|Posted by johnwaisman on January 1, 2013 at 11:25 PM||comments (0)|
I just finished reading The Panther by Nelson Demille. A thriller that won't let you put it down, and when you're finally done you miss it. It's about a billion pages long, but DeMille makes every page a mix of the entertaining thoughts and dialogue of John Corey, protagonist, and intense in Corey's quest to save the world from a renowned terrorist. I give this book five stars.
|Posted by johnwaisman on September 29, 2012 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
Twenty-fourteen was the year everybody lost it. They'd been predicting this since forever. The Mayans said, it was claimed, that the world would end on December twenty-first, twenty-twelve. It didn't. Twenty-thirteen went by with the normal levels of crime and unrest in the middle east and political mud-slinging, but nothing anyone would call a world-changing event.
But Twenty-fourteen was different. People were talking funny. They'd go into a store, and when the clerk said something like, “Did you find everything I need?” The clerk had to work really hard to string the sentence together, even though he or she usually messed up on at least one of the words. The word I in the example above, replacing what should have been you. The customer would respond with words that sounded like gibberish. Okay, so people weren't perfect, but they were still people, right? No, not right. Suddenly everyone was driving on the sidewalks and ignoring stop signs and red lights. The cops all lined up at Burger King or McDonald's or Dunkin Donuts, and refused to get out of their cars once they were comfortably sitting with their snacks and cups of week-old cold coffee.
I ignored all of it. I watched from my third story window, looking at the streets down below. My M-14 and M-16 sat next to me, full clips, a round chambered, safety off. Two days ago two someones had broken down my apartment door with a sledgehammer, and I'd killed them dead with a double-tap center mass for each of them. I'd used the M-14 that time, and the rounds went through them, through the wall behind them, and into Mrs. Armstrong's apartment across the hall. She'd opened her door and screamed, “You fucking moron, you broke my grandmother's serving plate! I'll kill you for that!” She had a serving fork in her hand. I was pretty sure she was bluffing. I just looked at her. In a minute or two, after trying to stare a hole through me, she backed inside her place and closed the door. Probably convinced I was crazy and it was best to leave me alone. I'm not sure she was wrong.
I'd had to find an old door down at the recycle place. It was closed, but I shopped there anyway. Everything was free now. At least that's what the non-existent attendant said.
The new-old door was bigger than the doorway, so I had to screw it in place. Which meant that in order to go anywhere, I'd have to remove the screws. Of course I had no plans of leaving. It was a wild world out there, and as I previously told you, everyone had gone completely over the edge, so I had no intention of leaving the safety of my apartment. Unless I had to.
No one knew why people went crazy the way they did. Some said there was something in our water or our air, or aliens were beaming mind rays down at us from space, or maybe it was the government, or some other government like the Russians or the Jihadists or the Parent-teacher's club had finally lost it and gone to ground using high tech hardware to destroy our nation and our planet so that their union would get them a raise and a better benefit package.
Fact was no one understand why the changes had happened. And there was nothing I could do to change it back, anyway, so why cry over spilled milk, as they say.
The good news was I had these weapons. Two of them. Both from my military years. I kept them cleaned and oiled, and I had enough ammo for a small war. But there was no one to fight that war against. The two guys who'd broken down my door had just stood there looking stupidly at me, as if they were as surprised to be inside my apartment as I was to have them there. Which was why I'd shot them; we didn't need two more stupid people in the world. There were eight billion of them out there already, and two dead would mean two less, which would increase my odds of meeting a sane person by approximate a tenth of a billionth of a percent. But who cared? I had to make sure the guns still worked anyway.
The problem was I was low on food. And to get more I'd have to risk walking outside where everyone was driving on the sidewalks. Of course that wouldn't last long. The gas stations had closed last week, so any day now everyone would run out of gas for their cars. And a week after that the boarded up supermarkets would have bare shelves. If I was going to get more food, I had to do it right now, and risk everything. Everything, being my life, such as it was.
I unscrewed the screws from the door. There were four of them. The Phillips screwdriver was a little worn, and I had to work up a sweat to get the job done. I stepped out of the way as the door fell inward. Someone would come into my place without me there, but I didn't care. I didn't really have much that was worth anything. I took the M-16 and M-14 with me, slung them over my right shoulder, then eased cautiously down the stairs.
Out in the streets below. Cars actually aiming at me like this was some kind of shooting gallery. I jumped onto a parked car, and some idiot slammed into it on purpose, trying to get me, trying to kill me. I shot him through his windshield. He slumped over dead, and his horn was blaring. I went to his window and pulled him back from the steering wheel, relieved at the silence, when I looked up and saw a car heading directly for me. I jumped into the car, over the dead body, and felt the extreme shock as the car plowed into the car I'd just dived into. I shot that driver too. One less nut case in the world. Now we were down to seven billion nine hundred and … well, you get the drift. We were all mad. Yeah, yeah, even me.
I know, Shakespeare declared that “The whole world is crazy but me and thee, but sometimes I wonder about thee,” or something like that. Maybe it wasn't Shakespeare. During Shakespeare's time that was probably not true. Now, in twenty-fourteen, it definitely was true.
Anyway, I got to Albertson's. The meat section smelled real bad. Of course. The power was off. No refrigeration. I decided I'd become a fruit and nut-arian. And maybe some crackers. Crackers last forever, don't they? They should, with all those preservatives. And how about canned tuna and salmon? If I could find some, that would be good. But the shelves were mostly empty. In fact, about all I found was some canned beans, and tortillas with green stuff growing on them. Well, not all of them. There were a couple of packages that hadn't turned funny colors yet. I grabbed them off the shelves, took as many cans of beans as I could, found some of that pizza cheese in a box, went to the drug department and took a dozen boxes of cheap multivitamins, grabbed some acetaminophen and ibuprofen and cold medicine and toilet paper. The toilet paper wasn't for my apartment. There was no running water. I'd have to use an alley. When survival is at stake, you do what you must.
I dodged cars and headed back to my apartment. When I got there, three men were there. One pulled a knife on me. I shot him. The other two took off running. I didn't go after them. I wasn't angry. Just defending myself and my space.
One of the cans of tuna was bulging. I threw it out the window. Hit a moving car. A big guy got out and waved a fist at me. I gave him the finger. He got back in his car and drove onto the sidewalk and ran over a raccoon and one of her babies.
I was still alive. I didn't know for how long. Did it really matter? Somehow I didn't think so.
|Posted by johnwaisman on September 20, 2012 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
Hey, I managed to get a virus on a Linux operating system! The word was you couldn't. Well, after bragging I was immune to computer viruses since I run Linux, I somehow managed to get one. Here's how I did it:
I went on youtube.com to look for Heartland because my wife likes that show. Youtube.com had pulled that show off because of copyright whatevers. So I couldn't find it. But I found a site that offered to show it to you if you went to their link. When I got there I discovered I was in a striptease site, so I clicked off. Next thing I knew I couldn't go on the Internet without entering my key everytime. But worse than that, there were several Internet connections available - and the system tried to trick me into using them and entering my key there - that hadn't been there before. I tried to manually delete those connections, and presto chango they were back. I upgraded to the latest Ubuntu OS - 12. something - and the erroneous connections were still there and I still had to enter my key in order to get online each time I booted up.
Long story short, I downloaded an open source antivirus, found the offending files, rebooted about five times, and eventually the "virus" or infecting files went away and stopped controlling my online experience. I'm not even sure what I did to get rid of it. Maybe it was a combination of things.
Anyway, I proved to myself that Linux is vulnerable. I also proved that it's dangerous to follow links in youtube.com. FYI and all that.
Hope this helps you prevent the same thing that happened to me.
Have a great day!
|Posted by johnwaisman on August 26, 2012 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
Why Logan became a police officer.
Was it power, money, health insurance, sick and annual leave, retirement? No, it was none of these things. Detective William T. Logan became a police officer - a cop - for one reason, and one reason only: to serve.
What does that mean? When you serve, what are you doing?
Let me give you an example
One day Logan was out riding his bicycle. This was after his first retirement, which he later rescinded. He'd gone to the Post Office to mail a letter to his mother in Minnesota. At the Post Office there was an elderly lady being coerced by a six foot 200 pound young woman in her early thirties who had that criminal look. The young woman was trying to get the older woman to drive her to her house, which was allegedly two blocks from the Post Office. And the reason the young woman needed this ride? She claimed to be pregnant and couldn't walk that far. Logan had pulled up on his bike, sensing that something was wrong. The elderly woman turned, saw him monitoring the scene, turned back to the young woman and said, "I'm sorry, I can't help you." Then she got in her car and drove away. If Logan hadn't been there, the elderly woman would have had no chance of allaying the pressure put on her by the young woman. Later, while still on his bike a couple of blocks from there, the older woman pulled over and thanked him for his help. When Logan got home he called the police and reported the incident. A week after that he saw the allegedly pregnant young woman walking fast down the street, and he observed her covering a distance of half a mile at high speed before she disappeared around a corner. The young woman needed a ride like Santa Clause needed to grow a beard.
Logan analyzed what the young woman's intent may have been. Take the older woman captive in her own home, steal her credit cards, raid her bank accounts, abscond her vehicle, maybe kill her, bury her in the backyard and live in her house until the neighbors stopped believing the lies (Oh, I'm her niece and she's letting me live here while she visits her sister in Florida! or something like it). And Logan knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, protect the innocent. Protect and Serve.
During the months to come there were several different but similar incidents which eventually drove him to file that application. Sergeant Block, his martial arts instructor had told him that if nothing else, his karate training should make him fit enough to run to a telephone and call the police when he witnessed a crime. Too many people, the sarge had said, ignored crime, even when it happened to them, and never reported it. Too many people, Sergeant Block said, just put their heads in the sand and hoped that all the bad that happened on this planet would go away on its own. Or they told themselves there was nothing they could do about anything, so why bother trying? They were wrong, the sarge had said. People need to take action when they see a crime. Logan agreed. And that was why William T. Logan decided to become a police officer. Not the pay, not the health care, sick leave. Not the power of carrying a weapon and enforcing the law. Not the retirement.
Retirement. That was an irony. Logan took retirement. It lasted a short while, then he found himself involved in police work again. That scene takes place in the third Logan novel named Starlight and Moondust. But for now, in his first operation, in the novel called A Moment in Time, involving national security, several intelligence and one federal police agency, Logan saves more than a victim. In fact, if the secret behind the secret is real, Logan saves the world. But not without help. He's working with an agent from the FBI, and he doesn't even know it. When he finds out, something else takes place, something real, something powerful, something that comes from within that changes him forever.
That something has a name. And her name is ...
A Moment in Time is available here-
|Posted by johnwaisman on August 18, 2012 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
He came into the pool where I work reception, bloody, looking like he'd been run over by a train. He was in his sixties, tall, undernourished, probably homeless. I asked what had happened. He said a gang of kids in the park outside the pool had seen him sleeping on a bench and beaten him up. I wanted to call the police. He didn't want me to. I suggested he call the police. He refused.
A couple weeks later a neighbor told me about a 14 year old kid who'd been visiting her daughter. The kid had been walking down the street when a bunch of kids jumped out of a car and beat him up and stole his IPad.
"Did he call the police?" I asked her.
"No," she said, "he thought it was his fault because he was wearing a red bandana, which, he figured, was probably their rival gang's colors."
Talk about blame the victim.
A week later I heard about a guy waiting on a bus stop outside the pool who was beaten up by some kids in a passing car.
"Did he call the police?" I asked the witness.
"Why not?" I asked.
"I don't know," he said
Meanwhile, a neighbor was trying to get me to join Neighborhood Watch. Since the military I'd resisted joining organizations. But considering what had recently happened in my neighborhood, my resistance failed. I joined. I'm glad I did. From that point on my life took on a new growth cycle that included learning more about police work, which I was able to use in both my duties in Neighborhood Watch and as an author writing detective novels, Neighborhood Watch being more important. Someone had to take action. You can only stick your head in the sand so long. I invite everyone to join Neighborhood Watch in your community. It will improve you, and it will improve everything around you.
Years passed and I became more active in Neighborhood Watch. I wasn't looking for the limelight. I just wanted crime rates to go down. Soon I was invited to train in the Citizen's Police Academy (CPA). I was nervous about it, but I said yes. It was 11 weeks, once a week, of 3 hour classes on everything the police are involved in. Weapons, police dogs, forensics, and so on. The CPA was fascinating and intense. I learned a lot about police work. By then I'd written 3 Logan novels, and I was thinking about number 4. My wife and I are really getting into it. Writing is fun. And Detective Logan's character is developing in our minds. So is Samantha Jones, the lovely FBI agent. Yes: she's coming back later in Starlight and Moondust.
Thanks for visiting my blog. And have a great day!
P.S. You can find the novels for sale on Amazon here...