Isn't it time yet?

Actually, it will never be this time again - the green at the end of the tunnel in old Yankee Stadium, the Cathedral in the Bronx.
About best seller lists, etc.

About that last post -

It's not that I'm not grateful that readers have purchased my book. On the contrary, I'm extremely grateful and even humbled. It's just that mentioning the best seller lists - any list, of which I have been extremely fortunate to land on a number of times - just seems too much like bragging.

But I guess I should think of it more like this: I'm extremely thankful that so many people have opted to spend some time with me and Dale and read that book.

So thank you.
Times list

PR type got on me for not mentioning the fact that Black Wolf hit the NY Times (extended) best seller list this month.

All right, so I've mentioned it.
Audio books . . .

A number of my books are available in audio editions; here's link to a few at
The future of (financial) warfare . . .

. . . is now.


BEIJING — Aided by at least $43 million in assistance from the government of Massachusetts and an innovative solar energy technology, Evergreen Solar emerged in the last three years as the third-largest maker of solar panels in the United States.
But now the company is closing its main American factory, laying off the 800 workers by the end of March and shifting production to a joint venture with a Chinese company in central China. Evergreen cited the much higher government support available in China.
. . .

Evergreen, in announcing its move to China, was unusually candid about its motives. Michael El-Hillow, the chief executive, said in a statement that his company had decided to close the Massachusetts factory in response to plunging prices for solar panels. World prices have fallen as much as two-thirds in the last three years — including a drop of 10 percent during last year’s fourth quarter alone.

Chinese manufacturers, Mr. El-Hillow said in the statement, have been able to push prices down sharply because they receive considerable help from the Chinese government and state-owned banks, and because manufacturing costs are generally lower in China.

“While the United States and other Western industrial economies are beneficiaries of rapidly declining installation costs of solar energy, we expect the United States will continue to be at a disadvantage from a manufacturing standpoint,” he said.

Even though Evergreen opened its Devens plant, with all new equipment, only in 2008, it began talks with Chinese companies in early 2009. In September 2010, the company opened its factory in Wuhan, China, and will now rely on that operation.

Full article here.

Question: Do you charge someone with treason in a case like this, or just call them a smart businessman?

Today's accomplishment . . .

Learning how to work the "delay start" function on the oven.

The only question is whether to file it under "technological prowess" or "culinary exploits."
Snow & cigars

Much more difficult than dealing with the snow (ten??? inches? - piece of cake) is answering the perennial question: . . . What's the best cigar to use while snowblowing?

It has to be strong, but not too strong. Most importantly, it needs a good, durable wrapper that won't fall apart under the pressure of the swirling winds.

Field tests are underway.

Second question: is the 'no beer before 10 a.m.' rule suspended on snow days?

Stealth fighter?

China Is Said to Test Stealth Fighter as Gates Visits

Everyone wondering why the aircraft is so large might think about what sort of uses a stealthy airframe might be best put to.

Here's a hint - what were the American "stealth fighters" used for in the First Gulf War?

In any event, it's been quite a while since the days of close-in dogfighting where small, highly maneuverable airframes were the biggest asset. Being able to carry long-range missiles, hold a lot of fuel and house advanced sensors are at least arguably a lot more important today than how tightly you can turn.

It hurts to say that. But if you're looking for an old-fashioned furball, you're a heck of a lot more likely to get it in, say, the next installment of Ace Combat than in real life.

And yes, I guarantee you will get it in the next Ace (Assault Horizon, for those of you not following along).
The tank on water skis . . .

Item: Marine landing craft likely to be axed.

The problem isn't the Marines, or even the idea of the new landing craft - it's the fact that it took over twenty years to develop and still wasn't a reality.

Developing landing craft in WWII didn't take 20 months. I'm not saying weapons should be rushed into existence, but for crapsake . . . what do you have around the house that was made 20 years ago?

The best Marine weapon remains a Marine.
Twain and the N word . . .

Speaking of Mark Twain, he's recently back in the news as publishers are planning to an edition of Huck Finn that replaces the word white boys can never say with "slave."

Does anyone else think the controversy has actually helped keep him relevant? Even though it actually has zero to do with the book.
What we're up against . . .

From Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD -- Lawyers showered the suspected assassin of a liberal Pakistani governor with rose petals as he entered court. Some 170 miles away, the prime minister joined thousands to mourn the loss of the politician, who dared to challenge the demands of Islamic extremists.

The cheers and tears across the country Wednesday underscored Pakistan's journey over the past several decades from a nation defined by moderate Islam to one increasingly influenced by fundamentalists willing to use violence to impose their views.

Even so-called moderate Muslim scholars praised 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri for allegedly killing Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer on Tuesday in a hail of gunfire while he was supposed to be protecting him as a bodyguard. Qadri later told authorities he acted because of Taseer's vocal opposition to blasphemy laws that order death for those who insult Islam.

As Qadri was escorted into court in Islamabad, a rowdy crowd patted his back and kissed his cheek as lawyers at the scene threw flowers. On the way out, some 200 sympathizers chanted slogans in his favor, and the suspect stood at the back door of an armored police van and repeatedly yelled "God is great."

Full story, which goes on to say that many Pakistani are appalled, here.

I got the new Twain autobiography for Christmas, and while I haven't gotten very far, I was struck by the fact that even Mark Twain had editors screw with his work.

I'm not exactly sure how I should feel about that.
2011 . . .

. . . same as it ever was...