Book review: “The Last Refuge” by Ben Coes

The Last Refuge by Ben Coes

The Last Refuge (Dewey Andreas, #3)
by Ben Coes (Goodreads Author)
Richard H. McBee Jr.‘s review Apr 27, 2021  · 
it was amazing bookshelves: thriller, novel, politics

Revenge! That’s the way the Middle East still seems to operate when it comes to the game of tit-for-tat assassinations and murder carried out for some seventy years between Israel and the neighboring Arab world countries! How delicious would that revenge be if you could punish a deceased Prime Minister of Israel for events over 50 years ago by taking out a grandson of that person, who happens to be the Israeli national hero who rescued Dewey Andreas from certain death at the end of “Coup D’etat”? Author Ben Coes pits two new nuclear powers, Iran and Israel against one another in a secretive game of cat-and -mouse as the hero is kidnapped and a plot hatched to smuggle a nuclear time-bomb into one of Israel’s coastal harbors to bring about a final solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Dewey Andreas, driven by his quest to pay back his rescue, is called back to action in unofficial capacity to enter Iran, steal the nuclear weapon and lead the hard-ball negotiations for the release of Israel’s national hero. From the streets of New York to the towers of Dubai, and consulates in Portugal, Shanghai and Peking, the violence is spreading! Time is running out as the bomb is assembled and begins its fateful journey. Will Dewey Andreas be able to finish his greatest challenge to date? This well written story of intrigue and clandestine operations keeps you on the edge of your seat for the full 400+ pages.

Book Review: “Coup D’etat” by Ben Coes

Coup d'Etat by Ben Coes

Coup d’Etat (Dewey Andreas, #2)
by Ben Coes (Goodreads Author)
Richard H. McBee Jr.‘s review Apr 27, 2021  

Author Coes again keeps us thinking and entertained with the fast moving plot that brings Dewey Andreas out of hiding in Australia to thwart a brewing nuclear conflagration as India and Pakistan go head to head on the disputed border of no-man’s land high in the Hindu Kush. From the start it is Dewey all the way as he outwits and removes the assassins sent from the Middle East to take revenge for his actions against jihadists as told in Coes’ previous novel “Power Down”, then enters Pakistan on a clandestine mission to take out the power hungry leader of Pakistan who is about to set the world on fire because of a border incident purposely caused by his own army. Great Descriptions, great action and a variety of scenarios that show off author Coes’ skills as a writer of adventure/thriller books. I hope you like it as much as I did!

??Vaccination Card a Hot Button?? we’ve had them Since the 60’s!


I read the Headline this AM – Vaccine Passports Hot Button with GOPWHAT ARE WE STILL IDIOTS? Here’s the article:

Wait a minute! I voted Republican back in the 60’s – THAT’s WHEN I GOT MY FIRST VACCINATION CARD!

My Travel to Europe, Africa, in U.S. Military: During the 60’s everyone gave them out and you were expected to have it when you went through immigration into any country including getting back into the U.S. of A !

Were you vaccinated for: Smallpox? Yellow Fever? Cholera? Hepatitis? Tetanus? Diphtheria? Measles? Rubella? ,,,

Here’s what we carried! 8 page yellow Certificate of Vaccination! At the top of the page is what we carried! Hand it to Immigration with your passport or “Go through that “DOOR” to see the Dr.!” QUARANTINE!! Do it year after year whether you think you ought to carry a dang card or not! Right up into the 2000’s!

Outbreak of “Cholera” in Chile in “88“! Just when i’m headed to Easter Island, Santiago, and Puerto Montt! – – You really want to travel to Chile? Better have your vaccination card with the shot in the last 6 months!

Another outbeak of “Yellow Fever” in Venezuela in 2007? Gee, my vaccination hasn’t been updated in the last 10 years! Better get a shot down the street if you want to keep working here!” Just staple it into your great big World Health yellow pages!

Just Carry the danged thing with all the other cards you carry in your wallet or purse and GET OVER IT!

What do the Simple Folk Do #6? They Cross Country or Downhill Ski!

Atkisson Snow Trails, Washington:

Check out our Route on the link above! A great Classic ski area near Mt. Adams in Washington, with separate trail systems by snow mobile and XC skiers. The cross country trails are groomed frequently and the signage is goo so you won’t get lost. Toilets are available and you pass the Trout Lake Ranger station on the road into the trails and parking so you can buy your snow-park permit right there if you don’t have one.

Parking sign, Trail map to photograph and take with your route, forest trail, Buddy Ken at Natural Arch

Old Man Pass Snow Trails, Washington :

Check out this route on the link above: Trails at the top of Old Man Pass which is North of Carson, Washington.This is a bit more of a back-country break your own trail area as any grooming is done more infrequently on the Classic XC ski trails which go everywhere. Signs are not as well marked, so you will want to take your picture of the trail routes ahead of time. With our trip we had figures about a 6 mile trip and because of ice jams on the creeks or bridges washed out, we ended up doing over 8 miles with alternative routes. Take your backpack with the requisites for an emergency overnight if something goes belly-up on routes like this.

Map of the Area, Meadows stop, half-way, (we thought), Ken & David snack before long road back

Mount Hood Meadows Nordic Trails:

Oregon XCCheck out one of my routes at Meadows on the link above: Oregon’s Mount Hood Meadows has an excellent Hood River Meadows Nordic set of groomed trails that can give you an XC ski workout either Skating or Classic style on wide trails for over 8 miles with good elevation changes that give opportunities for Green, Blue, and Black Diamond challenges for everyone. Mid-week it’s got plenty of space and open trails which is very different from the Teacup Lake XC area (see: ) only a mile away on the other side of Highway 35 out of Hood River, Oregon. Meadows also has a whole line-up of ski, boot and pole rentals as well as instructional classes for beginners and advanced skiers at their Hut with toilets and snacks as well as snow-park passes if you need one. Just South of Meadows and across the road off Highway 35 is Bennett Pass trailhead which again is a back country type not groomed set of old logging roads and trials for the hardy adventurer. This set of trails also connects into the Teacup Lake set of trails several miles away to the North on the same side of the road. Be prepared to break your own trails. Here are some pics from the Bennett Pass day with buddies Ken and David,

Buddy David (front) and me, David crossing avalanche chute me waiting, Buddy Ken near big drifts

Mt. Hood Meadows Downhill Skiing:

Check out a particular day’s routes on the Downhill at link above: Mt. Hood Meadows is a destination type resort: link – . We go up as often as we can and ski most of the whole mountain depending on wind, snow conditions and our own 70+ energy level on particular days.

My wife, Jill @ Top of Shooting star, Looking N, @ top of Cascade, and S. @ Cascade, Ice on Texas Trail.

Have a great Day!

What do the Simple folk do #5? They Go hiking for Flowers!

Even as some persons get the COVD-19 Vaccine shots, there will still be a need to distance from others until we have a giant chunk of the US population protected from the Virus. So, those of us in the 65+ age bracket in Oregon are continuing to take to the hills during the spring weather and get out to see the blooming newly sprouted spring flowers. Hikes of 3 – 5 miles can take you off the beaten track or through some great cross country in the Columbia Gorge to see some of these beauties. Here are a couple of my favorites from the past couple of weeks near Hood River, Oregon!

Memaloose/ Marsh Hills area, Oregon:

This is a great hiking area which can be easily started from the East bound Interstate 84 Rest Stop just 3 – 4 miles past the Mosier, Oregon Exit, or, you can go off at the Mosier exit, and take old Highway 30 East out of Mosier up to a viewpoint about 2 miles east and park your car there and walk on the trail which takes off just across the road heading south through the hills. (See my post on the Bat House Hike from earlier in the year for other sites in the area as well. Lots of great flowers to see this time of year!

A Chilly Day, but flowers don’t mind! Yellow Bells, Buttercups, Grass Widows (purple and white) Or, on the Washington side of the Columbia there is another great place to see Spring in action.

Catherine Creek, Washington:

Trails and maps, cliffs and vistas, desert parsley, and shooting stars!

If you like hiking, and get to this part of the USA, then you should definitely visit the Columbia Gorge and bring a good reference book. I recommend:

Gerry Frank’s “Oregon” ISBN: 978-1-879333-23-9

and Rhonda and George Ostertag’s book: 100 Hikes in Oregon ISBN: 0-89886-298-1


Recipe for: G.F. Muffins (Blueberries optional)

Now that my first picture has your mouth watering – This morning I got up with another Cooking attack that led to a Breakfast of G.F. Blueberry Muffins.

If you can’t stand blueberries but like muffins, then this recipe will still work wonders for your gastronomic anatomy!>) If you can’t stand muffins, then this blog is not for you, just go and sulk over your bowl of blueberries.

Materials? Right here! Note the two bowls, one for wet ingredients and the other for dry stuff. Coffee maker to the right is not needed, but is making my beverage to go along with the goodies.

OK enough yak, here’s the Recipe:

Preheat your oven to 400F while you are putting everything together.

Combine in your Dry Ingredients Bowl: 2 Cups of G.F. Flour (any kind will do) This batch used “Krusteaz” Flour, but often I just use the regular generic baking G.F. flour found in bins. 1/4 Cup Sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.

Combine in your wet Ingredients Bowl: 1 and 1/4 cups of Buttermilk, 3 tbs of Canola or Olive oil, 3 large eggs or 4 small eggs (The eggs are a binder and add a slight bit of liquid).

Beat the Wet ingredients well to get everything to a smooth frothy mixture.

NOW! BEFORE YOU MIX WET AND DRY: Get out your muffin tins and grease them! (2×8 or a 12 and an 8) This is one of the places I fine a spray Canola Oil works better than trying to smear olive oil or butter or even Canola around each muffin hole with a piece of paper towel. A single “POOF” of oil into each hole is plenty.

You do this, because once you get the Wet and Dry Ingredients together, you will want to put them in the pans and directly into the oven right away!

Now Combine your Wet and Dry Ingredients, mixing them just enough to get a smooth batter.

Immediately, fold in your Blueberries. You will already start to see the batter rising a bit as the acid in the buttermilk combines with the baking soda to release Carbon Dioxide.

Keep Moving! Fill each cup in the tin 2/3 full of batter. I find that a 1/3 cup of batter is plenty for this. You will fill 16 – 18 muffin cups this way.

Put your tins in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 23 minutes.

At 18 minutes, check the muffins. I find that this is a good time to turn the pans around in the oven so that any browning is nice and even. You know your own oven so you may not have to do this.

At 20 minutes, check the muffins for brownness.

If they look golden brown take them out! If not, Check again at 22 minutes. DON’T LET THEM BURN!

Remove your two tins, loosen the muffins with a spatula and tip them so they breath for a minute.

Select your 3 – 4 muffins, add a slice of butter and feast your heart out! Add Jam if you didn’t add berries!


A. Use Regular milk or Almond milk instead of buttermilk, Add 2 tsp of lemon juice to your batter as you are combining the wet and dry mixtures. NOT BEFORE THIS OR THINGS WILL CURDLE! The lemon juice provides the acid to get the Soda working for initial carbon dioxide.

B. NO LEMON? Use Regular milk or Almond milk instead of buttermilk, Leave out the Soda! Add an extra tsp of Baking Powder. This will give you ample rising once the batter is in the oven and the heat and moisture work on the Baking powder to release carbon dioxide.

GF Pancakes (Blueberries are Optional)!

In case you are looking for more GF recipes: Look at this one!

Here is what I use once a week for making my  GF pancakes (Blue Berries optional).
While you are making your batter, you can put your favorite cast iron frying pan on the burner to heat up slowly to about # 5 on the electric stove burner setting. If you put your oil into the pan, you will see if the oil begins to smoke that the pan is getting too hot and you can remove it to cool slightly so you don’t cook the pancakes too quickly and burn them.

I use two bowls:Bowl A – dry ingredients1and 1/4 cups of GF Flour1 tbs. sugar (this is to make the golden brown color in the pancakes, can be omitted)1 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Bowl B – wet ingredients3 eggs – this helps bind the batter since there is no Gluten1 and 1/4 cups of buttermilk3 tbs. olive oil or canola oil
Beat these ingredients together well so that it is a smooth yellow creamy froth.
Combine Bowls A and BBeat together just long enough to mix the ingredients well and get the flour mixed in well.
Don’t beat so long that it beats the bubbles out of the mixture!

If you are making blueberry hotcakes:  fold in 1 – 2 cups of room temp. blueberries.

Using a 1/4 cup ladle, put your dollops of batter in the preheated pan and fry per usual.

Makes – 20 – 24 pancakes.Hint – If you don’t want to eat them all, cool in open air for 30 minutes, put into freezer containers in meal sized amounts and freeze. Reheat for 1 minute in the microwave for a great meal the next day!
Caution – GF seems to over-brown easily so don’t let your pan get too hot! 

Enjoy with your favorite butter and syrup or jam! Emoji

Rick McBee

The Undefeated! A tribute to Black Heroes through History

I thought this site with it’s great short Biographies of Black heroes in our country over the past two and a half centuries was great. Enjoy your reading!

Civil War history: “rough Enough” by Richard H. McBee Jr. reviewed in Civil War Round Table of D.C.

Paperback: Kindle:

Jim Gallen, Chairman of the Military History Club of the Missouri Athletic Club, has reviewed Richard H. McBee Jr.’s book, “Rough Enough” which includes the letters and portions of a diary written by McBee’s great grandfather, Richard Clow during the ten year period, 1865 – 1875.

The review has just been published in the prestigious Civil War Round Table of The District of Columbia.

See it Here:

Richard H.Clow on his first Enlistment, 1865

Reviewer Jim Gallen, a lawyer in St. Louis Missouri, is also a member of the St. Louis Civil War Roundtable and the Ulysses S. Grant Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. As such, Mr. Gallen himself has a lifelong interest in the Civil War and works to further knowledge of that war throughout the U.S.

For those of you interested in the CWRTDC, more information can be found at their Facebook page: The Round Table meets on the second Tuesday of the month from September to June at the Fort Myer Officers’ Club, Patton Hall, 214 Jackson Avenue, Fort Myer, Virginia, 22211 (in Arlington, VA) or at a nearby location Its meetings include dinner, (See their programs at: ) Programs have speakers who will present a topic related to the U.S. Civil War. They also sponsor field trips, tours, and other events with noted Civil War authors and scholars. Their is to further and to stimulate interest in the history of the United States and particularly the Civil War.

Autographed Copies of “Rough Enough” are available at a reduced price during the COVID Pandemic, directly from the author, Richard H. McBee Jr. Contact him at: with your email address and he will send you the particulars of ordering through Paypal.

Enjoy your read!

Which party’s presidency brings the best stock market returns?

Which Party brings the best overall returns to the Stock Market?

Opinions – Opinions – Opinions

Isn’t it amazing that this question keeps popping up time after time when the information is out there publicly?

The rumor Pundits tend to say…………………”The Republicans” …………………. But are they right?

Check out these sources on the economy and stocks for past Presidents!

Market Watch: – Trump and other Presidents! …

Market Watch: – Economy and Stocks better with Democrats! …

Motley Fools – 10 Best: Clinton is #1 then….

Kiplinger’s 23 Best and Worst …

So, Democratic Governments have a dang good record on the Economy and the Stock Market.

Be careful with what you hear from the Pundits!

Watch the market, Do your own research and above all, Check with your financial advisors on the best investments for you.

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