Thursday, December 29, 2011


Some good stuff in this one:

There's a new indoor range in town! Not huge and hours are somewhat limited, but hooray nonetheless, and a big welcome for Indy Trading Post! Quite a remarkable achievement to get all the permits for an indoor range inside the Indy metro and they are to be commended for seeing it through.


Y'know who was a complex, self-described "difficult man?" Big-band leader Artie Shaw -- left-leaning in politics, a sharpshooter and the man who made Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine a hit. (He came to dislike the song.*) Throughout his career, he tended to take long sabbaticals whenever the mood struck; reportedly, he once did so in the middle of a performance. He did some writing, too, which I'd like to have a look at.


Dija know Charles Ponzi wrote an autobiography? Yep -- and it's in print. But Congressbeings, please remember it's not a "how-to" book.


Last but not least, Autovon. It's gone now, leaving a few bunkers in various places. (Indiana colleges had SUVON, a private phone system of sorts, without actual bunkers [mostly!]. Widely abused, it's long gone, too.)
* Joanie Mitchell may have made the definitive statement on the performing artist's dilemma; asked to play one of her hits for the umpteenth time, she laughingly remarked, "Nobody ever said to van Gogh, 'Paint Starry Night again, man.'" But she played the song.


Divemedic said...

I remember using something called "satellite numbers" when I was in the military. You would dial a special local number from any phone (including pay phones), the number would ring twice, and then you would get a dial tone. You could then call any number in the world, no charge.

This was handy when you needed to call someone from a payphone and didn't have enough change for a long distance call. It was supposed to be for official business only, but it was frequently abused. I am not sure what phone system that was.

MSgt B said...

I remember being allowed to use the Autovon network for free calls back to the states while I was stationed overseas.
You got one call a month. It was supposed to be five minutes, but the AV operator would let you go longer if it was a good conversation (they were always listening)

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I remember SUVON well from my days at old Youipewi. Although I never had any reason to abuse it, it was certainly handy when I had to call the other campii for this, that, and the other thing.

At my current job, I remember some of our DoD customers accidentally giving us their AUTOVON numbers when asking for a callback...hilarity invariably ensued. :)

Ed Skinner said...

Lounge musicians call them $100 songs as in, "I've played/sung that so many times I now hate it, but for $100 I'll do it."

Panamared said...

Ponzi was an armature compared to Congress.

Gewehr98 said...

I don't miss AUTOVON at all, especially when going secure on a STU-II or STU-III. Call quality was so poor that the semaphore version of Wuthering Heights would probably have conveyed more information between sender and recipient.

The Iridium secure satellite cellphone was a godsend, even if it was akin to toting around a brick all day.

Anonymous said...

Man, I miss The Bullet Hole in Indianapolis, fond memories.

Shootin' Buddy