Sunday, June 30, 2013
. . . from Afghanistan to Papua New Guinea to northern Sasketchewan - this is the epitome of the Four Season Boot - S.L.
Although I am often approached, I do not often endorse products. A close friend who is also a business friend urged me to attend the Soldier Equipment & Technology Expo and meet with the Haix people. Always interested in a new venture or endeavor, I returned to my adopted home town.
Listening to their descriptions of their footwear and the concepts and purpose that drove the new designs, I learned that these boots are highest quality German workmanship, with innovative features such as a rubberized toe to protect the front of the boot while lying prone, significant ankle support, a unique tread, and a nylon plate for puncture protection that Kevlar cloth cannot provide, GORETEX to wick moisture away to provide dryness and warmth in winter, coolness in the heat of a tropical summer.
I saw immediately that these boots were like none before - and I speak with over twenty-five years of wearing the war suit. You could walk on the moon with these boots.
I heartily endorse this product!!!
For many people Golf is an extremely frustrating activity. I don't let it get to me. For me, golf is a zen-like experience. Focus, but get out of Mind. If you get emotionally involved, you'll blow your game for that day.
A professional golfer just offered to let me caddy for him, via Facebook, on one of the courses around here. I'm seriously considering taking him up on it. I'd do it just for the love of the game, and to see if I could possibly learn something.
Old Took's great-grand-uncle Bullroarer . . . was so huge (for a hobbit) that he could ride a horse. He charged the ranks of the goblins of Mount Gram in the Battle of The Green Fields, and knocked their king Golfimbul's head clean off with a wooden club. . .
. . . It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit hole, and in this way the battle was won and the game of Golf invented at the same moment. - The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.
I used to live right next to Pinehurst, North Carolina and as a resident I could play 18 holes on about 49 different golf courses for $35. The year before I retired from the military and the year after I played golf almost once a week. Then the career started picking up; I moved up north and haven't played a game since 2009. I should've stayed down there & got a job driving the beer truck . . .
Golf the STORMBRINGER way.
I shoulda stayed there. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. What do I get? A one-way ticket to Palookaville!
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Saturday, June 29, 2013
An average of 1100 hits a day, then it peaks out at 8,919? What did I post on Thursday to make it go viral like this?
Right now I'm writing the book of course. Later, I'm completing a shooting bench then it's plinking time with that sniperized 10/22.
I can't share what I'm working on, of course, without giving away the plot, but it involves poignant memories and reunion with a long-lost lover. And of course exotic locales, action, adventure; in other words, fiction crafted from the events of my own life.
Today I've included the haunting melody of Lana Del Ray's 'Young And Beautiful' because it evokes the feelings I'm dealing with as I craft this story.
Yes, I confess I am an emotional basketcase when it comes to memories & reminiscing.
The rest of the time I'm a machine.
Friday, June 28, 2013
This training film has just earned the STORMBRINGER Seal of Approval! Show it to your wives, daughters and/or girlfriends & mistresses.
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Keep in mind that both these countries have nuclear weapons!
When you plan to sell your home in Sarasota real estate, you may find it a bit stressful. You can find the process quite hard.
This is why real estate agent can be beneficial in preparing your home for sale and in advertising your property. But in getting a real estate agent, you have to take note that you have to give the agent 1-2% commission. So if you sell your property for three thousand pounds, you have to give the agent up to three hundred pounds. If you wish to work with a real estate agent, you have to consider the amount that you should pay for his/her service.
In seeking for real estate agent, you have to look for someone that can effectively assist and guide you with your quest; he/she must have the right expertise and experiences. In assuring to have the right agent, you can ask for recommendation from family and friends. Definitely, they are willingly to help you out. Contact few real estate agents; maybe you can contact at least 3 agents. You have to schedule each for interview. Make sure to do different schedules to prevent uncomfortable situations between different agents. Choose the one that you feel is the right one for you.
These days, many people are selling their houses through the internet. Actually, about 80% of the people in the UK are finding their new home through the internet. You can list your home on a website for around one hundred pounds. So there are some people who rather list their homes on a website than using a real estate agent. It depends up to you which one you prefer to make use. These are two methods that can assist you in selling your home.
But before you market your home for sale, you have to make sure that your home is prepared enough to make a quick sale. You can improve your home without spending too much. You have to clean you home. You can make it clean and looks new if you repaint it. Repainting is a good way to make a home looks appealing and it is not expensive. Declutter and remove unnecessary materials or equipments that are not usable anymore. Clean the bathrooms and kitchens, free these rooms from any unnecessary odors. Clean the carpets and used towels to free your home from unpleasing odors.
Clean the yard. Yes, you have to make your yard appealing as well. Buyers will take time looking at the yard. So clean up and declutter.
Your goal is to make your home in Sarasota real estate, a comfortable one. You have to let your buyers envision themselves living in your home. So you have to do things to make it an appealing and attractive home. This can help you make a quick sale.
Eliza Maledevic Ayson
The Architect of Destruction
By Maureen Scott
Barack Obama appears to be a tormented man filled with resentment, anger, and disdain for anyone of an opinion or view other than his. He acts in the most hateful, spiteful, malevolent, vindictive ways in order to manipulate and maintain power and control over others. Perhaps, because, as a child, he grew up harboring an abiding bitterness toward the U.S. that was instilled in him by his family and mentors…it seems to have never left him.
It is not the color of his skin that is a problem in America .
Rather it is the blackness that fills his soul and the hollowness in his heart where there should be abiding pride and love for this country.
Think: Have we ever heard Obama speak lovingly of the U.S. or its people, with deep appreciation and genuine respect for our history, our customs, our sufferings and our blessings? Has he ever revealed that, like most patriotic Americans, he gets "goose bumps" when a band plays "The Star Spangled Banner," or sheds a tear when he hears a beautiful rendition of " America the Beautiful?" Does his heart burst with pride when millions of American flags wave on a National holiday - or someone plays "taps" on a trumpet? Has he ever shared the admiration of the military, as we as lovers of those who keep us free, feel when soldiers march by? It is doubtful because Obama did not grow up sharing our experiences or our values. He did not sit at the knee of a Grandfather or Uncle who showed us his medals and told us about the bravery of his fellow troops as they tramped through foreign lands to keep us free. He didn't have grandparents who told stories of suffering and then coming to America, penniless, and the opportunities they had for building a business and life for their children.
Away from this country as a young child, Obama didn't delight in being part of America and its greatness. He wasn't singing our patriotic songs in kindergarten, or standing on the roadside for a holiday parade and eating a hot dog, or lighting sparklers around a campfire on July 4th as fireworks exploded over head, or placing flags on the grave sites of fallen and beloved American heroes.
Rather he was separated from all of these experiences and doesn't really understand us and what it means to be an American. He is void of the basic emotions that most feel regarding this country and insensitive to the instinctive pride we have in our national heritage. His opinions were formed by those who either envied us or wanted him to devalue the United States and the traditions and patriotism that unites us.
He has never given a speech that is filled with calm, reassuring, complimentary, heartfelt statements about all the people in the U.S. Or one that inspires us to be better and grateful and proud that in a short time our country became a leader, and a protector of many. Quite the contrary, his speeches always degenerate into mocking, ridiculing tirades as he faults our achievements as well as any critics or opposition for the sake of a laugh, or to bolster his ego. He uses his Office to threaten and create fear while demeaning and degrading any American who opposes his policies and actions. A secure leader, who has noble self-esteem and not false confidence, refrains from showing such dread of critics and displaying a cocky, haughty attitude.
Mostly, his time seems to be spent causing dissension, unrest, and anxiety among the people of America, rather than uniting us (even though he was presented to us as the "Great Uniter"). He creates chaos for the sake of keeping people separated, envious, aggrieved and ready to argue. Under his leadership Americans have been kept on edge, rather than in a state of comfort and security. He incites people to be aggressive toward, and disrespectful of, those of differing opinions. And through such behavior, Obama has lowered the standards for self-control and mature restraint to the level of street-fighting gangs, when he should be raising the bar for people to strive toward becoming more considerate, tolerant, self-disciplined, self-sustaining, and self-assured.
Not a day goes by that he is not attempting to defy our laws, remove our rights, over-ride established procedures, install controversial appointees, enact divisive mandates, and assert a dictatorial form of power.
· Never has there been a leader of this great land who used such tactics to harm and hurt the people and this country.
· Never have we had a President who spoke with a caustic, evil tongue against the citizenry rather than present himself as a soothing, calming and trustworthy force.
· Never, in this country, have we experienced how much stress one man can cause a nation of people - on a daily basis!
Obama has promoted the degeneration of peace, civility, and quality of cooperation between us. He thrives on tearing us down, rather than building us up. He is the Architect of the decline of America , and the epitome of a Demagogue.
© Maureen Scott
This about sums it up . . . not much more I can add to that . . .
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Five questions for “Easy Squeezy” author Paul D’Ambrosio
Q: A gazillion books come out every month. Why should people read your new techno-thriller, “Easy Squeezy”?
A: Two reasons: It’s an action-packed adventure with a lot of smart psychological tension that keeps readers guessing where the next plot twists will be and who is the real villain. Oh, it also solves the global economic crisis.
Q: You fix the worldwide economy? Isn’t that just a little bit too…
A: Whoa, let me stop you there. I’m pretty much just the transcriber. The heroes figure out exactly what is happening, what they have to do to stop an economic meltdown, and keep the whole United States of America from disintegrating on what may be the last presidential election – all the while fighting off killer air drones and nameless assassins. It’s a pretty busy two days for them.
Q: When you say you are the “transcriber,” that sounds like this book is based on real events. Have any of the events actually happened?
A: (Pause) I’m not allowed, for security reasons, to say what is real and what has been altered. I think the disclaimer in the front of the book speaks to the issue: “National security officials maintain that the integrity of the U.S. money supply remains secure from all threats, foreign and domestic. The following events are based on a classified and highly credible threat...”
Obviously, no real names are used and locations have been changed.
But let me say this ... In my extensive research for this book, I found the U.S. Federal Reserve banking system, and the integrity of the trillions of dollars in transactions that are held inside supposedly secure computers, are vulnerable to sophisticated attacks.
We hear almost every day about cyber-attacks against military and economic targets from foreign powers. Those are pretty much dry runs for the Big One. Nuclear weapons are passé for nations. The next World War will be an all-out crippling of our immense cyber infrastructure. Think about this: how would you do your job if no computer or telephone worked? How would you get money out of a bank if its computer system was shut down?
What I show in the book is that the biggest threats sometime are right under our noses. The characters see the threat, learn about the vulnerability in the economy and, well, fix it in a very surprising and unique way.
Q: You have worked as a real-life investigative journalist for more than 20 years, winning almost every top national award – some three times. You were even a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal in Public Service, essentially the Pulitzer of Pulitzers. How did your background prepare you for this story?
A: One thing I learned as a journalist is that anything, no matter how incredible, is possible. There are some stories that I have covered that if you pitched them to Hollywood, a producer would say, “no one would believe THAT happened!” I covered a lot of scandals in New Jersey and I’m always impressed by the creativity of the bad guys.
I made sure that all the technology presented in the book is accurate. I asked a former desert special ops NCO to read the battle scenes and point out errors. Experts in German, Russian and other languages kept my translations accurate. The reader will come away with a good, and frightening, understanding of what is out there, and in the skies, these days.
Q: Where did you get the title, “Easy Squeezy”?
A: I have to admit to stealing a technique from Elmore Leonard here, which saves the title’s surprise meaning until the end. As the book cover suggests, the title was devised by a little boy because one “e” is backward. Much of this book is about unbridled greed, revenge, and justice. The reader needs to keep in mind that the quest for justice never ends, even after 40 years.
Easy Squeezy Author: Paul D'Ambrosio
Publisher: Down The Shore Publishing
Binding and Price: paper; $16.95
Paul and I go way back. I first met Paul in 6th grade, my first year at the International School Bangkok. More recently, through the miracle of modern-day social media and my work in corporate security, Paul and I reconnected. Guess who is the "former desert special ops NCO" he consulted for his novel? Hint: I'm mentioned in the credits.
Paul is a terrific writer and his latest novel is compelling. All fans of heroic action/adventure genre should buy his book.
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
On a recent trip to Belize, I was inspecting a property with the client and a CheeChuk fell out of the rataan blinds over the window. The client - a Creole aristocrat - took it in her stride. I didn't bat an eyelid either; but I'd almost forgotten these ubiquitous reptiles we shared out living space with.
Everything in the Orient is tied to good luck and karma. Here's the deal: when the CheeChuk or the Tokay starts growl - the preamble to it's bark - everybody goes silent, to count the barks; odd number good / even number bad.
To this day I remember one time in Latin II with Mrs Gatti - the hardest teacher at the International School and to this day my hands down favorite - and the Tokay started with its introductory growl: "G-r-r-r-G-r-r-r..." EVERYBODY SHUT UP - even Mrs Gatti. We were counting the barks: five - GOOD.
Another time in Mrs Gatti's class a CheeChuk fell on my head. THIS IS THE BEST OF CHOK-DEE - "Good Luck" - I have had good luck and good fortune in my life ever since.
"That's my story and I'm sticking to it!"
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Don't tell me you don't know
what love is
When you're old enough to know
When you find strange hands in
When your dreamboat
turns out to be a footnote
I'm a man with a mission
in two or three editions
And I'm giving you a longing look
everyday I write the book
Chapter One we didn't really get along
Chapter Two I think I fell in love with you
You said you'd stand by me
in the middle of Chapter Three
But you were up to your old tricks
in Chapters Four, Five and Six
And I'm giving you a longing look
Everyday, everyday, everyday I write the book
The way you walk
The way you talk,
and try to kiss me, and laugh
In four or five paragraphs
All your compliments
and your cutting remarks
Are captured here in my quotation marks
And I'm giving you a longing look
everyday I write the book
Don't tell me you don't know the difference
Between a lover and a fighter
With my pen and my electric typewriter
Even in a perfect world
where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights
and be working on the sequel
And I'm giving you a longing look
everyday I write the book
Monday, June 24, 2013
The much-vaunted novel that I've often talked about is entering a critical stage; I've got nineteen chapters knocked out - ten to fifteen pages per - although the plotline just vectored off ninety degrees so I'm dealing with that.
At the same time I just picked up a contract that will involve 12-hour days out to the end of August, 10-hour days from then till the end of November. Something's got to give. A good friend in the writing business told me that the Era of Blogging is over, that we are now in the Era of Twitter. That may be, and so I invite you to join me on my Twitterfeed: @sean_linnane
In the meantime here are some nice photos & accompanying thoughts to occupy your time - S.L.
Some Recent Acquisitions:
I went with the Mini-14 over an AR because of cost, and at the end of the day you get the same thing; a very business-like 5.56mm carbine that doesn't have the sinister vibe of the Little Black Devil Rifle.
My latest 1911 is the Para GI LTC, a compact version of the Para GI Expert. It came with two 8-round magazines so now I'm up to toting sixteen rounds of .45 ACP versus the twelve I used to carry for the Colt compact model. My buddy Doubletapper says he always carries two 32-round magazines for his Glock 17. I told him if I need more than sixteen rounds, I'm in the wrong movie. Doubletapper said his motto is: "It's better to run out of Tangos than to run out of ammo."
When I thought that over, it became obvious I need to beef up my concealed carry system.
Para GI LTC: M1911 variant, caliber .45 ACP, alloy frame, beavertail grip safety, competition trigger, fiber optic front sight, high visibility 2-dot rear sight is drift adjustable, premium stainless steel barrel & full metal bushing, skeletonized hammer spur, black slide & frame.
The Jungle Room:
This is where I do my contemplative thinking, and where a great deal of STORMBRINGER is written, surrounded by the souvenirs of a lifetime in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This is where I am completing the aforementioned novel; there are nineteen chapters already written - I just need to tweak it a bit.
The purpose of the Warrior Gym is to transform our bodies into Living Weapons Systems:
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand
A reader in Finland pinged me on Twitter, asked what I meant when I discuss having Viking blood? I explained that my Viking blood comes from the Norsemen who occupied Ireland and France. I have dark brown hair, almost black, dark brown piercing eyes, and olive skin; as close to a true Celt as what exists these days, but there are many fair redheads in my family; the Viking genes are in my family.
To me, Vikingism is a part of my personal religion; a blend of Vikingism, Buddhism & Christianity: they are complete opposites but to me, that's the way it is. I respect the old gods Thor & Odin and I honestly believe there is Valhalla for fallen warriors.
I am 6'2", 220 lbs, broad across the shoulders like a footballer. I pump iron, practice martial arts and weapons training. Viking.
I am a Viking in that I am a professional soldier always looking for a good deal; a laissez-faire capitalist who believes the rules are made to be broken, that if you ain't cheating you ain't trying and if you get caught, you ain't trying hard enough.
I was raised in Southeast Asia and learned to respect Buddha. I believe in reincarnation even though it is incongruent with Christianity. I'll let Jesus judge me on that on the Judgement Day. As a Buddhist, I believe in reincarnation; although I don't believe that we can have any direct memories of our previous lives. The Hindus and the Buddhists say that before we are reborn, our souls are dipped in the Sea of Forgetfulness.
Nonetheless, there are occasions where Buddhist priests and mystics have visions of people's previous lives. When I was in Jerusalem, I felt a vividly strong sensation as I walked through some of the ancient sites; I had been there before. I also can easily imagine myself in a Viking longship, sailing toward the Irish coast.
Five Greatest Viking Accomplishments
I was raised by my parents to respect all religions, although I struggle with where Islam has taken itself to now. It is a fact that I owe my life to a Muslim. I cannot be against my fellow man because of his religion, but I can say that the Muslim religion has been hijacked by a pack of psychotic homicidal maniacs.
The old, mystic Sufi-ism no longer exists; they sold out when they embraced Osama Bin Laden and the insanity of Al Qaeda. We are told that not every Muslim wants to become a terrorist but I still believe that they make the choice for themselves. Child brides and honor-killing of women are crimes against Humanity.
We Christians have a lot to answer for. Christianity did some craziness back during the Crusades - study what happened in the 13th century. Let us remember Jesus' words: "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone."
The Christian sentiment of turn-the-other-cheek, and Buddhist philosophy of nonviolence notwithstanding, this does not preclude killing in defense of one's family or nation. We must resist the Muslim encroachment for their stated goal is to kill or enslave every single one of us. We must resist Sharia with every fiber in our beings, because they wish to kill or enslave EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, possibly letting some of our females survive to use as breeders.
That, my Viking brothers & sisters is our quest, our mission: to actively resist and fight Sharia wherever and whenever this insanity presents itself, with every inch of our souls, as long as there is blood in our veins and air in our lungs.
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
First on the list is convenience. With a hammock chair, users do not have to struggle when it comes to reading a book or engaging in a conversation whilst stretched out. Since this device is made to keep you in an upright position without withholding you the comfort of a typical hammock, you do not have to strain your back when doing other activities aside from resting. You can eat, paint, and watch your children play by the pool or just enjoy the scenery of your backyard under the shade of a tree.
Another advantage would be ease of use. Since a hammock chair needs not to be hung from two branches or poles, you can have it placed in any part of your house and enjoy its comfort. Hammock chairs only require one hanging point or a stand and to set it up, you will only need to tie or insert the hoop to the clasp. Stands are adjustable. So there’s no need to worry about storage.
On that note, it is also noteworthy to discuss portability as the third advantage of owning a hammock chair. Since both stand and hammock are compact in size, you can carry it around with you on trips and be able to unwind anywhere you are. You could also transfer it from one side of the courtyard to another, or from outdoors to indoors with no time to waste.
Finally, we point out the medical benefits of owning hammock chairs. It is obvious that they are quite instrumental to giving people a means to reduce their stresses. There is nothing more calming to the senses than settling down on a hammock chair and rocking yourself back and forth. They are great for pregnant women who cannot afford to lie down on a hammock or those people who are on the go. On top of that, some yoga practitioners have found it quite effective to meditate while sitting on a hammock chair since it gives the muscles the chance to relax. This relieves pressure from key energy areas and enables the blood to circulate better. And as a result, you are able to renew your stamina and improve cognitive faculties.
If you are thinking about buying a hammock chair, you should first research on your options since they normally come in a variety of sizes and materials. There are plenty of review sites available to give you some suggestions on the form and brand you should get. And prices usually range between $30 and $200.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And The Plan was without substance.
And Darkness was upon the Face of The Team.
And they spoke among themselves saying,
"It's a Crock of Shit and it Stinks."
And so the Captain and the Warrant Officer went unto the B-Team and they said,
"It is a Pail of Dung and None may Abide the Odor Thereof."
And the B-Team went unto Battalion S-3 and they said,
"It is a Container of excrement and It is Very Strong, such that None may Abide by It."
And S-3 went unto the Battalion Commander and said,
"It is a Vessel of Fertilizer, and None may Abide Its Strength."
And the Battalion Commander and the Command Sergeant Major spoke among themselves, saying to one another,
"It Contains That Which Aids Plant Growth, and It is Very Strong."
And so the Commander and the Command Sergeant Major went unto the J-3 of the Joint Task Force, saying unto them,
"It Promotes Growth, and is Very Powerful."
And the J-3 went unto the Joint Task Force Commander, saying unto him,
"The new Plan will Promote the Growth and Vigor within the Joint Special Operations Area, with Powerful Effects."
And the Joint Task Force Commander looked upon the Plan and saw that it was Good.
And the Plan became the Mission, and Orders were published and delivered unto the Team, to Execute.
This is how Shit Happens.
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Friday, June 21, 2013
On Monday The Sun (UK) published pictures of the radical Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary partying while in college at Southhampton University, and now he wants these pictures removed from the Internet.
Now busy founding extremist groups, calling for Sharia in America and refusing to condemn terrorist attacks, old Choudaray used to spend his days parting it up, and here is the proof:
One former pal added: “Before he grew his beard and turned to fundamentalism we knew him as Andy and he was famed for his party piece which was downing a pint of cider in seconds.”
Oh YEAH??? Sorry, Hadji; folks don’t much care what radical preachers want and anyway it don't work that way - once on the Internet, FOREVER on the Internet! It's easier to squeeze the milk back into the cow than trying to erase something off the Internet.
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
SEND OUT STAT - MASS DISTRIBUTION
Junior’s Bullet Pen Company is dedicated to one of our fallen heroes, Staff Sergeant Chris Falkel, KIA, of the 3d Special Forces Group.
I met Chris's Dad this week at Fort Bragg, and he told me the story of his son, and the Bullet Pens.
SSG Chris "Junior" Falkel was weapons sergeant Operational Detachment "Alpha" 316. Between 7–9 August, 2005, Chris and his Special Forces team were involved in a 54 hour battle “that will live in the annals of Special Forces history. On the evening of 8 August 2005, Chris paid the ultimate price and died saving the lives of his team and 16 members of the Afghan National Army attached to ODA 316. SSG Chris Falkel was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery and heroism.
In early 2005, Chris attended Special Operations Target Interdiction Course – SOTIC - the Special Forces sniper school. After he graduated, Chris shared with his Dad the concept of making pens out of 7.62 NATO shell casings - the round used in US sniper rifles. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to make a bullet pen because shortly thereafter Chris deployed to Afghanistan for his fateful Rendezvous With Destiny.
Chris's Dad thought about Chris’ dream of making a “bullet pen” for a couple of years, and ultimately Junior’s Bullet Pen Company was created. These pens are dedicated to his son.
Most of the brass used to make Junior’s Bullet Pens is once-fired military brass.
Junior’s Bullet Pen Company is Veteran owned. Foundations supported by Junior's Bullet Pens include:
Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Task Force Dagger Foundation
Fallen Heroes Project
Green Beret Foundation
Remembering The Brave
Worldwide Rangers Inc.
When you buy a Bullet Pen, you help support a U.S. veteran and/or his or her family. If you are a veteran, you have just supported yourself.
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Southern Pines is an idyllic little place, almost an oasis in time & space. I first tooled through this town as a young paratrooper in the 82d Airborne Division; I thought I'd gone back in time to an English village, circa 1944. I've written about this place HERE.
This week I am attending the Soldier Equipment & Technology Expo at nearby Fort Bragg; representing my own company. It's a little side operation that I've been puttering around with since I retired from active duty; I help develop business for security equipment manufacturers, then turn around and bid on Department of Defense contracts, and get a little chunk of change for my troubles.
Times are hard and I've had my share of ups and downs in this economy. Still, people can and do make fortunes in hard times. My trouble is I'm always so busy on my adventures I've never dedicated the time and energy required to really get this thing cranking. Well five years is long enough to incubate something. Some interested parties have stepped forward and said, "Sean, it's time to sh*t or get off the pot, and we're here to help."
This time around a lot of good people are banking on ol' Stormy to make this thing work - I guess it's time to stop playing Viking Adventurer and get down to the serious business of taking care of business.
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Monday, June 17, 2013
If you've been dreaming of a home improvement or remodeling project, it's time to make it a reality. As with any project, good planning is the key to saving you stress and money and achieving the rewards that can come from a newly designed space.
Begin fulfilling your dream by clarifying why you want to do this. The majority of remodeling projects begin as a result of the need to make changes because the house no longer meets the needs and desires of the family. For example, having a baby or growing children can result in a need to expand your space. Or perhaps you have lived in your home for more than 10 years and you are getting an itch to update and modernize. Whatever the reason, it is best to make clear what you hope to accomplish from this home improvement project.
Brainstorm about everything you would like to have included in your remodel and then categorize each item as a "necessity or must have", "amenity or nice to have" or "definitely not". In order to organize your thoughts and ideas, create a notebook. This will allow you to keep pictures, color samples, fabric swatches, material specifications, reference phone numbers, budget information and project records in one concise area.
Now that you have answered the why and the what, it is time to take a look at the numbers. Spending time on the budget early on in the project plan, as well as reviewing it at every step of the process, is essential to its success and your sanity. Don't forget to take into consideration the payback you hope to achieve from this home improvement. Typically a kitchen or bathroom improvement offers the highest payback when it comes to resale. Talk to a trusted real estate agent if this is a major consideration.
Being realistic with what you can afford and when you can afford it will allow you to put together a realistic timetable for the project as a whole. The schedule should be created with the help of your "construction team", which may include an architect, interior designer, loan officer, and general contractor, to name a few. Areas that typically can cause a ripple in your timetable are the design phase, getting permits and the actual time for construction. Make sure that you have "padded" your schedule to account for these factors.
Identifying reliable competent contractors to work on your project can be as stressful as the project itself. This can also take the most time, so be sure to account for it on your project schedule. The simple answer to getting the best person for your project - research! Begin your search by asking friends and neighbors who have completed their own home improvements who they used. The county building department and Yellow Pages are also places to look. Then do your own homework by verifying their license and insurance, check references and reputation, and view previous and current jobs. Plan interviews that will allow you to assess their personality, approach to problem solving and their understanding of your dream. They may be the best at what they do, but if they don't "see" your vision of the completed project, then helping you make it reality is going to be difficult. Plan to evaluate up to three bids before you make your final selection.
Through careful planning, the ground work should be completed which leads you to the exciting and nail biting phase of the project - construction. Pay attention to the work as it progresses without micromanaging of your construction team. Walking this fine line can make the difference between a good remodeling experience and a nightmare. Having pre-arranged work review meetings in your project plan can help. Use these to go over any issues that have come up, re-evaluate expectations, monitor progress and maintain positive communication with your contractor.
Post construction, before the celebration party, make sure that the punch list (final "to do" list) has been completed to your satisfaction and that your home owners insurance is updated to reflect your remodel.
It can't be said enough - good planning will make for a great home improvement project.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Quite honestly, I'm still trying to figure the scandal here. The NSA is collecting info on all electronic communications in America? How is this news? I assumed they were doing this all along. I don't like the idea of anybody listening to my phone communications, but everybody knows anytime you go over an electronic medium, that is the risk one takes. Everybody knows that an email is about as secure as a postcard - anyone can read it. For this reason I always shy away from discussing topics that include tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) - Hell, I feel edgy just discussing my gun purchases.
OK, OK - I'm with y'all; this overreach of government power portends is scary as all get out. This, coupled with the IRS abuse of power, is absolutely Orwellian. What's even more unnerving is now that the whole thing is known and out in the open, there is no indication that any of this snooping on US citizens will come to an end. In other words, for all we know, the NSA is still doing what it does. For that matter, so is the IRS.
What I want to know is, with all this monitoring and data mining of our electronic communcations; how the Hell did the Boston Bombers not get apprehended? The Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev and their evil mother were transmitting jihad on all frequencies between here and Durka-Durkastan; an international intelligence agency no less formidible than the FIS - modern day incarnation of the KGB - informed our people TWICE that these dirtbags were radioactive and STILL THE GOVERNMENT DID NOTHING???
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
This begs the question, of course; if such a robust surveillance program isn't shutting down dirtbags like the Tsarnaev brothers, then what the hell IS it being used for?
During the course of a busy week, this information emerged: Obama, like all Democratic presidents, would love to have power after he leaves office, to be a kingmaker. In the Era of Electronic Information, a database can do that. The capability is out there, programs exist, that when people make or receive phone calls, phone numbers can be looked up instantly. Information such as like individuals' names, addresses, the value of their homes, marital status, approximate income, approximate assets, cards they have registered to the address they live at, whether they're in foreclosure, Facebook profiles, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter profiles associated with that number. The advent of mobile phones has created a situation where a phone number equals a person, so the phone number's a much better index for getting everything you know about a person than something that's less easy and less public like a Social Security number. And so my company sells that information to companies so that they can know who is calling and route that call better and offer appropriate products or not.
All this kerfuffle about data and surveillance, the IRS, Benghazi, any of the improper actions of DC, it ultimately doesn’t mean a thing. It is just dancing, waving the cape to distract the bull. We are very likely undergoing the process of a coup d'etat. It will not be a bloody coup - I've seen my share of those up close and personal - but there is also a phenomenon known as a bloodless coup. In a society as complex as the United States, this coup will be conducted not by soldiers and tanks rolling through the streets of the capital city, but rather by a series of policies, laws and regulations designed to constrain our freedom. Our behavior is coerced by the tax code, gun control measures, environmental policies that tell us what we can and cannot do with our own property, and ultimately Obamacare, which tells us what we can and cannot do with our own bodies.
When they want to implement the coup, first we’ll lose satellites - the Global Positioning Satellite constellation has the capability to be encrypted at the touch of a button. Only the government and military will have commo. Second we will lose electricity. Easy enough to do; the national grid is computer/satellite controlled. The masses will be in the dark literally and figuratively. Riots will ensue and effective resistance to Government control measures will be mitigated. The Powers That Be, all they have to do is sit back and wait, the populace will take itself down; after a period of time the Department of Homeland Security - think TSA, think ATF; think New Orleans after Katrina, think Waco - can walk into areas, restore order, eliminate any rebel opposition and turn the lights back on.
They can also accomplish most of this by collapsing the dollar.
Am I missing something?
Special thanks to Chas, Master of Disaster for contributing to this post
Friday, June 14, 2013
When it comes to choosing a remodeling contractor, it's sometimes hard to figure out the "good guys" from the "bad guys." In order for your next remodeling project to meet your expectations, use this guide as an informational tool helping you to avoid the scams and unscrupulous tactics that are rife within the home improvement industry.
SECRET #1 - Avoid The Two Biggest Misconceptions About Remodeling
Misconception #1: Taking a contractor's word simply at face value.
Request to see all claims in writing. Believing simply what a contractor tells you can be a costly mistake. If a contractor claims to be a member of a particular organization, there is certainly nothing wrong with asking to see proof. Hearsay is not admissible in a court of law, and so should be the case when it comes to dealing with your biggest investment - your home.
Misconception #2: Going with the lowest price saves you money.
This statement is not necessarily true. Everyone wants three things when making a purchase: 1) Low Price, 2) Best Quality, and 3) Best Service. It's nearly impossible to get all three. As the old adage goes, "You can't get something for nothing." Before accepting a low price, consider the level of service involved, the type of company you are choosing, the design of your project, and the specifications of your project. Price should always be weighed, but value is always the more important consideration.
SECRET #2 - Elude High Pressure Sales
Beware of high pressure tactics; they are intended to get you to sign a contract immediately. A good deal of skepticism is recommended for any offer that states, "You must sign now!" If you are offered a limited time special, ask for documentation or samples of flyers stating to that effect. Legitimate companies make legitimized "limited time only" offers.
SECRET #3 - Beware Of Door-To-Door Handymen
These people may not be contractors at all. Never allow them into your home until you have checked them out thoroughly. Even if they turn out to be real contractors, door-to-door contractors are notorious for providing incomplete or sub-par work. There is no real savings if you spend your time tracking down a contractor to finish the job, or, worse yet, you must hire another contractor to correct the other's inferior work.
SECRET #4 - Ask These Questions Before Hiring Any Contractor
"Are you licensed?" Make sure your contractor is deemed by your state to have the proficiency and knowledge to work on your home.
"Do you carry general liability insurance?" This type of insurance protects your property in case of damage caused by the contracting company.
"Do you carry workman's compensation insurance?" This insurance protects you from liability if a worker is injured while on your property. Some contractors claim that your homeowners insurance will sufficiently cover them. This statement is simply not true. In most cases, your homeowners insurance excludes injuries sustained by hired workers.
"Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau or any other building association?" Conscientious contractors usually belong to multiple associations. These associations investigate contractors' backgrounds and references as well. Therefore, undesirable contractors are usually weeded out of these organizations.
"Will you pull the required permits?" A reputable contractor will pull a permit on every job where one is required. Some contractors may ask you to pull your own permit. This could be a warning sign that the contractor is not licensed to do the specified work. In addition, some insurance companies will not cover work that is done without a proper permit.
"Do you guarantee your work?" This one is simple. If a contractor can't guarantee it, then don't buy it.
"How do you handle your clean-up?" A clean work site is fundamental to a smooth remodeling project. Your contractor should dispose of any debris at the end of each day. Your home should be left "broom swept."
Feel smarter? Hopefully so.
Now, you should be properly prepared to solicit estimates for your upcoming project. Best of luck with your remodeling plans!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
This undated photo shows Justin Thomas who was accidentally shot and killed by his 4-year-old son. (MyFoxPhoenix.com)
Authorities in northern Arizona say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his father at a Prescott Valley home. Prescott Valley police say the shooting occurred just after noon Friday.
The 35-year-old man, identified as Justin Stanfield Thomas, and his young son were visiting from Phoenix and were at a friend's house.
Police say the boy somehow found a gun in the home's living room and accidentally fired it and a bullet hit his father, who was rushed to a hospital where he died.
Thomas was an Iraq War veteran with US Army Special Forces and leaves behind two children.
Read the rest of it HERE
This was not an accident; this was 100% preventable. This was weapons negligence, a good man is down because of it, and the owner of that firearm should be prosecuted.
I have guns in several rooms in my house. None of them are loaded, but they are always treated as if they are loaded. The gun I carry in my car is kept unloaded, on the premise why do I need to tote around a loaded weapon, when I am already behind the wheel of a weapon that has killed more people than the atom bomb? If EVER I need to dismount and engage a threat, there will be plenty of time to slap a mag into the weapon.
When I carry concealed - which is all the time - I follow the Israeli carry; empty chamber. If I perceive that the threat level has gone up a notch, I will jack a round in the chamber. Downtown Philadelphia, for example. This is the civilian equivalent of crossing the Line of Departure, when soldiers chamber a round into their weapons.
I keep the weapons in my house handy but the ammunition is under lock and key - with the exception of loaded magazines, which are kept hidden in high up locations where children cannot get to them.
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Pressure washing, concrete cleaning is a quick and thorough way to clean the exterior of your house. Owing to the scale of the operation, you may want to hire a contractor to do the job for you. Then you'll have to make sure the service provider you choose is fully qualified for the task. Otherwise, you run the risk of incurring costly damage to your property.
Selecting a Quality Pressure Washing Service
Outlined below are pointers to guide you in your search for a quality pressure washing contractor. Additional advice is provided as well on how to deal with the contractor of your choice when the cleaning work is in progress, and when it is completed.
1. Equip yourself with a clear understanding of the risks involved in pressure washing and how to minimize these risks. Taking the time to educate yourself thus will enable you to distinguish between the mediocre outworker from the quality contractor.
2. Arrange to meet the contractor in such a way that they evaluate the site to be worked on together with you. Establishing clear communications at this point will help limit the possibility of errors in the estimating process.
3. Consult with several contractors, asking each specific questions about the service to be provided, including procedures, expected results, and the risk of damage. Expect the more professional ones to entertain your inquiries, listen to your concerns, and have questions of their own. They will usually demonstrate some initiative in sizing up the site for you, and make a reasonable disclosure of what they can offer and what they cannot, giving you an almost complete picture of what the job will look like.
4. Request for an outline of the cleaning procedure. This summary of work steps that may come with the estimate or as a separate sheet should prove to be a helpful tool for comparing the different pressure washing services you consult with.
5. Inquire about the service's equipment. Do they own the machines or just lease them from another company? Ownership is an indicator of a long-term commitment to the pressure washing industry, while renting is evidence that they are only an occasional or temporary provider.
Most pressure washers that are for real will be outfitted with apparatus that have at least the following specifications:
-11 to 15 horsepower (HP)
-3000-4000 pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure, and
-three to six gallons per minute (GPM) of water flow.
A rating of 2000 PSI and two GPM is residential-, rather than industrial-grade equipment.
6. Ask providers to give you a demonstration. Not many providers will accede to this request, as it often requires much time and effort to undertake. It does not mean you should never ask, though. Often, the provider will respond by asking the client to be there during setup instead. During this time, do not think twice to inform the contractor of any qualms you may have about the work to be performed.
7. See that the estimates are formalized in writing. This record should protect both you and the service provider you are hiring. A written estimate provides clarity to the desired service, details expected results, and itemizes cost of labor and materials.
8. When getting referrals, make sure that they lead you to the type of work you want done. If it's your deck you want tidied up, then you shouldn't be receiving a recommendation for a vinyl siding cleaning. Put the referrals you obtain to good use. Get feedback about the prospective contractor's professionalism and workmanship. Ask the person providing you with the referral whether the cleaning process and its outcome were to his satisfaction.
9. Be as fully acquainted as you can be with the contractor's satisfaction and billing policies. Make sure the deposit and payment timetable is clear to you. Don't hesitate to ask what a contractor's policy is in the event you are not satisfied with the service rendered.
10. Check if the provider has liability insurance. Honest-to-goodness pressure washing contractors normally protect both themselves and their customers from the on-site dangers of accident, injury or damage to property.
11. Perform a cost analysis. Your assessment will naturally be a factor in arriving at a decision on which professional cleaner's services to contract. You should more or less get what you pay for, so a deck rub up that costs only $49 or a $99 charge for a thoroughgoing house washing should put questions in your mind about job quality.
After You've Chosen the Cleaner
Once you have contracted the cleaner of your choice, exert every effort to be present when the work is underway and when it is completed.
Do yourself the favor of witnessing first hand the cleaning process and its results, which are usually remarkable. Consult the contractor about any concerns you may still have. Contractors are normally not very inclined to return at some future date just to solve what they believe may be just a minor problem, so let them address whatever you feel needs attention right away. Finally, make a thorough round of the site to inspect it and evaluate the work just completed. For Atlanta pressure washing services click our link.
To sum up your quest for a fully qualified pressure washing outfit to service your home's exterior: Research to build a knowledge base regarding this form of cleaning. Size up each contractor you inquire about, weeding out possible low quality providers, and making the willingness to listen to your reasonable concerns and provide whatever assistance is possible, a measure of true professionalism. Analyze costs. And use common sense all along the way.
Just rolled in from the Jersey Shore - totally exhausted - the mission was supporting Wife TigerLily's showing at the Jersey Shore Fine Arts Festival in Ship Bottom, NJ, which is on Long Beach Island; one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy last October. A prevalent theme expressed on bumper stickers, banners on buildings and placards in business shop windows is: "Thank You - Jersey Shore is Back!"
For the most part this is true; Long Beach Island is open for business, although business was slow at the show due to a tropical storm that moved through the region Friday night and Saturday morning and kept the crowds away. In the end it was a good show, even though all we did was break even on expenses; most of the exhibitors didn't, some didn't even make a sale. TigerLily and I made enough $$$ to pay for the gas mileage down there and back, a nice BIG hotel room for two nights in the Holiday Inn - FUN LIKE ROCKSTARS - we ate lobster & scallops for three nights in a row and we linked up with friends in the region.
Wiped from the Face of the Earth.
Almost all of the houses are being rebuilt from the inside out. Exteriors okay, interiors totally gutted.
Bottom floor totally gutted.
(Above and below) These houses are on the large barrier dune, first pressure ridge from the shore.
These guys lost not only their entire bottom floors, garages etc, but also their driveways! The paving stones were simply lifted up and washed away.
A business that was totally destroyed, several blocks back from the beach.
All that remains of this house are the foundations.
Totally gutted, rebuilding from the inside out.
The large sand pile next to this dwelling is an annomaly; for the most part, sand removal has been accomplished and the barrier dune restored.
"Mother Nature is The Boss . . ."
- STORMBRINGER SENDS