Crusader Sunday Sermonette

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Because it’s Ramadan, I went with the Crusader theme. If you think that’s insensitive, too bad. Come to think of it, if I’d been alive during the Crusades, I would have likely been a crusader since my toxically male ancestors came from the lands that launched them – England, France, Teutonic Kingdoms, etc. Today the Baussant is considered to be racist. But so is everything else and when everything is racist, then nothing is.

Nobody is born to be a warrior. You choose to be one.

The Devil saw me with my head down and he thought that he’d won until I said, “amen.”  (and that’s the sermonette)

Note: For the past two weeks, I’ve kept thinking that the next Sunday is Easter. One day I’ll be correct. The days and the holidays seem to smush together. Then there is Orthodox Easter the Sunday after Western Easter.


The Norman Conquest of England

The Normans were so named because they’d come mainly as Vikings and ended up settling in the lush, fertile, temperate, French countryside. And if you’ve visited the area you’ll agree with me – who could blame them?


Go Woke, Go Broke (No Sympathy)

Ford is losing billions – Ford Motor Company says its electric vehicle (EV) unit, “Ford Model e,” is losing billions of dollars, and should be viewed as a startup company.

Model e has lost $3 billion before taxes over the last two years, and is expected to lose another $3 billion this year as the company invests in the new technology, according to a report by Associated Press.

Last month, Ford announced that an unspecified potential battery issue has led the company to stop producing and shipping its electric F-150 truck model.

The Brandon Regime keeps pushing electric vehicles, hoping the woke and gullible will buy them.

In October, a Detroit News review of the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck found that the vehicle’s “kryptonite” is a road trip. Auto critic Henry Payne explained that the electric truck got him “170 miles of range” on a trip up interstate 75 in Michigan, while its gasoline-powered counterpart gets drivers “600 miles and 22 mpg.”

The auto critic explained that he had charged the vehicle overnight to 100 percent, giving it a 320-mile range. He then ran a few errands the following morning and started his road trip with 281 miles on hand.

But by the time he got to Saginaw, “the Lightning was getting just 60% of an estimated range and it was becoming clear to the trip computer that we would not make it to Gaylord,” Payne said, adding that the “281-mile range looked more like 168 miles.”

The system then rerouted Payne to a charging station, but when he arrived, the only two chargers there were already occupied. So he drove to another facility that he knew had four charging stations. When he got there, unfortunately, two were occupied and the other two were being worked on by technicians.

I’m not an electric vehicle person. Especially when you have the potential of having someone shut your vehicle off remotely, just because of your political views.


Bullet Points:

** Tennessee is becoming a “gas stove sanctuary state.”

** Stolen from CW at Daily Timewaster: Cast-Away Huts They’re a good idea.

** LSP dabbles in AI

** Jim Curtis hits the big time yet again – his Novella, “Nothing but Time” — is #1!!


In the Days of Fighting Sail

Furniture on board a ship

Ships of the 18th and early 19th Century were designed as floating gun platforms for the efficient discharge of guns. The fact that people also had to live there for years at a time, often fell a little behind. But at sea, people were clever and had furniture that was as practical as possible and could be folded up or stowed away as quickly as possible. At least above the waterline.

The men didn’t have that much space and the first lieutenant didn’t always have a lot of room either. As First Lieutenant James Trevenen, HMS Crocodile, 24, guns off Cape Finistere, reported in a letter to his brother on 17 August 1781.


Une Chambre d’ Officier à Board, by unknown mid 19th century   

My habitation then is six feet square, which six feet is now completely filled up as an egg. My cot in which I sleep is two feet broad (c.61cm) and five and a half long (c.1,65cm), allowing half a foot (c.15cm) on each side for swinging (and this is too little when it blows hard). I wish I had not mentioned the cot, for it blows hard now and brings to memory that I shall have a bad night’s sleep. Allowing half a foot than for swinging, my cot will take up just half my cabin and there will be left six feet by three feet. A very small bureau will take up three feet square, and my chair and myself will pretty well complete the rest of the space. […]


Officer’s cabin with cot, HMS Trincomalee (1817)

It wasn’t much space, let alone much furniture. But most of those who held the post of first lieutenant had a bureau in their cabin. Everyone else usually had a lap desk (writing box) to do their writing properly. In addition, there was usually a small table and a chair, and possibly one or two shelves with a border so that the contents did not fly through the cabin. In addition, there was the swinging bunk, the sea chest, and, depending on their means, all kinds of furnishings such as carpets, curtains, musical instruments, pictures, books, and so on. So one person’s cabin looked different from another’s.


Mahogany naval chairs, 1795 

In the great cabin, in addition to the office, the swinging cot, and possibly one or two chests of drawers, there was also a large table and matching chairs. Depending on the type, these chairs could have been foldable or simply solidly made. The table might also have had folding or unscrewable legs. But many were also simply solid.


Admiral’s great cabin aboard HMS Victory – the walls are lifted up

All the furniture was made of mahogany, moveable, and able to be lashed and, with a few exceptions, was provided by the Navy Board as fixed furnishings.


Captain’s day cabin aboard HMS Victory 

Private items also had to be purchased privately and brought on board. These included the lieutenants’ chests of drawers, washstands, sofas, and harbor beds (these were folding beds used mostly in the harbor – Nelson had one of these).


Nelson’s portable bed 

If everything had to be cleared during a battle, the partition walls were hauled out or lifted up under the ceiling. All furniture and personal belongings had to be moved to the hold so that they would not be damaged. And hopefully, they did, although it often happened that the good furniture was damaged. When the battle was over, everything was put back in its place and everyday life resumed.

44 thoughts on “Crusader Sunday Sermonette

    1. For the time and people, yes.

      The year before Covid, I attended the Edinburgh Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s held at the castle and is not to be missed if you’re in town. Anyway, as the crowd pushed toward the ticket gate, I mentioned to MRSLL, who is 5′ that she was roughly the same height as the locals. I’m 6′ and could see over everyone else’s head. There were taller Scots, Welch, Irish, and English, but the average height in the 1700s and into the 1800s was under 5 1/2 feet.

    2. When I was in Mildenhall, England in the esrly 1980s with the Air Force, I visited a house from that period that was a small museum. I am 6′ tall and had to duck under the door frame to enter. The average man of that time could enter wearing a top hat. There were a pair of men’s shoes on display that were the size of children’s shoes these days. So a 5 1/2 foot long bed would have been quite comfortable.

      1. There are also two very valid reasons to have a shorter-than-the-occupant door.

        The first is material expense. Wall material was cheap, being wattle-and-daub or cob or stone or brick or a combination of all. Door material, flat sections of wood and timber with metal, that is expensive. Doors back then had to withstand wildlife and neighbors and pigs (yes, pigs, one of the leading causes of death amongst 0-2 year olds in medieval Europe.)

        The second? Defensive. Attacker has to bend over or duck his head to enter, giving the occupants an easy strike. Viking longhouses tended to have doors between 4-5 feet for this very reason.

        Other neat architectural facts. Circular staircases in castles were made to favor the defense, giving better shield coverage for the defender and exposing the attacker’s sword side.

        1. Circular staircases: Huh. I heard it the other way (or I’m misunderstanding you): Clockwise curve (going from bottom to top). This put the right side/arm on the inside of the curve for the person going up, hampering use of the weapon arm. Conversely, the person at the top had his weapon arm on the outside of the curve.

          Supposedly a family (Scots or Irish, I forget) was known for lefthandedness, and their keep had stairs with a “reverse” curve.

  1. I have a buddy that is heir apparent to his families Ford dealership. His view is that gearing up to sell electric vehicles will cost the dealership well over a million dollars. The equipment for quick charge stations, repair parts inventory, mechanic training, and real estate for the electric car support being the big expenses. That kind of expense would cause the dealership to go under.

    His view is being echoed by a lot of other Ford dealers. About 70% are not going to support EV’s.

    1. Financial ruin awaits.

      The battery technology (too hot/too cold/not enough chargers/old battery) creates travel issues unless you’re commuting 15 miles to and from work every day and you have no real desire to travel interstate. Tesla owns the space. And to have your Tessla serviced or repaired you MUST go to a Tesla dealer. The nearest Tesla dealership/service center to me is a 2.5-hour drive from my home. That dog don’t hunt.

  2. “The Devil saw me with my head down and he thought that he’d won until I said, “amen.””
    to mind this:

    “But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.””
    ‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    We don’t go toe to toe with Satan but use the Lord as our advocate.

  3. Crusades. I didn’t even know it was Ramadan but just started reading “Defenders of the West” by Raymond Ibrahim. Quite a good book so far. Very detailed.

    Electric vehicles have their place. My electric mountain bike gets me outside and active since I can enjoyably ride when it is windy (happens often where I live) where with my conventional bike I cannot. It also helps my old legs on the steep hills I ride on. It might work out in a city but I would never consider an electric vehicle if it was my only ride. The range is the major issue. Also have never seen a good proposal for the costs associated with disposal of the batteries when they are worn out. To me that is a huge issue.

    Edinburgh, went there in the mid 90s and it was fantastic. I did not go during the tattoo but just touring the castle and wondering around for a few days was fantastic.

    Naval vessels. Good history lesson, thank you. I have been aboard a modern warship and there is still not a whole bunch of room. Glad I went into the AF, don’t think I would do well in the Navy but kudos to those of you who served.

    1. My Naval career wasn’t spent at sea. I equated being on a ship to being in prison. And officer’s country is always better than the life of a swab. So if I sound like an ass, so be it. The times I traveled on ships, submarines or aircraft, I was supercargo, not crew. On a ship-of-the-line, much of your time is spent with the wind in your hair. In modern warships, you are inside without much interaction with the elements.

      1. Problem being on a blowboat, the higher up you are the closer to the stern your quarters be.

        Why? Well, blowboats travel with the wind, so the stink of men and beasts all is carried forward, which is why the goat locker and most of the shitters are in the bow.

  4. Ford Trucks
    Starting in 1949, the 1/2 ton Ford pickup has been, year after year, the best selling vehicle in the USA. That has propelled the sales of 3/4 and one ton trucks. Trust the new generation of Ford engineers and executives to f^^k it up. 5.8 V-8 = junk. V-10 spits out spark plugs. 7.3 Godzilla has so many problems owners are giving up. My friends in the repo trade tell me they tow many. Quality, reliability, long life? Not anymore.

    Now the F-150 “Lightning”. Junk!

    Back in my used car manager days, we spent on average $800 to get a Ford truck “front line ready”. GMs were usually around $1,100 and Dodge $2,000. I shudder to think what dealers are spending now.

    1. The 6.2L Raptor with steel I-beam construction is a nice platform and it’s a Ford.

        1. The new bi-turbo Raptors with their aluminum unibody frames don’t inspire a lot of confidence.

          The USGOV forced manufacturers to adopt turbos to meet fuel consumption demands. When they work, turbos are fine, but it’s spinning faster than a pulsar and the mean time to failure and cost of repair means that I’ll go another way unless it’s a “work car” and I’m going to flip it every 24 months and eat the depreciation.

  5. Once the Vikings took Paris, the French were all too happy to grant them the lands that made them Normans.

    They took Rome too.

    I don’t think I’d have made much of a Viking; I see those longships, and think I would have been terrified to be out of sight of land in that glorified canoe. This is a reflection on my failings of course, not the vessel. They crossed the damn North Atlantic in those things.


    1. One of the ‘rumors’ of Rollo’s subjugation to the French king Charles the Simple. When swearing fealty to the one above, one of the French customs was to kiss the foot of the liege-lord. When notified of this, Rollo, soon to be Duke of Normandy, had a simple solution. His men picked Charles up and turned him upside down, thus Rollo didn’t have to bend his knee to his new king.

      The Norman campaigns in Sicily, Italy and the Holy Lands are epic tales. I swear, if I had Musk-levels of money I’d make history mini-series or maybe a whole multi-season show on the Normans (and no fake movie bullscat, real armor, real horse furniture, real clothing and footwear, real tactics yada yada.)

      Having been 30 miles off the Florida Coast in a 20′ outboard, eh, longships don’t frighten me. Being anywhere near the North Atlantic? That’s a different matter. Just ask the occupants of The White Ship, basically a Norman-built Longship sailing from Barfleur to England which sank in ‘energetic’ sea states. Yeah, no. And no way I’d do the Chunnel either.

  6. Adak island in the Aleutians has a number of survival shelters for people out hiking or caribou hunting not unlike what the Kiwis built on their sub-Antarctic islands. The weather was so unpredictable and bad that one could get caught out in extreme weather, and as rugged as the island is, a “fast” pace wouldn’t actually cover all that much horizontal distance. There were perhaps up to 3x the number of “survival barrels” as actual shelters. There’s a rather cheesy Netflix show, “Pirates of Adak Island” (a Russian “pirate” from 1890s, IIRC) filmed on the island looking for buried treasure. I watched 1.5 episodes mostly to see what the old base (and home while Dad was stationed there at the other base, the NSGA) looks like. Three decades of 99% abandonment has not been kind, to say the least.

    1. The shelters and barrels on Adak did have some emergency supplies stocked. If you had to make use of a shelter’s supplies, you were supposed to inform the proper authorities so it could be restocked.

  7. Ah, the Crusades. I’ll know it will be a-okay for me to return to Mother Church once the Orders Militant are re-established.

    And one of the greatest accomplishments of Western Civilization, massing troops and personnel from all Christian nations and going down to free the Holy Lands. Because no matter all the bad committed, that was the goal. To stop Islamic subjugation and murder of Christians, because in Islam there are only 4 states of being: Muslim, paying taxes to Muslims, being slaves to Muslims and being dead. And any conversion away from Islam was and is an instant death sentence. The destruction of Christian holy sites by muslims was an added reason.

    As stated above, a proper mini-series on the Normans and the Crusades is just begging to be done. Sigh.

    As to the Norman conquest of Lowland and Midland Scotland? If Malcolm, king of Scots hadn’t been such a feckless bastard, the Normans would have been fine with leaving them alone. But, no, even after promising William that the Scots would stay on their side of the dividing line, he still authorized and allowed raiding parties and outright border assaults. The retribution laid upon the Scots was so horrible that it took the English reaction to the Jacobite uprisings in 1745 to match the level of death, doom and destruction that William personally led. A swath of land 15-20 miles wide, laid bare, salted, all life killed, William did a Ghengis Khan before Ghengis was born. That stopped Scottish aggression until after William’s death and then they got frisky again.

    Funny thing is, once the Normans took Lowland and Midland Scotland, they assimilated and became, for all intents and purposes, Scottish. It is these Norman Scots who Robert the Bruce (Robert de Brusse, a Norman name of course) used to smack the English and finally gain reasonable Scottish independence, until the feckless Scots lost it again, and again, and again and again.

    1. If a series is ever done they need to hire you as an era consultant.

      The things I learn on this blog from LL and commenters really showcases what a vast world we live, both present and historically.

    2. In later crusades, there were more of factional wars. The Count of Tripoli and others had been in place for many years. There were alliances between the Christian and Saraczen kingdoms and it was about power/land/money.

      1. Yeah, and the Byzantines were screwing with both sides as only the Byzantines could do.

        I knew a guy who wrote a song called “The Fall of Acre” (the last Crusader stronghold on the mainland, most of the survivors bugged out to a little place called Malta, but the ones who stayed? A valiant defense, but they lost, bigly. Very ugly things were done to them.) Only heard it three times and each time most womenfolk would kind of get quiet but almost all the men, especially the fighter types, would all blubber up. Good song. Sad song, very sad song.

        Ah, for the morally clear first couple Crusades…

  8. As to storage aboard ship, a lot of sundries and such were hung from the roof in nets or bags made from sail canvas. Both for the ship’s officers and for the crew. Anyone who has ever sailed a blowboat knows every cubic inch of storage is to be utilized to the fullest.

    1. It’s true of all ships. Submarines are the best example of packing 10 cubic feet of crap into 5 cubic feet.

  9. In one of the training areas at Fort Wainwright when I was up there in the long ago, were concrete foundations and piers for buildings no longer standing and weathering roads to and around them. One of the targets for land navigation exercises in that area was a concrete plinth with a bronze plaque honoring one L-T Brewer who was KIA at the battle of Adak. I no longer remember his first name or unit, but always wondered why the memorial was left behind when that part of Wainwright was demolished and abandoned, instead of being moved to main post or someplace else better traveled, and how disrespectful that was to his service and sacrifice. I got curious a while back and looked at that area on Google Maps and found it’s all built up again, so now I wonder what happened to the young L-T’s memorial when they did all that.

  10. GM told their Cadillac dealers to cough up their own money to go all electric, or lose their franchise.
    The only Naval furniture I have experience with is the WWII US Navy stuff. The Captain’s cabin on the Iowa was quite nice, with it’s own galley and bathroom.

    1. If you’re a Cadillac dealer, you do what GM wants or you walk. True of all dealerships. There is a lot of profit baked into cars, parts and service, but not so much anymore.

      1. A friend’s dealership had his service department audited by Generous Motors because he was very profitable, and GM thought he was ripping people off.
        He just had very good mechanics….

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