Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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For the first time, I think, I have been unable to find a single Google reference to something interesting that I know exists, or existed.

There is, or was, an artillery hobbyist group called BALLS, the Ballistic Artillery Loaders and Loafers Society. They bought up old artillery pieces and ammo, and had fun firing them off. We're talking way beyond everyday weapons here, these guys were into stuff like 75mm howitzers. They weren't political at all, this was a hobby for grown-up boys who still like things that go 'boom', but they often were mistaken for Minutemen or some other wacky paramilitary organization, as they towed their artillery pieces behind their trucks, up and down the California coast, to find a nice spot to shoot them off over the ocean. They date from the 1960's or so.

I can't find a single reference to them in Google, not even in its Usenet archives. This is strange. BALLS was very odd, interesting and colorful, and that's the kind of stuff that has an especially good chance of winding up on the net. But no.

I assume the group is defunct, or they'd have their own website, like the Confederate Air Force (now renamed the 'Commemorative Air Force'), another old military hardware hobbyist group. But I'm surprised no one even remembers them.

For that matter, the Minutemen also seem to be gone. There's a current right-wing paramilitary group with that name (and a website), but they have no connection with the 1960's organization, which seems to have withered away after its charismatic leader, Robert DePugh, went to jail.


meaning: steam, vapor
汽車 == kisha == steam train
汽船 == kisen == steamship
Left radical is the radical form of 'water', right radical is 'vapor'. Henshall suggests  as a mnemonic:  'Steam comprises watery vapors.'


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