A Stormy Louisiana Monday

The alarm clock rings. A forty-five-year-old gentleman slowly wakes up.

He kisses his thirty-nine-year-old disabled wife good morning then gets ready for the day.

He brews some Community Breakfast Blend Coffee and drinks it mixed with half milk and half cream.

He also fries four eggs sunny side up and also toasts two slices of Evangeline Maid Wite Bread on his natural gas-powered range.

He slides his four eggs onto a plate and spreads some Clover Valley Strawberry Preserves on his two slices of toast.

Finally, he pours a tall glass of V8 juice and, says Grace sits down for breakfast.

He enjoys his breakfast then goes into the bathroom and freshens up in his washbasin, scrubbing his body with a bar of Dial soap.

He then shaves his face and splashes on some Aqua Velva.

Finally, he puts on RightGuard deodorant then gets dressed.

He dons a white Hane’s tee shirt with a left breast pocket, some Navy Blue Dickie’s work pants, a brown Dickie’s leather belt some white Fruit of the Loom crew socks and some brown Brahma work boots.

From his bedroom night table, he retrieves a SwissGear RFID shielded wallet, which he places in his left-back pants pocket, a Leatherman Surge multi-tool which he places in his right pocket and a Streamlight SL-20 LED flashlight which he secures in its belt holster. And he takes his Motorola smartphone secured in an Otterbox and places it in his left pants pocket. He places a bag of Clover Valley Cherry Sours in his breast pocket.

His wife prepares him two Creole tomato sandwiches with Rouse’s Mayonaise and Mustard and black pepper, then a Yeti Mug filled with Black Cherry Kool-Aid and places them in his Igloo Playmate Cooler and hands it to him.

They share a sweet hug and kiss, then she smacks his backside.

She then gets their young daughter ready for school.

Finally, he gets his keys and leaves his house, locking the doors behind him.

The skies are overcast and the wind is blowing as he steps onto his carport and opens the door to his 1993 Dodge Dakota.

He sits down cranks his engine and heads to work.

During his commute, he tunes in the Weather Band on his Midland CB Radio. He learns that the entire listening area is under a Tornado Watch and that a squall line is also due for their area this day.

He cusses under his breath, then asks God for forgiveness and places a couple of Cherry Sours in his mouth. Subsequently, he petitions God to protect his wife and daughter in addition to himself.

The sky is dark as he arrives at the local elementary school where he is employed as the facility engineer.

A bolt of lightning lights up the sky as he walks into the office.

He punches in and listens briefly as the principal’s radio is tuned to the local NPR affiliate.

He then walks to the boiler room and checks his work email on his Motorola Smartphone.

The cooler in the cafeteria needs to be tended to, so he retrieves his required tools and walks over.

There is a smell of bread rolls baking as well as red beans and rice along with smoked sausage being cooked. The aroma is very satisfying.

As the cafeteria staff continues to prepare the students’ lunch, the gentleman services the cooler. In due time he has the compressor pumping again.

One of the cooks attempts to flirt with him, but he replies, “Back off; I love my wife!”

The cafeteria manager warns her to respect his wishes and that he is a good man but a married man and not to mess with him again.

The buses are now dropping off the children.

He sees his young daughter stepping off the bus. She runs up to him and hugs him. He kisses her forehead then escorts her to her classroom.

He checks his work emails again and sees that the new light fixtures for the administration building have arrived and how he is assigned to install them.

He goes to the boiler room and secures a hand truck then walks to the receiving area to pick up the new light fixtures. He loads the boxes on the hand truck then transports them to the administration building along with his tools.

He steps into the administration building just as it begins to pour down rain.

NPR is still playing on the principal’s radio.

Morning Edition is interrupted with a Tornado Warning.

Immediately he assists the faculty and administration round up the children into the halls.

Just as the last student is in the hall, the electricity goes out.

He turns on his Streamlight SL-20 LED and lights up the dark school.

His daughter has an Olight I3E EOS on her lanyard next to her school ID. She also lights up her immediate area.

He stands next to her and begins to attempt to comfort the other students by telling them stories.

Suddenly his phone rings. It is his wife calling.

“I have to take this call,” He says, then quickly answers the phone.

On the other end, she frantically says, “It’s dark as night here bae. I think there’s a tornado nearby. Are you all right?”

“Yes. I am fine. I’m with all the students and my coworkers in the hall.”

“Is our little girl okay?”

“Yes. She has that little flashlight I bought her a while back on her lanyard and she is lighting up the hallways just like me.”

“That’s our girl! We’re blessed with a wonderful child!”

“Like mother, like daughter!”

“You’re so sweet!”

“Now baby, I’m not sure where the tornado is, but please go in the bathtub and cover yourself with a thick blanket!”

“Okay, I will. Do I have to let you go?”

“No. Stay on the line with me, at least until the warning expires. But if the call drops, just know that I love you.”

“I love you too and I won’t be at ease until you and our daughter are home and safe in my arms!”

“I love you, Mommy!” Their little girl called out.

Suddenly a horrible roaring sound was heard…

Back to “Works of Fiction”

The Personal Crisis I Face whilst Listening to NPR

A recent personal conflict of mine is whether I should listen to NPR (National Public Radio) or not.

The local NPR stations that are available in my area are WWNO on 89.9 FM from The University of New Orleans and KTLN, its translator station on 90.5 FM which serves the Houma-Thibodaux Metro.

I do enjoy listening to that radio network because I find doing so enhances my vocabulary, therefore my writing. And not only that, I find it makes me more informed as an individual. It was through listening to NPR that I first discovered the Coronavirus back in January of 2020. I appreciate their science programs and some of their cultural programs as well.

Since my early thirties, I’ve also tried to be more civic-minded and involved in my community at all levels. NPR allows me to do this, at least at varying degrees.

NPR is very educational, entertaining, and informative. And best of all it is free. At the most, I have to pay for the radio receiver and the source of power. So it’s not free, but it is very cheap as opposed to other mediums of information and entertainment.

So, yes, listening to NPR does bring me a considerable deal of happiness and benefits.

…BUT…

I find some of their news reporting leads a little more to the left than they should. After all, NPR is supposed to serve the entire American public, not just certain factions.

Don’t get me wrong, throughout my thirty-four years on this planet (at the time I am writing this), I have been scattered across the political spectrum. Since the ages of thirty-two or thirty-three, though I would consider myself fiercely Moderate. All I’m going to say is that it was a combination of having disabilities, one of my romantic relationships, and just my strong sense of community in general that has made me more Moderate than I used to be. I espouse some Conservative values and I espouse some Liberal values as well. But there are a few Conservative values I eschew, likewise, there are some Liberal values I equally eschew. As I’ve stated before, I know, as a Christian that we live in a flawed, fallen, and imperfect world. There is no getting around it and there are certain judgments that God has placed in this world and humanity. What I have noticed in recent years is that Liberals try to completely remove God’s judgments while Conservatives try to exacerbate God’s judgments. Both of these tactics would be considered playing God in my book and they are both going to have to answer to Him for it.

Okay, so I think I have established my position on my Moderate political stance.

I’m not trying to just attack Liberals in this piece, but I will point out that NPR tends to be more Liberal than Conservative, especially in recent years. Ideally, NPR should not be Conservative, Moderate, or Liberal. NPR should be apolitical, especially because it is meant to serve all of America.

I find the said radio network was especially harsh on the recent Trump administration.

On a Wednesday evening in late January or early February 2020, I had finished listening to NPR for a sizeable portion of the day. They were consistently badmouthing the president at the time.

So, I walked to my church and was waiting for everyone else to arrive so we could have our Prayer Meeting and Bible Study.

At the time I was EDCing a compact Bible and its translation was The Christian Standard Bible.

I was reading that Bible and came across Proverbs Chapter 31 Verse 3, “Don’t spend your energy on women or your efforts on those who destroy kings.”

Immediately I felt the strong Conviction of The Holy Ghost come upon me for listening to NPR earlier that day.

Like most of the American media, NPR had an agenda to destroy the Trump administration.

Now when that scripture was written, the only types of heads of state were kings. Donald Trump was certainly not a king, but I can safely say that the Bible does not endorse destroying any other sort of world leader, no matter how unpopular. The 13th Chapter of Romans will back this belief of mine up, by the way.

Thus began my crisis over whether or not I should listen to NPR.

I know I am a Moderate and a Christian and most American Christians tend to be staunchly pro-Conservative and equally anti Liberal.

I think this is because conservatives tend to be more espoused to Biblical principles, protect religious freedom and they are also mostly Christian, whereas Liberals tend to be more humanist, are not in favor of all religious freedoms and some have been known to persecute Christians in diverse ways.

I’ve mentioned previously in lesser detail how a goal/fantasy of mine is to be married to a super-sized lady and living in a neighborhood that is gentrifying. We would spend our days reading or writing and listening to NPR, to be more informed and to provoke more creativity. Likely we would have a daughter who sings in the school choir. And we would be a civic-minded family in general. I still think of this as a goal and fantasy, but I’m more hesitant about it after I received Divine Conviction about listening to NPR. Also, I am quite single at the moment, but I would still definitely want to be married to a super-sized lady and eventually have children with her. God has shown me very certain attributes about my future spouse, by the way, and I know I just need to wait on Him to bring her into my life.

I’ve seen media sway the political minds of other family members of mine, on both sides of the spectrum.

NPR could even sway my mind if I still listened to it as much as I have in the past.

As a Christian, the only Liberal policies I can truly get behind are those that are meant to protect the vulnerable amongst us, but doing so without a hidden agenda!

By the way, I think I discovered NPR sometime in 2005 and I had listened to it at length for the first time in December of 2005. I had a pocket-sized radio and was sitting on the outside balcony of a public library. It was late afternoon and the skies were overcast. Still, the atmosphere was enough to be tremendously inspiring. And at the time I was on medication that crippled most of my emotions, yet I was still inspired. I don’t remember any of the content of what I had heard that day, but it was still powerful enough to lift my mood and make me more lively, despite all these artificial chemical restraints! I’m not sure what made me stop listening to NPR, but I wouldn’t listen to it again until the Summer of 2017 while doing laundry in the afternoon. During that Summer, I would frequently listen to NPR while sitting on the back porch of a friend. My then-wife-now-ex-wife would be inside watching television. It was a peaceful time in my otherwise stressful marriage. Usually, I would listen to the afternoon program, “All Things Considered.” By the way, she would get angry if I tried to listen to it on my car radio while she was riding with me. I would listen to NPR on the regular whenever I could. In May of 2018, I moved into my current residence, but it is difficult to catch my local NPR station because a nearby FM transmitter bleeds all over most of my radio dials. And even if I could catch it, this constant talk about Coronavirus and other unpleasant issues these days makes it very depressing and hard to listen to. It’s not like it was in 2017 and before!

All in all, I wish I could get in touch with someone who influenced NPR and tells him or her that maybe they would have more listeners if they tried to serve the entire American public instead of just pandering to liberals like the rest of the mainstream media. NPR is supposed to be of a higher caliber than that and therefore should at least try to do better. Imagine if they fairly and accurately reported the news and still did their educational pieces how much listenership they could gain! I won’t hold my breath though. It took Divine Conviction from The Holy Ghost to call me out on listening to NPR and therefore it will take Divine Intervention on a massive scale to make NPR better for everyone.

Until then I wish there was a comparable broadcasting service that was available on the scale that NPR is and truly served all of its listeners.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my piece on the crisis I face for listening to NPR.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, entertained, and maybe even enlightened.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Personal Reflections”

A Review of the Sylvania Bluetooth CD Boombox

Just for the record, I do not own the featured image on this page, nor is it the actual image of the product I am reviewing in this piece, but it is close enough and it is related.

I was born in the late 1980s and was a child throughout the 1990s.

Therefore, like most people born during this era, I have an appreciation for the boom box.

As I’ve mentioned before, whilst I was married, my then-wife, now ex-wife, and I would frequently do laundry at the house of her ex-brother-in-law.

We would then cook and run errands for him, in exchange for using his washer and dryer.

His deceased daughter (actually the aspiring writer whose death compelled me to launch this blog), had purchased a Sylvania Boombox from the Ruble, I mean, the Dollar General sometime before being killed in a traffic accident. After her passing, her dad (my ex-wife’s ex-brother-in-law) kept that boom box on his back porch and frequently listened to Classic Rock stations with it.

I would use it to listen to NPR while doing laundry. My then-wife would watch television with her nephews.

I was surprised by the tuning accuracy, especially on FM, despite using the power cord as an antenna and having a fairly simple rotary tuner.

It wasn’t long before I wanted one.

In the late Summer of 2017, I drove to the local Dollar General to purchase one for myself. Of course, there were none in stock so I probably made my frequent remark on how it isn’t the Dollar General but rather the Ruble General. Subsequently, I ended up buying one on eBay.

The one I purchased on eBay didn’t perform as well, so I ended up donating it to charity.

In January of 2018, I left my wife, after years of a tense and faulty marriage, and in May of 2018, I moved into my own apartment after spending the prior three months with an older friend.

From this nicer Dollar General, I purchased a television antenna, a portable fan, and a new Sylvania Boom Box, which is the one shown in the featured image but not the actual model that this piece will be a review thereof.

This model could filter out the interference from a nearby FM transmitter despite having a seemingly simple rotary tuning system.

I used it for about a year, then gave it to a neighbor.

In March of 2021, as I had planned, I purchased the updated version which features Bluetooth.

The model number is a Sylvania SRCD202DG-BT-EO and this will be the product reviewed in this piece.

I have yet to use the CD player feature because CD’s have become mostly obsolete.

I haven’t tried the AM radio feature either, because I have other radios for AM listening.

I tried the FM feature because I was hoping that it could filter out the nearby transmitter like its predecessor models. It does to a degree, but the power cord doubles as the FM antenna and it needs to be in a certain position to catch the NPR station I want.

Unless I was anticipating a hurricane or other disaster that results in an extended power failure I wouldn’t like to purchase the 6 C batteries needed to power this off the grid.

If I had a device that didn’t feature Bluetooth, there is an auxiliary in jack that allows this to be used as a set of speakers.

The speakers put out decent audio, but nothing like a more powerful stereo system.

The Bluetooth feature is where this is a winner.

I have downloaded some scanner and radio apps for my tablet and I pair it with his device.

With this setup, I can hear scanner feeds and radio broadcasts both locally and around the world.

And, yes, NPR is among those feeds.

So is the BBC World Service.

So are some interesting railroad and marine scanner feeds.

As a Christian I know I must needs be careful whilst listening to NPR.

Like one of my recent characters, I listen to NPR mostly because doing so enhances my vocabulary. I don’t particularly care for their biased reporting and I find it is getting worse since I began listening in the Summer of 2017. Case in point, as I’ve mentioned before, it was after hours of listening to NPR for the first time that I began referring to the Dollar General as the Ruble General. Some of the content on there does indeed enrich my mind.

I used to romanticize finding a better woman than my ex-wife and she and I moving into the neighborhood where I used to do laundry, then she and I would sit at home and listen to NPR. We would later have a daughter who would sing in the school choir. This dream almost came true when I met my ex-girlfriend but sunk after she called it quits on me a year and some months later.

There is still something I romanticize about sitting on a back porch in the later afternoon and listening to NPR, but the biased reporting is getting to be too much for it to be enjoyable. NPR is supposed to serve the entire American public, not just certain political factions. I would consider myself politically moderate and so was NPR at the time I began listening. But now, I find, it is leaning way towards the left and that isn’t fair.

All right, let me get off of my soapbox because I doubt it does any good.

My one complaint about this boombox is that the FM reception could be a little better, but at least it appears to have an AFC circuit, though not as well-performing as its predecessor models.

I keep it in my living room on a shelf next to a vintage scanner, a Realistic Pro 2022. That scanner may be slow, but it has the best audio quality I’ve ever seen in a scanner.

The feature I use most is Bluetooth, which provides significantly better audio quality when streaming on my tablet.

I would give this a 4.6 out of 5-star rating because I wish the FM reception was a little better and I wish the speakers could be a little louder.

This particular model is sold only at The Ruble, I mean, The Dollar General for $26+taxes. Considering the build quality and all that it does, I would say it is a fair price, provided one is actually in stock. Some Dollar Generals are notorious for product shortages, long lines in checkout, and cluttered aisles, hence me calling it Ruble General, to begin with. For those who don’t know, the Ruble was the official currency of The Soviet Union and I’ve heard countless reports of the shopping experiences there similar to what I’ve seen in some Dollar Generals, hence me coming up with that idea.

All in all, I guess this, therefore, concludes my review on the Sylvania Bluetooth CD Boombox.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed and entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

Zachary and Tiffany’s First Evening Together-The New Generation Gap

Zachary opened his front door for Tiffany and said, “Here it is. Not much, but for now, it’s mine.”

“It’s cute,” Tiffany replied.

“Thanks.”

Suddenly a rush of anxiety came over Tiffany as she said, shaking, “What am I going to do about clothing and my personal items?”

“When was the last time you bathed?”

“Right before going to the mall.” She paused, then continued, “But I am all sweaty and have no change of clothes.”

“Why don’t you take a bath, wear one of my tee shirts and sweat pants, then I’ll wash your clothes with mine in the laundromat? Then, when I get paid Friday, I know of a thrift store a few towns over that sells articles of clothing for twenty-five cents apiece.”

“What about my undergarments? I know thrift stores don’t sell those.”

I will buy you whichever ones you like.”

“But you’re on a fixed income.”

“Yes, but this is an emergency and I happen to have just enough money left over.”

“Thanks. You’re really sweet, Zack.”

“It’s the least I could do.”

“And you would wash my clothes for me?”

“Sure, I need to do a load of laundry anyway,” Zachary said as he retrieved a black tee-shirt and a pair of grey sweat pants from his dresser, then continued, “Go bathe and change in my bathroom, then afterward, place your dirty laundry in my hamper. It’s in my bedroom closet.”

Tiffany nodded then walked to Zachary’s bathroom.

Zachary stood in his kitchen and listened to the radio as he began to prepare dinner.

Tiffany removed her pink tee-shirt, then her purple brassiere as she stared at herself in the mirror. She then removed her grey tennis shoes, yellow socks, dark blue jeans, and white panty. She then used the toilet and subsequently flushed. Afterwards, she drew water in the bathtub and quickly bathed and dried off from the bathroom heater. She then donned Zachary’s black tee shirt and grey sweat pants, then bundled up all of her clothes, and placed them in Zachary’s laundry hamper which was now full. She saw Zachary in the kitchen, listening to a piece on NPR and slicing some squash and zucchini.

She covered his eyes from behind and said, “Guess who?”

“Is it the lovely Tiffany Taylor?”

“You win!”

“What’s the prize?”

“It would be a sin if I gave it to you now, but I definitely want to, Zack Moore!”

Zachary turned around and beheld her, then spoke, “Good Lord, Tiffany, you’re so beautiful!”

“Oh, Zack, I’m a mess.”

“But those clothes I gave you, they accentuate all of your lovely features and, wow, I’ve never been so attracted to someone!”

Zachary blushed afterward.

Tiffany kissed both of his red cheeks then said, “You’re so cute when you blush. And I know I have found someone good if I am wearing a tee-shirt, sweat pants, my hair is a mess and he still thinks I am beautiful.”

“You would be beautiful no matter what you wear!”

“Aww. You’re really sweet!”

“Thank you!” Zachary said as he kissed her, then preheated his oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.

“Do you need any help with dinner?” Tiffany asked.

“Well, I could use some help with the seasoning base,” Zachary replied.

“Just tell me what you need.”

“Very well,” Zach said, the placed a pot on his electric range and said, “Pour some olive oil until the bottom of the pot is covered, then add some minced onions, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, Oregano, dehydrated bell peppers, and brown sugar. They’re all in my cabinet to the right of my stove.”

Tiffany retrieved everything from the cabinets. She poured the olive oil until the bottom of the pot was covered, then asked, “How do you measure the other spices?”

“Just add some of each until the olive oil is no longer clear.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive!” Zachary said as he kissed her.

Tiffany added the spices then Zachary added the sliced squash and zucchini.

She then asked, “What next?”

“Turn on the burner to very low, then stir every so often with a wooden spoon until everything carmelizes.”

“It’s nice to have a home-cooked meal. My parents usually buy those frozen Banquet Dinners.”

“Well, I eat those as well, only if I don’t have the time to cook,” Zachary paused, then continued, “Now keep stirring, but I will show you how I make meatballs.”

“Nice.”

Zachary took a plate of fresh ground beef from his refrigerator, then placed it in his mixing bowl. He also took a half-full bag of Mozzarella cheese from his refrigerator and added it to the mix, as he said, “The cheese gives the meatballs an extra flavor.” Zachary then added black pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder, minced onion, and parsley to the mix. “Here’s the nasty part,” Zachary said as he washed his hands, then rinsed them and began to evenly mix the ground beef with the cheese and seasonings until it was consistent. The oven beeped, thereby indicating that it had reached the target temperature. Zachary then took a skillet and sprayed it with Pam. Afterward, they formed the ground beef mixture into little heaps the size of ping pong balls and placed them on the skillet and then in the oven. After closing the door, Zachary activated the stopwatch feature on his G-Shock.

A wonderful aroma filled the kitchen when Zachary said, “Time to add the sauce to the seasoning base.” He opened two jars of Ragu Garden Combination and poured them into the pot, then kissed Tiffany and said, “Now mix all of that and stir every now and then.”

Tiffany smiled sweetly as she stirred with the wooden spoon.

Suddenly Zachary had shooting pains in his lower back. By the expression on his face, he was unable to hide the fact that something was wrong.

Promptly, Tiffany asked, “What’s the matter, bae?”

“Oh, my wretched back is giving me trouble yet again.”

“Is it because of what happened today?”

“No. Please don’t worry about that, sweetheart. It’s not your fault at all, I frequently get back pain while cooking and doing many other activities as well.”

“Is there anything I can do?”

“You could hold me.”

“Okay, I’ll do that. I would want to do that anyway!”

“Then let’s relax on the couch while dinner cooks. We have a few minutes before the meatballs are done baking.”

Tiffany sat on one end of the couch and Zachary laid resting his head in her lap.

He looked up at her face with awestruck admiration while she smiled at him, playing with his hair and caressing his face.

Zachary took the remote then turned on his television and scanned for channels. There was only one channel coming in reliably enough, and it was playing a prime-time drama. Tiffany shuddered when the scene became violent. Zachary noticed, to which he turned the television off and said, “I’m sorry. If I knew that show would have upset you, I wouldn’t have watched it with you.”

“Do you usually watch that kind of stuff?”

“Not really. It’s just that was the only channel coming in at the moment. The weather affects my TV reception.”

“What radio station were you listening to earlier?”

“The local NPR station.”

“What’s that?”

“National Public Radio. It’s like PBS, but radio instead of television. I listen to NPR because it enhances my vocabulary, therefore improving my writing.”

“Do you listen to it a lot?”

“Yes.”

“What would be playing at this hour?”

“Classical Music.”

“Okay, nice! Do you think we could listen? Maybe it could inspire my painting when I get more art supplies.”

“Sure. I’ll turn my kitchen radio on.”

“I’ll do it, you rest.”

Tiffany then walked to the kitchen and switched the radio back on. They listened for a few minutes, then Zachary checked his watch. The twenty minutes were almost up.

Both walked to the kitchen and stood by the oven.

Zachary’s stopwatch feature on his G-Shock reached twenty minutes, so he opened the oven door, then with a potholder, removed the skillet and poured the meatballs along with the drippings into the pot of sauce. He then stirred the mixture and turned the oven and the burner off.

“Why you turned the burner off?” Tiffany asked.

“Because the mixture is hot enough to continue cooking, besides, we need to do laundry and I need to buy you some underwear.”

“Where can we get some?”

“There’s a Dollar General next door, we can go there.”

“I’ll just get a cheap six-pack of panties then.”

“Even the cheapest undergarments would make your bottom lovely!”

Tears filled Tiffany’s eyes as she said, “Thank you for saying that. You make me feel beautiful. My dad is always making comments about how big my butt is and that I shouldn’t eat so much.”

“I’m glad that I make you feel beautiful because, to me, you’re the most beautiful lady there is!”

“You’re making me want to commit that sin with you!”

“I want to commit that sin with you as well, but I am deathly afraid of losing you! As I’ve said before, I’d rather be obedient to my God and have you by my side for the rest of my life than have you for a few moments of pleasure only to lose you and never get you back. You’re worth the wait!”

Tiffany grabbed Zachary then pulled him to her and showered his face with kisses.

“Let’s go get me some panties,” Tiffany said, smiling from ear to ear.

“Would you also like some socks?”

“Sure, if you have the money.”

“I think I do.”

“Then let’s go.”

Tiffany borrowed a pair of socks from Zachary and then put them and her tennis shoes on.

Zachary then grabbed his key lanyard and flashlight as they walked out of his apartment, down the stairs, then to the Dollar General.

They entered and walked right to the clothing section. There was a six-pack of socks that Tiffany grabbed immediately. Then there were several six-packs of panties that Tiffany had considered until she saw one that was all different colors: one white, one lavender, one black, one pink, one flesh-colored, and one gray. “Zack, what do you think of these?” She asked.

“I am at a loss for words on how beautiful I think you would be in them!” Zachary replied.

“Then buy them for me!”

“Very well, sweetheart!”

Tiffany kissed Zachary with great passion and then said, “Thank you!”

Zachary kissed her in return and affectionately patted her bottom.

Both blushed and grinned as they embraced.

“Oh, I almost forgot, I need some Tide to wash our laundry,” Zachary said.

“That’s fine,” Tiffany replied.

With that, they walked to the detergent section and purchased a small bottle of Tide, then walked to the counter and checked out.

By the light of Zachary’s flashlight, they walked home. After entering, Tiffany secured her new socks and panties. Afterward, she carried the laundry basket while Zachary carried the bottle of Tide and a roll of quarters to the laundromat. They selected a washing machine, then placed the clothes in, paid the quarters, and started it. Then hand in hand they walked back up to Zachary’s apartment by the light of his flashlight.

Upon arriving home, Zachary received a text message stating a low balance alert in his checking account.

“Now, I’m going to show you how to make the pasta,” Zachary said. He took another pot and filled it with water from his kitchen tap. He then added a few drops of olive oil and some parsley. Finally, he took a one-pound box of dried spaghetti noodles, broke them in half, dropped them in the pot, and put it on to boil. When the pasta was boiled, Zachary heated the sauce, then said, “I’m going switch the laundry. When I return, let us eat. Don’t open the door to anyone but me.”

Tiffany nodded then kissed him.

Zachary locked his door behind him, then walked down to the laundromat by the light of his flashlight with the quarters in hand. He saw that the washing machine was finished so he transferred the laundry to a dryer, then placed the quarters in and started it. Afterwards, he left the laundromat and walked back up to his unit.

Tiffany was setting the table as he entered.

“I’ll serve us, sweetheart,” Zachary said.

“Thanks, bae!” Tiffany replied.

Zack served each of them a generous portion of spaghetti and meatballs. Afterward, he sat down and said grace, “Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for this wonderful meal and we thank you for all the gifts and blessings that You have so graciously bestowed upon us. We also ask that you bless our relationship, keep us together forever and that You compel us to honor and glorify You with our lives. Please protect us from all who wish to do harm and please meet all of our needs, both seen and unseen, known and unknown. Bless this food for the nourishment of our bodies for Your service and glory. We make these prayers in Your Son Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen!”

As they were eating, Tiffany said, “I love hearing you pray, Zack!”

Zachary then asked, “Would you like to come to church with me tomorrow evening?”

“Church on a Wednesday?”

“Yes.”

“I mean, sure, I’m only used to church on either Saturday or Sunday.”

“I have church on Sunday as well.”

“I’ll go with you, both on Sunday and Wednesday. I feel a voice in my head that is urging me to go with you.”

“Wonderful!”

“This food is delicious, Zack!”

“Thank you. You know you helped me make it!”

“True.”

“And get used to it.”

“But everything I eat goes straight to my butt.”

“As I’ve said before, your bottom is very lovely!”

“What if it gets really big though?”

“Then that will mean more of it for me to adore and enjoy!”

“In a way, I’m glad my parents never let me have any freedom because now I am pure for you and if there is anyone worth losing my virginity to, it’s you, Zack!”

“And I’m glad that I have this disability and no other women wanted me, because we will be pure for each other and our honeymoon will be immensely special!”

“You still want me to marry you?” Tiffany asked in a puppy dog voice.

“Of course. You and no one else!”

“I’m falling for you, fast and hard Zack, so please don’t break me!”

“The feeling is mutual and let me say that I would rather die than break your heart!”

They finished up their meal, then placed the leftovers in Zachary’s refrigerator.

For a little while, they listened to more classical music on NPR. There was a break in the music and a weather forecast was given. The announcer stated that another round of thunderstorms would be making their way through the listening area during the overnight hours and that some had severe potential.

Zachary looked at his G-Shock and realized that his laundry was near done, so, he grabbed his basket, key lanyard, and flashlight, then he and Tiffany walked down to the laundromat. A thick scratchy wind was blowing through the complex as they walked across the parking lot and into the laundromat. There were a few seconds left on the dryer as they embraced, lost in each others’ eyes. The dryer buzzed, then Zachary loaded the freshly cleaned laundry into his basket. Tiffany carried it up to his unit and he escorted her.

She set the basket down on the living room floor.

“You can get your clothes out if you wish, but I’ll fold mine tomorrow. I need to wash my dishes before the next round of storms come through.”

“I’ll help you, Zachary.”

Together they washed and rinsed all of the dishes, then set them on the counter to dry.

Tiffany then asked, “Do you think you could read more of your stories to me?”

“Sure, I would be honored to!” Zachary replied.

With that, they walked to Zachary’s computer. Zachary sat down on the chair and Tiffany laid on the couch. Tiffany hung on to his every word, smiling from ear to ear. He read to her until they were very sleepy.

“Why don’t we get some rest?” Zachary asked.

“Okay, bae.” Tiffany replied.

She then went to the bathroom, took off Zachary’s sweat pants, and put on a pink pair of her new panties. She also put on another one of Zachary’s tee shirts, a grey one.

After she stepped out of the bathroom, Zachary beheld her with a mixture of tremendous admiration and immense lust.

He held her close to him and began to kiss her face, then her neck, then her chest, then her stomach as he caressed her buttocks.

“If you go any further, it will be a sin. But I would greatly enjoy it.”

“You’re right, Tiffany. And I don’t want to lose you as a result of that sin. No, I want you by my side forever!”

“That is my wish as well!”

Hand in hand, Zachary walked Tiffany to his bedroom, then tucked her in and gave her a long sweet goodnight kiss.

He then walked to his living room and pulled out the mattress of his futon and went to sleep…

…Hours passed by…

A severe thunderstorm had developed and had woken Tiffany up.

Wind, lightning, and thunder were constant.

She was very frightened, to the point of tears.

Tiffany walked out of bed, to Zachary’s living room.

She gently tapped him, “Zack…Zack…Zack…”

Finally, Zachary woke up and asked, “Tiffany are you all right?”

“I’m scared of the weather, Zack. Will you come hold me?”

“Sure, Tiffany. It would be a joy for you to sleep in my arms.”

“Then come right now.”

Zachary stepped off the couch, then followed Tiffany to his bedroom. They both climbed into his bed and pulled the covers over them.

Zachary held his arms around Tiffany’s waist and rested his face in the back of her neck.

Tiffany then said, “When I was a little girl, I was always afraid of the weather. I guess because my parents always said that God would kill me with lightning or a tornado because I was so wicked.”

“You’re very sweet and God loves you immensely. Your parents are the ones who are wicked.”

“I guess it is on my mind because I just left them and they are probably angry at me. I’d like to see the looks on their faces if they could see us cuddling and do nothing about it.”

Zachary kissed the back of her neck.

Tiffany pushed her buttocks against Zachary and then said, “I wish I could see the look on your face too, Zack because you get to feel my big butt all night long while I wear these sexy panties.”

“I admit that I am smiling more than I ever have and I do feel very privileged,” Zachary said as he held her even closer to him.

“Then hold me all night like this, bae!”

“Your wish is my command, sweetheart!”

A bright bolt of lightning flashed followed by a loud crash of thunder.

“It’s not as scary now that I am in your arms, Zack.”

Zachary simply kissed her as they soon fell asleep, happier than ever before…

Back to “The New Generation Gap”

A Review of The Sony ICF-P26 AM/FM Portable Radio

Just so we’re all clear, I do not own the featured image on this page and I give credit to whomsoever credit is due.

I always enjoyed listening to the radio growing up.

The style of radio that I enjoy most are those that resemble the transistor radios made from the 1950s through the 1980s. There is just something about that style.

By the way, such a style is getting rarer and rarer as time goes by.

I believe it was some time in 2015 when I discovered the Sony ICF-P26 and, fun fact, it was through a MEME I saw on social media.

I finally bought one in March of 2017 and so I have owned one of these radios for almost your years.

That radio by the way is what this piece will be a review thereof.

In reality, I had been wanting to write this review since July of 2018, when I started writing product reviews, but there have been numerous distractions that hindered me from doing so.

In March of 2017, I had a little bit extra money, so I ordered a Sony ICF-P26 on eBay.

It came in a few days later and I began to use it extensively. It even gained a spot for a few years in my EDC backpack.

I was thoroughly impressed by the clear and generous sound, the tuning accuracy, the reception range (especially on AM, but FM as well), and the overall solid feel when handling this radio.

On every trip I took, it was a frequent companion, allowing me to hear local radio stations. One of my rituals is while traveling I wash my face, then shave as soon as I enter the hotel or motel room. For some reason traveling in a car for an extended period, even with the windows up makes my face ultra dirty. I also like to be clean-shaven when going out and about anywhere, so after washing my face, I shave, then apply the Aqua Velva. Usually while shaving in a place besides home, I listen to a local music station. One particular memory I have about carrying out this ritual is being in Texas and hearing Jim Ed Brown sing “Pop a Top” on a local AM station. Music sounds so much richer when played on AM and Jim Ed Brown already had a very rich voice, so it was a very pleasant experience. When not traveling, I used to listen to NPR whilst I was doing my laundry.

I did keep this radio when my ex-wife and I split up the community property and I left her a Sangean DT-200VX because she always liked it and I was trying to make the divorce as painless as possible. She and I are on much better terms now but I am 100% sure that we are not compatible as husband and wife. I just wish I would have realized this before the relationship became too serious. Well, she clearly stated that she wanted to marry me six days after meeting me. At the time, I was thrilled, because I didn’t see the red flags yet.

Speaking of red flags, my one gripe about this radio is that it lacks an AFC circuit. This wasn’t an issue at my previous residences but is very much an issue at my current residence since I am only a few blocks away from an FM transmitter. That station’s signal bleeds all over my FM dial and drowns out almost all other FM stations that would normally be available. So I upgraded (and I use that term loosely) to a cheap, unbranded radio, that has a phase lock loop synthesized oscillator, for most of my portable FM listening. It also gets AM (mediocre) and Weather (quite well, actually), but isn’t as solidly built as my Sony. Although it is as small as an MP3 player and I do have a dedicated pocket for it in my EDC backpack. However, on some nights I will still use this Sony for AM listening, both local and long-distance. If I’m not in my neighborhood and have it with me, I will also use my Sony for FM listening.

A few evenings ago when Winter Storm Uri was wreaking havoc across the country, our local governments and our electric utility companies were advising us to conserve power until 10:00 PM. So, I unplugged all of my grid-powered electronics, set my central heater (which is electric) to 68 Degrees Fahrenheit and I even turned off the lights. To be able to see, I used a highly efficient battery-powered LED lantern. My previous product review was about that very lantern. And for entertainment, I listened to the AM band on my Sony radio. I did some AM DXing until finally, I decided to listen to WSB out of Atlanta. There is a local show on there that I have listened to a time or two prior. It is a good, wholesome, and even Christian show. They were talking about Rush Limbaugh’s passing. I listened until the signal faded out. By that point, it was past Ten O’Clock, so I resumed my “normal” nighttime activities. The AM ferrite bar antenna on this radio isn’t very big, so it’s not the best radio for AM DXing, but, in my location, it will catch most of the clear channel AM stations between The Rockies and Appalachians after dark.

A very wise feature on this radio is that it isn’t turned off or on by the volume potentiometer, but rather a three-position sliding switch “OFF” “AM” “FM.” There is a volume potentiometer and after almost four years of use and three years of carrying in my EDC backpack, it needs to be dusted out. To tune the radio, a knob is connected to a slide rule indicator. For FM listening, there is a telescopic antenna that can be changed out if it is ever damaged. Why can’t all radios be made this way?

There is also a removable nylon lanyard.

Two other features on this radio include a green LED, whose brightness indicates how much battery power is left and a red LED which indicates that the radio is locked on a station’s signal.

For power, it runs on two AA batteries. I always used Alkalines and always had generous run times. I think the run time is rated at 35 or so hours on a set of batteries but I’m not 100% sure.

Currently, I have my Sony radio on a night table in my living room, but if I were to have to travel, especially to evacuate from a hurricane, it will be coming with me.

If anyone is interested in purchasing one of these, they are widely available online and even in some brick-and-mortar establishments.

I give it a 4.85 out of 5 stars and this rating is subjective to where one uses it. Had it been manufactured with an AFC circuit, I would have given it the full 5 stars.

Sony is a reputable brand and they make some fine radios, so why couldn’t they have installed an AFC circuit and made this radio even better?

I’ve mentioned on social media in the past how I wish all FM radios would have an AFC circuit, but terrestrial analog radio is gradually dying out, much to my dismay.

In the event of an emergency remember KISS: Keep it Simple, Stupid! The simpler a communications system is, the less chance there is for failure and typically the cheaper the equipment. Analog terrestrial radio should remain in use, at least as a means of communicating important information to the public, especially in the event of an emergency!

I’ll get either one or another response for this statement and it is:

You’re preaching to the choir (from those who think like me.)

OR

Change is inevitable (from those who don’t realize what I realize.)

Currently, I am thinking of buying a Bluetooth-capable radio very soon so I can pair it with my tablet and Stream online radio stations. The model I am looking at is sold at The Ruble, I mean, The Dollar General and if it is like its predecessor model, then it will have an AFC circuit, which is the other reason for me to consider purchasing it.

So, yes I do embrace new technology, but I also have a prepper mindset, not to mention I hold a General Class Amateur Radio license, and therefore am very much aware of how older simpler technology is more reliable, especially as a means of mass communications.

Well, look at this, I’ve turned a product review into a lecture.

My apologies.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

I guess this concludes my review of the Sony ICF-P26.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

An Encounter while Shopping-Confessions of an unHappily Married Blogger

I am now drawing disability and not working at all. This has been the case since late September 2011 and it is now late June of 2012.

The management at that God-awful grocer I was working for had drastically cut my hours and even demoted me, so I quit without warning. It wasn’t worth burning the gasoline to come to work and as I’ve stated before the work environment was ultra toxic.

My wife has decided to pursue some higher education. I believe this is fruitless and pointless and just a year later, I will be vindicated in this belief.

So, while my wife attends school, I find things to occupy my time.

Payday is just a few short days away, so I am looking to see what I can purchase at an electronics dealer.

I walk in and am greeted by a very beautiful and sweet young lady. Her body is somewhere between thick and curvy. She has long blonde hair the face of a China doll.

We begin to talk and pretty soon, it is as if we have known each other forever.

While I am twenty-five-and-a-half, I find out that she is twenty-two.

It is quite rare that a young lady shares an interest in electronics like I do, but she certainly does.

I tell her about my other hobbies and she seems impressed.

I don’t think she is truly impressed, I think she has a crush on me, but what do I know.

I do know this: my wife and her family resent all of my hobbies, as I mentioned before.

To tell the truth, I also have a crush on her, but I know how I must needs to honor my marriage, if not for the love of my spouse, then for the love and fear of my God.

We continue talking, about our families and my disability. Even after telling her all this, she still seems very sweet and understanding. I’m catching even more feelings for her, but I force myself to suppress them. Finally, I see a Weather Radio which is on clearance. I remember reading extensively about this particular model and am disappointed to see it being discontinued.

I ask if she can reserve it for me so I can purchase it when I get paid.

She explains how she is not supposed to do such a thing, but will do so anyway because she thinks I am nice.

I then happen to glance at my watch and realize I have other errands to run and how I also need an escape route to keep me from committing adultery, so I bid her farewell, then leave the store.

Days later when I get paid, I drive back to the electronics store, and there she is behind the counter, with her sweet and beautiful self.

I tell her how I’ve come to purchase my weather radio and I thank her for going above and beyond.

She hands it to me, then I pay with my debit card. The transaction is processed, then approved.

She briefly flirts with me. Her voice is so soothing, much unlike my wife’s.

I then leave the store, with my Weather Radio, because I have other business that needs to be tended to and groceries that need to be made.

I don’t think I will ever forget her, though. Quite possibly she could inspire some characters and situations in the stories I create.

She is the kind of person my in-laws would automatically hate because she’s pretty, sweet, and classy.

To have credit with them, one must have either ruined his or her life or be in some other unfortunate situation.

I only have a little credit with them, because of my disability, but they still cannot stand the fact that I like to write and I have other wholesome hobbies.

After all our business is tended to, my wife and I head home. I try out my new Weather Radio and think of the wonderful young lady who sold it to me. My house makes noises per the changes of pressure and temperature. I think a storm is approaching My new Weather Radio confirms this thought.

Back to “Confessions of an unHappily Married Blogger”

Pairing a Royal Crown Cola with a Moon Pie

So, over ten years ago, I had discovered a Southern delicacy of pairing a Royal Crown Cola with a Moon Pie.

I drank R. C. Cola now and then in early childhood because my Paternal Grandparents were very frugal and R. C. is indeed the cheapest name brand cola there is. My parents on the other hand, especially my Mom fervently drank Coca-Cola. On and off since the age of nine, I had been a fervent Pepsi drinker, and especially since the age of twenty when I discovered their Wild Cherry version, which still to this day is my favorite soft drink.

I only consumed Moon Pies during Mardi Gras and Saint Patrick’s Day parades when they were thrown from floats to parade watchers. Growing up, we ate Little Debbies, especially the Oatmeal Creme Pie variety, more than anything else.

It was some time in 2009 or early 2010 when I had discovered the pairing of a Moon Pie with an R. C. Cola. I was researching scanners (as in the device used to listen in on two-way radio communications) and was reading about the Radio Shack Patrolman Radio receivers of the 1960s. Yes, the Patrolman line eventually included scanners, but before scanners being invented, the Patrolman radios were tuneable radios that initially covered either the VHF High or VHF Low Band and the AM (Medium Wave) Broadcast Band. These were very popular in the 1960s due to the high degree of civil unrest of the decade and citizens desiring to listen in on law enforcement communications. By the way, these communications were [almost] totally in the clear in those days. There was no encryption and certainly no digital communications. In my research, I discovered a picture of a Radio Shack Patrolman radio in the background and an individually-sized bottle of R. C. Cola with a wrapped Moon Pie in the foreground. That was the first time I had seen this combination.

Now as many of you know, I was born and raised in Southeast Louisiana. And yes I still reside there. Louisiana is certainly part of the South, at least physically, but the culture of Louisiana located below the U. S. Highway 190 corridor (give or take) is quite different from the rest of The South. For example, the white people here are mostly of French Canadian descent (Cajun-I have some in me.) There are also a few people of Parisian French ancestry here (myself included, as my surname suggests, and on both sides of my family.) In the heavily industrialized area between New Orleans and Baton Rouge along the Mississippi River, there is a high concentration of people with German ancestry (it is a lot like The Midwest, actually.) Among others, in the New Orleans area, there are people descended from Irish and Italian immigrants (quite similar to Brooklyn New York.) In rural parts of Louisiana, there are the Islenos, who are of Spanish ancestry (the Canary Islands, to be exact.) So this part of Louisiana is much more culturally diverse than the rest of the mostly Anglo-Saxon South. Therefore, some of the customs and traditions that are common and dear to most of the South are unknown to this part of Louisiana.

In more recent years, I had discovered that I do indeed have some more typical Southern (Anglo Saxon) roots on my Maternal Grandpa’s side. His ancestry comes not only from Germans and Irish people residing in Louisiana but also his ancestry can also be traced back to Mississippi and Alabama. It made perfect sense to me and explains a lot because I act more Southern than those that surround me. For example, I am Protestant as opposed to Catholic, although I was raised Catholic, at least in name only. I’m told that my writing and speech patterns sound more Southern, than Cajun though, my accent is a unique combination of New Orleans Y’at (which sounds similar to Brooklyn) and Cajun (which has a sound all of its own.) I’ve only known one or two other people who sounded like me and they were raised in a similar environment. I was not raised on Country Music, but acquired a taste for it in 2004. However, I think Country Music has had a sharp decline in quality since about 2013. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Redneck comedians and can relate to their humor. I am very Pro Second Amendment (which is indeed common between Cajuns and Rednecks, alike.) I am indeed attracted to plus-sized and super-sized ladies, a trait that is stereotypical of Redneck men, but I’ve since learned that men from all walks of life carry this trait. I frequently listen to scanners, another hobby many times associated with Rednecks. The only sport I will watch is NASCAR. I’m quite proficient at do-it-yourself projects when I need to be. I strive to be polite and mind my manners, which is highly valued in The South, but sadly not always in my part of Louisiana. And if I do it right, I can fry chicken just like Colonel Sanders. Therefore, I tend to associate and espouse more with Southern Culture than extreme South Louisiana Culture.

I think you, the reader, now get my point on how South Louisiana is different from the rest of The South.

The reason why I wrote all of this, was to explain how, despite technically growing up in The South, it wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered the combination of R. C. Cola and Moon Pie and when I did, it was totally by accident. However, I do have some true Southern blood pumping through my veins and I do indeed espouse its culture much better than the culture that surrounds me.

Moon Pies and Royal Crown Cola were both invented in Southern States, Tennesee and Georgia, respectively.

Moon Pies were invented as the result of a Kentucky coal miner suggesting to a Chattanooga bakery salesman upon being asked what kind of snack would he like the company to make. Legend has it, the miner told the salesman for the snack to have two round Graham cookies with marshmallow creme in the middle. He then proceeded to hold his hand up to the sky as if he were cupping the Moon in his hands and then continued that the snack should be “as big as The Moon.” The salesman took the miner’s request to heart and began producing Moon Pies, which were outselling all of their other baked goods. Initially, Moon Pies were plain, but soon afterward they were dipped in Chocolate. In later years they were dipped in other flavors such as Banana, Vanilla, and others.

Royal Crown Cola was ultimately invented over a dispute between a Columbus, Georgia, grocer and a Coca Cola salesman. The grocer thought that Coca Cola ought to give him a discount given the high volume of Coca Cola syrup he purchased from the company. The salesman refused. The grocer refused to ever purchase from Coca Cola again and began to formulate his own cola, ultimately coming up with Royal Crown Cola.

In my personal opinion, Royal Crown tastes better than Coke and almost as good as Pepsi, but due to its more affordable price, I drink R. C. more frequently than Pepsi. I think if R. C. followed Pepsi’s practices and used Cane Sugar in their drink, it would taste indeed as good as Pepsi. Coke typically uses HFCS in their American formula although, this wasn’t always the case. Had Coke continued using Cane Sugar, my Paternal Granpa may have been employed well into his 80s. He was a foreman at a local sugar factory and Coca-Cola was in the process of buying the plant. However, the deal fell through, the factory subsequently shut down and he was forced into retirement at the age of 61. I believe he genuinely wanted to be employed because, after retiring, he continued aggressively raising cattle and produce until the ripe old age of 89. He passed away at the age of 94. My Maternal Grandpa, on the other hand, worked for South Central Bell (now part of AT&T) but died twenty-nine years before I was born at the young age of only 42. He is the one that I inherit my Southern traits from and I am told how I take after him in so many ways. Like me, he was into technology and I wish he would have lived to be an old man so I could have known him and so he could have witnessed all of the great inventions that would come into existence after his death.

…Moving on…

I would drink R. C. Cola sparingly as a child and hadn’t drunk it for years until about the age of 26, when I was purchased some at a convenience store in San Antonio, Texas. Immediately, I recognized that it tasted considerably better than Coke and almost as good as Pepsi. I would drink it from time to time for the next few years.

After a failed marriage, I moved into my own place in May of 2018. My residence is but a few feet from a Dollar General, so I do a considerable deal of shopping there. Dollar General is also a typically Southern entity, though probably not as glamorous. I may give that said retailer some business from my testimony of what can be purchased there and not at other stores (R. C. Cola being an example.) But I also find myself poking fun at The Dollar General, comparing the shopping experience there to that of shopping in the USSR and their satellite states. I even go as far as frequently referring to it as “The Ruble General”, but only in harmless jest.

But I frequently buy my soft drinks at The Dollar General. And R. C. Cola is sold at the rate of 2 Liters for $1.00+tax. There are other quantities at which it is sold there but I don’t immediately recall the price. Coke and Pepsi most of the time are sold there for $1.80+tax unless they are on sale. I’m on a disability pension, so I must needs make my money stretch. I also buy some snacks at The Dollar General. A box of six Miniature Moon Pies can be had for, I think, also $1.00+tax. I would say that is indeed a bargain, considering inflation!

It was some time in 2020, around the time when Coronavirus became an issue that, I finally decided to try a Moon Pie and an R. C. Cola together. I indeed purchased them at my local Dollar General. I instantly enjoyed the combination and have been purchasing them ever since. As of lately, I am even getting my neighbors hooked on them. The way I most prefer consuming them is microwaving a Moon Pie for exactly 6 seconds (my microwave oven is rated a 700 Watts, your time may vary) and then eating it and then washing it down with an ice-cold R. C. Cola.

There are several theories on how Royal Crown Cola became paired with Moon Pies, but the one I’ll accept most is that during the Great Depression they were a cheap but energy-dense source of food and drink. They offered the most calories per unit of currency in a time when money was extremely tight. Not only that, they were very palatable and could hold up most men performing work that was many times physically demanding. An original Moon Pie which was four inches and diameter and a 12 ounce R. C. Cola paired together, sold for a total of one Dime. So it became an instant hit with the working class throughout the South.

But, nowadays, they are popular throughout the South and with more than just the working class.

Now I am indeed disabled. But, even with inflation adjustments, an R. C. Cola paired with a Moon Pie is a cheap thrill that can be afforded to me even though I am on a fixed income. I think of the pictured that I mentioned earlier in this piece and many times I too eat a Moon Pie and drink an R. C. Cola whilst listening to my scanner. This is a frugal way to have a good time. Some of my neighbors have also picked up on this habit.

Before I became totally disabled, I always wanted to have a son so he and I could hang out in the kitchen and listen to our scanners, especially at night. I’m 34 at the time of writing this and have no children, as of yet. God has shown me what my true future spouse will be like and He equally told me to be patient in finding her. If I ever do have children, I’ve always wondered if instead of singing songs they hear on the radio, as most kids do, they will repeat track bulletins and vessel names along with their positions that they hear on my scanners. I would get a kick out of that as would all my friends that also listen to scanners. I’ll have to be careful with the marine traffic, though, especially if I ever have a daughter, because of the foul language sometimes used on those marine channels. Just the other morning, I heard the Mother F word uttered on Channel 13 by an angry boat captain. Such a phrase is completely uncalled for in any circumstance and can get someone killed if he or she utters it to the wrong person. Enough about that, let’s focus on more pleasant things. Maybe one day, God will bless me with children and we will be hanging out in my kitchen listening to scanners, eating Moon Pies, and drinking R. C. Cola.

Because this blog is read worldwide, I’m not sure if you, the reader, have ever heard of combining a Moon Pie with an R. C. Cola much less if these products are available near you. My suggestion is if you live in The States, check out your local Ruble, I mean Dollar General.

If you’re able to purchase these, please do so. I don’t think you will be disappointed! After all, it is a tried and true favorite.

So, I guess this concludes my article on R. C. Cola and Moon Pies.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Articles I have Written”

A Review of The Uniden BC144XL Programmable Desktop Scanner

Just so everyone knows, I am not the owner of this featured image; it is from a picture that I Googled and cropped.

I had first discovered scanner radios in the Summer of 2001 at the age of fourteen and a half.

However, I had little to no income due to my age and my parents aren’t big on technology to appreciate such a device. It angered them that I could potentially eavesdrop on other’s communications, especially law enforcement and government operations. In fact, they were appalled when they found out that such an item existed.

And, at the time, even an entry-level scanner cost at least $100, brand new.

So, I had no hopes of getting one.

Well, until September of 2002, that is.

My local Wal*Mart had a Uniden BC144XL on clearance for $30.00+tax.

I borrowed the money and purchased it at once.

That was the first scanner I ever owned and what this piece will be a review of.

At first, I had a slight amount of consumer’s remorse when I took it home and set it up.

There was only a two-digit LED display, that didn’t show the full frequency readout.

There were no search functions, which meant I could only program the frequencies I knew-this resulted in a lot of trial and error.

I later found out that at the time, local law enforcement in my Parish was on the Louisiana 800 MHz Motorola Smartzone Trunked System, so I could not pick them up whatsoever with this scanner-and boy I was ticked off at that fact!

While it was capable of picking up The Feds, there were no Federal Government operations within range.

However, I did find some use for it and I ended up enjoying it.

For example, I frequently listened to my local fire department and eventually neighboring fire departments. I discovered 2 Meter local Amateur Radio operations in my area. I listened in on analog cordless phones that operated in the VHF Low Band. There were some local businesses and utilities with wide-area repeater coverage that I would listen to. And I would eventually use it for listening to marine communications and even railroads, some months later.

In December of 2002, with the money I was gifted for Christmas, I upgraded to a Uniden BC80XLT, which had more channels, covered 800 MHz, had search functions, and was portable. I had that newer until the Fall of 2005 when someone sabotaged it. I may write a review of it someday.

I sold my first scanner approximately a year later because I needed the money for other things.

For years, I regretted selling it, especially in more recent years when the bulk of my scanner listening transitioned from law enforcement to railroad and marine traffic.

On this day, January 3, 2021, I purchased a duplicate Uniden BC144XL in fairly decent condition for roughly the same price I paid back in September 2002. It was a late birthday present to me from myself. Thank God for eBay! I plan to use it in conjunction with my Realistic Pro-59, which I shall compare it to.

In these ways it is better than the Realistic Pro-59:
It has double the channel memory with sixteen channels as opposed to eight.
It also covers 29-54 MHz in addition to 137-174 MHz and 406-512 MHz.

The Realistic Pro-59, has better antenna connections, though, at least in my humble but honest opinion.

The user interface between the Uniden BC144XL and the Realistic Pro-59 is very similar, with the Uniden BC144XL being more advanced.

Well, they are both Unidens though one is a true Uniden and the other is a rebadged Uniden made for Radio Shack under the Realistic name.

I don’t have the receiver sensitivity ratings for this scanner, but I am durn sure that it is more sensitive than any of its modern-day counterparts and that is a crying shame. I was amazed at how far away it could pull in signals from, even with just the stock antenna. I cannot wait for my duplicate to come in the mail!

I already have a general idea of what I am going to program in it:

The first few channels will be for local and neighboring fire departments (almost all on VHF High Band.)

Then I will store my local utilities (Electrical on VHF Low Band, Waterworks on UHF Band.)

Then a few amateur radio frequencies (2 Meter and 70 Centimeter Bands. Might even program some 6 Meter and 10 Meter FM frequencies since a new sunspot cycle is beginning!)

Then railroad and marine, that is a must (VHF High Band.)

Finally maybe a few local businesses (Mostly UHF Band.)

I haven’t decided where in my residence that I want to use it, since I already have a tabletop scanner in each room.

I will admit that I bought it for the sentimental value but also for the powerful sensitivity because I’m convinced that it pulls in signals clearly that my newer scanners won’t even stop on.

In my teens, I would have given it a low rating, maybe 1 or 2 out of 5 stars, because of all it lacked

However, at the age of thirty-four and with totally different listening habits I can give this scanner a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, only because it lacks a full frequency display and a search function. However, it does make up for it in being well-built, long-lasting, and extra sensitive.

I mean many scanners that were made 25-35 years ago still work perfectly even though they may be partially or even mostly obsolete. Well, they are still perfectly fine for most of my listening tastes!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again:

Will any scanner made today or even within the last decade still be functioning 25-35 years in the future?

Somehow, I don’t think so.

All in all, I guess this concludes my review of Uniden BC144XL.

I cannot wait for my duplicate to come in the mail and I hope that you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!0

Back to “Product Reviews”

Laundry Day-An Online Romance

Ezra woke up in the very late morning.

After lying for several minutes on his couch, thinking about Sadie, he prepared his breakfast of two fried eggs sunny side up, a slice of toast with sugar-free raspberry jam, and a drink of coffee, chicory, and hot milk.

After breakfast was ready, he sat in his kitchen eating and drinking while listening to his countertop scanner.

Two boat captains were coordinating their movements on the Intracoastal Waterway, one was of a towboat with six loaded barges in tow and the other was a tugboat by itself. They were also communicating with other vessels in the area.

Ezra had now finished breakfast and placed his dishes in the sink, but wanted to continue listening in. However, knew he had to do his laundry for the week.

So, he reached into his EDC backpack and pulled out his portable scanner, then set it to monitor the VHF Marine Band. he placed it in his right front pocket

He then took $3.25 worth of quarter-dollar coins from his safe and placed them in his back pocket.

Afterward, Ezra retrieved his laundry basket and bottle of detergent along with his smartphone and everything else, then walked down to the laundromat.

He unlocked the door, then found a washing machine that wasn’t in use, so he loaded it with his clothing and detergent, then placed the $1.75 worth of quarters in and started it.

While his load of clothes was washing, Ezra sat on a bench and listened to marine traffic on his portable scanner.

He heard a bridge tender notifying all mariners of the lunch rush hour curfew in effect.

Ezra listened to other marine channels where he heard some fishing boat captains speaking in Vietnamese.

He also heard dockyard mechanics coordinating with the servicing of boat engines.

Finally, his clothes were washed, so he switched them to a dryer that wasn’t in use and put the remaining $1.50 worth of quarters into the coin slot, and started it.

He continued listening to his scanner when Sadie called.

“Hey baby,” He answered.

“Hey you,” She replied.

“What’s going on?”

“My cousin and her boyfriend are here and I have you on speakerphone.”

“Well, hi everyone!” Ezra said.

“Hi,” Alyssa said.

“What up?” Nicky Joe added in.

“Oh, I’m down in the laundromat watching my clothes dry.”

“What are your intentions with my cousin?” Alyssa asked.

“Well, let me first say that I think she is the most beautiful young lady, I have ever seen and that I have a tremendous amount of reverence for her. I will also admit that I am indeed falling for her, but my intentions are to treat her like a queen, to shower her with affection, to be there for her in any way I can, and hopefully one day to marry her!”

“I see. You know she weighs over four hundred pounds, right?”

“Yes. I know. And I adore every pound curve and inch of her! You see, the thing is I like super-sized ladies. A skinny female would not make me happy, but someone Sadie’s size would make me happier than ever.”

“You’re sick!” Alyssa interjected.

“Don’t listen to her, Ezra, you’re very sweet! She’s just jealous,” Sadie added in.

“Thank you, baby!” Ezra answered.

“Oh, yeah, like I am jealous. Dream on!” Alyssa said.

There was an awkward silence, then Ezra’s scanner began picking up two fishing boats communicating.

“Who’s that in the background?” Alyssa asked.

“I’m listening to boat traffic on my scanner.”

“Why would you want to do that?” Alyssa asked.

“Because he likes boats. He takes some cool pictures of them too!” Sadie said.

“Yes. And it keeps me out of trouble.”

“Can you hear the cops on that scanner?” Nicky Joe asked.

“No, I can’t. It’s an older model and I don’t listen to the cops anyway.”

“Mine can hear the cops but I got to keep it on the DL.” Nicky Joe added in.

“Listening to the cops is depressing to me because it’s always hearing about all the bad stuff going on. I’d much rather listen to boat traffic, nothing wrong with that,” Ezra said.

“Hey, dawg, whatever, to each his own,” Nicky Joe replied, then asked, “What kind of ride you got?”

“A 1985 Jeep Comanche which I am very proud of! I restored it myself.” Ezra answered.

“I customized my ride, I have a 1999 GMC Yukon with twenty-six-inch rims and a dope sound system!” Nicky Joe said.

“Mine is all pretty standard, but it’s still fun to drive,” Ezra humbly stated.

“You pack any heat?” Nicky Joe asked.

“No, my psychiatrist won’t clear me for a concealed carry permit,” Ezra answered sheepishly.

“I gotcha. I can’t get a concealed carry permit either, because of my record, but I still pack heat. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what I can or can’t carry.” Nicky Joe brazenly said.

“I have found other legal ways to defend myself though,” Ezra answered.

“Like what, dawg?” Nicky Joe asked with curiosity.

“Oh that’s top-secret,” Ezra answered with confidence.

“He sounds dangerous,” Alyssa added in.

“He’s not. He’s really sweet and in a lot of ways reminds me of my Daddy,” Sadie added in.

“I think he’s a loser, what do you think, bae?” Alyssa said.

“He seems lame, but maybe he’s good for Sadie, there’s someone for everyone,” Nicky Joe added in.

“We don’t have to take this, I’m going to my room, both of you can leave now,” Sadie said with anger and frustration.

Sadie left the living room then slammed her bedroom door and locked it.

“Ezra, I’m sorry they said those things about you and I hope you still want me,” Sadie told him.

“Of course I still want you. I just hope the rest of your family is more accepting,”

“They will be, I’m almost sure of it, especially once they see how sweet you are and how you make me happy.”

“Do I make you happy though?”

“Oh, yes. Like more than ever!”

“Could it be, then, that they are jealous of us? I mean you said how Alyssa was always in competition with you and maybe she sees that I make you happy, so maybe she wants to sabotage our relationship.”

“I think you’re right, baby.”

“And Nicky Joe and I don’t have anything in common, but I wouldn’t call him lame as he did to me.”

“I know. I’m sorry he said that. I think you’re wonderful, though, so forget him.”

“His opinion of me doesn’t carry any weight as far as I’m concerned, but your opinion of me carries the weight of the universe.”

“Well, then the whole universe is in your favor because I couldn’t ask for a better man than you!”

“I’m falling even more for you, Sadie Claire Macbride!”

“And I am falling just as much for you, Ezra Lee Toussaint!”

“Don’t ever worry about Alyssa or Nicky Joe again, because it’s like you pointed out, they are jealous and they want to sabotage our relationship. Deep down Alyssa thinks that because I’m so fat, I don’t deserve happiness and she sees that I am happier than her, despite most men choosing her body over mine and it fills her with envy.”

“Well, I want you by my side forever!”

“And I will be!” Sadie paused, then continued, “Hey, would you mind me reading some of the stories from the blogger that I subscribe to? His work always gave me hope that I would find someone and now I have, because of you.”

“Sure. I’ll switch my scanner off and you can entertain me while my clothes dry.”

“Awesome, these stories have really helped me.”

Alyssa began to read the stories out loud to Ezra.

He hung on to her every word, falling even more for her.

He continued listening, then finally said when she came to a stopping point, “It’s as if he knows both of us because I can relate to many of his characters.”

“So can I!” Sadie said with vindication.

“I only wish I could write like him, though.”

“It’s okay. Maybe when we have children, and they are having a tough time we can read his blog to them as well.”

“You actually see that much of a future with me?!”

“Yes, most definitely! And so much more too!” Sadie paused and, then continued, “I hope that’s okay with you.”

“It’s wonderful. I am the happiest man on the planet. Do you know why?”

“Why?”

“Well, there’s this beautiful young lady from Alabama that I am absolutely crazy about. She has long reddish blonde hair. She stands about five feet. She has a very sexy body that I want to kiss every inch of! She is so sweet too! And she is mine all mine! Who is this beautiful young lady?”

“ME!” Sadie replied with joy.

“And don’t ever forget it!”

“I won’t!”

The dryer then buzzed indicating that Ezra’s clothes were dry.

“What was that loud sound?” Sadie asked.

“The dryer telling me that my clothes are done. I need to bring them back up to my apartment, then I need to also check my blood sugar.”

“You will call me later, though, right?”

“Of course, what time would you like me to call?”

“Well call me at eight o’clock tonight and every night after that, but you can also call me in the morning, whenever you wake up if you want. I have to eat lunch anyway, because I’m really hungry.”

“Well then you, please eat! I will do everything I need to do, then I will call you at eight o’clock tonight.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

“Until then, just know that I want you by my side forever!”

“And you just know that I will be!”

“Okay, bye baby.”

“Bye.”

Back to “An Online Romance”

Island Drama (Sequel to “Scanner Drama”)

I initially wrote this around July 4-5, 2005, and have subsequently edited it every now and then. If the material seems dated that is because it does indeed take place in July of 2005 on the fictitious but sovereign Archangel Island located somewhere in the Tropical Pacific.  This island state has been fighting off pirates and insurgents since its inception in the mid to late 1990s. Now the war monger president George Walker Bush has declared war on the young nation of Archangel Island because it harbors defectors and political dissidents seeking asylum there. Grant West and Adrianna Parker are two of those defectors and have begun a new life for themselves with Grant helping provide security for cargo freighters and Adrianna working in a government nursery.  Their life will now be severely disrupted because of this illegal and unjust war.

In order to better understand this story, please: Read the Prequel

Without further ado, here is the story:

…Archangel Island…

…July 2005…

T’was a hot summer evening on Archangel Island. A red sunset was shining over the ocean. Grant West and Adrianna Parker were lying on the warm sands together when a middle-aged man approached them.

He spoke, “Get some good rest tonight, West. Tomorrow; we are going out to sea,” He paused then continued ¨You see that sun, `Red sky at night sailor’s delight, red sky in the morning sailor’s warning.'”

Grant answered “Yes sir I’ll be ready. I just need to spend some time with my special girl. AS for that rhyme, where I come from we say `When egrets take flight, foul weather in sight’.”

The man answered, “Ah I understand. I remember when I was YOUNG like you two. I’ll go now.” He paused, then continued “But; I want you to be at the docks 0600 hours sharp tomorrow morning. Bring your weapons and gear and be sure to set your watch.” He then left.

Adrianna leaned against Grant and said, “How many DAYS will you be gone?”

“I don’t know, it depends on how much arms we will be loading and how many ports we dock at. I will be thinking of you and missing you. You can go up to the LIGHThouse and look for us. I will carry my radio on me, and I will buy you a radio so we can keep in touch.”

“That radio wouldn’t replace you, Grant, no one or thing in THE WORLD could do that.”

Grant looked at her with exceeding PASSIONS and said, “Well Adrianna you are so sweet and hot and loving and BEAUTIFUL and the list goes on and on. When I will hear your voice while I’m out on the water, I will close my eyes and imagine you are there. The crew might have to adjust the controls of that boat until it TURNS around because I’ve gone crazy. Crazy for you, that is.”

Adrianna said with concern, “Oh, Grant, don’t do that, you would get fired.”

“Maybe, but when I get back our bed will be rocking more than that boat ever has, even in the worst of storms.”

“Well just don’t do it in front of ALL those CHILDREN I’ll be looking after.”

Grant looked up at the sky put his arm around Adrianna and said, “We have made ONE good LIFE for ourselves here. To think I was a wanted criminal. Now I protect men and cargo from pirates and insurgents while you work at a nursery.”

The mosquitoes were starting so they decided to head into their dwelling. After locking the door, Grant and Adrianna went into their bed and cuddled. All the lights were turned off and the only way they could see the full moon reflected upon the ocean and into their window. Grant ran his fingers through Adrianna’s hair. She smiled at him and kissed him, then petted him on his face. A cool breeze was blowing in from off the ocean and into their screened window. They were both shivering and held each other close together. Grant unbuttoned Adrianna’s shirt, and then pulled it off. He started rubbing her smooth, pale, creamy skin gently. From the feeling of Grant’s masculine hands on her skin and the cool breeze blowing in, her nipples became erect. Grant kissed Adrianna on her chest and neck. Adrianna giggled teasingly at Grant as she unbuttoned his pants and shirt. Grant put his hands up her skirt and untied it. Her skirt fell to the floor. He rubbed her bottom gently AS he started pulling down her panties. Adrianna threw them on top of Grant’s head as she laughed. She then pulled down Grant’s boxers. They admired each others’ bodies for just a moment, then climbed and covered between the sheets. They rolled around in the sheets hugging and kissing each other passionately, as they made love. Both were moaning and sighing with pleasure as they were overcome by each other. After climaxing several times, they slept between the cool sheets. Grant lay intimately close up against Adrianna with her arms and legs around him. Morning came quickly. The pink light was barely making it through the dense fog. Grant stood up from the bed. He walked to the bathroom and started to dress as Adrianna quietly lay in bed asleep. He finished dressing and walked out of the dwelling. On his way out he gently kissed Adrianna on her forehead. He headed to the supply store and walked in.

The owner of the store greeted him and asked, “How can I help you?” The man had several scars on his face and missing teeth.
Grant answered him pulling out his radio “I work on a boat and I am going out to sea today. I want to keep in contact with my girl. Would you carry any radio that is compatible with this one?”

The man examined Grant’s radio and said, “Certainly do. You see these devices talk through our satellite. As long as you both are in the range of it you can talk to each other. Several businesses on the island got together and launched it so they could have a practical way of keeping in touch. We also use the satellite for defense operations.” The owner went to the back of the store and came back with a package. Grant went to pay for the radio when the shop owner pointed down at a combat knife under the glass counter. He said, “If you are going out to sea you will also want to buy one of these.”

He handed the knife to Grant, who looked at it then said “It is a nice knife, I think it will do well with the rest of my gear.¨

The owner replied ¨I’ve heard about you, taking out four thugs with almost just your wits. You remind me of me when I was much younger. I think you will make a decent asset to guarding our logistics. I used to do the very thing, but now I work with arms dealers, and I supply the island with tactical gear.¨ Grant simply nodded then paid for both items and walked out of the store.

The middle-aged man from the previous evening followed Grant out of the shop and approached him “Hello my name is Blaze. I could not help but overhear your conversation.”

Grant shook his hand once again.

“The captain has told me about you. Stick with me and you will be fine.”

“Well let me go tell my girlfriend goodbye and then I will be reporting for work. I’ll meet you at the port.”

Grant walked back to his dwelling. He unlocked and opened the door and met Adrianna. She was still in her nightclothes.

He hugged her and kissed her immediately, then said, “Here you go Adrianna this is the radio I told you about. We can keep in touch now. Grant handed it to her and she set it down on the nightstand.

“It is a somewhat reassurance, but not a replacement of you Grant. I don’t know if I could stand being alone without you.”

“I know it will be lonely, but at least we can hear each other’s voice no matter where we are. I know I would go insane if I couldn’t hear you talk to me.”

Grant packed several pairs of tee shirts, pants, socks, boots, razors with lather and aftershave, his long tactical flashlight with its belt holster, his new combat knife in its scabbard, and his communications radio.

“Grant you sure are BOLD you know that. You’re risking your life going out on that dangerous water. Since you got me that radio, I want you to talk to me every chance you get. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll grow RESTLESS.”

Grant looked at Adrianna soberly and gently said “I must go now, I don’t know when I’ll be back.”

Adrianna threw her arms around Grant. Grant kissed her passionately and held her for just a moment longer. They both opened their eyes and then backed from each other.

Adrianna said, “Be safe Grant. I love you so much!”

He kissed her once more and replied, “I love you too,” then left their dwelling.

He walked out to the dock where all the others were starting to arrive. He attached his radio, flashlight, and knife to his belt.

Blaze saw Grant and said, “Come here man, it’s time to report to work.”

The captain was standing amid all of them. He spoke, “Good morning everyone. I am a man of few words. We shall be leaving shortly and will be stationed on a patrol boat to escort a cargo freighter on the high seas. We will anchor on the high seas as the freighter goes into foreign ports to pick up the goods we are purchasing. We will continue to escort the cargo freighter once it returns to our position on the high seas. Make sure each of you has a knife, and be sure you know how to use it. I hope that we will have no casualties on this trip, but I can’t promise anything. Your duties are to protect your fellow crew members and all the cargo we are carrying at all costs. Remember, all of you are permitted to use lethal force, if necessary. That is all. God bless.”

Grant secured his belongings and boarded the boat along with the other men. The engine was started and not long after a course was plotted and they headed out to sea. The ride was mostly smooth AS the boat was cruising all of them were sitting out on the deck, keeping a watch for attackers. Grant kept to himself. He was listening to his radio, in case Adrianna would call. After not hearing her for a while, he realized that she was at work taking care of children.

Blaze sat near Grant and offered him a cigarette.

Grant shook his head, then replied, “Smoking causes erectile dysfunction and I want to be a lover to Adrianna as long as possible.”

“I fully understand. Best you don’t get addicted anyway.”

“I do have a question, though.”

“Ask away.”

“Tell me, Blaze. Why do all these foreigners attack us?”

“They are jealous of us. Our sovereignty is undeniable proof of their incompetence and failures and that makes us detestable in their sight. These foreigners do not have access to much money so their boats are not heavily armed. They sure know how to fight hand to hand though. You see that radio, never tell your location on there. Those foreigners monitor our satellite communications. They come out of nowhere on small boats and try to steal our cargo. They come onto our boats and attack. Thankfully we know how to fight back. Remember Grant it is legal to do anything to those attackers once they climb aboard. I execute them and use the fleshly remains of their bodies for crab bait.”

Grant then showed his long tactical flashlight to Blaze and said, “I once smashed a bully’s windpipe with this. It could effectively stop someone with a knife or better yet hand to hand, due to the blunt force it provides.”

“I heard about that when you defected from The States and applied for asylum here on Archangel Island. Very impressive.”

“Thank you, sir!”

“I was able to read the news reports about you from The States as well.”

“How’d you do that?”

“Our Defense Intelligence Service shared it with me when I was commanded to mentor you.”

“How did they portray me?”

“Most of them were thirsting for your blood but a very select few were singing your praises.”

“Somehow I am not surprised.”

“Try not to let it get to you. As long as we maintain our sovereignty, you will be safe.”

Grant nodded.

“Now, another hour and our shifts are over,” Blaze told Grant.

Grant kept a sharp eye on the lookout for attackers and the sun was beginning to set.

Blaze looked at his watch and said, “That’s it-the shift has ended. Get some food and rest.”

Blaze and Grant walked into the galley and were fed a meal of deep-fried cod fillets, thick fried potatoes, coleslaw, and a premium crafted cola to drink.”
After Grant had eaten and drank his fill he went to the top of the boat, pulled out his radio, and called Adrianna.

She was just getting into the big empty bed when she heard his voice, “Hello Adrianna, are you there?”

Adrianna replied “Yes I am here. Where are you right now?”

“I’m afraid I can’t say, we have enemies listening in on us as we speak.”

“You are okay though-right?”

“Yes, I am fine. I just got off of my shift. It was a good first day. How was yours.”

“Well, I think I am pretty good with THE CHILDREN. I had fun today and the pay is decent. I never thought I could make this much money doing this kind of work.”

“Yes, my love I think we will like it here.”

The letters AI1COMM in Morse code followed Grant’s transmission. A synthesized computer voice came in and said, “Please keep the satellite communication brief.”

Grant then said, “We cannot talk too long, our Rescue and Defense services use this satellite for their communications also.”

Adrianna replied, “Okay I don’t want us to get in trouble. We can talk later, baby.”

“I guess we could talk for a little while later, but I love you as much as ever.”

“I love you too, Grant.”

The call was then disconnected.

Grant walked down to the sleeping quarters of the boat and placed his radio in his pocket and went to sleep. He dreamed of Adrianna. Meanwhile, she put her radio in the charger and crawled in between the cool sheets of the empty bed, and went to sleep to dream of Grant.

The next morning Adrianna woke up to the crash of thunder and the splashing of rain. She got out of bed and went into the bathroom to get ready for work. She walked out all dressed up as the rain was still coming down hard. Adriana put her raincoat on, grabbed her radio, and walked out of the dwelling to her work. Hours passed. The rain had stopped and the sun started to shine. Adrianna took the children outside then tuned her radio to the satellite up-link frequency. She keyed it up and called for Grant.

Grant heard the call signal coming through as he was preparing to begin his shift for the day.

He answered, “Hello Adrianna, my baby.”

Adrianna replied “I miss you so much. I am constantly thinking about you.”

“Well, I would like to take you into my arms right now and make the purest, sweetest, most passionate love to you.”

“Grant watch your mouth. Those kids might be able to hear my radio.”

“They will understand when they are our age.”

A little girl was approaching Adrianna, so she told Grant, “I have to go right now Grant, there is a little girl that needs my help right now.”

“Okay, I will talk to you at the end of this shift. I love you, Adrianna.”

“I love you too, Grant.”

The call was disconnected.

Grant soon began his shift, keeping a watch for pirates.

Adrianna looked at the little girl and said, “Allie, what’s the matter?”

Allie replied, “Some mean boys are picking on Romey. They want to beat him up I think.”

“Thank you for telling me, now just stay right here,” Adrianna thought of how Grant was jumped when they were in the States. She had an idea that would prove to be successful.

She walked up to Romey and said, “Romey come with me.”

The other boys started to make noise as if they thought Romey was in trouble.

She then told him, “Now I have heard that those boys wanted to hurt you. Is that true?”

Romey looked down at the ground and said, “Yes it’s true. I just want them to leave me alone.”

Adrianna replied, “Well come play over here with Allie and me.”

Romey smiled and nodded. They walked back to where Allie was standing.

Adrianna said, “Could I talk to Allie in private for just a few seconds?”

Romey, replied, “Sure I guess.”

Adrianna told Romey, “Just stay where I can see you.”

Romey went a few feet away and closed his ears.

Adrianna told Allie, “I need you to be Romey’s friend AS he doesn’t have any. I would appreciate it if you would just go play with him. It would be good for him to have someone like you to play with and talk to.”

Allie smiled and said, “Sure, I would be happy to do that. Romey is a nice boy and he is so cute but those others are mean to him.”

Adrianna then called Romey over. He came up to her and she said, “Romey, you and Allie go play together. Don’t go too far from me.”

Allie said, “Come on Romey we can go swing together.”

They swung together for a few minutes, then Allie said, “Let’s go play with Miss Adrianna.”

Romey nodded in agreement. They walked up to her.

Allie asked, “Will you play with us?”

“Sure, Allie, what do you want to play?”

“Let’s play with your radio,” Allie said with excitement.

Adrianna replied, “That’s not a toy.”

Allie made a face of disappointment.

Romey then asked, “What do you use it for?”

Adrianna replied, “I use it to talk to my boyfriend, while he is out at sea.”

Romey replied, “That’s so cool. Allie we could play those phones in the toy box.”

Allie replied, “Yeah Romey, we can pretend that I am Miss Adrianna, and you are her boyfriend out at sea.” Adrianna giggled and said, “OK you two, just stay where I can see you.”

‎ The Defense Intelligence Services alerted the officials, who forwarded the critical information to the population that Archangel Island might soon be under attack.

The sirens started blaring and Adrianna ran up to Romey and Allie, then grabbed both of their hands. She ran with them down to the bunker. Adrianna and the other workers escorted the rest of the children down. When all were in Adrianna found Romey and Allie.

Allie asked, “What is going on?”

Adrianna replied “President Bush is preparing the American forces to attack our island and our fleets. I need both of you to cooperate and do what we tell you. Both of you stick together in case something should happen to me.”

Romey blurted out, “That durn Bush!”

Allie oblivious to the situation giggled a little.

So did Adrianna but she then said soberly, “I’m an American defector and so is my boyfriend and we don’t like him either, Romey.”

Allie replied as she started crying, “I don’t want them to take you away.”

Romey said, “I’ll fight them if they try to take you or your boyfriend away.”

Adrianna hugged them both and said, “They might have to take me away. Romey, promise me that you will not try to attack the Americans, because they will beat you and lock you up.”

All three had tears in their eyes.

Grant came through over the radio, “Adrianna, is everything all right over there?”

Adrianna replied, “I am all right as are the children, we are just shaken up.”

Grant replied, “We are coming home, so the Americans don’t attack any of our ships. I’m told that several arms dealers will arm us and drop the supplies via air. Some mercenary pilots have decided to guard our airspace, but I will soon be reassigned.”

Adrianna said, “Grant please be safe. I love you so much.”

Grant answered, “I love you too Adrianna.”

A transmission from the communications headquarters came through. It was the voice of a woman, which said, “Keep the satellite communications clear except for necessary traffic.”

Time passed by slowly. There was total silence in the bunker, but the air was filled with anxiety. Thirty-six hours later the fleet of boats docked. Grant got off and ran to the daycare center. He knocked on the door and was greeted by a guard from the Archangel Island Government.

He asked Grant, “What is your purpose here?” Grant replied, “My girlfriend, Adrianna Parker, works here and I need to see her.”
The guard replied, “Follow me.”

Grant entered the bunker. He looked around the room until his eyes landed on Adrianna. He ran up to her and they kissed.

The guard said “You two can both go home, for right now. Grant be prepared to fight soon. Adrianna, don’t go too far. We might need you to help the children.”

Grant and Adrianna walked to their dwelling. They settled in when the telephone rang. It was Blaze, he said “Report back to the government headquarters building in the morning. Bring your knife and radio. Also; you must buy a pistol and an assault rifle. We will be organized into security platoons to guard the island. I have been named the leader of our platoon. The good news is, you get to go home every day. The bad news is, we will probably be invaded. Get everything in order now.”

Grant broke the news he just heard to Adrianna.

Adrianna started sobbing as she threw her arms around him. There was a silence as they both climbed into bed. They held each other somberly and then started to make love with great emotion. After experiencing passionate intimacy once again, they snuggled together and were soon asleep.

Morning came all too quickly and bitterly.

Adrianna told Grant, “I can’t lose you.”

“I will do my best AS I have no other choice.”

Both were crying at this point.

Grant looked at Adrianna deeply, knowing he might never see her again if an invasion indeed occurred and he was killed in action.

He kissed her passionately and hugged her with a tight grip. They held each other closely.

There was then a knock at the door.

They both answered it and were greeted by Blaze

“Grant it’s time to go,” He said.

Grant nodded with a somber look.

“I love you so much, Adrianna!”

“I love you too, Grant!” They hugged and kissed one final time.

Then Grant walked out of the door. Adrianna watched them walk until they disappeared into the fog…

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