Bullet Points:

** Eschatology is defined as the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.

** A funny thing happened on the way to the global warming conference.

** Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, finds himself in a political bind. He is under pressure from the United States to hold free and fair elections after years of authoritarian rule or face a reinstatement of crippling economic sanctions. He is unlikely to give up power and would most likely lose in a credible election.

Now, Mr. Maduro has reignited a border dispute with a much smaller neighboring country in a move that seems driven, at least in part, by a desire to divert attention from his political troubles at home by stoking nationalist fervor.

Mr. Maduro claims that the vast, oil-rich Essequibo region of Guyana, a country of about 800,000, is part of Venezuela, a nation of roughly 28 million people.

Will he invade? The Biden Regime finds in Maduro a kindred spirit. If he invades, what would they do?

** The War in Mali – I’ll reference an article from September 2023 which sets the stage. In response to the question of why anyone cares about Mali…

The answer is uranium. Yes, it’s more common on Earth than gold, but the mines in Mali used to operate at a profit. Today, uranium is selling for $50 – $75 per pound for U303 (yellow cake). The price fluctuates. Is it worth the effort to keep Mali out of the hands of the Russians and Islamists? No, not really.

** NY Times: “Only three years after U.S. oil production collapsed during the pandemic, energy companies are cranking out a record 13.2 million barrels a day, more than Russia or Saudi Arabia. The flow of oil has grown by roughly 800,000 barrels a day since early 2022, and analysts expect the industry to add another 500,000 barrels a day next year.

The main driver of the production surge is a delayed response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which sent the price of oil to well over $100 a barrel for the first time in nearly a decade.

The wells that were drilled last year are now in full swing.

With the surge in output, gasoline prices have fallen by close to $2 a gallon since the summer of 2022 and are back to levels that prevailed in 2021.

The increase in production has also provided the Biden administration with substantial leverage in its dealings with oil-exporting foes like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran while reducing its need to cajole more friendly countries like Saudi Arabia to temper prices.”

** Soviet Junk and big Soviet plans are evident. It’s what the Russians do best. Now in evidence. The Kingdom of Rust and Waste. Just look at the Aral Sea.

** An interesting photo from January 6th:

** The Air Traffic Control Crisis (NY Post) “The NYT has been doing excellent work on the Air Traffic Control crisis. Controllers have the lives of thousands of passengers in their hands and are turning up to work high and drunk and are sleeping on the job.” The Times article is behind a paywall, but you can read about it at the link.

** (CDRSAL) Lawless pirate dens – that is what the Houthi-controlled coastline is, cannot be allowed to exist as a safe base to attack merchant ships or, even worse, take pot shots are American warships. This is fully in the “If they bring a knife, you bring a gun” category. Non-state actors with unlawful combatants engaged in piracy. We know where most of the missiles are stored and fired. Yes, they are purposefully embedded in civilian areas, but that is not our fault. Make an example of the Houthi. Destroy their capabilities. Embargo their coastline. Encourage Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to return to the fight … if they still want to. Ignore and dismiss the usual suspects waving the bloody shirt.


In the Days of Fighting Sail

The East India Company’s ships

The East and West India Company ships were not ship types in the usual sense. They were generic terms for a series of merchant ship types that traveled between Europe and the overseas colonies in the East and West. Common features of these ships were three masts, several cannons, and a high bulwark to make it more difficult for attackers to board them. Their valuable cargo made the ships attractive targets, so they often traveled in convoys, accompanied by medium-armed merchant ships or frigates for protection. But let’s go into more detail.


The East Indiaman ‘Earl of Abergavenny,’ off Southsea, by Thomas Luny 1801

The ships of the East India Company were the ships of the English East India Company, a public limited company. Shipowners at the early time of the East India Company contributed their ships to the company and received a certain share in the company in return. They received a proportionate share of the company’s overall profits and received a dividend even if their own ship was lost. Since the 18th century, the company built its own ships as well. They traded with Asia from 1600 to 1834. The company had a monopoly on trade with the East Indies, China, and other regions, and its ships carried goods such as spices, tea, silk, cotton, porcelain, and opium. The company also played an important role in the colonization and administration of India and other territories.


East India Company ships at Deptford, by English School, c. 1660

The ships of the East India Company were known as East Indiamen or as Indiamen and were among the largest and most modern of their time. They were designed to withstand long voyages, carry heavy cargoes and defend themselves against pirates and enemy ships. They were also equipped with cannons and muskets and had a crew of sailors, soldiers, officers, and passengers.

Because of the need to carry heavy cannons, the hull of the East Indiamen – like most warships of the time – was much wider at the waterline than on the upper deck, so the guns on the upper deck were closer to the centerline to increase stability. This is known as a tumblehome. The ships usually had two complete decks for accommodation within the hull and a raised aft deck. The aft deck and the deck below were lit by galleries with square windows at the stern. To support the weight of the galleries, the hull lines were full towards the stern. As mentioned above, the ships were armed and painted to look like a warship, and an attacker could not be sure if the embrasures were real or just painted, and some Indiamen carried a substantial armament.


Two views of an East Indiaman of the time of King William III, by Issac Sailmaker, 1685

The Royal Navy acquired several East Indiamen during the Napoleonic Wars. It made them fourth-rate ships (e.g., HMS Weymouth and HMS Madras), perpetuating the confusion of military ships with merchant vessels as prizes. In some cases, the East Indiamen successfully fended off attacks by the French. One of the most famous incidents occurred in 1804 when a fleet of East India ships and other merchant vessels under Commodore Nathaniel Dance successfully fought off a squadron commanded by Admiral Linois at the Battle of Pulo Aura in the Indian Ocean. During this time, some of the ships were even traveling under the protection of a Letter of Marque, which allowed them to make their own prizes.


The East Indiaman ‘Prince of Wales’ disembarking troops off Gravesend, 1845, by John Lynn, 1845 or later – She was built by Green’s of Blackwall in 1842 to a design known as that of the “Blackwall Frigates” – Indiamen with the single-decked appearance of frigates.

The ships of the India Companies were not only involved in trade but also in exploration, diplomacy, warfare, and scientific research. They visited many harbors and islands, built factories and forts, fought in battles and wars, negotiated treaties and alliances, and collected samples and data. With the advent of the smaller and faster Blackwall Frigates in 1834 came the end of the great Indiamen, as these small frigates sailed much faster.


There are two definitions. The first describes the offal and innards of a whale after it had been “cut in” (I’ll spare you the pictures here). The second is also a less tasty affair, as sailors used it to describe a meat stew cooked on board in a vulgar way. Unfortunately, there is no surviving recipe, and it doesn’t seem to be Labskaus either because even if this looks like cat food, Slumgallion is worse. Slum is the old word for slime, and gallion is the old word for stomach ache.

Deadlights vs Deck Prisms


Deck Prism, 19th century

A deck prism is a prism inserted into a ship’s deck to provide light below. For centuries, sailing ships used deck prisms to provide a safe source of natural sunlight to illuminate areas below decks. Before electricity, light below a vessel’s deck was provided by candles, oil, and kerosene lamps—all dangerous aboard a wooden ship. The deck prism laid flush into the deck, and the glass prism refracted and dispersed natural light into the space below from a small deck opening without weakening the planks or becoming a fire hazard.

The names “deck light,” “dead light,” or “deadlight” are sometimes used, though the latter is uncommon as a reference to prisms, as more often refers to non-opening plain-glass panels. Deadlights were commonplace for lighting underground vaults in the 19th century; they were also called “pavement lights” (UK) or “vault lights” (US).


Identify the AFV/Tank





Read the Cereal Box…



  1. Mr. Krause at the NYT has managed to lie by omission, which is a particular skill at the times. The word sanctions does not appear anywhere in his article, that is the reason the Russian oil and natural gas are not flowing into Europe. Also missing is price, other than the misleading ‘lower than’ crap to praise Biden. (gasoline prices are still (40% hirer than when Trump left office, the economic impact of that affects just about everything in our economy). Another oh so minor item missing from the Times: the inability of Libya to pipe gas to Italy (wonder why Qadaffi had to go when he was made to go) or what happened to those pipelines from Russia to Germany. Again, price of natural gas not mentioned, nor price of energy being the reason Micheline is closing a major production plant in Europe. (“This is fine” meme goes here ought to be over Mr. Krause’ desk).

    cereal box:

    • The NYT is an institution. Here are a few quotes from Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.

      “If White men were not complaining, it would be an indication we weren’t succeeding and making the inroads that we are.”

      “You’re not buying news when you buy The New York Times. You’re buying judgment.”

      “Journalism’s ultimate purpose is to inform the reader, to bring him each day a letter from home and never to permit the serving of special interests.”

      There are so many reasons to despise these people, but what really sticks in my craw is the hypocrisy. (“These people” includes the lizard in the last graphic.)

      And that Humpty Dumpty-looking smirking bastard in the Jan 6th photo is the embodiment of the modern kapo. And no, I’m not suggesting he’s Jewish. I mean spiritually. That fat boy doesn’t know or doesn’t care that he’s as much despised by the Sulzbergers and Clintons of this world as the man he’s assaulting, so long as he gets to swagger around with his badge and he gets his 20. As for the license to treat his fellow citizens as trash with impunity? Well, he’d probably have a semi from that, if not for his diabetes and generalized vasculopathy. But hey, if you can’t get it up you can still f*ck (over) your fellow man, amirite?


  2. My dad made Slumgullion, he was a sailor (Standard oil of Calif, 1939 until he passed). All I remember is macaroni, tomatoes, meat/leftovers all in a big pot, it tasted good and he called it Slumgullion.

    • I make a dish that I call “glop”. I thought that I was the only one who made/ate it. Then I visited my sister, then living with a retired USMC MSG/police officer and he made breakfast for us. He said, most people don’t like it. IT WAS GLOP!!

      Glob (like slumgullion) is an inexact dish. Start by slicing a tomato and putting it onto a plate, at salt/pepper and some Italian salad dressing, top with cottage cheese. Add black or kalamata olives to preference, banana peppers sliced, and more cracked pepper to taste. I eat it with soda crackers. He didn’t know that it was called glop. I explained that it’s what I call it.

      I added suggestions during his preparation, like the Italian dressing and the banana peppers, and he liked the refinement.

      It’s not like lutefisk or haggis – but not for everyone’s tastes.

      Sis broke up with this guy and then married a police officer in Oregon. I haven’t met the new brother-in-law and have no idea if he eats glop.

  3. “Only three years after U.S. oil production collapsed during the pandemic,”
    “Only three years after U.S. oil production collapsed when Biden took office,”
    There. Fixed it.

      • Great pick up there Ed-itor.

        Pandemic = Scamdemic. Everything will continue to be judged by that 2-3 year period, a massive mess created by TPTB, most who are still there</em)…save for those who died because they were ancient and don't when to quit, meaning the elixir must be somethin' awesome.

  4. Slumgullion (Websters)…is delicious ground beef simmered in a tomato sauce all day, then elbow macaroni cooked up right in the slow cooker at the end!

    There ya have it. Mom made it and I liked it…never called it that, called it some sort of casserole/hot dish that was easy to make in volume on the cheap (3 boys).

    Moved out West, hit the Colorado Trail when the Slumgullion term showed up in the guide book a ways back in the San Juan’s about 10 miles up a pack trail from Creede: “Slumgullion pass was likely named by early settlers of Lake City who noted that the yellow color of the soils resembled Slumgullion Stew.

    Still sliding today, which seems appropriate with the original English use of “slimy mud”. Come to think of it DC could be renamed The Slumgullion Club.

  5. Slumgullion
    The steepest paved mountain highway in Colorado is called Slumgullion Pass (CO Hwy 149) named after a huge yellow mudslide in the area. The highway runs from Creede to Lake City, once home to the alleged cannibal, Alfred Packer.

  6. In for lunch, not Slumgullion, I’m culturally appropriating leftover Young’s Vietnamese from my excursion to Fort Collins yesterday. [tap, tap, tap…me waiting for Mike_C to chime in with some exceptional retort, including words I may need to look up.)

    My first impression with the “rust” pics…it never sleeps.

    Leo over at his Tally Ho rebuild (sampsonboat.co.uk) did a terrific precede of deck prisms in EP160 of his weekly progress videos. He reviewed the various shapes and the reproduction ones they used and the mounting (not just cut a hole in the deck and caulk it in). He added a neat tidbit, the prisms would assist the crew notice if a fire had started below deck.

    • I got nothing. Sorry. If you were thinking along the lines of “cultural appropriation” I’m ALL for cultural appropriation. I like the integrated circuit, the infernal combustion engine, AC power, CT and MRI scanners, (reasonably effective) chemotherapy, hamburgers, Willamette pinot noirs, constitutional republics, you get the idea. Pretty sure Chinese people didn’t come up with any of those. (Could be worse. I could belong to a group that is credited with peanut butter and the traffic light. I mean, both those are fine things, especially peanut butter, but if those are what people always put at the top of the list of your accomplishments, well, that’s sad.)

      What you described as slumgullion above sounds like “chili mac” to this midwestern boy. (I think it’s specifically a Wisconsin and Minnesoh-da thing. But I could be wrong.) Just the thing for a cold winter day, though it has about as much alike with chili as I am like Eddie Hall.

      Speaking of Rust, what’s going on with that ass Alec Baldwin?

      • Alec Baldwin is a democrat…I guess they could give him a job as a Capitol Police lieutenant. He has skills for capping unarmed women. He could moonlight as an actor playing himself off Broadway.

        • It’s 9:58pm here at the homestead, finished watching the latest from DeWayne over at Dry Creek Wrangker Schools YT, and you two about made me spit out my honey roasted peanuts, wake the dog, and disturb the Mrs. who thankfully after a full day as the senior Pharmacovigilance Vet spearheading this canine “zebra” outbreak (that the TV DVM’s are calling “flu”). It’s not flu but they don’t want people to panic as they typically do with the unknown. (COVID anyone…”BUY MORE T.P. to save you from a corona virus! Fill your garage!”)

          So thanks for the laugh.

  7. I do remember seeing some deck lights for sale in England fifteen or twenty years ago. They looked very similar to the picture you have, and they were EXPENSIVE! Supposedly from the 1700s, but I have no idea what the actual provenance was. Re the rundown Russian base, that runway had to be rougher than a cob to fly off of, much less land on at speed!


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