Wednesday, September 1, 2021

​Fooling Mother Nature


According to C.W. Hawes, writing in Tag: Writing for Men, “Male readers prefer, for the most part, the genres of adventure, humor, horror, and science fiction. They also tend to shy away from books that are focused on relationships (such as romance).” Anytime I see a writer use initials instead of a full name, I assume the writer simply doesn’t want to be categorized by gender, a practice used for many years by women who didn’t want to be excluded or belittled by a male-dominated industry.

I assume C.W. is also British as C.W. uses the term “throw a spanner,” which few Americans understand. (spanner is a British term for an open-end wrench). Many male Americans my age can sing the lyrics to Dire Straits’ Industrial Disease without knowing what was thrown, but is that a sign men don’t read? Maybe they just don’t read what women read.

First, C.W. Hawes is male, and second, he is not British. Born in Ohio, he now lives in Texas. I have no idea why he used spanner, but I’m sure it fit the need. When Joanne Rowling published her first book, the publishers decided to use initials instead of her real name. This was to disguise her being a female so the Harry Potter novels would appeal to a young, male audience, who the publishers had decided would be the primary market. Joanne is now known to the entire world as J.K. Rowling. Many of her readers do not know her first name.

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman,” wrote Virginia Woolf. So, have we gone half-cycle? Do male authors need to use abbreviations now just to get an agent to call back? One of my favorite writer’s magazines - yes, I have a subscription – lists a current issue’s article’s authors as: Jera, Catherine, Kara, Sharon, Whitney, Amy, Cassandra, Barbara, Estelle, Sadie, Kristie, and Robert.

I don’t have the figures for the book publishing universe about gender diversity, but the realm of writing, editing and marketing has flash-banged into a new reality. I wonder how Tom Clancy would have broken into the Best Sellers lists if his books about submarines and warfare had been universally seen as insensitive or unemotional, basically considered unmarketable in today’s writing environment? Kind of smells too much like machine oil and grimy hands for today's book buying public?

I really think if a man had written Fifty Shades of Grey, he’d have been physically accosted and emotionally assaulted until he “crumbled asunder” in front of the “Me, Too!” movement. A man would have had to have hidden behind his initials just like the women used to do... Oh, wait a minute! E. L. James wrote the now famous, blog-inspired, self-published phenomena that jumped not just to the corporate publishing world, but the movies as well. Erika Mitchell, E.L James’s real name, just threw a wrench into the works. Or was it a spanner?

:)




Thursday, August 12, 2021

​Our “American” History

 


Ilse and I decided to visit the symbolic end of slavery in the United States and were awakened to the cruel reality that while slavery, the almost free use of labor that sustained the plantation style of the Confederacy, has in fact morphed before our very eyes and become a sadistic, vengeful retribution of defeat known today as racism.

Let me back up. We started our trip to reality by going to Charlottesville, Virginia, to see Monticello, the nationally revered plantation home of Thomas Jefferson, one of the creators of our Constitution, and third President of the United States. Unfortunately, the American rebirth of blatant racism blossomed in Charlottesville under President Donald Trump just four short years ago.

We planned on seeing Madison’s estate at nearby Montpelier first, on Tuesday, but it was closed, so we decided to drive the short distance to see Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, also on our “Patriot’s Tour,” instead.

Surprise, surprise, the average American has to scrape up a small bundle of dough to get in. This isn’t a National Monument open to the public as is the Smithsonian in Washington. There is a sliding scale for entrance, depending on what you want to see. While we expected nominal entrance fees, my wife and I were immediately repulsed by the excessive cost to see such a “National” treasure. The price of a forty-five minute guided tour of the main floor – and the basement of the homestead – was inconsistent with what we have experienced at other historic sites.

  https://www.monticello.org/visit/tickets-tours/monticello-pass/

My first reaction – and still is – Why are they so much more expensive than any other privately owned-historic site? It appears to be an excursion into history reserved for the affluent and not really a National resource available to all. According to their website, the attraction is run by “Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., which owns over 2,500 acres of Jefferson's 5,000-acre plantation. As a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, the Foundation receives no ongoing federal, state, or local funding in support of its dual mission of preservation and education.” There are extra costs to see the second and third floors, and additional costs to see the gardens. We simply felt like we were being taken advantage of using our patriotism and desire to immerse in our history to their financial profit.

We decided to forego visiting the house itself - after visiting the gift shop, of course – and hike the famous path from the bottom of the entrance and half-way up the trail, in a moment of enlightenment, decided to see where slavery ended instead. Not symbolically ended, but where the last shot was fired. We wanted to see where General Robert E. Lee surrendered. We decided to head south to Appomattox.

Our trip started innocently enough by simply asking Waze how to get there from where we were, and had the pleasure of one of the nicest drives of our vacation as we headed down the four-lane divided highway toward Lynchburg. Highway US 29 was a pleasant, easy ride until I was abruptly informed by our electronic master to turn left in three hundred feet. I was minding my manners, toodling along in the right lane, a Virginia State trooper just behind us checking out our out-of-state license plate, and had to brake for my unexpected left turn. Why are we taking State Road 739? The trooper went around us and we made our turn into unknown territory.

When we came to the one-lane railroad underpass that had a sign that read “One way traffic - Blow your horn!” we knew we were in rural Virginia. I was glad we weren’t towing our travel trailer as we slowly proceeded under the old railroad bridge that made my muse tap me on the shoulder. Where did it come from and where did it go? Was this the actual railroad that US Army General George Custer, a little further south, had intercepted the Confederate supply train that altered the course of the war?

The next thirty miles or so of twisty, backwoods, two lane road was a slow-motion thrill. The beauty of the area and the cleanliness and pride of the residents is worth a trip of its own. But, soon, I needed gas.

We pulled into the town of Appomattox, and drove past the gas station I wanted. We doubled back to fill up the gas tank. It isn’t a busy place. We checked our road map – yes, I use one religiously - and compared the local road signs that seemed to point off somewhere in that direction over there somewhere… and decided to go that way.

After one stop at a memorial marker on the top of a hill, we saw the main park entrance a half-mile away.

That's where the U.S. Park service recreated the Appomattox Courthouse and the surrounding buildings in 1964. The original buildings were burned down some thirty-five years after the war, but by whom is still a mystery. It seems from my personal research, this fits the time frame of the pinnacle of power of the resurgent Klan. Today it is called the Ku Klux Klan, but at its height of popularity forty years after the surrender at Appomattox it was simply called the Ku Klux.

The location at Appomattox is authentic, and the old stage coach road has been isolated and maintained as it once was. I’m sure the buildings look better than they did in 1865, but they only symbolically portray the image of the four-year long war’s conclusion that was unexpectedly thrust upon them in a world-shaping event.

Missing is the soul. I had no feeling of wonder there. The buildings are freshly painted and properly maintained. The grounds are immaculate. The Crepe Myrtles flower beautifully along the parking lot. But there is no overpowering feeling of remorse or sorrow, joy or triumph. It is simply there. The heart was burned out by the white supremacist's whose grandchildren marched four years ago in Charlottesville.

There is a gaping hole in our identity that we have yet to heal. It will take more than new buildings and fresh paint.









Friday, July 16, 2021

Appalled

 


(Written 7-30-2015)

Whoever thought a 72 year old, white American male would be appalled at the thought of an innocent, unarmed creature being lured, even taunted into a gruesome, unnecessary shooting death by a white, armed hunter.

Well, I am, and I don't understand the reaction of the rest of the world. No, I really don't understand why everyone mourns a lion lured to its death to satisfy someone’s ego as I do, but not the death of seventeen year old Trevor Martin, also lured and taunted by an armed adversary he didn’t know was stalking him. 

Maybe if Cecil had been a black lion with a hoodie instead of the ordinary, King of the Jungle type, nobody would care, just like they don't care about Americans killing innocent, unarmed blacks daily as if it were a field day. I am appalled. I am really appalled.

​Cloaks

 

Whoever thought invisibility cloaks could be a two-way mirror? I found recently they really as much of a problem as a blessing. 

I was introduced to a neighbor's son not too long ago, who within two minutes, told me he was a Navy Seal. Since I was active duty Air Force for over eight years, my AA alarm went off immediately. It hasn't gone off since 2012 when some barfly in Wildwood, Florida, told me he used to fly the airplane, which in fact was a cruise missile, we were removing from in front of his American Legion post.

The aircrew members, fleet commanders, weapons mechanics, launch officers, submariners, anyone who sat at a control panel with millions of tons of explosives literally inches, no, seconds, away from their control, were cloaked. They were cloaked by security procedures, and often by political situations as well. They sat in silence, often in boredom, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, shift after shift, startled, often terrified, when the klaxon horns went off. They did it for almost thirty years while cities, military bases, naval ports and airbases were dialed in as targets for the nuclear missiles that sat sixty feet above them. Are we practicing destroying the earth or our we really doing it this time? Is this real or another exercise that will stop just short of an actual launch? Did the Soviets really invade West Germany or did China roll into South Korea? Is Japan under attack or are we just pretending once again? You know, for practice.

Security cloaks did more than shield those who wore them from the anti-war pacifists and Soviet driven disinformation programs that continue unabated to this day. The cloaks allowed men and women to go home at night and lead almost normal lives.

Our nuclear power, not only at home but in Europe and the Far East as well, was the only possible way for us to offset the numerical superiority the military forces Communist regimes had aligned against us. Don’t believe me? You are among the majority of Americans who suffer from amnesia. You probably believe Captain American will sweep down and save us from malignant adversaries set on destroying our country. No, it was the guy next door.

So who wears the cloak now? Your neighbor who proudly boasts he was a Navy Seal or a Ranger? Probably not. More likely your neighbor is wearing the invisibility cloak inside out so it shimmers with glory. Forty years ago all the wannabe heroes I met while I was in the service were “Green Berets,” even though the majority of the braggarts I met didn’t even know what an MOS was. No, I’m not going to tell you. Today, thanks to media suffocation, most of the wannabes claim they are Navy Seals, even though you can tell by looking many of them couldn’t swim across their own bath tubs. Real Navy Seals cringe and the old timers just smile.

The idea of killing an enemy heroically with their bare hands has tangled a segment of our population in the cloak that protected the real warriors from mental anguish. Most who wore the cloak knew they would kill millions of people if the war order came. People they would never see.

The people who won the cold war sit next to you in restaurants and shop with you at Walmart. But you don’t know who they are and probably never will. They still wear the cloak. They wear it the way it was meant to be worn, not inside out. They don’t tell you what their job was.

You cannot conceive what the cloak-wearer’s finger tips represented to mankind. The first time a live nuclear weapon was delivered to my unit’s first operational launch bay, the launch crew Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC), who had trained with the same launch crew in the United States at the Tactical Missile Training School in Orlando and practiced for over a year with his crew on site, broke down and cried.

The operation was suspended as the maintenance and launch crews watched in stunned silence. Would the powers-that-be-pull the whole crew, or would they proceed replacing the only the overwhelmed crew chief? The operation was briefly interrupted, but soon finished by the book. It only took minutes before the entire crew adjusted and the insertion was completed.

There are the Cold Warriors you didn’t know were cloaked until they unexpectedly let it slip. It is understandable. They served every corner of the world the United States had military bases or Naval Fleets. Many units weren’t even acknowledged, such as the 498th Tactical Missile Group on Okinawa. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered the only Air Force nuclear missile unit in the Far East not be identified by name, only its initials.

I think that cloak today is nothing more than a revelation of our American society.

It is those who did, and those who want everybody to think they did.



Sunday, July 11, 2021

Of Puppies and Purple Skin

 


Puppies don’t have purple skin, at least not the ones that I know of, but I do. Not all my skin, just the parts exposed to the teeth and sharp claws of our daughter's new four-month old puppy. Puppies and purple skin are a visual reminder of how old people really are. Let me rephrase that: it is a sign of someone’s age. Old people really don’t like being called old. Unless they’re really, really old, then they’re like children who hold up fingers to show you how old they are.

The skin on my arm is not normally purple, I’m just incredibly sensitive to bruising and scrapes, a condition that comes with age. My wife, who also suffers from the same process known as “aging,” calls it “onion skin.” All it takes to turn our skin purple and scarred is a four-month old puppy that is a lot faster than we are. I know it’s fast: by the time I stoop over to pick it up, it’s in the next room.

I tried to convince myself I am as physically capable now as I was just a few decades ago. I know it isn’t true, but I do my best to maintain the myth that old age is just a state of mind when I know full-well that my daughter’s puppy has made our arms and hands look like we suffer from a major skin disease. No one in my daughter’s family suffers the effect of puppy teething like the two of us. Their arms look quite normal but, then again, being considerably younger, they don’t have “onion skin.” Besides, their reflexes make us look like we move in slow motion. The puppy probably thinks I am just another wiggly chew toy that squeaks. The louder I squeak, the more fun it is to chew!

I gave up climbing on the house roof a few years back when I realized I couldn’t swing my legs around and scamper down the familiar, aluminum ladder like the last time I was up there. Insecurity swept over me like a wave as I stood holding the ladder looking at the grass some twenty feet below me. I carefully, slowly, finally got a secure step on a ladder rung and climbed back down to reality. None of the natural abilities still exist from when I scampered up a cylindrical, aluminum tube only forty-four inches across but forty-feet long, mounted at a seventeen degree angle, in dim light with an Air Force tool bag in my hand. Wearing combat boots at that. Gone is the inherent sense of balance, the quickness, the absolute confidence that falling off a Mace missile into the launch bay below wasn’t going to happen.

I knew damn well I was about to fall off the roof, though. I remember thinking “If I get down from here in one piece, I’m not ever going back up another ladder!” Believe me, aging isn’t just a state of mind. My mind knew I was in a precarious situation that I had sorely underestimated. To paraphrase comedian Flip Wilson, I let my ego write a check my body couldn't cash. 

Our last dog died just over a year ago. Taz was a seventeen-year old Golden Retriever that had been a real test for us when he was only two years old, but our arms never looked like we rolled around in barbed wire. All our dogs developed into wonderful companions, each with its own personality, to become real members of our family. We know our daughter’s puppy will do the same for them. Someday, in a weak, quiet moment many years from now, long after the latest cute bundle of fur has passed on, they’ll probably say, “You know, we need a puppy…”

They may not have arthritis by then and maybe they might still be climbing up and down ladders. There is however, a real, real good chance they’ll get purple skin.



Friday, July 9, 2021

Writer Identification Guidelines

 


Being desperate to improve my writing, I downloaded a free writer’s guide advertised on the Internet as essential to succeeding financially as a writer. As soon as I read the second page, I realized I was inadvertently in the wrong dimension.

At my age, financial success is mainly based using coupons and careful redemption of my credit card bonus points. I’m retired and have no Pollyanna dreams of a garage full of Ferrari's or Lamborghini's just because my muse insistently nudged my virtually detached fingers onto a computer keyboard. I write compulsively even though I know I may be the only reader who enjoys my writing.

I will never be as successful as Joanne Rowling or Frank Spillane. Oh, sorry, that’s J. K. Rowling - 500 million copies - and Mickey Spillane – 225 million copies – who both triggered the precious “Gimme more!” response in their readers. I want to strike that nerve in millions of readers, too, but I’d do it for free. Well, almost free. That’s one difference between a desperate writer and a compulsive writer.

Don’t get me wrong, the free guide for copy-writing as a profession is an outstanding piece of work, invaluable if you want to write and still make mortgage payments, but it subtly defines the major differences between compulsive writers like me, usually untrained, and those who write because they are really good at it. They have been trained, most of them anyway, and usually at great financial expense or time. There are, however, more than a few autodidacted writers who have succeeded in the commercial or academic literary word. That’s what I am. No, not a successful writer, but an autodidact.

It’s the difference between reality and fantasy, the difference between vocation and avocation; the difference between work and a hobby. Yes, hobby, the money losing proposition you get to deduct from your Federal Income Taxes. Compulsive writing is as much like owning a bass boat or a hang-glider. I can’t think of a single professional hang glider pilot although professional bass fishing guides can do quite well. Most of those people are autodidacted. I can’t think of a single university that has a baccalaureate degree in sport fishing. Golf? Maybe, but not fly casting. Yet there are masters at fly casting. They are all autodidacted.

And therein lies the difference between the two types of writers: the ones who paid to learn how to write and the rest of us who hammer away anyway because we enjoy doing it. That’s the whole point of a writer's group: we amateurs and semi-pros get to compare notes and pretend we can get out of a new Corvette without embarrassing ourselves.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Bland

 

It finally dawned on me: the material was bland. Not mine, theirs. The finished, published material was bland. There was no flavor. None. Not even salt or pepper. Any hint of human creativity had been removed.

I submitted an article to a writers magazine for consideration and they in turn forwarded an electronic copy of their latest issue as a teaser for my possible subscription. I read bits and pieces of prior submissions and browsed through reviews of their material, but had never seen a full issue. I had hopes my writing would meet their criteria. By the time I finished, I had changed my mind. It appeared to me the entire collection had been cleansed with an antiseptic.

The stories and articles were without a hint of blood or sweat, ugh, sweat, but saturated with contrived, saline-level adjusted tears. Apparently tears lead to book sales. I wonder how many passes through a computer it took to find the specific words used to pull an unsuspecting reader into the carefully engineered, structured product that superficially appeared as ingenuous writing. Every piece in the collection could easily have been written by the same author, one who spoke precise, articulate English, rooted in Shakespearean grammar, with access to a large, unlimited thesaurus.

There were seven separate articles written by seven different writers in an anthology that ignited my epiphany. I had never read any of the seven writers beforehand so I had no idea what to expect from any of them, except one thing: I expected them to all be different. The subjects and styles were all different and even the genres were a cross section of any good readers magazine, but by the time the articles were printed and got to me, they had been homogenized and cleansed of any personality. They were all quite sanitary and boringly bland. Musicians restricted to only one tempo or rhythm, regardless of how many notes they play, may soon find their restricted music lacks universal appeal, and yet I write this knowing full well there are people who listen to Baroque endlessly.

What were the stories like before they were force-fed through the corporate/academic process that produced the anthology? At least several stories had great premises and plots. Only one, however, had any characters I’d turn the page to know more about. I knew all I wanted to know about most of them in the first paragraph or two.

There are myriad ways, you know ten thousand ways… No, wait, is it a myriad of ways? No, I’m using the word myriad as a adjective, not a noun. Right? My muse is getting an upset stomach.

How about, “there are many” ways to spend my time that are more exciting than reading contrived, improbable but somehow remarkably familiar stories that all fit the mold of salable material delivered with the conciseness of a surgeon and the empathy of a robot. Or is it the other way around?

The Internet is down right now, so I’m out of literary antiseptic.





Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Still TPC

 


Anyone remember the antagonist – bad guy – in the movie “The President’s Analyst?” Does anyone at least remember the movie? It starred James Coburn as a secret agent who proved TPC was responsible for trying to take over the world. James Coburn, you know, the switchblade throwing cowboy in the Magnificent Seven? Well, this isn’t going as I planned.

If your memory is in the cloud and the Internet is down, TPC was going to implant Cerebrum Communicators in everybody’s brain and, well, I’m sure you know where that led. The plot is easily found on Wikipedia and other Internet sources, so if you plan on writing your Master’s Thesis on conspiracy theories, make sure you cite your sources accurately. You may have recalled by now TPC stood for The Phone Company.

TPC was the same group who sent an unmarked car with two of its people to my next door neighbor on SW 36th Street in Miami one evening in 1958. Jim C. was caught cheating TPC because he had surreptitiously installed a second telephone in his bedroom but hadn’t declared it to the TPC. If you don’t remember James Coburn, you definitely don’t remember when you paid a fee for every telephone in your house. A second extension cost extra, and TPC monitored ring current to every telephone number to make sure no one cheated. Any anomaly in the current required to ring your bell warranted a visit from the people in the unmarked car. Jim agreed to pay the “fee” for usage going back several months and we heard no more about it.

Skip ahead to what I did a just few moments ago, some sixty years later, when I blocked yet another scam telephone call. I know it was a scam because the call was from my own phone and I have it in my hand and as forgetful as I am at times, I know I didn’t just call me.

Are these calls being paid for? I seriously doubt anyone can defraud TPC by skirting or spoofing outbound calls. Are honest businesses being scammed into thinking these fraudulent, million dollar charges are really incurred by them? Somebody is paying big time for carrier access.

Do you think scammers are escaping the revenue sweep of TPC? I doubt it. It looks to me like TPC has found a way to make lemonade out of just about everything. Where is James Coburn when you need him?

George



Monday, June 7, 2021

​Of Geckos and Anoles


Every time I hear someone call one of our local lizards a gecko, I want to stand up and yell at the top of my voice: THAT’S NOT A GECKO!

A constant, almost hourly barrage of television commercials for a car insurance company that calls their animated, iconic lizard a gecko has subliminally convinced our couch-potato civilization all lizards are geckos. The effect of the media bombardment has been astonishing. It seems nobody cares what the lizard running across the leaves on your hibiscus is really called. Its true identity slips slowly into the morass of complacency that makes existence in today’s mind-numbing world acceptable. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone asked, “Do they really talk?” Right. And they drive little cars, too! The natural instinct to find the quickest, easiest path through our daily rituals is the culprit for our acceptance of blissful, inconsequential ignorance.

We called them by the wrong names when I grew up in South Florida, too, but it wasn’t willing disregard of facts. It was simply pre-Internet naivete. There was no deluge of information available at our fingertips back then. We still did everything in longhand, which today is called cursive. If I wanted to research what everyone called them, it meant a bus ride to the library and even then it might still come out as the colloquial name.

We called the harmless little lizards that turned from bright green to brown if you put them on a brown-paper grocery bag chameleons because they could change colors. My mom told me they were even sold as chameleons in certain novelty stores back in the late 30’s and early 40’s, complete with dainty golden collars and attaching chains. I assumed most of them starved to death while attached to some lady’s lapel. We allowed them to roam wild on our back screened porch - oh, sorry, today that’s called a lanai - because they ate bugs.

This isn’t the first time television has corrupted my culture. Try to find Dolphin on your sea-food restaurant menu. It’s still there, but it’s now known as Mahi-Mahi. Why? Because a television show from years ago convinced the masses they were eating one of the stars of their show, a Bottle-nose Dolphin known as “Flipper” instead of the pelagic, deep sea fish the Cubans call Dorado. Restaurants changed the name to the Hawaiian name, Mahi-mahi, and the delicious fish has regained its popularity.

It has been many years since the Green Anole dominated the local gardens and shrubs of south Florida. It has been displaced - but not eliminated - in recent years by its dark-brown cousin from the Bahamas. They both share size and many physical attributes, their colors being the obvious difference although several variations of the Bahamian Anole develop a ridge along the spine that resembles a small dinosaur. All males have the same neck sack, or fan, boisterously inflated when attempting to attract females.

The Green Anoles, sometimes known today as Carolina Anoles, and the now numerically superior brown Bahamian Anole, and even the latest newcomer, the relatively large and rather unfriendly Cuban Knight Anole, all share one common trait: THEY ARE NOT GECKOS!



Friday, June 4, 2021

Rebirth of the UFO – An Amateur Analysis

 



Have you ever noticed when something has been removed from the arena of public interest, someone – usually with a vested interest in keeping the interest in that subject in the spotlight – manages to rekindle enough controversy to reignite the average citizen’s curiosity? UFOs are passé, so how about UAPS? Wow, now I’m interested!

Unidentified Flying Objects – UFOs – are as outdated as calling relocatable school buildings portable. The word portables for schools has been stripped from out lexicon, even though when I went to Olympia Heights Elementary School in Miami in the 1950’s, every building in the entire school was a “portable.” But I stray here. That name of the portable classroom was changed for image purposes, apparently to help salvage my self-esteem. Someone thought it sounded more civilized to say “Relocatable.”

While UFO’s suffered from an image problem – they are associated with people who wear colanders on their heads and swear they’ve had their credit cards stolen by little green men – the real problem with UFOs was people simply lost interest. Change the name to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and a whole new generation perks up their ears.

Before I go any further, I need to ask a series of questions; When you are riding in a car looking straight ahead, what does it look like in front of you? Does the landscape move from side to side or does it simply get larger as you approach it? In my experience, it only moves left or right while the car I’m in is turning. When the car quits turning, so does the landscape. If I watch a vehicle I am following, the relative size of the vehicle stays the same unless I am catching it – it gets bigger – or if it is pulling away from me – then it gets smaller. If I look out the window to my side, the landscape whizzes by and nothing keeps up with me except once when my dad was racing a train. Second question: Ever look through a “Heads Up” display? Me neither, but I know it doesn’t look like riding on a merry-go round holding a camera they way they did when they shot the sky-scooter scenes in the first Star Wars film.

Not everybody who served in the Air Force even knows which state Area 51 is in, much less what goes on there. Suffice to say I spent eight years in the Air Force and I don’t have a clue. I know we have secret airplanes and some really neat stuff we don’t want anyone to know about that we have to fly to test them somewhere away from prying eyes and Russian spies. I’m pretty sure that’s what goes on in Area 51.

Let me continue. I have no doubt we don’t understand everything we see. That’s why the word “Unidentifiable” is the common link between UFOs and UAPs, but I know horse pockey when I see it, and I’m seeing a lot of it lately.

I have a feeling the Navy Tailhook gang is having a grand laugh at our expense. More power to them, it keeps the Qanon nonsense off the news media.