Interesting…

I wonder if we’ll ever see them here?

It would take a LOT of memory to store the images, but it could be a ‘show’ stopper or at least a pedestrian stopper for a minute or so… 🙂

Conversations…

It is refreshing to have interesting conversations with varied groups of folks…

At LibertyCon, I got in one that started off with Chinese moves in the SCS, segued into Chinese population issues Han vs. non-Han, to their actions with the Yuan, to international monetary manipulations, to the border immigration CBP/ICE/HHS issues in probably the space of 30-45 minutes. And NONE of it was from sound bites! People actually KNEW what they were talking about, and the disagreements were voiced, acknowledged, and discussed again without raising voices. What I novel #$%%( concept!

And a few folks have wandered through the house this week, and there were even more in depth conversations. Swords, rapiers, court swords, their uses and the rationale for their sequential existence, from both the historical and practical perspectives. And oceanography (finally something I know something about, yay!), artillery through the ages, restaurants in Spain, Italian appetizers (hint- If it doesn’t specify FRIED calamari, you might have to fight the appetizers), cats vs. dogs (and their owners), children, travel, and research for books.

And food! Texas meatloaf, burgers, brats, and dogs for the 4th, brisket and pork loin last night, and a birthday for a 1 year old. And the muse ‘graced’ me with a few ideas… sigh

Book Promo…

Michael Hooten’s second book in the Enlisted series, Till the Conflict is Over is out!

As always, click on the cover for the link.

The blurb-

Peter Wright not only survived the Battle of Juno, but managed to defeat the enemy as well. He’s hailed as a hero, and everyone wants to know his story and how he accomplished the impossible, but all he wants is to avoid everything that reminds him of that day. Instead he has to endure interviews, cotillions, and the social mores of living in outer space. And also anxiety attacks, suvivors’ groups, and funerals. Through it all, he wishes he could just be a normal sailor again.

Be careful what you wish for.

Michael does a great job of dealing with the survivor’s guilt in this story. Recommend you read the series in order.

Next up is Peter Nealan’s second book in the Maelstrom Rising series, Holding Action.

The blurb-

Buying Time With Blood

Matt Bowen and his team made it out of Slovakia by the skin of their teeth.

But the fight’s not over. And there’s no rest for the weary.

The European Defense Council, desperate to salvage their dream of a Europe reshaped in their image, threaten invasion of Poland.

The Triarii and what is left of American forces in Northern Europe stand by their Polish allies. But they’re outnumbered and outgunned.

And they might well be watching the wrong part of the border.

The brutal series about the next World War continues in a storm of fire and steel!

Peter does an excellent job of writing from the grunt’s perspective, and the level of detail and research he puts into the story is outstanding!

Happy Independence Day!!!

Enjoy the day and the fireworks.

And an historic note on what happened to 56 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, HERE. They did NOT get off lightly…

Take time today to put aside petty jealousies and JUST ENJOY THE DAY!

Grey Man snippet…

Another one from the backstory of John Cronin.

Comments/recommendations appreciated, as always.

Cronin and Fernando, both dressed in grey workman’s coveralls, jumped out of the back of the truck as Hector pulled to the side of the road high in the mountains. Dragging their backpacks off the tailgate, they dropped quickly into the ditch as Hector walked over and pissed in the ditch. “Señors, I will be back here tomorrow at the same time. Please be here. Ve con Dios.” He zipped up, walked back to the truck and drove off, as Cronin and Fernando melted into the jungle.

After a hundred yards, Cronin took a knee, pulling out his map. Fernando did the same, and Cronin said, “Remember, one circle of the camp, then watch. I’ll do the same on the far camp and meet you at the clearing north of the middle camp at zero eight hundred. That should give us time to do that camp and get back here in time for pickup tomorrow. These radios won’t last the entire time, so turn it on at the top of the hour for five minutes. If everything is okay, I will not say anything.”

Fernando nodded and said quietly, “Si Señor, I will do the same. If I hear gunfire, I will turn the radio on then.”

Cronin slapped Fernando on the shoulder as he got up. “I’ll do the same. See you in the morning, Fernando.” He moved off quietly, disappearing into the jungle quickly as Fernando shook his head, I didn’t believe him about the gray coveralls, but he is gone. He checked his Browning was secure in its holster, took a compass bearing, and moved off toward the nearest camp.

The next morning, they met at the clearing and compared notes. Fernando said, “They are definitely cooking coke. I counted ocho hombres at various times. It looks like six hour shifts, and they sleep in huts upwind from the camp. There is a rutted track into the camp from the northwest, but I saw no guards or vehicles.”

Cronin nodded. “Basically, the same at the camp I watched. The track ends at that camp, so I’m guessing they are the end of the line. I think one man was down, either sick or poisoned, since I saw them trying to take care of him in the hut, and I heard a lot of moaning and coughing.” He got up, saying, “Okay, let’s knock this one out and get back to the road. We’ve got three hours. I’ll go around the eastern side, you take the western, and assuming there is a track coming in, we’ll meet there. We should have enough battery to leave the radios on until we get back together.”

They moved off to the south, and Fernando thought, This crazy hombre is actually good in the jungle. I would never have thought that. As they neared the camp, Cronin motioned to the west, and Fernando gave him a thumbs up as they separated. He made sure his earpiece was firmly in his ear, and double clicked the mic, then heard two clicks back from Cronin.

Thirty minutes later, Fernando heard, “On your right,” over his earpiece. He looked hard but didn’t see anything until Cronin moved. Shaking his head, he turned toward him, and Cronin said softly, “Let’s follow the track. I’m curious now.”

As they passed the next rough track down to the first site, they heard a truck grinding down the track, and each of them jumped to opposite sides of the track. A battered stake bed Ford went by, with three men in the cab. One of them had a rifle propped on the window frame, pointing loosely out the window. As it passed, they noted a tarp in the back, but nothing else except a few boxes. After it had passed, Cronin stepped back onto the track and said, “That’s interesting. One guard?”

Fernando shrugged. “Maybe. Probably two. Dropping off food and picking up drugs?”

“As good a guess as any.” He glanced at his watch. “Let’s see where this comes out. I think we’re within a mile of where Hector is picking us up.” They walked out to the end of the track, and Cronin took notes on the location and identifying landmarks, then said, “Let’s get back in the trees and head for the pickup point. I doubt that anyone will run up on us, but I’d rather not take the chance.”

Twenty minutes later, they were opposite the turnout where they had dropped them off. A couple of minutes later, they heard a car coming up the road, and saw Hector wave out the window as he swung in. They piled in and Hector said, “Canteens of water in the back floorboard. Followed a box truck up the hill, watched it turn down the track to the little strip. And I found a place about a half mile further up to hide the truck if we decide to do this.” He quickly turned the car and headed back down the hill as Cronin and Fernando gulped the water.

“Thanks, Hector. I needed that.” Fernando echoed him from the backseat and Cronin continued, “I think we can take all three sites in one go. If we had one more person, we could do all three at the same time, because there don’t appear to be any guards with them. Fernando?”

No, Señor. I only saw one… Químico, how you say–”

“Chemist? Or maybe laboratory manager?”

Si, laboratory manager. He had a mask hanging around his neck, and was bossing the others around, while he stood outside smoking a cigarette. Him I would cheerfully kill. He was an el cabrón to the others.”

Hector looked in the mirror and laughed. “So, a cop, who by their nature are assholes, wants to kill another asshole.”

Fernando smiled. “But it’s my job to be an asshole. Him, no. He is just power hungry, and little, bad combination in a macho world like this.”

Cronin nodded. “Yeah. The question is, what will we do with the workers? Let them go, or kill them?”

Hector replied, “I’d let them go, if they’ve been forced to work. If not—” he shrugged, “They die in the explosion.”

Cronin bit his lip. “We’ll figure out something.” I really don’t want to kill any more than we absolutely have to. But what do we do with them? I don’t have a good answer for that. It’s too far to walk back to town. Maybe…give them a ride to the barrio and let them disappear in there?

On a slightly different note, HONEST reviews of Rimworld- JACE would be appreciated, I’ve got a long way to go to get to 50 reviews on that one…

Thanks in advance!

Ahhh…

Home again! Yay! Only broke ONE airplane yesterday… LOL

Hopefully regular blogging will resume tomorrow, but I want to say thanks to the LibertyCon staff and sponsors for an outstanding con! You done good!!!

And thank you to all those who came by, said hello, and/or bought my books. I do appreciate the comments, and I do listen to what you say!

From a friend- A summary of the promises made over the two nights of Dem debates

SUMMARY:

1) 100% free healthcare including liposuction, Viagra, and breast implants.*
2) College degrees will be issued without the requirement of attending college.
3) All existing debts will be cancelled; nobody owes anything to anybody.
4) Unemployment benefits will be permanent and twice the minimum wage.
5) All cars will get 100 miles per gallon and their exhaust will be pure oxygen with a “fresh pine” scent.
6) Everything served in a restaurant will always be on a 99¢ value menu.
7) Fitness guidelines will be revised so that every American meets the federal definition of “hot.”
8) 50 bonus points will be added to the IQ score of every minority American.
9) There will be no more taxes of any kind except on the Evil Rich.

10) Everyone will go to Heaven or the deity of your choice.

* includes all those in The Country illegally 

I’m sticking this here for the next round of democrat debates so we can have some fun. NOT doing the drinking version, we’d probably be drunk in the first 15 minutes.

I know a lot of folks will be heading out for the long weekend, so if you’re traveling, please travel safe and ENJOY the 4th, our Independence Day!!!

Gah…

Not 21 anymore… Groan…

I didn’t used to mind the oh dark 30 get ups. But 0230 came WAY too early this morning. Why you may ask? Because I was stoopid…

Selected the WRONG flight out of CHA to go home, and didn’t realize it until yesterday afternoon (e.g. too late to change to a reasonable hour, so I drag my (un)happy ass out of bed to get to the airport for a 0530 flight.

And to add insult to injury, the *^&*( coffee shop in the airport isn’t open yet!!!

So I’ll leave you with this as I go in search of the elixir of life…

LibertyCon Day 2…

We had a good day, lots of panels, caught up with more folks, and got to the Citywide Cafe for a quick dinner…

If you’re ever in Chattanooga and are hungry, it’s the place to go! Good food, reasonably priced, and a LOT of it. And the desserts…

These cakes are literally almost a foot high! So you either eat dinner, or have dessert, but not both (there isn’t enough room in the stomach)… Sigh…

Tomorrow is the last day of the con, and it’s probably a good thing… LOL At least us old folks can go back to getting to sleep at our normal time… 🙂

LibertyCon Day 1…

Basically a catch up day with folks I haven’t seen since last year, plus a few I saw last week… LOL

250 different panels and activities, plenty of things to do/see/listen to. As per my usual luck, I needed to clone myself to go to all of the panels I WANTED to see… Sigh

The limit of 750 attendees makes this a more ‘compact’ con, for lack of a better word, and those that do attend are pretty serious. I overheard one conversation about first cons back in the 1970s, and comparing various cons over the years… I cannot imagine what they’ve seen in over 40 years of cons!

The ‘formal kickoff was at 1700 yesterday, and there are 150 professionals attending from a variety of fields, from science, to writing, to art, to costuming, and a few more I’m sure I missed. Plus around 100 volunteers (bless each and every one of them), that are the glue that makes everything work.

And I’m tired… Not enough sleep… Too many conversations, and too many folks I don’t see often enough

A win for the Navy!!!

The Department of Justice will drop its appeal of a federal court decision awarding disability benefits to tens of thousands of veterans who claim exposure to cancer-
causing chemical defoliants while serving in the seas near Vietnam, handing advocates what appears to be a final legal victory. In a filing with the Supreme Court, Justice
Department officials said they will not argue for overturning the case which undid years of VA policy denying benefits to about 90,000 “blue water” Navy veterans.

Congressional Budget Office officials had estimated awarding the benefits to the blue water veterans could total about $1.1 billion over 10 years, but VA officials in the past have estimated the total could rise to more than $5.5 billion. Justice lawyers had twice asked for extensions to file an appeal, even as VA officials publicly said they believed the lower court decision should stand. Congressional leaders and outside advocates had also argued against an appeal.

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-CA and ranking member Phil Roe, R-TN said they were “encouraged by DOJ’s decision not to appeal and further delay benefits to our Blue Water Navy veterans.” At issue is a VA decision in the past to treat the sailors’ disability benefit claims differently from other troops who served in Vietnam.

Full article, HERE at Military.com

This has been a LONG time coming… 50 years basically… I remember the fight one of my shipmates went through. He was a brown water sailor in Swift Boats 1966-67, and had been exposed to Agent Orange. He fought for years to get care, and was denied time after time. Ken died in 2009, and two weeks later his wife got a letter from the VA FINALLY approving his Agent Orange claims and disability…