Clear Your Conscience With a Bag of Rice

…With blurry images of his nights with random Thai women filling his head, he headed to a local church and dropped off a bag of rice. It made him feel better about himself when he donated to people in need. It made the nun with the paddle go away.

There was a distinct chill in the air and, having lived in Thailand for so long, Archie definitely felt the cold air. His phone chimed with a text from Waan. He still hadn’t told her about his relocation….

From the latest in the Mingling in the CIA series, Archie.

Patriot Day

You may not even be aware that it’s Patriot Day. I mean, if you rely on your phone’s calendar, as many people do, to let you know which holiday or remembrance day it is, (real remembrance days, not just the Facebook “It’s National Doughnut Day!”) then you would have no idea that today is Patriot Day.

Mind you, my phone calendar (it’s an iphone) does have all of the Muslim holidays and some holidays of which I’ve never heard, but there is no mention of Patriot Day on my phone for the remembrance of the thousands of innocent people brutally murdered on September 11th. It used to be on there, but sadly, not anymore. Why was it removed? When did this happen?

I used to annoy the girl whom Annie (from my series, Mingling in the CIA) was based on by reminding her that pretty much every day there is a holiday in some country across the globe. I’m not against putting all of the world holidays on the calendar. But if the reason some companies are including only the Muslim holidays is to be “inclusive” and “tolerant”, then by this same logic we would be including Loy Krathong and Songkran, in addition to many others.

Some day, when we no longer see memorials for September 11th on television, a mention on the calendar would be one small way to ensure we remember and teach generations to come about what happened on that September day in 2001. Let’s not forget.

If you’d like to read my September 11th article for OpsLens, please click here.

You Can Never Have Enough Sanuk

“You go your place. Her place mai dai!” She exclaimed.


The woman bustled off, the sound of her flip-flops clacking down the hallway. Glancing down at the paper she handed him, he read the figure of 66,500 baht.


Seems a little expensive for a couple of beers.


Archie shrugged his shoulders. Headquarters was paying the tab, so he wasn’t too worried about the price.


“Hey, how much does she charge?” Archie heard Oliver yell after him as he left the bar with Hom on his arm…

Tahiti, Anyone?

“Yes, I was hoping I could pick my next assignment today. I have some big things going on and I think I can coordinate some of my ops with my current assets so there wouldn’t be any turnover required. I could keep them all and still easily run them from Tahiti, or alternatively, Fiji would work.” Archie paused.

Henningway met Archie’s grinning face with a blank stare. It seemed he blinked fifty times.

“Do you speak French?”

“Well, uh, no but… I figured I could get by,” Archie stammered.

Henningway went back to looking at his computer screen.

“It looks like you’ll be coming to Headquarters to serve as…” He trailed off. A look of disbelief came over his typically blank face. “Chief of Operations of this group,” he finished, somewhat reluctantly….

Book Launch Day! Are you ready to meet Archie?

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s REALLY like to work at the CIA, you will have an awakening when you read my books. My series of short reads, or novelettes, Mingling in the CIA, takes readers into the lives of the CIA officers I met during my time there. You’ve met Annie, you’ve met Bloud…..

This time, join me in Thailand for some debaucherous fun! Are you ready to meet Archie?

The Trash is Passed! And Rewarded…

…Bloud eventually managed to finagle his way into working outside of the office, instead of being there every day to further poison the atmosphere. It seemed Vicky’s perception of Bloud had changed pretty dramatically and the decision had been made to allow him to become a satellite employee of our office, in preparation for future overseas posting. There were quite a few beach locations that Bloud was proposing as his next assignment, and to my surprise Headquarters was entertaining these requests. For the time being, he was going on very expensive TDYs to different paradises in the Caribbean [text was redacted here]. Written from various barstools in tropical resort towns, his cables never made much sense, just a barrage of babble that someone in our office or at Headquarters had to rewrite. He could not be bothered with actually writing cables documenting his work, a secretary would surely be needed to do this for him. It pained me to see these trips get approved when it was pretty clear they were a colossal waste of money…

Chief of Hissy Fits

As Chief of Operations, Bloud wasn’t very impressive…

…Bloud was in charge while Lawrence was gone, but that was not saying much. He had taken to throwing hissy fits and closing himself in his office any time he received news from Headquarters that he did not like. He would leave the young officers who needed his guidance out in the cold while he sulked behind a closed door. He had also begun a weekly ritual of cooking a slab of meat in a crock pot for the whole office and we were all expected to eat it and listen to him blabber on while the young officers kissed his butt. I dreaded being herded into the office kitchen for these little get-togethers…

Slab o’ Meat

Government Bloat and Bullsh*t

The next swamp creature we met in the Mingling in the CIA series was Bloud.

…Bloud was an experienced [text is redacted here] officer, in his fifties, whom I had heard much about. Apparently he had done some pretty exciting things years ago and he loved talking about his experiences, holding a captive audience in the young officers surrounding him. He delighted in telling tales of encounters with tigers and serving time in a hole in the ground somewhere in the Middle East. It was hard to imagine this slovenly, obese man doing anything besides eating pork rinds and drinking beer, but the stories were entertaining. He was given the Chief of Operations or third-in-charge position in the office. I did not have many friends in the office and he seemed like an interesting drinking buddy, so one day after work Bloud and I went to a nearby bar for drinks….

The Federal Government Way – Pass The Trash!

Annie strikes again. Your first introduction to one of the swamp creatures in my series, Mingling in the CIA:

…Her whole career was in limbo and she was going through something called mediation with her former supervisors. This was a process whereby she could contest the citation for bad behavior they had placed in her file. In any other workplace I knew of she would have been fired for not calling in when sick, not to mention dropping the ball on some highly sensitive intelligence during a critical time, but in the Agency there really did not seem to be a way to get rid of people who were bad employees. It was called “passing the trash,” and Annie would just be moved from assignment to assignment for her entire career….

The Cream of the Crop?

…Annie was another of the many women I encountered at the Agency who made me wonder how on earth she passed the psychological exam to get in.  She was a masseuse on the side and she often told me stories about giving married men “happy endings.”  Some of the men were Agency employees.  She seemed proud of this activity.  One day, after I had come back from my TDY medical exam, she loudly proclaimed that I could not possibly be done with my medical travel clearance because I hadn’t met with a psychologist yet.  It crossed my mind that maybe she should not be so open about this information.  Apparently, if you had red flags in your psychological history, the medical office would have you meet with a psychologist before you were allowed to go on even a brief TDY.  I had not met with one, but was granted my travel clearance, so I was set to go.  Annie was one of the main people who made me question the Agency’s hiring process…