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Bill spooky behaviour [message #1570] Sun, 18 January 2004 10:37 Go to next message
Mike the Younger  is currently offline Mike the Younger
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Bill's behaviour has recently been described as spooky

Could he possibly have been a spook himself at one time?

Bill voluteered for the USMC when he was 17. His time in the service came to an abrupt halt 15 days prior to the end of his tour when he was wounded in his lungs by shrapnel. He exercised his options under the GI Bill for a university degree at taxpayers' expense opting for a Bsc Computers. He was just finishing when he realized that nice young lady named Sarah wasn't going away. Fast forward to 1980 and the happy couple are getting ready for the impending arrival of Susan. The happy event coincides with career changes for the Tuckers: Sarah getting her real estate liscence and Bill setting himself up as an operator of an online BBS. There is no mention in the Saga of what they were doing in between university and their current careers

The Tuckers' paranoid streak is well known. What has escaped comment on this board to date is their knowledge of surveillence (technical & covert) and escape & evasion techniques. And that they have inculcated this knowledge into their children. Could the gaps in the Tuckers' resumees be due to time spent in Government Service?

Checking an agent's story by looking for confirmation from scources strikes me as something any spook would do
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1575] Sun, 18 January 2004 13:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Speaking as a spook, former spook that is, Bill's paranoia and sense of humor fit in well with spooks as I have known them. Smile

- Erin
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1578] Sun, 18 January 2004 14:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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Some issues with your timeline...

Mike the Younger wrote on Sun, 18 January 2004 13:37

Bill's behaviour has recently been described as spooky

Could he possibly have been a spook himself at one time?

Bill voluteered for the USMC when he was 17. His time in the service came to an abrupt halt 15 days prior to the end of his tour when he was wounded in his lungs by shrapnel. He exercised his options under the GI Bill for a university degree at taxpayers' expense opting for a Bsc Computers. He was just finishing when he realized that nice young lady named Sarah wasn't going away. Fast forward to 1980 and the happy couple are getting ready for the impending arrival of Susan. The happy event coincides with career changes for the Tuckers: Sarah getting her real estate liscence and Bill setting himself up as an operator of an online BBS. There is no mention in the Saga of what they were doing in between university and their current careers

The Tuckers' paranoid streak is well known. What has escaped comment on this board to date is their knowledge of surveillence (technical & covert) and escape & evasion techniques. And that they have inculcated this knowledge into their children. Could the gaps in the Tuckers' resumees be due to time spent in Government Service?

Checking an agent's story by looking for confirmation from scources strikes me as something any spook would do


It's mentioned that Susan is nineteen (while Tuck is sixteen) on Chapter 56, more precisely on the 14:09 12 Jul (1997) timestamp. This is consistent with other info, such as:
- Eugene Wallace Tucker was born April 3rd, 1981 (date confirmed by Ellen).
- The story takes place in 1996/1997.
- Susan was already in college in 1996.
This means that Susan was born in 1977/78. Her exact birthday isn't mentioned anywhere -- which doesn't mean much: none of the other Tuckers' birthdays is mentioned either. Apparently Tuck doesn't find them worth mentioning. But the possible range is from 13-Jul-1977 to 12-Jul-1978. This takes a couple years from your "gap."

The other end of the "gap", however, is more elastic. We don't know the exact age of Bill, so we don't know when he enlisted, or when he ended his tour of duty, or how long he spent at college, etc. What we DO know is that he served in Vietnam, so, he had to have left the service on 1972 at the latest, since the U.S. left the 'Nam in early 1973. This just leaves up enough time to four-to-five years of college before marriage and Susan's birth. That means that any "gap" results from Bill being in the 'Nam earlier than that. I couldn't find any data regarding that -- which doesn't mean it's not possible, only that we don't know.

By the way, how long was the military tour of duty in the U.S. at the time? I seem to recall that it's now four years, but maybe it was different during the Vietnam War era. This would give us an estimate for Bill's minimum age.

Now, about Bill setting up his own BBS in the 1978-1980 timeframe... it could happen, of course, but at that time BBSs were strictly amateur affairs. Earning money from that would come far later.

I would think that Bill had to spend at least a few years working for a salary, doing payroll on VAX systems and other card-walloper stuff, before the microcomputer scene got big enough for him to start his own private consulting business. The ISP would come much later, probably during the early nineties.

Don't forget that Sarah stopped working when she got pregnant with Susan, and began again only after Brian was kinda "big enough." Before that, they were an one-income family, so it would probably be too risky for Bill to leave his "day job" before that. My guess for this timeline is that Bill had a "day job" throughout the eighties, and around 1990 (when Sarah began working again, which lessened the risk considerably) he decided to become his own boss.


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1586] Sun, 18 January 2004 18:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Janet  is currently offline Janet
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Sir Lee wrote on Sun, 18 January 2004 13:42

Some issues with your timeline...

Mike the Younger wrote on Sun, 18 January 2004 13:37

Bill's behaviour has recently been described as spooky

Could he possibly have been a spook himself at one time?

Bill voluteered for the USMC when he was 17. His time in the service came to an abrupt halt 15 days prior to the end of his tour when he was wounded in his lungs by shrapnel.


What we DO know is that he served in Vietnam, so, he had to have left the service on 1972 at the latest, since the U.S. left the 'Nam in early 1973.

By the way, how long was the military tour of duty in the U.S. at the time? I seem to recall that it's now four years, but maybe it was different during the Vietnam War era.


In 1970 you served two years active and four years reserve if you were drafted, and four years active and two years reserve if you volunteered.

I am trying to remember what the length of a 'tour' in 'Nam was. Eighteen months comes to mind, but I'm not sure.

If Bill volunteered at 17 and was wounded just before the end of his hitch, he would have been age 21.

BTW, being wounded would not have automatically terminated his service unless he were determined to be disabled. Not unreasonable for him to do his reserve time while in college, though.


Janet

All that glitters is not Iron Pyrite
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1587] Sun, 18 January 2004 19:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mike the Younger  is currently offline Mike the Younger
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According to Capt. Shelby Stanton (The Rise and Fall of an American Army:Dell Publishing Co. 1985), the USMC was withdrawn from contact during the first half of 1971. My guess is William Tucker would have avoided military service had he turned 17 after the Tet Offensive. This would get him out of university by 1972 at the very latest. The few times Bill talks about his combat time he refers to fighting the VC, which again is consistent to service during the first half of US involvement in the War
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1591] Sun, 18 January 2004 21:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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The services were different about how long one served. The Navy had 4 and 6 year enlistments, the Air Force only six year ones. The Army had 2,3, and 4 year enlistments and the Marines had 2 (volunteered for draft) and 4 year enlistments. The draftees went into the Army mostly, though early on the Marines got their share. The Army lost a lawsuit in 1971 which reduced all current 4 year enlistments to 3 years.

A tour of duty in Vietnam was 12 months with six month volunteer extensions and occasional mandatory ones but usually not for grunts. If one returned stateside with less than six months active duty time remaining, one sometimes received an early out. The shorter the remaining time, the more likely the early out since most people had 30 to 60 days leave coming anyway.

A wound would sometimes get one an offer for an early out up to a year early if a considerable part of that year would be spent in rehabilitation. Convalescence would usually be done on military time due to the hazards of relapses. One does not usually have to take a medical discharge if offered and some didn't because rehab avaiable varied by locale and if one were still on active duty, the best was only a transfer for medical need away. Outside the service, where one lives may be more of a problem, curiously.

The Washington area has one of the best Navy hospitals and a convalescing Bill might have been recruited for his intellect into one of the tech spook outfits headquartered there like NavSec or NavInt or my old outfit, the NSA. Curious to think I might have worked with the guy, since the timeframe we are talking about overlaps the time I spent drawing cartoons in Top Secret crypto logbooks. Smile

- Erin
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1592] Mon, 19 January 2004 07:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mike the Younger  is currently offline Mike the Younger
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Does anybody ever read those logbooks, Erin? Laughing

Seriously though, I suspect a real soldier recovering from that kind of wound that late in a tour would have spent most of his remaining enlistment in recovery

As far as the other end goes, Sir Lee I stand corrected on when Bill sets up shop for himself as a professional bum. Early nineties it is. If the Tuckers' spawned prior to changing careers, we are back to a gap of 20 years or so which our awesome author has chosen to leave open

Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1593] Mon, 19 January 2004 07:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Janet  is currently offline Janet
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Erin Halfelven wrote on Sun, 18 January 2004 20:38

The services were different about how long one served. The Navy had 4 and 6 year enlistments, the Air Force only six year ones. The Army had 2,3, and 4 year enlistments and the Marines had 2 (volunteered for draft) and 4 year enlistments. The draftees went into the Army mostly, though early on the Marines got their share. The Army lost a lawsuit in 1971 which reduced all current 4 year enlistments to 3 years.

That's consistant with my experience. I was drafted in Spring of 1970 and after reception testing got a discharge from the 2/4 year draft hitch when I 'volunteered' for a special school with a 4/2 year hitch (active/reserve).

Anyone who didn't qualify for or choose a special school were routed to infantry (read 'cannon fodder'...)

It all turned out to be moot as I was out on a medical within 10 weeks. Since I was 'free' after that, I sorta stopped paying as much attention.


Janet

All that glitters is not Iron Pyrite
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1647] Mon, 26 January 2004 05:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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anyone else think that bill's thoughts and behavior has a striking resemblance to lazerus long or maybe some of the other familys of hielien's books.

actualy, val as puddin' has recently been a funny parralel in my mind. the family seems kinda similar... though seperated by a few decades... maybe they could be sarah's family?

ehh... i think i'm going through tuck withdrawl, i'm starting to see tuck in ever book i read.

but the no-nonsence, harsh realist veiw of the world parralels so well.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #1649] Wed, 28 January 2004 00:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
OtherEric  is currently offline OtherEric
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Doragoon wrote on Mon, 26 January 2004 02:08

anyone else think that bill's thoughts and behavior has a striking resemblance to lazerus long or maybe some of the other familys of hielien's books.

I don't know that I think the characters resemble anybody specific in Heinlein that closely. With that said, I think many of the main characters would not feel too out of place if they wandered in to a Heinlein story. It's not so much that resemble the characters as I suspect they've all read Heinlein and found many of the values and attitudes the characters have to be worthwhile in real life. (Do we ever see anybody reading Heinlein, other than Val stealing Ken's book in Tucky Season? T^2 doesn't count.)
I wonder if Tuck has read any of Heinlein's stories with tg characters yet. "All You Zombies", in particular, would probably make Tuck's head explode.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #6757] Thu, 14 April 2011 19:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
OtteryLexa  is currently offline OtteryLexa
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Performing a bit of thread necromancy here...

Quote:

Do we ever see anybody reading Heinlein

We've now seen Sarah Tucker recommending "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" to Debbie for the description of resistance cell structures.

Quote:

I wonder if Tuck has read any of Heinlein's stories with tg characters yet. "All You Zombies", in particular, would probably make Tuck's head explode.


I imagine he's read all or most of them. I got the impression that they (Mike and Tuck) have read a lot of SF. Though probably not since his medical issues started to appear. If he does re-read, we may see some catastrophic cranial events.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #6760] Thu, 14 April 2011 22:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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There used to be some direct evidence to Tuck reading Heinlein in the "Seasons" old draft. But that version has been deprecated, and we will have to wait and see if that evidence will make it to the final version.


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #6763] Sat, 16 April 2011 16:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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Sir Lee wrote on Thu, 14 April 2011 19:48

There used to be some direct evidence to Tuck reading Heinlein in the "Seasons" old draft. But that version has been deprecated, and we will have to wait and see if that evidence will make it to the final version.


Has anyone compiled a list of Tuck's reading, both fiction and non-fiction? I'm willing to bet he has the Feynman lectures series on his bookshelf along with the amateur's guide of making explosives for fun and pleasure, next to his Pratchett novels.

We know there are some fans out there who've compiled a music list....
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #6769] Wed, 20 April 2011 15:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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lurker wrote on Sat, 16 April 2011 21:54

Has anyone compiled a list of Tuck's reading, both fiction and non-fiction?


I certainly haven't. I'm trying NOT to give Tuck the contents of MY bookshelves, since I've got more than he does - more than him and Mike combined.
lurker wrote on Sat, 16 April 2011 21:54


I'm willing to bet he has the Feynman lectures series on his bookshelf along with the amateur's guide of making explosives for fun and pleasure, next to his Pratchett novels.

Say rather FM 5-34, Engineer's Field Guide, and some more pro-level works, rather than amateur stuff. I could even see binders filled with photocopies or printouts of college library extracts of chemical synthesis. Back in my college days, I found a book that IIRC detailed nerve gases and how to 'build' them.

And gaming books... LOTS of gaming books.

Ellen
nosig
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #7059] Sat, 14 April 2012 22:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
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It seems that he has some Mercedes Lackey as well.
As far as Spooky behavior Tuck says that Bill was an RTO in Vietnam. The question is at what level was his clearance for this job? He seems to have operated at a squad/platoon level but his paranoia indicates that he operated at a higher level at some time or that he took Orwell seriously....
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #8159] Tue, 13 August 2013 22:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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ARISE, O DEAD THREAD! ARISE!...

(cough! cough! those sulfur candles are murder on my lungs...)

OK. Bit of additional data regarding timelines... doesn't seem to contradict any of the above, but may be helpful in pinning it down a bit.

- On September 26, 1997 Sarah Tucker claims to have been "working on" Bill for twenty-five years. OK, people aren't quite precise with this sorts of numbers, but I think she wouldn't claim 25 years of relationship if it wasn't at least close to that. So let's place a lower boundary of 24 years since their meeting each other -- that would be second half of 1973.

- But on the early hours of Jun 14, Bill tells the tale of how Sarah kept talking to him when he came up for air or food from the computer labs. I don't know much about how MIT (where Bill went for college and his graduate degree -- see August 20) worked in the early seventies, but I have a strong suspicion that a freshman would have only very, very, VERY limited access to computers back then -- those things were EXPENSIVE. Beginner's programming classes shouldn't be able to take so much of his time. So it's likely that he was at least a sophomore when they met, perhaps even more advanced. If so, that would place Bill's college enrolment at 1972 at the latest. That appears consistent with the Vietnam War dates someone posted above.


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #8160] Wed, 14 August 2013 00:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Unicorn  is currently offline The Unicorn
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Sir Lee wrote on Tue, 13 August 2013 19:25

Beginner's programming classes shouldn't be able to take so much of his time.



I don't think this is correct. Keep in mind that in the time frame (late 60s/early 70s) a programming project would involve several hours preparation, followed by five minutes computer time, then taking the program output and going over everything you did by hand looking for the error in the code, and repeat.

While some of the set up and bug hunt could be done somewhere other than the computer lab, my impression is it was generally done there, and typing up the punch cards and then having them read into the card reader would have to be in the computer lab.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #8161] Wed, 14 August 2013 09:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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The Unicorn wrote on Wed, 14 August 2013 01:57

Sir Lee wrote on Tue, 13 August 2013 19:25

Beginner's programming classes shouldn't be able to take so much of his time.



I don't think this is correct. Keep in mind that in the time frame (late 60s/early 70s) a programming project would involve several hours preparation, followed by five minutes computer time, then taking the program output and going over everything you did by hand looking for the error in the code, and repeat.

While some of the set up and bug hunt could be done somewhere other than the computer lab, my impression is it was generally done there, and typing up the punch cards and then having them read into the card reader would have to be in the computer lab.

My point (which wasn't that well done) was that a freshman would have too many non-computing required courses to be able to spend that much time in the computer lab.


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #8162] Wed, 14 August 2013 17:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Unicorn  is currently offline The Unicorn
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Sir Lee wrote on Wed, 14 August 2013 06:31


My point (which wasn't that well done) was that a freshman would have too many non-computing required courses to be able to spend that much time in the computer lab.


Oh, that does make sense. Personally I think all the classes I had my first year were basic science ones, not anything specific like a programming class would have been back then.
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #8163] Wed, 14 August 2013 18:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Amy!  is currently offline Amy!
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Interesting. If Bill was at MIT in this period, and involved in computing, there's a fair chance he was involved in some fashion in the AI lab, at pretty close to the acme of its deep-hack reputation. Which would be amusing, particularly if he ended up being a LISP bigot (consider that my judgment upon the attitude of LISP hackers).

But we haven't seen any of the raging peculiarities of speech typical of that crowd; they very much had an opaque internal dialect. On the other hand, he's had a long time for it to wear away, and it isn't all that likely that Sarah would have bothered with it, ever. Given his deep pragmatism, it's likely that he wouldn't have taught the slang to Tuck or Mike.

Touching back on Heinlein, how come nobody's mentioned the name of the ISP that he runs? I mean ... c'mon! That's as broad a sign that he read and admired RAH as anything I can imagine.

Amy!
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #8164] Wed, 14 August 2013 23:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
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I thought that Heinlein was pretty much a given. Not the later Heinlein but the earlier one before he wrote The Man from Mars. Or how he wrote in stuff like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Though I'm trying to think of the naked (not quite) scout story too....
Re: Bill spooky behaviour [message #8167] Thu, 15 August 2013 07:41 Go to previous message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Anne wrote on Wed, 14 August 2013 20:43

I thought that Heinlein was pretty much a given. Not the later Heinlein but the earlier one before he wrote The Man from Mars. Or how he wrote in stuff like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Though I'm trying to think of the naked (not quite) scout story too....


Actually, Stranger in a Strange Land isn't nearly the departure that many folks think it is. If you eliminate the juveniles, and the stuff published in Astounding (which was pretty strait-laced) you'll find that the signs were there all along.

I assume that the "naked scout" story you are thinking of is the one the protagonist's sister tells in the early part of "Tunnel in the Sky".
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