Actually, I guess Army barracks have come a long way since the traditional “rows of bunk beds in a Quonset hut” as seen in war movies. The modern barracks displayed in this video do seem comparatively swank. Though the comments beneath indicate such are far from being standard issue for most soldiers, at least at the moment.

And just going by my brief time spent at Ft. Irwin’s Iraq-training facility I gather that Rangers such as Max would find living quarters considerably more rugged in the field.

More below!



Big Changes


I’m currently going over the galley proofs of a detective novel I originally wrote back in the 1980s which is now being republished by Brash Books. It’s an L.A. noir pulper that I had a lot of fun writing back in the day, containing a certain amount of gumshoe styling and (surprise!) a large amount of violence.

Thing is, back when it was originally published, the setting was “present day” (as in 1980s) and so required no elaboration, but as I’m rereading it now, I’m realizing that right in the first few pages the main character “drops a dime in a pay phone” (Ten cents? Even assuming you can find a pay phone?) and then spends a quarter on a copy of the LA Times which is “the size of a phone book.” (Yes, newspapers were hugely thick back then, and yes, they cost a quarter. And yes, people actually used phone books.)

I’m not going to try to update it. Attempting to deal with advent of cellphones, computers, GPS, facial recognition scanners and metal detectors would essentially destroy the story, which is very much a product of its period. But I do feel that in order to prevent confusion for the reader I’ll need to stick in a line right up front somewhere that clearly establishes the timeframe. Not a big deal, just something I hadn’t anticipated — just how much has changed in thirty years.

I mean, besides my hair color.

–Bob out


PS — Speaking of period pieces, if you are fond of longforms with nice art (and you must be — you’re here, right?) you might like to take a look at Pepperpot Piper. It’s a Jazz-age webcomic set in San Francisco, and I’m not positive about this, but I gather that the artist/writer (Joseph Kelly) actually hand-paints the pages with oils. Not surprisingly, it only updates every two weeks, but it really is a treat when it does!