Archive for July, 2019

Khan of Cons

July 23, 2019

This could almost be my new hero.  Remember, I said almost.

One finger plugging his ear against a flood of lies, the other miming a response.

Going Back … Way Back

July 17, 2019

I sometimes wish that I could go back to that broken, crime-infested place my ancestors came from.  It’s a beautiful, endless green meadow sloping down to the beach-fringed sea.  Horses, cattle and sheep graze in the many pastures cleft by ancient roads that meander through the countryside.  There’s one big problem, though: the only jobs in town (and there aren’t many of ’em) are at a big golf course perched on a sandy bluff above the gnawing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.  My distant cousins earn their keep spraying alternate doses of pesticides and fertilizers on the greens and fairways.  Callaways and Titleists are now the only things grazing this carefully manicured grass.

Four hundred years ago or so, settler colonists and absentee landlords imposed their rule –and their religion– at the point of the sword and musket barrel.  The settlers defined their crimes as the law of the land, and ours as treason –punished by hanging or summary execution before the firing squad.  One hundred years ago, at rifle-point, they were driven back to a far corner of the island.  They remain there —por ahora— to this day.  These days, we have a new absentee landlord in our tiny western hamlet: a German immigrant whose ancestor founded his family’s fortune on the unholy trinity of horsemeat, whores and gambling.  Artful dealing ensured that the house always won the poker game.

Have you guessed where I came from?  Do you know where my ancestors were before that?  And before that?  Do you understand why I (probably) won’t go back?


Два капитана II … + V

July 3, 2019

Just barely in under the wire at the very end of the Horse Month, and the news definitely counts as Yang Metal [gēng 庚] above Yang Fire [ 午] … under the Boar’s yin water branch [hài 亥]:

A fire aboard a Russian navy research submersible has killed 14 crew members, the Russian defense ministry has reported.  The crew was poisoned by toxic fumes as the vessel was “taking measurements in Russian territorial waters” on Monday.  President Putin said that of the 14 dead, seven held the rank of captain first class, and two were holders of the Hero of Russia award.  The ministry gave no details about the type of vessel, but Russian media reports say it was [the AS-12 Losharik,] a nuclear mini-submarine used for special operations.  The submarine is now at Severomorsk, the main base of the Russian Northern Fleet.

Here are the feng shui aspects of this tragedy, clearly revealed in the luminous glare of 20-20 hindsight:

  • the Horse month is characterized by a Yang Metal celestial stem and a Yang Fire earthly branch: (ferrous) metal over (blazing) fire.  Fire within/beneath steel structures can be expected (e.g., Philadelphia Energy Solutions).
  • 2019 is a yin earth [jǐ 己] year characterized by the Boar’s yin water [hài 亥] earthly branch.  Yin is cool/cold.  Yin upon yin, cold upon cold. The Arctic Ocean (even in June) is some of the coldest water on earth: the yin-est of yin water.
  • The Severomorsk littoral is located in the north-northwest sector of the Russian Federation.  Exactly the sort of place that Tai Sui is keeping a very close eye on during the Year of the Boar.  Perhaps something he saw from his celestial throne offended the Duke of Heaven’s sense of propriety.

AS-12 Losharik is designated for research, rescue and special military operations and is operated by the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research, reporting to the military intelligence agency GRU.  The nickname “лошарик” “Losharik” comes from the vessel’s multi-spherical hull construction and was taken from a Russian cartoon character Losharik, a toy horse consisting of small spheres -–the name losharik is a [mashup] of “лошадь” (“loshad“) –horse and “шарик” (“sharik“) –small sphere.


You may have noticed that “Losharik” is also an anagram for the English term “shark oil.”  Just a coincidence, I’m sure.  Just as it’s surely a coincidence that the horse is the emblem of Russian tech giant Yandex, also recently in the news during the Horse Month.  Perhaps it’s worth noting that the Yandex name itself is a punning reference to the yang-yin dyad: the Russian word for “index” is … yindex.  How cool is that!?

Booby-trapped dummy cable tap as a honeypot lure? That would take some imaginatively devious thinking.