Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Airlines suck and care about no one, American Airlines and United.

Well once again I'm forced to go back overseas to work, thank you Obama and your lousy job destroying cabinet. I'm off to Iraq and I think its not the thought of being in Iraq again, its the airlines and their greedy careless attitude about the customer. I've been traveling overseas for 8 years now, everywhere from Iraq to Afghanistan, China and Africa. I've been all over. The best airline? Emirates and Virgin, they seem to love their customers. American Airlines and Delta, United Airlines and a couple others treat their customers like horse excrement. Well, maybe horse excrement is a compliment. They treat people like uncaring money grubbing dung beetles. American is the worst. I live in Oklahoma and always fly into Dallas, then catch a flight to Texarkana. Not 1 time, ONCE, has that flight ever left on time in 8 years, always scheduling me to sit another 2 to 4 hours again until the plane is rescheduled.

 They could care less that someone has flown 18 to 26 hours from overseas, having to sit in a London airport for 4 to 12 hours, then suffer through screaming middle easterners and unruly kids, lousy food and a helpful pilot announcing points of interest every hour waking you up from a painful sleep. Years ago attractive stewardess's were on the flight with a smile and a courteous hello. No we have gay men and grandmothers serving rudely and the customer is just a hindrance. 

If you're delayed and have to spend the night somewhere you have to get into a verbal argument with a counter agent to even get half off a hotel, even when it's their fault, which I've went through more than once. It pisses me off to no end when I have to hear when exiting the plane "Thank you for flying American as we know you have a choice." CHOICE??!!! I have no choice! My company books it and its the only airline around flying this route. I've been delayed, bumped, laid over, ignored, pushed and used by mostly American but United is as sorry as American is. I almost didn't go this time mainly because I have to fly. And stop waking me up to ask me to put on my seat belt, where's yours when you're standing in the back of the plane munching on sandwiches and looking at your kids photo's stewards? Why don't you show a little compassion when you walk through the aisles rudely bumping sleeping passengers? If someone is asleep why not save their meal for when they wake up later? My company paid a lot of money for a ticket so I think asking for a cup of coffee isn't going to be much of a problem, especially when your sitting on you ass for 12 hours talking about your sexual relationships back home. Stop giving out hateful looks and rolling your eyes.

Once I was delayed because American sat for 20 minutes on the runway waiting for an open terminal. I asked the stewardess to call and ask the Texarkana flight to wait 5 minutes. She refused. What happened? My flight left, 10 O'clock at night. Did they give me a room? Hell no! I had to get into a verbal argument with a manager to get a discount on a room and a meal, when it was their fault. My toothbrush and clean clothes were already sent away, so I had to spent the night and next day in filthy clothes and stench teeth because no toothbrush and clean underwear. Did they apologize? Not a bit.

Why don't you airlines try and pertain to make the customer happy? People including myself used to love to fly and looked forward to it. Now, it is a dreaded and hated task we have to take on in order to get from A to B. And please remove that stupid magazine where the CEO is bragging about how great his airline is. American, you suck and stink. If I can row a boat to the middle east, I'd go buy the oars.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Tarnished Gentleman.

The Tarnished Gentleman is a new book I'm working on. Based on World War 1, it deals with a man that falls in love with his buddy's love interest, falling in love with her after his friend reads her letters to him. It has nice twist on the end. Let me know what you think. This is just a first chapter, I'm sure there are a few mistakes and typo's, as it hasn't been edited yet, but give me an imput on it, I'd be curious for people's opinions.

The Tarnished Gentleman.

 Jonathan Tredwell stares at his muddied boots, sunk half way to the laces in muck. His scarred rifle butt rests beside it, almost a matching color except for the newly notched scar from shrapnel that bounced from it earlier. The mud seems to leap up like small hands groping, as the cold rain begins to fall again, instantly blending with the filth that never dries. Unable to tell if it was tears or water running down his cheeks, as he has lost his will care anymore whether he finds cover from the rain or seeks shelter. Regardless where you tried to hide a shell could find you at will, in or out of the rain. Too many times he had seen friends crawl into a hole dug into a dirt wall, serving as a barracks, only to be buried alive in wet dirt and muddied timbers, their muffled screams fading as men helplessly dug trying to save their friends.
 Un-apologizing, a set of mud caked boots tramped by, sloshing more filth on him as dead eyed soldiers stomped by, staring unseeing ahead as they wordlessly walked. Slightly he glanced up then down, as the wet men walked by almost fading instantly in the hazy mist as small putrid streams poured more water into the trenches.
 Another 150mm shell explodes, not too close he thinks, but enough to bring a quick shudder. The Germans sending a small notice Jonathan thinks, just letting us know they’re still here, as a French shell answers back, almost like an echo in a canyon returning. Looking up thoughtfully at the dirt wall, the chattering of a machine gun sputters, ringing harshly as if traveling with the departing shell fire. He shakes uncontrollably. Not from the battle fire, but the cold that seems to cut to the bone.
 No more does the blast and gunfire send him for cover, he’s over that. It’s this blasted cold weather and icy rain. No man can build a defense against that, it’s the only enemy out here that couldn’t be killed. It was the ultimate winner. It had no friends he glumly thinks, as another shell bursts, this time causing him to grasp his helmet and duck, it was too close he grimaces, turning up cautiously at the black smoke left behind now turning brown. Mud hits the ground as it falls from the eruption, warm and steamy as it drops beside him with a slapping sound.
 Guiltily he knows he must have screamed that time, as several men turn their heads upwards staring at him as if he was a nuisance, disturbing their peace. He turns down to the piece of metal, smoking in the wet ground that fell looking for a body to ravish in the dark trench. Half smiling, Jonathan reaches down picking it up and turning it in his hands, slightly warm as he imagined it slicing into his body with a vengeance. Maybe it would have been better, he thinks, to lay down and never wake up, to be out of this Hell and some place peaceful. The thought of being wounded or amputated was his biggest fear. I’d rather be dead then flailing on a hospital bed somewhere, watching a doctor saw through a leg or an arm, his biggest nightmare. Many nights he woke up, grabbing his body fearing he was a casualty, only to smile sickly as he laid back in the tight cot, hearing the distant thumps and thuds, followed by continuous rackets of machine gun fire, as if warning someone to stay away.
 Then the restless sleep again, seeing the faces of his enemy grimacing as he drove a bayonet into the sneering looks, his hands bloody from dealing death to unknown men. Men that had families, and children. Men that ran farms and businesses, talking politics and about their grandchildren. How they were doing in school, and upcoming birthdays. Men like him now dead. Falling in a heated scream as thousands poured into  trenches like ants, slashing and stabbing wildly, shoulder to shoulder, so close they had to lean on each other just to do their duty.
 The he would wake up. Sweaty and panting, scared as he stared around, as another man would be staring back at him, wiping his face harshly, as if he had peered into the same dream he just awoke from sharing his nightmare.
“Ten minutes lads!” A motivated voice chirped.
 Groans emitted as the clanging of canteens and bayonets sliced from their sheaths, the staggered clicking of blades locking onto barrels. As if told to leave, the rain faded to a drizzle. Like a guest the sun began to appear, dropping rays of light into the wet stenched ditch as frightened men leaned against the wall. Some stared up as if cursing the heavens, others laughed turning up a flask of anything that could be muled in with alcohol, to dim the senses and perform their grisly duty. Some just wandered aimlessly, dragging the butts of their weapons as they stared down, dreading the whistle that would send thousands of bodies charging and screaming over the wall, their feet digging at the wet ground for traction before charging the field of no man’s land as men fell before them.
 But they would go, Jonathan thinks idly, like they always do. Most came back unscathed, dragging the bodies of their friends wounded or dead. The sight of a limp body as it tumbled into the ditch to lay in the mud unmoving was an everyday picture here, as was on the other side also he grimly knew. Nothing accomplished and nothing gained.
 “Drink Johnny old boy?” A burly soldier held a dirty flask, slightly silver.
 “Thanks Sarge,” he nodded, upturning the vial. The hardness of home made liquor mixed with apples hit hard, cutting a notch it felt.
“Scared?” He asked.
“Yea...yea I am,” Jonathan replied, looking up at the edge.
 “Yes,” he turned a drink,” Well, we’re all scared. I haven’t met anyone yet that wasn’t.”
 “What about the Creed?” Jonathan cut a glance at a huge man, laughing loudly as he pretended to be jabbing his bayonet at an unseen figure.
 The Sargent stared, shaking his head. “The Creed’s crazy, that’s all. Oddly though he’s been through numerous runs, and never receives a scratch.”
 The creed salutes, drawing a laugh from his friends waving his hands jokingly.
 “That’s probably why he has a crowd following him over the top. Bloody ruthless maniac.”
“You think he’s scared?” Jonathan stares.
 “Yes...Yes I think so. I bet you get him off to the side, he’d probably tell you so,” Sargent Preely observes stonily.
 “I don’t know if I can do it,” Jonathan shakily speaks, wiping an eye. Sergeant Preely watches the shaking young man searching for words. “You know, go over.”
“How long here?”
“Three months maybe, maybe more. I can’t remember.”
 Sergeant Preely turns up the flask, handing it again. “Well, just remember. Stay low and move fast. Never stop.”
“I’ll try Sarge,” handing the near empty flask back.
“Good luck,” he nods, leaving with a pat.
“Three minutes men!”
 Shakily Jonathan stands, feeling a light headed push from the drink. Nervously he pulls the shiny bayonet up, glaring at it spitefully as it seems to have no friends, just a useless sharpened knife, going to where it’s owner directed it. He pauses for a moment as it shows his reflection. Hollow eyed and dirty, not the handsome posture of a man he was before he came here. Frightened of the sight he gives it a shove, hearing a light click as it locks in place.
 He glances around as the throngs of men began to gather, stuffed harsh together as they stood close to the ladders, cutting looks of fear and anxiety as they wiped the residue of rain from their faces.
 A shell explodes, causing shoulders to haunch as hands grabbed helmets, the white teeth clenched as men stared up. A tinging noise as tiny metal fragments dropped on filthy helmets sounded like gravel tossed in the pit. The distant coughing of a machine gun cranked like a missing engine as several more shells shook the ground, a light vibration under his feet.
 “Remember! We have to take the hill from the bloody Germans today gentlemen!” An unseen voice yelled from the crowds of brown uniforms bunched together.
 “In one minute covering fire! Fix bayonets!” More clangs as men adjusted their blades. As if on que, the sky turned into a thunder storm of black clouds as a heavy barrage of shells began to explode all around. The sun turned dark from the smoke of homeless artillery shells that cracked and spit above them, followed by loud concussions like heavy boots stomping in an arena. Shaking with fear Jonathan held his bayonet tightly to his face closing his eyes shut. Tears of the frightened began to moan as men cursed the falling debris.
 His nightmare turned real as the whistle blew, seeming to turn the world into slow motion. Men angrily roared like madmen as quickly they climbed the ladder, slinging mud on the heated faces below as they scrambled to climb.
 “No God No!” Jonathan screamed being heard by no one as he was roughly shoved from behind. In a fast moment he was on the ladder, being pushed up and over the trench wall by the hundreds behind him.
 Willing himself to death, he roared loudly like a bear as he charged, fearfully watching the massive red tracer bullets flying past him as he ran, the ground erupting tons of dirt as he went forward, his bayonet pointed. His eyes wide, his heart died inside as he watched his comrades fall crumpled to the ground.

New Book Cover for Backlash

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Day at the Zoo

I spent a lot of time overseas in countries such as Africa and China, paying my dues in Afghanistan and Iraq. I'm a Photographer and wildlife is a strong passion. I put together a coffee table type book for Kindle's. I've included over 400 photo's of the beautiful creatures. Please let me know what your opinion is of it.

Book writing and self publishing.

I just read a book on “How I sold a million eBooks in 5 months” by John Locke. Well, I didn’t read the book, I read the reviews. I had a suspicion it was a ploy to sell more books and I was correct. He pays readers to post reviews, therefore elevating his status. I’ve read a few of his books, not very great writing. Which leads to my thoughts. Why are there so many crappy books written out there that sell well, while other fabulous books hardly get noticed? Is it blogs? Pay for advertising? Who knows. Many writers try to pump out as many books as possible, just so they will have a large selection as gather more publicity. Literary agents are hard to impress, just read the rejection letters of many famous authors. Look at Amanda Hocking and a few others that have poor phrasing and descriptive writing in their books, yet they are now considered top authors. 50 Shades of Gray, another poorly written book, but yet mentions sex constantly and created a controversy achieving the goal, to make a whole lot of money.
I have one written so far and ten in the works. I prefer to research and fine tune, rewrite and check, rewrite again until I have it almost perfected, but yet still, once you’ve slaved over a book for weeks if not months checking, you become immune to the editing process. What sells a lot of books? The mystery still lives.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Animals are hard to resist. Horses seem to never take a bad photo. I caught these two paints passing by, really wishing I had gotten out and spent some more time with them.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Case Closed- new draft.

Case Closed.
 The heavy foot of Detective James Branson stomped again as the slow moving car eased over, witnessing the flash of his dash mounted light shooting blue and red streaks like a angry light tower. Calmly he cuts a look at the surprised car as in an instant, it was out of sight. Curious citizens did a double take as the gray ford streaked by. His partner Raymond Jenkins, beads his eye at the road and back at the speedometer as it pegs shakily touching almost a hundred before dropping down to a steady ninety miles an hour. Partners for almost three years, he knew when to keep his opinions to himself. Reaching a comforting hand down he touches the release button on his seat belt, assuring himself in case they became airborne. 
 Branson stares focused at the road, his lips forming curse words that stay to himself as another unknowing car pulls out, jerking to a fast stop as they spot the lights of the detective’s car sputtering flashes of bright beams insinuating it’s approach. In a blur they were gone from the drivers vision, disappearing over a hill. The heavy roar as the engine screamed for relief filled the car as it bounced shakily taking an exit, turning a wide right as hot tires screamed trying to grasp the cool night time pavement.
 “There...Crosstimbers road,” Raymond pointed, looking from the city map as Branson cussed, looking down and up checking his speed and direction.
 “Right! Go right!” He yelled again, pointing at the road that appeared too quickly. Several black youths walking the streets pointed humorously as the flashing car flew by, shaking their middle fingers as the sight disappeared.
 “There they are,” he pointed as the distant beams of police cruisers almost appeared as one huge pit of jumbled uncontrollable red and blue, churning madly from being too close. In a matter of seconds they screeched to a stop, yanking the doors open to dismount as an angry street cop waved his mag light hastily. With a flash of badges they walked by, studying the mass scene of Police Officers and suits, standing in different groups taking notes.
“Where’s the bodies?” Raymond asked.
 “Over there, it ain’t pretty,” a suited detective points, smoking the last of a butt and tossing it dancing across the pavement. Lightly jumping, he shoves his hands in his pockets.
 “So what happened Cliff?” James asks, staring at Raymond walking to the gathered group of officials, flashes illuminating the night from forensics camera’s.
 “Kids. Walking by, checking the ditch for coke bottles,” his teeth chattering as he shakily speaks.
 “Anyway, young boy and his sister, seen a foot sticking out. They thought it was some kind of a dummy or something so the sister went closer. They seen the bodies and ran home. That’s all we got so far.”
 “Gotcha’. Why don’t you sit in mine, there’s a cup of coffee  there you can have.”
Cliff nods, smiling with relief. “Cream and sugar?”
“Naw,” James smiles, “That shit ain’t good for you.”
“Cheap ass,” Cliff grumbles.
“So, what’s the story?” James remarks walking up.
 “Jeez, I don’t know James, man these girls...what ever got a hold of them, I don’t know,” Raymond frowns, staring at the group gathered around tightly. Frowning he sees the filthy high heel lying limply to the side as a leg shuffles.
“Like what?”
 “Dogs man, whatever. This area is full of starving homeless animals, even Bobcats I’ve heard. Anyway, she ain’t got a throat left, and the other...”
 Curiously he eases into the shoulder packed detectives and forensics, staring blandly at a stretched body. Peering in he jerks back in shock as he leans forward, wrinkling his eyebrows. Totally nude except for a tarnished pair of high heels, once white now black from mud. Her lifeless eyes look upwards as is she was staring. Her neck open, it left her head twisted at an odd angle. The other lay curled against her in dead comfort.
 “No more than fourteen man,” a detective remarks, talking to himself. James stares for a second, turning back to the carnage.
“Any identification?”
 “None. Just what you see,” the man mutters again, staring shocked.
 “Easy Jason, I know it’s tough,” James remarks, placing a hand on the Detective’s shoulder.
 “Tough?” He cuts a look of surprise. “Those girls, no older than my daughter. Look at them. A life, friends, school...and now, dumped here like a bag of trash, raped and used, thrown away like they were no use to someone anymore. I can’t phantom, it don’t make sense,” muttering in and out, he slowly draws on a cigarette.
 “I know, I know. But this is what we have to deal with in a big city, you gotta’ be hard, even in times like this. Believe me, it bothers me more then you know. I have a kid on the way, so I take stuff like this personal too,” James mutters softly, leaning close. Clapping his shoulder as Jason walks off James watches him solemnly.
 “Well we’ll have to wait until the coroners office fills a report. Marty and Jason raked the area for evidence, but I think maybe we should do a little looking around ourselves,” Raymond remarks casually watching as a sheet drapes over a body.
“I think our boy may have had something to do with it,” Raymond adds.
 “Forensics found needle marks all over their arms, they’re not sure, but residue tests showed a slight remain of Duragesic on one’s arm.”
 “Right, same signs as before on the over dosed druggies found downtown.”
 “More tainted shit floating around,” James mutters, bending to a knee staring at the young face. She stared up blankly as if wanting to speak. The sight disappears as a sheet yanks over her face.
“Seen enough or you want to look around?” Raymond straightens watching James scope the area.
 “ I want to sniff around some before we go. Being so dark we probably won’t find much, maybe come back tomorrow,” James replies, watching Jason fade.