I did a hitch in the Marines after I graduated from high school, and after my discharge got interested in police work. I served 22 years with the LCPD, from 1979-2001, and retired as a Deputy Chief of Police. After that I signed on with the U.S. Department of State, doing contract work as a police advisor overseas. That job took me to interesting places, half of them post-conflict (Kosovo, Afghanistan, Liberia, Haiti, Lebanon, South Sudan, and Nepal).
Police advisor serves many roles, sometimes seconded by DoS to the United Nations.
In Kosovo, I worked in a homicide unit (Pristina Regional Serious Crimes Squad) with 100 investigators, 50 internationals and 50 Kosovo Police Service personnel, and later switched over to the War Crimes Unit; Afghanistan was advising the Ministry of Interior, first in narcotics and later in policy development;
Liberia was advising a Liberian National Police colonel in charge of a 36-officer detachment in Harper (a beautiful spot on the coast, north of Cote d'Ivoire); my second tour, eight years later, was in Monrovia as an advisor to the Formed Police Units from Nepal, Nigeria, India and Jordan (that would take me to Nepal for an FPU assessment, and what a beautiful country that is); Haiti saw me as Director of Training for the national police, serving as direct liaison to a superb individual, General Jean-Miguelite Maxime, the commanding general for all police training in Haiti at that time. I did that for one year and came back six months later for a second tour that put me in charge of the Judicial Police, overseeing investigative units for homicide, kidnapping, narcotics, auto theft, and intelligence; in Beirut I was an instructor in the police academy, a job I loved and would go back to in a second, just because of the fantastic Lebanese people, the scenic country, and the city itself; and my last assignment was with DOJ in South Sudan as an advisor to the police in Wau, about 400 miles northwest of Juba.
Now I write books and I hope you, the reader, enjoy them. I plan on expanding my writing to include overseas adventures in both fiction and nonfiction.
I like a good cigar and cocktail, generally in the evening, although the occasional espresso and morning cigar definitely have their benefits. I enjoy pairing certain cigars with specific drinks, and if you have any preferences I would love to hear from you.
As a rule of thumb, I have my cigars with either a good brandy, bourbon, whiskey or whisky (whiskey with an "e" being the American type, such as Jack Daniels, or my favorite George Dickel). Whisky, of course, is "scotch" and there are some tasty ones out there. For brandy I prefer Cardenal Mendoza, a Spanish brandy from the Jerez region. It goes well with just about any cigar. There was a cognac I loved from Ferrand, called "cognac for cigare" but apparently it is no longer produced.
I prefer Cuban cigars. There is something about the taste that is above and beyond anything I've tried from the Caribbean or Central America. That being said, I have smoked some superb cigars from those areas of the world, particularly Nicaragua; however, just as the Hatch Valley produces the best chile you will ever eat, so goes the tobacco from Cuba. I don't know what it is, most likely a combination of soil, climate, elevation and atmosphere, but the taste of most Cubans is superior, in my opinion.
As a point of interest, I roasted and ate green Chile grown in Kosovo, and it was the blandest, most tasteless chile I ever had the misfortune of consuming.
My go to Cuban cigar is the Hoyo de Monterrey, the No. 1 and No. 2, along wit the Epicure Especial. I've always loved the Monte Cristo No. 2, and Partagas is a winner. I've smoked others, but in general those are favorites. I pair them with brandy and occasionally a bourbon or whisk(e)y.
Outside of Cuba, my favorite tobacco is from Nicaragua. I've never had a bad cigar from there. I've had good cigars from the DR and Honduras, but they were just good, not great. I've even smoked Haitian cigars from tobacco grown there, but nobody does it like the growers in Cuba.
If you have any ideas or suggestions on pairing, feel free to contact me.