Driving On The Amalfi Coast

This was one of the best drives of my life.  If you ever have the chance to see the Amalfi Coast, see it.  This is not some ride through the same sea-side villages you’ve seen in other places:  it is something very different.  It’s a community that is literally built into the cliffs and rocks that overlook the sea, and this gives it a feel of something like a human bat colony, or an ancient hive.  Photos can never really do it justice, but I hope they can give the reader an idea of what to expect.

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Some Battles Are Worth Fighting, And Others Are Not

Historical opinion is often divided on the subject of famous military commanders.  The good favor of historians may be divided with regard to their abilities, their judgments, and their battlefield results; and this favor can shift with time as readily as sand drifts aggregate and dissipate in the desert.  Douglas MacArthur is one example.  Some see him as a brilliant strategist and tactician, using sophisticated combinations to outflank and out-maneuver his opponents; others see only a vain egoist whose achievements were obscured by his personal flaws.

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David Mamet’s Film “Redbelt” (2008) (Podcast)

In this podcast we discuss David Mamet’s 2008 film Redbelt.  This is a great movie, and a worthy addition to his long line of films that explore the moral and ethical problems that men face as they try to reconcile their personal creeds with the world’s corrupting influences.  How we resolve this struggle will define what kind of man we are.  Mamet instinctively understands the necessity of masculine virtus in a world characterized by shifting loyalties, fair-weather friends, and moral corruption; this makes him, in a sense, the most “virtuous” filmmaker today.

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A Few Traditional Irish Recipes

I recently picked up an interesting cookbook at a used book sale:  George L. Thomson’s Traditional Irish Recipes.  Thomson apparently traveled all over the country to select the most traditional representations of the nation’s cuisine.  Hearty and relatively straightforward in preparation, many of these recipes make great additions to your kitchen arsenal.  I’ve decided to present a few of them here.  The average person may find it difficult to obtain traditional Irish ingredients like eel, cockles, nettle tops, and carragheen moss, so I’ve made an effort to pick recipes that are likely to be more practical.  I’ve prepared each of these dishes and can tell you that they are very good.

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The H2 Sierra From Delta2Alpha: A Very Impressive Knife


Last week I was excited to have delivered to my office Delta2Alpha’s premier folding blade, the H2 Sierra.  My first impression after unpacking it was this:  this is an impressive, serious blade.  What I mean is that you can just tell this knife was made by serious people, for serious people.  It is not some “just good enough” type of thing you’d find in your standard megastore.  It’s not even the kind of thing you’d find in  your standard sporting-goods or outdoors store.

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Essential Clam Chowder


There are two foundational chowder recipes to be familiar with:  fish chowder and clam chowder.  We have already dealt with fish chowder in an earlier article, and will now talk about its sibling relation.  The clam chowder I know best is the classic New England clam (or quahog) chowder; this recipe was adapted from one found in Jasper White’s 50 Chowders, a book I highly recommend for the serious enthusiast.

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The Dragunov Sniper Rifle (SVD)


Those who follow the war in Syria on YouTube or Twitter will likely be familiar with the unique profile of the Soviet sniper rifle officially known as the SVD (Samozariyadnyia Vintokvka Dragunova). Unofficially, of course, it goes by the name Dragunov.  The weapon has a long record of reliable service, having first appeared in 1963.  It has seen action in every conflict in which the Soviet Union, Russia, and her allies have been involved since that time.  In Syria, it has seen use all over the theater of conflict, in both urban settings and in the countryside.

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General William Slim’s Challenges In The Burmese Campaign


If someone were to select the most forgotten and God-forsaken theater of the Second World War, he would unhesitatingly point to the Burmese theater, assuming he even knew it existed.  In this obscure country, hard-pressed and dreadfully neglected British forces fought a tenacious campaign against the Japanese that deserves to be far better known.  The general who led the fighting there must rank as one of the least appreciated commanders of the war:  William Slim.

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A Most Quiet Weapon: The De Lisle Carbine


The stories of forgotten weapons make for interesting reading.  One such weapon was Britain’s “De Lisle carbine,” which remains one of the more obscure small arms stories of the Second World War.  It is perhaps the most quiet weapon ever produced.  Very few of them were made, and its full service record will probably never be fully known.  But it does have an interesting story behind it and deserves more recognition than it has received.

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