Sunday, November 26, 2006

~Khe Sanh Today~

There's a VN travel agent in the complex that my Orlando office is nestled in who has been putting together memory tours for American soldiers. A guy from here in town went to Viet Nam and sent me some photos of my hottest bloodbath that rang my bells. Check this out. Looks like nothing's changed. That's the damned north hill. Jeez. I just had a chill go down my spine. Damn. What a Xmas trip! Damn. Bad dreams tonight. My Dad used to tell me that he still could remember every detail of Omaha Beach. Yep. Damn.


Saturday, November 25, 2006


"The Missing Manual" by J.D. Biersdorfer (must have item for an iPod)
"Frontpage 2000" by Sherry London (OK)
"Black and White" by Dan Mahoney (OK)
"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy (very good if you're a McCarthy junkie like me)
"The Haunted House and the Haunter" by Thomas De Quincey (old mystery good)
"Nine Points of the Law" by E.W.Hornung (old mystery pulp good)
"The Good Soldier" by Ford Madox Ford (good)
"The Brothers Karamazov" by F. Dostoevsky (OK)
"Double Deuce" by Robert B. Parker (OK pulp)
"Singularity" by Bill DeSmidt (OK podbook)
"Mexican Hat" by Michael McGarrity (OK)
"The Hot Kid" by Elmore Leonard (OK classic Leonard classic pulp)
"Hark" by Ed Mcbain (OK)
"The Judge" by Rebecca West (one of those books to be reread over and over)

Some serous, some not so serious, some a suitable replacement for TV. How 'bout you?


Friday, November 24, 2006


A good friend of mine, Rick Flood, is an Army Scout Sniper serving in Iraq. He's in his third tour currently and has the dubious honor of being an expert shooter (for an Army scout I guess that's good. I keep reminding him that he hasn't graduated from the USMC Sniper School... considered to be the best of the best and the guys who coined the sobriquet 'one shot one kill'. Anyhow, Rick used to work for me as a bondsman before he went nuts and signed up for active duty as a sniper. He was a top notch bondsman and chaser, and apparently has made himself into a fearsome soldier.

Anyhow, Rick has access to the internet and I hear from him weekly. Now his bride has found the cash to send him a good cell phone and he checks in with the fire of home often enough to keep his family keeping his ugly face at least recognizable... and he called me from the field the other day and we talked about the pleasure of shooting people from secure locations. I asked him if he had any idea of what was going on there in the sandbox.

He told me that "Well, we really don't have a dog in this fight. But the jerks are shooting at us so I'm snuffing as many of them as possible."

"Explain that for me."

"Well, most of these guys are Sunnis or Shiites, but you can't really sort them out. They've been killing each other since the big split between the two groups took up their swords centuries ago."

"No, I mean now. Today. Any way... us. Current."

"I doesn't matter. We have come in interfering with their argument so they have been shooting at us cause we won't mind our own business. Imagine what it would be like if somebody came in and tried to calm down a fight between some Baptists and some Catholics? Sunnis and Shiites have been fighting each other for centuries because they disagree about who is gonna be the top poobah, the Caliphee or something like that. I mean... who gives a farkle?


"Please, this is an open line. I don't want any dings in my file."

"OK. Any suggestions as to what we should do?"

"Well, there's three choices. First, we could kill them all. Then there would no longer be an argument. Second, we could declare real military control and declare all weapons verboten then try to enforce that. I think that would fail because these guys have been stockpiling weapons for so long that that some of the buried arms are cached in the coffins of their grandparents. Finally, we could just get on the bus and go home. You know, go mind our own business. Me, I like the third."

"Hmmm. I've never known you to run from a fight."

"Well, you've known me for a lot of years boss. These are guys who are perfectly willing to strap sticks of dynamite to the bodies of their children and sending them to stand next to Sunnis... and viceversa. That kind of certainty scares the crap out of me. How bout you?"

"Just be careful and get home when you can. In the meanwhile, hit what you shoot at. Kill them all."

"OK, boss. Save my seat."


Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Have I mentioned how much I hate the holidays? Yeah... I know. Every year about this time. Well, my kid hit me up for money to buy presents, including my own, yesterday. Well... here we go again. I'm not a skinflint, but I don't want to buy presents for anybody who thinks that I owe a gift to them. If I want to give one of my relatives a present I'll just buy it... I don't have to have a holiday obligation to nudge me into the purchase.

Most families are as screwed up as the one that I'm reading about right now: The Brothers Karamazov. Yeah... it's that bad. My family is the poster child for the Karamazov look alike contest. Nobody is close, everybody is highly opinionated, everybody thinks they know exactly what is wrong with you and are quick to let you know what to do about it. This three ring freakshow used to be kept under control by the wimmins of the family, but my mother and my grandmother died a few months from each of other a few years ago and noone has taken charge the disorder and probably never will.

As a consequence, this time of year I start listening to Wagner's Rings. I have the whole thing on DVD.... the whole thing... and I read gloomy Russian novels (last weekend I did in Ford's "The Good Soldier", now I'm plowing through some Dostoevsky. Next I thought I'd do Heterotodos. Yeah... Merry XMas.

I'm thinking that maybe it might be nice to go over to the Cuban shoals just to the north of the Gulf Stream and anchor up where I would be in sight of absolutely nothing and stay there until it occurs to me to come back to the land of the Big Mac. Maybe go fishing.

I always knew that there was some reason that I liked Kramer.


Monday, November 20, 2006


I have been sitting at this table all weekend listening to Scarlotti and rereading Ford Madox Ford's "The Good Soldier"... a story of two couples who are muddeling through adulterous relationships where there are no winners, only losers, and ruminating about my own life. Hopeless, empty, berift of any redeeming virtues... Ford was the very first of the modernists, once shared the editorship of a literary magazine with Hemingway. Friend of Eliot, friend of Gertrude Stein, friend of Pound, friend of all those post war horror realists. Claimed to be a sentimentalist, said it with apology.

Scarlotti, of course, has been a good supporter of sentiment for centuries. I'll cling to that as an antidote to the poison of sentimental angst. Vado Satanus.

No wonder I'm so cheerful. Maybe I'll go cut my own throat.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Tom's youngest daughter Ashley got married last weekend. I told her to please email me photos of the event because they were doing it at the hotel where "The Shining" was shot out on Mt. Hood.

There were a few hitches, not the least was the fact that there was 25 inches of show on the mountain. The wedding party had to go to the chapel via snow cat. Jack Nicholson didn't show but this was the first photo that they sent me... A few hitches? Duh !


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Here's a UTube clip of a ordinance bomb from Iraq. Check it out.

Here's the link.


Monday, November 06, 2006


The first volley in the silly season is winding down. Tomorrow is put up or shut up day. Me? I'll be voting my usual split and torn up ticket. First of all, I've decided not to vote for Charlie Stuart. When I thought about it, I decided that while I like Charlie and I like his brother George, I decided that there were too many negatives for me to vote for Charlie in the house seat that he is trying to wrest from Rick Keller . He didn't ask for the family business to fail. It was a mill stone hung around his neck, but he was the guy who had to watch it fold, and he ate it. For that matter, his brother George Jr. was the elder child and actually was the heir of that turkey. But there you go. The older brother didn't want to try to transform the family business and move up to compete with Office Depot and Staples in the office supply biz so George Stuart Office Supplies bellied up. That in itself isn't a terrible thing. If you can't run with the big dogs then there's no shame in running home to sit it out on the porch. But after all the dust had cleared after Charlie had decided that he wasn't a high roller like his older brother or his dad, he found himself with a big IRS lien against him. Ouch! OK... that's one way out, but... it ain't pretty. I don't know... but it ain't pretty and it definitely ain't smart politics. Do we want this on the vita of our public servant? Hmmm. I'm gonna flip the lever for Keller.

Governor: Crist. Every cop in Florida loves the guy. And they all are guys who carry guns. I'm counting on one of them shooting Crist if they find out that he's not the real deal.

Nelson/Harris? Well, Nelson is the easy way. He has very skillfully survived as a Democrat in a state that has been dominated by the GOP for the last decade. But... Ms. Harris has some good stuff on her resume too. She was the one who most people would admit saved the State of Florida for President Bush in those hot house days of the closest and ugliest campaign ever seen. The strategy for victory for the Democrats back then had been imported from the crooked Tamminy Hall days and the ward politics of the thirties and forties. They were determined to just flat out steal the damned election down in south Florida. Harris was the state functionary who stood up and made... and I mean made (forced)... the election result conting stooges return true data so it became very hard to queer the numbers. Remember? David Letterman called her ugly and an ugly hick. The MSM wanted the average American to shame her to just give things up and give the Democrats a pass so that they could pretend that they weren't shamelessly stealing the election from Bush.

She wouldn't give in. Amazingly, she won... and Bush wound up winning a very, very close race in the critical state of Florida and subsequently he was anointed Emperor of the West. But her party didn't see that as a good thing. They wanted her to just lie down, to quit, and to give Bill Nelson a pass when it can to this cycle of elections. Jeb Bush, the governor, and presidential brother, thought that the lady was unable to beat Nelson. He said that the Dems were unbeatable, so his machine wouldn't help Harris. But she kept plugging along. OK... maybe it's hopeless, but I like the fact that Harris was willing to tell the governor that she would take her chances... along with all of the wise men who wouldn't back her when she had earned their loyalty. When they didn't give her the courtesy of their support she just told them to fuck themselves and she went ahead...often down the rocky road of uncertainty on a road that she had paid for with her unflagging determination. Anyhow, I say... fuck you Jeb Bush, too. Besides, Ms. Harris's granddad, a bull gator named Ben Hill Griffin, was a friend of my grandfather. I can remember hazy days of those old toads going up to Florida Field to go to home games and flying back home to Sumter County drunk as lords... landing my granddad's old Cessna 210 A in one of granddaddy's pastures with the infant me in the back seat making a racket and singing We Are The Boys From Old Florida. It was a miracle that we didn't all die in that parade. Only the capacity to say... Fukit... Let's Just Go... made them possible. The same thing that gets today's candidate Ms. Harris... up on her hind legs. Go girl!

Besides, Harris is a good looking thing. Letterman is obviously blind as a bat... as well as being a moron. Forget Letterman. You should see that lady in a tight sweater and horse riding gear. Yum.

Finally, I intend to vote for Bill McCollum for Atty. General. Again... a friend of mine. Somehow, I've managed to garner as friends a number of guys who are actually much better than I am. Bill is that rarest of creatures... a truly honest man. I've known him since he was a young lawyer fresh out of the Naval Judge Advocate General's Office and he was involved in local races. If you go with him, we can't go wrong. The Sentinel is tapping him.

So... there's my list of shame. We'll compare tomorrow's winners with this.

Go vote. Early and often.


Thursday, November 02, 2006


John Kerry continues to try to live through the Vietnam War. That's an interesting phenomenon, and guys in my demographic are very familiar with it. Go find a guy of that age (40-60) and start a conversation and soon you will find yourself arguing about that evil monster Richard Nixon and that evil monster "the military hegemony", and the evil other words, everything American is evil and bad and Jane Fonda is only good and is still a hottie (yikes! Get your glasses checked you maroon... she even makes Ted Turner gag.).

I don't know how you feel about it... but this guy is TIRED OF ALL THAT WORN OUT BULLSHIT! Come on guys, get over it.

That poor tired fucker John Kerry. I am probably the only person listening to XM radio who understand's how Kerry could have confused Pres. Bush with Pres. Nixon. The guy is so tied up with hating the VietNam War that he can't hate anything else.

News Flash you assholes! Bush can't run again! You dopes are running against a guy who doesn't have to run any more. You Democrat idiots are running against a ghost and the only thing you're accomplishing is destroying your own party.

I read a really good article in the Chicago paper the other day. Give it a read.

Here's the link.

I tell you... I for one... am so tired of hearing about VietNam, and Richard Nixon, and the evils of the wicked Military/Industrial Complex, and the crooked Republican Satans ... and all that worn out bullshit from the sixties... that I almost wish that the Greatful Dead and Neil Young and all the rest of those hippies from the sixties who are now either dead or wearing Depends... had never twisted up a fattie. For God's sake guys. Have you seen a picture of Gracie Slick lately? I'd rather fuck your mother. We've grown OLD folks. Get your ibogaine prescription renewed and try to get back to the real side of the revolution.

Get Over It! Jesus Christ! Kerry... go back to running Black Ops into the Laotian mountains. Goddamned lying motherfucker.

Grown Up!