Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday's Odds and Ends

First, thank goodness that storm that could have been as devastating as Super Storm Sandy didn't pack the same punch, but in Colorado the wildfires still pose considerable threat. Isolated thunderstorms are predicted for the area today, but the storms will have lots of high, gusting winds, but little rain.


The Black Forest fire, which is the worst in the state's history, has killed two people and destroyed 379 homes. Currently, residents of Colorado Springs on on alert for evacuation orders, with as many as 13,000 residences in potential danger. More than 38,000 people have already evacuated the area.

My thoughts are with all of the people who are too close to this terrible fire.

As the story of Edward Snowden, the self-avowed National Security Agency leaker unfolds, it reminds me of the spy thrillers I used to read and enjoy. All the intrigue was, well, intriguing, but I prefer the fiction to real life. It is disheartening, and a bit scary, that Snowden is on the lam and we don't know what he plans to to with the top secret information he was privy to in his job with the NSA. He has already provided documents to journalists revealing the existence of secret programs to collect records of domestic telephone calls in the United States and the Internet activity of overseas residents. And if he is planning to defect to China as some news reports have said, what secrets will he turn over to the Chinese governement?

Another news story that has parallels in fiction is that of Jose Martinez, who was recently arrested for killing a man in Alabama in March. As it turns out, the 52-year-old man from California who is a U.S. citizen, has killed as many as 30 men as part of his job as an enforcer for Mexican drug cartels. Apparently he was called when someone got crossways with the cartel. During his interrogation by Alabama investigators he said,  "I'm the guy that pays you a visit if you don't pay."

I made a note of his story, and that great line, for possible use in my current work in progress, Desperate Season, the third book in the Seasons Mystery Series. This story revolves around deaths related to the drug "cheese" which is made from the black tar heroine that comes up to Texas from Mexico. I thought it would be interesting to  have a character, like Martinez, who appears to be just a regular suburban homeowner but is an enforcer. That juxtaposition of identities is always interesting and is what I like most about the television show The Americans, the FX original series that features two KGB agents posing as Americans in the suburbs of Washington D.C. The series stars Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, and Noah Emmerich.
 Now for a bit of fun from Garfield. In the first panel, Garfield is listening to Jon who is yelling from another room. "This computer has a virus."

In the next panel, Jon says, "Now it crashed."

Garfield thinks, "Jon does not do well with technology."

Then Jon shouts, "Now it's packing to leave."

I can relate. How about you?

I almost forgot. It's Flag Day here in the U.S. today. I did get my flag out.



4 comments:

LD Masterson said...

I don't know what's scarier - storms and wildfires or what goes on in our own government.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Snowden is scary, but the information he revealed is scarier. Is he ready to sell to the highest bidder? Want his 15 minutes of fame? Or be a catalyst for change?

Thank goodness rain fell on the Black Forest fire zone today. I sure hope it helped.

Maryann Miller said...

I think everyone in Colorado is relieved that the fires are more under control today, Patricia.

And LD, you are so right about what scares us the most.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad they're getting a grip on the files.
NSA secrets to China - we really didn't need that, did we? If you get an email in Chinese, don't open it.