The Grey Man- Tease…

As always, unedited, at 60K words… Getting there…

Missed Opportunity

Aaron was bored to tears, glancing at the clock on the dash, it showed 2215, meaning he had another fifteen minutes before he could head back to Fort Stockton and call it a night. Sector six was fourteen kinds of boring, especially on a weeknight, and even worse since he was sitting north of Imperial, on FM 1053, running radar and looking for anything unusual in vehicles coming across the county line. Damn druggies, those assholes are why I’m out here. I know the sheriff wants to catch ‘em, and it’s pretty much a known fact that…

The radar alert beeped as he saw a set of headlights coming north, it locked at 78mph, and he u-turned across the road as the blur of an oilfield truck went blowing by. He keyed the mic, “Dispatch, two-oh-two, northbound ten fifty-three north of Imperial, pursuit of a white oilfield truck, speeding seventy-eight miles an hour.” Flipping on the lights, he said, “Lights, siren” for the body camera to pick it up and wiggled himself more deeply in the seat as he accelerated hard after the truck.

Dispatch came back with a laconic, “Roger, two-oh-two.”

A couple of minutes later, he still hadn’t gotten the truck to pull over, and he’d crossed into Crane County, keying up again, he said, “Dispatch, two-oh-two, in Crane County, still on ten fifty-three north, vehicle is not stopping. Standby for Texas plate.”

“Roger, two-oh-two. I’ll landline Crane dispatch. You want to go up Law One?”

“Ten-four, switching.” He reached down and changed the channel, passed the plate number and heard a Crane County deputy respond.

“Two-oh-two, one-fifty-one. I’m west out of Crane on three twenty-nine. You there yet?”

“Coming up on it, still running about eighty. I’ve got ‘em lit up, but they… Just blew the stop sign at three twenty-nine. Still north on ten fifty-three.” Aaron slammed on his brakes, scanned both ways and accelerated through the intersection.

“Roger, see your lights.”

Dispatch came up on Law One, “Two-oh-two, plate comes back to twenty-sixteen white Dodge thirty-five hundred. Registered to TPO.” Aaron double clicked his mic in response.

Aaron glanced to the right and saw the blue and red lights, “Got you.” He glanced back to see the truck slowing and signaling as it pulled off the road. “And they’re stopping. Quarter mile north of three twenty-nine on ten fifty-three. I’ll be out on the stop.”

The Crane deputy pulled in behind Aaron, “One-fifty-one is out on assist for Pecos County.”

Aaron got out and waited for the Crane deputy, as he walked up, Aaron stuck out his hand, “Aaron Miller, thanks for the backup. You want driver or passenger’s side?”

“Hector Ramos, I’ll take passenger. It’s your stop.”

“Okay, let’s do this.” They walked up to the truck together, and Aaron reached down pressing his fingers on the taillight, as he glanced over. Ramos was doing the same thing and Aaron chuckled. He shined his light in the flat bed, seeing the normal detritus of oil field equipment, a welder and five gallon cooler. He unconsciously checked his pistol moved freely in the holster as he got to the driver’s door and gently tapped on the window. Turning his light, he saw a bleary eyed, unshaven face staring back at him, “Roll the windows down and turn off the truck please.”

The window came down slowly, and the truck was shut off, as a strong odor of alcohol wafted out of the cab, “License and registration, please.”

The driver hiccupped, and slurred, “I… Wall… Billfol? Regishrashun? Whhaazat?” as he fumbled his wallet out of his back pocket, fighting with the seatbelt. He dug through the wallet for a few seconds, spilling items all over the cab, as Ramos looked at the passed out passenger and reached in feeling for a pulse to make sure he was still alive.

He finally handed his license to Aaron, and Aaron said, “Ramos, can you check the glove box for the registration?”

“Will do, this one is alive, but drunk as hell.”

Aaron glanced at the license, saw that it was an occupational license, and sighed, Shit, this is all I need. I’m screwed for getting home anywhere near on time. “Mr. White, I pulled you over for speeding, but I see you are driving a commercial vehicle on an occupational license, and I need you to step out of the truck, please. I would like to have you do some tests for me.”

White looked at him, “Tesh? Wha kinda tesh? We… Joe too ineb… druck to dribe… Gott go work.”

“Sir, you need to get out of the truck, please.”

White fumbled with the door handle, and finally got the door open, then tried to get out without unfastening the seatbelt. Ramos came around the back of the truck, “Need a hand?”

Aaron grinned ruefully, “Please. I was supposed to be getting off right now.”

Ramos grinned, “Sucks to be you. You want me to do the SFST[1]?”

“Am I going to screw you over?”

“Nah, I came on early tonight. If you want to write the speeding, I’ll do the SFST and haul them in. I’m a lot closer than you are.”

Aaron smiled, “Thanks, I owe ya one!”

As they were trying to get Mr. White to comply with any of the tests, a black motorcycle whizzed past, turning down the dirt road into the oil patch. Aaron heard the bike slow, then nothing, then start up again.  A niggling thought was running around his hind brain, but he couldn’t get it to surface, as they finally had to wrestle Mr. White into Ramos’ Tahoe, then haul the unconscious drunk over and deposit him in the back with White. After profusely thanking Ramos, Aaron hopped back in his Tahoe and pulled around the now locked oilfield truck. He turned into the same dirt road he thought the bike had gone down, and saw a reflector hanging from a single bar gate.

He shrugged and backed out, keyed his mic, and said, “Dispatch, Two-oh-two, headed for the barn. Crane has the DUI in custody. ETA is twenty minutes.”

“Roger two-oh-one. Status on speeding ticket?”

Aaron shook his head, and keyed the mic, “Roger, wrote it, but he was too drunk to sign it. Also driving commercial vehicle on an occupational license. I’ll run that when I get back.”

“Ten-four.”

***

Sunday morning, everyone gathered around the kitchen table for their weekly breakfast together. As the old man pulled the biscuits out of the oven, and set them on the island, he asked, “Anything more on the Deen killing?”

Matt shook his head, “Nope, nothing but dead ends. But I still wonder about how that motorcycle rider got through that gate. I still think…”

Aaron exploded, “Dammit!”

Everybody stopped at looked at him, including the kids. He looked around ashamedly, “Uh, sorry. I just remembered something from that stop the other night.” Turning to the old man he said, “We stopped a drunk up in Crane, just north of three twenty-nine, and I saw a big bike go by, then turn down the first oilfield road up there. I turned around in that road, and there was a gate, but I didn’t check to see if it was locked or where the motor went.

The old man looked up, “Well shit. It rained last night, so probably no tracks. Do you… That was the one you got an assist on, right?”

“Yes, sir. Deputy Hector Ramos. He was just coming on, and he took the drunks.”

“I’ll call up there tomorrow, and maybe go pay them a visit. You said it was the first road to the right, north of three twenty-nine, right?”

“Yep.”

“Do you remember who the truck was registered to?”

“Trans Pecos.”

Matt and Jesse both looked up at that, and Matt asked, “Do you know which part of the patch they were heading for?”

Aaron shook his head, “No, the driver was too drunk to answer anything coherently, and I never got anything from the passenger. But if they were with TPO, I think that road I turned down was one of their leases.”

Matt glanced at the old man, “Can I go with you, if you go up there?” The old man nodded, and Matt turned to Jesse, “You think Alton would want to work the store tomorrow? And maybe RO if anybody wants to shoot?”

Jesse shrugged, “Probably. If he doesn’t, I’m sure one of the others will. I wonder if that supervisor… Jim Owens, yeah, him. I wonder if he’s in charge of those leases too?”

Matt answered, “I’ll call him tomorrow. If he’s not, he probably knows who is.”

The old man cautioned, “Let’s wait until we talk to Pete, over in Crane and see if he’s got anything. Also, I want to make sure we know which lease Aaron saw the bike go down. It might not have been a TPO lease, since Apache is also up in Crane and north to Midland.”

Aaron sighed, “Sorry folks. I fu… screwed that one up.”

Jace piped up, “Daddy, you screw up?”

Everybody broke out laughing, startling Yogi and Boo Boo, who started barking, setting off another round of laughter.

***

The old man pulled into the sheriff’s department, let Yogi visit his tree, grabbed a cup of coffee, and headed to his office. Booting his computer, he searched for a google map of Crane County. Hitting the speaker, he dialed the phone and waited through three rings, “Crane County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Esposito. May I help you?”

“Pete, John Cronin. How are you doing?”

“JAFM, you know the drill.”

The old man laughed, “Heard that. Got a minute?”

“As long as it doesn’t involve me working, sure!”

“You got a DUI up there named White? Picked up last Tuesday? It was an assist to one of our deputies, Miller.”

He heard typing and a laugh on the other end, “Nope, he bonded out Thursday. That’s all you needed, right?”

“Okay, Pete, I get it. You’re having a Monday. But I’m trying to work out a murder down here, and it’s possible this guy or his buddy have a clue or two. Can I take a ride up there and talk to you?”

Pete came back, “Sure, let us get the usual Monday BS out of the way. Say eleven?”

“Sounds good. I’m bringing one of my reserves that’s been chasing this case since he was in on the original response. He’s a retired Marine, got his shit together.”

“Okay, see y’all then. Lunch is on you.”

“Deal.”

Lisa stuck her head in the door, “Morning, Captain. It’s that time…”

The old man growled, “Gah, one thing I’m not going to miss is these damn Monday morning meetings.” Getting up, he grabbed his wheel book, went by the break room and got a refill on the coffee. Stumping into the conference room, he took his accustomed seat on the far side of the table, nodding to the jail captain and Attorney Randall.

A half hour into the meeting, it was finally his turn, “Status is basically no change on the Deen murder investigation. One possible lead I’ll be checking out this morning. Did hear back from the Rangers, one Ernesto Rivas is gone. He took a plea bargain for thirty years, and he’s rolling on the cartel.” A round of hand claps, and a few laughs followed that, and the old man continued, “Anybody interested in my job, come see me. I’m getting short and I need to start a turnover, right sheriff?”

Jose nodded, “Yep. Otherwise I’m gonna appoint somebody.” Another round of laughter followed that, and the old man motioned toward the door with his head. The sheriff nodded, and he slipped quietly out of the meeting.

Matt was waiting in his office, playing with Yogi and laughing at his antics as he ‘fought’ with the Kong toy full of treats. “What did you do to him, Matt?”

“Stuffed some peanut butter in there.”

“Dammit, he’s gonna be going nuts all day with that thing. That means we gotta take him with us.” Grabbing his hat, he snatched the toy, “Com’on Yogi, let’s go.”

Thirty minutes later, the old man turned into the first dirt road north of three twenty-nine, sure enough, there was a bar across the road, and a reflector. Pulling up to it, he nodded, “TPO fifty-three.” Backing up, he headed for Crane as Matt dialed his cell.

The old man could only hear one side of the conversation, but what he was hearing he didn’t like. Matt was saying, “No, sir. I understand your firing all of them, but we’d really like…” A pause, then, “Yes, sir. Could we get access, maybe in an hour?” Matt looked over at him, mouthing, “Thirteen hundred,” and the old man nodded. “Yes, sir. One o’clock would work. TPO fifty-three. Thank you, sir.”

Matt sighed in disgust, “That was Owens, he’s the district manager for all these sites. He fired everybody up there when he came in to get the truck and found them, quote, all fucked up, unquote. He said he fired all of them on the spot, and there wasn’t a motorcycle there.”

The old man shook his head and murmured, “Another day at the orifice.” Minutes later, he pulled into the Crane County Sheriff’s Office. They walked through the door, Yogi on his leash, and Chief Deputy Pete Esposito met them at the counter. Shaking hands, the old man said, “Pete, Matt Carter. He’s been working the Deen murder for the last month or so.”

Esposito shook Matt’s hand and said, “That’s gotta suck. Whole lot of nothing for evidence, right?”

 

Both the old man and Matt shook their heads, and the old man said, “Nope. And what we have is so damn generic it fits probably two thirds of the motorcycles, and at least that many people with nineteen-elevens.”

Esposito whistled, “Damn, I didn‘t realize it was that bad.”

“Even the Rangers are drawing a blank on this one. It’s just a one off that nobody… Well, lets just say none of the patterns fit for this one.” The old man stood up, “We’re going to meet the district manager out at the site, see if maybe there is something out there that might tie in.”

Jim Owens was waiting for them at TPO 53, with the gate unlocked. Matt nodded to him as they pulled up, and Owens waved half-heartedly, then walked over to the car, papers in hand, as they got out. “Thanks for meeting us Mr. Owens, I know you’re busy…”

Owens replied, “I… I fired everyone of those assholes that was working out here with White. They were all screwed up. Here’s the contact information I’ve got on them, for what it’s worth. I can’t explain the motorcycle, much less his having access. I’m in the process of changing all the gate codes this week.”

Matt took the papers and handed them to the old man, “Mr. Owens, this is Captain Cronin, he’s the actual investigator for the county.”

“Cronin? Up off eighteen?”

Shaking Owen’s hand, the old man replied, “Yep. That’s me.”

“You were two years ahead of me at school. I remember you now. I thought you’d gone off to the Army and the government.”

“I did, for a few years.” Glancing at the paperwork, he asked, “How good do you think these addresses are?”

Owens scratched his ear, “Not sure. Phone numbers are probably good. Most of these guys are floaters, don’t necessarily even live in Texas. They might be catching on with somebody else, or working off the books.”

“Lovely…”

“The one sketchy guy, that I’d bet was the biggest druggie, is Jeff Smythe, he’s a Brit ex-pat, left the North Sea a couple of years ago, ended up here about a year ago. Knows drilling, but he’s… Twitchy… I think he’s got a crash pad over in El Paso, and he called yesterday looking for his last check, so that address is probably good.”

Matt and the old man looked at each other, and the old man smiled, “Thank you! I know some people that can go lean on him. Is it worth talking to any of the guys here now?”

“Nah, this is one of my old crews, pulled them back early to man up this rig. They may drink, but that’s it.”

“Okay, well thanks for the info. I haven’t given up on finding the perp on this one.”

Owens looked up at the clouds, “I’d appreciate it. Rick was one of the good guys.”

They shook hands around and Matt and the old man headed back to the car. The old man said, “You drive, I need to make some phone calls.”

Surprised, Matt headed for the driver’s side, and said, “You know I’m gonna screw up your mirrors and everything else, right?”

“Yeah, fine. I can fix that.” Pulling out his cell, he dialed and waited. “Bucky? John. You got anybody you can lay hands on in El Paso?” The old man listened for a minute, “Yeah, I got somebody I need to have questioned in a murder case I’ve got…”

[1] Standard Field Sobriety Test

TBT…

Since it seems that a lot of guys have 60s C10s as grail trucks, may I present…

The 1967 C-10 brochure! 🙂

It ran a few more pages, but this is gist of it… Hope you enjoyed the trip back in time. The ONE thing I remember about them, is they didn’t stop worth a damn… And under hard braking, the rear end got really squirrelly, because the rears locked up in a half a heartbeat…

NORKs blink…

Apparently ‘somebody’ go to Kim Jong-Un and he has ‘decided’ not to take the pot shots at Guam he promised…

THIS from the NY Times. THIS from CNN. Note that nowhere is any credit given to the new US line, and President Trump’s very pointed response to little Kim’s threats…

38 North.org, a MUCH more reliable source for what is actually going on up there, has this to say…

The North Korean report that Kim Jong Un has said he will wait and see what the United States does before deciding whether or not to order execution of a plan to envelope Guam with four Hwasong-12 missiles signals a decisive break in the action. This is no mixed message. It is exactly how the North moves back from the edge of the cliff. It’s classic, and anyone paying attention could have seen it coming.

Full article, HERE. By Robert Carlin, who has actually studied and worked with the Koreas.

Frankly, it’s almost to the point of being ‘funny’, and not in a good way, how the media and a number of bloggers STILL refuse to believe Trump is the president, or capable of actually doing anything. First it was Russian collusion, when that didn’t fly, it was leaks, when that didn’t fly, I forget what the next one was, now you look at the coverage from this weekend, and the PSH from the left and MSM over the ‘comments’ the President made, it makes one wonder who’s side they are really on.

If white supremacists are really that bad, according to the media, why are there ANY buildings still named for WV Senator Robert Byrd?

In the early 1940s, Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to create a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in his hometown. Byrd became a recruiter and leader of his chapter. When it came time to elect the top officer (Exalted Cyclops) in the local Klan unit, Byrd won unanimously.

In December 1944, Byrd wrote to segregationist Mississippi Senator Theodore G. Bilbo: I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.

It seems his history has been conveniently ‘whitewashed’ if you will, since he had access to millions of dollars that he pork barreled back to WV…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, BOTH sides were/are violent and DO NOT represent the average American, of which I consider myself to be one… BOTH sides should be in jail, prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law.

 

 

A few memories…

This one brings back a few…

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE  1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s !! 

   
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank  
While they were pregnant.  
   
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.  

Then, after that trauma, we were  put to sleep on our tummies  in baby cribs
Covered   with bright colored
Lead-based paints.  

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets,  
And, when we rode our bikes,  
We had baseball caps,  
Not helmets, on our heads.  

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..  

Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.  

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.  

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.  

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren’t overweight. WHY?  

Because we were always outside playing…that’s why!  

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day …  And, we were OKAY.  

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of  scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned  To Solve the problem.  

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or
CDs, No cell phones,  No personal computers,  No Internet and No chat rooms.  

WE HAD FRIENDS  And we went outside and found them!  

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits  
From those accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.  

We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.  

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses,
made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and  – although we were told it would happen – we did not put out very many eyes.  

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.  Those who didn’t
had to learn to deal with disappointment.  Imagine that!!  

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of … They actually sided with the law! 

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and
Inventors ever.  The past 60 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. 

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.  

So, if YOU are one of those born between 1925-1955, CONGRATULATIONS!  

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.  

While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky 
their parents were.  

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it ?  

h/t JP

Thoughts on Charlottesville…

A question nobody is asking, at least in public, but I can’t help but wonder if?

McAuliffe actually wanted the confrontation to happen?

He is, and always has been, a Clintonista… He will do anything to advance the Dems/Clinton’s agenda.

Why am I going there, you might ask?

Well, McAuliffe actually had the National Guard on standby in Charlottesville, but didn’t deploy them even AFTER the fit hit the shan… Article, HERE. And there’s at least one report that the LEOs and VSP were told to stand down and back off, can’t confirm who gave that order.

One side had a permit, the white nationalists. Antifa, et al just showed up. NEITHER side stands for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or anything most Americans believe. I think they should ALL be in prison from the get go, but that’s just grumpy old me…

It was left up to the LEOs from Charlottesville and VSP to separate the mobs. The Guard could have prevented the two from EVER interacting, which would have prevented the entire situation. However, once the conflict started, the groups were finally separated, and apparently both groups were marching/straggling toward another park when the car plowed into the crowd. At that point, the President made the following statement, not knowing who had hit whom-

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” the president said. “It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. “It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

Of course the left immediately decried it, saying he should have singled out the white supremacists! However the left wants to try to twist it, there was, and has been violence from the left, Antifa among others that is just as bad. I personally believe the President was right to call out BOTH sides.

It is interesting to note that the MSM/left/Dems did the SAME thing, almost in the exact language, when the Bernie fanatic shot Scallise, and Obama couldn’t find a ‘motive’ for the DPD shootings… Nor was there any outcry about the Berkeley riots.

The other ‘odd’ thing, at least in my mind, is how the driver was arrested and suddenly his facebook account was deleted, yet he was in custody! Who had access, and what was in there? Was he another Bernie fan???

And since I’m on odd things, why is there no mention of Antifa being in Charlottesville? Calling them counter protesters doesn’t hide their true identity! Frankly, I’m glad to see DOJ jumping into this one with both feet! Maybe we’ll actually find out who was there on BOTH sides, and from where. And maybe a lot more folks are going to get locked up!!!

Federal Grand Juries are not like most, in that you don’t have a choice about testifying or not. If you don’t you go to jail until you do testify. And these would be federal charges, much like what happened in DC during the inauguration!

Speaking of which, it looks like there will be trials starting later in the year, with even MORE charges against the rioters. It appears six have already pled and are the minority. Article, HERE.

One wonders if any of those protesters showed up in Charlottesville?

It is time for Conservatives to wake up and understand that they are being gamed.  The progressive agenda is not going away; it has been around for more than a hundred years, eroding our rights bit by bit…

Your thoughts?

Sometimes…

It’s NICE being the old guy…

Spent most of the day at a liquidation auction for a gun store, watching prices fluctuate all over the place… Glocks for $600, USED Sigs for $450! Henry Big Boys for $725! Sig Suppressors were all over the place, well under MSRP to at MSRP. When you figure in buyers premium of 10%, these are at or over retail!!!

But… There were TWO count ’em, TWO real 1911s in the entire auction, there were a few Kimbers, but I don’t count them… And all the Kimbers went for ‘MSRP’, why I don’t know…

Both real ones were Springer Range Officers, one in 9mm  and one in .45.

They followed me home, so I guess I gotta keep ’em…

And they were ‘significantly’ under retail! I was the ONLY bidder on the 9mm, and only 1 other guy bid once on the .45! The auctioneer saw me out in the hall as I was paying for them and he grumbled, “You stole those! Be glad I couldn’t bid on them.”

I smiled politely and thanked him for not bidding… 🙂

So….

Who is REALLY in control of the Dems? Hildabeast? Bernie? OR???

Former President Barack Obama will re-emerge on the national scene this fall, though Democrats expect him to do so with caution.

One aide describes the beginning of a “delicate dance” that aims to put Obama in the Democratic fray but prevents him from remaining the face of the party.

Although he’s been running a ‘shadow’ government per se, running around meeting with world leaders ahead of meetings that President Trump has been having, like the Saudis, the G-20, and Germany, apparently he’s coming out of the closet again. Full article, HERE.

In other news, the war of words (if you will), between the NORKs and the US continue…

This time is significantly different however. This time, the US president is NOT bowing to political pressure and ‘playing the game.’ If you don’t follow Virtual Mirage, you should… HERE is his latest peek behind the curtain so so speak, and he ‘knows’ what he is talking about.

Of course the left is melting down, accusing President Trump of being crazy, among the more ‘polite’ things they’ve said this week. But he’s crazy like a fox…

He has a strong and well qualified SECDEF, SECSTATE, and UN Ambassador who are all working various issues in their swim lanes. There is a new set of sanctions in place, and C7F has been moving assets as necessary within their AOR. And doing FONs in the South China Sea, including a 12nm pass off Mystery Reef, currently a reef being claimed by China. Of interest, maybe accidental, maybe not, the ship that did that was the USS McCain. 🙂

Guam is one of the seventeen democratically self governed US Territories, and IS under the protection of the US, in addition to being a strategic military location in the second island chain in the Pacific. It is home to both US Navy and USAF bases, and roughly 170,000 people. Effectively, shooting at Guam IS shooting at America.

China has refused to support/enact the last EIGHT UN resolutions against the NORKs, and this has, IMHO, given the NORKs the ‘belief’ that China supports their actions. But both China and the NORKs, what happened in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria under President Trump.

He’s not playing games, and the sooner China and the NORKs realize it, the better. 20 years of appeasement has ended.

I’m late, I’m late…

Lawdog’s next book is out!!!

The African Adventures is live! Click on the cover to go directly to the book, and enjoy!!!

The blurb-

LawDog had the honor of representing law and order in the Texas town of Bugscuffle as a Sheriff’s Deputy, where he became notorious for, among other things, the famous Case of the Pink Gorilla Suit. But long before he put on the deputy’s star, he grew up in Nigeria, where his experiences were equally unforgettable. In THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES, LawDog chronicles his encounters with everything from bush pilots, 15-foot pythons, pygmy mongooses, brigadier-captains, and Peace Corp hippies to the Nigerian space program.

THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES are every bit as hilarious as the previous volume, as LawDog relates his unforgettable experiences in a laconic, self-deprecating manner that is funny in its own right. Africa wins again, and again, and again, but, so too does the reader in this sobering, but hilarious collection of true tales from the Dark Continent.

There ARE new stories that were never on the blog, and they are ALL entertaining! Hilarious, thoughtful, and true to life, even if most folks won’t believe it! 🙂

Also, Tom Rogneby has a new short up on Amazon, called The BoogeyMan!

Once again, click the cover to go directly to it!

The blurb-

Martin Shelby is The BoogeyMan, a private investigator and fixer for folks who get into trouble too tough and too strange for the police. People only bring him the jobs that require the body of a linebacker and the face of a gargoyle.

Now, he’s been handed a job that pays double, but that can only mean double the danger. 

But when the things that go bump in the night look under their bed for HIM, how hard can it be? To The BoogeyMan, it’s just another job.

I’ve pre-read both of these books, and while wildly divergent, both are excellent reads! If you liked Tom’s Escort Duty, this short is in the same vein. Well written and you won’t want to put it down.

TBT…

If I have a grail car, it’s the 1937 Supercharged Cord 812.

The brochure is for 1936, but it’s the only complete one I found…

The one thing I remember (as a little kid) was the engine turned instrument panel! SHINY!!!

A family friend had one, sadly sitting in a garage over in Dallas. Her husband had it, and he’d gone to Love Field to fly to Chicago, had a heart attack on the plane, from what I remember. They car was parked and never driven again (that I know of). I was maybe 8 or 9 the one time I got to sit in it.

This is probably the best pic I could find of the dash… Gaudy as hell by today’s standards, but back in the day… 🙂

Wikimedia Commons

What’s your grail car, or truck?

The next Air Force One??? And other stuff…

President Donald Trump said the projected cost of new Air Force One aircraft was too high, so the U.S. Air Force found a way to lower it: by buying a pair of Boeing 747 jetliners abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline.

This is an ‘interesting’ way to do it, and it WILL save the USAF quite a bit, as Boeing wants those birds off the inventory. Full story HERE from DefenseOne.com

What will be MORE interesting is how the media is going to spin this, since the birds were originally ordered by a Russian airline… Cause you ‘know’ it’s coming…

In other news, from The Firearms Blog, more news from yesterday’s post on the Sig P320… Link, HERE

Apparently Sig is going to announce a ‘free upgrade’ next week. Interesting, VERY interesting…

And one more- The Volokh Conspiracy Short Circuit update… HERE. As usual there are some screwy ones in there… Sigh…