Archive for the ‘undercurrent with my big toe’ Category

Bone Island Abattoir / Part 2: Which Sides You Are On

January 22, 2011

 Author’s note:  This is the fourth book of The Shades of Hemingway series.  While reading this installment, Bone Island Abattoir is complete in itself, it is recommended that the reader search out the begining of this incredible story…

~

I realize the sun is going down as I am sitting in the dimly lit room still fastened to the chair Jake Barnes has tied me to, but I feel different… aware that I am not alone in the dark. The Key West detective is laid out on the bed smoking a cigarette, the glow of it’s end brightening to illuminate Jake’s face with every drag he takes.

“Have a nice nap?” Jake asks with a little sarcasm in his tone.

“Jake, why am I tied up like this?”

“Because the bastards took my ‘cuffs when they lifted my piece.”

“I mean, why are you holding me? What tangible proof have you got that says I killed anybody, let alone a policeman?”

“You mean aside from resisting arrest?”

“Resisting ? How could’ve I resisted when you never declared the intention of placing me under arrest?”

“I was getting around to it… besides, I like it where I can keep an eye on you at a distance.” Jake’s free hand cups his balls and gives them a slight adjustment, then his arm slides back around to form a headrest.

“Jake, if Brett’s been here then Lord Cristobal must know where she is. Maybe we can help each other find her and then all of us can get the hell out of here.”

“You’re a smooth talker, kid. So go ahead’n talk. Give me one good reason why I should listen to ya.”

“Because I’m innocent! What would be my motive to kill anyone, let alone a cop? I had never laid eyes on Key West prior my first visit there seven weeks ago and I have only just met Brett one day before running into you.”

“Mr. Fiore, wouldn’tcha say it is just a tad bit ironic that twice within one week you turn up as my prime suspect? That twice within one week I’m supposed to meet the guy that killed Patrolman Jordan and then you show up? That twice within one week I’m supposed to find Brett and I run into you instead? “ Jake stubs his cigarette out on the ashtray perched on his stomach then swirls his legs around to sit up while placing it on the end table. “Just a little too coincidental, don’tcha think, Bub? Life is a crappy meal and you’re caught between the bun.”

“This is absurd! I can’t believe you’d be so goddam dumb!”

Jake Barnes shifts his weight to the edge of the bed, his form leaning forward menacingly.

“Easy, kid. We’re still in Cuba, remember? I don’t have to play nice.”

“Yes… you’re right and I’m sorry. The situation has gotten me all discombobulated… caught in this room and being tied up like this. Forget the “dumb” remark I made, Jake. But can’t you at least tell me how is it you are here?”

In the shadows I can see Jake reach over and turn on the table lamp next to the bed. I squint a little, remembering those interrogations performed in all those Sam Spade type black and white movies that made the film noir so recognizable. Jake smiles at my obvious discomfort.

“Thought you had it all figured out, Mr. Fiore.” The Key West detective almost sounded like Peter Lorre.

“Right now I’m not sure of a damn thing except that I’m hungry and I gotta pee. Any chance we could get rid of these ropes if I promise to behave?”

“Where do you think you are, the Ritz? Ain’t no bathroom here… unless you want to hang it out the window.” Jake’s head motions towards the opposite wall.

“Out the window or on the floor… I’d just as soon not wet my pants, if it’s all the same to you.”

Jake stands up and towers over me, almost making me do what I just said I did not want to do.

“Okay, kid… I’m gonna untie ya so you can take your piss out the window, but if ya try anything funny… and I mean anything. If you even shake it more than twice, I’ll have to lay some wood on ya.” Jake raised his big fist and gently placed it under my chin like an upper cut. I could feel a shiver in me timbers.

“Honest to God, Jake. I just wanna take a leak.”

The big man moves behind me and begins untying the rope. As he is working a thought comes to my mind.

“Jake, why did they want your gun? I mean, you’re a cop, right?”

Detective Barnes grunted in disgust as my bonds began to loosen.

“Their friggin’ security, I guess. Patted me down when I arrived.”

I stood up as the ropes were removed. The pressure on my bladder lessened.

“But didn’t you come with Sgt. Garcia?”

“Nope, they met me at the airport and I was brought here by a couple of his flunkies.”

“And then he was supposed to come here and help you find Brett?”

Jake stops and looks at me, the way he had done before back in Brett’s apartment when he thought I was asking too many questions. The peering up over the spectacles once over.

“Look, Mr. Fiore… God help me, I like ya… I really do. If you’re tellin’ the truth… when this thing is over we’ll have a drink down at the Green Parrot on me. Screw it, we’ll get shit faced. We’ll drink a toast to Brett ‘n’ her twin brother for bringin’ two of her former lovers together to charge to the rescue and solve this thing. But in the mean time… do me a favor? Leave the questionin’ to me.”

“Brett’s twin brother?”

“Well now, we don’t know everything, do we? Yep. Bobby was her twin.”

“But you called him her kid brother!”

“A little joke between family members, kid. Brett was born first… three minutes later her fraternal twin brother, Robert, came squirtin’ out.”

“I thought he was a rookie… and yet, she’s a detective? Why the disparity?”

“Brett got into law enforcement right outta college. Robert dropped out and joined the Marines then became an MP. Got out of the service and bummed around for awhile… bicycled across the country. Brett got him to come down to the Keys and the rest, they say… is history.”

“Jake, how did you know Brett was supposed to be in Cuba? What made you come to the Villa Vinales de Eden?”

Jake scratches his head while shaking it side to side, then looks amused.

“Okay… for a bright guy you’re not so smart. We have informants, kid. This one guy we know works in and out of Cuba as an import/exporter. Through out this investigation he has let us in on this ring of smugglers. When Brett turned up missing and you ran off…” He gives me that look again, like I’ve been sat before my grade school principal and caught in a lie.

“Your informant indicated I had something to do with Brett’s disappearance and her brother’s death?” I ask as I move towards the window.

“Naw…this Lord Cristobal character is a business affiliate of our informant. He was supposed to be able to locate her and have her here when I arrived.”

“What about the guy who brought her here?”

“I thought it was you.”

“Jake, I think I know the man you’re looking for. He’s the same guy that got me involved in all this in the first place. He works with this Lord Cristobal character.”

“Yeah? And how’d you get privy to that information?” Jake Barnes raises up one arm and gestures towards the opposite wall, allowing me to pass by him.

I stood before the double window. It was one of those old twin vertical crank out style windows that had the interior screens. I reached up to remove the screen that had a palm tree outline inserted within it’s frame then began twisting the lever that forced one side out. Jake was close at my side. I went for my zipper… then paused.

“I don’t know if I can do this with you watching.”

“Well, sweetheart… there’s no way you’ll be doin’ it without me watchin’ so you’ve got a problem.”

We are up in a second story bedroom looking out of one wing of the Villa Vinales de Eden that does not have an exterior wall guarding the property, only a drainage ditch less than fifty feet away with the tropical forest beyond. I am at least 12 feet off the ground, 15 if you count the window sill. Just as I am about to over come my shyness and begin pulling out Teddy Roosevelt, there is a commotion outside in the courtyard of the villa.

“What’s happening?” I ask, forgetting the task at hand.

“Sonofabitch… pullin’ that screen off must’ve triggered an alarm.”

We can hear the sound of footsteps running and shouting voices approaching the bedroom door. I look at the window frame and sure enough, there is a magnetic switch that must have opened when I removed the screen.

“Get back away from there before…”

But it is too late. Two armed guards burst through the bedroom door only to catch me standing facing the window with Teddy Roosevelt exposed. Jake put his hands up and declares “Don’t shoot! We’re not goin’ anywhere!” But I go ahead and pee like it may be my last act on earth. Within moments more guards appear outside, looking up and pointing their rifles while my urine trail rainbows out into the lawn. I raise my free hand up over my head and wave it slightly.

“Me go numero uno, pour favor…?”

The one called Anselmo that had accompanied Lord Cristobal when I had met him earlier entered after the two guards. I struggled to zip up one handed, keeping my other hand waving free and my head lowered as I slowly turned around. After I had awkwardly finished I let my other hand go up.

“What is the meaning of this?” asked Anselmo.

“Hey, you gotta go… you gotta go. Your boss said to sit tight ‘til we was sent for and there ain’t no john in this room. My buddy had to take a leak so he hung it out the window.” Jake shrugged matter-of-fact allowing his hands to drop down. I left mine raised but relaxed a little. After the initial commotion caused by the busting in of the guards Jake seemed to get his composure back. The Key West detective raised his clenched fists to his hips. “And we don’t appreciate havin’ guns pointin’ at us while we do it!”

Anselmo said something in Spanish to the guards and they lowered their weapons slightly. He motioned with his head towards the door.

“Come downstairs.”

He turned and spoke to one of the guards as we left the window to follow him. The guard crowded past us towards where we had stood, waving off the others below while cranking the window closed and returning the screen to it’s place. The other guard waited until we went out before coming up behind us. The narrow balcony led to a stairway but Jake Barnes stopped before we began our descent.

“You go ahead, kid. I’ll meet ya downstairs.” Jake had found a bathroom at the head of the stairs.

“What’s up?” I asked, taking the first step and turning back, our escort was obviously not pleased with the delay and the guard pausing behind us began to look suspicious.

“You go on ahead, I’ll be right down.” He said to Lord Cristobal’s aide. Then turning to me Jake added. “I gotta go shake the dew off my lily, kid. Those amigos almost scared it right out of me.” And with a wink he entered the small water closet and closed door behind him.

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Bone Island Abattoir / Part 1: A Pilar Preamble

January 9, 2011

Author’s note:  This is the fourth book of The Shades of Hemingway series.  While reading this installment, Bone Island Abattoir is complete in itself, it is recommended that the reader search out the begining of this incredible story…

~

It was a perfect dream to be awakening on the Gulf waters, the waves pitching the Pilar in a slight, bobbing loll alternating back and forth as a watery hammock. I could not have imagined a bluer sky devoid of all but a slight willowy wisp of clouds swirling off like over sprung, cotton corkscrews. I was seated in an elevated Windsor styled wooden chair with an enormous fishing rod clutched in my hands. A gruff, familiar voice spoke from behind me.

“Better cinch that belt down tightly there, Sport. You latch onto a black marlin all loosey goosey like that and it’ll pull ya ass over tea kettle right into the drink! …along with that expensive rod and reel of mine!”

I spun around to face the person speaking to me. It was Hem, grinning and pointing a large cigar at me with all the bravado of a salty sea captain. Standing at the wheel was a man I recognized to be Goyo, his expert guide and companion.

“We are going after fish that are big enough to pull me off this boat?” I asked in disbelief, still trying to figure out where my dreams had taken me this time… and why. I was far from the confines of Jake Barnes and the Villa Vinales de Eden.

“Not just any fish, Sport… marlin! Best game fish on the planet! And yep… powerful enough to net ya up and over topside; hook, line and sinker!”

“Hem, I don’t think I’m prepared for this!”

“Relax… all you need do is hook ’em. Pilar and Goyo’ll do the rest!”

Hem came up and helped me tighten the harness that held the fisherman to his seat. He was robust and crusty, wind whipped and sun blown with a canvas billed cap perched atop of his head. The swaying of the Pilar seemed to jostle his mood and sent him sauntering to the ship’s console like a half drunken pirate. Goyo placed his hand to the throttle and eased us forward. I faced our slight wake with morbid trepidation.

“What? Where are we going?” I yelled, startled at the boat’s growling gasoline powered engine slowly trolling us forward.

“There’s a school of shiners off our port side, we’ll try to get around behind ‘em with our backs to the sun.”

“Why?” I shouted. I thought the fish came to us. All of my fishing experience was on a lazy river bank back in the Midwest under a shade tree. The actual act of catching a fish was only secondary to the art of incidentally fishing.

“Marlin like to follow schools of fish but if we don’t position ourselves right the sun will keep him from spottin’ your bait.” Hem spoke as Goyo steered, allowing his voice to be carried back to me by the hollow of the cowl overhead. “We get too close and the fish will scatter. We’ll get your hook behind ‘em and troll for a bit… might get lucky.”

“Where’s the school? I don’t see anything!”

“Look off to your right! See that area of little smatterin’ fish tails breakin’  through the water with them seabirds overhead?”

I turned in the fighting chair, looked to my right and sure enough, there was a span of nearly half a football field filled with minor disturbances just below the surface of the water as white gulls drifting in the updrafts above. No sooner had we placed my bait behind the school of shiners did I get a strike. The reel revved like a small motor and spun out hundreds of feet of fishing line. The marlin vaulted out of the water twisting and turning.

Immediately I panicked. “What’ll I do?”

“Let him run with it!” Shouted Hem as Goyo maneuvered Pilar to circumvent the marlins escape. Instantly the line went limp.

“I lost him!”

“No, you didn’t! I’ll tell you when you’ve lost it! Reel in that line!”

I tugged and pulled while I clasped the reel in my excited fingers, working the line back around the spindle as quickly as I could. Just as Goyo had swung the Pilar around and I had reeled in a mile of fishing line, the marlin bolted once again. The rod lurched forward as the line screamed off the reel.

“Loosen up that drag!” Bellowed the voice behind me.

Next thing I knew Hem was at my side pouring the contents of an iced drink on the fishing line remaining on the reel causing the steam of a miniature Mount St. Helens to erupt. Instinctively I pulled back on the pole that appeared to be on the verge of snapping in two. Time and again I recoiled the line only to have the big fish repeatedly surge lightning fast through the waters pulling hundreds of yards of yarn with it. Seemingly hours of battling the marlin passed and yet the sun hung motionless in the sky, as if Joshua himself had petitioned the God of Israel to make it stand still over the plains of Gibeon. Goyo expertly maneuvered the Pilar anticipating the direction of my catch, allowing him to run unhindered but still well within our control.

“Easy, Sport… let him run! All you can do is out last the big fella.”

It was the marlin’s last surge and somehow Hem knew it.

`“Out last him? What on earth… you mean until he’s tired and gives out?”

“Marlin fight to the end, Sport. It’s not uncommon for them to be dead or dying by the time you’re all through.”

“But why? What is the sense in that?”

“It’s in their spirit, hard to break that in nature.”

I am spinning the line back in now as rapidly as I can. Just as sudden as the fight had begun it seemed to be over. Soon I could see the massive fish coming up towards the surface just off the stern of the Pilar.

“Okay, I’ve caught the fish, now I’d like to let him go.”

“Let him go? After all you’ve put into it? Mount the brute, Sport… this is a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life!”

“I will remember it. I’ll remember coming this close to a leviathan and letting him go back to his world unharmed. He lived there peacefully before I came along and disturbed it.”

“It seems like an incredible opportunity wasted if you ask me… but, if you insist.” Hem took the rod from my hands as I undid the harness that held me in the fighting chair.

“Grab the bill with one hand but be careful … it’s like grabbin’ hold of a cheese grater. Now use that pair of fishing pliers and remove the hook with your free hand.”

Doing as I was told I lean out over the back end of the boat and gently caress the fish. Hem reaches with one hand and latches on to the waistband of my jeans. Effortlessly the hook pops out of the jaw it has lodged into.

“ Hold the bill and push it down so the fish’s entire mouth is underwater.” Hem’s voice is calm and soothing, an abrupt turn from the dismayed and obvious disappointment from just a moment before. “As the boat starts forward, water will run through the mouth and over the gills.”

My face is down, inches away from the gulping marlin. The Pilar’s engine throttles forward and we slowly advance. It is all I can do to contain my excitement. The black marlin seems to be responding.

“You’ll feel the fish comin’ back to life soon. Watch and you’ll see the color start to return to his body. Feel the bill beginnin’ to twitch? The big fella is tellin’ ya that it’s time to let him go.”

Gently I do as I am told and release the massive fish. I watch as it gracefully sinks down and out, then swims off with quiet satisfaction. Hem’s hand clasps down upon my shoulder.

“Well, you’re no Louis Schmidt… but you’ll do in a pinch.”

“Thanks Hem, that was exhilarating!”

“Yep, ya let him get away… to live and fight another day.”

“And what’s the harm in that?” I feel all smug and sure of myself. “If he can be caught once, he can be caught again.”

“Oh, ya thing so?” Hem’s eyes lock onto mine. “Not every decision you’ll make on this trip will be so cut and dry…”

We are left floundering in the water for a moment. Hem reached down and pulled out a machine gun that heralded back to WW II and began polishing it with an oil rag. It appeared more of a caressing than a chore for him but I was surprised at his ease in producing such a weapon.

“A machine gun? I thought this was a fishing boat!”

Hem smiled but did not look up.

“This is a Thompson, Sport. A great equalizer in the field of battle.”

“Are you expecting a fight way out here?” I mocked, “ and do the bad ol’ fishies get to fire back?”

Hem propped the butt of the relic upon the seat and smirked at me.

“Ya never know…”

“How’d you manage to find a gun like that in the first place?”

Hem picked up the weapon and aimed high into the air, placing his eye down the sights like he was following a target. Then he brought the Thompson back down and offered it to me, but I refused it. Hem pulled the machine gun back and returned to polishing it with the oil rag.

“We did a stint during the war, patrolling the coast and the Florida Straits hunting U-boats. This piece has traveled with me halfway ‘round the world… saw the liberation of Paris, among other things.” Hem thoughtfully let his fingers caress the stock and trigger guard. I probably didn’t act all that suitably impressed because the owning and operating of guns never interested me. Instead I look off to one side and spotted land off in the distance.

“What’s that over there… Cuba?”

Hem looks up where I am pointing to as he leans the Thompson back into the corner. Stuffing the oil rag into his back pocket Hem gets off of his perch and moves to the railing of the Pilar.

“Naw… that’s Bone Island, Sport… you’re home away from home.”

“What’s a Bone Island? I’ve never heard of it before…”

“That’s Key West.” Hem drops back in the fighting chair and wipes his brow with a handkerchief.

“Key West? Why did you call it Bone Island?”

“That’s what Ponce de Leon called it when he discovered it back in 1513. Casa Hueso… ‘Isle of Bones.’ “

”I don’t get it.”

Goyo approaches and puts a bottle beer in Hems hands, which Hem uses to cool his forehead with before taking a long, thirsty chug. Finally he wipes his mouth and pulls a stogie from his shirt pocket which Goyo immediately offers a lighted match to. Hem puffs the life back into it and then leans back into the chair.

“Legend has it that when Ponce de Leon arrived on the shores of Key West he found it littered with bones… the skeletal remains of a tribe of Calusa Indians.”

“What happened? They die of a fever or something?”

“No… it is thought that they were chased out of Florida by a rival group of Indians, clear on down through the Keys until the reached the end. Apparently the Calusas made a stand on the beach and were slaughtered then… their bones were left to bleach out in the sun.”

“So Casa Hueso was deserted when Ponce de Leon discovered it?”

“No, and that’s the interesting part. The Calusa Indians were here when ol’ Ponce first showed up and they seemed to get along fine. But when Ponce de Leon came back a few years later they were hostile towards him and tried to turn his ship away. Originally they sent out a few canoes full of Calusa warriors but the Spanish turned them back. The next day the Calusas showed up with about 80 canoes and managed to persuade the Spanish to leave, wounding Ponce de Leon in the process.  The Spanish retreated to Cuba and poor Ponce ended up dying there.”

“What made the Calusas so angry with the Spanish when they seemed to get along so well the first time they met?”

“I dunno.” Hem took another swig of beer and gazed out across the blue Gulf water towards the sliver of land on the horizon. “Maybe the ship’s sailors were going after their women or desecrated the beach where all those bones had been left scattered about. One thing is for certain… they were one tough brood.”

“Why do you say that?’

“Well… the Spaniards were armed with the latest weaponry of their day. The Calusas only had knives and axes made of stone or coral, maybe some spears… possibly bow and arrows. They turned back a group that represented the most powerful nation of that period. It took 200 years to finally relocate the Calusa Indians over to Cuba. I’d say to turn Ponce de Leon on his ear and force him to show his tail feathers and flee took some doing.”

“Casa Hueso… Isle of Bones. Sounds like a bad horror story.”

“Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction, Sport. The abattoir Ponce de Leon found on Key West probably signaled the beginning of the end of world domination for the Spanish.”

“I’d say that is pretty powerful stuff, Hem… what’s an abattoir?”

Hem rose from the chair and downed the last drops of beer then pitched the bottle out towards the water which made a bloop when it dropped in. He clapped and rubbed his hands together as if to remove any grit then wiped them on his shirt. He looked at me and grinned.

“A slaughterhouse, Sport… that’s what an abattoir is. To Ponce de Leon and his men Key West was an abattoir… the end of the line for the Calusa Indians and eventually for him, too. Key West was a friggin’ island slaughterhouse…”

Hem took up the Thompson and began rubbing it with his oil cloth slowly, appreciating every mechanism including the short barrel and wooden stock. He smiled at me as contentedly as a boy with his Christmas BB gun.

“Bone Island abattoir,” I looked to the horizon, “ the beginning of the end…”

Hey! It’s 2011! Scroll Back, Ya Varmints!

January 2, 2011

2011.  A new me and a new you.  WordPress was kind enough to summarize the previous years posting for AMRFP… check it out!

~

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 51 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 408 posts. There were 162 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 12th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was John Lennon Sat Here….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, facebook.com, google.com, stumbleupon.com, and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for socially unacceptable behavior, 27 club conspiracy, 49 bye byes, how to succeed in amway, and advantages of respect.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

John Lennon Sat Here… September 2010
3 comments

2

rude, crude, lewd and socially unacceptable behavior October 2007
8 comments

3

The illegal immigration solution, conclusion… a.k.a Illegal Immigrant for President! (he’ll do the work George Bush won’t) June 2007
9 comments

4

songs to play at your funeral April 2008
16 comments

5

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Lying April 2008
10 comments

~

I’d like to thank WordPress for hosting such a cool site which in turn enables a writer’s whimsy to see daylight on the Internet and finds audiences such as you whom I otherwise might not have met!  (Hey! a little rhyme there!)

So from the bottom of my heart to the top of the apple cart…(I can’t help it)  thanks for reading!  I look forward to adding future posts in 2011 here at Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play. 

There really are… you know.

Peace.

2011 – The Bell Tolled 50 Years Ago

December 31, 2010

Okay. I’ve started, stopped, (paused) started, stopped and started again. Now for the pay-off. I began Shades of Hemingway several years ago and then wrote two sequels and promised a third. After some delays… here it is.

Almost.

Before I commit the next few months to putting the final chapters online I wanted to do a recap.  So, if you are new here and don’t want to review the archives… cool, the recap may suffice.  If you came on board from the beginning… cool, the recap will refresh your memory.  If you came on board from the beginning and remember the story and its sequels… cool.  Tune in next time for the concluding chapters.

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s death.  While Shades of Hemingway, Medium Exposure and Deja’ Voodoo are works of fiction I tried to remain true to the image of the man.   I hope you will agree that these stories all or in part convey the spirit of one of America’s greatest authors.

~ 

Summoned by The Shades of Hemingway; Chris Fiore, a tourist in the Florida Keys, turns amateur sleuth as he sets out to expose the killer of a Key West policeman. Drawn into Cuba by an ancient voodoo ritual that eventually links to Ernest Hemingway’s past, will the bell toll for Chris as well?
 

While vacationing with friends, Chris meets the shades of Hemingway in Key West.  Originally enticed by Hem who wants to be Chris’ ghostwriter for a supposed Hemingway revival, he is later recruited to expose the killer of Robert Jordan.  Chris is continually visited by each of the shades at different intervals of his quest to help guide and encourage him.  Eventually he goes to Cuba to rescue Brett Jordan and learns of his friend Keith’s involvement in human trafficking.
 
 
 Excerpt from the story…*

“You’ll have some big shoes to fill usin’ that, Sport. I wonder if you’re up to the task?”

I looked up to the entrance to the study, and only then did I see another door off in the corner leading to a small bathroom. In the open door, a man of about 40 stood there, drying his hands on a towel. He was dark haired, mustached and stocky wearing a silky-looking bathrobe over pajamas and dark leather slippers. He smiled at me as I gulped down my wildly beating heart.

“I’m sorry,” I stammered, then hopefully asked, “are you part of the tour?”

The man laughed; a hearty, belly shaking laugh. “Part of the tour, you ask? Why, Sport, I AM the tour!”

I was at least ten feet from the entrance to the carriage house study, but I bounded out the door in two steps. Down the iron staircase I stumbled, and out into the back yard I ran like a scalded dog. Only after taking several steps did I realize I was not being chased. I stopped to turn around and looked back at the doorway leading to Hemingway’s chambers.

There was no one there.*

~

HEM, Hemingway at middle age and the most predominant of the shades.

Hem originally contacts Chris and sets him out on his adventure. Hem has all the vitality and vigor of Ernest Hemingway at the prime of his life and celebrity. He is the most ambitious and has the strongest influence of the three shades. Hem is the adventurer and the catalyst behind Chris’ search.

PAPA, Hemingway in his later years.

Papa is the more reflective and subdued of the three shades. He is the voice of reason and appears to reassure Chris during times of difficulty or to impart wisdom.

~

Excerpt from the story…*

“I dreamt again last night, Papa. I dreamt I was back at Sloppy Joe’s with Hem and he was telling me I had to expose Officer Jordan’s killer.”

“Yes, I know, Chris. Jordan’s spirit is in a state of flux, caught between the living and the dead. Your arrival came at an opportune time, giving him a chance to rest in peace.”

“But doesn’t he know who did it? Wouldn’t it be simpler just to have him appear before the authorities and tell them?”

“Simpler, yes, but not possible… that ability is sort of ‘out of bounds’ for us.”

“Why not? He knows who did him in, doesn’t he?”

“Yes, he does. But we are not empowered to speak about certain things.” *

~

RING LARDNER, JR., the youngest Hemingway.

Ring is the unblemished and moral one, the idealistic teenaged Hemingway who went to war. He has the strength and virtue of character that Chris needs when his own courage fails him.

~

Excerpt from the story…*

Ring looks over at me. His eyes seem vacant and lost, he is a young man far from home having just witnessed first hand the spectacle and barbarian tactics of war. But his voice is strong. He calls to me.

“Wake up, Chris.”

“What? I am awake!”

“No, Chris… you’re not. Wake up this instant.”

“I’m awake! Ring; I see you, I can hear you… my eyes are wide open! The guy next to me needs a cigarette!”

I look back over at “the smoker” but he is flat on his back and out of it. I look back at Ring and shrug.

“She is still alive, Chris. She is still alive and she needs your help. Wake up, Chris… rescue her. You’re not too late…”

I turn away from Ring Lardner, Jr. and look up and down at the rows of hospital beds. Now they are all empty, even “the smoker’s” bed is vacant. My mind is racing. I can sense my body detaching, a booster rocket falling away into space… am I dying?*

~

KEITH, Chris’ friend who turns out to be the manipulative villain.

Keith is the reason Chris originally goes to Key West. On the surface, Keith is a happy-go-lucky guy with an import/export business. In reality, Keith is involved with human trafficking and becomes Chris’ adversary.

BRETT JORDAN, a Key West detective, is the former wife of Jake Barnes and the sister of Robert Jordan. Brett is unaware that she is a spirit medium for her dead brother and when she disappears, Chris’ infatuation with Brett leads him to Cuba in an attempt to rescue her.

JAKE BARNES, a Key West detective and Brett’s former husband. Jake has been investigating the smuggling of Cuban refugees into the Florida Keys in co-operation with the Cuban government. Keith’s kidnaping of rich Americans and holding them for ransom in Cuba has further strained the relations between the authorities. Jake eventually becomes Chris’ ally.

NATY REVUELTA, a Cuban refugee who has returned to Cuba to assist in the raising of her dead sister’s children. Naty’s family finds Chris after he has been beaten and left for dead shortly after his arrival in Cuba. Naty and her sister had a conflicting relationship with Keith, which led to her sister’s suicide.

ROBERT JORDAN, Key West policeman who is killed in his rookie year. He is the younger brother of Brett Jordan. His death has disrupted the spirit realm and causes the shades to recruit Chris to expose his killer.

“MANOLO” SGT. GARCIA, Cuban policeman who has been working with Jake Barnes. He takes Chris to Cuba when Brett turns up missing.

LORD CRISTOBAL, Cuban voodoo priest who has ties with Keith’s import/export business. Keith has used his connections with Lord Cristobal to expand into the ransoming of Americans.

LAURA, Keith’s wife. She is friends with Rachel and accompanies Keith when he invites Chris and Rachel to go to the Keys. Laura is unaware of Keith’s illegal activities.

RACHEL, Chris’ girlfriend in the first book. Rachel and Laura have a professional relationship which encouraged the friendship between Chris and Keith.

~

Excerpt from the story…*

“Let me get this straight. You say all that talk about me writing for you and making the world remember you and keeping the Hemingway name relevant was just a ruse?’

Hem is more interested in the women, he doesn’t bother to address me directly but is smiling and encouraging them. “In a manner of speaking, yes. Jordan needs you now, more than we do.”

“I know nothing about Officer Jordan other than he was killed in the line of duty.”

“And that is precisely the point. Jordan needs to have his killer brought to justice.”

Now it begins to sink in.

“Wait a minute! You want me to find whoever is responsible for Jordan’s death? I’m no detective!”

Hem abruptly dismisses the women who in turn look at me with dejected contempt. Hem reaches for his shot glass, downs its contents with a single gulp, then returns it in favor of a tall beer chaser, which he thirstily swigs until it is half empty. The phantom bartender instantly appears to refill the shot glass and replenish the beer. Hem pauses for a moment, fingers the little condensation ring formed by the beer glass then again faces me.

“You don’t understand, Sport. We don’t want you to find Jordan’s killer, we want you to expose Jordan’s killer. *

~

There are four books in the series:

In Shades of Hemingway, Chris and Rachel go with Keith and Laura to Key West where Chris first meets Hem, Papa and Ring Lardner, Jr. Hem convinces Chris that the shades need him to act as a ghostwriter in order to represent them for a Hemingway revival, so initially Chris agrees. Chris meets Key West policeman, Robert Jordan, who directs him to the Green Parrot as an “off the beaten path” local bar. While there, Chris gains the attention of several shady characters but remains unaffected by their presence. Later, discovering a conflict between the shades, Chris decides fame and fortune is not worth compromising his principles for and rejects Hem’s offer to make him a writer. Chris returns an artifact he “borrowed” from the Hemingway Estate, thinking that would rid him of the shades. Unfortunately, Chris is caught, put in jail, but then released when he agrees to stay away from the Estate and return for a court appearance. It is while he is leaving the jail with his friends that Chris discovers Robert Jordan was actually a ghost.

In Medium Exposure, Chris returns alone for his court appearance, after breaking up with Rachel. He finds out that the men who saw him in the Green Parrot Bar are Cuban policemen assisting Jake Barnes in a human trafficking case. Chris meets Papa who warns him of the kyklos tod mene and that his own death is possible. Chris goes to another bar, the Golden Earring, and sees Brett for the first time. The next day, following an accidental meeting with Brett at the courthouse, Chris is kidnaped when he tries to leave Key West. After being dumped off on the causeway that connects the Florida Keys, Chris is picked up by Brett who reveals herself to be a Key West detective. Eventually Brett takes Chris back to her apartment and seduces him. The next day, Chris awakes to find that Brett is gone. Jake appears and declares himself her husband. Jake questions Chris on Brett’s whereabouts. Chris discovers that Brett is Robert Jordan’s sister. Sensing he is about to be arrested again, Chris flees only to meet up with Sgt. Garcia. Sgt. Garcia assures Chris he knows where Brett is, that she is in danger and he can lead Chris to her. Caught between being arrested by Jake or trusting Garcia, Chris leaves for Cuba.

In Deja’ Voodoo, Chris arrives in Cuba and ditches Sgt. Garcia. At a local bar, Chris meets Hem, who tells Chris to look up Lord Cristobal. When the bartender learns of Chris’ desire, a ride is arranged. The driver, thinking Chris is a rich tourist, tries to rob Chris then beats him, leaving him for dead. Chris is then found by the family of Naty Revuelta. Ring Lardner, Jr. appears while Chris seems to be fading off. Ring reminds Chris that he is there to find Brett. Because of his desire for Brett, Chris pulls through. The Revuelta family nurses Chris back to health. Naty turns out to be a refugee who has returned to Cuba from the U.S. to help raise her dead sister’s children. Later Chris learns of Naty’s former relationship with Keith which resulted in her sister’s suicide. Chris goes to Lord Cristobal to learn of the possible connection between Keith and Brett. Waiting for Chris at the Villa Vinales de Eden is Jake Barnes who takes him into “custody”.

 ~

And finally begins… 

 

Bone Island Abattoir.

~

I hope you will enjoy and Happy New Year.

Peace. 

 

 

giddy-up 409 (Joy to the World… and all that happy crap)

December 24, 2010

Okay, I was going to do something along the lines of this for my 409th post…

but perhaps we should just skip all that stuff.   A post is a post is a post around here at AMRFP.  They are like buses, if you miss one another will be along soon.

But today I think I’ll ask you to do something else.  It’s Christmas Eve, for cryin’ out loud!  Divert your attention here instead: http://crrz07.wordpress.com/  You won’t be disappointed.

I imagine one day that my blog archives will be studied by a highly intelligent species and they will say something along the lines of  “This man was a friggin’ genius” or maybe they’ll just use their telepathic capabilities, clunk their heads together and hum Pink Floyd’s One of These Days…

 but in the meantime…

I don’t think I could have said it better myself…

Peace.

Ol’ 55(000)

December 16, 2010

Hey cool! 55,000 hits and they keep on comin’!  I’m not smart enough to put a counter on my AMRFP home page, or maybe I’m too lazy to figure it out but here you are and that’s a good thing.  So in celebration, enjoy some music…

or how about from the original?

but I like this version, too.

Anyway, 55,000 is a pretty big deal here at AMRFP so from the bottom of my heart to the top of my heated brow…

thanks for reading.

peace.

Ho, Ho, Humbug? Share Merry Christmas or Declare Happy Holidays?

November 28, 2010

Living up here in Canada I was beginning to worry.  It was closing in on the last week of November and it hadn’t snowed yet.  Three years ago I flew up here and the snow was as deep and cold as I expected but now I lamented, “Where’s the snow?”  But be careful what you pine over because Old Man Winter has some big ears. 

It snowed Thursday and through the night it snowed again.  We awoke this morning to more snow.

My BB says now it appears like snow has always been here and it is true, we live in the Great White North.  Brrr… it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

So imagine my interest when I discovered this on the Internet…  http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147486887  I didn’t know there were actually stores out there that refused to promote or minimized the approach of Christmas.  I had to stop and wonder about that…

Victoria’s Secret?  What do they have against the pagan sun-god worshippers ritual?  You’d think that they’d want to promote the sale of their sexy lingerie at all costs, wouldn’t you? http://www.spike.com/video/victorias-secret/2807705

Barnes and Noble?  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/Barnes-and-Noble-Classics-for-Christmas/379000267/   Seems like they’d want to cash in on the Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men sales motto.  So I had to look deeper…

There you go, lots of Christmas language in that video.

And they mention Radio Shack?  How about this?

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x88qhi_radio-shack-christmas-play_music 

or this?

Okay, so now I’m confused.  Either stores promote the day erroneously marked as Christ’s birth or they don’t.  Personally I don’t care and God bless ’em if they choose not to, but where does the AFA get their information?  From readers like you.

So I had to go back and view the Victoria’s Secret ads again and pay more than the usual (!) attention and guess what?  They left the word Christmas to the imagination (and little else) so, hmmm… does that really portray or betray the spirit of giving?  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp=40387119&#40387119

Now with a keener eye (ha!) I looked back at Barnes and Nobles then the Radio Shack ads.  B&N’s online ad merely mentioned Holiday gifts but their B&N Tags video seemed to balance Christmas in amongst their segments.  Both Radio Shack videos did the same.  So here’s the rub…

The American Family Association puts this list together implying retailers either support Christmas minimally, profoundly or not at all.  But does this aid us in discovering the true meaning of the holiday?  Or does it just boycott the notion that this spirit we are supposed to develop comes from within regardless of where we shop?  If I’m filled with the ghosts of Christmas! At last!  does it really matter if my retailer joins in that sentiment?  And what about their employees and their families, don’t they deserve the benefit of Christmas charity and prosperity?

Our 11-year-old is anxiously awaiting Christmas.  You’d think it would be because of the gifts he is anticipating and that is a  reasonable assumption.   Most 11 year olds can hardly wait for the new video game, new electronic gadgetry or music machine that is flooding the want lists of kids around the world and he’s no exception.

But lately, there is something more… he wants to give gifts.  A gift for his younger brother and one for his older sister.  A gift for his mother and even one for me!  Gifts all around.  And he’s worried time will run out before he is able to earn enough money to buy them all.  He doesn’t realize it, but he has already given me the grandest gift a child can give.  He has shown his willingness to share.  Not to say he hasn’t felt that spirit in the past but this holiday season it has had an impact on me.

These days it is hard to cultivate sharing.  Usually it is all about what you will get that matters.  That is probably the biggest turn off the Christmas holiday brings to me.  I don’t like the fact that a date on the calendar dictates whether I will be generous or not.  I feel that it means more when a gift is offered “out of the blue” with no strings attached.

Now seeing our young man get excited for the gifts he is about to present to others puts a warm feeling in my heart.  It is the feeling that perhaps all your parenting efforts have not gone un-noticed, perhaps through all your hits and misses, the joy of sharing has taken root and blossoms forth.

And that is a good thing. 

So, if  in your travels you notice… “Hey! They’re putting out Christmas decorations already!”  and you are trying to decide whether it fits in your politics or not to succumb to all the hype, remember this…

There really can be “Joy to the World”, even if it is only one giving heart at a time.

Have a safe and warm (!) holiday season.

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/naughty-and-nice-companies-this-holiday-season/q9n2vz7p?q=Christmas+Shopping&rel=msn&from=en-us_msnhp&form=MSNHED&gt1=42007

Peace.

P.S.  This was sent to me by an alert reader, thought it fit in perfectly with our topic…

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

  

 




 

 

 

 

 

 



Cleverly done!!!   http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZSYYYYYYMNUS 

 Twas the Month before Christmas 

 


Twas the month before Christmas

 

When all through our land,

 

Not a Christian was praying

 

Nor taking a stand.

 

See the PC Police had taken away

 

The reason for Christmas – no one could say.

 

The children were told by their schools not to sing

 

About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

 

It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say

 

 December 25th is just a ‘ Holiday ‘.

 

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit

 

Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

 

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod

 

Something was changing, something quite odd! 

 

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa

 

In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

 

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down

 

At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was no where to be found.

 

At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears

 

You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.

 

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty

 

Are words that were used to intimidate me.

 

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen

 

On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !

 

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter

 

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

 

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith

 

 Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace

 

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded

 

The reason for the season, stopped before it started.

 

So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’

 

Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.

 

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say

 

Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,

 

not Happy Holiday !

 

Please, all Christians join together and

 

wish everyone you meet

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

Christ is The Reason’ for the Christ-mas Season!

a little T&A for the TSA?

November 21, 2010

Uh-oh, I’m exasperating. 

This morning my BB and I were discussing an article I found on the Internet and we enlarged upon the public outcry over TSA methods in airports.  Here’s an interesting snippet on the subject…

http://www.slate.com/id/2275448/?GT1=38001

You’d think that if the program was working, TSA officials would want to let the public know, you know… toot their little horn?  So far… zip.

Now we are reading horror stories like this one…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40278427/ns/travel-news

or watching videos like this one…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/40288608#40288608

and envisioning ourselves in predicaments of public humiliation like this one…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40291856/ns/travel-news

So how did my fair one and I get off into this subject on an otherwise perfectly perfect Sunday morning coming down?  I read this:

http://moms.today.com/_news/2010/11/19/5495281-allergic-teens-mom-wants-to-ban-perfume-in-school?gt1=43001

More on that later.

First of all, I have no problem with security cameras placed on public streets, in buildings or special events.  I am out in public and therefore I am being seen by the masses and don’t mind it being recorded.  I’m not about to break any law and if it means that other people will behave themselves; i.e. refrain from theft, violence or public indecency I am all for it.  Some view this as an invasion of their privacy but I say no.  You are out in public, you are not in private.  A camera being concealed in your bathroom, bedroom, hotel room, etc. would be an invasion of your privacy because you are no longer in public and carrying on in a private manner.  While you are shopping in a mall you will be notified that there are security cameras in place and these are for your protection as well as deterring crime.  To me that is acceptable.

Okay, now for a little T&A for the TSA.

People are in a quandary about the security measures placed in airports.  While there has been no recorded instances of these security checkpoints actually catching terrorists, they may act as a deterrent.  If it means getting felt up to ensure I take off and land as scheduled, then I think that is a small price to pay.  Imagine having your plane hijacked by terrorists.  Would you feel better knowing that even though you are about to go down in flames at least your dignity is intact?  I don’t think so.

But I will say that there should be accommodations for persons with the conditions mentioned above.  Perhaps there could be a pre-screening for such individuals.  When they purchase their tickets their condition could be verified.  After doing this they need not go through the rigors and potentially embarrassing screenings that the general public must endure. 

Or you could choose not to fly.  These days it seems the perfect option to me.  The fam and I flew to Florida last spring and while the trip down was uneventful, we were stunned that the airlines insisted we pay for baggage on our return flight even though we had booked months in advance of any levied fees now in force.  It was another $80-90 but that was beside the point, we felt we had no choice and were being gouged.  So, plans for future trips will be based on ground travel.  No lines, no surcharges, no delays and no TSA. 

People think that TSA officers are getting their jollies looking at x-ray images but I don’t think so.  Have you seen these pictures?

or these?

can you identify any person with these images?  Maybe a sense of humor would help…

Now for the later story that got me in hot water…  oh! you haven’t read it yet?  Here it is again, go ahead… I’ll wait.

http://moms.today.com/_news/2010/11/19/5495281-allergic-teens-mom-wants-to-ban-perfume-in-school?gt1=43001

I particularly like the comments on this one.

Our society seems to be so overly sensitive about issues that are best resolved individually.  Why does this mother have to sue the school district?  Why does the majority have to sacrifice for the minority?  It is the same as air travel.  If you cannot abide by the wishes of the government, don’t fly.  If your child has allergies, take the necessary precautions.  But not at the expense or discomfort of others. 

Peanut products have been banned from the area schools where I live.  I can survive without peanuts.  But they are intermingled with other foods that may be harmful to me or others with allergic reations.  Fine.  All products that MAY come in contact with peanuts are hereby banned as well.  That means on airplanes, too.   Bummer.  We protect the rights of better health for some, but what about those of us who love our peanut M&M’s?  Too bad.

I remember reading somewhere that red automobiles are statistically in more accidents and are involved in more moving violations than any other color.  So do we ban the color red?  Rock & Roll might excite young people, classical music might enthrall older persons.  Tight sweaters show off buxom females, tight shirts show off a guy’s bulging muscles.  Are we thinking dirty thoughts?  Billboards are distracting while we drive.  Magazines have alluring covers.  Books have titles drenched in innuendo.  Movies have gratuitous violence.  Yikes!  So much out there that might be harmful to us!

I’m not trying to minimize a persons allergy.  Our daughter has a severe reaction to nuts due to asthma and as a family we have to take the necessary precautions.  But she goes places outside of home or school (ban the peanuts, remember?) and has to be conscious of her surroundings.  We haven’t banned peanuts at the mall… yet.

Airport security is a good thing.  We live in troublesome times and need to address issues pertaining to national security and personal safety.  Food allergies are a very real problem and need to be taken seriously by those who have them.  The general public has the right to choose to fly or not fly.  The general public has the right to decide whether they will wear perfume or eat peanuts or drive a red automobile. 

There is the minority that are afraid of their bodies images being seen or those images stored.  First of all, chances are the images exposed are of bodies supported by brassieres, girdles, slimming pantyhose,  jockey shorts, back supports, toupee’s or waist reducing jeans… 

And secondly, let them imagine… you never looked better.

peace.

Outside Looking In

November 14, 2010

It has been two years since I moved to Canada.

From this vantage point it is interesting how our politics are depicted.  Obama recently has left for a jaunt overseas to less than stellar reviews.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40145336/  But it is the comments to the reports that I find enlightening.  Average citizens remarking on the functioning of Democracy. http://world-news.newsvine.com/_news/2010/11/12/5454035-obama-claims-strengthened-hand-in-global-dealings

Funny how one administration can get a free pass over the actions of a proceeding one, or from a potential challenger.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-importance-of-seeing-sarah-palin/article1738425/   I thought this comment was noteworthy after someone remarked about Sarah Palin being a “quitter”…

———

You think Obama’s bad…..I would hate to see what we get if you people elect a quiting Governor!

  • 2 votes

#2.1 – Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:26 AM EST

You think Obama’s bad…..I would hate to see what we get if you people elect a quiting Governor!

Seems to me that every politician both Republican and Democrat that ran for an office above the one that they currently held and then won that office quit their job, Obama quit the senate to become president, Biden quit his job They all quit their jobs, It does not make any difference whether they were elected or not they still quit their former jobs….I am not a Sara Palin fan and I an not an Obama basher but that quit her job thing is really getting tired

Palin left Alaska with a 18 billion dollar surplus. Her reason for leaving was exemplary. Lawsuits because of taking the position of vice president running made her a target of the liberal media which demonized both Palin and her children. Even the porn community attacked this lady who presented herself as an everyday American mom with mainstream values, concerns and the direction of middle class America. Her reason for leaving the governorship was Alaska would not get anything done with the attacks and lawsuits. Palin then joined with the Tea Party and played a big part in reshaping the candidates who ran for office in the Republican party as well as handing the Democrats their worst political defeat. Palin is family focus person and community as well. Her leadership begins in her home, her husband does not wander like say Hilary Clinton’s does another lady who wants to be president but cannot even control her own husband. Palin has problem solving abilities, when the gulf spill occurred she graciously told Obama which countries had equipment to contain the spill, being a Governor of an oil producing state, she knew instantly what to do and who to connect with. Palin’s advice was ignored by the Obama administration.. When these ships arrived in the Gulf, they were sent home and that decision was in every countries newspaper except the United States, Holland”s was where I read the article at the time and you can check it there. The reason for this decision was only maritime unions workers were allowed to clean up oil spills. Over a month passed before cleanup began by foreign ships that were brought back. Palin is also versed in our National Defense system due to Alaska position on the globe and had a security clearance and unlike say somebody like Eric Holder or Bill Clinton could not get a security clearance because of previous affiliations with radical and anti government groups. Unlike Mr Momus, Palin is qualified to be President in my estimation for reasons listed above and many more which time constraints and space prevent me from listing. Palin indeed represents mainstream America, her concerns are for her fellow Americans and if she were elected we would all have jobs by now. and Capital hill would not be a war zone. . .

—————–

I have a tendency to agree, still it hurts me to see my country in such a quandary.  People divided, loyalties questioned and affiliations splintered.  But there is more interest in politics as of late than any time in recent memory, which is a good thing.  There has been too much apathy in the past.  More people should be involved to where the politicians start paying attention to the concerns of the people… and act accordingly.

I don’t consider myself overly patriotic, but while I am on the outside looking in I hate seeing my country’s image sullied because of some bad policies.  Americans by far are good people; generous, kind and loyal.  I think a little introspection is a good thing.   http://advantagesofmutualrespectandfairplay.com/2010/02/20/have-a-little-cake-with-your-tea-party/

We all need to take that journey…

Let’s start having some accountability starting from within.

From the outside looking in,

peace.

An Invasion of Piracy

November 13, 2010

Yo ho ho and a bottle of root beer!  Okay, pirates come in all shapes and sizes…

But sometimes you just gotta wonder about the legitimacy of some…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39897648/ns/business-world_business/?gt1=43001

Here’s an instance of a person being pirated because of alleged pirating…

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9134582/Analysis_1.92M_fine_in_music_piracy_case_could_hurt_RIAA

and of course, there is the threat of software piracy…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40045602/ns/technology_and_science-the_new_york_times

But I think that not all pirates are brandishing cutlass’ and carrying off booty.  Some are just keeping legitimate ideas from surfacing, and I think that is the worst type of pirate, the one that seems to be above such dastardly deeds, but actually causes more harm than good.  Check this out…

http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/plastic-to-oil-fantastic/

Changing plastic to oil would be way cooler than placing it in land fills…

Don’t you think?

Now who could possibly think this could be bad?  Exxon?  Naw…

peace.