Joe Biden, the gift that keeps on giving

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/03/19/biden-in-500-years-there-was-never-so-audacious-a-military-op-as-osama-nab/ 

Speaking about Obama’s decision to send the SEALs to get Osama: “You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan,”

Yes… That was certainly the most audacious military move in five hundred years, if not EVAR!

Like many history buffs, I am a little confused by this statement. So I sat down with Vice President Joe “Joe” Biden to ask his opinions on matters of military history.

***

LC – You said that Barack Obama made the most audacious military move in five hundred years. What about D Day? You’d think the biggest, craziest, most secret invasion ever would be audacious.

JB -Nope. Bunch of chumps sunning themselves on a beach.

LC – Manhattan Project war ending super weapon?

JB -Nerds and their slide rules.

LC – What about the turning point of Midway, or the Japanese surprise attack that destroyed our Pacific fleet?

JB -Barack Obama plays with cooler boats in the bath tub!

LC – Ok, Joe. What about during the Korean War when a handful of frostbitten Marines fought off a million Chinese?

JB -Barack Obama’s played golf games that were tougher.

LC – Lost Brigade?

JB -Barack Obama never gets lost! The Secret Service has GPS. 

LC – Seriously? What about facing certain death and answering Nuts?

JB – I don’t even know what that means, but Barack Obama loves him some cashews! 

LC – Maybe I’m not thinking big enough. That’s only this century. You said five centuries. What about the Alamo?

JB – I don’t drink imported beer.

LC – George Washington versus the best army in the world?

JB -Who?

LC – You know. Founding Father. War of Independance… The Constitution?

JB – I’m not familiar with this “constitution” thingy, but whoever he was he was a punk ass bitch compared to Barack Obama! 

LC - You know, five hundred years is really a long time, and there were some fairly audacious military folks making some fairly audacious decisions during that. Napoleon, Robert E. Lee, Lord Nelson,  Shaka Zulu, Geronimo… Hell, Hernando Cortez and Oda Nobunaga squeek into that timeframe… These aren’t ringing any bells are they?  

JB- Sorry, I was getting another beer from that convenience store down on the corner. It’s owned by an Indian. Not that kind of Indian. The other kind. Like all the taxi drivers. With the dot on their forehead. Not the kind with feathers.

LC – I swear, you’re like a circus clown trapped in a vice president’s body. You’re like assassination insurance. May God have mercy on us all.

***

Well there you go, folks. Everything, in history, ever, for all time, pales next to finding out that the most wanted man in the world is in a house in Pakistan and sending a group of Navy SEALs to kill his ass, even after you blithered on about it, almost didn’t do it because you were afraid of hurting feelings, and got manipulated into it by Leon Panetta and Hillary Clinton.  

Joe’s latest brings back memories of such classics as this one:  http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/joe-biden-and-bud-light-presents-teh-bestest-president-evar/ It almost makes you wish for the good old days, like when the media destroyed a vice president for spelling potato wrong. Oh wait, that was a republican. Never mind.

Behind the scenes look at the French Hard Magic cover

http://vincentchongart.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/hard-magic-french-edition/

The Burning Throne, Episode 19: Honor & Tears

Continued from: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/the-burning-throne-episode-18-child-of-a-thousand-generations/ 

This week’s episode from Writer Nerd Game Night comes from Steve Diamond. We are all absolute suckers for backstory, and after I gave epic backstory to random door guard #2, Steve decided to up it a notch. Akimi was the gunso (sergeant equivelent) of the Mountain Spirits. After Makoto and Magatsu killed her boss and revealed that he’d been tainted by the forces of evil, she joined the Paper Lanterns.

#

Honor and Tears

How do I show strength when my life has been broken?

The ronin Akimi knelt in the middle of her tent, silent tears flowing down her cheeks.  Is this what her life was reduced to?  Weeping where only the kami and the fortunes could witness?

This was her pattern every night.  She would enter her tent after erecting it, and then lower herself to her knees.  The tears would start within moments.  The ground absorbed the salty drops hungrily.  Each tear she wept was a piece of herself that she shed. 

Will I run dry?  If I cry long enough will I disappear?

Nobu.  Her last image of the man haunted her dreams when she could coax her body into sleeping.  She could still see the Kuni’s spell of jade dancing along her leader’s body, revealing his taint and corruption.  It was like she had stared into the sun for too long, and could still see it even when she looked away.  It was a betrayal to all the Mountain Spirits, but to her it was yet more personal. 

How long had she followed Nobu?  Months?  Years?  The actual time no longer mattered.  She could no longer remember fondly the quiet times they had shared together.  Their warm embraces when they managed to meet deep in the mountains or woods.  The warmth of those feelings and memories were gone, replaced by an aching hurt that refused to be taken from her no matter how hard she tried to cry it away.

In truth she had no one to blame but herself.  Like a young and stupid lady of the court, she had let herself be fooled into thinking that change recently come upon Nobu was a normal occurrence.  Surely he was blessed?

No, the only sure thing was my foolishness.

What had possessed him to take that wakizashi?  To the other warriors he had become the embodiment of their exaggerated love for their leader.  To Akimi he had suddenly stopped being the man she loved.  Their conversations died, as did their love, but she told herself it was because of the stress he felt trying to care for the scattered groups of refugees.  But then came the robbing of traveling groups.  The all consuming hatred for all the Dragon Clan.  Nobu’s hate-filled words were like a seductive plague, and soon everyone—even herself, Akimi knew—were under their influence.

Then came those blessed and accursed Paper Lanterns.

She rummaged through her traveling pack, careful not to damage the vials of liquid imbued with spells and pulled out a mirror.  She looked into it and tried to keep from weeping harder.  How old she now looked.  All her affection and time with Nobu wasted.  Her Tamori ancestors—if they even still looked down on her at all—would likely spit on her for going against their ways for the affection of a now traitorous ronin.

Akimi’s face was weathered, her eyes dull and red from night upon night of tears.  Her long black hair was mangled from lack of care.

There was a scratch at the entrance to her tent and the clearing of a throat.  “Akimi.  May we speak?”

Ide Todo.  She wanted to thank him and kill him all at once.  As the leader of the Paper Lanterns he was ultimately responsible for the death of Nobu, but he was also responsible for revealing the truth.  He was proof that the Empire had not turned its back on the refugees here in Dragon lands.

She dried her eyes as best she could, rose from her kneeling position, then exited the tent.  It would not have been proper to invite him in.

“How may I be of service?” she asked bowing.

“Ah, now that really is the question isn’t it.” He had a sad smile on his face.  He was a physically weak looking man, unimpressive in stature.  But in that battle he had controlled all his men with just his voice.  He had commanded not with force, but through the respect he had gained.  In another life he may have been a warrior of a different kind, but in this one he made due with his strengths.

“What do you mean?”

“I know why you hide yourself away at night.  I can see still the redness of your eyes.  The wetness on your cheeks.”

“I cannot stop the tears,” she said quietly.  “Why can’t I stop the tears?”

He shook his head slowly.  “Because you don’t want them to stop.”

“That is absurd!”

“Is it?  Look me in the eyes and tell me you feel no guilt for having succumbed to the lies Nobu fed to you and the others.  If you can, I will walk away.”

She couldn’t.  Ide Todo knew she couldn’t.  It was like he could read her feelings like they were written on parchment.

“I will not tell you to cease grieving over what you lost,” Todo said.  “I will not tell you to stop doubting yourself—everyone has doubts.  Do not cease.  Accept.  Accept that, like myself and everyone you have ever met or will meet, you have difficulties to overcome within yourself.  When you accept yourself—your weaknesses and your strengths—you will realize that you have lost nothing.”

He turned and started walking away, then paused.  “You are to serve under Hida Makoto.  As we recruit more individuals they will be under your direction as you are under the direction of Makoto, and he under the direction of Fosuta Zuko.  Earn back your honor.”

And then he was gone.

She stood and stared after him, shocked into silence.  Her mind was clear, and her eyes dry.  She looked back at her tent then purposely walked away from it to one of the camp fires.

#

Next week’s episode will be another from Steve Diamond, Aerie of the Sky Riders.  Because it isn’t enough to make epic backstory for all of the good NPCs, but we need to do it for our antagonists too. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/the-burning-throne-episode-20-aerie-of-the-sky-riders/ 

Well holy freaking crap, I’ve got 2,000,000 hits

2,000,119 views all-time

That’s a milestone. I sure got the second million a whole lot faster than I did the first.

And because it is the most awesome thing ever written, I would like to quote myself from the last time I rolled this thing over:

How does this make me feel?  Well, if I could paint you a picture, it would look something like this:

How about Conan punching a tyranosaurs in the face while Linnea Quigley (like she looked in the 80s) fights a hot zombie chick with a chainsaw, and Linnea is in a tank top that is all ripped and about to fall off, and they’re on top of a speeding monster truck painted in tiger stripes playing a sound track by Dokken, and the monster truck is jumping over a tank that is exploding and there are ninjas flying everywhere on bullet bikes while pterodactyls shooting laser beams out of their eyes cause a big explosion with a massive fireball and then there’s like tigers with wings shooting out of the ground and theres like this skeleton, but the skeleton is wearing a chainmail bikini so you know that it was like totally a hot chick once too, but then like there’s this dude who looks like a samurai, but he’s fighting a cowboy, and blocking the cowboy’s bullets with his katana, because it is a LASER KATANA!  But then the samurai is totally Chow Yun Fat and the cowboy is Chuck Norris, and Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks the bullets in mid air to make them go faster, and there should be lightning bolts coming out of the sky, and then have like a big laughing skull behind it all, and the skull should totally be Hitler! because then you know he’s the badguy, and he should have that little mustache, and Conan and Chuck Norris are all going to totally kick his ass. And make the pterodactyls red, and put like a hammer and sickle on them, so you know they’re totally evil communist dinosaur clones, and make the monster truck be shooting blue flames out the back from all the nitro and the big tires should have spikes, and like nazi zombies are totally trapped in the spikes! And then have more hot chicks on the side, only make one like a devil with a tail and a pitchfork, and then the other side the hot chick should be an angel, but make her look a little naughty, if you know what I mean. Then make it in 3D! So that everything jumps out at you, and add more explosions, so you’re all like WOOSH KaBLAAAM PoW! POW! POW!

Yeah, pretty much something like that.

SLC Nerd

This is what I’m doing on the 24th. http://www.facebook.com/SLCNerd  or http://www.nowsaltlake.com/articles/view/9499 

If you are around Salt Lake, you should check it out. They are going for all of the fun stuff of a con without all of the pretentious stuff. I’m a guest, which means that I’m basically playing Writer Nerd Game Night during the day. :)

Dead Six gets some love from the Air Force

http://www.419fw.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123293639  Awesome.

Monster Hunter Legion is in the bag

You guys may have noticed that I’ve been blogging less lately. (the Friday serial fiction is all stuff written a while ago by different people). That’s because I have been up against a deadline. MHL was supposed to have been done at the end of January. However having a baby, and then having a new baby in the house meant that I got done 6 weeks late. In my defense the rough draft was almost done on time. This was after I did an editing pass. But as of last night, after spending 26 hours editing over Saturday and Sunday, MHL is pretty much wrapped up. There may still be some changes, but I’m not envisioning anything big.

So 6 weeks late. That’s darn near early.

So up next I need to hurry and finish a short story for the Crimson Pact 3 anthology. If you’ve not read the others, the short that I have in #2 is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written, mostly because the narrator has a terminal case of does not give a damn.

Then it is on to the collaboration with John Ringo. I’m really looking forward to working on that.

At the same time, Mike Kupari is back from Afghanistan, so we’ll be doing the sequel to Dead Six. My half of that is probably 90% done.

The best part about finishing a book is that you get to go start the next one.

 

The Burning Throne, Episode 18: Child of a Thousand Generations

Continued from: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/the-burning-throne-episode-17-gisei-toshi/ 

So while Zuko was off taking over a cult of the dead moon on his own, his player needed a replacement character. So for this week’s installment, here is the backstory for Chiyoko, written by Nick Dianatkhah.

A Child of a Thousand Generations

“Chiyoko, how did I beat you?” Kakita Noritoshi questioned sternly, his one eye gazing piercingly at her.

Chiyoko stood, reverently holding her blade as a small paper thin trail of blood began to leak from her shoulder, visible through the razor cut in her kimono. Her shame was crushing. She had been given an opportunity, one she did not understand, to train with the Kakita Daimyo himself, Kakita Noritoshi, and so far she had done nothing but disgrace herself and her sensei. She had been able to do nothing as Noritoshi had reacted with lightning speed and expertly traced a line on her arm with the edge of his blade.

The precision, elegance, and sheer speed of it all had her shaking with admiration.

She had been the brightest, and best pupil in her dojo. A rising star, garnering the attention of the entire Kakita family, though she didn’t truly know to what extent. The forms and ideals of Iaijutsu seemed to have already been residing in her soul when she was born, and in her mind when she started to train. Chiyoko was simply a prodigy.

Her gempukku ceremony still lie in the future, and already she had exceeded, not only the training of her dojo, but the beginning techniques of Kakita bushi. Noritoshi had demanded to complete her training before her gempukku, and here she was, disappointing him.

“I ask you again, child. How did I beat you?”

“I am sorry, sensei. I do not know. You are faster than any man I have seen. I simply cannot follow your movements.” Chiyoko said with embarrassment and shame in her voice.

“Nonsense. A duel is an extension of a Samurai’s mastery of himself. It has very little to with his opponent.” Noritoshi fell in a dueling stance as he spoke. “I do not beat you because I am faster, or stronger, or more experienced with a blade. You have failed to attain mastery of yourself. Your thoughts, emotions, and soul. I am finished with you today. Go.”

Chiyoko bowed deeply, sheathed her katana and left the training room, her embarrassment as shackles around her ankles. Chiyoko was a paragon of Bushido. To think that she had such little mastery of herself was unthinkable, yet her sensei had said it was so. Her soft footsteps leading out of the room seemed to echo in solitary ridicule of her failures.

*

Chiyoko’s Gempukku was only days away and still the Iaijutsu master worked with her. In his infinite patience he had not given up on her despite her consistent and magnificent failures. She did not expect to best Noritoshi, as he had only been beaten in an Iaijutsu duel twice. The first against the tainted duelist Megumi, and the second against the vile Bayushi Jimen. The second, one could say, was never truly a duel. Noritoshi simply acknowledged Jimen was his better, though everyone present knew otherwise.

Chiyoko knew she could not beat Noritoshi, but the ambitious, arrogant, and petulant child inside her wished nothing more. She wanted to prove she was worth his time and effort. But so far, in months of training, she had never been fast enough. Noritoshi had ended the duel by the time Chiyoko had drawn her blade.

The acrid smell of incense drifted to her nose, reminding her of where she was. With a determined mental lash she chastised herself for losing her concentration. With a practiced and precise movement, Chiyoko delicately leaned forward from where she knelt, Kimono and posture in perfect form, to light another candle for the worship of the Fortunes. She felt the presence of her ancestors very strongly, but that was no rare occurrence. She could feel them watching over her nearly all the time. Some she could identify. Some she could not. Some were of the Crane clan and some were not. The presence of Kakita was the strongest, and most influential, however others such as Toshimoko, and even Dairya have made known their presence.

She was not originally named Chiyoko. Her true name had long since been erased and forgotten. She had become renamed as “Child of a Thousand Generations” when it became apparent just how many of her ancestors followed her.

Chiyoko leaned, purposefully, forward again as she lit another candle, reciting her prayers to the Fortunes and her ancestors, asking for their blessings and guidance.

*

The Topaz Championship was concluded. The event was largely a disappointment from an entertainment standpoint. It was obvious from the beginning who the victor would be. The other clans should have felt shame in being so completely put into place, but each member of the ceremony was too in awe of the events transpiring. For while the event was not entertaining, it was a sight to behold for the simple perfection of its champion.

Kakita Chiyoko had demonstrated the utmost in humility while she soundly defeated every contender in the Topaz Championship. She positively exuded Bushido. Not just one or two of the tenets. But each of them. When the contest was concluded, and Chiyoko named the Topaz Champion, the gempukku ceremony was begun. This particular ceremony was unique. Each clan ambassador brought, to Chiyoko, gifts and praises for her exemplary performance. Each onlooker, despite the fact that Chiyoko was the Crane Clan contender, began viewing her as their own champion, at least in spirit. She was the epitome of what each Samurai wished to become. There were some who were weeping openly as the ceremony continued, each young samurai-hopeful being accepted, truly, into their clans.

Chiyoko’s measured stance sent a message of pride for her clan, and gratitude for the praises. In her heart she knew she was undeserving, as her sensei only sent her to the championship as he had wasted so much time with her hadn’t time to prepare another candidate. One that was more worthy. One that had done Noritoshi proud. In the last few days before her Gempukku, and since then, she had not heard or seen from him. He was ashamed of her and her failures.

As the Scorpion ambassador approached her, to sing her praises, she allowed herself to enjoy the ceremony, for at least a moment. She thought hopefully of the future, and improving so that one day she could repay Noritoshi by becoming the student he deserved. In the meantime she had brought glory to her Clan and sensei, and she consoled herself with the fact that for a time it was the best she could do.

“You were exceptional these past few days, Chiyoko-san” The Scorpion said, as he bowed. Deeper than propriety would dictate, and Chiyoko wondered if it was an excessive showing of respect and honor, or if a Scorpion game was being played. “If only all of your clan and ours could adhere so perfectly to Bushido.”

The Scorpion bowed even deeper, until it seemed he was scraping like a heimin and moved away, allowing his servants to bring the Scorpion gifts forward. A white and blue veil, much in the fashion of a Scorpion Courtier, but in the Crane colors, and with designs of the magnificent bird in the stitching.

The Scorpion concluded, and the final clan ambassador approached. The Crane Clan. Her first Sensei walked with the ambassador, and was carrying a blade of such grandeur Chiyoko could hardly take her eyes away.

“You have brought your clan, daimyo, and sensei great honor today Chiyoko-san. You have brought the eyes of the heavens, and your ancestors, upon you. As the world, and heavens watch, so too, do we. Lady Doji and Lord Kakita themselves would have a difficult time finding a more perfect Samurai. We are deeply honored that you were, of course, born into the Crane clan. As success follows you, so too will it follow our clan. I present to you a tool in furthering that success. Akio-sensei.” The Crane clan finished and deferred to Chiyoko’s former sensei.

“This blade was commissioned months ago, as we knew that your victory here was a foregone conclusion. The greatest Asahina artisans competed for the honor to craft this Kakita Blade.” Akio bowed and presented the blade to Chiyoko. “Wield it well, with the spirits of your ancestors guiding you, and the tenets of Bushido protecting you.”

Chiyoko said nothing, she knew the expectations of her behavior here. She wanted to cry out that she wasn’t worthy, but instead she reached down to her own simple katana, unsheathed it, and handed it to an aide. With both hands she then reached toward the Kakita Katana and gently lifted it from her sensei’s hands and expertly placed it in her, newly vacant, sheath.

For Chiyoko the rest of the ceremony and celebration passed in a blur.

*

“Thank you Chiyoko-sama” Your expertise has once again earned your clan honor. The courtier Doji Sasuke congratulated Chiyoko as she sheathed her sword. “You are garnering a reputation for this sort of thing. Continuing to only disarm your opponent, instead of wounding them, or killing them causes them no end of insult. I hear rumors that courtier champions are becoming less willing to face you. I didn’t think that was possible.”

“Your words are kind Sasuke-san. But it is only my duty to protect you while you achieve your mission.” Chiyoko responded with a slight bow of the head, as she watched the brash Lion duelist fetch his blade which lay a number of yards away. “I do not think that Ikoma Korou will stand in your way any longer. Now it is just the Bayushi and Asako to deal with.”

Sasuke checked quietly, so that no onlookers would see his breach of face.

“I do not mean to tell you your job, of course!” Chiyoko corrected herself.

“There is no need to worry my friend. You obviously know what steps we are to take next.

For a few months Chiyoko had been tasked with being Sasuke’s weapon of the courts. As she was a prodigy with the blade, he was a prodigy with words. Together, in only a few months, they had made great strides politically for their clan. Any court they spent, even a small time in, they were given great respect. If not for Sasuke’s golden tongue, then for Chiyoko’s blue steel. They had also become quite close friends over the time as well.

The Ikoma courtier in question glowered the two Crane as he rejoined his failure of a champion. The duel had been over before the Akodo had even realized it. The moment his sword had left its sheath, it had been removed from his hand and flung across the courtyard by Chiyoko. By the time everyone saw where the sword had landed Chiyoko had sheathed her Kakita Blade and was walking back to rejoin Sasuke.

The argument had been settled and the Lion were disgraced.

Each of the other delegates began walking toward Sasuke and Chiyoko bowed to her friend and excused herself.

The procession was abruptly halted by the entry of a imperial official. A number of Miya Heralds strode, with an entitled purpose, but ragged, exhausted look in their faces, into the courtyard, where one of them called out in a loud voice.

“The Dark Oracle of Fire has assaulted Dragon and Phoenix lands. It appears he attempts to break his exile. He has bent the Yobanjin tribes of the North to his will and enchanted them with strange, volatile magics. The Dragon and Phoenix struggle to repel the assault, but the foe they face is unnatural and the magics employed cause even the clan victories to turn to defeat. We have orders for each of your Daimyos.” The Miya heralds began calling each delegate by name to come receive their missives. “Take them to your Daimyo immediately. There is no time to waste.”

Sasuke’s name was called and he and Chiyoko shared a concerned glance as he strode to the Heralds to take the messages.

*

Chiyoko tightened her obi around her pristine white and blue armor, and slid her sheathed Daisho into place. The last few months had seen the fall of the Boar Clan, a massive assault on Unicorn lands, and much of the Dragon clan being displaced. She had been part of a military unit en route to help protect the Unicorn lands, but upon arrival was given a new task.

If she were to be honest with herself, she felt relieved. She hadn’t taken a life yet, and the idea of a large scale battle gave her tremors of fear. Her habit of disarming her opponents was not a tool she used to disgrace and humiliate them, though it accomplished that effect. It was her aversion to kill. She knew that it was a Samurai’s job to kill for their Daimyo, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Even in the few skirmishes she had participated in. She was a flowing beauty in battle, never coming to harm or even close to it. But she never took a life, and rarely drew blood.

Just another in a long list of personal failures. Perhaps her commander knew it, as he dispatched her, with a Unicorn horse, to catch up with a group of Samurai, called the Paper Lanterns. Her commander and the Unicorn Daimyo in this area had reached some agreement, and Kakita Chiyoko carried with her confidential letters from both of them to the man leading the Paper Lanterns. A courtier by the name of Ide Todo.

As she mounted her new horse, thoughts of courtiers pulled her mind to Doji Sasuke. Her friend, whom she realized, adding another failure to the list, she loved. Spurring the horse onward towards the east and subtly northward, she wondered what the Paper Lanterns were like and how Ide Todo would stack up, as a man of the courts, against Doji Sasuke.

#

 To be continued next week with Steve Diamond’s Honor & Tears http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/the-burning-throne-episode-19-honor-tears/

Know anybody that knows Impresa? The computer program? Need help ASAP

Are you, or anyone you know an expert on Impresa? Which to my understanding is a maintenence, repair, and overhaul software package. Want to get paid for some consulting? If so, contact me ASAP.

G.I. JOE #12 Comic Book coming out in April

You totally have to buy this comic… It will be epic. It will be awesome. All because it introduces the best new G.I. Joe character of all time: The Joe’s own combat accountant, codenamed SPREADSHEET.*

Don’t make him go all Excel on your ass…

 

G.I. JOE: VOL. 2 #12

Written by Chuck Dixon, art by Will Rosado, covers by Will Rosado, Steve Ellis.

 

Cobra Command aftermath! It’s a new day for the JOEs — as they crawl from the ruins of Cobra Command, they find a new status quo… and a change in command! Who will lead the Joes into this new, deadlier, downsized future? Scarlett leads an op into one of the wildest wildernesses on the planet to uncover a Cobra facility that threatens the very balance of the universe as we enter… Deep Terror!

 

32 pages, $3.99.

http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/1201/21/idwapril.htm
* Any resemblance between Spreadsheet and the author of this blog post is purely coincidental… However, if 12 year old Larry Correia could travel forward in time to discover that he’s a G.I. Joe, that would totally blow his mind.

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