Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wordzzle 45; I think

Wordzzle 45 - the beginning and the end

If you're new to Wordzzle; then let me ask you this question. "Where the hell have you been?" OK, whatever the reason, I'm glad you're here. Take a minute and run on over to the Raven's Nest. You'll find the lovely Katherine's stories, info about Wordzzle and links to all the other participants' blogs and stories.

Then if you have it in ya, come on back and get involved in another Wordzzle story series.

Below are this week's words:

The ten word challenge: When pigs have wings, Moonlight, Mystery, Tower of Babel, Butterflies, Bread and butter, Beef barley soup, Charley horse, Novelty, Cold shoulder

The Mini Challenge: Software, Lottery, Newspaper, Mailman, Ringo Starr’s drum

The New Series Title: Laughlin

This week's episode: Life is a gamble

The Laughlin Strip was no modern day Tower of Babel. The Casinos and adjoining hotels that lined the street on the Nevada side had names like "The Colorado Belle", "The Golden Nugget", and "The Pioneer". This particular cold December day found them with the lowest levels of occupancy in 25 years.

The town was struggling; trying mightily to reach its once faded glory, but the bread and butter clients, the cowboys, contractors and wealthy retirees that typically inhabited the city, were staying away. The few that did come were looking for deals and playing the penny machines. Since Laughlin didn't have the theatres and audiences to rate big name talent, the Casinos were stuck with things like a rock and roll exhibit featuring Ringo Starr's drum. The scant off season winter crowd was not going for it.

One enterprising Casino (the small and quirky Regency Casino) tried Moonlight Mystery gambling. This didn't work too well either. The novelty soon wore off after one customer won the mystery jackpot of $1000 on a dollar machine, but after putting in over $1700. Word got around the strip and the minuscule and strange Regency went back to hosting football parties and getting the occasional sucker to play its machines.

All of this meant little to Dan Griggs. He had come to this cultural backwater on the banks of the Colorado to kick back and take it easy. His small pension from the Tacoma police department, plus his salary as a part time armed security guard at the Pioneer gave him enough income to get by. Dan finished his beef barley soup and went back to the buffet bar for dessert. He had to be careful at his age, once you edged up on 60 you blew up like a balloon if you tried to eat like a kid. He passed by the cakes, pies, and chocolates and picked up a small bowl of Jell-O. "Exercise and nutrition" he grimaced to himself.

Since the shooting that had ended his career in law enforcement over 20 years ago, Dan had clung to a routine and regimen to stay as healthy as possible. It was a little harder for him than most. The 9mm slug that forced his early retirement had taken one kidney, a floating rib and his lifelong assurance of being the lucky one. Though in truth he was lucky to be alive. The vest had stopped two other torso shots (it's a myth that all crooks can't shoot their pistols) and he had managed to stop the guy with the last round in his service revolver. It was one of those instantaneous things that just happens to cops sometimes.

Still, it made his daily run along the "Riverwalk" more difficult with each passing month. Unless the mailman brought him a check from some long lost uncle or he won the lottery, his chances at regaining full motion on his left side without significant and costly reconstructive surgery, were slight. While he managed to run in a mostly upright fashion it was a struggle. The constant pressure to hold himself upright inevitably caused a Charlie horse in his right calve.

Dan gave the cold shoulder to these thoughts and the other goodies at the dessert table and returned to his seat. "Hey stranger" called out Carla Hodgenbottom. Carla was a "forty something" floor waitress at the Pioneer. "Hey Girl, what's shaking" Dan replied as he patted the seat next to him in the booth. Carla sat down and gave Dan a peck on the cheek before she dove into her late night breakfast. "You see the newspaper yet?" she quizzed Dan. "There's an article about the drowning down at Harrahs last weekend." "They're saying now it might not have been accidental" she finished.

Dan had indeed read the paper and he knew from a contact in the Laughlin PD that the drowning had appeared suspicious from the start. But instead of addressing that issue he asked Carla about going hiking next week if the weather turned warmer. She assented and didn't press him about the drowning.

Dan and Carla had been dating for about 7 months and things were easy between them. Neither seemed to want more than friendship and companionship with benefits. The nice thing for Dan was that Carla appeared to not care about the horrible scarring on his left side. He had started to almost feel comfortable with her without his shirt. Of course most of that time he was hard as a rock and they were engaged in activities that took priority over his qualms about his injury. Dan smiled at Carla and thought of how nice it would be to make love to her in their tent out in the desert. They would drive his 87 Ford Bronco out as far as it would go and then hike for miles. Finally they'd camp, make dinner and enjoy the beauty of the desert sky and then the pleasure they gave each other. She never even complained about the cigar and whiskey he always had when they watched the night sky and talked. All in all, at least from his side, it was a nice comfortable relationship; one without high expectations or too much drama. With that said, he still got butterflies in his stomach when she undressed for him by the light of the campfire.

For Carla's part, she enjoyed Dan's sense of humor and his knowledge of the world. She had been startled by the gunshot wound, but never put off by it. Dan was a wounded soul both physically and spiritually. This allowed her to take great joy in healing him with her body. She had always been a loving woman and not having children or a husband had injured her more deeply than the wounds that Dan had received. Their lovemaking satisfied something in her far beyond the physical and it showed in the way she treated him. For make no mistake, Dan was her man, whether he knew it or not. She felt in her heart there was little chance of him leaving her. As her Daddy back in Missouri would have said, "It just ain't gonna happen: unless the time comes when pigs have wings and learn to fly. Now that statement coming from a Missouri pig farmer from St. Joes was a statement of fact.

Carla felt blessed to have grown up on a farm and more blessed now to not be living on one. It was such a different time then and she was so much younger. The world had been full of possibilities till her Daddy lost the farm and they had to move into town. It had killed her father working in a factory, and for what?

The implement factory was long gone, the stark brick buildings still standing down on River Street, but empty for the last two decades. No, she was done with Missouri, bitter cold winters, and farming. She liked working in the Casino. It was warm in the winter and cool, even when it hit 120 degrees outside in the Summer. And hiking with Dan in the spring and the fall, sometimes even in winter when it was mild, was outdoorsy enough for her these days. The exercise helped her keep her figure, which was a prerequisite for being a floor waitress. Well, that and the damned push-up bras. Every server on the gambling floor wore a uniform showing extensive cleavage and required the dreaded booby proper upper to fill it out.

Dan thought again about what Corporal Stoddard had told him concerning the drowning. The woman had been internally mutilated. It wasn’t found out till much later and by then the police had decided to keep it quiet. The only reason Dan had been put in the loop was his police background and experience on a similar crime in Tacoma. Dan had never figured out what made men do that kind of thing to women. It was if they were wired different than the rest of us, or more likely he thought to himself, their software had some serious defects.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All

It's the day before Christmas
As I sit at my desk typing
Ignoring the hoopla
and last minute shopping hyping

I've read my friends' blogs
Caught up on their news
Read their Christmas stories
And picked up on the cues

Now I'm feeling somewhat dodgy
Both Happy and Sad
Without being too stodgy
I want to be Glad

That Christmas is here
New Years just next week
This last year was a challenge
Not one for the meek

Let's wish it looks up
That Santa brings hope
Along with the regular gifts
So that we can all cope

With what life brings us
in this New Year
Along with the difficulties
And problems we fear

That the coming year may bring
something new and happy
We need some good news
So Santa make it snappy

When you visit tonight
When your sleigh comes to rest
When you come down my Chimney
Please bring your best

Bring some good news
Some faith, hope and love
To all those in need
From our Father above

May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Many thanks to all who've read and commented at the Bloggerhood this year. It has been my great pleasure to read your stories, comments and blogs.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wordzzle 43 - A Change in Modus Operandi

Take the time to go by the Raven's Nest and see what her stories and the other stories this week are about.

With the end of the serial about Sgt Johnson and the crew my wordzzles will take on a different tack. I will experiment with other things to write.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: Horny as a toad, Frankenstein’s sister, Greeks bearing gifts, Holiday, Cheese grater, Gridlock, Drip dry, Coffin maker, movie mogul, Turkish coffee
Mini Challenge: prenuptial agreement, The purple cow just hated the orange cat, potato chips, sari, Hammer and nails

Random thoughts concerning current events and such. As always it's just one mega-Wordzzle.

Perhaps you've listened to the news lately, though with the Holiday confusion and shopping you might have missed the auto bailout mess. It seems that the Republican holdouts (what Pat Buchanan described as Toyota Republicans) put the kibosh on any help through Congress. Probably just as well. If I were the auto makers I'd be aware of Greeks bearing gifts this time of year anyway. The thing that got my goat was the hypocrisy involved in the Senators’ actions. They approved all that money, you remember, 700 billion and counting, for the banks and Wall Street jerks, but balked at a measly 15 billion to keep the domestic car makers going till Obama takes office.

While this might sound like putting the hammer and nails to the coffin of the Big 3, it ain’t necessarily so. The Decider (still president George Bush) can still direct the treasury department to part with a bit of the TARP fund and keep American car makers from an early (though some say inevitable) appointment with the corporate coffin maker, bankruptcy.

If you have been shopping then you know that in spite of the economic downturn that stuff still costs a pretty penny. There may be some stores giving discounts, but lets face it, their crap was way overpriced anyway. From my experience shopping this year everything from Cheese Graters to Drip Dry trousers seems too expensive.

Some of you may have to deal with Gridlock and crowds to find the items on your gift list. You have my condolences. Take some time to enjoy yourself while doing it. Say "Merry Christmas" to everyone that you come into contact with and make the best of the time out with the crowds. Maybe a stop at the local Starbucks and some great Turkish coffee could be your treat to yourself. (Does Starbucks even have Turkish coffee?) Anyway, you get the idea don't ya?

And please be careful out there driving during this crazy season. Folks tend to be more distracted than usual while behind the wheel.

If you're in need of gift suggestions; let me remind you that the movie moguls are offering a wide variety of DVDs and Blue Ray discs of some great flicks this season. How about a subscription to Bride's magazine for your friends looking to a spring wedding? My advice if you do this: steer clear of any mention of prenuptial agreements. Please remember that if you give beauty products, like makeup or a hairdryer, that you must be careful. You wouldn't want your niece, aunt or wife to look like Frankenstein's daughter after using your gift.

Think outside the box if you get stuck buying a gift for someone. Something as exotic as an Indian Sari will work for the right person. If you have very young children to buy for then think about a custom story book as a gift. Let's face it, you won't get the chance to use a line like the "Purple cow just hated the orange cat" in many of your adult conversations.

For my part, I have a slight bit of shopping left for the first of the week and then we leave town for a few days for our anniversary. I'll be sitting in a bar in Laughlin eating potato chips, drinking a beer and getting horny as a toad.

Next Saturday I'm taking off while we celebrate, gamble and remember why we got married in the first place.

If I don't talk to any of you before Christmas, then please have a very merry one.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wordzzle 42, words that make you think or something.

After 42 weeks you should know by now that Katherine at the Raven's Nest is the founder of this weekly challenge. If you'll take a minute to go by her blog you'll find her stories and links to all the other writers participating in this exercise.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is : think the rain’ll hurt the rhubarb?, B Vitamins, credit card, jolly, angels, mouse, three ring circus, haiku, sponge, copper

Mini Challenge: compulsive, trunk, African violets, curiosity, UFOT

This episode: Three weeks after the attack

The current president and administration had learned little from September 11th, 2001. They immediately started to spin the attack as an Al Qaeda operation. Of course it wasn't and some of the media actually picked up on the numerous leads and clues that Claude had sprinkled around DC. It quickly became apparent that the culprits were home grown and not your traditional terrorist types. The incident seemed more like an inside job the more that came out.

It was like a three ring circus around the white house. The outgoing executive branch cronies were nervous and uptight, in spite of the fact that the Secret Service had done a superb job in protecting the president and the white house grounds. The curiosity seekers watched from down the block on Pennsylvania Ave as barricades were set on the street to limit access to the White House.

The country was shocked then amazed, then pissed off about the whole affair, as it became more and more clear that the actions taken were the direct result of corporate and governmental malfeasance. A few in the financial world got wind of big losses and fortunes undone, but didn't make the connection.

Zan had survived her injuries though it was still unclear how much mental function she would recover. The shrapnel in her lung had come closer to killing her, but the head trauma would have more lasting effects. She clutched the African violets given to her by Sgt Johnson. The ambulance would take her to a private hospital after her stay in Walter Reed. Sgt Johnson sat next to her to keep her company. He even read her a simple haiku he had composed.

Thoughtful rain
Splashes silently
upon the mossy stone

"What's it mean Thomas?" she asked hesitantly. "Just a way of thinking about rain Zan, nothing special" he replied. "You mean like, think the rain'll hurt the rhubarb?" she asked jokingly. "Yea, something like that Zan." Johnson was glad she still had her sense of humor. Her memory and cognitive functions had been marginal, so this was a good sign.

In a small village in France, where once sat a large chemical plant, now deserted, the mayor received a check for the city from an anonymous donor. While this had happened on occasion, when some church woman or other would leave their pitiful estates to the town, this was very different. The cashiers check was for seven million francs.

Three members of the justice department were indicted on felony charges and their arrests lead to a number of others. The trail lead to the RNC and almost all the way to "K", but not quite. Two high ranking staffers for US senators committed suicide in the same week. Amazingly 4 US senators announced their imminent retirement and two of these would not finish out their terms.

In Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, St Louis, Charlotte, Miami, Kansas City, Boston, New Port, New Haven, Hartford, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Nashville, Little Rock, St Paul, Fargo, Montgomery, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and many other cities both major and minor, citizens of once expansive means found themselves in completely different circumstances.
The sheer magnitude of the operation was beyond imagination and therefore not imagined or considered a possibility.

The crashing economy explained so much of what happened to these captains of industry that few knew the truth. Of course none of the victims would admit it to anyone else, so its full extent was never known. Could anyone have put it all together they would have seen the redistribution of over 50 trillion dollars; all done in less than 24 hours.

To those on the receiving end of this largesse it seemed as though the angels had spoken and blessed them. What else could explain the anonymous donors helping the homeless, the aged, the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden of our societies?

The unintended consequence of all this was an upsurge in the belief in God and miracles. From the single Mom who had her maxed credit card bills paid by a mysterious philanthropist for a Christmas present to the sponge diver in Greece that received a new boat; it was a very merry Christmas for all. It looked like jolly Old Saint Nick was going above and beyond in this time of financial crisis. The copper miner in Baghdad that found a check for $100,000 in his mailbox the day after being laid off was but one of millions of recipients.

The beauty of the plan had never been in the implementation of the operation; that was just tech stuff. The beauty had been in establishing the organizations to make the donations and help the people. That had taken many years. Now the elderly in Spokane could afford their B-vitamins. The paraplegic in Ireland could get a hands free mouse to work on the web. These organizations had been manned with workers who were compulsive about helping others. Now they had the means.

Claude opened the trunk of the small sports car he'd had brought in to his island. Inside were Christmas presents for Justine along with pictures of some youngsters that had been helped by one of the NGOs he sponsored. The small village in Africa had seen three years of drought, raids by other tribes and then virulent diseases. The adult population had been ravaged. Had not Edith Eben-Ufot Ukembe come to their rescue the boys and girls would have starved to death. Claude and Justine would put each picture in an ornament on their tree.

Back in Arizona, McCool and Jean were just getting settled into their new home. The small one level adobe house was very different from their previous North Carolina abode, but once the Christmas tree was up, it seemed like home.

After the New Year Thomas and Jean would consider what course to take. The FBI consultant gig looked none too good after the experience at the White House. Perhaps as Jean had said, he was getting just a bit too old for that much action.



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wordzzle 41

This is all Katherine's fault. She started this thing over at the Raven's Nest. Go by and check it out.

We're moving this weekend so if I don't get by to read your stories right away, please forgive me. I did my best to bring a bit of closure to this ongoing story and have at least one last chapter to add.

This week's Ten Word Challenge will be: posthumous, flagrant, seven days a week, cheese and crackers, pyramid, civil war, clarinet, microwave, absent without leave, blue jeans
Mini Challenge: sugar-coated, thermometer, tractor pull, evangelical, masquerade

Consequences and Actions

The ambulance siren screamed a continuing message as it made its way from the White House to Walter Reed Medical Center. Sgt Johnson rode in the back with Zan. She had been struck twice by flying pieces of the exploding limo. One fragment had hit her in the head and the other had lodged in her lung. She was on the verge of dying when the medics took over in the driveway near the guard gate. Fortunately they were able to stabilize her, though the digital thermometer currently showed her losing body temperature and going into shock. The paramedics had placed what looked like some sort of funky medical blue jeans on her legs in an attempt to keep her body temperature and blood pressure up.

McCool and Jean followed the ambulance in the FBI's standard black Tahoe, its siren screaming in a terrible harmony with that of the ambulance. Jean was visibly shaken by the attack and Zan's injuries. "What just happened Thomas?" Jean asked. "How did an award ceremony at the white house turn into civil war?" "Weren't those men that were fighting at the gate Blackwater civilian troops" she finished, "I thought I saw the logo on their SUVs." "We don't know who they were at this point honey" he answered. "The investigators will find out who they were and who was behind the attack."

Jean slumped into his arms and cried gently. "What about Zan, she looked like she was hurt badly?" "We'll be at Walter Reed soon baby and they'll fix her up." "It's going to be OK Jean, I promise" he replied.

Many miles east of DC, Claude and Justine were turning onto highway 16 towards Philly. There would be a chartered jet at the airport to take them to Fiji, then on to Indonesia. Claude was done with America and its corrupt politicians and corporations. He would follow the repercussions from a private island in a remote Indonesian region. And Justine would have a life of ease and luxury. He planned to teach her to play chess, speak French and cook; three things he considered necessary to become truly civilized. Later they would travel the world.

Claude looked forward to showing her the pyramid at Giza, the Great Wall of China and Ayers rock in Australia. There was so much they would be able to do together in the future. All they had to do was make it out of the country.

She would say goodbye forever to her former world of flagrant redneckdom, tractor pulls, microwave hamburger helper, tricking, evangelical tent revivals and the sugar-coated intolerance of Fox News. "Maybe she'd even take up the clarinet again" he thought to himself. That little bit of trivia had finally came out in a conversation. He was glad she'd starting opening up. She would be free to end her masquerade as a bimbo and be the smart, talented and intelligent young woman he knew her to be. It dawned on him that he was really starting to have serious feelings for this woman.

Mike Dorgan was the head of the special investigations unit for Homeland Security. The only good thing about the situation he found himself in charge of was the lack of need for posthumous citations for Secret Service men. It looked like all the wounded good guys would survive. And they were very fortunate there was only one wounded civilian, though he’d heard she was the girl friend of an FBI profiler there at the White House to receive an award.
Mike knew he would be at this investigation seven days a week till he had suspects in custody or more likely till he initiated extradition orders for the people who had planned and funded this historic attack on the home of the American president. What he also knew was that the dead attackers were all Blackwater mercs attached to the state department. Why and how they could have been recruited to attack the president was inconceivable. He was experienced enough to know the money trail would give him the answers.

In several cities around the world, hedge fund managers, CEOs and assorted captains of industry were waking up to a very different world. In one massive and unbelievable stroke their fortunes had disappeared or been altered drastically. Among these men and women would come several suicides, a few auto accidents, some mysterious disappearances and the suspicion by all that more bad things were to come.

Jim Wilson with the incoming transition team had been alerted concerning the White House incident and was in route via a charter that would meet him at Philadelphia National Airport. He was the transition team’s security chief and responsible to the president elect to report on the situation.

Several members of the RNC and the PNAC received information that the FBI was in route to question them. All stayed put and waited on the FBI because they knew they had nothing to do with the attack. All were mistaken.

The president and officers of Blackwater in North Carolina were brought in for questioning within 90 minutes of the attack. A few of the Blackwater contractors were absent without leave and these were immediately moved to the head of the list of planners. The secretary of state was questioned by the secret service about an alleged emergency call that would have brought the Blackwater teams to the White House prepared to battle the secret service. It was beginning to look like a terrible and tragic friendly fire incident as the best case scenario and an attempted coup or assassination at its worst.

Dorgan was not willing to bet on this all just being a big mistake and the evidence uncovered in the next few days would suggest a conspiracy of great magnitude that included foreign ministers, friends and business associates of the president and vice-president as well as members of the administration and the RNC. What Dorgan didn’t know or couldn’t begin to imagine was that all this could be orchestrated by one man with motivation, money, opportunity and years to plan the operation.

The sleek Lear charter jet carrying Claude and Justine taxied onto the runway. The pilot opened the cockpit door and explained they would have to wait for another plane to take-off ahead of them. “Sorry sir, they have priority status, seems the guy on board is with the new administration and has to get to Washington in a hurry.”

Claude looked up from the cheese and crackers that he and Justine were enjoying with a pretty good French wine and replied “Don’t worry about it; we’re going on vacation and we’re not going to sweat the small stuff.” The pilot closed the door and looked to the co-pilot. “How about that?” “The guy didn’t even bitch about waiting in line to take off.”


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the Hood

As I walked out the door this morning I was greeted by this site.

This rainbow signals the onset of the first rain that Phoenix has seen in three months. If you want something to be thankful about, then rain and a rainbow will do it.

I hope tomorrow finds you with friends and family. Enjoy your turkey and dressing. Count your blessings and be thankful.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wordzzle 40 (What I'd give to be that age again)

The author and creator of this contest is the fabulous Katherine at the Raven's Nest. Please go by and visit her.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: moisturizing, pickles, seat belt, flip-flop, Chicago, allergies, doctor, ready or not here I come, computer programmer, dog biscuits

Mini Challenge: gluttony, mercurial, tennis bracelet, anchor, molten
This week Off

I am taking this week off from Wordzzle, at least as far as the continuing story goes. Perhaps I'll spend the weekend moisturizing or eating pickles. I'm not sure; I tend to flip-flop a bit when I'm undecided. Anyway, the trouble is that I currently spend my days on-line looking at stock market charts, talking to computer programmers and watching rich folks give their dogs gourmet dog biscuits at my local Starbucks. (Up over 50 cents today)

My allergies have been causing me a bit of distress the last few days. As I listen and read up on any and all news coming from Chicago and the transition team, I fell somewhat anchored to my computer or the TV. In my opinion neither of these things is good for me. I tend to be more of the mercurial sort and occasionally guilty of gluttony when it comes to eating up all the political and business news available.

Which is funny because I've yet to make enough trading stocks to buy a tennis bracelet, pay for a single doctor's visit, or fix the seat belt retractor on my father-in-law's car.

Instead, the amount of information I've been recently exposed to has turned by brain molten or more precisely jelly-like. This condition has caused this week's break in the progress of my story. Please forgive me. In no time at all I'll be shouting "ready or not here I come" and the tale shall continue.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wordzzle 39 (Jack Benny's permanent age)

Why not stop by the Raven's Nest and say Hi to Katherine.
And while you're there you might tell her to feel better and get well.

Check out all the great stories and then if you're really in need of a read, you might experiment with my ongoing tale.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: palace, hypocrite, canned air, telephone, biscuit, pinball, acorn, customary, fruit juice, waterfall

Mini Challenge: buyer's remorse, lava, haphazard, mildew, soup to nuts

This week's episode: "Fruition"

The White House is noted for its rose garden and dining rooms, but few know of its myriad meeting rooms, both public and private. This afforded the lame duck president the chance to go from event to event in an effort to get some good PR and appear busy. Hypocrite that he was, and knowing that over three quarters of the nation had buyer's remorse over his failed presidency; he still wanted to leave on a high note. Of course he continued to the end to sign orders and statements to undermine the incoming president.

This particular Monday featured 3 overlapping events that he would attend. His good physical health would allow him to bounce around his temporary palace like a pinball from meeting room to meeting room. The G-20 meeting would be his main focus, but in actuality he would spend more time with the corporate leaders that would be there during and after the G-20 Summit. His customary bumbling would not be in evidence this day. His seemingly haphazard demeanor was just for show and not his real modus operandi. For PR purposes he would drop in on an FBI ceremony to put his seal of approval on it and get the photo op. That shouldn't take him more than 5 or 10 minutes at the most.

The meeting of the G-20 would start off in a public meeting room and break up into working groups in more private areas. This would allow his corporate buddies to have access to the ministers of finance of the attending countries.

A surprising amount of minerals, raw materials and basic textiles come from emerging markets, many represented in the G-20. From soup to nuts, from fruit juice to lava lamps, the G-20 countries, especially the Asian giants, were critical to the failing economy. Without their products, money and energy, the economy would mildew, rot and die like the wheat in the fields of Washington State during the recent floods.

McCool and Jean rode in the FBI SUV with Sgt Johnson and Zan to the White House. Their ceremony wouldn't be till late in the afternoon, but a friend of Paul's in the Secret Service had invited them to come early and get a private tour.

The only condition was that they would have to come in behind the G-20 group and appear to be more security. The corporate moguls were to be brought in via the tunnel and would come from across the street at Blair House.

They trailed the last minister's limo into the compound after being thoroughly checked at the gate. They were in Mobile telephone contact with Paul's friend all throughout the process. There was tight security surrounding the G-20 event.

Claude watched the morning news from the breakfast table in the B & B. He took a last bite of a homemade breakfast biscuit and excused himself from the table. He walked out into the garden to make his calls. It only took two.

Financial Centers all over the world had been experiencing electrical and infrastructure problems during the weekend. Now the news came out from these entities that all was well, along with account updates for their major numbered account holders. The updates caused numerous phone calls between the wealthy individuals, companies and partnerships and the banks.

One such call went to the minister of finance for Brazil. When he saw the caller he answered his phone as he exited his limo. Sixty seconds later the EMP device (one very similar to the ones used at the banks) came on. The electromagnetic blast was limited to a three block radius of the white house.

Somewhere in the distance car alarms started going off. The Secret service agents became aware of the problem when they lost all radio communication. There was a protocol for this, but most did not know it. In the ensuing confusion, the fire under the finance minister of Brazil's car went unnoticed. By the time they did take notice, it was dangerously close to the vehicle’s gas tank.

The ministers were herded into a foyer at the rear of the white house. When enough of them were in the room together the proximity fuses in the heels of their shoes ignited the gas capsules hidden within the shoes and the room was filled with what seemed to be lethal gas. Because all power was off in the white house till the generators kicked on (about 2-3 minutes); they were effectively locked in the foyer with the gas.

At the same time the fire in the limo reached the gas tank and it exploded, wounding one of the civilian females still outside on the portico. This group was rushed around towards the side entrance and a runner was sent to fetch a doctor from the security shack.

Simultaneously a call went out to a group of Blackwater guards to rush to the White House to escort a state department entourage. When they rushed up to the gate they were met with gunfire. The guards mistakenly took them to be part of what was happening inside the compound.

At the security shack the runner from the portico found the guards engaged with a group of mercenaries. The snipers on the roof were partially blocked from the fire fight by trees and without radio communication did not know they were engaged in a tragically wrong friendly fire incident. The agent added to the firepower brought to bear on the assumed unfriendlies with his automatic.

Confusion reigned in the White house. The president was hustled to the escape tunnels. The corporate officers were held in an anti-room in the basement. The G-20 ministers were finally freed from the foyer and put in secure rooms on the ground floor. The canned air of the secure rooms was a welcome relief from the noxious but non-lethal gas
Finally the special weapons fast reaction unit entered the fight and the mercs were subdued, though none were taken alive.

The entire episode was over in less than 10 minutes.

The repercussions from this incident would last more than ten years.

Billionaires had become millionaires this day, and millionaires just regular folks with a few bucks in the bank. Charities and good causes from Zanzibar to New Zealand experienced an outpouring of generosity unknown in their history’s. Even the much talked about and maligned ACORN group was funded in a big way from anonymous sources.

The reason for the attempt on the G-20 ministers and the lame duck president would not be traced for a few days. When it was, the culprits behind the treasonous act would be surprising and surprised. Names like Blackwater, Haliburton, AIG, Exxon-Mobil, and many other well know corporations would be implicated. In the end, the restitutions and civil and criminal penalties would ravage their coffers and their ranks.

The outrage of the public would cascade down on these companies like a waterfall of vengeance and indignation.

The new administration would have its hands full finding out what had happened and why. Their race to justice would be swift and sure. The new president could not appear weak. The trap had sprung and now the very government these businesses and businessman had looted for the last 8 years would turn on them like a trained Tiger gone wild.

Claude came back into the quaint kitchen of the B & B. He thanked their host and hostess and lead Justine out to the bike. They left Silver Springs and headed west. Theirs would be a road trip of some distance. He plugged in the lead for the intercom and radio. He put Justine’s helmet on soft jazz and he listened to NPR.
The report of the attack at the white house should be coming on soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Humor that Hurts

Little Georgie Bush is the lamest of lame ducks in the last 50 years or better.

He and his party have been a disaster for our country. While Limberger and the right live in denial and attempt to put the blame on a man who isn't even president yet, let's not forget what the bumbler told us he would do while in office.

There are a myriad of things left on his to-do list, but here's a video about the top five.

Truly, this has been the most incompetent and negligent administration in my lifetime.

For your viewing pleasure...


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wordzzle 38, which adds up to 11, which is supposed to be lucky, which is how I feel after Barack Obama got elected. Just had to get that in.

Please take a trip by the Raven's Nest and say Hi to Katherine. As in, "Hi Katherine, I hear your candidate for president, Barack Obama got elected on Tuesday, Congratulations" or something like that. Then read her stories, they are always delightful or thought provoking or just plain good reading.

If after that, you still have the need for more reading, feel free to follow the links to the many other great stories contributed by the talented pool of writers doing their Wordzzle thing.

Then, should you still find yourself able to read more, then you might take a gander at my continuing story below. Good luck.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: France, cold weather, backhoe, light and shadow, Humane society, ambivalent, “Happy Birthday, Sarah Jane,” Martians, Thanksgiving Day Parade, green eyes

Mini Challenge: she’ll be comin' round the mountain when she comes, pumpkin pie, yellow jacket, short-changed, life after 50

Most people know some of the names of the financial capitols of world. Just like most people think they know the words to "She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes"; only they really don't. If you can recall the "six white horses line" then you're doing better than most. The financial centers are much more complex and numerous in today's modern, electronically connected economy.

While Zurich, Berlin, Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and a few other old school financial centers still take on the lions share of the work, it's the out of the way cities, mostly on Island nations that handle private secured accounts. These are the places where the mega profits, legal and misbegotten, public and private, from every kind of organization and operation on our planet find their final resting place before being spent on mansions, yachts, clothes, jewelry, cars and the other various accoutrements of the filthy rich.

In just one such location on the Island of Grand Cayman, there was rumored to be over 50 trillion dollars in elicit booty. These were the accounts of the entitled and fabulously wealthy, who were not about to be short-changed by current economic fluctuations. In fact the actual number was a factor of ten greater than rumored. It was because of this that Claude had decided to start the deadly chain reaction of account transfers, manipulations and hacking that was the setup for his grand scheme, on this island.

From a local Western Union office in Largo, Maryland, Claude sent the telegram that would start the chain of events. “Happy Birthday, Sarah Jane” was all it said. The message went to a fictitious individual on the island who immediately upon receipt of the missive went to work. He made the call to his crew and scheduled the backhoe for 3:00 pm local time. His crew would start the dig and shut down at 4:30 sharp. The electrical outage would start at 10 minutes past 6, the time the last employee left for the weekend. It would take till Saturday to discover the problem and get the local electric company out to fix it.

“Finally” Claude thought to himself, “it begins.” Somewhere in between the light and shadow of the financial world his machinations began to take shape. By Monday morning the stage would be set. He took a minute to think of his home in France, how his mother had loved the cold weather in the winter.The sparkle of her green eyes as they walked through the snow was a cherished memory. After all these years it still made him want to cry. How could someone that beautiful have been snuffed out of existence because a corporation was too cheap to buy enough fire extinguishers or properly man a dangerous installation?

The telegram to Grand Cayman started a series of communications to all the known financial centers and to many less known ones as well. Favors were being repaid this weekend, retirement accounts were being filled and accounts were being settled, both literally and figuratively. In New York City, the Thanksgiving Day Parade would be the beneficiary of an anonymous donation of 5 million dollars. All across the globe charities would find the spirit of giving had taken on new meaning this season. Interestingly enough, the Humane Society in every major city in the US received large donations from unknown sources within 24 hours of each other. The blogosphere would be rife with rumors as to the identity of the benefactor for months.

Major metro areas homeless shelters found themselves with commitments for Turkeys and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving meals far in excess of any previous year.

Claude donned his yellow jacket with the logo “Life after 50” emblazoned across the back. Anyone who saw him would take him to be a rich baby boomer reliving his youth. The western union employees would remark on the late model Beamer he drove as he departed the store. This was a part of his field craft and allowed him to carry out his plan without fear of being discovered. No one was looking for wealthy 55 year old boomers or paying them that much attention, just their cars and Harleys.

Monday would bring much consternation to this country and many of its people. Claude was ambivalent about their feelings. It was results that counted. He would know within 48 hours if it would come together and produce the outcome he had anticipated.

Unless Martians invaded the earth over the weekend, the results of his plan were likely to be the biggest headline in this country and the world for some time. At least he hoped so. There were a lot of people that deserved some justice; that needed him to be their swift sword of vengeance. Not the least of these were his family and the others lost in the explosion.

Hopefully the collateral damage would be minimal.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congrats Barack!

I am a happy man today. In spite of our country's backward leaning populace, enough of us got out and voted for president elect Obama. Amazing.....

If you watched closely last night, you might have noticed a man who knew he was the next president of the United States and felt the full weight of that position. I believe I could see it in his eyes and the set of his jaw. Good for him. He seems a serious sort of person and these are indeed serious times.

That said, I hope he will retain or gain a sense of humor. He will need it in the white house. His own party is likely to be his worst enemy. Many of them, like me, will want revenge and will spend too much time on recrimination. I don't see our new president getting caught up in that.

The man is focused on the future, both near term and longer term. He will need that focus if he is to accomplish even a small portion of his agenda. Funds will be short and fought over viciously.

While all that is going on, our troops will still be engaged in two wars, our economy will remain in shambles, jobs will continue to flee our shores and the division in our population will remain intense. Those wondrous blowhards of the right will already be scheming and plotting to foil any and all proposals and initiatives.

Perhaps this time they'll see that more people want progress and action than they want political infighting. Maybe... Perhaps.... I hope.....

For this minute in time I will be happy, relieved, inspired and allow myself to congratulate my fellow citizens on getting out enough voters to unseat the republicans. Good Job Yall!!!!

Now for a little election post mortem.

Just over 119 million people cast their votes in this election. (according to CBS ) This is less than in 2004. If a get out the vote campaign was in fact effective, it was only so for Obama, and not for the country as a whole. From what I could tell from the sites I researched, we were at slightly less than 50% of eligible voters nation wide for the turnout. Historically that's not all that great.

Barack had 63 million and McCain had 56 million votes. So at least close to 120 million people cared enough to get out and vote. Good for them. The other 120 million were just plain too fucking lazy, too cynical, ignorant or otherwise incapable of doing their civic duty. Fuck them very much. People who don't or won't vote should have to go spend some time with Bush on his ranch in Crawford and help him clear brush for the next few years. OK, maybe that's a little a little harsh, but I am seriously unsympathetic about non-voters.

The House and Senate increased their democratic majorities, but not enough to be veto-proof in the senate. So what? I doubt the necessity of that anyway and believe the compromises will be made to get republicans on board when needed. A great many things will be done for which both parties will require some political cover and all politicians regardless of party know the CYA rule.

One senatorial race I found interesting and perhaps insightful into the new majority psyche was the contest in Minnesota. Al Franken is currently asking for a recall after losing by 800 votes. Had his campaign been less nasty, he might have been a full beneficiary of Obama's coattails and won handily. Instead, the third party candidate syphoned off 15 percent of the vote. This should be a lesson to all in 2010. Keep it clean, make your point, have facts to back it up and be positive about what you can do. Who knows who the eventual winner will be, but even if Franken wins, he'd better get on board the Obama consensus train and off the post-Clinton attack express.

I know this cause I've been riding the damn thing for 8 years. I am turning in my ticket and moving on with my life as well.

If Obama is as smart as I think he is, he will not allow his party to spend too much time investigating BushCo. We all know they were both corrupt and inept. Enough said. We need to move on.

If someone as stuck in the 60's, as Viet Nam centric, as vindictive and vengeful as I am, can let go, then the rest of you ought to be able to as well. I hope.....

The especially goes for Pelosi and Reid. nice and accomplish something, OK?

I was impressed to see that Obama's choice for chief of staff was a hardass. That's a good first step. Let's hope he keeps choosing the right people with the right stuff.

My congrats to all my blog friends who worked on the Obama campaign and all that got out and voted. GREAT JOB.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Fear for Sale

With just 1 day left before the election, the republicans have spent their last nickels on Tee Vee ads about Barack and pastor Wright. Clearly they have run to the best, dirtiest little rathole they had and picked out the slimiest thing to air.

It's all about FEAR. Fear the negro candidate, fear his rebellious black pastor and fear everyone who doesn't agree with America's current polices. If that's what they're selling, then you might as well fear me too. While neither black nor a pastor, I am a baby boomer cracker who is fed up with the shit BushCo has been calling government. I mean totally, completely, fucking Done!!!!!!!!

So here's some fear for those out there so blinded by their ideology that they would intentionally subject this country to 4 more years of republican incompetence. These moral cowards, bigots, and ignorameouses have had 8 years of a government they wanted and look what they got.

Our country is involved in two wars costing billions of dollars a week. We are over a trillion dollars in debt. The congress just agreed to give over 700 Billion Dollars to the asshats that got us into our current financial crisis. BushCo has presided over the export of over a million jobs from our nation during it's reign of terror and more are coming.

If you want or need something to fear - Fear anymore dumbass republican privatization or deregulation schemes. Fear the downfall of a great country whose people forgot that government works for them and not for corporations and big business.

John Cusack has an awesome article today here at the Huffington Post. Give it a read.

I am ready for this election to be over. I am ready for a chance to once again have someone in office who I feel is smarter than me. I am ready for a small, slim, minuscule chance at a tiny bit of justice for those of us who fought for, worked for and lived in this country for the last 50 or more years. I am ready for a government that will ask more of us, but give more value back to us.

My greatest fear is that there are not enough citizens who feel the same.


Sunday, November 2, 2008


Granddaughters are great. I am blessed with several. I had the opportunity to visit with Taylor, my youngest son's 15 year old, yesterday. She is bright, vibrant, somewhat shy and a joy to be around. I learned something of her life in school and her world yesterday and was impressed by the obvious delight she took in life and her very positive outlook and demeanor.
Here's a picture of a very cute and adorable granddaughter.

The dufus next to her is of course yours truly. How I got to look this old and goofy is a long, long story.

I am going to jump over to her myspace page and leave a message when I'm done here. Yes, I think I can find it and handle it, maybe, with some help from a 12 year old, Maybe......

Anyway.......I felt the need to brag about one of my teenage granddaughters today.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wordzzle 37?

Sure you say, 37 is a nice round number or is it a prime number? Anywho......

Stop by the Raven's Nest to check out the other stories. If you feel like it, you can catch up on the continuing story written here.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: squeaky toy, perpendicular, olives, shanty, howling at the moon, soul, bow and arrow, uniform, statistics, praying mantis

Mini Challenge: glamour, rocking chair, cormorant, objective, symbolism

This week's episode: A stitch in Time

At 8:45 AM in Hong Kong, Ki Wan Li stepped away from his desk and went into a small storage room at the end of the hall. This room contained an old rocking chair, a plaque depicting a cormorant catching a fish, and other unused decorations from the company's glory days. The firm of Biddle, Banks and Bailey was an old established British trading house that had converted to banking and off short account parking in the 80s. The once proud sign emblazoned with the Chinese bow and arrow motif looked more like it should be in one of the myriad shanty towns surrounding Hong Kong than in the downtown business district.

Whatever the symbolism had been, it now went unnoticed in the hustle of the city. Ki placed the small EMP device in a niche next to the wall to the server room. The only requirement of the device was that it be placed perpendicular to the server for best performance. It had been designed to be directional and not as a 360 degree unit. It would do its work and then self destruct, causing a small fire that would be assumed to be the cause of the server outage.

When the system came back up there would be some new accounts with well known names.
Li went back to his desk and dialed the number he'd been given. Only one sentence was spoken. He acknowledged his receipt of a baseball uniform he ordered and thanked them for the quick service.

The call had been answered by a machine and then forwarded to an import company in New Jersey that carried everything from squeaky toys manufactured in Rumania to olives from Greece and Italy. The extension that answered the call was Dianne Henderson's. She handled sales statistics and various other duties for the outfit. Though she felt at times she'd sold her soul to the devil in going back to work for a large corporation, she kept her hand in the revolution by helping out with certain anti-corporate actions.

Dianne looked at the small bamboo cage with the praying mantis that the company had received from a Chinese firm as a sample. Somehow she didn't think it would go over that well in the US. She placed the mantis on the window sill and made her call.

The invitation to the white house had surprised and excited Jean and McCool as well. In spite of his dislike for the current administration, McCool knew that Jean would love the glamour of an event at the White House. Though the total story of the investigation had not been told to the administration, enough of it had gotten through to give the Homeland Security boys an idea. It seemed like the obvious objective was to gain some good PR for their department in a time when Homeland Security was increasingly unpopular. The vast budget overruns and sorry service at the airports had begun to weigh heavily on the public's patience.

McCool asked Johnson what he should do and the Sgt advised him to go along with it for now. The administration would be out of office before the truth came out about their involvement. To attempt to do much with the investigation while they were still in power would be no better than howling at the moon.

Instead they would focus on the perpetrators and forgo the background info incriminating the administration and the RNC till after the election. No matter who won, the next administration would be more than happy to crap on the Bushies.

Back in Silver Springs Justine was wondering why Claude had been so warm and tender tonight in their lovemaking. She had not experienced this side of him before. He rose from their bed and explained he would be going out for a while. She knew not to ask, but also knew he wouldn’t, couldn’t be going to another woman. She’d made sure of that. The fact that either of them could walk after this marathon of pleasure and aerobic exercise amazed her. And then he’d been so gentle and caring. Amazing. She was happy and scared at once. What was going to happen next?
For Claude's part, he would be glad to get the operation underway and leave this land of fast food, foolish presidents and hustling, crowded freeways. Where he and Justine were headed would be an extremely different and better destination.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Infomercials, Politics and Theatre

If you watched Barack Obama's spot last night you may have come away feeling better about our country and the outlook for the future. You may have.......

You may have come away from the show thinking how professionally it was produced, how calming and rational our candidate sounded and how glad you were that he seems to understand the plight of the beleaguered middle and working class in America. You may have....

You might even have been impressed with how seamlessly the taped portion meshed with the live rally and how his final words felt like a call to get out the vote and end the republican rule that has nearly ruined our country. You might have....

All the above may pertain to you if you're an Obama supporter and even more if you're like me and have already cast your vote for the man.

If you're on the other side though, I don't think his spot changed your mind.

If you're a die-hard republican, or worse, maybe a right wingnut religio-theocrat, then the slickness (professionalism) of the program probably offended you. If you watched it. And if you watched it you might have made notes about the promises of universal health care, lower taxes, and going after Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. With the idea of rebutting them in the days remaining till the election.

While envious of the money to make and broadcast the spot, the opposition must have been happy to see that program in no way lured any of their base toward Obama. The supporters of the McCain/Palin ticket will not be moved by the stories they saw and the words of Barack. Those will all be background noise to the fear, prejudice and ignorance behind the republican ticket.

The high road only works on those willing to lift themselves up to see it. There is a segment of our population willing to believe the most astounding lies, innuendos and smears about Democratic candidates. These folks are not going to be impressed by the 30 minute segment last night.

I was moved by the spot last night. It spoke to the condition of our middle class and the struggle to make ends meet these days. Because it moved me, I can be pretty sure it did not move many republicans.

I am very hopeful that Barack Obama will be our next president. That said, he will face a country more divided than when George Bush took office, an economy in shambles, a foreign policy nightmare and the knives of the politicians and pundits, ready to pounce on his first false step, miscue or mistake.

He impressed me with his answer to Jon Stewart's question last night about having any mixed feelings about the presidency now. When he started his campaign the country was not in the miserable shape we find it today. The senator replied that he looked upon our situation as an opportunity to change, in basic and big ways, the way this country operates. God I hope that can happen.

He will need every bit of luck, help, cooperation and fortitude he can muster to make something good of the total ClusterFuck the Bushies have made of our government.

Last night's show was part infomercial, part politics and part theatre. I hope it was worth it to the campaign. I would like to have seen more of an appeal to the right wingers to take a chance on something new, better and different than the fear and continuing crisis management mode of BushCo. Maybe some of that came through. Maybe......


Monday, October 27, 2008

People who care

I was blessed today to meet 4 young women who care enough about our country to schedule a meeting to discuss the Arizona Ballot and their feelings and positions about the propositions and candidates.

While I doubt they will agree with a lot of my opinions on politics, I applaud their citizenship and effort. How refreshing to see people participating in our political process.

This comes about due to my continuing foray into the world of Starbucks. The elite and decidedly overpriced coffee houses provide a place for discussion, interaction and caffeine intake.

I have been fortunate to meet a good number of interesting and delightful folks at our local "Bucks", which makes the high-priced java worth it.

If nothing else comes from this election, I am hopeful that a sincere interest in citizenship is taking root among the younger generations. If that is truly the case, then perhaps we can look forward to better government and more electorate involvement.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Leader we deserve

At church today the pastor prayed for our troops overseas and mentioned the coming election. He prayed that we would not get the leaders we deserved, but instead get the leaders that lead us down the Lord's path.

From a secular point of view I feel we might have actually gotten the leaders we deserved for the last 8 years. I mean, we were dumb enough to vote them into office, weren't we?

Now I wonder what the pastor thinks is the proper person from God's point of view to help us down the righteous path in this time of travail and turmoil. He didn't mention a candidate or party, so I'm glad for that at least.

Still makes me wonder; are churches throughout the land contemplating the election in biblical terms and ignoring the so-called Christianity of the last president?

I recall a quote attributed to Martin Luther.

"Better to be ruled by a wise Turk than a Foolish Christian. "

Perhaps the "necks" interviewed in the south will come across this little gem. You know the ones I mean; those folks that still think Obama is a closet Muslim and semi-terrorist. Those ignorant and scary angry people who believe electing a black man to the highest office in the land is worse than the dumbass Texan wannabe pseudo cowboy dipshit that has held the office for the previous 8 years. AAAGGGGHHHHHHHHH!

A large portion of this country lives is constant denial.

In spite of the election or maybe because of it; our voters have seemed to forget that what we are experiencing now is the culmination of several administration's worth of crummy governance and loose to nonexistent regulation of the least trustworthy parts of our society and economy; namely the financial sector which includes insurance firms, banks, credit card companies, brokerages, rating firms, real estate companies and many other types of support industries created to intervene in basic transactions. A large porton of these companies are more parasite than expediter.

If only we'd get a clue as to how modern financial companies really make money, we might stop being so gullible. Think how insurance has foisted its way into everything today. The majority of the credit default swaps that are now worthless are a form of insurance. We have been sold fear and doubt, then insurance as the cure. Really? How secure do you feel today?

Which brings me around to the point. If we were to get the leaders we deserved, we'd be well and truly screwed, wouldn't we?

Leaders we deserve? I am willing to settle for a leader for whom I voted. It's been some time since that has happend.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Three Dozen Wordzzles!

Troop on over to the Raven’s Nest and get all the scoop. Read all the great stories. Then, if you think you can take it, read the ongoing story below.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: build-a-bear workshop, man bites dog, opulent, disparaging, lipstick stain, preponderance, smoky quartz, clothes pin, meticulous, falling leaves
Mini Challenge: moisturizing, pickles, seat belt, flip-flop, Chicago

Coming Together........

McCool hung up with Johnson and looked at Jean. "Well, the preponderance of the evidence given to us by Claude checks out" he stated. "There is so much forensic data to be processed that it will still take months before there are any indictments" he continued. "Every lipstick stain, smudge, down to the last clothes pin will be analyzed in these suspects' opulent homes before the FBI is done" he finished. "They are meticulous in their evidence gathering."

"I'm glad something good came out of this" Jean replied. "From what you told me, you were in quite a bit of danger with this man Claude" she stated worriedly. "Really not as bad as it sounds" McCool added "and I'm sorry I waited to tell you about it till I got here, but I didn't want you to be more worried or upset than necessary." "Oh, thanks a bunch for that" she said with a disparaging look in his direction. "I'm always relieved when my husband escapes with his life from a dangerous terrorist."

"OK honey, I get it" McCool retorted. "The most dangerous thing I will be doing in the near future is picking out the proper moisturizing cream to bring for you on our trip to the spa." "You don't bring your own cream, dumbass; the spa provides it" she laughed. "This is a perfect example of why you need this spa trip." "Oh, right, I knew that" he replied a little too quickly. "At least you're thinking of something besides serial killers" she laughed again.

McCool looked out the dining room window at the falling leaves. Fall had snuck up on him during this case and he hadn't even gotten his feet wet in crime consultation. What would a full time career of this feel like? He wasn't about to flip-flop on his decision to return to investigation, but his recent experience reminded him how rusty he had become. Not since the incident in Chicago in 1974 had he been caught this much off guard. Though it was no "man bites dog" story during that year of turmoil, the story had made the local papers and given McCool a reputation as lucky and clever, in spite of the way he had gotten caught up in it.

Now he just needed to relax, stay in contact with Sgt Johnson and help with any investigation stemming from the forensic data.

While McCool was helping Jean unpack the last of the boxes in their new house, Claude was working on bringing his plans to fruition. Debaucherrie knew that operations failed when they became too complex and depended on too much critical timing. That being said, he also knew if you had enough time and resources (meaning money and connections) then most anything could be accomplished in time. Claude's plan had been taking shape for over a decade and his finances and connections were first rate. Few who looked at him would know he had access to millions of dollars and access to arms and military hardware that few countries could obtain.

Only two things had critical timing and these he would oversee himself; the rest would fall into place or more accurately, be discovered, in natural order. The G-20 conference would provide both a diversion and a key factor in putting enough pressure on the authorities to make quick assumptions and investigations. The pieces were or would be in place to lead them to the inescapable conclusions that Claude wanted them to come to. Like the pieces in the 'build a bear workshop", Claude had put together a compelling fiction (that would seem so real) to incriminate a large group of individuals in a startling conspiracy. The current economic crisis had provided the optimum time to make it happen. And the political climate in the US would insure that the public would believe the worst of their financial barons.

The pickles that the Lords of Wall Street would soon find themselves in would be their downfall. And as an added bonus, would probably help the general populace as well.

He would miss this secluded workshop he’d leased in the name of one of his victims, but it was time for it to go. Claude closed the smoky quartz cover on the console of the Limo. The small EMP device was secreted below the console compartment and would come on with a simple radio signal; provided by one of the Baron's cell phones. He let the seat belt back into its holder which armed the device.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

About our Economy

Each day I read a variety of blogs, news websites, and read the local paper. Every now and then I discover something said so eloquently concerning our current dismal situation, that it bears repeating.

While reading the Huffinton Post today I made myself read an article by ex-Senator Fritz Hollings. The only thing I remember about this guy is that when he spoke I immediately thought of the cartoon character "Foghorn Leghorn". "Son, I say son, I am not a chicken" or something to that effect.

Anyway......... Turns out old Fritz knew a thing or three about keeping manufacturing jobs in the US; something the rest of our corporations and public officials have proven themselves to be sadly defecient at. (yea, I know about ending in a prepostion, but I'm just too damb lazy this morning to turn the sentence around)

Here's a quote from Sir James Goldsmith when he testified before the commerce committee in 1994.

"It must surely be a mistake to adopt an economic policy which makes you rich if you eliminate your national workforce and transfer your production abroad, and which bankrupts you if you continue to employ your own people."

Funny how that sounds today, 14 years later, isn't it?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I voted today

We received our absentee ballots in the mail today and voted. I am so proud of North Carolina and Caldwell county for getting them here so quickly.

Both Vicki and I are serious about citizenship and we wanted to vote in spite of the move and our current transient status. Since we remain legal residents till we take up residence here it was nice to be able to make it happen.

I took a picture of the ballot and a portion of it is shown here. I want the reader to know that if a 59 year old cracker from Alabama can vote for Obama, then anyone can. Please do. Please get out and vote, not matter who you are going to vote for. Many cynics will attempt to tell you that it's useless; Only if you don't vote.

Should you miss you chance to have your voice heard in this important moment in our country's history, you will regret it forever. Take the time, do the right thing. be a real citizen and go vote. PLEASE!

Lots of things are being said about an Obama presidency or more accurately the idea of an Obama presidency. Let's wait and see who wins the white house first, shall we? Then, lets do what we can to get back to our lives, survive the current economy and make this place a little better to be than it was before we were here.

See ya on Saturday at the Wordzzle.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Fat Stupid Blowhard steps on Dick again!

Of course you know I'm referring to Rush Limberger don't you? Radio idiot spouted off that Colin Powell was just endorsing Obama because of race. Had el lardbutt bothered to read Powell's book, he would have learned that Colin Powell was a soldier before anything else and will probably always be that way.

General Powell served in Nam the year before my tour and the year after. He was a second lieutenant in the army in his first tour. He saw the dissolution of our armed services, the drastic drop in moral and the waste of human life through the lens of a professional soldier. Unlike me, who just wanted to survive and get the hell out of the Marine Corps, Colin Powell dedicated himself to rehabilitating our bruised and battered military. He accomplished the task and was rewarded by being named Head of the Joint Chiefs at the end of his military career.

He was severely used by the Bushies as Sec of State and made to front for them at the UN with a bogus dog and pony show about Iraq WMDs. It killed his career in politics and I believe a little of his heart as well.

The modern day neo-con warrior wanna bes have no respect for those actually tried and tested in battle. They're all about the bullshit they've been feeding us for 8 years.

So I guess it should come as no surprise that a prize moron like Rush Limbotomy would attempt to spin a line of crap for his mindless and financially and politically ignorant fans. The "necks" and right wingnuts eat it up no matter how fatuous and dishonest his line might be.

The only war Rush Limpdick ever fought was the impulse to pop the 45th pill, to inhale the 15 Burrito (and from the looks of him the fat bastard lost that war) or the tiny, tiny squeak of outrage from his tiny, infinitesimal conscience to shut the fuck up and let the real world get on with it's business. The concept that someone as odious as the Rushter could have a national platform to spew his bigotry and ignorance is a testimony to what can happen with the right of free speech.

I think of his ramblings as a very sordid sort of political porn, one which millions seem addicted to. No self serving or evil thought ever stays in his tiny brain. There are no limits to the gall of this big candy ass. To so much as put the name of Colin Powell on his lips: much less pretend he could start to understand the thinking of a real American hero and a decorated soldier is an insult to every man and woman who ever wore the uniform.

Rush, the reason you endorse Bush is because of race. There I said it.

You might as well call your fat bigoted bastards the way you see them, don't you think?


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wordzzle 35

Jump on over to the Raven's Nest and check out the guidelines and all the other stories. Then, if you're up to it, check out the ongoing story here.

This week's Ten Word Challenge is: blinking, cellulite, crescent, ship-shape, homonym, suffering, packer, wind chime, scissors, necklace
Mini Challenge: static, floppy hat, penguin, cinnamon, alphabetical

This week's episode: trains, planes and automobiles

Justine tried on the floppy hat at the Cinnamon Crescent, a small boutique in the Silver Springs mega mall. The shop was complete with a new age wind chime, blinking strobe lights and a charming array of jewelry. She found a stone necklace that looked well with her skin tone and hoped Claude would like it on her.

Justine asked the clerk to cut the tag off with scissors. She checked herself out in the mirror and decided the floppy hat would work too. Now if she could just get a little time with Claude during this trip all would be well. He had promised to be back to the B & B by dinner time.

For Claude's part he knew his schedule would be tight. He changed to his surfer/biker look and headed back towards Silver Springs on his Harley. His plan depended on the FBI taking his eyes off of him for the next few days. If it worked out as he planned, then he would have time to execute it to perfection.

While his actions wouldn't alleviate the suffering he had experienced at the hands of the corporations, they might help others. It would have to be enough. He had made up his mind to make this his last operation. Should all go well, he and Justine would be out of the country by next week and a lot of big wigs would be somewhat smaller in stature.

Senator Hugh Montgomery (1st term republican from the great state of Texas) was looking forward to the coming AIG dinner. He'd been instrumental in helping them obtain the billions needed to stay afloat and now they would celebrate in style. Of course this little shindig would not get the unfortunate publicity of a previous outing. What an idiotic idea; the fools had held a quarter of a million dollar spa weekend and liquor bash right out in public. He hoped the executive's wives had actually gotten rid of $250,000 worth of cellulite. No. this one would be much more exclusive, including some of the best prime poontang his old buddy from Houston could provide. No wives, no press, no hassle and lots of fun and games; that's what Hugh liked.

He had sent his senior assistant to meet the girls at the train station (no one looked there anymore and especially not the press). What an interesting homonym he thought to himself, "Press." This group of weak kneed media types had all but bowed down to the Bush administration. There was no "press" to there investigations and little real journalism left in the whole group. Well, they couldn't have accomplished what they had in the last 8 years without the complicity of the 5th estate, so it was just as well. He got the real info on Iraq from the daily briefings and heard all he needed to hear about domestic events from the HomeLand Security daily brief and that he usually sent an aid to attend.
His assistant would have a good time in the limo with the girls and would keep tabs on them till the night of the party and see they got back to Houston in rental cars. All under assumed names of course. Hugh might even slip away on the ruse of checking that everything was ship shape with the girls. A little preview of the action wouldn't hurt him.

Technically a developmentally disabled person, Duncan Winter Jones was in reality a brilliant computer engineer, programmer and a very progressive thinking individual. He looked at the alphabetical list given him by the biker dude Charlie. His task was simple; all he needed to do was input account information for the names when he received the signal from Charlie.
The money was great, the work easy, and the cause seemed good; what was not to like. Timing was the key as he understood it, so he prepared the files for downloading and stored them on a disc. He would never put them on the hard drive of his computer; instead he labeled the disk "Packer Backer" and put it in a green and gold case.

The program he had created to install the files where they needed to go he put on a flash drive labeled "Penguin" and put that in his pocket. When the word came it would take him less than 15 minutes to load the files. His great accomplishment in all this was not the installation of the files, but what was on them. There would be great surprises for those on his list.
What Duncan didn't know, nay couldn't know, was that his work was just a small part of a much bigger plan. As long as the FBI's search for Claude remained static, then it would all come together. And maybe the world would be a different place after that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Bloggerhoods temporary New Home

For those who follow Sgt Johnson and the gang in the wordlzze you know we've been on the move. Well, we finally landed in Sun Lakes, Arizona with Vicki's folks and are getting adjusted to life in the "Valley of the Sun" again.

I spent the morning wandering around Chandler and Tempe attempting to find the place where we used to get our car windows tinted. It took most to the morning, but I found it and they'll apply the cooling tint to the windows of our little Honda Civic on Monday morning.

Since my in-laws do not participate in internet communications I've been forced to find a Wi-Fi hotspot. The local Starbucks turned out to be the closest and least expensive.

I've included a picture for no real reason, but just because I could.
Future episodes will originate from this innocuous looking high-end coffee dispensing facility.
My caffeine intake will go up some, but I will do my best to not let it effect the story line.
With things going the way they are in this country my fiction is becoming mundane in comparison to real events.
Somehow the republicans, in the persons of George W. Bush and Dick (the dick) Cheney, have managed to bring socialism to the worlds wealthiest people. While most of us realized that we were supporting the monied elite with our pursuits in business, at least there was the illusion of free will and financial and political independence in many countries on the globe.
The ubiquitous BushCo has burst that bubble of fantasy for sure.
Not only have our financial barons managed to screw up our economy, but the rest of the world's as well. The answer to this problem: Socialize the worlds banks, give billions to the fuckups that lost billions and let the little people and businesses fail as needed.
Not matter who takes office it will take tremendous discipline and focus to bring any measure of equity and common sense to our financial system. It could not have gotten this bad without the complicity of the white house and the congress. Oversight and regulation were abandoned going back at least to the Reagan administration.
The resulting greed and overstepping of the financial industry was predictable, though not in the quantity and not with the truly disastrous results we are seeing and will continue to see.
I have decided that economists are like weathermen. They get it right some of the time. On occasion they miss it badly and disaster ensues. That seems to be part of what took place here. No one listened to those who warned us and we all stood around with our thumbs up our butts till the crap hit the fan. Go figure!
OK, that's more than enough of that.
See you on Saturday for the Wordzzle.