02. March 2005 · Comments Off on Home of the Daily Brief · Categories: General, Military

It may just be an odd fancy, but I have lately begun to visualize what the “Daily Brief” would be like if it existed in the real world, if it were a real place, not a vast collection of bits of data on a server in… wherever our server is. (Duluth, I think. At least that’s where the snail-mail address is, if I ever chose to actually mail them a check, and not just transfer Paypal funds.) We exist in the electronic overworld, linked by posts, comments and e-mails, a mundane version of the linked psychics on Marion Zimmer Bradley’s mysterious planet of Darkover. I have never actually met any of the other “Daily Brief” members face to face, and all we know of each other is what everyone knows from what we write, and post in this space. (Which may be quite a lot…)

Some of us have been coming here for a long time, some wander in and out, irregularly…occasionally a troll washes in, on link from somewhere else, or on a tide of gambling and porn spam… and sometimes a reader just comes to check out a post, and likes the look of the place and sticks around, unaware of three years of archives and history, and all the regulars that were there for a while. Very like the military, actually; people come and go, all the time.

I see “The Daily Brief” as one of those places that pulls in a mostly military clientele— kind of a cross between the unit break-room, one of those private clubs maintained in the barracks, the local VFW, and one of those divey little places immediately off-base with a name like the “Drop Zone”, or “The Rally Point”. Everyone else is perfectly welcome, of course— but should realize that some of the regulars maybe a little more…. umm, testier than others.

It’s dim and a little shabby on the inside, with a bar and a pool table, and a juke-box, and a lot of overstuffed chairs from DRMO, most of which have sprung seats, and splits in the vinyl mended with duct tape. The walls are so well-covered with old framed photos of historical events and heroes, unit patches and banners, souvenirs of wartime and peace time, that it’s hard to make out what color they are; maybe that peculiar institutional green, gone to a dark beige no-color with age and wear.

For such a shabby little place, though it has a killer sound system, and a big-screen TV, and a huge collection of movies, CDs, DVDs and tapes… BX/PX privileges y’know. Fifty years worth of popular music, movies and other cultural stuff. And books, lots of books… history, mostly, but plenty of the light stuff, too. Anything that ever touched on military matters is neatly lined up on shelves knocked together out of plywood, dark stained and then lacquered with a couple of coats of shiny varnish. There’s a dart-board in one corner, I think the Group-Captain left that. And because this is the blogosphere, there’s a cat hanging about the place, usually sleeping in the most comfy chair.

At the back of the “Daily Brief”, there’ll be a couple of windows and a door that opens onto a terrace, a terrace with some picnic tables and a barbeque pit, a couple of steps above a lawn. The butt can is out here, because you can’t smoke inside any more. ” Digital Warfighter” is right next door— we share the terrace and the lawn, of course— and there is a lot of back and forth. There are trees at the edge of the lawn, and beyond that… a shoreline of some kind, I believe, but I can’t really be sure about what ocean. The kids are welcome, since this is a family-oriented sort of place. Sparkey’s daughters and son, and the five-year old version of Blondie are romping on the lawn with some other kids.

The grown-up version of Blondie , though, is over at the bar with ThePie and Capt. Loggie comparing tales of eventful TDYs and interesting things to see in Europe. Sparkey, Timmer and Kevin Connors are swapping brags about the latest toys for the boys, and Stryker pops in from next door, freaking a little because he is trying to quit smoking for real, this time! And Joe and I and a couple of the other retirees are hanging out in the comfy chairs, telling what I always called “Old Sarge” tales, of the way it used to be, back in the day…

Oh, yes, the Daily Brief, for your quick snorkeling trip through what’s on the military mind. Just close your eyes and imagine.

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