Sigh…

Another rant against ‘Hate Chicken’ or as WE know it, Chick-fil-A!

A Canadian publication, The Star, has printed an unintentionally hilarious editorial by a very disgruntled LGBTQWTF writer, Andrew Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler is very upset. His outrage and dismay have been caused by your love of delicious chicken from Chick-fil-A. How dare you??? In an essay entitled “Chick-fil-A is ideologically opposed to my existence,” Wheeler rails against the insensitivity of people who love chicken and waffle fries because it hurts his feelings, or something.

Full article, HERE. And a ‘response’ from the BBee…  HERE!

In other news, the Global Preparedness Board has a report out that the world faces the possibility of a global pandemic that could get out of control

Officials examined how an airborne disease, like influenza, could travel around the world. Something as deadly as the Spanish flu, spread with our easy access to air travel, could spread around the world in less than 36 hours and potentially kill more than 50 million people, the report said.

Before you start poo-pooing this, one of the major players in this board is JHU Center for Health Security is heavily involved due to their research for the DOD and other US security organizations, HERE.

Full article, HERE.

The chilling part of this is that among other things, is that Ebola is alive and flourishing in Africa, as both Aesop, HERE; and Peter, HERE, have reported. Another issue, swine flu, is rampant in China right now. Up to 200 million hogs have either died or been slaughtered trying to stop the spread, HERE. And we’re getting ready to come into the flu season…

One last thing, what’s coming across the southern border that we’re NOT catching because CBP/DHS/Medical is overloaded down there. Sigh…

TBT…

Things kids today don’t know…

And how many of us remember these??? I don’t think my mother EVER bought the Chinese one, but I’m pretty sure I had the other three… sigh…

Brings back memories, including the heartburn suffered from those nasty things… LOL

Book promo…

Ladies day!

First up, Laura Montgomery’s new series, book 1, Simple Service.

As always, click the cover to go to it.

The blurb-

A lost starship. A lost colony.

Two factions. One expendable son.

When the colony’s governor requisitions the colonists’ personal weapons, Peter Dawe’s father sets him a simple task. Get their weapon back.

But the Marss have all the technology, and Peter, a second generation colonist, the youngest of ten, the expendable son, must contend with the guard, palace politics, and his biggest problem of all, Simon, his brother.

Twists, turns, and dealing with family… sigh… 🙂

Next up, Alma Boykin with the final book in the Colplatschki Chronicles- Fountains of Mercy.

The blurb-

Fires dance in the sky, and the great machines fail.

Colonial Plantation LTD can’t decide what to do with Solana, also called ColPlat XI. Should it be a nature preserve, a living museum of pre-industrial techniques, or a standard colony? As the bureaucrats wrangle, a solar storm disrupts technology and reveals deep rifts between the colonists and their administrators.

Susanna “Basil” Peilov clawed her way out of the slums and wants nothing to do with the Company. Peter Babenburg just wants to build his water system and stay out of trouble. When the sky-fires come, Basil, Peter, and their families and friends stand between the colony and chaos. Company administrators assure everyone that replacement parts and assistance is coming, will come. Without those supply ships from the stars, everything falls apart and the colony will die. All that people can do is wait and hope for rescue.

The administrators never planned on facing a group of engineers, a crazy farmer and his wives, and colonists determined to protect their home. Hope comes from some unlikely places, and courage takes eccentric shapes.

Enjoyed this one immensely!

Another snippet…

And state of the author…

Welp, found out something interesting. To publish a ‘collection’ of my stories, there has to be at least some new material. I’m looking at doing a paperback of my short stories and novellas based on reader’s input over the last month or so, since apparently my readers are a bunch of dinosaurs that LIKE real books in their hands, so…

Comments and recommendations appreciated, as always…

On the Trail

 

He settled up with Mrs. Lincoln, took the proffered paper bag with some biscuits and a slice of ham, and stuffed it in the poke he carried over the saddle horn. Red humped his back as Rio mounted and Rio settled himself a little more deeply in the saddle. “Don’t even think about it Red. I’m not in the mood this morning!”

Red’s ears flipped back and forth, he shook his head, and he felt Red mouthing the bit as he rode out of the stable yard. “Good boy, Red.” He reached down and patted his neck, then turned Red north. A half hour later, he came to the landmark where the cowboy had said he’d seen the cattle, and rode around until he found the old tracks of cattle trailing off to the southwest. He followed them for about a mile, and they branched off toward Georgetown, Oh boy. This is…not going to be good. Georgetown is a mining town, and if they’re up there, they are likely already gone. He got down, dug his old Frontier 6 and holster out of his saddlebags, slipped the holster on his belt in a cross draw position, then loaded the pistol and shoved it in the holster. He thought for a second, then pulled the 73 Winchester out of the scabbard and topped it off, then slipped it back in the scabbard.

Mounting up, he gigged Red to a trot, then a canter, following the tracks up the side of Clear Creek, as he climbed higher into the mountains. He stopped as the sun topped out overhead, put a hackamore on Red, and let him drink from the creek before hobbling him on some grass the cattle had missed. Taking the biscuits and ham out of the poke, he sat on a log and munched on them as he watched wagons trundling up the road, Lot busier than I thought. Am I missing something here?

He put the bridle back on Red, tightened the girth and took the hobbles off. He shivered as the wind changed, blowing down the canyon, and pulled the slicker off the back of the saddle, unrolled it, and took out the sheepskin jacket. Rerolling everything, he tied it back behind the saddle and slipped into the jacket, then mounted and trotted Red up the road. Four hours later, Red was blowing a little bit, and he slowed as the canyon turned and flattened out. “You want a break, Red?” He guided Red off the road, got down and took a piss in the brush on the side of the road, before grabbing a piece of pemmican out of the poke on the saddle. Idly chewing on it, he led Red over to the creek bank, and found an approach that allowed him to lead him down to the water. Scooping up a mouthful of water, he rinsed his mouth, then spit it out, Gah, taste like…metal? Copper? Something?

Even Red didn’t seem to like it all that well, and they were soon back on the road. As he came to a Y in the canyon, he saw the tracks swinging up the left canyon, and followed them. As he rounded the bend in the canyon, he saw a bench on the left side, with a rundown cabin, and what looked like pole fencing. He trotted Red up to the poles, and saw longhorns grazing inside the fence. One was close enough to read the brand, and it was Rafter H. As he rode along the fence, a bowlegged old man stepped out of the cabin. “Hey, what are you doing?”

Rio saw that he carried a rifle in one hand, but he didn’t see a six shooter, so he waved and rode over. “Strange to see longhorns this far up in the mountains. Interesting brand too.”

The old cowboy grumbled, “Got a problem, go talk to Olshansky at the Three Queens. He bought ‘em, and pays me to keep ‘em penned up down here.”

Rio hooked a leg on the saddle horn, “Olshansky? Three Queens?”

“Big Polack, he won the saloon in a card game, with three queens. He bought the cows off’n a couple of cowboys a week or so ago. They said they’d been told to drive them to the mine in Empire, but they didn’t want them.”

“Huh, I thought most Polacks were miners, not saloon owners.”

The cowboy hawked and spit. “Olshansky was a miner. Had, maybe still has, a claim up the canyon.”

“Three Queens, huh?”

“Yeah, right on Sixth Street. Two blocks from the hotel.”

“Hotel? Or a trumped up boarding house?”

The cowboy spit again. “Naw, it’s a real hotel, used to be Delmonico’s bakery. Some Frenchy, Dupuis or some’tin like that bought it and now it’s the Hotel de Paree.”

Rio stretched and found the stirrup again. “Thanks. I think I’ll ride up that way and see what there is to see.”

“Ain’t no jobs for cowboys, and I like my job.” The old cowboy motioned with the rifle as he said that.

“Got a job, ain’t looking for one.” He reined Red around and trotted back toward the road, whistling as Red flipped his ears and humped his back. “Fine, no more whistling. Stubborn damn horse.”

The old cowboy got a look at Red’s brand. He hawked and spat, then turned back toward the cabin as quickly as he could, mumbling to himself. An hour later, Rio rode into Georgetown and stopped dead, This ain’t a bunch of shacks. This…it’s a real town. Dunno why I thought…oh well, time to find out what’s going on. He rode through town, marveling at the Victorian houses, the brick buildings going up, and the prosperous citizens he saw on the boardwalks. The sun was close to hitting the top of the mountains to the west, and he decided to try the hotel the old cowboy told him about.

Tying Red at the hitching rail, he stepped up on the boardwalk and walked through the door into a world of good smells coming from the restaurant. His stomach growled at him, reminding him lunch was a long time ago. The older man behind the counter looked up as he said, “Afternoon, any chance of a room?”

Oui, Monsieur. How many nights?”

“Um, one, maybe two.”

He flipped the register around saying, “Two dollars a night. Please sign in.”

“Two dollars?” Rio asked, outraged.

“Two dollars. Each room is a private room. Fresh linens. And indoor bathing.”

Rio reached in his vest pocket and pulled out two dollars, dropping them on the counter as he signed the book. The man took a key off the board, “Room six, upstairs to the right. Door is numbered. Dinner will be served at six o’clock.”

Rio nodded. “Livery stable?”

“Two blocks over, east side of town. Fifty cents if you want anything other than hay.”

Rio grimaced, but took the key and went back out to Red, taking his blanket roll, saddlebags, poke, and rifle out of the scabbard before going to the room. Once there, he shoved the things under the bed, sniffed, and was surprised to find the bed really did smell clean, Maybe it is worth two dollars, but that’s still a lot of money just to sleep inside. He started to take the second pistol off, but changed his mind and left it on his belt, he did dig the saddlebags out and dropped some spare rounds into his coat pocket.

Going back downstairs, he unhitched Red, and rode down 6th Street past the Three Queens, Looks prosperous. Guess I’ll go find the stable, then decide whether to walk or ride. As it turned out, the stables were in the opposite direction, and he decided to leave Red at the stables. He rubbed him down, paid the extra for the feed, and piled his tack in the back corner of the stall, trusting Red to guard it overnight. He walked by the hotel on the way to the saloon, and his stomach growled again, Ah shut up. You’ll get fed. It ain’t like you’re starving. He walked through the doors of the saloon, and immediately stepped to the side. It was fairly quiet, with a couple of tables of miners off to one side, and what looked like a couple of cowboys sitting as far away from the miners as they could get. He chuckled to himself, and started toward the bar, noting that the sawdust was fresh, and it didn’t smell like stale beer. When he got there, he didn’t see anybody, and said, “I wonder—”

A huge, bearded man got up from behind the bar and asked in heavily accented English, “You vonder vhat cowboy?”

Rio laughed. “If I can get a beer, and if you are Olshansky.”

The big man pulled a beer and set it in front of Rio. “That will be a dime. I am Olshansky, vhy you vant to know?” Leaning on his scarred forearms on the bar, he stared at Rio intently.

Rio dropped a dime on the bar, took a swig of the beer, nodded, and said, “Good beer. I hear you bought some cows from a couple of cowboys.”

“Ve did. Me and Dupuy, at ze hotel.”

“Did these cowboys have any papers for the cows?”

“Vhy you vant to know?” Olshansky flexed his shoulders, and it was all Rio could do not to back up.

Instead, he took another swig of beer. “Well, those cows are stolen. They are Rafter H cows, and they were rustled three weeks ago.”

Olshansky’s face flushed red, and he started reaching for Rio, cursing under his breath. Rio backed up, and Olshansky finally said, “You lie! I paid for cows!”

Rio held up both hands as Olshansky started to reach under the bar. “I don’t doubt you paid for them, I’d appreciate it if your hands stayed where I can see them. But the problem is, you didn’t pay the owner for them. Just curious, how much did you pay?”

“Ve paid, tventy-five dollars a cow. Fifty-three cows.”

A voice behind Rio startled him. “Rio either make up with him or shoot him. My supper is getting cold over here.”

Rio swiftly stepped to the side, putting the bar and Olshansky both in his line of sight. He chuckled as he saw a middle aged cowboy with prematurely white hair. “You’re a long way from home, Jack.”

“So are you. They Rafter H?” Rio nodded, and Texas Jack Hart laughed. “Polack, you got taken. Those cows belong to him, well to his daddy. And you really don’t want either one of them mad at you.”

Olshansky look between the two. “Vhy?”

Hart chuckled. “Because either one of them will shoot your ass dead. Oh, let me introduce you to the Laredo Kid. You might have heard of him.”

There was a scramble as the other cowboys got out of the way, and the miners suddenly got very quiet. Rio shook his head sadly. “Dammit Jack, you’re costing me friends again.”

Olshansky asked, “Vhat ve do to make right?”

Rio focused on him. “Give me the sumbitches that sold them to you, and I’ll call it even.”

Olshansky started to answer, but two men stepped through the door, and Rio and Jack both turned quickly. An older, walrus mustached man with a star on his vest asked, “What is going on here?” Rio saw the hotel clerk behind the man and wondered if this was the owner, Dupuy.

“Well, Marshal, at least this man,” pointing to Olshansky, “and possibly that man,” pointing at the man behind the marshal, “If his name is Dupuy, bought stolen cattle.”

“You got proof of that?”

Jack laughed as Rio sighed. “Reaching in my jacket for papers.” He reached slowly into his jacket and pulled out the packet of letters. He laid them on the bar and stepped back. “Those papers are from the bank in Fort Collins that allow me to rep for the brand. And Jack there, knows me and my dad from Texas. Sixty head were stolen from us about three weeks ago, and fifty-three head with Rafter H brands were sold to Olshansky and apparently a partner named Dupuy, here for twenty-five a head. Now the going rate is forty to sixty a head, as I’m sure they know.”

Jack said, “Dammit, now my supper is cold.” But he remained standing, the thong off his pistol, and his hand not far from the holster.

The marshal stepped up to the bar, opened the letters, read them, and looked sharply at Rio. Rafter H and H Bar?”

“H Bar is our ranch brand. Rafter H is our road brand. There are fifty some odd steers down on a bench about a mile from here with Rafter H brands, and the old cowboy down there says they were bought by Olshansky here.”

The marshal shook his head. “Oleg, he’s the authorized rep for the brand. Who did you and Rene buy the steers from?”

“Two cowboys, Buck and…”

Dupuy interrupted, “Jack, the other was named Jack, and I heard him call the other one Stiles. They took two rooms at my hotel.”

Jack glanced up at that. “Rio, that’s gotta be Stiles and Harvey. Couple of gunslicks, and I guess, now rustlers.”

Rio cocked his head. “I’ve heard those names, but…they don’t ring a bell.”

Jack laughed. “They’re smart enough to stay out of Texas.”

He looked at Dupuy. “Are they still at the hotel?”

Dupuy shook his head. “No, they have been gone…three, maybe four days now. I heard them say something about Brown something north of here.”

The marshal sighed. “They must be heading for Brown’s Hole. That’s up in Utah or Wyoming territories. Bunch of thieves hang out up there. Bunch of shacks apparently.”

“Why haven’t they been cleaned out?”

The marshal shrugged. “Too many places to ambush a posse, and too many ways out of there. Easier to hope they kill each other off, or wait for them to come out.”

Dupuy said, “I will give you back your money, and your food is on me.”

Rio nodded. “Thank you. C’mon Jack, I’ll treat you, since I made you miss supper.”

Olshansky looked at them in confusion. “You not make us pay?”

“You paid. Just the wrong people. That isn’t your fault. I think you two are honest, and you did tell me who they are. Just don’t buy any of our cows again, unless you buy from us directly.” He picked up the letters, bundled them back up, and stuck them back in his jacket, then faced the sheriff. “You satisfied?”

He nodded. “Yes, and I appreciate the fact that you didn’t shoot anybody. I really didn’t want a gunfight before supper tonight.”

Rio laughed. “Honestly, neither did I.” He started for the door. “Supper’s on me, Jack. C’mon if you’re coming.” Jack grabbed his hat off the chair and followed Rio out into the night.

***

An hour later, Rio sat back and groaned. “Ate too much.”

Jack nodded, looked around at the empty restaurant, then said quietly, “What are you really doing up here?”

“Running cows up by Fort Collins. Horsetooth Canyon. You think they went to the Hole? Is that where you’re heading?”

Jack grimaced. “Yeah, got a little too hot for me in Texas. Got into it with the Johnson brothers over at Johnson City. I don’t take kindly to men trying to force themselves on women, much less young girls.”

“How many did you kill?”

“Them two brothers the first night. Well, one for sure, got a lot of lead in the other one. He might’a died later that night. Anyway, their family came after me. I killed three more of them, then lit out. I’m tired of killing idjits. Figured I’d hole up over the winter and see what things look like next spring.”

Rio made a snap decision. “I think I’ll ride along with you. Maybe I can recover at least some of the money, and take care of those two. That way I don’t have to deal with them next spring.”

“I’m leaving tomorrow.”

Rio nodded. “Meet me here in the morning, and I’ll buy breakfast.”

Oh yeah, and I hope to have TGM- Sunset out by Christmas, with the collection to follow after the first of the year.

And thank you to those who’ve bought the anthology, To Slip the Surly Bonds that I’m in. I truly appreciate it!

Busy…

So you get humor…

Mary Poppins was traveling home, but due to worsening weather, she decided to stop at a hotel for the night. She approached the receptionist and asked for a room for the night.

“Certainly madam,” he replied courteously.

“Is the restaurant open still?” inquired Mary.

“Sorry, no,” came the reply, “but room service is available all night. Would you care to select something from this menu?”

Mary smiled and took the menu and perused it. “Hmm, I would like cauliflower cheese please,” said Mary.

“Certainly, madam,” he replied.

“And can I have breakfast in bed?” asked Mary politely.

The receptionist nodded and smiled.

“In that case, I would love a couple of poached eggs, please,” Mary mused.

After confirming the order, Mary signed in and went up to her room for the night.

The night passed uneventfully and the next morning Mary came down early to check out. The same guy was still on the desk.

“Morning, madam. Sleep well?”

“Yes, thank you,” Mary replied.

“Food to your liking?”

“Well, I have to say the cauliflower cheese was exceptional, I don’t think I have had better. Shame about the eggs, though….they really weren’t that nice at all,” replied Mary truthfully.

“Oh…well, perhaps you could contribute these thoughts to our Guest Comments Book. We are always looking to improve our service and would value your opinion,” said the receptionist.

“OK, I will…thanks!” replied Mary….who checked out, then scribbled a comment into the book. Waving, she left to continue her journey.

Curious, the receptionist picked up the book to see the comment Mary had written.

“Supercauliflowercheesebuteggswerequiteatrocious!”

And I’m not saying it’s been hot in Texas… But…

Oopsie…

Got to hate it when those pesky facts end up upsetting the applecart…

Records Found in Dusty Basement Undermine Decades of Dietary Advice

His latest excavation—made possible by the pack-rat habits of a deceased scientist, the help of the scientist’s sons, and computer technicians who turned punch cards and magnetic tape into formats readable by today’s computers—undercuts a pillar of nutrition science.

Full article, HERE.

Kinda makes one wonder what ELSE is out there, or has been suppressed… Can we say climate data???

Or???

Well, well, well…

The gloves are officially off…

And he’s fundraising off of it…

And your AK, and your M-1, and your 03A3, your 1911, and, and, and…

His actual statement was that confiscation was on the table for ANY gun designed to be used in war. So technically, even that Sharps Model 1859 your great-great grandpa carried at Gettysburg will be confiscatable…

Interestingly, NONE of the other 9 on stage disagreed with him. That should tell you something…

This is past the point of ‘touching’ the 3rd rail of politics, they’re humping that sucker for all its worth!  Grrr….

Book Promo…

Help feed a starving artist!!!

First up, another short story by Wayne! Birth of an Assassin

As always click the cover for the links

The blurb-

Tole is forced to relive memories of the events that led a him from a life on a little backwater world called Earth to his room at The Bar and becoming one of the multiverse’s most lethal killers for hire. In the end, he deals with the problem invoking death and mayhem as only he can. 

And one I’ve got a short story in- Chris Kennedy’s To Slip The Surly Bonds.

The blurb-

Thirteen outstanding authors. Thirteen aviation stories that never happened.

Throughout the human experience, historians have wondered, “What if?” What if Americans had fought on the side of Germany in World War I? What if Germany had invested in naval aviation in World War II? What if Russia had started World War III?

Wonder no more, for these questions, along with many others, are answered within the pages of this book. Told by a variety of award-winning authors, like Sarah Hoyt, the 2018 Dragon Award Winner for Alternate History, Richard Fox, the 2017 Dragon Award Winner for Best Military Science Fiction, and Kacey Ezell, the winner of the 2018 Baen Reader’s Choice Award, “To Slip the Surly Bonds,” deals with aviation warfare that never happened in our world…but easily could have.

The second book in the exciting new “Phases of Mars” anthology series, there is something for everyone inside! From fighting alongside the Red Baron, to flying a P-38 Lightning, to present day air warfare, “To Slip the Surly Bonds” traces a century of aviation warfare…that wasn’t. From learning how the PBY got to the new world in Taylor Anderson’s “The Destroyermen” series…to fighting the French in a very different Vietnam, this book has it, so come aboard and find out “what if” all of these things had changed history…just a little. You’ll be glad you did!

Inside you’ll find:

Friends In High Places by Joelle Presby and Patrick Doyle

In Dark’ning Storms by Rob Howell

Perchance To Dream by Sarah A. Hoyt

Trial of the Red Baron by Richard Fox

The Kaiserin of the Seas by Christopher G. Nuttall

Through the Squall by Taylor Anderson

The Lightnings and the Cactus by James Young

Catching the Dark by Monalisa Foster

Do The Hard Thing by Kacey Ezell

Tail Gunner Joe by William Alan Webb

Red Tailed Tigers by Justin Watson

Zero Dark 30 by JL Curtis

Per Ardua Ad Astra by Jan Niemczyk

My story is about a reserve P-3 Orion crew that gets tasked with an ‘interesting’ mission in the mid-1980s… 🙂

TBT…

You know you’re old if you have ever done this…

Sigh… There are days I MISS being that kid, whose biggest worry was a date for the weekend, enough money to put six or seven gallons of leaded gas in the car, and go to A&W and get a burger and a float.

Never Forget!!!

77 minutes…

That is how long it took to change America forever…

Take a moment to pause and reflect on today’s 18th remembrance of 9/11. I would urge you in your own way and own time this Friday, to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice that day and for those that have given their all over these past 18 years in ensuring our freedoms and liberties have been maintained. Remember as well those brave men and women that continue to serve today in harm’s way to ensure that the ongoing conflicts remain an “away game” for the United States and allows each of us to enjoy our daily lifestyle in our own way.

We were challenged but not broken that fateful day, which changed the way we live and think forever. Some of us can recall exactly where we were when we learned of the horrific terrorist attacks occurring at the Twin Towers in NY, Pentagon, and an open field in Pennsylvania. We shall never forget September 11th, 2001 nor the 2977 victims of that tragic day, and the thousands of first responders that have died since then. Take the time, right now, to recall where you were and your own personal reaction. And educate the new generation. They were BORN in 2001. To them 9/11 is nothing more than a link to some historic pictures and ‘stuff’.

Remember and never forget. 

The timeline…
* 0846ET.  American Flight #11 impacts the World Trade Center North Tower, New York City
* 0903ET.  United Flight #175 impacts the World Trade Center South Tower, New York City
* 0937ET.  American Flight #77 impacts the Pentagon, Arlington, VA
* 1003ET.  United Flight #93 crashes in a field in Stonycreek Township, PA

77 minutes…