Where Did We Go Wrong?

A realtor friend sent me a copy of The Flag Code and a reference to The VFW website, where I accessed something titled: CRS Report for Congress (order code RL 30243)

Here’s the offending paragraph:

 The Flag Code sets out detailed instructions on flying the flag at half-staff on Memorial Day …..

Friends, this was obviously written by someone who thinks half mast and half staff synonyms, in reality — they are perceptions. Flags are not raised to half staff, they are lowered to half mast.

The code should read — The flag of the United States is raised briskly to the peak, and then lowered to half mast reverently… read “purposely — slowly”.

More over on Decoration Day, (Memorial Day) The flag is to be flown at half mast in the morning, and raised to full staff at noon.

It’s what you can expect when the raising of Our National Colors is left to the janitor or some “unthinking minion”, instead of being a daily patriotic mission.

Every time I witness our colors being disrespected in this manner, its offensive.

Remember, this flag code was adopted by the same bunch who gave us: CongressWoman, Holtzperson, The Unaffordable Care Act, and Monday Holidays.

Making Decoration Day, an excuse to for a long weekend, and raising gasoline prices,  is a National Disgrace, not worthy of The Great Nation we need to be.

PS On a recent program on History Channel, I see on a US Military reservation, our colors being raised to Reveille, — There is a bugle call for raising the colors: To The Colors, not Reveille  They do not necessarily occur at the same time. 

It’s not proper to raise the flag in the dark.

John MaGuirk was a member of The Boy Scouts of America, at a time when raising the colors was a coveted duty at his Scout Camp. As an adult volunteer he has conducted numerous daily ceremonies including: regional sub-camp at The National Jamboree (daily), and furnishing color guards for The National Court of Flags.


The Pope’s Cameo©

Notes From The CommonPlaceBook of Sherlock Holmes (The Pope’s Cameo second edition)

Biographical Notes of: ʾAnṣār Pasha

An entirely fictional character created by Sherlock Holmes

in the “adventure” of The Pope’s Cameo 

“The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo”

Posing as a “wealthy”, marginal merchant, and dealer in “booty for ransom” will make it easier to ransom The Medici Cameo, now in possession of The Mafia, well known criminal enterprise of Sicily.

In the Arab World selling a stolen item, “conveys” title.

While Sherlock is a consummate actor and master of disguise changing “cultures” (Muslim) and appearances (Lascar) for an extended time is a great challenge. 

Holmes intends to penetrate Mecca posing as a “wealthy” merchant traveling with his retinue — Four wives and two Eunuchs .

Speaking funds from the Foreign Office to charter a vessel to visit Mecca via Sicily and Cairo. He will arrange his affairs regarding “wives & Eunuchs” from a friendly Egyptian Doctor.

Upon leaving Mecca the vessel will carry Holmes, down the Red Sea to Port Sudan, for an “overland” trek to Khartoum, the sailing ship will return to Marseilles, via Cairo, to discharge the actors.

To Be Continued

This is an extract from the second edition The Pope’s Cameo© (2016) available as an e-book for $6.95 or PDF for $15.95 plus $5.95 Priority Mail send your email request to chuckwagoncharlei@me.com bill thru PayPal Invoice.

The Pope’s Cameo©

Notes From The CommonPlace Book of Sherlock Holmes

An Ally In Sicily

I embarked on a journey down the boot of Italy toward Marseilles in France via The Isle of Sicily, taking a leisurely pace by bicycle, which I had purchased in Florence.

My plan was to cross over to The Island via Ferry to Messina and circuit Sicily to Palermo, a major port.

As I traveled I gradually equipped myself with bedroll, pack and other camping equipage which I transported on my machine.

This being the hight of the Mediterranean summer,  I enjoyed fair weather and was able to seek local hostelries, during frequent but brief summer showers,  if it hadn’t been for the nature of my errand, it would have been more enjoyable.

Toward the end of my first week on Sicily I fell into conversation with an itinerant Jewish peddler resting in the shade of a village square. My fellow traveler was accompanied by a stern looking Sicilian carrying a shot gun, who glowered at me as I approached.

“Business must be brisk” I inquired in English

“Not necessarily” came the reply in French, “he represents the local Maffia Don and ensures ElCappo get’s his tribute.  Locals would say ‘wet his beak,’..” He continued,   “It’s a sound system, the police are quite unreliable, I will pickup a new one in the next ‘province’ or territory, would you care to see my wares,” he continued in passable French.

“You seem to be a throughly reliable fellow, people must tell you things”

“Yes,” he replied, “people tell me things because I don’t tell, perhaps I can interest you in a razor.”

“No, but if you would care to step over to the cafe, I will stand you a drink.”

“I’m sorry stranger, but while the proprietor would be glad of your trade, I am only tolerated because I keep moving. If you would care to share my humble fare, I will be camped beside the high road west of here at dusk, where I will meet my new guardian, and we can converse more comfortably in English.”

I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by my new friend in a somewhat larger establishment than I had expected. While not large enough to be a caravan, it certainly was a retinue. A number of mules carrying merchandise and equipage, along with assorted drivers, other servants, including a majordomo & cook.

When I arrived a stew was set on to boil and my host came forward to greet his guest, he extended his hand in welcome and ushered me forward.

“As you can see it’s not as comfortable as an inn but I assure you the food will be plentiful” My Host spoke English with a hint of Vienna. “May I know your name?”

“Leif Seigerson”, I replied  ” it is of course a nom-degurre,  I must admit I was taken aback by our previous conversation in French.”

“That was for the benefit of my protector although Englishmen are rare in Sicily I wasn’t prepared to share all I know with The Local Cappo.  My servant has signaled our supper is ready.  Let’s eat and save any further conversations until later.”

“You see” The Merchant explained “this is a serious enterprise,  during the summer months I make a circuits  of the island crossing various Mafia ‘territories’,  missing of course is my escort,  because we are crossing into a new territory, I spoke French because I was not sure how much English my guardian had”.

“Certainly a wise precaution” I responded, “I am on a quest of my own.”

“Yes, I was quite surprised to encounter an English tourist on this remote island, Mafia chiefs are suspicious of strangers, it’s in my nature to watch and observe for my own protection.”

As my host suggested the stew was certainly plentiful and tasty, my host ate heartily, and after the “dishes” were cleared away,

“If you would care to smoke, try some of my tobacco”, and extended a seal skin tobacco pouch.

I extracted my pipe, filled the bowl, and thanked my host for his courtesy.

Taking that as a signal my host told the following tale:

“When The Moors were expelled from Spain in the late 15th Century, a number of Jews were also sent into exile, my family settled on The Isle of Sicily and I maintain my residence in Palermo. The Jewish population is relatively small and compact, and I am a “banker” in that community, and on the odd occasion some of the Mafia Don’s, since I am not part of ‘The Family’ I have become a confidential lender of Last Resort.”

“I travel a circuit distributing tools, and cutlery, needed by locals, cash is my custom, but also barter taking local wine, for export. Is your quest confidential?”

I studied my hosts countenance in an attempt to divine his purpose, and decided to risk it all on a singe throw of the dice.

“I have reason to believe a valuable artifact has been stolen, by a Mafia assasin. I am trying to trace it, and recover the same, by ransom if necessary”.

“Yes, even on this remote island, we have heard of the death of Cardinal Tosca. Fortunately for your purposes, disposal of the gem represents a dilemma, for the unlucky Don. I say unlucky,  because he can’t return it directly,  nor can he ‘sell it’….”

To be continued

Extract from The Pope’s Cameo© (2017) This represents added content not in the first edition.  The Pope’s Cameo is a new story of Sherlock Holmes written by John MaGuirk, with apologies to Dr. John H. Watson MD. It maybe ordered as an e-book for $6.95 via email or $15.95 by USnail , not including $5.95 priority mailing. Payable by PayPal invoice.  Email your request to chuckwagoncharlie@me.com

Ten Digital “Musts!”

Ever since Moses had his chat with a “burning bush” it’s been:

The Ten Best Dressed , The Ten Most Wanted, up until Woodrow Wilson tried to save Europe from itself with his: “Fourteen Points”.

Georges Clemenceau famously remarked: “here he comes with 14 Points when Ten were enough for the Lord Jehovah!”

Obviously since he managed to shoehorn them into “The Treaty of Versailles” trying out do The Lord has fallen out of fashion.

I am going to list my:

Ten Essential Guide Posts
For navigating in “the digital world”:

1. Passwords are not like black sox, one size does not fit all,

2. Passwords are “case sensitive” e-mails & domains are not!

3. Each of us is one keystroke from disaster

4. Technology will let you down & at the worst possible moment,

5. It’s not a matter of what to do, if your device fails, it’s what you are going to do when it fails,

6. Every device needs a backup and/or restore copy,

7. Even Wikipedia can be wrong,

8. Nobody knows everything, it’s not necessary to be smarter than everyone, just smarter than the next guy,

9. If it looks/sounds too good to be true it probably is!

10. Over sixty-five does not equate to “terminally” stupid

On a personal level I would like to know: how to get more kernels to pop in microwave popcorn?

FYI/The magnet in your smartphone is too small to demagnetize any “key card”

Writing this list was fairly easy, getting it down to ten essential truths/guideposts was the hard part, but at least it’s given me an idea as a “new” department (newspapers call them features), which I can add to my podcast iPhone and Me™/Daily so I can “expand” on these ideas in an ever-changing landscape, perhaps more people will seek out my material.
Bonus Tip number 11 — A sharpened number two yellow never needs charging, if it has a usable eraser will never let you down!

Bonus Tip #11a/R  — Those of us “engaged” in/on “social media” are really disengaged.

In 1962 Andy Warhol famously remarked: “in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”. Little did he know, thanks to the Internet everyone can be famous for 15 seconds each and everyday!

John MaGuirk is a blogger/podcaster his blog wired615senior can be found on WordPress (wired615senior@wordpress.com) find his twice monthly podcast Wired615Senior in the iTunes Directory. Look for his forthcoming e-book “Managing Your Digital Footprint”.

PS I think Miss Cornwall would be proud of me for this!

FYI/regular listeners know Miss Cornwall was my sixth grade English teacher, a serious “blue haired” lady who taught us to look at newspapers for examples of good writing.
John MaGuirk
Previously published as a “podcast”
From his forthcoming E-book “wired senior” formery Mob Management (copyright applied for)

listen to his podcast on podomatic channel, chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com  on alternate Wednesdays.

MouseCalls Makes HouseCalls

I sat down with my new sponsor Woody Reaves of MouseCalls to do an entirely different thing,  Write a Case Study from an Interview.

When he first called asking for a sit-down Woody  wanted to become a sponsor of my PodCast Wired615Senior to announce his VIP/Silver Plan  for  tech support for “seasoned citizens”.  “How about I buy you lunch?”, he continued.

“Great,  I replied let’s do Mikey D’s, its close and more important relatively quiet, has a good internet connection, and I’ve downloaded The Mikey D’s app. I’m also a Mikey D’s shareholder!”   That sounded like a great idea to me,

What started out as a thirty minute luncheon engagement turned into a wide ranging ninety minute interview experience.

Sit back while I engage the flutz capacitor and  consult my hand written notes.

I started out by asking Woody about his client list, looking for Those Stellar Clients whose names, we would all recognize.

“John” came the reply, “I could do that,  here’s a better way to look at it. Remember the flood of 2010,  eight out of ten businesses which lost data during that flood didn’t re-open.  I had a client whose premises was flooded, because of an ‘interior’ failure, at that time.  MouseCalls was able to recover his data, before the replacement equipment arrived.   That’s Huge

“We had a Horseshoe Bend customer, who had purchased my VIP package, get hit by a RansomWare attack, we were able to restore everything in less than 30 minutes, because he had our protection in place.”

“Yes”, Woody continued “we’ve had our share of Music Celebs, but I believe more in client confidentiality”

“Every internet user needs to be proactive, construct good passwords”

“Write them down in a secure place”, I interrupted

“Have a backup with a vendor you trust,” he continued, “Are you aware DropBox is totally open?”

“No, I certainly wasn’t,  It’s also important to know where your backup lives.”

“What do you mean lives?”

“Its like those businesses we were talking about earlier, if they had cloud backup as well as ‘on site backup,’ they might not have lost so much data, your back up is only as good as the last time you did it.”

“Bingo, that’s what makes what we do so important,  MouseCalls VIP/Silver is constantly working for you in ‘the background’….”

“Yah, Woody, we’re both long time Apple users, explain background to my listeners”.

“BackGround is TechnoSpeak for those actions which previously are set up, something such as backing up your entire computer,  the user doesn’t have to schedule. TimeMachine for an Apple user is a great program,  but it doesn’t run in the background, with TimeMachine users are prompted to ‘make’ the action happen.”

“Our VIP/Silver plan will back-up your registered devices to cloud storage.”

That brings up an interesting question — the internet is “forever,” we are slightly less durable.

“Another benefit of VIP/Silver,  you can tell us who your ‘heirs, significant other, etc’  We will do everything we can to make that transition easy.  Many of our clients don’t know:  ‘You don’t own, your last months’ SSI, you owe it’…”

What about “I’m on a fixed income…”

“Yes, that’s a problem, you wouldn’t think about driving your car without insurance,  but people do all the time. Being active on the net is just the same as driving your car without insurance, sure you might get away with once,  but the risks are just too great”

“That’s the reason for VIP/Silver, it’s added insurance, Sure  you can call GeekSquad,   but built into VIP/Silver is ‘priority service,’  and our hourly rate is cheaper than ‘the tech in the truck,’ and neither Apple or MicroSoft make ‘house calls.’”

“Think of it this way, if you own a home, you can replace your roof, too soon, or wait until you have a leak, which is too late, the price of the roof is the same, but now you have to address some interior damage, which isn’t included in the price of the replacement roof.  Let’s get back to where we started, You wanted to write a case study, about a Brentwood customer, It was a classic case, She was a victim of an on-line scam, and we were able to straighten out her problem, I suggested VIP/Silver (which was a new program at the time), she declined, which was her right, within thirty days, she was scammed again. When I ask her how it happened?  — the internet twerp had ‘made her feel good’… Its sad so many of us are too invested in ‘social media’, and it’s not smart.”

“In addition to being personally proactive VIP/Silver is probably better protection than is used by most Medical Providers. It’s a Hippa Violation to  use insecure forms. They maybe using a bad ‘protocol’ and not know it.  John, it all comes down to three things:

Trust – Do you trust your ‘cloud’ provider?

Capacity — Do they have the capacity & knowledge to protect their own data as well as yours,

Availability — Will you receive service,  When You Need it?

John, I have never spent this much time in any Micky D’s, just tell your listeners this:

‘MouseCalls  was around before The World heard of Google’

You are a long time customer of mine, we worked on your Mac Classic/SE, in 1989.

Tell your listeners to call:  six one five — six six two — zero two — three five, use the coupon code (W O O D Y), we’ll discount our introductory rate of $29.95, to $19.95 for the first ninety days, I gotta go…”


FYI/In case you become a customer of MouseCalls in a “distant city”, you will receive service through an “affiliate” scheduled by MouseCalls. As Rush Limbough is fond of saying:  “As long as I’m here, it doesn’t matter where here is!”

This started out to be an entirely different story, I sat down with management of MouseCalls to write a case study, instead conducting a wide ranging interview which I am going to use as this segment of NashvilleWrites, Series I 07 — 11 (2018), My friend and fellow writer Andy Hardy, conducted a workshop for our writing group, Bellevue/(37221) Writes and introduced me to Writing Well, by Zinsser, see my review on wired615senior@wordpress.com

I located my personal copy at McKay’s Books for $3.00 less than Amazon, when I picked it up it to start reading, it fell open to Writing Interviews — right up my alley, I love podcast interviews and my listeners appreciate  the content.

MouseCalls will sponsor Geek Of The Week / Podcast available each Tuesday on PodOmatic channel chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com.  Find us in the iTunes Directory:  GeekOfTheWeek (no spaces).

Saving Our Nation

“How did things get out of hand?”,  Don Vito Corleone 

I was going to ask the same question, but I want to know why  we have become so uncivil in our political discourse?

Each 4th of July we celebrate The Declaration of Independence, what do we know about that document.

Many of us believe The Declaration is a founding document, but that’s a misnomer, The Declaration merely serves to advise The King of England — George III, we’re not going to put up with anymore shenanigans, by him or his ministers.

We’re fed up, but let me remind you of the language, it’s very polite, concise and direct.

It didn’t threaten, bully or otherwise intimidate anyone, and I wish The Left, would wake up to this fact, many of their actions are Un-American to say the least, and smacking of Fascism to put a finer point on it.

Yes, we had an election, Hillary Clinton didn’t lose the election, she threw it away. 

There’s no doubt about that, the democrat convention was rigged from the start by the “super delegates,” Bernie Sanders never had a chance, and if you think he didn’t know that from the get-go, I have a bridge in Brooklyn, I’d like to sell to you.

John MaGuirk writes and produces three weekly podcasts, follow his efforts on PodOmatic channel — chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com or find his podcasts by title in the iTunes directory.

The current editorial schedule is:

Monday — iOS For O * L * D 12 1/2 minutes each week about the universe in your pocket or purse.

Tuesday — GeekOfTheWeek “tech explained to the gadget challenged in everyday English.”

Wednesday – Two alternating series

  • Nashville Writes John MaGuirk/BNABridgeMaven talks to local writers and authors.
    Alternates with
  • Wired615Senior “Your on-line tutorial for the gadget challenged.”

If it’s In The News It Must Be So!

Not so fast Grasshopper.

We have been used to low information voters, now in Nashville a “low information house of worship”

Yes, it’s true, I am embarrassed to say it, a crèche behind a “barb wire fence”

Shame on you “News” Channel 17.

It’s not barb wire fence it’s more American than that — it’s a typical suburban chain link enclosure.

Yes, it’s true the family of Christ had to “flee for their lives” — after all remember, Joesph & Mary had to embarked on their original journey to obey Caesar

“The whole (Roman) world was to be enumerated”, it says that somewhere.

It was Herod, who caused all the trouble, because he had “feared” the birth of The King of The Jews.

Since Egypt & Palestine (at that time) were both provinces of Rome — The family of Christ were not in fact “immigrants” — they were citizens merely moving from one province to another.

Here Endeth The Lesson — Sean Connery The Untouchables

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[92)

John MaGuirk is a member of The Reformed Church and may take religious instruction, in his church,  but not political advice from any pulpit.

Chasing Trains

This is a new episode of Chasing Trains or perhaps more than you want to know about The Ferdinand Magellan

The Ferdinand Magellan was a “observation car” built and operated by The Pullman Company, and the chief of the White House detail,  William (Bill) Reilly suggested to President Roosevelt, in War Time,  he should have more protection than afforded by an ordinary Pullman.

Initially balking at the idea,  Reilly reminded his chief that the car could be used by future presidents, FDR then being in his second term.

It had been the practice of The Pullman Company to “loan/charter” The Marco Polo, another coach in this “class” named for explorers for Presidential use.

The class included: Marco Polo, Ferdinand Magellan, Henry M. Stanley, Admiral Peary and David Livingston.

(The preceding from FDR’s Last Year)

The car was heavily armored with 3inch thick glass, and escape hatch in the roof, a wheel chair lift on the rear platform, and a bath tub replacing the shower of  “the standard” Pullman car.

All identification was removed from the car except the word Pullman, and the car was painted  Southern Railway Kelly Green, not the more industrial Pullman green it wears today.

The ownership and operation of the car remained with The Pullman Company and the car was stored in The DC area, when The President required the car it was towed to The Treasury Building across the street from the White House, (see the reverse of the $10 bill) to a loading dock, where President Roosevelt could board the car out of public view.

FYI/By gentlemen’s agreement, the press was prohibited to make/take pictures of FDR in his wheel chair.

At this point things become a little confused, because there is no “manifest” or list of passengers of these “presidential specials” and one is left to guess, who’s where — so to speak.

For “normal” excursions to HydePark, the Secret Service preferred The Baltimore and Ohio, over The Pennsylvania Railroad, which crossed The HellGate Bridge in NewYork.

Although there is a First Ladies Stateroom in The FM — Eleanore did not like the 20 MPH speed limit which FDR insisted on, for that matter The Pennsy didn’t like much either.

The typical consist might be as follows:

A locomotive of the railroad, followed by The Army Communications Car, Combination dinning/baggage car,  a Pullman with berths,  and The Ferdinand Magellan, if this seems small to you, FM’s all up weight was 285,000/lbs.

I’m not clear about the remainder of the passenger  list, but it would surely include: between 22/26 Secret Service Men,   Six to Eight Pullman Porters,  Joint Service Communications personnel,  Press “pool” members (2/3), Members of FDR’s personal staff, and Chief Petty Officer Prettyman,  his  Naval attendant.

You can see that a weekend jaunt to HydePark would be a major undertaking.

After the death of Sara Roosevelt, The White House chef/cook, is mentioned on the passenger list  (No Ordinary Time DKG)

As an aside — The carrying railroad, would provide a pilot locomotive ahead of the presidential special, which might also carry other presidential accoutrements and/or staff and retainers.

To Be Continued 

These cars were generally known as “President’s Cars” and each railroad operated such cars for railroad executive use, and other VIP’s. There is such a car parked on Track 61 in Grand Central Terminal, in New York City. It is not The Ferdinand Magellan,  which is on public display at The Gold Coast Railway Museum.  I wish to thank the museum for granting me access to the car to prepare for my interview with Museum personnel.  However it is  possible such a car operated by The New York Central Railroad, might have been used by Franklin Roosevelt, when governor of New York or even as President Elect.

Chasing Trains is a monthly podcast service of BNA/BridgeMaven heard on PodOmatic channel — chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com currently scheduled to be used July 4th, 2018 as a “holiday re-run”.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

The PodCast Doctor Reviews: 

 On Writing Well by William Zinsser

I wish to acknowledge my friend Andy Hardy coauthor of The Awakening of HK Derryberry for his recent presentation Writing A Book Proposal for bringing this book to my attention.

I also wish to apologize to my listeners for mistaking the name during my podcast.

I found a copy of this book at The Nashville Public Library, and was stunned to find the library copy is the eighth edition, talk about timelessness.

When I picked the book it kind of fell open to Chapter 12 — Writing About People, The Interview, and I found myself totally absorbed.

This podcaster knows interviews make the best programing, who knew they could be made “readable”, but the secret is, be sure to quote accurately.

The author believes this type of writing is also readable, but I demure, except as a family memoir, which he treats in a separate chapter.

Having said that — if you’re a podcaster, get this book and improve your interview techniques, by following his advice.

Yes, follow the advice on the back cover, add this book to your personal library, after you read it, it’s the kind of book which becomes a reference manual.

To be continued

John MaGuirk writes and produces the following podcasts:

Monday — iOS For O * L * D 12 1/2 minutes each week about the universe in your pocket or purse.

Tuesday — GeekOfTheWeek “tech explained to the gadget challenged in everyday English.”

Wednesday – Two alternating series

Nashville Writes John MaGuirk/BNABridgeMaven talks to local writers and authors.
Alternates with

Wired615Senior “Your on-line tutorial for the gadget challenged.”

Find us in the iTunes Directory by podcast name or PodOmatic channel http://www.chuchwagoncharlie@podomatic.com

What Makes This a Great Photo?

Most of us recognize this photo, as an iconic image of WW II — it’s the flag raising by USMC on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

Yes, it’s true this photo won Joe Rosenthal the Pulizter Prize, the United States Post Office rushed to produce this postage stamp.

I was collecting stamps at the time, and the photo derives it’s iconic nature from two elements.

First, it’s an encapsulated of a sequence of action — it’s Heroic, but even more telling is even in this vertical format — the photo still conforms to The Golden Mean , or the rule of thirds.

If you have visited the Apple Store lately for an iPhoto workshop, they encourage The Rule of Thirds.

Almost any photo which you take, should adhere to this rule, if you are in doubt, simple select “edit” and look for the “grid” in iPhoto, and crop your photo accordingly.

There is one more thing about this photo, practically no individual can be identified, each of these Marines could be any mother’s son.

In fact it’s the only time in the history of The United States Post Office, a living individual has been portrayed on a postage stamp, though by the time this stamp was produced four of the men pictured became casualties

Following is the current line-up for BNA/BridgeMaven podcast efforts:

Monday — iOS For O * L * D  “12 1/2 minutes each week about the universe in your pocket or purse.”

Tuesday — GeekOfTheWeek “tech explained to the gadget challenged in everyday English.”

Wednesday – Two alternating series

Nashville Writes John MaGuirk/BNABridgeMaven talks to local writers and authors.

Wired615Senior “Your on-line tutorial for the gadget challenged.”

Find us in the iTunes Directory by podcast name.

No Tougher Duty, No Greater Honor

Book Review 

No Tougher Duty, No Greater Honor, 

A memoir of a Mortuary Affairs Marine, by GYSGT L. Christian Bussler USMCR ret.

Contemporary military memoirs, are not usually on my reading horizon, but this book showed up in my families Christmas “stocking”,  and it’s by a “family” member.

Sgt. Bussler is the uncle of my Granddaughter Grace Bussler, and it’s personally autographed, and as a collector I appreciate that.

This is a gritty tale, told by a real Marine, and it’s the second most poignant book on this subject which I have read.

The previous was: Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II by Belton Y. Cooper

Belton Cooper was a platoon leader of the recovery company of an armored division in Normandy, he didn’t have to remove the bodies, his job was to “recover the vehicles, and recondition for future use”

I was surprised to learn, at least in Iraq, Marines were responsible for inter-service casualties, considering their motto, Semper Fidelis  Always Faithful — putting our best in charge is a wise strategy. 

Identifying and recovering those KIA, is a military necessity, a duty which must be performed, no commander wants have to report: “soldier X is missing in action and presume dead” — It’s not fair to the family.

But be warned, this story is very personal, and gritty, told by a working Marine, more concerned with doing his best, than winning friends and influencing others, and insight into the grim realities of battling terror where it  begins.

Find this book in Amazon, don’t let the 500 pages seem daunting — it’s formatted in large print which I appreciate.

John MaGuirk has not been compensated for this review nor would he accept any if offered.

“Elementary My Dear Holmes”

Elementary My Dear Holmes” — Alan Arkin The Seven Percent Solution (The Movie)

For those of us who grew up in the forties & fifties, Basil Rathbone is the quintessential Sherlock Holmes, and Nigel Bruce is of course, Dr. John H. Watson, MD.

I don’t know where I read it, but in the files of my memory I have heard of all  fictional characters appearing on the silver screen,  Sherlock Holmes has been most often portrayed.

Modern viewers are not aware of:  Boston Blackie, Charlie Chan, The Saint, & The Falcon, just to name the most popular.

It’s no wonder, what with neighborhood theaters, with double features were King, and Republic Studios, shunning out product,  the black & white “detective story” was a popular genre.

Even Gene Wilder has “had a Go” at portraying The Baker Street Savant in Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother!

There is one aspect most viewers overlook, the better the portal of Holmes, the more falls on Dr. Watson, and while I personally like Robert Duval, I thought his Watson was at best, two dimensional.

On the other had the BBC series staring Jermey Brett, were uniformly excellent, not just in production values which you might expect of The BBC, but character development as well.

When writing fiction, its incumbent on the writer to create characters the reader can care about. That’s the problem with the current crop of SH portrayals, they’re  too slick, and there’s “too much physic stuff, Herr Mozart!”


Next Blog in this series — More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About The Ferdinand Magellan

John MaGuirk has produced The Pope’s Cameo© — A new story of Sherlock Holmes — you may order the e-book for $6.95 or have a printed PDF copy for $15.95 not inc $5.95 Priority mailing. Send your order to chuckwagoncharlie@me.com for  fulfillment. Billing by PayPal Invoice — your don’t need the PayPal account I have the PayPal account.  Yes,  your check is welcome,  To:  BridgeMaven — P.O. Box 210111, Nashville, TN., 37221

 Be Wary Of Open Wi-Fi Networks,

You’ve all seem them. They go to “Five bucks” (thank you Dave Ramsey) Micky D’s or Panera Bread, place a beverage order (or not), sit down and “open up shop”. 

On a personal front — I am a customer of MouseCalls, and receive an e-newsletter from SunRiver IT

A recent issue of this newsletter talks about “security” of wifi, phones, etc. Item number eight is:

 Be Wary Of Open Wi-Fi Networks,  sound advice, and I am going to attempt an explanation.

There’s nothing wrong with accessing wifi, at Mickey D’s or Starbucks, Panera Bread , etc., but spending more than a few moments might cost you dearly.

The danger lies in “exposure” or length of time you spend on the net. You have all seen this type of customer, they walk into the store, order a “Latte,” sit down and open up shop, I even saw one last week at Panera, who was “going to school” on line, and that’s the danger.

Usually this type of customer is an Apple user, and most of them, believe that using an Apple carries some type of “immunity” — Nothing could be further from the truth! Apple users have just been a “smaller” target, but with the advent of the iPhone, (over 2 billion iPhones sold) all of a sudden — we are a BIG Target.

Remember hackers and crooks are everywhere and they are watching you.

FYI – If your wiFi connection seems to be slow, this is an indication there could be a “number” of people on line, even someone outside the store in the parking lot, Phishing from their car.

Be wary; closing your computer or putting your iPhone to sleep doesn’t necessarily disconnect you from the internet.

P.S. In case you are interested that opening “screen” when you sign on, is a “waver” of privacy, and explanation, that the provider (Panera and/or Starbucks) is not responsible, if bad things happen to you while accessing their free wifi.

To be continued

John MaGuirk is the writer and creator of iOS For O * L * D PodCast /”12 1/2 minutes weekly about the universe in your pocket or purse.” heard each Monday of each week on PodOmatic channel chuckwagoncharlie@podomatic.com