Is not a language for the weak minded…

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,

But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren’t invented in England .
We take English for granted, but if we explore its
paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing,
grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of
all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking
English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop?

Author unknown

As a fellow writer says, “English mugs other languages in a dark alley and just takes what it wants without regard for case, sense, or anything else.”

Memorial Day weekend…

Take a moment this weekend to say a prayer for those who gave their all.

Nuff said…


Book promo…

Another postcards!!! Postcards from Foolz

As always, click the cover for the Amazon link!

The blurb-

The rules of the game were simple: one image. Fifty words.

Twenty authors met the challenge and excelled, and this volume records their efforts. Between these covers are complete stories that will take a moment to read, and ages to forget.

If your appetite is whetted, you’ll also find that images have been provided for you to practice your wordsmithing skills. So that you, too, can try the next Postcards challenge.

Go on. Write!

And some preorders from friends, both dropping on the 31st of May!

First up is Kelly Grayson with Things That Go Bump in the Night

The blurb-

Every kid has felt them, the nameless things that lurk in the dark, hiding in the shadowy corners of you bedroom as you sleep, daring you to stick out an arm and a leg, let the blankets hang off the edge of the bed, leave the closet door open… anything.

Scary movies are nothing compared to a kid’s imagination in the dead of the night when they hear a strange noise. Mostly it’s just like your parents say; it’s the wind, or a shadow cast by a toy, or the drapes blowing in the breeze.

And sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s the things that go bump in the night.

Next up is J.F. Holmes with Irregular Scout Team One: Volume 2 

The blurb-

A year has passed since the plague destroyed most of civilization around the world and the U.S. military is slowly starting to move out into a devastated country. From their bastion in the Pacific Northwest mechanized task forces take the fight for America onto the offensive.

In front of the military, deep into the wild ruins, go the Irregular Scout Teams. A mix of hardened military veterans and experienced civilians who can operate for long periods of time on their own. Checking the road, rail, and water transportation infrastructure, identifying groups of survivors for reinforcement or evacuation, running rather than fighting. The Teams have all the might of their task forces’ firepower on call but it’s better to be unheard by the infected and unseen by the lawless.

IST-1, the first team and the most experienced, is ordered to operate on their home ground of the ruined Upper Hudson Valley. Sergeant First Class Nick Agostine, the Team Leader, driven to fulfill his oath to the Constitution and his county while haunted by the memory of his dead family. His fellow NCO and Team Medic, Doc Hamilton, trying to keep everyone alive. Ahmed Yassir, a man without a country or tribe, deadly at a thousand meters with is calm shooting. Isaiah Jones, a giant of a man with a machine gun and a booming laugh, who grew up surrounded by violence. The fiery red head with the ice blue eyes, who is just as ready to take off an infected’s head with her shotgun as she is to put at teammate into their place with her sarcasm. Former Serbian soldier Sasha Zivcovic, who is a born killer living in his preferred element, war.

As the eyes and ears of Task Force Empire, it’s their job to save the lives of thousands of soldiers by providing accurate intelligence. That’s the mission, in theory, but incompetence, the fog of war and politics get in their way, putting the entire teams’ lives at risk.

This isn’t a book about the Apocalypse. It’s a book about the men and women of Irregular Scout Team One and how they lay their lives on the line for each other in the face of incredible danger. A book about how a bad decision or just plain bad luck can put yourself and the ones you love at risk. In the end, though, it’s a book about … Hope.

And last but not least, due to the success of the Haunted Library anthologies that were done to benefit our local small town library, I got this from the lady that manages the library!

Thank you for all you do for the library!

Here’s the information for the 2023 anthology to support our children’s programs
The premise is the story is about the Oil Patch between 1890-1930. It must be PG13,
5-8k words.

Will take submissions until August 30th.

The Haunted Libraries anthologies has made more than $1000 for the library and continues to make money every month.
We are so thankful!

Of note- It doesn’t limit your type of story, it could be a romance, cops vs. bad guys, oil tycoons, etc, just has to be ‘based’ on the oil patch and between 1890 and 1930.

You will not be paid for the story, it will be a donation for a good cause!

You can send your stories to me at oldnfo at gmail dot com.

Thanks in advance!!!


40 years ago, this was a view we saw more than once…

Number one in the bag, good X, heading south for Kef as the sun rose after another all night burner.

h/t Jim E for the photo

Well, this could get ugly…

Looks like Guam is about to get whacked by a super typhoon. Anything military that can fly or run away has… ships have evacuated north toward mainland Japan, and aircraft have gone ‘wherever’ they were directed to go.

Residents of Guam stockpiled supplies, battened down windows and abandoned wood and tin homes for emergency shelters as Super Typhoon Mawar bore down as the strongest storm to approach the U.S. Pacific territory in decades.

Full article, HERE from Navy Times.

Folks, a cat 4 super typhoon is ugly, to put it mildly, 150 mph winds, plus water, storm surge, etc. and the typhoon warning center said it could easily make cat 5, which would be 160+ mph. This is the strongest one in over 20 years!

The closest analogy would be Katrina hitting New Orleans, but Guam is an island. There is NO place to go! At least the buildings (other than the shacks) are concrete and built to withstand the forces and high enough to be above the storm surge lines.

And Mawar was over the island last night, per the JTWC.

If you know anybody out there, say a prayer for them, and don’t bother trying to call them. A text ‘might’ get through, or an email in a day or three.

Having ridden out a couple of weaker ones over the years, I don’t envy anybody out there right now… Mother Nature is showing her strength right now.

Rimworld snippet…

A question on this one… I have an attack on Estrella in this sequence. Is it believable or not? And the reaction.


Eleven days later, Ghost dropped back into real space in Epsilon, a day earlier than Danny expected. Turning to Ish, he smiled and said, “Congratulations. We’re four days earlier than I’ve heard of anyone outside a courier ship making the transit.” Keying the radio, he said, “Epsilon control, Ghost transiting to Centauri jump point.”

Epsilon Control replied, “Ghost is cleared high pass two direct Centauri hyper point. ETA?”

Ish said, “Twenty divs. And you can thank Efrot and Nyx. I did nothing.”

Danny nodded, “Epsilon, Ghost copies high pass two direct. Twenty divs in route.”

Ghost, local system time is thirteen. Your ETA will be zero nine, maintain this frequency, contact Epsilon departure one div prior to hyper point.”

Danny nodded as Estrella reset the local clock on the system screen. “Copied ETA zero nine local, maintain this frequency, contact departure one div prior. Turning to high pass two route at this time.”

“Epsilon Control out.”

Danny got up and stretched. “Essie, you have the bridge. I need some breakfast and it looks like we’ve got a five div difference between ship time and local.”

Estrella snarked, “Simple math. Yes, five divs and I have the bridge as usual. On course.”

Ish snorted as he got up. “You deserved that, Captain.”

Danny beat Ish to the mess by a few steps, and fell in line behind the passengers, took his plate of eggs and a thing Tao called hash, that didn’t look good but tasted surprisingly good. Ish, Adrion, and Vic joined him, and he got a quick update on ship status as Efrot and Nik walked in together. “That’s an odd couple,” Adrion said.

Vic chuckled. “Apparently, they’ve bonded over electrical systems. I overheard them talking a couple of shifts ago and it was way over my head. They were saying something about power runs, shunts, and something else that I really didn’t understand.”

Danny nodded as he finished his breakfast. “Anything else odd that anybody noticed?”

Adrion grimaced. “Well, our pax are keeping to themselves. They never leave the science bay to do anything other than eat. And Atool is now sitting with Keelor, and Scheuller just glares at both of them. His sycophants are ignoring them too. And Atool has never been back in the bays, Keelor only once, and Schueller chased him out. He wasn’t happy when I stayed in the bay while he was looking at the drive plates either.”

Danny blew out a breath. “Not my circus, not my nearmonkeys. As long as they…do nothing stupid, just watch them.”

Vic laughed. “Oh yeah, that’s something else Scheuller doesn’t like is that Moe and his crew are always patrolling the ship. Moe says they get real quiet when any of his crew are seen down there.”

Biting his lip, Danny said, “Well, they…just watch them.”


Nineteen days later, two days from Centauri, at zero three ship time, Estrella noted Scheuller coming out of his cabin, seeming to stagger a bit as he moved aft. She watched as he came up to the main deck and headed for engineering. She keyed the IC, “Nyx, make sure your hatch is secure. Scheuller is acting strangely and coming aft toward your spaces.”

Nyx responded immediately. “Hatch is secure, Estrella. He nor any of the others has ever tried to come back here.” She heard the clicking of switches, and Nyx added, “He…does not look right. I do not know why.”

Estrella had her simulacrum already moving from its charging cubby as she determined to put a physical presence near him, just in case. Meanwhile, she scanned the cameras to see where Curley was on his routine patrol. It only took her two segs to get to the cross passage and start aft toward the engineering hatch Scheuller was pounding on, screaming to be let in. She keyed the PA for the passageway where Curley was and said, “Curley, respond to engineering hatch. Scheuller is acting strangely.” She thought about having Ish leave the bridge, but quickly keyed the captain’s cabin. “Captain, Scheuller is acting strangely and pounding on the engineering hatch. I am almost there, and Curley is responding.”

Danny jolted awake and cursed as he pulled on a shipsuit, slipped his pistol in his pocket and replied, “Have Ish close and seal the bridge. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” He took off at a run, mumbling under his breath as he cursed the distance he had to cover. I think Essie can handle it, at least with Curley’s help. Why the hell didn’t she let me know earlier? Dammit.

Estrella strode down the passageway and said loudly, “What do you think you’re doing?”

Scheuller turned to face her, his face flushed and eyes wild. “I’ma see what they done to my quipment. No way this piece o’shit can fly thish fas.”

Her receptors picked up the odor of alcohol from Scheuller’s body odor and snapped, “You are drunk. You need to return to your cabin immediately.”

Scheuller laughed, lunged for her and grabbed her shoulder. “Wher you bin hidin? You tha little shit’s bisch?” He shook her and laughed again as he pulled her toward him. “I’ll shew you a goo tim!”

Estrella simulacrum performed a heuristic analysis of threat/risk profiles in a millisecond and reacted according to its built-in programming by grabbing Scheuller’s wrist and physically removing it from where it was pawing at her chest. The next step was providing a safe distance from the threat, and the simulacrum threw Scheuller down the passageway using the arm as a lever, breaking it in three places.

Danny and Curley arrived at the head of the passageway in time to see Scheuller bounce off the overhead and land crumpled on the deck a few feet in front of them with a scream of pain. Danny jumped over him as he said, “Curley, secure him!” He ran down to where Estrella stood and stopped. “Are you alright?”

Estrella cocked her head as she swept her hair out of her face. Calmly, she said, “I reacted to the threat he provided. I might have overreacted a bit, I have never practiced disengagement. He is drunk and refused to return to his cabin.”

Danny nodded. “I think just a bit excessive, and practice might be appropriate, if we can figure out how to do that. Why did you throw him at us?”

“I was removing the threat from proximity to me.”

Danny turned and said, “Well, let’s see how bad you damaged him.” They strolled back down the passageway toward Scheuller, who stopped moaning and started scrabbling backward using his feet.

“Keep tha crazy bisch way from me! She try kill me!”

Curley stopped his scrabbling by the simple expedient of pointing his pistol between Scheuller’s eyes as his Gal Trans spit, “Stop! If you continue, I will happily shoot you in the face.” The rippling smile on Curley’s Canid face and growl might have also contributed to Scheuller stopping short and trying to roll to face the bulkhead.

Danny looked at his right arm, sighed, and said, “Well, looks like at least two breaks. Guess we better get him to the med box.”

Estrella said, “Grav stretcher is nearly there. I woke Nik, and he is prepping the med box.”

Twenty segs later, with Scheuller safely ensconce in the med box with Nik monitoring it, Danny met with the rest of the St. George team in the mess. He didn’t pull any punches as he said, “Scheuller attacked one of our crew after attempting to breach the engineering spaces. Scheuller appeared to be drunk and has a broken shoulder, arm, and wrist. He is currently in the med box being treated. Who is the next senior of your group?”

A babble of conversation broke out as the St. George humans started arguing. Danny noted that Atool and Keelor sat separately and said nothing, but Keelor appeared to be smiling. After a few segs, Keelor finally said, “I believe I am senior. Does anyone dispute that?” Atool smiled as the three humans grumbled but finally nodded. “What is your desire, Captain?”

Danny looked up at the overhead, then replied. “Well, obviously Scheuller will be put off the ship as soon as possible. We are…three days out of Centauri, so we will deviate to the nearest station and put him off there. We will make a report to GalPat and it will be up to them what happens next. I would like you, Keelor, to accompany me while I search Scheuller’s cabin to determine what he had concealed that he was drinking.” He held up his hand, “I know people drink. Hell, I drink, but not to the excess he exhibited.” Well, not anymore, and I never attacked anyone, much less a woman even when I was drunk.

Keelor nodded. “That is acceptable. Siegfried, Rashid, Bell, you are all qualified to perform the installation of the drive plates, are you not?”

The three of them nodded sullenly, and Rashid replied, “We are, but…Scheuller is the only one certified to sign off on the installation.”

Adrion snorted. “So, any ship that installs a spare drive plate without Scheuller there is not a certified installation?”

Rashid looked up at Adrion. “That…technically, either Scheuller or one of the other troubleshooters should certify installations. That is part of the contract for using St. George drive plates,” he hissed.

Danny laughed at the absurdity of the situation. “You realize you’re riding on a ship with two of your drive plates that I installed with only a mech for assistance, and never heard a word about having to have anything concerning either the engine upgrade or the drive plates certified, and that was four years ago.”

The three of them looked at each other as Atool laughed. “Good job, you did. Blow up, we haven’t. Good with this, I am.”

Keelor glanced at Danny with an odd look in his eyes, as he said, “Perhaps we should have Siegfried accompany us, that way he can collect Scheuller’s property and pack it for the transfer.”

Danny replied, “Good idea. Let’s go now, since everybody is here. I would appreciate it if the rest of you remained here until we are done.”

Moe stepped off the bulkhead where he had been leaning. His GalTrans chittered, “I will ensure no one leaves, Captain.” His lip curling grin caused Rashid and Bell to shrink back in their seats as Danny, Keelor and Siegfried left the mess.

Danny looked up at the overhead, “Essie, unlock Scheuller’s cabin door, please.”

She replied over the PA, “Unlocked, Captain.”

Danny opened the door and almost gagged at the stink. The lights were on, and a quarter of a bottle of bright red liquid sat on the desk next to the rack. Siegfried murmured, “Deity damn. Hot Cherry.”

Danny looked sharply at him as Estrella said over the PA, “Hot Cherry is a mixture of amphetamines and pure grain alcohol. It overcomes anti-nausea and anti-drunk medication, prolong the drunk, and prevent liver damage. It is not a legal beverage, usually produced by underground dealers and sold surreptitiously in lower-class bars by the shot.”

The search turned up two more full bottles in the bottom of Scheuller’s luggage, and Danny removed them after recording their location on his lapel cam. Siegfried had packed the clothing in the luggage, and had to step into the fresher to wash his hands, after touching the items. Keelor simply stood by the door, shaking his head sadly. He finally said, “This could explain much, but that is not my position. I do feel sorry for him, as this will cost him his job. St. George cannot afford to have a person like this in a leadership position.”

Danny followed the two of them out of the cabin and said, “Essie, send the mech to do a deep clean and sanitize on this cabin.” Turning to Keelor and Siegfried, he added, “It’s all on him. If he hadn’t gotten out of control this morning, we might never have known he had, has an issue.”

Siegfried asked, “What are you going to do with the…alcohol?”

Danny quirked his lip, “Turn it over to GalPat. It is smuggling, if nothing else.”


Three days later, Ghost snuggled up to a short-term module at Centauri Alpha Station and were met by a GalPat lieutenant, a sergeant, and two troopers. Danny handed off the Hot Cherry, a very subdued Scheuller, his arm and shoulder still in a healing matrix, his luggage, and squirted a vid to the lieutenant of the attack in the passageway. He simply reported that Scheuller had attacked one of the crew, but they would pursue no charges. The GalPat lieutenant had nodded, saying the Hot Cherry was enough to get Scheuller charged with smuggling.

A div later they were back underway to Antares and Tejas Station. Five days out, Vic walked onto the bridge shaking his head. “The St. George folks aren’t talking at all. I even tried to get them to answer questions and they shut up and went back to their cabins.”

“Not much we can do,” Danny said, “After all, they have a vested interest in not being caught out on something like this.”

Estrella interrupted, “Since the incident with Scheuller, I have been monitoring the lounge they are using. This might be of interest, since I have been using key word alerts.”

Danny looked up curiously. “You what?”

“I felt it necessary to protect you and the ship, Captain.”

A vid popped onto the main screen. Keelor asked, “Rashid, what is your group not telling me?”

Rashid glanced at Siegfried and Bell before saying, “Well, Scheuller…” He shook his head. “The drive plates might have delaminated. Apparently, we had one lot of plates that got out of the plant with an internal issue that apparently shows up in the first thousand divs due to voids in the internal lamination.”

Keelor reeled back. “What do you mean? We should have detected that!”

Bell said, “According to Scheuller, it doesn’t show up on any quality checks your group does at the plant. Something about one spray nozzle…burping…during the laminate spray process. We didn’t catch it for four weeks. He said he saw it on a set of plates that came back to the plant and figured it out six months ago.”

Keelor leaned forward. “Who knows about this?”

Bell shook his head. “Maybe the bosses, but nothing’s been put out to customers.”

The vid stopped and Estrella said, “That was when Keelor got up and left. There hasn’t been another conversation about it.”

Danny cocked his head. “That might explain why he’s been so jumpy.”

Vic snapped. “I can’t believe…no, maybe I can. That…”

Danny grimaced. “What are the odds you got four of that lot?”

Vic slumped on the navigator’s couch. “Apparently pretty damned high, our maintenance folks buy in bulk for the discount, I think twenty plates at a time, and they bought twenty plates six months ago. The plates on Leningrad were replaced two months ago at twenty thousand divs. So, they currently had…right around nine hundred divs on them when they failed. And now the second set failed with less than three hundred divs on them.”

“Well, that should mean St. George owes you some credits, doesn’t it?”

Vic’s smile wasn’t pretty. “You bet your ass they do, quite a few million credits. But the normal procedure is to jettison the used plates into the sun because of the radiation coming off them, so no proof.”

Danny, still caught up in the possibility of failure, looked up horrified. “Deity! That…if one failed during a jump or in hyper…”


“How could they do that and live with themselves?”

Vic chuckled darkly, “It’s all about business. A few ships lost is minor compared to the loss of prestige and loss of income St. George would suffer for admitting they let a substandard product get out the door. They’re not the only ones that manufacture them now. De Perez, Kaepka, and Highland also manufacture drive plates. St. George is just cheaper because of volume, but quality and reliability play into that equation.”

Danny shivered. “Well, we’ll know something in a little over five days.”

Estrella said, “Five days, nineteen divs, and twenty-one segs. Precision, Captain.”

Danny looked at the overhead as Vic turned a laugh into a cough. “Smart ass AIs. I swear,” Danny sighed.


Ghost dropped into the system and Danny called Tejas Station, since there wasn’t a GalPat controller in the system. “Tejas, Ghost, inbound from Centauri hyper point. ETA seventeen divs.”

Ghost, Tejas approach. You are cleared direct to the station. Interrogative your cargo?”

“Spare plates and install crew for Krasnov ship Leningrad.”

“Roger Ghost, we’ll put you at pier three, next to them. Be advised, nothing in system but local shuttles at this time, no shipping expected for the next three days.”

Danny looked over at Ish. “Pier? What the hell is that?”

Ish snorted. “Tejas is an old station. Really old. Over two hundred years old, they don’t have modules, they have arms like ship piers from…a water world. You come alongside them and they tractor you to the pier. Match up your airlock to theirs, or you get to deal with a wobbly…” Ish saw Danny’s blank expression and chuckled. “A wobbly is a tube that is flexible enough to mate with most airlocks. The issue is that very flexibility, because they wobble when you walk through them.”

Adrion, Nik, and Vic walked onto the bridge, and Adrion asked, “We got a tie up yet?”

Danny nodded. “Pier three.”

Estrella said, “Captain, you left Tejas Station waiting, you might want to say you accept that location and our requirements.”

Danny hung his head. “You’re right. Standby one, guys.” He keyed the radio, “Ah, Tejas, copy pier three. That is acceptable. I have five pax for the install team that may want to bunk on station. Do you have the capability to resupply us?”

Ghost, Tejas, we can resupply. It ain’t going to be fancy, but we can provide.”

Adrion shook his head. “Definitely won’t be fancy. This system is primarily mining. Only one planet even close to Goldilocks, and they’re in domes down there to provide everything for the miners. They grow pretty much all the edibles in the domes and provide an R and R site for the miners to burn off credits every six months.”

Danny once again wondered at Adrion’s seeming inexhaustible knowledge base. Is there any place Adrion hasn’t been? We are…on the butt end of civilization here, not the rim, per se, but getting there. Yet he knows more than he should, or does he? What the hell is his background? Seventeen divs later, he eased Ghost against the things sticking out from the pier. “What the hell are those?”

Ish glanced up at the main screen. “They are called camels. They are designed to protect the side of the ship.” He gargled a laugh. “Before you ask, no I don’t know why.”

Danny threw up his hands. “I give up. At least if I ever see something like this again, I’ll know what I’m getting into.”

Tejas Station came over the radio, “Tractoring.” They felt a lurch and a thump, and Tejas Station said, “Docked. You may stay on ship’s power, or we can hook you to station power for a fee.”

Danny snorted. “Ah, Tejas, we’ll stay on ship’s power. Standing by for connection to one of our airlocks.”

“Tube is being extended now to your port aft airlock. Wait, out.” Ten segs later, Tejas Station said, “Mated. You are cleared to access the station.”

“Thank you, Tejas.” Danny keyed the PA, “Adrion, check the pressure on the port aft airlock. They cleared us onto the station if we match pressure. Passengers are cleared to depart.”

Adrion responded, “Pressures match. Cracking airlock now. I’ll ask Moe to assume the watch at the end of the wobbly.”


Vic stepped onto the bridge. “Danny, I want those drive plates brought back. Can you do that?”

Danny bit his lip. “Well, they have been irradiated. It depends on how…wait…Efrot and Nyx are Talasian. They can handle…let me check.” He keyed the IC. “Efrot or Nyx, can one of you come to the bridge, please?”

A moment later, Nyx replied, “On the way, Captain.”

When Nyx got to the bridge, Danny asked, “Nyx, I know you two can handle radiation. The question is, can we safely handle and haul two used drive plates back to…”

“Earth,” Vic said.

Nyx thought for a couple of seconds, and said, “Yes, if we load them outboard against the bay door and no one other than the two of us goes in the bay. And we could load them if there is a hardened anti-grav available.”

Danny looked at Vic. “Are you sure?”

Vic nodded emphatically. “Yes! That way I’ll have proof if it comes to a court suit that there was a known issue with the plates.” He turned to Estrella, “Can I send a message back to earth to have it relayed to the master on Leningrad to not jettison the plates?”

Estrella nodded. “Of course. Tell me what you want in the message, and I will send it immediately.” Vic and Estrella chatted for a few moments, and she finally said, “I sent your message. Now the question is will it make it back here in time for the crew to take action.”

Danny perked up. “Speaking of actions, I’d like to send Efrot and Nyx over to see the problem and get some readings if they are going to have to load them.”

Vic said, “Engineer to engineer. Don’t even involve Captain Kana, he’ll have other things he’s dealing with.”


The next day, Efrot and Nyx met the Leningrad’s engineer at the airlock and were quickly escorted aboard. “Brett Ava, I’m the CHENG for Leningrad. I didn’t realize you guys were Talasians, if I had, I’d have asked for you to come yesterday.” He led them through the cavernous freighter and up to engineering where they met the St. George team.

Efrot nodded to Keelor and Atool and said, “We just wanted to get a look at the plates in situ.”

Keelor was in the process of suiting up and said, “I will be happy to show you and get your input as soon as Brett suits up.”

A few segs later, they stood in the drive tunnel, high-intensity lighting showing the top of the starboard drive plate. Keelor said, “Any idea what is wrong?”

Efrot and Nyx looked at each other and Efrot took off his gloves, startling both Keelor and Ava. “It is fine, this is low radiation compared to what we are used to. Also, I can sense radiation.” Running his hands over the plate, he said, “Every dark spot has a higher level of radiation.” He got to the far end and looked back down the plate. “Whatever caused it was intermittent, but my guess is a void formed at each one of those spots and focused the radiation.”

Nyx turned to Ava. “What indications were you receiving?”

Ava said, “It was…odd. Like a…popping sound, and it increased as the power was applied. You could see the power imbalance between the port and starboard plates, and the synchronization got worse and worse.” He shook his head. “Same thing that happened on the other plates until the point I told the captain we could come apart if we tried to transition with that much imbalance.”

Efrot asked, “Does the other plate show the same spots?”

Keelor nodded and Ava said, “Both the other plates did too.”

Nyx asked, “Did you keep them?”

Ava snorted. “Deity no! Jettisoned them into the sun, just like we’ll do these. The radhaz is too high!”

(C) JL Curtis 2023 All Rights Reserved

A little humor…

To start your week!

Parents have learned:

1. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

2. A 3-year-old is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

3. If you spray hairspray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a superman cape. It is strong enough, however, to spread paint on all four walls of a large room.

5. When using the ceiling fan as a baseball bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words “Uh-oh,” it’s already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year-old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year-old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.

11. Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a six-year-old.

12. “Play-Doh” and “microwave” should never be used in the same sentence.

13. Super glue is forever.

14. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.

15. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

16. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. foot house 4 inches deep.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise in a moving car.

18. You probably do not want to know what that odor is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

21. Cats spit up twice their body weight when dizzy.

Rut Roh…

Some 60,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used as both fertilizer and a component in explosives, went missing as it was shipped by rail from Wyoming to California last month, prompting four separate investigations.

A railcar loaded with 30 tons of the chemical left Cheyenne, Wyoming, on April 12. The car was found to be empty after it arrived two weeks later at a rail stop in the Mojave Desert, according to a short incident report from the explosives firm that made the shipment.

Full article, HERE from KQED.

The investigation says it ‘leaked out’…

If it did, there should be traces on the roadbed, if not, it could be anywhere in the USA in the back of any kind of box truck or tractor trailer rig. As a reminder, the OKC bombing was ONE ton of ammonium nitrate.

I don’t know what to think on this one, and I REALLY don’t want to think the worst, but…

h/t Stretch


Oh joy…

I wonder how ‘well’ this is going to work…

Russia continues to push a steady, relentless stream of disinformation about its war of aggression against Ukraine, to lie about and cover up horrific abuses it’s committed, to try to justify committing others.

In response, the State Department has developed an AI-enabled online Ukraine Content Aggregator to collect verifiable Russian disinformation and then to share that with partners around the world.  We’re promoting independent media and digital literacy.  We’re working with partners in academia to reliably detect fake text generated by Russian chatbots…

As a system that reflects the data on which it’s trained – including the biases embedded in that data – AI can, of course, amplify discrimination and enable abuses.

It also runs the risk of strengthening autocratic governments, including by enabling them to exploit social media even more effectively to manipulate their people and sow division among and within their adversaries.

Full article, HERE from PJ Media.

Soooo…unproven tech is being rolled out to an NGO that is 90% funded by State and they’re going to ‘police’ Russian disinfo… Righhhtttt…

I’ma crawl in a hole and pull it in after me…