The New Year at Sea

The oldest man on the ship, be he an admiral or a sailor, strikes eight bells at midnight on 31 December. Immediately following are eight bells struck by the youngest member of the crew in order to usher in the New Year. US Naval custom also dictates the ship’s first log entry of the New Year has to be written in verse.


As New Year approaches, are you going to update your Bucket List?  [A list of activities to do before dying (“kick the bucket”); Wish list]

If you’re game for it,  list the top three things you would like to do before shuffling off this mortal coil in the comments below.

I’ve done a lot of things and it’s difficult to come up with anything that I haven’t done so far that I would like to do. Taking up falconry appeals, but it’s a lot of work and I’m not around the house enough. Ever since I saw the movie “The Vikings” as a kid, I wanted to take up the sport, if you can call it that.

Doing the entire Kama Sutra with Marilyn Monroe is out because she’s been dead since 1962. I’m sure that you take my point.

Felix Baumgartner was the first skydiver to go faster than the speed of sound, reaching a maximum velocity of 833.9mph (1,342km per h). I’d be up for trying to beat his record.

120mm automatic mortar system. Taking one out on the local Indian rez and firing it at abandoned cars would be HIGH on my bucket list.


Bullet Points for the New Year:

* The World Economic Forum (WEF) is now urging the public to shower less than once a week in the interest of combatting global warming. In a public service announcement to the German public, state broadcaster WDR informed viewers that washing only once a week is necessary to meet the goals outlined by the globalist elites as part of their Great Reset agenda.

* The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly – Carlin

* Why are Kansas and Arkansas pronounced differently?

* It’s amazing how so many young and mid-career people are suddenly dropping dead from heart attacks. At least they died fully vaxed and boosted. Put that on the headstone…

A member of the Air Albania cabin crew collapsed and died suddenly last week following a heart attack on a flight from Tirana, Albania to London. According to the airline, Greta Dyrmishi, who was 24 years old, died suddenly on Wednesday, December 21, due to a heart attack shortly after landing at Stansted Airport in London, England.

*  Taxes are going up.



  1. Bucket list.
    1. Ride the Alaska State Ferry (with stateroom) Bellingham to Seward.
    2. Float the Grand Canyon.
    3. Drive the entire length of US 26.
    Given my age and physical fitness (or lack) these are feasible.
    And wishing you and yours a prosperous and safe 2023!

      • Thanks, WSF. I think (for putting that bug into my head*).

        Don: a month ago, like an idiot, I drove from PDX to Bend via 26, in the dark. That was, er, interesting. It had been a long day, topped off by a cross-country flight and I was not in the best shape to drive that route on a drizzly, freezing temps night. Brrr. But the next morning in Bend was glorious, so I guess it was worth it. On the return the bit of 20 between Bend and Santiam Junction was indeed beautiful, but I took 22 to Salem because I wanted to drive through The Other Detroit. Alls I can say is that it was radically different from Day-Twa Michigan, which would be a good place to film a post-apocalyptic zombie movie.

        *Now I want to drive Route 20 cross country. My previous roadtrip ambition was ridiculous; namely to drive US Route 1 North to South and to photograph each and every crappy Chinese restaurant on that road. This was inspired by seeing the old Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus, MA. The Kowloon’s from the era when Chinese was somehow conflated with Polynesian in the restauranting world. Anyway, it would have made for a pointless coffee-table book that no one would buy.

        • I’ve driven most of US 20 in the Western Sates but not the Midwest and Eastern states. Most certainly. should I do it, it will not be in the winter.

    • Certainly, that’s true, but they call it The Ark and Ark City for short……

      So, Jim, I rolled into Kansas in 1988 when my employer transferred me here from Ar-kan-saw. A buddy back there was a Kansas native, and he said, oh you’ll like it out there, it’s on the way to so many other places. What???? Not a good omen. Anyway, got out here and was immediately swarmed by Kansans who professed to love Arkansas. There was a never-ending stream of people gleefully telling me oh we took the boat to Beaver Lake last month (or they were going next month) or they went to Eureka Springs last fall or Hot Springs last spring or went canoeing and on and on, enough to make me homesick, and I just had to wonder, if all of you people like Arkansas so much, why haven’t you moved there?

      But now for true confession time. I didn’t want to come out here, but I did for career reasons, expecting to get recruited to go someplace else in a couple years and the next thing I knew, I’d married a local gal and bought a house. And I’ll have to admit, Kansas works for me. I still want to get moved back to Arkansas or Texas someday but if we never left, I’d be OK with that. I’ve been to some of those places Kansas is on the way to, and I’d much rather be here.

  2. Just finished your book “White Powder” this morning, and it was very very good. Looking forward to another one of your books.

    • Don’t – I’m working on Broken Toys but at the moment, I’m trying to help MikeW finish and publish his memoirs, “Hunting in the Darkness”.

  3. I seem to recall that the tax on tea that caused the Boston Tea Party was 3%. What is our effective tax rate now, 40% or so.

    Bucket list. The 120 mm automatic mortar system does appeal doesn’t it. I wonder if it is modular enough to fit in the bed of my pickup.

    Felix Baumgartner; wow, what a record. I know a huge amount of planning went into that but imagine how he felt stepping off into the unknown.

    The New Year at Sea. Quite the tradition, I wonder if it will still be in existence a decade from now.

    I hope everyone has a most prosperous and happy New Year.

    • For a pickup, fullsized, an 82mm or a 60mm is a better fit. Plus you can hump the ammo easier if you’re solo.

      120mm is just a tad bit too big for solo work, even on auto mode (which most still require a hoooman loader/striker somewhere in the chain from box to boom.

      And, really, are there many targets that really need to be serviced by a 120mm that an 82mm won’t work on, in a non-armored vehicle environment?

      Not to mention the minimum range issue.

      But if you have kids or friends in good shape then the 120mm is good either vehicle mounted or ground mount. Not bad to have a mortar pit with designated targets already scribed on the pit wall in one’s fortification/casa/manse.

      Seriously, always wanted an M113 82mm mortar carrier. They look like fun. Even without the mortar, since one can easily fold back the roof for carrying and stuff.

  4. I would like to visit all the States; I only have Alaska left, so that seems plausible.

    I would also like to drive that new Canadian highway to the Arctic Ocean.


  5. Why is Mackinac Bridge pronounced “MAK in naw” but Fort Fort Michilimackinac pronounced “mee she leh MAK eh nak“?

    “Marilyn Monroe is out because she’s been dead since 1962”
    That would not stop some of our “elite”. Then again, dead old women are less their thing than alive prepubescent males, so whadda I know?

    Bucket lists:
    [Castle is being superstitious about some goofy thing that I don’t remember the details of, hence the reluctance.]

  6. Bucket list:
    Since I’ve been to the bottom of the sea and gotten to look out the windows (View ports, got paid doing it too!)
    1. Ride into orbit on Musk’s rocket ship and return to tell about it. (important detail there).
    2. Frogmarch Fauci into prison. (I guy can dream)
    3. Finish writing my book. (I keep letting work get in the way.

    Okay, maybe the first two are a bit much…..

    • Returning from Mars (alive) – unlikely.

      If you can wangle yourself onto Fauci’s firing squad, I’ll send you a very fine (filled) bottle of very old single malt.

  7. 1) Shooting feral hogs out of a helicopter door has always been high on my list!
    2) To continue doing my job at the level I am now for as long as I can.
    3) Continue to love my first and only wife.

    Ok, so my goals aren’t lofty, but attainable.
    Kansas was named after the Kanza (Kaw) Indian tribe, not the Arkanza. We have the correct pronunciation.

  8. I think celebrating New Years on board a zeppelin (above Paris?) would be fun and it’d be cool to go into space. Then there’s that mortar… tempting too.

  9. 1. Set aside more time for the Lord.
    2. Fulfill my youngest daughters wish of skydiving tandem with me.
    3. Finish my book.
    4. Continue to go on non vaxed and healthy.
    5. Visit Costa Rica

    LL can we get a top 5 of the perfect tens you’ve posted up for 2022 and take a vote? Marilyn would definitely be number one if she was alive and holding an m40A1 .

  10. Yeah some Germans would need more baths if once a week. I went into a basement ski rental place in the alps back in mid 80s the stench was so godawful you could see it. There were folks walking around with swim type nose clips. I did not spend a lot of time on my selection . Happy new year to all.


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