MASSACRE IN THE PASSES: BRITAIN’S FIRST AFGHAN WAR DEBACLE

Outstanding history.

The Deadliest Blogger: Military History Page

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Foolish political policies and dithering indecision lead to bloody disaster for the British in the First Afghan War!

In 1876, George Armstrong Custer and some 268 some members of the US Army’s 7th cavalry were “massacred” in battle against native Lakota and Cheyenne warriors in the valley of the Little Bighorn River. This signal, but ultimately meaningless, defeat of a “modern” military force by technologically inferior tribal warriors is very well-known in America thanks to countless books and not a few films that deal with the subject.

What is almost universally forgotten is the far greater and more politically significant destruction of a much larger British army just 34 years earlier, by Afghan tribesman in the snowbound passes of eastern Afghanistan.

1461069.jpg Afghanistan was a pawn in the “Great Game” for control of Central Asia and India. Seen here in a political cartoon of the day, Afghanistan is courted (and…

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J. R. R. Tolkien’s 127th Birthday

Today would have been J. R. R. Tolkiens 127th birthday.

Red Sun Magazine #4

My short story The Death of Giraurd de Vallays just got published in Red Sun Magazine Issue #4. Red Sun is one of the newer action oriented independent Fantasy and Science Fiction magazines that make up the exciting indy market. While I haven’t managed to read through back issues I like the blind reader philosophy and the fact that the editors are all military veterans.

The Death of Giraurd de Vallays is a story I care about because it’s actually the first short story I wrote when I decided I wanted to take up fiction. The only other place I submitted it to was the Writers of the Future contest where it got an Honorable Mention. I’m glad that if found a final home after sitting on my drive forgotten.

When I wrote it I was in a Red Sonja mood and also reading a book on the Cathar’s and the Albigensian Crusade.

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Removing Television

I don’t consume a lot of television. Occasionally I will binge a show on Netflix. I liked the three seasons of Fargo and the first season of True Detective. I will put on some garden reality show or documentary in the background. Every now and then my wife and I stream a movie or watch some standup. But for the most part if I lived alone I would watch almost no television.

The truth is I just don’t enjoy movies or television. Compared to reading or listening to audiobooks I find the process tedious and unstimulating. I can’t thing of the last time I really enjoyed a new movie. I find streaming services like Netflix especially irritating because of the choice paralysis involved. Every time I sit down I spend forty-five minutes scrolling through the lackluster choices until I pick something I’m not really that excited to about but feel compelled to watch because I just spent forty-five minutes looking for it. I would rather spend the time reading, writing, talking, cooking, or just about anything including just sitting in silence napping.

Yesterday my wife and I were discussing children, our childhood, and parenting styles. Television screen time came up. I don’t exactly remember how the conversation developed but my wife asked me if I thought getting rid of the television would be a good idea. As in getting rid of it completely and making a living room without one as the centerpiece. The point being that we would raise Juniper free of television.

My initial reaction was immediate approval. The only one who watches it regularly is my wife so my life would remain mostly unchanged. It would be a improvement because it would force us to come up with some better activities on weekend nights and get rid of the dread of being stuck in an endless loop of deciding what to watch.

But we both have some misgiving. I grew up with unlimited screen time and no supervision over what movies and television I watched. I remember spending my afternoons watching Disney cartoons, I Love Lucy, Gilligan’s Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, and other reruns. Once I got a bit older I watched a lot of Star Trek the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Hercules, Xena, The X-Files, and a bunch of other shows I can’t even remember. My younger brother and I spent a lot of time watching television, but we also played outside, played games, skateboarded, had a lot of friends, explored, got girlfriends when we got older, and grew up to be overall successful adults. Television did not rot our brains. Well maybe a little bit.

I’m afraid that if we get rid of the television we would be depriving Juniper of the fun I had growing up. I don’t want to be that crunchy granola or fundamentalist religious parent that forces my ascetic beliefs onto my children, but at the same time I feel that modern television is pure brain garbage and is just another excessive attention deficit inducing trash pile that sucks away happiness.

With our move coming up in the next few weeks it would be the perfect time to get rid of television and change the way we interact in our living room space. So I’m really thinking this over, weighing the pros and the cons. What do you guys think, should I dump the television? Do you think I would be depriving my daughter? Let me know in the comments, I’m really interested.

Happy Year of the Boar 2019!

It’s New Year’s Eve, another year has come and gone. 2018 will be over in a few hours and we are here at home celebrating. By celebrating I mean sitting in our pajamas hanging out with the baby.

2018 was a wild year. I can’t think of anything more life changing than becoming a father for the first time. Every single day feels like a new adventure and as soon as I start feeling confident about the whole thing the creature changes all of the rules.

Other than becoming a father 2018 was a year of work. I pulled a lot of long days and took care of several difficult projects. The hard work paid off and I’m leaving my current station with a great evaluation and a lot of motivation. I’m looking forward to taking on more challenges in the upcoming year.

On the other hand, fatherhood and a heavy workload caused my writing career to suffer. I did poorly, horribly actually. I didn’t complete a single short story. I just wrote lots of fragments and spent the majority of my free writing time editing older stories. The year wasn’t a total bust, I did manage to get two stories in print. One of them, Kakerlacs in Storyhack was well received.

2019 is the Year of the Boar. My year, and the spiritual mascot of this blog. A lot of changes are in store. First off, in about two weeks we will be moving out of our house. We are packing up and heading back to the United States. New location, new position, and a new home. The move is going to be a challenge and I’m going to miss Japan a lot, but I’m looking forward to it and all of the new adventures that we will be having.

2019 is going to be a adventure and I can’t wait.

Happy New Years!