Sold Out at In-N-Out

Must applaud the good fortune visited upon author Ted Gup this week in the form of free advertising for his former best-seller The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives. Published almost two decades ago, Gup's book found renewed celebrity when it appeared on the front page of New York's gift to … Continue reading Sold Out at In-N-Out

Fly America, Call the Philippines (pt II)

When your official government itinerary on U.S.-flag contract carrier United Airlines is thrown into disarray because of concerns about flying over Iranian air space... ...and the United agents can't confirm the final leg of your trip (which includes traveling on Air Canada, Germany's Lufthansa, and Air India) for 24 hours... ...so that after two hours on … Continue reading Fly America, Call the Philippines (pt II)

Take Off Happens

Late lunch when Jack leaves early and gets th’ job done. 03:25 wake up 03:50 pick up 04:50 boarding 05:20 liftoff Mumbai 07:25 touchdown Delhi 08:35 report for duty 09:00 call to order 13:00 adjourn 14:00 reach ile bar T1 Take-off happens   ##

Jon Voight’s IOU

Well, gee, is anyone surprised by Jon Voight's absurd words of support addressed to the people of the Republican Party? Is anyone surprised to see the actor who portrayed Milo Minderbinder, Joseph Heller's brilliant rendering of a profiteering con artist in Catch-22, praise the most notorious and corrupt corporate scoundrel America has ever produced? Sure, … Continue reading Jon Voight’s IOU

A Trail in Two Countries

Years ago I traveled the sands of Saudi Arabia, stopping along the way to tour the  old camel train forts. I visited these caravanserai along the Hejaz Railway, the line targeted by T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. My journeys between 2003-05 took me north from Jeddah through … Continue reading A Trail in Two Countries

Operation Sheltering Sky

Rajasthan is desert country, 70% of the state---India's largest---an arid mix of scrub and sand. We trekked by camel into the Thar Desert about 50 km outside Jaisalmer. Abdullah led our beasts on foot, their names Simon, Paulos, and---inexplicably---Johnny No. 1. Toward sunset we reached the Sam Dunes. The wind died down and we made … Continue reading Operation Sheltering Sky

“The Whites…”

An ugly and violent upward trend divides us along ethnic lines today. In order to stay sane in the face of this spreading and dangerous hate, one need only look to Walter Sobchak, the right-wing nut job Vietnam vet (and convert to Judaism!) from The Big Lebowski... https://youtu.be/dQbpx5Be5rI His utter disdain for his own dirty … Continue reading “The Whites…”

Maneater

This review just slays it. Jason Overdorf hunts with a sharp pen and takes down Dane Huckelbridge's narrative about what would seem a brutally interesting topic. And he doesn't stop there. He spills ink like blood all over the slain author's enablers: "He is not without accomplices in this crime against the English language, either. … Continue reading Maneater

Lords of the Flies

We boys are to be left alone while the lynchpin of our home operation conducts child labor research in island-nation Philippines for the next seven days. The irony's not lost on me. How long 'til we descend into savagery? Not to worry. Rather than cranking the inevitable conflagrant sounds we so admire, we'll tuck ourselves … Continue reading Lords of the Flies

Sez the Man with No Lips

I have too much to say about this experience, so I'll just pop it up here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvIQ6eEYegY&feature=youtu.be A few days ago I sat down to chat with Matt Whiteside and only recently looked at the results. He's a sharp guy with a great heart and an ambitious idea: help other writers. He's fun and funny … Continue reading Sez the Man with No Lips