Sunday Sermonette

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A Non-Sequential Fictional Short


“Reach for it,” she urged most stridently.

I looked up through the fog of blood that covered my eyes and wiped it clear as best I could. There was a flagon of wine at my belt and I splashed the blood clear with it before taking a drink and tasting its sweetness.

The battlefield was littered with the bodies of the fallen, the ravens picking the flesh from the bones and some women from the village who came out to mourn their own and dispatch the others, fetching what coins and jewels they could from the fallen to ease their widow’s lot.

“You don’t have much time,” she urged. I looked up into the beautiful face of the Valkyrie hovering over me. “You died valiantly and have your place at Odin’s table in the corpse hall, but you must pass from this life with a weapon in your hand. Looking around, I saw an axe, not my own but close at hand; I reached it, felt its firmness, and passed.

I woke up in the hospital ward and realized I had been dreaming. The monitor beeped close, and the machines that kept me alive were whirring softly. Instead of wearing leather armor, I had been encased with a clean white sheet and warm blankets. All the same, I tasted blood, and my mouth felt very dry. I yearned for a drink of water. Suddenly, I felt a chip of ice inserted between my parched lips, looked to my right and saw an old man sitting there next to me.

“You’re awake, shipmate!” He spoke in a voice vaguely familiar but hoarse with age.

“Master Chief–Jack, you’re here.”

“Your daughter prayed and told me that you were here. I came as fast as possible, and I’m happy to have made it.”

I sighed and relaxed a little as the years washed away, and I recalled that same face, fifty years younger, painted in green and black, white teeth grinning at me.

“You didn’t think I’d leave you behind, skipper.”

“No, I’d never think that, Jack, but I heard you passed last year in San Diego.”

“Yes, I did. Cancer took me in a way that no bullet could. It hurt like the blue blazes of hell for a while but then no more pain.” He smiled, that familiar boyish smile.

“I brought something for you.” He lifted my hand from under the covers, put it on my chest, and wedged my old double-edged fighting knife into my grasp.”

“You remembered.”

“A promise is a promise, skipper. I can’t let you enter heaven unarmed. It wouldn’t be proper. In fact, it would be a sin.”

I smiled and felt at peace as the solid tone from the monitor by my bed sounded.


When the nurse walked in, she found him alone, and to her amazement, he held a wicked-looking knife gripped in his hand. How could he have come by that since she tucked him in only minutes before, and nobody entered the room? His family waited nearby, a grandson looking handsome and sharp in Navy whites with a large gold trident over his left breast flirted with her shamelessly. She turned off the tone and went for the attending physician. As she left the hospital room, she turned back for a moment to see a spectral woman, bathed in golden armor, lifting the shade of the old gentleman aloft, and then, suddenly, the knife was no longer there in his hand.


As a footnote, I’ve asked that my family and friends not leave me weaponless in a hospital or hospice when the time arrives and I’m helpless. It remains to be seen whether or not they take me seriously. I’ll be armed by default if I die with my boots on. No worries there. There is a horrible price to be paid if you screw it up.


USS Ohio – SSGN 726

The SSGN is capable of carrying up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles. The missiles are loaded in seven-shot Multiple-All-Up-Round Canisters (MACs) in up to 22 missile tubes; up to sixty-six SEALs (two SEAL Delivery Vehicles in Drydock Shelters); MK 48 ADCAP torpedoes.

All four Ohio Class SSGNs will end their 42-year life soon and are scheduled to retire by 2028 without replacement. But don’t worry, we can always use harsh language and wound our enemies by ‘misgendering their identification and screwing up their pronouns.’


Bullet Points:

** Democrats say that the children of illegal aliens shouldn’t be responsible for the crimes of their parents who brought them into the US. Then they say that all Americans are responsible for 17th-century slave owners.

** A recovering Californian visits NASCAR.

** Friends don’t tell friends that 1980 was 44 years ago.

** The new Jennifer Lopez tour, “This is Me,” based on dismal sales from her new album, has caused her to cancel events because nobody is buying tickets with any more enthusiasm than the album. The 54-year-old Latina (mutton dressed up like a lamb) is trying to recapture her fame and remain relevant. So much for that.

** Thoughts on the California exodus. The infection that California immigrants bring with them can be devastating…yeah, Californication. It’s worse than measles.

** More on the construction of pyramids. I know space aliens did it, but people like to deny-deny-deny. Here’s an actual photo. Seeing is believing.



Identify the Armor




Identify the Ship’s Class


Yes, it’s too easy, but it’s an excellent picture. As America declines, there is nothing to replace them.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Today’s Navy might not be building many ships, but you can transition back and forth between male and female (as if anyone could tell the difference) as often as you’d like. After all, the primary mission of today’s US Navy is to ensure diversity and glorify all 58 genders and the genderless.


Identify the Ships

Again, they’re easy IDs, but remarkable stories underpin them.


There is one thing that this ship would NOT do.



Remember these always.



Identify the Aircraft



Parting Shot

Thanks to HogsbreathSS for the crystal skull filled with expended .45 ACP casings and a USMC Recon Pin. It will occupy a place of honor in my I-Love-Me-Long-Time Office, adorned with war trophies, photos, plaques, etc.

I made the table on which it rests (photo above) from two alligator juniper trees felled at the White Wolf Mine. A neighbor milled them for me, and I made a table from them. The table is located in the conference room at the White Wolf Mine.


38 thoughts on “Sunday Sermonette

  1. Identify the Armor:
    1. Begleitpanzer 57
    2. Type 95 Ha-Go light tank

    Identity the Ship’s Class:
    3. Ticonderoga-class cruiser (VLS variant), specifically USS Lake Erie (CG-70).
    4. Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer, specifically USS Laffey (DD-724) which did not sink despite being hit by six kamikazes and four bombs at Okinawa.
    5. Banner class signals intelligence ship, specifically USS Pueblo (AGER-2) still in Pyongyang.
    6. Belmont class signals intelligence ship, specifically USS Liberty (ATGR-5).

    Identify the Aircraft:
    7. Tiger ARH, most likely in Australian service.

      1. AI, schmayeye…I’m convinced Surly is your alter ego….we’ve never seen you two together in the same place.

        1. When Surly and SkyNet eventually join forces, you want to be in their graces, and join the Terminators for the big win. The historical records are quite clear on that. Sarah Connor has to go.

  2. Surly

    Yes, that is the Australian camo pattern for a Tiger.

    Being phased out for Apache Guardians by 2028 is the current plan. Knowing our government that probably means 2038 or 48.

  3. Poor Bjorn.

    SSGNs all retired in 2028? OMFG! (heh).

    All Americans responsible for antebellum slavery? Okay. Let’s go with that mental framework and vision of cross-generational “Justice”. Then from whom do I get MY reparations for the Opium Wars? From whose intellectual constructs did communism, and thus the Cultural Revolution and the Red Guard, arise?

    1. Blame the British for the opium wars (even though the US did participate). I blame the British, but not Jules. She gets a pass. I do blame YOU for antebellum slavery whether or not your ancestors were in the US because you’re part of the patriarchy. That’s how I roll.

      1. My, er, gratitude goes to the Sassoons and Kadoories. Quintessential Brits, it goes without saying.

        But me and antebellum slavery? It’s a(n un)fair cop. Of COURSE I’m responsible. Personally.

        1. Everyone should be as personally responsible as you are. Maybe you could noise it around Mass. hospitals and clinics that I’m collecting funds on behalf of Black Lives Matter. Have them send funds to me by whatever means and I’ll administer them for the benefit of all former slaves in America.

  4. JL…Our take as well, saw it come across the Prime banner…said, “Jennifer, time to enjoy your constant “look at me” gained largess and move out of the spotlight, no one wants to see that.” The trailer was weird. (Curiosity got the best of me, took one for the team.)

    Since cranes and trachoe’s weren’t around “back then” it had to be aliens (the spacey advanced civ. kind, not the run over razor wire kind). Had forgotten about the Kings Room…how anyone with sisal rope and hand tools make and move huge stones into position up in the air is beyond my practical engineering mind.

    Crystal skull with polished spent shells…now everyone will want one to accessorize their man cave. Pretty cool. The table is exceptional, well done.

      1. Colorful Wife has several now-empty Dan Aykroyd Crystal Head Vodka skull head bottles that we were trying to figure out how to repurpose. HogsbreathSS Has given us hope, and we will add a string of the tiny LED lights to the mix. Ours will be accompanied with USAF aircrew wings. Maybe some “other” souvenirs.
        Thx for the excellent idea.

          1. HogsbreathSS, very good idea, thanks for making LL the recipient. Y’all have done lots of good out there and are appreciated

  5. SSGN 726- And who might the individuals be who are on deck and appear to not be wearing flotation gear?

      1. Blue camo was the uniform of the day, so when you fell off the ship, they couldn’t find you in the water. Now it’s green camo. Why the Navy outside of Sea Bees and Special Ops forces needs camo eludes me.

          1. when g1 handed me my discharge i tossed my beret into her trash can, put on my patrol cap on the way out the door. desk jockeys were proud of that thing. some general made a bundle on those turds. just like the “acu” non-camo. i figured it was more about demoralizing the rangers than helping remf self esteem anyway.

  6. I really liked that short story. One of your best yet. I always felt sorry for Biorn. He tried so hard.
    According to the lower right, the aliens were responsible for the Mayan pyramids as well. It must be true since I understand they were short on the whole and I found the steps on them to be better suited to six footers.

    1. The Mexican pyramids were intended to have the faithful ascend cross wise like a snake going back and forth in honor of Quetzalcoatl the Aztec and Mayan creator god, who was also the patron of rain, science, agriculture, and much more. His name means Feathered Serpent in Nahuatl, the Aztec language, and he was depicted as a combination of the green quetzal bird and a serpent.

      So a short guy with small legs…could do it, I guess. I found the Mexican pyramids to be a daunting ascent and decent.

  7. Good story today. Nice touch on the trident on the grandson. You know or you don’t know. I hope to die with my boots on and avoid that family hospital death watch.

    Pyramids, no matter who built them, they were highly motivated folks. Me … Got up today, looked out back. Yep, think I’ll build a pyramid out of 2.3 million stone blocks weighing 2.5 to 15 tons each without using diesel, gasoline, oil, natural gas, coal, steam, compressed air, or electricity. Plus just to make it interesting. I’ll go hundreds of miles away to get the largest, multi hundred ton stones. Hey …. Honey, better put on a large pot of coffee. Thanks.

    Table is great. I want one. How many VM points does it take to have you make me one?

    1. I’ll have to calculate a point count. I don’t use manhours here anymore because I don’t want to cause offense, but the hours involved from beginning to end were considerable. Finding the large (but not too large) trees that will fit in the local small mills is a challenge. Both of these trees were dead. Even so, I cured the wood for a year before starting on fab.

    1. I’ve told that story to my children…(1) It’s better to be dumped on than dead. (2) If you’re covered in poop, keep your mouth shut. Wise counsel for a long life.

  8. Great short. It would be tragic to say the least if you’re request isn’t honored when the time comes.

    1. Ditto to Uncle Ted’s prayer…the question is what do we about it as it seems anything will be couched as us being the evil-doers (not that that should dissuade)?

      SISU MAGA ™

  9. Liked the fiction, and concur. USS Lake Erie was also an SM-/BMD shooter. USS Laffey is parked at Patriot Point. USS Pueblo is still carried as an active ship. USS Liberty…is a whole other story…

    And yes, she’s bat F’ing nuts!

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