Fullbore Friday- Naval Historian James D. Hornfischer

Friday, June 04, 2021

Fullbore Friday-Naval Historian James D. Hornfischer

by Cdr Salamander

This FbF I’d like to take a moment to recognize someone who is, in my mind at least, fullbore. He did not do anything exceptional in war or other usual benchmarks to make FbF … but he did something more.

He brought to life to a huge audience the great deeds of others in the naval service. He did it in a way that made people think about the example set and the lessons that could be useful for today and the future.

Brain cancer took him this week, too soon, but he left behind a legacy generations will benefit from.

Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, Neptune’s Inferno, Ship of Ghosts, A Fleet at Flood Tide and more. Regulars here know these books and their author, James D. Hornfischer.

He was always a gentlemen and always responded to DMs and emails. I am mad I never tried harder to have him on Midrats more than just once. I looked at the emails I exchanged with him in 2016 for A Fleet at Flood Tide and we just couldn’t get the schedule right. It’s my fault, really.

A lesson for me here. I’m sorry I didn’t try harder Jim. Your books deserved it. My bust.

James D. Hornfischer; author, historian, navalist, and an all around great guy. Thanks for the gifts you’ve given us all.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent for May 30th 2021

Drought Map for May 27th 2021

Arctic Sea Ice Extent for May 20th 2021

Drought Map for May 20th 2021


1/6/21: Never Forget

Yep, just your average, everyday, well-behaved tour group. And if you believe that, then you’ve drunk deeply of the Trumpist Kool-aid

Drought Map for May 6th 2021

Arctic Sea Ice Extent for May 6th 2021

Drought Map for April 29th 2021

Bee Season

Bee Season

Wednesday, August 28, 1996 by Dave Winer.

It’s bee season here in California.

I sit on the patio by the pool, the usual routine, coffee, a newspaper, music, bees. Look at the trees and swat them away. They’re yellowjackets, they don’t sting, but they sure are annoying.

The first summer here the humans gave in to the bees. We stayed indoors in bee season. I didn’t know how to fight back. Now, four summers into living here, the bees are almost under control. The key — bee traps.

I hang several yellow plastic cylinders from trees and bushes or hooks on the side of the house. There are three tiny entrances to each trap on the bottom. They lead up a funnel into a larger chamber that can hold hundreds of bees. It’s a one-way trip, bees go in but don’t come out.

To lure them into the trap you spread a sticky awful-smelling mixture onto a cotton wad and put it into the trap. Bees love the smell of this stuff. Be careful not to get any on yourself, it doesn’t wash off easily, and for the next few hours you’ll attract the bees, even indoors. Uck! Been there, done that.

I wonder if the bees are philosophical about their condition in the last minutes of life. I wonder what words they have to describe the dilemma. I wonder if mothers and sisters are in there; brothers and fathers. Do they mourn the passing of their friends and family? Do they have bee priests and doctors to provide spiritual context, or to shrug their shoulders and say that nothing can be done?

And how close to the truth could they possibly get when they ask the question we all want to know the answer to: Why? “Why do we live and why am I dying?” the bee could ask in his or her final reflections. I can’t answer the first question, but I know the answer to the second one. I kill bees so I can enjoy a nice August afternoon in peace.

We die a thousand deaths in this life. Sometimes I think that all art comes from grief — the mourning of our own deaths. All victories, attempted ones too, are a denial of our mortality. Anger is our wish to live forever. Love is our knowledge that life is greater than it may seem.

On down days, I see our planet as a huge bee trap for humanity. Nowhere to go from here. Enjoy the ride the best you can, knowing that it’s sure to end sooner than we’d like.

Can we know why we live? No, I don’t think so. I think the answer is there, but the terminology and context would be totally foreign to us. We can’t understand because we are not beings that understand. At our best, we love and create and enjoy. But we remain clueless to our purpose.

I remind myself that I kill bees so I can enjoy a nice August afternoon in peace. I wonder what being I please or not. Who created me and why? When my body feels weak I wonder if some higher being is enjoying his August afternoon at my expense.

I get a phone call from a reporter, but I don’t take it. He wants to know why Mac developers are moving to Windows. Why? Why?

Oh man!