I don’t know why Mad Dog Mattis flipped to the dark side. I suspect that it was pressure from the Military Industrial Complex, angry that President Trump hasn’t started a war. At least I hope it was that – pressure from colleagues and so forth, and that he didn’t sell his soul for money.
Every year, just before Halloween, I make up my Christmas list for the kids. They get upset if I don’t make up a separate list for my oldest girl because she cherry-picks the list. The Alpha daughter takes after me in terms of aggressiveness. It’s difficult to blame her without blaming myself for being me. At the police academy she did more pull-ups (1 arm or 2) than any of the men, primarily because of gymnastics that imparted a lot of upper body strength. She’s incredibly competitive. I thought that she’d grow out of it, but no.
So one list for her and a second one for the rest.
I know, I’m lucky that’s about as complicated as my life with my children gets. They are much tougher to wring Christmas present ideas out of despite my stellar example.
I’m getting a little sticker shock this year. I try to spare the kids expense but I go to North Face and check out sweat pants and they want $50. WTF? The purchase doesn’t even come with stock in the company.
Last year my most unusual gift was a seamless coin purse made from a kangaroo scrotum that I received from Down Under where there are a lot of roos. One is hopping a lot more carefully.
Ship-to-shore rescue or the Breeches Buoy
The inhabitants of coastal communities commonly witnessed the fury of the sea when sailing ships snapped their anchor cables in gales and broke up, their doomed passengers often close to the safety of the shore.
Two storms in 1807 were the catalysts to the work of the pioneers of ship-to-shore rescue, Englishmen George Manby and Henry Trengrouse. They lived at opposite ends of the country- Trengrouse in Cornwall and Manby in Norfolk. On February the gun-brig Snipe foundered off Great Yarmouth.
A Stranded Vessel: The Snipe Gun-Brig Grounded at Great Yarmouth in 1807 with the Loss of 67 Lives, by Francis Sartorius II (c.1777–c.1831)
The ship was carrying French prisoners, women and children. Manby was among the helpless onlookers trying to shut out the screams of the drowning as the waves crashed over the ship. 76 perished within 55m of the shore and more bodies were picked up along the coast. In the same year, on 29 December, Trengrouse witnessed the fate of the fate doomed HMS Anson in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall. She had been sailing from France to join a blockade of the French fleet when she ran aground in a storm only 90 m from shore.
The Loss of the Anson, by Geoffrey Huband (1945)
People along the shore watched as some 270 sailors made it to safety using the masts as bridges to the beach, but to the horror of the onlookers more than 60 of the crew, including her captain, drowned.
Appalled at the loss of life so close to shore, both men came up with proposals for rescue apparatus; the idea were similar but used very different methods to propel a line from shore to ship. Manby used a mortar to fire a lead ball with a line attached which would enable a rescue boat with a canvas cot and then developed a lightweight mortar which enabled apparatus to be carried on horseback. His later development was a ring with trousers on it, the Breeches Buoy. Trengrouse used a rocket rather than a mortar and used the same ring; called it Bosun’s chair.
The Manby Mortar
The first recorded rescue using the Manby contraption took place on 18 February 1808, when a party commanded by Manby himself saved the crew of the brig Elizabeth 140m off Great Yarmouth.
The Wreck of ‘Jeune Oscar’ (showing the use of Henry Trengrouse’s rocket apparatus, by Alexander K. Branden (active c.1862–1888)
The Navy Board began to supply it to various stations around the coast, and 239 lives were recorded to have been saved with the device. In 1818 Trengrouse demonstrated his aparatus to the Admiralty, who found his model superior to Manby’s for the ship-to-shore work.
The Breeches Buoy
They suggested that a specimen apparatus be placed in every Dockyard, so that naval officers become familiar with it. In the same year Trinity House recommended that it be carried on all its vessels. The government ordered 20 sets but then decided to have the Ordance Board to manufacture them.
Trengrouse was paid £50 compensation and received a personal letter from Alexander I of Russia in recognition of the usefulness of his apparatus. He was awarded several Medals and received 30 guineas from the Society of Arts, but apart from that no financial reward for his invention.
Manby was also honored internationally and his system continued to be used. In one way or another they were basically the same. Which today often leads to the fact that nobody is really sure who invented what. But both systems, whether launched with a rocket or a mortar, save thousands of lives.
The Ducati Diavel is once again in battery and rolling. I picked up a chunk of copper wire through the rear tire and had to replace it. I received an e-mail asking about the little lady and she’s purring like a kitten. Winter is coming, which means that I’ll load the scooter in my trailer and descend through the snow from the mountain to the desert where the temps are great. The plan calls for a little touring with the Raptor and Trailer as a base camp (at a hotel).
I hear you complaining, “LL why aren’t you working more?” I am trying to break the habit.