Robert B. James's Blog (116) Days on State Pay

      The towers had fallen, and I was in uniform, no rank or name...under orders to assist the Chaplains in the field. Traditionally, that person would be armed and the Chaplain would not. The Navy calls this Chaplain’s  assistant position RP. 

       I did not ask for the job in early 2002, the command decided it for me. I was off the beach, and looking at the targets that the brain trust determined warranted armed personnel in uniforms to been visibly protecting; bridges tunnels,…


Added by Robert B. James on February 21, 2019 at 9:04am — No Comments

Eight Operational Ideas for Effective Counter Intelligence


            1. Assume nothing

                   Nothing is everything in the field of counter intelligence. 

            2. Ignorance requires cultivation     

                    There is no enemy beyond ignorance

             3. More Is seldom better

                    Enough is enough


             4. Respect the vernacular    

                   If you break it, you buy it




Added by Robert B. James on February 20, 2019 at 8:00am — 7 Comments

Clam Crimes Charged

       There were three of them in court today;all charged with the same two offenses: 

        Clamming without a fishing license    

         Harvesting undersized clams

        The fines due, if convicted as charged total for the three of them over 7,000 dollars. The two women and one man heard the charges and fines via a court appointed interpreter separately, one after the other. Even the judge guessed that they had been captured together, but this fact was not…


Added by Robert B. James on February 19, 2019 at 4:41pm — 2 Comments

See, Sick Stories Sell, Sometimes

   Hard Boiled Dicks...when I read fiction very young, was no Red Lobster. I had no talent, grammar or spelling...and terrible left-handed penmanship. I was right handed playing left from before I could talk. It drove them bonkers, so I stuck with it. Hence the pecking. Bad writing is far worse than bad pecking to work through, I mean, who bothers? Not my first grade teacher, who steadily berated me for my slow and sloppy opposite hand work. I was screaming silently for any form of…


Added by Robert B. James on February 18, 2019 at 9:17am — 5 Comments

Day Two: The Show Goes On


            I don’t have to drive; the rain sloshes as I peck,down the roof of the double wide. Again new play today, not golf...but live performance. The state of the art is strong. 

             The emergency is real, but not at the southern border, or even what’s new. The lack of fear is a little scary, but we are old. 2021 January. What happens today and every day out there in the almost real world until then is what is new. 

              I am glad to be able…


Added by Robert B. James on February 17, 2019 at 8:24am — 4 Comments

Two Sundays

      I’m rushing off to Sunday number one, for some reason on Saturday. A rare double performance dictated by Sanskrit or some other written or unwritten source beyond my limited ability to comprehend anything much, and less,for certain, than I did when I was a teenager. 

      Counter Intelligence, double dose. I’ve not time to dawdle, or peck away here, as duty calls. I don’t have to drive even. 

       Saint MAHI is past go, and spring is here. Late and wet, with pale…


Added by Robert B. James on February 16, 2019 at 8:00am — No Comments

Bell Bottom Blues

        I’m not obsessed with fish...well, maybe a little. Another bird got killed on my feeder yesterday. For seven years not one bird got hurt, and now two in two weeks have got their feet caught in the decorative copper leaves that are attached around the feed cylinder. It makes me want to cry. I have to replace it. 

        The rain keeps coming down. At least it’s not snow, and the house flipped. I’m fine, not driving, and, as always, fearlessly optimistic. 



Added by Robert B. James on February 15, 2019 at 8:30am — 3 Comments

Saint MAHI

         The saints come or go, but they march nonetheless. Weaponized humans, all of us, just waiting for the preprogrammed sequence that kicks us into operational mode, marching as to war, but not quite. 

        Who came first? Nixon to China or Kissinger to America, and what does all this have to do with my pecking away here today  about saints marching? 

         MAHI is forty three pages from three hundred, ten and a half months into first drafting. The saints march. The…


Added by Robert B. James on February 14, 2019 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Account Closed

      Have you read that I’m half out? I am. As I await my first social security check I am doing half of what I was until after the midterm results balanced my post SCOTUS pick depression, leading me to conclude that the time had come for me to pull the rip cord. 

      I’m doing better, thanks, and half as much. The kids are grown up, and in Congress, too. Who knows? I’ve been a fearless optimist for quite a few years now. Try playing that in the field every day, seven days a week.…


Added by Robert B. James on February 13, 2019 at 9:14am — 4 Comments

Cutting Line

           Low expectations. I’ve most always presented as happy, except when I was terrified, run down, and shot up to get back out and play on a field that had left me in a state of shock. I believed. The doctor said I was good to go so I was, even if I wasn’t.  

            To rule, or measure, it used to be one needed line of sight. I started working with instrumentation, photography, field data collection in grammar school. I did not cut line until I was close to thirty, after I…


Added by Robert B. James on February 12, 2019 at 9:23am — 2 Comments

Reincarnation: Why Not?

      I don’t know when or even why reincarnation was removed from the book, I’m not a book banging person. I ran into a couple on the trail who liked my quips so much that they thought maybe I might come to their weekly meeting. Sunday’s are not enough. 

       I love stories, but don’t work with fiction. I was raised on fiction. I believed every story I was told. And then I grew up. I tried my usual short lecture on belief, as in I love stories, but...and the then the male says his…


Added by Robert B. James on February 11, 2019 at 8:17am — 8 Comments

Laying Tracks

       I hardly text or email. If I’m on the phone twice in a day, that’s a lot anymore for me. I’m listening, reading, pecking away at the book...but I’m not driving an agenda, or selling anything. 

        I think. I’ve got the time to do it. I fill the bird feeder. I cook. I sweep the fake wood floors of the double wide. Breadcrumbs won’t work. A trail is a trail. 

         I learned to read tracks and how to trail as a boy. I was always an observer more than a participant…


Added by Robert B. James on February 10, 2019 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

He’s Got Game

     I’ve almost written this bit before, but before was Open Salon. I used the bit to introduce my first first major work after graduate school finished for me in Newark, New Jersey May of 2011. By late fall I was considering PhD programs, but not seriously, and  starting to write a historical novel based on my field work. I was fifty four  and was one of the few in my graduate seminars who was not already in or going to a PhD program. Most were at least twenty years younger than I, and I…


Added by Robert B. James on February 9, 2019 at 9:28am — 2 Comments

Great Uncle Amazon

     I actually had one. My father’s father’s sister’s husband. Captain Amazon Littlefield USCG.  Grandfather James did quite well during Prohibition. My father, Robert...thought himself beyond crime, left home to join the Marines at 17 in 1944 and then went to college on the GI bill back in Rhode Island, where Grandfather James grew up before coming to New Jersey during Prohibition. 

      In 1983, I formed Procurement and Distribution International  after eleven years of…


Added by Robert B. James on February 8, 2019 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

I was brilliant...Tuesday.

      Wednesday? Not so smart. That’s the way it is...Tuesday I made the bike ride down the mountain and back between showers. That was brilliant. I waited out  one burst out in the 4.25 10oz coffee joint, empty due to off season and dubious weather on the beat up bay front...complete with the new addition of an old commercial fishing boat high up on the beach near the far pier. It had been listing starboard side long enough for some one to have tagged Keep Off on the bow.

     I had…


Added by Robert B. James on February 7, 2019 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Reminding Myslef

      Excuse me. I beg no pardon.  The storm let up for my regular Tuesday Bike ride to the Bay.  Working seven days a week even during shut downs after more than four decades of field work...I  have been able to make my own work schedule. I have never been an employee of the United States Government or any of it’s agencies, so don’t bother trying to have me fired. I’m self employed. 

       You might have read that I’ve stopped driving the hundreds of miles each week that I had been…


Added by Robert B. James on February 6, 2019 at 9:30am — 6 Comments

Didn’t Miss The News

      I’ve been warming up for not watching the SOTU by not watching the news. I feel better, and still know just about as much as I did Friday, I think. 

      I didn’t intentionally miss three nights of news, it just worked out that way; Kismet so to peck. What outrageous lie or really stupid statement attacking the so not as right left that is hosting this guaranteed to be embarrassing SOTU chain yank could possibly be spouted that has not already been shoved into my brain? I’ve…


Added by Robert B. James on February 5, 2019 at 8:42am — 2 Comments

More Than More Rain

         I’m thinking that Hart and Cordel have frozen to death. Hard to complain about rain when your two most dependable commentators disappear.  We need the damn rain. So far the hill above us seems to be hanging on. I’m not a hill person, I’m a flat lander in exile. Fifty degrees as a high is very cold here. 

          There was a moment here last night when it felt like the whole roof was lifting off, the double wide creaked end to end before settling. The rain was just coming…


Added by Robert B. James on February 4, 2019 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Batten Down the Double Wide

        Up here in the hills behind the bay we don’t get much heavy weather. Well she was a blowin’ last night. Rain and wind was on the menu all day, so we cleaned and messed about in doors, not really paying attention to the bird feeder rocking in the garden, after pulling in the couch cushion to dry out, we thought that was the worst of it. 

         After dinner the wind picked up and really got noisy, like hurricane noisy; louder than I’d ever heard it blow through these hills.…


Added by Robert B. James on February 3, 2019 at 7:58am — 2 Comments

Colorado Springs: A Spike Lee Joint

        I turned fifteen  in 1972. Im not sure what year Spike Lee picked for Blackkklansmen, but by the sound of it, early 70’s would be my guess. I have seen more Academy nominated films this year than usual. I watched it last night. 

        Lee walked a tight rope; poking fun while working with explosive stereotypes far away from Do the right thing New York City, this time in the College town Colorado Springs. Making hate speech easy to watch is almost as difficult…


Added by Robert B. James on February 2, 2019 at 9:38am — 4 Comments


8 Ball, Side Pocket. Your Call.

Posted by The Songbird on February 21, 2019 at 1:00pm 0 Comments Days on State Pay

Posted by Robert B. James on February 21, 2019 at 9:04am 0 Comments

The Winning Ticket for 2020

Posted by Ron Powell on February 21, 2019 at 7:30am 10 Comments

Revelations and the Question

Posted by Ron Powell on February 21, 2019 at 5:30am 3 Comments

Clam Crimes Charged

Posted by Robert B. James on February 19, 2019 at 4:41pm 2 Comments

The True Definition of Treason

Posted by Doc Vega on February 19, 2019 at 2:01pm 10 Comments

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