oddballing

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Johnny Nitro (w/ Melina) Vs. The Undertaker
WWE Tribute To The Troops
[December 7th, 2006]

While I don’t get particularly hype over the Tribute To The Troops events that the WWE does (because idk, I like watching wrestling, not videos of airplane rides and shit), some of the oddball encounters that take place make for an interesting show. For example, this rare appearance by The Undertaker overseas, who takes on MNM’s Johnny Nitro, accompanied by Melina. I don’t think Melina gets enough love for her time as a manager. The primal screams, the facial expressions, and her willingness to put herself in harm’s way made her a valuable asset to Nitro, who by this point had been a WWE Tag Team and Intercontinental Champion. A good match between two key superstars from the 2006 season.

I have another blog and if you are a weirdo or an oddball of some sort, you just might like it. Occasionally I repost your art and photography on it. I started it as a way to share fun things with lizzyrn when we weren’t together because she is a weirdo too. :) I have about six regular followers so there you have it. infamoustrixie

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                       In Bob We Trust: IN BOB’S BURGERS WE TRUST             

Trust me, Tumblr, this is something you need to hear.

The Forgotten Marine: The M1941 Johnson Rifle - .30-06 Springfield

The Johnson rifle, the oddball of the US War effort, the Johnson was a substitute rifle the US Marine Corp adopted in the early parts of the war. But before I get into the nitty gritty of this gun, we’re gonna need a bit of context.

So during the 1920′s and 1930′s, most militaries in the Western World were trying to replace older bolt action rifles with some kind of brand new semi automatic design. The Germans had the G41 program, which sort of worked and sort of didn’t, the Russians had the SVT-38 and later SVT-40 but those never managed to replace the older Mosin Nagant in service, even the Republic of China had the General Liu rifle, but the designer suffered a stroke and the ship carrying the tooling sank and never went anywhere. The US was really the only country who’s semi-automatic rifle program went somewhere.

So the US trials boiled down to two main designs. The Springfield Arsenal’s M1 Garand, designed by John Garand and the Pedersen Rifle submitted by Remington and designed by John Pedersen. Skipping a lot of technical changes, the US Army liked both rifles, but a number of generals wanted to have a gun chambered in the already common .30-06 caliber. The M1 Garand ended up winning the trial due to being able to use .30-06 over the .276 Pedersen cartridge.

However, there was a problem. In 1941, the war broke out and the Garand’s were in pretty limited production and to rectify that, the US Army started shipping soldiers with M1903 Springfields. But the USMC didn’t really go that way, and they ended up running into a man named Melvin Johnson.

Melvin Johnson was a former lawyer from Boston and had served with the USMC as an observer at the Springfield Armory. During his time there, he began designing a different military rifle, something he thought was better than the M1 Garand as well as a LMG. The rifle was a short recoil, rotating bolt gun, fed via a rotary magazine fed by individual rounds as well as M1903 Stripper clips. With these designs, he went and founded the Johnson Automatic Incorporated Company and got his first contract, oddly with the Dutch.

The Dutch contract was to arm the KNIL, the Dutch Colonial Army with new rifles, and the Johnson was chosen. However, by the time the rifles were being shipped over, the Dutch East Indies had collapsed. However, Johnson lucked out as the USMC took some of the Dutch shipment and began ordering more. 

The USMC had a large change with the beginning of the war. They went from a small 6,000 man force usually serving as ship support to a large 600,000 man mobile army that was the primary American force in the Pacific. And with a change like that meant a scramble to get guns in the hands of troops. And besides older US Army models were a number of designs not standard, including the Reising M50 and M55 SMG, the Johnson LMG as well as the Johnson rifle. 

Marines liked the Johnson rifle, and while it slowly was replaced by the M1 Garand as the war progress, soldiers like Hugo Dunlap still loved their Johnson rifles. It was used by the US Para-Marines, normal USMC soldiers and the First Special Service Force. The Free French Army recieved a shipment of 10,000 rifles and 1,000 Johnson LMG’s and later on, Johnson’s floated on to be used by Argentina and the CIA and rather infamously, used by Brigade 2506, the Cuban regiment sent into the Bay Of Pigs.

And while Johnson’s company was bought up by Winchester, Johnson didn’t stop designing, managing to become the weapons consultant for the Department of Defense from 1951 until his death in 1955. But his rifle’s rotating bolt influenced one of the most famous rifles ever made. A little known company named ArmaLite used Johnson’s rotating bolt patent as well as straight in-line stock idea in their new rifles, the AR-10 and AR-15. The rest is history.

Le Clarion: The FAMAS - 5.56x45 NATO

One of the most iconic of bullpup rifles, the French FAMAS is certainly one of the more peculiar shaped bullpup. This icon of French patriotism, besides being on the replacement block has become a sort of mystery to the American buyer.

Following WWII, France was working on making a modern rifle. It would be a bullpup, a novel idea for the 1960′s as the only real bullpups were prototypes like the British EM-2. Armed with the MAS-49/56 Semi-auto rifle, a long line of prototypes were made, with a number of substitute arms such as the MAS-49, HK33 and SG 540 serving as a stopgap. After the Battle of Kolwezi in 1978, it pressured France into designing the gun faster and later in the year, the FAMAS F1 was adopted and replaced the older MAS-49/56 rifles as well as the MAT-49 submachine gun. 

The FAMAS is an oddball rifle to be sure, as are a lot of French guns in general. It’s a lever delayed blowback, similar to the AA-52 machine guns operation. It’s notable for a number of quirky features, such as 25-round “disposable” magazines over the later M16 style STANAG magazines. And like most disposable magazine ideas, it went nowhere and ever since the French have been stuck with 25-rounders. It’s fitted for grenade launchers, sight rails, conversions for left and right handed shooting and all these other lovely features.

The problem with the FAMAS was a lot of specific things. One was ammunition. The FAMAS’s action tended to have very high extraction pressure, so they used steel case ammo. But when NATO went to a bigger bullet, the guns started to suffer from malfunctions, combine that with a magazine issue, it made the gun a bit of a headache, at least for the Army.

The French Navy decided to ditch that and go to the FAMAS G2. This was an updated model with notable features such as a magwell for STANAG mags, modifed action to allow it to use the newer NATO ammo reliably and a big trigger guard for using with gloves. Unfortunately, the French Navy was the only ones who use it as the main army used the F1. There also were a number of failed prototypes such as the Felin system and so on, but the main two are the F1 and the G2. The FAMAS was reasonably popular, but as of 2016, the French Army is looking to replace it with either the HK 416 and the FN SCAR.

Now besides being really cool and French, the FAMAS is very well known in the US and similarly to the AS Val, it’s due to it’s rarity. You see, in the late 1980′s the FAMAS began importation into the US with a deal between Century Arms and St Entienne/MAS. Unfortunately, not many got imported, about 250-300 rifles. The reason for this was the fact that a base FAMAS rifle, besides having all the military stuff like the rifle grenade barrel ribs, the grenade sights and so on removed, they costed a shit load. A base FAMAS could go for$995 dollars, which paled in comparison to say…Steyr AUGs with a couple of mags and the scope for $650. If the price didn’t help it, the fact they first were imported in 1988, one year before the import ban didn’t help. 

Besides this fact, the FAMAS is a very important firearm, it’s served the French military for around 30 years, it’s an icon of France and NATO and while it might be kicked out the door for the next big thing, it’s left a legacy that many rifles only dream of.

“Aux armes, citoyens… “

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Actress/writer Angela Trimbur shows us all how to ’Dance Like Nobody’s Watching’ …while people watch.

Side Note: The same thing happens when Chris Brown forgets to take his Ritalin.

River City: Tokyo Rumble boxart ⊟ 

Kunio/Alex and Riki/Ryan are familiar faces, but the rest of the oddballs on this cover all look like curious characters. Maybe they’ll have interesting roles in the game? Or maybe they’ll serve only as sets of pixels that “BARF” when you kick them in the gut. The game hits North America and Europe in September!

SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!
Crabman

The image above is by SBigham on DeviantArt.

We’re done with the demons for the moment, moving on to life beside the sea with the crabmen or, as I prefer to render them a little more inclusively, the crabfolk.  Dating back to the original Fiend Folio, the crabman is a pretty low-profile part of the game, much like the role it plays in the game’s worlds.  Enigmatic, isolationist, and almost xenophobic, the crabfolk prefer an existence as hunter-gatherers, trading little even with neighboring tribes of their own kind, let alone other races.  I wonder if that has something to do with a life cycle that involves their eggs released into the ocean to float freely, developing in isolation.  Which tribes they join could even be random, depending on where they wander as juveniles. As a little-known, mysterious race that interacts little even with neighbors that no they’re there, crabmen are great for oddball powers and unique cultural features that make them stand out when the PCs encounter them.  And don’t forget that they live at the margins of both the sea and the surface, in areas of great natural bounty and interest to many races.

When enigmatic coastal artifacts begin to circulate in collectors’ circles, the craze drives a boom in their trade and questions among antiquarians as to their origins.  Produced in temporary, coastal media such as coral, bone, and seaweed, these strange works ultimately race back to the rough port of San Carlos, across the sea from most of the more civilized parts of the world.  When a wealthy merchant sends a small party to acquire a source for her, the truth emerges that the relics are being supplied by adaros, not a race known for their craftsmanship.  The real source are the crabfolk the adaros are hunting as sacrifices to their stormy, bloody-toothed gods.

Though the crabfolk have their own spiritual powers, they also practice mysterious rituals that invest occult power into ephemeral artifacts. Powerful occultists wield these implements to ends few land-dwellers expect from the unsophisticated crabfolk and master unusual powers, recording their lore in a unique writing system that has small variations in signs whose material and orientation carry esoteric meanings.  Crabmen hunters, rangers, and druids frequently take pets that are similarly able to move between the land and the sea.  Giant crabs are a natural favorite but crocodiles, frighteningly large frogs, and even the occasional water rat of unusual size have all been sighted.

Crab monsters have laid siege to a peaceful coastal town of fishermen and undine monks.  Though the monks’ unique style, inspired by crashing waves and the flow of water, has managed to help hold off these bizarre beings, things are getting tense, particularly as the fishing fleets have been forced to stay in port.  The reality is that the crabfolk are normally peaceful, content to mind their own business and tend the kelp farms that draw fish to them, but they have been enslaved by an aboleth as part of a game of empire against a brine dragon and her human proxies.

- Tome of Horrors Complete 125

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any minute now…

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Tim ‘Livewire’ Shieff brings to us “Life in a Handstand: Homeless”.

An artistic look at the plight of a homeless person… who walks on his hands.

Side Note: Last time I saw a bum with abs like that, Evander Holyfield had just lost his Atlanta mansion to foreclosure.