I’ve hiked portions of the Pacific Crest Trail, and at one time, had an ambition to hike from Manning Park, BC, Canada to Campo, BC Norte, Mexico. Alas, there is too much sand out of the hourglass to do it now. When I was young enough to do it all, I had to work. Now that I don’t do as much work, the clock is whacking me. Catch 22. The original plan was for three of us to make the trip with a chase car that would resupply us and would drive us over areas (such as in the Los Angeles Basin) where backpacking was troublesome. Load out meant that we could be re-supplied every three or four days and the pack weight would be reasonable.

The same is true of an expedition that some friends of mine were planning in Mongolia. Ship our off-road rigs over by container to Vladivostok, train to Ulanbator and do Mongolia. We were firming things up, had some sponsors for tires – Goodyear, Toyota, Lucas Oil, etc. and one of my buddies died rather suddenly of advanced cancer that he didn’t know he had. So the plans faded. The moral to the story, of course, is to strike, while the iron is hot.


Historic Missile Launch

The SSM-N-9 Regulus II was an American submarine-launched, nuclear-capable turbojet-powered third generation supersonic cruise missile, cancelled during development in favor of the UGM-27 Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missile.

USS Grayback,  SSG 547


The US Military

I don’t expect a walking corpse and a whore to deal with the situation, but the US military is still structured to fight the Cold War (Goldwater-Nichols, 1986) against the Soviet Union which has been dead for thirty years.

It’s true that the US Marine Corps is changing to prepare to fight China (even as American leadership takes money/bribes from the PRC), rather than just to serve as a division, brigaded with other Big Army divisions. There is a lot of debate in USMC circles, but I think that it’s a step in the right direction.

There’s also a budding Space Force, which should be separated from the Air Force, but isn’t really, and never will be if the USAF generals get their way.


News You can Use

(The Bee) WASHINGTON, D.C.—Authorities in D.C. have erected a large 12-foot fence around the Capitol, which will be guarded by tens of thousands of soldiers. A study has found that the majority of Americans support making the wall around the Capitol permanent to keep the politicians corralled in there.

In spite of the precautions, many Americans are worried that still may not be enough to keep the politicians confined safely inside or prevent them from interfering in everyone’s lives.

“I would feel much better knowing that all the politicians are safely locked away in the Capitol building where they can’t bother anyone,” said local citizen Bart McNally, “but is the fence really enough? Sure, it may be hard to climb over it, but what’s gonna stop one of them from slithering underneath it like a little lizard?” 



European Vampire Stuff


Dividing the Spoils

This was how Spain planned to divide up South America, prior to their creation of the Viceroyalty of Peru. It makes you wonder what sort of person called the shots on this. (best laid plans of mice and men)


Early Nose Art


  1. The Regulus worked, and worked well. Amazing that the new hottness in naval weapons is… a supersonic cruise missile carrying either HE or Nukes. How times don’t change.

    And the Regulus subs got a good workout doing all sorts of snoopy snoopy things. Having that huge chamber made for easy use by UDTs and other secret squirrel stuff.

    Sadly, DC is no longer part of These United States.

    Nose art? Yet another thing the bureaucrats won’t allow our military to do.

    • Let the Hunger Games begin, Beans.

      The regulus was an evolutionary step and you’re right. Once they didn’t need that missile bay up front, they could do other things with it.

  2. A wall the size of The Maze with armed guards on the outside might help keep them contained. See how well they do.

  3. The 1534 map is goofy as hell, but I’m not sure it’s worse than some of the apparently arbitrary lines that various superior bureaucrats and govmint types of the British Empire drew. For the longest time I had the theory that they *deliberately* created inherently unstable – and entirely artificial – “states”, so as to ensure maximum chaos within the supposed new state. The purpose of said chaos being to provide future opportunities for the remnants of Empire. Now that I’m older and understand that stupid and goofy is the natural state of humanity, and that sensible and orderly take incredible amounts of work (being anti-entropic and therefore highly unnatural), I’m no longer convinced that it was deliberate malice, but I’m still not ruling it out.

    PCT sounds nice, but I don’t know much about it. I’ve heard a thru-hiker describe the Appalachian Trail as “created by persons who somehow managed to find swamps on top of mountains, and then routed the AT through the worst parts of those swamps. I can’t say I recommend it. Walk some interesting stretches, that’s great, but I don’t think I’d want to walk the whole thing again.”

    Gotta take issue with Norse draugr being some sort of vampire analog. T’aint so. I can’t explain it properly, but a draugr is probably closer to a Tolkienesque barrow-wight than a vampire as we understand the term. The Norse conception of the parts that constitute a person being much more complicated than a simple dichotomous body/soul pair, a draugr is formed of a fraction of the parts that comprise a person. You can get a draugr when the vård (a sort of “watcher spirit” attached to a human) lingers on after death and unites hugr (thought/mind) with hamr (the body, but a sort of “spiritual body” that reflects the true shape of a person rather than necessarily the physical shape of the clay body). So a draugr is kind of a “Nordic zombie” but not quite, not hardly, since thought (and memory) can persist.

    • I’m with you. The British were great ones for dividing “heathen nations” with arbitrary lines. Led to wars and they were mystified as to why that happened.

  4. Bureaucrats, far removed from the location (and thus from reality), dreaming up all their plans because of their power delusions.
    As the song says, ‘making all his nowhere plans for nobody’.

    • I always worry when you write of what you did when you were a kid, DRJIM. — Asking myself if they were plastic models or genuine flying missiles — and then did they have nuclear weapons? Those of you who know or have met DRJIM will fully appreciate why I feel that way.

      • Just little plastic static display models. I got into Estes Rockets in high-school, and launched one with a radio beacon in it so we could find it when it came back down.

        No nukes, though. Couldn’t get any fissile material…..

    • The Regulus-I was the predicessor and it was butt-ugly! Looked like a barrel with wings.

      The Regulus-II was quite pretty. Very sleek, and at Mach3, it was fast.

  5. I had a friend (and I use the term loosely) that convinced me to mountain bike the Arizona trail in 2015 starting at the Mexxy border south of Sonoita. Why yes, I did hop over the crappy fence into Baja Arizona, thanks for asking.

    And, yes, it damn near killed me. I forced him to bail at Superior, AZ while I still had some chance of living through the experience. Some trails are best walked.

  6. The USS Grayback was eventually painted orange and sunk as a target out in Subic Bay PI. I had a senior chief on the boat I was on in the early 80s who was on the Grayback in the late 60s early 70s and talked about them delivering Seals in Viet Nam. He told some great tales.

  7. That South America plan is idiotic, but then the same thing was done here in the North – leading to Connecticut having territorial disputes with Ohio back in the day, just as one example.

    There’s a preserved Regulus boat at the Intrepid museum in NYC.


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