AT&T Wireless: Now with more suckage
Telecommunications is a strange area of our economy. It’s not part of the public sector, but it’s so heavily regulated that it’s not really a free and open market either. Plus there is rapid technological change, driven partially by advances in other industries, so business models for some parts of the telecom sector evolve rapidly. Right now that means internet access and wireless service. I don’t know very many folks who are entirely happy with their wireles
 
Happy 2009!
From all of us at QandO to all our readers and commenters, we wish you a great and prosperous new year.Now start practicing writing "2009" on everything. I’ll get used to it about June.
 
Merry Christmas
Here’s wishing you and your family the very best of the holiday.To those serving in the Armed Forces in distant lands and away from their families at this time, my heartfelt thanks for your sacrifice. I know it well. No matter how many good friends you’re around, it is one of the loneliest times of your life. I wish I could offer you more comfort than mere words.I can’t tell you how much I and my family appreciate you and
 
Talk About a House Divided
Somehow, last night in my wanderings, I ended up on footnote.com. The site is a genealogist’s dream. And, naturally, I took a look at "McQuain" to see what it had for the family name. I’ve traced it back in the past, but was interested in seeing, for instance, whether my parents were listed (they were) and the info on them was correct (it wasn’t - I corrected it).But during my look at the 18 "pages" of McQuains, I came across 7 who we
 
Ow. (Updated)
I got T-boned by a car on my way home from work. Details here.I’m banged up a little bit, but generally OK. Bike’s kinda thrashed, though.And I have vicodin!UPDATE:My injuries were a bit worse than I thought. Had to go to Emergency last night.Toe is broken, knee ligaments hyperextended.And now, I have Percoset!
 
Happy Thanksgiving
What a fabulous Thanksgiving day I just had. Before I nod off in a tryptophan induced coma, a word of thanks -- To the good readers of QandO for, well, reading what we have to say. Yeah, it’s a vanity project, but you know what, you guys make it worth it.- To the men and women of the Armed Forces. Just thanks.- For the fact, at least up until now (and I’m not suggesting it will change, I just can’t foretell the
 
Limited Interest
For those who are interested, the Motorcycle blog is back in operation, at a new url.
 
RIP Dean Barnett
What a downer today. I learned that Dean has passed away from complications stemming from his battle with Cystic Fibrosis.Bill Kristol, his boss at the Weekly Standard, made the announcement:It’s my sad duty to report that our good friend and valued contributor Dean Barnett passed away today. He was a remarkable man–principled, witty, and to all of us,
 
Prayers for Dean Barnett
One of the things I’ve had the pleasure to do while presenting the "Someone You Should Know" segment on Pundit Review Radio (WRKO 680am out of Boston) is talk with a lot of outstanding people, like Michale Yon and Dean Barnett (previously of Town Hall and now at the Weekly Standard).Dean is very smart and a
 
The blues
If you enjoy the blues, you’ll enjoy this. The guitar player is my brother Doug.
 
Remember that internet access I said I had?
Well it worked out well in port. Out to sea, however, not so good. In fact, not at all.But that’s the only semi-downer on the whole trip. The first bright spot was, I never got sick. Woohooo! That was my biggest concern. I could see going down the first day and getting over it on my last day. My wife said "take the dramamine", I did, and not a bit of queasiness at all.Of course a 40,000 ton vessel and smooth seas helps immensely.<
 
Grieving, Belated II
I don’t want to dwell on the Astroworld lament from my previous post, but, in digging around a bit online, I found what is probably the last satellite image of the park before it closed and was shut down.Compare and contrast, with the current view.
 
Atlanta Sports Legend Dies
I’ve been a fan of the Atlanta Braves for over 30 years - in the good times and bad. Moving to Atlanta in ’78, I was excited to have a professional baseball team to watch and cheer on. Of course in those days, there wasn’t much to cheer. But what I did enjoy about as much as the baseball was the broadcast team for the Braves - Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and Ernie Johnson. Ernie Johnson has since retired and last night Skip Caray died in his sl
 
Grieving, Belated
Life is change. It’s inescapable. Most of the time, we roll with the change, accepting it. And, often, the changes are good, and we welcome them. But every once in a while, a change hits us in an unpleasant way. It affects something we don’t want to see changed, something we want to preserve. It can be even worse when the change happens, and we don’t even know about it until after the fact.I was considering the possibility of takin
 
Context
F-F-F-fffffffff-uhhhhnnhhhhh.The sound of furniture moving. Solid wood on wood. It sounds like work being done, changes being made, positive energy being exerted. It’s the sound of human will being enforced against inanimate objects; man shaping his world to conform to his desires. It’s a good sound.F-F-F-fffffffff-uhhhhnnhhhhh.6:30 in the morning, and you’re lying in bed next to your wife who’s been up all night f
 
Happy Father’s Day!
An excellent article in the Wall Street Journal today by Kevin Helliker is also a beautiful tribute to his father.I have to admit, after reading it, and with obvious differences, I could have been reading about my own father. I was one of three boys, and my dad wanted us prepared to face the world. His stern discipline, born out of a depression and
 
Open thread
Talk about what strikes your fancy.I’m off to an army reunion. Going to see how much fatter, balder, grayer, older and uglier we’ve all become. I predict significant progress in all categories.
 
Happy Mother’s Day
I only wish my mother was still here to thank her for all the wonderful things she did for me and my brothers.She was a remarkable woman who pushed the envelope all her life. A small town girl who ended up seeing the world, commanded troops during WWII (and was awarded the Bronze Star) as a Signal Corps officer in North Africa, Italy and France rising to the rank of Captain. The first woman in the state of Arkansas to command an American Legion post and
 
Books for Soldiers
Go on over to Bithead’s blog and read about the needs of "Books for Soldiers", a nonprofit which provides books and other media to members of the US Military who are on active duty.I can tell you that it is amazing how many soldiers read on deployments. When I was a young soldier I carried a book in a waterproof bag with me everywhere and it stolen moments of rest (out of danger of cours
 
Not a Harley Guy Any More
Well, for those of you who keep up with the goings on at the other place, this isn’t news. But, I’ve moved on from the noise, vibration, and mediocre power of the Harley.The Sporty is gone, and the new FJR1300AE is sitting in the garage.Moving from 70HP to 146HP has been interesting. Intere
 
Small world
The Blogger’s Roundtable had a LTC on today who discussed how the biometric data base was being put together, administered and used in Iraq. Usually not something I’d be that interested in, but the LTC’s name was what drew me to the call. John Velliquette Jr. I served with a CW3 John Velliquette years and years ago in Korea. Good man, good soldier. I clicked on the email from the Roundtable announcing the call and then cli
 
Comcast
Ah, the joy of Comcast "support". Fortunately, our problem has been fixed tonight through another non-Comcast person’s efforts - he had to call Comcast support 3 different times - but the story of our own interaction with Comcast is amusing. Well, it’s amusing now, anyway. Yesterday, our internet access at home was inexplicably out and nothing my wife or I did would fix it. Today, my wife called Comcast to get it fixed. After the phone support rep tried wh
 
New Family Member
Well, last night, we got a new family member by accident. As you may know, we have a non-papered, snaggle-toothed, goofy boxer male:Apollo (Lickysnouters)And we have a purebred, registered, dignified cane corso female.Contessa (Woofersnuffers)We were perfectly satisfied with
 
Chicago Auto Show [UPDATES]
UPDATES AND PICTURES ADDEDI’m in Chicago today with a client and a few bloggers for the Chicago Auto Show. I’ll be blogging periodically from my Blackberry, so I probably won’t be uploading pictures today, but I’ll try to get those up soon. In the next few days, I anticipate some cool footage and photos from other bloggers of the new cars being shown here - including the n
 
The AFP Summit - Some thoughts
Just got back from the Americans for Prosperity summit. My immediate reaction is that there ought to be more to it than enter-listen-leave. You have a room full of hundreds of like-minded individuals who all paid to be there on a Wednesday afternoon; don’t just march them in, seat ten at a table, and speechify at them until it’s time to march them all back out. Provide for some min
 
A Christmas Eve Story
A Christmas Eve conversation between myself and my 5 year old son, Alex:ALEX: Daddy, can I have some eggnog? ME: Yeah, sure, you can have some.(pause)ALEX: Well...ME: Yes, I said you can have some eggnog.ALEX: (impatiently) Daddy, the eggnog isn’t going to fix itself.
 
Merry Christmas!
From Jon Henke, Dale Franks, Bruce McQuain, Billy Hollis and Bryan Pick, may we wish you all a Merry Christmas. We hope you enjoy a wonderful day with your family. Please remember those in far away places serving this country today as well.We hope the new year brings you peace, prosperity and more freedom and liberty. And thank you for being a part of QandO this year.
 
Why we don’t say the "F" word in my house
And it isn’t the "F" word you might imagine. Terry Garlock, a Cobra gunship pilot during the VN war, reminds us why a certain celebrity’s recent birthday didn’t deserve the coverage it got and how the media has been complicit in ignoring her treason (and why it was treason and not "protesting"). He says it all pretty well and echoes my feelings
 
Road trip report (update)
Traveling by car to Michigan. Business. So far so good. Cold, but not that cold. The good news is the weather is clear.Got tired of listening to the usual radio yesterday, fired up Sirius and put it on the ’60s channel. Knew the words (well most of them) to all the songs. Scary. Heh ...But it was fun. The Yardbirds, Kinks, Rolling Stones and Beatles. The Hollies (I’d forgotten about the steel drums in "Carrie Ann"), Wilson P
 
Chris Saxman at the RPV Advance
A bit of Virginia-blogging...This past weekend, I attended the RPV Advance - the yearly gathering of the Republican Party of Virginia - to speak on a couple Blogs and Politics panels. When those ended, I decided to stick around to speak to some friends and hear some speeches. In particular, there was a great deal of buzz surrounding the speech of Delegate Chris Saxman, a friend, a politician/blogger and rumored potentia
 
Happy Thanksgiving!!
And I mean it! I have lots to be thankful for today. For most being awash in rain on this day would be a downer. Not in Georgia. It’s raining and we’re loving it. I also will be frying 4 turkeys today as the extended family gets together. Grandsons, son, brother etc, as well as those from the distaff side of my son’s family will all be pitching in to make this a memorable and filling day. So the woes of the world, opinions about it and my late
 
Motorcycle Stuff
After saving money for five months, I finally managed to scrape up enough to do the modifications I wanted to do on my bike. Since it’s pretty much off topic, I won’t discuss it here, but I covered it on my motorcycle blog. Here’s a comparison, though:BEFORE

 
Awful, awful tragedy
I can’t begin to imagine the agony of these parents. A wounded Iraq veteran and his wife have lost a third child from injuries the boy suffered in a car accident on the way to visit his father in the hospital.Three weeks after his siblings died in an Oct. 13 accident on the gusty West Texas plains, 9-year-old Tyler Johnson died Saturday at Children&
 
Home Depot Oddities
Today, I went to Home Depot to pick up a replacement battery for my 12-volt wireless drill. The old battery was worn out, and wouldn’t hold a charge.The price for a new battery ran about 70 bucks. However, the price for a new 12-volt cordless drill, with two batteries and an included charger, ran 49.95. Plus, there was a nice little selection of drill bits, screwdriver heads, and hex bolt heads included in the box, as well.I don&rsquo
 
It smells like...burning
In 2003,the Cedars fire in San Diego came close enough to my house that I could take pictures of it from my back yard.Well, I don’t have anything so dramatic this time. The air is very smoky, but the fires are to the north and south of us so far. The nearest fire is about 5 miles to the s
 
I’m out of here for a couple of days
Traveling sans computer (I just need the break). Gone after this post, back the 19th. If I happen to find a computer along the way and have the time, I may pop something up. Then again I may not. See you Friday.
 
John Berthoud
This is very painful to hear...We are sorry to announce the passing of John Berthoud. As you may know, he has led both the National Taxpayers Union and National Taxpayers Union Foundation over the last 11 years. We have looked to him as a strong leader, compassionate friend, and a fierce fighter for freedom.The Washington Times has more  
Stevie Ray Vaughan
My friend Kevin Whalen at Pundit Review reminds me today its been 17 years since we lost a true musical legend. 
A little brag, a little plug
My younger brother just finished playing the 16th Annual Pocono Blues Festival in Pocono, PA with James "Boo Boo" Davis out of St. Louis. Links to a few pics are definitel
 
Sit back and enjoy
I love time-lapsed videos and this is a particularly enjoyable one about Antarctica:
 
Finally
I picked it up this morning.More here.
 
I’m not a Biker...But I am a Harley Owner
I went into the Kearny Mesa store of San Diego Harley this afternoon, and actually signed the papers on my XL 1200C. It’s in the Service dept now, so they can put all the extra goodies I bought on it.What a fantastic dealer experience! Everybody there was as helpful and friendly as can be. They had exactly the Cobalt Blue pearl bike—with Pacific Blue Pearl pinstriping—that I wanted. 45 minutes after I walked in, they were taking my picture with the bike as its n
 
Second Thoughts
Last week, I wrote up the drive test I took on the new Can Am Spyder. I really liked it. The trouble is, it costs $15,000, which is pretty pricey. And, apparently, the first year’s production run has already been more or less sold out. That kinda makes it hard to get one, even if I had the 15k.But, I’ve still been thinking. A lot. And what I’ve been thinking is that, for half the price, and with no wait at all, I could g
 
Missing Teen
A request from one of our regular readers prompts this post.Police were working leads Monday looking for a break that would lead to information regarding the fate of a Kansas teen missing since Saturday.[...]"Please call the Overland Park police o
 
I Need $15,000 by September
I hate to ask this of all of you, but if you don’t send me at least $15,000 by the end of September I will die.I will die, because of my disappointment about not being able to have one of these.
 
Take a moment
Take the time, spend the 12 minutes and just listen. It is well worth your time. Craig Ferguson has an ephiphany and, as the YouTube title says "speaks from the heart". It is all unscripted. Yeah, he’s still funny, but the message and how it is presented is just flat excellent. You can always tell someone speaking from experience.
 
OK, that wasn’t too bad
I did my first "Someone You Should Know" segment on WRKO 680am out of Boston on Sunday night. It aired at 9pm on Pundit Review Radio hosted by Kevin Whalen and Gregg Jackson (the show runs from 7 to 10 and can be heard live via the net at wrko.com). It’s a very interesting show which is focused on the new media and includes interviews with a good number of interesting guests and bloggers too ... not tha
 
Happy Mother’s Day
I’m sitting here thinking of my mother who died a few years back. In fact, I’ve got a photo that sits above my desk of her holding me when I was about a year old. She waited a long time for me to come along (9 years) and, in fact, she and my dad had talked about adoption before I showed up. But being the first, well, that has a specialness about it.My mom was a child of the depression and grew up in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio. Depressions a
 
Feelgood story of the day (update)
If you live in or near Marietta GA and you’re thinking of taking in a movie anytime soon, do yourself a favor and patronize the Georgia Theatre Company’s Park 12 Stadium Cinemas there.Why? Because they gave a damn:Dan Peterson wanted to do something special for his son’s 10th birthday Friday, and who could blame him?
 
Italian Royalty
First of all, thanks to everyone who expressed sympathy for us, in having to put our beloved puppy Starbuck to sleep. She was a really wonderful dog, and it was very, very sad to both of us to make the decision to put her to sleep. Unfortunately, we really had no other choice, considering her condition.Chris and I were both devastated by having to do it. Once a dog gets into your heart the way she did, well, that’s just irreplaceable.
 
Starbuck the Wonder Dog
Today, after a series of increasingly worse seizures, coming less than an hour apart, which even general anesthesia could only temporarily halt, Starbuck took her last trip to the vet.And that’s all I care to say about it.11/11/06 - 4/25/07
 
Starbuck the Wonder Dog Update
So, the week before last, Starbuck had 6 epileptic seizures over the weekend. So, we raised her meds to 90mg of Phenobarbital every twelve hours, and 2cc of Potassium Bromide per day. Last weekend, she had five more. So, we added to the above, 1mg of Clonazipam before bed.Apparently, what happens is that, anytime we take her out of the house and into the real world—dog park, beach, or like last weekend, just spending the day in the truck as we we
 
BlogTalkRadio Owes Me $39,000
I wasn’t gonna blog about this, but I just can’t help myself.Three weeks ago, on Friday, BlogTalkRadio screwed up the air time for the call-in podcast, apparently as a result of a screw-up in converting to the new Daylight Savings Time that was implemented this year. As a result, our podcast for that day aired live an hour later, at 9:00pm Pacific, 12:00am Eastern.Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. On this particular day
 
Developer Wanted
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been swamped with work. And I need some help. If you are an ASP.NET developer, with a good grounding in C#, and you’d be interested in doing some web development projects, then please email me at info-at-webmasterdeveloper.com.
 
Starbuck the Wonder Dog Goes for a Ride
This, my friends, is a happy dog. Maybe she’s happy because she’s on Phenobarb 30 twice a day, which has prevented her from having any more frightening epileptic seizures. I know I would be.Anyway,she’s just over 30 pounds now and 17 weeks old, and she loves to go for rides. It gives her so much mental stimulation that, when we get home, she curls up and dro
 
Singin’ the Blues in Canada
On a personal note, if you’re a blues fan, you might want to tune into Canada’s Radio 1 on Saturday night from 11 to 1 and listen in. My brother, Doug, will be playing at the Spectrum in Montreal as lead guitar player (and sometimes vocalist) with blues singer Boo Boo Davis (I love that name). Link is  
What was your first car?
This answer to the question in the AJC got me to thinking:My first car was a 1966 Chevrolet Impala convertible. No options, just a three-speed manual transmission shifter on the column and a 283-cubic-inch V-8 engine. I drove this car throughout high school and still have it as my fun car for nice-weather drives a few days a month.It is a lif
 
Close Call
Apparently, Starbuck the Wonder Dog’s bout with Parvo was a light one. Despite discharging some bloody, watery poo early this morning as the virus attacked her intestinal lining, she ate this afternoon when we went to see her, and she was able to keep it down. The hospital fed her again at 8:00pm. If she remains able to keep bland food down, the vet says we can take her back home tomorrow.She was a lot less lethargic when we saw her today, which
 
Starbuck the Wonder Dog in Trouble
This was Starbuck yesterday, playing with the tire swing in the back yard.Tonight, Starbuck is in the hospital.We really don’t know what happened. She got her second Parvo vaccination on Monday. She never goes anywhere outside the house, or where other dogs might be. She goes outside into our fenced backyard, and no place else. Yet, somehow, she got Parvo, showing the first symptoms today: vomitin
 
Starbuck the Wonder Dog
I’ve never seen a dog as smart as my new American Staffordshire Terrier (Not a "Pit Bull"), Starbuck.She is already house-trained, a task that took about 2 weeks to accomplish. I’ve never seen a dog so easy to train.The Lovely Christine already has her responding to "sit"; "down", where she lays on her belly—the dog, not Chris. T
 
Dale Franks and the U of Chicago Graduate School of Business
It has been brought to my attention that one of our co-bloggers, Dale Franks, has had his book on economics listed on an 5 book list of recommended reading by Michael Gibbs, a Clinical Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.No kidding. His, "Slackernomics" is listed with that of Milton Friedman’s "Free to Choose" and Gary Becker’s "The Economics of Life".Folks if
 
Jon Henke
January 1st, 2007 seems like a good day to announce a significant change in my life: I have accepted a position as the New Media Director for the Republican Communications Office in the Senate. Starting on January 3rd, I’ll be working for the Republican Leader (Senator McConnell) coordinating New Media engagement for the Senate Republicans. I’m very excited about this position for a variety of reasons; becaus
 
Our Family Grows
When I got home this evening, The Lovely Christine informed me that she was ready to expand our family. We had talked about this lately, but she seemed dead set against it. But, apparently she changed her mind, and so...we did it.Her name is Starbuck. She’s a six week-old Pit Bull. And she’s a lap dog. No matter what you do, or where you put her, she climbs right up in your lap. We are gonna hav
 
Odd Blegging Request
I know this is a bit odd, but I need a sanity check on something. An author working on an alternate history SF story wants an extrapolation of the historical Confederate Army rank insignia, which I am trying to provide. Take a look at this shockwave file, if you’re interested, and let me know if you think it’s a logical extrapolation.
 
Christmas: The old and the young
An interesting thing happened to my wife at her new job.Her boss gathered the whole company together (its a small one) and handed each employee $200. He said, "this is for you to spend on Christmas, but not for yourself and not for your family or friends. I want you go out and help someone in need".Neat. So for a week we’ve been casting about trying to figure out who to help. And when we finally decided, well, $200 just isn’t e
 
Commuting on the Train
I am not actually working today. Or, for the rest of the week for that matter. I am attending a training class, and it’s held all the way downtown in San Diego. Rather than driving, and facing all that traffic, I decided to take the train.The train is interesting, really, because it puts you in contact with lots of people. In my daily life, I really don’t deal with many people. I drive to work. I have an office by myself. I do my little
 
*Sigh*
Worst. Thanksgiving. Ever.Seriously, you would not believe what I went through.I don’t even want to talk about it. I’ll just say this: Robots are not our friends.Oh, and incidentally, though you don’t know it, all of you are safe now.You’re welcome.
 
A day of thanksgiving
Today I’m going to indulge myself in a mountain of calories, which, when you have a metabolism which has slowed to glacial speed, means much future abstinence. But Thanksgiving is a special day.It is one of my favorite holidays because it involves family and, if taken seriously, causes one to pause and reflect (which, of course, you have the opportunity to do given the mild coma which is induced by the feast of the day).Today I’ll
 
Historical Rank Blegging
My WWII rank insignia project is coming along slowly but surely. I am having some trouble with Japan, however. Both the Japanese army and navy used identical rank names. When we translate Japanese rank names into English, we don’t translate them so much as we simply substitute the American rank name for the appropriate service. For instance
 
Our House is very fine house...But not right now
Well, I’ve mentioned our slab leak mold problem at the house. For this week, we’ve been dealing with "The Bubble".This is what The Bubble looks like from the family room.All of our furniture is shoved over to one side of the room. Also, our coffee table is having to double as a dinner table.Nice.Chris is kinda freaking out. She really hates
 
It Heals Disease...And Destroys Houses
Practically everyone knows that penicillin, the first of the wonder drug antibiotics, came from an accidental discovery of how bread mold killed bacteria. But, as I am finding out, mold has a darker side.Apparently, we’ve had a slab leak in our house for quite a while. Last week, we noticed a small pool of water on our kitchen floor, coming from underneath the cabinets. So, we called in the pros to take a look. Today, we learned that the entire
 
Slow Progress
I’m sure it’s been obvious from my recent contribution level to the blog that my schedule is very tight at the moment. I hope it will be lightening up soon, but, then, I always hope that, so, there you go.In any event, I have made some progress on my WWII rank insignia project. Happily, I’ve now finished the insignia for the USSR, which was very bothersome and time consuming. N
 
Who’s Your Daddy?
Well, uh, I guess I am. At least for one needful little girl.Due to a set of family circumstances too unfortunate and complicated to relate in any detail, I will, within the next few days, and with almost no preparation at at all, become the de facto father of a 7 year-old little girl. The Lovely Christine’s little grand-daughter, Lexie, will be coming to live with us for at least the remainder of the 2006-2007 school yea
 
Not as Simple as You Think
By the way, here’s a note to reader Joab, who, commenting on my WWII project, wrote:The entry for the French shouldn’t cut too far into your free time.You were wrong. Those hats are a bitch.
 
The Honorverse: End of the Line
You may remember that I complained recently about my Honorverse web site, and the trouble I was having being allowed to sell that work to David Weber’s people.Well, they emailed again this week. They told me that, after three months of begging, they finally got David Weber to agree to use my artwork as the basis for the canonical rank insignia for the Honor Harrington universe.
 
My New Side Project
Just a little something I’m working on, in whatever spare time I have...which isn’t much.
 
Honorverse Update
Back in June, I announced that my Honorverse artwork had been selected as the basis for the canonical representation of rank insignia for David Weber’s Honor Harrington book series. We had already agreed on terms, Ad Astra had sent me a contract, and I had signed it and returned it to Ken Burnside at Ad Astra, along with the original Flash files. As far as I knew, it was a done deal. Soon after th
 
George Allen
QandO readers may have noticed my occasional posts on George Allen and the Virginia Senate race. I’ve followed this because I live in Virginia — just outside of Richmond, actually — so this has been in my backyard and my newspapers. I’ve consistently said that... George Allen has gotten a raw deal from the  
Another day in the Salt Mines
This is me. This is what I did today. I was at work. I got paid to do this.Sometimes, I love my job.
 
Pro Player Foundation
I don’t want to make a big deal out of this or anything, and I only mention this because it’s a good cause. I’m sure you’ve all seen my photoblogging entries, but I’m not just a keen amateur photographer. In fact, I do professional photography, and along with The Lovely Christine, am the more-or-less official photographer for the NFL’s Pro Player Foundation
 
We were soldiers once, and young
This past weekend I had the distinct honor and pleasure of attending the first reunion in my life I enjoyed. Did the high school thing and even the college one.Hated it.But this weekend I was able to see a bunch of buddies, in the truest sense of the word. Guys I served with for many years in the military. I hadn’t seen many of them in 20 odd years. And this was the first time we’d all tried to get together. I had no idea how
 
Honorverse Update
I recently announced that my Honorverse web site had been chosen as the basis for the canonical images of the rank insignia for the Honor Harrington book series. On 5 Jun 06, I signed a contract with Ad Astra games to that effect.Subsequently, I was told that David Weber, the Author of the Honorverse book series, felt that I had misrepresented my work as being somehow part of the official ca
 
I’m a Meanie
Sometimes, there are people who rub you the wrong way. There’s no explanation for it. Sometimes, a brief interaction with someone leaves you with a visceral dislike that goes beyond any reason.A good case in point was "Bithead" from Bit’s Blog. I could take him or leave him, but Jon just couldn’t stand the guy. It happens.Well, that’s the case between me and the commenter "Mona". For whatever reason, she just rubs m
 
This I Believe (really)
A friend set me on an interesting line of thought. Surely, we all believe something that many other people would find ridiculous. Many libertarians, for example, find my mechanistic philosophy fairly unusual. It’s hard to gauge whether it’s my view that is unusual or merely my peer group, but here are three fairly unusual things I believe... I think it’s highly probable that there are other, highly-advanced life forms in the universe. We may someday confirm th
 
It’s official!
As of this afternoon, the contract with David Weber’s people is signed, and the original artwork I created for The Honorverse portion of my web site, will become part of the official canon for the Honor Harrington Science Fiction book series by David Weber. Since I got paid for it, I guess that makes me a professional artist.I can’t believe it. My artwork is now the official, canonical imagery for The Honor
 
Random observances of life in general
As you’ve probably been able to tell, I’m not in the normal blogging mode (or mood) that has me seeking out the story of the day or going after some sniveling weasel who’s a waste of good oxygen. Or having a commenter go after me like I’m a waste of good oxygen.There’s plenty of time for that during the week.Instead I’m spending a reflective weekend, watching the Braves go down the tubes on a homestand and
 
Random Reflections on a beautiful sunny day
Ever notice how, when you’re mowing the lawn, you have all this time to think and sometime in the course of doing the back lawn, you finally figure out how to solve the world hunger or the Iran problem, but by the time you finish, you forget?Happens to me all the time.I also think about more mundane things like why the damn birds use my deck as a poop-a-torium. What’s with that? They sit on the deck rails contemplating their day
 
I want to say "thank you" on Memorial Day
I have a lot of people to say thank you to today. Some are still with us, others aren’t.I want to say thank you to ..."Old Pal", Lawrence Meyers, my mother’s step-father who she loved dearly and deeply. He was the only father she ever knew and the only grandfather I had. Old Pal was an infantryman in WWI and was awarded the Silver Star.My dad, Gordon McQuain, Sr., a veteran of 3 wars and 36 years service. He was a "mu
 
Not just any Port in a storm
Port, on case you didn’t know it, is the drink of warriors. There was a bottle of Port on every captain’s table in Nelson’s fleet when they sailed for Trafalgar (indeed, it is said that Admiral Nelson sketched out the battle plan for Trafalgar with a finger dipped in port). The Duke of Wellington wrote to his father during the Penninsular campaign that he was a keen port drinker. George Washington was a constant drinker of port.But, t
 
Vote for my niece
She’d probably kill me if she knew I was doing this. What the heck, that’s what uncles are for.Her name is Delanna Studi and you can vote for her here. She and I would both appreciate it.A movie Delanna was in, "Edge of America" recently won a Peabody award. Dale interviewed Delanna about the movie  
Racked, Finally
One of the problems with having a recumbent trike is that it’s really hard to do simple things that regular bikers take for granted. In my case, it was getting a rack and saddlebacks for my Catrike Pocket. If you take long rides, like I do, you need a place to carry your stuff. I like to take along a camera, some snacks, a Camelback canteen, and whatever. There is a rack that will fit the Catrike, but it costs $120 bucks, which is about 4 times the price of
 
Honorverse Update
Admittedly, this will be of limited interest to the relatively small group of Honor Harrington fans out there, but I have made another update to the Honorverse web site. I have added a new section that shows sample uniforms for the various Honorverse navies.Please keep in mind that some of the...uh...
 
Caspar Weinburger, RIP
The press of personal and professional business has prevented me from mentioning—and mourning—the passage of Caspar Weinburger. Although I never met him, I knew Mr. Weinburger slightly, having interviewed him over the phone a number of times for my radio show in LA in the 1990s, after he became a big shot at Forbes’ magazine.I had admired him from afar for many years, however. Mr. Weinburger was SecDef when I first enlisted in
 
Back in the South
St. Louis is a nice town and I enjoyed myself but it sure is nice to be back in the warm and sunny south. As if to ensure I understood the difference, St. Louis managed to spit frozen percipitation at me all week. My brother is doing great. Operation appears to be a complete success (the pain he had in his shoulder and arm 24/7 for 2 1/2 years is gone). We got the opportunity to vist which we don’t get that often. Thanks to all who wished him we
 
Scenes from a Birthday Party
Enough with the punditry and pedantry. My son turned 4 this past weekend! Pictures from the Party below the fold...
 
One of those days
I’m in beautiful St. Louis, MO expecting 4 inches of snow tonight. Came up to take care of my brother (who shows up here at QandO as a commenter occasionally (McQ2)). He’s having his 5th spinal surgery and I’m the visiting nurse (Can you imagine? Someone is messing with your spine on monday morning and you’re at home tuesday night).We’re getting to be old hands at this. I told him that I’d appreciate it if we could do something different next t
 
The Softness of XM, Redux
Today, XM played "Tear You Apart", on Ethel again. But, this time it was the dirty version. So, all is right with the world.Now, can we please never, ever play that stupid freakin’ song again?UPDATE: XM’s Eric Range gets back to me:Fact is - we’re not an XL-channel. While we have gotten away with slipping the F-BOMB (among others..) in the passed.. we have recently been told that it is not as cool as we thought.<
 
Is XM going soft?
Today, I was listening to XM Channel 47, which is called "Ethel" for some odd reason. Ethel is the Alternative Music channel on XM. They also have alt-music channels of different flavors called "Fred", and "Lucy", too. Oddly, there’s no "Ricky", though.So, anyway, they played a song from a group called She Wants Revenge, which is titled "Tear You Apart". The chorus of this song contains the tag line, "I wanna f*ckin’ tear you apart". But,
 
Honorverse Announcement
Many of you are fans of David Weber and his Honor harrington Book series, and since I’ve mentioned my Honorverse web site, many of you are aware of it, too.Well, a new development has occured. I am currently in negotiations with David Weber’s business people at Ad Astra Games to convert the current Honorverse presentations i
 
Blegging
Back from 1988 to 1991, except for a few periods when military duties called me away to other tasks during that time, I worked at the Canadian Forces Network Brunssum, (CFNB) as a broadcaster. The station was located at the Headquarters, Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT), which has since been renamed AFNORTH.Anyway, while I was there, I worked with a USAF Tech Sergeant who also moonlighted as a CFNB broadcaster. His name was Dennis W. Green, and he w
 
Road Rage
So, The Lovely Christine and I are driving to the mall, when this guy in a pickup comes zooming up behind us, then has to slam on his brakes, because we’re on a residential street, going the speed limit, and he’s driving about fifty. Then he commences to making obscene gestures and flashing his brights at us.Chris, who has a bit of temper herself, hits the brakes. This just enrages the guy, so as soon as we reach a wider part of the street,
 
The Big "30"
Won’t be blogging today as it is my 30th wedding anniversary.My sweetheart’s been worth every single day of every single year and I look forward to many more with her. Of course she deserves to be showered daily with gifts ... any woman who has not only keep her sanity but her sense of humor after 30 years with me deserves more than I can ever give her.She is the best, and my one true love.
 
Merry Christmas
To all of our readers out the (and especially you, MK), we wish you, each and every one, a Merry Christmas and hope you and your family will enjoy a safe, happy and rewarding New Year.UPDATE: Feelgood story of the day.
 
Toys are fun!
I recently heard about the Delphi MyFi XM2GO Portable XM Satellite Radio Receiver with Home/Car Kits. Overcome by jealousy, I had to go buy one for myself.It’s way cool!
 
We Love the Chronic(What?)cles of Narnia!
If you haven’t seen this, then you’re missing a really amusing and clever rap song by comedians Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg. The Lovely Christine and I watched this on SNL saturday night and loved it.If you’re interested, the lyrics are here:
 
Babes in Toyland
I hate shopping. It is a singular, visceral thing with me. I do most of it on-line if I can.But last night, with the most grace I could muster, I finally agreed to go shopping with my wife to get a few Christmas presents. It’s not that I don’t like being with my wife, I love it, but I just hate shopping so much that, well, it even taints that.So what we did was decide we’d make as nice a night of it as we could. We split t
 
Not a Good Day
(UPDATE (15 Nov 06): After the design problem referred to in this post was fixed a few days later, I wrote a formal—and very positive—review of the Catrike Pocket, which can be read here. So, please be aware that the post below is not the final word on the Catrike. Big Cat responded quickly to my complaint, and cha