Book Review: The Money Run

dollar water BOOKDid you know that during the Viet Nam War the military would pay out its payroll in cash? And that the cash was flown around on a single helicopter? Yes, over 20 million dollars in small bills was being hauled around on one flight. The military personnel called it The Money Run.

The story takes place in 1971. Marine Corps helicopter pilot Jack Higgins has been subjected to something called selective scheduling. The person scheduling the flights made certain that Jack and his buddies had the most dangerous missions. Jack knows this and after four of his brothers in arms have been victims of this scheduling, he comes up with a plan to avenge his fallen friends.

This book has it all. Action, drama, humor, and even a love story.

You know how Hollywood seems to have run out of ideas?  Well, Hollywood needs to get a copy of The Money Run and make it into a movie. I like to say that this is similar to Ocean’s Eleven, but set during the Viet Nam War.

The book was written by P. R. Steele. He served during the Viet Nam war and the story is based on his experiences flying CH 53 helicopters. And no, he didn’t steal the money.  Why does everyone think that? Would he have written a book about it if he did…or would he?

Since Hollywood will take it’s time in making this into a movie, you can buy the book right now.  It’s for sale on Amazon and would be a great Christmas gift. Want a sample? You can download a PDF here.

If you’d like to see the characters then and now, head over to The Money Run website and read the blog. The stories behind the story are just as interesting as the novel itself.

Full disclosure: I helped the author edit this book and I am helping him manage his blog. However, anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn’t promote anything that I didn’t really like or use.

Halloween as a big kid

Halloween-For-Big-KidsWhat age did you stop trick-or-treating? Honestly, I never wanted to stop. Well, I stopped when I was able to buy as much candy as I wanted to eat, but when I was a kid it was a different story.

I don’t remember every single Halloween during my childhood. I do remember being in high school and I was probably 15 or 16 years old when my friends and I took someone’s little brother and/or sister trick or treating basically as a front so we could get some candy.  At least, that’s what I was thinking at the time. I wasn’t being a good kid by doing something nice for someone. I wanted a legitimate reason to gather candy from strangers while wearing a costume and not look like a weirdo.

Fine. I did that a couple of times, You can see the photo above. I’m in the middle. I’m probably 14 or 15. My sister is two years younger than me so she’s still in allowable trick-or-treating age. My cousin (she’s my age) and I dressed up like cats. We probably just bought the ears down at Long’s (before it was CVS) a day or two before and found black clothing to complete the outfit.

It’s tough to be a teenager, especially if you’re 14 or 15. You’re too old for kids stuff, but too young for adult stuff. You feel like a kid, but look like an adult, sort of. What are you supposed to do? It’s Halloween! You want to trick-or-treat, but adults look at you like you’re bringing them the plague or might kick in the Jack O’Lantern on their porch.

Have a party? Yeah, no. Aside from the fact that I don’t really like parties, my mom didn’t need that hassle. Plus, and most importantly, Halloween is my sister’s birthday, so if anyone was going to have a party, it would be her and rightly so.

This is why I’m OK with teenagers trick-or-treating. If they have some sort of a costume on, I’ll give them candy.  They’re just kids caught in a weird time of life. Plus, it’s just candy.

Happy Information Overload Day?

Information-Overload-DayAs I was looking for new and interesting things to share on the Twitter, I was looking at the random holidays on this website and found Information Overload Day. It’s October 21st this year. and was created by the Information Overload Research Group whose mission is stated thusly, “IORG brings together research, solutions, and people to help reduce the impact of information overload.”

Anyone seeing the inherent irony yet? How about the webinar about information overload? Granted, for me there really can be no such thing as information overload. I can’t stop learning about new crap. It’s just who I am…more input!

Of course, it’s more about information flow. Too much information at once will blow out anyone’s circuitry. You have to control the flow.

OK, there are some things that I’d be better off not knowing like how it’s statistically more likely that you’ll die or get hurt in a car crash than a plane crash. Or how many germs are crawling all over us right now, ignorance is definitely bliss. I think they’ve researched it and it’s true. The less you know, the happier you are which is why we have booze and drugs. At least, that’s what I think. All I know is that I need to go wash my hands…

Back to my original point, I know multi-tasking is bad, but it keeps me from getting bored. How many of us watch TV and do something on the internet at the same time? Do you know I rarely just watch TV. There’s always a computer or some smart device within arm’s length. The other day, I just sat and watch the movie Monuments Men and it was lovely. OK, I admit to looking up one or two historical facts about which I had questions, but for the most part, I just sat there and watched.

I think that’s why I like going to the movies. I’m forced to just sit there and watch. Taking out my iPhone would be rude, so I just soak up the movie. Of course, I have the thing out before the show, but once the lights go down and the previews start, it goes away.

Maybe that’s how I should cut down on the information flow. Just sit and watch TV every night without a smart phone or tablet in my hand. It might be relaxing. Imagine that!



Families, what needs to change in Corporate America?

Corporate-AmericaThere are always tons of articles on women having it all, not having it all, working, having a family, being a CEO, leaning in… Honestly, whatever you want to do is fine with me. Be happy. We need more happiness in the world.

What I noticed though is that women aren’t the only ones who struggle with “having it all”. And no one in our society really talks about it.

The other day Paul and I were watching The Captains Close Up. It’s this random show on BBC America produced by, starring, and directed by William Shatner. It’s about every captain of the Star Trek universe. While they were talking to each of the captains, Shatner mentioned how grueling the shooting schedule is for whatever show they were on whether it was as Captain of the Enterprise or some other network show.

Here’s what struck me: Scott Bakula was talking about how long his days would be while shooting Quantum Leap. It would keep him away from his family. He missed out on time with them. It was so bad, his marriage ended. Shatner agreed that the same thing happened to him while shooting his TV shows. That’s when I realized… Continue reading

Halloween Decoration Ideas: 5 Easy & Inexpensive Tips

Halloween Decoration IdeasI confess. I started decorating for Halloween in mid-September. The bad news is that I can’t find some of my decorations. They are somewhere in our dark and somewhat cavernous storage unit. It’s not that big, but it’s full.

I looked at Target, where I love to buy Halloween decor, but it looked picked over and nothing really caught my eye. I don’t want to spend a ton of money, but I do want it to feel more festive. Plus, I don’t want to replace the stuff that is “lost” because I’m just too lazy to dig it out. Continue reading

LEGO minifigure bump codes: Series 12 edition

LEGO Minifigure bump codes series 12It’s that time again! Lego minifigures are out and I have the bump codes you are looking for…

Honestly, the bump codes don’t seem to work as well as the feeling method. Below I will show you the LEGO® Minifigures, Series 12 bump codes, but I’ll also give you some tips on how to use the feeling method. You should know that you will need a TON of patience if you use the feeling method.

You can see the LEGO minifigure bump codes for both the Prospector and the Lifeguard. What you need to keep in mind if you use the feeling the bag method is this: You’ll be able to tell it’s the Prospector by his hat and pickaxe. The Lifeguard has binoculars and that thing that Hasselhoff ran around with on Bay Watch.

Lego-Minifigures-Bump-Codes-Series-12-1Above we have the Dino Tracker and the Wizard codes. In the Dino Tracker bag, you need to find her bow & arrow as well as her syringe.

The Wizard can be confused with the Princess. Both have a pointy hat. The key difference is that the Wizard has a staff.  Check for that with the pointy hat.

Lego-Minifigures-Bump-Codes-Series-12-2You can see the bump codes for the Princess and the Rock Star. If feeling the bag, in the Princess, look for the frog.

Feeling for the Rock Star you need to find his guitar. You should be able to feel the pointy neck.

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The Goth Girl’s bump codes are easy to see, but if you are feeling the bag and want to find the Goth Girl, be sure to look for her teddy bear.

The Battle Goddess has a smooth shield and spear. You should be able to easily feel those in her bag.

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The Space Miner’s bump codes are fairly clear. What’s really easy to feel and see in his bag is his armor. It makes the bag bulky. Be sure to check for his space drill too.

The Hun’s bump codes confused me a bit. I wasn’t sure about the little tiny dots in the right hand corner. It’s better to feel the bag and find his shield. It has a lump in the middle of it which makes it easy to differentiate from the Battle Goddess.

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For some reason, when we were at the Mall of America’ LEGO store, they had a plethora of Pizza Delivery Guys. You can find him by feeling his hat, pizza and pizza box.

The Video Game Guy doesn’t really come with much except his giant Nintendo-like controller. His headphone are glued to his hair…or possibly just part of his hair.

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For the Swashbuckler, his bump codes are fairly easy to make out. When looking for the Swashbuckler, or as I like to call him D’Artagnan, by feeling the mystery bag, you need to look for his hat and his sword.

The Genie Gal was the most difficult to find by using the feeling method. There are a couple of minifigures with ponytails, so I thought we found her a few times, but I could never find her swoosh. You will be able to feel the swoosh she has instead of legs. If you pick up a mystery bag and it has legs in it, it’s not the Genie Gal. For some reason I kept calling her a mermaid, but she’s clearly a genie…she has a magic lamp!

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The Court Jester was one of the first minifigures we found. He has that hat and the tow cards that are easy to feel inside the mystery bag.

For last I save my favorite, Pig Man. “They government is going to build an army of Pig Men, Jerry!” I couldn’t help but hear Cosmo Kramer’s voice in my head as we were looking for the Pig Man. His bump codes are pretty clear. When feeling the mystery bag, look for the apple. I tried to find the pig head, but finding the apple was easier. It has a long stem.

 

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

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When it comes to Halloween costume ideas, I’m not the most creative. Sometimes I just need a little bit of Halloween to get into the spirit. These t-shirt costumes do just that for me and they have capes!

No capes!

They even have The Incredibles t-shirt costumes without capes, of course.

Personally, I think a little Halloween spirit is better than none at all. Get a cool t-shirt and an accessory or two and there you go! It might even be subtle enough to wear to the office. Don’t quote me on that and then come back here complaining that you go fired.

I know what you're thinking. But will it fit me? The HalloweenCostumes.com website has a Fit Finder for most of its costumes. Honestly, that's one of my biggest impediments to buying clothes online. You can't try them on before you buy, so you don't know if they will fit.

The Fit Finder is easy to use. You choose your gender then put in your measurements. You don't have to grab a friend and break out the measuring tape either. These are numbers you will know. If you don’t know them, you are probably lying to yourself or drunk.

Don’t buy things on the Internet if you are drunk, please. How do you think I ended up with half of the music on my iPhone? Yikes. OK, I'm kidding, but still, don't buy drunk.

I may be going to a Halloween party this year and I honestly have no idea what costume I want to wear.

So, what are your Halloween costume ideas? It's almost October! Time to start thinking about it.