If I had a glass window and a written caption — this could be my garage.


The Brown Water Navy

sic transit gloria mundi


Australia is Large


Ships Sink

And insurance companies never want to pay off. They like taking the premiums and they send our slick brochures. But they vanish when it’s time to pay off on a boat that went down.  That’s what happened to my boat, Defiant (not pictured above), and I went to court and won.  But you shouldn’t have to go to court when your 32′ SeaRay sinks. It’s unhappy enough in and of itself.

“Do you SCUBA dive from your boat, Mr. LL? Do you deep dive with mixed gas?”

“Yes, in fact, I do SRT training for organizations as well, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?”

Their sum total argument was that I scuba dived from the boat with friends even though scuba or closed circuit diving was not the proximate cause of the damage, it was a faulty bilge pump. They didn’t want to talk about that. The boat didn’t sink to the bottom but the engines were ruined as was much of the salon. I am not fond of insurance companies – moving on.


Five years have passed since the Norse Goddess Eir appeared in the red mist of the erupting Bárðarbunga volcano.  Very little has been heard from her since she vanished from the safe house in Herefordshire, England.

The effect of neutrino research in China still results in volcanic eruptions, halting the planned forced expansion of the People’s Republic of China out of fear of forces that they don’t fully understand. However, they’re making moves to remedy that situation through the recruitments of assets that can get them what they want. The Long March has been delayed, but can never be stopped.

In the Manila underworld, where nobody is quite who they seem to be, Mike Vega is working as an arms merchant against Chinese interests and is removing meddlesome people in favor of those same interests.

French/Korean Sylvie Kim, working as an agent of the Chinese Fourth Bureau of Guojia Anquan Bu in The Philippines, has a mission too, and that mission is Mike Vega.

Ilya Sergeivich Zavrazhin an upwardly mobile operative of the Russian SVR is under orders to beat everyone to the punch.

It is a land of chameleons embracing each other where the laws of cause and effect are confusing and the outcome is far from predictable and none of the actors have any genuine belief in Norse deities returned to Earth or in Loki’s Fire. But that’s about to change.


There aren’t many human beings who are stranger or more unusual than Poke-A-Haunt-Us.


Hint of-the-day:
Don’t take medical advice from anyone who would gleefully strand you in Afghanistan with the enemy host approaching to kill you.


  1. If you bought your SeaRay from the plant in Merritt Island, Florida…..I probably laid up the hull. Spent 7 years with SeaRay in charge of laminating hulls and decks. Good job, good pay, dangerous environment health wise.

    • I would guess a horrible environment healthwise. Laying up that roving without extreme measures to save your skin and lungs and eyes – It sounds as if you moved on. Good.

  2. Everybody has an insurance nightmare story. My 68 Chevy pickup was rear ended while I was a poverty stricken college student. Her agent told me to get 2 estimates and take pictures. Did that as per the agents instructions that following weekend while home, then hooked a chain to a hedge tree and pulled it back out. The agent of the national insurance company was giddy with joy when I presented with the estimates and pictures. They needed to be HIS companies estimates and pictures. He loudly declared “we aren’t paying you a penny!”

    Called my brother, who owned a body shop, for advice. He told me this guys boss used to hide out in my brothers office back in the day. One phone call later the agent was calling and apologizing about our little misunderstanding. Told me to come by and pick up a check. I mentioned that I was at work and perhaps he could bring it to me. I hate insurance companies.

  3. Insurance is a scam, and should be illegal.

    Never gonna happen, though – too many delicious bribes for politicians.


  4. hate to be the weird kid on the block, but…
    I’ve had (and I will name names) USAA ever since I entered active service (6/66). When I went back to civilian life after a two-year tour, I kept the auto policy and added a house as well: from NY to Oregon to Florida. I still use the same company and have never had a problem with them.

    • I use USAA too. In the case of this boat, I kept it at a slip at Alamitos Bay (Long Beach, CA area) owned by a friend who is an MD. It was behind his house. The HOA required that he be on title if it was there, so I added him, but in doing so, USAA wouldn’t cover it because HE wasn’t part of USAA.

      Long story.

  5. My insurance story from 1973. Got rear ended in Ogden, UT. Freshly paved street and rain were the cause. The young lady wasn’t being reckless. SAFECO adjuster told me I had not choice but except his offer. Wrong, took the insured to small claims court. Won. After paying all the bills, had a little over $100 to the good. The insured was the the young lady’s father. I went to their house and gave her father the left over money. He was stunned. After we chatted a bit, he told me the LDS Church owned 25% of SAFECO stock and that he happened to be the church’s representative on the board of directors. Told me he would have some remarks to make at the next meeting.

      • That was the case in 1973. Today I don’t know. SAFECO was headquartered in Seattle. When I lived there few people had anything good to say about them.

  6. Boats are a hole in the water you throw money into, when they sink that hole fills up. Problem solved.


  7. Another one who has had no problems with USAA.

    I think all hobbies are holes that you throw money into. I have a friend who is surprised when I spend a goodly amount for a scope but sees no problem spending $600.00 for a new driver to improve his golf game. If you have the disposable income spend it on something you enjoy.

    • Or, that there are many affordable fixed wing aircraft. $30 grand can get you full ownership of an older PiperCessnaBeech that will take you, the misses, and the young’uns where you want to go.

      Many people balk at the idea of buying an aircraft. They’ll bring up the maintenance costs, the tie-down or hanger fees, cost of avgas, insurance, recurrent training. Those very same people think nothing of a $100K boat to use for day trips (no overnights) maybe 4 or five times a year.

  8. Concur on the boat comment. Best days, the day you buy it and the day you sell it… Looking forward to Loki’s Fire. 🙂 This is gonna be GOOD! 😀

    • I must disagree. I love going out on my boat.
      When my dad gave it too me I was laid off and he told, I just don’t want you to spend any money on it.
      Within a year, I bought another motor for it to replace the one that went to the bottom.
      Year after that, a new paint job.
      When I got it out of the paint shop, the heat in their paint shed had evaporated the gas in the carbs and gummed a jet. This caused two cylinders to be unlubricated and seized the motor.
      This motor, a 1979 115 Tower of Power has lasted 25+ years and I painted it again a couple years ago. With a new windshield I fabricated.
      Sitting on the trailer, it get’s compliments, so I don’t even have to be on the water to enjoy it. 😃
      And I will pass it on to my son.
      Then again, to your comment, I never bought it and I’ll never sell it. 😀

  9. Back when I was working my very last job, I was seriously into photography for a while. Buying good cameras and lenses is not cheap.

    When I was younger, it was racing and flying, which are not cheap hobbies.

    Now that I’m retired and enjoying my Amateur Radio hobby (again), I could easily spend another $25k on a tower, antennas, feedlines, rotators, a nice amplifier, and some additional things.

    Boys and their toys can get very expensive.

    • Stopped by Þe camera shoppe* before heading to the office today. In the used cabinet were a pair of Zeiss Milvus ZF.2 21/2.8 and Milvus 100/2 (Makro), both boxed. Also an AF Nikkor 200/4 Micro. Stupid to covet those because I don’t really shoot Nikon F-mount any more. But my friend W is correct in describing such fetish items as “BB guns”. As in, “You know how you wanted a BB gun as a child, but your mom told you you’d shoot your own eye out? Well, this [pointing to his faintly extravagant Mercedes] is my BB gun. Because I’m now an adult who no longer wants a BB gun, but this is probably a substitute for not getting one as a child.” It doesn’t hurt that W (I am reliably told), sold his first company for $70M. I operate at several orders of magnitude below that level, financially speaking. Sigh.

      Anyhoo, I turned around and walked out of Þe camera shoppe instead of asking to fondle those lenses. But I consoled myself by purchasing some takeout ribs at a chichi grocery store I was previously unaware of. If only our Moms had bought us those BB guns….

      *Jules knows where this comes from. Because she knows all kinds of stuff.

  10. Thinking about it those riverine patrol boats would make a dandy day cruiser. Or perhaps a surplus Mark V? Only down side would be moving it from lake to lake, oh, and perhaps the fuel/maintenance bills.

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