Treachery - -

I was so very proud to have served this great nation. I felt it an honor. I went proudly to the air port, and held my head high as the hippies and yippies and peaceniks chanted horrible things and threw balloons filled with their urine over the fence trying to hit us.

Sometime, while over there it came to me that all was not as we were told, the war was wrong, very wrong but still I served, MY COUNNTRY RIGHT OR WRONG! I thought, I was so very proud of that great flag of red white and blue that flew over our camps, proud of the heroism of our troops, proud of our country for trying to do the right thing despite their mistaken backing of the wrong side.

The pride stayed with me when I got home, things were not all that great when I got home, the anti war crowd were getting even more angry, and doing even worse things, yet I stayed, I served. For eight years I served, for eight years I stayed with the Army, for eight years I offered my life for my country.

Now, when I sit wounded, unable to fight any longer, my country seems to say "it makes no difference what you did, nobody cares, we want our money no matter what!"

To quote the U.S. Attorney "What are we supposed to feel sorry for you?" My answer was NO, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, just recognize that what I did made a difference.

Turning it's back on it's veterans, that seems the ultimate in treachery.

Sorry for ranting and raving, I am just a bit pissed off and down in the dumps, I will get over it, I always do.

Jerry 7-13-2001 0:36


Ah, alas, I did not write those poems. I agree; they are very good. I'm also very flattered that some thought they might be mine!

Debra - I think you are exhausting yourself and your kids aren't ready to toilet train yet. Of course you will get very frustrated and near losing your mind if they aren't going on the potty/toilet and are instead having numerous accidents. Think of it this way: Would you rather change diapers a little longer or have to clean up after messy accidents all the time? Diapers, please. By now I'm sure you're about an expert in toilet training kids; but no matter what they have to be willing and ready. They have to be able to tell when they need to go, and also have the muscle control to be able to hold it for a minute or two while they physically get to the bathroom. This takes time and practice - when they wear diapers they just go whenever there is the urge - no need to hold it in.
If you absolutely won't go back to diapers, have you tried 'pull-up' training pants? They're sort of like diapers, but if they 'go' in them, they feel wet. Not like the 'modern' diaper, which does its best to keep 'baby's skin dry'. It's often hard to tell if those diapers are even wet unless you gently squeeze them (from the outside, of COURSE). Now if you used cloth diapers, it's a whole different ball game.

My daughter trained in two weeks at the age of 2 and 1/2. I wanted to take her camping (not at a campgrounds with bathrooms) so I had a talk with her and she was willing to try. At the end of those two weeks she was even dry all night. We celebrated much like Viv did! Bought her fancy underwear and made her feel special, and we had an absolute blast when we went camping the next weekend.

My son, on the other hand took what seemed like forever. He didn't get interested in actually using the toilet until age 3, and I tried the potty thing for 5 months. He refused to use it. This sounds weird, but I asked my husband if he'd SHOW my son how it was done (pee, mind you) and after that my little guy actually thought it was cool - fun, you know. I guess it's the thrill of 'writing your name in the snow'. Then I bought a potty seat that fits over the real toilet because he wouldn't sit on a potty. He used it almost right away and has been trained ever since. The thing was, we just had to wait until he was ready. If I'd tried to force him to sit on the potty I would have been doing much more harm than good. He doesn't see the toilet as a threatening thing. He doesn't think he'll fall into it, or that I'll get mad at him if he doesn't use it... etc.
Now the problem is that he is busy playing and tries to wait forever before going. He'll be doing the 'pee pee dance' so frantically that I wonder how he can get his wee pair of jeans down in time! But he is getting better.

Mel - brilliant! I love the idea of 'TOADY DANCES DOWN'.
I CAN draw, but usually the manuscript for a children's book is submitted without drawings, and the publisher would contract the illustrator they think would give the illustrations just the right look. It's actually harder to have a kid's book published if you have the drawings already, but I've got a kid's book or two still up my sleeve - for that wonderful day I've got my other novel(s) finished and they're off in the great mailing circle.

Have to run... wanted to say more and greet more people with individual comments, etc., but time does not permit!
Take it easy, friends. HUGS TO YOU ALL!

Heather 7-13-2001 0:06


Good morning everyone,

Well whoever did the smbolistic, haiku, feminist etc offerings well done. Well done indeed I say.

MEL: Standing ovation. This idea really should be seized upon and worked with, because it seems a shame to let it fade into oblivion.

HOP: Good to see you ol' buddy ol' pal.
To be perfectly honest, all joking aside, I have to tell you that I think I'm one of the most normal people I know.
Although my sense of what's funny may be a little off the wall, I don't have any behavioural conditions which would have me locked away or frowned upon by society, and apart from the occassional bad haircut I can pretty well mix innoticed within the general public.
So yes, as maybe the only normal person on this earth, I can tell you that yes, indeed, they do exist. :-)
I think perhaps my post on 'normal' people would perhaps be more appropriate if I replaced the word 'normal' with 'boring'. :-)

Also, perhaps God didn't actually make those commandments, maybe the church did because they wanted control over man kind, and what better way to get it that through fear of spending the afterlife in hell?

Before anyone jumps down my throat, I would like to point out that I did say 'perhaps' and 'maybe'.
Just covering myself for the onslaught which may follow.

VIV: But I am. I am hot on Oprah.

DEBRA: Just so long as it's a pot of despair. :-D
Could be much worse.

Beautiful lips speak caramel words
to mask the bitterness,
and a stunted soul, a hungry heart
would seek to make me less.

Soft poetry into my ear
two meanings does it speak,
those perfumed words spoken aloud
to cover the whispers reek.

And cruel innuendo in flattery's guise
'tis the touch of the devils kiss
soft upon this cheek of mine,
-what treachery be this?


Teekay 7-12-2001 22:14

Viv - I'll send that now. I've been busy these past few days getting my externship done and all the papers finalized - now all I have to do is find a job. :)

Allein Allein's World 7-12-2001 22:10

Mel and Viv:

Well Mel, I know what you're saying. I know that I'm not alone in this either. I am, however, alone in this house with them and that makes me feel alone. Thank goodness for my friends at the NB.


Unfortunately, we won't be able to afford Kindergarten, well preschool. Kindergarten is free. Preschool is for the three year olds and we won't be able to afford that. No I'm training them now because they are three and I've had enough changing diapers. I changed diapers every day since 1989. Most of that is because of all the daycare, but my mind is fried and I don't want to do it any more. So I am the one who is ready, apparently it's only me.

Debra 7-12-2001 22:03

Allein: Where's the song to translate. I didn't get anything on my e-mail account yet. Hana is set and will work on it after she studies or on the weekend or between exams. It won't take her too long she says. Please send immediately and don't wait so I can get it to her. Also I have some friends (Japanese) who will visit August 1. I can have them check the translation. They are English prof. who work with me.

Viv again 7-12-2001 21:56

Rosemary: Throw out the photographs and look for someone out here who can draw your book's pictures. I'll bet there is someone here who can have fun with this. I wish I knew how to draw. Also maybe you could use some sort of photographic technique where you superimpose one on the other. I know how to do an old style darkroom trick but it doesn't work all that well. With a computer maybe you have another way.

Debra: Are you training the kids so they can join the kindergarten in the fall? I had to train Hana so she could go to kindergarten (it started at age 3). If you didn't your kid was considered slow...which Hana was. She was very slow to train and once painted the wall for me in the bedroom with you know what. I lost it with that and really let her know I meant business. After that she was fine. I did it that way because we were moving soon and I wanted her to enjoy the town kindergarten. She loved it once she got in and still talks about the fun they had there. Some of her kindergarten buddies still write her from Germany.

On Sarah, I left her in diapers until she was tired of running around with wet diapers. That was the day of the pin up, not pull downables. I just ignored her and then when I had time I'd say, "Oh, you poor thing. that really stinks. I'll bet you'll be glad to be big enough to get out of diapers." THEN AFTER THE COMMERCIAL MESSAGE I CHANGED HER. I'd tried training but when it wouldn't work I said, "Oh you are too little to learn this."

I left her in the darned diapers until she was begging for real panties. Everyone had them and she wanted them. She was about 31/2 Then I took FOREVER to decide and have time to go shopping. Every day I'd wake up and she'd say, "Now?" I'd say, Oh no..not today. I don't have time. YOu have to wait and be a baby some more. Sorry, but I just can't go shopping today. That took about 4 days. When we finally went we made a big celebration of the panties. We bought ruffly pairs, colored pairs and we told the salesgirl (who thought I was crazy) that we were buying her first underware (at 3 and a half! Disgustingly slow!) We had an ice cream party to celebrate and invited her friends to admire the underware. There were still accidents but they didn't happen too often and she didn't paint the wall. I thought it was more fun to do it that way. There was more joy in the growing and celebrating the change from baby to child. This is also traditional in Japan. You celebrate the ages 3, 5 (for girls only), 7. They wear kimono's and go to the shrine. So it sort of fell into line with the Japanese ideas especially when I lied and said it was the custom to train late and underware was like a kimono in a way. They fell right into the game and accepted it, maybe because they were being kind too.
My kids are physically very slow. They don't walk until they are about one year and two months, they didn't ride bikes easily, and they don't really excel in sports until their late teens. It's just a physical awkwardness.

Whatever way you decide on, it's not a big deal. They don't remember too much about it. I think they make a huge hairy deal in the books about potty training. I just sort of did what felt right for each kid. Hana liked being a baby. She was carried until my back broke down at age 5-6. She wouldn't walk anywhere. My oldest carried her, my husband carried her, and even when her feet were dangling almost to my knees, I carried her. If I hadn't forced the issue she'd still be wearing diapers. She's a sweet kid, but not real concerned about being older than she is or sanitary.

Allein: Don't tell her I told you that when she translates for you. She's now very sanitary 14 and all grown up.

Viv 7-12-2001 21:38


Hi all

Sorry to hear of your problems Jerry. I think the distress I see between the lines is something that comes with unwanted age and unforgiving maturity in an unfair world. And it doesn't help to see others apparently breeze through life with few cares. We all see these jerks. With all the money they need. And brand new 50,000 vehicles. And 200,000 homes. And 25,000 bass boats. And vacations to the sea. And wasting enough money in a month that would keep your family in food for a year. And credit cards up the ying yang. Been there. Hell, am there!

An old Chinese man told me one time. "Stand on a bridge long enough and the body of your enemy will float by." Well, actually I read the quote one time. (Red face. Sheepish grin.) The only "Old" Chinese I ever knew were saying things like...."Hey sailor! Come inside check it out!" Or "Hey sailor my sister dances for you!" Things like that. Still the quote is right, well sorta, and probably has more meaning if you live near running water (I don't) or of Chinese extraction. Perhaps it means that eventually those who do you wrong will eventually pay the piper? Sounds good.

Jerry, one of the more relevant quotes I've heard came from Elvira....the Halloween lady. The teenage boys dream girl, with a black shiny slinky seductive slit dress up to there? She hosted a TV show lately...on vampires (Imagine that!) and said. "Being a vampire sucks. I mean that's unnatural!" :-) You gotta love understated humor.

No one promised us a life filled with positives and just as soon as I find out why not and where this person is...I'm gonna look 'em up and try a little bit of their ass on! :-) Cause it seems the older I get the more problems I have. Frankly, I'm dragging so much baggage behind me now I need a dozen Skycaps and/or Baylor Medical just to get along. I thought when I retired, secured another job we would be on easy street. Couldn't have been more wrong if I tried! Ross Perot would weep in shame at the financial load I'm carrying these days. It is very frustrating! Texas poet in residence Willie Nelson once said, "Where there is no solution to a problem, there's no problem." Which is darn hard to follow when the temperature is 105 and the house AC is running 25 hours a day. Unfortunately, the power company does not share Willie's philosophy and WILL pull the plug if you get behind. "Randall, we share your pain, but this is business, so pay or sweat." Still, Willie's remark makes sense in a weird kind of a way, just wish he would learn how to sing......:-)

On a more somber note.....sent a section of my manuscript to Native Peoples magazine in LA. As the book deals with Native Americans, I asked one of their Navajo editors to comment. Nothing yet......

Hang in there Jerry. One day all of this will be behind us. Well, time to have a bowl of peach ice creme.


Randall 7-12-2001 20:00

Garies - thanks, well I do have a Chevy Silverado extended cab 4X4 and the arms, I guess I could round up a couple of other guys, but I don't think I would use the arms that way. No matter how angry I get, I know doing something stupid like that would only make things so much worse. I would make me feel better for a short time.

Fixing the money thing is going to be hard, but I just got off the phone with an attorney who says he can help for a very reasonable fee. I found him by talking to a friend here in town who is an attorney but doesn't handle such things. I feel a bit better now after speaking with him, he sounded like he knows what he is doing, and how to help.

Don't think I can come up with a shorty today, way to much other stuff happening right now and my sister and brother in law are down for a visit, always a comfort to see them. This is also celebration time here in Lemmon, as we have the Boss Cowman rodeo happening, with all the timings, including a huge block long tent where they hold dances, plays dinners and things like that. The rodeo is a three day affair beginning tomorrow afternoon and ending Sunday afternoon. We bought buttons that let us into all activities, the buttons cost twenty bucks each but are well worth it. I skipped the steak dinner last night, didn't feel up to it. Been having some back trouble of late, and hitting the pills way more then I like. Anyhow I ramble on, so will sign off before I run the notebook over.

Hi to all. Thanks for the hugs, I can use them right now.

Jerry 7-12-2001 18:48

Those stairsteps were a cute daydream. The complete impossibility of even getting those animals together, much less lined up is staggering. On top of that, those geese are MEAN. The dog would co-operate but he would be the only one. Have to learn how to manipulate photos. One of each then put them together. I think toad season is over too. Haven't seen one in a couple of weeks.

The cutest ideas are usually the most difficult.

Rosemary 7-12-2001 16:02

ROSEMARY: How about photographs of your cute animals in their most-visual moments? :-) Could you line up the Doberman, the goose, the duck and the chicken with the frog?? THAT would be most challenging! But fun! :-)Collaboration sounds intersting - I've wanted to do some kids' books; I too have a lot to learn about them. From working in libraries, I've seen a lot of cute little books that don't rhyme - that's the author's choice!

Mel 7-12-2001 13:46


I noticed that 'arcadeathome' has 'death' in the middle. Wonder if they did that on purpose???

Darn, I thought you might have a grusome instatutional experience you could gross us out with. I guess I didn't read the piece with the reference in it. It really worked out with you being gone for a while though. Sneaky.

Thanks, the knee only hurts when I first get out of bed or a chair. It stiffens up really fast. The MRI is not until the 27th of this month. No telling what the knee will be doing by then.
About the book idea. It sounds great, but finding an artist who can reproduce my vision, and a publisher willing to invest in a new author, and learning the rules of childrens books, (they're rigid about formatting) then they will probably want it to rhyme and I don't do poetry. The whole thing is giving me a headache. But thanks to you and Teekay for your encouragement.
P.S. I loved "Toady Dances Down" Think Collaboration. What's a few miles between writers?

Got to go,

Rosemary 7-12-2001 13:36


Posting in the blind somewhat. I am trying to squeeze in a bit of posting before running off for an appointment. I will read all the posts later,


Sorry to have rankled you so, especially at a time when you seen to be under seige. Upon reconsideration, I believe it not best to react to political comments. Your plight with the SS (Social Security) etc. sounds like a very unenviable thing to be in. I am unclear how it shakes out, but it doesn't sound like happy time to me. I hope it works out so you don't have to exercise your right to bear arms (with two other guys in a chevy silverado.) A right, I must make clear, that I do not oppose. Never did.

gariess 7-12-2001 13:10

DEBRA: Tell your kids "what's in it" for them; e.g. as soon as they're potty-trained, as a family you can go more places, you'll be able to take them to the zoo, etc. Make the learning experience end-rewards higher for them. We mommies KNOW the end-rewards for mommies are indescribably relieving! :-)

Mel again 7-12-2001 12:57

DEBRA: Don't feel bad; my other four kids took a normal(?) year or more to potty-train. Some say it's the parents who are getting trained, to take their kids on a regular basis for trips to the bathroom until the kids make the magical connection. I always resisted that self-training; I figured each child would learn the technique when they were ready, with some parental guiding and discipline, of course. But don't make yourself crazy! The day after you fall, exhausted, frustrated, and depressed beyond words, into that pot of despair, your kids will all of a sudden make the connection like it was no big deal to learn and then you'll wonder why you exhausted yourself trying to teach it to them!

Mel 7-12-2001 12:44



In two weeks I'll be face down on the floor in a pot of dispair.

Debra 7-12-2001 12:13

*@* Rachel *@*

Debar - To crap a brick is very painful! That must be why people do what I ask of them in my house. They don't want to see it happen (wink).

Hop - Hop, HOp, HOP! Love that name! I just want to get up and spring all over the house.

Caio for now.


7-12-2001 11:52

Heather - I used to know a family like that, but they only had two kids (yes there is a God who saw what was happening and stopped them from reproducing after they had their two) He used to work for me on the PD until I had to fire him for theft. His wife was an absolute bitch, and everyone knew it, including him. Their house was so bad that your feet stuck to the carpet when you walked through their house. When the left town the folks who bought their house (for a song) had to hire a cleaning company to come in and steam clean the whole place. They found the skeleton of a cat under one of the beds that they left, it was in their son's bedroom. They moved to Fargo, where he was hired by the University there as a campus cop, he worked there for a couple of years then had a nervous breakdown. Workers Comp sent him back to college and now he is an unemployed social worker. It was interesting when I fired him, he lived in the basement of the house, she lived upstairs. He had his own kitchen and never went upstairs, she never came down. The kids had the run of the place and no attention from either parent. I got an email from him yesterday (he forgave me for firing him, I haven't forgiven him for making me do it.) He had a link to one of those white power sites, saying they were right, and that he finally found people he could call friends. Now that's scary.

Jerry 7-12-2001 11:15

Hop - retro gaming? Ever tried MAME or RAINE? If you are into retro-gaming, these two emulators will give you over three thousand arcade games, all you have to do is download the software, then get the ROM's. ROM's for mame are at or the later also has ROM's and Emulators for hundreds of other emulators. My favorite is MAME, then Nesticle which is a super emulator for the Nintendo system. There are also emulators out there for almost any gaming system you can think of, even the Nintendo 64 and their competitors. These take up a large portion of my hard drive, but the kids absolutely love them when they come to visit.

Jerry 7-12-2001 11:09

Heather: That is the family from hell. They are perfect characters for a novel (as the bad guys) because every woman has lived through one or more of these pains.

Teekay: Glad you aren't all that hot on Oprah. The woman makes me feel cross.

Heather did you write that poetry? It was fantastic!

Howard: I'm sorry that happened. There's nothing like the gut punch of hearing, "Don't need you anymore." Ignore this, start writing. More than one writer became a published writer out of necessity.

End of the term. Today we had final oral exams. Five kids wouldn't stop talking. I told them to quit three times and they wouldn't shut up. The kids who were taking the exam in the front of the room had to stop talking and wait while I corrected them, then begin again. Three times this happened. Once it happened the kids in the front of the room would not do very well on their exam. I finally said, "Ok, you say one thing more and you fail this exam. O. YOu get nothing. Don't talk.

They kept talking (although one girl was smart enough to get up and go to the back of the room, away from the group). They failed. They went to my boss and complained.

Fun city. Tomorrow I get to go in for a review of grades and attendance. Most have missed just enough class to fail but some are under the 7 absences required to fail. I hope these little spoiled brats manage to trip themselves up time and again. Basically what I want to see is their lousy little backs...and I hope they spend most of their vacation with the people that raised them. Serve all of them right, parents who raised them, and the kids that have to live with the kind of parent who would raise that kind of "kiss my ass" attitude kid. Sorry, blowing off steam.
This place can get to you. That, Teekay, is why I keep a couple of little lizard STORIES (not lies) in my back pocket for the rough times. When all the @##$@%TYU&&^***flies about, I just sort of take those little stories out and run them over in my mind.

Howard, my husband is due to join the ranks of the unemployed after February. Maybe we all should look for a good steam grate together. (I want one outside of the Library of Congress, but I'm not picky, about any library will do).

Viv 7-12-2001 10:43

HOP: You're a rascally fella! :-) I thought maybe you named the Viewoods of your story after a real place when you said you went there! Now you can laugh at me too. So glad it was a ficticious (sp?) trip for you!!! As for staying up late (e.g. till 4 a.m. or later), I used-to-could, before I married and had CHILDREN--having kids who get up early and get you up early and stress you through the day at unpredictable moments takes its toll on your mentally-alert factors. No more late nights for me! Until maybe one day, if and when the kids all leave home for good... Hmm, lessee, sixteen or more years from now, I'll be 62 or so...will I WANT to stay up late by then? Prob'ly fall asleep in my porch rocker, wonderin' where I left my teeth...

Mel 7-12-2001 10:12

I was giggling with laughter (something I should be doing more of) when I read how concerned everyone was when I mentioned Viewoods social rehabilitation centre. I'm sure people like Rachel and Mel got the joke because the phrase about Viewoods was one of the sentences in the opening paragraph of my story.

I'm now an official New Zealand citizen!

I just got a gamepad which works fairly well with all those old console games I have on my computer. I'm a retro gamer and the experience of using a gamepad to play those games is very very very satisfying. Ah, the simple things in life are the best.

Viv's talk on medicine and doctors who asked you what you felt was wrong reminded me of Chinese doctors who tend to rely on looking at the whole body and on what symptoms the patient says he or she has. It's what they call a holistic view.

To cure most of these problems Chinese doctors will give you medicine which doesn't treat the illness per se but strengthens the body using the bodies natural defenses against the viruses or bacteria.

In my opinion, its better thing for everyday illnesses like colds and coughs which aren't life threatening. I might like to add that my mother had excessive bleeding after giving birth to my youngest brother and she took Chinese medication which probably saved her life.

Stress has the complete opposite effect on me, my immune system gets really hyper and I don't feel or stay sick even if I get the flu. After the stress drops I practically need life support, I shuffle around the house like the living dead giving out moans to try and ease my pain.

Try searching for race on Yahoo. I'm tired of explaining (typing out) the whole thing. I did and found a number of interesting articles denouncing it.

Oh never mind about the post.

What can I say about Viewoods now that we all know its just a fictional place? First off, its a maximum security centre for the most violent and dangerous inmates and boasts trained security teams with 24 hour surveillance via computer and alarms just about every where.

Most recently, a latent psionically gifted person somehow managed to break out and wreck the whole place. Two detectives have been assigned to it and so has most of the Psi-police department.

Funnily enough, now that's its the holidays I'm staying up even later than before (4 AM was the latest) but that's at home. It's not that I have insomnia but rather I've just got so many things do. Writing etc.

I'm going to give your deputy story a "hearty laugh" score.

Coincidentally enough I've been having problems with the CD writer on my computer and my software is CD creator 4. Now that I know the software doesn't work well (thanks to Jerry) I'll try getting others.

I was rarely considered normal. So I've always wondered, do normal people even exist? Maybe that's why story tellers exist because people need stories and art to fill a hole their lives which they can't fill. The more creative I feel the more I find myself criticising the "mainstream" entertainment.

That reminds me, if you're a Marxist (should I leave this message nameless in case I get flamed by anti- communist fanatics?) then the ten commandments and religion was devised to keep the population "normal" by what the ruling class considers "normal."

If you're a Christian, the commandments were created because God decided that doing those things was abnormal.

If you're a philosopher, the commandments were created to be debated and examined.

If you're a theologian, the commandments were created to be debated and examined but the conclusion must always be that God is always right and since those commandments are from him they must be.

If you're a chicken, those commandments were created to protect you from human customs although the trade off is your descendants being eaten by man.

Thanks for the advice about CD writers. Hopefully I'll get mine working.

Anybody going by the name e-mail name Jack Daniels?

Barnabas "Hop" 7-12-2001 9:49


G'Mornin'! :-) Put on your smiles and stir up the muses - it's gonna be a writin' day! But first, a few words for...

DEBRA: re: potty training...This too shall pass (forgive the pun). My third child trained the easiest: he got tired of climbing the stairs every hour on the hour to sit on the potty and expressed his discontent - he was told as soon as he went potty the right way, he wouldn't have to climb the stairs to the bathroon so often...two weeks, he got the hang of it.

AMERICO: Finish a book this year? Yes! I want to, I want to! Now where did I leave those nails so I can finish pinning my muse to the table? :-) I too enjoyed your beautiful words re: S&S. Inspiring!!

RANDALL: I agree with Mark: send your stories off to Hollywood! :-)

HOWARD: Sorry to hear of the lay-off...(((HUGS))) to you. Remember your shoulder might feel better for it - blessings in disguise - and more time to write is ALWAYS a blessing!!! Go for it! :-)

TINA: Will your hubby bake you a cake for 8/25 if you shop for the ingredients? Nahh - make him take you out to dinner AND dessert! :-) BTW, are you ready for the HIERO book? I'll send it on as soon as you want it. It was utterly fantabulous! :-)

JERRY: Good luck with the finances. Financial problems can make life really tough -- take a deep breath and remember the cheery sun and the azure are still up there, behind the clouds. Hope things smooth out for you soon. (((HUGS)))

HEATHER: lasting ones in my family that I recall; baby birthmarks faded by a couple years of age. Along with birthmarks for impacting a person's character or personality can be other physical attributes, like a cleft chin, a tooth that grew in too high and never dropped to the proper place, a widow's peak in the forehead hairline or a "Dagwood" hair that sticks straight up from the back of the head that no amount of combing or gel will flatten...etc. Then there are scars that occur during growing up and stay with you for the rest of your life...I have an "x" scar on on of my knees - a scratch in one direction, followed by a deep scratch not too long after the first one healed... Oh, the variety of things we can conjure for our characters to add touches of humanness to their forms! :-)

TEEKAY: I LOVED the "Ghost and Mrs. Muir" - both T.V. series and the original movie! :-) Re: your novel - try not thinking in chapters sometimes but about the story as a whole; what other events need to happen? Write them down; you can go back later and write the transition words to bridge the previously written chapters with the new scenes...and theblock will probably disappear without much trouble (my theory, anyway!). I think if writing came easily all the time, we might get bored with it. A block makes us step back and look at the big picture again. BTW, thanks for supporting me in encouraging Rosemary. :-) See following...

ROSEMARY: Ouch for the knee! :-/ Hope you're doing okay, not too much pain... Now about those visuals (and Teekay agrees!!): here's a sampling (and I think your muse is giving you these visuals as raw fodder - take them and chew them and find satisfying little stories amidst the grains of inspiration!) #1 - ducks waiting for grain to fall from horse's mouth: could be a counting book, each number represented by the pieces of grain that fall on which the ducks pounce and feed, and inbetween the numbered grain pieces, the horse chews and the ducks wait below... :-) #2 - disgusted horse eating old hay could be the start of a midnight mutiny, the horses break into the new supply for a picnic or a romp, when done they tidy up and return to where they were, and the next morning the farmer is scratching his head wondering why he's low on new hay... :-) #3 - poodle goosing the chicken...I'm still thinking on this one but I believe there's a great story in that one too. :-) And finally, #4 - and also my SHORTIE (heh heh - killing two birds--virtual birds that is--with one stone):

For Rosemary (who saw it first)


Ahh, Toady in the birdbath,
wet and cool,
Doing little froggy-kicks
'round the pool.

Swimming now is done,
So is the fun!
How to get down?
"Oh no!" Toady frowns.

"Dobey-Man, help!"
The dog circles 'round
And with a kick to the left
and a heel-click to the right,

"Goosey-Lady, help!"
Goose by dog found
And Toady dances down.

"Duckie-Friend, help!"
Duck, closer to the ground,
waddles off in glee.
"Can't get down from THIS duck!"
"Ohh," Toady moans. "TREACHERY!"

Then, "Chickie-Gal, help!"
Chick hops closer to the sound,
And Toady dances down.


Rosemary: thanks for such great inspiration!! My poetry is bad, but hope you get the idea!

Have a terrific writing day, you-all!!

Mel 7-12-2001 9:14

Teekay: Well, we moved across town, and that seemed to do the trick for the most part. Since we've moved, though we didn't move to get away from her (it was an added benefit!), at first she called a lot, and she wanted to come over all the time (and I said we were still unpacking - lie lie), but only recently did I actually go and visit her. Her daughter and my daughter loved playing together, and it was a tough call on my part whether or not they saw each other much (even when we lived nearby). It's not the daughter's fault that the family is a mess. I did not, and still do not however, allow my daughter to play in their house (it's so filthy that I won't go into that). It was all right for her to play at ours, and outside, but I drew the line there. And I was the sole supervisor even if they played at HER house, so they played often at ours.

At that time we rented the top two floors of this great big old red brick home, but we did have some really horrid downstairs neighbours. A nose-in-the-air student couple, who assumed that since I was a mother at 21 I had never seen the halls of a University, let alone a secondary school(or high school, for those of us NBers from the U.S.). They also felt the need to shove useless factoids about nature down my throat - heedless to the fact that I likely knew more about nature than these two suburban-raised, never-climbed-a-tree or made-a-lean-to-in-the-snow or ice-fished in their lives. Their idea of 'camping' was to rent a tidy hotel and watch birds with binoculars from the window. Me, I've been dive-bombed by birds when I got too close up in the tree and was within an arm's reach of the nest.
Not only that, but their idea of preservation of wildlife meant confining a magpie in the spare, windowless room between their kitchen and the front room. Oh, but it had been 'imprinted' by humans because at birth they'd been mauled by the 'breeder'. Really, it was a jerk who raided a magpie nest just before hatching time.
But there is sweet justice. That bird took every chance it got to bite them! And, because magpies can imitate human languages, after every time it bit them it soon started repeating the oft-screamed phrase of, "No bite! No bite!", and would finish with the eeriest imitation of laughter. I could hear it from upstairs. They had to eventually give the bird to the Toronto Zoo! HA HA HA HA HA!

Pertinent to discussion: These two decided that my daughter shouldn't be seen around the yard (since she MIGHT annoy them), especially not with friends. Especially not the neighbour woman's daughter because her daughter had an unfortunate birth mark that this couple found hideous. It is a raised bump with a bruised-looking end, on the girl's eyebrow. It is really quite large. The first time I saw it I wondered if she was being beaten, but it was quickly explained after my daughter brazenly asked about it.

Now I don't care about what my daughter's friends look like per say, and certainly not what a birth mark looks like. That's no reason not to have this wee girl as my daughter's friend, and she is, out of any of that family, a real sweetheart. That's what counts.
And birthmarks, hey, I've got one. Everyone in my family has one. I've lived with it, and it certainly does not mark us as anything other than human! Ours are not raised birthmarks like this little girl's is, but I liken hers to an off-centre unicorn horn, and so does she!
I did wonder, at first, upon meeting this family, that if the surgery to remove the birthmark was free (excuse me, covered) then why wouldn't they have it removed while she was young? They explained that that's how God made her, and there's nothing wrong with it. I agreed, but I did also say that birthmarks do make their 'owners' uncomfortable sometimes. It's not what others will think of it, but the girl herself.
Anyhow, it's not been removed and this wee girl doesn't mind. Now that's what I see that's good in her family. They are right. There wasn't anything wrong with it to begin with. No reason to alter what's already just fine. Guess it was the same with my birthmark, though the only worry was if it changed in size and shape, that it may have to be removed for health reasons.
So far, no problem. My kids have birthmarks too - my son's is like mine, my daughter's is more like my husband's; a perfectly round, brown mole-type mark.

On the subject of birthmarks, does everyone here have one?
Some are teensie things that are no more than a beauty mark - or indeed, it could be just a tiny beauty mark - otherwise known as a dark freckle all by itself, or a small, usually hairless mole. Then there are relatively large ones. I know a young woman with a port-wine that covers most of one side of her face. She's learned to live with it but she's terribly shy of meeting new people - in this day and age people still stare.

My older brother had a port-wine birthmark on his face as a baby, and by two years old it had disappeared. Sometimes they're called 'strawberries'. I knew a boy in school who had one over one eye, and it didn't disappear over time.
Mine is a brown mole, and it's exactly the same shape as a thumb-print, on my left calf. My son's is the same colour and a very similar shape on his back, just above his waistline on the right side. Rather over his right kidney... my daughter's is a small oval that is barely discernable from her skin tone but it's there nonetheless, just at the edge of her knee. My husband's is on his big toe, on the top.

I think a large number of people have birthmarks, and I'm interested to know if perhaps adding one 'onto' one of my characters might be part of rounding them out a bit, giving the reader a real 'image' of who the character is - like Rosemary's 'VISUALS'.

A relatively small thing like a birthmark can have a large impact on the character. I, for one, spent years trying to hide my birthmark when I was in a swimwuit. I hated it, and used to beg my mom to have it removed. She wouldn't unless it was for medical reasons, but she never did actually come out and say, 'You're perfect just like you are.' She did INFER it, I just missed catching that angle for a long time. My friend who has the port-wine on one side of her face is in fact not shy if she's in close company. She went to many different doctors over the years, but for a birthmark that size there wasn't anything they could do within reason.

Anyhow, get back to me on the birthmark Q.
Do, as they say, bare all.

Allein: Howard's snail mail address is written in the front page of the book! Hurrah for Howard's thoughtfulness!

Jerry: I'm really sorry to hear about the financial/gov't trouble. What a horrid PAIN IN THE ASS. Here's hoping you find a lawyer that will not sleep (much) until your claim has been won.

Have a great night/day all.

Heather 7-12-2001 3:13


Bathing, I stand on a stone
Slab. Someone pours water
Over my head



I don't care who or why;
I simply enjoy it.
I stand on a stone slab;
Someone pours water over my head.



On a stone slab
I simply stand
While water pours
By another hand

Over my head.



The sexless hand
Of one who pours water
Serves the bather



Water. Can I not see the Jordan?
Can I not feel the history?
Am I not reminded of my place?
Here, where bathers come singly and in pairs,
One lifts a scoop of water
And pours it on the head of another.

7-11-2001 23:02

Heather - I'll send it back to Howard after I'm done reading it but I'd need an address to send it to. :) I can't wait till I leave to visit Cassandra though - 27 days and counting. :)

Allein Allein's World 7-11-2001 23:01


A bather, I stand on a stone slab while water pours over my head by another hand.

There, now it's not passive.

Teekay 7-11-2001 21:53


Howdy Dudes,

VIV: I only admitted to loving Oprah, not her show, but as you've not seen Jerry Springer or Ricky Lake you wouldn't realize that her show isn't the sleaze fest theirs are, though I do agree they are a bit on the boring side.
P.S. Ricky Lake's a woman. (Or an incredibly bad cross dressser .)
I did love Donahue (not the show - just the guy), but sadly he no longer graces the television screen o'er this way.

You were lying about the lizard???????
You know I didn't think he really turned into a lifeguard (just making sure you know), but I did think it may have done something interesting so that it would look like that.
I feel so foolish
-and gullible.
-and cheated somehow.

Yeah, and I know by your last sentence you're just trying to get me curious agian, but this time girly, I'm not biting.

MARK: Yes, exactly. :-)

JERRY: Back in medieval times it was thought that a person suffering from mental disorders did so because they had too much of some element in their body. I think they were phlegm, blood, water and I can't think of the other so I'm guessing air.
Strange how far we've come in such a little while.
Wether it all be progress though is another matter.

GARIESS: Bless you for your concern, but I sorted out my problem.
I was getting too hung up on writing for other people and so I just decided to force myself to continue on with it and to write at least a page more and as I'd released the pressure I'd put myself under, I just wrote what I was happy with .
(Makes much more sense in my head)
I ended up with 3 more pages. It could've been more but terrible toddler was jumping on my back and making it difficult to write.
I only hope that what I like is what other people like.

A bather, I stand on a stone slab while water is poured over my head by another hand.

I dunno. Is this right. It's not plural. It's not gender specific, it's not passive voiced and I don't think it's too stupid sounding.

DEBRA: Thankyou so much. And so are you :-)

HEATHER: Yep, that woman sure do need Oprah.
When you spoke of thumbs in toasters I thought maybe you were going for the DIY shock therapy.
Seriously though, I don't know what I'd do. I hate confrontation sooooo much. I'd probably pretend I wasn't home every time I saw her coming, and if things got too bad I'd prefer to move (somewhere sunny and beachy) rather than tell her off.
I'm such a wimp.

HOWARD: Gee, that was rather sudden - for me anyway. Ah well, it could be a blessing and as it's a done deal, I guess there's not a lot to do, but to make the best of it and start writing that international best seller. Or finish writing it.
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))))))) to you, just in case you need them.

ROSEMARY: Trailer trash roots showing. Hahahahhahahahha You go girl!!!!

JERRY: (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) to you too.

TINA: Hi, I was wondering where you'd got to.
Any takers on TINA's book 'Contact'? It's sci-fi so it probably won't interest everyone.

Okay, I'm outa here.
I can hear someone knocking at the door, so I'm going to hide now :-D

Teekay 7-11-2001 21:38

Sorry if I seem a bit off today, seems the Federal Government has decided that I make entirely to much money on Social Security Disability, so they have attached one third to pay for the house they took away from me while I fought them for the social security. This combined with my wife's inability to work any longer due to the injury that her surgery failed to fix has streatched our financial situation so far that there seems only one fix. I will begin seeking an attorney tomorow.

Jerry 7-11-2001 20:40


Howdy all!

Wow, go away for a few days and the NB overflows!

Viv, checked out the website of your home area. I'll have to take more time to go over it, but it looks so lovely! Just more people than I'm comfortable with.

Rosemary, those lakes aren't our main water source. We go on water restrictions because we use water from the mountain watersheds, and the reserves start drying up. We don't take much from the lakes, because of environmental factors. This part of BC is actually semi-arid, and in the south part of our valley, there is actually a desert. We are dry! A good spin-off is that the water availability tends to restrict the population growth of the area.

Hallee, more (((HUGS)))
Howard, you too (((HUGS)))

About movie critics.... nyah nyah nyah! (me thumbing my nose at them) I only agree with critics about 50% of the time. I mean, critics praised the movie 'English Patient' until it won Academy Awards, and that movie stank! And the critics hated many of my favourites, including 'Gaticca' and 'Contact'. I'm doing my best to maintain this attitude, so that I can ignore those critics who try to tear me and my writing down. I read book reviews in the newspaper, and they are my main source of discouragement! I put very little faith or confidence or trust in paid critics.

***Official Notice***
BIG party at Tina's house on August 25! My 30th b-day, and it will be a big deal! I plan to demolish the myth of the hated 30th birthday. I shall not age! I shall not be discouraged! I shall continue to pounce on life and not let go! I shall let the horse take the bit in her mouth and run far and fast! This is MY Decade!
***End Notice***

Okay enough ranting. Must go get groceries. I don't know what my hubby eats while I'm gone, but he doesn't seem to bring food into the house! (sigh)

Tina 7-11-2001 20:20


I don't think I'm out on a limb when I say you just wrote your shortie on treachery a day early.


Debra 7-11-2001 19:39

Garris - if you don't like reading my comments, the feel completely free to skip right over them, and I can do the same for you. Those political issues are always around, and they are issues that are talked about daily in this nation. Just because you would take away guns from anyone who you feel shouldn't have them, and you would support Rosie, or Operah or the rest, then more power to you. But don't presume to tell me what I can or cannot talk about in this form, that isn't what this forum is all about.

Jerry 7-11-2001 17:21

Oh - sorry guys, to be going on and on about this...

but I did want to say that even when I got peeved with this friend, I didn't lose my cool. I just simply said no. I wasn't sure my firm 'No' would work, since she automatically went on in a telemarketer bent, but I just said the same firmly put 'no' after she became exhausted from her speil and that was it. I could tell by the low drift in her voice that she knew she couldn't talk me into it.
I am usually very giving, etc., but there is a certain point that, once reached, I just won't budge. Otherwise I'd be bent until broken. Ain't happenin'.

Heather 7-11-2001 16:14

HOWARD! I'm really sorry to hear that. Like others have already said before me, lay back, enjoy it if you can. I'm happy to hear you'll have more writing time - that's an excellent thing!

Oh - Allein - I think it was you? You mentioned you were going to go and visit Cassandra. I have already read 'The Anything Box' and I was the one who sent it to her to read next. She hasn't returned it to Howard or forwarded it, and it's such a precious (and out of print) book that I was hoping she'd see my message and mail it off! BUT thank you so much for the offer! Perhaps you could secure the book for Howard?

Heather 7-11-2001 15:57

I did lay down the law. However, it took me a while - everyone arrived and basically, to use Rosemary's words, 'bum rushed' the house. In two seconds there was a kid in every room, grabbing at something. Let's put it this way: One 'me' and six members of her family. I have to be just as watchful with the woman 'in question' as I do with her kids. She's roaming through my corner display cabinet when I'm in the next room disciplining her kids. The husband was outside most of the time, chatting it up with my husband. So I sent the kids outside. (HA HA)
It's not that I think this woman is a child herself - she just happens to be rather gimme gimme when it comes to other people's valuables. She's not a theif, but a girping con artist. Vulture about summed it up. She sits on her porch and waits until she sees the neighbours come home and then dives in. We used to live a little way down the street and on the other side from them. It gets very difficult grappling up the side of your house in Ninja gear just to get in unnoticed. Finally, because I did put up with it too long, I cracked down and laid down the law with her. Since we've moved and haven't seen them much in the two years, I've had to re-establish the laws!

For instance: We went to the fireworks for Canada Day, and their family came along too. We live within walking distance, and parking is near impossible, so they parked at our house and walked over with us. Just before we left, the mother asks me for a warmer jacket to borrow. I cringed. It was chilly out. I have a tonne of coats in my closet. She knows it. I let her wear one that I haven't worn in a long time, and one I figured she wouldn't like. She hounded me to give it to her all night.
I was about ready to punch her in the jaw.

But I didn't.

Anyway, thanks everyone. I know I had to spell it out to that family. They just have no concept of manners at other people's houses. Especially when the house they live in is beyond frightening, the kids seem to be astonished and roam around our place as if they're visiting the Roman Colloseum[sp]. It's what they consider a 'hands on' museum.
Don't get me wrong, the house is kid-proofed - but for my kids, not hers. My children have an incredible amount of respect for our rules. They also don't have the tendency to jump on furniture, or swing from draperies. Therefore I have never had to establish rules about that sort of thing!

It doesn't matter much now anyhow - she hasn't called me back since I finally got peeved and said enough was enough.

Heather 7-11-2001 15:52

Just slap them.

Your political inclination is showing. It’s very tiresome. These weary old soapbox issues like gun control, the liberal press, the liberal media, etc. are so worm out that there is no way to sneak up on people with them any more, ie via Rosie. Peddling Rush Limbaugh won’t do it either. He is plateaud at preaching to his own choir. We already know you are one of his tenor section.

Don’t take it lying down. Unless, of course, your disability requires you to lie down.

Hi, Hallee.



gariess 7-11-2001 15:04

Lean back and enjoy the time off, then sue the socks off them for laying off a disabled person. My trailer trash roots showing.

Your writing gives the impression of a no-nonsense, rule enforceing lady. Pretend you're writing and give the whole group the bums rush. Some people can't accept help without taking advantage of a nice person.

Always good to see you posting.


Rosemary 7-11-2001 14:42

Food raiders. My brother's friends are all teenage boys, so my mom had to put up with them raiding the pantry and the kitchen until she finally made a rule that they could choose one thing they wanted to eat and she'd buy it for them. I hardly ever have friends come over but if I do we usually just drink soda or something.

Allein Allein's World 7-11-2001 14:34


Craping a brick sounds loud and painful. I'm sure everyone would stop immediately what they were doing to annoy you.

Just in case you were wondering!

Debra 7-11-2001 14:30

HEATHER: Sounds like you're being too nice. You'll really regret not being firm with her or her kids if the bowl ends up getting broken. I'd establish rules and make sure they were followed. Kids know when and where they can get away with disruptive behavior - and if someone other than their parent puts their foot down, they'll usually listen.

Hallee 7-11-2001 14:17

Awww, Howard - so sorry.

Hallee 7-11-2001 14:15

Woops! I just got laid off - last day is Friday. Was gonna be on disability anyway. Makes life interesting. Will have lots of time to write now I guess...

howard 7-11-2001 14:05


Heather - I would crap a brick if somebody started to "troll" in my fridge. I have had people try, I just close the fridge, and tell them very clearly how things run in my house. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. I do not offer options. I lay out what I have made avaliable, if they do not like it, then then they will just need to hope that they do like the next food selection. I have five children, four of whom have very active social lives, which means that my house is full. I can no and will not get into the lot of them crashing through things. You can tell them nicely. I'm sure of it. I have never had to raise my voice, or freak out over the food thing. I just tell people as soon as I see something that will not go in my house. I explain that while they are in my house they will need to go by my rules. Most kids are good with that. I have had some pretty rough and tough characters in my home, yet they have no issue with my rules. They tell me it is because I explain myself and my reasons. They also say that I make good snacks so they don't care. One thing I had to learn was not to cut up food for the older children. I remember the first time that I cut up food for a 15 year old boy. He just watched with so much fascination and then asked if that plate was for him, the one with the fruit and cookies shaped into happy faces. I almost died when I realized what I had done. He thought it was kind of cool. My kids all still think it is pretty cool, but they also think it is time for me to step off with the mommy plate presentations for snack. I have to respect that. My kids are growing up. Ah well, soon I will get to do food art for Sebastian (grins and laughter).

I'll send you a hug.

Take care you.


7-11-2001 13:48


I feel your pain. I really do. I think since you are a writer and use words so nicely you should be able to fabricate a nice way to tell them to keep their grubby mits off your nice things full of food.

I would start with, "it's always time to renegotiate and now it's time again, and if they want something to ask first."

Dont' wait until you blow your stack and then you look like the awful person. That's just lose lose.

Debra 7-11-2001 13:05

Teekay - you mentioned Oprah - the woman in question does not have a TV to watch it on. Her husband is a very religious type (of what persuasion, I won't tell)... and he doesn't allow televisions in the house. He thinks commercials are evil, and much of the programming as well. (Hey, maybe they are, but we adults use our discretion. He figures his wife doesn't HAVE any discretion)
So she can't watch Oprah! I wish she could. It might actually help her. God knows it must help somebody; otherwise it wouldn't have the time-slot it does. And Oprah would be a movie actress instead. If you want to know why Oprah is so smug, check her bank balance.

Viv - family of six, actually, plus my family of four. Feeding them? Yikes. Her boys are continually trolling in my fridge and it pisses me off that she doesn't tell them it's rude! (that's AFTER I've already fed everyone) Not to mention my lovely lead crystal and pewter fruit bowl, practically spilling over with fruit that I stock up on for my kids. It's not that I mind so much if it gets eaten, but her kids are constantly grabbing at it, and are very rough with the bowl. It is very delicate. The pewter is the base that the (very thin crystal) bowl sits in, but they are not actually attached. My kids are perfectly aware that they must be absolutely careful with it - it was a wedding gift!
But I can't police the bowl exclusively, since suddenly there are 6 kids instead of 2, traipsing around the house, raiding the kitchen, and running through my flower beds. Mind you, there were only 4 kids (hers) doing any damage. I also find it difficult to discipline other people's kids when the parents just sit there and expect that lack of good behavior. It's not that I yell at my own children - but I expect them to be civilized and decent. Is that too much to ask? I hope not. I really, profusely hope not.

The reason she expects the counseling? Oh, well, you know I was a nurse. I automatically qualify for the job of psychiatrist, don't you know? Not that I ever worked at the Homewood.
Perhaps I could jam her thumbs in my toaster and then I'd have a wound I know what to do with. (Kidding)

Actually, I did take a healthy share of psychology, so I do know what to say, how to listen, and what to suggest; however, I do not agree with the 19 pills a day she is prescribed. There's no way on earth anyone could function on that many pills because of the type of pills they are.

I have a friend with AIDS, who must take more pills a day than 19, but his pills do not alter his sense of reality, nor do they placate his moods. That, my friends, is the difference.

I guess you could liken it to Elvis' drug usage: You take uppers to wake up, and downers to go to sleep. Pretty soon you have to take the uppers to get up at all, and the downers to sleep after all those uppers. Then, they start losing effectiveness. You take more to get the same old effect. Eventually, you try anything, and in any amount.

With this woman, she takes several things for depression, but at the same time she takes pills for her anxiety and nervous twitching, so in essence, the first crop of pills counter-acts the second crop, and she still feels cruddy. Then she has to deal with the side-effects of all the first two loads of pills, so takes more pills for that. There are always side-effects!
I have insisted for years that she would be wise indeed to go into the Homewood and clean herself out. NO pills. Nothing for a few weeks, to get her system cleaned right out - and she'd be in the psychiatric hospital already in case she needs other help/support. THEN and only then, she could be evaluated and if she does need one or two pills, then I suppose it's better than 19. But the way she is? 'Askin' fer trouble, friend, just asking fer it'. Actually, she's already met trouble head on. Anyway, that's my take on the issue.

And yes, shock therapy! Supposedly, the Homewood is one of the few places around that still employs the 'Frank ZAPPA' machine. I find it unethical and completely moronic to still be using that sort of contraption on people's minds.
I'm tellin' you, it's not a happy thought. At the very least, the patient is put under with anaesthesia. Still...

Well, I think I've writ my quota of post today. I know I've forgotten to address a pile of comments and so forth, but I'm ALMOST fresh out of responses at the moment.

Thanks, Americo, for your beautiful words regarding the new project.

Heather 7-11-2001 11:49


In case I haven't told you in a while, you're a ray of sunshine.


Debra 7-11-2001 11:19

Operah? How can a woman who's mother couldn't even spell opera right have anything worthwhile to say. I once nearly got kicked out of college when one of the students I was tutoring approached me in the dining hall and, trying to convince me of her point in a legal document she was working on quoted Operah. My reply will not be quoted here, but suffice to say she learned that Operah was not a legal source that the courts would consider when reading a brief.

I used to enjoy watching Rosie, she was funny until she began her anti-gun campaign, then showed herself a typical liberal two faced idiot by insisting her body guard be armed at all times.

Now Sally Jesse Raphael - there was a talk show host, well she was about fifteen years ago when she began her career on radio. Now she has degraded herself for the camera and become just another media voice amongst many who's hope of changing the world sounds like talking points for the democratic party.

Wanna listen to a talk show, Rush is the best, in fact the only one I like listening to. Now I do enjoy watching Geraldo Riviera, not that I agree with anything he says, but if you watch his show carefully, you will see that whatever he says on his show, is what the liberals in congress will be saying the next day. I think he gets daily "talking points" lists from the Democratic party. This has been the case since Clinton was in office, and during the last presidential election, it was great fun to watch him, then tune in the next morning and see the liberals on TV saying exactly the same thing, using exactly the same words.

Well must be off and try to remember those words I wrote last week, I know I had a great ghost story going in a grove of Aspen trees.

Jerry 7-11-2001 10:42


You are a devil. I know you will perservere. On the one hand you have washing dishes, and on the other, writing. I know which hand fills up first for me. Tell us your sticking points, maybe we can help. Is it plot, character development, story fluency, continuity?

I know your pain. I have been bitten so, often. Just when I think I have it covered it gets me some other way.

Here is an exercise for all you modern minds. Rewrite the sentence below so that it is not either gender specific, plural, in the passive voice or stupid sounding.

A bather stands on a stone slab while servants pour water over him.

What Oprah did in Beaumont is consistent with the sense she has of herself as the new messiah for liberal enlightened women. Anything Rosie does is consistent with her sense of herself as the new messiah for unenlightened, unliberated working class women. She likes her sheep pre-shorn. In this way Oprah and Rosie don’t compete for the same livestock.


7-11-2001 2:17

Shock therapy - I understand now they also use chemical shock, and it seems to work in some cases. I had an uncle who used to go off the deep end about every three or four years. We all knew about it as he became very violent. Seems my dad used to be able to talk him down enough for the sheriff to take him away for his shock treatment. It was very scary, the fellow would show phonomonal strength, once he took one of those old coal space heaters and threw it at his wife. Luckily it was summer and there was no fire in it, but it made one hell of a hole in the wall when he missed. That stove had to weigh over two hundred pounds, and he tossed it like it was a pillow. But as Mark said, once he underwent the shock treatements for a couple weeks, he was just fine. One of his son's now sufferes the same fate, but modern medicine thinks they can treat him with drugs. Guess it works ok from what I have heard, he is doing fine out in California, but when he comes home for a visit, he goes off again and needs to go for treatment. He is a very nice person, a fine worker when all is ok with him, just as his father was.

I have decided that I will indeed backup, it is so easy with my computers networked, just save it to a network drive too, oh and I have an LS120 drive on this computer so I could back up on it too, just lazy I guess. Never to old to learn you know.

Jerry 7-11-2001 0:14


I'm glad that you got the book (smiles).

Take care you.


Rachel 7-10-2001 23:22


Well, I _was_ going to just read a while then turn in. Kept reading and reading, lots of stuff here tonight simply got my juices flowing. Lemmeseenow, 2 B real writerly I need a thing called (prolly) a metaphor. Youse guys are like a shot of nasal spray, now I'm really flowing. Yeah, that's the stuff.

JERRY -- ouch. Well, on to the next project, eh?

T.K. -- One day in 1988 Oprah came to Beaumont, rented out the college auditorium, and did a show for the town. She charged no admission, brought no cameras, and made no publicity gimmicks of the appearance. Beaumont was the first city in the U.S. make her show the #1 program on TV for the region. She came simply to see what Beaumont was like and to say thanks for the support. For a while she fell into the trap of doing shows just like all the other daytime talk jocks. I think her choice to do shows with a positive message is admirable.

On not being able to write, or not having confidence: Well, can you shear sheep?

Oh, Mercury, god of thieves,
Grant me a little tobacconist's shop
Where I can linger in the smells
Of Virginia, Cavendish, and Turkish tobacco.

Mercury, grant me a little tobacconist's shop
With shiny glass displays
Where the hookers come to preen and primp
And prepare themselves for the street outside.

Grant me, Mercury, this little shop
Or any other. Just something
Save this damned profession of writing
Where I must use my brain all the time.
apologies to Ezra Pound

RANDALL -- You need to drop your stories into a big envelope and mail 'em to Hollywood

GS -- Yes shock therapy still exists. It is less severe than it used to be, it's a kinder, gentler shock treatment. I, also, was shocked to hear about it, but I have seen the results of treatment (and later the lack of treatment). I'll say it made a real difference in two women's lives here.

I'm with you on Rosie O'Donnell.

HooBoy -- It's later than I'd like it 2b. ttfn. nitenite. ciao.

More Later

Mark 7-10-2001 23:00

Weird, that posted twice. If the Mastersmeitnerium@hotmail doesn't work, just let me know or I'll let you know. Another way is to stick them on your website and we can access them from there. I'm glad that they are Disney tunes but won't they just translate back pretty, my daughter says they don't. Hummm, what's going on here. This is interesting.

Viv 7-10-2001 22:29

Allein: YES! My daughter already agreed. Sorry to be slow in seeing your posts and thanks for posting it big. I'm doing the finals week here and finishing up homeschooling my daughter. The paperwork is astronomical and I'm using the notebook for little breaks between work. I post on a notepad but I think I'm missing something when I post because sometimes a section isn't there. My daughter can start translating as soon as she's finished the Iowa Basic Exams which I start next week. It will take her about one week I think. She's new at this ball game.
Giving allowance for the end of the term for her, and testing plus juku vacation, could you allow her until the end of July to finish or is it a hurry up job?

Don't know about Jerry Springer or the other guy; we don't get them here. Oprah is trite.
I'm glad she did well with her life, but her show is filled with "women's magazine problems".
Same stuff, over and over. I'd like to get all excited about it, but I hate anything that smacks
of formula. It's too easy, too positive and reminds me of the description of media in Orwells
1984. Yell all you like but she seems too "good for you" to make me want to watch. It's like
eating Grapenuts or Fruit and Fiber cereal. There are just some things that I don't like and
Oprah is one. She makes me want to go get a big glass of wine and a cigarette.

On the lizards and the lifeguards...forget it. I was responding to your post of 7/8/2001
and 7/9/2001. It started as just a little offering to help you with depression. If it doesn't help,
don't take it. What is great is that in helping you I found something that worked for me. It's in
progress and enjoyable.

Viv 7-10-2001 22:24

Viv - Cool. Just inform us when you're done and I'll post them here unless I can get your e-mail address which would be great. Since they are Disney Songs I doubt the lyrics are bad. One I've translated about halfway and then got to a paragraph that the way I translated it makes no sense at all. The other I can't find most of the words in my dictionary, but I may have copied it wrong, so if there's a mistake maybe your daughter will catch it. Thanks. You're both great. :)

Allein Allein's World 7-10-2001 22:23

Allein: YES! My daughter already agreed. Sorry to be slow in seeing your posts and thanks for posting it big. I'm doing the finals week here and finishing up homeschooling my daughter. The paperwork is astronomical and I'm using the notebook for little breaks between work. I post on a notepad but I think I'm missing something when I post because sometimes a section isn't there. My daughter can start translating as soon as she's finished the Iowa Basic Exams which I start next week. It will take her about one week I think. She's new at this ball game (we don't even know if she passed the level 3,4 of the translator's exam).

She has Japanese friends though and can do it in the classroom during her Japanese lesson and check it with her teacher. Are the lyrics dirty though...? Well, I guess if they are, she'll find out. She already can talk like a Japanese fishwife when she wants to. What junior high school kid doesn't enjoy dirty words?

Viv 7-10-2001 22:01

Ok, ok, I know I should back up - I do have hard copies of all the stuff I wrote last year, and have some of that stored on my server, it is just the stuff I have been working on this year, the stuff I was actually WORKING on, you know as in wrote that - edited that - going to edit that again - GONE. That stuff.

Jerry 7-10-2001 21:46


I truly have no idea why there's a big gap under my post, but I'm not deliberately trying to take up space in the notebook.

Teekay 7-10-2001 21:00


Hi All,

GARIESS: HAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHA *GASP* HHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAA oh my, I must say I found your reptilian post delightfuly cheeky.

JERRY: I am soooooooo sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine that. I always have backed up copies. What is wrong with you?????? You should know to have backed up copies.
Here's a couple of seconds silence in commiseration though.

JERRY: You need to make back up copies, that's what you need.

MEL: Remember 'The Ghost & Mrs. Muir'? I'd like something like that. Complete with housekeeper and cute little dog.
Captain Greig wouldn't be too bad either.

VIV: Please tell me what you're talking about. Why a handsome lifeguard? What does it do? Could you draw a picture or something?
We don't have those lizards this way. We only have things like gheckoes and sleepy lizards and frill necks and GARIESS' type.

My Confession:
I think Oprah is wonderful. I admire her greatly and feel that she has done amazing things with her life.
And at least her talk shows have some enlightment about them, unlike Ricky Lake and Jerry Springer.

No I don't watch these shows (unless I'm having a real funky kind of day), but I have seen them in passing.

ROSEMARY: Actually I think that's a great idea. A kids book based on the animals you have.
The first of which, of course, is 'Toady Dances Down."
Well done MEL.

DEBRA: My advice to you is - don't rush it, these things will come in their own good time.
- I think.
- I hope.
Now, for some advice on the husband front......:-D

ROSEMARY: Sorry, depressing you was not my aim. I just like to know everything and then of course I have to explain myself so....... You see how it happens :-)

Speaking of depressed, that's where I am now.
I'm once again doubting my ability as a writer. Last night I was thinking of other jobs I could do instead and about the only one I could come up with was dishwasher, and I detest dishwashing.
The chapter of my novel I'm at now is just not working properly. Getting it finished is a bit like pulling teeth and it feels like this big black blockade looms in front of me and I'll never get past it.
Does anybody else get put off this easily? Or is it just the domain of wannabe writers?
When things are going swell and the writings flowing well, then life is a beautiful place where the birds are singing and the flowers blooming,
- but when it gets ugly, then everything gets ugly and life becomes dull and washed out and hopeless.
Okay, that's a bit extreme, but it does get a bit shitty.

Going now.

But persevere I shall!!!!!!


Teekay 7-10-2001 20:57

The edge of the evening to all,

Now you've really depressed me. Just 30 more bales sounded like so much less than 73 until you mentioned that we have half as much again to go. Sheesh.

Thanks, the visuals are fun. I'm not sure about making a book out of them. Sounds more like cartoons.

Good news and Bad news.
The bad news is that I stepped in a hole while mowing yesterday and hurt my knee. The good news is that there is already a MRI set up for that knee due to ongoing problems.

Disgusted horse chewing on dusty old dry hay while watching us load bales and bales of nice new green hay into the barn.


Rosemary 7-10-2001 19:34

I'm engaged to a cat now? Well, I guess stranger things have happened.

Allein Allein's World 7-10-2001 19:15


We are about to break a record. This is the longest page in the history of the NB! And it is still working. Well, almost...

Americo 7-10-2001 18:44

In November 96 you showed pessimism about your future life and job. Now it's the present. How are things going? BTW: what happened to those fine Notebookers who were writing books in 1996/7/8/9/0... ?

How's life?

Allein asked you to please translate something for her. Allein is Jon's virtual fiancée (not that she accepted him, poor cat). You don't want Jon to interfere, do you?

Hope things are all right with you, as far as health is concerned.

Everybody here must finish a book this year. And publish it!

Americo 7-10-2001 18:40

Oh the horror. I'm trying to get my twins into underpants. I have wiped up you know what and you know what for days now. I'm angry and exhausted.

When I look at my husband exhausted and tired and get that look from him I find myself saying, "can I help you."

The treachery for this week's shortie thyeme is when he says, "probably!"

Debra 7-10-2001 14:39

Rosemary: hee hee! Toady Dances Down...sounds like a children's picture book to me! :-) When are you going to take all your cute visuals and turn them into early books for toddlers?! :-) Kids love the animal stories and all you need is a simple plot, like a toad stranded on a birdbath!

Mel 7-10-2001 13:25

Hey there, You guys,

Getting down from a duck gave me the most goofy vision of....the toad standing on the edge of the birdbath, underneath stands my doberman, next to him is a goose, then the duck. Some of the ducks are pretty tall so slide a bantey chicken up next to him (unchoked). Now the toad can take stairsteps down to the ground.

Enough sillyness from me,
If you ever get your stories back, please put them on a zip or even just a disk(A:drive) It would be a crime to lose all those great stories. Of course, you could go into the notebook arcives and copy the ones you have posted. Ditto when the Workbook comes back. You take your computers apart too often to risk all that work like that.:-<

I'm off to get my training hat.

Rosemary 7-10-2001 11:46

I can't come up with anything for CNQST because I can't stop thinking "conquistador".

WR= Waddah R'akibum (waddah translates to brilliant)(R'akibum makes me think of ass-kicking)

DTH= Danjuro Tobei Hebi (to me ...juro Tobei sounds like you ought to be)(Hebi translates to serpent)

FMN= Franz Medvedev Narkos (Narkos is obviously narcotics) Merz is a German owned pharmaceutical company you might garner some ideas from

Hope they help jar your creativity, Litter.

Mary 7-10-2001 10:56


Allein Allein's World 7-10-2001 10:22

Jerry: You sound like you are having the worst nightmare of a day. You definitely have a camping trip coming after a day like that.

Gariess: You are more the type to go out and duel with an electrified toilet seat than walk around with an eyedropper looking for sure you want to switch. Anyway, I've got you covered on those toilet seats. I just hope someone outside Japan can understand it. I'll send it to Heather for a test drive.
I very much agree with you about Oprah. I wondered if I was the only person in the world who wanted to just go goose the smile right off her face.

Teekay, I think just a couple drops of cold water does the trick. You don't have to douse the lizard completely. Mine changed immediately. Could be something in our water that does it, stuff tastes like it definitely could change a lizard into a lifeguard. I have no idea why this works. Like most scientific ideas, if it looks neat and is interesting, just remember how to do it again and forget the principle that it's based on. Have fun with it.

I'm sure you've made slime at one time or another; this is just like making slime. Follow the directions, it happens. You really don't have to understand polymer chemistry to do it. Drop the water on the poor little sucker and enjoy the life guard. There's only one problem, I can't get him to change back. It's a pain in the ass because he's stuck this way. Tell me if you have any better luck with yours.

Litter: DTH. In Japanese that's going to be tough to come up with. The Japanese people do not have middle names. Daisuke Hara? That's DH. I'll go through old class lists and see if I find a name that feels good. Every Japanese name has a meaning. (Daisuke means beloved one)

Hallee: I'm not writing either. The only writing time I have, I'm too exhausted to do much more than these posts. I'm thowing posts onto a notepad document as I snatch little peaks at the notebook inbetween all the have to dos. Sometimes I read it for just a second or two during my Business Writing Class when everyone gets down to work and is concentrating on their work. The stuff I write keeps me from screaming dirty words when things go wrong. Too many politics aout the house and husband's job. I try to think of strange things when the pressure gets too high. It's better than yelling what I am thinking at times. I just sort of go off into space and find lizards and such. I post them here because I figure we all can use a lizard now and then.

Heather: Why do some people assume that friendship includes psychiatric counseling , feeding a family of four, coming to the rescue, , and ohhhhhh what a wonderful thing...she's invited you to clean her house as well! Go for it Heather... write up Trechery and Oppression . Sounds as though you've had an ample dose of both.

Viv 7-10-2001 10:16


Hey All - I think the "funk" grabbed me the past several days, still fighting it off...

HOWARD: I finished "Hiero's Journey" Saturday morning. THAT was a GREAT adventure!!! :-) Ready for more Hiero, when you get a chance to send... How's the shoulder? Thanks for the Hector-cherry alert; probably won't get there, my family's not too keen on cherries but maybe fresh ones would tickle their palates.

ROSEMARY: Thanks for kind words re: my posts. I love your visuals!! :-) BTW, doesn't toady know you can't get down from a birdbath? -- You get down from a duck! (Booo... she hears the masses groan.)

TINA: Hope you had a nice trip. :-) Ah, Narnia--one of my favorite childhood haunts as well. Enjoyed the Stevenson poems - thanks for sharing them! :-)

HEATHER: Enjoyed your questionnaire. :-) I also enjoyed "Pay It Forward" (till the ending) - I thought the plot "challenge" was very intriguing, despite the weaknesses of the movie. If everyone in real life could have a pay-it-forward attitude, what a better place our world might be.

TEEKAY: My dream house is by the sea, too. :-) My P* story (if I ever get it done in time) includes the dream house and the coastal setting. Hey, if ya can't live there, write about it anyway! BTW, definitely quarantine any mailed spiders and tissues...better still, "return to sender." heh heh!

RANDALL: GREAT stories!! :-) I DO hope you're putting them all into an autobiographical anthology...?! :-)

MARK: "Would that we could" teach our children better about freedom and its tendency, with too much of it, to lead to the wrong things...

MARY: I love medieval fairs! We have one here in New York State called the Renaissance Fair, weekends in the summer - hope to go this year at the end of August. They are their own little world - a day's escape from the mundane to a world of pure relaxation and fun! I love the amulet bags too - had one till a few beads came loose, sigh. Will have to look around for another.

EVERYONE: Heaps of inspired writing I wish to you today! Chain your muses to your hearts and write it all out! :-)

Mel 7-10-2001 9:12

Litter - OK, I will give your name thing a try, how about:

1) Quinton Chacktaw– I’m going to make this one a US military man. One of the Chief’s of Staff or similar. Black or White – no real preference. (American Indian)

2) Wosaine Rahadaine – Middle Eastern Despot – perhaps a parody on Gadaffi or Arrafat (sp’s?)

3) Fosbert Milton Nastler – European, German or German-Swiss. Fat Cat name suitable for MD or CEO of Multinational Drugs company or the like.

4) Dahan Tho Ho -- Japanese (?) Fanatical Religious Sect Leader or Arms Dealer.

Jerry 7-10-2001 0:49


Jerry 7-9-2001 23:52

Ok, now that I got that out of my system. All that I have been working on these past few weeks, all the stories, all the tales, and anything else I happened to write are GONE! Gone in an angry moment, when I typed FORMAT C: /Q!

Well at least the f_____ computer is behaving itself, after two formats and two installs of windows ME, it now behaves itself nicely. If I remember all that I have written, I will try and put it all down again. Oh and that wasn't all, during this HOT SWELTERING DAY, the wife's built-in touch pad on her keyboard quit working, our main computer started randomly re-dialing the internet service provider, then just when it all came togather (remember now this is on a day when the average temp is around 95 and the humidity is right up around 90%) mom called, her insurance agent cancled her insurance, because she has put in to many claims and a different agent was coming over to insure her house, could I come and talk to him. Well I kept control, and left all the computers running on their own, secretly hoping that a thunderstorm would come up and strike the network hub, and KILL the bastards. Mom's house was cool, almost cold her central air pumping nice cool air into all the rooms at a nice steady pace. The clear tube that runs from the condencer in her attic and runs down next to the window looked like a garden hose running the extracted water out on her ever so dry lawn. We arrived at her house five minutes before the fellow was to show up, and began playing pinochle (what else do you do when you are waiting for an insurance salesman?) The clock showed he was a half hour late, then an hour, then two, then at two and a half hours late, he called reporting that he forgot the appointment, but would be there in a half hour. Five munites later he showed. I was having doubts that mom should trust someone who cared so little about being on time, but when he got there, he sounded almost professional. His sales pitch done, he left and we played the "Rubber" match, then left. When I got home, the computers were still running, it took about four munites to fix the wife's, then I began re-installing software on mine. I am still installing, and will be for a couple of days. The advantage of having a twenty gig hard drive.

Just another day in South Dakota. (Excuse the spelling, I haven't found my spell checker CD yet!)

Jerry 7-9-2001 23:50

Sighs. Choking your chickens, dousing your lizards...I can't leave you guys unsupervised for a second!

AMERICO: My writing tends to weaken in the summer, slowly fading for lack of attention. By the time the changing of the leaves starts though, I am ready to nurse it back to health. I guess it is sort of like gardening, there is a definite growing season. The rest of the year is spent tilling soil, fertilizing and stock piling seeds to be planted and raised. Last season's scrap was used to compost or mulch this years crop, just like this year's scrap will do for the next. Nothing ever truly dies; it evolves.

GS: I am truly glad you have returned to us.

HOWARD: Hope you are relatively all right. Hugs.

TEEKAY: Thanks! I think it is pretty safe to say that this is a lesson not soon forgotten.

ROSEMARY: I just love the smell of a clean barn stuffed full of hay, staw and sweet oats. I would have helped you toss bales. :-)


Mary 7-9-2001 23:43


Perhaps I should add a disclaimer.....nah, read at your own risk! :-)

A lady I know recently related she visited some friends up close to Abilene, Texas. She said the largest grasshoppers she had ever seen were on the highway, in the fields and pastures. With a quick measurement using her fingers, the pretty, wide-eyed girl indicated they were about 4" long. Monsters!

I responded with my usual cleverness and charm toward the opposite sex, "Wow! Why didn't you catch a few! They're prime fish bait!"

Grasshoppers are excellent fishing bait in the backwoods of rural Texas. I was shown many years ago a technique to attach a small hook to a grasshopper, using sewing thread, without killing the poor thing. A proficient angler, would then heave, toss or otherwise sail the insect into the middle of a small tank, pond for some of you. The proper grasshopper, matched with proper hook, equaled grasshopper casually floating across a placid tank. No doubt shocked at moisture after living much of his life in VERY dry surroundings, the grasshopper would kick his (or her) legs, thus achieving a modest rate of propulsion.

A large bass settled against a sunken log, resting, after eating a dozen minnows or perch would view the scene above as an affront to his dignity and fishood. (Fish hood? Would that be 2 h's?) Thus confronted with the belly side view of an absurd insect thrashing across HIS tank, the bass would rise leisurely and assault, I say assault, the unlucky victim, who was no doubt enjoying a first cruise. This is a low tech way to wile away the hot summer afternoons...and if the fish aren't biting, on strike or mom once said my brother and I always managed to fall in when fishing slowed.

Now, catching grasshoppers isn't all that easy. One, they have wings, may hop like a ‘roo in heat and two, as freedom loving creations, not inclined to be tied to a fishhook and served up as involuntary fish fodder. Can't say as I blame ‘em. Straw hats are great for catching ‘hoppers, that is after chasing one winged critter across 20 acres of land to the point of complete physical exhaustion. Lots of folks throw rocks, but that negates the "Let the fish kill ‘em doctrine" and turns the poor think into mush besides that.

So, my friends, I am here to enlighten the writing brotherhood. Here is Randall's no fail way to capture grasshoppers, in quantity, with style and drink beer at the same time. All you need is a 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury, big engine, 4 speed trans, a 40 acre sunflower field, a driver, two suckers, I mean "Catchers" and a minnow seine. (Uh, a small mesh net, about 20 feet across 3 feet wide.)

Upon approaching the sunflower field ascertain if there are plenty of grasshoppers in residence. If so, position 2 volunteers or catchers on each front fender of the car. Have one guy hold one end of the seine in the air, the other volunteer, the other end. Clear as mud, huh. Make sure each catcher has a cold beer between his legs, (this promotes stability at high speed.) As not to spook the reclining grasshoppers, gently ease out the clutch, while pressing down the footpedal....everyone scream "CHARGE" and full throttle into the sunflowers!

The effect is startling, however, as to what the grasshopper clan thinks is in question. The Plymouth, 383 cubic inches of American brute horsepower, roars across the level, well, fairly level sunflower field. Sunflowers 6 feet tall explode as the speeding car charges forward and through them. Grasshoppers scrambling to get the hell away from the metal monster careen into the sky, and are consequently netted. The driver, on calm days considered a wild-eyed maniac, leans out the car window whooping and honking the car horn. Hanging out the passenger window a large German Shepard barks furiously. Hundreds of emotionally traumatized grasshoppers are captured in the initial foray. As the red Plymouth clears the field the driver executes a bootleg turn and lurches back across the field for a final pass.

The "Catchers" are spitting yellow sunflower petals and green leaves and dirt... and wildly indignant grasshoppers as they gather in the catch, stashing them in large plastic bags.

"We'll freeze them for later," one catcher boasts.

"Go, go, go," the other whoops washing down the debris in his mouth with a cold Lone Star beer.

The driver stands on the gas pedal and again the Plymouth charges into the field of one sided battle.

Very unfortunately, a game warden happened to be in the vicinity....heard the honking and hollering...and motor racing....and observed a plume of yellow sunflower petals and leaves and dust rising into the still summer sky. Wouldn't you know.....

Seeing a trail of debris, torn and shattered plants, disappearing into the field the diligent officer parks his car, and climbs on the trunk to get a better view. "What in the hell......" Coming rapidly at his position, all too rapidly, a metal monster, belching dust and mowing down sunflowers is headed directly toward him. He observes 2 men sitting on the hood, holding at first glance what appears to be a minnow seine high in the air, bursting with grasshoppers. He locks eyes with one of the men on the fender, notices the guys eyes widened, and mouth open. Too late! Bursting into the edge of the field the Plymouth plows into a jolting slide in a choking cloud of dust and sunflowers and petals and leaves and grasshoppers........and objects that are in motion, tend to remain in motion. One minnow seine, two "Catchers," hundreds of chagrined grasshoppers achieve formation flight, landing in sand and grass burrs at the edge of the game wardens sedan.

I've never seen an employee of the Texas Game and Fish Commission so mad, that is after he got off his ass after falling from the car. He was screaming...."You guys are going to get killed...." "Can't catch grasshoppers like this....." "Drinking beer!" "Get that net away from me!"

Adding to the uproar the Plymouth blew a radiator hose and clouds of billowing steam covered everyone. My brothers dog leaped out of the car, snarling and threatening one and all. Guess he couldn't handle the stress either. Another Fish and Game rep showed up, but no matter how hard they tried there was nothing in the rule book about catching grasshoppers with a car and minnow seine. And believe me they tried.

But mom drew the line at storing grasshoppers in her fridge, so the carp who swim above the dam had a hell of a feast a few days later.

A day in the life :-)


RANDALL 7-9-2001 23:22


I just want to see if I have this straight. You invite me to write something about an electric toilet seat, and you set Teekay a task involving a cold blooded lizard. If this is so, I ask to switch with Teekay. I don't say she should be more comfortable with electrified toilet seats. It's just that I already have a cold blooded lizard. Of course it wasn't always so, It's just that I've aged.


gariess 7-9-2001 23:12

VIV - Can you help me with a translation? Japanese?

RACHEL - I got Shadows today, it's amazing to actually own something you helped write. The pictures of Sebastian were great too - thanks. He's such a cute little guy. :)

Allein Allein's World 7-9-2001 22:47


Yes, that word was schmaltzy. Ever wonder where words like that come from? It sounds like an Andy Rooney segment. "Ever wonder what happens to all the socks that never come out of the washing machine? If you’re like me, and you have a drawer full of unmatched socks, what are we expecting to do with them all? If I’m never going to wear those socks again why do I save them? Maybe some day I’ll open a store and sell hand puppets."

Seriously, Heather, it is good that your opinions about the films you like are not subject to influence by the professional appreciators. I miss being able to enjoy the marginally acceptable films I used to see in my younger days (and what side of the margin they fell on was debatable at best.) Those terrible, low budget horror and sci-fi films were fun when I was in my twenties. The bad movies they make today just don’t seem to be fun to watch. I guess I’ll have to ask someone in their twenties.

I crack you up? Maybe you should go to the chiropractor’s office.

There is something to what you say, my shirt died yesterday, and my neighbor’s chicken is looking pretty bad. Didn’t Teekay say something about thou shalt not choke thy neighbors chicken? Or was that just about choking chickens in general? Don’t choke the general’s chicken? I don’t know, I can’t remember.

Egad! They still do shock therapy? I thought that went the way of the fire hose and the wet sheets.

It was probably watching Oprah that put the poor woman off.
It would do it for me. The only thing worse is watching Rosie O’Donnell. Where in the hell do we get these cultural icons?

I seem to recall something about Bell being a Scot. Somehow I still associate him more with "American" culture, but the essence of my diatribe is little diminished by his removal from it. By all means, strike AGB from my post.



gariess 7-9-2001 22:44


LITTER: Or maybe Faustmein instead of Freeman. That sounds more German.

Really am going now.


Cross my heart.


Teekay 7-9-2001 22:03


LITTER: Dulthur; Freeman; Wren.
Difficult to think of a US name for CNQST, the only thing that really comes to my mind is something like Conquestro. Perhaps he could be of Spanish decent?
Dulthur's not all that Japanese sounding either unless you use something like Don Tung Ho or some such.

Well that was a lot of fun - thanks. I hope it's of some help :-)

Teekay 7-9-2001 21:56

VIV: But how do they turn into handsome lifeguards????
more curious than ever.

Teekay 7-9-2001 21:49


AMERICO: Wow! That is really beautiful.

Teekay 7-9-2001 21:45

Gariess: Hi! I had a lot of fun with your post on dueling vs. dualing toilet seats. It got me started and I couldn't stop. Now two pages later I have something to post on Treachery. It can wait though. It has 777 words. I don't want to be a "space pig" in the notebook. Thanks for the great image! Now, I want to see what you do in a duel with an electric toilet seat. Challenge! Can you write something on Trechery and an electric toilet seat? Shock us!

Teekay: I didn't have time to get into the names of the lizards because Gariess set me off on toilet seats. I will get the name of the lizards who turn into handsome lifeguards when water is dropped on them today. I have to go to the library anyway. If you happen to be in your local library, take some time to see if you find that name, would you please? Sometimes finding the exact Kingdom/phylum/class/order/family/genus/species can be a little tricky. Please remember when you get
your lizard that he is cold blooded.

I also want everyone to know that I am completely bonkers and invite anyone who doesn't feel like being normal today to come over and enjoy a day off. Bring your pens, laptops, paper, and your own bathroom slippers.

Americo: Weak things die in extreme temps. You find more deaths among the old and babies in the heat of the summer and the extreme cold of the winter. You are absolutely right, but what I try to think about is the wonderful feeling of being relaxed, warm, and floating off to sleep. Weak relationships are strained by extremes in temp, so they can die as well.
Best thing to do, keep yourself and the things you love strong.

Rosemary: I'd probably kill myself helping with the hay, but I could feel the prickly dusty itch of the heat as you described it. Nope, Your post was not dull at all. I envy you, but at the same time, I know my body would probably collapse after 5 minutes of that. What
you did was an accomplishment.

Debra: Thanks for the compliment but I found out yesterday they haven't passed that law. The SOFA agreement is under debate. I'm with you, because I'm the kind of person that seems to get entangled in stuff like that. I hope they just leave it as it is until I'm out of here. I think though, change is needed. It's just very tricky to decide what and how to change it so that no one who isn't guilty gets hurt. I think maybe they need to change traffic laws at the same time.

Back to work. Thank you Gariess Teekay Mary and Jack. I took an unexpected break to write that toilet trechery shortie, and now I'm off to work thinking about my lizardy lifeguard's names. This is going to be fun. I wonder if I should check out the cigarette machine to see if there are any good names in there???? Kingdom/phylum/class/or.......

May you all take pleasant flights of fantasy amidst the concentration of the day!

Viv 7-9-2001 21:35


Details about "Saints and Sinners"? A writer only needs an idea to turn the wheels of imagination. You'll just have a title and a list of the sins and the virtues to refresh you memory. The project consists of trying to discover yourself and tell the amazing news in your style.

What's your style? Your style probably lies hidden in your predominant defects or in your best qualities (or in a rich mixture of both of them). Your style is your unique way of looking inside yourself and finding there the way mankind breathes.

What methods shall you use? Old writers (i. e. everybody before you awoke) used naked models, that's to say, characters to convey illusions. That's still a good way, at least before you discover something better. But avoid the notorious "show not tell" technique of the bad creative writing courses and start expressing feelings and describing things without fear. After you find the joy of singing with your own voice (don't sing too loud), play the words (not with words, that makes bad music). Play the words like a musician plays the piano. Who knows if, in the process, you'll find out that what's beautiful in a story is the way it is written and the lesson it refuses to teach? Be subtle, but not clever, be intelligent but leave the place of honor to the reader's mind. As a writer you are just a pathfinder, readers and time the empire-builders.

Americo 7-9-2001 21:21

714Kb and rising -- ouch!

7-9-2001 21:07

Hi All!

Still recovering files and settings after the ‘big reinstallation of 2001’. Some of my backed-up email folders are proving a bit stubborn and I only got my address book back today…

MARY – got the mail. Ta very muchly – I’ll thank you properly soon.

MARK – re the 4 pages on a page, book format thingy – I got a program called ‘Blue Squirrel ClickBook, with my latest software bundle – does just what you were talking about and integrates into all the usual Biggies like MS Word, Corel, Lotus, Adobe and a whole host of others. You can set up for 2, 3, 4, 6 or 8 pages on one, back and front with all sorts of bells, whistles and formatting options. I use it to see how I look in print as well – seems nearer the finished thing to set it up like that.

GARIESS – I think you’ll find that Alexander Graham Bell was Scots.

HEATHER – I have Adams’ ‘The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul’ sitting on a bookshelf not 3 feet from my right elbow. Wonderful Book, especially the bit where Toe-Rag super-glues the Norse God of Thunder to the floor. Thoroughly recommended!

Finally got back to some productive writing. (After a looooong apathetic hiatus.)
Could do with the teensiest modicum of assistance with some names. What I need are names that fit with 4 sets of letters and brief descriptions. If I do this myself, knowing what I aim to do with the names I fear that my focus will be too narrow. I’m sure that some among you will realise the significance of the sets of letters, relatively quickly.

Here goes: (all are male but worry not, ladies, main protagonist is female…)

1) CNQST – I’m going to make this one a US military man. One of the Chief’s of Staff or similar. Black or White – no real preference.

2) WR – Middle Eastern Despot – perhaps a parody on Gadaffi or Arrafat (sp’s?)

3) FMN – European, German or German-Swiss. Fat Cat name suitable for MD or CEO of Multinational Drugs company or the like.

4) DTH -- Japanese (?) Fanatical Religious Sect Leader or Arms Dealer.

Thinking caps on people. All contributions appreciated. Correct spellings of bona-fide names doubly appreciated.

Ciao for now

Litter 7-9-2001 20:57


Hi y'all,

GARIESS: I suspect those 17 favourable votes were given either by persons in the 14 - 17 age group, or persons of that mental age, and don't be offended any of you 14 - 17 year olds out there, because my girls LOVED it.
They kept getting upset with me when I got to the stage in the movie where I realized it wasn't going anywhere, but down (and fast) and decided to make up my own lines which was a heck of a lot more fun.

ROSEMARY: I was just curious as to how much you loaded up the first time, because when you said you only needed 30 more it seeemed like you must have loaded up hundreds, but really, you've still got almost another half to go. Gee, sorry about that, that's sounds a bit depressing :-$
This is a long and boring explanation I know.

MARY: ((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))) 2 U.
Oh you poor thing, and you were so looking forward to doing this.
Chalk it up to a lesson learnt, an experience lived through, and remember, never, ever, never do it again :-).

AMERICO: I'm sure there's a lot more to that question that what there seems to be. Therefore, I shall just shrug my shoulders and say "Dunno."

HEATHER: Cripes! That woman sounds like she could do with watching a couple of thousand episodes of Oprah.

Bah humbug, I did it again. I chose to work on my (fanfare please) "??NOVEL????" before going to sleep and therefore spent yet another restless night with all the characters popping in and out of my head and making it bloody well impossible to get a decent nights sleep.
Oh deary me, please don't make it that I have to get up at 4 am in order to get anything done with it. ~shudder~


Teekay 7-9-2001 20:41

HEATHER: Still 10! :)

I'm seriously lurking all...I'm barely skimming the posts. Sorry about that. Been extremely busy. And a little tired. I'm not even writing right now. I don't really have a block - I just don't feel like it. All this moving, not moving, moving, puppies, kittens, vbs, firing my secretary and losing a friend, my friends and their babies, my sister and much on me right now.

Hopefully I'll be motivated soon.

Time to do the dishes!

Hallee 7-9-2001 20:00

And though she would make an interesting character, with tonnes of material to choose from, I find it exhausting to contemplate.

Perhaps we could have a shortie night some thursday about oppression. Then again, maybe not.

I have other friends who are bi-polar to varying degrees, and I do not find it exhausting at all to cheer them up, or listen to them when they need me.

I had finally had enough of this woman's draining capabilities last Tuesday. She called, asking that I go over the next morning to 'help her around the house'. This is one of the major reasons to NOT tell people I clean for a living. They expect me to somehow have the ability to not only snap my fingers and erase months of dirty laundry and caked on food in the sink; but that I'll somehow magically reduce their workload forever, with no pay. I am a good friend, but not that good. I also have my own pigpen to (ha ha ha) clean. Actually, it's very clean. Just untidy today. The kids have to clean up their toys every night before bed, but it's not bedtime yet. I can tell by the pulling of hair and the screaming from outside.

Must be the sprinkler yelling like that.

Perhaps I will summon up some writing energy tonight and continue with more on my novel. I DO know where my next few scenes will go, and what I want to happen, etc. And, in fact, I think chatting here in the NB (mind you, I am still talking to myself until there are more posts!)
has given me a bit of a boost. Imagine that!

Ah, sigh. Let your fingers do the talking. Therapy, therapy. I may be in need of some desperate therapy.


(well, maybe I'm not)

Litter, Mary, I indeed feel your pain - at least some of it. My fingers have been swollen for two days and typing is finally not such a chore today. I don't know if it's the weather (usually is) or the moving of a lot of heavy furniture over the weekend, but my rings were too tight to wear these last 48 hrs. Like sausages, my fingers are. ICK. Perhaps it is sympathy pain? How about EMPATHY pain.

Heather 7-9-2001 19:45

Mary: Don't worry about falling behind on reading!
I've let my writing fall behind schedule this week. I seem to have had a hard time shaking the absolute drain on my system from not so much cheering up a friend, but dealing with her and her husband and four kids, and having them stomp through the house all last weekend. My mother aptly put it, when she saw this woman sitting on her porch: "She looks like a vulture!" And, indeed, anything that this woman likes she tries to get the object's owner to give it to her, employing as many interesting yet annoying so-called logistics. Oh, it would fit me better. Oh, it would look so nice on my table... Oh, I think it's my colour, don't you?
She's not wealthy, she's not even got the best in tastes. But she knows something of value when she sees it, or looks for it, or downright invades your space in search of it.
She'd make an interesting character for a novel, but a long one.
I sometimes think she tells people she's depressed in order to gain objects rather than sympathy. The saddest part is that she thinks the object will in some way create a sense of happiness, order, reason for living. Meanwhile she lives in a state of oppression; her escape is the local mental hospital/institution, known hereabouts as 'The Homewood'. Don't get me wrong, this woman does have bi-polar disorder. But the source of her depression is often times her lack of emotional and physical freedom. If you find it 'refreshing' and 'a holiday compared to home' to be locked down into the institution and receive shock therapy, then home must be a prison like no other.

Now, see? I've gone and winded myself right out on you, my friends. For shame.

Heather 7-9-2001 19:31

In response to your question, Americo, yes.
It does seem that a lot of things around here die in the summer. My grass, and my flowers.

Heather 7-9-2001 19:04

Rosemary - you'll get much cheaper rates if you book at least 2 weeks in advance. A return fare for my friend from Florida to Buffalo, NY and back, was about $300, booked three weeks in advance. We didn't book it online, but called the airline's 800 number.

But enough about air fares. Let's talk writing, folks.

Anyone embarking on a challenging project?

Yes, that's right! Americo is planning a project. Give us some details, won't you Jon, Americo? Pussy, perhaps?
We know the title of the new project, but little else!

Still planning to close Phantasium at the end of August; that does leave a fair bit of time for adding stories. I plan on at least one myself. Remember: The stories don't have to be scary. Just about spirits/ghosts, & the like.
This closing date does depend on how long the workbook is 'out of commission', however. Don't worry, Jack, take your time! The more stories, the better. That way, if we have to cut a few, there are still a plethora to choose from.
I will, with Mark's help, edit each story with the author via email; the revised stories can then be emailed back to me. In the edits we may also make suggestions for wording in revision; but it is still up to the author. The final copy of the stories must be approved by each individual in order that they are happy with what will be submitted. Polishing is priority, and so is smiling when it's all done.
That doesn't mean I am not a tough editor!

Chins up and pens hovering...
This week's shortie looks promising!

I dare you all to participate. I've been slack on shortie night myself, these last two weeks. :o<

Better grip myself firmly and pen my way to the page. Ha ha.

I hope puppy number 10 makes it, Hallee!

Heather 7-9-2001 19:02

It always seemed to me that more things die in the Winter. The gloomy weather tends to encourage sick things to give up. Maybe the things that die in the summer are more likely to be animals and the winter things are people? My experience anyway.

I was checking airline prices on and the fare from S.A. Tex. to Washington State was $192. You have to change planes in Dallas. So I thought I would check on the prices from Dallas, Tex. to Wa. and it was $435(ish). This didn't make any sense to me. Does anyone here know about those online airline prices? Did I do it wrong?

Oh well, I mowed for about half an hour and the mower ran out of gas. Decided this evening would really be better. It's awfully hot.

Gone again.

Rosemary--again 7-9-2001 14:53

Does anyone here feel that a lot of things die in Summer?

Americo 7-9-2001 14:40

Morning all, normal or not.

We loaded 73 bales on that trailer and gave 4 to the guy that helped. I mentioned that we would only need about 30 more to last until next July.(I wasn't really sure about your question) My sister and I unloaded the whole 74 bales ourselves yesterday, (30%me and 60% her. She's 7 yrs. younger and hasn't as much pain. We grit our teeth and keep telling ourselves, "It's good for me. It's good for me.)------What is lucerne? A place or a type of grass? Never heard of it. Our hay is called Coastal Bermuda. We can't buy alfalfa that is grown in Texas or Oklahoma because of somekind of a bug that is supposed to kill the horses if they eat it. Most vet's prefer the coastal anyway.
When my old horse lost most of his teeth, I had to get New Mexico alfalfa for him. The grassy hay was too rough for him. He died about 3 years ago at approx. 35 years of age. That's really old for a horse.

Now that I've bored most of you to death, I'll go decide to mow the yard now or wait until after 7:00pm.

Rosemary 7-9-2001 12:47

Hi guys. Haven't been around much lately. I am in the deep end of working on the chiropractor's office. Turns out my sewing machine won't sew the double-thick vinyl I picked out for the tables, so I am reupholstering them by hand. It is killing my fingers and my joints. My wrists are all swollen and puffy. LITTER: I feel terrible that you are in a state worse than mine all the time, because even the smallest tasks like typing this post really HURT! I finished the last one last night and at the end I had to switch to pliers to pull the needle through because my fingers wouldn't hold it anymore. I hope I never see another staple gun as long as I live. My palm feels like it has a stone bruise in the middle of it. This was a much bigger job than I had anticipated and the doctor's wife is a real *itch. I think she is upset that the doctor has me doing it instead of her.

HALLEE: Sorry to hear about the pups that died. I know how terrible I felt when one of the little kittens died. ;-(

GS: You crack me up.

HEATHER: I am sorry that I haven't read the latest excerpt you sent me yet. Now that those damn tables are done I will have more time. My friend is moving and I have been painting her new house for a week and between that, the chiropractor's office and my husband's poorly-timed vacation I am run ragged. Please forgive me.

We went to the Medieval Faire this past Saturday. I wore one of the beaded amulet bags that I make, one with a Celtic cross on the front, and I can't believe the number of people who stopped me and asked which booth I had bought it from. One of the vendor's even came around her counter and asked me if I had made it myself and then escorted me to the office where she and some guy tried to talk me into having a booth in next year's faire. I was very flattered and a little bit proud so I thought I would share. :-) Don't know if I am taking the booth though, it is pretty steep and there are a lot of disadvantages.

I saw a wonderful falconry demonstration there. They are beautiful birds, and when one of them swooped overhead, it lost a feather so now I have that in my amulet bag and it's my only souvenir. I don't think I could have purchased anything there that would have been better.


Mary 7-9-2001 11:31


Thanks for answering my question so elequently. I'm really worried that some innocent person will get caught up in all this bad behaviour. I'm not talking about the already innocent person who did, the girl who got raped, but rather other innocents, like you.

Keep your chin up and your eyes open.

Debra 7-9-2001 8:44

Actually, Gariess, I'd recommend 'Pay It Forward' anyway.
I wouldn't say it was schmaltzy at all - or whatever that word was.

I thought the cast well-suited to the roles, but I didn't get the feeling that the movie was written 'around' that particular cast. Sometimes you get that feeling and, unless it's Robin Williams, it doesn't go over well.

Tell those Rotten Tomatoes to bite me. HA HA HA

Heather 7-9-2001 4:10

Just for the sake of perspective, the movie, Panic with Wm. H. Macy, Donald Sutherland and Neve Campbell got an 89% favorable rating.


gariess 7-9-2001 0:48

Teekay, you devil,

Coyote Ugly got 17 favorable out of 71 total reviews, 24%. The cheif complaint seemed to be that the movie just wasn't bad enough to be funny.


Pay It Forward got 35 out of 88, a dismal 40% for a movie so full of Oscar winners. The chief complaint seemed to be with the script, which was largely considered to be lifeless and schmaltzy. The raison d'etre of the film is thought to be an attempt to cash in on the Ocar power of the cast, or a sincerely misguided notion on the part of the production company that there was great stuff in there somewhere. Didn't happen.

Of course among the top ten reviewers, Jay Carr of the Boston Globe gave it a qualified recommendation. He is such an embarrassment to us. I wish he would go to the west coast.

A movie needs a 60% favorable rating to be considered worth the time to watch it.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes, a web site which rates movies statiscally according to the nations top critics. You can read all the reviews at this web site. All you have to do is spell Rotten Tomatoes correctly and add the dot com.


gariess 7-9-2001 0:22

Hello everyone: Absolutely exhausted, but we are now officially a Westercon 56 and I am the vice chair. This may take a bit of my time, but will get to the rework of the Workbook this week. Right now, though, I barely have two brain cells to rub together hard enough to strike even one potential spark. So, off to relax and eventually perhaps sleep. Got between four and five hours sleep per night all weekend. That and lots of interactions and schmoozing. Did lend Shadows to a reader I respect. We will see what she thinks of it.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-8-2001 22:31


Hi all,

MARK: Yeah, I'd keep that opening line too. The only reason I started thinking about it was the second time you mentioned it it sort of stood out without all those other words following on.

VIV: Belated question, but what are those lizards that turn into handsome lifeguards when they get wet. You have me really curious.

ROSEMARY: How many bales of hay did you load up the first time?
I love lucerne bailing time at my FIL's (father-in law) farm.
It's a small farm so it's quite fun to do it. I get to drive the truck. A beat up old black thing with a flat top circa 1672. :-D

GARIESS: hahahhahahaha you!
Well I'm positively egstatic that you have found good reason to haunt the nb" more frequently and oil do my very best to encurij that behavyor.

I watched 'Coyote Ugly' the other night and I've gotta tell you there's a hell of a lot to be said for media hype coz that movie was one of the most tragically ridiculous I have ever seen.
I gave it 2 points out of 10, and I gave it the 2 points coz I got it for free.

Watched 'For Richer or Poorer' last night, with Kirsty Alley and Tim Allen and I thought it was just fantastic.
It's the second time I've seen it and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Talk about funny.

The script writing was brilliant.
Whereas I think in 'Coyote gly' the scriptwriters must've already gone on strike and the actors just got paid a little extra to make up their own lines.

Well it's Monday the first day of the week AND the first day of the school holidays, so if any of you notice a deterioration in my behaviour just go right ahead and ignore it.
No one would probably notice anyway.

May your quills be sharp and your inkpots be full.

Teekay 7-8-2001 21:18

Hallee - Congrats on the puppies. :) It's sad about the ones that didn't make it though. :(

I heard about a dalmatian (true story, not making this up) who had nine puppies and the couple thought that was all and went to bed. In the morning there were nine more puppies. It's the most puppies ever born to a single dog. And all survived. :)

Allein Allein's World 7-8-2001 18:26


7-8-2001 16:46

Heather - I saw 'Pay it forward' I thought it was very good. Then how can you go wrong with Kevin Spacey (he is so adorable)!

Take care you.


Rachel 7-8-2001 15:07

Okay - there were 11. Now there are 10, and I think in a little while there will be 9. (One isn't doing so well). Whew. Hope that's it. I'm off to sleep while I can before Kaylee wakes up at any minute.

Hallee 7-8-2001 6:33

Heather - I am visiting Cassandra in August so hopefully I'll bring the book home with me. After I read it, I'll send it on to you (provided you e-mail me the address to send it to otherwise, I won't be able to send it).

Allein Allein's World 7-8-2001 2:19

Has anyone seen the movie, "Pay It Forward"?

The writing is quite brilliant! The acting is as good as the writing, in my humble thumbless opinion. (ie: as opposed to whatever those thumbs up or down people might have given it)

*flashing bulbs in varied colours*

It also takes place in Las Vegas.

Hallee: Happy birthday to the puppies!

Jack: I'll be thinking of you, too, on the 13th especially.

Anyone wishing to read Tina's 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency' by Douglas Adams?
Highly recommended. You won't be able to set it down!
Also, if you wish I can send the sequel at the same time;
'The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul'.

Cassandra - Please send on Howard's book! It's too wonderful a treasure to not return! (Sorry, I just wouldn't want to see the book get lost forever)

I still have 'Ender's Game' of Christi's, and 'Midworld' of Howard's. If no one else would like to be thoroughly enlightened by these gifts in paperback binding, I'll return them to their owners, who no doubt miss them!

Email me your snail mail if you want one of these lovelies to arrive in your mailbox soon!

Mark - got it! THANK YOU!

Heather 7-8-2001 1:55

I will not produce foibles on purpose for your amusement!

I will not procure foibles on porpoise for your amusement!

I wiol nut proceed...

Heather 7-8-2001 1:19


In reference to your comment: "You'll notice that 'thou shalt not marry your chicken' or 'thou shalt not eat your
neighbours leg' isn't included in the commandments? Well, it's for the very simple reason that that is not normal."

It is apparent that you have not been spending time in my neighborhood, lately.


gariess 7-8-2001 1:18


I refer to your post containing the following: "I was looking at heated toilet seats and trying to find one that was 'duel' voltage."

Now, I am sure you would have written "dual" voltage, if you had taken the chance to consider it. I know next to nothing about electrified toilet seats, but I would guess that "duel voltage" is something that one would more likely find in a Jedi light saber than in anything made for use in the modern bathroom. A toilet seat that is wired for dueling gives rise to the silliest images one could imagine. "Take that, D’Artagnan," he said with a mighty thrust of his epee. "Dear me, please excuse the smell. Sacre bleu, I believe there has been the short circuit."

For the rest of you, this is the kind of thing that has been sadly missing from the NB for so long. I had just recently complained about the lack of prompting I get from you dear folks, and look what I see. I do believe I will enjoy reading Viv’s posts. That is, I will until you lot have taken her in hand and ruined her with your incessant correcting and reshaping. How you have hindered my fun in recent time, I can hardly contemplate.


gariess 7-8-2001 1:04

MARY: We're adding puppies to the pack now. Five so far...I'll update in the morning. zzzzzzzzzHallee

Hallee 7-8-2001 0:33

Oh, Mark, I guess Teekay is right, but you know that is a wonderful opening line, I think I would keep it all the same. Whoever it was that said "there is a bit of larceny in all of us" was right.

Jerry Ericsson 7-8-2001 0:15

Ah the wonders of the hayfield. Many many years ago, my uncle Marvin died. Nothing spectacular about that, everyone dies when his/her time comes. (OK, I did it, used the dreaded liberal his/her, does that make anyone feel better?) But when he died, his poor wife (an absolutely wonderful lady, salt of the earth) couldn't fulfill his haying contracts with the neighbors. The equipment sat there, and to be honest, his wonderful wife did try that first year, she tried so very hard, but one day while she was trying, her fingers got caught between the belt of the bailer and the fly wheel, and that was the end of those fingers. Dad had a heart as big as his head, and volunteered to take over the contracts, for a cut of the pay of course, as he had to give up his job as a gas station manager (A job he hated and gave up gladly.) Now haying can be done by one man, I guess but it is much easier for two, and I being almost grown (Well I was over six feet tall, and weighed in at 175) dad put me to work as his assistant. As his assistant, I helped maintain the equipment, move the vehicles, and during the bailing operation I rode the stone boat making small stacks of the square bails, as they came out the rear of the bailer. If I recall the formula was four on the bottom, then three, then two and one on the top made a bail pyramid, then the small stack was slid off the stone boat using a five foot long solid steel pointed round bar. For this work, I received one cent per bail, dad got ten and Marvin's lovely widow got twelve cents for the usage of the machine. There was a counter on the bailer that told us how many bails we produced from any given field. For me, it was a wonderful time, just being with dad when he was sober and working, sharing the work, I think I was closer to dad that summer then ever. When we were taking breaks, he told me tales of his youth, not those drunken slobering tales that he spun when he was smashed, but touching tales of he and his five brothers growing up in the early days of the last century, with no mother to care for them, being passed from his father's brothers, each brother living in a different house, with a different family. Of the cruelty of those brothers, being beaten for the smallest infraction. I learned why he drank, not that I condoned it, but I think had I been raised the way he was I would probably be an alcoholic myself. He showed me the pits on his legs and back where his uncle Adolph wiped him with a black snake whip for taking an orange without permission. Then it happened, about the third or fourth week that we were haying, I came down with that dreaded allergy hay fever, and had to quit. Dad understood, he could see that it was effecting me horribly, my eyes were swollen shut, I sneezed all the time. Dad found another worker to fill in until he finished the contracts, then went back to work at that gas station on the hill. I used to go up there and help him after school when I could, but it just wasn't the same. Oh we were still close I guess and he still told me his tales, but it just wasn't the same. Dad was a farmer at heart, and when he sold the farm, I think he lost a bit of his heart with it. Somehow, life was never the same after that summer, and when the company that dad was running the gas station for told him to drop prices below his already cut rate of .29/9 cents per gallon to try and put a new cut rate station on the highway out of business, dad refused and quit, the company closed that gas station, and it never reopened. The fellow with the station on the highway was so grateful that he gave dad a job at his station, and they became great friends, dad worked there until his bronchitis became so bad he could no longer work. (I think a lot of that came from his heavy smoking and drinking.) Well it appears I ramble on, and am taking up way too much space on this wonderful notebook. I do have the first part of a story prepared for **P** when it reopens, hope to finish the first draft this coming week, and may have it ready by Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how things go. That camping trip did me wonders, my writing is back on track again, and things are coming much quicker then they have been these past few months. Think I had a partial writers block for awhile there.

Jack I will be thinking of you on the 13th.

Jerry Ericsson 7-8-2001 0:04

That is the deepest thinking I have heard in a long time. You're right. If being a thief wasn't normal, there wouldn't be need for commandmants and laws against it.

Amazing how such simple things never occur to me.
Gone for sure now.

Rosemary again 7-7-2001 23:31

Hello there,

Hi Rachel, thanks for the hug. Everybody needs a good hug now and then.

I guess I wasn't really thinking about giving the story away on the notebook, I'm sure everyone here has already read it. :^) I meant in general when anyone new reads it. My sister read it and said she wants that house. We've been having a lot of repair men around lately.

This evening we went to a local farmer and bought 77 bales of hay. Borrowed a flatbed trailer, a hitch for my little Dodge Dakota, (Sister's van is broken again.) and headed for the field. Luckly someone came by wanting to know if there was hay for sale, (we had bought the whole field) and offered to help us load the trailer for 4 bales. Then the owner came out and between the four of us, it only took about 45 minutes. I know this doesn't sound like much to you macho persons out there, but the temp. today ran about 98 degrees and even though it was cooler at 7:30 in the evening I half-way expected not to live through the whole thing. We'll only need about 30 more bales for the year.

Enough of my trials and tribulations,
Bye bye

Rosemary 7-7-2001 23:27


MARK: I was thinking about your 'it's not normal to be a thief' comment and shoot me now and put me out of my misery, but I've actually been thinking about it and I have decided that it's perfectly normal to be a thief and that's why the ten comandments were made.
Just like 'thou shalt not commit adultery' and 'honour thy mother and thy father' and 'though shalt not covet thy neighbours wife'.
You see all these things come perfectly natural to the human race and for this very reason that is why religion warns against them.
You'll notice that 'thou shalt not marry your chicken' or 'thou shalt not eat your neighbours leg' isn't included in the commandments? Well, it's for the very simple reason that that is not normal.

See what thinking does.
Sad isn't it?

Teekay 7-7-2001 22:44


ROSEMARY: No way man. I didn't give anything away. I think what you did with the end was very clever. Never saw it coming and I don't think anybody else would with what I wrote either.
BTW: Bloody cats. You should know that they never do what you want them to. Should've tried it with a dog hahahaha.

RACHEL: I'm led to believe that there is a certain amount of comfort in 'normalcy' after all, almost everbody's doing it. But then you seem to write all the time and probably don't suffer from those horrible non writing spells like I seem to get fairly regularly.
I don't wish normalcy for everybody, just for myself and then only sometimes. :-)

Gotta go, it's Sunday and I have to go to church.

Not really.
I mean it is Sunday, but I don't have to get ready for church.

I'm already ready.

No I'm not.

Only joking,

I'm not going to church.

Church comes to our house every Sunday, it's great, I don't have to do anything except prepare some jatz and dip and put a clean tablecloth on the table for the priest.

Yup! Normal. Why would I want to be normal?

And that was a little peek into a corner of my mind. Hope I didn't scare anybody. :-D

Teekay 7-7-2001 22:33

Viv - I was wondering, I jotted down the words to a song in Japanese and I'm having a hard time translating it even with a dictionary - could you or someone you know possibly look over it and help me out. I'm doing this as a favor to a friend. Please. :) I didn't know your e-mail but if you want I could e-mail the song to you to listen to as well -I'm not even sure I wrote it down right - I had trouble understanding them. Thanx.

Allein Allein's World 7-7-2001 20:32

Hi Jack,
Went looking for the notebook and found your note. I'm glad for the absence in a way. I'm stuck doing exams and grading this week and teaching Juku. So there won't be the time or energy to put a coherent thought on the notebook.
This coordinates well because it's a little like waiting for vacation to unwrap that treat. I'll enjoy seeing what you've created.

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we are all thinking of you and wishing you well as you move toward Friday the 13th. Please take good care of yourself, and remember that you've created a place of peace and rest for many in this notebook. A special blessing for doing that!

Heather: I've been feeling a little down on myself because I'm a bit weird. Thanks for the humorous picker upper. Saw myself in many of those descriptions! I had my daughter's birthday party. What did she get, 5 different journals from 5 different people. She disappeared from the party and when I went to find her, she was in her room writing happily. Poor kid, and she states firmly that she's never going to be a writer...too weird.

Viv 7-7-2001 18:03

Hi Deb:
The "boys" who rape the girls in Okinawa certainly aren't doing the American's any favors. It helps that the little girl was drunk and misbehaving herself. I think the pervasive feeling here was "well, if you set yourself up by getting drunk in a soldier's bar what do you expect?"

Still, there was outrage. Think how we'd feel if a member of the Japanese military raped a woman in our country. I think it's the combination of race (I am not exactly using the right word because is American a race?) and military that really make it a horrifying act.

The Japanese acted wisely in changing the Status of Forces Agreement Law. They have made it so if a military person or someone connected to the military commits a crime in Japan, he/she, is liable under Japanese law. The Geneva convention will intervene to see that the prison conditions are similar to that of the home country, but the sentence will be the Japanese decision. The Japanese have the death penalty but don't use it in a sloppy manner. They take a long time deciding and use it carefully and quietly. I'm sure under the Geneva convention that some care would be taken as to the application of that punishment.

HOWEVER, before getting complacent and thinking, "Well, I'll never commit a crime", I consider that a traffic accident with a fatality is considered a crime here. If I hurt or kill someone with my car I have committed an offense just as punishable. There is prejudice and a feeling that American's have been running rampant over here. I could get very hurt by this. When I think about this, I drive very very slowly and carefully. It's so easy to hit someone because the roads are very narrow and children play and walk in the sidewalks.

This new twist to the law makes me afraid. The Japanese have had Enough of American misbehavior. I hope I can avoid being a nail that sticks up. I don't want to get pounded.

Tina: I kept thinking why I said that about killer cold. I was out trying to do my bargain shopping for winter. (I was looking at heated toilet seats and trying to find one that was duel voltage so I could bring it back to the States if I move this year. These babies aren't cheap. It suddenly occured to me that bathrooms are heated in the is the entire house. Canada too. The stuff you just forget! I guess that pretty well explains why I sure don't want to live in negative degree weather...get stuck to the seat.) Check out the website in my earlier post and you really get an idea of where I live.

Viv 7-7-2001 17:50

I think I started the 'normalcy' stuff with my line, "It's not normal being a thief." A simple truth there. On the great bell-curve of life, thieves fall into a region outside statistical normalcy, as do writers, sculptors, painters, and other artsy types.

I think it's a great opening line, much better than "Do you come here often?" I like it so much I think I'll wear it for a while. I'll wear it on my head, over my shoulder, in my pants, I'll wear it in all the usual places writerly-type people normally wear their stuff.

More later. Gotta go to hardware store. I'll wear my line under something so the cashiers don't get upset.

Mark 7-7-2001 17:00

Rosemary - Good morning (smiles and hugs).

Rachel 7-7-2001 11:09

Normal? What the hell is that and why would I want to be it?
Ciao, ciao for now :o)

Rachel 7-7-2001 11:08

Morning normal writers,

I printed out your suggestions. When I started the story, I thought the ghost was going to be a cat. The house took over the story. I'm going to add more details to the house, but try not to take all the surprise out of it.

You tell the greatest stories. They say the best writers are excellent story tellers. I can't even get most jokes right. Usually I get the first couple of lines out, skip the middle, then the punch line doesn't make any sense.

small poodle creeping up on busy chicken and goosing her in the back end.

The above caused a lot of screeching and running in all directions. Bye,

Rosemary 7-7-2001 10:33

Well, that was an enlightening peek, Teekay. I understand what it is to desire for 'normalcy', if indeed normalcy is possible for artists. There are degrees of normalcy, as I have been told.

Here is a test to see if you are 100% normal. Choose the most likely out of the answers listed for each question:

1.) When you get out of bed in the morning/afternoon/whenever; do you:

a) Stretch, wiggle your toes, check the clock and scream, "For God's sake who ate the batteries? I'm late!"

b) Check to see if your head is still on

c) Check to see if your body's still on

d) Roll over and pretend your alarm clock is a large predatory insect that deserves to be smashed into small slivers of black plastic and wires

e) Rub your eyes, sit up slowly, shuffle into some bedraggled slippers and moan about the coffee pot not refilling itself.

f) Get out of bed? What ever for?

2.) Do you:

a) Have upholstery burn on the back of your thighs from sitting for long hours at the computer in only a T-shirt and socks?

b) Know where you keep your telephone?

c) Go to the mailbox fully dressed?

d) Actually take 'dry clean only' clothes to the dry cleaners?

e) Respond when someone calls you by your real first name?

3.) When you have an interesting idea, do you:

a) Tackle everyone and kick them out of your way on the thirty yard dash to a desk? (Even at parent-teacher meetings?)

b) Discuss it with someone who might stay awake until you stop talking?

c) Leave yourself messages on your answering machine if you run out of paper?

d) Nod and hum to yourself that it would be pickles and yoga if you woke up and could remember what you were awake about?

e) Write it on toilet paper if you happen to be on the throne when the idea strikes?

f) Bring it up at the meeting, handing out nifty bold-face typed pages breaking your idea down into logical steps?

4.) If your hands were both lopped off in a tragic petting zoo accident, would you:

a) learn how to gesture with your face and legs?

b) rig up a keyboard for voice recognition software?

c) On the failure of b), would you rig up an extremely complex tongue depressor system to hit the keys?

d) Learn to type with your toes and eat with your face?

e) Watch dramatic movies and blow your nose on the carpet?

5.) If your work got into print the first thing you would do is:

a) Huh? How did my grocery list get in the Times?

b) Jump up and down on your chair, hit your head on the ceiling, the concussion causing you to soil yourself. You wipe your butt with your article, muttering "Ha! And a ha ha ha!".

c) Burn down the neighbour's house. Hey, you can afford the court cases now, and what did they ever do for your career? Besides, the house obstructed your view of the nickel factory, all those jerks in prison got published before you did.

d) Get in the car, crank the stereo, pull hosery over your face and kidnap your spouse from work. Celebration time!

e) Shave your head, don bells on every toe, and hang out at the airport handing out copies of your work. Autograph them 'The New Llama', and offer to press a flower into each copy.

f) Shout a lot.



1.) a 2, b 2, c 3, d 4, e 1, f 5.

2.) a 4, b 5, c 2, d 1, e 3.

3.) a 4, b 2, c 3, d 5, e 4, f 1.

4.) a 1, b 3, c 4, d 5, e 2.

5.) a 2, b 4, c 3, d 2, e 5, f 1.

If your score was between 5 and 10:

You shine your shoes, eat food and drink liquids. You show up for work. You complain occasionally when the dog shows more affection for the telephone pole than he does you.
Get over it. You're somewhat normal. Whatever that is.

If your score was between 11 and 17:

Start mowing the lawn in a plaid pattern. That will give you the appearance of normalcy for at least the week your in-laws are in town. Just don't let them in the house. They might figure out what the peanut butter is really for, and that will be the first of several nasty surprises. Consult your doctor if your in-laws still like you.

If your score is between 18 and 23:

Metres, not yards. Something big up your sleeve but you're naked.
Read everything you've ever written backwards, and it will still sound ingenius. Give your spouse an apple.

If your score is between 23 and 39:

You can't add and don't start now. Good. Breathe. This is something you want to keep doing. The world needs you. Feed it armpit jewels and long-winded recourses. Snivel. Take time to chew the stems. Fart. There's no one in the room anyhow. You're a loner, a writing lunatic, and the walls aren't green, they're off-white and bouncy, just a little bit. SURPRISE! All your writer friends live down the hall. And you're normal (for a freak).

Well, if it's no good I'll think of a better questionnaire.*shrug*

Where did it come from anyway?

Heather 7-7-2001 1:55


ROSEMARY: I just finished reading 'Home Sweet Home' and I really like the concept. In my opinion though, I think you should give us more detail and atmosphere regarding the house, show us the dust, the cobwebs, the smeary windows, let us feel the chill within the walls and the neglect it feels. Do that from the very beginning because it's the house that's the focus of the story. You don't need to go into heaps of detail about the twins because they're just there to show up the house, so instead of spending all that effort on the twins spend it on the house instead,
that way the ending will have much more impact because we've come to know the house so well.

Teekay 7-7-2001 1:08


Hi all,

RANDALL: What a hoot! I almost choked on my popcorn for laughing.

ROSEMARY: I also missed you guys in my absence. I thought about you all everyday and kept intending to pop in, but my heart wasn't fully in it and it really is soooo cold in here. Not at the moment though, I've opened up all the doors to let some heat in.
And yes, the relief of writing again - and wanting to, is a truly wonderful feeling.

Many are the times I've wanted to be one of those 'normal' people who are content to work and shop and eat and drink and knit and garden etc etc. 'Normal' people who don't have that incessant nagging thought that unless they write their life has a great big hole in it.


Of course when I am writing things are swell and I feel at peace with myself, but when I'm not writing and don't want to write, well, it's a really horrible feeling. That's when I want to be 'normal' people.

And that's today's peek into a corner of my soul. Hope it didn't hurt anyone's eyes.

Teekay 7-7-2001 0:43

Mark - did you grow up here in Lemmon, and did you used to ride around with Kenny, Denny and me?

Well maybe not, but Kenny and Denny were my buddies, and together we used to make raids on the Country Club, you see Denny was small, very small for our age of 16, Kenny and I were big, very big for our ages. Well we would drive around half the night, waiting for the country club (Read private golf course clubhouse) would be empty, then Kenny and I would pull that Air Conditioner that they had right over the top of the door out, and boost Denny up to the opening. He would crawl through that opening, and within munites, push cases of beer and fifth's of whiskey out to us. We never got too greedy, so as to bring the interest of the local police down on us, after all my brother-in-law was on the three man force, and he would probably tell my dad. One night several weeks after we began our inventory reduction raids, I decided against going with the boys, and instead began to ride around with another of my buddies. That night, we became acquainted with my girlfriends best friend, who I subsequently wed. Kenny and Denny though decided that it would be a good night to pull a much bigger raid on the country club. They picked up Kenny's cousin John and headed out to the country club. That night they got real greedy and instead of a case of beer and a couple of fifth's of whiskey they took cases of Scotch whiskey, not the cheep stuff but the good stuff that was sure to be missed, and a couple of quarts of beer. We ran into them that night, and they slipped me a fifth of scotch, we headed out to the country and disposed of it properly along with our ladies, the boys were getting bolder and bolder, and took to dragging main street, and tipping those fifths of Scotch when they saw friends comming up main on the other side of the street. They didn't notice my brother-in-law was checking doors on main, and saw the tip. Well it was just a matter of munites and the brother-in-law had the boys, cases of scotch and all. I was so gratefull to my new found girl that I married her, after all she kept me out of jail.

Kenny and Denny who were my age spent the next three months going to school during the day, and to jail at night, John who was 18 was made the offer by the Judge: Go to Jail or go to Vietnam. John chose Nam, and while he made it home again, he spent the next seventeen years in the gutters, a hopeless drunk. The other two learned their lessons well and went on to be good citizens, and overall respected in the town.

Jerry Ericsson 7-7-2001 0:09


RANDALL -- wonderful story.

Here are a few thoughts I didn't know what else to do with:

It's not normal, being a thief. Yet, there I was in the storeroom picking up a couple of free six-packs for the night. Vinny's side door had a broken window. He secured that hole with a piece of plywood and four finishing nails. I discovered by accident that I could punch the plywood window and it would swing in but not fall off. Cool.

Several evenings I hit the plywood, jumped into the window, rolled forward on the storeroom floor, and let the wooden window slip back into place. The nails in the wood quietly found their way right back into their original holes. Going out was almost as easy, but I had to carry a six-pack or two rather quietly and go out through a wooden flap that closed on my back. The gymnastics of getting out were easy, really, but the mental gymnastics were a problem. Still are.

I know I was bothered by my conscience several times, yet somehow managed to stifle that little voice with excuses about Vinny's poor inventory practices or how I needed it more than he did. I did the deed and I drank the beer, but I still know there was a problem there. I think it was freedom. Too much freedom.

Pure freedom is a state without goals. With no goals, all choices are equally valid. As soon as a goal is established then some choices become inescapable and some choices undesirable. It's not normal being a thief, but my lack of goals gave me such freedom of choice that I went through the window. There was only one goal: get drunk, get drunk now.

Since that time I have established a few long-range goals. Vinny's window is no longer a valid choice and I no longer have the wide-ranging freedom I had then. It was too much of a good thing.

Mark 7-6-2001 23:55



Recycling is big these days so I'll try to slip this one by you. I wrote this for my cousin Arlene, after her brother, Jerry, died 2 years ago. (Hospital killed him, and now the lawyers have it.) She was interested in my memories of Jerry and I wrote several articles for her. And yes, Henderson is my last name. But don't tell anyone! :-)

***Hi Arlene:

Were you in the crowd of cousins that barely escaped death so many years ago? If your memory fails, it may be that the event is blocked. Like an event so stressful the brain moves to cover a traumatic influence from wrecking one's life. Sometime in 1957 or 1958, who really knows, Mama Henderson had a clan of grandchildren in residence and was spinning tall tales on a summer afternoon. We were sitting in the grass behind her house at Salt Creek as she rocked on the porch in her "sitting" chair. Mama Henderson was an expert teller of tales, remind me to relate how the ghost calvary spoiled a Sunday afternoon picnic when she was a young girl.

Her subject, Wolves and consequences and how they once roamed the nearby Salt Creek Hills killing cattle and sheep. Among the throng of enthralled listeners were Jerry, Darrell, Sharon, Linda Kay, Guy, Gary Gene and others I cannot remember. (Jerry was the oldest and as we found out had a rogue heart.) With hands in her lap, rocking in her chair, Mama Henderson said Wolves were always on the lookout for wayward children who didn't obey their parents. Whether this was a grandmother morality lesson or a scientific fact is still in doubt as far as I am concerned.

We were cautioned not to wander TOO far from the house but things being what they are...soon the cousin clan were far up in Papa Henderson's tree and brush covered pasture. It was very brushy then, briars and cactus and oak trees, waist high weeds. As we paused to look for arrowheads it became apparent, within a millisecond that something was dreadfully amiss...indeed there was a horrifying HOWLING off to one side.

The panic was immediate and irreversible. (Like my Fruit of the Looms!) Acceleration from standing start to full throttle was instantaneous. No human on the planet could match a Henderson clan child when fear is the issue and life on the line. I have a memory of Gary Gene screaming "WOLF, WOLF!!!" as if I couldn't make the association leap between howl and wolf on my own!

Sharon and Linda Kay were shrieking and crying. "We're going to die!!"

Guy was hitting me in the back shouting "RUN, RUN, WOLF, WOLF!!!!" Panic fed upon panic and the rout was on!

It was the worst sort of mindless panic. A dozen screaming kids with the same thought on each mind...a hideous renegade wolf leaping into the crowd, scattering cousin and kin with fang and claw. We fled for home arrow straight, through brush worse than Cambodia, parted briar thickets effortlessly, leaped massive cactus patches as wild horses in full stride. Home was a half-mile away and a rabid wolf only feet behind! It was human evolution out in the open, the slowest one dies. The fastest gets the other's toys! Bottom of the food chain! We failed to negotiate one obstacle though and tumbled, as one, head first into a small ravine that traversed the pasture, regained our footing in seconds and streamed homeward in full blown retreat.

If General Custer and his 7'th Calvary troopers could have matched our maneuvers that day, they would have escaped the Valley of the Little Big Horn with only a bad fright. I remember a solitary jack rabbit running with us for a few seconds, but quickly left behind choking, stumbling in the dust. Indeed the pillar of dust was likely visible from miles away. Someone should research the event to see if the Earth's temperature dropped afterward. No doubt turkey buzzards sailed high overhead puzzled at the ruckus below, but sure a feast was imminent. Barbed wire fences we so laboriously crawled through earlier were cleared with room to spare. In all likelihood the 4 minute mile was broken that afternoon by screaming, blonde-headed children with legs only inches long wearing short britches and sandals.

We streaked into Mama Henderson's back yard, leaped upon the porch, collided at the screen door, fell down, jumped up, jerked it open, hung up in the door way, fought free with teeth and knees and elbows, and headed for true childhood sanctuary. Under the bed. Sharon tripped me and I failed to achieve a secure position. (I still believe it was deliberate!) Sitting on the floor, I peered out the window, wanting to see the MONSTER before I died a horrible, bloody death. Instead I saw a round bodied, chubby faced boy, with a crewcut, flattop casually stroll into the yard. His eyes were beaming, tears streaked his red cheeks and he was laughing hysterically. Jerry "Wolf" Henderson entered the house and walked into the kitchen for a soda pop.

You know, I'll bet that rascal is still laughing!

See Ya!

Randall "Still Scared" Henderson***

Thanks for letting me post this my friends. Have a good weekend.


Randall 7-6-2001 22:19

Hmm a police chief and a piolt, makes for an interesting pair. I guess when she get's mad and tells him to take a flying __k he really can.

Hey, high speed internet has come to town, and cheep to - the ISP called today to ask if I would like to upgrade to 128K ADSL for only $81.00 per month with a modest situp fee of only $60.00. Sad part is I am considering it.

Sorry to hear of the medical problems Jack, take it easy and remember tomorow is another day, and many MANY times tormorow is a better day, then there are those days . . .

Typewriter huh, well I remember when they had those things, in fact I used to have one. I think we gave it to some little kids who walked by our yard sale about ten years ago when it didn't sell. I think I would take one though should they ever take away my computer, as I used to be rather good with one of those things. It might take a few days to get accustom to the touch method again, and if it were a manual, well all the better that's what I learned on in High School back in the late 60's. Those old brown Remington Rand office machines, oh they typed so much better then the other ones in the typing room, I used to rush to class to see if I could get to one before they were all taken and I would be stuck with maybe an UNDERWOOD or some such monster. They did have two electric IBM's but we were not allowed to use them, they were for advanced typests only.

Howard, thanks, I wondered what would come after the tetrabyte, in fact you cleared up what in fact a tetrabyte was. Now I know.

Jerry Ericsson 7-6-2001 22:06

Rhoda - I use software called NERO burning ROMS, catchy name that. Anyhow it is very easy to use, simply install the software, run it, and it will talk you all the way through. It makes several different kinds of CD's the plain jane one piece of software on one CD, then the multi-session CD's where you can write some now, and some later, then there are the CDRW's where you can write erase and write again. It also does music CD's from a variety of sources and types of music files. Do a search for the software, you can find a place to download a free demo and how and where to purchase it. I also have CD Creator 4, both shareware and full version, I do use it from time to time when I have a yearn for nostalgia, as I used to when I first got my burner, until my boy showed me NERO. There a few things that each will do that the other will not, but I personally like NERO best, just because of it's ease of use and it's care - less solution to anti-virus software. (Cd creator 4 killed a bunch of my blanks before I discovered it had conflicts with my anti-virus) If I remember right, the shareware version of NERO works for almost all the full version does, just nags you from time to time to buy the full version. Most burners come with a CD that has the lite version of one of the big CD burning software's products that works fine for most CD burning needs, so check with the stuff that came with the burner, if you have it.

Jerry Ericsson 7-6-2001 21:46


Are the Japenese starting to hate Americans? I'm getting worried about all these boys behaving bably and making us look bad.

Debra 7-6-2001 20:57

That didn't say what I wanted it to say. The Web page I told you about is under the LINK sign. Click on it and you can see where I live.

Viv 7-6-2001 20:22

I'm excited! I found a web page that shows you some pictures. Zama City gives it out but it's for the entire Kanagawa area. I'm also sorry to say I didn't know there were cities, because if you ask anyone here, it's ken and shi...well, it doesn't translate exactly. I'll send you my address and you'll see. They started using city now so I guess it is city, but there aren't exactly city limits that you or I could see.
Click on the website and you get a clear view of the areas around me. This is a lot cleaned up, but it's a good view of where I live and work. September-October are the best months to come.

Jack I'm going to learn two things this summer. How to set up my own web page and how to make this computer say a single phrase over and over. I may be bugging you for information. I need to know these skills.

Viv Link 7-6-2001 20:21

Back again,

I checked out Vernon's web site. Looks beautiful. With that great big lake right there, why are they doing water restrictions?

For my shortie, I recycled one I did a while back. The one about loneliness. I wrote the original shortie for the notebook, then my class wanted a shortie with three characters in it. So, I added two people. Then, for our South Side Meeting, I needed a story from the villan's point of view. A little more rewriting and wallah. The final result is what I am going to offer for this week's shortie.


Hank pulled Koko up and looked back over his shoulder. Josiah and Sarah galloped on, thoughts only for themselves. The horses beat a path through the dry grass that gave their position away. Ahead loomed desert and mountains. If they could make it to the rocks at the bottom of that closest mountain, the tracks would disappear. No one would be able to find them. With any luck, the wind would cover all sign of their crossing the sand ahead.

He squinted. No sign of the trackers, but that didn't mean they weren't there. He kicked Koko in the ribs. The big brown horse broke into a lope. It's just you and me now." He watched the pair ahead pull away. "We can't depend on them, and there's no going back." He sighed. "It sure seemed like a good idea at the time." He urged Koko to greater speed but the distance between him and his companions didn't change. "Josiah had it all planned out. One last big score; we'd be set for life. I could give Cindy anything she wanted. We could move to California where it's green and rich." Koko shook his head. It seemed to be sympathy to his rider, but it was really to rid his nostrils of desert dust. "That dammed teller had to show off for his lady friend. The stupidity of that idiot left six men dead."

He urged Koko towards the left, away from the tracks of Josiah and Sarah. "We'll go off on our own, Koko, maybe the possee will follow their tracks, there's more of them."

Thoughts of his home, wife, children; they had to be pushed to the back of his mind. There were two marshals, a sheriff and about twenty town folk after them. Because of one fool's actions, he could never return home.
---------------THE END

great fun in the chat room. We'll have to do it again sometime.
Bye now.

Rosemary 7-6-2001 18:15

Gee, I keep forgetting to include things.

Teekay - thank you! I'm glad you liked '13'. I think for sanity's sake I had to put some humour into it. After all, I do still have to work there and walk past 'ooh corner'.
Or should that be 'Boo corner'?

Heather 7-6-2001 14:02

Tina - have fun!

Viv - glad to know that you do get some time to check emails and that you're planning to show some 'type A's' the Mr. Bill tape. I hope they crack a few smiles at least!

Heather 7-6-2001 14:00

Horizontal rain -- hmmm. I don't recall too much of that around here, but we did have hail two days ago; flattened a lot of farmer's fields and dented some cars. Yesterday we had about a minute of hail-rain, (ie: some splatter was water, some not) and then it disappeared.

I wonder how much the weather affects us in our writing, as well as where we live. A lot of the time my stories take place in Ontario, sometimes it's 'generic city', and I describe nothing acutely specific; sometimes I pick a city I've visited but not lived in for the name, but for the more indepth description, I usually use some building or setting I know well. But does someone from England or Seattle for that matter - do you tend to write that it's raining all the time?

If anyone has the chance to see '8 1/2 women' do so just for the character interplay; the dialogue, the strangeness; but mostly the dialogue! I didn't get to see the whole film, but from what I did see it was unusually well written.

Perhaps my question about weather comes from reading 'The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul', by Douglas Adams. I found out after Tina so gracefully sent me the first Dirk Gently book that my husband's had both of them packed away in a box all this time! That means we have everything Adams ever published but for the HHGTHG transcripts before it became a novel. (I have yet to find that, but if I find it, it's mine). He writes about a lot of soggy skies and tepid rainfall... but again, he was English and lived there.

CHRISTI! Did you have a blast at your sister's? Hope so!

Must run outside now with my son. He's decided that the sandbox needs a new crop of vehicles and stunt ramps.

Heather 7-6-2001 13:57

Hi all!

Jerry, so glad you weren't blown away! Every year seems to have one of those trips, where the weather doesn't cooperate. Should be smooth sailing for you from here on out!

Viv and Rosemary, I included the link to my town. Had fun chatting!

Off to pack. Going to see my mom tomorrow, won't be back until Wednesday. I'll check in later if I have time.

Tina Vernon 7-6-2001 13:10

WEll we made it back safe and sound. I think we need new legislation so we can sue the weatherman for missing a forecast that one is depending on. You may recall that when I left I said weatherman says mid 80's no chance of thunderstorm?

Well we were there for 4 hours before the first tornado WARNING for our campground. Thankfully it missed us, and the weather did cooperate for the next 24 hours, then yesterday the wind came up 25-30 MPH and stayed there all day, last night it got worse, much worse. Tents were blowing down the road, thunder was so lound that your ears rang following each clap, the rain was horizontal.

Overll we had an absolutly WONDERFUL time.

I took along an old free textbook on fiction that I picked up at the free table in college, and read many short stories, the one that stuck to me was Kafka's The Metamorphasis. What a great story, and like good food, it sticks to your ribs, and inhabits your dreams.

Well must view what has been going on since I left.

Hi to all, hope you had a great 4th of July if you live in the States.

Jerry Ericsson 7-6-2001 12:54

Lots of people on line. It's almost one o'clock in the morning. Why aren't we in bed? I'm going in the chat room for a minute or two. Anyone still there want to join me?

Viv 7-6-2001 12:03

Morning all,

Speaking of USA culture, Monday the 9th is National Blond Day. I am officially extending it to blonds of all countries and cultures. All persons other than blond should do something nice for a blond friend or acquaintance. Hopefully they will notice it.

Good. Those kind of mistakes are easy to make and a good reason to have critique groups. A friend had the heroine escape bareback from the bad men. Later, the horse threw her and ran away. Along comes the group of good guys and the horse is running toward them, stirrups flapping. I asked her where he stopped and got a saddle.

It's a relief to be writing again, isn't it? Hopefully it means you will be stopping in more often. We miss you.

Later all,

Rosemary 7-6-2001 11:51


My apologies, I did not mean that it was you who said there is no American culture. I adressed you in a prior paragraph on a seperate matter, and mistakenly went on to my rant. I don't even know who it was who said that, and I don't intend to search back to find out, because I don't really care. My response was directed toward everyone in general for the reinforcement of the believers, and the edification of the otherwise.


Gariess 7-6-2001 11:47

Gariess: Gee, where'd I ever say I doubted there was an American culture? Probably after viewing our 4th of July festival where my daughter bought herself a nice plate of Yakisoba and the kid next to me was eating Yakitori and the Japanese flag was flying up there next to the American flag. Well, it was a 4th of July fest...even if it was on the 30th of June. The best part was one of the kids in my class got really mad at her sister and wouldn't let her wear her Yukata (summer kimono) to the fest because it wasn't American...and she was mad since she saw other Japanese girls wearing their Yukata's.

Some things don't translate too well over here.

Viv 7-6-2001 11:29


HEATHER: I've just read 'The Legendary Thirteen' and thought it was wonderful. You really brought the place to life and I love the touches of humour you sprinkled throughout.
Jolly well done girly,
and now,
another :-)

Teekay 7-6-2001 3:36


I refer you to your recent post in which you stated the following: "I guess rug eating is like smoking in the dog world." Speaking as one who has smoked in the dog world at times, I suspect it is nothing like rug eating. Still, I can not challenge your point on the basis that I have ever eaten a rug.

On another matter, and in response to the doubt recently expressed that there is an American culture, I think too much was made over the confusion that we have with ourselves as a nation and the continent. The USA is a great republic, but it doesn’t make a very convenient name for a people. Usians has been tried in the NB and quite frankly it would have been a failure anywhere. Yes, we too easily usurp the ground that our neighbors occupy when we call ourselves Americans, but I do believe that could have been avoided had we named our nation something more verbally pliant. I do not consider it a conceit to have named ourselves so, but it has left us with a single cumbersome choice for the sake of accuracy.

That being said, I will offer a just a few of hundreds of possible suggestions to those who think we have no culture.

Quickly off the top of my head:

George Gershwin
Dodge City
Amelia Airheart
Jack London
John Wayne
Woody Guthrie
The Emmys
Louis Armstrong
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Mount Rushmore
Pontiac GTO
Rhapsody In Blue
Hoover Dam
The Flying Fortress
The Tonys
The Spirit of Saint Louis
The New York Public Library
Gone With The Wind
Aaron Copeland
Alexander Bell
Frank Lloyd Wright
Mustang, the car (early models)
Mustang, the horse
Academy Awards
The Boston Symphony Orchestra, which, at Boston Symphony Hall, presented the first performance of the Tshaikowsky Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, the same composition the Texan, Van Cliburn, performed to win The Tshaikowsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War (you had to be there, it was a while ago.)

Except for the Mustang and the premiere of the Tshaikowsky concerto just about every example I mentioned refers to the 20th century. I didn’t include such things as The Continental Congress, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, The Civil War and Lewis and Clark.

I have no doubt that others could mention more numerous and more pertinent examples, but it seems to me there must be a culture in there somewhere, or more accurately, everywhere since a culture consists of everything, the art, the industry, the history, the wars, the politics, everything that represents a people, what they have done and been, and what they value as their own.

It may seem like a long time, but as a nation we are quite young. A culture takes a long time to develop. We have one indeed, and it will continue to develop beyond our time.



gariess 7-6-2001 1:26


Hi all! Just a quick check-in to say hi and make sure I don't get to behind on the posts.

HOWARD, that sounds scrumptious.

VIV: When I lived in North Carolina we had little lizards like that. You are right, they are a dime a dozen. On the hottest days, they would curl up inside the strike plates in the door frames and when I shut the door they would pop. Lizard guts...yuk. I had to keep close watch for them. My cat used to love to chase them around the deck. The worst had to be how they would hide underneath the sliding glass door, in the track, and when I would open or close the door they would...they would...well, they would lubricate that slider pretty well. Ewwww. ;-)

My work here is done.


Mary 7-6-2001 0:50

Not to worry Rosemary, I knew that you were defending my honour! Yes, Mark, I know the difference. I was being sarcastic. ;-) That poor horse goes from being a stallion to a gelding and back, simply because it's one of those minor points that I haven't kept track of. That's why I'm so grateful to you and everyone else who's read my story, to catch my goofs and typos!

Tried to come up with something for shortie night, but my brain bombed out on me. Nothing worthwhile has graced my page. (sigh)

So I'll quote another favourite R.L. Stevenson poem. (last time, promise!)


As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Tina 7-6-2001 0:44


Well drat and bahooeey. The workbook is down and I was going to read another P**. I'll have to see if it's still in my memory.

I've finally started writing again and the relief is great. I so hate it when the dry spell comes along. Not dry as in I don't have anything to write about, but that I just don't want to write. It always feels like it'll last forever which wouldn't really be a problem, only that's where my dream house by the sea is coming from.

VIV: Thanks for the thought. I'll take the little lizard cum gorgeous man to the great barrier reef and I'll keep him securely by my side and if any sharks or other nasties come up to me, I'll push him in their way and flee.
The GBR is gorgeous, once, in the time before I was married and a mummy I holidayed on Green Island and spent my days eatiing seafood and snorkelling on the reef. Bliss.
Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemmmmmmmooriiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeesssssssssssss (to be sung like Barbara Striesand does it)

MEL: Live spiders and dirty tissues huh? Guess there's just no reward for being away too long. Might as well stay and play.
BTW, would you have to quaranteen the spiders?
Or the tissues even?

Okay, am going to work on my P** story and hopefully by the time JACK has the new workbook up it'll be completely complete.

Be well all.

Teekay 7-6-2001 0:28

And now for a blatant plug -- Sun Star Office -- Get it.

Why? Well, lemmee tell yuh. I can print a book, all laid out in sections, four pages on a sheet of paper (two per side). I took a Word document, opened it in Star word processor, formatted it and printed it out so I can read it just like a paperback. I'm talking about a 170 page document here. I wanted to do that with some professional software I brought home from work, and I couldn't do the layout or print a book unless I had a PostScript printer (that's a $100 add-on to my laser jet).

Star Office is free if you download it from the 'net and $40.00 if you order it on CD with printed documentation.

Now -- why the hoopla over being able to print front and back, page numbered, headered and titled, like a paperback publisher? It gives me the separation I need to see my work as 'a book to read' rather than 'my work.' In college I wrote on everything: napkins, notebooks, pizza boxes, giftwrap, anything handy when the muse struck. I could rewrite much of it later by hand and still not get detached. Only when I typed it for presentation did I get the sense of my writing as an object to be criticized, shaped, sculpted, and polished. These days I write on the PC. Very little gives me the detachment that this print-like-a-book trick does.

If you are using an inkjet printer, then printing your stuff out is expensive, this allows you to get greater density per page.

Mark 7-5-2001 23:01

You thought, perhaps, that I was kidding about the clafouti? Try this one sometime - Mel, the cherries are ready at Hector...

There are many variations of this recipe which supposedly originated in the Limousin region of France. You can substitute raspberries, apples, peaches, plums or just about any ripe fruit for the cherries, though cherries are the traditional fruit for this recipe and tradition also states that you leave the pits in to add flavor. If you do leave the pits in, make sure you warn your guests!


4 tsp. unsalted butter
1 cup (8 fl oz/350ml) milk
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60ml) heavy cream
2/3 cup (3 1/2 oz/105g) all purpose flour, sifted
3 eggs
1/4 cup (2 oz/60g) sugar
1 T. vanilla extract or kirsch
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups (1 lb./500g) stemmed cherries, sweet or tart, pitted if desired
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350*F/180*C. Using 1 T. of the butter grease a 9 or 10 inch round baking dish. In a bowl, combine the milk, cream, flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until frothy, about 5 minutes.

Pour enough of the batter into the prepared baking dish to cover the bottom with a layer about 1/4 inch (6mm)deep. Put the dish in the preheated oven for 2 minutes, then remove. Add a layer of cherries to the dish, covering as much of the area as possible. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries carefully. Add the rest of the butter, in bits over the top of the cherry/batter. Return to oven and bake until puffed and brown, about 30-35 minutes.

Dust the top with powdered sugar and serve warm.

howard 7-5-2001 22:40

Hi all,
I reread my comment earlier and it might be misunderstood. I meant with the amount of research on horses you do, there had to be a different reason for your errors.(it was a favorable comment.) I should use smiley faces more often, but I keep hopeing to be clear enough without them.

the news said your weather is about 115 degrees. Even with a low humidity, that's hot. Keep cool.

For Jack's party, I can't come, but I will send a carton of stuffed Jalapenos.

I've finished a very short ghost story for *P* when it comes back up. By then, I'll be able to have someone edit it for me.


Rosemary 7-5-2001 21:28

Jack - Hang in there (smiles and hugs).

Rachel 7-5-2001 20:34

Mel - it's still a vanity press and from what I can gather only prints on demand. Authors should not have to buy their own book.

Heather 7-5-2001 20:34

Hi Jack! We're all lined up at your house carrying our goodies! Sounds like there's all kinds of great food, although the names are somewhat strange...panda paws ice cream and cherry tofutui? Oh dear, he's not answering his doorbell~, now what?

I think it's time for a picnic on Jack's doorstep! That ice cream is melting. Sure hope he gets back in time for the picnic.

Jack, I'm not making fun of you so please don't feel hurt if you read this post. I'm making fun so your troubles might seem a little lighter. You are carrying a pretty heavy load. There is nothing more unsettling than family problems. I hope your Friday the 13 brings closure.

Anyone who could create a site like this is special. Take good care of yourself.

Heather: I sneak read your e-mail yesterday during class. It was nice. I need to do some of those things. It's the end of term, tempers are frayed, it's too hot, and we begin finals in a week. I'm completely discombubalated. I need to clean my work area and see if I can find a table. That's where I'll start today. I still haven't gotten Mr. Bill to the post office. I write the day I send him off~! I'm going to show him to the class on the last day. Bunch of type A's in that class! They need a little humor.

Teekay: You need a present? Hummm, new challenge! Let's look around for some Teekay gifts. I think I'm going to send you a magical lizard. He's about an inch long, and a pretty blue black color. If you drop water on him he turns into a handsome life guard. Take him scuba diving in the Barrier Reef. If he gets eaten by a shark you don't have to worry...lizards like him are a dime a dozen. I think it'd be nice to see if all that stuff really is under the water in the Barrier Reef.

Viv 7-5-2001 18:44

This just came in with a group of similar, and I coulen't resist posting it...
A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room, when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green, and above it there was a tattoo that read, "Keep off the grass." Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient's dressing, which said "Sorry, had to mow the lawn."

howard 7-5-2001 12:47

Howdy all,
I just love your posts. Friendly, humorous, informational and you talk to ME. The ducks are just fine. there are so many of them and they all look alike so we can't tell if anyone is missing. (That's a good thing.)

Your info. has solved my problem. (re. Word templates) As soon as I find the little book with the ID info. I'm going to replace that file.
BTW, I find it difficult to believe that TINA doesn't know about horsy information in general and geldings in particular.

Big fat brown toad sitting in the birdbath, waiting for me to get him down, again.


Rosemary 7-5-2001 12:08

TINA -- A gelding is a male that's been castrated.

Mark 7-5-2001 11:05



Mel, the library is usually great about resigning material, but not when someone else requests the book. Then I have to give it back (grudgingly) and get on the list again. Given the length of LOTR, I'll probably do the same thing with it. The request list is LONG for that book.

Books I loved as a child? hmmm

The first title I remember loving was 'All the Pretty Horses'. I don't know the author. In grade 1 I loved 'A Child's Garden of Verses' by Robert Louis Stevenson. I brought it to school for sharing one day, and the teacher didn't believe that I could read it, so I read my favourite poem out loud.

When the bright lamp is carried in,
The sunless hours again begin;
O'er all without, in field and lane,
The haunted night returns again.

Now we behold the embers flee
About the firelit hearth; and see
Our faces painted as we pass,
Like pictures, on the window-glass.

Must we to bed indeed? Well then,
Let us arise and go like men,
And face with an undaunted tread
The long black passage up to bed.

(from Northwest Passage)
R. L. Stevenson

That set me off. I couldn't resist the magic of his words, and it led me to the books of Narnia, and Oz, Anne of Green Gables, and everything by Laura Wilder. Then in highschool I found Terry Brooks and Robert Aspirin and Steven King and Stephen Lawhead, and anything considered a classic - The Chrysalids was a favourite - and everything science fiction/fantasy. I didn't read books, I devoured them. In grade 9 I bought a book called 'The Truth Trap' by
Frances A. Miller that gave me a whole new perspective on being a teenager, and being responsible for my actions. I still love that book. I wish that I could read as much now as I did then. Just not enought time!

Time to get ready for work. See y'all!

Tina 7-5-2001 11:00


Yeah it can be bad for their health if you know what I mean.

Debra 7-5-2001 10:07


Good Morning, Never-Landers!(or from wherever you hail) :-) I like this work-two-days-have a day(holiday) off-work-two-more-days-have a weekend off-thing. :-) Picnicked with relatives two hours from here, came home and took the kids to a local fireworks show...a nice day and evening. Now back to the grindstone.

ROSEMARY: What cute little duckies! A Kodak moment, for sure. :-) Hope you and your horses survived the noisy fireworks okay, poor horses - must sound like gunshots to them or, at the least, very scary, loud and sudden noises.

TAYLOR: :-) to cheer your mood until the pc arrives. Hang in there with the typewriter! Some people don't have a pc OR a typewriter, so consider yourself lucky! :-)

HEATHER, HOWARD and other poets: Received!! The International Library of Poetry's VINES OF VICTORY anthology!!! My son's poem included (pg.152). A handsome volume, nice forward, six poems to a page, and a statement that all authors retain all rights to their poems, etc. I was impressed!!! And relieved, after worry that the whole book might be a scam or thrown together haphazardly. It looks like a job well done, after all.

MARY: Your neighbors (the Police Chief and the pilot) sound like great references for a couple story characters. :-) You could even include yourself as a 1st person POV narrator. Might be fun!

JACK: Don't EVER give up ice cream. Especially "Panda Paws!" :-) Yum!!

MARK: Hope you had a nice W.A. :-) Did you take the wife out for dinner and a movie, perchance? Or a quiet evening together at home...I think wives appreciate ANYthing, large or small, that you do for them - it's the thought that counts (not having to cook a meal helps too.) :-)

VIV: Enjoyed your nice, relaxing post. :-) I'll bring Jack some Sylvester & Tweetie coloring books and crayons (the fat ones), a half-gallon of Panda Paws ice cream, and a box of Kleenex! :-)

TEEKAY! Careful what you wish for...Presents? After a month's absence from the NB? You might get spiders (still alive) from Tina's garden or used Kleenexes from Jack (ewww!) or even someone's kitty vomit...(um, anything is mailable, right?) You'd best stay REGULAR at the NB, girl! :-) (Glad to see you back!)

TINA: I'd send you a spider to cheer you up, but as you know, I'm--uh, er, allergic or something to them, so all you get is a bug-less (((HUG))) and a :-). And you mean to tell me the library couldn't--excusez moi--Wouldn't renew your book? Ohh, what scumbags (I can say that 'cuz I'm a fellow librarian who appreciates the value of policies AND the human ability to BEND or BREAK them when needed!). LOTR!--YES! :-) I want to re-read it before the movie in December arrives. As for HIERO, he'll be ready to come your way SOON! :-) Sterling Lanier is an amazing writer - what an adventure! It's a hard-to-put-down read, only interrupted by my usual distractions of life, e.g. family, work, sleep, etc., otherwise I would've finished it already - but in the last few days I've read more pages than usual - even not falling asleep on the commuter bus so I can join Hiero in his travels. I'm learning a LOT from Lanier's inspiring writing style. I'll let you know when I'm done (maybe by next week at the latest, at the rate I'm going).

HEY EVERYBODY! Have a terrific day, filled with, I hope, inspired, on-fire, writing moments (hours, preferably!!). And what books, pray tell, attracted you in your childhood? I'd go to the library and zoom to the fantasy section, mostly Andre Norton's stuff - I loved perusing the covers and feeling the anticipation of discovering great adventures inside them...Okay! I was a weird, shy kid! I learned to chew my food slowly and enjoy every morsel!

Might not get a shorty in this week - the muse is being haughty again and sidestepping my clutching fingers...sigh.

Mel 7-5-2001 9:01

HOWARD: "Ahhh...Ahhh...Ahhh...Clafouti!!"

Bless you, here's a tissue.

HEATHER: Good idea, as long as I get to be the one that says, "Stick 'em up!"

That was bad.

Mary 7-5-2001 2:39


Viv, put me down for strawberry salad! The local berries are perfect right now! Yay!

Laura, I haven't forgotten. I just haven't been near a computer much lately. I seem to have caught the doldrums that have made a circuit around here lately.

Finally finished reading 'Odyssey'. The library wanted it back when I was half-way through, and I had to wait to get it again. The nerve they have! Now I'm well into 'Lord of the Rings'. Wonderful and amasing book. Tolkien deserves every bit of praise ever heaped on him.

Mel, do count me in for 'Heiro's Journey'! I'll send you my snail mail when you're done with it.

Mark, I received your crit. Thanks! I really can't believe just how many silly (read STUPID) little mistakes are still in there! That horse can't decide if it's male or not! (sigh)

Time to go, maybe catch some zzzz's, but only if Randall turns down that music! ;-D


Tina 7-5-2001 2:13



Before you get mad at me I want you to know that I've been away a while this time because I've been very creative.

Yes indeedy I have. I've gotten dressed up in some really voluminous hippy dresses and burnt candles and incense and walked around saying umm, quite a lot
I thought if this really good excuse to tell you about why I've been away. I've been totally, brilliantly creative
I haven't written a thing.
Not one thing.
Not even a shopping list.

However I'm now reading Thomo and Hawk, again by Bryce Courtney who is a wonderful writer. I wonder if he ever did a writing course or went to uni?
Hmmm. let us ponder.

Next time I abscond I'm staying away for a month or so, and I expect some phone calls.
And presents would be nice to :-D


Teekay 7-5-2001 2:04

VIV - What am I bringing? Well, we picked sweet cherries today, so how about a fresh cherry clafouti?

howard 7-5-2001 1:45

Thanks, Mark and Jack.

Yes, I have the software. I believe I copy my files now.

Rhoda 7-5-2001 0:17

Yes that was me

Jack 7-4-2001 23:24

p.s. Rhoda. I use something called Roxio CD Creator 5. You should have gotten something like a freeware with your CDRW, probably CD Creator 4 and all kinds of literature suggesting that you upgrade. The good news is that is works quite well. The bad news is that is $99. I used an earlier version when it was being marketed by Adaptec and had nothing but trouble. But this works fine, especially on Windows 2000. Others might be able to chime in with possible alternatives. Hope you get it working.

Roxio 7-4-2001 23:22

Well the cold is finally breaking up, but I have just barely gotting things done on the Westercon details. . So, I have downloaded and stored all the current Workbook files and put up place holders until I get a chance to get things worked out this coming week. The final location will be and it will either have you enter your information and then give you the opportunity to select your own login and password or it will be a situation where it will generate it. I am still working those details out. In either case, it will be an automatic process and should be relatively painless. I am hoping to also set up procedures for hints to your password and other issues. We will see and it will be sometime next week after I get back from Portland.

We did get some good news in our collective family. Part of our family who have been suing over copyright infringement have won. They finally settled out of court. Will not go into details, but feels like after a whole spate of it is only going to get worse, this seems like we have hit bottom and started back up. I will keep you posted. I will have all of four days to get this thing running when I do get back since I will be flying out on Friday and, yes, it will be the Thirteenth, to go to the memorial service for my cousin. Take care everyone and thanks for all the healing energies. I really do feel better.

Definitely looking forward to watching the fireworks on our big screen television in HDTV. Take care everyone and Happy Fourth of July to everybody who hails from the US. For the rest, look on and shake your head in smiling bewilderment. I fully expect as last year to hear the sound of gun fire and fireworks all afternoon and this evening. SIGH. I hope to have an internet connection in Portland so I may peek in here on occasion.

Jack Beslanwitch New Writers Workbook Page when it gets done 7-4-2001 23:17

RHODA -- You need cdrw software

Mark 7-4-2001 17:07

The best nations are born in July.

Belated Happy Canada day and Happy fourth of July.

Does anyone know how to write on a writable CD? I have tried to do so, but I cannot get it to work. Do you do the same thing you would do when putting stuff on a floppy? I have a CD-RW drive, or so my manual says. Of course there are no instuctions. All I no, I have tried to load stuff on one and can't. I keep getting a message saying access denied.

Rhoda 7-4-2001 14:16


Heather 7-4-2001 13:43

Rachel - :) I just talked my parents into buying a copy of Shadows, so now they'll have one and I'll have one.

Happy fourth of July all!! :)

Allein Allein's World 7-4-2001 13:40

Chicken Rice Soup

Mark 7-4-2001 13:25

Take it easy, Jack.


Gariess 7-4-2001 11:39

Hey everyone, notebook challenge.
List what you are bringing to Jack's get well pajama party.

Howard, what are you bringing?

Need some stuff here folks. We have to get Jack back on his feet. Tina? Heather? Halley? Where's Teekay, haven't seen her around for awhile. Hey, Teekay, answer, whatever Teekay brings, you can be sure it won't be dull.

I'll bring some miso soup!

Viv again 7-4-2001 11:25

Dear Jack,
So you are an ice cream addict too. My husband and I are hooked as well. We don't reach for the booze when stressed, but we race for the ice cream. All I have to say is really bad day, and my husband will joyfully pick up a carton of ice cream on his way home from work. I think I like vanilla best because you can top it or mix anything into it and make it a different bowl of ice cream any time.

I hope you are soon well. Stress has a way of making a person's immune system run away and hide. The best cure, pamper yourself. As Hugh Prather said, "If you are sick, you are sick. You didn't choose to get sick so you are not guilty. Just sit back and make it as pleasant as possible until you get well again." Hear that? Go get another bowl of ice cream and enjoy it slowly while reading your favorite book. Life will go on.

If the notebook doesn't change immediately, well we all seem to be enjoying ourselves immensely on what we have here. Change is nice but it doesn't have to happen right away. We'll wait around and if the job gets done eventually, that's good enough. So relax, take your time and get well for us. That's enough! We like you and we like the notebook.

Have some peace and quiet! Enjoy. Can you go for a walk in the sun on the beach? That would probably feel pretty good (if there is any sun there). If not, a nice bowl of soup (I hate chicken soup so how about some vegetable or some miso soup). Gee, this sounds so nice I think I'll just bring my family and we'll all do all these things together. We could use a break too. Heather? Rachael, Howard? You want to join Jack and my family. Party is at Jack's House. We'll all just join him and have a nice quiet day! Move over we all come!

Debra: My dog is a rug eater too! She's also a slob. So is my daughter, her owner. (A slob not a rug eater). The little mutt not only eats her dinner on the rug bit by bit, she also tends to eat the rug if you don't watch closely. She's gone through two rugs in the last couple of years. I guess rug eating is like smoking in the dog world.

Hallee, nice colors! Happy 4th to you as well.

Viv 7-4-2001 11:17


Did we have a hiccup in the NB yesterday? Well, anyway, today is Independence Day in the USA and my wedding anniversary. I remembered the Anniversary, so I avoided _those_ fireworks.

Mark 7-4-2001 10:16 worked

7-4-2001 8:25

I'm going to try this - let's see:

Happy 4th of July
all us Yankees!!

Hallee 7-4-2001 8:24


Also, I will archive any of the Workbook entries, especially the Phantasm and pass them along to the originator of that particular project. When I get things started again, I suggest that Phantasm be started fresh using the Tree Form methodology, but that may be my lack of brain cells working together. I am off and away. But you knew that.

7-4-2001 7:44

Hello all: I am down with a cold and just resurrecting enough to deal with my preparations for Westercon. But the Workbook has to take back seat. Given that Halcyon goes under on July 7th, I will put things aside and close the Workbook until I can get things put together when I get back from Westercon. That is given I do not get enough time to finish up lasts minute details. I apologize if this inconveniences people. Also, there are probably fifteen requests for logins and passwords that I have put in hiatus until I can get this working. Rest assurred I will make it absolute priority as soon as I get back from Portland. If anybody is actually going to the con stop by the Westercon 56 table and say hello and let me know you are from the Notebook.

As far as copies of Shadows being received. That is great. I am going to make a point of showing off my pride and joy in my first published work albeit in collaboration with Allein, Americo and Rachel. At any rate, back to bed and box of kleenex. This does seem to be the year for my immune system to go to hell in a hand basket. Of course, it might have something to do with stress. Hmmm, I can think of at least six life changing stressors taking place in the last eight months, ala deaths, job loss, book publications, getting ready to run a 2000 person convention and a few others. I guess it is time to start exercising and making sure I eat more or less something bordering on a reasonable diet. Now if I could just give up ice cream. You scream. I scream. We all scream for .... er. well, I think the cold is effecting some brain cells. Ciao.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-4-2001 7:36

JERRY - You asked about a terabyte -
kilo- k 1000^1 1024^1 = 2^10 = 1,024
mega- M 1000^2 1024^2 = 2^20 = 1,048,576
giga- G 1000^3 1024^3 = 2^30 = 1,073,741,824
tera- T 1000^4 1024^4 = 2^40 = 1,099,511,627,776
peta- 1000^5 1024^5 = 2^50 = 1,125,899,906,842,624
exa- 1000^6 1024^6 = 2^60 = 1,152,921,504,606,846,976
zetta- 1000^7 1024^7 = 2^70 = 1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424
yotta- 1000^8 1024^8 = 2^80 = 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176

I knew this would come in handy someday... :-)

howard 7-4-2001 7:33

Just wanted to remind everyone that you are all appreciated and respected and admired. CHEERS!

Heather 7-4-2001 4:59

Mary: You can PLAY Chief of Police, and your husband can PLAY pilot, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge.
I don't think your life is boring, Mary - au contraire~!

I think my life is quite exciting, intellectually and otherwise. (*disclaimer*...I didn't say ALWAYS)
My job isn't exciting now that the ghost is gone, unless you count break-time chats. I hold the lowliest of lowlies as my paying job. I could use the lesson on humility. My job is also good because doing it requires little real thought, but therefore allows me to think about whatever I wish to while performing the physical work.

Now wait a minute - that job is a sliver in the pie of my day. My life has a lot of intellectually stimulating hours spent writing, drawing, engrossed in other books, having intimate conversations with my husband, son, daughter, and closest friends; as well as time spent communicating with you, my NB friends. I have devoted years already to the lonely passion of writing, as have most of you! It's not that terribly surprising to me that, though few of us at the NB have met face-to-face, there are meaningful and thoughtful conversations going on here a lot of the time. We do know each other, and more about one another than an aquaintance would. Did I mention lately how much this forum means? Thank you JACK. :o)

...The rest of me spends the non-intellectual activities thinking about when I can next have the time to be working on mind-driven work. My hands even start to feel 'mouse' and 'keyboard' withdrawal.

But back to conversations, and/or thoughts I had earlier tonight at work:

Our words reveal our selves. Words are not cheap. In fact, many times it has been the spoken word or the written that has been costly; paid for in blood, tears, lost relationships. From misunderstandings, many hardships arise. The easiest, cheapest words are, inversely, the most expensive; the kind of words you toss over your shoulder in an instant of sheer fury. Carefully chosen words hold power. Whether these words are harmful or not, this power still changes things. Power moves things about. Power sets love into white-blue flames.

My life also has other, very stimulating time-periods as well, but I hate to go to all that bother remembering what they are.

I read a very interesting thing in the opening of a novel I started today (and finished) - 'The Long Drive Home', by Stan Rogal. It's published by Insomniac Press, a publisher from Toronto that I am interested in submitting my novel to, when it is completed. I liked Rogal's novel; the writing is excellent; story is as well. Some neat twists along the 'highway'. In the front, not really a preface, are two quotes.
The first is about characters and conversation:

"The aesthetic of omission, of implying what is not explicitly stated, is an essential feature of Hawks's narrative mastery. Beneath the generic surfaces of his narratives lie complex tensions between the characters' verbal facades and their unverbalized feelings. In both the comedies and adventure films, Hawks's characters tend not to talk about their feelings overtly - first, because words can be easily and hollowly manipulated; second, because Hawks's characters attempt to protect themselves, either with silence or with torrents of chatter, not wanting to make the costly emotional mistake of investing their trust in someone unworthy of it."


--'The Movies: a short history, by Gerald Mast and Bruce F. Kawin


I didn't include the second quote (same source) in the above segment because I forgot most of it after having read the whole book and then leaving for work. And because it's not as interesting.

Have a wonderful, writing-filled time.

Heather 7-4-2001 4:55


JERRY: Something about my snake-skin bikini neighbor you might find interesting: She is the Chief of Police in the neighboring town to our south.

Now all you guys, picture Miss snake-skin bikini in a police uniform, armed and dangerous and in complete control. Her husband is a pilot, talk about a sexy, exciting couple. Wonder what their household is like. I bet my husband and I look dreadfully boring to them. Hmmmm.

Mary 7-4-2001 2:04

Hi all :o)

Jack & Allein - Today I received the additional author copies from Publish America. I will forward them to you tomorrow.

Take care all.

Rachel 7-4-2001 1:44

Hi gang just felt like dropping in now, been in a bit of a 'mood'

Next week I get my very own computer YIPPEEE!!

My dad use to remind me alot of Norm from cheers, just in looks and pretty laid back

Still writing on...using typewriter at moment...HEADACHE CITY!
Au revoir for now

taylor 7-4-2001 1:26


Job well done! Am I talking about clearing up the cud mystery or grossing me out again.

Even I don't know.

Debra 7-3-2001 15:51

Cud is the common name for RUMEN (RUMIN). It's food brought back up from a cow's first stomach (they have two) and chewed again. Ruminants are designed this way.

howard 7-3-2001 15:37

Can someone else please explain what cud is? I won't be hungry for lunch if I do!

Well, I wasn't depressed myself - just spent a lot of energy while listening and cheering up friends who were depressed. I also wasn't feeling well yesterday afternoon - feverish. For me to be in a funk, well, let's just say it's highly unusual.

I would have thrown out the VCR too!

Hmmm. Lunch isn't looking so swell after all. Howard, how can you eat a taco salad after these stories? Yikes.
Well, don't blame us if your salad 'returns' later on, in your slipper.

Heather 7-3-2001 15:14


I can tell you right now, my dog isn't sharing.

What is a cow's cud?

Debra 7-3-2001 14:23

No one in the world could ever look like my father or my mother. They were simply the most beautiful people in all the gallaxies. At least for me!

Allain Delon looked like A*, at least he would like to look like Allain Delon (when the French actor was younger).

I look like myself. We are all very beautiful.

And Jack is the most handsome man in Seattle if he gives us a blank page. This is one is becoming rather slow.

Jon 7-3-2001 13:43

My dad looks very much like Elton John.

Rachel 7-3-2001 13:09

Well the camper is all packed and loaded, weatherman says highs in the mid 80's lows in the mid 50's so sounds like wonderful camping weather, and no thunderstorms in sight.

I think one of the reasons I associate dad with Lee Marvin in that movie is that he did ride the rails during the depression, jumping on freight cars and riding to the west coast for picking season, then back to the Dakota's to help his dad on the farm, I grew up hearing tales of his adventures in the box cars, the nasty rail road bulls (detectives) who would just as soon knock your brains out and throw you under the train as it went down the tracks as look at you. His stories matched so well with that movie.

I have heard of cases where a cow lost it's cud and died from the loss, I guess the flu could be deadly to cows.

Renn our little terrier picks up his dried dog food and carries it in his mouth from the kitchen to the living room where we are then drops a mouth full and eats them one by one. Sometimes it seems he is offering to share, as he will come right in front of my feet and drop a couple of bits.

Jerry Ericsson 7-3-2001 12:59

MMM - lunchtime! I get into the notebook to catch up. See all the v*m*t posts, the hairball/mole side dish, look at my taco salad (direct from the huge taco bar in the cafeteria) and DIG IN! :-)
i hope this brown stuff is refried beans...

howard 7-3-2001 12:17

My father was a combination of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney. God, what an awful childhood I had.


gariess 7-3-2001 11:52

Morning all,

Let's see, weather from a couple of days ago should be your weather today and tomorrow. We've been having a cool snap lately, low 90's. There have been showers in the area, but none of them reached us. The weather man said something about a front coming to us from Louisanna which would be backwards so let's just hope you have a great holiday. BTW, you haven't mentioned in a while, do you still have to move again??? <:+]

Our horses don't like fireworks and we spend a good bit of the fourth watching them pacing back and forth and sweating heavly. I always worry that one of them will panic and run through the fence.

Good luck with your shoulder. Just concentrate on the fact that it will feel so much better later.

That was one super well told story. I loved it. Could visualize every moment.

Luckly, I don't think cows can vomit....But, what is cud except vomit? never seen one spit it out though.

Cute visual-----Teenage ducks standing under the bucket that a horse is eating out of, staring at horse's mouth waiting for crumbs to fall.

Rosemary 7-3-2001 11:24

MARY: You mean my umbrella isn't going to work? Oh dear. Now that you mention it, I can see where people might think you look like Helen Hunt or Jodie Foster - nose, eyes, shape of your face--yes, yes. Both are very complimentary comparisons, in my opinion. :-) Not familiar with the Molly-chick. I would've thrown out the VCR too - yechh! ;-/

DEBRA: Looking like Valerie B. can be a complimentary thing too. :-) My hubby liked her looks in the TV sitcom "One Day At A Time" (I think that was the name of the show).

My dad, if you really stretch your imagination, looks like a taller, older version of Stan Laurel of Laurel & Hardy fame. (Dad's more talkative though and can "crack" jokes any day) :-)

Mel 7-3-2001 10:52

My father looks like

Dick Van Pattern.

He is the father from Eight is Enough.

That show is the model for the new show, Seventh Heaven.

By the way, when are those babies going to age?

I mean really!!!!!!!!!

Debra 7-3-2001 10:39


What is it with animals! My dog Peprika has to eat on the rug. We put his food all the way in the kitchen and he runs gets a bite and runs back to the rug to eat it.

Don't get it. Don't like it either.

He's a sloppy eater.

Debra 7-3-2001 10:35


I know what you mean. I've been told that I look like Valerie Bertenalli and Jeanne Garofallo. Both of them look nothing alike and I don't see it either.


You're in good company.

Debra 7-3-2001 10:33

Morning everyone!!

Been super busy helping friends move and paint. Playing travel agent for another friend. I did just get a chance to catch up on all the posts.

On cat vomit: My worst cat vomit episode was when my favorite kitty kitty, Snowball, killed and devoured a little black mole. She came into the house that night, sat on the entertainment center and puked it up into the top-loading VCR. The mixture of her white hairball and the black protruding limbs of the minced mole was just way too much for me. I threw the VCR away without ever having touched that mess. Ewwww.

HOWARD: Hang in there, hon.

MEL: I don't think Mark is worried about cow vomit, he is worried about the whole darn cow! ;-)

My father looks and act exactly like Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee). No accent.

Depending on the way I wear my hair, I get three different opinions of celebrities that I resemble.(I don't see it myself but...) Jody Foster, Helen Hunt or Molly Holly (WWF). Now, I don't know how that works because those three women look nothing alike at all. Not even close. I was in Wal~Mart once and two little boys (10 or 11yrs old) were in the toy department looking at action figures. I had to walk right past them to get to the Matchbox(c) cars and I heard them say, "Hey man, I think that's Crash Holly's cousin, Molly." I had to laugh.

JERRY: You could have had Rabbit Fricasee.


Mary 7-3-2001 9:27


G'Mornin' Gang! Nightmares be gone; friends are here. :-) Thank God for you, friends!

HOWARD: Eww! In your slipper?! Our cat has been peuking on the headrest of the couch, on the rugs, in open windowsills...(hairball remedies don't seem to be working). How come cats are so clean about everything else but couldn't care less where the hairball vomit ends up?! I look forward to more adventures in Hiero's world. :-) When is your shoulder surgery going to be? My prayers are with you for a smooth and speedy recovery! (((HUGS))) :-)

HEATHER! ((HUGS))) for you and your friends! Life's too short;distract yourselves from depression and do something you all enjoy together--try a water fight. Pillows work well too. Even reading Randall's posts! Heh heh - hope you're all feeling cheerier today. :-)

JERRY: Ohh, poor widdle wabbit... Hey! Happy Camping! :-)
Eat a Robinson Crusoe for me.

MARK: Ohh no!! Cow vomit (or worse) would be absolutely horrendous! I'm putting up my umbrella. (Heh heh!)

RANDALL: HEE HEE HAH HAH AHAAH HAAH! (*Giggles, grins, Still LAUGHING...*) You're SO funny! :-)

Y'all have a great day and write some great lines! :-)

Mel 7-3-2001 8:14

JERRY: Harrison Ford in Patriot Games looked so much like my dad that it freaked me out to watch the movie. There were angles of his face at times that I swear he was actually my dad. He's always kind of looked like Ford, but I guess the military haircut just kind of brought it all forward.

HEATHER: You feeling better? It's rare to see you so down. As for me looking like someone...I get compared a lot to Brooke Shields, but I think it's just the eyes. Somehow we have the same shape of eyes.

ROSEMARY: How's the weather looking for us for the 4th? (smile & hugs)

RHODA: Meant to tell you I added you to my prayer list. Not having a home church is so hard.

Went to see Pam & Lauren yesterday. I kept trying to picture an infant with Downs - but she's absolutely beautiful. There was very little in her face that would give it away. I guess the look of it progresses with age. Kaylee's dying to see her, but her heart condition gives her a low immune system, so we have to wait until Kaylee's sniffles disappear completely.

Okay - off to write. **waving**

Hallee 7-3-2001 5:30

Oh, and Howard? Remind yourself NOT to help anyone move ever again. I can not and will not imagine what it must have been like to be steamrolled by a rampant refridgerator.

Personal bodily injuries make for interesting conversation, though, don't they? Your grandchildren will never say you're boring!

Randall, I'll let you know if I can hear your music up here in Ontario. You might want to turn it up a little, as it's pretty mild here right now at 3 am.

Heather 7-3-2001 2:48

A name: Chevy Chase. He reminds me of my Dad. Shorten Chevy's 6'4" frame to 6'1", add a little more beer to the stomach region, a lot more sawdust, and a little less enthusiasm for Christmas lights, and you have my dad. Oh, and minus the cleft in the chin.

And you wonder why I have the 'Griswold' kind of mishaps and accidents around here? I haven't greased up a wok and slid down any snowy inclines like a Kamikaze lately, but that doesn't mean I've never done so, nor will again! Almost broke my tailbone doing something similarly stupid, so I tend to like solid-bottomed sledding instruments rather than 18-wheeler inner tubes. Call me a softie for a different sort of damage.
Come to think of it, our neighbours haven't had any ice shards come flying through their windows for at least a few months, and the cat is still alive. I also haven't been seen scouting the beach for drug dealers, or giving false names at tennis clubs. But my Dad did drive his yacht into some rocks a while ago. You'd think the rocks would learn and move out of the harbour.

Speaking of famous people, or those who look like a famous person, there is a man who is a member of our Dojo who is the spitting image of Harrison Ford. Go Harry.

I can't say I look like anyone famous. Not exactly, and probably not remotely, either; though I have been told I could be a distant cousin of Sarah MacLachlan. Yeah, but I missed out on the vocal cords. Piano I can do.

Feeling a little more like sharing thoughts tonight. Almost took a pulley system to get me up from the couch earlier tonight. My energy bottomed out. It was all the cheering up I did this weekend. So, my husband did a pretty sweet job of zapping me back into my usual boundless energy by cooking dinner, rubbing my back, and cracking jokes. (Not all at the same time) *sigh*

Jerry: All in all a pleasant day? You beheaded a rabbit and ate steak? I'm not sure I'd be hungry!
My mother found a baby rabbit that had been half-eaten by a cat or something a few years ago, and she nearly had a fit. Grossed her right out because at first all she noticed was a little bunny rump in the grass. Then she noticed entrails, which eventually led to the head, a little ways off in the bushes. No forearms were ever found ...YUCK!
She also had to kill a mole with a shovel once. It had been caught in the mole trap but hadn't been killed, and when my mom checked the trap she realized that it was too injured to set free (across the road in the fields) so she had to whack it with her shovel until it died. It didn't die as fast as she was hoping.

Sorry! This is getting out of hand.

Randall: July 1st is Canada's birthday. England wasn't 'born' on the same day, so they don't celebrate Canada Day as far as I know. They do, of course, celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday on May 24.
If you've heard 'May two-four' mentioned, it is synonymous for 'a case of 24 beer', commonly called a 'two-four' around these parts. Yeeeehhhhhhhhooooo! (Slightly modified shreik from the U.S.)

Good night to all, and happy Tuesday. Even happier writing!

Heather 7-3-2001 2:42

Fellow on TV just said "in my mind Jack Lemon was my dad." Now I wouldn't say he was mine, he was one fine actor, this Lemon fellow, but he was nothing like my dad. No, if I were to compare any actor to my dad, based on his acting personalities, it would have to be Lee Marvin, in Emperor of the North Pole. In that movie, he looked so much like dad that I thought for a second he was, but then I remembered Dad was dead, couldn't have been up there on that screen. And his voice, so much like dad's that it was eery.

Anyone else have an actor that would be like dad?

Jerry Ericsson 7-3-2001 1:06

Oh and did you see the news about Napster - the music sharing site is down while it installs special anti-copyright violation software. Meanwhile back at Limwire, things are still up and running, likewise all the other Napster not-wannabe's. Funny how Napster got all the publicity, yet in the end, music sharing is still as popular as ever, just using different software. There are many more programs out there doing the same, gnotella and the gnotella based spin offs seem to be the most popular, I went up and looked at what was available, the little counter at the bottom listed that there are 17 tetrabites of music available for downloads. Now I don't know for sure what the hell a tetrabite is, but I know it must be a bunch of gigabites.

Jack, ever heard of software called marauder, or it's successor Teleport pro? This is one mean piece of code, it can go to any site (so their readme says) and download the entire site, giffs and all. They say it is for "Browsing off line) and I guess it would be good for our friends who need to do this because of online costs, but I can see where it could lead to theft of sites, theft of HTML code and so forth. I guess this was always possible, but this thing makes it much easier. Just for kicks, I downloaded the trial version and used it on the notebook. It took down not only the notebook but all the links inside the notebook including my site, and all my stories, Alien's site and all her drawings, your site, and someone's personal photo album, oh and that site I posted the link to about the Holocost. Lots of stuff, and in such a short time, it was amazing.

Jerry Ericsson 7-3-2001 0:47


You are slacking off, you said last week that you would finish my post and get me a reply, but I haven't herd hide nor hair of you. (Looks for Tina) Hmmm...Tina?....Tina?...

Laura 7-3-2001 0:16

For weeks the wife has been after me, "There is that damn rabbit again, can't you get a pellet rifle and get rid of it?" she would shout, as she shook her fist at that wraskely wabbit. Well I did it, most unintentionally, in fact I felt a bit guilty but things have a way of happening. I sat on my ridding mower, intent on having a nice manicured lawn for the 4th, after all we would be gone camping over the holliday. Well I hit the key and the engine spun to life, then I shoved the blade clutch into gear, and there was a CLUNK, followed by the comforting whirr of the blades as they spun clipping grass and whatever happened to be hidding in it. As I put the mower in gear, something round came from under and like a small tennis ball, bounced twice and landed near the garage door. I made a round, and as I came back to where I was parked, there lay the broken headless corps of that little cotten tail bunny. It will raid her garden no more. A little searching in the grass and I discovered the head. I stopped the machine and carried the mangled mess over to the garbage can.

Yes, I felt a bit guilty, but then all I did was rid the neighborhood of a little grey menace.

Ah yes and the wife was pleased with my good fortune. To celebrate we ate steak and a garden salad, then followed the meal with a tall glass of lemonaide. All in all it was a plesant day.

Jerry Ericsson 7-3-2001 0:14


heeeeheeeeeheeeee! Keep me posted!


Oiy that was disturbing. I think the next time I move I'll just leave everything and buy new.

Debra 7-2-2001 23:49

MARK - Keep looking up! :-) How's the BP? Down, I hope!
DEB - Dunno for sure what happened to my shoulder. Pitched a lot of softball, and some baseball, when I was younger. Maybe it was the time I was helping my sister move, from an upstairs apartment, and a rope broke while I was on the stairs under the refrigerator. I sort of went with it, and cushioned its fall against the wall on the lower landing. Had to pick it up by myself, 'cause there wasn't room for anyone to get in there to help. Still dream about that once in a while. Got my shoulder, neck, and head pretty good that time - left a rather large hole in the plaster wall. Yeah, that might have been it. :-) Thank God it wasn't the piano! The ramp broke when we moved that (another time), but that only got my foot and ankle.
Several years ago some people in Vestal were moving an old upright piano, and it fell off the truck and crushed one of the guys. Killed him. Ya never know.
A few days ago some vandals near here dislodged a 300 pound manhole cover, and it fell into the hole beneath it. Not long after, a girl (teenager) fell backwards into it (about 12 feet deep) and ripped up her back pretty badly.
So I don't feel like I've got it too bad. :-)

howard 7-2-2001 22:53


Hello everybody!

Happy birthday to Canada!

Ah, the 4'th of July. Do the English celebrate the 4'th of July in Britain? I've always wondered ‘bout that :-) (BIG GRIN) Are there solemn observances at King George's resting plot? (REAL BIG GRIN)
A local deputy sheriff was waiting for me when I got off work at 5:00 today. He was casually leaning against the hood of a dirty 4 door Sheriff's Office patrol sedan, sucking on a toothpick and holding a 6 cell police flashlight. Uh oh, I gulped, fear racing into my soul turning my feet into rabbit feet. Deputy Dewright. Perhaps he was waiting for someone else?
"Well, good afternoon Randall. And how was your day?"
Dewright's voice has been equaled to the hiss of air leaving a casket as the lid closes. His temper as short as a rattlesnake with an abscessed fang. Easily the most feared law enforcement officer in this part of the Lone Star state he is the male equivalent of a Cape Buffalo in size and mentality. When in doubt charge the bastards! Toss and stomp and gore!
I gulped. "Just fine sir. Is there a problem? Perhaps my driving as I delivered in town today."
He sighed, removed the terminator sunglasses, cleaning them with a red bandana. "No Randall, you're driving is no worse than the other idiots in town. Judge Jailemall wanted me to find out exactly what you're plans were for the 4'th. Where you will be and who you will be with. It is election year and, well, you know how politicans are."
"Well I......"
He adjusted the sunglasses, and removed his Stetson, wiping sweat out with the red bandana. "Randall, Judge Jailemall and I were greatly upset with your actions last July...."
"Hey, it was all in fun, I...."
I halted as the dreaded flashlight rose slightly and tapped the hood. THE flashlight was widely recognized in this part of Texas. It was a motivator par excellence, the attitude adjustment, the ultimate solution to many midnight civil problems. In a hot Texas sun I noted several dents in the shiny black case. It was hard not to wonder who or what caused them.
He smiled and motioned me forward. "You understand our problem don't you?"
I nodded, my eyes locked on THE flashlight as it slowly tapped on the hood. This was a special flashlight, it was functional even in broad daylight. If the 1963 Dallas PD had Dewright and his flashlight there would have been little mystery regarding Oswald. His reputation would have had Oswald blabbing within seconds. Perhaps even the Secret Service would have owned up. If Dewright had led the police detachment that afternoon Jack Ruby would have dropped the pistol and scurried back to his seedy bar for a stiff shot of cheap booze.
"Yes Sir."
"Well good, see, your friends and neighbors don't wish another repeat of your celebration last year. They like to sleep in on the 4'th. How many shots did you fire with that shotgun in your backyard?"
"8 times sir, but I fired into the air...."
"Yes of course you did, about dawn wasn't it?" He smiled briefly, his black eyes as empty as a cobras.
"Uh, about 5:30 in the morning sir."
"And the stereo came on about then, right?"
I nodded, my stress level about to peak out.
"The first song was Sousa's, STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER wasn't it?"
"No sir, Bruce Springsteen's, BORN IN THE USA was actually first Mr Dewright, that is if you discount reveille...."
The flashlight tapped the car curtly. My heart rate doubled in an instant.
"Uh, sorry sir, I meant Deputy Dewright."
"Now Randall," he placed his arm over my shoulder. "I like Sousa, and I like Springsteen but not at 300 watt levels with speakers 5 feet tall and woofers the size of basketballs. We're not going to play music at 6 in the morning that loud again. Are we?"
"No sir" I mumbled.
"I can"t hear you," he whispered.
I sprang to attention. "SIR, NO SIR!"
"And we're not going to fire any guns, in the air or otherwise, at daylight are we?"
"And we're not going to hold reveille on the south side of town this year, are we?"
"And who are we voting for this fall?
"Our favorite judge sir."
"I thought so." He smiled and patted me on the back with a calloused hand. "You know, we like you, the judge and I. Come over to the Sheriff's Office some time after the 4'th and I'll give you your shotgun and stereo back."

I tell you my writing friends, it's hard to get respect in this town. Now....where did I put that CD I purchased last week with military marching music..........?


Randall 7-2-2001 22:47


DEBRA -- I hope HOWARD's cat vomit has nothing to do with his vomit post ... I posted a cow right after that.

Mark 7-2-2001 22:15

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PROSTAR PROSTAR 7-2-2001 21:29

Cat vomit is one of Life's tests on our sense of humour, just as cleaning up a dead squirrel that you didn't find for a few months out behind the shed is a test of courage.

Que serra serra[sic].

Heather 7-2-2001 20:47


You don't think that the cat vomit could be bad karma for the international vomit story you shared with us last week do you?

As far as the knife part, maybe you will feel better when you are done. What could have happened to make so much wrong up in that shoulder of yours?

Debra 7-2-2001 19:32

"All these people have already forgotten that the Holy Ghost once flew over Mafra"

Jose Saramago, "Baltasar & Blimunda"

(That's my comment about the Jon McIntyre affair-- ain't I a queen?)

Pussy 7-2-2001 18:45

Howard - going under the knife huh. Well enjoy the dreams while your under the influence they usually are quite colorfull, sometimes almost worth the pain when you wake up screaming for morphine. I think I would get rid of the cat though.

Well we are off on a camping jaunt over the 4th, will be good to get out of town again, even if it is just thirteen miles south. Thirteen miles could just as well be thriteen hundred, as we are cut off from the phone, the television, the computer, and all the other modern conviences that make our life easier and our nerves ever more jagged.

Will try and check in tomorow morning before we are off, as the wife has to go in to work a couple of hours around 11:00 AM, so we won't be pulling out till the afternoon. The waether sound great, a cooling spell will be on us during the camp, so we won't be having to try that air conditioner on the top of the camper. I have been wanting to try the dang thing, but the weather just won't cooperate. It is one of those swamp coolers, different from the real air conditioner that was atop our other camper. I probably should have pulled that one and moved it over before I sold the old one but my back just wouldn't allow it and I hate asking others to do such work.

Jerry Ericsson 7-2-2001 18:22

Howard - I thought that was the purpose of slippers: So you don't step in cat puke.

Heather 7-2-2001 18:05


Not in the mood for expanding on that. Holiday today. Canada's birthday. Fireworks amazing last night, glow bracelets to show for it. Still glowing.

Have several friends in depression at the moment - energy waning. Think my blood sugar is also in short supply.
Might feel more like posting later, but wanted to at least stop by and let everyone know I've kept up with the post-reading.

This is not exactly the mood to write greeting cards or soon to be famous quips.

John McIntyre is indeed the combined pen name for our famous four.
Something to be very proud of.

Maybe I'm just feeling wind-whipped.

Heather 7-2-2001 18:04

I knew this wasn't gonna be my day when I awoke this morning, stepped into my slippers, and found that the cat had barfed into the heel of my right slipper. I have no idea what I did to deserve that.
I spoke to the surgeon this morning, and he said I definitely do need surgery on my shoulder to repair the tear in the rotator cuff, and to remove bone spurs and fragments that are generally making life interesting. He said something is broken in there also, and causing some pain. Yes. Yes it is. O my yes. I quit the pain killers, though - all they do is make me stupid.


howard 7-2-2001 15:37

BTW I'm waiting to see the reviews before I shell out money for a copy of S. Actually, I should be able to save $$$$ and search the workbook archives. God, am I cheap.


7-2-2001 14:16

Tanksalot for clearing up the enigma of John McIntyre. Although I suspect that, as usual, Jon, that fur-faced little rascal, knows a shirtload more than he is letting on.

I remember John Mcintyre, the character actor, very well. I believe he was in that Rawhide series. My first wife had a sister-in-law whose father was John McIntyre, and he was a good look-alike for the actor. I guess using a pen name from a well known person makes a good smoke screen for throwing people off the trail. I'll remember that if I ever need to use one. Someday we may publish another collaborative under the name of Bobby Valentine or Oscar Madison.

They'll never catch any of us getting famous. Just let them try.


Gariess 7-2-2001 14:12

Rosemary - I found the publisher.

Magoo - John McIntyre is the name we used to represent the writers of S*. All four one and one for all (grin/wink)

Ciao bayyyyyyyybeeeeees!

Rachel 7-2-2001 13:55

In my opinion, John (Jon?) McIntyre is Laura Croft. Just an opinion of course.

And whose the skeleton I found on the Moon? (Best kept secret in the gallaxy).

Jon (not McIntyre) 7-2-2001 13:31

John McIntyre is the pen name for all four of us, though I don't know who chose it or why (I'm assuming it's either Americo or Rachel).

My copy still hasn't arrived yet. :(

Allein Allein's World 7-2-2001 13:04

MEL - Glad you're enjoying "Heiro's Journey." I'll send the second one along shortly. You'll like that one even more - especially Solitaire, and the Children of the Wind.

howard 7-2-2001 12:37

John Mcintyre aka Trapper John was one of the characters in the M*A*S*H movie, and in the early TV series - played by Wayne Rogers. The character was reprised in the TV series "Trapper John MD" played by one of the guys from the "Bonanza" series.
There was a nice tribute to Chet Atkins on "Morning Edition" this morning. It's just not going to be the same without him around.

howard 7-2-2001 12:34

**Rosemary** Morning all,
Thank you, I think. :-} I read your post and even understood most of it. I installed the entire MSWord program from an official CD. Not a copy, so something else happened. (Does that file belong to MS Office or to Windows?)

I did install the templates after the program because I didn't realize the first installation didn't include everything. I probably should just forget the whole thing because I just got it to help a friend ( know who you are) who refuses to switch to WordPerfect, which I use, and could help with. Maybe I won't need any of the templates---but they did look interesting.

Unless you are having trouble with it, I vote to leave the Workbook password setup the same. Not really looking forward to new passwords.

The John McIntyre(sp?) I have heard of was an old time Western Actor. Think he was on Rawhide with Clint E. By the way, did Rachel or Americo or Jack or Who get S** published? Whichever one did it should know the answer.

Better go, we're having trouble with the well and waiting for the repair person. Well people are very independent and you really have to grovel to get them to take large amounts of your money. Better not be late.

Rosemary 7-2-2001 10:41


Hi, guys and gals! Another weekend passes in a blitz of family activity, at the expense of writing time...sigh. At least I didn't smash any more fingers in windows!

HEATHER: Thanks. I did love those little turtles. :-) I also enjoyed the smell of my grandfather's pipe tobacco, not the smoke, mind you, but the hearty, rich flavor of the scent. :-) Thanks for resurrecting my question on writing views.

My writing view varies. Rarely ahead of the family in the race to use the pc, I don't usually mind as the view at the pc is paneled basement walls, in the corner, not inspiring. I usually spread out the writing mss. and notes on the diningroom table, facing the full-length window-doors to the deck. Beyond the deck (which is falling apart and needs to be ball-and-chained) is the side of our garage, also uninspiring, but sometimes I can hear birdsong from nearby treetops and see a bit of sky, so those things inspire me. If the diningroom becomes cluttered with noisy kids, I sometimes write a bit from our kitchen porch, which overlooks our front lawn, hedges recently removed as they were way overgrown and a mess; there remains a small pine tree and a large maple tree before gaze leaves our lawn and encounters the neighbors' yards and the T-intersection of neighborhood streets at our corner. Any bit of nature I'll treasure to inspire me - when there is none, I close my eyes and view my childhood back field, horse pasture, and surrounding wildlife. Ahh, THAT is always inspiring!

RANDALL: condolences on your knee (and your fingers!). Hope you're feeling better each day. :-) You ARE staying off the knee, right? re: MAPS - very inspiring views too. :-) But, um, you covered a WINDOW with one? The window view must be pretty bad... (I love the West too, 'tho I'm stuck in the East... :-/ ...sigh...)

HALLEE: A cousin of mine has Down's. He's 40 now, still lives at home with parents, loves to color and do handcrafts, and play video games and bowl... He has a great sense of humor and is one of the sweetest, gentlest people I've ever known. I think what has made all the difference for him were patient parents who kept him at home with them and gave him a lot of love.

JERRY: Druid, huh? Hmm, I'll have to remember that one next time the JW's come knocking on MY door... :-)

MARY: Loved your list of why women love men - so true! :-)

RHODA: An attic nook with a water view? Ahh, sweet envy here! AND a backyard lake? Oh, your views must be so inspiring! :-)

KITTY! :-) Glad you're still lurking. You should visit the NB more often; your posts are always inspiring. :-) And no, sigh, I look nothing like "Bo-Peep" or Wolfie's heart-throb (but that WAS me stomping, heh! heh!) As for good reads, ANYTIME of year is good for a great adventure - sf&f, or romance, for me! Right now, I'm enthralled hook-line-and sinker by a book I've borrowed from Howard - HIERO'S JOURNEY by Sterling Lanier. Altho' published in 1973, it's set 5,000 years into the future on the North American continent and is SO entertaining! :-) (Thanks again, HOWARD!) I'll pass it on after I'm done, of course. I think Tina's waiting for it...

VIV: All your writing views sound neat. :-)

RAMON: Hi! Not much time to write? I resemble that remark! ...Getting up earlier worked for a few days. I need to restart that and make it stick. Making time for writing does wonders for my ego - every time! :-)

ROSEMARY: Nice writing view too. I love to watch horses in the field - something contenting about them. As a kid on long trips, I used to watch out the car window and imagine I was riding a horse, racing alongside the car--what a rush! :-)

LITTER! Were you struck by lightning?! Or just a shockwave? Whoa! How scary!!

GARIESS: I think John McIntyre is just the joint pen-name for the SHADOWS** authors; only ALLEIN, AMERICO, JACK, and RACHEL know for sure!

JACK: May the FORCE be with you, especially this week! :-)

Happy Birthday, all you lucky Canadians! :-) And ina coupla more days, Happy Birthday to all my fellow U.S. Americans! :-) If I slighted anyone, it wasn't intentional; I'm not familiar with holidays all over the world unless my calendar informs me. A HAPPY DAY TO EVERYONE! WRITE Something and lift your spirit today! :-)

Mel 7-2-2001 10:20

Rosemary: Thanks for the tip. I just thought my username and password stopped working because I hadn't used them for so long.

I have now managed to get into the workbook and it has thoroughly depressed me. Don't get me wrong the suff I have seen on there is great, its just I don't have the time to go through them and give critiques(which I did on one or two occasions months ago and throughly loved it). Don't have time to write much either.

Enough moaning.

Gareiss: I have heard the name John McIntyre but I can't think from where. If I get a memory flash I'll let you know.

Take Care Guys.

Ramon 7-2-2001 8:26


I wasn't sure either. Apparently John Mctrye is one name to say the collection of names who contributed to the book. I don't know if he is real or not.

I don't like to say too much when I don't know what I'm talking about.

Debra 7-2-2001 8:15

Hello everyone: Just to let you know. I am still working on getting the new Workbook going. I am stumbling on getting the new login and password systems functioning. Stay tuned and hopefully I will have it working. Worse case scenario I will get the actual tree form message board script functioning and use the same system for login and password before I leave for Westercon 54.

This is flat out turning into a comedy of errors. I am finishing up a Con Zine, flyers and trying to get ready for the parties we will be having in Portland. However, in the past week, our event coordinators had an unforseen crisis in their family that will preclude them from going and the elected chair that will take over the con should we win the vote has come down with walking pneumonia. Translation, I will be taking on a heavy load of everything. I will be heading down on Thursday. Wish me well, send energies and hope like hell I do not come down with something, have an accident or otherwise run afoul of whatever strokes of strange circumstances that are raining down on our collective existence. Whatever Gods are visiting all of this on us are laughing themselves silly. On top of that after all of this over, we get to fly out to the memorial for my cousin on Friday the thirteenth. I will not even try to go into that one. Ciao.

Jack Westercon 56 Bid 7-2-2001 5:50

I will ask this question daily until someone answers it. Who is John McIntyre and what is his connection to Shadows?


gariess 7-2-2001 2:31

Litter, You have my deepest sympathy, I almost did the same, only Windows ME Pulled my irons from the fire. Strange that lightning thing, just two nights ago, we had a horrible electrical storm here. It came at around 3:00 AM. In all those killer storm TV programs they always tell you that if you feel your hair standing on end in such a storm to hit the ground as you may be struck. Well my hair did that same exact thing, several times. Since I was already in bed, laying down I didn't think I would gain anything by rolling onto the floor, and I guess I was safe enough as I never felt a shock of any sort, there was however some very sharp very close strikes. Nothing to hurt us anyhow. Sorry to hear you got that pain in the brain, but as long as you turned out all right then all is not lost. Welcome back anyhow.

Jerry Ericsson 7-1-2001 22:25


ROSEMARY -- OLEAUT32.DLL is an automation tool built into quite a few "Visual Basic" applicatons. DLL stands for Dynamic Link Library.

MSWord uses "Visual Basic for Applications" (a Visual Basic subset) to run many of its template features. As Microsoft programs get updated, they frequently keep the same library names, though the contents change. This makes systems people mutter antisocial words.

Your computer message that the system needs a newer dll can happen in one of two ways:
  1. MSWord and the templates came from two different sources and the templates are really newer, needing newer libraries. Or,
  2. You installed a program that works on the older libraries, and *it* overwrote new files as it laid down its own. This is incredibly common
You can uninstall MSWord, reinstall with all templates and find your answer. If you still get the error, then your Word disk is a bad copy (probably pirated but made to look original). If the templates all work, then the Word disk is good and some other program was responsible for overwriting OLEAUT32. In this case you may find another program acting flaky as it looks for OLEAUT32 and gets a new, unexpected instruction. There are no error messages that say "Require An Older Version of DLL."

Mark 7-1-2001 22:23

Hi All!

Just spent the three most frustrating days of my recent life. Had to format and reinstall everything as of Thursday night. Now, four-and-a-half Gigs of files and info later and a whole heap of preferences and formats to reset, I am alive and verging on being well…

Lots of catching up to do including last three days of the notebook, but I did notice that Hop is back – Welcome back from your sojourn.

Strangest thing, though – last Thursday night we had the worst thunder and lightening that we have had for some time. Nothing strange in that, but there was a very bright flash with 400 hundred yards of my house and I felt a sharp pain right through the middle of my head at the same time as the flash. Only lasted a second or two but I have never felt that before… I have a surge protector on the PC but it didn’t stop the electricity temporarily going out – ionising radiation from the lightening bolt and all that!

Now I’m gonna see what everybody has been talking about and try thinning out the 200 or so emails that await my attention.

Ciao for now,


Litter 7-1-2001 20:16

Randall - yep, wish I had laminated that old map of the U.S. but it is long gone. I don't know why they did it, but every time the folks moved the left most of our stuff in the old house. Anything that they didn't think would fit in the new place was just left there. That was what happened to my map. That old habit ended up costing us more then we ever expected. You see when we moved from the second farm (the haunted one) to a small apartment in town, the folks left all our "good" furniture, that stuff that once belonged to the ancestors who brought it lovingly over from Sweden and Germany at the old farm. Well some youngn's from town decided to go farm wrecking and hit on that old place. They shot holes in all the mirrors on the lovely dressers highboys and mom's three mirrored vanity. What a shame. They also shot all the windows out of the place, even shot the roof taking shingles off. Dad's old favorite tube radio that ran off a big old battery was sticking out one pane of glass. Well Dad never being one to waste anything decided that he had a glass cutter and that plate glass mirror in the vanity still had a nice piece left on the bottom half (the center mirror was full length. So he took that glass cutter and began working on the separation. Well about half way through the top broke off and came slamming down, striking him right on the bridge of his nose. Cut the hell out of his nose, but the bone stopped it. Knocked him plum out, and scared the living hell out of me, as it I was there helping him. When he came to, he took another swig on his pint of Calverts and finished the clean up job. Took his snot rag and cleaned most of the blood off the glass and took it home. I have no idea what ever happened to what was left though. Oh we reported this to the Sheriff, who investigated. Turned out to have been several of my cousins who got drunk and did all the damage. Dad, who had a great sense of family, told the sheriff to just drop it, and refused to take any money from his brothers to cover the damage. Guess we just should have moved the stuff in. When the folks moved into a smaller house once, they left this old China cabinet up in the old house filled with antique glassware. Well this fellow from down south was passing through town, and ran into a friend of the folks. They sent him to their place, and he gave them a hundred bucks for the whole shebang. Boy was I mad when they told me about it. I was in the Army at the time, but I knew that stuff was worth a hell of a lot more money then that, it was one of those old antique ones with the curved glass and such and looked just like new, never been scratched or anything. I guess they figured they got it when they bought the house, that is it was there when we moved in, the former owner just left it sit when they moved, so they didn't have a lot invested in it.

Oh about laminating maps, we used to go to K-Mart and pick up that clear shelf-liner to use for such things, works great, just take the paper off one side then lay it over the table, put the map on one side, then carefully put it on the other side as it lay on the table, leaving about a half inch border. I know what you mean about the map thing, I used to get National Geographic magazine, and kept all the maps that came with it, quite a collection over the years, still have most of them in a file cabinet, I dig them out when there is a war going on, one that the US gets involved in, and try to keep track of where the battles are and so forth. A throw back to my eight years with Uncle Sugar.

Just got back from Mom's dinner and pinochle. Just like clockwork you know can't miss that pinochle.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 7-1-2001 18:03

I tried the Workbook and the passwords are still working. Maybe you typed one in wrong?

Rosemary Again 7-1-2001 16:53

A nice calm Sunday to all,

The view from my computer is over my right shoulder. It's a big window, about 48X24. We put a lattice up over it with jasmine creeping up it. This is to keep the morning sun from glaring on the computer screen and to keep the heat out.

There is about a half-acre of pasture/w/horses, a road, a railroad track and then trees screening whatever is behind that. On a really exciting day, I can watch the train smack a vehicle. (the lady only had a cut on her forehead. Unusual, they generally die.) Actually in the five years that I have lived here, off and on, this has only happened once. Here. Down the road there have been quite a few deaths. Those mishaps are usually at night. The lady's accident here was in the middle of the day. I'm not going to make any judgements about that, it'd probably backfire on me.

I loaded all the templates for MSWord and was trying them out and it said "OLEAUT32.DLL--program needs a newer version. Does anyone know why it's doing that? Its disk was in the drawer. Now some of the templates work, some don't but all give me that message.

I'm really itchy now because I tangled with a bull nettle while using the weedeater. Think I'll go put something on it.

Rosemary 7-1-2001 16:50



That should read "Printed literature... not "Printer literature." I have several swollen fingers today. Well, glad you asked why.

I was crawling across the dance floor last night, trying to get another beer...and some cedar chopper stepped on my fingers. Whatta dolt!


Randall 7-1-2001 15:49

Hi Jerry

I mean, this site is vacant! Only a couple of posts since last night? Weird. :-) Everyone gone to the moon!!!!!!! Or has everyone been mooned?

I am a map freak, ah, that is related to the west. I have dozens of National Forest maps, mostly Colorado and Utah though, BLM resource maps are also available, as local Topo maps that detail down to the square inch. There is an office supply store in town that laminates most anything and charge peanuts...I believe the 4 x 4 cost 3 bucks or so. They have done the 4 x 4 map I wrote about and all of my state maps. A rolled up lamimated map stores easily, wears little. Especially traveling, a laminated map will not blow up in your face as you zip along, trying to figure out "Where the hell are we?" This alone will cause family members some relief. And in my world adds a certain beauty to an otherwise drab object.

The Wyoming state map is the MOST colorful, historically detailed map I have. It is a work of art, suitable for framing. Lamination will bring out the beauty in maps... When traveling out of state I gather newspapers, pamplets, any free handout (Randall's Key word: FREE) and maps, town, county, district, garage sales...whatever. It all boils down to INFO. Printer literature is/are excellent sources of research to be read when on the throne. My favorite position for in depth research, plotting and scheming.


Okay, so, I know it's boring to some. But if Moses had a laminated map of the Sinai he wouldn't have wandered so long. And this puts the kabash on the ridiculious comment that some women love to quote. "Well what would you expect from a man! All he had to do was stop and ask directions....."


Jerry, look up the TERRA SERVER site sometime. When I feel the yen to do a little armchair traveling I do so...albeit from a satellite, but travel is travel.

See ya and keep your powder dry. The red coats are coming!


Randall 7-1-2001 15:39

Well Well Well. I stop visiting for a few months and look what happens: To the creators of Shadows in a Dream: I shall be looking it for this one in the local bookshops, failing that I'll order it on-line.

It looks like I've been away far too long because I can't get into the workbook anymore on my username and password. Still never mind. Hopefully things will settle down at work and i'll be able to focus on my writing again. The weather is great, I am moving in some interesting circles and finding inspiration in all sorts of things. the other day I heard Tupac Shakur, the rapper who was shot a few years ago say "Wehave to take up arms and fight, not with guns but fight to open our minds." How true.

Must dash will visit again.


Ramon 7-1-2001 15:39

All the music is going away -- last month John Hartford, now Chet Atkins. It's like a part of me went with them. Thank you God, for loaning them to us for this short time.

howard 7-1-2001 13:05

The view.

Hmmm, technically speaking, none. If I open the blind I could have a lavish glimpse of my neighbour with the ugly yard (is this a theme here? Murphy's Law?) But it stays drawn. My spider plant hangs in the corner, garnering what little light it can through the closed blinds. Straight over my computer is a poster of the Earth, a satelite view with all the clouds left in, instead of 'computer enhanced' without weather. There's a storm off the coast of Mexico, and clear weather over my little corner of BC! Actually, every wall is covered with posters and prints, some of space but mostly park posters I buy whenever I go to a national-type park. I have Carmanah, Tatsenshini, Clayoquot, Redwood, and Yosemite (haven't been there but the picture is gorgeous). Also, lots of space pictures, and some of airplanes, and my fledgling collection of pictures of authors who inspire me. Add in some overflowing bookshelves and a few candles, and that's the view.
Viv, how I envy you your laptop! Every now and then I check them out, think about taking one to the park, or the cafe, or my backyard. That would be dreamy.

Hey, it's July 1st now! Happy Birthday fellow Canucks!


Tina 7-1-2001 3:42

Randall, wow does that bring back memories. The map thing I mean. When I was but a young pup, we lived in a house with now electricity, no running water, and wood/coal cook and heating stoves. The folks were poor folks, real poor folks. My cloths were all hand-me downs (from cousins, not my two sisters!). Well they used to sell those bags of Planters Peanuts, you remember the kind, and the bags said "Save this Bag for valuable prizes!" Well I saved and saved those bags, every time we went to town, I would take that quarter that dad gave each of us for spending money and head right for the Ben Franklin store, where I could buy four bags of peanuts, and still get 4 cents back. Finally when I got enough of those bags, I went to mother and pointed out that there was a wall map for only fifteen bags, and I had fifteen of them. So off went the bags and a letter from mom (I had yet to go to school, so I couldn't write it) and about a month of running out to the mail box that sat beside the road about a hundred and fifty yards from the house, I had it. Well mom looked it over, and left it laying on the kitchen table (It nearly covered the table, it was so big) and when dad came in from the field, he looked it over, then took it in the living room and taped it right to the east wall. I can still remember sitting on the easy chair memorizing the States and where their borders joined, by the time I started school I knew all my states. Well just to screw with my mind they went and added another, then another. Oh well the map still looked real good hanging there. I haven't thought about that for many many years. Funny how that works.

Same thing happened when Loren came over the other day, I was writing here about the girl who stomped on my injured digit, but could not remember her name. Well Loren was talking about something interlay different, but mentioned her name, and it clicked, Elizabeth, who could forget a name like that for the meanest ugliest girl in the whole sixth grade. Well I guess I could.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 7-1-2001 0:11

I thought I would have a lot to say tonight. I don't know what I was thinking. Sometimes you people provoke me to witticism, but apparently not today. I used to be able to count on a few grammatical mishaps, perhaps a misplaced modifier or a malapropism. Often, some things would simply jump off the page and a response would be irresistible. I think you folks have become too skilled. One contributor in particular was priceless, but alas, you lot have dried up that source with your relentless edifications, suggestions and instructions.

I hope to shoot a roll of Cape Cod photos to post up and have the processor make a floppy disk. I have done this for eBay sales, so I should be able to manage. Maybe you can help me get them posted, so you can see them from the NB.

I find I can carry a nice Minolta SRT101 that I picked up from eBay in one of the bags on my Honda 600cc VLX. That way I can get off the road without having to get a car out of the way. It enables me to shoot in places I would not ordinarily be able to. A lot of places on the Cape are rather cramped.

I looked at the cover of Shadows… at the publisher’s site. Who is John McIntyre? Is that the real name of one of the Nbers? I thought I knew something about S, but now I’m curious.

Nest time,


gariess 6-30-2001 23:27


Good evening friends

The view from my writing computer:

A 4 foot x 4 foot map of the Colorado Plateau, Rivers and Drainage. Laminated and stapled to a LARGE 5 foot by 5 fool piece of cardboard I salvaged from friends at a local auto body repair shop. (The flip side has "This End Up, Bozo" and "Caution: Body Parts Inside, Dipstick." Must be a pretty tough neighborhood!) I wanted to have the map framed but the best price quote I could garner was just below the price of a new Chevy Corvette, with all options and a hefty bonus for the sales person. The picture framing folk in my town are used to me dragging the most outrageous documents and pictures in and asking for a quote. The owners wife entered the showroom, noted her 3 employees and "guess who?" standing on the map corners admiring the thing. She groaned, did a 180 and back into the office. Anyway, after being rudely dispatched from the picture framing joint, I returned home and was busily attaching my map to our living room wall, (read, nailing). It would be next to the TV and my plans included a large light carefully placed over the thing so my beer drinking friends and I could map our next foray westward ho!! My wife, an ill-tempered, nosy, short fused, outspoken person at best, happened to stroll along about then.


Women, Huh? And she also mentioned, between pointed references to my ancestry, gene count and IQ, "Over my dead body!" and "A cold day in hell!" and something about the "Texas Chain Saw Massacre." Discretion being the better part of valor (she was having trouble starting the chain saw in the garage)....I retreated, rather hurriedly, with my treasured map held sideways to clear the bedroom door and entered my writing sanctuary. So it now blocks a window in the middle bedroom, that is my "writing room." Well, you may not feel the need to put your finger on Paradox Valley or track the "River of Souls" but I do.

The adjoining wall is cover with maps of the Inner-Mountain states. Carefully aligned to reflect the each state and proper position related too. At a glance this wall allows me to locate nearly any location east of California and west of Oklahoma, south of Canada and north of Mexico. As you may discern I love the west. And that's putting it mildly.

I am carefully following a story out west about a plaque of locusts which have invaded parts of Utah. It's quite a problem and as usual politics is the name of the game. "Your fault..." "No, your fault..." For those of you familiar with Mormons in historical Utah, an earlier plague of locusts were thwarted by seagulls, soooooooo the sea gull is now the state bird. It is rumored that Brigham Young was heard to mumble. "Hell of a place to make a living..." However, in my opinion, the sea gulls are not committing this time and waiting to see the latest polling data.

Like I said...politics.

Gotta go. I promised my friends in Utah I would send them a dozen fly swatters and a case of insecticide. Surely that simple statement was no reason to slam the receiver down in my ear.


Randall 6-30-2001 22:12

The view from my writing room is varied because it has many windows. I have a little lap top computer. I haul it around in a green backpack. It's not a great solution, but it has to do because I use a Dell laptop, and it's made to be portable...sorta'. It's portable if you have a car, but not when you are standing on a train, or running for a bus.

When I feel like I'll bust because I must write, I stuff my computer in my backpack, and just take off. Sometimes I go two stops up to the library in Sagami Ono. Then my view is of a big city park outside the library. Sometimes I go to Mr. Donuts. I can go to the Mr. Donuts in Hon Atsugi and watch the shoppers walking around while I sit and type. Then I can go to the Hon Atsugi library which has a neat view of the train station. I like watching the trains pull in and out of the station.

I can also go clear to Enoshima Island, hike up to the top of the hill, and sit in the restaurant that overlooks the ocean. The woman there is nice and lets me bring my dog inside on a rainy day.

Sometimes I just stay home in bed and type. The cat crawls under my right elbow and enjoys the warmth of the computer. He purrs, I tap and the trees outside the window sway.

When I'm feeling frustrated,tired and antisocial. I admit, I sit in front of the tv and type. Mostly I do that with the sound turned off. I don't understand Japanese all that well, but I like to watch old Samuri movies and write at the same time.

I'm glad I have a lap top. My home office is nice, but the invasions that happen every time I sit in there are awfully frustrating. My little daughter loves to talk to me, and I don't want to say, "Be quiet! Go away! I'm writing." Her words will suddenly stop one day and it will no longer be happy for her to talk to me as freely as she does now. It's a short treasure, so I only sit in my office to do school work. That's when I really want her to talk to me anyway because it's rather tedious writing or just grading. It's nice to have her around right now.

I've compromised and I'm happy. My writing room has many windows!

Viv 6-30-2001 11:56

Hey all! Just popping by for a quick catch up read--hahahaha!, as if that were possible at the Notebook. Summer is short and sweet here. The demands of family and garden are immediate. Happily most of the green things have been plunked into the earth and I've only an acre or two of lawn left to mow (Don't laugh. I cancelled the lawn service because I find I can do a lot of plotting and thinking while trudging up and down, round and round. I think sweat and hard work is very conducive to the creative process). As to family... the budgkins will disperse during the first week of July, one for mandatory summer school and one to visit my parents and Ted is busy with golf and flying. Which means I have most of July to please myself. So carpe diem--or should I declare carpe "monthum?" (what is the latin word for month? Americo? Allein? Some where around here there is a latin dictionary).

Question to the excellent collaborators of "Shadows"... Is the book available through yet or only through the publisher? I'm starting to organize my semi-annual order (coincides with trips made to the South, saving on delivery time and charges) and thought it would be most convenient if I can put my order for "Shadows" through them. Otherwise through the publisher I will go.

Mel: Did I read you inquiring after the lost members of the flock? Was that MY name I saw? I'm here, I'm here! Why did the image of Mel "the Bo-Peep" librarian pop into my head? And is that you stomping rythmically, leading the crowd with "we will, we will shear you!?" No, wait! That's you being chased by wolfie... Okay, I'll stop. My visits to the Notebook are sporadic, but I'm not letting YEARS go by between posts (a concious decision). So, if I have been absent awhile and you'd like to touch base, please feel free to e-mail me. I do check my e-mail everyday.

Now that July is fast approaching, it's time to cobble together a Notebook summer reading list. What would you recommend for reading on these hot sweltering summer months--and for those who are experiencing the flip side of the weather down under, what's your cosy recommendation? I always look to see if Carolyn Hart (Death on Demand mystery series set on a small island off the coast of Suoth Carolina), Dianne Day (Fremont Jones, san Francisco at the turn of the century mystery series) Margaret Maron (Judge Deborah Knott mystery series set in my homestate, N.C, with lots of beach scenes) Maureen Tan ( Run, Jane, Run and A.KA. Jane fledgling series), Connie Willis (sci-fi), or Mary McMaster Bujold (sci-fi, the Vorkosigan series) have a new book out for the summer. I will be tackling "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" which was highly recommended and I can recommend "Women With Options" as funny, light, and informative.

Have to go. Master Jack is anxious for me to play Axis and Allies with him. He claims that he has won the war in the first roll of the dice. Let's see if I have a wily maneouver or two…

Kitty 6-30-2001 11:24

The view from my computer room? There is none, except for the roof window, through which I can see only a bit of sky and a lot of maple tree branches. We moved the computers upstairs to an unused bedroom when we decided to take Bryce in with us, and now that he's gone back to the nursing home we don't feel like relocating it again. It's still not finished in here, though -- but there's more room for the bookshelves I want to build, so we'll leave it here for now.

HEATER -- Are you one of the "33poets whose artistry will be recorded professionally as part of a new poetry collection 'The Sound of Poetry'?" I just got a letter from Poetry.Com - For $59.95 ($20 off the reg price) I can get a CD with my poem recorded against a background of baroque music in a new collection. wow.

We have a friend who has Downs Syndrome - MaryAnn is 40 this year, and is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She goes to our church, and everyone just loves her. She's been a real blessing to all of us.

howard 6-30-2001 9:20


6-30-2001 9:13


I'll translate it literally: "Please inform which action must I take in relation to the users listed below." No need to review the list. BTW: I enjoyed your translation of the Portuguese poem inserted in S*, as you will see if you ever read the book.

Incidentally, I would be delighted if I could offer a copy of S* to each of the Notebookers, or at least to offer one for circulation. Unfortunately the Author's Code states that "Books shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent." On the other hand, even if I would not mind to go to jail (I think it would be a lovely experience...), it happens that I was given only 1 copy! Anyone interested (and everyone should, as you cannot miss a masterpiece...) can purchase the book on http://www. if you do not mind using your credit card.

Rhoda, Mel, Ben and all those that referred to the topic "writers as friends":

Besides the sentimental connections, I was also thinking of friends as indispensable to survive in the book-business. Writing is just a small part of being an Author. This involves a huge amount of social activities, some cultural, most of them just marketing. Even the best agent in the world cannot do everything to promote a book. Nowadays an Author must be prepared to sell his fish, even if it stinks... Having friends in the book-business (and this involves critics, universities, newspapers, TV, cinema) is absolutely indispensable, though painful and sad to have to admit it.

Don't get discouraged. It's sometimes funny to have to sleep with your best friend's wife... (I know nothing about husbands...)

Heather, high blood pressure could never kill Mark, you scary girl...

PS. Too many posts to read. Sorry if I missed something.

Americo 6-30-2001 9:03

Amazing post, Rhoda! Sorry I missed you in the chatroom!
I ran into a few difficulties as to whether or not to rip down my garage sale signs, like Mary did. I just finished putting them up with the kids, when it started raining.

Parallel worlds there are.
I hope you can still have your sale, Mary!

Viv - another amazing post. You have shed a lot of light on raising a child with Down's. Thank you.

Heather 6-30-2001 2:40

I particularly like when a man puts his forehead up to mine and rubs noses with me, and asks me what I'm thinking.

And I wiill absolutely not say something like, "I was just wondering if the windows need cleaning?"

Not on your life.

Heather 6-30-2001 2:32



Thank you for the compliment. I tried the chat room at 12:30 CDT and missed you. You are probably on Eastern time.

The view from my computer desk. Usually I use the computer in our attic room. There is window there that looks out onto the lot across our front window. There are trees there and a little brook. Someday they will sell the vacant lot across the street and we won't be able to see those trees any longer, but I will enjoy the view while I have it. I also have a computer in our den which sits by the window overlooking our back yard. There I can look out over the small lake in our back yard. With the lights reflecting upon it, it is quite lovely at night. During the day I can look across it and see the golfers on the golf course.


About a week ago you asked about writer friends. All I can say is that if not for some of my close writer friends, I might not be writing. Especially helpful are those I can trust to read and critique my work. I know about three or four individuals like that.

There are also friends who might not have much to do with my projects or work, but they inspire me because they are encountering the same pressures and have an appreciation of what a writer endures, how a writer thinks, and how a writer is unique from other artists. The Notebook is espacially helpful in that respect.

The most difficult and destructive influences I have had to endure are a few published authors (I haven't run into this type on the Notebook) who are very negative and who consider the writing profession a select club. I have met a few of them at conferences and have read some of their thoughts in the Romance Writers of America newsletter. These are the people who will look straight at you and tell you that if you do not write your books a certain way, you will never get published. Luckily this type of person has been rare in my experience. Most published authors are kind, helpful and extremely supportive.

I think that a writer should never distance himself or herself from other writers. There should always be someone who is there to hear your ideas and help bounce them around with you. On the other hand, when you help another writer brainstorm his or her ideas, it gets your creative juices flowing and helps you. I would also recommend that every writer know a professional who is published and who has been in the business awhile. I am very blessed to have met several published authors who have helped and supported me along the way. Such people provide perspective and mentoring, but best of all their good habits have a way of rubbing off on you.

I miss Farmington, New Mexico and the writing friends I have made there. If it were not for the Internet and the Notebook and my ability to communicate with old Farmington friends and friends I have met at writer's conferences, I don't know what I would do. Here in Tulsa I have been a bit lax and haven't seriously sought out a writer's group (big mistake, and I hope to rectify that soon).


My prayers are with Holli, Pam, and Pam's baby and with their families. Pam does have a tough situation, but I will pray that she encounters the joys and the perspective that friends of ours with Down's syndrome kids have developed over time. We are Southern Baptists also, and we are still looking for a church. I ask your prayers for us that we will find a church that is as supportive as yours appears to be. It is so difficult not having a home church, and I am getting a bit discouraged.

Rhoda 6-30-2001 2:27


I was going through major Notebook withdrawal; I haven't been able to get online today until now. Just finished reading all the posts. You guys have been busy.

HEATHER: I would be more than happy to post a few pages or an album for you. Send on those pictures. :-)

I am pretty sure it is illegal to render a praying mantis' head from its torso. They are an endangered species, aren't they? Maybe just in danger of being endangered? Hehe.

We are having a yard sale tomorrow too! My neighbor (Yes, the pink snake-skin bikini neighbor) and I decided to try to pull one off this summer. So far we are having bad luck. We decided to hang our signs around town tonight so we don't have to do it in the morning; two hours later we were running around town taking them back down because of a huge thunderstorm that snuck up on us. Strange men offer to help with the funniest our delicate hands aren't strong enough to pull poster board off of staples. And why did their muscles flex so big as they pulled? It wasn't that tough. ;-) Gotta love men, they are so adorable when they do that stuff.

Other good reasons women love men:

1)Love to catch them making shampoo mohawks in the shower.

2)If you are cold, they give you their jacket even though they reminded you four times before you left the house to make sure you brought your own.

3)They sneak up behind you and give great big bear hugs.

4)The way they look when they are playing with children.

And the number 5 reason women love men (drrrrum rollll)

5)The way their white t-shirt sticks to their chest when they are all sweaty.

Sighs. I gotta go. ;-)

I have completely forgotten all the other comments I meant to make so I guess they will have to wait til tomorrow. Night night.

Mary 6-30-2001 0:45

Well the ice cream was great! The computer still lives, if computers do indeed live, but it has a horrible identity crisis. I knew my choices were to reformat and loose all my carefully guarded software, much of which I don't have backed up or even installable, or to upgrade. It had Win 98 and IE 5.0. I figured well if I upgrade and it still doesn't work then I can reformat. I installed Windows ME, and it still crashed, even worse. I upgraded to IE 5.5 and it got worse. I read all the warnings at Microsoft's home page, then installed IE 6.) BETA. IT WORKED!!! My computer came back to life and is behaving itself nicely. Now the only problem is that there is no more DOS, I will mourn for a few days this great loss, yet my writing machine still has win 98 with underlying DOS so should I ever get lonely for the C:> prompt, I can find it there.

The view from my desk - well I don't write at a desk, I write from my recliner in the living room. Looking straight ahead is my 27 inch TV in a nice cabinet, but just to the right is a very large old fashion picture window, one of those that is about eight feet wide, five feet high, and has normal windows on either side, so we can open them for fresh air. Just outside the window is a hedge I maintain, of growing juniper of some sort, just at the edge of the hedge are my bird feeders - three of them now for summer feeding, it grows to six in the winter when my feathered friends need more to eat. Beyond that my well maintained lawn. Across the street is a rental home. For the first few years we lived here, it belonged to the Jehovah Witnesses, but they recently sold it. The JW's made fine neighbors, always quiet, always pleasant, always afraid of me. Fear, based on their first contact. I think I mentioned this before, but I will repeat my self a bit.

You see, this nice young black lady JW came to my door one day, I had seen her around, and waved to her when we got out of the car, that sort of thing, but this day she was on her mission. She rang the bell, and when I answered, there she stood, dressed in her Sunday-GO-To-meeting cloths. She backed up just a bit to avoid Renn and his snapping teeth, seems he didn't like being disturbed. Gently I pushed him back inside the screen door with my cane, and stood outside the door. First she introduced herself, and identified her church, and mission. All fine with me, then she got down to brass tacks. "What religion are you?" She asked smiling her nicest smile. "Druid." I replied.

"Druid?" She asked, "I have never heard of that religion."

"We worship nature," I explained, "In fact," I continued, "You are standing on my god the grass, SACRALIDGE!" I screamed at her, pointing down to the grass that was crushed beneath her shiny black pumps.

She slowly backed off, to the drive way, then turned, (I think I heard a sob) and rushed back across the street to her church home.

I was never bothered by the JW's again.

Anyhow I think the word got around and soon the house was occupied by a nice young lady who worked at the Nursing Home with my wife. Later she moved out, following our cold winter, explaining that the house was a "cold house". Now cold houses are common in this area, built before the cost of heating fuel became a prime concern with the budget, and were built with little or no insulation. She explained that her heating bill in the winter was over $400.00 per month. (Our little home was just over two hundred). Anyhow the house remained empty, and we enjoyed the peace and tranquility, then they came.

They being a young couple with a huge yellow dog. First they had a small car, then a small car and a big pickup, then a small car, a big pickup and a fantastic speed boat. Then a cab-over pop-up pickup camper appeared in their front yard. Now a motor-home sits along side the house, in addition to an old red pickup, and a fancy sports car. I am wondering just where these young folks get their money. Maybe drugs, na not out of the house anyhow but driving is becoming a chore now with all the outfits they have parked on the street. I think there are like five or six young folks living there, and they do have money to burn.

Oh looked what I did, started out talking about my view. This is getting ridiculous, best shut up and get back to my writing.

Hi to everyone.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-30-2001 0:14

Hallee: Keep visiting your friend with the Down's Syndrome Baby even after you are sure she's ok. It takes awhile to become isolated, and isolated you do become when your child is "different". By one year of age when her baby is markedly different, she will feel very alone. When the other mothers discuss toilet training move over by her side and talk about something else.

My friend had a son with Downs Syndrome who was 12 before he was toilet trained. It depends on the average intelligence, but your friend has a tough mothering job ahead of her. These children can be difficult. They go through the terrible two's sometimes at five or six years old. They outgrow the "tough ages" as slowly as they enter them. Sex is a real problem when they become adolescent. It's never easy to be a mother but imagine toilet training for about 5 years, and trying to educate a person with a child's understanding and all the equipment about sex. It's lonely work. My friend told me.

Rhoda: I definitely agree with you about the medical schools. I think the process of turning people into doctors warps them somehow. Perhaps it's the pressure or too much special treatment once they arrive. As a rule I've found doctors to be selfish center-stage types who think they are "gifted" with great intellect. The best doctors I've found are those who say, "You know your body pretty well, what do YOU think helps?" They listen then add a bit of needed and useful knowledge

Viv 6-29-2001 23:17

Okay - anyone who's around the NB at 22:00 hours, jump into the chatroom and talk ta me.

Christi - have a super trip!

Hallee - glad to hear some good news. I've worked with children with Down's Syndrome, and they are wonderful, angelic people. I taught many kids to swim, and I was a camp counsellor for a few years, too. I had children with Down's in my care fairly often, since I always had such a rapport with just about everyone.
Guess writing wasn't one of those things my mother expected for me to 'do' for a 'living'. She always knew I was such a 'people person', so pictured me as a teacher, or an occupation like that. But being a people person gives me a lot of story fodder. I'm just a pretend loner, at night, in front of my monitor.

A while ago someone asked what the view was like from our desks. I have an interesting view without even looking past my desk! My desk is situated in the corner of my livingroom, with windows surrounding it. There are three large front windows, almost floor to ceiling, and then another, even larger window that wraps around the corner to the side wall. I keep that blind shut most of the time - someone put that stupid 'bathroom window etching' clear mactac crap all over the storm window. NO amount of peeling, picking or cursing will get it to come off. It won't matter for long - these windows don't open so we've ordered replacement windows to be installed (with opening panels) in a few weeks. The kitchen has the same 'wrap around the corner' windows - one of the features that I just loved about this house when we came to the open house.
We had all but the front windows replaced when we moved in, and I thought these ones would be fine. They're in better shape than the other ones were, but it's just awful not being able to open them. THe only ventilation we have in the livingroom is from the opening window in the kitchen, and the front door.
It is a breathtaking view, though. My new front garden that curves along under all the windows, wrapping around the side to match. The lawn, which I've re-seeded, and two huge maples. The maples are like a cute old married couple. They have their upper branches entwined, and from down the street it looks like one tree with two trunks!
Very cool.
The house across the street is the only drawback, but the desk faces the side window anyway. The house across from us needs some lawn help and the front steps should be banned from use. Weed city over there, which also peeves me; I spend a lot of time keeping my luscious lawn green and weed free, and they're breeding dandelions as if on purpose. I wouldn't be shocked if I caught them blowing dandelion fluff in our direction. Not that I dislike the people themselves - it's just lack of care for the exterior of the home, which is puzzling: The guy works at our local home improvement centre! HA HA HA FREE LUMBER! FREE CEMENT! Look out Hoffas of the world.

Wow, I'm babbling. HAve to go and prepare for our garage sale tomorrow. Ho hum.

Heather 6-29-2001 20:19

Rhoda - by the way, I enjoyed seeing your photos of the Trek convention. Love the colour of your hair! You're cute!! :o) (No wink wink stuff, I'm not that 'way')

Teekay! Are you around?

I'm going to go into the chat a little later - when it's about 10 pm EST it's about 2 pm where you are.
See if you can join me in chat then!

It's just about 8 pm now.
We'll see what time pops up on the bottom of this post!

Heather 6-29-2001 19:56

I don't think that's the problem (if I understood it). I can copy and paste everywhere in computer world except in HTML fields. I can even copy from the Notebook. I'm sure I set something wrong when loading Compuserve but they say there is no setting like that. At one time something asked me if I wanted html or text. I didn't know what html was then so text sounded safe. But, I don't remember who belonged to the setting. I have about another year on my contract with them, then there out of here. (A friend says we have DRS syndrome. 'don't remember s***.')

Thanks anyway,

Rosemary 6-29-2001 19:03

My wife has been bugging me to start up our aquarium again, and now you've got me thinking seriously about it. We've always had a variety - the zebra danios, neons, and her favorite - the kuhli loaches. Never thought she'd like those, 'cause they look a lot like little snakes. A guy down the road has koi in an outside pool (he brings them in for the winter) and inside he has a total of about 1000 gallons of fresh and salt water tanks.

howard 6-29-2001 17:17


I have to agree with your assessment. Yes, the HMO's have brought all this on. But consider the fact that these organizations are for-profit companies. If they do not make their profits they cannot provide heath care. They have to pay their nurses and doctors and staff while at the same time providing increasingly broader services to their clients. Incidently, the Senate did vote yesterday that employers cannot be sued unless they directly determine the treatment an employee can or cannot get.

I suppose we cannot go back to the old days, but I really feel that insurance companies are one of the reason we are in this mess right now. The whole set-up of the heath care delivery system is greviously flawed because those that recieve the benefits do not directly pay for them, but go through a middleman. That system in itself limits accountablity.

Heath care is rationed. If you live in Canada or in Great Britain, the government rations it for you. If you live in the United States and belong to an HMO, the HMO rations it. If your system is entirely free market, finances ration it. I think medicine is bringing forth some amazing treatments and cures to so many diseases like diabetes and cancer. At the same time, no one can keep up the needed supplies of immunizations, i.e. the flu vaccine or anthrax for military personel. Also everyone wants the state of the art new treatments that are very costly--costly because the research that went into developing that new treatment was expensive and has to be paid off. Somehow you need a balance between market forces and govenmental help to be sure that research can continue and that those who need heath-care can get it.

But in heath-care as well as in other areas of our lives, let us not allow the lawyers dominate. There are other ways to hold people accountable. Money from law suits helps to compensate, but it does not bring people back from the dead or insure a safer system. Though many doctors who should get sued do, there are so many other doctors who get sued for things beyond their control. My solution is get rid of people who are incompetent. Very few dangerous doctors are ever completely stopped from practicing. The doctors organizations do not police themselves. A doctor who loses his license in one state can just get up and go to another and create the same havoc there.

Also, open up the med schools to more people. Every year good students with B averages are turned away from medical school because of the small numbers medical schools can accomodate. Then on the other hand, we cannot get enough doctors so we import them from all over the world. I saw so many worthy pre-meds rejected when I was in graduate school. If I thought the patient's bill of rights would solve these inadequacies and problems I would be all for it. I just think there are other and better ways to go about improving the heath care system that few people will not consider.

I had better get back to writing. If I were now doing what I should be doing, I would not have the time to sit on here and save the American health care system. I can't fix health care, but I can write a book and potentially sell it.

Rhoda 6-29-2001 16:44


Good afternoon!

He said, "Push. Push Hard!"

I did and groaned.

He said. "Okay, on your stomach. Now lift your legs...and push against my hand."

I did and groaned. "Hurts Doc. Back of the knee."

"Okay, you have seem to have some damage in your right knee. It seems to be mild or else the nurses would be here by now."

He sat at a small table and began writing as he talked. "Go home, get horizontal, elevate the knee with a pillow or something. No sitting, on the couch or bed...but horizontal. Bathroom trips only, and have food brought to you."


This alone, the food thing, is hysterical and indicates doctors from India do have a sense of humor. In our home everyone eats on a different schedule. And getting someone away from the computer, TV, video game, playing with the dog, sunbathing, or "Dad, gotta go to town for a minute. Be right back!" for food is as impossible as me writing the Great American Novel. Ain't gonna happen. I firmly believe I will die alone, in bed, surrounded by my family, except they will be either sleeping, watching TV or playing a video game.

"Mom. There are some funky looking dudes in dads bedroom. Both have horns and tails and are dressed in red long johns."

"Really," my wife says turning the page of her magazine. "Probably some of his hoodlum friends out on a lark. Do we have any donuts left, the ones you hid from dad?"


"No work?" I asked the big Indian doctor, sweat beading up on my forehead Then the sentence of doom descended upon me. Something I always dreaded.

He grinned, "Home rest Randall. No work this week. I'll give you a note for NAPA and a prescription. Go home."


I hate to be at home ill...especially trapped with "Bed rest." I didn't used to be that way. Would call in sick when I was 20 at the drop of a hat (or beer bottle). An old boss at TX DOT ran a computer check on sick leave usage, related to days of the week. He called me into his office one afternoon.

"Randall, I can depend upon tou any day of the week...except Monday and Friday. On Friday you are getting drunk with your buddies and Monday you have a hangover."

Maybe this is a maturity problem, the dislike related to staying at home. I have a solid 38 years on my social security account. Perhaps I fear the end of life is in sight and feel I need as much activity as possible to forestall the event? Don't like staying at home? Feel trapped? Brainwashed into the WORK IS GOOD FOR YOU program?

Wait! I smell donuts!!!!!

Gotta sign off and hobble away!!!!


Randall 6-29-2001 15:53

Well, Howard, I said, "Um, Hailey? Feel like a trip to the pet store? Your fish went for a swim down the drain. I'm sorry!"

They were zebra daniels. Very quick little fish.

Heather 6-29-2001 14:55

"Um, Squiggy, Mitch and Myrtle have all gone swimming--out to sea. Er, would you like an ice cream cone now?" (Hold up, Jerry! We're all comin' too!)

Mel 6-29-2001 14:47

HEATHER -- How do you explain to a kid that you've just flushed poor Squiggy the goldfish down the crapper?

howard 6-29-2001 14:43

AMERICO - Just received this request at work. I think it's Portugese: "Favor informarem que acao devo tomar em relacao aos seus usuarios abaixo listados." I think it says something like "Please review this list of userids and let me know what to do with them..." correct?

howard 6-29-2001 14:40

Ever wanted to kill an inanimant thing? How about your computer, ever wanted to kill it? Well I just about beat the damn thing to death with my cane this morning. Like I said, we were having cable trouble, then the internet went down last night, well it came back up this morning, as did the cable, for awhile anyhow. But my stupid computer kept dumping me from the internet, like every two or three minutes. Ever had that happen? Well the screach of the modem redialing and screaching and redialing ... So not to let my anger flow in unconstructive ways, I simply took the cover off the machine and tore it to bits. It is back to gather now, and seems to be behaving. I have no idea what the hell happened to it, but it is much better now. If it does this again, I think I will fire the motherboard and install a new one, maybe one of those with, oh say an one GIG processor, with maybe 512 meg of ram. Ah for pipe dreams, if I do it, my income will maybe allow me to get a new socket 7 mmotherboard and put all my old junk in it. Maybe I will just let it be, and buy an ice cream cone.

THATS IT, I need an ice cream cone. See you all later, I am off to the Sugar Shack.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-29-2001 14:33

By the way, Mel - cute shortie! Oh, poor turtles. Hmmmm. TMNT, huh?
I did the same thing with fish, changing their water in the sink (forgot to put the plug in). The only thing was that they were my daughter's fish - not mine. *oh nooooo!*

Heather 6-29-2001 14:32

Top of a lovely Friday afternoon to everyone. Please ignore my sweat; if it drips onto the keyboard, just ignore the 9384-3Q94($#%*_ FRAZZLE.

Can one get a shock from a keyboard? I haven't spilled any coffee into it yet, so I guess it's just one of those things I'll probably find out LATER.

Probably when I'm right about to write the final, closing sentence of my novel!


(knock on as many different types of wood as you can find, quick!)

Yes, thanks Mel. I won't blow smoke in anyone's face! It was a half-decent-smelling cigar, kept in the freezer so it was nice and fresh. BUT, I do understand that icky feeling when walking into a room where there have been cigars burning. It doesn't bother me if I'M smoking one, though.

Mary - perhaps this weekend I'll scan in some new photos, if you wouldn't mind posting a few photo pages for me?
I've got a few cutie pictures. Even one of my chameleon when he was a teensie little baby. Same green colour of that mantis I saw years ago at the pool! I have some really nice shots of my kids to post, and *groan* I could post one of me. My husband is camera-shy to the highest degree - any photos of him I get are from sneaking up on him! Not always the best pic. But, my husband looks much like my son, with dark hair. Oh, and of course, facial hair and the beginnings of crow's feet! (Laugh lines - my favourite term for wrinkles)
When I get crow's feet I'll just call them CRONE's feet.
Ha ha ha ha ha!

My birth mother and the women in her family all age very slowly. Christine (my birth mother) is now 44 years old, and looks like she just turned 30. Her mother is even more stunning - she's in her late 60's and I swear she looks 30 as well. My great grandmother on their side lived to be 104. The men on that side don't usually live half so long. Her husband died at 54 (and he was a few years older than his wife), and my birth grandfather lived to be about 55. When Mark mentioned his high blood pressure, I was reminded of the men in the family on my birth mother's side. They all had high blood pressure and died of heart attacks. Not a way I'd wish to go, personally. Last time I had a blood shakedown for a physical (ick, hate them) I had cholesterol that was looking close to the high end. HOW? My eating habits are very healthy. I guess I have been sitting in this darned chair too often for too long - need more exercise.

I also need more air conditioning if I am going to get more exercise! I am not good with heat. I wilt like a plucked Trillium. (If anyone has ever picked a Trillium, it wilts in about three minutes after being picked). I picked one once before I realized what it was! Boy, I was truly disappointed that it didn't make it to a vase before it keeled over.

I'm rambling and taking up space. Pardon me for being selfish. *smack*

Heather 6-29-2001 14:27


Hey there, writing fanatics! (a fondly greeting) :-)

GARIESS: Your short story gave me the shivers... :-{ Poor Franny... I hate to ask, was this based on a childood memory of yours? If so, poor you... (((HUGS))) if you need 'em. If not, save 'em for a rainy day when Fred runs out of whiskey, heh heh!

JERRY: Ah. Forms...a pet peeve of mine too. Tax forms, insurance forms, forms to complete to let "them" know you haven't changed any pertinent information but you have to give the info to them all again anyway so they can update their files...sheesh! How about census forms? Yes, I'm a person. I live HERE. That's all they need to know!!!

TINA: Um...rattlesnake eggs? Oh-ah, GARIESS! Have fred bring over the whiskey! QUICK!! (Just in case.) And Tina, I, um, think I'll take a raincheck on "the black widow up close." On second thought, keep the raincheck, too!! I'll wave to ya from the street. :-) Uh, we can still go biking 'round the 'burbs...when you're done working, right? :-) We had a DISCOVERY ZONE near us for awhile, very popular for birthday parties - shoes off when you come through the door, then all the kids went nuts climbing, sliding, crawling through tubes, etc, till pizza time. The place was hot, noisy, smelly (from perspiring little bodies and no shoes, I reckon) but the kids loved it.

VIV: Ohh, what a horrible waste of a chocolate bar, not even to be able to smell that rich, deep cocoa while you're eating it...ooh, gross, Viv!! (I'm not putting that line in MY novel; YOU can use it.) :-) Loved your shortie!

HOP! :-) Hope your insomnia has been treated properly and you're now back on a normal sleep schedule. It's so difficult to do anything when you're sleep-deprived. Re: "American culture" - a term I avoid: firstly, because "America" consists of North, Central, and South America - several countries, you see. The U.S. Americans, to which "culture" I belong, really have no culture; everyone is determined to be so "individual" with their "freedom" that we haven't got a decent "culture" of any sort...Our sad state of affairs. But we celebrate the MANY cultures, still, from all over the world, that have become part of the "American Culture" due to immigration to the U.S. over the years. To a degree, many cultures in one country are okay, but mostly, I think we're not allowing our cultures to truly mix and become ONE NATION. Personally, I feel that Native American culture--the one our ancestors so arrogantly crushed when they invaded this beautiful; land--should be THE "American culture," if ever there could be just ONE culture here.

HOWARD: Pearl B. -- hee hee! :-)

RHODA: Gold Rush CA. - "Cool!" :-) I like that period of history, crazy as it must have been... "GOLD in the hills? Fred! Stock up the whiskey- we're a-goin' pannin'!"

CHRISTI: Enjoy your trip! :-)

JESSICA: Hi! :-)

HEATHER: 31,000 words?! WOW!!! Keep up the great work! :-) Just don't blow your cigar smoke in my direction, thank you very much! I can't smell any passing chocolate bars if you do... :-)

Oops. Forgot to submit my shortie - here 'tis, real short (for me, anyway!):


Beth awoke with sunlight dancing on her face. Today was extra special: her fourth birthday! She sprang out of bed and hurried downstairs. She wondered what surprises might greet her today.

No one else was up yet, but she wandered into the kitchen. There! She gasped excitedly and ran over to the breakfast table. A round fishbowl sat there, with a birthday bow tied around its top. And through the glass she could see...two cute little green turtles! All her own!

"Happy birthday, honey," her mom appeared behind her and got Beth's first hug.

"Whatcha gonna name 'em?" Her dad received Beth's second hug.

"Um...Mitch and Myrtle Turtle!" Beth's eyes gleamed with happiness.

"Okay. Now you have to take care of them every day - feed them, and change the water to keep it fresh for them."

"I will, Mom."

Beth loved to take her turtles from the bowl and hold them in her hand, watching them crawl slowly across her palms. Then she would carefully replace them in their fishbowl home and feed them as her parents had shown her. She was glad she was a big girlnow and could take care of her pets.

All too soon it seemed time to change the water in the fishbowl. Beth carefully carried the bowl to the bathroom, her eyes on Mitch and Myrtle, making sure they didn't get jostled too much in the journey. Then ever so gently, she tipped the bowl to let the old, dirty water run into the toilet. Almost done now, and then she'd give her turtles some fresh water to--oh! Oh no! Faster than she could blink, the turtles had slid--plop! plop!--into the toilet with the water--and right down the drain beyond her sight.

Stunned, mortified, Beth felt the hot tears sliding down her cheeks. Her turtle friends were gone.

When Beth grew up and had a family of her own, her little sons liked to play with action figures called "Ninja Turtles." If fantasies could become real, perhaps little Mitch and Myrtle Turtle of her childhood had slid into the very sewer where the mysterious magical goo had turned four ordinary turtles into the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Maybe....nahhh! Beth still watches too many movies.

Mel 6-29-2001 13:10

ROSEMARY - Make sure you're clicking on the right "COPY" button. I know with my WORD and DESKTOP settings there will be at times two window headers showing, and I've more than once clicked on the wrong one, and wondered where my stuff went. WORD is pretty good, but I do like some of the features in WP (like the watermark, f'rinstance).

howard 6-29-2001 12:53

JERRY wrote "those are employers who care for their workers" Sounds like my son-in-law's new employer. THeir coverage (effective from day 1 on the job) is fully paid, covers the whole family, and even includes up to $130/year for health club dues or $65/year towards health-related home gym equipment. This is not you average employer, or your average HMO. Actually it's not an HMO either.

MARK - I'm glad they caught the BP in time to avoid serious problems! been to too many hospitals (and funerals) lately, and don't want to lose another friend!

howard 6-29-2001 12:48

Morning all,

Well, I installed MS Word this morning, (promised WordPerfect it was my favorite) copied a short story, tried to paste it into the Short Story section. Nothing! So--now I know for sure it has to be either CompuServe or Windows 98. CS says it's not them but they're sending an updated version anyway. sometime. I haven't been patient enough to contact Microsoft yet.

While I was in the Short Story section, I read Jessica's dragon story. Excellent. A little gory in sections (I get misty about animals more than people) but a real page turner. I can see room for a few small edits but overall it's good.

Tell us about the asylum. Sounds interesting and should fit right into the HMO discussions. Also, welcome back. You've been gone for quite a while

Thanks :->> Hope you like my story. It seems to need a certain amount of clarifying(?). a number of people have missed the point and no one except one friend noticed a play on a famous actor's name.

Fine story. Was hard (emotionally) to read the first time. I'm going to have to come back another time to go through the rewrite.

We have a number of different kinds and sizes of preying mantis in this area of Texas, but what is really scary though harmless (they say) are the 'walking sticks' They have a long stick like body and skinny scratchy leggs. They can be as much as 6 inches long and they just stand there and look at you. Thinking.

Due to the duck and chicken infestation, we seldom see either of those beasties on our property.

BTW, I'm sure those hissing ducks are ducks because we have seven geese. Those mean birds hiss some, but mostly they scream at us. very noisy birds. they bite!

Got to go now.

Rosemary 6-29-2001 12:46


Thank you for reading the story and for your thoughts.


gariess 6-29-2001 12:36

Rhoda - Ok, now let me play the devils advocate. If I sue the HMO, and the Federal Government says I can only get, oh say fifty thousand punitive damages, then the HMO knows that it is safe to keep me from having a necessary procedure that costs anything over fifth thousand dollars, it would be cost effective for them to do that. They would do it not just with me, but with anyone who they feel it would be cost effective, knowing that only one out of one hundred who they turn down will sue. It isn't just the trial lawyers will be losers should that legislation pass, it will be the public at large. I agree that you shouldn't be able to sue your employer over the insurance he buys, after all insurance is a fringe BENEFIT, not a right, but I can't agree with a cap on punitive damages, unless it is very high, say fifty million or so. The Fed has to send a message to the HMO's and Insurance companies that they best do what they are paid for, they must fulfill their contractual obligations and furnish those who they insure with proper medical care, not that their number crunchers say in necessary, but what the treating physician says is necessary.

I guess overall, I don't think there should have to be legislation to cover this, but the HMO's have brought this on, not the politicians, or the lobyists. Like they used to tell us in business law, a contract is a contract. The problem is that employers now look not at the contractual coverage, but at the cost. To keep costs down the HMO's must cut back on that they pay out, so they can offer the employer the best deal. I know there are employers out there who do look at the coverage, those are employers who care for their workers. A new problem that has emerged lately, caused by this whole HMO thing is normal insurance companies are converting to HMO status, much like Mr. Jeffers, without asking their customers what they desire. Such has happened here recently with Blue Cross Blue Shield. They simply mailed notice to all their insured that they were now an HMO.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-29-2001 11:30

Your shortie was fantastic. It pulled me along and I was suprised by the ending! Great work!

How lucky we were that you had a smart doctor and someone to catch on it wasn't just a sinus headache.
Very scary story and something I now know to watch for. My husband has high blood pressure sometimes.
Thank you very much for sharing that.

Barnabas: TMy dragon isn't quite ready to make her debute! Thanks for the interest though.

Heather: The preying mantis' here are green in the early summer and brown in the fall. Usually
our really big ones are brown. Ours are huge but they do bite and you have to be careful.
I let my husband pick them up, but I kind of like them.

Jessica: Neat! From the dragon's perspective. I like the viewpoint. Nice descriptions.
I just did a first read through. I'll look closer in the morning on Sunday. If I don't finish,
I will look again and try for Tuesday. Hey everyone, I don't remember Jessica, but that could just
be my problem with remembering things. Lately I've been loosing full cups of coffee! I'm
also doing a dragon story but it's definitely a completely different tale! Dragons are like
bears...they inspire stories.

Viv 6-29-2001 9:44

Thank you, everyone, for all of your thoughts and prayers. Good news about Lauren. The pediatric cardiologist said he doesn't have to do anything about the heart condition for a year, and they originally told Pam that she couldn't take her home for about 10 days because of her lung development. But, they told her yesterday that
she could bring her home today as long as they can get the jaundice (sp?) under control. Such an answer to prayer - and thank you again.

Pam and Rick (her husband) are both thrilled with Lauren. They decided that if God felt they could handle it, then obviously they could.

Holli is home - and chipper. I snuck away from church for a little while last night after my vbs class was over and Kaylee still had an hour to go. We had a nice, though short, visit - I provide her with comic relief, she says. (One wonders if that's a compliment or not - haha)

TINA: Yes - it's called Discovery Zone - it's like a huge McDonalds playland - all sorts of slides and tubes and ropes to climb - with little rooms sectioned off where you can have birthday parties and such. Or, there's Chucky Cheese pizza place - similar, with games (all sorts of video cames and skill games) - you win tickets with the skill games and cash them in for prizes.

HOP: A normal romance has a relationship that involves two people - and all of the conflict, etc., that happens until they end up happily ever after. It usually has a love scene or two, sexual tension, etc. A Christian romance involves three people, the man - the woman - and God. God is an integral part of their life. Also, if you have a love scene, IF you do, it's very low key and only after marriage - and you tone the sexual tension down quite a bit, and focus more on the warmth of love.

GARIESS: I know - but it was to a point I didn't have any other choice, even though I knew that my decision would just accentuate her condition. I'm very sad for her, and also mourn the loss of a good friend. I hope she gets better.

Okay - that's it - back to lurking. (Hi, everyone, by the way.)

Hallee 6-29-2001 7:10

I know, I always do this. Here is the corrected version.


A long time ago in early June five boys climbed into a small boat and pushed off to row across the river to the opposite shore. They were boisterous boys. The oldest was barely fifteen. Their plan was to cross the inlet and play on the dry mud flats on the far shore at Brayton’s point.

Franny was thirteen, the best little infielder they had. Ronny was fourteen and also a fair ball player, but there were too few of them this late afternoon for baseball. Frank, the originator of the watery excursion was the oldest at fifteen and appointed himself captain of the craft. The brothers clowned and cavorted, ignoring Frank’s attempt to establish order, and Ronny rowed with the stubby oars as the tide carried them along.

Ronny turned the boat into the channel where the water was choppy, a ten minute row in this tide would see them across to the mud flats. In the meantime the brothers made the kind of hilarity that kids do at their age. Fart jokes and other irreverent references to bodily functions were a big
favorite among the group. Frank seized the occasion to splash water on Ronny’s shirt and Ronny retaliated with a gentle slap of an oar. Threats of castration and watery
abandonment were tossed about freely as the day lengthened and the boat moved swiftly in the tide.

The choppy water slapped at the sides and the boat began to take on water a little at a time. The two younger brothers exhorted each other hilariously in spite of Frank’s
unconvincing commands. The tide was more in charge of the course of the boat than anyone in it, and as Ronny rowed vigorously the water continued to swamp them. At a
point when the far shore was getting close and with scarcely an inch of freeboard left, further steerage was impossible.

Frank and his brothers agreed that with the shore about thirty yards away they may as well let the boat float to ground on its own and swim the rest of the way. In a few yards the tallest of them would be able to stand. Franny wasn’t too keen on this idea, but with only seconds to act he was in the water with the rest. It was then that he began to panic. Ronny had started to swim with the others when Franny yelled out that he couldn’t swim. Taken by surprise, Ronny called to Frank to help him with Franny. Frank yelled back that he had to get his brothers in safely and exhorted Ronny to do his best.

Ronny was a fair swimmer and he felt he could get Franny the few yards to safety. The first thought that occurred to Ronny was to extend an oar to him and let Franny hang
on while he pulled him to shore. This only served to give Franny something to pull himself along, and he grabbed Ronny around the shoulders. It was no good. The boy was too difficult to manage. He pulled Ronny below the water at each attempt with the oar. Ronny struggled to hold him up, but they were making no progress toward the shore. After drifting along in the tide for a short while Ronny was exhausted with the effort of struggling with Franny.

Ronny, at last, convinced Franny to climb onto the overturned boat and stay with it till it drifted to shore. It would only take a few minutes in the incoming tide for the boat to come ashore and he tried to convince Franny that he would be okay. The thought seemed to calm him and he climbed onto the boat with a strong effort by Ronny to
hoist him up. He felt the greatest relief at seeing Franny hugging the bottom of the boat, and after making him agree to stay atop the boat he swam to shore.

In scarcely a minute he was on the beach with Frank and the younger kids. All the mirth that had gripped them earlier was gone. When they turned their attention back to the water, they could not see the boat. It was a moment that changed Ronny’s life forever. The most chilling and awesome feeling he would ever know overcame him as the four of them called Franny’s name into the relentlessly darkening gloom. No answer ever came.

The boat was picked up the following morning when the dry clothes were returned to the farmhouse where the boys had reported their awful story to the rest of their world,
a world from which they wanted desperately what comfort they could find.

It was never decided that the decision to leave Franny with the boat was the right one. There were countless and varying accounts by people of Franny’s swimming skills. Some claimed he could have made the distance easily as it was no greater than they had seen him do often. Others held that Franny couldn’t swim a stroke. It was a bitter fact for Ronny that such an athletically inclined boy in his environment hadn’t mastered swimming. His remorse and doubt were relentless.

The townspeople were not inclined to press the matter and it was declared an accident, a tragedy over which no action would be taken. Franny’s lifeless body was recovered late on the following day. It seemed to Ronny that the body would come home to be a symbol of his failure. An object of ceremony and a tangible condemnation, it would lie in a casket and everyone could look upon it and see the fruit of folly and the currency of guilt. It was to be a long summer.

* * *

The old man doesn’t live on Gardner’s Neck any more. In the fifty years that followed, he made occasional trips to that same shore in early June. He felt the certainty that this
would be his last as he squeezed a spray of nitro into his mouth and trudged among the large rocks along the inlet.

The visit was not for the purpose of contemplating what might have been. That had ended long ago. He thought about the way things had been when life was so uncomplicated. How there was nothing to worry about but when you were going to hit one over the fence in that small ball field. Would Freddy Lapointe get his brothers car on a Friday night so they could go to Bristol for pizza and chat up girls from a different town? How perfect it all was, that subteen utopia wherein the answers to everything would be found when the questions came up. It had all ended the night Franny drowned. The penalty to be paid was that they had to stop believing the myth and move on. They had to accept that things weren’t fixed in their favor any more, and responsibility for their actions would be something they would need to take a hand in from now on. That a happy ending to everything in their lives was not guaranteed, and that sometimes bad stuff was going to happen.

The maples on the Neck were still as glorious as he remembered. The early flowers were in bloom. June was as splendid as it ever was. The farm on Brayton’s point has long since been sacrificed in favor of a large Electric Plant, but Ron can still see the spot on the far shore where he and the others had come aground on that terrible night all those years ago.

In the twighlight, in his solitude, The old man
listened for the sound of young voices in the darkening distance across the eternal water.


gariess 6-29-2001 4:24

Not really going yet.

Got a really good up-close look at the biggest mantis I'd ever seen just before I blew her 30 feet horizontally~!

Most that I've ever seen were of a more 'brownish' colour, and only about 2 inches in height. If you hold up your hand, from tip of your middle finger to the wrist, well - it was still a fraction taller. 'Her' head was about the size of a small egg! WILD. Actually, what did creep me out the most was the ability to move its head on that wire-thin neck. UGH! I wouldn't mind feeding it crickets - I catch crickets with tweezers all the time to feed my chameleon. He's a hog and eats about 15 big fat ones a day.

:o) Poor Jiminy.

Heather 6-29-2001 2:40

Hi Jessica, I remember you. I'll have a look tomorrow some time. Glad to see you popping back in.

Praying Mantis. Their heads have that 'Communion' look to them - you know, like the cover of the book.
I was teaching a swimming class (of about 8 kids, shallow end) and they were all lined up against the ledge of the pool, facing me, a little way out into the pool. We were doing some 'bobbing'. A sadistic kind of teaching tool where the kids have to put their hands on their heads and duck under the water and get their ears under and everything...
As the kids were bobbing away, I saw the most gigantic, hideously green insect STANDING behind one of my kids' heads, on the edge of the deck. It stood about 6 or 7 inches high, and its head moved, following the kids' movements. I nearly screamed, but covered my mouth just in time. "Okay, kids, that's enough bobbing. Let's swim over here to Debbie's class - quickly now! - and she'll watch you for a minute, right Debbie?"
I hopped out of the pool (far away from small green intruder with mean-ass looking pincers) and grabbed the hose. I nearly split that insect in half blowing it off the deck and out the patio doors, fireman style!
I was fascinated with the praying mantis, but not too keen on it grappling with one of my students! It had been standing within inches of us for who knows how long.

Really going now.
ta ta! (tap tap, cigar)

Heather 6-29-2001 2:35

I don't know, Gariess, how short are your shorts?

Hop - If you don't answer posts from two months ago there might be a little less confusion in the NB when you mention something out of context. Logan? To the wolves? Reference, please. Does not compute. Actually, a lot of your post does not compute. Perhaps it's the cultural thought gradient, or some such cablooie. GRAVITY is merely a force that can pull one object toward another. It is a physical force. Time is not. The other aspect you're looking for is 'SPACE'. Meaning dimension (as in three dimensional) - or 'volume', or think of it like this:

Space, in the above sense, is not a physical 'force' either. It is merely a mass, a density, or lack thereof. A stage, for the little 3-D people to dance upon.

Maybe I'm just not catching onto your cryptic drifts, Barnabas, and maybe it's just the beer I'm drinking and the stogie I'm smoking in celebration!

Yes, that's right! I'm celebrating 31,000 words tonight.

Oooh, wine-tipped. Pblllthaw! When you tear off the end-bit in your teeth sometimes the wet of your lip gathers tobacco later on. Gorgeous!

Tina - as you may well have guessed, I've been an official tomboy for as long as I've played with hotwheels. That's like, forever, dude.
Loved the piece about your Grandfather. Stories such as yours are harder to write than they appear, even.

A lot of awesome stories tonight.

Here's a little um, well, a little moment:

"...and as you can see by the illustration--"
"Uh, there are several common shapes for this type of clay vessel. This is the classic..."
"Is there a question?"
"Yes. When are you going to notice that your shirt's mis-buttoned?"
Lump found in throat. The classic lump, but not in its regular, grainy format. This one's super-dry: the unswallowable. "Oh, right about now."
My shirt was mis-buttoned to reveal a few spaces. I was displaying the valley where some of those lovely clay numbers might one day be discovered.


Heather 6-29-2001 2:22

i posted here some last summer, and got some realy good advice, but i didn't feel right posting again without putting in a few words in the notebook. I feel that just saying "i posted something, look at it." would be rude, since you probibly don't remember who i am. But i have posted a short story and would like some help editing it. Thank you

Jessica 6-29-2001 2:06

TINA: We have a couple places like that around here. One of them is totally awesome. I will send you an email about it tomorrow. I would do it right now, but it is 2am and I wouldn't do it justice.

Long live air conditioners.

Back to read shorties in the morning. AND post my own, ;-)

Mary 6-29-2001 1:59


Wow, I almost couldn't load the posting page. Wierd.

Oh Viv! Keep one for a few days, and feed it. They’re a voracious bug. They’re the only bug that can turn it’s neck, and it’s a most unsettling feeling to be watched by a praying mantis!
Nice shortie. Reminds me of my grandma’s house, where the bed smelled funny. Not bad, just funny. She makes awesome pancakes.

Oops. Gariess, I meant Mastercard. I really did. Had a brain burp though.
The most annoying thing about the ‘binocular mask’ is that, if you really tried to do that with a pair of binoculars, you’d have a horrible view, if anything focussed right at all, and the sides would be all blacked out. I sell binoculars, and I’m always having to correct people on how to use them.
Your shortie is so poignant, and sad. Hope it’s fiction.

Christi, have a good visit!

Here’s a question for anyone here with young kids – preschool to about 8 years old. Where you live, is there any kind of indoor playground that you can take young kids to? Not like a community centre, or a daycare, but a business where you pay a small fee and you take your kid(s) in, and you stay and supervise them? Maybe with playground toys, tables of games and hands on toys and books, and a snack bar? Where you can do birthday parties, or family outings, or just go on rainy/cold/yucky days to spend some quality time with your kids? I’m doing a bit of research here, not for a story but for a real business. E-mail me if you don’t want to use up NB space.

Now the dishes are calling. (sigh)

Tina 6-29-2001 0:56


Pearl Bailey is a wonderful black singer.

Debra 6-29-2001 0:36


Hi peeps! Well, some good news on my end finally. I'm going to see my newly married little sister in her new town on Saturday! Yipee! I'm so excited I can barely contain myself. I didn't know if I'd be able to go until today, and ... yipee!!!!!!!! I won't be back until late on Tuesday, so I'll see y'all on Wednesday. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Mel, Yeah, I think you're right. Actually I thought maybe I could get away with it because I saved her lines 'til the end. Not sure how I'll fix it.

Howard! Succeeds!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA! Gasp! Beakless bird!
Okay, the last one I don't get. Probably it's a requirment that I know who Pearl Bailey is, which I don't. Poop.

Rosemary, Thank you so much! I'm heading over right now to read yours. How embarrassing that I didn't notice the new shorties. And by the way, when you're gone, you ARE missed!

Maaaaaaan, I guess it pays to advertise! ;) Thanks, Heather, a whole heapload! But I'd say you were the one who's the utmost in enthusiasm. Grin.

TEEKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm glad you're back, matey! I've been jumping in and out lately too, so don't you feel guilty in the least.
And oh wow, thank you! Man, I love your compliments. Puffs me out about a mile. :)

Hallee, Prayers and hugs for you and your friends. I have no words to express how awful I feel for them. I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Jack, Can't wait for Fran's input. Hi, Fran, if you're out there! I feel like we've spoken before, Jack's said such nice things about you. Welcome!

Tina, What a beautiful shortie. Thank you for sharing your memories of your Grandfather.

Wow, Viv, that was vivid and lovely!

Gariess, Your shortie was incredibly sad. It's fiction, right? I hope? It would kill me if it wasn't. In any case it was very well done!

Hop, I hope everything is okay. I'm glad to see you posting here again. Welcome back.

Mark, My gosh, you scared me to death! Thank you for posting that, I'm tearing up from the openness of your post. Actually at the openness of so many here. Thanks everyone. It makes me happy to know you. Giant bear {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} to you, Mark, and to everyone.

See you guys on Wednesday. Be good to yourselves.

Christi 6-29-2001 0:23


I was going to finish off my day without a smile. NOw I won't have to.

Pearl Bailey heeeeeheeeeeheeeee ahhaahaaahaa

Thanks I needed that.

Pearl Bailey


Oh okay I feel better.

Debra 6-29-2001 0:07

***Rhoda (Not a straggler)***


I am currently working on a novel about gold rush California. I am still into the first chapter. I had five written, but decided to start it over.


The way the press describes it, the Patient's Bill of Rights bill sounds great. Who isn't in support of greater accountablity for the HMO's? It is the other things involved that make it unacceptable to those of conservative tastes. As it stands, if you get bad care from your HMO you will have the right to sue the employer who provides it for you. That is not right. Furthermore it will encourage many smaller employers to drop coverage altogether. Also there is no cap on the ammounts you can sue for. If everyone can sue than there will be billions and billions of dollars out of the system and unavaliable for healthcare. HMO's will have to cut back on health care.

Personally, I would say, get rid of the bloody insurance companies. The system of using a go-between from the provider to yourself is part of what is costing the system. Back when I was a kid, we had no insurance, only major medical, and going to the doctor for a sinus or ear infection was not a bank breaking proposal then. The other bad part is law suits. Already law suits have increased the cost of medicine for everyone. Also consider that the American Association of Trial Lawyers have put a lot of money and effort into this bill. They will be the big winners out of all this.


Take your time. Just glad you are OK and back among us.


Good to see you again.

I agree about celebrities being role models. Unfortunately Hollywood is not a place known for its high ethics--an old screenwriter friend of mine had much to say about that. I agree with you; to not honor your word or a contract is terrible and dishonorable. But I have no way of knowing if Kate Mulgrew had a good excuse or not. Because of that I have to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that there really was a family emergency.

No one thinks the Japanese inherently bad for Pearl Harbor. The action was not honorable, but that was many years ago under a different government and in a different time. Once the Japanese were fairly beaten, they had nothing to atone for. There is not a nation on the face of the earth who has inherently good people or inherently bad people. People are motivated by the values they are taught and by the pressures and stresses they experience. Given the right circumstances the US or any other nation could embrace a Hitler. Such events and situations should make us all diligent and careful in our judgments. It should humble us. I believe the best insurance against such outrages is every person's individual sense of right and wrong and conscience. When individual morality and strength of character break down then a nation is vulnerable to great evil. No matter what system of government a nation has and no matter how inherently fair it is, it can always be perverted. It is not the laws on the books which protect us from evil. Those are only a reflection of our values. It is the laws within our hearts that are our ultimate protection.

The bomb saved several million Japanese lives as well as 1,000,000 American lives. That is the estimated count of casulties for an American invasion of Japan. Before the surrender, Japanese civilians and servicemen alike would die before being captured by Americans. Japan had every opportunity to surrender. Still it was a horrible thing to have to do, dropping those bombs, and the United States will always bear the blame for being the first nation to do that. Hopefully we will be the last, though I doubt it.

Got to go. I hear thunder outside.

Rhoda 6-28-2001 23:52

Okay, I wasn't gonna, but now I gotta...

I know this guy - his father is black and his mother is Japanese. Every year on December 7th he gets the urge to attack Pearl Bailey.

howard 6-28-2001 23:30


TEEKAY -- You had bulbs in your shorts? Well, "welcome back" is the important part.

GS -- nice story

HEATHER -- well done

HALLEE -- Thoughts and prayers

My shorty -- I slightly modified an email I sent this afternoon --

From: Mark Lenihan
To: All Employees

Subject: AdvantEdge
Sent: 6/28/01 1:17 PM
Importance: Normal
OK you guys. I've seen some materials on the AdvantEdge program, but don't recall any testimonials. I have one.

Yesterday for AdvantEdge testing I got cholesterol and blood pressure checked. The woman who checked my BP said, "Wow! That's awful." I could see Kim at the counter look my way. I thought, "Wonderful. Not only does this dimwit give me news I don't want to deal with, she announces it to this whole end of the building." She had me sit aside for five minutes and we tested it again after I'd had a chance to rest. It was higher. I really don't do well with this stuff. She asked if I had been having headaches. "Yes. Sinus." No. Blood pressure.

She told me to go right home, call the doctor, and get in right away. I got a haircut, some breakfast, and shopped for my wife. By the time I got home I was ready to start dealing with it. Called the doctor, appointment tomorrow morning (today as I write this).

Same thing in the doctor's office. Still high, but reduced a bit from yesterday. He reinforced my fear that blood pressure high enough to give me headaches could burst a blood vessel there and cause a stroke. Gee, thanks. {sigh} I dropped my prescription off at the pharmacy on the way in to work and will start on it tomorrow morning.

It's premature to say that AdvantEdge testing saved my life, but it's pretty certain that the testing headed off a stroke.


Mark 6-28-2001 22:42

Gotta wonder about that story I have been working on, the one about the solar flares. Today - while sitting here reading the notebook, the cable TV just went - no sputter, no nothing, just snow and rushing sound on the speakers - then my internet connection went bonkers, started redialing every so often all by itself - it is getting strange, and to top it off, the weather is GREAT! I think it is my muse playing tricks on me, trying to get me outside. I think I will give in.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-28-2001 21:54

Hello everyone. Its me. After a long study break and sleepless nights then a week long stay Viewood "social rehabilitation centre," or in lay-man's terms, the asylum. I'm finally back and putting my life back together again. The doctors are finally letting me resume contact with the outside world.

It's the holidays now so I can probably drop in more often.

Oh great I missed the big WWII debate. Argghhhhh! Noooooooo...

Pearl Harbour. BIG DEAL. Like there hasn't been a movie about America in WWII What about Nagasaki? What about South east Asia? Pearl harbour was only the tiniest tip of the iceberg. Someone should do a movie on Korea when the Japanese colonised it or WWII when America was not doing anything.

No harbour is spelt with a "u." I don't care what you think there is a "u." It's just like colour, there's a "u." Don't "American spelling" me.

Sorry about the American shooting but "America in the World Wars" always gets me riled up.

From what I read in the history books, Japan bombing Pearl harbour was a big mistake because it forced America into the war. I wonder if it really was good strategy. It was a pre-emptive strike but considering the snails pace of American troops maybe they didn't think it through enough, as far as I know, this could have done two things, scared Americans away or caused them to retaliate. They were taking a gamble and it didn't pay off.

Is it heroic to die for your country? The answer for kamikaze pilots is YES!

I might like to say that Japan after WWII became the ally of the US against the Soviets and have a very strong anti-war movement ever since then, their constitution even forbids them to have an army and until maybe five years ago even thinking about changing that part of the constitution was considered radical and was a huge social offense. So maybe the Japanese aren't too bad after all or at least they are trying to atone for their crimes.

Oh yeah. Legitimising war makes it alright. Maybe, for example few would say peace enforcement sanctioned by the UN was wrong but still...

I've always gone by gut feeling when it comes to names. This includes the name of my book and the name of my characters. I usually come up with a preliminary name but after a while the "real" name will come to me.

No one wins in war. We should feel sorry for all involved. No more or less. As for whether the US might have done it, just remember that the current US was founded by taking land by force as Randall quickly pointed out. Was bombing a city full of non-combatants really righteous? There are stories of friendly Japanese soldiers helping POW just not many we know of.

That reminds me, one of the reasons amongst many that Japan embarked on colonialism which lead to WWII was because it saw that the colonial powers like Britain Russia etc were all getting a piece of the action and they themselves were low on resources thanks to industrialisation. Oh....the after effects of colonialism....

Okay, time is not sideways as you see it. Because if a planet was 90 degrees from Earth it isn't really 90 degrees from Earth. Why because if you orientate your zero point to another place then that degree changes. Right? I think what you mean is if the other planet was rotating on the other side of the side on the same path that Earth is taking around the side. In that case, time for that planet does not move sideways because the planet could only be rotating in our direction anyway. Also, do planets with opposite spin go backward in time relative to us? I don't think so otherwise they'd be giving off anti-gravity since time and gravity are linked.
Now, what Mr Hawkins is trying to say is that we mustn't think of time as a line but having a spatial component as well or a component completely different. What this component is is probably being hotly debated and worked out. Maybe its what you call gravity.
Black holes punch hole in time and space but only because of the huge gravitational forces. You have to remember that time space manipulation is only done when gravity is either very strong or constantly applied (which might explain why we are constantly traveling forward in time, of course time is relative which means forward is only forward because we call it forward and recognise it as forward). What I do know is that Black holes do not let you travel into the past, rather when you experience the massive gravity, time slows down for you so when you return you find that you are still relatively young while everyone else is old.

There is a book called "The Other side of time", its a romance story about a girl named Anna Sophie Lockwood who falls from the 20th century to the 19th and falls in love with a boy named Strat. I've read the book and was just reading the sequel to the book a few weeks ago which is why I still remember all the characters.

Tropical islands always get me started about Singapore. I mean it has everything you wanted. Mangoes, bananas, lobsters, plenty of electricity, phone lines (fibre optics if you want to pay) and Internet Providers.

Well, the site is a prototype only. Hopefully with the holidays now I can bug the webmaster into doing more.

You're under a lot of pressure I see from not only the family crisis but work too. I'm amazed at your strength. Some people just won't stop will they?

As a representative of the Mystical sentient creatures Union (Don't ask why I'm a member, very long story that started off when I saved what I thought was a statue...) I'm afraid we will have to liberate that poor dragon.

I don't know, leaving Logan to the wolves isn't the right way to go about this in my opinion.

As for writing.
"Hear! Hear!" he toasts downing another glass with milk.

I can't say much but I do know that if a friend of mine (who say is like a brother to me) was in trouble and going into a bad crowd I would be deeply worried and very concerned and voice my concerns and keep trying to bring that friend back because friends stick by friends in thick or thin no matter what. If you abandon a friend simply because circumstances are bad then you are not really a friend are you? Of course, if you truly think there is nothing else you can do maybe it is best to walk away, which is the point I think Heather was working along on.

Besides killing young for resources animals have been known to kill other infants so that their own DNA will pass on to other generations and not those of others. Of course killing their own varies from species to species. Some will kill infants usually while others only if resources are low.

Heath Othello Peterson. There I said it. It's sort of strange but if you look at the initials they spell H.O.P. . Hmmmm..... are you pulling my leg somewhere or is this just a coincidence (facial expressions just don't travel across the net)?

Anyway, congratulations!

Now, tell me, what's the difference between a Christian romance and a normal romance?

So let me get this straight, you became a Christian (or a more serious one) during Feburary?

Speaking of government conspiracies the Singapore government has or at least in the past had a file on me. It wasn't a government conspiracy or cover-up however. See I was part of an education programme and every now and then they discussed each pupils progress in a big meeting with all of the teachers. Obviously they would have kept minutes and a folder for each student. Who knows what was in those reports about me? Maybe projections of what I could become? This education programme was top notch and they were pouring a lot of money into it, a lot so it probably seemed like a good idea to the government to ensure these future "assets" be trained properly.

I must also mention that my recurring nightmare is school.

Try using FTP commander. Its a free ware FTP programme I'm using and its fairly easy to use.

Part 1 is the only one I'm actually letting people read right now. I'm still working on part 2 so you can't read the rest of my story even though I would like to share it.

I just noticed Richard spelt your name wrong with an "a" like I use too. Makes me wonder if that's because we use British spelling.

I think that stars should be role models for people. After all they have fame and usually fortune and people "see" them every week. I understand that they are busy but I would rather they go to a few publicity events and turn up on everyone they promise to show on then to promise to go to many but turn up for some. Its the principal see. Better to be proven reliable than reliably unreliable.

Good to see you. Now, I'm getting annoyed by your "please take no offense." In fact, if you don't stop soon I'm going to be offended at your "please take no offense." You have to realise you can disagree with someone without offending someone.


Sharon Hanson

Hello. Will you be staying?

Hello. I see you've been here before. Welcome back. Are you going to stay or not?

Star fish lovers
One of the common questions about starfish is how is it possible that the primitive starfish can regenerate lost limbs while humans the supposedly more complex human can not. Here's the answer.
Starfish cells are so primitive and unspecialised/undifferentiated that their cells can still retain their regenerative abilities. Once you become more complex however, the organisms tend to lose their regenerative abilities because its difficult for a specialised cell to return back to being unspecialised, at least in animals anyway.

Time magazine did an article on the US and Mexico and here are a few the published replies (does TIME hold the copyrights for these?)

"I have no problem with immigrant coming to America. They must do two things however: enter legally, and learn to speak English. I want to preserve the culture of the US."

"The US may be the first country in history to turn itself over voluntarily to another race, language and culture."

"Would somebody please check with the American people before deciding we're all going to be speaking Spanish and wearing sarapes?"

While being controversial and me being to ignorant to say much about this issue I do know that preservation of culture is one of the weakest replies of the issue because:
a) the US is a country of migrants and colonised people.
b) culture is what people make it, will someone please define American culture? Of course the next question once you have defined American culture we must next ask the question are you conforming to it and is it really "American"?
c) if it is voluntary as said above then can we say it is bad? After all involuntary surrendering of language and culture is bad for example like colonists did on the other hand adoption or other cultures isn't necessarily bad for example the adoption of democracy by various countries.
d) Mexicans don't speak Spanish originally. The Spanish speak Spanish. So, if it weren't for the Spaniards colonising Mexico they wouldn't be speaking Spanish would they? So you can blame Spanish speaking not on the Mexicans but on the now long dead Spanish colonists.

Server costs.
It costs $15 a month unlimited for 48K speed (that's New Zealand dollars by the way and 48K is the usual speed) or if you use less than 10 hours its free. Also local calls are free which means you don't get a phone bill. Anybody want to retire in NZ?

Since I missed it here goes:
People always think the aliens are from outer space but I know better. No, this isn't a cheesy beginning for a X-file rip-off nor is it the start of a documentary revealing that the government has been hiding the fact that we are the ones from outer space brought to earth by aliens. The aliens are around us because they are whomever we label as aliens. The guy with the funny accent, the refugee girl, they're all aliens because we name them so. But they don't have to be but it depends on us extending the hands of friendship. We shouldn't be worrying about those from outer space, but those whom we create.

Here's one "Don't break a rule without good reason."

Barnabas "Hop" 6-28-2001 21:26


Yes, that is known as the "binocular mask" in the business. It's one of my long time favorites, and it has been around for years. Much longer than Visa cards, which actually don't have the intersecting circles, that's MasterCard.

Anyhow, here's a shortie. Shortie for me. Maybe not so shortie for you. Anyhow, I wrote it in my shorts. I don't know how short it's supposed to be.


A long time ago in early June five boys climbed into a small boat and pushed off to row across the river to the opposite shore. They were boisterous boys. The oldest was barely fifteen. Their plan was to cross the inlet and play on the dry mud flats on the far shore at Brayton’s point.

Franny was thirteen, the best little infielder they had. Ronny was fourteen and also a fair ball player, but there were too few of them this late afternoon for baseball. Frank, the originator of the watery excursion was the oldest at fifteen and appointed himself captain of the craft. He ordered his two younger brothers about as they made jokes, and Ronny rowed with the stubby oars as the tide carried them along.

Ronny turned the boat into the channel where the water was choppy, a ten minute row in this tide would see them across to the mud flats. In the meantime Ernie and Roy cavorted in spite of Frank’s commands to settle down. They made the kind of hilarity that kids do at their age. Fart jokes and other references to bodily function were a big favorite among the group. Frank seized the occasion to splash water on Ronny’s shirt and Ronny retaliated with a gentle slap of an oar. Threats of castration and watery abandonment were tossed about freely as the day lengthened and the boat moved swiftly in the tide.

The choppy water slapped at the sides and the boat began to take on water a little at a time. The two younger brothers exhorted each other hilariously in spite of Frank’s unconvincing commands. The tide was more in charge of the course of the boat than anyone in it, and as Ronny rowed vigorously the water continued to swamp them. At a point when the far shore was getting close and with scarcely an inch of freeboard left, further steerage was impossible.

Frank and his brothers agreed that with the shore about thirty yards away they may as well let the boat float to ground on its own and swim the rest of the way. In a few yards the tallest of them would be able to stand. Franny wasn’t too keen on this idea, but with only seconds to act he was in the water with the rest. It was then that he began to panic. Ronny had started to swim with the others when Franny yelled out that he couldn’t swim. Taken by surprise, Ronny called to Frank to help him with Franny. Frank yelled back that he had to get his brothers in safely and exhorted Ronny to do his best.

Ronny was a fair swimmer and he felt he could get Franny the few yards to safety. The first thought that occurred to Ronny was to extend an oar to him and let Franny hang on while he pulled him to shore. This only served to give Franny something to pull himself along, and he grabbed Ronny around the shoulders. It was no good. The boy was too difficult to manage. He pulled Ronny below the water at each attempt with the oar. Ronny struggled to hold him up, but they were making no progress toward the shore. After drifting along in the tide for a short while Ronny was exhausted with the effort of struggling with the Franny.

Ronny, at last, convinced Franny to climb onto the overturned boat and stay with it till it drifted to shore. It would only take a few minutes in the incoming tide for the boat to come ashore and he tried to convince Franny that he would be okay. The thought seemed to calm him and he climbed onto the boat with a strong effort by Ronny to hoist him up. He felt the greatest relief at seeing Franny hugging the bottom of the boat, and after making him agree to stay atop the boat he swam to shore.

In scarcely a minute he was on the beach with Frank and the younger kids. All the mirth that had gripped them earlier was gone. When they turned their attention back to the water, they could not see the boat. It was a moment that changed Ronny’s life forever. The most chilling and awesome feeling he would ever know overcame him as the four of them called Franny’s name into the relentlessly darkening gloom. No answer ever came.

The boat was picked up the following morning when the dry clothes were returned to the farmhouse where the boys had reported their awful story to the rest of their world, a world from which they wanted desperately what comfort they could find.

It was never decided that the decision to leave Franny with the boat was the right one. There were countless and varying accounts by people of Franny’s swimming skill. Some claimed he could have made the distance easily as it was no greater than they had seen him do often. Others held that Franny couldn’t swim a stroke. It was a bitter fact for Ronny that such an athletically inclined boy in his environment hadn’t mastered swimming. His remorse and doubt were relentless.

The townspeople were not inclined to press the matter and it was declared a tragedy over which no action would be taken. Franny’s lifeless body was recovered late on the following day. It seemed to Ronny that the body would come home to be a symbol of his failure. An object of ceremony and a tangible condemnation, it would lie in a casket and everyone could look upon it and see the fruit of folly and the currency of guilt. It was to be a long summer.

* * *

The old man doesn’t live on Gardner’s neck any more. In the fifty years that followed, he made occasional trips to that same shore in early June. He felt the certainty that this would be his last as he squeezed a spray of nitro into his mouth and trudged among the large rocks along the inlet.

The maples on the neck were still as glorious as he remembered. The early flowers were in bloom. June was as splendid as it ever was. In the twighlight, in his solitude, he listened for the sound of young voices in the darkening distance across the eternal water.


gariess 6-28-2001 21:13

Ignore that Dear Tina. The first thing that caught my eye was her post on those preying mantis' I started to say something and it sort of ended up coming later. Oh well. Typical Friday. Brain is on weekend schedule.

Viv 6-28-2001 20:52

Dear Tina,
Gee, I missed gross out day. No fair! I was working. I've played gross out catch up all morning. There were some good ones there but Heather that prolapsed uterus and Howard's butt scabs really took the cake.

Here's one for you all. " I'm so used to cleaning up vomit, I can eat a chocolate bar while I do it!"

I heard that at a mother's playgroup during flu season! Now that's a line that ought to be in a novel. (Five novels come out all with the same line....different characters!)

Tina: You sound like you'd fit in our family. Bugs are well accepted here. The bigger the better...all except for roaches. We get big preying mantis' too in the fall. I like to catch them as well and keep them in our bug box. I only keep them for the day so I never got to feed one a beetle or cricket. If we still get to live here past August, I'll try it out. I'm waiting to hear the first calls of the cicedeas. Not out yet. It seems too quiet for the heat.

Childhood memories huh, Let's see....

I'm spending the night at grandma's house. It's not bad, but it smells funny and the food is soft. Nothing has any crunch at dinner. The carrots are cut into slivers and the meat is mushy meatloaf. I add ketchup, but it stings my stomach. I push back the plate and slide down.

"It's bath and then bed time. I'll read you the story of Maximillian the mouse," my grandmother says rising to take my plate from the table. "Are you sure you've eaten enough?"

I look at the funny window above the sink. It's set high in the wall above the sink and I can still see the sunlight dancing between the swaying leaves of the tree next door., "It's not dark out." I protest.

"It's bedtime." It's firm. That is the way of it. I end up in the crib.

I'm not a baby. I'm too big for the crib but it still fits. It's actually not bad. You can hang upside down from the bars by your knees. It stretches your belly stiff and makes your face feel funny. I hang a long time watching the night shadows come to fill the room.

Viv 6-28-2001 20:48

Thanks Mary. I bawled.

Gariess, I could SO get started on things they do in movies that bug me! Like when they show a shot through binoculars and they do the 'Visa' card overlapped circles. Wrong! Or when couples wake up in the morning, turn over and do the long drawn out kiss thing. Have they never heard of morning breath? Yuck.

Mel, I can see that I'd have fun with you if you came in my store ;-) hehehe I could show you the black widow, and the rattlesnake eggs... oh what fun!

Off to dinner with the in-laws. Happy shortie night!

Tina 6-28-2001 19:54

Ok, no I don't want to sue the employer, but then who would? I don't know I haven't read the bill so I shouldn't comment on it. Just what I have gleaned off the different news stories. Maybe I will get a copy of the bill and see for myself.

I think I am loosing all I learned in college, got a form to fill out today and couldn't make heads or tails of the dang thing. It was a federal form not really written in legaleese, just written in stupideese and without the stupideese instructions. Did the best I could and covered the rest in a loooong cover letter.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-28-2001 19:36

MARY & HEATHER -- Answer you both soon. Major PC/Internet probs today and I'm way behind. Nor shortie either :o(


Litter 6-28-2001 19:11

***Rhoda(the Conservative to keep Jerry on track)***


I do understand your feelings. But should your employer be sued too?

Rhoda 6-28-2001 16:48

I couldn’t understand, it made no sense to me. But my mom cried and cried, and dad held her. I understand now.

TINA: My heart broke for you when I read that line. Big hugs. That story had to be hard to write.

Mary 6-28-2001 15:39

Jack Lemmon. What a loss.

Mary 6-28-2001 15:29


That is such a disturbing thing to read. I refer to your secretary, her depression and having to fire her. Clearly, she can not benefit from staying at work in such a state, so firing her was a necessary step, even though it must have been strenuous. Still, I can’t help but feel sympathy for someone so troubled.


You are a devil. Are you sure you don’t live in Tasmania?
Besides, you can’t use my excuse, I was photographing wildlife in five states. United states, that is.


I’m glad someone responded to my "really stupid movie cliché." I still think the whole thing is ridiculous. I pack a camper for a road trip and I don’t have room for an extra roll of film. These cowboys ride out on a horse through five hundred miles of the Southwestern desert and they carry twenty bottles of whiskey apiece. Forget water and food, etc. Just load up guns, ammunition and let’s see, what else? Oh, yes, the whiskey bottles. I’ll take twenty. How many can you carry, Fred?


It’s okay, buddy. This is an open and democratic forum. We welcome gross material and R… L… fans.

I think I’ll try a shortie, now.




Gariess 6-28-2001 14:11

HOWARD: You quack me up! :-) I haven't heard that one in a long time! It took me a minute...

JERRY: Howard's okay. Say the duck joke OUT LOUD to yourself a few times, slowly, reflecting the punctuation. :-)

HOWARD: I almost called Teekay last night too! I learned there's a 12-hour difference between her phone and ours (for future reference!)

TINA: Actually, I knew you must've been a tomboy. I'm not envious but I am in awe! Anyone who can watch spiders crawl around their gardens and enjoy watching a praying mantis feed without getting the shudders (*ughh!*) earns my instant respect. :-) It's a good thing to keep your inner child alive; you'll stay young all your life. I just can't do that for myself with spiders and other "bugs" - but someone's gotta love the bugs, I guess; I'm just so glad it doesn't have to be me!! :-] Your shortie touched my heart; I too have memories of a grandpa on his farm (orchards, minnows, strawberries...). Every time I hear a crow, I remember instantly my grandpa's farm and pond. :-)

Mel 6-28-2001 13:30

Howard, you ok old buddy?

Teekay - welcome home, we were worried, thought maybe you went to the outback with that crocodile hunter fellow hunting the worlds most venomous snakes, or the Russians dropped a space lab on your head.

I feel my conservatism slipping into moderation. BUT, I did find a way to listen to Rush on the computer, maybe there is still hope for me. It is that health care patients rights stuff, we have been having a real hard time getting our HMO to take care of the wife, first they send us here, then there, jump through this hoop, now this one. I want the RIGHT to SUE the bastards. Now I don't want to be able to sue her boss, hell he didn't have anything to do with the HMO, except he furnished it. But I think we should be able to sue them if they withhold treatment when treatment is needed.

Guess this isn't the place to be complaining about HMO's but since they took away my themestream I have no place else to spout off!

Sorry about that, oh and that dead baby thing, I shouldn't have put that in here, it doesn't belong in such a form.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-28-2001 12:58

ABCD ducks?
LMNO ducks!
OSAR2 ducks!

howard 6-28-2001 12:26


If you are talking about my Alcaris story should be soon, and I'm glad you enjoy my galactic hippies...I should be putting up a new post soon with the rewrite of the beginning.

laura 6-28-2001 12:04


Hi all!

Rosemary and Teekay and Sasquatch, glad you’ve all come back :-)

Hallee, my prayers are in there for you. (((HUGS))) all around. And YOU sound like you need to take a ‘personal’ day, just to catch your breath and recharge. Be well.

Sasquatch, you do what you always do. Just by being here you bring fun and a fresh breath to the NB! Tonight’s shortie topic seems like a natural for you, what with your Yeti racial memory. :-)

Mel, I was a boy in my last life? News to me!
Actually, I was a proper tom-boy as a child. Played with spiders and snakes, raised frogs, even had a skateboard (although I was really bad at it). Over the years I’ve managed to keep my inner child alive and well. She’s responsible for my fascination with things like praying mantises and snakes and airplanes and martial arts.

Okay, my shortie is ready to go. Be warned, Sappy Shortie Ahead!

Hay and Horses

Every time I smell hay and horses, I think of my grandfather.

John McFadyen. I remember him only as an older man, with a grizzly grey beard always needing a shave, and warm and cuddly as a teddy bear. I didn’t know him when he was young and spry, and I didn’t know him in the prime of his life. I knew him at the end, and that’s how he lives in my heart.

For the first six years of my life, I visited the family farm with my family at every opportunity. In the summer, no matter the month, there were always peas to pick in the garden. Grandpa made sure of that. Picking peas with grandpa became a family tradition, a treat for the youngest grandchildren. Two pods for the bucket, one shared between he and I.

As all prairie farmers do, he woke before dawn to begin the day’s work. He tended cattle and horses, pigs and goats, grew alfalfa and wheat and rye and corn. With so much to do in a day, I wonder now that he had any time to spend with us, but he did. We’d go see the piggies, and ride bareback on Pepsi, the shetland pony. That pony was a nasty old thing, but never misbehaved when grandpa was around. And we’d pick peas before dinner, because peas were grandpa’s favourite.

After dinner, grandpa would push his chair back from the table, fetch his wetstone and oil, and sharpen his knife. That knife always hung from his belt, and to me it seemed the biggest knife I’d ever seen. He honed it quickly, surely, with movements I could barely follow, and I’d watch in awe. Sometimes it seemed scary, and then I’d play shy. Somehow, to my five-year-old mind, the man who held that knife couldn’t be quite the same man who shared his pea patch with me.

I’d just turned six when the phone call came. I couldn’t understand, it made no sense to me. But my mom cried and cried, and dad held her. I understand now.

We drove to the farm, and all my aunts and uncles and cousins were there. Six-year-olds find fun in any circumstance, and the gathering was a chance to play with cousins and kittens and pigs. Old people came, people I’d never met, but my parents told me that they were aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers of my grandpa. They wore black and they talked and some cried. But I was six, and I didn’t understand.

Until the next summer. The farm was there, full of horses and pigs and cats and cows. But there was no pea patch, no grandpa with rough grey whiskers and a warm hug.

I knew John McFadyen for the last five years of his life, and that’s how he lives in my heart.

© Tina Chambers 2001

Tina 6-28-2001 11:11

Hallee - I will be praying for both of your friends, your secratary and you. ((HUGS))

Allein Allein's World 6-28-2001 10:26

ROSEMARY -- Hissing and Honking? Sounds more like geese, or a couple of second cousins on my mother's side...

TEEKAY !!! Welcome back! I almost called you on the phone last night, but couldn't figure out what time it was down there.

SASQUATCH -- good to see you, too! What are you digging up?

howard 6-28-2001 10:05

I'll bet Japan's method will work because this area (South Central Texas)has been having a lot of trouble with grasshoppers, but I haven't seen one around here in a long time.

Got to go. The last short story class of the series is this morning. I'm going to miss it.

Welcome back TEEKAY. Glad you are all right. Not nice to scare Notebookers.

Rosemary 6-28-2001 10:02

MEL: I would if I could...but I can't so I'm not. :) (Thank you)

Hallee 6-28-2001 9:20


"Hail! Hail! The gang's all here..." Well, not all, but more of 'em! YEA! :-) Still looking for BANKY, EDDIE, HOP, KITTY, SHERWOOD, SUSAN, TRUDY and ???...

RHODA: :-) So glad you're not a "straggler" - must've been a day or two I didn't see your name here. What are you writing right now, anyhoo?

ROSEMARY: Ducks and chicks... What a pleasantly busy little brood you have. :-) I hope they haven't seen the movie "BABE" or the duck WILL think he's a rooster or something!!

SASQUATCH: We humans call you sometimes just to hear your great Yeti wisdom regarding any turn of leafy season or other small details of our world that maybe we're taking for granted. We know a few words from you will reawaken us to the importance of little things, like digging up enough food for a meal. :-) Have a pleasant day!

TEEKAY: Welcome back!! :-) We don't want you to freeze in your computer room; just don't go away again for a week without warning us first!!! And I would like to see you try to knit while drunk--could be most entertaining! :-)

GARIESS: Whiskey was also medicinal for snake bites, gunshot wounds...and if you headed to a "desert island" wouldn't you want your favorite drink with you? Me, I like lemonade on a hot day, but that makes me thirstier too...must be human nature (i.e. human dumbness!). And, BTW, ever seen the comedian Gallagher? He's always asking questions like your grapenuts question, e.g. how come we park in driveways and drive on parkways? :-) I'm glad English is my first language and that I don't have to learn it as a second! How confusing our words can be!! (Right, VIV? Your students must know!)

HEATHER: :-) Enthusiasm...the key to happiness, to success in any endeavor... Sometimes though, I have to succeed (no, HOWARD, not sucking seeds!) to find happiness and then be's often hard to do things in the other order! Re: nursing... You have wonderful compassion, Heather, and your personal contributions to nursing are priceless! It's too bad that nursing cutbacks are happening all over, just when science and medicine are helping us all to live longer and the need for quality nursing is becoming even more crucial...sigh. Another area we need to reverse in our human society.

JACK: Good luck with all your current projects and hopes! :-)

HALLEE: Am praying for Holli and Jenna, Pam and Lauren...Now does your being part of this girlfriend trio mean you're next in line to add another member to your family? :-) (Just teasing ya!) And yes, I AM progressing on your critique!... If I can just get that little time-gnome to stop turning the day's pages so quickly...

Back later (I think) with my shortie... Enjoy the day/eve!

Mel 6-28-2001 8:44

Too tired to write much tonight. The heat just started up here full force. Do you all know how nice it is to just sit here and read the wonderful stories? Congratulations to all of us!

Laura, do we get another chapter soon? Has anyone been following Laura's postings in the workbook? They are fun.
I haven't seen her around lately. Laura, you out there?

Viv 6-28-2001 8:32

Hi all.

In my little circle of friends, there are three of us. Holli, Pam, and myself. We were all pregnant at the same time, all had girls, our husbands all turned 30 within 3 weeks of each other, and we're all in the same Sunday School class. These two women are the best friends I've probably ever had.

I've told you about Holli - she's the one who is 25 weeks pregnant with Jenna. She's been trying to go into labor now for 4 weeks and has been on bed rest since the first set of contractions and spotting. It's to the point now that she's being put in and out of the hospital, because the oral medication isn't stopping the contractions anymore.
(As of last night - she was home - but she said she felt like she was about to start spotting again.)

Pam had a baby girl yesterday...Lauren. She carried her to term, had a simple labor, and delivered a 6'-14oz little girl who has Down's syndrome and heart problems. Because of the Down's, her lungs aren't fully developed and she's in pediatric icu.

If you pray, please do so for both of these women (and their husbands -haha). We have a wonderful church, and Holli was joking last week that she has enough caseroles in her freezer to feed them until Lauren gets out of college (we are Southern Baptists, after all), so there's a massive support out there - but I just wanted to get them on as many prayer chains as possible.

I may be lurking on and off for a little while. Between Pam and Holli - then I had to fire my secretary yesterday - she's been suffering through some severe depression for 4 or 5 months, and I tried to put it off as long as I could. It just got too bad, because she stopped being able to function on even a basic level (after staring at the coffee pot for 10 mins., she finally asked me how to turn it on), and my office is too busy to handle it. She is (well, was) a good friend, and I tried to explain to her that she just couldn't physically/emotionally/mentally handle it all anymore, but I'm afraid it was a terrible scene.

It's been a rough little bit here - but I wanted to come out of lurk to tell you all about Holli and Pam.

::back to lurking::

Hallee 6-28-2001 5:03

Hello Everyone and especially Americo: I will be setting a goodly block of time aside tomorrow to get the new Workbook functioning. The main stumbling block has been getting the secure login working in such a way so their is more secure site. Wish me luck and a few prayers to finagle, murphy and other patron saints of computers and computer operators everywhere. And, yes, the new project looks very interesting and I feel suitably inspired to provide definite and ongoing content for it. I will be out of site at times over the next several weeks as I am either diving, trying to push the Westercon 56 bid or trying to get everything squared away here. Also, god a call today from one of the places I am listed and there may be jobs available yet in the Computer industry. We can only hope.

Also, I think I may almost have Fran convinced to write her review of Shadows. So, perhaps look for that in the next day or two.

Jack Beslanwitch SeaTac Westercon 56 Bid 6-28-2001 4:28


CHRISTI: BRAVO!!!!! I just read your P** story and loved it to bits!
Absolutely wonderful. It was so easy to read. My eyes just chased the words across the page.

And tomorrow - another.

Teekay 6-28-2001 3:17


Okay, I confess, I skimmed.

I had intended to read them all properly, but by that time you all would have totally forgotten about me.

BTW it's extrememly gratifying to have you all miss me and whenever I'm feeling down in the dumps I'm going to go away from the NB for a week or so just so's I can feel really wanted when I get back.

I have no good excuse (or bad for that matter) for being away so i;'m just going to borrow the one GARRIES used. If you want to know what it is you'll have to back track a bit.

MARY: CONGRATULATIONS!!! Although you're probably all cynical about it now :-). Old hat and all...

Re; the why is my writing important question.
Well, I'm not terribly sure it is. I certainly don't think it's going to change lives.
I guess it's just something I need to do, that or become a drunk, or knit or something.

My P** story is done, yet not done. It needs to be written some other way to be effective. Will get to work on that soon (I hope.)

The novel....well, let's not speak of that just now shall we. It's lurking at the back of my brain pestering me to bits, but I just need a bit of time to rejuvinate and get my writing hand back into the swing of things.

RHODA: I'm sooooo sorry I'm taking so long with those chapters. I can't print them out and this office is as cold as a maggot.
I think the same thing happened last winter, so must know all my excuses by now.

Oh yes. Can't get a copy of 'Shadows in a Dream'. Who would think in this day of technological advances that the bookshop wouldn't be able to get a book sent from overseas?

I'm reading 'The Potato Factory' by Bryce Courtenay at the moment. It's fantastic. I have to ration out the chapters in order to get things done.

I think that's it.
Still heading for the P** page.

Teekay 6-28-2001 3:03

TEEKAY: Whew. I was really starting to get worried. If I weren't just so darn relieved that you are here, I would give you the what for about worrying us to death. ;-)

Mary 6-28-2001 1:32


Hi you guys.

Sorry, I've only just turned on the computer in...I don't know how long really, a week?

Here is my short post to let you know I'm fine, just really lazy.

Now, I've got a whole heap of catching up to do. ~gulp~

Teekay 6-28-2001 1:26

ROSEMARY: I think that Japan is using ducks in an attempt to control the locust problem they are having. They are just dumping big boxes of ducklings into the infested fields. You ought to see those little beaks go. Russia is using more chemically based solutions. High five to the Japanese (if it works).

Mary 6-28-2001 1:04

The ducks are all over the place. It's messy but we have very few bugs. If they would just eat fire ants and fleas, I would cover the place with them. Did I mention they are quackless ducks? They hiss. If you scare them really badly, they'll honk. Some are white and some are black and white. The males get pretty big, about 15 pounds. When they're that big, they can't fly. The females are smaller and can fly when they want to. We have one baby duck in a cage with about 10 baby chickens. I'm not sure if we are going to wind up with a duck that thinks he's a chicken, but we do have a bunch of baby chicks that like to wade in the water bowl.

Has anyone noticed the big dust cloud from Africa that was mentioned on the weather reports? It has settled on south Texas and my sister and I are having terrible sinus problems. We haven't decided if we are allergic to elephants or lions. :P

With the nursing experience and the writing gift, you could whip out a really great batch of stories revolving around your experience.

Night all

Rosemary 6-28-2001 0:02

Gariess - thanks. Yes, it isn't much to ask for, is it? But what they don't ask for is what they really want - someone with whom to spend the time.

whoops. Heather again 6-27-2001 23:25

Howard -- by the way, I didn't say it earlier, but your riddle was tops!



I bet her server got disconnected. I hope it wasn't anything more serious. I'm feeling dyslexic right now so I'm going to stop writing and editing and all of that and repose on the couch until I fall asleep!


Heather 6-27-2001 23:24


You know I find I don't mind old age as much as I thought I would. I can suck the enjoyment out of the least little thing.

Just sitting and having my morning coffee is a thrill for me.

So maybe squimish is really evolving. I wasn't upset at Jerry. I took it they way he meant as sort of gross/funny. That's because it was Jerry. If someone else I knew was uncaring had said it then..........

Still I stand by resist, resist.

Younowhattamean jelly bean!!!!!!!!!

Debra 6-27-2001 22:24

You know, I still don’t get this lump in the throat and string thing, but after reading the posts I don’t think I want anyone to explain it to me.

Debra, I agree with your request, resist by all means. I must be getting too squeemish in my old age.

I don’t know if worry is infectious, but I do hope we hear from Teekay soon. I just want her to be okay, even if she doesn’t want to be here.

So, Heather, again. You surely know how to tell sad stories. I think it was nice that you gave the music tape and the movie to the home. It seems so little to ask for, a few songs and a movie.


gariess 6-27-2001 22:08

I enjoyed working with a lot of the people - it was the people that kept me from leaving before the nursing cutbacks in Ontario. I was a private nurse, and after the cutbacks I ended up doing jobs that weren't supposed to be mine, and I was very upset with how few staff there were to take care of so many. I stuck it out until a few more people were hired, and then wrote my resignation.

I loved being there for people. There was one woman, who hated everyone but me. Every staff member seemed to hate her right back, except of course, myself. She'd had a stroke and her house and all her pets were taken from her and sold by her family. She was angry. She was also near blind. I took her every day to play on the piano - a love she and I shared. I helped her learn the notes again. She needed practice because her one hand was very weak from the stroke, but piano is a therapy most wouldn't think of.
She and I became close. I'd come and see her, take her for her bath, take her for walks and for coffee on my own time. She refused to let the other staff help her with her bathing. I'd see her in the dining room, and she'd just be so happy to see me it made me almost cry that I couldn't sit at her table. I had to sit with the person who was in my care at that time (who was a hateful and spiteful person). I worked with the woman who'd had the stroke for two hours a day (five days a week) for almost a year until one day I came into work and the boss told me that one of my new 'charges' wanted me all to herself. This lady hated the lady who'd had the stroke, and was doing this on purpose. She had about ten million dollars to her name so of course the boss favoured her heavily - something else I cringed about. The 10-mil lady didn't have any relatives, so the boss hoped she'd leave him her money. Anyhow, I had to break the news. Or at least I thought I did. When I went to my friend's room she was already in tears. I promised I'd come and see her after I got off work from the other lady's place. I did; just about every single shift I'd spend a half hour there, usually doing things she wouldn't let the other nurses do. About four months later I resigned, but I told my friend I'd keep visiting her, but not as often. Nearly ripped my heart out, that did. I also promised her that if Disney ever re-released the Lady and the Tramp, I'd buy her a copy. My friend had next to no income, and this had been her favourite movie of all time. Even though she couldn't see well, she could listen to it. Disney released the movie not more than two months after my promise. I hadn't been to see my friend in a week. I wrapped up the movie, and put a giant bright purple bow on it - her favourite colour. When I came in the front doors and was about to sign in as a visitor, I got the news from one of my ex-coworkers. My friend had had another stroke, and had died on the way to the hospital two days earlier. I gave the movie to the retirement home anyway, thinking that others would love that movie and it could be played on the house VCR. I didn't cry until I walked out of the building.

Another woman I cared for had MS. She would wake up every morning looking for her husband, who had died years earlier. This woman had been a school principal, in the days when they were always men. She was such a brave woman. It was hard to take care of her, having to watch she didn't choke with every bite, watching her flesh dwindle away because she could barely eat. She mourned her husband daily. She fought MS, but it was catching up, and she was uncomfortable all the time. One day I said to her, "If you want to join him [her husband] it's okay now. You can let go. You don't have to fight any more." A week later I came in on my shift to work for her and I walked in to find her room empty. I was happy for her, but missed her company more than I knew I would.

Working with elderly people is rewarding in unexpected ways. I met a man once, who had both legs amputated due to diabetes, and he used to dance with me on his prosthetic legs! He loved the blues, especially Bessie Smith, but only had one tape of blues music. I made him a few compilation tapes and he just loved that! We called him crazy legs because he refused to use braces or a wheelchair even if he was tired and in pain. He would dance down the halls! A funny kind of straight-kneed jig, but a jig nonetheless.
I don't miss the grody parts of nursing, though. You can bet five monkeys and a pan-fried hunk of liver it's true.

Heather 6-27-2001 20:47


Where are you? If you are lurking, please eek out one little post to let us know you are alright.

Rhoda 6-27-2001 18:56


Resist, resist.

Debra 6-27-2001 18:44

OH, I heard on the news this morning that a lady took her three kids out to the garage, got in the car and started it. When they found them they were all four dead. Some are speculating it is connected somehow with the deal in Huston, you know she heard about it and decided it looked like a way out. I don't recall where it was exactly, I think Georgia or Alabama.

Jerry 6-27-2001 18:13

Heather, I know that, you know I have this sister-in-law that likes to go visit those in the homes, then she tells them "you can go now, it's OK to die, we are ready for it" I think that's pushing things a bit, but I guess sometimes they need to hear that. Usually when she does that it is when they are in lots of pain, and hanging on and on.

My wife has worked in homes now for nearly twenty years, and she is very well liked by all the residents, and staff. That must mean she is very good at what she does. When she was working int he office residents would wander over to her office and visit with her. It got so bad they had to move her back to an office not accessable by the residents. Not that she minded, she enjoys the old folks very much but she just wasn't getting her work done. She worked as an aide until she injured her knee, now she has been working all around, where ever they need a fill, except on the floor, as her knee isn't well enough for that yet. She is looking forward to the day she can return to the floor, I hope some day she can. There must be something special about working there, I guess I just can't see it. It was always a downer for me to have to go to the home and take a police report, or even to see the wife when she was working, as I would meet up with all the old folks that I knew before they went in the home, and they always wanted me to stay and visit with them, I know it must be hell to be locked up in one of those places, especially when your mind isn't all it once was either.

Jerry 6-27-2001 18:11

Oops - I mean 3 in Deep South?

Heather 6-27-2001 17:57

Jerry - what do you mean, 3 in Houston?

Heather 6-27-2001 17:57

Um, what I meant was that uh, you know - pubic hairs sometimes act as dental floss....

okay, now it's time to go again!

By the way, who posted vampire's tea bag? EEK!
Wouldn't want to... never mind.

Heather 6-27-2001 17:56

Aw heck, I'll do it anyhow, despite the 5 dead in Huston and 3 dead in the Deep South this morning.

What's grosser then a pile of dead babbies?

A live one at the bottem eating his way to the top!

Sorry about that, I just couldn't resist.

Jerry 6-27-2001 17:56

yuk! thats beyound groddy!

6-27-2001 17:54

String thing,

6-27-2001 17:46

String thing - Vampires Teabag perhaps?

6-27-2001 17:34

HEATHER: Now I get the calculator thing. I still don't get the string thing. Apparently I have been doing something wrong for years if your tactful explanation is correct. (Winks) I am usually not this dense.

HOWARD: Succeeds. Hehe, you clever boy.

Mary 6-27-2001 16:12

Warning! Post below this one is terribly uncouth!
I forgot to say a whole slew of things...

Litter and Mary - might need a passage or two of Gaelic for my novel... would either of you be able to do a translation for me (in about a week?)

Christi - you are the utmost in enthusiasm, and it's catchy!
Mel - you too!

Viv - sorry to hear about Hana's wrist. Ouch. I hope she's feeling better. Give her a gentle hug for me (and blessings are coming your way!)
And I'm SOOOOO GLAD Mr. Bill arrived! YAHOOO!

Mary - forgot to say thanks for offering to give me a hand with the photo album! I have to go back and check out yours.

Howard - I pray everything will go perfectly, and that you're in better health than you imagined. Blessings heaped on you. (But gently)

Hi Sasquatch! Glad to see you here.

Jerry - I wasn't grossed out - no apology needed. I think my mind has grown accustomed to grody things from my relatively short nursing career. Sometimes I really want to go back, instead of cleaning offices, and work in a retirement/nursing home again, but you're right. It's depressing, and sometimes you do wonder if it was the visit that decided it for the person being visiied. Were they just waiting for a visitor so they would feel that they'd seen everyone and said their goodbyes? Well, that's not usually so. Nursing homes have a lot of 'goings'. Many times people in a nursing home pass away because they don't want to be there any more. (I mean Earth!) Their time has come to a close.

Christi - by the way, I read 'Death Is A Redhead' and I like it very much!

Rosemary - I read your P* story too, and I like it a lot! The only thing I'm wondering about is the significance of the teeth at the end. What did that have to do with the house...? (Don't want to give it away!)

Both of the latest stories in P* are very good - recommended for your reading pleasure!

Americo - SS*** sounds very exciting! Can't wait until it opens!

I have three books that are all waiting to be passed on to anyone looking for an incredible read!
I have: Ender's Game, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, and Midworld. ALL ARE EXCELLENT!

Drop me an email with your snail mail addy and I'll pop one or all into the mail for anyone wanting to read them.

TEEKAAAYYYY! I do hope it wasn't a server arrest.

I'm sure I'll think of other things to say once I've posted.
Ah, time to head over to the couch and take two tylenol. Head about to cave in.

Heather 6-27-2001 14:56

Okay, now that you have stopped being manic I can get back to what I was going to say...

Okay, now that I can't remember what I was going to say, I'll go back to really stupid movie cliche's. What's the deal with those westerns where these guys who are riding through the hot desert have all these whiskey bottles? Really, now. Here are a bunch of fools who are going out into the worst dehydrating conditions on earth with very limited storage space, and they manage to bring along 40 gallons each of whiskey in quart bottles. The first thing they do when they are really hot and dry is stop and pull out a whiskey bottle and chug down booze like it was weak tea (which is what the prop men put in the bottles.)

Explain this to me, and while you're at it, tell me why there are no grapes and no nuts in a box of grapenuts.


gariess 6-27-2001 14:41

Mark and Mary - Sorry I was so vague. By calculator, I meant my siblings and parents. They are all left-brain dependants; mathematicians, engineers, scientists. I'm the artist. (Hence - four calculators and one quietly wild calligraphy pen) I also posted that before Mark's horny post appeared, so had to go back and reply! Yeah. I said horny!
Mary - about the lump in the throat and the string in the teeth, I'm guessing it's a reference to uh, well - felacio? Maybe I should hope NOT. And it figures I'd think it was something to do with...

Now I have to go and rinse out my mind. Add bleach, detergent and softener. Go!
Trying to get the grey out of grey matter.

Heather 6-27-2001 14:40

hello humans persons i sasquatch am digging up things to eat and i heard you call. what can this poor Yeti do for you? i must go.

sasquatch 6-27-2001 13:41

That's it, HOWARD. I'm putting you in the front line of the search party for the missing NB-ers. If your corny jokes don't give 'em a rise to the forefront, we're all in trouble!

TEEKAY! Help!! Howard's witty block is out of control!!! What do we do?!What do we do??!! :-/

Hey, ROSEMARY! :-) How are the ducks??

Mel 6-27-2001 13:21

I sat there and stared at your post until I figured out a beakless bird would have to suck up his seeds. HeHeHeHaHaHa.

Rosemary--again 6-27-2001 13:16

Morning all, (still morning for twenty minutes here.)
((The post and reading took so long, it's not morning anymore now.))

It's really great to see you posting again. I've missed you. I just read your story in P** and it was excellent. I loved the humanity you gave to "Death". (now you have to read mine, right above yours). I didn't find your story silly or funny, in fact I think there were a few really good messages in there if you want to think about it. How easy it is to say you wouldn't want to live through something until push comes to shove.
--I definitely agree with you about the writers thin and thick skin thing.
-- Hopefully, Teekay pulled a Heather and forgot to pay her server. Keep at her. Maybe we need to get Phone numbers from each other for emergencies. I get 100 minutes long-distance a month free. I wonder if that would include Australia?

Thanks for missing me. That seldom happens around here.

I love a good pun and 'wrapped up The Mummy' was a brain tickler.

Stuff to do, places to go, got to boogy.

Rosemary 6-27-2001 13:12

Nothing succeeds like a beakless bird.

please help me...

howard 6-27-2001 12:55

HOWARD: I laughed. It works! :-)

Mel 6-27-2001 9:52

I think I'm gonna go with "blinked."

Didja hear about the voyeur who blinked at the peek of his career?

howard 6-27-2001 9:48


FL--fllll--fli---darn page is stickingggg---uhh! There. Another day gone. New day here. Time for breakfast! says the little Book-Of-Time gnome, salivating at the thought of wrapping his tongue around a praying mantis recently fed. And he waddles off towards Tina's house.

G'Mornin' Writers, Friends and Lurkers! :-)

MARY: Razors and alcohol! Yeowch! You won the gross-out game. HOWARD came in second as he spoiled yesterday's lunch.

BEN: Good luck with the "blue Jew!" :-)

HOWARD: um...did the voyeur "see double" at the peek of his career? Hmm, no, I'll keep thinking... Meanwhile, don't let the MRI/other tests scare you - it's better to KNOW and get whatever is wrong treated so that SOONer you'll be feeling better again. Prayers and (((HUGS))) for you...

LAURA: Sorry; the NB is so busy, it's all I can handle and all I need right now (although your Muse Kickers are intriguing...) :-)

JERRY: re: the nursing home thing... I think statistics might show that most people in nursing homes don't live that long, generally--don't feel personally responsible. Death is also the end of their suffering; death - a blessing in disguise. My mom suffered a few strokes - she's been in a nursing home for five years now, can't walk or talk much; my dad (88) visits her every day - I feel that is the ONLY factor keeping her alive this long, his presence and his helping her to eat lunch every day. I feel torn to visit or not to visit; two hours away, I can remember how she used to be. Visiting her and seeing her helpless tears me up. But the visit can be a good thing for her, if not for me, I guess. So go visit those lonely people tied to their wheelchairs or sickbeds - it can't do them any harm and might just make their otherwise gloomy day a little brighter. (Hope I'm listening to myself...?!!)

TINA: The praying mantis feeding was GROSS! Natural, I'm sure, but GROSS! I avoid videos of wild animals catching their prey, etc. *Shudder!* I'm not into be-headings and limb torture, human or animal. I bet you can watch "Starship Troopers" or "Braveheart" or Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" without twitching an eyelash! Or the "Jurassic Park" movies...yes, my family has made me watch all these. I think they like to see me get grossed out! It's that suspension of reality-thing as I watch them and get sucked into the story. Sheesh! Give me (little bitty house-variety) spiders anytime instead of body mutilations! Yuck!! Have a nice day, my friend. :-)

VIV: I meant to mention my condolences for your daughter...May she heal speedily!

MARK: A spoon? So gross, you boys! (Tina was a boy in her last life, I think.) The cow? ha ha ha oh dear, the poor thing ha ha hee hee! How much like a WB cartoon or the episode of "WKRP" where they "gave away" Thanksgiving turkeys - from a plane - before knowing turkeys couldn't fly... :-< :->

GARIESS: Next time, post your thoughts BEFORE you read gross posts. :-) We're here for ya - try again!

CHRISTI: "Death Is A Redhead" - :-) I liked your perspective and your treatment of the almost-dead guy and his choice to return to life, in spite of facing hardships to come. Watch POV, though; switching between your two characters can be tricky. I think it's more dramatic ( a good thing) than you thought. It was a nice little story.

Okay, saddle up the search party. We're goin' after the regulars who used to ride in here--well, regularly. Got your torches? (for light in dark places) Food and drink? (go easy on the Limburger and the Red Eye Whiskey) Witty Block Blockers? (Yep. We got th' gross jokes and the blonde jokes and the dead baby jokes all handy-by) Um, lessee- whut else do we need? Magnets to draw 'em back here? How about ropes to tie them muses down? Come on, now, help me out here - Christi and Heather, I see you in yore saddles already...who else is a-goin'? We're out to find and BRING BACK: TEEKAY, KITTY, HOP, BANKY, EDDIE, SASQUATCH, SHERWOOD, SUSAN, TRUDY, um, who else??? How about the stragglers? Are you with us or are we lookin' for you too: RANDALL, RHODA, RICHARD, ROSEMARY, TAYLOR,VIV...??!! Come on back (and/or more frequently) - you're MISSED!!!!!!!

Y'all go have a great writing day. I has spokened! (a bit of Mamie Yokum in me, I reckon.)

Mel 6-27-2001 9:37


"Saints and Sinners" (SS***, three stars) will welcome stories about sins and virtues. Everyone knows/knew a particularly lazy, lusty, gluttonous... person. Or people having a prominent virtue (mine being patience...). But is it always easy to distinguish between a quality and a defect? Great sinners and great saints share at least one thing in common: they tend to be more interesting people than the run-of-the-mill citizen. That makes them wonderful characters.

It's about them that everyone is invited to write, hopefully developing in the process his/her analytical skills, humour and English. The project will also try to develop the critic spirit of those wishing to collaborate. Anyone (Jon, Pussy and Sasquatch included) may write his/her impressions about the stories posted in the adequate place of the renewed Workbook, when Jack opens it. A project about the living and the dead-- the next great achievement of this excellent community of writers... and friends.

Americo 6-27-2001 6:57

HEATHER: Here is the album link. There is navigation on the site to move you from one picture to the next, or you can click directly on the thumbnails to skip to which page you want to see. It's really pretty cool, I can't believe how easy it was.

Mary photo album 6-27-2001 2:58

HEATHER: Just caught your question about the web pages. I used Microsoft Picture It! to make the page, then I posted it to an online web hosting account that I have at Yahoo!. I also have Trellix, but I have never used it. I can make web pages or multi-paged sites. I linked here to just the page with the children's pictures, but I have a whole family album online. I will come back in a few to link to the album so you can see how it works. I can make one for you if you like, it would save you having to buy the software. Let me know, :-) (took me ten minutes to make the album)

Mary my kids 6-27-2001 2:54

GARY: LOL, sorry about the blade thing. Still, I think Howard's butt-scab has got me beat. Holy Shnikies.

I haven't laughed this hard with you guys in a long while. Feels good.

LITTER: Sent you an email, a long boring one, in retrospect.

TEEKAY: You are freaking us out girlie...hope everything is all right. I wrapped up the mummy story. Get it? Wrapped up...nevermind. I can't even get the calculator thing.

Mary 6-27-2001 2:28

Ok, feeling exceptionally blonde right now.

I don't get the calculator stuff. I just don't get it. I am going to go read it again.

I don't get the string stuck in the teeth either. What did the poor fella swaller? Lump in throat...string in teeth. Ummmm...his shoe? That's not very gross so that can't be it.

Scratching my head...

Mary 6-27-2001 2:19


Christi 6-27-2001 2:01

Okay, my funny bone's busted. You guys went and made me laugh too hard and too long and that's that. Now when I whack my elbow I won't taste that nice zing screaming all the way up into my brain. :)
With all these jokes and stories I feel like I'm home again. Hail to the Notebook! Hail to the patrons of the Notebook! Hail to the Webmaster of the NB! Hale-Bopp! Whoa that was bad.

Viv, Your poor daughter. Hope she's feeling better!

Howard, Hang in there. Will you let us know how it turns out?

Thank you, Rachel. I'm glad I got through it too. Whew.

Mark, :P Gawrsh. I'm kicking at the ground with a goofy grin on my face. Thanks.

Americo, I never really had writer friends until I came here (except for my family), but you're right. It's an absolute necessity for me now. When I drop out of the NB's sight my writing suffers. Coming here fuels me and fires me up.

Mary, The kids are as adorable as ever! And you are as funny as ever.

Jerry, Thank you so much for sharing the story of your wife's PPD. It really made me feel better to know it. There is a real sense of guilt involved with PPD, even though you know it's not your fault, you can't help being mad at yourself for not being able to snap out of it. Anyway, thanks. It was really helpful.

Heather, Teekay hasn't answered my emails either. I'll just keep sendin' 'em until she answers me. That's me, Ima Stauker!

TEEEEEEEEEEEEKAY! I'm sending out a search party if I don't see your signature stylings soon! Please. We're not talking about murder anymore, I swear!

G.S., COME BAAAAACK! I hate it when someone doesn't tell me something they intended to say.

NOW, would somebody plllllllleeeeeeeease check out my newest story in the old ghostie haunt? (Needy writer, needy writer.) I'm dying to see what you think. It's really silly, so only read it if you want a laugh. Gulp. But what if you don't laugh ... won't my face be red. Okay, DON'T read it! AAGH! (Banging my head on my keyboard) Why must writers be born with such a thin skin when writing requires a thick one?

Good eve, ladies and gents. See you on the flip-side.

Christi 6-27-2001 2:00

Mark - Hi you (smiles).


6-27-2001 1:21

What gets into you people? I must be in the worst possible frame of mind to hear gross-out things and where do I go? The NB, where else can I hear about...


You are the worst. I can't contemplate razor blade images. I have to shut off those comercials when they show a woman shaving her legs. I know it's me, but I hate that.

Anyway, I can't post what I wanted to, you people have totally squelched my spirit, so I will save it for later.



gariess 6-27-2001 0:54

Mark, I'm still chuckling. A cow. Poor fishermen, probably thought they HAD gone nutso. Still chuckling, picturing their faces. And the cow's face. Poor cow.

About 'Freeborn' (just to avoid confusion with Jack and Rachel and Allein and Americo's 'Shadow', I'll stop refering to mine as Shadow.) Go ahead and let other's read it, if they want, and scrawl all over it too. The more input the better! That's a pretty big hunk to print off, I kinda feel bad. If I send you any more of it in the future (hint hint wink wink) I'll print it off myself and send you a copy. For now, I'll look forward to your notes!

Talking about wringer washers has set my brain to thinking about the wonderful gadgets at my grandparent's house, back when I was wee. The treadle sewing machine, the butter churner and manual ice cream machine (wow was that good ice cream!), the farm tools and old barn and the water pump that still works to this day. I used to watch grandpa milk the cows, by hand. He kept clydesdale draft horses, originally to work the fields but later for competition. Each night, he'd hone his big knife on the wetstone, and I'd watch him, fascinated. Grandma would turn out these huge meals, at lunch! I can't imagine having to prepare that much food, every day. And she preserved and canned the products of her huge garden, and her garden was immaculate. I miss them both.

Now that I've waxed sentimental... back to 'Freeborn'!

Tina 6-27-2001 0:47

Sorry about those gross jokes, sometimes I read something here and just have to join in, then I get carried away. No, I won't do the gross dead babby thing, that's just too gross. Had a wonderful visit with my boyhood friend, the one I was talking about earlier. He just came home to visit his mother who is in the nursing home where my wife works, when she can work.

You know I never really thought about it until today when I had to explain to him why I didn't go up and program his mom's phone so she could call him, I have a sort of phobia about nursing homes. It seems that when I begin visiting folks up at one of those places, it isn't long until they die. Maybe I am the grim reaper in disguise or something, but it happend several times now in the recent past. I now have a uncle and aunt who reside at the same home, and I have never been to see them, I think for just that reason. It happened with my wife's aunt, went to visit her about three times, and puff, she was gone. Our old neighbor from across the street when we lived here years ago. He was in the home, we dropped down to visit him, two days later he was gone puff. Just a coincidance probably, but scary none-the less, then I think that I may one day be up there myself, in the not all that distant future...

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-27-2001 0:18

Hi, all. TINA, I've finally started reading. Shadow is a fine work. I can't stand so much all at once on the monitor, so I printed it into a booklet. I'll mail my notes back to you in an envelope. Do you mind if someone else looks at the booklet?

CHRISTI -- You make me smile just being here.

DEBRA -- What kind of mood was that? heh heh heh .. You'd like to see more of it wouldn't you?

HEATHER -- Holy Hannah. What the heck was that stuff? I'm logical and you have a calculator. Glad you laughed. So did I. Most of that had me laughing right out loud, I had to get it written to see if it would carry over.

HALLEE -- Is that guy now driving a Yugo?

HOWARD -- You remind me of the Japanese fishermen who were pulled from the sea clinging to floating wreckage. The Japanese Coast Guard tried to ask them what happened. Several wouldn't talk at all and the three who did insisted that a cow fell out of the sky and crashed right through their boat. The men were held for observation.
Several days later, unrelated sources disclosed that a training Russian transport plane had flown over the Sea of Japan. The crew had stolen a cow from near their Siberian landing field and gotten it into the cargo hold, thinking to take it back home for sale and good steaks. But the cow took fright on take-off and during flight she paced and kicked and generally upset the plane's balance. The cargo crew hated to do it, but over the open sea they opened the cargo doors and forced the cow out.

MARY -- Wish I had a spoon


Any one I missed? scan, scan RACHEL -- !! -- HIYA, kid.

Mark 6-26-2001 23:16

Okay, where can I get a copy or two of The Book? I definitely want one for my library!
Sorry my mind has been on other things for a while - I feel like I've been wading through jello - had another MRI, now waiting for the results. Looks like more surgery, and it's really been getting me down. I'll know more on Monday, but dunno if I really want to hear it. So far the doc thinks it may be a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder, but there may also be more damage in my neck - one or more of the bone grafts may have failed.

JERRY -- that's definitely gross enough for me - you win.

Help me with a new joke/pun - thought this one up this afternoon. At least I think it's original - never heard it before. Olny lacks the right word(s) to fill the blank.

Didja hear about the voyeur who ________ at the peek of his career?

howard 6-26-2001 23:15

Last fall I kept a praying mantis at work, in a nice big cage. We had to feed her every day, at least one cricket and sometimes two. She would hang on a twig, watching the cricket move around, twisting her head and big eyes to follow every movement. And when the cricket came too close... WHAM she'd have it in her spiked legs. She didn't kill them, no, she just started eating. Usually she ate into the back of the cricket's head, holding the body while the cricket struggled hopelessly. Crickets have no brain, not really, so it could take awhile for the mantis to eat far enough to actually kill the cricket, and she wasn't neat. Cricket goo everywhere. Oh it was an excellent way to gross out kids and adults alike :-D
(This is not a cruel event, it is completely natural. Watch a mantis in the wild if you don't believe me. A mantis will only eat live prey.)

Hey Laura, I went and checked out your site awhile ago. Looks good - I think I left a note in your guestbook, didn't I? Can't remember. I didn't join in because I usually spend too much time here in the NB as it is. Just don't have time to bounce between two! I read the first bit of your rewrite in the WB, but haven't finished yet. Looks like you made quite a few changes this time.

Viv, (((HUGS))) for you and your daughter. Sign her cast for me!

Dang it I just did it again! Tried to boil my kettle dry. Good thing it was very full. sigh. It's so easy to get involved and distracted here!

Off to 'Shadow'. Yay I have time to write tonight!

Tina 6-26-2001 22:49

Jack - My copy hasn't come through yet, hopefully it'll get here soon. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-26-2001 22:09

I am a little busy at the moment getting ready for a presentation I have to give tomorrow night. However, Fran has not ready any of it, including my parts. So, she is completely engrossed and reading steadily away. I will let her make her own review when she is ready to do so and if she is willing to join us on the Notebook. Take care everyone. I look forward to reading it cover to cover on a somewhat slower bases. I did a skim with the pdf, but this is much much much better. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch HTML SIG 6-26-2001 20:48


Jack! I'm so happy that you got your copies. I know what you are saying about the excited little kid (grins). It is a pretty special feeling. Ahhhh! I'm going to hug you! Look out! It's a monster, bear hug (((((((((:oD))))))))))

6-26-2001 19:56

Oh, Jack, I'm really delighted that you got your copies at last! Hey, don't read just your part. You are also in other scenes... (And so is Fran). I think that Howard will also like and understand that I was always a great friend of his. As for Rhoda, well, I think she will also like. And so will everybody, except perhaps Jon, whose collaboration had to be rejected for being "too good for us just mortals" (but I hear that he is changing his mind...)

I was so happy to hear your voice on the NB. And I haven't forgotten that you were my first choice as co-editor (unfortunately you vanished)...

Americo 6-26-2001 19:31

Having said that, I did used to be a medical photographer...

Litter 6-26-2001 19:20


Hi Peeps!

MARY -- Where did you hear about Wemyss Caves? Or did you find them on a map? As it happens the caves are only 10-12 miles from where I live. Feel free to send me anything you need checked out. I try and remember to see if I can find any touristy stuff about the caves when I’m next in town. As for the Gaelic -- best of luck. I have been trying to get started on my own Gaelic course but my motives are a tad different -- I just want to ensure I do my bit for preserving the language, not that there are many Gaels living locally…

I seem to be sinking in a swamp of dead-head mail from all the conspiracy lists that I am on. They seem to be becoming more bizarre with time -- something I didn’t think that was possible.

Bit of a strange day here so I will not prolong this. Going outside to look for UFOs. Okay, Mars then.

As for gross -- don't think I can top Jerry.

As an old friend of mine used to say: “I’m saying nothing, thinking plenty, and making no mess…”

Litter 6-26-2001 19:17

This is a fanfic page that I run with the help of a friend of mine. please, if you like fanfic of any kind, or you just want an interesting story, come see...when we get a little farther you will see that it is a Choose your own adventure book...

laura MCQOFH... 6-26-2001 18:07

Well, PublishAmerica finally came through and I finally have two spanking new copies of Shadows in my hot little hands. It really does give me a thrill to turn over one of the copies and read my name on the back cover and turn to the parts of the book that I wrote. My little boy is peeking out from under the psychological covers and giggling with delight. I turn to him as he tries to sneak and tell him very gently to go back to bed. He giggles back at me and winks. Oh, well, he's part of me, too. Take care all.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-26-2001 17:54

Gross jokes, yep we used to tell them - like waking up with a lump in your throat and a string caught in your teeth. Or, when your granma kisses you and gives you toung! Oh and then there was when you throw your shorts against the wall and they stick! Yep there were lots more, but I forget, old age you know....

Jerry Ericsson me 6-26-2001 17:35


Don't look now, but it appears that you've started.

Debra 6-26-2001 16:55

I just updated my site, please come and see...if you want to post please join...I'd love to have you there...


Laura Laura's Writer's Lounge 6-26-2001 16:35

Howard, that WAS gross. Not much icks me (or irks me for that matter) but there have been a few things on the blue of the moon that do. ASS SCABS?
One of them was a prolapsed uterus. That's when the whole organ comes falling down, turns inside out and hangs there, wondering what on earth to do besides turn black and rot.
Have to keep it covered with cream if no attempts to return the organ to where it belonged works. In this case, nothing worked in twenty years. Strange how heavy it was to pick up and slather with cream on the underside. VERY WEIRD. But the patient refused to have it removed. I guess the patient wanted to know what it might be like to be a man. Well, a guy 'without equipment'. She could have asked Hallee's ex!

Jerry - x-wife was replaced in spell check with 'swine'? Oh my! Try it with an 'e' and see if it gets left alone. Ex, I mean.

Great wringer washer stories! I've only seen the water extraction machine at an old laundromat. It spins like the engines of a jet! Sounds like it too. Hate to think about having anything caught in that. Sayonara, protruberance.

Heather 6-26-2001 16:12

TEEKAY? TeeeeeKaaaayyy! Where are you?
Calling Teekay!

I'm worried. Teekay hasn't posted in a week and isn't answering emails. Hope all is well with you, Tania.

Saints and Sinners - is that the title of the new project, Americo? Are we to begin dreaming up stories now? How about a day in the life. Ha ha ha. Oh, but I'm still an innocent. Sure. There must be some speck left or else I'd not be able to find simple joy in the petals of a daisy, or in running my toes through fresh green grass.

Hallee: Poor guy. Wonder if he was able to reattach...

Heather 6-26-2001 16:02

MARY -- Gross? The kids at college used to play "let's gross out the old fart in the cafeteria." They were sitting at a table next to me one lunch hour, playing their game, and I wasn't paying much attention. Then I looked at my hand and asked if any of them had a nail file or clipper. One of the girls obliged, and I proceeded to clean out one fingernail. As I handed them back, I shook my head and thanked her, and said "You know how when you reach down your shorts and scratch your butt, and one of those little scabs gets caught under your fingernail...?" I think those clippers are still laying on the floor where she dropped them, and I never heard another "gross-out" attempt after that!
Don't even get me started on gross jokes.

howard 6-26-2001 15:56


Ben - You have lots of writer friends. A NB full of them;o)

Americo - I think it is very important for a writer to have other writer friends. There are things about writing that only another writer would seem to be able to understand.

Later :o)

6-26-2001 15:42

AMERICO: Can a writer survive without any friends in the literary milieu? I have.

None of my friends are writers, per se. There are those who say they are, but they haven't written anything in such a long time, they doubt if they ever will. They say they have no time, which of course is the wrong way to approach it. But I pretty well live my writer's existence in a solitary vein, and to be quite honest, it grows on you. It would be nice if I could belong to a writer's group out here where I could get some one-on-one feedback, but shift work and life get in the way more than I want to admit. I can't always get away from my responsibilities when I want to.

I finished my story about the painter. Totally different from what I had first planned. Made him half Jewish, gave him a Blue Star, and sent him in a boxcar to Buchenwald Concentration camp. I didn't kill him though. I leave that up to the reader to decide if he will die or not. But it is the train ride where the greatest change comes over him. He leaves Paris thinking he will be going to a place where he will still be able to paint, and on the way witnesses a mass murder, violence as much as violation of everything he believes in. He comes to the death camp a different man, not quite as naive as the man who left. I'm entering it in the Missouri Review Fiction contest, which limited me to 25 pages. I brought in at 21. I think it's pretty good. I'll find out if it is or not if it actually wins, places, or shows.

The secret about entering contests I was once told by an agent at the writer's conference out here, is to enter them as soon as you can, as opposed to waiting until the deadline. And the reason? The editors choose as many early stories as they can because they're afraid they might not come across that little gem they're looking for as the deadline approaches.

BAXTER: The importance of my writing? To me, it is all there is. It is the most important thing in my life as far as my own self is concerned, if that makes any sense to anyone. It takes precedence over food, sleep, and even sex sometimes (because I tell her I'll be up as soon as I finish this page, and by that time, naturally, she's fallen asleep and won't wake up for nothing--not even me!) It's not that it's more important than family and friends, it's just...different. It's my way of proving to myself that I can actually do it--for myself. I was never an underachiever in school, but I was never an overachiever either. I didn't go to university, because I was just an average student, and didn't have the grades. I didn't think they'd be able to teach me anything I couldn't find out for myself anyway. Now, of course, I wish I had gone for some courses. When I sit and write, I'm writing to please me, to show myself I can. And when something gets accepted, something I've worked on and re-worked, and honed down to where I feel it might be salable, I feel a great sense of self worth, and pride--the accomplishment of having achieved. Too bad it's only happened the one time...

Gotta go now. Found the start of an old story about a man going through his midlife crisis. Had one and a half pages and it struck me as not bad. Now I've got three and a half pages and it still looks, not bad. It's a time filler while I come up with another one. I'm gonna make it short, 6000 words, and have it out by next week I think. Don't think I'll be writing tonight though. Stayed up till four last night and had to get the wife up at seven. She had one beer too many with her girlfriend last night and wouldn't get up to turn off the radio alarm clock this morning. Why is it when she drinks, I have to suffer? It must be love, I don't know what else to call it.

Ben 6-26-2001 15:00

The last couple of days this place has reminded me of all those jokes you tell back and forth when you are kids to try and gross each other out.

1)"What's grosser than gross?"

"Sliding down a 30 foot razor blade into a pool of alcohol."

2)"What's grosser than gross?"

"Jumping from three stories up onto a bicycle with no seat."

Hehe. Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts....

Mary 6-26-2001 14:24


Those words will be with me forever. HAPPY?

Debra 6-26-2001 12:48

HOWARD!!!!Ughhhh!!!! Puleeze!!! I'm trying to eat my lunch!!! :-/

Mel 6-26-2001 12:44

VIV - Worst case of "projectile vomiting" I ever saw was flying over France in 1965 in a deHavilland Otter. That's a 9 passenger army air corps plane.
I was headed for Maison Forte to support a field exercise, and the guy in the seat ahead of me was on his way Home. But he had partied a bit too much the night before, and couldn't handle the turbulence as we crossed the mountains between Germany and France (big hills, anyway). He started filling barf bags, and handing them back over his shoulder to me. I handed them to the crew chief, who opened the hatch and chucked them out. Several of them. Right over a small French village. Hope nobody was looking up! Them bags were full.

howard 6-26-2001 12:42


Hallee 6-26-2001 12:40

RHODA: COOL! Boy, JS looks older than I remember. But still a star! :-)

JERRY, MARY: Speaking of old, heh heh, well, you guys remember better than me (I'm only four years younger than Jerry so I can say that!). My mom must've had a wringer washer too but I don't remember specifics. Maybe between the time Jerry was born and I was born four years later, that's when progress happened. (Just knock me the side of the head for lame humor - must be the pinkie bandage is too tight.) Mary, what a fun memory! :-)

Mel 6-26-2001 12:39

Boy, that little piece of washer-history sure brought back memories for me. I guess that nowadays people worry about taking big vacations and long trips with their families to make up for time they didn't spend together on an every day basis. It doesn't matter what you are doing as long as you are doing it together. I can still feel my brother's hand holding mine as we stomped up and down in those buckets. And the way we laughed. Hardly even seemed like a job. Boy, my mom really knew what she was doing.

Mary 6-26-2001 12:28

Chuckling...we had the cleanest feet in town.

Mary 6-26-2001 12:20

Wringer washers: My mother had one that sounds just like the one you are speaking of, Jerry. It was considered the height of luxury at the time because prior to my dad's lugging home of the wringer, my mother would line up three ten gallon buckets on the back porch. Into the first one went sudsy water and my youngest brother. Into the second one went clean water and my second youngest brother. Into the last one went more clean water and myself. My mother would put a shirt in the first bucket and let my brother stomp it, much like pressing grapes. It would get lifted, hand-wrung and added to the middle bucket of clean water where it would get stomped by my second brother. Meanwhile the next article was added to the first bucket and it was so assembly lined until the final piece of clothing was wrung out of my bucket at the end and hung on the line. My mother still says they don't make washers like they used to.

Mary 6-26-2001 12:14

HALLEE: LMAO, but one has to ask, is that WHY he is an ex-boyfriend? Hahahahaha..just kidding.

Mary 6-26-2001 12:06


This one should work. The other picture is with Alice Kruge, the Borg queen.

Rhoda Dinner with Stars 6-26-2001 11:50

My link worked on Netscape but did not work on Internet Explorer.

I guess I will have to put my picture on a web-page.

Rhoda 6-26-2001 11:42


That link below does work.

Rhoda 6-26-2001 11:28

What Link??!!

Try again.

Rhoda Judson Scott 6-26-2001 11:27


Try this link for my picture of Judson Scott.

Rhoda 6-26-2001 11:25

I am going to try to put my photo with Judson Scott here. It has never worked before, but I will try once more.">

Rhoda 6-26-2001 11:19

Hmmm a tit in a wringer? I do remember that saying, hell I remember when mom used to use one of those old Maytag washing machines with the top wringer. Had a small gas engine at the bottom to run the whole thing, with a kick petal to start it. A small flex-hose lead the exhaust outside through the entry door. We had to carry buckets of water from the windmill to the house, where we poured it into a large copper boiler, that was set atop the old wood burning cook stove. When the water boiled, we would take the dipper from the water pail (used for drinking water) and ladle it into the bucket again, then carry it out from the kitchen to the entry and pour it into the washing machine. For soap, mom would take a knife and shave slivers off the home-made lye soap. The machine also had a hose so when the water needed to be changed she could just take the hose down and drop it out the door, so the water could run out. Rinsing was done in a wash tub, then the cloths were sent through the wringer to get most of the water out, then to a basket and out side to the cloths line to dry. I remember the day dad brought home that old used Maytag, mom was so very happy that she didn't have to use the scrub board anymore. Just in case the machine wouldn't start though, the scrub board still hung in the entry. Dad picked up used maytag engines (well they called them motors, but that wasn't the right term) so there were several of them out in the garage both for parts or to replace one should the one on the machine quit. When we moved to town, we took some of the spares along, I don't know why because dad picked up an electric wringer washer to use instead, but one day I took one of those little Maytag motors, and fitted it to an old bike frame I found at the dump and put tires on it. Didn't work all that well and I didn't have a clutch so I rigged a pulley on a lever and a belt that had a lot of flex to it. Well I started the motor, but it didn't have enough poop to start the bike going forward, so I started kicking with my legs, eventually I got it moving, and the little engine had enough power to keep me moving. I rode it around the block a couple of times but the pulley kept slipping off and eventually I gave up. My neighbor saw me going though and he thought it was great. He came over and traded me a home made single shot .22 pistol for the dang conglomeration. Now I didn't know that it was illegal to cut off a rifle and make a pistol out of it, and I used that little (not really little, the barrel must have been ten inches long) for about a year before I traded it off. Any that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Incidently I saw that pistol again when I went to work on the PD, it was in the evidence lock-up, a fellow took a shot at my sister and her friend a couple months before I started on the PD, and when they searched his house the came up with that old pistol too. Guess things like that keep popping up. Well they cut that old pistol in half with a cutting torch after the guy's trial as it was an illegal weapon. Oh the reason he was shooting at my sister and friend, was that the friend was his almost x-wife and the divorce just wasn't going all that well, as the fellow was one of those ass holes who like to dominate, and beat his wife.

Oh odd thing, the spell checker highlighted x-wife and offerd to replace it with swine? Must have been written by a bitter man.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-26-2001 11:11

I have to come out of lurk for just a minute. You guys are too hysterical to leave for long.

MARK: You are brilliant! hahahaha (Conan drives a big '79 Ford bubba truck *grin*)

GARIESS: Better to close an open window naked than to be a man, be naked, and close an open window with a fan running that didn't have the guard on it. (Yep - happened to an ex-boyfriend - they heard him screaming two barracks over).

Hallee 6-26-2001 9:58

Just a quick post.
Seems like we're all having a week of digit disasters! We had one of our own last night. My daughter broke her wrist. She took on a dog sitting job for a large dog. She was out walking the dogs, her own and the job-dog and they both took off after a tanoki (racoon). She was pulled over and dragged. I hadn't thought of the dangers of letting her walk a dog that is heavier than she is. She got the strap of the leash caught around her wrist.

Had to find the Japanese emergency clinic, and ended up getting lost and almost checking her into an old folks home! Oh dear! I think I saw Ima behind the desk. She was all too pleased to admit my daughter until a nurse came.

The biggest problem with this dog sitting besides the fact that Hana is smaller than the dog, is that the dog is named Hana also. I call one and get two!

This is the most beautiful dog you have ever seen. She is well behaved and was crushed that she'd caused harm. It was a an accident. I didn't have enough sense to realize that she needs a little help walking both animals. With just one she'd have had a fighting chance but her little dog got underfoot at the same time. Now I'm a little scared too because this beautiful golden retriever who is so kind outweighs me as well. Still, she is being sooooo very careful now that I'm sure we've all learned our lesson. We're lucky to have her.

But there is nothing scarier than a busted kid who keeps throwing up out the window as you drive around narrow roads trying to find the hospital. (My daughter vomited on a man who was walking down the side of the road....the streets are that narrow) We were not a proud example for America last night! Poor old guy!

Heather: I have Mr. Bill all taped. I'll find a strong box and attempt a return flight for poor Mr. Bill. I keep hearing this little voice saying....Oh nooooooo!
Because of the violence involved in the tape, I'm going to treat the kids to a dinner at our house, work it into the conversation and then show one episode to them and watch their reaction. At least I can't get zinged for showing it in class. We're doing our class picnic and I'll work American fads into the conversation, then give them a glimpse. If the reception is good, I'll do it in class. If they get really quiet, I'll say something like...well, do you have violent cartoons? (Yes!) Hopefully they will have a good sense of humor!

Viv 6-26-2001 9:30


First of all it was Jerry. He had an ingrown nail.

Also, I read your procedure for ingrown nails. You know what, that sounds like it just might work.

When you have an urge to slip into a pair of four inch sandels you just can't wait to make an appointment. You gotta get in there and make that nail nice nice!

Debra 6-26-2001 9:20


And the little gnome who guards the Book Of Time rips off another page...

G'mornin' Everyone! Sun here, 'tho pleasant now may become gruesome later... Write while there's a pleasant breeze between your ears... (no offense intended; there's usually a large wind buffeting back and forth between my lobes!)

MARY: Your children are adorable!! :-) Extra (((((HUGS))))) today for them!

RHODA: You talked to JUDSON SCOTT?! Ohh--green, drooling eyes here. :-) I thought JS did a great job as Kahn's son, not to mention the brief series of PHOENIX. Wish he'd do more stuff!

AMERICO: I was going to say my earliest writing days as a preteen were without writing friends--but I remembered my sister and brother formed a writing club with me one summer and we supported each other. And then there was a writing cousin of mine with whom I often got together. But in the Between times, it seemed like I was writing all alone, most of my years. And then I found THIS group. :-) I have never had so many writing friends at once! It is sheer joy to me. Daily inspiration! People who understand the high's and low's and confusions of the writing life. I love hearing from EVERY ONE OF YOU! :-) Thanks to ALL for sharing, day after day, time without end.

HEATHER: My pinkie is healing speedily; thanks for the boo-boo kiss. :-) It doesn't hurt too much now, except when I knock it against a doorway or something. The Tetanus shot I had to have for the pinkie injury hurts as much or more! Dumb shots.

GARIESS: NO ONE is touching our big fat window again, clothed or otherwise! :-) And I apologize for the gory thread on the NB of late. I think my squished pinkie story started it off! :-/

Meanwhile, I hate to suggest it, but some recent posts here could combine to make a very funny story, e.g. Mary's neighbor walks by in her snakeskin bikini, just as Randall, Mark, and Gariess are repairing a window for Mel and... well, your imaginations can fill in the rest, I'm sure! (Geez, look what you guys have done to my muse, got her all twitterpated, and she doesn't need any more bad influences to knock her offtrack!! I just got her back ontrack, sort of...and I refuse to write further episodes like this one! I write clean, wholesome stuff... with a little help from my friends, heh heh!)

Have a good day, y'all! :-) Write GOOD stuff!!!

Mel 6-26-2001 8:59

We will heretofore return to our regular scheduled programming.

Anonymous - heh heh 6-26-2001 3:51

Better flat toe talk than the news clips of the previous week!

Heather 6-26-2001 3:48

just a note of the wierd...

Every time I use the 'back' arrow to refresh this page, I'm bumped back to June 5. Any computer people know why?

I'm having sympathy pains, everyone! Toes, fingers, and all other vulnerable protuberances are cringing at the possibilities!

See y'all!

Tina 6-26-2001 1:47

I hereby accept responsibility for the following uncredited post.


gariess 6-26-2001 0:53

Hey, you guys,

I have no more to say about the Texas woman. I will say that the response from the maternal view point is remarkable.


That thing about your finger. One more good reason for men not to close windows while naked. In fact, since I read that I can’t remember the other good reasons.


Those old washing machine wringers were worse than file cabinets. At least according to that old analogy.


Here is your cure for ingrown toenails:

"The best way to get them gone is to take alcohol, a really flat steak knife, strong glasses, to see with, a bright sunny spot and come clippers."

I see, now, that Howard, with his lightning grasp of the obvious, has pre-empted the following alternative procedure, but I am going to let it stand, anyway. I recommend drinking the alcohol first and then going to bed. When you wake up, see if you can remember what in hell the steak knife, glasses and clippers are doing on the floor in the bright sunny spot coming through the window. Next, make an appointment with the foot surgeon.

You know what? I just can’t read any more of these toe stories. How in hell did you people get so gory all of a sudden?



6-26-2001 0:49

Ok, lets see; my current ride is a 1991 Chevy Silverado 4X4 extended cab. Yes the toenail fell off after being stomped by the yet unnamed young lady, who I am sure I called very unkind names for the rest of that school year.

An elbowed nipple, my god that must have been a real pain.

Post partum - I guess the wife suffered from that, she reminded me of it when we were talking about this case. I should have remembered it well, it was the worst few weeks of my life. She took pills, and our son, who was two at the time brought her note out to me, as I was elbow deep in the carburetor of our old Buick. I was horrified, but had enough sense to carry her to the car, and rush her to the hospital where she spend several weeks in the psycho ward, and we attended counseling. After making sure she was OK, I flew the kids home from Texas to Lemmon, where mom took care of them for us, until we got it together. Yes, our daughter was so very young then, just a few months old. Anyhow, it all worked out in the end. And we did live happily ever after.

Gee, I lost my train of thought after writing that, so I guess I won't answer any more, or participate in what I forgot to mention in this post which was indeed designed to participate in all the fine threads forming up and down this our favorite notebook.

Now this is getting about anoying, the top of my browser keeps rearanging itself, and I had to look all over for my Hot Lingo spell checker icon!

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-26-2001 0:27


I covered my mouth reading most of your post. Wow!


Same goes to you. What kind of mood are you in tonight?


I meant to say this, your kids are darling. Your daughter looks just like you.

YOu're lucky. In a family picture I look like a stranger who jumped into the picture.

Debra 6-25-2001 23:39

miniskirt walking by of own accord

... 6-25-2001 23:28

MARK! I haven't had that much fun reading a post in a while!

*Still chuckling and trying to type*

My husband rides an American Classic motorcycle with the loudest pipes and all the chrome you can possibly find places for on a motorcycle. It's red and black. Yeah - BIG TANK. Almost a Fat Boy. He also drove a big extended cab truck when we first met. Penismobiles. Both of 'em. I took it as a sign! (Do loud pipes mean... never mind)

And I was right, too.

Now, on the topic of breast deflation where there are NO implants: One night after a wild, sweaty string of orgasms, my husband rolled over and up onto his elbow to face me, as he wanted to continue the conversation thread that had started the whole fireworks display.
His face went from 'about to say something' to 'Oh, God, what's wrong!?' I couldn't say anything. My mouth was agape...

...His elbow (and all of his weight) was on my nipple!


Heather 6-25-2001 23:25

Rachel! Absolutely! Excellent reason and of utmost importance!

Baxter - you did mean MY question, right? Ha ha ha Just checking to see if you were READING... :o> *innocent shrug with eyes rolled up and to the side*

Mark - you are certainly a logic-based human. Like that a lot. My childhood home: Four calculators and one quietly wild calligraphy pen. Oh, don't think calligraphy pens don't have logic. They do (I do) but it's not always a conventional kind. I see events that assemble themselves and each logically leads to the next - some call that coincedence. Call it a wide-angled lens view of happenstance, though I know; perhaps I should say I'm more of a Minolta or Mamiya than a pen. But I like to get under the surface. But pens and cameras have, in the artist's hand, an uncanny ability to dig beneath surfaces. Calculators, however, can see the pilings, the foundations, the pillars, the roof, and then the whole structure. (Weird sounding house!) They see what makes the whole and how it comes to be. But can a calculator see nuance? Perhaps they can. And the four members of my family that resemble calculators ARE much more than they appear.
If this whole blurb finds logic that you deem lost, just pretend I never said a thing! Forgive me, I'm rambling with a little less sleep in me than advised.

A really ugly looking insect just fell from the top of my monitor. Excuse me while I catch it with my tweezers and feed it to the chameleon...

ZzztthhWAP! Quick dinner, still wiggling. A sort of blue-rare beetle. MMMMMMmmm.

Perhaps I should save my speal on logic for a time when I can think, no? I'm tired. Still.
It was the sun's beating. Stayed in the park and soaked up 32 degree weather until it ran from the bottom of my shirt. Whew! Came home and decided to give the garden AND the kids a sprinkle.

MARY - beautiful kids! OH! Just darlings! They look a lot like their mom. :oD
BTW, how'dya do that? I have a scanner. I have no idea where to go to find a page like that to put up pics. Is it hosted by your ISP?
My ISP is hosted by computer nerds who find it best to stay away from film. Not that I think they're hideous. It's just the lunch on their shirts.

MEL - ohhhh OW! Double OW! *another smooch for your poor pinkie*

RHODA - Well said! Hearty Agreement HERE!

THE TOE PEOPLE :-) Howard - did the exact same thing when I was a lifeguard and swimming instructor in my teens. Was taking a bunch of 6 year old kids out of the hot tub at the end of a swim class, and the bubbles were on in the hot tub so I couldn't see the step. (I was last up the stairs) Caught the step with my toenail and, well, it was ripped right up. Almost straight up. Blood all over the pool deck. Really hard time ushering the kids to their awaiting parents without keeling over in horror and pain! The nail turned an odd shade of green (mostly pool chemicals and this disgusting 'spray-on bandage in a neon shade' my mom bought to protect my toe from getting wet...) later the toenail fell off and it was really neat to see the new one grow back. It grew out, but the end wasn't straight across. It was shaped like a semi-circle, almost clear, and really soft and rounded at the edges....)
To this day, I have problems with that toenail because I must have damaged the cuticle or something. The toenail grew in a little raised, and over the years it has never gone down. Similar to the fingernail I slammed into my Dad's truck door - and it was locked. My parents had gone into the University to set up for my mother's pottery show. I yelled but nobody heard me, (And I was keyless) so I had to rip my finger out of the door, taking the nail off with it.

EWW! I think I've had enough TOE TALK! (And fingernail talk)

And this post may just reach 'Notebook hall of fame' for longest, most boring and the most sickening all in the same entry. Ah, what the heck, I'll click enter. SORRY!

Heather 6-25-2001 23:13

I saw in one of today's posts about HEATHER and a twisted boob. ooooooo. There's a big problem. I scanned post after post looking for salacious details. I found nothing. But just thinking about it made me erect my own big problem. Yes, I admit such thoughts. I'm old enough to know better, old enough to have some self-control, and I'll still turn my head at a miniskirt while driving.

Speaking of which, for a long time the world of cars has been a masculine world. Men equated their automotive equipment with their 'other' equipment. Generally speaking, more power is better than less power. These days I see lots of young women driving large SUVs and large pick-up trucks. I guess Freud was right. It is penis envy.

Let me assure the young women, it ain't all it's cracked up to be. Take my resume back 25 years and you'll find me driving an 18-wheeler for Aero Mayflower.
ooooooh, do you drive that big truck?
Yes, m'am.

However, a year later I was only in control of a 14-wheeler. Ten years after that I drove a 6-wheel truck for a local garden center. Now, professionally, I drive a keyboard. I sigh when I say this, but as the years have gone by I have gracefully accepted my decreases in equipment size and power.

Some of my acquaintances have been less graceful. For his 49th birthday, one of my former employers bought a red convertible Corvette, the ultimate American penismobile. My present employer bought a Porsche Carrera last month. This month he takes lessons in how to use it.

Off the job, I kept getting bigger vehicles. When I moved here from Texas, I drove a full-size Dodge pickup and my wife drove the Lincoln. Right now, to my chagrin, I have a Toyota truck, though it *is* an extra cab model. Oh, and I might add I've proven that it hauls much more than its rated half-ton.

If someone dropped a blank check on me and said I could fill it out for any amount as long as it all went to buy a vehicle, I'd buy either a Hummer or a Mack Tractor. Let's face it, both of those vehicles say the same thing, "OK, I'm here until the job is done."

At the end of the day when I go home and find my wife clutching the doorframe, I don't want to hear her ask how quickly I can get into and out of her parking lot. I want to hear "Gimme all 18 wheels you big trucker."

mark 6-25-2001 22:48

Gaia - Hello. I don't think I have said hello to you yet. I used to be so good at saying hello to people. Now I'm rotten at it :o) So, hello!

Litter - Nice to read yah again.

Christi - I'm so glad that your baby blues went away. They sound awful. I have had friends suffer from post partem. I am glad that you are back. I missed you (smiles and hugs).

Richard - You illustrated your view very well. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for not going on a personal attack. That was very cool.

Mary - Thank you also for writing about this in such a level way. I like that I was able to say something that doesn't run along the exact same lines as everyone and I wasn't incinerated. Weee ha!

I also would like to give you a hug. I have talked to people about the woman. I know people here don't want to really talk about this, so if you are reading this post and you don't want to hear about it, then stop reading now.

Okay, I wanted to say that I also wonder why it is that people who do bad things to children seem to be able to have so, so many of them. I work with abused children. I have worked with and around them for years. I see them taken away, then the parents just have more and do the same things to the next batch. The ones before are destroyed. Their lives are upside down, inside out and as a rule, a total mess. Then, you will find some wonderful couple, whose only dream is to have a child together. They will not be able to, or they will have one and something will happen to the baby. It just makes me shake my head and wonder at the way of life.

Be good to yourself Mary. Okay?

Hallee - I think that we should be happy that we don't understand. If we really understood, we would be at risk of experiencing these things first hand.

Heather - Okay, I see what you are saying (smiles). How about this; because I love it. All things that I love are important to me.

Lena - Glad you got the e-mail. Thanks for the congratulations. It's nice to see you posting. I would be happy to give an autograph. Enjoy the book.

Rachel 6-25-2001 22:19

Evening Writers all,
JERRY and all ingrown nail persons,
My husband had ingrown toe nails and told me that once you got the doctor to heal them up, you must always cut the nail straight across and then cut a V in the middle. That was his method of preventing the corners growing in. I also don't think it always comes from injury. Sometimes it is just because of the way the toe is shaped, the shoes you wear or just because.

I lost my big toe nail while wearing boots. While I was holding my horse on a lead and talking to a neighbor, the mare stepped on the end of my boot and did a periotte (really!) I was at the neighbor's house. I smiled grimly after I got her off my foot, and led her home. I knew that if I took the boot off, I wouldn't be able to get it back on. Come to think of it, it wasn't funny then and not especially funny now.

I don't actually understand why so many are condeming the justice system when we have no idea of what is going to happen with that woman in Houston.
There were a few side issues that I felt were odd. 1. Why would the wife of an engeneer at NASA have to ask for a court appointed lawyer? (I know she has someone else now, [he probably offered for the publicity for himself,] but at first she did plead poverty and asked for free representation.) 2. How much did religion enter into the problems she was having? Why else would anyone have five babies (singely) in seven years even after an attempted suicide after the fourth one? I mentioned religion because of the babies' names. They were all out of the Bible.
I do agree with a few posts that said the husband should have done more. I wonder if it was her choice to have so many babies all together like that.

You're all right. We've gone on and on about that case and need to quit. But, I've been busy and haven't posted in a while.

PS--Has anyone had a chance to read either on of the stories I posted?????
Would love to hear from any and all. I don't think our email address shows up so I'll put mine

Rosemary 6-25-2001 21:57

Oh and on the toenail thing, maybe I misstated the condition, the nail is grown in on both sides, curled into the toe. Anyhow, I am going to leave it up to the Medico's since I have an appointment with them anyhow, after all it is free to Vets, so why not use it.

Jerry 6-25-2001 21:35

JACK, just for the heck of it, I loaded up that American Indian Web Talkster, v3.0 and it works just fine to, must be Netscape, doesn't surprise me, since AOL took over, it seems to have gone a bit downhill.

Jerry 6-25-2001 21:32

Jack, not a problem for me, I usually use IE 6.0 which works fine, just thought I would let you know in case there are those who surf in with Netscape and have the same problem. I think I have Opera laying around on a disk somewhere, may give that a try just for the heck of it.

Jerry Ericsson 6-25-2001 21:26

Jerry: Re the Netscape 6 issue. My suggestion is that you make sure you have Netscape 6.01 I am using it just now without a problem. 6.0 is very buggy. Point of fact, AOL released it long before it was ready. Even 6.01 has some problems with it. Sorry you had difficulty. I would say Opera is another option, but I cannot even get it to run on my system. Still a tad bit overwhelmed with other duties or I would be getting to the Workbook. Try to get it finished before the end of the week. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-25-2001 21:10


Actually that sounds like a great idea. I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt because of any hair brain scheme I cooked up to wear sandels.

Just for the record, I have perfected this procedure now. I'm the queen of both of my feet, not just the nails.

Debra 6-25-2001 21:06

"Lena Disconnected" looks like some cyber-chickie teenage pop name. How disconcerting.

Lena 6-25-2001 20:59


*jumps on the collective notebook, esp. the Proud Authors*

I just read Rachel's e-mail, and I have been giddy ever since. I am so extremely, very proud of all of you -- just WOW. Congratulations, you guys, on getting Shadows published. I am going to order my copy sometime this week and I absolutely cannot wait to read it.

*grins, shyly* ...any chance for autographs...?

It's been a while since I've stopped by here, but I did want to say that I still think of you as my little family, floating off in cyperspace, and how very, very proud and happy it makes me to hear that you got Shadows published.

Congratulations, all!

*reels off happily into the sunset, and bangs her head on the painted backdrop*

Lena Disconnected 6-25-2001 20:56

That was a good post, Rhoda.

And now for something completely different. Can a writer survive without friends in the literary milieu? I doubt it. And, however, who likes writers as friends? I certainly don't like them very much. They tend to be egotist and think they are better than me, which, as you know, is absurd.

Another completely different thing is that Jon sent me a message from the Moon asking me what an ingrown nail is and if he can be the king of that. I'm thinking of telling him to take it up with Debra... Or pehaps I'll just ignore that incredible cat.

Americo 6-25-2001 20:36

DEBRA -- No, no hacking. Nada. As a matter of fact if you're a diabetic (as I am) it's a job best left to professionals. There's too much danger of an infection that can really get out of control and become a life(or limb)-threatening situation.

howard 6-25-2001 19:36

***Rhoda ***


Amen, Sister! Let us leave that Houston tragedy to the criminal justice system. To me that is a great relief. I ran that situation over and over in my head until I got absolutely depressed (really!). I consider how many days we have discussed that one, and honestly one of the reasons I haven't posted much lately is that I don't want to talk about it any more or even think about it. I can only conclude that this case has hit such a cord because it boggles all of our pat ideas about justice and law and order. I have no answers. I am more than happy to let a jury decide and to let the criminal justice system do its job.

And yes, I am praying for what little is left of that family.


Bless your heart. I remember what it was to be young and a bit rash. I might have made such statements at your age, but however much you might not like it, even the accused has rights. If it were not so, the government or the society would be dragged down to the level of the criminals or anti social types it seeks to discipline. That is why the United States Constitution and those of every other civilized country has laws against cruel and unusual punishment and torture and such. Look at the countries such as Saudi Arabia where justice is swift and severe. The problems with such places, you will find that some people get more justice than others. Read the book PRINCESS (author's last name is Sassoon) for an eye-opening look at that.

I hope and pray that those two guys in Britain do not murder again. What a horrible thing! Think about what you are saying, Taylor. I do not believe for a minute that those boys are rehabilitated, but I hope they never hurt another soul. Someone made a big mistake in that case, but I hope that God is merciful. I think a far better thing would have been for the individuals who made that decision--those people who really believe these guys have been rehabilitated and deserve another chance--to take those guys into their own homes and let these boys babysit these officials' own kids.


I know just what you mean. I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at the age of eleven and life was never the same again. I cannot begin to tell how good He is or has been to me, though I have often tried. I am happy for you. And just think: the best is yet to come!

I have a couple of pictures from my "Dinner with the Stars." I will put them up on my web-site perhaps this evening. All the proceeds of that dinner went to charity. It was a lot of fun and Frank and I are glad we went, but there were not many stars. Most of them for whatever reason did not show up, including the lady who was supposed to provide the entertainment. The only major draw who came was Adam West (aka Batman). I was hoping to see James Doohan, but he wasn't there. I talked to Alice Kruge (the Borg Queen) who is a beautiful and talented lady. I also had a few words with the tall blond haired guy (the one with the head band) who died in Kahn's arms in STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KAHN. He told me that Kahn was his dad, though it was never stated in the movie.

Rhoda 6-25-2001 19:17


That sounded like it really hurt. Geez. I think I smell a story for funny, not so funny at the times, accidents.

Nope, actually it's dinner. Gotta go................


Debra 6-25-2001 18:17


There is no hacking in what I was talking about. It's precision cutting. No hacking. None.

Jerry no hacking:

Got that?

Debra 6-25-2001 17:53

DEBRA - They don't have to be strong glasses -- just sturdy enough to hold the alcohol (bourbon, presumeably) until you get zonked enough to start hacking away.
Ingrown toenails are caused by improper trimming. Thick toenails are caused by fungus buildup under the nail.
A couple of years ago I went down cellar for some canned peaches, and my foot hung up on the next-to-bottom step, just enough to unbalance me. In trying to keep from landing across the room I forced my foot down, and the big toe came down first, right on the concrete floor. Big time ouch! I hobbled around for about a week, and then popped the nail clean off. Instant relief!

Howard 6-25-2001 17:36


It doesn't matter where the first cut is. It only matters that the clippers cut the nail somewhere and not the tissue.

As you move along the part that has decided to grow down into the toe, you can cut whatever part of the nail you are able to lift upward. At some point you will feel better and become a pro. Once that happens you will be the king of your toe nails.

Debra 6-25-2001 17:04

Had new pictures taken of the children.

Mary my children 6-25-2001 17:04


Did I mention that part of, but not all of the reason, for the flat knife is you need to slip it under your nail slide it towards the in grown part and the slightly turn it upwards towards the sky to lift the nial so the clippers can get at it?

Well you do.

Debra 6-25-2001 16:23

LITTER: I learned how to say your name in Scots Gaelic today. I stumble over my own a bit, but yours is easy. I can also say a few phrases. The easiest is, "What's your name?"

Dé'n t-ainm a th'ort? (It sounds just like "Tea and ham on a horsht) OK, not exactly...but that's how I remember it.

I started trying to learn a little Gaelic because I need it for that story, but I am so fascinated by it I can't stop. :-)

Anyone else here know any Gaelic?

Mary 6-25-2001 15:32


You win! Boy that sounds like it hurt.


In grown toenails are caused by banging them on a door way when you go threw too fast. I have them too. The best way to get them gone is to take alcohol, a really flat steak knife, strong glasses, to see with, a bright sunny spot and come clippers.

Wait a minute I'm not done.

You have to dip the knife in the alcohol, we don't want nail fungus. Then slip it into the nail from the edge, working from the middle to the right. Don't stick the knife into the toe. Just slip it under close to the top of the nail. When you have some of the nail visible cut it with the clippers. You have to do little of sections at a time. You can't get it all at once. Don't worry if you can't get the absolute farthest edge first. Soon you will be an expert. Just make sure you don't try to cut the nail without the knife under as a guard. When you get in there you don't want to cut the toe. The pain is caused by the nail hitting the tissue. Once the nail is out the tissue stops hurting.

Do that now!

Debra 6-25-2001 15:25

Mel, I can only hope. You know try as I may, I simply can not think of her name. Guess it isn't important. Been trying the wife to unpack my high school annals, but she says "just as soon as you build me a book case!" Oh woe is me.

Jerry Ericsson 6-25-2001 14:36

You guys keep posting as I'm posting! Sheesh! How's a person supposed to keep up?!!

JERRY: I count that as your childhood stupid accident for shorty night, if Mary agrees - but tell us, did the ugly girl go deaf from your scream??! :-]

Mel 6-25-2001 14:24

Well, I guess for shortie night there are two choices of topic:




Mary 6-25-2001 14:24

DEBRA, MARY: Yeowchy condolences to both of you!! Thanks for your warnings. :-) Too bad I didn't hear 'em before I did that stupid thing Sunday morning! :-/

So, MARY, which shortie night topic is it going to be? Childhood stuff or stupid stuff (hmm, could be one and the same - in fact, I've got just the story...)

Mel 6-25-2001 14:20

Hahaha...I am having way to much fun at the Notebook today.

JERRY: Your poor wiggly piggly. :-)

Mary 6-25-2001 14:17

Mel - Sorry to hear about the digit injury. Did something like that myself when I was but a pup. It was the first house we lived in with running water, and I thought it was GREAT. I showered every day, sometimes twice a day if it was hot. Well one day after a quick shower, I hurried to dress for school. Well had my pants and shirt on, but needed to go get my shoes and socks, so I yanked that bathroom door open, right over my big toe. What pain, I screamed but managed to get the thing open again, and all was well, or so I thought. About mid-day in school, the pressure began to grow, by the time I got home, the whole toenail was black., I showed it to dad and mom, they looked and made some excuse for not taking me to the Doctor, something like we can't afford it. Dad told me to take a needle and poke a hole in the back of the nail to relieve the pain, so I started. Went pretty well to, managed to get the hole all the way through, and the blood came oozing out. I kept picking at the hole, and squeezing that toe until most of the blood came out, and the pain seemed to dissipate. A couple of days later, in 6th grade music class, the teacher had us pair off to dance to Stoudal'a Pumpa she played on the piano. Well I got paired off with the meanest ugliest girl in the whole sixth grade (both rooms!). About midway through the dance she stomped right down on my poor big toe. The scream I let go of could be heard on all three stories of the grade school, it echoed through the hallways, into the rooms, even the bell atop the building began to vibrate into a false ring. Mrs. Smith was not impressed with my vocalization, but I was allowed to sit out the rest of the dance. About a week later the nail fell off. Things were tender for awhile, and I learned a valuable lesson; watch were the bottom of that damn door goes and get your toes the hell out of the way. Oh and never dance with a girl you don't like, it could be hazardous to your health. Oh, when she found out about my poor toe, she laughed so hard she nearly fell over.

Oh and my big toe - well I have suffered with an ingrown toenail ever since, I will see one of the VA Doctors about it at my next appointment.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-25-2001 14:14

CHRISTI: Thanks for kissing my boo-boo. :-) I guess I only know why my writing is important in terms of my personal perspective. If it will be important to anyone else remains to be seen. But, wait a minute, now, a brief flicker of deeper understanding may be fighting its way to the surface of my groggy mind...Not only, why is my writing important, but--WHAT IS IT, ABOUT my writing or IN my writing, that makes my writing important? Is that your question, HEATHER? I think I see a slightly different twist here...Hmm, I'm still not sure if my answer is much different. My message? I want to say that true love needs to be grasped tightly with open, trusting hands. I want to say that the gift of life--one life for each of us--is fleeting and begs each of us to give it our best shot in everything that really matters to us. So, why is what I write important? It is a reminder to readers not to take life for granted...?!? Hmm, maybe I still haven't answered your question, HEATHER...or have I?

Mel 6-25-2001 14:11

Mary, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Ouch!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh gads, my sides ... they hurt!

Christi 6-25-2001 14:08

Maybe I should change the shortie night topic to "Stupid accidents that weren't funny at the time, but turned out alright, so it's ok to laugh" Huh? I am sure that we would all have plenty to write about. People can do some really stupid stuff.

6-25-2001 14:05

DEBRA: Twisted? I accidentally slammed mine in a file cabinet drawer one time. I was afraid to look.

Have you ever wanted to scream, but couldn't because there was a whole crowd of people standing behind you and you didn't want to make an already horrible situation worse by embarrassing yourself? Well that pretty much describes the file cabinet incident. Quit laughing, it's not funny. Oh,'s funny.

My husband says he doesn't know how women walk around with those things.

Mary 6-25-2001 14:03

MEL: Ouch. Even I flinched when I realized what was going to happen. I was thinking..."Mel! Move your hand, the window is coming down!" Like when you are watching a movie and the camera angle is from over the bad guy's shoulder, he is holding a bat and walking up on someone from behind and you just want to call out and warn the victim. Yikes.

My father in law was carrying a loaded paper sack into the house one day when the bottom dropped out and unleashed a whole magnum of white zinfandel onto his great toe. I think that stream of obscenities is still floating over Lake Erie somewhere. The ER had to drill a hole through his toenail to drain the blood from beneath it. I have never seen a grown man sweat like that. Of course, now it is a good source of laughs, but at the time: Holy Shnikies.

Mary 6-25-2001 13:53


Actually, Mel, I think Baxter is correct on this one. The reasons you stated were why your writing is important to YOU, not why it is important. I think these are two different things. All depends on the nuance, I guess. :)
Here's a kiss for your poor little piggy. *smack!*

As for me, I hope that my writing IS important for some reason or another one day. Right now I feel I'm building my talents--learning from my mistakes, and hopefully getting better each time. My writing is important because it speaks of the human condition, which remains as much a mystery and is as fascinating to me today as the day I was born. How's that for now? :) *cheeky grin*

Christi 6-25-2001 13:37

Heather, did I miss that question? It seems that many think I did, and if I did, I guess it is because I didn't pay enough attention. At times I am guilty of that - it is a well known fact in my family. Seems my mind works on several levels at the same time, maybe because it had to when I was on the PD, but when that happens, I seem to get the gist of a question and answer that in instead of the whole thing. I should work on that.

Why is my writing important to me? I guess I sort of feel that what I write has the ability to live on after I am gone. Published or not, my family will have my notebook full of all the tales I have written, (Well most of them anyhow).

Debra - I couldn't agree with you more, the husband should have seen it coming after all, he watched as she wallowed in depression after the forth child, he should have known it was going to happen. I don't know the whole of her illness, but I do know that with many, who are depressed they seem to come out of it just before they kill themselves. This I have learned by investigating suicides. It seems that when they have decided what they are going to do, the pressures of making that decision goes away, and they appear cheerful to those around them. Maybe that is what happened here, but reading the articles about it, it doesn't appear to be the case.

I do like the idea of insane but guilty. This was brought about by the Hinkly case where he shot then President Reagan, and got off on an insanity plea. One has to wonder at our courts though, first they swing way liberal, then way conservative. We have been in the conservative swing now for about fifteen years, so I guess it may be time for it to swing the other way. Who knows, maybe this too is a good thing but often I wonder where the judge's head was when he makes his ruling. I got a good dose of reality when I worked as a paralegal law clerk for a district judge during my internship. I saw how such rulings are made on that level at least, and it was interesting. With my conservative ideals, I found one case involving a drunk driver who killed two innocent people where I was forced to recommend a ruling that may well let him off. You see the police really screwed up on the investigation. Now years of police experience couldn't justify not throwing out the tainted evidence. It was a sort of awakening as to the real world. Often the public screams injustice when criminals get off on technical ruling, but without those technicalities, we would not be the free nation that we are. Those technicalities are in place to protect the innocent, even if it means at times that a guilty man walks. In cases like that, express you anger not at the court, but at the officer who, while knowing the proper procedure, bypasses it because it takes too much time, or the officer disagrees with the law.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-25-2001 13:31


By the way, sorry to hear about your finger. I did that a few months back. The pain. It's awful.

There's only one thing to do, pay attention. That's waht I was told. I am believe me.

Debra 6-25-2001 13:08

BAXTER: Heather's question--why is our writing important--can be often answered with the same answers for why we write. Why I write: as a personal outlet for stress and to provide a literary escape for other people. Why is my writing important? Because it relieves me of stress and I feel that people, in our overstressed world, need a literary escape. The two questions are wrapped around each other. (Sorry, HEATHER, if I'm missing a deeper perspective on your question.)

Mel 6-25-2001 12:56


I've experienced many a twisted boob or two, believe me. I think they call that a natural job hazard.

No whatcha mean!!!!!!!! I do I do.

Debra 6-25-2001 12:47

Hi - check out the following for info re today's Supreme Court decision on copyright for E-copies:

howard 6-25-2001 12:34

It's funny that we all write but we seem to skip over what we read without paying as close attention.
I think that's the main reason that typographical errors are made and go unnoticed. It's also the reason so many people answered a question that hadn't been asked. The question was about the importance of our writing, or our art, but not about why we write. I noticed, and maybe everyone did, but when it came down to loading the comment page and writing down our answers, we forgot the actual question. Now I forget what I was going to say.
Just my observation on this, don't anyone get offended by it. --Baxter

Baxter 6-25-2001 12:27


Good morning/evening/timeless voids to all you, my fellow writers out there! :-)

Well, I had an interesting morning yesterday...two hours before my son's graduation party, I was cleaning (yes, still - I'm an active member of the Procrastinator's Club, y'know). Our diningroom window is extra wide and very heavy and has no ropes to hold it, so I was holding it up with my left hand and cleaning the sill with my right, trying to decide if I wanted to leave the window open or...the window decided for me. Down it came, too heavy for my one hand to hold, and it caught my right pinkie finger in the slam, pinched between the window and the sill. YEEEOWWWWWCHY! And a few words I can't repeat, couldn't lift that window with only one hand, so I yelled for help...of course, my family was strung all over the place - two outside, one upstairs, one in another room, one downstairs sleeping...they all came running! :-) I'm loved! My 13-yr-old arrived first and said "What do I do? What do I do?" And I managed to grit my teeth long enough to say "Push up the window!" Soon, my poor widdle piddy was free. My husband, who'd been doing the "what-if's" as he ran in from outdoors, was in worse shape than me and said, "I'm taking you to the hospital!" And I said, "I think I'm okay, I don't think it's broken--" My husband repeats, "I'm taking you to the hospital!" And, looking at my squashed, bruised little finger, I said, "Okay." VERY lucky I was - NO FRACTURE! I could hardly believe it! Let's hear it for fingernails-yea!!! The nail is black and blue but saved my fingertip, I believe. Now the entire little digit is wrapped safely in gauze and netting to protect it while it heals; I can still write (yea!) and type (yea! Oh, uh, poor you's) :-)

So anyway, graduation weekend is over (YES!) - on to an 11-yr-old's birthday (Wednesday) and the long-dreaded garage/rummage sale (next Monday-Tuesday, we think). Then, maybe we can kick back and enjoy some nice weather, some vacation days (mid-July) and summer in general.

I must remark briefly on my son's graduation ceremony: talking here about the self-generation (Richard was, I think)-- one boy in cap and gown came forward in his turn to be introduced before receiving his diploma and the speaker just stared at him...then some people started laughing, others cheered and applauded...I couldn't figure out what was going on, until suddenly the kid moved his head slightly and the auditorium lights fell on his head...his 4-inch-high Mohawk haircut rising perfectly through the center cut he had made in his graduation cap!!! Good grief. Dignity and classy style and manners and ethics and morals are a foreign language to this generation of young adults, all summed up in a graduation cap with holes for a Mohawk haircut. Sigh.

HALLEE: Thanks for kind words re: my shortie poem. It was mightily inspired by y'all here, y'know. :-)

HOWARD: 3rd from the sun? Oh, how truly it hurts...May we change our ways before we make them evil contagion across the galaxies!

RHODA: Yeah! CONSPIRACY THEORY - great movie! I too was thinking of it when I read Litter's post.

RICHARD: Welcome back to the flock. :-) You are wise beyond your years... May God's peace remain with you all your days! :-) From a fellow Christian...

I believe there is only one god, although He is known by many names and worshipped in countless ways; or nameless to some, He is still only a prayer away. He believes in all of us whether or not we believe in Him. He is the final Judge of wrongdoers and will see that justice is done, if not in this life, then in the next.

My writing is important to me in several ways. First, I try to remember that it is a God-given talent and somehow, someday, I believe that God will work His will through my words, if only in some small part of His Great Plan. Not knowing the details of His plan, all I can do is write what I feel inspired to write, be it romance, children's stuff, or my favorite genre, sf&f. I write as my personal outlet, important to me, and then hoping that what I write will one day help someone else, if only for a brief respite from the current woes of our world. Turn off the TV, put down the newspaper, go pick up one of Mel Hemingway's stories and escape for awhile to a different place, a bit gentler, mostly, and share in a great adventure. A bit of humor, a touch of romance--who needs to worry about the senselesscalamities happening daily in our mixed-up world? Take a stress-break. There lurks evil in my stories as well; but the reader can be assured I felt it important enough to write into my story, to give a glimpse of how things and people could be if we tried a little harder to leave "self" behind us... At least, that's how I hope to write, once I get past the floundering stages!!!

HEATHER: I would love to be a reader for you as well, but just can't do more right now. Maybe when my ms. is ready, we can swap...?? Don't worry; you'll probably be all done with editing *P and have it sent off to publishers before I'm ready to swap anything!! But keep me in mind as a future reader for ya. :-)

End of long post #3,800,976.2 Y'all go out there and make those Muses set a spell! Write up a maelstrom of good ideas today!!! My wishes for you, anyway... :-)

Melanie 6-25-2001 12:23

Debra - I don't know what the 'norm' family life was like for them. Maybe it was always terrible and her husband didn't care or didn't notice. I don't know, I have stopped reading papers about them. Actually, most of what I have heard about the whole thing was from the NB. I wasn't going to read posts mentioning it either, and ended up reading Debra's anyway. Hard to resist reading the thoughts left here.
By the way, Debra, my kids don't always jump on me at the end of the day; but they are certainly happy and they do snuggle up with me. Most of their jumping takes place in the early morning or afternoon - sending my daughter off to school and when she gets home, and in the morning my son and I usually curl up together for a while and read, or we watch a Disney movie (or Blue's Clues and The Bear in the Big Blue House); but I have this thing about sharp little elbows and knees piercing me, so I don't usually let the kids literally jump on me. That's what the cat is for. (HA HA HA HAHAHA)

Got a little bit of writing and some polishing done last night, but nothing like my 'usual' output of a thousand words or more. Tired. Need my night off for the week. Tonight it's back to the book.

Rachel: But why is your writing important? That was the million dollar Q.

A new twist to the old question of why we actually sit down and torture the keyboard. ;o)

Heather 6-25-2001 12:19

I've got a lot of catching up to do. I was scrolloing through this morning, and decided I'm not making any comments about that woman down in Tex-ass (that's a southern drawl in case you don't rekinize it). I gotta agree with the people that say if you don't understand mental illness...

Anyway, Heather: Why do I write what I write? That's a great question. I write things that interest me. I write for myself, and probably about myself without even realizing it. A lot of ourselves comes through our writing I think, but we don't see it right away. Not so much the things we do, but our opinions on whatever subject we happen to be on. Thematically I guess you could say. "Man's inhumanity to Man", is a great theme--Pope I believe, wasn't it? I put myself in a character's place and try to see through their eyes, and then step back and try to add things: the flowing wind, the cold, the clouds, the trees, the sentiments of whatever other people are around, the voice inflections, mannerisms, whatever else might prove interesting to me. I find that I don't really describe my character's facially. Oh, I let the reader know if he has a beard, or maybe even blue or brown eyes. But I was reading a story to my wife and she asked me a question about something, and I told her, I didn't say that. It might be implied, skirted over, but never really mentioned. I let the reader assume whatever identity he wants for the character. The character sort of becomes real to the reader that way. I don't do it purposely; I don't sit down and think it out. I think it's become part of my so-called voice--the same one we've all been looking so hard to find and develop without realizing that we've all ready had it with us. I hope that helps clarify it a bit.

I haven't been around because my son's been here since school got out last week. I did manage to get seven or eight pages done in my new story though, which is completely different from what I first envisioned. 5,000 words or close to it. I'm entering it into a contest as soon as I'm finished with it. I'm only allowed 25 double spaced pages, so I'm keeping a close eye on what's going on. And I'm thinking I won't kill this guy either. I'm just gonna leave it open, and let the reader decide if he's dead or not...

Ben 6-25-2001 12:12


I just don't have a clear cement feeling that I can strap down. I find my feelings about this mother are flying around and sometimes I can grab one but then it slips out of my hand.

I just don't know.

I have moments a few, not many, where my kids get under foot. They all have their own agendas and I am the person who has to supply the service. That is where the trouble starts. I find myself saying, "Now what do YOU want, WHAT?"

They can hear the tone in my voice and instead of saying that they can wait or that they want nothing, they tell me what they want and wait for me to service them.

They are moments that don't last thankfully, but probably the difference is with this women is, they lasted and lasted. I mean let's face it, she had four boys. Boys jump, bang, crash, and are just rough and tumble. I never grabbed my son and stuck his head under water, but he keeps me on my toes. Sometimes I think I am hoovering just over the ground.

I don't think that this husband is an innocent. My husband knows when I need a break. We have standards in our marriage. We don't sway. If I started to lose it, he would step in and get me help. He would. It hasn't happened, but I know he would want his life back to the standard to which we are accustomed. There are times he'll come home and ask what's for dinner, and I'll say I don't know, did you want dinner? As soon as he hears that he makes something for us. I don't let that happen often, so when I am having, a I am not cooking crisis, I can get help.

If I started to have a I'm losing touch with reality crisis, I just know he would want things back soon. He would rise to the occasion. Didn't he see her difference? Could she have had the kids sitting close to her and hanging on her shoulders and grabbing her legs, like kids do? At the end of every day, my kids pile up and sit all over me. I can barly see anyone standing in front of me. It's just one of those things kids do when they get tired and are happy too. If he saw her pushing them away when they went to sit on her, why woulnd't that have been a sign, gee what happens here during the day? Or worse, what if he saw them not going to her at all. What could have she been like to the baby. They need constant cuddling. There is a flashing sign if I ever saw one. She must have been waiting a long time to get a little girl?

Ya know?????????????????????

Debra 6-25-2001 11:36

Taylor - While I understand your emotional response to recent events, what would you have instead of the current justice system? Totalitarian governments that can execute their citizens without a trial, after all trials are unnecessary, as they are the place where insanity defenses can be put forth. Or would drawing and quartering be more your desire, as was done with so many poor souls in the early days of civilization. Maybe we should turn back the clock to times when kings and queens ruled the world, their wishes being our commands. Remember from Alice in Through the Looking Glass, "Off with her head!"

No, I fear that, while not a perfect system, the one that exists both here in the U.S. and in England are some of the best ever devised. Should your wish become law, some day, as well it may should all other citizens feel the same and vote it in, then what would happen to the innocent person wrongfully accused of a crime, and summarily punished, only to be found later innocent? To take it back simply does not work. Sadly even with our courts, where defendants can proclaim themselves innocent by reason of insanity, many innocent people are sent to prison, and even put to death. Without a court system to protect us, leads to horrors such as the Hollocost, Lenin and Stalin's purge of citizens who disagreed with their new system, the killing fields of Cambodia, and many other like situations.

No, I fear we must support our system, and pray that the two murdering children who may be released on the public have learned their lessons, and do not kill again.

I guess I would be the first to say let's kill the bitch who murdered her five innocent children, but on second thought, I would have to say, first let's have a trial, so her rights are protected. For if her rights are thrown to the wind because of the honorific crime, then how safe are our own rights?

Oh, I guess I don't know Texas Law, but most states have now done away with the "Innocent by reason of mental defect or insantity" and have replaced it with "guilty but insane" pleas, the new pleas allow the court to send the insane person to a mental hospital until they are deemed sane, then to prison for the rest of their sentence. Should Andria not be executed, then I would guess the court may sentence her to say, five life sentence to run connsecutively.
Well I babble on, I hope this makes some sense.

Jerry Ericsson Stories 6-25-2001 11:06

HALLEE: Luck of luck, the neighbors directly next door to us had an open house for their newly graduated daughter; seeing the sign on their way to the party, we have placed all the rest of the kittens in good homes.

All totalled, it cost us about $12.00 to get them all adopted. Considerably less than it was costing us to feed them all. ;-)

I hope you have as good of luck.

Mary 6-25-2001 9:03

RICHARD: Welcome back!

JON: I figured you prayed to Pussy. haha

RACHEL: I remember when Kaylee was an infant (responding to Sebastian and his bath), and she was having a royal fit about whatever infants have fits over...she'd been crying for about two hours and I was changing her diaper. I remember wondering, "How can anyone hurt this?" It didn't make any sense to me, thinking of stories about mothers shaking a baby to make them stop crying. (sigh)

MARY: ". I don't see her ever coming up with a defense that would quelch my disgust with her." Well said. ((HUG))

HEATHER: ((hugs)) to you, too.

Okay - off to write. It's vacation Bible School week - 6:30-8:30 every night. (yawn) I was right, though, it does get easier the older Kaylee gets.

Have a great week all! Understand if I'm absent - I may be just lurking for a while.

Hallee 6-25-2001 5:02

Okay, everyone. Can we please not dwell on the mother and five kids thing? Every time I see more details about it, I feel sicker. I've had trouble with bath time. I asked my husband to bathe my wee boy for me for the past three nights because I can't handle the thought of the children being drowned, and I don't want to even get near imagining it. I saw 'The Changling' years ago, and *SHUDDER* just seeing the footage of...



My imagination is way too vivid, and I don't even want to think about any of it. I went into my kids' bedrooms more than the usual twice each night after they were sleeping to kiss them, check on them, make sure they're sleeping peacefully... I'm going to end up sleeping in the hall on the floor just in case on of my babies hiccoughs!

I've had horrible dreams of my kids being limbless, hit by a car, lost in the desert, all sorts of horrible things - usually after watching the news. I can't watch the news any more.

Okay - well, if you want to keep discussing it, I shouldn't try to stop you; but I'll be skimming posts and I'll avoid reading any with mention of drowned children. (Sorry!)

I agree with Gariess - we can't unhang the mom. But let's let the justice system take care of the case.

I don't agree with Taylor (sorry) - why should we HOPE that the two boys (now adults) murder again, just to prove that the system stinks?!?!?!?!
Everyone knows the system isn't perfect. Want to know why? Because it can't take into consideration an unusual event until it happens. (Which happens all the time) The system is only as good as the morals or code it is based upon. Want to find the perfect code? Be my guest. But also take into consideration: What may be a perfectly set up system ON PAPER won't be perfect in action, and it certainly will not please everyone. There is no perfect code - unless you consider the commandments. Hmmmm. Thou shalt not murder. But God didn't say what we humans should do TO a person who did. Perhaps God (or Universal Mind, or Conscience, or however you wish to name Him/Her/It) meant for us to not judge them at all, and let HIM/HER take care of it. (???) Anyone ready to quote me back something?

Am I upset because youths who murder are freed when they reach 18? Yes. But I'm not the law. How long do you think they should be imprisoned for the crime? How old were they when they were sentenced? Do you think it would be worth it, if another person were murdered, just to teach the 'system' a lesson? The system isn't a person. It can't necessarily be taught. There is no ONE person running it. And that, as you know, means that of the many involved, not everyone will agree.

I'm sure if they are released they will have definite TABS kept on them. This may be all we can do besides PRAY~!

Christi - does this mean you and your husband are TRYING FOR ANOTHER BABY!???!!
:o) :o) :o)

I'll send you the latest of Symphony right now, Christi!

Ta ta, for now, friends.
I've had quite the opinions tonight...

apologies if I've offended anyone. And if not, well,
PPRHTHTHDSPOBHBBBB! *tongue waggling*


Heather 6-25-2001 4:25

Welllll..another week has gone gone gone. Time for a new SHORTIE NIGHT THEME! Here we go::: Childhood memories. Badabing.

Mary 6-25-2001 2:13

Mary: I am just getting sick of all of it...while we're at it why don't we release all killers, give them a second chance.
Now I guess I am going way over the top

But I still reckon the system needs to be taught a lesson right about now, or more of these deaths will occur

taylor 6-25-2001 1:40

TAYLOR: I am pretty P-O'ed about the whole situation, but even I don't have the same sentiments that you have. Wow.

Mary 6-25-2001 1:37

I may get shot for this but heres my two cents worth

The woman does not need a trial...She took away 5 innocent lives...5 people that never had the chance to love learn and discover their dreams...They had no chance...
there is 1 FACT-SHE MURDERED 5 CHILDREN there's no denying she should be SEVERELY PUNNISHED if not executed

All the trial stuff would do is to see if there's an excuse for her to cling to, so they can let another killer go free
The "I was depressed, temporarily insane" should not be an option...there are places out there to help, that excuse is stagnant I reckon

The two boys who lured a toddler out of the mall and bludgeoned him to death...are getting freed because they are now eighteen...And they are receiving new identities and a new place to live
I hope one of two things happen: The vigilantes do get to them...
That they kill again, and that would teach those people that they should not have been set free like that
The system needs a kick in the pants

taylor 6-25-2001 1:18

Greetings all - well summer has arrived in the Dakota's with a vengeance. IT IS HOT, hit the low 90's today, yesterday was only high 80's with lots of sticky humidity. It was a pleasure then to go to mom's and play pinochle, she has central air! The games went on and on, much latter then usual, until my sister got out bid by mom, and got mad, well that was the end, hell hath no fury like my sister out bid! Just as well, I was becoming spoiled. When we got home, I took the cover off our window air conditioner, but haven't removed the inside plastic as of yet, probably do that in the morning, if it is hot again.

Ok I to will withhold judgement on the murdering mother in Texas. My knee jerk reaction is to fry the lady, but I know there may be some sort of excuse. There is always an excuse, but like we used to say in the Army, excuses are like ass holes, everyone has one and they all stink. If you are going to watch, watch not the excuses the defense attorney comes up with, they are trained to look for ANY excuses THEY think might get the defendant off, not what truly happened. No, listen instead to what the JURY says, after all they will be the judges of FACT, they will hear all sides of the story, then render a verdict, they are the ones to sort this all out.

Oh but you all already knew that, anyone who is bright enough to be in this notebook, is bright enough to figure that out themselves.

On a separate note - Jack, I came here yesterday using Netscape 6.0, boy did that not work right, it kept popping up the menu's at the top no matter where I had the cursor, I had to give the three finger salute to get out. Then just in case it was a fluke, I tried it again, again the same results. I guess It doesn't make a lot of difference to me, as normally I come here with Explorer of one vintage or another (Trying 6 beta again, this build seems to work.)

Jerry Ericsson 6-24-2001 23:58

upwards even

Mary 6-24-2001 23:27

DEBRA: That is one of the benefits of a criminal appealing their death sentence. They get to spend upwords of ten years, totally sane, behind bars thinking about what they did, who they ruined and what they are going to get for doing it. Let her torture herself for ten years she will think the death chamber is mercy. If I were her, I wouldn't appeal.

For argument's sake, however, I don't think that every murder should earn the death penalty. I think it should be reserved for the most heinous, violent crimes. I am inclined to include the Houston case in that list, but it is premature to decide that. We really don't know all there is to know yet. I almost hope that her defense does come up with something to show that she isn't really as terrible as some people believe she is. It's not like I enjoy feeling this appalled by another human being. I would love to hear a believable reason.

Mary 6-24-2001 23:26


I love most anything soft around the edges.

When she wakes up and her chemicals are in balance, she is going to be suffering more than anyone on earth. There is nothing we could do that would hurt her more than make her well.

That's scary to think about.

Debra 6-24-2001 22:22

Steve McQueen.

It seems we have the benefit of Randall's familiarity with McQueen lore. I just assume that a line in a screenplay is from the writers. I should know that things are rarely so simple. I always liked McQueens movies a lot. I guess he appeals to the male audience. He was quite a character in his own right. I recently saw him in Bullitt where the AMC host tells that McQueen insisted on doing his own stunt in a scene where he runs under a 747 as it taxis on the runway and he drops down between the landing gear letting the plane roll beyond him. Accordingly, McQueen said it was just a matter of timing. Catch me trying that. I never saw the day that I would get anywhere near a 747 that was taxiing under power. He was quite a dynamic little guy.


gariess 6-24-2001 21:19

I am glad that a few people share my sentiments about not killing the woman in Texas. Personally, I always feel better going to bed when I didn't kill anybody that day. Just call me soft.


gariess 6-24-2001 21:03

Thank you, gang. I knew I could depend on you to understand and I wasn't disappointed in the least. Thanks so much. More than you know.

Mary, Heather, Tina, BIG BUG HUGS ALL AROUND! You guys uplifted me so much that I got a great idea this morning (or at least I like to think it's a good idea) for a story for **P** and I wrote it out and bam! So I'm going to submit it for your *gulp* critisism.

Heather, Do send it on!

Gariess, I'M the news of the day? Yikes. :) I liked what you said and I agree with it.

Rachel, I never had the urge to harm my baby when I was going through post-partum, but I did have horrendous hallucinations of both of us being killed by someone else over and over again. This made me paranoid, and added to this, my son had colic and had it bad. He cried for longer than I ever thought a child could cry and he did it for four months straight. I was very protective of him because he seemed to be in so much pain. If anything, I questioned my own abilities to take care of him, because nothing I did made him feel any better. I wondered at times if my son and husband might not be better off without me. Then one day, almost exactly at four months, he turned into a rosy-faced cherub, stocked with glorious smiles and a sweet, even temperament. And at about six months my post-partum went away for good.

As we speak, my little guy is roaming around my desk smiling at me with his gorgeous trusting eyes, a trust I hope he always has in me. He's my gift. I cherish him more than I thought possible.
I admit to being more than a little nervous about getting pregnant again though, for fear that the post-partum will come again. This time, however, I'm prepared and I'll raise some hell with my new doctor if need be. Yow. Hear me roar.


Christi 6-24-2001 17:52

RACHEL: As far as do we have any idea of the Hell that mother is going through now that it is over, yes, I think I do. At least on some level, yes, I do. That is probably what has me so disappointed in her. I do feel her loss and her guilt. I blamed myself when my son died, I know the guilt she felt when she came to her senses, if indeed she has. I may not have killed him with my own two hands, but that is not the requirement of guilt, is it?

I would do just about anything to have him back and she just threw hers away. Just threw them away and covered them with a sheet, except the last one whom she left floating, the deed done. Her family has my sympathy. They all have my prayers, but I can't justify or validate what she has done, or excuse it. I don't see her ever coming up with a defense that would quelch my disgust with her.

Yes, I know. Never in a million years would they let me on the jury that decides her fate. I have taken it too personally.

Mary 6-24-2001 16:54

RACHEL: Very well said. :-) I do have to agree with Richard, though, about wishing someone well not being the same as praying. (No matter what deity or power one would be praying to.) Also, I am not pleasant or kind to people just because of my religion; I don't need to be told to be a good person any more than you do. That's not what faith is about for me.

RICHARD: You have an admirable depth of character that is astounding for your age. I bet you are sick of people always qualifying their statements to you by saying, "for your age". As well you should be because you have a depth of character that would be respectable at anyone's age. (I don't form this opinion solely on the basis of your spirituality either.) You have been posting here on and off for some time and it's good to have you back again.

CHRISTIE: Thank you, but I can't take credit for sending that poem off. If it weren't for your comments to me (and Mark's too), I never would have bothered with it. So glad to see your name here; I missed you.

HEATHER: No, I would never quit. Not for long anyway. Thanks. :-)

GS: Yes, I can see where jumping the gun is a mistake. I still can't help but blame her for not taking action sooner. If not her, then her husband. Many other women have faced that depression, some of us here even, but the outcomes so very different. It is tragic.

Bye for now, everyone. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Mary 6-24-2001 16:40


Good afternoon

Gariess.....From the horses mouth my friend, I quote Steve McQueen. As an avid hard deck motorcycle rider and desert, banzai dirt biker Steve was very well informed on the dangerous of cactus encounters, and sagebrush flats and large desert turtles. The line I quoted was his, not the screenwriters. Although Steve used it after a discussion with the director of Mag 7. It is a dandy of a quote, huh? The best description of human behavior I've ever come a good old boy sort of way.

Which was exactly what Steve McQueen represented. On the set of a movie one time the call went out for Steve....A set messanger was dispatched, looking, but could not locate the wayward actor. The messenger returned, told an asistant director, the only person in sight was a greasy mechanic, in jeans working on a motorcycle in the parking lot. The director grimaced. "Get McQueen cleaned up and on the set!"


Randall 6-24-2001 14:36

Taylor - The Mariners are a baseball team. :) I like them but they've lost the last two games. >:(

Allein Allein's World 6-24-2001 14:10


Hiya everyone!!

Racheal: The best way to illustrate my view on it is this: Say your stride is the way you live your life - tall is good and crawling is bad (Hitler style). You can walk tall and strong into the gates of hell, and you could crawl grovelling into the gates of heaven - it wouldn't change which gate you walked into. God's ready and WANTING to forgive and save us, but we have to say 'yes' to him first. We can't blame God if we refuse to accept Him.

As for praying, you make it sound like some sort of focusing of mind energy or something - which is quite different from talking to God, and so not the same thing at all. When Christains pray they're not focusing hard on healing a person, they're asking God passionately to do the healing.

Laura: Well, the way you say it, I've been turned around because I've begun to believe something, not because of the something itself: I've believed all of my life. I grew up in Church watching people recieve the gifts of the Spirit, watching people get healed by God, and I've always believed. I just always wanted that intimate relationship with Jesus that everyone around me had but I didn't - God working dynamically in their lives, changing their character and using them in His work. I wanted it so much, and I spent night after night for almost two years asking God for it - I suppose I didn't even realise at the time I was asking to be saved. If, as a lot of people would have, I simply duped myself into believing something, I could have done it a lot earlier.

As for going with your heart - no, go with your Spirit and go with God. I'd like to say thanks though, because it was obviously a kind word. You can't go by your own desires and wants because most of them are sinful in nature: if you stop and look at the world, so much of its pain is caused by the fact that we are always thinking about ourselves. It's rooted in our culture. Many of us would resist that statement, but even good deeds can be born out of a selfish desire for recognition etc.

Depression is a case in point. Some people from my Church went out to Africa, and when they came back they said the most amazing thing was the way everyone there had such a strong faith and sense of family: they were happy - they couldn't really afford to be depressed. Yet here, in developed countries where we basically have everything and much more, we're a lot poorer in spirit. Why? Because everything is centered around the self-proclaimed, self-glorified... self.

Phew... there's some heavy thoughts. And no, I didn't learn it all at Church...

Rolling on...

Richard 6-24-2001 12:46


Why do I write. I've answered this before. It's part of who I am. I can't imagine not writing. Before I knew how to write I told stories. Asking why a person writes or draws, or takes pictures, or dances, or writes music or plays music is like asking them why they breath. For many people it isn't reall a question of why, the question would be better put, why would I not?

On God - I'm not a believer, but I can direct all the energies of my thoughts towards the well being of a person. That is something like praying. It is wishing well for another. I don't need God to tell me to be a good person (bet that one is opening me up to a mass of gun fire). I don't need God at all. I've been there, done that. I'm perfectly happy taking life as it comes. Hey and if I go to hell for being a good person, then the God who would send me there isn't one I wan't anything to do with. When people I know are sick or in distress I would never turn away prayers. In fact I ask people to pray. I happen to think that in the long run we all do believe in the same thing. Some people just smack names on everything. I think that the act of praying is the same as my act of good wishes for another.

On the mum who took out her five children. What can any of us say? What can we know of her torment and desperation. We can only guess. Can you, or do you even want to imagine the suffering that she is experiencing now that the episode is over? Can you think about what you would feel if you had a dream and opened your eyes to discover it was reality? That you had murdered the five lights of your life? Yes, what she did is a thing of horror, it is wrong, there is no question of that. She killed innocents. She killed her children and, in many ways she killed herself and her husband. That family is destoyed. Her life is over in many, many ways. She broke a sacred trust. I would be very surprised if that woman did not find a way to end her life. Depression is real. I have seen it. That desperation, that hopelessness, fear, it can seem boundless. The solutions few and clear. I do not think that anyone is in a position to judge this woman. None of us can know. None of us will ever know (at least I hope none of us will). People will try to serve justice. People will try to serve her. It will be a mess. Nobody will ever really be happy with the results. I think that people should back away from this. Let those with calm minds deal with the situation as best they can. Passions will only add to the problems. It is not an issue for passion. I'm not saying it is not a passionate issue, just that passion should not be used in dealing with the results of the actions of this woman.

What I keep thinking about is the children. How frightened and betrayed they must have felt. The oldest would not have been easy to drown. They would have pleaded, screamed. I was giving Sebastian a bath the other day. I looked at him, his beautiful smile, his bright ,clear blue eyes. I look at each of my boys, I look at my daughter. No, I can't understand what she did. I've never walked that path. I'm glad I haven't. I send strong hugs to anyone who has and who has overcome.

For a person who didn't know what to say about any of this, I certainly seem to have found some words.

Rachel 6-24-2001 11:51


I guess the news of the day is the appearance of Christi. That is good news. Christi, you are not a depressive nitwit, or whatever it was you suggested. In fact, where I am concerned, you gave the most pertinent information yet on the discussion of this Texas matter. What you said convinces me more than ever that we should be very reluctant to judge this woman. One thing that should be apparent to "believers" and "non-believers" alike is that we don’t know enough to judge people in such circumstances. It will not be a big mistake if we don’t rush out and hang this woman. We’ll never be able to unhang her.


gariess 6-24-2001 11:44

HEATHER: Ok, great. Thanks for sending it on to me. Can't wait to read it. Yes, hon, my writing is important to me, but I don't think it's worth a bowl of creamed corn to anyone else. Don't worry though, I could have been devestated by that and quit, but I would rather just make sure I start writing things that ARE important to other people. Now I just have to figure out what and how. :-)

PUSSY: That is a very good direction to pray.

LITTER: There are caves near where you live that I have been researching for a story idea. If I have any questions or holes in my research would you mind straightening me out? Also, once the story is finished could you read it for me and keep me true? It is a fiction story, but I would at least like to get the setting and lore correct. I know you have your own work to do, but it will take me quite a while to write this anyway; all I have is the raw idea and the setting. (Wemyss Caves)

Mary 6-24-2001 11:25

Jack, why is it always so difficult to refresh the page after entering a new message? Is it just my browser or has it anything to do with this new NB?

Americo 6-24-2001 7:02

I pray to myself and the good there is in any being's soul.

Pussy, just saint 6-24-2001 6:59

I pray to the Great Conscience of the Universe.
It's nearer the Moon than sick, dirty Earth.

Jon, saint and sinner 6-24-2001 6:57

Richard: I know how it feels to have things turned upside down by what you beleive, I can only say this...Go with your heart, don't worry about what the 'mainstream' people think

I may look like an idiot here, but what sport do the mariners play?

on religion, I guess if spiritualism is a religion, then I do belong to a religion...However I do follow the teachings of God, such as the 10 commandments, I just DO NOT go to capitals because I never do...I disagree with just about every religion there is...But people should be entitled to there beliefs...thats what makes people who they are...their beliefs

Disagree with that if you like...not going to be offended

taylor 6-24-2001 6:00

Oh, and Mary, Christi: Will send you both out the latest!
Mary - haven't forgotten, just haven't been sending. :o)

You sound like you need a great big hug.


Heather 6-24-2001 2:21

Christi! Great to see you! I'm wondering if depression might not be very misunderstood by the medical community by and large. I think it is. It's not just the kind of 'downer' mood where a little fast music will serve as a pick-me-up. It's a serious thing. Glad you're here. That means you're feeling good. Just to let you know, though, next time you aren't here for a while I might take advantage of knowing your email and send you some really stupid jokes...


Mary, your writing IS important. YES. IT IS. If it weren't important to YOU, you wouldn't write! Please don't tell me you'd ever stop???!!!

Mark, absolutely wonderful what you said. You've made some amazing self-discoveries. Very important. Evolution isn't easy. Nice to have some proof.

Randall! :o> big grin your way!

Richard! Great to see you back too!

Tina - like what you said about sending out good vibrations into the world. (or that effect... been a while since I read the posts)

Hugs to all, and to all a safe and swell night. (Uh, not swoolen, just swell)

Heather 6-24-2001 2:17

Gariess - I just love the Mariners is all, but they're not doing too well lately - lost today. :( Anyway, hope the Boston team makes it sometime.
I also hate those e-mails - I get at least one a day that says "Free Viagra" or "Enlarge your Penis". Wrong gender, though I can understand their mistake since Allein is similar to the name Allen. Weird.

Anyway, night night all. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-24-2001 2:06

TINA: Oh sweetie, you never have said an insulting word to anyone here that I have seen. Believe me, you are always very considerate. ((Hugs)) I was mostly agreeing with you, but apparently didn't come off well. I think I had best just drop it.

Mary 6-24-2001 1:56

Richard, I left you a note in the workbook.

Tina 6-24-2001 1:50

Insulting? I sincerely hope I don't come over that way, Mary. I have respect for every single religion out there, even the ones I strongly disagree with. (Which is why I don't ascribe to any single religion) And yet I pray often, and sometimes quite fervently, without needing to address any one power. It is the process of focussing my hopes/wishes/desires/thanks, and knowing that together with others doing the same in whatever Name they choose, that there is power in that prayer.

Christi, (((HUGS)))

So I did play hooky today, sort of. Work was so slow that I was able to spend much of the day slacking off and writing. Not my usual style, but today just demanded it. I mean, work was ssslloooow. Brain numbing slow.

Now I must go and type what I wrote today. Gotta love playing hooky...

Tina 6-24-2001 1:34


Absolutely! I woouldn't want to be stopped by that one.

Nope! No sirree bob.

Debra 6-24-2001 1:07

CHRISTI: I am posting my message to you in a separate box because you deserve a room all your own. Thank you for sharing something so personal with us. It is good to have you back.

Mary 6-24-2001 1:06

GS: Yep. Rational. Only, even if it were rationale that wouldn't be so far fetched. She did have a plan.

TINA: Yes, you can pray to nobody, but where is the accountability? And please keep in mind that I realize a person can be spiritually led but not be Christian. (Buddhists, Hindus, even just a personal belief in 'something out there') That is why I asked who was being prayed to...I have always been under the assumption that some of us here feel their only accountability lies on Earth with the mortal living. That's fine too as long as they don't look down their nose at people who answer to a higher power. It's insulting.

Mary 6-24-2001 1:04

Oy. I can't believe I posted that.

Christi 6-23-2001 23:46


Thanks, guys, for the wonderful welcome back. It made me feel warm and mooshie! I'm so happy to be here again. Here. Present. Accounted for. I had no idea how much I'd taken that for granted. Depression is a nasty nasty thing. I hadn't been depressed (truly depressed, anyway) since teen-dom, which was, mmmmm, just a FEW years ago. Until I had my son and I had a good-golly whopper of a case of post-partum to rival the worst. I'm not going to talk about the woman in Texas, because I don't know her circumstances, but I can say to you all that this thing is real and it's the scariest thing that ever happened to me. I know that people are saying she could have gotten help, but I wonder if they know the paranoia and the fear that comes with it. All of the things you thought you knew about yourself are thrown out the window. I literally questioned my sanity there for a while. And when I went to the doctor to talk to him about it, he invited an intern to come along for the ride and proceeded to tell me that it would go away in two weeks and not to worry about it. I'm lucky because I had great support. Without my husband, family and friends, I might have been in trouble.
Anyway, once it passed, things got back to normal. That was when I came here and met all you lovely people. But then three months later my Mother-in-law got a brain tumor (as you oldsters will remember) and it was up to me and my sister-in-law to take care of her as she died slowly in front of us. When she died I had to go on anti-depressants, but only for a month and I only took a half-dose for that month. It's easier and easier to slide into a depressed state of mind since then, and I hope that when life mellows out a bit the depression will go away and stay away.

I don't know why I felt like sharing this with all of you, but I was compelled to do so. You have all come to be like family to me and I haven't been a very good sibling for a few months--on again, off again. Just kind of wanted you to know what was going on. I probably reveal more about myself to you all than I do to most of my friends. I'm on my way back to my happy self, but I know you guys can deal with a Christi who isn't bouncing off the walls every single day. I've never faked being happy; when I am, I am and I can't hold it back, but when I'm not I usually just stay away. Not very honest of me. Right now I guess I'm satisfied. Not happy, not sad. Just thoughtful and introspective. Boring? Probably. ;)

The shorties this week were tremendous. I loved reading them.

Mary, I'm so proud of you for sending off that poem! I loved that one a lot. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heather, I'd love to have the newest of Symphony. I started reading the older one you sent and I got to thinking that you'd probably changed things already. Pretty please??? With sugar???

Litter, Northern Exposure is the best!

Viv, :) It'll turn out allright, I know it.

Richard, It's good to see you!

Jon, I swear, It's mine. Give it back.

Gariess, I'm right here! Kisses to you for making me laugh! Hee! Funny, they keep offering to enlarge my penis too. Haw haw. How 'bout a brain enlargement; I think I'd pay for that one. ;)

Hope my friend Teekay is around somewhere. I miss her and I owe her many letters. Will she forgive me?

Sure hope everyone doesn't think I'm a depressive nitwit now.

Love to all,

Christi 6-23-2001 23:46

Mary, a person can pray, without praying to a god. Or to a demon. Or to any kind of supernatural deity. Prayer can be as simple as a focussed thought, sent into the greater unconscious/subconscious.

Richard, welcome back! I will go and check out your story.

Here and gone again...

Tina 6-23-2001 22:53


I paste directly from your post: Case in point, the energy moguls from big oil and big natural gas who conspire to sock it to the California consumer.

I’m unclear whether this means you do or do not believe these companies conspire to exploit consumers. From my own experience - thirty years of working for natural gas and electric utilities - they are far and away the biggest bunch of thieving bastards I ever saw in my life. Conspiracy or no conspiracy.

Be that as it may, it is nice to see the long days and the benign weather. Rachel, Allein and Tina must live on a latitude about the same as mine. I rode my bicycle from 8:05 to 9:05 tonight. Just around my own neighborhood. Didn’t need any gambits. Didn’t run any gamuts. I just wanted to see if I could survive an hour.

Speaking of Allein, girl, you can stop exhorting the Mariners any time now. Boston needs this season more than they do. After all, they haven’t won the big one for a hundred years. About 80 years longer than there even was a Seattle team. Ah, well, even if Seattle collapses there’s still the Central division. We’ll never win the big one.

Speaking of the big one, I keep getting these annoying emails from people who want to enlarge my penis. Talk about a bunch of perverts (not that you were talking about a bunch of perverts.) I just delete the damn things, but now they want to enlarge my breasts. What I want to know is, have they come to the conclusion that since I haven’t taken up their original offer, they were appealing to the wrong gender? At any rate, these people are a great public menace. They are trying to turn us into a bunch of freaks walking around dragging ridiculously long dongs and absurdly pendulous mammaries, and they don’t care which of us they do it to.


Wouldn’t that be quoting the screen writer (The Magnificent Seven) rather than McQueen? How does that work?

By the way, the reason I write is to be a pain in the
ass (quoting some columnist?)

This thought occurred to me about the Texas woman. In a strange way, she seems to be a victim of numbers. It seems that a great many people condemn her because she killed all five of her kids. Still, if she decided to kill her kids, she couldn’t have done a proper job of it without killing them all.

As I reread that last, it seems so weird I am tempted to strike it, but I will let it stand since I feel I am among friends.


I’m thinking you meant rational rather than rationale, which is a plan of reasoning. Part of writing is the opportunity to correct your friends. If not, it surely is a part of being a pain in the ass.

Where is Christi, BTW?


gariess 6-23-2001 22:52

Debra, had to read back a bit to pick up the thread, no, I don't think the fellow will ever be "normal" I ran into a fellow who knew him not to long ago, he has been married a couple of times since I knew him, he bought a motel and lost it, along with his second or third wife, and now has moved to another comuntity, where he runs his blacksmith shop, this fellow says that his new wife is rather dominant, and keeps him in line. Oh and he is also working part time on their small PD, now that's scary.

Jerry Ericsson 6-23-2001 22:31


Are you telling me the answer as you know it is NO, not all the way back. Not back where you and I live.


Debra 6-23-2001 21:13

I got tickets for me and my husband to go to that charity dinner tonight at the TREK convention. There will be 600 people there. My husband is reluctant, but bless his heart, he will be there with me. If the food is decent, he might actually get over his shyness and enjoy himself.

Kate Mulgrew cancelled out. I talked to the owner of the store who put the convention on, and he confided that there will be a lot of mad, disappointed people and that if he doesn't get someone to replace her soon, he will be out thousands of dollars. I hope Kate had a really good excuse, and I will give her the benefit of the doubt on that. I just know that the Captain Janeway we know and admire would never, never do a thing like that unless she had a life or death situation that demanded her attention.

I will answer the question of why I write tomorrow.

Rhoda 6-23-2001 18:43

LAURA: I thought that was what rationale was...knowing the difference between right and wrong. To be able to make sense of situations. Heads or tails.

Mary 6-23-2001 18:06


I don't think she is crazy and lack of rational thought is not insanity, insanity is when you do not know right from wrong. Insanity is calling what is wrong right.

She is losing the war, and I know something about it because I'm depressive myself. It isn't insanity so much as insecurity. And it takes a lot of courage and a lot of caring people not to slip into the kind of mind-anguish she succumbed to.

Laura 6-23-2001 17:24

AMERICO: If you aren't a believer, who exactly are you praying to? The pagan saint of demented mothers maybe? Yes, Jesus would pray for them, I did too. It is not bloodlust that keeps me from feeling sympathy for her or her husband, it is simple common sense and recognition of impiety when I see it.

LAURA: I can't think of a better definition of crazy than "losing a psychological war with herself". (Except, perhaps, "can't think rationally". I don't think either one of them fit the situation, however. I agree with you on one point though...she ain't nuts.

Mary 6-23-2001 16:59

I write because I like to play with words. That's all there is about writing. I mean, when we are great.

Pussy 6-23-2001 16:07

Why do I write?
Good question.
Hmm... I think it's to be loved.

PS. Christi, I won't give you the skeleton I found on the Moon. Not your skeleton! I already know whose skeleton it is. I will reveal this big secret only if A* lets me collaborate in "Saints and Sinners".

Jon 6-23-2001 15:58


I'm BACK!!!!

But will probably dissapear again quickly ;)

My first story I've written in ages, 'Way of Ascendance' is up in the Workbook - would appreciate a critique!

Well, reading down everyone seems to be talking about why they write. Well...

I used to write because I was good at it. I never really felt accepted by freinds and peers etc. and one of the only things I could ever feel respected for was my writing, drawing or 'intellect'.

No I don't know. Actually, I regret having not talked more on thsi board, because when I first arrived I was a depressed, sorry soul who was a lot more under the thumb of the world than I ever even realised.

Then I was saved!

And now everything's simply different! Since around about February my life's been turned upside down by Jesus! So much so that I've gotten very little writing done, and spent a lot less time on this board! I really ought to write some stuff about the whole thing - after all, it's the most amazing thing that ever happened to me!!!

I've dropped 'Spirit of War' for something closer to home as well. I felt it was too action-oriented with the characters built around the events, when I really wanted to focus on the characters and their journeys. So we go from a military spacecraft on the edge of known space... to a British High School in the year 2000+...

So, to get back onto the subject... I guess the reason I write now is I want to have an emotional impact on the reader. Get messages across. And of course, for the simple fact that I enjoy it so much!!

And why is it important? Well, if any of it is God-inspired than it has some place in His work!

Richard Scott

Richard 6-23-2001 15:27

I prayed for the poor lady who, in a terribly mad moment, killed her children. I also prayed for her poor husband. I think that Jesus Christ would do the same.

And no, I am not a believer. Much better than that, I am a human being.

Americo 6-23-2001 14:43



Laura-I believe that woman in Houston entered a place we know nothing about. A place within her mind, that translated into horrific physical actions. Call this "place" inner-dimensional, an ante-chamber of hell, or plain old fashioned murder...That is why we, as civilized nations have to discover where this doorway is, grasp the key, open the door and confront what lies inside. There may be a demon inside, or a mirror reflecting our own image.


Randall 6-23-2001 13:54


Good morning! By the Great Horned Spoon, I love Saturday mornings!!!!!!!

I've posted these thoughts before, but they are still relevant. My great-grandmother, Granny Baxter, lived in Mason County, Texas. She lived through Comanche Indian attacks, the infamous Mason County War, raising a large family all the time. Gun control was not an issue then, nor conceal carry nor ATF regulations. And mothers did not kill their children, they died protecting their children. Granny Baxter was a raised in Gainesville, a north Texas town. Her husband was a cowboy and rode the big cattle drives north into Oklahoma. One map I saw or a story I read said cattle drives passed through Gainesville. Supposedly, they sold beef to the army or may have gone farther north. The hell of it is, the facts are not available. He was a Mason County resident and I have a strong suspicion that he met his wife on the cattle drives. How else?

But I don't know and that is why I started writing. In anything a writer does there should be historical, family considerations...for generations yet to come. That is why I aggravate the crap out of you, my friends, to write it down. :-) What a story my family could have had if my great-grandmother had written her life. I remember as a very young boy, how she fed my brother and I home made bisquits, telling us that Indians used to ride up to the kitchen door and beg for fresh bread. This kind of first person writing is a treasure more precious than gold. The first 3 novels I wrote deal with my life. A semi-autobiography kinda deal! Not that I lived an exemplary life, but maybe some kid will look up at his dad in the future and exclaim. "Wow, great-grandfather Randall was quite a guy!"

The novel in progress now, FLOWERS, may not be SF. Could be a portent of future events, sent to me for as yet an unknown reason and herald the end of life on earth as we know it.


STOP! STOP! STOP! What the hell are you talking about?

My novel deals with an event initiated from space, an encounter with a stellar object. NOT AN ASTEROID STRIKES THE EARTH SCENARIO. There have been too many of them. And it involves a race of people that believe in Mother Earth and Father Sky, that is respect the earth. There was a report several months ago of an approaching object from space, possibly striking the earth in 20 years or so. NASA scientists said it was a "rocket booster?" and of no consequence. Really! Why would it be coming back? Forgot something?

Influences surround us on a daily basis. Maybe a part of my sub-conscious brain picked up a whisper in the night, a brief thought, an alarm bell tingling in the distance. I was on an LA freeway in 1969 when a thought jolted me. "Where is all the fuel coming from to move all these vehicles?" I wondered about this for some time, then it faded away. When the "oil crunch" hit in the early 70's I remembered the thought. Rational thinking or supernatural influence? The Native Americans I asked for comment on FLOWERS drop me like a hot rock after the first few e-mails. Maybe they know something Anglos don't? Maybe my name is on a list somewhere? Perhaps a computer file has RANDALL/WRITERS NOTEBOOK as a file name? Maybe NASA monitors this site, for clues. :-) Conspiracy, Randall? Come on!!!!!!!! Yeah, me too, still truth is stranger than fiction. Huh?

Why do I write Heather? Well...... I'll quote Steve McQueen for that one. "I once knew a man who took off all his clothes and jumped into a cactus. I helped him out and asked him, why would you do a thing like that? He said, ‘Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.' "

Guess that's why I write my dear.


Randall "Pass the tweezers" H

Randall 6-23-2001 13:45


I disagree, the fact that you believe in happy endings says a lot about who you are. Dig deeper into the characters and you will realize that their struggles are just like yours. They are us as were are, wish we were, hope to be, or never want to be.

Laura 6-23-2001 13:07

Ok, one short thing on the lady who killed her own children. I don't think she was crazy... (ducks projectiles.) Let me explain. Sometimes, for some people, the world hurts you so badly that nothing matters anymore. nothing makes you happy, nothing.

In this situation, you do one of two things, neither of which is rational, but you are in so much emotional pain you can't think rationally. Either you harm yourself in hopes of ending your pain, (which she had tried to and been stopped) or you lash out at someone else, causing them to feel your pain. YOu almost feel like you deserve the bad things that you are bringing on to happen. You don't know how to call for help so you become distructive. You destroy all that you should love because it hurts so much that is all you can feel. You try to force yourself to feel, to tell yourself you are still alive.

I don't condone her actions in any way, but I do understand them. It isn't insanity so much as irrational reaction to pain of an emotional and psycological kind. she is losing a psycological war with herself. Telling herself she doesn't deserve to have children, she is a bad person, she is a bad mother, her children don't love her...and so on. Trying to feel something...she can't feel anything because of her pain... and the results are regrettable...If only they had seen what was happening

Laura 6-23-2001 13:03

Back in the good old days I thought my writing was important because I had deep and meaningful things to say which you all could find instructive. My experiences and insights could only illuminate your paths.
  • Then I got sober
Today my writing is important to me. I use it to find themes in my growth. I make order out of chaos. I had intended to mimic the motions of Ben Franklin and Russell Baker; my autobiography started consciously with a theme of "I always wanted to write." I could easily write chapters based on experiences as I grew up which fit the theme. Some of the chapters also revealed a companion theme: "We never talked about it." I find that my past is filled with incidents where I did (or witnessed) something that no-one ever spoke about again. I began to wonder if the urge to write hasn't been a lifelong effort to unburden myself.
I believe that if my work can help me discover such problems, it can help others. Along the way, it has to be a good tale well-told.

Mark 6-23-2001 12:59

Well, why do I write? Not because I want to, I mean that isn't my driving force. I write, because as one of the authors in a how to book said, "I sit down at my typewriter every day and say to myself, it isn't as if you don't have a choice, you can write or go insane."

I write because it is what I am, I write because I breathe. People who say their writing isn't important either don't really WANT to write, or simply don't understand that for some of us we write because we have to. I think to some extent it is escape, a GOD complex if you will. At least for some. It can be tempting to be a dictator, I mean your characters live when you tell them and die when you tell them. But for me, I write because I have to and because my characters are a part of me and have their own stories to tell.

I write because I have three choices, Write, go insane or die. I don't like the other two. The other things, language and linguistics, and new cultures and races are a fringe benefit. I write because my muses won't leave me alone. I write to keep my sanity. It is more fun and relaxing than anything else I can do.

Right now, I'm to the point in my novel where I will truly be able to answer the age old question, "Why do you spend so much time on a novel?" my answer, "Because it feels so good when I can stop."

I don't write, I open a vein and bleed, (metaphorically speaking of course.) I write because I am. Or is that I write therefore I exist?...

sorry about the soapbox, I hope I haven't confused or scared anyone...I just can't explain any more fully than that. And I think you are asking a question that when you take it all away, comes down to who we are. We are either writers who like to be people, or people who like to write. I'm in the first group.


Laura 6-23-2001 12:49

Basically, my writing is important to me because it's what I want to do.

Whether it's important to anyone else is totally up to that person. If someone considers it important enough to give something in exchange for it then that demonstrates that it has become important to him. That something may be material -- like money, or immaterial -- like a change in attitude or outlook, or it may simply be time spent enjoying or responding to what I've written.

And if that something given in exchange just happens to be something that I can live on -- something that allows me to spend more time doing the things that I want to do, then that's fine by me... :-)

howard 6-23-2001 11:28

HEATHER: I am still on the list for ongoing Symphony excerpts, right? Please don't forget me.

Also, I never thought about it until you asked, but I guess the my writing isn't important at all. Not a very pleasant realization. :-(

Mary 6-23-2001 11:24

Ahhg! Today is a perfect day to play hooky (sp?) from work, and I can't! My boss is out of town, and that leaves me, or me! (whine whine yes I'd like some cheese to go with my whine) It's a perfectly blue sky day. The kind of day just meant for a bit of gardening, then getting lost (figuratively speaking) in the park for hours, then firing up the BBQ. Certainly not the kind of day to be working inside!
Heather, the other reason why my writing is important? Because, one day, it may be the bridge to ending the '9-5', so on a day like today I could skip work and go outside!


Tina 6-23-2001 11:14

Well in case nobody notice, we lost Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) yesterday. Gone to join his son; may they rest in peace.

Jerry Ericsson 6-23-2001 10:57

I don't think what I write is necessarily important to anyone, other than it provides a means of an escape into a world of entertainment. It isn't deep, revealing, or showing a hidden part of myself at all - I just create two worlds that merge in the end and everyone lives happily ever after - though sometimes it's a rough road getting there (grin).

Hallee 6-23-2001 6:51

Sorry, I'm taking up a lot of space...

I want to know why your writing is important, not WHY you write!

But letting off steam is a reason for why it's important, too.

Heather 6-23-2001 4:17

Hallee - tried to send Symphony this morning and my server's down. I'll get it sent as soon as things return to norm.

Got another 1,000 words written tonight!

Whew. Exhaustion.

Heather 6-23-2001 4:15

One reason why I that I am a nonviolent person by nature and avoid conflict whenever possible, however at times somepeople p me off(censoring) and I get uptight, however I know I can go home, kill a few people in a story and that is usually an escape for me

Another reason, is I write because I feel I have to

taylor 6-23-2001 4:15

So now the government has to be like McDonald's and put a big sign on that National Park:

Caution, contents may be HOT

Heather (last one, really) 6-23-2001 2:17

By the way, TINA, copy and paste what you wrote in your latest post for killing off bad days. It is important, and YOU are important!
Friends, let us not forget our own worth. Though we may find our dabblings in our beloved language sometimes lacking, we ourselves are still learning! What we write may not interest everyone. We ourselves are still interesting. Remember that.

Failure is an event, not a person.

Just thought I'd quote anonymous, for old times' sake.

Heather 6-23-2001 1:55

Pardon my errors in the last post, I've been a little hasty with my posting lately and I haven't been proofing before I pop that 'enter' button.

Jerry - I disagree that writing is only important if it makes us a few dollars. If no one but us reads our own work, or even just a few select, the writing is still vastly important. Sometimes the only way we have to work out our inner turmoils and to learn from our own misgivings, is to write it down in full. Reading our own thoughts, you might call it. Makes for much clearer (though not always easier) introspection.

Now, back up to the top to proof this one. Bet there aren't any typos. That would figure! Then on to writing, and sending my 'so-far' ms to Hallee!

Christi, you still out there girl? Don't be blue, be pink! And fuzzy.

Heather 6-23-2001 1:52

Tina, Jerry; that was the point of my question! I might have added WHY is it important to YOU, but I didn't. It leaves more room for answers.

My writing is important to me because (and here's where the list comes in handy:

I love language, and writing is a chance to express it, and not only that - ideas.

Ideas are far better than ideals. Ideals can get slanty and off the mark, and slinks a little too near fanatacism on occasion. Ideals also alter the original idea. If the original idea is good, why ruin it? Ideals never capture the idea perfectly. It's like having the idea of good behavior, and then having to set a multitude of rules on the table just to try and contain good behavior inside some imaginary perimeter. This is the sickness of too many laws.
Just as Jerry pointed out saliently. Too much of anything, as it has been heard, may very well be unhealthy.

On Conspiracies, well, yes, people can go much too far, believing in the outlandish. The mind is a terrible thing to imprison with only one mode of thinking. However, there are many things that cannot be proven such as the oil mishap. This is why the theories snowball; there's nothing to stop them. But as Jerry's ex-cop friend attests (silently, by example) things happen the way they're supposed to. He's seen how obsessive he was, and hopefully has changed and learned from his mistake. He made himself live with a fear so huge it was beyond containment. And he passed those fears on to his family.

Freedom of thought is ultimately important, but along with that is the freedom to choose. I don't mean choose life, I mean choices. Any choices. And the freedom to make them for ourselves and to reap the benefits or pay consequence. Without that, we would learn nothing.

I write because I always surprise myself. I like surprises.

I write because I like to discover what I already know, but thought I didn't.

I write for me. (see above, where I said I like surprises)

I write to show myself what I've learned, and how much else there is to discover.

I feel my writing is important because it's like unravelling myself with the possibility of being seen, and thusly, the possibility of being understood.

Writing is important for the thought it stirs in others. Especially good ones.

Writing is creation. Creation is both release and cradling, losing and finding, searching and discovering.
If we lose out inquisitive nature, our eyes have closed.
To open them, what better than a new way of seeing?

Heather 6-23-2001 1:44

Heather - see that's what I get for trying to answer your question long after I read it. I don't know that what I write is important. Oh it is to me, but I may be the only one. Now if I can make a few bucks off it some day, THEN it will be important. I think I really write because I love it, it brings me joy, it it gives me a place where I can spout off, and not a lot of people get mad at me for it. I think it is important that I am alowed to write, that is freedom, and there is nothing more important then freedom is there?

Jerry Ericsson 6-23-2001 0:01

Oh, Heather, you ask such a question!
Why is what I write important. I ask myself that on bad days, and the answer then is 'it isn't! Why are you doing this?' But on good days, the answer is so complex. It's important for my sanity. It allows me to work out my own problems by giving them to my characters and seeing how they handle it. It allows me to be creative, which to me is a HUGE thing. Maybe, in a small way, it allows me to make a statement about things I think are important. It is also a solid means of leaving a piece of me behind after I leave this life behind. How will people know who Tina C was? By the writing and the visual art that I make, because it is a distillation of me.

About the 'gamut/gambit' thing. I meant gamut, but gambit isn't far off the mark. Which way to swerve? How to reach my objective with the least damage to myself? Where are the obstacles between here and there? Ah, the joy of cycling...

See y'all

Tina 6-22-2001 23:54

Heather - Why do I write? Cause I want to. I guess some day, I will try and get some of my stuff published, maybe. I let my kids read my stuff, and of course all who come to this fine site see much of the stuff I write. I guess I deam of one day having a best seller, wouldn't that be great! Then I could pay off most of my bills, and that would be nicer.

Jerry Ericsson 6-22-2001 23:36

One of my favorite Mel Gibson movies is CONSPIRICY THEORY.


I agree. Many true stuff originally came over nutty. There were rumors of things happening in Nazi Germany like old and mentally challenged people disappearing. Many refused to believe these people were being systematically killed.

But, a good bit of scepticism is always needed for anything. Be scientific about what you hear and consider the facts and the evidence. Most people get caught into the trap of believing what they want to believe because it fills a need in their lives or because it slaps a group they don't like. Case in point, the energy moguls from big oil and big natural gas who conspire to sock it to the California consumer.

Remember the stories from the 70's of tankers pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico before they pulled into port?

Rhoda 6-22-2001 23:05

Debra - this guy, who knows. I remember when we were both on the PD, he was mad at the Chief, and one night, I stopped over at his house, he took me upstairs to his reloading room, and showed me that you could see the door to the PD from his window. Then he tells me that many times he sat in that chair, his rifle on his sholder, the window open and trained the cross hairs on the chief's head as he walked to the patrol car. I guess he probably has though, but I wondered several years ago, I got an inventation to his wedding, which had taken place THREE MONTHS before, and on the inventation, he had hand-written "Don't send money, send GUNS!"

Jerry Ericsson 6-22-2001 22:15

Randall - I have had a few SKS's myself a few years back, had my own FFL there for about fifteen years, and delt in those little jewels, they are indeed a fine little rifle, and about as powerfull as a 30-30. In fact that was the rifle I picked to train my son on. Well first, of course he had to learn on the .22 due to the cheap ammo and ease of use, then graduated to the SKS. I even gave him one of his own. One day when we went to a gun show, he took his along and traded it off for a bunch of knives and swords, none of which he owns now. Now you used to be able to get a 30 round magazine for the SKS, and a fiberglass folding stock to make it look like an assault rife, but the 30 round mag just didn't work all that well. I had my 10 round built in blocked to 8 so I could use it legally for deer hunting in ND, as that was the limit on semi-auto rifles then. I think it has since been expanded to ten rounds. The 8 round max was based on the M1 Garand which took 8 rounds in the en-block magazine. Just thought I would add my two bits on that topic. Oh I had an assault rifle (well what the media called an assault rifle) when I was on the PD, had an AR 15 with colapsable stock for use on road blocks, the City couldn't afford one, but if we bought our own, we could use them on duty when necessary. I have since parted with it, although it was hard to do, when the big assault rifle ban came along this doctor called me and asked if I would sell him mine. Since I knew I could never use it again for anything anyhow, I took advantage of the situation and sold it for three times what I purchased it for. Funney how that works, the Federal Gov can sure increase the value of firearms when they start messing around with the peoples rights.

Oh, for the un-informed a TRUE assault rifle has a selector switch on it, so it can be fired both semi-auto and full-auto. It is the news media who declared that any rifle that LOOKS like an assault rifle IS an assault rifle.

Jerry Ericsson 6-22-2001 22:09


Do you think he can ever really get all the way back from that dark place?

Sure women have some strong streightening out techiques!

Debra 6-22-2001 22:08

Ahh would you believe intervenes

Jerry Ericsson 6-22-2001 21:58

Mary - The Blizzard is fiction, it is based a bit on my experiences with the killer storms, but none-the-less pure fiction, as are most of my stories.

That email just shows the depth of the insanity that runs rampant when people get paranoid, I have seen it before. Knew a fellow once who was absolutely sure that there would be a total economic collapse soon, he had plans for just that. He decided exactly what firearms he should have, and as he explained his thinking, I could see there was some logic there. He had plans on who he should kill first to keep those with him safe. Which business he should break into when he saw it coming and what he would steal, where he would store it, and how he would keep it safe. He had it all figured out, you bet he did. Now this guy was a cop, and what worried him the most was, "What if I see it coming, start gathering up the goods, killing off the bad guys, and something interviews and it doesn't happen, then I would have to go to jail!" Well all good things come to those who wait, he was discovered one night at one of the implement dealerships, in the patrol car, engaged in sex with a female who shall remain unmentioned. Well the Chief let him go, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I saw him again a few years later, his paranoia was even worse, he had isolated himself, his wife and five year old son in the middle of a cow pasture, where he moved his trailer house, it was a few miles off a side road that was a few miles off the main highway, and the trailer house was in a deep gully. When I got there, his wife took my wife in the kitchen for coffee, the fellow took me in the back bedroom that he had converted to an arsenal. Behind a hidden wall, he had racks of weapons, many of which he had converted to full automatic. He had gathered thousands of rounds of ammo, and had all the makings for thousands more. Later we went out in his front yard (read cow pasture) where he showed me how fast the MP-40 German assault rifle fired on full auto. He was good with it, kept a cow pie jumping for quite awhile. Then he bragged how good his little boy was with a full auto AR-15 rifle. Well I was getting a bit nervous, so I gathered up the wife and kids and we left that place, and I haven't seen him since. I heard that there was a horrible fire at the trailer house, and thankfully all his weapons went up with the house. I have learned that he finally came to his senses, his wife left him and his new wife straightened him right out. He is now living happily a few hundred miles from here, running his own black smith shop.

Jerry Ericsson 6-22-2001 21:56


Happy Friday!!!!!

Thank you Hallee, I like to write and hope someone can make sense of my meanderings. :-)

I read the Salt Lake Tribune on line newspaper. Sometimes every day, at least the Sunday edition. I glanced at today's and noted a young man and his family were suing the US government. It seems last year, the young man and his friends mistakenly walked into a thermal pool in Yellowstone National Park. They were park employees, that is under contract to the company that had the park concession.

It was night, a crescent moon and returning from a moonlight stroll they accidentally walked into an 178 degree thermal pool. One person died and the remaining 2 big trouble, with medical bills and looking forward to a life of pain, far from normal. Not something to be taken lightly and my heart goes out to them. the words "personal responsibility" have meaning....anymore? In the lawsuit they held the park should have, at least, barricaded the pools at night. Huh? At what level does government responsibility begin and end?Individual responsibility? Do the two areas merge at some point, mesh? Don't get me wrong, if it was my son or daughter I would be mad as hell! But somewhere rational thinking would set in, and I would accept that is simply an accident.

Americans, and I will not speak for anyone else, are heading down a wide road of "Let the government take care of us" mentality. That is dangerous thinking and I understand this wide smooth road will turn into a morass of legislative mandates and political end games, which equals loss of freedom. It already has, as Jerry pointed out a couple of days ago. Because some persons want to attatch blame in an area of wilderness that is "wild." Fence the pool in? What would be next?

This clip was taken from Friday's SL Tribune story...

"Scalded from head to toe after he mistakenly leapt into a pool of 178-degree water in Yellowstone National Park last summer, Utahn ***** ***** is suing the government for allegedly failing to warn him of the dangers posed by thermal pools."

Jerry...I have a couple SKS rifles. Mine were delivered in cosmoline and I was forced to clean them. Had difficulty in inserting the trigger assy. I called the dealer, told him my problem...and he laughed at me.

"Hit it with a hammer." He said. "Turn it over and give it a bash...."

I paused and he said. "Look, these rifles were designed for illiterate Russian soldiers. There is nothing you're going to do that will hurt 'em."

I did as he instructed...and it worked.

And no, to you my anti-gun friends, these are not "assualt rifles." Not designed to fire 30 bullets at one sitting. Which an everyday shotgun will easily do.........


Randall 6-22-2001 21:32

Wow, my blood sugar was pretty low when I wrote that last post, and I didn't even notice my grammar and spelling mistakes. That was supposed to be 'wild' friday.
I guess 'wil' Fridays are for when we're not quite in the mood to jump up and click heels.

And sandwiches, with lots of sand in them.
I won't mention my grammatical error - too embarrassing. (*snort*)

Well, guess what? I'm 400 words away from the 30,000 mark with Symphony!
No sign of that common plugging of the brain we call writer's b.... I won't even say it. There's no need to have a case of that dibilitating cork passing from brain to brain here.

Whip your writing paper out and make yourselves a list:
(And we like lists)
No, I don't want to know why everyone here loves to write, or what you write. We're quite familiar with each other, my dear friends. Let's write a list for another reason: To determine WHY our own writing has impact on us. WHY, then, IS WHAT WE WRITE IMPORTANT?

Do you feel you're learning something? Expanding your mind, and hopefully, a lot of other's minds?
Are you teaching something? Revealing something? Entertaining for the sheer joy of it?
Or are you discovering something about yourself that you hadn't a clue was resting there, deep within?

I wanna know.

Heather 6-22-2001 20:53

I also find it hard to put my arms around the notion of killing another let alone five of my own children, but if it proves valid that this was a case of post partem psychosis I hope that it finally blows the lid off this problem and forces the medical community to face up to what is necessary to see that every woman who experiences has the possibility of valid treatment. Not so many years ago, cancer was shuffled under the rug and not talked about. That was before we had some kind of valid treatment for many of the forms that it takes. Fran, my wife, is a valid example of this being a survivor of breast cancer for five years now. Long enough that we could celebrate our sixteenth wedding anniversary. But now we have good solid treatments for depression and we know that it is as much biochemical as it is something quote psychological or definitely not some quote weakness unquote. This does not relieve the horror that we feel about this circumstance whether the source of deaths was the mother or a fire or a tornado that came down and swept away yet another trailer court. Some we have a chance of preventing in the future and some we do not.

I also wanted to comment on the shortie about the person who left many years ago to hitchhike off into oblivion. This could have been my cousin. Several attempts were made to find him by members of our family and when found he slipped away. He had his own agenda that did not include us. This makes me sad and makes me wish that perhaps I could have done something more or else, but when I was truly in a situation to help I had my own problems that I was ill prepared to deal with. Timing is indeed everything. Oh, well, blathering away. Take care.

Jack 6-22-2001 20:49

Personally, I don't want to dwell too long on murder tonight.

That's about long enough...

I need a Hero was the theme song of the soap? Guess we don't need heroes who shoot blanks! heh heh
Hey, it's not murder if you shoot yourself out of indescribable stupidity.

As Einstein once said, "There are limits to genius, but stupidity knows no bounds."
I may be paraphrasing, so forgive me.

Hallee - I'll send you the 116 pages in wordpad, hope it arrives without any annoying format problems!
Thank you in advance for reading it! I do hope your husband's friend finds some other way to deal with his situation if he really doesn't want to take the medication.
There's no sense in taking it if it will make him freak out with the endless possibilities of government control and conspiracy he believes in.

I don't discount theories too quickly on the simple basis that they sound ridiculous. Often times the seeming ridiculous is true.
For example -
I'm a writer!

Ha ha ha ha

Just wanted to cheer everyone up.

Now that you've all had a chuckle at my purported expense,
have a wil Friday!

Christi! GREAT to see you posting again!
Any time you feel that deep blue yonder funk coming to knock, you just get your ass to the computer and email me!

Hallee - oh, indeed I'll pray for the health of your friend Holli and her child Jenna. 23 weeks? Oh dear. Perhaps that is why you have been so emotional lately?
Tears have a funny way of sneaking up on us when we least expect a storm.

Teekay, are you still out there, just lurking? Having trouble posting because of all the mention of children being murdered? Me too, but here I am.

Submarine sanwiches for dinner! They should be arriving soon. Yup, the first day this month I gave in and ordered out. Glad I didn't give all the way in to buy McDonald's. I certainly do not need any more seat to be sitting on!
It's the darned useless toy they give out that is the reason the kids want to eat that crud.

Litter - an interesting place to nab ideas. There are so many theories out there - wonder when any will be proven true or false. Might be a nice change.

Ding dong.


Heather 6-22-2001 20:07

About the killings - how can you kill your own child? You bring it into the world and raise it and then kill it, doesn't make sense - makes me sick to think that anyone could kill anybody. I could never kill my own children, even though I'm a fan of the famous threat "I gave you life and I can take it away" it would be an empty threat. Parents should love their kids unconditionally. If that woman knew she was depressed she should have tried to seek help.

And Tim McVeigh - don't get me started!

My shortie coming this weekend. :)


Allein Allein's World 6-22-2001 19:31

LITTER: My husband and I have a friend, who, if he wasn't the author of that email, he would have been a recipient. He thinks that the X-Files is a way for Chris Carter to get the "truth" out to the general public, and worries for CC's life daily. He's a massive conspiritor believer (wrong term - I'm on cold meds - sorry). He's also paranoid schitzophrenic (sp?) who won't take his medication because he thinks it's a government conspiracy to keep him from thinking clearly.

Very, very sad.

Hallee 6-22-2001 17:15

Oooooops! That last one was me...

Litter 6-22-2001 16:08

Hi all!

I have been trying to get my head round the recent family killings in Texas. Like those who have written here I cannot. I have known deep depression but the only person I felt like harming was myself. It chills me to think that I could ever knowingly harm my kids, even when they really pissed me off.

Those that know me know that I love Sci-Fi, even the crap stuff that gets it wrong. I find that some of my best ideas are inspired by the lunatic fringe on the internet, especially the conspiracy theorists who see conspiracies in every shadow and behind every door. I love to take the seemingly impossible and even the bizarre and ask, “What If?”

So, as is my want, from time to time I lurk in some of Yahoo groups ‘finest’ UFO, conspiracy and Fortean groups -- believe me, the material that can be gleaned in such groups takes a lot of the effort out of thinking or imagining the ‘what ifs’ -- some of these people hold, as true, conspiracies and happenings that you and I would find difficult to imagine.

I should have been prepared for one of the messages I received in my mail yesterday, but I wasn’t. A few hours after the events in Texas were made public the conspiracy machine was already in top gear. Below is the message in question, names and links edited out to protect the guilty, but otherwise intact. It is an object lesson on the way some people think and what worries me most is that there may be those who not only think this way, but act out their beliefs and fantasies. It is something that we, as writers, should be aware of.

Don’t shoot me, I am only the messenger! Email follows:

Today is the date of a total solar eclipse:

Today is also the Summer Solstice.

Today, Mars is in perfect Opposition to the Earth, and is the nearest it's been since 1988:

Today is also the first day of the New Moon.

Yesterday, five children in Houston, ranging in ages from 6 months to 7 years, were drowned at the hands of their own mother. She blamed this on post-partum depression, but psychologists say that that is not the cause, that her behavior was psychotic:

Heavy medications may be involved. Her husband worked for NASA.

Also today, there was a house fire in Florida. This has only been mentioned briefly on CNN, but the fatalities were five children, ranging in age from 22 months to 7 years:

Quite a coincidence. Kind of like all of the "celestial" coincidences?

According to some conspiracy researchers, certain "Key" astrological dates or events require specific sacrifices of a specific nature by or from some secret groups, which in our modern day have to be orchestrated or designed in such a way as to look like a horrible, unrelated tragedy.

I wonder what we have been really seeing, on this Summer Solstice Eve and Summer Solstice?

Also note that the two groups of five children, within a specific age range, died by Water and by Fire.

Sheer coincidence?

6-22-2001 16:06

TEEKAY: I have "Seven UP"!!! Going to dig into it tonight...hopefully done day after tomorrow. Then my mom has dibs. Will send it to you when we are done...unless you want to wait it out, or would rather not read hard back. Let me know if you are interested. You would be what...6 months ahead of your countrymen getting to read it? You might feel that it is too much like cheating! ;-)

I wouldn't...but you might. :-)

Mary 6-22-2001 14:53

GARY: Cute. was Jon Erik Hexum (sp?) that shot himself in the temple with a blank. Shattered the cartilage and injected it into his brain. At least that is how I remember it. I don't remember the name of the night-time soap opera he played in, but I remember the theme song: "I Need a Hero".

JERRY: Is your "The Blizzard" a true story? I just went over to your site and read a bunch of your stuff and wondered.

Mary 6-22-2001 14:49



What is this thing about an excuse to wash with you? Who wants to wash with you? Why do they need an excuse? Anyway, just tell them to wash alone. Unless, of course, you want to wash with them. Does this have something to do with the bath tub that seems to be a key element in this controversy?

To others. It wasn’t Brandon Lee who shot himself with the blank gun. I think it was a soap opera player.

I think I’ll go to the coffee shop. I’m suffering from post nasal depression.



gariess 6-22-2001 14:33

Oh you asked about my story for P** I have it in the works, but as I said, I lost it in a reformat. Oh it is still there, in my head, and I have another I am working on right now for the same destination, it is called "Under the Rainbow"

Jerry Ericsson 6-22-2001 14:01

Still friends, oh my yes, if you mean the fellow who is gay, or Loren, they are one and the same. I look forward to his upcomming visit, it just takes me back to the old days when things were so much simpler.

Ok, so they now say the murdering mother was on Halcion, or some such H drug, but now most of the psy-doctors are saying it wasn't post partam depression, but post partam psychosis, which is supposed to be so much worse, but if it were true psychosis.

Now if I remember my legal training at all, it seems that to be legaly insane, you must not have known it was wrong to do the crime. She knew, and you can't tell me she didn't. When her 7 year old son came in the bathroom and saw her drowning her poor little 5 month old daughter, he ran, she had the piece of mind to chase him down and drown him next. Then after killing all her kids, she called her husband and told him something was wrong, that she had hurt the kids. That tells me she was not legaly insane at the time, or at least it is a good argument that she wasn't.

Jerry my page 6-22-2001 13:13

Okay, a shortie - better late than never, I guess. And the only theme I remember is "alien." Here goes...


I was here to see them arrive,
riding the flames of hell.
In tall, proud ships they descended from the deep sky.
We were afraid, but offered them greeting
and friendship.
But they came to burn,
to destroy

They killed us
and our children,
They trampled our shrines
our holy places
and we prayed to our God,
but He heard us not.

Some said He turned away
as we had done to Him.
Others said He sent them
as punishment
as retribution,
the price of our blasphemy,
the wages of our wrong doings.

I cannot say, for who can know a god?

And then they stumbled,
went mad in their own hurting
and destroyed themselves,
fell victim to a sickness that we had almost forgotten.
Only a few escaped
Only a few went back in the tall ships.

And I saw them leave,
I saw them take the sickness with them.
and the madness,
and the death.
Back to the sky,
back to their home;
third from the sun.

howard 6-22-2001 13:06

RANDALL: Sorry, but I know too many women in the same situation as that Houston woman(at least in appearance) for that excuse to wash with me. I have no doubt her life was very hard. But I am sure that there were instances in her day where she functioned normally and could have sought help then. If you are falling apart, you know it. At least her husband should have, and THAT is where they were irresponsible. Fatally irresponsible.

Mary 6-22-2001 10:26

ps: sorry about long post in advance

howard: I dont know if they were expecting "me" as such, :)
on Pranic Healing...They say that everyone has healing energy that run through the hand that come from the "spirits"...People may not believe this but I do... and it seems to work on your spiritual self, not used for physical self...I think phsycic healing is another name for it

I am a big fan of Bruce Lee, he is my idol for the physical side of me...some people say that there was a connection between Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee's death...I fail to see it
another health warning seen on a supermans costume
"This garment does not enable you to fly"
I guess people are now trying to protect themselves against blatent stupidity

On the mother that killed her innocent, defenceless 5 children...if I hear one more story about a parent killing defenceless children...I AM GOING TO SCREAM!! And I bet that they would blame it on Post Natal depression and she will get pampered or something...Like "Oh poor girl, poor mother" IT MAKES ME SICK!!
sorry got carried away there
I had a thought a couple of years ago, that if it was possible, but it wasn't that wannabe parents should have a phsyciatric evaluation first
There have been too many incidents

One I remember happened where I was brought up...Where a woman shook her baby to death because it was crying...HA! I dont think I need to say more about that
"The Evil that people do"

Tim Mcveigh- Oh boy, a man killed a couple of hundred people,*cant remember the number* and they gave him a lethal injection under anesthetic, wait a minute move over Hallee I wanna be sick for sure

Or since Im not a parent and dont have children, and not a woman, so I guess that I dont have that Motherly love I think it it, that maybe I am missing something or overlooking something

Ok done,

taylor 6-22-2001 5:21


CHRISTI: Good to see you!

MEL: Lovely poem

MARY: YAHOO!! Congrats! ((hugs!)) Where? When?

DEBRA: Thanks! It's always better to throw up in disgust when you don't have to get it in your hair.

HEATHER: I have been WAITING for you to ask! Send it on, I'd love to read your work.

VIV: You're probably the only mother of a 14 year old girl who says 14 year olds are nice. (grin)

RHODA: I agree - about the older children fighting - I actually had it all written out, then I saw your post was nearly verbatim to mine. ((hugs)) on the post partum - I just cried for about two weeks. It was triggered the day my mom left after being here for a week, and just went on and on. Then it was done. I'm glad it was nothing more. Conan had a hard enough time with just the crying (I'm not a big cryer).

MARY: Lost means lost. :( *sniff*...of course, Kaylee noticed right away that it was gone - we told her it found a new home.

LITTER: Good to see you! Hope you're feeling okay...sad shorty - reminds me of my brother in law. My in laws still continue to support him - including lawyers and money - and are disgusted by my "tough love" attitude about him. I won't even let them discuss him around me.

RANDALL: I love your posts.

GARIESS: I'm neither clamouring for justice or vengence - there's nothing I can do about it unless someone let me at her. Regardless of what happens here, she'll have to face God one day. I'm just simply disgusted by it. And about crickets: They're great bait - I just hate hooking them. I don't mind hooking anything slimy, to be honest, but Conan has to hook crickets for me.

JERRY: Are you still friends with your friend? You know...there was a period when my dad was disgusted with the Army and got out. He was out from '74-'76 before he went back in and spent another 25 years in. The Army cleaned itself up out of a really rotten hole. OH - I just read about Loren - how cool! (smile) Maybe your back would hold up to a quick game of miniature golf?

TINA: Nice poem. :)

I wrote no shorty - my husband took me out to dinner. It was a nice surprise, since I'm feeling lousy from a cold and wasn't looking forward to cooking dinner, much less cleaning up after it.

My new book is incredibly emotional. I found myself crying while I was writing the second chapter - never happened to me before. I hope I was able to convey that much emotion onto the page. (Anyone want to read the first two chapters to let me know?- *wink*)

My best friend is in the hospital. She's 23 weeks pregnant and has been on bed rest for 2 weeks because her body keeps trying to go into labor. She started again Tuesday night, then started spotting, and is dialated to 1cm. They're having a hard time keeping the contractions stopped. Please pray for her, if you pray...her name is Holli and the baby is Jenna.

Okay - off to write some more. Wow - I just realized it was Friday. Happy Friday!!

Hallee 6-22-2001 5:07

Will probably post a shortie tomorrow - wrote another 2,000 words on Symphony tonight.


Have to make tracks to my bed or I'll see this morning without sleep; and a very painful head.

Heather 6-22-2001 4:18

Hi all!

Gariess, I think you're thinking of Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee. Not his brightest moment. The helium thing was up here, so I'm not surprised that you haven't heard of it. After that lawsuit, they had to put special labels on all tanks warning people of the danger (duh!) of trying to breath from them. Kinda like the woman in California (I think) who spilled her coffee on herself at MacDonalds, sued MacDonalds and won, and then everyone started putting warnings on their coffee cup lids saying 'Warning, contents may be hot'. DUH!

Christi, glad to see you here! Litter, you too!

I'm gonna cheat tonight and post a poem I wrote awhile ago. I was out with friends all night, so I participated in the spirit of tonight's theme, without having time to write about it!

In the Company of Friends

If true friends make one wealthy
Then I have found the wealth of nations in the sky.
Silver and Gold,
Reflections carried by the wind,
Displayed in the ever changing sculpture
Of clouds.
Diamonds and Rubies and Topaz,
Sparkling nocturnal jewels
Burning in the depth of space.
Iridescent opals that dance
High above, and sing!
Graceful aurora greeting all.

I feel the warmth of welcome from
The clouds, the stars, the northern lights.
Familiar, reassuring, comforting.
Give me their company
For even a breath of time;
Enough to remind me we are all kin,

Tina 6-22-2001 3:02

Ah, yes Star Trek, I would love to go to one of those trek'es conventions. I always thought that Star Trek was one of the greatest series/movie/series/movie/series/movie/movie ever made. Hell I even liked Babylon 5 or what ever the heck that show was, I watched the original series, but when they brought it back, it just didn't seem the same. I should try writing Sci-Fi, it was my first love in books, I recall the first Sci-Fi book I ever read, I remember it like it was yesterday. I got it on my first visit to the Bookmobile that came out to our little one-room school house, about a mile from the farm with the little girl ghost in the kitchen. It was all about this kid who's father farmed on Mars, they had a tractor with a cabin, of course so they could breath, anyhow something bad happened, I don't recall, but the young fellow saved the day with that tractor, not only did he save the day, but he got the girl, what a story. I think I have read quit a bit of sci-fi over the years, it is just a recent reading jag that got me hooked on Gresham, and I guess studying law for two years with nothing but lawyers for teachers in most of the classes had something to do with my newly gained interest in the law. That and my three month internship with the District Judge as his para-legal law clerk. I still get email from the Judge from time to time, keeping me up with the happenings. I just read in a email bulletin from the ND Supreme court that he had been selected to lead the state judicial council, quite a feather in his hat. He told me once of his time as a fill in on the State Supreme Court, that must have been amazing.

Oh I have a lot of interest in the military too, having spent eight years with the Army. Most of which was a super experience, except for that year in Nam, and I came away from there with a whole new attitude. I guess I can see where Old Tim McVeigh came from, he was a combat vet, and when he got hooked in with the patriot movement, he simply believed all their bull, and bought the whole idea. Sometimes freedom is a dangerous thing, as Mr. McVeigh proved. I remember way back in 75/76 when I was stationed with the Old Guard at Fort Meyer, in Arlington VA. We were the elite, and we damn well knew it. We were "the Army's Official Ceremonial Unit, and Escort to the President", that was our mission statement, that was drilled into our heads every day. I think it was that drill that caused some of the fellows from our unit to begin a practice called patrolling the Iwo. Now I never took part in such things, hell I was an old married man with two little kids, and I had much better to do with my life then patrolling the Iwo, but not so with some of the young mustangs in our Unit. They would get together in groups of three or four and head out the back gate of the post to the Iwo Jima memorial. You know the one, the huge statute of the Marines raising the flag on Mount Sarabachi. Well it seems that the Iwo came to be a meeting place for the gay fellows in the area. These patrols would seek out the gay's and simply smash their faces in, one or two would hold the poor fellow and the others would try to beat them straight. This went on uninterrupted for a long time, we kept hearing about the beatings, and of course, when I would stop in the NCO club for a cool one before heading home, I would pick up bits and pieces of what happened, and who were doing the bashing. It finally stopped when one of the poor gay fellows died from the beating. It took that for the Arlington County Police (Arlington was never incorporated as a city so the County did the policing) To take the complaints of the gay's seriously. They began investigating about the time I left for Army Recruiter's School, and to tell you the truth, I looked forward to leaving, as somehow I didn't feel so elite anymore.

I guess I can keep an open mind as to what should happen to that lady who drowned her kids, at least until the shrinks have had their say, but the very thought of those poor little ones, so innocent, so helpless, so dead...

You know just a few munites ago, I was reading this book, in the reading room, and this fellow gives the deffinition of nostelga, as homesickness, a longing for an earlier time, and it hit me. THAT'S IT, that's how I feel, I moved home, but I long for the days so long ago, when waking in the morning on a summers day was exciting, I knew I could get on my bike, go find a frined and have so very much fun ridding around town, we used to ride over by the lumber yard, they had this sidewalk that had a built in ramp, what a blast hitting that ramp as fast as you could go, leaving the gound and to be airborn for just a second, may be a nano second, but flying on your bike none-the-less. Yep that is how I feel nostelgic, and this friend thing got me to thinking about that. Well Loren will be home to visit his mom in a few weeks, he emailed me, I sure hope he stops by, we always have such a great time talking about when we were so young and innocent.

Jerry Ericsson 6-22-2001 0:52

Ok now this is a true story, and I think I kept it short, any shorter and the story would be lost, any longer and it would be boring.

There used to be this miniature golf place, just a mile or so east of town, this was way back when I was in grammar school, probably in the mid-60’s or there about. We played just as much miniature golf as we could afford, which was about three games a week, then my dollar was gone, and Loren, being the dirt poor son of a widow, had no money to start with. It was one of those days; we were heading out to the golf place, and the week before we went to the movies, and saw a show where these two prisoners escape from a guard, a black man and a white. They were handcuffed together, and fled through the swamps, up to a farm where this lady cut off the bracelets.

Anyhow, we were seeking a shortcut to the golf course; normally we walked eight blocks up to the highway, then a mile out to the place, a long walk in the hot summer when temperatures soared up to the mid 90’s. This day, having seen that stupid movie, we found a rope somewhere, and tied our hands together, like the fellows in the movie. There we were, walking down an old gravel road that we knew would lead us to the mini golf place, tethered together. Now I was a bit on the chubby side, Loren however was as skinny as a rail, normally he could outrun me hands down, and this day we would be put to the test.

As we strolled casually down the gravel road, we saw that it did not indeed come out at the mini-golf place, but a couple miles due east, there on the other side of this pasture was the mini-golf place. A quick check showed the pasture was empty, or at least that was what we thought.

We crossed the fence, me first, having grown up on a farm for the first ten years of my life made me the expert on fence crossing, Loren followed, and we took our time, playing that we were escaped convicts, about in the mid-point of the crossing, it became very apparent that we were not alone in that pasture, just yards away was the biggest meanest bull I had ever seen in my ever so short life.

“Run!” Loren shouted, and as the ‘n came out; his arm was straightened as the rope became tight, from. I was running for all I was worth, behind me I heard gasps, and “Wait Up!” and “Slow DOWN!” There was nothing that was going to stop me, and once in awhile Loren’s feet touched the ground, just enough so he could bound into the air and be pulled along by the rope. We made it to the next fence, and once over I stopped to catch my breath.

“You saved my life!” Loren said.

“Oh, I forgot you were there, sure a good thing we were tied together!” I replied.

The mini-golf game was sort of anti-climatic, but I guess we thought we had fun. I am sure I would have forgotten that day, had it not been for that bull, and my best friend.

Jerry Ericsson 6-22-2001 0:01

The discussion about bicycles and such on the roads reminds me that we used to see a great many of those long trains of bicycles on the Cape Cod roads in the warm weather. They were a great pain when you came across them. There were times when all you could do was follow them at their own speed for a mile or two. I never see those any more. I sure don’t miss them.


That is the first I heard of someone trying to breathe helium ditectly from a tank. It isn’t the first time a person failed to foresee the consequenses of high pressure.
There was the actor a while ago who killed himself with a blank shooting gun. By clowning and firing it against his head he simply turned the part of his skull that was against the barrell into a bullet. Well, we all do dumb things, but some we only do once.

Hi Debra, Christi, and Hallee.

About that woman and the five children, I think it is too harsh to say that the husband and wife were irresponsible. I have no idea what is involved in dealing with such a situation. I can’t judge those people. I don’t know how anybody can. People will clamour for vengeance and justice now that the kids are gone, but how can there be justice, and why should there be vengeance?

About crickets. Crickets are good bait for fishing. The trick is to get them on the hook without wrecking their legs. Wow, when I think of all the grisly things I’ve done to catch fish. If there exists a higher order that will one day hold us accountable for how we treated all living things, I may come out with much poorer marks than than that Texas woman.


Congratulations on that poem.



gariess 6-21-2001 23:43



The murder of the five children in Houston.....why, why, one wonders. During the course of this post, thousands of children will die world wide. Famine, war, abuse and murder. Most of the time these events are a 30 second film clip, followed by an upbeat story and a commercial for life insurance. But this one will hang in there for a while. The Mark Davis talk show, WFAA in Dallas, did 3 hours on it this morning, with more sure to follow.

There is no accounting for the human condition. We are capable of deeds that range from the activities of Rev. Billy Graham to the Waffen SS. All of us have perceptions of guilt and innocence with enough mitigating circumstances to cover all circumstances possible in this case. Were there events in this families life that indicated this unspeakable future act? Sure. According to Mark Davis this woman tried to commit suicide after the 4'th child was born. This should have caused alarm bells to ring somewhere, especially in the actions of the husband. But, incredibly they had another child! What was he thinking? He should have gone under the knife after the fourth child!

This poor woman was, in essence trapped at home...with 5 children, one an infant which demanded gobs of her time and attention. (Am I right ladies?) Not forgetting she was being treated for stress with medication, had attempted suicide and BTW, where was her husband? Away, in a STRUCTURED world, NASA, where physical problems are in the open, solvable. In the male world of business...solving a problem is an indication of a successful day. This woman was in an emotional world of emotional turmoil, mis-firing hormones and powerful medication I don't wish to think about. At home, probably alone, with 5 children to care and nurture, while falling apart. Truly a hell on earth for her, with no way out. No solution, no hope, nothing but despair. Within minutes she entered a world we have no knowledge of...and killed her children. God truly turned His face from her at that moment, then welcomed the children home.

I don't believe Tim McVeigh should have been killed. He was such a unique personality, further study and research should have occupied his remaining a cell. This woman, same thing. Life in prison. At some point in time we have to learn the why of it. As a society, if we wish to live, grow and gain in group Karma, these horrific events must be understood, conquered. As populations explode, pressure increases, and humans, a frail animal at best....fold. But I don't believe that will ever happen, the study of why people kill their children that is. Our emotions overtake better judgement. The cry of justice, justice for the children will be heard until I retreat and turn on the music. To escape the madness.

Christi....I don't pull peoples fingers. :-) But I live, breathe, and lay awake at night thinking of ways to PULL their tails. :-) My cousin told mom once. "Randall is a fisherman of other peoples emotions. He tosses out the bait...and waits patientally for a nibble..... And he can do it in such a way, you never know whether he is serious or not."

Let's pray for all the children of the world. Except for my son Sean, cause if he crashes this computer one more time I'm him a little more. :-)

Say goodnight Randall...

Goodnight Randall!!!!!

Randall 6-21-2001 22:14


I'm sure you're right, but do you see how far down you had to go?

That woman didn't have any of those reasons.

Debra 6-21-2001 21:12

HALLEE: Forgot to say something: You mentioned that you lost one of your kitties. I didn't ask before because I preffered to believe that he had found a home with someone else. Please don't tell me that 'lost' means 'lost'.

Mary 6-21-2001 21:07

HALLEE: We are now down to three kittens out of the original seven. (One from the older litter, two from the younger). The mother of the older litter stole away with her last kitten two nights ago. I guess she did it to protect it from me and the almighty basket. I found them both this morning hiding behing the dryer in the basement.

The mother of the younger litter doesn't seem the least bit affected by the absence of her kitten. Doesn't seem to notice that her eldest is misplaced. Even in the animal world there are different kinds of mothers.

Good luck with shortie night tonight everyone...and thank you for your congratulations on my poem! Yes, it does feel very good.

LITTER: Nice to see your name here tonight. Thank you for your friendship story, I am sure it dredged up plenty of discomfort for you...sorry for that. ((HUGS))

Mary 6-21-2001 21:04

I just read a web article on this murdering mother. Something I did not know came to light; SHE DID IT IN TEXAS, if she had to do it, do it in a State known for thier liberal usage of the death penalty.

Jerry Ericsson 6-21-2001 20:51

12-10!! GO MARINERS!!! Woohoo!! :)

Maybe I'll post my shortie this weekend - I'm happy and all but also busy. :)

Allein Allein's World 6-21-2001 20:30


Well said. I can perhaps understand someone having a split moment of insanity, but to do this systematically with 5 kids? That is the part that boggles the mind. It could not have been easy to commit such an action espacially since the older childern would have fought. As Mary pointed out before, the physical actions alone should have brought the woman to her senses, let alone the effort involved. And if the woman was insane even for a minute, how can she hope to live with herself after what she had done?

Also if the woman had a history of mental illness after pregnancy, than what the H--ll was she doing having a child immediately after the last kid, and why did her husband allow her to do it?

There is much more at work here than post partum depression. So much in this case does not add up. May justice be done. This whole thing makes me sick just thinking of it.

Rhoda 6-21-2001 20:25

Daddy long leg spiders are more poisonous than black widows. Their venom is nasty, but they are unable to bite people, or any large creature. They normally eat mites and tiny insects.
The most venomous black widow in the world is the red-back in Australia. Black widow silk is the same strength as steel. A black widow can lay numerous egg sacks, for up to 3 years, after mating once.

Gaia 6-21-2001 20:07

Way to go Mary! What a wonderful feeling to have your work in print, you must be so proud!

As far as that Yates lady, I can't understand how anyone could take their own flesh and blood and hold them under the water until they are dead. No, then do it again and again and again and again. Her husband had to know it was going to happen, he had to have thought it might, how could it go on for so long and he not notice it coming. If she isn't totally insane then she should be put to death, a slow painful death, one that takes hours to complete, not the nice shot in the arm.

Jerry Ericsson 6-21-2001 20:06

Hi all!

Just been watching reruns of 'Northern Exposure' -- sure do love that show...

Short and sweet tonight so here's my Shortie:

One For Walter

What do you call the kind of person who pours scorn and ridicule on one less fortunate than himself? What do you call the kind of person who threatens another with violence or takes from another and then destroys what he has taken in front of that other person whilst he is being restrained by a group of co-conspirators?

You might feel justified in calling such a person a bully or even go as far as using an epithet such as ‘thug’? Sometimes things aren’t so cut and dried.

A good while ago I was such a person but I will not apologise for it. I did all these things and more, much more, and I felt perfectly justified in doing so…

Maybe the other person was getting a taste of his own medicine? -- Nope!

Maybe the other person needed taking down a peg or two? -- Not a bit of it!

I did all of those things and more and I called the poor scrap of humanity that I ‘bullied’ my friend. Indeed he was one of a select and small circle of those I considered close friends and no, it wasn’t some sort of initiation rite or rite of passage or anything such like -- I simply wanted to save my friends life.

When he started smoking grass it was all a bit of a laugh. We were all students and he was the life and soul of the party, albeit more laid back than effusive. We called him ‘Cosmic Walter Ford’, then, as he was always spaced out. Then he started taking a little acid, just to expand his mind. Then came the speed and then a whole plethora of ‘uppers’, ‘downers’, and ultimately some coke.

That was when the ‘s’ in ‘Cosmic’ seemed to go missing and he became known as Comic Walter Ford, the university joke.

The writing was on the wall the night he ran away from us. When we eventually tracked him down he was cowering in an alleyway -- Said his chips, (you might call them fries), jumped out of the bag he was holding, grew arms and legs, and chased him the length of Suchiehall Street, baring their spiky teeth as they ran.

So, we were ‘understanding’ with him. When that didn’t work we dragged him off to a clinic, then a counsellor. Then came the threats -- first the withdrawal of our friendship and then the threats of physical violence…

Eventually we accepted that we couldn’t stop him buying drugs, but we didn’t have to let him take them, did we? So we took them off him and flushed them down the toilet, and he went and got more, until his money and most of his other ‘friends’ ran out.

Last time I saw him was after a party, drug free, as I remember but lots of drink. It was the morning after and he was outside the party flat, just his jeans and a T-shirt and a sort of hand made ‘Marrakech’ satchel with a few meagre belongings that he hadn’t hawked.

He was about to take off, so I asked him where he was going? (We had long since given up trying to restrain him.) He said he was going to the motorway and he was going to hitch a lift, he didn’t know to where. Then he asked for the bus fare across town, 5 miles or so, to the motorway. A short time later he vanished from the face of the planet without a second thought for the friends he was leaving -- the ones that had stuck by him.

I didn’t try and stop him and I never heard from him, or about him, again. That was three decades ago and I expect he is long since dead -- probably someplace anonymous with nobody knowing who he was.

What kind of friend does that make me?

I still think about Walter but I can’t remember any of the times he was ‘Cosmic’ and not just ‘Comic’. And you know what? -- It really hurts...

You all take care now, y'hear,


Litter 6-21-2001 20:02

Oh sorry Jack. Either I'm seeing double or that posted twice. I have a good excuse. I'm typing in bed with the cat on my chest purring, my daughter came in with her dog and they dropped down on my husband's side of the bed and started doing this chase the finger under the blanket. Then the dog got a case of the I have to lick everyones. In short, I'm trying to ignore a situation which is getting out of hand. If my daughter weren't taller than I am it might be better when she plays like a nine year old!

I love this morning madness. I don't work every day but only twice a week. The morning after I've worked I can see that we've missed each other. Fourteen year olds are nice.

Viv 6-21-2001 18:39

Thanks Christie:
Wow, I read to your post and I stopped. Thank you! I'm not always the picture of grace. What scares me is that we're going to have a lot of adjustments. I hope we can be kind to each other when we're under fire. As long as the peace stays in the home, you can do anything. It's hard to be peaceful when the going gets tough. I also liked what Ben had to say on respecting the right to choose not to do housework. It does get done.

Viv 6-21-2001 18:33

Thanks Christie:
Wow, I read to your post and I stopped. Thank you! I'm not always the picture of grace. What scares me is that we're going to have a lot of adjustments. I hope we can be kind to each other when we're under fire. As long as the peace stays in the home, you can do anything. It's hard to be peaceful when the going gets tough. I also liked what Ben had to say on respecting the right to choose not to do housework. It does get done.

Viv 6-21-2001 18:32

Should have been a slash between 'sickly' and 'diseased'. Also, I didn't purposely leave out those of us NBers without children!
We're all busy, regardless of whether or not we have kids.
Sheesh. It's a typo kind of day. Believe it or not, I just had a typo in typo (spelled it typa... kind of day).
You know it's bad when you can't even speel speeling.

Heather 6-21-2001 18:31

CONGRATULATIONS, MARY! Tell me where I can find your work in print and when! Now go and send out 'Red Satin Lover'!

Anyone willing to read for me, let me know. I have another sizeable chunk of writing that needs another opinion besides my own. That is, if anyone has time or interest! I know how valuable our time is, we writers/workers/mothers or fathers/editors...etc.

Teekay, check your email-box! :oD

By the way, Debra, many animals (especially fish, birds and small mammals) eat or otherwise kill their young, but ONLY if necessary. If one of a rodent's young smells differently, (for example, someone touched one baby and not the rest),the mother will kill that one. I think in nature, if one of the young smells differently than the rest it means they are sickly.diseased, and letting them live would mean the whole litter perishes. Birds will abandon their nests if absolutely necessary, because birds have no way of moving their eggs once they're laid. They must choose very wisely the spot in which they build their nests. Fish just eat anything in the water they fancy as far as I know, gobbling up their own young if perchance they swim too close. Guppies do, at least.

Heather 6-21-2001 18:27


I'll hold your hair back while you throw up.

If you need it!

Debra 6-21-2001 17:11


Your post about the twins gave me chills. I couldn't ignore it a minute longer. Gosh, what are some people? I want to say animals, but animals don't usually kill their own. Right?

I have been an adult for quite some time now, but sill I can remember being a kid and pushing someone out of anger. Just the feeling of their body moving backwards because of something I did, always shook me out of my anger. I wanted no part of hurting them. This women felt her hands hit their bodies and didn't stop. I can't process that information. I just can't.

Debra 6-21-2001 17:08


Rhoda 6-21-2001 15:55

MARY: YEA YOU!!! CONGRATULATIONS on your sale! :-)

Mel 6-21-2001 15:49

I counted and have ten pieces of paper on my 'rejection spike'. If I figure that one piece out of every 11 gets published, all I have to do is write faster. That should give me 3-4 published pieces a year. At $15.00 each, that is a whopping $60.00 annually. Cool...I don't even have to pay taxes on that much. know what that is? It's bad attitude. I had better shape up or I will be my own worst enemy. What? I already am? Well, crap.

Mary 6-21-2001 15:49

CHRISTIE: Big hugs! So glad to see you. I also have to thank you for something. You know that "Undulating Blue" poem that I wrote? Well...because of your enthusiastic response to it, I slipped it into an envelope and sent it off. Completely forgot about it until today when an acceptance letter came in the mail. Finally, something I don't have to impale on the rejection spike above my desk. Funny...I was starting to like the feel of that 'pop' as the sharp tip of that nail would puncture whatever it was I was adding.

Good to have you back girlie!

Mary 6-21-2001 15:44


TAYLOR: I'm not out to convert you or anyone to Star Trek fandom; "to each his own" my mom often quoted. Thee are some sf worlds I don't care for either, like Babylon 5 (no insult intended to any fans). ST, to me, represents a wave of the future that I hope will come to pass: exploring the universe by starship, multicultural and gender equalities of jobs... And I personally like the characters (all the series) and their myriad adventures. :-) RE: a power to have and to hold...I think I would choose empathic healing. Touch everyone who's suffering and make them feel all better. :-)

TINA: Um, a spider garden? Heh heh (*nervous laughter*) - er, instead of MY coming over to YOUR house to play, what say we go for a nice bike trip around the 'burbs? :-D

HEATHER: I think Canada is one beautiful country, judging by the little I've seen of it in the East. It's very noticeably cleaner and all, coming from the States, and then I hate to return to the States and our general no-care attitude that seems to be spreading into more areas now. May it never infect Canada! :-)

Welcome back, CHRISTI! :-)

And now, my evening shorty, a little early:

"Treasures of the Heart"

Some get up early;
Some stay up late;
All have a passion
to which I relate.

Some live so near :-)
Some live so far :-(
It doesn't matter
where all of us are:

We have a hook-up
that links us together;
We share thoughts, opinions,
from politics to weather.

We laugh, we cry,
we make amends.
Each one of you, treasured,
My NB writing friends. :-)

Mel 6-21-2001 15:08

I suffered horribly from Post Partum depression after the birth of my third child. The only one who really hurt through that incident was myself. The rest of my family did fine. Through all my troubles I could still function and take care of my children and family. Furthermore I still showed great affection and love to my children. Post partum depression is a real thing, but you don't lose touch with your morality, sympathy and sense of responsiblity, and sense of right and wrong. Mainly your perspective suffers and certain tendencies you have get distorted. My bout came with panic attacks, deep depression, and a myiad assortment of physical ailments that were not in my head.

I got some medical help for my problems, but no one referred me to a counciler of to any sort of psyciatric help. Most doctors and most idividuals did not understand--only those women who had suffered through it before. As time went on the symptoms lessoned. I also sought help from God, and I honestly believe that through those problems He taught me much about myself and about life and I came through the experience a much stonger person and a more devout Christian.

I read up on post partum problems afterwards, and the fact is that about 1% of post-partum women do get psychotic (I messed that spelling up) and some have to be institutionalized. Generally with medicines and therapy they come through it OK and get their lives back together.

I have decided to go Sunday to the STAR TREK convention. I tried to get my husband to go to Saturday night dinner with the guest stars, but he declined and said he would rather take me to shoot pool instead.

Rhoda 6-21-2001 14:41

Whoa, where'd all these posts pop up from!

Hi all!

Geeze, thanks, Heather! HI! I'm actually just now brushing up on a story for **P** that has been in the works since it started. I'm a little scared that it's too ... something, but I'll post it by the weekend anyway.

Yikes, I thought it was gambit too! Whoops. Damn spell-checker. Well Mark, when you're right, you're right.

Those poor kids. I can't even talk about it or I'll cry.

"There's no crying in baseball!!!" One of my favorite quotes ever.

Christi 6-21-2001 13:51


Tina, Thank you for the email hugs! I really really needed them and they got me to drag myself out of my awful self-pitying drool pile and come to see the lovely people here. I'm cheered up already! A kiss and big hug for you. {{{{{feel the love}}}}}

Viv, I have so much respect for you. You are handling your situation with grace and good nature. But feel free to rant and rave any time you feel like it; we'll understand.
My husband's company is having trouble right now--he's a manufacturing engineer and the industry is floundering. He's among many in the high-tech jobs who're now wondering what's next. We're at that crucial scary part called 'waiting to see'.

Ben, Bendie?!!! Hahahahaha, HAHAHAHA! Never heard that one!
It looks like hard times for a while for a lot of people. I'm crossing my fingers tightly for you.

Oh dearest Jon, thank you for finding my skeleton. I could not come back until I had it, as I was only a pile of loose flesh lying on the floor. Really that's how I've felt lately, but I'm feeling much more myself, and so I thank you again, dear Jon. I'm sorry that your voyage to the moon is not as carefree as the last one, but your comments were ever so much more introspective and interesting!
Is there a new project??? Do tell! I shall have to visit the archives for sure.

Mary, HAHAHA! Your neighbor should be made to gain another twenty pounds which she would be required to tote around for at least a year like the rest of the new mommies.
I knew you'd get reaction from the fellows over that one! I could just see their eyes popping out when you said 'pink snakeskin bikini', zoiks! I think my eyes even bugged out a bit. HEE!

Randall, DON'T pull my finger!

Hi Gariess!!!!!!

Jack, Thank you for all the work you do here. You are SOOOOOOOOOOOO appreciated! Happy Anniversary to you and Fran!!! Cheers! *clink*

Mary, I wish for cloud filled, Brad Pitt kind of sweet dreams for you for the rest of your life. *kiss*

Teekay and Heather, Very belated emails will be in your box by the end of today, I swear!

On spiders, though they kind of scare me (the big ones do) I don't kill them because they are natural predators of the other buggies, the kind I hate far worse than spiders. For some reason I'm terrified of crickets because you never can tell which way the little spazmos will leap (like right in your hair or down your shirt). They're so thick and meaty and ... ewwww. And once I caught one and squished him in a kleenex. I'll never forget the disgusting sound of it. Anyhoo, once I stopped killing the spiders I didn't need to use insecticide anymore! Those crickets make good party snacks, apparently.

I haven't read the archive yet. I hope all is well with all!

Bug hugs for y'all.

Christi 6-21-2001 13:43

A woman who lived in a town near me smothered 5 of her children over a period of several years in the 70's. They at first attributed it to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) but finally arrested her and charged her with the murders. She was convicted, and later diagnosed with "Munchausen by Proxy" syndrome. She died a couple of years ago, in prison.
It happens...

howard 6-21-2001 13:36

HOUSTON (June 21) - The husband of the woman accused of drowning their five children said tearfully Thursday that he supports her because her severe depression had driven her to kill.

Excuse me while I go throw up.

Hallee 6-21-2001 13:30


Hallee 6-21-2001 13:29

Sheesh - just read Mary's latest post. The mother drowned all five? I refuse to imagine that.
IF, (my God, I can't believe I'm saying this) IF you could even do that to one child, how could you just keep going?

All right, I don't like to linger on topics like that.

Howard - so neat how things like that happen - gamut and gambit.
Now the question is, which word did Tina intend to use?

Heather 6-21-2001 12:59

I haven't heard about this horrible news. Five children?
Post partum depression??? Highly questionable excuse.

I'm wondering where CHRISTI is! CHRISTI!!!!
She's been away for almost two weeks. Where have you been, CHRISTIIIIIIIII?!

Guelph must be a really innovative city. We have bicycle lanes on our roads, next to the curb, marked off with painted lines just like the rest of the road. Not all streets have this lane, but the main, busy ones do.
Tell your council and mayor to take a good look at Guelph Ontario if they want a great example of the recycling of ALL garbage, and bike lanes on the roads, tree conservation and planting, amazing gardens, special days for the community to get together and clean up the rivers, etc., etc... All I can say is that it's a University town, with a major concentration on botany and agriculture. With that comes a high degree of concern for ecology/environment.

Well, I wrote over 2,000 words last night, and I'm a little worn today. Not that I don't expect a few very late nights... but tonight won't be one of them!
Hmmm. I AM in the middle of a very 'turning point' scene, and it's come out very well. I plan to wrap up the scene tonight and then let it sit until Friday or Saturday, when I'll go back and re-read the latest few scenes with my editing-cap on!

I am falling behind on some of my writing/editing for others, so please forgive me. This weekend looks good for some time 'in'.

Teekay, did your story idea for P** work out? I'm anxious to know if you're going to be posting a story soon!
And you too, Jerry!
Mary, Rachel, Christi, do you have any more stories for P**? ANYONE ELSE? All are welcome!

Heather 6-21-2001 12:45

Depression does not mean that you don't know right from wrong. She knew what she did was wrong when she did it. At least that is my opinion. Maybe it's my own history making me over-zealous, but anyone that can throw their children's lives away like that deserves the harshest retribution. She had better come up with one heck of a convincing defense.

When I read about that story I instantly brought to mind the picture Debra sent me of her two twins sitting in the bathtub with their cheesy smiles and spikey hair. How could anyone ever hold those angel faces underwater until they died? That's not just insanity or mental illness at work...that's evil.

Mary 6-21-2001 12:45

TINA -- This is NOT a criticism, just an interesting observation...
You said "to run a gambit of people" referring to riding a bike on the sidewalk. I think the word you wanted is "gamut" but "gambit" makes it interesting too - it's defined as "an opening chess move" or "a carefully planned maneuver," which would definitely fit in riding through a sidewalk full of people! Words are fun!
A pet Black Widow?!??! Yeech! They're nasssty critters! A recent National Geographic special had a segment on them, and showed what their bite can do. Thankyouverymuch but NO! Fiddlebacks (Brown Recluse) are nearly as bad. Their venom keeps eating at your flesh until it leaves a big ulcerated wound that takes a very long time to heal. Again - no thanks!
Now, I have picked up a double handful of bees from a swarm, and put them into a big bag so we could take them home to a hive. You wouldn't believe the heat they generate!

howard 6-21-2001 12:31

JERRY: They aren't saying - SHE is. I'm sorry, the medical experts interviewed said it wouldn't be that bad were it truly post-partum. I'm not discounting another mental illness - simply that it wasn't what she thought it was, and she and her husband both were horribly irresponsible for letting it go for two years the way they did - especially since she was the sole caretaker of 5 children.

Hallee 6-21-2001 11:55

Ben - no problem, although I am a reformed luthern (turned catholic), I didn't take it as a slam or anything.

So, do you think Andria Yates should be put to death for the murder of her 5 little children? They are saying it was caused by post-partum depression.

Jerry Ericsson 6-21-2001 11:52

Jerry I hope you don't think I mispelled your name on purpose. I re-read that post twice, and still didn't see it until just now. I'm sorry.

Ben 6-21-2001 11:37

Spiders? To quote an old song, "I don't like spiders or snakes!" Just one of those things I guess. I used to play with snakes when I was a kid, catch them and chase girls around, thought it great fun. I don't know when that changed, and I used to play with spiders too, back when I was a kid. Now I will kill any spider I see. Oh I know that spiders are our friends, the eat bad insects, but I read somewhere that one is never farther then one yard from a spider at any given time, you whole life, so if I kill all I see, there are still those within a yard of me to clean up the mess. As far as snakes, I am not afraid of them or anything, I just don't like them. The prairie rattle snake is very prolific around here, a few miles south where we camp is a strong hold-out for them although I haven't seen one up close since I was a kid. Oh yes I did, I nearly ran over a big old sucker coming in from the dump grounds, where I had just dumped my grass clipping, it was in the road heading for the local cemetery. Now I swerved to miss it, and I am sure I did, but then I wondered why, there are reports of rattlers in the cemetery all the time, and it is right here in town. I have an aunt who's farm was thick with the critters, she has been bit several times, (maybe that's what's wrong with her). She has survived the bites, of course with hospitalization and anti-venom but they were very painful, and she became very ill from each bite. They tell you that you have to be careless to be bitten by one, but these were all on her front porch! (I know, I would look before I stepped, but I didn't live in her house). Her son stepped on several of them growing up, but was fast enough to avoid their strikes.

Ok, ok you have convinced me, you can go ahead and have folks arrested for DUI on a skate board if you wish. Speaking of RUI, don't you remember watching those old we sterns where the drunken cowboy gets on his horse and gallops, then rares his horse in town, all the while shooting in the air, or at windows? That's RUI, and should be against the law. What the hell, let's just make the possession of alcohol illegal. What's that, it's been tried and didn't work? Damn, but I guess the DUI enforcement is doing the same thing, and it's working. The rate of accidents is down, the incidence of DUI arrests is down here anyhow. Oh and did I mention bars are closing all over, our town used to have 4 bars and two night clubs, now there are two bars and no night clubs. (The last one had a fire last year - popular opinion is that it was caused by spontaneous combustion, the mortgage and insurance papers were laying together, and friction caused the fire, but that is still under investigation, we may never know.

Our town is amongst those without a traffic light. We had two of them on main street but they were removed many years ago and replaced by 4 way stop signs. We have no tourist season, not really, a few folks stop to check out our petrified wood park en route to the Black Hills, or going to Yellow Stone National Park, or maybe en route to the Bad Lands of North Dakota. Our rodeo does attract a good crowd but that is just a three day affair, then they are gone. The Sturgis bike rally does give us an opportunity to watch the Bikers from up north, as they rumble through town on the highway, occasionally they will stop for a cold beer, or a sandwich, but we have no trouble with them. The hard core drunks from my day are all gone now, many of them drank themselves to death, some died in DUI related collisions. Their kids are still around, some of them are trying to follow in daddy's footsteps, but most are, much like myself, tea tottelers. Oh well, I ramble on again, seems I do that from time to time, it must be a sign of old age or some such stuff.

Jerry 6-21-2001 11:25

Mel, you don't like sweet little spiders? Awww. Where I work, we used to have a tarantula (she died at the ripe old age of 11) name Rafiki. She was awesome! Holding her felt like holding a hamster or something, and she was quite personable. On quiet days I'd take her out and let the kids hold her. That was a thrill maker. Nowadays, we just have a black widow named Frankie. She's quite cool too, watching her catch flies and bugs is a treat. Here at home, my garden is a haven for spiders, a 'no kill zone'. Wolf spiders, crab spiders, orb spiders, garden spiders, bee hunters, daddy long legs, they're all welcome outside.

Mary, it's a matter of logistics. Too many pedestrians, kids, strollers, kids on scooters/skateboards/rollerblades. To avoid them, I'd have to get off the sidewalk, which means going over the curb. There are more cracks and bumps in the sidewalk, and crossing traffic is a bit**. For me, biking is a main form of transportation. I don't have the desire to run a gambit of people, and don't have the time to waste trying to cross intersections like a pedestrian. I bike the way I drive, with respect for everything around me and giving foot traffic the right of way. If anything, I'm more aware of the traffic than any driver. I have to be.

Way to go Mel! I do envy anyone who is a morning person. Unless it's for work, I just can't do it. I'm a natural night-owl I guess. :-)


Tina 6-21-2001 11:04

MARK -- Hi!
TAYLOR -- "went to my first phsycic expo today"
Umm - were they expecting you?
What's a "pranic healing?"

howard 6-21-2001 10:22


Shame on that guy. I wouldn't let him push my baby.

Debra 6-21-2001 10:16

DUI I have a story

in NT australia a man was charged DUI when he was pushing a pram...It happened years and years ago, but i remember that now

taylor 6-21-2001 8:55

taking a break frowm writing at the moment

went to my first phsycic expo today, and had some pranic healing done...WOW!!!

unfortunately my vampire story has too many endings to chose from

sooner or later though I will post a shortie that's not my usual genre...
Been to the gym today, and did body I think my leg hates me, trying to whip myself into shape or try to

and whats so big about star trek? I dont get it...I dont like the show...

A thought, if you had any power what will it be?

taylor 6-21-2001 8:52


It's gloomy skies but I'M WIDE AWAKE THIS MORNING! :-) I actually got up an hour earlier - YEA ME! Woo Hoo!! Wouldn't you know, my first new morning as a revised morning writer my 4-year-old wakes up early too--she wet the bed! Groan. Well, I somewhat patiently took care of her, got her back to bed and then had a BLISSFUL 40 minutes of writing time to myself!!! :-) It was the absolute BEST way to start my day! In the quiet of the house, everyone else asleep (aside from the wide-awake cat), I pulled out HALLEE's story and worked on my critque for her! YES! And then (HOWARD, you'll be so proud of me), I managed to stay awake on the commuter bus and had some great reading time too (love that Hiero! :-) I'm anxious to see what fantastic thing that Gorm bear is going to do next - is he a transformed human or something? No, don't tell me - I'll read all about it soon.) :-)

MARY: Not the kind of view I'd hoped you have! But it seems to be inspiring the menfolk around here...

MARK: A smile to cheer you: :-D Now go write some more and you'll feel better still (I hope!).

RHODA: GO TO THE TREK CONVENTION!!! If I could, I'd go with you! I've never been to one, but according to JACK, maybe you'll be lucky enough to hear Klingons singing opera or karaoke or something. :-) Who could pass on that??!!

TINA: Well said re: bikes, DUI, idiots, accountability for one's actions! I think it's high time all towns marked bike lanes on all their roads, for everyone's protection and enjoyment too.

BEN: i don't like spiders either. They're all legs and creepy-fast. Their bodies make me think of gazillions of tiny baby spiders being loosed upon the world in some blink of a moment when all the arachnophobic (sp?) women aren't watching! If they're tinier than a coin, I can handle it, usually. But them big suckers--*shudder! shudder!* Must've been a fly in a previous life or something. My 4-yr-old is scared silly of anything creeping, especially ants! Now those don't "bug" me. I tell her how much bigger she is than those little ants and that they're probably scared silly by HER! But somehow I can't apply the same logic to spiders...I remain a firm supporter of your wife in this matter: call the husband (or SOMEONE else) to kill the spiders!!!

JACK: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! :-) My hubby and I are approaching the 23-years mark (in August)... BTW, your sci-fi site looks good to me. Haven't checked all the links yet, but the main page is colorful, informative, inviting! :-)


You-all have a cloud-busting, word-piercing day! I hope to be back later with my shorty...

Melanie 6-21-2001 8:30

I probably should mention that I have a time limit of July 7 to get the Workbook moved since halcyon is going to be moved to earthlink and the CGI set up is sufficiently different or nonexistent that it is just as easy to end that account and move to a different format that works on either or, depending on whether I use cgi, php or asp. At any rate, rather than collapse into manutiae and technoese, I will leave to say that I have to get on the stick. However, just got a phone call left on voice mail that seems to indicate that there is more personal stuff to deal with. I will keep people posted. Oh, BTW, for the science fiction readers and anime afficionados, I am interested if you could take a look at my Northwest Science Fiction Resources - and contact me off line via private email with your thoughts on how it all goes together or does not. Take care and I am ready to call it a night. Just got back from the Experience Music Project - - and going to an Iron Butterfly concert (among others) and taking in the EMP for the first time. Quite impressed and it made a great setting for Fran and I to celebrate our sixteenth wedding anniversary. It is truly a great feeling to be in a mad passionate case of like and be in love with someone you have been with for eighteen years (two years living together and sixteen years married). :-)

Jack Beslanwitch sfnorthwest 6-21-2001 6:39


Howdy all. Happy Thursday.

MARY: hahahaha (sigh) - my sister-in-law is, well, Kaylee says she looks like Barbie - and she does, except she's petite and probably 100 lbs soaking wet. We were over at their house after she had her baby - she had one 5 mos. after I had mine - and at one point she was walking away from us, and Conan looked at me and said, "how come you didn't look that good 2 weeks after having Kaylee?" I just stared at him unblinking and said, "I didn't look that good 5 years before having Kaylee."

MARK: Hi, you - good to see you :)- I agree - one of my pet peeves is drunk driving - anything. (Actually, after reading the posts, I'm a little undecided about the bicycle). I'm glad Florida finally passed a drunk boating law - it was so about time.

Okay - we got MARK back...HOWARD!?...DEBRA!?...who else is missing?

Okay - off to write.

Hallee 6-21-2001 4:59

JEWRRY: Thanks for the links. My God, that first one was so graphic, I didn't want to look at it. Unfortunately there wasn't anything on it I could use. But thanks a ton.

And Heather, it's Historic fiction, so that means it has to be accurate. It was only sixty years ago, so it shouldn't be that hard to find. The fiction part is the man I'm writing about, the History has to be bang on though. :-)

MARY: I'd love to have a picture of her too! :-)) (That's a leering smile.)

And Jerry, I don't think you're homo-phobic, I was just playing with you. :-)

Out here, In B.C. you have to have a license to drive a moped, because they discovered those people charged with DUI's were simply changing to mopeds and riding to the bars--so they made them get licenses to prevent it. When you've had your license taken from you, it's gone!

GARIESS: I was just playing with Jerry. I was aghast when I first heard the story too. I don't take it seriously either.

Oh my God, the wife just called me to kill a spider crawling on the floor towards her. I said, yeah, okay, just a second. She said, No, now! I looked and had to look again. It was tiny! I was thinking she meant a Wolf Spider, or something like that. It was laughable. I slammed my hand down on it, and BANG! it was gone. A laugh a minute girl she is.

But I gotta go to bed now. She's awake, and I'm awake... :-)

Ben 6-21-2001 2:40

...and dangerous.

6-21-2001 1:26

TINA: I agree that wider shoulders would be the answer, and I have been seeing more and more of that in new construction. At least in our state. But why is riding on the sidewalk a pain? Maybe I am in Jerry's mindset on that one. I could ride for miles on the sidewalks without passing a single other person. (Except on weekends) If you have a higher pedestrian count on your sidewalks, yeah...I can see where it would be annoying.

Mary 6-21-2001 1:20

Speaking of small towns, ours is very small. Not a single traffic light in the village. No one way streets except the circle around the commons. We would probably wither up all together if it weren't for the tourist trade. Over a million people waltz through our town in a good fishing season. Those are the people who cause the traffic dangers. On a warm Wednesday night, you could drive around town and only see one or two other cars and most likely they have blue lights on top of them. Come Saturday, you can hardly cross the street for traffic. The thing about tourists is, they are excited to be away from home, they don't know where they are or where they are going, and they aren't paying attention.

I am as guilty as anyone else when I am off on holiday and I don't like to hear the townfolk talk poorly of the tourists when by rights, the tourists are what keep the town kicking. Though, I can think of three different people in town who's car bumpers sport a sticker that reads, "If it is tourist season, why can't we shoot 'em?" and I always chuckle to myself when I see it.

Mary 6-21-2001 1:16

Mary, do you realise what a pain in the a** it is to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk? I'll take my chances in traffic every time. In an ideal world, city planners would recognise the need for better shoulders, and allow more than 10cm of space for cyclists. They want people to drive less, 'go green', but never improve the hazardous conditions bikers have to navigate through.

If you're operating a machine that has a motor and tires, you're driving. If you're drunk at the time, sounds like DUI to me.
I agree that our governments are over-protecting people by legislating everything, and the law supports the problem by letting idiots sue people over the stupidist things, and win. If an idiot does something idiotic, and gets hurt, the only person to blame is the idiot. (a la the dodo who tried to breathe helium straight out of the tank, and blew out his lungs, and the family sued) BUT when it comes to alcohol/drug related laws, I have no problem with stricter laws. As the population density increases, and moral decay increases, the law has to be able to punish/control those who endanger others through such blatant disregard for personal responsibility.

Mark, glad to see you here. You've been missed.

I'm outa here now.

Tina 6-21-2001 1:12

JERRY: Heck no I hadn't heard that public intoxication laws had been repealed. Last I knew you could still get put in the can for drinking beer in the town square of Andover, Ohio. Population 1,247, which is up 6 since 1998 and includes about 700 school aged people.

I am assuming you were being mildly sarcastic about the 'aught to be more laws' thing...sometimes it's hard to tell in this type of communication. You lose all the nuances and inflections. In any case, I hope you don't think that I believe we need more laws. We need fewer better ones.

I loved my moped. Had it between the ages of 12 and 14 until my brother took it apart and my father confiscated the engine for his chain saw. My mother's law was that I could only ride it on dirt roads. Had never even heard of a bike helmet then. My, how times do change.

Mary 6-21-2001 1:06

Mary - yep we need more laws, there aught to be lots more laws...

Jerry 6-21-2001 0:30

Mary - Haven't you heard, public intoxication laws have been repealed because the legislature recognized that alcoholism is an illness, not a crime. There are, however laws that allow officers to take an intoxicated person into "protective custody" and lock them up in a drunk tank just like they used to, they just don't have to go to court, or pay a fine when they get out. Ah progress. I guess you are right, I am looking at things from a small town prospective, and that of a small town cop, say for instance here in Lemmon, should I get drunk and drive my moped (if I had one, and if I drank) the likelyhood that I would strike anything other then parked cars is very slim, at least at night. Oh I enforced the law, and I guess I would have arrested someone for DUI on a moped should I have the opertuntity, it is just that I find it a stupid law. Now motorcycles are a different thing, to qualify as a moped, the thing had to have peddles, and start ONLY by use of peddles, it couldn't go over 25 MPH, and could only have a 50cc motor. Now I remember when a Honda 50cc was a neat little bike, and it went a lot faster then 25 mph, I had a moped once, and to tell the truth, I would never have tried to ride it drunk (yes I did drink back then) but I have riden bicycles drunk, although not for many many years now. Way back when I was a young pup, I got drunk and rode my nephew's little banna-seated high handlebar bicycle up town, and back again, much the the joy of my little nephew's who thought it was really COOL to see me do it, in fact there exists somewhere photo's of my little ride, but I won't be posting them on the www anytime soon.

Jerry 6-21-2001 0:22

On a more personal note, I don't think mopeds or bicycles should be allowed on city streets at all...they are a menace and traffic liability. I personally think bicycles should be allowed on sidewalks. I know, I know...pedestrians. But I have never seen a pedestrian either hit or injured by a bicyclist on a sidewalk. I have however seen a head-on collision caused by a car trying to pass a string of ten-speed bicycles on State Route 6. Granted, the car driver was a moron to try to pass all those bikes where he tried to do it, but still.

Sorry if I have offended anyone who rides their bike on high traffic, high speed roads. My husband hears it from me all the time because he does ride the shoulders of the roads. Every time we are driving along in the car and are stymied by a bicycle I say, "See what a pain in the a** you are to other people when you do that?" He just rolls his eyes and pays me no mind. In reality I fear for his life and thank my lucky stars when he comes home from a bike trip.

Mary 6-21-2001 0:16

Speaking of dreams, had a doosy last night, it woke me up wondering where the hell that snuck into my head. Seems I was back in Nam, but I was me now, not me then. There were these two VC wearing black pajamas, one male the other a fine looking young baby-san. Well they had their SKS carbines, so I was looking for my M-16, but all I had is this little .32 ACP pocket double barrel derringer (I really own one of these little thumb-busters). So anyhow, I take this little 32 and take aim at the guy and pull the trigger, knowing that if it hit's him and he finds out about it, he will be really pissed off. The round falls short, but I give away my position, and they begin shooting at me with their SKS's. Well this go's on and on, and eventually, we are all together, and it goes places my dreams haven't been in over 40 years. Overall it was strange, but I guess that's what dreaming is all about.

Anyhow, I had a shorty for tonight, but it became a very longee, so I will have to work on it, might be a bit late, but I will contribute none-the-less, just not a seven pager, it would make poor Jack have to archive again.

Oh Ben, before you think I am homo-phobic, I'm not really, I just don't think the networks should be advocating that lifestyle in prime-time, keep it on HBO or Showtime, where folks go if they want to see such things. When I was growing up, I had this great friend. We used to go every where together, and since I got a dollar a week allowance, and he was dirt poor, I would treat him to a movie and maybe a box of milk duds or some such thing. We stayed close from the time we met in the sixth grade until he went away to Catholic High School in the Jr. Senior years. Never saw him again after that, as he went on to college, I to the Army. Anyhow, some years ago there was an all-school reunion, and he came back for it. We got together, and he tells me that he is gay. I wasn't surprised, as I always thought he might be, and I told him that. Well he says, how could I have known, he didn't realize it himself until he was out of college. I guess it was just that he was sort what we used to call girlish, in the way he carried himself. Anyway, we get together every time he comes home now, and talk of old times, when we were young and dumb. Nothing has changed between us, oh sure I was a bit taken aback that he was out, and proud, and I guess our first reunion I was a bit stand-offish, but what can you expect from one raised in the old ways where it was indeed a crime not just against nature, but against the law of the land to have sex with another of the same sex, and yes, I am a bit conservative in my beliefs. -

HEY MARY - does that qualify as a shorty?

Well must go now as it is getting pretty late for an old fart like me, I should be in bed, maybe that sexy little baby-san will visit again, who knows. Is that being unfaithful, in a dream I mean, I know President Carter said he had sinned, that he had lusted in his mind, much unlike President Clinton who lusted in the oval office.
Ok, ok that was uncalled for. I can't help it, sometimes I just get that way.

Jerry 6-21-2001 0:12

JERRY: I may be out of line, as I am not directly in the conversation between you and Mark, but it seems to me that even if someone riding a moped couldn't directly kill another driver, their erratic or dangerous driving could cause a potentially fatal accident. Say the drunk mopeder is swerving left of center, or runs a light or anything like that, and a car swerves to avoid hitting him, or being hit and in affect hits yet another car or obstacle. It was still the drunk's fault. (Even if there was never any direct contact between him and the other vehicles involved in the accident)

As far as the moped not being a motor vehicle I don't see why it isn't. It is a vehicle with a motor and the operator is required to follow the same street laws as a cyclist does, which in turn are the same street laws that car drivers have to follow. I get that it's a technicality and legally is not considered a motor vehicle where you are, but I have to say I disagree with that legislation.

I would think that even if the drunk driving laws didn't pertain to the moped riders, that public intoxication charges, albeit less condemning, would stick.

Just an opinion. :-)

Mary 6-21-2001 0:07

Mark - I am not saying you have a right to drive drunk, no that isn't it at all. You see my mother was crippled by a drunk driver many years ago. During my years on the PD, I must have arrested several hundred drunk drivers, in fact I even had the opportunity to arrest the SOB who crippled my mom, several years after the fact for his sixth DUI. No, I don't want anyone driving drunk, but to arrest someone for DUI on a moped is getting a bit overboard don't you think, when was the last time you saw anyone kill someone while riding their moped. If the idiot wants to ride it and kills himself, then more power to him let the world be a safer place without him. You see, our society goes from one extreme to another, that's the way we work. For years it was a simple ticket for DUI, much the same as speeding, then the mad mothers got after us, and God bless them for doing it, got us to get tough on drunks. Ok, so we got tough on drunks, much to the despair of the bar owners, and the deaths on the highway decreased by an alarming rate. Well we got there, then we kept going with impromptu road blocks where the roadside sobriety tests were given to drivers who were simply suspect because they were driving down that particular road. Then the courts began to hold folks guilty of DUI for things like mopeds, and even in some cases for riding bicycles while intoxicated. Now that is getting a bit overboard don't you think, the law says you cannot operate a motor vehicle, "motor vehicle" not any vehicle. A moped in the states where I have worked is not called a motor vehicle in the law, and one does not need a drivers license to operate one. However you can still be arrested for DUI on a moped, do you understand the thought there? Maybe that's ok, I don't know but I think it a bit overboard, and intrusive. Now I can understand the thinking on the farm tractor, after all you can do a bunch of damage with one of those, especially those new four wheel drive ones, but I think a farmer would have to be awfully drunk before he got on a two hundred thousand dollar machine and drove it to town to the bar. Oh well, you may be right, let them hang the drunks, after all they are endangering our lives aren't they. And what about those folks who speed, and the idiot's who blow stop signs, how about executing them too, because after all, if you had been crossing the street at the time they blew the stop light, they might have run over you and killed you, so isn't that attempted murder?

Ben - Try some of these sites for your info:

Randolph Scott a homosexual???? Say it ain't so!

Jerry 6-20-2001 23:26

I am struggling with a decision. There will be a TREK convention in Tulsa this week-end. Part of me wants to go and see Kate Mulgrew (aka Captain Janeway) and the other part of me hates and detests crowds. I suppose I should go because I might never get the chance to go to one of these things again. Has anyone here ever been to a TREK convention? Any stories, advice, etc.?

The convention goes from Friday to Sunday. I think I can only make Sunday. I intend to take my daughter. She has turned into a real Trekie.

Oh the weight of these heavy decisions.

Rhoda 6-20-2001 23:06


Back in the old days the Hollywood press never told if a star was gay. They would just write articles about how a certain actor agonized over the color of his bathroom walls or something that pointed that way. Randolph Scott was known for keeping male company and shared a home with Cary Grant for a time. Grant was reputedly a two way kind of guy. Supposedly, he had an affair with Sophia Loren while he was married. Of course, Rock Hudson was married too. Hmm.


I am glad to know you are having a good day. BTW although I am generally opposed to seeing pictures of the NB people I must say I like the picture of you that someone posted. Is there a reason for the dark glasses?

No mercy,


gariess 6-20-2001 22:25


Thought I was gonna die dead last night. Honest! I mean graveyard dead and buried and gone man!!! The worst case of gas I ever had. My wife kept putting a pencil in my hand and insisting I sign something. Wonder what that was all about? Was laying in bed 'bout 2 AM listening to my clock radio thinking of heaven or hell.........and this little song was playing on the clock radio.

I mean, if you gotta go, who wants to hear ROCK OF AGES or AMAZING GRACE? Give me Reggae to push off with.


My grandma and your grandma
Were sittin' by the fire.
My grandma told your grandma
"I'm gonna set your flag on fire"

Hey now! Hey now!
Iko, Iko, unday
Jockamo feeno ai nan?
Jockamo fee nan?

Look at my king all dressed in red Iko, Iko, unday.
I betcha five dollars he'll kill you dead
Jockamo fee nan?

Hey now! Hey now!
Iko, Iko, unday
Jockamo feeno ai nan?
Jockamo fee nan?

My flag boy and your flag boy
Were sittin' by the fire.
My flag boy told your flag boy
"I'm gonna set your flag on fire"

Hey now! Hey now!
Iko, Iko, unday
Jockamo feeno ai nan?
Jockamo fee nan?

See that guy all dressed in green ?
Iko Iko unday
He's not a man He's a lovin' machine.
Jockamo fee nan?

Hey now! Hey now!
Iko, Iko, unday
Jockamo feeno ai nan?
Jockamo fee nan?

Hey now! Hey now!
Iko, Iko, unday
Jockamo feeno ai nan?
Jockamo fee nan?"

(Sigh) Kinda brings a tear to your eye, huh? :-)

Say, Mary, any chance of sending me an 8 X 10, color, glossy of your neighbor? In the, uh, bikini? Maybe 2 or 3 shots, from different angles? For, uh, research purposes. Sounds like the kind of character I might be interested in, oh, for the book, of course. Plain, unmarked manila envelope...... :-))))


Randall 6-20-2001 22:02

Hi, All. Been lurking. Nothing much to say lately, feeling down again. Nice to know there's some positive energy in the universe. This place radiates it.

However, that being said. I write my diatribe tonight in response to JERRY.

No, I don't see any rights slipping away. You still have the right to get drunk. You just have less leeway to get stupidly or criminally antisocial.

Sometime in the '80s, a Turkish sailor on shore leave in San Diego raped a Mexican woman outside a bar. He was tried, convicted, and turned back over to Turkish authorities for punishment. His ship left its joint exercises, picked him up, went outside the 12-mile limit, hung him, and dropped him in the ocean with little ceremony.

He contended that he didn't know exactly what he was doing because he was too drunk. His superiors said that while he couldn't know just what he would do when drunk, he certainly knew that he would do something unacceptable; thus, he had to take responsibility for the act even if he couldn't remember it. He had done something they deemed worthy the death penalty and they administered it.

Harsh? Yes. But I agree with the sentiment. And any drunk running any vehicle in public space (air, land or sea) is only a moment from public mayhem. That's not a right.

Mark 6-20-2001 21:50

MEL: My writing room has a view. A view of the neighbor's side yard through which occasionally passes my neighbor in her hot pink snake-skin bikini. This occurance wouldn't affect me much generally, but she just had a baby in December and already has her figure back. That view is just enough to irritate me beyond being able to write, but is apparently inspiring to my husband who silently battles me over whether the drapes should be open or closed.

Mary 6-20-2001 17:25

Ben - (my brain's in sideways) what I meant is to look it up in a book if you can find one that mentions what you're looking for!
I didn't mean if YOU could FIND a book. Sorry. It came out as though I was being sarcastic. Not the case.

I'm being a tired person right now, and it's time to lie down and relax!

Heather 6-20-2001 16:38

Ben, I'd look it up in a book if you can find one. If you ask ten people who know, you'll probably get at least three different colours.
Or, what the heck, it's fiction, right? Make it up.

Heather 6-20-2001 16:36

Oops, forgot my email.

Ben 6-20-2001 16:15

Anybody know anything about the Jews and the Second world war?

The story I'm writing is taking a different slant. We all know the Jews wore the yellow stars, but they also (the Germans) had symbols for other people--(gypsies, mental defectives, criminals, I think, that sort of thing.) A person who was not a full Jew was called a "hybrid", and that's the one I need to know. He had to wear a star, but it wasn't yellow. I need to know what colour it was. Any ideas? I've got a couple of eamils out, but who knows if they'll answer or not.

Ben 6-20-2001 16:15

HEATHER: Sometimes dreams can mix with memory too - until I'm fully awake, I'm certain that I just rode an elevator sideways and upside downways, or I see nothing wrong with a sheet cake on the side of a building (?!), or am certain I just saw someone who couldn't possibly have been in my home...Dreams are a connector between our past (what we've done) and our future (what we plan to do or fear may happen). So, the moment in the present when we are asleep is actually timeless (in our minds) or, at least, a timebridge. Hmm, I like that timebridge idea...more fodder for the muse to sort out...

Mel 6-20-2001 15:08

Tina - the reason I say that past is like fiction is because our own memories over time can alter 'themselves'. 'Fiction' is the closest word to what I mean about the past, so bear with me.

On Father's Day I was talking with my Dad and my younger brother, and neither of them remember an incedent where my little brother stuck a garden pea up his nose, and my Dad had to 'chase after it' with a tweezers and flashlight. Could my memory be imagined? Was it indeed real? (What is REAL anyhow? Something we imagine can be just as real as events that 'happen')
It's my memory, and I'm certain it really happened. But that is the same as most fiction (forgive science fiction this time) it COULD have happened. The only proof is our own memories, and I'm sure my mother could cross-reference with her memory.
But that doesn't make it any more accessible. So it might as well be fiction. In any case, it's past, so it is not available to us through any other means but memory. And, we all know how fallible it can be. The basic point is that the past, though we claim it makes us who we are, is something we cannot influence any longer - and we, as people, are not static, as the past is. So the past cannot be the only thing that makes us who we are.
I believe that it's not so much our past that makes us, well, US. Our souls make us who we are. Our souls aren't static, stuck in time anywhere or when. Let's see if I can explain THAT!

I'm a writer, and I'm a mother; not because I've written something ten years ago, or had children a few years ago. I'm a writer because today I write, and today I care for my kids.
Does that make any sense, guys? It's taking the responsibility away from 'yesterday' and putting it in the 'now'.

Oh, Randall! I also thought of this: The other side of time isn't the 'left' or 'right' side. The other side of time is the absence of time. Maybe it's what we call eternity, infinity(google) or timelessness; for if we had no end of time would we bother counting minutes? I highly doubt it. If man's concept of time actually has a side, it's definitely the anal side!! (sorry, I'm being CHEEKY)

If you think about it, if man had not 'invented' the concept, nor made clocks to keep track of it, we would not live in a society as we do now, in fact we likely wouldn't live in a so-called civilized world. For what is it that makes us civilized? With clocks ticking away, we measure our days. Must have something to fill those days. New daily life structure is imposed. Can't be 'idle'. (Is growing food and caring for family idle? No.) Anyhow, man creates the need for the 9-5 job. All the things that people do at 9-5 jobs has come around just ahead of this: money, government, the need to buy a vehicle to get to work to pay for the vehicle to get to work. Of course, the vehicle thing came a lot later. Any civilized society is based on time. If we didn't keep track of our time or our days in a conventional manner, technically, we would not be a civilized society at all, even if we spoke beautiful languages and wrote great stories- though the stories wouldn't start off with 'Once upon a time', now, would they?
The man who makes paper lives at the side of the hill, and he'll trade you some paper for the products you make.

My strange logic isn't going to come out in such a way as to explain things perfectly of course. It's always when I try to explain things like this to others that I can't find the exact sentences or words I want! Oh, well.
NOW, what was it that I was going to do?
Sign off.

Yes. Bye for the moment, friends!

Heather 6-20-2001 14:01

RACHEL: So glad you're having a terrific day - hope that's a terrific WRITING day??!! Report back...tomorrow, if not sooner. :-) Enjoy...

JERRY: How about DUI on a skateboard? On rollerblades? On a scooter? Um, go-carts or golf-carts? Uh, on shopping carts?? Not so much a matter of our rights slipping away but maybe being protected from the crazies who gotta get to the bar, by any means, and go back home again, plastered, at the expense of anyone who crosses their crookedly winding paths? :-/

BEN: A forward-thinking man you are! :-) Yessir, my friend Ben thinks "out of the box!" (honest compliment!) You are another gem of inspiration to me! OF COURSE I should just get up early FIRST, then I'll be ready to go to sleep earlier the next night. How come I couldn't think of that? Thanks!! I'm a writer again. :-) I'm getting up earlier tomorrow to WRITE. BTW, My three boys do the same "bored" routine. If they can't use the computer or play video games, there's "nothing" to do! We ought to be able to take their "bored" time and add it to our own day/night - we writers sure could fill the time fast!!! :-)

JON: My tears for the Earth too...wish we could WAKE UP all those who are hurting it and make them stop (including ourselves) and at the same time WAKE UP all the brilliant geniuses who can execute plans to fix all the things we've broken...

Mel 6-20-2001 13:42

Wandering on the Moon, "lonely as a cloud" (Wordsworth), looking for inspiration for one of those poems of mine, I found a skeleton. Not a plastic skeleton, a genuine one, real bones and all. I will give it back to the creature who proves it belongs to him/her. Methinks it's Christi's skeleton, but I'm not sure. It could also be Eddie's, Sasquatch's or of any long lost Notebooker.

PS. I discovered I have a reader on the Earth. It's Hallee!!! I'm so proud of my talent! Thank you, Hallee.

PPS. The Earth is not so beautiful as it was last time I was on the Moon. The level of the oceans is higher, the clouds are not so white and the forests look pale and are definitely smaller. I recommend more emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere...

PPPS. I will only go back to Earth if A* asks me to contribute to "Saints and Sinners" (SS***). Incidentally, S* is probably the best book I have read in my life. (Hope this helps.)

BTW: How can I link to the Shadows page? I peeped under the button "Writer's Notebook" but it is not there. I'm asking this because I would like to post my photo at Rachel's and Allein's feet. They look so lovely! (I would also like to eat Jack's lobster...)

This ends my satellite time.

Jon (saint and sinner) 6-20-2001 13:12

Well, I was wondering when you were gonna archive Jack. It wasn't taking too long to load it up though--go figure.

Well, today being the last day of school for my son, I can see I won't be having much computer time for the summer holidays. He's been downloading games and songs from Napster so he doesn't have to be on the net all the time, but still ties up the computer. Summer holidays haven't even started yet, and I can all ready hear him saying he's bored. The problem is, he doesn't want to make the effort to do anything worthwhile. Won't walk the four or five blocks to the local pool, but then, come seven or eight at night, he'll say he wants to walk to his cousin's place on the other side of town. Hello?? I don't think so. Having one car sucks, and being in the middle of a bus strike doesn't help much either. Next week the daughter's off. But she's willing to sit for hours reading a book...kind of a daydreamer like I was.

MEL: In order to get up early, you can't go to bed early on your first day, that never works. Just set the alarm and force yourself to get up. You'll be able to get to sleep early enough the next night, and then you'll get into a routine. It's pretty easy, and easier still if you have a steady dayshift job. The hard part is when you have to swing every two weeks.

HALLEE: Future worries? You bet. The company having just been bought out by one of our larger competitors, we all understand that when they have problems with the market, instead of working through it like we used to before, selling wherever and whatever we could, these guys just pull the plug. We sell to the Japanese market basically--nough said there I guess--and with the Yanks trying to play hardball with the softwood lumber agreement (it's cheaper for us to process a tree up here than it is for them down there) they think we're doing unfair labor practices. But it's just the big companies that think we're playing unfair. The others, the manufactures, the contractors, builders--even Home Depot--think we're in the right. But that's because we save them a couple thousand on every structure they build...and so it goes. The politics of dancing.

JACK: I told you: you watch too much T.V.

Jerry: Wasn't Randolf Scott a "Bendie"--you :-) (Just trying to get a rise out of you--maybe I should rephrase that considering the topic?) You've been quiet lately :-)

Anyway, gotta run

Ben 6-20-2001 12:20

Good morning all!

What a wonderful, superfantastic, wow, wow, wow, sort of day.

Hugs all around :o)

Rachel 6-20-2001 12:02

Randolph Scott drunk? Parrish the thought, my God all Randolph Scott ever drank was that one beer, you know the one, the beer that some drunk would throw in his face, just before Randolph Scott beat the hell out of him. The drunk, of course was part of the gang who was holding Sweet Irene hostage until her father signed over the deed to the ranch.

There have, though been many changes in the DUI law, you can now be arrested for DUI in a boat (We needed that one!), on a lawn mower (Riding of course), on a moped, a bicycle and a farm tractor. These because many who had their drivers license suspended or revoked tried to go to the bars on these vehicles. I would guess that RUI won't be far behind. Does anyone here see our rights slipping away?

Jerry Ericsson 6-20-2001 10:34

Hallee - no, not a lot of damage from the hail, it was rather soft for hail, probably because it came so early in the morning. Anyhow the wife's car has a couple of little dents, and a couple of the bean plants in the garden bit the big one, other then that we made out OK. The one up north in Bismarck, however did millions of dollars worth of damage, heard on the radio this morning that there were four thousand cars with broken windshields, they will be replacing windshilds up there for a couple of years. Our largest stone this storm was about moth ball size, the storm in Bismarck produced unheard of 8 inch hail, even damaged the ceader shake shingles which are supposed to withstand the worst hail. Also their storm lasted nearly a half hour, well it was three super cells in a line that got them, so shortly after one hailstorm stopped, another hit. My heart goes out to the fine people up there, we had a storm a few years ago that, while not as long did almost as much damage. The Dodge dealer has an add on their radio station now advertising seven thousand dollar discounts on new hail damaged cars, but I think I will pass. It was a strange storm, we watched the TV news reports the underpasses were all filled to the top with rain and hail, the hail was so deep that they had to call out the snow plows to clear the streets so emergency vehicles could get around. What a mess, that and wind speeds of nearly eighty miles per hour knocked down trees signs and the sort. My son and his wife were just leaving town as the storm approached, he said he pushed his little Geo as fast as it would go and nearly outran the storm, only a few dings on his little car, the storm missed his home which is 40 miles north of there. He was very happy about that.

I noticed that this posting box changes depending on the size of your window, last night I had two windows up as I was adding to my music collection and watching the progress, as I enetered my posts, the Enter box moved from the right side of the screen to the bottom left. I thought it as a nice feature, but it took me a second to find it.

Good Morning to all.

Viv, sorry to hear of your troubles, it seems when it rains it pours, but it usually all works out in the end, or so I have been telling myself all my life.

Jerry Ericsson 6-20-2001 10:19


Howdy, Writin' Pardners!! :-)
Oh, this is gonna be a long one. Pop the corn, pull out the Dew (Mountain variety) and throw your feet on the desk for awhile...

BEN: Being off work can be a blessing - hope it was a good mental break for you, however unscheduled. In my home, things are sort of opposite: my husband's the neat freak (altho' I'm not a slob but I'm not keen on doing the housecleaning) and we (the family) do things his way on his schedule mostly (keeps harmony in the marriage). Still, I guess we writers need a chunk of weekend (and daily!) time to call our own. Maybe a bigger sign on our backs: "DO NOT DISTURB; I'M WRITING!!!" - with a roped-off room, preferably with a view, all to ourselves...?! :-) (Does anyone here have a writing room with a view?)

TL: I love all my characters too, the good guys more, and the ones especially who learn good things about themselves, learning they can do things they never thought they could, and then they go do those things! :-)

TEEKAY: Thanks. I expect I'll do the same as always - a bit of what I want, squeezed in between all I have to do, and hope that what doesn't get done won't rot my conscience. :-)

VIV: Time off is best when no one in the family knows (until the last minute) you're home...and THEY all have to leave to go somewhere else. :-)

RHODA: Giving up housework's even harder to do when your hubby's a neat freak and so are his sisters and mother, the Queen of Clean, who all live in town and come visiting often! I think by now they must be used to my we-don't eat-off-the-floors style. :-) RE: John Denver - oh, I miss his music too! Have CD's but not the same as his original records (our record player is out of service.) :-( Loved that 12-string guitar rocky mountain stuff the best! :-) RE: New writing? You GO, GIRL! :-)

RANDALL: Heeheehee - still laughing. :-) You are a gem of inspiration! I think I'm caught on the finite side of time, struggling to reach the infinite side (not heaven, not immortality, mind you, just TIMELESS, an unpressured zone) where I know there exists all the time I need to do everything I really want, under no measurable time constraints, just time to enjoy the journey. :-)

HEATHER: I have a tape of my mom once singing in the car on a family camping trip. She started singing the chorus of "Rocky Mountain High..." and finished the last word in a most unusual, musical, YAWN! :-) Jim Croce...another fav gone too soon, sigh. "If I could save time in a bottle..." (Rhoda said it first, RANDALL, but there's one for you, a bottle of time - which side is it? You don't know till you spill it.) :-) Heather, I like your idea of holding the moment - this moment, ever new. :-) It's reassuring and exciting too!

JERRY: Not only the Muppet Show, but Fraggle Rock! Loved them Muppets! :-) Jim Henson is also missed...

HALLEE: I really like the idea of early A.M. writing - I can't seem to get to bed earlier 'though, so am not ready to get up then. But that's the real clue to my future writing success: get to bed early, rise early and WRITE then, before the distractions start! I hope you take a day off now and then too - a respite for all those "nuts" you're gathering. "Life is nuts" - I resemble that remark too! (As evidenced by my ongoing lack of a critique to, well, maybe I've got to get up at 4 A.M. to get THAT done, at least! Haven't forgotten ya, girl!)

MATRIX can't come soon enough for me! :-) And then Matrix 3...

MARY: THanks for your thoughts. I'm so sorry to hear you're suffering nightmares! Get more sleep, girl! Sleep has to be PRIORITY #1, before family or writing, or you lose your health. I too prefer to write in chunks of time but it rarely happens. I've learned to write in choppy tidbits of time (that's MOMMY-TIME, Randall!) - another reason I chose to title my first novel "Shards" as it is being written in slivers and slices, heh heh! WHen I was a teen, with nothing but time on summer vacations (ah yes, the sheer joy of those unhampered days!), I made a list of every item I wanted to do in an ideal day. Whenever I followed the list (I was NEVER bored!) I felt great satisfaction knowing I had spent time, if only five minutes!, working on each of my interest areas. But it was too structured, of course! Nowadays, when I get in a "list" mood, I settle for spending time in my highest priority interest areas a few times a week or on weekends (but too often the weekend gets buried in distractions and my heart's desire-list is lost on a whirlwind of other activities, sigh.)

Who said that "measure of a woman" thing? How wise, how inspiring! :-) That's it. No problems gonna stop me (mebbe slow me down a bit, now and then, here and there, but not to a full stop!) ON WITH THE WRITING! mOVE 'EM OUT, TROOPS! (that's MOVE THE MUSES, not the cud-chewing cattle!)

Whew! Okay, bathroom break. Refill popcorn bowl. 10-4. Back to you-all.

Melanie 6-20-2001 10:08

Hey, Laura Posted again in the workbook. Drop what you are doing and read this. The beginning of it is below my junk and the ending is at the top. Go for it you won't regret it.

Laura: As usual, it's great. I like the jewelry concept! That I'm sure is going to evolve in the sequal into something much more elegant and extravagent. I also like that there are children. Will we see from each person's viewpoint or will we stay in the third person? I'd like to see that place from the eyes of one of the age 12-14 year old characters as well as the captain. What about the young mothers? It's really good. How soon can I get your book? When is it coming out. This has to be a teaser...right. I'm convinced. I'll buy it.

Viv 6-20-2001 10:08

HEATHER: It ARRIVED. Mr. Bill got here! In typical Mr. Bill form, he arrived crushed. It looks like he got run over by a fork lift or someone's car. What a mess. Your words "Fragile Do Not Bend" were torn. You should have written, "Fragile Do Not Run Over This Package With A Forklift...You Fool!"

Anyway, My husband,who can fix any disaster, simply took the tape out of it's case and put it in a new case. It's fine. He even scraped off the label and stuck it on the new casing. So it looks professional. He did it before he went to his second job while sitting in the bathroom. What a hero.

I'll copy the tape, then return it in a good metal box. You know the saga of Mr. Bill just goes on and on. Something will probably happen to that guy on the way home. I took photographs of the broken tape and the way the package looked because it was so funny. I'll send them to you as well.

Hallee: We don't use the word laid off, we use the word "failed to extend". It means we've been here too long so our contract won't be extended. It looks pretty likely for us this time. The climate is mean. What they will do is priority place us to a hell hole. We know what the likely hell hole is. It's not a ethical way to work so we won't do the job. So far that job has been advertised for about 7 years and no one has ever taken it. That says something for Americans. That's the polite way it happens here. If you don't take the job, you have rejected the position so you are no longer working. Note to all young people who might consider a job in the government...don't take an overseas posting. Now-days it means a career ender.

Life goes on. He's a smart person and will land another
job(s). So will I. They won't be what we expected but we still will get that retirement. It'll just be a lot longer coming. We thought we'd be able to pay the house note with that money and then work for the rest of the things we, gas, insurance, school clothing. We can sell the house and get a smaller place. I am not used to living in a big place anyway. I kind of like little bitty rather ugly digs. They are fun to fix up.

Luckily I saved up all the money I need for my daughter's high school tuition. She can finish up her schooling in a real school. That's important to us. It's not a huge deal. It's just a HUGE change in plans. Anyway, it hasn't happened yet. It happens in winter.

Until then, the big change here is on Friday I learn HOPEFULLY whenI have to move out of this house. (Remember they are knocking this house down). Hopefully, I can stay until I have my final exams graded. It might mess up classes.

Viv 6-20-2001 9:55

The measure of a woman is the size of problem it takes to stop her.

6-20-2001 8:43

MEL: I posted a fairly large message in your direction yesterday, please check the archive whenever you get a chance. :-)

Mary 6-20-2001 8:38

JACK: With the 'old' Notebook, I never would have been able to load 600K...but this new and improved version snaps right up no matter how big it gets. I don't know how you do that, but thank you verra much.

Mary 6-20-2001 8:37

At any rate. Hope everyone likes the much much shorter version of the Notebook. We had grown to over 600k. I am surprised anybody without a cable modem could have loaded the Notebook.

Jack 6-20-2001 5:51

Got a chance to take a look at some of the archived messages and realized a definite theme springing up in terms of movie reviews. Just got Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon on DVD and loved it. Also, someone mentioned Shrek and have to say that was truly great as well. However, of all the movies I have seen of late far and away the one that blew me away and left me stunned with appreciation I have to say Jin-Roh is at the top of the list. It is just being released theatrically in the US in a couple of cities June 29th, Seattle and Portland sometime in August with other cities to follow. Yes, it is quite violent as one might expect from those that brought us Ghost In The Shell, but the plot is levels within levels within levels that puts the Manchurian Candidate to shame. And it was not scripted by a Hollywood bean counter. The ending takes your breath away. I believe I may have mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating as a movie to take in if you like anime and have the opportunity to do so. I certainly plan to be there to see this on the big screen on the 29th. The other movies on my docket that I think have potential include Planet of the Apes, Final Fantasy and one that I recently discovered on's movie trailers - A Whoopi Goldberg movie called Kingdom Come that looks to have some potential as a heart felt comedy with good writing. BTW, has anybody else caught Six Feet Under on HBO. This bit of macaabre and well written series television ala HBO may become a staple in my viewing habits if the first three episodes are any indication. Take care everyone.

Jack Jin-Roh 6-20-2001 5:36

Hey everyone! Man - it just took me 45 mins to catch up on posts. Let's see if I got it all down:

TINA/JACK: I'm so glad ya'll liked Tomb Raider. I can't wait to see it - my husband has been completely addicted to that game - Christmas two years ago I bought TR-II along with the "cheat" book - he knew what was in the package and begged for a week to open it early. I finally just gave in from pure exhaustion about two days before Christmas.

MEL: My life is nuts. I have my husband (high maintenance), a 4 year old, a hectic job that consumes me 10 hours a day, a church in which I'm extremely active, an organization that I was just voted to be the president elect next year last night, and I try desperately to have a social life both on and off line. If writing is important to you, you find the time. You've stated before that you don't drink coffee. Perhaps you should start, or tea, or Cola, or something, and just set the alarm clock early. I started writing about two and a half years ago, and I get up at 4:00. Most mornings (this one excluded) I'm writing by 4:30. That gives me almost two solid hours of uninterrupted writing before the household comes awake and I have to get ready for work. (I've managed to write over 10 books doing it this way). The downside of that is that I only get about 6 hours of sleep a night. I also have a heart that beats at an irregular rhythm, and the days that I drink too much caffeine it's going ninety to nothing. So, I've learned to not set the alarm on the weekends and to just sleep in then. My body has gotten used to it. In these 2-1/2 years, I think I've reset the alarm clock and gone back to bed twice.

JERRY: Hope the hail storm that was headed your way didn't do too much damage. You never said anything more, so I'm just going to go with that assumption. My parents just drove from WI to WA & OR - my mom called me because my sister was having a "pregnant moment" and wanted me to call her - and she was in SD - she mentioned in passing that it was one of her favorite states to drive through, and I thought about you. (smile)

TINA: The Planet of the Apes preview I saw gave me chills - I cannot wait to go see it - and Matrix 2! Matrix is one of my top ten favorites for sure. (I love summer - movie time!!!)

HEATHER: Hi, you. :)

RHODA: Congrats on your writing! And, I would love to stay home. My family is convinced I'd go insane, but I don't think I would. I just wish my husband had the type of career that wasn't a feast or famine kind, and I'd do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I make too much money. (sigh)

VIV: This is from memory - but did you say your husband got laid off? ((hug)) if he did. How terrible! And about John Denver - in the 5th grade, at one of those choir presentations, the kid that was supposed to sing Gma's Feather Bed was sick and wasn't there that night. Our music teacher was practically hysterical and asked if any of the boys knew the words. (the class was just singing the chorus). I was raised on country music, and was the only one in the whole 4th & 5th grade that could sing the song (When I was a little bitty boy...) - hahaha. It went well, though.

Oh no! JON has taken over the moon!!! aaarrrggghhhh

MARY: We lost a kitten. *sniff* Now we're down to four.

BEN: Glad to see you're going to go back to work! Is this slow time over now, or are there future worries?

TL: I always like my current characters the best.

Okay - that about catches me up. I would ramble on, but my book is waiting for me.

Have a great day all!

Hallee 6-20-2001 5:05


Always seem to get that wrong, the URL should work now.

sfnorthwest 6-20-2001 5:04

OK, when I discovered even I could not load the Notebook I decided it was time to archive post haste. So, here is a tabula rasa for everyone and I will go to archive the last Notebook next. I have downloaded the files and they are waiting. Take care all. I just got tickets today for the Experience Music Project to see Iron Butterfly and a few others in their Sky Chapel. It will be the first time I have taken in this new fixture of Seattle so I will let you know how it goes.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-20-2001 5:02

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