Saturday, March 14, 2020

Old Vet Meets Younger Vet While at Walmart

In the current idiotic climate of assholes panicking and hoarding, I had to go to a second Walmart today to see if I could get some things that we couldn't find at the other grocery store. I went in on the pharmacy end, and grabbed a grocery cart, and started walking down the main aisle--where the registers are--toward the grocery department. As I went into that first turn,
I looked up and saw about 30 feet in front of me a man in his late 70's pushing a cart toward me, with his wife next to him looking at the ladies clothes, and man, did i not know that glassy eyed look he had, as he just blankly looked ahead and pushed the cart as she shopped. I noticed on the man's head was an Army Korean War Veteran ball cap. As we were about to pass one another, I saw him turn and lock eyes with me, and I remembered my own hat, and realized he was looking my Combat Medic ball cap (see the photos) and right as we approached one another, he gripped the cart with his far hand, and leaned toward me, smiled and put his closest fist out. I smiled back, and put my own fist out, just as we passed one another we fist bumped.

Go Army!

Highlight of my fucking week.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

That Time A Hippie Thanked An Army Vet

     Like many Veterans, I am always caught off guard when someone thanks me for my service.

     A few months back,I was in my local Walmart grabbing a few things, and was walking down the sauce and dressing aisle, when I happened to pass a young hippie looking couple with their house dress with flip-flop wearing grandmother. As they were about to pass me, the young hippie dude suddenly reached out and grabbed me by my arm, and said, "sir?" I stopped, turned, and clenched my fists thinking, "Welp, shit...gonna have to beat a hippie to death, today." But, I quickly realized he wasn't starting a fight. I looked at him and said, "Yeah?" He then reached out his other hand to shake mine, and continued, "I want to thank you for your service, sir."

1. I'm really funny about shaking hands...germs and shit.
2. I was flummoxed in how the fuck this guy knew I was a Vet!

But, despite my OCD, I'd rather get germs than be rude, so, I shook his hand...I nodded, and said, "It was my honor. Thank you for letting me serve."

He, the little hippie wife, and their grandmother, moved along down the aisle smiling. While I continued walking the opposite direction down the aisle. The hand he shook was gripped tightly, so I didn't accidentally touch my face with it. I kept looking back at them as I neared the end, and as soon as I turned the corner and lost site of them I brought my hand out of my pocket, held it i9n the air like a surgeon, and made a mad dash towards the bathroom. I was also still befuddled over how he knew I was a Vet, as I raced toward the bathroom.

Once in the bathroom I began scrubbing my hand with soap and hot water. At some point I glanced up at my reflection in the mirror. My eyes moved to the top of my head where I saw that I was wearing my U.S. Army Veteran hat.

 I laughed, shook my head at myself, and thought, "You fucking idiot." 🖖😂

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Erma Bombeck-esque story about my daughter "accidentally" trying to kill me

Rough week. Yesterday was the worst, which started off the night before, when Zoe announced she would be unavailable for an hour, as she was taking a bath. You know, with all the lady oils and shit in the water. Then she apparently only did a cursory rinsing of the tub afterward. Leaving a wonderful surprise for me, the next morning, which was yesterday morning, as I went to take my morning shower. As I put my left foot down, I felt something viscous. So I shifted my left foot more center tub as I brought my left foot in. However, I knew, as my right foot came into the shower, for certain, I was in serious trouble. I had stepped into what can only be described as a thin layer of snot, and as my right foot tried to find its balance, I was going down.

What happened next was all in some weird kind of slow motion. My body slammed into the shower curtain, and I started thinking, Wow. So this is how I go out. Killed by my daughter's laziness. I was now caught up in the curtain, like a dolphin in fishing net.I hear the sounds of the curtain rod ripping from its anchors in the wall. Oh, good, I thought, I didn't hit my head on the toilet. Oh, shit...the door frame! I slammed hard on the floor, on the flat of my back, and shifted my eyes, and looked to my right, as I did, seeing I'd just missed the door frame, as my head smacked, thankfully, outside the bathroom, on the carpeted floor. Everything that could go right, when something goes horribly wrong, had happened.
I lay there for a few minutes, staring at the ceiling fan, motionless, all swaddled in my shower curtain cocoon. I wasn't freaked out. I just sat there, getting angry. At what? I'll tell you, I was growing angrier, by the second, at Zoe.

Then I realized, I better calm down and check if I was damaged. I moved my feet first, then my head. Good, no spinal injury.

I reached up and grabbed my phone, sitting only inches from me. I opened messenger and began sending texts to Zoe. After about a dozen quick messages, of which ended with one brief "Thank you for trying to kill me, AND establishing your alibi of being at work when it happened. Well played." Of course I was joking. But, I was in an angry frame of mind and my humor is known for being very cutting when I'm in a bad mood.

Then, just as I hit send on that last message, Zoe calls me. I answer the phone, still lying like a burrito, wrapping in a shower curtain. I answer, "Yes? Zoe? HELLO?" Nothing. She butt dialed me. I hung up. Then, I decided I better get up. I rolled over and out of the curtain, stood up, feeling like I'd been hit in the back by a baseball bat. I'eve been hit by a bat, in the back, so I know the frame of reference. I walk out, naked, into the living room, and plop down on the sofa.

The phone rings again. It's Zoe calling again.

I answer, "Yes? Are you there?"
She replies, "Yes," and then begins to yell at me, "Why are you calling me? You know I'm at work!"
Me, "I didn't call you. You called me."
Zoe, "No, I meant the call before this."
Me, "That was you, as well. You butt dialed me after I sent you a bunch of texts."
Zoe, "Oh. Well, okay. I saw those. But, I have to go. I'm at work."
Me, "Okay. Well, again, thanks for trying to kill me."
Zoe, "I'm really sorry, dad. I really am, but I have to go."
Me, "Okay. I'll see you when you get home. Unless you have any more hidden elaborate traps that will do me in, before you get home."
Zoe, "No. I don't! I love you. Bye."
Me, "Yaaay, a win for me. Love you, too. Bye."

The rest of the day was really boring shit. So, I end the story there.

Today is Zoe's birthday. She's 18. I will make her a cake. But, I am going to be doing it both in pain, AND in protest. I told her, "If you try killing me again, just so you know, you will now be tried as an adult. So. You should know that."

She laughed.

That is all.

Monday, September 26, 2016


In the late 1980's, I worked at the Stafford Courthouse Seven-Eleven, in Virginia. I loved working the graveyard shift, because the most interesting people came in.

One night, just before midnight, I had a 16 year old kid and about four of his friends roll in, and they grabbed some sodas and come to the counter. He took the lead as first in line, plopping two sodas down on the counter in front of me. I smiled and asked him, "will that be all?"

He replied politely, "No. I'd like to get a pack of condoms."

I turned toward the rack we had behind the counter, and asked, "Any preference?"

He looked a bit sheepish, but replied with, "What's the largest ones you got?"

His friends started laughing. He turned and smacked one in the chest, and told them, "Knock it off, man."

Well, to say the least, I was amused by the request. So I felt a need to take this a bit further, and said, "Well a popular large condom are called Magnums. But, if you're really packing, you might want the Hefty Man brand."

The kid said, "Okay. I'll take those." I reached down bellow the counter, and grabbed them and brought the "Hefty Man brand" up and dropped it on the counter, in front of the kid.

He and his friends all had this weird look on their faces, as they looked at the large roll of what was actually just a roll of black Hefty trash bags that we kept behind the counter— for when we needed to change out the coffee station trashcans— so,I quickly bellied up to the register, and said, "That'll be $12.98 for the Hefty Man condoms, plus $1.20 for the sodas. Don't forget to use the built in drawstring to catch and lock-in all your man sauce."

The friends cracked up, and the kid laughed, despite being a bit red in the face.

I then just sold him the Magnums, though he most likely just needed regular size. Well, the word "need" is stretching things a bit.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Veterans Day Special: Bravo 4-10 vs. The Latrine

A Veterans Day Special
Bravo 4-10 vs. The Latrine

In the military we were all trained to improvise and overcome any given situation. I was with Bravo 4-10, back in 1990, and during our weapon's training, we'd been marched for about a half hour or more, out into the middle of Fort-Lost-In-The-Woods, where we actually lost someone who stopped to piss along the way. Because of the risk of the missing soldier accidentally wandering across one of the firing lanes, we were then ordered to sit and wait in the hot Missouri summer sun until they found the missing recruit.

After what seemed an eternity, and with chow and a canteen of water already passed through our systems, we were allowed to use one of the antiquated WW II latrines that had been all but forgotten, out in the middle of the black widow and recluse spider infested Mark Twain National Forest. I believe this old wooden relic, with it's back to back solid row of wooden toilet seats, not individual seats, but one long hollow wooden box with about 20 or more holes cut into the top of each, that dropped our waste into some horrifying toxic mixture down below that we could not see, but only smell. The smell of the place could be picked up almost a click out, and once we saw it, it filled us all with dread. It was old, like something from a Sam Raimi horror film. There were no lights inside, just the sunlight coming through the door and any cracks in the rook that was in great disrepair. If I could compare the odor to anything, it stank of not only old and new shit and urine, but also like death.
People were dry heaving before even entering and everyone was trying to hold their breaths to go in. A few threw up. Those of us in charge, the squad leaders, could see the Drill Sergeants were enjoying this new kind of torture, watching us all with great amusement. I knew it was my moral obligation to share with the guys my improvised solution to the problem. I told my guys to pull out our M40 pro-masks...or as civilians would call them "Gas Masks." We put them on, cleared them and, lead the charge of the second wave going in. once others saw what we were doing, especially those inside, began scrambling to put their masks on as well. 

Suddenly everyone calmed down and were able to navigate the situation with calm.

Of course, being me, I had to announce, "Now all we have to worry about is getting our asses and balls bit by black widows hiding under the seats."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


As I recall, I met Gypsy and her mother Dee Dee Blanchard for the first time in 2011, at Visioncon, a popular scifi and comic convention in Springfield, Missouri. I was there to promote my new book for IDW, Code Word: Geronimo. What could I say about them? They were friendly, cordial, Dee was a kind and attentive mother, and Gypsy was a loving elfish, if not more bird like little girl seeminlgy bound to her wheelchair. But, as I and thousands of others who thought they knew this mother and daughter duo, learned today that not all was at it seems. In fact, today, when the Green County Sheriff's commander spoke, he used those exact words to describe the situation that has tragically and most horrifically unfolded over the last several days.

It began for most of us on Sunday, when pple close to Dee Dee and Gypsy had  reported both of them as missing. No one had seen them since the previous Wednesday, June 10th. Then, Sunday afternoon, someone mysteriously posted on Dee's facebook page "The bitch is dead." and an hour later, "The girl's dead too."

Then, after a search of the house, it was reported that Dee Dee's body was found. She'd been brutally stabbed to death in her bed. The mind just went slack. What? This woman, to my knowledge had not one enemy in the world. She was always kind and friendly. What the fuck happened?! I must have wept for an hour, when I saw the news. My daughter sa, in shock herself, and rubbed my back, trying to help her old dad feel better. But, everyone of us who knew them were all terrified of what had become of the young helpless Gypsy. We all feared the worst.

I spoke with my friend, author Shane Moore, a retired, and decorated police detective from Illinois. He spoke the words none of us wanted to, but were all secretly thinking; "What if Gypsy had something to do with her mother's murder? What if she posted those messages on facebook to mislead people and make them think she was dead? Sure, what Shane said comes off as cynical, but, like all of us, he hoped that wasn't the case. He just knew that things weren't adding up.

Then relief came, that Gypsy had been found in Wisconsin, with the young man that law enforcement believed had committed the murder. But, as the hours passed that relief turned to even more horror, as those words Shane had spoke came true. Gypsy was now no longer a rescued daughter but charged with helping murder her own mother.

We also learned that Dee and Gypsy had scammed people for years, that Gypsy was never disabled or bound to a wheelchair at all. She was not as young as we'd been led to believe, either. Not a teen, but a twenty something. She didn't require the oversized glasses that made her look so diminutive. 

Though we are far from knowing or understanding what lead to this calamity. What we do know is that on June 10th, a young man Gypsy had met online, came to get her. Then, according to police, Gypsy handed the young man a knife and told him to kill her mother. And while police collect their evidence, all the rest of us will sit in wonder, shaking our heads, trying to wrap our minds around what has happened, and questioning our ability to know good people when we see them.

In the mean time, I took all the videos of Gypsy and me chatting together over the years while at Visioncon, and I deleted them all today. I want no mementos of her.  Any good memories are tarnished, fractured, unclean.  Because I was one of those people taken in by the facade. Now, I only want to just move on, and let it all go. And who am I? I am no one. Just one more peripheral player, perhaps one voice in the Greek chorus, or more likely just one more member of the audience of this macabre play, who watched a favorite character be turned into a villain. The heart breaks, man. It just breaks, and all you can do is hope something will happen to make it stop hurting. So, I write this blog tonight as a catharsis. Because, as my friend John Del Vecchio said to me once, and I paraphrase, "once you write something down that happened to you. You don't own it anymore. You've let it go."

Here's to letting shit go.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I found the following very interesting.

"You’ve probably heard ads saying that milk is extremely good for you, but is there any truth to this? Trace reveals some evidence that milk might not be all it’s hyped up to be.

Go to to get a FREE Audiobook of your choice when you sign up today.

Read More:
3 Servings of Milk a Day Linked to Higher Mortality in Women
“Drinking three or more glasses of milk per day may be harmful to women's health, a new study suggests.”

Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies
“During a mean follow-up of 20.1 years, 15 541 women died and 17 252 had a fracture, of whom 4259 had a hip fracture. In the male cohort with a mean follow-up of 11.2 years, 10 112 men died and 5066 had a fracture, with 1166 hip fracture cases.”

Heavy milk drinking may double women’s mortality rates
“Despite delivering calcium and protein, drinking a lot of milk doesn’t seem to provide a net health benefit for women and may even hinder their long-term survival prospects, Swedish researchers find.”

New study claims milk increases risk of death, cancer - but an expert says the findings are flawed
“Analyzing more than 61,000 women and 45,000 men, Swedish researchers found that women who drank three or more glasses of milk every day had nearly two times the risk of death and heart disease, and a nearly 44% increased risk of cancer, compared to women who drank less than one glass a day.”

Milk loving Swedes could suffer from high intake
“It might be time to forget all you have heard about milk increasing your bone strength.”

Milk may be linked to bone fractures and early death
“‘Drinking more than three glasses of milk a day may not protect bones against breaking – and may even lead to higher rates of death,’ the Mail Online reports.”

Famine may have driven evolution of milk tolerance
“Most of us grew up drinking milk. We were told it was the ultimate health drink. It is packed full of nutrients like calcium and other minerals, vitamins, including vitamin D, protein, fat and sugar in the form of lactose.”

Got Milk? You Don’t Need It
“Drinking milk is as American as Mom and apple pie.”

Got Proof? Lack of Evidence for Milk’s Benefits
“There is no biological requirement for cow's milk. It is nature's perfect food, but only if you are a calf.”

Yes, You Can Still Eat Cheese And Be Healthy. Here’s How
“We love cheese in all its many iterations. Halloumi, paneer, mozzarella, burrata, cheddar, blue, brie ... the list goes on.”"