Tunes for Tuesday: Carry On!

Yeah! I know it’s one day late. So, sue me!

Growing up, there was not a lot of agreement as to what constituted great music in my family. My mother grew up on Elvis Presley and liked some rock music, mostly on the lighter pop side. My father, not so much. Both my parents loved Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, opera, and Madrigals. I liked Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin, Blue Oyster Cult, Steppenwolf, Ted Nugent, and even some Kiss. Not a lot of genre cross-over there.

Then one day, I was listening to one of my albums, and my Dad stopped and listened for a moment and then said, “Now, that’s well-orchestrated rock.” Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather!

At the time, I was listening to some Kansas

Carry On Wayward Son

I saw Kansas three times. Twice as a teenager; once in Springfield, MA, once at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga, NY, and then later on in Knoxville, TN, in the mid-1980s.

Everybody liked Dust in the Wind. And it’s a great song. However, not one of my favorites. It is a bit mellow and seems slightly depressing to me. But hey, to each his own.

Dust in the Wind

One of my favorites was, of course, Carry On Wayward Son. And, of course, there were What’s on My Mind and Song for America, to name a few more.

What’s On My Mind

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a live video clip of this song with excellent sound quality. So, here is the version from their first album.

Song For America

How can you not like that!

New Book Review Page

I have done a significant number of book reviews over the years, and it dawned on me that they become too easily lost among the other blog post in a typical blog feed.

Therefore, I created a new book review page called DC’s Book Reviews and will display images of the books I have reviewed on the page. Each image will contain a link to that book review in my blog. I have been working on this for several days, and it is now ready to go live.

Voilà! A lot less searching.

I guess I’ve done about 40 or so book reviews. However, 16 have been added to date. I will keep working at this until all of them are on the book review page.

I do enjoy good books and reviewing them for other readers. However, lately, whenever possible. I have turned to audiobooks. I guess my eyes are getting a bit older, and too many years of working at the computer have taken its toll. Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy books, even with tired eyes!

While I only review books I have an interest in reading, anyone interested in having an honest book review done by me can contact me through my contact form. I will reply as quickly as I can.

Click here to view my new book review page. It is also a menu option a the top of the page.

Also, please check out Serpents Underfoot and Adirondack Bear Tales available on Amazon.com. Montagnard is now in the hands of my editor and will be released later this summer.

Thanks for stopping by!

Vietnam Nurse: Mending & Remembering

This article originally appeared on the FB Group page: Vietnam War – U.S. Military, and posted by Raymond D. Hannan. I found this article on CHERRIESWRITER – VIETNAM WAR WEBSITE and had to share it with my readers.

To the soldier in combat, nurses are truly Angel’s of Mercy.

According to this story, eight nurses gave their lives in Vietnam, taking care of the sick and wounded. They cared for our military personnel as well as those of our enemy.

Lou Eisenbrandt is one of those nurses who came home and shared her story in her book Vietnam Nurse: Mending and Remembering. I am going to have to add her book to my reading list. Click here to see her book on Amazon.com.

Here are a few excerpts from the article. To read the whole article, click on the CHERRIESWRITER – VIETNAM WAR WEBSITE here or the link above.


From her own words during the presentation: “I have Parkinson’s from exposure to Agent Orange, so I’ve instructed my body to remain still. If I do a Michael J. Fox, please forgive me, but I can’t help it. I’m also not using a laser pointer because the laser would be all over the place.”

“I spent nine months at Ft. Dix, which was a good thing. Some nurses were sent straight from nursing school to Vietnam. Ft. Dix was interesting to say the least. They even had a stockade section, and I had to check daily for improvised weapons. One prisoner escaped, but not on my shift. I usually cared for the soldiers with upper respiratory infections, at one point over 300 soldiers. We also had the fatties and skinnies. If too fat, we put them on diets; if too skinny, they got milkshakes. Oddly, they put these guys in the same ward. The skinnies stayed skinny because the fatties drank all the milkshakes. Before the year was out I received a manila envelope; ‘Congratulations, you’re going to Vietnam.’ Not the travel I expected.”

“I loved flying on the choppers since I was an avid photographer. Great region for photos, but I never took photos of casualties. Chopper pilots are, well, different. They loved to party. I spent my first three months in a medical ward treating non-combat related problems, like hepatitis and malaria, even jungle rot. By the way, the Officer’s Club was built on the edge of a cliff. We consumed a ‘slight’ amount of alcohol in there.”

“One time after their village was hit, we had 99 Vietnamese civilians to care for within a 24-hour period. When wounded Vietnamese came in, so did the whole family. We also had Vietnamese nurses. They really helped due to culture differences.”

“We waterskied but with parameters, like never going out after 1 p.m. because that was when sharks arrived. We used a Jeep to pull the boat, but I have no idea where the Jeep and boat and skis came from. There were local fishermen in LRBs, Little Round Boats, who would wave at us until we threw them a tow rope and pulled them along. They loved it.”

“You tried to be detached from the suffering, but I had an attachment to a young lieutenant who came in with his men. His unit took heavy casualties and he wanted to be with them, to see them through their ordeal. Next time it was him, peppered full of shrapnel. We were told he would lose both legs. That’s one of the few times I had to walk out of the emergency room. It rattled me. We saved his legs, but I’ve seen him since returning home. His legs are not of much use; he’s another boy I think about every day.”

I just have a feeling this will be a really great read.

So, I have ordered a copy. I will let you know how it turns out.

WWII Documentaries Available On-Line for Free

It might be fun to learn a little WWII history while staying at home and helping control the spread if Covid-19! John Purvis provides some great links to documentaries on the subject that are free to view.

John's Notes

If you or your students, kids, adults are looking for things to do to stay occupied, please know ALL our World War II films are available to watch for free on your computer, tablet or smart phone @WWIIFoundation 2020-03-20 at 9.32.34 AM

I saw a tweet from @WWIIFoundation a short time ago that I thought was worth sharing. It said:

If you or your students, kids, adults are looking for things to do to stay occupied, please know ALL our World War II films are available to watch for free on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

If you visit their website (https://wwiifoundation.org/) you will find nearly 30 documentary videos covering WWII. This website offers something to fill some of the time while we are confined at home and to learn more about WWII.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 360 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “

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What Causes an Ice Age to End?

The information below is taken from an article in the March 13th, 2020 Science and Environments University of Melbourne Newsroom. My father, who is a retired chemical engineer and has long been interested in and researched the concepts of “global warming” and “climate change,” shared this with me. Any edits I made are purely personal wording preferences.

Ice Age Team Drysdale

The team combined data from Italian stalagmites with information from ocean sediments drilled off the coast of Portugal. Image: Linda Tegg

This team combined data from Italian stalagmites with information from ocean sediments drilled off the coast of Portugal. According to Linda Tegg, the new University of Melbourne research had revealed that ice ages over the last million years ended when the tilt angle of the Earth’s axis was approaching higher values. During these times, more prolonged and warmer summers melted the sizeable Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, propelling the Earth’s climate into a more heated “interglacial” state, like the one we’ve experienced over the last 11,000 years.

The study by Ph.D. candidate Petra Bajo and colleagues also showed that summer energy levels at the time these “ice-age terminations” were triggered controlled how long it took for the ice sheets to collapse, with higher energy levels producing fast collapse. Researchers are still trying to understand how often these periods happen and how soon we can expect another one. Since the mid-1800s, scientists have long suspected that changes in the geometry of earth’s orbit are responsible for the coming and going of ice ages. In essence, the uncertainty has been over which orbital property is most important. Petra Bajo’s paper, (Persistent influence of obliquity on ice age terminations since the Middle Pleistocene transition), published today in Science, moves closer to resolving some of the mystery of why ice ages end by establishing when they end.

The team combined data from Italian stalagmites with information from ocean sediments drilled off the coast of Portugal. “Colleagues from the University of Cambridge and Portugal’s Instituto Portugues do Mar e do Atmosfera complied detailed records of the North Atlantic’s response to ice-sheet collapse,” said Associate Professor Russell Drysdale, from the research team. “We could identify in the stalagmite growth layers the same changes that were being recorded in the ocean sediments. This allowed us to apply the age information from the stalagmite to the ocean sediment record, which cannot be dated for this period in time.” Using the latest techniques in radiometric dating, the international team determined the age of two terminations that occurred about 960,000 and 875000 years ago. The ages suggest that the initiation of both terminations is more consistent with increases in Earth’s tilt angle. These increases produce warmer summers over the regions where the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets are situated, causing melting. “Both terminations then progressed to completion at a time when Northern Hemisphere summer energy over the ice sheets approached peak values,” said Dr. Drysdale. “A comparison of these findings with previously published data from younger termination shows this patter has been a recurring feature of the last million years.”

The team plans to have a closer look nest at the Middle Pleistocene Transition when the average length of ice-age cycles suddenly doubled in duration.

Additional information from NASA on Earth-Axis Tilt and Seasons

Link to the University of Melbourne Newsroom Article.

A Little Coronavirus Truth

Be careful reading this if you are easily offended.

Hey people!

This is a time for all Americans to come together. It is time to put aside petty politics and work together to get our country and its citizens through this Coronavirus crisis! You can go back to hating each other once this is over.

Anyway, that enough of that. I just had to get this off my chest. I do try to keep my personal politics out of my blog posts. But this should not be a political issue. Let’s stop making it one!

And I just decided I am not concerned if this post offends anyone. I think that if this post does offend you, you should ask yourself a solemn question. Why?

Also, I have a solution if you are still having trouble finding toilet paper. This is simple enough, anyone should be able to do it!

Montagnard: Some Positive Beta Reader Results

I have learned good beta readers are worth the time and effort!

I got the first set of results back from one of my beta readers, and I have to admit, I was blown away and humbled at the same time. Of course, there were some typos, punctuation errors, suggestions for clarity, and perhaps some rewording. But I was pleasantly surprised at the rather small number of errors found in the text. I must give most of the credit to Grammarly!

Will anyone like what I have written?

Most authors can identify with this question. I suppose it gets easier with time and success, but I am still mostly amazed that people enjoy reading my work.

So, I was really blown away by some of the comments made by this particular beta reader, Eric. I know Eric well enough to know that he will give honest feedback and he has done beta reading for other authors as well.

I thought I would share a few of his comments here. They will not mean much until you read the book, but then, that may entice a few folks to take a chance and read Montagnard when it comes out this summer.

Here are some of the positive comments:

  • The story flows well and is an exciting read.
  • Like in Serpents Underfoot, I appreciate reading the many boots-on-the-ground anecdotes and other “Behind the scenes’ experiences of your characters. Especially the reactions of the family members when they learn their daughter has been kidnapped.
  • The experiences of the SEAL team members, their conversations, thoughts, and activities are quite compelling.
  • I was worried if there would be any friendly casualties. Next, I found myself VERY worried about Ajax during the grenade incident.
  • Every time you described Ajax and “a thump of his tail,” it made me grin.
  • There are dozens of terrific one-liners in here (e.g., the Browning .45 spoke twice). I won’t echo them all, but good job!
  • It’s good storytelling, and really, that’s the reason we read.

There was some constructive criticism as well.

1) This one was more a comment than a criticism. Eric said he is not used to short paragraphs, and that took a bit of getting used too. I am not sure I will change that. I kind of like writing in short “digestible” segments and find that I get lost when paragraphs go on and on.

2) There was a confusing section in the third chapter. It was a flashback to Serpents Underfoot and Vietnam during the war, and then a return to present-day Vietnam. Comment appreciated, and section reworded for clarity.

3) I would use a Vietnam Names website to find names for characters in the story. I discovered I had used the same name for two female characters and had to go back and change one of them. Apparently, I missed a few. That has since been corrected.

Four more beta readers to go!

I definitely will use beta readers for every project going forward. The additional sets of eyes are indispensable.

Also, I am using a professional editor this time around. She gets the book after the beta readers are done with it. This should help keep costs down. Good editors are not cheap (as you will discover if you ever try to hire one), so keeping the work the editor has to do to a minimum is a big plus! Especially if you are on a tight budget.