(Silverdale, Washington; Jan. 14, 2021) – Welcome back to my regular Thursday column! My original intent had been to open 2021 with a column on the meaning of freedom. To prepare, I did an informal poll of my Facebook friends, asking them to submit a one or two-sentence definition of what freedom means to them. … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Talk About Attempted Sabotage!
(Silverdale, Washington; Dec. 03, 2020) – Solitary confinement is one of the harshest punishments our justice system can inflict on prisoners. Solitary confinement is designed to stop violent inmates from harming others (be those ‘others’ inmates or guards). Solitary confinement is a controversial punishment because its negative psychological impacts are real. A 2017 study by … Continue reading Mental Health: Does ‘Solitary Confinement’ Ring a Bell?
**Author's Note: This column was supposed to be published yesterday morning (Nov. 19), but human error delayed it by 24 hours. I uploaded and prepped everything, but forgot to hit the "publish" button. (Silverdale, Washington; Nov. 19, 2020) – I did something this past Monday I’ve never done before: I walked out of my counselor’s … Continue reading Mental Health: Stop Talking and Start LISTENING, for Crying out Loud!
(Silverdale, Washington; Nov. 12, 2020) – Writers must be able to handle critiques and criticism with a measure of grace, dignity, humility, and humor. Anyone who has ever picked up a pen has horror stories of that one person who openly reveled in trying to tear them down. These people exhibit a streak of cruelty … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Critical Critiques
(Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 29, 2020) – Today’s column was supposed to be about the minor success I’ve had with my first novel, Proud Lion, and my plans for book 2, The Norfolk Murders. Sadly, the tragic death of one of my shipmates from the real-life USS Ponce (LPD 15) upended my plans. I served with … Continue reading Mental Health: Another Shipmate has Fallen
**WRITER'S NOTE** My computer will be in the shop, so I'm publishing this today instead of on Thursday as usual. See you on the flip side! (Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 22, 2020) – Abandoned buildings are way cool...especially in winter! I’ve loved abandoned buildings and longed to explore them ever since I watched the Scooby Doo … Continue reading Travel Log: Hunting Abandoned Buildings
(Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 15, 2020) – The retired aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) had a profound affect on my time at sea, and her deactivation in 2012 foretold my own retirement from the Navy in 2017. Pretty heavy stuff, especially considering I never once set foot aboard her! I joined the Navy to go … Continue reading On the Waterfront – A Tale of a Great Enterprise
(Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 1, 2020) – Do you wish to convince your political opponents you’re right, thereby bringing them onto your team as enthusiastic members, or do you wish to conquer your political opponents, grinding them under the black heel of your jackboot? The current political season has brought to the fore the fault lines … Continue reading Just My Thoughts – Convince or Conquer?
(Silverdale, Washington; Sept. 21, 2020) – Proud Lion sailed into history yesterday! I am now a published novelist. Monetary success will be nice if I achieve it, but the primary goal has been reached: publication. Nothing can take that away from me, not lack of sales, not lack of critical acclaim, nothing. I am now, … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – And so it Begins!
(Silverdale, Washington; Sept. 17, 2020) – The greatest single piece of seamanship I ever witnessed occurred the day my captain summarily ordered the tugs away from our 17,000 ton warship and proceeded to dock her without assistance, thereby avoiding a collision with an 114,000 ton cruise ship. Commander Stephen ‘Cole’ Hayes was the third commanding … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Master Seamanship