Tuesday, July 31, 2018


I used to be a security manager at a major command. I understood the rules of OPNAV 5510.1H. I don't understand how a domestic warrant is Top Secret NOFORN. Those were terms that defined information that was very restricted but it was classified so our enemies couldn't access it. How did domestic shit get classified TOP SECRET NOFORN?

We have a problem Houston. Politics isn't supposed to be Top Secret NOFORN. When you go there, you get the honey badger of democracy.


Monday, July 30, 2018


It came on all of a sudden. It was a done deal and then, when I closed my eyes it went away.


I walked. It's how you know a city. Paris, London, Honolulu Strasbourg, Amsterdam I walked. Seoul, Pusan I walked. Edinburgh, Caen, Setubal.

How do you see a city you have not walked?

I'm unlikely to walk the cities of the land. Crazy I'm not. It's easy to arm yourself. Gun one down and go to jail forever. I think I'll pass. I don't care much for this land. It isn't mine, yet. Someday.

They steal your knives. Not a freindly city.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


No it's not the If of Kipling.

If I was a darker color would I need to read books about people colored like me? I read a thousand books a year without ever noting the color of the protagonist unless the author brings it to my attention. I assume all my authors are white. You may color me surprised when they surprise me by not.

I don't read Octavia Butler or Sam Delany but that's because I don't like their stories. I never have.

I don't see it now but I used to ride a bike for 10 miles or more to get to a book store in Alabama. I bought the books I wanted and I didn't deign to experiment with new authors, that's what the library was for.

9 months in Seattle and I filled every window with books. They were the shelves I didn't have. Books stacked on books until the entire window was full and then, on to the next window. I didn't spend a lot of time in my apartment in Seattle.

Was going to think about this but it lept out of the bag early.

Saturday, July 28, 2018


She was the Rose and morphed into HMS Surprise. All of a sudden

I knew her in Newport, met her again at NASCO. Oddly enough, I bumped into one of my chiefs who was working at the yard at the time. I went aboard a few years later when she joined the museum at San Diego. I knew one who sailed on her off the coast of Maine.

Who knew she would be a movie ship?


Some of these are from Powerline. The rest just came along for the ride that was in it.



We have those here, even in the Midwest. We watched one perfectly framed over Lake Erie. We had chairs and welders glass and it was very cool.

It was the the last stellar phenomena we saw since everything since then brought rain. Blood moon= rain, blue moon=rain, Perseid meteor shower=rain. I'm getting used to it.

Speaking as a southren Californian, I treasure the rain. Still. I missed the rain, a lot for over 30 years.

Thursday, July 26, 2018


I don't know about the Amy Schumer film. It will be a cold day in Hell before I go see one of her films. On the other hand, I'm not sure we have reached peak snowflake. Every time I think they can't be dumber or more stupid they impress me by their over achievements in this realm. They are sensitive to the slightest slight and more sensitive than even the princess with the pea problem.

With voices that sound like grating metal and at volumes too loud for me to actually process from noise, I can live without the precious snowflakes and their attitude about attitude. They harsh the mellow like nobody else on the planet and I include jihadis in that category.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


There is a madness in the air in California. It descends like a steel veil over the mind and the imagination. In Santa Barbara it has reached its nadir.
The city of Santa Barbara has passed an ordinance that will allow restaurant employees to be punished with up to six months of jail time or a $1,000 fine for giving plastic straws to their customers. 
The bill was passed unanimously last Tuesday, and covers bars, restaurants, and other food-service businesses. Establishments will still be allowed to hand out plastic stirrers, but only if customers request them.
You know, this does create a new market. Steel straws will soon be in demand although copper straws will do in a pinch.


The recoil is complete.


I like this.


It's fake but wonderful.


President Trump seems to be dealing with each in turn. One could write a book about how to engage in diplomacy in the modern era as president. As usual with President Trump, his tweet swept the decks of the fake news and left piles of dead and wounded bleating about how outrageous it is for a mere American President to engage in unsupervised and ill-advised diplomacy via tweet.

The fakirs just don't get it yet. It's funny as hell to watch and listen to them as they scramble after Trump as he kicks the underpinnings out from under their current hot topic of the day (indict Trump) and brings them kicking and whining to heel as they all lash out at his new slant to American diplomacy.

All the man has to do is tweet in all CAPS and the fake news loses focus and drops track on the old story, Cohen mumble mumble. It scrambles to find people who hate Trump to express outrage at the idea that a mere jackass American president could scramble decades of middle east diplomacy by actually 'threatening' Iran.

It does remind me of the old NATO Sea Sparrow missile fire control system which did indeed have a button that got mashed repeatedly during tracking exercises when you wanted the damned system to drop the track it was fixated on and go back into acquisition mode so you could track/engage the real target.

All the derangement all the time does remind me of the press reports on the Bush Potomac outing with the Pope when the pope's hat fell into the river and Bush told the Pope he'd get it and stepped out of the boat, walked across the river and retrieved the hat. The press was on hand to breathlessly report that "Bush Can't Swim."

Oddly enough, the NATO Sea Sparrow fire control system on Spruance class destroyers mostly fixated on the reflected energy coming from the ship's own gas turbines deep in the engine room. If not for the firing cutouts on the launcher I don't know how many ships would have engaged themselves with missiles. God knows the Perry class frigates engaged the shit out of their own stacks whenever they went back to their centerline stowed position. Half a dozen ships blew their close in weapon system right off the ship as the gun fired as it reached its stow position. Some wags met one of those ships as it pulled into San Diego one day with a full size bullseye target on their stack. Needless to say, the powers that be were no amused. We were.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


If you were crazy and barking at the moon and it sank slowly behind a hill leaving you nothing to bark at there is this from the people that think the Hugo Award in Science Fiction means anything at all anymore.

I warn you, viewing the link could lead to drain bamage of the first odor.

I have to wonder, when did the creatures in the swamp crawl out and take over Miami and New York? I mean, I get Miami but what  happened to New York?

Monday, July 23, 2018


I have been out of battery (an old artillery term) for some time. What with one thing or another it has been an interesting two weeks. I have not been able to post until now. Oddly enough, the stars and moon align for a welcome back along my azimuth just when I'm ready to write again.

Europe's ruling elite are all bent out of shape over The Donald. I can see why. He knows a naked emperor when he sees one and he isn't afraid to say so. He went to Europe after warning them for over a year that he would be there and he told them that his main concern was their utter failure to abide by the NATO standard. They have entirely failed to provide for the collective defense of Europe, or anything else on the planet.

I saw first that the LA Times chimed in with an editorial that rang like a bell with the New York Times and ultimately declared that NATO was sick and tired of Donald Trump and doubted that his America would rally to their defense just because they utterly failed to provide anything to the defense of Europe. They were all fully prepared to do NOTHING in retaliation.  I laughed out loud reading that.

I listened yesterday and today to NPR trying to rally the "Trump is Crazy!!!" crew into lambasting the President for making Europe nervous by demanding they abide by the Treaty. It was hard to get me to see their point, laughing so hard was I at the time. Not one of the powers is willing to even consider spending any more money on defense.

To cheer me up a bit, various Think Tank losers and German foreign office types were heard chiming in that this would not stand! Up with this kind of doubt Europe would not put!!! They were, they said, reconsidering their options viz-a-viz counting on faithless America. It reeked of the old Continent and their inclinations towards the old Faithless Albion." I laughed out loud.

So, the little harmless weasels have decided to trade American divisions in for.................. Yeah, well they're still thinking about that and they'll get back to the faithful in the fullness of time with a solution to their little problem. They've already declared that they'll be damned to Hell before they spend a penny more of the taxpayers money on defense so we'll just see.

Personally, I'm thinking they've signed with the Druids or the Norse Gods and are hoping on a bulk rate deal for the defense of all for nothing more than tuppence from each non-contributing member of the NATO defense force.

All those papers, all those news services presented the whole story as if Trump was somehow diabolically at fault because he refuses to subsidize the second richest continent on the planet.

In my lifetime the border with Russia will shift west again. There is absolutely NOTHING to stop it. The smarter new members of OTAN will covertly shift their nuclear weapons programs into high gear and match it with spending for their covert biological weapons development arm. Any that do will, of course, leak like sieves and let the world know that self-defense measures by little countries are afoot which will lead to.......


Thursday, July 12, 2018


To this day my finger memory can dial the number of Mine Group ONE in Seattle. It hasn't been there for decades. I don't even have to look, the fingers will do it. Tonight is a memory, some of mine, not the rest. My parents lived in Arlington, VA for about a million years. I would visit them, not as often as my mother would have liked but, whenever the navy sent me thru DC. I would go down to the Mall and the Smithsonian every time. That included, back in the day, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

I only swore an oath six times. That seemed enough. His seemed like a good one though.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


On the ship you see there at the masthead, which is not the ship in this post, there was a LT named Kim who rejoiced in the title of XO. I called him at home one day during one of my days as Command Duty Officer. I asked Kim's wife if Kim was there. She allowed as how he was there and put him on the phone. Kim was a litte peeved that I used his name to his wife and didn't refer to him as XO. I served on actual warhsips. I could handle his pain and angst.

You know there are days when you seriously don't give a damn. I recall the day we were flying to Bahrain to join a mine sweeping ship and were deposited in Maguire Air Force Base, no doubt by mistake and I told LT Lovejoy to get reservations for both of us at the BOQ. Bob was fairly new at being a lieutenant and wondered aloud, across half the distance of the air terminal what our ranks were in air force parlance. I told him Lt.Colonel at which point a Lt. Colonel tapped me on the shoulder and shared with me his lack of amusement.

I was, like, what are you going to do? Send me to sweep mines on a 30 year old ship? Please.

LT Kim did not join us in our mine sweeping endeavors. He went on to greatness in Paanananaama. Or so some claim. He joined his mates in Special Boats. I know, you'd think they're painted yelllow but no.

We had fun though. I came back to a ship in San Diego which had, when I left, 3 offiers and now reveled in having 12 only 2 of which were qualified as Command Duty Officers and thus  those two were sharing port and starboard duty while the rest skated and I told the new XO on my return that I had no idea what CDOs did, wasn't qualified and would join the rest of the unqualified  in 10 section duty. That meant I only had to be on board only once every 10 days rather then spend every other night on the ship.

On my last trip home I stopped in DC to visit my parents and also my detailer. He allowed as how he would be happy to write me an order modification to extend my time on the ship and I was forced to tell him that I would kill him if he did. Detailers were like that. You had to threaten them with death to get their attention. Since I was sitting in his office in the Pentagon (naval annex to be honest) he knew I was sincere. I was holding a knife and leaning in to share my sincerity.

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Personally, ?

I'd send a honey badger.

Just sayin.

Saturday, July 7, 2018


We have to drive through New York and it is a long boring drive. Also, no guns or fireworks.

Friday, July 6, 2018


When I used to rock, before the Gulf, you could see it even then.


I watched  her in the 80's as she became what she is. For some reason, this trip to Maine and Vermont and New Hampshire and New York and Penna was oldies week. She came up again and again in her various guises. I enjoyed all of them.