The Thursday Thrill

Blog Post



One Day in France

PaulM said: “I would bet the Danish soldiers are the happiest soldiers.”

This triggers a war story – Some years ago now. Maybe ten or so, I was in Lyon, at the Interpol General Secretariat, minding my own business, more or less. I was asked to attend a meeting at the French Intelligence Fusion Center in Paris. that was run by the Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence or Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur. 

It sounds like a bigger deal than it was. So I caught a plane to De Gaul International and was met. The participants in the meeting included (for want of better characterization) the directors of the Danish and Swedish Positive Collection Agencies (their CIAs). The French wore suits, the Americans wore suits, the Swedes wore suits and the Danish guy showed up wearing board shorts,  sandals, and a Hawaiian shirt with pukka beads around his neck, coming to terms with a wicked hangover…  Daneland. We talked about the Chinese.


Russa Negotiates?

Russian negotiations over Ukraine – In plain English, what this means is “We will not negotiate until you have already agreed to everything we want. [Then we’ll talk about what else we can take.] No surprise.


Identify the Aircraft


A Coin under the Mast

17 Roman shipwrecks were found to have a coin placed under the mast. It wasn’t only a Roman custom, as the Greeks did it too.

They also put the coins under the pillars of a temple when it was built to hope for protection and luck. This is also what the coin under the mast is said to do. However, there is one thing that may also play a role. A silver coin was placed under the tongue or on the eyes of a dead person so that he could pay Charon, the ferryman of the underworld, for his passage. If a ship sank, it was hardly possible to give a coin to the dead and not everyone had a coin directly with them when this happened. What if this coin was not only a good luck charm but also a means of payment for Charon when this happened?

Ships themselves were often held to contain a sort of divine or living spirit, which may possibly connect to this notion of payment for the dead. Evidence for divine spirits imbued in ships is found in diverse sources. There are very few extant Canaanite or Phoenician maritime texts, yet we know from the Ugaritic Kirta epic that the sacred mountain, Mt. Zaphon, was represented as a ship, and a parallel reference from an Egyptian papyrus details that Ba‘l Zaphon was worshipped in the form of a ship (Brody 1998). In later periods, seafarers dedicated ships, or model ships, to Zeus Kasios, Ba‘l Zaphon’s direct Hellenic counterpart, or more generally to Zeus the Savior, Zeus Soter. A letter from the king of Tyre to the king of Ugarit details the sinking of a ship in a storm. This ship is said to have literally died in the tempest, suggesting an animate spirit that perished with the loss of the vessel […] (Wachsmuth 1967; Göttlicher 1981; Brody 1998).


A Word from SECTRANS…



Battle Map

Battle for Bakhmut, February 26th, 2023.


Total Fertility Rate in Europe by region in 1960. The highest fertility rates were in Albania at 6.5, and Kosovo at 6.7 (around 7.7 for the Albanian population there). The numbers have dropped across the board since then, creating a crisis.



Convert or die



A comparison of shootings in Chicago from 2014-2022 in comparison to shootings that involve the police.

26 thoughts on “The Thursday Thrill

  1. F-108 Rapier.

    Always wished we had built that. Presuming it worked, and all.


    1. I always wonder if we wouldn’t have been stuck with JFK and his wonderkids (mcnamara – spit), that we might have bankrupted the soviets a lot earlier than we did. Imagine the soviets having to defend B 70s coming high and fast, plus B 1s coming low and fast, and then later B 2s slow and invisible. Add to the mix Rapiers with AIR 2 Genies.

    1. Math is racist, and it’s the only reason that Lori (Bettlejuice) Lightfoot lost.

        1. “Whatever you do
          Don’t pay the ferryman
          Don’t even fix a price
          Don’t pay the ferryman
          Until he gets you to the other side”
          In the rolling mist then he gets on board
          Now there’ll be no turning back
          Beware that hooded old man at the rudder
          And then the lightning flashed, and the thunder roared
          And people calling out his name
          And dancing bones that jabbered and a-moaned
          On the water
          And then the ferryman said
          “There is trouble ahead
          So you must pay me now, ” (“Don’t do it”)
          “You must pay me now, ” (“Don’t do it”)
          And still that voice came from beyond
          “Whatever you do
          Don’t pay the ferryman
          Don’t even fix a price
          Don’t pay the ferryman
          Until he gets you to the other side”

  2. The advent of SAMs doomed planes like the F-108 and B-70. It’s a shame really.
    I have always hoped someone like Dale Brown would write an Alt-History novel where SAMs could be easily jammed and Rapiers and Valkyries ruled the skies.

    1. My Old Man worked on the B 70, and later on the Apollo projects.
      He took me to Palmdale on several occasions to view the B 70.

    2. The SR 71 had over 1000 shot at it with no result. How many were shot to bring down one U2. The B 70 would have had a pretty good chance of surviving through the 60s, 70s and maybe 80s in IMHO. But then I wouldn’t have had to fly them.

  3. Ousted worthless mayor Lightfoot, in full delusional style of The Left, actually said she REDUCED murders in the Windy City…and her audience clapped and cheered. “Give us Barabbas!” (The ONLY candidate remaining worth his salt is Vallas, who supports police, etc. Johnson is cut from the same cloth as The Beetlejuice Doppelganger.)

    Thanks for making my point about the Dane’s, that’s hilarious. MrsPaulM recalled when – in typical Dane fashion – the Minister of Tourism said, “Don’t come here, the weather is iffy, if you want sun go to the South of France, you’ll like it there better.” Having seen their zest for taking it easy in life (afternoon coffee, like a Fika only Danes don’t speak about the Swede’s in glowing terms – heh). During a Spring trip to Denmark we stayed in an old thatched roof Kro in the country half an hour outside of Copenhagen (“It’s so far away” is all we heard). For a week we watched a couple of telco guys laying some new lines in a ditch, just up the road from an ice cream stand…very slow methodical progress by American standards. Once in a while we’d swing in to grab an ice cream on our way to explore, and there they were, enjoying “a break”. I think they got half a mile done in a week.

      1. We’ve only gone when the Kroner to Dollar ratio was over 6:1 (it’s 7:1 today), don’t really want to spend $20 on a burger…but would for the traditional Open-Faced Sandwich at a table astride Nyhavn (worth the moment), or going for a third round at the very comprehensive Clarion Copenhagen Airport hotel breakfast bar that’s about fifty feet long (or was). The 24% VAT is tough, but their heavy social welfare safety net on top of a free-market capitalist economy works for them, primarily due to scale and citizen attitude, hence the reason they shut off immigration, most were Middle-Eastern grifters looking for a free ride without assimilating into the culture. I call those types “locusts”, and there is only one solution to eliminate that problem. Our Welfare program could take notice.

        Then there’s this…when Maersk is struggling it’s not a good sign (but Newsom will stick to his idiotic port/trucking BS, intentionally designed to hamstring supply chains. If he somehow manages to take the baton from The Wrecking Ball Pelosi and move to DC we’re burnt toast):

        1. Much of my travel has been done on somebody else’s dime. It’s true even today. Thus, the pinch of the Kroner waited until I returned and turned in the expense voucher. You stayed with family. Hotel D’Angleterre – “Why did you stay there, LL?” “I had meetings in Nyhavn and could walk. I spared you the cost of a cab.”

          Most of the rooms are suites there, and dinner at Marchal is not to be missed. It’s more or less like staying in Zurich in terms of price.

          1. Smart move. Besides, car rentals can be tricky…Avis forgot to explain what the ‘honor system’ timer dial on the dashboard was for, got a huge ticket after ten minutes parked because we never knew to set it over the entire week. Got hammered the last day (fought it though and Avis ate the ticket.)

          2. Depending on the circumstances of the trip overseas, I’d sometimes have a driver/car for the duration. It takes a lot of stress off and parking in many European, Middle Eastern (including Greek), and Asian cities can be a challenge. It’s the same in Boston and NY/NY. Navigating Mexico City, for example, is much easier when Estado Mayor (Mexican Secret Service) is hauling my wide ass from place to place.

            I have an upcoming trip to Panama City, Panama and you can rest assured that I’ll have a driver.

  4. For those unaware, this date in history-Texas Independence Day, 1836.
    Cletus Valvecore

    1. Happy Independence Day Cletus. Hopefully it will never be in-dependence day.

      1. We do have Him-In-Depends leading the way. Geez, the guy has diarrhea of the mouth,maybe should install one over his face…to be safe.

  5. Love the plane and, I forgot to say, the Woman With Fish installation in your latter post.

    Bakhmut, what an utter slaughterhouse. Really glad John’s not involved.

  6. The aircraft is a North American Aviation XF-108 “Rapier”, firing a Hughes GAR-9 air-to-air missile. It was designed to accompany the XB-70 “Valkyrie” as it’s fighter escort.

    The placed coins at the base of the masts before they were mounted on the two ships they built next to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. I guess it’s still practiced by some modern shipbuilders.

    Interesting maps of ChiCongo. Or is it ChIraq these days?

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