March into March!

Blog Post

Black Hole

I know we’re marching into March, but remember that marching into a supermassive star-eating black hole isn’t ever a great idea.

Some intriguing insights into planetary formation can be found here. The information available about the vast space around us increases exponentially, even though we have certainly lost our mojo when it comes to the capacity to put people on the Moon and return them safely home.


Meme of the Day


Bullet Points:

** South Korea projects its fertility rate, or the average number of children born to a woman, is likely to fall to 0.68 in 2024, past the figure of 0.78 in 2022, which was already a record low, the latest data show. That compares with 1.3 in Japan and 1.66 in the United States in 2021. (more here) It’s quite shocking.

** New Chess Game eliminates prejudice and white privilege established by the patriarchy, the imperialist running dog lackeys – white used to get the first move. As a young black female lesbian business owner, all I can say is that it’s about time.

** Housekeeping – I think most Internet issues on this blog (besides hacking) have been resolved. Let me know if you see any problems.

** Retro – how could a Huey lift ALL THOSE STRIPES? And look at the shine on those boots.

** Information on Japanese toilets…maybe too much info?

** Elon Musk cut 90% of the staff at Twitter, and it’s working fine. Can we do that with even half of the Federal Government?

** Apple scrapped its electric car project after delays, leadership changes, etc. more here.

** (ZeroHedge) A report published on February 14 revealed that the Chinese Communist Party is continuing to target and enslave Uyghurs through an expansion of forced labor in China. Published by The Jamestown Foundation and authored by Beijing-banned academic Adrian Zenz, the report concluded, “Xinjiang currently operates the world’s largest system of state-imposed forced labor.”

** Just when you thought the EV lunacy had reached so much of a peak that an obvious industry backlash was taking place, think again: because the European Commission is here to prove you otherwise.

And how do they plan on doing that? According to Wheels Alive, a UK automobile publication, the EU is considering banning repairs on vehicles that are more than 15 years old.

** Marching to Mooney Falls, Arizona…

Supai, AZ


Book Review: In the Dark of War

A CIA officer’s inside account of how Libya’s descent into rampant violence precipitated the harrowing overland evacuation of the entire U.S. Mission from Tripoli after being trapped in the city for weeks.

Most of the world is aware of the tragic events surrounding the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Most are also aware of the resulting political controversy in Washington. But few know what happened next in Libya. While said controversy in Washington subsided, the volatility in Libya escalated—threatening the brave men and women who remained behind to continue the U.S. mission.

In this dramatic retelling of dangerous attacks threatening the U.S. mission in Tripoli, Libya—less than two years after Benghazi—American valor and courage prevailed. The U.S. personnel and intrepid operators stood fast as militias clashed, suicide bombers attacked, and numerous threats and kidnappings closed in on their location. Amid it all, the intelligence and determination of one woman with unwavering faith played a pivotal role in saving them all…

About the Author

Sarah M. Carlson was a Targeting Analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center. She specialized in threats and attack plans directed against the U.S. and Europe and completed multiple rotations with the Directorate of Operations. Before that, she served as a Counterterrorism Analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Homeland Defense Division and Iraq Branch. She also completed rotations to the National Counterterrorism Center and U.S. Northern Command while with DIA. Her counterterrorism career, which spanned over a decade, focused on groups operating in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

Since leaving the CIA, Sarah has continued in public service as an emergency operations manager in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in all-hazards preparation and disaster response.


Book Review: An Invincible Beast: Understanding the Hellenistic Pike Phalanx in Action

by Christopher Matthew

The Hellenistic pike-phalanx was a genuine military innovation, transforming the face of warfare in the ancient world. For nearly 200 years, from the rise of the Macedonians as a military power in the mid-fourth century BC to their defeat at the hands of the Romans at Pydna in 168BC, the pike-wielding heavy infantryman (the phalangite) formed the basis of nearly every Hellenistic army to deploy on battlefields stretching from Italy to India.

Despite this dominance and the vast literature detailing the history of the Hellenistic world, there remains fierce debate among modern scholars about how infantry combat was conducted in this age. Christopher Matthews critically examines phalanx combat by using techniques such as physical re-creation, experimental archaeology, and ballistics testing and then comparing the findings of this testing to the ancient literary, artistic, and archaeological evidence and modern theories. The result is the most comprehensive and up-to-date study of heavy infantry combat in the age of Alexander the Great and his Successors.


Do Space Aliens Abduct Humans? 

Have you ever wondered about that? There is a law against kidnapping, but extrasolar species do not care.

A “fictional short” on March 3 at Virtual Mirage, your go-to blog for this information, explores that perplexing question. (Above is a street view of Ypsilanti, commonly shortened to Ypsi, a city in Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan.)


Identify the Armor





A Navajo Taco at Bojo’s (Winslow, AZ)

It’s just southwest of the corner you’re supposed to stand on if you want to see a girl in a flatbed Ford slowing down to check you out. Those few extra pounds from the Navajo Tacos may persuade her to keep going. If she stops, you still have taco breath.



80 thoughts on “March into March!

  1. I assume a posed publicly photo for the Huey.

    We were always told muzzle down when we had a briefing on the Huey as all the critical gear was in the roof. I’m sure lots of others here had the same message.

    1. Yup, muzzle down. All those colored shoulder patches and white name tapes make it a very diverse photo, though.

      In the OLD army, Huey’s were powered by steam, none of this new-fangled kerosene back when I was riding around in ’em (and even I call BS on that one).

      1. Steam? You were lucky to have steam-powered helos! In the REALLY old days they had to rely on a waterwheel for power.

          1. Launching heads and body trunks by trebuchet used to be a standard practice in siege warfare.

    1. The UH-1 photo was taken approximately 20 minutes after everyone arrived. All the kids fighting over who sits next to who and where. Mom, he touched me!!! I’d always tell the kids to sit down and shut up, this is my aircraft and if don’t like it just walk. It never failed especially with GOs. I’d stare at the instruments and throw random switches and say oh this is not good and on more than one occasion, someone would puke in fear.

          1. For the benefit of others in a UH-1, I’d ask the crew chief to remind me what the Jesus nut was for. (It keeps the rotor attached to the aircraft)

          2. I was just reminded of the Jesus nut by a friend of mine who was an AP mechanic. Odd, hadn’t heard the term in years and then twice in a week.

      1. Or as DrMrsPaulM would say when doing a surgery, Not, Oh Crap!…but…”Well, that’s interesting.” Otherwise the tech freaks out.

        1. I actually did that to the Ortho doc I scrubbed for, Oh crap, damn missed it again, Oh No! was my favorite. When he went oh crap! I knew we were in a load of tonterias… That we would be longer in surgery than we planned for.

    1. #3 is a Russian copy/knock off of a Staghound. But the answer is close enough for government work.

      1. When and why did the Russkies make a fake Staghound!?

        The real article was pretty much obsolete on delivery…

        – Kle.

        1. Earlier in the war – early in lend-lease. They were moving manufacturing East of the Urals around Yekaterinburg once they saw how fast the Germans were moving. Who knows why? Perhaps we hadn’t sent enough of them to the Russian mind. They were much cheaper than tanks to manufacture and faster on the battlefield. Whoever dreamed it up hadn’t considered the rasputitsa. Early in the war, the Germans used their early tanks that lacked the lethality of the later vehicles. As I understand it, they didn’t make many of them on the scale of other armored vehicles.

          Early in the war, everything was easy meat for the Stukas.

  2. With AI, aliens can kidnap thousands for everyone’s viewing pleasure. In real life, I’m suspicious of such things. Then again, if any species has managed to bridge the distance of the cosmos, such things would be easy, and the victims left with an impaired memory. That, and being so far advanced, I doubt we’d be anything more than a curiosity for scientists and game hunters.

  3. Looks like an A or B model. The senior NCO’s are mugging at being troopies. The floor looks like it’s covered with linoleum.
    In the event, saw only D models -with a larger compartment and door. The floor was steel and covered with cargo rings. The troop seats were removed, two M-60’s on the doors operated by Crew Chief and door gunner. Depending on the temp, they’d pack six or seven of us on board, sitting on the floor. If you felt the impulse, you could hook a finger into a cargo ring for security.
    They came recruiting door gunners. Gave a spiel about sleeping in a cot and getting regular hot meals. Had to have six months time in country to qualify for this good deal. Whispers around the formation said that they were so short of gunners they had E-6 and E-7’s on the guns. Needless to say, they got no takers.
    V/R JWest

    1. Yeah, whenever there is a need for more bodies to replace the dead, you should think twice and twice again before volunteering.

      DEVGRU Gold had that situation, but they got plenty of “nuke me first” volunteers from DEVGRU Green to fill the void.

    2. I may have commented on this before, but I had a friend who was a door gunner. They took a hit and when he came to he was seated on the ground with his hands still on the gun grips. And bullets whizzing around him. No helicopter.
      On a similar note a friend of mine who was a chopper pilot lost power and rotated down into a clearing. The guys shooting at him never hit the chopper. They were all taught to aim ahead of the chopper.

    3. Huey…. No seats… check. Rings on floor… check. You actually had real factory installed doors? Could you close them? You were living the high life with actual doors.

      1. If you’re delivering cargo or on a CASEVAC, the seats are in the way. Better leave them at the airfield. Now, if you’re flying a colonel or a general around, they’ll want the comfort of the seat. I’ve heard that the Ospreys have a kevlar and ceramic armor deck…cushy.

      2. My bad on doors. O/C no doors. Would have interfered with the gun mounts.The space aft the cockpit just looked tiny on the older bird.
        V/R JWest

    1. I have all of the B-5 episodes on disk. It’s one of the better SciFi series, in my opinion.

      1. The first season turned me off.
        The second season had me looking for reruns of the first, which fortunately ran over the summer.
        Remember back in the days before streaming?
        How did we survive?

          1. I didn’t know that a game resulted.

            There is an appetite for that sort of series but I don’t know if Hollywood could make one today.

          2. B-5 wasn’t cartoonish, but early CGI was involved in setting and framing the plot. I don’t watch cartoons like that but I can’t speak for my grandchildren and it’s likely those people they view as their market.

    2. I got all 5 seasons, Crusade, all the movies and other stuff.

      So many good characters and great actors and actresses. Much better than Star Dreck.

      It’s about time to go watch them all in chronological order (starting with a movie dealing with the Earth-Mimbari War) then the pilot, then Seasons 1-4, a bunch of the other movies, then the fifth season, then one other movie, then Crusades…

      1. You’re convincing me to rewatch B-5 again.

        I watched the first two episodes of Shogun (remake) on FX. Good so far. There were not enough beheadings but I read the book and had expectations. No negroes so far, which is shocking. The movie is yellow-washing the Japanese in the 1600s who derived their culture from Africa – of course.

  4. I remember that day the saucers came. Stepped out of the diner and then stepped right back in again. It seemed safer that way. Nobody wants to talk about it as if it never happened.

    1. It didn’t happen EdB. Just keep telling yourself that. Of course, I will rip the band-aid off on March 3, but until then, log item: “Steaming as before”.

      1. Oh, they were there. Saucers, three big ones, with swastikas, fighting other saucers. Lost my best friend in the crossfire…

  5. “EU…banning repairs on vehicles that are more than 15 years old.

    Like windmills made of carbon fiber that has a 500 year half-life, the countryside will be littered with decent but undriveable scrap metal with motors rusting into the dirt. Unintended consequences for intended control of the populace and their choice of what to drive. Same Genius Nimrods who – as showcased on Clarkson’s Farm interfering and overregulating farming so it’s impossible to farm thus destroying food – they too are creating more problems than they are solving (Websters definition of “a bureaucrat”).

    So the iCar is dead…after 10 years…never knew it was “a thing”. Wonder if all those iPhone junkies who spent a grand or more on the latest model (in Rose Gold or Silvery Periwinkle) didn’t mind funding this folly? It’s sorta too bad, one could get the Musk Brain Implant coupled to their Apple Watch and iPhone so while on your way it’ll order that Grande Soy Latte with a lemon twist from Starbucks and it’d be ready when you finally make it to the drive-up window. Win, Win, less waiting.

    Sci-Fi…still working on getting my puny intellect around the Matoskey Galactic Institute, playing catch-up ball here.

    1. Ps. Clarkson likely has some words in his weekly direct but poignant column about the EU Ninny’s getting into peoples garages – especially with Jaaaaags. Like this:

      “OH no. It really is true. Just days after calling in the administrators, Body Shop has started to shut its branches across the country. So where am I going to get my satsuma body butter now? And my carrot moisturiser? And my tea tree oil? I guess I’ll have to go back to the olden days of using soap and water and accepting the fact that old people are supposed to look like scrotums.”

          1. Chicken (heheheh)

            Could be a nice manly rotting woodsy scent, like silage only wetter because it’s the Cotswolds. I’ll purchase then report, take one for the VM Team (and I wasn’t even a Navy Seal). Regardless, Clarkson’s Lambo Tractor is too big! according to Kaleb (from “Chippy Norton”, those town names)…who almost overshadows Clarkson, which is a feat in itself, thinking he needs a bigger percentage of the farms profits (all of 18 pence or some such nonsense). As boots on the ground, we really could use a SITREP from Jules on S3 happenings (she should bring The Wolf Kiddos to the next local town hall meeting, intimidate the Ninny’s before they can spout off.)

      1. Might have to re-watch Denzel/Caveizel’s “Deja Vu”….time folds back on itself and we can watch the past to change the future with this super lens. Cool concept.

        Maybe I’;; just rename my Shop that…and any subsequent Etsy online store for custom cutting boards, hay hatchets, and unique Nativity Creche’s.

          1. “Matoskey Galactic Institute really does have a nice ring to it…who knows what really happens in the Shop? The downside is I’ll have to pay VM Royalties for its use, very much like Danegeld.

          2. Use “Matoskyy” to avoid the copyright. Modern problems require Chicom solutions. Plus with the double-Y you’ll be stunning, brave, AND fashionable, just like Our Greatest Grifter.

            Shockingly, Danegeld apparently does not have anything to do with snipping bits off of Danes. Hmmmm.

          3. Brilliant Mike_C, two ‘y’s’ puts me in Zelenskyy league, maybe I can get a few million (to be reasonable…seriously, who needs billions?) from the Democrat Money Printing Machine to fund my Shop invasion/takeover. Thing is I’ll need to keep the transaction quiet of the Colorado Democrats will want their cut.

  6. Just curious if you remember exactly what cut down scout scoped bolt action you are holding in that picture from a blog post from 2016 that popped up in the sidebar before? Channeling Jeff Cooper just a bit so early?

  7. Years ago, now-ex-wife and I were living in Tucson and considering a “vacation property” farther upstate in Arizona. Was put in contact with “friend of a friend” who had a home and land that was off-grid near the Petrified National Forest. Realizing the layout of that area, I asked the owner how far away that “Fire from the Sky” took place. The reply was “a couple of neighbors over”. I was OK with that, but now-ex-wife was an addiment “No Way in HELL” she’d be anywhere close to that possibility. Oh well, her loss. Now I’m happily re-married, making the hacienda in Northern Nevada off-grid in stages.
    Your bird had a floor with rings? The guys I hauled at night on my C-5 sat their butt on the floor of their bird, and their feet on the landing skids.
    Glad to see and hear that the blog is back in working order

  8. About the blog & issues: I activated the fussy antivirus and got in without it even blinking. Looking good so far.

  9. There’s a lot going on in this excellent post but I’m drawn to the Phalanx book, thanks for the review. And I’m looking forward to reading about your time with the space aliens. Glad you got back OK!

    1. I don’t believe in space aliens. The larger question is whether or not they believe in me.

  10. Yep, wonder which E-9 shot the roof of the Huey? And yes, USN policy was weapons DOWN toward the floor, always! Unless they were pointed out the doors.

    1. The E-9 would never put rounds through the fuselage. Read the report. It was an E-4 (which is why the E-4s need their own mafia)

    1. USGOV would like to force the purchase of EVs but they haven’t rounded up 500 million firearms and who knows how many trillions of rounds of ammo – yet.

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