The Fifth Horseman

(Note that the fifth is riding a donkey)

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end, we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” – Orwell

Actually, I think that we’re in post-1984 mode and that it’s writing itself.

“All beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes that characterize our time are really designed to sustain the mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature of present-day society from being perceived.”

“We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us. . . . We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him.” Then he’s woke!


Food Blog

Civil War Soldier’s Mess 1861 – 1865

Hardtack is the name given to a thick cracker made of flour, water, and sometimes salt. While it has been called by several nicknames, the Union Army of the Potomac referred to the ration as hardtack, and the name stuck.

When stored properly, hardtack would last for years. Because it could be prepared cheaply and would last so long, hardtack was the most convenient food for soldiers. The army furnished hardtack by weight, but in most units, the biscuits were doled out by number, with a ration generally being nine or ten.


Yesterday was Labor Day – but…


Wearing Masks for Hygiene


Merlin’s TalesManuscript

After two years of hard work, scholars have now finished an Old-French-to-English translation of a centuries-old manuscript that tells of the adventures of Merlin the Magician, King Arthur, and other well-known characters from the legendary Arthurian tales. The 13th century Merlin manuscript was discovered by chance in 2019, hidden inside the pages of an entirely unrelated book. No one is certain how it got there, but its translation has revealed new details about the original versions of some of modern literature’s favorite tales.

The translated text consists of seven parchment pages, which are believed to be approximately 770 years old. “We were able to date the manuscript from which the fragments were taken to around 1250 to 1275 through a palaeographic (handwriting) analysis,” study participant and medieval literature professor Dr. Leah Tether said in a press release issued by the University of Bristol.


Richard III

R3 – portrayed in the forthcoming film The Lost King. I don’t know whether or not the movie will be any good, but given the options, I may take some time out to watch it. I haven’t been to a movie theater in a long time.


Too many Neighbors

Maybe it would be ok if they were kin — but even then.




Take a Walk on the Far Side


  1. The good thing about that island is the houses all seem to be floating.

    So you could sneak out at night with a knife and a pole, and shove all the other ones downstream. Then all that’s left is to pull in the bridge.

    If they came back, maybe some limpet mines?


  2. There is an island in the Detroit River. It was the site of the BobLo amusement park.
    Cedar Point cost it attendance and it folded.
    Someone built expensive housing on it’s waterfront.
    I was amazed while boating along it’s shoreline to see this expensive housing built so close together that you could pass grey poupon from one side window to the next.

    • i will never understand rich people, why they build mcmansions on a postage stamp piece of land within farting range of each other. given the same sum, i would buy the biggest parcel away from people i could find and put a little cabin in the middle. ….hardtack will be your friend…..mask hygiene, why i never buy the top or front item on the shelf. how many nasty paws have picked them up and put them back on the shelf. and i have seen meat put back in the case after being found abandoned on a shelf elsewhere in the store.

    • Ed, maybe they are on a zero-lot-line for that very reason — passing the Grey Poupon. I just send the servants out for more when I run low, but you never know.

      It’s the same way with most ocean-front properties as well. You have to wedge your house in and then everybody who lives inland arrives and parks in your driveway so that they can lay on the sand in front of your house. It doesn’t have a lot of appeal to me.

      Or you go to a lake on your boat and everyone wants to “raft-up” next to you so that they can all play different music loudly and drink beer. I never found the appeal to that either.

    • Forget about the issues with being so close to other rich people [1]. Why would you want to be on an island so near tens of thousands of violent, genuinely stupid people with minimal impulse control? Now admittedly the former Bob-lo island is part of Canuckistan rather than Detoilet, but betting they’re ALL too dysfunctional to make an 18-mile boat ride to your house when SHTF seems unwarrantedly optimistic. If that seems hateful, well: 1) I don’t care; 2) I just watched (from in line) a stupid person hold up the line at the pizza-by-the-slice place for literally five minutes grilling the sole clerk [2] as to the ingredients of each salad on offer, and then got into a tirade about “why cain’t they make red wine vinaigrette without using wine, because some people don’ drink en all dat.” Of course, despite all that, the stupid person did not get a salad.

      [1] the only advantage of living next to rich people is that when the balloon goes up, you can take out some of the people who are most responsible for the mess we’re in without having to go looking for them. That is literally the ONLY reason I can think of for living in Manhattan.
      [2] sole clerk: people aren’t even bothering to work entry jobs because it pays more to stay at home and get COVIDbucks. Saturday I was at an old-favorite diner in Portland, Maine and the waitress said they were down five servers for the night. Between plague hysteria and debtbucks they simply can’t find help.

      • Ok, that is one good reason to live in Manhattan. When you go postal, you don’t have to go very far.

        The welfare money for the plague ended yesterday, so there may be people waiting tables in the future, or until the next plague variant hits.

  3. Some people prefer an enclave. Us, no. And we find it a bit weird that people move on 35 acres only to build next to the property line in full view of the neighbor, install a dusk-to-dawn light because they somehow have a need to see the yard at night, wrecking everyone’s privacy chi. Sorta fits into the “Grog” panel…some people have no idea they are being nudges and bad neighbors. Then again, neither do Democrats.

    • I have land that my kids could build on. I’d like to have them live close so that the grandkids could be at hand. I think that’s the grandpa in me kicking in. Sort of a family compound. That’s very different than living next to the general public.

      • Yes, family close by – assuming everyone gets a long – is the exception…more hands to help when needed. The GP is getting closer to your “Left” expose’ so we tend to stay away whenever possible, preferring friends and neighbors and select family.

        I have a suspicion the island is a Winter dock, doubtful any normal person will want to moor their floating house that close to their neighbor, could be as others suggest, borrowing a cup of sugar would be handy.

        Curious if the Merlin Manuscript is real.

        • I would have preferred to live further out of the city, say Laporte or Bellvue, but Sweet Little Wife wanted to be *in* the city. She’s much more urban than I am, and she wanted to be in close proximity to good medical facilities, so here we are.

          • PAULM – It appears to be a genuine manuscript – but not written by Merlin, which is disappointing.

            DRJIM – The medical argument is a sound one. One day I’ll end up leaving the mountain because of that unless I cross the rainbow bridge up here.

          • LL- I like that sort of “found” history…offers insight.

            DRJIM- Grew up in a semi-rural neighborhood, could easily do that again, but always wanted to live out. I think it’s years of backcountry travel, the desire for more quiet gets into your cells.

          • @Paul – My growing up in “almost rural” (at the time) Northern Illinois implanted that into me. Living in SoCal was OK when I had an interesting job to keep me occupied, but really began to sour the last 15 years I was there, as I could see the decline beginning.

  4. Back in another century I helped build a 37 foot Brown design tri-maran.
    Floated it down the Sacramento River and spent a little time in Sausalito, because there was free mooring.
    There were quite a few house boats at permanent anchor and they avoided property taxes and other government imposed fees.
    The floating homes that I was invited into were very nice. They were more like bungalows than boats.
    All of them were site built and in no way resembled the house boats you see on Shasta Lake.
    I am sure that the state has “corrected” their oversight in collected taxes and fees.
    This was before the EPA and there were no ship to shore connections for sewage, so….

    • I used to go boating in the Sacramento Delta and enjoyed that. I don’t know what it’s like now. I went to the area where people generally weren’t. There were very few houseboats as I recall. That was a long time ago.

  5. Absolutely not going to live that close to someone and I also do not understand the rich living on top of each other when there are wide open spaces available. The Barbarian with the arrow in his back is pretty funny as well as the cartoon as a whole.

  6. The cul-de-sac we live on has 8 houses, each with a 10,000 to 15,000 sqft lot. Back in Socal they’d have at least twice that many houses in the same area. It *really* started to grind on me the last few years we were there.

  7. Ah, the old “pewter plate biscuit conundrum.” Ma LSP has a store of those plates and a few tankards too. I think some are real, maybe all.

    But what’s with the lake/island suburb? You’d think that much money could be better spent.

  8. First rule of historical movie – if the armor and costumes look good, then there’s a good chance the movie is worth watching.

    And the Richard picture above? Armor is good, heraldry is good, costuming is good. That means there’s an attention to historical detail by the production staff rather than ‘what looks cool to the kids.’e

    We shall see whether it’s the Richard of Shakespeare or the Richard of Josephine Tey’s book “The Daughter of Time” (which is a really good book and is based on some serious historical research and it’s all about the truth rather than whatever everybody knows is ‘true.’ Read it. Good book. Lots and lots of skull-sweat time as it challenges the dominant paradigms about the War of the Roses and the Tudors.)

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