Wednesday, December 28, 2016


What do snowflakes call anybody they see carrying a gun while wearing a white sheet?  From The Strategy Page.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Assessment of the problem by one Marine. I don't know if it's true but he shares my thoughts about the situation fairly closely.

From a Recon Marine in Afghanistan: From the Sand Pit

It's freezing here.  I'm sitting on hard cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains, along the Dar'yoi Pamir River, watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave.  Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.

I also glance at the area around my ass every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting.  I've actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but the scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod.  Hurts like a bastard.  The antidote tastes like transmission fluid, but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.

The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water.  That requires couriers and that's where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy.

I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the hand held, and shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware.  We bash some heads for a while, and then I track and record the new movement.  It's all about intelligence.  We haven't even brought in the snipers yet.  These scurrying rats have no idea what they're in for.  We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin.  But you know me; I'm a romantic.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: This country blows, man.  It's not even a country.  There are no roads, there's no infrastructure, there's no government.

This is an inhospitable, rock-pit shit-hole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes.  There are no jobs here like we know jobs.  Afghanistan offers only two ways for a man to support his family, join the opium trade or join the army.  That's it.  Those are your options.  Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu, if that's your idea of a party.  But the smell alone of those 'tent cities of the walking dead' is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.

I've been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks, and Turkmen and even a couple of Pashtu's, for over a month-and-a-half now, and this much I can say for sure: These guys, are Huns, actual, living Huns.  They LIVE to fight.  It's what they do.  It's ALL they do.  They have no respect for anything; not for themselves, their families, or for each other.  They claw at one another as a way of life.  They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor.  Just Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each other's barbarism.  Cavemen with AK-47's.  Then again, maybe I'm just a cranky young bastard.

I'm freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice, and I can't recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours.  Oh yeah!  You like to write letters, right?  Do me a favor, write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban "smart".  They are not smart.  I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is "cunning".  The Taliban are cunning, like jackals, hyenas, and wolverines.  They are sneaky and ruthless, and when confronted, they are cowardly.  They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else.

Smart?  Bullshit!  Yeah, they're real smart,  Most can’t read, but they've spent their entire lives listening to Imams telling them about only one book (and not a very good one, as books go).  They consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil.  They're still trying to figuring out how to work a Bic lighter.  Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen.   Eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.

K, enough.  Snuffle will be up soon, so I have to get back to my hole.  Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice, but I'm good at it.

Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives.  The story line you are getting from CNN and other news agencies is utter bullshit and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen so you will watch the next commercial.  We've got this one under control.  The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we're doing over here.  You have no idea what we're doing, and you really don't want to know.  We are your military, and we are only doing what you sent us here to do.

From a Jack Recon Marine in Afghanistan, Semper Fi.

"Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps is paying most of your share".

 Send this to your friends, so that people there will know what is really going on over here.

God Bless America.


I have read countless pundits predicting the utter overthrow of the democratic party over the last 3 weeks. The pundits all claim that Trump and the republicans swept to victory because he channels all the things that make republicans and Midwesterners (56%) swoon with joy.

Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. The only reason that Trump beat the democratic party's choice was because the party and their People selected the most vile, disgusting, reprehensible liar, scumbag and thief who was clearly all of those things. The People stayed home. Not in droves, but enough decided to sit out voting for such a deplorable almost human being for President.

Looking downstream, I agree that if the democratic party selects Ellison to run the DNC, they will fail again. If they choose a sane, non-racist who comes across as sympathetic to Americans and American workers, they will start immediately to vet and groom the next nominee. The vetting will be in depth this time and they will take the blinders off to actually see what is in front of them and plainly obvious to the electorate. They will not choose as "their" nominee another vicious, evil, old crony of the banks and Wall Street. They'll get a populist.

It's hard to believe they'll find one but I'm sure they'll try and then they'll do what they did in the recent election and put their thumb on the scale to make sure that person "wins" the nomination over all contenders. When that happens they will cream Trump if he runs again and any other potential republican candidates.

The problem the DNC will have is finding anybody "fit" to run as a convincing populist. All of the democratic leadership will be a decade into receiving social security and clearly regarded as elite mandarins who never worked a day in their lives and who are wealthy coastal types. They shot their leading partisan in the head when they elected Pelosi as the Minority Leader over a populist Midwesterner from a state that has produced more Presidents than any other state.

But who are the democrats who run the party? Well, I'm confidant that they're exactly the type to select Ellison to be DNC chairman and to run the ship further up on the rocks. They're wreckers, it's what they do.

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 17, 2016


If I wasn't American, I'd be afraid. Very afraid.

We don't like you very much anymore.

And just why exactly would we?

Friday, December 16, 2016


The people that run this country told us that this man is an articulate man.

Obama comes across here as a complete moron. He literally has to stop to think between one syllable words because he can't string them together.

SCIENTISTS voted for this idiot. Compare him to any modern European ruler or any past president and the only one who comes close is Jimmy Carter. This man who has been president for 8 years comes across here as a complete and total idiot.

I think the video will vanish overnight.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Can you imagine?

YOU are the one tasked to read all the emails hacked from clinton or podesta to search the turf for the gems of indescretion that people will actually believe. Between them they wrote over a hundred thousand.

Imagine your boss coming into your office with a truck dolly and dumping an 8 foot high stack of boxes containing the stolen emails of a twit named hillary or one named Podesta and telling you that your job now consisted of reading through this mass of shit until you find the gleaming gem that puts your party in power.

Every single day it is some kind of blessing that only leftist, progressive, liberal democrats go into the news business.

Talk about a shit job.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


This was photoengraved on the door of our Combat Information Center. It tended to focus the young minds entering the space wonderfully. CIC was the realm of the mine hunters. The fantail was the realm of the mine sweepers. We all figured, all of us until somebody came up with a reliable useful way to push the sweep gear ahead of the ship, that we preferred using sonar to find them before we blew up.

Mind you, the 8th or 9th time the US retired the battleships.... I kept saying we could use them dragging a combined tow sweep. They could shrug off little 500 pound mines all day long and sweep mines at over 30 knots.

They're out there everyday and the unexpected can be a real downer.


I just commented on Daily Timewaster and it stirred memories left behind. Mostly when one leaves them behind, one has consigned them to the deep and doesn't really want to return and stir them up. It brought to mind that I'm driving a 16 year old VW that 'she' bought. I traded my 328i in for a new SUV since we had become a family of 3. It wasn't a year or two later that she took the new car and my 4 year old daughter and departed to the rich pastures of Texas. In Texas she went through 3 or 5 cars, more in Portland and God knows what damage she's done in Washington.

That VW that she bought across the street from SFO, and I was there when she signed the contract, she left with me. I doubt either of you have read Trevanian. He seems to have been a feature of long ago but I read his book Shibumi and remembered how the protaganist always kicked his volvo when he got out and if he forgot would stoop and pick up a rock and throw it the car. This is how I feel about the VW.

My father drives a 31 year old red Honda that he cherishes. The sultry and beautiful pirate I know and cherish thinks maybe I should buy a truck but I hold off. Not so much because trucks are designed by Detroit to rust away quickly in the Spring but because I'm cheap and as long as that stupid VW works, I'll keep driving it.

Forget all your fancy hotrods, when I push down the accelerator, even a tiny bit, that stupid car passes through the sound barrier. That Beemer on its best day never did that.

Friday, December 9, 2016


Ever notice how they never run out of ammunition? I just watched Mr. Wilders speech after he was convicted by 3 judges who took themselves a full 20 months to adjudiciate him of being a bad thought person. I was struck last week by Washington DC judges of no repute who have been pondering Mark Steyn's case for over 2 years and the best answer I can come up with is swords, hatchets and guns. Yes, I know the old rule used to be money, guns, and lawyers but I'm confident we can change the remedies with some good old fashioned edged weapons. You know; inventive, limited to the target and not his girlfriends unless they're lawyers too and certainly leaving family alone unless, they're lawyers.

Have you noticed how those who claim to represent the will of the people have taken to hiding behind armed guards? Just when did that happen? I mean, it's justfified but the policy that took us to this position almost demands hunting licenses for politicians and judges. Truman didn't hide from his people. Netiher did FDR or Kennedy.

I saw the car door of our dear leader the other night on a news clip. That door was almost one foot thick armor. M60 tanks didn't do a foot of armor. No wonder that limo keeps bottoming out. I thought it was him.


Has stepped into the clearing at the end of the path. He was the last of America's first. All of them shared a sense of humor. The world is lesser for their passing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I no longer care. I haven't for years. I remember what I want and couldn't care less about what is written in the Washington Post. This is me, caring about stuff. Mind you, you have to glance at the article or you'll be lost by this post.

Departure from Southampton enroute to Edinburg

Monday, December 5, 2016


She said there were spares. Haystacks and Buckeyes.

Buckeyes are their name in Ohio. Elsewhere we knew them by a different handle. They were peanut butter balls. Still and all,



Just so.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


I read this article and the taste was right back in my mouth from the other days. I learned a lesson as a young LCDR on a 3 star staff and that was to never answer the phone. You don't answer yours, you sure as hell don't answer your bosses phone and you just don't answer the phone.

They can't task you if they can't talk to you.

Phones are bad. Very bad.

We took a phone to Failaka Island once. It was a desert isle, and no phone service, so we used INMARSAT and our radiomen were the only ones that used it and they used it to establish an HF Term with Guam, if I recall correctly. I answered that phone one day. It was the Chief of Staff on the other end, in San Diego, demanding that we stop using the INMARSAT since it was costing him something like $9/minute. He was pretty irate.

I didn't tell him that the radio dudes were calling Guam Tech Control and then putting them on hold while they ran back to fiddle with the HF radios in the surveillance system. It was too cruel. I just assured him that we were not calling our wives, sweethearts, girlfriends or significant others and put him on hold.

One really can get into all kinds of trouble on desert islands. Don't answer the phone.

Never before have so few been supervised by so many. Each time I went to the Middle East the staff had grown by a factor 10X. It was really sad. In the olden days the Middle East Force staff was the admiral and about 10 guys. In my days on the Sweeps it was a shipful. By the time I went back as a NAVCENT staffer dude we filled up a small building. When I was there last in 2005 it was 16 buildings of staff weenies.

When the COS used to call me at home, I stopped answering the phone. I'm not stupid.

I'm the guy between LT Ray Malskis and HMCS Canzionni on Failaka Island long ago


I see the potter's wheel and the kiln but who knew?

H/T Theo


I have read about the Warrior Monk for a number of years now. He is one of the few, the proud and the elite. Having Trump name this man to be his Secretary of Defense just makes my day. Knowing his philosophy I expect his first day in office will be one that sends countless executives and lesser men to the Emergency Room with heart attacks and thromboses and lesser related ills. He believes in what he says and he does what he believes is right. I'd be very surprised if he didn't promptly fire 100 SES and flag officers upon taking up the reins of power at the Pentagon. There is so much dead wood in the navy alone that he could easily fire them all and end up with a handful of commodores running a better Navy than what we have now.

I'm over the press and his fans who repeatedly refer to him as Mad Dog Mattis. This man is probably the best and most prepared mind we ever had as SECDEF. He is no mad dog and yet you know the media and the left will portray him as such for as long as they can get away with it. I can just see their antics when he eliminates the office of diversity at Defense. There are thousands of jobs that contribute zilch to the military affairs or culture and he'll kill them all.

Mr. Mattis, if you need a retired navy guy in any capacity, let me know. I know some. :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

From Maggies Farm

I liked it.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


It appears that people who genuflect when they say the Name (Hillary) have taken to wearing safety pins as a sign of solidarity and to show that they are a safe void. I'm not sure about this. The one thing this lost lot of vagabonds has shown is an intolerance for danger. How can they bear to actually grasp a sharp object and bring it within reach of their clothing?

As a sign of my solidarity with the cause I've decided to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on NETFLIX and DAMN the torpedoes and splodey stuff.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I was reading somewhere today that the International Astronomical Union had taken the trouble to organize themselves a body of concerned people to sit down and rename the stars. They did it for the best of reasons; they tell us. They claim that by simply renaming stars it would eliminate the confusion people have who cannot tell stars apart because the spelling is different and that throws off navigators, astronomers, birds and concerned people.

This doesn't really effect us but they decided to rename one star in particular. The nearest star is to be renamed in order to eliminate all that dashed confusion and concern. Alpha Centauri will now bask in the light of its new name, Rigil Kentaurus. Read it and weep.

It seems easy enough doesn't it? They have named it Rigil Kentaurus. Nothing could be simpler. All one has to do is change all the text books, all the navigation publications and stellar almanacs, nautical almanacs, air almanacs, star charts, etc and match the old star with its new name. shared the name change in its report of 28 November 2016. I'm just a slow reader.

I'm never gonna remember its new name, but that's OK. Rigil Kentaurus is not visible anywhere north of North 29° Latitude. The last time I saw it was in 1984. I'll have to go a long way out of the way to see it again. In the meantime, I can tell people that I saw Alpha Centauri before it went away.


I've been reading and agreeing with a number of commenters and pundits who have pointed out that the left views the right as not just wrong, but evil. The left cannot, in good conscience, debate with evil people about their evil thoughts and potentially evil deeds so they don't remonstrate with the right or even let the right have a voice in their councils or their meetings or their spaces. You can see a sample of this with the PBS team. They have what they refer to as a "Tame Conservative" in David Brooks and trot him out to run down and denigrate any and all aspects or characters that issue from the right. 

At Harry's place one of his guest posters picked up on this and expanded on it. He starts off with a tragic tale that shows just how blinkered the media and the left are and how reluctant anybody is to go against the faddism that passes for liberal thought these days and how the only people who challenge the orthodoxy pitched by the press, maintstream liberal media, academic view are quickly labeled kooks, right wing thugs, racists, bigots and misogynists. It's enough to make a modern liberal arts college junior burst into tears.

Mehrdad Amanpour wrote:
What should worry us all today is that the public response to mainstream truth in the West increasingly reflects the stories I hear from my father-in-law. Politically-correct terms used by the left are increasingly co-opted into conversations and social media to mean something else entirely. You can now find examples in mainstream newspapers, the alt-right media and even within the below-the-line comments of the Guardian. 
‘Cultural enrichment’ is now a sardonic and common term for crime by immigrants. ‘Vibrant community’ means a violent area with a high immigrant population. ‘Religion of peace’ means violent Islamism. ‘Youths’ means young Muslim criminals.  ’Refugees’ means illegal immigrants. ‘Children’ means bearded young men. ‘Syrian’ means a migrant not from Syria. ‘Doctors and engineers’ means semi-literate and unskilled migrants.
Isn't it amazing how words can come to mean different things to different people? The people who use those expressions see totally different realities. Those familiar with the concept of the Venn Diagram can picture this shared reality in this way.


Correct. There is no overlapping of world views at all. There is no shared reality. That's readily apparent to those of us who watched in awe as the left imploded under Bush Derangement Syndrome, took a break during the Obama administration and quite failed to notice that the wars and killing went on, Gitmo never closed, the terrorists attacked more and more countries with greater lethality and increasing numbers of innocent casualties and have now gone collectively insane again even before Donald Trump takes the Oath of Office and is sworn in as our next President. 

The article is not long. It looks that way because it includes all the comments. You might think about sharing it with some of your friends who don't look at the world in quite the same way that you do. I don't advocate this as any kind of attack on other views. It merely provides food for thought. Some of those people out there are famished. To paraphrase the great Flip Wilson, They better get gruntled.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


From gCaptain:


There is a fascinating article at Janes discussing the recent complete breakdown of USS ZUMWALT as it passed through the Panama Canal. The ship is currently docked at the former Rodman Navy Base in Panama while experts from Naval Sea Systems Command fly out to diagnose and repair the ships propulsion system.
A series of engine problems has hindered USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) on its maiden transit from the US East Coast to the ship's designated West Coast home port of San Diego, requiring the ship to be towed through the Panama Canal, US Navy (USN) officials told IHS Jane's. 
The ship is now being held in Panama as the USN and contractors try to fix the engineering problems, service officials said on 22 November. As of this writing it was unclear what was wrong with the vessel, which is the lead ship in a class of three next-generation multi mission destroyers. 
Vice Admiral Nora Tyson, commander of US Third Fleet, has directed Zumwalt "to remain at ex-Naval Station Rodman in Panama to address engineering issues that occurred while transiting the Panama Canal", Commander Clayton Doss, a USN spokesman, told IHS Jane's .
"The timeline for repairs is being determined now, in direct co-ordination with Naval Sea Systems and Naval Surface Forces," Cdr Doss said. "The schedule for the ship will remain flexible to enable testing and evaluation in order to ensure the ship's safe transit to her new homeport in San Diego." 
In San Diego, the ship is scheduled to conduct combat system testing and certification before being deployed to the Western Pacific. 
Pacific Command (PACOM) officials remain enthusiastic about the ship's entrance to the region, despite the engineering issues. "As with all first-of-class ships, the navy will have some kinks to work out," PACOM commander Admiral Harry Harris told IHS Jane's. 
Assuming ZUMWALT actually makes it to San Diego it will join the other "first-of-class ships" known as Littoral Combat Ship, all of which appear to be broken beyond repair and of little use to either Third Fleet or the United States Navy.
A report in 2010 by the Pentagon's director of Operational Test and Evaluation found that neither design was expected to "be survivable in a hostile combat environment" and that neither ship could withstand the Navy's full ship shock trials.[14] The Navy responded that the LCS is built to a Level 1+ survivability standard and that the ships will rely on warnings from networks and speed to avoid being hit, or if hit be able to limp to safety.[15][16] Jonathan Greenert said that the crew would "conduct an orderly abandon ship" if their ship was struck by enemy fire, an action that might not be necessary on other vessels in the same circumstances. The ships were designed to minimize vulnerability with modern automated damage control systems to perform its mission, then withdraw from the area under its own power.[17] 
The LCS's combat abilities were said to be "very modest" even before the cancellation of the XM501 Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System.[18] The Independence variant reportedly has better helicopter facilities and more internal space while the Freedom variant is said to be better able to launch and recover boats in high seas. Admiral Gary Roughead said that a mix of both types would be "operationally advantageous".[19]
It was rather sad to see the way Admirals just flat out lied about the worthless little ships. I was quite disappointed in both Greenert and Roughead. I don't know why they compromised their integrity by lying about a ship that was clearly worse than useless from the very beginning.

As we move forward we need to have actual surface combatants that can, at a bare minimum, defend themselves from readily obvious and apparent threats but also protect unarmed ships they might be convoying through the Strait of Hormuz or the South China Sea. Warships that can't conduct meaningful anti-surface warfare, any  kind of mine warfare or any type of anti-submarine or anti-air warfare are useless and worse than useless because they require real warships to defend them.

The idea that we deliberately keep building ships that cannot survive in a hostile environment and are expected to run away from threats they hear about and "limp to safety" after getting tagged by the bad guys is not really funny anymore. The ships engines don't work and they don't "limp" home, they have to be towed. All of the broken ships of the Navy appear to be headed to San Diego and Third Fleet. When Obama talked about a pivot to the Pacific I didn't think he meant to weaken the fleet and load it up with crippled and broken ships.

Trump needs somebody who can look into the debacle and fire everyone involved.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Another good man has stepped into the clearing at the end of the path. I really enjoyed the old TV show Barney Miller where Ron played a dapper detective who was policing until he sold his book. He returned to my screen as Shepherd Book in Firefly. He was a gifted actor and I enjoyed his appearances over the years.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


A little evil has passed from the world with the death of Fidel Castro. He will not be missed. There were other revolutionaries that took power during the long Cold War between the US and the USSR and Castro was not the worst.

I took a few minutes to look at YOU TUBE and watched the films that showed Havana and Cuba back before Castro took power and set about destroying the country as only communists can. The sad thing is that I decided not to use any of them here for the simple reason that I live now in MetroParkCentralis and once lived in Detroit. Right about the time that Castrol took power and started driving all of Cuba (minus Guantanamo) into the ground, Detroit and Cleveland were still thriving industrial powerhouses. Sadly, the world changed. Some might see in this the dead hand of globalism steering American industry and jobs overseas to Japan and the Asian Tigers.
Detroit was, in 1950, 1,800,000 people with the highest per capita income in the United States. Fifty-eight years of bad government, bad policies, high taxes, big regulations.  Failure of the police force, failure of the education system: Detroit today has about 950,000 people, and ranks 66th. What’s the answer been in Lansing by the state government under liberal Democrats? It’s been to raise taxes, increase bureaucracy, take care of the unions. So they’re actually accelerating the decay of Michigan. (Newt Gingrich interview to which I've lost the link.)
It's interesting to reflect what did the damage to the economies of both Cuba and the formerly successful cities of America's rust belt. If you read the two links to "Detroit" you will find an answer that I think covers the situation here very well.

The major difference between Castro's approach to dissent and that of the new Rust Belt Urban Elite (RBUE) is Castro jailed his dissenters or killed them and the RBUE just made it so unpleasant that anyone that could leave, did, and left the rotten core of the former industrial heartland to the progressives, socialists, communists, UAW, SEIU and democratic party politicians.

I'll be curious to see what a 'businessman' President's take is on normalizing relations with Castro's brother's Cuba. I envision a few changes and perhaps the introduction of some more sticks. OTOH, he may also sweeten the pot and tell the ruling class there that they can live, if they leave. I mean, it would be a 'coup' (sorry, I couldn't help myself) for Trump to introduce some weapons and trained soldiers into Cuba to roll up the country in a genteel and open-handed sort of way. Kind of like we rolled up Grenada, Haiti, Panama and the rest.*

Let's remember that Noriega, former President of Panama, rotted in a federal prison here in the US because a President of the USA decided to collar him for drug running. He is now rotting in a Panamanian prison in somewhat less salubrious conditions.

In the grand scheme of things Cuba has lost little by its diversion into socialism. 70 years is not long on a timescale that starts back in 1492. The Cuban people have had better and worse government over the last 5 centuries.

*Once ashore they'd start delivering free Ring Dings, satellite TVs, wifi routers and computers and the rest of the things people seem to want these days. This is sort of what I envision happening to the DPRK soldiers if they ever do cross the DMZ and head into the Greater Metropolitan Seoul Area-- they'll stop and loot and eat and loot some more and eat and drink until they pass out. I doubt they'll even make it to the north bank of the Han River.

Still, it's nice to be able to say that Fidel Castro is finally dead. Let the celebration mourning begin

Friday, November 25, 2016


It seems America's Navy is not alone in losing any knack it had for building warships. Our sad ships of this century include the Littoral Combat Ship, which, as a Class, suck in both variations and include the recently commissioned Zumwalt, first of the 3 ship Zumwalt Class of Land Attack Destroyers which was recently disarmed when the Navy refused to ask for funds to purchase the Land Attack Munitions for the ships and the troubled bleeding edge Air Craft Carrier, Ford which cannot launch or recover planes and has other engineering problems that keep her years away from Sea Trials and a Commissioning Ceremony that brings her into the Navy.  Nope, we now have the Type 45 Destroyer of the Royal Navy being towed back into port two days after getting underway on its first mission.

You wouldn't think real ship building was such a perishable skill.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Perhaps his signal achievement as President was to launch the United States on a mission to land mankind on the moon and he set a deadline. This country used to be able to accomplish the most amazing technical feats in very short periods of time and with limited budgets. I wonder what happened to change all that? Me? I blame computers.

One of the apocryphal stories related to mankind's descent upon the moon was the story of Mr. Gorsky. I will let it unfold from this space.

Did Neil Armstrong really say “Good Luck Mr. Gorsky” on the Moon?
I have heard, that upon standing on the moon, Neil Armstrong at some point said "Good luck Mr. Gorsky". The story being that while a child, playing baseball, through an open window he heard Mrs. Gorsky yell at her husband: "Oral sex, you want oral sex? When the kid next door walks on the Moon!"
Is that just made up, or real?
It's a cute story, an urban legend, but that's all it is. According to NASA HQ Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal that includes full transcript and MP3 audio clip (52 MB) of all the conversations between Apollo 11 astronauts and mission control, as a note near the beginning of the page, there it stands:
Me? I think it's funny. I wonder just how NASA managed to hang onto the transcripts and the audio recordings of all conversations on the moon even though they destroyed all the high resolution video recordings of man landing and walking on the moon.

Still, a day to remember. Well, two of them actually.


Stolen from Megan's Place


We flew into LaGuardia last month on our way to embark on a ship and found an unusual set up for passengers intent on departing the airport with all their luggage and heading into New York City. For some reason, LaGuardia requires its customers to haul their bags the full length of the terminal; where, just beyond the end, one can find a taxi stand and hail a cab. It appears that one is not permitted to hail empty cabs passing down the length of the terminal after dropping off departing passengers. We went ahead and hailed one anyway who stopped and picked us up. Quickly.

What a stupid way to run an airport.

Monday, November 21, 2016


From Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage. This pretty much sums up the Democrcats again and going into the next election cycle.
Some Democrat strategists want to learn how to “talk to white people” again. Meanwhile the left is doubling down on showing them the door. The left is pushing former Nation of Islam racist Keith Ellison for DNC chair. Because if there’s anything that will save the party, it’s putting a racist who represents a district with the largest concentration of Somali Muslims in the state in charge of formulating its future. 
Ellison supports racist cop killers, hates Israel, and has a past with a hate group that believes white people are “devils” who are the spawn of a mad scientist’s experiment and will be wiped out by UFOs.
The little tiny problem that particular Party has is its failure to include everybody. The only Party and people that routinely deny a specific group of people from their affairs is the Democratic Party and its collection of misfit traffic botherers. We haven't seen a "No Blacks Allowed" sign in more than a generation but I see "No Whites Permitted" signs from Democratic organizations every single day.

It's like they can't help themselves and stop being racist long enough to read what they're writing.


It's like bombs and bombers are incapable of hitting anything other than children's hospitals, orphanages, milk factories, schools and Chinese embassies.

Targets bombed are in Green

Friday, November 18, 2016


As we know, Illinois voters once again clasped the Party of Slavery to their breasts and raved defiance at the rest of the States for refusing to accept their glorious leader as their savior for all things defined purely by race. 

I particularly like the in-the-river aftermath after one car swept them off the bridge and into the water, since these appear to be the words of the Socialist Party, the media, race hatred groups and the common core of BLM, SPLC, and all the other oxygen thieves who promote hatred and division between people of America.

You can pretty much take it to the bank that only evil and violent losers and scumbags block the nation's highways and expect to be protected by the police from motorists who would otherwise use them for speedbumps.


Party Spokesman, Paul Forktongue (D-CA), told the gentlemen, ladies, women, girls, boys, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, child-predators, transexuals and unknowns of the press today that the Democratic Party was "on track and on course and speeding towards a glorious future come the revolution!"

Democratic Party Headed for its Rendezvous With Destiny
The members of the press gave repeated loud huzzas and with that they attended a Weiner Roast being held at Hillary Clinton's palace in New York.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


I can't believe that someone at the New York Times saw fit to publish these. They're amazing.


Why does it seem more and more obvious everyday that the only transparency Americans have into the workings of their elected leaders and government actions comes from the people who hack the mystifyingly pseudonomous email accounts favored by elected and appointed leaders and agency employees who unlawfully conduct the PEOPLE'S business away from all possible accountability?

What does it say about the perils of accountability when executives at every level in the Veteran's Administration are routinely found to be corrupt, lying, shameless pigs and yet they never suffer so much as a slap on the wrist after a 3 year investigation by the government agency responsible for such investigations finds them guilty of every crime and misdemeanor they were accused of? They don't even lose their jobs. They get a 2 week suspension with pay and then go right back to the job of not treating veterans, not being accountable for treatment, not playing fair and by the rules and, manifestly, not doing the job they are being paid to do.


It's true. You never find burgers like this in real life because the people who make them insist on using crappy buns, frozen machine-formed patties and then slathering them with pickles, tomatoes, relish or bbq sauce and a thousand other things used to disguise the fact that the buns are pallid stale things, the beef is bad, the bacon is british style and the cheese was added so late that it failed to melt.

These could almost be In&Out burgers but even their's sometimes didn't match the memory of the perfect burgers they sometimes produced.


A roundup of things I particularly enjoyed at Theo's blog.  His subtitle is The Last of the Few. It was either while we sailing to England late last month or while we in Scotland that I heard a news report that there were only two of 'The Few' still alive. They must be very enduring men.

Extra Remarkably Stupid Idiots Taken For A Ride

So Very True


President Trump would be off to a flying start if he swore an oath to honor the laws of the United States and especially the Federal Records Act and Freedom of Information Act and made all of his appointees honor those laws in a formal oath each took, on the record. Let us have no more of this venal corrupt democrat process of violating the laws that permit transparency and accountability at every level of the federal government.

It is painfully obvious that this is required by law and by We, the People.
From National Archives:
What are recordkeeping requirements?"Recordkeeping requirements" are defined as all statements in statutes, regulations, and agency directives or authoritative issuances, that provide general and specific requirements for Federal agency personnel on particular records to be created and maintained by the agency (36 CFR 1220.14). Recordkeeping requirements should be outlined in procedural manuals and other issuances that specify which records need to be included in agency files or other recordkeeping systems.
Clearly articulated recordkeeping requirements are essential for creating adequate and proper documentation. For more information, consult Agency Recordkeeping Requirements: A Management Guide.
What is a record?Records are defined in various statutes, including the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act. The definition that follows is from the Federal Records Act that governs agencies' records management responsibilities.
Records include all books, papers, maps, photographs, machine-readable materials, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Government or because of the informational value of the data in them (44 U.S.C. 3301).
Many of the key terms, phrases, and concepts in this statutory definition of records are defined in CFR Part 1222.12.
It might have been interesting to see all of the records of U.S. funds to the various warlords and other parties in Afghanistan and Iraq. I wouldn't bother to look at them now because I've heard that such records were, very specifically, not kept or were such a pack of lies they are worthless. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I caught some of 'Fresh Air' with Terry Gross this afternoon as I was driving. She had a guest who gushed breathlessly and endlessly that the Trump Transition, now starting its second week, is suffering from low moral, bloodletting slashers, hysteria and confusion. She never tried to make any point about how any transition campaign MUST shake down as it goes along or it will not function.

People who have never worked together and are all powerful and influential people are thrown together for the first time to put together a transition that will name nominees to the most important Executive Offices in the country and sometimes egos clash or it turns out that one person or the other is incompatible with the boss. It happens. It's human.

Those of us who grew up to work in strictly hierarchical organizations don't see much of this at the senior level because those sorts of people usually get weeded out long before they reach flag rank. The one's with overlarge egos are brung low by fate or circumstance and the ones who are simply incompatible leave the service.

There are some places where the system appears to break down and that is said to happen on Joint Staffs. I wouldn't know, I only ever served on JTF-A and to be honest, the 3 star Army general was
happy with the 2 star Admiral who ran the Navy side of the JTF and nobody knows what he thought about the Air Force people since nobody outside the JFACC ever saw one. The JTF was 3 services plus the Marines, brought together purely for meetings at Cairo West. All the rest of the time, each service and the Marines, were doing their own things in their own corners of Egypt or on the beach or just offshore.

But, let's return to NPR for a moment. As with the election of Ronald Reagan, the organs of the main stream media including NPR and PBS, entirely failed to engage the other half of the country in any of its programming. Run by hard left media types it only brought onboard harder left academics and policy wonks to explain things and used the occasional putz like David Brooks as their 'token' voice of the right not ever realizing that the right considers him to be an absolute left-wing jackass and moron.

The main stream media, when it bothers to produce stories about the right, adopts an interesting policy of never actually inviting the right to participate. They persist in viewing people like Ann Coulter as an ignorant, shameless, lightweight flake. Then they act all surprised when they suddenly learn that more than half the country has turned on them and their wonderful socialist and progressive ideas.

They never gave any airtime to competing ideas except to blast them out of the water using some of the most egregious and stupid straw-man arguments ever heard. But their real failure for over 50 years has been to call the right wing shallow-minded, ignorant racists, bigots, and lately, misogynists and they are outraged that these arguments, endlessly repeated by themselves, fail to gain traction with the majority of the people who suspect that not every single republican is a bigot, racist and misogynist.

What NPR needs to do now, is hire a real right wing investigative journalist type to do one story a week about subjects already covered by the 'journolistas' of NPR. I think they'd be fascinated by the difference in coverage, interviews and conclusions. I was interested to read how the 'investigations' of wrongdoing caught on tape by James O'Keefe were brushed aside just exactly the way Clinton brushed accusations aside or stonewalled and how James Comey, director of the FBI, brushed aside all the criminal wrongdoing of Hillary Clinton.

I don't think they'll do it because they all persist in believing that they are fair and unbiased in all the coverage they offer in every story aired by them. They're just like Dan Rather and CBS and they didn't learn anything at all from Rathergate.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016


It made me laugh.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


I told one and all this last week or two that he would win in a landslide. Close enough.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


I play this and remember a time long before I was born. I was in England last week and the British remember with the wearing of the poppy. It's a sad poppy and I wouldn't buy one but it shows a remembrance for a Great War that cost everything. I won't buy into it for any amount.

That said, nostalgia is my middle name. The next war will be the end of the aristocrats. They may have inferred weakness when they really overlooked indifference. Aristos are not hard to kill and the new courts of their political allies will gradually begin to overlook the necessity of killing people like Soros and his allies. They are, after all, the enemies of mankind. Imagine that, judicial killings.

You never thought you'd see a court uphold an outright ban on the second amendment. Anything can happen when you toss the law.


In the olden days, the citizens had a fourth estate that could be relied upon, sort of, to get the news out and make the public aware of the doings of the aristocrats and the politicians. It was called the fourth estate. The Estates were the literary invention of the Ancien Regime. In our language, it was put as the Lords Spiritual, Temporal and the Commons. The Fourth Estate was the the press.

In America, the Fourth Estate closely bonded with the Lords Temporal and stopped doing their job. They married into the wealth available to the Servants of the Realm and simply ignored the minor pecadillos of the ruling class and the Lords Spiritual. It was deeply shameful.

The Fifth Estate roared into life not that long ago. It sprang full bore upon the first four Estates when it found the falsity of Dan Rather's idiotic reporting of George Bush the Younger's days in the Air Guard when it showed conclusively that the so-called 'fitness reports' of the GBTY were complete fakes because only the Fifth Estate picked up on the fact that the documents used by Rather to discredit a Presidential nominee could only have been generated using a computer since the typographical effects could not have been produced by a typewriter of the era claimed by Rather. It may need pointing out that GBTY served in an age long before the computer. He served when Pica Elite was King and the IBM Selectric ruled the waves.

The left has repeatedly tried to coopt the 5th Estate and met with no success. The Truth shall win out. The Fourth Estate has joined the first in complete non-relevance.

First        The Clergy
Second    The nobles
Third       The Commons
Fourth     The press
Fifth        The lords and ladies of the internet


Ripped gracelessly from the blog of traditional vibe.


There, that almost sounds presidential.

We took the Queen Mary 2 from New York City to Southampton, England and then spent some time in Scotland before flying home about 2 hours ago. It was a most excellent and relaxing vacation. I highly recommend it.

I never wanted to to go on a cruise. I have heard about cruises. However, taking an ocean liner from this side of the Atlantic to the other side has always appealed to me. It was everything I expected and more. Cunard does it right.

We missed out on the last two weeks of election frenzy. We both voted before we left these shores and returned just in time to ignore the rest of the hoopla. I mean, srsly, who cares? We arrived in London on the train down from Edinburgh, checked into our hotel, went to dinner on the 23rd floor and watched Londoners celebrate Guy Fawke's day with utter abandon. I have never seen so many different fire works shows and no sooner did one stop than 3 more started. It went on for hours and we had the best view in the city atop the Metropole Hotel.

I've been holding firm on the optimist front for Trump (dire news indeed) but I did the same for McCain after the first 4 years of the Obama fiasco and was let down by the poltroons and shills of the other party and the loser idiots who just cannot make up their minds and opt to go with the human touch provided by the Stalinist Party every single time.

I don't much care either way. I figure Hillary will be dead of what ails here before she reaches the White House following her inaugural address and Tim Kaine will plump for Putin (surprise, surprise). Every now and again, that rascally old tree of liberty needs to dip its roots in blood. It is, always, surprising that the urban revolutionary expects food to flow into the city when perhaps most of the rest of the country thinks a diet would do them good. One of the downsides to living in an information vacuum is that it leaves a minority in the majority in a  handful of places with the idea that they are in charge.

We have reached the point where truth will fall like a hammer on the lies and other lies spouted by the party of Obamacare.

Wouldn't want to be them.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


And then I saw this.

If you are a democrat and don't understand the enemy, this should do it. As Staff Sergeant Brooks told us, at a certain point, you've achieved the point where you can walk over and read their mail and eat their lunch. He was talking about Vietnam and he had been a sniper,  but I figure, we can go there...

On the other hand, if you are a democrat and don't understand the others, this should do it.


The video I loved and which headlined the King of France's place appears to have been killed. I treasured it. The video showed an athlete at the very top of the game who smiled every inch of the way to totally blew away the other competitors and smiled. She reminds me of a princess I saw just the other night in film She smiled a great deal but she didn't turn back into the princess until the very end, after the musical affair on the barge in Rome where she used a stringed instrument on a man, twice.

It really is amazing how a genuine smile can make all who see it happy.

If you turn on the sound, you can hear these color commentators talk about a smile I have long admired. I have great disdain for the color commentators, who are jackasses.

This, I think, was where I added the category to my blog of "Style and Grace". She embodied it.

I'm sorry the original video is gone but you get the master video here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

I'm rather amazed by the number of billionaires that find Hillary a more worthy candidate than Turnip. I suspect that all of us will regret it when she is elected by the dead and fled voters.

I may be in Scotland when that happens. It's sorry I'll be to miss the start of the Revolution.


I used to be in favor of things and I had a lot of them. Now that I'm middle aged I am less enamored of things. Chaplain, if you're reading this I would like those little things you said you were going to mail me 2 Christmasses ago but, as anyone can tell you, I'm a very patient man. Whenever.

My folks recently downsized and moved out of the family estate there in Arlinton. They were the keepers of things. When I say the keeper, I mean that they were purely amateurs. They kept every single thing from before ever plus a selection from a few ancestors before that, but my little sister, she who had 67 chairs at one point when she lived in Maryland managed to get some more chairs.

I stopped by the struggling young author's abode the other day for to admire the bathroom up on the 3rd floor that she, 3 young college age males and one, perhaps exasperated, college professor, had been working on for the last 11 months. I peaked in and was pleasantly surprised. It looked very much like a bathing room from the 1920s. [It could have used a half dozen chairs] Toulousse LaTrec would have felt right at home. My grandparents would have felt right at home. I wondered where the jets were for the swirly tub and was kicked down the stairs but not before looking into the office of the lady whose next book is getting a solid 100,000 in the first printing next year. That's a lot of books. All both of you should buy one when it comes out next year. Her office had stacks on stacks of clothes, old bicycles and coffee pots and there wasn't an inch of vulnerable exposed floor space to step on. Even the little racoon hideout was stuffed.

So, this sister, neighbor, owner-of-vast-amounts of stuff brought over things my parents left with her to give me because I have an unexpected, unanticipated shortage of stuff.

I will now list the elements from selenium to proscineum. Nurnburg, Purdue, West Point, Fort Bliss, Fort Sill, Fort Leavonworth, Carlisle, Fort Riley, Annandale, Newport, Huntsville, Picatinny Arsenal, State College, Newport, Bahrain, Dam Neck, San Diego, Newport, San Diego, Seattle, San Diego, Oakland, Emeryville, San Diego, Solana Beach, San Diego, Encinitas, San Diego. and MetroParkCentralis.

Everything I own fits into a VW Jetta. I am, pure and simply, not a man of stuff.

Oh yeah, my landlords complained about the hundreds of books I used to leave behind when I moved but that was just minor.  I own thousands of books but they are electrons and, they're really super rugged NFL approved electrons. The lightest one of my fleet dropped into the tub the other night. It went all the way to the bottom. Must have been 5 or 600 feet down when I pulled it back out of the water.

It sat, ensconsed, in a plastic Chinese food container filled with cat litter, in the sun, soaking up the rays that make pure cane sugar and it dried out and it works again. I'm definitely taking it on the Lusitania next week when we head for England. Sucker's probably better than a life vest. I really didn't think it would or could roar back to life. It surprised me.

However, this was a screed about stuff. My sister brought over 3 little boxes of stuff that a concerned parent had left with her for me. My report cards, my diploma, and what must have been my first trophy. Je suis complete. (there is a way, must be a way to make that little Fench accent mark over the e but you won't see it from me. Look elsewhere my friend.)

On the Right! right there! A tiny little trophy from 1969
Oh, and the gleaming thing  next to my trophy came back from 98,000 feet underwater and returned, spontaneously, to life, as we know it.

I would show you a photo of the little treasure that my parents bought for all 4 of us for to store our report cards through the 8th grade to be used against us but I'll save that pleasure for later. Anticipate.

Monday, October 17, 2016


These two manage to sound like them all alone.

But the twelve girls still own the sound of the strings. [Update: listen at the 2 minute mark.]

Yes this is the one.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


My grandparents grew up without it. Born in 1905 and 1907, electric light bulbs, telephones and aerial flight were new things.We found ourselves out last night wtih flappers. It's not all that often that one finds oneself out with flappers. One of them assured me that she had the de rigour fur coat in the limo. Yes, I asked her.

MetroParkCentralis is just full of surprises. We took our friends in to the Glass Bubble to meet the chicken since it was next to Mitchell's ice cream foundary.. Srsly, it's not everywhere you meet flappers and introduce yourself to a chicken.

Yeah, you could do worse.


Some people see the weirdest things, and they take pictures. I probably over used the idea last night when I kept saying, on seeing awesome stuff, that I wish I had been able to find my iphone so I could take pictures of the full moon and any number of other things of surpassing niceness.

I liked this though. It's like the little fellow deliberately posed.

And nobody does smug with a toothy grin like a caiman.


Every time I think that the the whole universe (2 trillion galaxies) cannot get weirder, it gets weirder. What can one say about the nature of the magicians? Yes, a liberal student rejects science because it discriminates against witchcraft.

She talks pretty fast though.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Just typing that post headline brought to mind several officers of the Naval Service I worked for.

Pretty cool teaser I lifted from the Daily Time Waster's site.


On weekends I attend to the real news and so I stop and linger at This Aint Hell. I cue up the music and then I read. I would say that it is not an addiction but I've been wrong before. There's a dozen blogs that I don't have on my page that I attend to on the weekend.

In this house, we have only a few rooms that don't have bookshelves. I came here in a vw jetta of a certain blue color (now more blue colors) and I didn't bring more than a handful of books but the house is as full of them as any place I ever called home. I don't understand how people can live without books. They are my fleet. One of my trusty frigates suffered an irreperable injury. It fell all the way to the bottom of the tub. It's sitting in cat litter in the window in the faint hope that it will be ressurected and join the the 2 iPads, 7 kindles and the offshore squadron. I don't think it will make it. It looks pretty dead to me. Not pining for the fjords. Dead. If so it joins the other sony that was a favorite that didn't survive replacing the battery. The late sony was on its last elbows since it needed to be plugged in every day since the battery was fading away.

This is a post about one of the good men who just stepped into the clearing at the end of the path.

Master Sergeant Richard Pittman
While Company 1 was conducting an operation along the axis of a narrow jungle trail, the leading company elements suffered numerous casualties when they suddenly came under heavy fire from a well concealed and numerically superior enemy force. Hearing the engaged marines’ calls for more firepower, Sgt. Pittman quickly exchanged his rifle for a machinegun and several belts of ammunition, left the relative safety of his platoon, and unhesitatingly rushed forward to aid his comrades. Taken under intense enemy small-arms fire at point blank range during his advance, he returned the fire, silencing the enemy position. As Sgt. Pittman continued to forge forward to aid members of the leading platoon, he again came under heavy fire from 2 automatic weapons which he promptly destroyed. Learning that there were additional wounded marines 50 yards further along the trail, he braved a withering hail of enemy mortar and small-arms fire to continue onward. As he reached the position where the leading marines had fallen, he was suddenly confronted with a bold frontal attack by 30 to 40 enemy. Totally disregarding his safety, he calmly established a position in the middle of the trail and raked the advancing enemy with devastating machinegun fire. His weapon rendered ineffective, he picked up an enemy submachinegun and, together with a pistol seized from a fallen comrade, continued his lethal fire until the enemy force had withdrawn. Having exhausted his ammunition except for a grenade which he hurled at the enemy, he then rejoined his platoon. Sgt. Pittman’s daring initiative, bold fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty inflicted casualties, disrupted the enemy attack and saved the lives of many of his wounded comrades.
President Johnson awarded him the Medal of Honor on May 14, 1968 and Pittman, born on May 26, 1945 in French Camp, San Joaquin County, California, retired from the Marine Corps as a Master Sergeant on October 27, 1988.
I doubt that a single Marine would agree with this but, Master Sergeants of Marines must be spectacularly rare.That, or they all hung out at Henderson Hall and I used to go there often enough when I went home because it had the even more rare NFCU ATM in the basement. I worked with the FAST, a lot and I worked with more gunnies than you could shake a stick at in places like NAVCENT and SURFPAC (combat cargo, yes they were Marines in the office next to mine at SURFPAC), ADAK, Camp Snoopy, Kuwait, everywhere. I never saw a single Marine Master Sergeant. I don't think they're real. They're like witches. You hear about them but you never see them.
I suppose if Mabus has his way with the Marines, they'll just be sergeants.
I think his uniform is instructive. I remember EN2 Anderson quizzing the commodore at captain's call and asking if we were likely to get any medals if we swept some mines in the Persian Gulf. He said, "I've been in the Navy for 6 years and I don't have a single ribbon or medal. I stood on the train platform at Euston to catch a train finding its way to Mildenhall AFB where I needed to be and the young man next me was fresh out of Air Force Bootcamp and already wearing two rows of ribbons. Me, I'd just left a ship where I had spent 12 months in a warzone, swept mythical mines in the Red Sea and had a grand total of two ribbons. (I learned about the third one about 20 years later.)
Hail and farewell Master Sergeant Pittman.