sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday Sermonette

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

That's from the Good Book, isn't it? I thought that it might be appropriate for a Sunday Sermonette.

When I have written of shoveling snow at the White Wolf Mine, a number of you scoffed at me. SCOFFED. 

"You need a snow blower, LL," was the common rant and refrain.

Now that winter has passed, I bought one, with a 28" wide scoop barely used, from a neighbor who is moving to a retirement situation. It has an electric start and looks to have enough industrial muscle to handle Arizona snow. The most fallen in a single event in memory here was five feet, and that was a decade ago, back before global warming threatened all of us who survive the pandemic.

I thought that $400 was a good price and when I die, I'm sure that my kids will include the snow blower when they auction off the hovel. I know that Sears sells Craftsman snow blowers for a lot more money than that, so I don't feel as though I was taken advantage of. They're $1050 plus tax at Lowes and refurbished, they're over $800. 

So cool I can hardly wait for winter to return.

Throwing Caution to the Wind

Like snow, blasted from the blower, I went with pasta (full of carbs) and shrimp (not full of carbs) for supper last night. Fredd, let Aunt Sally eat her heart out. It's not barely defrosted corn dogs and beer. 

Adrienne and some of the rest of you have been goading me with your delicious quarantine meals and I wanted you to know that I could respond. No, it's not cooking with LSP. I can't hope to match his culinary skills (but advice from Blue Centurion is his secret weapon).

Saving the Planet

Got a cough? Need ten million surgical masks? I'm your guy. Ventilators are coming on line shortly. We also are selling COVID 19 test kits, not on the website. Minimum order 100,000, but they are the good ones that you can use at home. A drop of your precious blood and 15 minutes later you'll know.

In a world where such things are hard to come by, I have them. Yes, I feel a bit like Corporal King (Rat) in the James Clavell novel by the same name.

Pricing floats on supply and demand. Lock in an order and I'll give you a price. Ask and ye shall receive.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Caption These (if you please) Volume 3

Yes, I know that Jules is an art philosopher and she always seems to shine on these, but here are some that you might have fun with. I've added my impressions.




Social Distancing


Not just an actor


Never underestimate somebody who can tap you from the next county


They're my granddaughters - cuteness overload


Some of you may opine that I'm going mad under quarantine, and I'm not saying that you're wrong... and...

This may strike you as a strange request, but I'm trying to source a quality poleaxe. There are different varieties. They were widely used about a thousand years ago primarily by dismounted knights and men at arms. I plan to mount one in the rear window of the pick up truck or on the rack behind the rear seat in my Toyota FJ. In both cases, under a shotgun (rifled barrel, SST rounds).

I can anticipate your question. "What in the world would you want with that?" It's more of a statement than anything else. The weapon would need to be fully functional, the blades sharp. There are several different steels that would work fine. A D2 or even a pattern welded steel (Damascus) would suit my purposes. 

I've cast about on the Internet, but most of what is available is made in India (no-bueno) of pot metal. Or they are decorative, which doesn't work either. 

The people who drift past this blog are often well informed of such things, so I'm casting out into the blogosphere for sourcing suggestions. 

boar spear
And if you ask, these sorts of weapons are legal in Arizona and most states. Poleaxes haven't made their way onto prohibited lists. Likely because progressive people don't consider them to be dangerous. For me, they only have demonstration and education value, not as a weapon...

The obvious question is whether or not I'd accept a puncheon or boar spear instead. There is nothing wrong with either tool, but they're not quite poleaxes, are they?

He's Saying -

The Beaches will be opened by Easter...

Identify the movie.

Things to Ponder

Might Slow Joe take on Cuomo as VP?

I'm only asking because Cuomo is working the crisis, keeping himself 24/7 in the media spotlight, and because Biden is so clearly failing. The Biden quote of the week was made with the old, grizzled, harridans on The View.
“Are you at all concerned, as Trump said, that we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” asked the host. 
Biden quickly responded, “We have to take care of the cure. That will make the problem worse, no matter what. No matter what. We know what has to be done,” said Biden. 
“We know you have to, you’re tired of hearing the phrase, you have the flatten that curve, where it’s going up like this, people getting, and the it comes down,” Biden continued. “We gotta flatten that curve.”
NYC is releasing prisoners from jail.
How do New Yorkers feel about that?
It's very progressive to make regular
people into victims.
Will Biden lose his mind COMPLETELY before the DNC convention? Many think that he has already lost it. The Democrats are trying to treat him with kid gloves, trying to coddle him until they can count votes, put him into office and then Article 25 him out of office for being mentally incompetent.

Cuomo is sort of a modern-day Mussolini, promising to make the trains run on time, a bully boy. After Joe has been wheeled off to catch COVID-19 at the nursing home, Andrew Cuomo could appoint brother Chris (Fredo) Cuomo of CNN fame as his vice president? It is a progressive vision of the future of the Democrat Party.

China is Working the Propaganda War

Is anybody buying it - besides CNN and MSNBC? One thing is certain. The news media is unhappy with anyone who calls it the Chinese Plague.

The Weekend under Quarantine

Oh, yeah, it's a party isn't it?

Inspire us in the comment section. What are you doing that's fun? Because the weekend under quarantine is a lot like the weekdays under quarantine.  I may go for a drive. And yes, I'll be careful at the gas pumps. I wear surgical gloves to pump gas. And if that strikes you as weird, what doesn't strike you as weird these days?

I'm sure that most of you recall when Playboy magazine reportedly offered Sarah Palin $4,000,000 to pose nude in an upcoming issue. And then National Geographic offered Michelle Obama $50?

Then KFC offered a Hillary meal to customers consisting of two small breasts and two large thighs. Now, KFC is offering the Nancy Pelosi special. It consists of nothing but left wings and chicken shit.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Taking a Bite of the Apple

It may be time for businesses to move out of New York City for the benefit of their corporate cohesion. I have worked in New York City and while the good old boy network there has roots that run deep, the current Chinese Plague that is infecting the city is once again illustrating a fatal weakness in the place. It's congested, it's unhealthy, it's ruinously expensive and there is little need to site yourself there in this day and age of virtual environments. 

In the near future, New York City will begin to become still less relevant than it is today.

9/11 had people raising the question of why we had all of our financial eggs in one basket. Today it's not just the financial hub, but the corporate hubs currently sited in New York City. They could operate just as effectively in the Carolinas, in Arizona, or Utah, or Nebraska, at much less risk and at vastly less cost.

The population density of New York City during the daytime (before people take trains out of the Apple to their homes in White Plains, Connecticut or New Jersey) is concentrated to an unhealthy degree. The contagion ran rampant through a part of America that requires public transportation to function. 

The Greater Los Angeles Area, which sits on the Pacific Rim, is every bit the trade hub that New York City is, by comparison, has less than one tenth the COVID-19 infection. And if you step back to the Orange and Ventura County Suburbs, the numbers drop radically. I'm not advocating for corporate hubs in Los Angeles, for what it's worth. The traffic and the distances involved combine to make it a challenging environment in its own right. I know, I worked there for many years.

I predict that the virus will cause a lot of people to rethink corporate headquarters locations, virtual workplaces and that it will cause profound changes in New York City.

Freaky Friday

Things are getting WEIRD

The coyote caught the road runner.

This Place is Going to the Wolves

Life on the Mogollon Rim is not heavily impacted by the Chinese Plague. Older people who have medical conditions, compromised immune systems and pulmonary distress are rightfully concerned.

I've heard that off the rim, there are food banks that are empty and there will be a White Wolf Mine charitable food run to Costco to buy flats of canned goods next week. I've heard that they open early on Tuesday and Thursday for the over sixty crowd, so I'll do it then. St. Vincent de Paul in Payson is in need of everything that they can get, and I'm sure that we won't put much of a dent in the need, but one does what one can.

Meanwhile the bears are emerging from hibernation and I've been told that they're going to be extra hungry. There are no food banks for bears unless you count the trash at the White Wolf Mine....back to the summer (bear) protocols. Eventually the campers and vacationers will return to the mountains and THEY can feed the bears.

Planned Parenthood

I care what you think about abortion. I really do. But irrespective of your position on killing the unborn for fun and profit, Planned Parenthood stands out as a laundering scheme for the Democrat Party.

Once politicians figured out that they could bribe voters with their own tax dollars, things became even more sophisticated.

The same can be said for a lot of the pork in the $2 trillion in "stimulus" or whatever it's now being called. What an opportunity to add to the national debt while buying loyalty with tax dollars (on both sides).

Enjoy your free cheese.

Parting Thought

Caption These, if you Please (vol 2)






Thursday, March 26, 2020

Exercise Under Quarantine

I had planned to exercise today. I really had. But it's been windy and cold and it's supposed to snow tonight...yeah, I can be a wimp at times. I did have an excuse today in that I've been trying to work a business deal, so I've been on the phone all day (Chicago SELL, New York, BUY, etc). Never let a good crisis go to waste.


Thank you for your patience. The blog is back in business and the new and improved format is still in development.

There's no such thing as a "woke" vegetarian, great white shark.
The Kennedy Center

The $2 trillion economic stimulus to aid people out of work and businesses in trouble was passed with $25,000,000 earmarked for the Kennedy Center. I guess that the people there needed to be stimulated. 

Let's review how that organization is supposed to be funded. It was authorized by the 1958 National Cultural Center Act of Congress, which required that its programming be sustained through private funds.  You can read the act for yourself, but trust me, that's what it says. Its activities include educational and outreach initiatives, that are funded through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations. 

To boil it down, it's a place for elites to congratulate themselves for being born better than you are. And they're supposed to pay for the privilege of congratulating themselves. But the skinflint elites would like to be subsidized. Thus the $25M in tax funds.

It would be easy to blame Nancy Pelosi and her flying monkeys, but the Republicans are just as elite, just as special, and are also better than you are. So they gave the nod to the expenditure.

Basic Rules For Life in the Big Outdoors

(1) Nobody is coming to save you.

(2) Everything is your responsibility.

(3) Save who/what needs to be saved.

(4) Kill who/what needs to be killed.

(5) Always be working the problems around you.

And according to Bukowski:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The NEW Virtual Mirage

We're migrating the old Virtual Mirage content to the new and improved blog that will have its own proprietary search engine for your use if you choose to avail yourself. It will be an anonymous search much the same as Duck-Duck-Go - but much cooler.

As a result of that, there won't be any new content on this blog for a couple of days because ten years of content doesn't move that fast.  You can still comment and that will work. I'm just not posting while the movement is underway. It will all link seamlessly when its eventually live in a couple of weeks. I can only hope that it doesn't suck when all is said and done.

Be patient and wait to be critical of the new site until it's complete and I have all of the bugs worked out of it.

--The Management

Eating your way Through the Quarantine

Tonight, it's chicken street tacos.  Will I limit myself to three? In your dreams. The key is to limit yourself to half a dozen and even then, that may be too few to bring the meal to a conclusion. 

Limiting ingredients is important during the quarantine, so a bag of Costco chicken breasts, some scallions, a bit of red onion and cilantro along with grilled corn tortillas is one solution. I'm sure that you have others that work just as well.  

Tomorrow will be cod, breaded and baked, sliced potatoes and onions fried in bacon grease for flavor, and a sliced tomato with olive oil, balsalmic, salt & pepper. 

Sure, I could open a can of chili or maybe Cream of Bat and eat it with saltines, but that's for emergencies and we're not there. Not quite yet.

Life Under Quarantine

Ok, I don't know how many days that it's been but I haven't exactly been a model citizen under quarantine, because I've been out shooting watermelon that the elk then eat. And I've been driving around doing a little food shopping. Home made (from scratch) pizza for dinner last night. But work is slow. I think that we pulled in $20K into the consulting business which will make everyone happy. It serves to keep the lights on, but clearly won't buy many toys. And yes, he with the most toys still dies, but dies happier than without toys. 

A friend who lives locally, former USAF Raven, then transitioned up to F-15's, left the service and flew for United Air Lines before he moved to the Arizona Highlands, came over for dinner, with his wife. BBQ'd tri-tip. They brought salad and rolls. Not precisely a quarantine.

The neighbor with the Hughes 500D flew over, buzzing the mine. He's commuting from the Phoenix Valley, not precisely quarantined, but he is social distancing.  You can fault him for a great many things (like not letting me be his pilot) but he is keeping his distance.

I'm giving a lot more thought to menu now. Lots of frozen animal and bird flesh, plenty of vegetables. Squeezing lemons for lemonade make me think of Senator (up)Chuck Schumer and I squeeze every drop of precious liquid out of them as I squeeze - and squeeze.  Fox News is not on all day. Maybe it should be, but it's not healthy for me to listen to it these days. 

On the bright side, if COVID-19 forces Planned Parenthood to close for two weeks, the virus will have saved more lives than it has taken.

USMC Force Reduction and Reallocation

The Marine Corps won't be your daddy's corps and it won't be yours. There is a completely new vision for the USMC on the way. (Link

The Marines are getting ready to confront China and it means eliminating all three tank battalions, bridging companies, law enforcement battalions, cutting back on MV-22 Osprey, attack and heavy lift squadrons, etc. Artillery batteries will be reduced from twenty-one to five, and infantry battalions will be reduced from twenty-four to twenty-one. The number of authorized F-35B and F-35C fighters will be reduced from 16 per squadron to ten. This means a reduction of 12,000 personnel over the next decade.

The rifle squads will be smaller. The 26th MEU was the first USMC unit to deploy with the fifteen marine squad model but they may be even smaller still. Think twelve.
“Infantry battalions will be smaller to support naval expeditionary warfare” and designed to support a fighting concept known as Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations — which will see Marines decentralized and distributed across the Pacific on Islands or floating barge bases.
Those are the planned cuts. 

The Marine Corps wants a “300 percent increase in rocket artillery capacity” with anti-ship missiles. The Corps is eyeing a remotely operated rocket artillery HIMARS launcher that uses the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle paired with the Naval Strike Missile to sink ships at sea.
Defense News reported the Navy requested $64 million for fiscal year 2021 for a program that pairs anti-ship missiles with existing vehicles known as the Ground-based Anti-ship Missile and Remotely Operated Ground Unit Expeditionary (ROGUE) Vehicle.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Original Angry Bird

Life Under Quarantine

F*ck the People's Republic of China.

There, that made me feel a little better. Not a lot better, but I have to admit, a little.

I am not under any sort of official quarantine, I don't know that I have been exposed to the Chinese Plague and I'm not sick. But I am reluctant to go where other people are. I ran a little off-road route on Sunday and it felt good to tear up and rut up back roads, splash through deep pools of water and so forth. 

If I lived in a city, it would feel a bit like prison.

I was on the phone about work earlier. I don't know that any money will be made, but it broke some of the monotony. 

I'm not the first person to be locked down by a plague. It's useful to have a month's worth of necessities.

Listening to the news makes me want to travel to DC and open a can of whoop-ass, so I'm trying not to watch the news.

Monday Morning Madness

Stephen King seems to be writing 2020 doesn't he?

Think about it. If somebody had written a book about a virus with a response that left stores without toilet paper, what would you have thought of the author?

Turning a Land Rover into a mobile Swiss Army Knife

A muddy Toyota FJ, unencumbered with stuff - at the White Wolf Mine

Ulvens Tann (Wolf's Tooth) is the official knife of the White Wolf Mine.

It's not my daily carry knife. I have a folding knife that I keep in my pocket for that purpose. 

The Wolf's Tooth is a one-off pattern welded blade that started off with nine layers of 1095 and 15N20 steel, folded to 288 layers. Hardened to Rockwell 60. 

It has a scrimshaw wolf on the grip/hilt. 

I haven't had the opportunity to use the blade on zombies. But given the events of the past few weeks, it may be coming sooner than I think.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Love Boat

Riddle me this: The major cruise lines are asking the US Government, which is the same as the US Public to bail them out. They're worried.

Is it our problem?

The flag of the Bahamas doesn't look at all like an American
flag to me.
Disney Cruises sails under the Bahamian Flag.

Celebrity Cruises sails under the Maltese Flag.

Carnival Cruises sails under the Panamanian Flag.

They do this to avoid paying US Taxes.

More on the Donkey King

In a normal campaign cycle, you'd see the contender, in this case, a Democrat, stumping and speaking. This cycle is anything but normal and the donkeys are working diligently to hide their candidate, made possible by the pervasive Chinese Plague.

Joe Biden's painful senility is becoming more and more evident as his condition advances. You don't need to be a doctor to diagnose him.

Even the Australians are making fun of old Slow Joe. "There's not enough popcorn in the world..."

Caption These, if You Please




It's ok to be creative

A Scenario (Sunday Sermonette)

I normally don't ask you to read an article on the Internet. Sometimes I quote from articles and give you a link to follow. I'm breaking from that today to suggest that you read this article from the Intelligencer

Yes, I did write that I was going to back off on the COVID-19/Chinese Plague. Yet, despite my best intentions, this article puts a spin on it that you might find interesting.
For most people infected with the coronavirus, that’s as far as it goes. With bed rest, they get better. But for reasons scientists don’t understand, about 20 percent of people get severely ill. Despite your relative youth, you’re one of them.
That's the point. It's all fun and games, shits and giggles until it's you or somebody that you love. Comment on your thoughts once you've read the article. Maybe they're fear mongering. Maybe not. It's up to you to decide. 

For the people who become severely ill, it's not about the question of whether it originated in a bioweapons lab or somewhere else. And if it is somebody dear to you who has been infected, the issue is the same.

The plague will end, treatments for the illness will become available, and in a year or so, there will be a vaccine. For now, ask not for whom the bell tolls.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Montezuma's Revenge?

From the medical dictionary: Explosive diarrhea occurs when the rectum fills with more liquid and gas than it can hold. Passing the stool is often loud, due to the escaping gas.

Solidarity against the Turks

Greece’s Kathimerini newspaper reported on Tuesday that authorities in Poland and Austria have reached an agreement with their Greek counterparts to send a significant number of policemen to assist in the guarding of the border at Evros.

A hoard of military age Mohammedan Turks waiting to cross into Greece and
establish the new caliphate there. The Greeks would rather they not come in.
The report suggests that Poland has made the decision to send more than a hundred men from its police force’s special units — and is ready to send many more if Athens requests it.

Turkish President-for-life and Sultan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued making provocative statements against Greece and its armed forces on Tuesday.
Quoted by Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper, Erdogan said that ”Mitsotakis needs to look at the universal declaration of human rights. They (the Greeks) need to know and accept that their treatment at the border is murderous. We will expose again the pictures of refugees stripped of their clothes this year at the UN General Assembly.”
The moves by Austria and Poland are helpful but they are also symbolic, and sometimes the symbolism and statements of international support are very useful in the game of brinksmanship that the Turks are playing, using turks who would immigrate/invade Greece as pawns in a larger move.

I have no idea whether or not the Greeks will take up the suggestion to form a battalion of Ghurkas to augment their border troops. The Chinese Plague hit in the midst of negotiations. We'll have to wait for the dust to settle. Greece is locked down just as hard as Italy is as they hope to avoid the "Italian Scenario".

Some have suggested as a humanitarian move that they distribute blankets (sneezed on) to the Turkish refugees. It's a move with its roots in history.

Weekend Dispatch

Leaving on a Jet Plane? 

No, I'm not. I had plans to leave for Mexico City for work this weekend but the travel ban put a wet blanket on the program. I still might be able to salvage things when the ban is lifted, but since Mexico is expected to suffer greatly from the Chinese Plague, I think that the ban will be in place for some time.

I won't be having breakfast at The Cardinal (my favorite breakfast place in this hemisphere) in Mexico City on Monday morning. 

Being self-employed has its ups and downs. 

But I still might get a contract out of it if I play it smart. I've been on the phone to the lawyer all morning yesterday. Don't fear the reaper. 

This Would Work

We could put, creepy, smug, corrupt, senile, old, Slow Joe Biden in a nursing home with a mock-up of the Oval Office and tell him that he won. He won't know the difference and the country will be a lot better off. The nurses can take turns being the VEEP since he won't remember who it was supposed to be.

Now Civilians Know

The current events have demonstrated what it's like to be in the military.

*Your weekend plans are revoked.
*You stand in lines all of the time.
*The toilet paper is always missing.
*You are told how to do simple things over and over by somebody you believe to be a cretin.
*Watching others panic.
*Receiving orders from higher in the chain of command that always change.
*Carrying around a gas mask all the time.
*Being locked in quarters or confined to a compartment on a ship underway.
*Always have a curfew
*Always have travel restrictions
*Always shown maps and charts that have little practical meaning.
*Always receiving old information.
*Your favorite bar is off limits

First they WANT it.
Then they DON'T.