Why is gas going up?

According to the analysts, it's the speculators, not the unrest . . .

Though even Goldman-Sachs says the price is overblown.

G-S story here. (You have to interpret a little. Not to mention realize that G-S is probably already shorting the price even as they're telling their customers to sell.)

Meanwhile, Extortion-Mobil just booked record profits...
Conversation with editor

Overheard at the bar . . .

Editor: Hey, that reminds me - copy editing on your new book is done. Want me to send it over to you tomorrow?

Writer: Go ahead - I haven't broken furniture in a while.
More on Rogue . . .

I neglected to mention yesterday that a number of servicemen and women are getting free advance copies of the new book, thanks to the generosity of our publisher, Forge.

Tom Doherty doesn't take a lot of credit - in fact, as far as I know he takes zero credit - but over the years he's done quite a lot for the country's service people, donating books for various causes connected to veterans and serving military. When Dick came up with an idea to do a little something for some injured (and non-injured) vets earlier this year, Tom stepped in, cut through the paperwork, and told his staff to make it happen.

In the vast sea of things, it may be a small gesture, but it's those gestures that truly count.


Speaking of the Yankee game, I actually had to remind a few guys in our section to take their caps off and STFU* during the moment of silence and respect for our fallen war heroes, and the victims of 9/11.


I wouldn't mention it, except these guys were well into their thirties, and based on all available evidence, un-inebriated.

Kind of makes you wonder what the rest of their lives are like.**

* -STFU = an abbreviation; the first two words are "shut the . . ." You can work out the rest.
** Ordinarily I'm not so obnoxious, but there are a couple of small things do bother me, and that's one of them.

De-trained by MTA

I was on the train home from Yankee Stadium, still wondering how a reserve outfielder could make not one but two great catches to ruin a certain pie game*, when the woman in the seat in front of me turned around and asked, "Is this stop Tarrytown?"

"Uh, yeah," I said - as it raced by.

About a dozen people grabbed for the conductor cord, but it was too late - we were beyond Philipse Manor before the train stopped.

Consultations ensued. My proposal to rush the engineer's compartment and take matters into our own hands was seconded by a plurality of the car. But as the crowd moved toward the engineer's cabin, the train started moving again.


"We screwed up," said the conductor. "We're going up to Croton, where they'll be a train waiting to take you south. In the meantime - free beer."

Actually, the beer came from a Yankee fan who'd somehow managed to snag a cooler after the game. He tried explaining how he had pulled that off, but even after four Coors Lites, I didn't understand.

We made it eventually. But I still wonder about those catches.

* Pie game: a home game where the Yankees come from behind in the 9th or later inning, a reference to the fact that AJ puts a creme pie in the face of the person who knocks in the winning run. As opposed to a Blown Save by Soriano game, which this one was.
Two weeks away . . .

. . . well, slightly more than that.

This one is set partly in India, and based loosely on real events.

Or is it set loosely in India, and based partly on real events?

I'll have to reread it to be sure...

(Pre-sale links here and here, among other places.)
And they want 20% more . . .

. . . in premiums next year, or thereabouts, according to their latest filings.


UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest commercial health insurers, reported robust profits on Thursday. The company, which is the first of the major insurers to make public its quarterly earnings, is viewed as something of a bellwether for the rest of the industry.

In addition to besting Wall Street estimates, UnitedHealth’s results would seem to suggest that life under the new federal health care law may not be so bad for insurers after all.

Story, what little there is of it, here.

And note that it's not all that much different than this story, published about the previous quarter.

Mopar's Charger . . .

. . . sure looks sweet. And I'm in the market for a new car. . . .

0-60 in well under six seconds. I think I'd lose the blue stripe though - why show off?

Sometimes it's better to be lucky . . .

. . . than good.

(Slide too early, and you still may score.)
Armed and dry . . .

I can sympathize - I've often reached for a rifle and pulled out an umbrella instead . . . then again, given the run of weather we've been having, maybe taking a rifle to deal with the clouds would be more effective.

How the next book starts.

(Almost: Imagine a Caddy instead of that cement bunker.)
Omar Bradley

Great talk with the PR and Marketing people at Regnery History about Bradley today. The book is set for an early September launch, and they have a ton of great things planned. I hope I can keep up with them all.

They were a little reluctant to admit that Bradley was more photogenic than I am, but I chalk that up to politeness.

Omar Bradley: General at War. I think it will change your thoughts about how we won World War II.
Where it goes . . .

In honor of tax day, a calculator to show where your money is spent (or wasted, as the case may be) . . .

Rabid Coyote

One of the new logos . . .
Assault Horizon character update: Bishop

In the original script, Colonel Bishop's nickname was Brass.

You can work out why. (And yes, we had to drop it for precisely that reason.) You'll love flying as him - if you're up to it.

For various and sundry reasons - to be elaborated on when appropriate - I've been reading up on the battles of Fallujah lately.

What is most striking about the descriptions is how different they can be, even when ostensibly witnessing the same thing. Incidents a block away seem like almost a different war.

Almost. it was all a shit hole.
Assault Horizon character update: McGarvey

An Army chopper pilot, McGarvey is an old school hard ass, tough when he needs to be, but generally encouraging - kind of like you wished your high school football coach was.

I wanted him to smoke cigars, but that's a no-no . . .
Game focus

I finally made it to a Yankee game Wednesday that was not rained out (even though it was raining) and was rewarded with an almost great performance by Good AJ* - as opposed to Bad AJ, who showed up in the seventh inning and gave up a pair of two-run bombs over the right field fence.

As the second one was launched, the drunken slob next to me** jumped from his seat and began screaming. "AJ you red-neck son of a @#$@#$@#$@#$! You're a @$%#$#$!@#!! And a @#@#$@#$#%^."

It was an impressive tirade.

"So what do you really think?" I asked as he fell back into his seat.

"I'm sorry," he said sincerely. "I wasn't really paying attention to the game."

* - That would be AJ Burnett, the Yankees' sometimes good, often awful ace pitcher.

** - Not FellowWriter, who was on the other side.

Satire . . .

. . . or every writer's reality?

(I swear I've done a signing like that.)
Assault Horizon character update: Jan

Major Rehl is one of my favorite characters - about the only bomber pilot I'll admit having a crush on.
In the game, she's called to Africa to fly an AC-130 gunship because of her past experience dealing with the French and Russians - tres difficult, no? then she comes back for a key bombing mission later in the game.
Unfortunately, some of her best stuff disappeared on the cutting room floor, but that's always the way, isn't it?
She has a lot of back and forths with Guts, who reminds her a lot of her younger brother, but the character in the game she really likes is Colonel Bishop.
Assault Horizon character update: Guts

One of my favorite characters in the Assault Horizon scenario is Guts - a wiseass from New York. (Gee, why would I like him?)

He's Cuban-American - his parents escaped Castro though you don't actually find that out in the game itself. Guts lives for two things - to bust chops, and to shoot enemy pilots down from the sky. He has a couple of near-death experiences in the game, and if you're playing as Wright, you'll have to save his sorry butt more than once . . .

New York bound

The Enterprise is coming to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum (story here).

Can't wait ... though the MiGs may get jealous.

My kind of education


A Philadelphia professor is the subject of an investigation following allegations he hired strippers to take part in a symposium where he and students received lap dances, MyFoxPhilly.com reports.

Story here.

Why didn't they have these kind of classes when I went to school?

Assault Horizon update: Warwolf squadron

It's looking more and more like Assault Horizon will be out late this summer . . . assuming the earthquake and related nuclear disaster doesn't further erode the work schedule. (Fortunately, all of the team is OK.)

In the game, the player takes the part of one of several pilots attached to Task Force 108, an international group of top guns who are fighting rebels in Africa (not too far from what's going on in Libya right now, actually).

The fighter pilots are all attached to Warwolf Squadron; that's their patch above.

I think it looks great . . . though I'd like some blood dripping from the fangs . . . you see why they don't ask my opinion on certain things?

What I'm reading now . . .

Actually, I read Jonathan's book a few months ago, but it's only available now.

Highly recommended.

So the mayor hits the car . . .

Deb goes and inspects the damage.

"I guess this isn't a good time to talk about our tax assessment," she says . . .

What's under the tarps?

Hint . . .

They're on the pier next to this:

Could be anything.

Then again, that is the aircraft carrier China has been working on for the last few years.

(Shameless plug: they have two in Red Dragon, and they're both better than this one. News story here.)
Bad karma?

We were wandering through old haunts this past weekend when we happened on a once-favorite bookstore . . .

. . . now turned into a dentist office.

Very disturbing.
Jake Gibbs returns

A number of years ago, I wrote a trilogy of Revolutionary War novels set in New York's Hudson Valley and loosely based on historical events.

The series has been out of print for a few years, but we're using the first installment for some ebook experiments.

I think it's a fun read, but then I'm prejudiced.

You can find the Kindle version here.

Of devotion . . . and beer

Homebrewer, beer judge, journalist and beer blogger J. Wilson has given up food for Lent . . . and taken up beer and water.

God bless him.

Beer lovers all over the world are rooting for you, J.

Website for the project is here.