This is truly scary…

And the potential for major issues and or crashes cannot be overemphasized…

Earlier this month, it was discovered that thousands of engine part certifications supplied by AOG had been falsified. On Sept. 20, The London High Court issued a ruling that gives the company 14 days to hand over details on any CFM56 and CF6 parts it acquired and sold, along with relevant supporting paperwork. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed Sept. 7 by CFM and its co-owners, GE Aerospace and Safran, against AOG Technics and its founder, Jose Zamora Yrala.

Full article, HERE.

In addition to the commercial airlines, this also has the potential to impact the Navy P-8 program, which also uses those engines…

I’d be thinking twice before I climb on an airplane until this one is resolved…

Just sayin…

A good point…

Nuff said…


Sometimes, when you go back and look at a story, it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right…

This is the start of a story I did last month for the new library benefit anthology we’re doing.

Hank Blake wiped his face with his handkerchief as he glared at the pipe racked at the side of the derrick. Another sixty feet is all we’ve got. Where the hell is old man Orisman? He was supposed to be here three hours ago! His other hand rested on the kelly as it thumped around, telling him the string was still in hard rock, dropping a couple of inches every minute or so.

Tony Coletta stepped up on the platform and walked over. “What are we going to do, Hank?”

Hank looked down at Tony. “We got sixty feet then we shut down. I don’t know where the old man is.”

Tony spat off to the side of the derrick. “We’re gonna need water soon, too. I ain’t puttin’ that creek water in the boiler.”

Hank nodded. “Yeah, we don’t need to blow one up like Harrel did.” He walked over and looked down at the feeder pond and settling pond. “I think we got enough thin mud to get through these two sticks.” A gush of muddy water spit into the settling pond and he bit his lip. “Not a bit of sheen. We aren’t even close to getting any oil.”

Tony looked at the pump setting on the lip of the feeder pond. “Still sucking creek water, so we’re good there, but if we shut down, I’ma shut the generator off to the pumps. It’s squealing a little bit, I think the impeller might be picking up some corrosion from the creek water.” He shook his head. “No point in pumping water up here for nothin’.”

Hank laughed. “We aren’t on a ship anymore, Tony. More water isn’t going to sink us.”

Snorting, Tony replied, “No, but that old boiler ain’t in as good a shape as the one on the Wadsworth!”

“Ain’t a Yarrow boiler either. Face it Tony, you got spoiled on Wadsworth.”

The rattle of a Model T pickup interrupted Tony’s response clattering up to the derrick. Old man Orisman stepped out, mopped his red face, took off his seersucker jacket and stumped his way up to the derrick floor.

Tony slipped back to his boilers and steam plant as Hank met Mr. Orisman at the rotary. “Yes, sir?”

 Orisman mopped his face again, looked up at the crown block at the top of the derrick, and finally looked up at Hank. “How far down are we?”

“Right at thirty-five hundred feet, sir.”

“Damn! Another dry hole!” Orisman’s face got even redder, if that was possible as his accent slipped into Pennsylvania Dutch. “I can’t…this is the fourth damned dry hole.” He took out his handkerchief and mopped his face again, then peered at Hank. “I’m done. I never should have come down here.” He waved his arms around. “Too hot, strange land, crooked shysters in charge of things…” He trailed off.

Hank said, “Well, you’ve got another thirty days on the lease, correct?”

Orisman spit. “For what? There ain’t no damned oil out here! We’re too far north of town!” He waved again. “Nothing out here but rock, and that damned creek. I knew better!” Hank started to say something, but Orisman went on, “Nothing against youse guys. I couldn’t have asked for better. You, Tony, and the rest of the crew did your jobs as well as I could expect.” He reached in his pocket and pulled out a wad of money. “Here’s enough to pay everybody through next Friday. Maybe you can catch on with another crew by then.”

Hank nodded as he took the money, not bothering to count it as he shoved it in his jeans. “Mr. Orisman, what are you going to do with the rig?”

Orisman spit again. “Try to sell it. Or at least the pipe. The rest…isn’t worth much. Why?”

Hank blew out a breath. “Would you be willing to sell it to us? And the lease?”

Orisman laughed. “Hank, what’s gotten into youse?”

Shrugging, Hank said, “Well, there is thirty days left on the lease and…”

“You think you can pull a rabbit out of the hat? Is that it?” Orisman chuckled. “Youse guys really are crazy. Five hundred dollars for all of it, but where are you going to come up with that much money? Hell, for that, I’d even throw in the truck!”

I gotta be nuts for even thinking about this, but dammit, I still think there is oil up on that ridge. If the bank in Amarillo will give me credit, I’ve…we’ve got the money in the bank in Dallas, but Emma will kill me if I lose it. “If we can go to Amarillo tomorrow, I think I can get the money from the bank.”

Orisman cocked his head. “You’re serious. You get the money, you have a deal. Mortensen was at his town hoose yesterday, so he’ll probably be there tomorrow. You pay me, we’ll go by his hoose and I’ll sign the lease over to you.”




Hank had given Tony the money to pay everybody, and he and Orisman left early for the three-hour drive to Amarillo. Orisman was in another seersucker suit, his trunk in the truck’s bed, and Hank had on his cleanest jeans and a white shirt, along with his cowboy hat. When they walked into the Amarillo National Bank, Hank took a deep breath and went to the one teller window that was open. The well dressed, auburn-haired young lady smiled up at him. “Can I help you, sir?”

Hank cleared his throat. “I…have money in the First National Bank in Dallas. Can I write a check on them?”

She said, “For how much, sir?”

Hank gulped. “Ah, seven hundred fifty dollars.”

She said, “That is more than I can approve. Let me get Mr. Wells. He can help you. Follow me, please.” She led Hank and Orisman over to a middle-aged man in shirtsleeves with sleeve garters holding up his sleeves. “Mr. Wells, this gent needs to make a draw on First National Bank Dallas, and it is more than I’m allowed to do.”

A half hour later, Hank handed Orisman five hundred dollars and Wells witnessed the sale of Orisman Exploratory’s assets to one Hank Blake. Orisman smiled, “Well, you did it, Hank. Now let’s go find Mortensen and you can take me to the station. If this goes quickly, I can make the two o’clock train east!”

Orisman drove over to Mortensen’s house, and they met with the hard eyed old rancher in his town office. Mortensen bit his lip as Orisman slid the signed lease transfer across the table. “What makes you think there’s oil on my property, Blake?”

Hank looked up at the ceiling. “Mr. Mortensen, I’ve…I just think oil is there. I know nothing’s been found up north yet, but I think it’s there. I’ve got a hunch we’ve been drilling in the wrong place.”

Mortensen glanced at Orisman. “I thought you paid one o’ them geologists to find oil.”

Orisman shrugged. “I did. It didn’t pan out.” He pointed at Hank. “I don’t think Hank is going to find any, but if he wants to take a chance on a hunch, more power to him. And he’s done an excellent job for me as a driller.”

Mortensen signed the lease with a flourish. “Good enough. Thirty days, Blake.”

Hank nodded. “Thank you, sir. I’ll do my best.”

Orisman pulled out his pocket watch. “If we leave now, I can make my train.” He got up as Hank shook hands with Mortensen. They left and Hank drove Orisman to the station, then unloaded his trunk as Orisman went to get his ticket.




Three hours later, Hank pulled up at the drilling rig and was met by Tony. “We’ve got a problem.”

Hank sighed. “What now?”

“Herweg showed up out here with a couple of deputies. He gave us twenty-four hours to get off the property or be arrested for vagrancy. He said since Orisman is gone, obviously we’re out of work.”

Hank chuckled. “No, we’re not. We’ve got thirty…well, twenty-nine days to drill and get oil.”

Tony looked at him. “How? I heard what Orisman said yesterday.”

“I bought the rig and the lease. I know there is oil here.”

“You what? What in the hell were you thinking, and where did you get the money?” Tony peered at him. “Does Emma know?” He shook his head. “You didn’t tell her, did you?”

Hank slapped his forehead. “Dammit! I knew there was something else I was going to do before I left Amarillo! Shit…”

Tony said softly, “You’re a dead man walking. You know that, right?”

“Only if I fail, Tony, only if I fail. Gather everybody up and let’s have a confab at the mess tent.”

Fifteen minutes later, the entire crew sat around the tables in the mess tent. Sampson and Mae passed out coffee cups and finally sat at the end of the table. Hank stood up and cleared his throat. “I’ve bought the rig and the lease. I have twenty-nine days to bring in a producing well here. Y’all are paid through next Friday. Those that want to stay I will have enough to pay you. Those that want to leave are free to do so next Friday. Meanwhile, we need to pull pipe and clear the hole.” He looked around. “Billy, stay or go?”

Billy was the youngest of the roughnecks. “Stay. You gave me a chance when nobody else did.”


Patrick shrugged. “I’ll stay ‘til next week.”


Shorty unfolded from the bench. “I’ll stick. Beats the hell outta punchin’ cows. Better pay too!” That got a laugh out of the roughnecks.

Alton said, “Same for me.”

Tony laughed. “I’m in it to win it.”


Roland was the oldest of the roughnecks, who’d come up from Spindletop with Hank and Tony. “I’ve known you for almost twenty years, Hank. I’ll stick.”

Hank cocked his head as he looked at Sampson and Mae. “Sampson?”

Sampson looked down at Mae, and she nodded. “We’ll stick. I ain’t knowed you as long as Roland, but you allus treated me right on the ship, and when you got me hired to cook down in south Texas, you got me paid same as ever one else. An’ you ain’t tried nuthin’ with Mae.”

Hank laughed. “Sampson, I may be a dumb country boy, but I am smart enough to not want to be on your bad side. I’ve seen you fight, remember?” He smiled at Mae. “Besides, I’ve seen what Mae can do with a butcher knife!”

That cracked up everyone, and Tony said, “So we’re pulling pipe?”

Hank nodded. “That and we gotta move the rig. I’ll go see if Jake the Snake is around and get his crew to do it.” He scrubbed his face. “Gonna be some long hours folks. We’re gonna drill day and night. If that’s what it takes.” He looked around again. “Thank you for sticking with me on this. Now let’s go pull some pipe.”

As everyone left, he walked over to Sampson. “Can you go get food and see if you can get a teamster out here with a pipe wagon?”

Sampson nodded. “I’ll need some money. Ain’t nobody gonna take a black man’s word they gonna get paid.”

Mae added, “And I need some laundry soap. I can only do so much to keep y’all’s clothes clean. Y’all a bunch of dirty men!”

Hank snorted. “Drilling is a dirty job, Mae. You know that.” He dug in his pocket and pulled out forty dollars, then handed it to Sampson. “Let me know if you need more.”

He went and found Tony getting up steam. “What about water? Do we need more?”

Tony shook his head. “The water wagon showed up this morning, and I got enough to get through the weekend only cost fifty cents for a thousand gallons. I’ll be ready in ten minutes.”

Billy came up and asked, “What do you want me to do up top?”

Hank looked up at the crown block, then back at Billy. “We’ll pull the Kelly first. Set it to the side, then come down and rack the drill pipe to the other side. We won’t get much done before sunset, but I at least want to get it started.”

Billy nodded and started climbing the derrick as Hank heard the belts turning. Roland brought the clamps from the tool shed and dropped them on the rotary. “Me and Patrick breaking the pipe, Shorty and Alton stackin’?”

Hank nodded. “I’ll run the winch off the clutch here.”

Tony sounded the whistle, showing steam was up. Hank looked up and got a thumbs up from Billy, looked around the drilling floor and saw that everyone else was in position. “Here we go,” he yelled as he engaged the clutch and the kelly rose out of the rotary. Once it cleared by about four feet, Hank stopped the winch, Roland slapped the rotary stop on the pipe below it, and Patrick took tension on the kelly. With a grunt of effort, he broke it loose and spun it off the first section of drill pipe.

Billy had disconnected the hose that pumped the mud to the drill pipe and yelled. “Ware the hose!” He dropped it down the side of the derrick away from everyone and Alton pushed it off the side of the drilling floor as Billy pulled the kelly to the side. Shorty pushed the bottom of the kelly to the side and said, “Down winch.” Hank dropped the winch cable allowing the kelly to land on the drill floor, and Shorty yelled, “Disconnect, Billy!”

By sunset, they had pulled twenty lengths of pipe, and stacked them inside the derrick when Hank called it quits. “We’re done for tonight. Shut it down, Tony! Billy, come on down.”

Sampson and Mae had come back with food, and he told Hank that a teamster would be out to the rig in the morning. Hank nodded and said, “The guys can probably use some food. I’m going to town to see if I can find Jake. I want to move the rig on Monday.”

I went back and started looking at it a couple of days ago, and wasn’t happy with the story flow, in addition to it being a little (1000 words) long. I usually try to bring the story in right around 8000 words if that is what is desired, but this one ran long.

I ended up removing most of the courthouse scene, taking out about 750 words, and rewrote the ending, changing some of the details. I ran it by a couple of folks and they agreed, so I’ll resubmit it next week.

Now it’s back to work on the next Bell Chronicles! 🙂

11th hour crap…


No CR, no budget, and no ‘guarantee’ of continuation of pay… except for the congresscritters…

Folks in the military can’t afford to miss paydays. There is never enough ‘extra’ money at the end of the pay period to carry one through, unless the spouse has a GOOD job. And with recruitment/reenlistments down, the last thing needed is to wonder if they will get paid.

Lawmakers are prepping plans to guarantee paychecks for troops and in case of a government shutdown next month, arguing that jeopardizing military family finances could hurt national security.

If successful, the moves would blunt some of the potential impact of shuttering of federal services by ensuring that servicemembers’ pay — including members of the Coast Guard — would continue uninterrupted. But Congress has only a week to adopt the legislation in order to head off any military paycheck problems.

Full article, HERE from Military Times.

Under Carter, there were ‘hints’ that we might not get paid, and I don’t honestly remember if we discussed not coming in to work. In 1976, I think, there was also talk of ‘unionization’ of the military due to dissatisfaction over pay and allowances. I think that is the only reason we got the pay raises we did in 79.


Dual tier justice again???

This one kinda ‘slipped through the cracks’, as they say…

He was originally charged with criminal vehicular homicide, but ‘admitted’ he ran over the kid because he was a Republican… But not charged as a hate crime.

After the uproar, the charge was upgraded to a AA Felony for murder, with life without parole as one possibility.

Now, less than a year later,  in May, we get this…

A man who confessed to killing a teenager he falsely accused of being associated with a “Republican extremist group” got a slap-on-the-wrist prison sentence after his murder charge was downgraded to manslaughter in the high-profile North Dakota case.

Earlier this month, 42-year-old Shannon Joseph Brandt was sentenced to just five years behind bars for the Sept. 18, 2022, slaying of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson. District Court Judge Bradley A. Cruff handed Brandt the punishment on Sept. 8 after he pleaded guilty to the reduced manslaughter charge, a Class B felony that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

Full article, HERE.

This, to me, just proves there are two tiers of justice, one for their side, and one for our side. And guess which one gets the ‘worse’ end of the stick???

And then there is this ‘gem’ from Chuck U Schumer…

Can you say Brownshirts? I knew you could…

Anybody wanna bet on which way their ‘justice’ is going to go???



And here we go!!!

This is going to be interesting to watch!

A collection of bestselling authors, including Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin and legal drama writer John Grisham, has sued ChatGPT developer OpenAI for using their writing to train the artificial intelligence without paying.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday by the writer’s advocacy group known as the Authors Guild, claims that the chatbot uses the works of famous authors to train its answers without providing sufficient compensation for the creators. It’s the latest action by creators worldwide to ensure proper compensation as more and more people adopt generative tools like ChatGPT.

Full article, HERE from the Washington Examiner!

When you add these to the suits against the ‘art’ AI people, they whole AI thing ‘could’ collapse if they win in court, because of the massive copyright violations on these systems to ‘train’ the AIs.

I’ma need more popcorn…


Huh, that’s…odd…

Looks like Ray Epps is ‘finally’ getting charged…

Ray Epps was charged with one misdemeanor count of “Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a)(2)” according to a charging document filed on Monday and made public on Tuesday. 

Signed by United States Attorney Matthew Graves, the charging document is brief in its explanation.

Full article, HERE from Townhall.

I can’t help but wonder if the left is finally throwing him under the bus, now that his usefulness is done…

We’ve got weather moving in, so I’m going to quit here and shut the computer down. Y’all go read the folks on the sidebar, and I’ll hopefully be able to comment this morning.

Here we go…


The LAST time a budget was actually passed on time was…wait for it…


House Republicans will try again this week to advance their funding outline for the Defense Department in fiscal 2024, just a few days after far-right lawmakers derailed leadership’s plans to move ahead on the budget measure.

The chamber was set to vote on the $826 billion plan last week, but Republican leaders shelved the legislation after members of the GOP’s right-of-right Freedom Caucus indicated they would not support the bill without promises of additional cuts to non-defense spending. That left the appropriations measure without enough backing to pass, since Democrats have already raised objections to the Republicans’ proposed limits on abortion access for troops and other social issues in the measure.

Full article, HERE from the Federal Times.

This is going to end up with another CR, and dire warnings about delayed, cancelled military pay, retiree pay, Social Security, etc. but you NEVER hear about any possible delays to entitlements…

Gah! It’s LONG past time for term limits, because Congress is nothing more than an old folks home now, with idiots up there who cannot function but are being told how to vote by the unelected bureaucrats that hide behind the scenes!

And now the Senate is ‘modifying’ their dress code, HERE, to cater to Fetterman, so he can come on the Senate floor in shorts, a hoodie, and showershoes!

Really??? The supposedly ‘most august’ body can now come to work dressed however they want? Pajamas? Curlers in their hair? Will they try to top Wallyworld???


Back in battery…

Home from P-Con, fun was had, saw a lot of friends, hopefully made a few, and did a bunch of panels.

Bravo Zulu to the organizers for putting on a nice little con for the first time!

Made the obligatory visit to the Krasnovian Embassy too!

My only complaint is one that I make after every con… Too little time to actually sit and chat with folks! Dang it! As usual, I’m brain fried from actually having to ‘think’ from two days… LOL

Thanks to those that bought copies of my books, and hopefully they will leave a review or two!!!


Is only getting worse…

When Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson (D) ran for office, he was propelled to victory by a growing socialist movement allied with the Democratic Party.  The Socialist movement has elected a record number of socialists in Congress. However, Johnson now has one of the largest American cities to implement such policies with the support of the far left teacher’s union. Years ago, I wrote how a delegation of the union went to Venezuela and heaped praise on the murderous regime’s “progress.” Now Johnson appears to be moving toward a pilot program with great significance for socialist supporters: state-run grocery stores.

Full article HERE!

This isn’t going to end well, but ‘we’ know that. Of course they ARE getting what they voted for!