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Prise du palais des Tuileries le 10 août 1792, durant la Révolution française
Jean Duplessis-Bertaux
Busy day at the salt mine, had no time at lunch to write, decided to slack off upon arrival at the manse. Nose was to the grindstone die ganzer Tag. DIL and the kids have returned to sunny California, house is like empty. Also quiet, too quiet. Feline staff likes it.

At any rate, I'm too tired to provide quality, I'm too lazy to give you a rerun...

So you get homework.

Ten myths surrounding the French Revolution. Here.

Read it and let me know your thoughts. I have a French Revolution related post in the works. It's still in my head, I think I can get it out this weekend. It's related to the link I gave you yesterday.

Blogging is hard, talk quietly among yourselves. I shall return.

Oh yes, this happened as well. Juvat had the watch, he did a screen capture for posterity.

Thanks to all who stop by to read these humble scribblings.
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(Source)
Some of us are racking our brains right now.

To be fair, Herr von Kuehnelt-Leddihn said this in the 20th Century, it is now the 21st Century, so, in essence, he nailed it. Perhaps he didn't envision this happening in the first quarter of the century, but it has certainly come to pass.

Yes, I have been kind of "political" as of late. There is a lot going on in this country which makes me worry. A couple of things posted by friends of mine over on koobecaF have set me to thinking, always a dangerous thing.

The first was a post by Scott R., a fellow continually in trouble with the koobecaF kops, who posted this quote from Herr von Kuehnelt-Leddihn:
For the average person, all problems date to World War II; for the more informed, to World War I; for the genuine historian, to the French Revolution.
Of course, this is rather a Eurocentric view of things, many Asians might have doubts about that particular quote. But it made me look the guy up, chase that source under that opening graphic, there's more quotes of interest.

Another koobecaF post from a guy for whom I have a great deal of respect concerned the French Revolution. Specifically this article. While Solzhenitsyn, indeed many others as well, may have mourned "Bastille Day" (officially la Fête nationale), the article itself is rather replete with what I like to call "bad history."

FWIW, Solzhenitsyn was a typical Russian novelist, rather brooding and moody and seeing most things through the lens of his own early life under Soviet Communism. Who can blame him? The chap lived in my old home state for a while and, as I recall, a lot of folks simply did not like him. Great writer, crappy human. As I didn't know him, I'll let that go, just relating decades-old gossip as I remember it.

So yeah, the 14th of July was Sunday last and was indeed the date of la Fête nationale, 'tis a big day in Paris, parades, flyovers, and the like. I can't say what it's like out in the provinces. Like most revolutions, there are lingering bad memories from those days, even 200 years on.

An interesting note (maybe only to me): in France the holiday is also known by it's date (le 14 juillet), as is our own Independence Day. I do have a certain set of friends, purists if you will, who insist on not calling Independence Day, the Fourth of July. Which is just, as they insist, the date of the event, not the event itself. As they say, "Would you refer to Christmas as 'the 25th of December'?"

A salient point, I guess.

Concerning that article about Bastille Day, I'll have more to say on that in a later post. Mostly to correct the bad history evinced therein. History is my thing, I hate seeing it abused. That article kind of went up my posterior in an uncomfortable fashion, sideways as it were.

As for Herr von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, I am currently perusing an interesting book he wrote back in 1943 called The Menace of the Herd, or Procrustes at Large, which is available here, at my favorite price, free. Check it out. Herr von Kuehnelt-Leddihn was not a big fan of democracy (neither am I if you know what a democracy actually is) and that book goes into the whys and wherefores from what I've gathered so far.
The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it." (Source)
We live in a republic, not a democracy. There's a difference ya know...

Another interesting article on that topic is here. (I may incorporate a link to that website on the sidebar. POCIR)
Enjoy.
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Member of the fifth column with German paratroopers. May 1940.
(Source)
Reading the news these days, I have to wonder what is going on with certain groups in the United States. They want: open borders, reparations for sins committed by people long dead, forgiveness of college debt, free health care, free college tuition, ad infinitum...

They can't possibly be serious. Who on Earth is going to pay for all of this?

To my way of thinking, they are not serious, all this nonsense is simply a stalking horse meant to weaken, divide, and eventually overturn the Constitutional government of the United States. These groups are, in essence, and I believe in fact, a Fifth Column.
A fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group from within, usually in favor of an enemy group or nation. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine. Forces gathered in secret can mobilize openly to assist an external attack. This term is also extended to organised actions by military personnel. Clandestine fifth column activities can involve acts of sabotage, disinformation, or espionage executed within defense lines by secret sympathizers with an external force. (Source
During the Siege of Madrid in the Spanish Civil War, Nationalist general Emilio Mola told a journalist in 1936 that as his four columns of troops approached Madrid, a "fifth column" of supporters inside the city would support him and undermine the Republican government from within. (Source)
Is there an "enemy group or nation" at play? One could make the argument that Russia, China, and Iran all fit that case. The former two nations have been trying to extend their influence outside of their national borders, while the latter seems to be making a play to control what they call the Persian Gulf (which is what it was called when I was a youth), but which many now call the Arabian Gulf, what the Navy called it when The Nuke's destroyer was patrolling its northern reaches nearly fifteen years ago.

A weakened United States would go far towards allowing those three countries to throw their weight around in many ways. For one thing we can barely afford to keep out Navy maintained and forward as it is now. Start giving away all of that free shite demanded by the progs and we'll be lucky to afford the Coast Guard, let alone a blue water navy of the size needed to keep the oceans free. (Yes, that is our job now, who else can do that? Like it or not, we are the world's police force.)

Given the brouhaha after the last election (which is ongoing and makes me sick to my stomach), it's obvious to me that there are factions within the United States who, if they can't get their way legally, will attempt to do so by nefarious means. They want power, they don't care what the cost of that power is, they don't care who gets hurt in the process. They think they "know better" than the rest of us. Socialism works, but only if the "right sort" of people get to be in charge.

I don't know exactly where all of this is going but I am not liking the possibilities. The American people need to wake up. Our existence as a bastion of freedom is at stake. There are malevolent forces at work in the world. Maybe the apocalypse is coming as foretold, I don't know.
But it gives me pause...
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Apparently, blogging is a lot like time travel.  For instance, I wrote this last Wednesday for publishing today about a post from some other blogger on July 1st about something that was done more than 70 years ago.*

Ain't life grand?

Anyhoo...Blogger CW Swanson, over at the perfectly named blog Daily Timewaster, posted this picture.
Source (AKA the blogpost I'm referring to)

And... because flying and Fighters and WWII, it caught my attention.

Turns out this wasn't a run of the mill P-47 (not that there are ANY run of the mill P-47s), instead this was a P-47 out of a Rescue Squadron.  Specifically the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Now, I'm sure our resident WWII expert, El Sargento de la fuerza aérea muy viejo, can wax salacious loquacious eloquently on said squadron.  The rest of us mere mortals must break out the search engine and boldly go where no one...

So I "ducked" on to the internet and found this site, which had a nice synopsis of the squadron.  Essentially, while the RAF had an air rescue capability from the start of the war, the 8th Air Force did not. With the daylight bombing campaign in full swing and losses mounting, the error of their ways became apparent. On May 8 1944, a conference was held where it was decided to rectify that situation.
Source

With the support of Col Hub Zemke, the commander of the 56th Fighter Group in the 65 Fighter wing (that took quite a bit of digging to ensure that was the relationship), the squadron was outfitted with flyable P-47s that were no longer certified for combat.  Doing so allowed the squadron to fly its first operational mission within a week of the conference.

To put that last sentence in perspective, it took almost 20 years for the F-35 to become operational.  My how times have changed.

Back on target, juvat !   On Target, aye, El Sargento de la fuerza aérea muy viejo!

The way it worked was when a raid was launched, the squadron would launch formations of two that would escort the bombers to the English Channel. Each formation would orbit there until the bombers returned, being replaced by new formations as fuel dictated.  Bombers who were intending to ditch or in danger thereof would be closely escorted on return.  Once the damaged aircraft and/or crew were in the water, the fighters would drop a raft and radio the crew's location to the rescue boats.  The P-47s were also loaded with flares which could be dropped to assist in locating the crews.
The box-like stores on the wings are the rafts.  Because of weight limitations, the belly tank is smaller than on other P-47s and behind it is mounted the flare dispensers.  The Red, White and Blue stripes were applied to identify the plane as Rescue.
Source

  Later in the war, the squadron was also outfitted with OA-10 Catalinas which increased their rescue capability.
Apart from the lack of US Navy anywhere on the aircraft I don't see a difference, but this is an OA-10A.
Source


The 5th ERS flew a total of 3616 sorties and rescued 938 crewmen. 91 P-47s and 2 OA-10s were lost in the accomplishment of that mission.

5th ERS Logo
Source
Fortunately, I have exactly the same number of takeoffs as landings, so I was never in need of rescue, but it was reassuring to know they were there, and was interesting to read how they got there.


*Why post early?  Mrs J has (had)  a travel agent certification course in Galveston.  Given the no-notice storm that may affect travel, I thought I'd rather be better safe than sorry.
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21 July 2018
It was nearly a year ago that The WSO and I laid in a course for Boston and sallied forth to see the Foo Fighters at Fenway Park. A tale I recorded here, for posterity dontcha know? Anyhoo, I remember that day with great fondness, it reminds me of a number of times that my adult children have treated their old man to some seriously good times. (Not sure what I ever did to deserve such great kids, I credit The Missus Herself with being an incredible mother. She raised 'em right. Sure, I helped, a little, mostly her though.)

At any rate, thanks to my kids I've been to a U.S. Navy ship christening, USS Nitze (DDG 94, The Naviguesser's second ship), and two ship commissioning ceremonies, USS Nitze and USS Colorado (SSN 788), the latter courtesy of The Nuke.

I've had the chance to ride two aircraft carriers, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The former was thanks to The Nuke, she was in ship's company as a nuclear propulsion officer, and the latter was thanks to The WSO, she was in USS Ronald Reagan's air wing as a Naval Flight Officer.

I still remember the day I was out in California visiting The WSO and her tribe when my son motored down from where he lives, over a two hour drive, and asked if I'd like to go down to Sandy Eggo for the day. The plan was to pop by The Shakespeare Pub & Grill for a spot of lunch, a place where Lex used to "hold court," as it were. While there I got to meet Tuna face to face for the first time and the good Cap'n of HMS Defiant and his lady.

We had a nice repast, had a Guinness or two (surprise, surprise), and great conversation. It was an afternoon well-spent. While there my son took me over to Fort Rosecrans, where the earthly remains of Captain Carroll F. LeFon, Jr. are interred. It was a very emotional day and my son drove us ten hours, round trip, just so his Dad could visit a place very meaningful to hisself. Long drive but we got to spend some father/son time together which we hadn't been able to do since he was in college. Now here he was, all grown up, five years in the Navy under his belt, chauffeuring the old man around Southern California.

Had a nice surprise from The Nuke a couple of Christmases ago, a chance to attend a Denver Broncos game live and in person. (Photo of us is in this post. Okay, we're hard to see, trust me, it's The Nuke and Your Humble Scribe.) Now that was a lot of fun. The roar of the crowd, football on the field, and a rather nice bratwurst for half-time. A bit different from the Christmas dinner we'd shared in the officers' mess on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower when she was in port at Norfolk, but every bit as special.

The WSO also surprised me with a trip to the F/A-18E simulator out at NAS Lemoore, courtesy of her husband, Big Time. That tale was told here, can't believe it was six years ago!

Anyhoo, the kids treat their old man pretty damned good, it's humbled I am.

Now t'other day on the Book of Faces, loyal reader Valory mentioned that "we've never seen these kids." While I'm sure she has, I thought I'd reprise a cuppla pictures from when the youngest granddaughter was baptized out Sandy Eggo way. Might be before Valory became a Chanter, but the following photos are from this post.

Going round the table in a clockwise fashion:
Your Humble Scribe, Big Time's Dad, Big Time's Mom, Big Time's uncle, Big Time's brother, Big Time's SIL, my DIL,
The Owl (The Naviguesser's youngest), The NaviguesserBig Oh (The Naviguesser's oldest), Little Bit (The WSO's oldest), The WSO, Big Time, The Nuke (holding L'il Sweetie, the youngest of all the grand-progeny),
and (of course) the lovely lady who is my wife, The Missus Herself.
The same crowd, taken from the other end of the table.
FWIW, the finger is much better, hence the longer post, and continues to improve. I may be back to strumming and drumming in a few weeks. Yes, spare a thought for the lovely lady who is The Missus Herself, I'm sure she can hardly wait.
🤔
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(Source)
The DIL and two of the grandkids are in town for a cuppla, so my time is rather booked for now. I'll be around and while I may have much to say, I won't have much time to write it down and share it with you. So...

I'll throw a topic out there and let y'all chew the fat on it while I entertain the progeny of my progeny.
In the United States, the term "deep state" is used to describe a conspiracy theory which suggests that collusion and cronyism exists within the US political system and constitutes a hidden government within the legitimately elected government. Some people believe that there is "a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process", whereas others consider the deep state to encompass corruption that is particularly prevalent amongst career politicians and civil servants. Wikipedia
A "conspiracy theory"?
I say nonsense, it's real.
What say you?
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Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. - Alexis de Tocqueville
socialism noun

Definition of socialism
  1. any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
  2. (a) a system of society or group living in which there is no private property (b) a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
  3. a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, and Democracy... In some sources, communism is equated with socialism; in others, it is contrasted with democracy and capitalism. Part of this confusion stems from the fact that the word communism has been applied to varying political systems over time. When it was first used in English prose, communism referred to an economic and political theory that advocated the abolition of private property and the common sharing of all resources among a group of people, and it was often used interchangeably with the word socialism by 19th-century writers. The differences between communism and socialism are still debated, but generally English speakers used communism to refer to the political and economic ideologies that find their origin in Karl Marx’s theory of revolutionary socialism, which advocates a proletariat overthrow of capitalist structures within a society, societal and communal ownership and governance of the means of production, and the eventual establishment of a classless society. The most well-known expression of Marx’s theories is the 20th-century Bolshevism of the U.S.S.R., in which the state, through a single authoritarian party, controls a society’s economy and social activities with the goal of realizing Marx’s theories.

Communism is often contrasted with capitalism and democracy, though these can be false equivalencies depending on the usage. Capitalism refers to an economic theory in which a society’s means of production are held by private individuals or organizations, not the government, and where prices, distribution of goods, and products are determined by a free market. It can be contrasted with the economic theories of communism, though the word communism is used of both political and economic theories. Democracy refers to a system of government in which supreme power is vested in the people and exercised through a system of direct or indirect representation which is decided through periodic free elections. Democracy is contrasted with communism primarily because the 20th-century communism of the U.S.S.R. was characterized by an authoritarian government, whereas the democracy of the 20th-century U.S. was characterized by a representative government. - Merriam-Webster
Yes, I've been a lot more political as of late than I normally am, probably due to the many candidates clamoring to fill the highest office in the land. Most of whom are either charlatans or idiots. One might make the argument that some of them are both. I wouldn't disagree. But those who advocate socialism? They are dangerous.

After spending some time reading up on what socialism means, and that definition from Merriam-Webster is pretty good from a general point of view, I think I now understand the fundamental flaw with socialism. It is predicated on the idea that humans won't act like humans.

The history of our species is a long, and often sordid, tale of violence and "man's inhumanity to man." (Man being used in the same context as Neil Armstrong used it when first setting foot upon the lunar surface. "Man" as in "mankind," though I rather prefer the term "humankind," I use "mankind' because of the First Amendment. ICSFTH.)

Assuming that we can all "just get along" is a pretty big stretch. Socialism has never "worked," though it seems pretty neat if you get to be in charge and make the rules. Maduro, call your office.

This guy (who is most emphatically not "from" Vermont, he's a transplanted New Yorker) really ticks me off -
Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy. - Bernie Sanders
I sure wish these assholes would define "very wealthy." From my point of view (and salary), Comrade Bernie is "very wealthy." Maybe it's just me. Bear in mind this is the same nitwit who said -
“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country." (Source)
Right, because the government would direct industry to do what? Stop making sneakers and grow food instead? Guess what, Comrade Bernie? It's because of knuckleheads like you that your buddies in the old Soviet Union had neither enough food, sneakers, or deodorants. Governments pretty much suck at that kind of thing. (I have written before about what governments should stick to here.)

Stick it to the wealthy seems to be the ever echoing cry of the nitwit revolutionaries, they just never bother to define what wealthy means, they just want to rile the mob up. Which they seem to be doing rather well. Lot of folks out there don't know how to think, they just "feel." What the Commies like to call "useful idiots."

I like this guy's take on things -
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. - Winston Churchill
This sums up the real goal of socialism, and you can't get any more Commie than this guy -
The goal of socialism is communism. - Vladimir Lenin
Yup, there it is. You paying attention Occasional-Cortex?
Probably not...
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A nice new bandage/protective cap thingee. I haven't actually drawn the eyes on yet, but I might. A bit o' whimsy for a Thursday morn.

Went  for a follow up visit to an orthopedic doc on Wednesday. I took the entire day off, anticipating pain and discomfort as the old bandages were peeled off, jagged wound being debrided, and said wound being poked, prodded, and what have you.

To say that the visit was a pleasant surprise is rather an understatement.

The doc was a young fellow, he was born in Sarajevo and was surprised that I had heard of his hometown in a context not involving the Olympics.

"Well Doc, Sarajevo, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is where the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie met their deaths. Thus triggering World War I." (I should note that he isn't Bosnian by ethnicity, he is a Serb. Well, he was born a Serb. Now he's one of us.)

So we hit it off rather well. Too bad he and his lady wife (also a physician) are moving soon to Reno, in Nevada. 'Tis a good deal for them. He's even heard of NAS Fallon and knew more or less where it was in relation to Reno. If you ever need a good orthopedic guy out in Reno, let me know.

Anyhoo, he pronounced himself happy with the healing that is going on in my somewhat mangled digit. Having the bandage off was nice. I could flex the finger and everything, it's a bit swollen but I have nearly full range of motion and full feeling in that digit. It felt good to flex and stretch the old boy. (I'll be flipping people off in no time. Not that I do that. Much.)

The therapist chap who made the cool digit protector in the opening photo lives in my town and is also a history buff. So yeah, we had a good rapport as well. Talked of Viking river cruises and seeing the Pyramids of Giza. We had a good chat.

So, finger continues to improve, as does my morale.

I did take pictures of the tip of the finger, for posterity ya know, but I won't post them here.

Rather too gross for my tastes.

Oh, I should mention, the view from this rather new orthopedic medicine center didn't suck.

What a view!
That's Providence in the background.

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A Crowded Field
(Source)
Another Crowded Field
(Source)
At least one of the candidates in the top photo has already dropped out of the race. Another has vowed to violate her oath of office within the first 100 days of her Presidency (support and defend the Constitution, of which the 2nd Amendment is a part), which should disqualify her. Will it? Are you kidding...

A few of those in that first photo want to Make America Venezuela (we could all wear "MAV" hates, probably made in China).

I'm surprised Occasional-Cortex hasn't announced yet, probably thinks she'll get it by a "Peoples Revolution." Ya know, President by popular acclamation.

I have noticed that many of these individuals are being judged by "who has the best chance to beat Trump." I have never actually seen that as a requirement for being elected to the Presidency. I also find it odd that they're not running on their accomplishments, nor their public records.

Seems pretty sketchy to me.

Of course, most politicians are just that...

Pretty sketchy.

Now these fellows in Washington wouldn't be so serious and particular if they only had to vote on what they thought was good for the majority of the people in the U.S. That would be a cinch. But what makes it hard for them is every time a bill comes up they have things to decide that have nothing to do with the merit of the bill. The principal thing is of course: What will this do for me personally back home? - Will Rogers

One last thing...
You eventually get used to the smell of that second field.
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Tecumseh, Shawnee warrior and chief
Statue at the U.S. Naval Academy
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home. - Tecumseh*
Amen to that...

Now all that wasn't meant to harsh your mellow, just a great quote to live by. Be ready, but don't dwell on mortality. Good man that Tecumseh.


If I had known that July was going to be this much fun, I may have prepared myself better.

Last Tuesday (the day before I tried to lop my finger off with a door into the house) I noticed in the morning that the vision in my right eye (i.e. "the good one") seemed slightly blurry. It happens, especially on those "get up early and go to work" days.

Thought nothing of it until I noticed (at lunch) that the blurriness hadn't gone away. In fact, I was seeing slightly double with just the one eye (again, "the good one"). Called my eye doc, she was booked but one of her colleagues was available for a check of the old oculus dextrus.

What with the blurry eye and the approaching holiday, I decided that not only would I leave early on Tuesday (02 July) but would stay home on the 3rd (had the 4th and 5th off anyway). The 3rd being, of course, the day of the attempted digit lopping. (I suppose the door could claim a "probable" kill. There was a lot of blood spillage.)

Turns out the right eye was low on whatever eyes get low on. (As a phormer Phantom phixer I'm guessing it's some sort of hydraulic fluid.) Anyhoo, I now have drops for that, the next day (prior to the finger lopping) the eye was just fine. I was happy. For a while anyway.

So, on Monday (gestern) I had to go in for a pre-op consult. Getting a cataract removed on the 25th of July. I opted for the status quo ante bellum**, rather than get a super-duper new left eye lens (which would require wearing a contact in the right, maybe a monocle? - Not gonna happen) I opted for "make it like it was before the vitreous went insane, er, shrunk and messed up the retina. (The vitrectomy that I had last October can cause a cataract to form. In my case, did cause a cataract to form. Och well, time to get it fixed.

Finger still hurts, typing is less than fun, but I do it all for y'all. (Did I get that right, Tennessee?) I feel the need to spin tales and talk of history. So yeah, finger is better, hasn't fallen off yet. I get to see an orthopedic doc tomorrow, follow up from the ER visit.

Wish me luck, or better yet (let's not tempt fate), just say "Hals und Beinbruch!"

Gettin' old ain't for sissies.

Ciao.




*H/t B. Benson, USMC
** The "bellum," or war, being the unprovoked attack of the vitreous upon my left retina. Infamy and all that, dontcha know?

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