Sunday, May 21, 2017

Naming

My Zimbio  What is in a name?  Immediate warm feelings, or the opposite... a singular tag that links you to an idea, a capability, an experience?

Turns out, moments before I was mobilized in 2007, someone began using my eWISE name.  They ran a search while I was in Iraq, then registered in 2008.

So I have returned to eWISE.  We have been a Virginia Limited Liability Company for some years, although the focus has recently changed to cyber intrusion detection and response for the medical sector.

Our offering is a hardware/software/services package, recognizing there are some security benefits to hosting the software solution "in house," although we will certainly leverage the cloud for sections of the offering.

eWISE LLC has posted real estate and book sale revenues in 2016.  We imagine the cyber offering will dwarf these other income streams in 2017 (although am hoping Ukraine Skies book and game revenues also contribute to our economic well-being), building to something substantial in 2018. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fact or Fiction?

My Zimbio  The Ukraine Skies, Baltimore Lights is fiction.  That said, there are some names that I've taken from reality:  HR McMaster, President Trump's NSC, appears as himself, albeit junior in rank, commanding the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment.  Colonel Mullaly is the name of someone I worked for, although the character isn't the same person.

Cleopatra is a real person in history.  I had a vibrant argument about my dates with a woman last night (thanks Vicki!).  According to Wikipedia, Cleopatra died thirty years before the birth of Christ, of suicide.

My book alleges she was a vampire and was "boxed" and transported to Ukraine, through Jerusalem, around 30AD.  The man responsible for transporting her, who I have named Taigen Sessai, after a samurai monk general who lived in 1500AD, met Pontias Pilate and Jesus during his "mission" to bring Cleo's sealed box to Ukraine.

In my novels, Sessai is also an immortal.  At the time he transports Cleo and meets Jesus, he is about 500 years old.  After depositing Cleo in the Ukraine cave, where she was supposed to sleep for eternity, Sessai meanders around Europe fighting in famous battles and learning about clocks and time.


He runs across a samurai sword (called a "katana") in one of the battles, and decides he wants one.  So he travels to Japan, which is where he is in 1500AD (remember, my character is immortal), when he meets the real Taigen Sessai.  In my novel, "the real Sessai" is assassinated as a teenager, so my immortal/vampire character assumes his identity, wins the battles attributed to his namesake and keeps that name for the rest of "his eternity."

Interesting?  I hope you think so, and buy one or more of my books on Amazon!

Find Ukraine Skies, Baltimore Lights here.  


Monday, April 10, 2017

Isis

My Zimbio   A few paragraphs:

    “We are cat people, not dog people,” said the woman.


    Cleo was surprised to find a beautiful middle aged woman sitting on a bench in the barn she selected.  She squinted at the woman and turned to her red dog.  “Sadites,” she told him.  He sat dutifully at her side.


    “You don’t remember me?” the woman asked.


    “Have we met?” Cleo asked.  What was this strange language… and how can she understand and speak it?


    “Of course not,” muttered ISIS, with a smirk.  “Well, there was a time I was your goddess and you, young princess, were the apple of Ra’s eye.  Then of course you ran off with that Julius fellow, scandalizing all of Rome.”


    “Your glorious country has been struggling ever since.  I might add that the author will receive quite a pile of manure for this Deux ex Machina, but who better to play that role here than yours truly?”


    “At risk of adding several wheelbarrows to the criticism, I’m going to give you some advice.  You have learned how to find Tsar Peter.  I suggest you attend the unification party at the edges of town tomorrow, and learn about this Swedish Charles XII.  Learn how to shoot one of those clumsy flintlocks.. and refresh your memory of a blade.  They’ve gotten quite nice since you handled one.”  Isis handed Cleo a dagger in its leather and gold trimmed sheath.  The sun god symbolism at the end of the handle appeared strangely familiar to Cleo.


     “Once you have promised the Tsar you will kill his Swedish rival, find the Danish king.  He evidently enjoys masquerade balls, where perhaps you might offer to dispense with the Swede in return for a ship to America.”


    Cleo was confused.  “You don’t understand this yet, but you will catch on.  You always do.”  Isis considered disappearing with a flash, in a cloud of smoke, but instead turned to walk away.


    “Oh,” she said, as an afterthought.  “Get rid of the dog.” Then, tossing Cleo a coin of the local realm, said “Get yourself a room.  There is a vacancy at the inn for you.” 
    “Thank you,” called Cleo, scratching Wolf behind the ears.  “But I think will keep you,” she whispered to her new companion.  “I heard that,” shouted ISIS.


Find Ukraine Skies, Baltimore Lights here.  


Thursday, February 2, 2017

NATO Update

My Zimbio  The Wall Street Journal reported on February 2, 2017, that "NATO Scraps Ukraine Security Meeting." Although Russia and Russian-backed separatists are escalating violence from Donbass, Ukraine, President Trump suggests dropping sanctions on Russia while Europe (from the NATO alliance) has cancelled talks with Ukraine about including it under a missile-defense system.

Recent shelling has killed a dozen Ukrainian Soldiers, wounding many more and damaging water, electricity and heating for 17,000 people in Avdiivka.  Europe is reluctant to help in spite of "The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine" report that fighting is severe as any that it has observed in Donetsk, Ukraine (WSJ, p.A8). 

Several weeks later Secretary of Defense Mattis had supportive words for NATO.  The same week Secretary of State Tillerson also strongly supported the Minsk Accords, the ceasefire in Ukraine (picture of Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin with Secretary Tillerson some weeks after the comment about the Minsk Accords).




In Syria, Russia is meeting its goals to keep Assad/naval ports in place, while in Ukraine, casualties continue to mount... The United States needs to do more!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Innovation Letter

My Zimbio  In "an open letter from Tech Sector Leaders," one hundred forty five Silicon Valley big shots expressed concern before the election that Donald Trump will invite disaster for innovation.  They thought his policies would undermine key dynamics that help the US retain a global innovation lead.  Oops!  The Donald recently met with these folks (minus one or two) to insure communication channels are open.

You may recall "the Valley" leaders were calling for 1) progressive immigration policy; 2) free and open exchange of ideas and unfettered internet architecture; and 3) continued government investment in infrastructure, education and scientific research.

While this letter certainly preaches "motherhood and apple pie" values on the surface and inspires us to examine Trump's policy suggestions more carefully, it comes from people who don't care a shred about the majority of people gravitating to Trump.  Another letter I read before the election comes to mind: a Walt Disney IT professional wrote to share his career predicament when he, like hundreds of colleagues, was displaced by a crew from India.  If this man wanted any severance at all, he (and the other Disney employees who were being fired) would train the new comers how to do his/her job and "go quietly into the night."

People voting for Trump want help, need help, against people like these Silicon Valley "silver spooners."  These Valley people don't just want innovation, they want exclusive right to drive capital to their projects and innovations that profit them.  They want the ability to hire indiscriminately in a negotiation against hi cost employees (in many cases).  They also want to control how investments in infrastructure, education and research are made, so they may forward their progressive political agenda.  Trump may not "do things their way."  Indeed, he surely won't "do things their way."

We might be well advised to attack legal and financial impediments to innovation (such as Sarbanes Oxley and Obamacare legislation) rather than adopting self serving proscriptions against Trump.  How can we work together to improve our business climate  and national competitiveness?  Will Trump get it right?  We shall see...


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Books

My Zimbio Three years ago, based on advice from James Altucher, I published my first book.  Two years ago I set out to write my next book, based on concerns about Russian adventurism in Ukraine.  On Monday, my third book (a novel) will "go live" on Kindle (you can buy a paperback today on Amazon).

Amazon has pretty good support for authors, including the opportunity to post a very functional author page.  Blog support doesn't work smoothly with Google's "blogger" but you have found this anyway,  haven't you?

I've produced web sites to support the Navies, Petrol and Chocolate and Citizen's Guide to Marksmanship titles.  Am also considering partnerships with Sabaton, the Swedish heavy metal band (with Poltava song) and the Royal Stockholm Opera Chorus (or Neeme Jarvi's version here), which has produced Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa opera, both supporting Navies, Petrol and Chocolate.

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rex Tillerson

My Zimbio  Should Donald Trump appoint the CEO of Exxon to be the next Secretary of State?  An engineer by training, Rex Tillerson may not have the formal  history and foreign policy training we might expect for a Secretary of State.  However, his roles  in Russia and Yemen for Exxon, and other roles including the most senior at that company, mean that Tillerson has a practitioner's perspective in parts of the globe where most people are (at best) tourists.

Those concerned that Rex might not have the human rights and environmental perspectives needed from a US  secretary of state may have valid concerns.  Presumably confirmation hearings will flesh out the man's perspectives in these areas, and we expect his responses to questioning will not be cavalier.

All the top cabinet picks Trump has revealed thus far are white men.   What about Carly Fiorini?  Ben Carson?  Other highly qualified people (Republicans?) who might communicate Trump's intent to make things better for all of us?  Stay tuned...

I have spent a great deal of time parsing the dynamic in  Ukraine this past year (see my book, Navies, Petrol and Chocolate, available on Amazon), and suspect Tillerson's  substantial  experience in the  energy sector will help put Ukraine in a  better situation, if  he  chooses to  include that agenda among his top priorities.  I also suspect his  relationships  with Putin  and  Sechin will help us keep Russia in line without sparking World War III.  Certainly, his career at Exxon show he doesn't "sell out" the organization he works for/leads, so  I suspect his relationships with Russians will  mostly help make Europe safer and drive a strong, well informed, United States foreign policy.

I understood Exxon negotiations with Russia that spooked Putin (described in my book) were conducted by Lee Raymond, the previous Exxon CEO.  Tillerson's negotiating success doing arctic drilling in Russian waters was perhaps a consolation prize awarded the company after Putin blocked the acquisition/merger with Yukos a few years before.  In any event, confirmation hearings should be entertaining!