Tuesday, June 9, 2020


Hang on Sarn't Major, I think the Sarge has an announcement!*
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Charles Johnson)

Now that I have your attention.

Coming along nicely, innit?

Yes, juvat and Mrs. J had an Eagle do a flyover. Guy almost clipped the roof but hey, it was still special. (Yeah, I totally made that up...)


There is a new page on the side bar called The Fiction of The Chant. No, no, it's not a story about this blog being totally made up or anything (though some have argued that I'm not a real person and am actually a major international conglomerate based in Singapore, that's a secret by the way) but rather it is a place that I have decided to keep links to all of the historical fiction I have inflicted upon thee over the years.

Why do that?

Well, an old friend of mine asked about the recent installment of fiction, the D-Day episodes, so I sent her a bunch of links to other stuff I had written. And, as the bug to actually "write the damn book already" has bitten. I decided I needed those links as well. Some of those bits and pieces will be expanded into books someday. Or so I hope.

To get there, go to the sidebar and click on the link pointed to by the big red arrow. (For the colorblind among you, it's the only arrow in the graphic and no, there is no arrow on the sidebar and if you click on the link next to the arrow in the graphic, you'll only annoy yourself. Trust me.)

The page that you will be "magically" transported to will look something like this -

The guy in the painting is my office clerk and no, I don't know why he dresses that way. Anyhoo, as you can see there is a header (describing the series) and then the links to the posts which make up the series in chronological order.

Now, you're probably wondering, what this has to do with anything and is this all I could come up with for a post today? Um, yes, then again, no.

For you see, I have decided to continue this series of D-Day posts well into the summer and perhaps beyond. The goings on in the real world are far too disturbing and obviously being stage managed by powers who are apparently beyond the reach and ken of our once-useful Justice Department. Yes, it is yet another transparent attempt by all that is evil to overturn the results of the last election by stealing this one. Bastiges.

So I bring you historical fiction! (Sorry if it ain't your bag, I get that.) Now this will be somewhat interactive, for instance, "Hey Sarge, why aren't there any one-legged, environmentalists in the story?" When that gets asked, I'll somehow fit one of those characters in, if it makes sense. Maybe there's this guy who lost his leg in the First World War and now sells newspapers on the streets of Paris, and he really, really, really, likes trees. Maybe he spies on the Boche¹, I dunno. Make a suggestion, I'll consider it.

I know I'll have to expand the tale beyond Jack and Bill. Now I also have to add more Germans in since Horst and Jan (actually he's Polish) were both captured on D-Day. So expect a tie in with the crew of Panzer 413 and their outfit showing up at some point.

This is an experiment of sorts and is really the only way I'll ever get a leg up on this book thing I keep meaning to write. So I'm combining my blogging and book writing activities. It may not be full fiction all the time, you'll still get your weekly Mondays with Juvat, there will no doubt be some Tuna in the mix, not to mention a ration of Beans. I may post something non-fictional from time to time, writer's block strikes the best of us. Will LUSH ever post?

Who knows?

But that's it, that's the plan. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Summer lies on the horizon, I can see the top of her masts. It'll be here before you know it.

I pray sanity sails in her wake...

* The actual caption was "Hohenfels, Germany - Maj. Gen. David Wood, commanding general, 38th Infantry Division, and Sgt. Maj. James Martin, command sergeant major, 38th Infantry Division, visit the operations center during Saber Junction 17 at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany May 4, 2017.
¹ The Boche - French slang term for the Germans, not affectionate. Allegedly derived from Parisian slang, an abbreviation of caboche, meaning a big, thick head. As in "not too bright."


  1. A little consolidation helps Sarge. Looking forward to more of the HF(historical fiction). As to sanity arriving soon I have my doubts, more riot and sedition is on the agenda this election year. Well at least the potatoes were put in yesterday.....96 for the high.......my sweat was perspiring.

    1. The thermometer mounted at the back of Chez Sarge indicated 94° around 1700 (mind you, it has direct sunlight on it at that time). Five hours later it indicated 62°. Air was awfully sticky, we're heading into the humid season methinks.

      Sedition, it's real, it's out there.

    2. Sedition, it's almost like one group does it every major election cycle...

      Been around high 80s down here, but we had 4 days of solid slow rain with scattered toad-stranglers, so the humidity is very high and the outside world smells moldy. Bleh.

    3. Oh yeah, the outdoors smells moldy. Swampy, humid, fetid - all these spring to mind when the summer heat starts to arrive. Well, in the areas with water, pretty sure Arizona doesn't have that problem.

    4. It does where it is wet all year long.

  2. Very neat Sarge!! Consolidation is a handy thing indeed. Besides, you have a lot of very good company of working on your fiction and throwing stuff up onto the blog...just look at Peter at BRM or Old NFO, or Eaton Rapids Joe, or Daddy Bear...they all write and share their stuff, and ask for input.

    As to sanity...it has definitely sailed...and that is all I'm gonna say as it is way to early to get my blood pressure up. On the up side, it would appear that it is ok to go to funerals now, so I am sure we will be all able to go to the voting booth come November, so I would assume it is ok to go to church also.

    Yeah, I know all about assuming...sigh...

    1. I am holding my breath to see "What's next?" in the world around me. At least in the fictional arena, I know what's next.

      Eaton Rapids Joe? I will check him out!

      Stay calm Suz, I was getting to fretting constantly then remembered that things happen for a reason and that the Creator has the final say in all of these antics playing out in the world. Though having patience and faith can be a bit trying at times.

    2. Well, God, when he gave us His only Son, has stepped back and is patiently waiting for us to be adults.

      The Morningstar, on the otherhand, seems to be very active in this mundane world.

    3. You might have a point there Beans.

    4. Who would have expected the Prince of Lies to follow the 'Don't mess directly with the hairless apes' rule? Oh, that's right, God.

      On the other hand, his rather hard-fisted attempts to get us to pay attention and to punish us for gross stupidities was rather biblical in its breathe and scope. Much rather be treated as adults that can choose rather than as children who are stupid and need to be punished, even if that means The Fallen One can mess around with us directly.

    5. Unfortunately there are a lot of ill-behaved children running about masquerading as adults these days,

  3. I'm hoping sanity is the bone in her teeth! Push it out front!! Don't drag the bag....

    Maybe label the Histerical Fraction B-24?..... Or PBY? It's a Consolidated product, yeah?

    100's here this week, the cucumbers are starting to look frazzled in the late afternoon. Hurry up and fruit!!!!

    1. Hhmm, Privateer would be a good name for it!

      Sounds awfully hot down there!

    2. Hot? Yes, yes it is. But at least it's humid (89% forecast for today), so we've got that going for us.

      Pretty good photo you posted of yourself, you've taken to calling yourself an office clerk now though?

    3. Oh that's right, TO&E doesn't call for you, Tuna, and Beans to have an office clerk...

      You know it's not me, way too much hair left. Way too dark as well.

      Maybe back when I was nobbut a SSgt?

    4. Positively balmy up Kerr county way... We are at least 10% abouve you on the humidity. Like a warm wet wool blanket on July 4th..... yum....

    5. Doesn't sound pleasant. No, not at all!

  4. Sarge, historical fiction can be great (I have certainly enjoyed yours!). I do not know if you take requests, but something from Poland circa 1939 would be interesting (a very different perspective from both sides).

    Congratulations on the house as well.

    1. I like the Poland idea. I didn't kill off Jan Kołodziej as I found him to be an interesting guy. A fellow in need of a back story, which you have given me the spark to create. So yeah, I do requests.


    2. And would give you the ability to write about the early Cold War and the effects of Sovietization of Eastern Europe. Jan goes home, goes "No Way!" and bails, or finds out that due to his serving with Germany, he has a price on his head or something. (Not up to what happened to all the peoples after the war, in detail. In generalisms, yes, in details, no.)

    3. Now that's WAY down the road.

  5. Why pumpkin pants and a velvet doublet? Because, at the time those were the height of fashion, it was farking cold. The 1500's to early 1600's was a cold run in to the 1630-1650 mini-ice age. And in England and along the Channel, it was wet and cold and windy. Did I say cold? So in a time of cold, poofy clothes and multi-layers were always in.

    You see the same thing, well, not as poofy, during the Middle Ages Ice Age, starting around 1300ish. Much layering of clothing, with jackets and jupons (hey, poofy padded jackets, hmmm) and coats were all the rage.

    It's like the mini-skirt theory of economics, except applied to layers of clothing. When more layers are 'the normal' it is cold, when less are normal it is warm.

    Then, of course, mankind had to mess up the clothing thermometer by creating central air and super textiles that breathe or don't, so what used to be handled by multi-multi layers of natural fibers are now handled by 2-3 layers of man-made fibers.

    Clothing - it's not just for decoration.

    And some debate about the lace collar being for keeping the neck warm or covering up syphilis scars or other pox scars. Or both. Or maybe just a stupid fashion statement. Or all three...

    1. I'd vote for all three.

      Standby for a favorite rant...

      Why the HELL do we men wear ties? Why, what a useless garment that is!


    2. The neck-tie is a derivation/development of the neck scarf, meant originally to protect the front of the shirt from food and other stuff, while also closing the neck of the shirt.

      Time passes, and a basic piece of cloth evolved into one of the most expensive pieces of a man's wardrobe, all to be expendable. Which... shows that one is rich via the concept of conspicuous consumption.

      In earlier times, sumptuary laws covered who could wear what grade of fabric, what colors, what actual pieces of clothing etc. Real laws, enforceable by seizure of property or criminal time. Now? Sumptuary laws have been absorbed into the morals and mores of society.

      (I really hated having to wear longsleeve work shirts, a tie, dress slacks, dress shoes, socks and of course a t-shirt in an office environment when the ladies could wear skirts without hose, sleeve-less tops and then complain about how cold the office was. Grrr.)

    3. Office attire, we hates it.

  6. And... pumpkin pants (yes, that's what reenactors call them) are surprisingly comfortable to wear, allowing a heavy fabric to be used, and not having to worry so much about the wear of the fabric caused by bending and creasing the materials.

    Then there's the defensive advantage. More layers of cloth allows for a body-armor thingy from the layers of cloth. Especially as the layers are at different angles to each other, one is vertically warpish (the side-to-side of the cloth is used up-down) while the next is weftish (the length of the cloth is used up-down) while the next layer is at a warp/weft angle (cloth is turned 45 degrees and cut on the bias.) Three to six layers of even shirt linen done this way and sewn together or even just layered provides a surprisingly effective layer of protection. Change the top 3 layers to a heavy corduroy or velvet or wool or a combo of the three, and defensive values shoot up.

    1. Sounds awful when you consider that folks weren't much into bathing in those days. I also doubt the peasants had anything like that.

      (Note to self, never post graphics of old-timey clothing unless you want Beans to go haring off on a tangent. Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

    2. Well, about that bathing thing. Yes/No. They changed their underclothes, if they had them. They washed their bodies using sponges and waste cloth. They were surprisingly clean. Think Europeans about the time of WWII.

      Remember. COLD. As in FRIGGIN COLD. And stone buildings didn't have a lot of R-value insulation in them. COLD.

      During the heat of the day, the well-dressed person took layers off, or took a siesta. As it got colder, add layers.

      The outermost layer of clothes were washed more often than you'd think. The middle layers stayed surprisingly clean. Again, cold.

      Peasants actually tended to be much cleaner than portrayed in movies and tv. Duh. Why? Because the body-dirt got into everything. Food, clothing, bedding, wood, everything.

      Again, we have based our 'understanding' of the timeperiods based upon our 'feelings' and, in a lot of instances, really bad pseudo-science (especially during the Victorian Era) that was used to justify the treatment of the lesser classes - "Oooh, look at all the great unwashed. They suck. They are stupid. They must be ruled."

      Sure, they didn't use soap like we Americans do today. So? You can get surprisingly clean rubbing off the sweat and skin debris with sand, or water, or using rushes, or cloth. The Greeks used olive oil, vinegar and a thin board to scrape their flesh. It works. Works surprisingly well.

      Yes, there were people who didn't wash much or whose clothes were filthy. But they weren't stuck in offices all day or in 'society' amongst the middle or upper classes.

      Field hands? Quarry workers or Miners? Yeah, dirty. But go home, take off the outer layers, rinse off the chunks, and get on with it.

      As to body odors and such, yeah, some stank, but perfumes and essential oils and such were very popular. Sweet-smelling herbs were stuffed into clothing.

      Sure, the concept of 'Bad Air' being the cause of disease is not quite correct. But think of it. Stinky smelly people get sick real fast. People who smell 'good' and were 'clean' tended to not get sick real fast. Dirty environments are sick environments. Not understanding germs and viruses, they used observation to come to conclusions. Some of them, like Malodorous Air, were pretty spot on.

      One of the greatest gifts to the American Revolution was Baron Steuben teaching the amateur Americans how to keep a 'clean' camp. Sure, not clean by our standards, but clean enough for most circumstances.

      And, as to that whole lotsa clothing thing? People in the USA tend to forget we are closer to the Equator than most of Europe. And we are fed by warm currents on the East Coast, while Europe is cooled by cold currents. What works for England or Germany doesn't work for Rhode Island or even Maine, let alone Georgia or Florida.

    3. Those "warm currents" you mention, didn't reach Vermont when I was a kid.

    4. Do you think "Social Distancing" would have been observed more readily if Nanny banned and confiscated all the deodorants, antiperspirants, perfumes, etc.? Old Guns ( I served a spell on a diesel boat where the showers were operational every 10 days. If a 90 day deployment you brought 10 sets of clothing including socks and skivvies. The tug that brought fresh food and mail out to us said they could find us by the green cloud.)

    5. I suppose you got used to it after a while?

      (One would hope anyway!)

    6. (Don McCollor)...One 60's/70's diesel sub briefly had a skunk (de-scented) as a mascot aboard. When learning of it, the Captain asked "but about the smell?"...He was told that the skunk would get used to it...

  7. I have to add a bugle call:


    OK, TWO bugle calls (technically, this next video has 3 calls)


    1. I set that General Quarters as my general ring tone. Ring for my wife calling from her cell phone is Morning Colors, our landline is "Adjutant's Call." All distinctive, all attention getting, and all can be heard above the noise of the shop.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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