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westfargomusings

Evolution isn't working fast enough. More dumbasses need to be shot.

“Both sides are bad”

The Writer in Black

How terrible!  How horrible!  How dare you say both sides are bad when one side is Nazis!

Well, I’ll tell you, there are worse things than Nazis in the world.  Yes, the Nazis of the 30’s and 40’s were horrible, vile, beyond the pale.  But even so, there have been worse things in the world.

That’s even leaving aside that as far as actual Nazis are concerned, there are no more than a few hundred to a few thousand out of a nation of over 300 million.  You can find more people believing that the Earth is flat, that it’s hollow and there is “another world” on the inner surface, or that NASA has a sex colony on the moon.  That’s actual, ideological Nazis, not the “everyone who disagrees with me is Hitler” type of “Nazis” that seems to be so popular among certain elements of the Left.  And…

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The Family Vault

My review of Charlotte MacLeod’s The Family Vault

Family Vault, The - Charlotte MacLeod

A mislaid corpse strikes terror in the hearts of Boston’s strangest family.

Like many old New England families, the Kellings live to die. Although their family vault is spacious and comfortable, for Sarah Kelling’s Great-Uncle Frederick it will not do. In his will, he demands to be buried inside the ancient family tomb at Boston Common, which hasn’t admitted a new member in over a century. But when the Kellings crack the old vault’s door, they find a recently built brick wall. And behind it lays a surprisingly fresh corpse — a skeleton with rubies in its teeth. 

Her name was Ruby Redd, and many years ago she was the toast of Boston’s burlesque scene. Her murder case is ice cold, but when Sarah begins investigating it, she finds that the burning passions behind this beauty’s death still burn white hot. With the help of art-fraud investigator Max Bittersohn, she will solve the stripper’s murder, or take her own place in the family vault.

Continue reading “The Family Vault”

Tales From the Uplands

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Uncanny things haunt the high country, where mountains bring justice and men tell mysterious tales. A place where churches seek the lost and deadly forces lurk below the peaks.

Contains eight short stories drawn from locations and legends of Central Europe, including the Drachenberg version of a famous folk-tale, and an excerpt from the next Cat Among Dragons novel.

Continue reading “Tales From the Uplands”

Horns Up: Inside the Greatest College Football Dynasty

Horns Up

College football hotbeds are scattered across the country, from Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Michigan. When you think of the greatest college football programs in the modern era, those schools come immediately to mind. But none of them did what North Dakota State did from 2011-15 and that is to win five straight national championships, in NDSU’s case at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision level (formerly known as Division I-AA). In fact, nobody at any level of college football has ever won five straight. The Bison did it with a unique toughness, including farm kids from the Midwest who were used to working 18-hour days before taking one step on the Fargo, N.D., campus. They did it with a work ethic and an unusual devotion and love to their hard-driving strength and conditioning coach. It didn’t come without some hard knocks. The Bison went 3-8 in 2009, one year after becoming fully eligible for Division I athletics after making the transition from Division II. They lost their head coach during the 2013 title run, a change that was met with resistance and tension within the coaching staff that filtered down to the players. From 2011-15, Alabama won 62 games, Florida State 58, Oregon 57 and Clemson and Ohio State 56 each. North Dakota State, with its collection of lightly-regarded players primarily from the states of North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, won 71. Since moving to Division I, NDSU went 8-3 against bigger FBS schools with wins against the likes of Minnesota (twice), Kansas State, Iowa State and Colorado State. They had some stars, like in 2011 when a quarterback from Bismarck Century with a few scholarship offers decided to stay in-state and attend NDSU. Four years later, Carson Wentz was the second overall pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Draft. The national media paid attention. ESPN’s “College GameDay” came to Fargo two straight years and the network developed a love affair with the city. “Horns Up” is a story of a football program that came out of nowhere. It’s a story nobody could have predicted.

Continue reading “Horns Up: Inside the Greatest College Football Dynasty”

Yellow Eyes

My review of John Ringo and Tom Kratman’s novel Yellow Eyes

yellow eyes

Stand Against the Posleen Horde!

Earth invaded! The Posleen aggressors eating what population they don’t outright vaporize! Now the aliens are closing in on a vital choke point for the humans: the Panama Canal. No canal, no food. No food—the North American resistance crumbles, and hope fades. What’s worse, slimeball appeasers within the U.S. State Department (surprise!) are set to sell out the resistance to another race of would-be galactic overlords.

One problem for our enemies: when the chips are down for humans, heroes have a habit of arising: A captain of industry who whips a corrupt and inefficient Central American kleptocracy into fighting shape within weeks. A retired Panamanian woman warrior who returns to the field of battle to rally her people in a last stand to save their children. And a battleship that is literally brought to consciousness by the echoes of ancient naval tradition (and a sentient A.I.) to fight ferociously for her country — and the captain she’s come to love.

It’s a rip-roaring epic of tactics, heroism, and survival as only two masters of military SF (both of whom served in Panama during their stint in the Army) can tell it.

Multiple New York Times and USA Today best-seller John Ringo and Tom Kratman, collaborator with Ringo on the intriguing and controversial Watch on the Rhine, deliver another exciting entry in Ringo’s hugely popular Posleen War series.

 

Continue reading “Yellow Eyes”

Cover Your Ass

I was talking with a coworker this afternoon about an incident that happened last night. I was relaying my frustrations about how I was sitting on the phone talking to another dispatcher at another agency, requesting assistance for my officers and she was asking questions that, if you think about them at all, are obvious.

ME: I have an officer requesting back up. Male ran from him, last seen heading southbound down ROBERTS ST TOWARD NP AVE.

DISPATCH: Is that North or South?

ME: Southbound on ROBERTS ST. (there is no ROBERTS ST south of MAIN AVE. This is your city, you should know that)

D: Where did this start at?

ME: 2 AVE/7 ST N (not that it really helps, since that isn’t where he was last seen)

OFFICER: I have one at Taser point, 1 AVE/10 ST, I need backup.

ME to Officer: 10-4, one at Taser point, 1 AVE/10 ST N.

OTHER AGENCY OFFICER: I’m out with the XXXX officer, 1 AVE/10 ST.

ME to Dispatch: He’s out with the subject 1 AVE/10 ST N.

D: OK, do you still need us to respond?

ME: Yes! He has one at Taser point. (You already have one of your officers on scene!)

Continue reading “Cover Your Ass”

Bison Football: Three Decades of Excellence

Bison Football

Today the name North Dakota means football – thanks to the North Dakota State University Bison, the dominant team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II.

Bison Football: Three Decades of Excellence chronicles the NDSU Bison’s remarkable rise from the bottom of the standings to the upper echelon of Midwestern college football history.

Follow the Herd through 30 historic seasons! Sportswriter Ed Kolpack traces the Bison program from its rebirth in 1962 until today. Here’s every triumph – the magic of the veer offense, championship seasons and postseason bowl games, all-American honors and the dynamic support of the NDSU Team Maker Club.

Bison Football is a story of athletic talent and expert guidance, hard work and brilliant strategy. Kolpack invites players, coaches and fans to reflect on the glory days and occasional missteps in their own words. They reminisce about their days together and share lifetime memories with every Bison fan.

Together, their comments…plus Kolpack’s expert eye-witness reporting…paint a vivid portrait of the NDSU Bison tradition, from great expectations thirty years ago to its victories in the ’90’s.

Continue reading “Bison Football: Three Decades of Excellence”

I’m cranky this Saturday, too

Sarah was talking about how she is cranky this Saturday. I’m pretty cranky today as well.

 

My daughter is in dance. And the company she is in does a great job teaching the kids, and even places well at competitions. They are quite affordable, being a couple of hundred dollars less/year than other area companies. But the owner is not nearly as organized as she thinks she is.

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My daughter was signed up for a dance camp for Tues, Wed, and Thurs this week. When my wife and daughter showed up at 6 for it, no one was around. We never received an email that it was cancelled or postponed. The telephone number listed on the website and the facebook page is disconnected. My wife sent her an email. The next morning there was an email from the owner, but it wasn’t about the cancelled camp. It was about drop in classes being available this week instead. In fact, we didn’t get a response back from the email we sent until this morning, 5 days after the fact. When we hadn’t heard from her by 1PM Wednesday I posted on the facebook page asking what was up, and that this was the 4th or 5th time within the last year that something my daughter had been signed up for had been changed with little or no notice.

This morning’s email said she was sorry for the confusion, that she thought we had signed her up for the August camp, even though she made it clear when she responded back in June that Little Britches was signed up for the July camp. Miss M (the owner)  also said that this was NOT the 4th or 5th time something had been changed and that she was upset with me for posting on their facebook page. Unfortunately for her I have the emails yet where she did, in fact, change things. Continue reading “I’m cranky this Saturday, too”

Math: It’s not just for breakfast any more.

Life is hard. It’s harder when you can’t add. David breaks it down for us.

The Writer in Black

A little bit late today compared to when I usually post–not that there’s a set schedule.  Had to pick up my wife and daughter from the airport.

On another Social Media platform (I saw it on FaceBook, but it was copied from elsewhere) the claim was made:

The F-35 fighter jet budget is set to exceed a total of $406 billion.  Remember that when they say single-payer is too expensive.

Let’s run with that, shall we?  First off, that budget is over ten years.  So that would be $40.6 billion a year on average.  Population of the US, as of this writing is estimated (US Census Bureau) at 325,428,250 (it will be higher by the time you look at it, if you do).  Let’s just say 325 million.  That means the F-35 budget, if the project were completely abandoned and all the money shifted to health care, would…

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