Book Review: Survive Like a Spy: Real CIA Operatives Reveal How They Stay Safe in a Dangerous World and How You Can Too

Former CIA agent Jason Hanson’s retelling of how spies handle assets and use various spy craft tools, coupled with advice about how the rest of us might use these techniques could have made for an interesting read– and it almost did.

I wanted to like this book.

Survive Like a Spy
The shameless insertions of author-owned websites and periodic touting of his first book pissed me off. These could have been addressed in the introduction and would have made me feel a whole lot less like an assault victim duped into reading a glorified advertisement.

To its credit, the graphic design editor deserves kudos for a the clever choice of font throughout which lends well to the visual impact of this book.

 

Acid Test: A Review

Acid Test by Tom Shroder

Going with the assumption that the facts set forth are true, this book gives me a new found appreciation for researchers and scientists who continue to work tirelessly to provide a positive impact upon those who suffer from PTSD. Mind bending insights (pun not withstanding).

Updating to the latest MacOS High Karate

Since I woke up and began writing while still in my PJs and Bucks T-shirt, it was afternoon by the time I finished writing an article that deserved more than its allotted space. I hard-scrabbled it down to a shell of its former self, satisfied that while imperfect, it is as good as it will get given the time.

So while I wait for the latest MacOS High Karate to upload to my laptop, writing with a pen in one of a stack of 50 new spiral notebooks that I bought when they were on sale at Wally World 10 for $10 about four years ago, I’m attempting to soak off the old gel nails from my left hand with 100 percent acetone which I realized in the wee hours of last night I had neglected to keep on hand and that required a trip to the drug store today to purchase. Damn it.

Unshowered and looking unkempt, I deodorized, put on a fresh blouse and my Lauren Conrad printed leggings, a pair of slides and my old jeans jacket (not my best look) to venture to the local RiteAid for acetone. After pondering the poor selection of available nail polish colors, I opted out and headed to the registers to pay for the bottle of acetone where Gertrude yelled to the only other cashier for assistance, flustered by the line of four mildly irritated patrons.

Pleased that no one I knew saw me shopping, I hurried to the car, stopped at the florist to order a bouquet for a friend and returned to the home office.

I gathered the cotton balls, acetone and nail clips and prepared my left hand. The acetone bottle label set in random position before me revealed what I presume is the RiteAid slogan: ‘look great feel great’ (all lowercase) above its 100% money back guarantee.

I snarfed my coffee.

I mean, I get it. It’s a slogan; one probably spitballed at a meeting of the best and brightest branding minds in the marketing department, run by focus groups, and approved by the management and shareholders who voted for it based on recommendations buried deep in the annual report. Considering that the only alternative nail polish removal method is the Dremel 4000 (read: dangerous equipment), it’s just hard to imagine a scenario in which acetone (read: some kind of poison) would make me look greater or feel greater.

This thought of course, made me examine the label further.

Turns out that 100% acetone consists of the following ingredients: acetone and denatonium benzoate. Um…excuse me. Question in the back of the room!

 

I think I need to resurrect those old Ross Perot pie-charts and graphs. While I never claimed to be strong in the STEM fields, I thought 100% still represents a whole? Maybe you MIT-Silicon Valley or chemistry types can clarify that for me.

Well, my High Karate operating system is ready to roll. Got more writing to do!

Movie Mystery and Intrigue

A fellow blogger posted his list of 50 favorite movies. Sometimes the perfect storm of direction, cinematography, lighting, on-screen talent, dialog, costumes and makeup, special effects and musical score combine to create a masterpiece.

For me, what makes a movie memorable are the lines; the words on a page, committed to memory and delivered with precision and emotion. Recognize any of these, who said them or where they come from?

 

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.

It’s merely a flesh wound.

So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower.

Face it, girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.

It’s a business lie. It’s not the same as a life lie.

Come on in and try not to ruin everything by being you.

You are certainly the most distinguished group of highway scofflaws and degenerates ever gathered together in one place.

Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome.

Our speedometer has melted and as a result it’s very hard to see with any degree of accuracy exactly how fast we were going.

*****

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

I had no idea that broccoli could be so intriguing.

You soaked his underwear in meat? That is so wrong. Funny—but wrong.

Dude, is my face okay? I think you melted it off.

*****

Are you gonna eat your tots?

Photo Credit: thecia.com.au

I couldn’t love you any more if you were my own son. But the fact of the matter is, you’re… well you’re a putz.

You’ve got a great future in front of you in Retail Food marketing, and I just hate to see you throw it all away by going psycho on us.

Let me out there, sir, I have no problem exposing myself.

 

 

Now this is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night. That when I get older, these kids are going to take care of me.

Thank you for the cookies. I look forward to tossing them.

You’re different and special in your own way. Live it. Own it.

And up goes Her Royal Highness… Now exhale slowly…And down goes Her Royal Highness…

Heeere’s Johnny!