Please?

I saw an ad on my FB page from someone called writerslife.com offering to help people write their Biography. With no knowledge of the company, or their competence, the idea of writing your Bio is first rate! Everyone has a story to tell, because your family 100 years hence will be interested in your life.

I wrote my Bio years ago, and even though I had received many awards, they have continued after my Bio was “complete.” Fortunately, I wrote and published more than 2,000 newspaper columns, so I am a writer, and as a professional computerist I know my way around a Keyboard. My Autobiography is only for my family, so I don’t worry about having it printed…it is on DVD.

But you don’t have to have any skills at all to write an Autobiography…you have the most knowledge of anyone about your life, and that is the primary, I would say the ONLY requirement. If you can hunt and peck a keyboard, every word processor has so much automation that you can a do a serviceable job. If you can’t bring yourself to write, have someone videotape you telling stories. That’s what an Autobiography is…stories. You do need some organizational skills, or you can wing it as I did

In the Navy, things out of the norm are reported as “Incident Reports” so I did my chapters as Incident Reports. Some were as short as half a page, a few reached three pages. I wrote them as they came to mind, or more accurately, popped into my head.

After writing many Incidents I started t think of how to arrange them, but even a series of unrelated stories is better than having the knowledge lost.

Start it. Then do it. No one can do it better than you. You could write outlines of chapters, then have someone tape each story on your phone when you are ready.

So many options, but the story is the thing, not your spelling ability. Content, not process.

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Garden

Lazy Sunday in the garden, 80 degrees. Put a lot of Water Hyacinths in the pond this last week. In many states the plant is banned because it is so invasive, and it can double in size in just days. Fine, as I have killed my last Koi, at least for this year.

We have four resident Butterflies and one resident pond Dragonfly, with one visiting Butterfly and one visiting Dragonfly today. Since Dragonfly are territorial, the visiting one must be a female. Our garden is 75 feet long, plus another 30 feet of pond and greenery, and four tiers deep, including flowers, 17 huge Sago Palms, 75 feet of San Diego Red Bougainvillea and 12 fruit trees. And that is just one side of the house!

Laid up by a major muscle sprain, sitting in the garden and drinking iced tea, is not a bad Sunday

Instant Electronic Megaphone

The accusations that Trump has turned racist are political advantage-taking by the Democrats, but Trump provided the ammunition. He simply can’t keep his Twitter mouth shut!

He is his own worst enemy, a worst case scenario…a megalomaniac with a Twitter megaphone! He has no filter, but he has an instant electronic voice to the world. All of us need an internal Editor, and with my newspaper columns I needed an external Editor. (When one column did run early in my career, I called my Editor. She assured my that had it run, we would both be in Court!)

Trump can’t help himself, it’s who he is and he will forever be annoying someone, most someones or everyone. Trump’s appointments of Kavanaugh and Gorsuch have given Trump a lot of leeway among his supporters, and even though their votes have not been consistently conservative they have been consistently Constitutional.

Excitement

O.K. I said I was not going to comment on the Padres, and I’m not…but I want to comment on Fernando Tattis, Jr….if you didn’t see his escape from the “Pickle”…you MUST! It’s everywhere on the web.

As the Manager said, it’s the first time he had ever seen a Standing Ovation for getting picked off! Tattis also went four for four, and a new 20 year old reliever pitched an inning without giving up a hit. His name is Munoz, he is 20 years old and his baseball hit 101.9 MPH in the majors and 104 MPH in the Minors.

The future is looking up. Even when we lose, we win in the excitement category.

China Lake Shakes

When the Naval Weapons Center in Ridgecrest, China Lake, computerized their civilian offices, II taught them Word and Excel, so I stayed in Ridgecrest.

The Navy base there is the largest Navy base in the world, more than a million acres. Ridgecrest is an interesting little town, and I didn’t even know it was on an earthquake fault, although I guess most of California is. San Diego has a few also, although San Diego has fewer and they are less susceptible to movement.

Earthquake insurance is another matter…it is simply too expensive and the deductible is so outrageous that, at least in San Diego, insurance is unreasonable. I have taken all the usual precautions like wiring tall furniture to the walls, but if the house is destroyed, I’ll give all the remaining furniture away and rent on Kauai.

One thing I can’t protect is the stained glass window in our shower. It was yellow crinkle glass when we bought the home 25 years ago, and I hate crinkle glass so I commissioned a 45” by 55” stained glass. I doubt it would survive a major shock.

Residents in San Diego County don’t take the sort of precautions that others may take. On Kauai, everything is either disposable or indestructible. One doesn’t take fine antiques, for example, because the odds are too high a hurricane will ruin them. I suspect those in Tornado Alley May take some similar precautions. In Florida, folks must watch for alligators in their homes, I read that the police get more than 2,000 calls a year to remove alligators from homes.

San Diego is just a pretty quiet location. We feel a trembler once a decade, and we are fire prone, although new state fire fighting sensitivity has reduced our fears. Drones alert the firefighters if anyone lights a cigarette in the forrest.

So, we are fairly sanguine.

The Trial Brought Forth More…

Navy Petty Officer Gallagher has been found Not Guilty of the murder of an ISIS bomb maker, and will soon retire. Testimony during the trial opened the possibility of a generational issue between an old school squad leader and a new generation of men.

That sort of thing is obviously rippling through society, and there is no reason to believe the SEALS are immune to it, but that would be the last place I would look for it.

Since the trial was held in San Diego, we had a running report daily on the news, and there was a great deal of local sympathy for Gallagher, running generally in the tone of, “He killed an ISIS FIGHTER? Isn’t that what he is supposed to do.”

Of course the fighter was a prisoner, but history is replete with prisoners on both sides never making it back to a POW holding company. Sometimes it is entire companies of POWs as related in the WWII accounts in the book, “Citizen Soldiers” and sometimes it is a single soldier as in Gallagher’s case.

Gallagher was found guilty of taking a photo with a dead soldier, and the proliferation of cell phone cameras makes that more likely today than in the past, and certainly that is insensitive and likely to inflame civilians who are easily inflamed over dead, often mutilated bodies…but that is war. It isn’t pretty…perhaps it would be better if civilians knew what war was like, there might be less interest in war.

Incident Report (Hong Kong)

If you live long enough, and pay attention outside your work and home, you will have noted many changes in the world you can measure.

Those of us in the Navy’s Submarine Force, for instance, remember with great fondness the old Hong Kong under British Rule. Because the Submarine Force in the Pacific was so small, we rotated into Hong Kong often as a Rest and Relaxation port, and I said in those days that I would consider retiring there.

Once I even flew my wife to Hong Kong for an extended holiday. My Commanding Officer granted me an extra week while my Submarine returned to Japan. (The men in my Department during my absence, successfully smuggled two Hong Kong prostitutes into Japan, causing an International Incident and lots of swear words, but that’s another story, except to say that having flown back to Japan, my wife and I retired to Tokyo until the heat subsided. I wrote an Incident Report of this episode in my Memoirs)

Anyway, Hong Kong under Britain was wonderful, even magical in my mind, but it is no longer under British rule. That is made obvious, daily. Yes, the British acquired the port under Colonialism and had to return it. Everyone knew the Chinese would try to exercise more control than the agreement they made when accepting the return, because that is what authoritarian regimes do.

Rather than riot, Hong Kong should simply go on a total strike. Shut the port and city down for a week and the chaos it would cause would ripple through the entire Chinese economy for a year. There is nothing the Mainland Chinese authorities could do to get the Hong Kong economy to work, and it could not use the police to run anything.

A General Strike would certainly send a message, without violence.