Book Promo…

Peter Grant has a new book out! Taghri’s Prize.

The blurb-

Taghri has left the Sultan’s army to seek his fortune – and he seizes opportunity when it knocks. In the confusion of a pirate raid on a trading caravan, he kills their leader and captures their ship. The vessel is now his prize of war… but some prizes may be more trouble than they’re worth!

Nestled among the gold coins in the captain’s cabin is a stolen Temple sacrificial knife, whose Goddess is now paying close attention – too close! – to its new owner. Among the slaves he’s freed is a princess, formerly being held for ransom, who comes with political and personal intrigues all her own. Even if he survives the attention of both, there’s also a pirate lord out there, hell-bent on avenging the death of his son.

It’s going to take all of Taghri’s skill, experience and cunning to survive winning this prize!

I was happy to be an alpha reader on this one, and I’ll tell you it’s a good one!

Sigh…

Yesterday was Monday, ALL (*&(&# day…

Friends were passing through from out of town, so we wanted to take them to lunch at our favorite BBQ place.  Except it was closed…

Alternatives? Hey, good Mexican. Sure, sounds good…

So, off we go to the Mexican place. Annddd… find out the wife thinks ketchup is spicy…

But we’re there. So she searches through the menu to find the least spicy thing (ended up with street tacos which were pretty good, according to her). We had already warned the hubby to watch the salsa. And it was a ‘bit’ spicy… (matter of fact it was a distinct shade of green, which means they had more jalapenos than tomatoes in it). It only took 2 bites to start sweating, which was better than last time!

But all in all, it was a great lunch (for most of us), and great times chatting. They’re headed west, so checked in with some other folks and got them recommendations for restaurants and ‘things’ to do on their trip.

Headed back home and it started sprinkling rain. We could use the rain… Get about 10 drops and that’s it. And the humidity went up. And it’s 101 yesterday…

In other news, it seems that Obama and Bernie can make comments about Bawl’more that are ‘whitewashed’ by the media, but Trump can’t…

And crap like this…

Photo Telegraph.co.uk

Is what they are ‘proud’ of???

Really?

Oh, and lastly, I was talking to one of my high school classmates yesterday afternoon. She remembered a road trip a bunch of us did back in 1969 during spring break to go up and play on the river. Including who rode with who, what people wore, and how much trouble she got in for getting back late, since we went to a party when we got back in town… Sigh… I ‘kinda’ remember the trip… vaguely…

This routine by Mark Gugnor had me laughing a shaking my head in agreement…

Hopefully the week improves… HOPEFULLY!!!

News for disabled veterans…

While not great, consider this a PSA for those who are disabled and on a very limited income.

Some veterans and family members don’t know that all non-reimbursed medical costs are deductible in calculating their income. For veterans who served during wartime and later became disabled and require aid either at home or in an institution, VA can provide a pension supplement to bring net annual income up to $20,795 for a single veteran or
$24,652 for a veteran and spouse.

If you are a veteran 65 and older, or permanently and totally disabled you may be eligible for the VA Non-Service Connected Disability Pension (NSC). The pension provides financial support to wartime veterans with a limited income. The amount payable under this program depends on the type and amount of income the veteran and his/her family members receive from other sources. Monthly payments are made to bring a veteran’s total annual income (including other retirement and Social Security income) to an established level.

You may be eligible for a NSC pension if you were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions, and you served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time*, and your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law, and you are permanently and totally disabled, OR you are age 65 or
older.
*Note: Anyone who enlisted after September 7, 1980, generally must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty. Service from August 2, 1990 to present is considered to be a period of war.

You may be able to get this benefit if you haven’t remarried after the Veteran’s death, if the deceased Veteran didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and if service meets at least one of the requirements listed below:
– Entered active duty on or before September 7, 1980, and served at least 90 days on active service, with at least 1 day during a wartime period, or
– Entered active duty after September 7, 1980, and served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions), with at least 1 day during a wartime period, or
– Was an officer and started on active duty after October 16, 1981, and hadn’t previously served on active duty for at least 24 months.

And this must be true: Your yearly family income and net worth meet certain set limits. Your net worth equals the value of everything you own (except your house, your car,
and most home furnishings), minus any debt you owe. The maximum survivor’s pension (assuming you had no income) is $9,078 without any children and $11,881 with one child. Net worth cannot exceed $127, 061. Survivors often experience shock and disappointment when they realize how much money the VA Survivor Pension actually pays.

BLUF- This is a helluva lot better than nothing! If you have questions, contact your counselor.

Kilroy…

He is engraved in stone in the National War Memorial in Washington, DC- back in a small alcove where very few people have seen it. (I actually have, it was pointed out to me at the military opening.)

kilroy6.jpg (600×400)

For the WWII generation, this will bring back memories. For you younger folks, it’s a bit of trivia that is a part of our American history. Anyone born in 1913 to about 1950, is familiar with Kilroy. No one knew why he was so well known-but everybody seemed to get into it.  So, who was Kilroy?

kilroy3.jpg (600×372)

In 1946 the American Transit Association, through its radio program, “Speak to America ,” sponsored a nationwide contest to find the real Kilroy, offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person who could prove himself to be the genuine article. Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim, but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts, had evidence of his identity.

‘Kilroy’ was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the war who worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. His job was to go around & check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework  & got paid by the rivet. He would count a block of rivets & put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn’t be counted twice. When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters would erase the mark.  Later on, an off-shift inspector would come through & count the rivets a second time, resulting in double pay for the riveters.

One day Kilroy’s boss called him into his office. The foreman was upset about all the wages being paid to riveters, & asked him to investigate. It was then he realized what had been going on. The tight spaces he had to crawl in to check the rivets didn’t lend themselves to lugging around a paint can & brush, so Kilroy decided to stick with the waxy chalk. He continued to put his check mark on each job he inspected, but added ‘KILROY WAS HERE’ in king-sized letters next to the check and eventually added the sketch of the chap with the long nose peering over the fence and became part of the Kilroy message.

Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe away his marks. Ordinarily the rivets & chalk marks would have been covered up with paint. With the war on, however, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast that there wasn’t time to paint them. As a result, Kilroy’s inspection “trademark” was seen by thousands of servicemen who boarded the troopships the yard produced.

His message apparently rang a bell with the servicemen, because they picked it up & spread it all over Europe & the South Pacific.

kilroy7.jpg (600×398)

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Before war’s end, “Kilroy” had been here, there, & everywhere on the long hauls to Berlin & Tokyo. To the troops outbound in those ships, however, he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was that someone named Kilroy had “been there first.”

As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti wherever they landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had always “already been” wherever GIs went. It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (it is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arc de Triomphe, & even scrawled in the dust on the moon.

 

As the war went on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held islands in the Pacific to map the terrain for coming invasions by U.S. troops (& thus, presumably, were the first GI’s there). On one occasion, however, they reported seeing enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo!

In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Roosevelt, Stalin, & Churchill at the Potsdam conference. Its first occupant was Stalin, who emerged & asked his aide (in Russian), “Who is Kilroy?”

To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy brought along officials from the shipyard & some of the riveters. He won the trolley car, which he gave to his nine children as a Christmas gift & set it up as a playhouse in the Kilroy yard in Halifax, Massachusetts.

kilroy12.jpg (600×379)

Kilroy was still around in the 70s-90s when I was on active duty, saw a bunch of them all over the world. I ‘hope’ that tradition is continuing even today.

From reader Geoff- Look at the inside of the nose gear door, just in front of the nose gear.   Then look at the pilots name under the windscreen.  Either way, he’s the Canadian CF-18 Demonstration pilot for this season.

Busy writing…

So you get humor…

Useful Aviation Terms

AIRSPEED – Speed of an airplane. (Deduct 25% when listening to a retired fighter pilot.)

BANK – The folks who hold the lien on most pilots’ cars.

CARBURETOR ICING – A phenomenon reported to the FAA by pilots immediately after they run out of gas.

CONE OF CONFUSION – An area about the size of New Jersey located near the final approach fix at an airport.

DEAD RECKONING – You reckon correctly, or you are.

DESTINATION – Geographical location 30 minutes beyond the pilot’s bladder saturation point.

ENGINE FAILURE – A condition that occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with low-octane air.

FIREWALL – Section of the aircraft specifically designed to funnel heat and smoke into the cockpit.

FLIGHT FOLLOWING – Formation flying.

GLIDE DISTANCE – Half the distance from an airplane to the nearest emergency landing field.

HOBBS – An instrument which creates an emergency situation should it fail during dual instruction.

HYDROPLANE – An airplane designed to land long on a short and wet runway.

LEAN MIXTURE – Nonalcoholic beer.

MINI MAG LITE – Device designed to support the AA battery industry.

NANOSECOND – Time delay between the Low Fuel Warning light and the onset of carburetor icing.

PARASITIC DRAG – A pilot who bums a ride and complains about the service.

RICH MIXTURE – What you order at another pilot’s promotion party.

ROGER – Used when you’re not sure what else to say.

SECTIONAL CHART – Any chart that ends 25 nm short of your destination.

SERVICE CEILING – Altitude at which cabin crew can serve drinks.

SPOILERS – FAA Inspectors.

STALL – Technique used to explain to the bank why your car payment is late.

STEEP BANKS – Banks that charge pilots more than 10% interest.

TURN & BANK INDICATOR – An instrument largely ignored by pilots.

USEFUL LOAD – Volumetric capacity of the aircraft, disregarding weight.

WAC CHART – Directions to the Army female barracks.

YANKEE – Any pilot who has to ask New Orleans tower to “Say again”.

Bits and pieces…

First up, a heads up from one of my readers about the International Birddog Association meeting next year-

Calling all FACs, Ravens and Cat Killers…I want to say the International Bird Dog Association (IBDA) will make 2020 the biggest Birddog Meeting ever.

The meeting will be 15 – 18 September 2020 in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Next, Alma Boykin has another set of Familiars short stories out- Distinctly Familiar.

The blurb-

Temptation lurks in marshes between the land and the sea…

Lelia and Tay discover a new puzzle…

Fundraising collides with a spell gone awry…

A mage discovers the impossibility of arguing with almost two-thousand-pounds of Familiar…

There’s something distinctly familiar, and Familiar, about these urban fantasy short stories, set in a world like our own, almost. 

Short stories, 46,000 words.

Another good one! Quick and enjoyable!

And speaking of shorts… The beginning of the first short I sold, back in 2017!

A Long Year

“Rocking C, Rocking C, this is Johnny, how copy?” A burst of static followed then the call was repeated, “Rocking C, Rocking C, this is Johnny, how copy?”

Old Tom, pulling his suspenders up over his shoulders, limped into the parlor cum radio room, grumping, “Can’t even take a piss in peace…” Flopping into the chair in front of the desk and propping his cane against the wall, he punched the microphone bar. “Sheriff, this is Rocking C, go head.”

“Rocking C, you’ve got fifteen, maybe twenty shamblers heading down fourteen sixty-nine toward your north forty. I can see some steers up in the corner of that pasture,” the sheriff said.

Old Tom cussed under his breath, then keyed the mic. “Gonna take me fifteen, maybe twenty minutes to get up there. Me, Tommy, and Olivia are the only three here.” Spinning the chair around, he bellowed, “Tommy! Olivia! Muster!”

Sheriff Coffee answered resignedly, “I’ll come in behind them. We can pincer them between us. How you folks sitting for gas?”

Spinning back around, he mumbled, “Damn kids. Never can find ‘em when you need ‘em.” Keying the mic he said, “We’ve got a couple hundred gallons left. Sure wish you had a diesel. We’re good on that, probably two thousand gallons left in the tanker.”

“Where are everybody else?”

“Micah, Dot, Jose, and Eric are up on the rail line by Panhandle, trying to get some propane out of that tanker you spotted last month. Mrs. C, John, Bruce, and Tammy are up on two eighty-seven with Box H and Diamond J, they’re trying to hit that warehouse, if they can get in and out without setting off a bunch of damn zombies. They want to see what’s in it. Might be food.”

Tommy, thirteen, gangly, with a shock of straw colored hair sticking out in all directions came sliding in the door. “What’s up?”

“Where’s Olivia? We got shamblers coming up on the north forty.”

“She’s feeding the goats. We gonna go?”

Old Tom levered himself up. “Yep, go get her. ARs only. Two mags only. We’re gettin’ low on ammo.” Tommy grinned, scrambling back out the door, as Old Tom limped into the library and now armory. Looking out through the barred windows, he noticed some rust on the welds and shook his head, “Damn shoddy work. Shoulda taken more time on them.”

Reaching up, he took down two AR-15s, checked they were unloaded and safed, and pulled four magazines out of the filing cabinet. He stumped down the hall to the bedroom he and Bruce shared, reached into the chest of drawers, and slung his old single action around his hips. He buckled the gun belt, pulled a box of 200gr long Colt wadcutters out of the drawer, and opened the box. He loaded one, skipped one, then loaded four more and slipped the single action into the holster, flipping the thong over the hammer to keep it tight in the holster.

Limping back to the library, he found Olivia, also thirteen and starting to blossom into what he was sure was going to be a beautiful woman, if she lived that long. Black haired, sloe eyed, and dusky skinned, she’d definitely gotten her beauty from her mother, Juanita, God rest her soul. Thankfully, she hadn’t seen her mother turn, since it’d happened in town. Sheriff Coffee said he thought she’d died in the fire that burned half the town that night. Old Tom glanced up at the calendar, thinking, that was exactly a year ago today. Which means I broke my leg six months ago. Shit… At least I’m still alive.

Olivia smiled shyly as she racked the bolt on the AR, rolled it and confirmed the chamber was clear. “We’re it?”

“Yes we are, Ollie. Ain’t nobody left but us. Sheriff Coffee is going to meet us up there. You got your eyes and ears?”

Olivia pointed to the bag sitting on the chair, “Mine and Tommy’s too. He never remembers to bring his. Are we taking the wagon or the truck?”

“Truck. It’ll give y’all some height, and once you’re in, ain’t nobody getting in there with ya.”

Olivia replied ruefully, “But it’s going to be hot and noisy when we start shooting.”

“I know. But I’d never forgive myself if anything happened to either one of y’all. Now let’s go! Move it!”

Olivia slung the AR, picked up her bag and ran out the door. “I’ll give Tommy his stuff and we’ll be locked in by the time you get there.”

“Smart ass kids,” Old Tom mumbled under his breath, as he grabbed the keys off the board, limping out behind her. Tommy was standing at the back of the truck, AR at low ready, as they walked out. Olivia had also loaded her AR, and was scanning back and forth as she walked slowly across the yard. Old Tom slipped the thong on the single action asking, “Truck clear?”

“Truck is clear, sir.”

“Okay, y’all mount up.”

Tommy swung the plate steel door open and waited until Olivia had scrambled in, then climbed in pulling the door closed and Old Tom heard the bar clang down inside as Olivia slid both firing ports on the left side open. He wrestled the driver’s side door open, cursing the weight of the plate added to it, along with the bars over the window. Sliding into the seat, he started the truck, waiting for the oil pressure and temps to come up, then turned on the A/C, making sure the duct was tight on the center vents and looking back to make sure it hadn’t fallen down where it went into the bed.

Peering out through the bars over the windshield, he put the truck in gear, yelling, “We’re moving,” and hearing the kids yell back they were strapped in. The truck rumbled over the cattle guard at the first fence, then he picked up speed as he turned the radio on. Three miles up, he turned into the cattle guard at the north forty and keyed the mic, “Sheriff, coming into the north forty from the south now.” He glanced up toward 1469 and saw a small plume of dust, and a quarter a mile ahead, six or seven longhorns milling around the feeder.

Yelling back, he said, “Almost there. Sheriff is to the right.” He made sure he could get to the single action as he eased up the pasture behind the cows, and finally saw the shamblers. The fence had them slowed down, and apparently a couple of them were hung up as the steers looked on curiously. Finally, one made it over and headed toward the steer they called Brisket as he pulled the truck in behind them, yelling, “Off your right. One to three o’clock, nothing further back than that!”

He heard a mumbled reply and keyed the mic. “Sheriff, we’re gonna light them up.” Static then a pair of clicks sounded, as he heard measured fire coming from the back of the truck. Putting the truck in park, he slid over and looked out the right window, seeing the sheriff pop the plate lid that replaced the sunroof on his Chevy, and stand up, unlimbering his old bolt action rifle, he yelled again, “Sheriff is up and shooting.”

Ten minutes later, all of the shamblers were down, heads exploded like melons by the rounds, except for one head that was stuck on Brisket’s left horn. He yelled, “Cease fire, cease fire!” Hearing the kid’s reply, he yelled, “Moving.” Putting the truck in gear, he eased behind the cows and steers, moving them slowly out of the way, as he pulled up to the fence.

The sheriff had dropped back down into his truck, pulling up on the other side. Getting out, the sheriff confirmed they were all dead outside the fence, as Old Tom confirmed the one that had made it over was dead. Of course, since he was missing his head, that was pretty obvious, but procedures were procedures. Once that was done, he banged on the plate door, “Y’all can get down now and get some air.”

Sheriff Coffee leaned on the fence. “I count twenty-two. Dunno how they made it out this far.” Nodding to Tommy and Olivia, he continued, “Good shooting.”

Olivia smiled at the sheriff. “Thank you, but Tommy got more than I did. I only got six of them.”

Tommy scuffed his boot. “Well, I had a better angle. But Olivia was more accurate. She didn’t miss. I missed one.”

The radios went off, interrupting them. “Diamond J calling Sheriff Coffee, Diamond J calling Sheriff Coffee!”

The sheriff went back to his truck to answer the radio and Old Tom said, “Okay, police up the brass and let’s get back to the house. Don’t like leaving it unoccupied.” Tommy and Olivia picked up what brass they could see, then played rock, paper, scissors to see who got to ride in the cab back to the house. Olivia slumped in the seat, butt of the AR under her chin, “Tom, what was wrong with them? They moved even slower than that last bunch.”

Tom shrugged, “Dunno, maybe that guy up in Eaton Rapids is right, maybe they don’t eat enough, they get slower and slower then just mummify where they are.”

“Well, I’ll be glad when I don’t have to shoot anymore of them. I know they’re not people anymore, but I still don’t like it.”

“I know Ollie, I wish you didn’t have to either.” Dammit, it’s wrong that we have two thirteen year olds who are having to kill people. Maybe Ollie uses that philosophy, but they used to be people. Thankfully, they haven’t had to shoot anyone they knew!

And lastly, a question for my three readers… 🙂

I’ve done a few ebook only things, and the short above (that I now have the rights back for), so do you think people would be interested in a paperback with all the shorts and novellas in it?

Bread and circuses…

Again… Alternately, deja vu all over again…

That’s six hours of my life I’ll never get back.

Three hours of BS, bluster, and obfuscation yesterday morning on yet ANOTHER replay of the Mueller report, this time starring Mueller himself in front of the ‘Judicial’ Committee. And I use the term ‘judicial’ loosely… Sigh

The one that got my attention was when Mueller was asked about Fusion GPS, and apparently didn’t know who/what that was! Now I’m wondering if he even read the report he supposedly drafted… Or was he just the public face of the investigation, while the subordinates did all the work and prepared the report without his direction/oversight. There were at least a few points that even I caught where Mueller’s answers contradicted what was in the report.

This video and the answers (or lack of answers) are rather interesting too…

And the 3 hours of ‘Intelligence’ committee hearing wasn’t much better… One thing I picked up on was that Mueller immediately answered all the Dems questions, as if he knew what was going to be asked. He never declined to answer one of their questions, that I remember. At worst, he just fell back on “I’m not going to discuss that, or get into that.”

Best line, “Where in regulations does it say that you or the Attorney General can exonerate someone?”

Mueller stumbled around a bit then said, “He wasn’t sure.”

When pressed, he just refused to answer…  Also never would answer if there was any investigation of anyone other than the Trump campaign. Interesting…

Mueller never answered a single question about the Steele dossier, saying he wouldn’t go there, even though it was in the report.

Once again, he didn’t seem to know or remember what was in his own report. Strange, to put it mildly.

The political theater on both sides was amazing, and the agenda of the Dems was perfectly clear based on the speechifying by the committee chairs. And that was “Orange Man BAD! He obstructed justice but you didn’t prosecute him because ‘he’ tied your hands, he was unethical but you couldn’t prosecute because ‘he’ tied your hands, partnered with the Russians but you didn’t find collusion, but there was ‘conspiracy’ since the word collusion couldn’t be used, and ORANGE MAN BAD!!!”

If there was a plus to yesterday’s pandering, it kept the congresscritters from screwing up anything else… Sigh…

With malice aforethought…

There is apparently a concerted effort going on to delete certain conservative authors from Wiki. This has all blown up in the past few days, and it is interesting how commenters who made comments on both the wiki Article for Deletion page AND the blogs are being called sock puppets and their comments disallowed…

The ‘discussion’ is HERE, and note this is the SECOND attempt to remove Mike’s page…

Same for Tom Kratman, HERE.

And yesterday, they (yes, it’s the nebulous they) went after Sarah Hoyt.

And the ‘discussion’ on Sarah is HERE.

Oh, and apparently Baen is a ‘vanity’ press! Really???

Edit- And apparently there was an abortive run made to delete Ringo’s page the night of the 22nd that was quickly shut down.

Reading through some of the comments it is ‘interesting’ to see the convoluted logic used in some of the arguments. I can’t help but wonder if this is nothing more than an attempt to depeople certain individuals prior to the awards season/DragonCon?

Kinda glad I’m a Z-lister, so I don’t have to worry about this crap.

Edit- And the Victory Girls have chimed in, HERE! And they are pulling NO punches!!! LOL

If they aren’t on your daily read list, they should be!

Dayum!!!

Interesting testimony…

A precursor of what will happen next year???

Snerk…

Karma is such an interesting ‘creature’ in Bawl’more…

A new deputy police commissioner in Baltimore got a firsthand lesson in the city’s crime problems — getting robbed at gunpoint while out with his wife. 

Full article, HERE.

And his original quote on being hired…

“I think the challenges are very similar” in Baltimore and New Orleans, Murphy said. “Obviously, every community, every police department is unique, but the success we had in New Orleans is directly transferable to here and we will modify it as necessary.”

Article, HERE.

It’s pretty obvious that he doesn’t have a basic grip on the ‘politics’ of Bawl’more… And the fact that criminals up there KNOW people are unarmed, unlike NOLA. The other problem is the hard drugs are much more prevalent in Bawl’more than in NOLA, and the drug gangs are much more aggressive in the inner city.

One wonders if they gave him his badge back after they stole his wallet? 🙂