Orders chest of HMS Eagle with sealing wax spots, c. 1804

This chest was used to store the orders and money that a ship needed during the voyage. This chest belongs to the Admiralty and was sealed before the voyage began.

Only when at sea was the captain allowed to open it and receive the orders, in the presence of his senior officers who served as witnesses.


You have to chuckle…


Well, I’m off to knock down the pyramids because the Egyptians had slaves for 5,000 years. Wish me luck…


The Associated Press

AP announced earlier this week that they would no longer release police photographs (mug shots) of those arrested as part of their reporting. Though it was not stated explicitly, the sense is that a stream of black faces associated with crime was not very woke – not enough equity perhaps?

Make of that what you will.


Roman Naval Workmanship

This is the Roman River Barge De Meern 1, excavated in Leidsche Rijn (a neighborhood in Western Utrecht in the Central Netherlands)  in 2003 and now in a Museum.

The River Barge was built of Dutch oak, the felling date of which could be dendrochronologically dated to 148 AD ± 6.

De Meern 1 was repaired at least twice in the second half of the second century (felling dates 157 and 164) and was probably in use for 50 to 60 years, as indicated by the accompanying finds of leather sandals, which had a cut that was common in the years 190 to 200.

The ship was about 75 feet long and 8 feet wide. It had a rudder and a square sail. The deck structure included a captain’s cabin, in which a toolbox and personal belongings of the captain were still found during the investigations. In addition to the finds, the barge was abandoned in a great hurry and sank quickly, possibly during an accidental mooring maneuver.

Those Italians got around.


Dakota Fire Hole

I never made one but I had a conversation recently with somebody who recommends them for smoke-free breakfasts in the hinterland. I looked it up and came up with this:

He uses a Dutch oven, which makes sense. The woodcraft to do this when camping is beyond what I am presently inclined to do. I just fire up the Coleman gas stove. But it’s good to have the knowledge.


Just a thought. Progressives don’t force-vax people who are armed with Colt 1911s set in Condition One. In fact, they want no part of such people.  Europeans don’t carry those handguns anymore, do they? Neither do Australians. Pity.

If you want a jab, that’s fine. If not, it should also be fine — my body, my choice, right?  (now this)


MikeW Lives in Thailand

He doesn’t live here. I’ve seen photos of his fancy new house, but he doesn’t have the sweeping balcony/deck.


Final Thought

As we prepare for Sunday – “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

Art by the French School, dated 1650.


  1. That fire hole thingy seems like a lot of work – but it does also seem like a top-notch way to generate fantastically good wildfire safety. You don’t even need water to make sure of the embers, just fill it back in. Very neat.

    Wouldn’t work around here of course, good luck digging 1′ a hole in the ground w/o hitting boulders or the water table.


  2. I don’t recall any references to Dakota Fire Holes in my old (ca. 1967) Boy Scout Handbooks.
    I was an avid backpacker in my younger (and spryer) days. I was fortunate to have experienced mentors. We used Primus or Svea stoves, fueled by alcohol carried in Sigg bottles. They had a certain low-tech charm and were generally trouble free.
    I pretty much gave up backpacking when I found reservations were required to climb Mt Whitney. When we reached the summit there was a crowd of *stylish* hipster/yuppies in North Face gear, munching REI gorp, and strewing trash everywhere. And this was before the mountain bike craze…
    When traveling by truck, space and weight are not at such a premium. I carried a Coleman 2 burner stove and a Lantern, and a gallon of white gas. Later I got a nifty little single burner Coleman stove on a lantern base that fit my needs.
    These days I use a single burner stove that runs on butane cartridges. As long as the fuel carts. remain available I doubt I will revert to the Coleman stoves.

    • Yeah, I don’t do reservations unless there is something very unique going on. I use the Coleman cartridge stoves (2 burners) that lay quite flat folded up. I have the old white gas stove but have not used it forever. My lanterns are battery-powered (no mantle) Light Emitting Diode (LED) and can be recharged from the hot point in the vehicle. As with the old stove, I have old gas lanterns but they’re too much trouble these days, and the mantles are a hassle.

      I’m leaving for the San Juans (CO) shortly for a quick trip to a higher altitude. Traveling light. There will be tourist/people present but there are old mining roads that the forest service wouldn’t want me to take that lead to seclusion. And yes, with AZ plates on the rig, I’m a tourist too. I don’t damage the tundra – they’re mining roads. Sometimes the smokey nazis can get to be too much. I’m exceptionally low impact on the environment and don’t rip around on a side-by-side. I seek the vistas and the quiet.

      • Oh the Spaniards come,
        and the Spaniards gone,
        Ain’t nuthin left but the old San Juan
        and the ghosts of that mighty river.

        And the remnant of the old Rio Grande narrow-gauge empire along the Rio de las Animas Perdidas. Some day. . .

      • One of my favorite drives is HWY 550 Durango > Silverton > Ouray. Stop overnight at Little Molas Lake (not at Molas Campground) then drop in to Silverton for breakfast, or the Miner’s Tavern for a beverage. Plenty of side roads to explore in the San Juans.
        Another favorite was 89A Flagstaff > Sedona, especially on my Beemer. But high traffic has killed the joy in Oak Creek Canyon, and Sedona is likewise ruined.

        • Thats a good route. Another nice one is the ride from Redstone to Marble – past the Crystal Mill – over to Crested Butte.

          • I’m going to have to visit some of these places you guys mention. Been pretty much doing the “Front Range Urban Corridor” stuff, and not going very far off the beaten path.

            @Paul – We went to Young’s Friday night! Good food, good ingedients, **properly** prepared. We’ll be going back as there are some other menu items I’d like to try.

          • Theres a lot to see in Colorado, backroads have many stunning surprises. Glad to hear you enjoyed Young’s, good people.

    • It’s a Catholic picture and I’m not a Catholic. Maybe another blogger or LSP could weigh in on that.

      • He’s holding his hands in a blessing.

        Surprisingly, amongst many cultures over many years, the open palm means peace and the double-barreled finger gun is the one used to send spiritual powers (or magic) to people.

        Catholic priests, when blessing people, do the double-barreled finger gun when making the sign of the Cross. And use the open hand to extend peace, thus the double-open handed when sending peace and general blessings upon a mass or passle of people.

  3. Huh, we were taught that fire type back in the 60s in Boy Scouts. Now, I’m lazy… Dutch oven and a small bag of charcoal… LOL Enjoy the trip and enjoy the solitude up there!

  4. Never did the Dakota fire hole, too much digging, like a trench around your wall tent which was the norm moons ago.

    “And the Word became flesh…” Sums it up for me.

  5. Was taught the Dakota fire hole when I was in the Boy Scouts in the 60s but the Troop Leaders called it something different. The only place I successfully used it at was Camp Stigwandish in Northeastern Ohio. Everywhere else I have lived it was too rocky.

    Enjoy the side trip to Colorado.

    In regard to crowds, the last time I drove over to Montana the Forest Service was mandating reservations to go on the Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park. That is the first time that has happened to me and was a bit of a surprise. Oh well, less Glacier National Park and more Bob Marshall Wilderness.

    • The Dakota Fire Hole is a plains trick. When you can’t find many rocks for a windbreak and the wind is windy.

      Make the air-hole towards the direction of the wind, you get a forced wind dirt rocket stove. Which it basically is. A rocket stove. Made of dirt.

      Very efficient in use of fuel, which is hard to find on the plains unless you’re using animal dung or dry grass.

      And, an added benefit, since it’s a very efficient burning stove, not a lot of smoke to advertise your position to everyone else on the plain.

      Fast and efficient in heating. An excellent way to do things where there’s no rocks and the ground water is way below surface level. Sometimes way way below…

      • Also, only works well in the type of soil found in, well, the Dakotas, basically the plains.

        Sucks balls in rocky soil or sandy soil. Like a lot of other old-school camping techniques that come from people in the north, whether it be the Northwest, the Far West, the Mid-West or the Northeast.

        May be useable in some portions of the Southwest, where there are prairies or plains.

  6. Another neat trick is being able to stake out a horse on a prairie without using a stake.

    Cut a circle of sod. Remove and put aside. Dig a tube down about an arm’s length, saving the dirt on a piece of oilcloth or a tarp. Scoop out a bowl at the bottom. Tie a loose long (50′ or more) rope to the sod plug, shove it down into the bottom of the hole (leaving the rest of the rope outside of the hole, of course) and tamp down all the earth into the hole. Tie your horse to the free end. Horse can’t pull the plug out and is now free to graze the whole circle to the radius of the rope sticking outside the hole.

    Again, only works on the prairie. Not so well elsewhere.

    Learned that trick from “The Cowboys” by Holling Clancy-Holling. Who wrote and illustrated great ‘childrens’ books’ like “Pagoo” (about a hermit crab and the life in a tidepool,) “Minn of the Mississippi” (about a snapping turtle who was hatched at the headwater of the Mississippi and travels down the whole length while growing, and the history of the river while the turtle travels down,) “Seabird” (about a carved sea bird that is the ‘totem’ of a young sailor, and covers the evolution of shipping from the mid 1800’s to the age of Iron ships,) and so many more.

    If you have kids, or grandkids, the books are well worth the value. Probably not acceptable by the socialists in charge of indoctrination, but the science and history are all good, and the illustrations rival Maxfield Parrish for their sheer beauty.

  7. As to no longer publishing mugshots, it’s also the reason many reports are not including the names of the perpetrators. Because “Guess The Race” is just too damned easy when given names and photos.

    Otherwise, one has to assume, without names and photos, that random gangs of neo-Nazi Amish are roaming the land and perpetrating all these atrocities.

    And the Romans? Good engineering is good engineering. And a well-seasoned and well-pitched boat or ship will last a long time, if cared for.

      • Oh, no! Amish with Cars! Teh Horrors!

        I’ll deflect them when they go looking for the fat Catholic Guy when I tell them I’m a Papist. Seriously, did that to some Jehovah’s Wittlesses when they were spouting off about the Pope (John Paul II, the good one) and they took it like Papism is some sort of Protestantism. Idiots.

  8. Re AP and mugshots: of course it was going to be done.
    Now, when is Wikipedia going to remove their “Early Life” sections from biographical articles?

  9. re — you want a jab, that’s fine. If not, it should also be fine — my body, my choice, right? (now this)
    A medical history ‘in ink under the skin’.
    Sounds like a tattoo.
    Might be easier to tattoo a unique identifying number on the inside of a fore-arm.
    The article describes the life-saving potential of an ink medical hx in nations without the advantage of advanced technology… such as reading and writing.
    And a congratulations is due Oregon unelected governess kate ‘Moonbeam’ brown for eliminating that requirement from government schools.
    Graduates from Oregon schools with zero-zero-zero ability to cipher will probably not be worth their us$15 minimum wage… resulting in (?).

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