31. December 2008 · Comments Off on Are We Not Having Fun · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, General, Politics, Rant

I know, I know, late to the party on all this, but I have taken such viciously cruel enjoyment in the spectacle of our very own totally unbiased, completely politically neutral commentariat/mainstream news media pretzel themselves into Gordian knots trying to explain (with increasingly redder faces) to us dumb proles why Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is justly naturally qualified and specially ordained to rest her tuchas in the seat formerly held by The Fresh Prince of Chicago, but that Sarah Palin, as a sitting governor, former Mayor and office-holder in her local PTA just doesn’t have the experience to be the Vice President of the USA.

Seriously – I love watching them squirm. Mind you, I am sure that Ms. Schlossberg us a very nice person, and anyone who knows a bit of American history can think of any number of occasions where a surviving spouse or total stranger was named to fill out a suddenly vacant term of political office with no other qualifications than a family connection and a familiar name. It’s just that watching various sycophantic news-critters scramble for cover is so darned amusing; really, oughtn’t they have hesitated for a couple of seemly moments before breaking out the knee-pads and waving the palm-fronds and singing “Hosannah! A Kennedy is come among us, Hosannah in the highest, for it is Camelot returning!” That Ms Schlossberg came out among us and stood revealed (apparently – and I will give credit for her just having a bad day and worse advice) as a relatively inarticulate, upper-middle-class air-head, with absolutely no experience in political life other than just standing there and being ornamental, and not a shred of anything resembling a qualification other than her maiden name and a sense of nobless oblige – well, really, it was pretty funny. But then I have odd tastes in comedy – I thought Mr. Bean’s Holiday was funny, too.

The only reassuring part about this whole farce is that it instantly became evident to practically everyone, save those die-hard Kennedy worshipers outside the state of Massachusetts (all half-dozen of them) that as a tenable proposition, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg in the Senate flew about as well as a twenty-pound lead brick. Perhaps we are not as close to a house of lordly, hereditary nobles as I feared.

31. December 2008 · Comments Off on Grandma 1, Naked Intruder, 0 · Categories: General


Seems a naked intruder thought to victimize an 88yr old lady. But she found something on him to grab hold of, and squeezed with all her might. He found out that 88 doesn’t mean frail. The intruder fled, but was captured by police.

I have to say, I’m surprised she found anything to grab hold of – if you’re going after an 88yr old woman, you can’t be very much of a man.

27. December 2008 · Comments Off on Life and Times of a Bowerbird · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, History, Literary Good Stuff, Memoir, Working In A Salt Mine...

A bowerbird, or so I read years ago in National Geographic, or Smithsonian, or one of those other popular magazines with a bent towards science and nature, was a native bird species peculiar to Australia and the farther reaches of New Guinea, which had the curious habit of decorating its nest with all sorts of colorful bits of this and that – glass, shells, colored leaves, pieces of glass and plastic, berries – anything and everything which caught it’s eye and which it liked enough to pick up and take home, arranging it with all those other finds in pleasing patterns. This apparently makes sense to the bird doing the arranging, because they seem to be quite set on those patterns. They will, according to researchers, also restore bits that are deliberately disarranged back to the pattern which they chose. It also seems, according to the internet (which I turned to in confirming this tiny and almost useless bit of knowledge – hey, it’s on the internet, so it must be true!) it is the male birds who do this, so this is where this simile falls apart. I am, and have always been of the female persuasion and pretty happy overall with that designation, although in a truly just universe, I would have preferred looking a hell of a lot more like Audrey Hepburn, as well as having her mad dancing skilz.

But I do have somewhat of a similarity to the bowerbird (of whatever sex) because I collect stuff, random stuff that is attractive and catches my eye, and which I can arrange in attractive patterns. I do this when I write, or more specifically when I am reading and researching for what I am preparing to write. I never know what particular bit will engage my interest – and some items are very odd bits indeed. I keep coming back to them, and by this I know that they must be an element in the story. For “Adelsverein” I kept returning to the Goliad Massacre of 1836, to the kidnapping of children from the Hill Country by raiding Indians, to a throw-away comment in an old memoir – a then-senior citizen recalling that his youngest sister actually wasn’t of his blood, she was an tiny orphan found and rescued from the Verein camp on the Texas Gulf Coast, never able to recall her real name. I also kept circling back to the recorded memory of an elderly woman, recalling proudly that she was 90-something and didn’t need glasses to thread a needle – and also recalling that the husband she loved, and had been married to for only 13 years, being taken away by the Hanging Band during the Civil War and hung, for the crime of being a Unionist in a Confederate state – all this, in spite of her attempting to sneak his revolver to him. Reading about these tiny events was like getting a small electrical shock, or perhaps recognizing something that I had known in another lifetime. These combined with any number of other bits and pieces of frontier lore, with small and humble items seen in museums, with paintings and sketches of scenery, daguerreotypes and memoirs, even a 1850’s travelogue by a famously observant political writer who did a horseback journey through antebellum Texas and the south. Thrown into this mix are my own visits to various places in the Hill Country, my own first-hand observations of clear green rivers, their beds paved with round marble-white gravel, sessions with subject matter experts in frontier arcane, the memory of certain people and conversations — and then arrange it all in a somewhat-logical pattern. Just like a bowerbird, although my own bower is a famously complex excel spreadsheet of a dozen and more categories, organized by month and year. All those pretty, shiny bits are plugged into the place where they seem to me to belong.

In a year or two, there is a book come out of it, all; a ripping good adventure yarn with the added benefit of having the very best bits of it based on historical fact; not bad for a bowerbird.

26. December 2008 · Comments Off on Farewell, Eartha Kitt · Categories: General


Sultry `Santa Baby’ singer Eartha Kitt dies at 81
By POLLY ANDERSON – 1 hour ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Eartha Kitt, the self-proclaimed “sex kitten” whose sultry voice and catlike purr attracted fans even as she neared 80, has died. The singer, dancer and actress was 81.

Family spokesman Andrew Freedman said Kitt, who was recently treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, died Thursday in Connecticut of colon cancer.

Dubbed the “most exciting woman in the world” by Orson Welles, Kitt’s career spanned six decades, from her start as a dancer with the famed Katherine Dunham troupe to cabarets and acting and singing on stage, in movies and on television.

She won two Emmys, and was also nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.

To steal a line from Steve Martin, she was born a poor black child – mixed race, actually – in South Carolina, and became a legend. Rest in peace, Eartha Mae.

25. December 2008 · Comments Off on Christmases Past · Categories: General

Mom was always an early riser – I think she was incapable of sleeping beyond 5am on most mornings. Christmas was no exception. We kids would try to stay up late the night before, but she would chase us to bed, and threaten to cancel Christmas if she found us out of bed or on the staircase. Family tradition was to not put presents under the tree until after the kids were in bed, to keep the illusion that it was Santa bringing them. We could put gifts we’d bought or made for each other under there earlier, but that was all.

Christmas eve was Mom’s big cooking/baking day (on top of all the baking she’d been doing since Thanksgiving.. several 25lb flour tins filled to the brim with different types of cookies, assorted pies lining the back of the counter, stacked 2-3 high on makeshift shelves). So on Christmas Eve morning, we’d get to open our stockings. The big treat (to me) was the little box of cereal – we even got to eat it out of the box instead of having to use a bowl. There was always some type of toy in the stocking, as well. We would then amuse ourselves in the livingroom or the basement, while Mom cooked and baked.

Christmas day, she’d wake us up, and we’d go tearing downstairs to make sure that Santa had really come. The presents would be overflowing the space under the tree. But the rule was that Dad hands out the gifts – no mad rush to the tree like you see in so many tv shows and movies. Dad, of course, was still in bed, sound asleep (or so he pretended). So we would carry him a cup of coffee, stepping oh-so-carefully as we navigated the staircase to the 2nd floor. Knock on the bedroom door, tiptoe inside, set the coffee cup on the nightstand next to the bed.

“Wake up, Dad! It’s Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas, Dad!”

No response.

Timidly touching him on the shoulder, trying to shake him. “Daddy, Santa came! Come and see the presents!”

Mumble, mumble, roll over.

“Mom! He won’t wake up!”

It was his annual game, although deadly serious to us. He HAD to wake up – it was Christmas! The game went on forever, although that probably means about five minutes in real-time. Then he would wake up, and Mom would chase us out of the room so he could drink his coffee and get dressed.

When he came downstairs, we were all near the tree, excited and expectant. Still in our pajamas, heads uncombed, ready for Christmas joy. He would take one package at a time from under the tree, and read the name on it out loud, handing it to the appropriate recipient. He did his best to rotate it so that we each got one at a time, but that depended on how they were stacked under the tree.

Later there would be a dining table almost groaning under the weight of the food Mom placed on it, and maybe visits to or from our cousins, but it’s the Christmas mornings that I remember best, with Dad pretending to sleep while we grew increasingly agitated, needing him to come downstairs so Christmas could begin.

Those Christmas mornings are 30+ years behind me, but they live fresh in my memory, and in my heart. Here’s hoping that you and yours are making memories today that will last as long, and that you are also finding comfort in the memories of Christmases past.

Merry Christmas!

24. December 2008 · Comments Off on From ‘The Bishop’s Wife’ · Categories: General

The sermon from ‘The Bishop’s Wife

Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.

But especially with gifts. You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. Its his birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.


Cross posted to Space For Commerce.

24. December 2008 · Comments Off on It’s Christmas-time… · Categories: General

I don’t know how it snuck up on me. I’m sure it’s somehow related to the constant rotation of the earth, and its journey through space around the sun. Be that as it may, it’s suddenly Christmas. And I’m not ready for it to be.

Yes, I’ve sent out some cards (did that last Saturday, in fact), but I have several left to send. Yes, I bought (and delivered) some gifts. But I still find myself surprised to realize that it is now, this very moment, Christmas Eve, and that tomorrow is Christmas Day (and my youngest dog’s fourth birthday).

It can’t be Christmas already – I’ve not baked my spritz cookies, or made my mom’s cinnamon rolls, or thawed the turkey breast. Oh, wait – I don’t need to thaw the turkey breast – I’ve been invited to a friend’s house for Christmas dinner. I’ve not watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

And yet, thanks to the inexorable turning of time, it’s Christmas, whether I’m ready for it to arrive or not. And I find myself periodically shifting between a “bah, humbug!” attitude (this is, after all, the first Christmas that I won’t be able to call my dad and brighten his day by singing “Merry Christmas” to him), and a humble gratitude that the seasons turn regardless, and that Christmas comes again every year, no matter what our circumstances may be.

I’m missing my dad, and I know I’m not the only person who will be facing their first Christmas since the loss of a loved one. And I’m not the only person spending the holiday miles away from any family members. In my case, it’s by choice – for others it may be due to the vagaries of weather, or the call of duty.

It can be a bittersweet day, or even a bitter day, if I let it. But I learned a long time ago, while in the Air Force, that *I* determine how my day will be, and that even a Christmas that should by rights be a sad time can be a glad time instead, if I choose that option.

So yes, I will lift a glass to my dad tonight or tomorrow, toasting his memory and acknowledging my loss. And I will say a prayer for all those who are dealing with loss at this time. But that will only be a portion of my day. The majority of it will be spent celebrating the joy of friendships and family, strengthening the ties that bind (and sometimes gag), watching my youngest dog chase his new ball around the back yard (he didn’t get the memo about how greyhounds don’t play). And I will join my friends for dinner, and be thankful that I have friends who open their hearts and their homes to those who are alone, even if they are alone by choice, as I am.

I will also spend some time remembering those who are alone this holiday season, by choice and by duty. Those who have chosen to serve their country by serving in her armed forces, and are spending this holiday scattered around the globe. I will lift a glass to them as well, and pray that it will be a day of peace for them, no matter where they are stationed.

24. December 2008 · Comments Off on Merry Christmas · Categories: General

It’s a Wii Christmas this year in our house, after having looked at what accessories and games cost, and their really being no particular need or desire for any other toys. A happy/occupied Red Haired Girl and Real Wife, with a nice prime rib roast in the oven, is all I really want.

Believe what you’ve heard, the Wii can cause injuries. While bringing ours in from the shop to wrap (in the midst of a 3/4 inch ice storm), I twisted my knee and apparently have a something-C-L injury. Oh well, I should be, and am, thankful for being on more familiar terms with orthopedic surgeons than with other specialists (orthopods never tell you how much time you have left). Anyway, I got an Indy 500 game that looks pretty cool so there will be some play time (with leg elevated, of course).

Merry Christmas to all of my fellow contributors, our loyal readers, and your families and loved ones.


24. December 2008 · Comments Off on This Christmas · Categories: General

I’m grateful that I work in a place where they still say “Merry Christmas” with absolutely no sarcasm or irony.  It is said with warmth and an honest wish for your happiness this season.

When I was still acting in “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge” there’s a scene at the end when Scrooge (played by your’s truly) is explaining his behaviour to the rest of the cast and audience:

“You should have seen your faces when you thought I was the man I was before…well not the man I was before, but the man I was before before.  But you HAD to believe I was the man I was before, I mean the man I was before before or nothing wonderful could have come from this trial.  But I am NOT the man I was before, nor the man I was before before, so…what I mean to say is…What I mean to say is Merry Christmas, the Merriest Christmas we’ve seen in many and many a year.”

This is kind of a key moment in the show.  I spent the longest time thinking about and working that scene.  The key was the “Merry Christmas.”  I played that part manic.  It’s supposed to be a bit manic.  I was delivering the “Merry Christmas” with a Santa Claus-ish type of chuckle.  It worked, but…it didn’t feel right.

One night on the way to rehearsal I heard that sappy Aid for Africa Song by the Brit’s BandAid.  You know the one, Paul Young starts out with “It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid.”  I got caught off guard and got a lump in my throat while listening to it.  But it hit me…just wish the audience a Merry Christmas.  Keep it simple.  And I got a very nice sigh almost every night.

So Merry Christmas one and all.  The Merriest Christmas we’ve seen in many and many a year.

23. December 2008 · Comments Off on Thank you America my foot · Categories: General

Like this;  a company went, not to a bank, [1] but just this place where I gotta send a big chunk of my money every year.  And they said ‘hey, man, I’ve run my company right into the ground, I need some of that cash you guys jacked from the public to tide me over while I change my ways.’

Which, put that way, sounds like a junkie whining that this time he’s really really sorry he put his rent money up his nose instead of paying his rent, but if they just let him slide a few weeks he’ll have the dough ..

And I said to the guys running the place ‘hey, that sucks, don’t do that’.  And their governing body voted ‘no’. And I said ‘cool’.  And the guy who runs the place said ‘well, shucks, ah’m gonna do that anyway’.  And he did. [2]

And then the company, all bright and perky, blows a big chunk of cash [3] telling me ‘thanks, buddy‘.

You're not welcome. by you.

To which my response, after careful editing because my first through fifth responses contained language that might make a sailor blush is …

stfu by iljat.

Mr. Nardelli?   You, your dealers, or any of the one million people who depend on Chrysler for their livelihoods will never see a dime from me.

I was serious about this before but that ad really cheesed me off.

Kia?  I’ll need a new car in a few years.  Let’s talk.

Cross posted to Space For Commerce.

[1] A bank has stricter rules for handling money than the government ever will.

[2] It’s a weak metaphor, granted.

[3] Cuban cites 100k for the cost of the ad in the Wall Street Journal.

23. December 2008 · Comments Off on Just because… · Categories: Domestic, General, World

It’s mid-winter and bleak and cold, and almost Christmas.

(Found through a couple of links, through The Belmont Club and The Virginian)

And going from the sublime to the low-rent, there’s this…

(Courtesy of Chicagoboyz)

21. December 2008 · Comments Off on A Deep-dyed Villian · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, General, History, Literary Good Stuff, Old West, World

He really was a black hat, this particular villain; he was known and recognized throughout the district – around mid 19th century Fredericksburg and the German settlements in Gillespie County – by a fine, black beaver hat. Which was not furry, as people might tend to picture immediately – but made of felt, felt manufactured from the hair scraped from beaver pelts. This had been the fashion early in the 19th century, and made a fortune for those who sent trappers and mountain-men into the far, far west, hunting and trapping beaver. The fashion changed – and the far-west fur trade collapsed, but I imagine that fine hats were still made from beaver felt. And J.P. Waldrip was so well known by his hat that he was buried with it.

There is not very much more known about him, for certain. I resorted to making up a good few things, in making him the malevolent presence that he is in “The Adelsverein Trilogy” – a psychopath with odd-colored eyes, a shifty character, suspected of horse-thievery and worse. I had found a couple of brief and relatively unsubstantiated references to him as a rancher in the Hill Country, before the Civil War, of no fixed and definite address. That was the frontier, the edge of the white man’s civilization. Generally the people who lived there eked out a hardscrabble existence as subsistence farmers, running small herds of near-wild cattle. There was a scattering of towns – mostly founded by the German settlers who filled up Gillespie County after the late 1840s, and spilling over into Kendall and Kerr counties. The German settlers, as I have written elsewhere, brought their culture with them, for many were educated, with artistic tastes and sensibilities which contrasted oddly with the comparative crudity of the frontier. They were also Unionists, and abolitionists in a Confederate state when the Civil War began – and strongly disinclined to either join the Confederate Army, or take loyalty oaths to a civil authority that they detested. Within a short time, those German settlers were seen as traitors, disloyal to the Southern Cause, rebellious against the rebellion. And they paid a price for that; the price was martial law imposed on the Hill Country, and the scourge of the hangerbande, the Hanging Band. The Hanging Band was a pro-Confederate lynch gang, which operated at the edges of martial law- and perhaps with encouragement of local military authorities.

J.P. Waldrip was undoubtedly one of them – in some documents he is described as a captain, but whether that was a real military rank, or a courtesy title given to someone who raised a company for some defensive or offensive purpose remains somewhat vague. None the less, he was an active leader among those who raided the settlements along Grape Creek, shooting one man and hanging three others – all German settlers, all of them of Unionist sympathies. One man owned a fine horse herd, another was known to have money, and the other two had been involved in a land dispute with pro-Confederate neighbors. Waldrip was also recognized as being with a group of men who kidnapped Fredericksburg’s schoolteacher, Louis Scheutze from his own house in the middle of town, and took him away into the night. He was found hanged, two days later – his apparent crime being to have objected to how the authorities had handled the murders of the men from Grape Creek. It was later said, bitterly, that the Hanging Band had killed more white men in the Hill Country during the Civil War than raiding Indians ever did, before, during and afterwards.

And two years after the war ended, J.P. Waldrip appeared in Fredericksburg. No one at this date can give a reason why, when he was hated so passionately throughout the district, as a murderer, as a cruel and lawless man. He must have known this, known that his life might be at risk, even if the war was over. This was the frontier, where even the law-abiding and generally cultured German settlers went armed. Why did he think he might have nothing to fear? Local Fredericksburg historians that I put this question to replied that he was brazen, a bully – he might have thought no one would dare lift a hand against him, if he swaggered into town. Even though the Confederacy had lost the war, and Texas was under a Reconstruction government sympathetic to the formerly persecuted Unionists – what if he saw it as a dare, a spit in the eye? Here I am – what are y’all going to do about it?

What happened next has been a local mystery every since, although I – and the other historical enthusiasts are certain that most everyone in town knew very well who killed J.P. Waldrip. He was shot dead, and fell under a tree at the edge of the Nimitz Hotel property. The tree still exists, although the details of the story vary considerably: he was seen going into the hotel, and came out to smoke a quiet cigarette under the tree. No, the shooter saw him going towards the hotel stable, perhaps to steal a horse. No, he was being pursued by men of the town, after the Sherriff had passed the word that he was an outlaw, and that anyone killing him would face no prosecution from the law. Waldrip was shot by a sniper, from the cobbler’s shop across Magazine Street – no, by another man, from the upper floor of another building, diagonally across Main Street. He was felled by a single bullet and died instantly, or lived long enough to plead “Please don’t shoot me any more”. I have created yet another rationale for his presence, and still another dramatic story of his end under the oak tree next to the Nimitz Hotel. I have a feeling this version will, over time be added to the rest. Everyone who knew the truth about who shot Waldrip, why he came back to town, how the town was roused against him, and what happened afterwards, all those people took the knowledge of those matters to their own graves, save for tantalizing hints left here and there for the rest of us to find. The whole matter about who actually fired the shot was kept secret for decades, for fear of reprisals from those of his friends and kin who had survived the war. This was Texas, after all, where feuds and range wars went on for generations.

So James P. Waldrip was buried – with his hat – first in a temporary grave, not in the town cemetery – and then moved to a secret and ignominious grave on private property. The story is given so that none of his many enemies might be tempted to desecrate it, but I think rather to make his ostracism plain and unmistakable, in the community which he and his gang had persecuted.

As noted, the Adelsverein Trilogy is now loosed into the wilds of the book-purchasing public. All three volumes are now available through Amazon.com: Book One here, Book Two here ( wherein the Civil War in the Hill Country is painted in great detail) and Book Three, in which Waldrip recieves his just desserts, under a tree by the Nimitz Hotel Stables.

Another signing event, last night at Berkman Books in Fredericksburg, for the Adeslverein Trilogy. Berkman’s is one of those nice little independent bookstores, holding its own specialized little niche against the overwhelming tide of big-box-bookstores and internet sales; Texiana, lots of events with local authors, curiosities, antique and used books. The clientele is a mix of adventurous tourists and local residents who don’t care to drive to San Antonio or New Braunfels in search of their reading matter. And they have two cats on the premises – I promised that I would frisk Blondie on departure, to ensure that neither of them had stowed away to come home with is. Berkman’s in a rambling old house on Main Street, a little removed from the main tourist blocks along Main Street… which, however, is slowly spreading along the side streets, and east and west from Marketplace Square. David, the owner, had ordered ten copies of each volume, and there has been considerable interest – even some notice in the Fredericksburg Standard. Kenn Knopp, the local historical expert who volunteered (kind of glumly, as he is the first to confess) to read the manuscript of the Trilogy, only to be astonished and thrilled as he got farther into it – was going to meet us an hour before the signing started. He had a friend, Annette Sultemeier, whom he wanted me to meet. Ms Sultemeier is also a local historical enthusiast, and still lives in her family’s house nearby. James P. Waldrip, the infamous leader of the pro-Confederate Hanging Band, who persecuted local Unionists during the Civil War was supposed to be buried in the back yard of her family home. Waldrip figures as the resident villain in the Trilogy, and his come-uppance under a tree at the edge of the old Nimitz hotel property was described in Book Three. Supposedly, he was buried in that unmarked grave, outside of the city cemetery, to escape desecration of his resting place. He was an especially bad hat, with many bitter local enemies.

There was a nice crowd at the signing. David had thought there would be many more people at the signing than there were, but I didn’t mind. This way, I had enough time to talk to people and answer questions. Enough of them were coming specifically for the Trilogy anyway, so I didn’t have that awful experience of spending two hours, watching customers come in the door and sidling around the desperate author, sitting at a little lonely table with a pile of books. Almost everyone bought all three books, many intended as Christmas presents. The last customer of the evening was almost the most rewarding to talk to. This was a young college student named Kevin, fascinated by local history and majoring in it, who read about the signing in the Standard, checked out my website and came straight over with his mother. He asked a great many questions about research, and bought Book One… and his mother bought Two and Three. Christmas present, I guess!
Afterwards, Kenn Knopp treated us to dinner at the Auslander Restaurant, which we had eaten at once before, and recalled as being pretty uninspired foodwise, and kind of scruffy on the inside. Apparently it has since been renovated, for now it was very comfortable, and the food was terrific; jagerschnitzel to die for, accompanied by little crispy potato pancakes about the size of a silver dollar. Blondie and I walked back to the car, admiring the Christmas lights, all along Main Street. There seem to be many nicer restaurants along Main Street now – it was quite lively on a Friday evening. Blondie noted there were many more wine-tasting rooms, too. The Hill Country is slowly becoming the new Provence, as I predicted a while ago, or at least the newest Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino, as far as wine production is concerned.

It was a great way to finish up the day – the interest in my books being almost as much of a satisfaction as the food. I have been warned, though; the event at the Pioneer Museum, on January 3rd will be even bigger, and the local history enthusiasts will come armed with even more searching questions.

18. December 2008 · Comments Off on Books, Books and More Books · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, General, Literary Good Stuff, Local, World

After a good deal of agonizing and back and forth with Angela at Booklocker, all three volumes of the Trilogy are up and in stock at Amazon – which is kind of a relief, since most fans who want to buy them on-line will buy them there, Amazon.com is apparently becoming the Walmart/Target/Costco of on-line shops. That is, in the sense that the place is mind-blowingly huge, and has everything imaginable and at a competitive price, but unlike them in the sense that it is completely automated and you can never find a real human when there is a problem. And also there are no senior citizens in a felt Santa cap and plastic gloves offering samples of chocolate cake or cocktail nibbles.

The PJ media rep very kindly added all four of my books to the Christmas Shop page for books. I might yet get some sales out of it, although it is hard to tell, other than the sales rank for them bobbing up and down like yo-yos from one day to the next. This week, being the week when the Trilogy is properly launched in the neighborhood where it all happened, a hundred years ago and more, the action is in local bookstores. Traditionally it’s difficult for POD books to get a toe-hold in brick-and-mortar bookstores, unless the writer buys copies in bulk and puts them on consignment. The wholesale discount from the retail price of the book is pretty steep, usually starting at 40% , and with a guarantee of return of all unsold copies – traditional bookstores have overhead and a budget, you know. Unless they have a darned good reason to stock a local author, and some assurance that those books will fly out the door, it’s consignment all the way. The economic burden is placed on the author to prove at his or her expense that the book will sell.

This time around, in writing about the Hill Country, I seem to have hit upon that winning formula. All my consignment copies for the launch event last week sold – all but a single copy of Book One – before I even walked in the door at the Twig. They have ordered five more of each, and bought them outright from Booklocker. This is at some expense, and without guarantee of return of whose copies with don’t sell… but last week proved to everyone’s satisfaction that they would sell. Hell, they took pre-paid orders from at least three people at the signing. Berkman’s Books in Fredericksburg have also bought outright no less than ten copies of each for a signing event on Friday and emailed me to say they wish they could afford fifty, for interest is getting pretty intense. There was a notice last week in the Fredericksburg paper, with a line at the bottom that the Adelsverein trilogy was endorsed by the local German Heritage Foundation. A bit of a thrill actually, for this may inspire even more descendents of old-time families in Gillespie County to buy a copy to see if I have made mention of their ancestors. A bookstore on Main Street which specializes in Texiana also wants to stock the Trilogy, and so does another one in Kerrville, which request came out of the blue, after the owners saw the notice. The first weekend in January, I will have a talk at Fredericksburg’s Pioneer Museum, for which the bookstore manager there has bought an amazing quantity of copies. He also promised to bring out some of the exhibits in the museum that had given me ideas for possessions of the Steinmetz and Richter families.

After Christmas, I will start on getting the Trilogy carried in other areas with a local tie-in. Yeah, an imminent depression/recession/economic reversal (or whatever the newscasters want to call it) is a heck of a time to start trying to sell books in a big way, but I note that it didn’t stop Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind.

I’d write a few hundred pithy words about current politics, with Obama, Blagojovich, and Caroline Kennedy, but I’m afraid it would all boil down to “what the hell did you expect, people?! Obama is out of Chicago machine politics, and didn’t I say so months ago?” I’ll give that dead horse carcass a couple of vigorous thwacks at a later date, but right now, I care more about my books and Christmas, in that order.

14. December 2008 · Comments Off on The current burning question in my life… · Categories: General

Background: My birthday gift to myself this year (yesterday was my 48th b-day), was a handgun safety and familiarization course at a local range. Class lasted four hours yesterday afternoon/evening, and I had so much fun that after class, I bought another box of ammo and went back into the range to play some more.

Today, I went back over for another hour of practice, hoping to try a different gun that someone else had been using yesterday (yesterday I used a Ruger SP101 revolver. Today, I used their GP100). I did alright yesterday, for a first-time shooter, but today, with the GP100, I almost demolished the center ring.

So here’s my burning question:

I told a couple friends about today, because I was so happy with my marksmanship, and it was so much fun for me. Each friend, when they heard I’d spent an hour at the range, and shot 200 rounds of ammo, said something along the lines of “Wow, taking out your frustrations, eh?”

**confused look**

Why do they automatically assume I was stressed/frustrated/angry? (one did mention anger) Can they not comprehend someone simply enjoying shooting?

Well, there was a nice crowd at The Twig last night at my launch event for the Adelsverein Trilogy – even though all but one copy of Book One had sold, even before we walked in last night! Sort of embarrassing, since I then had to fall back on doing autographed book-plates for people to stick into the front of copies they ordered… And my daughter forgot her camera, as we wanted to have pictorial evidence.

Nice Q & A session from almost a dozen people; a nice elderly couple of ‘freethinkers’ from up Comfort way, who were familiar enough with the history to know what I was talking about and to be interested, two very knowledgeable and dedicated local fans, another couple- the wife of whom is the Queen of the Red Hat chapter I belong to, one of my current semi-employers… and a shaggy young man who had been hanging around on the back porch of Cappyccino’s – the little cafe next door, who followed us in. I think he started off being more interested in my daughter, but he seemed to become quite fascinated by trials of the German settlers in Gillespie County. I kept getting very happy vibes of approval and interest, especially when they asked questions about obscure local historical matters – like, about the massacre of Unionists at the Nueces during the Civil War, and I knew all the detailed ins and outs. One of the dedicated fans said he had read the sample chapters at my website and asked about the first chapter of “The Gathering” – had there really been German-American or German immigrants present among the Texians massacred at the Goliad? And yes, of course there were – half a dozen, according to records. I gave chapter and verse, practically page references. The fan looked enormously pleased – I had the feeling I had sailed easily over a pre-set challenge.

I read a bit from Book One, a couple of pages detailing what happens to the steerage passengers on a wooden sailing-ship, during a violent storm in mid-Atlantic. Nothing good, you may be assured – violent sea-sickness, hysteria and bodily fluids sloshing around on the deck are the least of it. Blondie says I read too much and too fast. Still and all, a much better signing than last time.

All three books are too available, here, here and here, from Booklocker.com. Amazon has them all up now, but most discouragingly shows them as being out of stock. Really, sometimes I wonder if they really want to sell my books at all. Apparently, there was a bit about the Trilogy in the Kerrville newspaper yesterday; so had an email query from a local bookstore there. They do mostly used and antique books, but they carry Texiana, and would like to carry the Trilogy. Bit by bit, sportsfans, bit by bit.

I topped off the evening with an interview on an internet radio station show run by another IAG member , even thought I was so tired I practically dropped in my tracks. Something revivifying about being ‘on air’ so to speak. In the theatrical world they call this “Doctor Footlights” – the adrenalin kicks in and you feel better almost at once. (For the interview, enter the site, go to archives, then the list of hosts, pick host Lillian Cauldwell – my interview is there already – Dec. 11)

11. December 2008 · Comments Off on It’s Not Crazy, It’s Just The Chicago Way · Categories: Politics, Stupidity

In the 1987 movie “The Untouchables,” Sean Connery’s character, Officer James Malone, gives a brief, but to-the-point lesson to Federal Agent Elliott Ness:

They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way!

It’s with a bit of twisted pride that I tell you that most Chicagoans know that “way” by the time they’re 16.  It’s kind of built in.  You either learn it, or you wind up in serious hurt.  I know, outside of Chicago it seems almost psychotic.  I keep telling people, there’s a reason why I retired out West.  There’s an inherent psychosis that goes along with living in a city that has a million plus population.  You seriously don’t KNOW you’re crazy until you get out of it.  And then you kind of look back and shiver, thankful that you made it out alive and un-indicted.

John Kass in today’s Chicago Tribune, tries to explain to the rest of the country why Governor Blagojevich isn’t crazy, he’s just a Chicago Machine Politician.  I’m not even going to try to excerpt it, it’s too funny/sad/true to cut up.  Just go read the whole thing.  And no, I don’t agree with him, I think they’re all nucking futs (sic), I don’t care how good the pizza is.

09. December 2008 · Comments Off on Knock, knock! · Categories: General

The cops – well, the FBI – hauled Illinois Governor Blagojevich (D) [1] out of bed this morning and hauled him off to jail, for being corrupt and stupid. [2]

When asked for comment ..

Obama told reporters he was “saddened and sobered” by Blagojevich’s arrest.

“I was not aware of what was happening,” Obama said. “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so I was not aware of what was happening.”

The President-Elect, when shown a picture of Governor Blagojevich, commented “So that’s what he looks like. I was wondering.” [3]

Cross posted to Space For Commerce.

[1] Twelve paragraphs until his party affiliation is mentioned, fwiw. If the Tribune Media company is wondering why they’re bankrupt, this is a clue.

[2] One or the other is acceptable in a politician, but not both.

[3] The last sentence [4] is what we call humor. A funny. Or not-so-funny.

[4] It’s not a direct quote, in other words.

Timing is everything, they say – and if I knew six months ago that the economy was on the verge of tanking, I don’t think I would have tried to do anything different with my scheduled release of the Adelsverein Trilogy – the saga that I have been working on for two years and a bit. This will make my third-through-fifth book out there. The third time is supposed to be the charm. Thanks to the accumulated book-writing, book-marketing and book-selling experience at the Independent Authors’ Guild, I think I will come closer to getting it right, this time – like delaying the release so as to allow six months to get some seriously earnest reviews, from publications like “True West” and others. ( Reviews posted here. I’ll be pounding away on the “True West” review for years – decades, maybe.) Such was the wise counsel of writers who had done it before.

Taking their advice also, I worked a lot harder at getting local signings and attempting to interest local museums. It was a lot easier this time around, honestly. The only places that I could interest in “Truckee’s Trail” were a couple of outlets in Nevada and Truckee City – there’s only so much one can do at a thousand-mile-plus remove, especially if you can’t claim to be a local author. But having a book-three books – with several Texas settings, and fifty years worth of interesting and famous or obscure Texas characters contained therein – that something much more appealing to work with in generating local interest. My dance-card, otherwise known as my signing schedule is beginning to fill up, and praise be, I might actually have some local media interested. As in the old-fashioned, print-on-dead-tree kind, which people do still read around here. And let’s face, it Texans are passionately interested in history. They remember more than just the Alamo.

The kick-off is Thursday, at the Twig Bookstore in Alamo Heights. 5 PM. I don’t know which is my worst fear about this event: that I’ll sit there for two hours and sell maybe one book…. Or that Blondie and I and some friends of ours who have promised to come along for moral support will walk up to the place and the line to get into the Twig will be down to the next block, and they’ll run out of books before the first twenty minutes. I’d prefer the second, of course.

Wish me luck. I couldn’t have done it without you all.

PS: All pre-sold sets are in the mail. The final volume should be up at Amazon any time now. All three – The Gathering, The Sowing and The Harvesting are already at Booklocker.

09. December 2008 · Comments Off on Stolen from Twitter · Categories: General, Politics, Rant, Stupidity

You can’t spell Blagojevich without J.A.I.L..

You would think that by now I’d be immune to being surprised by an Illinois Governor being arrested.  But seriously, he had to know he was under investigation.  Why would you talk about this stuff ON THE FREAKING PHONE!!!

UPDATE:  Because someone asked:  If Blagojevich is convicted, he would make the fourth Illinois Governor since 1960.  That’s one every decade except for 1980.

1. Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  Democrat, 2003 to Present.  Arrested on two charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. Irony:  Was voted in on a wave of anger about “Ryan’s Republican corruption.”  Previously represented the city of Chicago as a Congressman.

2. George Ryan, Republican, 1999 to 2003, convicted of corruption in 2006.  Steered contracts and leases to political insiders while he was Secretary of State and then Governor. Currently serving a 6 1/2-year prison term.  Previously served as Secretary of State and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

3. Dan Walker, Democrat, 1973 to 1977, plead guilty to bank fraud, misapplication of funds and perjury.  Charges unrelated to term as Governor.  Served 1 1/2 years of a seven-year sentence.  Previously served as aide to Governor Adlai Stevenson and was dead set on destroying the Chicago Machine and removing Mayor Richard J. Daley from the Cook County Democratic Committee.  Wrote a blistering report about Mayor Daley’s use of force during the 1968 Democratic Convention, basically stating that the Chicago Police Department started, rather than ended the riot.

4. Otto Kerner Jr., Democrat, 1961 to 1968,  1973, convicted of bribery, tax evasion and other stuff. He was convicted of arranging favorable horse racing dates as Governor in return for getting horse racing association stock at reduced prices.  He served less than a year of a three-year sentence.  He was the son of Otto Kerner Sr., former Attorney Gerneral of Illinois and Justice United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Junior was a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern Illinois District and County Judge for Cook County (Chicago and surrounding area).  Kerner died in 1976.

As I’ve tried to explain on a number of occasions, corruption in Chicago and in Illinois isn’t considered “wrong” by many.  It’s sort of expected as “just the way things are done.”  You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.  It’s inherent in the system and has been for more than a century.  That’s why I really have a bad feeling about Senator Obama for President.  The fact that this stuff happens all around him, but never seems to stick to him, is much more worrisome than if was knee deep in the muck.

08. December 2008 · Comments Off on We’re the Big Three. We Don’t Need to Compete. · Categories: General
We're the Big Three.  We don't need to compete by you.
Cross posted to Space For Commerce.
08. December 2008 · Comments Off on Decking The Halls… · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, General, Memoir, Military

…and the boughs, and the front of the house. Blondie and I are staying in Texas this Christmas, so we got out the Christmas tree and the various tubs of ornaments, and strings of lights. I can’t claim that we do anything remotely like the full Griswald when it comes to Christmas cheer, but we do put together a very nice traditional tree, with presents underneath and all. It’s an artificial tree – sorry. The only live trees available in Texas are half-dead by the time they are bought, are hideously expensive and shed needles all over, coming and going. The current tree is, alas, artificial and sheds needles (in the form of narrow, needle-like slips of plastic) – but was not expensive, even the first year that Blondie bought it. And it actually looks very nice, once decorated, and with equally artificial springs of poinsettia inserted between the branches, to fill in the gaps. We will leave the giant inflatables, the miles of lights, the bows and the herds of wire-form deer, the banners and ribbons and all to the various enthusiastic neighbors. Really, I wonder what the Chinese workers who manufacture this stuff think of it all … the giant inflatable Santa riding a Harley, the teeter-totter with Santa on one end, and three fabric reindeer on the other, and the eight-foot tall snow-globe a family of carolers and a blizzard of plastic fluff whirling around inside. Probably wonder about the sanity of the American consumer, not to mention their aesthetic taste. Frankly, I haven’t got the energy that some of them have, to redecorate seasonally – not just at Christmas, but every month.

I do like our own Christmas tree, though – it’s quirky, just like Mom and Dad’s tree used to be, with a similar accretion of ornaments. When Mom and Dad’s house in Valley Center burned some years ago in the Paradise fire, one of the first things that Blondie and I thought about missing was the Christmas stuff. At the time, we were pretty sure that some things had been saved out of Mom and Dad’s house. After all, we had been drilled on the eventuality of fire for years. We were fairly certain that in such an emergency, no one would spare a thought for three crumbling cardboard boxes full of Christmas stuff, stashed in the rafters of the garage – the garage which turned out to have been the first to go up in flames. Gone the 1930’s Santa-Claus lights and the crumbling four-colored printed carton they had come in, decades since. Gone the Anri Christmas angels that I had sent from Italy, the pipe-cleaner and bead ornaments that JP and I had constructed in grade school, the assorted blown-glass balls, the red and white stockings with our names knitted into the tops, which Granny Jessie had done for each of us; for Mom and Dad when they married and produced us all. Gone the hand-knit stocking for Blondie that I had bought for her at a craft-fair in Utah, with a black kitten knitted into the pattern, and her name that I had added in chain-stitch… all of that gone to ashes, which were scraped up by a bulldozer and carried away, in preparation for rebuilding the house.

Our traditional Christmas stuff is now devolved on my own collection, as eccentric as ever my parents assembled, for I now have a record of celebrating thirty years of Christmasses on my own, and all the ornaments to go with it. I only occasionally was back at Mom and Dad’s for Christmas during the time that I was overseas. In the meantime, in between time, I generated my own collection. The oldest of the lot – thirty felt-covered round ornaments, trimmed with lace, gilt ribbons, fake seed-pearls and jewels, to adorn the little plastic tree in my room in the barracks in Japan, when I first went overseas. These were augmented with a flock of little birds, made of satin and ornamented with silk embroidery – they came from India, and I bought them at a base Christmas bazaar at about the same time. Both sets have proved fairly indestructible – since they can stand a drop to a hard floor. For a couple of years while in Greece I bought a single box of ornaments from one of the high-end catalogue retailers every year: the paper-mache globes covered with red and green curlicues, the stuffed teddy-bears with little scarves, and the vintage wooden airplanes are from that period; the airplanes looked especially fine, hanging from the ends of the branches, as if they were whirling in some endless tree-shaped dog-fight. There are the terra-cotta ornaments from Portugal that look like ginger-cookies, and dozens of traditional German wooden ornaments; little Santas on the backs of whales, or in the basket of a dirigible, angels and little sleds with piles of presents, Father Time with a tiny golden key… all those bought when we were in Spain and I went TDY to Germany every January for a broadcasting conference. A handful of Anri flying angels – those bought when we passed through Rome on our way to Spain. All very traditional and conventional … until we get to the three Enterprise spaceships, and the shuttle-craft, with their tiny blinking lights. I bought the first of those when we came back to the States, the very year they brought the Star Trek ornaments out. I wish I had a Tardis ornament, but I don’t even know if they make one. The rest of the tree is filled with things bought on sale, usually after Christmas and saved for the next year. Blondie contributed four blown-glass ornaments she bought in Egypt, when she went there in 2001 for Bright Star. Those are hung very carefully at the top of the tree, being not nearly as hard-wearing as my own first Christmas ornaments.

It’s more than a Christmas tree – it’s a sort of family history, a history that only families know.

07. December 2008 · Comments Off on “Air raid – Pearl Harbor. This is no drill.” · Categories: General, History

A peaceful Hawaiin Sunday morning. A world at semi-peace — there *was* war in Europe, after all, but the US was thus far mostly untouched by it.

All of that changed in an instant. The sound of airplanes, the whistling of bombs dropping from the sky, the destruction and carnage to battleships and airfields that was intended to decimate our Pacific presence, and instead awakened a sleeping giant.

You can see photos of the attack here, but we don’t really need photos to remember.

If you’re ever on Oahu, make sure and give yourself time to visit the museum, and the Arizona memorial. It’s time well spent. And make time today to remember those who died 67 years ago today, when a peaceful Sunday morning was torn apart by the machines of war.

Update: You can read eyewitness accounts here

06. December 2008 · Comments Off on Orbiting Speed In the Writers Life Waltz · Categories: Domestic, General, Literary Good Stuff, Veteran's Affairs, Working In A Salt Mine...

Light posting this week, for which I apologize lavishly once again – but this is the last week that I have to prepare for the launch of the heralded “Adelsverein Trilogy” – about which I have banged on about here for much of the last two years. Anyone who came to this blog looking for insights into late 20th century military culture must have been disappointed beyond belief by my excessive interest and scribblings about 19th century Texas history. Sorry about that, but people move on. I wrote a book based on entries in this blog, then another, and then I decided I liked writing novels so much that I took on a trilogy about the German settlements in 19th century Texas, the last volume of which achieved 500 print pages and was so thick that when I unwrapped my final print proof, I could only look at it and think in disbelief ‘I wrote all of that?!’ (for which my current editor would ding me for double usage; either a question mark or an exclamation point. Including both are superfluous.)

So, I took my publishers’ advice, and finished polishing and editing all three, to be available this month… next week, as a matter of fact. The first two books have been on, and then off, and then on again, as regards the behemoth internet book retailing All three were just set up this day on Booklocker (here, here and here) – although it is one of those funny turns of the modern publishing game that I actually have two publishers. The ISBN, the editing and the marketing is through Strider Nolan, and it says ‘Strider Nolan’ on the books, but the cover design, interior formatting, and the actual mechanics of supplying copies will be handled by Booklocker. All clear? Yeah, I know — it’s an odd situation, but then the current way of getting books published and out there seems to be melting down and reforming. It’s pretty well acknowledged now that unless you are one of the mega-biggie authors, you’re pretty well got to market your book yourself, scrounge the reviews, set up the signings, generate the postcards, flyers, book-markers yourself. Having the aegis of Strider Nolan on the Adelsverein Trilogy might have made it a little easier to get reviews in publications which otherwise might have shied off from the Booklocker Brand. Like the local newspaper – the San Antonio Express News, so I was informed loftily a couple of years ago – does not review publish-on-demand books. The implication that all such were low-quality, unprofessional offerings of limited appeal. Eh… we’ll see. Lately it seems that the best independently published books are getting better and better, just as the traditional publishers are going moribund, and their books more formulaic. Insisting on sticking to the same-old same-old strikes me as someone insisting absolutely on first-class tickets for the Titanic… even as the ship slowly sinks.

On Friday I began mailing all those copies of autographed copies of the trilogy to all of those who had pre-ordered over the last couple of months. After hitting the post office, I had a box, full of five copies of each volume to take to the Twig Bookstore in Alamo Heights; extras to have on consignment, in case the copies they had ordered for the launch signing on Thursday didn’t arrive. The management was glad to see them – everyone is getting pretty excited over the Trilogy, what with the local tie-in and all. There were some customers in the Twig, and they got excited, too. One of said customers immediately bought an autographed set as a Christmas present, saying that she hoped she had time to read all three before she had to wrap them up and give them to the person they were inscribed for. Not bad – the signing isn’t for another six days, and already the copies are flying out the door. I have another signing the following week at Berkman’s in Fredericksburg, still another at a large Borders bookstore here in San Antonio over the weekend before Christmas, a small bookstore in Fredericksburg which specializes in Texiana wants to stock them, the Pioneer Museum is also planning an event the first weekend after New Years… and I sent a copy of the first book to the manager of the Sophienburg Museum in New Braunfels – they might be interested in another event in January. No bites from the manager of the museum at the Goliad, though. Pity – the whole saga starts just there, and I drew a lot of information for that first chapter out of their website.

Unfortunately, I won’t see any royalty income from these various events, and from Booklocker until next month… and I have a couple of bills coming due. None of the places that Blondie applied for are hiring temporary help for this Christmas season, and my hours at the corporate call center have been cut as well. Not as many people making holiday reservations, apparently. If anyone else would like to order autographed copies, or make a donation through paypal, I would be ever so grateful. The next few weeks are going to be horribly busy, terrifically gratifying to me as a writer, and enormously promising … but a little tight on actual disposable income, otherwise.

06. December 2008 · Comments Off on Wow, I’ve Been Out of It · Categories: Ain't That America?, Media Matters Not, The Funny

I didn’t even hear about them Rickrolling the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

To give you a little background:  Rickrolling is a bait and switch meme, sending someone a link  with something like, “Hey, go watch this cool video about cute kittens.” or cool explosions or etc. and then spoof the link so that it takes you to a video of Rick Astley’s 1987 hit, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”  The more absurd or inappropriate the link and/or person you’re Rickrolling, the better.  Apparently Rickrolling Scientologists is especially gratifying…don’t ask me why, seriously, I don’t know.

But when I heard about this, I had to look it up.  How many millions of people watch the Macy’s Parade?  More people were Rickrolled on Thanksgiving than in the two years prior.

Cartoon Network, I salute you.

03. December 2008 · Comments Off on Dear GM, Ford and Chrysler · Categories: General

Dear GM, Ford and Chrysler, and their associated dealerships,

The more you insist
on trying to steal borrow my money without permission to bail your sorry asses out of trouble, the less I want to buy your product.  And my interest in buying a new domestic car – never strong – has been waning mighty fast this autumn.

If you want my business you’d best quit while you’re ahead.

That is all.

Brian Dunbar

Cross posted to Space For Commerce.

02. December 2008 · Comments Off on The correct term is UA · Categories: General

Dear Hollywood,

Marines don’t use the term A.W.O.L. Having a character use that term is a sign that you’re not paying attention.

It’s also Yet Another Sign that 99% of television is crap.

So, cut it out.



The Public

Cross posted to Space For Commerce.