Thursday, March 19, 2015


I apologize, gang. This damn blog has been going nowhere for almost a month and - much as I hate to admit it - I've really don't have any notion where I want to go with it.

Every so often I've sat down at the computer and called up the big white Blogger posting screen and...sat and looked at it. I couldn't find anything to say worth hearing. I know. That's fucked up. But that's the truth.

I just can't stomach writing about politics or foreign affairs. It seems like the Stupidic Orogeny is taking place in human-scale time. Here the GOP is everywhere doubling-down on its lethal dose of crude venality and vicious rapacity; apparently the urge to ram the national dick into the Gilded Age meatgrinder is irresistible to the sort of Ayn-Rand-gobbling idiot capable of being elected in a safe Republican district, whilst the Democratic Party seems to be unwilling to defend the grand bargain that the New Deal secured after seventy years of class warfare hammered away on everyone not already members of the New Century Club.

And abroad? What the hell can you say when the only "democracy" in the Middle East does a 2004 and re-elects its little tinpot Duce, whose only answer to every political problem is force, might, and beatings? When I think of the utter fuckery that this brickheaded sonofabitch is going to lead my country into I could weep.

Sure, I could rip off some sort of incandescent rant about that fuckery, or the domestic fuckery of the domestic fuckers who want to return my country to the open kleptocracy of the fucking Cleveland or Harding Administrations. But why? You all know the problems, and you all know that nothing I can say here will solve them, or even get the addled 27% who long for the firm hand of Daddy Cheney on the wheel to agree that this nation would be more secure, more prosperous, and more promising if that vampire sonofabitch was buried at a crossroads with garlic in his lying fucking mouth and a stake through his shriveled secondhand heart.

I don't have a battle to write about until May when I'm planning on doing the 1422 Siege (and Fall) of Constantinople. I'm frankly having a difficult time dredging up anything interesting to tell you about the end of my active duty service and the beginning of my USAR time back in the late Eighties and early Nineties.

And everything else is just home and family, or pastimes, and I don't find those - generally, unless there's something larger to be said within them or about them - any more interesting to write about than you would find to read about them.


I'll try and come up with something here soon. I'm not sure what it will be. But it's either that or turn the lights out in the old place and shut the door for good.


Ael said...

I want to hear more about the Oregon countryside and the funny things that people do to prevent hills sliding around.

Big Daddy said...

After 9 years of blogging, you're overdue for a sabbatical. Also if you can do it without breaching confidentiality I'm sure your job turns up enough WTFery to do something like ASHI's Postcards from the Field from home inspectors.

Leon said...

As Big Daddy said, if you need some time off - take it. Go do whimsical stuff, learn a new language, get a makeover, take up under-water basket weaving.

And then return with 50 blogposts about it. We'll be counting.

BigFred said...

You can put of pictures of cats, Chief and I will check in every day. Or NOT put up pictures of cats and I will check in every day.

Lisa said...

Yes, your loyal readers anticipate your thoughts and observations.

I'm glad to hear you're well, and just in a quandary. I understand the feeling well.

We'll be standing by while you gain your bearings ...

FDChief said...

Ael: I've been trying to come up with some interesting things to say about regional geology...but, frankly, I've covered the Great Floods and the Columbia River Basalts and the local volcanoes...and after that there's not a whole lot to say. Let me try and come up with some sort of landslides thing...there IS something there, but I need to think of how I want to tell it.

And for the's just that I spent so much time here discussing politics and foreign and military affairs that I'm more than a little at sea trying to figure out what to talk about. I think I didn't realize the extent to which those things were my stock-in-trade and now that I've run through the stock I'm kind of adrift trying to figure out whether I have anything else worth saying...

mike said...


I second Ael's recommendation. And it would be great to hear your gauge on 'landslides' if that is the what you decide.

And please tell us more of 'stupidic orogeny'. What is the cause? Is there some type of societal subduction zone dumbing us down? Tectonic tomfoolery? Cretinous drift?

Anonymous said...

yeah, I don't think another chewing gum dancing video is gonna fix this one.

And Jon Stewart's packing up and going somewhere else, which is understandable, doing the same stuff for some 15 years now will get boring.

For me, there's no cause to rally for, no leadership to support. I can't see myself getting all excited about Hillary. Here in Kansas, after being thoroughly whacked 2 elections in a row, the KDP is worth little more than day-old shit, and nobody wants to run it.

Family, animals, sports are fine, did you know Wushox beat Jayhawks? Whoop Ti Diddly Do!

Ergo, ennui.


Anonymous said...

I hear you...this is why I've more or less fled to my personal pagany blog and have scarcely nodded at Herlander for many weks now.

It just feels pointless, you know? Like America has gotten so stupid and/or apathetic that nothing works and until it gets horrid enough to shake everyone awake, nothing WILL work. But I am very afraid of what will go on in the interim period.

So, I focus on my little bit of earth, my family and personal pursuits and try to keep my mind from unraveling in distress.

Don Francisco said...

Take a break if you need to, write about what interests you. Sometimes I get bored of my own interests, a need space before I can return and enjoy them.

For what its worth, I'd be interested in more geology stories.

Ael said...

Thanks Chief, I appreciate it.

Last time I was down your way, chasing around the coast, I remember hearing about a bunch of stone trees stuck in the sand somewhere. I think it was near some headland that should have washed into the sea ages ago.

FDChief said...

There's several of these so-galled "ghost forests" along the Oregon and Washington coast, Ael. The best known in Oregon is at a place called Neskowin. There's a pretty decent summary of the current state of thinking about these things here:

The tl:dr version is that between big subduction earthquakes the NAM/JdF plates lock up. Convergence doesn't stop, so the shortening has to go somewhere and where it does is in the form of bending and uplift of the overriding slab - the western portions of Oregon and Washington.

When the Big One hits the slabs unlock and move - the North American plate west, the Juan de Fuca east - and the upper plate also shakes out all that compression and bending (it's rock and doesn't WANT to be all bent upwards, after all...) and in the process the entire coastline (or the portion effected by the unlocking, anyway) drops - as much as 10-15 feet, so far as we can tell.

This has the effect of turning upland forests into beaches or even offshore bars. The effect on the people living in those forests...well, you can imagine.

The ghost forest of Neskowin is part of a great story, the discovery of the exact date of the last great subduction earthquake on the Northwest coast. But it's already been told by the USGS Publication "The Orphan Tsunami of 1700" here:

Still...might be worth a short post going over the general points...

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