Posted in My Views On The Real World, Travel and Diversions

This Place Was Made For People

I am a cast member working at Walt Disney World, and have returned to work  a month ago after the furlough, in which I got paid 40 hrs a week for doing nothing.  I have seen this place empty and full and these are my thoughts.

Say what you will about the Grand Canyon
And other places of natural beauty and grandeur

But our place only gets prettier with people.

Here there are races and ballgames
Silly challenges and serious professional competitions.

There are meetings and conventions where deals are struck, mergers happen and the dissolution of musical groups.

But mostly there is storytelling.
Tales of princesses and lovable losers, disguises and confusion.
Fables of discovery, change, sadness and friendship.

But without people, without our guests experiencing it, 
it is just a lot of buildings and sidewalks.

We miss our guests
We miss the families that are here for the first time.
We miss the groups of friends that come here and laugh.
We miss the couples that are here for their hundredth time.

We are still here
Trimming trees
Pushing brooms
Patrolling the parks
And making sure it is ready when our guests come back and are part of our story again.

This place was made for people.


DISCLAIMER: I am not a spokesperson for The Walt Disney Company or any of its subsidiaries. The views expressed are my own and are in no way endorsed or sanctioned by my employer.

Posted in Ameica's Big Game, My Views On The Real World

Stay Home

Mason Jar, 32 oz. - Pack of 12

Guy watched the news; it was the same thing every day. “This was a temporary emergency. Stay as close to home as possible, no unnecessary travel, conserve when you can, take care of your family.” That is what the news had been saying for a while, and Guy had found it easy to do, he did not want to go anywhere, his family grew a lot of what they needed so conserving what they had was just smart. Heck he was complying without trying.

A week later there was a change, Guy did not notice it at first, but the wording got a little different. “This was a temporary emergency. Stay home as much as possible, only necessary travel, conserve when you can, if you have trouble taking care of you family cooperation, with your local government might be necessary.” Guy went about working on his farm knowing he did not need any help taking care of his family. Then he thought about his mother, she lived in town in an Assisted Living Home. He decided to not just call her tomorrow but to go and see her.

At the high rise where his mother lived, Guy noted the presence of more staff than before and where the front desk was almost never manned there were now two people. This was the first time he had to give his name and who he was here to see. It was nice to see they cared. His mother was fine, she chewed his ear off about bingo, church and stuff on the news. Guy left but not before checking out her cupboards and seeing if they were well stocked.

Two weeks later Guy was helping his wife with her annual canning. She was serious about her canning and this year as he did every year he kiddingly complained about the perpetual mess in the kitchen and how everything tasted like whatever they were canning. The news was all ramped up about the problem and how it had grown much worse and the steps needed to ‘fight it’. This time the wording was much more direct. “This was a temporary emergency. Stay home, necessary travel was permitted, conserve and have an estimate of what you have on hand, contact your local government with your needs.” Guy turned off the news and had a second cup of coffee mulling over what he had just heard. Things were getting serious; he had checked with his wife about the food they had on hand and they had both decided it would do them a good while. Guy also thought that maybe his mother should come out to the farm, at least until the crisis passed over. He called her, she did not want to leave and assured him she was good where she was, and he was always such a worrier, but things were fine. Guy got off the phone and went to work, there was a fence he needed to mend.

Ten days later things changed again. The news now stated “This was a temporary emergency. Staying home is required, travel is limited to only the necessities of life, estimate how many supplies you have and if you can share with your neighbors if the need arises, local governments will be conducting a census to better assess the situation please cooperate.”

Guy was unsure how to take this, he was pretty much a homebody, but these requirements rubbed him the wrong way. He agreed with the need to stay home but he was not sure about staying home just because he was told. He decided to go into town that night to see his mother and if things were bad, he would bring her out to the farm. Driving in he saw several checkpoints, or maybe they were just guard posts to keep things calm, he was not sure what the difference was, but he made it to his mother’s building with no problems. Well that was until he got to the front door.

Pulling on the door he realized it was locked, it had never been locked before. He looked around for another way in, normally there were people sitting outside enjoying the evening, but no one was outside, he recalled the drive in there was no one on the city streets either just the occasional car, no one walking, no one out.

Trying the door again he was met by someone looking out. One of the people that had been sitting behind the desk the last time he was here. After a brief exchange he was turned away and then called his mother. He could tell something had changed in her tone, he heard something that he had heard only a few times before, she was afraid. She explained that the staff thought it best for everyone if they stayed in their apartments and did not venture outside. Guy tried to talk her into coming down to the lobby, but it was no use, she felt safe where she was, and he should go to where he would be safe as well and this was a temporary emergency. Guy drove home shaken.

Two days later changed everything. Again, the news reports changed subtly but seriously. “This was a temporary emergency. All law-abiding citizens are to remain in their homes, travel is limited to government officials and authorized activity only, a survey official will be visiting all homes to determine ways the government can better serve the community with allocation of resources. Fines and penalties will be placed against those not in compliance with the temporary special directives during this phase of the emergency.”

Guy watched the roads around his farm, there was hardly any traffic, his nearest neighbors knew nothing more than he did. On that day government officials came, they wore armbands to help identify themselves. Guy said very little. Their questions were polite and short, but Guy realized only one talked and asked questions while the other simply recorded his answers on a clip board. The conversation was about how the farm and garden were doing and they observed that the tomatoes had already been picked.

They left Guy but right before they left the one recording asked one question and one question only. “If it was necessary would you be willing to share with others in need.” Guy did not answer right away and before he could say a word the man simply nodded and made a notation on his clipboard then the both simply went away.

On the day the officials visited his home he attempted to contact his mother, he could not get through, just the recorded message, no lines available at this time, please try your call again later.

The next day he decided that his mother was coming out to the farm no matter what. When he got to her building it was locked up. He banged on the door, no one answered. He was looking around for a rock to break a window when a government official with an armband approached. A short conversation gave him all the answers he would ever get. The residents of the high rise had been moved for their own protection, he was unsure of where to and it would be best if he returned to his home for the duration of this temporary emergency.

He went to his truck.

When had things gotten so bad? What was happening? He loved his community, but he was unsure how to react to what was going on. Should he live as he had always lived? Should he speak up? Should he do something?

Or should he just go home.


Other stories and articles in the same vein.

We Need a Monster

The Big Game


The Genie and the Libertarian  

Posted in My Views On The Real World

Blackhawk Down – The Untold Story

Black Hawk Down - The Untold StoryHi faithful readers sorry to bother you with a promotion (I know you have to wade thru my attempts to sell my books all the time) but this is for someone else.

I would love everyone to pre-order a copy of Blackhawk Down- The Untold Story on Amazon.

In case you did not know I am tangentially associated with the events of the rescue efforts of the Rangers and Delta Force on 3 October 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia.   I know many of the people interviewed in this movie and have met the Director, Randall Larsen, personally at the world premier in Ft. Drum, NY in October of 2018.

Currently it is the #1 Best Selling Documentary on Amazon and I would like it to continue.   It is a great story and tells another side of the events of the Hollywood movie Blackhawk Down.

I make no money from this, in fact I have donated money to help it be created.   Thank you for your support.

Posted in My Views On The Real World, Outrageous Lies and Tales

Straw Smuggler


“Wait let me stop you right there, yes I am smuggler, and yes I am old, but I am not an old smuggler.”  The young person across the table looked at him with a blank stare.  Garak shook his head when he realized I would have to explain this.  “An old smuggler implies that I have been doing this a long time, and while I have been smuggling for a couple of years now, which might seem like a long time to you, it is not to me, and while I am an old guy that does not make me an old smuggler.”  He decided to stop when he saw the light go off.

“I am sorry for the confusion Mr. Garak.”

“Hey drop the Mr. part, it is just Garak and you know that is an alias right?”  The youth nodded his head. “Okay what was the question again.”

“You are a smuggler.” The young person looked at him. “And you are kind of advanced in age to be one, most people your age are retired and leaving comfortable lives.”

Garak shook his head. “Life is not about comfort son, it is about grabbing as much experiences as you can, it is about making a difference as you see fit and hopefully helping people along the way make as much as they can with their dash.”

The interviewer looked up at the last part. “Their dash?”

Garak nodded. “Their dash, the time between their birth and death, signified on their headstone with a dash.”

The reporter made a face of recognition and then continued. “So why are you a smuggler?”

“That is a good question.”  He paused.  “I guess you can say my personal convictions.”

“Can you please explain that.”

“Of course, you see when they started passing more and more laws infringing on personal liberty, with California leading the charge, then Utah.  It happened when the church got a new prophet and with the boys in DC losing control that joker started exercising more and more wacko based control in his home territory. All of it disgusted me, and since I had time on my hands and the ability, meaning the freedom to do something about it I decided to get into the smuggling business, moving objects from one place to another making things available to people that they should be allowed to have.”

“So you do this because you hate the system?”

“Well that is an oversimplification, I love people, I respect people and believe they are born with the natural right to pursue their own happiness as long as it hurts no one else.”

“But aren’t some of the things you smuggle hurting people?”

“I thought you did your research on me fella”  Garak said looking at the reporter. “I guess you did not do a good job.”  The kids face flushed.

“I did you are a two way smuggler, you smuggle straws, guns, slingshots, red meat, and paint into California and you then turn around and smuggle weed and booze into Utah back and forth, back and forth.”

“Don’t forget the lingerie, those holy rollers polygamist wives in Utah really love that Fredrick’s of Hollywood stuff, pretty tame stuff, no leather or pvc, they typically keep it to lace and silk.  I guess that is a way to keep the husband interested.  So what is hurting people bub?”  Garak said lighting a cigar with a match. The kid leaned back away from Garak as the smoke drifted towards him.  Garak chuckled.

“You are going to claim the guns don’t hurt people, the straws and the paint hurt the environment and the slingshots well that could easily hurt people.”

Garak shook his head beginning to regret doing this interview. “The guns are bb guns,” The blank look came back on the kids face. “Pellet guns, using compressed air, not gun powder and while there is some danger inherent with all projectile weapons, the most the could happen is you’ll shoot your eye out kid.”  Garak waited for a laugh, maybe even a chuckle or at the least slight smile, nothing.

“Okay but what about the paint and the straws, surely you see how that is hurting the environment.”

Garak shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I know all about the straws and them hurting the sea turtles, I was fifty when that ban started, you were what ten?”

“Actually eight.”

” Mean while everything and anything was wrapped in plastic. Instead of rewarding business who reduced, recycled and reused with tax breaks or something sane. They outlawed straws making it a criminal offense to give them out throwing the a caterer in jail, for three years.”

“But he won on appeal Garak.”

“Tell that to his family that went three years without a father because he made straws available at a kid’s birthday party he was catering.  They destroyed his business and bankrupted the family. Luckily they got help and are now living in Colorado I actually met him nice guy.”

“So you don’t believe you are hurting anyone with your smuggling?”

Garak shook his head.  “I don’t move addictive substances across state lines, and most of these things were legal until someone made an emotional filled video which was then seen by some meddling politician who held his finger up to the wind and then decided he knew what was best for everyone and wrote at law that the news media covered with the same emotional video that started the whole thing.  Then they sent people with guns to enforce those law.  Most of the time there was no reasoned debate, no scientific study, no search for an alternative answer. Not even a debate about personal freedom and personal responsibility.  Just a rush to make something ‘illegal’ as though that made it bad and it would solve the bigger problem.”

“So you do all this out of the goodness of your heart and just to say ‘screw the system’?”

Garak shook his head slightly.  “Heck no kiddo, I get paid on both ends of my run, and very well thank you very much.”  He said smiling as a brief look of disgust crossed the teenagers face, Garak decided to twist the knife a bit more.  “I am a capitalist after all.”  The undisguised look of disgust now came on the face full force.

“So you do this for the money then?”

“No, kid like I told you I did this because I am idealist.  I don’t need the money except to cover my expenses, you have no idea how much I spend in gas and maintence for my vehicle driving back and forth between those two states, not to mention the gifts I have to give some people to operate.”

“You mean bribes.”

“You say tomatoes I say tomatoes.”  Garak said waving his cigar in the air.

“But you make a profit from the smuggling?”

“I would not be a very good capitalist if I didn’t.”

The kid took a deep breath and regained his composer. “So what makes you such a good smuggler, according to all my sources you have never been caught, let alone arrested and charged in either state or by the federal authorities?”

Garak chuckled.  “First I am an old man, no one thinks old people, especially in the youth culture of California think old people can do anything, except maybe be experts on the early bird special. Secondly I spent all of my adult life in either military intelligence, law enforcement or private security, I can read signal and communications traffic like a road map, so I can avoid spot searches and other ‘imperial entanglements’.  Garak looked for a bit of recognition, none. “You are not a movie buff are you son?”

The kid shook his head no.

“So why interview me kid, it is obvious you don’t like me and are working on this interview with your own bias fully intact.”

“I am not biased I am a reporter.”

“Saying you are a reporter does not automatically eliminate your bias boyyo.  Like I said kid I used to read people for a living. It is obvious you don’t like me for several reason,”  Garak held up a finger. “I am a money grubbing capitalist.”  He held up a second finger.  “You disapprove of the things I smuggle into California but not the things I smuggle into Utah and thirdly you wince ever so slightly every time I call you ‘son’, ‘fella’ or ‘bud’ but not ‘kid’.  Are you one of those new eunuchs I have been reading about?”

“The term is ‘new person’ if you must call us anything.”  The young person said defiantly.

“Hey that is cool pal.  You are not hurting anyone but yourself, and you don’t even see it that way, I guess, so the more power to you and all.”  Garak said shrugging his shoulders.  “I just assumed you were a guy, no offense meant, I am old and all and I don’t speak this new language. I mean it is kinda like when you get senorita and senora mixed up down south, nobody really gets bent out of shape because at least you are saying por favor when asking for a cervesa which means you are trying to be polite.  Now that I know I can just call you…”  Garak faded out the last part looking for an answer.  Then he heard the whine of a hovercraft approaching the building.

There was silence in the dusty barn as Garak stared in shock at the kid who was smiling broadly.  “Just call me Special Investigator Tinsome and you Garak are under arrest.”  There was a loud crash as several armed officers crashed in the doors of the dusty barn.  Garak look of fright faded away as he reached down to the table and grabbed his matches and relight his cigar.  “You are under arrest for bringing illegal substances into the Three Sovereign States of California and in addition subjecting a citizen to second hand smoke.”  Special Investigator Tinsome said waving his had at the smoke that was coming towards him.

“Two questions before you take me away.”

Tinsome nodded as he was flanked by two heavily armed officers who had Tasers and handcuffs out.

“Why do you guys still have three states in your name, I mean you became three states, then you all succeed from the Union, why not just go back to one state, why keep the full title, The Three Sovereign States of California, just go back to being California, a lot simpler that way.”

“We are trying to be inclusive, is that really your question Garak.” Tinsome said.

Garak nodded. “You are right more of an observation.  Okay here are my questions.  How dumb do you think I am, and you guys know there are other ways to transmit information over long distances other than just wireless?”  Garak said smiling, then blinked out of existence.  Tinsome and the other officers faces showed a look of surprise, they were even more surprised when Garak reappeared a full fifteen seconds later.  This time wearing a yellow t-shirt with the phrase ‘don’t tread on me’ on it.  “Kinda of figured that this ‘interview’ was a set up so I ran a fiber optic cable into this place, I only buried about five hundred yards or so, the rest is just lying on top of the sand. So while you boys were scanning for a transmission coming in to this place we sent the signal to the projector via cable. I  have been sitting outside of your scanning area thanks to some friends.  I was surprised you did not pick that up, I mean you waved at my cigar smoke and it did not move, let alone that you could not smell it, pity it is a good one, nice and robust.”

Officer Tinsome muttered something under his breath.

“Well time for me to retire, catch you on the other side Mr. Tinsome, oh and I was streaming this to the internet so your cover as a ‘reporter’ has been blown, you guys are going to have to think of another scheme to entrap people.”

Tinsome looked at the man as he faded from view.

“Oh and one more thing, you guys can go to hell I am going to Texas.”


For more pop culture references see this story  The Place to Go for Answers. 

For another short piece on my Libertarian views read We Need A Monster