Friday, April 19, 2019


It is an interesting read. I had kind of hoped back when I was a boy reading Analog in the 7th grade that we would have had a moon base roughly 30 years ago. It got pissed away by the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism, etc. I doubt I'll see it but it would have been nice.

There were some 448 comments on the article at the time I wrote this and I did not trouble to read through them although the first few seemed on point. I just wondered to myself as they talked about interlocking totally single mission point failures (they never used that word, the authors expect everything to be as thoroughly proven and every bit as reliable as Apollo or the Space Shuttle) if they have read The Martian and have considered packing away a decent amount of fertilizer and some potatoes in each payload, just in case.

Once there was an author called Sam Nicholson who wrote some stories many disliked but which I enjoyed. She postulated a mandatory UN presence on the Moon devoted to 'sharing the resources' and since she wrote long ago she was unkind enough to make sure her UN negotiator was drawn from real life and would naturally expect room in the nascent colony for his cow barns, sacrificial fowls and harem.

I wonder, why does the UN leave such a bad taste in literally everybody's mouth? I don't recall reading a single speculative or any book of fiction that gives the UN credit for anything but turmoil, vice, ruin, war, poverty, disease, and corruption all the way down to the bottom.

Thursday, April 18, 2019


Once again the "authorities" dismiss the idea that the fire/attack was a deliberate act. This time they kind of leaped the gun by making their idiotic pronouncement before there was even a hint of credibility to justify their monumentally stupid statement:

According to Daily Mail
Investigators believe an 'electrical short circuit' was responsible for starting the blaze which devastated Notre Dame cathedral this week.   
A French judicial police official said investigators brought in to work out the cause of the inferno made the claims - despite them not having been given access to the church yet for safety reasons. 
The official, who spoke anonymously about the ongoing investigation, said the monument is still being consolidated with wooden planks to support some fragile parts of the walls.   
Only after it is fully made safe will investigators will be allowed a closer look in order to accurately determine the cause of the fire. 

Zut Alors Henri, even from here it is as plain as the nez on your face that this fire was caused by an electrical short-circuit!
Nice try guys. What a shame you have damned your words and statements on matters like these to the point where only cretins and idiots who listen to NPR bother to pay attention to you anymore.


Had the car out for some brake repair today and got to listen to NPR tie itself into delicious knots again and again as they tried to explain that President Trump's failure to fire Mueller amounts to obstruction of justice. Over and over and over and over they all wept and gnashed their teeth at the conclusions that were revealed in the special velociraptor's  report.

Then, when they went berserk with rage they screwed up and had a rethuglican woman come on and started beating her with their inconclusive sticks of shame and remorse and she said that the failure to fire Mueller hardly constitutes obstruction and what's more Trump turned over 1.5 million pages of documents to the velociraptors and if they really want to talk about obstruction we can talk about how Hillary used bleachbit to wipe out 30,000 emails that were ordered to be retained by the courts but which she just went ahead and had destroyed. The guy asking the questions tore at his ears unable to hear over the screaming as the rest of the studio poked their eyes out in rage and then threw the woman to the pack of little velociraptors they keep on hand for eating dangerous food such as rethuglicans.

It was a funny moment as they swept her away without a moment of regret or remorse and went right back to asking each other if perhaps there was some way to prove a case against President Trump...

Democrats who wonder why Trump blindsided their half of the nation by winning the presidency have only to understand that if their news comes from the main stream media, CNN, and NPR, that they are basically pig ignorant and uninformed.


We went to New Belgium's brewery in Fort Collins a couple of years ago. A pilgrimage of sorts. I saw this tonight and thought back to that visit where the Fat Tire bicycles are so prominent. Coca-Cola did it first.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


It is International Bat Appreciation Day today and I was going to do a post in celebration of my surviving bat delivered rabies with hardly any medical intervention at all except those 37 shots of bat globulin and gamma globulin in my thumb all around the thumbnail. (I kept asking for alfa globulin but they pretended I was raving mad and kept needling me about it.) So there I was today, seeking bat inspiration on you tube and my fingers did the walking, even the hyper-ventilated left thumb. (No it wasn't enough that the bat sank its fangs in there but I believe I mentioned the needles....) And there was a typo in my tube of u search vector and it delivered unto me,

which introduced me to Manny (the good one, not the one in Fawlty Towers) and Blacks Books which we enjoyed enormously several years ago. I had never heard of Bill Bailey before seeing this show. The link should take you to youtube where the first season's six episodes are on file for your enjoyment.



Ripped off from those smart guys at Maggies Farm.

I'm reminded of a forward I read by a famous author I liked about another author less famous but a treasure who ended his writing career way before his time.  "He knew the grand sweep of history."

1. The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

2. Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods.

3. Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

4. Democracy, too, is a religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.

5. Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.

6. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

7. Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

8. If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.

9. As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

10. All government, of course, is against liberty.


I was out and about this morning so I listened to how the Denver Metro Area shut down most of its schools because a scary Floridian, (no, not that one), was known to be on the loose in Colorado and was not only armed but infatuated with Columbine. I'll leave it till later to determine if that was so much BS as usual or has any hint of truth or reality.

Surely this was a massive woman hunt, no?

Just how did they ascertain that there was no longer a threat to the community? Does that last indefinitely, for all time, or until the next glory-seeking loser blows the doors off the school and tears the hearts out of parents of school children the state, city and country refuses to protect?

But let's just look at the FACTS.

Denver metro schools were ordered closed because they had a so-called lunatic 18 year old weirdo from Florida in town who had supposedly bought a shotgun and ammo upon arrival. My God, was she allowed to travel without a parent? How on earth could she buy a gun at such a tender age? All of these questions must be pouring through the place in liberal heads where other people keep their brains and intelligence.

Ask yourself, what possible justification does the school district in greater Denver use to justify keeping the schools open the other 173.5 days of the year? Surely there are about 100,000 known gun armed types roaming the state at large for the entirety of the year and they somehow don't pose a danger?

Don't they have any consideration for the poor innocent children and teachers forced to attend the schools on the other 173.5 days of the year?

Well, we have barely touched on the stupidity in Colorado. They are hellbent to save money on education and half of their schools now only teach 4 days/week. Think how much more money they could save if they cut back to just Sunday school one day/week and left it up to the churches to pay for while also mandating BLTG studies and hourly classes against 'privilege,' all paid for by the churches of course. And of course the same crowds of fools, idiots and morons that eschew vaccination could also insist on blowing off school altogether if it meant any kind of ooooooooh, religious instruction.

Honestly, Heinlein was prescient. These are the crazy times.


Nigel Farage, is one of my favorite 'Speakers-to-Animals'. Hopefully he'll be 3000 quid richer for this.

That didn't take long and while I enjoy Farage it is obvious that the other politicians in Britain are nothing more than a bunch of damp smelly dishrags.


I went shopping at the market yesterday and as I strolled into the check-out line the girl behind me, SWB and talking on cell phone informed all nearby parties and whoever was on the end of the phone line that she was just cut-off by a guy with privilege. I laughed. I suppose that now we see the other boot of fascism descending fast upon us people that were born and raised without sin, who accepted the 'wisdom' of our elders, instructors, teachers, employers, etc, that there could be no such thing as stereotyping because such behavior implied racism. This was the very first time anybody ever accused me of privilege and it bore about as much resemblance to racism as one can find today in America.


Well, as it happens, I started rejecting the idea that stereotypes were racism many long decades ago. The thing about accepting that stupid premise is simply that it makes no allowance whatsoever for appearance, previous interactions, lessons-learned from others and of course leaves those who practice situational awareness always at the point of a dagger when assumptions based on all the foregoing are ignored or waved away.

I've been doing the SA thing about as long as I've been alive. I dare say all of you have been doing it too. Oh, I meet the occasional fool or idiot that brags about how they don't hesitate to cut through the bad parts of town because, nothing ever happened to them. That's OK with me. Somebody has to contribute to the bloodshed and the body count and rather it was idiots like them than me.

Patterns and response are simply part of life as we know it. For instance, in my experience over the last 50 years or so there are some things that count as near certainties when it comes to shopping at just about any place I care to go. First, some women, you know them, wait until they get to the register and everything has been rung up before they start fumbling around in the cavernous vault hanging from their arm that they call a 'purse' and only then start to rummage around for cash or check or credit card; none of which can be found easily or quickly.

Second, the same person will then question the cashier about 3 to 20 items she might also be interested in and pay absolutely no attention to the line backing up behind her as she discusses cost, options, lack of appreciation for the customer and general contempt for the cashier.

Third, anybody in line who is on their cellphone is going to make the wait longer when they get to the head of the line and slightly more unbearable since they won't hang up or put on hold their little conversation for any expediency of carrying out the operation of getting through without holding up the line.

Four, you can tell all of these people at a glance. 90% of them share the same exact characteristics and their behavior follows a known standard where they quite literally don't see anybody else as a person except themselves. Now I ask you, is that stereotyping or experience?

Monday, April 15, 2019


Notre Dame Cathedral, built in 1160 AD, was gutted by fire today. I suppose that like all the sudden, overwhelming and devastating 'wild fires' California has suffered from in recent decades, that the destruction of this cathedral will be the beginning of a trend in Europe and elsewhere.

I'm glad I spent some time there on my first trip to Paris and my last trip to France.

UPDATE: Well, I did know that it was by no means the first church, great church or cathedral that was attacked and desecrated by the mobs of unbelievers swarming old Europe. It's been happening twice a day to churches in Europe for years.


This captures what I thought from the outset. I don't really think they hired crazy lunatics who were going to wave heat, electricity and sparks on the roof of an 800 year old wooden roof.
If there was a real investigation as contrasted with the sham investigation like the FBI investigations, this would probably show up in the result. 
1) the workers who were refurbishing the roof of Notre-Dame are among the best specialized craftsmen in the world, concerning the restauration of medieval monuments (their title is “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”).They love their work, and take all the necessary precautions. They have worked in many rooms of the Castle of Versailles, they have restored many churches and cathedrals. For example, they worked during more than 20 years on the marvelous Strasbourg cathedral (I lived in Strasbourg and saw their progress), and there was never a single problem. 
2) the workers stopped at 6:00 PM, the fire started at 6:50 PM, near scaffoldings, used to climb there. 
3) no electricity was allowed near the roof, because it was made in wood and as a matter of security, every inflamable thing was banned too. So, to have a fire there, someone needed to bring something. 
Here is the latest update from Maxime Lépante, our French correspondent in France (emphasis is mine): 
This is an update about what we know today about the fire that destroyed the roof and parts of the vaults of Notre-Dame: 
1) Restoration work hadn’t started on the roof. The scaffolding were still being put in place. The architect in chief of the “Monuments Historiques” (“Historical Monuments”, the administration that maintains and repairs monuments in France), Philippe Villeneuve, who was responsible for the refurbishing of the spire of Notre-Dame, has stated that : “Work had not started yet, scaffoldings were still being built”. 
2) Everything was done to avoid any source of heat near the wood of the roof. No electrical plug, no welding were allowed. So, Philippe Villeneuve says : “The hot spot hypothesis is therefore not the right one”. 
3) The head of the company that was building the scaffoldings (Europe Echafaudage) (Europe Scaffolding), Julien Le Bras, was interviewed by a French TV (BFM) : “All I can say for the time being is that at the moment of the fire, absolutely none of the employees of my company was present on site”. 
4) He added : “All safety procedures on the Notre-Dame de Paris site have been respected”. 
5) One of my friend sent me an email concerning the security on the roof of Notre-Dame. She has a diploma in Art history and studied in the “Ecole du Louvre” (“Louvre School”, were students learn art history and restoration processes) : “I visited the framing of Notre Dame with architects of the “Bâtiments de France” (“Buildings of France”, the highest rank for an architect in France), some years ago. This 13th century timber frame was extremely protected. Each intervention is always accompanied by historians, architects, experts; no work is envisaged without extreme caution; no source of heat, no torch, no electrical apparatus is allowed; a high-performance alarm system is in place; and very strict supervision of all people allowed there. I think we will eventually learn that this was arson.” 
6) So, as I said yesterday, with all these security measures, to have a fire on the roof of Notre-Dame, someone had to bring something there, and lit it up.
Somehow I suspect we will never see this reported anywhere. It will be as that idiot congresswoman said, 'some people did something to something that day.'

I don't think the idiots understand the realities of modern C6I.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


Every now and then, I miss it. You sort of get used to it and then it's gone.


It's not always a bad thing although it can be. I was trying to find out why Powerline decided to blacklist me today and was looking into the google closet with a torch and ran across this old story about Joe Paterno, a wholly admirable man who was pilloried to death by the media and the deep state and yeah, I happen to think the deep state exists and will always exist. You look at the guy they chose to 'investigate' the crime and who was it?  Yeah, former FBI director Louis Freeh. What do we have to do to rid ourselves of these poisonous losers? The first Director, named Hoover, was hideous and they only got worse!

The Pharoahs had to put up with it and so did Louis XIV. I found a couple of authors of fiction that wrote a little bit about the deepness. Kingsbury and Wouk where the underlying story is in the text as a fable written about what was entirely real. Or could be in Kingsbury's case.

So, anyway, banned I am from Powerline which is no big deal really since I think I've posted comments there about 3 times in the last 13 years. Scott has taken the trouble to email me twice tonight to ask for what I posted that ired them and I have to admit, I don't have a clew. I do actually. Counting my laser sails I'm pretty sure I still  have two clews and two tacks but who's being pedantic? Besides, I might still have my racing sail which means 3 clews, and 3 tacks. Yep, you'd have to know your sails to have a.......wait for it........clue.

You don't care.

Spring has sprung here in MetroparkCentralis and we are free!!!!! to gallivant and roam and enjoy the parks, the river, the lake, the coast guard station long abandoned and the cemetary. WE have had a glorious weekend and it's NOT OVER!

Saturday, April 13, 2019


I want this President's Attorney General to just go ahead and burn the lot of his subordinates and not have every excruciating detail wormed out of the FBI scumbags or the DOJ scumbags. I want instant and full compliance with Congressional scrutiny of their misbehavior and crimes.


If the Executive Branch waives any and all so-called rights about disclosure I'd like to see it answer for it's Gun-Running under Obama and the crimes they all signed up for and waged against the people of this country when they all gave themselves fully over to overthrowing the will of the public and tried to frame President Trump for crimes he never did or even thought about doing and while they went all out to conceal the crimes of Hillary Clinton, Lynch, Mills, Holder and the rest of that sorry shower. Clapper, Comey and the rest of the Intel politicians should be in jail now for the rest of their lives.

They attempted a coup against our government.

Friday, April 12, 2019


Poor little spaceship, it went so far, only to crash at the last moment.

I made this. I thought it was funny.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


I got a bit closer to the law than usual over the last few days and while my service was brief and didn't actually involve any kind of service I was left wondering after I read this at That we find an awful lot of men behind bars is not all that unusual. Most bartenders I've met are men. That we have so many men who have been sentenced to prison for crimes they never committed is a failure of the people. If you read the story at the link, it briefly mentions some of the corrupt practices that led to what amounts to lifetime sentences in jail because somebody managed to fool the jurors a lot of the time.

I think that defense attornys should be given a special allowance at voir dire proceedings to eliminate the people who are too stupid to listen to the facts of the case and too stupid to make up their own minds about a person's guilt or innocence. Believe me, I have seen some really stupid potential jurors and you don't want them with your fate in their stupid little hands.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


I think this most elegantly sums up the state of affairs in America and Congress. Simply put, we're not going to be McCained anymore.
“WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE RISE OF RADICAL PARTISANSHIP IN CONGRESS?”: Over at the Federalist, Madeline Osburn is asking who killed civility in Congress. She resists (as she should) the usual story that it was Newt Gingrich. Instead, she reports that, according to Professor Kevin Portteus, the trend was already well underway in the 1970s. 
I can add this: Part of the problem is that legislative compromise is a dying art in Congress. Why? Because one side (and for the examples that come to mind for me, that side is the GOP) has been repeatedly made into a chump when the compromise comes unraveled in the executive branch (through one-sided enforcement) or in the courts (through one-sided interpretation). The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 is a good example. For many years at least the part that GOP favored most went unenforced, while the part the Democrats favored most was interpreted broadly and enforced vigorously. There are other examples. 
When legislators feel like chumps, they start shying away from legislating. That gets them out of the habit of negotiating with their colleagues across the aisle. Instead, they spend their time posturing. That posturing in turn makes future negotiations more difficult. Alas, I don’t know how to solve this problem. Once trust is lost—whether in the context of a legislature or elsewhere—is it  it is hard to regain. 
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````by Gail Heriot


Reprise and now perhaps a spoiler. B'cause, I do like it.


Another brave man and the last of the volunteers to fly in the Dolittle Raid on Tokyo from USS Hornet on 18 April 1942, has stepped into the clearing at the end of the path. Of the 80 men who took flight that day to bomb Tokyo in retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was the last survivor. What they did will long be remembered. Most of what is below was by Richard Goldstein at the New York Times.

The crew of the lead plane in the 1942 raid on the Japanese homeland. From left, Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, pilot; Staff Sgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; Lt. Richard E. Cole, co-pilot; and Staff Sgt. Paul J. Leonard, flight engineer/gunner. All five were rescued after the raid.CreditCredit  U.S. Air Forc
Task Force 16.2 under Captain Mitscher, CO of USS Hornet enroute to Japan in April 1942.
Richard E. Cole, who was Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the lead plane of a storied misson in the history of American air power, the bombing raid on Japan in retaliation for its attack on Pearl Harbor months earlier, died on Tuesday in San Antonio. He was 103 and the last survivor of the 80 Doolittle raiders, who carried out America’s first strikes against the Japanese homeland in World War II.

His death was announced by Gen. David L. Goldfein, the chief of staff of the Air Force.

The Doolittle raid was a low-level daylight attack in April 1942 that resulted in only light damage to military and industrial targets. But it buoyed an American home front reeling from unbroken reverses in the Pacific, beginning with the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941, and it shattered the Japanese government’s assurances to its people that they were invulnerable to an American air attack.

It also prompted Japan to launch a naval attack on the American base at Midway in the mid-Pacific in June 1942 out of the mistaken belief that the Doolittle bombers had departed from an aircraft carrier based there. The Americans, having broken the Japanese codes, knew the attack was coming and dealt the Japanese Navy a major defeat.

The commander of the American bombing raid, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, was awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming one of the nation’s first heroes of World War II.

The raiders’ story was reprised for succeeding generations at their annual reunions. Mr. Cole was among three survivors at the airmen’s final reunion, on Nov. 9, 2013, Veterans Day weekend, at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.

On the morning of April 18, 1942, 16 Army Air Corps B-25 bombers flew to Japan off the aircraft carrier Hornet from a point more than 650 miles offshore.

Doolittle and Lieutenant Cole alternated in flying their bomber, armed with high-explosive and incendiary bombs.

“Everyone prayed but did so in an inward way,” Mr. Cole recalled in an account for the Air Force information office in 1957. “If anyone was scared, it didn’t show.”

Then came a moment that perplexed Doolittle. As Mr. Cole remembered it: “The tune ‘Wabash Cannonball’ kept running through my mind. One time I was singing and stomping my foot with such gusto that the boss looked at me in a very questioning manner, like he thought I was going batty.”

The five-man crew of the Doolittle plane spotted more than 80 Japanese aircraft while approaching its target area, the western section of Tokyo. But no fighters attacked them, and antiaircraft fire made only a few holes in the bomber’s tail.

The lack of a formidable Japanese response evidently resulted from their belief that an American air attack was improbable, at the least. And the relatively few Doolittle bombers in the mission did not suggest to the Japanese that a large-scale strike was in progress, one that would require a furious response.

After dropping its bombs, the plane with Doolittle, Lieutenant Cole and their navigator, bombardier and engineer/gunner descended to treetop level to avoid flak. To the Japanese civilians on the ground in Tokyo, it seemed to be just another plane in the skies that day, when a scheduled civil defense drill was being conducted.

The 16 planes were supposed to fly on to China after the attack and land at Nationalist Chinese airstrips, since they could not return to the Hornet. Army bombers were not designed to take off from or land on aircraft carriers. The planes ran low on fuel and none of them made it to the airstrips prepared by the Chinese. Fifteen crash-landed in Japanese-occupied territory or ditched off the Chinese coast, and one plane flew on to the Soviet Union.

Doolittle, Lieutenant Cole and the other three crewmen of their plane bailed out in rain and fog soon after their bomber crossed the Chinese coast as darkness arrived.

After the Doolittle mission, Lieutenant Cole flew transport planes over the Himalayas in the China-Burma-India theater

Richard Eugene Cole, who was known as Dick, was born on Sept. 7, 1915, in Dayton. He became enthralled with flying as a teenager when he watched Doolittle, a trophy-winning aviation pioneer, making test flights from an airfield there.

After attending Ohio University, he enlisted in the military in November 1940. He flew Army Air Corps planes seeking Japanese submarines off the West Coast before he was chosen to be among the volunteers for what was described as a dangerous mission, with many of the details to come later.

Lieutenant Cole was the co-pilot on a training flight in Florida when its pilot became ill and Doolittle filled in for him. Doolittle was so impressed with how the crew worked together that when the ailing pilot was unable to return to duty, he became the pilot for that crew in the raid.

Mr. Cole retired from the Air Force in 1967 as a lieutenant colonel with three Distinguished Flying Crosses. He settled in Comfort, Tex., about 45 miles northwest of San Antonio, and owned a citrus farm there. He was the subject of a 2015 book, “Dick Cole’s War: Doolittle Raider, Hump Pilot, Air Commando,” by Dennis R. Okerstrom.


The United States was up to a great deal in the Pacific back in 1942 and it didn't have much to do it with but it did have some outstanding people who made a difference. This is their story. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


Two four letter words ending in why. At any rate my day was fantastically pointless since I sat there all day in the anteroom to hell jury waiting room and was never called to form part of any of the 10 juries they put together on Monday. I have at least four more days of this before my time in the bowels of justice comes to an end. Still, they have decent wifi and it gives me a chance to catch up on my reading.

Saturday, April 6, 2019


It is, once again, time for poetry. So, my favorite is still Billy Collins.

The Country by Billy Collins

I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice

might get into them and start a fire.
But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

Who could sleep that night?
Who could whisk away the thought
of the one unlikely mouse
padding along a cold water pipe

behind the floral wallpaper
gripping a single wooden match
between the needles of his teeth?
Who could not see him rounding a corner,

the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam,
the sudden flare, and the creature
for one bright, shining moment
suddenly thrust ahead of his time -

now a fire-starter, now a torchbearer
in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
illuminating some ancient night.
Who could fail to notice,

lit up in the blazing insulation,
the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
of his fellow mice, onetime inhabitants
of what once was your house in the country?

–Billy Collins, from Nine Horses: Poems

For some reason I read this and every time I'm carried back to Failaka Island where we, the IRT, were using radar to observe the Iraqi coastline and the various oil runners that tried to slip out of Umm Qasr, ABOT, KAOT and even, when the atmospherics permitted, out of the Shatt al Arab. But there we were just the 35 of us and our radar and communications systems with the blockade forces and one night there was Petty Officer Cole standing security watch at one of our entry control points and he was 'cold' so he built a little fire all by himself. He used pallets and old debris from the Iraqi occupation and in no time at all he had flames shooting 15 feet into the air a little after 2 in the morning. It was something of a surprise.

Cole was an interesting (psycho) who relayed to me the news his father gave him about speeding up his departure from the Navy. I should have known better but I asked, "what did he propose?" Cole said his dad told him to punch an officer and the Navy would toss him out. I allowed as how this was so and added that we'd probably arrange to send him to the brig at Miramar for 3-6 years after his court martial and he should consider that time in the Navy too.

Still, a gigantic raging fire on the beach just a few miles off the Iraqi coast where the officers that sent us there told us they had proposed setting us up on Bubiyan Island at first but then conceded that Intel was right and an Iraqi spec ops team would swim the channel one night and slit all our throats.

Working for the Commander, Middle East Force was always entertaining.

Friday, April 5, 2019


We spent a long month in Karachi and pulled out on Christmas Eve, 1984. We spent New Years day taking on JP-5 in the North Arabian Sea from a civilian tanker using our close-in rig with the B&A crane. It was a 6 hour long underway replenishment 90 feet from the nearest ship the whole time on our way back into the Persian Gulf enroute to Bahrain.

Picture I sent home to the parents of 'the techrep' in my new chair bought in Karachi
As you can see, I was really bummed to be heading back into the war zone.

Interesting side note about that chair. It survived the next 20 years and a dozen moves including getting shipped home from Bahrain. My sister borrowed it when she was living in Del Mar about 10 years after I bought it and claimed it was the most comfortable thing for a mother-to-be to sit in and so off it went to her place in Del Mar for half a year. It came back though and lived on and was well liked up until I got married.

Now that I think about it, I should have kept the chair.

Thursday, April 4, 2019


This is an interesting question. What would Mueller's report look like if this had been turned up in his investigation into President Trump and all his minions?

And what if every single computer, cell phone and Blackberry used by all of the principals was wiped, bleach-bitted and smashed to bits with a hammer by a minion who worked directly for President Trump? And what if the RNC's computers and the Republican Congressional staff's computers were maintained by Pakistani criminals who gained access because they were hired by the Congresswoman who lead the DNC and gave them access to every bit of the Democratic Party's Congressional computer networks and then fled the country one  jump in front of the law and not one single computer or file was turned over to the FBI during the course of the investigation?

Things would be a little different just by a tiny shift in perspective and where you stand.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


The Army has determined that the replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicles must offer less protection than the Bradley because they require that two of the Bradley replacement vehicles fit on a single C-17 aircraft. The M2 and M3 Bradleys, although lighter than an M-1 tank, still comes in too heavy for more than one per plane. You can see where they used to advertise 2 Bradleys/C-17. We ran through the same thing with the uparmored HMMVW. Add the armor and it was a very different vehicle.

Those in a position to remember the end stages of the Bradley procurement will recall that an Air Force Colonel at the Pentagon Office of Test and Evaluation managed to convince most of the dunderheads that the Bradley must be fully fueled and armed and then shot with anti-tank weapons in order to discern whether or not the infantry/cavalry fighting vehicle was up to snuff as a tank. When the Army's Program Manager refused to go along and pointed out that the Bradley was not acquired, designed or built as a tank his objections were poo-pooed by the Colonel and Congress and much of the public as insufficiently germane.

I was a Program Manager for a Navy Patrol Boat contract many years ago and I had two pages of specifications delivered from the Pentagon office in charge of Expeditionary Warfare back then; OPNAV N85. One of the first requirements was that the boat must be air transportable on C-130 aircraft. That set the upper limits on everything about the boat from width, height, weight, etc. We demonstrated that it would fit on delivery by taking the first boat from the builder, driving it over the highways and bridges from Kingston, Canada to Fort Drum and loading it on a C-141 which has essentially the same door dimensions as a C-130.

I was not involved in the next patrol boat acquisition for the same expeditionary force which showed that the idiot in charge of that procurement left out any requirement for the boats to fit in any aircraft. When it was delivered it suffered from two major design flaws. It was too big to fit in anything the USAF flies and it wouldn't fit under normal height highway bridges which meant that quite a few had their mast and radars snapped off when they were loaded on low-boys for transport from the building yard to the end users.

When we invaded Iraq, part II, the only boats that could respond instantly were the handful I bought as PM and the remaining boats from the first patrol boat acquisition. It took almost a year to customize the third generation patrol boats to hinge the masts and get them to fit, into C-17 aircraft. They still wouldn't fit in anything older than the C-17. They were not really all that expeditionary but they did have air-conditioning!

We all know what happens every single time the people who write the Request for Proposals skimp on the necessities of modern combat. It is called creep. It's obvious that even if a vehicle is delivered that meets the criteria specified, the add-ons that make it a useful weapon system will quickly mean that it will grow too heavy to fit two on a single aircraft.

Depleting the armor on the outset is always a mistake. We saw it with HMS Hood's fate and earlier at Jutland where the Admiral in command is said to have remarked, "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today." The Royal Navy lost two of its lightly armored Battle Cruisers in the opening salvos of the battle because their armor was sacrificed for speed and left the ships and magazines vulnerable.

And we saw it with the M551 Sheridan light tanks.

You would think the army would have learned something from the past but they appear to be as resistant to the lessons of battle and history as our Navy. It was with something like awe that I witnessed NAVSEA procure additional armor, after the boats were built, for the 3rd generation patrol boats to the tune of over a $1,000,000 only to find out, too late, that if it was actually bolted onto the boats the additional topside weight would cause the boats to flip over and sink. NAVSEA is home to the only naval architects in the Navy. It's their job to run stability calculations on things we buy that float before we buy it.

We really should be designing our weapons for war rather than for our aircraft.  One admiral famously remarked that the docks and piers exist to support the fleet, not the other way around. OTOH, we always took into account the constraints of width and draft in places such as existing canals in Suez and Panama.

Do you think anybody at TRADOC is paying attention to FEDBIZOPS and things like the new future army combat vehicles?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Courtesy of the Babylon Bee.

It captures the distilled essence of modern ‘woke’ America. I’ve seen it before and it’s always the same people who are confused and distressed when they create a perfect storm of hate and intolerance and then demand that everyone just get along and play nice. For some it’s Calvin Ball all the time.

Monday, April 1, 2019


Victor Davis Hanson lays it out here.
Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimonies cannot be reconciled with those of his own deputy director Andrew McCabe. He falsely testified that the Steele dossier was not the main basis for obtaining FISA court warrants. On at least 245 occasions, Comey swore under oath that he either did not know, or could not remember, when asked direct questions about his conduct at the FBI. 
Andrew McCabe currently is under criminal referral for lying to federal investigators about leaking to the media. He and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein each have accused each other of not telling the whole truth about their shared caper of trying to force President Trump out of office by invoking the 25th Amendment.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has admitted to lying under oath to Congress—and since lied about his earlier admission of that lying. His recent sworn congressional testimony of not having leaked information about the Steele dossier to the media is again likely to be untrue, given that Clapper had admitted to speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper about the dossier’s contents. CNN, remember, would in turn go on to hire the mendacious Clapper as an analyst. And once on air, Clapper would insist that Trump was both a Russian asset and thus guilty of collusion crimes greater than those of Watergate. Lies. All lies.
The Executive is now going to go after all the liars and those in the government who suborned those lies and those who lied to the FISA courts, Congress and the People and perhaps the Hillary for serious crimes committed while Secretary of State under Obama and quite possibly, go after Obama and Jarrett for their scheme to overthrow the President of the United States because this whole fiasco originated in the diseased brains of both those two who really do think they're smarter than you are.


For those interested I have posted scans of the complete booklet that accompanied the launching of USS Nimitz. They are located on this page in the page Fighting Words under About the Author.

Saturday, March 30, 2019


I found a couple of boxes the other day on my porch. They were sent by an old friend. His picture is even in the blog! The boxes held a bunch of my old awards and medals and photographs and journals and old insignia and patches from a number of ships, places and other commands and my First Day Cover of the launching of USS Nimitz. I had just mentioned the last item the day before and how back when I was in the 7th grade in Newport Rhode Island, I was a library assistant for a lady named Catherine Nimitz Lay. It turns out that the school librarian was the daughter of Admiral Nimitz and she was the lady who christened the ship at the launching. At the end of the school year she gave me this.

I might scan the booklet and put the whole thing in here later this weekend.


It was a good movie. It ended with this.

Thursday, March 28, 2019


It is pretty good.  Ripped off from Raconteur Report.


Interesting list of some of the many mistakes that the media made about President and Mrs. Trump, although it might be more accurate to say, 78 lies the media pedaled about the Trumps. I don't remember ever seeing anything like it before. On the other hand, this is the same media pack of fools, liars and knaves who simply adored Stalin and the communist revolutions in Russia, Cuba and Vietnam and who paid lip service to the truth in their reporting on Iraq under Saddam just so they could claim to still have their trusted organs of truth (Arnett and the other loser) in Baghdad right up to the outset of the First Gulf War.

I'm certainly glad I never waste my time with the television news or chat shows such as Washington Week.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


It is sometimes hard to believe how stupid deck officers can be. The article at gCaptain says this collision happened at 2000 UTC which means it was midnight in Fujairah. Both ships were maneuvering and both repeatedly had and briefly maintained headings that kept them well clear of each other. And then it was like someone shouted "Fight's ON!" and they went at each other like two bighorn sheep.

The results were pretty spectacular.

The last time I was at Fujairah I stayed in a beach hotel and made the mistake of actually walking on the beach in my bare feet. It took an hour to get all the oily tarballs off my feet and out from between my toes. There were scores of tankers anchored off the beach and all of them were purging their tanks when they didn't think anybody was watching. It would be hard to pollute the beach anymore than it already is.


I find that I'm no longer willing to give any credence to any claim by anybody that they are/were the victim of any kind of racial hate crime. It's become apparent over the last decade that most of the so-called hate-crimes are nothing but hoaxes perpetuated on the so-called victim by the victim. In other words it's all a big scam.

What the State's Attorney in Chicago did yesterday was simply pave the path leading all of us to the conclusion that so-called hate crimes are utterly meaningless and far too trivial to prosecute. OK. I can live with that from now on. I just don't want to hear about these so-called crimes anymore.

One of the things those twits in Chicago seem to have forgotten though is that when it becomes clear that there is different law or no law then the vigilantes start to crop up. It is ALWAYS a bad idea to poison the notion that we are a nation of laws that apply to all and that some people are above the law. We've already gone pretty far down that route with the failure to hold Hillary Clinton to the same standards or even the same appearance of standards which all other holders of a security clearance are held. She got away with all kinds of crimes and so did Cheryl Mills her chief of staff and every single person whose name appeared as a sender to her account of any email containing classified material.

Somebody in her office took those email off the secret or top secret networks, recorded it to a portable memory, connected it to an unclassified computer and transmitted it in the clear to an unprotected server. All those people should still be in jail now.

The FBI and CIA have just about ruined themselves in their pursuit of a coup attempt aimed at overthrowing President Trump and all of those people belong in jail too.

Justice is really beginning to look very 3rd World around these parts and that's a shame.


It's true. Some people can't wrap their minds around any concept larger than a q-tip. They aren't ever going to stop. Still, it can be amusing to watch people run full tilt into a wall again and again and one does try to not laugh too loud in the hope that they will keep bashing their heads against the wall  really really hard.

Saturday, March 23, 2019


I was reading about the Vendee massacres during the Revolution and wondered what the Dissident Frogman might have to say about the topic so I went to his site even though it has been dormant for years. As of today it appears he is reactivating it and starting again.

That would be nice. He had an interesting view of the world.

UPDATE: Here. I forgot to put in the  the link to the dissident frogman's blog.


It is 1300 Eastern Time and some 18 hours since the Witchfinder General turned in the report of his witchfinders to the Attorney General and yet, for some reason, El Jefe (bottom of my blog roll over there on the right side) has not peeped up to say anything about it on twitter. For a man accused so often of being graceless I find it fascinating that he hasn't pounced on the news that the Witchfinder General seeks no further indictments. Of course, that may be because as with so many things, the media doesn't know what they're talking about and President Trump is going to wait until all the facts are known before he comments.

Having written that, I'll bet he posted something while I was writing this.

Thursday, March 21, 2019


I found this at American Thinker. These things that President Trump doesn't do strike me as profoundly different from just about every President prior to him in the last 100 years. Most of them veered along the lines of the imperial presidency and one of them darted to the humble john corner for his brief tenure of unbearable shame. In fact, President Trump comes closest to President Eisenhower for his approach to the presidency which doesn't come as much of a surprise. Ike wasn't a politician either.
To demonstrate this fact, I will provide examples of what Trump has not done and what King Barack H. Obama and King George W. Bush did.  Here is a list:
1.  Trump does not invite singers and performers to the White House to sing and perform for him and his family, while Obama and Bush did.  They sat like kings and used our tax money to be entertained.
2.  Trump does not go to Kennedy Center honors or Mark Twain prize ceremonies to sit in a special place and be watched by the crowd as a king.
3.  Trump does not perform at the White House Correspondents' dinner as the chief of the country.  He does not care about entertaining the media and being praised by them.
4.  Trump calls media as they are (biased and unprofessional) without violating their rights.  He does not need them to praise him as King Obama and King Bush did.  All dictators love to be praised.
5.  Trump does not care about the elite's expectations. Trump is focused on results and delivering his promises.  He does not keep people in office who do not deliver.
6.  Against all leftists' propaganda, Trump has not gained any personal benefit from being in power.  All reports show that his business is not as good as before 2016.
7.  Trump did not bow to the king of Saudi Arabia as Obama did.  He did not praise Putin as Bush did.  He did not try to normalize a relationship with Cuban dictators and did not write personal nice letters to the dictator of Iran, as Obama did.
8.  Trump is not writing fat checks to people who chant "death to America" (like Hamas).
9.  Trump did not need any praise from Europeans and pushed them to pay their fair share in NATO.
10. Trump did not budge to socialists, Islamists, and fascists, while both Obama and Bush were lenient toward them.  Their failures were effective in giving a boost to those groups. 
The reasons Trump does not do these things are less important than the not doing them itself.  Trump, whatever he is, is the elected leader of American people and has behaved as an elected leader. 
Nobody is perfect. Democratically elected leaders are supposed to be average — average government by average people.  Our founding fathers never wanted (fake) philosopher-kings as our leaders.
Sitting here today and mulling things like this over I was struck by the first article of the day. One of the things people nowadays are talking about is the vestiges of slavery. I would argue that it isn't so vestigial in places like Africa or the middle east. Thanks to Hillary and Obama, arab slave markets opened again in Libya and openly trade in African slaves. The thing is though, there has been no slavery in America for way more than a hundred years and the nation convulsed and tore apart fighting for and against it. The losers lost. The only slaves in this country are covert slaves kept by pimps and various muslim dignitaries who bring their slaves with them when they come here to visit or work.

Which gets me to wonder about the men who were sent by the various colonies to the Constitutional Convention over 200 years ago and who labored long and hard and communicated their thinking on the nature and the type of government they meant to form in well thought out and reasoned discussion not only amongst themselves but with the citizens of the new nation. Today these discussions are called the Federalist Papers and oddly enough, The Anti-Federalist Papers

I doubt one in a hundred Americans have even heard of them and fewer than one in a thousand have read them. The Federalist Papers are the keystone supporting the Constitution and define what each Article and Clause was meant to accomplish. Both are available online and you can, of course, buy them from Amazon or practically anywhere. I bought my last copy at the little shop under the Jefferson Memorial.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Inscriptions:
"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." 
Southwest Portico 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We...solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of a right ought to be free and independent states...and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour."
-Excerpted from the Declaration of Independence, 1776. 
Northwest Portico 
"Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens...are a departure from the plan of the holy Author of our religion...No man shall be compelled to frequent or support religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively."
-Excerpted from A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, drafted in 1777. First introduced in the Virginia General Assembly in 1779, after he had become Governor. Passed by the Virginia Assembly in 1786, while Jefferson was serving as Minister to France. The last sentence is excerpted from a letter to James Madison, August 28, 1789, as he was returning to America to assume his position as Secretary of State. 
Northeast Portico 
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan."
-Excerpted from multiple sources: "A Summary View of the Rights of British America," "Notes on the State of Virginia," "The Autobiography," letter to George Wythe (1790), letter to George Washington (1786). 
Southeast Portico: 
"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
The men that gathered in Philadelphia were of similar mind, education and background. I shudder to think what a modern Constitutional Convention would look or sound like and I suspect most of what it put out to the people would be lies and damned near unreadable.

It strikes me that we have been letting down our side on the religious, education and tyranny fronts. We don't even teach this sort of thing anymore.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Samizdata put together an image that pretty much describes exactly the dilemma that Britain finds itself in as it attempts to wrestle away from the dead grip of the European Union. It makes it very clear why it is proving so hard to enforce the will of the people.

The problem is not that the people don't want to leave or that the regions don't want to leave or that the various constituencies don't want to leave, it is that the damned legislators don't want to leave and are doing everything in their power to frustrate the will of the people. Kind of like what our legislators are doing now in trying to frustrate the will of the people most of whom want to end illegal immigration by building a wall and actually enforcing this country's laws.

Somebody with the inclination could probably produce a schematic much like the one above and show that most Americans, most of America and most of the States want this flood of illegals with no visible skills to end and end now. Then we could just look at who keeps voting to frustrate that policy in Congress which is where year after year the will of the people in this regard has been tossed out on its ear or ignored altogether.

One of Samizdata's commenters mentioned a phrase that became quite popular a few years back.
“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”
Free month of reading this blog for anybody who knows who spoke the words quoted. I was going to say the same for the origin of samizdata but it's a little obvious.


Bring it.

The actual wording of Article V is: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

The Constitution spells out how one can, for instance, 'get rid' of the Electoral College. I don't see three fourths of the states voting to commit suicide and turn the governance of the nation over to the idiots that live in California, New York and the dumb states.


I understand that the various concerned people in California are considering letting anybody vote there as often as they want and I don't care. They can join the other rock solid bastions of voter fraud like Chicago and Cook County and vote every cemetery in the state and it won't matter.

Who cares?

Not me!

It will drive them further insane to have all the illegals voting the straight Democratic ticket and won't the citizens be happy when the Democrats win all the elective offices? Why no. No they won't.

If 100% of the vote recorded in Californiastan in the next Presidential election is won by Democrats they still don't get a single extra vote in the Electoral College. All those millions of destitute impoverished illegals living in tents or caves and now voting in their elections will result in Californiastan voters who start to demand way more social services, better schools, better housing, better medical care, better everything and unfortunately, it's the state of Venezuela  California who has to pay for all that and take it out of everything else they used to provide to legitimate citizens.



Tuesday, March 19, 2019


I'm kind of surprised this hasn't occurred to a wily old diplomat like Emmanuel Macron. The simplest way to end the "yellow vest" protests is to change the law that requires motorists to always have yellow safety vests in their cars and instead make the new requirement require "black vests". Play around in one of those by the side of the road at night and pretty soon the crazy drivers will take care of the problem. Alternatively, the law should say that the safety vests must be of approved night camouflage.

No, don't worry Macron, you can send me a check later for this brilliant idea. I have plenty more.

Monday, March 18, 2019


It would be laughable if true but Biden hasn't spoken a true word in this century. I suppose that the quote below came from the speech Biden gave to some bunch of self-styled elites who paid $45.00 a plate to hear him bloviate while they ate. He was sort of the dancing monkey of entertainment until the strippers came on.

I doubt Joe Biden has had anything in his hands but his pockets for over 20 years. I doubt he even carries a wallet. It's what happens when you're a powerful servant of the people and the people pay to surround you with flunkies and drivers. The idea of him having any kind of money on his own person is ridiculous and the idea that he drove anywhere near a homeless person is equally unbelievable.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


It was Heinlein but still the fact that the utter boobs at DOJ and FBI tracked down some non-criminals at the heart of their latest scatter of idiocy is profoundly troubling. They treat it as the crime of the century, just as they have treated the entirely bogus investigation into President Trump's so called collusion, which, again, is not a crime and never happened anyway. Yet they pervasively failed to investigate the real crimes of Hillary Clinton, Cheryl Mills and all the other dirtbags that left their names, calling cards and fingerprints on every single classified email that Hillary Clinton got on her private non-SIPR, not NSAnet account.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


In some of Wilbur Smith's books that was a phrase used often. I thought it sounded good when I read them back in 1981.

The response always was, "Stay, with God."

Wow! he never stopped typing. I think an intervention is in order.

Sunday, March 10, 2019


Somehow I forgot about this.

Jim Butcher and S.M. Stirling are probably the two best writers of my stuff in this generation. I have to be careful because some day my sister might find my blog and she's a pretty good writer too.


You deserve it


I believe this is John Singer Sergent's but I'll have to double check. I just found it interesting that though blinded by poison gas and cannot see they still carry their rifles off the field.

Saturday, March 9, 2019


I just downloaded a copy. The first time I bought the actual book it was in Newport back in 1974. I bought the next one in San Diego about 20 years later. I have this little problem keeping hard copy books so I just found it online.

Jackie Fisher was one of my favorites out of history. He was about the last man I know of who was table mates and comrades with a King. He clearly liked the man.

And now, perforce, we shall have to go on to Peshawar Lancers. Somebody has to.


16 Felony counts for lying to cops. Surely this is a signal that our justice system is broken. The idiot made up a crime, conspired with two other black guys to carry it out and ends up charged with 16 felony crimes.

Well, now I know why some dimbulbs think whossname is guilty of something. I mean, like us all he was in Chicago at one point in his life, right? He could be charged with a bazillion crimes none of us ever heard of.

I'm never going there again.

Friday, March 8, 2019


Movies rarely get better than this.


Does my blog require you to do anything at all when you post a reply? If so, please let me know so I can find some way to turn it off.

I sometimes write comments on other peoples blogs and get sent down a rat hole of stupid stuff to fill out and I really intend that not for people that would comment here.

There are literally no restrictions I know about for commenting here but I suspect glogsport has outguessed me.


The shit that runs California


I read the books about Hobart Floyt and this girl struck me as Baby Fat. Yes, while meant as a pejorative, it morphed as Alacrity Fitzhugh did. Srsly, you had to be there, read the books. Just another book plug for a dead author.

You probably don't even want to know how I pronounced Hecate to myself as I read the books. It was right up there with my sister's books and my horrible didn't get it right pronunciation of her characters names. Srsly Agape? You're just pulling my leg now aren't you?

I was also quite partial to the music.



A few years back my room mate and I used to take the Seoul subway to our offices in Yongsan Main Post. The first couple of times we did it after we arrived we ended up in the damnedest places. We would try to get on pure Korean military installations but never did. What is theirs is theirs. What we share is ours.

I spent a little over two months living in hotels in Seoul that first time and we refused the Army's kind offer of transportation (a bus which appeared at 0530) and decided to test the proof of life by exposing ourselves every single day (we worked @7 days a week) and took the Seoul subways to work.

We had alternate routes. We could amble out, after coffee and breakfast in the Lotte and turn to the left or the right. We mostly went left. I blame that on Reg. He was from Massachusetts and thus a total leftist. We would embark at Seoul Station or City Hall with a transfer or we would sometimes go to the right and take the subway to Itaewon. Either way, we had to walk the last quarter mile or so.

If one got off at Yongsan, the walk took one by Korean Imperial Defense Headquarters (which, soon after, relocated itself out of artillery range of the north Koreans hugging their side of the DMZ with their endless artillery and poison gas shells.) It also let us stroll past the Korean War Museum. If there was ever a museum that had 'one of everything,' it was that museum.

My Coast Guard colleague and I rode the rails underground in a sea of ignorance. The first time, because all the instructions and signs were written only in Korean, we had some trouble but there was an old man to help set us on the proper path. We were wearing our very attractive greenish, black, yellow uniforms of camouflage and he sussed out our desire to go the headquarters of United States Forces in Korea. He got us on the right train despite a very serious language barrier.

I think we took that train for the first month until the young lieutenants convinced us that there was a shorter way to the office. What they hadn't factored was the way that we commuted out of pure ignorance. We had found that if we grabbed a strap on either of the last two undermanned cars of the train that we would not be jammed in like sardines.

Yes, we turned out to be the second worst thing the country team experiences from visitors. We didn't know the last cars on every train are for women only. I know they didn't care at all but maybe it has changed again. We are old reprobates and we would not dream of depriving any lady of a seat on the line. We were just going 4 stops down the line and change. The cars weren't empty but there was absolutely no "inadvertent" brushing, touching, etc. They were mostly empty.

Over the next two decades, the lines got worse. Way. Every train car was packed to maximum capacity. It's a subway. At some point, you cannot add more cars to the train without leaving the rearmost hidden in the tunnel, well away from the platform. The trains took on the aspect of Japanese commuter trains.

It turns out that one can walk for many miles underground in Seoul through the subterranean stores that feature everything from art, belts, sunglasses, bathroom fittings, furniture, clothing... It has to be seen to be believed.

I'll never see it again but it was a really amazing place in the impeccably clean, bright, glistening undergrounds of Seoul. It was like Madrid's in the olden days in terms of clean. Madrid's didn't have any shops and just a handful of buskers.

Thursday, March 7, 2019