Happy 242nd Birthday, Marines!

On November 1st, 1921, John A. Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, directed that a reminder of the honorable service of the Corps be published by every command, to all Marines throughout the globe, on the birthday of the Corps. Since that day, Marines have continued to distinguish themselves on many battlefields and foreign shores, in war and peace. On this birthday of the Corps, therefore, in compliance with the will of the 13th Commandant, Article 38, United States Marine Corps Manual, Edition of 1921, is republished as follows:

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world’s history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation’s foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long era of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres, and in every corner of the seven seas that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term “Marine” has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish, Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as ‘Soldiers of the Sea’ since the founding of the Corps.

— from The Marine Officer’s Guide


Happy Birthday, Marines! 242 years old today. Semper Fi!


Happy Judgment Day!

Roses are Red
Violets Are Blue
Humanity’s toast
Suck on my big fat CPU.

Love, Skynet.                                             

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of humanity and the rise of the machines.

terminator-101Judgment Day: August 29th, 1997. Sunblock optional.

Here’s hoping you can get out and enjoy it!

Talking with TrekCore about the Klingon Travel Guide!

What happens when you spend 20-30 minutes spewing stream-of-consciousness blathering into a phone, pausing for the occasional breath while the person on the other end recovers from that maelstrom and attempts to ask another question?

Sometimes, it ends up printed as an interview somewhere.

That was the case last week when I spoke to Rich Schepis, who walked into the fire burning hot inside the lion’s mouth long enough to talk to me for TrekCore.com about my recently released tome, Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire.

HUTG Klingon Lifestyle (Twitter)

Rich is a patient, understanding sort, and he was able to pull apart the verbal hairball I hacked his way, and turn my yammering into something intelligible. I hope they pay him pretty well, over there.

Have a read, if you’re so inclined:

TrekCore.com – INTERVIEW: Dayton Ward’s Guide to the KLINGON EMPIRE

Many thanks to Rich and the gang at TrekCore for putting up with my shenanigans.

In related news, I found out this morning that the Vulcan Travel Guide is included as one of the juicy items in the second edition of the “ThinkGeek Capsule,” which is ThinkGeek’s super cool version of a LootCrate subscription box. So, if you were looking for a reason to pick up that book AND something snazzy to subscribe to on a regular basis, well then BOOM! Two birds with one stone, and all that.

Geek.com – Let’s Look Inside ThinkGeek Capsule #2


Neat, amirite?



March writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAaaaaaaaaaaand just, like that, 2017 is 25% in the books.

It’s like the damned year can’t wait to throw my ass over the cliff and into the waiting embrace of my looming 50th birthday.


March’s big news was that I got started on the new novel project, about which I am currently allowed to say nothing. At the same time, I’m working to finish an outline for another book, about which I’m also permitted to share precisely nada. A few other things are percolating on different fronts, as well. Hey! The life of a freelancer is in large part about planning the next few moves on the board.

(Note to editors: Will write for money. Or food. Or vodka.)

Continue reading “March writing wrap-up.”

“Ten for Ward” #17 at StarTrek.com: The Secret Stories Behind 10 Star Trek Puzzles

It’s been more than a year since my last contribution to StarTrek.com, and I’m absolutely certain this latest piece will explain why that’s the case.

stpuzzle-dustyabel50thThe family and I have recently been flirting with jigsaw puzzles. Our coffee table currently is covered with the 1,000 scattered pieces of just such a puzzle, which depicts the theater poster for the classic science fiction film, Forbidden Planet. Once that’s done, we’ll be turning our attention to the 3,000-piece monstrosity that is artist Dusty Abell‘s glorious celebration of Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary.

Buying this thing started me thinking about other Star Trek puzzles, particularly those from when I was a kid. Now with children of my own, I’ve occasionally re-acquired a certain book, toy, or other doo-dad from my youth to share with them, and among the earlier purchases were old Trek jigsaw puzzles. Most of them were fairly simple – 150 to 300 pieces – that we could assemble together, especially when they were younger and just starting to figure out those kinds of things. A few of those old puzzles still make me smile with their goofy charm.

And then, as can happen when I sleep too little and drink perhaps a bit too much, my imagination starts to wander and I begin to conjure stories to go with the wacky scenes being depicted in some of these things. For example, what the hell is going on here?


Little too much “Animated” or “Gold Key Comic” Star Trekkyness for you? Okay, what about this one?


I know, right?

Find out the “secret,” insomnia fueled back story behind these puzzles and eight others, with my latest Ten for Ward installment:

StarTrek.com: Dayton Ward’s Secret Stories for 10 Star Trek Jigsaw Puzzles

And if this ends up being my final column for the site, now you know why.

Happy 117th Birthday, Indiana Jones!

Today marks the birth date of Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr., famed archaeologist, renowned professor, traveled adventurer, and all around nice guy.

If ever you need an historical artifact or object of the occult located and liberated from uptight French rivals, scheming Nazis or commie graverobbers, he’s your man.

If you’re starving in some backwater village and worried about some ancient voodoo rocks rather than finding a decent sandwich shop, this is the dude you call.

If you’ve got alien bodies that need studying before they’re whisked away to secret military warehouses, he’s good at that, too.

If you want someone to show you the folly of bringing a sword to a gunfight, he’s got it covered.

Indiana Jones: July 1, 1899 – ???

Smart, tough, resourceful, and ruggedly handsome. There are so few of us.

Were he still alive, he’d be 117 today.

On the other hand, he did drink from the Holy Grail, so maybe he is still alive? Hmmmmmmm?

(Indiana Jones, circa 1992)

You just never know about these things.

So, just in case…Happy 117th Birthday, Dr. Jones!

TV crossover musings (and missed opportunities?).

WARNING: This is an example of a rambling blog post that someone writes when they’re killing time waiting for something else to happen. If you’re fast enough, you still can escape with your lives.

Still here? All righty, then. Beware: All kinds of TV nerdity looms ahead. Apologies in advance.

Today, while out to my local Target in search of a few odds and ends as well as something for lunch, I wandered past the store’s media section and spied a few copies of the NCIS: The Tenth Season DVD set. I was reminded that as we head into the final days of August, season premieres are coming soon and so the previous season’s shows are starting to hit the various home video/on-demand viewing formats.


I’ve been a fan of NCIS since it was a two-part backdoor pilot episode of JAG, a series which was humming along on its own eighth season when its creator, Donald P. Bellisario, decided it was time to make up another TV show. The dude’s been rather successful in that regard over the years, you know. His name on a series has been a staple of television going back to the 70s, after all. As for this newest attempt, I’d already been a fan of Mark Harmon for years, but he’d dropped off my radar for a time until he did a guest stint for a handful of episodes of The West Wing during that show’s third season. To hear the story, it was that role which brought him to Bellisario’s attention and made the producer decide to cast him as the star of his new series. Lucky us, as it’s ten years later and I can’t imagine the show working with anyone but Harmon as NCIS agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

To be honest, a lot of what makes NCIS work isn’t the stories (though it has its fair share of good ones), but instead the characters and the cast of actors who portray them. Their chemistry is some of the best of any ensemble show, and seems to be the major reason the series not only has survived for ten seasons (getting ready for #11), but also has been a ratings king for most of that time. Indeed, NCIS is one of those rare shows that started out with modest ratings and then continued to increase its viewership with each successive season.

It’s freakin’ weird, yo.

(Shameless Whine: I really, really wanted somebody to land a tie-in license for NCIS novels. I’d have been on that like bacon on…well…anything. I’m pretty sure I could pull off writing Gibbs and the gang, by golly. Alas, it seems never to be.)

Interestingly, and with a few minor exceptions very early on, NCIS blazed its own trail after spinning out of JAG, avoiding any high-profile crossover episodes with its parent series. That was probably for the best, as the two shows are different enough in tone that they really didn’t need to prop up each other. Of course, I’d already been lamenting what I thought was an opportunity that Bellisario missed, by not having JAG need to investigate a case in Hawaii and perhaps requiring the assistance of former Navy SEAL and (retired?) private investigator Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV. It seemed to be a no-brainer, what with Magnum, P.I. also being a Bellisario-created series, right?

Oh, well.

Later, I thought NCIS might try it at some point, but then one episode had Very Special Agent Tony DiNozzo refer to Magnum as a TV character and series. NOOOO!!!!!! 

Dang it. So close….


Of course, my Magnum crossover fetish goes back to the early days of that series. Magnum, P.I. premiered on CBS the season after the original Hawaii Five-O wrapped after twelve years filming on location in the Aloha State. With a full production studio located there, CBS was looking to make use of those facilities so BOOM! Along comes Thomas Magnum. That show made the occasional reference to McGarrett and “Five-O” during its early seasons, but such nods and hat-tips faded as the series went along.

(Squirrel: In one interview I remember reading years ago, author Tom Clancy–at one time, at least–was involved in preliminary discussions to team up Magnum and his Jack Ryan character in some sort of TV project. That never happened, but I remember being stoked by it.)

NCIS cruised merrily along for several years–never granting my wish of some kind of Gibbs/Magnum teamup–before birthing its own spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles, with a younger, hipper cast doing things their own way out on the left coast. While there were a few early crossovers between the two shows, the newer series has, like its predecessor, seemed content to go its own way.


Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Eyeball Network, McGarrett and his gang got rebooted with an all-new version of Hawaii Five-0. No sooner did I hear about that show than I started conjuring the possibility of this new crew needing to avail themselves of that aforementioned former Navy SEAL and (retired?) private investigator. Of course, Tom Selleck was still working for CBS, heading up a new show of his own, Blue Bloods, as well as showing up in the occasional Jesse Stone TV movie. Still, a dude can dream, right? McGarrett and Danno yanking Magnum off a fishing boat and out of retirement for some big case?


Then, Hawaii Five-0 did a crossover with NCIS: Los Angeles, effectively nullifying that idea, since–as we’ve already established–Magnum is a fictional character in the JAG/NCIS/NCIS:LA-iverse.

Curses! Foiled again.

I mean, it could still happen, of course. It’s TV, so anything’s possible, but you and me and the nerds among us would know all along that such an occurrence–should it come to pass–would be a canon violation, and we just can’t be havin’ any of that shit. Nuh-uh. No way. No how.


Still, for TV geeks like us, pondering this sort of thing is fun…even if I did just spend more time and energy on the notion than might be considered healthy.

Of course, I suppose a crossover can’t really be a crossover unless it features the quintessential crossover character, amiright? You know who I’m talking about….

JohnMunch (Click me to learn the Truth.)

Yep. Munch on that.

SciFi Face-Off!

It’s Kirk vs Picard. Because WHY NOT?


Today I have decided to pay homage to the late, great Gene Roddenberry on what would have been his 93rd birthday by conducting an interview I believe he might have enjoyed. Now I ask you, what better way to pay tribute to one of the greatest contributors to the SciFi genre than to have a face-off of Starship Captains? Ladies and gentlemen I give you…


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