Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Pause That Refreshes, i.e. No War Today

It's hard to be creative every day. I like where my World War II series of posts is going, YMMV, but things happen fast enough that sometimes I'll write something, hit publish, then a couple of days later say to myself, "Oh, why did I do that? I liked that character, yet I killed him off for no good reason."

Well, that happens all too often in war, there are no "do overs" or "Mulligans." What's done is done and there's no going back. So occasionally I need to take a break from moving forward with the series and consider what comes next as it relates to what's already happened. (I do have a "cheat sheet" - multiple now, one for each nationality - where I keep track of who is who, and who has gone before, etc. Yes, I refer to it often and update it with every installment. Keeps my inner REMF busy. No, as those who have been paying attention might gather, I don't like that term.)

This series also helps me keep my mind off the real world. Current events are all too new for an historian to properly digest anyway.


Before each episode I do some reading as to what happened around this time in 1944. I will envision a scenario for the characters which might fit into the historical timeline (or near as damn it) and then write. Things play out in my head, almost like a movie, and I capture that as best I can in the written word. I read it, tweak it, then hit publish. (Sometimes quicker than I should have!)

This series is not strictly adherent to the actual history of the time. It follows it as closely as I can make it, given that I'm doing this in semi-real time right here in front of you readers. Mistakes happen and units may be in the wrong place on the wrong date. When that happens (and I notice it) I'll wave my hands around and give a lame explanation about that platoon being "detached" for the episode in question.

While the main characters - the Americans (Sgt Brandt, et al), the Scots (Sgt Wallace, et al), and the Germans (Stabsfeldwebel Lindner, et al) belong to units which actually fought in Normandy at the time (and most of) the places indicated - I try not to get too much into the details of the units. Notice that I've avoided nailing down just which regiment of the Big Red One Sgt Brandt and his squad belong to. Why is that?

Well, I have some very good sources for the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers (Wallace) and schwerer Panzerabteilung 503 (Lindner). The online war diary of the 15th (Scottish) Division is excellent, tells me where Sgt Wallace and his lads were supposed to be every day of the campaign. The sources for Stabsfeldwebel Lindner's guys are a bit more generic. Not as specific, probably because after a certain point in the war German record keeping got a little sloppy. Especially in Normandy. We have the big picture, just not the little details. As I have no plans on making a visit to the Bundesarchiv in Germany (much as I'd love to), I focus on the actions of Lindner's immediate command. Which involves a lot of "poetic" license on my part at times. Oddly enough, the 1st Infantry Division shows up on a lot of maps, but not in a lot of narratives (beyond the classic, and boring, "then unit A moved to Hill 123, dug in and then moved to village XYZ the next day," even that is rare). If you know a good source on the internet for the doings of the Big Red One, do let me know!

I have had a couple of emails noting some awkward wording and the like, keep 'em coming. What made sense when I typed it may not make sense when you read it!

As to technical details, I try not to get too bogged down in the "minutiae of history" as my old history professor (head of the department he was) used to call it. I do check to see if a particular weapon system was available for the time period in question and only include it if it was. You won't see any King Tigers in my account of the time as from my reading I got the distinct impression that there were only two of those beasts anywhere near Normandy. Though from photographs you'd think they were as common as fleas on a dog. They weren't.

As they were also a fairly useless weapon of war, great armor and magnificent gun aside, they used too much fuel, moved with all the grace of a drunken rhino, couldn't get across bridges over a number of rivers, and were just cumbersome as Hell. I have seen references to these beasties on the German side as Möbelwagen, furniture vans. Most professional tankers didn't like them. Too slow, too big, and used too much fuel. The Tiger I was much more ubiquitous up until December of 1944 when Hitler went "all in" on the King Tigers for the Battle of the Bulge. Where their biggest contribution to the attack was getting in the way and causing massive traffic jams. Then running out of fuel.

So that's that.

As to the M1 Garand, magazine versus clip. I know the difference and won't be drawn into that debate. You won't hear the ping of the en bloc clip springing from the magazine well of the Garand as it's rather an unnecessary detail. "Howie emptied his magazine at the Kraut tanker" may not be as "pure" as emptying his "clip," but to me the latter sounds kinda stupid. Technically might be correct, but I really don't care, as Guns & Ammo describes the weapon thusly -
Using a sheetmetal en-bloc clip as part of the feeding system, the M1 Garand functioned as follows: The bolt handle was pulled to the rear, where the action was held open by the follower. A clip of ammo was pressed down into the magazine and the bolt allowed to move forward, where it stripped off and chambered a round. When the trigger was pulled and the round discharged, gases were tapped off through a gas port in the forward bottom part of the bore. These gases forced the operating rod backward, compressing the operating-rod spring and opening the bolt. As the bolt opened, it extracted and ejected the spent cartridge and cocked the hammer. Relaxation of the operating-rod spring now forced the bolt forward, where it stripped off and chambered the next round.
When all eight shots had been expended, the clip was forcibly ejected from the action and the bolt remained open, ready for insertion of the next clip. It is said that Japanese and German soldiers would listen for the telltale ping of the clip being ejected, realizing they had the advantage of a second or two when the Yank would be loading his piece and unable to return fire. 
I think my use of "magazine" is justified. By the way, I've heard that ping, if you're fighting a single man, sure go ahead and rush the poor bastard. Otherwise, if you jump up, you're going to get nailed by that guy's buddies. It is said is just another way of saying, "someone told me this, I have no independent evidence that it's true." Besides, battlefields tend to get pretty damned noisy with most of the participants half-deaf while it's going on. Hear a "ping" from yards away, in a firefight? I don't think so, maybe that's just me.

I have a confession to make as well, I have been a little "short" in some of my responses to comments on this series. Working from home and being away from the little everyday things which made up my world prior to this virus-thingee being inflicted upon us has left me a bit short tempered as of late. I don't get enough sleep and I've been dealing with some medical crap as well, the details of which I shall not bore you with. So bear with me if I sometimes "snap" at you in a comment. Unless you're being deliberately obtuse it's just me having a "bad" day. (Which there seem to be a lot of lately.)

But enough of all that.

In general terms life is good, life is sweet, and I am enjoying myself when and where I can. Reality and well-meaning local governments notwithstanding. As The Missus Herself says, "If people weren't so damned stupid we wouldn't need all these rules." I question the Constitutionality of the rules, she looks at the "hey, this is what happens in reality" side of things. We're both right, and we're both often wrong. (Dear Lord, don't tell her I wrote that, it's more than my life is worth!)

But yes, people can be awfully stupid, many of them wind up with government jobs. Like in Congress ("I'm reclaiming my time" has to be the most corrupt, self-serving bullshit I have ever heard, doesn't matter which party the drooling idiot belongs to, they're bastards.)

Oops, went off on a wee rant there, didn't I?

I'm loving the new vehicle. Smooth ride, has many nice features, some of which I actually use. I really should dig into the specs a bit more, especially as I have a 400 mile road trip in my immediate future, 800 if you count the return, which I do.

For The Nuke is "with child" and expects to deliver this very month. An event which we are all looking forward to. The plan had been (note the tense) for The Missus Herself to fly down and I would follow a week or so later. As the virus-thingee has pretty much triggered her survival instincts and she doesn't want to get into a flying Petry dish with any number of those stupid people I mentioned above, I get to drive her there. Which is okay, I mean it's why I bought the car rather than keep Big Girl around for a while longer. (Breaking down "somewhere in New Jersey" just didn't appeal to me, and it was a distinct possibility given the age of Big Girl. She was starting to get a bit "long in the tooth," if you know what I mean.)

And speaking of teeth...

Broke one a couple of weeks ago, as it didn't hurt, I rather ignored it, the thinking being, "I'll deal with that when I have to." Well, I had to. It wasn't causing me any pain, but its untimely demise (sheered off the outboard half of the tooth) made me realize that I ain't getting any younger and why wait? Working from home gives me a certain flexibility, so I had it repaired on Monday (yesterday for those of you keeping score). Required a crown, so I guess now I'm royalty.

Royal pain in the...

Dang, I'm even short with myself!

See you back here on Wednesday, we'll be back in the field. Wear sensible shoes, comfortable clothes, and pack a lunch.

See you in Normandy.


  1. We're waiting to see what Isaias will bring to Philly. This morning's NOAA prediction says we might get some rain today, and that's a lot different than their late last night prediction of 100% rain and 3-4 inches.
    I tested the emergency generator two days ago, and needed to replace a deteriorated and leaky fuel hose.

    I wish my father had gifted me with his near perfect teeth genes. Instead he gave me diminutive stature, marvelous mechanical skills, a gift for dry wit that often crosses the line into acid sarcasm, and so-so teeth.
    The dentist and her hygienist say our fangs are in noticeably better shape since we began using the mini pressure washer for teeth. (Yes, a water pick.)

    We bought a new Subaru in February, and it's only recently that we went over a thousand miles. I'm still working my way through the bewildering complexity of things the car will do.
    I think the automatic anti-crash braking is a wonderful safety item, but when I turned on the automatic stay in your lane feature, I found that when the steering wheel began turning by itself to nudge me back between the lines it was more than a little creepy.
    And I wonder if some of the safety features are really training me to be a less attentive driver than I should be.

    Best wishes and thoughts for the imminent launching of the newest family member!

    I was processing a UK visitor some years ago at work and during the entry interview I asked about his work, he replied that he was an actor, and when I asked what I might have seen him in, he said he was standing near Tom Hanks in the landing craft.
    That was pretty cool.

    1. Hearing from friends and looking at weather maps, DC is getting soaked right now, lots of wind as well. I'm hoping The Nuke can work from home today, she works in DC.

    2. I went onto Virginia 511 a second or so ago, turned off the clutter and looked at some live traffic cameras.
      The Arlington area streets are wet, the cars kick up a bit of rooster tails, and the camera movement shows there is wind.
      You might be able to look at a traffic camera near her home or work.

    3. Just talked to her on the phone, she's on her way to the DC area. Doctor's appointment then work. She says the rain is heavy and there is some flooding in low spots on the highway. Reduced visibility but if one is careful it's okay.

      Still I'd rather she didn't have to go in...

    4. We got, at the Castillo de Frijoles, about an hour's worth of rain. Over 3 days. When the weather weenies predicted socked in cloud cover and heavy flooding.

      I don't trust the weather weenies anymore.

      As a side note, was watching Discovery channel coverage of the splashdown (no, I won't ever do that again, I'll tie up a combonculator instead) and the idiot 'host' and one of the talking-head real gosh-darned astronauts were talking about the weather conditions at the splash-down point. At which the real gosh-darned astronaut said something like "I can't believe Florida is getting hit by a hurricane on the east coast and we have perfect weather and smooth ocean on the west coast." Um, NASA dude, that's like over 400 miles from center of tropical storm Iaiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiou to Pensacola waters. People forget how long and how wide Florida is, especially if driving even from Miami to P-cola, let alone Key West to P-cola.

      And we send these people into space?

    5. Weather has too many variables to reliably predict anything specific over any number of days. I bring up the weather radar, check precipitation and wind direction, check out various of the webcams that are out there, and maybe, just maybe I can figure out what's coming in the next 6 to 12 hours. Maybe.

      Those who model the weather, wizards if they get it right one time in a hundred.

  2. Ya....."it is said"....when that comes out I flash back to Games of Thrones ..."It is known!" Good reason for "Road Trip!" You're tasked with delivering precious cargo, that mileage is a good length to break in Big Girl too. Don't worry about your replies to the daily comments, it's called life and life has friction at times......meh. That vid, been awhile last I last watched that movie, time to rectify that.

    1. That movie is one of my favorites!

    2. "It is said," "It is known," "We know that," all are lies. No. Just because you repeat a lie a thousand thousand times doesn't make it truth, unless you are gullible or stupid or are pushing an agenda.

    3. And we don't know any people like that, do we? /sarc

  3. I had a very hard time watching that flick. Some movies are just a bit too real. I've lost hearing from loud bangs, and that scene was very unsettling. Very close to my actual experience. Time started to slow a bit. I don't know why, but I can immerse in even a so-so movie.

    I've recently been accused of being "terse" at work. Leta Fae Arnold taught me to edit out the fluff, and make it tight. If it fits in my head, it's like I've known it all my life. My emails are tight, because I'm writing them. My texts aren't quite telegrams, but close. I get wordy on the webs, cause the format tends to require complete thoughts with a little color to make it smooth.

    Yeah, I sheared off a tooth with a durn hotdog once, not because I WAS an ice eater.. nope. Got a gold tooth, same price as a ceramic crown. I didn't want anymore maintenance, and the doc said that was the way to go. When she finished it up, I said, "Well that's the last time that will be cold until I am." She looked a bit misty eyed. I guess she never thought about it like that. It hides way back there, until I smile real big, then there is a twinkle.

    Safe travels, and praying the spur will come easily and be healthy as a horse. And mom and dad won't pop from pride.

    Spurious Emission: An unintended product of signals mixing, that is not adequately attenuated by filtering or shielding. Usually causes unintended interference to desired signals. i.e. a baby.

    1. I first watched that movie in a theater full of active duty military and dependents. It was dead silent throughout, lots of thoughtful people at the end. It's a hard watch but rather faithful to reality. Not everyone gets to go home.

      Thanks for the best wishes on the impending arrival.

  4. R&R is good. The Nuke got a name for the tyke? You're doing a fine job on the series. I have wondered if there might coincide formations left from the Great War (the war to end all wars) with 'current' events in the episodes.

    It is correct to say magazine for the clip is a loading device...for loading the magazine. Ergo, only the mag can be emptied by firing. Sorry.

    1. Robert Ryan... Robert for my Dad (it's also a very popular name in my family) and Ryan for my son-in-law. By all accounts the pregnancy is going well.

      I can't say what will happen in future episodes as I'm never really sure until I do some research, then start writing.

      Concur on the clip/magazine thing. Nothing to be sorry for there.

  5. AF - I have found that when I write I very easily get ahead of my characters and facts if I am not careful - the fact that you are effectively writing this on the fly and yet so close to correct in so many ways is a source of wonder to me. I would just write off the "inaccuracies" to the fog of war - confusing for those involved, but confusing for those of us writing so long after the events as well.

    I hope the drive goes well. I am looking at another trip back to Old Home this weekend and will suitably masked up and contact free/wiping myself down with disinfectant before I see anyone else.

    1. It's easy to get ahead of oneself, hard to correct once committed to digital paper!

      Keeping extensive notes is the only way I can stay on track. I also have some good websites to go to for facts and dates.


  6. Good post, good break from the rigors of war.
    Enjoy the road trip, it really is a far more prudent option than flying.

    I bet that other superb historical fiction writers (e.g. Shaara's "Killer Angels") go through a very similar process. It takes real talent to check all the boxes to even get into the game, then a lot of hard work to end up with a gripping, and reasonably factual story. Keep up the good work.

    And, you are certainly welcome to exercise literary license when choosing between the popular magazine or pedantic clip description. ;-)
    John Blackshoe

    1. I love it - "choosing between the popular magazine or pedantic clip description".

      I'm looking forward to the road trip!

    2. Isn't 'clip' the popular description??? But those who worry about those terms in most cases have nothing better to do other than be pedantic. Heck, I'd just write, "Sgt. Smith emptied his rifle at the Krauts and performed a speed tactical emergency reload, then shot some more of the enemy." Or something similar. No need to mention clip, magazine, ping or pong. And definitely concur that after the Krauts have been shooting a bunch, and our guys have been shooting a bunch, especially if that shooting has been in house to house mode. i.e., indoors, nobody's going to be hearing muc h of anything for a while, much less a 'ping'.

    3. Heh. Now I feel this strange compulsion to use "speed tactical emergency reload" in one of the episodes.

  7. Last tooth I had worked on, I split a tooth in half. Both halves stayed in, and I was able to wiggle them back and forth, open and closed. But, yeah, it got time to be serious about it.

    So I went to friendly neighborhood dentist. Who was... okay, not as good as the last dentist I saw (who had nice small hands... unlike my orthodontist back in the day who had mitts.) She thought I was joking when I said if I had had a pair of bent-needle nose pliers I might not be sitting in the chair. I was dead serious, but since my teeth have had a history of fracturing deep in the root when releasing or being pulled, I submitted to the dentist. And the two halves came out with little fuss and no broken root parts.

    Man, I felt I wasted that money. I could have gone to Home Depot, Lowes or the local hardware store and paid $15.00 or so for a great pair of bent-needle nose pliers (hey, if you're going to operate on yourself, use quality tools...) Mrs. Andrew was the only thing keeping me from trying.

    Glad The Nuke is downloading. The world needs more genius cute children. Pictures or it didn't happen.

    You might consider just driving around for 20-30 minutes a day, as driving seems to reset your mind, and you really haven't had a serious reset since the stupidity started.

    Won't even touch on what Barr had to endure. There's a reason rope, tar and feather are traditional ways of encouraging good service from politicians.

    Enjoy what rain you get. It's good for her flowers.

    1. The Missus Herself and I often, as in nearly every day, go out and about in the voiture to escape the friendly confines of the domicile and see what there is to see.

      Drove down to the Atlantic coast (tip of Newport) on Sunday, tide was up, angry sea wave spume coming over the sea wall. Most magnificent, I did remember to rinse Blue down with fresh water after we got home, She did get slightly salty down on the coast.

      It was awesome.

  8. On our move from Kalifornia to Texas, I drove the 22ft Ryder diesel. About the time we crossed into New Mexico, I decided to snack on a PayDay candy bar. Chewing my second mouthful, as I opened my jaw, the caramel stuck to one of my bottom right molars and pulled a chunk right off the top. Added entertainment at 65 mph with a fully loaded truck. Fortunately no pain or other adverse effects. That tooth had an old cavity filled with silver. Silver stayed in place.

    Finally found a local dentist we like, so early this year had him fix it with a Zirconia crown.

    Sarge, you did just fine with the M1 clip. I'm sure you've heard the old line, "Some folks will bitch even if you hung 'em with a new rope".

    1. Dental problems are a bother, I've had my share over the years. Fortunately the enamel on my teeth is, rather like my head, rather hard.

  9. On the M1 I suppose you could call the internal part of the action that holds the shells the "magazine" but I had always believed that a magazine was the detachable portion that holds the shells. A clip is just a strip that holds the shells until they are loaded. I think though that is the traditional definition of a magazine - even a battleship had a magazine, where the shells are stored.

    Anyway that's my take.

    I once emailed English author Ken Follet - I had finished one of his books - they are all page turners. I had finished Hornet Flight and asked him how he writes such good novels.

    What I do remember is that he replied that he was painstakingly through in making an outline.

    The resulting book was simply fleshing out the outline.

    Incidentally you'd like Hornet Flight, too...


    I think your series is great!

    1. Detachable magazine is a modern concept, you're too used to M-14s and M-16s! 😉

      I haven't read Hornet Flight, looks like I need to. Ken Follet is a favorite!

    2. Just to let you know , there is a group of 20 or 30 of us who wait with baited breath for every next episode of your D-Day series.
      Many comments about how this is the best stuff on the web.
      Lots of current and Vietnam vets in the group and they love to read about their fathers war.
      You done good here OldAFSarge.
      One person mentioned that even though he has an extensive list of reading, videos and movies about WWII , he had never run across the term BUTTERBAR....
      Education is a good thing.

    3. Glad to know you folks are enjoying my scribblings!

      I learn new things all the time from my readers, nice to return the favor.

      You all keep reading, I'll keep writing.

      Thank you much!

  10. Good to hear you're enjoying the new vehicle. We traded in my Jeep (sob-sob!) on a new Chevy Colorado, and it's the nicest "truck" I've been in.

    I've seen interviews with WWII vets that said you couldn't hear the PING from a Garand en-bloc clip being ejected during a firefight. I've also heard stories of GI's keeping an empty to toss out to lure the Krauts into sticking their heads up, but I call BS on that one. It PINGS when it ejects, not when it hits the ground.

    1. I read your account of the new vehicle search, I think you chose well. She's a right pretty truck!

      Yeah, sounds like one of this "it is said" stories.

    2. It is said that the Sherman was the most dangerous tank to it's own crew.

      And we know how that 'truth' turned out.

  11. Damn, I'm glad I live in a free state. I haven't missed a day of work since the 'tardemic started. Those of you in the enslaved states have my sympathy.
    In case anybody's considering relocating, the weather in the free states is horrendous--tornadoes, sauna-like humidity, oppressive heat, & besides that, all the land is taken up. Really beastly places to be. I don't know why we benighted folk stay here.
    We have snakes, too. Lots & lots of snakes.
    --Tennessee Budd

    1. Ah, but I haven't lost a single day. I get to work from home when possible. I go to the lab when there is classified work to be done, which isn't every day.

      Yeah, it's hot down there, bugs, storms, snakes, and the like. But I've spent a few months (in the summer) on the Gulf Coast and up 'round Rapides Parish as well. I've sweltered in Virginia and sweated in Texas. But here's the thing, you can get used to that sort of thing. I just can't get used to Leftism. Think of us as a Fifth Column, biding our time to retake the places under the heel of the demons.

    2. Hey Budd, you ain't just a woffin'!! I tried to find 5 acres down here, and 30 G's and acre!!! What the heck! If it can't scratch you, bite you or poison you, it won't grow down this way. I can't figure out why this dirt is so expensive...

    3. Perhaps the cost is high to Prevent the carpetbaggers from returning?

    4. Could be, Sarge--did I mention the kudzu?
      Glad you took it in jest, as it was intended.
      --Tennessee Budd

    5. I remember the kudzu, very well!

      (And the fire ants and the mosquitoes...)

  12. So happy for you, Song, Nuke and Tuttle! That's quite a legacy you have behind you and the missus- 3 kids and a whole passel of Grandkids. Good that they wasted no time, as raising kids is rewarding as you well know, but tiring too!

    As for your daily blogging, you are the most creative person I know, day in day out, with Mondays off and the very rare Tuesday. I'm sure it's a challenge. Consider what Lex did, pose a question, or a photo, or a story, and let us discuss.

    1. By the way, what's the best time to get your tooth fixed? Tooth hurty.

    2. Tuna #1 - I'm very proud of the brood, succeeding as they have despite the old man's best efforts to turn them into airmen.


    3. Tuna #2 - ASAP, you let it go too long and you could get an abscess, if it gets infected you might be talking root canal.

      Go to your dentist now!

    4. I think your tooth is affecting your sense of humor. ;)

    5. OMG.

      Your comment made no sense, until I went back and reread the comment. Tooth. Hurty. Now I get it...

      There are days when I should have stayed in bed.



    6. According to my dear wife, the geniuses among us have trouble with recognizing plebeian humor. Her acronym is TSFW - too stupid for words ... most of my jokes and stories get labelled as such by her, ergo her status as genius is confirmed. You are in august company, Sarge!
      (And she really is a genius, I never said otherwise, right?) (no, she really is...)

  13. speaking of dentists and plebeian humor, did you know the toothbrush was invented in Kentucky? If it had been invented anywhere else, it would have been called a teethbrush....
    Have an appointment with my oral surgeon on Thursday to make sure the last extraction has healed enough to place an implant, right next to the one I had done last year. Ugh, my body ids finding creative ways to tell my I'm getting old....
    I am still dragging my feet on a new car. My old beloved 2001 Audi is very hard to get rid of since I can't really replace it - there are damn few cars with a manual transmission anymore, and I very much prefer to shift gears using a clutch instead of a toggle switch of some kind. I'll probably have to suck it up before too long and get something, maybe an SUV since my recent long drives haven't been as comfortable in a car as they used to be. But I'll miss shifting gears as I hit the brakes and accelerate off the apex of a corner/curve on a twisty road. Sigh...

    1. I used to love driving a manual transmission. Then I tried to teach The Missus Herself how to do that, and failed, miserably. All automatics ever since.


    2. Flappy Paddles? I hear the guys on Top Gear rave about them but I've never seen a car with them. I loved my manual BMW but it was hell going into the I-5/805 merge everyday where my last mile home turned very ugly and could easily have resulted in multiple clutch failures. I was however, way too smart to even think of trying to teach my new wife to drive stick. My car was my car and she could drive the Jetta.
      I kind of miss the Exile in Portales. He was always correcting my misuse of commas. I think he had a comma stipend.

    3. Never driven a Flappy Paddles, not even sure how they work, but I don't need to, further research may be done just to satisfy my curiosity.

      Yes, Buck was a stickler for proper comma placement.

  14. I think we referred to them as 'stripper clips' but it was long ago and far away.
    I took Lex and Mary to dinner one night in Del Mar along with a few others from the old blog with the sincere intent to get Lex to write the book. I had two perfectly good authors to chivy him along and instead all they did was talk about their honeymoon in France. The two live next door to me now in metroparkcentralis. If you need some advice, you and the missus are invited to dinner anytime. We'll go out for sushi or something. It might be BBQ. I don't think Megan likes sushi. You'd never know it of people who lived in Newport, RI for two years but in my entire life my mother never cooked a fish and we seldom went out for fish even in Newport which is strange because her parents left Carlisle every year for over 60 years and went to Thunder Bay, Canada to fish.
    I don't know if you ever read it but I did. You wrote about cheat sheets and it rang a bell. Sienkiewicz wrote Fire on the Steppe and the whole trilogy as serials in a magazine and kept a cast of thousands in his head as he wrote the Trilogy. Won a Nobel Prize for literature he did. Me? I have to write them down or refer to the Dramatis Personae.
    Delighted to hear about the increasing size of the family. My best wishes for a delightful grandchild. Take good care of yourself. You want to be able to play your role in the family saga as outlined by grandparents everywhere.

    1. Last year at a gathering in Alexandria I heard from Mary that two books were in the works. "Rhythms" would finally see the light of day and an anthology of Lex's best posts was also planned. That was a year ago, haven't heard anything since. But it sounded very definite.

      If I kept all that stuff in my head I'd go nuts, I make enough mistakes as it is when I do keep a cheat sheet!

      For many years the only "fish" I'd eat were shellfish, tuna, and swordfish. Wouldn't touch anything like fish and chips. Now my tastes have expanded, probably because The Missus Herself is a wizard in the kitchen. I still shy away from the bonier varieties of fish, I don't like to work that hard eating something. (I do lazy lobster, I don't like fighting with them either!)

      Offer on dinner noted, if I ever get to MetroParkCentralis again. Drove past a long, long time ago in the dead of night, during a snow storm on a non-stop epic drive from Colorado to Vermont. I was much younger then...

    2. I shared my room in the clinic in Vail nursing my busted leg with a guy from Pittsburgh. His friends came to get him the next morning after he had the IM rod pounded into his leg and his arm straightened. They were all getting into a car and driving home to Pittsburgh in time to be at work the next day. Different universes.
      Brig sent me the hard copy of Rhythms and a coin and stuff. It resides right next to my fifth book. He would have had so much fun with this election season.

    3. I cannot begin to imagine what he would have to say for the last eight years. Things are getting progressively crazier and I would have loved to read his take on things.

      It's a target-rich environment.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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