19th (Ref (d), so obviously the 21st was not the earliest that Mare Island was sending out these orders. But, as we can see some ships were ordered into Sea Blue fairly quickly after the orders went out from BuShips to start using 5-S.

    Now, in regards to Arizona, what do these documents prove? Only that Mare Island declined to provide Arizona with 5-D. She could have been painted in 5-D from stock Pearl Harbor still had; unfortunately the only paint and camouflage documents I found from Pearl Harbor were circa mid 1944 and later.

    How likely is it that Pearl Harbor still had 5-D when Arizona was repainted following her collision with Battleship Oklahoma in October? We don't know the exact dates she was repainted, but there is a picture of her in drydock on November 8th and it's likely she was repainted around that time. So there is essentially three months between when 5-D production was stopped and Arizona was painted, and *roughly* two and a half months between when Mare Island first told Pearl Harbor to re-requisition 5-S, declining to provide 5-D.

    What we don't know:
  • What the Pearl Harbor requisition was. Was it a regular, scheduled request for a set amount, or did they request only when stocks reached a certain level?

  • What Pearl Harbor's Paint Stocks were.

  • Would Arizona have repainted from ship's stocks or yard stocks. An order had been issued in late July to mid august (I don't have a copy) from Admiral King to the entire fleet to only keep enough 5-D paint for one touch up of the ship's hull, which excludes the superstructure. Superstructures were to be touched up in 5-O or 5-S, under the designation of "Measure 2 modified."

  • What orders were in effect when Arizona was repainted following repair? It has been pointed out that Admiral Kimmel ordered ships that had exhausted their supply of 5-D to repaint all over in 5-S, which Arizona doesn't match. However, his order took nearly a month to hit Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Only about a week of that would be surface transit if sent by ship. Is it possible that it took long enough for the paperwork to work its way through the system that it wasn't in effect when Arizona was repaired and repainted?

  • What other orders might there be out there from type commanders in regards to ship camouflage that would put a ship "outside" of what the documentation for the time would suggest, such as Helena.
  • Monday, July 14, 2008

    On numbers

    I send in many of the photos I find to Navsource as well as ships' organizations and survivors.

    One of the things that confused the editors when I started working with them and confuses many people is what photo numbers truly mean, whether they start with 80-G, NYD, or are just a string like 1234-45. I received an e-mail today from a guy looking for the "80-G" number for a photo I had posted that was from Seattle NARA. While that might seem like a reasonable question, it just indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the archival records, which is not a surprise as there are no "FAQs" out there for people to learn from. Consider this the beginning of one.

    NARA (The National Archives And Records Administration) is charged with preserving US Governmental records. When an agency, such as the FBI, IRS, DOE, etc., is finished with records they turn it over to NARA for archiving. These records are organized into Record Groups; you can see the list of them here.

    Concerning Naval records, there are several different ones; RG19, "Records of the Bureau of Ships;" RG24, "Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel;" RG38, "Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations;" and so on and so forth. There is not one single "Navy" record group, and a researcher needs to know which ones to best target when looking for a particular theme of information.

    By far the two most "popular" or referenced are Record Group 19 and Record Group 80. RG19 is the Bureau of ships and contains a high number of photos of ships following repairs and overhaul, and 80-G, a subset of RG80, is more of a hodgepodge, with some repair and overhaul photos but also a lot of operations and locations photos. You may also see photos with "NHC" in the title, but these are reference numbers for photos held by the Navy Historical Center.

    It is possible for the same picture to have multiple ID numbers or none at all. For example, a RG19 photo may have been turned over to 80-G before the records were turned over as part of 19, and then from 80-G to NHC, and each would have their own number. Or, the photo could be part of a report in RG-181, "Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments" and thus have no official photo number. I once found some photos in the records of Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard that were from NHC... so these were records that were duplicates of NHC photos of official Navy photos... now being held by NARA in a regional archive. Confusing?

    Some photos have captions on them with a number listed, something like "1234-45" or "NY9-1234-50." These numbers were assigned by the shipyard or base that the photos were taken and have no real use as a reference. They may be of some use in that the last portion equates to the year, and in the numbers that start with "NY," the shipyard can be determined, but the number itself is merely a sequential number and can tell no more than whether it was shot earlier in the year or later. In most cases there is no central collection of photos from a shipyard that can be accessed so these numbers are nothing more than a tease at this point.

    There is the hope that over time more of these photos will turn up; there are unprocessed records in many of the archives that are waiting for NARA to have the resources to make them available, and then for a researcher to find them. But it's not a quick process.

    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Energy Stupidity

    "They have a responsibility to explain to their constituents why we should not be drilling for more oil here in America to take the pressure off of gasoline prices."

    So says President George Bush, and he's been consistently stating that we need to drill the US for more oil. But that is ALL that he is saying. He's still demonstrating a total lack of forward vision and strategic positioning.

    Increasing supply is only one aspect of reducing the affects of dependence on foreign energy sources. Ensuring more efficient utilization of what we do use is another method that must be considered. Even if we were to totally shift our usage to internal sources, the amount that we use leaves us in a vulnerable position if there were to be any disruption is supply.

    We have done major investments and national projects before, I offer as examples NACA, the Manhattan Project, and President Kennedy's Apollo Program Challenge.

    The consistent failure to even address the subject of conservation or improving efficiency points to the president either not truthfully caring about the future strength and position of the country he is leading, or not understanding the concept of scarcity of resources.

    Personally, I would like to see programs to foster American technologies in heating and cooling, lighting, and transportation. They should not only decrease our usage and dependence of fuels from foreign and domestic sources but be technologies tht can be licensed such that the American public receives additional benefits from the investment.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2008

    I like systems

    I took some 300-level classes in "environmental studies" in college. Oddly enough, there was not one lesson in the proper way to hug trees; there was some basic stuff about how the earth worked as a system, but mostly the classes were about humans. Land use patterns, migration patterns, cultural patterns, things that one might not associate with "environmental" studies at first glance.

    Side note, Morris Uebelacker was the man and was one of two professors I rate as exceptional in my 4-year college experience. The second you can't find online.

    I like systems, as I said above; I like learning about them and understanding them. In this context a system is a pattern; a method for getting something done. One of the reasons I started into naval research is that I had to learn the Navy Filing SYSTEM; I do I.T. for a living because there are computer and network SYSTEMS, and I like working in the small-business side because it puts me in contact with a variety of companies, each with their own SYSTEM for doing things.

    I also like finding weaknesses or flaws in systems and trying to figure out ways to remove or mitigate them. A lot of that involves seeing where confusion happens.

    So, let's take a turn-of-the-century town; one or two story buildings, with the building right up on the sidewalk. No parking, because cars aren't part of that system. Fast forward 50 years, and you start to see things like fast food restaurants and strip malls, buildings with large open spaces for cars to park. Cars have become part of the system and you can just look at a McDonalds, for example, and innately KNOW that there is parking in front of the doors, and a drive-through around the side and back.

    Now let's take a look at today, with the higher costs of land. At least in Bellevue, where I work, we're seeing a lot of those one-story large parking lot buildings go away, replaced by multi-story "mixed use" units with commercial space on the ground floor and residential above that. A Safeway recently moved into a new building of such design, and it struck me today that I don't entirely understand that system.

    Once again we have a building run out to the sidewalk, so you have to search around for an entrance to a parking garage. Is the parking free? Does it cost? Or does it run in some sort of hybrid where a merchant will validate you for a certain period of time?

    This is a much more complex system because it's harder to identify at a distance or in advance; you have to commit and physically drive into a garage like this before you can see prices, whereas the open lots usually have signs you can see as you drive up, or are readily identifiable as free lots you can just park and go in.

    There's no real point to this other than saying I get confused sometimes, but I can't wait until cars are completely automated to the point that you just state an address and sit back.

    Saturday, June 28, 2008

    New article posted

    I finally finished the Interview of Lt. Cdr. Cobb, the CO of Patrol Squadron 91 during the Solomons Island campaign. I had started it before my trip to San Bruno and had it done except for the final proofreading, but the San Francisco damage report grabbed my focus for a bit.

    Next up will be to finish the SF damage report.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    iTunes sucks

    Let me add my voice to those hate iTunes... a safari update came down and I applied it 'cause I check my site for compatibility. Keep in mind this was a safari web browser update only.

    After that I went to play some music and the update had set iTunes as my default player.

    A big "fuck you" to Apple for trying to slip Safari in like spyware in the first place and then pulling crap like this. It's about time you "think different" youself.

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008

    Exchange 2007 Disk Thresholds

    First computer post....

    This hit us at the office today, internal and outgoing mail was working fine but incoming was not reaching us. No bounce backs, no queues showing messages; it was just.... quiet. There were a couple of patches outstanding from last week and I figured, there was probably some minor exchange glitch that a reboot would fix (the app log looked pretty clean).

    So I let it apply the outstanding patches, and in the process it bounced the exchange services and we started getting mail again. However, after system reboot we were back to square one. So I went digging around a bit more and determined that we had just under a gig of free space on the C:\. Usually when an exchange server hard drive fills up I go through and look at the directory exchange writes logs to, which in this case was C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Mailbox\First Storage Group.

    We had what I will call a heroic amount of log files there; roughly 14 gigs worth. I love the lack of Exchange 2007 support on our Sonicwall CDP...

    Best way to clear these out that I've seen on systems without backup software such as Symantec's Backup Exec is to run a system state and exchange backup with NTbackup; in the process of running the backup it'll flush the logs for you. There are two caveats to this, first, you need sufficient space SOMEWHERE on the network to write the backup, and two, NTbackup has been severely gutted in Server 2008 and you may be up a creek if you're running Server 2008 and Exchange 2007.

    While I was waiting for the backup to process, I went through the logs again and found some entries in the app log describing the problem.

    First we got:

    Event Type: Warning
    Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
    Event Category: ResourceManager
    Event ID: 15004
    Date: 6/17/2008
    Time: 3:09:31 PM
    User: N/A
    Computer: MERLOT
    Resource pressure increased from Normal to Medium.

    Resource utilization of the following resources exceed
    the normal level: Queue database logging disk
    space ("C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\
    TransportRoles\data\Queue\") = 96% [Medium] [Normal=94%
    Medium=96% High=98%] Physical memory load = 92% [limit
    is 94% before message dehydration occurs.]

    Back pressure caused the following components to be disabled:
    Inbound mail submission from the Internet
    Mail submission from the Pickup directory
    Mail submission from the Replay directory

    The following resources are in the normal state:
    Queue database and disk space ("C:\Program Files\
    Microsoft\Exchange Server\TransportRoles\data\
    Queue\mail.que") = 95% [Normal] [Normal=94% Medium=96%
    Version buckets = 0 [Normal] [Normal=40 Medium=60 High=100]
    Private bytes = 14% [Normal] [Normal=71% Medium=73% High=75%]

    Followed immediately by:

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
    Event Category: ResourceManager
    Event ID: 15006
    Date: 6/18/2008
    Time: 10:53:54 AM
    User: N/A
    Computer: MERLOT
    The Microsoft Exchange Transport service is rejecting
    message submissions because the available disk space has
    dropped below the configured threshold.

    Resource utilization of the following resources exceed
    the normal level:
    Queue database logging disk space ("C:\Program Files\
    Microsoft\Exchange Server\TransportRoles\data\Queue\")
    = 96% [Medium] [Normal=94% Medium=96% High=98%]

    No components were disabled because of back pressure.
    The following resources are in the normal state:
    Queue database and disk space ("C:\Program Files\Microsoft\
    Exchange Server\TransportRoles\data\Queue\mail.que") = 95%
    [Normal] [Normal=94% Medium=96% High=98%]
    Version buckets = 0 [Normal] [Normal=40 Medium=60 High=100]
    Private bytes = 0% [Normal] [Normal=71% Medium=73% High=75%]
    Physical memory load = 37% [limit is 94% before message
    dehydration occurs.]

    When service was restored the app log wrote:

    Event Type: Information
    Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
    Event Category: ResourceManager
    Event ID: 15005
    Date: 6/18/2008
    Time: 11:22:55 AM
    User: N/A
    Computer: MERLOT
    Resource pressure decreased from Medium to Normal.

    No components were disabled because of back pressure.
    The following resources are in the normal state:
    Queue database and disk space ("C:\Program Files\
    Microsoft\Exchange Server\TransportRoles\data\Queue\
    mail.que") = 90% [Normal] [Normal=94% Medium=96% High=98%]
    Queue database logging disk space ("C:\Program Files\
    Microsoft\Exchange Server\TransportRoles\data\Queue\")
    = 91% [Normal] [Normal=94% Medium=96% High=98%]
    Version buckets = 0 [Normal] [Normal=40 Medium=60 High=100]
    Private bytes = 10% [Normal] [Normal=71% Medium=73% High=75%]
    Physical memory load = 62% [limit is 94% before message
    dehydration occurs.]

    Technet has nothing on this error at this point and our monitoring software, HyBlue didn't catch it, albeit I am DEFINITELY sending them a note! I thought I'd pop a note out there for others who might run into his error; it's a pretty easy fix, just free up some drive space or set your threshold down lower and risk filling your hard drive completely. Haven't found any documentation on HOW to do that yet, personally I think it's better to watch your free space and make sure those logs get cleared out!

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    Finally got more time

    It's been busy at work the last week and I needed to catch up on some stuff for Admiralty Modelworks so I haven't had a chance to work on the San Francisco CA-38 Battle Damage Report. I had a little bit of "hurry up and wait" time at a client's today and got three more pages done.. ten left to go, average of 2 photos a page, then three damage plates to stitch together... then comes the great proofreading and it's ready for the world!

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    Important Question!

    Or at least a tactical flaw....

    With the upcoming release of a new Incredible Hulk movie convenience store chain 7-11 has been running commercials for their Special Hulk Slurpees. I heard one yesterday on the radio that featured a psychologist "talking" to Hulk and trying to calm him down with a Slurpee... but it strick me, isn't this a VERY bad move on her part?

    I mean, what would happen if Hulk got brain freeze?

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    What matters in History

    As a model builder, I take keen interest in details. As someone who researches events and hardware, I am also concerned with the details of an event.

    But as someone who advocates for history, I am less interested in details. How much does it matter what color a ship was or what types of guns it carried in the overall scheme ofo thing when you're trying to teach someone the key points of an event?

    Sure, one reason the US won at the battle of Midway was our radar technology, but how much does that matter to the point that at THIS point we stopped the Japanese from a success and crippled their offensive power?

    That's not to say that details don't matter; sure as hell they do. If I build a model of a ship for a sailor who was aboard her I want to make sure he or she can point to an area and say "I used to hang out here during general quarters," instead of "we had a gun mount right about here I was stationed at."

    Some people are happy to take a lump of material, slap a number 14 on it and call it USS Ticonderoga, but I believe to truly honor a ship and her crew, you should strive to get as many of the details and particulars right as you can.

    It's what separates those who build or read for fun from those who build or read for bigger reasons. But we shouldn't forget when advocating history that sometimes you need to let people walk before they can run, and the finer details aren't the the end all of history.

    Monday, June 2, 2008

    Only managed one page today; my Dragon Buchanan arrived today and Ron and I had to yak about it for a while.

    Friday, May 30, 2008


    Above is what I consider the sign of a good day's research. Your mileage may vary; but in the archives I typically hang out it, this means that I've found records that no one else has thought to scan in yet, or at least not at that particular archives.

    The records that I typically go through are from the Second World War. They were kept in filing cabinets for a while, then moved to boxes, stored, and finally turned over to the national archives. As they have time and money the archivists will go through and process these records, but the vast majority sit unprocessed, as they were turned over.

    That includes ever staple, paper clip, binding strap, brad, red tape, what have you, that the government saw fit to use to keep the records together. Wartime fasteners were cheap metal, not stainless, and the records were not stored in climate-controlled facilities for the majority of their lives. Consequently the staples are rusted, the brads corroded, and generally this is not the best thing for the records.

    So the archivists at the branches I've researched at generally support the removal of these fasteners in records they haven't processed in order to at least slow the affect they have on the records. I've heard recently that NARA College Park has a section with a new manager who does not believe in the removal of these parts; feels it destroys the integrity of the records. Perhaps it makes it more difficult for the researcher to determine which belongs with what, but I've never seen records where I couldn't figure it out by just looking it over for a minute.

    Generally the archivists want to remove these fasteners for you; few people really consider the true value of a sheet of paper when they pull a staple out. While that piece of onion skin with a routing slip might just be a piece of paper, it may also be the last record in existence of the details of an event, and that makes it a national treasure.

    But, in some cases if you build up enough trust with an archivist they might trust you with one of the micro spatulas they use to remove staples. In my case, with all of the sheet metal bending experience I had as an aircraft mechanic I pull the staples out very cleanly. In fact, there was an assistant at one of the branches that I specifically did not get to pull staples for me after I saw how ham-handed he was the first time I asked.

    The above pile was amassed after about 3-4 hours of research in Naval Records at the Archives in San Bruno, California. Many of the pieces of paper they were removed from bore rust stains or were torn from years of being held by a paper clip. It's satisfying to me to both scan those images and turn them into web documents so that they don't just sit out-of-sight in a box as well as help with the preservation of them so that a future archivist wanting to answer questions might find them in usable form.

    The first document I posted from San Bruno was USS Intrepid - Handling after damage but I've started on the second; USS San Francisco Gunfire Damage - Battle of Guadalcanal, November 13, 1942. It's nowhere near done and I don't recommend clicking on any of the links yet, but I offer it as a sneak preview and as proof that yes, I do work on things besides the odd post here and there!.

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    In Memorium

    I've converted the first document from my research trip to San Bruno, a report by the ship's captain on efforts to steer USS Intrepid after a torpedo hit took out her rudder. I pushed this one to the top of the list as I wanted to get this one out in time for Memorial Day for a couple of reasons. Five of her crew were killed and six were missing following this torpedo hit, but also I lost a good friend this month; Wally Bigelow. Wally built a model of the Intrepid a couple of years ago that was well researched and well built. Wally told me that he had chosen the subject in order to build something a little different, but the project grew and I think he identified with the ship; he even named his company "Intrepid Hobbies."

    Wally did a lot of good things for the ship model hobby, even though he was a quiet guy living in a medium sized town. Emil Minerich from Skyway Model and I went to visit him on what turned out to be the day before he died from cancer.

    Despite the pain he was in from the cancer, he was in decent spirits. He was not done fighting, but he was at peace with whatever happened. His funeral was last Saturday, the day before I flew out for the trip; I had wanted to attend but had already committed myself to helping my wife with a model horse show that otherwise would have about drove her postal. From what I heard it was well attended, perhaps doubling for a couple of hours the population of the town it was held in.

    Wally, we will miss you. My posting of this Intrepid document is in your memory, and to that of the six crew members lost that day when a torpedo smashed into their ship and ripped their lives away suddenly.

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Final Tally

    5 days, 1,088 images, 11.2 gigs. Down to the wire yet again... finished the last box three minutes after the official closing time and saved about 25 images afterwards sitting in Randy's pickup.

    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Improvisation Part II

    Short post tonight, Randy Short came in and we spent most of the night gabbing about camouflage and what we found today. Got a lot of camouflage design sheets uncovered and photographed, ran into another situation where we needed to improvise.

    The design sheets are way too big to scan in, so the easiest way to grab copies is with a good digital camera. San Bruno has a camera stand, but we ran into problems with it right away; it didn't go up high enough to get all of the larger ones in-frame, and there was no supplemental lighting. This was a problem as the room is fairly dark and they don't allow you to use flash as it is disturbing to other researchers.

    So this is what we did:

    We took over the table, grabbed a couple of magnifying glasses with supplemental lighting, and used a step-stool so I could stand up above the table enough to get the larger ones in frame.

    Here's a preview of something we found:

    This is *part* of the master pattern for 20L. Painted in the original colors.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Down to the Wire

    The above picture was shot about 5:35 Pacific time, just outside the front door of the archives, which closed at 5:30 PM. One of the things that will often happen at the end of the day or the trip is that you're either running behind or trying to fit one last folder in. Happened today, I came across CA-38 San Francisco's damage report for the Naval Battle near Guadalcanal and started scanning it in.

    As I mentioned before, I try and decrease the cycle time of each scan, and one of the impediments is that whenever I first start the scanner software to scan into Photoshop, it has to take 30 seconds or so to calibrate the scanner. Solution: decrease the number of times you first start that software. So I typically will scan 10-20 images and then dump out and save them.

    How does this digression tie into "down to the wire? Well, some other researcher or volunteer was moving a chair around the research room this afternoon and hooked my scanner's power cord with the leg, yanking it right out. The scanning software dropped, and Photoshop crashed... I had about nine images and was halfway through the next one, and had to restart photoshop and start back from scratch. That ate up enough time that I wasn't going to comfortably finish San Francisco's report, which was the last one in the box, and I really wanted to be done with that box!

    So I just kept scanning, and eventually wound up with about 25 images, the last one scanned in a minute or so before closing. I then walked out the door and saved each one. Here's a preview of what I was scanning at the end of the day:

    Plate II, "Outboard Profile Showing Hits"

    That brings us to the next topic, Improvising.

    The above image is of a sheet of paper that measures some 40 by 13 inches. You are not going to find many scanners that can handle that. So, what we do is scan it in sections and digitally stitch them back together in photoshop. I've done this before with the plates from Structural Repairs in Forward Areas During World War II and have learned a couple of things:

  • Keep the sheets flat; if they ripple at all it may cause lines to be slightly different in location from one section to another

  • Make sure that the sheet is oriented exactly the same on each section; having to experiment with rotating 300dpi by a fraction of a degree is a tedious PITA, especially if you didn't keep the paper flat and line up one area only to find that another is misaligned.

  • So, how does one align a sheet of paper that is taller then the scanner's plate? We improvise!

    I used the top edge of the scanner to line up the top border,a nd made sure that each section was firmly pressed against it so that they all lined up the same. I then Placed a manila folder down over the sheet to keep it flat while I carefully lowered the cover, and voila, perfect scans on the top edge.

    The bottom edge was a little more difficult though, as the scanner has a dead area where there is clear plate, but no scanning happens. So I needed something rectangular to offset the paper on the bottom edge and yet keep it the same. Can you guess what I used?

    The item at the bottom of the screen is the key card for my hotel room. ;)

    By the way, the slightly darker tone on the top is another reason I used the manila folder; my current scanner has a black plastic cover, which is good for some things, bad for others. I like the richer color tones I get with a white backing, so I used a bright white folder as a backing. Since the top is going to be cropped out anyway I wasn't as concerned with covering the whole back.

    Side Projects

    When you scan in color, or when your scanner wants to calibrate itself every frickin' time you start up another round, you are frequently left with spare time. You can play solitaire... lord knows I've about beat it to death, but in a case like this where I don't have a lot of time on-site, it's a good opportunity to do some other projects. I tend to take notes on the records as I'm scanning, or flip ahead a bit and identify the next set of documents I might be interested in. Today I started into the finding aids, large binders that list, to a certain extent, what the archives holds. I also started OCRing an 88-page report on Franklin's battle damage in WWII. Happy to say I got 4 pages in, but this will probably be one I peck at for a little while.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Scale of work

    Most people haven't spent any time at archives, and those that do might not talk to the archivists about their jobs and the records they safeguard. Governmental agencies are supposed to turn their records over to NARA, but that doesn't mean that when (if) they do, they're in any sort of order, or have any index that can be used to find a particular document.

    I'm lucky in that the Navy had a filing system that all their documentation was filed in, but it's a little arcane; would you expect to find damage and loss reports under "Appreciation, depreciation, and disposition?"

    But I overheard the archivist in charge of RG 181 here at San Bruno telling a couple other researchers about one accession that was 114 large boxes (roughly 18 inches long each) that was a collection of photos from Mare Island Naval Shipyard. The only way to look for a specific ship or photo is to go through the photographer's logs, which themselves are six boxes long. Try and imagine how long it might take to categorize that and create a useful finding aid. Anyway, long of it is, "no googling."

    Had a good find today. I've had a website on the destroyer Ward for about six years, and it's been one of those "low burner" research projects. Since she was built at Mare Island, it was a fair bet they'd have some records, and I knew that the First Shot Naval Vets had used some photos from Mare Island in their "Ward Fires First Shot" book.

    So I found Ward's folder today; most were photos I'd seen before, but there were a couple of new ones:

    This one was interesting, I'd never read that her ship's wheel was specially inscribed.

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Day 1

    Greetings everyone. Above is a photo of where I'll be spending the next four days.

    This is not a complaint, mind you, but researching isn't as fun as it might initially seem. Unless you are completely retired and without obligation, time is always a factor that rears it's head. Five days isn't that much time. And when you find records that are interesting, but "off topic" you have to strike a balance. Get too off track and you won't get what you came for, but it's possible you won't find it anyway and it's good to at least have something, even if it's not what you originally came for.

    I compensate somewhat by creating a process to scan things in as quickly as possible. Photos are kept in individual mylar sleeves.. .while one is scanning, I take the next one out and keep it ready. When the scan stops, I switch photos, laying the one just scanned down outside of its mylar until after the next one starts... I figure I save maybe 2-3 seconds off each scan that way, but it can certainly add up over time. I also use the scan time to update noes, create folders, etc.. I treat it like any other OODA loop and work to decrease the time each evolution takes.

    Enough theory, time for some fun pictures.

    The US Navy labeled its camouflage designs as "measures" in WWII, with some of the official wild dazzle schemes defined in "patterns." I think I have discovered a previously unknown Measure, that of "Measure Van Gogh."

    Certainly looks impressionistic, doesn't it? I only wish I'd found a color shot so we could see how she looked in real life. That's APD-6 Stringham in December 1942 at Mare Island, by the way.

    This next shot was part of a series of 4 that were marked "USS San Francisco" on the back, in a folder for CA-38 San Francisco. This one was simply captioned, "Cabin:"

    I don't buy it. Sure, she was commissioned in 1934 when things weren't quite as spartan as wartime regulations, but that's a bit over the time, and I think this is from an earlier ship, probably C-5 San Francisco.

    Last one for today, another miss-file, this one humorously so. This popped up in a folder for CL-48 USS St. Louis:

    That's right folks, an F-18 HORNET. Who knew the Navy wanted to operate them from WWII cruisers?

    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    Greetings from SFO

    First full stop here in about 10 years..

    I will say that getting a laptop, a camera, and two scanners through security in carry-on... is annoying. Each scanner needs its own tub, as does the laptop, then shoes and associated gear... I had a train of six items and was glad I hit it when it was slow... coulda peeved a bunch of people otherwise.

    Finished this while waiting at the airport, could be handy for the small-scale diorama enthusiast.

    I start walking at 7AM.


    Well, less than 12 hours and I'll be "wheels in the well" and heading south for San Bruno. This will be the fourth archives branch I've been to, albeit I only managed three hours at Laguna Niguel.

    Preparations for a research trip is like any other, with perhaps some odd items on the checklist. Laptop & scanner? check. Spare scanner? Well, not enough room since I'll be walking in and need to pack a sling bag. All associated cables I might ever need and won't be able to go drive to pick up a new one if I forget? check, check, and check! Business cards in case I run into another researcher on-site I'd like to keep in contact with? Check. Full battery charge on all my cordless devices and camera and chargers for same? check. Cheat-sheet of Navy File Codes that I want to keep in my head as I'm scanning the finding aids? half done and I'll finish it on the flight down. Headphones for music to keep the pure scanning sessions a little less monotonous so that I'm not brain-fried by 3/4s of the day and miss things? check!

    These are just some of the little touches you learn about over time to maximize the productivity of the time you have.

    Biggest regret? No car means no chance to hit an In-N-Out Burger. Still want to figure out a way to bring my spare scanner.

    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    What a week

    The thing about being pretty much an "on site" IT consultant and then being away for half of a month is that it tends to put a heavy load on you the weeks you're in town. The last month I've been out of town more than in town, and I'm about to head out of town again, so it was a fairly intense week. Thursday was my first trixbox Pro install and Friday was a 3com NBX rollout that took longer than expected (note: labeled network ports that do not match up with the labels on the server room patch panels = bad).

    Good news is that I'll be hitting San Francisco for a week of research... more on that later.

    Saturday, April 26, 2008

    Let's see what this does....

    Test post... diagram of night time carrier deck lighting using CV-6 as an example.

    Let's play with some text formatting and maybe a link.

    I like cheese.

    Helllooooooo Tokyoooo!

    First Post, Y'all