Decoupling from Amazon: Beard Care edition

LMAOOOOOOOO AMAZON LOST A BAJILLION DOLLARS LAST QUARTER. IT’S WORKING, YOU GUYS!

Anyway, I found a new company that sells beard care stuff and soaps and whatever. It’s called Mad Viking Beard & Body Care. Their stuff has cool names and it’s made in America. That makes it better than stuff you buy at the grocery store or from Amazon.

I’ve also bought a few cases of Duke Cannon products over the last year, and they’re great. I’m just changing it up.

Fisking the Toronto Star’s idiocy on trucking

Oooh, boy.

I’ve long been a fan of Larry Correia, and not just his novels; he writes very engaging essays on subjects that interest me, like national policy in a free (heh) republic, publishing, firearms, and more.

His website (monsterhunternation.com) is also home to his famous “fisking” essays, where he breaks down bad journalistic takes and explains why they are both bad and stupid.

Today I’m going to try on Larry’s large shoes and do the same thing. Why? Because Robin Sears, a bad journalist in Toronto, has a SHOCKINGLY stupid take on trucking, revealing his utter ignorance of just about anything infrastructure-related. So. Yeah.

Here’s the original article. https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2022/02/27/now-that-we-have-seen-how-trucks-can-be-used-as-weapons-its-time-we-rethink-how-to-live-with-them.html

I’ve copied and pasted it below so you don’t have to give him a click. His original words are in italics, while my commentary is in bold. As you’re reading this, remember that I am a trucker, and Robin is not. Away!

_____________________________________

Many Canadian cities have long had problems managing semi-trailer truck traffic. Now that we have seen that they can be used as weapons, it’s time we rethink how to live with them.

Sure, trucks can be used as weapons, in the same sense that literally anything can be used as a weapon. The ethanol-powered hybrid that Robin parks under his $3k/month studio apartment can block a road or kill a person too, yet we allow him to have one.

In Toronto, more than half the trucks passing through the city on the DVP, the Gardiner and the 401 have departure points and destinations hundreds of kilometres away. They stop only for gas.

No, they stop for diesel. It’s way worse for the environment, lol.

That said, any town with a truck stop in it is raking in a TON of money on fuel, food, and amenities. Not just with taxes, either. It’s money that wouldn’t be coming into those areas if the truck stops disappeared.

In Ottawa, the city’s website improbably lists Wellington Street as a “truck route!”

My trucking experience in Canada is limited to the western provinces, so I can’t comment on Wellington Street. Maybe it’s a tight or narrow road. Guess what though? Plenty of small towns (you know, the racist ones that grow your food or generate your electricity) have their main thoroughfares listed as “truck routes.”

Those are probably the only roads fortified sufficiently to handle the weight of a truck and its load. Those roads cost money. Building them is a matter of balanced limitations. But you’ve never thought of that, Robin. You’re too busy having Big Thoughts, that solve Big Problems.

Worse, there is no way for trucks travelling from Quebec on their way west not to jam the downtown core, even when they are not protesting. Why do we permit this?

It’s not you, it’s the physics. Is there somewhere else they can go? They don’t want to drive through municipal congestion any more than you do, especially if they’re paid by the mile. Let’s see what your ideas are for alternate routes.

Truckers could be required to take the 407 across Toronto, connecting to the four-lane highways on each end.

Oh look, that’s a toll road. I don’t have as much experience with those either, but I do recall crossing Pittsburgh in a truck once. They toll you based on weight, length, and axle count. It cost me $200. For one day.

Meanwhile the 401 is not a toll road. You want the cost of your goods to keep rising? By all means, raise the cost of logistics, buddy.

In the nation’s capital, a tunnel under the Ottawa River has been debated for years, but strenuously opposed by the city’s lame duck mayor, Jim Watson.

This wouldn’t be the same mayor that just spent two weeks harassing peaceful truckers and beating them up in front of children, would it? Whoops. That aside, if such an infrastructure project has been “debated for years,” then we oughtta be able to see some budget proposals.

A tunnel would funnel truck traffic from the Quebec autoroutes directly onto Ontario’s highway system.

What’s the price tag for DIGGING A TUNNEL UNDER A RIVER and then BUILDING A HIGHWAY LARGE ENOUGH FOR TRUCKS to use it? Sounds super easy and cheap, by all means let’s do it!

Queen’s Park and Wellington Street present different problems. Large semis pass hospital row, circle the Legislature, then pass through miles of residential neighbourhoods on their way north.

That’s not how you spell ‘neighborhood’, ya dork.

In recent weeks, we have seen up close the security risks this could present. Ottawa is even more vulnerable, as the truck fleets pass within metres of the prime minister’s office, Parliament and the Supreme Court. A single truck bomb could destroy any one of these government pillars.

And yet nothing even remotely close to this sort of thing happened during the blockade. Your Prime Minister wasn’t in any danger because he ran away like a coward, claiming he had the WuFlu. However he *did* send in a white guy on a horse to trample an Indian woman–can I get your 300-word thinkpiece on Horse Control, Robin?

However, let us not go down the 9/11 road of increasingly irritating and invasive security measures in dealing with these new realities.

LMAOOOOO despite you pulling scenarios out of your backside LITERALLY ONE PARAGRAPH AGO, designed to scare people into demanding these exact measures??!!

Toronto’s risks could be eased immediately by shifting trucks off University Avenue. Ottawa’s short-term solution could be to permit truck traffic only at night on main streets — and never on Wellington.

Robin’s 9a-5p mindset is leaking all over the page here. He doesn’t understand that truckers live in a 24-hour world, and yet are bound by very strict Hours Of Service regulations. In the United States, these HOS regs have been electronically mandated since 2018. (Used to be that you could keep a paper logbook.) Canada’s mandate came down last summer, so they’re required to have a computer in the truck that tracks the driver’s hours.

If you’re an over-the-road driver, you are required to be off duty for a certain amount of time between shifts. (In the USA, it’s 10 hours.) Then you can only work for 14 hours, during which you can only drive for 11. There are some exceptions but this is the general rule.

And you have to base your start/stop times on when your consignee will receive your shipments. When I worked in long-haul, some consignees only had a narrow receiving window between 1AM and 5AM (looking at you IKEA, you bastards.) The sleep deprivation and abrupt schedule changes screw you up for DAYS.

And his solution to his own bedwetting over the Big Scawy Twuckers is to make them ALL run at night, through the busiest trucking hub in Eastern Canada. He’s not targeting truckers here, he’s targeting everyone who orders supplies from truckers, which is LITERALLY EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING.

Longer-term solutions to future threats to the Parliamentary precinct do not require checkpoints, concrete barriers or “red zones.”

They just require insanely high expenses, rising cost of goods, and arbitrary measures that will not at all stop a Big Scawy Twuck from doing something Big And Scawy if the driver’s determined to do it.

Simply make Wellington a pedestrian mall, and push underground any bus or LRT infrastructure connecting Ottawa and Gatineau.

SIMPLY!

Buried traffic barriers on each end could be triggered to rise instantly, blocking any renegade attack.

“Renegade attack.” Note this kind of language. Expect it to continue and escalate. They’ll keep waging a press war against any industry that pushes back on draconian government overreach, which triggered the Trucker Protests in the first place.

Since the murder of the young soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, these devices have ringed the Parliament buildings, blocking unauthorized vehicles.

Sorry to send you to Wikipedia, but here’s the short version: Nathan Cirillo was a 24 year-old Canadian reservist who was shot by a masked gunman later identified as an Islamic terrorist. Definitely an apt parallel for a bunch of truckers who parked on a few roads to protest tyranny.

As the pandemic eases, we will also need to take steps to encourage citizens to return to public transit: health and safety measures — clean, sanitized buses; better comfort and convenience measures — along with reliable route times, mobile phone readers for fares, and security measures in case of attack.

Oof. OOOOOF. There’s a lot to digest here.

“Return to public transit.” Clean and sanitized buses? Pipe dream. The second they pick up their first round of passengers, boom, they all become bio-bombs. Unless you expect us to forget everything we’ve had screamed at us for the last 24 months regarding masks and gloves and distancing and all that crap.

“Along with reliable route times.” I’d say you should talk to the Germans about how to make that happen, but I’m afraid you’ll take too many bad German ideas about governance instead of their infrastructure ideas.

“Mobile phone readers for fares.” Wow, why do you hate poor people? Joking aside, why in the hell would anyone trust a digital-based fare system after what they JUST SAW THE GOVERNMENT DO to truckers’ bank accounts? Or anyone who donated to the truckers’ bank accounts? “Pwease give us moar powaw ovah yoo.”

“Security measures in case of attack.” Perfectly bland and meaningless words that sound nice but offer nothing realistic. “dO bEtTeR.” This comes just sentences after he says “Now hang on, let’s not go all post-9/11 here…”

We need to become smarter

hahahahaha yeah no s**t

about integrating new public transportation infrastructure, so that systems seamlessly interconnect and environmental, safety and security needs are all part of the same solutions.

Utopian word salad. Robin, south of the border we’ve got an idiot in Congress who talks this way. She’s from New York. When challenged on the practicality of her ideas, she defended herself by saying it wasn’t her job to figure out the solutions, it was just her job to demand them. That’s you, buddy. You’re doing it right now.

The convoys may return.

God willing.

The haters, spitters and shouters may too.

But enough about Parliament.

But to put up permanent steel fences and concrete barriers in places where pedestrians and tourists should be able to roam freely would be to give them a victory.

Them. Victory. Us versus them, battle, war. Language, language, language. This is what I mean when I talk about the importance of the bard.

We already knew we need to build back better from the pandemic — in health care, assisted living, schools, building ventilation and housing.

Smash those buzzwords, Robin! And don’t bring up the skyrocketing price of gas, whatever you do! Steer the reader back to your ever-important mission of pimping fascism!

We knew we need to reduce our carbon footprint.

So stop buying things, driving places, and using electricity.

Now we know that we need to add a new security lens to many projects as well.

“We knew.” “We need.” Us and them. Here’s what WE have to do. Look at me, I’m Robin, follow me, I know de way.

But let us not slide into a U.S.-style mass police presence in schools, malls and subways, nor the body search and often rude interrogation that is the norm at airports around the world.

Big Scawy Pwobwem, but don’t solve it by doing anything bad! Just…solve it! By smartness! Rainbows and unicorn farts! You’ve gotta do BETTER!

By using technology, careful consultation with the citizens affected

THE TRUCKERS LITERALLY TOLD YOU FOR TWO WEEKS THAT ALL THE GOVERNMENT HAD TO DO WAS DROP THE MANDATES, AND YOU WANTED THEM THROWN IN JAIL FOR IT.

and restraint,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

we can adapt to this new reality and feel greener, cleaner and safer.

WE US WE US WE US, CLEAN AND SAFE AND GREEN AND CLEAN AND SAFE AND…

This has been a terrible two years for the world, and an especially terrible month for Canadians in half a dozen cities. We need to learn the lessons of both the pandemic and the protests.

You are adamantly committed not to do just that. You don’t want a solution; you want problems in perpetuity. Problems that can only be “solved” by more government overreach, more public money, and most important, MORE PROBLEMS.

That way brainlets like the writers for the Toronto Star can keep their Highly Essential Jobs as overpaid complainers, telling all us plebs on the ground that if we just Smart And Better our way through life, everything will be Safe And Stuff.

As spring arrives and we are freed from these unpleasant days, let us make choices that build optimism about Canada’s future — ones that increase confidence we are raising families in places we know are still safe.

SAFE SAFE SAFE SAFE SAFE.

This isn’t a serious proposal of any kind at all. This isn’t even a poorly written op-ed; this is programming for social media addicts who live their lives governed by absolute fear at every level. A lot of people are going to fall for it.

But you don’t have to. Learn to recognize this garbage every time it rears its head. No details, nothing practical, riddled with contradictions, and saturated with feel-good language. This is the Big Mac of journalism: nothing in it will keep you alive, and if you eat it too often, it will kill you to death from the inside out.

Share with your friends.


Graham Bradley is a husband, father, and truck driver. He’s done long haul, cranes, HazMat tankers, and food services over the last decade. He’s also an author-illustrator of several novels and novellas. Graham retired from obstacle course mud-running in 2018, but still moves 75,000 pounds of groceries by hand every week.

HOW TO MAKE “THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT” NOT SUCK

Book of Boba Fett Post-Credit Scene Explained: Who's in ...

AAAAAAAAAH WHY WAS THIS SHOW SO BAD???!!

I think The Critical Drinker said so much of what I felt about this show in the following video. Language warning, because it’s the Drinker.

Man I wish it hadn’t been like this. I’m a writer. Naturally I think I’m a good writer–if I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t throw my own work out into the world for the masses to consume.

But I’m also a highly prolific reader, and I’m a fan of Star Wars, so when I get a story set in the galaxy far, far away…and it has the potential for greatness…and the pedigree for greatness…only to be squeezed out of the back of a stray diabetic dog…the absolute squandering of potential is just too big to overlook.

To be fair, there were some cool moments. And I want to acknowledge them up front. Here’s what I liked about the show, in no specific order:

THE BACKSTORY WITH THE TUSKENS

How The Book Of Boba Fett Redefines Tuskens

A VISIT TO MOS PELGO, ft COBB VANTH VS CAD BANE

Was that Cobb Vanth at the end of The Book of Boba Fett?

MING-NA WEN AS FENNEC SHAND

Temuera Morrison & Ming-Na Wen Are the 'Grandparents' on ...

Dude, these two actors are only three years apart in age, but Ming-Na certainly has time in a headlock. She looks great for a woman who’s as old as my mother.

And I generally enjoy her performances whenever she’s in stuff. I didn’t care much for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show but Agent May was a compelling character in it. I just wish that hadn’t given her so much wooden dialogue in this show.

BOBA TEACHING THE TUSKENS HOW TO RAID A SPICE TRAIN

What Exactly Was The Point Of Book Of Boba Fett? | Screen Rant

Okay, here we go. We see the warrior, the tactician, the guy whose “father” was the template for over a million soldiers that would wreck the galaxy. Give him a few bikes and some desert-hardened spear chuckers, and he is a force to be reckoned with. Wish we’d gotten more of this.

BLACK KRRSANTAN

Black Krrsantan Star Wars Book of Boba Fett episode 1 | Inside Pulse

Yes, awesome. Misused, but awesome.

BOBA RIDING A RANCOR

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 7 Review

And that’s it.

Once again, in no specific order, here are 10 things that sucked about the show, without qualification:

WHY DO WE KEEP GETTING MORE OF CRAZY MECHANIC LADY

Star Wars Kidscast Blog: Star Wars stars on Sesame Street: The Mandalorian edition!

I don’t even know her name. I had to Google the character. Peli Motto? All I know her as is Crazy Mechanic Lady. I know she had an episode in season 1 of Mando, and all I remember about her first appearance in season 2 was how she’d gone bonkers in between seasons. In S2E1 of Mando I turned to the DreadWife and said “she’s just too freaking much.” Too much crazy. The voice, the hand gestures, the need to fit ten extra words in a sentence. She’s on speed, man.

Are we supposed to be amused? I don’t know what we’re supposed to be, other than annoyed. She’s written poorly, and the actress Amy Sedaris deserves better than what she’s handed.

EFF THIS EFFING CYBORG POWER RANGER VESPA GANG

Book Of Boba Fett: Why The Mod Did That Unnecessary Spin Move

If you’ve ever been stuck in Portland, these people look familiar to you. Now maybe cyborgs in Star Wars are nothing new, they’ve just never been this pointless, bad, stupid, obnoxious, or a waste of oxygen. Nobody likes them, nobody is impressed by them, they do nothing.

Seriously, they’re a bunch of unemployed zoomers who complain about the cost of stuff, yet they’ve got expensive cyborg mods and their stupid little space-bikes have ridiculously loud paint jobs and are the only things in Mos Espa not covered in sand.

Watch the first few seconds of Valliant Renegade’s video here.

And what the HELL is with this chick’s arm??

The Book Of Boba Fett: 10 Best Characters Ranked By ...

Did they cut her arm off, give her a robot arm, and stick her human hand back on? Where’s the blood circulation come from? The sense receptors? Or is it a cyborg hand like Luke’s, covered in fake skin? If so, why cover the hand but leave the rest of the arm exposed? Even the DESIGN sucks!!!

All of these characters are the human version of avocado toast in space, which leads to another problem:

BOBA IS A PUNK CHUMP WUSSY

Temuera Morrison Says Boba Fett Talks "Far Too Much" About ...

It makes no sense for Boba to hire these idiots, they’re freaking useless. Yet after listening to ten seconds of their Reddit-posts-disguised-as-dialogue, he takes their side in a price-gouging dispute. Now granted they come to his rescue when he gets woken up mid-nap by a Gladiator Wookie From Hell, and their weapons come in handy, but that’s it.

Why does he need the Bacta tank suddenly? The one he didn’t need in order to be in fighting shape to kill all those Stormtroopers, or duke it out with Koska Reeves?

Boba, the same Boba who killed like 80 Stormtroopers a year ago in one fight, gets his head handed to him repeatedly by anyone and everyone who doesn’t like him. He apologizes to people. He lets others insult him. He doesn’t show strength when he should broadcast it. And yet there are no repercussions for these oversights.

Oh, did he learn compassions during his time with the Tuskens? How? They beat the piss out of him constantly, and didn’t show him a lick of respect until he did something violent (killed the Behemoth.) He proved his use and loyalty to them once more by avenging their deaths at the hands of the Pyke syndicate, teaching them how to use speeder bikes to solve a problem that had been deadly to them for a long time.

He did so well that they made him one of them.

Then he gets his ship. Gets his armor. Gets his throne. And becomes a total wuss who apologizes to henchmen and allows enemies to make assassination overtures against him.

Weak. So weak.

ABSOLUTELY NO BUILD-UP TO BOBA AND THE RANCOR

No surprises. No training. No “oh, that happened in an unexpected way.” Just a “Hey, I want to learn to ride a rancor.” And then he rides a rancor. “It’s hard, it takes a lot of discipline.” Yeah the hell it does.

YOU WASTED DANNY TREJO

La surprise Danny Trejo dans Le Livre de Boba Fett expliquée | Premiere.fr

One of the baddest dudes in any galaxy, and you put him in an episode for three seconds so he could hand off a depressed animal to Boba Fett, and do nothing else. Come on, man.

HOW DID HE FIND OUT THE JAWAS HAD GIVEN HIS ARMOR TO COBB VANTH?

Oh, you want to know anything about that at all? Haha. Screw yourself.

SHOOT THIS IDIOT

Who Is The Mayor In Book Of Boba Fett? | Screen Rant

Jar-Jar, someone is coming for the title, dawg.

NOTHING ABOUT THE SARLACC SCENE MAKES ANY SENSE

Why in any of the worlds did Boba think his armor was still in the Sarlacc??? And how is Slave-1 supposed to hover like that WITH ITS MAIN PROPULSORS LITERALLY POINTING THE SHIP AT THE GROUND?!

GINA CARANO DID NOTHING WRONG

The Mandalorian May Want More Cara Dune But Many Star Wars Fans Want Less Gina Carano | Den of Geek

You may have forgotten, so you needed this reminder.

THE HUTT COUSINS WERE POINTLESS

Why Do You Need Permission to Kill a Hutt in 'The Book of ...

Oh hey, remember that villain from 1983? Here are his cousins. They could be a formidable force against Boba Fett…nah, we’ll just have them apologize for trying to kill him, and give him another rancor for the palace as a sign of best-friendsies. Mary Sue theme song intensifies…

THEY PLANTED A SEED FOR BOBA’S MOTIVATIONTO BECOME THE BOSS…THEN DID NOTHING

I almost thought we were going to get some good writing in this scene, something to justify Boba’s decision to take Jabba’s throne. The blue-collar guy on the ground got tired of taking orders from the white-collar idiot in the office, the guy giving senseless orders that had to be carried out, or else. Nah. It doesn’t have to make sense! We’ll just do whatever we want and you’ll have to like it, because Star Wars.

BUT GRAHAM! WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO FIX ALL THIS?!

You can find the episode list here. I won’t copy and paste each individual summary. Here’s how I would have done it instead:

Episode 1: (In the past) Boba Fett comes-to in the belly of the Sarlacc. Grapples his way toward a Stormtrooper corpse. Steals the chump’s water supply, torches his way toward the surface. From there he takes shelter in the wreckage of Jabba’s barge and treats his acid wounds using the last of the barge’s water supply.

This requires him to take off his armor. He’s there for a day or two. He wakes up, weak from lack of food, to see the barge raided by Jawas. He kicks a few into the sarlacc, but they knock him out and steal his armor. From there he’s found by Tuskens.

Yes, they enslave him. They deprive him of water. He tries to escape, but the Rodian outs him. Later Boba kills the Rodian because he’s BOBA FETT. The Tuskens beat him and make him work twice as hard to replace the labor of the lost Rodian. When the Tusken kid is threatened by the awakened Behemoth, Boba kills it, then demands some of the melons that he harvested. He doesn’t wait to be given it. He and the Tuskens understand each other now.

(In the present) Boba meets with everyone who was paying tribute to Jabba and reminds them that they now pay tribute to him. Some of these tribute-payers inform him of changes to their arrangements when Bib Fortuna rose to power. Boba constantly deals with people trying to lie to him and take advantage of the turbulence that comes with a regime change.

He and Fennec go out into Mos Espa to collect tributes. A few people complain that he doesn’t have a litter. Boba and Fennec are attacked by the shield assassins, but they utterly beat them and take one of the guys hostage. Boba expects they were sent by either a rival gang or an encroaching mob boss, but Fennec discovers it was actually the Mayor.

Episode 2 (In the past) Boba learns the Tusken way of fighting, which is different from much of what he learned at Jango’s hand. He also observes more of their interpersonal relations and learns that their hard-heartedness is a necessity in the Dune Sea. They don’t hate anyone, but they can’t afford to tolerate weakness in such a hostile environment. The more strength he shows and the better he gets at their way of life, the more respect they show him.

When the Pyke train attacks them, he carries out the retribution just like it happened in the show. His standing in the tribe increases.

(In the present) The Hutt Twins come to Mos Espa, claiming their cousin’s throne by right. Boba stares them down and tells them it’s his now, tribute has been paid to him, and if they try to encroach on his territory, they’ll be obliterated. Someone tells Boba he needs permission to kill a Hutt. Boba tells them to go screw themselves, because he’s Boba.

As he moves around in Mos Espa, Boba notices a drug epidemic, how the labor force is depleted because people are too high to work, and more people are dying from overdoses. Spice addiction is spreading and it’s weakening the societal foundations of Tatooine.

Then he meets the Mayor, crossing paths with his litter on the way to meet with the Pykes. Boba calls them out on their affiliation publicly. He’s showing strength, nevertheless he’s making enemies, and this complicates his future plans. End with him calling a meeting with the local business leaders (everyone who pays tribute to him) and make an assessment of their loyalty going forward.

Episode 3 (In the past) Boba demands tribute from the Pykes in order to run their trains through the Dune Sea. They tell him they’re already paying protection money to the Nikto gang. Boba seeks out the Nikto gang and sees them attacking the Tuskens, who have taken heavy casualties. They don’t get entirely wiped out but their numbers are so few that they can no longer support an independent tribe. They will seek life elsewhere on Tatooine and invite him to join them.

Boba decides not to, realizing that the power of the Pykes will only multiply, and good people will suffer for it. This is where we see him soften a little bit, and value the Tuskens as people instead of savages. His arc toward the benevolent pursuit of power starts to bend harder.

(In the present) Black Krrsantan sneaks into the palace using an entrance that the Hutts know of, but is not known to Boba. Boba is training with the Gamorrean Guards, showing them the disciplined staff-fighting techniques of the Tuskens, making them more formidable fighters. For that reason, Boba isn’t wearing his armor. He takes a bit of a beating from Krrsantan, as do the guards, but they use their staff-fighting skills (with Fennec’s help) to trap Krrsantan in the rancor pit.

Then he takes Krrsantan, bound and gagged, to the Hutts’ ship and drops him on their doorstep. He’s also got some other hired muscle from the old Jabba/Bib Fortuna network, and informs the Twins that if they don’t leave Tatooine immediately he’ll annihilate them. He sees that they have a rancor. “My pit is empty. That will fill it. I’ll accept it as tribute in exchange for your lives.”

The Hutts reluctantly agree, leaving the door open to a potential future conflict with them.

When Danny Trejo brings the rancor to the palace, it’s Boba who tells him that he heard of old warriors riding the rancor into battle. Trejo says it’s difficult, but doable. Boba wants to learn how. “They want me to have a litter? This will be my litter.”

Episode 4 (In the past) Boba is wandering in the desert. Really misses his armor. Later he sees the battle between Mando and Fennec, and finds her dying in the sand. He takes her to a medic in Mos Espa, a former Rebel doctor who retired to Tatooine and has saved people from severe injuries before. (Throwback time: it’s the doctor from Return of the Jedi who gave Luke a robotic hand.) He patches up Fennec in exchange for most of the money Boba has.

While leaving Mos Espa again, he hears about the distant colony of Mos Pelgo, and how there’s a marshal who killed a gang of raiders using Mandalorian armor he bought from the Jawas. But the colony is having trouble with a Krayt dragon and might get wiped out. Boba and Fennec goes the distance on his bantha and get there just in time to watch Mando ride out of Mos Pelgo, clearly carrying his armor on the back of his bike. Boba will never catch Mando without his ship.

Tries to get his ship. The palace is too well-guarded. Fennec and Boba have the fireside conversation. It’s mostly the same, but Boba emphasizes that he’s tired of being a hired gun and instead wants to call the shots, because the guys on top just get good people killed. People like him, people like the Tuskens. He’s starting to have ambitions. He respects Fennec’s reputation and asks her aboard.

They get Slave-1. They kill the Nikto gang. As a final farewell to his broken past, Boba does a fly-by on the Sarlacc and drops a seismic charge in it. Then they park the ship in Mos Espa and visit Crazy Mechanic Lady, asking her where the Mandalorian went.

(In the present) Training montage with the Gamorrean Guards. Practice sessions with the rancor. Planning meeting with Fennec and the other members of Boba’s circle, including those who pay tribute to him. Something has to be done about the spice and, by extension, the Mayor. At the end of the day, Boba’s the muscle, and business is good for him when it’s good for all of them. So while he’s not there to be their friend, he’s there to keep things running smoothly for everyone, ergo the drugs and the other muscle have to go.

Episode 5 (In the past) Boba, Fennec, Mando, and Cara Dune are flying to pick up Mayfeld from his prison colony. Boba is cleaning up his armor and repainting it. Fennec asks him about the dent in his helmet, and he briefly recaps his history with Cad Bane so that the viewers of this single program don’t have to waste hours on YouTube and Wikipedia, catching up on a freaking cartoon from fifteen years ago.

(In the present) The Syndicate hire Cad Bane to coordinate the efforts of their forces against Boba Fett. They know who’s working with him and who’s fighting for him, now they need insight into his thinking, as well as someone who’s dealt with him in the past.

Boba’s spies inform him that Cad Bane has entered the game. The Syndicate has a small army on Tatooine now, including some leftover droids in the form of scorpion tanks. Boba sends out messages to the last people he knows who haven’t yet joined the fight, and prepares to go to war with the Syndicate and the Mayor. End the episode with a conversation with Fennec, asking him if this was what he had in mind when he planned on taking over Jabba’s empire. Ask if his motivation to be in charge really adds up to all this. They’ve hired a bunch of mercs and bounty hunters to help them fight–can Boba really prove that he’s smarter than the thugs who used to hire him?

Episode 6 (In the past) Boba returns to Moff Gideon’s light cruiser after the events of Mando Season 2. He picks up Cara Dune, Fennec Shand, and Din Djarin. Bo-Katan and Koska take the light cruiser, along with Gideon, back to their allies to begin the retaking of Mandalore. Din Djarin needs a ride to the Not-Halo-Planet where he’ll find Pas Visla and the Armorer in season three of his own damn show. Cara Dune needs a lift back to Navarro, where she’s a marshal, only she gets a call from the New Republic leadership asking for a meeting elsewhere.

This prompts Boba and Fennec to discuss the role of the Republic in their exploits on Tatooine. Will it always be an Outer Rim backwater that the Republic ignores? Boba hopes so. He sees them as just another faction to have to handle, full of bureaucrats and other people who have never worked at ground-level. He’d rather they not meddle with his work on Tatooine.

(In the present) Open warfare at Jabba’s Palace. The Mayor, the Pykes, all their military might…they lay siege to Boba’s budding empire and offer him a chance at exile/full surrender, which he immediately rejects. A few of the hired mercs and bounty hunters retreat out the back door, failing to buy in to Boba’s vision.

One of the hired mercs is Black Krrsantan. Boba pays him extra to lead the most dangerous mercs through the secret tunnels and passageways of the Palace, taught to him by the Hutt Twins. When the Pyke forces invade, Krrsantan’s forces are instrumental in subverting their progress while Boba and the others can lead the counterattack.

During the battle though, Boba’s forces are initially overwhelmed. His rocket pack takes damage. He loses his ranged weapons. He loses contact with Fennec and the others. Comms are down. The palace is taking a pounding. He’s in the throne room, overwhelmed by Pyke combatants, led by Cad Bane, who outfoxed Boba, and one of them opens the trapdoor in the floor, sending Boba into the rancor pit…

But then a cavalry rescue happens, as some late answerers to Boba’s call join the fight. These consist primarily of the residents of Mos Pelgo (we drop all that “Freetown” BS) as well as the tribe of Tuskens who live out that way. The remnants of the Dune Sea Tuskens joined them and they vouched for Boba’s qualities. They also get a visit from a contingent of New Republic Rangers, sent by (by not led by) Cara Dune. As Boba mounts his rancor and rides it into battle out of the wreckage of the palace, the battle is routed in the other direction.

You can even have it end with another standoff between Boba and Cad Bane, only now it actually MEANS SOMETHING and the stakes of their previous encounters are known to the audience.

Tidy it all up in the aftermath. The palace is destroyed, but Cad Bane is dead and the Pykes are obliterated on Tatooine. Boba straight-up executes the Mayor for his part in it, and moves the seat of his criminal empire to the Mayor’s office in the middle of town.

Cherry on top of it all, the New Republic sends official diplomats to Tatooine in order to figure out what’s going on with the government out there. The diplomats are surprised to see Boba Fett sitting on the official seat of government, while Boba Fett is surprised to recognize the Republic diplomat: Han Solo himself, played by a digitally de-aged Harrison Ford, in much the same way we got a de-aged Luke at the end of Mando.

Both men take stock of their own journeys over the last five years, seeing how a smuggler went straight and a mercenary used his skills for the betterment of others, and not just himself. They acknowledge their troubled past and set it aside in the name of the Republic, knowing that they have to build something better than what they came from.

Fade to black, the end.

Only needed six episodes to do it. Now you can take episodes 5 and 6 as currently constituted, and have them be episodes 1 and 2 of Mando season 3 AS THEY SHOULD BE.

LOOK AT THE ABOVE AND TELL ME IT WOULD NOT BE HEAD AND SHOULDELRS ABOVE WHAT WE ACTUALLY GOT. WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT?

Every one of the actual episodes was written by Jon Favreau. So I don’t know what the junk is happening, all I know is, it sucks.

That’s it for now. I need to go boil my head. Bye.

State of the Dread: February 2022

Aiight kids, what’d we do, and what’re we doing?

Writing

Last month I finished my MAMMON short story for Rob Kroese’s anthology. This month I’m finishing the pre-draft work for HOWLING WILDERNESS, a new Engines tale. I’ve postponed it too many times and I really want to tell that story.

Reading

Author: Cervantes' 'Don Quixote' Has Become A Handbook For Life

Last month I read 9 books and got 60 pages into Don Quixote. This month I’ll finish my reread of WITCHY WINTER and hit page 150 in Quixote. 2 books made the best-of-year list. I’ll call that a win.

Audio

I recorded a weekly Radcracker episode and finished the audio for Sheriff Porter. Next month I only have to record for Radcracker, and I can do that in my car. Should be a chill month for audio.


Video

I started shorter videos of book reviews for the YT channel. Not completely married to the format, I might change it up and improve them. My most popular video was this one, on Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Art

Some minor stuff, I did a few personal drawings but nothing for the craft. This month I need to do a cover for Sheriff Porter. I’m deciding between two thumbnails.

Fitness

Main accomplishment in January? I cut back on sugar intake. For February my goal is to not have any sweetener before 7AM (like in my yerba) and to stick to a 12-hour IF window. I will also work out twice a week, or 8 times before the next State of the Dread. I’m going back to visible abs, children.

That’s all for now, get back to work.

MAMMON short story is done!

Writing update!

Last year Rob Kroese invited a bunch of indie authors to write short stories for a Mammon anthology. Here’s the Amazon link to the first book: Titan (Mammon) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09L4HRVGX/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_BKGTEZZGSGQT0QRGNE5K

The basic plot is that a huge asteroid full of precious metals comes close to Earth during a time of economic hardship, and some huge corporations think they can grab it and mine it.

Everything goes wrong from there.

I’ve seen Rob’s outline for the whole trilogy and it is REALLY COOL. Getting to write a short story about a trucker in this setting was an unexpected treat. I’m very grateful that he let me play in this sandbox.

Once I have a link to the anthology, I’ll share it here.

Next up: audio for Sheriff Porter.

State of the Dread: January 2022

Bring on another one! New year, new month, all that jazz.

Writing

This year I will not get distracted from the two books I have on deck for DPAH: BRIMSTONE and HOWLING. This month I need to finish a short story for an anthology and then it’s off to the races. Keeping it streamlined and simple.


Reading

Did a livestream last week recapping all 92 books I read in 2021, and here’s the rundown of the best 8. I’m also restarting my read of Quixote.


Drawing

May be a cartoon of text that says 'F THE RADCRACKER PODCAST'

Got some new podcast art up, and I’m practicing some reproductions from different art books I have. This month is FF12.


Audio


Nothing new on this front, subscribe to my podcasts here though.

Radcracker Podcast

DreadPennies Adventure Hour


Video


Nothing new here either, besides the livestream. Tune in for new weekly videos on the YT channel!

AUGUST IS OVER!!!

One of the three longest and dreariest months of the year is behind us! Two down! One to go!

The others are January and September.

Granted, ever since I dropped out of college my life hasn’t really followed the rhythm of “summer in June, school in September,” but I’ve got kids in school, and I track it for their sakes. Plus I just love the summer, always have. But August can burn in the hell that surely spawned it.

I don’t read a lot of manga, but…

…as I’ve been reaching into the backlist of this popular genre, someone recommended that I check out “Chainsaw Man” and it did not disappoint.

Chainsaw Man, Vol. 1 | Book by Tatsuki Fujimoto | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Utterly demented in the way that only a manga can be, and very comfortable with its own concept, this one just jumps into a world where demons are real and they can kill you, or save you if you befriend one.

Our lead character is trying to pay off his dad’s old gambling debts by hunting down demons and slaying them for pittances. When he falls in with a group of much more organized slayers, he starts to dream of a better life, which is within reach, but it will cost him.

I need to get better at grabbing the reader soon and just having fun with whatever story I’m telling. That’s one reason why I read stuff like this.