Sunday Sermonette

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The Bible teaching of the Ascension of Jesus describes how Christ ascended from the Earth to the Heavenly realm on the 40th day after His resurrection.

This particular scene was especially popular among Russian icon painters of the past. The icon that you see in the picture, above, was painted by one such anonymous master at the end of the 19th century. Traditionally, the figure of Jesus is accompanied by two angels and His disciples. The image of the Mother of God can be found in the center of the composition.


This is why you don’t kill an albatross – or the curse the Calpean Star

The ship was originally launched as the Highland Chieftain in 1928 in England and belonged to a fleet of cruise ships that carried passengers and cargo. The Highland Chieftain sailed between Europe and South America, during WW II she was a troop carrier and suffered heavy bomb damage. She did not return to service until 1948.

In 1959 the Highland Chieftain was bought by the Calpe shipping company, completely re-furbished, and re-named Calpean Star. And that’s when the trouble started – even changing a ship’s name was a bad omen. In June 1959 she took on board a cargo of assorted animals and birds, including a caged albatross, which were bound for a zoo in Germany.


The Highland Chieftain 

One of the crew members charged with feeding the menagerie gave the albatross the wrong food and it died. Apparently, some sailors were already distressed by the bird being in a cage, regarding the bird as the mariner’s friend.

When the ship arrived in Liverpool, her 62-man crew was now convinced that the ship was cursed. They demanded to be paid off and refused to sail to her next port, Oslo. The men were replaced and the vessel left for Norway. The generators broke down several times. Oil leaked into the ship’s water supply. A break in the main engine compressor left the vessel adrift without power for days. Eventually, after several repairs, by which time she was bound for South America, her rudder was fractured and a tug had to tow her into Montevideo for more repairs.


Calpean Star 1960 

As the Calpean Star left Montevideo, her engine room was wrecked with a massive explosion by a fire. Some sailors drowned as the ship was abandoned and thoughts of the albatross naturally occupied those in the lifeboats. She partially sank beneath the waves, her mast remaining above the surface before she was finally broken up in the 1960s and the curse of the dead albatross has found an end.


An Excellent Article – strategypage  h/t Claudio


Seattle Used to be a Nice Place


30 thoughts on “Sunday Sermonette

  1. I read in the linked article that the Russians going into Ukraine expected to greeted as liberators, reminds me of the stories I heard of the US when Bush and the oil cartel invaded Iraq.
    I figured those stories about Iraq were bs until it actually looked like we had no plan at all with how to deal with that conquered country.

    1. Pretty much the same.

      The estimates given to the White House for the pacification of Iraq were “200,000 troops on the ground for 8-10 years and the total oil revenue from Iraq for 40 years.” All the President’s men said, that we didn’t have the troops or the time.

      Ok then.

      If we’d shot looters and run the place with a heavy hand, it would have worked out better, but that was not in the USA playbook. So Shiia factions, favorable to Iran moved in and took over the place. What a victory.

      1. Had we not let Bremer fire the Iraqi army we would have avoided a lot of problems, but then the social order would not have been reformed to the neocon liking.

  2. Ramirez hits it out of the park, again. Not happy Seattle is in the same state I live in but at least it is on the other side of the state. Agree with shooting looters but now we are past that Seattle won’t even put repeat offenders in jail. Why anyone would take on being a cop there is beyond me.

    Strategy Page always has good information. Thanks for the link, I had missed the original article.

    1. Seattle PD used to be a first-rate department. I worked with them at times and they were excellent. Of course, that was twenty-plus years ago. I had a team from SoCal surveilling an Asian Organized Crime figure in Seattle circa 1999 along with Seattle PD. At the same time, I flew into John Wayne Airport (Orange Co) from Sacramento and saw the guy waiting at the baggage carousel. He’d slipped surveillance. Not everybody is on top of it all of the time.

      The bad guy’s moniker was “skunk”. He’d been shot 7 times and survived. One bullet blew his dick in half, leaving him with a bit over an inch. We arrested him on a murder-for-hire that was successfully adjudicated.

      1. 1: One bullet blew his dick in half, leaving him with a bit over an inch
        So it was originally just over 2 inches?

        2: an Asian Organized Crime figure
        Ah. So. Much that was obscure is now made clear.

        1. Vietnamese guy, under 5′ and based informant information regarding his courting tackle before and after, yeah, about 2 1/2 inches before the shooting. I have a photo of him somewhere, looking into the lens of a surveillance camera and correctly identifying the manufacturer. There’s a long back story, but he was a clever guy. Not clever enough, but smart – very smart. Not much dick left, I’m sure that his ardent pursuit energy had been redirected.

          1. When he ran with his crew (before the injury), they’d bring in hookers and the hookers complained about his dimensions. So he excelled by being a bigger crook.

  3. Spot on, and +1 to all the comments above.

    The truth of “things” is slowly trickling out on all fronts. Lara Logan has a damning video on “Ukraine!” and the actor Zelensky, covering for our cheaters in Congress, which is why he addressed them the other day, with them breathlessly fawning in yet another charade to cover their tracks while “the expendable little people” die because of their distraction games. Ask yourself, why did The Fowch re-emerge from his fetid hole this past week and say the stupidity he did?

    Watched The Hunger Games series over the past few nights, purely to decompress after chore’s without requiring any thinking. Sped thru parts made for 12 year old’s, and despite the obvious feminism’s sprinkled about, the series showcased the same class warfare we see now, with the same lofty sentiment by the ruling class: “For our safety”. But as we witnessed for two years, (some) people allow their oppression until they become slaves, even liking their captivity knowing the cell door is unlocked. God help the oppressor’s if they push too much further, the rest of us will not go quietly into that dark night.

    1. There are people who appear on TV advocating for a return to masks and lockdowns just in case the plague returns. Now that we have a war and blame Putin for everything, there is no need for the plague to come back.

      1. Hope springs eternal. And since it feels like a Spring day here in a flyover district, took a hike, then MrsPaulM filled all the bird feeders. Figured a special dispensation offering to the bird god’s might facilitate albatrosses hanging around the neck’s of the elitist hate-mongers. Hope it generates a massive pox blowback.

      1. Good stuff Ed. From VDH’s article:

        “Yet if Russia loses the Ukraine war, goes broke and, as an international pariah, is ostracized, then China will likely cut the smelly Russian albatross from its neck — in fear of new Western financial, cultural and commercial clout.”

        Seems LL is right in line with the “albatross” sentiment.

  4. Having lived in Seattle and King County for 18 years it grieves me to see what it has become. It has always been a place of political extremism (IWW, anyone). I will say that Seattle had a high level of assholes when I lived there. Some would say that is why I fit in.

  5. I found Claudio’s article an interesting read.

    The Sun now rose upon the right:
    Out of the sea came he,
    Still hid in mist, and on the left
    Went down into the sea.

    And the good south wind still blew behind,
    But no sweet bird did follow,
    Nor any day for food or play
    Came to the mariner’s hollo!

    And I had done a hellish thing,
    And it would work ’em woe:
    For all averred, I had killed the bird
    That made the breeze to blow.
    Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
    That made the breeze to blow!

    Should have taken better care of the bird.

      1. Well-a don’t you know, about the bird?
        Well! Everybody knows that the bird is the word!

        Showing my age now, I guess.

  6. The Calpean Star story gets brought up quite a bit in sailing circles when people talk about ‘renaming’ boats/ships. One of the ‘other’ fallouts from the Seattle mess is the number of professionals/professors leaving UW and ARLUW or refusing jobs out there. That doesn’t bode well for them as an R&D center of excellence!

    1. Trying to find what happened to Calpe was a trip.
      They seem to have devolved into a marine cable company.
      According to The Shipping List, they seem to have acquired the Highland Line and renamed them all.

      1. A guy and his family moved in about 5 miles from me. He’d been a professor at UW. Couldn’t take it and came here, of all places.

  7. There are many mysteries that are not wise to scoff at.
    Iron Maiden did a very good tribute to Rime of the Ancient Mariner. It is on their Powerslave album, an excellent album all around.

  8. Always look forward to reading your blog, LL. I inevitably go down the rabbit hole researching your articles and stories, and if not for the internet of things, I would be prowling the halls of the local library and stepping over the homeless lying forlorn in the aisles. My sentences runnith over. Keep up the good work, squire. Cheers

  9. Ascension, the closing act of atonement, unification of humanity in Christ with the Father. And, let’s be honest, the great forgotten Feast of the Church.

    Curious that you’d bring it up in Lent.

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