Thursday, July 31, 2014

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN PHOENIX - DENVER - CHARLOTTE - PHILLY

It was a long flight back . . . and this really happened . . . S.L.

Coming back from the ISB Reunion . . . flights kept getting bumped . . . got on the plane God Knows Where and this kind of dumpy Baby Huey looking guy with nerd glasses plonks himself down in between me and the window seat . . .



Its something I gotta deal with. I think about all the continents I've traversed by wheeled motor transport, and airplanes are ten million times better. I'm a Stoic so I deal with it, right?

Then this BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADY in a white summer sun dress floats up the aisle . . .



"Excuse me," Miss Body Lovely says to Fatso. "I'm 11B."

Fatso looks at his ticket, goes, "Oh. I'm 10B."

Then, before I had a chance to grab Nerd Nutz by the ass and do a Samsonite gorilla number on his fat ass . . .



. . . Nerd Nutz says to Young Miss Cool Summer Breeze: "YOU CAN SIT IN MY SEAT UP THERE IN THAT ROW . . .

It happened too fast for me to make my move . . .

I sat there for a moment in stunned silence . . . I finally snapped out of it, I had to say something . . . I couldn't let this outrage occur without calling it out for what it was . . . a Crime Against Humanity . . .

I looked Nerd Nutz in the eye and pointed at the numbers over the seats. "ELEVEN. VERY CLOSE TO TEN, BUT NOT THE SAME."

Nerd Nutz looked at me with a confused look, which looked somehow natural on his face.

I gestured toward Miss Beautiful, then I gestured toward the Walking Salami. "ONE," I said, "VERY CLOSE TO ZERO, BUT NOT THE SAME. ONE HUNDRED PER CENT DIFFERENT."

He's looking at me like I've got a cock growing out of the middle of my forehead. He's not used to an American Non-Comm giving him The Business.

Meanwhile, over in the window seat, Banana Bender from South America is LAUGHING HIS ASS OFF.

I continue.

"IT'S THAT MATH THING."

I laid it on thick. Nerd Nutz was feeling the shame. He knew he'd done wrong. Finally I asked, "WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING???"

Wait for it . . . Nerd Nutz shamefully utters:

"I'm an accountant . . ."

Me and Banana Bender are POSITIVELY DYING ! ! !

I says, "WHO DO YOU WORK FOR ? ? ?"

Nerd Nuts starts to mumble something and I cut him off. "DON'T TELL ME BECAUSE I'LL MAKE A PHONE CALL ! ! !"

The journey continues. We get to the other side. Before the pilot switches off the fasten seatbelt sign, I make sure to rinse and repeat all of the above in reverse. Banana Bender was totally on my side.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it . . .

STORMBRINGER SENDS






Tuesday, July 29, 2014

THAI'd ONE ON . . .

Reconnecting with my Soul Tribe at the International School Bangkok All-Class Reunion in San Jose - 24-29 July 2014


As I've described many times before, I grew up in Southeast Asia in the sixties and the seventies. It was an incredible childhood and youth, one I wouldn't trade for all the tea in China, but when the time came for me to leave and to come "home" to a land I barely knew . . . well, you can't possibly imagine the sensations of loss, of loneliness, of exile. The closest I can describe it is the feelings returned veterans have of a shared adventure, the most intense time of their lives, that nobody around them knows or can possibly understand.

Tony Grady in the jump seat, that's me in the driver's seat. Tony was Class President and Senior Patrol Leader in our Boy Scout Troop. A natural leader with tons of charisma, he went on to fly the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Again and again I have heard my friends from that time of my life remark upon the same themes: coming "home" and missing an exotic land in Asia, a magical kingdom that for us really was our home. When I came "home" I was a lost soul. I didn't have a plan, I didn't know how to connect the dots . . . I couldn't even understand how people looked at me and saw me as the same as them, but inside I was so, so different . . . it literally took decades just to get my head around it . . .

Artifacts and souvenirs from The Good Old Days

Nowadays we "ISBeings" reconnect through our biannual Reunions, alternating between the west and the east coast. For us, this is more than a high school reunion - this is the only way we can go "home". Bangkok is still there, of course, but our friends and families are no longer there. I went back to Bangkok in 1988 and it broke my heart. I was standing in the middle of Sukhumvit Road - one of the busiest thoroughfares in one of most vibrant and bustling cities in Asia - and I might as well have been in a ghost town.


If you can't be in Thailand, you must bring Thailand to YOU! Thai dancers at the Saturday night banquet.

Ancient Sukhothai style of Thai dance.

Isan style of Thai dance done to modern electronic synthesized version traditional Thai dance music.

The home of our youth is more a moment in time than a physical place. Sure, Thailand is still there, but our home is the Thailand of our youth. At the ISB Reunions a strange phenomenon takes place. At some point over the four days, a strange kind of vivid deja-vu occurs, all of the alumni describe it:

A glimpse out of the side of the eye as an old friend approaches out of the sunlight, and she looks like she's sixteen years old . . .

. . . an out-of-body experience on the dance floor and suddenly its Saturday night, dancing the night away at the Teen Club . . .

Words aren't enough to describe . . . but pictures are worth thousands of words . . .


More little bits and pieces of Thailand . . . because when you're an ISBeing, wherever you go, there's always a little piece of Thailand there . . .


ISB logo with the iconic Hanuman, the brave and virtuous Monkey God of Hindu mythology, loved and revered in Thailand.

The Mighty, Mighty Mekhong

The ISB Alumni Association Spirit House embodies the Camaraderie we share as ISBeings, the Good Works we pursue in the ISB Alumni Association, and as remembrance of our lost Family of Classmates and Instructors.

Our Tribal Gatherings allow us to reach back across the Mists of Time and briefly touch our Shangri-La beneath the Summer Moon . . .

ISB is FOREVER

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Friday, July 25, 2014

TIME OUT

The International School Bangkok All-Class Reunion 2014 is taking place this weekend in San Jose, California and I am here . . . S.L. Class of '77


I've written about my upbringing in Southeast Asia and have referred to my school. Simply stated, it was/is the best damn high school in the world - the experiences we had as ex-pat kids in Asia were unparalleled, and the teachers were legendary. When we crossed the stage and received our diplomas it was the equivalent of a bachelor's degree from any academic institute in the world.


After checking in late last night I was making my way across the pool area and I hear "IS THAT SEAN LINNANE???" . . . many Singha's and a couple of glasses of straight vodka later I finally made it to my room about 0300 hours. . .


I'll update with some anecdotes as the weekend progresses.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Thursday, July 24, 2014

STOLEN VALOR: Ron Dickey, Democrat for U.S. Congress, Mississippi's 1st District

STOLEN VALOR: Ron Dickey fraudulently claims service in US Army Special Forces . . . S.L.


A colleague talked to him on the phone for 27 minutes. Ron Dickey admitted he was a cook in 3rd Special Forces Group but the fact that the Army issued him a GB and that he was assigned to the 3rd makes him in his mind "GB" qualified.

An explanation: there was a time period - late 70's thru to early 90's - when every person assigned to a Special Forces unit wore the units distinctive headgear: i.e. beret, rifle green. Those that were Special Forces qualified wore a full flash behind the Special Forces regimental crest. Support personnel wore a horizontal bar indicating Group colors (the "Candy Stripe") with the regimental crest above. When Special Forces became it's own branch in 1984 and the "long tab" was authorized, all personnel assigned to a Special Forces unit wore the green beret with full flash.

At some point between 1988-92 (when I was overseas) sanity somehow prevailed and support personnel were no longer authorized to wear the green beret. Nowadays support personnel in Special Forces units wear the maroon beret of Airborne forces, with full flash behind the regimental crest.

Dickey has admitted that he never went through the Q-course yet that is a non-issue to him. In his thinking, the Army wouldn't have given him a green beret if he wasn't qualified.

Mr. Dickey states in his bio that he is a "Green Beret veteran" - this is unusual as most Special Forces qualified soldiers (who earn the Green Beret through training and award of the 18-series MOS) usually describe ourselves as "Special Forces" - the title "Green Beret" is an unofficial nickname glamorized by Hollywood. We do use this phrase to describe ourselves to civilians in order to distinguish ourselves from other Special Operations Forces - civilians usually do not understand the difference between "Special Forces" and Navy SEALs, US Army Rangers, Delta, Marine Force Recon (MARSOF), or Air Force ST units.

Ron Dickey has been deleting most of our comments off his Facebook page and then blocking us. Funny, first he thanks us for the post exposing him as a fraud and then he deletes the comment and blocks.

Ron Dickey never went through the US Army Special Forces Q-course. Ron Dickey falsely claims to be a "Green Beret veteran".

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it a Federal crime for people to falsely claim military service with the intent to obtain money, property or other tangible benefits, or to pass themselves off as war heroes by wearing medals they didn't rightfully earn.

An earlier version of the Stolen Valor Act, passed in 2005, was struck down in June 2012 when the Supreme Court ruled that lying about military heroics was constitutionally protected speech unless there was intent to gain some benefit or something of value by fraud.

Email for the main paper in Ron Dickey's district: http://djournal.com/contact-us/ and the main news channel is http://www.wtva.com/default.aspx


Ron Dickey also claims membership in the Military Order of the Purple Heart. I'm pretty sure a cook who got wounded in Desert Storm would stand out, but oddly nobody in the Special Forces brotherhood can recall this. At this time we have initiated a Freedom of Information request for release of records. The MOPH website says membership is open to those ". . . who were awarded the Purple Heart or who work for the organization." This explains his membership since he was employed by the MOPH at one point.

We do not suffer fools lightly, and we have zero tolerance policy towards phony wannabees who fraudulently claim Special Forces status. At this time an investigation is underway to determine if this is a valid case of Stolen Valor. Yes, the lawyers are involved.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

VIEW OF PARIS, SUMMER 1886


Click on this image, stand away from your computer screen, about five or six feet, squint your eyes a bit and look at this picture, and then you will see the scene as the artist saw it, with his own eyes.

This is the genius of Vincent Van Gogh.

My father taught me to appreciate Van Gogh this way.

STORMBRINGER SENDS


Sunday, July 20, 2014

JAMES GARNER - April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014

Today we honor actor James Garner – a Korean War veteran who received two Purple Hearts – who died Saturday night at 86. An infantry soldier before he made it big in movies and television, Garner took a USO tour to Vietnam in 1967. He will be missed.


Maverick has gone to that Big Riverboat Casino in the Sky . . .

STORMBRINGER SENDS





TOLERANCE

Jiggs McDonald, NHL Hall of Fame broadcaster speaking in Ontario, says. "I am truly perplexed that so many of my friends are against another mosque being built in Toronto."


"I think it should be the goal of every Canadian to be tolerant regardless of their religious beliefs. Thus the mosque should be allowed, in an effort to promote tolerance.

That is why I also propose that two nightclubs be opened next door to the mosque, thereby promoting tolerance from within the mosque.

We could call one of the clubs, which would be gay, "The Turban Cowboy," and the other a topless bar called "You Mecca Me Hot."


Next door should be a butcher shop that specializes in pork, and adjacent to that an open-pit barbecue pork restaurant, called "Iraq of Ribs."

Across the street there could be a lingerie store called " Victoria Keeps Nothing Secret," with sexy mannequins in the window modelling the goods.


Next door to the lingerie shop there would be room for an adult sex toy shop, "Koranal Knowledge," its name in flashing neon lights, and on the other side a liquor store called 'Morehammered.'


All of this would encourage Muslims to demonstrate the tolerance they demand of us, so their mosque issue would not be a problem for others."

Yes, we should promote tolerance . . .


STORMBRINGER SENDS