Wandering with Dramatic Effect

Blog Post

“Not all who wander are lost.” – Tolkien


I hope that you’re having a Good Friday.



I have discussed the possibility of adding advertising to the Virtual Mirage Blog recently with a couple of you including HogsbreathSS. I thought it over, and my sense is to publish a short story anthology of stories, some from VM historically and some new, and see if profits might go in that direction instead of annoying ads. OldNFO and others have had some good luck with short stories recently. There is a short here (below), but maybe I’ll package them for a while moving forward and go the publishing route? What do you think? Good idea? Or would you rather see ads crisscrossing the blog? Would you like to suggest a title for the anthology?  If I use the title, you’ll get a mention in the book.


LSP celebrated Spy Wednesday

You can read about it here.

I never knew that there was an officially recognized Spy Day. I can recall handing a co-worker thirty dimes once because of an indiscretion on his part. He asked what it was. I said, “Thirty pieces of silver. The customary amount.” I was told that it bothered him. Good.

It was thirty US Dimes, three bucks. We haven’t had silver coins in circulation since I was a kid. I was too cheap to pay him more than that to make a point.

I commented on LSP’s blog that Judas’ payout was about US$100 in today’s money, depending on the specific coins handed to him. That doesn’t begin to pay for one night of Hunter Biden’s debauchery with cocaine and whores.  10% for the Big Guy paid by his Chinese benefactors to sell us out was more than three dollars (30 dimes) or the present melt value of thirty silver denari. The British gave Arnold a brigadier general’s commission with an annual income of several hundred pounds. Still, they paid him only £6,315 plus a yearly pension of £360 for his defection because his plot had failed.


Bullet Points:

** Fmr Prince Harry is not having a great Friday. His formerly royal self has been named in the $30 million sex trafficking lawsuit against Sean (Puff Daddy/Diddy/Diddly) Combs. His heavily oppressed Person-of-Color/Colored Person wife has not commented on the former prince’s sexual dalliances with children yet. I thought that she had his balls in her purse. It seems not all the time. Not when he and the brothas are getting down with the ‘fine bitches and twerking whores/ho’s’ that Combs sings about! Those musical accounts made Puff Daddy as rich as a prince.

This comes at a bad time for the formerly royal (defrocked) couple, who were hoping to be invited back into the royal household, what with the king and crown princess being diagnosed with cancer. If somebody put former Harry in a jail cell, would he hang himself? Don’t be a hater. I’m only asking the question. There are precedents in America. Which other predator cohorts could he rat out? Were the Clintons at any of the Puff Daddy Parties with the prince? The former royal lives in the US, where Arkancide is real.

His last name is officially SusSEX. Maybe I shouldn’t make fun of the prince, who has been oppressed for his entire life. Do you think that the sex scandal might impact the deals he is cutting with Netflix? Maybe he needs to turn to Disney, which some claim thrives in this scandalized world. Perhaps he could write a tell-all book, “Playing with Puff Daddy,” that could sell salacious tales of lavish sex parties on yachts (all the while he’s being oppressed). 

** What is better, Communism or Capitalism? Would you rather live in North Korea or South Korea?

** Tucker’s account of meeting Snowden for dinner while interviewing Vladimir Putin in Russia.

** If we don’t let athletes bet on games they can influence, why do we allow Congress to take donations from companies they regulate? (see US Tax Code)

** “Fucker” is a preferred military-issue gender-neutral pronoun (and adjective). Therefore, if somebody asks you for your pronouns, it’s an excellent choice, with a long history of use in government service, professional sports, among the people who built America’s infrastructure, merchant sailors, etc. Don’t be ashamed to venture forth proudly and proclaim your favorite pronoun. Another gender-neutral pronoun (and adjective) that pairs well with “fucker” is “breeder.” It may not apply to people of a certain age whose capacity has waned or to people who have been neutered, but you can always pretend to be in the running even if the biscuit is limp or the lines have been snipped. Continue to follow this blog for pronoun suggestions.

** Do women belong in US Special Operations?

** What do space aliens think of us when we put up windmills after we’ve harnessed fission?



The Value of Flight from Inner Cities to Agitators

(City Journal – Steven Malanga) In 1973, Coleman Young, an African American former labor organizer with ties to the American Communist Party, ran for mayor of Detroit. Young narrowly beat the city’s police commissioner, partly by arguing that cops targeted minorities. Once in office, Young rolled back enforcement and slashed the police force by 20 percent. Detroit’s crime exploded. Businesses and middle-class residents fled the city; polls showed a majority of whites feeling threatened. Detroit’s economy and social order collapsed during Young’s two-decade mayoralty. “He left the city a fiscal and social wreck,” as political scientist James Q. Wilson wrote. Yet he kept getting reelected by larger margins, as his black support stayed strong.

The arc of Young’s mayoral reign—a rapidly deteriorating city combined with ongoing political success—is a strange phenomenon that economists Edward Glaeser and Andrei Shleifer dubbed the Curley Effect after the early-twentieth-century Boston mayor James Michael Curley. Curley won the mayor’s office in 1913 through “incendiary rhetoric” and “aggressive redistribution” that shifted resources from WASP communities to his political allies in Irish neighborhoods. Tightening his hold on the mayor’s office, he remained in power for more than four decades. As with Young years later, Curley’s political fortunes benefited because those most likely to vote against him had left the city.


California’s left likewise benefits from the flight of its more affluent conservative middle class. The state is $55 billion underwater, and democrat mandarins calculate that the benefit of fewer conservative voters offsets the loss of tax revenue.



Tin Pan

A Non-sequential Fictional Short

When I woke up, I knew that the reason my eyes opened had everything to do with a full bladder and nothing to do with the angle of the Sun. Pivoting off the slick plastic mattress cover in the small bunk in the trailer, I stepped across the narrow room and pivoted a slab of cheap, old, delaminating plywood, exposing me to the forest. The warm yellow stream that first nourished the weeds now killed them, left them a yellow tangle, reeking of my urine. A few shakes, a brief shudder, and I concluded, swinging the unpainted wood cover shut to keep the flies and skeeters out.

I didn’t own the trailer, and I didn’t know who did. I found it parked on flat tires, sitting in a clearing split by the meandering north fork of Indian Creek when I started prospecting the place by panning for gold. That’s my excuse for running away from the world, my excuse for wearing the same clothes for –weeks without a wash, living in my night sweats that crusted dry during the daytime. I brought some basics in my pack but lived off canned goods I found in the trailer, a couple of bags of Uncle Ben’s, and a case of bottom-shelf Taaka Kentucky vodka that I finished off a day ago.

I didn’t think there were any roads into Indian Creek, but the Jeep trail that allowed somebody to park the trailer disabused me of its relative remoteness. Don’t get me wrong. The trailer had been there for a long time when I found it, heavily overgrown with weeds and vines. I found the bagged rice in military ammo cans, dogged down and sealed with black, waterproof mastic. I expected to find ammunition in them but was more pleased with the rice.  I brought a 30-30 lever action rifle and forty rounds of cheap ammo when I ascended the Indian from its tributary in the valley.

My beard grew patchy. Baths were a dunk in the creek, and the one hygienic necessity I didn’t avoid was brushing my teeth twice daily. It wasn’t fastidiousness, but the simple, almost unreasoning fear of a toothache in the middle of nowhere drove me to it.

Someone worked the creek before me, and they left an old plank wood rocker box sluice in place along with some fine grit sifting pans for the different granularities of precious metal. The kit was rounded out when I found suction tweezers in the trailer’s silverware drawer.

Anybody with a lick of sense would figure that whoever left the equipment, such as it was, had worked the stream. I thought that, too, until I saw color. Did winter floods shift the flow of sand and gravel in the creek? Maybe. Did a vein feed the gold supply in the creek? Also, a possibility. At 70.02 per gram of gold, it wouldn’t take long to make enough to repay my efforts.

The North Fork of Indian Creek flowed through Federal Bureau of Land Management property, and filing a mining claim required that I go online to start the process. The presence of a previous mining site, even though it hadn’t been worked for some time, suggested that somebody could have a pre-existing claim. If that was the case, I jumped a claim. The penalty affixed was $25,000 or 6 months in prison for anyone proven to be claim-jumping. How do I know this? Am I a cop, a crook, a lawyer, or maybe I’m a miner? I haven’t pulled much color out of that bar, so I can’t claim much when it comes to mining.

When I arrived, it was all that I could do to walk to the campsite, where I found the overgrown trailer. Still, as I rose and set with the sun, I discovered that I’d been able to work the shovel, pan, and rocker for most of the day with a break for biscuits, which I cook up fresh and dip in dried and soaked pinto beans that I cook.  I won’t say anything about the gas at night from the beans but I’m a solo act here on the North Fork of the Indian.

One day, I looked into a pool of water, and the face that stared back looked burned by the sun, a little leaner, and in need of a shave. There were no mirrors, but I had soap and a pocket knife that I sharpened on a stone until it scraped hair. The sunburn hurt enough to remind me to dab a little mud on my face. I wore a hat to cover my baldness, but it didn’t shade me from the reflection of the Sun bouncing back from the water.

I took an hour or so each day to explore my surroundings more completely. Taking a canvas sachel with me, I pulled wild green onions, set a rabbit snare, and took pine sap from the trees I chewed as pine gum to brighten my breath, which had begun to smell like the inside of an old tent. Balancing my life, my meals and my labor with the gravel bar seemed to work, and I started to fill a mason jar with gold.  It covered the bottom, then an inch, then four inches, and finally five. I dug a hole by the tongue of the trailer and put the jar into the hole, covering it with a flat rock.

On the third day of snaring, I took a summer snowshoe hare, skinned it, and cooked it over the fire for an evening meal. There had been more than a few meatless days, and it tasted delicious. I ate it with rice flavored with wild onions. Reflecting, that case of Kentucky vodka slowed me up initially, and while a taste would have been pleasant, I went through it, and that was that.

Come noon the following day, I heard engine noise. Somebody was grinding up the mountain road toward me. The sound came and went and became louder, so I stashed the gold, put the pans up, dropped an old quilt over a large rock, and waited in the sun for them to arrive. Would it be the sheriff with handcuffs or some sort of bloated federal man looking for revenue? I knew that I didn’t have long to wait. The red, one-ton, four-wheel drive rig with forty-inch tires wasn’t a government truck. It had a big winch on the front bumper, and the two young bruisers in the front seats didn’t appear to be the law.

“We’ve been looking for you everywhere,” they told me, seeming to know who I was even though I couldn’t recall my name right off. “Grandma told us about a trailer you parked up past Bald Ridge on the North Fork fifty years ago.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“She didn’t remember exactly where, but we used a drone to scout it.”

“I recall a buzzing but thought it was a run of bees swarming off in the distance.”

The tall boy with the beard said, “We can help you gather your things and return home to the valley. The sheriff’s posse spent two weeks going here and there, but since you were on foot, and none of them could cut for sign worth spit, they never found a broken twig or a boot print.”

The shorter blonde-haired boy said, “What did you eat, Grandpa? You look fit.”

“I caught a rabbit, ate beans and rice, and did for myself. See those wild onions and carrots in the basket? They flavored my food.”

“Somebody parked a trailer here. I hope they didn’t mind that I squatted in it.”

Bearded boy said, “That’s your old trailer, Grandpa. You parked it here one summer long ago before Jim or I were born.”

I don’t know if I believed him, and they didn’t seem like they were after my gold. They bundled up my pack and the lever action rifle I hadn’t fired and helped me into their truck. They claimed to be taking me somewhere, but I don’t recall where they said we were going.


Surly on Vacation

Surly announced his intention to go on vacation to Gotham City and spend time with relatives for the upcoming Easter festivities. Virtual Mirage takes this opportunity to wish him fair winds and following seas in his travels. What will happen if the bat signal is flashed and Surly isn’t available to respond? I don’t know that it’s ever happened before.


Identify the Aircraft

These are all from the same pre-WWII era and have similar features. However, their operational histories were somewhat different from each other. Because many other national aircraft production companies (different nations) of the era copied each other, it’s challenging to determine which was the original in this series of designs—fine for their time, but antiques when the shooting started. With Surly absent, there is a window of opportunity.


It had an exhaust-driven turbosupercharger. There were two versions, a fighter and an attack (fighter-bomber) aircraft.



69 thoughts on “Wandering with Dramatic Effect

  1. Women in SF- NO
    Aside from the emotional reasons. There are the physical factors.

    My limited experience with the field is that the first thing they would want is to drop the standards.

    Yes, there is always the small percentage who are very fit and strong but they rare.

    I had the pleasure or otherwise to be in the first recruit course in the Australian Army when they tried men and women in the same intake back in the 1970’s. The women did not do rifle drills or learn M60 or any heavy weapons.

    The success is shown by the fact they dropped it for more than a few years.

    The women do rifle drills since they went from the FAL to the lightweight and shorter Steyr.

    Also unsurprisingly the basic PT standard was dropped a long way.

        1. But boys who “tuck” playing in girls sports…win, every time. Worse is the gals are still allowing this dementedness. As for the NFL, I say, “let ’em in, they”ll last one play and have some sense knocked into them.” Heck, I’m not little but still wouldn’t want to get mashed by one of those Sasquatches, or be on the bottom of the pile after a play.

          1. The women who allow men to compete with them as they pretend to be women deserve to lose. This is on the women. If they want to be woke and compete with men, they shouldn’t cry when they are beaten by a man who is unable to compete against men.

          2. To you both: “Youda thunk it, right? Woman are the gatekeepers, males will embrace whatever they allow, because we’re simpler animals. Hooking up and being on girls teams…the joke and responsibility is on them as they allow all manner of blurred line idiocy.

          3. Don’t think of it in terms of simple or complex. Women don’t have to compete in any event they don’t want to compete in. They can walk away and create a new event if they wish, where genetic testing will ensure that all participants are XX. That they don’t is on them. They should have the good grace to accept that a man thrashed them.

          4. I dunno, guys. Not every woman has the strength of will to be a Riley Gaines. (Who has my profound respect.)

            When you’ve been indoctrinated since you were in diapers that victimhood (especially claimed and not actual) is the primary metric of a person’s goodness (plus that it’s apparently a heritable trait); that perversion and depravity are heroic, stunning and brave; that you’re an evil person if you refuse to worship at the altar of victimhood and perversion; and that not only must you go along with this madness, but that you must thank and praise your tormentors — well, it’s pretty damn hard to stand up for yourself. How would you even KNOW that you’re being (actually) oppressed?

            But even if you come to that realization, despite having been drowned in the feculence that is our educational system and infotaintment complex, pert-near everyone in official positions of authority is going to gaslight you. School teachers? University professors? Hah! Your pastor or priest? Maybe. But does the supply of LSPs exceed the supply of Justin Welbys? The FUSA courts? Double hah! Oh! I know, we’ll take it to the newsmedia. We can trust the Fourth Estate! Surely some clear-sighted, brave reporter will put it on the air or at least into the newspapers. I KNOW I can count on the New York Times and MS/NBC. And no, Fox is not any better.

            It’s easy to say “just walk away” and “start your own thing” but those are very very difficult. And if you DO walk away and create your own competitions, do you think Those People will leave you alone? Of course not. They’ll be there with their legions of lawyers, propagandists, and not least their mobs. These people are parasites and they will not, because they cannot, leave you alone.

  2. Puff the Magic Diddy lived by the sea ,And Frolicked in his Mansion with Harry and Cuba Gooding.
    That is the best I can do with only half a cup of coffee.

    1. Harry stepped on his formerly royal dick again. I am positive that it validated the decision to kick both him and the dutchess out of the Royal club. The media mentions him and the King replies, “Harry who?”

  3. I’m not really qualified to comment on the “house discussion regarding ads, etc.” as I’m more of a reader and occasional commenter than active participant in discussions/topics. But I will say that I use several ad blockers that are very effective and they are active on every web site I access. How that effects web site revenue I have no idea, but they certainly reduce the level of stomach acid generated in my morning reading.
    I do enjoy reading VM.
    Now I’ll ask a question that I’ve had for a while and haven’t been able to resolve. Subject T6 Texan (WWII variety). I’ve heard my Uncle “Mac” WWII & Korean “Conflict” fighter pilot (prop and jet) refer to the plane as an AT 6 and as the T6. I’m guessing the T6 designation is a trainer version. Anyone tell me the difference in the two or is it just a lingo difference?

    1. the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and USAAF designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces the Harvard, the name by which it is best known outside the US.

    2. The ‘A’ of the AT stands for ‘Advanced.’ The first plane a pilot trainee would fly in would have been a slower biplane, with the label of ‘PT-something’ and the ‘P’ stands for ‘Primary.’

  4. Your Tolkien quote reminded me (as you often do) of the complete poem:

    “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.”

    For years I thought the quote was from Muir, at the time I attributed everything to hiking or backpacking through God’s wilderness and he was one of my regular reads. Thinking on the full poem, Dad would often say the “all that glitters is not gold” line (in that order), usually when he was trying to teach me some important life lesson, often not grasped until ten years later (dads are like that).

    Great short…again. Curious if he actually buried a full jar of gold at the trailer hitch under the rock, and if so will anyone see the rock and dig? These are the things I think about….plus the fact I sorta identify with his predicament; when I put something down, often inadvertently, I forget where it is then spend half an hour retracing steps to find it. Adult ADHD, which for some reason is a male ailment/characteristic.

        1. The story was written as it appears. The old man had mined the stream in his prime and retreated to that spot for reasons best known to him. He found gold, he put it in a jar, and hid it. His family fetched him back. Would it have been kinder to leave him there to end his life on his own terms? I leave that to the reader to judge. Children in our culture don’t like the idea of parents walking out on the ice to meet their end on their own terms.

          1. Little Big Man…”It’s a good day to die.” I’m walking off into “my” Contemplative Pasture, leave my remains to the coyotes…dust to dust and all.

          2. My mother’s last physician was Choctaw Indian and when she was well into her long and somewhat torturous final slide, I remarked to him that I hoped to not go out like that, and he said he had made plans not to. I gave him kinda a look and he explained that in the Choctaw culture, the father doesn’t raise the son, instead one of the uncles teaches the boy how to hunt and fish and have a sense of morals and whatnot. Doc was in medical school when the uncle who raised him wrote him a letter saying how pleased he was with how Doc had learned his lessons and was making his way in the world and that he now considered his task accomplished, so he was going up into the mountains for a spell. And so it came to pass that the winter caught him up there, and his body was found the next spring.

            Doc said if he’d known the old man’s intentions were to go up into the mountains to fight the winter knowing that he would lose that fight but went anyway, he probably would have tried to stop him, but later come to understand why he did it. Doc then showed me a large aerial photo hanging in his office of the mountain in Colorado where his cabin was and said if he could get up there when it was his time, his uncle’s plan was his plan.

            I have thought about this long and hard, and considering the pain and suffering my folks went thru the last couple years of their lives, can find little fault in it.

          3. That’s…dare I say…beautiful. Dying well is necessary for those of us who see things that way. My dad, hardly sick a day in his life, stint in the Marines, successful businessman, got a cold, then it turned to lung cancer. He was 57. Six months from one end to the other. But being the rugged person he was, told mom one day at the hospital, “Get me out of here.” She took him home and he requested she set up the sunroom for him. He was there when he passed, looking out into nature with my [very tough] mom by his side.

          4. As nice as it sounds that Native American elders went away to die, the ugly truth far too often was the tribe stripped the old of anything useful and walked away leaving the semi-naked or fully naked old one to die of exposure.

            Gee, it’s wonderful to belong to a noble hunter-gatherer nomadic people, no?

  5. the pic of harry looks old, maybe pre-markle…. loved the short story…. sex trafficking “enterprise” implies he made money from it. seems to me to be groupie parties gone overboard. the heavy firepower and total destruction of his home shows its more about trump than diddy banging underage girls. heck, congress has a taxpayer funded slush fund to pay off interns/staff that cry sexual harassment. hypocrisy much?… polish general, head of eu ops croaked suddenly. allergic to kinzal missiles? covid clots? anybody heard from that us general nobody they put in charge of nato? anybody else think they are too quiet on this fsk bridge thing, or is it just me? inquiring minds want to know.

    1. The pics that I have with Harry and Puff Daddy are old. I don’t have enough of the context from this to suggest whether the allegation is 20 years old or contemporary. However I will say this. Combs screens all of the talent that comes onto his yacht or to his parties and they’re required to sign NDAs and be fully identified. He has a security team that does that. Megan Markle had to sign an NDA to be invited to his party where she was introduced to Harry.

    2. I always thought Harry was a bit of a dirtbag, with my ‘betters’ saying he was a combat helo pilot and a good one. Um, no, know lots of dirtbags who wore uniform.

  6. It’s that “Party trumps Person” axiom I mentioned yesterday. Cities got what they [used to] elect…nowadays “officials” are installed because the Peons shouldn’t tell us, the special anointed ones who should be in office! But in the end the Liberal/Lefty cheeseball thinking is lazy people want free stuff on the backs of the productive, so they vote whomever gives them the vending machine. The idea that “liking” a person regardless of party affiliation is short-sighted thinking, and usually leads to what we see happening in every large city: Chaos. Goes like this: “I’ll vote for the black, lesbo, female (gotta define this as apparently some believe “female” is flexible regardless of chromosome count), cross-dresser because I identify with empowered woman with shaved heads.” Yeah, that’ll work out well. Not. Anymore it doesn’t matter if they are competent or even qualified (Obama…heck…even Brain-Dead Biden), only matters if they are installed and malleable to TPTB…because that pesky Constitution is old hat and is to be ignored.
    Time For A Reset ™

      1. In affect only, the ™ gives a certain gravitas that makes it look more official…because who’d question it (except you of course). Feel free to abscond and use it freely, because it’s truth. Same with “SISU MAGA”, what Trump exudes and embodies.
        —SISU: Loosely translated from the Finnish as “strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity.”
        Need more of that, in spades.

  7. Great story about gramps. I’d pay for an anthology (and tolerate advertising if it came to it). Might I suggest you culturally misappropriate the title of Black Elk Speaks and name the work White Wolf Speaks? If Diddy can sample other musician’s work, seems only fair.

    Ethiopia Habtemariam. I spewed Dr. Pepper thru my nose at that one. Jay-sus, Mary and Joseph, where do they all come from?

    1. “Ethiopia Habtemariam” – There is an inexhaustible supply. The federal government is currently importing more from Africa at your expense, WWW.

  8. (1) Consolidated P-30 / A-11
    (2) Lockheed YP-24 / A-9
    (3) Lockheed Altair.

    Women in SOCOM: If they can pass the same tests / requirements as them men, yes.
    Otherwise, no. There might be a couple women out there who can qualify, there are
    like 8 billion people, after all. Making service personnel less effective is stupid, but it
    is a major goal of the current Establishment.


    I like the senility story.
    If America were to have survived, we needed to have made a system where politicians
    were prevented from gaining wealth through their office, and where they were punished
    for making illegal laws, violating the Constitution, etc. Also as equal a “justice” system
    as possible, preventing the use of government instrumentalities for oppression of the people
    or persecution of political rivals… it goes on forever. It is unfortunate that we failed, but I
    doubt there is much that can be done at this point that amounts to more than spiteful
    destruction as revenge. I think perhaps the biggest failing of the Founders was that they didn’t
    understand just how many people avidly desire their own enslavement. I didn’t understand
    that fact until recent years, myself.
    – Kle.

  9. 1. Ads: if you must. Having been a reader (and sometimes commenter) I’m certain they’ll be tasteful? appropriate? certainly in tune with your modus operandi.
    Mild ad annoyance will not put me off your column/blog. I think dailytimewater does it well.
    2. The short should (underline should, adding hope will) evolve into a fairly good novel; then again, I can understand exactly where he (the protagonist) is.

  10. Tin Pan- another great short
    Anthology- “ beyond the next mountain “ or “ Final Frontier “ I don’t need a mention, just want to stimulate a thread more suggestions of your regulars who opine.
    Ads, it’s ok by me, cause whatever it takes, if you’re able, can make the time, and keep enjoying the publication of V.M. , we all are here for our various reasons, especially the cathartic necessities. For L.L. to be able to Conquer the malware was a rubicon moment for me.

  11. How about collections of your non-fiction recollections also? I think your Person X stories could be a standalone volume, for example.

    I like today’s story, but I’m inclined to think that if the old man was thriving living alone out there, why not let him be? Just look in on him, drop off some supplies and clean clothes, every once in a while. Goodness, I’d rather end my days cheerfully demented, doing something I thought was worthwhile, under the open sky, than in a hospital bed with tubes and drains and monitors stuck into me*. And a sky burial is not repugnant. For one thing, I’d rather fatten vultures and scavengers than enrich a funeral home director.

    *I’ve read that physicians are more likely than the general population to choose “comfort care” and DNR/DNI as their personal care directive. I imagine it’s similar with ICU nurses, but I haven’t seen any scientific literature on it. Basically if you regularly see not only how nasty the process is, but more so, the dismal rates of “success” then you don’t want to be a part of it on the receiving end.

    1. I might do that and blend fiction with non-fiction. The problem with the “PersonS” X is that some are still alive. There would have to be some thought put toward protecting the living.

      I’m not opposed to a sky burial but social conventions, such as they are, make that increasingly difficult.

    2. I too share your decision to not allow any more than comfort care. I have had a difficult time with my family about a DNR/DNI status and finely gave my brother sole POA for healthcare/finance as his beliefs and wishes mirror mine closely. Having been involved and observed closely the “process,” ungodly expense for extending life. I have read a statistic about 50% of a persons overall lifetime cost of medical expense comes at the last 6 months of life. I have diabetes and MS and at 66 years old, I know my life expectancy is short and yet I do not want my life extended anymore than naturally. I never thought about being a protein source for vultures and scavengers, but like Mike_C, I could dig that! My wish is to be cremated, and I have no care if my ash is flushed at the nearest toilet. I don’t want a funeral, or a memorial service at all. If you want to meet up at a swanky bar and toast me with an Miller Genuine Draft, the Irishman in me would smile.

      Ads? Okay, I too, have a couple of Ad Blockers and I don’t see many pop ups. Short story anthologies and book form, I would definitely buy, especially if you didn’t use amazon, I will not buy books or anything from it. I thought a subscription to your blog? I would may for that, the value alone would be worth it. I know Phil over at BN overs the hosting cost and we have discussed a partial subscription, especially if the hosting costs get exuberant. We are not there yet, but again we are not authors and have the same caliber of blog you do LL.

      1. (1) I don’t need the money Cederq; the idea of ads has been batted around. (2) Amazon is the only logical place to publish. They control the market and distribution. If you publish on some other platform, they cross-sell on Amazon anyway because they control the market. The feds aren’t talking about busting up the monopoly because the company owns the Washington Post and pays to play. (3) I don’t need subscriptions and don’t want them. I’m not wealthy, but I’m comfortable in my dotage.

        1. If you do publish, talk to the people over at Raconteur Press (Lawdog’s publisher) and see what they can do.

        2. That short was simply excellent. Enjoyed it thoroughly. You should definitely find a path to publishing.

  12. Great story. I can relate to the gold part, having been a young lad on a ranch in Amador county, CA. We puttered about in late spring while water was still flowing in the small creeks. We built a rocker and a sluice box. Over time we had about 1/4 inch in a small pill bottle. It was great fun. Probably the most important lesson was most of the folks who got rich during the Gold Rush were selling pans and shovels.

    1. Placer mining is moving rocks all day.. big rocks, medium rocks, little rocks and really little rocks, but moving rocks none the less. Much easier to do if you find color.

      1. I originally thought to have a paragraph or two of him doing more of that, but it took away from the point of the story and it’s a “short”.

  13. How about a little of column A, and a little of column B?

    Limited ads that are on-point for the readers: guns, gear, tacos, restored links to your previous books, etc.

    Definitely a collection of shorts, maybe combined fiction and non-fiction (like the story
    about the lobster-tail loving informant). Title of collection? What else but, “Bullet Points” ?

    1. Maybe I’ll call the collection, “Bullet Points: A Virtual Mirage Collection,” but people who have never been by the blog wouldn’t get it.

      1. If it’s a Virtual Mirage Collection…does it really exist? (snowing out so project is on hold…this is where the mind goes, as inane as it might get wandering off the mental reservation)

        1. This blog is a figment of your imagination as am I. Most of the work is already done for a short story collection. I will put Hungry Ghosts on hold and will crank it out and beg Jules for a cool cover.

          It’s supposed to snow here tomorrow, on Easter. If it whites out, (racist term) I may not be able to make it to a church service. Hopefully you enjoy the Easter blog. I try to tell a story without denominational controversy (impossible).

  14. Ads are ok if that’s what you need to do, I’m here for your writing-stories-outlook and the comments by your readers. I will be with or without ads.

    That was a good story & an unexpected ending. A sad reminder of what’s possible too….

    An anthology of your short stories? I’d buy it, I’ve liked almost everything you’ve published…. (The Orange County non-fiction was not what I usually read but I had to see).

    1. I don’t have to do ads to keep the blog running. There was a discussion of having the blog pay for itself. I started the short story anthology and then stopped it. I’m going to do that. I’ll add a part to be called, “HOW TO MAKE MONEY BY BEING A GOVERNMENT INFORMANT” – and change names around, but it will be non-fiction with “Case Studies.”

  15. Do what you want about the ads. I’d rather see ads for your work.
    Even your security company.
    But random banner ads across the page would detract from the experience.
    It’s nice not having that roll out from the right side anymore.

    I’ve bought your books (and Mike W’s and Jim’s) and I’d buy more.
    Usually Kindle so I can read at any opportunity on my phone.

  16. Run the ads and sell the stories. The better to support the site and writer. Did not like this story. too painful.

      1. I’ve long envisioned a movie scene where the villain, called Gloria Mundy (or Monday), gets killed while fleeing justice. (Crashing her plane and making a giant fireball, accidentally blowing herself up with the bomb she intended for the hero, something like that. Wouldn’t want for her to be shot by the hero because the next bit would make him seem heartless…)

        Seeing the giant fireball, Our Hero quips, “Sic transit Gloria Mundy.”

        No, I do NOT apologize for that. Not sorry one little bit. Nope.
        It’s very cheeseball 80’s action movie or Roger Moore-era Bond. Hmmm. “Gloria Monday” is a Bond Girl name anyway.

          1. Really? That’s awesome!
            [insert those grinning emojis with the hearts in place of the eyes]

        1. The show “Simon and Simon” had an episode where the characters are taking a shady airline trip to Mexico. Vuela de Noches airline. Literally ‘Fly by Night’ airlines.

          Cheesy is good.

  17. Ads… fine.. wouldn’t bother me.. if it makes you a few sheckles and buys lunch… all good by me.

    Tin pan… great story… as I’ve said before, I hope to go to Valhala with my boots on and an edged weapon in my hand. But too many have feelings and emotions… believe they must intervene.

    Looking forward to the proposed book….

  18. A collection of short stories works. I’d recommend you do the copyright blurb at the end of each one though… And before you publish, make sure you take down the posts that have short stories in them (Learned THAT the hard way)… sigh

    (C) Larry L 2024. All Rights Reserved

  19. Please don’t ruin your clean and excellent blog with hideous ads, go down the publishing route instead. And yes, I thought of you on Spy Wednesday, and thanks for the dimes tip, nice.

    Then there’s “Dirty Harry.” Not so nice.

  20. Identify the Aircraft:
    1. Consolidated P-30
    2. Detroit-Lockheed YP-24
    3. Lockheed Altair designated C-23 by AAC

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