Search This Blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

US Military Jargon, Part 3

Back by popular demand (or perhaps just a demanding schedule), here is more lingo lesson from my website:


Back on the block: Back home; back to the life one had before the military.
Barret Fifty: A .50 caliber sniper rifle.
BDU: Battle Dress Uniform--traditionally woodland camoflage pattern.
Bloop gun: Grenade launcher, or "blooper."
BOHICA: "Bend over--here it comes again."
Bolo: To fail, underperform, or come up short somehow. "I heard he bolo'd the Q-Course and got kicked down to Division."
Boucoup: A lot, much, many. (Vietnam era.)
Break bad: To dress somebody down; chew them out; devastate them with insults.
Bring smoke: Kick butt; decimate; devastate.
BUDS: Basic Underwater Demolition and SEAL training.
Bumfuq, Egypt: A remote, isolated location with nothing of value. Rarely is it actually in Egypt, or even on the African continent. "The middle of Nowhere." Similar to "Timbuktu," "Yogi Bear 7" or "East Judas." Adjective form is usually "Podunk."
Bush: Jungle, forest or swamp. During peacetime it's called "the field."
Cherry: An FNG in an airborne unit.
Cheese-eating: Brown-nosing; boot-licking; kissing-up.
Clerks & jerks: A derogatory term used in the combat arms for non-combatants, support personnel, and other pogues who stay "in the rear with the gear."
Colors: A flag, banner, or unit guidon.
Cundingy: Backside, rear end, can, hiney, butt (of Korean origin?).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Closing in on the Cyber Sniper

I bet you didn't know, dear readers (despite the warning in my bio at left that I'm a criminal genius mastermind), that I'm one dangerous mamma-jamma. You thought I was just some harmless sporadic blogger with a razor wit and a fast keyboard. Or was it a fast wit and a razor keyboard? No wonder my fingers are bleeding! Ahem. Little did you know I'm like a cross between Doc Savage and Baron Munchausen...with maybe a little of that Liam Niesen(?) character from Taken thrown in.

That's right--I'm a dangerous mamma-jamma with a network. I have a crack team of specialists at my beck and call, who I occasionally summon to my underground lair, and assign them components of various tasks to carry out as part of my diabolical plans. Add to this my army of Robblogger clones and Oprah Winfrey's svengali-like power over the masses (not to mention her fortune), and I'll be invincible! World domination is mine! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

OK, I haven't actually tapped into Oprah's svengali-like powers, yet. Or her fortune. But I do have access to a photo of something with Robblogger's DNA.

Back to my crack team of specialists:

In a previous blog entry, I ranted about the cyber sniper/tagging bandit/little chicken s**t who has been applying false tags (like "anti-semitic" and "christian identity"--a buzzword for white supremacy) to the Amazon pages of some authors' books, including mine. All joking aside for a moment, these underhanded smear tactics are despicable, and are meant to cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the authors. Furthermore, the individual responsible knows full well that the accusations are opposite of the truth.

My League of Extraodinary Hackers have tracked down the tagging bandit, and I've confirmed some theories by consulting with the first victim. Got the current area of operation plus previous addresses, etc. I've got a psychological profile, augmented by some other legwork. You know--like the stats compiled for serial killers and stuff like that. Ahh, the Information Age.

The sunny, fuzzy part of this brilliant blog post is finished. What follows will likely only be of interest to a couple people. It is only for their sake I am posting it. To the rest of you: I'll see ya next time.

The perp is a white female in her late 40s, residing in the Midwest, with occasional visits to places like New York and Alabama. College educated, but unemployed. Single, and likely to remain so. Data suggests she is from a dysfunctional family; the middle child. Deep-rooted issues with both parents, especially the alcoholic mother. Sexually dysfunctional herself, and yet fascinated by sexuality.

Like Hitler, she has artistic aspirations, yet has fallen far short of her ambitions in that regard. She is infuriated by the success of some of her peers, but instead of focusing her energy on producing her own work, she prefers to criticize the work of others.

There are many contradictions, or hypocracies, in the profile. The least of these is her self-identification as a feminist (sometimes a lesbian), even though she has demonstrated a desperate (manic) dependency on the men she has access to. She considers herself an animal rights advocate, yet buys and wears fur. An advocate of gun control, she also has illegally bought firearms and police reports indicate she once used one to inflict self-injury (probably as an attention-getting ploy against a love interest trying to escape from her). While quick to accuse those she disagrees with of racism (sometimes even supplying false leads to federal law enforcement to identify her personal enemies with known hate groups), she harbors many racist/anti-semitic attitudes herself and has been known to use racial slurs/anti-semitic epithets during her frequent fits of rage.

Her history is stacked with various prescriptions for anti-psychotic medications, which cumulatively have rendered her unable to function socially for even limited periods of time. She has almost as many diagnoses--bipolar, skitzophrenic, borderline, manic-depressive, etc. She has boasted to many associates of "acing the test" of her original diagnosis by studying the disorders beforehand and knowing what answers to give the psychiatrists in order to receive lifetime welfare entitlements--which she has, and does, to this day. She has never worked an honest day's labor in her entire life, though she often claims to have.

False claims are so prolific that it is questionable she was ever abused as a child or sexually molested, as she often purports to both acquaintances and strangers. Most probably this is just an extension of a pattern of seeking attention and coercing sympathy from others, which has included multiple incidents of non-lethal self-mutilation--also used as a guilt tactic against those she attempts to control personally. She has faked pregnancies more than once in order to trap men who did not want to be with her--a bitter irony for someone who can't conceive.

The perp sees herself as a victim, and believes that the world owes her something. Her poor self-image is compounded by her weight, which is normally heavy. Not disciplined enough to exercise, she has gone through cycles of rapid weight loss via starvation diets--again often for the purpose of attention and sympathy, though at no point in her weight cycle is she very attractive to men in her age group. Friendships have been short-lived and even family and medical professionals have been unable to tolerate her hateful, narcisistic disposition for very long.

Often acting under spontaneous compulsion, she just as often acts with premeditation. Including, but not limited to, her declaration of bankruptcy in the 1990s, she has evaded paying her sometimes substantial debts by using her psychological diagnosis to plead mental incompetency--after verbalizing her intention to do so beforehand.

She is a stalker, with some scary similarities to the psychotic skank in Fatal Attraction. (What was her name, again?) And, apparently, this loser now spends her time doing what she can to sabotage the writing careers of others by engineering racist tags for books she has never read and, most likely, knows damn well are no such thing.

When they were passing out brains, she thought they said "trains" and asked for a Tonka toy. If "she" was a "he" pulling this petty garbage on somebody who knows where she lives, Chances are, "he" would get his arse kicked a distance similar to that of, say, from Chicago, Illinois back to Dayton, Ohio. Something like that.

To quote Clint Eastwood/Walt Kowalski from Gran Torino:

Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while that you shouldn't have f***ed with? (spit) That's me.


My apologies to all my bona fide followers. Hey--I warned you not to read on. I promise to go back to my sunny, warm, fuzzy blogging ways now.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calling all Literate Male Action/Adventure Fans

Just had a brainstorm of sorts, after buying a Mack Bolan novel for my shiny new Kindle. I'm considering guest posts/blogs/reviews of men's fiction. If interested, comment on this post or just email me with a book review and your name, links, short bio and/or whatever you consider relevant (I'll be the ultimate judge of that).

I ask that the review be coherent for literate English-speakers, and free of unnecessary profanity (try using italics or bold if you need to emphasize something). I do read, and enjoy, genres that don't necessarily integrate with men's fiction, but I'd like to limit this to dude-lit of an adrenaline-stoking variety. So yeah, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery is all fine as long as the plot has action and it is written for a male audience.

What do I mean by the requirement to have action? I don't mean that character development and plot have to be anemic. But, for instance, the Kinky Friedman mysteries I've read would not qualify, as it seems the protagonist spends half of each book staring at his cappuccino machine. "I cradled the blower on the left." Ahem.

So let me know if you're interested. Operators are standing by.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gun Porn: My Own Offering

Fear not (or drool not, as the case may be)--there is no actual pornography involved. This term has just recently entered my vocabulary; but it is only meant to indicate a fascination with firearms which normal, well-adjusted human beings would probably find unhealthy. But just how ubiquitous are normal, well-adjusted human beings, anyway? You probably know at least one computer geek who obsesses about processor speed, gigabytes of RAM, etc. Or a gearhead who can fantasize for hours about stroke-to-rod length ratios, combustion chamber quench factors or axle wind-up (...uh wait a minute, that's me). Or some TV junkie who knows more about the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive schemes than their own head coach does. Such people probably consume "PC porn," "car porn" or "sports porn," respectively.

Well, I'm still stretched pretty thin with the book trailer, some of life's little dramas, and work, but I took time today to add a page I meant to build at least a year ago. It has photos of some of the weapons used in my military thriller, Hell and Gone, with links to videos of some of this heavy metal in action. Triggerheads, enjoy!

Click here to check it out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Virtual Pulp Gets a Fantastic Review!

If you've read this blog at all, you know what I tend to write is dude-lit. (I coined that expression--where's my trademark symbol?) Not that I want to exclude female readership; just that I want to lure men away from their videogames and big screen TVs back to some modicum of literacy. I write the kind of stuff I would like to read. And I'm a man. But sometimes I do worry that a female reader will have trouble "getting it." Even though Radical Times has a "romantic" scene and the plot kinda' pivots around that relationship.

Well, it was a delight to discover that Sheila Deeth "gets it." Not only that, she liked it. I don't know yet if she'll be able to post this review to Amazon, so I'm posting below and I'm grateful to her for a thoughtful, well-written review.

I’m not sure technically what pulp fiction means, but to me it suggests high adventure, epic battles trimmed down to the scale of a few good men (or women too), honor and tortuous ethics and noble souls—all of which I found in Henry Brown’s Virtual Pulp #1. In olden days I guess the tales were printed on sacrificed trees, but today, as the title suggests, the wood-pulp’s purely virtual. (The book is available as a paperback though.)

The stories in this collection are united by battle: mythic on the fantasy frontier (with shades of my old favorite Michael Moorcock); almost steampunk with mis-matched airplanes in a dystopian future; historical in the civil war; and fought with legend and chivalry in the heyday of royal England—plus the one at the end that’s unplaceable and gripping and odd. The characters are a pleasing blend of depth and surface detail, actions sketching in past or future or both with no unnecessary soul-searching. Events are bigger than the people involved, and people matter more—each tale wholly different and enjoyably satisfying.
In old Britain I found myself listening too closely to the choice of words—my English ear searching for mis-steps in my native history I suppose. And in civil-war America I enjoyed learning my adopted country’s tale. But each story ends with a truly fascinating description of where it came from. Henry Brown’s research is almost as interesting as his telling. He certainly knows history, legends, and the evolution of ideas. And he knows stories.
Some of these characters leave the reader eagerly asking for more, particularly after learning that the author meant them that way. Perhaps Virtual Pulp #2 will be released soon to satisfy curiosity, or perhaps there'll be a series of tales of the Honor Triad, Rebble Rouser or the very mysterious Zombies.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kindle Follies and Other News

It may be obvious that I haven't posted much lately. Reason below. But first, a report on my long-anticipated Christmas gift:

I've been telling the missus since August that I want a Kindle 3G for Christmas. That was really the only thing on my list. She waited until the last minute (Christmas Eve) to look for one, and of course both Target and Best Buy were sold out. So she got me a Target gift card for the amount.

No problem, sez I. I probably won't start using it until after all the family craziness anyway. Well, Monday rolls around, and they're still sold out. Tuesday--still not re-stocked. Wednesday, Thursday...a week goes by and they still don't have one--NONE of the Targets do.

I stop at a Best Buy and see they have ONE (1) Kindle in stock--a graphite 3G like I want. I tell them I plan to refund my gift card and come back with the cash. They're open 'til 9 and will hold it for me if I assure them I'm coming back. I plow like a madman to get through my last few jobs and get done around 8--a whole mini-drama by itself.

After racing back to Target, I am informed no refund is possible without the sales receipt and a manager's approval. I call home. Every single Christmas receipt can be located EXCEPT this one. I'm not making this up. Long story short: I phone an apology to Best Buy and go home.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday...Behold! A Target Store about 30 minutes away has Kindles in stock. Whew. And now it's living happily with me.

I can't believe the screen! It looks like somebody is sticking beautifully printed paper pages to the device from another dimension. It came preloaded with a dictionary and a definition for any word in a book is available without interrupting my reading of it. The thing weighs less than a paperback. I can order right from the device, anytime, anywhere in the world with WiFi or 3G coverage. I can read samples before I buy, just like at the bookstore. It can hold like 3500 books, and is capable of playing music while I read, receiving email, surfing the web, and text-to-voice.

I have found my new best friend. Kindle, where have you been all my life?

The primary monopoly over my free time, such as it is, has been the Hell and Gone book trailer.

I had put together a rough cut with Photostory, using music and some photos I suspected I couldn't get permission for. It wasn't bad, but Photostory has some limitations for the sort of trailer I visualized. And it was 7+ minutes long--a real challenge, perhaps, to the modern attention span.

I was hoping to have a final cut ready before Christmas, but I didn't have everything I needed in time. I finally did get the music, and most of the photos I think I need (thanks Jack, Rich, Johnny and Pat!). I also got Adobe Premiere Pro (thanks Justus!) and have been educating myself on how to use the powerful tools available. I'm still an FNG-level novice, but I think I have a solid enough grasp for this project.

My 2nd cut, using Premiere, did not come out so well. It's hard to watch the project in real-time as the audience would see it until it's fully rendered/code written/exported. I really don't have enough RAM right now so maybe that's why. But I've made extensive notes based on that cut and will now go back through and tweak. The final cut will probably be only 5+ minutes.