Lest we forget…


Defense Against Missile Attacks…

From back when Italy was cool.

In Roman warfare, the testudo was a shield wall formation commonly used during battles, particularly sieges and was used to protect the soldiers from all types of missile attacks. The primary drawback to the formation was that because of its density, the men were required to move in close quarter unison which greatly sacrificed speed on the battlefield.

What did ancient Rome look like? Check this out. Romans loved color and imported pigments from all over the known world.


A glance at recent U.S. and Chinese moves in the western Pacific

US Navy

April 16: F-35B fighter jets conduct flight operations in the South China Sea from aboard the USS America amphibious assault ship.

April 22: A B-1B bomber based at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, trains with six U.S. Air Force F-16s, seven ASDF F-2s and eight ASDF F-15s.

April 28: The USS Barry guided-missile destroyer conducts a freedom of navigation mission near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

April 29: The USS Bunker Hill guided-missile cruiser conducts a freedom of navigation operation through the Spratly Island chain near Gaven Reef in the South China Sea.

April 30: Two B-1Bs fly a 32-hour round-trip sortie from Ellsworth Air Force Base to conduct operations over the South China Sea.

May 4: B-1B bombers conduct a training mission over the East China Sea.

May 4: USS Ronald Reagan begins sea trials before annual patrol of western Pacific.

May 6: A B-1B conducts a training mission over the East China Sea.

May 7: The littoral combat ship USS Montgomery conducts “presence operations” near the West Capella in the South China Sea.

May 2-8: Three submarines join 7th Fleet ships and aircraft during a joint “advanced-warfighting training exercise” in the Philippine Sea.

May 8: Two B-1Bs conduct a training mission over the South China Sea.

May 9: The U.S. Pacific Fleet says its submarine force has every one of its forward-deployed submarines conducting contingency response operations at sea in the western Pacific.

May 12: The U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords ship conducts “presence operations” near the West Capella drillship in the South China Sea.

May 12: Two U.S. Air Force A B-1B bomber conducts a joint training mission over the East China Sea with eight Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighter jets and eight F-2 fighters.

May 19: A B-1B conducts operations over the South China Sea.

Communist China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Navy

April 2: A China Coast Guard vessel collides with and sinks a Vietnamese fishing boat near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

April 11: Chinese H-6 bombers and J-11 fighters carry out drills above waters to Taiwan’s southwest.

April 13: The Chinese Navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier task force group sails through the Miyako Strait.

April 16: The Chinese survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 enters Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone.

April 19: China establishes new districts in the South China Sea in a bid to cement centralized control over the islands from a single city.

April 20: China officially names islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

April 28: The Chinese Navy says it “expels” a U.S. warship conducting a freedom of navigation operation.

April 28: The Liaoning aircraft carrier task force group again passes through the Miyako Strait, for the second time in April, but only the fifth time since the carrier’s 2012 launch.

May 5: Chinese Navy warships conduct exercises in the South China Sea.

May 14-July 31: The Chinese Navy kicks off military exercises off the northern port city of Tangshan.


My Garage

1948 Willys Project – working on the new snorkel cold air intake for the Chevy 283. The original Jeep had a 10 gallon fuel tank, which is what this ride has. But the original 4-popper didn’t burn fuel like the 283 does. Maybe cans on the back will be sufficient. Or maybe I can find a larger tank that is able to fit into the small frame?

Don’t be critical, don’t be a hater.

Storing the Canoe: 

It’s notched out of the way, into part of the RV area/higher ceiling. The shack at the White Wolf Mine can handle six or seven (depending on size) cars and there’s a work shop as well. Some people will say that’s too much garage. My only regret is that I didn’t make it larger…

canoe ceiling mount
canoe ceiling mount (another view)

Here is a photo of me with MRSLL on Knoll Lake on Friday, taken by one of my daughters.


  1. A shop/garage is always going to be at least 10% too small… no matter how big it is. A sad truth…

    • I know, it’s sort of an eternal truth, like the Peter Principle and Murphy’s Law.

  2. You might want to look into a fuel cell for it. In my experience, they might be a bit pricey compared to a “tank”, but they can make one any size you want, they don’t spill in an accident, and even if they get shot through, they still don’t leak. They might even make self-sealing ones….just a thought.


    • The Roman army changed appreciably over time. During the Marian reforms, they became the classic formation that people tend to recognize. Testudo was formed if they were taking arrows primarily, they had formations to receive cavalry, and for an infantry-on-infantry engagement. Each legionnaire carried the pilum, a javelin that was thrown into enemy formations before the point of kinetic contact. The head would bend if they missed and hit something other than flesh and they couldn’t be thrown back. Once the shield walls engaged, the gladius was used in close combat. But I can’t see it working effectively from a classic testudo.

      The later armies we characterize today as ‘Byzantine’ would have told you that they were ‘Roman” if you asked them.

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