Ensconced at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse

Princess Thunderjugs, our pistachios ‘n’ cream 2015 Indian Chieftain with a paint-matched passenger pod lashed alongside, was in fine form today. There are two sidecars, our own dear PTJ and a red-over-red hack with a smaller, lighter car. With three rotating amputee passengers between the two rigs, we have plumbed the inky black depths of … [more]

Visions of Rocks in Our Heads

I’m really not sure I’ve seen Glen that happy anywhere else on this trip. We were drifting through sand, banging over rocks and dodging pucker bushes in the nastiest, most capable off-road vehicles this side of an Israeli Tomcar. “All this thing needs is a crew-served and a big-ass turbo!” Whoopin’ and hollerin’, we clawed … [more]

Forced Busing

Monday morning was hurry-up-and-wait, but every rider was cheerful and the feeling was as familiar as leather personnel carriers: we were embarking on a squad-sized vehicle road march, with a support team in larger vehicles. Up in our room, George and I had fiddled with gear, packing and repacking bags and pockets and jackets and … [more]

Gear Up & Locked

We all speak the same language, even if the dialects differ. It’s a language of cheerful suffering (aka “good training!”) and affected cynicism that papers over selfless service (e.g. “yeah, y’know, it’s all about me…”). Over dinner at the Burbank Marriott’s Daily Grill, the jokes leapt over each other like sportive otters, just the way you … [more]

Game Boy

  I don’t play games. There are so many other fine ways to waste time, money, and spousal patience that I’ve never really felt the draw. Well, not since all those bags of quarters invested in playing Battle Zone at the Plaid Pantry, anyway. The best moment in any game is the bonus round. That’s the one … [more]

Differences Between Old Soldiers: Filmic & Actual

  IN THE MOVIES IN REAL LIFE IS SURPRISED by untimely visit from government agents, descending by helicopter to give him one last secret mission. IS SURPRISED when VA check arrives timely. KEEPS a roomful of firearms in every known caliber and format. KEEPS a freezer full of ice packs to fit every joint on her … [more]

Going Ungently

A few minutes ago, I saw a post on Facebook from a man I respect, and was startled to realize that the events described below happened a full decade ago. I won’t ask “where did the time go?” —  there are records of much of it, scattered around this very house — but will note … [more]

Help Me Vandalize This Map!

I’m a rambler, I’m a gambler, I’m a long way from home And if you don’t like me, well, leave me alone I’ll eat when I’m hungry, I’ll drink when I’m dry An’ the moonshine don’t kill me, I’ll live ’til I die! –“The Moonshiner,” a traditional Celtic lay   Just a quick hello here; my name is … [more]