Ode to Joy!!!

Flash mob- Take five minutes and enjoy it!

‘Tis the season…

Merry Christmas!!!

I’m sure the kids had you up at oh dark thirty…

A Christmas tree with a ‘twist’…

IMG_1928

A closer look at the ‘starfish’ and it turns out they are REAL starfish! 🙂  Very nicely preserved, but the real deal!!!

If you’re wondering where this is, it was a tree in a hotel in Okinawa a couple of years ago  And it’s a neat way to ‘use’ the local environment. This is a helluva lot nicer than my scrawny little tree I dust off and put up every year…LOL

I hope your Christmas tree is as pretty and the packages underneath are all real!

Santa’s on the go…

Jeff MacNelly was a friend of the military, and especially of the Navy.  He did a number of ‘special’ cartoons over the years for those of us who served…

This is one of my favorites…  Sadly he passed way too young in 2000 due to lymphoma.shoexmas

Author unknown, but a damn good one…

This one goes out to Alma, Brigid, Frito, Flake, JD, Jim, Juvat, JP, Joe and all the other aviators out there…

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,
Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.
The aircraft were fastened to tiedowns with care,
In hopes that come morning, they all would be there.

The fuel trucks were nestled, all snug in their spots,
With gusts from two-forty at 39 knots.
I slumped at the fuel desk, now finally caught up,
And settled down comfortably, resting my butt.

When the radio lit up with noise and with chatter,
I turned up the scanner to see what was the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow,
Called for clearance to land at the airport below.

He barked his transmission so lively and quick,
I’d have sworn that the call sign he used was “St. Nick”;
I ran to the panel to turn up the lights,
The better to welcome this magical flight.

He called his position, no room for denial,
“St. Nicholas One, turnin’ left onto final.”
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Rutan-built sleigh, with eight Rotax Reindeer!

With vectors to final, down the glideslope he came,
As he passed all fixes, he called them by name:
“Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now Trini and Bacun!
On Comet! On Cupid!” What pills was he takin’?

While controllers were sittin’, and scratchin’ their head,
They phoned to my office, and I heard it with dread,
The message they left was both urgent and dour:
“When Santa pulls in, have him please call the tower.”

He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,
Then I heard “Left at Charlie,” and “Taxi to parking.”
He slowed to a taxi, turned off of three-oh
And stopped on the ramp with a “Ho, ho-ho- ho…”

He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could talk,
I ran out to meet him with my best set of chocks.
His red helmet and goggles were covered with frost
And his beard was all blackened from Reindeer exhaust.

His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale,
And he puffed on a pipe, but he didn’t inhale.
His cheeks were all rosy and jiggled like jelly,
His boots were as black as a cropduster’s belly.

He was chubby and plump, in his suit of bright red,
And he asked me to “fill it, with hundred low-lead.”
He came dashing in from the snow-covered pump,
I knew he was anxious for drainin’ the sump.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
And I filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a jerk.
He came out of the restroom, and sighed in relief,
Then he picked up a phone for a Flight Service brief.

And I thought as he silently scribed in his log,
These reindeer could land in an eighth-mile fog.
He completed his pre-flight, from the front to the rear,
Then he put on his headset, and I heard him yell, “Clear!”

And laying a finger on his push-to-talk,
He called up the tower for clearance and squawk.
“Take taxiway Charlie, the southbound direction,
Turn right three-two-zero at pilot’s discretion.”

He sped down the runway, the best of the best,
“Your traffic’s a Grumman, inbound from the west.”
Then I heard him proclaim, as he climbed through the night,
“Merry Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight.”

Christmas eve…

From Apollo 8, worth repeating…

Tis the season…

This one has a special meaning to all those who served…

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone

  In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone

  I had come down the chimney with presents to give

  And to see just who in this home did live

 

  I looked all about, a strange sight I did see

  No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree

  No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand

  On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands

 

  With medals and badges, awards of all kinds

  A sober thought did come through my mind

  For this house was different, it was dark and dreary

  I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly

 

  The soldier lay sleeping, silent and alone

  Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home

  The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder

  Not how I pictured a United States soldier

 

  Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?

  Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

  I realized the families that I saw this night

  Owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight

 

  Soon round the world, the children would play

  And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day

  They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year

  Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here

 

  I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone

  On a cold Christmas eve in a land far from home

  The very thought brought a tear to my eye

  I dropped to my knees and started to cry

 

  The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice

  Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice

  I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more

  My life is my God, my Country, my Corps

 

  The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep

  I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep

  I kept watch for hours, so silent and still

  And we both shivered from the cold nights chill

 

  I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark, night

  This guardian of honor so willing to fight

  Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure

  Whispered Carry on Santa, all is secure

 

  One look at my watch and I knew he was right

  Merry Christmas, my friend, and to all a good night

 

  By:  Major Bruce Lovely, adopted from a similar poem

  by Anonymous.

++++++++++

Twas the Night Before Christmas in Yonkers

 

   ‘Twas the night before Christmas,

    Da whole house was mella,

    Not a creature was stirrin’,

    Cuz I had a gun unda da pilla.

 

    When up on da roof

    I heard somethin’ pound,

    I sprung to da window,

    To scream, “YO! Keep it down!”

 

    When what to my

    Wanderin’ eyes should appear,

    But da Don of all elfs,

    And eight friggin’ reindeer!

 

    Wit’ slicked back black hair,

    And a silk red suit,

    Don Christopher wuz here,

    And he brought da loot!

 

    Wit’ a slap to dare snouts,

    And a yank on dare manes,

    He cursed and he shouted,

    And he called dem by name.

 

    “Yo Tony, Yo Frankie,

    Yo Vinny, Yo Vito,

    Ay Joey, Ay Paulie,

    Ay Pepe, Ay Guido!”

 

    As I drew out my gun

    And hid by da bed,

    He flew troo da winda

    And slapped me up side da head.

 

    “What da hell you doin’

    Pullin’ a gun on da Don?

    Now all you’re gettin’ is coal,

    You friggin’ moron!”

 

    Den pointin’ a fat finga

    Right unda my nose,

    He twisted his pinky ring,

    And up da chimney he rose.

 

    He sprang to his sleigh,

    Obscenities screamin’,

    Away dey all flew,

    Before he troo dem a beatin’.

 

    Den I heard him yell out,

    Two, tree times, I expect

    “Merry Friggin’ Christmas to all,

    And you’s better show some respect!

++++++++++++

T’was the night before Christmas – Old Santa was pissed

He cussed out the elves and threw down his list

Miserable little brats, ungrateful little jerks

I have a good mind to scrap the whole works

I’ve busted my ass for damn near a year

Instead of “Thanks Santa” – what do I hear

The old lady bitches cause I work late at night

The elves want more money – The reindeer all fight

Rudolph got drunk and goosed all the maids

Donner is pregnant and Vixen has AIDS

And just when I thought that things would get better

Those assholes from IRS sent me a letter

They say I owe taxes – if that ain’t damn funny

Who the hell ever sent Santa Clause any money

And the kids these days – they all are the pits

They want the impossible …Those mean little shits

I spent a whole year making wagons and sleds Assembling dolls…Their

arms,

legs and heads I made tons of yo yo’s – No request for them They want

computers and robots…they think I’m IBM!

If you think that’s bad…just picture this

Try holding those brats…with their pants full of piss

They pull on my nose – they grab at my beard

And if I don’t smile…their moms think I’m weird

Flying through the air…dodging the trees

Falling down chimneys and skinning my knees

I’m quitting this job…there’s just no enjoyment

I’ll sit on my fat ass and draw unemployment

There’s no Christmas this year…now you know the reason

I found me a blonde.. I’m going SOUTH for the season!!

++++++++++++

I think Santa Claus is a woman….

I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he’s a she.

Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could  possibly pull it all off!

For starters, the vast majority of men don’t even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves.  On this count alone, I’m convinced Santa is a woman.

Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.

Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there.  First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted  and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen’s rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist.  Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he’d still have  transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.

Other reasons why Santa can’t possibly be a man:

    – Men can’t pack a bag.

    – Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.

    – Men would feel their masculinity is threatened…having to be seen with all those elves.

    – Men don’t answer their mail.

    – Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a “bowlful of jelly.”

    – Men aren’t interested in stockings unless somebody’s wearing them.

    – Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.

  – Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men………Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous.  Definite guy.

Cupid flies around carrying weapons.

Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers.  Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test.

But not St. Nick.  Not a chance.

Enjoy your time with your families, and take a moment to remember those who are far from home this holiday season, standing the watch wherever they may be.

Sweet!!!

I came home to find an ‘extra’ box sitting on the front porch yesterday…

Many thanks to Lucky Gunner for the outstanding Christmas present!

I’ve supported these folks for years, and they are a link on my sidebar, but my ‘profits’ go back as donations to a charity of their choice. Every year I get a little something from them, and it’s always nice, but this year…

I REALLY appreciate this one! Especially since I have a couple or three of these in the safe.

Sorry for the lousy shot, but I’m trying to figure out where to hang it today!

Thanks Lucky Gunner! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to y’all!

Done…

Rimworld- Militia Up is live on Kindle!

Due to changes in the way Amazon is doing the print version, that’s going to be at least a week behind the Kindle version.

I’ve roofpread it until I’m cross eyed, so any errors are on me. I don’t have a link yet, but here’s the cover!  As always, kudos to Tina for turning my bumbling attempts at artwork into a real cover!!!

Click the cover to go to the Amazon link!

The blurb-

It was supposed to be a simple contract for a couple of months of security services off world, but the devil’s in the details.

Tight Bridge Technologies hired Ethan Fargo and his militia to guard their power stations on the planet Endine against mob unrest and sabotage. When they arrive, they find the planetary authorities don’t want outsiders around to uncover their dirty secrets, and the Galactic Patrol’s not interested in providing backup. They all but order him to stop making waves, kicking asses, and taking names. The harder Fargo works to keep his people safe, the more troubles he finds. Dragoons and pirates are stalking the outer system, while the planet itself is a snakepit of treachery, tyranny, rebellion, and corruption. Everyone wants him to fail, while taking the blame.

They made one mistake: they underestimated Ethan Fargo. After the mob kills two of his Ghorkas, and kidnap his lady,  he’s out for blood, and to hell with anything in his way…

And Rimworld- Into the Green will be on sale through next week, hopefully starting on Saturday for $0.99!

Thanks for sticking by me, and I hope you enjoy the novel! As always, HONEST reviews are appreciated! And if you catch errors, feel free to email me, and I’ll get ’em corrected!

Special thanks to those Alpha and Beta readers who really helped get this ready to go to print! You know who you are!!!

TBT…

For us old farts…

The christmas trees ‘we’ grew up with…

And who remembers trying to ‘assemble’ these things! Sigh… 

These got assembled and then we ‘disassembled’ multiple times.

My mother was always griping about us eating the decorations… LOL

And remember Toys for Tots, they provide toys for kids that otherwise wouldn’t get any. It’s a great cause, and one I support every year!

Cooking…

Since I’m the only one that isn’t ‘down’ with something, I volunteered to cook last night…

Note to self- NEVER volunteer, you know better…

Now, what to fix? Uh… er… food?

Quick and easy, and easily divisible by three… Been meaning to try King Ranch Chicken, yeah, yeah, that’s it… And black-eyed peas!

Scramble around the grocery store get the ingredients, come home and chop, cut, do chicken, etc. And found a package of ‘tins’ for hot food with covers at the store, threw them in the cart too!

This is one of three little baking tins, came out of the oven just about the time LawDog showed up, and he agreed to deliver for Peter and Dot. Yea!!!  JimJim got the leftovers… LOL

I’m sure glad it tastes better than it looks! 🙂

If you’re curious, here’s the recipe- With my mods in italics

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups chopped cooked chicken (Doubled to 4 cups)

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomato and green chiles (Plus one medium can mild Hatch Chiles)

1 teaspoon chili powder (Doubled to 2 tsp)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper (Doubled to 1/2 tsp)

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided (Doubled to 4 cups)

How to Make It

Step 1- Sauté onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and next 7 ingredients; remove from heat.

Step 2- Tear tortillas into 1-inch pieces; layer one-third of tortilla pieces in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with one-third of chicken mixture and 2/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice.

Step 3- Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes.

Step 4- Enjoy!

Note- It was still pretty mild, to my taste, YMMV… 🙂

Thank you!!!

Thank you to all who gave to the ex-wife’s Go Fund Me, HERE. They didn’t get their goal, but y’all helped to get it to where it is.

She sent a very nice thank you card I’d like to share with y’all.

Y’all are great, and I truly appreciate your stepping up. Thank you!