Bullet Points:

* Market analysts are predicting that housing prices should fall 20% next year. I think that the nation will see a larger than 20% drop. Part of it is that the prices of homes are artificially high, and with inflation and higher interest rates, they’re just going to decline as the market value tanks while the price of everything else soars.

* The S’mores Halloween Challenge – The problem with putting s’mores as a technical challenge is that baking your own s’more from scratch defeats the purpose of s’mores which is of course to spend ten minutes trying to get a crappy store-bought marshmallow the perfect golden brown color before saying, “screw it” and letting it catch fire then frantically putting it on a graham cracker with Hershey’s chocolate slab before it falls off of the stick you found on the ground.

* PJMEDIA – on the diesel shortage.  And as a personal note, I went to Costco last Saturday and spent $900 on beef and chicken that will go into the freezer to augment what I have there already. It should carry me through the bulk of the winter.

* Major universities, in their attempt to add diversity, took the lazy (and racist) way out. They originally wanted to provide a diversity of background, experiences, and thought. Those things are NOT determined by Melanin. They, in a racist way, assume that all black, white, and Asians have different backgrounds. The proof of their racist attitudes is easy to see when one considers the political preferences of their teaching staff. Thus the US Supreme Court will hear arguments today in two lawsuits that will decide whether the University of North Carolina’s and Harvard University’s use of race-based admission policies are constitutional.

* The most powerful nation on Earth couldn’t keep a virus from spreading but they promised that they could change the temperature of the planet if we paid more taxes. Yeah.


Identify the Aircraft


And Because it’s still Halloween

This special type of gravestone is only found in northern Germany and especially on the islands of Föhr, with 265 examples, and Amrum with 152 examples. They were given the name “speaking stones” or “narrative stones” due to the fact that they usually only have a picture in the head area and an inscription in High German underneath that tells of the family and professional life, as well as special events in the life and honorary offices of the deceased.


A Whaler tomb, Föhr 

These elaborate stones were made at the end of the 17th century, and in the 18th century, in particular, agriculture on the rather infertile North Frisian Islands was unable to feed the growing population, so many of the male inhabitants hired themselves out on whaling ships.


These are two very special stones, left is the stone of Harck Olufs in Amrum. He was born on 19.7.1708 in Süddorf. He went to sea at the age of 12. In 1724 he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave to the Bey of Constantine in Algiers. He began as a footman, converted to Islam in the meantime, and later even became commander-in-chief of the cavalry. In the uniform of an Ottoman general, he returned to Amrum in 1736 after being freed by his master a year earlier. In order to be able to marry his love Antje Lorenzen, he had himself confirmed. The relationship produced four girls and a boy. Harck Olufs died unexpectedly on 13.10.1754 at the age of 46. His wife and children returned from church and found him dead in his armchair. The right one is the stone of Matthias Petersen who was born 1632 and died 1706. His stone is written in Latin and reports that he was very knowledgeable in sailing to Greenland, where he caught 373 whales with unbelievable success so that from then on he was called “The Lucky One” with everyone’s approval. A carved whale and Fortuna, the goddess of luck, can be seen. 

Initially, the inhabitants took roughly worked erratic blocks of granite that were specific to the place and provided them with inscriptions. Whaling brought the men great prosperity and later sandstone was imported. In the 17th century, gravestones lying on the ground predominated. In addition, there were smaller red sandstone tiles, often with a small drilled hole attached to a piece of wood or whalebone. Since the 18th century, upright stones, so-called stelae, were used, which have the typical elements of speaking stones.


On the right side a stone with an octant and in the middle one with a ship, Süderende Cemetery, Föhr

The relief decoration of the tombs is in the Baroque and Rococo styles. It is often fantastically opulent, the forms do not repeat themselves. They show angels, symbols of justice, and happiness, the signs of faith, hope, and love, proud ships, and mills. For the seafarers, ships were mostly depicted. If the sailor died on a ship, his gravestone shows a ship under full sail. A ship without sails on the grave indicates that the sailor died on land. Other motifs could also be an anchor, an octant, or a whale.


Whaler tombs, Nebel, Friedhof St. Clemens, Amrum 

A special iconographic tradition has been preserved in the floral motif: the husband and sons of the family are listed on the gravestone on the left in tulip-like flowers, and the wife and daughters on the right in the form of four-flowered, star-shaped flowers. A bent flower indicates that the person in question was already deceased at the time the gravestone was made. The frequency of this symbolism testifies to a high infant mortality rate.


A flower tree gravestone, Föhr 

From the middle of the 19th century onwards, this type of gravestone began to lose importance, which was also due to the fact that whaling was slowly but surely coming to an end and with it the lack of money.


A captain’s grave with an anchor, Föhr 

At the end of the 19th century, only very few speaking stones were made, and since the 20th century none at all.


This one is for Old NFO


Parting Shot (h/t Frank)


  1. Speaking stones. A remarkable tidbit of history. Wonder why it died out. Thanks.

    Bullet points. I think the upcoming housing bust will make the 2008 burst bubble look like a cake walk but that might just be me being a pessimist: either happy I am right or pleasantly surprised.

    Diesel. I am keeping the diesel truck pretty well filled up…gauge doesn’t go below 3/4. That plus having three 5 gallon containers full of the stuff plus two containers of DEF should see me through the worst of things. Primarily I rely on my older gasoline engine vehicle for day trips.

      • Tag Line: The Essex Serpent follows London widow Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes) who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. She forms a surprising bond of science and skepticism with the local pastor (Tom Hiddleston), but when tragedy strikes, locals accuse her of attracting the creature.

        • Thanks for seeing past the typo.

          Since we have the base level Prime and are constantly pondering what to watch on weekend dinners and lunches, I’ll have to give “The Essex Serpent” a try. I’ve liked Hiddleston in what I’ve seen him in, although at the moment I can’t think of anything except the Marvel movies and his series on Disney +.

          • I like Hiddleston in general, though Marvel’s Loki TV show made his character into a useless, pathetic, emasculated mess (and that’s saying a lot for a half-Aes who transformed himself into a mare and gave birth to Odin’s eight-legged steed Sleipnir).

            Hiddleston also starred in the BBC production of Henry V (“The Hollow Crown”). Call me a racist, but I was taken aback to see Paterson Joseph cast as the Duke of York. Also, the “Band of Brothers” speech was better done in Branagh’s Henry V. Branagh’s speech was an exhortation delivered to the common men, to buck up their courage (as it should have been). Hiddleston’s speech was a bit of a chat to his small circle of nobles. Different impact.


  2. Fairly tidy whitey BVD’s there. And the hammer needs to be a 28oz framer. Today’s presser, adamancy from the DA for information we already know, totally smells.

    Am I afraid? No. (Fear does not come God.)

    • Paul Pelosi needs to come out of the closet (don’t be latent, be blatant) and explain how he hired a boy escort and tell us how the mysterious third party was pimp/driver. I mean it’s 2020 and his wife can’t tell the difference between a man and a woman.

  3. On Dec. 8, 1942, American forces in Kienow, China, spotted an unidentified plane heading toward them on a beeline from Formosa. Pilots Bob Scott and Johnny Hampshire approached it and discovered it was an old American P-40B Tomahawk bearing an insignia that hadn’t been seen since Pearl Harbor. The pilot would not identify himself.

    Fearing a trick by the Japanese, Scott, and Hampshire fired briefly on the plane, but it sought neither to evade them nor to counterattack. Scott moved to the plane’s farther side and saw that it had been badly damaged before they came upon it — the canopy had been shot away, the right aileron was gone, and part of the wing was missing. The pilot’s head was slumped on his chest. Strangest of all, the P-40B had no landing gear — the wheel wells were empty.

    Scott and Hampshire lost the plane in a cloud bank and then saw it crash in a rice paddy below. Who was the pilot, and where had the strange plane come from? No one knows, but after years of research, Scott evolved a conjecture that it had been assembled by a small group of Air Corps personnel who had retreated from Bataan to Corregidor and then to Mindanao. If this is true it must have flown more than 1,000 miles through enemy airspace to reach China.

    Japanese records confirm that there was an American P-40 over Formosa on Dec. 8, 1942, but where it came from, where it was headed, and indeed how it even got airborne remain a mystery.

  4. * Market analysts are predicting that housing prices should fall 20% next year.
    Yes, and fueled by a wave of foreclosures. The moneyed class is waiting to buy cheap and then rent them out. Part of the global reset?

  5. Yep, those speaking stones are an interesting evolution of burial markers, and a long time tribute to the individual. Re the too, thanks… I think… 🙂

    • Thanks for the info on the speaking stones. I had never heard of them before.
      I am touched to see that someone appears to be taking care of the stones. The first flower-stone photo has very bright paint which suggest to me that someone is periodically refreshing the color.

  6. I still follow a few real estate blogs, and the guys who’ve always been correct for the last 20 years I’ve been watching are predicting a blood bath that will make 2008 look like an overheated seller’s market. It’s a perfect storm of a crashing economy, interest rates increasing, inflation increasing, and properties that were still overpriced post-2008 crash because it was so cheap to borrow money.
    Some areas are expected to drop 40% or more as people find out they can no longer afford the fuel cost for a 90 minute one-way commute in their leased luxury SUV.

    • In our little corner of the country the new construction is going strong. What these places have in common is the infrastructure isn’t keeping pace. Roads, water and power grid just aren’t there. Your point about the commute is spot on. What will these people do if/when that job they commute to goes away?

      • What if market declines in pricing make your house worth less than the mortgage and you lose your job and are forced to move for work? It’s happened before with market crashes and I see it happening for some people again.

        • Not just for some people, for a lot of people. Around here it was the combination of Xiden/Emperor Polis killing the “patch”.

      • We’re especially short on WATER to support all the new residents. Our friend who retired from Northern Water has spoken often about the disconnect between “developers” and the reality of not being able to support thousands of new homes, apartments, and condos here.

  7. Ain’t skeered.

    Romans 8:31 (NIV): What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

  8. In 2008, the housing crash was very uneven; some areas dropped 90% and some didn’t drop at all. (Usually the areas that didn’t boom in the first place).
    I suspect it will be similar this time.
    In my area higher end home sales have slowed and lower end sales are still moving. Unfortunately we bought last summer at the peak if the market, so I assume we’ll lose money if we sell soon.
    My town depends on the price of gold, so I don’t foresee a big drop here.

    • I lived in California in 2008. My home price soared, and then it crashed. But because I hadn’t used the home as a piggy bank, refinancing it and taking the equity to buy toys, blow and hookers, or do other unproductive things with it, the personal impact on me was negligible. I had neighbors who went BK.

      • We did very well when we sold the Long Beach house in 2017. SLW had refused all the offers to pull out equity, plus we’d been paying down the principal and making extra payments as finances permitted.

  9. If the SCOTUS kill Affirmative Action, I will dance in the streets!

    Okay, I’m lying, but I will stumble around in the library here at home, and perhaps injure myself and/or make a mess.


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