Apparently they’ve updated the slides since I saw this two years ago…

Granted this is an Army slide, but the Navy has the EXACT one in it’s briefing deck.


Full article HERE. And before you have kittens, she IS a security threat, as anyone who has ever had levels of access know.

If any of ‘us’ had ever done anything like what she has, we would already be in jail and looking at 20 to life, depending on which program(s) had been compromised.

What I still don’t understand is why the FBI and DOJ didn’t go after whomever moved the TS/SCI material off the respective machines. That in and of itself is a long prison sentence in and of itself…

The Grey Man- Update…

Sorry to say there is a slight hold up on releasing TGM- Partners. Tina is NOT happy with the cover and the way it turned out. She is reworking the color scheme and the shading to get it more to her liking (and I appreciate her dedication to getting it right).

I’m hoping to have the book up for sale late next week.

One other thing I’m going to do is to put the first three in the series on sale for the weekend for $.99 as a way to say thank you and maybe generate a little more interest in the series.

Thank you for your patience!!!


A look back in time…

Sailor Bars — A great look at a vanishing American Navy

Think John Bulls in Piraeus, Mamas in Naples, Jimmy the Greeks in Malta, Pauline’s in Olongapo, the Rio, the Admiral and the Three Sisters in Olongapo, Kaoshung, Pusan, Hotel Street in Honolulu, the Pearl City Tavern, Captain Harry’s Blue Marlin Bar, the Savoy in Norfolk, Leos first and last Chance in Newport, and Traders in Pensacola, and places in Key West where only submarine sailors were allowed! Think that was bad….go where only the EOD guys were allowed!! …and they cavorted with marine mammals with no tits!!

We were paid to live a life of deprivation from fresh milk and eggs, from no beer for months at a time, and we had to smell stinky socks, smelly wet suits, and diesel fuel forfuqinever, and a life with a few shots over the bow of some Mideast creep that wanted to threaten the US of A, but what a life we lived when we got ashore in the Med or in WestPac!! We wuz SAILORs and we earned every right to be men ashore as we were at sea. God, I miss it. I’d go back tomorrow, particularly if I could be on a US flagged ship off Somalia!!.

Our favorite liberty bars were unlike no other watering holes or dens of iniquity inhabited by seagoing men. They had to meet strict standards to be in compliance with the acceptable requirement for a sailor beer-swilling dump.

The first and foremost requirement was a crusty old gal serving suds. Even the CPO Mess with Nora and Doris in Charleston didn’t quite match up to our overseas standards!! How about Mary Sue in Hong Kong? She could Di-rect your young butt to the best places in the Far East and even knew your ships schedule!!

She had to be able to wrestle King Kong to parade rest: Be able to balance a tray with one hand, knock sailors out of the way with the other hand and skillfully navigate through a roomful of milling around drunks telling lies and drinking San Magoo. On slow nights, she had to be the kind of gal who would give you a back scratch or put her foot on the table so you could admire her new ankle bracelet some “mi gook” brought her back from a Hong Kong liberty.

A good barmaid had to be able to whisper sweet nothings in your young sailor ear like, “I love you, Baby, no shit, you buy me Honda??. Air conditioned helicopter? Rice steamer? Levis?” Pusan was particularly good at the Levis!!

“Buy a pack of Clorets and chew up the whole thing before you get within heaving range of any gal you ever want to see again.”

And, from the crusty old gal behind the bar “Hey dickheads, I know we have a crowd tonight, but if any of you guys find the head facilities fully occupied and start pissing down the floor drain, you’re gonna find yourself scrubbing the deck with your white hats!”

“I ain’t your Mom and I ain’t cleanin’ up after your dumbass.”

The barmaids had to be able to admire great tattoos, look at pictures of ugly bucktooth kids and smile, be able to help haul drunks to cabs and comfort 19 year-olds who had lost someone he thought loved him in a dark corner booth. They could look at your ship’s identification shoulder tab and tell you the names of the Skippers back to the time you were a Cub Scout. They knew where your ship was going before you got there and they knew where you were going after that!

If you came in after a late night maintenance problem and fell asleep with a half-eaten Slim-Jim in your hand, they tucked your peacoat around you, put out the cigarette you left burning in the ashtray and replaced the warm draft you left sitting on the table with a cold one when you woke up.


Simply because they were one of the few people on the face of the earth that knew what you did, and appreciated what you were doing. And if you treated them like a decent human being and didn’t drive ’em nuts by playing songs they hated on the juke box, they would lean over the back of the booth and park their soft warm tits on your neck when they sat two San Miguel beers in front of you ( and asked for that air-conditioned helicopter)!!.

And the Paki or Indian or Bangladeshi table wipe down guy and glass washer, trash dumper, deck swabber and paper towel replacer: The guy had to have baggy tweed pants and a gold tooth and a grin like a 1950 Buick.. And a name like “Ramon”, “Juan”, “Pedro” or “Tico” or even Achmed. He had to smoke unfiltered Luckies, Camels or Raleighs . He wiped the tables down with a sour wash rag that smelled like a billy goat’s crotch and always said, “How are choo navee mans tonight?” He was the indispensable man. The guy with credentials that allowed him to borrow Slim-Jims, Beer Nuts and pickled hard boiled eggs from other beer joints when they ran out where he worked. He knew who to call when the callin’ was required: taxi, whorehouse, shore patrol, or flophouse.

The establishment itself. The place had to have walls covered with ship and squadron plaques with beer labels plastered on the ceiling. The walls were adorned with enlarged unit patches and the dates of previous deployments. A dozen or more old, yellowed photographs of fellows named “Buster”, “Chicago”, “P-Boat Barney”, “Flaming Hooker Harry”, “Malone”, “Jimmy Brown”, ” Honshu Harry”, “Johnny McCain” (yep him), “Jackson”, “Douche Bag Doug”, and “Capt Slade Cutter” decorated any unused space. It had to have the obligatory Michelob, Pabst Blue Ribbon and “Beer Nuts sold here” neon signs. An eight-ball mystery beer tap handle and signs reading:

“Your mother does not work here, so clean away your frickin’ trash.”

“Keep your hands off the barmaid.”

“Don’t throw butts in urinal.”

“Barmaid’s word is final in settling bets.”

“Free beer tomorrow”.

“Take your fights out in the alley behind the bar!”

“Owner reserves the right to waltz your worthless sorry ass outside.”

“Shipmates are responsible for riding herd on their ship/squadron drunks.”

This was typical signage found in any good liberty bar.

You had to have a juke box built along the lines of a Sherman tank loaded with Hank Williams, Mother Maybelle Carter, Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash and twenty other crooning goobers nobody ever heard of. The damn thing had to have “La Bamba”, Herb Alpert’s “Lonely Bull” and Johnny Cash’s “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town”. The furniture in a real good liberty bar had to be made from coal mine shoring lumber and was not fully acceptable until it had 600 cigarette burns and your ship’s numbers or “FTN” carved into it. The bar had to have a brass foot rail and at least six Slim-Jim containers, an oversized glass cookie jar full of Beer-Nuts, a jar of pickled hard boiled eggs that could produce rectal gas emissions that could shut down an UNREP station, and big glass containers full of something called Pickled Pigs Feet and Polish Sausage.

Only drunk Chiefs and starving Ethiopians ate pickled pigs feet and unless the last three feet of your colon had been manufactured by Midas, you didn’t want to get anywhere near the Polish Napalm Dogs.

No liberty bar was complete without a couple of hundred faded ship or airplane pictures and a “Shut the hell up!” sign taped on the mirror behind the bar along with several rather tasteless naked lady pictures. The pool table felt had to have at least three strategic rips as a result of drunken competitors and balls that looked as if a gorilla baby had teethed on the sonuvabitches.

Liberty bars were home and it didn’t matter what country, state, or city you were in. When you walked into a good liberty bar, you felt at home. These were also establishments where 19 year-old kids received an education available nowhere else on earth. You learned how to “tell” and “listen” to sea stories.

You learned about sex at $10.00 a pop! — from professional ladies who taught you things your high school biology teacher didn’t know were anatomically possible. You learned how to make a two cushion bank shot and how to toss down a beer and a shot of Suntori known as a “depth charge.”

We were young, and a helluva long way from home. We were pulling down crappy wages for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a-week availability and loving the life we lived. ($97 bucks a month for E3 and $ 158 bucks for an E5, $220 for an officer). We didn’t know it at the time, but our association with the men we served with forged us into the men we became. And a lot of that association took place in bars where we shared the stories accumulated in our, up to then, short lives. We learned about women and that life could be tough on a gal, and it wasn’t so generous on us either.

While many of our classmates were attending college or in the Air Force, we were getting an education slicing through the green rolling seas in WestPac, experiencing the orgasmic rush of a night cat shot, the heart pounding drama of the return to the ship with the gut wrenching arrestment to a pitching deck. The hours of tedium, boring holes in the sky late at night, experiencing the periodic discomfort of turbulence, marveling at the creation of St. Elmo’s Fire, and sometimes having our reverie interrupted with stark terror when a shipmate was washed overboard or killed on a working dive.

But when we came ashore on liberty, we could rub shoulders with some of the finest men we would ever know, in bars our mothers would never have approved of, in saloons and cabarets that would live in our memories forever.

Long live those liberties in WestPac and in the Med, and Stateside too! They were the greatest teachers about life and how to live it.

Shame, but even talking about those places will get your young ass kicked out of the US Navy today. What a time we had!

Over the years, I’ve been to John Bull’s in Piraeus, Jimmy the Greeks in Malta, Pauline’s, VP Alley, The Missouri and others in Olongapo, The Long Bar in Raffles, Hotel Street in Honolulu, the Pearl City Tavern, Leo’s first and last Chance in Newport, Trader’s in Pensacola, and Sloppy Joe’s on Duval in Key West.

Sadly all of them are gone with the exception of The Long Bar and Sloppy Joe’s… And I couldn’t afford to darken the doorsteps of either one these days.

But I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything… It was an ‘education’ unlike any I’ve ever had anywhere!!! 🙂

Wordless Wednesday…

Bringing out the big guns…7 62 bikeAngry Birds postercrusader


Here’s a snippet from the Mil-S/F I’m working on…

Stolen Time

Colonel Nan Randall rolled up on her elbow and looked at Fargo, only to see his eyes open. She smiled, and he smiled in return. Leaning over, she kissed him softly, and felt his arms come around her, “I’ve got to…”

Fargo said softly, “I know you’ve got to go. But we’ve got at least two hours…” He stroked her back lightly and she moaned, melting into his arms again. An hour later, they sat at the table in the kitchen as Fargo fixed a real cup of coffee.

Nan was besieged by Canis and Cattus, one on each side demanding attention, and she laughed as she petted them, “I can’t believe these are really wild animals! They seem so cuddly and sweet.”

Fargo chuckled, and looked at Cattus, “Well, she can tear you limb from limb in about forty-five seconds. Smile for Nan, Cattus!” Pushing a thought to Cattus to open her mouth and put her paw, claws extended gently on Nan’s leg. Cattus did so, and Fargo felt Nan’s shock.

Turning to Canis, he told her to go to guard, and Canis rippled her lips, bringing a growl from the bottom of her chest and standing her ruff up. Nan, in an unconscious reaction, drew both hands in and put them on the table. “Dammit Ethan, I get your point. They aren’t pets, well, not so much. Stop it already.”

Fargo smiled as he gave both animals the command to relax, and they both licked Nan’s hands in a peace gesture.

Stirring her coffee she continued, “I’m going to have to continue the current patrol, but I’ve talked back to Sector and they agree that we need a stronger presence here, at least for a little while. Probably six or so months, which is about how long it will take for us to finish up this leg of the show the flag patrol.”

Fargo nodded, “So?”

“I’m going to drop a company here, well Rushing River. They’re going to be autonomous as far as planetary control, in other words, they will be subordinate to the colonel at White Sands, but they will be a QRF for this sector of the Rimworlds. I’m also going to leave one assault shuttle with them, and I’d like to have Hyderabad available as a long range transport if required.”

Taking a sip of coffee she sighed, “Oh, that is so good! Anyway, I’m leaving Major Jacky Culverhouse in command, but she’s an MP, so she’ll be the liaison with White Sands. The real command will be Captain Culverhouse and Captain Garibaldi. They’re both mustangs, in their eighties, and have multiple combat tours, they’re a couple of problem children if they get bored. But, they’ll have a full deployment kit, a couple of Darkies…”

Fargo interrupted, “Darkies?”

Nan chuckled, “That’s what they call themselves, and they’re a mated pair of scouts from Anadarko, out in Alpha Centauri.”

Fargo looked at her, “Anadarko? Scouts? I thought that was one of the Wild West colonies.”

“It is, one point five G, sixty percent landmass, limited water, hellacious mountains. Pretty much ignored, until one of our GalPat ships stopped there about thirty years ago. There was some friendly competition with the locals, and our scouts and Special Forces got their asses handed to them. Darkies are short and wide, strong as hell, and sneaky as hell.” Nan took another sip of coffee, “The settlers are all at least half Earth stock Amerind, lots of Commanche, Cherokee, Lakota Sioux and Apache. Apparently the original stock came from Oklahoma, near Fort Sill, so they’ve adopted a Cavalry way of life.”

“What rank are they?” Fargo asked.

“They are direct accessions into GalPat as Chief Sergeants, and they are also completely telepathic with each other. Part of their mating, apparently.”

Fargo filed that away as he whistled, “Oh, that could be convenient!”

Nan grinned, then dropped into a solemn expression, “And I’m leaving one maintenance tech to support the company. Senior Sergeant McDougal.”

Fargo picked up on her change of expression, “And?”

“Well, he’s a different bird.” Nan twirled her cup, “Ah, he’s got a Star of Valor, and they want him a long way from the flagpole.”

“A maintainer with a Star?”

Nan shrugged, “Yep, on his first det as a lead. He got left behind inadvertently, or so it was claimed. Something about his locator and data comp being blocked in a maintenance tunnel they were building. He killed thirty some odd Dragoons rather innovatively, while trying to get off the planet. And he apparently had charges on the Tgate’s power when the good guys came back through the gate. He got the charges off the gate and stuck on his armor, and he ran for it. Blew a leg off, but protected the gate.”

Fargo whistled, “Damn, so he’s basically a kid!”

Nan said, “Yep, maybe forty. But he’s damn good, and I need to keep him busy. This should do it.”

Fargo rolled his eyes, “So… Problem child commanders, problem child maintainer, any more good news?”

Nan blushed, “Well, the company I’m leaving are Herms.”

Fargo just shook his head, “Hermaphrodites? Why them?”

“Well, they keep trying to kill the KTs when they spar. They’ve kept the docs and medboxes busy on the ship,” Nan admitted.

“Lemme guess, the Templars think the Herms are an abomination, right?” Nan nodded. “And Herms being Herms, just love to tweak the KTs every chance they get, right?” Another nod. “So what brilliant individual put those two companies in the same ship?”

Nan sighed, “After the dust up on Rigel Three, where they fought side by side and kicked goon ass, HQ thought it would promote harmony if we put them together. But Mack and Bob can handle them. I’m sure of it.”

Fargo rolled his eyes, “I’m glad I’m retired and I can stay back here in the green, in this little cabin. I don’t want to be anywhere near Rushing River when that crowd gets bored!”

Nan sat up suddenly, “You’re serious aren’t you? I thought…”

“You thought what?”

“I thought… I thought you were in command of the mercs.”

Fargo chuckled, “Command? A bunch of retired CSMs and Warrants? Hell no! If anything, I was an adviser who was mostly ignored. Anyway, they actually are employees of Grey Lady Security.”

“But you went in and fought… Wait a minute, Grey Lady? That damn company has their tentacles all the way out here?”

“It’s my world too. And I was able to use my talents to help out. Adrenalin rush and all that. As for Grey Lady, she does seem to get around for an immobile statue,” Fargo said with a laugh.

Nan smacked him on the arm, “That’s not… Argghhh!  Men!”

An hour later, standing on the porch, Nan turned to Fargo, “Ethan, I can’t thank you enough…”

Fargo put his fingers to her lips, “Nan, there isn’t anything you can say. I’ve truly enjoyed your being here, and I can’t tell you how proud of you I am. You’re a credit to the Corps, and I’d love for you to stay, but I know you have responsibilities.” Scuffing his boot, he looked at Cattus and Canis watching them and continued, “You know you’re welcome here. A day, a week, or forever.”

Turning, she hugged him wordlessly, then stepped back. He led her down the steps to the field in front of the house, where Hyderabad’s shuttle sat waiting. As they walked toward it, the Hunter version of a butterfly about a foot across flew in front of them. Nan jumped back, dodging it, as Fargo laughed. “Shut up dammit,” Nan said, “I don’t like fluttering stuff.” He helped her in, and threw her bag in the back under the netting and waved to Evie as he stepped off the back ramp.

As the shuttle lifted off he trudged back to the lightflyer. Ensuring his bead rifle was secure, he directed his thoughts to the girls, as he thought of them, to guard the house. A short run and he lifted the lightflyer off and drifted out over the canyon, enjoying the view as he headed for the spaceport.

Twenty minutes later he landed at the spaceport in his usual spot by the gate. Securing the lightflyer, he was surprised to see Sergeant Omar pull up in his patrol vehicle. Omar squeaked a greeting that his Galtrans projected to Fargo’s implant as, “Ho, lieutenant of the retired, ride to the ceremony you would like?”

Fargo nodded, “Ride to the ceremony would be appreciated.” He climbed aboard and Sergeant Omar rattled off across the spaceport. Five minutes later he pulled up to the side of the administration building and Fargo hopped off the vehicle with a wave.

Stepping to the corner of the building, he saw a GalPat podium and reviewing stand erected, and a company of troops in blacks at parade rest in front of the podium. As he watched, a group of dignitaries led by Colonel Randall stepped out of the administration building and started walking toward the podium.

He saw the planetary Governor, Ragsdale, followed by what Fargo thought of as his lackey Cameron. Then a couple of other GalPat Colonels, then Lieutenant Colonel Smith, the OIC for Hunter. Drogan, looking uncomfortable in a suit, brought up the rear. Fargo spun, sensing someone coming up behind him.

He saw a youngish troop, wearing a star of valor, who nodded to him as he stuck his head around the corner. “Aw shit. There is no way I’m gonna be able to sneak into formation.” Turning to look at Fargo he added, “Sorry sir. Didn’t mean to cuss. I was working on getting sh.. cra… stuff set up and I forgot to watch my data comp for time.”

Fargo realized he was looking at Senior Sergeant Ian McDougal and smiled.

Color me confused…

The following is a recap of my current identity-

I was born a white male, which makes me a racist.I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which makes me a fascist.

I am heterosexual, which makes me a homophobe.

I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an ally of big business.

I am a Christian, which makes me an infidel.

I am older than 65 and retired, which makes me a useless old man.

I think and I reason; therefore I doubt much that the main stream media tells me, which makes me a reactionary.

I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive American culture, which makes me a xenophobe.

I value my safety and that of my family; therefore I appreciate the police and the legal system, which makes me a right-wing extremist.

I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to each individual’s merits, which makes me anti-socialist.

I acquired a good education without student loans and no debt at graduation, which makes me some kind of odd underachiever.

I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland by all citizens, which makes me a militarist.

Please help me come to terms with this, because I‘m not sure who I am anymore!

Newest problem – I’m not sure which bathroom I should use…

h/t JP


Aviation Art…


30A4 June 1942: one of the defining moments of the Pacific War when the tide turned against the Japanese aggressors at America’s Midway Islands. Lieutenant Richard H. Best and his two wingmen in their Douglas Dauntless SBD dive-bombers have just launched a successful attack on the Japanese flagship aircraft carrier Akagi. The crushing defeat inflicted on the Japanese Navy by the very much smaller United States Pacific Fleet at Midway, put an end to Japan’s ambition to dominate the central Pacific region, and removed the Japanese threat to Hawaii.

R.G. (Bob) Smith was an engineer first, but morphed into one of the premier artists of Naval Aviation. His bio, HERE, is worth a look.

The Grey Man- Partners…

It’s a real book! 🙂

Partners book

Albeit a proof copy… Working through this with Tina and Stephanie to make sure they are satisfied, and hope to go live next week with it.

Thanks to those who put up the reviews on Payback, Changes and Rimworld too! 🙂

And it’s emails that I get like this one, redacted to protect the ‘guilty party’…

You hit all my buttons with your main character.

1.  A 60-ish Vietnam vet?  Check.  (I spent my 18th birthday at Ton Son Nhut AB, RVN.)
2.  Has a granddaughter that he loves dearly, who is a pretty serious shooter in her own right, and calls him “Papa”? Check.  (This is the one who thinks the aluminum framed Ruger 1911 compact would be a perfect graduation gift.)
3.  Likes dogs?  Check.  (Right now, we have four.)
4.  Likes horses? Check.  (Two of those.)
5.  Carries a 1911?  Check. (My bobtailed Kimber Pro Carry is with me just about any time I have pants on and I’m not at work.)

Can’t think of anything that you missed to hook me and reel me in.

And if anybody thinks your characters aren’t believable, I have some friends, neighbors, and family members that I can introduce them to, and we can clear THAT misunderstanding right up!!!

Thanks, I really enjoyed the books, and can’t wait to tackle the next installment.

These are why I write the books…

I pissed somebody off…

My least favorite ‘commenters’ have hit my blog and comment box. I had 140 ‘comments’ in the spam filter this morning, and it seems like I’m getting about thirty an hour. Looks like they are coming from the usual suspects.

In other news, we’re finally getting a little bit of rain appear and the temperatures a broken out of the hundreds for the first time in about three weeks. The only problem is now it is raining again I’m going to have to mow the damn yard at least once more.


Original brochures…

If only we could go back in time and bring one of these cars back…

A little over $4000 in 1957, granted that was a lot of money in the day, but dang… First year of the T-10, first year of fuel injection (in the US), first year of the ‘small block’ 283 with 1HP/

57 vette

And this is the other one… I’ve always liked the Nomad, especially the ones with the 283.1957 Nomad

I know, I know, if wishes were horses, beggers would be riding, but still… To buy two of these cars today would easily run well over $100,000 for ‘good’ ones.