Breaking Radio Silence

I’ve fallen off the wagon of daily posts here. This week the main reason was my getting sick on Wednesday, which put the whole week in a tailspin. In any event, I shall try to do better. Since they’ve accumulated, have some links: 1) My radio interview is up for a re-run. Visit The Author’s Show. 2) An interesting two-part history of one of the most popular cartridges in history, the .38 special. Part 1 […]

Hunger Makes The Wolf!

I recently had the opportunity to read Alex Wells’ debut novel Hunger Makes The Wolf. It was a really great read. On my radio interview (rebroadcasting April 21-23) I said what I liked about science fiction was the classic theme of the Western, namely, take some ordinary people, drop them in the middle of nowhere, and hand them an extraordinary problem. With science fiction as opposed to Westerns, that “nowhere” can be a lot of […]

United Beats Customers!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that on Sunday, United Airlines had police forcibly remove a passenger from their airplane for the crime of sitting in a seat the airline wanted to give to one of their employees. I have thoughts. Thought #1 Perhaps unsurprisingly, the man who refused to give up his seat had a colored past. People who weren’t a bit “colored” would have, by the time the cops came […]

Pirates and Hackers

Hackers are the new pirates, in more ways than one. First, a history lesson. From the European discovery of the New World until 1713 (when a treaty was signed) all Spanish-held territories could only trade with Spain on Spanish ships. The other European powers weren’t happy about it, but for the most part they lacked the firepower to go toe-to-toe with the Spanish. Even Britain’s vaunted Royal Navy wasn’t up to the task until the […]

Shifting My Flag, Plus Radio

Shifting My Flag In Navy-speak, “shifting your flag” means that an Admiral is moving his (or now her) headquarters from one ship to another.  I have appropriated that term to note that my default long-form blog platform is now Dreamwidth.  Please visit me at Radio I have a radio interview coming up on April 12.  It will be up for 24 hours at this link.

Friday Afternoon Long Read

Various thoughts, saved up throughout the week, and regurgitated here. Syria I have long been able to hold two thoughts of Syria, namely that Assad is a wart on the ass of prosperity and that US involvement in Syria, especially military involvement, would be counterproductive at best.  So I’m not fond of Trump’s cruise missile attack on the country.  It appears to be knee-jerk and ineffective, never a good combination.  As Camestros Felapton says, even […]

Life is too short…

Life is too short to read books you don’t want to read.  I have come to this conclusion again after struggling mightily with Ada Palmer’s novel Too Like the Lightning.  The book is full of wonderful concepts, including how a militantly irreligious society deals with a genuine miracle, but I found the writing style impenetrable and the plot too glacial.  Tellingly, while on hiatus from the book, I finished both Scalzi’s Collapsing Empire and Joe […]


When I was in training in the Navy, one day we had a lecture on chemical weapons.  The lecturer started with this statement.  “The perfect chemical weapon is cheap, safe on the environment, doesn’t harm your troops, and causes the enemy to come out with their hands up while whistling your national anthem.  Since this perfect weapon doesn’t exist, all weapons are compromises.” I would submit that this is true for more than just weapons. […]

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