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SKYBIRD:
Dale Brown’s Ops Report
Copyright © 2005, TDPI

Riding? What kind of riding?

[IMAGE] This is the new Earth-bound flying machine: a Honda Gold Wing 1800A motorcycle. I've been on the hunt for one ever since I test-drove one three years ago, when I immediately sold my Harley-Davidson DynaGlide motorcycle in anticipation of buying one. Believe it or not, I bought this one on eBay, and the transaction went through smoothly and successfully (with the help of an escrow company).

A lot of you motorcycle purists claim the "Hondaminium" is not a motorcycle at all but a two-wheel automobile, and I'd have to agree. Like the Cessna P210 it's designed for long-range cruising. It has cruise control, AM/FM radio, intercom, anti-lock brakes, trunk space for overnight bags, and even reverse gear. I added a PDA holder for navigation and playing audiobooks through the intercom, and a cup holder.

Again, my mechanic brother Ken (who I swear can fix a rainy day) added a few refinements to the bike, including a DC power outlet for the PDA, highway pegs, flashing high-beam headlights, armrests for the passenger, a trailer hitch…

…and the most important addition: a rack to carry golf clubs!

Golf clubs?

I took golf lessons in college and played a little back when I was in the Air Force (along with tennis) because it was a good way to get "face time" with the bosses. My wife and I bought a used set of clubs about five years ago, promising each other we were going to get into the game. Our little mountain town has two 18-hole courses, both with beautiful Lake Tahoe, forest, and mountain views; there are two dozen courses within an hour's drive, and it seemed a shame not to take advantage of them; and most of the places we vacation, travel to on business, or attend flight training--Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Orlando, Maui--have lots of golf nearby. But I never found the time, and the clubs sat in storage.

Last spring my best friend and neighbor invited me out to play a round with business associates from out of town, and even though I lost badly and stopped keeping score after the 100th stroke, I was re-hooked on the game. Now I hit a bucket or two of practice balls on the local range almost every day at lunch, signed up for a few lessons, and managed to play a few rounds this past summer.

The town courses are closed for the season (we had our first snowfall of the season on 14 October!), but I am bound and determined to keep up with my game over the winter by playing some of the year-round courses in the Carson Valley. If you're around Empire Ranch or Eagle Valley in Carson City, or Lakeside in Reno, I'll see you out there!

Click here for more on Act Of War

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Act Of War (June 2005)

ACT OF WAR introduces a whole new hero and a new conflict to techno-thriller fans around the world.

A series of deadly terrorist attacks in the United States and South America--including a nuclear attack near Houston, Texas--has the entire world on red alert. The attacks appear to be targeting an American energy company, but the terror group that calls itself GAMMA seems to be more than the anti-globalization, pro-environmental activists it claims to be.

Enter U.S. Army Major Jason Richter and his partner, Dr. Ariadna Vega of the Army Research Lab's Infantry Transformational BattleLab. These two young engineers have designed and built a land combat system designed to replace an entire motorized infantry squad: CID, or Cybernetic Infantry Device, a piloted robot with the speed and firepower of a weaponized Humvee, the strength of a bulldozer, and the agility of a special ops commando.

The hard-charging National Security Adviser, Robert Chamberlain, pairs Richter and Vega up with an FBI intelligence expert, Special Agent Kelsey DeLaine, and a veteran special ops expert, Command Sergeant Major Ray Jefferson, to form Task Force TALON, the first joint military-FBI unit charged with hunting down and stopping terrorists anywhere in the world. With CID's speed, power, weaponry, and amazing capabilities, combined with the talents of the U.S. Army and the investigative skills of the world's greatest detective agency, TALON is designed to put terrorists on the run around the globe.

But putting conflicting and single-minded personalities like Richter and DeLaine together is like mixing oxygen and gasoline: do it right and it produces horsepower--do it wrong, and it creates an explosion. Even the National Security Adviser can't seem to control his team. Can Task Force TALON survive long enough to hunt down GAMMA and its secret puppetmaster, the shadowy Consortium, before the next deadly attack?

"The novels of Dale Brown brim with violent action, detailed descriptions of sophisticated weaponry and political intrigue... His ability to bring technical weaponry to life is amazing."
--San Francisco Chronicle

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Trident Media Group
(212) 262-4810

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