This last weekend, I overheard two of the volunteers at the New Braunfels Weihnachtsmarkt commiserating on how the last two months of the year seem to go on rocket-powered skates. For them, the last two months of the year are spent sequentially at Wurstfest, early in November; at Weihnachtsmarkt in mid-November; Thanksgiving, which slaughters the last of the month, along with Christmas shopping in other venues firing up with a roar, then Christmas… This demolishes pretty much all of December, until one emerges in the New Year, exhausted, partied-out, gifted-out, volunteered-out, and with one’s checking account sobbing for mercy.

Fellow Texas indy author CM Bratton setting up in New Braunfels.

Fellow Texas indy author CM Bratton setting up in New Braunfels.

This is pretty much what Blondie and I will be doing, in support of my books and her origami and beading – and origami-plus-beading art – although we will have a short break over this week’s Thanksgiving break. This we will spend, sorting out the fence between ourselves and our neighbor to the immediate south, as the fence posts along that property line have disintegrated to the point where there is actually no connection at about soil-level between the concrete and the posts which supposedly uphold the fence. This is the stretch of fence that I replaced myself in about 2002 or 2003, over the Thanksgiving weekend, since the bulk trash pick-up in my fair city was conveniently scheduled for the week following …

Where was I? Oh, yes – the schedule and last weekend … they had decorated the hall through the Convention Center with seasonal arches, all lighted and seasonally adorned, and moved the Santa venue to one of the conference rooms adjacent to where I thought would be prime spot to have a table … alas, it would have only worked for someone having strictly children’s books of the ‘large picture and simple word’ style … although I did sell a set of Quivera Trail/Steel Roads to the energetically costumed couple who were doing St. Nicholas and Mrs. St. Nicholas for the entire weekend. I did OK with my books over the two days, but not so thick a traffic with the new releases as we had hoped. A number of sets of The Adelsverein Trilogy – which practically sold us out … but not so many of the new books as we had hoped, based on previous years. Blondie speculates that perhaps we have tapped-out the market in New Braunfels for a while.

So – on to the next events; Goliad with Christmas on the Square – which I love purely because that event is so small-town local. I’ve been coming back to it and back to it again; it’s a goodish drive, and on that one year that it was murderously cold, I didn’t sell a single book – but still. Much of the inspiration for Chronicles of Luna City came from stories that we heard there, or things we saw – like the lovely classic courthouse square. That will be Saturday, December 5th. Then, the following Sunday afternoon, it’s Chocolate and Santa at La Escondida Celebration Center in Helotes. The weekend after that – the 19th and 20th, back to Boerne Town Square for the Cowboy Christmas Market … and then we likely will collapse for the rest of the year, completely exhausted.

But then … I have to get cracking on finishing The Golden Road – the adventures of a wide-eyed teenaged Fredi Steinmetz in California during the gold rush. And more stories for another collection of Lone Star Sons, and yet more for Luna City.

This was a lovely and profitable Saturday in Bulverde, where we had a table (actually a pair of tables facing in opposite directions in the center of one of the exhibit halls in the Community Center) for the first event on our season of book and craft market events. This is the first on our schedule for this season, which will see us on most weekends until Christmas. Last year at this event was … eh, not very promising at all, but this time around – yes. My daughter had a nice round of sales for her origami-based and bead-weaving based adornments, which she had at a fairly reasonable and appealing price.

The sad thing was – we went up to Bulverde late Saturday afternoon to set up, since her stock in trade is kind of finicky to put on display, we spent a while at it – and returned home and to internet access to hear all about the Moslem terrorist strikes in Paris. Yes, I said it – Moslem Terrorists. Terrorists – deal with it. In the 1980s, I lived with the possibilities of anti-American terrorism in Greece – around the corner always; assassinations, explosions, sudden random gunfire, sabotage and all that. These are on the schedule to be happening here, apparently, if the loonies of ISIS/ISIL are to be believed. Whether they can pull off something like that here in Texas … well, it didn’t end at all well for the pair of Moslem loonies who tried to shoot up the Draw Mohammed contest in Garland. They didn’t make it past security at the pull-in for the parking lot. Never assume that you will out-gun the locals at an art show in Texas.

The show itself proved to be a pretty good day for us both; I suspect that my daughter has now shown up at enough of these local shows to attract repeat attention. Her origami earrings and beaded bracelets are original, and rather reasonably priced … a perfect, inexpensive, original and charming gift, something that a teenager can afford to purchase with pocket money. This was also my first outing with print copies of Sunset and Steel Rails, which went also very well. So did Quivera Trail, saleswise. Here is hoping that this particular event is a good omen for the next few. We have added an event the second weekend in December in Helotes, which will be a new one for both of us. Next Friday and Saturday, I’ll be bringing more copies of Sunset & Steel Rails, and the first shipment of Chronicles of Luna City to the New Braunfels Convention Center – so, hope to see you there.

And the goose is getting fat … time to put a penny in the poor author’s hat … yep, much appreciated, as the household account was depleted yesterday by the death of the Whirlpool dryer. Which, as the darned thing was twenty years old, was hardly unexpected; this was the last of the three household appliances that I purchased at the Base Exchange when I bought my house and moved into it in 1995. The washer was replaced two years ago, the refrigerator about 18 months ago, so the dryer was surviving on borrowed time, and becoming increasingly inefficient. This, in spite of having applied the business end of the shop-vac to the house dryer vent and cleared out all the lint … and seriously, the shop-vac could – in a colorful and slightly off-color simile – suck the paint off a car fender.

Anyway – off to the friendly neighborhood Scratch and Dent Super-Store, where amazing bargains are to be had, as the various large household appliances are available for quite good and readily negotiable prices (with delivery, installation and haul-away of the old appliance for an additional reasonable charge) since the items on hand are either slightly dinged, surplus to requirements at the original retailer, overages from the manufacturer, special-orders not redeemed at the last minute, et cetera. It’s a mixed bag, usually limited to what they have on hand at any given minute … but they will bargain, and we promptly had discounts on a suitable model which 9780989782050-Perfect.inddwas a good match for the washer – discounts for being repeat customers, veterans and referring neighbors right and left. We like this place – the sales staff have the authority to negotiate; so very rare in a top-down corporate enterprise world. Even with tax and delivery, the cost of a replacement dryer still came out to about two-thirds what it would have been new, from any other retailer. It was promptly delivered today … but in the meantime … the other schedule. The seasonal crush of market events begins for both my daughter and I, even before Thanksgiving. We have a full schedule of events, beginning this weekend and running nearly up to Christmas itself. I usually try and time my book releases for this season; this year it is different because a) two books are in play, and my daughter has co-author credit for one of them. She came up with the characters and the general plot, and I write the rest; fine-tune the plot, the conversations, and descriptions.

This Saturday is a craft fair in Bulverde, at the Bulverde Spring Branch Activity Center, 30280 Cougar Bend. Then, on next Friday and Saturday, the 20th and 21st, it’s the New Braunfels Weihnachtsmarkt, in the New Braunfels Civic Center. This is the planned launch event for both of the new books: Sunset and Steel Rails, and The Chronicles of Luna City. The New Braunfels Civic Center is at 375 S Castell Ave – which is the main street running east from IH 35 into the old downtown part of New Braunfels.

Then – we will be in Miss Ruby’s Author Corral, somewhere about Goliad’s downtown square on the 5th of December — sometimes the Author Corral is in one of the shop-fronts along Courthouse Square. We are tentatively set for an event in Helotes on December 13th, and we might still have the stamina for a final pre-Christmas market in Boerne on the following weekend.

9780989782241-Perfect.2.inddOf the two books, Sunset and Steel Rails is a historical novel, set between 1884 and 1900, following the experiences of a young woman who comes west as a Harvey Girl. She is, all unknowing, related to the Vining and Becker families through her grandfather, who had a family in Boston … and another one in Texas, four decades previously. It overlaps with The Quivera Trail – and a fair number of characters from that book, and the Trilogy generally make appearances – but again, it is an independently-standing narration.

The Chronicles of Luna City is something quite different – an exploration of a little town in South Texas, through short stories, blog-posts and news stories. I’ve posted some of them here; sometime in mid-summer we were struck by an inspiration — what Cicely, Alaska, might be like, if it were in South Texas. Or Lake Woebegon, if the author was fond of and respected the people written about. Luna City is completely mythical, of course … but the characters and situations are based on real events, and some real people, whose identities … well, never mind. The Chronicles are enlivened by chapter-head illustrations derived from photographs I have taken, and it may amuse people to try and deduce where those buildings are really located. Both Sunset and Steel Rails, and Chronicles of Luna City are available in Kindle and Nook ebook forms, as well as in print, although the print version of Luna City may not post to Amazon and Barnes & Noble until next week, and the ‘look inside’ feature has not yet been activated.

The Gardian of the Box

The editorial assistant for the recipe archive is on duty…

OK, so I have an old recipe box full of hand-copied or typewritten recipes — actually, I have two — one of Mom’s and one from Granny Jessie, and I am improving the Luna City website by adding a page of recipes … recipes from the Luna City Cafe and Coffee!
Most of will be from these two boxes, and when I can, I will be adding pictures to improve the look.
The cover page on the website is here. Enjoy

My two books for the year are done – both the historical adventure, and the contemporary romp. (Two in the space of a year? Haven’t come close to that since the Adelsverein Trilogy, which was three separate books – but one single narrative – done in the space of two years, research, writing and all.) Now comes the hard graft of putting the two out in front of the reading public, via the usual internet publicity methods, and in doing Christmas market events in various small towns, and somewhat larger towns in the neighborhood of San Antonio.

Yes – writing the book is just half the job. The other half is the marketing thereof – which starts next weekend with a craft fair at the Community Activity Center in Bulverde, Texas, followed on the next weekend with the Christmas market – Weihnachtsmarkt – in New Braunfels. Weihnachtsmarkt is staged in the New Braunfels Civic Center every year as a benefit for the Sophienburg Museum and Archives. A good few years ago, they began setting up for local authors in the long hallway which leads from front to back of the Conference Center. And it’s indoors, and the tables are supplied … although, my daughter has been saying lately that if I write any more books, I will have to start getting two tables … or even buy a floor stand to display the books, and flyers and postcards about my books on. With Sunset and Steel Rails and The Chronicles of Luna City, and that doesn’t even count the German edition of Adelsverein: The Gathering, the hard-bound all-in-one volume of the Trilogy, or that first harmless little family memoir, assembled from early blog-posts and published through Booklocker in …(hastily checking copyright page of Our Grandpa Was an Alien) … 2004? Wow! Time does fly when you are having fun.

Ten books in ten years. That’s the same rate achieved by some of the professionals, although there were scribblers of pulp fiction who managed even more than that. Still, at this point in the game, every one of my books – even the YA adventure collection of Lone Star Sons, and the comic narrative set in contemporary small-town Texas – is an advertisement for all the others, historical fiction-romance-western, call them what you well.

And with that – off to work up promotional flyers for the market events. The work, as it says on those comic office signs, isn’t over until the paperwork is done …

I know that I have not been posting much lately – here or anywhere else lately; just the bare minimum of commenting on other people’s posts and other people’s blogs and websites, but I had a couple of projects for the Tiny Publishing Bidness to work on, and then the two major projects to finish, format and upload to various platforms. Yes, I decided to go all-out and finish two books in time for the Christmas marketing season this year. Amazingly, neither one was the one that I had declared at the beginning of the year that I would have all done and ready to launch by this time  … yes, the adventures of young Fredi Steinmetz in Gold Rush-era California is rolled back another year. Sigh. I still have to do an epic-truck-load of reading of contemporary accounts and skull out a plot sufficient and historically-accurate to fill the last half of the book; which so far in my head will include a stint in San Francisco the year of the epically well-organized Vigilante organization, encounters with various historic personages, to include William T. Sherman, Lotta Crabtree and her formidable mother, some murderous claim-jumpers and a young woman seeking justice – while disguised as a boy. So, yes I will get on to that presently. After all The Quivera Trail was held at a third completed while I worked on Daughter of Texas and Deep in the Heart, and it didn’t seem to do any harm in the long-run.

So – the Harvey Girl adventure, Sunset and Steel Rails is done and ready for release on the 10th, in print and in Kindle. Amazon is dragging their feet apparently, in expediting the ‘Look-Inside’ feature. It isn’t up at present, but it should be in the next couple of days. Not bad, for something that I only got inspired to start in February of this year.  But The Chronicles of Luna City is a light and amusing present-day trifle which my daughter and I only got started on at the end of July – and here it is November, and that book is done and nearly finalized as well.  Three months, and just 70,000 words (but with pictures!) which is short for me, as most of the other books run 125,000 and up. (Although Lone Star Sons pegged in at 65,000.) There was one of the professional pulp adventure fiction writers – whose name escapes me at the moment – who was said to have done a book a month at one point in his career. Don’t know what the total word count was on any of them, but he must have worked in a white-hot blaze of energy … and Luna City is a light and diverting trifle, requiring very little research. Well, except for looking up restaurant equipment, and the names of obscure British TV series of the 1980s, and making certain that there aren’t any real companies with the same names of companies that I have mentioned in Luna City. Movie production companies really go for the obscure, I have to say. Had to nix six or seven possible names because there is a real production company out in the world with the name of something I thought would work for a movie production company. Luna City is pure contemporary escapism, utterly devoid of any redeeming social value in the eyes of the established guardians of our high literary culture … which I believe a lot of us have a need of these days, given how particularly screwed up, violent, and depressing real life seems to be, lately. (Oh, Established Guardians of our High Literary Culture? Yoo-hoo … over here! Now, gaze lovingly upon my upraised middle finger!)

So, light blogging will commence, now that all the hard labor of writing, editing, formatting and polishing have been done. Did you miss me?

All finished but some last-minute polishing on Chronicles of Luna City — the book that my daughter and I wrote together! Nothing so inspiring as a deadline! Date for availability will be November 20. Two books in a year – go us!


OK, so Sunset and Steel Rails is all but launched, and I am coming down the last stretch on Chronicles of Luna City — and that’s when I get the most brilliant ideas evah! for a book. Depend on it – almost never fails.
So, this one is to start each chapter in Chronicles with a black and white illustration … highly filtered photographs that I have taken of various places in Texas which have inspired some of the shenanigans in Chronicles. Done and done … and here is a sample or two. OK, this is short, as I simply have to scribble one more chapter for it in the next three days …

A guest cottage at Mills Farm.

A guest cottage at Mills Farm.

The Bodie Feed Mill, in Luna City.

The Bodie Feed Mill, in Luna City.

American Gothic - Texas Style

A typical period residence in Luna City


McAllister House

The historic McAllister House, on the edge of Luna City


18. October 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Domestic

I had it in mind this weekend to go out to a local event that I was always very fond of, especially when I was trekking out to the Medical Center area every Saturday for a shift at San Antonio’s public radio station. (Yeah, they got a new manager some years ago, and fired all the local part-timers – but eh … at the time I was getting rather tired of being locked into a schedule which pretty much put a kibosh on doing anything much on a Saturday … and anyway. Never mind. Old story.)
The local event that I was fond of was a fall herb market, held under the oak trees and in the pavilion at Aggie Park, at West and 410. Loved it, once I discovered it almost accidentally – and budgeted money to spend at it, for there were venders galore; local farms selling a dazzling array of potted herbs – in every format from seeds, through 2-inch pots, to arrangements in bigger pots, to small trees. I got the bay tree which adorns the front yard (and is about twenty feet tall now) at the herb market, when it was a mere tadpole of a bay sprout in a very small pot, also the indestructible Key lime sapling in a 2-gallon pot which was carefully inserted into the back of the VEV with the aid of one of the volunteers detailed to assist shoppers – hey, that sucker has thorns ALL OVER IT! I set aside money in the household budget to pay for indulging myself at the Herb Fair, usually counted on blowing at least $25, sometimes more if circumstances permitted.

One of the historic buildings at the Pearl

One of the historic buildings at the Pearl

There were a multiplicity of venders at Aggie Park then, with live potted seedling-plants of just about everything herbal and legal you could grow in a garden in Texas at very reasonable prices, plus dozens more selling stuff made from those herbs; soaps, and potpourri, candles and room-spray, and at least one vendor selling wrought-iron baskets, garden ornaments and stands.
And a few years ago, they moved the venue to the grounds of the Pearl Brewery, where it happened in conjunction with the weekly farmer’s market. Well, OK then – the lawns and shade under the oak trees at Aggie Park, swapped for a bare parking lot in front of the Whole Goods building. Many of the same familiar vendors appeared in the new venue … so when I heard an announcement that the Herb Market was this weekend, I had no expectation of much having changed on schlepping down to the Pearl complex, looking for a wide array of small pots of herbs, just the sort to cherish over the next expected winter.
But it had. It’s nice that the Pearl complex has thrived, extended, and there are even more tall apartment buildings going up. My ranch real estate friend tipped me the word a couple of years ago that
Dogs and diners in the park at the Pearl

Dogs and diners in the park at the Pearl

the development around the Pearl and the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk was a gamble at least as much as a labor of love … and apparently it is paying off. It’s a very pleasant urban space; pedestrian streets and squares, a salting of historic brewery buildings with the very modern; all kinds of upscale shops on the ground floor with apartments and lofts on the upper. It’s all very European – and on Saturdays when the farmers’ market is in full swing, very crowded. There is a campus of the Culinary Institute of America in one of the buildings, and some other coffee shops, and small restaurants, and it looked like a lot of the booths at the market were providing food. Quite a few people were eating at tables and benches in various park-like squares; lots of children in strollers and dogs on leashes … we took Nemo with us, and he being the friendly little terrier-mutt that he is – he had a grand and exhausting time, meeting new dog friends.

But as for vendors of herbs and garden stuff … there was almost nothing; if I hadn’t known about the event, I would have just thought it was just part of the regular farmer’s market. There was only one vendor that had a selection of herbs in 2-inch pots that interested me, and they didn’t process credit cards. So disappointing, as I would have spent twenty or thirty bucks at least. Compared to previous years – especially when still at Aggie Park – it was a pitiful showing. I wound up not buying anything at all, except a pound of fresh mushrooms from one of the regular vendors. We wondered if perhaps the table fees for vendors had increased to the point where it wasn’t worth the trouble. Perhaps the drought a couple of years ago which caused the closing of the local Antique Rose Emporium outlet affected other plant nurseries as well.

The final cover for The Chronicles of Luna City!9780989782241-Perfect.2.indd

And a bonus: a brief chapter regarding Day of the Dead in Luna City

Day of the Dead

The dead are always with us – their memories, if not their actual presence. Some of the residents of Luna City do claim a casual speaking relationship with the dead, through some medium or other. Judy Grant claims to see auras and to sense otherworldly presences. The rest, especially those over a certain age – are acquainted with the dead. The oldest residents; Miss Letty McAllister, Dr. Wyler, Adeliza Gonzales, all of whom have passed into their eighth decade at the very least, are now in the curious position of having more friends among the dead than they do the living.

Such is the custom in the borderlands, which includes Luna City; there is a time to formally acknowledge those gone on before. In the Catholic Church, the first and second days of November — All Saint’s and All Soul’s Days – are set aside to honor and celebrate saints and martyrs, and then to remember all the others. Such orthodox Catholic rites and traditions of observing All Saints and All Souls merged, or were grafted onto more ancient customs. In Mexico, such observances merged with a traditional festival honoring an Aztec goddess of the underworld. It is believed that over the Days of the Dead, they are allowed to return for a visit to the living. It is considered a fond and courteous gesture to put out refreshments for those visitors, especially the deceased’s favorite food and drink. In Mexico and in the southern borderlands, the dead are honored with representations of skulls, and offerings of marigolds and special food and drink. Families visit the graveyard, and adorn the grave of a loved one with flowers, or build special private altars adorned with pictures of the deceased, with flowers, candles and significant memorabilia. It’s just one of those things.

The most visible Day of the Dead observance in Luna City appears stealthily around the War Memorial on Town Square – a grey granite obelisk on a four-square base, upon which are carved names of local men from both world wars, Korea, and Vietnam, and a single freshly-incised name of a Marine, L.Cpl. J.W. Ellis, dead in the aftermath of an ambush near Fallujah in 2004. There is also the name of a single woman; an Army nurse who perished at Anzio in the Second World War. She was a girlhood friend of Miss Letty’s – who brings and leaves for three days a bright red lipstick and a tiny vial of Coty Emeraude. Bottles of beer also appear, almost by magic – Pabst, Shiner, Lone Star and Pearl. On his way out to the Wyler ranch to participate in Doc Wyler’s hunting trip (the first days of hunting season coincide with Day of the Dead – a coincidence which some have found bitterly ironic) Chris Mayall brings a half-dozen cellophane-wrapped Moon Pies for J.W. Ellis. Those were J.W.’s favorite, and he always shared them out with his buddies in the company when they got care packages from home.

In the little office in the Abernathy building, Jess brings out the silver-framed picture of her mother Beth, luminous in a bridal gown and veil. She waits until after Martin and her grandfather have gone to the Wyler ranch, wondering if Martin still grieves for her mother … if he does or doesn’t, Jess doesn’t want him to think that she is reproaching him. Martin has been the best and most devoted Dad ever. Perhaps he has finally dealt with the death of his wife, since it has been twenty years and a bit. Jess was ten when Beth died; if she has come to grips with her loss, she is not certain she wants to know for certain if Martin has. She sets up a modestly-Anglo version of a Day of the Dead altar; some yellow and white silk irises in a glass jar and a small Franciscan Desert Rose-patterned plate with some home-made raison oatmeal cookies on them. Yellow was Beth Abernathy’s favorite color … and she always made raisin oatmeal cookies for Jess. The smell of oatmeal cookies baking – butter, brown sugar, cinnamon brings the memory of her mother most piercingly back to Jess: but not as she last saw her mom, skeletal and shrunken, stuck full of needles and plastic tubes in a hospital room in a big hospital in San Antonio. Jess’ fondest memory is of her mother mopping the floor of the Abernathy’s little house three blocks from Town square, her hair tied up in a scarf, and scolding Jess affectionately for tracking across the clean floor with dirt on her shoes, while the smell of baking cookies perfumed the air.

Miss Letty, sternly Methodist and with no inclination to follow any custom or practice which smacks of either high church or pagan practices does, nonetheless, put out a dusty bottle of aged Courvoisier on the mantle of the old-fashioned parlor, where a tinted sepia portrait of her grandfather, Arthur McAllister sits beside a smaller one of her brother, Douglas … the professor of history at the notable university in San Antonio. Douglas was three years older than Miss Letty, and she recalls him quite fondly – although with some disapproval over what she viewed as his inappropriate sense of humor.

Joe Vaughn and the half-dozen officers of the Luna City Police Department do set up regular memorial alter in the little foyer of the police department building, at the edge of town. It honors those officers of notable memory who served Luna City over the years, a few with some distinction, but most with quiet day-to-day devotion to their fellow citizens, their town, their community. Joe brings in a large box of dounuts from the Krispy-Kreme in Karnesville. There is one picture not of a police officer among them; Hernando ‘Nando’ Gonzalez, who was a jet fighter ace in the Korean War. His taste for speed and dangerous living unappeased by the end of that war, Nando worked as a stunt pilot in Hollywood for several decades afterwards. Being barely tall enough to qualify as a military pilot back in the day, and as lightly-built as a jockey, he also performed (disguised with suitable padding, costume and wigs) as a stunt double for a number of different actresses and child actors. In retirement, crippled by arthritis, age and the inevitable accidents attendant on that kind of life, he returned to Luna City, and lived in contented retirement in a comfortable residence just down Rte 123 from Miss Letty. He was in the habit of driving into town every day at 11:00 AM sharp for lunch at the Café … at the wheel of a massive boat-like late 60’s Cadillac … which in the beginning was in pristine condition. Alas, as the trials of old-age shrank Nando even farther, he could barely see, or be seen over the dashboard of the Caddy. In fact, the Caddy usually appeared to be driving itself, with a pair of tiny gnarled hands and the top of Nando’s jaunty tweed flat cap just visible over the steering wheel. The Caddy suffered from a number of glancing collisions with the curb, telephone poles, fire hydrants, trash cans, the massive oak tree in the middle of Oak Street and West Town Square, the ornamental bollards in front of the Café itself and numerous other motorists. Damage was never extensive, mostly as Nando usually wasn’t traveling much faster than fifteen miles an hour. Still – Nando and his Caddy posed a hazard, especially to pedestrians. Nando could not be made to stop driving; someone who in his time had faced Chinese MIGs over the Yalu River was disinclined to follow the orders of a police officer who most likely was one of his nephews anyway. Lunaites had no real stomach for revoking his driver’s license, either. Chief Vaughn’s predecessor devised an interim solution at last. When alerted by a phone call from Miss Letty upon observing Nando’s Caddy rolling menacingly past her house, the duty officer, or the chief himself would set the ancient air raid siren to roar briefly into life – alerting everyone along Nando’s favored route to get the hell out of his way. Nando, quite deaf by that time, was happily unaware of the daily siren alert.

This is why the air raid siren at the Luna City Police station sounds at 11:00 AM on the 1st of November every year. In case you were wondering.