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Maklarr4000

Something I found among my old files, a "Free Child Admission" flier for Jeremy Allen's Grand Illusions magic show in the Wisconsin Dells, when it was at the CHula Vista Resort in 2009. After that, the show moved to it's own location in the Dells downtown area, where Jeremy Allen amused audiences with all sorts of tricks for the better part of a decade. Now, the Grand Illusions Theater's building is slated for demolition to make way for yet more redevelopment, which means the Grand Illusions are likely moving to an even "grander" home in the future.

This was a really (like ridiculously so) glossy card, and as such it's reflected all sorts of smudges onto the Epson V33 that aren't visible to the naked eye, and very well may just be on the scanners' glass too. Of all the scans, this was the "best" of the bunch, apologies I couldn't get it to scan in better.



Maklarr4000
While going through my old stuff, I've come across a pile of old brochures from years and years ago. I'm not sure what to do with them, so here they are- scanned in as best as I was able with my Epson V33 flatbed scanner.

A brochure picked up on a family trip to Michigan in 2007 from the "Weird Michigan Wax Museum" in St. Ignace, Michigan.





Alas, I couldn't find much more about this attraction than what you see here. According to THIS site, the place closed down sometime in 2011, and there's only a couple old Google reviews that don't tell too much about it. It seems all that's left of the place are a couple digital clippings, and this brochure.

Maklarr4000
While going through my old stuff, I've come across a pile of old brochures from years and years ago. I'm not sure what to do with them, so here they are- scanned in as best as I was able with my Epson V33 flatbed scanner.


Today's subject is a Bedford Pennsylvania Tourist Bureau classic, their bright neon brochures for "Gravity Hill", a free attraction on a rural road. It's a rather clever way to draw tourists off the main roads and off towards the hobby farms and other small-town attractions in Bedford county. I would expect the same brochures are still in use today.






The hill does have it's own website now HERE and the hill has a TripAdvisor page HERE

I've been to this one, and it's one of the hundreds of roads out there that due to terrain and vegetation, it appears that things like water or round items roll "uphill" in a rather clever optical illusion. There are a few roads like this in every state, though very few are as well advertised as this particular stretch of road in rural Pennsylvania.

Maklarr4000
While going through my old stuff, I've come across a pile of old brochures from years and years ago. I'm not sure what to do with them, so here they are- scanned in as best as I was able with my Epson V33 flatbed scanner.

Todays entry is the Spook Cave Campground, a boat tour of a cave and a campground. The brochure was picked up in the summer of 2007.





The Spook Cave has since updated it's ghost, but the tours are still on according to their website.


Maklarr4000
While going through my old stuff, I've come across a pile of old brochures from years and years ago. I'm not sure what to do with them, so here they are- scanned in as best as I was able with my Epson V33 flatbed scanner.

Today's entry is the Crossroads Antique Mall, located outside Hershey Pennsylvania. This brochure was picked up by me in the summer of 2005, though we didn't visit then. As antique malls are sort of ubiquitous travel stops, they are of course still open and operating today: www.crossroadsantiques.com



The back is curiously empty with only a simple map. Not too bad as a black and white brochure goes.


Maklarr4000
So, it's been a while now, and the Czech tanks are no longer news of any sort now- totally eclipsed by Sweden and the Mauschen mini-maus that was just released in 1.19.1. So, being the weirdo I am, I'm going to take a quick look at the ST vz. 39/V-8-H tank, the tier 4 Czech medium tank, and what you can do with it.



Historically speaking, the ST vz 39, also known as the V-8-H tank, was little more than a footnote in World War Two. Commissioned by the Czech government in 1937, the tank was designed and built by ČKD, who created two prototypes that were tested a few times, managed to survive the war and were then scrapped as most cool things were back then after they ceased to be useful.



But, enough history, what can the tank do in World of Tanks? Well, at tier 4, the ST vz 39 is lightly armored, and packs a gun with moderate penetration and damage- comparable in many regards to the Panzer III ausf. J tank, though not quite as speedy. In terms of matchmaking, the ST vz 39 is a mixed bag, varying from good matchups where it can use it's good penetration and passable frontal armor to bash in the heads of tier 3 opponents, and bad matchups where it has to stare down KV-1s at tier 5.

For me, the St vz 39 was a grind of a tank to get through. It is not a brawler tank, nor does it have the penetration and accuracy to snipe- so it's best just offset the firing line, taking safe shots as it's able. It's armor is not great, so it has to rely on significant cover to survive a battle. However, this means you don't get too many experience points, and so you have to play it over and over again.

To maximize my XP earnings, I loaded a healthy dose of APCR rounds, and pushed towards the top gun as fast as I could. This is not a profitable tank, so I was fine losing the credits on premium ammo. It also makes it much more satisfying to play, as you can (finally) knock holes into more heavily armored targets.

Though it's not terribly fast, I equipped mine with binoculars and a camo net all the same, and did manage to find myself in good spotting positions in some games. When possible, this is another great way to get a bunch of spotting damage XP, which will almost always outweigh the amount of damage you can do in this tank before getting shot to bits.

I know I said previously that the ST vz 39 was one of the worst tanks in the game several times before, and though I've backed it out of the "worst" position (there are some nice Swedish tanks in there now), I do not have fond memories of this tank for the most part. It isn't fast, it's gun isn't great, and the matchmaker hates this tank- placing you in tier 5 and occasionally even tier 6 games, in which case you are cannon fodder and little more. It's more frustrating than bad, much like the LT 38 before it. Thankfully, it does lead to some much more rewarding tanks further down the tech tree, so the painful grind is ultimately worth it.
Maklarr4000 Feb 25 '17 · Comments: 1 · Tags: cool, czech, game, tank, tanks, world of tanks, wot, st vz 39, v-8-h, tier 4
Maklarr4000
Wargaming announced that the M4 Improved would be for sale in a little bit, and as I've owned it for a while, I thought I'd give my thoughts on it, as well as some tips and tricks to keep prospective "M4-Imp" owners alive longer, and making the most of this machine from the beginning.


The history of the M4-Imrproved is unfortunately very brief. It was developed by <!--more--> the Detroit Arsenal as a means to build an "ultimate" version of the M4 Sherman, but it never got farther than a blueprint. A blueprint Wargaming has realized in virtual form, hooray!

The M4 Improved is, technically and statistically superior to the M4 Sherman at tier 5. It is faster, sports much better frontal armor, and well-angled side armor. But, what does that translate to in actual battles?

In my experience, the M4-Imp is very fast for it's size, leaving even many light tanks in it's dust. This means the M4-Imp can find very good positions very quickly, giving you and your team a serious spotting and firepower advantage.

The M4-Imp's biggest failing is in it's gun. While most love the M4 Sherman for it's 105-millimeter howitzer, the M4-Imp is stuck with the tier 4 75-millimeter M3 cannon, which isn't terribly accurate nor particularly powerful against heavy tanks and more heavily armored foes. The accuracy issues involved on the gun, in my experience, is that the shell usually flies somewhat down and to the right of the center of the reticule. It's a regular enough issue that you can usually use it to aim a little better.

The tank also features a remarkable feature, though hopefully you don't ever have to use it. Behind the turret, at the back half, is a glitch of sorts. I have on many occasions had shells pass through the back third of my turret. I'm not sure if it's the model, I'm not sure if it's the gun, but before the global chat was turned off, I was accused of cheating several times, as I'd dart between cover, and the shell would pass laterally through the back of the turret, before flying on to whatever was beyond. It wasn't every time, and I suspect it has something to do with speed and angle of the turret armor, but it's happened enough that I know it is there.

My best advice to new players is to treat this M4 like a scout until you've mastered it's combat quirks, and when possible, engage your enemies close to make up for the cannon's lack of penetration and accuracy. I carry 20 APCR shells for those bad bottom-tier games, which you will regularly see. For equipment, I advise a gun rammer and either coated optics or binoculars. I prefer coated optics, as I tend to be more mobile in the M4-Imp. Unlike other light tanks, this tank is considerably harder to hide.

Hopefully this helps some players who might be looking at the M4-Imp when its in the shop again. Good luck out there!

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