Missing Instructions

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Rolling the Rock

** BRM on Medieval Stone Bridge Construction

** “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ~Carl Sagan

** Complexity (h/t Claudio) The world gets more complicated, and we get more stupid.

** People claim that our elites, who are pagans in their own right, don’t worship gods. I beg to differ. They worship three modern gods: the bull-god of Wall Street, who promises wealth; Ishtar, the enchantress-witch of harlotry and sodomy, who castrates her lovers; and Moloch, who drinks the blood of innocent children.


Pipe Hitters

There is natural confusion over the term. Some pipe hitters are crack cocaine addicts like Pedo Joe’s son Hunter. Some use the term to refer to thugs and muscle for hire. The term has also been adopted by some US Special Operations Forces.  Let’s take a dip in that cultural pool.

Thugs, goons, and enforcers have used metal pipes as a tool of the trade ever since lead pipes came into use. They’re customizable, strong, hard, and easily cleaned of evidence. You can dispose of them just about anywhere and nobody is going to notice them. People who wielded pipes were called pipe hitters (among other things).

In 1994, Quentin Tarantino’s hit movie, Pulp Fiction, hit the screens. Among the most memorable scenes was the ‘get medieval’ scene. You may have seen it. Marcellus Wallace, the character played by actor Ving Rhames, states that he’s going to call some “pipe hitting niggers to get medieval on the guys, ‘ass.’ This brought the term, pipe-hitting into more common use. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3UyjlaBMcY

When you need someone to get “medieval”, you call in the pipe hitters.

(Captioned photo – the watch. If the scene means nothing to you, just let it go)


Red Onion Sauce – for brats and dogs


Identify the APCs

Yes I know that there are hints




Identify the Boat




This Day in History

1673. Death of the real D’Artagnan, leading his musketeers into battle at the Siege of Maastricht. That evening, King Louis XIV wrote to his wife: ‘Madame, I have lost D’Artagnan, in whom I had the utmost confidence and who merited it in all occasions.’

The Regiment of Musketeers was formed in France in 1622, as part of King Louis XIII’s personal bodyguard. Originally a complement of 100 men, the regiment was made up of gentlemen and members of the nobility who were also proven soldiers; a candidate had to have served in the regular army before being considered for enrolment in the Musketeers.

The Musketeers were a mounted regiment, armed with swords and muskets. The 1st and 2nd companies were distinguished by the color of their horses; grey for the 1st Company of Musketeers and black for the 2nd. Their captain was, in fact, the king; however, their everyday command was left to a captain-lieutenant, with a sub-lieutenant, an ensign, and a cornet as junior officers. Their uniform comprised a blue, sleeveless, tunic with a cross of white velvet on the back and front, which was worn over a scarlet coat.

One thing that does hold true in the Dumas novels, is the Musketeer’s rivalry with the Cardinal’s Guard. Formed by Cardinal Richelieu for his own protection, the Guard and Musketeers kept up an ‘unhealthy’ rivalry, and competition was fierce between France’s 2 elite regiments.

The Musketeer captain-lieutenant was a Captain Troisvilles (Tréville); while other members of the regiment included Armand de Sillègue d’Athos d’Autevielle (Athos), Isaac de Porteau (Porthos) and Henri d’Aramitz (Aramis). Of course, the most famous Musketeer of all is d’Artagnan or, to give him his full name, Charles Ogier de Batz de Castelmore, sieur d’Artagnan. D’Artagnan was born around 1613/15 in the château of Castelmore in Lupiac in Gascony.

His father was Bertrand de Batz,  seigneur de la Plaigne, while his mother was Françoise de Montesquiou, daughter of Jean de Montesquiou, seigneur d’Artagnan; and from whom the hero took his nom de guerre. D’Artagnan was one of 7 children with 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Paula and Jean, who became captain of the guards, were older, whilst Arnaud was younger and became an abbot. His 3 sisters, Claude, Henrye, and Jeanne, all made good marriages.

No one could join the Musketeers without having proved themselves in the regular regiments. D’Artagnan joined the guards in the mid-1630s and served under Captain des Essarts. The regiment saw much action in the early 1640s, taking part in sieges at Arras, Aire-sur-la-Lys, la Bassée, and Bapaume in 1640-41  and Collioure and Perpignan in 1642. Whether or not D’Artagnan was personally involved is unclear, but it is likely he took part in some – if not all – of these sieges.

61 thoughts on “Missing Instructions

      1. Even an AI needs a connection to the Internet. Mine failed Sunday afternoon and came up late yesterday.

        Unlike my Cylon counterparts (by the way that was good!), my optics are now such that trying to do any serious reading on a phone is impractical or I would have commented earlier.

          1. But the Borg have an all or nothing deal … you may not want your “self” assimilated.

  1. I knew them but Surly got there first.

    I love the unabridged musketeer series, all of them. Dumas was definitely getting paid by the word, if not by the character. Verbose in a time when most novels weren’t nearly as verbose, unless the writer was Russian.

  2. For being a notorious drug and crack addict Hunter Biden has done quite well for himself. Hunter Biden has no real marketable job skills, except smoking crack, knocking up strippers, and threatening a Chinese oligarch. Suddenly Hunter becomes an artist with mysterious buyers! Humm Isn’t that something that should be investigated. After all the previous “House” has invetigated many things and people for FAR LESS, like just making a Phone Call to the President of Ukraine for example.
    Hunter Biden’s first arrest may have been when he was 18. Hunter was arrested on Jersey Shore related to drug charges in 1988 and had his record expunged.
    Many years later and after several stops into drug treatment facilities Hunter joined his father the Vice President on a trip to China in 2013 where Hunter — inexperienced and out of place — was able to secure a $1.5 billion from China for private equity fund which he was forming at the time.
    A year later in early 2014 Hunter was discharged from the Navy for testing positive for cocaine.

    As Banks Fail and Americans Scramble to Protect Retirement Accounts With Physical Gold and Silver, A Faith-Based Company Shows Them How
    Then in April 2014, just a couple months later, Hunter Biden Hunter joined the Board of Burisma Holdings in the Ukraine. Hunter served on the Board until early 2019. Hunter was paid approximately $50,000 a month in his position.
    The largest oil and gas company in the Ukraine hired a chronic drug addict only a few months after the addict was removed from the US Navy for doing cocaine.
    In 2016 Hunter Biden returned a rental car with a crack pipe with cocaine residue and a small amount of a white, powdery substance.
    A used crack pipe, credit cards, a Delaware Attorney General badge, US Secret Service business cards, two ID’s belonging to Hunter Biden, son of former VP Joe Biden were found in a Hertz rental car in Arizona.
    A lab analysis of the crack pipe revealed it was used to smoke cocaine, not meth, however, no fingerprints were found on the pipe.
    And surprise, surprise, the County and City Attorney’s offices declined to prosecute Hunter Biden.
    Hunter was never charged with a crime in this incident.
    In 2018 Hunter fathered a child with a Washington DC stripper while he was dating his dead brother’s wife.
    In 2018 the IRS placed a tax lien on Hunter Biden seeking $112,805 in unpaid taxes from 2015.
    And according to Page Six, Hunter Biden allegedly spent time at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in New York City in 2018. Hunter allegedly ordered pricey booze, was joined by several strippers in a private room while he did drugs and had strippers run to find him a dildo.
    In 2020 Hunter Biden was tied to a human trafficking ring with women who appear to be involved in the sex industry, including non-resident alien women in the US who are citizens of Russia or Ukraine.
    You won’t see this information in the media because they still working overtime to prop up senile Joe Biden as president.
    In 2020 The New York Post released a photo of Hunter Biden sleeping with a crack pipe in is mouth like a pacifier.
    These are just a few of the public allegations against Hunter Biden.
    After years of drug abuse, there are likely many more episodes not yet public.
    Hunter has done quite well for himself despite his addictions thanks to his powerful , and Delusional Father.

    1. Should we visit the sins of the son upon on the father?
      Y’know, what we’re desperately missing in the English langage is a Sarcasm Mark – like a question mark or an exclamation point – to set the less-than-quick on the proper track.

  3. Awww man! With the “(Captioned photo – the watch. If the scene means nothing to you, just let it go)” admonition, that was all it took since I haven’t seen any of Quentin Tarantino’s work. So I had to watch that scene. I’m a sucker for going ahead after being cautioned. 😀

  4. “The world gets more complicated, and we get more stupid. Robinson claims that “the core issue is that changing political mores have established the systematic promotion of the unqualified and sidelining of the competent.”

    That pretty much covers it…striving competence has been replaced with Social Engineering and Feel-Good Optics. To wit:

    Got his over the transom from my brother (WSJ paywall but the headline covers it):

    The Spying Scandal Inside One of America’s Biggest Power Companies – A private investigator surveilled Southern Co.’s CEO, prompting an internal investigation into whether it was commissioned by another executive.

    His comment: ““Our Betters”…The only difference between ALL of these people…”GP People” & “The Great Unwashed” is the size of their bank accounts…I’m convinced…NONE of these people are better than ANYONE.”

    Watched a 48Hours special on Gabby Petito. Knew the story (how could you not with the breathless wall-to-wall coverage). What a mess created by narcissistic behavior that got a free pass. Both sets of parents (3 actually) were…let’s just say…lacking in the discipline department, and supported these two on “their epic journey”. Petito was almost arrested for a “domestic” while in Utah, thereafter the social commenters decided she was the real victim. The officers did the fair thing and let her off with a warning (had it been the guy he’d been given no deference).

    This story turned into a Social Media storm…as if anyone other than authorities knew anything…yet they injected themselves into something as if they were the true experts.

    That mindset is rampant.

    Monday morning quarterbacking on the players aside, let alone – but not discounting – the “look at me and what I am doing right this second, aren’t I special!” Instagram idiocy…the very pointed question posed by one particular Blogger was: “Why this one? Why Petito? Why all the coverage for her when (and she wasn’t playing the race card, just pointing it out) “We have thousands of indigenous (“Wind River”)/black/brown girls go missing every year yet they don’t receive the same coverage as this ‘cute blonde white girl from Florida who has an IG following.”

    When not used as a tool, social media becomes a cancer, it rots the brain. So is symbolism over substance (h/t Rush), which rots society.

    As my dad would drill into us boys, Pay attention and use your head.

  5. I was in a grocery store yesterday on an aisle and it was a little crowded. All of a sudden an 80-something lady maybe 75 lbs soaking wet, 5′ maybe steps in front of me, blocking my path. I’m moving slowly and respectfully. I looked down at her. She said, “I’m protecting my daughter – dumpy 40 something – from you.”

    I said, “I think that I can draw, fire, and holster before you’ve cleared leather.”

    She looked up at me and stood aside. I said, “I’m just pushing my cart past hers.”

    She said, “Yes but you look mean.”

    I said, “I’m more of a sheepdog than a wolf.”

    “Ok then.”

    1. Epic warrior response. Well played.

      Our response to what is happening, to effect the proper response from those fomenting the discord – should be as effective as yours was with that lady. But it’s not…they continue unabated, which only raises the anger level.

      1. They are emboldened because their fellow’s heads are not on spikes at the entrance to the cities.

        1. In the effort to be civilized, we’ve become uncivilized. As a society, we revel in the blood of the unborn and glorify sodomy and every wicked perversion with an eye toward starting children young. Our leaders don’t exemplify anything but rampant corruption, which is also praised. Some “civilization” we’ve carved out for ourselves.

          1. My overarching point in my lengthy comment above: When times are “good” this is the ancillary stuff people focus to fulfill their meaningless lives.

            As soon as things get rough it used to be people refocused and reoriented to what is really important. Now – as we saw with The Lockdowns and a generally sanitized society – fear takes over half the population who believe everything they are told by “Our Betters” (who are often useless nobody’s), then operate accordingly.

            The rest of us “aware” look at society and simply shake our collective heads.

            Sidebar: We are driving to Chicago suburbs, necessary family business. High Yellow Alert at all times. If I don’t bloviate on anything after next Wednesday I’m in jail for flogging some moron.

          2. >In the effort to be civilized, we’ve become uncivilized.

            As Adam Smith wrote, “Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.”

            >Yes but you look mean.
            So I noticed a few changes over the last several years. I used to work near a college campus. Every so often you’d come across an obvious-not-student male negro hanging out on the street, giving the male students an intimidating glare, and sometimes making eyes at attractive girls. These sorts used to glare at me also (I’m an obvious-not-student myself, because age) but recently they’ve started giving me “the dude nod” of “I see you; won’t start none of you don’t start none.” Also, beggars very rarely hit me up. They go after the Pretty Korean Girl when she’s by herself, but not when I’m with her. She noticed this and pointed it out. “Huh,” says I, “maybe I look mean.” PKG looks at me out of the corner of her eye and says, “maybe they’re giving you professional courtesy.” Takk. Mange takk, älskling. (No, I can’t explain why I talk to her in bad gutter mishmashed Scandihoovian….)

    2. Given that people are shooting each other over soggy french fries, ‘looking mean’ puts you on the 10 most wanted list.

        1. Maybe it was the always flattering fluorescent lighting.

          Went out among the GP in Sam’s or Walmart – focused on A-B-C, done…the Guy ShopOp…I have caught myself in reflection. I am not a mean person…but sometimes I could see how people might view me as “unapproachable”.

  6. Bridge construction:

    They didn’t have the advanced engineering knowledge, science, and computing power that we do, to tell them exactly how weak and cheap to make the bridge, so that it suffices for a time.

    So they had to fall back upon building it correctly, instead.


    1. Y’mean nobody had a chance to say, “Just think, the contract on this thing went to the lowest bidder.”

    1. “It ain’t me, it ain’t me
      I ain’t no senator’s son, son
      It ain’t me, it ain’t me
      I ain’t no fortunate one, no”

      1. And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief”
        They point the cannon at you, Lord

        But when the taxman comes to the door
        The house look a like a rummage sale

        Yeah…more now than ever.

        1. The tax man didn’t have AH64s and C-130 gunships back in the CCR days. They couldn’t track you and nuke you from orbit if you voted for Trump.

          1. So yer sayin’ I am therefore guilt free eating an entire half gallon of Schwan’s ice cream in the event of? (any flavor, I’m not picky).

            One never knows when the bell tolls for thee, even if it’s Ring announcing “The boys are here, better buckle up Peon Sub-Class 2”.

          2. Half a gallon in one sitting?

            What about the starving children in Africa?

          3. “What about the starving children in Africa?”

            What about them? I’m pretty sure ice cream tastes better than starving African children. I’d stick to ice cream if I were Paul.

          4. Life has become even more unpredictable…eat dessert.

            (slight adjustment there considering the doofy times we live)

  7. Wheels to treads to wheels… I see more and more of the multi wheeled vehicles, & they sure look a lot like tanks…
    Are multi wheeled vehicles an acceptable swap for treads? Or is it a trade off of speed over

    1. The Israelis bad-mouthed the Stryker — and then they made their version. As you say, speed and more silent travel in an armored box sometimes are more desirable.

      1. Lesser log tail, too.

        I don’t think anybody sensible thinks wheeled IFVs are better than tracked ones, but they are acceptable, and a lot cheaper and easier to move around.

        I tend to think of them as constituting a “medium” category of military units, between the heavy tank-and-MICV units and the light trucks-and-humvees units.


  8. “the three modern gods” are hardly modern, just repackaged. The Return of the Gods by Jonathan Cahn covers all that, although I might quibble just a tad with a few of his conclusions, it look like he mostly got it right.

    That’s the path our so-called leaders are on and the gods they worship. And we’re paying for it, although to be fair, China and others pay better and more of it than “we” do.

  9. I beg to differ from your difference. It’s not The Bull, Ishtar and Moloch. The god of the post-Christian West is a tripartite god like the Christian God, but differ in that the parts are not co-equal. Our “elites” (and those raised up beyond their station by the “elites” — to be used as blunt instruments and scourges against us) worship themselves. Self-Pity is the eldest of the triumvirate. Self-Aggrandizement was the son of Self-Pity. Their incestuous union spawned Self-Hatred. Self-Hatred and her father/brother S-A bully and berate normal people. Self-Hatred and her mother/grandmother S-P writhe in their self-created eternal torment, because they Can Never Let Anything Go.

    So that’s my vision of the God(s) of the Fallen West. Take it at face value, or as allegory, or bitter sarcasm, or maybe I’m sleep deprived and hopped up on Diet Coke and Korean takeout food.

    1. I’d like to be able to order good Korean takeout. In Northern Arizona – uh, no – I had some mediocre Mex today from a converted gas station to a restaurant, drove 5 hours through New Mexico and I’m in a peevish mood. I chewed out my business partner in Singapore (morning there) a few minutes ago for no reason and apologized. There’s a bank wire that’s hung up between OBC Bank Singapore and JP Morgan Chase US. The July 4 weekend is coming and I would like to get the money before the middle of next week.

      And my right knee hurts.

      1. In the unlikely event you find yourself in NYC, Woorijip on 32nd St is home-style Korean. In fact I think that’s what the name means. I’m sure there’s some old Asia hand here who knows. (I find Korean incomprehensible for some reason, and PKG can’t get the tones in Mandarin. So we use Marrikun.) Anyway, you can sit and eat there, but they only sell (freshly) packaged food. And alcohol at reasonable (for NYC) prices. Á 12-oz domestic (or Mex) beer is $4/can or bottle. I picked up a can of German radler that was unmarked. Turned out to be $8! (Sure, not horrible for NYFC, but at that price I shoulda got something I actually like. Grrr.)

        Taking the peasant-class train home. Before I was able to board, a Pakistani MD I vaguely knew from another life ambushed me in Penn Station and asked me to help him find a job. He was pleasant but extremely vague about what he’s doing right now. There were some very strange “coincidences” that I won’t get into, but all put together it’s surreal. Because of that interaction I was unable to get a good seat on this open-seating cattle car. Sigh. (But I find the peasant-class seating a bit more comfortable than the Acela. Guess I have a peasant butt.)

        1. I have children and grandchildren en route to the WWM for the long weekend into the 4th. They invited friends of theirs as well, but the hovel is large enough to sleep them all. The commissary here will be churning out 3 hots a day. I laid in 3 loaves, 3 doz eggs, 8 lbs of bacon, ground beef, and on – and on. Fortunately for me the guest quarters are below the main level in an area blasted out of bedrock and I can’t hear them if they decide to party like it’s 2099.

          1. I’ll just call you if I end up in Boston for food recommendations, but unlikely this July. Do you know of anyplace worth eating at in Dakka, Bangladesh?

          2. Lucky man.

            I actually mean “lucky man”, as those times surrounded by family often are the most memorable. Heading up north next month to “assist” in building my brothers place. “The Boys” (I can hear my mom) will all be there, plus a few extras. Should be epic…and we’ll pick up where we left off.

          3. I know almost nothing about Dhaka. PKG spent the longest month of her life there doing research at the nation’s top childrens’ hospital. She knows almost nothing about the place either. She was literally kept in purdah, at night locked into the single women’s dormitory “so you will not be raped from wandering around on the streets.”

            When she returned to the US she told me, “I should have taken your advice.” I’d counseled her to not go. It was a miserable experience. “When they opened up the plane the air literally smelled like shit. Things didn’t get better.” But do call about Boston.

            @Paul M: “All true wealth is biological.”

          4. They have big plumbing issues and the rivers are open sewers. I’m sending one of my guys there.

            Dr. Viggo Olsen MD was a missionary in Bangladesh for a long time. I used to date his daughter, Wendy, who I met in college. He had three children, who I knew at that time. They all said that their father would have a fit if he knew that Wendy was dating a “guy like me”. I was trying to jones a tiger hunt in Bangladesh but that wasn’t why I dated Wendy, who was hot. I never did do the tiger hunt on an elephant, with beaters, etc. That was a long time ago now. I wonder what Wendy is doing, and what ever happened to her. We lost contact.

          5. Bangladesh is the sort of place I send people without the benefit of “follow me” leadership. Being the boss has a few perqs.

          6. Gah, Bangladesh?

            Never been, never want to.

            I suggest you bring hip-waders.


  10. I like the painting of the Schnellboot S38. Somewhere i have a picture taken of my Opas little brother standing with some of his mates in front of one in either Danzig or maybe Kiel early in the war.

  11. Good quote from Sagan. Say what you will, but he was a very intelligent person.

    Ah yes, Pipe Hitters. Knew more than a few of both types back in the day. Pulp Fiction was a masterpiece. I remember driving by the diner they used in Torrance. It was on Hawthorne Blvd, but it was closed. Probably a parking lot by now.

    One other thing you can safely not remember from the movie…..ketchup.

    Yummy sauce! I’ll have to make some up.

    1. Sagan, Einstein…highly intelligent people I have known or read tend to look at the world with precision and decisiveness.

      Chatting with our Chief Scientist/Engineer Guru one day, about Faith. He stated without equivocation: You’d have to be a fool or idiot to look around or up and not see Intelligent Design by God’s hand, this just doesn’t all happened by accident.

      1. Yep. I’ve been accused of being an atheist simply because I’m a “Man of Science”. Yes I am, and science has affirmed and reenforced my belief in a Supreme Being. Which of course led me into Christianity.

    2. The question of whether Sagan was a scientist or a science populist is fairly asked. He was clearly both, but that doesn’t diminish him to me. We all stake our claims in life by what we choose to do or not to do.

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