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  • Via Serica – On Sale Now!

    Via Serica - On Sale Now!
  • Tales of the Minivandians!

    My Book
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    Join the NRA!


  • Just once, I’d like to hear the family of someone who commits a heinous act come out and say “He was a bad kid.  Really, we struggled for years to help him and get him on the right path, but it never worked, usually because of him consistently and maliciously making bad choices.  There will be no funeral or memorial for him, and we plan on burying his ashes in an unmarked landfill and denying his existence to future generations.  We are all ashamed of what has happened, and will live with that for the rest of our lives.  Our only hope going forward is that those who have been hurt and their families will find it in their hearts to forgive our family for the evil that we unleashed upon the world.”
  • I don’t know what happens to young men (OK, teenage boys, but I’m trying to give them some credit), but they seem to lose their everloving minds when left to their own devices.  I had to tell a bunch of them that the mass of belongings they took camping was a fire hazard when they spread it in a thin layer across the cabin.  I’m not even going to talk about how massive amounts of sugar and caffeine impacts their behavior and volume.
  • Remember the scenes in “Gremlins” where the young Mogwai were all cute and fuzzy, but were growling and wrestling all the time?  Yeah, I helped chaperone about 40 similar creatures over the weekend.
  • Girlie Bear and I have a ritual that we’ve been doing since she was little.  We call it “bonking,” in which we clonk the upper parts of our foreheads together.  Sometimes it’s rather hard.  Doing this in front of her JROTC instructors and friends this weekend drew a lot of winces.  Apparently, this is an uncommon form of affection among the soft-skulled variety of Americans.
    • It took a while when she was younger to teach her to only ‘bonk’ me, because she almost gave Irish Woman a concussion when she tried it.
  • I’ve heard three adults threaten to either commit suicide or emigrate if their candidate of choice doesn’t win in 2016. Am I wrong in thinking that I would be willing to chip in for a passport or a couple gallons of kerosene and a book of matches in the event that this becomes necessary?

Signed Hard Copies of Via Serica and a Snippet

The Big Brown Truck of Happiness dropped off a rather heavy box at my door last night, and it contained a shipment of the paperback edition of Via Serica.

For those of you who alpha and beta read for me, your copies will be on the way this week.

For anyone else who wants a copy, hit the email link above or write to me at daddybear@daddybearsden.com and we’ll arrange payment and delivery.

Copies are $15 apiece, the same price as Amazon, and I’ll even pay for shipping.

Thanks to everyone who has read the e-book version, especially if you’ve left a review.  All I have for marketing is the blog and word of mouth, so I really appreciate your efforts.

Just because I’m in a good mood, here’s a snippet from Book 2 (Or maybe 3.  I’m not sure where, both geographically and story-wise, this sequence is going to go):

Appius Claudius looked across the heat-shimmered. packed clay of the plain before him.  In the distance, he could see the strange banners of the enemy.  Their drums, beating a tattoo that he felt more than he heard, kept a rhythm that was slightly faster than the rhythm of their approaching horse.

He turned to Lucius Gratianus, military tribune and his second in command on this expedition.  The younger man’s face, which had seemed so pale and smooth when they had met in Alexandria, was weathered and tan from the sun that never seemed to darken in this land so far from Rome.

“Outnumbered,” he said in a low tone.

The Tribune nodded, then spit into the dust.  “Any word from Cotus and the third file?”

Appius shook his head. “No, not yet,” he replied, “We’ll have to make do with what we have.  Take the first file and swing wide around those trees over there.  I’ll hold here with the second.  Have your men leave their javelins here.  Once they’ve passed you and are occupied trying to cut us up, hit them from behind as hard as you can.”

The younger officer considered that for a moment, then nodded and turned toward his horse.  His men saw his approach and mounted their horses.

Appius took one last look at the approaching dust cloud.  He could just make out the thunder of hooves on the clay flood plain.  Whistling between his teeth, he turned and walked into the hedgehog of carts where he could would make his final stand.

Quote of the Day

I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzoote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say, “Yes” or “No.” He who led the young men [Ollokot] is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are — perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever. —  Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, Chief JosephOctober 5, 1877

Four Questions

During the 2014 election, I posted a series of long-winded, wordy, boring, and pointless questionnaires that I wish politicians would have answered so that we could have put the “Informed” into “Informed Voter.”

Yeah, not some of my best writing, but it was a good mental exercise.  Remember, this blog is here to get those thoughts from swirling around in my head so long they cause my ears to bleed and to keep me out of bars after dark.

Anyway, this time around, at least until the primaries are over, I have only four questions for the gang of idiots who want to spend over a billion dollars to get a job that only pays a few hundred thousand dollars a year, but comes with some pretty sweet government housing.

  1. Do you believe that federal gun laws that deal with anything beyond the way that firearms are imported into the country and move across state lines are constitutional?
  2. If not, do you plan to not only veto any new federal gun laws, but also work to repeal those on the books?
  3. Do you believe that federal drug laws that deal with anything beyond the way that chemical intoxicants are imported into the country and move across state lines are constitutional?
  4. If not, do you plan to not only veto any new federal drug laws, but also work to repeal those on the books?


  • I am not allowed to refer to redneck, boorish, frat-boy incompetents as ‘brocephus’.
  • Self-motivation – I am not allowed to read the new David Drake anthology until I finish the longish short story I’m writing.
    • “They all looked up at the bright light in the sky, and in the seconds it took for the blast wave to travel down from the stratosphere, they realized that the heretofore unknown space overlords had had quite enough of their crap. The End.”
  • Easy fix for a user that continually fills up a file system with data they never look at:
    • Figure out which directory the user’s app uses to write to by default.
    • Remove the directory
    • Link the directory to /dev/null.
    • Listen for high-pitched keening.  If not heard, log off box and admit nothing.  If heard, log off box and admit nothing.
  • Boo ran a mile for time tonight, then jogged a couple of miles with his team to a fast food restaurant for a treat.  Instead of getting a small ice cream, as planned and discussed, he ordered chicken nuggets and fries, then went to a restaurant with me to meet Irish Woman and Girlie Bear for dinner.  My dear wife had just driven down from Chicago, and I wanted to treat her.  He raided everyone’s plate, then ate about half of an adult-sized dessert.  I think we have a growth spurt in progress.
  • I had another person point to my hat and ask “Do you work for Blackwater?” tonight.  I swear, I didn’t know much at all about that company when I asked Robb to create the bear paw symbol, I’ve been using one bear symbol or another online and off for the better part of two and a half decades, and I wasn’t that kind of military contractor.
  • Note to self – When leaving the dogs in the house alone for the day due to weather, make sure that the gate between the dining room and kitchen is closed.
    • Secondary note to self – Dogs can and will eat a three pack of lip balm if given the chance.  Plan accordingly.


  • I told Boo to clean his room, mainly by pointing out all the Legos and books that had found their way to his floor.  The Legos were a struggle to get done, but once he figured out that he could organize his books on the shelves no more wailing and gnashing of teeth was heard.  He was excited that he could put “learning books” on one shelf, “chapter books” on another, and Dr. Seuss on a third.  I have no idea where he got this.
  • Braunschweiger – Bavarian word meaning “Hey, Fritz, what do we do with the rest of the pig?”.
    • In related news, Boo was able to sound out (mostly) the label on a package of braunschweiger at the store, and asked if we could try it.  I haven’t had the stuff since I was almost his age and sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen in North Dakota.
    • This will be a learning experience for both of us.
  • I may have created a monster.  First, we let Boo listen to the Narnia series and the first Harry Potter book in audiobook format during the family trip this summer.  Actually, he listened to both a couple of times.  Then, I got him Treasure Island and The Reluctant Dragon and we listened to those.  This morning, I used my monthly Audible credit to buy The Hobbit for him.
    • C.S. Lewis was a genius.  Boo first listened to Narnia in July and started 1st grade Catholic school in August.  He’s already seeing the parallels.
    • It’s a 20 to 30 minute drive to his school every morning.  That’s usually enough time for a chapter.  With Irish Woman on the road off and on over the past few weeks, he’s been getting at least double that most days between trips to and from school and cross-country.
    • I may have to up my membership at Audible and make a donation to Loyal Books.
  • Hell hath no wrath like a road-weary Irish Woman who stops to pick up lunch on her way home and realizes that the restaurant messed up her order.

Quote of the Day

Festina lente (Make haste slowly) – Caesar Augustus, born September 23, 63 BC


  • Jalapeno pickles make excellent football food.
  • Things you never thought you’d have to say – “Son, please don’t dig holes in the lawn directly over the gas line.”
  • Does it help my geek cred when I believe that it would be fitting for any coordinated European effort to deal with the ‘refugee’ crisis to be named “Operation Martellus“?
  • Girlie Bear came back from her trip to visit her university and meet the ROTC staff with a sunburn as red as a wild rose.  We had a little conversation about personal responsibility and how to treat 2nd degree burns.
  • Boo learned that coaches do not like it when you talk after being told to stop.  In related news, it is rather traumatic for a young boy to be told that if he can’t behave, he can’t warm up with his team. The coach did, however, come up and talk with him before they took off running, and Boo made sure to do as he was told the rest of practice.
  • Signs that we have Boo in with a good crowd – The cross country team ran 5 kilometers last night, which is approximately 3 laps around the park.  Boo had never run more than 2 before, and after his second lap, decided he’d done enough.  So did most of the younger kids.  The older boys ran a fast 5k, then noticed that Boo had stopped.  They convinced him to finish the run, and ran along with him on an extra lap to encourage him and so that he wouldn’t be alone.
  • Boo pulled out a loose tooth while doing homework tonight.  Going to have to send a note to teacher about why his English worksheet has blood spatter on it.
  • It’s a good thing when you look around your living room and think “You know, we need more bookshelves.”

Thought for the Day

This is what I found on the screen of my laptop when I checked email this morning:

The night was alive with ~AQ


I guess I shouldn’t have tried to stay up and watch the second half of the football game while cranking out another chapter last night.

Today’s Earworm

Firefly first debuted on September 20, 2002

I am a leaf on the wind.  Watch how I soar.


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